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Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/480

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has a gun. I've got the police and the firemen;—the police could n't do anything—well, there are a couple of thousand people in there now—and the firemen could n't; I thought they might turn the hose on the crowd, but there's no water near enough, and it would be like squirting at a fire with a syringe. The sheriff came and read the riot act, and nobody listened; then he went away to telephone the governor to call out the militia. I don't see as there's anything we can do to help those poor devils,—but just pray for the governor to act."

"I can make an effort," said Floyd. "While I'm gone, telephone the Berwick Coal-Boat Company—no, the office will be closed; call up James D. Berwick at his house; tell him he's got to send a boat up here to take off these barges. Tell him you'll pay any price to the captain and the men who'll do the job—tell him to send 'em ready to fight—and for God's sake at once. Berwick will do it; he'll find the men.—I'll see you later; call him up at once, Mr. Gregg."

"But, Mr. Halket—you can't go into that mob—you can't handle it—and—you'll be just the man they're looking for!"

"Please call up Berwick."

"But, Mr. Halket!" Gregg clutched his arm imploringly, and with the other hand pointed to the opera-hat in which Floyd had come straight from the theatre. "That hat anyway! It'll make you a marked man.—Take mine."

"I want to get their notice," Floyd answered. He drew his arm away and went out of the room.

Some women and girls were standing huddled together on the bridge, as if they were afraid to go farther; and when he passed them, they began to hiss. Others a little distance away recognized him and joined in the demonstration. He walked on as if he did not hear, although the sound not only followed him but even went rippling before him; his cheeks were hot; he had not been prepared for this,