Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 71

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


Page 71

teacher, and all his customers who had seen the wonderful acumen of their broker in choosing exactly the right time to buy and sell Western Union. But Edward did not know this.

One day a rumor became current on the Street that an agreement had been reached by the Western Union Company and its bitter rival, the American Union Telegraph Company, whereby the former was to absorb the latter. Naturally, the report affected Western Union stock. But Mr. Gould denied it in toto; said the report was not true, no such consolidation was in view or had even been considered. Down tumbled the stock, of course.

But it so happened that Edward knew the rumor was true, because Mr. Gould, some time before, had personally given him the contract of consolidation to copy. The next day a rumor to the effect that the American Union was to absorb the Western Union appeared on the first page of every New York newspaper. Edward knew exactly whence this rumor emanated. He had heard it talked over. Again, Western Union stock dropped several points. Then he noticed that Mr. Gould became a heavy buyer. So became Edward—as heavy as he could. Jay Gould pooh-poohed the latest rumor. The boy awaited developments.

On Sunday afternoon, Edward’s Sunday-school teacher asked the boy to walk home with him, and on reaching the house took him into the study and asked him whether he felt justified in putting all his savings in Western Union just at that time when the price was tumbling so fast and the market was so unsteady. Edward assured

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