from Dreams and Realty
by Aleksandra Ziolkowska-Boehm
Zenon came to Canada a few years after the war. At first life was very difficult, but once he got a job in construction his prospects brightened. He chose his workers carefully. They took on restoration work remodelling older houses, moving walls, replacing floors, widening windows. Orders kept coming in and the future looked very hopeful indeed.
One day Zenon received an order for a job that would bring in a sizeable profit. But first he had to invest eight thousand dollars of his own to purchase materials. His credit at the bank was good for only a few hundred.
Zenon took his time planning his next move. He was confident he would get the money. There was a chance he might not but, as he used to say: "No harm in trying".
He dressed carefully in his new suit. He took his briefcase and slipped a pencil behind his ear. He held the papers and plans in his hands. He looked good, trustworthy - at least he thought so.
Zenon went to "Feldman and Company". The trust company was run by five brothers from Russia.
Zenon knew the youngest brother and approached him.
"Sam, I'd like to get a loan from you. Here are my plans, the construction, the calculations and a contract for the work".
"Okay, put it in an official application", Sam replied and asked his secretary to draw up the necessary documents. In the middle of filling them out she stopped and went in to see her boss. They came put together. Sam said to Zenon:
"This is a substantial amount of money. Bring in the owner of the building so he can co-sign our agreement".
Zenon had misgivings and quickly agreed/ He asked that the contract be ready by five o'clock that afternoon so that he could return with the owner to sign the document.
But he returned home dejected. He didn't knew what to do. Sam did not want to give him a line of credit and the homeowner would be afraid of the risk too. Zenon's company was not well-known, he was just starting out. He thought it over and decided to take a chance.
He called one of his workers.
"Listen, get dressed up, suit and tie. I need your help".
They were in the bank at five. Luckily a different secretary was working at that hour. He smiled at her and said:
"The girl who was here this morning was supposed to have a contract ready for me at five".
"Oh, yes. Here it is".
She handed Zenon the document without paying much attention to the men. Zenon and his employee signed it. Sam came out of his office and added his signature. He shook their hands and wished them luck.
Zenon bought the necessary materials. The work went well and he made regular payments on the loan. After he had paid the final installment, he went to the bank. He asked to see Sam.
Sam, now I want to tell the truth. Forgive me, but I lied to you".
Before Zenon could explain the whole story, Sam went to the files to check. He returned surprised.
"But you've paid the loan off...".
"Yes, I paid it, But the contract wasn't signed by the homeowner. One of my employees signed it".
"Oh, oh, I see what you've done now, Sam caught on finally.
"And now I need another loan", said Zenon. "It all depends on you, whether or not you'll give it to me...".
Sam didn't answer right away and went to get one of his older brothers. Without revealing Zenon's secret, Sam asked his advice. The brother looked at all the documents pertaining to the first loan, the bills of payment, etc, After a close inspection, he said to Zenon:
"Don't worry. You have an open line of credit with us. You'll even get a discount - thirteen percent interest on your next loan".
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