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“But then, why give out this report?” exclaimed the lawyer.

“Don't you see?” said Bates. “He wants a chance to save it.”

Montague's jaw fell. “Oh!” he said.

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“It's as plain as the nose on your face,” said Bates. “That story will come out to-morrow morning, and everybody will say it was the blunder of a newspaper reporter; and then Waterman will come forward and do the rescue act. It'll be just like a play.”

“It's taking a long chance,” said Montague, and added, “I had thought of telling Prentice, who's an intimate friend of mine; but I don't suppose it will do him any good.”

“Poor old Prentice can't help himself,” was the reply. “All you can do is to make him lose a night's sleep.”

Montague went out, with a new set of problems to ponder. As he went home, he passed the magnificent building of the Gotham Trust Company, where there stood a long line of people who had prepared to spend the night. All the afternoon a frantic mob had besieged the doors, and millions of dollars had been withdrawn in a few hours. Montague knew that by the time he got down town the next morning there would be another such mob in front of the Trust Company of the Republic; but he was determined to stand by his own resolve. However, he had sent a telegram to Oliver, warning him to return at once.

He went home and found there another letter from Lucy Dupree.

“Dear Allan,” she wrote. “No doubt you have heard the news that Ryder has been forced out of the Gotham Trust. But I have accomplished part of my purpose—Waterman has promised that he will put him on his feet again after this trouble is over. In the meantime, I am told to go away. This is for the best; you will remember that you yourself urged me to go. Ryder cannot see me, because the newspaper reporters are following him so closely.

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“I beg of you not to try to find me. I am hateful in my own sight, and you will never see me again. There is one last thing that you can do for me. Go to Stanley Ryder and offer him your help—I mean your advice in straightening out his affairs. He has no friends now, and he is in a desperate plight. Do this for me. Lucy.”

At eight the next morning the train from the Adirondacks arrived, and Montague was awakened by his brother at the telephone. “Have you seen this morning's Despatch?” was Oliver's first word.

“I haven't seen it,” said Montague; “but I know what's in it.”

“About the Trust Company of the Republic?” asked Oliver.

“Yes,” said the other. “I was told the story before I telegraphed you.”

“But my God, man,” cried Oliver—“then why aren't you down town?”

“I'm going to let my money stay.”

“What?”

“I believe that the institution is sound; and I am not going to leave Prentice in the lurch. I telegraphed you, so that you could do as you chose.”

It was a moment or two before Oliver could find words to reply.