Open main menu

Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/418

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.




Floyd arrived in Avalon at an early hour in the morning; and while he sat at breakfast he read the newspaper account of the mass meeting held the night before by his locked-out workmen. Tustin had presided and had urged steadfastness and fortitude under persecution; the report of his speech was mainly an abstract, but there was this much quoted: "To some it may seem that the only weapon left to us is force,—but it is a weapon that we must not be the first to employ. We welcome the assurance given us that it is not the company's intention to import strike-breakers and non-union men; but we must not deceive ourselves as to the purpose of this assurance. That purpose is plain—to cause weakening and dissension amongst us, to invite treason, and to draw from the support of the cause those who may be afraid. Now there is one way and only one to meet treason from within; nobody is more opposed to violence than I am, but intimidation is the only way to deal with traitors." Floyd inferred that the conciliatory policy which he had ordered was viewed with more alarm by the union leaders than one of aggressive action might have been.

Stewart Lee had also addressed the meeting. His speech was not given in full, but it was apparently in the nature of a dedication of himself to the cause. It may have been due to the reporter's translation of the substance of Stewart's remarks into his own easy vocabulary, but Floyd gathered no more vivid impression than could be conveyed by such phrases as, "The necessity for a campaign of education," "The workingmen's most precious possession