Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Utility of Flattery


"Say," began Raggles as he stopped the man on the street, "you see before you" — "Oh, I know what you're going to say," interrupted the man. "Your wife is sick, your children are starving, your house leaks, and you haven't had anything to eat for 36 hours. You can't get work and" —

"You're on to me, ain't you?" returned Raggles.

"Well, I should say I was!"

"Been round a good deal, ain't you?" "That's what I have!" and he straightened up proudly.

"It's a pretty smart man that works you for a coin. I knowed that when I first seen you. I says to myself that a man with such an intelligent face as you be can't be fooled, but I goes against my better jedment and tries it, and now see what a fool I've made of myself! I humbly axes your pardon!" and Raggles made a humble obeisance.

"Oh, you needn't feel so bad about it!" replied the man. "Here, take this," and he deposited a quarter in Raggles' uncalloused palm and strode on with his head in the air.

"Flattery pays, and it don't cost much,'" said Raggles to himself as he started to find his friend Dusty and tell him to head off the soft and shining mark on the next block. — Indianapolis News.

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