“But what about the last one-fourth payment in preferred shares of $1,250,000?”
“Pardon me, Colonel Harris, that is just what I desire to explain further. The new company will issue debentures or bonds, running 30 years, at 4%, for L800,000 or $4,000,000; preference shares L400,000 or $2,000,000; with dividends 6% guaranteed, and a preference in distribution of property, if company is dissolved. Ordinary shares L1,200,000 or $6,000,000. And our London prospects will show that the ordinary shares can earn at least 5%. For the last one-fourth we wish you to take 12,500 preferred shares, or $1,250,000.
“London holders, of course, will elect all the officers, a managing board of directors, with general office in London. For a time they will expect you to advise in the management of the business at Harrisville.”
After some further explanations, Harris agreed to sign a contract or option of purchase, drawn as specified, if after investigation, he should become satisfied with the responsibility of the London parties. On Tuesday morning, contracts in duplicates were presented for Colonel Harris’s inspection. After twice carefully reading the contract, he gave his approval and wrote Mr. Searles a letter of introduction to Mr. B.C. Wilson, his manager at Harrisville, requesting the latter to permit Mr. Searles and his experts to examine all property and accounts of the Harrisville Iron & Steel Co. for ten years back.
It was also arranged that on Wednesday, at 12 o’clock noon, Mr. Searles should see the Harrises off to Europe, then Mr. Searles and his experts were to go to Harrisville in Colonel Harris’s private car. Later Mr. Searles and Colonel Harris were to meet in London, and then, if everything was mutually satisfactory, all parties were to affix their signatures to the agreement, and the cash payment was to be made at the London office of Guerney & Barring.
Wednesday, Colonel Harris rose early as had been his habit from childhood. He was exacting in his family, and also as a manager of labor. Every morning at six o’clock all the family had to be at the breakfast table. Colonel Harris always asked the blessing. Its merit was its brevity: sometimes he only said—“Dear Lord, make us grateful and good to-day. Amen.” Thirty minutes later, summer and winter, his horses and carriage stood at his door, and punctually at fifteen minutes of seven o’clock he would reach his great mills. His first duty was to walk through his works, as his skilled laborers with dinner pails entered the broad gates and began the day’s work. Devotion like this usually brings success.
After breakfast, Mrs. Harris and her daughters walked down Fifth Avenue to make a few purchases. Alfonso and Leo hurried off to get their baggage to the “Majestic,” while Jean busied himself in seeing that a transfer was made to the steamer of all the trunks, valises, etc., left at the depot and hotel.