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A Lesson In Making Out A Bill

A Lesson In Making Out A Bill image
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Speaking of sextons reminds the philosopher of the Syracuse Herald of a story which one of tbe old menibers of the oraft used to teil. He had a funeral to conduct for the fiiniily of Mr. M., a wealthy but eccentric merehant. When it was over he handed n bis bill made out aecordiug to his usual custom. Mr. M. put on his eyeglases, openod the bill and read it carefully through. ''I see you have a charge of ihirtysix dollars for leid gloves here." said he, "how many pairs did you buy ?" "A dozen," was the answer. "And here, again, you have fif'ty dollars charged for scarfs worn in the processioo. How many searfs were there, and what did they cost ?" "I-had to have a dozen - two of them new and the rest cleaned and made over. Their entire cost was about thirty five dollars." "And you have put down carriagc hire at $50. How inany carriages had you?" "Eight in all." "And they cost you how much apieoe?" "Four dollars." Very well, sir, I decline to pay your bill. The sexton was thunder-struck ; Mr. M. had never been kuown to dispute a reasonable account with any one before, and he was reputed very rich. "I could have gooe to a store and bought all those gloves fur $2 a pair myself," the millionaire went on, "or $24 for the lot. I could have hired ten scarfs and had the others made for $35. I could have got the carriages froin auy livery stable for $32. Twenty-four and thirty-two are fifty six, and thirty five make ninety-one. You have charged me $136 for artieles which I could have pro cured for $91 myself. I presume there are other items of the same sort elsewbere in the account." But, Mr. M., I - " "I decline to pay the bill, sir. I'ake it back and make it out again right." "But, M., I must mnke somelhing on these affairs; that is the only means I have of gaining a livelihood. " "Make your bill out as it should be, I say." But, sir, you won't find that any other undertaker in the city would have served you better." "Perhaps not, and more's the pity. Still, I decline to pay your bill in its present nliape." Sadly crestfallen, the sexton was about to turn away, when the merehant poioted to a seat at his writing table. "Sit down there," said he, "and I will teach you how to make out a bjll. First, enter the hearse, enffin, advertÍ3emeots, etc., ag you have them. Then write : 'To one dozen pair black kid gloves, at $2, $24; to making two scarfs and repairing ten old ones, $35; tu hire of eight carriages at $4, $32.' Now you have your account in correct simpe as far as it goes. But you have said nothing about your own services; so write: 'To nexton's labor and time, $100.' Is that satisfactory ? If not make it $150- $200 - whater you considera fair sum We shall not dispute about that. What I object to is not the amount I am called upqn to pay, but the pretexts under which it is demanded. Your first bill wasn't business like ; your second will be. Do you see the differenee?" The sexton botli saw and admitted it. He learned a lesson froni that interview whioh he never at'tcrward forgot.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News