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Page:Memoirs of Henry Villard, volume 2.djvu/335

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CHAPTER XLII

The Wheel of Fortune.—1883-1890

MR. VILLARD returned to New York, where his presence was urgently needed, after an absence of only six weeks. The decline in his stocks had continued, and worried him so much while away that he could only at times forget, during the festivities of the opening of the road, the dangers that threatened him. The Northern Pacific construction deficit had assumed still larger proportions. The Oregon & Transcontinental Company was carrying a very heavy debt, incurred partly by the assistance given the Northern Pacific and by further purchases in the preceding summer of the stocks of the companies he controlled, for which it expected to pay by means of another issue of its own stock. This had been rendered impracticable by its decline in the market. Some relief was obtained by the creation of a second mortgage on the Northern Pacific and the issue of twenty millions of bonds under it. The wisdom of inviting the foreign guests to the opening of the road was now demonstrated, the German bankers being so much impressed with the vast regions tributary to the road that they promptly undertook to market the greater part of the new Bonds in Germany. The financial connection of the Deutsche Bank with the company, which was of such great help to it in after years, dated from that negotiation. The sale of the second-mortgage bonds relieved both the Northern Pacific from the embarrassment of the construction deficit, and the Oregon & Transcontinental to some extent through the repayment of its advances. But the placing of another mortgage ahead of the stock inevitably depressed the Northern Pacific shares, and

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