By Harold Carter
"I tell you," insisted Caldwell at
the club, "there isn't a man in"busi-
ness or professional life who can't be
blackmailed if he's approached the
right way. Every one has done some
thing which he prays will never come
"I repeat that I don't believe you,"
retorted Simpson. "Human nature
is better than you imagine. Now
take Clay. Do you suppose anybody
could blackmail Clay?"
"What, the multimillionaire?" in
quired Caldwell. "How do you sup
pose he got his millions? How did
he come to command the money
market? Of course he could be
blackmailed. It may be he cheated
a partner once or he may simply
have stolen a purse from his land
lady. He had to get his start, didn't
"Saved it,"- said Simpson.
"Bah!" retorted Caldwell.
"Did you ever hear the story of the
joker who sent a wire to the bishop,
'Fly at once. All is discovered'?"
asked Caldwell, warming to his sub
ject. "Bishop disappeared. And
that's a fact"
"Well, why don't you get $10,000
out of Clay?" asked Simpson caus
tically. "Ten thousand?" retorted Cald
well with a withering look. "Fifty
thousand. Yes, I'll do it"
A bet was made, and four days
later James Clay, magnate of Wall
street, sat with pursed brows reading
a letter which had come to his pri
vate residence and was marked
"If you remember a certain episode
in Bowville a number of years ago
and want to forget it, you are ad
vised to pay $50,000 to the under
signed," the letter ran, "and to ad
vertise your willingness in the per
sonal column of the Clarion."
Clay came from. Bowville. It
seemed, therefore, a safe proposition.
If Clay had swindled anybody, he
had done it there, where he had been
in business for five years before mov
ing to the metropolis, many years be
fore. The next day Caldwell, wild with
delight, showed the following adver
tisement from, the personal column
"Am willing to consider proposi
tion. J. G."
A second letter was duly dis
patched. The money was to be left.
in a little niche between two houses
on a certain street, at a late hour the
following night If Clay played false
fearful things would happen to him,
said the writer.
Caldwell, sliking quietly past the
niche on the evening appointed,
found nothing there. Simpson, who
had followed him on the opposite
side of the road, rallied him severely.
I m through with this nonsense
now," he said. "It's a merciful thing
you got away so easily."
xml | txt