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    Chapter 43

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    Chapter 43
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    I swallowed a hasty cup of coffee, and drove in a taxi to the Labor Temple. Carpenter had said he would be there early in the morning, to help with the relief work again. I went to the rooms of the Restaurant Workers, and found that he had not yet arrived. I noticed a group of half a dozen men standing near the door, and there seemed something uncordial in the look they gave me. One of them came toward me, the same who had sought my advice about permitting Carpenter to speak at the mass meeting. "Good morning," he said; and then: "I thought you told me this fellow Carpenter was not a red?"

    "Well," said I, taken by surprise, "is he?"

    "God Almighty!" said the other. "What do you call this?" And he held up a copy of the "Times." "Going in and shouting in the middle of a church service, and trying to knock down a clergyman!"

    I could not help laughing in the man's face. "So even you labor men believe what you read in the 'Times'! It happens I was present in the church myself, and I assure you that Carpenter offered no resistance, and neither did anyone else in his group. You remember, I told you he was a man of peace, and that was all I told you."

    "Well," said the other, somewhat more mildly, "even so, we can't stand for this kind of thing. That's no way to accomplish anything. A whole lot of our members are Catholics, and what will they make of carryings-on like this? We're trying to persuade people that we're a law-abiding organization, and that our officials are men of sense."

    "I see," said I. "And what do you mean to do about it?"

    "We have called a meeting of our executive committee this morning, and are going to adopt a resolution, making clear to the public that we knew nothing about this church raid, and that we don't stand for such things. We would never have permitted this man Carpenter to speak on our platform, if we had known about his ideas."

    I had nothing to say, and I said it. The other was watching me uneasily. "We hear the man proposes to come back to our relief kitchen. Is that so?"

    "I believe he does; and I suppose you would rather he didn't. Is that it?" The other admitted that was it, and I laughed. "He has had his thousand dollars worth of hospitality, I suppose."

    "Well, we don't want to hurt his feelings," said the other. "Of gourse our members are having a hard time, and we were glad to get the money, but it would be better if our central organization were to contribute the funds, rather than to have us pay such a price as this newspaper publicity."

    "Then let your committee vote the money, and return it to Mr. T-S, and also to Mary Magna."

    It took the man sometime to figure out a reply to this proposition. "We have no objection to Mr. T-S coming here," he said, "or Miss Magna either."

    "That is," said I, "so long as they obey the law, and don't get in bad with the Western City 'Times'!" After a moment I added, "You may make your mind easy. I will go downstairs and wait for Mr. Carpenter, and tell him he is not wanted."

    And so I left the Labor Temple and walked up and down on the sidewalk in front. It was really rather unreasonable of me to be annoyed with this labor man for having voiced the same point of view of "common sense" which I had been defending to Carpenter's group on the previous evening. Also, I was obliged to admit to myself that if I were a labor leader, trying to hold together a group of half-educated men in the face of public sentiment such as existed in this city, I might not have the same carefree, laughing attitude towards life as a certain rich young man whose pockets were stuffed with unearned increments.

    To this mood of tolerance I had brought myself, when I saw a white robe come round the corner, arm in arm with a frock coat of black broadcloth. Also there came Everett, looking still more ghastly, his nose and lip having become purple, and in places green. Also there was Korwsky, and two other men; Moneta, a young Mexican cigarmaker out of work, and a man named Hamby, who had turned up on the previous evening, introducing himself as a pacifist who had been arrested and beaten up during the war. Somehow he did not conform to my idea of a pacifist, being a solid and rather stoutish fellow, with nothing of the idealist about him. But Carpenter took him, as he took everybody, without question or suspicion.
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