By Upton Sinclair
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It was a wonderful experience for the former, because Mrs. James was what is called a "lady," she had rich relatives, and took pains to let Peter know that she had lived in luxury before her husband had run away to Paris with a tight-rope walker. She taught Peter all those worldly arts which one misses when one is brought up in an orphan asylum, and on the road with a patent medicine vender. Tactfully, and without hurting his feelings, she taught him how to hold a knife and fork, and what color tie to select.
From now on his life would be in danger from this maniac Irishman! Peter hated him--so heartily and genuinely that it served to divert his thoughts from little Jennie, and to make him regard himself as a victim. Yes, in the midnight hours when Jennie's gentle little face haunted him and his conscience attacked him, Peter looked back upon the tangled web of events, and saw quite clearly how inevitable this tragedy had been, how naturally it had grown out of circumstances beyond his control. The fearful labor struggle in American City was surely not Peter's fault; nor was it his fault that he had been drawn into it, and forced to act first as an unwilling witness, and then as a secret agent.
Thereupon Jennie fell silent, and it was possible for Peter to get in a word. He told her of the intrigues against him; the other side had sent somebody to him and offered him ten thousand dollars if he would sell out the Goober defense. Now, since he had refused, they were trying to blackmail him, using his wife. They had somehow come to suspect that he was involved in a love affair, and this was to be the means of ruining him. Jennie still would not let Peter touch, her, but she consented to sit down quietly in a chair, and figure out what they were going to do.
100%: The Story of a Patriot by Upton Sinclair