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Full Online Book HomeLong Stories100%: The Story Of A Patriot - Section 54
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100%: The Story Of A Patriot - Section 54 Post by :mrtwist Category :Long Stories Author :Upton Sinclair Date :May 2012 Read :1144

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100%: The Story Of A Patriot - Section 54

Peter's first care when he got back into the city was to go to Mr. Ackerman's bank and change that five hundred dollar bill. The cashier gazed at him sternly, and scrutinized the bill carefully, but he gave Peter five one hundred dollar bills without comment. Peter tucked three of them away in a safe hiding-place, and put the other two in his pocketbook, and went to keep his appointment with Nell.

He told her all that had happened, and where she was to meet Mr. Ackerman's niece. "What did he give you?" Nell demanded, at once, and when Peter produced the two bills, she exclaimed, "My God! the old skint-flint!" "He said there'd be more," remarked Peter.

"It didn't cost him anything to say that," was Nell's answer. "We'll have to put the screws on him." Then she added, "You'd better let me take care of this money for you, Peter."

"Well," said Peter, "I have to have some for my own expenses, you know."

"You've got your salary, haven't you?"

"Yes, that's true, but--"

"I can keep it safe for you," said Nell, "and some day when you need it you'll be glad to have it. You've never saved anything yourself; that's a woman's job."

Peter tried to haggle with her, but it wasn't the same as haggling with McGivney; she looked at him with her melting glances, and it made Peter's head swim, and automatically he put out his hand and let her take the two bills. Then she smiled, so tenderly that he made bold to remind her, "You know, Nell, you're my wife now!"

"Yes, yes," she answered, "of course. But we've got to get rid of Ted Crothers somehow. He watches me all the time, and I have no end of trouble making excuses and getting away."

"How're you're going to get rid of him?" asked Peter, hungrily.

"We'll have to skip," she answered; "just as soon as we have pulled off our new frame-up--"

"Another one?" gasped Peter, in dismay.

And the girl laughed. "You wait!" she said. "I'm going to pull some real money out of Nelse Ackerman this time! Then when we've made our killing, we'll skip, and be fixed for life. You wait--and don't talk love to me now, because my mind is all taken up with my plans, and I can't think about anything else."

So they parted, and Peter went to see McGivney in the American House. "Stand up to him!" Nell had said. But it was not easy to do, for McGivney pulled and hauled him and turned him about, upside down and inside outwards, to know every single thing that had happened between him and Nelse Ackerman. Lord, how these fellows did hang on to their sources of graft! Peter repeated and insisted that he really had played entirely fair--he hadn't told Nelse Ackerman a thing except just the truth as he had told it to Guffey and McGivney. He had said that the police were all right, and that Guffey's bureau was stepping right on the tail of the Reds all the time.

"And what does he want you to do?" demanded the rat-faced man.

Peter answered, "He just wanted to make sure that he was learning everything of importance, and he wanted me to promise him that he would get every scrap of information that I collected about the plot against him; and of course I promised him that we'd bring it all to him."

"You going to see him any more?" demanded McGivney.

"He didn't say anything about that."

"Did he get your address?"

"No, I suppose if he wants me he'll let you know, the same as before."

"All right," said McGivney. "Did he give you any money?"

"Yes," said Peter, "he gave me two hundred dollars, and he said there was plenty more where that came from, so that we'd work hard to help him. He said he didn't want to get killed; he said that a couple of dozen times, I guess. He spent more time saying that than anything else. He's sick, and he's scared out of his wits."

So at last McGivney condescended to thank Peter for his faithfulness, and went on to give him further orders.

The Reds were raising an awful howl. Andrews, the lawyer, had succeeded in getting a court order to see the arrested men, and of course the prisoners had all declared that the case was a put-up job. Now the Reds were preparing to send out a circular to their fellow Reds all over the country, appealing for publicity, and for funds to fight the "frame-up."

They were very secret about it, and McGivney wanted to know where they were getting their money. He wanted a copy of the circular they were printing, and to know where and when the circulars were to be mailed. Guffey had been to see the post office authorities, and they were going to confiscate the circulars and destroy them all without letting the Reds know it.

Peter rubbed his hands with glee. That was the real business! That was going after these criminals in the way Peter had been urging! The rat-faced man answered that it was nothing to what they were going to do in a few days. Let Peter keep on his job, and he would see! Now, when the public was wrought up over this dynamite conspiracy, was the time to get things done.

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100%: The Story Of A Patriot - Section 55 100%: The Story Of A Patriot - Section 55

100%: The Story Of A Patriot - Section 55
Peter took a street car to the home of Miriam Yankovitch, and on the way he read the afternoon edition of the American City "Times." The editors of this paper were certainly after the Reds, and no mistake! They had taken McCormick's book on Sabotage, just as Nell had predicted, and printed whole chapters from it, with the most menacing sentences in big type, and some boxed up in little frames and scattered here and there over the page so that no one could possibly miss them. They had a picture of McCormick taken in the jail; he hadn't had a

100%: The Story Of A Patriot - Section 53 100%: The Story Of A Patriot - Section 53

100%: The Story Of A Patriot - Section 53
They came down to the question of practical plans, and Peter was ready with suggestions. In the first place, Mr. Ackerman must give no hint either to the police authorities or to Guffey that he was dissatisfied with their efforts. He must simply provide for an interview with Peter now and then, and he and Peter, quite privately, must take certain steps to get Mr. Ackerman that protection which his importance to the community made necessary. The first thing was to find out whether or not there was a traitor in Mr. Ackerman's home, and for that purpose there must be