“You ought to be ashamed of yourself—a growd woman like you—makin’ me all this nuisance. I sha’n’t put up with it. You’ll go packin’ to the horspittle, that’s what you’ll do. Mark my word.”
Mrs. Moody’s method of packing Ruth off to the hospital was unique. It consisted of running herself for the doctor. It consisted of listening with bated breath to his directions; it consisted of giving up almost wholly the duties—A conducting her boarding house, and in making gruels and heating water and sitting in Ruth’s room wielding a fan over Ruth’s ungrateful face. It consisted in spending of her scant supply of money for medicines, in constant attendance and patient, faithful nursing—accompanied by sharp scoldings and recriminations uttered in a monotone guaranteed not to disturb the sick girl. Perhaps she really fancied she was being hard and unsympathetic and calloused. She talked as if she were, but no single act was in tune with her words. ... She grumbled—and served. She complained—and hovered over Ruth with clumsy, gentle hands. She was afraid somebody might think her tender. She was afraid she might think so herself. ... The world is full of Mrs. Moodys.
Ruth lay day after day with no change, half conscious, wholly listless. ... It seemed to Mrs. Moody to be nothing but a waiting for the end. But she waited for the end as though the sick girl were flesh of her flesh, protesting to heaven against the imposition, ceaselessly.
If Bonbright’s handling of the Hammil casualty created a good impression among the men, his stand against the unions more than counterbalanced it. He was able to get no nearer to the men. Perhaps, as individuals became acquainted with him, there was less open hostility manifested, but there remained suspicion, resentment, which Bonbright was unable to convert into friendship and co-operation.
The professor of sociology peered frequently at Bonbright through his thick spectacles with keen interest. He found as much enjoyment in studying his employer as he did in working over his employer’s plan. Frequently he discussed Bonbright with Mershon.
“He’s a strange young man,” he said, “an instructive psychological study. Indeed he is. One cannot catalogue him. He is made up of opposites. Look you, Mershon, at his eagerness to better the conditions of his men—that’s why I’m abandoning classes of boys who ought to be interested in what I teach them, but aren’t—and then place beside it his antagonism to unionism. ...”
Mershon was interested at that instant more in the practical aspects of the situation. “The unions are snapping at our heels. Bricklayers, masons, structural steel, the whole lot. I’ve been palavering with them—but I’m about to the end of my rope. We’ve needed men and we’ve got a big sprinkling of union men. Wages have attracted them. I’m afraid we’ve got too many, so many the unions