Extracts from The Diaries of 'Professor' Cornelius Crane

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March 12th, 1969

My father came home tonight and made a rather pleasant announcement, “Ol’ Bradshaw must be getting hard up. Crazy old fool’s selling that useless piece of land near the M51. Saw him putting up a sign on the way home. Nobody in their right mind would buy it. Much too noisy to erect any type of home; traffic would drive you loony in a week.”

“A gas company would!” I exclaimed. “It’s the ideal spot for a filling station. You gotta buy it!”

“Your head must be awful noisy with all those foolish ideas running around in there?”

“Please, Dad! They’re not foolish. Samuel Cohen bought the land because his wife wanted a house in the country. He only did it to stop her nagging. Only, a few months later he gets given an offer he can’t refuse. He never looked back.”

“Samuel Cohen?”

“That little jeweler’s store on Mason Avenue. After that he opened a chain of stores. Only three years later he’s earning enough money to buy his wife the Welles’ mansion in Cedar Grove.”

“What on earth are you raving on about?”

“Just trust me dad. If you buy that piece of land, you can tell Sallinger where to shove his job.”

“That’s Mister Sallinger to you. And that job happens to put food on our table.”

“How much?”

“How much, what?”

“How much does Mister Bradshaw want for the place?”

“Four and a half thousand dollars.”

“That is only a fraction of what the gas company will pay. Besides I’m sure he’ll settle for four if you make him an offer.”

“And just where do you suppose I get the money?”

“Don’t you have something in your savings?”

“That’s not any of your concern.”


“It’s barely half that amount.”

“That’s fine! You can use it as collateral for the other two! It’s a sure fire deal. You can pay the bank back within a year.”

“You’re not even ten years old. What do you know of loans and collateral and such?”

“More than you’d imagine.”

“Enough! Enough of this nonsense. I don’t want to hear you talk of it again.”

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