When men began to build cities vertically instead of horizontally there passed from our highways a picturesque figure, and from our language an expressive figure of speech. That oily-tongued, persuasive, soft-stepping stranger in the rusty Prince Albert and the black string tie who had been wont to haunt our back steps and front offices with his carefully wrapped bundle, retreated in bewildered defeat before the clanging blows of steel on steel that meant the erection of the first twenty-story skyscraper. "As slick," we used to say, "as a lightning-rod agent." Of what use his wares on a building whose tower was robed in clouds and which used the chain lightning for a necklace? The Fourth Avenue antique dealer had another curio to add to his collection of andirons, knockers, snuff boxes and warming pans.