“Mac: Come to Room 17 of the studios at eight in the morning. Very important. Our plan is all ready, my part is done. Joe.”
Nell figured that McCormick would take this to be a message from Angell. He wouldn’t know what it was about, but he’d be all the more certain to come and find out. The essential thing was that the raid by the detectives must occur the very minute the conspirators got together, for as soon as they compared notes they would become suspicious, and might scatter at once. McGivney must have his men ready; he must be notified and have plenty of time to get them ready.
But there was a serious objection to this—if McGivney had time, he would demand a talk with Peter, and Nell was sure that Peter couldn’t stand a cross-questioning at McGivney’s hands. Peter, needless to say, agreed with her; his heart threatened to collapse at the thought of such an ordeal. What Peter really wanted to do was to quit the whole thing right there and then; but he dared not say so, he dared not face the withering scorn of his confederate. Peter clenched his hands and set his teeth, and when he passed a street light he turned his face away, so that Nell might not read the humiliating terror written there. But Nell read it all the same; Nell believed that she was dealing with a quivering, pasty-faced coward, and proceeded on that basis; she worked out the plans, she gave Peter his orders, and she stuck by him to see that he carried them out.
Peter had McGivney’s home telephone number, which he was only supposed to use in the most desperate emergency. He was to use it now, and tell McGivney that he had just caught some members of the I. W. W., with Pat McCormick as their leader, preparing to blow up some people with dynamite bombs. They had some bombs in a suit-case in their headquarters, and were just starting out with other bombs in their pockets. Peter must follow them, otherwise he would lose them, and some crime might be committed before he could interfere. McGivney must have his agents ready with automobiles to swoop down upon any place that Peter indicated. Peter would follow up the conspirators, and phone McGivney again at the first opportunity he could find.
Nell was especially insistent that when Peter spoke to McGivney he must have only a moment to spare, no time for questions, and he must not stop to answer any. He must be in a state of trembling excitement; and Peter was sure that would be very easy! He rehearsed over to Nell every word he must say, and just how he was to cut short the conversation and hang up the receiver. Then he went into an all night drug-store just around the corner from the headquarters, and from a telephone booth called McGivney’s home.
It was an apartment house, and after some delay Peter heard the voice of his employer, surly with sleep. But Peter waked him up quickly. “Mr. McGivney, there’s a dynamite plot!”