Page:Ambassador Morgenthau's Story.djvu/63

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39
AMBASSADOR MORGENTHAU'S STORY

of Mr. Billings's homes, pictures, and horses; he showed a great interest, not only in the horses—Wangenheim was something of a horseman himself—but in this tangible evidence of great wealth. For the next few days several ambassadors and ministers filed into my office, each solemnly asking for a glimpse at this book! As the time approached for Mr. Billings's arrival, Talaat began making elaborate plans for his entertainment; he consulted me as to whom we should invite to the proposed dinners, lunches, and receptions. As usual Wangenheim got in ahead of the rest. He could not come to the dinner which we had planned and asked me to have him for lunch, and in this way he met Mr. Billings several hours before the other diplomats. Mr. Billings frankly told him that he was interested in Turkey and that it was not unlikely that he would make the loan.

In the evening we gave the Billings party a dinner, all the important members of the Turkish Cabinet being present. Before this dinner, Talaat, Mr. Billings, and myself had a long talk about the loan. Talaat informed us that the French bankers had accepted their terms that very day, and that they would, therefore, need no American money at that time. He was exceedingly gracious and grateful to Mr. Billings, and profuse in expressing his thanks. Indeed, he might well have been, for Mr. Billings's arrival enabled Turkey at last to close negotiations with the French bankers. His attempt to express his appreciation had one curious manifestation. Enver, the second man in the Cabinet, was celebrating his wedding when Mr. Billings arrived. The progress which Enver was making in the Turkish world is evidenced from the fact that, although Enver,