Part 5 out of 6
chosen by each of the parties in this dispute, who would in turn
choose a chairman; that this committee meet with representatives of
both parties; and that their decision in all cases be final."
Mr. Farrington rose and heartily seconded the motion.
At this point Jack, who was sitting near the platform and whose
eyes were wandering over the audience, was startled by the look on
the face of McNish. It was a look in which mingled fear, anxiety,
wrath. He seemed to be on the point of starting to his feet when
McGinnis broke in:
"Do I understand that the decision of this committee is to be final
on every point?"
"Certainly," said the Reverend Murdo. "There is no other way by
which we can arrive at a decision."
"Do you mean," cried McGinnis, "that if this committee says I must
hire only union men in my foundry that I must do so?"
"I would reply," said the Reverend Murdo, "that we must trust this
committee to act in a fair and reasonable way."
But Mr. McGinnis was not satisfied with this answer.
"I want to know," he cried in growing anger, "I want to know
exactly where we are and I want a definite answer. Will this
committee have the right to force me to employ only union men?"
"Mr. Mayor," replied the Reverend Murdo, "Mr. McGinnis is right in
asking for definiteness. My answer is that we must trust this
committee to do what is wise and reasonable, and we must accept
their decision as final in every case."
Thereupon McGinnis rose and expressed an earnest desire for a
tragic and unhappy and age-long fate if he would consent to any
such proposition. With terrible swiftness the spirit of the
meeting was changed. The moment of lofty emotion and noble impulse
passed. The opportunity for reason and fair play to determine the
issue was lost, and the old evil spirit of suspicion and hate fell
upon the audience like a pall.
At this point McNish, from whose face all anxiety had disappeared,
rose and said:
"For my part, and speaking for the working men of this town, I am
ready to accept the proposal that has been made. We have no fear
for the justice of our demands like some men here present. We know
we have the right on our side and we are willing to accept the
judgment of such a committee as has been proposed." The words were
fair enough, but the tone of sneering contempt was so irritating
that immediately the position assumed by McGinnis received support
from his fellow employers on every hand. Once more uproar ensued.
The mayor, in a state of angry excitement, sought in vain to
After some minutes of heated altercation with Mr. McGinnis, whom he
threatened with expulsion from the meeting, the mayor finally left
the chair and the meeting broke up in disorder which threatened to
degenerate into a series of personal encounters.
Again McNish took command. Leaping upon a chair, with a loud voice
which caught at once the ears of his following, he announced that a
meeting was to be held immediately in the union rooms, and he
added: "When these men here want us again, they know where to find
us." He was answered with a roar of approval, and with an ugly
smile on his face he led his people in triumph from the hall,
leaving behind the mayor, still engaged in a heated argument with
McGinnis and certain employers who sympathised with the Irishman's
opinions. Thus the strike passed into another and more dangerous
On the Rectory lawn a hard-fought game had just finished, bringing
to a conclusion a lengthened series of contests which had extended
over a whole week, in which series Patricia, with her devoted
cavalier, Victor Forsythe, had been forced to accept defeat at the
hands of her sister and her partner, Hugh Maynard.
"Partner, you were wonderful in that last set!" said Patricia, as
they moved off together to offer their congratulations to their
"Patsy," said her partner, in a low voice, "as ever, you are superb
in defeat as in victory. Superb, unapproachable, wonderful."
"Anything else, Vic?" inquired Patsy, grinning at the youth.
"Oh, a whole lot more, Pat, if you only give me a chance to tell
"No time just now," cried Patricia as she reached the others.
"Well, you two deserved to win. You played ripping tennis," she
continued, offering Hugh her hand.
"So did you, Pat. You were at the very top of your form."
"Well, some other day," said Vic. "I think we are improving a bit,
partner. A little more close harmony will do the trick."
"Come away, children," said Mrs. Templeton, calling to them from
the shade at the side of the courts. "You must be very tired and
done out. Why, how hot you look, Patricia."
"Stunning, I should say!" murmured Vic, looking at her with adoring
And a truly wonderful picture the girl made, in her dainty muslin
frock, her bold red hair tossed in a splendid aureole about her
face. Care-free, heart-free, as she flashed from her hearty blue
eyes her saucy and bewitching glances at her partner's face, her
mother sighed, thinking that her baby girl was swiftly slipping
away from her and forever into that wider world of womanhood where
others would claim her.
In lovely contrast stood her sister, dressed in flannel skirt and
sweater of old gold silk, fair, tall, beautiful, a delicate grace
in every line of her body and a proud, yet gentle strength in every
feature of her face. There dwelt in her deep blue eyes a look of
hidden, mysterious power which had wrought in her mother a certain
fear of her eldest daughter. The mother never quite knew what to
expect from Adrien. Yet, for all, she carried an assured confidence
that whatever she might do, her daughter never would shame the high
traditions of her race.
The long shadows from the tall elms lay across the velvet sward of
the Rectory lawn. The heat of the early June day had given place
to the cool air of the evening. The exquisitely delicate colouring
from the setting sun flooded the sky overhead and deepened into
blues and purples behind the elms and the church spire. A deep
peace had fallen upon the world except that from the topmost bough
of the tallest elm tree a robin sang, pouring his very heart out in
a song of joyous optimism.
The little group, disposed upon the lawn according to their various
desires, stood and sat looking up at the brave little songster.
"How happy he is," said Mrs. Templeton, a wistful cadence of
sadness in her voice.
"I wonder if he is, Mamma. Perhaps he is only pretending," said
"Cheerio, old chap!" cried Vic, waving his hand at the gallant
little songster. "You are a regular grouch killer."
"He has no troubles," said Mrs. Templeton, with a sigh.
"I wonder, Mamma. Or is he just bluffing us all?"
"He has no strike, at any rate, to worry him," said Patricia, "and,
by the way, what is the news to-day? Does anybody know? Is there
"Oh," cried Vic, "there has been a most exciting morning at the
E. D. C.--the Employers' Defence Committee," he explained, in answer
to Mrs. Templeton's mystified look.
"Do go on!" cried Patricia impatiently. "Was there a fight? They
are always having one."
"Of course there was the usual morning scrap, but with a variation
to-day of a deputation from the brethren of the Ministerial
Association. But, of course, Mrs. Templeton, the Doctor must have
told you already."
"I hardly ever see him these days. He is dreadfully occupied.
There is so much trouble, sickness and that sort of thing. Oh, it
is all terribly sad. The Doctor is almost worn out."
"He made a wonderful speech to the magnates, my governor says."
"Oh, go on, Vic!" cried Patricia. "Why do you stop? You are so
"I was thinking of that speech," replied Victor more quietly than
was his wont. "It came at a most dramatic moment. The governor
was quite worked up over it and gave me a full account. They had
just got all their reports in--'all safe along the Potomac'--no
break in the front line--Building Industries slightly shaky due to
working men's groups taking on small contracts, which excited great
wrath and which McGinnis declared must be stopped."
"How can they stop them? This is a free country," said Adrien.
"Aha!" cried Victor. "Little you know of the resources of the
E. D. C. It is proposed that the supply dealers should refuse
supplies to all builders until the strike is settled. No more
lumber, lime, cement, etc., etc."
"Boycott, eh? I call that pretty rotten," said Adrien.
"The majority were pretty much for it, however, except Maitland and
my governor, they protesting that this boycott was hardly playing
the game. Your friend Captain Jack came in for his licks,"
continued Vic, turning to Patricia. "It appears he has been
employing strikers in some work or other, which some of the
brethren considered to be not according to Hoyle."
"Nonsense!" cried Patricia indignantly. "Jack took me yesterday to
see the work. He showed me all the plans and we went over the
grounds. It is a most splendid thing, Mamma! He is laying out
athletic grounds for his men, with a club house and all that sort
of thing. They are going to be perfectly splendid! Do you mean to
say they were blaming him for this? Who was?" And Patricia stood
ready for battle.
"Kamerad!" cried Vic, holding up his hands. "Not me! However,
Jack was exonerated, for it appears he sent them a letter two weeks
ago, telling them what he proposed to do, to which letter they had
raised no objection."
"Well, what then?" inquired Patricia.
"Oh, the usual thing. They all resolved to stand pat--no surrender--
or, rather, let the whole line advance--you know the stuff--when
into this warlike atmosphere walked the deputation from the
Ministerial Association. It gave the E. D. C. a slight shock, so
my Dad says. The Doctor fired the first gun. My governor says
that it was like a breath from another world. His face was enough.
Everybody felt mean for just being what they were. I know exactly
what that is, for I know the way he makes me feel when I look at him
in church. You know what I mean, Pat."
"I know," said Patricia softly, letting her hand fall upon her
"Well," continued Vic, "the Doctor just talked to them as if they
were his children. They hadn't been very good and he was sorry for
them. He would like to help them to be better. The other side,
too, had been doing wrong, and they were having a bad time. They
were suffering, and as he went on to tell them in that wonderful
voice of his about the women and children, every man in the room,
so the governor said, was wondering how much he had in his pocket.
And then he told them of how wicked it was for men whose sons had
died together in France to be fighting each other here in Canada.
Well, you know my governor. As he told me this tale, we just both
of us bowed our heads and wept. It's the truth, so help me, just
as you are doing now, Pat."
"I am not," cried Patricia indignantly. "And I don't care if I am.
He is a dear and those men are just--"
"Hush, dear," said Mrs. Templeton gently. "And did they agree to
"Alas, not they, for at that moment some old Johnny began asking
questions and then that old fire-eater, McGinnis, horned in again.
No Arbitration Committee for him--no one could come into his
foundry and tell him how to run his business--same old stuff, you
know. Well, then, the Methodist Johnny took a hand. What's his
name? Haynes, isn't it?"
"Yes, Haynes," said Hugh Maynard.
"Well, Brother Haynes took up the tale. He is an eloquent chap,
all right. He took the line 'As you are strong, be pitiful,' but
the psychological moment had gone and the line still held strong.
Campbell of the woollen mills invited him up to view his $25,000.00
stock 'all dressed up and nowhere to go.' 'Tell me how I can pay
increased wages with this stock on my hands.' And echo answered
'How?' Haynes could not. Then my old chief took a hand--the
Reverend Murdo Matheson. He is a good old scout, a Padre, you
know--regular fire-eater--a rasping voice and grey matter oozing
from his pores. My governor says he abandoned the frontal attack
and took them on the flank. Opened up with a dose of economics
that made them sit up. And when he got through on this line, he
made every man feel that it was entirely due to the courtesy and
forbearance of the union that he was allowed to carry on business
at all. He spiked Brother McGinnis's guns by informing him that if
he was harbouring the idea that he owned a foundry all on his own,
he was labouring under a hallucination. All he owned was a heap of
brick and mortar and some iron and steel junk arranged in some
peculiar way. In fact, there was no foundry there till the workmen
came in and started the wheels going round. Old McGinnis sat
gasping like a chicken with the pip. Then the Padre turned on the
'Liberty of the subject' stop as follows: 'Mr. McGinnis insists
upon liberty to run his foundry as he likes; insists upon perfect
freedom of action. There is no such thing as perfect freedom of
action in modern civilisation. For instance, Mr. McGinnis rushing
to catch a train, hurls his Hudson Six gaily down Main Street
thirty miles an hour, on the left-hand side of the street. A speed
cop sidles up, whispers a sweet something in his ear, hails him
ignominiously into court and invites him to contribute to the
support of the democracy fifty little iron men as an evidence of
his devotion to the sacred principle of personal liberty. In
short, there is no such thing as personal liberty in this burg,
unless it is too late for the cop to see.' The governor says
McGinnis's face afforded a perfect study in emotions. I should
have liked to have seen it. The Padre never took his foot off
the accelerator. He took them all for an excursion along
the 'Responsibility' line: personal responsibility, mutual
responsibility, community responsibility and every responsibility
known to the modern mind. And then when he had them eating out
of his hand, he offered them two alternatives: an Arbitration
Committee as formerly proposed, or a Conciliation Board under the
Lemieux Act. My governor says it was a great speech. He had 'em
all jumping through the hoops."
"What DO you mean, Vic?" lamented Mrs. Templeton. "I have only the
very vaguest idea of what you have been saying all this time."
"So sorry, Mrs. Templeton. What I mean is the Padre delivered a
most effective speech."
"And did they settle anything?" inquired Patricia.
"I regret to say, Patricia, that your friend Rupert--"
"My friend, indeed!" cried Patricia.
"Who comforts you with bonbons," continued Vic, ignoring her words,
"and stays you with joy rides, interposed at this second
psychological crisis. He very cleverly moves a vote of thanks,
bows out the deputation, thanking them for their touching
addresses, and promising consideration. Thereupon, as the door
closed, he proceeded to sound the alarm once more, collected the
scattered forces, flung the gage of battle in the teeth of the
enemy, dared them to do their worst, and there you are."
"And nothing done?" cried Adrien. "What a shame."
"What I cannot understand is," said Hugh, "why the unions do not
invoke the Lemieux Act?"
"Aha!" said Vic. "Why? The same question rose to my lips."
"The Lemieux Act?" inquired Mrs. Templeton.
"Yes. You know, Mrs. Templeton, either party in dispute can ask
for a Board of Conciliation, not Arbitration, you understand. This
Board has power to investigate--bring out all the facts--and
failing to effect conciliation, makes public its decision in the
case, leaving both parties at the bar of public opinion."
"But I cannot understand why the unions do not ask for this
"I fear, Hugh," said Victor in an awed and solemn voice, "that
there is an Ethiopian in the coal bin."
"What DOES he mean, Patricia?"
"He means that there is something very dark and mysterious, Mamma."
"So there is," said Hugh. "The unions will take an Arbitration
Committee, which the employers decline to give, but they will not
ask for a Conciliation Board."
"My governor says it's a bluff," said Vic. "The unions know quite
well that McGinnis et hoc genus omne will have nothing to do with
an Arbitration Committee. Hence they are all for an Arbitration
Committee. On the other hand, neither the unions nor McGinnis are
greatly in love with the prying methods of the Conciliation Board,
and hence reject the aid of the Lemieux Act."
"But why should they all be dominated by a man like McGinnis?"
demanded Adrien. "Why doesn't some employer demand a Conciliation
Board? He can get it, you know."
"They naturally stand together," said Hugh.
"But they won't long. Maitland declares that he will take either
board, and that if the committee cannot agree which to choose, he
will withdraw and make terms on his own. He furthermore gave them
warning that if any strike-breakers were employed, of which he had
heard rumours, he would have nothing to do with the bunch."
"Strike-breakers?" said Adrien. "That would certainly mean serious
"Indeed, you are jolly well right," said Vic. "We will all be in
it then. Civic guard! Special police! 'Shun! Fix bayonets!
Prepare for cavalry! Eh?"
"Oh, how terrible it all is," said Mrs. Templeton.
"Nonsense, Vic," said Hugh. "Don't listen to him, Mrs. Templeton.
We will have nothing of that sort."
"Well, it is all very sad," said Mrs. Templeton. "But here is
Rupert. He will give us the latest."
But Rupert appeared unwilling to talk about the meeting of the
morning. He was quite certain, however, that the strike was about
to break. He had inside information that the resources of the
unions were almost exhausted. The employers were tightening up
all along the line, credits were being refused at the stores, the
unions were torn with dissension, the end was at hand.
"It would be a great mercy if it would end soon," said Mrs.
Templeton. "It is a sad pity that these poor people are so
"It is a cruel shame, Mrs. Templeton," said Rupert indignantly. "I
have it from scores of them that they didn't want to strike at all.
They were getting good wages--the wage scale has gone up steadily
during the war to the present extravagant height."
"The cost of living has gone up much more rapidly, I believe," said
Adrien. "The men are working ten hours a day, the conditions under
which they labour are in some cases deplorable; that McGinnis
foundry is a ghastly place, terribly unhealthy; the girls in many
of the factories are paid wages so shamefully low that they can
hardly maintain themselves in decency, and they are continually
being told that they are about to be dismissed. The wrong's not
all on one side, by any means. To my mind, men like McGinnis who
are unwilling to negotiate are a menace to the country."
"You are quite right, Adrien," replied Hugh. "I consider him a
most dangerous man. That sort of pig-headed, bull-headed employer
of labour does more to promote strife than a dozen 'walking
delegates.' I am not terribly strong for the unions, but the point
of vantage is always with the employers. And they have a lot to
learn. Oh, you may look at me, Adrien! I am no bolshevist, but I
see a lot of these men in our office."
Slowly the evening was deepening into night, but still the glow
from the setting sun lingered in the western sky. The brave little
songster had gone from the top of the elm tree, but from the
shrubbery behind the church a whippoorwill was beginning to tune
"Oh, listen to the darling!" cried Patricia. "I haven't heard one
for a long, long time."
"There used to be a great many in the shrubbery here, and in the
old days the woods nearby were full of them in the evenings," said
As they sat listening for the whippoorwill's voice, they became
aware of other sounds floating up to their ears from the town.
The hum of passing motors, the high, shrill laughter of children
playing in the streets, the clang of the locomotive bell from the
railroad station, all softened by distance. But as they listened
there came another sound like nothing they had ever heard in that
place before. A strange, confused rumbling, with cries jutting out
through the dull, rolling noise. A little later came the faint
clash of rhythmic, tumultuous cheering. Patricia's quick ears were
the first to catch the sound.
"Hush!" she cried. "What is that noise?"
Again came the rumbling sound, punctuated with quick volleys of
cheering. The men glanced at each other. They knew well that
sound, a sound they had often heard during the stirring days of the
war, in the streets of the great cities across the seas, and in
other places, too, where men were wont to crowd. As they listened
in tense silence, there came the throbbing of a drum.
"My dear," said Mrs. Templeton faintly to her eldest daughter, "I
think I shall go in."
At once Hugh offered her his arm, while Adrien took the other, and
together they led her slowly into the house.
Meanwhile the others tumbled into Rupert's car and motored down
to the gate, and there waited the approach of what seemed to be a
procession of some sort or other.
At the gate Dr. Templeton, returning from his pastor visitations,
found them standing.
"Come here, Papa!" cried Patricia. "Let us wait here. There is
something coming up the street."
"But what is it?" asked Dr. Templeton. "Does anybody know?"
"I guess it is a strikers' parade, sir. I heard that they were to
organise a march-out to-night. It is rather a ridiculous thing."
Through the deepening twilight they could see at the head of the
column and immediately before the band, a double platoon of young
girls dressed in white, under the command of an officer
distinguished from the others by her red sash, all marching with a
beautiful precision to the tap of the drum. As the head of the
column drew opposite, Patricia touched Vic's arm.
"Vic!" she cried. "Look! Look at that girl! It is Annette!"
"My aunt! So it is!" cried Vic. "Jove! What a picture she makes!
What a swing!"
Behind that swinging company of girls came the band, marching to
the tapping of the drum only. Then after a space came a figure,
pathetic, arresting, moving--a woman, obviously a workman's wife,
of middle age, grey, workworn, and carrying a babe of a few months
in her arms, marched alone. Plainly dressed, her grey head bare,
she walked proudly erect but with evident signs of weariness. The
appearance of that lone, weary, grey-haired woman and her helpless
babe struck hard upon the heart with its poignant appeal, choking
men's throats and bringing hot tears to women's eyes. Following
that lonely figure came one who was apparently the officer in
command of the column. As he came opposite the gate, his eye fell
upon the group there. Swiftly he turned about, and, like a
trumpet, his voice rang out in command:
"Ba-t-t-a-a-lion, halt!! R-r-r-i-g-h-t turn!"
Immediately the whole column came to a halt and faced toward the
side of the street where stood the group within the shadow of the
"I am going to get Annette," said Patricia to her father, and she
darted off, returning almost immediately with the leader of the
"What does this mean, Annette? What are you doing? It is a great
lark!" cried Patricia.
"Well, it is not exactly a lark," answered Annette, with a slight
laugh. "You see, we girls want to help out the boys. We are
strikers, too, you know. They asked us to take part in the parade,
and here we are. But it's got away past being a lark," she
continued, her voice and face growing stern. "There is a lot of
suffering among the workers. I know all my money has gone," she
added, after a moment, with a gay laugh.
Meantime, the officer commanding the column had spoken a few words
to the leader of the band, and in response, to the surprise and
dismay of the venerable Doctor, the band struck up that rollicking
air associated with the time-honoured chorus, "For He's a Jolly
Good Fellow." Then all stood silent, gazing at the Doctor, who,
much embarrassed, could only gaze back in return.
"Papa, dear," said Adrien, who with Hugh Maynard had joined them at
the gate, "you will have to speak to them."
"Speak to them, my dear? What in the world could I say? I have
nothing to say to them."
"Oh, but you must, Papa! Just thank them."
"And tell them you are all for them, Daddy!" added Patricia
Then the old Doctor, buttoning his coat tightly about him and
drawing himself erect, said:
"Rupert, please run your car out to the road. Thank you."
Mounting the car, he stood waiting quietly till the cheering had
died down into silence, his beautiful, noble, saintly face lit with
the faint glow that still came from the western sky but more with
the inner light that shines from a soul filled with high faith in
God and compassion for man.
"Gentlemen--" he began.
"Ladies, too, Papa," said Patricia in a clear undertone.
"Ah!" corrected the Doctor. "Ladies and Gentlemen:" while a laugh
ran down the line. "One generally begins a speech with the words
'I am glad to see you here.' These words I cannot say this
evening. I regret more deeply than you can understand the occasion
of your being here at all. And in this regret I know that you all
share. But I am glad that I can say from my heart that I feel
honoured by and deeply moved by the compliment you have just paid
me through your band. I could wish, indeed, that I was the 'jolly
good fellow' you have said, but as I look at you I confess I am
anything but 'jolly.' I have been in too many of your homes during
the last three weeks to be jolly. The simple truth is, I am deeply
saddened and, whatever be the rights or wrongs, and all fair-minded
men will agree that there are rights and wrongs on both sides, my
heart goes out in sympathy to all who are suffering and anxious and
fearful for the future. I will try to do my best to bring about a
"We know that, sir," shouted a voice. "Ye done yer best."
"But so far I and those labouring with me have failed. But surely,
surely, wise and reasonable men can find before many days a
solution for these problems. And now let me beg your leaders to be
patient a little longer, to banish angry and suspicious feelings
and to be willing to follow the light. I see that many of you are
soldiers. To you my heart goes out with a love as true as if you
were my own sons, for you were the comrades of my son. Let me
appeal to you to preserve unbroken that fine spirit of comradeship
that made the Canadian Army what it was. And let me assure you all
that, however our weak and erring human hearts may fail and come
short, the great heart of the Eternal Father is unchanging in Its
love and pity for us all. Meantime, believe me, I shall never
cease to labour and pray that very soon peace may come to us
again." Then, lifting his hands over them while the men uncovered,
he said a brief prayer, closing with the apostolic blessing.
Startled at the burst of cheering which followed shortly after the
conclusion of the prayer, the babe broke into loud crying. Vainly
the weary mother sought to quiet her child, she herself well-nigh
exhausted with her march, being hardly able to stand erect.
Swiftly Adrien sprang from the car and ran out to her.
"Let me carry the babe," she cried, taking the child in her arms.
"Come into the car with me."
"No," said the woman fiercely. "I will go through with it." But
even as she spoke she swayed upon her feet.
With gentle insistence, however, Adrien caught her arm and forced
her toward the car.
"I will not leave them," said the woman stubbornly.
"Speak to her, Annette," said Adrien. "She cannot walk."
"Mrs. Egan," said Annette, coming to her, "it will be quite all
right to go in the car. It will be all the better. Think of the
fine parade it will make."
But, still protesting, the old woman hung back, crying, "Let me go!
I will go through!"
"Sure thing!" cried Patricia. "We will take you along. Where's
But Rupert, furious and disgusted, hung back in the shadow.
"Here, Vic!" cried Patricia. "You take the wheel!"
"Delighted, I am sure!" cried Vic, climbing into the seat. "Get in
here, Patsy. All set, Colonel," he added, saluting to the officer
in command of the parade, and again the column broke into cheering
as they moved off to the tap of the drum, Rupert's elegant Hudson
Six taking a place immediately following the band.
"All my life I have longed for the spotlight," murmured Vic to his
companion, a delighted grin on his face. "But one can have too
much of a good thing. And, with Wellington, I am praying that
night may come before I reach the haunts of my comrades in arms."
"Why, Vic, do you care?" cried Patricia. "Not I! And I think it
was just splendid of Adrien!"
"Oh, topping! But did you see the gentle Rupert's face? Oh, it
was simply priceless! Fancy this sacred car leading a strikers'
parade." And Vic's body shook with delighted chuckles.
"Don't laugh, Vic!" said Patricia, laying her hand upon his arm.
"The lady behind will see you."
"Steady it is," said Vic. "But I feel as if I were the elephant in
the circus. I say, can we execute a flank movement, or must we go
through to the bitter end?"
"Adrien," said Patricia, "do you think this night air is good for
"We shall go on a bit yet," said Adrien. "Mrs. Egan is very tired
and I am sure will want to go home presently."
But Mrs. Egan was beginning to recover her strength and, indeed,
to enjoy the new distinction of riding in a car, and in this high
"No," she said, "I must go through." She had the look and tone of
a martyr. "They chose me, you see, and I must go through!"
"Oh, very well," said Adrien cheerfully. "We shall just go along,
Through the main streets of the town the parade marched and
countermarched till, in a sudden, they found themselves in front of
the McGinnis foundry. Before the gate in the high board fence
which enclosed the property, a small crowd had gathered, which
greeted the marching column with uproarious cheers. From the
company at the gate a man rushed forward and spoke eagerly to the
officer in command.
"By Jove, there's Tony!" said Vic. "And that chap McDonough. What
does this mean?"
After a brief conversation with Tony, who apparently was
passionately pressing his opinion, the officer shook his head and
marched steadily forward. Suddenly Tony, climbing upon the fence,
threw up his hand and, pointing toward the foundry, shouted forth
the single word, "Scabs!" Instantly the column halted. Again
Tony, in a yell, uttered the same word, "Scabs!" From hundreds of
throats there was an answering roar, savage, bloodthirsty as from a
pack of wild beasts. Tony waved his hand for silence.
"Scabs!" he cried again. "McGinnis strike-breakers! They came to-
night. They are in there!" He swung his arm around and pointed to
the foundry. "Shall we give them a welcome? What do you say,
boys?" Again and more fiercely than before, more terribly cruel,
came the answering roar.
"Here, this is no place for you!" cried Vic. "Let's get out." At
his touch the machine leaped forward, clear of the crowd.
"Annette!" cried Adrien, her hand on Vic's shoulder. "Go and get
Halting the car, Vic leaped from the wheel, ran to where the girls'
squad was halted and caught Annette by the arm.
"Annette," he said, "get your girls away from here quick! Come
But Annette laughed scornfully at him.
"Go with you? Not I! But," she added in a breathless undertone,
"for God's sake, get your ladies and the baby away. These people
won't know who you are. Move quick!"
"Come with us, Annette!" implored Vic. "If you come, the rest will
"Go! Go!" cried Annette, pushing him. Already the crowd were
tearing the fence to pieces with their hands, and rocks were
beginning to fly.
Failing to move the girl, Vic sprang to the wheel again.
"I will get you away from this, anyway," he said.
"But Annette!" cried Patricia. "We can't leave her!"
But Vic made no reply, and at his touch the machine leaped forward,
and none too soon, for already men were crowding about the car on
"We are well out of that!" said Vic coolly. "And now I will take
you all home. Hello! They're messing up McGinnis's things a bit,"
he added, as the sound of crashing glass came to their ears.
Through the quiet streets the car flew like a hunted thing, and in
a very few minutes they were at the Rectory door.
"No fuss, now, Patricia," said Adrien. "we must not alarm Mamma.
"Right you are! Steady it is!" said Patricia springing from the
car. Quietly but swiftly they got the woman and the child indoors.
"Hugh! Rupert!" said Adrien, speaking in a quiet voice. "Vic
needs you out there. That is a wild car of yours, Rupert," she
added with a laugh. "It fairly flies." Gathering in her hands the
men's hats and sticks, she hurried them out of the door.
"Cheerio!" cried Vic. "A lovely war is going on down at the
McGinnis plant. Get in and let us plan a campaign. First, to
Police Headquarters, I suppose." As they flew through the streets
Vic gave them in a few words a picture of the scenes he had just
They found the Chief of Police in his office. At their first word
he was on the move.
"I was afraid of this thing when that fool parade started," he
said. "Sergeant, send out the general alarm!"
"How many men have you, Chief?" inquired Hugh.
"About twenty-five, all told. But they are all over the town. How
many men are down there?"
"There are five hundred, at least; possibly a thousand, raging like
wild bulls of Bashan."
As he spoke, another car came tearing up and Jack Maitland sprang
from the wheel.
"Are you in need of help, Chief?" he asked quietly.
"All the good men we can get," said the Chief curtly. "But first
we must get the Mayor here. Sergeant, get him on the phone."
"You go for him, Vic," said Jack.
"Righto!" cried Vic. "But count me in on this."
In fifteen minutes Vic was back with the Mayor, helpless with
"Get your men out, Chief!" he shouted, as he sprang from the car.
"Get them out quick, arrest those devils and lock 'em up! We'll
show them a thing or two! Hurry up! What are you waiting for?"
"Mr. Mayor," Jack's clear, firm, cool voice arrested the Mayor's
attention. "May I suggest that you swear in some special
constables? The Chief will need help and some of us here would be
glad to assist."
"Yes! Yes! For God's sake, hurry up! Here's the clerk. How do
you swear them in, clerk?"
"The Chief of Police has all the necessary authority."
"All right, Chief. Swear them! Swear them! For heaven's sake,
swear them! Here, you, Maitland--and you, Maynard--and Stillwell--"
With cool, swift efficiency born of his experience in the war, the
Chief went on with his arrangements. In his hands the process of
swearing in a number of special constables was speedily accomplished.
Meantime many cars and a considerable number of men had gathered
about the Police Headquarters.
"What is that light?" cried the Mayor suddenly, pointing in the
direction of the foundry. "It's a fire! My God, Chief, do you see
that fire? Hurry up! Why don't you hurry up? They will burn the
"All right, Mr. Mayor," said the Chief. "We shall be there in a
few minutes now. Captain Maitland," said the Chief, "I will take
the men I have with me. Will you swear in all you can get within
the next fifteen or twenty minutes, and report to me at the
foundry? Sergeant, you come along with me! I'm off!" So saying,
the Chief commandeered as many cars as were necessary, packed them
with the members of his police force available and with the
specials he had secured, and hurried away.
After the Chief had retired, Jack stood up in his car. "Any of you
chaps want to get into this?" he said, addressing the crowd. His
voice was cheery and cool. At once a dozen voices responded.
"Righto!" "Here you are!" "Put me down!" In less than fifteen
minutes, he had secured between forty and fifty men.
"I want all these cars," he said. "Get in, men. Hold on!" he
shouted at a driver who had thrown in his clutch. "Let no man move
without orders! Any man disobeying orders will be arrested at
once! Remember that no guns are to be used, no matter what
provocation may be given. Even if you are fired on, don't fire in
return! Does any man know where we can get anything in the shape
"Hundreds of axe handles in our store," said Rupert.
"Right you are! Drivers, fall in line. Keep close up. Now, Mr.
Mayor, if you please."
Armed with axe handles from Stillwell & Son's store, they set off
for the scene of action. Arrived at the foundry they found the
maddest, wildest confusion raging along the street in front of the
foundry, and in the foundry yard which was crowded with men. The
board fence along the front of the grounds had been torn down and
used as fagots to fire the foundry, which was blazing merrily in a
dozen places. Everywhere about the blazing building parties of men
like hounds on the trail were hunting down strike-breakers and, on
finding them, were brutally battering them into insensibility.
Driving his car through the crowd, Maitland found his way to the
Chief. In a few short, sharp sentences, the Chief explained his
plan of operations. "Clear the street in front, and hold it so!
Then come and assist me in clearing this yard."
"All right, sir!" replied Maitland, touching his hat as to a
superior officer, and, wheeling his car, he led his men back to
the thronging street.
Meantime, the Fire Department had arrived upon the scene with a
couple of engines, a hose reel and other fire-fighting apparatus,
the firemen greatly hampered in their operations.
Swinging his car back through the crowd, Maitland made his way to
the street, and set to work to clear the space immediately in front
of the foundry. Parking his cars at one end of the street, and
forming his men up in a single line, he began slowly to press back
the crowd. It was slow and difficult work, for the crowd, unable
to recognise his ununiformed special constables, resented their
He called Victor to his side. "Get a man with you," he said, "and
bring up two cars here."
"Come along, Rupert," cried Victor, seizing Stillwell, and together
they darted back to where the cars stood. Mounting one of the
cars, Maitland shouted in a loud voice:
"The Chief of Police wants this street cleared. So get back,
please! We don't wish to hurt anyone. Now, get back!" And lining
up level with the cars, the special constables again began to press
forward, using their axe handles as bayonets and seeking to prod
their way through.
High up on a telegraph pole, his foot on one of the climbing
spikes, was a man directing and encouraging the attack. As he drew
near, Maitland discovered this man to be no other than Tony, wildly
excited and vastly enjoying himself.
"Come down, Tony!" he said. "Hurry up!"
"Cheerio, Captain!" shouted Tony. "What about Festubert?"
"Come down, Tony," said Maitland, "and be quick about it!"
"Sorry, can't do it, Captain. I am a fixture here."
Like a cat, Maitland swarmed up the pole and coming to a level with
Tony, struck him swiftly and unexpectedly a single blow. It caught
Tony on the chin. He swung off from the post, hung a moment, then
dropped quietly to the ground. As he fell, a woman's shriek rang
out from the crowd and tearing her way through the line came
Annette, who flung herself upon her brother.
"Here you," said Jack, seizing a couple of men from the crowd, "get
this man in my car. Now, Annette," he continued, "don't make a
fuss. Tony isn't hurt. We'll send him quietly home. Now then,
men, let's have no nonsense," he shouted. "I want this street
cleared, and quick!"
As he spoke, a huge man ran out from the crowd and, with an oath,
flung himself at Maitland. But before he came within striking
distance, an axe handle flashed and the man went down like a log.
"Axe handles!" shouted Maitland. "But steady, men!"
Over the heads of the advancing line, the axe handles swung, men
dropping before them at every step. At once the crowd began a
hasty retreat, till the pressure upon the back lines made it
impossible for those in front to escape. From over the heads of
the crowd rocks began to fly. A number of his specials were
wounded and for a moment the advance hung fire. Down through the
crowd came a fireman, dragging with him a hose preparatory to
getting into action.
"Hello, there!" called Maitland. The fireman looked up at him.
Jack sprang down to his side. "I want to clear this street," he
said. "You can do it for me."
"Well, I can try," said the fireman with a grin, and turning his
hose toward the crowd, gave the signal for the water, holding the
nozzle at an angle slightly off the perpendicular. In a very few
moments the crowd in the rear found themselves under a deluge of
falling water, and immediately they took to their heels, followed
as rapidly as possible by those in front. Then, levelling his
nozzle, the fireman proceeded to wash back from either side of the
street those who had sought refuge there, and before many minutes
had elapsed, the street was cleared, and in command of Maitland's
Leaving the street under guard, Maitland and his specials went to
the help of the Chief, who was hampered more or less by His
Worship, the Mayor, and very considerably by Mr. McGinnis, who had
meantime arrived, mad with rage and demanding blood, and proceeded
to clear up the foundry yard, and rescue the strike-breakers who
had taken refuge within the burning building and in holes and
corners about the premises. It was no light matter, but under the
patient, good-natured but resolute direction of the Chief, they
finally completed their job, rounding up the strike-breakers in a
corner of the yard and driving off their assailants to a safe
There remained still the most difficult part of their task. The
strike-breakers must be got to the Police Headquarters, the nearest
available place of safety. For, on the street beyond the water
line, the crowd was still waiting in wrathful mood. The foundry
was a wreck, but even this did not satisfy the fury of the
strikers, which had been excited by the presence of the strike-
breakers imported by McGinnis. For the more seriously injured,
ambulances were called, and these were safely got off under police
guard to the General Hospital.
The Chief entered into consultation with the Mayor:
"The only safe place within reach," he said, "is Police Headquarters.
And the shortest and best route is up the hill to the left. But
unfortunately, that is where the big crowd is gathered. There are
not so many if we take the route to the right, but that is a longer
"Put the men in your cars, Chief," said McGinnis, "and smash your
way through. They can't stop you."
"Yes, and kill a dozen or so," said the Chief.
"Why not? Aren't they breaking the law?"
"Oh, well, Mr. McGinnis," said the Chief, "it is easy to kill men.
The trouble is they are no use to anybody after they are dead. No,
we must have no killing to-night. To-morrow we'd be sorry for it."
"Let us drive up and see them," suggested the Mayor. "Let me talk
to the boys. The boys know me."
The Chief did not appear to be greatly in love with the suggestion
of the Mayor.
"Well," he said, "it would do no harm to drive up and have a look
at them. We'll see how they are fixed, anyway. I think, Mr.
McGinnis, you had better remain on guard here. The Mayor and
Captain Maitland will come with me."
Commandeering Rupert and his car, the Chief took his party at a
moderate pace up the street, at the top of which the crowd stood
waiting in compact masses. Into these masses Rupert recklessly
drove his car.
"Steady there, Stillwell," warned the Chief. "You'll hurt
"Hurt them?" said Rupert. "What do you want?"
"Certainly not to hurt anyone," replied the Chief quietly. "The
function of my police force is the protection of citizens. Halt
The Chief stepped out among the strikers and stood in the glare of
"Well, boys," he said pleasantly, "don't you think it is time to
get home? I think you have done enough damage to-night already. I
am going to give you a chance to get away. We don't want to hurt
anyone and we don't want to have any of you down for five years or
Then the Mayor spoke up. "Men, this is a most disgraceful thing.
Most deplorable. Think of the stain upon the good name of our fair
Howls of derision drowned his further speech for a time.
"Now, boys," he continued, "can't we end this thing right here?
Why can't you disperse quietly and go to your homes? What do you
want here, anyway?"
"Scabs!" yelled a voice, followed by a savage yell from the crowd.
"Men," said the Chief sharply, "you know me. I want this street
cleared. I shall return here in five minutes and anyone seeking to
stop me will do so at his own risk. I have a hundred men down
there and this time they won't give you the soft end of the club."
"We want them sulphurously described scabs," yelled a voice. "We
ain't goin' to kill them, Chief. They're lousy. We want to give
'em a bath." And a savage yell of laughter greeted the remark. On
every hand the word was taken up: "A bath! A bath! The river!
The river!" The savage laughter of the crowd was even more
horrible than their rage.
"All right, boys. We are coming back and we are going through.
Leave this street clear or take your chances! It's up to you!" So
saying, the car was turned about and the party proceeded back to
"What are you going to do, Chief?" inquired the Mayor anxiously.
"There are a lot of soldiers in that crowd," said the Chief. "I
don't like the looks of them. They are too steady. I hate to
smash through them."
Arrived at the foundry, the Chief paced up and down, pondering his
problem. He called Maitland to his side.
"How many cars have we here, Maitland?" he inquired.
"Some fifteen, I think. And there are five or six more parked down
on the street."
"That would be enough," said the Chief. "I hate the idea of
smashing through that crowd. You see, some of those boys went
through hell with me and I hate to hurt them."
"Why not try a ruse?" suggested Maitland. "Divide your party. You
take five or six cars with constables up the hill to that crowd
there. Let me take the strikebreakers and the rest of the cars and
make a dash to the right. It's a longer way round but with the
streets clear, we can arrive at Headquarters in a very few
The Chief considered the plan for a few minutes in silence.
"It's a good plan, Maitland," he said at length. "It's a good
plan. And we'll put it through. I'll make the feint on the left;
you run them through on the right. I believe we can pull it off.
Give me a few minutes to engage their attention before you set
Everything came off according to plan. As the Chief's detachment
of cars approached the solid mass of strikers, they slowly gave
back before them.
"Clear the way there!" said the Chief. "We are going through!"
Step by step the crowd gave way, pressed by the approaching cars.
Suddenly, at a word of command, the mass opened ranks and the Chief
saw before him a barrier across the street, constructed of fencing
torn from neighbouring gardens, an upturned delivery wagon, a very
ugly and very savage-looking field harrow commandeered from a
neighbouring market garden, with wicked-looking, protruding teeth
and other debris of varied material, but all helping to produce a
most effective barricade. Silently the Chief stood for a few
moments, gazing at the obstruction. A curious, ominous growl of
laughter ran through the mob. Then came a sharp word of command:
As with one movement his party of constables were on the ground and
lined up in front of their cars, with their clubs and axe handles
ready for service. Still the mob waited in ominous silence. The
Chief drew his gun and said in a loud, clear voice:
"I am going to clear away this barricade. The first man that
offers to prevent me I shall shoot on the spot."
"I wouldn't do that, Chief," said a voice quietly from the rear.
"There are others, you know. Listen."
Three shots rang out in rapid succession, and again silence fell.
Meantime from the corner of the barricade a man had been peering
into the cars.
"Boys!" he shouted. "They ain't there! There ain't no scabs."
The Chief laughed quietly.
"Who said there were?" he asked.
"Sold, by thunder!" said the man. Then he yelled: "We'll get 'em
yet. Come on, boys, to the main street."
Like a deer, he doubled down a side street, followed by the crowd,
yelling, cursing, swearing deep oaths.
"Let 'em go," said the Chief. "Maitland's got through by this
time." As he spoke, two shots rang out, followed by the crash of
glass, and the headlights of the first car went black.
"Just as well you didn't get through, Chief," said the voice of the
previous speaker. "Might've got hurt, eh?"
"Give it to him, Chief," said Rupert savagely.
"No use," said the Chief. "Let him go."
Meanwhile, Maitland, with little or no opposition, had got his cars
through the crowd, which as a matter of fact were unaware of the
identity of the party until after they had broken through.
Their way led by a circuitous route through quiet back streets,
approaching Police Headquarters from the rear. A ten-minute run
brought them to a short side street which led past the Maitland
Mills, at the entrance to which they saw under the glare of the arc
lights over the gateway a crowd blocking their way.
"Now, what in thunder is this? Hold up a minute," said Maitland to
his driver. "Let me take a look." He ran forward to the main
entrance. There he found the gateway, which stood a little above
the street level, blocked by a number of his own men, some of whom
he recognised as members of his hockey team, and among them,
McNish. Out in the street among the crowd stood Simmons, standing
on a barrel, lashing himself into a frenzy and demanding blood,
fire, revolution, and what not.
"McNish, you here?" said Maitland sharply. "What is it, peace or
war? Speak quick!"
"A'm haudden these fules back fra the mill," answered McNish with
a scowl. Then, dropping into his book English, he continued
bitterly: "They have done enough to-night already. They have
wrecked our cause for us!"
"You are dead right, McNish," answered Maitland. "And what do they
"They are some of McGinnis's men and they are mad at the way you
handled them over yonder. They are bound to get in here. They are
only waiting for the rest of the crowd. Yon eejit doesn't know
what he is saying. They are all half-drunk."
Maitland's mind worked swiftly. "McNish, listen!" he said. "I am
in a deuce of a fix. I have the scabs in those cars there with me.
The crowd are following me up. What shall I do?"
"My God, man, you're lost. They'll tear ye tae bits."
"McNish, listen. I'll run them into the office by the side gate
down the street. Keep them busy here. Let that fool Simmons spout
all he wants. He'll help to make a row."
His eyes fell upon a crouching figure at his feet.
"Who is this? It's Sam, by all that's holy! Why, Sam, you are the
very chap I want. Listen, boy. Slip around to the side door and
open it wide till I bring in some cars. Then shut and bar it
quick." Carefully he repeated his instructions. "Can you do it,
"I'm awful scared, Captain," replied the boy, his teeth chattering,
"but I'll try it."
"Good boy," said Maitland. "Don't fail me, Sam. They might kill
"All right, Captain. I'll do it!" And Sam disappeared, crawling
under the gate, while Maitland slipped back to his cars and passed
the word among the drivers. "Keep close up and stop for nothing!"
They had almost made the entry when some man hanging on the rear of
the crowd caught sight of them.
"Scabs! Scabs!" cried the man, dashing after the cars. But Sam
was equal to his task, and as the last car passed through the
gateway he slammed and bolted the door in their faces.
Disposing of the strike-breakers in the office, Maitland and his
guard of specials passed outside to the main gate and took their
places beside McNish and his guard. Before them the mob had become
a mad, yelling, frenzied thing, bereft of power of thought, swaying
under the fury of their passion like tree tops blown by storm,
reiterating in hoarse and broken cries the single word "Scabs!
"Keep them going somehow, McNish," said Maitland. "The Chief won't
be long now."
McNish climbed up upon the fence and, held in place there by two
specials, lifted his hand for silence. But Simmons, who all too
obviously had fallen under the spell of the bootleggers, knew too
well the peril of his cause. Shrill and savage rose his voice:
"Don't listen to 'im. 'E's a traitor, a blank and double-blank
traitor. 'E sold us (h)up, 'e 'as. Don't listen to 'im."
Like a maniac he spat out the words from his foam-flecked lips,
waving his arms madly about his head. Relief came from an
unexpected source. Sam Wigglesworth, annoyed at Simmons's
persistence and observing that McNish, to whom as a labour leader
he felt himself bound, regarded the orating and gesticulating
Simmons with disfavour, reached down and, pulling a sizable club
from beneath the bottom of a fence, took careful aim and, with the
accuracy of the baseball pitcher that he was, hurled it at the
swaying figure upon the barrel. The club caught Simmons fair in
the mouth, who, being, none too firmly set upon his pedestal,
itself affording a wobbling foothold, landed spatting and swearing
in the arms of his friends below. With the mercurial temper
characteristic of a crowd, they burst into a yell of laughter.
"Go to it now, McNish!" said Maitland.
Echoing the laughter, McNish once more held up his hand. "Earth to
earth, ashes to ashes," he said in his deepest and most solemn
tone. The phenomenal absurdity of a joke from the solemn Scotchman
again tickled the uncertain temperament of the crowd into
"Men, listen tae me!" cried McNish. "Ye mad a bad mistake the
nicht. In fact, ye're a lot of fules. And those who led ye are
worse, for they have lost us the strike, if that is any
satisfaction tae ye. And now ye want to do another fule thing.
Ye're mad just because ye didn't know enough to keep out of the
But at this point, a man fighting his way from the rear of the
crowd, once more raised the cry "Scabs!"
"Keep that fool quiet," said McNish sharply.
"Keep quiet yourself, McNish," replied the man, still pushing his
way toward the front.
"Heaven help us now," said Maitland. "It's Tony, and drunk at
It was indeed Tony, without hat, coat or vest.
"McNish, we want those scabs," said Tony, in drunken gravity.
"There are nae scabs here. Haud ye're drunken tongue," said McNish
"McNish," persisted Tony in a grave and perfectly courteous tone,
"you're a liar. The scabs are in that office." A roar again swept
"Men, listen to me," pleaded McNish. "A'll tell ye about the
scabs. They are in the office yonder. But I have Captain
Maitland's word o' honour that they will be shipped out of town
by the first train."
A savage yell answered him.
"McNish, we'll do the shipping," said Tony, moving still nearer the
"Officer," said Maitland sharply to a uniformed policeman standing
by his side, "arrest that man!" pointing to Tony.
The policeman drew his baton, took two strides forward, seized Tony
by the back of the neck and drew him in. An angry yell went up
from the mob. Maitland felt a hand upon his arm. Looking down, he
saw to his horror and dismay Annette, her face white and stricken
with grief and terror.
"Oh, Jack," she pleaded, "don't let Tony be arrested. He broke
away from us. Let me take him. He will come with me. Oh, let me
"Rescue! Rescue!" shouted the crowd, rushing the cordon of police
lining the street.
"Kill him! Kill the traitor!" yelled Simmons, struggling through
and waving unsteadily the revolver in his hand. "Down with that
tyrant, Maitland! Kill him!" he shrieked.
He raised his arm, holding his gun with both hands.
"Look out, Jack," shrieked Annette, flinging herself on him.
Simultaneously with the shot, a woman's scream rang out and Annette
fell back into Maitland's arms. A silence deep as death fell upon
With a groan McNish dropped from the fence beside the girl.
Annette opened her eyes and, looking up into Maitland's face,
whispered: "He didn't get you, Jack. I'm so glad."
"Oh, Annette, dear girl! He's killed you!"
"It's--all--right--Jack," she whispered. "I--saved--you."
Meanwhile McNish, with her hand caught in his, was sobbing: "God,
have mercy! She's deed! She's deed!"
Annette again opened her eyes. "Poor Malcolm," she whispered.
"Dear Malcolm." Then, closing her eyes again, quietly as a tired
child, she sank into unconsciousness. The big Scotchman, still
kissing her hand, sobbed:
"Puir lassie, puir lassie! Ma God! Ma God! What now? What now?"
"She is dead. The girl is dead." The word passed from lip to lip
among the crowd, which still held motionless and silent.
"We'll get her into the office," said Maitland.
"A'll tak her," said McNish, and, stopping down, he lifted her
tenderly in his arms, stood for a moment facing the crowd, and then
in a voice of unutterable sadness that told of a broken heart, he
said: "Ye've killed her. Ye've killed the puir lassie. Are ye
content?" And passed in through the gate, holding the motionless
form close to his heart.
As he passed with his pathetic burden, the men on guard at the gate
bared their heads. Immediately on every hand throughout the crowd
men took off their hats and stood silent till he had disappeared
from their sight. In the presence of that poignant grief their
rage against him ceased, swept out of their hearts by an
In one swift instant a door had opened from another and unknown
world, and through the open door a Presence, majestic, imperious,
had moved in upon them, withering with His icy breath their hot
passions, smiting their noisy clamour to guilty silence.
A GALLANT FIGHT
In the Rectory the night was one long agony of fear and anxiety.
Adrien had taken Mrs. Egan and her babe home in a taxi as soon as
circumstances would warrant, and then, lest they should alarm their
mother, they made pretense of retiring for the night.
After seeing their mother safely bestowed, they slipped downstairs,
and, muffling the telephone, sat waiting for news, slipping out now
and then to the street, one at a time, to watch the glare of the
fire in the sky and to listen for the sounds of rioting from the
At length from Victor came news of the tragedy. With whitening
face, Adrien took the message. Not for nothing had she walked the
wards in France.
"Listen, Victor," she said, speaking in a quick, firm voice. "It
is almost impossible to get a nurse in time and quite impossible to
get one skilled in this sort of case. Come for me. I shall be
ready and shall take charge. Tell Dr. Meredith I am quite free."
"All right. Lose no time."
"Oh, what is it, Adrien?" said Patricia, wringing her hands. "Is
it Jack? Or Victor?"
Adrien caught her by the shoulders: "Patricia, I want your help.
No talk! Come with me. I will tell you as I dress."
Swiftly, with no hurry or flurry, Adrien changed into her uniform,
packed her bag, giving Patricia meantime the story of the tragedy
which she had heard over the telephone.
"And to think it might have been Jack," said Patricia, wringing her
hands. "Oh, dear, dear Annette. Can't I help in some way,
"Patricia, listen to me, child. The first thing is keep your head.
You can help me greatly. You will take charge here and later,
perhaps, you can help me in other ways. Meantime you must assume
full responsibility for them all here. Much depends on you!"
The girl stood gazing with wide-open blue eyes at her sister. Then
quietly she answered:
"I'll do my best, Adrien. There's Vic." She rushed swiftly
downstairs. Suddenly she stopped, steadied her pace, and received
him with a calm that surprised that young man beyond measure.
"Adrien is quite ready, Vic," she said.
"Topping," said Vic. "What a brick she is! Dr. Meredith didn't
know where to turn for a nurse. The hospital is full. Every nurse
is engaged. So much sickness, you know, in town. Ah, here she is.
You are a lightning-change artist, Adrien."
"How is Annette, Vic? Is she still living?" asked Patricia.
"I don't know," replied Vic, wondering at the change in the girl
"Darling," said Adrien, "I will let you know at once. I hate to
"Leave me!" cried Patricia. "Nonsense, Adrien, I shall be quite
all right. Only," she added, clasping her hands, "let me know when
When the ambulance arrived at the Maitland home, Adrien was at the
door. All was in readiness--hot water, bandages, and everything
needful to the doctor's hand.
McNish carried Annette up to the room prepared for her, laid her
down and stood in dumb grief looking down upon her.
Adrien touched him on the arm.
"Come," she said. And, taking his arm, led him downstairs. "Stay
here," she said. "I will bring you word as soon as possible."
An hour later she returned, and found him sitting in the exact
position in which she had left him. He apparently had not moved
hand or foot. At her entrance he looked up, eager, voiceless.
"She is resting," said Adrien. "The bullet is extracted. It had
gone quite through to the outer skin--a clean wound."
"How long," said McNish, passing his tongue over his dry lips, "how
long does the doctor say--"
"The doctor says nothing. She asked for you."
McNish started up and went toward the door.
"But you cannot go to her now."
"She asked for me?" said McNish.
"Yes. But she must be kept quite quiet. The very least excitement
might hurt her."
"Hurt her?" said McNish, and sat down quietly.
After a moment's silence, he said:
"You will let me see her--once more--before she--she--" He paused,
his lips quivering, his great blue eyes pitifully beseeching her.
"Mr. McNish," said Adrien, "she may not die."
"Ma God!" he whispered, falling on his knees and catching her hand
in both of his. "Ma God! Dinna lee tae me."
"Believe me, I would not," said Adrien, while the great eyes seemed
to drag the truth from her very soul. "The doctor says nothing,
but I have seen many cases of bullet wounds, and I have hope."
"Hope," he whispered. "Hope! Ma God! hope!" His hands went to
his face and his great frame shook with silent sobbing.
"But you must be very quiet and steady."
Immediately he was on his feet and standing like a soldier at
"Ay, A wull," he whispered eagerly. "Tell me what tae do?"
"First of all," said Adrien, "we must have something to eat."
A shudder passed through him. "Eat?" he said, as if he had never
heard the word.
"Yes," said Adrien. "Remember, you promised."
"Ay. A'll eat." Like a man under a mesmeric spell, he went
through the motions of eating. His mind was far away, his eyes
eager, alert, forever upon her face.
When they had finished their meal, Adrien said:
"Now, Mr. McNish, is there anything I can do for you?"
"A would like to send word to ma mither," he said. "She disna ken
onything--aboot--aboot Annette--aboot Annette an' me," a faint
touch of red coming slowly up in his grey face.
"I shall get word to her. I know the very man. I shall phone the
Reverend Murdo Matheson."
"Ay," said McNish, "he is the man."
"Now, then," said Adrien, placing him in an easy chair, "you must
rest there. Remember, I am keeping watch."
With the promise that he would do his best to rest, she left him
sitting bolt upright in his chair.
Toward morning, Maitland appeared, weary and haggard. Adrien
greeted him with tender solicitude; it was almost maternal in its
"Oh, Adrien," said Maitland, with a great sight of relief, "you
don't know how good it is to see you here. It bucks one
tremendously to feel that you are on this job."
"I shall get you some breakfast immediately," she answered in a
calm, matter-of-fact voice. "You are done out. Your father has
come in and has gone to lie down. McNish is in the library."
"And Annette?" said Maitland. He was biting his lips to keep them
from quivering. "Is she still--"
"She is resting. The maid is watching beside her. Dear Jack," she
uttered with a quick rush of sympathy, "I know how hard this is for
you. But I am not without hope for Annette."
A quick light leaped into his eyes. "Hope, did you say? Oh, thank
the good Lord." His voice broke and he turned away from her.
"You know," he said, coming back, "she gave her life for me. Oh,
Adrien, think of it! She threw herself in the way of death for me.
She covered me with her own body." He sat down suddenly as if
almost in collapse, and buried his head in his arms, struggling for
Adrien went to him and put her arm round his shoulder--she might
have been his mother. "Dear Jack," she said, "it was a wonderful
thing she did. God will surely spare her to you."
He rose wearily from his chair and put his arms around her.
"Oh, Adrien," he said, "it is good to have you here. I do need, we
all need you so."
Gently she put his arms away from her. "And now," she said
briskly, "I am going to take charge of you, Jack, of you all, and
you must obey orders."
"Only give me a chance to do anything for you," he said, "or for
anyone you care for."
There was a puzzled expression on Adrien's face as she turned away.
But she asked no explanation.
"My first order, then," she said, "is this: you must have your
breakfast and then go to bed for an hour or two."
"I shall be glad to breakfast, but I have a lot of things to do."
"Can't they wait? And won't you do them better after a good
"Some of them can't wait," he replied. "I have just got Tony to
bed. The doctor has sent him to sleep. His father and mother are
watching him. Oh, Adrien, that is a sad home. It was a terrible
experience for me. Tony I must see when he wakes and the poor old
father and mother will be over here early. I must be ready for
"Very well, Jack," said Adrien in a prompt, businesslike tone.
"You have two clear hours for sleep. You must sleep for the sake
of others, you understand. I promise to wake you in good time."
"And what about yourself, Adrien?"
"Oh, this is my job," she said lightly. "I shall be relieved in
the afternoon, the doctor has promised."
When the Employers' Defence Committee met next morning there were
many haggard faces among its members. In the large hall outside
the committee room a considerable number of citizens, young and
old, had gathered and with them the Mayor, conversing in voices
tinged with various emotions, anxiety, pity, wrath, according to
the temper and disposition of each.
In the committee room Mr. Farrington was in the chair. No sooner
had the meeting been called to order than Mr. Maitland arose, and,
speaking under deep but controlled feeling, he said:
"Gentlemen, I felt sure none of us would wish to transact ordinary
business this morning. I was sure, too, that in the very
distressing circumstances under which we meet you would feel as I
do the need of guidance and help. I therefore took the liberty of
inviting the deputation from the Ministerial Association which
waited on us the other day to join us in our deliberation. Mr.
Haynes is away from town, but Dr. Templeton and Mr. Matheson have
kindly consented to be present. They will be here in half an
A general and hearty approval of his action was expressed, after
which the Chairman invited suggestions as to the course to be
pursued. But no one was ready with a suggestion. Somehow the
outlook upon life was different this morning, and readjustment of
vision appeared to be necessary. No man felt himself qualified to
From this dilemma they were relieved by a knock upon the door and
the Mayor appeared.
"Gentlemen," he said, "I have no wish to intrude, but a great many
of our citizens are in the larger hall. They are anxious to be
advised upon the present trying situation. It has been suggested
that your committee might join with us in a general public
After a few moments' consideration, the Mayor's proposition was
accepted and the committee adjourned to the larger hall, Mr.
Farrington resigning the chair to His Worship, the Mayor.
The Mayor's tongue was not so ready this morning. He explained the
circumstances of the meeting and thanked the committee for yielding
to his request. He was ready to receive any suggestions as to what
the next step should be.
The silence which followed was broken by Mr. McGinnis, who arose
and, in a voice much shaken, he inquired:
"Can anyone tell us just what is the last word concerning the young
girl this morning?"
Mr. Maitland replied: "Before I left the house, the last report
was that she was resting quietly and, while the doctor was not able
to offer any hope of her recovery, he ventured to say that he did
not quite despair. And that from Dr. Meredith, as we know, means
"Thank God for that," said McGinnis, and leaning his head upon his
hand, he sat with his eyes fixed upon the floor.
Again the Mayor asked for suggestions, but no one in the audience
appeared willing to assume the responsibility of offering guidance.
At length Rupert Stillwell arose. He apologised for speaking in
the presence of older men, but something had to be done and he
ventured to offer one suggestion at least.
"It occurs to me," he said, "that one thing at least should be
immediately done. Those responsible for the disgraceful riot of
last evening, and I mean more than the actual ringleaders in the
affair, should be brought to justice." He proceeded to elaborate
upon the enormity of the crime, the danger to the State of mob
rule, the necessity for stern measures to prevent the recurrence of
such disorders. He suggested a special citizens' committee for the
preservation of public order.
His words appeared to meet the approval of a large number of those
present, especially of the younger men.
While he was speaking, the audience appeared to be greatly relieved
to see Dr. Templeton and the Reverend Murdo Matheson walk in and
quietly take their seats. They remembered, many of them, how at a
recent similar gathering these gentlemen had advised a procedure
which, if followed, would have undoubtedly prevented the disasters
of the previous night.
Giving a brief account of the proceedings of the meeting to the
present point, the Mayor suggested that Dr. Templeton might offer
them a word of advice.
Courteously thanking the Mayor for his invitation, the Doctor said:
"As I came in this room, I caught the words of my young friend, who
suggested a committee for the preservation of public order. May I
suggested that the preservation of public order in the community is
something that can be entrusted to no committee? It rests with the
whole community. We have all made mistakes, we are constantly
making mistakes. We have yielded to passion, and always to our
sorrow and hurt. We have vainly imagined that by the exercise of
force we can settle strife. No question of right or justice is
settled by fighting, for, after the fighting is done, the matter in
dispute remains to be settled. We have tried that way and to-day
we are fronted with disastrous failure. I have come from a home
over which the shadow of death hangs low. There a father and
mother lie prostrate with sorrow, agonising for the life of their
child. But a deeper shadow lies there, a shadow of sin, for the
sting of death is sin. A brother torn with self-condemnation, his
heart broken with grief for his sister, who loved him better than
her own life, lies under that shadow of sin. But, gentlemen, can
any of us escape from that shadow? Do we not all share in that
sin? For we all have a part in the determining of our environment.
Can we not, by God's grace, lift that shadow at least from our
lives? Let us turn our faces from the path of strife toward the
path of peace, for the pathway of right doing and of brotherly
kindness is the only path to peace in this world."
The Chairman then called upon the Reverend Murdo Matheson to
express his mind. But at this point, the whole audience were
galvanised into an intensity of confused emotion by the entrance of
the Executive of the Allied Unions, led by McNish himself. Simmons
alone was absent, being at that moment, with some half dozen
others, in the care of the police. Silently the Executive
Committee walked to the front and found seats, McNish alone
remaining standing. Grey, gaunt, hollow-eyed, he met with steady
gaze the eyes of the audience, some of them aflame with hostile
wrath, for in him they recognised the responsible head of the
labour movement that had wrought such disaster and grief in the
Without apology or preface McNish began: "I am here seeking
peace," he said, in his hoarse, hard, guttural voice. "I have made
mistakes. Would I could suffer for them alone, but no, others must
suffer with me. I have only condemnation for the outrages of last
night. We repudiate them, we lament them. We tried to prevent
them, but human passion and circumstances were too strong for us.
We would undo the ill--would to God could undo the ill. How gladly
would I suffer all that has come to others." His deep, harsh voice
shook under the stress of his emotion. He lifted his head: "I
cannot deny my cause," he continued, his voice ringing out clear.
"Our cause was right, but the spirit was wrong." He paused a few
moments, evidently gathering strength to hold his voice steady.
"Yes, the spirit was wrong and this day is a black day to me. We
come to ask for peace. God knows I have no heart for war."
Again he paused, his strong stern face working strangely under the
stress of the emotions which he was fighting to subdue. "We
suggest a committee of three, with powers to arbitrate, and we name
as our man one who till recently was one of our Union, a man of
fair and honest mind, a man without fear and with a heart for his
comrades. Our man is Captain Maitland."
His words, and especially the name of the representative of the
labour unions produced an overwhelming effect upon the audience.
No sooner had he finished than the Reverend Murdo Matheson took the
floor. He spoke no economics. He offered no elaborate argument
for peace. In plain, simple words he told of experiences through
which he had recently passed:
"Like one whom I feel it an honour to call my father," he began,
bowing toward Dr. Templeton, "I, too, have made a visit this
morning. Not to a home, but to a place the most unlike a home of
any spot in this sad world, a jail. Seven of our fellow-citizens
are confined there, six of them boys, mere boys, dazed and
penetrated with sorrow for their folly--they meant no crime--I am
not relieving them of the blame--the other, a man, embittered with
a long, hard fight against poverty, injustice and cruel
circumstance in another land, with distorted views of life, crazed
by drink, committed a crime which this morning fills him with
horror and grief. Late last night I was sent to the home of one of
my people. There I found an aged lady, carrying with a brave heart
the sorrows and burdens of nearly seventy years, waiting in anxiety
and grief and fear for her son, who was keeping vigil at what may
well be the deathbed of the girl he loves. You have just heard his
plea for peace. Some of you are inclined to lay the blame for the
ills that have fallen upon us upon certain classes and individuals
in this community. They have their blame and they must bear the
responsibility. But, gentlemen, a juster estimate of the causes of
these ills will convince us that they are the product of our
civilisation and for these things we must all accept our share of
responsibility. More, we must seek to remove them from among us.
They are an affront to our intelligence, an insult to our holy
religion, an outrage upon the love of our brother man and our
Father, God. Let us humbly, resolutely seek the better way, the
way we have set before us this morning, the way of right doing, of
brotherly kindness and of brotherly love which is the way of
It was a subdued company of men that listened to his appeal. In
silence they sat looking straight before them with faces grave and
frowning, as is the way with men of our race when deeply stirred.
It was a morning of dramatic surprises, but none were so startling,
none so dramatic as the speech of McGinnis that followed.
"This is a day for confessions," he said, "and I am here to make
one for myself. I have been a fighter, too much of a fighter, all
my life, and I have often suffered for it. I suffered a heavy loss
last night and to-day I am sick of fighting. But I have found
this: that you can't fight men in this world without fighting women
and children, too. God knows I have no war with the old, grey-
haired lady the Padre has just told us about. I have no war with
that broken-hearted father and mother. And I have no war with
Annette Perrotte, dear girl, God preserve her." At this point,
McGinnis's command quite forsook him. His voice utterly broke
down, while the tears ran down his rugged fighting face. "I am
done with fighting," he cried. "They have named Captain Maitland.
We know him for a straight man and a white man. Let me talk with
Captain Jack Maitland, and let us get together with the Padre
there," pointing to the Reverend Murdo Matheson, "and in an hour we
will settle this matter."
In a tumult of approval the suggestion was accepted. It was
considered a perfectly fitting thing, though afterwards men spoke
of it with something of wonder, that the Mayor should have called
upon the Reverend Doctor to close the meeting with prayer, and that
he should do so without making a speech.
That same afternoon the three men met to consider the matter
submitted to them. Captain Jack Maitland laid before the committee
his figures and his charts setting forth the facts in regard to the
cost of living and the wage scale during the past five years. In
less than an hour they had agreed upon a settlement. There was to
be an increase of wages in keeping with the rise of the cost of
living, with the pledge that the wage scale should follow the curb
of the cost of living should any change occur within the year. The
hours of labour were shortened from ten to nine for a day's work,
with the pledge that they should be governed by the effect of the
change upon production and general conditions. And further, that a
Committee of Reference should be appointed for each shop and craft,
to which all differences should be submitted. To this committee
also were referred the other demands by the Allied Unions.
It was a simple solution of the difficulty and upon its submission
to the public meeting called for its consideration, it was felt
that the comment of the irrepressible Victor Forsythe was not
"Of course!" said Victor, cheerfully. "It is the only thing. Why
didn't the Johnnies think of it before, or why didn't they ask me?"
The committee, however, did more than settle the dispute immediately
before them. They laid before the public meeting and obtained its
approval for the creation of a General Board of Industry, under
whose guidance the whole question of the industrial life of the
community should be submitted to intelligent study and control.
SHALL BE GIVEN
For one long week of seven long days and seven long nights Annette
fought out her gallant fight for life, fought and won. Throughout
the week at her side Adrien waited day and night, except for a few
hours snatched for rest, when Patricia took her place, for there
was not a nurse to be had in all that time and Patricia begged for
the privilege of sharing her vigil with her.
Every day and in the darkest days all day long, it seemed to
Adrien, McNish haunted the Maitland home--for he had abandoned all
pretence of work--his gaunt, grey face and hollow eyes imploring a
word of hope.
But it was chiefly to Jack throughout that week that Adrien's heart
went out in compassionate pity, for in his face there dwelt a
misery so complete, so voiceless that no comfort of hers appeared
to be able to bring relief. Often through those days did Annette
ask to see him, but the old doctor was relentless. There must be
absolute quiet and utter absence of all excitement. No visitors
were to be permitted, especially no men visitors.
But the day came when the ban was lifted and with smiling face,
Adrien came for Jack.
"You have been such a good boy," she cried gaily, "that I am going
to give you a great treat. You are to come in with me."
With face all alight Jack followed her into the sick room.
"Here he is, Annette," cried Adrien. "Now, remember, no fussing,
no excitement, and just one quarter of an hour--or perhaps a little
longer," she added.
For a moment or two Jack stood looking at the girl lying upon the
"Oh, Annette, my dear, dear girl," he cried in a breaking voice as
he knelt down by her side and took her hand in his.
So much reached Adrien's ears as she closed the door and passed to
her room with step weary and lifeless.
"Why, Adrien," cried her sister, who was waiting to relieve her,
"you are like a ghost! You poor dear. You are horribly done out."
"I believe I am, Patricia," said Adrien. "I believe I shall rest
awhile." She lay down on the bed, her face turned toward the wall,
and so remained till Patricia went softly away, leaving her, as she
thought, to sleep.
Downstairs Patricia found Victor Forsythe awaiting her.
"Poor Adrien is really used up," she said. "She has a deathly look
in her face. Just the same look as she had that night of the
hockey match. Do you remember?"
"The night of the hockey dance? Do I remember? A ghastly night--a
horrid night--a night of unspeakable wretchedness."
As Vic was speaking, Patricia kept her eyes steadily upon him with
a pondering, puzzled look.
"What is it, Patricia? I know you want to ask me something. Is it
about that night?"
"I wonder if you would really mind very much, Vic, if I asked you?"
"Not in the very least. I shall doubtless enjoy it after it's out.
Painless dentistry effect. Go to it, Patsy."
"It is very serious, Vic. I always think people in books are so
stupid. They come near to the truth and then just miss getting
"The truth. Ah! Go on, Pat."
"Well, Vic," said Patricia with an air of one taking a desperate
venture, "why did you not give Adrien her note that night? It
would have saved her and me such pain. I cried all night long. I
had so counted on a dance with Jack--and then never a word from
him. But he did send a note. He told me so. I never told Adrien
that, for she forbade me, oh, so terribly, never to speak of it
again. Why didn't you give her or me the note, Vic?" Patricia's
voice was very pathetic and her eyes very gentle but very piercing.
All the laughter died out of Victor's face. "Pat, I lied to you
once, only once, and that lie has cost me many an hour's misery.
But now I shall tell you the truth and the whole truth." And he
proceeded to recount the tribulations which he endured on the night
of the hockey dance. "I did it to help you both out, Pat. I
thought I could make it easy for you. It was all a sheer guess,
but it turned out to be pretty well right."
Patricia nodded her head. "But you received no note?"
"Not a scrap, Patricia, so help me. Not a scrap. Patricia, you
The girl looked straight into Vic's honest eyes. "Yes, Vic," she
said, "I believe you. But Jack sent a note."
Vic sprang to his feet. "Good-bye, Watson. You shall hear from me
within an hour."
"Whatever do you mean? Where are you going?"
"Dear lady, ask no questions. I am about to Sherlock. Farewell."
At the door he overtook Jack. "Aha! The first link in the chain.
Hello, old chap, a word with you. May I get into your car?"
"Certainly. Get in."
"Now then, about that note. Nothing like diplomacy. The night of
the hockey dance you sent a note to a lady?"
Jack glanced at him in amazement.
"Don't be an ass, Vic. I don't feel like that stuff just now."
"This is serious. Did you send a note by me that night of the
"By you? No. Who said I did?"
"Aha! The mystery deepens. By whom? Nothing like finesse."
"It is none of your business," said Jack crossly.
"Check," cried Vic.
"What are you talking about, anyway?" inquired Jack.
"A note was sent by you," said Vic impressively, "through some
agency at present unknown. So far, so good."
"Unknown? What rubbish. I sent a note by Sam Wigglesworth, who
gave it to some of you for Adrien. What about it?"
As they approached the entrance to the Maitland Mills Vic saw a
stream of employees issue from the gate.
"Nothing more at present," he said. "This is my corner. Let me
out. I am in an awful hurry, Jack."
"Will you tell me, please, what all this means?" said Jack angrily.
"Sorry, old chap. Awfully hurried just now. See you later."
"You are a vast idiot," grumbled Jack, as Vic ran down the street.
He took his place at the corner which commanded the entrance to the
Maitland works. "Here I shall wait, abstractedly gazing at the
passers-by, until the unhappy Sam makes his appearance," mused Vic
to himself. "And by the powers, here Sam is now."