began to hustle the crowd in order to disperse it. The workmen would not
be driven away. "Not before we've got our wages!" they said, and they
pressed back to the gates again. "This is where we work, and we're going
to have our rights, that we are!" Then the police began to drive the
onlookers away; at each onset they fell back a few steps, hesitating,
and then stood still, laughing. Pelle received a blow in the back; he
turned quickly round, stared for a moment into the red face of a
policeman, and went his way, muttering and feeling his back.
"Did he hit you?" asked an old woman. "Devil take him, the filthy lout!
He's the son of the mangling-woman what lives in the house here, and now
he takes up the cudgels against his own people! Devil take him!"
"Move on!" ordered the policeman, winking, as he pushed her aside with
his body. She retired to her cellar, and stood there using her tongue to
such purpose that the saliva flew from her toothless mouth.
"Yes, you go about bullying old people who used