The Jungle eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 445 pages of information about The Jungle.

The chairman was still more worried when the monster torchlight procession came off, with the members of the Doyle Republican Association all in red capes and hats, and free beer for every voter in the ward—­the best beer ever given away in a political campaign, as the whole electorate testified.  During this parade, and at innumerable cart-tail meetings as well, Jurgis labored tirelessly.  He did not make any speeches—­there were lawyers and other experts for that—­but he helped to manage things; distributing notices and posting placards and bringing out the crowds; and when the show was on he attended to the fireworks and the beer.  Thus in the course of the campaign he handled many hundreds of dollars of the Hebrew brewer’s money, administering it with naive and touching fidelity.  Toward the end, however, he learned that he was regarded with hatred by the rest of the “boys,” because he compelled them either to make a poorer showing than he or to do without their share of the pie.  After that Jurgis did his best to please them, and to make up for the time he had lost before he discovered the extra bungholes of the campaign barrel.

He pleased Mike Scully, also.  On election morning he was out at four o’clock, “getting out the vote”; he had a two-horse carriage to ride in, and he went from house to house for his friends, and escorted them in triumph to the polls.  He voted half a dozen times himself, and voted some of his friends as often; he brought bunch after bunch of the newest foreigners—­Lithuanians, Poles, Bohemians, Slovaks—­and when he had put them through the mill he turned them over to another man to take to the next polling place.  When Jurgis first set out, the captain of the precinct gave him a hundred dollars, and three times in the course of the day he came for another hundred, and not more than twenty-five out of each lot got stuck in his own pocket.  The balance all went for actual votes, and on a day of Democratic landslides they elected “Scotty” Doyle, the ex-tenpin setter, by nearly a thousand plurality—­and beginning at five o’clock in the afternoon, and ending at three the next morning, Jurgis treated himself to a most unholy and horrible “jag.”  Nearly every one else in Packingtown did the same, however, for there was universal exultation over this triumph of popular government, this crushing defeat of an arrogant plutocrat by the power of the common people.

Chapter 26

After the elections Jurgis stayed on in Packingtown and kept his job.  The agitation to break up the police protection of criminals was continuing, and it seemed to him best to “lay low” for the present.  He had nearly three hundred dollars in the bank, and might have considered himself entitled to a vacation; but he had an easy job, and force of habit kept him at it.  Besides, Mike Scully, whom he consulted, advised him that something might “turn up” before long.

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The Jungle from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.