THE FINANCIER 
ceptionally beautiful. Aileen had always objected to the 
condition of her father's house. As their intimacy in- 
creased it was so easy to see what had been troubling her 
most in her life. Love of distinguished surroundings was 
a basic longing with her, though she could never have 
interpreted her longings into perfect facts. She had not 
the discrimination. But this place where they were se- 
cretly meeting must be beautiful, and she was no keener 
for that than was he. It became a second treasure-trove, 
more distinguished on the interior than some rooms of his 
own home. He began to gather here some rare examples 
of altar cloths, rugs, and tapestries of the middle ages. 
He bought furniture after the Georgian theory, which is 
a combination of Chippendale, Sheraton, and Hepple- 
white modified by the Italian Renaissance and the French 
Louis. He needed handsome examples of porcelain, 
statuary, Greek vase forms; and he learned of lovely col- 
lections of Japanese ivories and netzkes, if one wanted 
to go to the expense, which could be displayed in hand- 
some curio-cases or upon étagères. As a matter of fact, 
as his money began to come in, and he had Aileen to love 
him and secretly approve of his conduct, he felt that he 
was just beginning to live. Her beauty—as is always the 
case with passions of this character—grew upon him, and 
he lavished presents of silver and gold and jewels, which 
were secretly kept here and here secretly worn for him. 
The hours when they could be together were not nu- 
merous; but she used music-lessons, visits to the art-gallery, 
riding, visits to friends, and so forth, as excuses, all of 
which passed muster for a period of nearly three years. 
But in other ways—in his own family life and that of 
his father—he was easier, more liberal. By degrees, and 
largely because of his own confidence, he induced his 
father to enter upon his street-car speculations, to use 
the resources of the Third National to carry a part of his 
loans and to furnish capital at such times as quick re- 
sources were necessary. In the beginning the old gentle- 
10 281