THE FINANCIER 
secession, or the general progress or decline of the country, 
except in so far as it affected his immediate interests. 
He wished he were a stable financier; but, now that he 
saw the inside of the brokerage business, he was not so 
sure that he wanted to stay in it. Gambling in stocks, ac- 
cording to conditions produced by this panic, seemed very 
hazardous. A number of brokers failed. He saw them rush 
into Tighe with anguished faces and ask that certain 
trades be canceled. Their very homes were in danger, 
they said. They would be wiped out, their wives and 
children put out on the street. 
" Why, man alive, I can't do it !" he heard Tighe ex- 
claim, one day. " Don't you know I can't ? I'm on the 
ragged edge myself. I'm hanging on by the skin of my 
teeth as it is now. You know I can't do it. Good God, 
man, be reasonable! I know you're hard put to it— 
but so am I. So is everybody. I'd be doing this every 
fifteen minutes in the day if I did it for you. It can't be 
done." 
Cowperwood knew this was so. It was hard logic, sad, 
cruel; but what else could Tighe or any other man do? He 
couldn't reasonably jeopardize himself. He saw a man 
one day—a big, strong, strapping fellow whom he knew 
as having a brisk office on the street, and who had been 
mentioned to him as one of the coming men—put his face 
in his hands in Tighe's little walled-off private office and 
begin to sob vigorously. 
" Why, man, come to," said his employer, inex- 
orably, but at the same time sympathetically standing 
over him. " I'd help you if I could. As God is my 
judge I would. But I can't. You won't die! I've 
been wiped out myself. When this thing is over, 
some of us '11 help you to get on your feet. I'll be glad 
to." 
" I know, I know," sobbed the man, the tears trickling 
between his fingers. " If it wasn't for Bessie and the 
kids—" 
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