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 JOHN was not back at the office “within the week.” He forgot the office and Simeon Tetlow and Tomlinson. He had eyes only for a white face looking up to him from the pillow and his ear listened only for low moans that broke the darkness. The spirit of courage had driven the thin body a step beyond the line where the soul has its way, and the body had turned and struck back.  
Tomlinson, waiting in his daughter’s home, wondered a little at the silence, but waited, on the whole, content. Since his talk with John a hope had sprung up in him that, somehow, the boy would do for him what he could never do for himself. He had started out for Bayport more because he wanted to look Simeon Tetlow in the face than because he hoped for justice at his hands. But since he had talked with the hoy, his purpose had changed imperceptibly and his shrewd Scotch sense of justice asserted itself. He would speak the president of the road fair. The man should have his chance. He should not be condemned unheard. So Tomlinson waited, his sullen mood passing gently into tolerance.
But his daughter, a buxom woman, many years Eddie’s senior, grew impatient at the delay. She prodded Tomlinson a little for his inaction.
“What is it like, that Johnny Bennett—a slip of a boy—can do for ye with Simeon Tetlow?” she had demanded scornfully when the week had gone by and no word had come.
“He has a way ye can trust, Jennie—the boy has,” the old man had replied.
“Best trust yourself,” said the woman.
“Go and stan’ up before Sim Tetlow. Tell him to his face what ye want. And if he won’t give it to ye—then curse him!”
So the old man wavered forth, half driven to a task to which he felt himself unequal. But his reliance was on the boy. He would find him and ask what to do.
“John Bennett?” The assistant bookkeeper, hurrying back from luncheon a little late, paused in the doorway, looking at the tall, red-eyed Scotchman who put the anxious question.
“John Bennett?” He wrinkled his brow a little, as if trying to place so unimportant a person—“I think he works up above—top floor. Take the elevator.” He passed on, chuckling a little at the invasion of the sacred territory. “‘Nobody comes up here,’” he said mincingly, as he drew the ledger toward him and plunged into work, harrying to make ap lost time.
Tomlinson looked a little fearfully at the iron cage, plying up and down. He cast an eye about for the more friendly stairway. He was not afraid of any engine, however mighty and plunging, that held to solid earth, keeping its track with open sky; but these prisoned forces and office slaves, clacking back and forth in their narrow walls, and elevators knocking at a man’s stomach, were less to his mind. He climbed laboriously up the long stairs, flight after flight, his spent breath gasping at each turn. At the top floor he gazed around him, his mouth a little open.
“A queer place for the lad,” he said to himself, his faith in John oozing a little as he walked across and knocked at the door of the room.
There was a moment’s silence; then the scraping legs of a chair, and silence.
Tomlinson had raised his hand ready to rap again. The door receded before his knuckles....
It was the president of the road, himself, Simeon Tetlow—whom all men hated and feared—standing there grim and terrible.
Tomlinson’s nerveless hand rose to his hat.
“I’m wanting to ask you something, sir.”
The man surveyed him with a scowl. “Who told you to come up here?” he demanded.
“It were Johnny Bennett, sir.”
The scowling face changed subtly. It seemed to grow more human beneath its mask.
Tomlinson took heart. “It’s only a word I want with you, sir.”
“Come in.”
Tomlinson shut the door circumspectly and stood turning his hat in his fingers.
“It ’s the place, sir—I ’m Tomlinson,” he said.“Oh—you—are—Tomlinson—”
The old man shrank a little, as if each word had struck him lightly in the face. The............
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