The High Cost of Living (II) (1912)
- Summaries (1)
Mr. Lord, President of the International Food Products Company, objects to the attachment which has sprung up between his daughter Mildred, and his private secretary, Tracy, and tells the young people that matrimony, on Tracy's slender salary, is out of the question. Mildred's pleas that she would be quite happy in the role of a poor man's wife, are promptly rejected. Mildred, however, unknown to her father, starts on a career of economy by which she hopes to be able to learn to live within Tracy's means. She receives a terrible shock at the outset when she learns the cost of food stuffs and then and there decides that the cost of living is too high. She evolves a plan to remedy this evil and laying it before the General Federation of Women's Clubs, is hailed as the modern Joan D'Arc. The plan is a simple one. A list of food products is made with each item numbered. This list is sent to every member of the United States with instructions to refrain from buying any article whose number appears in the daily papers. Mildred, finding the price of butter and eggs very high, sends the proper numbers to the Associated Press. These numbers appear the next day in all the newspapers, and the women all over the country refuse to purchase either. At the office of the International Food Products Company there is consternation. All orders for butter and eggs have been canceled and after a day or two of stagnation, Lord is compelled to lower the price. This action is at once followed by enormous sales all over the country. Mildred lays in a store of butter and eggs at reduced prices and her first economical venture is a huge success for she has saved exactly three dollars and forty-six cents. The next attack is upon bacon. The result is the same. There is no demand for bacon and Lord is furious. The mysterious numbers in the papers only add fuel to the flame until one day Mildred explains her great scheme for economizing, shows him a list of her savings and again asks his consent to her marriage. At last Lord sees daylight. Comparing his three days' shrinkage of sales of over one hundred thousand dollars to Mildred's savings he decides that it will be cheaper to raise Tracy's salary than to have her continue her economy. This he does and presents the pair with a number of shares of stock in the company with the parting injunction to stop economizing.
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