The Daughter of a Magnate (Chapter 7, page 1 of 5)


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Chapter 7

Sleepy Cat town was but just rubbing its eyes next morning when the
Brock train pulled in from Cascade. Clouds rolling loosely across the
mountains were pushing the night into the west, and in the east wind
promise of day followed, soft and cool.

On the platform in the gray light three men were climbing into the
gangway of a switch-engine, the last man so long and so loosely put
together that he was taking, as he always took when he tried to get
into small quarters, the chaffing of his companions on his size. He
smiled languidly at Callahan's excited greeting, and as they ran down
the yard listened without comment to the story of the washout. No
words were needed to convey to Glover or to Blood the embarrassment of
the situation. Freight trains crowded every track in the yard, and the
block of twelve hours indicated what a two-day tie-up would mean. In
the cañon the roadmasters were already taking measurements and section
men were lining up track that had been lifted and wrenched by the
water. Callahan and Blood did the talking, but when they left the
flooded roadbed and Glover took a way up the cañon wall it became
apparent what the mountain engineer's long legs were for. He led, a
quick, sure climber, and if he meant by rapidly scaling the bowlders to
shut off Callahan's talk the intent was effective. Nothing more was
said till the three men, followed by the roadmasters, had gained a
ledge, fifty feet above the water, that commanded for a quarter of a
mile a view of the cañon.

They were standing above the mouth of Dry Dollar Creek, opposite the
point of rocks called the Cat's Paw, and Glover, pulling his hat brim
into a perspective, looked up and down the river. The roadmasters had
taken some measurements and these they offered him, but he did no more
than listen while they read their figures as if mentally comparing them
with notes in his memory. Once he questioned a figure, but it was not
till the roadmaster insisted he was right that Glover drew from one of
his innumerable pockets an old field-book and showed the man where he
had made his error of ten feet in the disputed measurement.

"Bucks said last night you knew all this track work," remarked Callahan.

"I helped Hailey a little here when he rebuilt three years ago. The
track was put in then as well as it ever can be put in. The fact
simply is this, Callahan, we shall never be safe here. What must be
done is to tunnel Sleepy Cat, get out of the infernal cañon with the
main line and use this for the spur around the tunnel. When your
message came last night, Morris and I took the chance to tell Mr. Brock
so, and he is here this morning to see what things look like after a
cloudburst. A tunnel will save two miles of track and all the
double-heading."

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