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THE "QUICK ASSET" ,
By May Vivien Dallarmand "Sorry, Mr. Walters, but my orders are definite you must "pay the bill within 48 hours or I shall have to close you up." "You are subjecting me to. a severe hardship, sir." Mr. Thos. Biggs, senior partner of Biggs, Bluett & Co., opened eyes and " palms expansively, shrugged his shoulders, arose from his seat and took up his hat ' "You are asking of me impossibil ities," spoke Sidney Walters. "Every dollar I have in the world is invested in this business. Actual orders far overplus my liabilities. In another month we will have not only a free deck, but a surplus. I beg of you to alter your hard decision." "Business is business," spoke the other blandly. "The house went all over your case before I left the city. You owe us $2,000. It is 30 days past due. Our rules are invariable. I came down here to look into affairs. I find that your quick assets are shy over 40 per cent, where in every healthy business they should stand in the proportion of two to one as to active debts. I find almost the reverse. What in the world ever made you bulk all your capital in fixed assets? It is ruinous. It means slow liquidation in case of a failure. Commercially your business proposition is not sol vent. We shall have to have our money by Saturday morning or file a bill for an accounting." "Which means ruin for me," said Walters drearily. "If you would give me time to go to the city and apply to some of the banks " ' "Impossible. You would have to delay me here for several days, and my time is precious. Can you not get your friends here to assist you?" "I am practically a stranger," re plied Sidney in a low, strained tone, "and the community, as you know; is a poor one." j Sidney, indeed, spoke the truth. When he determined to start in busi ness the manufacturing of fine con tact metals for intricate vehicle equipment he had discounted the elements of bulk as to shipments. An abandoned plant at Acton was of fered for a mere song. He purchased it He paid cash for his machinery outfit and overbought as to raw ma terial. It was with a great sense of com for that he finally opened the lilttle "Impossible." factory, giving employment to some 20 men. .Expenses and wages were low. It was true that Acton was 20 miles from a railroad. It did not even boast an automobile. The town was isolated shut in to itself but once a week a slow, lumbering side wheel steamer came up from the city with passengers and freight and took back the product of the plant, packed in neat boxes, not many of them, for the points brought a higbprice, were manufactured under an exclusive patent and sold readily, .