The Jungle Chapter 25
The chances of finding someone to cash a bill that large are slim. He goes to a saloon where the bartender is alone and asks him to change the bill. The man steals Jurgis's money and a terrible row ensues. Jurgis is arrested and sent to jail. In court, no one believes that a homeless man would have a $100 bill. He is found guilty almost immediately. Jurgis doesn't know that the bar owner has paid off the cops, and the bartender is a henchman who hustled votes for the judge. So Jurgis is sent to jail again and meets up with Jack Duane, who is also in jail again. When they are released, Duane draws Jurgis into a life of crime. The two of them begin robbing men on darkened streets. On the first heist, Jurgis scores 93 dollars, then reads about the incident in the newspaper. The man they robbed had been badly hurt and Jurgis feels ashamed. Then Duane introduces Jurgis to the big crooks and hold-up men in the saloons and whorehouses of Chicago. Jurgis begins a life of crime and learns just how corrupt the city is. "All of these agencies of corruption were banded together, and leagued in blood brotherhood with the politician and the police; more often than not they were one and the same person,--the police captain would own the brothel he pretended to raid, and the politician would open his headquarters in his saloon." Chapter 25, pg. 303 Chicago is "owned" by an oligarchy of merchants and a huge army of graft is necessary to purchase power. Twice a year, during the spring and fall elections, businessmen spend millions of dollars, handed out by a graft army, to buy votes. In addition, they bribe lobbyists, legislators, and corporate lawyers. The police force forges alliances with the barkeepers and the underworld of crime is spurred on by laws bought by dollars. Duane introduces Jurgis to Buck Halloran, an Irish political "worker," who brings Jurgis in on a plan to pick up Buck's city laborer's payoffs. Jurgis' life of crime continues and he falls in with more criminals. He learns about the Racing Trust, which owns legislatures in every state where it does business.
When the elections roll around, the criminals do big business, yet Jurgis is tired and wants to go into politics. Jurgis runs into Bush Harper, the night watchman at Brown's, who had helped him become an American citizen through bribes. He is now a union nark and tells Jurgis that a strike is nearing. Bush Harper is the right hand man of Mike Scully and Harper wants Jurgis to help him with an intricate plan between the Democrats and Republicans, which includes payoffs and trades. A new party in the stockyards-the Socialists-compromises the election. The word reminds Jurgis of Tamoszius Kuszleika.
Jurgis's job is to go back to work in the yards, get active in the unions and secure votes for the Republican candidate. Then, as part of the plan between the two parties, once the Republican is elected, Mike Scully will run unopposed as a Democrat the next year. Doyle wins the election for alderman thanks to Jurgis's bribery and illegal voting tactics. Jurgis has joined the corrupt.