CHAPTER XXI IN WHICH MR. STONE WASHES HIS HANDS

MR. ABNER STONE, of Stone & Barker, marine outfitters and ship chandlers, with a place of business on Commercial Street in Boston, and a bank account which commanded respect throughout the city, was feeling rather irritable and out of sorts. Poor relations are always a nuisance. They are forever expecting something, either money--in Mr. Stone's case this particular expectation was usually fruitless--or employment or influence or something. Mr. Stone was rich, he had become so by his own ability and unaided effort. He was sure of that--often mentioned it, with more or less modesty, in the speeches which he delivered to his Sunday-school class and at the dinners of various societies to which he belonged. He was a self-made man and was conscious that he had done a good job.

Therefore, being self-made, he saw no particular reason why he should aid in the making of others. If people were poor they ought to get over it. Poverty was a disease and he was no doctor. He had been poor once himself, and no one had helped him. "I helped myself", he was wont to say, with pride. Some of his rivals in business, repeating this remark, smiled and added that he had been "helping himself" ever since.

Mr. Stone had "washed his hands" of his

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