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Full Online Book HomeLong Stories100%: The Story Of A Patriot - Section 43
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100%: The Story Of A Patriot - Section 43 Post by :Dusty13 Category :Long Stories Author :Upton Sinclair Date :May 2012 Read :3548

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100%: The Story Of A Patriot - Section 43

The job was now complete, except for getting McCormick to the rendezvous next morning. Nell had prepared and would mail in the postoffice a special delivery letter addressed to McCormick's home. This would be delivered about seven o'clock in the morning, and inside was a typewritten note, as follows:

"Mac: Come to Room 17 of the studios at eight in the morning. Very important. Our plan is all ready, my part is done. Joe."

Nell figured that McCormick would take this to be a message from Angell. He wouldn't know what it was about, but he'd be all the more certain to come and find out. The essential thing was that the raid by the detectives must occur the very minute the conspirators got together, for as soon as they compared notes they would become suspicious, and might scatter at once. McGivney must have his men ready; he must be notified and have plenty of time to get them ready.

But there was a serious objection to this--if McGivney had time, he would demand a talk with Peter, and Nell was sure that Peter couldn't stand a cross-questioning at McGivney's hands. Peter, needless to say, agreed with her; his heart threatened to collapse at the thought of such an ordeal. What Peter really wanted to do was to quit the whole thing right there and then; but he dared not say so, he dared not face the withering scorn of his confederate. Peter clenched his hands and set his teeth, and when he passed a street light he turned his face away, so that Nell might not read the humiliating terror written there. But Nell read it all the same; Nell believed that she was dealing with a quivering, pasty-faced coward, and proceeded on that basis; she worked out the plans, she gave Peter his orders, and she stuck by him to see that he carried them out.

Peter had McGivney's home telephone number, which he was only supposed to use in the most desperate emergency. He was to use it now, and tell McGivney that he had just caught some members of the I. W. W., with Pat McCormick as their leader, preparing to blow up some people with dynamite bombs. They had some bombs in a suit-case in their headquarters, and were just starting out with other bombs in their pockets. Peter must follow them, otherwise he would lose them, and some crime might be committed before he could interfere. McGivney must have his agents ready with automobiles to swoop down upon any place that Peter indicated. Peter would follow up the conspirators, and phone McGivney again at the first opportunity he could find.

Nell was especially insistent that when Peter spoke to McGivney he must have only a moment to spare, no time for questions, and he must not stop to answer any. He must be in a state of trembling excitement; and Peter was sure that would be very easy! He rehearsed over to Nell every word he must say, and just how he was to cut short the conversation and hang up the receiver. Then he went into an all night drug-store just around the corner from the headquarters, and from a telephone booth called McGivney's home.

It was an apartment house, and after some delay Peter heard the voice of his employer, surly with sleep. But Peter waked him up quickly. "Mr. McGivney, there's a dynamite plot!"

"_What_?"

"I. W. W. They've got bombs in a suit-case! They're starting off to blow somebody up tonight."

"By God! What do you mean? Who?"

"I dunno yet. I only heard part of it, and I've got to go. They're starting, I've got to follow them. I may lose them and it'll be too late. You hear me, I've got to follow them!"

"I hear you. What do you want me to do?"

"I'll phone you again the first chance I get. You have your men ready, a dozen of them! Have automobiles, so you can come quick. You get me?"

"Yes, but--"

"I can't talk any more, I may lose them, I haven't a second! You be at your phone, and have your men ready--everything ready. You get me?"

"Yes, but listen, man! You sure you're not mistaken?"

"Yes, yes, I'm sure!" cried Peter, his voice mounting in excitement. "They've got the dynamite, I tell you--everything! It's a man named Nelse."

"Nelse what?"

"The man they're going to kill. I've got to go now, you get ready. Good-bye!" And Peter hung up the receiver. He had got so excited over the part he was playing that he sprang up and ran out of the drug-store, as if he really had to catch up with some I. W. W. conspirators carrying a dynamite bomb!

But there was Nell, and they strolled down the street again. They came to a small park, and sat on one of the benches, because Peter's legs would no longer hold him up. Nell walked about to make sure there was no one on any of the other benches; then she came back and rehearsed the next scene with Peter. They must go over it most carefully, because before long the time was coming when Peter wouldn't have Nell to coach him, and must be prepared to stand on his own legs. Peter knew that, and his legs failed him. He wanted to back down, and declare that he couldn't go ahead with it; he wanted to go to McGivney and confess everything. Nell divined what was going on in his soul, and wished to save him the humiliation of having it known. She sat close to him on the bench, and put her hand on his as she talked to him, and presently Peter felt a magic thrill stealing over him. He ventured to put his arm about Nell, to get still more of this delicious sensation; and Nell permitted the embraces, for the first time she even encouraged them. Peter was a hero now, he was undertaking a bold and desperate venture; he was going to put it thru like a man, and win Nell's real admiration. "Our country's at war!" she exclaimed. "And these devils are stopping it!"

So pretty soon Peter was ready to face the whole world; Peter was ready to go himself and blow up the king of American City with a dynamite bomb! In that mood he stayed thru the small hours of the morning, sitting on the bench clasping his girl in his arms, and wishing she would give a little more time to heeding his love-making, and less to making him recite his lessons.

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So the day began to break and the birds to sing. The sun rose on Peter's face gray with exhaustion and the Irish apples in Nell's cheeks badly faded. But the time for action had come, and Peter went off to watch McCormick's home until seven o'clock, when the special delivery letter was due to arrive.It came on time, and Peter saw McCormick come out of the house and set forth in the direction of the studios. It was too early for the meeting, so Peter figured that he would stop to get his breakfast; and sure enough "Mac" turned into,
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Peter had an appointment to meet Nell on a street corner at eleven o'clock that same night, and when she stepped off the street-car, Peter saw that she was carrying a suit-case. "Did you get your job done?" she asked quickly, and when Peter answered in the affirmative, she added: "Here's your bomb!"Peter's jaw fell. He looked so frightened that she hastened to reassure him. It wouldn't go off; it was only the makings of a bomb, three sticks of dynamite and some fuses and part of a clock. The dynamite was wrapped carefully, and there was no chance of its
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