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a French car, bought that year, was over thirty-five thousand dollars.
The rest was fully taken care of, and there were invariably items which
failed to balance on the right side of the ledger.
In the volume for 1912 Amory was shocked to discover the decrease in the
number of bond holdings and the great drop in the income. In the case of
Beatrice's money this was not so pronounced, but it was obvious that his
father had devoted the previous year to several unfortunate gambles in
oil. Very little of the oil had been burned, but Stephen Blaine had
been rather badly singed. The next year and the next and the next showed
similar decreases, and Beatrice had for the first time begun using her
own money for keeping up the house. Yet her doctor's bill for 1913 had
been over nine thousand dollars.
About the exact state of things Mr. Barton was quite vague and confused.
There had been recent investments, the outcome of which was for
the present problematical, and he had an idea there were further
speculations and exchanges concerning which he had not been consulted.
It was not for several months that Beatrice wrote Amory the full
situation. The entire residue of the Blaine and O'Hara fortunes
consisted of the place at Lake Geneva and approximately a half million
dollars, invested now in fairly conservative six-per-cent holdings. In
fact, Beatrice wrote that she was putting the money into railroad and
street-car bonds as fast as she could conveniently transfer it.
"I am quite sure," she wrote to Amory, "that if there is one
thing we can be positive of, it is that people will not stay in
one place. This Ford person has certainly made the most of that
idea. So I am instructing Mr. Barton to specialize on such things
as Northern Pacific and these Rapid Transit Companies, as they
call the street-cars. I shall never forgive myself for not buying
Bethlehem Steel. I've heard the most fascinating stories. You
must go into finance, Amory. I'm sure you would revel in it.
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