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Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/104

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INVESTIGATING THE DEPTHS

policy, and there may be somebody come in who won't want to do for labor more than it wants to do for itself, but who will want to get out of labor all that it can give for as little as he can give. And it's against that time that I'm calling on the men of New Rome to arise and organize and protect themselves and their families."

"Oh, say," cried Farrell. "I know something more interesting than this; come along." He rose, turning his back on the walking delegate. Floyd and Billings and Ryan followed him; Pulaski and Schmidt remained behind to listen. Floyd looked back as he was passing out between the stained drab curtains; Pulaski was pointing towards him, and the walking delegate was screwed round over the back of his chair, staring in amazement.

"Now I'll take you where there's some fun," said Farrell, when they were once again out upon the pavement. "We've got a slick dance-hall this year, and there's always a smooth line of girls on hand on a Saturday night. You can pick up anything."

Ryan made a tolerably broad observation.

"Hold on," Floyd said to Farrell. "This is not in my line, and I don't believe it's in yours."

"Oh, come along," Farrell urged him. "All the fellows 'll be there. Just watch 'em dancing and take a turn; no harm in that."

Thus Floyd suffered himself to be persuaded. The dance-hall was up two flights, hot, stuffy, and crowded. At one end a man in his shirt-sleeves played on a tinny piano, and beside him on a box stood another man in his shirt-sleeves, scraping a violin. To this thin music two hundred people revolved. Others sauntered or stood round the walls; the notes of violin and piano were faint, and sometimes almost drowned in the chatter. Ryan and Billings had partners and were spinning away before Floyd was aware that they had separated themselves from him.