"The railroad's fixed 'em," said the manager, indignantly, but sotto voce; "I've found that out. Hilary Vane had the word passed around town that if they came, somethin' would fall on 'em. The Tredways and all the people who own factories served notice on their men that if they paid any attention to this meeting they'd lose their job. But say, the people are watchin' you, just the same."
"How many people are in there?" Mr. Crewe demanded.
"Twenty-seven, when I came out," said Mr. Tooting, with commendable accuracy. "But it wants fifteen minutes to eight."
"And who," asked Mr. Crewe, "is to introduce me?"
An expression of indignation spread over Mr. Tooting's face.
"There ain't a man in Ripton's got sand enough!" he exclaimed. "Sol Gridley was a-goin' to, but he went to New York on the noon train. I guess it's a pleasure trip," Mr. Tooting hinted darkly.
"Why," said Mr. Crewe, "he's the fellow--"
"Exactly," Mr. Tooting replied, "and he did get a lot of 'em, travelling about. But Sol has got to work on the quiet, you understand. He feels he can't come out right away."