True to her promise, the following day Hortense returned to Mr. Rubenstein, and with all the cunning of hernature placed before him, with many reservations, the nature of the dilemma1 which confronted her. Could she, byany chance, have the coat for one hundred and fifteen dollars on an easy payment plan? Mr. Rubenstein's head forth2 with began to wag a solemn negative. This was not an easy payment store. If he wanted to do business thatway he could charge two hundred for the coat and easily get it.
"But I could pay as much as fifty dollars when I took the coat," argued Hortense.
"Very good. But who is to guarantee that I get the other sixty-five, and when?""Next week twenty-five, and the week after that twenty five and the next week after that fifteen.""Of course. But supposin' the next day after you take the coat an automobile3 runs you down and kills you. Thenwhat? How do I get my money?" Now that was a poser. And there was really no way that she could prove that any one would pay for the coat.
An before that there would have to be all the bother of making out a contract, and getting some reallyresponsible person -- a banker, say -- to endorse4 it. No, no, this was not an easy payment house. This was a cash house. That was why the coat was offered to her at one hundred and fifteen, but not a dollar less. Not a dollar.
Mr. Rubenstein sighed and talked on. And finally Hortense asked him if she could give him seventy-five dollarscash in hand, the other forty to be paid in one week's time. Would he let her have the coat then -- to take homewith her?
"But a week -- a week -- what is a week then?" argued Mr. Rubenstein. "If you can bring me seventy-five nextweek or to-morrow, and forty more in another week or ten days, why not wait a week and bring the wholehundred and fifteen? Then the coat is yours and no bother.