After persistent agitation, the radicals had succeeded in persuading a judge to let out McCormick and the rest of the conspirators on fifty thousand dollars bail apiece. That was most exasperating to Peter, because it was obvious that when you put a Red into jail, you made him a martyr to the rest of the Reds you made him conspicuous to the whole community, and then if you let him out again, his speaking and agitating were ten times as effective as before. Either you ought to keep an agitator in jail for good, or else you ought not put him in at all. But the judges didn’t see that—their heads were full of a lot of legal bunk, and they let David Andrews and the other Red lawyers hood-wink them. Herbert Ashton and his Socialist crowd also got out on bail, and the “Clarion” was still published and openly sold on the news-stands. While it didn’t dare oppose the war any more, it printed every impolite thing it could possibly collect about the “gigantic trading corporation” known as the British Government, and also about the “French bankers” and the “Italian imperialists.” It clamored for democracy for Ireland and Egypt and India, and shamelessly defended the Bolsheviki, those pro-German conspirators and nationalizers of women.
So Peter proceeded to collect more evidence against the “Clarion” staff, and against the I. W. Ws. Presently he read the good news that the government had arrested a couple of hundred of the I. W. W. leaders all over the country, and also the national leaders of the Socialists, and was going to try them all for conspiracy. Then came the trial of McCormick and Henderson and Gus and the rest; and Peter picked up his “Times” one morning, and read on the front page some news that caused him to gasp. Joe Angell, one of the leaders in the dynamite conspiracy, had turned state’s evidence! He had revealed to the District Attorney, not only the part which he himself had played in the plan to dynamite Nelse Ackerman’s home, but he had told everything that the others had done—just how the dynamite had been got and prepared, and the names of all the leading citizens of the community who were to share Nelse Ackerman’s fate! Peter read, on and on, breathless with wonder, and when he got thru with the story he rolled back on his bed and laughed out loud. By heck, that was the limit! Peter had framed a frame-up on Guffey’s man, and of course Guffey couldn’t send this man to prison; so he had had him turn state’s evidence, and was letting him go free, as his reward for telling on the others!
The court calendars were now crowded with “espionage” cases; pacifist clergymen who had tried to preach sermons, and labor leaders who bad tried to call strikes; members of the Anti-conscription League and their pupils, the draft-dodgers and slackers; Anarchists and Communists and Quakers, I. W. Ws., and Socialists and “Russellites.” There were several trials going on all the time, and in almost every case Peter had a finger, Peter was called on to get