" Nothing to-night, Henry," replied Simpson. " I 
haven't long to stay. I just stopped by on my way home. 
My wife's over here at the Cavanagh's, and I have to 
stop by to fetch her." He was referring to the family 
of a steam-railway manipulator of great distinction. 
" Well, it's a good thing you dropped in, Senator, just 
when you did," began Mollenhauer, seating himself after 
his guest. " Butler here has been telling me of a little 
political problem that has arisen since I last saw you. I 
suppose you've heard that Chicago is burning ?" 
"Yes; Cavanagh was just telling me. It looks to be 
quite serious. I think the market will drop heavily in 
the morning." 
"I wouldn't be surprised myself," put in Mollenhauer, 
" Here's the paper now," said Butler, as John, the ser- 
vant, came in from the street bearing the paper in his 
hand. Mollenhauer took it and spread it out before them. 
It was among the earliest of the extras that were ever 
issued in this country, and contained a rather impressive 
spread of type announcing that the conflagration in the 
lake city was growing hourly worse since its inception the 
day before. 
"Well, that is certainly dreadful," said Simpson. "I'm 
very sorry for Chicago. I have many friends there. I 
shall hope to hear that it is not so bad as it seems." 
The man had a rather grandiloquent manner which he 
never in his later years abandoned under any circum- 
" The matter that Butler was telling me about," con- 
tinued Mollenhauer, after Simpson had ceased to scan 
the head-lines and had read the rather disjointed intel- 
ligence beneath them, " has something to do with this in a 
way. You know the habit our city treasurers have of 
loaning out their money at two per cent. ?" 
" Yes ?" said Simpson, inquiringly. 
" Well, Mr. Stener, it seems, has been loaning out a