For the first time Maggie鈥檚 heart began to beat in an agony of dread. She sat helpless, dimly conscious that she was being floated along, more intensely conscious of the anticipated clash. But the horror was transient; it passed away before the oncoming warehouses of St. Ogg鈥檚. She had passed the mouth of the Ripple, then; now, she must use all her skill and power to manage the boat and get it if possible out of the current. She could see now that the bridge was broken down; she could see the masts of a stranded vessel far out over the watery field. But no boats were to be seen moving on the river 鈥?such as had been laid hands on were employed in the flooded streets. Believe it or not, I get letters all the time asking us to put a store in some place up North because ourcustomers miss us when they go back home. It's the same way in the Rio Grande Valley. All the farmersfrom North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota go down there for the winter and get to know us. Sowe are presold, almost, when we go into some of these areas that are new for us. We're still spreadingout and filling in, and we've got a heck of a long way to go before we saturate territory which weconsider to be basically friendly to Wal-Mart. On the domestic front, competition in the discount business has improved tremendously in the last fewyears. Our competitors are doing a better job of serving their customers, of getting them through thecheckout lines. They're running cleaner stores with better merchandise presentations. They're making ourjob a lot harder. But so far, none of our competitors has yet been able to operate on the volume that wedo as efficiently as we do. They haven't been able to get their expense structure as low as ours, and theyhaven't been able to get their associates to do all those extra things for their customers that ours doroutinely: greeting them, smiling at them, helping them, thanking them. And they haven't been able tomove their merchandise as efficiently, or keep it in stock as efficiently, as we do. 91夜夜欢国产自拍视频_久草在线福利资源_涩涩爱_国语精彩对白在线视频 Those meetings are just one example of how, in the early days of being a public company, we really didhave to go to greater lengths than most companies to let Wall Street get to know us and understand us. It turned out to be a great philosophy and a great strategy, and I certainly wouldn't have figured it outway back then without the advice of Helen's father. It wasn't lavish or exorbitant, and that was part of theplanto keep the family together as well as maintain a sense of balance in our standards. On the other hand, I remember another analyst who came down here in the mid-seventies. I'll neverforget her visit. I had been out hunting all day, and I was pretty grubby when I came in to go out to dinnerwith her. My son Jim, who was head of the real estate department in those days, joined us. And he wasnever one for dressing up. Really, he always looks pretty grubby. We took her out, and we wereextremely honest with her. We told her what we felt our weaknesses were at that time, and what some ofour problems were. But we tried to explain our philosophy too, and to get her excited about all thepotential we felt we had. She went back and wrote probably the darkest report on Wal-Mart that hasever been written. The impression you got from reading it was that if you hadn't already sold your stock,it was probably too late.