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Wall Street - The Boiler Room

( Originally Published 1939 )

Two prosperous looking go-getters sat in the lounge of a popular midtown hotel on Broadway, one Sunday afternoon, speculating as to what the maket would do.

"I believe now is a good time to open up, Harry," said the most aggressive looking one of the pair. "Stocks are at the bottom, and the average investor doesn't know what to do. He's looking for a Moses to lead him out of the wilderness."

"Wouldn't wonder but what you're right, Tim. You got any-thing in mind?"

"Nothing that I'm married to, but there's a dozen issues floating around begging to be financed. Don't know as they're worth a damn but still they're money hungry, and we can write our own ticket. I've one in mind that might prove to be a whizz."

"What's that?"

"It's a new fangled aeroplane. I've been over their plans with them, and while I doubt that the darn thing will ever fly, it sure listens good. The tunnel-test, up at N. Y. U., seems to justify their theory all right. They need money to build a plane."

"What's the break?"

"Haven't gone into that yet. Like all crazy inventors, the old cooter that has it thinks he's got the world by the tail, and has a funny idea of financing for twenty or twenty-five percent. How ever, if you want to look at it, we can soon make him talk turkey."

And so it came about that Timothy Hollowell, alias Sam Menoskie, and Harry Hawkins, alias John Haggerty, were in conference a few days after their talk, with the inventor of the new fangled plane, "The Stratoscope."

"I've gone over the thing pretty thoroughly with my associates, Graystone," Hollowell announced to the inventor. "We are in sympathy with your efforts, and I believe you've got something good, but still, you've got to have money, and it takes money to make money."

"But I told you once before," protested Graystone, "that I've tied up every dollar I have in the world in this thing, and I can't raise any more."

"All right; We can raise you the money, but you've got to revolutionize your ideas on financing. You're in Wall Street, and no one is going to work for nothing. The capitalization of your company, as it now stands, is one hundred thousand shares, with none of it outstanding. It's got to be raised to one million shares, par value $1.00 per share. Of that amount you put your patents in for sixty-five percent of the stock. We want fifty thousand shares of your personal stock' to finance the expenses of the campaign."

"But isn't that exhorbitant," Graystone protested again.

"Exhorbitant? Hell no! What are you risking? Stock is nothing but paper. What have you to lose? Yes, we want fifty thousand shares of your stock to start with, a call on the unissued three hundred and fifty thousand shares that will belong to the company, at a price of fifty cents a share. In addition, for every fifty thou-sand shares we sell for the company, we expect you to kick in with another twenty-five thousand shares of your own."

"But that would leave me without control."

"Ridiculous man. Every novice in finance always squawks about keeping fifty-one percent. What the hell good is fifty-one percent? It does nothing but create suspicion. Any man can control a company's destiny with twenty percent of its stock. Stockholders seldom exercise the privilege of voting, and even if they did, you could round up as many proxies as anyone else. When the deal is concluded you will have four hundred and seventy-five thou-sand shares for yourself, and besides, you will have received $175,000 cash to go into the treasury. Take it or leave it! That's our proposition. You can't expect to come into Wall Street and get nearly two hundred thousand on a couple of blueprints, with-out paying to get it."

" Can I think it over for a few days?" Graystone inquired mildly.

" You can think it over until tomorrow. There's lots of other deals floating around, begging for money, and while I favor Stratoscope, one stock is as easy to sell as another. Contact me by tomorrow at eleven and let's do business, or forget it."

The following afternoon found Graystone in conference with the lawyer who was employed by Hollowell and Hawkins. Papers were drawn up for the quick amendment of his old charter, which was a simple matter, inasmuch as Graystone constituted the entire company.

The Stratoscope Company would thereafter be known as a million-dollar organization. Graystone, who bore an enviable reputation in his community, would be its President. Immediately following the amendment of the charter, the patents for the stratoscope plane would be turned into the company for six hundred and fifty thousand shares of its capital stock. Of this amount, Graystone would transfer fifty thousand to the firm of Hollowell and Hawkins without cost. In addition, for each fifty thousand shares of the company's stock which they sold, giving the treasury fifty cents per share for it, Graystone had agreed to give them an additional bonus of twenty-five thousand shares from his own holdings. Providing all of the company's stock was sold, they would receive a net of $175,000 against a capital stock liability of one million dollars.

"Leave it to us, Graystone," Hollowell counselled after the papers had been signed and they were leaving the office. "In a couple of months we will be under way, and Stratoscope will be setting pretty."

"Gee, I hope it doesn't take that long," Graystone ventured. "I'm out of funds, and while I know you have that long under the terms of the contract, I'll starve to death before then."

"Don't worry, partner," Hawkins broke in. "Your interest is our interest now, and it's not to our interest to let you starve. Take this hundred to tide you over the rough spots, and don't get impatient. You can have the mate to it, anytime you need it."

Graystone, a white-haired and sincere student of physics, together with a wealth of engineering experience, had come to New York to finance what he was convinced would prove to be an evolution in aeroplane history. His scale model was accurate in every detail, and while a number of eminent aeronautical engineers had examined it, the plans were so revolutionary, that they would not commit themselves, that is, so far as money was concerned. The inventor had tried one house and then another, but few reputable houses desire to undertake the financing of a new, unproven venture.

Finances had finally forced him to grasp at straws, hence he had signed a contract decidedly to his own, and his company's disadvantage. But such is the history of thousands who come to Wall Street seeking capital. The banking fraternity seldom entertains such ventures, and many enterprises, meritorious and other-wise, fall by the wayside.

With fifty thousand shares issued, however, as so-called "front money", the firm of Hollowell and Hawkins undertook to turn their stock into cash.

"What's your idea, Tim?" Hawkins inquired of his partner.

"I know of two spots where we can put away ten thousand shares at seventy five cents," was the reply. "They'll grab at the chance to get in on the ground floor. After that we had better get a good looking lay-out. We'll need ten telephones and that's going to take a grand. It's got so the damn Telephone Company wants a hundred deposit on each phone."

A few days later, after the placing of twenty thousand shares of Stratoscope, with the magnetic "bait" of ground floor, the pseudo bankers had successfully rounded up, in their vernacular, a bank-roll of fifteen grand.

Office space was leased on lower Wall Street, and, in the par-lance of the district, it was a beautiful lay-out. A large reception room, a cashier's cage, a typists' room filled with efficient but beautiful girls, a statistical department, a mail room, and two huge private offices, magnificiently furnished, comprised the lay-out on the lower floors.

Ten stories above, however, there were two other rooms tucked away in a secluded hallway, which bore no names on their panels. In these rooms were ten direct telephones, installed principally for long distance work. Every desk had a telephone and beside it was the telltale hour glass filled with sand. When a connection was established, the man at the desk would tilt his glass upside down, and in three minutes, punctual almost to the second, the sand would slowly filter through. If the conversation was not finished by that time, the glass would be reversed, and the sand once more would start on its three minute journey.

"Well, Tim, I'd say we've done ourselves proud," Hawkins genially remarked as the two strolled through their spacious offices, taking one final survey of the layout. "What are we going to open up with?"

"Anything on the Board that looks good, Harry," Hollowell replied. "Suggest first that we mail out about fifty thousand pieces to various stockholder's lists, offering the services of our statistical department. All of them want their stocks analyzed in a market of this kind, and once we've ascertained what they're holding, we can open them up in something else."

So fifty thousand pieces of mail, artfully prepared, offering a free and detailed analysis of various stocks, were mailed out, with a return prepaid business reply card.

"That should bring them in," Hollowell said, after he viewed the expensive lithographed letterhead on which the circular was printed. "This piece of literature looks strong enough to represent the First National."

"What percentage of returns do you expect?"

"At least ten percent on this piece of work. And why not? Figure it out for yourself. Suppose you were out in the sticks and received such a generous offer as we are making. Wouldn't you return the card? Certainly you would, if you were holding any of the stocks we refer to. Everyone is interested in seeing what someone else has to say about his stock. And, boy, what we can't do with five thousand replies."

Hollowell did not exaggerate when he said that they would get ten percent replies. The following facsimile of their letter brought nearer twenty percent:

"What Will The Stock Market Do?"

"Such is the question which is being asked today by millions of investors throughout the broad expanse of the nation.

"At this moment, we, like hundreds of other firms, must profess our ignorance, nevertheless, we can tell you whichever way the market goes,, either up or down, whether the stocks you are holding should go with or against the market.

"This is made possible by our up-to-date statistical department with, its trained staff of statisticians. These experts, in their minute examinations of corporate structures, management, balance sheets and earning statements, use the one and only worthwhile barometer,


"A detailed and comprehensive analysis has just been completed on Vostex. This, together with our complete weekly market letter, is yours for the asking.

"Merely write your name on the enclosed card which requires no postage and drop it in the nearest mail box. Do it now! It entails no obligation and the advantage is decidedly yours."

Hollowell and Hawkins.

"You certainly called the turn, Tim," Hawkins said as they gathered in the replies day after day. "What do you intend to tell them?"

`Read this analysis on Vostex and see for yourself, old top. It's a pip. The best part of it is that we can stick to the truth. Vostex is a darn good stock. Of course, on some of the other Lists we are using, they're holding cats and dogs, nevertheless, we can get them too. Different stocks, different analysis and different methods.

"By the way," Hawkins broke in, "old Graystone was in this afternoon. I gave him two hundred. He's sure impressed with the way we do things. The old crab would throw a fit if he knew Stratoscope was responsible for this layout."

"It's your job to hold him in line, Harry," Hollowell counselled. "We've got to open accounts before we can make a switch, and that's going to take time. Here, glance over this letter we're sending out to Vostex stockholders:

"Dear Mr. Foster:

"Thanks for the return of our card, requesting an analysis of Vostex. The enclosed detailed report should give you a comprehensive picture of their past and present activities.

"Vostex, in our opinion, is a good stock, and unless something unusual happens, which we cannot anticipate at this time, we see no definite reasons for you making any change whatsoever.

"Our statistical department is amply equipped to serve you, as the enclosed analysis indicates. If you have other holdings on which you wish a fearless and unbiased opinion, we beg that you take advantage of this service, which is organized to serve you.

"In the meanwhile we have added your name to our list, in order that you may secure our weekly market letter. We are confident that you will find this letter, which is based on interpretations rather than recitations, a valuable barometer from week to week.

"Quite naturally, Mr. Foster, no firm is in business for its health, and in making a bid for a portion of your patronage, we first intend to justify our contentions that we deserve it."

Hollowell and Hawkins.

"I'll have to hand it to you, Tim, you've got the old bean working all right. But I don't understand your insistence that they hold Vostex. That would be a darn good stock to switch them out of."

"We'll get it, Harry," was the emphatic reply.

"But how?"

"A little psychology, my lad, a little psychology. Giving them a good report on what they've got, and telling them to hold it, will create a world of confidence, and, before we can do any business, that's what we've got to build. Confidence is what we've got to sell right now, not stocks."

As the days went by the statistical department of Hollowell and Hawkins, with its staff of stenographers, worked day and night to answer thousands of inquiries.

They made detailed statistical analyses on hundreds of stocks that unsuspecting stockholders were listing with them. By this method they soon acquired intimate information as to what their potential clients were holding, not only as to the name of the stocks, but the number of shares and the prices paid.

So explicit and comprehensive were the analyses, pointing out the strong points here, and the weak spots there, that confidence was being rapidly generated.

"In another day or two, Harry, we can begin to open up," Hollowell announced with a sigh of satisfaction, as they pre-pared to take their departure for the night. "Have you arranged for all your telephone men?"

"Yes, I've got ten of the best in the business. There's several of them who could sell life preservers in the middle of the Sahara desert. All we need now is five good outside men. I've got two of them located, and I'm expecting another to contact me tonight."

"That's fine, Harry. I believe we're going to get rid of Stratoscope a damn sight faster than we expected. Wish the issue was a little larger."

"Old Graystone will let us have several hundred thousand shares of his personal stock to sell if we approach him right. While the old nut is sincere, nevertheless, ready money will make him forget his hobby for a moment."

"What do you think of the market?"

"It's bound to rally within the next week. We've got to get in touch with the entire list before then, however. What do you think of this letter?"

"Dear Mr. Foster:

"Once again we approach you with information which we believe you will find profitable.

"As you know, a careful analysis has been made of your holdings, and while you may have any number of good stocks in your portfolio, there are several which we deem advisable for you to abandon.

"The market should unquestionably start upward within a short period of time, and if you are to recover your losses, you want to make sure that every stock you hold shares in the advance.

"As you well know, in every rise, many stocks advance while others stand still, and still others decline. Don't be on the declining side! Be prepared to take advantage of the anticipated rise!

"Mail the enclosed card immediately! You can be assured of our earnest and sincere advice. The market waits for no one. Act today, RIGHT NOW !

"Hollowell and Hawkins."

"That one's a peach, Tim. What do you figure switching them into?"

"Barnum Brothers is a good stock. You can always depend on it to make a comeback when the market sells off. Don't make much difference, however, what they buy, just as long as it goes up. If we find they're opposed to amusement stocks, we'll give them an industrial. The main thing is to get them started!"

When the cards began to pour -in, several days later, asking for advice as to which stocks to hold and which to sell, it was the signal for the battery of high-pressure and _persuasive telephone salesmen to start working.

Up to the present moment, the firm of Hollowell and Hawkins had made no move whatsoever which could be construed as a violation of the law. Advice which they had given was substantially correct, and the analyses which had been made on various stocks were taken from reputable statistical manuals. The market letters each week were full of pertinent and comprehensive information, carefully disseminated for the digest of its readers.

Of the thousands on their mailing list, not one single person had been approached to buy stock. The firm was building confidence, or in the parlance of the boiler room operators, giving them a build-up.

The cards from the eager and apprehensive investors were carefully distributed among the ten telephone salesmen. A cross index was made of their holdings, the number of shares and the prices paid. Each salesman was acquainted with the most intimate details of his prospective customers' market activities.

"Hello, Mr. Foster," one of the telephone salesmen purred into the transmitter, as the connection was established between New York and Schenectady. This is Mr. Hollowell, of New York. How are you?"

"That's fine. I'm glad to hear it. Now listen! We received your letter regarding the stocks we think advisable that you should omit from your portfolio, and inasmuch as it looks as thought some immediate activity will take place, I decided to call you rather than take a chance with mail delay. I assume you are sincere in wanting to got rid of those stocks which might possibly decline rather than rise, are you not?"

A very good idea. Now the majority of your holdings, Mr. Foster, we approve of, but there are a number of them, in our opinion, which are merely parasites. They won't do anything themselves, and they will hold your recovery average back."

"What are they, you say?"

"Well, there's Walla-Wollow, Ginger Preferred and Cassava. I can't for the life of me see any future for those three."

"Yes, that's right. I'll tell you what. I'd suggest. Barnum Brothers at the moment is one of the strongest stocks on the Board."

"You don't like amusement stocks, you say?"

"Listen, Mr. Foster. You've got too much common sense to let your heart rule your head. You've got to abandon sentiment and prejudices in the stock market. What you're after is money, and Barnum is the stock to make it on, during the next rise. Take the amusement stocks as a whole. You'll notice over a period of ten years that they "sell up" during the winter and "sell off" during the summer. That's because more people attend indoor amusements in the winter, and in anticipation of increased earnings the stock rises."

"And another thing I want you to bear in mind, Mr. Foster. A low-priced stock, selling for 15, can go to 30 a darn sight quicker than a high-priced stock selling for 100, can go to 200."

"Yes, that's right. You'll make no mistake. I'd suggest that you give us authority to sell Walla-Wollow, Ginger and Cassava, immediately, and pick up Barnum. I believe the market will rally tomorrow and there's no need in sacrificing a few points."

"Fine! That's the spirit. Follow my advice for awhile, and I'm sure you'll find I'm going to justify the right to ask for your entire account. I'll sell those three stocks this afternoon and pick up Barnum. Yes, you'll have a telegraphic confirmation later in the day. Be sure, however, to get your stocks properly endorsed and mail them in by registered mail tonight. We sell them this afternoon, and we must effect delivery before 2:15 P.M., day after tomorrow."

"Thank you, Mr. Foster. Yes, this is Mr. Hollowell speaking. That's right. Listen to me, and I'll try to run your toothpick into a lumber yard. Okay, good-bye!"

"Hey, Boss," yelled the salesman from telephone number five. "That gink up in Schenectady is mailing in two hundred Walla-Wollow, four hundred Ginger Preferred, and one hundred Cassava. Wants to pick up Barnum today."

"Okay, we'll wire him a confirmation later in the afternoon. I'll confirm the sale of his stuff as of the close, and also give him the low on Barnum for the day. That will make him feel better, and cinch him mailing in the stocks."

Thus were innumerable accounts treated, one after the other, with the staff telephoning as far west as the distant Rockies. Some large and some small, but the idea was to get the account. That was the important factor. All stocks were sold as fast as they came in, and in most instances the orders were executed for the substitute stocks that the house had recommended. There was no percentage in them bucketing the order. Street certificates were delivered to them, and they in turn placed them in their box, with a confirmation simultaneously mailed to the customer.

When the proper time comes, the firm would take a hundred percent, not merely a percentage. So far, however, every trans-action had been conducted in compliance with the law. Very little, if any, misrepresentation was made, as it affected the stocks the customers sold or purchased. The anticipated rise in the, market materialized, and Barnum shot up four points, as did others of their recommendation. The house was sitting pretty. They had justified their clients expectations. The time had arrived for the first shot to be fired in their well formulated and carefully concealed campaign.

"Here's the first letter in the campaign, Harry," said Hollowell, looking up from his desk, where he had been labouring for a half hour. How does this sound to you?"

"Dear Mr. Foster:

"When we undertook to guide you through the pitfalls of investment, and to extract you' from the financial quagmires, we also resolved, at the same time, to share with each and every customer who gave us their confidence, every bit of information which came our way, from which they might derive a profit.

"Recently there has come to our attention something which promises to revolutionize the aeroplane industry, providing their claims are true. Our investigation so far, has justified their contentions, nevertheless, we shall leave no stone unturned to examine and prove every claim with a microscopic thoroughness, before we recommend it.

"In the meanwhile, I suggest that you permit us to send you what intimate details we have collected, in anticipation, if their claims are true, that you shall be among the first to participate in this commercial phenomenon.

"I am not unduly optimistic, but still, I am a great believer in the old adage, 'that one good investment is worth a lifetime of saving.'

"No obligation is entailed. We merely want you to examine it and hold yourself in readiness, in the event of course, that our further investigation justifies a recommendation.

"Hollowell and Hawkins.'

"That's laying it on all right, Tim," Hawkins laughed. "How much has he in his account?"

"About six thousands dollars. After we get the prospectus mailed out, I'll let Benny open him on the phone for a little and then let Frank go up and see him. We need only about one hundred accounts like Foster's to clean up. I venture to say we've got more than that now."

Four days after Foster had sent in his card, expressing his willingness to examine Stratoscope, he received the following letter:

"Dear Mr. Foster:

"Examine the enclosed circular carefully. It is self-explanatory. I need not elaborate to a man of your intelligence what the success of Stratoscope will mean.

"At a Senate investigation sometime back, it was revealed that the ninety dollar salary arrears owed a humble bookkeeper, which he accepted in stock, truly proved an Aladdin's lamp. For this ninety dollars in Pratt and Whitney afforded him something over fourteen millions in stock and cash dividends.

"Boening, of the Boening planes, testified that his company started with a capital of only seven hundred and fifty dollars, and yet, in the span of a few short years, Mr. Boening had individually received, including his dividends, something over sixty-one millions of dollars.

"Will history repeat itself? If Stratoscope will do what is claimed for it, we say yes, emphatically yes! Imagine an airplane, which can land at thirty miles an hour and yet attain a speed of two hundred in the air!

"Consider a plane whose wings do not extend crosswise, but are streamlined and parallel over the ship. Not only that, but built into the fuselage. It would- have the grace of a pullman car, and could land in a narrow street. Moreso than that, it would incorporate the safety the world is looking for. Irrespective of how many motors stalled, Stratoscope could gracefully and safely settle to the ground.

"Yes, Stratoscope will truly revolutionize the aeroplane industry, if their claims are verified, and I can tell you confidently that it looks as though they will be. In such an event, we intend to subscribe to one hundred thousand shares for our own account, and in that event we will communicate with you promptly.

"Hollowell and Hawkins."

The build-up had been completed. Weeks of untiring service, telephone calls, market letters, and many items of personal in-formation, had been forwarded on to Foster as it might affect his individual business. Foster happened to be in the shoe business, and the statistical department had from time to time dropped him pertinent information as it pertained to the demand for, and the retailing of shoes. Such information had been collected from business indices and trade publications. To other clients, such as Foster, they had disseminated and forwarded information which covered practically the entire field of business activity. Stratoscope was now ready to be distributed.

"Say, Harry, let's go up in the phone room and start the boys now!" Hollowell exclaimed. "The time is opportune."

"Get Mr. Foster on the phone, Benny," Hollowell directed when they entered the phone room,"and in the meanwhile you other boys listen in."

"Hello, Mr. Foster," salesman number five spoke into the transmitter, his euphonic voice ringing with genuine pleasure. "This is Mr. Hollowell again."

"Yes, I'm fine thank you. And how are you?" "And the family?"

"That's good. Now listen! I've got some great news for you. I've just come in from Long Island. The Stratoscope made its first successful flight early this morning. Of course it was only a small plane, nevertheless, it demonstrates fully every claim that was-made for it. The thing looked so darn good to us that we took the precaution to tie up their original issue of stock on an option. We've bought a hundred thousand shares for our own account, which will give them ample money to build their first complete plane. Man alive! When their first mammoth airliner is completed, I venture to say that Standard Oil, Texas, or any other company would give them a million dollars merely for the privilege of hanging their advertisement on it, as it flies over the country demonstrating. Yes, sir, safety and comfort is no longer a theory, but an accepted fact, as far as air travel transportation is concerned.

"Yes, that's right. The initial capitalization is a million. But you understand of course that with their first cross-country flight, it will probably be raised to fifty million."

"Sure! Every stockholder will share in every increase. How do you suppose Boening got sixty-one million out of a seven hundred and fifty dollar investment, if such wasn't the case?"

"The price? Well, I'll tell you. They agreed to let us have the first hundred. thousand shares at $1.00, but they're advancing the price twenty-five cents a share on us, every fifty thousand shares up. That means we've got to get $1.50 a share to start with, and advance it twenty-five cents each time they advance on us. However, as I said before, we've got the first hundred thousand shares at one dollar, and I'm going to divide that among our clients at a dollar ten."

"Yes, I'll let you have three thousand shares at that price. No, I'm afraid we can't let you have any more. Now I'll tell you what I'll do. We're going to contact all of our customers before the day is out. This cheap stock must be taken quickly. If there is anyone who is not in a position to act now, I'll give you the first chance at their allotment."

"That's all right, Mr. Foster. I'm glad to do it for you. Believe me, I think we've got the greatest thing since Henry Ford made millionaires out of every hundred dollar investor. I'll mail you a confirmation today on 3000 shares and debit your account with $3,300. In the event you do get a wire from us, give us an answer as promptly as possible. All right. Good-bye!"

"Now boys," Holloway gloated, after salesman number five had finished his canvass, "You see how it's done. That's the story. Go to it: We want a hundred thousand shares distributed before midnight. Come on, Harry, let's go down."

"We will send Foster a wire on another three thousand shares before the day is over," Hollowell said, after they reached their office, "and in the meantime get your outside men lined up ready to leave town. I want them to follow up with individual calls, every account we've opened on Stratoscope. Load `em to the top."

By the following day Foster was the proud possessor of confirmations on 6000 shares of Stratoscope, at the low price of $1.10 per share. He had five thousand in his account with the firm, and he gratefully forwarded his check to cover the $1600 difference.

Two days later, a prosperous, genial, looking man, of the banker-type, called on Mr. Foster in person. He was representing Hollowell and Hawkins, and while in that section of the country he had been instructed to call and make his personal acquaintance.

"Yes, no question about it, Mr. Foster, Stratoscope is going to prove a golden star for every investor who has the good fortune to hitch his wagon to it."

"More? Well, I don't know. Not at the old price anyhow. Might be able to get you ten thousand shares. at $1.35. All right, I'll call the office."

"Mr. Hollowell, this is Hurst talking. I'm here with Mr. Foster. He knows a good thing when he sees it, and he wants to know if we can let him have another ten thousand shares of Stratoscope I don't know, that's a little higher than I talked to him. I suggested you might be able to give it to him around $1.35. Yes, I know, but you won't make any mistake doing it. You're after customers, and Mr. Foster is the best well-wisher and advertisement you could ever hope to have in this community. All right, mail him a confirmation on ten thousand at one thirty-five. Wait a minute, I'll ask him."

"How do you wish to pay for it, Mr. Foster?" Hurst inquired of the man at his elbow, who was drinking in every word of his conversation. "We can't carry a cheap stock on margin you know." "Sure, we'll do that," and turning back to the telephone he again spoke to Hollowell.

"Mr. Foster is giving me 500 shares of Vostex to be sold at the market. That should bring about $15,000. You can mail him a difference check after it's sold. Okay, good-bye."

Back in New York, Hawkins, who had been listening in on the conversation, silently slipped over and shook his partner's hand.

"By God, Tim, you got Vostex after all, you old fox."

"Yes, and two days more and we'll be out of Stratoscope," Hollowell laughed. "Let's hope to goodness that some day, the damn thing will fly."

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