It would depend on the nature of the charges

It is true that First Sergeant Barriscale took into serious consideration
the question of an attempt to block the confirmation of his rival’s
election to the first lieutenancy.

But when he consulted with his father about the matter, the elder
Barriscale advised against such action. Not that he had any love for
McCormack. He was against him as bitterly as was his son. But he had
a longer head than had his boy, and he felt that the time was not yet
ripe in which to inaugurate a movement that would do the young officer
the most injury. Hal had not renounced his socialistic leanings, nor
had he forsaken his radical associates. Of that fact the Barriscales
had assured themselves, and with that fact, and what it promised for
the future, they were at present content.

“Give him rope enough, and he’ll hang himself,” was the sententious
comment of the elder Barriscale.

So, in due time, Lieutenant McCormack received his commission and
took the oath required of commissioned officers. It was an oath the
obligation of which stared him in the face many times in the days that
were to come.

“I do solemnly swear that to the best of my knowledge and
ability I will support and defend the Constitution of the
United States, and of the State of Pennsylvania, against
all enemies foreign and domestic; and that I will well and
faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am
about to enter. So help me God.

_First Lieutenant Company E,
—-th Regiment, N. G. P.,
Fairweather, Pa._”

“Sworn to and subscribed before me
this 21st day of October, A. D. 1915.

_Major, Staff of_ BRIG.-GEN’L. SAML. A. FINLETTER.”

So, at last, Hal had his shoulder-straps, his officer’s uniform, and
his equipment. Much against his inclination he had been obliged to
accept these things as a gift from his Aunt Sarah Halpert. Not to have
done so would, as she herself declared, have completely broken her

“I can’t go and fight,” she said to him; “not but what I’d be perfectly
willing to, but they wouldn’t let me. So the next best thing for me to
do was to furnish you with your fighting togs. And you’ll have a chance
to use ’em; take my word for it. Uncle Sam’s soldiers are going to have
some fighting to do before things get settled.”

“I hope not, Aunt Sarah.”

“You hope not! Why, you weak-kneed pacifist! If this government doesn’t
jump in and help France and England smash the Kaiser, I’ll be ashamed
of my flag.”

“It’s not our quarrel.”

“Of course it’s our quarrel. Those stupid German blunderers have made
it our quarrel. They’ve trodden on Uncle Sam’s coat-tails once a week
for a year. They’ll do it about twice more and then something will
drop. Besides, there’s all that hubbub down in Mexico, making life a
nightmare this side the border. Those hoodlums have got to be clubbed
into decency, and I don’t see but what you fellows have got to go down
there and do it. There isn’t enough of the regular army to patrol a
greaser’s cabin. And if you don’t get a taste of war across the seas or
down among the cactus, you may have a chance to show your mettle right
here at home. They say the workmen in the mills are getting impudent
and ugly and threatening a strike that’ll make Ben Barriscale’s hair
stand on end. I mean the old man.”

She paused, not because she had no more to say, but in order to take
fresh breath. The pause gave Hal another chance to break in.

“I wouldn’t mind helping to defend this country against a foreign
foe, if it were necessary,” he said, “or even assisting to suppress a
domestic rebellion against the lawfully organized government. But when
it comes to doing strike duty I protest. That’s a job for the state
police anyway; not for the National Guard.”

“But it _is_ a job for the National Guard when it gets too big for the
police or the state police to handle. I suppose men have a right to
quit work whenever they want to; but they haven’t a right to try to win
a strike with brickbats and torches.”

“If workmen were fairly treated, and given their due proportion of the
product of their labor, there would be no strikes, and no brickbats,
and no torches. Anyway, the idea of workers being awed or shot or
bayoneted by the militia into submission to their capitalist employers’
terms, is so abhorrent to me that I don’t want to think of it.”

“There you go again, you wild-eyed anarchist! A fine militiaman you
are! Threatening to compound felonies and protect criminals! You’d

“There, now, Aunt Sarah, let’s call quits! We’ll never agree in the
world. You come up to the armory to-morrow night and see me in my new
uniform, and forget that I’m a bomb-throwing, king-killing anarchist.”

It was true, as Aunt Sarah had said, that there was uneasiness among
the workmen employed in the Barriscale plant. The factory had never
before been so busy. The company was not engaged directly in the
manufacture of munitions for use by the entente allies, but it was
engaged in the manufacture of implements and machinery for the making
of such munitions. Among the men the rumor was current that the profits
of the concern were enormous, and that the Barriscales and their
associates were reaping great harvests of gold. They knew of no reason
why they, in view of the sharp advance in the general cost of living,
should not share in this prosperity. Wages had indeed been advanced
twice since the advent of the European War, but these advances were
merely a pittance in comparison to what they were entitled to receive
if stories of the company’s profits were true.

However, the winter came and brought no strike. Men are not apt, in
severe weather, to look complacently on disappearing jobs.

But when the late March days gave promise of an early spring, and new
life began to stir the pulses of men as it stirred the heart of nature,
the spirit of discontent awoke and crystallized into a demand on the
officers of the Barriscale Company for much higher wages, shorter hours
and better conditions of labor. The demand was refused. Next in order
was an ultimatum to the effect that unless, by the following Tuesday
night, the requirements of the men were substantially complied with,
not a union man would be found at his post on Wednesday morning.

Benjamin Barriscale, Sr., shut his square jaws together, and told his
board of directors that so far as he was concerned he would scrap the
entire plant and go out of business before he would be black-jacked
into submission to a lot of irresponsible union officials. And since
he dominated the board and no one cared to dispute his judgment, the
ultimatum was ignored and the strike was declared.

Both sides claimed to be confident of victory, and, as the contest
lengthened, there was less talk of compromise, and the farther away
appeared to be the day of settlement.

In the fifth week of the struggle a new element entered into the
situation. Hitherto the management of the strike had been in the
hands of labor union officials. They had held their men well in
check, there had been little disorder and no rioting. But, from the
inception of the trouble, organizers and leaders of the radical wing
of the workers had labored among the idle men, quietly, insidiously,
persistently, successfully. Now, having gained a firm foothold, they
assumed management of the strike, and dictated to the company their
own terms for reëmployment regardless of the demands made by union
officials. Not only at the Barriscale works, but throughout the city,
they made proselytes, and trouble. The discontented, the unthinking,
the reckless, the foreign-born and unnaturalized, gathered under their
leadership. Their logic was convincing, their philosophy alluring,
their promises glittering; indeed, if they were to be believed, the
day of labor’s redemption in Fairweather was at hand. The workers had
only to persist in their demands and to block all resumption of work by
any one until those demands were met, and victory was sure to rest on
their banners.

Into this new, more aggressive, more bitter campaign, Hugo Donatello
plunged with all of his accustomed vigor and enthusiasm. He believed
in his cause. He did not see the ugly side of his propaganda. He was
not at heart a criminal, he was a dreamer. And he dreamed that if the
principle of the solidarity of labor, the international brotherhood
of all who toiled, the distribution of all wealth to those who earned
it by their toil, could once be established in this inland city of
America, the benefit and glory of it would spread from this as a
center, across the continent, across the ocean to bring peace to
war-torn Europe; and the name of Hugo Donatello as chief propagandist
of the new-old philosophy would be acclaimed throughout the civilized

He had not yet made a complete convert of Halpert McCormack. For while
the young lieutenant sympathized deeply with his humanitarian motives,
and, in a general way, with his philosophy of economics, he was not yet
ready to approve of the methods by which the economic millennium was to
be ushered in. Complete disarmament, confiscation of private property,
abolition of restraining laws, sabotage and violence, these things were
not to Hal’s liking; in his view the end did not quite justify the
means. But, under the eloquence of Donatello’s logic, under the power
of his persuasion, under the magic force of his enthusiasm, this young
dreamer and reformer was drifting ever and ever nearer to the rocks
and shoals of that radicalism upon which, if finally and completely
stranded, he was sure to be wrecked.

It goes without saying that Donatello’s weekly Journal, _The
Disinherited_, took up the cause of the more radical element among
the striking workmen with vigor and enthusiasm. The attitude of the
Barriscale corporation, and other manufacturers whose workmen were
out, was characterized as selfish, obstinate and cruel. One issue of
the paper, published some weeks after the inauguration of the strike,
contained an editorial a portion of which ran as follows:

“Still the situation does not change. Still is justice
denied to those men by whose labors these very purse-proud
owners of the mills have become so rich. Now they say that
strike-breakers will be coming to take the places of those
honest working-men, and that state soldiery will protect these
scabs, and that the military company of Fairweather will be
marched to the mills and ordered by the capitalist employers
to turn the points of their bayonets against the hearts of
laborers looking for their own. But all of those members of the
military company do not have sympathy with these plutocrats and
hired thugs. What then will be? Will honest and free soldiers
obey orders to shoot down fellow-toilers, those neighbors and
friends? Is it for this the military is? Then what young man
of spirit, of heart-kindness, would join himself with that
militia, and become the tool of the capitalist class, and
forced to obey their orders, even to the shedding of the blood
of fellow-workers?”

On the evening of the day on which the paper containing this article
made its appearance, General Chick entered the drill-hall at the armory
to find a group of militiamen reading, and discussing with some heat,
the editorial in _The Disinherited_.

As the boy approached the crowd, one of the fun-loving members of it
called out to him:

“Here’s a drive at you, Chick. Donatello says that no honest man will
try to join Company E. Where’s that paper? Let Chick read it for

The paper was thrust into Chick’s hands and the article pointed out to
him. He took it to the nearest electric sidelight, and slowly, and not
without some difficulty, read it through.

When he returned to the group the young fellow who had spoken to him

“Well, what do you think of it?”

“I think,” replied the boy, “that he’s way off. I got no use for them
dogs in the manger, anyway.”

The humorous soldier turned to his companions. “There’s no doubt,”
he said, “but that Donatello had General Chick in mind when he wrote
that article. He doesn’t want Chick to join Company E, and he’s trying
to bluff him out in advance by assailing his honor and aspersing his
motives. Chick, old boy, I wouldn’t stand for it if I were you.”

Chick never quite knew, when the boys talked to him, whether he was
being addressed in jest or in earnest; and he didn’t know on this
occasion. But he had usually found it safe to assume that those who
gave him information or advice were treating him seriously and he
proceeded now on that assumption.

“It don’t make no difference to me what he says,” replied Chick. “He
can’t scare me out. When I git a chance to jine, I’ll jine.”

“That’s right! and I’d tell him so. I’d put it up to him squarely that
his threats and warnings fall off of you like water off of a duck’s

“Oh, maybe I’ll see him some time an’ have it out with him.”

“Good! But I wouldn’t wait. ‘Strike while the iron’s hot,’ I say. I’d
tackle him to-morrow about it if I were you.”

But Chick was already shuffling away toward the stack-room and did not
reply. The thing stayed on his mind, however, and the more he thought
of it the more indignant he became. He was not satisfied that Donatello
had had him in mind while writing the editorial. Probably that idea
originated in the minds of the boys; it was not material anyway.

The serious part of it was that, through his newspaper, Donatello had
been making an effort to prevent young men generally from joining the
National Guard; and that, in Chick’s estimation, was an offense which
fell little short of actual treason. He wondered if Donatello did not
know that it was the duty of every young man who was able to do so, to
become a soldier of the State; that it was a patriotic privilege; that
some of the very finest young men in town were members of Company E.
If he didn’t know it, some one ought to tell him. And perhaps no one
was better fitted for the task of telling him than was General Chick,
himself. Perhaps from no one else in the city could the information so
appropriately come.

Many times that night Chick thought about it, and when morning came
he had finally decided to call upon the editor of _The Disinherited_
and enlighten his mind upon this important subject. It was toward
noon, however, before, having finished the performance of the various
tasks which usually occupied his mornings, he found time to make the
visit he had determined upon. When he mounted the rickety stairs
and entered the one large room which was used alike for press-room,
mailing-room and office, he found Donatello there alone, sitting at
a case and setting type. The man recognized him at once and called
him by his name. It was not the first time they had met each other.
Chick looked around him with some curiosity. He had never before been
in a press-room. This one was doubtless the humblest of its type, but
newspapers were printed here, and that fact in itself made the place

Donatello paused in his work and looked at his visitor inquiringly.

“I ain’t never be’n in a printin’ shop before,” said Chick, “and I kind
o’ wanted to see what it looked like.”

“Well,” replied the man, “it is not so much on the looks. But here it
is from which great ideas have gone forth in print.”

“Do you write ’em all?” asked the boy abruptly.

Donatello laughed a little. “I do not write all that which appears in
my paper,” he replied. “But the editorial; yes, that I write.”

Chick drew from his pocket a copy of _The Disinherited_ and pointed to
the article which had disturbed him.

“Did you write that?” he demanded.

The editor laughed again. “Yes, that have I written. Do you like it?

“No,” replied the boy. “I don’t like it. That’s what I’ve come for;
to tell you I don’t like it. Them fellows ain’t no tools of nobody.
They’re jest soldiers. They obey orders. If them strikers don’t want to
get hurt, let ’em behave theirselves. That’s all they is to it.”

Donatello swung himself around on his stool and stared at General Chick
in amazement. Then his look of surprise gave way to one of amusement.
He clasped his hands over his knee and smiled.

“You champion the cause of militarism?” he asked.

“I don’t know what that is,” replied the boy. “But I b’lieve in the
National Guard, and I b’lieve in Company E, and I expect to jine it
myself the first chance I git.”

“So! you would also the soldier be?”

“Sure I’d be a soldier. Why, the best fellows in town belong to Company
E. Don’t you know that?”

“Some good fellows which I know, they belong; that’s true. And when it
is that you also have belonged, there will be yet one more. Your first
lieutenant, him, in all the city there is no choicer man. Brains he
has. Heart he has. Wisdom he has. What else would you?”

Donatello flung his hands into the air, as though the last word had
been said in the way of encomium, slid down from his stool, went over
and sat in a chair by a littered table, and motioned to Chick to occupy
another chair near by which long ago had lost all semblance of a back.

“Now you’ve said somethin’,” replied Chick, seating himself. “Ain’t no
finer young man in Fairweather ’n what Lieutenant ’Cormack is. Him an’
me’s been friends sence the first day he come into the comp’ny.”

“And he and I, we have been friends since the first day we have met
with each other. Ha! Since we have the mutual friend, you and I, we
also should be friends. Is it not so?”

If Chick had ever felt any real animosity toward the editor of _The
Disinherited_ he found himself now suddenly bereft of it. He could
not look into the frank, friendly eyes of this young man, or note his
winning smile, and harbor any grievance against him.

“Sure!” he said; “I ain’t got nothin’ ag’inst you, ’cept what you put
in the paper ’bout the Guard, and I guess you know now that you was on
the wrong track, don’t you?”

Donatello did not answer the question. A new thought seemed to have
come to him.

“Where is it that you work?” he asked.

“Oh,” replied the boy, “I do odd chores around mornin’s. I ain’t got no
stiddy, all-day job.”

“How would you like it; an all-day job?”

“Doin’ what?”

“Working here with me.”

“Printin’ the paper?”

“Yes. Running the press. Washing the type. Sweeping the room. Going on
the errand, peddling the paper. Oh, a what you call the general utility
man. A man of all the work.”

Chick threw a comprehensive glance around the room, as if to take in
the situation.

“You want a man?” he asked.


“How much you want to pay?”

“For the all-day job?”

“No, for half a day. I got customers I can’t give up mornin’s.”

“Well, let me see! I pay you forty cents for the half day.”

“’Tain’t enough,” replied Chick promptly.

“Fifty cents.”

“That’s more like it; but you’ll have to stretch it a little furder.”

“Fifty-five. I will not pay more.”

“All right! I’m your huckleberry.”

Chick’s eyes snapped, and a flush came into his cheeks. Here was a
steady job facing him on his own terms. He did not doubt his ability to
handle it. He felt that the employment would be congenial. He accepted
the place without question. There was more discussion concerning
the nature of the duties which the new employee was to perform, his
hours of labor, and the day on which he should begin work. But these
matters were easily settled, and when Chick rose to go the bargain was
complete. He felt now that he had taken his proper place in the army
of workers. He had what he had long wanted, a regular job. Moreover,
the nature of his task, that of assisting in the preparation and
publication of a weekly journal, was such as to justify him in assuming
an air of importance commensurate with the character of his duties.

When he reached the head of the stairs on his way out a thought came to
him and he turned back.

“I want it understood,” he said to Donatello, “that, so long as I’m
helpin’ to git out this paper, they mustn’t be no jumpin’ on the
National Guard, nor on Company E. I won’t stand for it.”

“And if it should be so that there is?” Donatello’s voice was smooth
and musical.

“I’ll resign my position,” declared Chick.

“Very well! That bridge we will cross when we have reached it.”

The next day General Chick was added to the working staff of _The

On a day late in April, Hal received a note from Donatello asking him
to call that evening at the printing-room of _The Disinherited_. It was
not an unusual request, nor was it the first time that Hal had visited
the quarters of the social radical.

At the street door he found General Chick who was looking up and down
the walk and apparently waiting for him. Chick had been for some months
now in Donatello’s employ. He did miscellaneous work about the place,
went on errands, washed type, delivered papers, put his hands to almost
every task that a boy with a lop-shoulder and a crooked back could be
expected to do. He was not overworked. Donatello treated him kindly,
paid him living wages, and made a friend of him. All in all it was the
best job Chick had ever had.

When he let McCormack in he closed and locked the street door before
going with him down the dimly lighted hall to the printing-room. It was
in this room that Hal found, in Donatello’s company, two men whom he
knew by sight, but whom he had not before personally met. One of them
was distinctly a foreigner; big, muscular, shrewd-eyed, with black hair
hanging to his shoulders, and a large, loose, black tie floating from
his throat down onto his breast. He was introduced simply as Gabriel.
The other man, so far as appearance and accent went, was a well-to-do
American. His name was given as Kranich. Donatello explained that they
had come in from a neighboring city to assist the local leaders in
bringing the strike to a successful conclusion. They wanted to know
from Lieutenant McCormack what the attitude of the soldiers of the
National Guard would be in the event of their being called out on
strike duty. More specifically they wanted to know what the attitude of
Lieutenant McCormack himself would be, in the not impossible event of
his being in command of Company E on such an occasion.

Donatello interrupted the conversation at this point by asking Chick
to go and lock the door leading into the hall. This was an important
conference, he said, and it was not worth while to run the risk of

So Chick locked the door, and came back and sat down on a wobbly stool,
by a dilapidated case, and listened, wide-eyed and open-mouthed, to the

“You know it is our theory,” explained Kranich, “that the workmen are
as much owners of their jobs as the employers are owners of their
plants; and that they have as much right to prevent other men from
taking those jobs away from them as the mill owners would have to
prevent other capitalists from seizing their mills by force. What we
want to know is, in case of an attempt by our men to resume their jobs,
or to prevent other men from appropriating them, what your personal
attitude would be if you were called out, as an officer of the National
Guard, to prevent disorder. Would your guns be pointed toward us or
toward our enemies?”

“I would,” replied Hal, “obey the orders of my superior officer.”

“Suppose you, yourself, were in command of the company?”

“I would do my duty as a Guardsman.”

“Exactly! And, what would be your duty? to protect honest workmen in
their efforts to obtain possession of the tools of their employment, or
to bayonet and shoot us at the behest of capitalists and scabs?”

Before Hal could reply Donatello interrupted. He feared that McCormack
might be antagonized by such blunt and embarrassing questions. He knew,
from long experience, that persuasion, not bluff, was the weapon with
which to fight the prejudices of the young Guardsman.

“You do not need so closely to question him!” he exclaimed. “I know
him. He is safe. He believes in the solidarity of labor the world over.
His sympathies, they are with our men in this struggle for the human
rights. Is it not so, Lieutenant?”

“It is decidedly so,” replied Hal.

“And he will that way interpret his duty as officer to do least injury
to us, his brothers. Is it not so, Lieutenant?”

“That is correct,” replied Hal. “I do not intend to fail in the
performance of my duty in any quarter.”

Donatello turned toward his guests with a wide sweep of his hands.

“Gentlemen,” he said, “with that we must be content.”

But it was an hour later, after much discussion of economic problems,
and the methods by which they were to be solved, that Chick unlocked
the door and let Lieutenant McCormack out into the street. And neither
of them saw the figure of a man patiently waiting in a dark recess two
doors away, a man who had seen all of Donatello’s guests arrive, and
who was waiting to see them all depart.

Later on, as Hal thought over his visit to the printing shop, he felt
that he had said nothing that he did not fully believe, that he had
made no promise either of action or inaction that he did not stand
ready to fulfil. It was very true that his sympathies were with the
working class of men. He seconded all their efforts for their own
betterment. He felt that some day labor, united, harmonious, acting in
concert, under one leadership the world over, would move its enormous
body, would rise, tremble, stretch itself like some great giant, and
in the process would upheave society; and that out of the tumult and
confusion and wreckage would arise a new social order in which every
man would be the equal of every other man in all things material and
immaterial with which a beneficent Creator had endowed them. It was a
dream, perhaps. Donatello had dreamed it. His two visitors had dreamed
it. A hundred thousand men with toil-hardened hands, under the shadow
of the Stars and Stripes, had dreamed it. Countless millions in the old
world, under the iron heel of autocracy, had died dreaming it. Yet,
some day, notwithstanding the natural perverseness of the human heart,
the dream was bound to come true. So the dreamers believed; so they
taught, and to that end they struggled and fought.

But the question of immediate moment to Halpert McCormack, a question
that pressed ever more and more persistently into his heart and
conscience, was, whether he, with opinions and beliefs so radically
at variance with those of the governing class of his country, had a
moral right to belong to, much less to be an officer in, the National
Guard. And the more he pondered upon this question, the more imperative
it seemed to him to be that he should put an end to a situation so
anomalous, a situation which in certain contingencies that might at any
moment arise, would become awkward, acute and impossible. His military
connection was the only link that still held him to the world of
conservatism; he might as well snap it and be entirely free.

So, without consultation with any one, for he had no friend with whom
he felt that it would be profitable for him to consult, he prepared
for the final step.

He entered the office of Captain Murray on an afternoon preceding
the weekly drill, and asked for a private interview. His request was
granted. The captain looked worried and apprehensive.

“I have been expecting you to come,” he said. “If you hadn’t done so I
should have sent for you. But I’ll hear your errand first. What is it?”

“It is nothing of great importance,” replied Hal. “I simply want to
show you this paper which I have decided to send to-day to Colonel

Captain Murray took the paper, unfolded it slowly, and read it aloud:

“_To the Adjutant General of Pennsylvania_:
(_Through Intermediate Headquarters_)

“Now holding the office of First Lieutenant in Company E, of
the —-th Infantry, Third Brigade, of the National Guard
of Pennsylvania, in consequence of holding certain economic
views and opinions inconsistent with such position, I hereby
tender my resignation of said office, and request an honorable
discharge therefrom.

“I am not under arrest, nor returned to court martial, nor the
subject of any charges for any deficiency or delinquency, and
I am ready to deliver over or account for all monies, books or
other property of the State in my possession, and for which I
am accountable, to the officer authorized by law to receive the
same, and my accounts for money or public property are correct,
and I am not indebted to the State.

_First Lieutenant_.”

Captain Murray finished reading the paper and looked up wearily and
anxiously at Hal.

“I have been expecting this,” he said. “I am not greatly surprised.
But–it comes too late.”

“Why too late, Captain?”

“Because charges have already been filed against you, and a court
martial demanded. I suppose you would not want to retire under fire
even though you should be permitted to do so.”

“I don’t know. It would depend on the nature of the charges. May I see
a copy of the complaint?”


Captain Murray turned to his desk, drew a long envelope from a
pigeonhole, removed a formal-looking document therefrom, and handed the
document to Lieutenant McCormack to read.

The document which Captain Murray handed to McCormack to read comprised
the charges and specifications that had been filed against the first
lieutenant. It had apparently been drawn with much skill and care, and
it read as follows:

_Commanding Company E, —-th Regiment Infantry N. G. P._


“The undersigned citizens of Fairweather in the county of
Benson beg leave to file with you the following charges and
specifications against First Lieutenant Halpert McCormack of
your company, and request you to formulate said charges and
specifications, and, through intermediate headquarters, present
them to the proper military authority, and request a hearing
upon them by court martial.

“CHARGE I. Using contemptuous and disrespectful words against
the President and the Congress of the United States, in
violation of the 19th Article of War.

“_Specification._ In that the said First Lieutenant Halpert
McCormack, did on or about the 20th day of April, 1916, declare
publicly, in the presence and hearing of numerous persons, that
the President and the Congress of the United States were but
the tools of organized wealth, and deserved neither the respect
nor obedience of honest and right-thinking men.

“CHARGE II. ‘Conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman,’ in
violation of the 61st and 62nd Articles of War.

“_Specification 1._ In that the said First Lieutenant Halpert
McCormack, by principle, declaration and practice, is a
socialist, a syndicalist, an anarchist, and a sympathizer with
and believer in the principles and methods of an organization
known as ‘The Industrial Workers of the World,’ which
organization is inimical to law, order and public safety.

“_Specification 2._ In that the said First Lieutenant Halpert
McCormack has declared himself opposed to the suppression of
mobs and riots by military force.

“_Specification 3._ In that the said First Lieutenant Halpert
McCormack has declared that the rights of property are not
sacred as against the efforts of wage-earners who desire to
take possession of such property by force.

“_Specification 4._ In that the said First Lieutenant Halpert
McCormack has declared that his loyalty to the red flag of
anarchism takes precedence of his loyalty to the Stars and

“In further explanation of Charge II and the specifications
thereunder, the undersigned desire to add that they represent
the ownership of certain manufacturing plants in this
community, from which many of the workmen have voluntarily
withdrawn on strike; that many of such workmen, together with
a large number of irresponsible and disorderly persons, urged
on and inflamed by anarchistic leaders, have threatened to take
possession of these plants by force, or to damage or destroy
them, and it may be necessary for the owners to call on the
militia of the State for the protection of their property and
the safeguarding of the lives of their loyal employees.


by Benj. Barriscale, Sr., _President_.

by Don. G. Albertson, _President_.

by Rufus Ingersoll, _Vice-President_.”

Lieutenant McCormack looked up from the reading of the charges with
eyes that were dazed and incredulous.

“Well,” said Captain Murray, “what do you think of it?”

“Why,” replied Hal, “it’s not true; not any of it.”

“Probably not,” replied the captain, “but you’ll have to meet it all
the same. I’ve got to forward the complaint to headquarters. I’ve no
discretion in the matter.”

“I suppose that’s true.”

Hal was still staring almost stupidly at his commander. The sweeping
nature of the charges, their bluntness and brutality, had given him
a shock from which he did not at once recover. For years he had been
inviting just such a calamity as this, but now that it had come, in
this direct and drastic form, the suddenness of it had quite taken away
his breath.

Captain Murray handed Hal’s resignation back to him.

“You won’t want to file this now,” he said.

“No,” replied Hal, taking it, “I guess not. I think–I think I’ll deny
those charges.”

“Of course you will. And let me tell you, you’ve got a very pretty
fight on your hands. It’ll be no boy’s play. The Barriscales are
determined. You know you’ve got yourself into this predicament
by flirting with economic vagaries, and associating with radical
charlatans. I’m willing to do what I can to help you out provided
you’ll put up a vigorous defense on your own account. I want to keep
you in the Guard.”

“Thank you, Captain! What would you suggest?”

“I think you’d better go and get Brownell to take up your case, and
defend you. He’s a good lawyer and a good friend of yours. If anybody
can save you he can.”

“Very well, I’ll speak to him. In the meantime I suppose I may be
considered as being under arrest?”

“No; I’ve thought about that. These charges are still in the nature
of a complaint from private citizens. They will not become official
until I have acted on them. But I feel that I cannot afford to ignore
them. The Army Regulations provide that the commanding officer with
whom any charges are filed shall state, in forwarding them, whether
the charges can be sustained. I cannot say that these charges will not
be sustained, but I can and will say that I do not think the filing of
them warrants your immediate arrest. You will therefore continue to
perform your usual duties until the court itself shall order otherwise.”

“Thank you, Captain Murray! You are very generous.”

“And, McCormack, if you get out of this thing safely–and let me tell
you frankly that the chances are against you, for you’ve been skating
on mighty thin ice,–but if you should pull through all right, for
heaven’s sake let go of all these visionary schemes! Come back to solid
earth, and be a plain American citizen along with the rest of us!”

Hal did go to see Brownell. And although Brownell gave him a severe
dressing-down for what he termed his crass foolishness, he agreed,
nevertheless, to take up his case, and he did so with vigor and
avidity, for he was fond of the first lieutenant and would have
gone through fire and water for him. But when it came to the actual
preparation for the defense Hal could give his counsel little
assistance. The accused man knew of no specific circumstances on which
the charges could have been based, nor of any witnesses whom he could
call to disprove them. And while he was obliged to admit that he had
undoubtedly said things that might give color to the complaint, he was
nevertheless certain that the specifications as they were drawn were

So Brownell, with a listless client and a weak case before him, had
a man’s task on hand to make up a defense. But he plunged into the
work bravely. He cross-examined and badgered McCormack by the hour.
He interviewed Donatello, General Chick, Miss Halpert, any one and
every one who might by any possibility be able to throw light on the
situation. He studied the law of the matter and exhausted the logic of
his fertile mind in the preparation of arguments and briefs. And after
he had done everything that legal knowledge and human ingenuity could
help him to do to make ready his defense, he admitted confidentially
to Captain Murray that the case was hopeless, and, incidentally, he
brought down severe maledictions on the head of the first lieutenant,
who, by his ridiculous vagaries and indiscretions, had wrought his own

One day General Chick came to Brownell’s office with flushed face and
staring eyes.

“They’ve put me through the third degree,” he said.

“What do you mean?” asked Brownell; “talk!”

“Why, they suspœnaed me into Jim Hooper’s place an’ made me tell
everything Lieutenant ’Cormack said that night he met them strike
leaders in Donatello’s shop.”

“For the love of Pete! I didn’t know he met them.”

“Sure he met ’em. I was there.”

“What did you say he told them?”

“Why, now, I said he told ’em he believed them men o’ Barriscale’s had
a right to their jobs, and if Barriscale didn’t give ’em back to ’em
they had a right to take ’em anyway.”

“Yes; go on!”

Brownell was gripping the arms of his chair in grim despair.

“An’ he said–he said ’at he wouldn’t never give no orders to no
soldiers to shoot workin’ men tryin’ to git their places back.”

“Oh, gosh!” The second lieutenant released his grips on the arms of
the chair and clasped his head with both his hands. “The jig’s up!” he
continued. “You’ve done it, Chick!”

“Done what, Mr. Brownell?”

“Given the enemy enough ammunition to blow Lieutenant McCormack into
the middle of next week.”

“Will–will what I told ’em hurt ’im?”

“Hurt him! Thunder and Mars! It’ll send him to a military prison for

Stunned, dazed, almost unseeing, Chick stumbled out of Brownell’s
office into the street. Had the lieutenant for one minute realized
what a staggering blow he had given to the boy, he would have dropped
everything and hurried after him and disabused his simple mind of
its belief in the enormity of his offense. As it was, the wretched
hunchback, with an awful, self-accusing finger, piercing into his very
vitals, hot and ice-cold by turns, slunk back to hide himself in his
dingy corner in the printing-shop of Donatello. For if there was one
thing on earth that he would have lost his right hand rather than to
have done, it was a thing that might in any way have been injurious to
Halpert McCormack. And if there was one person on earth for whom he
would willingly have laid down his life and thought it a joy to do so,
that person was his beloved first lieutenant.

The strike at the Barriscale plant, and at other smaller plants
throughout the city, dragged on through the spring, unsettled and
unbroken. But in May, just before starvation on the one side and
insolvency on the other became an acute possibility, the union men,
through an intermediate committee of interested citizens, came to terms
with the companies.

The employers on the one hand made certain concessions, the employees
on the other hand waived certain demands, and a settlement was reached.

But the leaders of the radicals would have none of it. Their men would
not go back, they declared, until every original demand had been fully
met, nor would they permit the union employees to resume work without
them. Moreover, when they did return it would not be as wage-slaves,
under a humiliating agreement, but as proprietors, having at least
an equal voice with their former employers in the management of the
business and the distribution of its profits. For was it not one of the
chief tenets of their organization that:

“There is but one bargain which industrial workers will make
with the employing class, complete surrender of all control of
industry to the Organized Workers.”

So the companies were ground between the upper millstone of unionism
and the nether millstone of syndicalism. But, when the shops were
opened, the union men, under the protection of the police, disregarding
the threats of their former companions in idleness, went back to work.
The effort to prevent them by force from doing so was unsuccessful.
There were some broken heads and bruised bodies, and the Industrialists
retired from the conflict defeated, but sullen and revengeful. Then
they picketed the plants, they waylaid workmen, they threatened
destruction of property. Under the leadership of Gabriel and Kranich,
they kept the laboring element of the community in a turmoil, the
proprietors of the mills in a state of constant apprehension, the
peaceful citizens of the community fearful lest at any moment the
volcano rumbling and grumbling under the feet of industry should break
out in violent eruption.

Such was the situation on the day that the court martial convened
at Fairweather to try the charges against First Lieutenant Halpert

The session was held in the large company room which was crowded to
the doors with both Guardsmen and civilians.

The court consisted of five commissioned officers and a judge advocate,
none of them under the grade of captain. The commissioned officers were
in full dress, wearing their swords; the judge advocate was in undress
uniform without his sword. It was his business to protect both the
organized militia and the rights of the accused. The ranking officer
present was Colonel Wagstaff, who presided.

The accused man, with his counsel, Lieutenant Brownell, sat at a
side table, and the Barriscales, father and son, representing the
complainants, sat with their counsel, Captain Flower of Company A, at
another table. The scene was impressive, the atmosphere of the place
was tense with suppressed excitement.

After the order convening the court had been read, and the members of
the court had been duly sworn, the defendant was arraigned and the
charges and specifications were read to him. He was, necessarily, the
center of interest. Standing there in full dress uniform without his
sword, pale, and somewhat haggard from loss of sleep, he nevertheless
looked the soldier that he was. He knew that his case was hopeless.
Brownell had told him so at the last. All that he expected now to do
was to try to justify himself, so far as possible, in the eyes of the
community. Beyond that he was ready to submit to the judgment of the
court. So, when the time came for him to plead, he answered in a voice
firm with the consciousness of innocence of the charges as drawn and
brought against him:

“Not guilty.”

Then began the calling of witnesses. There were plenty of them indeed
who had heard the defendant say that in his opinion the wage system
was all wrong, that wealth obtained from the product of labor should
be fairly divided between the capitalist and the workman, and that his
sympathies in the present industrial conflict were entirely with the
men, all of whom should be permitted to resume their old places on
their own terms. There was more evidence to the effect that McCormack
had declared that the President and the Congress were but pawns in
the hands of wealth, and that the present political system was but
an instrument for the exploitation of labor. It was all very crude,
sophomoric and harmless, but it had about it an air of disloyalty that
was distinctly damaging to the chances of the young defendant.

Then First Sergeant Ben Barriscale was called to the stand as a witness
for the prosecution. He could do little more than to repeat, in
substance, the evidence already given, but he made it stronger, more
direct, more convincing. He laid especial stress on the attitude of the
defendant toward the parties in the existing strike, his criticism of
the owners of the mills, his sympathy with the idle workmen who were
threatening revenge and disorder. While the animus of the witness was
plain, his testimony was not to be lightly considered.

Brownell took him in hand for cross-examination.

“You and the defendant were rival candidates last year for the office
of first lieutenant, were you not?”

“I was a candidate,” replied the witness sharply. “I believe the
defendant was one also.”

“And the defendant won out?”

“By one vote, yes.”

“And you felt pretty sore about it?”

“I felt humiliated and outraged because his rank was inferior to mine,
and, holding the opinions he did and does, he had no right to the

“And you declared, at the time of the election, in the presence of the
entire company, that either McCormack would be dismissed from the Guard
or you would get out of it; that you would refuse to serve in the same
company with him; you said that, did you not?”

“I did, and I repeat it now. He’s not a fit man for any loyal Guardsman
to serve with or under.”

Barriscale’s voice, resonant with wrath, reached to every corner of
the room. The members of the court glanced at one another in apparent
surprise and apprehension.

Brownell waved his hand to the witness and said smilingly:

“That is all.”

When Ben left the stand the elder Barriscale was called to it to tell
of existing industrial conditions in the city, and of the danger of
violent interference with peaceful workmen and the rights of property;
such interference as might, and probably would, in the absence of the
state police, call for protection at the hands of the National Guard.
He gave it as his judgment, although the admission of his declaration
was strenuously objected to by Brownell as being but opinion evidence,
that it would be utterly unsafe to entrust the protection of property
and the lives of workmen to a body of troops in command of an officer
with the record of Lieutenant McCormack.

“Mr. Barriscale,” asked Brownell, on cross-examination, “are you aware
that when Lieutenant McCormack received his commission, he swore to
defend the constitution of the United States and of this State, against
all enemies, foreign and domestic?”

“I presume he did,” was the curt reply.

“And you believe that he now stands ready to violate that oath?”

“I believe that the oath means nothing to him as against the red-flag
and red-hand policy that he advocates, and the traitorous class whose
cause he has taken up.”

“You share with your son a certain resentment and bitterness against
the defendant on account of his success in the election to the first

“I thought and still think, sir, that that election was an outrage
against decency. No self-respecting man should be content to serve
under an officer so elected, and so identified with the worst elements
in the community.”

The witness’s face was red with rage, and he pounded the table in front
of him with his clenched fist as he spoke.

“That is all, Mr. Barriscale.”

Suave and smiling, Brownell waved the manufacturer from the stand.

To draw from a witness an admission of hatred for the person against
whom he is testifying is to give a body blow to the value of his
testimony, and in this respect Brownell was well satisfied with his
cross-examination of the Barriscales, both father and son.

Then came the star witness for the prosecution in the person of Chick
Dalloway. Poor Chick! For two hours he had been waiting outside the
court-room in abject misery. Since the day when Brownell revealed
to him the probable result of having given certain information to
McCormack’s enemies, he had scarcely eaten or slept. Once he had
gone to McCormack himself, to bewail his unfortunate revelations. It
was pitiful to see him. Hal tried to cheer and comfort him, but he
would not be comforted. Now, at the trial, under the badgering of
Barriscale’s lawyer he was about to clinch the fate of the best friend
he had on earth. He knew it. He knew that after he had said what he
would be compelled to say, Halpert McCormack would be discredited as a
citizen and disgraced as a soldier; and he, Chick Dalloway, would be
absolutely powerless to prevent it.

He walked up between the rows of chairs, moving from side to side as he
went. His knees were strangely weak. His face was pale and drawn, and
his eyes seemed to be looking into some far distance.

He took the oath and dropped into the witness-chair by the table, and
waited for the torture that he knew would be his, and for the tragedy
that was bound to swallow up his beloved lieutenant.