Jurgis had often thought of Connor since coming back to Packingtown, but it had been as of something far off, that no longer concerned him. Now, however, when he saw him, alive and in the flesh, the same thing happened to him that had happened before—a flood of rage boiled up in him, a blind frenzy seized him. And he flung himself at the man, and smote him between the eyes—and then, as he fell, seized him by the throat and began to pound his head upon the stones.
The woman began screaming, and people came rushing in. The lantern had been upset and extinguished, and it was so dark they could not see a thing; but they could hear Jurgis panting, and hear the thumping of his victim’s skull, and they rushed there and tried to pull him off. Precisely as before, Jurgis came away with a piece of his enemy’s flesh between his teeth; and, as before, he went on fighting with those who had interfered with him, until a policeman had come and beaten him into insensibility.
And so Jurgis spent the balance of the night in the stockyards station house. This time, however, he had money in his pocket, and when he came to his senses he could get something to drink, and also a messenger to take word of his plight to “Bush” Harper. Harper did not appear, however, until after the prisoner, feeling very weak and ill, had been hailed into court and remanded at five hundred dollars’ bail to await the result of his victim’s injuries. Jurgis was wild about this, because a different magistrate had chanced to be on the bench, and he had stated that he had never been arrested before, and also that he had been attacked first—and if only someone had been there to speak a good word for him, he could have been let off at once.
But Harper explained that he had been downtown, and had not got the message. “What’s happened to you?” he asked.
“I’ve been doing a fellow up,” said Jurgis, “and I’ve got to get five hundred dollars’ bail.”
“I can arrange that all right,” said the other—“though it may cost you a few dollars, of course. But what was the trouble?”
“It was a man that did me a mean trick once,” answered Jurgis.
“Who is he?”
“He’s a foreman in Brown’s or used to be. His name’s Connor.”
And the other gave a start. “Connor!” he cried. “Not Phil Connor!”
“Yes,” said Jurgis, “that’s the fellow. Why?”
“Good God!” exclaimed the other, “then you’re in for it, old man! I can’t help you!”
“Not help me! Why not?”
“Why, he’s one of Scully’s biggest
men—he’s a member of the War-Whoop
League, and they talked of sending him to the legislature! Phil Connor!
Jurgis sat dumb with dismay.
“Why, he can send you to Joliet, if he wants to!” declared the other.
“Can’t I have Scully get me off before he finds out about it?” asked Jurgis, at length.
“But Scully’s out of town,” the other answered. “I don’t even know where he is—he’s run away to dodge the strike.”