Mr J G Reeder Returns
This book is published by Booklassic which brings young readers closer to classic literature globally.
Mr J G Reeder Returns
Mr. J. G. Reeder did odd things. And he did oddly kind things. There was once a drug addict, whom he first prosecuted and then befriended; but there was nothing unusual in that. He did the same with a young man many years later, and as a result earned for himself the high commendation of his superiors.
But helping this drug addict led apparently nowhere. It involved a great deal of trouble, and it was an unsavoury case, and in the end Mr. Reeder achieved nothing, for the man he tried to assist died in hospital without friends and without money.
It is true that the man in the next bed knew him, and communicated a great deal of information to a ferret-faced chauffeur, who subsequently made certain inquiries.
A more satisfactory adventure in the field of loving kindness was Mr. Reeder's association with a certain well-educated young burglar. That led to much that was pleasant to think about and remember.
The story of the treasure house really begins with a man who had no faith in the stability of stock markets, and believed in burying his talents in the ground. He was not singular in this respect, for the miser in man is a very common quality, and though Mr. Lane Leonard was no miser in the strictest sense of the word, being in fact rather generous of disposition, he was wedded to the reality of wealth, and there is nothing quite so real as gold. And gold he accumulated in startling quantities at a period when gold was hard to come by. Gold in buried chests would not satisfy him; he must have gold visible and reachable-but mainly visible. That is why he hoarded his wealth in large boxes made of toughened glass, having these containers further enclosed in steel wire baskets; for gold is very heavy and the toughest of glass is brittle.
They said on the New York Stock Exchange that John Lane Leonard was a lucky man, but he never regarded himself that way. He was not a member of the house, and had begun as a dabbler in the kerb market, buying on margins and accumulating a very modest fortune, which became colossal overnight, through no prescience of his own, but rather because of a lucky accident. He was as near to being ruined as made no difference. Three partners, who had pooled their shares with him, became panic stricken at a bear raid and left him to hold the baby; and whilst he was holding this very helplessly, not quite sure whether he should drop it and run, powerful financial interests, of whose existence he was quite unaware, struck so savagely at the bears that they were caught short. The sensational rise in prices placed Mr. Lane Leonard rich in excess of his own imagination.
He was not a millionaire then, but he had not long to wait before another piece of luck brought him into the seven-figure class. If he had had a sense of humour, he would have recognised just how much he owed to the spin of somebody else's coin; but, being devoid of this quality, he gave large credit to his own acumen and foresight. There were any number of people who fostered the illusion that he had the mind and vision of a great financier. His brother-in-law, Digby Olbude, was one of his most vehement and voluble sycophants.
Lane Leonard was English, and had married an English wife; a dull lady, who hated New York and was home-sick for Hampstead, a pleasant suburb it was never designed she should see again. She died, more or less of inanition, three years after her husband had acquired both his riches and a sneaking desire for American citizenship.
By this time John Lane Leonard was an authority on all matters pertaining to finance. He wrote articles for the London Economist which were never published, because in some way they did not fit in with the views of the editor or, indeed, with the views of anybody who had an elementary knowledge of economics. Whatever Digby thought about t