THE FINANCIER 
thought of the people of Philadelphia or the fact that the 
money they were risking didn't belong to them." 
" They did not," suggested Mr. Hillegan, the Irishman, 
emphatically. Mr. Hillegan's manner amused Mr. Fletcher 
Norton, who smiled to himself delightedly. None of the 
others seemed to notice it. 
"And I don't suppose," continued Mr. Thomas, "that 
they would have cared if they had thought. The rights 
of the people who make up the city of Philadelphia 
would not have meant anything to either of them. It was 
their own advancement they were seeking at the expense 
of everybody, and they thought that was just right. 
Now the question is, to my mind, What are you going 
to do with a man when you catch him red-handed in a 
thing of that sort ? I know there are plenty of people 
nowadays who believe that he is justified in such conduct— 
looking after himself regardless of everybody else; but 
where is the limit ? What laws, if any, do you or don't 
you have to obey ? Isn't there a duty that comes in here 
somewhere to other people—to the city of Philadelphia, 
for instance? And if a man hasn't that sense of duty to 
his fellow-men, how are you going to give it to him? 
When you catch somebody like Cowperwood or Stener, 
what are you going to do with him—turn him loose again? 
Will he do any better if you don't punish him? Will he 
have any sense of duty, any conscience, in the future?" 
He paused and looked around, and found that he had 
interested the whole company of men. They were look- 
ing at him as a thinker, or at least that rara avis, a man 
with convictions. Mr. Thomas was a rather well-set- 
up man of fifty-five, with a full but not over-heavy 
body of perhaps five feet nine inches tall and a nicely 
proportioned Socrates-like head. He wore a full beard 
and mustache — cut rather close, though — and a pair 
of black-steel-rimmed spectacles. His hair and beard 
were blackish gray, and his whole make-up breathed a 
certain well-preserved vitality of body and solidarity of