“Have the body of Sister Martha taken to the Mount Hope Seminary,” he says to the trainman, and away he speeds for Wilkes-Barre.
The Coal and Iron Police are thrown into utter consternation. They dare not advance upon the town in the darkness for fear that there is another plot to destroy them.
The captain orders them to march across the mountain so as to enter the town from a direction opposite to that by which they are expected. To affect this detour will delay their arrival several hours, but their own safety is more to be considered than that of the townspeople.
And the miners? They have heard the explosion and believe that the Coal and Iron Police have been sent to their doom.
With the police out of their way there is nothing to check the miners in the accomplishment of their design to recover the body of Carl Metz.
It is the radical element that has conceived the idea of wrecking the train. They take full control of the miners and lead the way to join their comrades on the Esplanade. As they pass through the streets hundreds of men and women who have known nothing of the plot to wreck the train, fall in line and march on in the procession. The number of miners and townspeople soon reaches the thousands. By the time they arrive at the Esplanade there are ten thousand in line.
AT THE DEAD COAL KING’S MANSION.
Along the Esplanade the hurrying thousands begin to move in the direction of the Terrace; miners who have been in the shafts for eighteen hours; yard-hands from the railroads; iron founders, naked save for their breeches, have quit their furnaces; townspeople whom fear impels to see what the night will bring forth; this heterogeneous horde presses on to the scene of the murder.
It is a night that lends an appropriate setting to so strange and uncanny an event. The sky is leaden except for a streak on the western horizon where the fading, sinister light of the sun gives token of a stormy morrow. Through the walled banks, the river rushes turbulently, swollen by recent rains; its waters tinged by the dyes and other refuse from the city above.
On the further bank, the groups of breakers and foundries loom up as vague shadow creations. From fifty chimney mouths thick black smoke curls unceasingly; now soaring to a considerable height, now driven down to earth by fitful gusts of wind. In their sinuous course these smoke-clouds resemble the genii of fable, who spread over the earth carrying death and devastation.
In sharp contrast to this picture is the Avenue of Opulence on the side of the river which boasts of the Esplanade. Here is a line of fifty palatial residences; the homes of the owners of a hundred mines and factories and the task-masters of fifty thousand men, their wives and their progeny.
Clustered about the breakers and furnaces are the squalid huts and ramshackle cottages of the operatives; there too, a little removed from the river are the caves in which the Huns and Scandinavians dwell, even as their prehistoric ancestors dwelt before the light of civilization dawned.