THE FINANCIER 
of the far-reaching nature of his ambitions, he was not 
spreading himself out so thin but that he was still ex- 
ceedingly cautious as to how he was going in, bracing 
his natural resources and power to withstand shock. His 
one pet idea, the thing he put more faith in than any- 
thing else, was his street-railway holdings, and particu- 
larly his actual control of the Seventeenth and Nineteenth 
Street line. Through an advance to him, or deposit, 
made in his bank by Stener at a time when the stock of 
the Seventeenth and Nineteenth Street was at a low ebb, 
he had managed to pick it up—fifty-one per cent. of it— 
for himself and Stener, by virtue of which he was able to 
do as he pleased with the road. He had resorted to very 
"peculiar" methods, as they afterward came to be termed 
in financial circles, to get this stock at his own valuation, 
for through agents he had caused suits for damages to be 
brought against the company for non-payment of in- 
terest due. A little stock in the hands of a hireling, a 
request made to a court of record to examine the books 
of the company in order to determine whether a receiver- 
ship were not advisable, a simultaneous attack in the 
stock market, selling at three, five, seven, and ten points 
off, brought the frightened stockholders into the market 
with their holdings. The banks considered the line a 
poor risk, and called their loans in connection with it. 
His father's bank had made one loan to one of the prin- 
cipal stockholders, and that was promptly called, of course. 
Then, through an agent, the several heaviest share- 
holders were approached and an offer was made to help 
them out. The stocks would be taken off their hands 
at forty. They had not really been able to discover the 
source of all their woes; but they realized that the road 
was in bad condition. Better let it go. The money was 
immediately forthcoming, and Mr. Frank Cowperwood 
and Mr. George W. Stener jointly controlled fifty-one per 
cent. But, as in the case of the North Pennsylvania line, 
Cowperwood had been quietly buying all of the small 
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