ICE FOR THE ESQUIMAUX
Dick Bennett taught his chief that the most important phase of selling is to be able to go back and sell 'em again.
This is a story for business men, hard-up wives and radiophans.
A SMART delivery truck, shaped not unlike a purple pumpkin coach, rolled into Acacia Place, and came to an exact halt before No. 23.
In the front yard of No. 20, directly across, young Mrs. Bennett suspended gardening operations long enough to watch subsequent proceedings with interest.
A purple-liveried driver descended, opened plate glass doors at the rear, and extracted a package elaborately wrapped in violet tissue.
Flowers . . .
Young Mrs. Bennett was young, pretty, and pleasantly situated in life, but at that moment her eyes, following the violet tissue wrapped package up the path to the door of No. 23 were wistful.
Flowers . . . that meant that Margy Westcott was giving another dinner, the second in a week. She knew those little dinners Margy gave; for six, usually, with shaded candles and a white capped maid to serve.
The sparkle of crystal, the sheen of fine linen, the soft luster of polished silver, all these things Margy had in abundance.
Young Mrs. Bennett sighed.
She dragged the toe of her white shoe sadly through the gravel of the path leading up to No. 20.
Abstractedly she remembered what fun she and Dick had had, making that gravel path which lent a quaint aspect to what would have been a very ordinary house but for the various touches redeeming its commonplaceness. Wooden blinds of a queer peacock blue against snowy sides; a shallow porch, flagged with warm red squares of tiling; an odd doorway . . . they’d gone without a vacation to get that doorway!
But . . . she told herself soberly . . . the vacation would have passed into the realm of things which are not. The doorway remained. She never walked through it without the peculiar satisfaction accruing from beauty obtained at a sacrifice.
The purple clad delivery man returned to his wagon, whistling. There followed the rattle of shifting gears, and once more the quiet of Acacia Place was unbroken.
A pleasant neighborhood, Acacia Place, with trim little houses bordering upon a central square carefully parked and shrubbed. The houses had that air of friendly invitation belonging to houses snielding tranquil lives. Of them all, No. 20 was the smallest; No. 23 the largest.
Walking up the gravel patn to a stone bench beneath the one tree their lot displayed, Dolly Bennecc sank down upon it. She was still thinking of Margy Westcott’s dinner party.
She and Dick were not invited, of course. Not . . . important enough. Dick could not be useful to Jack Westcott. Or if he could be useful, he would be, without having to be bribed by charming little dinners and evening bridge.
Looking steadily toward the house opposite, Dolly Bennett tried to fight down a surge of something close to envy.
Envy . . . she reminded herself sternly . . . was an entirely ignoble emotion. The meanest, cheapest, most contemptible . . . her adjectives slid off into desolate silence.
Mr. Westcott was approaching No. 23 Acacia Place, in his new car. Observing the glittering enamel and the shining metal of that new car, Dolly Bennett swallowed hard.
The meanest . . . most contemptible emotion . . .
Mr. Westcott drew up before his doorway with a flourish, honked loudly, descended, and busied himself with some trifling adjustment beneath the hood.
Mrs. Westcott appeared, clad in an attractive creation of palest green. Her ash blonde hair was elaborately marcelled, her eyebrows plucked to a line, her face delicately rouged. She looked, to an unprejudiced observer, to be scarcely more than a radiant twenty.
That youthful radiance was a silent but effective criticism of Dolly Bennett. Beneath it, she flinched in acknowledgment, spreading ber small, square hands before her for a half-humorous inspection of their undoubted state of grime. Setting out rose bushes did not contribute to a desirable state of lily whiteness. There was also an undoubted smudge upon her pale gray linen. Very likely upon her face also.
Well . . . Dolly Bennett told herself lightly . . . one could not live and at the same time keep entirely free of tne necessary soil of living. She and Dick had agreed upon that. One had to choose: to be an onlooker, or to take an active part in life . . . one could not be both.
Margy Westcott rippled down to the side of the car, exchanging a careless, laughing remark with her husband, rippled back up the steps again, perceived Dolly Bennett with a palpable start of surprise and waved a languid greeting as she disappeared within.
Unerringly Dolly Bennett knew that the entire performance had been staged for her benefit.
Grandstand players, the Westcotts. Never losing an opportunity to impress their good fortune upon tne Bennetts.
“It’s why I mind their having more than we do,” realized Dolly Bennett unhappily. “Because they rub it in so!”
THERE was, of course a reason. Years before, she had refused to marry Jack Westcott, and later success had never permitted him to forgive her refusal or his own emotion thereat.
“And I can’t forgive the fact that he’s mor6 successful than Dick—aren’t people queer?” laughed Dolly Bennett, irritated by her own absurdity.
From the vacation-paid-for doorway of No. 20 appeared two children, rosy from recent sleep, immaculately starched and ruffled.
Envy drifted away from Dolly Bennett immediately. Here at least she was richer than the Westcotts.
Richer in every way, she told herself staunchly, watching the advancing children. How could there be any comparison between asthmatic, puffy Jack Westcott and Dick with his alert youth? And little Dolly and Junior—could any woman ask more? A pretty home a devoted servant . . . Dolly Bennett smiled.
She did not care about the Westcott dinner party! Did not care about their new car, or the flowers, or anything . . .
Assisted by the four-year-old and the joyous six-year-old, she went back to her work of setting out rose bushes.
It was a pity that people could not appreciate Dick’s real ability, and that people like Jack Westcott could succeed with such apparent ease. There were things she wanted and could not have, but life was full of sunshine. One could not have everything . . .
AT THAT moment, crossing the floor of the main office for his third glass of icewater in half an hour, Dick Bennett was conscious of the pitying glances of his associates.
From the glass-partitioned cubbyhole of the president, proceeded a low hum of discussion. Facts and figures . .
they were going to call him on the carpet. That much was plain.
Gulping down water which only temporarily relieved the dryness of his throat, he went, back to his desk and sat, apparently busy with papers, in a brown study of his own incapacity.
He had youth, a charming wife, ambition, the will to work hard, and yet ...
Wryly he was remembering various catastrophes in his
career. Sometimes, perhaps, he had not been to blame.
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Business had been poor, companies had retrenched . . .
With a perceptible squaring of shoulder, Dick Bennett held the fact before his unwilling eyes that in times of retrenchment a company does not let go of vitally necessary employees. The life of a business is in its sales force. He had, in half a dozen instances, not been necessary to the life of companies he had been connected with.
A shadow flickered across the opaque glass of the inner office. The door opened.
He arose, aware that his ears were scarlet with embarrassment. The chief had a big voice. He hoped nervously that the interview to come would not be audible in the outer office.
Vain hope! The big voice boomed at him the instant he entered.
“Sit down, Mr. Bennett.”
He sat, his hands going icy cold. Thrusting them nonchalantly into his pockets in a pitiful gesture of assumed self-control, he waited for what was to come.
Probably he was to be let out again. And another note due on the house in sixty days. He would have to tell Dolly he had failed again, and Dolly would be gentle with him. Terrible, that gentleness, more terrible than a tongue lashing could ever be. She would be sorry for him., would resent the fact that others could not appreciate his ability.
His ability . . .
The chief was talking of that ability now, and he was not being gentle.
“It’s something nobody in the organization can understand, Bennett,” the big voice fretted. “Your utter failure to get results as a salesman. You’ve brains, personality, people like you, and yet—”
The pause was more eloquent of his failure to measure up to the required standard than the preceding words had been.
“I’ve worked,” said Dick Bennett.
Immediately he regretted his remark. It held too much of appeal. And why should he crawl? Facts, not sympathy, counted in business.
The big voice softened. Beneath his crusty exterior, the chief was not harsh. A regular person, the chief. He liked working for him.
“You’ve worked,” agreed his superior. “You’re not lazy, Bennett, we grant that. Nor do I think your difficulty is in selling our product. It’s just that you’re not a ■salesman. A good salesman could sell ice to the Esquimaux!”
PICKING up a paper knife, he opened a letter, glanced at it unseeingly, began to talk again.
“We’re going to give you one more
chance, Bennett, and the outcome w ill be important not only to yourself, but to the company. Business can have its troubles as well as men. I’m putting my cards on the table: our firm is in the worst financial jam of its history right this minute . . .” “The radio stuff?” hazarded Bennett. “The radio stuff! We’re ... in pretty deep, Bennett. The stuff was new, the country gone mad over it: ‘Every home its own radio!’ You know . . . looked like a good thing.”
“The fellow who climbs into the front row of any new invention of promise usually cleans up,” agreed Bennett.
“Ah!” disputed the chief keenly. “I wonder just how true that statement is. New inventions are for many years in the development stage only. A later invention _ may at any moment supersede a previous one, and destroy its possibility of profit ...”
‘‘Bennett—” he said then, a weariness springing out in his voice:
“We’ve nearly half a million tied up in the Cartwright sets, and now the Sidney Company are bringing out something better . . . and cheaper!”
“But how—” puzzled Bennett.
“You’re a radio fan yourself, are you not?”
‘‘This new set not only uses a loop aerial, doing away with outside wires, but it is far simpler to control than anything else of the same type on the market. It employs a new mechanical arrangement by which all the variable elements in the set may be adjusted from one control. Just put your fingers on the one knob and adjust any or all of the controllable elements in the whole set. You see where that lets us out? The great American public is lazy—or, rather, they live in a hurry. They’ve no time at ail for anything in the way of work and trouble which can be dispensed with.”
“Except where they profit through that extra work and trouble.”
“But this new outfit of the Sidney Company is cheaper!”
“Cheaper than our established selling price,” nodded Bennett. “We’ll have to take a loss.”
“Man—” the chief snapped his fingers irritably. “When they spring that new outfit, we’re done. Unless ...”
“If you could go out and unload our accumulation upon the dealers before they get wind of the Sidney outfit . . . ?” suggested the chief.
“You’ve just said I’m no salesman,” reminded Bennett, with an edge of bitterness to his tone.
“Sometimes a man can be inspired to sublime efforts.”
“Inspired? Driven would be a better word!”
The chief fell back upon his favorite theory.
“A good salesman could sell ice to the Esquimaux!”
“Now I wonder ...” brooded Dick i Bennett aloud. “If a good salesman would sell ice to the Esquimaux!”
A sharpness invaded the chief’s manner. “It’s what you might call a last chance j for you. Unload this stuff, and—”
His gestive was significant. The world : belonged to Mr. Bennett if he could unload ¡ the white elephant from the company’s j back.
“The company means to discontinue the I manufacture of radio apparatus?” asked ! Bennett, considering.
“We’ll have to! We’re under contract j not to manufacture except under the j Larson patents on a royalty basis for j three years longer, unless we can manage i to develop something in our own organj ization. And the Sidney outfit is so far i superior as to make competition on our ' part impossible.”
Bennett rose, went back to his desk. It j was nearly five. After a few moments, j abstractedly reflecting upon the situation, j he took his hat and went home.
Arrival at Acacia Place recompensed him for the discomforts of the crowded suburban train on an unexpectedly warm spring afternoon.
The air of Acacia Place was soft and pure. The leaves of the tiny park were almost in full leaf. His two children greeted him with shrieking joy. Dolly came to hang upon his arm, her red gold hair brushed to a gloss, her hands free of stain . . .
“Has it been a hard day, dear? You look so tired!”
“Just . . . average,” he managed. After dinner, he felt better; more confident, somehow, The meal had been excellent, the boisterous children pleasantly subdued, he and Dolly sat upon the porch afterwards in complete harmony.
From across the street drifted faint sounds of revelry. Later came an occasional snatch of jazz, and the passing and repassing silhouettes of dancing figures.
“Jack and Margy are giving another dinner,” said Dolly.
In spite of herself a faint coloring of envy rang in her politely informing tone.
He caught it, caught likewise at Dolly’s firm, competent hand.
“Do you mind not being able to have the dinners, and motor cars, and fine dresses, little Doll?”
“Not as long as going without them means having you!”
There was a proud sincerity in her voice.
“But you’d like ...” said Dick Bennett understanding^, “ ... to have me and the dinners and motor cars and other things too.”
“I’d like ...” said Dolly fiercely, ... to have everything they have, so Margy Westcott couldn’t pretend Jack’s smarter than you are. He isn't! You’ve had bad luck.”
“Now I wonder ...” protested Dick Bennett, “ . . . if it is a case of bad luck? That’s the weak man’s excuse, Dolly.”
“You’ve been unlucky,” persisted Dolly loyally.
Little Dolly . . . thought Dick Bennett with a lump in his throat ... so gallantly achieving on his little results almost paralleling Margy Westcott’s on Jack’s much! Certainly if any woman were« entitled to motor cars, fine dresses and the rest, Dolly was that woman.
WHEN Dolly went up to put the children to bed, he wandered into the room reserved for his own uses. A combination work shop and study with its ov/n little fireplace, that room was generously conceded from the needs of the family by Dolly. Shelves of books stood against the wall. Coils of copper wire lay about the floor and upon a stout pine table. A few shavings of wood were scattered around. There were several different types of radio sets, extra vacuum tubes, loop aerials and all the other paraphernalia to be found in the radio enthusiast’s den. Dick Bennett was something more than an amateur radio fan. From the first he had been keenly interested, convinced in his own mind that only the surface wonders had been scratched.
The slow improvement of existing apparatus, the gradual elimination of superfluous set noises, the stabilizing of the whole mechanism had thrilled him.
Long winter nights he had labored over his own sets, with Dolly tranquilly knitting beside him. A sweater for Junior, gay mittens for Dolly . . .
“I got Havana then!” he would confide, his eager young face all aglow.
“Didyou?” Dolly’s expression would be almost maternal as she smiled at his enthusiasm.
Several times he effected minor improvements, once even trying to secure a patent on one of his discoveries, only to find a prior patent already established.
To-night, using his latest experimental set he reached out into ether laden with imperceptible life, and picked up one of the New York stations. A concert was in progress there. He followed it a time, and then shut it out.
Wonderful, wonderful invention—and all the time this power of relieving boredom and monotony had lain unused, awaiting chance discovery! As many discoverable boons to mankind still lying undiscovered probably, if one only knew how to locate them . . .
Sitting back, his headgear still upon his rumpled dark head, he drilled a tattoo aimlessly with his long slender fingers. His was an inventor's hand, the slightly enlarged joints of the supple fingers showing love of detail.
Idly he visioned lonely homes on the far outposts of civilization: Alaska, the South Sea Islands, the western prairies, bleak mountain tops. Men and women isolated from their kind could manage to keep in touch with the world now.
“A radio in every home ...” not a bad idea, that. The means of saving the morale of some of these lonely exiles, no doubt.
Difficult, in some of these lonely corners of the world to make necessary adjustments and to assemble the sets. Make them cheaper and simpler in construction
. . .put them_ within the reach of everybody in price, and simple enough for anybody to operate!
His hand reached out, twirled a knob, made a minor adjustment—a rich voice poured into the room through the loud speaker, filling it with melody.
Dolly, coming in with an armful of small stockings to mend, stopped short in involuntary appreciation.
“That’s pretty, isn’t it?”
“Think what it would mean to some music hungry poor devil up in the frozen North . . Dick Bennett was
following out his thought. “There’s as definite a need for music in every human being as for food. Even savages recognize that!”
Again he was changing the adjustment, manipulating various knobs. The voice ceased. He lifted a coil of fine wire.
“What are you doing now?”
“Oh . . . just trying something.”
Apparently, in the days which followed, he tried that something a great deal, and always unsuccessfully.
Dolly grew familiar with the baffled, discouraged air with;which he fumbled and adjusted his equipment, night after night. Sometimes she sat cross-legged in front of the fire near his work bench, dreaming of their future if—more loyally she caught herself and substituted “when” —Dick should become an undoubted financial success. At other times she went to bed, leaving him in the little workroom, still concentrated upon the problem opposing him.
Other problems opposed him. The need, for instance, of disposing of the company’s stock of radio sets, soon to be superseded by the Sidney Co.’s cheaper and more simple device.
HALF-HEARTEDLY he called upon various dealers. If he could by force of selling argument and attractive sales proposition induce the dealers to stock up with the outfits produced by his company, it would relieve the situation.
Always, however, he would perceive the dealer’s side of the question and it cut in upon his sales efficiency. If the dealers stocked these outfits, soon to be obsolete . . . would they in turn be able to unload?
“But they’re good sets,” he defended. “They would bring a lot of happiness to the homes they went to.”
True . . . but did not the public always want the latest and best and cheapest? And were not the dealers entitled to know the chance they were taking? The whole transaction, to Dick Bennett, savored of sharp practice.
He began to wear a scowl of uncertainty. No man, he felt, should be able to see both sides of an argument.
But determinedly, remembering the note due upon his little house in less than sixty days, he set himself at the task of moving the radio sets.
A good salesman . . . could “sell ice to the Esquimaux.” That was what the chief had said.
TACK WESTCOTT said the same thing «J on the one morning he rode in to town with him in the new car.
His pleasure in that ride was lessened by accurate knowledge that the ride was extended only to impress upon him the fact of the new car.
“How you coming these days?” inquired Jack Westcott casually, extending a handful of expensive cigars.
Dick Bennett selected one soberly. Jack Wdstcott was something in a brokerage firm. Just what, he did not exactly know, but it was undoubtedly something which paid well. He wore up to the minute clothes, drove a car, and had the largest house in Acacia Place.
And Dolly could have married Jack Westcott! The poison of doubt entered into Dick Bennett.
Did Dolly regret that she had not married Westcott? Women liked things . . . the sort of things Margy Westcott had in abundance. Hard for Dolly, perhaps, to daily and hourly contemplate the pretty things of the wife of the man she had herself refused.
In response to Westcott’s indifferent question, Dick Bennett suddenly laid bare his difficulty, wondering why he did so. Westcott had no sincere interest in his progress: rather the reverse, as a matter of fact.
Westcott frowned, squinted, narrowly dodged a group of school children.
Dick Bennett wished nervously that he would drive more carefully. Those children, now, the smallest one was hardly larger than his own small Dolly. He'd handle a car more carefully if he had one! Smiling, he admitted the resemblance between driving an automobile and rearing children: the people who did not have them had all the theories!
“A simple problem in salesmanship,” pronounced Jack Westcott heavily. “At least it’s simple enough for a good salesman. A good salesman could sell ice to the Esquimaux.”
There it was again! Dick Bennett listened to the familiar saying with a huge distaste.
“But if I unload these outfits on the dealers, how are they going to unload?”
“That isn’t your lookout,” callously returned Westcott. “You can’t be too squeamish in business, Bennett. Keep your eyes on your own side of the road, and let the other fellow watch his own driving.”
Dick Bennett was silenced, but not convinced.
“You’ve got to do it to be successful,” insisted Westcott argumentively. “And you’ve got to be successful these days to
keep your family satisfied. A man’s got to be always ace-high with his women folks, or he’s soon out of luck. Take Dolly now”—he shot a keen side glance at Bennett’s downcast face. “She’s a mighty fine little woman, entitled to the best. She ought to be getting more out of life than she’s getting!”
HIS manner plainly called attention to what he was doing for Margy as compared to what Dick Bennett did for Dolly.
The rest of the ride was passed in a chill silence.
Later, talking to old Joe Hennig, one of his largest dealers, Dick Bennett laid aside his own misgivings and talked radio with a fire and fervor convincing to old Joe.
“Well . . .” ruminated Joe Hennig at last. “I’ll bite, though I’ll admit being a bit wary about going in heavy. I’m over stocked on a lot of things as it is. Public’s been queer this year, with folks buying a lot of things they don’t usually buy, and not buying what they usually do buy. Keeps a fellow guessing! Reckon if I get stuck with these here outfits, I’ll be in bad."
Old Joe . . . square as a die ... a square-shooter if there ever was one! Paying his bills promptly, treating salesmen with kindness and courtesy . . . old Joe had given him his first order.
Dick Bennett rose to his feet.
“Don’t give me this order just yet, Joe,” he said. “Think it over a bit. I don’t want to let you in for anything. Something newer . . . might be brought out.”
“And me ready to sign on the dotted line!” exclaimed Joe in frank astonishment.
Riding back to the office, Dick Bennett thought deeply. So deeply that he rode past the office to the end of the line, where the car turned and made its way once more toward the congested shopping district.
Eventually he alighted, rambling through the crowded streets.
Before a store selling phonographs and musical instruments, he came to an uncertain pause. The window was full of phonographs, attractively displayed.
“FIVE DOLLARS PUTS ONE OF THESE IN YOUR HOME,” announced a huge sign.
As he stood there idly contemplating the display, a couple approached.
Not a prosperous couple at all, nor in any way a remarkable couple. A woman with wistful eyes, shabby clothes, the kind of hands which come of much scrubbing and washing, and a man with the grim expression which comes of much self-denial.
She caught his arm, pointing to the window eagerly.
“Let’s get one, Harry—I’ve wanted one so long! Maybe I wouldn’t mind the work so much, if I could have music to do it by.”
“We can’t afford it,” refused the man, with the weariness of habit.
“But it’s only five dollars down! We can manage that.”
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The rest he did not hear, but eventually they passed into the shop.
Dick Bennett was abruptly visited by an idea of sheer brilliance.
“By . . . Jupiter!” he cried, smiting his; fist against the palm of his hand, to the astonishment of passersby. “I believe I’ve got it! There’s nothing wrong with those sets—they work.”
Walking rapidly, he passed down the street to the town’s largest department store, Lacy, Ruggles and Co., the enthusiasm of his brilliant idea still with him.
Enthusiasm is a quality which works; wonders, sometimes carrying everything: before it. . .
Dick Bennett was late to dinner, but his happy face forestalled Dolly’s mild rëproach.
“Something pleasant happen to-day, Honey?” she said instead.
“Very pleasant. To-day I made the profitable discovery that to sell anything, it’s only necessary to get your product to the right market.”
“That’s nice,” smiled Dolly.
She did not in the least understand what he meant, but she was happy because he was happy.
Dick Bennett’s happy joyousness lasted. He whistled and sang that night in his experiments with the radio, and Dolly, listening, felt a lump in her throat. Dick had not whistled like that for days. Dear boy, he had been so worried!
She went to bed at last, with an unusual sense of freedom from care, leaving Dick still working happily.
Hours later she awakened to an unexpected silence. The place by her side was unoccupied, and the house was queerly still. Something . . . breathtaking about that stillness! Hunting her slippers in the darkness, she padded out out to the workroom.
Perhaps success breeds success. Perhaps good fortune, like misfortune, never comes singly. At any rate the solution of a problem can arrive with startling unexpectedness.
Dick Bennett stood in the middle of the room, an awed expression upon his face.
“Why—I’ve got it—I’ve got it!” he was saying over and over in a husky whisper.
“Dick!” scolded Dolly. “It’s three o’clock—you ought to be in bed!”
“I’ve got it!” chanted Dick.
“Got what, Old Silly Havana?”
“What I’ve been working for—what every radio fan in the world would like to discover—how to build an outfit without vacuum tubes! They’re expensive —they’re easily broken, and my way eliminates the squeals entirely! You see, Doll, it’s just a matter of balancing the circuits ... as easy as anything when you know the trick!”
“All hard things are like that,” said Dolly shrewdly.
Her eyes were wide and very bright.
“Is it worth anything?” she wanted to know.
Dick Bennett laughed, descending to practical consideration of his discovery.
“It’s going to be worth a lot to our company. We won’t have to continue manufacturing under the Larsen patents, which are valueless now that the Sidney Company have something better. We can meet our competition now.”
“Maybe we’ll have a car . . .” planned Dolly excitedly.
“We may even have a steam yacht!” teased Dick.
HE WALKED into the office next day considerably short of sleep, but, with the carriage of a conqueror.
The chief was waiting for him, having arrived unexpectedly early by reason of
a chance meeting with Joe Hennig the night before.
“Bennett!” he roared, thrusting his head out of his private office.
Dick Bennett obeyed the summons. Standing across the table from the chief he eyed that irate person calmly. With, indeed, the calm of a man very sure of his ground.
“Did you—or did you not—tell Joe Hennig not to buy our outfits, that maybe something new was about to be produced?”
Speech departed momentarily from the chief.
“You—you—” he spluttered. “But why?”
“Salesmanship . . .” informed Dick Bennett instructively. “. . . is an art. Personally, I’ve never had much faith in that old saw about a good salesman’s being able to sell ice to the Esquimaux. If he did, he wouldn’t be a good salesman. A good salesman would sell ’em blankets, or galoshes, or woollen underwear . . . something they needed and could make use of, anyhow. And then, the next year he’d go back and get an order double the size. But if he sold them ice, he could never go back again.”
“I see!” said the Chief ironically. “And will you explain just where the company benefits through your enlightened policy of selling?”
“I’ve disposed of the entire stock of radio sets,” informed Dick Bennett lightly. “There’s nothing wrong with those outfits, even if they haven’t all the latest improvements. The right public would be glad to get them. And the right public means one that can’t afford all the latest improvements, that can’t even afford radio outfits unless we sell ’em like phonographs—five dollars down.”
“But we don’t want to sell them that way—it would take us too long to get our money. We need the money now.” “We don’t want to sell them that way,” agreed Dick Bennett, patiently. “So we’re going to let Lacy, Ruggles and Co. sell them that way. They’ll pay us”—he named a spot cash figure for the lot which brought a sigh of relief from the chief.
“Good enough!” he praised. “That lets us out.”
Dick Bennett was drawing a sheaf of papers from his pocket.
“Here’s something else for you—we can beat the Sidney Company at their own game with this. We won’t have to discontinue the manufacture of radio sets, nor will we have to manufacture under the Larsen patents.”
“What’s all this?”
“I’ve solved the problem of building outfits without vacuum tubes. That eliminates a large item of expense right there, and there are other features I had already developed.”
“Every fan’s dream!”
“But this works!” insisted Dick Bennett with quiet confidence.
“Well, I’ll be . . . blest!”
The chief leaned back in chagrin. “Here we’ve been trying to make a second-rate salesman out of a first-class inventor!”
Dick Bennett smiled. W ;thdrew toward the door.
“You’re right about that ice for the
Esquimaux business.....” conceded the
chief handsomely. “1 reckon a good salesman wouldn’t sell ’em ice. Joe Hennig says he’s saving his fattest orders for you from now on.”
Dick Bennett opened the door. Turned back for a final shot.
“Even a second rate salesman is supposed to know that the most important phase of selling is the being able to go back and sell ’em again,” he said victoriously.