Remember this scene?
“If you want to make it up to me, talk up Number Eighteen to your friends.”
Once again, Simon was impressed by Maggie’s devotion to her business, when he could barely bring himself to mention his own trade to prospective customers for fear of being thought over-forward. But as business-mindedness was a quality associated with Jews, he refrained from saying so.
Originally, Simon did say so, and Maggie role-played doing a pitch with him…
She looked at him as if she was debating whether or not to be annoyed, but in the end, she smiled. “I wasn’t good at it in the beginning either. But I got better with practice. Here, I’ll be you and you be one of them. Mention your estate in conversation.”
“The duck hunting is excellent this time of year,” he said. “Great fat birds.”
“It sounds lovely,” she said, smiling up at him. “Are the gardens extensive?”
“Pretty extensive. I think my grandfather had that Repton fellow in.”
“Have you thought of adding an ornamental building? They’re good for entertaining, taking shelter from the weather, and for storing supplies away from the house. I design buildings like that and I’d be happy to look over the terrain and give you my advice.”
“You’re a marvel,” he said. “I don’t know how you do it.”
“It doesn’t have to sound natural,” she said. “Don’t pretend you aren’t trying to sell something. If you don’t try to hide your ulterior motive, people generally don’t resent it. Bring it up, give him your trade card, and if he turns the subject, let it go, that’s all.”
He didn’t have trade cards. He’d never even thought of it. It wasn’t gentlemanly. He couldn’t say that to her. Their usefulness was so obvious, now he considered it. “I’ve been meaning to have some printed.”