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the circus business. So we pretended, after we had got the fur coats on, that we were all Bears. Jimmy went cavorting around the room on all fours, so comical you'd have hurt yourself laughing. I have missed Jimmy a good deal since he was taken away. He was as lively as a louse.
Besides the sealskin coat, there wasn't anything in my bankruptcy schedule, as anybody can see, which showed much property left in my hands. The hymn book was valuable to me, but it wasn't to anybody else. In fact, my creditors said the bankruptcy was so complete that they doubted its genuineness; and they started to have me examined by Commissioners, in order to get their clutches onto some of the railroad stock and other property which I had put out of my own name.
This examination put me to a lot of inconvenience. I had never kept books. Drovers don't keep books, anyhow. The way we drovers used to do, when two or three of us would go into a partnership, was to put what money each of us had into one big wad, which one of the partners would hold. Any money paid out would be taken from the wad. Any money we made would be put into the wad. Then, when the partnership was dissolved, all we would need to do would be to count the money in the wad and divide it up even. So when the Commissioners in Bankruptcy got after me to show checkbooks, ledgers, and so on, I didn't have any to show. I had kept
Even at my
my accounts in my head. They didn't like that. They said it was only an excuse — which it wasn't
They pushed me so hard that by and by I had to do something to get rid of them. So I made out that I was sick. I took to my bed. bedside they kept pestering me with questions. One day I made out that I was too feeble, and the doctor said to them that the examination would have to wait over for a day, while I recovered my strength. That
gave me the chance I was looking for. After they were out of the house I up and dressed, and took the train, without letting anybody know where I was going. But this didn't help for very long. The Commissioners found I had gone up to Putnam County. They followed me there, to Brewsters', and said that the examination must go on.
I had to consent. They put me under the drag, and harrowed me both ways. But I tired them out. By and by they left, without having got hold of anything
I had had so much trouble in getting out of New York and back to my native county, that, now I was there, I decided to stay. After so many years in the city, the hills round about Brewsters' and Carmel looked good to me.
So I settled down to live the rest of my life in the country.
But after a few months, Putnam County wasn't so attractive. There were a number of farmers there whom I'd dealt with back in my drover days.
And now they kept dunning me to pay for critters I had bought from them nigh onto forty years before. Small creditors are worse than body lice. Why, one day, right on the fair grounds at Carmel, old Ebenezer Gay came up to me and bellowed out before all the people:
“Mister Drew, isn't it about time you paid me for that there calf ?"
I told him I didn't know about any calf. He said I'd bought one from him back in my drover days and had never paid him. He went on to make such a fuss about it, saying debtors have short memories, and such-like, that, to get rid of him, I up
and paid the money. But I saw that if I was going to have any property left to live on, I'd have to get away from there. A man could be nibbled to death by ducks, if there were enough of them.
Besides, I began to feel a hankering for Wall Street once more. After a few months, it got .
, almighty dull out in Putnam County. You can't tell out there how the market is going, until the day after; then it's too late. I found that I was tied to the Street like a cat to the saucer. I felt that if I could get back into the financial district, I'd be able to make some money. I remembered how much I used to make there. I was like a heifer lowing for the green pastures. I couldn't be at ease.
Pretty soon I moved back to New York. I put up at the Hoffman House. My wife had died before
we left the mansion at Union Square. That mansion had now been sold at auction. So I went to the Hoffman House, where I could be close to the Stock and Gold Tickers. I was talking there with a Mr. Knight, one evening soon after I got back.
“You mean to say that you have come back to go into active operations once more ?” he asked.
“Yes,” I answered; “the boys think I'm played out. But I'll give them many a twist and turn yet.”
I spoke big then. But I have found it harder to get
back into active affairs than I looked for. Who cares for old cattle ? Brokers now are shy of me. Whenever the market begins to turn against me, I'm up
and sold out. Besides, I don't seem to get over a loss as easy as I used to. One day I was so down in the mouth at a bad turn in the market, that I took more than I guess I ought to. Because, some time after, I found myself in a room in the Sturtevant House, in bed. A couple of my old friends called on me there. They had a bottle or two brought up into the room, and offered to treat me. But I didn't want them to see me taking anything. So I shook my head, No. They coaxed. Then they looked at each other as much as to say, “It's time we were going.” By and by they went away. But they left the bottle behind. I felt that this was very good of them. Because I felt the need just then of something to cheer me up, and I wasn't feeling rich enough to buy it myself.
It was lonesome work, living at a hotel. So I have got my son to move down from Brewsters', and hire a house on East Forty-second Street, to make a home for me. I have had him put a stock ticker in the basement of the house. This saves me the trouble of going down to the financial district every day. Because there are times now when I feel so feeble that I can't go out of the house. And
yet I don't just want to give up speckilating. You never can tell when you are going to make the lucky hit. Give up, and just then you might have been on the eve of a turn in your luck that would have brought you back all the money you had lost, and a lot more besides.
But the turn in my luck seems almighty slow in coming. To speckilate in Wall Street when you are no longer an insider, is like buying cows by candlelight. I don't know as I can keep the thing up much longer. The other night I had a bad spell — kind of
an epileptic attack, the doctor called it. And he said, at my age it's likely to come on again at any time.
I manage to get to church still. I take part the best I can in the Lord's Day services. The preaching isn't like what it used to be. Still, I try to keep up heart.
From every stormy wind that blows,