THE CLEVELAND SOCIETY FOR SAVINGS was an immense old bank, with deposits of seventy million dollars, headed by a man who was internationally famous, the confidant of Presidents. It was the largest savings bank between Chicago and Philadelphia, and it enjoyed the implicit trust of all the immigrants who had flocked to Cleveland and its outlying areas. It had a reputation for stability, earned during the years when bank panics had sent a great many other banks under. Its board of directors had seven millionaires on it. Its halls were lavishly finished in marble, and there was a quiet, austere, and powerful air everywhere in it. The board room was most impressive, with carved oak tables and silk tapestries for wall coverings. I was twenty-six years old and very much of a country cousin. When I was invited in to meet the directors I wore my best suit and tried to carry myself with proper decorum. If there was anything that place demanded, it was decorum.
The faces that greeted me in the board room were faces of men who were wealthy and powerful and accustomed to having what they wanted without much argument. I remember being especially impressed by one man, a handsome, dignified fellow with a neatly pressed blue suit, wearing a high stand-up collar and a blue tie. He had a magnificent mustache which was carefully combed. Not a hair was out of place. If ever I saw a human being in full and absolute control of every molecule of his being it was