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74   INSURANC$ AT I'INEV WOODS.

after they had left, Thompson conies down to Ambrose's place and tells ourself and Colonel Bowie what was up.

"If that's all you can do," says Colonel Bowie, sternly, "the bail is about to collapse."

"Don't you worry," says Thompson, laughing, " the medicine is just beginning to work."

Next day Ed. Beasley fired in four cut rates and warned all nine cos. in his office. Then the telegraph wires commenced to hum and he was instructed not to cut rates if he could help it, but not to lose any business. Then another lot of special agents come in to Sweet-water and Beasley told 'em that Thompson was cutting and that the other specials had been to Piney Woods and knew of it. The specials stayed two days, watching business and playing poker, during which time Beasley cut a couple of Thompson's rates and took the business and sent it in, telling his companies that all of Thompson's cos. was cutting and out of the compact. The two of Beasley's companies sent word that if the other cos. was not going to observe their obligations, the compact was useless and that they would " rely upon the discretion of your good self." Then Thompson and Beasely swopped a lot of risks at cut rates and last Thursday both of them got instructions to hold business at any rates they could get.

It was next morning that Joe Ambrose had his wrist broke in the crowd pushing into Thompson's office to get his saloon policy rewrote at lower rates. Rev. Patterson was not hurt in the jam. He was pushed out of the window by people pushing in the office and his leg was broke just below the knee. Rates is down under the old figures, and the compact manager, who went back to Atlanta while the agents was in jail, has got a letter signed " Vigilance Committee " and is afraid to come back.


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