The Daughter of a Magnate (Chapter 4, page 2 of 4)


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Chapter 4

"It was a fearful night to make up a train in a hurry--as much as a
man's life was worth to work even slow in the yard a night like that.
But what limit is set to a switchman's courage I have never known,
because I've never known one to balk at a yardmaster's order.

"I went to work clearing the line, and forgot all about everything
outside the train-sheet till a car-tink came running in with word that
a man was hurt in the yard.

"Some men get used to it; I never do. As much as I have seen of
railroad life, the word that a man's hurt always hits me in the same
place. Slipping into an ulster, I pulled a storm-cap over my ears and
hurried down stairs buttoning my coat. The arc-lights, blinded in the
storm, swung wild across the long yard, and the wind sung with a scream
through the telegraph wires. Stumbling ahead, the big car-tink, facing
the storm, led me to where between the red and the green lamps a dozen
men hovered close to the gangway of a switch engine. The man hurt lay
under the forward truck of the tender.

"They had just got the wrecking train made up, and this man, running
forward after setting a switch, had flipped the tender of the backing
engine and slipped from the footboard. When I bent over him, I saw he
was against it. He knew it, too, for the minute they shut off and got
to him he kept perfectly still, asking only for a priest.

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