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Haines' Little Scheme.

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Anything that Congressman Hainés, who built the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti motor line, saye must be taken with several grains of allowance, as he was the most picturesque liar that ever struck this county. He has recently had hiinself interviewed by Walter Wellruan, the well known Washington correspondent, and as Haines is so well known here, we give our readers the interview that they may see what sort of a story Haines can teil when he gets started. "The Confessions of a Milliouaire" wonld be a very good title for the little etoiy which I will write of ïrsy talk with Congressman Haines, of New York. Mr. Haines is a famous buiider of and speeulator in steam'and street railways. "It is odd, " he began, "how a small thing will change a man's whole oareer. My father was a boot and shoe manufactnrer and had a telegraph instrument in his office. I picked up a knowledge of that instrument almost nnconsciously, and it was on account of this instrument that I got into the railroad business. At 14 I was offered and accepted employment as a telegraph operator on the Hudson River railroad. "When I was 18 another lucky chance happened to me. Jay Gould gave me a oommission to buy a piece of property, and I was so successful in it that he made me general manager. At 22 I was president of a railway compauy, probaï)ly the youngest president in the conntry. There is a good story how I happened to become president of this road, and I will teil it. "In lookiug about me I conceived the idea that if a certain railroad, which we will cali the D. & B.,were extended ten miles in order to connect with another road it would becoine a vastly more valuable property. The road was owned by a well known railway magnate, who was exoeeding difficult to get at. Despairing of securing an interview with hira in any other way, I wrote a letter of introduction for myself and signed it with my own name. The rase worked, and I obtained an audience. I told him I had a railroad to seil him, and we talked a long time. I explaiued to him the advantages of the road and how it conld be built up bysiraply extending it ten miles. Every few minutes he asked me to name the road, but I kept standing him off till at length I could do so no longer. I 'It is the;D. & B. , ' I said. ' Why, I own that road, ' he exclaimed in a ratber puzzled way. 'Get ont of here, yoti young rasoal ! How daré yon come in here and take my time for an honr talking abont selling to me my own railroad?' 'Not so fast, ' I retorted. 'I have aiopted this method of getting you interested in the proposed extention of the line for your own good. He was still pretty hot, but oooled off by degrees while I poured the facts and figures into him, and the upshot of it was that he agreed to extend the road ten miles and make me manager of the line. "Once I heard of a road that was to be sold because the owner was short of cash and in tronble. It was a street railway and was doing a good business, thongh badly managed I did not have cash enongh within my control to make tbe first payments required, but conclnded to go and see a capitalist in a neighboring town, a man who sometimes took a flyer in such properties, and see if I couldn't induce him to go in with me. I told him all about the road, bow much business it was doinsr, how mncb better it could do nader better management, and so on. I thought I bad him, bnt he finally said he woald have to take time in which to consider. 'But this offer only bolds good a few days, ' I explained. 'It is a bargain, and we get it only because the owner mnst have ready cash. It must be closed at once, or we lose it. Notwithstanding this appeal he decided not to invest. and I went away feeling pretty blue, for I knew the real valne of the property and was sure it wonld prove a rich investment. "Ia the next seat to me in the train on my way home were two young meD. I overheard a good deal of their convereation. It tnrned out that one of these men was on his way to investígate the condition of the very road I had been talking about aud I had my own opinión as to who had sent him. It was plain enough to me that the capitalist who bad declined to go in with me had decided to look into the road, and if everything was fotind as represented to bny the property himself, leaving me out in the cold. I thonght the case over and decided upon a plan of action. "When we reached the city, I picked up two smart boys whom I knew, pointed out my man to thern and gave them instructions. They were to be paid $10 each for their services. I knew the first thing the agent would do was to take a trip or two over the line to note its conditiou. After that he would talk to the superintendent or owner. My boys had orders to keep an eye on the agent, aad to board a street car whenever he did. The cars were all equipped with cash boxes, there being no conductors. As luck would have it, he started out on his trip at a moment when traffic was dull, and he had not gone more than a block until one of my boys jumped on, and pursuant to my orders, instead of simply paying one fare, dropped a half dollar's worth of dimes and nickels in the cash box. Farther up the line my other boy got on and did the same thing. On the return trip both boys did the same triok again flnally I stepped aboard and dropped a lot of small change in the box, pretending that I did not want any one to see me do it. On arrïval at the end of the road the stranger made a bee line for the telegraph office and sent this dispatch to his principal : " 'Willbe home touight. Property no good. They are stuffing the receipts. ' "My little game worked to a charm. The capitalist had wtually begun negotiations by wire w.h the.owner of the property, but hauled off and would have nothing more to do with it as soon as he received the report of his agent. When I learned that this big capitalist was out of the way, I took what cash I had and succeeded in making a fresh deal with tbo hard pressed owner. The property turned out a regular gold mine to me. ' '


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News