Horses and men plunged into that dammed river of men. ... It was a scene Bonbright could never erase from his memory, yet never could have described. It was a nightmare, a sensation of dread rather than a scene of fierce, implacable action.
The police drew back. The strikers hesitated. ... Between them, on the square of pavement, lay quiet, or writhing in pain, half a dozen human forms. ... Bonbright, his face colorless as those who lay below, stared at the bodies. For this that he saw he would be held responsible by the world. ...
He ran down the steps and began struggling through the mob. “Let me through. ... Let me through,” he panted.
He broke through to the front, not moved by reason, but quivering with the horror of the sight of men needlessly slain or maimed. ... He must do something. He must stop it!
Then he Was recognized. “It’s young Foote,” a man shouted, and snatched at his shoulder. He shook the man off, but the cry was taken up. “It’s Foote—young Foote. ... Spying again.”
Men sprang upon him, but he turned furiously and hurled them back. They must not stop him. He must not be interfered with, because he had to put an end to this thing. The mob surged about him, striking, threatening, so that he had to turn his face toward them, to strike out with his fists. More than one man went down under his blows before he could break away and run toward the police.
“See what you’ve done,” he shouted in their faces. “This must stop.” He advanced another step, as if to force the mounted officers to retreat.
“Grab him,” ordered a sergeant.
Bonbright was promptly grabbed and hauled through the line of mounted police, to be thrown into the arms of waiting patrolmen. He fought as strength was given him to fight, but they carried him ungently and hurled him asprawl upon the floor of a patrol wagon, already well occupied by arrests from the mob.
“Git ’em to the station,” the driver was ordered, and off lurched the patrol wagon.
That rapid ride brought cooling to Bonbright’s head. He had made a fool of himself. He was ashamed, humiliated, and to be humiliated is no minor torture to a young man.
Instead of giving his name to the lieutenant on the desk he refused to give a name, and was entered as John Doe. It was his confused thought to save his family from publicity and disgrace. ... So he knew what it was to have barred doors shut upon him, to be alone in a square cell whose only furnishing was a sort of bench across one end. He sank upon this apathetically and waited for what morning should bring.
The world owes no small part of its advancement to the reflections of men in jails.
Bonbright, alone in the darkness of his cell, was admirably situated for concentrated thought. All through the sleepless night he reviewed facts and theories and conditions. He reached few definite conclusions, and these more boyish than mature; he achieved to no satisfaction with himself. His one profound conclusion was that everything was wrong. Capital was wrong, labor was wrong; the whole basis upon which society is organized was wrong. It was an exceedingly sweeping conclusion, embracing everything. He discerned no ray of light.