“Now,” said Nell, “when he gets that letter he’ll get busy, and you’ve got to know what to do, because of course everything depends on that.” So Nell proceeded to drill Peter for his meeting with the King of American City. Peter now stood in such awe of her judgment that he learned his lessons quite patiently, and promised solemnly that he would do exactly what she said and nothing else. He reaped his reward of kisses, and went home to sleep the sleep of the just.
Next morning Peter set out to do some of his work for McGivney, so that McGivney would have no ground for complaint. He went to see Miriam Yankovich, and this time Miriam caught him by his two hands and wrung them, and Peter knew that he had atoned for his crime against little Jennie. Peter was a martyr once more. He told how he had been put thru the third degree; and she told how the water from the washtub had leaked thru the ceiling, and the plaster had fallen, and ruined the dinner of a poor workingman’s family.
Also, she told him all about the frame-up as the Reds saw it. Andrews, the lawyer, was demanding the right to see the prisoners, but this was refused, and they were all being held without bail. On the previous evening Miriam had attended a gathering at Andrews’ home, at which the case was talked out. All the I. W. W.’s declared that the thing was the rankest kind of frame-up; the notes were obviously fake, and the dynamite had undoubtedly been planted by the police. They had used it as a pretext to shut up the I. W. W. headquarters, and to arrest a score of radicals. Worst of all, of course, was the propaganda; the hideous stories with which they were filling the papers. Had Peter seen this morning’s “Times?” A perfectly unmistakable incitement to mobs to gather and lynch the Reds!
From Miriam’s, Peter went back to Room 427. It was Nell’s idea that Nelse Ackerman would not lose a minute next morning; and sure enough, Peter found a note on the dressing-table: “Wait for me, I want to see you.”
Peter waited, and before long McGivney came in and sat down in front of him, and began very solemnly: “Now Peter Gudge, you know I’m your friend.”
“Yes, of course.”
“I’ve stood by you,” said McGivney. “If it hadn’t been for me, the boss would have had you in the hole right now, trying to sweat you into confessing you planted that dynamite. I want you to know that, and I want you to know that I’m going to stand by you, and I expect you to stand by me and give me a square deal.”
“Why, sure!” said Peter. “What is it?” Then McGivney proceeded to explain: Old Nelse Ackerman had got the idea that the police were holding back something from him. He was scared out of his wits about this case, of course. He had himself shut up in a cupboard at night, and made his wife pull down the curtains of her limousine when she went driving. And now he was insisting that he must have a talk with the man who had discovered this plot against him. McGivney hated to take the risk of having Peter become acquainted with anybody, but Nelse Ackerman was a man whose word was law. Really, he was Peter’s employer; he had put up a lot of the money for the secret service work which Guffey was conducting, and neither Guffey or any of the city authorities dared try to fool him.