The Gold of the Gods HTML version

5. The Wall Street Promoter
Lockwood, as we now knew, had become allied in some way with a group of Wall Street
capitalists, headed by Stuart Whitney.
Already I had heard something of Whitney. In the Street he was well known as an
intensely practical man, though far above the average exploiter both in cleverness and
As a matter of fact, Whitney had been far-sighted enough to see that scholarship could be
capitalized, not only as an advertisement, but in more direct manners. Just at present one
of his pet schemes was promoting trade through the canal between the east coast of North
America and the west coast of South America. He had spent a good deal of money
promoting friendship between men of affairs and wealth in both New York and Lima. It
was a good chance, he figured, for his investments down in Peru were large, and anything
that popularized the country in New York could not but make them more valuable.
"Norton seemed rather averse to talking about Whitney," I ventured to Craig, as we rode
"That may be part of Whitney's cleverness," he returned thoughtfully. "As a patron of art
and letters, you know, a man can carry through a good many things that otherwise would
be more critically examined."
Kennedy did not say it in a way that implied that he knew anything very bad about
Whitney. Still, I reflected, it was astute in the man to insure the cooperation of such
people as Norton. A few thousand dollars judiciously spent on archaeology might cover
up a multitude of sins of high finance.
Nothing more was said by either of us, and at last we reached the financial district. We
entered a tall skyscraper on Wall Street just around the corner from Broadway and shot
up in the elevator to the floor where Whitney and his associates had a really palatial suite
of offices.
As we opened the door we saw that Lockwood was still there. He greeted us with a rather
stiff bow.
"Professor Kennedy and Mr. Jameson," he said simply, introducing us to Whitney,
"friends of Professor Norton, I believe. I met them to-day up at Mendoza's."
"That is a most incomprehensible affair," returned Whitney, shaking hands with us.
"What do you make out of it?"
Kennedy shrugged his shoulders and turned the remark aside without committing