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Unformatted text preview: y of men do.
More than ﬁve hundred of the most successful men this country has ever known,
told the author their greatest success came just one step beyond the point at which
defeat had overtaken them. Failure is a trickster with a keen sense of irony and
It takes great delight in tripping one when success is almost within reach. A FIFTY-CENT LESSON IN PERSISTENCE
Shortly after Mr. Darby received his degree from the “University of Hard Knocks,”
and had decided to proﬁt by his experience in the gold mining business, he had
the good fortune to be present on an occasion that proved to him that “No”
does not necessarily mean no.
One afternoon he was helping his uncle grind wheat in an old fashioned mill.
The uncle operated a large farm on which a number of colored sharecrop farmers
lived. Quietly, the door was opened, and a small colored child, the daughter of a
tenant, walked in and took her place near the door.
The uncle looked up, saw the child, and barked at her roughly, “what do you
want?” Meekly, the child replied, “My mammy say send her ﬁfty cents.” “I’ll not
do it,” the uncle retorted, “Now you run on home.” “Yas sah,” the child replied.
But she did not move. The uncle went ahead with his work, so busily engaged that
he did not pay enough attention to the child to observe that she did not leave.
When he looked up and saw her still standing there, he yelled at her, “I told you
to go on home! Now go, or I’ll take a switch to you.” The little girl said “yas sah,”
but she did not budge an inch. The uncle dropped a sack of grain he was about to
pour into the mill hopper, picked up a barrel stave, and started toward the child
with an expression on his face that indicated trouble.
Darby held his breath. He was certain he was about to witness a murder. He knew
his uncle had a ﬁerce temper. He knew that colored children were not supposed
to defy white people in that part of the country.
When the uncle reached the spot where the child was standing, she quickly
stepped forward one step, looked up into his eyes, and screamed at the top of her
shrill voice, “MY MAMMY’S GOTTA HAVE THAT FIFTY CENTS!” 13 NAPOLEON HILL THINK AND GROW RICH The uncle stopped, looked at her for a minute, then slowly laid the barrel stave on
the ﬂoor, put his hand in his pocket, took out half a dollar, and gave it to her. The
child took the money and slowly backed toward the door, never taking her eyes
off the man whom she had just conquered.
After she had gone, the uncle sat down on a box and looked out the window into
space for more than ten minutes. He was pondering, with awe, over the whipping
he had just taken. Mr. Darby, too, was doing some thinking. That was the ﬁrst
time in all his experience that he had seen a colored child deliberately master an
adult white person. How did she do it? What happened to his uncle that caused
him to lose his ﬁerceness and become as docile as a lamb? What strange power
did this child use that made her master over her superior? These and other s...
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This note was uploaded on 11/13/2012 for the course ACCOUNTING 225 taught by Professor Austin during the Spring '12 term at American.
- Spring '12