THE FINANCIER 
could get for a few hundred thousand now will be worth 
millions later on. He doesn't want me to bother with 
American art." 
" He's right," exclaimed Gray, " although it isn't good 
business for me to praise another art man. And I think 
Strake knows what he's talking about. Paintings aren't 
as much a specialty with us as some other things; but 
they are, too. I think of them most as connected with 
decoration. But if you did want to make a great col- 
lection, you couldn't do better than follow that idea. I've 
never seen or heard of anything like it outside of the 
great museums, but it would be splendid if it were done 
right. It would take a great deal of money, though, I 
should think." 
" Not so very much. At least, not all at once. It 
would be a matter of years, of course. Strake thinks that 
some excellent examples of different periods could be 
picked up now and later replaced if anything better in 
the same field showed up." 
" That's an idea, also. We all do that more or less."
 
Gray stirred meditatively in his chair and ran his
 
hand through his fluffy hair. His eyes brooded great, deep
 
things concerning the illimitable realm of refinement in
 
which he was working. Cowperwood caught the 
 
nificance and intensity of his idea clearly. What could
 
be greater, more distinguished than to make a splendid,
 
authentic collection of something? He was making
 
money now. Why not begin now ? What he bought
 
could be sold later if necessary. Both Strake and Gray
 
assured him that the rare, genuine things of art rose in
 
value, and he knew it must be so. His common sense told
 
him that judgment and discrimination and effort put in
 
this realm, as in any other, must of necessity result in
 
value as well as distinction. What was a rich man without
 
a great distinction of presence and artistic background ?
 
The really great men had it. There were some here in
 
Philadelphia who tried to have it, but what he had seen
 
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