THE FINANCIER 
motion without dropping any of them. These disasters 
must not light. He must shoo them away. New woes 
might arrive hourly; but Cowperwood would not cease to 
estimate them at their true value—to weigh and place them 
as they came. How much damage could this new one 
do? How would it affect all the old ones? Where would 
he place it so it would do the least damage ? How would 
he forfend against its possible evil effect? How many 
disasters could he keep up in the air at once without let- 
ting them fall? His lightning brain followed with photo- 
graphic accuracy all the probable ramifications of each 
new woe in all its subtle reaches, and ran to do battle. 
He had no sense of fear—only a defensive and construc- 
tive awareness. He was really a brilliant picture of 
courage and energy—moving about briskly in a jaunty, 
dapper way, his mustaches curled, his clothes pressed, 
his nails manicured, his face clean-shaven and tinted 
with health. He was not pale or distraught. What was 
behind that steady, inscrutable eye you might not say. 
It gave you not the slightest indication of what was 
going on in the brain behind. 
On the other hand, consider Stener. On the morning,
 
for instance, when Cowperwood was looking at the first
 
notice of his own complicity in the defalcation of the city
 
treasurer as announced by the Citizens' Municipal Reform
 
Association, never turning a hair, wondering how long it
 
would take this destructive publicity to die down and what
 
he could do to make his own skirts seem sweet and clean
 
—Stener, as we have seen, was lying in his bed absolutely
 
collapsed. The cold sweat of the first few moments gave
 
way to complete nervous inertia a few moments later,
 
and there he lay. He might readily have died of heart
 
failure. His face was grayish white, his lips blue. He
 
had been warned well enough beforehand by the fact of
 
Cowperwood's failure that this publicity was to come;
 
but for all this he was not prepared. He had been 
 
ning all week in an agonized way to Mollenhauer, Strobik,
 
477