The man was tall... six feet, at least... maybe seven. Or was he floating
a foot or two above our hunter green carpet? Most of his face was hidden
by a shaggy black beard and handlebar mustache. But his... oh, Christ almighty,
those eyes. They were two glowing coals, each one orange, shimmering and radiating
from a deep black socket, almost like the craters of two recently-active volcanoes.
Or --- it occurred to me later --- two glowing embers of anthracite coal in
some 19th century fireplace. And the mouth. It was open about half way and
what I could see of the inside was bright and bloody red.
The body, which walked or floated slowly toward the foot
of the bed, was dressed in a black, funereal suit of rough wool. The sleeves
of the coat were too short and the long, powerful-looking arms hung down at
the man's side, the ghostly white fingers fully extended but relaxed. Except
for the eyes and mouth, the face, which had an exceptionally high forehead
crowned by a thinning crop of ill-cut black hair, was so white that I could
have believed it had been dusted with flour.
The specter did not so much speak as moan its message, which sounded
to me like "Juice dish." The words meant nothing, yet the voice
frightened me even more than the messenger's appearance. I tried to kick
off the covers, intending to leap out of the bed and run for it. In my
panic, as I was a little ashamed to recall later, I gave no thought to Judy,
asleep beside me in our queen-sized bed.
I found that, despite kicking and flailing my arms and legs like
the panic-stricken coward I was, I couldn't get the bed clothes off my body
nor extricate myself from the bed. The apparition was hovering directly
above me, still moaning "Juice dish, Juice dish," while I too
moaned and wailed like some Irish banshee in a fairy tale, when I heard
a third voice in my right ear. It was a soft and gentle female voice amidst
all the male caterwauling that seemed to fill up the small dark space of
the bedroom. At first I hardly heard it. But, accompanied by a gentle
yet firm shaking of my trembling right shoulder, it persisted until it got
through to the agitated recesses of my frantic brain.
"Ned," the gentle voice said. "Ned, darling. Wake
up. It's all right. You're having a dream. Ned, wake up," it insisted.
I discovered that I could sit upright. And so, I did. I sat bolt
upright in bed and the blanket and sheet fell down into my lap.
The rescuing female voice, I was happy to hear, was still there in
my right ear, which seemed the only sane part of my head.
"Ned, wake up," it persisted. "You're having a nightmare."
and was somewhat startled to see my wife beside me, her soft, plump hand
holding and gently shaking my shoulder.
all right, honey. Just wake up now. Okay?"
I turned and looked into the big, green-gray eyes that were just a few inches
from my sweat-covered face. The two big tears, one dangling precariously from
the corner of each of those warm, reassuring eyes, looked to me like tiny
crystal balls. They caught the light coming in from the electric candle on
the table in the hallway. I felt relief flood over and down through me. My
whole tense, stiffened body relaxed. I'm surprised, thinking back, that I
didn't just collapse like a pile of cloth.
Then I remembered my ghastly visitor. I snapped my head back toward
the ceiling. There was nothing there, except our ceiling fan, rotating
slowly, creating shimmering shadows as its blades alternately reflected
the soft, yellowish light from the hall.
"It was Kehoe," I finally spoke to Judy. "It was
Her gentle voice did not contradict this mad assertion. As if I
had told her that Archie had just called, she asked in matter-of-fact tones,
"What did he want, honey?"
"I'm not sure," I replied, her calmness catching, my own
tone of voice level and fairly soft. "I don't know. Something about
juice, I think."
"Juice?" Judy was as puzzled as I. Or was she amused
and just pretending to be interested, as she did sometimes when I tried
to tell her about some of my cases? "What about juice, darling?"
"Don't know," I mumbled, as an irresistible urge to get
back to sleep came over me. I checked the clock on my night stand: 2:02 AM was the digital reading. "I
don't know. Maybe he was thirsty."
PART ONE: THE MOLLY MAGUIRES
It's the summer of 1987 and I'm seventeen years old. We're careening
along Interstate 90, heading west through South
Dakota. I'm driving, Mom is riding shotgun and
keeping careful tabs on the quality of my driving. "Slow down, Ned.
Let him pass you." "Watch out. Is that a motorcycle I see ahead
there? Why don't they make them wear proper helmets out here?"
I'm doing my best to ignore her, as well as my fourteen-year-old
sister, Katy, who is providing us with sporadic dramatic readings from something
she just purchased called the "I Kid-You-Not Road Atlas."
"Hey, Ned-o," she says, "Listen to this. In Nebraska it's illegal for
a barber to shave a customer's chest hair."
I reach for the volume knob on the radio-tape player and turn up the sound
another notch. Though Mom is only allowing us to listen to classical music
("Both for my sanity and so you two cultural Neanderthals learn something
during all the hours we'll be cooped up in the van."), Brahms in both
ears is better than Mom in one and Katy in the other.
"Neddy, are you listening?" Katy is sprawled across the
middle bench of the Plymouth Voyager that Pop drove brand-spanking-new from
the showroom just three days ago. "In Arkansas it's illegal to
blindfold cows on highways."
"Oh, my God," exclaims Mom at that moment. "Is that
a cow up there on the road?"
"No, Mom," I respond. "It's just another biker."
"Well, don't pass him. Your father says motorcycles are liability
lightning rods." Whatever that means, I think to myself.
"In Gainesville, Georgia,
it's illegal to eat chicken with a fork," Katy plows on, giggling softly
from time to time as well. I give up trying to ignore the two females in
The Old Man, however, is having no such problem. Having curled his
bulk into a big ball on the back bench of our new van, he is quietly snoring
away, oblivious to Katy's dramatic reading of unusual American laws and
Mom's running commentary on road conditions and the quality of my driving.
Like the van, the trip was Archie's idea. Both were the products
of a new prosperity which had visited the McAdoo family of Havertown, Pennsylvania,
in the wake of my Dad's successful settlement last August of a somewhat
sensational (at least locally) lawsuit. The case involved AIDS discrimination
in employment... something of a novelty in those days; the Old Man had
successfully represented the plaintiff.  But the real news was that the
guy killed himself in the midst of the litigation. No matter... Pop's publicity
Always a solo practitioner, Archie had experienced a steady stream of new
clients, including a labor union which had obtained his continuing counsel
on employment law issues in return for a fairly handsome monthly retainer.
So busy had he become that he had hired a part-time law clerk, a third year
student from nearby Widener Law School, whom he had high hopes of being able
to hire on a full-time basis after she graduated and passed the Pennsylvania
And seemingly despite, rather than because, of Pop's notoriety as
the successful advocate of a gay HIV victim, Mom's Christmas present from
her employer, Regional Econometric Forecasting Group, at the end of 1986
had been a promotion from controller to chief financial officer. In short,
the "long green", as Archie had taken to calling it, was rolling
in. And, so, my Dad had decided it was time for the famiglia McAdoo to
take a "real vacation."
In fact our family vacations to date had all been of the classic Havertonian
variety: a week, two if we were really lucky, at the Jersey Shore. The more
affluent your folks, the closer to the beach was your rented house. The McAdoos
usually had a pretty long walk to the shoreline. Only in the past four or
five years --- and then only because Mom had been promoted in 1982 from head
bookkeeper to controller at REF Group--- did Katy and I discover how awesome
it is to have a door that opens right out onto the dunes, the beach and the
breaking waves. But, Mom, ever the frugal faction in her sometimes fractious
marriage to my Dad, had continued to insist that a substantial portion of
her salary be socked away for our college educations and their retirement
at some indeterminate time beyond that.
Consequently, even with Dad's substantial fee from the HIV settlement,
and the significant, steady increase in his income after that, Mom initially
had resisted Archie's idea of a "real vacation to show the kids America."
Archie had lobbied hard and long. But I don't think his alternating rounds
of cajoling and badgering would have moved Mom, if Maggie Mulhearn hadn't
come into the picture. I think it was in mid-January that she approached Pop
about representing her. Since the beginning of the New Year, Archie occupied
a four-room office suite in a reconditioned old house, just a few blocks from
our home. It had once been a branch location of the Haverford Township Library,
and was now a 'professional building' of sorts. Another solo practitioner,
Bernard "Bail Bond" Brennan, and an Indian chiropractor, Dr. Something
Singh, occupied the two other, somewhat-larger suites in the building.
It was for the best that Maggie Mulhearn had turned up there and
not in Pop's old office at home --- which had now reverted to its intended
function of dining room, complete with antique table, chairs and sideboard,
Mom's Christmas-cum-Promotion present to herself --- because Maggie Mulhearn,
when I got a look at her a couple of months later, proved to be a Celtic
Flaming red hair, which was either naturally curly or permed into the most
romantic mane of bouncing ringlets my teenaged eyes had ever seen, topped
a flawlessly smooth, white complexion. A prominent nose flanked by two big,
radiant blue eyes, and underlined by full, pouting lips came together to create
an effect far greater than the mere sum of the parts. Maybe much of the beauty
came from within. I know now that can sometimes be the case. Back then I didn't
analyze, I just appreciated.
Maggie Mulhearn was one of those Irish women who freckled, rather
than tanned, in the summer, and then held onto some of those freckles on
her nose and high cheekbones all year long. The freckles made her look
adolescent --- and therefore just that much more attractive to little 'ol
teenage me --- though she was 26 or 27 when she approached Archie in the
winter of '87 with her unusual project.
Maggie Mulhearn, as Archie recalls vividly her telling him during
their first consultation, was a direct descendant of Black Jack Kehoe.
Film enthusiasts, like my Mom, remembered that the famous Scotch actor Sean
Connery had played Black Jack in a 1970 film called "The Molly Maguires."
In that movie, filmed by Paramount Pictures in a little Pennsylvania coal
town about 90 miles north of Philadelphia, Kehoe is portrayed as the leader
of a secret society that is remembered for wreaking murder and mayhem on
the coal mine owners and supervisors who exploited their Irish miners and
laborers in the 1870s.
"That's not true," Maggie Mulhearn had earnestly explained
to Archie, her big, sincere eyes starring straight into his, until (he told
me much later) he had to break the spell by turning and making a note on
his legal pad.
"My great great grandfather was a labor leader and a politician,"
she continued. "The capitalists framed him because he and his union
were becoming too powerful. His political organization was gaining too
much influence in the mine patches." The mention of "capitalists"
led Pop to detect a rare 1980s leftist concealed beneath the affluent ---
in fact, independently wealthy --- Ms Mulhearn.
After allowing the ebullient Maggie to chatter on about Pinkerton detectives
and biased juries and agents provocateurs, Archie finally tore his
watery, middle-aged eyes from her seductive gaze and inquired, "What
would you like me to do about all this? To me it sounds as if you have the
material here for a very good book, Ms Mulhearn. Perhaps you should take a
stab at writing it. Or maybe you could find a journalist, or maybe an historian
at one of the local universities, who would have an interest in writing all
this up. But that's not me... I'm just a lawyer." I can see Dad, who hates
to tell a client or potential client --- especially one as attractive as Maggie
Mulhearn --- "no," shifting uneasily from one big buttock to the
other and staring at his legal pad or his size 12-trip-D shoes as he says
Maggie Mulhearn at this point in the consultation became perhaps a little
impatient with what was, however unintended by my Father, a rather patronizing
statement of the obvious. Just as clearly I can see her leaning forward and
putting her determined face so close to the listener's that in this instance
my slightly embarrassed Dad had no choice but to meet her eyes with his own
limpid gray pools.
"I know you're a lawyer, Mr. McAdoo," she pressed on.
"And a very good one from things I've read and heard lately. And it's
a lawyer I want and need. I don't want my great great grandfather's story
told again. I want him pardoned."
For some reason he could never quite articulate, Archie felt compelled
to write her words down on his legal pad, very precisely. As I've said,
I think he couldn't stand to stare into those extraordinary eyes for too
long and used his note taking as a means of escape from them.
"Well, justice, they say, is blind," my Dad replied lamely,
not knowing what to make of this beguiling, insistent young woman, who seemed
determined to retain his services to somehow reopen a case that had climaxed
in an official execution some hundred and ten years earlier. "Sometimes
it loses sight of the truth, and eventually the truth is lost forever."
"That's just it," insisted Maggie Mulhearn. "Do you
mind if I smoke?" She pulled a pack of Lucky Strikes and a cheap Bic
butane lighter from her purse and lit up before Archie, a bit surprised
that such a "wholesome" (his word) "girl" (also his)
smoked (unfiltered cigarettes at that!), could say no. "That's it
exactly: I want the world, and especially the justice system, to remove
the blindfolds and see my great great granddad's innocence. And you're
the lawyer who can do it... I think."
At last Archie turned away from his legal pad, swiveling his creaky
oak sheriff's chair so that he faced his would-be client squarely. He turned
so abruptly toward her that his reward was a face full of exhaled cigarette
"Oh, dear. I'm so sorry," said the persistent Ms Mulhearn.
"That's all right," my Dad half gasped. "Look, I
still think a good historian is..." He was stopped in mid sentence
by the check which she apparently had drawn from her purse along with the
cigarettes. Made out in large green letters, the draft was for ten thousand
dollars on the First Pennsylvania Bank.
"Perhaps this will express my seriousness, Mr. McAdoo,"
she stated flatly, holding the beige colored check with its Kelly green
ink, almost directly under my Dad's bulbous nose... which no doubt could
very nearly smell the money. "I am authorizing you, as my lawyer,
to travel wherever you feel in your judgment you should, examine whatever
relevant records you can locate --- starting with a good deal of material
I have in the trunk of my car right now --- and when you have satisfied
yourself of Black Jack Kehoe's innocence, institute whatever proceedings,
or lobbying or whatever is required to have him pardoned."
Well, you've probably guessed that Pop took the check and the...
what? The case? Not really. "Assignment" is what we have always
called it, down to the present day. He also walked out to Maggie Mulhearn's
car... it proved to be a Porsche ... and took custody of two cardboard boxes
that she had jammed into its tiny boot. The boxes, appropriately labeled
"Jameson's Irish Whiskey" and obviously obtained from a liquor
store, were not filled with spirits. Or were they? The boxes, when Archie
opened them after his new client had departed, where stuffed with books,
articles and notes written in a neat, rather large penmanship that matched
the handwriting on the green and beige check.
Archie walked the check down to the bank, then stopped on the way
back at MacDonald's and wolfed down two Big Macs, a large order of fries
and a strawberry shake in hearty celebration of this latest windfall from
his new found reputation. On the way back to the office he distractedly
munched one of Mickey D's apple pies.
Back in his office, seated not in the hard sheriff's chair but rather
in a cracked-leather easy chair in the corner near the window, he idly browsed
through the materials in the first Jameson's crate. Selecting a battered
paperback, "The Molly Maguires" by a college professor named Wayne
Broehl, he began reading. But soon the combination of warm sunlight streaming
in the window with its western exposure, and the fairly massive amount of
pure MacDonald's fat in my Father's stomach, sent Archie swirling downward
into a somnambulant state from which he could not pull out. Broehl's tome
resting in his ample lap, the great, crusading lawyer of Stanley Avenue,
Havertown, Pennsylvania, snored rather delicately as he slept the remainder
of the afternoon away.
CHAPTER TWO (1987)
"Is Violence Ever Justified?"
by Maggie Mulhearn 
The African American activist H Rap Brown has called violence "as American
as cherry pie." Nowhere has this claim enjoyed greater cachet then in
labor-management relations. The Pullman Strike, the Haymarket Riot, the Homestead
Strike, the bombing of the Los Angeles Times Building... these murderous confrontations
characterized the war between labor and capital around the close of the 19th
and the start of the 20th centuries.
Predating --- and prefiguring --- these well-known incidents in America's
labor history are the enigmatic events that occurred in the hard coal region
of central-eastern Pennsylvania from 1865 through 1876. Sometimes archaically
called "the Molly Maguire Riots"(there were no riots as we understand
that word today), this protracted conflict accounted for 16 murders, followed
by 20 hangings... or what one might call state-sanctioned homicides.
Since the days when 20 so-called Molly Maguires were marched to the
gallows in Pottsville, Hazleton
and Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania
between 1876 and 1878, historians and writers have quarreled vehemently
over whether these men were organized terrorists or innocent victims ala
Sacco and Vanzetti. Detractors point to a long tradition in the west of
Ireland of Whiteboys, Ribbonmen and other vigilante groups, which tradition
is said to have spawned the killings, beatings and arsons in the anthracite
coal fields after these self-same nightriders, or their progeny, immigrated
to the U.S. Conversely, left-leaning commentators
have contended that the hanged Irishmen were labor leaders and politicians
targeted by the mining interests for liquidation.
Let us assume for the sake of argument that the Molly Maguires really were
what the Pinkerton detectives and the county prosecutors claimed they were:
a secret society, founded in County Donegal to terrorize landlords and their
agents, and transplanted to the Pennsylvania coal fields, where they launched
a reign of terror --- murders, assaults, and arsons --- in the 1860s and 1870s.
If all of that were true, would it not also have been justified?
No American ever raises doubts about the justice of the Boston Tea Party.
If those Boston patriots were morally entitled to dump the private property
of English merchants into the ocean, then the equally-aggrieved Irish coal
miners of a century later surely were entitled to rip up railroad tracks and
burn down an occasional colliery.
Though the 19th century Catholic Church condemned the Molly Maguires, no
Christian ever doubted Jesus Christ's justification in throwing the money
lenders out of the Temple in Jerusalem. Arguably the early Christian church
was a band of conspirators striving to displace the state religion and the
official gods of the Roman Empire, as well as the Jewish faith from which
their cabalistic schism had sprung. So was the Church not hypocritical in
condemning the Mollies?
And is not even homicide sometimes justifiable? The law has always
recognized my right to defend my home against intruders, even to the point
of using deadly force. And if a man may fire his gun to protect his family
from another who is intent on entering his home and wreaking deadly harm,
he ought to be able to fire that same gun at the man who is intent on slowly
murdering his family by means of starvation wages.
No less a legal mind than the great Clarence Darrow made similar
arguments in defense of violent union behavior a little later in the last
On the evening of the day that he met Maggie Mulhearn, Archie told
us during dinner of the unusual engagement.
"Who are the Molly Maguires?" Katy asked the question
that was also in my mind. Given that Pop later confessed to me how he had
indulged that afternoon in a celebratory pig out and snooze, in retrospect
I'm surprised at how much he knew about John Kehoe and the so-called Molly
Maguires when he responded to our collective curiosity.
"There are two kinds of coal in Pennsylvania," he
began, swallowing a bit noisily the piece of pork chop he had been chewing.
"There's soft coal. Bituminous. That's the most common and it's mined
out around Pittsburgh. The second kind is anthracite,
or... Ned?" He looked my way. The mashed potatoes on their way to
my mouth stopped in mid air. The gravy dribbled from them back down onto
my plate. This had always been one of Pop's favorite pedagogic ploys, as
far back as I can recall.
"Uh... hard coal?" I ventured, hoping that logic ruled
in the realm of coal mining.
"Very good, Ned," said my Father, showing no apparent pride
that I had managed to guess the obvious. "Hard coal. Yes. Not so
common, and today not very significant. But in the second half of the 19th
century big money was being made in hard coal. By railroads such as the
Reading, and by the people who owned and ran
them. Naturally," he continued, "like almost everyone else on
the planet at that time, the hard coal miners were exploited."
"What does that mean... exploited?" Katy questioned him.
"It means used... taken advantage of," Mom chimed in, this
brief interruption in his disquisition affording the Old Man opportunity
enough to shovel in a big fork-full of mashed spuds and wash them down with
a big gulp of the white wine he was having with his dinner.
"Right," resumed Archie, delicately wiping some gravy from
his fleshy, pink lower lip. "The miners in eastern Pennsylvania, where the hard coal was mined
--- they were mostly Irish, by the way --- were required to work very long
hours for very little pay. The work was exceptionally dangerous, even for
a time when thousands of railroad and industrial workers were killed and
injured every year."
"So who are the Molly Maguires?" Katy impatiently persisted,
as she always did when Dad got into his professorial posture.
"The Molly Maguires," he went on, betraying only a very
tiny bit of annoyance at this second, and apparently unwanted, interruption
(his plate was clean, his wine glass empty now), "were Irish miners
who rebelled against mine and railroad companies and took matters into their
"It was a secret society, the Molly Maguires, and its members
shot mine owners and operators, blew up railroads and mines, and generally
tried to make life as miserable for the capitalists as they made it for
the miners and their families. But it was a no win situation."
"What do you mean?" asked Katy.
"I know," I said, stealing Archie's thunder. "They
were all caught and hanged."
"How do you know that?" Archie inquired, a little disappointed
that I had gotten to reveal the climax to his story.
"Because," I said with some satisfaction, "I just
remembered that I saw the movie on the late show one night."
"Oh, yeah," the Old Man reflected, caressing the right
side of his bulbous nose with a pensive forefinger. "I remember the
film. Do you recall it, Karen?"
Mom had gotten up and begun clearing the dinner dishes as a prelude
to dessert. "Not really," she replied. "I know we saw it
years ago. But I can't say it left too much of an impression."
Mom was a Philly girl. The rest of Pennsylvania was an unknown wilderness to her,
except for a couple of favorite Pocono resorts, which were the "known
wilderness" in her mind. The history of the hard coal region was of
no moment to her.
"Sean Connery and Richard Harris, wasn't it, Ned?" Pop
turned back to me, Mom in his view having nothing useful to contribute.
"Sean Connery for sure," I responded. Connery was still
a big star in the 1980s and on into the nineties. "I'm not sure who
any of the other guys in it were."
"Well, we ought to rent it," Archie reasoned. In the next instant
he was pushing himself ponderously back from the table.
"Don't you want dessert?" Mom sounded a bit startled, and
where Archie and dessert were concerned, rightly so.
"I'm going over to Movies Unlimited to see if I can get that
flick," he declared. "I'll have my dessert with the movie."
And so, a half hour later our family of four was gathered round the
electronic hearth in the basement family room, watching a film released
in 1970 by Paramount Pictures. The movie is called "The Molly Maguires,"
staring, yes, Sean Connery, Richard Harris, and a soap opera rage of that
era named Samantha Eggar. Directed by Martin Ritt, a film maker with a
reputation for making "message films," the movie captures the
legend well enough:
The action opens with Richard Harris, playing the Pinkerton detective James
McParlan, arriving at Shenandoah in central-eastern Pennsylvania, where he's
been dispatched by Alan Pinkerton, who's been put on the payroll of the Reading
Railroad to infiltrate and expose the Mollies. Under the alias of Jamie McKenna,
McParlan takes a job down in the mines, meanwhile spreading around the local
pub crowd the largess he attributes to "passing the queer" (fencing
counterfeit money). The upshot is that Connery a/k/a Black Jack Kehoe, a fellow
miner, initiates McParlan into his little band of desperadoes, a tight-knit
band of terrorists within the ranks of the benevolent Irish social club, the
Ancient Order of Hibernians.
Katy wasn't much interested in this hoary yarn of labor exploitation
and unrest. After gobbling a slab of Mom's chocolate cake with a scoop
of vanilla ice cream, she went to her room upstairs in search of more rewarding
pursuits. The movie offered enough action to keep me interested, as the
little band of Irish terrorists tore up the Reading's
tracks with their black powder charges and ambushed offensive mine bosses
in their victims' stables and outhouses. Mom stayed on to the end, too,
though she insisted that one light stay lit --- Archie likes the room dark
as a theater when he watches a video --- and she read some company documents
she'd brought home in her briefcase, only occasionally casting a fleeting
glance at the action on the screen.
But the Old Man was entranced. As the legendary tale lumbered inexorably
to its tragic conclusion --- McParlan's betrayal of his comrades and his secret
oath, their trial and execution, his rejection by Samantha Eggar (whose loyalty
lay with her mine patch community), McParlan's departure from the coal fields
with his pockets filled with money but his heart just as heavy with unrequited
love --- Pop pumped down three big slabs of Mom's extra-moist devil's food
cake (but no ice cream), sluiced down with about half a dozen cups of coffee.
In fairness to my Dad, I note here that his concession to a healthier lifestyle
that evening, as almost always, was decaf coffee sweetened artificially. This
concession, pushed and policed by my mother, assuaged any twinge of guilt
he might otherwise have felt about the three desserts.
Then, with Sean Connery and his comrades duly hanged by the neck
until dead, and the chocolate cake (or what was left of it) duly sealed
in saran wrap, Mom and I headed upstairs to our respective bedrooms and,
gratefully, to our beds.
But not Pop. He adjourned to the sunroom at the back of the house, where
he gobbled up the book he had begun before dozing off in his office that afternoon.
One thing I always had to admit about the Old Man: if he could gorge himself
on cake, he likewise could gorge himself on knowledge. He told me once that,
when he started into law school, an attorney-friend of his father had given
him a foam rubber cushion as a gift. "You'll need this more than you'll
need your brains," he had told Archie, who added that he used that cushion
hard during his three years of legal education. And when I started into law
school five years ago, Archie wrapped that beat-up cushion, with its foam
rubber showing through the torn material at the corners, and gave it to me.
I did all right in law school but I never developed Pop's power of
uninterrupted concentration. Though I was upstairs asleep, still only a
high school student, in my mind's eye I can see him pawing over the battered
paperback book, that in the months ahead became his constant companion,
sometimes in his briefcase, often in his suit coat pocket. I can see the
dim lamplight illuminating the side of his jowly face, and his ever-sweaty
hands clutching the book.
Archie had read nearly the whole book by the time morning rolled around and
Mom gave him a gentle kiss on the forehead --- something I did see first hand
--- before tiptoeing out to the garage and heading for her job at REF Group.
Copyright © K&C Human Resource
"Ned McAdoo and the Molly Maguires" can be obtained
 Maggie Mulhearn, "Is Violence
Ever Justified?" RAMPARTS, June 1987, page 22.
||Jim Castagnera, a Philadelphia journalist and lawyer,
is the Associate Provost at Rider University and author of the weekly
newspaper column "Attorney at Large."