Harvey Trueman goes at once to the private office of the President of the Paradise Coal Company.
He brings the strike matter up for consideration at once; and also the case of a widow who is bringing suit against the company for the recovery of damages for the loss of her husband who had been killed in the mines.
“You are to press the defence of this case for damages to a successful termination for the company,” are Mr. Purdy’s last words, supplemented by the remark, “I shall attend to the strike in person.”
Harvey Trueman, attorney.
Harvey Trueman steps from the County Clerk’s office into the corridor, on the second floor of the Court House at Wilkes-Barre, with the absolute knowledge that the case in hand is won.
As he pushes his way down the stairway to the first floor where the courtroom is located, he elbows through a throng of rough dressed miners—Polaks, Magyars, and here and there a man of half-Irish parentage, whose Irish name is all that is left from the Molly Maguire days to indicate the one-time ascendency of that race in the lands of the coal region.
Certain victory within his grasp—a minor victory in the long line of legal fights he has conducted for the Paradise Coal Company—he does not smile. It is a cruel thing he is about to do. Cruel? He asks himself if the sanctity of the law does not make the contemplated move right. Harvey Trueman has a code of morals, an austere code, that has made him enemies even among the people whose champion he has grown to be in three years’ practice of the law in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.
He is a tall, slender, square-jawed man of thirty-six. His forehead is high and broad and his hair is worn longer than that of other young men—parted on the side and brushed back. He has thin lips and a mouth of unusual width. His mouth-line is as straight as a bowstring, and when he speaks, which is often, or smiles, which is not so frequent, he shows an even line of large white teeth.
There is something very earnest in the expression of Harvey Trueman’s face—a soberness that is seldom found in men under fifty. A straight, strong nose, large nostrils and clean shaven upper lip that is abnormally long; cheek bones that stand out prominently; gray eyes set rather deep in his head for so young a man; a square chin protruding slightly; and wearing a frock coat that falls to his knees in limp folds, Trueman is a commanding figure, full of character.
He is an inch over six feet in height. Among the miners who look straight into the eye to read character, Harvey Trueman has been pronounced an unflinching tool of the coal barons—one whose unbending will means the ultimate accomplishment of any undertaking.
Not one of the miners employed by the Paradise Coal Company has ever known the young lawyer to take an unfair advantage. But he has upheld the law for the proprietors of the mines when the men have made a fight against the “company stores,” where they are forced to spend the wages made by the sweat of their brows down in the mines or on the breakers.