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Full Online Book HomeLong Stories100%: The Story Of A Patriot - Section 44
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100%: The Story Of A Patriot - Section 44 Post by :cclittle Category :Long Stories Author :Upton Sinclair Date :May 2012 Read :2487

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100%: The Story Of A Patriot - Section 44

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, a little dairy lunch, and Peter hastened to the nearest telephone and called his boss.

"Mr. McGivney," he said, "I lost those fellows last night, but now I got them again. They decided not to do anything till today. They're having a meeting this morning and we've a chance to nab them all."

"Where?" demanded McGivney.

"Room seventeen in the studios; but don't let any of your men go near there, till I make sure the right fellows are in."

"Listen here, Peter Gudge!" cried McGivney. "Is this straight goods?"

"My God!" cried Peter. "What do you take me for? I tell you they've got loads of dynamite."

"What have they done with it?"

"They've got some in their headquarters. About the rest I dunno. They carried it off and I lost them last night. But then I found a note in my pocket--they were inviting me to come in."

"By God!" exclaimed the rat-faced man.

"We've got the whole thing, I tell you! Have you got your men ready?"


"Well then, have them come to the corner of Seventh and Washington Streets, and you come to Eighth and Washington. Meet me there just as quick as you can."

"I get you," was the answer, and Peter hung up, and rushed off to the appointed rendezvous. He was so nervous that he had to sit on the steps of a building. As time passed and McGivney didn't appear, wild imaginings began to torment him. Maybe McGivney hadn't understood him correctly! Or maybe his automobile might break down! Or his telephone might have got out of order at precisely the critical moment! He and his men would arrive too late, they would find the trap sprung, and the prey escaped.

Ten minutes passed, fifteen minutes, twenty minutes. At last an automobile rushed up the street, and McGivney stepped out, and the automobile sped on. Peter got McGivney's eye, and then stepped back into the shelter of a doorway. McGivney followed. "Have you got them?" he cried.

"I d-d-dunno!" chattered Peter. "They s-s-said they were c-coming at eight!"

"Let me see that note!" commanded McGivney; so Peter pulled out one of Nell's notes which he had saved for himself:

"If you really believe in a bold stroke for the workers' rights, meet me in the studios, Room 17, tomorrow morning at eight o'clock. No names and no talk. Action!"

"You found that in your pocket?" demanded the other.

"Y-yes, sir."

"And you've no idea who put it there."

"N-no, but I think Joe Angell--"

McGivney looked at his watch. "You've got twenty minutes yet," be said.

"You got the dicks?" asked Peter.

"A dozen of them. What's your idea now?"

Peter stammered out his suggestions. There was a little grocery store just across the street from the entrance to the studio building. Peter would go in there, and pretend to get something to eat, and would watch thru the window, and the moment he saw the right men come in, he would hurry out and signal to McGivney, who would be in a drugstore at the next corner. McGivney must keep out of sight himself, because the "Reds" knew him as one of Guffey's agents.

It wasn't necessary to repeat anything twice. McGivney was keyed up and ready for business, and Peter hurried down the street, and stepped into the little grocery store without being observed by anyone. He ordered some crackers and cheese, and seated himself on a box by the window and pretended to eat. But his hands were trembling so that he could hardly get the food into his mouth; and this was just as well, because his mouth was dry with fright, and crackers and cheese are articles of diet not adapted to such a condition.

He kept his eyes glued on the dingy doorway of the old studio building, and presently--hurrah!--he saw McCormick coming down the street! The Irish boy turned into the building, and a couple of minutes later came Gus the sailor, and before another five minutes had passed here came Joe Angell and Henderson. They were walking quickly, absorbed in conversation, and Peter could imagine he heard them talking about those mysterious notes, and who could be the writer, and what the devil could they mean?

Peter was now wild with nervousness; he was afraid somebody in the grocery store would notice him, and he made desperate efforts to eat the crackers and cheese, and scattered the crumbs all over himself and over the floor. Should he wait for Jerry Rudd, or should he take those he had already? He had got up and started for the door, when he saw the last of his victims coming down the street. Jerry was walking slowly, and Peter couldn't wait until he got inside. A car was passing, and Peter took the chance to slip out and bolt for the drug store. Before he had got half way there McGivney had seen him, and was on the run to the next corner.

Peter waited only long enough to see a couple of automobiles come whirling down the street, packed solid with husky detectives. Then he turned off and hurried down a side street. He managed to get a couple of blocks away, and then his nerves gave way entirely, and he sat down on the curbstone and began to cry--just the way little Jennie had cried when he told her he couldn't marry her! People stopped to stare at him, and one benevolent old gentleman came up and tapped him on the shoulder and asked what was the trouble. Peter, between his tear-stained fingers, gasped: "My m-m-mother died!" And so they let him alone, and after a while he got up and hurried off again.

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100%: The Story Of A Patriot - Section 45 100%: The Story Of A Patriot - Section 45

100%: The Story Of A Patriot - Section 45
Peter was now in a state of utter funk. He knew that he would have to face McGivney, and he just couldn't do it. All he wanted was Nell; and Nell, knowing that he would want her, had agreed to be in the park at half past eight. She had warned him not to talk to a soul until he had talked to her. Meantime she had gone home and renewed her Irish roses with French rouge, and restored her energy with coffee and cigarettes, and now she was waiting for him, smiling serenely, as fresh as any bird or flower

100%: The Story Of A Patriot - Section 43 100%: The Story Of A Patriot - Section 43

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