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Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/390

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379
A LETTER TO A NEWSPAPER

kindness and their hope that the drawings would receive the award.

"It won't be your fault if they don't," Stewart answered. "But I shan't be disappointed however the judges decide."

Stewart paced up and down his small room after the office force had departed on their holiday. He was brimming with a generous excitement, an unselfish indignation. In a good cause he had sacrificed the last days in which he might have found the solution to the hospital problems for which he had been fumbling. It was a generous thought; it was a generous thought that possessed him for a moment now—those boys starting out on their sudden holiday, opening in the street their little envelopes and finding the fifty dollar bill that was his gift to each. He could imagine their delighted amazement; he knew they had never expected any such warm-hearted and lavish reward of their impotent efforts. He gave himself a moment's gratification in contrasting his treatment of his men with that which the employees of the Halket Steel Company received.

The night before, when he bad gone to the club to dine, he had read in the Evening Telegram of the lock-out at the Halket Mills. Hitherto he had scanned with little interest the occasional newspaper reports of the friction existing between the men and the management at New Rome; they had seemed to concern trivial and technical matters. But the news of "LOCK-OUT!" spread sensationally upon the first page of the newspaper at once absorbed him. The article recited various small matters of dispute between the union and the management and stated that the notice posted on the gate that morning was merely the culmination of a purpose which Mr. Floyd Halket, since his accession to the presidency of the company, had been steadily working to achieve. The Telegram was an ardent champion of the workingman; its history of the causes which had led up to the clash at New Rome