'Worked in the Pullman plant,' he continued, 'when I got out of high school. Dipping radiators. Hard work. I don t envy these men their lives.'

'The question is,' Bob Chamberlin said from the backseat, 'do you begrudge them a pay raise?'

Ness stared out the window. Enough time had elapsed to make Curry think there would be no response to Chamberlin's question when Ness said quietly, 'That's not my decision.' Then a beat later: 'I wish it were.'

Curry understood his chief's sympathies for the strikers, if not the contradiction of the gun under Ness's arm. Curry came from a working-class neighborhood himself, on Cleveland's far east side. His father-a skilled cabinetmaker sixty years of age-had been laid off two years ago by the furniture company that employed him for twenty-eight years. Curry, and his brother John, who also had a job with the city, were covering their parents' mortgage payments; his father-a life-long Republican who'd always had a hardheaded you-get-what-you-earn/you- get-out-of-life-what-you-put-into-it philosophy-was accepting fifteen dollars a month from the county relief office.

The Depression was, to Curry, some awful, arbitrary force of nature, a disaster not unlike a tornado or flood or earthquake, leaving misery and hardship in its path. Survival had become the first order of business, finding and keeping a job the top priority.

Curry felt lucky to have a job-he'd worked hard to get where he was with the department, but he knew he was mostly lucky. As a traffic cop he'd pulled several people, including a small child, from a burning car; Ness's predecessor in the safety director's chair had very badly needed a 'brave, honest officer' (as the papers had embarrassingly put it) as a positive example. So Albert Curry was promoted to detective-youngest in the city- without having to buy his badge, a rarity at the time.

If he questioned the wisdom of those with jobs going out on strike, in hard times, for better pay and working conditions, he understood their mistrust of company owners. At General Motors in Flint, Michigan, tycoons making half a million dollars a year had paid twenty cents an hour to the men on the line until, last year, sit-down strikes forced GM's surrender. With FDR back in the White House, sympathetic to the union cause, now was the time (some said) for the working man to take a stand. A wave of strikes had followed GM's capitulation, and what was happening at Corrigan-McKinney was part of that.

Not long ago United States Steel, in order to avoid being struck, handed its workers a ten-percent wage in- crease, a forty-hour week, and union recognition. So-called 'Little Steel,' however, the independent steel mills of which Republic was one, wasn't about to give up so easily.

Curry was pleased with the even-handed manner in which his chief had responded to the strike thus far- frustrating as it might be to the men on the line, Ness's no-firearms decision was, in Curry's opinion, correct.

So why the gun in the shoulder holster?

His mouth dry, Curry clutched the wheel, hoping he could do his job without compromising his sympathies for the strikers. Sympathies he dared not express out loud…

Just after dark, when the crowds had abandoned the City Hall sidewalk for home and/or the plant picket line, Curry had driven Ness over to the Central Police Station at Twenty-first and Payne, where Ness had arranged to have a newsreel sent over by the Hearst people.

Ness used a large conference room on the second floor to screen the newsreel for one hundred uniformed police, most of whom had already worked a shift today, but who at nine o'clock tonight would be replacing the detail that was working the Corrigan-McKinney gate now. Also present, at Ness's pointed request, was Chief Matowitz.

There were stirrings among the men, who were of course less than pleased by the no-firearms directive, and when Ness stood before the assemblage, he said, 'I over-heard a man saying that this was one hell of a time to be showing a training film. Well, gentlemen… this is one hell of a training film.'

He nodded to Chamberlin, in back, who was manning the projector, and to Curry, who dimmed the lights, having not the slightest damn idea what this was about.

'Something happened on a field in South Chicago not long ago,' Ness said quietly. 'Not far from where I grew up.'

And now Curry knew what Ness was up to; so did a good many of the cops in the room, but none could be prepared for the scenes that followed.

At first there was no sound other than the whirring of the sprocketed film, but then as images began to fill the screen, so did sound fill the room. It was raw footage, without any reporter doing voice-over; but no voice-over was needed.

In the midst of an open field, a parade of strikers and sympathizers-men, women, and children-encounter a wall of police; heated words are exchanged by one of the cops and the spokesman of the marchers. Suddenly the sound of gunfire rips the afternoon, and a dozen men in the front ranks of the strikers are cut down like weeds. Revolvers in hand, the police charge into the strikers; tear-gas grenades sail into the crowd, nightsticks fly.

Most of the crowd flees; a few strikers who lag behind are beaten senseless by police, sometimes two or three cops working over one striker, the manner of these public servants chillingly businesslike. A girl, not more than five feet tall, weighing perhaps one hundred pounds, is clubbed from behind by a nightstick. She staggers until thoughtful police jostle her into a paddy wagon, blood streaking her face like grotesquely smeared makeup.

For six minutes a symphony of swinging nightsticks, blasting revolvers, bleeding strikers, is played out, until, finally, the newsreel runs its course and the film flaps in the projector, like the wagging tail of a dog, anxious to please.

When the lights came up, Ness stood before them expressionless, the room bathed in silence.

'Ten strikers killed,' Ness said finally. 'By cops. No dead women or children thank God, but as many people- women and children among them-as are present here were hospitalized for injuries… including twenty-three policemen.'

No one in the room needed to be told that the newsreel's strike had occurred at a Republic Steel mill.

'And that, gentlemen,' Ness said, with hard eyes and a humorless smile, 'explains why you're going on duty unarmed, tonight.'

A hand was raised midway back.

Ness nodded, and the cop, a young one, stood, saying, 'Sir-surely you expect us to defend ourselves.'

'You will have nightsticks, and some of you will have tear gas. Use these sparingly, if at all. The only weapon in your arsenal I want you to use unsparingly is good judgment.'

They had filed out soberly. Matowitz waited and said something to Ness-something conciliatory, apparently, as it was followed by the two men shaking hands and ex-changing warm if weary smiles.

Ness, Chamberlin, and Curry had left the police station around ten; Curry suggested to his chief that he take another car, rather than the easily recognized EN-1 sedan, but Ness said being noticed was part of the exercise.

Curry caught Broadway just south of the Central Station, trading the bustle and neon glow of the downtown for the desolate gloom of the industrial Flats, the bottomland area that was home to the twisting Cuyahoga River as well as steel mills, warehouses, and factories. For several blocks Broadway traced the edge of the bluff overlooking the Flats; then, suddenly, the street took a sharp right and dropped straight down, as if a trapdoor under the city had given way.

Soon they were driving through an ill-lit area of small factories and warehouses; and after Broadway-a well- paved, well-maintained street-bottomed out, the side street Dille, not so well-paved or maintained, cut away.

'Park along here,' Ness said while they were still on Broadway, the smokestacks of the steel mill well in sight, smudging the black sky with gray smoke; a block or so down was the Dille intersection. At least several hundred strikers were gathered at the intersection, in the minimal glow of two lamp posts, blocking the way, banners and placards and flags in hand; cars were parked along Broadway, but not many. Most of these people had been brought in by truck or bus; others came on foot.

Ness, his natty brown suit looking freshly pressed despite the long day its wearer had put in, got out of the sedan and stood, keeping watch. Curry and Chamberlin got out as well; the sound of the strikers milling about was constant, like restless waves crashing up onto a beach, and screeches and crashes and metallic whines-like calls from strange birds circling that beach-drifted from the crippled but still functioning steel mill.

The mill was in a pocket of the Flats; to one side was the bluff, while on the other, the rocky, debris-strewn landscape was shared by train tracks and the winding, oily Cuyahoga and rotting, half-collapsed docks. An acrid, sooty smell mingled with the Cuyahoga's sickly bouquet. This was a clear if dark night made foggy by the mill's

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