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Newspaper Page Text
"If I can't do desk work I'll show
'em they've got the best cop in town
down at the quay, Nora," he said to
his wife at the end of the first day.
"They've never put you on post
down there!" exclaimed his wife in
The Quay was the name locally
given to the bridge which crossed
the river between two factory dis
tricts. The strikers had constantly
endeavored to cross it in parade, but
each time they had been repelled.
However, on the morrow, as they
had publicly advertised, they meant
to march over the bridge in a grand
procession to the city hall. And this
the mayor had sworn they should
"There'll be nigh on a hundred of
us, Nora," answered Flaherty. "I
guess I can take care of meself,
He felt prouder than ever of his
uniform on the next day-when, stand
ing in a platoon with his comrades,
he watched the mob forming in the
lower section of the town. There was
the sound of distant music. Flaherty
started and frowned. Why, this was
sacrilege. The band was playing
"The Wearing of the Green."
Flaherty gripped his club tighter.
He looked at the lieutenant in charge.
He had ordered the men to disperse
to their own posts. Did he not know,
then, that an attack was imminent?
This was Flaherty's post, here on the
bridge. The platoon was dispersing.
Discipline forbade Flaherty to ask
questions. He was left alone. He
gripped his club more tightly. If he
was to be made the sacrifice on ac
count of a foolish order he would
show them what he could do. His
feet were paining him furiously and
the blood rushed to his head. He was
quite alone now. ,
"I'll teach 'em, the dogs, playing
that tune!" he muttered. The crowd
had gathered into a well-organized
detachment and started toward the
bridge. In front of it marched two
jnen, each carrying a huge red flag.
Flaherty looked round. Was nobody
going to stop them? All he could see
was the lieutenant's coat disappear
ing round the corner of the block.
On they came, toward the center
of the bridge, where Flaherty stood.
The musiq. sounded loudly, the flags
waved, cheers and yells came from
the throats of thousands. The side
walks were lined with spectators. A
faintness overcame Dennis. Had the
mayor actually forbidden this pro
cession or was he dreaming? But a
good cop never pauses to examine
his metaphysical condition. He
strode forward with uplifted club.
"Stop that!" he yelled. "Stop right
there, boys. The first man that sets
his foot forward, I'll bate his brains
The old Irish accent had come back
in full force with his excitement.
Dennis saw the men with the1 flags
halt irresolutely. The crowd surged
backward and forward, and then, at
a word of command from its leaders,
advanced again. The men with the
flags smiled coolly and contemptu
ously. Dennis felt his wrath over
come his reason. He sprang forward
and began clubbing right and left.
He seized the nearest flag. The mob
beat against him like an invading
sea. A thousand voices clamored for
his blood. The flag was wrenched out
of his hand. He seized the staff again,
struck right and leftrwas beaten to
his knees, staggered under the terri
fic blows that were showered upon
him; then the mob surged forward
over his prostrate body.
"Flaherty, the Cap's waiting to see
you," said the man who was bathing
Dennis opened his eyes. The swim
ming room was the district police
quarters. Then this battered, aching
man on the cot must be himself, Den
nis Flaherty. But he had done his
duty. He rose to his feet and stag
gered into the captain's room to
confront not the captain alone, but
the police commissioner.
"Drunk and run amuck right into