Columns and columns of material this paper published about the case, subtly linking it up with all the other dynamitings and assassinations in American history, and with German spy plots and bomb plots. There was a nation-wide organization of these assassins, so the paper said; they published hundreds of papers, with millions of readers, all financed by German gold. Also, there was a double-leaded editorial calling on the citizens to arise and save the republic, and put an end to the Red menace once for all. Peter read this, and like every other good American, he believed every word that he read in his newspaper, and boiled with hatred of the Reds.
He found Miriam Yankovitch away from home. Her mother was in a state of excitement, because Miriam had got word that the police were giving the prisoners the “third degree,” and she had gone to the offices of the Peoples’ Council to get the radicals together and try to take some immediate action. So Peter hurried over to these offices, where he found some twenty-five Reds and Pacifists assembled, all in the same state of excitement. Miriam was walking up and down the room, clasping and unclasping her hands, and her eyes looked as if she had been crying all day. Peter remembered his suspicion that Miriam and Mac were lovers. He questioned her. They had put Mac in the “hole,” and Henderson, the lumber-jack, was laid up in the hospital as a result of the ordeal he had undergone.
The Jewish girl went into details, and Peter found himself shuddering—he had such a vivid memory of the third degree himself! He did not try to stop his shuddering, but took to pacing up and down the room like Miriam, and told them how it felt to have your wrists twisted and your fingers bent backward, and how damp and horrible it was in the “hole.” So he helped to work them into a state of hysteria, hoping that they would commit some overt action, as McGivney wanted. Why not storm the jail and set free the prisoners?
Little Ada Ruth said that was nonsense; but might they not get banners, and parade up and down in front of the jail, protesting against this torturing of men who had not been convicted of any crime? The police would fall on them, of course, the crowds would mob them and probably tear them to pieces, but they must do something. Donald Gordon answered that this would only make them impotent to keep up the agitation. What they must try to get was a strike of labor. They must send telegrams to the radical press, and go out and raise money, and call a mass-meeting three days from date. Also, they must appeal to all the labor unions, and see if it was possible to work up sentiment for a general strike.