Search      Hot    Newest Novel
HOME > Biographical > A Book About Myself > CHAPTER XXVI
Font Size:【Large】【Middle】【Small】 Add Bookmark  
 My as a local newspaper man seemed to grow by leaps and bounds—I am not exaggerating. Certain almost fortuitous events (how often they have occurred in my life!) seemed to assist me, far above my willing or even my dreams. Thus, one morning I had come down to the Globe city room to get something, a paper or a book I had left, before going to my late breakfast, when a tall, broad-shouldered man, wearing a slouch hat and looking much like the typical Kentucky colonel, hurried into the office and exclaimed:  
“Is the city editor here?”
“He isn’t down yet,” I replied. “Anything I can do for you?”
“I just stopped to tell you there’s a big on the road up here near Alton. I saw it from the train as I passed coming down from Chicago. A half dozen cars are burning. If you people get a man up there right away you can get a big lead on this.”
I grabbed a piece of paper, for I felt that this was important. Some one ought to attend to it right away. I looked around to see if there was any one to appeal to, but there was no one.
“What did you say the name of the place was?” I inquired.
“Wann,” relied the stranger, “right near Alton. You can’t miss it. Better get somebody up there quick. I think it’s something big. I know how important these things are to you newspaper boys: I used to be one myself, and I owe the Globe a few good turns anyhow.” He smiled and out.
I did not wait to see the city editor. I felt that I was taking a big risk, going out without orders, but I also felt that something terrible had happened and that the occasion warranted it. I had never seen a big wreck. It must be wonderful. The newspapers always gave them so much space. I wrote a note to the city editor explaining that the wreck was reported to be a great one and added that I felt it to be my duty to go at once. Perhaps he had better send an artist after me—imagine me advising him!
On the way to the I thought of what I must do: telegraph for an artist if the wreck was really important, and then get my story and get back. It was over an hour’s run. I got off at the nearest station to the wreck and, walked the remaining distance, which was a little more than a mile. As I neared it I saw a crowd of people gathered about what was evidently the embers of a train, and on the same track, not more than a hundred feet away, were three oil-tank cars, those evidently into which the passenger train had crashed. These cars were also surrounded by a crowd, citizens of nearby towns, as it proved, who were staring at them as the fire blazed about them. As I learned later, a fourth oil-tank car had been smashed and the contents had poured out about these others of the oil group as well as the passenger train itself. The oil had taken fire and consumed the train, although no people were killed.
The significance of the scene had not yet quite dawned upon me, however, when for the second time in my life I was privileged to one of those terrible which it is given to few of us to see. The oil-tank cars about which the crowd was gathered, having become overheated by the burning oil beneath, exploded all at once with a report which to me (I was no more than fifteen hundred feet away) sounded like a deep breath by some powerful man. The earth trembled, the heavens instantly appeared to be surcharged with flame. The crowd, which only a moment before I had seen solidly massed about the cars, was now back in confusion, and I men running, some toward me, some from me, their bodies on fire or being momentarily ignited. I saw flames toward me, long, red, licking things, and realizing the danger I turned and in a panic ran as fast as I could, never stopping until I deemed myself at a safe distance. Then I halted and gazed back, hearing at the same time a chorus of pitiful and screams which tore my heart.
Join or Log In! You need to log in to continue reading

Login into Your Account

  Remember me on this computer.

All The Data From The Network AND User Upload, If Infringement, Please Contact Us To Delete! Contact Us
About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Tag List | Recent Search  
©2010-2018, All Rights Reserved