Peter had been urging McGivney to put an end to this sort of agitation, and now the rat-faced man told him that the time for action had come. There was to be a big mass meeting to celebrate the Bolshevik revolution, and McGivney warned Peter to keep out of sight at that meeting, because there might be some clubbing. Peter left off his red badge, and the button with the clasped hands and went up into the gallery and lost himself in the crowd. He saw a great many “bulls” whom he knew scattered thru the audience, and also he saw the Chief of Police and the head of the city’s detective bureau. When Herbert Ashton was half way thru his tirade, the Chief strode up to the platform and ordered him under arrest, and a score of policemen put themselves between the prisoner and the howling audience.
Altogether they arrested seven people; and next morning, when they saw how much enthusiasm their action had awakened in the newspapers, they decided to go farther yet. A dozen of Guffey’s men, with another dozen from the District Attorney’s office, raided the office of Ashton’s paper, the “Clarion,” kicked the editorial staff downstairs or threw them out of the windows, and proceeded to smash the typewriters and the printing presses, and to carry off the subscription lists and burn a ton or two of “literature” in the back yard. Also they raided the headquarters of the “Bolshevik local,” and placed the seven members of the executive committee under arrest, and the judge fixed the bail of each of them at twenty-five thousand dollars, and every day for a week or two the American City “Times” would send a man around to Guffey’s office, and Guffey would furnish him with a mass of material which Peter had prepared, showing that the Socialist program was one of terrorism and murder.
Almost every day now Peter rendered some such service to his country. He discovered where the I. W. W. had hidden a printing press with which they were getting out circulars and leaflets, and this place was raided, and the press confiscated, and half a dozen more agitators thrown into jail. These men declared a hunger strike, and tried to starve themselves to death as a protest against the beatings they got; and then some hysterical women met in the home of Ada Ruth, and drew up a circular of protest, and Peter kept track of the mailing of this circular, and all the copies were confiscated in the post-office, and so one more conspiracy was foiled. They now had several men at work in the post-office, secretly opening the mail of the agitators; and every now and then they would issue an order forbidding mail to be delivered to persons whose ideas were not sound.
Also the post-office department cancelled the second class mailing privileges of the “Clarion,” and later it barred the paper from the mails entirely. A couple of “comrades” with automobiles then took up the work of delivering the paper in the nearby towns; so Peter was sent to get acquainted with these fellows, and in the night time some of Guffey’s men entered the garage, and fixed one of the cars so that its steering gear went wrong and very nearly broke the driver’s neck. So yet another conspiracy was foiled!