Newspaper Page Text
could play such a swindling trick on
John had "a hasty talk "with Jessie,
who decided that the momentous
- question at issue should be postponed
until the $600 was made up.
So John showed no sullenneas or
resentment to the arbitrary ultima
tum of his hard-headed employer, but
went cheerfully about bis duties as
Usual, willing to abide a better con
dition of affairs.
One day there came into the book
shop a veritable old fossil, so far as
long straggly white beard and old
fashioned goggles and clothes were
concerned. When he announced him
self as president of a newly insti
ttued college in far-away Alberta the
bookseller never doubted his word,
for-he looked the antiquated peda
He gave his name as- Prof. Marsh
and stated that the college trustees
" had set apart $5,000 to buy a library.
For a week he inspected the shelves
of the book store and its catalogues,
writing down a list of innumerable
volumes and their prices, and oM
Abercrombie rubbed his hands quite
jovially at the prospects of making a
big sale with broad profits.
. Several times the old professor had
spoken of a set' of books represent
ing the works of an obscure and well
night forgotten .German savant.
These covered some abstruse psycho
logical ideals and had been a great
favorite with him, he said, in his
., younger days.
"You might take a run around and
'see if you can find any trace of the
set," Mr. Abercrombie suggested to
' John one day. "Prof, Marsh seems
"very eager for it and has offered
a $2,000 if we can deliver the commis
John went the rounds. The volumes
n were nowhere to be found, in fact,
very few of the booksellers had ever
8 heard of them. One afternoon, how
ever, he was met by the manager 6f
' "a rival book house.
- b "I say Pembroke," observed this
Q ' . . h
individual, "I think I have, located
those books. In fact, I have found
a man who has a complete set. If I
direct you up against him, what 'is
there in. it for me?" ,
"Ten per cent."
"All right, m send the man to
He appeared the next day, a seedy,
hungry-looking fellow, who suggest
ed the actor on a forced vacation, or
the average literary hack.
Mr. Abercrombie cast a look of
vain pride at his manager as he
"turned the fellow outside out," as
he boasted chucklingly after the bar
gain was made, and beat the price
down from $1,500 to $1,150.
"Follow my tactics," he observed
to John. "Get your order before you
buy, as I have done."
The owner of the set of rarities
appeared the following morning jin a
cab. The volumes in question were
unloaded, the man was paid his price.
Mr. Abercrombie turned up his
nose at the books as he looked them
H"" "A clear profit on a lot of old truck
with no real value," he observed.,-
Prof. Marsh did not appear as usual
that morning, nor in the afternoon.
Mr. Abercrombie began to get un
easy, the next morning anxious. He
sent John to the hotel where the eru
dite college president had been stop
ping. "Gone, sir; left last night," report
ed John upon his return.
"You you don't mean permanent
ly?" questioned the bookseller, a
tjuaver of suspicion in his voices
"I do," replied John.
"I fear you are swindled, sir," re
minded the young manager. "Prof.
Marsh left with a man precisely an
swering the description of the person
who sold us the books. It was a well
put up game, I fear."
Mr. Abercrombie looked bored,
more, humiliated. He put on his hat
and went out to investigate. He was
subdUed and crestfallen when he re-