Stratagem That Worked All Right

   Posted by: admin   in Merchants

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Feb. 13, 1905

Stratagem That Worked All Right

How Fort Dodge Women Relieved Herself From Bother of Canvassers.

Dose of Their Own Medicine

When The Oily-Tongued Agent Talked to Her About Buying His Wares She Opened a Masked Artillery in the Way of a Rival Set of Good Things.

In spite of the strict enforcement of the peddler’s law in Fort Dodge, there are still many canvassers extant, and there is one lady in the city who has been particularly bored by this class of people. Up to a month ago she was besieged by them day after day, and they took up the greater share of her time. Finally she decided to get a little enjoyment out of the eternal, unconquerable besiegers of her purse. She is a young and attractive lady, and enjoys fun with a zest, so she laid her plans deep, and with an eye to getting paid for the time she spent.

She decided that the most effective way of doing the agent to a turn was to give him his own medicine so she ordered a book canvassing outfit, and a number of “money-making specialties” among which were a patent nail trimmer, a skirt supporter and a few other trifles, so she would be prepared to suit the most fastidious disturber of her peace. When she had prepared her masked battery of “things that every person ought to have,” she laid low and awaited the coming of the unlucky victim.

It was not long until a dapper, and self-confident young man stepped up to the door and rang the bell vigorously. She was on hand to let him in herself, and as he slid his toe in the crack to prevent her closing it in his face, he was nearly taken off his feet by the cordiality with which he was received. She led him in and seated him in a most comfortable big easy chair, took his hat and treated him in every way as a guest. When he had somewhat recovered from his surprise he came to the conclusion that he had found an “easy,” and was not long in stating his mission. He was introducing into only a limited number of the best homes  of the city a “Complete Compendum (sic) of Common Sense Knowledge,” gathered from the four corners of the universe, which should adorn the shelves of every library in the land.

The lady was delighted to have a chance to look at so valuable a work, but would the gentleman mind glancing thru a book she had? She would take only a very few minutes of his valuable time. She knew as soon as she saw his refined face that he would appreciate the volume at its true worth.

Here she picked up a prospectus of “The Home Maker and a Complete Encyclopedia of Cooking Receipts for the Things That Mother Used to Make.” She sat down in front of him and beginning at the binding, read every word of the specimen pages from start to finish, not omitting the index and preface.

After the first ten minutes the dapper young man began to squirm; in twenty minutes he was white to the lips and in half an hour he was fairly haggard. She held her victim a full two hours, giving him a canvass that should have sold seven sets of Shakespeare and a complete library of the poets.

However, the young man had found the big easy chair such a seat of thorns that he was unable to appreciate the book at its true worth and made the sickly statement that as he was boarding and had no home, he would be unable to use it in his business.

“Oh, that’s all right,” said the woman sweetly. “If that book doesn’t suit you I have three others and surely one of them should prove to be just what you are looking for.” The agent staggered up, grasped his hat and pleading an appointment, fled as tho pursued by a thousand demons. He reached the street in three steps, threw a frightened look back over his shoulder and sped west almost on a run while the lady of the house retired to her room to have a good laugh. On the lady agent with an assortment of cosmetic she worked off a skirt supporter and took up 45 minutes of her time in exploiting the merits of a newfangled mouse trap and a cockroach extinguisher. The man with the patent broom holder was given a dissertation on a duplex automatic mop stick, guaranteed to do the work without an effort on the part of the operator. The gentleman with the luminous name plate was sold seven packages of bunion cure and the girls with the “gems of the musical world” was forced to listen to a description of a book on “How to Land Big Fish From The Matrimonial Stream.”

This sort of thing went on for a week and the lady became more finished in her work of working the undoing of the wily agent at every encounter. At last the visits of the canvasser became less and less frequent until now she is let entirely alone. The skull and cross bones are suspended in the air over the house and the agent jumps sidewise and quickens his pace every time he catches sight of the place.


This entry was posted on Monday, February 13th, 2012 at 6:00 am and is filed under Merchants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.