Chapter 47 continues

The story so far: Several are jailed, including Anton, Lily and baby Gregor.

 

Finally, the men were loaded into the police wagon with Moose Jackson’s corpse. Lily and the baby were taken in the doctor’s buggy to the hospital, a deputy accompanying them. Lily was given thirteen stitches and both she and the baby had broken ribs, which were wrapped. Mercifully, the doctor gave Lily a small amount of ether. She nursed the baby and they both fell asleep.

Katka stood alone in the Slovenski Dom, dazed. Mechanically, she walked to the kitchen, added wood to the fire and put the kettle on. She brewed a cup of tea and sat at the dining room table. Her hands were shaking so badly that she dropped the cup, the hot liquid spilling onto the table.

She heard footsteps and closed her eyes. The footsteps got louder and she heard her name.

“They gone, Katka?”

“Paul!”

“You gone loco, child? It’s me. Old Joe.”

She opened her eyes. Old Joe’s leg was bandaged with kitchen towels and a thin rope. He was resting his weight on one foot. “Got the bullet out,” he said. “With my pocket knife.”

“They took them all, Joe,” she said. “Took them to jail. Even Teta and the baby.”

Old Joe shook his head. He paused for a long time. “Guess we all that’s left. We’ll get ’em out though. We’ll spring ’em if we have to.”

“Yes,” Katka said. She looked toward the tavern. “But first we got to clean up Andy.”

“Andy?”

“He’s dead.”

Slowly, they dragged Andy’s body from the tavern to the house. Like so many men before him, they laid him out on the dining room table. They gently cleaned off the blood that had splattered onto his face and hair. Old Joe took out his pocketknife and cut off Andy’s crimson-stained shirt. “Poor Andy,” he said. “Who’d want to kill a fellow whose only purpose in life was to offer a man a cool drink on a hot day?” They dressed him in Anton’s best suit and then waited until the news traveled through the town, through the locations, until it reached the ears of Andy’s wife. She gathered her twin boys to her chest, borrowed a neighbor’s wagon and went to the Slovenski Dom to claim the body of another casualty of the strike of 1916.

 

Tomorrow: Chapter 47 continues.