PublicBookshelf Book Club
Mary Roberts Rinehart
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There was a little city, and few men within it; And there came a great king against it, and besieged it, And built great bulwarks against it; Now there was found in it a Poor Wise Man, And he by his wisdom delivered the city.--Ecclesiastes IX:14, 15.
The general strike occurred two days later, at mid-day. During the interval a joint committee representing the workers, the employers and the public had held a protracted sitting, but without result, and by one o'clock the city was in the throes of a complete tie-up. Laundry and delivery wagons were abandoned where they stood. Some of the street cars had been returned to the barns, but others stood in the street where the crews had deserted them.
There was no disorder, however, and the city took its difficulties with a quiet patience and a certain sense of humor. Bulletins similar to the ones used in Seattle began to appear.
"Strikers, the world is the workers' for the taking, and the workers are the vast majority in society. Your interests are paramount to those of a small, useless band of parasites who exploit you to their advantage. You have nothing to lose but your chains and you have a world to gain. The world for the workers."
There was one ray of light in the darkness, however. The municipal employees had refused to strike, and only by force would the city go dark that night. It was a blow to the conspirators. In the strange psychology of the mob, darkness was an essential to violence, and by three o'clock that afternoon the light plant and city water supply had been secured against attack by effectual policing. The power plant for the car lines was likewise protected, and at five o'clock a line of street cars, stalled on Amanda Street, began to show signs of life.