Chater was also listed as a broker on Caine Road in those years. While shipping on the Yangtze made McBain rich, it was his exploits in Southeast Asia — specifically northern Sumatra which made him super rich.
His interest in Sumatra was initially in the areas of tobacco as the strong demand for cigarettes in Asia especially China had resulted in a need for locally sourced tobacco leaf since this was much cheaper than imported tobacco leaf from the UK and the US. In , McBain formed two companies — Shanghai Sumatra Tobacco capital of , taels and Shanghai Langkat Tobacco capital of 80, taels and listed them on the Shanghai stock exchange.
His tobacco plantations in Darat, in the Langkat region in northern Sumatra near Medan, happened to be southeast of oilfields developed by the Royal Dutch Company and exposed McBain to the even more lucrative business of petroleum, which was booming thanks to the exploding demand for kerosene lamps.
In , McBain made a killing in the stock market as news of the oil discovery in his operations in Sumatra resulted in more than doubling the share prices of his listed companies. In the s, he served on the board of the French Municipal Council, which governed the French concession, for six years. These strategic properties attracted buyers such as the Hamburg America Line which offered 1 million taels in which McBain turned down. Immediately the British competitors of NYK protested against the acquisition and ultimately via the intervention of the British Foreign Office, NYK was prohibited from using the piers in Hankow that they acquired from McBain in the British settlements.
According to a syndicated article written by Frank G. Regardless of her origin, McBain was so impressed with her as a young girl that he not only paid for her expenses at the school in Shanghai but sent her to Europe for further education where she became fluent in English, French and Italian Kadoorie said she was also fluent in German. Upon her return at the age of 18 in around , he married her at a time when interracial marriage was frowned upon, especially by his British associates.
Over time, she gave birth to nine children with aspiration for a dozen and earned a reputation in Shanghai high society as an accomplished lady with excellent taste. When McBain died in , Cecile-Marie was not in a position to take over his businesses and none of their children were old enough to do so either. Stepping up was a business associate by the name of Richard Sadler Freeman, who not only took over the management of the businesses but married Cecile-Marie in and took on the McBain name, changing his name to R.
McBain hereafter referred to as RSF. Freeman proved to be a capable successor over the next two decades as he not only preserved but augmented the McBain fortune. By , Langkat was a major independent producer of oil in Asia, producing 2. The same year, the bursting of the rubber stock bubble in Shanghai crippled the financial system and some even attributed this to the downfall of the Manchu regime the next year. Wagon Trail Bride.
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Redeeming Sarah's Present. Mildred Colvin. The Big Story. Wild Sierra Rogue. Martha Hix. Circle of Vengeance. His Rip-Roarin' Bride.
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The Mail Order Bride's Deception. Karla Gracey. Charming Jo. I was a little leery as the story opened. Why in the world would a family allow Bridgett to go off alone with an unknown man? That didn't ring true to me until I got further into the story as Bridgett's personality was revealed in more detail. It took a few chapters to really get into the story, but then it held me captive to the very end. The only real downside for me came in the final winding up scenes. Bridgett's and Ian's characters had been developed very well up to this point.
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Then came the dissapointing scenario. It was a stretch for me to buy Bridgett's quick acceptance of the idea that Ian did not love or want her in light of what had gone on before. This part of the story came across as a manufactured attempt to create a little tension and did not work well for me. All the same, this was a very good, well written story and deserves four stars in my opinion. I read this book in 1 day and was not disappointed. I enjoyed the storyline and the brief history of the setting.
I would have given the book 5 stars except for some annoyances I had with the characters not knowing eachother even though it is obvious to the reader from the very beginning I just loved this story.
So Long as You Both Shall Live : Ed McBain :
The adventures along the way. The two main characters not knowing who the other really is until the final 2 chapters, but managing to become firm friends and fall in love along the way is just brilliant. The relationship between the heroine and her brothers is just so believable.
This is a really easy enjoyable, can't book the book down kind of read. I even re-read the last couple of chapters again the next day, i enjoyed it that much. I can't wait to read more from this author.