THE FINANCIER 
himself ten years before as a boy on 'change leap in when 
hope seemed hopeless, and wrest something from an ap- 
parently uncompromising situation. Ever since then he 
had been doing this to a greater or lesser degree. He had 
done things one week before which no other financier had 
dreamed of doing. He had organized, or attempted to 
do so, at least, opposition to impending overwhelming 
disaster. If these bankers and brokers had only taken 
his advice and closed the exchange he would have been 
safe. But they hadn't ! The trick had been all in his 
favor. Once he had dreamed of laying by a reserve of 
government bonds for just such a crisis as this; but he 
had never done it. He had been too busy making money 
—seizing his growing opportunities. Now he was facing 
the first severe crisis of his life, and it was an astonishing 
one. The wonder of it was its suddenness—its thunder- 
clap nature—and the fact that he had not the least 
thing to do with it, neither previous warning nor present 
opportunity. His every dollar was entangled, involved, 
and he was fighting for his financial life. Was he really 
going to lose entirely ? He meditated this gravely, won- 
dering what he should do the while he worked with 
creditor after creditor, but he saw no light. 
The question as to whether Edward Malia Butler 
could do anything to injure the financial and social 
prosperity of Cowperwood, once he had become so incensed 
against him, was one which occupied the thoughts of both 
Butler and Cowperwood after their final interview, and 
after Butler had talked so directly to his daughter. 
The latter had met Cowperwood as he had planned, 
the day after he closed his doors, at four o'clock in the 
afternoon, at Indian Rock on the Wissahickon, stealing 
an expensive hour from him to do it, but eager to know 
as to his affairs. It cost him a severe struggle to arrange 
it. At that time he was thirty-four and Aileen was 
twenty-four years of age; and the beauty which she had 
always counted on to hold him, when he should be fifty 
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