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Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/384

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FORCING THE ISSUE

"It's pretty rough on Hugh Farrell to have put him into such a position," he admitted to the superintendent. "But I don't know anybody who could give a better account of himself."

"Yes," said Gregg. "And it is n't as if he stood absolutely alone; he's got plenty of sympathizers—if they only dared to show themselves. I don't know, Mr. Halket, but what some damage may be done at that mass meeting to-night."

"I don't know that the men can do any more than decide to go on strike," Floyd said.

"That's bad enough with all the orders we're working to fill."

"We've got to make some sacrifices, of course, to get this union matter settled as we want it. And we might as well make them now as later. I'd like to go up and see Mrs. Farrell—see if there's anything I could do to make things easier for her—but I suppose it would n't be wise."

"Look too much like favoritism," commented Gregg.

"They think it's all that now. Better just write her a note. And I'll call you up to-night again and let you know what happens at the meeting."

The report of this did not indicate a yielding disposition on the part of the men. Whether the promotion of Farrell had at first been universally unpopular or not, it seemed now to have become so. Tustin, who had a native gift for forcible speaking and enjoyed using it, inflamed his audience; he swung them from fury to enthusiasm and back again to fury. He urged them to do nothing lawless, and yet to think upon this traitor who bad grown up among them and who now had been bought to make an issue for a harsh employer against the union. This man, whose expressed disloyalty had been treated with so much indulgence by his comrades, had stooped to an even lower betrayal of their interests; no one knew by what intrigue he had undermined a faithful old employee, by