126 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ
coal we were using for making coke, to which Mr. Perry repUed that it was bad, being full of brass. Mr. Grifiin said, " Mr. Perry, you mean iron pyrites." " Well," said Mr. Perry, " you may call it what you damned please, but I tell you it is brass," and the manner in which he spoke was so emphatic that Mr. Griffin wisely concluded not to pursue that branch of the subject any further. Yet Mr. Perry was one of the best practical furnace men that I knew at that time.
After all that has been said of the conditions of the Cambria Iron Company when I went there and what I went through, I feel that I have come far short of showing the real condition of affairs as they then existed. The works were divided into a number of small principaUties, each of them being governed by a despotic foreman who would neither go out of his kingdom to do any work nor let anyone else come in. I soon found out that arrangement would not do, but I thought it best to bide my time until a good opportunity should occur to correct the evil. One day, soon after the blast furnaces were put in blast, the iron broke out. The day was hot and the men soon gave out, and Mr. Perry sent word to me of what had happened, asking for some extra help. There being trouble in the mill, I could not well get away at once, so I sent word to the coke-yard foreman to send. Mr. Perry some help, and said I would be up as soon as I could get the trouble in the mill aU straightened out.
In the course of an hour I went up to the furnaces and found Mr. Perry and his men all quite used up, and saw that no extra help had come to his aid. I asked Mr. Perry if he had sent my message as directed to the foreman of the coke yard. He repUed that he had done so. I then sent word direct to the foreman that I wanted to see bim at the fumace at once, to which he promptly responded in person.