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week, and her green sister, five. After two weeks Mollie's sister began to give out as much work as Mollie herself, but she still got the same pay, for she was called a learner, and a learner was only raised every season. I called Mollie's attention to it. She spoke to the foreman about her sister getting a raise, but she was only laughed at. Both of us decided to report to the union office and ask their help. We were now six girls who were ready to join the Union, and we thought we'd get the rest later on.
On a Friday evening, it was just a week before Labor Day, we went down to the union office. There by the complaint window of the independent department, I gave full information about our shop and asked, if possible, to have a committee sent to take us down on strike, so that we would get the people to join the Union and then put our demands before the boss. The man by the window promised to attend to it.
Every day of the next week I waited for a committee, but such did not come. On Wednesday evening I went to the Union again. The man by the window told me they were too busy, that we have to be patient enough and wait.
On the next morning, when I sat by my machine, two strange men, together with the old boss, entered the shop. They looked all around, tried the lights, made some remarks about the windows and the sink. The girls all wondered what it could be. I surely thought they were people from the Union, and told the girls so; but they were not, for in a few minutes we were told to stand up and march out when a whistle will blow. Later I learned that they were sent from the Board of Sanitary Control to make fire-drills with
I was puzzled. How does the Board of Sanitary Control come to send her
VOL. 121-NO. 3
people to a non-union shop? I knew that the board was created by the Union and the Manufacturers' Association, and had nothing to do with the non-union shops.
Sunday morning when we came to work (we did not work Saturdays), the foreman had some news for us. He informed us that the boss was going to change the week-work system for piece-work right after Labor Day. All the girls, with the exception of a few, were shocked with the news. As the foreman would always tell them that they did not deserve the money they were getting, they feared that on piecework they would make still less.
At one o'clock, when we went down, I tried to comfort the girls. I told them that now was the fittest time to make a union shop; that we would get a price committee to settle prices; and I assured them that they would make twice as much as they made till now.
On my way home, I thought of the change the boss was going to make. I also reminded myself that I read in the Saturday's paper that the Manufacturers' Association sent out letters to all its members who practiced the week-work system and informed them that by the request of the Union, they have to change their system to piecework.
'My boss must belong to the bosses' association, then,' said I to myself, for he would not have had his system changed so suddenly. And how could he have those men from the Board of Sanitary Control, if he was not a member of the association? The more I thought of it, the more I concluded that it must be so.
On Tuesday morning when we came in to work (Monday we were off), the foreman made the preparations for the change. As we sat waiting for work, I converted Mollie to my thought. She shared my opinion, and we made up
our minds to go right after work to the Three dollars a week in addition to Union and find out.
In the evening we went over to the Union. By the complaint window of the association department, I found that my boss really was a member of the association. Now when I made sure that he was, I feared no more to be fired. I was a member of the Union and they could not discharge me for union activity.
So when I came in the next morning to work, I walked over to the foreman and told him all I knew about the boss, the change of system, and the shop, and that now if he wants us to work piece-work, he must send for a man from the Union to settle prices for us; otherwise we would not work.
The foreman stood looking at me in embarrassment. To him everything came unexpectedly. He knew nothing of our preparations, and my explanation took him unawares.
'Who told you to go to the Union, you foolish kid? The boss has nothing to do with the Union - with all those fakers! It is true that the boss belongs to the association, but what do you need the Union for? The poor girls don't have enough to eat; how could they afford to pay dues and fill the union leaders' pockets?'
I was tired of that song already, I heard it so many times from different bosses and foremen; so I stopped him in the middle of his inspiration.
'Please,' said I, 'don't mix the leaders in. I never saw them and they have nothing to do with our present demands! We ourselves want to have a union shop. Your boss cares to belong to a bosses' association, we care to belong to a workers' organization! Besides, if you are so kind and sorry for the girls, why don't you pay them for their worth? You always hurry them, rush them. You drive them like slaves, and what are you giving them in return?
scoldings! You make them believe that they are not worth even that much.'
I was enraged, and gave freedom to all my feelings, which were heaped up for the six weeks I worked in there. If the foreman had not interrupted me, God knows how much longer I would have spoken; but he stopped me.
'Look here,' he said, 'I thought you were a nice, respectable girl. I did not think you could be so fresh. We don't want you to make trouble in this shop. If you don't like it, you can go. You are only a new hand in here. Those girls are working in here more than a year, some more than two years, and they never spoke to me like that. I was to them like a father and they'll admit it, too. I did not think you'll have the nerve to agitate the people against me and the boss!'
All the girls were sitting by their machines shivering like leaves. They were afraid the boss would fire them wholesale. For the first time in my life I saw such cowards as they were. When the foreman turned to them, asking if they have anything to say, they all bowed their heads, no.
'See,' he said to me, 'nobody cares for a union but you. Take my advice and go to the machine and mind your own business! We'll fix up the price without a man from the Union.'
All that time the boss stood at the door of his office and listened to everything. It seemed that he made up his mind to leave all to the foreman, for he said not a word. In half an hour later he came out, and passing through the tables, addressed the foreman.
'What was the noise you made this morning? You know that I don't like trouble in my shop. If there is any girl in here who is displeased, let her go. Nobody keeps her in here. I want no market in here.'
He spoke in a way as if he knew not
'I don't keep them back from work!' cried I, 'but we have a right to know what we are working for. When we were week-workers, we knew how much we were getting; now we are pieceworkers, and we also want to know how much we can earn. It is not more than right we should know.' Then I added, 'Don't you know that in each protocol shop there should be a chairman and price committee from the workers to settle prices with the boss?' He grew mad.
'Who are you to make rules in here, you little kid? You are only a child, What do you know about rules? Do you think you are dealing here with Russian Cossacks? Go to Russia and fight with the Cossacks! I would not allow you to make me revolutions in the shop and spoil the people!'
In that choking atmosphere, working by gaslight, which inflamed the eyes so badly (almost all the girls had inflamed eyes from the gaslight), with not a single ray of sunshine all day, there we sat and worked for others. I often, sitting in the shop and working by the gaslight, forgot that there is a sun, which gives warmth to the world, which gladdens so many lives with its light, which brings light and happiness wherever a ray is sent out to.
(To be concluded)
ACCORDING TO CODE
BY KATHERINE MAYO
FIRST SERGEANT STOUT of A Troop becomes his name like any hero of English ballad. First Sergeant Stout is towering tall, and broad and sinewy in proportion. There is not a meagre thing about him, from his heart and his smile to the grip of his hand, whether in strangle-hold or in greeting. Just as he stands, he might have roamed the woods with Robin Hood, or fought on the field of Crecy in the morning of the world.
But First Sergeant Stout has one peculiarity which in the morning of the world could never have marked
him. Sometimes, when he turns his head to right or to left, his head sticks fast that way until he takes it between his two hands and lifts it back again; and the reason is that he carries a bullet close to his spinal cord, lodged between the first and second vertebræ.
Once on a time, Sergeant Stout had charge of a sub-station in the town of Unionville, County Fayette. And among those days came a night when, at exactly a quarter past ten o'clock, the sub-station telephone rang determinedly.
There was nothing novel in this,
since the sub-station telephone was always determinedly ringing, day and night, to the tune of somebody's troubles. But this time the thing was vicariously expressed; or, you might call it, feebly conglomerate..
The constable of the village of Republic held the wire. He complained that one Charles Erhart, drunken and violent, had beaten his wife, had driven her and their children out of doors, and was now entrenched in the house with the black flag flying.
'She's given me a warrant to arrest the man, but I can't do it,' said the constable. 'He'll shoot me if I try. So I thought some of you fellers might like to come over and tackle him.'
The sergeant looked at his watch. "The trolley leaves in fifteen minutes,' said he. 'I'll be up on that.'
The trolley left Unionville at half after ten, reaching Republic, the end of the line, just one hour later.
'Last run for the night,' the motorman remarked as they sighted the terminus.
'I know. And I've only about half an hour's business to do here. Then I'd like to get back. Do you think you could wait?'
'Sure,' said motorman and conductor together. 'Glad to do it for you, sergeant.'
Hovering in the middle of the road, at the ''s-far-'s-we-go' point, hung the constable a little man, nervous and deprecatory. Religious pedagogy would have been more in his line than the enforcement of law. Now he was depressed by a threatened lumbago, and by the abnormal hours that his duty was laying upon him. Also he was worried by the present disturbance in his bailiwick, and therefore sincerely relieved to see an officer of the State Police.
'He's a bad one, that Charlie Erhart, at the best of times. And when
he's drunk he's awful. I could n't pretend to handle him- it would n't be safe. Like 's not he'd hurt me. But you' As if struck by a new thought, the constable suddenly stopped in his tracks to turn and stare at the sergeant. 'Why, you - why, I thought you'd bring a squad!'
"To arrest one man?' the sergeant inquired gravely. 'Well, you see we're rather busy just now, so we have to spread ourselves out.'
They were walking rapidly through the midnight streets, turning corners, here and again, into darker and narrower quarters. The ring of their steps stood out upon the silence with a lone and chiseled clarity, as though all the rest of the world had fled to the moon. Yet, to the constable's twittering mind that very silence teemed with a horrible imminence. The blackness in each succeeding alley seemed coiled to leap at him. He dared neither to face it nor to leave it at his back.
His gait began to slacken, to falter. At last he stopped. 'I guess I'll leave you here.' He flung out the words in a heap, as if to smother his scruples. 'You just go on down the street, then take the second turn to the left, and the house is on the far side - third from the corner. You can't miss it. And my lumbago's coming on so fast I guess I'll have to get home to bed. Glad you came, anyway. Good-night to you.'
'Wait a moment,' said the sergeant. 'If you are not coming along, I want to see the woman before I go farther.'
The constable indicated the tenement house in which the fugitive family had taken refuge. Then he whisked around, like a rabbit afraid of being caught by its long ears, and vanished into the dark.
Mrs. Erhart, nursing a swollen eye and a cut cheek, clutching a moaning baby in her arms and with a cluster of
'He has tried to kill us all, me and the children often. He does n't get helpless drunk. He gets mad drunk. Some day he will kill us, I guess. There's naught to prevent him. Do I want him arrested? Yes, sir, I do that! He's tried to take our lives this very night. And he's keeping us out of all the home we've got all the home we've got. But' — and she looked up with a sudden strange flicker of feeling akin to pride - 'I reckon he'll kill you if you try to touch him, big as you are. He sure will! Erhart's a terror, he is! And to-day he's cut loose for a fact.'
Armed now with an indisputable justification for entering the house, Sergeant Stout went ahead with his errand. The place, when he found it, proved to have a narrow passageway running from the street to its back door. Sergeant Stout, taking the passageway, walked quietly round to the back door and knocked.
'Who's there?' 'State Police.'
'You don't get in!'
The voice was loose, flat, blaring a foolish, violent voice.
The sergeant set his shoulder against the door. It groaned, creaked, splintered, gave way, opening directly into the kitchen. Confusion filled the place. Broken furniture, smashed dishes, messes of scattered food, made in the smudgy lamp's dim light a scene to be grasped at a glance. But there was no time to look about. Directly at hand, half-crouching, lurching sidewise for the spring of attack, lowered a big,
evil-visaged hulk of a man. His eyes were red, inflamed with rage and drink; his breath came in gusts, like the breath of an angry bull.
'You would, would you! You bloody-Cossack! I'll learn you to interfere with the rights of an honest laboring man in his home!'
He held his right hand behind him as he spoke. Now he jerked it forward, with its gun.
With a jump the sergeant grabbed him, wrenched the revolver out of his grip, and, though the other struggled with all his brute strength, forced him steadily down to the floor. Then, with practiced touch, he made search for further weapons, and was already locking the handcuffs on the wrists of the prostrate prisoner when a voice from beyond made him raise his head.
Opposite the back entrance, on the other side of the kitchen, an open doorway framed the blackness of the front room. That doorway had been empty. But now, around its casement, and to the left as the sergeant faced it, projected a long, dully gleaming bar, the barrel of a rifle, while behind, faint against the night within, showed the left hand and the left eye of the gunman.
'You!' he had called, having already brought his rifle to bear. And the sergeant, stooping above his fallen assailant, had looked up in quick attention. The gunman had wanted a better mark
a full front face to fire at. He had it now so he blazed away. The bullet struck fair between the trooper's eyes, tearing through to the spine.
But because he had chanced to receive it in that very position, stooping and looking up with his head halfraised, the charge had spared the chamber of the brain, passing along its lower wall. The shock, nevertheless, was terrific.
Sergeant Stout, rightly named, never