So Peter, irritated, set out to convince her. He told her about Guffey and the American City Land & Investment Company; he told her about McGivney, and how he met McGivney regularly at Room 427 of the American House. He told her about his thirty dollars a week, and how it was soon to be increased to forty, and he would spend it all on her. And perhaps she might pretend to be converted by him, and become a Red also, and if she could satisfy McGivney that she was straight, he would pay her too, and it would be a lot better than working ten and a half hours a day in Isaac & Goldstein’s paper box factory.
At last Peter succeeded in convincing the girl. She was subdued and frightened; she hadn’t been prepared for anything like that, she said, and would have to have a little time to think it over. Peter then became worried in turn. He hoped she wouldn’t mind, he said, and set to work to explain to her how important his work was, how it had the sanction of all the very best people in the city—not merely the great bankers and business men, but mayors and public officials and newspaper editors and college presidents, and great Park Avenue clergymen like the Rev. de Willoughby Stotterbridge of the Church of the Divine Compassion. And Rosie said that was all right, of course, but she was a little scared and would have to think it over. She brought the evening to an abrupt end, and Peter went home much disconcerted.
Perhaps an hour later there came a sharp tap on the door of his lodging-house room, and he went to the door, and found himself confronted by David Andrews, the lawyer, Donald Gordon, and John Durand, the labor giant, president of the Seamen’s Union. They never even said, “Howdy do,” but stalked into the room, and Durand shut the door behind him, and stood with his back to it, folded his arms and glared at Peter like the stone image of an Aztec chieftain. So before they said a word Peter knew what had happened. He knew that the jig was up for good this time; his career as savior of the nation was at an end. And again it was all on account of a woman—all because he hadn’t taken Guffey’s advice about winking!
But all other thoughts were driven from Peter’s mind by one emotion, which was terror. His teeth began giving their imitation of an angry woodchuck, and his knees refused to hold him; he sat down on the edge of the bed, staring from one to another of these three stone Aztec faces. “Well, Gudge,” said Andrews, at last, “so you’re the spy we’ve been looking for all this time!”
Peter remembered Nell’s injunction, “Stick it out, Peter! Stick it out!”
“Wh-wh-what do you mean, Mr. Andrews?”
“Forget it, Gudge,” said Andrews. “We’ve just been talking with Rosie, and Rosie was our spy.”
“She’s been lying to you!” Peter cried.
But Andrews said: “Oh rubbish! We’re not that easy! Miriam Yankovich was listening behind the door, and heard your talk.”