One fine warm morning in the fall Sam was sitting in a little park in thecentre of a Pennsylvania manufacturing town watching men and women goingthrough the quiet streets to the factories and striving to overcome afeeling of depression aroused by an experience of the evening before. Hehad come into town over a poorly made clay road running through barrenhills, and, depressed and weary, had stood on the shores of a river,swollen by the early fall rains, that flowed along the edges of the town.
Before him in the distance he had looked into the windows of a hugefactory, the black smoke from which added to the gloom of the scene thatlay before him. Through the windows of the factory, dimly seen, workersran here and there, appearing and disappearing, the glare of the furnacefire lighting now one, now another of them, sharply. At his feet thetumbling waters that rolled and pitched over a little dam fascinated him.Looking closely at the racing waters his head, light from physicalweariness, reeled, and in fear of falling he had been compelled to gripfirmly the small tree against which he leaned. In the back yard of a houseacross the stream from Sam and facing the factory four guinea hens sat ona board fence, their weird, plaintive cries making a peculiarly fittingaccompaniment to the scene that lay before him, and in the yard itself twobedraggled fowls fought each other. Again and again they sprang into thefray, striking out with bills and spurs. Becoming exhausted, they fell topicking and scratching among the rubbish in the yard, and when they had alittle recovered renewed the struggle. For an hour Sam had looked at thescene, letting his eyes wander from the river to the grey sky and to thefactory belching forth its black smoke. He had thought that the two feeblystruggling fowls, immersed in their pointless struggle in the midst ofsuch mighty force, epitomised much of man's struggle in the world, and,turning, had gone along the sidewalks and to the village hotel, feelingold and tired. Now on the bench in the little park, with the early morningsun shining down through the glistening rain drops clinging to the redleaves of the trees, he began to lose the sense of depression that hadclung to him through the night.
A young man who walked in the park saw him idly watching the hurryingworkers, and stopped to sit beside him.
"On the road, brother?" he asked.
Sam shook his head, and the other began talking.
"Fools and slaves," he said earnestly, pointing to the men and womenpassing on the sidewalk. "See them going like beasts to their bondage?What do they get for it? What kind of lives do they lead? The lives ofdogs."
He looked at Sam for approval of the sentiment he had voiced.
"We are all fools and slaves," said Sam, stoutly.
Jumping to his feet the young man began waving his arms about.
"There, you talk sense," he cried. "Welcome to our town, stranger. We haveno thinkers here. The workers are like dogs. There is no solidarity amongthem. Come and have breakfast with me."
In the restaurant the young man began talking of himself. He was agraduate of the University of Pennsylvania. His father had died while hewas yet in school and had left him a modest fortune, upon the income ofwhich he lived with his mother. He did no work and was enormously proud ofthe fact.
"I refuse to work! I scorn it!" he declared, shaking a breakfast roll inthe air.
Since leaving school he had devoted himself to the cause of the socialistparty in his native town, and boasted of the leadership he had alreadyachieved. His mother, he declared, was disturbed and worried because ofhis connection with the movement.
"She wants me to be respectable," he said sadly, and added, "What's theuse trying to explain to a woman? I can't get her to see the differencebetween a socialist and a direct-action anarchist and I've given uptrying. She expects me to end by blowing somebody up with dynamite or bygetting into jail for throwing bricks at the borough police."
He talked of a strike going on among some girl employs of a Jewishshirtwaist factory in the town, and Sam, immediately interested, beganasking questions, and after breakfast went with his new acquaintance tothe scene of the strike.
The shirtwaist factory was located in a loft above a grocery store, and onthe sidewalk in front of the store three girl pickets were walking up anddown. A flashily dressed Hebrew, with a cigar in his mouth and his handsin his trousers pockets, stood in the stairway leading to the loft andlooked closely at the young socialist and Sam. From his lips came a streamof vile words which he pretended to be addressing to the empty air. WhenSam walked towards him he turned and ran up the stairs, shouting oathsover his shoulder.
Sam joined the three girls, and began talking to them, walking up and downwith them before the grocery store.
"What are you doing to win?" he asked when they had told him of theirgrievances.
"We do what we can!" said a Jewish girl with broad hips, great motherlybreasts, and fine, soft, brown eyes, who appeared to be a leader andspokesman among the strikers. "We walk up and down here and try to get aword with the strikebreakers the boss has brought in from other towns,when they go in and come out."
Frank, the University man, spoke up. "We are putting up stickerseverywhere," he said. "I myself have put up hundreds of them."
He took from his coat pocket a printed slip, gummed on one side, and toldSam that he had been putting them on walls and telegraph poles about town.The thing was vilely written. "Down with the dirty scabs" was the headingin bold, black letters across the top.
Sam was shocked at the vileness of the caption and at the crude brutalityof the text printed on the slip.
"Do you call women workers names like that?" he asked.
"They have taken our work from us," the Jewish girl answered simply andbegan again, telling the story of her sister strikers and of what the lowwage had meant to them and to their families. "To me it does not so muchmatter; I have a brother who works in a clothing store and he can supportme, but many of the women in our union have only their wage here withwhich to feed their families."
Sam's mind began working on the problem.
"Here," he declared, "is something definite to do, a battle in which Iwill pit myself against this employer for the sake of these women."
He put away from him his experience in the Illinois town, telling himselfthat the young woman walking beside him would have a sense of honourunknown to the red-haired young workman who had sold him out to Bill andEd.
"I failed with my money," he thought, "now I will try to help these girlswith my energy."
Turning to the Jewish girl he made a quick decision.
"I will help you get your places back," he said.
Leaving the girls he went across the street to a barber shop where hecould watch the entrance to the factory. He wanted to think out a methodof procedure and wanted also to look at the girl strikebreakers as theycame to work. After a time several girls came along the street and turnedin at the stairway. The flashily dressed Hebrew with the cigar still inhis mouth was again by the stairway entrance. The three pickets runningforward accosted the file of girls going up the stairs, one of whom, ayoung American girl with yellow hair, turned and shouted something overher shoulder. The man called Frank shouted back and the Hebrew took thecigar out of his mouth and laughed heartily. Sam filled and lighted hispipe, a dozen plans for helping the striking girls running through hismind.
During the morning he went into the grocery store on the corner, a saloonin the neighbourhood, and returned to the barber shop talking to men ofthe strike. He ate his lunch alone, still thinking of the three girlspatiently walking up and down before the stairway. Their ceaseless walkingseemed to him a useless waste of energy.
"They should be doing something more definite," he thought.
After lunch he joined the soft-eyed Jewish girl and together they walkedalong the street talking of the strike.
"You cannot win this strike by just calling nasty names," he said. "I donot like that 'dirty scab' sticker Frank had in his pocket. It cannot helpyou and only antagonises the girls who have taken your places. Here inthis part of town the people want to see you win. I have talked to the menwho come into the saloon and the barber shop across the street and youalready have their sympathy. You want to get the sympathy of the girls whohave taken your places. Calling them dirty scabs only makes martyrs ofthem. Did the yellow-haired girl call you a name this morning?"
The Jewish girl looked at Sam and laughed bitterly.
"Rather; she called me a loud-mouthed street walker."
They continued their walk along the street, across the railroad track anda bridge, and into a quiet residence street. Carriages stood at the curbbefore the houses, and pointing to these and to the well-kept houses Samsaid, "Men have bought these things for their women."
A shadow fell across the girl's face.
"I suppose all of us want what these women have," she answered. "We do notreally want to fight and to stand on our own feet, not when we know theworld. What a woman really wants is a man," she added shortly.
Sam began talking and told her of a plan that had come into his mind. Hehad remembered how Jack Prince and Morrison used to talk about the appealof the direct personal letter and how effectively it was used by mailorder houses.
"We will have a mail order strike here," he said and went on to lay beforeher the details of his plan. He proposed that she, Frank, and some othersof the striking girls, should go about town getting the names and the mailaddresses of the girl strikebreakers.
"Get also the names of the keepers of the boarding houses at which thesegirls live and the names of the men and women who live in the samehouses," he suggested. "Then you get the striking girls and women togetherand have them tell me their stories. We will write letters day after dayto the girl strikebreakers, to the women who keep the boarding houses, andto the people who live in the houses and sit at table with them. We won'tcall names. We will tell the story of what being beaten in this fightmeans to the women in your union, tell it simply and truthfully as youtold it to me this morning."
"It will cost such a lot," said the Jewish girl, shaking her head.
Sam took a roll of bills from his pocket and showed it to her.
"I will pay," he said.
"Why?" she asked, looking at him sharply.
"Because I am a man wanting work just as you want work," he replied, andthen went on hurriedly, "It is a long story. I am a rich man wanderingabout the world seeking Truth. I will not want that known. Take me forgranted. You won't be sorry."
Within an hour he had engaged a large room, paying a month's rent inadvance, and into the room chairs and table and typewriters had beenbrought. He put an advertisement in the evening paper for girlstenographers, and a printer, hurried by a promise of extra pay, ran outfor him several thousand letter heads across the top of which in bold,black type ran the words, "The Girl Strikers."
That night Sam held, in the room he had engaged, a meeting of the girlstrikers, explaining to them his plan and offering to pay all expenses ofthe fight he proposed to make for them. They clapped their hands andshouted approvingly, and Sam began laying out his campaign.
One of the girls he told off to stand in front of the factory morning andevening.
"I will have other help for you there," he said. "Before you go home tonight there will be a printer here with a bundle of pamphlets I am havingprinted for you."
Advised by the soft-eyed Jewish girl, he told off others to get additionalnames for the mailing list he wanted, getting many important ones fromgirls in the room. Six of the girls he asked to come in the morning tohelp him with addressing and mailing letters. The Jewish girl he told totake charge of the girls at work in the room--on the morrow to become alsoan office--and to superintend getting the names.
Frank rose at the back of the room.
"Who are you anyway?" he asked.
"A man with money and the ability to win this strike," Sam told him.
"What are you doing it for?" demanded Frank.
The Jewish girl sprang to her feet.
"Because he believes in these women and wants to help," she explained.
"Rot," said Frank, going out at the door.
It was snowing when the meeting ended, and Sam and the Jewish girlfinished their talk in the hallway leading to her room.
"I don't know what Harrigan, the union leader from Pittsburgh, will say tothis," she told him. "He appointed Frank to lead and direct the strikehere. He doesn't like interference and he may not like your plan. But weworking women need men, men like you who can plan and do things. There aretoo many men living on us. We need men who will work for all of us as themen work for the women in the carriages and automobiles." She laughed andput out a hand to him. "See what you have got yourself into? I want you tobe a husband to our entire union."
The next morning four girl stenographers went to work in Sam's strikeheadquarters, and he wrote his first strike letter, a letter telling thestory of a striking girl named Hadaway, whose young brother was sick withtuberculosis. Sam did not put any flourishes in the letter; he felt thathe did not need to. He thought that with twenty or thirty such letters,each telling briefly and truthfully the story of one of the strikinggirls, he should be able to show one American town how its other halflived. He gave the letter to the four girl stenographers with the mailinglist he already had and started them writing it to each of the names.
At eight o'clock a man came in to install a telephone and girl strikersbegan bringing in new names for the mailing list. At nine o'clock threemore stenographers appeared and were put to work, and girls who had beenin began sending more names over the 'phone. The Jewish girl walked up anddown, giving orders, making suggestions. From time to time she ran toSam's desk and suggested other sources of names for the mailing list. Samthought that if the other working girls were timid and embarrassed beforehim this one was not. She was like a general on the field of battle. Hersoft brown eyes glowed, her mind worked rapidly, and her voice had a ringin it. At her suggestion Sam gave the girls at the typewriters listsbearing the names of town officials, bankers and prominent business men,and the wives of all these, also presidents of various women's clubs,society women, and charitable organizations. She called reporters from thetown's two daily papers and had them interview Sam, and at her suggestionhe gave them copies of the Hadaway girl letter to print.
"Print it," he said, "and if you cannot use it as news, make it anadvertisement and bring the bill to me."
At eleven o'clock Frank came into the room bringing a tall Irishman, withsunken cheeks, black, unclean teeth, and an overcoat too small for him.Leaving him standing by the door, Frank walked across the room to Sam.
"Come to lunch with us," he said. He jerked his thumb over his shouldertoward the tall Irishman. "I picked him up," he said. "Best brain that'sbeen in town for years. He's a wonder. Used to be a Catholic priest. Hedoesn't believe in God or love or anything. Come on out and hear him talk.He's great."
Sam shook his head.
"I am too busy. There is work to be done here. We are going to win thisstrike."
Frank looked at him doubtfully and then about the room at the busy girls.
"I don't know what Harrigan will think of all this," he said. "He doesn'tlike interferences. I never do anything without writing him. I wrote andtold him what you were doing here. I had to, you know. I'm responsible toheadquarters."
In the afternoon the Hebrew owner of the shirtwaist factory came in tostrike headquarters and, walking through the room took off his hat and satdown by Sam's desk.
"What do you want here?" he asked. "The newspaper boys told me of what youhad planned to do. What's your game?"
"I want to whip you," Sam answered quietly, "to whip you good. You mightas well get into line. You are going to lose this strike."
"I'm only one," said the Hebrew. "There is an association of usmanufacturers of shirtwaists. We are all in this. We all have a strike onour hands. What will you gain if you do beat me here? I'm only a littlefellow after all."
Sam laughed and picking up his pen began writing.
"You are unlucky," he said. "I just happened to take hold here. When Ihave you beaten I will go on and beat the others. There is more money backof me than back of you all, and I am going to beat every one of you."
The next morning a crowd stood before the stairway leading to the factorywhen the strikebreaking girls came to work. The letters and the newspaperinterview had been effective and more than half the strikebreakers did notappear. The others hurried along the street and turned in at the stairwaywithout looking at the crowd. The girl, told off by Sam, stood on thesidewalk passing out pamphlets to the strikebreakers. The pamphlets wereheaded, "The Story of Ten Girls," and told briefly and pointedly thestories of ten striking girls and what the loss of the strike meant tothem and to their families.
After a while there drove up two carriages and a large automobile, and outof the automobile climbed a well-dressed woman who took a bundle of thepamphlets from the girl picket and began passing them about among thepeople. Two policemen who stood in front of the crowd took off theirhelmets and accompanied her. The crowd cheered. Frank came hurrying acrossthe street to where Sam stood in front of the barber shop and slapped himon the back.
"You're a wonder," he said.
Sam hurried back to the room and prepared the second letter for themailing list. Two more stenographers had come to work. He had to send outfor more machines. A reporter for the town's evening paper ran up thestairway.
"Who are you?" he asked. "The town wants to know."
From his pocket he took a telegram from a Pittsburgh daily.
"What about mail-order strike plan? Give name and story new strike leaderthere."
At ten o'clock Frank returned.
"There's a wire from Harrigan," he said. "He's coming here. He wants amass meeting of the girls for to-night. I've got to get them together.We'll meet here in this room."
In the room the work went on. The list of names for the mailing haddoubled. The picket at the shirtwaist factory reported that three more ofthe strikebreakers had left the plant. The Jewish girl was excited. Shewent hurrying about the room, her eyes glowing.
"It's great," she said. "The plan is working. The whole town is arousedand for us. We'll win in another twenty-four hours."
And then at seven o'clock that night Harrigan came into the room where Samsat with the assembled girls, bolting the door behind him. He was a short,strongly built man with blue eyes and red hair. He walked about the roomin silence, followed by Frank. Suddenly he stopped and, picking up one ofthe typewriting machines rented by Sam for the letter writing, raised itabove his head and sent it smashing to the floor.
"A hell of a strike leader," he roared. "Look at this. Scab machines!
"Scab stenographers!" he said through his teeth. "Scab printing! Scabeverything!"
Picking up a bundle of the letterheads, he tore them across, and walkingto the front of the room, shook his fist before Sam's face.
"Scab leader!" he shouted, turning and facing the girls.
The soft-eyed Jewish girl sprang to her feet.
"He's winning for us," she said.
Harrigan walked toward her threateningly.
"Better lose than win a scab victory," he bellowed.
"Who are you anyway? What grafter sent you here?" he demanded, turning toSam.
He launched into a speech. "I have been watching this fellow, I know him.He has a scheme to break down the union and is being paid by thecapitalists."
Sam waited to hear no more. Getting up he pulled on his canvas jacket andstarted for the door. He saw that already he had involved himself in adozen violations of the unionist code and the idea of trying to convinceHarrigan of his disinterestedness did not occur to him.
"Do not mind me," he said, "I am going."
He walked between the rows of frightened, white-faced girls and unboltedthe door, the Jewish girl following. At the head of the stairway leadingto the street he stopped and pointed back into the room.
"Go back," he said, handing her a roll of bills. "Carry on the work if youcan. Get other machines and new printing. I will help you in secret."
Turning he ran down the stairs, hurried through the curious crowd standingat the foot, and walked rapidly along in front of the lighted stores. Acold rain, half snow, was falling. Beside him walked a young man with abrown pointed beard, one of the newspaper reporters who had interviewedhim the day before.
"Did Harrigan trim you?" asked the young man, and then added, laughing,"He told us he intended to throw you down stairs."
Sam walked on in silence, filled with wrath. He turned into a side streetand stopped when his companion put a hand upon his arm.
"This is our dump," said the young man, pointing to a long low framebuilding facing the side street. "Come in and let us have your story. Itshould be a good one."
Inside the newspaper office another young man sat with his head lying on aflat-top desk. He was clad in a strikingly flashy plaid coat, had a littlewizened, good-natured face and seemed to have been drinking. The young manwith the beard explained Sam's identity, taking the sleeping man by theshoulder and shaking him vigorously.
"Wake up, Skipper! There's a good story here!" he shouted. "The union hasthrown out the mail-order strike leader!"
The Skipper got to his feet and began shaking his head.
"Of course, of course, Old Top, they would throw you out. You've got somebrains. No man with brains can lead a strike. It's against the laws ofNature. Something was bound to hit you. Did Roughneck come out fromPittsburgh?" he asked, turning to the young man of the brown beard.
Then reaching above his head and taking a cap that matched his plaid coatfrom a nail on the wall, he winked at Sam. "Come on, Old Top. I've got toget a drink."
The two men went through a side door and down a dark alley, going in atthe back door of a saloon. Mud lay deep in the alley and The Skippersloshed through it, splattering Sam's clothes and face. In the saloon at atable facing Sam, with a bottle of French wine between them, he beganexplaining.
"I've a note coming due at the bank in the morning and no money to payit," he said. "When I have a note coming due I always have no money and Ialways get drunk. Then next morning I pay the note. I don't know how I doit, but I always come out all right. It's a system--Now about thisstrike." He plunged into a discussion of the strike while men came in andout, laughing and drinking. At ten o'clock the proprietor locked the frontdoor, drew the curtain, and coming to the back of the room sat down at thetable with Sam and The Skipper, bringing another bottle of the French winefrom which the two men continued drinking.
"That man from Pittsburgh busted up your place, eh?" he said, turning toSam. "A man came in here to-night and told me. He sent for the typewriterpeople and made them take away the machines."
When they were ready to leave, Sam took money from his pocket and offeredto pay for the bottle of French wine ordered by The Skipper, who arose andstood unsteadily on his feet.
"Do you mean to insult me?" he demanded indignantly, throwing a twentydollar bill on the table. The proprietor gave him back only fourteendollars.
"I might as well wipe off the slate while you're flush," he observed,winking at Sam.
The Skipper sat down again, taking a pencil and pad of paper from hispocket, and throwing them on the table.
"I want an editorial on the strike for the Old Rag," he said to Sam. "Doone for me. Do something strong. Get a punch into it. I want to talk to myfriend here."
Putting the pad of paper on the table Sam began writing his newspapereditorial. His head seemed wonderfully clear, his command of wordsunusually good. He called the attention of the public to the situation,the struggles of the striking girls and the intelligent fight they hadbeen making to win a just cause, following this with paragraphs pointingout how the effectiveness of the work done had been annulled by theposition taken by the labour and socialist leaders.
"These fellows at bottom care nothing for results," he wrote. "They arenot thinking of the unemployed women with families to support, they arethinking only of themselves and their puny leadership which they fear isthreatened. Now we shall have the usual exhibition of all the old things,struggle, and hatred and defeat."
When he had finished The Skipper and Sam went back through the alley tothe newspaper office. The Skipper sloshed again through the mud andcarried in his hand a bottle of red gin. At his desk he took the editorialfrom Sam's hands and read it.
"Perfect! Perfect to the thousandth part of an inch, Old Top," he said,pounding Sam on the shoulder. "Just what the Old Rag wanted to say aboutthe strike." Then climbing upon the desk and putting the plaid coat underhis head he went peacefully to sleep, and Sam, sitting beside the desk ina shaky office chair, slept also. At daybreak a black man with a broom inhis hand woke them, and going into a long low room filled with presses TheSkipper put his head under a water tap and came back waving a soiled toweland with water dripping from his hair.
"Now for the day and the labours thereof," he said, grinning at Sam andtaking a long drink out of the gin bottle.
After breakfast he and Sam took up their stand in front of the barber shopopposite the stairway leading to the shirtwaist factory. Sam's girl withthe pamphlets was gone as was also the soft-eyed Jewish girl, and in theirplaces Frank and the Pittsburgh leader named Harrigan walked up and down.Again carriages and automobiles stood by the curb, and again a welldressed woman got out of a machine and went toward three striking girlsapproaching along the sidewalk. The woman was met by Harrigan, shaking hisfist and shouting, and getting back into the machine she drove off. Fromthe stairway the flashily-dressed Hebrew looked at the crowd and laughed.
"Where is the new strike leader--the mail-order strike leader?" he calledto Frank.
With the words, a working man with a dinner pail on his arm ran out of thecrowd and knocked the Jew back into the stairway.
"Punch him! Punch the dirty scab leader!" yelled Frank, dancing up anddown on the sidewalk.
Two policemen running forward began leading the workingman up the street,his dinner pail still clutched in one hand.
"I know something," The Skipper shouted, pounding Sam on the shoulder. "Iknow who will sign that note with me. The woman Harrigan drove back intoher machine is the richest woman in town. I will show her your editorial.She will think I wrote it and it will get her. You'll see." He ran off upthe street, shouting back over his shoulder, "Come over to the dump, Iwant to see you again."
Sam returned to the newspaper office and sat down waiting for The Skipperwho, after a time, came in, took off his coat and began writing furiously.From time to time he took long drinks out of the bottle of red gin, andafter silently offering it to Sam, continued reeling off sheet after sheetof loosely-written matter.
"I got her to sign the note," he called over his shoulder to Sam. "She wasfurious at Harrigan and when I told her we were going to attack him anddefend you she fell for it quick. I won out by following my system. Ialways get drunk and it always wins."
At ten o'clock the newspaper office was in a ferment. The little man withthe brown pointed beard, and another, kept running to The Skipper askingadvice, laying typewritten sheets before him, talking as he wrote.
"Give me a lead. I want one more front page lead," The Skipper keptbawling at them, working like mad.
At ten thirty the door opened and Harrigan, accompanied by Frank, came in.Seeing Sam they stopped, looking at him uncertainly, and at the man atwork at the desk.
"Well, speak up. This is no ladies' reception room. What do you fellowswant?" snapped The Skipper, glaring at them.
Frank, coming forward, laid a typewritten sheet on the desk, which thenewspaper man read hurriedly.
"Will you use it?" asked Frank.
The Skipper laughed.
"Wouldn't change a word of it," he shouted. "Sure I'll use it. It's what Iwanted to make my point. You fellows watch me."
Frank and Harrigan went out and The Skipper, rushing to the door, beganyelling into the room beyond.
"Hey, you Shorty and Tom, I've got that last lead."
Coming back to his desk he began writing again, grinning as he worked. ToSam he handed the typewritten sheet prepared by Frank.
"Dastardly attempt to win the cause of the working girls by dirty scableaders and butter-fingered capitalist class," it began, and after thisfollowed a wild jumble of words, words without meaning, sentences withoutpoint in which Sam was called a mealy-mouthed mail-order musser and TheSkipper was mentioned incidentally as a pusillanimous ink slinger.
"I'll run the stuff and comment on it," declared The Skipper, handing Samwhat he had written. It was an editorial inviting the public to read thearticle prepared for publication by the strike leaders and sympathisingwith the striking girls that their cause had to be lost because of theincompetence and lack of intelligence of their leaders.
"Hurrah for Roughhouse, the brave man who leads working girls to defeat inorder that he may retain leadership and drive intelligent effort out ofthe cause of labour," wrote The Skipper.
Sam looked at the sheets and out of the window where a snow storm raged.It seemed to him that a crime was being done and he was sick and disgustedat his own inability to stop it. The Skipper lighted a short black pipeand took his cap from a nail on the wall.
"I'm the smoothest little newspaper thing in town and some financier aswell," he declared. "Let's go have a drink."
After the drink Sam walked through the town toward the country. At theedge of town where the houses became scattered and the road started todrop away into a deep valley some one helloed behind him. Turning, he sawthe soft-eyed Jewish girl running along a path beside the road.
"Where are you going?" he asked, stopping to lean against a board fence,the snow falling upon his face.
"I'm going with you," said the girl. "You're the best and the strongestman I've ever seen and I'm not going to let you get away. If you've got awife it don't matter. She isn't what she should be or you wouldn't bewalking about the country alone. Harrigan and Frank say you're crazy, butI know better. I am going with you and I'm going to help you find what youwant."
Sam wondered. She took a roll of bills from a pocket in her dress and gaveit to him.
"I spent three hundred and fourteen dollars," she said.
They stood looking at each other. She put out a hand and laid it on hisarm. Her eyes, soft and now glowing with eager light looked into his. Herround breasts rose and fell.
"Anywhere you say. I'll be your servant if you ask it of me."
A wave of hot desire ran through Sam followed by a quick reaction. Hethought of his months of weary seeking and his universal failure.
"You are going back to town if I have to drive you there with stones," hetold her, and turning ran down the valley leaving her standing by theboard fence, her head buried in her arms.