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Full Online Book HomeLong Stories100%: The Story Of A Patriot - Section 76
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100%: The Story Of A Patriot - Section 76 Post by :simkl Category :Long Stories Author :Upton Sinclair Date :May 2012 Read :1049

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100%: The Story Of A Patriot - Section 76

So Peter went to Eldorado, and helped to send eleven men to the penitentiary for periods varying from three to fourteen years. Then he went to Flagland, and testified in three different trials, and added seven more scalps to his belt. By this time he got to realize that the worst the Reds could do was to make faces at him and show the teeth of trapped rats. He learned to take his profession more easily, and would sometimes venture to go out for an evening's pleasure without his guards. When he was hidden in the country he would take long walks. regardless of the thousands of blood-thirsty Reds on his trail.

It was while Peter was testifying in Flagland that a magic word was flashed from Europe, and the whole city went mad with joy. Everyone, from babies to old men, turned out on the streets and waved flags and banged tin cans and shouted for peace with victory. When it was learned that the newspapers had fooled them, they waited three days, and then turned out and went thru the same performance again. Peter was a bit worried at first, for fear the coming of peace might end his job of saving the country; but presently he realized that there was no need for concern, the smashing of the Reds was going on just the same.

They had some raids on the Socialists while Peter was in Flagland, and the detectives told him he might come along for the fun of it. So Peter armed himself with a black-jack and a revolver, and helped to rush the Socialist headquarters. The war was over, but Peter felt just as military as if it were still going on; when he got the little Jewish organizer of the local pent up in a corner behind his desk and proceeded to crack him over the head, Peter understood exactly how our boys had felt in the Argonne. When he discovered the thrill of dancing on typewriter keys with his boots, he even understood how the Huns had felt.

The detectives were joined by a bunch of college boys, who took to that kind of thing with glee. Having got their blood up, they decided they might as well clean out the Red movement entirely, so they rushed a place called the "International Book-Shop," kept by a Hawaiian. The proprietor dodged into the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant next door, and put on an apron; but no one had ever seen a Chinaman with a black mustache, so they fell on him and broke several of the Chinaman's sauce-pans over his head. They took the contents of the "International Book-Shop" into the back yard and started a bon-fire with it, and detectives and college boys on a lark joined hands and danced an imitation of the Hawaiian hula-hula around the blaze.

So Peter lived a merry life for several months. He had one or two journeys for nothing, because an obstinate judge refused to admit that anything that any I. W. W. had ever said or done anywhere within the last ten years was proper testimony to be introduced against a particular I. W. W. on trial. But most judges were willing to co-operate with the big business men in ridding the country of the Red menace, and Peter's total of scalps amounted to over a hundred before his time was up, and Guffey sent him his last cheek and turned him loose.

That was in the city of Richport, and Peter having in an inside pocket something over a thousand dollars in savings, felt that he had earned a good time. He went for a stroll on the Gay White Way of the city, and in front of a moving picture palace a golden-haired girl smiled at him. This was still in the days of two and three-fourths per cent beer, and Peter invited her into a saloon to have a glass, and when he opened his eyes again it was dark, and he had a splitting headache, and he groped around and discovered that he was lying in a dark corner of an alleyway. Terror gripped his heart, and he clapped his hand to the inside pocket where his wallet had been, and there was nothing but horrible emptiness. So Peter was ruined once again, and as usual it was a woman that had done it!

Peter went to the police-station, but they never found the woman, or if they did, they divided with her and not with Peter. He threw himself on the mercy of the sergeant at the desk, and succeeded in convincing the sergeant that he, Peter, was a part of the machinery of his country's defense, and the sergeant agreed to stand sponsor for ten words to Guffey. So Peter sat himself down with a pencil and paper, and figured over it, and managed to get it into ten words, as follows: "Woman again broke any old job any pay wire fare." And it appeared that Guffey must have sat himself down with a pencil and paper and figured over it also, for the answer came back in ten words, as follows: "Idiot have wired secretary chamber commerce will give you ticket."

So Peter repaired forthwith to the stately offices of the Chamber of Commerce, and the hustling, efficient young business-man secretary sent his clerk to buy Peter a ticket and put him on the train. In a time of need like that Peter realized what it meant to have the backing of a great and powerful organization, with stately offices and money on hand for all emergencies, even when they arose by telegraph. He took a new vow of sobriety and decency, so that he might always have these forces of law and order on his side.

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100%: The Story Of A Patriot - Section 77 100%: The Story Of A Patriot - Section 77

100%: The Story Of A Patriot - Section 77
Peter was duly scolded, and put to work as an "office man" at his old salary of twenty dollars a week. It was his duty to consult with Guffey's many "operatives," to tell them everything he knew about this individual Red or that organization of Reds. He would use his inside knowledge of personalities and doctrines and movements to help in framing up testimony, and in setting traps for too ardent agitators. He could no longer pose as a Red himself, but sometimes there were cases where he could do detective work without being recognized; when, for example, there was a
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100%: The Story Of A Patriot - Section 75
The two men heard Peter's story and changed it a little, and then heard him over again and pronounced him all right, and Peter went back to his hotel room and waited in trepidation for his hour in the limelight. When they took him to court his knees were shaking, but also he had a thrill of real importance, for they had provided him with a body-guard of four big huskies; also he saw two "bulls" whom he recognized in the hallway outside the court-room, and many others scattered thru the audience. The place was packed with Red sympathizers, but they
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