So the day began to break and the birds to sing. The sun rose on Peter’s face gray with exhaustion and the Irish apples in Nell’s cheeks badly faded. But the time for action had come, and Peter went off to watch McCormick’s home until seven o’clock, when the special delivery letter was due to arrive.
It came on time, and Peter saw McCormick come out of the house and set forth in the direction of the studios. It was too early for the meeting, so Peter figured that he would stop to get his breakfast; and sure enough “Mac” turned into, a little dairy lunch, and Peter hastened to the nearest telephone and called his boss.
“Mr. McGivney,” he said, “I lost those fellows last night, but now I got them again. They decided not to do anything till today. They’re having a meeting this morning and we’ve a chance to nab them all.”
“Where?” demanded McGivney.
“Room seventeen in the studios; but don’t let any of your men go near there, till I make sure the right fellows are in.”
“Listen here, Peter Gudge!” cried McGivney. “Is this straight goods?”
“My God!” cried Peter. “What do you take me for? I tell you they’ve got loads of dynamite.”
“What have they done with it?”
“They’ve got some in their headquarters. About the rest I dunno. They carried it off and I lost them last night. But then I found a note in my pocket—they were inviting me to come in.”
“By God!” exclaimed the rat-faced man.
“We’ve got the whole thing, I tell you! Have you got your men ready?”
“Well then, have them come to the corner of Seventh and Washington Streets, and you come to Eighth and Washington. Meet me there just as quick as you can.”
“I get you,” was the answer, and Peter hung up, and rushed off to the appointed rendezvous. He was so nervous that he had to sit on the steps of a building. As time passed and McGivney didn’t appear, wild imaginings began to torment him. Maybe McGivney hadn’t understood him correctly! Or maybe his automobile might break down! Or his telephone might have got out of order at precisely the critical moment! He and his men would arrive too late, they would find the trap sprung, and the prey escaped.
Ten minutes passed, fifteen minutes, twenty minutes. At last an automobile rushed up the street, and McGivney stepped out, and the automobile sped on. Peter got McGivney’s eye, and then stepped back into the shelter of a doorway. McGivney followed. “Have you got them?” he cried.
“I d-d-dunno!” chattered Peter. “They s-s-said they were c-coming at eight!”
“Let me see that note!” commanded McGivney; so Peter pulled out one of Nell’s notes which he had saved for himself:
“If you really believe in a bold stroke for the workers’ rights, meet me in the studios, Room 17, tomorrow morning at eight o’clock. No names and no talk. Action!”