Then he told how after the meeting had broken up he had noticed several of the men whispering among themselves. By pretending to be getting a book from the bookcase he had got close to Joe Angell and Jerry Rudd; he had heard various words and fragments of sentences, “dynamite,” “suit-case in the cupboard,” “Nelse,” and so on. And when the crowd went out he noticed that Angell’s pockets were bulging, and assumed that he had the bombs, and that they were going to do the job. He rushed to the drug-store and phoned McGivney. It took a long time to get McGivney, and when he had given his message and run out again, the crowd was out of sight. Peter was in despair, he was ashamed to confront McGivney, be wandered about the streets for hours looking for the crowd. He spent the rest of the night in the park. But then in the morning he discovered the piece of paper in his pocket, and understood that somebody had slipped it to him, intending to invite him to the conspiracy; so he had notified McGivney, and that was all he knew.
McGivney began to cross-question him. He had heard Joe Angell talking to Jerry Rudd; had he heard him talking to anybody else? Had he heard any of the others talking? Just what had he heard Joe Angell say? Peter must repeat every word all over. This time, as instructed by Nell, he remembered one sentence more, and repeated this sentence: “Mac put it in the `sab-cat.’” He saw the others exchange glances. That’s just what I heard,” said Peter—“just those words. I couldn’t figure out what they meant?”
“Sab-cat?” said the Chief of Police, a burly figure with a brown moustache and a quid of tobacco tucked in the corner of his mouth. “That means `sabotage,’ don’t it?”
“Yes,” said the rat-faced man.
“Do you know anything in the office that has to do with sabotage?” demanded Guffey of Peter.
And Peter thought. “No, I don’t,” he said.
They talked among themselves for a minute or two. The Chief said they had got all McCormick’s things out of his room, and might find some clue to the mystery in these. Guffey went to the telephone, and gave a number with which Peter was familiar—that of I. W. W. headquarters. “That you, Al?” he said. “We’re trying to find if there’s something in those rooms that has to do with sabotage. Have you found anything—any apparatus or pictures, or writing—anything?” Evidently the answer was in the negative, for Guffey said: “Go ahead, look farther; if you get anything, call me at the chief’s office quick. It may give us a lead.”
Then Guffey hung up the receiver and turned to Peter. “Now Gudge,” he said, “that’s all your story, is it; that’s all you got to tell us?”
“Well then, you might as well quit your fooling right away. We understand that you framed this thing up, and we’re not going to be taken in.”
Peter stared at Guffey, speechless; and Guffey, for his part, took a couple of steps toward Peter, his brows gathering into a terrible frown, and his fists clenched. In a wave of sickening horror Peter remembered the scenes after the Preparedness Day explosion. Were they going to put him thru that again?