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Jurgis is humiliated by Hamilton's treatment, but he's still delighted: he has a hundred dollar bill!
But where is he supposed to use it? He'll have to find somewhere to break the hundred into more usable bills.
Jurgis goes into a bar and asks if he can have change for a hundred.
The bartender says he'll change it if Jurgis buys something. Jurgis orders a beer.
The bartender gives Jurgis his beer – and 95 cents in change.
When Jurgis protests that he gave the bartender a hundred, the bartender tells Jurgis he's crazy and tries to kick Jurgis out of the bar.
Jurgis attacks the bartender, which is what the bartender wants.
The bartender knocks Jurgis out and calls the cops.
The bartender accuses Jurgis of pulling a knife on him.
A cop on the scene uses his billy club to beat the crap out of Jurgis.
In the hub-bub, the bartender stows the hundred-dollar bill away.
Then the cop drags Jurgis to the police station.
When Jurgis is taken in for sentencing, he can't explain where he got the hundred-dollar bill. Or rather, he can explain, but no one believes him.
Jurgis tells the courtroom that a man gave the money to Jurgis freely when Jurgis had been begging on the street.
The judge thinks Jurgis is a drunk and a liar – and Jurgis's record of biting people's cheeks doesn't help – so the judge sentences Jurgis to ten days in jail plus costs.
So, Jurgis gets carted off to jail again.
Oddly, he finds Jack Duane, the dashing safe cracker, in the same prison.
Jurgis tells Jack Duane what's happened to him since they last met in jail.
Jack Duane replies that he's in jail yet again on a fake charge.
Jurgis doesn't see many familiar faces in jail, but it's all the same kind of guy.
And Jurgis realizes that he's going to be one of them. When he gets out of jail, he has decided to become a real criminal.
So, after Jurgis is released, he decides to go seek out Jack Duane to see if he can be of any help to Jack.
He finds Jack Duane in the back room of a pawnbroker and a fence for stolen goods.
Jack Duane is glad to see Jurgis because he needs Jurgis's help (and muscles) to start doing some mugging.
The two wait at the side of the road for rich-looking guys to rob.
They split the proceeds equally and make pretty good money.
Jurgis reads about the victim the next day – the guy's going to lose three fingers to frostbite after being knocked unconscious – and Jurgis feels guilty.
Still, Jack Duane says it's either that guy or them, and he'd pick the other guy every time.
In this rotten system, that guy is probably exploiting or hurting someone else. He deserves what he gets.
Jurgis gets up close and personal with Chicago's criminal world.
He discovers that businessmen use lots of money to pay off the city's officials to serve their interests. That's the big picture.
But in more local corruption, the police, fire, and water departments have more direct relationships with ordinary businesspeople.
So, all the bars pay off cops to look the other way when they serve liquor on Sunday.
All the brothels pay the cops to look the other way when they engage in prostitution.
There are tons of these kinds of street-level bribes to keep the city's criminal activities going strong.
Jack Duane introduces Jurgis to a political operative named "Buck" Halloran.
This guy sends Jurgis in to collect election bribes under a series of different names – "Johann Schmidt," "Serge Reminitsky," and "Michael O'Flaherty." Politicians are buying votes, and Jurgis is the frontman for this operation.
Because Jurgis now associates with an important political machine, he suddenly has pull in court.
This means that, when he appears on trial again on a drunk and disorderly charge, he's given a slap on the wrist and allowed to go. What a change of luck!
Jurgis and Jack Duane keep mugging people and making cash.
They do this by bribing a bartender to look the other way while they track down drunk people coming in from out of town to rob.
So, naturally, they become friendly with this bartender who they keep paying off.
The bartender points them in the direction of a guy named Goldberger.
Goldberger gives Jurgis and Jack Duane tips about who they should rob next (in other words, who no one in Chicago will step up to assist in court).
Goldberger also lets them in on some sweet information about horse racing in New Orleans. Apparently, all these races are rigged, and Goldberger knows about them.
So, Jurgis and Jack Duane get in on horse betting as well.
Around this time, Jurgis and Jack Duane part ways.
Jack Duane gets caught red-handed drilling into a safe and has to leave town.
Jurgis, meanwhile, bumps into that night-watchman from all the way back in Chapter 9, who got Jurgis his citizenship. This is the guy who bought Jurgis's vote for a local political machine.
Now that they have met up again, the night-watchman makes Jurgis an offer.
The night-watchman works for a guy named "Bush" Harper, who in turn works for Mike Scully, one of the richest and most influential men in Packingtown.
Mike Scully is a Democrat, but he has worked out a back-room deal with the local Republican party for the next couple of elections.
The next Democratic nominee for a city council position is a rich Jewish man.
Mike Scully isn't very invested in the Democratic nominee because he has his own prejudices.
Scully himself, however, is coming up for reelection in the next election after this.
So, what Scully secretly offers the Republicans is this: he will give them money from this poor Democratic nominee's election fund as long as the Republicans promise not to raise a candidate against Mike Scully in the following election after this.
It's a trade of city council positions: Mike Scully will sacrifice this election as long as he is guaranteed to win the next one.
The one trouble in this deal is that there is a new movement gaining steam in the packing yards: socialism.
Mike Scully is worried that the hot-head Democrats of Packingtown would prefer to go with the Socialist Party candidate over some random Republican.
So "Bush" Harper hires Jurgis, who is well-known as a union man and has lots of union connections.
He wants Jurgis to go back to the meatpacking plants to lobby for the Republican candidate with his old union buddies.
Jurgis doesn't see how this is going to work, since he's been blacklisted from working in Packingtown.
"Bush" Harper promises that won't be a problem.
So Jurgis agrees, and he gets to meet Mike Scully, the most important man in Packingtown.
Mike Scully personally gives Jurgis a note to take to the head manager of Durham's packing plant, Mr. Harmon.
The note tells Harmon to hire Jurgis as a personal favor to Mike Scully.
Mr. Harmon offers Jurgis a job as a night watchman.
Jurgis refuses because he needs to be surrounded by the workers.
Mr. Harmon lets Jurgis take a job trimming hogs.
Again, what a reversal of luck: Jurgis once begged for this job and was refused. Now, he gets automatically appointed to the hog-killing room.
The boss of the room, "Pat" Murphy, is specifically ordered to make room for Jurgis.
Jurgis joins the union again right away. He tells everyone to vote for "Scotty" Doyle – the Republican candidate. He also trashtalks the millionaire who is the Democratic candidate – what does he know about the working man?
Jurgis brings dozens of guys to join the Doyle the Republican's campaign.
This is how Jurgis becomes a politician without making a single speech: by working hard around the factory drumming up support for a candidate he doesn't care about at all with the secret backing of Mike Scully.
So, when reliably Democratic Packingtown elects a Republican representative, Jurgis goes out on a bender with the money he has made fixing the election.