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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 99, October 18, 1890   By:

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VOL. 99.

October 18, 1890.




SCENE Sanctum of "Large Wholesale House." Present, one of the Principals, a pompous personage, with imposing watch chain, and abundant space for it to meander over, and a sleekly subservient "Head of Department." Principal looks irritated , Head of Department apprehensive, the former angrily shuffling some papers, the latter nervously "washing his hands with invisible soap, in imperceptible water. "

Principal . Well, Mr. er er SCROOP, we er my partners and self, are not quite satisfied with the way in which things are going in er in your department.

Head of Department . Indeed, Sir. Sorry to hear that, Sir. May I ask, Sir, in er in what particular I have er failed to give complete satisfaction. ( Aside. ) On the screw again, the old skinflint I know him.


Principal. Well, in point of fact, the profits on your branch have lately been very have seemed er have been by no means what we could wish, Mr. SCROOP, what we could wish, Sir.

H. of D. Really, Sir, I ah, am grieved to hear it, for, upon my word, I hardly know

Principal ( abruptly ). There must be cutting down somewhere I say somewhere , Mr. SCROOP where , I must leave to you. By the way, it seems to me that PUDDICOMBE's prices are a bit high for a beginner in the trade as he is. I think his "lines" ought to run a little lower eh?

H. of D. Well, Sir, I've suggested it to him myself, but he protested there was hardly a margin left. However, since you name it, Sir, I'll see what I can do with him. (Aside. ) Ruthless old grinder, that's his game, is it? Wants a few "extra" pounds to play with, and means squeezing them out of PUDDICOMBE. Poor PUDDICOMBE, I've already put the screw on him pretty tightly. However, I must give it another turn, I suppose.

SCENE II. Head of Department and PUDDICOMBE, a hard working, struggling manufacturer, who has schemed and screwed for years to keep in with the Big House.

Puddicombe . Upon my word, Mr. SCROOP, I can't I really can't, knock off another quarter per cent. It's a tight fight already, and I can't do it.

H. of D. ( airily ). All right, PUDDICOMBE my boy, as you please. Plenty who will, you know.

Puddicombe . Really, Mr. SCROOP, I don't see how they can

H. of D. ( rudely ). That's their business. I only know they will , and jump at it.

Puddicombe ( hesitatingly ). But er I thought, when I made that little arrangement with you, a year ago, about the trifling bonus to you, you know, I thought you as good as promised

H. of D. ( severely ). Mr. PUDDICOMBE, you surprise me. I am here, Sir, to do the best I can for the Firm and I shall do it. If somebody else's prices are better than yours, somebody else gets the line, that's all. Good day, Mr. PUDDICOMBE. ( Aside. ) Confound his impudence! he shan't have another order if I can help it! Trifling bonus, indeed! One thing, he daren't split so I 'm safe.

[ Exit PUDDICOMBE, despondently. Enter, presently, a hopeful looking person, with a sample bag.

H. of D. ( cheerily ). Ah, Mr. PINCHER, how do how do? Haven't seen you for an age.

Mr. Pincher . Good day, Mr. SCROOP. I heard you wanted to see me, and, as I've a very cheap line in your way, I thought, as I was passing, I'd venture to look in.

H. of D. Quite right, PINCHER. What's the figure, my boy?

Pincher ( slily ). A shade lower than the lowest you've been giving. Is that good enough?

H. of D. Well ahem! yes of course, if the quality is right.

Pincher . O.K., I assure you, Sir!

H. of D. Well, we're quoted as low as forty five. If you can beat that, I think I can place the order with you.

Pincher ( aside ). Liar! Even poor PUDDICOMBE wouldn't go under fifty. However, here goes! ( Aloud. ) Will five off meet your views?

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