Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 128



Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.

Page 128

with a beaming smile, had just most ceremoniously bowed the plainly dressed little customer out of the street-door, said: “You certainly struck it rich that time when you suggested my waiting on that little man! Such an order! Been here ever since. Did you know who it was?”

“No,” returned Bok. “Who was it?”

“Andrew Carnegie,” beamed the salesman.

Another youthful clerk in the Scribner retail bookstore, unconscious of the customer’s identity, waited one day on the wife of Mark Twain.

Mrs. Clemens asked the young salesman for a copy of Taine’s Ancient Régime.

“Beg pardon,” said the clerk, “what book did you say?”

Mrs. Clemens repeated the author and title of the book.

Going to the rear of the store, the clerk soon returned, only to inquire: “May I ask you to repeat the name of the author?”

“Taine, T-a-i-n-e,” replied Mrs. Clemens.

Then did the youthfulness of the salesman assert itself. Assuming an air of superior knowledge, and looking at the customer with an air of sympathy, he corrected Mrs. Clemens:

“Pardon me, madam, but you have the name a trifle wrong. You mean Twain—not Taine.”

With so many young men of the same age, there was a natural sense of team-work and a spirit of comradeship that made for successful co-operation. This spirit extended outside of business hours. At luncheon there



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