“Hello, Max,” he said. “We’ll have the roof on here in another ten days.”
Max followed Peterson’s glance upward.
“I guess that’s right. It begins to look as if things was coming ’round all right. I just come up from the office. Mr. Bannon’s there. He’ll be up before long, he says. I was a-wondering if maybe I hadn’t ought to go back and tell him about Grady. He’s around, you know.”
“Yes. Him and another fellow was standing down by one of the cribbin’ piles. I was around there on the way up.”
“What was they doing?”
“Nothing. Just looking on.”
Peterson turned to shout at some laborers, then he pushed back his hat and scratched his head.
“I don’t know but what you’d ought to ‘a’ told Charlie right off. That man Grady don’t mean us no good.”
“I know it, but I wasn’t just sure.”
“Well, I’ll tell you—”
Before Peterson could finish, Max broke in:—
“That fellow over there, walking along slow. He’s the one that was with Grady.”
“I’d like to know what he thinks he’s doing here.” Peterson started forward, adding, “I guess I know what to say to him.”
“Hold on, Pete,” said Max, catching his arm. “Maybe we’d better speak to Mr. Bannon. I’ll go down and tell him, and you keep an eye on this fellow.”
Peterson reluctantly assented, and Max walked slowly away, now and then pausing to look around at the men. But when he had nearly reached the stairway, where he could slip behind the scaffolding about the only scale hopper that had reached a man’s height above the floor, he moved more rapidly. He met Bannon on the stairway, and told him what he had seen. Bannon leaned against the wall of the stairway bin, and looked thoughtful.
“So he’s come, has he?” was his only comment. “You might speak to Pete, Max, and bring him here. I’ll wait.”
Max and Peterson found him looking over the work of the carpenters.
“I may not be around much tonight,” he said, with a wink, “but I’d like to see both of you tomorrow afternoon some time. Can you get around about four o’clock, Pete?”
“Sure,” the night boss replied.
“We’ve got some thinking to do about the work, if we’re going to put it through. I’ll look for you at four o’clock then, in the office.” He started down the stairs. “I’m going home now.”
“Why,” said Peterson, “you only just come.”
Bannon paused and looked back over his shoulder. The light came from directly overhead, and the upper part of his face was in the shadow of his hat brim, but Max, looking closely at him, thought that he winked again.
“I wanted to tell you,” the foreman went on; “Grady’s come around, you know—and another fellow—”
“Yes, Max told me. I guess they won’t hurt you. Good night.”