Peter was now in a state of utter funk. He knew that he would have to face McGivney, and he just couldn’t do it. All he wanted was Nell; and Nell, knowing that he would want her, had agreed to be in the park at half past eight. She had warned him not to talk to a soul until he had talked to her. Meantime she had gone home and renewed her Irish roses with French rouge, and restored her energy with coffee and cigarettes, and now she was waiting for him, smiling serenely, as fresh as any bird or flower in the park that summer morning. She asked him in even tones how things had gone, and when Peter began to stammer that he didn’t think he could face McGivney, she proceeded to build up his courage once more. She let him put his arms about her, even there in broad daylight; she whispered to him to get himself together, to be a man, and worthy of her.
What had he to be afraid of, anyway? They hadn’t a single thing on him, and there was no possible way they could get anything. His hands were clean all the way thru, and all he had to do was to stick it out; he must make up his mind in advance, that no matter what happened, he would never break down, he would never vary from the story he had rehearsed with her. She made him go over the story again; how on the previous evening, at the gathering in the I. W. W. headquarters, they had talked about killing Nelse Ackerman as a means of bringing the war to an end. And after the talk he had heard Joe Angell whisper to Jerry Rudd that he had the makings of a bomb already; he had a suit-case full of dynamite stored there in the closet, and he and Pat McCormick had been planning to pull off something that very night. Peter had gone out, but had watched outside, and had seen Angell, Henderson, Rudd and Gus come out. Peter had noticed that Angell’s pockets were stuffed, and had assumed that they were going to do their dynamiting, so he had phoned to McGivney from the drug-store. By this phoning he had missed the crowd, and then he had been ashamed and afraid to tell McGivney, and had spent the night wandering in the park. But early in the morning he had found the note, and had understood that it must have been slipped into his pocket, and that the conspirators wanted him to come in on their scheme. That was all, except for three or four sentences or fragments of sentences which Peter had overheard between Joe Angell and Jerry Rudd. Nell made him learn these sentences by heart, and she insisted that he must not under any circumstances try to remember or be persuaded to remember anything further.
At last Peter was adjudged ready for the ordeal, and went to Room 427 in the American House, and threw himself on the bed. He was so exhausted that once or twice he dozed; but then he would think of some new question that McGivney might ask him, and would start into wakefulness. At last he heard a key turn, and started up. There entered one of the detectives, a man named Hammett. “Hello, Gudge,” said he. “The boss wants you to get arrested.”