CHAPTER LXXIV 

 banking house of Jay Cooke & Co., in spite of its 
tremendous significance as a banking and promot- 
ing concern, was a most unpretentious affair, four stories 
and a half in height, of gray stone and red brick, sixty by 
one hundred in size, and most unsatisfactory as to its 
floor height and general air-space. It had never been 
deemed a handsome or comfortable banking house. Cow- 
perwood had been there often. Wharf-rats as long as the 
forearm of a man crept up the culverted channels of Dock 
Street to run through the apartments at will. Scores of 
clerks worked under gas-jets, where light and air were 
not any too abundant, keeping track of the firm's vast 
accounts. It was next door to the Girard National 
Bank, where Cowperwood's friend Davison still flour- 
ished, and where the principal financial business of the 
street converged. As Cowperwood ran he met his 
brother Edward, who was coming to the stock exchange 
with some word for him from Wingate. 
" Run and get Wingate and Joe," he said. " There's 
something big on this afternoon. Jay Cooke has failed." 
Edward waited for no other word, but hurried off to 
get his brother and Wingate as directed. 
Cowperwood reached Cooke & Co. among the earliest. 
To his utter astonishment, the solid brown-oak doors, 
with which he was familiar, were shut at twelve-fifteen 
of this bright noonday, and a notice posted on them, 
which he quickly read, ran: 
September 18, 1873. 
To THE PUBLIC,—We regret to be obliged to announce that, 
owing to unexpected demands on us, our firm has been obliged to