Mrs. Elsie Phillips, shabby and 56, sat on the porch of her dingy Los Angeles home, and wept.

Eight years ago, Mrs. Phillips sent a radio to be repaired. The bill came to $8.90. Mrs. Phillips refused to pay—she thought it was going to cost only $1. She sent her 20-year-old son to get the radio back. But John, an easy mark for a fast sales talk, came home with a new radio, for which he had agreed to pay in $1.25 weekly installments. The radio-shop owner, chubby A. M. Pearson, got Mrs. Phillips to sign the contract.

When Mrs. Phillips...

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