鈥淵ou have for many years ranked among the most conspicuous members of the Post Office, which, on several occasions when you have been employed on large and difficult matters, has reaped much benefit from the great abilities which you have been able to place at its disposal; and in mentioning this, I have been especially glad to record that, notwithstanding the many calls upon your time, you have never permitted your other avocations to interfere with your Post Office work, which has been faithfully and indeed energetically performed.鈥?(There was a touch of irony in this word 鈥渆nergetically,鈥?but still it did not displease me.) Two days before Maggie received that letter, she had been to the Rectory for the last time. The heavy rain would have prevented her from going since; but there was another reason. Dr. Kenn, at first enlightened only by a few hints as to the new turn which gossip and slander had taken in relation to Maggie, had recently been made more fully aware of it by an earnest remonstrance from one of his male parishioners against the indiscretion of persisting in the attempt to overcome the prevalent feeling in the parish by a course of resistance. Dr. Kenn, having a conscience void of offence in the matter, was still inclined to persevere 鈥?was still averse to give way before a public sentiment that was odious and contemptible; but he was finally wrought upon by the consideration of the peculiar responsibility attached to his office, of avoiding the appearance of evil 鈥?an 鈥渁ppearance鈥?that is always dependent on the average quality of surrounding minds. Where these minds are low and gross, the area of that 鈥渁ppearance鈥?is proportionately widened. Perhaps he was in danger of acting from obstinacy; perhaps it was his duty to succumb. Conscientious people are apt to see their duty in that which is the most painful course; and to recede was always painful to Dr. Kenn. He made up his mind that he must advise Maggie to go away from St. Ogg鈥檚 for a time; and he performed that difficult task with as much delicacy as he could, only stating in vague terms that he found his attempt to countenance her stay was a source of discord between himself and his parishioners, that was likely to obstruct his usefulness as a clergyman. He begged her to allow him to write to a clerical friend of his, who might possibly take her into his own family as governess; and, if not, would probably know of some other available position for a young woman in whose welfare Dr. Kenn felt a strong interest. Here Mrs Keeling鈥檚 disintegration of mind showed itself. She had but a moment before been critical of Alice鈥檚 silence. Anyway, Charlie and I installed them again. Around this time, I read an article about these two BenFranklin stores up in Minnesota that had gone to self-servicea brand-new concept at the time. I rode thebus all night long to two little towns up therePipestone and Worthington. They had shelves on the sideand two island counters all the way back. No clerks with cash registers around the store. Just checkoutregisters up front. I liked it. So I did that too. Pretty soon I was laying on promotional programs of my own, and then I started buying merchandisedirectly from manufacturers. I had lots of arguments with manufacturers. I would say, "I want to buythese ribbons and bows direct. I don't want you to sell them to Butler Brothers and then I have to payButler Brothers 25 percent more for them. I want it direct." Most of the time, they didn't want to makeButler Brothers mad so they turned me down. Every now and then, though, I would find one who wouldcross over and do it my way. 鈥榃ho鈥檇 have thought it, do you ask?鈥?he said. 鈥榃hy, I thought it; I knew it all along, I may say.鈥? 东京热一本道色综合网 I think what happened to Wal-Mart in all this is that we got to be a certain size and became so wellknown as the small-town merchants that we became an easy target. Certain folks figured they couldcreate a niche for themselves, a platform from which to express their views about small-town America,by zeroing in on us. The whole thing taught me a lesson about the way the national media seems to think. Quite a few smaller stores have gone out of business during the time of Wal-Mart's growth. Somepeople have tried to turn it into this big controversy, sort of a "Save the Small-Town Merchants" deal,like they were whales or whooping cranes or something that has the right to be protected. So for the first time since I had begun retailing in 1945, I was beginning to back off from the business. Iwas getting slightly less involved in the day-to-day decisions and leaning a bit more on Ron Mayer andFerold Arendour two executive vice presidents. I was still chairman and CEO. Ferold, at age forty-five,ran merchandising, while Ron Mayer, who was only forty, ran finance and distribution. To handle theexplosive growth, we were bringing on new people in the general office. Ron brought in a lot of people tohandle data processing and finance and distribution. Because Wal-Mart had always been such a homegrown operation, this whole period sparked a lot ofphilosophical debate around our offices, and, frankly, I changed sides so often that I drove everybodyinvolved pretty crazy. I didn't have many problems at all with our first real acquisition, which came in1977. My brother Bud and David Glass negotiated a deal to buy a small chain called Mohr Valuediscount stores up in Illinois. Their stores had been averaging $3 million to $5 million a year per store,and it seemed like a good way to put a beachhead into some new territory. We closed five stores andconverted the remaining sixteen to Wal-Marts, and it wasn't much of a shock to our system.