“We’ll see about that, young fellow!” said the officer, as he snapped the handcuffs on Peter’s wrists. Then, while one of them remained on guard with the revolver, the other three proceeded to ransack the place, pulling out the bureau-drawers and kicking the contents this way and that, grabbing every scrap of writing they could find and jamming it into a couple of suit-cases. There were books with red bindings and terrifying titles, but no bombs, and no weapons more dangerous than a carving knife and Miriam’s tongue. The girl stood there with her black eyes flashing lightnings, and told the police exactly what she thought of them. She didn’t know what had happened in the I. W. W. headquarters, but she knew that whatever it was, it was a frame-up, and she dared them to arrest her, and almost succeeded in her fierce purpose. However, the police contented themselves with kicking over the washtub and its contents, and took their departure, leaving Mrs. Yankovitch screaming in the midst of a flood.
They dragged Peter out thru a swarming tenement crowd, and clapped him into an automobile, and whirled him away to police headquarters, where they entered him in due form and put him in a cell. He was uneasy right away, because he had failed to arrange with Hammett how long he was to stay locked up. But barely an hour had passed before a jailer came, and took him to a private room, where he found himself confronted by McGivney and Hammett, also the Chief of Police of the city, a deputy district attorney, and last but most important of all—Guffey. It was the head detective of the Traction Trust who took Peter in charge.
“Now, Gudge,” said he, “what’s this job you’ve been putting up on us?”
It struck Peter like a blow in the face. His heart went down, his jaw dropped, he stared like an idiot. Good God!
But he remembered Nell’s last solemn words: “Stick it out, Peter; stick it out!” So he cried: “What do you mean, Mr. Guffey?”
“Sit down in that chair there,” said Guffey. “Now, tell us what you know about this whole business. Begin at the beginning and tell us everything—every word.” So Peter began. He had been at a meeting at the I. W. W. headquarters the previous evening. There had been a long talk about the inactivity of the organization, and what could be done to oppose the draft. Peter detailed the arguments, the discussion of violence, of dynamite and killing, the mention of Nelse Ackerman and the other capitalists who were to be put out of the way. He embellished all this, and exaggerated it greatly—it being the one place where Nell had said he could do no harm by exaggerating.