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Stories of the Railroad   By: (1858-1916)

Stories of the Railroad by John A. Hill

First Page:

STORIES OF THE RAILROAD

JOHN A. HILL

[Illustration: " Quick as a flash the Kid had my arm. "

( page 73. )]

STORIES of the RAILROAD

by John A. Hill

[Illustration: Logo]

New York Doubleday & McClure Co. 1899

COPYRIGHT, 1898, 1899, BY S. S. MCCLURE CO.

COPYRIGHT, 1899, BY DOUBLEDAY & MCCLURE CO.

Contents

PAGE An Engineer's Christmas Story 7

The Clean Man and the Dirty Angels 27

Jim Wainwright's Kid 45

A Peg legged Romance 75

My Lady of the Eyes 97

Some Freaks of Fate 151

Mormon Joe, the Robber 191

A Midsummer Night's Trip 227

The Polar Zone 253

List of Illustrations

"Quick as a flash the Kid had my arm." Frontispiece

TO FACE "I noticed his long, slim hand on the top of the reverse lever" 22

"It was a strange courting ... there on that engine" 70

"We carried him into the depot" 100

"'Mexican,' said I" 236

"What seemed to be a giant iceberg...." 282

"A white city ... was visible for an instant" 292

STORIES OF THE RAILROAD

[Illustration: FACSIMILE OF A COMPLETED ORDER AS ENTERED IN THE DESPATCHER'S ORDER BOOK]

AN ENGINEER'S CHRISTMAS STORY

In the summer, fall, and early winter of 1863, I was tossing chips into an old Hinkley insider up in New England, for an engineer by the name of James Dillon. Dillon was considered as good a man as there was on the road: careful, yet fearless, kindhearted, yet impulsive, a man whose friends would fight for him and whose enemies hated him right royally.

Dillon took a great notion to me, and I loved him as a father; the fact of the matter is, he was more of a father to me than I had at home, for my father refused to be comforted when I took to railroading, and I could not see him more than two or three times a year at the most so when I wanted advice I went to Jim.

I was a young fellow then, and being without a home at either end of the run, was likely to drop into pitfalls. Dillon saw this long before I did. Before I had been with him three months, he told me one day, coming in, that it was against his principles to teach locomotive running to a young man who was likely to turn out a drunkard or gambler and disgrace the profession, and he added that I had better pack up my duds and come up to his house and let "mother" take care of me and I went.

I was not a guest there: I paid my room rent and board just as I should have done anywhere else, but I had all the comforts of a home, and enjoyed a thousand advantages that money could not buy. I told Mrs. Dillon all my troubles, and found kindly sympathy and advice; she encouraged me in all my ambitions, mended my shirts, and went with me when I bought my clothes. Inside of a month, I felt like one of the family, called Mrs. Dillon "mother," and blessed my lucky stars that I had found them.

Dillon had run a good many years, and was heartily tired of it, and he seldom passed a nice farm that he did not call my attention to it, saying: "Jack, now there's comfort; you just wait a couple of years I've got my eye on the slickest little place, just on the edge of M , that I am saving up my pile to buy. I'll give you the 'Roger William' one of these days, Jack, say good evening to grief, and me and mother will take comfort. Think of sleeping till eight o'clock, and no poor steamers, Jack, no poor steamers!" And he would reach over, and give my head a gentle duck as I tried to pitch a curve to a front corner with a knot: those Hinkleys were powerful on cold water.

In Dillon's household there was a "system" of financial management... Continue reading book >>




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