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Mr. Thomas, the contractor, tells them that he is reducing wages from thirty to twenty-five cents per hour. It is not his choice, but rather orders from the Farmers' Association, which is owned by the Bank of the West. Thomas also shows them a newspaper, which has a story about a band of citizens who burn a squatters' camp, infuriated by presumed communist agitation, and warns them about the dance at the government camp on Saturday night. There will be a fight in the camp so that the deputies can go in. Mr. Thomas is a sympathetic land owner, a rarity in this book.