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The Depot Master   By: (1870-1944)

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First Page:

THE DEPOT MASTER

By Joseph C. Lincoln

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. AT THE DEPOT

II. SUPPLY AND DEMAND

III. "STINGY GABE"

IV. THE MAJOR

V. A BABY AND A ROBBERY

VI. AVIATION AND AVARICE

VII. CAPTAIN SOL DECIDES TO MOVE

VIII. THE OBLIGATIONS OF A GENTLEMAN

IX. THE WIDOW BASSETT

X. CAPTAIN JONADAB GOES

XI. THE GREAT METROPOLIS

XII. A VISION SENT

XIII. DUSENBERRY'S BIRTHDAY

XIV. EFFIE'S FATE

XV. THE "HERO" AND THE COWBOY

XVI. THE CRUISE OF THE RED CAR

XVII. ISSY'S REVENGE

XVIII. THE MOUNTAIN AND MAHOMET

THE DEPOT MASTER

CHAPTER I

AT THE DEPOT

Mr. Simeon Phinney emerged from the side door of his residence and paused a moment to light his pipe in the lee of the lilac bushes. Mr. Phinney was a man of various and sundry occupations, and his sign, nailed to the big silver leaf in the front yard, enumerated a few of them. "Carpenter, Well Driver, Building Mover, Cranberry Bogs Seen to with Care and Dispatch, etc., etc.," so read the sign. The house was situated in "Phinney's Lane," the crooked little byway off "Cross Street," between the "Shore Road" at the foot of the slope and the "Hill Boulevard" formerly "Higgins's Roost" at the top. From the Phinney gate the view was extensive and, for the most part, wet. The hill descended sharply, past the "Shore Road," over the barren fields and knolls covered with bayberry bushes and "poverty grass," to the yellow sand of the beach and the gray, weather beaten fish houses scattered along it. Beyond was the bay, a glimmer in the sunset light.

Mrs. Phinney, in the kitchen, was busy with the supper dishes. Her husband, wheezing comfortably at his musical pipe, drew an ancient silver watch from his pocket and looked at its dial. Quarter past six. Time to be getting down to the depot and the post office. At least a dozen male citizens of East Harniss were thinking that very thing at that very moment. It was a community habit of long standing to see the train come in and go after the mail. The facts that the train bore no passengers in whom you were intimately interested, and that you expected no mail made little difference. If you were a man of thirty or older, you went to the depot or the "club," just as your wife or sisters went to the sewing circle, for sociability and mild excitement. If you were a single young man you went to the post office for the same reason that you attended prayer meeting. If you were a single young lady you went to the post office and prayer meeting to furnish a reason for the young man.

Mr. Phinney, replacing his watch in his pocket, meandered to the sidewalk and looked down the hill and along the length of the "Shore Road." Beside the latter highway stood a little house, painted a spotless white, its window blinds a vivid green. In that house dwelt, and dwelt alone, Captain Solomon Berry, Sim Phinney's particular friend. Captain Sol was the East Harniss depot master and, from long acquaintance, Mr. Phinney knew that he should be through supper and ready to return to the depot, by this time. The pair usually walked thither together when the evening meal was over.

But, except for the smoke curling lazily from the kitchen chimney, there was no sign of life about the Berry house. Either Captain Sol had already gone, or he was not yet ready to go. So Mr. Phinney decided that waiting was chancey, and set out alone.

He climbed Cross Street to where the "Hill Boulevard," abiding place of East Harniss's summer aristocracy, bisected it, and there, standing on the corner, and consciously patronizing the spot where he so stood, was Mr. Ogden Hapworth Williams, no less.

Mr. Williams was the village millionaire, patron, and, in a gentlemanly way, "boomer." His estate on the Boulevard was the finest in the county, and he, more than any one else, was responsible for the "buying up" by wealthy people from the city of the town's best building sites, the spots commanding "fine marine sea views," to quote from Abner Payne, local real estate and insurance agent... Continue reading book >>




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