A Poor Wise Man HTML version
Mr. Hendricks, hearing of it, was moved to a dry chuckle.
"Can't you hear him?" he demanded. "He'd stalk into headquarters as important
as an office boy who's been sent to the bank for money, and he'd slam down his
check and say just two words."
"Which would be?" inquired Willy Cameron.
"'Buy 'em'," quoted Mr. Hendricks. "The old boy doesn't know that things have
changed since the 80's. This city has changed, my lad. It's voting now the way it
thinks, right or wrong. That's why these foreign language papers can play the
devil with us. The only knowledge the poor wretches have got of us is what
they're given to read. And most of it stinks of sedition. Queer thing, this thinking.
A fellow can think himself into murder."
The strike was going along quietly enough. There had been rioting through the
country, but not of any great significance. It was in reality a sort of trench warfare,
with each side dug in and waiting for the other to show himself in the open. The
representatives of the press, gathered in the various steel cities, with
automobiles arranged for to take them quickly to any disturbance that might
develop, found themselves with little news for the telegraph, and time hung
heavy on their hands.
On an evening in July, Howard found Grace dressing for dinner, and realized
with a shock that she was looking thin and much older. He kissed her and then
held her off and looked at her.
"You've got to keep your courage up, dear," he said. "I don't think it will be long
"Have you seen her?"
"No. But something has happened. Don't look like that, Grace. It's not - "
"She hasn't married that man?"
"No. Not that. It only touches her indirectly. But she can't stay there. Even Elinor -
" he checked himself. "I'll tell you after dinner."
Dinner was very silent, although Anthony delivered himself of one speech rather
"So far as I can make out, Howard," he said, "this man Hendricks is getting pretty
strong. He has a young fellow talking for him who gets over pretty well. It's my
judgment that Hendricks had better be bought off. He goes around shouting that