Calumet "K" eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 266 pages of information about Calumet "K".

“I can’t talk on an empty stomach,” said the boss, cheerfully, as he was washing up.  “Just wait till I get some supper.”

“I’ll wait,” said Grady, grimly.

When Bannon came back to talk, he took off his coat and sat down astride a chair.  “Well, Mr. Grady, when you came here before you said it was to warn me, but the next time you came you were going to begin to act.  I’m all ready.”

“All right,” said Grady, with a vicious grin.  “Be as smart as you like.  I’ll be paid well for every word of it and for every minute you’ve kept me waiting yesterday and tonight.  That was the most expensive supper you ever ate.  I thought you had sense enough to come, Mr. Bannon.  That’s why I wasted a stamp on you.  You made the biggest mistake of your life—­”

During the speech Bannon had sat like a man hesitating between two courses of action.  At this point he interrupted:—­

“Let’s get to business, Mr. Grady.”

“I’ll get to it fast enough.  And when I do you’ll see if you can safely insult the representative of the mighty power of the honest workingman of this vast land.”


“I hear you folks are in a hurry, Mr. Bannon?”


“And that you’ll spend anything it costs to get through on time.  How’d it suit you to have all your laborers strike about now?  Don’t that idea make you sick?”

“Pretty near.”

“Well, they will strike inside two days.”

“What for?  Suppose we settle with them direct.”

“Just try that,” said Grady, with withering sarcasm.  “Just try that and see how it works.”

“I don’t want to.  I only wanted to hear you confess that you are a rascal.”

“You’ll pay dear for giving me that name.  But we come to that later.  Do you think it would be worth something to the men who hire you for a dirty slave-driver to be protected against a strike?  Wouldn’t they be willing to pay a round sum to get this work done on time?  Take a minute to think about it.  Be careful how you tell me they wouldn’t.  You’re not liked here, Mr. Bannon, by anybody—­”

“You’re threatening to have me recalled, according to your suggestions to Mr. Peterson the other night.  Well, that’s all right if you can do it.  But I think that sooner than recall me or have a strike they would be willing to pay for protection.”

“You do.  I didn’t look for that much sense in you.  If you’d shown it sooner it might have saved your employers a large wad of bills.  If you’d taken the trouble to be decent when I went to you in a friendly way a very little would have been enough.  But now I’ve got to be paid.  What do you say to five thousand as a fair sum?”

“They’d be willing to pay fully that to save delay,” said Bannon, cheerfully.

“They would!” To save his life Grady could not help looking crestfallen.  It seemed then that he might have got fifty.  “All right,” he went on, “five thousand it is; and I want it in hundred-dollar bills.”

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Calumet "K" from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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