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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 198 pages of information about Calumet "K".

“Then you haven’t anything but your say so.  But I know him, and I don’t know you.  Do you think I’d take your word against his?”

“That letter doesn’t prove blackmail,” said Bannon, “but it smells of it.  And there’s the same smell about everything Grady has done.  When he came to my office a day or two after that hoist accident, I tried to find out what he wanted, and he gave me nothing but oratory.  I tried to pin him down to something definite, but my stenographer was there and Grady didn’t have a suggestion to make.  Then by straining his neck and asking questions, he found out we were in a hurry, that the elevator was no good unless it was done by January first, and that we had all the money we needed.

“Two days after he sent me that letter.  Look at it again.  Why does he want to take both of us to Chicago on Sunday morning, when he can see me any time at my office on the job?” Bannon spread the letter open before Carver’s face.  “Why doesn’t he say right here what it is he wants, if it’s anything he dares to put in black and white?  I didn’t pay any attention to that letter; it didn’t deserve any.  And then will you tell me why he came to my room at night to see me instead of to my office in the daytime?  I can prove that he did.  Does all that look as if I tried to bribe him?  Forget that we’re talking about Grady, and tell me what you think it looks like.”

Carver was silent for a moment.  “That wouldn’t do any good,” he said at last.  “If you had proof that I could act on, I might be able to help you.  I haven’t any jurisdiction in the internal affairs of that lodge; but if you could offer proof that he is what you say he is, I could tell them that if they continued to support him, the federation withdraws its support.  But I don’t see that I can help you as it is.  I don’t see any reason why I should.”

“I’ll tell you why you should.  Because if there’s any chance that what I’ve said is true, it will be a lot better for your credit to have the thing settled quietly.  And it won’t be settled quietly if we have to fight.  It isn’t very much you have to do; just satisfy yourself as to how things are going down there.  See whether we’re square, or Grady is.  Then when the scrap comes on you’ll know how to act.  That’s all.  Do your investigating in advance.”

“That’s just what I haven’t any right to do.  I can’t mix up in the business till it comes before me in the regular way.”

“Well,” said Bannon, with a smile, “if you can’t do it yourself, maybe some man you have confidence in would do it for you.”

Carver drummed thoughtfully on his desk for a few minutes.  Then he carefully folded Grady’s letter and put it in his pocket.  “I’m glad to have met you, Mr. Bannon,” he said, holding out his hand.  “Good morning.”

Next morning while Bannon was opening his mail, a man came to the timekeeper’s window and asked for a job as a laborer.  “Guess we’ve got men enough,” said Max.  “Haven’t we, Mr. Bannon?”

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