The main house is most up to the distributing floor. The spouting house is framed. The annex is up as far as the bottom, waiting for cribbing.
P.S. I hope this letter makes you sweat to pay you for last Saturday night. I am about dead. Can’t get any sleep. And I lost thirty-two pounds up to Duluth. I expect to die down here. C. B.
P.S. I guess we’d better set fire to the whole damn thing and collect the insurance and skip. C.
The other was shorter.
MACBRIDE & company, Minneapolis:
Gentlemen: I came on the Calumet job today. Found it held up by failure of cribbing from Ledyard. Will have at least enough to work with by end of the week. We will get the house done according to specifications.
MACBRIDE & company. Charles Bannon.
The five o’clock whistle had sounded, and Peterson sat on the bench inside the office door, while Bannon washed his hands in the tin basin. The twilight was already settling; within the shanty, whose dirty, small-paned windows served only to indicate the lesser darkness without, a wall lamp, set in a dull reflector, threw shadows into the corners.
“You’re, coming up with me, ain’t you?” said Peterson. “I don’t believe you’ll get much to eat. Supper’s just the pickings from dinner.”
“Well, the dinner was all right. But I wish you had a bigger bed. I ain’t slept for two nights.”
“What was the matter?”
“I was on the sleeper last night; and I didn’t get in from the Duluth job till seven o’clock Saturday night, and Brown was after me before I’d got my supper. Those fellows at the office wouldn’t let a man sleep at all if they could help it. Here I’d been working like a nigger ’most five months on the Duluth house—and the last three weeks running night shifts and Sundays; didn’t stop to eat, half the time—and what does Brown do but— ‘Well,’ he says, ‘how’re you feeling, Charlie?’ ‘Middling,’ said I. ’Are you up to a little job tomorrow?’ ‘What’s that?’ I said. ’Seems to me if I’ve got to go down to the Calumet job Sunday night I might have an hour or so at home.’ ‘Well, Charlie,’ he says, ’I’m mighty sorry, but you see we’ve been putting in a big rope drive on a water-power plant over at Stillwater. We got the job on the high bid,’ he says, ’and we agreed to have it running on Monday morning. It’ll play the devil with us if we can’t make good.’ ‘What’s the matter?’ said I. ‘Well,’ he says, ’Murphy’s had the job and has balled himself up.’”
By this time the two men had their coats on, and were outside the building.
“Let’s see,” said Bannon, “we go this way, don’t we?”
There was still the light, flying flakes of snow, and the biting wind that came sweeping down from the northwest. The two men crossed the siding, and, picking their way between the freight cars on the Belt Line tracks, followed the path that wound across the stretch of dusty meadow.