Page:Ragged Trousered Philanthropists.djvu/150

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The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

'Well, what do you think of it?' asked Harlow.

'Think of what?' said Newman.

'Why, didn't 'Unter tell you?' cried several voices, whose owners looked suspiciously at him. They thought if Hunter had not spoken to Newman, it must be because he was already working under price. There had been a rumour going about the last few days to that effect. 'Didn't Misery tell you? They're not goin' to pay no more than six and a half after this week.'

'That's not what 'e said to me. 'E just told me to knock off. Said I didn't do enough for 'em.'

'Jesus Christ!' exclaimed Crass, pretending to be overcome with surprise.

Newman's account of what had transpired was listened to in gloomy silence. Those who, a few minutes previously, had been talking loudly of chucking up the job, became filled with apprehension that they might be served in the same manner. Crass was one of the loudest in his expressions of astonishment and indignation, but he rather overdid it and only succeeded in confirming the secret suspicions of the others that he had had something to do with Hunter's action.

The result of the discussion was that they decided to submit to Misery's terms for the time being, until they could see a chance of getting work elsewhere.

As Owen had to go to the office to see the wall-paper which Hunter had mentioned, he accompanied Newman when the latter went to get his wages. Nimrod was waiting for them, and had the money ready in an envelope, which he handed to Newman, who took it without speaking and went away.

Misery had been rummaging amongst the old wall-papers and had got out a great heap of odd rolls, which he now submitted to Owen, but after examining them the latter said that they were unsuitable for the purpose; so after some argument Misery was compelled to sign an order for some proper cartridge paper which Owen obtained at a stationer's on his way home.