Marching Men HTML version

On the day of the great demonstration, when McGregor's power over the minds
and the bodies of the men of labour sent hundreds of thousands marching and
singing in the streets, there was one man who was untouched by the song of
labour expressed in the threshing of feet. David Ormsby had in his quiet way
thought things out. He expected that the new impetus given to solidity in the
ranks of labour would make trouble for him and his kind, that it would express
itself finally in strikes and in wide-spread industrial disturbance. He was not
worried. In the end he thought that the silent patient power of money would bring
his people the victory. On that day he did not go to his office but in the morning
stayed in his own room thinking of McGregor and of his daughter. Laura Ormsby
was out of the city but Margaret was at home. David believed he had measured
accurately the power of McGregor over her mind but occasional doubts came to
him. "Well the time has come to have it out with her," he decided. "I must
reassert my ascendency over her mind. The thing that is going on here is really a
struggle of minds. McGregor differs from other leaders of labour as I differ from
most leaders of the forces of money. He has brains. Very well. I shall meet him
on that level. Then, when I have made Margaret think as I think, she will return to
* * * * *
When he was still a small manufacturer in the Wisconsin town David had been in
the habit of driving out in the evening with his daughter. During the drives he had
been almost a lover in his attentions to the child and now when he thought of the
forces at work within her he was convinced that she was still a child. Early in the
afternoon he had a carriage brought to the door and drove off with her to the city.
"She will want to see the man in the height of his power. If I am right in thinking
that she is still under the influence of his personality there will be a romantic
desire for that.
"I will give her the chance," he thought proudly. "In this struggle I ask no quarter
from him and shall not make the common mistake of parents in such cases. She
is fascinated by the figure he has made of himself. Showy men who stand out
from the crowd have that power. She is still under his influence. Why else her
constant distraction and her want of interest in other things? Now I will be with
her when the man is most powerful, when he shows to the greatest advantage,
and then I will make my fight for her. I will point out to her another road, the road
along which the real victors in life must learn to travel."
Together David the quiet efficient representative of wealth and his woman child
sat in the carriage on the day of McGregor's triumph. For the moment an
impassable gulf seemed to separate them and with intense eyes each watched
the hordes of men who massed themselves about the labour leader. At the