They had some raids on the Socialists while Peter was in Flagland, and the detectives told him he might come along for the fun of it. So Peter armed himself with a black-jack and a revolver, and helped to rush the Socialist headquarters. The war was over, but Peter felt just as military as if it were still going on; when he got the little Jewish organizer of the local pent up in a corner behind his desk and proceeded to crack him over the head, Peter understood exactly how our boys had felt in the Argonne. When he discovered the thrill of dancing on typewriter keys with his boots, he even understood how the Huns had felt.
The detectives were joined by a bunch of college boys, who took to that kind of thing with glee. Having got their blood up, they decided they might as well clean out the Red movement entirely, so they rushed a place called the “International Book-Shop,” kept by a Hawaiian. The proprietor dodged into the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant next door, and put on an apron; but no one had ever seen a Chinaman with a black mustache, so they fell on him and broke several of the Chinaman’s sauce-pans over his head. They took the contents of the “International Book-Shop” into the back yard and started a bon-fire with it, and detectives and college boys on a lark joined hands and danced an imitation of the Hawaiian hula-hula around the blaze.
So Peter lived a merry life for several months. He had one or two journeys for nothing, because an obstinate judge refused to admit that anything that any I. W. W. had ever said or done anywhere within the last ten years was proper testimony to be introduced against a particular I. W. W. on trial. But most judges were willing to co-operate with the big business men in ridding the country of the Red menace, and Peter’s total of scalps amounted to over a hundred before his time was up, and Guffey sent him his last cheek and turned him loose.
That was in the city of Richport, and Peter having in an inside pocket something over a thousand dollars in savings, felt that he had earned a good time. He went for a stroll on the Gay White Way of the city, and in front of a moving picture palace a golden-haired girl smiled at him. This was still in the days of two and three-fourths per cent beer, and Peter invited her into a saloon to have a glass, and when he opened his eyes again it was dark, and he had a splitting headache, and he groped around and discovered that he was lying in a dark corner of an alleyway. Terror gripped his heart, and he clapped his hand to the inside pocket where his wallet had been, and there was nothing but horrible emptiness. So Peter was ruined once again, and as usual it was a woman that had done it!