When the days grew into weeks and he still continued to repeat it, they began to wonder if he were losing his mind. His friends, too, began to look at him quizzically. R. found himself crossing the street to avoid them. He invented ways to weave his statement into forms of salutation. "Beautiful day!" he would say, for example, But I have not yet sold my shop!"
Week followed week. R dreaded human contacts more and more. One morning word arrived that one of his uncles had died, and that the funeral would be on a certain day. R. knew what they meant—seeing all his relatives at once, and instead of proffering condolences, saying "I have not yet sold my shop! " It was impossible. He could not stand it—he would not go! He pretended to be ill on the morning of the funeral, took some medicine, stayed in bed, sending a message to the bereaved family through his wife.
Towards noon, when he thought the funeral services would surely be over, R. arose, dressed, and started to go to his shop. After proceeding for a few blocks he saw a funeral procession approaching him. To his horror, it turned out to be his uncle's! There was no way of avoiding it, now. R. had to go, and, as is the custom of Mohammedan funerals, touch the coffin with his shoulder—then offer his condolences to his relatives, woven in, in some way, with his perpetual statement, 'I have not yet sold my shop!"
Then, instead of proceeding to the shop, R. went to Baba and told him what had happened. Baba rocked with laughter, then revoked the order.
The shop, however, never was disposed of. The merchandise finally had to be sold at auction.
"But that experience did one wonderful thing for me," R. continued. "I had had a great many friends—belonged to a number of societies and fraternal orders—was popular, and liked it. But I used to care what people thought about me, and was, to a certain extent, influenced by their opinions. Since that experience, however, I have never in the slightest degree been concerned with what others thought about me, or what I did, so long as I knew, myself, that it was all right.
"And you know," R. concluded, "one who follows Baba is often called upon to do things which seem inexplicable to others. "
"MY DEAR CHARLES IS WITH ME AND IS BLESSED IN MY ETERNAL LOVE. I SEND MY LOVE TO ANTONIA AND TO YOU ALL WHO SHARED WITH CHARLES HIS SERVICE IN MY CAUSE. —MEHERBABA"