Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 70



Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.

Page 70

he concluded that he would follow in the wake of Mr. Gould’s orders. One day, he naïvely mentioned his desire to Mr. Gould, when the financier seemed in a particularly favorable frame of mind; but Edward did not succeed in drawing out the advice he hoped for. “At least,” reasoned Edward, “he knew of my intention; and if he considered it a violation of confidence he would have said as much.”

Construing the financier’s silence to mean at least not a prohibition, Edward went to his Sunday-school teacher, who was a member of a Wall Street brokerage firm, laid the facts before him, and asked him if he would buy for him some Western Union stock. Edward explained, however, that somehow he did not like the gambling idea of buying “on margin,” and preferred to purchase the stock outright. He was shown that this would mean smaller profits; but the boy had in mind the loss of his father’s fortune, brought about largely by “stock margins,” and he did not intend to follow that example. So, prudently, under the brokerage of his Sunday-school teacher, and guided by the tips of no less a man than the controlling factor of stock-market finance, Edward Bok took his first plunge in Wall Street!

Of course the boy’s buying and selling tallied precisely with the rise and fall of Western Union stock. It could scarcely have been otherwise. Jay Gould had the cards all in his hands; and as he bought and sold, so Edward bought and sold. The trouble was, the combination did not end there, as Edward might have foreseen had he been older and thus wiser. For as Edward bought and sold, so did his Sunday-school


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