Montague was going on, but the other interrupted him quickly. “I recognise the justice of what you say there, Mr. Montague,” said he. “So far as your own shares are concerned, you are entitled to be bought out. I am sure that that is a fair basis—”
“On the contrary,” said Montague, “it's a basis the suggestion of which I take as an insult. I have been the means of placing other people at your mercy. My reputation and my promises were used for that purpose, and to whatever I am entitled, they are entitled equally. There can be no possible settlement except the one which I have offered you.”
Ryder could think of nothing more to say. He sat staring at the other. And Montague, who had no desire to prolong the interview, arose abruptly.
Tips, opportunities to make money：How to publish an illustration to make money“I do not expect you to decide this matter immediately,” he said. “I presume that you will wish to consult with Mr. Price. I have made known my terms to you, and I have nothing more to say. Either you will accept the terms, or I shall drop everything else, and prepare to fight you at every step. I expect to receive the stock by this evening's mail, and I am obliged to ask you to favour me with a decision by to-morrow noon, so that we can close the matter up without delay.”
Tips, opportunities to make money：Singing onlineAnd with that he bowed formally and took his departure.
The next morning's mail brought him a letter from William E. Davenant. “My dear Mr. Montague,” it read. “It is reported to me that you have thirty-five hundred shares of the stock of the Northern Mississippi Railroad which you desire to sell at fifty dollars a share. If you will bring the stock to my office to-day, I shall be glad to purchase it.”
Having received the letters from the South, Montague went immediately. Davenant was formal; but Montague could catch a humorous twinkle in his eye, which seemed to say, quite confidentially, that he appreciated the joke.
“That ends the matter,” he said, as he blotted the last of Montague's signatures. “And I trust you will permit me to say, Mr. Montague, that I consider you an exceedingly capable business man.”
“I appreciate the compliment,” replied Montague, drily.
Montague was now a gentleman of leisure, comparatively speaking. He had two cases on his hands, but they did not occupy his time as had the prospect of running a railroad. They were contingency cases, and as they were against large corporations, Montague saw a lean year ahead of him. He smiled bitterly to himself as he realised that the only thing which had given him the courage to break with Price and Ryder had been the money which he and his brother Oliver had won by means of a Wall Street “tip.”
Tips, opportunities to make money：How to write code to make money onlineHe received a letter from Alice. “I am going to remain a couple of weeks longer in Newport,” she wrote. “Who do you think has invited me—Laura Hegan. She has been perfectly lovely to me, and I go to her place next week. You will be interested to know that I had a long talk with her about you; I took occasion to tell her a few things that she ought to know. She was very nice about it. I am hoping that you will come up for another week end before I leave here. Harry Curtiss is going to spend his vacation here; you might come with him.”
Montague smiled to himself as he read this letter. He did not go with Curtiss. But the heat of the city was stifling, and the thought of the surf and the country was alluring, and he went up by way of the Sound one Friday night.
He was invited to dinner at the Hegans'. Jim Hegan was there himself—for the first occasion in three years. Mrs. Hegan declared that it was only because she had gone down to New York and fetched him.
It was the first time that Montague had ever been with Hegan for any length of time. He watched him with interest, for the man was a fascinating problem to him. He was so calm and serene—always courteous and friendly. But what was there behind the mask, Montague wondered. For forty years this man had toiled and fought in the arena of Wall Street, and with only one purpose and one thought in life, so far as Montague knew—the piling up of money. Jim Hegan indulged himself in none of the pleasures of rich men. He had no hobbies, and he seldom went into company. In his busy times it was said that he would use a dozen secretaries, and wear them all out. He was a gigantic engine which drove all day and all night—a machine for the making of money.
Montague did not care much for money himself, and he wondered about it. What did the man want it for? What did he expect to accomplish by it? What was the moral code, the outlook upon life, of a man who gave all his time to heaping up money? What reason did he give to himself for his own career? Some reason he must have, or he could not be so calm and cheerful. Or could it be that he had no thoughts about it at all? Was it simply a blind instinct with him? Was he an animal whose nature it was to make money, and who was untroubled by any scruples? This last idea seemed rather uncanny to Montague; he found himself watching Jim Hegan with a kind of awe; thinking of him as some terrible elemental force, blind and unconscious, like the lightning or the tornado.
For Jim Hegan was one of the wreckers. His fortune had been made by the methods which Major Venable had outlined, by buying aldermen and legislatures and governors; by getting franchises for nothing and selling them for millions; by organising huge swindles and unloading them upon the public. And here he sat upon the veranda of his home, in the twilight of an August evening, smoking a cigar and telling about an orphan asylum he had founded!