CHAPTER LXIX 

 day of Cowperwood's sentence, in so far as the 
newspapers and the public in Philadelphia were con- 
cerned, was one of great moment. Civic virtue evi- 
dently had triumphed; the malefactors who had preyed 
on the city's innocence were properly punished. It 
mattered little that the new city treasurer, recently in- 
ducted into office, was already about the work of loaning 
money as Stener had loaned it—the interest to go to him 
personally, or to those who were close to him. Butler, 
Mollenhauer, and Simpson knew that this would be done; 
they were quite as ready to borrow money from the city 
treasurer at this rate of interest—two and one-half per 
cent.—as any one else, when they needed it. Cowper- 
wood's crime, as he often said afterward, was the Chicago 
fire. However, ostensible justice had been done, and such 
varied personalities as Butler, Skelton C. Wheat, various 
minor newspaper editors, and a number of Cowperwood's 
rivals in business were glad that he was gone—out of the 
way. It was curious, once he was in prison, safely shut 
from the world for a period of years apparently, how 
quickly all thought of assisting him, in so far as his finances 
were concerned, departed from the minds of those who 
had been most friendly. He was done, through—so most 
of the financiers thought—the best of them. The only 
thing they could do now would be to use their influence 
to get him out and possibly loan him sufficient money 
to get a start in a small way again some time; how soon, 
they could not guess. Beyond that there was nothing. 
He would never really be of any great importance to any 
708