Would you really say it was a college that finally swung open its door to students on October 8, 1947? There were only four students!
There were no dormitories—no place for students to be in residence on the original little “campus” of 1¾ acres. We had some books and encyclopedias on shelves in the one room that served as music room, assembly room, library, study room and lounge—but no real college library. There was no gymnasium, no track or athletic field.
Why Smallest Beginning
I suppose many people would laugh at the idea of dignifying that by the name “college.” But there is a reason why it had to begin that small.
When the great God, Creator and Ruler of the vast universe, does something by Himself, He demonstrates His supreme power by doing it in a stupendous, awe-inspiring manner. But when it is actually God who is doing something through humans, it must start the smallest. Like the grain of mustard seed, the smallest of herbs, which grows to become the largest, God’s works through humans must start the smallest—but they grow, and grow, and grow, until they become the biggest!
Had Ambassador College started big, with several hundred or a few thousand students, a great campus filled with large college buildings—an administration building, classroom buildings, laboratories, music conservatory, large ornate auditorium, gymnasium, a fine quarter-mile track and football field, a large library building with 500,000 volumes, dormitories, dining halls—everything complete, then I could certainly have no faith in accepting it as God’s college.
Ambassador started in a building that had been a private residence. True, it had been built in an architectural design more institutional than residential in appearance, but it had been a residence. Then there was the garage. As I mentioned before, it had been originally stables—way back in the years b.c.—before cars. It had later been converted into a four-car garage, with apartments upstairs and apartment rooms at both ends.
We had turned some of the living rooms into business offices, and the central garage space into our general mailing room for the radio work. Our small printing shop, with a Davidson duplicating machine, occupied the rear ground-floor room. We called this building the administration building. Since then it has undergone successive remodelings, and served as the administration building until our modern new four-story administration building was completed in 1969.
And, again, I have explained before that God’s number for organized beginnings is 12. His original beginnings always start with one man. God started the human family with one man, Adam. His nation Israel started from the one man, Abraham. That nation’s government and leadership started with the one man, Moses. The Church of God and God’s Work started with the one man, Jesus Christ.
But God’s own nation on Earth had its organized beginning through the 12 tribes. The Church had its organized beginning with 12 apostles.
God started the original planning and founding of His college through myself. I had no help from our Church in Eugene. The members were too poor to give financial aid. One or two offered disapproval and criticism. But, on that morning of October 8, 1947, the actual organized beginning of the college numbered 12 persons in total—four students, eight faculty members, myself included. The property had been purchased, as previously explained, 12 years after the start of the Work.
We had no facilities for housing students. Our own son, Richard David (Dick), lived with us in our new home (new to us, that is). Betty Bates had rented a room out in the east end of Pasadena, some five miles from the college. She used the city bus service for transportation. The other two students, Raymond Cole and Herman Hoeh, rented a room together some 2½ miles from the college. They used less expensive transportation—shoe leather. They managed to prepare their own food, somehow, in their room.
Those pioneer students had to “rough it” in a way I am sure our students of today do not realize. They certainly did not live in luxury. We did manage to employ these pioneer students for part-time work, at $40 per month. But they had to pay $31.50 room-rent—each! In order to have enough to eat, they often picked lamb’s-quarter—in place of spinach—where it grew along certain sparsely settled streets and in vacant lots, then prepared it after returning home from school. Many times, they simply went hungry. They were more hungry for an education than for physical food.
Yet they never mentioned any of this, and I didn’t learn of it myself until much later.
They heard talk from others about “when this thing folds up.” But there was no thought of the college “folding up” in their minds—nor in mine. They had faith. They were there for a purpose! It was a mighty serious purpose! It was the one goal of their lives, and they concentrated on it and worked at it with all their energies!
The part-time work these pioneer students did was janitor work.
Opposition From Within
Previously I have mentioned the opposition faced in getting the college started. There had been plans, plots and schemes to stop the broadcast work before it started, and to kill it after it started. Not from lay members, either at Eugene or up in the Willamette Valley—but from jealous and coveting ministers. There were “temptations” to drop it—offers of something “better”—financially. Only these didn’t really tempt me. There had been seemingly insurmountable obstacles to hurdle over.
But there now was opposition, whether intentional from those who brought it or not, from within the faculty.
Remember, I had set out to found a new kind of college—God’s college. Not a Bible school. Not a “religious” school. A straight liberal arts coeducational institution—but based on God’s revealed knowledge actuated by God’s Spirit.
But where was I to find teachers and college professors, at the university level, who taught courses on the very foundation of God’s revealed knowledge? Such instructors simply did not exist. I had to start with those reared and schooled in this world’s type of education.
And I have explained before how educators, long ago—from the days of Nimrod—from the days of Plato, who founded the curricular system—from the days of the University of Paris, which started the present universities in the 12th century—had not retained God in their knowledge. The world had inherited education, not from God’s teachings, but from paganism.
Since I could do no other, I was forced to choose instructors trained in the prevailing system of education. But I sought those of outstanding qualifications and adequate degrees. I wanted the best!
There was the woman professor of English. She had at least two Ph.D.’s—some eight degrees altogether. This surely sounded like the best. She had taught many years in India. I did not know, when Mr. Dillon and I employed her, that she was saturated with Eastern philosophies and occultism. As time went on, it became evident that our English professor was not at all in harmony with the real objectives of Ambassador College.
Later on in the year we learned that Prof. Mauler-Hiennecey did not really believe in God, but had strong agnostic views. However, he was a lovable old fellow, and a very fine French teacher, as well as a good instructor in Spanish. Under him my son Dick learned to speak French without even an accent. When he went to France, in 1952, he was accepted often as a native Frenchman.
We found M. Mauler-Hiennecey to be pleasant, friendly, kind-hearted. He was with us several years, but finally resigned. But, he was then getting pretty old. We did love him, and he rendered service for some six years.
But in Dr. Taylor I felt we had a sympathetic Christian believer. Dr. Taylor, in spite of his illustrious academic record, which included faculty membership at such institutions as Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cornell and Wheaton, strongly professed Christianity.
It had seemed too good to be true. The application I had received for a professorship on the Ambassador College faculty from a man of Dr. Hawley Otis Taylor’s record in education and science appeared positively providential.
In today’s world of materialistic higher education and science, God has been virtually thrown out the window. The Bible has been relegated disdainfully to the scrapheap of medieval superstition.
Of course much if not most of the doctrines of traditional Christianity might well be put in the category of superstition.
I should have known Dr. Taylor’s Christianity was this traditional variety. But somehow I didn’t realize this until after he arrived in Pasadena.
It seemed indeed a rarity to find a man of Dr. Taylor’s illustrious scientific status professing fundamentalist Christianity. And I was overjoyed. Dr. Taylor was appointed, as previously explained, as dean of instruction and registrar.
Before the college was scarcely more than started, I was somewhat disillusioned. I soon learned that Dr. Taylor’s religious beliefs were, indeed, those of traditional “Christianity.” Of course, he was sincere and unalterably confirmed in his convictions.
These basic differences of belief produced a certain friction, but later were resolved in a spirit of happy cooperation.
Bible Course Minimized
In planning the curriculum, class schedules and the purely academic matters of the college, I left arrangements in the hands of Mr. Dillon and Dr. Taylor. In preparation of the college catalog, I wrote merely the introductory pages describing the kind of college, leaving all technical data, description of courses, curriculum, credits required to Mr. Dillon and Dr. Taylor. I was not experienced in curricula-planning.
The catalog was not printed until after classes were started. But after they were actually in progress, and class schedules set, I discovered to my great dismay that my own course in theology—the real foundation course of the college—had been reduced to a two-hour minor subject!
By then classes were under way. All students’ schedules were fixed—all records set. It was too late to change them—for that year.
Sensing this undercurrent of hostility within the teaching staff, I immediately decreed that faculty members, as well as students, must attend all my classes. I taught entirely by the lecture method. I did this, not so much as a retaliatory measure, but as a means of getting the new college off to a start as the very kind of college God was building.
Since the Bible is the very foundation of all knowledge, I was determined to see that this approach to knowledge permeated the entire institution. This class provided me with a forum as a sounding board. It enabled me to keep constantly before both students and faculty the biblical foundation of knowledge, and the scriptural approach to understanding.
I was quite conscious of the materialistic educational backgrounds of faculty members. I was well aware of the evolutionary concepts most of them had imbibed. I kept my lectures on a reasonably dignified plane, and I constantly used the four Gospels to demonstrate that the current teaching of traditional Christianity was at total variance with the inspired record.
I took great pains to make my lectures so rational and factual as to leave no room for refutation. And none was voiced!
I was reminded of a church service I had conducted back in Eugene, Oregon, a few years before, when a converted former atheist brought an atheist friend. After my service she asked her visiting guest what she thought of the sermon.
“Well,” the visitor answered curtly, “I can’t refute his statements, but I’m simply not interested in accepting them.”
No one knows better than I that it is impossible to cram truth down unwilling and obstinate throats. But I did want the satisfaction of making the truth so plain that faculty members had but two choices—to accept it, or deliberately reject it in which case it became a witness against them, for which they alone were responsible, and for which they would answer in the judgment.
I have been called merely to proclaim Christ’s message as a witness. I am not sent to force conversion on the world, but to be a witness of the truth, made plain, to those willing to receive it. And, of course I realized that unwilling minds can shut the door from allowing it to enter. I am sure that first school year was a bit uncomfortable to some of the faculty members attending my lectures.
But it did establish the educational foundation for Ambassador College. And it became very convincing to all four students!
At the beginning of the second year I compromised. I saw to it that the theological courses were three-hour majors that year—that is, three hour-long class periods per week. One of them I designated as my own forum period, at which attendance of all faculty members was required. The faculty was excused from further attendance at the other two periods from that time onward.
I was determined that the Ambassador policy was going to be inculcated thoroughly in faculty and students alike. Ambassador was to be God’s college—not another rubber stamp of the educational institutions of this world! But, with a faculty trained in this world’s scholarship, I found that it required determined dominance on my part, plus vigilance, to assure it.
By the third year, I felt sufficient progress had been made to this end that I could safely dispense with the requirement for faculty attendance at biblical lectures. Besides the three hours per week in theology, however, I continued the forum one hour a week, which continues to this day, attended by students and faculty alike.
The Broadcast Dilemma
But now, back to the main thread of the story. The most traumatic crisis of all was to come in the second school year.
This “$30,000 headache” I have described, in being forced to convert our main college building into a fireproof structure, played havoc with our financial situation generally. I was forced to get further behind with our big radio station.
We had been forced to drop off xelo, the 150,000-watt clear-channel station at Juarez, Mexico, altogether. We had been on both xelo and xeg, the other superpowered 150,000-watt station. In those days these two stations could be heard over most of the United States, and even in central Canada. They had built a tremendous audience for us.
While the cost, per half hour, seemed very high to us, it was only half to two thirds as much as many major-city 50,000-watt stations in the United States. And although the listening audience to those stations was not a concentrated metropolitan audience such as major-city American stations enjoy, it spread over most of the United States. The total audience, in those days, was much larger than that of any United States station.
We had means of checking and arriving at a close estimate of the number of listeners. I was able to say, then, that every radio dollar reached 2,000 people with a powerful half-hour message!
We can’t make that claim any more. Already at that time, 1947–1948, more and more small radio stations were being licensed. Where there had been one small 100-watt station in Eugene, Oregon, in 1934 when we started, there were, in 1961, some five or six, and at least two of them 5,000-watt stations. The number of radio stations multiplied all over the country, in small towns and in major cities. Power increased also. And all this brought more and more interference over the airwaves, constantly reducing the coverage and clarity of signal of such superpowered stations as xelo and xeg.
Up until March 1948, we were on xeg at 8 p.m. nightly except Saturdays, and 5:30 a.m. daily except Sunday. This was our only Southern and Midwestern coverage, but it was the most powerful and effective single station existing for a widespread coverage of all that vast area. In addition, we were then using five stations on the Pacific Coast—xerb, 50,000 watts, Sunday only; Saturday and Sunday coverage in Portland; and Sunday only in Seattle. What a far cry that was from the television and radio coverage of today!
But, before the close of 1947 we were getting further and further behind in paying our bills with xeg. The management told me very pointedly that they were not in business for the purpose of financing the start of a college for me. If we were going to use our money to operate the college instead of paying their bills, we would have to go off the air.
It was a frustrating dilemma. I knew God had opened the way for the college. I knew the Eternal wanted the college. I knew the Work of God could not continue to grow without the college.
But I knew also God wanted us on the air. He had called me to proclaim Christ’s gospel.
Thrown Off the Air!
Of course it will be easy for the “armchair quarterbacks” to say that the college should not have been started under these circumstances. Plenty of them did say that. Anyway, I was now into this dilemma, and I had to face it.
Of course I prayed—continually and fervently. But if God had had a better way, perhaps He found my head so thick He couldn’t get it through to me any faster. Now, however, I asked for deliverance out of the trouble. And it came—later!
By March 1, xeg carried out its threat to throw us off. It allowed the program to stay on Sunday nights, only, provided I began to make progress in paying off the back indebtedness, and that this progress be continued.
Other bills were pressing. I was being hounded on every side for money by creditors. Many around me continued to harp about “when this thing folds up.” But I was determined it was not going to fold up!
We were off xeg with the weeknight broadcasts until the following October. Somehow, we weathered the storm.
Loyalty of Co-workers
One very precious lesson was learned by that experience. Our family of co-workers who regularly support God’s Work with their tithes and voluntary offerings, remained loyal, even though we were off the air except for Sunday nights. I had learned that it was the every night broadcasting that was really effective and resultful. One might have expected that the money to support the Work would have stopped when the listeners no longer received the broadcast.
But they had accepted Christ’s teaching from my voice, that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Their hearts, as well as their tithes and contributions, were in the Work of God. When they no longer received the broadcast, they did not stopgiving! There was scarcely any lag in the income. But the expenses were greatly lessened.
This allowed us to make progress in paying the accumulated xeg bill sufficient to induce them to put us back on the air in October that year, 1948. Nevertheless, it was a harassing spring, summer and fall—and the frightful agony of it rose to a climax by October and November.
We had been forced to get behind even with the faculty payroll. Now of course that was a thing regarded among teachers generally as the unpardonable sin of an educational institution. One particular teacher tried to injure us legally.
But the Labor Relations Board—or whoever it was that the matter came before—allowed us to distribute the back pay over several months. So that attempt to put the college out of business failed.
It surely is needless to say, however, that experiences of this kind were a living nightmare to endure.
Reducing to Half-time
During the summer of 1948 I was faced with a frightful situation and a tough decision. Everyone seemed to think I ought to simply give up, close the college down, and try to build back up the broadcasting work. But somehow I knew God wanted neither dropped. I had supreme and abiding faith that He would see us through. True, I had not yet learned to have relaxed faith. I continued to allow the strain of this situation to punish me. The following year I was to learn the secret of relaxed faith—but I will come to that in due course.
After counsel, meditation, prayer and much thinking, I made the decision of what to do. I decided to reduce the college schedule to half-time for one year. I could only pay half-salaries. And I could not continue to pay all of those. We would have to suffer through one year with a pruned-down faculty.
Just one of our women teachers remained with us—and she is still loyally with us today—Mrs. Lucy H. Martin. Of course Mr. Dillon remained on, and Dr. Taylor and Professor Mauler-Hiennecey. I found that Mrs. Martin was well qualified to teach English.
And then Mrs. Martin really surprised me.
“Perhaps I had not made it clear to you before,” she said, “but I happen to have degrees in music just as high as the former teacher—and I can make them higher by going on, during summer vacations, to complete work at Juilliard [America’s highest-ranking musical college in New York], for my master’s degree in music. I’ll be happy to take over the music department if you’d like, besides teaching English and being librarian.”
And so we started the second year of Ambassador College on half-schedule, with classes only three days a week. It was that or let the college die.
Three New Students Arrive
No effort had been made to recruit any additional students, due to this situation. However, one student showed up—a fellow from Wisconsin, named Kenneth C. Herrmann.
A very few weeks after the 1948–49 school year had started, the front doorbell of our home rang one morning while I was shaving. My wife told me that two young radio listeners from Arkansas were there to see me. I hurried down.
They introduced themselves as Marion and Raymond McNair. They had been working in the apple harvest up in Washington, but wanted to swing by Pasadena and see me on the way home.
We had a nice talk, and I was surprised to learn how much they knew about the Bible. I was intensely interested in hearing of their experience leading to this biblical knowledge, and how they came to listen to The World Tomorrow.
These boys had not had Sunday school or other religious training. They had never been taught anything about immortal souls, or going to heaven when one dies. Their very first religious training began with the Bible. They studied it daily before they were teenagers.
Some years later, they happened to hear a religious broadcast on the radio. “Why,” they exclaimed in surprise, “that fellow is not preaching what’s in the Bible! He’s telling people just the opposite of what the Bible says!”
This aroused them to tune to other religious programs on their radio set. They were astonished and disillusioned! It seemed that all the “radio preachers” were preaching a “Christianity” that was very contrary to the Christianity of Christ, of Paul, and of the apostles which they had been receiving out of their Bible!
Then one day they heard a program coming in from a Mexican station. They were startled in happy surprise.
“Why,” they exclaimed, “that fellow is preaching exactly what we have been getting out of the Bible!” That program was The World Tomorrow! They became steady listeners.
This experience was just one more example of what I have always said: Give a Bible to someone who has never had any religious teaching, and let him study it diligently, without any of the popular teachings of “Christianity,” and he will believe precisely what is proclaimed on The World Tomorrow. Yet those who do believe and proclaim the plain truths of the Bible will be branded today as “false prophets.”
“Well, I hope you boys will come to Ambassador College when you’ve finished high school,” I said.
“Oh, we’re older than we look!” came the quick answer. “We’ve already graduated from high school.”
“Well, how does it happen you’re not in Ambassador College, then?” I asked.
“Well, we supposed we couldn’t afford it,” they replied.
“Well, look!” I said. “This is Friday morning. Can you boys find a part-time job before tonight?” I explained that college was in session only three days a week.
“Yes, sir, we can,” came the immediate and decisive answer.
“Well, you go find that job, and report to Ambassador College Monday morning,” I said.
They left. And they did find jobs.
Today Mr. Raymond F. McNair is an ordained minister and deputy chancellor of the Pasadena campus of Ambassador College.
Crisis With Dr. B. Approaches
I have previously explained the difficulties we experienced in dealing with Dr. B., from whom we purchased the college property. He had continued to harass us. He never had intended to let us obtain permanent possession of the property. But, as the fall and winter of 1948 approached, with the college now in its second school year, the wily Dr. B. had still one more card to play—his trump card!
We had been off the air in our daily broadcasting from March until October. We had been forced to operate the college on a half-time schedule for this second school year. We had been all but knocked out.
But there were a number of conditions that now loomed as the supreme crisis of all.
While we had paid the $25,000 as rent (to be converted into a $25,000 down payment via the lease option), we had, of course, paid no interest. Neither had we paid the taxes or insurance. These accumulated amounts were all to come due on December 27, 1948. They amounted to several thousand dollars. Taxes had to be paid, retroactive for the 25 months. Also interest on the unpaid balance, starting at $100,000, less $1,000 each month for the 25 months. Insurance for the 25 months also became due in one lump on December 27.
How, in our strained circumstances, were we going to raise that large sum of money by December 27? It was a frightening dilemma.
A miracle Happens
Altogether it was going to require something like $17,000. It seemed an insurmountable obstacle.
I began making plans for every means that I could think of that might help raise that money. But I realized fully that nothing I could plan or do could accomplish that apparently unattainable goal. I knew I had to rely on God. Nothing but a miracle could now save God’s college.
Somehow, I knew we would be delivered from this crisis—though I could not see how. I relied primarily on fervent, continuous prayer. I decided to do everything I could plan or think of, and then trust God with the result.
It must have been along about early November that our auditor, Mr. Bolivar O’Rear, and I found it necessary to make a trip to Washington, D.C., to apply for a tax-exempt status as a nonprofit corporation. Mr. O’Rear had been an attorney in Washington for several years. While there, we had one long conference with a former friend of his—an attorney—in this lawyer’s office. He was sympathetic in trying to help us come up with ideas that might raise the necessary funds.
Of course, I had written a letter to all our active co-workers acquainting them with our great problem and spoken of it to our radio audience.
Then, suddenly, about November 25, a miracle really did happen!
About $3,000 came in, through the mail, in one day. Our normal daily income for the Work in those days was about $500. The $3,000 that came in one day was like a fortune being rained down from heaven.
The next day, to our utter amazement, another $3,000 came in. And then the next—and the next—and the next. This almost dumbfounding downpour of money continued until December 15. Our total income for that December exceeded $50,000! We could hardly believe it!
Why did it come in? We could not account for it on the basis of anything we had done. No plans or ideas or efforts of ours had brought it. There was only one explanation—God sent it!
It seemed like God had sent us a great deal more than we needed! But we were soon to see that He had not. The college could not have been saved, had there been less. It turned out we needed considerably more money by December 27 than we had realized. Dr. B. had a $17,000 mortgage on the property that he had to pay off in order to transfer the deed to us. He was several years behind in paying taxes. Under the circumstances, the way he acted—and considering that he was planning to prevent allowing us to exercise our option—unless we had some $15,000 to $20,000 to temporarily loan him, in addition to the money we had to pay him, he could have beaten us and we should have lost the property, after all!
But God knew precisely what we needed—and He sent it!
Dr. B. Holds Out
We still owed a few thousand dollars in back teachers’ salaries we had as yet been unable to pay. By December 15, when we were assured of having enough money to pay off Dr. B., we paid these back salaries. And I was human enough to enjoy paying first those who had been loyal and were still with us—even though we did send out the checks to the others later that same day!
We took no chances on coming up late in paying off Dr. B. We put the full amount due him in escrow on December 15. But he made no move whatever toward signing the papers for the transaction.
As the days passed, and it began to appear that he was going to try to avoid signing, we began to take action. Through the escrow company we learned that there was a mortgage against the property. It was past due—long past due. I contacted the man who held the mortgage. I told him the situation.
He was sympathetic.
“If Dr. B. refuses to sign, and tries to block our exercising the option,” I asked, “will you be willing to sell that mortgage to us?”
“Yes, I certainly will,” he said. “And I’ll tell you what you can then do. Since he is so far in arrears with unpaid taxes, once you own the mortgage, you can foreclose and take the property away from him.”
I did not want to take the property in that manner. But it was reassuring to know that God had now put me in position to do so.
Finally, Dr. B. said he would sign if we would loan him a few thousand dollars, in addition to the money we had deposited to pay accumulated interest, taxes and insurance. We arranged to do this, and then pay him $750 per month in payments instead of the full $1,000, for the next year or two—until in this manner he had paid us back.
Dr. B. thereupon signed—but he was still tricky. The property was held as a joint-tenancy between him and his aged sister. His signature was not sufficient without his sister’s also.
Forcing Dr. B. to Sign
That year, December 27, fell on a Monday. On Wednesday, the 22nd, we were having another conference in the office of our attorneys, Judge Morton and Mr. Wannamaker. They suggested that Dr. B., knowing every trick of the law, might contend that our option had to be exercised at least a day before December 27, in order to have been exercised on December 27. Probably no judge would so interpret it, but they advised against taking chances.
Therefore, they advised that we force Dr. B., if possible, to have his sister’s signature on the papers before 1 p.m. on Friday, the 24th, or we should start suit against him in Superior Court promptly at 1 p.m. on Friday, withdrawing all the money out of escrow and depositing it in the Superior Court.
They began a feverish activity of preparing the legal papers to file suit, working late Wednesday night, and almost all of Thursday night, to have everything ready by 1 p.m. Friday.
Friday morning came. By 11 a.m. Dr. B. had made no move to have his sister sign. We had the papers she was to sign, and decided to go to their home with the papers.
About noon, or a little after, on that Friday, Mr. O’Rear and I drove out to the home of Dr. B. He claimed his sister was upstairs in bed, too ill to be disturbed.
I knew he was not telling the truth. It was now less than an hour before Mr. Wannamaker would be on his way to Superior Court.
The chips were down. This was the final crisis minute!
“All right, Dr. B.,” I said. “Either your sister signs in the next 30 minutes, or I’ll tell you what’s going to happen. I have exhausted my patience on you. I have suffered your harassment now for two years. I’m going to end it here and now!
“Unless I telephone my attorneys that your sister has signed, before 1 o’clock, it will be too late—they will be on the way to file suit in Superior Court. All the money will be withdrawn from escrow yet this afternoon, and placed with the judge. We know you need that money to live. We will then seek for every delay the law allows. My lawyers tell me we can delay action on the suit for years. Meanwhile we remain in possession of the property. The college will go right along. You will receive no payments whatsoever.
“But that is not all. I have negotiated with Mr. Blank to purchase the trust deed on this property which you owe him. I have the money on hand to purchase it. Then, because you have violated the terms of the mortgage, by not paying taxes, I shall immediately foreclose on you. In that manner we will take complete ownership of the property by paying only the amount of this mortgage. We will freeze you out completely. Once this is done, we can withdraw our suit, and recover all the money.
“Dr. B., you are a smart lawyer. You know I can do this—and Iwill! It’s absolutely ridiculous, but here I am now, pleading with you to let us go on paying you for this property, instead of foreclosing on you and taking it away from you—but we are now in position to do just that. It’s almost 12:30. At 1 o’clock it will be too late!”
Dr. B. was beaten!
“Martha!” he called at the stairway. “Come on down right away! We’ve got to hurry! We have to hunt up a notary public to witness your signature before 1 o’clock.”
His sister was already dressed and ready. She had not been in bed or ill, as he had said. We drove quickly to a neighboring business street and found a notary public.
At 12:30—just 30 minutes before our attorneys would have left their office to file the suit—I telephoned them that I had the papers all signed, sealed and delivered!
And so ended Dr. B.’s efforts to have his cake and eat it too—that is, to take our money for the purchase of the property, and then keep the property too!
There were a few minor harassments from him after that. Had we ever been one day late in making any payment, he would have filed suit to reclaim the property immediately. But we were never a day late.
Some years later, he sold the mortgage to a bank, and long ago it was paid out and we have owned the property, clear, ever since.
In due time both his sister and then Dr. B., himself, died.