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Snow on the Headlight A Story of the Great Burlington Strike   By: (1855-1914)

Snow on the Headlight A Story of the Great Burlington Strike by Cy Warman

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SNOW ON THE HEADLIGHT

BY CY WARMAN

A Story of the Great Burlington Strike 12mo. Cloth, $1.25

THE STORY OF THE RAILROAD ( The Story of the West Series. ) Illustrated. 12mo. Cloth, $1.50

D. APPLETON & COMPANY NEW YORK

SNOW ON THE HEADLIGHT

A Story of the Great Burlington Strike

BY CY WARMAN

AUTHOR OF THE STORY OF THE RAILROAD, THE EXPRESS MESSENGER, TALES OF AN ENGINEER, FRONTIER STORIES, ETC.

NEW YORK D. APPLETON AND COMPANY MDCCCXCIX

Copyright, 1899, by D. Appleton & Co.

PREFACE

Here is a Decoy Duck stuffed with Oysters. The Duck is mere Fiction: The Oysters are Facts.

If you find the Duck wholesome, and the Oysters hurt you, it is probably because you had a hand in the making of this bit of History, and in the creation of these Facts.

THE AUTHOR

SNOW ON THE HEADLIGHT

CHAPTER FIRST

Good managers are made from messenger boys, brakemen, wipers and telegraphers; just as brave admirals are produced in due time by planting a cadet in a naval school. From two branches of the service come the best equipped men in the railroad world from the motive power department and from the train service. This one came from the mechanical department, and he spent his official life trying to conceal the fact striving to be just to all his employees and to show no partiality towards the department from whence he sprang but always failing.

"These men will not strike," he contended: "The brains of the train are in the engine."

"O, I don't think," Mr. Josler, the general superintendent, would say; and if you followed his accent it would take you right back to the heart of Germany: "Giff me a goot conductor, an' I git over the roat."

No need to ask where he came from.

As the grievance grew in the hands of the "grief" committee, and the belief became fixed in the minds of the officials that the employees were looking for trouble, the situation waxed critical. "Might as well make a clean job of it," the men would say; and then every man who had a grievance, a wound where there had been a grievance or a fear that he might have something to complain of in the future, contributed to the real original grievance until the trouble grew so that it appalled the officials and caused them to stiffen their necks. In this way the men and the management were being wedged farther and farther apart. Finally, the general manager, foreseeing what war would cost the company and the employees, made an effort to reach a settlement, but the very effort was taken as evidence of weakness, and instead of yielding something the men took courage, and lengthened the list of grievances. His predecessor had said to the president of the company when the last settlement was effected: "This is our last compromise. The next time we shall have to fight my back is to the wall." But, when the time came for the struggle, he had not the heart to make the fight, and so resigned and went west, where he died shortly afterwards, and dying, escaped the sorrow that must have been his had he lived to see how his old, much loved employees were made to suffer.

Now the grievance committee came with an ultimatum to the management. "Yes, or No?" demanded the chairman with a Napoleonic pose. But the general superintendent was loth to answer.

"Yes, or No?"

Mr. Josler hesitated, equivocated, and asked to be allowed to confer with his chief.

"Yes, or No?" demanded the fearless leader, lifting his hand like an auctioneer.

"Vell, eef you put it so, I must say No," said the superintendent and instantly the leader turned on his heel. He did not take the trouble to say good day, but snapped his finger and strode away.

Now the other members of the committee got up and went out, pausing to say good morning to the superintendent who stood up to watch the procession pass out into the wide hall... Continue reading book >>




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