To him Louis gave his card with a request that it be handed to Mr. Peebleby, then he seated himself and for an hour witnessed a parade of unsmiling, silk-hatted gentlemen pass in and out of Mr. Peebleby's office. Growing impatient, at length, he inquired of the boy; "Is somebody dead around here or is this where the City Council meets?" "I beg pardon?" The lad was polite in a cool, superior way.

Peebleby inquired, "By the way, who helped you figure those prints?" "Nobody." "You did that alone, since Monday morning?" The speaker was incredulous. "I did. I haven't slept much. I'm pretty tired." There was a new note in Mr. Peebleby's voice when he said: "Jove! I've treated you badly, Mr. Mitchell, but I wonder if you're too tired to tell my engineers what you told me just now?

He had deciphered the tank and superstructure plans on forty-five sets of blueprints, had formulated a proposition, exclusive of substructure work, basing a price per pound on the American market then ruling, f.o.b. tidewater, New York. He had the proposition in his pocket when he tapped on the ground-glass door of Mr. Peebleby's office at ten-twenty-nine Thursday morning.

Peebleby's office that morning who did not wear a silk hat, pearl gloves, and spats. In consequence the others ignored him for a time but only for a time. Once the proposals had been read, an air of impenetrable gloom spread over the room.

This put another round of the ladder beneath him; he was progressing well, but as yet he had learned nothing about his competitors. The next morning he had some more dictation for Peebleby's stenographer, and niched another sovereign from his sad little bank-roll.