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the papers with feverish energy. Only
a-.f ew minutes showed him the nature
of his occupation. He was conducting
a loan business and he was the shark.
No doubt the police were engaged on
one of their, periodical crusades
against such people-.
Into the half ream of documents
had been compressed the pitiful trag
edies of many lives. School teachers,
small clerks, city officials all were
in his net. He, Henry Patterson, sat
there like a spider and sucked the
blood out of those fellow-creatures
who had written down their obliga
tions on these pages. There were
legal and illegal bonds and undertak
ings, salary assignments; there was
a special fund for tracking down ab
sconding debtors. Within an hour
Drumfield's trained legal mind had
shown him the exact status of his en
terprise. He knew that the papers
were not worth, legally, the ink with
which they were written. But they
were good enough to terrify those
who feared the money-lender and his
means of making their lives miser
able. "Mr. Ebenezer Jones is outside,
sir," said the woman, putting her
hard face in at the door. She ran .her
fingers over the documents and pull-?
ed'one out,- "That's him," she said,
snickering. "Borrowed 50 three
years ago; has paid back $195 to date
and still owes us $i22.50. There's a
dollar fine for being ten minutes late
with the last payment." She whisper
ed? "The sucker will stand a Tot of
blood-sucking yet. I told him we
might renew the loan for a consid
eration. Shall I show him in?"
' "Yes, and stay with us," said Drum
field, quickly. "I'm not quite familiar
with the details of the business here."
The woman snickered again and
called the man inside. He came in
humbly, hat in hand. He was an old,
rheumatic, farmer-looking man, and
the moment he was within the door
he fell upon his knees at Drumfield's
"For God's . sake, givg me a
chance" he pleaded. '"My 'wifedied
yesterday and I've got to keep her
out of a. pauper's grave. .Let me re
new and I'll " work my fingers to the
bone for you!"
"That's iow you all talk," said the
loan shark clerk, contemptuously.
"And . you're, just the kind of chap
that runs roundto the district attor
ney and tries towget, us, into trouble..
But you can't," she snapped, waving
her .fingers in Mr. Jones' face. "Get
up,, you cheap skate, you poor pay,
you ten-cent "man. Now then! Sup
pose we let you renew " -
"I will go. in!" shouted a voice out
side. "You shall not keep me' backi
I'm going to see Mr. Patterson him
The -woman clerk swung around
and .filled the doorwaywith her burjy
body. Outside a young' woman
pressed, inipotently against the clos
''Let her come in!" called Drum
field, ..and, reluctantly, the clerk let
"Another .of them down-and-outs,"
she shrilled. "Case No. 247. School
teacher. Borrowed $.40 to pay for tier
sister's illness and owes us $125, and
says she's too poor to settle. Ugh!
I'd settle her."
Slowly John Drumfield drew out
the two papers. He tore them into
fragments and" let the pieces flutter
out of the open window.
"Your, debts are paid," he said to
the old man and the girl. And while
the woman stared in horror and
amazement he. quickly ripped the rest
of the documents to pieces. "That
ends this business," he said.
Outside there came a hammering
at the door. The woman turned
"I thought you wag mad," she
whimpered. "Now I know what you
are, you dog. You're one t) the gov
ernment men. Oh, God ! I've queered
the business. Seventy-five thousand
dollars gone up in the 'air!"
With a crash the outside door
yielded and-two burly mencameih-a'ti