April 24, 1947
When Antoine Busier agreed to purchase eleven trays of golden trinkets for $197.60 from the Elgin National Jewelry Company of Illinois, he thought he was getting a fine bargain. It was only after he had taken possession of the gewgaws that he began to suspect he might have been taken.
He addressed an inquiry to the celebrated Elgin National Watch Company to confirm that he was dealing with so esteemed a firm… only to discover that they did not offer gold collar buttons of the sort he had obtained, and further that they knew nothing of the agent who had sealed the deal.
Antoine Busier had made two payments at this stage; he did not extend the third. The Elgin Jewelry Company subsequently assigned the debt to F. R. Robertson, and it was he who met Busier in the courtroom of Superior Court Judge Wilbur today to demand the remaining $98.80, plus court costs.
Busier suggested to Judge Wilbur that the items might not truly be gold, freeing him of the obligation to complete the purchase. Accordingly, the Judge sent out for a bath of muriatic acid, and dropped a few of the shining pieces into the liquid. The golden surface bubbled briefly, then fell away, revealing plain metal below.
The case continues tomorrow, but courtroom observers suspect it will fall in Busier’s favor.