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At the time Eugene met him, he was planning Minetta Water on the shores of Gravesend Bay, which was the most ambitious of all his projects so far. He was being followed financially, by a certain number of Brooklyn politicians and financiers who had seen him succeed in small things, taking a profit of from three to four hundred per cent, out of ten, twenty and thirty acre flats, but for all his brilliance it had been slow work. He was now worth between three and four hundred thousand dollars and, for the first time in his life, was beginning to feel that freedom in financial matters which made him think that he could do almost anything. He had met all sorts of people, lawyers, bankers, doctors, merchants, the “easy classes” he called them, all with a little money to invest, ad he had succeeded in luring hundreds of worth-while people into his projects. His great dreams had never really been realized, however, for he saw visions of a great warehouse and shipping system to be established on Jamaica Bay, out of which he was to make millions, if it ever came to pass, and also a magnificent summer resort of some kind, somewhere, which was not yet clearly evolved in his mind. His ads were scattered freely through the newspapers: his signs, or rather the signs of his towns, scattered broadcast over Long Island.

— from The ‘Genius’ (1915)

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