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Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/446

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NEW ROME AND AVALON

"I suspected something of the sort," Stewart interrupted. "Go on."

"We passed the word round among a few we could trust to be on hand at half-past five this morning. Then at twenty minutes to six, we set a fellow to ringing the school-house bell—and that brought out the rest. I told the crowd what to expect; I let 'em know there was to be no violence; I said to 'em, 'You're not to be the aggressors; you're just to mass yourselves thick in front of the gate and not budge for anything or anybody.' No violence in that, was there? I was counting that when the scum came thinking to sneak into the works and saw that crowd waiting for 'em, they'd just slink off instead. And so some of 'em did. But there was quite a gang, headed by Farrell, that rushed blustering in, hitting out at everybody, and in self-defense pretty soon we had to close in on 'em and handle 'em. Farrell was the only one of these fellows that got the least hurt in the row—and anybody will tell you he was from the start the hardest fighter; he came into the crowd with blood in his eye. Two of our men at least had to be carried away unconscious, and there's no means of knowing how many others were badly hurt. But that's the episode that will figure in the papers as riot, violence, and outrage by the Affiliated, and all that kind of thing; you see if it don't—and we'd be all the more glad if you could give your time to making an impartial investigation and writing up the truth—getting it all in for this evening's papers."

"Yes, I'll investigate," Stewart answered. He laughed. "I might as well begin right here. What's your account of the matter, Mr. Caskey?"

"It's all as Mr. Tustin's been giving it. I was just behind Farrell when he came rushing down the hill, drawing a gang of his roughs with him; and they went into the crowd like they was going to cut a swath clean through to the gate. I was right behind and I saw it all."

The other members of the executive committee gave