“I know about it,” said the General, “but the circumstances are such that I'm not free to tell—at least, not for publication. I'll tell you privately, if you want to know.”

“No,” said Bates, “I'd rather you didn't do that; I can find it out somehow.”

“Did you come all the way to Newport to see me?” asked the General.

“Oh, no, not entirely,” said Bates. “I'm to get an interview with Wyman about the new bond issue of his road. What do you think of the market, General?”

“Things look bad to me,” said Prentice. “It's a good time to reef sail.”

Then Bates turned to Montague. “I think I passed you a while ago in the street,” he said pleasantly. “You were with James Gamble, weren't you?”

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“Yes,” said Montague. “Do you know him?”

“Bates knows everybody,” put in the General; “that's his specialty.”

“I happen to know Gamble particularly well,” said Bates. “I have a brother in his office in Pittsburg. What in the world do you suppose he is doing in Newport?”

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“Just seeing the world, so he told me,” said Montague. “He has nothing to do since his company sold out.”

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“Sold out!” echoed Bates. “What do you mean?”

“Why, the Trust has bought him out,” said Montague.

The other stared at him. “What makes you think that?” he asked.

“He told me so himself,” was the answer.

“Oh!” laughed the other. “Then it's just some dodge that he's up to!”

“You think he hasn't sold?”