of five hundred thousand dollars; but under the advice 
of Mr. Strobik—and with promise of the latter's aid as 
president of council—he did so do, giving Mr. Strobik 
secretly the lion's share. These men, Strobik, Wycroft, 
Harmon, and others, had always been slapping each other 
on the back in great good-humor during their days of 
prosperity. They had dined at Stener's house time and 
again. They had gone off with him, or rather taken 
him along on week-end junkets, some of which were any- 
thing but admirable; and he had been properly repentant 
afterward, for he was not a man with any courage out- 
side of the conventions. 
Now his one-time friends all turned on him with subtle 
eyes, contemptuous of his weakness, anxious to save 
themselves, and caring absolutely nothing of what be- 
came of him. He was a sinking ship. Only the fear of 
the public and the political bosses ruled with these men. 
They did not dare to be too eager in their scurrying to 
shelter, for fear Mr. Mollenhauer, or some one else, might 
become politically disgusted with them. Depend on it, 
however, Mr. George W. Stener's political carcass was 
being as rapidly and as effectively picked clean and bare 
to the bone as this particular flock of political buzzards 
knew how to pick him. 
Such is life.