FOR two or three weeks Reed spent most of his time in the New York office of the Communist Labor Party. Although two months remained before the party was outlawed by the United States government, the operations of the city police, federal agents, vigilantes, and the Lusk committee forced Reed and his companions to work with as much secrecy as possible. Carlo Tresca, who was editing an Italian paper in a deserted building on Twelfth Street, invited them to share his hiding- place with him, and an issue of the Voice of Labor was brought out in this vacant loft. Every night there were meetings, held in the homes of sympathizers, at which Reed reported on the convention.
The conflict between the two Communist parties sent Reed to Russia late in September. Each party was convinced that it was truly Communist and that the other was the obstacle to unity of the revolutionary forces. Since both parties were eager to affiliate with the Communist International, and since the recognition of one by the International would discredit the other, both hastened to send emissaries to Moscow. Reed, as a regularly elected international delegate, was chosen to represent the Communist Labor Party.
All this was decided in the three weeks after his return from Chicago. They were busy weeks, spent in attending committee meetings, speaking to little groups of sympathizers, writing articles, publishing the Voice of Labor, and dodging the police. Don Marquis, riding on the top of a Fifth Avenue bus, caught sight of Reed on the street, and got off to speak to him. When Marquis asked him what he was doing, Reed laughed and said