The Jungle eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 550 pages of information about The Jungle.
had to pay any taxes for the water, and he had built the icehouse out of city lumber, and had not had to pay anything for that.  The newspapers had got hold of that story, and there had been a scandal; but Scully had hired somebody to confess and take all the blame, and then skip the country.  It was said, too, that he had built his brick-kiln in the same way, and that the workmen were on the city payroll while they did it; however, one had to press closely to get these things out of the men, for it was not their business, and Mike Scully was a good man to stand in with.  A note signed by him was equal to a job any time at the packing houses; and also he employed a good many men himself, and worked them only eight hours a day, and paid them the highest wages.  This gave him many friends—­all of whom he had gotten together into the “War Whoop League,” whose clubhouse you might see just outside of the yards.  It was the biggest clubhouse, and the biggest club, in all Chicago; and they had prizefights every now and then, and cockfights and even dogfights.  The policemen in the district all belonged to the league, and instead of suppressing the fights, they sold tickets for them.  The man that had taken Jurgis to be naturalized was one of these “Indians,” as they were called; and on election day there would be hundreds of them out, and all with big wads of money in their pockets and free drinks at every saloon in the district.  That was another thing, the men said—­all the saloon-keepers had to be “Indians,” and to put up on demand, otherwise they could not do business on Sundays, nor have any gambling at all.  In the same way Scully had all the jobs in the fire department at his disposal, and all the rest of the city graft in the stockyards district; he was building a block of flats somewhere up on Ashland Avenue, and the man who was overseeing it for him was drawing pay as a city inspector of sewers.  The city inspector of water pipes had been dead and buried for over a year, but somebody was still drawing his pay.  The city inspector of sidewalks was a barkeeper at the War Whoop Cafe—­and maybe he could make it uncomfortable for any tradesman who did not stand in with Scully!

Even the packers were in awe of him, so the men said.  It gave them pleasure to believe this, for Scully stood as the people’s man, and boasted of it boldly when election day came.  The packers had wanted a bridge at Ashland Avenue, but they had not been able to get it till they had seen Scully; and it was the same with “Bubbly Creek,” which the city had threatened to make the packers cover over, till Scully had come to their aid.  “Bubbly Creek” is an arm of the Chicago River, and forms the southern boundary of the yards:  all the drainage of the square mile of packing houses empties into it, so that it is really a great open sewer a hundred or two feet wide.  One long arm of it is blind, and the filth stays there forever and a day.  The grease and chemicals that are poured into it undergo

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The Jungle from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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