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The upholsterer is sent for, and in answer to the judge's questions,"What M. Lefurteux has stated," he says, "is true. My specialty isto hire office-fixtures for financial and other companies. I furnishevery thing, from the book-keepers' desks to the furniture for thepresident's private room: from the iron safe to the servant's livery.

In twenty-four hours, every thing is ready, and the subscribers cancome. As soon as a company is organized, like the one in question,the officers call on me, and, according to the magnitude of thecapital required, I furnish a more or less costly establishment. Ihave a good deal of experience, and I know just what's wanted.

When M. Lefurteux came to see me, I gauged his operation at a glance.

Three millions of capital, swamps in the Orne, shares of five hundredfrancs, small subscribers, anxious and noisy.

"'Very well,' I said to him, 'it's a six-months' job. Don't go intouseless expenses. Take reps for your private office: that's goodenough.'"The Judge, in a tone of Profound Surprise - You told him that?

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The Upholsterer, in the Simple Accent of an Honest Man - Exactly asI am telling your Honor. He followed my advice; and I sent him redhot the furniture and fixtures which had been used by the RiverFishery Company, whose president had just been sent to prison forthree years.

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When, after such revelations, renewed from week to week, withinstructive variations, purchasers may still be found for the sharesof the Tiffla Mines, the Bretoneche Lands, and the Forests ofFormanoid, is it to be wondered that the Mutual Credit Company foundnumerous subscribers?

It had been admirably started at that propitious hour of theDecember coup d'etat, when the first ideas of mutuality werebeginning to penetrate the financial world.

It had lacked neither capital nor powerful patronage at the start,and had been at once admitted to the honor of being quoted at thebourse.

Beginning business ostensibly as an accommodation bank formanufacturers and merchants, the Mutual Credit had had, for a numberof years, a well-determined specialty.

But gradually it had enlarged the circle of its operations, alteredits by-laws, changed its board of directors; and at the end theoriginal subscribers would have been not a little embarrassed totell what was the nature of its business, and from what sources itdrew its profits.

All they knew was, that it always paid respectable dividends; thattheir manager, M. de Thaller, was personally very rich; and thatthey were willing to trust him to steer clear of the code.

There were some, of course, who did not view things in quite sofavorable a light; who suggested that the dividends were suspiciouslylarge; that M. de Thaller spent too much money on his house, hiswife, his daughter, and his mistress.

One thing is certain, that the shares of the Mutual Credit Societywere much above par, and were quoted at 580 francs on that Saturday,when, after the closing of the bourse, the rumor had spread thatthe cashier. Vincent Favoral, had run off with twelve millions.

"What a haul!" thought, not without a feeling of envy, more thanone broker, who, for merely one-twelfth of that amount would havegayly crossed the frontier. It was almost an event in Paris.

Although such adventures are frequent enough, and not taken muchnotice of, in the present instance, the magnitude of the amountmore than made up for the vulgarity of the act.

Favoral was generally pronounced a very smart man; and some personsdeclared, that to take twelve millions could hardly be calledstealing.

The first question asked was,"Is Thaller in the operation? Was he in collusion with his cashier?""That's the whole question.""If he was, then the Mutual Credit is better off than ever: