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Friday, the Thirteenth by Thomas W. Lawson

Part 2 out of 3

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at a loss, what they had sold, for it looked as though they had sold
themselves into a trap. Their anxiety was intensified by the publication,
a few minutes later, of this item:

"Barry Conant in coming from the Sugar crowd after the close remarked
to a fellow broker, 'By three o'clock to-morrow, Friday, the 13th, will
have a new meaning to Wall Street.' This was interpreted as pointing to
a terrific jump in Sugar to-morrow."

"The Street" knew that the news bureau that sent out this item was
friendly to Barry Conant and the "System," and that it would print nothing
displeasing to them. Therefore, this must be, a foreword of the coming
harvest of the bulls and the slaughter of the bears.

Others than Ike Bloomstein remarked upon the fact that Bob Brownley had
hung close to the Sugar-pole all day, but when the close had come and gone
without his having anything to do with the Sugar skyrockets, he dropped
out of his fellow-brokers' minds. Wall Street has no use for any but the
"doer." The poet and the mooner would be no more secure from interruption
in the centre of the Sahara than in Wall Street between ten and three
o'clock. Some sage has said that the human mind, like the well-bucket, can
carry only its fill. The Wall Street mind always has its fill of budding
dollars. In consequence, there is never room for those other interests
that enter the normal mind.

Friday, the 13th of November, drifted over Manhattan Island in a drear
drizzle of marrow-chilling haze, which just missed being rain--one of
those New York days that give a hesitating suicide renewed courage to cut
the mortal coil. By ten o'clock it had settled down on the Stock Exchange
and its surrounding infernos with a clamminess that damped the spirits of
the most rampant bulls. No class in the world is so susceptible to
atmospheric conditions as stock-gamblers. Many a stout-hearted one has
been known to postpone the inauguration of a long-planned coup merely
because the air filled his blood with the dank chill of superstition.
Because of the expected Sugar pyrotechnics, Stock Exchange members had
gathered early; the brokers' offices were crowded to overflowing before
ten; the morning papers, not only in New York but in Boston, Philadelphia,
and other centres, were filled with stories of the big rise that was to
take place in Sugar. The knowing ones saw the ear-marks of the "System's"
press-agent in these stories; and they knew that this industrious
institution had not sat up the night before because of insomnia. All the
signs pointed to a killing, and a terrific one--pointed so plainly that
the bears and Sugar shorts found no hope in the atmosphere or the date.

Bob had not been near the office the afternoon before, and as he had not
come in by five minutes to ten I decided to go over to the Exchange and
see if he were going to mix up in the baiting of the Sugar bears. I had no
specific reasons for thinking he was interested except his recent queer
actions, particularly his hanging to the Sugar-pole, yet doing nothing,
the day before. But it is one of the best-established traditions of
stock-gambledom that when an operator has been bitten by a rabid
stock he is invariably attracted to it every time afterward that it
shows signs of frothing. More than all, I had one of those strong
nowhere-born-nowhere-cradled intuitions common to those living in the
stock-gambling world, which made me feel the creepy shadow of coming

As on that day a few weeks before, the crowd was at the Sugar-pole, but
its alignment was different. There in the centre were Barry Conant and his
trusted lieutenants, but no opposing rival. None of those hundreds of
brokers showed that desperate resolve to do or die that is born of a
necessity. They were there to buy or sell, but not to put up a life or
death, on-me-depends-the-result fight. Those who were long of stock could
easily be distinguished by their expressions of joy from the shorts, who
had seen the handwriting on the wall and were filled with uncertainty,
fear, terror. The demeanour of Barry Conant and his lieutenants expressed
confidence: they were going to do what they were there to do. They showed
by their tight-buttoned coats, and squared shoulders that they expected
lots of rush, push, and haul work, but apparently they anticipated no
last-ditch fighting. The gong pealed and the crowd of brokers sprang at
one another, but only for blood, not flesh, bone, heart, and soul; just
blood. The first price on Sugar was 211 for 3,000 shares. Someone sold it
in a block. Barry Conant bought it. It did not require three eyes to see
that the seller was one of his lieutenants. This meant what is known as a
"wash" sale, a fictitious one arranged in advance between two brokers to
establish the basis for the trades that are to follow--one of those minor
frauds of stock-gambling by which the public is deceived and the traders
and plungers are handicapped with loaded dice. In principle, it is a
device older than stock exchanges themselves, and is put to use elsewhere
than on the floor. For instance, four genuine buyers want a particular
animal worth $200 at a horse auction. Its owner's pal starts the bidding
at $400, and the four, not being up in horse values, are thereby induced
to reach for it at between $400 to $500. But human nature, whether at
horse sales or at stock-gambling, loves to be "hinky-dinked" as much as
the moth loves to play tag with the candle flame. In five minutes Sugar
was selling at 221, and the frantic shorts were grabbing for it as though
there never was to be another share put on sale, while Barry Conant and
his lieutenants were most industriously pushing it just beyond their
reaching finger-tips, either by buying it as fast as it was offered by
genuine sellers or by taking what their own pals threw in the air.

I was not surprised to see Bob's tall form wedged in the crowd about
two-thirds of the way from the centre. Every other active floor member was
there too. Even Ike Bloomstein and Joe Barnes, who seldom went into the
big crowds, were on hand, perhaps to catch a flier for their Thanksgiving
turkey money, perhaps to get as near the killing as possible. Bob was not
trading, although, as on the day before, he never took his eye off Barry
Conant. I said to myself, "He is trying to fathom Barry Conant's
movements," but for what purpose puzzled me. The hands of the big clock on
the wall showed that trading had been thirty minutes under way and still
Barry Conant was pushing up the price. His voice had just rung out "25 for
any part of 5,000" when, like an echo, sounded through the hall, "Sold."
It was Bob. He had worked his way to the centre of the crowd and stood in
front of Barry Conant. He was not the Bob who had taken Barry Conant's
gaff that afternoon a few weeks before. I never saw him cooler, calmer,
more self-possessed. He was the incarnation of confident power. A cold,
cynical smile played around the corners of his mouth as he looked down
upon his opponent.

The effect upon Barry Conant was different from that of Bob's last bid on
the day when Beulah Sands's hopes went skyward in dust. It did not rouse
him to the wild, furious desire for the onslaught that he showed then, but
seemed to quicken his alert, prolific mind to exercise all its cunning. I
think that in that one moment Barry Conant recalled his suspicions of the
day before, when he had wondered what Bob's presence in the crowd meant,
and that he saw again the picture of Bob on the day when he himself had
ditched Bob's treasure-train. He hesitated for just the fraction of a
second, while he waved with lightning-like rapidity a set of finger
signals to his lieutenants. Then he squared himself for the encounter. "25
for 5,000," Cold, cold as the voice of a condemning judge rang Bob's
"Sold." "25 for 5,000." "Sold." "25 for 5,000." "Sold." Their eyes were
fixed upon each other, in Barry's a defiant glare, in Bob's mingled pity
and contempt. The rest of the brokers hushed their own bids and offers
until it could have truthfully been said that the floor of the Stock
Exchange was quiet, an almost unheard-of thing in like circumstances.
Again Barry Conant's voice, "25 for 5,000." "Sold." "25 for 5,000."
"Sold." Barry Conant had met his master. Whether it was that for the first
time in all his wonderful career he realised that the "System" was to meet
its Nemesis, or what the cause, none could tell, perhaps not even Barry
Conant himself, but some emotion caused his olive face for an instant to
turn pale, and gave his voice a tell-tale quiver. Once more pealed forth
"25 for 5,000." That Bob saw the pallor, that he caught the quiver, was
evident to all, for the instant his "Sold" rang out, he followed it with
"5,000 at 24, 23, 22, 20." Neither Barry Conant nor any of his lieutenants
got in a "Take it"; although whether they wanted to or not was an open
question until Bob allowed his voice to dwell just a pendulum swing of
time on the 20. It was as if he were tantalising them into sticking by
their guns. By the time he paused, Barry Conant's nerve was back, for his
piercing "Take it" had linked to it "20 for any part of 10,000." The bid
was yet on his lips when Bob's deep voice rang out "Sold." "Any part of
25,000 at 19, 18, 15, 10." Hell was now loose. Back and forth, up against
the rail, around the room and back and around again, the crowd surged for
fifteen of the wildest, craziest minutes in the history of the New York
Stock Exchange, a history replete with records of wild and crazy scenes.

At last from sheer exhaustion there came a ten minutes' lull, which was
used in comparing trades. At the beginning of the respite Sugar was
selling at 155, for in that quarter-hour of madness it had broken from 210
to 155, but when the ten minutes had elapsed, the stock had worked back to
167. Barry Conant had again taken the centre of the crowd after hastily
scanning the brief notes handed him by messenger-boys and giving orders to
his lieutenants. He had evidently received reinforcements in the form of
renewed orders from his principals. Many of the faces that fringed the
inner circle of that crowd were frightful to look upon, some white as
though just lifted from hospital pillows, others red to the verge of
apoplexy--all strained as though awaiting the coming of the jury with a
life or death verdict. They all knew that Bob had sold more than a hundred
thousand shares of Sugar upon which the profits must be more than four
million dollars. Would he resume selling or was he through? Was it short
stock, which must be bought back, or long stock; and if long, whose stock?
Were the insiders selling out on one another, or were they all selling
together, and under cover of Barry Conant's movements were Camemeyer and
"Standard Oil" emptying their bag preparatory to the slaughter of the
Washington contingent? All these questions were rushing through the heads
of that crowd of brokers like steam through a boiler, now hot, now cold,
but always at high pressure, for upon the correctness of the answers
depended the fortune of many who breathlessly awaited the renewal or the
suspension of the contest. Even Barry Conant's usually impassive face wore
a tinge of anxiety.

Indeed, Bob's was the only one in the centre of that throng that showed no
sign of what was going on behind it. The same cynical smile that had been
there since the opening still played around the corners of his mouth as he
squared himself in front of his opponent. All knew now that he was not
through. Barry Conant had evidently decided to force the fighting,
although more cautiously than before. "67 for a thousand." One of his
lieutenants bid 67 for 500, another 67 for 300, and as Bob had not yet
shown his intention of meeting their bids, 67 for different amounts was
heard all over the crowd. Bob might have been tossing a mental coin to
decide the advisability of buying back what he had sold; he might have
been adding up the bids as they were made. He said nothing for a fraction
of a minute, which to those tortured men must have seemed like an age.
Then with a wave of his hand, as though delivering a benediction, he swept
the circle with a cold-blooded, "Sold the lots. 5,600 in all."

"Sixty-seven for a thousand"--again Barry Conant's bid. "Sold." "67 for
5,000." "Sold." "66 for a thousand." "Sold." The drop from five thousand
to one thousand and a dollar a share in Barry Conant's bids was the
mortally wounded but still game general's "Sound the retreat." Bob heard
it. "Any part of 10,000 at 65, 64, 62, 60." The din was now as fierce as
before. The entire crowd, all but Barry Conant and his lieutenants, seemed
to have concluded that Bob's renewal of attack meant that his was the
winning side, and those who had been hanging on to their stock, hoping
against hope, and those who were short and had been undecided whether to
cover or to hold on and sell more for greater profits, vied with one
another in a frantic effort to sell. All could now feel the coming panic.
All could see that it was to be a bad one, as the least informed on the
floor knew that there was a tremendous amount of Sugar stock in the hands
of Washington novices at speculation and of others who had bought it at
high prices. Sugar was now dropping two, three, five dollars a share
between trades, and the panic was spreading to the other poles, as is
always the case, for when there are sudden large losses in one stock, the
losers must throw over the other stocks they hold to meet this loss, and
thus the whole structure tumbles like a house of cards. Sugar had just
crossed 110 when the loud bang of the president's gavel resounded through
the room. Instantly there was a silence as of death. All knew the meaning
of the sound, the most ominous ever heard in a stock exchange, calling for
the temporary suspension of business while the president announces the
failure of some member or house.

Perkins, Blanchard & Company

Announce that They Cannot Meet Their Obligations

This statement that one of the oldest houses had been swamped in the crash
Bob had started caused further frantic selling, and, as though every
member had employed the lull to refill his lungs, a howl arose that pealed
and wailed to the dome.

I watched Bob closely; in fact, it was impossible for me to take my eyes
off him; he seemed absolutely unmindful of the agonised shrieks about him,
for the frenzied brokers were no longer crying their bids or offers, but
screaming them. He still continued relentlessly to hammer Sugar, offering
it in thousand and tens of thousand lots.

Again and again the gavel fell, and again and again an announcement of
failure was followed by blood-curdling howls. When Sugar struck 80--not
180, but plain 80--it seemed that the last day of stock speculation was
at hand. Announcements were being made every few minutes of the failure of
this bank, the closing of the doors of that trust company. Where would it
end? What power could stop this Niagara of molten dollars? Suddenly above
the tumult rose Bob Brownley's voice. He must have been standing on his
tiptoes. His hands were raised aloft. He seemed to tower a head above the
mob. His voice was still clear and unimpaired by the terrible strain of
the past two hours. To that mob it must have sounded like the trumpet of
the delivering angel. "80 for any part of 25,000 Sugar." Instantly Sugar
was hurled at him from all sides of the crowd. He was the only buyer of
moment who had appeared since Sugar broke 125. Barry Conant and his
lieutenants had disappeared like snowflakes at the opening of the door of
the firebox of a locomotive speeding through the storm. In a few seconds
Bob had been sold all the 25,000 he had bid for. Again his voice rang out:
"80 for 25,000." The sellers momentarily halted. He got only a few
thousands of his twenty-five. "85 for 25,000." A few thousands more. "90
for 25,000." Still fewer thousands. His bidding was beginning to tell on
the mob. A cry ran through the room into the crowds around the other
poles--"Brownley has turned!"--and taking renewed courage at the report,
the bulls rallied their forces and began to bid for the different stocks,
which a moment before it had seemed that no one wanted at any price.

In a chip of a minute the whole scene changed; there was almost as wild a
panic on the up side as there had been on the down. Bob Brownley continued
buying Sugar until he had pushed it above 150. He then went about tallying
up his trades. At the end of ten minutes' calculation he returned to the
centre and bought 11,000 shares more; coming out, his eye caught mine.

"Jim, have you been here long?"

"An eternity. I was here at the opening and I pray God never to put me
through another two hours like the past two. It seems a hideous dream, a
nightmare. Bob, in the name of God what have you been doing?"

He gave me a wild, awful look of exultation. Sublime triumph shone in
those blazing brown orbs, triumph such as I had never seen in the eyes of

"Jim Randolph, I have been giving Wall Street and its hell 'System' a
dose of its own poison, a good full-measure dose. They planned by
harvesting a fresh crop of human hearts and souls on the bull side to give
Friday the 13th a new meaning. Tradition says Friday the 13th is bear
Saints' day. I believe in maintaining old traditions, so I harvested their
hearts instead. I will tell you about it some time, Jim, but now I must
see Beulah Sands. Jim Randolph, I've saved her and her father. I've made
them a round three millions and a strong seven millions for myself."

He almost yelled it as he rushed away and left me dazed, stupefied. A
moment, and I came to. Something urged me to follow him.

Chapter VI.

As I passed through my office a few minutes later I heard Bob's voice in
Beulah Sands's office. It was raised in passionate eloquence.

"Yes, Beulah, I have done it single-handed. I have crucified Camemeyer,
'Standard Oil,' and the 'System' that spiked me to the cross a few weeks
ago. You have three millions, and I have seven. Now there is nothing more
but for you to go home to your father, and then come back to me. Back to
me, Beulah, back to me to be my wife!"

He stopped. There was no sound. I waited; then, frightened, I stepped to
the door of Beulah Sands's office. Bob was standing just inside the
threshold, where he had halted to give her the glad tidings. She had risen
from her desk and was looking at him with an agonised stare. He seemed to
be transfixed by her look, the wild ecstasy of the outburst of love yet
mirrored in his eyes. She was just saying as I reached the door:

"Bob, in mercy's name tell me you got this money fairly, honourably."

Bob must have realised for the first time what he had done. He did not
speak. He only stared into her eyes. She was now at his side.

"Bob, you are unnerved," she said; "you have been through a terrible
ordeal. For an hour I have been reading in the bulletins of the banks and
trust companies that have failed, of the banking-houses that have been
ruined. I have been reading that you did it; that you have made
millions--and I knew it was for me, for father, but in the midst of my
joy, my gratitude, my love--for, oh, Bob, I love you," she interrupted
herself passionately; "it seems as though I love you beyond the capacity
of a human heart to love. I think that for the right to be yours for one
single moment of this life I would smilingly endure all the pains and
miseries of eternal torture. Yes, Bob, for the right to have you call me
yours for only while I heard the word, I would do anything, Bob, anything
that was honourable."

She had drawn his head down close to her face, and her great blue eyes
searched his as though they would go to his very soul. She was a child in
her simple appeal for him to allow her to see his heart, to see that there
was nothing black there.

As she gazed, her beautiful hands played through his hair as do a mother's
through that of the child she is soothing in sickness.

"Bob, speak to me, speak to me," she begged, "tell me there was no
dishonour in the getting of those millions. Tell me no one was made to
suffer as my father and I have suffered. Tell me that the suicides and the
convicts, the daughters dragged to shame and the mothers driven to the
madhouse as a result of this panic, cannot be charged to anything unfair
or dishonourable that you have done. Bob, oh, Bob, answer! Answer no, or
my heart will break; or if, Bob, you have made a mistake, if you have done
that which in your great desire to aid me and my father seemed
justifiable, but which you now see was wrong, tell it to me, Bob dear, and
together we will try to undo it. We will try to find a way to atone. We
will give the millions to the last, last penny to those upon whom you have
brought misery. Father's loss will not matter. Together we will go to him
and tell him what we have done, what we have lived through, tell him of
our mistake, and in our agony he will forget his own. For such a horror
has my father of anything dishonourable that he will embrace his misery as
happiness when he knows that his teachings have enabled his daughter to
undo this great wrong. And then, Bob, we will be married, and you and I
and father and mother will be together, and be, oh, so happy, and we will
begin all over again."

"Beulah, stop; in the name of God, in the name of your love for me, don't
say another word. There is a limit to the capacity of a man to suffer,
even if he be a great, strong brute like myself, and, Beulah, I have
reached that limit. The day has been a hard one."

His voice softened and became as a tired child's.

"I must go out into the hustle of the street, into the din and sound, and
get down my nerves and get back my head. Then I shall be able to think
clear and true, and I will come back to you, and together we will see if I
have done anything that makes me unfit to touch the cheek and the hands
and the lips of the best and most beautiful woman God ever put upon earth.
Beulah, you know I would not deceive you to save my body from the fires
of this world, and my soul from the torture of the damned, and I promise
you that if I find that I have done wrong, what you call wrong, what your
father would call wrong, I will do what you say to atone."

He took her head between his hands, gently, reverently, and touching his
lips to her glorious golden hair, he went away.

Beulah Sands turned to me. "Please, Mr. Randolph, go with him. He is
soul-dazed. One can never tell what a heart sorely perplexed will prompt
its owner to do. Often in the night when I have got myself into a fever
from thinking of my father's situation, I have had awful temptations. The
agents of the devil seek the wretched when none of those they love are by.
I have often thought some of the blackest tragedies of the earth might
have been averted if there had been a true friend to stand at the wrung
one's elbow at the fatal minute of decision and point to the sun behind,
just when the black ahead grew unendurable. Please follow Mr. Brownley
that you may be ready, should his awakening to what he has done become
unbearable. Tell him the dreaded morrows are never as terrible actually as
they seem in anticipation."

I overtook Bob just outside the office. I did not speak to him, for I
realised that he was in no mood for company. I dropped in behind,
determined that I would not lose sight of him. It was almost one o'clock.
Wall Street was at its meridian of frenzy, every one on a wild rush. The
day's doing had packed the always-crowded money lane. The newsboys were
shouting afternoon editions. "Terrible panic in Wall Street. One man
against millions. Robert Brownley broke 'the Street.' Made twenty millions
in an hour. Banks failed. Wreck and ruin everywhere. President Snow of
Asterfield National a suicide." Bob gave no sign of hearing. He strode
with a slow, measured gait, his head erect, his eyes staring ahead at
space, a man thinking, thinking, thinking for his salvation. Many hurrying
men looked at him, some with an expression of unutterable hatred, as
though they wanted to attack him. Then again there were those who called
him by name with a laugh of joy; and some turned to watch him in
curiosity. It was easy to pick the wounded from those who shared in his
victory, and from those who knew the frenzied finance buzz-saw only by its
buzz. Bob saw none. Where could he be going? He came to the head of the
street of coin and crime and crossed Broadway. His path was blocked by the
fence surrounding old Trinity's churchyard. Grasping the pickets in either
hand he stared at the crumbling headstones of those guardsmen of Mammon
who once walked the earth and fought their heart battles, as he was
walking and fighting, but who now knew no ten o'clock, no three, who
looked upon the stock-gamblers and dollar-trailers as they looked upon the
worms that honeycombed their headstones' bases. What thoughts went through
Bob Brownley's mind only his Maker knew. For minutes he stood motionless,
then he walked on down Broadway. He went into the Battery. The benches
were crowded with that jetsam and flotsam of humanity that New York's
mighty sewers throw in armies upon her inland beaches at every sunrise:
Here a sodden brute sleeping off a prolonged debauch, there a lad whose
frankness of face and homespun clothes and bewildered eyes spelt, "from
the farm and mother's watchful love." On another bench an Italian woman
who had a half-dozen future dollar kings and social queens about her, and
whose clothes told of the immigrant ship just into port. Bob Brownley
apparently saw none. But suddenly he stopped. Upon a bench sat a
sweet-faced mother holding a sleeping babe in her arms, while a
curly-pated boy nestled his head in her lap and slept through the magic
lanes and fairy woods of dreamland. The woman's face was one of those that
blend the confidence of girlhood with the uncertainty of womanhood. 'Twas
a pretty face, which had been plainly tagged by its Maker for a
light-hearted trip through this world, but it had been seared by the iron
of the city.

"Mr. Brownley--" She started to rise.

He gently pushed her back with a "hush," unwilling to rob the sleepers of
their heaven.

"What are you doing here, Mrs.----?" He halted.

"Mrs. Chase. Mr. Brownley, when I went away from Randolph & Randolph's
office I married John Chase; you may remember him as delivery clerk. I had
such a happy home and my husband was so good; I did not have to typewrite
any longer. These are our two children."

"What are you doing here?"

The tears sprang to her eyes; she dropped them, but did not answer.

"Don't mind me, woman. I, too, have hidden hells I don't want the world to
see. Don't mind me; tell me your story. It may do you good; it may do me
good; yes, it may do me good."

I had dropped into a seat a few feet away. Both were too much occupied
with their own thoughts to notice me or any one else. I could not overhear
their conversation, but long afterward, when I mentioned our old
stenographer, Bessie Brown, to Bob, he told me of the incident at the
Battery. Her husband, after their marriage, had become infected with the
stock-gambling microbe, the microbe that gnaws into its victim's mind and
heart day and night, while ever fiercer grows the "get rich, get rich"
fever. He had plunged with their savings and had drawn a blank. He had
lost his position in disgrace and had landed in the bucket-shop, the
sub-cellar pit of the big Stock Exchange hell. From there a week before he
had been sent to prison for theft, and that morning she had been turned
into the street by her landlord. I saw Bob take from his pocket his
memorandum-book, write something upon a leaf, tear it out and hand it to
the woman, touch his hat, and before she could stop him, stride away. I
saw her look at the paper, clap her hands to her forehead, look at the
paper again and at the retreating form of Bob Brownley. Then I saw her,
yes, there in the old Battery Park, in the drizzling rain and under the
eyes of all, drop upon her knees in prayer. How long she prayed I do not
know. I only know that as I followed Bob I looked back and the woman was
still upon her knees. I thought at the time how queer and unnatural the
whole thing seemed. Later, I learned to know that nothing is queer and
unnatural in the world of human suffering; that great human suffering
turns all that is queer and unnatural into commonplace. Next day Bessie
Brown came to our office to see Bob. Not being able to get at him she
asked for me.

"Mr. Randolph, tell me, please, what shall I do with this paper?" she
said. "I met Mr. Brownley in the Battery yesterday. He saw I was in
distress and he gave me this, but I cannot believe he meant it," and she
showed me an order on Randolph & Randolph for a thousand dollars. I cashed
her check and she went away.

From the Battery Bob sought the wharves, the Bowery, Five Points, the
hothouses of the under-worldlings of America. He seemed bent on picking
out the haunts of misery in the misery-infested metropolis of the new
world. For two hours he tramped and I followed. A number of times I
thought to speak to him and try to win him from his mood, but I refrained.
I could see there was a soul battle waging and I realised that upon its
outcome might depend Bob's salvation. Some seek the quiet of the woods,
the soothing rustle of the leaves, the peaceful ripple of the brook when
battling for their soul, but Bob's woods appeared to be the shadowy places
of misery, his rustling leaves the hoarse din of the multitude, and his
brook's ripple the tears and tales of the man-damned of the great city,
for he stopped and conversed with many human derelicts that he met on his
course. The hand of the clock on Trinity's steeple pointed to four as we
again approached the office of Randolph & Randolph. Bob was now moving
with a long, hurried stride, as though consumed with a fever of desire to
get to Beulah Sands. For the last fifteen minutes I had with difficulty
kept him in sight. Had he arrived at a decision, and if so, what was it? I
asked myself over and over again as I plowed through the crowds.

Bob went straight to Beulah Sands's office, I to mine. I had been there
but a moment when I heard deep, guttural groans. I listened. The sound
came louder than before. It came from Beulah Sands's office. With a bound
I was at the open door. My God, the sight that met my gaze! It haunts me
even now when years have dulled its vividness. The beautiful, quiet, gray
figure that had grown to be such a familiar picture to Bob and me of late,
sat at the flat desk in the centre of the room. She faced the door. Her
elbows rested on the desk; in her hand was an afternoon paper that she had
evidently been reading when Bob entered. God knows how long she had been
reading it before he came. Bob was kneeling at the side of her chair, his
hands clasped and uplifted in an agony of appeal that was supplemented by
the awful groans. His face showed unspeakable terror and entreaty; the
eyes were bursting from their sockets and were riveted on hers as those of
a man in a dungeon might be fixed upon an approaching spectre of one whom
he had murdered. His chest rose and fell, as though trying to burst some
unseen bonds that were crushing out his life. With every breath would come
the awful groan that had first brought me to him. Beulah Sands had half
turned her face until her eyes gazed into Bob's with a sweet, childish
perplexity. I looked at her, surprised that one whom I had always seen so
intelligently masterful should be passive in the face of such anguish.
Then, horror of horrors! I saw that there was something missing from her
great blue eyes. I looked; gasped. Could it possibly be? With a bound I
was at her side. I gazed again into those eyes which that morning had been
all that was intelligent, all that was godlike, all that was human. Their
soul, their life was gone. Beulah Sands was a dead woman; not dead in
body, but in soul; the magic spark had fled. She was but an empty shell--a
woman of living flesh and blood; but the citadel of life was empty, the
mind was gone. What had been a woman was but a child. I passed my hand
across my now damp forehead. I closed my eyes and opened them again. Bob's
figure, with clasped, uplifted hands, and bursting eyes, was still there.
There still resounded through the room the awful guttural groans. Beulah
Sands smiled, the smile of an infant in the cradle. She took one beautiful
hand from the paper and passed it over Bob's bronzed cheek, just as the
infant touches its mother's face with its chubby fingers. In my horror I
almost expected to hear the purling of a babe. My eyes in their perplexity
must have wandered from her face, for I suddenly became aware of a great
black head-line spread across the top of the paper that she had been


And beneath in one of the columns:



In another column:


A hideous picture seared its every light and shade on my mind, through my
heart, into all my soul. A frenzied-finance harvest scene with its gory
crop; in the centre one living-dead, part of the picture, yet the ghost
left to haunt the painters, one of whom was already cowering before the
black and bloody canvas.

Well did the word-artist who wrote over the door of the madhouse, "Man can
suffer only to the limit, then he shall know peace," understand the
wondrous wisdom of his God. Beulah Sands had gone beyond her limit and was
at peace.

The awful groaning stopped and an ashen pallor spread over Bob Brownley's
face. Before I could catch him he rolled backward upon the floor as dead.
Bob Brownley, too, had gone beyond his limit. I bent over him and lifted
his head, while the sweet woman-child knelt and covered his face with
kisses, calling in a voice like that of a tiny girl speaking to her doll,
"Bob, my Bob, wake up, wake up; your Beulah wants you." As I placed my
hand upon Bob's heart and felt its beats grow stronger, as I listened to
Beulah Sands's childish voice, joyously confident, as it called upon the
one thing left of her old world, some of my terror passed. In its place
came a great mellowing sense of God's marvellous wisdom. I thought
gratefully of my mother's always ready argument that the law of all laws,
of God and nature, is that of compensation. I had allowed Bob's head to
sink until it rested in Beulah's lap, and from his calm and steady
breathing I could see that he had safely passed a crisis, that at least he
was not in the clutches of death, as I had at first feared.

Bob slept. Beulah Sands ceased her calling and with a smile raised her
fingers to her lips and softly said, "Hush, my Bob's asleep." Together we
held vigil over our sleeping lover and friend, she with the happiness of a
child who had no fear of the awakening, I with a silent terror of what
should come next. I had seen one mind wafted to the unknown that day. Was
it to have a companion to cheer and solace it on its far journey to the
great beyond? How long we waited Bob's awakening I could not tell. The
clock's hands said an hour; it seemed to me an age. At last his
magnificent physique, his unpoisoned blood and splendid brain pulled him
through to his new world of mind and heart torture. His eyelids lifted. He
looked at me, then at Beulah Sands, with eyes so sad, so awful in their
perplexed mournfulness, that I almost wished they had never opened, or had
opened to let me see the childlike look that now shone from the girl's.
His gaze finally rested on her and his lips murmured "Beulah."

"There, Bob, I thought you would know it was time to wake up." She bent
over and kissed him on the eyes again and again with the loving ardour a
child bestows upon its pets.

He slowly rose to his feet. I could see from his eyes and the shudder that
went over him as he caught sight of the paper on the desk that he was
himself; that memory of the happenings of the day had not fled in his
sleep. He rose to his full height, his head went up, and his shoulders
back, but only from habit and for an instant. Then he folded Beulah Sands
to his breast and dropped his head upon her shoulder. He sobbed like a
father with the corpse of his child.

"Why, Bob, my Bob, is this the way you treat your Beulah when she's let
you sleep so your beautiful eyes would be pretty for the wedding? Is this
the way to act before this kind man who has come to take us to the church?
Naughty, naughty Bob."

I looked at her, at Bob, in horror. I was beginning to realise the
absolute deadness of this woman. From the first look I had known that her
mind had fled, but knowledge is not always realisation. She did not even
know who I was. Her mind was dead to all but the man she loved, the man
who through all those long days of her suffering she had silently
worshiped. To all but him she was new-born.

At the sound of "wedding," "church," Bob's head slowly rose from her
shoulder. I saw his decision the instant I caught his eye; I realised the
uselessness of opposing it, and, sick at heart and horrified, I listened
as he said in a voice now calm and soothing as that of a father to his
child, "Yes, Beulah, my darling, I have slept too long. Bob has been
naughty, but we will make up for lost time. Get your hat and cloak and
we'll hurry to the church or we will be late."

With a laugh of joy she followed him to the closet where hung the little
gray turban and the pretty gray jacket. He took them from their peg and
gave them to her.

"Not a word, Jim," he bade me. "In the name of God and all our friendship,
not a word. Beulah Sands will be my wife as soon as I can find a minister
to marry us. It is best, best. It is right. It is as God would have it, or
I am not capable of knowing right from wrong. Anyway, it is what will be.
She has no father, no mother, no sister, no one to protect and shield her.
The 'System' has robbed her of all in life, even of herself, of
everything, Jim, but me. I must try to win her back for herself, or to
make her new world a happy one--a happy one for her."

Chapter VII.

An old gambler, whose life had been spent listening to the rattle of the
drop-in-bound-out little roulette ball, was told by a fellow victim, as
his last dollar went to the relentless tiger's maw, that the keeper's foot
was upon an electric button which enabled him to make the ball drop where
his stake was not. He simply said, "Thank God. I thought that prince of
cheats, Fate, who all through life has had his foot on the button of my
game, was the one who did the trick." Long suffering had driven the old
gambler to the loser's bible, Philosophy! Cheated by man's device, he knew
he had some chance of getting even; but Fate he could not combat.

Bob Brownley had thought himself in hard luck when his eyes opened to the
fact that he had been robbed by means of dice loaded by man, but when Fate
pressed the button he saw that his man-made hell was but a feeble
imitation, and--was satisfied, as whoever knows the game of life is
satisfied, because--he must be. Bob's strong head bowed, his iron will
bent, and meekly his soul murmured, "Thy will be done."

That night he married Beulah Sands. The minister who united the grown-up
man and the woman who was as a new-born babe saw nothing extraordinary in
the match. He murmured to me, who acted as best man to the groom, maid of
honour to the bride, and father and mother to both, "We see strange
sights, we ministers of the great city, Mr. Randolph. The sweet little
lady appears to be a trifle scared." My explanation that she and Mr.
Brownley were the only survivors of the awful tragedies of the day was
sufficient. He was satisfied when he got no other response to his
question, "Do you take this man to be your wedded husband?" than a sweet
childish smile as she snuggled closer to Bob.

Bob and his bride went South to his mother and sisters the next day. He
left to me the settlement of his trades. He instructed me to set aside
$3,000,000 profits for Beulah Sands-Brownley, and insisted that I pay from
the balance the notes he had given me a few weeks before. There remained
something over $5,000,000 for himself.

The leading Wall Street paper, in its preachment on the panic, wound up

"Wall Street has lived through many black Fridays. Some of them have
been thirteenth-of-the-month Fridays, but no Friday yet marked from the
calendar, no Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday yet
garnered to the storehouse of the past was ever more jubilantly
welcomed by his Satanic Majesty than yesterday. We pray heaven no
coming day may be ordained to go against yesterday's record for
tigerish cruelty and awful destruction. It is rumoured that Mr.
Brownley of Randolph & Randolph, either for himself or his clients
cleared twenty-five millions of profit. We believe that this estimate
is low. The losses coming through Robert Brownley's terrible onslaught
must have run over five hundred millions. Wall Street and the country
will do well to take the moral of yesterday's market to their heart. It
is this: The concentration of wealth in the hands of a few Americans is
a menace to our financial structure. It is the unanimous opinion of
'the Street' that Robert Brownley could never have succeeded in
battering down the price of Sugar in the very teeth of the Camemeyer
and Standard Oil support as he did yesterday, without a cash backing of
from fifty to one hundred millions. If a vast aggregation of money
owners deliberately place themselves behind an onslaught such as was so
successfully made yesterday, why can that slaughter not be repeated at
any time, on any stock, and against the support of any backing?"

When I read this and listened to talk along the same lines, I was puzzled.
I could not for the life of me see where Bob Brownley could have got five
to ten millions' backing for such a raid, much less fifty to a hundred.
Yet I was forced to confess that he must have had some tremendous backing;
else how could he have done what I had seen him do?

Bob left his wife at his mother's house while he went to Sands Landing to
the funeral. After the old judge and his victims had been laid away and
the relatives had gathered in the library of the great white Sands
mansion, he explained their kinswoman's condition and told them that she
was his wife. He insisted upon paying all Judge Sands's debts, over
$500,000 of which was owed to members of the Sands family for whom he had
been trustee. Before he went back to his mother's, Bob had turned a great
calamity into an occasion for something near rejoicing. Judge Sands and
his family were very dear to the people of the section, but his misfortune
had threatened such wide-spread ruin that the unlooked-for recovery of a
million and a half was a godsend that made for happiness.

Two days after the funeral Bob's dearest hope fled. He had ordered all
things at the Sands plantation put in their every-day condition. Beulah
Sands's uncles, aunts, and cousins had arranged to welcome her and to try
by every means in their power to coax back her lost mind. They assured Bob
that, barring the absence of Beulah's father, mother, and sister, there
would not be a memory-recaller missing. Bob and his wife landed from the
river packet at the foot of the driveway, which led straight from the
landing to the vine-covered, white-pillared portico. Bob's agony must have
been awful when his wife clapped her hands in childish joy as she
exclaimed, "Oh, Bob, what a pretty place!" She gave no sign that she had
ever seen the great entrance, through which she had come and gone from her
babyhood. Bob took her to the library, to her mother's room, to her own,
to the nursery where were the dolls and toys of her childhood, but there
came no sign of recognition, nothing but childish pleasure. She looked at
her aunts and uncles and the cousins with whom she had spent her life,
bewildered at finding so many strangers in the otherwise quiet place. As a
last hope, they led in her old black foster-mother, who had nursed her in
babyhood, who was the companion of her childhood and the pet of her
womanhood. There was not a dry eye in the library when she met the old
mammy's outburst of joy with the puzzled gaze of the child who does not
understand. The grief of the old negress was pitiful as she realised that
she was a stranger to her "honey bird." The child seemed perplexed at her
grief. It was plain to all that the Sands home meant nothing to the last
of the judge's family.

Bob brought her back to New York and besought the aid of the medical
experts of America and of the Old World to regain that which had been
recalled by its Maker. The doctors were fascinated with this new phase of
mind blight, for in some particulars Beulah's case was unlike any known
instances, but none gave hope. All agreed that some wire connecting heart
and brain had burned out when the cruel "System" threw on a voltage beyond
the wire's capacity to transmit. All agreed that the woman-child wife
would never grow older unless through some mental eruption beyond human
power to produce. Some of the medical men pointed to one possibility, but
that one was too terrible for Bob to entertain.

The first anniversary of their marriage found Bob and his wife settled in
their new Fifth Avenue mansion. He had bought and torn down two old
houses between Forty-second and Forty-third Streets and had erected a
palace, the inside of which was unique among all New York's unusual
structures. The first and second floors were all that refined taste and
unlimited expenditure of money could produce. Nothing on those splendid
floors told of the strange things above. A sedate luxury pervaded the
drawing-rooms, library, and dining-room. Bob said to me, in taking me
through them, "Some day, Jim, Beulah may recover, may come back to me, and
I want to have everything as she would wish, everything as she would have
had it if the curse had never come." The third floor was Beulah's. A
child's dainty bedroom; two nurses' rooms adjoining; a nursery, with a
child's small schoolroom and a big playroom, with dolls and doll houses,
child's toys of every description in abandon, as though their owner were
in fact but a few years old. Across the hall were three offices, exact
duplicates of mine, Bob's, and Beulah Sands's at Randolph & Randolph's.
When I first saw them it was with difficulty that I brought myself to
realise that I was not where the gruesome happenings of a year before had
taken place. Bob had reproduced to the minutest details our down-town
workshop. Standing in the door of Beulah Sands's office I faced the flat
desk at which she had sat the afternoon when I first saw that hideous
result of the work of the "System." I could almost see the little gray
figure holding the afternoon paper. In horror my eyes sought the floor at
the side of the chair in search of Bob's agonised face and uplifted hands.
As I stood for the first time in the middle of Bob's handiwork, I seemed
to hear again those awful groans.

"Jim," Bob said, "I have a haunting idea that some day Beulah will wake
and look around and think she has been but a few minutes asleep. If she
should, she must have nothing to disabuse her mind until we break the news
to her. I have instructed her nurses, one or the other of whom never loses
sight of her night or day, to win her to the habit of spending her time at
her old desk; I have told them always to be prepared for her awakening,
and when it comes they are instantly to shut off the rest of the floor and
house until I can get to her. Here comes Beulah now."

Out of the nursery came a laughing, happy child-woman. In spite of her
finely developed, womanly figure, which had lost nothing of its wonderful
beauty, and the exquisite face and golden-brown hair and great blue eyes,
which were as fascinating as on the day she first entered the offices of
Randolph & Randolph; in spite of the close-fitting gray gown with dainty
turned-over lace collar, I could hardly bring myself to believe that she
was anything but a young child. With an eager look and a happy laugh she
went to Bob and throwing her arms about his neck, covered his face with

"Good Bob has come back to play with Beulah," she said, "She knew he
would. They told Beulah Bob had gone away to the woods to gather pretty
flowers. Beulah knew if Bob had gone to the woods he would have taken
Beulah with him. Now Bob must play school with Beulah." She sat at her
desk and opened her child's school-book. With mock severity she said,
"Bob, c-a-t. What does it spell?" For half an hour Bob sat and played
scholar and teacher by turns with all the patience of a fond father. With
difficulty I kept back the tears the sad sight brought to my eyes.

For the first year of Bob's marriage we saw but little of him at the
office. The Exchange saw less. He had wandered in upon the floor two or
three times, but did no business and seemed to take but little interest.

"The Street" knew Bob had married the daughter of Judge Lee Sands, the
victim of Tom Reinhart's cold-blooded Seaboard Air Line deal. Otherwise it
knew nothing of the affair. His friends never met his wife. Occasionally
they would pass the Brownley carriage on the avenue or in the park and,
taking it for granted that the beautiful woman was Mrs. Brownley, they
thought Bob a lucky fellow. It seemed quite natural that his wife should
choose seclusion after the awful tragedy at her home in Virginia. But they
could not understand why, with such cause for mourning, the exquisite
figure beside Bob in the victoria should always be garbed in gray. After a
while it was whispered that there was something wrong in Bob's household.
Then his friends and acquaintances ceased to whisper or to think of his
affairs. With all New York's bad points--and they are as plentiful as her
church spires and charity bazaars--she has one offsetting virtue. If a
dweller in her midst chooses to let New York alone, New York is willing to
reciprocate. In her most crowded fashionable districts a person may come
and go for a lifetime, and none in the block in which he dwells will know
when his coming and going ceases. When a New Yorker reads in his newspaper
of the man who lives next door to him, "murdered and his body discovered
by the gas man" or the tax collector, the butcher or the baker, as the
case may be, he never thinks he may have been remiss in his neighbourly
duties. There is no such word as "neighbour" in the New York City
dictionary. It may have been there once, but, if so, it was long
ago used as a stake for the barbed-wire fence of exclusive
keep-your-distance-we-keep-our-distance-until-we-know-youness. It is told
of a minister from the rural districts, an old-fashioned American, who
came to New York to take charge of a parish, that he started out to make
his calls and was seized in the hall of what in civilisation would have
been his next-door neighbour. He was rushed away to Bellevue for
examination as to sanity. The verdict was: "Insane. Had no letter of
introduction and was not in the set."

Shortly after the first anniversary of his wedding Bob gave up his office
with Randolph & Randolph and opened one for himself. He explained that he
was giving up his commission business to devote all his time to personal
trading. With the opening of his new office he again became the most
active man on the floor. His trading was intermittent. For weeks he would
not be seen at the Exchange or on "the Street." Then he would return and,
after executing a series of brilliant trades, which were invariably
successful, he would again disappear. He soon became known as the luckiest
operator in Wall Street, and the beginning of his every new deal was the
signal for his fast-growing following to tag on.

From time to time I learned that Beulah Sands was making no real
improvement, though in some details she had learned as a child learns. But
there was no indication that she would ever regain her lost mind.

Strange stories of Bob's doings began to seep into my office. For long
periods he would disappear. Neither the nurses in charge of his wife, nor
his brother, mother, and sisters, for whom he had purchased a mansion a
few blocks above his own, would hear a word from him. Then he would
return as suddenly as he had disappeared, and his wild eyes and haggard
face would tell of a prolonged and desperate soul struggle. He drank often
now, a habit he had never before indulged in.

For ten days before the second anniversary of his marriage he had been
missing. On the morning of the anniversary he appeared at the Exchange,
wild-eyed and dare-devil reckless. The market had been advancing for weeks
and was at a high level. Tom Reinhart and his branch of the "System" were
working out a new fleecing of the public in Union and Northern Pacific. At
the strike of the gong Bob took possession of the Union Pacific pole and
in thirty minutes had precipitated a panic by his merciless selling. Our
house was heavily interested in the Pacifics, although not in connection
with Reinhart and his crowd. As soon as I got word that Bob was the cause
of the slaughter, I rushed over to the Exchange and working my way into
the crowd, I begged a word with him. He had broken both stocks over fifty
points a share and the panic was raging through the room. He glared at me,
but finally followed me out into the lobby. At first he would not heed my
appeal, but finally he said, "Jim, it is too bad to let up. I had
determined to rub this devilish institution off the map, but if it really
is a case of injury to the house, it's my opportunity to do something for
you who have done so much for me, so here goes." He threw himself into the
Union Pacific crowd, first giving an order to a group of his brokers, who
jumped for a number of other poles. Almost instantly the panic was stayed
and stocks were bounding upward two to five points at a leap. Bob
continued buying Union Pacific and his brokers other stocks in unlimited
quantities. Nothing like such a quick turn of the market had been seen
before. His power to absorb stocks seemed to be boundless. It was
estimated that personally and through his brokers he bought over half a
million shares before he joined me and left the Exchange.

I looked at him in wonderment. "Bob, I cannot understand you," I said at
last as we turned out of Broad Street into Wall. "It seems as if you work
with magic. Everything you touch turns to gold."

He wheeled on me. "Yes, Jim, you are right. Gold, heartless, soulless
gold. But what is the dross good for? What is it good for to me? To-day I
suppose I have made the biggest one-man killing in the history of 'the
Street.' I must be an easy twenty-five millions richer in gold than I was
this morning, and I had enough then to dam the East River and a good
section of the North. But tell me, Jim, tell me, what can it buy in this
world that I have not got? I had health and happiness, perfect health,
pure happiness, when I did not have a thousand all told. Now I have fifty
millions, and I know how to get fifty or five hundred and fifty more any
time I care to take them, and I have only physical and mental hell. No
beggar in all the world is so poor in happiness as I. Tell me, tell me,
Jim, in the name of God, if there is one--for already the game of gold is
robbing me of my faith in God--where can I buy a little, just a little
happiness with all this cursed yellow dirt? What will it get me in the
next world, Jim Randolph, what will it get me? If I had died when I was
poor, I think you will agree with me that, if there is a heaven, I should
have stood an even chance of getting there. Now on a day like to-day, when
you see the results of my work, the results of my handling of unlimited
gold, you must agree that if I were taken off I should stand more than an
even show of landing in hell where the sulphur is thickest and the flames
are hottest."

We were at the entrance of Randolph & Randolph's office as he poured out
this terrible torrent of bitterness. He glared at me as a dungeon prisoner
might glare at his keeper for his answer to "Where can I find liberty?" I
had no words to answer him. As I noted the awful changes his new life was
making in every line of his face, the rigid hardness, the haunted, nervous
look of desperation, which seemed a forerunner of madness, I could not
see, either, where his millions brought any happiness. His hair, which
once was smooth and orderly, hung over his forehead in an unparted mass of
tangled curls, and here and there showed a streak of white. Bob Brownley
was still handsome, even more fascinating than before the mercury entered
his soul, but it was that wild, awful beauty of the caged lion, lashing
himself into madness with memories of his lost freedom.

"Jim," he went on, when he saw I could not answer, "I guess you don't know
where I can swap the yellow mud for balm of Gilead. I won't bother you
with my troubles any longer. I will go up-town and see the little girl
whose happiness Tom Reinhart needed in his business. I will go up and show
her the pictures in this week's _Collier's_ of the fine hospital for
incurables that Reinhart has so generously and nobly built at a cost of
two and a half millions! The little girl may think better of Reinhart when
she knows that her father's money was put to such good use. Who knows but
the great finance king may dedicate it as the 'Judge Lee Sands Home' and
carve over the entrance a bas-relief of her father, mother, and sister
with Hope, Faith, and Charity coming from the mouths of their hanging
severed heads?"

Bob Brownley laughed a horrible ringing laugh as he uttered these awful
words. Then he beat his hand down on my shoulders as he said in a hoarse
voice, "Jim, but for you I should have had crimps in that jackal
philanthropist's soul by now and in the souls of his kind. But never mind.
He will keep; he will surely keep until I get to him. Every day he lives
he will be fitter for the crimping. Within the short two years since he
finished grilling Judge Sands's soul, he has put himself in better form
to appreciate his reward. I see by the press that at last his aristocratic
wife has gold-cured Newport of its habit of dating back the name Reinhart
to her scullionhood, and it has taken her into the high-instep circle. I
read the other day of his daughter's marriage to some English nob, and of
the discovery of the ancient Reinhart family tree and crest with the
mailed hand and two-edged dirk and the vulture rampant, and the motto,
'Who strikes in the back strikes often.'"

He left me with his laugh still ringing in my ears. I shuddered as I
passed under the old black-and-gold sign my uncle and my father had nailed
over the office entrance in an age now dead, an age when Wall Street men
talked of honour and gold, not gold and more gold.

In telling my wife of the day's happenings I could not refrain from giving
vent to the feelings that consumed me. "Kate, Bob will surely do something
awful one of these days. I can see no hope for him. He grows more and more
the madman as he broods over his horrible situation. The whole thing seems
incredible to me. Never was a human being in such perpetual living
purgatory--unlimited, absolute power on the one hand, unfathomable,
never-cool-down hell on the other."

"Jim, how does he do what he does? I cannot make out from anything I have
read or you have told me, how he creates those panics and makes all that

"No one has ever been able to figure it out," I answered. "I understand
the stock business, but I cannot for the life of me see how he does it. He
has none of the money powers in league with him, that's sure, for in the
mood he has been in during the past two years it would be impossible for
him to work with them, even if his salvation depended on it. The mention
of any of the big 'System' men drives him to a fury. He has to-day made
more money than any one man ever made in a day since the world began, and
he had only commenced his work when he quit to please me. As I stand in
the Exchange and watch him do it, it seems commonplace and simple.
Afterward it is beyond my comprehension. At the gait he is going, the
Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, and Gould fortunes combined will look tiny in
comparison with the one he will have in a few years. It is beyond my power
of figuring out, and it gives me a headache every time I try to see
through it."

Chapter VIII.

A number of times during the following year, and finally on the
anniversary of the Sands tragedy, Bob carried the Exchange to the verge of
panic, only to turn the market and save "the Street" in the end. His
profits were fabulous. Already his fortune was estimated to be between two
and three hundred millions, one of the largest in the world. His name had
become one of terror wherever stocks were dealt in. Wall Street had come
to regard his every deal, from the moment that he began operations, as
inevitably successful. Now and again he would jump into the market when
some of the plunging cliques had a bear raid under way, and would put them
to rout by buying everything in sight and bidding up prices until it
looked as though he intended to do as extraordinary work on the up-side as
he was wont to do on the down. At such times he was the idol of the
Exchange, which worships the man who puts prices up as it hates him who
pulls them down. Once when war news flashed over the wires from Washington
and rumour had the Cabinet members, Senators, and Congressmen selling the
market short on advance information, when the "Standard Oil" banks had put
up money rates to 150 per cent, and a crash seemed inevitable, Bob
suddenly smashed the loan market by offering to lend one hundred millions
at four per cent.; and by buying and bidding up prices at the same time,
he put the whole Washington crowd and its New York accomplices to
disastrous rout and caused them to lose millions. He continued his
operations with increasing violence and increasing profits up to the
fourth anniversary of the tragedy. On the intervening anniversary I had
been compelled by self-interest and fear that he would really pull down
the entire Wall Street structure, to rush in and fairly drag him off. But
with his growing madness my influence was waning. Each raid it was with
greater difficulty that I got his ear.

Finally, on the fourth anniversary, in a panic that seemed to be running
into something more terrible than any previous, he savagely refused to
accede to my appeal, telling me that he would not stop, even if Randolph
& Randolph were doomed to go down in the crash. It had become known on the
floor that I was the only one who could do anything with him in his
frenzies, and my pleading with him in the lobby was watched by the members
of the Exchange with triple eyed suspense. When it was clear from his
emphatic gestures and raised voice--for he was in a reckless mood from
drink and madness and took no pains to disguise his intentions--that I
could not prevail upon him, there was a frantic rush for the poles to
throw over stocks in advance of him. Suddenly, after I had turned from him
in despair, there flashed into my mind an idea. The situation was
desperate. I was dealing with a madman, and I decided that I was justified
in making this last try. I rushed back to him. "Bob, good-bye," I
whispered in his ear, "good-bye. In ten minutes you will get word that Jim
Randolph has cut his throat!" He stopped as though I had plunged a knife
into him, struck his forehead a resounding blow, and into his wild brown
eyes came a sickening look of fear.

"Stop, Jim, for God's sake, don't say that to me. My cup is full now.
Don't tell me I am to have that crime on my soul." He thought a moment.
"I don't know whether you mean it, Jim, but I can take no chances, not for
all the money in the world, not even for revenge. Wait here, Jim." He
yelled for his brokers, and several rushed to him from different parts of
the room. He sent them back into the crowd while he dashed for the
Amalgamated-pole. The day was saved.

Presently he came back to me. "Jim, I must have a talk with you. Come over
to my office." When we got there he turned the key and stood in front of
me. His great eyes looked full into mine. In college days, gazing into
their brown depths, by some magic I seemed to see the heroes and heroines
of always happy-ending tales, as the child sees enchanted creatures far
back in the burning Yule log flames. But there were no joyous beings in
the haunted depths of Bob's eyes that day.

"Jim, you gave me an awful scare," he said brokenly. "Don't ever do it
again. I have little left to live for. To be sure I have some feeling for
mother, Fred, and sisters. But for you I have a love second only to that I
should have felt for Beulah had I been allowed to have her. The thought,
Jim, that I had wrecked your life, with all you have to live for, would
have been the last straw. My life is purgatory. Beulah is only an
ever-present curse to me--a ghost that rends my heart and soul, one minute
with a blind frenzy to revenge her wrongs, the next with an icy remorse
that I have not already done so. If I did not have her, perhaps in time I
could forget; perhaps I might lay out some scheme to help poor devils
whose poverty makes life unendurable, and with the millions I have taken
from that main shaft of hell I might do things that would at least bring
quiet to my soul; but it is impossible with the living corpse of Beulah
Sands before me every minute and that devil machinery whirling in my brain
all the time the song, 'Revenge her and her father, revenge yourself.' It
is impossible to give it up, Jim. I must have revenge. I must stop this
machinery that is smashing up more American hearts and souls each year
than all the rest of earth's grinders combined. Every day I delay I become
more fiendish in my desires. Jim, don't think I do not know that I have
literally turned into a fiend. Whenever of late I see myself in the
mirror, I shudder. When I think of what I was when your father stood us up
in his office and started us in this heart-shrivelling, soul-callousing
business, and what I am now, I cannot keep the madness down except with
rum. You know what it means for me to say this, me who started with all
the pride of a Brownley; but it is so, Jim. The other night I went home
with my soul frozen with thoughts of the past and with my brain ablaze
with rum, intending to end it all. I got out my revolver, and woke Beulah,
but as I said, 'Bob is going to kill Beulah and himself,' she laughed that
sweet child's laugh and clapping her hands said, 'Bob is so good to play
with Beulah,' and then I thought of that devil Reinhart and the other
fiends of the 'System' being left to continue their work unhindered and I
could not do it. I must have revenge; I must smash that heart-crushing
machinery. Then I can go, and take Beulah with me. Now, Jim, let us have
it clearly understood once and for all."

Remorse and softness were past; he was the Indian again. "I am going to
wreck that hell-annex some day, and that some day will be the next time I
start in. Don't argue with me, don't misunderstand me. To-day you stopped
me. I don't know whether you meant what you threatened; I don't care now.
It is just as well that I stopped, for the 'System's' machine will be
there whenever I start in again. It loses nothing of its fiendishness,
none of its destructive powers by grinding, but, on the contrary, as you
know, it increases its speed every day it runs. Now, Jim Randolph, I want
to tell you that you must get yours and the house's affairs in such shape
that you won't be hurt when I go into that human rat-pit the next time,
for when I come from it the New York Stock Exchange and the 'System' will
have had their spines unjointed. Yes, and I'll have their hearts out, too.
Neither will ever again be able to take from the American people their
savings and their manhood and womanhood and give them in exchange
unadulterated torment. I am going to be fair with you, Jim; this is the
last time I will discuss the subject. After this you must take your chance
with the rest of those who have to do with the cursed business. When I
strike again, none will be spared. I will wreck 'the Street', and the
innocent will go down with the guilty, if they have any stocks on hand at
that time.

"My power, Jim, is unlimited; nothing can stay it. I am not going to
explain any further. You have seen me work. You must know that my power is
greater than the 'System's,' and you and I and 'the Street' have always
known that the 'System' is more powerful than the Government, more
powerful than are the courts, legislatures, Congress, and the President of
the United States combined, that it absolutely controls the foundation on
which they rest--the money of the nation. But my power is greater, a
thousand, yes, a million times greater than theirs. Jim, they say that I
have made more money than any man in the world. They say that I have five
hundred millions of dollars, but the fools don't keep track of my
movements. They only know that I have pulled five hundred millions from my
open whirls, the ones they have had an opportunity to keep tab on. But I
tell you that I have made even more in my secret deals than the amount
they have seen me take. I have had my agents with my capital in every
deal, every steal the 'System' has rigged up. The world has been throwing
up its hands in horror because Carnegie, the blacksmith of Pittsburgh,
pulled off three hundred millions of swag in the Steel hold-up--yes,
swag, Jim. Don't scowl as though you wanted to read me a lecture on the
coarseness of my language. I have learned to call this game of ours by its
right name. It is not business enterprise with earned profits as results,
but pulled-off tricks with bags of loot--black-jack swag--for their end.

"I got away with three hundred millions when Steel slumped from 105 to 50
and from 50 to 8, and no one knew I'd made a dollar. You and 'the Street'
read every morning last year the 'guesses' as to who could be rounding up
the hundreds of millions on the slump. The papers and the market letters
one morning said it was 'Standard Oil'; the next, that it was Morgan; then
it was Frick, Schwab, Gates, and so on down through the list. Of course,
none of them denied; it is capital to all these knights of the road to be
making millions in the minds of the world, even though they never get any
of the money. Dick Turpin and Jonathan Wild never were fonder of having
the daring hold-ups that other highwaymen perpetrated laid to their doors,
than are these modern bandits of being credited with ruthless deeds that
they did not commit. But Jim, 'twas I, 'twas I who sold Pennsylvania
every morning for a year, while the selling was explained by the press as
'Cassatt cutting down Gould's telegraph poles. Gould and old man
Rockefeller selling Pennsylvania to get even.' Jim Randolph, I have to-day
a billion dollars, not the Rockefeller or Carnegie kind, but a real
billion. If I had no other power but the power to call to-morrow for that
billion in cash, it would be sufficient to lay in waste the financial
world before to-morrow night. You are welcome, Jim, to any part of that
billion, and the more you take the happier you will make me, but when I
strike in again, don't attempt to stay me, for it will do no good."

Shortly after this talk Bob left for Europe with Beulah. A great German
expert on brain disorders had held out hope that a six month's treatment
at his sanitarium in Berlin might aid in restoring her mind. They returned
the following August. The trip had been fruitless. It was plain to me that
Bob was the same hopelessly desperate man as when he left, more hopeless,
more desperate if anything than when he warned me of his determination.

When he left for Europe "the Street" breathed more freely, and as time
went by and there was no sign of his confidence-disturbing influence in
the market, the "System" began to bring out its deferred deals. Times were
ripe for setting up the most wildly inflated stock lamb-shearing traps. It
had been advertised throughout the world that Tom Reinhart, now a
two-hundred-time millionaire, was to consolidate his and many other
enterprises into one gigantic trust with twelve billions of capital. His
Union and Southern Pacific Railroads, his coal and Southern lines,
together with his steamship company and lead, iron, and copper mines, were
to be merged with the steel, traction, gas, and other enterprises he owned
jointly with "Standard Oil." Some of the railroads owned by Rockefeller
and his pals, in which Reinhart had no part, were to go in too, and with
these was to unite that mother hog of them all, "Standard Oil" itself. The
trust was to be an enormous holding company, the like of which had until
then not even been dreamed of by the most daring stock manipulators. The
"System's" banks, as well as trust and insurance companies throughout the
country, had for a long time been getting into shape by concentrating the
money of the country for this monster trust. It was newspaper and news
bureau gossip that Reinhart and his crowd had bought millions of shares of
the different stocks involved in the deal, and it was common knowledge
that upon its successful completion Reinhart's fortune would be in the
neighbourhood of a billion. On October 1st the certificate of the
Anti-People's Trust, $12,000,000,000 capital, 120,000,000 shares, were
listed upon the New York, London, and Boston Stock Exchanges, and the
German and French Bourses, and trading in them started off fast and
furious at 106. The claim that one billion of the twelve billions capital
had been set aside to be used in protecting and manipulating the stock in
the market, had been so widely advertised that even the most daring
plunger did not think of selling it short.

It was evident to all in the stock-gambling world that this was to be the
"System's" grand coup, that at its completion the masses would be rudely
awakened to a realisation that their savings were invested in the combined
American industries at vastly inflated values, that the few had all the
real money, and that any attempt upon the people's part to regulate and
control the new system of robbery, would be fraught with unparalleled
disaster--not to the "System," but to the people.

Since Bob's return from Europe I had seen him but a few times. Up to
October 1st he had not been near the Stock Exchange or "the Street."
Shortly after the listing of the "People Be Damned," as "the Street" had
dubbed the new trust, he began to show up at his office regularly. This
was the condition of affairs when Fred Brownley called me up on the
telephone, as I related at the beginning of my story, which I did not
realise I had been so long in telling.

My thoughts had been chasing each other with lightning-like rapidity back
over the last five years and the fifteen before them, and each thought
deepened the black mist over my present mental vision. In the midst of my
reflections my telephone rang again.

"Mr. Randolph, for Heaven's sake have you done nothing yet?" It was Fred
Brownley's voice. "Things are frightful here. Bob's brokers are selling
stocks at five and ten thousand-lot clips. Barry Conant is leading
Reinhart's forces. It is said he has the pool's protection order in
Anti-People's and that it is unlimited, but Bob has the Reinhart crowd
pretty badly scared. Swan has just finished giving Conant a hundred
thousand off the reel in 10,000 lots, and he told me a moment ago he was
going over to get Bob himself to face Barry Conant. They're down twenty
points on the average, although they haven't let Anti-People's break an
eighth yet. They have it pegged at 106, but there is an ugly rumour just
in that Bob, under cover of a general attack, is unloading Anti-People's
on to the Reinhart wing for Rogers and Rockefeller, and the rumour is
getting in its work. Even Barry Conant is growing a bit anxious. The
latest talk is that Reinhart is borrowing hundreds of millions on
Anti-People's, and that his loans are being called in all directions. Do
you know Reinhart is at his place in Virginia and cannot get here before
to-morrow night? If Bob breaks through Anti-People's peg, it will be the
worst crash yet."

"All right, Fred," I answered. "I will go over to Bob's right now. I hate
to do it, but there is no other hope."

I dropped the receiver and started for Bob's office. As I went through his
counting-room one of the clerks said, "They have just broken Anti-People's
to 90 on a bulletin that Tom Reinhart's wife and only daughter have been
killed in an automobile accident at their place in Virginia. They first
had it that Reinhart himself was killed. That has been corrected, although
the latest word is that he is prostrated."

I rapped on Bob's private-office door. I felt the coming struggle as I
heard his hoarse bellow, "Come in." He stood at the ticker, with the tape
in one hand, while with the other he held the telephone receiver to his
ear. My God, what a picture for a stage! His magnificent form was erect,
his feet were as firmly planted as if he were made of bronze, his
shoulders thrown back as if he were withstanding the rush of the Stock
Exchange hordes, his eyes afire with a sullen, smouldering blaze, his jaw
was set in a way that brought into terrible relief the new, hard lines of
desperation that had recently come into his face. His great chest was
rising and falling as though he were engaged in a physical struggle; his
perfect-fitting, heavy black Melton cutaway coat, thrown back from the
chest, and a low, turned-down, white collar formed the setting for a
throat and head that reminded one of a forest monarch at bay on the
mountain crag awaiting the coming of the hounds and hunters.

I hesitated at the threshold to catch my breath, as I took in the
terrific figure. Had Bob Brownley been an enemy of mine I should have
backed out in fear, and I do not confess to more than my fair share of
cowardice. Inwardly I thanked God that Bob was in his office instead of on
the floor of the Exchange. His whole appearance was frightful. He showed
in every line and lineament that he was a man who would hesitate at
nothing, even at killing, if he should find a human obstacle in his road
and his mind should suggest murder. He was the personification of the most
awful madness. Even when he caught sight of me, he hardly moved, although
my coming must have been a surprise.

"So it is you, Jim Randolph, is it? What brings _you_ here?" His voice was
hoarse, but it had a metallic ring that went to my marrow. Bob Brownley in
all the years of our friendship had never spoken to me except in kind and
loving regard. I looked at him, stunned. I must have shown how hurt I was.
But if he saw it, he gave no sign. His eyes, looking straight into mine,
changed no more than if he had been addressing his deadliest enemy.

Again his voice rang out, "What brings you here? Do you come to plead
again for that dastard Reinhart after the warning I gave you?"

I clenched both hands until I felt the nails cut the flesh of my palms. I
loved Bob Brownley. I would have done anything to make him happy, would
willingly have sacrificed my own life to protect his from himself or
others, but this madman, this wild brute, was no more Bob Brownley as I
had known him than the howling northeast gale of December is the gentle,
welcome zephyr of August; and I felt a resentment at his brutal speech
that I could hardly suppress. With a mighty effort I crushed it back,
trying to think of nothing but his awful misery and the Bob of our college

I said in a firm voice, "Bob, is this the way to talk to me in your own
office?" At any time before, my words and tone would have touched his
all-generous Southern chivalry, but now he said harshly--"To hell with
sentiment. What----" He did not take his eyes from mine, but they told me
that he was listening to a voice in the receiver. Only for a second; then
he let loose a wild laugh, which must have penetrated to the outer office.

"Eighty and coming like a spring freshet," he said into the mouthpiece,
"and the boys want to know if I won't let up now that Reinhart is down?
Go back and smother them with all they will take down to 60. That's my
answer. Tell them if Reinhart had ten more wives and daughters and they
were all killed, I'd rend his bastard trust to help him dull his sorrow.
Give the word at every pole that I will have Reinhart where he will curse
his luck that he was not in the automobile with the rest of his tribe----

"To hell with sentiment!" He was speaking to me again. "What do you want?
If you are here to beg for Reinhart and his pack of yellow curs, you've
got your answer. I wouldn't let up on that fiendish hyena, not if his wife
and daughter and all the dead wives and daughters of every 'System' man
came back in their grave clothes and begged. I wouldn't let up a share." I
gasped in horror.

"When did those robbers of men and despoilers of women and children ever
let up because of death? When were they ever known to wait even till the
corpse stiffened to pluck out the hearts of the victims? It is my turn
now, and if I let up a hair may I, yes, and Beulah, too, be damned,
eternally damned."

I could not stand it. If I stayed, I, too, should become mad. I reached
for the doorknob, but before I could swing the door open Bob was upon me
like a wolf. He grasped me by the shoulders and with the strength of a
madman hurled me half across the room. I sank into a chair.

"No, you don't, Jim Randolph, no, you don't. You came here for something
and, by heaven, you will tell me what it is! You know me; you are the only
human being who does. You know what I was, you see what I am. You know
what they did to me to make me what I am. You know, Jim Randolph, you know
whether I deserved it. You know whether in all my life up to the day those
dollar-frenzied hounds tore my soul, I had done any man, woman, or child a
wrong. You know whether I had, and now you are going to sneak off and
leave me as though I were a cur dog of the Reinhart-'Standard Oil' breed
gone mad!"

He was standing over me, a terrible yet a magnificent figure. As he hurled
these words at me, I was sure he had really lost his mind; that I was in
the presence of a man truly mad. But only for an instant; then my horror,
my anger turned to a great, crushing, all-consuming agony of pity for
Bob, and I dropped my head on my hands and wept. It is hard to admit it,
but it is true--I wept uncontrollably. In an instant the room was quiet
except for the sound of my own awful grief. I heard it, was ashamed of it,
but I could not stop. The telephone rang again and again, wildly, shrilly,
but there was no answer. The stillness became so oppressive that even my
own sobs quieted. I gasped as the lump in my throat choked me, then I
slowly raised my eyes.

Bob's towering figure was in front of me. His head had fallen forward, and
his arms were folded across his breast. But that he stood erect I should
have thought him dead, so still was he. I jumped to my feet and looked
into his face, down which great tears were dropping silently. I touched
him on the shoulder.

"Bob, my dear old chum, Bob, forgive me. For God's sake, forgive me for
intruding on your misery."

I looked at him. I will never forget his face. No heartbroken woman's
could have been sadder. He slowly raised his head, then staggered and
grasped the ticker-stand for support.

"Don't, Jim, don't--don't ask me to forgive you. Oh, Jim, Jim, my old
friend, forgive me for my madness; forget what I said to you, forget the
brute you just saw and think of me as of old, when I would have plucked
out my tongue if I had caught it saying a harsh word to the best and
truest friend man ever had. Jim, forget it all. I was mad, I am mad, I
have been mad for a long time, but it cannot last much longer. I know it
can't, and, Jim, by all our past love, by the memories of the dear old
days at St. Paul's and at Harvard, the dear old days of hope and
happiness, when we planned for the future, try to think of me only as you
knew me then, as you know that I should now be, but for the 'System's'

The clerks were pounding on the door; through the glass showed many forms.
They had been gathering for minutes while Bob talked in his low, sad tone,
a tone that no one could believe came from the same mouth that a few
moments before had poured forth a flood of brutal heartlessness.

Bob went to the door. The office was in an uproar. Twenty or thirty of
Bob's brokers were there, aghast at not getting a reply to their calls.
Many more were pouring in through the outer office. Bob looked at them
coldly. "Well, what is the trouble? Is it possible we are down to a point
where the Stock Exchange rushes over to a man's office when his wire
happens to break down?"

They saw his bluff. You cannot deceive Stock Exchange men, at least not
the kind that Bob Brownley employed on panic days, but his coolness
reassured them, and when they saw me it was odds-on that they guessed to a
man why Bob had ignored his wires--guessed that I had been pleading for
the life of "the Street."

"Well, where do you stand?"

Frank Swan answered for the crowd: "The panic is in full swing. She's a
cellar-to-ridge-pole ripper. They're down 40 or over on an average.
Anti-People's is down to 35, and still coming like sawdust over a broken
dam. Barry Conant's house and a dozen other of Reinhart's have gone under.
His banks and trust companies are going every minute. The whole Street
will be overboard before the close. The governing committee has just
called a meeting to see whether it will not be best to adjourn the
Exchange over to-day and to-morrow."

Bob listened as if he had been a master at the wheel in a gale, receiving
reports from his mates.

There was no trace now of the scene he had just been through. He was cool,
masterful, like the seasoned sea-dog who knows that in spite of the
ocean's rage and the wind's howl, the wheel will answer his hand and the
craft its rudder. "Jim, come over to the Exchange." The crowd followed
along. "We have but a minute and I want to have you say you forgive me,"
he said to me. "I know, Jim, you understand it all, but I must tell you
how sorrowful I am that in my madness I should have so forgotten my
admiration, respect, and love for you, yes, and my gratitude to you, as to
say what I did. I'll do the only thing I can to atone. I will stop this
panic and undo as much as possible of my work; and now that I have wrecked
Reinhart I am through with this game forever, yes, through forever."

He pressed my hand in his strong, honest one and strode into the Exchange
ahead of the crowd. All was chaos, although the trading had toned down to
a sullen desperation. So many houses, banks, and trust companies had
failed that no man knew whether the member he had traded with early in
the day would on the morrow be solvent enough to carry out his trades. The
man who had been "long" in the morning, and had sold out before the crash,
and who thought he now had no interest in the panic, found himself with
his stock again on hand, because of the failure of the one to whom he had
sold, and the price cut in two. The man who was "short" and who a few
minutes before had been eagerly counting his profits now knew that they
had been turned to loss, because the man from whom he had borrowed his
short stocks for delivery would be in no condition to repay for them, the
next day, when they should be returned to him. The "short" man was
himself, therefore, "long" stocks he had bought to cover his "short" sale.
In depressing the price he had been working against his own pocket instead
of against the bulls he had thought he was opposing. All was confusion and
black despair. There is, indeed, no blacker place than the floor of the
Stock Exchange after a panic cyclone has swept it, and is yet lingering in
its corners, while the survivors of its fury do not know whether or not it
will again gather force.

Chapter IX.

The Governing Committee was holding a meeting in its room. Bob rushed in

"One word, gentlemen," he called. "I have more trades outstanding, both
buys and sells, than any other member or house. Before deciding whether to
adjourn in an attempt to save 'the Street', I ask your consideration of
this proposition: If the Exchange will suspend operations for thirty
minutes, and allow me to address the members on the floor, I will agree to
buy stocks all around the room, until they have regained at least half
their drop--all of it, if possible. I will buy until I have exhausted to
the last hundred my fortune of a billion dollars. This should make an
adjournment unnecessary. I know that this is a most extraordinary request,
but you are confronted with a most extraordinary situation, the most
remarkable in the history of the Stock Exchange. Already, if what they say
on the floor is correct, over two hundred banks and trust companies
throughout the country have gone under, and new failures are being
announced every minute. Half the members of this and the Boston and
Philadelphia Exchanges are insolvent and have closed their doors, or will
close them before three o'clock, and the shrinkage in values so far
reported runs over fifteen billions. Unless something is done before the
close, there will be a similar panic in every Exchange and Bourse in
Europe to-morrow."

The committee instantly voted to lay the proposition before the full
board. In another minute the president's gavel sounded, and the floor was
still as a tomb. All eyes were fixed on the president. Every man in that
great throng knew that upon the announcement they were about to hear,
might depend, at least temporarily, the welfare, not only of Wall Street,
but of the nation, perhaps even of the civilised world. The president

"Members of the New York Stock Exchange:

"The Governing Committee instructs me to say that Mr. Robert Brownley has
asked that operations be suspended for thirty minutes, in order that he be
allowed to address you. Mr. Brownley has agreed, if this request be
granted, he will upon resumption of operations purchase a sufficient
amount of stock to raise the average price of all active shares at least
one-half their total drop--all of it, if possible. He agrees to buy to the
limit of his fortune of a billion dollars. I now put Mr. Brownley's
request to a vote. All those in favour of granting it will signify the
same by saying 'Yes.'"

A mighty roof-lifting "Yes" sounded through the room.

"All those opposed, 'No.'"

There was a deathly hush.

"Mr. Brownley will please speak from this platform, and remember, in
thirty minutes to the second, I will sound the gavel for the resumption of

Bob Brownley strode to the place just vacated by the president. The crowd
was growing larger every minute. The ticker was already hissing a tape
biograph of this extraordinary situation in brokerage shops, hotels, and
banks throughout the country, and in a few minutes the news of it would be
in the capitals of Europe. Never before in history did man have such an
audience--the whole civilised world. Already arose from Wall, Broad, and
New Streets, which surround the Exchange, the hoarse bellow of the
gathering hordes. Before the ticker should announce the resumption of
business these would number hundreds of thousands, for the financial
district for more than an hour had been a surging mob.

For once at least the much-abused phrase, "He looked the part," could be
used in all truthfulness. As Robert Brownley threw back his head and
shoulders and faced that crowd of men, some of whom he had hurt, many of
whom he had beggared, and all of whom he had tortured, he presented a
picture such as a royal lion recently from the jungles and just freed from
his cage might have made. Defiance, deference, contempt, and pity all
blended in his mien, but over all was an I-am-the-one-you-are-the-many
atmosphere of confidence that turned my spinal column into a mercury tube.
He began to speak:

"Men of Wall Street:

"You have just witnessed a record-breaking slaughter. I have asked
permission to talk to you for the purpose of showing you how any member of
a great Stock Exchange may at any time do what I have done to-day. Weigh
well what I am about to say to you. During the last quarter of a century
there has grown up in this free and fair land of ours a system by which
the few take from the many the results of their labours. The men who take
have no more license, from God or man, to take, than have those from whom
they filch. They are not endowed by God with superior wisdom, nor have
they performed for their fellow-men any labour or given to them anything
of value that entitles them to what they take. Their only license to
plunder is their knowledge of the system of trickery and fraud that they
themselves have created. No man can gainsay this, for on every side is the
evidence. Men come into Wall Street at sunrise without dollars; before
that same sun sets they depart with millions. So all-powerful has grown
the system of oppression that single men take in a single lifetime all the
savings of a million of their fellows. To-day the people, eighty millions
strong, are slaving for the few, and their pay is their board and keep. I
saw this robbery. I felt the robbers' scourge. I sought the secret. I
found it here, here in this gambling-hell. I found that the stocks we
bought and sold were mere gambling chips; that the man who had the
biggest stack could beat his opponent off the board; that his opponent was
the world, because all men directly or indirectly played the
stock-gambling game. To win, it was but necessary to have unlimited chips.
If chips were bought and sold, on equal terms, by all, no one could buy
more than he could pay for, and the game, although still a gambling one,
would be fair. A few master tricksters, dollar magicians, long ago seeing
this condition, invented the system by which the people are ruthlessly
plundered. The system they invented was simple, so simple that for a
quarter of a century it has remained undiscovered by the world at
large--and even by you, who profess to be experts. No man thought that a
free people who had intended to allow all the equal use of every avenue
for the attainment of wealth, and who intended to provide for the
safeguarding of wealth after it was secured, could be such dolts as to
allow themselves to be robbed of all their accumulated wealth by a device
as simple as that by which children play at blindman's buff. The process
was no more complex than that employed by the robber of old, who took the
pebbles from the beach, marked them money, and with the money bought the
labour of his fellows, and by the manipulation of that labour and by
turning pebbles into money he took away from the labourer the money which
he had paid them for the labour until all in the land were slaves of the
moneymaker. These few tricksters said: We will arbitrarily manufacture
these chips--stocks. After we have manufactured them, we will sell the
world what the world can pay for, and then by the use of the unlimited
supply we still have we will win away from the world what it has bought,
and repeat the operation, until we have all the wealth, and the people are
enslaved. To do this there was one thing besides the manufacturing of the
chips--stocks--that was absolutely necessary--a gambling-hell, the working
of whose machinery would place a selling value upon such chips; a hell
where, after selling the chips, they could be won back. I saw that if
these tricksters were to be routed and their 'System' was to be destroyed,
it must be through the machinery of this Stock Exchange. I studied the
machinery, and presently I marvelled that men could for so long have been

"From the very nature of stock-gambling it is necessary, absolutely
necessary, that it be conducted under certain rules, unchangeable,
unbreakable rules, to attempt to change or break which would destroy
stock-gambling. The foundation rule, the rule absolutely necessary for the
existence of stock-gambling is: Any member of the Stock Exchange can buy,
or sell, between the opening and the closing of the Exchange as many
shares of stock as he cares to. With this rule in force his buying and
selling cannot be restricted to the amount he can take and pay for, or
deliver and receive pay for, because there is not money enough in the
world to pay for what under this same rule can be bought and sold in a
single session. This is because there have been arbitrarily created by
these few tricksters many times more stocks than there is money in
existence. The amount of stock that any man can sell in one session of the
Exchange is limited only by the amount that he can offer for sale, and he
can offer any amount his tongue can utter; and he is not compelled and
cannot be compelled to show his ability to deliver what he has offered for
sale until after he has finished selling, which is the following day. You
will ask as I did: Can this be possible? You will find the answer I
found. It is so, and must continue to be so, or there will be no
stock-gambling. Mark me, for this statement is weighted with the greatest
import to you all. A member of this Exchange can sell as many shares of
stock at one session as he cares to offer. If any attempt is made at the
session he sells at to compel him either before or after he offers to sell
to show his ability to deliver, away goes the stock-gambling structure,
because from the very nature of the whole structure of stock-gambling the
same shares are sold and resold many times in each session and the seller
cannot know, much less show, that he can deliver until he first adjusts
with the buyer and the buyer cannot adjust until after he has become such
by buying. If a rule were made compelling a seller to show his
responsibility before selling, every member would have every other member
at his mercy and there could be no stock-gambling. When I had worked this
out, I saw that while the few tricksters of the 'System' had a perfect
device for taking from the people their wealth, I had discovered as
perfect a means of taking away from the few the wealth they had secured
from the many. With this knowledge came a conviction that my way was as
honest as the 'System's,' in fact more honest than theirs. They took from
the innocent, I took from the guilty what had already been dishonestly
secured. I determined to put my discovery into practice.

"I might never have done so but for that Sugar panic in which I was robbed
of millions by the 'System' through Barry Conant. In that panic the
'System,' with its unlimited resources, filched from the people by the
arbitrary manufacture of stocks, and by their manipulation did to me what
I afterward discovered I could do to them, without any resources other
than my right to do business on the floor of this Exchange. You saw the
outcome, in the second Sugar panic, of my first experiment. In a few
minutes I cleared a profit of ten million dollars. I could have made it
fifty millions, or one hundred and fifty, but I was not then on familiar
terms with my new robber-robbing device, and I had yet a heart. To make
this ten millions of money, all that was necessary for me to do was to
sell more Sugar than Barry Conant could buy. This was easy, because Barry
Conant, not knowing of my newly invented trick, could buy only what he
could pay for on the morrow, or, at least, what he believed his clients
could pay for; while I, not intending to deliver what I sold--unless by
smashing the price to a point where I could compel those who had bought to
resell to me at millions less than I sold at--could sell unlimited
amounts--literally unlimited amounts. When Barry Conant had bought all
that he thought he could pay for, he was obliged to beat a retreat in
front of my offerings, and I was able to smash, and smash, until the price
was so low that he could not by the use of what he had bought, as
collateral, borrow sufficient to pay me for what I had sold him. Then he
was compelled to turn about and sell what he had bought from me, and when
I had rebought it, for ten millions less than I had sold it for, the trick
had been turned. I had sold him 100,000 shares say at 220. He had sold
them back to me say at 120, and he stood where he had stood at the
beginning. He had none of the 100,000 shares. Both of us stood, so far as
stock was concerned, where we had stood at the beginning, but as to
profits and losses there was this difference: I had ten millions of
dollars profits, while Barry Conant's clients, the 'System,' were ten
millions losers--and all by a trick. The trick did not differ in
principle from the one in constant practice by the 'System.' When the
'System,' after manufacturing Sugar stock, sell 100,000 shares to the
people for $10,000,000, they so manipulate the market by the use of the
$10,000,000 that they have taken from the people as to scare them into
selling the 100,000 shares back to them for $5,000,000. After they have
bought they again manipulate the market until the people buy back for
$10,000,000 what they sold for $5,000,000. The 'System' commits no legal
crime. I committed no legal crime. I had not even infringed any rule of
the Exchange, any more than had the 'System' when they performed their
trick. Since my experimental panic I have repeatedly put the trick in
operation, and each time I have taken millions, until to-day I have in my
control, as absolutely as though I had honestly earned them, as the
labourer earns his week's wages, or the farmer the price of his crops,
over $1,000,000,000, or sufficient to keep enslaved the rest of their
lives a million people.

"What do you intelligent men think of this situation? You know, because
you know the stock-gambling game, that the American people, with their
boasted brains and courage, come year after year with their bags of gold,
the result of their prosperous labours, and dump them, hundreds of
millions, into this gambling-inferno of yours. You know that they are
fools, these silly millions of people whom you term lambs and suckers. You
chuckle as, year after year, having been sent away shorn, they return for
new shearing. You marvel that the merchants, manufacturers, miners,
lawyers, farmers, who have sufficient intelligence to gather such surplus
legitimately, would bring it to our gambling-hell, where upon all sides is
plain proof that we who conduct the gambling, and who produce nothing, are
obliged to take from those who do produce, hundreds of millions each year
for expenses, and hundreds of millions each year for profits--for you know
that we have nothing to give them in return for what they bring to us. You
know that every dollar of the billions lost in Wall Street means higher
prices for steel rails, for lumber and cars, and that this means higher
passenger and freight rates to the people. You know that when the
manufacturer brings his wealth to Wall Street and is robbed of it, he
will add something to the price of boots and shoes, cotton and woollen
clothes, and other necessities that he makes and that he sells to the
people. You know that when the copper, lead, tin, and iron miners part
with their surplus to the 'System,' it means higher prices to the people
for their copper pots and gutters, for the water that comes through lead
pipes, for their tin dippers and wash boilers, and for their rents, and
all those necessities into which machinery, lumber, and other raw and
finished material enters. You know that every hundred millions dropped by
real producers to the brigands of our world means lower wages or less of
the necessities and luxuries for all the people, and especially for the
farmer. You know that it is habit with us of Wall Street to gloat over the
doctrine of the 'System,' which the people parrot among themselves, the
doctrine that the people at large are not affected by our gambling,
because they, the people, having no surplus to gamble with, never come
into Wall Street. And yet, knowing all this, you never thought, with all
your wisdom and cynicism, that right here in this institution, which you
own and control, was the open sesame, for each or all of you, to those
great chests of gold that your clients, the 'System,' have filled to
bursting from the stores of the people. What, I ask, do you wise men think
of the situation as you now see it?"

There was an oppressive stillness on the floor. The great crowd, which now
contained nearly all the members of the Exchange, listened with bulging
eyes and open mouths to the revelations of their fellow member. From time
to time, as Bob Brownley poured forth his shot and shell of deadly logic,
from the vast mob that now surrounded the Exchange rose a hoarse bellow of
impatience, for few in that dense throng outside could understand the
silence of the gigantic human crusher, which between the hours of ten and
three was never before known to miss a revolution except while its
victims' hearts and souls were being removed from its gears and meshes.

Bob Brownley paused and looked down into the faces of the breathless
gamblers with a contempt that was superb. He went on:

"Men of Wall Street, it is writ in the books of the ancients that every
evil contains within itself a cure or a destroyer. I do not pretend that
what I am revealing to you is to you a cure for this hideous evil, but I
do say that what I am giving you is a destroyer for it, and that while it
will be to the world a cure, it may leave you in a more fiery hell than
the one of which you now feel the flames. I do not care if it does. When I
am through, any member of the New York Stock Exchange who feels the iron
in his soul can get instant revenge and unlimited wealth. You who are
turning over in your minds the consideration that your great body can make
new rules to render my discovery inoperative, are dealing with a shadow.
There is no rule or device that can prevent its working. There are one
thousand seats in the New York Stock Exchange. They are worth to-day
$95,000 apiece, or $95,000,000 in all. Their value is due to the fact that
this Exchange deals in between one and three million shares a day. Were
any attempt made to prevent the operation of my invention, transactions
would because of such attempt drop to five or ten thousand shares per day,
or to such transactions as represent stock that will be actually delivered
and actually paid for. To make my invention useless it must be made
impossible to buy or sell the same share of stock more than once at one
session, and short selling, which is now, as you know, the foundation of
the modern stock-gambling structure, must likewise be made impossible. If
this could be done the $95,000,000 worth of seats in the Exchange would be
worth less than five millions, and, what is of far greater import to all
the people, the financial world would be revolutionised. Men of Wall
Street, do not fool yourselves. My invention is a sure destroyer of the
greatest curse in the world, stock-gambling."

A sullen growl rose from the gamblers. Robert Brownley glared down his

"Let me show you the impossibility of preventing in the future anyone's
doing what I have done to you so many times during the past five years.
All the capital required to work my invention is nerve and desperation, or
nerve without desperation. It is well known to you that there are at all
times Exchange members who will commit any crime, barring perhaps murder,
to gain millions. Your members have from time to time shown nerve or
desperation enough to embezzle, raise certificates, give bogus checks,
counterfeit stocks and bonds, and this for gain of less than millions, and
when detection was probable. All these are criminal offences and their
detection is sure to bring disgrace and State prison. Yet members of this
Exchange desperate enough to take the chance, when confronted with loss of
fortune and open bankruptcy, have always been found with nerve enough to
attempt the crimes. I repeat that there are at all times Exchange members
who will commit any crime, barring perhaps murder, to gain millions. That
you may see that my successors will surely come from your midst from time
to time during the future existence of the Exchange, I will enumerate the
different classes of members who will follow in my footsteps:

"First, the 'In Gold We Trust' schemer who is of the 'System' type, but
who is outside the magic circle. A man of this class will reason: I know
scores of men, who stand high on 'the Street' and in the social world, who
have tens of millions that they have filched by 'System' tricks, if not by
legal crimes. If I perform this trick of Brownley's, the trick of selling
short until a panic is produced, I shall make millions and none will be
the wiser. For all I know, many of the multi-millionaires whom I have seen
produce panics and who were applauded by 'the Street' and the press for
their ability and daring, and whose standing, business and social, is now
the highest, were only doing this same thing, and having been successful,
they have never been detected or suspected. But even suppose I fail, which
can only be through some extraordinary accident happening while I am
engaged in selling, I shall have committed no crime, and, in fact, shall
have done no one any great moral wrong, for if I fail to carry out my
contract to deliver the stock I have sold in trying to produce a panic,
the men to whom I have sold will be no worse off for not receiving what
they bought; in fact they will stand just where they stood before I
attempted to bring on a panic.

"Second, if an Exchange member for any reason should find himself
overboard and should realise that he must publicly become bankrupt and
lose all, he surely would be a fool not to attempt to produce a panic,
when its production would enable him to recoup his losses and prevent his
failure, and when if by accident he should fail in his attempt to produce
a panic, the penalty would simply be his bankruptcy, which would have
taken place in any event.

"The third class is that large one that always will exist while there is
stock-gambling, a class of honest, square-dealing-play-the-game-fair-Exchange
men who would take no unfair advantage of their fellow-members until they
become awakened to the knowledge that they are about to be ruined by their
fellow-members' trickery.

"Next, let us consider further whether it is possible for our Exchange to
prevent my device from being worked, now that it is known to all. Suppose
the Governing Committee was informed in advance that the attempt to work
the trick was to be made. If, at any session, after gong-strike, the
Governing Committee, or any Exchange authority, could for any reason
compel a member to cease operating, even for the purpose of showing that
his transactions were legitimate, the entire structure of stock-gambling
would fall. Think it through: Suppose a man like Barry Conant or myself,
or any active commission broker, begins the execution of a large order for
a client, one, say, who has advance information of a receivership, a fire
at a mine, the death of a President, a declaration of war, or any of the
hundred and one items of information that must be acted upon instantly,
where a delay of a minute would ruin the broker, or his house, or its
clients. If the Governing Committee could thus call the broker to account,
the professional bear or the schemer, who desired to prevent him from
selling, would have but to pass the word to the president of the Exchange
that the broker in question was about to work Brownley's discovery and he
could be taken from the crowd and before he returned his place could be
taken by others and he could be ruined.

"Men of Wall Street, it is impossible to prevent the repetition of those
acts by which in five years I have accumulated a billion dollars,
impossible so long as a short sale or a repurchase and resale, is allowed.
When short sales, and repurchases and resales, are made impossible, stock
speculation will be dead. When stock speculation is dead, the people can
no longer be robbed by the 'System.' In leaving you, the Exchange, and
stock-gambling forever, as I shall when I leave this platform, I will say
from the depth of a heart that has been broken, from the profoundity of a
soul that has been withered by the 'System's' poison, with a full sense
of my responsibility to my fellow-man and to my God, that I advise every
one of you to do what I have done and to do it quickly, before the doing
of it by others shall have made it impossible, before the doing of it by
others shall have blown up the whole stock-gambling structure. In
accepting my advice you can quiet your conscience, those of you who have
any, with this argument: 'If I start, I am sure of success. If I succeed,
no one will be the wiser. The millions I secure I will take from men who
took them from others, and who would take mine. The more I and others
take, the sooner will come the day when the stock-gambling structure will

"The day on which the stock-gambling structure falls is the day for which
all honest men and women should pray."

Bob Brownley paused and let his eyes sweep his dumfounded audience. There
was not a murmur. The crowd was speechless.

Again his eyes swept the room. Then he slowly raised his right hand with
fist clenched, as though about to deal a blow.

"Men of Wall Street"--his voice was now deep and solemn--"to show that
Robert Brownley knew what was fitting for the last day of his career, he
has revealed to you the trick--and more.

"Many of you are desperate. Many of you by to-morrow will be ruined. The
time of all times for such to put my trick in practice is now. The victim
of victims is ready for the experiment. I am he. I have a billion dollars.
With this billion dollars I am able to buy ten million shares of the
leading stocks and to pay for them, even though after I have bought they
fall a hundred dollars a share. Here is your chance to prevent your ruin,
your chance to retrieve your fortune, your chance to secure revenge upon
me, the one who has robbed you."

He paused only long enough for his astounding advice to connect with his
listener's now keenly sensitive nerve centres; then deep and clear rang
out, "Barry Conant." The wiry form of Bob's old antagonist leaped to the

"I authorise you to buy any part of ten million shares of the leading
stocks at any price up to fifty points above the present market. There is
my check-book signed in blank, and I authorise you to use it up to a
billion dollars, and I agree to have in bank to-morrow sufficient funds to
meet any checks you draw. You have failed to-day for seven millions, and,
therefore, cannot trade, but I herewith announce that I will pay all the
indebtedness of Barry Conant and his house. Therefore he is now in good
standing." Bob had kept his eye on the great clock; as the last word
passed his lips, the President's gavel descended.

With a mighty rush the gamblers leaped for the different poles. Barry
Conant with lightning rapidity gave his orders to twenty of his
assistants, who, when Bob Brownley called for Conant, had gathered around
their chief. In less than a minute the dollar-battle of the age was on, a
battle such as no man had ever seen before. It required no supernatural
wisdom for any man on the floor to see that Bob Brownley's seed had fallen
in superheated soil, that his until now secret hellite was about to be
tested. It needed no expert in the mystic art of deciphering the wall
hieroglyphics of Old Hag Fate to see that the hands on the clock of the
"System" were approaching twelve. It needed no ear trained to hear human
heart and soul beats to detect the approaching sound of onrushing doom to
the stock-gambling structure. The deafening roar of the brokers that had
broken the stillness following Robert Brownley's fateful speech had
awakened echoes that threatened to shake down the Exchange walls. The
surging mob on the outside was roaring like a million hungry lions in an
Arbestan run at slaughter time.

Chapter X.

The instant after the gong sounded Bob Brownley was alone on the floor at
the foot of the president's desk. His form was swaying like a reed on the
edge of the cyclone's path. I jumped to his side. His brother, who had
during Bob's harangue been vainly endeavouring to beat his way through the
crowd, was there first. "For God's sake, Bob, hear me. Word came from your
house half an hour ago of the miracle: Beulah has awakened to her past.
Her mind is clear; the nurses are frantic for you to come to her."

He got no further. With a mad bellow and a bound, like a tortured bull
that sees the arena walls go down, Bob rushed out through the nearest
door, which, I thanked God, was a side one leading to the street where the
crowd was thinnest. He cast a wild look around. His eyes lighted on an
empty automobile whose chauffeur had deserted to the crowd. It was the
work of a second to crank it; of another to jump into the front seat.
Quick as had been his movement, I was behind him in the rear seat. With a
bound the great machine leaped through the crowd.

"In the name of Christ, Bob, be careful," I yelled, as he hurled the iron
monster through the throng, scattering it to the right and left as the
mower scatters the sheaves in the wheat fields. Some were crushed beneath
its wheels. Bob Brownley heard not their screams, heard not the curses of
those who escaped. He was on his feet, his body crouched low over the
steering-wheel, which he grasped in his vise-like hands. His hatless head
was thrust far out, as though it strove to get to Beulah Sands ahead of
his body. His teeth were set, and as I had jumped into the machine I had
noted that his eyes were those of a maniac, who saw sanity just ahead if
he could but get to it in time. His ears were deaf not only to the howl of
the terrified throng and the curses of the teamsters who frantically
pulled their horses to the curb, but to my warnings as well. He swung the
machine around the corner at New Street and into Wall as though it had
been the broadest boulevard in the park. He took Wall Street at a bound I
was sure would land us through the fence into Trinity's churchyard. But
no. Again he turned the corner, throwing the Juggernaut on its outside
wheels from Wall Street into Broadway as the crowds on the sidewalk held
their breath in horror. I, too, was on my feet, but crouching as I hung to
the sides. Thank God, that usually crowded thoroughfare was free from
vehicles as far up as I could see, on beyond the Astor House. What could
it mean? Was that divinity which 'tis said protects the drunkard and the
idiot about to aid the mad rush of this love-frenzied creature to his
long-lost but newly returned dear one? I heard the frantic clang of gongs,
and as we shot by the World Building, I saw ahead of us two plunging
automobiles filled with men. 'Twas from them the gong clamour sounded. As
we drew nearer. I saw that these were the cars of the fire chiefs
answering a call. I thanked God again and again as I yelled into Bob's
ear, "For Beulah's sake, Bob, don't pass; if you do, we'll run into a
blockade. If we keep in the rear they'll clear our way, and we may get to
her alive." I do not know whether he heard, but he held the machine in the
rear of the other cars and did not try to pass. Away we went on our mad
rush through crowded Broadway. At Union Square we lost our way-clearers.
As our automobile jumped across Fourteenth Street into Fourth Avenue, Bob
must have opened her up to the last notch, for she seemed to leap through
the air. We sent two wagons crashing across the sidewalks into the
buildings. Cries of rage arose above the din of the machine, and seemed to
follow in our wake. Bob was dead to all we passed. His entire being seemed
set on what was ahead. I knew he was an expert in the handling of the
automobile, for since his misfortune, automobiling with Beulah Sands had
been his favourite pastime, but who could expect to carry that plunging,
swaying car to Forty-second Street! Bob seemed to be performing the
wondrous task. We shot from curb to curb and around and in front of
vehicles and foot passengers as though the driver's eyes and hands were

Across the square at last and on up Fourth Avenue to Twenty-sixth Street.
Then a dizzying whirl into Madison. Was he going to keep to it until he
got to Forty-second Street and try to make Fifth Avenue along that
congested block with its crush of Grand Central passengers and lines upon
lines of hacks and teams? No. His head must be clear. Again he threw the
great machine around the corner and into Fortieth Street. For a part of
the block our wheels rode the sidewalk, and I awaited the crash. It did
not come. Surely the new world Bob was speeding to must be a kind one,
else why should Hag Fate, who had been at the steer-wheel of his life-car
during the last five years, carry him safely through what looked a dozen
sure deaths? Without slacking speed a jot we swung around the corner of
Fortieth into Fifth Avenue. The road was clear to Forty-second; there a
dense jam of cars, teams, and carriages blocked the crossing. Bob must
have seen the solid wall for I heard his low muttered curse. Nothing else
to indicate that we were blocked with his goal in sight. He never touched
the speed controller, but took the two blocks as though shot from a
catapult. The two? No, one, and three-quarters of the next, for when
within a score of yards of the black wall he jammed down the brakes, and
the iron mass ground and shook as though it would rend itself to atoms,
but it stopped with its dasher and front wheels wedged in between a car
and a dray. It had not stopped when Bob was off and up the avenue like a
hound on the end-in-sight trail. I was after him while the astonished
bystanders stared in wonder. As we neared Bob's house I could see people
on the stoop. I heard Bob's secretary shout, "Thank God, Mr. Brownley, you
have come. She is in the office. I found her there, quiet and recovered.
She did not ask a question. She said, 'Tell Mr. Brownley when he comes
that I should like to see him.' Then she ordered me to get the afternoon
paper. I handed it to her an hour ago. I think she believes herself in her
old office. I shut off the floor as you instructed. I did not dare go to
her for fear she would ask questions. I have"--but Bob was up the stairs
two and three steps at a time.

My breath was almost gone and it took me minutes to get to the second
floor. My feet touched the top stair, when, O God! that sound! For five
long years I had been trying to get it out of my ears, but now more
guttural, more agonised than before, it broke upon my tortured senses. I
did not need to seek its direction. With a bound I was at the threshold of
Beulah Sands-Brownley's office. In that brief time the groans had
stilled. For one instant I closed my eyes, for the very atmosphere of
that hall moaned and groaned death. I opened them. Yes, I knew it. There

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