Thursday turned to Joe Wegg.
“Can’t we connect our supply wire with your new plant, so as to use your power?” he asked.
“Easily. An hour’s work will serve to make the connection. But unless we watch the wire every minute those fellows will cut it again. The town’s full of the rascals, and they’re not exactly sober, either.”
“Watch the wire; that’s the idea,” said Uncle John. “It’s only a short distance to the mill, and I’m sure the villagers will volunteer for this duty.”
“Of course,” said Joe. “Major Doyle, will you mount guard over my men at the dynamos, to see they’re not interfered with, while I look after the wire?”
“Sure enough; it’ll remind me of the old war times,” said the major readily.
“Where is Arthur?” asked Louise.
“We left him at the mill.”
They left the office at once, Joe to get his line-men at work, and the major to join Weldon in guarding the dynamos. One of the detectives went with Mr. Wegg, but the other, whose name was Booth, remained to guard the printing office. Mr. Merrick now proposed that he take the girls home. Patsy and Beth refused to leave until the emergency was past, when the major and Arthur could drive them to the farm, but Louise was tired and went with Uncle John in his buggy, the surrey being left for the rest of the party to use. Arthur ran over for a moment to say everything was quiet at the mill and he did not think there would be any further trouble, and the report considerably reassured them.
A MERE MATTER OF REVENGE
Hetty and Thursday continued to work on the paper.
“We’ll have everything ready by the time the line is connected,” said the artist. “Then it will be but a few moments’ work to run off the edition.”
Patsy and Beth held candles for them, for the electric lights had been cut off with the power; so, seeing them all busily engaged, Arthur Weldon decided to return to the mill to join the Major. Booth sat in the front office, near the door, and in the darkness Arthur nearly stumbled over him.
“Going away, sir?” asked the man.
“Yes; I’ll see if I can be of any assistance at the mill.”
“Be careful. Those workmen have been drifting into town in squads, the last few minutes, and most of them are reckless with drink.”
“I’ll watch out,” said Arthur.
In the middle of the road a group of mill hands conversed excitedly in some foreign tongue; but they paid no attention to Weldon as he passed them. Others joined them, presently, and one began a harangue in a loud voice, to which they listened eagerly. Then Bob West slipped across from the hardware store and ran against the detective in the doorway of the printing office.
“Who’s this?” he demanded, holding the man in a firm grip.