Most of the fighting inside the house and outside came quickly to an end, because everybody who fought was laid out or overpowered. Then several of the agents of Guffey, who had been studying these Reds for a year or two and knew them all, went about picking out the ones who were especially wanted, and searching them for arms, and then handcuffing them. One of these men approached Peter, who instantly fell unconscious, and closed his eyes; then Hammett caught him under the armpits and Cummings by the feet, and McGivney walked alongside as a bodyguard, remarking now and then, “We want this fellow, we’ll take care of him.”
They carried Peter outside, and in the darkness he opened his eyes just enough to see that the street was lined with automobiles, and that the Reds were being loaded aboard. Peter’s friends carried him to one car and drove him away, and then Peter returned to consciousness, and the four of them sat up and laughed to split their sides, and slapped one another on the back, and mentioned the satisfactory things they had seen. Had Hammett noticed that slice Grady had got over the eyes, and the way the blood had run all over him? Well, he wanted to be a Red—they had helped him be one—inside and out! Had McGivney noticed how “Buck” Ellis, one of their men, had put the nose of the hobo poet out of joint? And young Ogden, son of the president of the Chamber of Commerce, had certainly managed to show how he felt about these cattle, the female ones as well as the males; when that Yankovich slut had slapped his face, he had caught her by the breasts and nearly twisted them off, and she had screamed and fainted!
Yes, they had cleaned them out. But that wasn’t all of it, they were going to finish the job tonight, by God! They were going to give these pacifists a taste of the war, they were going to put an end to the Red Terror in American City! Peter might go along if he liked and see the good work; they were going into the country, and it would be dark, and if he kept a mask on he would be quite safe. And Peter said yes; his blood was up, he was full of the spirit of the hunt, he wanted to be in at the death, regardless of everything.
The motor purred softly, and the car sped as if upon wings thru the suburbs of American City, and to the country beyond. There were cars in front, and other cars behind, a long stream of white lights flying out into the country. They came to a grove of big pine trees, which rose two or three feet thick, like church arches, and covered the ground beneath them with a soft, brown carpet. It was a well-known picnic place, and here all the cars were gathering by appointment. Evidently it had all been pre-arranged, with that efficiency which is the pride of 100% Americans. A man with a black mask over his face stood in the center of the grove, and shouted his directions thru a megaphone, and each car as it swept in ranged itself