[C9] "Our Talisman, No. 9," Spirit of the Times, Feb. 17, 1842: Roguery in a Dry Goods Store

Our Talisman, No. 9.

            ROGUERY IN A DRY GOODS STORE—It was on the day before yesterday, that our eccentric devil who has been under the weather for some time past took a stroll along Second street, and noticed a very manly looking gentleman, one of our literary characters, looking very earnestly at something in the window of a dry goods store, where "Relief notes taken for payment of goods," was written in very large, bold and legible characters.

            "Yes, I'll do't," exclaimed the gentleman, "that's a capital vest pattern—my money is all in Relief notes—umph."  He entered the store, and Flib having his ring about him, popped in after him, and took an invisible station behind the counter.

            A smart, spruce looking clerk, with his hair all done up in ringlets was selling goods to a plain country man, dressed in neat although coarse linsey wolsey and with the usual expression of rugged honesty on his features peculiar to Reading rusticity.  A venerable martyr-ish looking gentleman with bald head and gold spectacles, was writing at a desk.

            "I like the vest pattern," exclaimed the gentleman, "how much is it?"

            "Two dollars and a half sir," the clerk replied, describing a circle in the air with his yard-stick in a pleasant manner, "only two dollars and a half, sir,-I'll wrap it up for you, sir,—quite remarkable weather, sir—"

            "There is a $3 Relief note—will you please let me have two quarters."

            The clerk took the note, opened the drawer, dropped the note in, and then observed in a careless way, that he supposed that the winter was postponed for a few weeks, on account of the weather, and continued he in his flippant way—"we've very nice calicoes—you don't want anything in that way—or you don't want anything else, do you!"

            "Yes—I want my change."

            "Your change?"

            "Yes—the change for my $3."

            "Do you see that," observed the clerk, pointing to a bit of pasteboard, fixed in front of the shelves, behind the counter.  "Do you see that?"

            "To be sure I do, sir—RELIEF NOTES TAKEN FOR GOODS," in large capital letters.

            "But don't you see 'at a discount,' in very small letters?  Read it again?"

            "Tats de way dey cheated me," chimed in the Dutchman, tying up his bundle of goods.  "Dey stick a bit of pasteboard out ov doors, to make one believe dat dey takes de Releefs at par, and after dey had cut off a lot of goods for me, dey bamboozle me out of my money, as dey are tryin' to bamboozle you—te tamt quill driving yard-stick holdters."

            "This looks a great deal like villany," observed the literary gentleman, "it looks remarkably like swindling."

            "How are you off for spectacles," exclaimed the clerk, "hadn't you better provide yourself with a bright pair."

            "Your eyes are your market," interrupted the bald headed gentleman.

            "We can't help it if you cheated yourself," chimed the clerk.  "You'd better make the most of a bad job, and take your vest."

            "Here Augustus," exclaimed bald head, "tie up this package of red velvet—I intend to make a present of it to — Street Church.  Won't it look nice on the pulpit, as a cushion for the Bible?"