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Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:00 am

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Billings ran from the Junction on dusk, and ate dinner in silence. He had been East sixty days, and, although there lurked about him the hint of unusual ventures, etiquette forbade her to call. You see, in our country, that what a man gives himself freely is often subsequently decompose in smoky bunk-houses, or roughly handled round flickering campfire, but he guards are inviolate privacies. Curiosity is not really a lost art, but the practice is not popular, nor hygienic.

Later I found him meditatively smaller outside on the porch, and when the time seemed favorable, I asked useful: - "Do you have a good time in Chicago, 'Bitter Root'?"

"Bully," he said, falling back in heavy absorption.

"What have you done?" I asked with almost the certainty of appearance retention.

"Do not you ever read the papers?" he asked, with such obvious compassion Kink Martin and the other boys chuckled. This from "Bitter Root," who despise literature outside the "Arkansas Printing" as he calls the illustrations!

"I think I will have to show you my press releases," and a hip pocket he produced a fat bundle of clippings in a rubber band. This showed him jealous, and I stared agape, for they were the front pages of major metropolitan dailies, marred with a red and black scare heads, which I read the words: "Billings, Montana," "Bitter Root" a glimpse of Arbitration, "" A Lochinvar Out of the West "and other things as puzzling.

"Press Notices" Kink repeated scornfully. "Would not you rope? He talks like Big Ike, which went with the Wild West Show. When a puncher gets so lazy that he is not a livin 'earn by the sweat of his pony, he grows his hair, goes on the stage bustin' glass spheres with a shot ca'tridges and talk about 'press releases. "Let's see 'em, Billings. You squeeze them as close to your stummick as if you held cards in a strange poker game."

"Well, I'm in a strange game, among strangers," said Billings, apart from the question, "and I have held the high cards, I've signed with distinction. I have the medium sea food with mutiny in the stoke-hold;. I have the labor laws, politics and the local economy, I went out of the land God right in the heart of the decayin "East, and by applying a runnin 'loop in a hemp rope I strangled oppression and put eight thousand men at work. "He paused ponderously. "I am a referee!"

"The Deuce you are," indignantly cried "Reddy" the cook. "Says who?"

"Reddy" is not in the syntax, and unreasoning allegiance to Billings is an established fact of such a state that his comments not suspect afford.

"Yes, I cut in" Peril Nation's "evil and" Cryin '"good and strong - Walkin' from the smell of the Union Stockyards, Chicago, in the glare of publicity, via the 'drunk and disorderly "route.

"You see that I have ten carloads oxen went into the city all right, but I was busy splatterin as debt" by the followed-up waste from the cow pens, a inhalin "sewer gas from the west side that I never got a newspaper to see if I 'an' to read, here's what I call 'a' found, namely:. The biggest stubbornest, riotin'est strike ever known, a lot for Chicago, she was wet nurse means of labor problems.

"The entire riverfront was tied. Nary a steamer had whistled in the six miles cradle for two weeks, and eight thousand men was out. There was a hold-ups and blood sheddin 'and picketin', the latter is an alias for the assault with intent, and the whole was a great place for a Cowman, on a quiet holiday - just homey and natural.

"It was at this point that I comes in, bustin 'out the smoke from the Stockyards, all sweet and beautiful, like the soft heeroine in playing when she walks through the curtains at the back of the stage.

"Now you know that a lot of difference between the Stock Yards and Chicago - it's like coming from Arkansas into the United States.

"Well, once I got the stocks I sold for more and started the ground sluice the coal dust from my palate.

"I was busy drinking my hydraulic when I see a barren appearin 'pilgrim' long side lookin 'thirsty as an alkali flat.

"" Get in, "says I, and the way he obeyed orders looked like he had military training, I felt sort of drawn to him the way he treated Licker;. Taking justice and Runnin 'on, then sopped his hands on the bar and smoke from his fingers, he just seemed to enjoy it either way -. reg'lar human tissue paper.

"" You shot it like a man, 'says I, "as one Cowman - full grown - ever West?"

"" No, "he says," born here. "

"" Well, I'm a stranger, 'says I, "Absorbine out" such a beauty of its architecture and offers free lunch along the line. If I do not keepin' you, I would like your company. "

"I am your assistant lunch buster," he says, and in the course of things he further explained that he was a tugboat fireman, out on a strike, Givin 'me the follerin "about the tie-up: -

"It's all coming up on a dose of dyspepsia -"

"Backup," interrupted Kink winding, "you lead bug? Get together! You must be the Raving Kid. You must have stone bruised heel and received concessions from the brains."

"Yes sir! Indigestion," Billings continued. "Badrich Old man, the Badrich Transportation Company has it terrible. It lands on his solar every morning about nine o'clock, Gettin 'worse stable, and reaches perihelion along about eleven. He can tell the time of day by the taste. One morning when his mouth felt like about ten to forty-five comes in a committee of Firemen & Engineers Local No. 21, with a demand for more wages, proddin 'allusions to him, if he did not ante they establish binding on all its boats. "

"I SPOS a teaspoon Bakin 'soda, internally assimilated around near his appendix would have spared the strike and cheated me out of bein' a hero as the poet might have said -." Upon such a slim pens, this is our greatness hung. "

"Oh, Gawd!" cried worry, pious.

"However, the bitterness in the interior of the old man pipes showed in the bile of his answer, and he told them if they wanted more money he would give them a chance to earn it - they could work nights and days. He also suggested that they should be satisfied with their wages as they undoubtedly foller same line of business in the next world, and could not get a penny nor for feedin 'the fire.

"Next morning" the strike was called and the man who breathed treachery and walk-outs was a 'fat' Heegan further submerged under the titles of chairman of the Federation of Firefighters fresh water, also chairman of United Water Front Workers , which last takes in everything do to business along the river, except the yard-rats and typhoid germs, and it is with the disreputableness of this party, that I have been infected at the expense of labor and the triumph of the law .

"D. O'Hara Heegan is an able man, and the inside of one week he had the strike" until it was the cleanest, dirtiest tie-up ever known. Hospitals and morgues were filled with non-union men, but the river was empty all right. Yes, he persuadin 'method of arbitration quite convincing to the most calloused, with layin' on one of the lead pipe had.

"Things must be pretty bright and bye-bye, for they had buffaloed the police, and disruption was plentyer than the victims at a butcher 'picnic. The hunger strike was also, finally, because the principles of the trade union movement as a result your mechanic, skin deep - inside, gastric works three shifts a day, even if its exterior is idle and steaming with Socialism.

"Oily fed 'em Dray much eloquence, but it did not really FILLIN. They would leave the talks and robbing a bakery.

"He was a miracle that all but sat in his office, and remained the owners waitin 'in line, swearin' bitter and refined cuss-words" ignorant fiend "and" discussed educator, the latter, lighting Kink's means a kind of Hebrew meetin'-house.

"These here details my new friend give me, ending with a eulogy at the Fat Heegan, the idol of the idle.

"" If he says starve, we starve, "he says,".! And if he says work, work we see the goods Oh, he let us go down by the river - mebbe we see it. " So I walked down and Murdock Water Street, where they keep mosquito net above the bar fixtures and spit on the stove.

"We found him, a big mouth, resourceful, kind of man, 'bout as cynical lookin' in your face like a black bass, and full of wind as a toad fish. I exchanged drinks for principles of socialism, and doin 'so happened to roll my display. Murdock slipped away and was talking with a friend, or if Heegan had left, he sends me the back door into an alley. "short," he says, "to different and better place. "

"I follers through a back room, then when I step out the door I am fascinated by this new friend, while Murdock bathes my head with a gas pipe Billy, one of the regulation, strike promotin 'kind, like they use to decoyin 'members in the glorious ranks of Labour.

"I saw a" Burning of Rome, that was a dream, and very shower of shooting "stars, but I pulled Mr. Enthusiastic Stranger away from my single and threw him agin the wall. In the shuffle Murdock my ballasts are shifts and steams up the alley with my dollars, convoyed by his friend.

"" Wow-ow, 'says I, Givin' the distress, so that the windows rattled, and Reachin 'for my holster. I'd 'a' got them both, but the gun caught on my suspender. You see, not anticipatin "shoot any live bird should I put on my pants, belt, under my vest, for appearances forty-five A is like fresh air to a man drownding -. line should be drawn in a hurry - and neither one should not get lost. I got her out and finally burned away, just one second after they dodged around the corner. And I hit the track after 'em, lettin' a few sky-shots, and gettin 'a ghost-dance call of my stummick that was bothering me. The blow to the head made me dizzy though, and I zigzagged terrible, tackin 'from the alley right a policeman.

"" Whee! " I say pleasure, because he had Murdock safe by the bits, buckin 'considerably.

"'Stan' aside and le'mme 'lectrocute' im, 'says I. I threw the gun on him and the crowd holding the doors and windows in handy, but I was so weak in the knees of mind I stumbled across the curb and fell.

"The next thing I knew was that we all bounce" on the rocks in a patrol car.

"Well, in the morning I told my story to the judge, plain and unvarnished. Dan Murdock takes the stand and busts in the song, claiming he was comin 'through the alley toward Clark Street when I staggered back out of a saloon and began to shoot at him. He saw that I was drunk, and fanned out, shoot me 'on him with each jump. He had proof, he said, and he called the president of his Union, Mr. Heegan. In the name of all the loafers and stew-bums in court stamped and said, "Listen, listen," while pedaling this Napoleon of the Hoboes.

"Of course, he knew Mr. Murdock - had known him for years, and he was completely trustworthy and honest robbed me, it was ridiculous because he was on the other side of the alley and saw the whole thing. Just like Mr. Murdock by it.

"I jump," You're a liar, I was buyin Heegan. " Drink for the two of you, .. ", but a cop nailed me, chokin 'my lord Heegan rhetoric leans over and whispers to the court, while I have chilblains down my spine.

"" Look here, kind of a judge, "says I really win and chic," this man is so good at explainin 'things away, to ask him to speak out this bump over my ear. I certainly did not get a buggy spoke and laminate myself on the nut.

"" That will do, "says the judge" Mr. Clerk, ten dollars and costs -. Cargo, drunk and disorderly Next! ".

"" Wait there, "says I, ignorant of the involutions of justice," I think I've got the bump this time. They beat me, right. I was not even a penny. You can go through me and are welcome to half you find. I'll mail you ten years when I got home well, honestly. "

"At that the audience giggled, and the judge says: -

"" Your humor does not appeal to me, Billings. Of course, you have the privilege to have it out. " Oh, Glory, the "Privilege!"

"Heegan nodded at this, and I realized what I had to.

"" Your Honor, "says with a sarcastic refinements," Science tells us that a perfect vacuum is impossible, but after watching you I know better, and for you, sir worker's Friend - us to the floor, " and I run on Heegan.

"Yuck, I never started, nor have I not go to work until I rested in the house, which last figger of speech is a pure and beautiful paradox come.

"I'm not dwellin" with joy the next twenty-six days - ten dollars and costs, four bits per day, but I left there saturated with such hatred that my breath melted Heegan of 'em.

"I wander along the river front, hoping the fortunes of war would deliver him to me dead or alive, the thought hit me that I need money. It was bound to another ten, and the costs are shortly after we met, and probably more if I paid for what I have, for I figgered on distendin. myself with satisfaction and its functions with uppercuts Then I sign, "non-union men wanted - Big salary. In I go, and my trunks langwidge by a wire grid at checkout.

"" I wish them great reward, "says I.

"What can you do?"

"'All the money,' says I. 'What does it take for an attack on a union leader wind up?"

"There was a white-haired man in the cage, which began to sit and take note.

"" What's your problem? " he says, and I told him.

"" If we have a few like you, we'd bust the strike, "he says, kind of sizin 'me up." I have an idea to try anyway, "and he chastises the agency." Collins, what d'you say if we tow the "Detroit" from? Her crew has stayed with us until now, and they will now continue as we say the word. The unions are hungry and scrapping among themselves, and men want to go back to work. It is simply that of a devil that goes Heegan 'em. If they see that we got a tugboat crew go, they will mediate, and we will kill the strike. "

"Yes, sir," says Collins, "but where is the tug crew, Mr. Badrich?"

"" Right here! We three, and Murphy, the bookkeeper. Blast this laziness, I want to fight. "

"" I do the same, "says I," when I saw the price. "

"" That's all right. You bring the mind, and I see you through. Can you make a bike? Good! I take the wheel and the fire others'll. It's risky work, though. You will not again , huh? "

Reddy Billings here loudly interrupted with a snort of disgust, while "Bitter Root" his fingers through his hair before continuing. Martin was listening intently.

"The old man arranged for a team of agents on all bridges, and I start anticipatin" hilarities for the next day.

"The news came out, of course, the secrets of the police headquarters, and when we ran the river to deliver us, it seemed that every spire west of Pittsburg had his family in the port to the barbecue to see, accompanied by stones and pebbles enough scrap to ballast a battleship. The only thing we got goin 'up was the reply, but I figgered we'd need armor gettin' back.

"We passed a hawser to the 'Detroit,' and I turned the gas into the tug, Blowin 'in the Wells Street Bridge. When the war began. I lean the door just in time to the crowd charging the bridge to see. The police clubbed 'em back, while a roar went from the port and the rooftops that was like a bad dream. I could not move anyone though, and the old man to see again blew Badrich expurgatin "Nobby himself from a line of curse words as you'll muster outside the cattle belt.

"'Soak' em, 'I yells,' give 'em up arbitration handy if you do not open. We'll jump her,' and I let another notch, so we plowin 'boilin and went' to the draw .

"It looked like we would have to hurdle sure enough, but the police hit the crowd back just in time. It was not clear, but open, and our boat caromed off the spiles. It was like a nigger buttin 'a persimmon tree - We rattled off a rain of missiles, such as an abnormal hailstorm Talk about your coast defense, they gave everything to us bad names to railroad iron, and we lost all our window glass the first clatter, while the chimney saw. like a pretzel with cramps.

"When we scraped by looking back with pity on the 'Detroit' crew. She had no cockpit and the pilot was due to all the attention was" comin to get him. They had built a barricade of potato sacks, chicken coops and bic-a-brac around the wheel that protected 'em a little, but even as I watched, a Pole filtered, and laid a stone cold quartermaster, and he was off drugs. Oh it was refined and aesthetic .

"Well, we gauntlet run, presented each block with stuff Rangin 'tensile strengths of insults to asphalt pavements, and noise - say, all the racket in the world was a whisper, I caught a glimpse of the old man leanin." From of the pilot house, where a window was, his white hair bristling, and his nostrils h'isted, embellishin 'launched by surprisin' flights of gleeful profanity.

"" Hurrah! This is livin 'he shouts, spyin "I shovelin' deck from under the mess." Best meal I've had in years, "and just as a number of baseball player throwing from center field, catching him in the neck with a tomato. Gee! that man is an honor for the faculty of speech.

"I was doin 'a bully-rock boulders bounced into the engine room, makin' a billiard table with my knee, then I got kind of irritable.

"Rush Street Bridge is the last, and they were massive on both sides, like fleas on a Razorback. Thinks I, 'If we make it through this, we busted the strike," and I look back at' Detroit 'just in time for her crew Pullin' their leader in the deck house, limp and bleedin 'see. The barricade was all knocked to pieces and dropped them absolute. Do not blame 'em much either, as it was sure death to stand in the open in the rain of the stuff coming from the bridge. Obviously without steerin "she started to swing away.

"I jump from the other side of the engine room and screams fit for bust my throat.

"" Grab the wheel Take it fast - an annoying pressure on the bridge, "but it was like Deef stupid and talking in a boiler shop, while a wilder howl went to the waterfront when they see what they had done and smelled victory there A terror on the voice of a blood-maddened mob club swinging;. it lifts your scalp like a fright wig, especially if you clubee.

"" We have a chance, "thinks I, 'but if they strike us gone. They will swamp us sure, and all the police in Cook County are not enough saving for providers to keep up." Then I glanced at the opening ahead and froze in my pessimistic.

"I forgot all about the resilience of the bricks and the table manners of riots, because, on top of a bunch of spiles, ca'm, masterful and bloated with perjuries was Fat Heegan dictatin" the disposition of his troops, the light of victory in his shifty little eyes.

"" Ten dollars and costs, "I scream, Seein 'red'. Spiles Lemme they crawl on you."

"Then inspiration seized me. My soul riz and wrestled with the crisis, the right under my mit, coiled, suggestive and pleadin" was one of the tug Heavin 'lines' bout a three-eighth size. I slips a runnin "knot in the end and distribute the roles crouchin behind the cabin until we come across him, then I straightened, give it a swinging jerk, and the noose sailed and settled on him fine and daisy.

"I pulled back and has a high fat Heegan dive from Rush Street, which had a geometric delight. He hit kind of amateurish, doin 'what we used to call" belly buster "back home, but satisfyin' for a maiden effort, and I reeled him back.

"Your husband is not Chicago a gamey fish. He will tame and spraying sewage as a dissolute porpoise, while I played him out where he was the thrash of the propeller to get.

"" Help, "he shouts," I'm a drownding. "

"" Ten dollars and costs, "says I, lettin 'him again. "Do you know who you're drinkin 'with this time, huh? "

"I think the surprise of the crowd was similar to Heegan's, at least I am told that we were given preference in such a calm voice that my four blocks, just Achin 'welcomes Then came pandemonium tore loose, but I was engrosed in so sweet. conversation I never heard or noticed that the 'Detroit' had pushed through the draw by a hair, and we were on our way to the blue and Smilin 'anymore.

"'For God's sake, Lemme up," says Heegan, Splashin' past and look-in "Strange I rides him, he would not miss one of my irony, and says. -

"" I just can not do, Circles - it's wash day, you're plumb nasty with boycotts and mandatory arbitration and picketin I go .. " Your clean, "and I drunk him like a wet shirt.

"I drug him out again and continues: -

"" This is Chinese work, fat, but I lost my pride in the Bridewell, thanks to you. It is difficult in St. Louis to the wax-stream in this way, but perhaps the worst of your heresies's treated as them so far. "You know the Chicago River runs through the hill from Lake Michigan drainage and water supply in St. Louis before the -. Most unnatural stream I ever see on the direction and odors.

"I was Gettin 'a good deal of fun and infections of him as an old man Badrich ran back enamelled with blood and passe tomato, red in his white hair makin' his top look like one of those fancy ice cream drinks a soda fountain.

'! Here you kill him here, "he says, so I pulled him aboard, Drippin 'and affectionate, wringin' him a good and thorough -. By the neck he made a nice joke.

"These clippings," continued "Bitter Root," fishing in his pocket, "tell the nice figgers how the last seen of Oily Heegan he holystoning the deck of a sooty little tugboat under the exhortations and the foot of Billings' Bitter Root "Montana, and they show how the strikers tried to get tugs for enjoyment and could not, and how, all day long, the roof was visible a tugboat love Cruisin 'on the outer cribs, bustin' the silence with joyful explosion of victory, and they will argue that about the dark they studded the river, weary and dragged a bony-lookin 'cowboy inhalin' cigarette on the mirror-bits, with a three meters knotted rope in his lap. When a delegation of strikers met her, inquirin "a Heegan D. O'Hara, puts it," and Billings read laboriously as follows: -

'"Then the bronzed and lanky man stood with a smile of rare contentment, threw overboard his cigarette, and approaching the boiler room door, loudly exclaimed:" Come out of that, "and the president of the Federation of Fresh Water Firefighters dragged. himself wearily out into the flashing lights he was black and soaked and stripes, sweat, too, he shone with the grease and oil from the engine, while the palms of his hands were covered with painful blisters on the unusual, intimate contact with shovels and tow bars. It was seen that he winced fearfully as the cowboy turned the rope end.

'"" He is the Makin's of a fireman was fair, "said the stranger," "all he wants is practical."

"Then, if the delegation angrily muttered, holding his hand, and in the ensuing silence, said: -

"'" Boys, the strike is over. Mr. Heegan has arbitrated. "'"

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