Peter was there for that purpose, and his devoted wife was by his side, egging him on with her feminine implacability. Gladys had always been accustomed to refer to these people as “cattle,” and now, when she smelled them herded together in these office rooms for several weeks, she knew that she was right, and that no fate could be too stern for them. Presently with Peter’s help she discovered another bomb-plot, this time against the Attorney-General of the country, who was directing these wholesale raids. They grabbed four Italian Anarchists in American City, and kept them apart in special rooms, and for a couple of months Peter labored with them to get what he wanted out of them. Just as Peter thought be had succeeded, his efforts were balked by one of them jumping out of the window. The room being on the fourteenth story, this Italian Anarchist was no longer available as a witness against himself. The incident set the parlor Bolsheviks all over the country to raging, and caused David Andrews to get some kind of court injunction, and make a lot of inconvenience to Guffey’s office.
However, the work went on; the Reds were gradually sorted out, and some who proved not to be Reds were let go again, and others were loaded onto special Red trains and taken to the nearest ports. Some of them went in grim silence, others went with furious cursings, and yet others with wailings and shriekings; for many of them had families, and they had the nerve to demand that the government should undertake to ship their families also, or else to take care of their families for them! The government, naturally, admitted no such responsibility. The Reds had no end of money for printing seditious literature, so let them use it to take care of their own!
In these various raids and examinations Peter of course met a great many of the Reds whom he had once known as friends and intimates. Peter had been wont to imagine himself meeting them, and to tremble at the bare idea; but now he found that he rather enjoyed it. He was entirely delivered from that fear of them, which had formerly spoiled his appetite and disturbed his sleep. He had learned that the Reds were poor creatures who did not fight back; they had no weapons, and many of them did not even have muscles; there was really nothing to them but talk. And Peter knew that he had the power of organized society behind him, the police and the courts and the jails, if necessary the army with its machine guns and airplanes and poison gas. Not merely was it safe to pound these people, to tread on their toes and spit in their eyes; it was safe also to frame up anything on them, because the newspapers would always back you up, and the public would of course believe whatever it read in its newspapers.