Yes, that was true, but it hadn’t done Peter much good. Miriam bad been interested in Mac—in Mac, that most dangerous devil, who had given Peter so many anxious hours! She had brushed Peter to one side, she had hardly been willing to listen to what he said; and now she was trying to use that love she had spurned!
She had got hold of his hand, and he could not get it away from her without violence. “If you ever felt a spark of love for a woman,” she cried, “surely you cannot deny such a favor—such a little favor! Please, Peter, for the sake of old times!”
Suddenly Peter started, and Miriam too. There came a voice from the doorway. “So this is one of your lady friends, is it?” And there stood Gladys, staring, rigid with anger, her little hands clenched. “So this is one of your Red sweethearts, one of your nationalized women?” And she stamped her foot. “Get up, you hussy! Get up, you slut!” And as Miriam continued to kneel, motionless with surprise, Gladys rushed at her, and clutched two handfuls of her heavy black hair, and pulled so that Miriam fell prone on the floor. “I’ll teach you, you free lover!” she screamed. “I’ll teach you to make love to my husband!” And she dragged Miriam about by that mop of black hair, kicking her and clawing her, until finally several of the bulls had to interfere to save the girl’s life.
As a matter of fact Gladys had been told about Peter’s shameful past before she married him; Guffey had told her, and she had told Peter that Guffey had told her, she had reminded Peter of it many, many times. But the actual sight of one of these “nationalized women” had driven her into a frenzy, and it was a week before peace was restored in the Gudge family. Meantime poor Peter was buffeted by storms of emotion, both at home and in his office. They were getting ready the first Red train, and it seemed as if every foreign Red that Peter had ever known was besieging him, trying to get at him and harrow his soul and his conscience. Sadie Todd’s cousin, who had been born in England, was shipped out on this first train, and also a Finnish lumberman whom Peter had known in the I. W. W., and a Bohemian cigar worker at whose home he had several times eaten, and finally Michael Dubin, the Jewish boy with whom he had spent fifteen days in jail, and who had been one of the victims of the black-snake whippings.
Michael made no end of wailing, because he had a wife and three babies, and he set up the claim that when the “bulls” had raided his home they had stolen all his savings, two or three hundred dollars. Peter, of course, insisted that he could do nothing; Dubin was a Red and an alien, and he must go. When they were loading them on the train, there was Dubin’s wife and half a hundred other women, shrieking and wringing their hands, and trying to break thru the guards to get near their loved ones. The police had to punch them in the stomachs with their clubs to hold them back, and in spite of all these blows, the hysterical Mrs. Dubin succeeded in breaking thru the guards, and she threw herself under the wheels of the train, and they were barely able to drag her away in time to save her life. Scenes like this would, of course, have a bad effect upon the public, and so Guffey called up the editors of all the newspapers, and obtained a gentleman’s agreement that none of them would print any details.