“W—w—what are you goin’ to do?” stammered Jimmie.
“We’re going to teach a little fundamental morality to a young man whose education has been neglected,” replied the other. That somehow did not tell Jimmie very much, but he forebore to speak again, for never in all his life had he seen a man who conveyed to him the impression of such resistless force as this man. He was truly a superhuman creature, terrifying, panoplied in lightnings of wrath.
The door of the house opened again, and Lacey Granitch came in, with a man on each side holding him by the arms and a pair of handcuffs on his wrists. Of all the dreadful spectacles that Jimmie had seen that dreadful night, the worst was the face of the young master of the Empire Machine Shops. It was green—absolutely and literally green. His knees trembled so that he seemed about to sink to the floor, and his dark eyes were those of an animal in a trap.
There came another man behind him carrying two black cases in his hands. He opened one, and took out some instrument with wires attached, and hung part of it to a hook on the wall; he pressed a switch, and a soft white radiance flooded the room. The man who was in command, the one whom the lady had called “Paul”, now turned to Jimmie and his wife. “You may take your lamp,” he said. “Go into the other room and stay there till we call you, please.”
“W—w—what are you goin’ to do?” Jimmie found courage to stammer again. But the other merely bade him to go into the other room and stay, and it would be all right, and he would be well paid for his time and trouble. There was no use trying to interfere; no use trying to get away, for the house would be watched.
Jimmie Junior had been wakened by the uproar, and was whimpering; so Lizzie hurried to quiet him, and Jimmie set the little smoky lamp on the dresser, and went and sat on the bed beside her, holding her hand in his. Both their hands were shaking in a way that was amazing.
Every sound from the other room was plainly audible. Lacey was pleading, and “Paul” commanded him to hold his tongue. There was a scuffle, and then terrified moans, which died away. There began to steal into the Higgins’s bedroom a most ghastly odour; they could not imagine what it was. And then they began to hear wild clamour from Lacey Granitch, as if he were suffering in hell. It was awful beyond words; the perspiration came out in beads on the faces of the listeners, and Jimmie was just about making up his mind that it was his duty to rush in and protest, or perhaps to climb out of the window and make an effort to steal away and summon help, when the door opened and the man called “Paul” came in, closing the door behind him.
“It’s all right,” said he. “People always make a fuss when they’re given an anaesthetic, so don’t let it frighten you.” And he stood there waiting, rigid, grim, while the sounds went on. Finally they died away and silence fell—a long, long silence. He opened the door and went back into the other room, and the two Jimmies were left holding each other’s shaking hands.