The respectable newspapers of American City of course did not waste their space upon fantastic accusations brought by radicals, charging the police authorities with using torture upon witnesses. But there was a Socialist paper published every week in American City, and this paper had a long account of Peter’s experiences on the front page, together with his picture. Also there were three labor papers which carried the story, and the Goober Defense Committee prepared a circular about it and mailed out thousands of copies all over the country. This circular was written by Donald Gordon, the Quaker boy. He brought Peter a proof of it, to make sure that he had got all the details right, and Peter read it, and really could not help being thrilled to discover what a hero he was. Peter had not said anything about his early career, and whoever among the Goober Defense Committee had learned those details chose to be diplomatically silent. Peter smiled to himself as he thought about that. They were foxy, these people! They were playing their hand for all it was worth—and Peter admired them for that. In Donald Gordon’s narrative Peter appeared as a poor workingman; and Peter grinned. He was used to the word “working,” but when he talked about “working people,” he meant something different from what these Socialists meant.
The story went out, and of course all sorts of people wanted to meet Peter, and came to the home of the Todd girls. So Peter settled down to his job of finding out all he could about these visitors, their names and occupations, their relations to the radical movement. Guffey had advised him not to make notes, for fear of detection, but Peter could not carry all this in his head, so he would retire to his room and make minute notes on slips of paper, and carefully sew these up in the lining of his coat, with a thrill of mystery.
Except for this note-taking, however, Peter’s sleuthing was easy work, for these people all seemed eager to talk about what they were doing; sometimes it frightened Peter—they were so open and defiant! Not merely did they express their ideas to one another and to him, they were expressing them on public platforms, and in their publications, in pamphlets and in leaflets—what they called “literature.” Peter had had no idea their “movement” was so widespread or so powerful. He had expected to unearth a secret conspiracy, and perhaps a dynamite-bomb or two; instead of which, apparently, he was unearthing a volcano!
However, Peter did the best he could. He got the names and details about some forty or fifty people of all classes; obscure workingmen and women, Jewish tailors, Russian and Italian cigar-workers, American-born machinists and printers; also some “parlor Reds”—large, immaculate and shining ladies who came rolling up to the little bungalow in large, immaculate and shining automobiles, and left their uniformed chauffeurs outside for hours at a time while they listened to Peter’s