The poet never made a sound. Peter got one glimpse of his face in the blazing white light, and in spite of the fact that it was smashed and bloody, Peter read Tom Duggan’s resolve—he would die before they would get a moan out of him. Each time the lash fell you could see a quiver all over his form; but there was never a sound, and he stood, hugging the tree in a convulsive grip. They lashed him until the whip was spattering blood all over them, until blood was running to the ground. They had taken the precaution to bring along a doctor with a little black case, and he now stepped up and whispered to the master of ceremonies. They unfastened Duggan, and broke the grip of his arms about the tree, and dumped him down beside Glikas.
Next came the turn of Donald Gordon, the Socialist Quaker, which brought a bit of cheap drama. Donald took his religion seriously; he was always shouting his anti-war sentiments in the name of Jesus, which made him especially obnoxious. Now he saw a chance to get off one of his theatrical stunts; he raised his two manacled hands into the air as if he were praying, and shouted in piercing tones: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!”
A murmur started in the crowd; you could hear it mounting to a roar. “Blasphemy!” they cried. “Stop his dirty mouth!” It was the same mouth that had been heard on a hundred platforms, denouncing the war and those who made money out of the war. They were here now, the men who had been denounced, the younger members of the Chamber of Commerce and the Merchants’ and Manufacturers’ Association, the best people of the city, those who were saving the country, and charging no more than the service was worth. So they roared with fury at this sacreligious upstart. A man whose mask was a joke, because he was so burly and hearty that everybody in the crowd knew him, took up the bloody whip. It was Billy Nash, secretary of the “Improve America League,” and the crowd shouted, “Go to it, Billy! Good eye, old boy!” Donald Gordon might tell God that Billy Nash didn’t know what he was doing, but Billy thought that he knew, and he meant before he got thru to convince Donald that he knew. It didn’t take very long, because there was nothing much to the young Quaker but voice, and he fainted at the fourth or fifth stroke, and after the twentieth stroke the doctor interfered.
Then came the turn of Grady, secretary of the I. W. W., and here a terrible thing happened. Grady, watching this scene from one of the cars, had grown desperate, and when they loosed the handcuffs to get off his coat, he gave a sudden wrench and broke free, striking down one man after another. He had been brought up in the lumber country, and his strength was amazing, and before the crowd quite realized it, he was leaping between two of the cars. A dozen men sprang upon him from a dozen directions, and he went down in the midst of a wild melee. They pinned him with his face mashed into the dirt, and from the crowd there rose a roar as from wild beasts in the night-time,