Produced by Dianna Adair, Suzanne Shell and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net
Produced by Dianna Adair, Suzanne Shell and the Online
By MONTAGUE GLASS
GARDEN CITY NEW YORK
DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY
Copyright, 1909, by
The Curtis Publishing Company
Copyright, 1912, by
Doubleday, Page & Company
All rights reserved including
that of translation
into foreign languages,
“Why don’t you do this?” Mr. Feldman suggested. “Why don’t you go to the second mortgagee and tell him you’ll convey the houses to him in satisfaction of the mortgage? Those houses will never bring even the amount of the first mortgage in these times, and surely he would rather have the houses than a deficiency judgment against you.”
“That’s what I told him a hundred times. Believe me, Mr. Feldman, I used hours and hours of the best salesmanship on that feller,” Margolius answered, “and all he says is that he wouldn’t have to pay no interest, insurance and taxes on a deficiency judgment, while a house what stands vacant you got to all the time be paying out money.”
“But as soon as they put the subway through,” Mr. Feldman continued, “that property around Two Hundred and Sixty-fourth Street and Heidenfeld Avenue will go up tremendously.”
“Sure I know,” Margolius agreed; “but when a feller’s got four double flat-houses and every flat yet vacant, futures don’t cut no ice. Them tenants couldn’t ride on futures, Mr. Feldman; and so, with the nearest trolley car ten blocks away, I am up against a dead proposition.”
“Wouldn’t he give you a year’s extension?” Mr. Feldman asked.
“He wouldn’t give me positively nothing,” Margolius replied hopelessly. “That feller’s a regular Skylark. He wants his pound of meat every time, Mr. Feldman. So I guess you got to think up some scheme for me that I should beat him out. Them mortgages falls due in ten days, Mr. Feldman, and we got to act quick.”
Mr. Feldman frowned judicially. In New York, if an attorney for a realty owner knows his business and neglects his professional ethics he can so obstruct an action to foreclose a mortgage as to make Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce look like a summary proceeding. But Henry D. Feldman was a conscientious practitioner, and never did anything that might bring him before the grievance committee of the Bar Association. Moreover, he was a power in the Democratic organization and right in line for a Supreme Court judgeship, and so it behooved him to be careful if not ethical.
“Why don’t you go and see Goldblatt again, and then if you can’t move him I’ll see what I can do for you?” Feldman suggested.
“But, Mr. Feldman,” Margolius protested, “I told it you it ain’t no use. Goldblatt hates me worser as poison.”
Feldman leaned back in his low chair with one arm thrown over the back, after the fashion of Judge Blatchford’s portrait in the United States District Courtroom.
“See here, Margolius: what’s the real trouble between you and Goldblatt?” he said. “If you’re going to get my advice in this matter you will have to tell me the whole truth. Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, you know.”
“You make a big mistake, Mr. Feldman,” Margolius replied. “It ain’t nothing like that, and whoever told it you is got another think coming. The trouble was about his daughter Fannie. You could bring a horse a pail of water, Mr. Feldman, but no one could make the horse drink it if he don’t want to, and that’s the way it was with me. Friedman, the Schatchen, took me up to see Goldblatt’s daughter Fannie, and I assure you I ain’t exaggeration a bit when I tell you she’s got a moustache what wouldn’t go bad with a dago barber yet.”
“Why, I thought Goldblatt’s daughter was a pretty good looker,” Feldman exclaimed.
“That’s Birdie Goldblatt,” Margolius replied, blushing. “But Fannie—that’s a different proposition, Mr. Feldman. Well, Goldblatt gives me all kinds of inducements; but I ain’t that kind, Mr. Feldman. If I would marry I would marry for love, and it wouldn’t make no difference to me if the girl would have it, say, for example, only two thousand dollars. I would marry her anyway.”
“Very commendable,” Mr. Feldman murmured.
“But Fannie Goldblatt—that is somebody a young feller wouldn’t consider, not if her hair hung with diamonds, Mr. Feldman,” Margolius continued. “Although I got to admit I did go up to Goldblatt’s house a great many times, because, supposing she does got a moustache, she could cook gefüllte Fische and Fleischkugeln better as Delmonico’s already. And then Miss Birdie Goldblatt——”
He faltered and blushed again, while Feldman nodded sympathetically.
“Anyhow, what’s the use talking?” Margolius concluded. “The old man gets sore on me, and when Marks Henochstein offers him the second mortgages on them Heidenfeld Avenue houses it was yet boom-time in the Bronix, and it looked good to Goldblatt; so he made Henochstein give him a big allowance, and he bought ’em. And now when he’s got me where he wants me I can kiss myself good-bye with them houses.”
He rose to his feet and put on his gloves, for Philip was what is popularly known as a swell dresser. Indeed, there was no smarter-appearing salesman in the entire cloak and suit trade, nor was there a salesman more ingratiating in manner and hence more successful with lady buyers.
“If the worser comes to the worst,” he said, “I will go through bankruptcy. I ain’t got nothing but them houses, anyway.” He fingered the two-and-a-half-carat solitaire in his scarf to find out if it were still there. “And they couldn’t get my salary in advance, so that’s what I’ll do.”
He shook hands with Mr. Feldman.
“You could send me a bill for your advice, Mr. Feldman,” he said.
“That’s all right,” Feldman replied as he ushered his client out of the office. “I’ll add it to my fee in the bankruptcy matter.”