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Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/227

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so far away from the real crux of the whole situation. He does n't seem to understand what we're up against, and yet he's directing us just as if he'd never got out of touch with things." He pulled at his beard desperately. "I swear it's enough to make me feel like resigning. Here I've been building the best I knew, as I thought, to the interests of my employer; and now he tells me to pull down the whole shebang. I've turned down half a dozen good offers because I've had a certain feeling about this place—having grown up with it, you get a kind of sentiment and interest about it, you know; but this is pretty near the limit."

Floyd admitted a sympathy with his feelings, but tried to inspirit him. "It will be a little rough, altering our tactics at first, but after a while we'll probably find it easy to carry on this new policy."

Gregg shook his head. "It's almost a betrayal of those men who've been the company's best friends," he said; "the fellows that have stood out against the union. They'll read that magazine article, and they'll say, 'So that's the way ha feels about it! Well, what is there in it for us?' That's what they'll say; see if they don't. And the union men will read the article too, and get after them with a sharp stick—drive 'em into the union or out of the mills, one or the other."

"I'm afraid you're right," said Floyd. He meditated for a moment and then said, "I think we'd better not attack the subject of a new wage-scale for a few days—until we see what effect the publication of that article has in the works."

Reports from the various mills showed that it had a very marked effect. There was jubilation among the radical union men, there was gloom at the mills that had been holding out as non-union. Gregg's prediction was immediately verified; murmurs of anger and despair rose from the men who felt they had been abandoned by their employer. There was a stampede suddenly to join the union;