I NEVER gamble."
J. Pierpont Morgan bit the words out angrily, a little contemptuously. His great tawny eyes, which had been fixed on his visitor with cold disapproval, turned deliberately away. The interview was over.
Morgan was to die without knowing that his objection to Bernard M. Baruch's use of the word "gamble" was to cost Morgan & Co. millions. But to Baruch his own loss seemed incalculable, and he was never to change this view.
Morgan's rejection meant, not financial destruction, as it had meant to so many men over the years, but the frustration of an ambition that Baruch had nurtured steadily since, as a young office boy, he had had his first glimpse of and word with Morgan the Magnificent.
Association with the House of Morgan was the one thing that Baruch had craved. He wanted it more and more as the years went by, and he came to think of his own financial operations as mere moneymaking. He dreamed of doing big things, accomplishments of permanent value to business, to the country, perhaps even to the world, doing them in association with Morgan.
His turndown this day revived sharply the black spell through which he had gone in 1902, when the mere making of money first lost its savor, and he yearned to do something more constructive.