A minister concluded that his church was getting into serious financial
troubles. Coincidentally, while checking the church storeroom, he
discovered several cartons of new bibles that had never been opened and
distributed. So at his Sunday sermon, he asked for three volunteers
from the congregation who would be willing to sell the bibles door-to-door
for $10 each to raise the desperately needed money for the church.
Peter, Paul and Louie all raised their hands to volunteer for the task.
The Reverend knew that Peter and Paul earned their living as salesmen
and were likely capable of selling some bibles but he had serious doubts
about Louie. Louie was just a little local farmer, who had always tended to
keep to himself because he was embarrassed by his speech impediment. Poor
little Louis stuttered very badly. But, not wanting to discourage poor
Louis, the Reverend decided to let him try anyway.
He sent the three of them away with the back seat of their cars stacked
with bibles and asked them to meet with him and report the results of
their door-to-door selling efforts the following Sunday which they did.
Anxious to find out how successful they were, the Reverend immediately
asked Peter, "Well, Peter, how did you make out selling our bibles last
Proudly handing the Reverend an envelope, Peter replied,
"Father, using my sales prowess, I was able to sell 20 bibles, and here's the
200 dollars I collected on behalf of the church."
"Fine job, Peter!" The Reverend said, vigorously shaking his hand. "You are indeed a fine
salesman, the Church is indebted to you."
Turning to Paul, he asked "And Paul, how many bibles did you manage to
sell for the church last week?"
Paul, smiling and sticking out his chest, confidently replied, "Reverend, I am a professional salesman and was
happy to give the church the benefit of my sales expertise. Last week I sold
28 bibles on behalf of the church, and here's 280 dollars I collected."
The Reverend responded, "Splendid, Paul. You are truly a professional
salesman and the church is also indebted to you."
Apprehensively, the Reverend turned to little Louie and said, "And
Louie, did you manage to sell any bibles last week?" Louie silently offered
the Reverend a large envelope. The Pastor opened it and counted the
contents. "What is this?" the Reverend exclaimed. "Louie, this 3200 dollars! Are
you saying that you sold 320 bibles for the church, door to door, in just
Louie just nodded. That's impossible!" both Peter and Paul said in
unison. "We're professional salesmen, yet you claim to have sold 10 times as
many bibles as we could."
"Yes, this does seem unlikely," the Reverend
"I think you'd better tell how you managed this, Louie." Louie
shrugged. "I-I-I- re-re-really do-do-don't kn-kn-know f-f-f-for sh-sh-sh-sure,"
Impatiently, Peter interrupted. "For crying out loud, Louie,
just tell us what you said to them when they answered the door!"
"A-a-a-all I-I-I s-s-said wa-wa-was," Louis replied, "W-w-w-w-would
y-y-y-you l-l-l-l-l-like t-t-to b-b-b-buy th-th-th-this b-b-b-b-bible
f-f-for t-t-ten b-b-b-bucks ---o-o-o-or--- wo-wo-would yo-you
j-j-j-just l-like m-m-me t-t-to st-st-stand h-h-here and r-r-r-r-r-read it t-to