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Dangerous Days

Chapter 37
When Clayton had returned from Washington, one of the first problems put up to
him had been Herman Klein's application to be taken on again. He found
Hutchinson in favor of it.
"He doesn't say much," he said. "Never did. But I gather things are changed, now
we are in the war ourselves."
"I suppose we need him."
"You bet we need him."
For the problem of skilled labor was already a grave one.
Clayton was doubtful. If he could have conferred with Dunbar he wouid have felt
more comfortable, but Dunbar was away on some mysterious errand connected
with the Military Intelligence Department. He sat considering, tapping on his desk
with the handle of his pen. Of course things were different now. A good many
Germans whose sympathies had, as between the Fatherland and the Allies,
been with Germany, were now driven to a decision between the land they had
left and the land they had adopted. And behind Herman there were thirty years of
good record.
"Where is the daughter?"
"I don't know. She left some weeks ago. It's talk around the plant that he beat her
up, and she got out. Those Germans don't know the first thing about how to treat
women."
"Then she is not in Weaver's office?"
There was more talk in the offices than Hutchinson repeated. Graham's fondness
for Anna, her slavish devotion to him, had been pretty well recognized. He
wondered if Clayton knew anything about it, or the further gossip that Graham
knew where Anna Klein had been hiding.
"What about Rudolph Klein? He was a nephew, wasn't he?"
"Fired," said Hutchinson laconically. "Got to spreading the brotherhood of the
world idea - sweat brothers, he calls them. But he was mighty careful never to
get in a perspiration himself."
"We might try Herman again. But I'd keep an eye on him."
So Herman was taken on at the new munition plant. He was a citizen, he owned
property, he had a record of long service behind him. And, at first, he was
minded to preserve that record intact. While he had by now added to his rage
against the Fatherland's enemies a vast and sullen fury against invested capital,
his German caution still remained.
He would sit through fiery denunciations of wealth, nodding his head slowly in
agreement. He was perfectly aware that in Gus's little back room dark plots were
hatched. Indeed, on a certain April night Rudolph had come up and called him
onto the porch.
"In about fifteen minutes," he said, consulting his watch in the doorway, "I'm
going to show you something pretty."
 
 
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