|Title||The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists|
The following morning - Saturday - the men went about their work in gloomy silence; there were but few attempts at conversation and no jests or singing. The tenor of the impending slaughter pervaded the house. Even those who were confident of being spared and kept on till the job was finished shared the general depression, not only out of sympathy for the doomed, but because they knew that a similar fate awaited themselves a little later on.
They all waited anxiously for Nimrod to come, but hour after hour dragged slowly by and he did not arrive. At half past eleven some of those who had made up their minds that they were to be `stood still' began to hope that the slaughter was to be deferred for a few days: after all, there was plenty of work still to be done: even if all hands were kept on, the job could scarcely be finished in another week. Anyhow, it would not be very long now before they would know one way or the other. If he did not come before twelve, it was all right: all the hands were paid by the hour and were therefore entitled
to an hour's notice.