Read CHAPTER XII - Fred Makes a Discovery of Halsey & Co. / The Young Bankers and Speculators, free online book, by H. K. Shackleford, on ReadCentral.com.

The great deal in Rock Island made the young bankers and speculators one of the best known firms in Wall Street. It was known that they had a vast sum of cold cash on hand, and that they had nerve and good judgment, and so scores of men came to them to buy and sell for them. Gertie Clayton received about $36,000 for the tip she had given them, and she left it on deposit in the bank.

“Bob,” she said to him a few days later, “I am not going to do any more typewriting. I was not made for the business, and never did like it.”

“What are you going to do, then?” he asked.

“I’ll tell you what I want to do,” she replied, “I am engaged to a handsome young banker and we are to marry in two years. I think it is my duty to fit myself to be his wife by educating myself so he will be proud of me when we marry.”

“By George, Gertie!” Bob exclaimed, “your head is level. Get out of Wall Street and I’ll come uptown and spoon with you every evening. I’ll make enough for us both.”

“You dear, good Bob!” she said. “I knew you would look at it as I do. You do not know how happy I am. I am going to study music and make myself an accomplished young lady so our home will not be a dull one.”

She told Callie her reasons for giving up typewriting, and the latter said:

“You are right, Gertie. I would do so, too, were I so fortunate.”

Just a few days later Eva Gaines came down with her uncle, the old broker, and was shown into the ladies’ reception room with him. Fred and Bob received them with great consideration.

“You have been making, things lively in the Street,” the old broker remarked to Fred.

“Yes, sir. I would like to pay you the balance I owe for the seat in the Stock Exchange.”

“Well, I am not in any hurry about it,” was the reply. “You can do so if you wish, and my niece here will leave $10,000 with you to speculate with for her. That is what we came down to-day for.”

Fred looked at her without making any reply.

“I don’t think I ought to attempt anything like that yet a while, Mr. Gaines,” he finally said.

“Oh, I just know you could make a fortune for me in a little while,” said Eva. “You are fortunate in everything you do.”

“I have been very fortunate of late,” he replied, “but I am more free with my own money than I would dare to be with other people’s cash.”

“But that is just what I want you to do­use it as you would your own,” she urged.

Fred shook his head.

“I was a messenger with one of the heaviest men in Wall Street before I went into business for myself,” he returned, “and I have never forgotten what I once heard him say to a lady who wanted him to use her money in speculation.”

“What did he say?” she eagerly asked.

“He said women could not understand business; that with them success was the only test of merit; that he had invested money for two women and both had threatened to horsewhip him because their investment was not a success. He then declared that he would retire from business rather than handle a woman’s money.”

The old broker laughed and said:

“Young man, had I been as cautious in my younger days I’d have been worth many millions to-day.”

“But I don’t know what to tell you to buy,” she persisted.

“Then you had better keep your money. There are plenty of men in Wall Street who would be glad to take your money and­keep it. But I am not one of them.”

“Well, you will let me leave it in your bank, won’t you?”

“Oh, yes. You can be a depositor,” and she gave him the check which her father had given her. He gave it to Allison, who entered her name as one of the bank’s depositors.

When he returned to them Eva remarked that she was sorry he thought her capable of horse-whipping anybody.

“I have never been able to understand a woman, and to tell you the truth, I am afraid of anything in petticoats.”

The old broker and his beautiful niece laughed till the tears ran down their cheeks.

“Well, you’ll use my money now, won’t you?” she asked.

“Yes, if you will tell me what to buy.”

“Oh, pshaw!”

A few days after the Gainses left the bank Fred was going along Broad street when he saw a little crowd on the sidewalk listening to a young man explaining a gas-saving appliance. Fred took a great interest in the affair and after a while asked the young man to make a visit to his office and adjust one to his gaspipe. The young man did so the next day, and Fred saw it was a good thing. He asked the young inventor what he would take for the invention.

“I only want to get a living out of it,” answered the young man.

“Well, I’ll give you $10,000 for it.”

“It’s your’s,” said the inventor.

In two hours the papers were signed and the money paid. Then a patent was applied for and a plant secured for the manufacture of the machines.

Several days later old Broker Bowles dashed into the room.