Kennedy nodded and continued to look about.
“The Radium Corporation,” went on Denison, “has several large deposits of radioactive ore in Utah in what is known as the Poor Little Rich Valley, a valley so named because from being about the barrenest and most unproductive mineral or agricultural hole in the hills, the sudden discovery of the radioactive deposits has made it almost priceless.”
He had entered a private office and was looking over some mail that had been left on his desk during his absence.
“Look at this,” he called, picking up a clipping from a newspaper which had been laid there for his attention. “You see, we have them aroused.”
We read the clipping together hastily:
London.—Plans are being matured to form a large corporation for the monopoly of the existing and future supply of radium throughout the world. The company is to be called Universal Radium, Limited, and the capital of ten million dollars will be offered for public subscription at par simultaneously in London, Paris and New York.
The company’s business will be to acquire mines and deposits of radioactive substances as well as the control of patents and processes connected with the production of radium. The outspoken purpose of the new company is to obtain a world-wide monopoly and maintain the price.
“Ah—a competitor,” commented Kennedy, handing back the clipping.
“Yes. You know radium salts used always to come from Europe. Now we are getting ready to do some exporting ourselves. Say,” he added excitedly, “there’s an idea, possibly, in that.”
“How?” queried Craig.
“Why, since we should be the principal competitors to the foreign mines, couldn’t this robbery have been due to the machinations of these schemers? To my mind, the United States, because of its supply of radium-bearing ores, will have to be reckoned with first in cornering the market. This is the point, Kennedy. Would those people who seem to be trying to extend their new company all over the world stop at anything in order to cripple us at the start?”
How much longer Denison would have rattled on in his effort to explain the robbery, I do not know. The telephone rang and a reporter from the Record, who had just read my own story in the Star, asked for an interview. I knew that it would be only a question of minutes now before the other men were wearing a path out on the stairs, and we managed to get away before the onrush began.
“Walter,” said Kennedy, as soon as we had reached the street. “I want to get in touch with Halsey Haughton. How can it be done?”
I could think of nothing better at that moment than to inquire at the Star’s Wall Street office, which happened to be around the corner. I knew the men down there intimately, and a few minutes later we were whisked up in the elevator to the office.