LADIES FIRST. 23
have parted with them in a moment, and so put up
a margin on ten shares of stock—provided Bana¬
tyne would give them a sure "point," which he was
seldom scrupulously backward in doing; never
failing, as we have seen, to prove to them by fig¬
ures, Avhich " never lie," the enormous dividends
Avhich Avould be forthcoming inside of sixty days
" or less."
Even " mud-hens," the discourteous title
bestowed by the gallant curbstone operators upon
the fair Avomen who ventured to take a hand in the
game of chance, were there to ask Banatyne's
opinion about stocks, and, of course, they were
advised to put all their pin money in Peerless,
for Roy Avas never flesh to one, fowl to another.
He courted the aid of everyone in his deals.
Many "mickles make a muckle," as his ancestors
would say. Everything Avas grist that came to
" Would you advise me to buy Comstocks or
to short them ? " " Do you think Ophir or Gould
& Curry Avill carry their dividends ?" " What do
you think Belcher will do to-day ? " were among
the numerous questions asked by these venture¬
some dames. Banatyne thought he had an audi¬
ence Avorthy of his subject. If they did not buy
they Avould surely advertise his latest scheme, and
he advanced the cause of his Peerless in this
strain: " You'll make a big killing as sure as taxes."
" Yes, just as sure as Gabriel '11 blow his trum¬
pet," came the cheery voice of Halstead from the
corridor, for he had made a hurried call and
returned in time for the meeting.