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Tom Grogan - F. Hopkinson Smith

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Tom Grogan  by F. Hopkinson Smith 

I

BABCOCK'S DISCOVERY

Something worried Babcock.  One could see that from the impatient
gesture with which he turned away from the ferry window on
learning he had half an hour to wait.  He paced the slip with
hands deep in his pockets, his head on his chest.  Every now and
then he stopped, snapped open his watch and shut it again quickly,
as if to hurry the lagging minutes.

For the first time in years Tom Grogan, who had always unloaded
his boats, had failed him.  A scow loaded with stone for the
sea-wall that Babcock was building for the Lighthouse Department
had lain three days at the government dock without a bucket having
been swung across her decks.  His foreman had just reported that
there was not enough material to last the concrete-mixers two
hours.  If Grogan did not begin work at once, the divers must come
up.

Heretofore to turn over to Grogan the unloading of material for
any submarine work had been like feeding grist to a mill--so many
tons of concrete stone loaded on the scows by the stone crushing
company had meant that exact amount delivered by Grogan on
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