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Half a Rogue eBook

Harold MacGrath
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 257 pages of information about Half a Rogue.
come when the whole continent would gird itself in steel.  With his ready money he bought ground and built a small mill.  This prospered.  He borrowed from the banks, and went on building.  Ten years passed.  The property was unencumbered; he had paid both interest and principal.  He did not believe in stock-holders.  He sold no stock.  Every nail, bolt and screw was his; every brick, stone and beam.  There were no directors to meddle with his plans, no fool’s hand to block his progress, to thwart his vast projects.  Slowly he became rich, for every piece of steel that went out to the purchasers was honest steel.  Sagacity and loyalty overcame all obstacles.  Many a time he might have sold at a handsome profit.  But selling wasn’t his idea; he had a son.  Besides, this was his life-work, and he detested the idle rich, which at that time were just coming into evidence.

He never speculated; but he bought government bonds, railroad bonds, municipal bonds, for he had great faith in his country.  He had the same faith in his native city, too, for he secured all the bank stock that came his way.  Out of every ten dollars he earned he invested five, saved three, and spent two.  He lived well, but not ostentatiously.  He never gave directly to charities, but he gave work to hundreds, and made men self-reliant and independent, which is a far nobler charity.  He never denied himself a vacation; he believed that no man should live and die at his desk.  There was plenty of time for work and plenty for play; but neither interfered with the other.  He was an ardent fisherman, a keen hunter, and a lover of horses.

More than all these things, he was one of those rare individuals one seldom meets—­the born father.  He made a man of his son and a woman of his daughter.  When he sent the boy to England, he knew that the boy might change his clothes, but neither his character nor his patriotism.  He voted independently; he was never a party man; thus, public office was never thrust in his way.  Perhaps he was too frankly honest.  He never worried when his son reached the mating age.  “Whoever my boy marries will be the woman he loves, and he is too much his father’s son not to love among his equals.”  He was a college-bred man besides, but few knew this.  He had an eye for paintings, an ear for music, and a heart for a good book.  It is this kind of man whom nature allows to be reproduced in his children.

He was gruff, but this gruffness was simply a mask to keep at arm’s length those persons whom he did not desire for friends.

When he died he left a will that was a model of its kind.  There were not a hundred lines in the document.  He divided his fortune into three parts, but he turned the shops over to his son John, without stipulations, wholly and absolutely, to do with them as he pleased.  But he had written a letter in which he had set forth his desires.  It may be understood at once that these desires readily coincided with those of the son.

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