AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ 109
fully discussed, and it was decided to build an eighteen- inch two-high train, geared, to replace the train we had, and I was ordered to go ahead at once with it. Tliis was to me a very severe setback, as I supposed I had Mr. Townsend converted to the three-high direct-driven mill. To this order I replied most emphatically that I would not build the geared mill, as it would be money thrown away and time lost. In reply to my refusal to build the mill as ordered, they said my position was liigh-handed and most arbitrary and one I had no right to assume, as I was in their employ on a salary for the purpose of managing their works and had no right to dictate to them what they should do. I in a measure assented to this, at the same time telling them that if they persisted in running their works on the lines they had laid down for me, there would be a humiliat¬ ing funeral, and I did not want to remain to attend it, especially as one of the mourners. In a few days after receiving my reply, they gave me permission to build the mill as I wanted it, but suggested that I make the roll eighteen inches in diameter instead of twenty. I consented, as a compromise, — a great mistake,—and conmienced at once to build the mill, and make other important im¬ provements.
About the time the patterns for the new train and also for the engine were completed, a protest was received at the works in the form of a legal document from the minority partners notifying the managing directors that they would hold them personaUy responsible for the building of the new mill. This was a most unexpected setback, and all the work on the new mill was suspended for a time, and the directors made another effort to get me to change my plans and build the old two-high geared mill, which the company had previously so earnestly urged me to do. I told them I was tired out trying to make rails on the old mill. They