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374
THE ANCIENT GRUDGE

what cowardly subservience and abasement he had won his master's favor. It was an insult to the workmen in Number Three to put such a man over them; it was an insult that every brother workman in New Rome was bound to resent. It was indeed a matter of self-protection to resent it. For however much favoritism there was in Farrell's promotion, it was folly to pretend that it was due to favoritism alone. This was the first step in a campaign to root out unionism in New Rome, to make the laboring-man a defenseless dependent upon the generosity of an ungenerous employer, to rob him of the bulwark of his rights, the sense of freedom, the feeling that instead of writhing naked and helpless in the clutch of a cormorant capitalist, he stood armed by the weight of thousands at his back to battle for a living. The union had given to the laboring-man this most priceless spirit, and the laboring-man must guard the union as he would guard his soul. And when he beheld one who had traduced and betrayed it,—"I ask ye," shouted Tustin, raising aloft his clenched fist and holding it there quivering,—"I ask ye, shall ye suffer him? Shall ye suffer him to be your master? I advocate no violence, but I say to you now that this man should be made to see that to his neighbors he is a curse and a stench, and that in the estimation of the world he were better dead than thriving at the expense of their liberty. And if he is so rash as not to be deterred by that which he may read in the face of every man, then we must strike,—strike for the principle that gives us life, and strike—hard!"

It was a great triumph for Tustin; the meeting had broken up in cheers, the men had poured shouting and cheering into the streets. Some one had cried, "Let's show Farrell now, the — — —!" and a couple of hundred men and boys, taking up the cry, had marched to Farrell's house on the outskirts of the town. There they had stayed in the middle of the road, hooting and yelling and cursing, calling on him to show himself; at last some