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I was like a mad one. I kept on talk- tell the boss he should not agitate the ing until I noticed the foreman and people against the Union, they would young boss laughing at me and at order the foreman to be more polite to my speech. I was ashamed of myself. the girls. All they did was to tell us Their laughter made me feel that I that we, together with the boss, should said a lot of foolishness. When I came select a girl to test the garments. home, I cried from anger at myself.
Both clerks failed to see the imposAt last the deputy clerks from the sibility of selecting a girl in our shop. association and the Union came. I was All the girls, without exception, were
, called in the office. In my broken Eng- as week-workers very much underlish I tried to explain to them every paid. If any girl was to make a test, thing I knew. After me the foreman and be paid by the hour according to spoke. In a soft, gentle voice he spoke. her former salary, we would surely not Hearing him talk in the office, it could be able to make out anything. But I hardly be believed that a man like him was not given any chance to explain it could use such violent language as he to them, for they left in a hurry. used in the shop to the girls. He denied When I stepped back into the shop, all I said. He told them for how long the girls were all waiting impatiently he had been foreman in the shop, that for news. Their eyes were fixed on me, the girls never kicked about anything, questioning. Before I could open my that peace prevailed until I came, that mouth, the foreman followed me. I was also satisfied until the system of 'Well, girls! Even the clerk said week-work was changed; since then I that she was fresh, that she had a bad began to make trouble in the shop be- temper. He also said that I'm the boss cause I don't want to work piece-work. here, and she has nothing to say!'
'It's a lie!' I interrupted him. 'I'm So he interpreted the clerk's senglad that the system is changed. I only tences, and wanted the girls to believe wanted to have a man from the Union him. From that day on our quarreling to settle the prices for us!'
began. The next morning the first I was maddened by the foreman's thing I did was to remind the foreman false statements. He lied through and of selecting a test girl. We were only through, and I could not help inter- four girls who were competent enough rupting him; but by interrupting him, in the work, so that only the four could I only succeeded in discrediting my- act as testers. Among the four of us he self, for the clerk of the association selected Sadie and wanted nobody else. stopped me.
How could I agree to her when she was ‘Why, that girl is unbearable, she such a good worker and only got twenty possesses an awful temper!' said he to cents an hour? My arguments did not the clerk of the Union. After all, he do any good. He would again call me is the boss, and she should have more trouble-maker and fresh girl. respect for him! She is too fresh!' When I went over for work, the fore
‘Oh, if you only knew him!' said I, man kept me waiting, purposely to and burst into tears, for it pained me make me lose time. At lunch-time I that I was not given the privilege to be ran to the Union again. There I cried heard as he; he was more trusted than for a long time until I was able to talk. I; besides, I was so disappointed. I The people up there comforted me. To expected to get full justice when the them it was not new. Hundreds of girls clerks came. I expected that they used to come to them with the same would adjust the prices; they would grievances as I. But those did not cry
any more. They were used to the ill- cheap and I can't raise the price on it.' treatment of the bosses and foremen. ‘Then why don't you tell that to the
I went back to work. Before I had clerks? What's the use of bothering time to sit down, the foreman began. around and waste people's time for
"Well, what did your Union tell you? nothing?' asked I. 'If you are a memYou think I'm afraid of you, eh? The ber of the association, you can afford more you complain, the worse for you! to pay as much as the other members I shall give you such work that you do; if you can't — all right, give up can't make two dollars a week!' your business! Somebody else will
That day he would give me only have to make up the work and we'll such bundles as had to go to the hem- get our jobs all right! stitchers. I would only have for half- 'A-ah, is that what you want?' hour work in a bundle, and wait for cried the boss in anger. “You want to another one. That afternoon, when I drive me out from business
you soasked for such a bundle that I could cialist, you anarchist that you are!!! work on it without any interruption, Go, go to Russia, fight with the Coshe refused to give. I complained to sacks! — I'm telling you girls again,' the boss. The boss took out a bundle he continued, ‘if I have to pay more, from a girl's basket and put me to I'll give up the business! If you suffer work on it. To the foreman I heard after, it won't be my fault, but hers!' him saying:
He pointed his finger at me. 'You better stop torturing the girl ‘You, Mollie, go ahead, make the too much!'
test and let see how it'll come out.' Too much! The boss seemed to have Mollie was given two waists to test. a limit as to how much they could At the same time the foreman gave trouble me he was afraid to trouble two waists to Sadie. He did not trust me too much!
Mollie, though he said that she was a At three o'clock the clerks were up good respectable girl - and so she was. again. When the complaint was read She tried her best to make the test a before the boss, he said he knew noth- fair one. Sadie saw her chance to show ing about it. He tells the foreman to her devotion to the boss with that test. treat everybody alike. If the foreman She rushed the work terribly, but when does treat me unfair, he'll see to it that she saw that she was not ahead of he does not.
Mollie, she had the girl next to her help In the presence of the clerks we her out. I watched them all. Sadie had selected a test girl. She was Mollie of her waists finished ten minutes before the price committee. They told us Mollie. Of course Mollie's test was not that, in case we would not agree on the accepted. According to Mollie's test, test, they'd have a man sent up to the waists had to be priced at 46 cents make the prices.
apiece; according to Sadie's, the waist When they left, the boss came over came out at 35 cents. All the boss to us and said,
wanted to pay was 30 cents. ‘Of course, you wanted the clerks When the expert came, he priced the and you had them! But I'm telling waist at 50 cents. He said that a waist you again that you may have a thou- like that was paid everywhere at 50 sand of clerks to make prices for you, cents. The boss refused to pay either I would not pay a cent more than I price. He claimed it was impossible for pay you now! I cannot afford to pay him to exist. He made a proposition you more, for I sell my merchandise to have the work made in sections. The
garment should be divided into collars, took work from the competent girl to cuffs, bodies, sleeves, belts. Each part take care of the others. A few I sent should be settled by the dozen, and through the paper, and they found each part should be made by one girl. jobs themselves. Mollie and her sister
I did not agree to it, neither did I sent to the shop where I first learned the union clerk. I tried to make the the trade. As I once already mengirls see the danger in section-work for tioned, that boss was a good acquaintthem. No skill is required at section- ance of mine, and through my recomwork. Anybody could learn in a week mendation they got employment there, or less to make a certain part of the where one of the sisters is still working. garment. The girls, not being skilled I and another girl were still out. workers, will always have to depend The next day, I received a letter on that only shop, and, of course, will from Mr. Baroff of our Union, informnever be able to take a stand against ing me that he got a job for me as a any wrong which will occur to them, sample-maker. I quickly ran over to for fear to lose their position.
the office. There the other girl sat The association and the Union at waiting for me; she also like me was last took more interest in that case. still looking for work. As I promised For three days clerks would come and to all the girls to help them in finding go, come and go; they could not come jobs, if the boss should give up the to an understanding. At last the boss business, I felt that I had no right to announced that he would give up the accept the offered job, while a girl who business.
held me responsible for her idleness Again I had a meeting with the girls. was still out of a position. But I also All the will-power I possessed I used needed the job, I needed the position to the utmost that evening in convinc- to support both of us, myself and my ing the girls of the great mistake they brother; how could I give away the would make by working in the shop job to her? And still I did. I preferred on the old conditions.
to suffer economically, rather than be In the morning, when we had our blamed for irresponsibility. work finished out, we told the foreman My present pessimistic state of mind that we would only work there if we developed not only from my own sufwere to have a strictly union shop with ferings but also from the life around union conditions. He announced that me. The general conditions of the no more work would be cut and that we peo I lived among filled my heart were free to look for positions. I took with misery. My head was always all the girls with me and went to the puzzled with the question of inequality union office.
in this universe. I was unable to decide The next morning, when I came to what remedy should be applied in orthe union office to meet my girls who der to equalize the world. One thing waited impatiently for results, the I understood: that the present capitalmanager of the independent depart- istic system must be changed, that the ment had called up a few shops, inquir- wealth created by people should be diing for positions for the girls. The first vided among those people. But whetwo positions he got I sent up two girls, ther the change should come through one competent worker and the other peaceful education or revolution, I felt a learner. Before I sent them away I not ripe enough to decide.
PETER STOOD AND WARMED HIMSELF
BY GEORGE PARKIN ATWATER
THE high explosive shell, fashioned, has become the spiritual heritage of filled, and fired by the Reverend Joseph memory, because in destroying the H. Odell, in the February Atlantic, has military asset of its high towers, the filled the land with reverberations. It German shells ruined its age-long is a courageous, manly, and sincere ex- splendor. But explosions of human plosion of the pent-up feelings of an wrath may be more discriminating, and indignant patriot. The shock of it it is but justice to Dr. Odell to affirm tumbled me into my dug-out and left that he undoubtedly had no intention me speechless, my brain reeling with the of uprooting the whole structure, the vivid images of his graphic pen, with faults of which he assails. To use his the piercing denunciations of his pro- words, his 'volcanic eruption' has phetic voice. All honor to him for his poured molten lava upon certain instiutterance.
tutions and has left no vestige; but in After a time the shock passed, and I a
the process he has buried other instiput on my gas-mask and ventured tutions in cold ashes. We may dig forth to look upon the ruins. Ruins them out. were abundant. Neutrality and paci- Peter, the symbol of the ministry? fism were withered to dust and ashes. Sitting by a fire and hugging the comComplacency was powdered to atoms. fortable delusion of security? Trapped Denominationalism was flattened into by a casual feminine inquiry which a pulp. German theology was hurled would have ended his career? Not so into a leper colony, and, like Judas, Peter! Peter stood. St. John says so. went to its own place. The tribal god Involved in the stupendous tragedy of of the high places of Potsdam, disguised God incarnate, who had brought the as the Lord God of Christianity, was dead to life, being hurried to a trial, of shorn of its mask, and the label 'Made which even St. Peter could not know in Germany'revealed the Moloch, made the outcome; confused by the calamiin the image of the Kaiser, reveling in ties and obscurities and perplexities of human sacrifices.
the passing hour, Peter, the rock man, Upon looking further, I found that stood, awaiting the message, the direcsome of the targets at which the shell tion, the mission, that was to be his. was aimed were still standing
The maid who asked the question of what powder-marked and splinter-in- him was but the unsubstantial shadow crusted, but decidedly undemolished. of an unreal world, compared with the We can discern their outlines, and it question, — And thou also wast with becomes a duty to pierce the smoke of Jesus of Nazareth?' - a question askthe explosion and discover what has ed by conscience, not of the reality of not been destroyed.
his physical companionship, but of the Actual shells are no respecters of per- verity of his special discipleship. sons or things. The glory of Rheims Peter, resistant, as poor human na
ture often is, thrust aside for a moment Who are these men, the clergy? Are the outer and less important implica- they all fiery-tongued orators, satution of the situation, made it a matter rated with the wisdom of the ages, comof inner struggle and sacrifice, then sur- manding and swaying vast assemblages rendered to the light and leading of it of people? Are they luxurious and isoall, and went out and wept bitterly. lated devotees of idle reflection, revelThey were tears of consecration, and ing in the psychological and spiritual the man who stood, during the strug. joys of meditation in a garden shelgle, weighing its issues, not acquies- tered by high walls from the turmoil cent and yet not sure of the trend of it, without? They are neither. The clergy that man, so human and more to be to-day are hard-working, underpaid, trusted because of his period of uncer- long-suffering plodders, living lives of tainty, went forth to his martyrdom. sacrifice in every corner of the land, If St. Peter, as he stood there, had and sharing the lesser fragments of the shown a foreknowledge of the events, crusts that fall from the wealth of our if he had seemed an object of divine prosperity. With every conceivable assurance which would have made his obstacle in their paths, in the midst struggle less keen, we should not have of a movie-crazed public, and a golfrespected his experience. The clergy at distracted and motor-mad society, this time, having stood, with Peter, they do their duty humbly and quietare now exemplifying his boldness. ly. They have no sufficient organ for
The clergy to-day have a serious concentrating public attention, for the task. This is a day of false alarms. people will not come to their churches, Street-corner orators vent their spleen and the newspapers, while giving two upon every institution of mankind, columns to a prize-fight, would dismiss hurling invectives at the educational, Isaiah himself in ten lines, unless he commercial, and religious granaries in was 'good stuff' and would get a colwhich is stored the wealth of the labor umn as an eccentricity. of ages; reviling the granaries which In spite of this fact, the clergy are a these orators themselves did not by vast influence. For generations they constructive effort help to fill, while have kept alight the beacons that point having no further foundation for their the path to human progress and hapvituperation than the soap-boxes which piness and duty. While you, half
parthey did not help to empty. Political ent, were foozling that drive on the parties and newspapers raise clouds of golf course, of a Sunday, or washing dust by their cunning manæuvres, your car, or devouring the Sunday both in the hope that the public vision paper,
in utter oblivion of the fact that will be clouded thereby, and also in the you are a rank slacker and a parasite hope that their crocodile tears of lamen- feeding upon the construction work of tation will turn the dust to mud with other men, and belittling their work so which to besmirch those whom they that you might take a minute's comwould destroy. Amid the public tur- fort to your own beggarly soul, the moil stand the clergy, representing a clergy are taking the other half of your higher order of things. Realizing the parental duty and are trying to teach moral weight of their collective judg- your children a few principles which ment, every partisan would invoke may later make you take a false pride
а them, as Balak invoked Balaam of old, in the kind of boy or girl you assume to curse his enemies. But the clergy that you have brought up. are not to be convinced by clamor. It has not been the example of the