THE FINANCIER 
it, frowned severely. " Do you make that as an objec• 
tion, Mr. Steger?" he asked. 
" I certainly do, your honor," insisted Steger, resource- 
fully. 
" Objection overruled. Neither counsel for the prose- 
cution nor for the defense is limited to a peculiar routine 
of expression." 
Steger himself was ready to smile, but he did not dare 
to. 
When Mr. Shannon was through bringing out this 
unsatisfactory data, Mr. Steger took Mr. Stener in hand, 
but he could not make as much out of him as he hoped. 
In so far as this particular situation was concerned, Stener 
was telling the exact truth; and it is hard to weaken the 
effect of the exact truth by any subtlety of interpretation, 
though it can, sometimes, be done. With painstaking 
care Steger went over all the ground of Stener's long rela- 
tionship with Cowperwood, and tried to make it appear 
that Cowperwood was invariably the disinterested agent— 
not the ringleader in a subtle, realty criminal adventure. 
It was hard to do, but he made a fine impression. Still 
the jury listened with skeptical minds. It might not be 
fair to punish Cowperwood for seizing with avidity upon 
a splendid chance to get rich quick, they thought; but it 
certainly was not worth while to throw a veil of innocence 
over such palpable human cupidity. Finally, both law- 
yers were through with Stener for the time being, anyhow, 
and then Mr. Albert Stires was called to the stand. 
He was the same thin, pleasant, alert, rather agreeable 
soul that he had been in the heyday of his clerkly pros- 
perity—a little paler now, but not otherwise changed. 
His small property had been saved for him by Cowper- 
wood, who had advised Steger to inform the Municipal 
Reform Association that Stires's bondsmen were attempt- 
ing to sequestrate it for their own benefit, when actually it 
should go to the city if there were any real claim against 
him—which there was not. That watchful organization 
568