THE FINANCIER 
He raised his eyes to the announcer's balcony. 
" The Eastern and Western Fire Insurance Company 
of New York announces that it cannot meet its obli- 
gations." 
A low sound something like "Haw!" broke forth. 
The announcer's gavel struck for order. 
" The Erie Fire Insurance Company of Rochester an- 
nounces that it cannot meet its obligations." 
Again that "H-a-a-a-w!" 
Once more the gavel. 
" The American Trust Company of New York has sus- 
pended payment." 
"H-a-a-a-w!" 
The storm was on. 
" What do you think ?" asked Targool. " You can't 
brave this storm. Can't you quit selling and hold out 
for a few days? Why not sell short ?" 
" They ought to close this thing up," Cowperwood said, 
shortly, thinking of what years later was actually done 
in a crisis in New York. " It would be a splendid way out. 
Then nothing could be done." He hurried to consult 
with those who, finding themselves in a similar predica- 
ment with himself, might use their influence to bring it 
about. It was a mean trick to play on those who, now 
finding the market favorable to their designs in its fall- 
ing condition, were harvesting a fortune. But that was 
nothing to him. Business was business. There was no 
use selling at ruinous figures, and he gave his lieutenants 
orders to stop. Unless the bankers favored him heavily, 
or the stock exchange was closed, or Stener could be in- 
duced to deposit an additional three hundred thousand with 
him at once, he was ruined. He knew his assets and his 
liabilities as he knew his ten fingers. He hurried down 
the street to various bankers and brokers suggesting 
that they do this—close the exchange. At a few minutes 
before twelve o'clock he drove rapidly to the station to 
meet Stener; but to his great disappointment the latter 
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