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Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/216

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The Affiliated crowd are down on him; he's been so opposed to the union and all it stands for; there's a faction, headed by Tustin and a half-dozen others, that are bitter against him. Tustin's chairman of the Affiliated, and the radicals generally are in control. And if you put Farrell in—I think they'll make a fight for what they'll call a 'principle.'"

"I'm afraid that fight cannot be indefinitely postponed," Floyd said. "Is there any other objection to Farrell except that he's non-union?"

"Yes," said Gregg. "It's claimed that he's too young—at least that there are older men who've been working in the rod-mill longer than he and who ought to be preferred—"

"I have worked in that mill myself," Floyd interrupted. "With those men. And I have formed a perfectly definite opinion as to how competent they are, any of them, to fill an executive position."

"Here's a document," proceeded Gregg, taking a paper up from his desk. "Kind of a curious thing—just came to me this evening. I have n't done anything about it yet."

It was a paper signed by six of the workmen at the rod-mill, "taking the liberty to recommend," in case the place of foreman was to be vacant, as they had heard, Jacob Schneider for the position.

Floyd looked at his watch. "Could you get those men up here for me within ten minutes?" he asked.

Gregg sent for them.

"I don't want to appropriate one of your duties—or privileges, Mr. Gregg," Floyd said, with a smile. "But as I am personally familiar with the conditions in this case, perhaps you'll let me talk to the men?"

"I don't mind at all having a job of that kind taken off my hands," Gregg replied. "Would you like to see them alone?"

"It might be better."