The Nine-Tenths eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 198 pages of information about The Nine-Tenths.

  Theodore Marrin and the forty-four who went back to work for him: 
    Every one of you is a traitor to American citizenship. 
  Let us use blunt words and call a spade a spade. 
    Theodore Marrin, you have betrayed your employees. 
    You forty-four men, you have betrayed yourselves and your leader.

And so it went, sharp, incisive, plain-spoken—­words that were hot brands and burned.

He was sitting at this task (twice his mother had called him to supper and he had waved her away) when an exquisite black-eyed little woman came in.

“Mr. Blaine?”

“Yes.”

“I’m Mrs. Izon.”

Joe wheeled about and seized her hand.

“Tell me to do something for you!  You and your brave husband!”

Mrs. Izon spoke quietly: 

“I came here because Jacob is so worried.  He is afraid you will harm yourself for us.”

Joe laughed softly.

“Tell him not to worry any longer.  It’s you who are suffering—­not I. I?  I am only having fun.”

She was not satisfied.

“We oughtn’t to get others mixed up in our troubles.”

“It’s hard for you, isn’t it?” Joe murmured.

“Yes.”  She smiled sadly.  “I suppose it isn’t right when you are in the struggle to get married.  Not right to the children.”

Joe spoke courageously.

“Never you mind, Mrs. Izon—­but just wait.  Wait three—­four days.  We’ll see!”

They did wait, and they did see.

VI

A FIGHT IN GOOD EARNEST

Sally hesitated before going into Marrin’s that Monday morning.  A blinding snow-storm was being released over the city, and the fierce gusts eddied about the corner of Fifth Avenue, blew into drifts, lodged on sill and cornice and lintel, and blotted out the sky and the world.  Through the wild whiteness a few desolate people ploughed their way, buffeted, blown, hanging on to their hats, and quite unable to see ahead.  Sally shoved her red little hands into her coat pockets, and stood, a careless soul, in the white welter.

From her shoulder, some hundred feet to the south, ran the plate-glass of Marrin’s, spotted and clotted and stringy with snow and ice, and right before her was the entrance for deliveries and employees.  A last consideration held her back.  She had been lying awake nights arguing with her conscience.  Joe had told her not to do it—­that it would only stir up trouble—­but Joe was too kindly.  In the battles of the working people a time must come for cruelty, blows, and swift victory.  Marrin was an out-and-out enemy to be met and overthrown; he had made traitors of the men; he had annihilated Izon; she would fight him with the women.

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The Nine-Tenths from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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