Part 3 out of 6
"You see that little rat-faced chap?"
"Take your place beside him."
With two steps Macnamara was beside his man.
"Mr. Chairman, I protest," began the little Cockney fiercely.
"Pass him up," said the Captain sharply.
With one single motion Macnamara's hand swept the little man out of
his place into the aisle.
"Chuck him out!" said Captain Jack quietly.
From hand to hand, with never a pause, amid the jeers and laughter
of the crowd the little man was passed along like a bundle of old
rags till he disappeared through the open door.
"Who's next?" shouted Macnamara joyfully.
"As you were!" came the sharp command.
At once Macnamara stood at attention.
Captain Jack nodded to the platform.
"All right," he said quietly.
Mr. Howard E. Bigelow finished his speech in peace. He made appeal
for the closing up of the ranks of Labour in preparation for the
big fight which was rapidly coming. They had just finished with
Kaiserism in Europe but they were faced with only another form of
the same spirit in their own land. They wanted no more fighting,
God knew they had had enough of that, but there were some things
dearer than peace, and Labour was resolved to get and to hold those
things which they had fought for, "which you British and especially
you Canadians shed so much blood to win. We are making no threats,
but we are not going to stand for tyranny at the hands of any man
or any class of men in this country. Only one thing will defeat
us, not the traditional enemies of our class but disunion in our
own ranks due to the fool tactics of a lot of disgruntled and
discredited traitors like the man who has just been fired from this
meeting." He asked for a committee which would take the whole
situation in hand. He closed with a promise that in any struggle
which they undertook under the guidance of their International
Officers the American Federation of Labour to their last dollar
would be behind them.
Before the formal closing of the meeting Maitland slipped quietly
out. As he reached the sidewalk a light hand touched his arm.
Turning he saw at his elbow Annette, her face aglow and her black
eyes ablaze with passionate admiration.
"Oh, Captain Jack," she panted, her hands outstretched, "you were
just wonderful! Splendid! Oh! I don't know what to say! I--"
She paused in sudden confusion. A hot colour flamed in her face.
Maitland took her hands in his.
"Hello, Annette! I saw you there. Why! What's up, little girl?"
A sudden rush of tears had filled her eyes.
"Oh, nothing. I am just excited, I guess. I don't know what--"
She pulled her hands away. "But you were great!" She laughed
"Oh, it was your friend McNish did the trick," said Captain Jack.
"Very neat bit of work that, eh? Very neat indeed. Awfully clever
chap! Are you going home now?"
"No, I am waiting." She paused shyly.
"Oh, I see!" said Captain Jack with a smile. "Lucky chap, by
"I am waiting for my father," said Annette, tossing her head.
"Oh, then, if that's all, come along with me. Your father knows
his way about." The girl paused a moment, hesitating. Then with a
sudden resolve she cried gaily,
"Well, I will. I want to talk to you about it. Oh, I am so
excited!" She danced along at his side in gay abandon. As they
turned at the first corner Maitland glanced over his shoulder.
"Hello! Here's McNish," he cried, turning about. "Shall we wait
"Oh, never mind Malcolm," cried the girl excitedly, "come along. I
don't want him just now. I want--" She checked herself abruptly.
"I want to talk to you."
"Oh, all right," said Captain Jack. "He's gone back anyway. Come
along Annette, old girl. I have been wanting to see you for a long
"Well, you see me," said the girl, laughing up into his eyes with
a frank, warm admiration in hers that made Captain Jack's heart
quicken a bit in its steady beat. He was a young man with a normal
appreciation of his own worth. She, young, beautiful, unspoiled,
in the innocence of her girlish heart was flinging at him the full
tribute of a warm, generous admiration with every flash of her
black eyes and every intonation of her voice. Small wonder if
Captain Jack found her good to look at and to listen to. Often
during the walk home he kept saying to himself, "Jove, that McNish
chap is a lucky fellow!" But McNish, taking his lonely way home,
was only conscious that the evening had grown chilly and grey.
THE DAY BEFORE
Business was suspended for the day in Blackwater. That is, men
went through their accustomed movements, but their thoughts were
far apart from the matters that were supposed to occupy their minds
during the working hours of the day. In the offices, in the
stores, in the shops, on the streets, in the schools, in the homes
the one, sole topic of conversation, the one mental obsession was
The Great Game. Would the Maitland Mill Hockey Team pull it off?
Blackwater was not a unit in desiring victory for the Maitland Mill
team, for the reason that the team's present position of proud
eminence in the hockey world of Eastern Ontario had been won by a
series of smashing victories over local and neighbouring rival
teams. They had first disposed of that snappy seven of lightning
lightweights, the local High School team, the champions in their
own League. They had smashed their way through the McGinnis
Foundry Seven in three Homeric contests. This victory attracted
the notice of the Blackwater Black Eagles, the gay and dashing
representatives of Blackwater's most highly gilded stratum of
society, a clever, hard-fighting, never-dying group of athletes
who, summer and winter, kept themselves in perfect form, and who
had moved rapidly out of obscurity into the dazzling spotlight of
championship over their district. For the sake of the practice in
it and in preparation for their games in the Eastern Ontario Hockey
League, they took on the Maitland Mill team.
It took the Black Eagles a full week to recover sufficient control
to be able to speak intelligibly as to the "how" and "why" of that
match. For the Mill team with apparent ease passed in thirteen
goals under and over and behind and beside the big broad goal stick
of Bell Blackwood, the goal wonder of the League; and the single
register for the Eagles had been netted by Fatty Findlay's own
stick in a moment of aberration. During the week following the
Black Eagle debacle the various Bank managers, Law Office managers
and other financial magnates of the town were lenient with their
clerks. Social functions were abandoned. The young gentlemen had
one continuous permanent and unbreakable engagement at the rink or
in preparation for it. But all was in vain. The result of the
second encounter was defeat for the Eagles, defeat utter,
unmistakable and inexplicable except on the theory that they had
met a superior team. Throughout the hockey season the Maitland
Mill maintained an unbroken record of victory till their fame flew
far; and at the close of the season enthusiasts of the game had
arranged a match between the winners of the Eastern Ontario Hockey
League, the renowned Cornwall team and the Maitland Mill boys. To-
day the Cornwalls were in town, and the town in consequence was
quite unfit for the ordinary duties of life. The Eagles almost to
a man were for the local team; for they were sports true to type.
Not so however their friends and following, who resented defeat of
their men at the hands of a working class team.
Of course it was Jack Maitland who was responsible for their
humiliation. It was he who had organised his fellow workmen, put
them through a blood and iron discipline, filled them with his own
spirit of irresistible furious abandon in attack which carried them
It was an old game with Jack Maitland. When a High School boy he
had developed that spirit of dominating and indomitable leadership
that had made his team the glory of the town. Later by sound and
steady grinding at the game he had developed a style and plan of
team play which had produced a town team in the winter immediately
preceding the war that had won championship honors. Now with his
Mill team he was simply repeating his former achievements.
It had astonished his friends to learn that Captain Jack was
playing hockey again. He had played no game except in a desultory
way since the war. He had resisted the united efforts of the
Eagles and their women friends to take the captaincy of that team.
The mere thought of ever appearing on the ice in hockey uniform
gave him a sick feeling at his heart. Of that noble seven whom he
had in pre-war days led so often to victory four were still "over
there," one was wandering round a darkened room. Of the remaining
two, one Rupert Stillwell was too deeply engrossed in large
financial affairs for hockey. Captain Jack himself was the
seventh, and the mere sight of a hockey stick on a school boy's
shoulder gave him a heart stab.
It was his loyal pal Patricia Templeton, who gave him the first
impulse toward the game again. To her pleading he had yielded so
far as to coach, on a Saturday afternoon, her team of High School
girls to victory. But it was the Reverend Murdo Matheson who
furnished the spur to conscience that resulted in the organising of
the Maitland Mill team.
"You, John Maitland, more than any of us and more than all of us
together can draw these lads of yours from the pool rooms and
worse," the Reverend Murdo had said one day in early winter.
"Great Scott, Padre"--the Reverend Murdo had done his bit overseas--
"what are you giving me now?"
"You, more than any or all of us, I am saying," repeated the
minister solemnly. "For God's sake, man, get these lads on the ice
or anywhere out-of-doors for the good of their immortal souls."
"Me! And why me, pray?" Captain Jack had asked. "I'm no uplifter.
Why jump on me?"
"You, because God has bestowed on you the gift to lead men," said
the minister with increasing solemnity. "A high gift it is, and
one for which God will hold you responsible."
That very night, passing by the Lucky Strike Pool Rooms, Captain
Jack had turned in to find a score and more of youths--many of them
from the mills--flashing their money with reckless freedom in an
atmosphere thick with foul tobacco-smoke and reeking with profane
and lewd speech. On reaching his home that night Maitland went
straight to the attic and dug up his hockey kit. Before he slept
he had laid his plans for a league among the working lads in the
various industries in the town.
It was no easy task to force these men into training habits, to
hold them to the grind, to discipline them into self-control in
temper and in desire. It was of vast assistance to him that three
of his seven were overseas men, while some dozen or so of the
twenty in the club were returned soldiers. It was part of his
discipline that his team should never shirk a day's work for the
game except on the rare occasions when they went on tour. Hence
the management in the various mills and factories, at first hostile
and suspicious, came to regard these athletic activities on the
part of their employees with approval and finally came to give
encouragement and support to the games.
To-day was a half holiday for the Maitland Mills and the streets
were noticeably full of the men and their sweethearts and wives in
their Sunday clothes. Not the team, however. Maitland knew better
than that. He took his men for a run in the country before noon,
bringing them home in rich warm glow. Then after a bath and a hard
rubdown they dined together at the mill and then their Captain
ordered them home to sleep, forbidding them the streets till they
were on their way to the game.
On his way home Captain Jack was waylaid by his admirer and
champion, Patricia. She, standing in front of his car, brought
him to a halt.
"I have not even seen you for a whole week," she complained,
getting in beside him, "and your phone is always busy in the
evening. Of course no one can get you during the day. And I do
want to know how the team is. Oh! do tell me they are fit for the
game of their lives! Are they every one fit?"
"Fit and fine."
"And will they win?"
"Sure thing," said Captain Jack quietly.
"Oh, I hope you are right. But you are so sure," exclaimed his
companion. "The Cornwalls are wonderful, Rupert says."
"Oh! I forgot you don't think much of Rupert," sighed Patricia.
"I haven't time, you see," answered Captain Jack gravely.
"Oh, you know what I mean. It is a pity, too, for he is really
very nice. I mean he is so good to me," sighed Patricia again.
"Don't sigh, Patsy, old girl. It really isn't worth it, you know.
How is the supply of choc's keeping up?"
"Now you are thinking me a pig. But tell me about your men. Are
they really in form?"
"Absolutely at the peak."
"And that darling Fatty Findlay. I do hope he will not lose his
head and let a goal in. He is perfectly adorable with that
everlasting smile of his. I do hope Fatty is at the peak, too. Is
he, really?" The anxiety in Patricia's tone was more than painful.
"Dear Patsy, he is right at the pinnacle."
"Captain Jack, if you don't win to-night I shall--well, I shall
just weep my eyes out."
"That settles it, Pat. We shall win. We can't--I can't spare
those lovely eyes, you know," said Captain Jack, smiling at her.
One by one Captain Jack's team were passed in review--the defence,
Macnamara and "Jack" Johnson, so called for his woolly white head;
"Reddy" Hughes, Ross, "Snoopy" Sykes, who with Captain Jack made
the forward line, all were declared to be fit to deliver the last
ounce in their bodies, the last flicker in their souls.
"Do you know, Captain Jack," said Patricia gravely, "there is one
change you ought to make in your forward line."
"Yes! What is that, Pat?" asked Captain Jack, with never a
suggestion of a smile.
"I would change Snoopy for Geordie Ross. You know Geordie is a
little too careful, and he is hardly fast enough for you. Now you
and Snoopy on left wing would be oh! perfectly wonderful."
"Patsy, you are a wizard!" exclaimed Captain Jack. "That very
change has been made and the improvement is unbelievable. We are
both left-handers and we pull off our little specialties far more
smoothly than Geordie and I could. You have exactly hit the bull.
You watch for that back of the goal play to-night. Well, here we
are. You have good seats, I understand."
"Oh, yes. Rupert, you see, as patron of the Eagles was able to get
the very best. But won't you come in and see mother? She is
really quite worked up over it, though of course she couldn't bear
Captain Jack checked the refusal on his lips.
"Yes, I will go in for a few minutes," he said gravely. "No! Your
mother would not--could not come, of course."
There flashed before his mind a picture from pre-war days. The
rink packed with wildly excited throngs and in a certain reserved
section midway down the side the Templeton-Maitland party with its
distinguished looking men and beautiful women following with eager
faces and shining eyes the fortunes of their sons in the fight
before them. The flash of that picture was like a hand of ice upon
his heart as Captain Jack entered the cosy living room.
"Here he is, Mamma!" cried Patricia as she ushered her hero into
the room with a sweeping gesture. "And he brings the most cheering
news. They are going to win!"
"But how delightful!" exclaimed Adrien coming from the piano where
she had been playing, with Rupert Stillwell turning her music for
"I suppose upon the best authority," said Stillwell, grinning at
"We are so glad you found time to run in," said Mrs. Templeton.
"You must have a great deal to say to your team on the last
"I'm glad I came too, now," said Captain Jack, holding the fragile
hand in his and patting it gently. "I am afraid Patricia is
responsible for my coming in. I don't really believe I could have
ventured on my own."
A silence fell on the company which none of them seemed able to
break. Other days were hard upon them. In this very room it was
that that other seven were wont to meet for their afternoon tea
before their great matches.
Mrs. Templeton, looking up at Jack, found his eyes fixed upon her
and full of tears. With a swift upward reach of her arms she
caught him and drew his head to her breast.
"I know, Jack dear," she said, with lips that quivered piteously.
For a moment or two he knelt before her while she held him in a
close embrace. Then he gently kissed her cheek and rose to his
"Give him some tea, Adrien," she said, making a gallant struggle to
steady her voice, "a cup of tea--and no cake. I remember, you
see," she added with a tremulous smile.
Adrien came back quickly from the window.
"Yes! a fresh cup!" she cried eagerly, "and a sandwich. You, Pat,
get the sandwiches. No cake. We must do nothing to imperil the
"You have a wonderful team, Jack, I hear," said her mother. "Come
and sit here beside me and tell me about them. Patricia has been
keeping me informed, but she is not very coherent at times. Of
course, I know about your wonderful goal keeper Findlay, is it
not?" And the gentle little lady kept a stream of conversation
going, for she saw how deeply moved Maitland was. It was his first
visit to the Rectory since he had taken up the game again, and the
rush of emotion released by the vivid memory of those old happy
days when that jolly group of boys had filled this familiar room
with their noisy clatter wellnigh overcame him.
For a minute or two he fussed with the tea things till he could
master his voice, then he said very quietly:
"They are very decent chaps--really very good fellows and they have
taken their training extraordinarily well. Of course, Macnamara
and Johnson were in my old company, and that helps a lot."
"Yes, I remember Macnamara quite well. He is a fine big Irishman."
"Fancy you remembering him, Mrs. Templeton," said Captain Jack.
"Of course, I remember him. He is one of our boys."
"Let's see, he is one of your defence, isn't he?" said Stillwell,
who had felt himself rather out of the conversation. Maitland
nodded. The presence of Stillwell in that room introduced a
painful element. Once he had been one of the seven and though
never so intimately associated with the Rectory life as the others,
yet at all team gatherings he had had his place. But since the war
Maitland had never been able to endure his presence in that room.
To-day, with the memory of those old thrilling days pressing hard
upon his heart, he could not bear to look upon a man, once one of
them, now forever an outsider. The tea coming in brought to
"Ah, here you are," he cried anticipating Stillwell in relieving
Adrien of part of her load. "You are a life saver. Tea is the
thing for this hour."
"Three lumps, is it not?" said the girl, smiling at him. "You see,
I remember, though you really don't deserve it. And here is Pat
with the sandwiches."
"Yes! a whole plate for yourself, Captain Jack," said Patricia.
"Come and sit by me here."
"No indeed!" said her sister with a bright glow on her cheeks.
"Jack is going to sit right here by the tea-pot, and me," she
added, throwing him a swift glance.
"No! you are both wrong, children," said their mother. "Jack is
coming to sit beside me. He's my boy this afternoon."
"Mother, we will all share him," said Patricia, placing chairs near
her mother. "I must talk about the match, I simply must."
A shadow for a moment wiped the brightness from the face and eyes
of the elder sister, but yielding to her mother's appeal, she
joined the circle, saying to Maitland,
"I don't believe you want to talk about the match, do you? That is
not supposed to be good psychology before a match. What you really
want is a good sleep. Isn't that right?"
"He has just sent his men off to bed, I know," said Patricia, "and
we will send him off when he has had his tea."
"I am so glad you are playing again," said Mrs. Templeton to
Maitland as he sat down by her side. "You need more recreation
than you have been taking, I believe."
A shadow crossed Maitland's face.
"I don't believe I need recreation very much, but these chaps of
mine do," he said simply.
"The workmen, you mean!"
"Yes. They lead rather a dull life, you know. Not much colour. A
pool room on the whole has rather a rotten effect upon a chap who
has been nine or ten hours indoors already and who sticks at the
same thing day in and day out for months at a time."
"Ah, I see. You mean you took up hockey for--ah--to help--"
"Well, I don't want to pose as a workingman's advocate and that
sort of thing. But really he has a slow time."
"Then, why doesn't he get busy and do something for himself," broke
in Stillwell, impatiently. "The Lord knows he is getting most of
the money these days and has more spare time than anyone else in
But Maitland ignored him, till Patricia intervened.
"Tell me about that," she demanded.
"Look here!" said her sister. "You are not going to get Jack into
a labour controversy this afternoon. But I would just like to ask
you, Pat, how keen you'd be on organising and conducting a Literary
and Debating Society after you had put in not five and a half
hours' lessons, but eight or nine hours'! It would take some
doing, eh? But let's cut out the labour trouble. It is nearly
time for his sleep, isn't it?"
"Is it, Captain Jack? If so, we won't keep you a minute," said
Patricia anxiously. "No, mother! you must not keep him. He must
be on tip-toe to-night."
Captain Jack rose. "Patricia would make an ideal trainer," he
said. "I fear I must really go. I am awfully glad to have come in
and seen you all. Somehow I feel a whole lot better."
"And so do we, Jack," said the old lady in a wistful voice. "Won't
you come again soon?"
Maitland hesitated a moment, glancing at Adrien.
"Oh, do!" said the girl, with a little colour coming into her face.
"It has been a little like old times to see you this way."
"Yes, hasn't it?" said Stillwell. "Awfully jolly."
Maitland stiffened and turned again to the old lady whose eyes were
turned on him with sad entreaty.
"Yes, I shall come to see you," said Maitland, bowing over her hand
"We shall expect you to come and see us to-night at the match,
remember, Captain Jack," said Patricia, as he passed out of the
room. "Now be sure to go and have your sleep."
But there was no sleep that afternoon for Captain Jack. On his way
through the town he was halted by McNish.
"The boys want to see you," he said briefly.
"What boys? What do you mean, McNish?"
"At the rooms. Will you come down now?"
"Now? I can't come now, McNish. I have to be on the ice in three
hours and I must get a little rest. What's up, anyway? Tell them
I'll see them to-morrow."
"No! they want you now!" said McNish firmly. "I would advise that
"What do you mean, McNish? Well, get in here and I'll go to see
them." McNish got into the car. "Now, what's all the mystery?"
"Better wait," said McNish, grimly.
"Well, it is a dog's trick," said Maitland wrathfully, "to get on
to a chap before a big match like this."
In the Union Committee rooms a group of men were awaiting them,
among them Mr. Wigglesworth and the little cockney who had made
himself so obnoxious at the public meeting.
"What's all this tomfoolery, Wigglesworth?" demanded Captain Jack,
striding in among them.
"(H)excuse me," said the little cockney. "You are a member of the
Woodworkers' Union I (h)understand."
"Who the devil are you, may I ask?" said Maitland in a rage.
"(H)allow me," said Mr. Wigglesworth. "Mister Simmons, Mr.
Maitland--Mr. Simmons is our new secretary, (h)elected last
"Well, what do you want of me?" demanded Maitland. "Don't you know
I am tied up this afternoon?"
"Tied (h)up?" asked Simmons coolly, "'ow?"
"With the match, confound you."
"Oh, the match! And w'at match may that be? (H)Anythin' to do
with your Union?"
Maitland glared at him, too dumfounded to speak.
"You see, Mr. Maitland," began Mr. Wigglesworth in a hurried and
"'Ere! you keep aht o' this," said Simmons sharply, "this 'ere's my
job. I shall tell Brother Maitland all that is necessary."
"I was only going to (h)explain--" began Mr. Wigglesworth.
"Naw then! IS this your job or mine? Was you (h)appointed or was
I? When I find myself (h)unable to discharge my dooty to the Union
I might per'aps call on you, Brother Wigglesworth; but until I find
myself in that situation I 'ope you will refrain from shovin' in
your 'orn." Brother Simmons' sarcasm appeared to wither Brother
Wigglesworth into silence.
"Naw then, Brother Maitland, we shall get (h)on."
Maitland glanced round on the group of half a dozen men. Some of
them he knew; others were strangers to him.
"I don't know what the business is, gentlemen," he said, curbing
his wrath, "but I want to know if it can't wait till to-morrow?
You know our boys are going on the ice in a couple of hours or so--"
"Goin' on the (h)ice! Goin' on the (h)ice! W'at's that to do with
Union business?" snarled Simmons. "This 'ere's no silly kids'
gaime! It's a man's work we ave in 'and, if you don't want to do
the business to w'ich you are (h)appointed w'y just say so and we
shall know 'ow to (h)act. There 'as been too much o' this gaime
business to suit me. If we are men let us (h)act like men."
"Better get on wi' it," said McNish curtly.
"I shall get on w'en I am good and ready, Brother McNish," answered
"All r-r-right, brother, but A doot ye're oot o' order. Who is the
chairman o' this Committee?" asked McNish calmly.
"Brother Phillips," answered two or three voices.
"All right. I suggest you proceed regularly and call the meeting
to order," said McNish quietly. Simmons, recognising that it was
Greek meeting Greek, agreed to this.
Clumsily and hesitatingly Brother Phillips began stating the
business of the Committee. He had not gone far before Simmons
"Mr. Chairman, with your permission I would just like to say that
the resolution passed at the representative joint meetin' of the
Maitland Mills and Box Factory (h)employees last night will
sufficiently (h)explain the (h)object of this meetin' 'ere."
Brother Simmons' tone suggested infinite pity for the lumbering
efforts of the chairman.
"Yes, I guess it will," said the chairman, blushing in his
confusion. Brother Phillips was new to his position and its
"I would suggest that that resolution be read," said Brother
Simmons, the pity in his tone hardly veiling his contempt.
"Yes! Yes! Of course!" said Brother Phillips hurriedly. "Eh--
would you please read it, Mr.--that is--Brother Simmons?"
With great show of deliberation and of entire mastery of the
situation Mr. Simmons produced a Minute Book and began:
"Mr. Chairman and brothers, I may say that this 'ere resolution was
passed at a joint representative meetin' of all the (h)employees of
the Maitland Company--"
"There is no sich company, Mr. Chairman," said McNish. "A say let
us hear the resolution. We'll hear the speech afterwards if we
must." It was again Greek meeting Greek, and the little man turned
with a sarcastic smile to McNish.
"I suppose Brother McNish is (h)anxious to get ready for this gaime
we've bin 'earing abaht. I should just like to remind 'im that we
'ave a bigger gaime on 'and, if 'e wants to get into it. Personally
I don't 'ave no use for these 'ere gaimes. I 'ave seen the same
kind of capitalistic dodge to distract the workin' man's (h)attention
from 'is real gaime in life. These circumventions--"
"Maister Chair-r-man! A rise--"
"Mr. Chairman, I 'ave the floor and if Brother McNish knows
(h)anythink abaht constitootional proceedin's--"
"Maister Chair-r-man--Maister-r Chair-r-r-man!" Brother McNish's
Doric was ominously rasping. "A rise tae a pint of or-r-de-r-r.
And Brother Simmons, who claims to be an expert in constitutional
law and procedure knows I have the floor. Ma pint of order is
this, that there is no business before the meeting and as
apparently only aboot half the members are absent--"
"And 'oo's fault is that? 'E was to get them 'isself," shouted Mr.
"A searched the toon for them but cudna find them, but as A was
sayin'--as the secretary has no business tae bring before the
meeting but a wheen havers, A move we adjourn tae tomorrow at 12:30
p. m. in this place, and I believe that as Brither Maitland is also
a member o' this committee he will second the motion."
Maitland, not knowing in the least what the whole thing was about,
but seeing a way out of the present mix-up, promptly seconded the
"Mr. Chairman!" shouted Simmons. "I am prepared to--"
"Maister Chair-r-man, A need not remind you that there is no
discussion on a motion to adjourn."
"That is quite right," said the chairman, in whose memory by some
obscure mental process this fact seemed to have found a lodging.
"It is moved that this committee do now adjourn."
"Mr. Chairman! I protest," shrieked Brother Simmons frantically.
"Ay, he's a grand protester!" said Brother McNish.
The motion was carried by a majority of one, Brothers Wigglesworth,
McNish and Maitland voting in the affirmative.
"Traitors!" shrieked Brother Simmons. "Capitalistic traitors!"
"Hoot mon! Ye're no in Hyde Park. Save yere breath for yere
porritch the morn--" said McNish, relaxing into a grim smile as he
left the rooms.
"We'll get 'im," said Simmons to his ally and friend. "'E's in
with that there young pup. 'E knows 'ow to work 'im and 'e'd sell
us all up, 'e would." Brother Simmons' brand of profanity strongly
savoured of the London pavements in its picturesque fluency.
"Get in here, McNish," said Maitland, who was waiting at the door.
With some hesitation McNish accepted the invitation.
"Now, what does this mean?" said Maitland savagely, then checking
his rage, "but I ought to thank you for getting me out of the grip
of that frantic idiot. What is this fool thing?"
"It's nae that," said McNish shortly. "It is anything but that.
But I grant ye this was no time to bring it on. That was beyond
me. A doot yon puir cratur had a purpose in it, however. He
disna--does not think much of these games of yours. But that's
anither--another"--McNish was careful of his speech--"matter."
"But what in--"
"I am just telling you. There is a strong, a very strong movement
under way among the unions at present."
"A movement? Strike, do you mean?"
"It may be, or worse." McNish's tone was very grave. "And as a
good union man they expect your assistance."
"Ay, and condeetions and the like."
"But it is not six months since the last agreement was signed and
that agreement is running still."
"Ay, it is, but condeetions, conditions have changed since that
date," said McNish, "and there must be readjustment--at least,
there is a feeling that way."
"Readjustment? But I have had no hint of this in our meetings.
This has not come up for discussion."
A gentle pity smiled from the rugged face of the man beside him.
"Hardly," he said. "It's no done that way."
They came to McNish's door.
"Will you come in?" he said courteously. A refusal was at Maitland's
lips when the door was opened by an old lady in a white frilled cap
and without being able to explain how it came about he found himself
in the quaintly furnished but delightfully cosy living-room, soaking
in the comfort of a great blazing fire.
"This is really solid comfort," he said, spreading his hands to the
glowing pine slabs.
"Ay, ye need it the day. The fire cheers the heart," said the old
"But you don't need it for that, Mrs. McNish," said her visitor,
smiling at the strong, serene face under the white frilled cap.
"Do I not then? An' what aboot yersel'?" The keen grey eye
searched his face. Maitland was immediately conscious of a vast
dreariness in his life. He sat silent looking into the blazing
"Ay," continued the old lady, "but there are the bright spots tae,
an' it's ill tae glower at a cauld hearth stone." Maitland glanced
quickly at the shrewd and kindly face. What did she know about him
and his life and his "cauld hearth stone"? So he said nothing but
waited. Suddenly she swerved to another theme.
"Malcolm," she said, "have ye secured the tickets for the match?"
"Aw, mither, now it is the terrible auld sport ye are. She drags
me out to all these things." His eyes twinkled at Maitland. "I
can't find time for any study."
"Hoots ye and ye're study. A doot a rale heartening scramble on
the ice wad dae ye mair guid than an oor wi' yon godless Jew
"She means Marx, of course," said McNish, in answer to Maitland's
look of perplexity. "She has no use for him."
"But the tickets, Malcolm," insisted his mother.
"Well, mither, A'll confess I clean forgot them. Ye see," he
hurried to say, "A was that fashed over yon Committee maitter--"
"Committee maitter!" exclaimed the old lady indignantly. "Did I
not tell ye no to heed yon screamin' English cratur wi' his
"She means Simmons," interjected Malcolm with a little smile. "He
means well, mither, but A'm vexed aboot the tickets."
"Mrs. McNish," said Maitland, "I happen to have two tickets that I
can let you have." For an instant she hesitated.
"We can find a way in, I think, Mr. Maitland," said Malcolm,
forestalling his mother's answer. But with simple dignity his
mother put him aside.
"A shall be verra pleased indeed to have the tickets, provided you
can spare them, Mr. Maitland. Never mind, noo, Malcolm. A ken
well what ye're thinkin'. He's gey independent and his mind is on
thae revolutionary buddies o' his. A'm aye tellin' him this is nae
land for yon nonsense. Gin we were in Rooshie, or Germany whaur
the people have lived in black slavery or even in the auld land
whaur the fowk are haudden doon wi' generations o' class bondage,
there might be a chance for a revolutionary. But what can ye dae
in a land whaur the fowk are aye climbin' through ither, noo up,
noo down, noo maister, noo man? Ye canna make Canadians
revolutionaries. They are a' on the road to be maisters. Malcolm
is a clever loon but he has a wee bee in his bonnet." The old lady
smiled quizzically at her big, serious-faced son.
"Noo, mither, ye're just talkin' havers," he said. "My mother is
as great a Socialist as I am."
"Ay, but A keep ma heid."
"That ye do, mither. Ye're gey cannie," replied her son, shaking
his head, and so they passed the word to and fro, and Maitland sat
listening to the chat. The delightful spirit of camaraderie
between mother and son reminded him of a similar relationship
between mother and sons in his own home in pre-war days. He could
not tear himself away. It was well on to his dinner hour before he
rose to go.
"You have given me a delightful hour, Mrs. McNish," he said as he
shook hands. "You made me think of my own home in the old days,--I
mean before the war came and smashed everything." The old lady's
eyes were kindly scanning his face.
"Ay, the war smashed yere hame?" Maitland nodded in silence.
"His brither," said Malcolm, quietly.
"Puir laddie," she said, patting his hand.
"And my mother," added Maitland, speaking with difficulty, "and
that, of course, meant our home--and everything. So I thank you
for a very happy hour," he added with a smile.
"Wad ye care to come again?" said the old lady with a quiet
dignity. "We're plain fowk but ye'll be always welcome."
"I just will, Mrs. McNish. And I will send you the tickets."
"Man! I wish ye grand luck the night. A grand victory."
"Thank you. We are going to make a try for it," said Maitland.
"You must shout for us."
"Ay, wull I," she answered grimly. And she kept her word for of
all the company that made up the Maitland party, none was more
conspicuously enthusiastic in applause than was a white-haired old
lady in a respectable black bonnet whose wild and weird Doric
expletives and exclamations were the joy of the whole party about
THE NIGHT OF VICTORY
It was an hour after the match. They were gathered in the old
rendezvous of the hockey teams in pre-war days. And they were all
wildly excited over the Great Victory.
"Just think of it, Mamma, dear," Patricia shouted, pirouetting now
on one foot and then on the other, "Eight to six! Oh, it is too
glorious to believe! And against that wonderful team, the
Cornwalls! Now listen to me, while I give you a calm and connected
account of the game. I shall always regret that you were not
present, Mamma. Victory! And at half time we were down, five to
two! I confess disaster and despair stared me in the face. And we
started off so gloriously! Captain Jack and Snoopy in the first
five minutes actually put in two goals, with that back goal play of
theirs. You know, I explained it to you, Mamma."
"Yes, dear, I know," said her mother, "but if you will speak a
little more quietly and slowly--"
"I will, Mamma," said her daughter, sitting down with great
deliberation, in front of her. "I will explain to you again that
'round the goal' play."
"I am afraid, my dear, that I could hardly grasp just what you
"Well, never mind, Mamma. It is a particular and special play that
Captain Jack worked out. They rush down to the goal and instead of
trying to shoot, the one with the puck circles round the back and
delivers the puck immediately in front of the goal, where another
takes and slips it in. Two goals in about five minutes, wasn't it,
"About eight minutes, I should say," replied Hugh Maynard, the big
Captain of the Eagles.
"Well, eight minutes," continued Patricia, taking up the tale, "and
then they began the roughhouse business. Jumbo Larson--a terribly
big Swede, Mamma--put it all over little Snoopy. Chucked him
about, wiped the ice with him!"
"My dear!" exclaimed her mother.
"Well, you know what I mean. A great big, two-hundred-pound
monster, who simply threw Snoopy and Georgie Ross all about the
rink. It took Captain Jack all his time to stand up against him.
And then they ran in goals at a perfectly terrific rate. Two--
three--four--five! And only Fatty Findlay's marvelous play kept
down the score. I adore Fatty! You know, Mamma, that dear old
"Scotchwoman?" exclaimed Mrs. Templeton.
"Yes. Oh! you don't know about her. Captain Jack brought her
along. Mrs. Mc-something."
"McNish," supplied Adrien.
"Yes, McNish," continued Patricia, "a perfect dear! She did
everything but swear. Indeed, she may have been swearing for I
could not understand half of what she said."
Adrien interrupted: "She is perfectly priceless, Mother. I wish
you could meet her--so dignified and sweet."
"Sweet!" exclaimed Patricia, with a laugh. "Well, I didn't see the
sweetness, exactly. But at half time, Mamma, fancy! they stood
five to two against us. It was a truly awful moment for all of us.
And then, after half time, didn't those Cornwalls within five
minutes run in another goal, and, worse than all, Jumbo Larson laid
out Snoopy flat on the ice! Now the game stood six to two! Think
of it, Mamma!"
Then Adrien put in: "It was at this point that the old lady made a
remark which, I believe, saved the day. What was it exactly,
"I didn't quite get it."
"I know," said little Vic Forsythe, himself a star of the Eagle
forward line. "You poor Sassenach! You couldn't be expected to
catch the full, fine flavour of it. Maitland was trying to cheer
the old lady up when she said to him: 'Yon half backs, A'm
thinkin''--she was a soccer fan in the old land, I believe--'yon
half backs, A'm thinkin', are gey confident. It is a peety they
cudna be shaken a bit in their nerves.' By Jove! Maitland jumped
at it. 'Mrs. McNish, you're right! you're right. I wonder I did
not think of it before.'"
Then Adrien broke in: "Yes, from that moment there was a change in
our men's tactics."
Then Patricia broke in: "Well, then, let me go on. Captain Jack
knew quite well there was no use of allowing those little chaps,
Snoopy and Geordie Ross, to keep feeding themselves to those horrid
monsters, Jumbo Larson and Macnab, so what did they do but move up
"Jack" Johnson and Macnamara. That is, you see, Mamma, the
forwards would take down the puck and then up behind them would
come the backs, Macnamara and "Jack" Johnson, like a perfect storm,
and taking the puck from the forwards, who would then fall back to
defence, would smash right on the Cornwall defence. The very first
time when "Jack" Johnson came against Jumbo, Jumbo found himself
sitting on the ice. Oh! it was lovely! Perfectly lovely! And the
next time they did it, Jumbo came at him like a bull. But that
adorable "Jack" Johnson just lifted him clear off his feet and
flung him against the side. It seemed to me that the whole rink
Here Vic broke in: "You didn't hear what the old lady said at this
point, I suppose. I was sitting next to her. She was really a
whole play by herself. When Jumbo went smashing against the side,
the old lady gave a grunt. 'Hum, that wull sort ye a doot.' Oh!
she is a peach!"
"And the next time they came down," cried Patricia, taking up the
tale again, "Jumbo avoided him. For Macnamara, 'Jack' Johnson and
Captain Jack came roaring down the ice at a terrific pace, and with
never a stop, smashed head on into Jumbo and Macnab and fairly
hurled them in on Hepburn--that is their goal keeper, you know--and
scored. Oh! Oh! Oh! Such a yell! Six to three, and ten minutes
"But Patricia," said Mrs. Templeton, "do moderate your tone. We
are not in the rink. And this terrible excitement can't be good
"Good for me?" cried Patricia. "What difference does that make?
Ten minutes to play, Mamma! But that was the end of the roughhouse
game by the Cornwall defence."
Then Hugh stepped in: "It really did break up that defence. It
was a wonderful piece of generalship, I must say. They never
seemed to get together after that."
"Let me talk, Hugh," exclaimed Patricia, "I want to tell Mamma what
happened next, for this was really the most terribly exciting part
of the game. And I think it was awfully clever of Captain Jack.
You know, next time, Mamma, when they came down--I mean our men--
they pretended to be playing the same game, but they weren't. For
Captain Jack and Snoopy went back to their old specialty, and
before the Cornwalls knew where they were at, they ran in three
goals--one-two-three, just like that! Oh! you ought to have seen
that rink, Mamma, and you ought to have heard the yelling! I wish
you had been there! And then, just at that last goal didn't that
horrid Jumbo make a terrible and cruel swing at Snoopy's ankle,
just as he passed. Knocked him clean off his feet so that poor
Snoopy lay on the ice quite still! He was really nearly killed.
They had to carry him off!"
"Well, I wouldn't say that exactly," said Hugh. "The fact of the
matter is, Snoopy is a clever little beggar and I happened to catch
his wink as Maitland was bending over him. I was helping him off
the ice, you know, and I heard him whisper, 'Don't worry, Captain,
I'm all right. Get me another pair of skates. It will take a
"Do you mean he wasn't hurt?" exclaimed Patricia indignantly.
"Indeed he was; he was almost killed, I am sure he was."
"Oh, he was hurt right enough," said Hugh, "but he wasn't killed by
"And then," continued Patricia, "there was the most terrible riot
and uproar. Everybody seemed to be on the ice and fighting. Hugh
ran in, and Vic--I should loved to have gone myself--Hugh was
perfectly splendid--and all the Eagles were there and--"
Then Mrs. Templeton said: "What do you mean--a fight, a riot?"
"A real riot, Mother," said Adrien, "the whole crowd demanding
Jumbo's removal from the ice."
"Yes," continued Patricia impatiently, pushing her sister aside,
"Hugh went straight to the umpire and it looked almost as though he
was going to fight, the way he tore in. But he didn't. He just
spoke quietly to the umpire. What did you say, Hugh?"
"Oh," cried Vic, "Hugh was perfectly calm and superior. He knows
the umpire well. Indeed, I think the umpire owes his life to Hugh
and his protecting band of Eagles."
"What did he say," cried Patricia. "I wish I could have heard
"Oh," said Vic, "there was an interesting conversation. 'Keep out
of this, Maynard. You ought to know better,' the umpire said,
'keep out.' 'Baker, that man Larson must go off.' 'Rubbish,' said
the umpire, 'they were both roughing it.' 'Look here, Baker,
that's rot and you know it. It was a deliberate and beastly trick.
Put him off!' 'He stays on!' said the umpire, and he stuck to it,
I'll give him credit for that. It was old Maitland that saved the
day. He came up smiling. 'I hope you are taking off the time,
umpire,' he said, with that little laugh of his. 'I am not going
to put Larson off,' shouted the umpire to him. 'Who asked you to?'
said Maitland. 'Go on with the game.' That saved the day. They
all started cheering. The ice was cleared and the game went on."
"Oh, that was it. I couldn't understand. They were so savage
first, and then suddenly they all seemed to quiet down. It was
Captain Jack. Well, Mamma, on they came again! But when poor
Snoopy came out, all bandaged round the head and the blood showing
"Quite a clever little beggar," murmured Vic.
"Clever? What do you mean?" cried Patricia.
"Oh, well, good psychology, I mean--that's all. Bloody bandages--
demanding vengeance, Jack's team, you know--Macnamara, for
instance, entreating his captain for the love of heaven to put him
opposite Jumbo--shaking the morale of the enemy and so forth--
mighty good psychology."
"I don't know exactly what you mean," said Patricia, "but the
Cornwall defence was certainly rattled. They pulled their men back
and played defence like perfect demons, with the Mill men on to
them like tigers."
"But Patricia, my dear," said her mother, "those are terrible
"But, Mamma, not half so terrible as the real thing. Oh, it was
perfectly splendid! And then how did it finish, Hugh? I didn't
quite see how that play came about."
"I didn't see, either," said Hugh.
"Didn't you?" cried Adrien, "I did. Jack and Geordie Ross were
going down the centre at a perfectly terrific speed, big Macnamara
backing them up. Out came Macnab and Jumbo Larson following him.
Macnab checked Geordie, who passed to Jack, who slipped it back to
Macnamara. Down came Jumbo like a perfect thunderbolt and fairly
hurled himself upon Macnamara. I don't know what happened then,
"Oh, I do!" cried Vic. "When old Jumbo came hurtling down upon
Macnamara, this was evidently what Macnamara was waiting for.
Indeed, what he had been praying for all through the game. I saw
him gather himself, crouch low, lurch forward with shoulder well
down, a wrestler's trick--you know Macnamara was the champion
wrestler of his division in France--he caught Jumbo low. Result, a
terrific catapult, and the big Swede lay on his back some twenty
feet away. Everybody thought he was dead."
"Oh, it was perfectly lovely!" exclaimed Patricia, rapturously.
"But, my dear," said her mother, "lovely, and they thought the man
"Oh, but he wasn't dead. He came to. I will say he was very
plucky. Then just as they faced off, time was called. Six to six!
Think of it, Mamma, six to six! And we had been five to two at
"Six to six?" said Mrs. Templeton. "But I thought you said we
"Oh, listen, Mamma, this is the most wonderful thing of the whole
match," said Adrien, trying to break in on the tornado of words
from her younger sister.
"No, let me, Adrien! I know exactly how it was done. Captain Jack
explained it to me before. It was Captain Jack's specialty. It
was what they call the double-circle. Here is the way it was
worked." Patricia sprang to her feet, arranged two chairs for goal
and proceeded to demonstrate. "You see, Mamma, in the single
circle play, Captain Jack and Snoopy come down--say Snoopy has the
puck. Just as they get near the goal Snoopy fools the back, rushes
round the goal and passes to Jack, who is standing in front ready
to slip it in. But of course the Cornwalls were prepared for the
play. But that is where the double-circle comes in. This time
Geordie had the puck, with Captain Jack immediately at his left and
Snoopy further out. Well, Geordie had the puck, you see. He
rushes down and pretends to make the circle of the goal. But this
time he doesn't. He tears like mad around the goal with the puck,
Snoopy tears like mad around the goal from the other side, the
defence all rush over to the left to check them, leaving the right
wide open. Snoopy takes the ball from Geordie, rushes around the
goal the other way, Mamma, do you see?--passes back to Reddy, his
partner, who slips it in! And poor Jumbo was unable to do
anything. I believe he was still dazed from his terrible fall!"
Then Hugh breaks in: "It really was beautifully done."
"It certainly was," said Vic.
"Seven to six, Mamma, think of it! Seven to six, and two minutes
of the first overtime to play. Two minutes! It just seemed that
our men could do as they liked. The last time the whole forward
lines came down, with Macnamara and 'Jack' Johnson roaring and
yelling like--like--I don't know what. And they did the double-
circle again! Think of it! And then time was called. Oh, I am
perfectly exhausted with this excitement!" said Patricia, sinking
back into her chair. "I don't believe I could go down to that
rink, not even for another game. It is terribly trying!"
At this moment Rupert Stillwell came in, full of enthusiasm for the
Cornwalls' scientific hockey, and with grudging praise for the
local team, deploring their roughhouse tactics. But he met a sharp
and unexpected check, for Adrien took him in hand, in her quiet,
cool, efficient manner.
"Roughhouse!" she said. "What do you mean exactly by that?"
"Well," said Rupert, somewhat taken aback, "for instance that
charge of Macnamara on Jumbo Larson at the last."
"I saw that quite clearly," said Adrien, "and it appeared to me
quite all right. It was Larson who made the most furious charge
"Of course it was," cried Patricia, indignantly. "Jumbo deserved
all he got. Why, the way he mauled little Snoopy and Geordie Ross
in the first part of the game was perfectly horrid. Don't you
think so, Hugh?"
"Oh, well, hockey is not tiddly-winks, you know, Patricia, and--"
"As if I didn't know that!" broke in the girl indignantly.
"And Jumbo and Macnab," continued Hugh, "really had to break up the
dangerous combination there. Of course that was a rotten assault
on Snoopy. It wasn't Jumbo's fault that he didn't break an ankle.
As it was, he gave him a very bad fall."
At this Rupert laughed scornfully. "Rot," he said, "the whole town
is laughing at all that bloody bandage business. It was a bit of
stage play. Very clever, I confess, but no hockey. I happen to
know that Maitland was quite hot about it."
But Hugh and Vic only laughed at him.
"He is a clever little beggar, is Snoopy," said Vic.
"But, meantime," said Mrs. Templeton, "where is Jack! He was going
to be here, was he not?"
"Feasting and dancing, I expect," said Rupert. "There is a big
supper on, given by the Mill management, and a dance afterwards--
'hot time in the old town,' eh?"
"A dance?" gasped Patricia. "A dance! Where?"
"Odd Fellows' Hall," said Rupert. "Want to go? I have tickets.
Don't care for that sort of thing myself. Rather a mixed affair, I
guess. Mill hands and their girls."
"Oh," breathed Patricia, "I should love to go. Couldn't we?"
"But my dear Patricia," said her mother, "a dance, with all those
people? What nonsense. But I wish Jack would drop in. I should
so like to congratulate him on his great victory."
"Oh, do let us go, just for a few minutes, Mamma" entreated
Patricia. "Hugh, have you tickets?"
The men looked at each other.
"Well," confessed Vic, "I was thinking of dropping in myself.
After all, it is our home team and they are good sports. And
Maitland handled them with wonderful skill."
"Yes, I am going," said Hugh. "I am bound to go as Captain of the
Eagles, and that sort of thing, but I would, anyway. Would you
care to come, Adrien, if Mrs. Templeton will allow you? Of course
there are chaperons. Maitland would see to that."
"I should like awfully to go," said Adrien eagerly. "We might, for
a few minutes, Mother? Of course, Patricia should be in bed,
Poor Patricia's face fell.
"It is no place for any of you," said the mother, decidedly. "Just
think of that mixed multitude! And you, Patricia, you should be in
"But oh, Mamma, dear," wailed Patricia, "I can rest all day to-
At this point a new voice broke in to the discussion and Doctor
Templeton appeared. "Well, what's the excitement," he enquired.
"Oh, the match, of course! Well, what was the result?"
"Oh, Daddy, we won, we won!" cried Patricia, springing at him.
"The most glorious match! Big Jumbo Larson, a perfect monster on
the Cornwall defence, was knocked out! Oh, it was a glorious
match! And can't I go down to see the dance? Adrien and Hugh and
Vic are going. Only for a few minutes," she begged, with her arms
around her father's neck. "Say yes, Daddy!"
"Give me time; let me get my breath, Patricia. Now, do begin
somewhere--say, with the score."
They all gave him the score.
"Hurrah!" cried the old doctor. "No one hurt--seriously, I mean?"
"No," said Patricia, "except perhaps Jumbo Larson," she added
"The Lord was merciful to this family when he made you a girl,
Patricia," said her father.
"But, Daddy, it was a wonderful game." Quite breathlessly, she
went once more over the outstanding features of the play.
"Sounds rather bloody, I must say," said her father, doubtfully.
But Hugh said: "It was not really--not quite so bad as Patricia
makes it, sir. Rough at times, of course, but, on the whole,
"Clean," cried Patricia, "what about Jumbo's swing at Snoopy?"
"Oh, well, Snoopy had the puck, you know. It was a little off-
colour, I must confess."
"And now, Daddy," said Patricia, going at her father again, "we all
want to go down to the dance. There will be speeches, you know,
and I do want to hear Captain Jack," she added, not without guile.
"Won't you let me go with them? Hugh will take care of me."
"I think I should rather like to go myself," said her father. A
shout of approval rose from the whole company. "But," continued
the doctor, "I don't think I can. My dear, I think they might go
for a few minutes--and you can bring me in a full account of the
speeches, Patricia," he added, with a twinkle in his eye.
"But, my dear," exclaimed his wife, "this is one of those awful
public affairs. You can't imagine what they are like. The Mill
hands will all be there, and that sort of people."
"Well, my dear, Jack Maitland will be there, I fancy, and you were
thinking of going, Hugh?"
"Yes, sir, I am going. Of course there will be a number of the
friends of both teams, townspeople. Of course the Mill hands will
be there, too, in large numbers. It will be great fun."
"Well, my dear," said the doctor, "I think they might go down for a
few minutes. But be sure to be back before midnight. Remember,
Patricia, you are to do exactly as your sister says."
Then Vic said: "I shall keep a firm hand on her, sir."
"Oh, you darling," Patricia cried, hugging her father rapturously.
"I will be so good; and won't it be fun!"
Odd Fellows' Hall was elaborately decorated with bunting and
evergreens. The party from the Rectory, arriving in time to hear
the closing speeches of the two team captains, took their places in
the gallery. The speeches were brief and to the point.
The Captain of the visiting team declared that he had greatly
enjoyed the game. He was not quite convinced that the best team
had won, but he would say that the game had gone to the team that
had put up the best play. He complimented Captain Maitland upon
his generalship. He had known Captain Maitland in the old days and
he ought to have been on the lookout for the kind of thing he had
put over. The Maitland Mill team had made a perfectly wonderful
recovery in the last quarter, though he rather thought his friend
Macnamara had helped it a little at a critical point.
"He did that," exclaimed Jumbo Larson, with marked emphasis.
After the roar of laughter had quieted down, the Cornwall Captain
closed by expressing the hope that the Maitland Mill team would try
for a place next season in the senior hockey. In which case he
expressed the hope that he might have the pleasure of meeting them
Captain Maitland's speech was characteristic. He had nothing but
praise for the Cornwalls. They played a wonderful game and a clean
game. He shared in the doubt of their Captain as to which was the
better team. He frankly confessed that in the last quarter the
luck came to his team.
"Not a bit of it," roared the Cornwalls with one voice.
As to his own team, he was particularly proud of the way they had
taken the training--their fine self-denial, and especially the
never-dying spirit which they showed. It was a great honour for
his team to meet the Cornwalls. A hard team to meet--sometimes--as
Snoopy and himself had found out that evening--but they were good
sports and he hoped some day to meet them again.
After the usual cheers for the teams, individually and collectively,
for their supporters, for the Mill management and for the ladies,
the dinner came to an end, the whole party joining with wide open
throats and all standing at attention, in the Canadian and the
Empire national anthems.
While the supper table was being cleared away preparatory to the
dance, Captain Jack rushed upstairs to the party in the gallery.
Patricia flung herself at him in an ecstasy of rapture.
"Oh! Captain Jack, you did win! You did win! You did win! It was
glorious! And that double-circle play that you and Snoopy put up--
didn't it work beautifully!"
"We were mighty lucky," said Captain Jack.
The others, Hugh, Vic and Rupert, crowded round, offering
congratulations. Adrien waited behind, a wonderful light shining
in her eyes, a faint colour touching her pale cheek. Captain Jack
came slowly forward.
"Are you not going to congratulate us, too, Adrien?" he said.
She moved a pace forward.
"Oh, Jack," she whispered, leaning toward him and breathing
quickly, "it was so like the old, the dear old days."
Into Maitland's eyes there flashed a look of surprise, of wonder,
then of piercing scrutiny, while his face grew white.
"Adrien," he said, in a voice low, tense, almost stern, which she
alone heard. "What do you mean? Then do you--"
"Oh, Captain Jack," cried Patricia, catching his arm, "are you
going to dance? You are, aren't you? And will you give me-- Oh,
I daren't ask! You are such a great hero to-night!"
"Why, Patsy, will you give me a dance?"
The girl stood gazing at him with eyes that grew misty, the quick
beating of her loyal heart almost suffocating her.
"Oh, Captain Jack," she gasped, "how many?"
Maitland laughed at her, and turned to her sister.
"And you, Adrien, may I have a dance?"
Again Adrien leaned toward him.
"One?" she asked.
"And as many more as you can spare."
"My program is quite empty, you see," she said, flinging out her
hands and laughing joyously into his face.
"What about me? And me? And me?" said the other three men.
"I suppose we are all nowhere to-night," added Rupert, with a touch
of bitterness in his voice.
"Well, there is only one conquering hero, you know," replied
Adrien, smiling at them all.
"Now I must run off," said Maitland. "You see, I am on duty, as it
were. Come down in a few minutes."
"Yes, go, Jack," said Adrien, throwing him a warm smile. "We will
follow you in a few minutes."
"Oh, I am so excited!" said Patricia, as Maitland disappeared down
the stairs. "I mean to dance with every one of the team. I know I
am going to have a perfectly lovely time! But I would give them
all up if I could have Captain Jack all the time."
"Pig," said her sister, smiling at her.
"Wretch," cried Vic, making a face.
But Patricia was quite unabashed. "I am going to have him just as
often as I can," she said, brazenly.
For a few minutes they stood watching the dancers on the floor
below. It was indeed, as Mrs. Templeton had said, a "mixed
multitude." Mill hands and their girls, townsfolk whose social
standing was sufficiently assured to endure the venture. A mixed
multitude, but thoroughly jolly, making up in vigour what was
lacking in grace in their exposition of the Terpsichorean art.
"Rather ghastly," said Rupert, who appeared to be quite disgusted
with the whole evening's proceedings.
"Lovely!" exclaimed Patricia.
"They are enjoying themselves, at any rate," said Adrien, "and,
after all, that is what people dance for."
"Stacks of fun. I am all for it, eh, Pat?" said Vic, making
adoring eyes at the young girl.
But Patricia severely ignored him.
"Oh, Adrien, look!" she cried suddenly. "There is Annette, and who
is the big man with her? Oh, what an awful dancer he is! But
Annette, isn't she wonderful! What a lovely dress! I think she is
the most beautiful thing." And Patricia was right, for Annette was
radiant in colour and unapproachable in the grace of her movement.
"By Jove! She is a wonder!" said Vic. "Some dancer, if she only
had a chance."
"Well, why don't you go down, Vic," said Patricia sharply. "You
know you are just aching to show off your fox trot. Run away,
little boy, I won't mind."
"I don't believe you would," replied Vic ruefully.
For some minutes longer they all stood watching the scene below.
"They are a jolly crowd," said Adrien. "I don't think we have half
the fun at our dances."
"They certainly get a lot for their money," said Vic. "But wait
till they come to 'turkey-in-the-straw!' That is where they really
"Oh, pshaw!" cried Patricia. "I can 'turkey' myself. Just wait
and you'll see."
"So can I," murmured Vic. "Will you let me in on it? Hello," he
continued, "there is the Captain and Annette. Now look out for
high art. I know the Captain's style. And a two-step! My eye!
She is a little airy fairy!"
"How beautifully she dances," said Adrien. "And how charmingly she
"They do hit it off, don't they," said Rupert. "They evidently
know each other's paces."
Suddenly Adrien turned to Hugh: "Don't you think we should go
down?" she asked. "You know we must not stay late."
"Yes, do come along!" cried Patricia, seizing Victor by the arm and
hurrying to the stairs, the others making their way more leisurely
to the dancing room.
The hall was a scene of confused hilarity. Maitland was nowhere to
"Oh! let us dance, Vic!" cried Patricia. "There is really no use
waiting for Captain Jack. At any rate, Adrien will claim the first
No second invitation was needed and together they swung off into
the medley of dancers.
"We may as well follow," said Hugh. "We shall doubtless run into
Maitland somewhere before long."
But not in that dance, nor in the three successive dances did
Maitland appear. The precious moments were slipping by. Patricia
was becoming more and more anxious and fretful at the non-
appearance of her hero. Also, Hugh began to notice and detect a
lagging in his partner's step.
"Shall we go out into the corridor?" he said. "This air is
beginning to be rather trying."
From the crowded hall they passed into the corridor, from which
opened side rooms which were used as dressing and retiring rooms,
and whose entrances were cleverly screened by a row of thick spruce
trees set up for the occasion.
"This is better," said Hugh, drawing a deep breath. "Shall we sit
a bit and rest?"
"Oh, do let us," said Adrien. "This has been a strenuous and
exciting evening. I really feel quite done out. Here is a most
Wearily she sat down on a bench which faced the entrance to one of
"Shall I bring you a glass of water or an ice, Adrien?" inquired
Hugh, noting the pallor in her face.
"Thank you. A glass of water, if you will be so kind. How
deliciously fragrant that spruce is."
As her partner set off upon his errand, Adrien stepped to the
spruce tree which screened the open door of the room opposite, and
taking the bosky branches in her hands, she thrust her face into
the aromatic foliage.
"How deliciously fragrant," she murmured.
Suddenly, as if stabbed by a spine in the trees, she started back
and stood gazing through the thick branches into the room beyond
There stood Maitland and Annette, the girl, with her face tearfully
pale and pleading, uplifted to his and with her hands gripped tight
and held fast in his, clasped against his breast. More plainly
than words her face, her eyes, her attitude told her tale. She was
pouring out her very soul to him in entreaty, and he was giving
eager, sympathetic heed to her appeal.
Swiftly Adrien stepped back from the screening tree, her face white
as if from a stunning blow, her heartbeats checking her breath.
Quickly, blindly, she ran down the corridor. At the very end she
met Hugh with a glass of water in his hand.
"What is the matter, Adrien? Have you seen a ghost?" he cried in
an anxious voice.
She caught the glass from his hand and began to drink, at first
greedily, then more slowly.
"Ah!" she said, drawing a deep breath. "That is good. Do you
know, I was almost overcome. The air of that room is quite deadly.
Now I am all right. Let us get a breath from the outside, Hugh."
Taking him by the arm, she hastened him to the farther end of the
corridor and opened the door. "Oh, delicious!" She drew in deep
breaths of the cold, fresh air.
"How wonderful the night is, Hugh." She leaned far out, "and the
snow was like a cloth of silver and diamonds in this glorious
moon." She stooped, and from a gleaming bank beside the door she
caught up a double handful of the snow and, packing it into a
little ball, flung it at her partner, catching him fairly on the
"Aha!" she cried. "Don't ever say a woman is a poor shot. Now
then," she added, stamping her feet free from the clinging flakes
and waving her hands in the air to dry them, "I feel fit for
anything. Let us have one more dance before we go home, for I feel
we really must go."
"You are sure you are quite fit?" inquired Hugh, still anxious for
"Fit? Look at me!" Her cheeks were bright with colour, her eyes
"You surely do look fit," said Hugh, beaming at her with frank
admiration. "But you were all in a few moments ago."
"Come along. There is a way into the hall by this door," she
cried, catching his hand and hurrying him into the dancing room
At the conclusion of their dance they came upon Patricia near the
main entrance, in great distress. "I have not seen Captain Jack
anywhere," she lamented. "Have you, Adrien? I have just sent Vic
for a final search. I simply cannot go home till I have had my
dance." The girl was almost in tears.
"Never mind, dear," said Adrien. "He has many duties to-night with
all these players to look after. I think we had better go whenever
Vic returns. I am awfully sorry for you, Patricia," she added.
"No! Don't! You simply must not cry here." She put her arm
around her sister's shoulder, her own lips trembling, and drew her
close. "Where has Vic gone, I wonder?"
That young man, however, was having his own trials. In his search
for Maitland he ran across McNish, whom he recognised as Annette's
partner in the first dance.
"Hello!" he cried. "Do you know where Captain Maitland is, by any
"No, how should I know," replied McNish, in a voice fiercely
"Oh!" said Vic, somewhat abashed. "I saw you dance with Annette--
with Miss Perrotte--and I thought perhaps you might know where the
McNish stood glowering at him for a moment or two, then burst
"They are awa'--he's ta'en her awa'."
"Away," said Vic. "Where?"
"To hell for all I ken or care."
Then with a single stride McNish was close at his side, gripping
his arm with fingers that seemed to reach the bone.
"Ye're a friend o' his. Let me say tae ye if ony ill cames tae
her, by the leevin' God above us he wull answer tae me." Hoarse,
panting, his face that of a maniac, he stood glaring wild-eyed at
the young man before him. To say that Vic was shaken by this
sudden and violent onslaught would be much within the truth.
Nevertheless he boldly faced the passion-distracted man.
"Look here! I don't know who you are or what you mean," he said,
in as steady tones as he could summon, "but if you suggest that any
girl will come to harm from Captain Maitland, then I say you are a
liar and a fool." So speaking, little Vic set himself for the rush
which he was firmly convinced would come. McNish, however, stood
still, fighting for control. Then, between his deep-drawn breaths,
he slowly spoke:
"Ye may be richt. A hope tae God A am baith liar and fule." The
agony in his face moved Vic to pity.
"I say, old chap," he said, "you are terribly mistaken somehow, I
can swear to that. Where is Maitland, anyway, do you know?"
"They went away together." McNish had suddenly gotten himself in
hand. "They went away in his car, secretly."
"Secretly," said Vic, scornfully. "Now, that is perfect rot. Look
here, do you know Captain Maitland? I am his friend, and let me
tell you that all I ever hope to own, here and hereafter, and all
my relatives and friends, I would gladly trust with him."
"Maybe, maybe," muttered McNish. "Ye may be richt. A apologise,
sir, but if--" His eyes blazed again.
"Aw, cut out the tragedy stuff," said Vic, "and don't be an ass.
Vic turned on his heel and left McNish standing in a dull and dazed
condition, and made his way toward the ballroom.
"Who is the Johnny, anyway?" he said to himself. "He is mad--
looney--utterly bughouse. Needs a keeper in the worst way. But
what about the Captain--must think up something. Let's see. Taken
suddenly ill? Hardly--there is the girl to account for. Her
mother--grandmother--or something--stricken--let's see. Annette
has a brother--By Jove! the very thing--I've got it--brother met
with an accident--run over--fell down a well--anything. Hurry
call--ambulance stuff. Good line. Needs working up a bit, though.
What has happened to my grey matter? Let me think. Ah, yes--when
that Johnny brought word of an accident, a serious accident to her
brother, Maitland, naturally enough, the gallant soul, hurries her
off in his car, sending word by aforesaid mad Johnny."
Vic went to the outer door, feeling the necessity for a somewhat
careful conning of his tale to give it, as he said himself, a
little artistic verisimilitude. Then, with his lesson--as he
thought--well learned, and praying for aid of unknown gods, he went
back to find his partner.
"If only Patricia will keep out of it," he said to himself as he
neared the hall door, "or if I could only catch old Hugh first.
But he is not much of a help in this sort of thing. Dash it all!
I am quite nervous. This will never do. Must find a way--good
effect--cool and collected stuff." So, ruminating and praying and
moving ever more slowly, he reached the door. Coming in sight of
his party, he hurried to meet them. "Awfully sorry!" he exclaimed
excitedly. "The most rotten luck! Old Maitland's just been called
"Called off!" cried Patricia, in dismay. "Where to!"
"Now, don't jump at me like that. Remember my heart. Met that
Johnny--the big chap dancing with Annette, you know--just met him--
quite worked up--a hurry call for the girl--for the girl, Annette,
"The girl!" exclaimed Patricia. "You said Captain Jack."
"I know! I know!" replied Vic, somewhat impatiently. "I am a bit
excited, I confess. Rather nasty thing--Annette's brother, you
know--something wrong--accident, I think. Couldn't get the
"But Annette's brother is in Toronto," said Adrien, gravely.
"Exactly!" cried Vic. "That is what I have been telling you. A
hurry call--phone message for Annette--horrible accident. Maitland
rushed her right away in his car to catch the midnight to Toronto."
"By Jove! That is too bad," said Hugh, a genuine sympathy in his
honest voice. "That is hard luck on poor Annette. Tony is not
exactly a safe proposition, you know."
"Was he--is he killed?" cried Patricia, in a horror-stricken voice.
"Killed! Not a bit of it," said Vic cheerfully. "Slight injury--
but serious, I mean. You know, just enough to cause anxiety." Vic
lit another cigarette with ostentatious deliberation. "Nasty
shock, you know," he said.
"Who told you all this?" inquired Rupert.
"Who told me?" said Vic. "Why, that mad Johnny."
"Mad Johnny? What mad Johnny?"
Vic said: "Eh! What? You know, that--ahr--big chap who was
falling over her in the fox trot. Looked kind of crazy, you know--
"Where is he now?" enquired Rupert.
"Oh, I fancy about there, somewhere," replied Vic, remembering that
he had seen McNish moving toward the door. "Better go and look him
up and get more particulars. Might help some, you know."
"Oh, Adrien, let us go to her," said Patricia. "I am sure Annette
would love to have you. Poor Annette!"
"Oh! I say!" interposed Vic hurriedly. "There is really no
necessity. I shouldn't like to intrude in family affairs and that
sort of thing, you know what I mean."
Adrien's grave, quiet eyes were upon Vic's face. "You think we had
better not go, then," she said slowly.
"Sure thing!" replied Vic, with cheerful optimism. "There is no
necessity--slight accident--no need to make a fuss about it."
"But you said it was a serious accident--a terrible thing," said
"Oh, now, Patricia, come out of it. You check a fellow up so hard.
Can't you understand the Johnny was so deucedly worked up over it
he couldn't give me the right of it. Dash it all! Let's have
another turn, Patricia!"
But Adrien said: "I think we will go home, Hugh."
"Very well, if you think so, Adrien. I don't fancy you need worry
over Annette. The accident probably is serious but not dangerous.
Tony is a tough fellow."
"Exactly!" exclaimed Vic. "Just as I have been telling you.
Serious, but not dangerous. At least, that was the impression I
"Oh, Vic, you are so terribly confusing!" exclaimed Patricia. "Why
can't you get things straight? I say, Adrien, we can ride round to
Annette's on our way home, and then we will get things quite
"Certainly," said Hugh. "It will only take us a minute. Eh,
what!" he added to Vic, who was making frantic grimaces at him.
"Well, if you ladies will get your things, we will go."
"But I am so disappointed," said Patricia to Adrien, as they went
to their dressing room together.
After they had gone, Hugh turned upon Vic: "Now then, what the
deuce and all are you driving at?"
"Driving at!" cried Vic, in an exasperated tone. "You are a sweet
support for a fellow in distress. I am a nervous wreck--a perfect
mess. Another word from that kid and I should have run screaming
into the night. And as for you, why the deuce didn't you buck up
and help a fellow out?"
"Help you out? How in the name of all that is reasonable could I
help you out? What is all the yarn about? Of course I know it
isn't true. Where's Maitland?"
"Search me," said Vic. "All I know is that I hit upon that Scotch
Johnny out in the hall--he nearly wrenched an arm off me and did
everything but bite--spitting out incoherent gaspings indicating
that Maitland had 'gone awa' wi' his gur-r-l, confound him!' and
suggesting the usual young Lochinvar stuff. You know--nothing in
it, of course. But what was I to do? Some tale was necessary!
Fortunately or unfortunately, brother Tony sprang to the thing I
call my mind and--well, you know the mess I made of it. But Hugh,
remember, for heaven's sake, make talk about something--about the
match--and get that girl quietly home. I bag the back seat and
Adrien. It is hard on me, I know, but fifteen minutes more of
Patsy and I shall be counting my tootsies and prattling nursery
rhymes. Here they come," he breathed. "Now, 'a little forlorn
hope, deadly breach act, if you love me, Hardy.' Play up, old
And with commendable enthusiasm and success, Hugh played up,
supported--as far as his physical and mental condition allowed--by
the enfeebled Vic, till they had safely deposited their charges at
the Rectory door, whence, refusing an invitation to stop for cocoa,
they took their homeward way.
"'And from famine, pestilence and sudden death,' and from the once-
over by that penetrating young female, 'good Lord, deliver us,'"
murmured Vic, falling into the seat beside his friend. "Take me
home to mother," he added, and refused further speech till at his
own door. He waved a weak adieu and staggered feebly into the
THE NEW MANAGER
Grant Maitland sat in his office, plainly disturbed in his mind.
His resolute face, usually reflecting the mental repose which
arises from the consciousness of a strength adequate to any
emergency, carried lines which revealed a mind which had lost its
poise. Reports from his foremen indicated brooding trouble, and
this his own observation within the last few weeks confirmed.
Production was noticeably falling low. The attitude of the workers
suggested suspicion and discontent. That fine glow of comradeship
which had been characteristic of all workers in the Maitland Mills
had given place to a sullen aloofness and a shiftiness of eye that
all too plainly suggested evil forces at work.
During the days immediately preceding and following the Great
Match, there had been a return of that frank and open bearing that
had characterised the employees of the Maitland Mills in the old
days, but that fleeting gleam of sunshine had faded out and the old
grey shadow of suspicion, of discontent, had fallen again. To
Maitland this attitude brought a disappointment and a resentment
which sensibly added to his burden, already heavy enough in these
days of weakening markets and falling prices. In his time he had
come through periods of financial depression. He was prepared for
one such period now, but he had never passed through the unhappy
experience of a conflict with his own employees. Not that he had
ever feared a fight, but he shrank from a fight with his own men.
It humiliated him. He felt it to be a reflection upon his system
of management, upon his ability to lead and control, indeed, upon
his personality. But, more than all, it grieved him to feel that
he had lost that sense of comradeship which for forty years he had
been able to preserve with those who toiled with him in a common
A sense of loneliness fell upon him. Like many a man, self-made
and self-sufficing, he craved companionship which his characteristic
qualities of independence and strength seemed to render unnecessary
and undesired. The experience of all leaders of men was his, for
the leader is ever a lonely man.
This morning the reports he had just received convinced him that a
strike with his workers would not long be delayed. "If I only knew
what they really wanted," he bitterly mused. "It cannot be wages.
Their wages are two or three times what they were before the war--
shop conditions are all that could be desired--the Lord knows I
have spent enough in this welfare stuff and all that sort of thing
during these hard times. I have heard of no real grievances. I am
sick of it all. I guess I am growing too old for this sort of
There was a tap at the door and his son appeared, with a cheery
"Come in, Jack," said his father, "I believe you are the very man I
"Hello, Dad. You look as if you were in trouble."
"Well," replied his father with a keen look at him, "I think I may
return the compliment."
"Well, yes, but perhaps I should not bother you. You have all you
"All I can carry," echoed Maitland, picking up the reports from his
desk and handing them to his son, who glanced over them. "Things
are not going well at the mills. No, you needn't tell me. You
know I never ask you for any confidences about your brother
"Right you are, Dad. You have always played the game."
"Well, I must confess this is beyond me. Everywhere on the men's
faces I catch that beastly look of distrust and suspicion. I hate
to work with men like that. And very obviously, trouble is
brewing, but what it is, frankly, it is beyond me to know."
"Well, it is hardly a secret any longer," said Jack. "Trouble is
coming, Dad, though what form it shall take I am not in a position
to say. Union discipline is a fierce thing. The rank and file are
not taken into the confidence of the leaders. Policies are decided
upon in the secret councils of the Great Ones and handed down to us
to adopt. Of course, it is open to any man to criticise, and I am
bound to say that the rankers exercise that privilege with
considerable zest. All the same, however, it is difficult to
overturn an administration, hard to upset established order. The
thing that is, is the thing that ought to be. Rejection of an
administration policy demands revolution."
"Well," said his father, taking the sheets from Jack's hand, "we
needn't go to meet the trouble. Now, let us have yours. What is
your particular grief?"
"Tony," said Jack shortly.
"Tony?" echoed his father in dismay. "Heaven help us! And what
now has come to Tony? Though I must confess I have been expecting
this for some time. It had to come."
"It is a long story, Dad, and I shan't worry you with the details.
As you know, after leaving us, Tony went from one job to another
with the curve steadily downwards. For the last few months, I
gather, he has been living on his wits, helped out by generous
contributions from his sister's wages. Finally he was given a
subordinate position under "The Great War Veterans" who have really
been very decent to him. This position involved the handling of
funds--no great amount. Then it was the old story--gambling and
drinking--the loss of all control--desperate straits--hoping to
recoup his losses--and you know the rest."
"Embezzlement?" asked Maitland.
"Yes, embezzlement," said Jack. "Tony is not a thief. He didn't
deliberately steal, you understand."
"Jack," said his father, sharply, "get that out of your head.
There is no such distinction in law or in fact. Stealing is
stealing, whatever the motive behind it, whatever the plan
governing it, by whatever name called."
"I didn't really mean anything else, Dad. Tony did the thing, at
any rate, and the cops were on his trail. He got into hiding, sent
an S. O. S. to his sister. Annette, driven to desperation, came to
me with her story the night of the Match. She was awfully cut up,
poor girl. I had to leave the dance and go right off to Toronto.
Too late for the train, I drove straight through,--ghastly roads,--
found Tony, fetched him back, and up till yesterday he has been
hiding in his own home. Meantime, I managed to get things fixed
up--paid his debts, the prosecution is withdrawn and now he wants,--
or, rather, he doesn't want but needs, a job."
Maitland listened with a grave face. "Then the little girl was
right, after all," he said.
"Patricia," said his father. "She told me a long story of a
terrible accident to Tony that had called you away to Toronto. I
must say it was rather incoherent."
"But who told her? I swear not a soul knew but his people and
myself," said Jack.
"Strange how things get out," said his father. "Well, where is