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Integrity Worth More Than Profit

Author Larry Burkett writes:

[An] antique dealer [named] Roy bought what he thought might be Jefferson's desk, which disappeared during the Civil War. But concluding it was simply a good reproduction, he included it in his auction. On auction day, a woman came in, loved the desk, and promised to pick it up and pay next day.
Before the auction, bidder Tom examined the desk. "Did you get a good price for that desk you have a hold on, Roy?"
"Just what I had in it—at least I will tomorrow."
"I'll give you twice what you paid right now!"
"You're crazy, Tom. That's not an original, just a good copy."
"No, Roy. Only the insides of the drawers have been replaced. The chestnut is 18th century; the craftsmanship is definitely original."
When the woman arrived next morning, Roy explained what he'd learned. "Then you won't sell it?" the woman asked dejectedly. "Yes, I will," Roy replied. "I gave my word."
But after weighing the responsibility of owning a Jefferson desk, she told Roy she'd settle for a good reproduction. Roy sold the desk to a museum. He presented the woman with a beautiful reproduction—plus a check for $100,000. He realized his integrity was worth more than a short-term profit.

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