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6. Sm. Ah, indeed! Well, I like that idea; for it shows the right kind of public spirit.
7. Ch. We have also decided that the best location for such an improvement will be in that part of the city.
8. Sm. That is my opinion, decidedly.
9. Ch. Will you sell us the required number of acres?
10. Sm. That will depend somewhat upon the particular spot where you desire to locate the park.
11. Ch. The Committee are instructed to negotiate for what lies between the two proposed streets running north from Main Street .
12. Sm. [Promptly.] The very place where I have decided to erect four rows of dwellings!
13. Ch. It is too far out of the city for that, is it not?
14. Sm. O Jio, not a rod too far. The city is rapidly growing in that direction. I have only to put up the dwellings referred to, and dozens will be anxious to purchase lots, and build all around them. Will not the ground to the left of that you speak of do as well?
15. Ch. We were directed to purchase this piece, if we could; and we do not feel authorized to go beyond our instructions. But if you are not willing to sell it, we will waste
no more Words about it. [Chairman rises to leave.]
16. Sm. Stop a moment. I do not know but I might be persuaded to part with the piece you want, provided I could get what it is worth.
17. Ch. Very well, sir. What is your price for it?
18. Sm. [After hesitating some time.] I must have a good price
19. Ch. Certainly; we are willing to pay what is fair and right .
20. Sm. Of course. No doubt you have fixed a limit to which you will go.
21. Ch. We are not absolutely restricted in that respect.
22. Sm. Are you prepared to make an offer?
23. Ch. We are prepared to hear your price and report thereon.
24. Sm. That's a very valuable lot of ground.
25. Ch. [impatiently.] Will you name your price?
26. Sm. [After thinking awhile.] One thousand dollars per acre.
27. Ch. We should not feel warranted to pay such a price as that. Good day, sir.
28. Sm. I am afraid the Committee will not purchase the land. I wish I had been a little easier in my terms. I would rather take half that sum than not sell it, for I have some heavy payments to make in a few weeks; and I must sell some land to meet them.
29. But I can not afford to furnish a beautiful park for the city for nothing. Besides, I think they will^ finally come up to my price. At all events, an article is always worth what it will bring.
[Enter Mr. Weston.]
30. Weston. I hear that the Committee had the subject of a public square under consideration again this morning.
31. Sm. [Muchdelighted.] Indeed! I hope they concluded to buy one.
32. Wes. Yes; and I also heard that they had decided to pay the extravagant price you asked for a lot of ground at North End.
33. Sm. A thousand dollars an acre?
34. Wes. Yes.
35. Sm. That is*only.its real value, and not a cent more. 3G. Wes. People differ about that; however, you are
lucky. The city is able to pay.
37. Sm. So I think; and I mean it shall pay. I am half inclined to increase my price. That is a beautiful spot; and it will soon be in the most business part of the city.
38. Chairman. Well, Mr. Smith, we have concluded to pay you your price for the land.
39. Sm. The offer is no longer open; you declined il when it was made. My price for that property is now twelve hundred dollars per acre!
40. A Member. I hardly think it right, Mr. Smith, for you to take such an advantage. This park is for the public good.
41. Sm. Let the public pay for it then; they are able.
42. A Mem. The location of this park in that part of the city will greatly enhance the value of your other property in that neighborhood.
43. Sm. I am not so sure of that. I have some very strong doubts on that point. It is my opinion that the buildings I intend to erect will be far more to my advantage. Be that as it may, however, I am determined not to sell the lot for any thing less than six thousand dollars.
44. Ch. We are not authorized to pay over five thousand. If you will agree to take that sum, we will close the bargain on the spot.
45. Sm. No, sir; you can not have the land now for less than twelve hundred dollars an acre.
46. A Mem. At that price, we may understand, then, that you will sell?
47. Sm. Yes; and that is the lowest cent. I am not anxious to sell even at that price. I can do quite as well by keeping it in my own possession; but, as it will accommodate the public so well, I will not stand in the way. When will the Committee meet again?
48. Ch. Not until next week.
49. Sm. Very well; but, understand me, if the offer is not accepted then, it no longer remains open. It is a mattei of no importance to me which way the thing goes.
50. Chairman. Good morning, Mr. Jones; we were just Donsulting about the propriety of paying Mr. Smith six thou
6and dollars for a five-acre lot at the North End. We think it an exorbitant price; and therefore should not be justified in paying it.
5J. Jones. Six thousand dollars! Is it possible that Smith asks six thousand dollars for the lot? I can hardly believe it! Why, I would give the city a lot of twice the size, and do it with pleasure.
52. A Mem. You would?
53. Jones. Certainly, I would.
54. Ch. Are you really in earnest?
55. Jones. To be sure I am. Go and select a lot for a public park from any of my unappropriated lands on the west side of the city, and I will pass you the title as a free gift tomorrow; and I shall feel pleasure in doing so.
56. A Mem. That is what I call genuine public spirit.
57. Jones. Call it what you please. I am happy in making the offer; and I will cheerfully assist in carrying out a suggestion which will add so much to the beauty and health of the city.
Mr. Wilson, the Chairman of the Committee, in his Parlor.
58. Wilson. Ah, friend Smith, how are you this pleasant evening?
59. Sm. Well, I thank you. What news do you get? for I see you are reading the papers.
60. Wil. Nothing of consequence. All, as usual, are complaining of scarcity of money, and hard times. »
61. Sm. I called to pee what your Committee concluded to do about buying that lot of mine.
62. Wil. We have concluded to do nothing further about it.
63. Sm. Nothing, did you say?
64. Wil. Yes; you declined our offer, or rather refused ,o accept the high price you first asked for the lot.
65. Sm. You refused to buy it at five thousand dollars, when it was offered for that sum.
66. WtL I know we did; because we thought your demand was exorbitant .
67. Sin. Exorbitant! Not at all so.
68. Wil. In that we only differ in opinion. However, the Committee have decided not to pay the price you ask.
69. Sm. Unanimously?
70. Wil. There was not a dissenting voice; for we all thought it quite too much.
71. Sm. Possibly I might be induced to take something less, as it is for the public welfare.
72. Wil. It is now too late, sir.
73. Sm. Too late? How so, pray? If you think my price too high, seeing a park will be so much for the public good and an ornament to the city, you may have the lot at my first offer. Or I will leave it to the generosity of the Committee to say what I ought to have for it .
74. Wil. We could not parley any more with you; so we procured a lot in another part of the city.
75. Sm. Mr. 'Wilson! I am surprised!
76. Wil. Yes; we have taken one of Mr. Jones's lots on the west side of the city. It is a most beautiful lot of ten acres!
77. (Sm. [Much surprised.] You have? v
78-. Wil. We have; and the parties are now making out the title-deed.
79. Sm. Why,"really, I never was more astonished in my life! But how much did Jones ask for that beautiful lot, as you call it?
80. Wil. Nothing. He presented it to the city as a gift
81. Sm. A gift! What consummate folly!
82. Wil. No, not folly, but true worldly wisdom; though I believe Jones did not think of advantage to himself when he generously made the offer. He is worth twenty thousand dollars more to-day than he was yesterday, simply in the advanced value of his land for building lots; and I know of no man in the city whose good fortune gives me more pleasure.