Open main menu

Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/379

This page needs to be proofread.
368
THE ANCIENT GRUDGE

Floyd understood a few days later from Gregg that Tibbs had been reinstated in the union and that there seemed to be no sign of trouble.

"It beats me," Gregg said. "Tustin's not the man to knuckle under without a fight."

"I think it's simply that he does n't want to risk a fight on a minor issue," said Floyd. "Now I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to push him all along the line. I'm going to put one small issue after another up to him, and he's got to swallow one after another, in which case his influence with the men will be slowly undermined, or he's got to make a fight on some one small grievance—and then it will be easy to beat him. I'm going to dethrone Tustin, Mr. Gregg. If Hugh Farrell were running the union it would n't be a bad thing; with Tustin running—it, it's a curse. Now the next move I make is this: you know how Tustin and Caskey and the others of that executive committee are always cutting loose from their job to come and interview me with some kick or other, and how they're always paid full time, same as if they were working instead of stirring up trouble? Well, I want you to give it out that hereafter they'll be docked for such absences, just like other men. Post your notices in all the mills, so that all the men can read them; and word them so that all the men will understand. A little public humiliation for Tustin will be a good thing."

The immediate result of posting this notice was another visit to Floyd of an angry delegation, which did not, however, include Tustin; he had sent two other members of the committee, and Floyd received these men genially.

"Well, it may seem a little hard to you at first," he said to them, "but try to look at it a moment from the management's point of view. Why, some of your representatives, notably Mr. Tustin, have got into the way of cooking up complaints just for the sake of having a day