“Oh, I guess not,” said Pete, easily. “You’re still thinking of Reilly, aren’t you.”
“And for another thing, Page & Company are likely to spring something on us at the last moment.”
“What sort of thing?”
“If I knew I’d go ahead and build it now, but I don’t.”
“How are you going to work three gangs? Who’ll look after’em?”
“One of us has got to stay up nights, I guess,” said Bannon. “We’ll have to get a couple of boys to help Max keep time. It may take us a day or two to get the good men divided up and the thing to running properly, but we ought to be going full blast by the first of the week.”
He arose and buttoned his coat. “You two know the men better than I do. I wish you’d go through the pay roll and pick out the best men and find out, if you can, who’ll work nights at regular night wages.”
Peterson came out of the office with him.
“I suppose you’ll put me in the night gang,” he said.
“I haven’t decided yet what I’ll do.”
“When I came by the main hoist,” Pete went on, “they was picking up four and five sticks at once. I stopped ’em, and they said it was your orders. You’ll come to smash that way, sure as a gun.”
“Not if they don’t take more than I told ’em to and if they’re careful. They have to do it to keep up with the carpenters.”
“Well, it’s running a big risk, that’s all. I don’t like it.”
“My God, don’t I know it’s a risk! Do you suppose I like it? We’ve got something to do, and we’ve got to do it somehow.”
Pete laughed uneasily. “I—I told ’em not to pick up more than two sticks at a time till they heard from me.”
“I think,” said Bannon, with a look that was new to Pete, “I think you’d better go as fast as you can and tell them to go on as they were when you found them.”
Late on Tuesday afternoon the hoist broke. It was not easy to get from the men a clear account of the accident. The boss of the gang denied that he had carried more of a load than Bannon had authorized, but some of the talk among the men indicated the contrary. Only one man was injured and he not fatally, a piece of almost miraculous good luck. Some scaffolding was torn down and a couple of timbers badly sprung, but the total damage was really slight.
Bannon in person superintended rigging the new hoist. It was ready for work within two hours after the accident. “She’s guyed a little better than the other was, I think,” said Bannon to the foreman. “You won’t have any more trouble. Go ahead.”
“How about the load?”
“Carry the same load as before. You weren’t any more than keeping up.”