A man is drowning, I tell you

A Chinese, Peter, fell head first into a canal. The water was low and he was held fast in deep sludge somewhere under the water. Hudson Taylor saw a fishing boat with a drag net and hooks. ‘Come!’ he shouted, ‘Come and drag this spot. A man is drowning!’

‘It is not convenient,’ the fisherman replied.

‘Don’t talk of convenience – a man is drowning, I tell you!’

‘We are busy fishing and cannot come.’

‘Never mind fishing. I’ll give you more money than many a day’s fishing will bring. Just come. Come at once!’

‘How much money will you give us?’

Taylor couldn’t believe his ears. ‘We can’t discuss that now! Come quickly, or it will be too late. I’ll give you five dollars.’

‘We won’t drag for that. Give us $20 and we will drag.’

‘I haven’t got that much. Come quickly and I will give you all I have!’

‘How much will that be?’

‘I don’t know exactly. About $14 I think.’

At last, but even then slowly, the fishermen brought their boat over and let down the net. In less than one minute they brought up Peter’s body…During Taylor’s attempts at rescuscitation the fishermen complained they weren’t being paid immediately.

source unknown, p.121

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