Julius Karp's whistling through his teeth when Ida drops in to tell him of their troubles is an index to his character. His whistling implies that the Bobers' tough luck is what they get for lacking Karp's wisdom. Karp's statement that maybe he will call Podolsky sometime, followed by an inquiry about Helen's marital prospects, is a nasty dig at the Bobers' situation and implies that Karp doesn't do favors for people-especially incompetent people — without the return of favors. In this case, Ida is to return the favor by making arrangements between Helen and Louis. When at long last the prospective buyer arrives, the situation that greets him is even worse than it would have been when he was first expected — several months ago — for despite all of Frank's efforts, the Bobers' store is failing. Indeed, Podolsky's inspection of the store increases the pathos of
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