Sympathy defeats temptation35

In Calcutta a young man about 20 years old was selling handkerchiefs on the street right behind our hotel. He said, “If you buy a dozen, I will give you one free.”

I asked him, “If I buy five dozen, will you give me five free?”

He said, “Of course.” He was insulting me in Bengali as if I didn’t know Bengali.

He counted out twelve and then started counting out the second dozen. I said, “I won’t get one free?”

He said, “No, let me first count out five dozen.”

After he had counted out the second dozen, he felt sorry for me and he added one extra to the pile.

I said, “Now you are supposed to give me two.”

Again he said, “No, I will give them to you later.”

After he had counted out five dozen, I said, “Now you have to give me four more.”

He said, “No, I was just tempting you! I will give you only one extra.”

I said, “Then I don’t want any.”

He said, “No, you should feel sympathy for me because it took such a long time to count out five dozen.”

So sympathy won over temptation, and I got only one extra.

LS 126. 1 March 1986