THE FINANCIER 
offhand way in order to forfend against any show of feeling 
on anybody's part later in case he might have to go 
quickly. He did not know how soon he might have to 
leave Steger's errand might not be successful, and, any- 
how, he might have to be sentenced the first thing Friday 
morning. This might be his last night here. The sheriff 
might not be willing for him to remain out of his custody 
even one night. You would not have thought, seeing 
Cowperwood mount the front steps of his handsome resi- 
dence in his neat gray suit and well-cut overcoat, that he 
was thinking that this might be his last night here and 
that henceforth he might not even come to this charming 
spot any more. His air and walk indicated no weakening 
of spirit. He entered the hall, where an early lamp was 
aglow, and encountered " Wash" Sims, an old negro 
factotum, who was just coming up from the basement, 
carrying a bucket of coal for one of the fire-places. 
" Mahty cold out, dis evenin', Mistah Coppahwood," 
said Wash, to whom anything less than sixty degrees 
was very cold. His one regret was that Philadelphia 
was not located in North Carolina, where he came from. 
" 'Tis sharp, Wash," replied Cowperwood, absent- 
mindedly. He was thinking for the moment of the house 
and how it had looked, as he came toward it west along 
Girard Avenue. What the neighbors were thinking of 
him, too, these days, was also in his mind. He fancied 
they were observing him from time to time out of their 
windows. It was clear and cold. The lamps in the re- 
ception-hall and sitting-room had been lit, for he had per- 
mitted no air of funereal gloom to settle down over this 
place since his troubles had begun. In the far west of 
the street a last tingeing gleam of lavender and violet was 
showing over the cold white snow of the roadway. The 
house of gray-green stone, with its lighted windows, and 
cream-colored lace curtains, had looked especially at- 
tractive. He had thought for the moment of the pride 
he had taken in putting all this here, decorating and orna- 
64