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The Princeton union. [volume] (Princeton, Minn.) 1876-1976, May 09, 1907, Image 12

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1 would take any chance of tempting
em io dump and grab the profits by
tag it much over 200. But you
,'t tell what 'Cam* and those fdur
iyd dentists at 26 Broadway will
'Yes, put der iss anudder t'ing,
Whov dat makes me ait up unt plink1
uout her goin' ofer two hundred. To
juorrow's Friday der t'irteenth."
Of course, Ike, that is something,
be reckoned with, and every man
the floor and in the street as well
his eye on it. Friday, the 18th,(
ul break the best bull market ever1
way. You and I know that, Ike,
the dope shows it, too, but you
are got to stack this up against it
this trip: No man on the floor
nows what Friday, the 13th, means
etter than Barry Conant. He has
worked it to the queen's taste many a
jtime. Why, Barry would not eat to
day for fear the food would get stuck
in his windpipe. He's never left the
pole for a minute but suppose, Ike,
[Barry had tipped off 'Cam' that all,1
(the boys will let go their fliers, and
{most of them will take one on the
short side over to-night for a supersti
tious drop at the opening and sup
pose 'Cam' has told him to take
them all into camp and give her a
rafter-scraper at the opening, where
|would old Friday, 13th, land on to
morrow's dope-sheets? Bring up the
average, wouldn't it, for five years to
jsome? I tell you, Ike, she's too deep(
ifor me this run, and I'm goin' to let!
[her alone and pay for the turkey out)
of loan commissions or stick to plain'
work-day food."
"Zame here, Cho. Say, Cho, haf you
noticed Pop Prownlee to-tay? He has
frozen to deh fringe off dat Sugar
crowd ess t'ough some von hat nipped
'is scarf-pin unt he vos layin' for him
as he game out He hasn't made a
Thursday, November 12, was a
memorable day in Wall street. As the
gong peeled its the-game's-closed-till-
another-day, the myriad of tortured
souls that are supposed to haunt the
treacherous bogs and quicksands of
the great exchange, where lie their
earthly hopes, must have prayed with
renewed earnestness for its destruc
tion before the morrow. Never had
the stock exchange folded its tents
with surer confidence of continuing
its victorious march. Stigar advanced
with record-breaking total sales to
1207% and the final half-hour carried
ithe whole list of stocks up with it. In
that time some of the railroads jump
ed ten points. Sugar closed at the
very top amid great excitement, with
Barry Conant taking all offered. Dur
ing the last 30 minutes it had become
evident to all that the board-room
traders and plungers, together wit
imany of the semiTprofessional gam
triers, who operated through commit
sion houses, were selling out thein
stock and going short over the open
ing of the Wall ^street hoodoo-day, Fri
day, the 13th of the month. But it
was also evident, with the heavy
selling at the close and stiffness
of the price, which had' never
wavered as block after block was
^thrown on the market, that some pow
erful interest as well had taken cog
nizance of the fact that the morrow
was hoodoo-day. At the close, most
of the sellers, had they been granted
another five minutes, would have re
purchased, even at a loss, what they
had sold, for it looked as though they
'had sold themselves into a trap.
Their anxiety was intensified by the
publication, a few minutes later, of
this item:
"Barry Conant in coming from the
Sugar crowd after the close remarked
to a fellow broker* 'By thrae o'clock to-
"To-Morrow's Friday der T'irteenth."
trade to-tay unt yet he sticks like a
stamp-tax. I ben keeping my eyes on
|him for I fought he hat someding up
ihis sleeve dat might raise tust ven he
,tropt id. I dink Parry has hat deh
isame itear. He never loses sight of
fhim, yet Pop hasn't made a trade to
tay, unt here id iss 20 minutes of der,
glose unt dere is Parry in deh center*
again whooping her up ofer two hun
dred unt four"
tho 13th, win have "a new mean- 4
ing to Wall street.' Thia was interpreted
as pointing to a terrific jump in Sugar
"The street" knew that the flews
bureau that'sent out this item was
friendly to Barry Conant and the "sys-
tem," and that it would print nothing
displeasing to them. "Therefore, this
must be a foreword of the coming
[harvest of the bulls and the slaughter
jof the bears.
Others than Ike Bloomenstein re
marked upon the fact that Bob Brown
fley had hung CIOBO to the Sugar-pole
tail day, but when the close had come
'and gone without his having anything
to do with the Sugar skyrockets, he
propped out of his fellow-brokers'
minds. Wall street has no use for
any but the "doer." The poet and
the mooner would be no more secure
ifrom interruption in jthe center of
the Sahara than in Wall street be
tween ten and three o'clock. Soma
,sage has said that the human mind,
ilike the well-bucket, can carry only
tits fill. The Wall street mind always
has its fill of budding dollars. In con
sequence, there is never room for
those other interests that enter the
normal mind.
Friday, the 13th of November, drift
ed over Manhattan island in a drear
drizzle of marrow-chilling hrize, which
just missed being rainone of those
'New York days that give a hesitating
suicide renewed courage to cut the
mortal coil. By ten o'clock it had set
tled dowji on the stock exchange and
its surrounding infernos with a clam
miness that damped the spirits of the
most rampant bulls. No class in the
world is so susceptible to atmospheric
conditions as stock-gamblers. Many
a stout-hearted one has been known
to postpone the inauguration of a long
planned coup merely because the air
filled his blood with the dank chill of
superstition. Because of the expected
Sugar pyrotechnics, stock exchange
members had gathered early the
brokers 'offices were overcrowded be
fore ten the morning papers, not
only in New York but in Boston, Phil
adelphia and other centers, were fill
ed with stories of the big rise that
Was to take place in Sugar. The
knowing ones saw the ear-marks of
the "system's" press-agent in these
stories and they'knew that this in
dustrious institution had not sat up
the night before because of insomnia.
All the signs pointed to a killing, and
and a terrific onepointed so plainly
that the bears and Sugar shorts found
no hope in the atmosphere or the
Bob had not been near the office, the
afternoon before, and as he* had not
come in by five minutes to fen, I de
cided to go over to the exchange and
see if he were going to mix up in
the baiting of the Sugar bears. I had
no specific reasons for thinking he
was interested except his recent
queer actions, particularly his hanging'
to the Sugar-pole, yet doing nothing,
the day before. But it is one of
the best established traditions of
stock-gambledom that when an op
erator has been bitten by a rabid
stock he is invariably attracted to it
every time afterward that it shows
signs of, frothing. More than all, I
had one of those strong nowhere-born
nowhere-cradled intuitions .common to
those living Jn the stock-gambling
world, which made me feel the creepy
shadow ofb coming events.
As on that day a few weeks before,
the crowd was at the Sugar pole, but
its alignment was different. There in
the center were Barry Conant And his
trusted lieutenants, but no opposing
rival. None of those hundreds of
brokers showed that desperate resolve
to do or die that is born of a neces
sity. They were there to by or sell,
but not to put up a life ,or death, on-
me-depends-the-result fight. Those
who were long of stock,could easily
be distinguished by their expressions
of Joy from the shorts, who had seen'
the handwriting on the wall and were
filled with uncertainty, fear, terror.
The demeanor of Barry Conant and
his lieutenants expressed confidence
they were going to do what they were
there to do. They showed by their tight
buttoned coats, and squared shoulders
that they expected lots of rush, push
and haul work, but apparently they
anticipated no last-ditch fighting, tfhe
gong pealed and the crowd of brokers
sprang fit one another, but only for
blood, not flesh, bone, heart and soul
just blood. The first price on Sugar
was 211 for 3,000 shares. Some one
sold it in a block. Barry Conant
bought it. It did not require three
eyes to see that the seller was one
of his lieutenants. This meant what
is known as a "wash" sale, a fictitious
one arranged in advance between two
brokers to establish the basis for the
trades that are to followone of
those minor frauds of stock-gambling
by which the public is deceived and
the traders and plungers are handicap
ped with loaded dice. In principle, it
is a device older than stock exchanges
themselves, and is put to use else
where than on the floor. For instance,
four genuine buyers want a particular
animal worth $200 at a horse auction.
Its owner's pal starts the, bidding at
$400, and the four, not being up in
horse values, are thereby induced to
reach for it at between $400 and $500.
But human nature, whether at horse
sales or at stock-gambling, loves to be
"hinkey-dinked" as much as the moth
to play tag with the candle flame In
five minutes Sugar was selling at
221, and the frantic shorts were grab
bing for it as though there never was
to be another share put on sale, while
Barry Conant and his lieutenants
were most industriously pushing it
just beyond their reaching finger-tips,
either by buying it as fast as it was
offered by genuine sellers, or by tak
ing what their own pals threw in the
I was not surprised to see Bob's
tall form wedged in the crowd about
two-thirds of the way from the cen
ter. Every other active floor member
was there, too. Even Ike Bloomen
stein and Joe Barnes, who seldom
went into the big crowds, were on
hand, perhaps to catch a flier for their
Thanksgiving turkey money, perhaps
to get as near#he killing as possible.
Bob was not trading, although on the
day before, he never took his eye off
Barry Conant. I said to myself "He
is trying to fathom Barry Conant's
movements,V but for what purpose
puzzled me. The hands of the big
clock on the wall showed that trading
had been 30 minutes under way, and
still Barry Conant was pushing up the
price. His voice had just rung out
"25 for any part of 5,000" when, like
an echo, it sounded through the hall:
"Sold." It was Bob He had worked
his way to the .eenter, of the crowd
and stood in front of Barry Conant.
He was not the Bob who had taken
Barry Conant's gaff that afternoon a
few weeks before. I never saw him
cooler, calmer, more self-possessed
He was the Incarnation of confident
power. A cold, cynical smile played
around the corners of his mouth as
he looked down upon his opponent.
The effect upon Barry Conant was
different from that of Bob's last bid
on the day when Beulah Sands' hopes
went skyward in dust. It did not
rouse in him the wild, furious desire
for the onslaught that he showed
then, but seemed to quicken his alert,
prolific mind to exercise all its cun
ning. I think that in that one mo
ment Barry Conant recalled his suspi
cions of the day before, when he had
wondered what Bob's presence in the
crowd meant, and that he saw again
the picture of Bob on the day when
he himself had ditched Bob's treasure
train. He hesitated for just the frac
tion of a second, while he waved with
lightling-like rapidity a set of finger
signals to his lieutenants. Then he
squared himself for the encounter.
"25 for 5,000." Cold, cold as the voice
of a condemning judge rang Bob's
"Sold." "25 for 5,000." "Sold." "25
for 5,000." "Sold." Their eyes were
fixed upon each other, in Barry's a de
fiant glare, in Bob's mingled pity and
contempt. The rest of the brokers
hushed their own bids and offers un
til it could have truthfully been said
that the floor of the stock exchange
was quiet, an almost unheard-of thing
in like circumstances. Again Barry
Conant's voice, "25 for 5,000." "Sold."
"25 for 5,000." "Sold." Barry Conant
had met his master. Whether it was
that for the first time in all his won
derful career he realized that the
"system" was to meet its Nemesis,
or what the cause, none could tell,
perhaps not even Barry Conant him
self, but some emotion caused his
olive face for an Instant to turn pale,
and give his voice a tell-tale quiver.
Once more pealed forth "25 for 5,000."
That Bob saw the pallor, that he
caught the quiver, was evident to all,
for the instant his "sold" rang out, he
followed it with 5,000 at 24, 23, 22,
20." Neither Barry Conant nor any
of his lieutenants got in a "take it
although whether they wanted to or
not was an open question until Bob
allowed his voice to dwell just like, a'
pendulum swing of time on the "20.
It was as if- he were tantalizing them
into stickirig by their guns. By the
time he paused, Barry5
Conant's nerve
was back, for his piercing "Take it"
had linked to it
f'20 for any part of
$10,000." The bid was yet on his UDS
when Bob's deep voice rang'jout
"Sold." Any part of 25,000 at 19, 18,
15, 10." Hell was now loose. $ Back
and forth, up against the rail, around
the room and back and around again,
the crowd surged for 15 of the wildest,
craziest minutes in the history of the
New 'York stock exchange, a history
replete with records of wild and craz/
At last from sheer exhaustion there
came a ten minutes' lull, which was
used in eomparing trades. At the be
ginning of the respite Sugar was sell
ing at 155, for in that quarter hour of
madness it had broken from 210 to
155, but when the ten minutes had
elapsed, the stock had worked ,baok
to 167. Barry Conant had again taken
the center of the crowd, after hastily
scanning the, brief notes handed Mm
by messenger-boys and giving orders
to his lieutenants. He had evidently
received reenforcements in_ the form
of renewed orders from his principals.
Many of the faces that fringed the
inner circle of that crowd were fright
ful to look upon, some 'white as
though just lifted from hospital pil
lows, others red to the verge of apo
plexyall strained as though await
ing the coming of the jury with a
life or death verdict. They all knew'
that Bob had sold more than a hun
dred thousand shares of Sugar upon
which the profits must be more than
$4,000,000. Would he resume selling,
or was he through? Was it short
stock, which must be bought back, or
long stock and if long, whose stock?
Were the insiders selling out on one
another, or were they all selling to
gether, and under cover of Barry Con
ant's movements were Camemeyer
and "Standard Oil" emptying their
bag preparatory to the slaughter of
the Washington contingent? All these
questions were rushing through the
heads of that crowd of brokers like
steam through a boiler, now hot, now
cold, but always at high pressure, for
upon the correctness of the answer de
pended the fortune of many who
breathlessly awaited the renewal or
the suspension of the contest. Even
Barry Conant's usually impassive face
wore a tinge of anxiety.
Indeed, Bob was the only one in
the center of that throng that showed
no sign of what was going on behind
it. The same cynical smile that had
been there since the opening still
played around the corners of his
mouth as he squared himself in
front of his opponent. All knew now
that he was not through Barry Con
ant had evidently decided to force the
fighting, although more cautiously
than before. "67 for a thousand."
One of his lieutenants bid 67 for 500,
another 67 for 300, and as Bob had
not yet shown his intention of meet
ing their bids, 67 for different amounts
was heard all over the house. Bob
might have been tossing a metal com
to decide the advisability of buying
back what he had sold he might have
been adding up the bids as they were
made. He said nothing for a fraction
of a minute, which to those tortured
men must have seemed like an age.
Then with a wave of his hand, as
though delivering a benediction, he
swept the circle with a cold-blooded:
"Sold the lots. 5,600 in all
"Sixty-seven for a thousand"again
Barry Conant's bid. "Sold." "67 for
5,000." "Sold." "66 for a thousand.",
"Sold." The drop from 5,000 to 1,000
and a dollar a share in Barry Conant's
bids was the mortally wounded, but
still game general's "Sound the Re
treat." Bob heard it. "Any part of
10,000 at 65, 64, 62, 60." The din was
now as fierce as before. The entire
crowd, all but Barry Conant and his
lieutenants, seemed to have concluded
that Bob's renewal of attack meant
that he was the winning side, and
those who had been hanging on to
their stock,-honing against hope, and
those who^ were short and had been
undecided whether to cover or to hold
on, and sell more /or greater profits,
vied with one another in a frantic ef
fort to sell. AH could now feel the
coming panic. All could sqe that it
was a bad one, as the least Infprmed
on the floor knew that there was a
tremendous amount of Sugar stock fn
the hands of Washington novices at
speculation ,amf of others who had
bought it at high prices. Sugar was
now dropping two, three, five dollars
a share between trades, and the panic
was spreading to the other poles, as
is always the case, for when there are
sudden large lofsses in one stock, the
losers must throw over the other
stocks they hold to meet their loss,
and thus the whole structure tumbles
like a house of cards. Sugar had just
crossed 110 when the loud bang of, the
president's gavel resoundedi
lence as of death. All knew the
meaning of the sound, the most
ominous ever heard in a stock ex
change, calling for the temporary
suspension of business while the presi
dent announces the failure of some
member or house.
Announce that They Cannot Meet
Their Obligations.
This statement that one of the old
est houses had been swamped in the
crash Bob had started caused further
frantic selling, and, as though every
member had employed the lull to re
fill his lungs, a howl arose that pealed
and wailed to the dome.
I watched Bob closely in fact, it
was impossible for me to take my
eyes off him he seemed absolutely
unmindful of the agonizing shrieks
about him, for the frenzied brokers
were no longer crying their bids or
offers, but screaming them. He still
continued relentlessly to hammer
Sugar, offering it in thousands and
tens of thousand lots.
Again and again the gavel fell, and
again and again an announcement of
failure was followed by blood-curdling
howls When Sugar struck 80not
180, but plain 80it seemed that the
last day of stock speculation was at
hand. Announcements were being
made every few minutes of the failure
of this bank, the closing of the doors
of that trust company. Where would
it end? What power could stop this
Niagara of molten dollars? Suddenly
above the tumult rose Bob Brownley's
voice. He must have been standing
on his tiptoes. His hands were raised
aloft. He seemed to tower a head
above the mob His voice was stil]
clear and unimpaired by the terrible
strain of the past two hours. To that
Imob it must have sounded like the
trumpet of the delivering angel. "80
Bob Brownley Hung Close to the Sugar-Pole All Day.
the room. Instantly there was a ai-
for any part of 25,000 Sugar." Instant
ly Sugar was hurled at him from all
sides of the crowd. He was the only
buyer of the moment who had appear
ed since Sugar broke 125. Barry Con
ant and his lieutenants had disappear
ed like snowflakes at the opening of
the door of the firebox of a locomo
tive speeding through the storm. In
a few seconds Bob had been sold all
the 25,000 he had bid for. Again his
voice rang out: "80 for 25,000." The
sellers momentarily halted. He got
only a few thousand of his 25. "85 for
25,000." A few thousand more. "90 for
$25,000." Still fewer thousands. His
bidding was beginning to tell on the
mob A cry ran through the room
into the crowds around the poles:\
"Brownley has turned!"and taking
renewed courage at the report, the
bulls rallied their forces and began
to bid for the different stocks, which
a moment before It had seemed that
no one wanted at any price.
In a chip of a minute the whole
scene changed there was almost as
wild a panic on the up side as there
had been on the down. Bob Brownley
continued buying Sugar until he had
pushed it above 150. He then went
abount tallying up his' trades. At the
end of ten minutes' calculation he re
turned to the c'fenter and bought 11,-
t)0Q shares more coming out, Ms eye
CaUght mine.
"Jim, have you been here long?"
"An eternity. I was here at the
opening and I pray God never to put
me through another two hours like
the past two. It seems a hideous
dream, a nightmare'. Bob, in the
name of God, what have you been
He gave me ae wild, awful look of
exultation. Sublime triumph shone
in those blazing brown orbs, triumph
such as I had never seen in the eyes
of man.
"Jim Randolph, I have been giving
Wall street and its hell'system'a dose
of its' own poison, a good full-measure
dose. They planned by harvesting a
fresh crop of human hearts and souls
on the bull side to give Friday the
13th a new meaning Tradition says
Friday the 13th ^is Bear Saints* day.
I believe in maintaining old tradi-
tions, so I have harvested their hearts
instead. I will tell you about it some
time, Jim, but now I must see Beulah
Sands. Jim Randolph, I've saved her'
and her father. I've made them a
round three millions and 4 strong
seven millions for myself."
He almost yelled it as he rushed
away and left me dazed, stupefied. A
moment, and I came to. Something
urged me to follow him.
As I passed through my office a few
minutes later I heard Bob's voice in
Beulah Sands' office. It was raised
in passionate eloquence.
"Yes, Beulah, I have done it single
handed. I have crucified Camemeyer,
Standard Oil,' and the 'system' that
spiked me to the cross a few weeks
ago. You have three millions, and I
have seven. Now there is nothing
more but for you to go home to your
father, and then come back to me.
Back to me, Beulah, back to me to be
my wife!"
He siopped. There was no sound.
I waited then, frightened, I stepped
to the door of Beulah Sands' office.
Bob was standing just inside the
threshold, where he had halted to give
her the glad tidings. She had risen
from her desk and was looking at him
with an agonized stare. He seemed
to be transfixed by her look, the wild
ecstasy of the outburst of love yet
mirrored in his eyes. She was just
saying as I reached the door:
"Bob, in mercy'a name tell me you
got this money fairly, honorably."
Bob must have realized for the first
time what he had done. He did not
speak. He only stared into her eyes.
She was now at his side.
"Bob, you are unnerved," she said
"you have been through a terrible or-1
deal. For an hour I have been read
ing in the bulletins of the banks and!
trust companies that have failed, of
the banking houses that have been
ruined. I have been reading that you
did it that you have made millions
and I knew it was for me, for father,
but in the midst of my joy, my grati
tude, my lovefor, oh, Bob, I love
you," she interrupted herself pas
sionately "it seems as though I love
you beyond the capacity of a human
heart to love I think that for the
right to be jours for one single mo
ment of this life I would smilingly en
dure all the pains and miseries of
eternal torture. Yes, Bob, for the
right to have you call me yours for
only while 1 heard the words, I would
do anything, Bob, anything that was
She had drawn his head down clos.3
to her face, and her great blue eQ
searched his as though they would
go to his very soul. She w.is a child
in her simple appeal for him to allow
her to see his heart, to see that there
was nothing black there
As she gazed her beautiful hands
played through his hair as do a moth
er's through that of the child she is
soothing in sickness.
"Bob, speak to me, speak to me,"
she begged, "tell me there was no dis
honor in the getting of those millions.
Tell me no one was made to suffer as
my father and I have suffered. Tell
me that the suicides and the convicts,
the daughters dragged to shame and
the mothers driven to the madhouse
as a result of this panic, cannot be
charged to anything unfair or dishon
orable that you have done. Bob, oh,
Bob, answer! Answer no, or my
heart will break or if, Bob, you have
made a mistake, if you have done
that which in your great desire to aid
me and my father seemed justifiable,
hut which you now see was wrong,
tell it to me, Bob, dear, and together
we will try to undo it. We will try
to find a way to atone. We will give
the millions to the last, last penny
to those upon whom you have brought
misery. Father's loss will not mat
ter. Together we will go to him and
tell him what we have done, what
we have lived through, tell him of
our mistake, and in our agony he will
forget his own. For such a horror,
has my father of anything dishonor
able that he will embrace his misery
as happiness when he knows that his
teachings have enabled his daughter
to undo this great wrong. And then,
Bob, we will be married, and you and
I and father and mother will be to
gether, and be, oh, so happy, and we
will begin all over again."
"Beulah, stop in the name of God,
in the name of your love for me,
don't say another word. There is
a limit to the capacity of a man to
suffer, even if he be a great, strong
brute like myself, and, Beulah, I have
rerached that limit. The day has been
a hard one."
His voice softened and became as
a tired child's.
"I must go into the hustle of the
street, into the din and sound, and get
down my nerves and get back my
head. Then I shall be able to thinjc
clear and true, and I will come back
to you, #nd together we will see if I
have done anything that makes me
unfit to touch the eheek and the hands
and the lips of the best and most
beautiful woman God ever put upon
earth. Beulah, you know I would not
deceive you to save my body from the
fires of this world, and my soul from
the torture of the damned, and I
promise you that if I find that I have
done wrong, what you call wrong,
what your father would call wrong,
I will do what you say to atone."
He took her hand between his
hands, gently, reverently, and touch
ing his lips to her glorious golden
hair, he went away.
Beulah Sands turned to me. "Please,
Mr. Randolph, go with him. He is soul
dazed. One can never tell what a heart
sorely perplexed will prompt its own
er to do. Often in the night when I
have got myself into a fever from
thinking of my father's situation. I
have had awful temptations. The
agents of the devil seek the wretched1

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