Chapter 4 - The Old-Clock Shop Exercise 14
One of the two men who visited Ray was in his twenties, the other closer to fifty. The younger man remained at the door. The older man approached the counter with no sign of friendliness in his eyes. Ray observed the shape of a gun and a restless hand in the man’s right coat-pocket.
Ray’s old wise eyes told him that the visitor was not really a shopper.
He had come to the shop because he was down on luck and in great need of money.
Ray communicated with him by slowly pushing a note pad and pencil to him across the counter. He smiled at the unfriendly face, then pointed to his ears and shook his head from side to side indicating to the visitor that he was deaf. He then wrote the words “May I help you” on the notepad.
Ray was not a pawnbroker. He lent money to people in exchange for their old watches and clocks because he knew that they were in need of money. He loaned more money than he should have. He kept the watches till the owners wanted them back and he would return them at the same price he had paid, with no interest.
“The watch was nothing special and yet had great powers.” It had ‘great powers’ because it was something that could be exchanged for money and a way to lead people out of a bad situation. On Christmas Eve it had saved the two men who entered the shop from doing something they might later have been sorry for.
Although Ray had paid the man far more than what the watch was actually worth I think that the man would return. He must have been touched with Rays’ kindness towards him inspite of knowing full well the reason of their visit. He appreciated his generosity and when Ray looked into his eyes he saw gratitude and they seemed to say, “Thank you.” That is why he left a note saying that he would be back to pick up the watch as soon as he could and wishing Ray a Merry Christmas.
The unfriendly face of the visitor turned truly friendly when he got the money for his watch which was not worth fifty dollar. Also by giving him the money in exchange for the watch Ray had prevented him from doing something he would be later sorry for.
The man might have informed his friend that Ray was deaf and there was no need to worry about anything. He could also have discussed with him what their next plan of action was.