really want to argue. But then she did not really want to go to the wood with Clifford either. So she walked beside his chair in a certain obstinacy of spirit.

`No,' he said. `There will be no more strikes, it. The thing is properly managed.'

`Why not?'

`Because strikes will be made as good as impossible.'

`But will the men let you?' she asked.

`We shan't ask them. We shall do it while they aren't looking: for their own good, to save the industry.'

`For your own good too,' she said.

`Naturally! For the good of everybody. But for their good even more than mine. I can live without the pits. They can't. They'll starve if there are no pits. I've got other provision.'

They looked up the shallow valley at the mine, and beyond it, at the black-lidded houses of Tevershall crawling like some serpent up the hill. From the old brown church the bells were ringing: Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

`But will the men let you dictate terms?' she said. `My dear, they will have to: if one does it gently.'

`But mightn't there be a mutual understanding?'

`Absolutely: when they realize that the industry comes before the individual.'

`But must you own the industry?' she said.

`I don't. But to the extent I do own it, yes, most decidedly. The ownership of property has now become a religious question: as it has been since Jesus and St Francis. The point is not: take all thou hast and give to the poor, but use all thou hast to encourage the industry and give work to the poor. It's the only way to feed all the mouths and clothe all the bodies. Giving away all we have to the poor spells starvation for the poor just as much as for us. And universal starvation is no high aim. Even general poverty is no lovely thing. Poverty is ugly.'

`But the disparity?'

`That is fate. Why is the star Jupiter bigger than the star Neptune? You can't start altering the make-up of things!'

`But when this envy and jealousy and discontent has once started,' she began.

`Do, your best to stop it. Somebody's got to be boss of the show.'

`But who is boss of the show?' she asked.

`The men who own and run the industries.'

There was a long silence.

`It seems to me they're a bad boss,' she said.

`Then you suggest what they should do.'

`They don't take their boss-ship seriously enough,' she said.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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