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370
THE ANCIENT GRUDGE

we can break the power of that Tustin-Caskey gang once for all. Let me know if you hear of any special kind of trouble being planned."

It was not till the middle of September that Gregg was able to lay specific information before his chief. Then it was to the effect that the local lodge of the union had held a meeting and voted that at the next meeting the name of Hugh Farrell should be dropped from the rolls.

"It was mighty cleverly done," Gregg said. "That man Tustin's a shrewd one; he's got a fine Italian hand that he showed in this. The whole thing was so reluctant; they were very loath to take action—that sort of tone, you know; they'd delayed dealing with he case so that they could approach it in a truly fair and judicial spirit; why, even Farrell's best friends might have been persuaded into thinking he'd got the squarest deal possible. More in sorrow than in anger it was shown that he had n't been truly loyal to the union—his speech at the mass meeting was something that could n't be overlooked—and now that the union was threatened with the subtlest forms of persecution and subject to covert attack from without, it was necessary for its own existence that it should strengthen itself from within. The thing was done with real art—so moderate and so full of innuendo about the purposes of the new management."

"So Farrell's to go," Floyd said. "I suppose of course the news has been broken to him?"

"I understand he was n't at the meeting. But of course he knows."

"I think," Floyd remarked after a moment with a grave smile, "that the time has come for making Farrell foreman of the rod-mill."

Gregg held out his hand and his eyes sparkled with satisfaction. "That's just what I was hoping you might say," and after shaking Floyd's hand he brushed out the prongs of his beard with a sort of nervous contentment. "I don't know that I'm often spoiling for a fight—but