So a little after nine that night the three men, Sloan, Bannon, and the manager, sat down to talk it over. And the fact that in the first place an attempt to boycott could be proved, and in the second that Page & Company were getting what they wanted anyway—while they talked a long procession of cribbing was creaking along by lantern light to Manistogee—finally convinced the manager that the time had come to yield as gracefully as possible.
“He means it this time,” said Sloan, when he and Bannon were left alone at the Blake City hotel to talk things over.
“Yes, I think he does. If he don’t, I’ll come up here again and have a short session with him.”
Illustration [Map of the Elevator site]
It was nearly five o’clock when Bannon appeared at the elevator on Thursday. He at once sought Peterson.
“Well, what luck did you have?” he asked. “Did you get my message?”
“Your message? Oh, sure. You said the cribbing was coming down by boat. I don’t see how, though. Ledyard ain’t on the lake.”
“Well, it’s coming just the same, two hundred thousand feet of it. What have you done about it?”
“Oh, we’ll be ready for it, soon’s it gets here.”
They were standing at the north side of the elevator near the paling fence which bounded the C. & S. C. right of way. Bannon looked across the tracks to the wharf; the pile of timber was still there.
“Did you have any trouble with the railroad when you took your stuff across for the spouting house?” he asked.
“Not much of any. The section boss came around and talked a little, but we only opened the fence in one place, and that seemed to suit him.”
Bannon was looking about, calculating with his eye the space that was available for the incoming lumber.
“How’d you manage that business, anyway?” asked Peterson.
“The cribbing. How’d you get it to the lake?”
“Oh, that was easy. I just carried it off.”
“Yes, you did!”
“Look here, Pete, that timber hasn’t got any business out there on the wharf. We’ve got to have that room for the cribbing.”
“That’s all right. The steamer won’t get in much before tomorrow night, will it?”
“We aren’t doing any banking on that. I’ve got a notion that the Pages aren’t sending out any six-mile-an-hour scow to do their quick work. That timber’s got to come over here tonight. May as well put it where the carpenters can get right at it. We’ll be on the cupola before long, anyhow.”
“But it’s five o’clock already. There’s the whistle.”
Bannon waited while the long blast sounded through the crisp air. Then he said:—
“Offer the men double pay, and tell them that any man can go home that wants to, right now, but if they say they’ll stay, they’ve got to see it through.”