“I have a little in a New York bank,” he says.
Corkey looks on the book. “The Coal and Oil Trust Company’s Institution,” he reads, “in account with Robert Chalmers. Well, money is a good thing. Glad you’re fixed. Glad to know you. I’m fixed myself.”
Corkey examines the list of failures. “I’m glad you’re heeled,” he says.
A boy is fastening a new bulletin on the window.
“There you be, now!” says Corkey.
“The Coal and Oil Trust Company’s Institution Goes Down,” is on the bulletin.
“I’ll lend you money enough to git home,” says Corkey.
“Panic! Panic! Panic!!” bawls a large boy, who beats his small rivals ruthlessly aside and makes his way to Lockwin.
The man is still trembling. He is trying to put away his worthless bank-book and cannot gain the entrance of the pocket.
“’Ere’s your panic! Buy of me, mister. Say, mister, won’t you buy of me? Ah! git out, you great big coward!”
It is the sympathetic Corkey, smartly cuffing the invader.
“Strike somebody of your size, you great big coward! Ah! git out, you great big coward!”
“A SOUND OF REVELRY BY NIGHT”
“Poverty,” says Ben Franklin, “often deprives a man of all spirit and virtue. It is hard for an empty bag to stand upright.”
David Lockwin has but one familiar acquaintance in the world and that is Corkey. Corkey will now start in search of the body of David Lockwin!
David Lockwin has but a few hundred dollars in cash. His fortune is in a ruined bank. He hopes to get something out of it. His experience tells him he may expect several thousand dollars.
Is it wise to return to New York? Yes. A situation awaits him there. He can protect his rights as a depositor. He can enjoy the pleasant apartments at Gramercy Park.
But the expense! Ah! yes, he must take cheaper quarters. It is the first act of despotism which poverty has ever ventured to impose on David Lockwin.
It makes New York seem inhospitable. It makes Chicago seem like home. Still, as David Lockwin seeks his hotel, noting always the complete solitude in which he dwells among the vast crowds that once knew him familiarly or by sight, it chills him to the marrow.
He enters the hotel dining-room. The head waiter seats his guest at a table where three men are eating. Every one of them is a business acquaintance of Lockwin.
The excitement of the moment drives away the brain terrors which were entering the man’s head. The men regard the newcomer with that look which is given to an uninvited banqueter whose appearance is not imposing. The best-natured of the group, however, breaks the silence. He speaks to the diner on his left.
“Where did you get the stone for that sarcophagus you put up yesterday?”