"Is . . . is there something wrong, Senor d'Anconia? I mean, on . . . on the Stock Exchange?"
Francisco jerked his finger to his lips, with a frightened glance. "Keep quiet," he whispered. "For God's sake, keep quiet!"
The man was shaking. "Something's . . . wrong?"
"You don't happen to own any d'Anconia Copper stock, do you?"
The man nodded, unable to speak. "Oh my, that's too bad! Well, listen, I'll tell you, if you give me your word of honor that you won't repeat it to anyone, You don't want to start a panic."
"Word of honor . . ." gasped the man.
"What you'd better do is run to your stockbroker and sell as fast as you can--because things haven't been going too well for d'Anconia Copper, I'm trying to raise some money, but if I don't succeed, you'll be lucky if you'll have ten cents on your dollar tomorrow morning-- oh my! I forgot that you can't reach your stockbroker before tomorrow morning--well, it's too bad, but--"
The man was running across the room, pushing people out of his way, like a torpedo shot into the crowd.
"Watch," said Francisco austerely, turning to Rearden.
The man was lost in the crowd, they could not see him, they could not tell to whom he as selling his secret or whether he had enough of his cunning left to make it a trade with those who held favors--but they saw the wake of his passage spreading through the room, the sudden cuts splitting the crowd, like the first few cracks, then like the accelerating branching that runs through a wall about to crumble, the streaks of emptiness slashed, not by a left to make it a trade with those who held favohuman touch, but by the impersonal breath of terror.
Ever get the sense that Cox and Cuomo read too much Rand?