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Abe and Mawruss by Montague Glass

Congradulate Ike Feinsilver and Beckie Cohen


Mr.

Cohen withdrew his hand from Abe's cordial grasp.

"You congradulate _me_, hey?" he said, with slow and ironic emphasis. "Mawruss Perlmutter _also_ congradulates me--what?" He fixed the unhappy Morris with a terrible glare. "Don't congradulate _me_," he went on. "Congradulate Ike Feinsilver and Beckie Cohen." He gathered force as he proceeded. "Fools!" he continued in a rapid crescendo. "Meddlers! You spill my blood! You ruin me! I'm a millionaire, you tell Feinsilver. I've got nothing to do with my money but that I should throw it away in the street!"

"_Mister_ Cohen," Morris protested, "you'll make yourself sick."

"I'll make _you_ sick!" Cohen rejoined. "I'll make for you a blue eye, too. _Five thousand dollars_ I got to give her!"

Abe whistled involuntarily.

"I should think two thousand would be plenty," he suggested.

Max Cohen turned on him with another glare.

"What!" he shrieked. "Am I a beggar? Should I give my niece a miserable two thousand dollars? Ain't I got no pride? I _got_ to make it five thousand!" He paused while his imagination dwelt on the magnitude of this colossal sum. "Five thousand dollars!" he shrieked again, "and business the way it is!"

Mr. Perlmutter laid a soothing palm on Cohen's

shoulder.

"But, Mr. Cohen," he said, "what can _we_ do? Why should you tell _us_ all this?"

Mr. Cohen shook off Morris's caress.

"You're right," he said. "Why should I tell you all this? I didn't come here to tell you this. I come here to tell you something else. I come here to tell you to cancel all orders what I give you. Also, if you or your salesman come by my place ever again, look out; that's all. The way I feel it now, I'll murder you!" He turned to leave. "And another thing," he concluded. "One thing, you can depend on it. So far what I can help it, you don't sell one dollar's worth of goods to any of my friends, never no more!"

Again the door banged explosively, and Mr. Cohen was gone.

For ten minutes there was an awed silence in the sample room. At length Abe looked at his partner with a sickly smile.

"Well, Mawruss," he said, "you made a nice mess of it, ain't you?"

Morris was too stunned to reply.

"That's what comes of not minding your own business," said Abe. "We lose a good customer, and maybe several good customers. We lose a good bookkeeper, too, Mawruss--one what has been with us for five years; and also we are out a wedding present."

"I meant it good," Morris protested. "I done it for the best. It says in the Talmud, Abe, that we are commanded to promote marriages."

Abe waggled his head solemnly.

"This is the first time I hear it, that you are a Talmudist, Mawruss!" he said.

A month passed, and Miss Cohen continued to apply herself to her daily task at Potash & Perlmutter's books.

"I don't understand it, Mawruss," Abe said one morning. "Why don't that girl quit her job? She must have all sorts of things to do--clothes to buy and furniture to pick out, ain't it?"

Perlmutter shrugged his shoulders.

"I spoke to her about it," he replied, "and she says so long as we're so busy here, she guesses she will stay on the job as long as she can. She says her mommer and her sister can do all the shopping for her."


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