He ate supper, a real Dago supper; the spaghetti proved to be real Dago spaghetti, smoking hot, with tomato sauce and a rich flavour of meat-juice. And all through the meal Hal smacked his lips and grinned at Little Jerry, who smacked his lips and grinned back. It was all so different from feeding at Reminitsky's pig-trough, that Hal thought he had never had such a good supper in his life before.
Nobody counts them they live any way they happen to fall. But you started at Reminitsky's, and 't would not be healthy for them that took ye away." "I see," laughed Hal. "There seem to be a lot of unhealthy things hereabouts." "Sure there be! They sent down Nick Ammons because his wife bought milk down the canyon. They had a sick baby, and it's not much you get in this thin stuff at the store.
Supper was nearly over at Reminitsky's when he arrived; the floor looked like the scene of a cannibal picnic, and what food was left was cold. It was always to be this way with him, he found, and he had to make the best of it.
It was noon-time, and he went into Reminitsky's, and was about half through with the first course of Reminitsky's two-course banquet, when his cruel disillusioning fell upon him! He looked up and saw Jeff Cotton striding into the dining-room, making straight for him. There was blood in the marshal's eye, and Hal saw it, and rose, instinctively.
In the centre were the great breaker-buildings, the shaft-house, and the power-house with its tall chimneys; nearby were the company-store and a couple of saloons. There were several boarding-houses like Reminitsky's, and long rows of board cabins containing from two to four rooms each, some of them occupied by several families.
"Sure, 't would be a bad example for the others." "Do you mean I have to board at Reminitsky's?" "There be six company boardin'-houses," said the woman. "And what would they do if I came to you?" "First you'd get a hint, and then you'd go down the canyon, and maybe us after ye." "But there's lots of people have boarders in shanty-town," objected Hal. "Oh! Them wops!
As the members of the committee, who had been out to supper, came straggling in, the story was told again, and yet again. They were almost as much delighted as the men in Reminitsky's. If only all strikes that had to be called off could be called off as neatly as that! Between these outbursts of satisfaction, they discussed their future.
They alleged obscenities of their mothers and their grandmothers; also of the Virgin Mary, the one mythological character they had heard of. Poor little creatures of the dark, their souls grimed and smutted even more quickly and irrevocably than their faces! Hal had been advised by his boss to inquire for board at "Reminitsky's."
In half an hour it would be supper-time, and the feeders would gather in Reminitsky's dining-room. He would give his message there! Hal's two companions were puzzled that he passed the Zamboni cabin, where presumably the Zamboni brood were being cared for by neighbours. But he let them make what they could of this, and went on to the Minetti home.
And even Vivie Cass, who hated men who ate with their knives she would be driven to murder by the table-manners of Reminitsky's boarders, but she would take delight in "Dago Charlie," the tobacco-chewing mule which had once been Hal's pet! Hal could hardly wait for daylight to come, so that he might begin these efforts at social amalgamation!