Search      Hot    Newest Novel
HOME > Classical Novels > The Young Section-Hand > CHAPTER XIX. REDDY REDIVIVUS
Font Size:【Large】【Middle】【Small】 Add Bookmark  
 Bill Johnson, engineer of the 187, pulling the pay-car, stared out into the night, his hand on the . The long gleam of the headlight shot out through the driving rain, and he could see the wet rails gleaming far ahead. He was making a record run; the had given him some hint of his fear for the safety of the pay-car, and he heaved a sigh of relief as the train swung around a curve and hurtled down the fill on the straightaway course for Wadsworth. Once in the yards there, the pay-car would be safe.  
Then, with a quick , he closed the throttle, reversed the engine, and threw on the brakes, for, far down the track ahead of him he had caught the gleam of a red lantern waved twice in the air. The light had vanished mysteriously in full flight, but a single glimpse of it was warning enough for Johnson.
The moment the brakes were , the detectives, back in the pay-car, had grabbed down the Winchesters from the wall and made ready for a fight. It might be that the engineer had sighted an on the track, and they waited instant by instant to feel the car leave the rails. It stopped with a jerk, and the detectives piled out, ready for anything.
“What’s the matter?” they asked, coming to the spot where Johnson was leaning out of his cab window.
“Somebody flagged me a minute ago,” answered Johnson, still peering out through the night. “It’s funny he don’t come ahead an’ tell us what’s th’ trouble.”
“Maybe it’s a trick to get us away from the car,” said somebody, and the detectives faced about in the darkness, themselves to receive a volley of bullets.
“Climb up here in th’ cab,” suggested Johnson, “an’ I’ll go ahead slow, an’ find out what’s th’ matter.”
They climbed up instantly, and the engine crept slowly ahead, while they all peered out through the dashing rain, expecting they knew not what.
“There’s somethin’ on th’ track,” cried Johnson, after a moment, his trained eyes the first glimpse of a dim obstruction. “It’s a man!” he said. “It’s th’ track-walker. Somebody done fer him jest as he was signallin’ me! That’s why his lantern went out!”
The men ran forward, Mr. Schofield among them. In the white glare of the headlight, they could see a form stretched heavily across the track, lying on its face.
One of the men turned it over.
“My God! It’s young West!” cried Mr. Schofield, and dropped on his knee beside him.
“And shot through the breast,” added one of the detectives, indicating the growing blood-stain upon the boy’s shirt.
They carried him tenderly back to the pay-car and laid him on a cot there. His right hand still grasped the handle of his shattered lantern, holding it so tightly that they could not remove it. Mr. Schofield himself did what he could to stop the flow of blood; then went forward cautiously to investigate. In the centre of the trestle, they found that a rail had been torn from the track.
“There’s where we’d have been by this time but for that boy,” said Mr. Schofield, in a low voice, and motioned toward the abyss, his face set and livid. “How he got past the wreckers I can’t imagine. Now I want you men to run down the fiends who did this. We’ve got to have them, no matter what it costs! Now get after them! I’ll get this rail back—don’t bother about that—and take the pay-car in. You fellows catch these scoundrels!”
The detectives hurried away into the night, while Mr. Schofield called the train-crew, got out an extra rail which was always kept by the side of the bridge, and soon had it into place.
“Now go ahead, Johnson,” he called to the engineer, “but you’d better run slow—maybe there’s another rail loose somewhere,” and he swung himself up the steps of the pay-car and sat down by Allan’s cot, with a very grim face.
But let Johnson, the engineer, tell the rest of the story, as he told it to a group of interested the very next day in the roundhouse office.
“I tell you, I run over that trestle cautious-like,” he said, “an’ it give me a turn when I looked down into that ditch an’ thought of what would have happened if th’ boy hadn’t flagged us. But we got across all right, an’ started through th’ cut, still runnin’ slow, fer I didn’t know but what there might be a rock on the track, when I heard somebody hollerin’ at me, an’ in a minute up comes Reddy Magraw climbin’ into th’ cab, lookin’ crazier ’n ever.
“‘How did I git out here?’ he asked, wild-like. ‘Who fetched me out here? What ’m I doin’ ’way out here?’
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