Avhole cloth. If they hadu't started that infernal
stor3- the stock Avould be booming."
" What does Judge Rush say about it ? " queried
the equajy nervy Flalstead.
" He says the tide's clear—clear as day on thje
face of it," emphasized Banatyne. " Go over to
the Board, and stand under the ' Last Hope.' It's
make or break Avith me?'
" Holy smoke! I'm in the same boat, Roy.
Won't have enough left to pay my funeral ex¬
penses," returned reckless Halstead, laughing as
if i<- Avas a good joke, and he immediately returned
to the Board.
He had been gone scarcely an instant /hen a
confused sound of feet Avas heard at the office
door, then a perfect SAvarm of messengers, brok¬
ers, frightened-looking women, and desperate
stock speculators, crowded into the office and
surged around Banatyne. Angry excitement
Avas stamped upon every face. Many of the men
had staked their all upon his advice, and their
mood Avas surly in the extreme. Occasionally
they broke out into inarticulate and abusive
clamor. They asked Banatyne questions upon
questions regarding the property and the cause of
the market's decline. Fle Avas like a criminal be¬
ing tried by mob laAV. At this critical moment
Dougald hurried in and unconsciously added
ncAV danger to his father's already perilous pre¬
dicament by shouting above the angry croAvd:
" Stock selling at fiv£ dollars; a drop of six dol¬
lars per share in less than an hour! "