So Lincoln left Colby to examine the premises, after having shown him the limits of the place, and proceeded to consult his wife. Mrs. Lincoln looked surprised and amused over the proposition to turn the farm into whiskey. A queer bargain, she said.
Something I never dreamed of. Nor I; but I must sell the place, and this may be my last chance this season.
That is very true, and the matter must be looked at carefully. It may be that the whiskey can be sold in Indiana more readily than we expect. I scarcely know what to say. You must do as you think best.
Well, I think it is best to sell out at some rate, and if I thought that this was my last chance to sell this fall, I should take the whiskey, and run the risk.
As to that, I think it likely that you wont have another chance this fall. It isnt often that you can sell a place in this part of the country.
Im inclined to think, then, continued Mr. Lincoln, musing, with his eyes fastened upon the earth-floor of their cabin, as if scarcely knowing what to do, that I shall take the whiskey if I cant do any better with him.
Just as you think best, answered his wife. You can judge better than I can whether it will do or not.
After going to the man, and satisfying himself that he must take the whiskey, or fail to sell, Mr. Lincoln introduced the subject of the price of it, about which nothing had been said.
How much a gallon? he inquired. Youll of course sell it at a discount, seein I take such a quantity.
Certainly; I shall sell it to you for five cents a gallon less than the wholesale price of a barrel; and you cant ask anything better than that.
Thats fair, I think; and now let me see, how much will it take? The reader must remember that Mr. Lincoln never studied arithmetic, though he could solve such a problem as this, only give him time. He had been obliged to think and act for himself from boyhood, and, of course, contact with men and things had given him some knowledge of figures, or, at least, the ability to perform some problems mentally.
Mr. Lincoln continued: Seventy cents a gallonthat will belet me seeseventy cents a gallonthat will
Why, one hundred gallons would come to seventy dollars, interrupted Colby, and four hundred would come to two hundred and eighty dollars.
Yes, I see itfour hundred gallons, and the rest in money.
That is it; it will make just ten barrels of forty gallons each, and twenty dollars in money.
I see it. I will agree to that. Ten barrels, and the balance in money. And when shall we close the bargain?
Just as soon as you propose to leave. That will be about the first of November. I shall want the whiskey and money, though, a week before that, so as to be all ready to start.
A week before that it is, then. I agree to that and shall be here promptly at the time. Perhaps I shall bring the whiskey before that, if it comes right.
Just as well,as soon as you please. So the bargain was struck, and Colby left