Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/469

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vinced Lydia she was making headway. "They're going up to-night—these watchmen?"

"Yes. And, oh, Stewart, this is the part that shows how careful Floyd is, how anxious to guard against violence,—more even than his thought of sending these men. They're going up very quietly—by boat—in a way that would never be suspected; because if they went out in the usual way by train or trolley car and tried to get in at the gate, Floyd thought there might be some trouble—some of the men might n't understand why they'd been sent and might try to keep them out; especially seeing they had guns, the workmen might think it was sort of ominous, I suppose, not understanding the motive. So Floyd arranged to have them go up the river very secretly at night by boat and get into the works from the river side; oh yes,—and so that nobody watching along the shore should suspect the boat and give an alarm about armed men coming, he's arranged to have them go up in coal-barges, towed by a little tug—coal-barges roofed over, that no one would ever suspect. Of course the only place where riots and violence would be liable to occur is right round the mill gates; and if these watchmen can only be landed quietly in the mills, they can prevent any trouble that may threaten. Don't you think really, Stewart, that this puts Floyd's motives in a better light?"

"Did Marion say what time these watchmen would start—what time they'd arrive?"

"They were to reach the works at about eleven o'clock."

She waited anxiously for Stewart to pronounce an opinion, to make some slight admission of leniency, even the most grudging. If he would do this, she could have faith; but if he should fail to render justice now—

"You regard this measure as an indication that Floyd has forsworn violence?" Stewart asked the question mildly, looking at his wife with a smile.

"Why, yes, Stewart, of course. What else could it mean?"