Peter had received a brief scrawl from Nell, telling him that it was all right, she had gone to her new job, and would soon have results. So Peter went cheerfully about his own duties of trying to hold down the protest campaign of the radicals. It was really quite terrifying, the success they were having, in spite of all the best efforts of the authorities. Bundles of circulars appeared at their gatherings as if by magic, and were carried away and distributed before the authorities could make any move. Every night at the Labor Temple, where the workers gathered, there were agitators howling their heads off about the McCormick case. To make matters worse, there was an obscure one cent evening paper in American City which catered to working-class readers, and persisted in publishing evidence tending to prove that the case was a “frame-up.” The Reds had found out that their mail was being interfered with, and were raising a terrific howl about that—pretending, of course, that it was “free speech” they cared about!
The mass meeting was due for that evening, and Peter read an indignant editorial in the American City “Times,” calling upon the authorities to suppress it. “Down with the Red Flag!” the editorial was headed; and Peter couldn’t see how any red-blooded, 100% American could read it, and not be moved to do something.
Peter said that to McGivney, who answered: “We’re going to do something; you wait!” And sure enough, that afternoon the papers carried the news that the mayor of American City had notified the owners of the Auditorium that they would be held strictly responsible under the law for all incendiary and seditious utterances at this meeting; thereupon, the owners of the Auditorium had cancelled the contract. Furthermore, the mayor declared that no crowds should be gathered on the street, and that the police would be there to see to it, and to protect law and order. Peter hurried to the rooms of the Peoples’ Council, and found the radicals scurrying about, trying to find some other hall; every now and then Peter would go to the telephone, and let McGivney know what hall they were trying to get, and McGivney would communicate with Guffey, and Guffey would communicate with the secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, and the owner of this hall would be called up and warned by the president of the bank which held a mortgage on the hall, or by the chairman of the board of directors of the Philharmonic Orchestra which gave concerts there.
So there was no Red mass meeting that night—and none for many a night thereafter in American City! Guffey’s office had got its German spy story ready, and next morning, here was the entire front page of the American City “Times” given up to the amazing revelation that Karl von Stroeme, agent of the German government, and reputed to be a nephew of the German Vice-chancellor, had been arrested in American City, posing as a Swedish sewing-machine agent, but in reality having been occupied in financing