Dulac shouted, demanded their attention. He might as well have tried to still the breakers that roared upon a rocky shore. Dulac did not care for money. He was a revolutionist, a thinker, a man whose work lay with conditions, not with individuals. Here every man was thinking as an individual; applying that five dollars a day to his own peculiar, personal affairs. ... Already men were hurrying out of the hall to carry the amazing tidings home to their wives.
Dulac stormed on.
One thing was apparent to Bonbright. The men believed him. They believed he had spoken the truth. He had known they would believe him; somehow he had known that. The thing had swept them off their feet. In all that multitude was not a man whose life was not to be made easier, whose wife and children were not to be happier, more comfortable, removed from worry. It was a moving sight to see those thousands react. They were drunk with it.
An old man detached himself from the mass and rushed upon the platform. “It’s true?... It’s true?” he said, with tears running down his face.
“It’s true,” said Bonbright, standing up and offering his hand.
That was the first of hundreds. Some one shouted, hoarsely, “Hurrah for Foote!” and the armory trembled with the shout.
The thing was done. The thing he had come to do was accomplished. There would be no strike.
Dulac had fallen silent, was sitting in his chair with his face hidden. For him this was a defeat, a bitter blow.
Bonbright made his way to him.
“Mr. Dulac,” he said, “have you found her?”
“You’ve bribed them. ... You’ve bought them,” Dulac said, bitterly.
“I’ve given them what is theirs fairly. ... Have you found any trace of her?” Even in this moment, which would have thrilled, exalted another, which would have made another man drunk with achievement, Bonbright could think of Ruth. Even now Ruth was uppermost in his mind. All this mattered nothing beside her. “Have you got any trace?” he asked.
“No,” said Dulac.
Next morning the whole city breakfasted with Bonbright Foote. His name was on the tongue of every man who took in a newspaper, and of thousands to whom the news of his revolutionary profit-sharing or minimum-wage plan was carried by word of mouth. It was the matter of wages that excited everyone. In those first hours they skipped the details of the plan, those details which had taken months of labor and thought to devise. It was only the fact that a wealthy manufacturer was going to pay a minimum wage of five dollars a day.