Mr. Harcourt, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, at the British North Borneo dinner, said that a City friend of his was approached with a view to floating a rubber company. His friend was quite ready. "How many trees have you?" he asked. "We have not got any trees," was the answer. "How much land have you?" "We have no land." "What then have you got?" "I have a bag of seeds!"
There are many tales about the caution of Russell Sage and the cleverness with which he outwitted those who sought to get some of his money from him. Two brilliant promoters went to him one time and presented a scheme. The financier listened for an hour, and when they departed they were told that Mr. Sage's decision would be mailed to them in a few days.
"I think we have got Uncle Russell," said one of the promoters. "I really believe we have won his confidence."
"I fear not," observed the other doubtfully. "He is too suspicious."
"Suspicious? I didn't observe any sign of it."
"Didn't you notice that he counted his fingers after I had shaken hands with him and we were coming away?"