Price & Co., boy brokers, or, The young traders of Wall Street

Price & Co., boy brokers, or, The young traders of Wall Street

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Price & Co., boy brokers, or, The young traders of Wall Street
Series Title:
Fame and fortune weekly : stories of boys who make money
A self-made man (J. Perkins Tracy)
Place of Publication:
New York
Frank Tousey
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1 online resource (28 pages)


Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Wealth ( lcsh )
Entrepreneurship -- Fiction ( lcsh )
Boys ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
F18-00100 ( USFLDC DOI )
f18.100 ( USFLDC Handle )
031337411 ( ALEPH )
839682516 ( OCLC )

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NE/00 -A.NC-PRICE &CD., 8DY 8RDKERSi I THE YOUNG TRADE.RS DFWALL STREET '.: ...... ELF-ilf/IOE ...... .... : .... ., ... .... ... ; .... ::.:.:.,--:;::. Suddenly the apparently feeble, whitehaired old man developed an astonishing burst of energy. Grabbing the surprised young brokers by the arms he tripped t;hem up, vaulted over the railing, with the agility of a trained athlete, and fted toward the door


Fame and Fortune Weekly STORIES OF BOYS WHO MAKE MONEY 11.ued Weekl11-B11 Subscription $2.60 pe1 year. E11te1"e(l accorcling to Act of Congrea, in the year 1007, in the office of the Librarian of C o ngreaa, Wa.hillgton, D. C., by Frank 2'owey, Publiaher, 24 Union Squar, New York, No. 100 NEW YORK, AUGUST 30, 1907. PRICE 5 C ENTS PRICE & CO., BOY BROKERS OB, The Young Traders of Wall Street By A SELf-MADE MAN CHAPTER I. DICK PRICE AND SAM: KEENE. It was a hot morning in July, and a crowd had suddenly gathered in front of the Sub-treasury, on the corner of Wall and Nassau Streets. There was a policeman standing near the foot of the wide stone steps, and every once in a while he called on the crowd to keep back. The mob gradually grew bigger as the moments went by until it filled that pl:!rticular part of the sidewalk as far a s the curb. E e vry newcomer wanted toknow what was the matter, but his curiosity was not always satisfied About this time two briO"ht and energetic messenger boys -one of whom had crossed over from Broad Street while the other had come up from the Atlas office building half a block away-came together on the fringe of the crowd. "Hello, Sam!" said the one bound up Wall Street. "Wha.t's the excitement?" "Don't know, Dick, unless somebody has been hurt. "Or overcome with heat," said Dick Price, mopping his face. "It's a mighty warm morning, all right "Bet your life it is,'' replied Sam Keene "Too warm for comfort when a fellow has got to hustle around among the offices like us. Business seems to be picking up this week. Gee I I wish the blamed old Exchange would close up during July and August, and that the brokers would make up a fund to send us messengers to the seashore It is simply killing to have to chase oneself on such a day as this is." "You forget, Sam, that the Good Book says there's 'no rest for the wicked,'' said Dick, with a grin "Hul;i. I don't call myself wicked t Just then a light vehicle came dashing down the from the direction of Broadway. 'l'he jangling of its gong announced that it was an am bulance from the nearest hospital. It ran up alongside the curb on the 011tskirts of t h e crowd and came to a stop, while a young man with a sma ll satchel in his hand sprang from the rear seat and began pushing his. way through the mob. The boys soon found out that an old man had beell l'tricken down by the heat. They got a square look at hiw as he was carried to the ambulance He was a good-sized man, with a whitish-grey beara, and he wore spectacles. 1 His ace wore a ghastly pallor, and he was uncon scious He looked the very picture of as the stretcher was shoved into the ambulance and the policeman laid his soft felt hat on his chest. "I see ills finish," said Sam to his friend Dick. "He can't live long." "I'm afraid not, from his looks,'' replied Dick, as the ambulance drove off and the crowd melted away. However, the time was to come when the boys were to meet that same old man' under circumstances that were both peculiar and mysterious At the present moment they did not dream that they would ever see him again ..


PRICE & 00. BOY BROKERS. ----=-==========--:=====::;==============::;:===== "Well," said Dick, "I've got to get along to the Exchange." "And I've got to hustle back to the office," said Sam. So the boys parted for the time being. Dick Price, the bigger of foe two, worked for Burnett, Rucker & Ct>., stock brokers, of the Atlas Building, a thirty-odd story edifice on Wall Stre. et. He had been with the firm over two years, and was a.bout as well posted a lad in Wall Street matters as could be found in the district. He lived with his widowed mother, and two sisters, who were employed in Broadway esta.blishments as stenogra phers, in foe upper part of Harlem, and although but eighteen was regarded as the man of the house, for he was a manly, self-contained boy who was fully alive to the responsibilities of life. When he starled out in Wall Street it was with the firm purpose of working his way up to something more than an ordina .ry clerkship. His ambition was to eventually become a broker, and ihe never lost sight of that objective point What little time he had to himself he devoted to. studying the market. He kept his eyes and ears well employed at all times, and never let any points that might prove useful in the future get away from him. He read the papers regularly, and few persons m tlrn Street, outs1!1e of the brokers themselves were in closer touch with the market at all times. 1Having managed to save up $50 one way or another, he had gone into a speculative venture on a certain stock that had started to rise about three m'onths before this sto ry opened, and he doubled his money a .nd a little more, selling out at the right moment at a few points advance. With $125 a t his. co'mmanc1, he was watching for an other opportunity to make that sum grow into larger pro" portions. Dick knew of the messengers of Wall Street, but he was careful in making friendships. The only bo'Y who really took his fancy was Sam Keene, messenger for Otway & Oo., in the Atlas Building. Sam also had an ambition to become a bTOker some clay, and was working toward that encl as fast as he could. A na .tural sympathy drew tlie boys to""ether and thev 0 became chums Sam lived ih Harlem, not far from Dick, so the boys made it a point to c?Jile down town together in foe morning and go home togetlier in the afternoon. They also lunched a.t the resta .urant on Pine Street, though they did no t alw.ays meet there, for neither could count on when he coulc1 reach the place. Two hours after the ambulance Dick found the cha.nee to go to lunch, and he ma de for the restaurant in his usual rapid fashion. He didn't have far to go, as the office building backed on Pine Street, and all he had to do was to walk through the main conidor, turn up a. few do'ors to his left, mo unt a pair of stairs, and he was in the quick-lunch house. On this occasion he spied Sam seated on a stool, eating awa.y as if his life depended on the rapidity of the oper ation. A man vacated a stool next to Sam, and Dick took pos session of it. "I see you're hard at it, Sarn," he said, calling for a glass o milk, a sandwich, and a of pie Sam nodded because his mouth was full and J:e couldn't utter a word. "Say, Sam," said Dick, in a low tone "I see a chance for us to make a stake "How?" mumbled Sam, looking at him with interest. "A. & S. is going up. It's advanced three points in two clays. I've figured out that it's good for three or four more I'm going to risk my money on it. Suppose you go in, too. "You've got over $100. I'll look after the deal and carry it through. We ought to double our capital." "I'm w_ith you. J noticed that the stock was advancing, and I was thinking o f taking a flyer on it. I'll meet you at half-past thrw with the money and we'll go around to the bank on Nassau Street and put the deal through." The matter being settled, the boys finished their lunch and hurried back to their respective offices. Twenty minutes to four Sam was off for the day; and he around to Dick's office and, poking his head in at the door of foe reception room, he asked his chum how soon he would be off. "In about five minutes," replied Dick. "Wait for me at the door cfown stairs "All right/' answered Sam, and he shut the door and walked to the eleva .tOT. Dick finished what l:e was enga.gecl at, put on his hat, m1c1 left the office. He and Sam went at once to the little bank that made a specialty of handling small stock ventures for and others whose ca. pital was limited. "A. & S. is going at 62," said Dick. "How much money have you, Sam?" "I've got $127." "Hand o ver $124 of it. I'll buy 40 shares, and we'll divide even on the profits." "If the stock should happ en to take an unexpcctcll iJrop, we'll stand to lose the same a.mount each," said Sam, as he put the money in his chum's ha .nd. "Tha.t's the size of it; but I'm not looking for it to go down for several clays yet. I shall wa. tch it like a hawk watches a brood of chickens in a barnyard, and if it begins to look at all shaky, I'll get out from under q11icker than you can say Jack Robinson." "I hope you will. But we're speculating under the dis advantage of not being able to count our time our own." "Of course, and I shall talrn that fact into consideration. One o f these days I hope things will be different with us." That time was nearer than either of the boys suspected. Dick made the deal with the margin derk, and with the memorandum in his pocket the young speculators made a bee-line for the Wall Street subway station. CHAPTER II. HOW DICK AND SAM: THEIR ORIGINAL CAPITAL. Next c1ay, and for several clays thereafter no one wa. tched the ticker, when they got the chaMe, any closer tha n Dick Price and Sam Keene.


PRICE & CO., BOY BROKERS. The $248 involved represented their entire cash capital, II "No, but I've three. Ho w much hase JOU in your and no one knew better than they that it was staked in a clot hes?" mighty risky game of chance. "One dollar and a qua rter The market being a buo yant one, and A. & S. a nsmg "It would ihardly pa,y a crook to knock us down for stock, they had strong hopes of winning out, but in Wall wha t he'd get." Street no outside speculator can ten with any degree of They descended the subway stairs and jumped a.board certainty from one hour to another where he really is at. a train that came along. During the da .y, A. & S. went to 63, at which figure it They did not resmne the conversation on the train, as closed. any one knows who has ridden in the subway that talking Both Dick and Sam had been very busy all day, and c'an only be carried on under difficulties. scarcely saw each other. had an afternoon paper, and they devoted their At any rate, they had no time to stop and talk until attention to that lmtil they reached the station where they they met after they were through for the da.y. got off. Then the first thing they did was to shake hands over Next morrning there was something a.bout A. & S. in the the fact that jointly they were $40 richer commissionl and other expenses not considered, than they were the da.y One journal said that 'biere was understood to be a com.before. bination o f ca.pita.lists a t the ba. ck of the stock, and that "I hope we'll be $40 mo re ahead to-mo rrow," said Sam, it c e rtainly would go much hiO'her. licking his lips in anticipation of such a happy result. Another pa per hinted at a between A. & S "You don't 1:ope that any more than I do," replied Dick. and the Great Southern Railway, and said that would ac"If the stock goes up five points, we'll make about $100 count fo.r the ris e of the shares. apiece." Still ano ther said that it was reported,..that A. & S. "I think the prospect / is good that it will go up that would resume its quarterly cliviclencls on the common stock. much." Whether any of these statements were true or not, it is "That's my opinion. We ought fo get a rabbit's foot or certajn that the stock was one of the fa.vorites with the something of tha t kind and ca.r:ry it ruound for luck." brokers that cla. y and it went up to 65. "Do you think that everybody who has luck ca,rries a The two boys 'shook hands a.gain that afternoon at their charm about him?"' improved prospects, and went home as jolly as a pair of "No. Some people are born lucky. They couldn't help sandpipers o n a deserted beach. being fortunate if they tried not to." Next day was Saturday and the stock went up a fraction "Well, who kno ws but we were born lucky?" more than a point before fue ExchanO'e closed at noon. "I know that J wasn't born with a silver spoon in my "I guess we can afford to hold a day or so longer, mouth." don't you think so, Dick?" said Sam, when they met after ::You die with a gold one b:tween your teeth." their offices had closed for the clay. 1 I live enough, I may, but fellow can "We've got to hold on until Monday now, at any rate," long he's to knock a:ound this world. One is replied Dick. "The market looks strong, so I guess we're liable to go off his hooks any time." s f eno gh "Don't let that fa ct worry you. You're young yet, and a. u f ts t th d t th' t f th J.h h f ,, ., re over our porn o e goo a is s age o e L e c ances m your a.var. h /1 h t' t ,, "I'd h t t d' l'k tl t ld h h t t d game. I hate to lose t e pro_ut t a s commg o us. f t a.fetho Sieb-it e ia 0 tc dap w 0 ra e "Don't worry. We'll clear $100 a.piece," answered Dick m ron o e u reasury yes er ay mornmg. fid tl "How do you kI.H?W he's dead yet? Did you see anything I {1 h d ,, in the papers about him?'" w1s a your n:rve. "N 'f 1 "What's the matter with you? Ta.ken a sudden funk?" h ut 1 ever a man ooked to be at his last gasp, "I don't know, but I think I'd have sold out at the h 'iai 1 1 keel tty b cl If 1 present figures if I'd been running the deal. A bird in es, e cei n Y 1 h pre a a k the hand is worth half a dozen in the bush." surance agent, I wou dn t accepte a. ns on is i "Th t bl 'th th t t 11 t cl t ,, e rou e w1 you is a you re no we pos e on a. any price. h Th 't f 1 ht" "{think we're wandering from the subject that interests t e s1tuat10n. ere isn a o a sump m s1g t ,, "Well, you know lots of thmgs happen when they us mos t d ,, "You mean A. & S. ?" expec e "Of course. Wha.t else should I mean? t lay a.wake "That's one of the chances a fellow has always got to half night figuring on the chances." take in Wall Street. If you haven't the nerve to stand "You're foo.Iish! Don't do it again, o r you may queer for them, the best thing is not to speculate." the deal." "I wonder if I' c1 ma .ke a good broker?" "How so?" \ "I guess you'd be a. conservative one. You'd let your "A watched pot never boils. If you think too much of customers taJrn the chances and you'd take the cmrm1is-A. & S., it may not go any higher." sions." "My thinking a.bout it will never hold it back. I was "That's a. good way, isn't it?" thinking a.bout it all day, and you see it's gone up a. point. "It's the safest." I'll bet nine dollars that you didn't lose track of it, either." j .On.Monday A. & S. opened an ei?hth of a .. pofat you got nine dollars to bet?" than it closed on Saturday, and as it was freeJ.y traded m


PRICE & CO., BOY BROKERS. it was up to 68 by noon, with good prospects of going higher. During the afternoon a boom developed in another stock called B. & L., and there was great excitement in the Exchange. It advanced at a great rate, and Dick heard that a com bination of wealthy men was behind it. As there seemed to be good authority :for this report, it struck the boy that it would pay to sell out A. & S. and put the money into the other He found no chance to consult Sam, and, after thinking the matter over, he decided to a.ct on his own judgment and take the chance. Accordingly, he gave the order to the bank to sell the 40 shares at the market price and put the amount received into B. & L. as far as it would f!b. A. & S. was sold at 68!, netting the boys $240, and the bank bought 100 shares of B. & L. for Dick at 49. At half-past three Dick was at the door of the building, waiting to see Sam to tell him what he had clone. Sam, however, didn't show up. After waiting fifteen minutes for him, Dick went up stairs to his o ffice. Sam wasn't in sight, so Dick asked the cashier where he was. "Mr. Otway sent him with a special message to Brook lyn," was the reply. Satisfied that he wouldn't be able to see his chum until that evening, Dick went home. "Sam won't kick, anyway," he told himself, & L. is already three points higher than I gave for it, which means $300 more for us. From present looks it will go up several points to-morrow." He was unable to go over to Sam's house that night, and as Sam didn't come over to see him Otwa y's messenger remained in blissful ignorance of the change that had taken place in their specLtlative venture. For some reason or another, Sam didn't appear at the station at his usual time next morning, and after missing two expresses, Dick boarded the third. "Maybe he overslept himself," thought Dick. "I can't afford to be la te at the office on his account. I'll see him some time to-day, anyway." B. & L. opened that morning at 53, as Dick saw by the ticker. He also noticed that A. & S. was ruling at 69i. "That change I made makes a whole lot of difference in o:ur profits," said the boy to himMlf. At eleven, when he went to the Exchange with a message to Mr. Rucker, he found the floor in a state of great excitement over B. & L. The brokers were fighting for it, and it was advancing at a great rate. Already it was being quoted at 56'. "Gee! If this keeps on for a while, Sam and me will pull out considerably on the winning side," mused Dick as he stood by the rail and watched the scene of e.--i:citement going on under his eyes. While waiting a chance to deliver his note he heard a broker say to another: "Whoever Rucker is acting for stands to win or 19se a fortune He's selling B. & L. right and left. Looks a s iJ' he's trying to break the price." That was the first intimation Dick got that his firm, which was known to side with the bears, was in on B. & L. It gave the boy food for thought. In spite of Mr. Rucker's actions, and he was backed 'by other bear interests, the stock < he was bucking not only held its own, but went higher. Ordinarily Dick would have considered very seriously the question of getting out when he saw that there was a heavy opposition to B. & L., but having heard on the best of evidence that the clique booming the stock was a very strong combination, he decided to hold on a while longer. The excitement at the Exchange grew to fever heat during the day, and B. [:; L. c:,lSed at 61. T'he whoJe talk of the Street was the boom in B. & L. and the failure of the bear raid SC> far to down it. The air was full of rumors as to what would happen on the morww, but the general impression seemed to be prices would hold or go better. Sam was off first that afternoon, and he came into Dick's o.ffice anxious to find out whether his chum had sold out or not. "Well, Dick," he asked, "what about A. & S.? It's up to 72. How about selling out?" "I sold out at 68l" "YOU did ?" "Yes. We made a profit of $242. That ra ised our combined capital to $490, and I slapped the whole of it right into 100 shares of B. & L. at 49." "The dickens you did!" gasped Sam. "I did. B. & L. is now going at 61. That was the closing price, so we're $12 a share ahead on it at this time, or $1,200. Got any kick coming?" "I should say not. You're all to the mustard. How came you to do it?" "I had my eyes wide open to the way things were going, and I took advantage of the boom in B. & L. I think I shall sell out to-morrow to be oh the safe side, though I don't think the tide will turn for several days. Still I don t feel like taking too many chances." "Neither do I. Twelve hundred profit sounds pretty big," said Dick, rubbing his hands gleefully. "Especially with $242 more on top of it. Don't forget that. This is better than running messages for brokers." "I should sa. y it was." "Say, Sam, what do you say to going into partnership as traders on our own account?" "What, throw up our "Exactly. This deal ought to net us two' salary apiece. What's the use of wearing shoe leather out for other people at $8 per when we can do so much better on our own hook?" "Are you sure we could keep the ball rolling?" "I am sure we could do ever so much better than we're doing now." "Give me an idea of your scheme." "Why, my scheme is to bunch all our money, draw up copartnership papers, hire an office on this street some where, advertise ourselves as brokers in the :financial papers with a view to catching out-of-town customers-we could


PRICE & CO., BOY BROKERS. 5 easily make a.ITangements with some broker to give us a percentage on the bl.1siness we put into his hands-and be our own bosses. "I don't know wlrat my own folks would say to that," replied Sam do-q,btfully "Don't tell them at first. We could turn in our regular wages every Saturday, and when we had got a good start we could surprise our families. with the information that we were out for ourselves, with every prospect of suc cess." "That would be great. I like the idea first-rate." "Then we'll talk it over as soon as I close out our spec. in B. & L. Come on, let's go home." Next day, when B. & L. was up to Dick closed out the deal at a profit of $2,000. The combined capital of the two boys was now $2,500, and they had made it all within ten days out of an investment of $248. CHAPTER III. PRICE & CO. Sam was fully in accord with his chum's proposition of going in for themselves. They talked the matter over thoroughly and were satis fied they could make a great deal more money than if they continued as messenger boys. So both decided to notify their employers that they in tended to quit. It happened, however, that Dick was not given any choice in the matter. Next day Burnett, Rucker & Co. notified the Exchange that they could not meet their engagements, and made an assignment for the benefit of their creditors The assignee found that he would have to wind up the business, and so all the employees were notified to look out for other positions. That suited'Dit!k all right, and he started to look around for an office on Wall Street that would be cheap and answer the firm's purpose. He soon found that it would be impossible to secure an office above Pearl Street at any figure that they could afford to pay He found a suite of two rooms-a large one and a small one---0n the top floor of a four-story brick building on the north side of Wall, just below Water. He decided t.iiat it would answer first-rate for Sam and himself to begin business in, aild he took his chum around to see it. "Rather outside of the district, isn't it?" said. Sarri, as they stopped in front of the building, which on the whole looked rather shabby looking. "There are no stock brokers' offices down here." "What's the difference? We aren't going in for city customers." "They'd never come here." "We'll have Wall Street on our stationery, anyway, and that will count for a whole lot with folks outside of the city." "That's right," replied Sam. "What floor is the office on?" "Top floor, front." "We'll have a sky parlor. I don't see any elevator." "No, there isn't any. We'll have to foot it up." "That will be a new experience for us." "We'll get used ttJ it. Come, let's go up. T11e man who has charge of the building has a business o"If the third floor." So they walked up as far as the third floor :first, and Dick introduced his companion to the man in question. "I wish to show the rooms above to my partner," he said "So you young fellows are partners, eh?" smiled the man quizzically. "Yes, sir We are the people." "Well, you look bright enough, both of you, to succeed if you understand your business. What did you say you were going to do?" "We're going to open up as brokers for ourselves." "What kind of brokers?" grinned the man. "Stock brokers." "Rm! Won't you be a trifle too far from the Ex change?" "That won't make any difference to us. We're good walkers." "I suppose yo"Q.'ve been working for some broker?" "Your supposition is quite correct, Mr. Goodwin. We've had three years or so experience in the Street, and we've acquired a pretty good knowledge of the business. At any rate, we've demonstrated, to our own satisfaction, at any rate, that we can hoe our own wa.y. When we've estab lished ourselves a bit we'll think about hiring a more ex pensive office further up Wall Street. At present, I think the rooms you have to let will answer all our immedia.te requiremffi:l;ts." "Will you be able to furnish reference?" "Certiainly," replied Dick promptly. "I'll refer yon to Mr. William Rucker, of Burnett, Rucker & Co., Building. I worked for that firm ever since I've been in 'Vall Street. It was my first and only job." Mr. Goodwin took down Mr. Rucker'. name and address, and then, getting the keys of the front rooms above, led the way upstairs. Sam thought the rooms looked ra ther shabby, and said so. "Oh, th-ey'll look differently when they've been painted, whitened and furnished up in good shape," said Dick. "You're going to whiten the walls and ceiling and have the woodwork painted, aren't you> Mr. Goodwin?" "Of course. If you take the offices, I'll have a man in to-morrow to attend to the rna"tter." "The floor repairing, I see, too. Looks as if somebody had been pulling up the boards." "I'll have that a.11 fixed," replied the man, who looked annoyed about something. "This small room will do for a private office," said Dick to Sam. "It will answer for that first-rate," replied Sam. "Well, how do you like them, old man?" asked Dick. "I'll tell you better when they're fitted up." "You haven't any decided objection to taking them, have you?" "Whatever you goes with me," answered Sam. "That's a.11 right; but you're an equal partner in our


6 PRICE & CO. BOY BRO'.KERS ;venture, and if you've got a.ny kick a.t all coming you wan.t to speM up." "I'm sa tisfied," sa:id Sam. "All right. We'll take them, Mr. Goodwin. I'm ready to pay yo,, one or three mo'!l.tbs' rent in a.dva:nce, just as you say. We've got the money or we shouldn't be thinking Qf going into the brokerage business." Dick's manl y and business-like attitude favombly imAs soon as the office .was in shape, Dick hired a painter to put the followinS" sign on the outer door: PRICE & CO., Stock Brokers. Mining Stacks Bo11ght and Sold on Commission. pressed the agent of the building, a.nd he said one month The same words were also painted on a metal sign at would do, and that. they could have the offices. the street door, wiilh the added words, "Fourth Floor." "I'll look up your references this afternoon, and if it'io "Price & Co." was also painted in gilt letters on each all right, .as I presume it will be, I'll have the rooms put of the'three windo_ws overlooking Wall Street. into shape for you a.t once." The necessary books, stationery a:nd printed matter were "All right. We'll be down here to-m orrow." ordered a.t a Broad Street stationery establishment, and They return ed to Mr. Goodwin's office, where Dick paid the office furniture was ordered and pa:id for. a month's rent and r eceived his receipt after which tho Arrangements were also made for the installation of a boys left the building. telephone, a safe, a:nd a ticker. "Now we'll. go to a notary and have the pa rtnership When everything was in place, the office looked lik e busipapers drawn up," said Dick. "What shall the name o-f ness as much as any broker'.s in the financial district the firm be? W e'd better toss up to see whether it shall "Say, this looks all right," said Sam, in a tone of be Keene & Price or Price & Keene." s atisfaction "No," replied Sam. "I'd ra.ther it wo11ld frice & "Yes; I can't find any fa' ult with it," replied his pa .rt.ner. "All we need now to complete the picture is a:n "Price & Co.!" exclaimed Dick, in some surprise. "Why office' boy and a stenographer." don't you want your name before the puf).lic?" "We can't afford to hire them until we get something "I think Price & Co. would look bett e r. than Price & for them to do. I'm ready to carry all messages for the Keene. At any rate, I'd like to be the Co. I prefer a pre sent, even if I am the Co." firm that has a Co. to i t If we had a third partner, then "I'm gla d to see tha.t you're not too proud to make your-I'd like it to be Price, Keene & Co." se lf useful." "All right, Sam. It shall be you sa y ; buttho "You bet your life I'm not Co. will be as important as the Price. It's a:n even part"That's right, Sam. No man or boy need feel ashamed nership:'' to do anything thatwill advance his own interests, even "I know that. But I consider you're the most important if it is running an errand or carrying a bun.dle. B e n pa.rt of the firm. You know more about the business than Franklin was not above wheeling goods on a hand I do, and are sip.arter, I guess. At any ra.te, I have concart when he first started in business, and look what a fidence in you as the head and front Of the bu, siness. Now, great man he eventually became I wouldn't have nerve enough to start out alone as I gi1ess Sam nodded. you would if I didn't go in you." "You haven't put an advt in the papers yet, have yoo ?" "You must culti vate your nerve, Sam You'll need it he asked all in the bu s in ess," said Dick, with a laugh, as they turned "No. I'm going to do it right awa 1. I'll have to sub in at an office building where he was acquainted with a scribe for the 'Wall Street News' and the 'Argus' and the notary. 'Financial Chronicle They print about all the news that The partner s hip papers were drawn llp, witnessed and i s going in our line." signed, and then the boys weri.t to l unch "That ticker sounds natural," grinned Sam, going over After the meal, .which they consumed this time with and scanning the as it fell into the tall wicker basket plenty of lei su re, they went up on Nassau Street to the beside the machine "I see\ D. & G. is still going up Too store of an office furniture maill and got an estimate on the bad we didn't take a whack at that wher; it was 79. It articles which Dic k said they needed is now 85. We could have bought 300 shares and made They spent the rest of thErafternoon iTu the gallery of the a couple of' thousand plunks." Stock Exchange, watching the strenuous efforts of the "If it.goes to 90 I might sell a couple of hundred ehares, brokers below, a:nd at the u sual hour went home together. for I calculate we could buy it in to deliver at a much Neither had intimated to his fol.lrs that he was no longer lower rate in a week." employed as a me ssenger in the financial district, and they As this was Saturday, Dick handed Sam $10, it being proposed to keep that fact a secret until circumstances agreed that for the present each shou ld draw that amount warranted the disclo sure. a week to .. Arrn1rn good at home; then they left the office, Next day the boys revisited the building where they had prepared to start in on Monday. engaged their office and found a carpenter at work repairing the flooring, and a painter with an assista:nt kalsomining the ceilings. They stayed a while, and after pa ying Mr. Goodwin a brief visit went to the Exchange, where they found the brokers over a new boom. CHAPTER IV. THE GHOST Dick and Sam left their homes at the usual hour 011 Monday morning ..


PRICE & CO. B O Y BROKERS, 7 Gettmg off at the W aJl Street station, they walked down that to their office. 1 Sam puffed a littl e afteT they had ascended the thl'ee :flights. "It's a good thing that we don't look for many customern to call here. H we did, I'm 3.:Eraid we'd get left The first thing people do these days when they; call at a build ing is to look for t h e elevator. It is not the fashion fo walk upstairs any mo re Dick turned the key i n the lock and entered the big room. Everyth i ng seeme d to. be exactly as they left it on Sabu day until Sam noticed that the desk he was to occupy him self had been pulled out from the wall. 1 "Hello!" said ; "somebody has been in here since we were here last "What makes you think t here has?" asked D ick, a bit startled at his remark "My desk has been moved "Are you sure it has?" "I'm positive I t was p lum against the wall, now it's several inches away from it. "Maybe the j anito r of the bui l ding moved it when he came i n to sweep. "T'he p lace need sweeping." "Well, there's nothing to steal; but I don't want any b..ody but the janitor to come in here, just the same Sam went to move his clesk back again when he saw that part of a board had been disturbed in the :flooring, as if it had been pried up an.d then put back in a careless way. "Look her!3, Dick. Somebody has been. monkeying with the :flooring." Dick looked down and sa.w that his pa.rtner had stated the fact "' "That's funny he said He knelt down, touched the board, and founQ. that it was quite loose. He' easily removed it, exposing the :floor joists "Probably this has been loose since before we took the he said. "The floor, you know, was in bad shape when we rented the place "I know it. The carpenter had quite a job repairing it. It's curious the desk was moved out just the width of that bonrcl. We'd betteT to. Mr Goodwin about it. "Well, you can drop i n some time' to day and tell him." Dick went into the priV"atc room where his desk was, and was rather astonished to notice that his own desk had been movrd a lso. T 1ooking behind it, he saw that the floor had been a ppar ently tampered with there, too .. He examined i t and found a board loose 'When Dick had his desk placed in that corner of the room beside the window looking out on yv all Street, he had walked all over the flooring and found it to be per fect l y soli d If a boa r d was loose, h e was sure he would have noticed it. After pondering the matter over, he pushed his desk against the wall again and sat' down to look over the mar ket report and read up the financia l i ntelligence 8am was somewhat simi l arly employed i n the o uter room He heard the door o pen and looked a.roun d The janitor of the building stood there. "Hello!"1said Sam "You're the j anitor, a r en' t you?" The man said he w:as. "Been in here dusting a.round since Saturday noon?" "I was i n here this morning I see y ou 'v e got your office fitted up in fine shape ."Did you move this out fro m the wtt11 for any reason?" "No; I didn' t touch anyth i ng at a ll." "Well, it was moved out about six i n c hes and .t h e board against the wall was loose, just as if somebody' h a d pnll erl it up and put i t back a.gain after a fashion "Is that so?" replied the'janito r. "'r'he g h ost mus t ha v e been around again Slmday night "The ghost exclaimed Sam "What ar e you ta lkin g about?" "Didn't Mr Goodwin te ll you an yt hin g about tha t spook?" "What spook? "Why, the spook that ha.unts this top floor.}' "Suifering Egypt Do you mean to say t h a t t her e 's anything like that around this bui ld ing? "Yes," nodded the janitor sol emnly Tha t g h ost h a s been seen and heard from for more than a year. E ver since the last tenant of these offices died and hi s lmsi ness was moved somewhere else by h i s widow. "Say, Dick/ called out Sam o u t h e re, will you?" 'What's the matter?" asked the youn g senio r p artne r, appearing a t the door of the private office. "You didn't bear that there was a g host attached to this :floor, did you?" "A ghost I What are you giving me?" "The janitor has just been, telling me that ever s ince the last tenant died, over a year ago, hf ghost--" "It isn't his glrost," said the j a n itor "It's the ghos t of somebody else." "What kind of nonsense are you te llin g m y partn er?" asked Dick impatiently "I'm telling the exact facts Everybody i n t h e neigh borhood knows about it. That's w h y it was so hard to rent this :floor. "Do you mean to tell me that t h e peop l e d oin g around here believe that there's such a thin g as a ghost in this building?" "Why shouldn't they, whe n some of t hem seen it?" "They have." "I've seen it, to<1." "The dickens you have! What di d i t look l i k e ?" "It's a tall old man, with a wh,itish g ray beard white hair, s:pectacles, wearing a soft felt hat an d a s h abby suit o f clothes .", What made you think be was a ghost?'' "Because I sa:w him in the dark. H e was c o vere d with a pale, whitish glow tha t gave off smoke No mortal man could look like that." The janitor was clearly in earnes t. "Say, jan.ito r, do you ever ge t a j a g on?" asked Dick. "Somet imes.


8 PRICE & CO., BOY BROKERS. "Are you s ure that }rou didn t have on e on when you sa. w the gho st?" "'[ was as sober as a judge." 1 "I've heard of judges getting pretty full on occasions." "I was sober that time, and I saw him as plajnly as I see you." "What was he doung when you saw him?" "He was in this room pulling up a board from the floor." "Maybe it was he that put the flooring of the:;e rooms :in s:uch bad shape?" grinned Dick. "It must have been him," replied the janitor "for nobody else has been up here to my knowl e dge." "How long have you been janitor of this building?" "Six months." "How long has Mr. Goodwin been agent for it?" "Eight months or so. "Has he seen the ghost, too ?" "No. He's never been around at night." "Then this ghost only prowls around at night?" The janito r nodded. "Why don't you put the policeman on the beat onto him?" "How could he arrest a ghost?" "I'll bet he'd find it a pretty h e althy ghost. Well, if it was that ghost who moved our desks and monkeyed with the floor, I'm going to have him looked after. My partner and I are the tenants of these two rooms, and we don't pro pose to allow outside!s to come in here and move our around." "What can you do with a ghost that's covered with fire and smoke?" "You can do a whole lot with him if you go the right way about it." The janitor had nothing further to say and withdr ew. "That janitor \Ctually believes that. he saw a ghost/', said Dick to Sam. "There isn't the least dot\bt about it.'; "What he saw is some m!\Jl who has an object in nosing around these diggings. q uestion is, what is he hunt ing for so persistently? There must be something hidden in the floor somewhere, o r he thinks there is. T o cover his movements, he has got himself up to look like a spook. I think it's up to us, Sam, to nab this ghost. At any rate, we can't afford to have him around the. premises digging u.p the floor. If we allowed the thing to go on, we'd have to make a contract with a ca. rpenter to keep the place in repair, or rather Mr. Goodwin would. I'm surprised that the agent hasn't taken measures long b e fore this to catch the intruder. I'm going to talk to him on the subject. Accordingly, Dick went downstairs and saw Mr. Good win. At first the agent ridiculed the story as a pure fake and said the janitor was a fool, but when Dick said he in tended to make inqui'ries about the neighborhooo as to the truth of the janitor's statement, he reluctantly admitted that there was something in it. "Then why you tried to catch the gho st?" asked Dick. "I should think you would have found it to your interest to have prevented that man, whoever he is, from making a wreck of these rooms." "I have tried to find out who was at the bottom of it. I stayed here with a polic eman on two differ ent occasion s, but our watchfulness amount e d to nothing. The gho s t domes only at uncertain times, and I have found no w a y o f tracing his movements. If h e does any damage in your offices, I will have it repaired, and will report the matter to the police." Dick had 'to be satisfi e d with this for the present, and he returned upstairs After telling Sam what the agent had said, he back to his private room. CHAPTER V. SELLING SHORT. Dick put a standing advertisement in three of the W aD Street dailies, and by the end of the first week the firm received a couple of letters from people up the State con taining post orders-one for $ ,50 and the other for $100instructing them to buy certain stocks on the usual mar gin. "Well, we've go t something looks like business at last,_ Sam," said Dick. "Enter these orders up in your book, and then make out memorandum and take them around to Mr. Fosdick to fill for us." "All right," replied his partner, in an animated way. "I was just beginning to wonder when something would come our way." He got busy and soon a.fterward put on his ha. t and w ent out. While he was away Dick had a caller A young lady, of good looks and nice man ners, who introduced herself as Miss Carringt9n, o,f Bayville, Lo ng Island. "Is Mr. Price in?" she inquired. "Yes, miss. I am Mr. Price said Dick offering her a chair. "You are not Mr. Price, the broker, are you?" she said doubtfully. "Yes, miss. I am the heacl o f the firm of Price & Co." ''Is it possible!" she exclaimed in surprise. "You lGOk v e r y young for a broker." "I hope my looks a re no t against me, Mis s Carrington," smiled Dick. "Oh, dear, no," she answered .in a little confusion, for she was conscious that Dick was a very good-looking, manly kind of boy. "Thank you. In way can I serve you?" "I saw your advertisement in the Wall Street 'Argus.' I am a school-teacher, and my pay is not very large at present, for I've only just commenced to teach. I have some shares of a mining stock I would like to dispose of if they are anything. They belong to my mother. She was persuaded fo purchase them about a year ago by a man who boarded with us during the summer. He said the mine was good property." "Did you bring the stock: with you?" asked Dick. "Yes." She opened her hand satchel and took out a small oblong package, which she opened and disclosed several certifi cates. Dick looked at them. Each called for 500 shares of stock in the "Solid Silver


PRlCJ;j & CO., BOY BROKERS. 9 )lining Company" of Paradise, a minin g camp to the south I is up to 92. The traders are a c ting crazy over ii.. See of Goldfield, Nevada. \rh a t we missed." In all there were 2,500 shares. "I think it will pay us to sell the stock short now. The much did your mother pay for thi stock?" pap e rs have hinted tha t a slump may be expected any ." Five cents a s hare." tim e ." "This mine is merely a prospect, then, or was when "Well, do as you please. If you think it's a safe propo-your mother bought the stock." sition, sell a hundred shares." "l' don't quite under tand what you mean by a prospect, Dick went to the Exchange and found that D. & G. Mr. Price." t 93 gone o "A prospect is undeveloped mining property. The proHe went around to tlie little bank and told the clerk he moters believe, or at least assert, that there is gold or silver wanted to sell 100 shares of the stock at the market, to be ore, or both, in the ground. A producer, on the contrary, d e livered later. is a either developed or in process of development The deal was made and the young broker put up the from which the ore is being actually taken in presumably necessary security. pa y ing quantities. The stock of such a mine can hardly D. & G. closed at 94. be bought for five cents a share." ''Then you don't think this stock is worth anything?" said Miss Carrington, with a look of disappointment. "I will tell you in a minute. I have the daily reports of the Western Exchanges on file. If the mine is quoted, I can tell you what it is worth." Dick looked up his latest list and found that Solid Silver was not mentioned. He went back over previous lists, but the mine did not appear on them. "I regret to say, Miss Carrington, that your mine is either not listed on the exchanges, or there has been no sales of the stock for some "Then you think it has no value?" "It's value seems to be questionable." "Then mother was impo sed upon ?'1 "It is possible that she was. There is a lot of worthless stock hawked about the country. Peopl e who buy it are generally swindled out of their money." "It is too bad said Miss Carrington, looking as if wanted to cry. "The money mother paid for that would be very useful to us now." "Your mother should not have bought the stock without making some inquiries about it. Any reputable broker in thi s city would have answered her letter, giving her the true facts." Next day it ran up to 96 under heavy buying, and then somebody sudden ly threw a block of 10,000 shares on the market and the price went down to 92. It recovered and rose to 95, at which price Dick sold another 100 sha res. Heavy 'selling set in and it slipped down to 90. Dick saw that the stock was being heavily backed yet. so he went to the bank ai:td bought 200 shares at to cover his short sales. The difference in price netted Price & Co. $725 During the day the stock rose to 94. Dick didn't return to the office until after the Exchange closed. "Anybody been here?" he asked Sam. "Not a soul. I've been putting in time watching the people in the street and reading." "No letters either, I suppose?" "No." "Well, don't worry. I guess the firm will exist. We've made $725 since I left here." "That so?" you make it? yesterday?" said Sam, in pleased surprise "How did On tha t 100 shares o.f D. & G. you sold "Yes, added to another 100 I sold at 95. I covered both w4.ii!:n the price went to 90l The difference represents our prM.t." I "I am afraid mother is too confiding. Well, I am sorry to ha:ve troubled you, Mr. Price," she said, wrapping the fine.,, certificates up and returning them to her satchel. somethmg over. It pa .ys for furnishing our office and "It is no trouble at all Miss Carrington. I'll tell you "The stock closed at 94, and I mean to have another what I'll do for you. I'll make a note of your stock and whack at it to-morrow if conditions look favorable." watch the lists every day. If I see it quoted, I'll write Dick was on hand at the Exchange in the morning when you word." business began, and saw that D. & G. had ta.ken on a "You are very kind to intere s t yourself in the matter." shaky look. "Not at all. How shall I address you?" He went to the bank and sold 300 shares "Miss Maud Carrington, box 50, Bayville, L. I." at 93f. .. Di c k wrote it down on a pad, and the young lady took her An hour lat er he saw the stock recede to 90. l eave He returned to the office to see if anything was doing. Soon atter Sam came in, and Dick told him about his "Two more letters cam in, one of which contained an pretty visitor. order to buy 100 shares D. & G. at the market. I rushed "Wish I'd been in," grinned Sam. "I like to meet up to the Exchange gallery to see you about it, for I pretty girls." thought it would be foolish to make the deal. I didn't want "Did you place those orders with Mr. Fosdick all right?" to see the man lose his money. You wasn't anywhere "Sure I did. He asked me how we were getting on, and around, so I've held on to the order." I told him we were just beginning to get a move on." "You did right. If we wanted to skin the man we could "Did you look in at the Exchange.?" report the stock purchased at 92. It's down to 90 nn ... "Yes. Ther e's excitement on the floor to burn. D. & G. and likely to go lower. I've sold 300 shares at 93!, which


10 PRICE & CO., BOY BROKERS. means that we're about $1,000 ahead inside of two hours. Where's the man's letter?" "Here it is. So you sold 300 D. & G. at 93i, and it's down to 90 ?" /' "Take a look a t the tape and see hoW' it is now," shld Dick. "It's 89," said Sam a moment later. "Better still. Say, write a letter to this man and tell him that we didn't fill his order because the stock was on the slump, and tha.t we didn't want to sacrifice his money. Tell him that if the price stiffe1is we'll buy the 100 shares, but that we regard the matter as very doubtful." "I'll do it. Are you off again?" "Yes. I've got to watch that deal of ours." D. & G. went down to 87, and then began to pick l1p. Dick immediately bought 300 at to make good his short sale, and the firm macle a profit of $1,700. This raised their working capital to $4,400. Dick also bought J.00 shares for his customer, and sold it again just before three at as the market began to look weak once more. He made a profit of $200 for their customer by using his judgment without instructions. This wasn't according to busiliess rules of the Street, but Dick didn't want to carry the deal for the man when the prospects indicated that he was bound to lose. He wrote the imm a letter himself explaining what he had done and why he had done it, telling him that cus tomers' interests was their first consideration, ancl asking him what he should do with the increa ed balance in his hands. Next morning D. & G. opened at 89 ancl went to 88 inside of a few minutes. Dick took another chance and sold 300 shares at that figure. An hour later he bought 300 at S4s, and made a profit of $1,050. The stock went to 86, and then the bottom dropped out of it and it ran down to 80, at which the brokers seemed to lose interest in it. r:r;vo days afterward Price & Co. received a gra4t\:ul l etter from the man whose interests they had protected. He asked them to keep the money and invest it according to their judgment. Dick replied that it was not customary to accept a com mission of that kind. He said, however, that he would do the best he could with the money, but his correspomlent must understand t

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