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The conflict

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Pages: 198

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/5/2009 - General Books LLC

By: David Graham Phillips

Excerpt from book: Ill Jane knocked at the door of her father's little office. "Are you there, father?" said she. "Yes—come in, Jinny." As she entered, he went on, "But you must go right away again. I've got to 'tend to this strike." He took on an injured, melancholy tone. "Those fool workingmen! They're certain to lose. And what'll come of it all? Why, they'll be out their wages and their jobs, and the company'll lose so much money that it can't put on the new cars the public's clamorin' for. The old cars'll have to do for another year, anyhow—maybe two." Jane had heard that lugubrious tone from time to time, and she knew what it meant—an air of sorrow concealing secret joy. So, here was another benefit the company—she preferred to think of it as the company rather than as her father—expected to gain from the strike. It could put off replacing the miserable old cars in which it was compelling people to ride. Instead of losing money by the strike, it would make money by it. This was Jane's first glimpse of one of the most interesting and important truths of modern life—how it is often to the advantage of business men to have their own business crippled, hampered, stopped altogether. "You needn't worry, father," said she cheerfully. "The strike's been declared off." "What's that?" cried her father. "A girl from down town just called. She says the union has called the strike off and the men have accepted the company's terms." "But them terms is withdrawn!" cried Hastings, as if his daughter were the union. He seized the telephone. "I'll call up the office and order 'em withdrawn." "It's too late," said she. Just then the telephone bell rang, and Hastings was soon hearing confirmation of the news his daughter had brought him. She could not bear watching his face as he listene...  

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