The Trader :
Andy and Mandy were bosom friends. They had studied together. When they grew up they decided to do partnership business.
They started dealing in doth. Their business was very successful. They even planned to get married and start families. Suddenly, their business slumped. The luck deserted them. And their business came to a stand still.
One day, Andy suggested, “Friend' We must try our luck some place else. This town is no good to us. If we stay here we shall starve. Let’s go to some other country.”
Mandy agreed, “You are right Andy. We must wind up here and cut down losses. We should save what we can.”
Within two months they closed up their shop and sold whatever property they had. They converted the money into gold coins and set out on their horses for a new country.
Two days later, they were in an inn of a new land. At night Mandy said, "Andy! Tomorrow I will go with my horse and one thousand gold coins to look for a good business. Wait for me."
Andy cautioned, 'Be careful. Who knows what kind of people this country has?”
Mandy had a good experience of dealings. So, he assured, 'Don't worry.'
A little distance away he met a person who asked, ‘Are you selling your horse?"
Mandy replied, "I don't think. But I may if someone gives me a very good price.”
The person offered, "I will buy it. How much do you want?"
Mandy thought that there was no harm in selling the horse if the offer was good. Anyway the horse was getting old and needed replacement. Mandy said, ‘I want five hundred gold coins."
The person remarked, “I am a local trader. You appear stranger in this place. Here a horse is available at one hundred gold coins."
Mandy spoke, "No haggling… One price. Take it or leave it.”
The person agreed, “Alright' I like that horse. I pay five hundred. My name is Russell.'
Mandy happily took 500 gold coins. He got off the horse and tried to take off the saddle. Because he had kept his 1000 gold corns in the saddle pouch which he wanted to take out.
But Russell objected to it. He argued, "You can take nothing from there. As soon as you took five hundred gold coins from me the horse and the saddle became mine. We traders of this place are true to our words. When the deal was struck you never said that you would remove the saddle or horse shoes. You can't even touch that horse.”
Mandy was shocked. Russell took over the reigns and galloped away on the horse. Mandy went back to inn cursing and lamenting. He told the incident to Andy. Andy made up his mind to get even with the crafty Russell.
Next morning he got ready and announced, “Mandy! I go to town. I will strike some deal. Wait for me.'
Mandy said, “Take these 500 gold coins."
Andy laughed and assured that the 25 coins he had would be enough for him. In the town he learnt that Russell ran a meat shop.
The meat shop was quite big. Russell’s family lived on the upper floor. He could see children on the roof and women on the balcony. Andy entered the shop. Sheep heads and chicken legs were hanging by hooks. He could hear Mandy’s horse neighing in the backyard. Andy asked, ‘How much for heads and these legs?”
Russell replied, 'One gold coin per head and same for a pair of legs."
“You mean here all heads and pairs of legs cost one coin each?' Andy enquired
Russell calmly answered, “Yes…. Every head and every pair of legs are priced one coin each."
Andy thought for a while and repeated, ‘Sure that every head costs one gold coin?"
Russell got irritated, "Every head costs one coin' Do I have to give you in writing?”
Andy gave Russell 25 gold coins and ordered, "Give me 25 heads.”
Russell said, 'This moment I got only 5 heads. Take the rest tomorrow.”
Andy said firmly, “Are you new in business? We traders are true to our words. Deal is struck. I want 25 heads. There are lot of heads above, the children and the women. Remember we talked about heads only. No sheep heads. Our deal covers any kind of head here. Count your head also.”
Russell stammered, "I meant sheep heads.’
“Does not matter what you meant. What matters it what you exactly said 25 heads please."
Now Russell knew that Andy was taking revenge for yesterday's horse deal. He quietly returned Mandy's horse and 1000 gold coins. Andy went back proudly.
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