Part 2 out of 6
centres of education. Her boy's friends were her friends, and to
them her house was open at all hours of day or night. Indeed, it
became the governing idea in her domestic policy that her house
should be the rallying centre for everything that was related in
any degree to her children's life. Hence, she quietly but
effectively limited the circle of the children's friends to those
who were able and were willing to make the Rectory their social
centre. She saw to it that for Herbert's intimate boy friends the
big play room at the top of the house, once a bare and empty room
and later the large and comfortable family living room, became the
place of meeting for all their social and athletic club activities.
With unsleeping vigilance she stood on guard against anything that
might break that circle of her heart's devotion. The circle might
be, indeed must be enlarged, as for instance to take in the
Maitland boys, Herbert's closest chums. She was wise enough to see
the wisdom of that, but nothing on earth would she allow to filch
from her a single unit of the priceless treasures of her heart.
To this law of her life she made one glorious, one splendid
exception. When her country called, she, after weeks of silent,
fierce, lonely, agonised struggle gave up her boy and sent him with
voiceless, tearless pride to the War.
But, when the boy's Colonel wrote in terms of affectionate pride of
her boy's glorious passing, with new and strange adaptability her
heart circle was extended to include her boy's comrades in war and
those who like herself had sent them forth. Thenceforth every
khaki covered lad was to her a son, and every soldier's mother a
As her own immediate home circle grew smaller, the intensity of
her devotion increased. Her two daughters became her absorbing
concern. With the modern notion that a girl might make for herself
a career in life she had no sympathy whatever. To see them happily
married and in homes of their own became the absorbing ambition of
her life. To this end she administered her social activities, with
this purpose in view she encouraged or discouraged her daughters'
friendships with men. With the worldly wisdom of which she had her
own share she came to the conclusion that ineligible men friends,
that is, men friends unable to give her daughters a proper setting
in the social world, were to be effectively eliminated. That the
men of her daughters' choosing should be gentlemen in breeding went
without saying, but that they should be sufficiently endowed with
wealth to support a proper social position was equally essential.
That Jack Maitland had somehow dropped out of the intimate circle
of friends who had in pre-war days made the Rectory their
headquarters was to her a more bitter disappointment than she cared
to acknowledge even to herself. Her son and the two Maitland boys
had been inseparable in their school and college days, and with the
two young men her daughters had been associated in the very closest
terms of comradeship. But somehow Captain Jack Maitland after the
first months succeeding his return from the war had drawn apart.
Disappointed, perplexed, hurt, she vainly had striven to restore
the old footing between the young man and her daughters. Young
Maitland had taken up his medical studies for a few months at his
old University in Toronto and so had been out of touch with the
social life of his home town. Then after he had "chucked" his
course as impossible he had at his father's earnest wish taken up
work at the mills, at first in the office, later in the manufacturing
department. There was something queer in Jack's attitude toward his
old life and its associations, and after her first failures in
attempting to restore the old relationship her eldest daughter's
pride and then her own forbade further efforts.
Adrien, her eldest daughter, had always been a difficult child, and
her stay in England and later her experience in war work in France
where for three years she had given rare service in hospital work
had somehow made her even more inaccessible to her mother. And
now the situation had been rendered more distressing by her
determination "to find something to do." She was firm in her
resolve that she had no intention of patiently waiting in her home,
ostensibly busying herself with social duties but in reality
"waiting if not actually angling for a man." She bluntly informed
her scandalised parent that "when she wanted a man more than a
career it would be far less humiliating to frankly go out and get
him than to practise alluring poses in the hopes that he might deign
to bestow upon her his lordly regard." Her mother wisely forebore
to argue. Indeed, she had long since learned that in argumentive
powers she was hopelessly outclassed by her intellectual daughter.
She could only express her shocked disappointment at such intentions
and quietly plan to circumvent them.
As to Patricia, her younger daughter, she dismissed all concern.
She was only a child as yet, wise beyond her years, but too
thoroughly immature to cause any anxiety for some years to come.
Meantime she had at first tolerated and then gently encouraged the
eager and obvious anxiety of Rupert Stillwell to make a footing for
himself in the Rectory family. At the outbreak of the war her
antipathy to young Stillwell as a slacker had been violent. He had
not joined up with the first band of ardent young souls who had so
eagerly pointed the path to duty and to glory. But, when it had
been made clear to the public mind that young Stillwell had been
pronounced physically unfit for service and was therefore prevented
from taking his place in that Canadian line which though it might
wear thin at times had never broken, Mrs. Templeton relieved him in
her mind of the damning count of being a slacker. Later, becoming
impressed with the enthusiasm of the young man's devotion to
various forms of patriotic war service at home, she finally, though
it must be confessed with something of an effort, had granted him a
place within the circle of her home. Furthermore, Rupert Stillwell
had done extremely well in all his business enterprises and had come
to be recognised as one of the coming young men of the district,
indeed of the Province, with sure prospects of advancement in public
estimation. Hence, the frequency with which Stillwell's big Hudson
Six could be seen parked on the gravelled drive before the Rectory
front door. In addition to this, Rupert and his Hudson Six were
found to be most useful. He had abundance of free time and he was
charmingly ready with his offers of service. Any hour of the day
the car, driven by himself or his chauffeur, was at the disposal of
any member of the Rectory family, a courtesy of which Mrs. Templeton
was not unwilling to avail herself though never with any loss of
dignity but always with appearance of bestowing rather than of
receiving a favour. As to the young ladies, Adrien rarely allowed
herself the delight of a motor ride in Rupert Stillwell's luxurious
car. On the other hand, had her mother not intervened, Patricia
would have indulged without scruple her passion for joy-riding. The
car she adored, Rupert Stillwell she regarded simply as a means to
the indulgence of her adoration. He was a jolly companion, a
cleverly humourous talker, and an unfailing purveyor of bon-bons.
Hence he was to Patricia an ever welcome guest at the Rectory, and
the warmth of Patricia's welcome went a long way to establish his
position of intimacy in the family.
It was not to be supposed, however, that that young lady's gracious
and indeed eager acceptance of the manifold courtesies of the young
gentleman in question burdened her in the very slightest with any
sense of obligation to anything but the most cavalier treatment of
him, should occasion demand. She was unhesitatingly frank and
ready with criticism and challenge of his opinions, indeed he
appeared to possess a fatal facility for championing her special
aversions and antagonising her enthusiasms. Of the latter her most
avowed example was Captain Jack, as she loved to call him. A word
of criticism of Captain Jack, her hero, her knight, sans peur et
sans reproche and her loyal soul was aflame with passionate
It so fell on an occasion when young Stillwell was a dinner guest
at the Rectory.
"Do you know, Patricia," and Rupert Stillwell looked across the
dinner table teasingly into Patricia's face, "your Captain Jack was
rather mixed up in a nice little row to-day?"
"I heard all about it, Rupert, and Captain Jack did just what I
would have expected him to do." Patricia's unsmiling eyes looked
steadily into the young man's smiling face.
"Rescued a charming young damsel, eh? By the way, that Perrotte
girl has turned out uncommonly good looking," continued Rupert,
addressing the elder sister.
"Rescuing a poor little ill-treated boy from the hands of a brutal
bully and the bully's brutal father--" Patricia's voice was coolly
"My dear Patricia!" The mother's voice was deprecatingly pacific.
"It is simply true, Mother, and Rupert knows it quite well too, or--"
"Patricia!" Her father's quiet voice arrested his daughter's flow
"But, Father, everyone--"
"Patricia!" The voice was just as quiet but with a slightly
increased distinctness in enunciation, and glancing swiftly at her
father's face Patricia recognised that the limits of her speech had
been reached, unless she preferred to change the subject.
"Yes, Annette has grown very pretty, indeed," said Adrien, taking
up the conversation, "and is really a very nice girl, indeed. She
sings beautifully. She is the leading soprano in her church choir,
"Captain Jack Maitland appeared to think her quite charming," said
Rupert, making eyes at Patricia. Patricia's lips tightened and her
eyes gleamed a bit.
"They were in school together, I think, were they not, Mamma?" said
Adrien, flushing slightly.
"Of course they were, and so was Rupert, too--" said Patricia with
impatient scorn, "and so would you if you hadn't been sent to
England," she added to her sister.
"No doubt of it," said Rupert with a smile, "but you see she was
fortunate enough to be sent to England."
"Blackwater is good enough for me," said Patricia, a certain
stubborn hostility in her tone.
"I have always thought the Blackwater High School an excellent
institution," said her mother quickly, "especially for boys."
"Yes, indeed, for boys," replied Stillwell, "but for young ladies--
well, there is something in an English school, you know, that you
can't get in any High School here in Canada."
"Rot!" ejaculated Patricia.
"My dear Patricia!" The mother was quite shocked.
"Pardon me, Mother, but you know we have a perfectly splendid High
School here. Father has often said so."
Her mother sighed. "Yes, for boys. But for girls, I feel with
Rupert that you get something in English schools that--" She
hesitated, looking uncertainly at her elder daughter.
"Yes, and perhaps lose something, Mamma," said Adrien quietly. "I
mean," she added hastily, "you lose touch with a lot of things and
people, friends. Now, for instance, you remember when we were all
children, boys and girls together, at the Public School, Annette
was one of the cleverest and best of the lot of us, I used to be
fond of her--and the others. Now--"
"But you can't help growing up," said Rupert, "and--well, democracy
is all right and that sort of thing, but you must drift into your
class you know. There's Annette, for instance. She is a factory
hand, a fine girl of course, and all that, but--"
"Oh, I suppose we must recognise facts. Rupert, you are quite
right," said Mrs. Templeton, "there must be social distinctions and
there are classes. I mean," she added, as if to forestall the
outburst she saw gathering behind her younger daughter's closed
lips, "we must inevitably draw to our own set by our natural or
acquired tastes and by our traditions and breeding."
"All very well in England, Mamma. I suppose dear Uncle Arthur and
our dear cousins would hardly feel called upon to recognise Annette
as a friend."
"Why should they?" challenged Rupert.
"My dear Patricia," said her father, mildly patient, "you are quite
wrong. Our people at home, your uncle Arthur, I mean, and your
cousins, and all well-bred folk, do not allow class distinctions to
limit friendship. Friends are chosen on purely personal grounds of
real worth and--well, congeniality."
"Would Uncle Arthur, or rather, Aunt Alicia have Annette to dinner,
for instance?" demanded Patricia.
"Certainly not," said her mother promptly.
"She would not do anything to embarrass Annette," said her father.
"Oh, Dad, what a funk. That is quite unworthy of you."
"Would she be asked here now to dinner?" said Rupert. "I mean," he
added in some confusion, "would it be, ah, suitable? You know what
"She has been here. Don't you remember, Mamma? She was often
here. And every time she came she was the cleverest thing, she was
the brightest, the most attractive girl in the bunch." Her
mother's eyebrows went up. "In the party, I mean. And the most
popular. Why, I remember quite well that Rupert was quite devoted
"A mere child, she was then, you know," said Rupert.
"She is just as bright, just as attractive, as clever now, more so
indeed, as fine a girl in every way. But of course she was not a
factory girl then. That's what you mean," replied Patricia
"She has found her class," persisted Rupert. "She is all you say,
"Yes, she is working in the new box factory. Her mother, lazy,
selfish thing, took her from the High School."
"My dear Patricia, you are quite violent," protested her mother.
"It's true, Mamma," continued the girl, her eyes agleam, "and now
she works in the box factory while Captain Jack works in the
planing mill. She is in the same class."
"And good friends apparently," said Rupert with a malicious little
"Why not? We would have Captain Jack to dinner, but not Annette."
Her father smiled at her. "Well done, little girl. Annette is a
fine girl and is fortunate in her champion. You can have her to
dinner any evening, I am quite sure."
"Can we, Mamma?"
"My dear, we will not discuss the matter any further," said her
mother. "It is a very old question and very perplexing, I confess,
"We don't see Captain Jack very much since his return," said her
father, turning the conversation. "You might begin with him, eh,
"No," said the girl, a shade falling on her face. "He is always
busy. He has such long hours. He works his day's work with the
men and then he always goes up to the office to his father--and--
and--Oh, I don't know, I wish he would come. He's not--" Patricia
fell suddenly silent.
"Jack is very much engaged," said her mother quietly.
"Naturally he is tied up, learning the business, I mean," said the
elder sister quietly. "He has little time for mere social
frivolities and that sort of thing."
"It's not that, Adrien," said Patricia. "He is different since he
came back. I wish--" She paused abruptly.
"He is changed," said her mother with a sigh. "They--the boys are
"The war has left its mark upon them, and what else can we expect?"
said Dr. Templeton. "One wonders how they can settle down at all
"Oh, Jack has settled down all right," said Patricia, as if
analysing a subject interesting to herself alone. "Jack's not like
a lot of them. He's too much settled down. What is it, I wonder?
He seems to have quit everything, dancing, tennis, golf. He
"Doesn't care? What for? That sounds either as if he were an
egotist or a slacker." Her sister's words rasped Patricia's most
sensitive heart string. She visibly squirmed, eagerly waiting a
chance to reply. "Jack is neither," continued Adrien slowly. "I
understand the thing perfectly. He has been up against big things,
so big that everything else seems trivial. Fancy a tennis
tournament for a man that has stared into hell's mouth."
"My dear, you are right," said her father. "Patricia is really
talking too much. Young people should--"
"I know, Daddy--'be seen,'" said the younger daughter, and grinning
affectionately at him she blew him a kiss. "But, all the same, I
wish Captain Jack were not so awfully busy or were a little more
keen about things. He wants something to stir him up."
"He may get that sooner than he thinks," said Stillwell, "or
wishes. I hear there's likely to be trouble in the mills."
"Trouble? Financial? I should be very sorry," said Dr. Templeton.
"No. Labour. The whole labour world is in a ferment. The
Maitlands can hardly expect to escape. As a matter of fact, the
row has made a little start, I happen to know."
"These labour troubles are really very distressing. There is no
end to them," said Mrs. Templeton, with the resignation one shows
in discussing the inscrutable ways of Providence. "It does seem as
if the working classes to-day have got quite beyond all bounds.
One wonders what they will demand next. What is the trouble now,
Rupert? Of course--wages."
"Oh, the eternal old trouble is there, with some new ones added
that make even wages seem small."
"And what are these?" enquired Dr. Templeton.
"Oh, division of profits, share in administration and control."
"Division of profits in addition to wages?" enquired Mrs. Templeton,
aghast. "But, how dreadful. One would think they actually owned
"That is the modern doctrine, I believe," said Rupert.
"Surely that is an extreme statement," said Dr. Templeton, in a
shocked voice, "or you are talking of the very radical element
"The Rads lead, of course, but you would be surprised at the
demands made to-day. Why, I heard a young chap last week, a soap-
box artist, denouncing all capitalists as parasites. 'Why should
we work for anyone but ourselves?' he was saying. 'Why don't we
take charge of the factories and run them for the general good?'
I assure you, sir, those were his very words."
"Really, Rupert, you amaze me. In Blackwater here?" exclaimed Dr.
"But, my dear papa, that sort of thing is the commonplace of Hyde
Park, you know," said Adrien, "and--"
"Ah, Hyde Park, yes. I should expect that sort of thing from the
Hyde Park orators. You get every sort of mad doctrine in Hyde
Park, as I remember it, but--"
"And I was going to say that that sort of thing has got away beyond
Hyde Park. Why, papa dear, you have been so engrossed in your
Higher Mathematics that you have failed to keep up with the times."
His eldest daughter smiled at him and, reaching across the corner
of the table, patted his hand affectionately. "We are away beyond
being shocked at profit sharing, and even sharing in control of
administration and that sort of thing."
"But there remains justice, I hope," said her father, "and the
right of ownership."
"Ah, that's just it--what is ownership?"
"Oh, come, Adrien," said Rupert, "you are not saying that Mr.
Maitland doesn't own his factory and mill."
"It depends on what you mean by own," said the girl coolly. "You
must not take too much for granted."
"Well, what my money pays for I own, I suppose," said Rupert.
"Well," said Adrien, "that depends."
"My dear Adrien," said her mother, "you have such strange notions.
I suppose you got them in those Clubs in London and from those
queer people you used to meet."
"Very dear people," said Adrien, with a far away look in her eyes,
"and people that loved justice and right."
"All right, Ade," said her younger sister, with a saucy grin, "I
agree entirely with your sentiments. I just adore that pale blue
tie of yours. I suppose, now that what's yours is mine, I can
preempt that when I like."
"Let me catch you at it!"
"Well done, Patricia. You see the theories are all right till we
come to have them applied all round," said Rupert.
"We were talking of joint ownership, Pat," said her sister, "the
joint ownership of things to the making of which we have each
contributed a part."
"Exactly," said Rupert. "I guess Grant Maitland paid his own good
money for his plant."
"Yes," said Adrien.
"Yes, and all he paid for he owns."
"Well, that's all there is to it."
"Oh, pardon me--there is a good deal more--"
"Well, well, children, we shall not discuss the subject any
further. Shall we all go up for coffee?"
"These are very radical views you are advancing, Adrien," said her
father, rising from his chair. "You must be careful not to say
things like that in circles where you might be taken seriously."
"Seriously, Daddy? I was never more serious in my life." She put
her arm through her father's. "I must give you some books, some
reports to read, I see," she said, laughing up into his face.
"Evidently," said her father, "if I am to live with you."
"I wonder what Captain Jack would think of these views," said
Rupert, dropping into step with Patricia as they left the dining
"He will think as Adrien does," said Patricia stoutly.
"Ah, I wouldn't be too sure about that," said Rupert. "You see, it
makes a difference whose ox is being gored."
"What do you mean?" cried Patricia hotly.
"Never mind, Pat," said her sister over her shoulder. "I don't
think he knows Captain Jack as we do."
"Perhaps better," said Rupert in a significant tone.
Patricia drew away from him.
"I think you are just horrid," she said. "Captain Jack is--"
"Never mind, dear. Don't let him pull your leg like that," said
her sister, with a little colour in her cheek. "We know Captain
Jack, don't we?"
"We do!" said Patricia with enthusiasm.
"We do!" echoed Rupert, with a smile that drove Pat into a fury.
THE GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE
There was trouble at the Maitland Mills. For the first time in his
history Grant Maitland found his men look askance at him. For the
first time in his life he found himself viewing with suspicion the
workers whom he had always taken a pride in designating "my men."
The situation was at once galling to his pride and shocking to his
sense of fair play. His men were his comrades in work. He knew
them--at least, until these war days he had known them--personally,
as friends. They trusted him and were loyal to him, and he had
taken the greatest care to deal justly and more than justly by
them. No labour troubles had ever disturbed the relations which
existed between him and his men. It was thus no small shock when
Wickes announced one day that a Grievance Committee wished to
interview him. That he should have to meet a Grievance Committee,
whose boast it had been that the first man in the works to know of
a grievance was himself, and that the men with whom he had toiled
and shared both good fortune and ill, but more especially the good,
that had befallen through the last quarter century should have a
grievance against him--this was indeed an experience that cut him
to the heart and roused in him a fury of perplexed indignation.
"A what? A Grievance Committee!" he exclaimed to Wickes, when the
old bookkeeper came announcing such a deputation.
"That's what they call themselves, sir," said Wickes, his tone of
disgust disclaiming all association with any such organization.
"A Grievance Committee?" said Mr. Maitland again. "Well, I'll be!
What do they want? Who are they? Bring them in," he roared in a
voice whose ascending tone indicated his growing amazement and
"Come in you," growled Wickes in the voice he generally used for
his collie dog, which bore a thoroughly unenviable reputation,
"come on in, can't ye?"
There was some shuffling for place in the group at the door, but
finally Mr. Wigglesworth found himself pushed to the front of a
committee of five. With a swift glance which touched "the boss"
in its passage and then rested upon the wall, the ceiling, the
landscape visible through the window, anywhere indeed rather than
upon the face of the man against whom they had a grievance, they
filed in and stood ill at ease.
"Well, Wigglesworth, what is it?" said Grant Maitland curtly.
Mr. Wigglesworth cleared his throat. He was new at the business
and was obviously torn between conflicting emotions of pride in his
present important position and a wholesome fear of his "boss."
However, having cleared his throat, Mr. Wigglesworth pulled himself
together and with a wave of the hand began.
"These 'ere--er--gentlemen an' myself 'ave been (h)appinted a
Committee to lay before you certain grievances w'ich we feel to be
very (h)oppressive, sir, so to speak, w'ich, an' meanin' no
offence, sir, as men, fellow-men, as we might say--"
"What do you want, Wigglesworth? What's your trouble? You have
some trouble, what is it? Spit it out, man," said the boss
"Well, sir, as I was a-sayin', this 'ere's a Committee (h)appinted
to wait on you, sir, to lay before you certain facts w'ich we wish
you to consider an' w'ich, as British subjecks, we feel--"
"Come, come, Wigglesworth, cut out the speech, and get at the
things. What do you want? Do you know? If so, tell me plainly
and get done with it."
"We want our rights as men," said Mr. Wigglesworth in a loud voice,
"our rights as free men, and we demand to be treated as British--"
"Is there anyone of this Committee that can tell me what you want
of me?" said Maitland. "You, Gilby, you have some sense--what is
the trouble? You want more wages, I suppose?"
"I guess so," said Gilby, a long, lean man, Canadian born, of about
thirty, "but it ain't the wages that's eatin' me so much."
"It's that blank foreman."
"That's right, sir." "Too blanked smart!" "Buttin' in like a
blank billy goat!" The growls came in various undertones from the
"What foreman? Hoddle?" The boss was ready to fight for his
"No! Old Hoddle's all right," said Gilby. "It's that young smart
aleck, Tony Perrotte."
"Tony Perrotte!" Mr. Maitland's voice was troubled and uncertain.
"Tony Perrotte! Why, you don't mean to tell me that Perrotte is
not a good man. He knows his job from the ground up."
"Knows too much," said Gilby. "Wants to run everything and
everybody. You can't tell him anything. And you'd think he was
a Brigadier-General to hear him giving us orders."
"You were at the front, Gilby?"
"I was, for three years."
"You know what discipline is?"
"I do that, and I know too the difference between a Corporal and a
Company Commander. I know an officer when I see him. But a brass
hat don't make a General."
"I won't stand for insubordination in my mills, Gilby. You must
take orders from my foreman. You know me, Gilby. You've been long
enough with me for that."
"You treat a man fair, Mr. Maitland, and I never kicked at your
orders. Ain't that so?"
"But this young dude--"
"'Dude'? What do you mean, 'dude'? He's no dude!"
"Oh, he's so stuck on himself that he gives me the wearisome
willies. Look here, other folks has been to the war. He needn't
carry his chest like a blanked bay window."
"Look here, Gilby, just quit swearing in this room." The cold blue
eyes bored into Gilby's hot face.
"I beg pardon, sir. It's a bad habit I've got, but that--that Tony
Perrotte has got my goat and I'm through with him."
"All right, Gilby. If you don't like your job you know what you
can do," said Maitland coldly.
"You mean I can quit?" enquired Gilby hotly.
"I mean there's only one boss in these works, and that's me. And
my foreman takes my orders and passes them along. Those that don't
like them needn't take them."
"We demand our rights as--" began Mr. Wigglesworth heatedly.
"Excuse me, sir. 'A should like to enquir-r-e if it is your-r
or-rder-rs that your-r for-r-man should use blasphemious language
to your-r men?"
The cool, firm, rasping voice cut through Mr. Wigglesworth's
sputtering noise like a circular saw through a pine log.
Mr. Maitland turned sharply upon the speaker.
"What is your name, my man?" he enquired.
"Ma name is Malcolm McNish. 'A doot ye have na har-r-d it. But
the name maitters little. It's the question 'A'm speerin'--asking
Here was no amateur in the business of Grievance Committees. His
manner was that of a self-respecting man dealing with a fellow-man
on terms of perfect equality. There was a complete absence of
Wigglesworth's noisy bluster, as also of Gilby's violent profanity.
He obviously knew his ground and was ready to hold it. He had a
case and was prepared to discuss it. There was no occasion for
heat or bluster or profanity. He was prepared to discuss the
matter, man to man.
Mr. Maitland regarded him for a moment or two with keen steady
"Where do you work, McNish?" he enquired of the Scot.
"A'm workin' the noo in the sawmill. A'm a joiner to trade."
"Then Perrotte is not your foreman?"
"That is true," said McNish quietly.
"Then personally you have no grievance against him?" Mr. Maitland
had the air of a man who has scored a bull at the first shot.
"Ay, A have an' the men tae--the men I represent have--"
"And you assume to speak for them?"
"They appoint me to speak for them."
"And their complaint is--?"
"Their complaint is that he is no fit to be a foreman."
"Ah, indeed! And you are here solely on their word--"
"No, not solely, but pairtly. A know by experience and A hae
har-r-d the man, and he's no fit for his job, A'm tellin' you."
"I suppose you know the qualifications of a foreman, McNish?"
enquired Mr. Maitland with the suspicion of sarcasm in his voice.
"Ay, A do that."
"And how, may I ask, have you come to the knowledge?"
"A dinna see--I do not see the bearing of the question."
"Only this, that you and those you represent place your judgment
as superior to mine in the choice of a foreman. It would be
interesting to know upon what grounds."
"I have been a foreman myself. But there are two points of view in
this question--the point of view of the management and that of the
worker. We have the one point of view, you have the other. And
each has its value. Ours is the more important."
"Indeed! And why, pray?"
"Yours has chiefly to do with profits, ours with human life."
"Very interesting indeed," said Mr. Maitland, "but it happens that
profits and human life are somewhat closely allied--"
"Aye, but wi' you profits are the primary consideration and
humanity the secondary. Wi' us humanity is the primary."
"Very interesting, indeed. But I must decline your premise. You
are a new man here and so I will excuse you the impudence of
charging me with indifference to the well-being of my men."
"You put wur-r-ds in my mouth, Mr. Maitland. A said nae sic
thing," said McNish. "But your foreman disna' know his place, and
he must be changed."
"'Must,' eh?" The word had never been used to Mr. Maitland since
his own father fifty years before had used it. It was an
unfortunate word for the success of the interview. "'Must,' eh?"
repeated Mr. Maitland with rising wrath. "I'd have you know,
McNish, that the man doesn't live that says 'must' to me in regard
to the men I choose to manage my business."
"Then you refuse to remove yere foreman?"
"Most emphatically, I do," said Mr. Maitland with glints of fire in
his blue eyes.
"Verra weel, so as we know yere answer. There is anither matter."
"Yes? Well, be quick about it."
"A wull that. Ye dinna pay yere men enough wages."
"How do you know I don't?" said Mr. Maitland rising from his chair.
"A have examined certain feegures which I shall be glad to submit
tae ye, in regard tae the cost o' leevin' since last ye fixed the
wage. If yere wage was right then, it's wrang the noo." Under the
strain Mr. Maitland's boring eyes and increasing impatience the
Doric flavour of McNish's speech grew richer and more guttural,
varying with the intensity of his emotion.
"And what may these figures be?" enquired Mr. Maitland with a voice
"These are the figures prepared by the Labour Department of your
Federal Government. I suppose they may be relied upon. They show
the increased cost of living during the last five years. You know
yeresel' the increase in wages. Mr. Maitland, I am told ye are a
just man, an' we ask ye tae dae the r-r-right. That's all, sir."
"Thank you for your good opinion, my man. Whether I am a just man
or not is for my own conscience alone. As to the wage question,
Mr. Wickes will tell you, the matter had already been taken up.
The result will be announced in a week or so."
"Thank you, sir. Thank you, sir," said Mr. Wigglesworth. "We felt
sure it would only be necessary to point (h)out the right course to
you. I may say I took the same (h)identical (h)attitude with my
fellow workmen. I sez to them, sez I, 'Mr. Maitland--'
"That will do, Wigglesworth," said Mr. Maitland, cutting him short.
"Have you anything more to say?" he continued, turning to McNish.
"Nothing, sir, except to express the hope that you will reconsider
yere attitude as regards the foreman."
"You may take my word for it, I will not," said Mr. Maitland,
snapping his words off with his teeth.
"At least, as a fair-minded man, you will look into the matter,"
said McNish temperately.
"I shall do as I think best," said Mr. Maitland.
"It would be wiser."
"Do you threaten me, sir?" Mr. Maitland leaned over his desk
toward the calm and rugged Scot, his eyes flashing indignation.
"Threaten ye? Na, na, threats are for bairns. Yere no a bairn,
but a man an' a wise man an' a just, A doot. A'm gie'in' ye
advice. That's all. Guid day."
He turned away from the indignant Mr. Maitland, put his hat on his
head and walked from the room, followed by the other members of the
Committee, with the exception of Mr. Wigglesworth who lingered with
evidently pacific intentions.
"This, sir, is a most (h)auspicious (h)era, sir. The (h)age of
reason and justice 'as dawned, an'--"
"Oh, get out, Wigglesworth. Haven't you made all your speeches
yet? The time for the speeches is past. Good day."
He turned to his bookkeeper.
"Wickes, bring me the reports turned in by Perrotte, at once."
Mr. Maitland's manner was frankly, almost brutally, imperious. It
was not his usual manner with his subordinates, from which it may
be gathered that Mr. Maitland was seriously disturbed. And with
good reason. In the first place, never in his career had one of
his men addressed him in the cool terms of equality which McNish
had used with him in the recent interview. Then, never had he been
approached by a Grievance Committee. The whole situation was new,
As to the wages question, he would settle that without difficulty.
He had never skimped the pay envelope. It annoyed him, however,
that he had been forstalled in the matter by this Committee. But
very especially he was annoyed by the recollection of the
deliberative, rasping tones of that cool-headed Scot, who had so
calmly set before him his duty. But the sting of the interview lay
in the consciousness that the criticism of his foreman was probably
just. And then, he was tied to Tony Perrotte by bonds that reached
his heart. Had it not been so, he would have made short work of
the business. As it was, Tony would have to stay at all costs.
Mr. Maitland sat back in his chair, his eyes fixed upon the Big
Bluff visible through the window, but his mind lingering over a
picture that had often gripped hard at his heart during the last
two years, a picture drawn for him in a letter from his remaining
son, Jack. The letter lay in the desk at his hand. He saw in the
black night that shell-torn strip of land between the lines, black
as a ploughed field, lurid for a swift moment under the red glare
of a bursting shell or ghastly in the sickly illumination of a
Verry light, and over this black pitted earth a man painfully
staggering with a wounded man on his back. The words leaped to his
eyes. "He brought me out of that hell, Dad." He closed his eyes
to shut out that picture, his hands clenched on the arms of his
"No," he said, raising his hand in solemn affirmation, "as the Lord
God liveth, while I stay he stays."
"Come in," he said, in answer to a timid tap at the office door.
Mr. Wickes laid a file before him. It needed only a rapid survey
of the sheets to give him the whole story. Incompetence and worse,
sheer carelessness looked up at him from every sheet. The planing
mill was in a state of chaotic disorganization.
"What does this mean, Mr. Wickes?" he burst forth, putting his
finger upon an item that cried out mismanagement and blundering.
"Here is an order that takes a month to clear which should be done
within ten days at the longest."
Wickes stood silent, overwhelmed in dismayed self-condemnation.
"It seems difficult somehow to get orders through, sir, these
days," he said after a pause.
"Difficult? What is the difficulty? The men are there, the
machines are there, the material is in the yard. Why the delay?
And look at this. Here is a lot of material gone to the scrap
heap, the finest spruce ever grown in Canada too. What does this
mean, Wickes?" he seemed to welcome the opportunity of finding a
scapegoat for economic crimes, for which he could find no pardon.
Sheet after sheet passed in swift review under his eye. Suddenly
he flung himself back in his chair.
"Wickes, this is simply damnable!"
"Yes, sir," said Wickes, his face pale and his fingers trembling.
"I don't--I don't seem to be able to--to--get things through."
"Get things through? I should say not," shouted Maitland, glaring
"I have tried, I mean I'm afraid I'm--that I am not quite up to it,
as I used to be. I get confused--and--" The old bookkeeper's lips
were white and quivering. He could not get on with his story.
"Here, take these away," roared Maitland.
Gathering up the sheets with fingers that trembled helplessly,
Wickes crept hurriedly out through the door, leaving a man behind
him furiously, helplessly struggling in the relentless grip of his
conscience, lashed with a sense of his own injustice. His anger
which had found vent upon his old bookkeeper he knew was due
another man, a man with whom at any cost he could never allow
himself to be angry. The next two hours were bad hours for Grant
As the quitting whistle blew a tap came again to the office door.
It was Wickes, with a paper in his hand. Without a word he laid
the paper upon his chief's desk and turned away. Maitland glanced
over it rapidly.
"Wickes, what does this nonsense mean?" His chief's voice arrested
him. He turned again to the desk.
"I don't think--I have come to feel, sir, that I am not able for my
job. I do not see as how I can go on." Maitland's brows frowned
upon the sheet. Slowly he picked up the paper, tore it across and
tossed it into the waste basket.
"Wickes, you are an old fool--and," he added in a voice that grew
husky, "I am another and worse."
"But, sir--" began Wickes, in hurried tones.
"Oh, cut it all out, Wickes," said Maitland impatiently. "You know
I won't stand for that. But what can we do? He saved my boy's
"Yes, sir, and he was with my Stephen at the last, and--" The old
man's voice suddenly broke.
"I remember, Wickes, I remember. And that's another reason-- We
must find another way out."
"I have been thinking, sir," said the bookkeeper timidly, "if you
had a younger man in my place--"
"You would go out, eh? I believe on my soul you would. You--you--
old fool. But," said Maitland, reaching his hand across the desk,
"I don't go back on old friends that way."
The two men stood facing each other for a few minutes, with hands
clasped, Maitland's face stern and set, Wickes' working in a
pitiful effort to stay the tears that ran down his cheeks, to choke
back the sobs that shook his old body as if in the grip of some
unseen powerful hand.
"We must find a way," said Maitland, when he felt sure of his
voice. "Some way, but not that way. Sit down. We must go through
Grant Maitlandís business instincts and training were such as to
forbid any trifling with loose management in any department of his
plant. He was, moreover, too just a man to allow any of his
workmen to suffer for failures not their own. His first step was
to get at the facts. His preliminary move was characteristic of
him. He sent for McNish.
"McNish," he said, "your figures I have examined. They tell me
nothing I did not know, but they are cleverly set down. The matter
of wages I shall deal with as I have always dealt with it in my
business. The other matter--" Mr. Maitland paused, then proceeded
with grave deliberation, "I must deal with in my own way. It will
take a little time. I shall not delay unnecessarily, but I shall
accept dictation from no man as to my methods."
McNish stood silently searching his face with steady eyes.
"You are a new man here, and I find you are a good workman,"
continued Mr. Maitland. "I donít know you nor your aims and
purposes in this Grievance Committee business of yours. If you
want a steady job with a chance to get on, you will get both; if
you want trouble, you can get that too, but not for long, here."
Still the Scot held him with grave steady gaze, but speaking no
"You understand me, McNish?" said Maitland, nettled at the manís
"Aye, Aíve got a heid," he said in an impassive voice.
"Well, then, I hope you will govern yourself accordingly. Good-
day," said Maitland, closing the interview.
McNish still stood immovable.
"Thatís all I have to say," said Maitland, glancing impatiently at
"But itís no all A have to say, if ye will pairmit me," answered
McNish in a voice quiet and respectful and apparently, except for
its Doric flavour, quite untouched by emotion of any kind soever.
"Go on," said Maitland shortly, as the Scot stood waiting.
"Maister Maitland," said McNish, rolling out a deeper Doric, "ye
have made a promise and a threat. Yere threat is naething tae me.
As tae yere job, A want it and A want tae get on, but Aím a free
man the noo aní a free man A shall ever be. Good-day tae ye." He
bowed respectfully to his employer and strode from the room.
Mr. Maitland sat looking at the closed door.
"He is a man, that chap, at any rate," he said to himself, "but
whatís his game, I wonder. He will bear watching."
The very next day Maitland made a close inspection of his plant,
beginning with the sawmill. He found McNish running one of the
larger circular saws, and none too deftly. He stood observing the
man for some moments in silence. Then stepping to the workmanís
side he said,
"You will save time, I think, if you do it this way." He seized
the levers and, eliminating an unnecessary movement, ran the log.
McNish stood calmly observing.
"Aye, yere r-right," he said. "Yeíll have done yon before."
"You just bet I have," said Maitland, not a little pleased with
"Aím no saw man," said McNish, a little sullenly. "A dinna ken--I
don't know saws of this sort. I'm a joiner. He put me off the
"Who?" said Maitland quickly.
"Yon manny," replied McNish with unmistakable disgust.
"You were on the bench, eh? What sort of work were you on?"
"A was daein' a bit counter work. A wasna fast enough for him."
Mr. Maitland called the head sawyer.
"Put a man on here for a while, Powell, will you? You come with
Together they went into the planing mill. Asking for the foreman
he found that he was nowhere to be seen, that indeed he had not
been in the mill that morning.
"Show me your work, McNish," he said.
McNish led him to a corner of the mill where some fine counter work
was in process.
"That's my work," he said, pointing to a piece of oak railing.
Maitland, turning the work over in his hands, ran his finger along
a joint somewhat clumsily fitted.
"Not that," said McNish hastily. "Ma work stops here."
Again Maitland examined the rail. His experienced eye detected
easily the difference in the workmanship.
"Is there anything else of yours about here?" he asked. McNish
went to a pile of finished work and from it selected a small swing
door beautifully panelled. Maitland's eye gleamed.
"Ah, that's better," he said. "Yes, that's better."
He turned to one of the workmen at the bench near by.
"What job is this, Gibbon?" he asked.
"It's the Bank job, I think," said Gibbon.
"What? The Merchants' Bank job? Surely that can't be. That job
was due two weeks ago." Maitland turned impatiently toward an
older man. "Ellis," he said sharply, "do you know what job this
Ellis came and turned over the different parts of the work.
"That's the Merchants' Bank job, sir," he said.
"Then what is holding this up?" enquired Maitland wrathfully.
"It's the turned work, I think, sir. I am not sure, but I think I
heard Mr. Perrotte asking about that two or three days ago." Mr.
Maitland's lips met in a thin straight line.
"You can go back to your saw, McNish," he said shortly.
"Ay, sir," said McNish, his tone indicating quiet satisfaction.
At Gibbon's bench he paused. "Ye'll no pit onything past him, a
doot," he said, with a grim smile, and passed out.
In every part of the shop Mr. Maitland found similar examples of
mismanagement and lack of co-ordination in the various departments
of the work. It needed no more than a cursory inspection to
convince him that a change of foreman was a simple necessity.
Everywhere he found not only evidence of waste of time but also of
waste of material. It cut him to the heart to see beautiful wood
mangled and ruined. All his life he had worked with woods of
different kinds. He knew them standing in all their matchless
grandeur, in the primeval forest and had followed them step by step
all the way to the finished product. Never without a heart pang
did he witness a noble white pine, God's handiwork of centuries,
come crashing to earth through the meaner growth beneath the
chopper's axe. The only thing that redeemed such a deed from
sacrilege, in his mind, was to see the tree fittingly transformed
into articles of beauty and worth suitable for man's use. Hence,
when he saw lying here and there deformed and disfigured fragments
of the exquisitely grained white spruce, which during the war, he
had with such care selected for his aeroplane parts, his very heart
rose in indignant wrath. And filled with this wrath he made his
way to the office and straightway summoned Wickes and his son Jack
"Tony will never make a worker in wood. He cares nothing for it,"
he said bitterly.
"Nor in anything else, Dad," said Jack, with a little laugh.
"You laugh, but it is no laughing matter," said his father
"I am sorry, Father, but you know I always thought it was a mistake
to put Tony in charge of anything. Why, he might have had his
commission if he were not such an irresponsible, downwright lazy
beggar. What he needs, as my Colonel used to profanely say, is 'a
good old-fashioned Sergeant-Major to knock hell out of him'. And,
believe me, Tony was a rattling fine soldier if his officer would
regularly, systematically and effectively expel his own special
devil from his system. He needs that still."
"What can we do with him? I simply can't and won't dismiss him, as
that infernally efficient and coolheaded Scot demands. You heard
about the Grievance Committee?"
"Oh, the town has the story with embellishments. Rupert Stillwell
took care to give me a picturesque account. But I would not
hesitate, Dad. Kick Tony a good swift kick once a week or so, or,
if that is beneath your dignity, fire him."
"But, Jack, lad, we can't do that," said his father, greatly
distressed, "after what--"
"Why not? He carried me out of that hell all right, and while I
live I shall remember that. But he is a selfish beggar. He hasn't
the instinct for team play. He hasn't the idea of responsibility
for the team. He gets so that he can not make himself do what he
just doesn't feel like doing. He doesn't care a tinker's curse for
the other fellows in the game with him."
"The man that doesn't care for other fellows will never make a
foreman," said Mr. Maitland decisively. "But can't something be
done with him?"
"There's only one way to handle Tony," said Jack. "I learned that
long ago in school. He was a prince of half-backs, you know, but I
had regularly to kick him about before every big match. Oh, Tony
is a fine sort but he nearly broke my heart till I nearly broke his
"That does not help much, Jack." For the first time in his life
Grant Maitland was at a loss as to how he should handle one of his
men. Were it not for the letter in the desk at his hand he would
have made short work of Tony Perrotte. But there the letter lay
and in his heart the inerasible picture it set forth.
"What is the special form that Tony's devilment has taken, may I
ask?" enquired Jack.
"Well, I may say to you, what Wickes knows and has known and has
tried for three months to hide from me and from himself, Tony has
made about as complete a mess of the organization under his care in
the planing mill as can be imagined. The mill is strewn with the
wreckage of unfulfilled orders. He has no sense of time value.
To-morrow is as good as to-day, next week as this week. A foreman
without a sense of time value is no good. And he does not value
material. Waste to him is nothing. Another fatal defect. The man
to whom minutes are not potential gold and material potential
product can never hope to be a manufacturer. If only I had not
been away from home! But the thing is, what is to be done?"
"In the words of a famous statesman much abused indeed, I suggest,
'Wait and see.' Meantime, find some way of kicking him into his
This proved to be in the present situation a policy of wisdom. It
was Tony himself who furnished the solution. From the men supposed
to be working under his orders he learned the day following
Maitland's visit of inspection something of the details of that
visit. He quickly made up his mind that the day of reckoning could
not long be postponed. None knew better than Tony himself that he
was no foreman; none so well that he loathed the job which had been
thrust upon him by the father of the man whom he had carried out
from the very mouth of hell. It was something to his credit that
he loathed himself for accepting the position. Yet, with
irresponsible procrastination, he put off the day of reckoning.
But, some ten days later, and after a night with some kindred
spirits of his own Battalion, a night prolonged into the early
hours of the working day, Tony presented himself at the office,
gay, reckless, desperate, but quite compos mentis and quite master
of his means of locomotion.
He appeared in the outer office, still in his evening garb.
"Mr. Wickes," he said in solemn gravity, "please have your
stenographer take this letter."
Mr. Wickes, aghast, strove to hush his vibrant tones, indicating in
excited pantomime the presence of the chief in the inner office.
He might as effectively have striven to stay the East wind at that
time sweeping up the valley.
"Are you ready, my dear?" said Tony, smiling pleasantly at the
girl. "All right, proceed. 'Dear Mr. Maitland:' Got that?
'Conscious of my unfitness for the position of foreman in--'"
"Hush, hush, Tony," implored Mr. Wickes.
Tony waved him aside.
"What have you got, eh?"
At that point the door opened and Grant Maitland stepped into the
office. Tony rose to his feet and, bowing with elaborate grace and
dignity, he addressed his chief.
"Good morning, sir. I am glad to see you, in fact, I wanted to
see you but wishing to save your time I was in the very act of
dictating a communication to you."
"Indeed, Tony?" said Mr. Maitland gravely.
"Yes, sir, I was on the point of dictating my resignation of my
position of foreman."
"Step in to the office, Tony," said Mr. Maitland kindly and sadly.
"I don't wish to take your time, sir," said Tony, sobered and
quieted by Mr. Maitland's manner, "but my mind is quite made up.
"Come in," said Mr. Maitland, in a voice of quiet command, throwing
open his office door. "I wish to speak to you."
"Oh, certainly, sir," answered Tony, pulling himself together with
an all too obvious effort.
In half an hour Tony came forth, a sober and subdued man.
"Good-bye, Wickes," he said, "I'm off."
"Where are you going, Tony?" enquired Wickes, startled at the look
on Tony's face.
"To hell," he snapped, "where such fools as me belong," and,
jamming his hat hard down on his head, he went forth.
In another minute Mr. Maitland appeared at the office door.
"Wickes," he said sharply, "put on your hat and get Jack for me.
Bring him, no matter what he's at. That young fool who has just
gone out must be looked after. The boot-leggers have been taking
him in tow. If I had only known sooner. Did you know, Wickes, how
he has been going on? Why didn't you report to me?"
"I hesitated to do that, sir," putting his desk in order. "I
always expected as how he would pull up. It's his company, sir.
He is not so much to blame."
"Well, he would not take anything I had to offer. He is wild to
get away. And unfortunately he has some money with him, too. But
get Jack for me. He can handle him if anybody can."
Sorely perplexed Mr. Maitland returned to his office. His business
sense pointed the line of action with sunlight clearness. His
sense of justice to the business for which he was responsible as
well as to the men in his employ no less clearly indicated the
action demanded. His sane judgment concurred in the demand of his
men for the dismissal of his foreman. Dismissal had been rendered
unnecessary by Tony's unshakable resolve to resign his position
which he declared he loathed and which he should never have
accepted. His perplexity arose from the confusion within himself.
What should he do with Tony? He had no position in his works or in
the office for which he was fit. None knew this better than Tony
"It's a joke, Mr. Maitland," he had declared, "a ghastly joke.
Everybody knows it's a joke, that I should be in command of any man
when I can't command myself. Besides, I can't stick it." In this
resolve he had persisted in spite of Mr. Maitland's entreaties that
he should give the thing another try, promising him all possible
guidance and backing. But entreaties and offers of assistance had
been in vain. Tony was wild to get away from the mill. He hated
the grind. He wanted his freedom. Vainly Mr. Maitland had offered
to find another position for him somewhere, somehow.
"We'll find a place in the office for you," he had pleaded. "I
want to see you get on, Tony. I want to see you make good."
But Tony was beyond all persuasion.
"It isn't in me," he had declared. "Not if you gave me the whole
works could I stick it."
"Take a few days to think it over," Mr. Maitland had pleaded.
"I know myself--only too well. Ask Jack, he knows," was Tony's
bitter answer. "And that's final."
"No, Tony, it is not final," had been Mr. Maitland's last word, as
Tony had left him.
But after the young man had left him there still remained the
unsolved question, What was he to do with Tony? In Mr. Maitland's
heart was the firm resolve that he would not allow Tony to go his
own way. The letter in the desk at his hand forbade that.
At his wits' end he had sent for Jack. Jack had made a football
half-back and a hockey forward out of Tony when everyone else had
failed. If anyone could divert him from that desperate downward
course to which he seemed headlong bent, it was Jack.
In a few minutes Wickes returned with the report that on receiving
an account of what had happened Jack had gone to look up Tony.
Mr. Maitland drew a breath of relief.
"Tony is all right for to-day," he said, turning to his work and
leaving the problem for the meantime to Jack.
In an hour Jack reported that he had been to the Perrotte home and
had interviewed Tony's mother. From her he had learned that Tony
had left the town, barely catching the train to Toronto. He might
not return for a week or ten days. He could set no time for it.
He was his own master as to time. He had got to the stage where he
could go and come pretty much as he pleased. The mother was not at
all concerned as to these goings and comings of her son. He had an
assured position, all cause for anxiety in regard to him was at an
end. Tony's mother was obviously not a little uplifted that her
son should be of sufficient importance to be entrusted with
business in Toronto in connection with the mill.
All of which tended little toward relieving the anxiety of Mr.
"Let him take his swing, Dad, for a bit," was Jack's advice. "He
will come back when he is ready, and until then wild horses won't
bring him nor hold him. He is no good for his old job, and you
have no other ready that he will stick at. He has no Sergeant-
Major now to knock him about and make him keep step, more's the
"Life will be his Sergeant-Major, I fear," said his father, "and a
Sergeant-Major that will exact the utmost limit of obedience or
make him pay the price. All the same, we won't let him go. I
can't Jack, anyway."
"Oh, Tony will turn up, never fear, Dad," said Jack easily.
With this assurance his father had to content himself. In a
fortnight's time a letter came from Tony to his sister, rosy with
the brilliance of the prospects opening up before him. There was
the usual irresponsible indefiniteness in detail. What he was
doing and how he was living Tony did not deign to indicate. Ten
days later Annette had another letter. The former prospects had not
been realised, but he had a much better thing in view, something
more suitable to him, and offering larger possibilities of position
and standing in the community. So much Annette confided to her
mother who passed on the great news with elaborations and
annotations to Captain Jack. To Captain Jack himself Annette gave
little actual information. Indeed, shorn of its element of
prophecy, there was little in Tony's letter that could be passed on.
Nor did Annette drop any hint but that all was quite well with her
brother, much less that he had suggested a temporary loan of fifty
dollars but only of course if she could spare the amount with
perfect convenience. After this letter there was silence as far as
Tony was concerned and for Annette anxiety that deepened into agony
as the silence remained unbroken with the passing weeks.
With the anxiety there mingled in Annette's heart anger at the
Maitlands, for she blamed them for Tony's dismissal from his
position. This, it is fair to say, was a reflection from her
mother's wrath, whose mind had been filled up with rumours from the
mills to the effect that her son had been "fired." Annette was
wise enough and knew her brother well enough to discredit much that
rumour brought to her ears, but she could not rid herself of the
thought that a way might have been found to hold Tony about the
"He fired the boy, did the ould carmudgeon," said Madame Perrotte
in one of her rages, "and druv him off from the town."
"Nonsense, Mother," Annette had replied, "you know well enough Tony
left of his own accord. Why should you shame him so? He went
because he wanted to go."
This was a new light upon the subject for her mother.
"Thrue for you, Annette, gurl," she said, "an' ye said it that
time. But why for did he not induce the bye to remain? It would
be little enough if he had made him the Manager of the hull works.
That same would never pay back what he did for his son."
"Hush, Mother," said Annette, in a shocked and angry voice, "let no
one hear you speak like that. Pay back! You know, Mother, nothing
could ever pay back a thing like that." The anger in her daughter's
voice startled the mother.
"Oui! by gar!" said Perrotte, who had overheard, with quick wrath.
"Dat's foolish talk for sure! Dere's no man can spik lak dat to
me, or I choke him on his fool t'roat, me."
"Right you are, mon pere!" said Annette appeasing her father.
"Mother did not think what she was saying."
"Dat's no bon," replied Perrotte, refusing to be appeased. "Sacre
tonnerre! Dat's one--what you call?--damfool speech. Dat boy Tony
he's carry (h)on hees back his friend, le Capitaine Jack, an' le
Capitaine, he's go five mile for fin' Tony on' de shell hole an'
fetch heem to le docteur and stay wit' him till he's fix (h)up.
Nom de Dieu! You pay for dat! Mama! You mak' shame for me on my
heart!" cried the old Frenchman, beating his breast, while sobs
shook his voice.
Fifty years ago Blackwater town was a sawmill village on the
Blackwater River which furnished the power for the first little
sawmill set up by Grant Maitland's father.
Down the river came the sawlogs in the early spring when the water
was high, to be caught and held by a "boom" in a pond from which
they were hauled up a tramway to the saw. A quarter of a mile up
stream a mill race, tapping the river, led the water to an "overshot
wheel" in the early days, later to a turbine, thus creating the
power necessary to drive the mill machinery. When the saw was still
the water overflowed the "stop-logs" by the "spillway" into the pond
But that mill race furnished more than power to the mill. It
furnished besides much colourful romance to the life of the village
youth of those early days. For down the mill race they ran their
racing craft, jostling and screaming, urging with long poles their
laggard flotillas to victory. The pond by the mill was to the boys
"swimming hole" and fishing pool, where, during the long summer
evenings and through the sunny summer days, they spent amphibious
hours in high and serene content. But in springtime when the pond
was black with floating logs it became the scene of thrilling deeds
of daring. For thither came the lumber-jacks, fresh from "the
shanties," in their dashing, multi-colored garb, to "show off"
before admiring friends and sweethearts their skill in "log-
running" and "log-rolling" contests which as the spirit of venture
grew would end like as not in the icy waters of the pond.
Here, too, on brilliant winter days the life of the village found
its centre of vivid interest and activity. For then the pond would
be a black and glittering surface whereon wheeled and curved the
ringing, gleaming blades of "fancy" skaters or whereon in sterner
hours opposing "shinny" teams sought glory in Homeric and often
But those days and those scenes were now long since gone. The old
mill stood a picturesque ruin, the water wheel had given place to
the steam engine, the pond had shrunk to an insignificant pool
where only pollywogs and minnows passed unadventurous lives, the
mill race had dwindled to a trickling stream grown thick with
watercress and yellow lilies, and what had once been the centre of
vigorous and romantic life was now a back water eddy devoid alike
of movement and of colour.
A single bit of life remained--the little log cottage, once the
Manager's house a quarter of a century ago, still stood away up
among the pines behind the old mill ruin and remote from the
streets and homes of the present town. At the end of a little
grassy lane it stood, solid and square, resisting with its well
hewn pinelogs the gnawing tooth of time. Abandoned by the growing
town, forgotten by the mill owner, it was re-discovered by Malcolm
McNish, or rather by his keen eyed old mother on their arrival from
the old land six months ago. For a song McNish bought the solid
little cottage, he might have had it as a gift but that he would
not, restored its roof, cleared out its stone chimney which, more
than anything else, had caught the mother's eye, re-set the window
panes, added a wee cunning porch, gave its facings a coat of paint,
enclosed its bit of flower garden in front and its "kale yaird" in
the rear with a rustic paling, and made it, when the Summer had
done its work, a bonnie homelike spot which caught the eye and held
the heart of the passer-by.
The interior more than fulfilled the promise of the exterior. The
big living room with its great stone fireplace welcomed you on
opening the porch door. From the living room on the right led two
doors, each giving entrance to a tiny bedroom and flanking a larger
room known as "the Room."
Within the living room were gathered the household treasures, the
Lares and Penates of the little stone rose-covered cottage "at hame
awa' ayont the sea." On the mantel a solid hewn log of oak, a
miracle of broad-axe work, were "bits o' chiny" rarely valuable as
antiques to the knowing connoisseur but beyond price to the old
white-haired lady who daily dusted them with reverent care as
having been borne by her mother from the Highland home in the far
north country when as a bride she came by the "cadger's cairt" to
her new home in the lonely city of Glasgow. Of that Glasgow home
and of her own home later the walls of the log cottage were
The character giving bit of furniture, however, in the living room
was a book-case that stood in a corner. Its beautiful inlaid
cabinet work would in itself have attracted attention, but not the
case but the books were its distinction. The great English poets
were represented there in serviceable bindings showing signs of
use, Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Browning, Keats, and with
them in various editions, Burns. Beside the poets Robert Louis had
a place, and Sir Walter, as well as Kipling and Meredith and other
moderns. But on the shelf that showed most wear were to be found
the standard works of economists of different schools from the
great Adam Smith to Marx and the lot of his imitators and disciples.
This was Malcolm's book-case. There was in another corner near the
fire-place a little table and above it hung a couple of shelves for
books of another sort, the Bible and The Westminster Confession,
Bunyan and Baxter and Fox's Book of Martyrs, Rutherford and McCheyne
and Law, The Ten Years' Conflict, Spurgeon's Sermons and Smith's
Isaiah, and a well worn copy of the immortal Robbie. This was the
mother's corner, a cosy spot where she nourished her soul by
converse with the great masters of thought and of conscience.
In this "cosy wee hoosie" Malcolm McNish and his mother passed
their quiet evenings, for the days were given to toil, in talk, not
to say discussion of the problems, the rights and wrongs of the
working man. They agreed in much; they differed, and strongly, in
point of view. The mother was all for reform of wrongs with the
existing economic system, reverencing the great Adam Smith. The
son was for a new deal, a new system, the Socialistic, with
modifications all his own. All, or almost all, that Malcolm had
read the mother had read with the exception of Marx. She "cudna
thole yon godless loon" or his theories or his works. Malcolm had
grown somewhat sick of Marx since the war. Indeed, the war had
seriously disturbed the foundations of Malcolm's economic faith,
and he was seeking a readjustment of his opinion and convictions,
which were rather at loose ends. In this state of mind he found
little comfort from his shrewd old mother.
"Y'e have nae anchor, laddie, and ilka woof of air and ilka turn o'
the tide and awa' ye go."
As for her anchor, she made no bones of announcing that she had
been brought up on the Shorter Catechism and the Confession and in
consequence found a place for every theory of hers, Social and
Economic as well as Ethical and Religious, within the four corners
of the mighty fabric of the Calvinistic system of Philosophy and
One of the keen joys of her life since coming to the new country
she found in her discussions with the Rev. Murdo Matheson, whom,
after some considerable hesitation, she had finally chosen to "sit
under." The Rev. Murdo's theology was a little narrow for her.
She had been trained in the schools of the Higher Critics of the
Free Kirk leaders at home. She talked familiarly of George Adam
Smith, whom she affectionately designated as "George Adam." She
would wax wrathful over the memory of the treatment meted out to
Robertson Smith by a former generation of Free Kirk heresy hunters.
Hence she regarded with pity the hesitation with which her Minister
accepted some of the positions of the Higher Critics. Although it
is to be confessed that the war had somewhat rudely shattered her
devotion to German theology.
"What d'ye think o' yere friend Harnack the noo?" her son had jibed
at her soon after the appearance of the great manifesto from the
"What do A think o' him?" she answered, sparring for time. "What
do A think o' him?" Then, as her eye ran over her son's uniform,
for he was on leave at the time, she blazed forth, "A'll tell ye
what A think o' him. A think that Auld Hornie has his hook intil
him and the hale kaboodle o' them. They hae forsaken God and made
tae themselves ither gods and the Almichty hae gi'en them ower tae
a reprobate mind."
But her Canadian Minister's economic positions satisfied her. He
had specialised in Social and Economic Science in his University
Course and she considered him sound "in the main."
She had little patience with half baked theorists and none at all
with mere agitators. It was therefore with no small indignation
that she saw on a Sunday morning Mr. Wigglesworth making his way up
the lane toward her house door.
"The Lord be guid tae us!" she exclaimed. "What brings yon cratur
here--and on a Sabbath mornin'? Mind you, Malcolm," she continued
in a voice of sharp decision, "A'll hae nane o' his 'rights o'
British citizens' clack the morn."
"Who is it, Mother?" enquired her son, coming from his room to look
out through the window. "Oh, dinna fash ye're heid ower yon
windbag," he added, dropping into his broadest Doric and patting
his mother on the shoulder.
"He disna fash me," said his mother. "Nae fears. But A'll no
pairmit him to brak the Sabbath in this hoose, A can tell ye."
None the less she opened the door to Mr. Wigglesworth with
"Guid mornin', Mr. Wigglesworth," she said cordially. "Ye're airly
on yere way tae the Kirk."
"Yes--that is--yes," replied Mr. Wigglesworth in some confusion, "I
am a bit (h)early. Fact is, I was (h)anxious to catch Malcolm
before 'e went aht. I 'ave a rather (h)important business on 'and
with 'im, very (h)important business, I might say."
"'Business,' did ye say, Mr. Wigglesworth?" Mrs. McNish stood
facing him at the door. "Business! On the Lord's Day?"
Mr. Wigglesworth gaped at her, hat in hand.
"Well, Mrs. McNish, not (h)exactly business. That is," he said
with an apologetic smile, "(h)it depends, you see, just w'at yeh
puts (h)into a word, Mrs. McNish."
Mr. Wigglesworth's head went over to one side as if in contemplation
of a new and striking idea.
"A pit nae meaning into a word that's no in it on its ain accoont,"
she replied with uncompromising grimness. "Business is just
business, an' my son diz nae business on the Lord's Day."
There was no place for casuistry in the old Scotch lady's mind. A
thing was or was not, and there was an end to that.
"Certainly, Mrs. McNish, certainly! And so sez I. But there might
be a slight difference of (h)opinion between you and I, so to
speak, as to just w'at may constitute 'business.' Now, for
(h)instance--" Mr. Wigglesworth was warming to his subject, but
the old lady standing on her doorstep fixed her keen blue eyes upon
him and ruthlessly swept away all argumentation on the matter.
"If it is a matter consistent with the Lord's Day, come in; if not,
"Oh! Yes, thank you. By the way, is your son in, by (h)any
chance? Per'raps 'e's shavin' 'isself, eh?" Mr. Wigglesworth
indulged in a nervous giggle.
"Shavin' himsel!" exclaimed Mrs. McNish. "On the Sawbath! Man,
d'ye think he's a heathen, then?" Mrs. McNish regarded the man
before her with severity.
"An 'eathen? Not me! I should consider it an 'eathenish practice
to go dirty of a Sunday," said Mr. Wigglesworth triumphantly.
"Hoots, man, wha's talkin' about gaein' dirty? Can ye no mak due
preparation on the Saturday? What is yere Saturday for?"
This was a new view to Mr. Wigglesworth and rather abashed him.
"What is it, Mother?" Malcolm's voice indicated a desire to
appease the wrath that gleamed in his mother's eye. "Oh, it is Mr.
Wigglesworth. Yes, yes! I want to see Mr. Wigglesworth. Will you
come in, Mr. Wigglesworth?"
"Malcolm, A was jist tellin' Mr. Wigglesworth--"
"Yes, yes, I know, Mother, but I want--"
"Malcolm, ye ken what day it is. And A wull not--"
"Yes, Mother, A ken weel, but--"
"And ye ken ye'll be settin' oot for the Kirk in half an oor--"
"Half an hour, Mother? Why, it is only half past nine--"
"A ken weel what it is. But A dinna like tae be fashed and
flustered in ma mind on ma way till the Hoose o' God."
"I shall only require a very few moments, Madam," said Mr.
Wigglesworth. "The matter with w'ich I am (h)entrusted need not
take more than a minute or two. In fact, I simply want to
(h)announce a special, a very special meetin' of the Union this
"A releegious meetin', Mr. Wigglesworth?" enquired Mrs. McNish.
"Well--not exactly--that is--I don't know but you might call it a
religious meetin'. To my mind, Mrs. McNish, you know--"
But Mrs. McNish would have no sophistry.
"Mr. Wigglesworth," she began sternly.
But Malcolm cut in.
"Now, Mother, I suppose it's a regular enough meeting. Just wait
till I get my hat, Mr. Wigglesworth. I'll be with you."
His mother followed him into the house, leaving Mr. Wigglesworth at
"Malcolm," she began with solemn emphasis.
"Now, now, Mother, surely you know me well enough by this time to
trust my judgment in a matter of this kind," said her son,
hurriedly searching for his hat.
"Ay, but A'm no sae sure o' yon buddie--"
"Hoot, toot," said her son, passing out. "A'll be back in abundant
time for the Kirk, Mither. Never you fear."
"Weel, weel, laddie, remember what day it is. Ye ken weel it's no
day for warldly amusement."
"Ay, Mither," replied her son, smiling a little at the associating
of Mr. Wigglesworth with amusement of any sort on any day.
In abundance of time Malcolm was ready to allow a quiet, unhurried
walk with his mother which would bring them to the church a full
quarter of an hour before the hour of service.
It happened that the Rev. Murdo was on a congenial theme and in
specially good form that morning.
"How much better is a man than a sheep," was his text, from which
with great ingenuity and eloquence he proceeded to develop the
theme of the supreme value of the human factor in modern life,
social and industrial. With great cogency he pressed the argument
against the inhuman and degrading view that would make man a mere
factor in the complex problem of Industrial Finance, a mere
inanimate cog in the Industrial Machine.
"What did you think of the sermon, Mother?" asked Malcolm as they
entered the quiet lane leading home.
"No sae bad, laddie, no sae bad. Yon's an able laddie, especially
on practical themes. Ay, it was no that bad," replied his mother
with cautious approval.
"What about his view of the Sabbath?"
"What about it? Wad ye no lift a sheep oot o' the muck on the
"A would, of course," replied Malcolm.
"A was jist thinkin' o' Mr. Wigglesworth this morning."
"You were rather hard on him this morning', eh, Mither?"
"Hard on him? He's no a sheep, nor in some ways as guid's a sheep,
A grant ye that, but such as he is was it no ma duty to pull him
oot o' the mire o' Sawbath desecration and general ungodliness?"
"Aw, Mither, Mither! Ye're incorrigible! Ye ought to come to the
meeting this afternoon and give them all a lug out."
"A wull that then," said his mother heartily. "They need it, A
"Hoots! Nonsense, Mither!" said her son hastily, knowing well how
thoroughly capable she was of not only going to a meeting of Union
workers but also of speaking her mind if in her judgment they were
guilty of transgressing the Sabbath law. "The meeting will be just
as religious as Mr. Matheson's anyway."
"A'm no sae sure," said his mother grimly.
Whether religious in the sense understood by Mrs. McNish, the
meeting was not wanting in ethical interest or human passion. It
was a gathering of the workers in the various industries in the
town, Trade Unionists most of them, but with a considerable number
who had never owed allegiance to any Union and a number of
disgruntled ex-Unionists. These latter were very vociferous and
for the most part glib talkers, with passions that under the
slightest pressure spurted foaming to the surface. Returned
soldiers there were who had taken on their old jobs but who had not
yet settled down into the colourless routine of mill and factory
work under the discipline of those who often knew little of the
essentials of discipline as these men knew them. A group of
French-Canadian factory hands, taken on none too willingly in the
stress of war work, constituted an element of friction, for the
soldiers despised and hated them. With these there mingled new
immigrants from the shipyards and factories of the Old Land, all
members or ex-members of Trade Unions, Socialists in training and
doctrine, familiar with the terminology and jargon of those
Socialistic debating schools, the Local Unions of England and
Scotland, alert, keen, ready of wit and ready of tongue, rejoicing
in wordy, passionate debate, ready for anything, fearing nothing.
The occasion of the meeting was the presence of a great International
Official of the American Federation of Labour, and its purpose to
strengthen International Unionism against the undermining of
guerilla bands of non-Unionists and very especially against the new
organizations emanating from the far West, the One Big Union.
At the door of the hall stood Mr. Wigglesworth, important, fussy
and unctuously impressive, welcoming, directing, introducing and,
incidentally but quite ineffectively, seeking to inspire with
respect for his august person a nondescript crowd of small boys
vainly seeking entrance. With an effusiveness amounting to
reverence he welcomed McNish and directed him in a mysterious
whisper toward a seat on the platform, which, however, McNish
declined, choosing a seat at the side about half way up the aisle.
A local Union official was addressing the meeting but saying
nothing in particular, and simply filling in till the main speaker
should arrive. McNish, quite uninterested in the platform, was
quietly taking note of the audience, with many of whom he had made
a slight acquaintance. As his eye travelled slowly from face to
face it was suddenly arrested. There beside her father was Annette
Perrotte, who greeted him with a bright nod and smile. They had
long ago made up their tiff. Then McNish had another surprise. At
the door of the hall appeared Captain Jack Maitland who, after
coolly surveying the room, sauntered down the aisle and took a seat
at his side. He nodded to McNish.
"Quite a crowd, McNish," he said. "I hear the American Johnnie is
quite a spouter so I came along to hear."
McNish looked at him and silently nodded. He could not understand
his presence at that kind of a meeting.
"You know I am a Union man now," said Captain Jack, accurately
reading his silence. "Joined a couple of months ago."
But McNish kept his face gravely non-committal, wondering how it
was that this important bit of news had not reached him. Then he
remembered that he had not attended the last two monthly meetings
of his Union, and also he knew that little gossip of the shops came
his way. None the less, he was intensely interested in Maitland's
appearance. He did Captain Jack the justice to acquit him of
anything but the most honourable intentions, yet he could not make
clear to his mind what end the son of his boss could serve by
joining a Labour Union. He finally came to the conclusion that
this was but another instance of an "Intellectual" studying the
social and economic side of Industry from first-hand observation.
It was a common enough thing in the Old Land. He was conscious of
a little contempt for this dilettante sort of Labour Unionism,
and he was further conscious of a feeling of impatience and
embarrassment at Captain Jack's presence. He belonged to the enemy
camp, and what right had he there? From looks cast in their
direction it was plain that others were asking the same question.
His thought received a sudden and unexpected exposition from the
platform from no less a person than Mr. Wigglesworth himself to
whom as one of the oldest officials in Unionised Labour in the town
had been given the honour of introducing the distinguished visitor
In flowing periods and with a reckless but wholly unauthorised
employment of aspirates he "welcomed the (h)audience, (h)especially
the ladies, and other citizens among 'oom 'e was delighted to
(h)observe a representative of the (h)employing class 'oo was for
the present 'e believed one of themselves." To his annoyed
embarrassment Captain Jack found himself the observed of many eyes,
friendly and otherwise. "But 'e would assure Captain Maitland that
although 'e might feel as if 'e 'ad no right to be 'ere--"
"'Ere! 'Ere!" came a piercing voice in unmistakable approval,
galvanising the audience out of its apathy into instant emotional
"(H)I want most (h)emphatically to (h)assure Captain Maitland,"
continued Mr. Wigglesworth, frowning heavily upon the interrupter,
"that 'e is as welcome--"
"No! No!" cried the same Cockney voice, followed by a slight
"I say 'e is," shouted Mr. Wigglesworth, supported by hesitating
"No! No! We don't want no toffs 'ere." This was followed by more
definite applause from the group immediately surrounding the
Mr. Wigglesworth was much affronted and proceeded to administer a
rebuke to the interrupter.
"I (h)am surprised," he began, with grieved and solemn emphasis.
"Mr. Chairman," said the owner of the Cockney voice, rising to his
feet and revealing himself a small man with large head and thin
wizened features, "Mr. Chairman, I rise to protest right 'ere an'
naow against the presence of (h)any representative of the (h)enemy
"Aw, shut up!" yelled a soldier, rising from his place. "Throw out
the little rat!"
Immediately there was uproar. On every side returned soldiers,
many of whom had been in Captain Jack's battalion, sprang up and
began moving toward the little Cockney who, boldly standing his
ground, was wildly appealing to the chair and was supported by the
furious cheering of a group of his friends, Old Country men most of
whom, as it turned out, were of the extreme Socialist type. By
this time it had fully been borne in upon Captain Jack's mind,
somewhat dazed by the unexpected attack, that he was the occasion
of the uproar. Rising from his place he tried vainly to catch the
"Come up to the platform," said a voice in his ear. He turned and
saw McNish shouldering his way through the excited crowd toward the
front. After a moment's hesitation he shrugged his shoulders and
followed. The move caught the eye and apparently the approval of
the audience, for it broke into cheers which gathered in volume
till by the time that McNish and Captain Jack stood on the platform
the great majority were wildly yelling their enthusiastic approval
of their action. McNish stood with his hand raised for a hearing.
Almost instantly there fell a silence intense and expectant. The
Scotchman stood looking in the direction of the excited Cockney
with cold steady eye.
"A'm for freedom! The right of public assembly! A'm feart o' nae
enemy, not the deevil himself. This gentleman is a member of my
Union and he stays r-r-right he-e-r-re." With a rasping roll of
his r's he seemed to be ripping the skin off the little Cockney's
very flesh. The response was a yell of savage cheers which seemed
to rock the building and which continued while Mr. Wigglesworth in
overflowing effusiveness first shook Maitland's limp hand in a
violent double-handed pump handle exercise and then proceeded to
introduce him to the distinguished visitor, shouting his name in
Maitland's ear, "Mr 'Oward (H)E. Bigelow," adding with a sudden
inspiration, "(H)Introduce 'im to the (h)audience. Yes! Yes!
Most (h)assuredly," and continued pushing both men toward the front
of the platform, the demonstration increasing in violence.
"I say, old chap," shouted Captain Jack in the stranger's ear, "I
feel like a fool."
"I feel like a dozen of 'em," shouted Mr. Bigelow in return.
"But," he added with a slow wink, "this old fool is the daddy of
'em all. Go on, introduce me, or they'll bust something loose."
Captain Jack took one step to the front of the platform and held up
his hand. The cheering assumed an even greater violence, then
ceased in sudden breathless silence.
"Ladies and gentlemen," he said in a slightly bored voice, "this
gentleman is Mr. Howard E. Bigelow, a representative of the
American Federation of Labour, whom as a member of the Woodworkers'
Union, Local 197, I am anxious to hear if you don't mind."
He bowed to the visitor, bowed to the audience once more swaying
under a tempest of cheers, and, followed by McNish, made his way to
From the first moment of his speech Mr. Howard E. Bigelow had to
fight for a hearing. The little Cockney was the centre of a well-
organised and thoroughly competent body of obstructers who by clever
"heckling," by points of order, by insistent questioning, by playing
now upon the anti-American string, now upon the anti-Federation
string, by ribald laughter, by cheering a happy criticism,
completely checked every attempt of the speaker to take flight in
his oratory. The International official was evidently an old hand
in this sort of game, but in the hands of these past masters in the
art of obstruction he met more than his match. Maitland was amazed
at his patience, his self-control, his adroitness, but they were all
in vain. At last he was forced to appeal to the Chairman for
British fair play. But the Chairman was helplessly futile and his
futility was only emphasised by Mr. Wigglesworth's attempts now at
browbeating which were met with derision and again at entreaty which
brought only demands for ruling on points of order, till the meeting
was on the point of breaking up in confused disorder.
"McNish, I think I'll take a hand in this," said Captain Jack in
the Scotchman's ear. "Are you game?"
"Wait a wee," said McNish, getting to his feet. Slowly he once
more made his way to the platform. As the crowd caught on to his
purpose they broke into cheering. When he reached the side of the
speaker he spoke a word in his ear, then came to the front with his
hand held up. There was instant quiet. He looked coolly over the
excited, disintegrating audience for a moment or two.
"A belonged tae the Feefty-fir-rst Diveesion," he said in his
richest Doric. "We had a rare time wi' bullies over there. A'm
for free speech! Noo, listen tae me, you Cockney wheedle doodle.
Let another cheep out o' yere trap an' the Captain there will fling
ye oot o' this room as we did the Kayser oot o' France."
"You said it, McNish," said Maitland, leaping to the aisle. With a
roar a dozen returned men were on their feet.
"Steady, squad!" rang out Captain Jack's order. "Fall into this
aisle! Shun!" As if on parade the soldiers fell into line behind
"Macnamara!" he said, pointing to a huge Irishman.
"Sir!" said Macnamara.