Bones in London (Chapter 5, page 1 of 19)


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Chapter 5

Mr. Augustus Tibbetts, called "Bones," made money by sheer luck--he
made more by sheer artistic judgment. That is a fact which an old
friend sensed a very short time after he had renewed his acquaintance
with his sometime subordinate.

Yet Bones had the curious habit of making money in quite a different
way from that which he planned--as, for example, in the matter of the
great oil amalgamation. In these days of aeroplane travel, when it is
next to impossible to watch the comings and goings of important
individuals, or even to get wind of directors' meetings, the City is
apt to be a little jumpy, and to respond to wild rumours in a fashion
extremely trying to the nerves of conservative brokers.

There were rumours of a fusion of interests between the Franco-Persian
Oil Company and the Petroleum Consolidated--rumours which set the
shares of both concerns jumping up and down like two badly trained
jazzers. The directorate of both companies expressed their surprise
that a credulous public could accept such stories, and both M. Jorris,
the emperor of the Franco-Persian block, and George Y. Walters, the
prince regent of the "Petco," denied indignantly that any amalgamation
was even dreamt of.

Before these denials came along Bones had plunged into the oil market,
making one of the few flutters which stand as interrogation marks
against his wisdom and foresight.

He did not lose; rather, he was the winner by his adventure. The
extent of his immediate gains he inscribed in his private ledger; his
ultimate and bigger balance he entered under a head which had nothing
to do with the oil gamble--which was just like Bones, as Hamilton
subsequently remarked.

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