Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/477

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was collected in front of it; Stewart and Tustin started for it running. By the time they came up, two men with axes were smashing down the gates while the others shouted encouragement and jeered at the company's watchman who stood inside, feebly protesting. In a few moments the breach had been made and the mob swarmed in across the bridge and ran to the bank above the landing. This bank was a steep slope of twenty feet or more; at the bottom was the level jutting beach, from which a narrow path slanted up the slag-covered face of the slope. Close along the edge of the bank ran the tracks; Tustin sent men skirmishing to bring in cars and form with them a barricade. From both directions cars of all descriptions—low trucks, flat-cars, high-sided freight cars—were rushed up and strung together—with little intervals between. Stewart walked about, fascinated by the excitement, the shouting, the constant pouring in of men carrying guns, flourishing revolvers, swinging lanterns; the mills which Stewart had seen on other nights wreathed and seamed with fire loomed now sinister dark shapes; about them the lanterns danced fantastically, went writhing up the long black vistas, or shot, comet-like, out of darkness into darkness.

Tustin neglected nothing. From the sloping town a school-house bell began to ring, in hurrying, unmeasured peals.