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sourly. The Arkansan beckoned; be-
fogged, the youth shambled aboard the
Richmond.

In silence the Arkansan shifted the re-
verse-lever. He meditated upon the bris-
tling boiler-head, desisted, presently pulled
lightly at the brass handle that entered
through the cab front. Craning from the
gangway, he inspected the mouth of the
sand-pipe. Sand was flowing thinly. The
Arkansan pulled the handle wide. Then he
climbed to the engineer'sleather-bound seat,
and folded his legs as comfortably as might
be betwixt the seat and the cab front.

" Now, seh," he informed Bullock, " I 'm
lookin' to you to mind the snackin' — the
coal an' the water an' the injecteh an' that-
all. And," he finished, as, making no move,
the youth scowled from the coal-hammer
and the shovel to the gages, " I expaict
you betteh snack just about as sp)ry as you
know." And he drew forth the throttle the
breadth of a man's hand. Elbow on the
arm-rest, he thrust his head out-window
and rearward.



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Steam snarled in the race-horse boiler.
The cab Hfted, jolted. The 70-inch drivers
gritted in the sand. A long black exhaust
rushed in the stub-stack, soared, boiling
and tumbling, into the morning. Another
followed close upon it. Behind, uprose
the rapid chug-chugging of slacked coup-
lings tightening. South from Saints Rest
the Arkansan started the borrowed 900,
the 2 switch-engine of Shannon Quarries,
the Oregon peach-train, and the I. & I.
detectives who debated from the roofs
thereof.

And those who debated on Saints Rest
platform— Magruder and his band and
Jonas Conkey— a jiffy they stood open-
mouthed, their arguments expired in
mid-saying, and gaped at the trundling
refrigerators and the detectives gaping
back and the Arkansan's lean, clean-
shaven face and black slouch thrust from
the 900's window ; then of themselves made
essay to depart. By the front and rear
steps of the caboose they gathered, trot-
ting, then, as the Richmond assumed a
diligent puffing, at a run, and so fast as
ensued accommodation, embarked.

One alone adopted other tactics. Hugh
Corcoran ran down-platform. On the 900
the engineer's seat was, beneath the seat
proper, a tool-box ; the Arkansan half rose,
lifted the seat proper, and extracted a
wooden-handled wrench. Corcoran passed
refrigerator after refrigerator, passed the 2,
came abreast the gangway of the Rich-
mond. Saying nothing, he folded the fin-
gers of one hand about that gangway grip
which was set on the cab. Bullock, still
scowling from hammer and shovel to
gages, retreated against the boiler-head.
The Arkansan reversed the wrench and
held it by the jaws. Saying nothing, he
leaned low, and with the wooden handle
cuffed the folded fingers. Corcoran -halted
upon the depot platform rueful, rubbing
the fingers on his trousers-leg. The Arkan-
san replaced the wrench and resumed his
rearward observation. Sulkily Bullock tried
the water-cocks, reached in front of the
Arkansan's knees and gave Hfe to the in-
jector. Sulkily he put at the coal. Rear-
ward, Corcoran straightened and swung on
the front steps of the caboose. With which
all were embarked save Magruder.

Elbowed aside by those others who had
clustered about the rear steps, Magruder
thudded in the wake of the caboose, the



fat fingers of one straining hand falling
short by inches of the platform rail. His
mouth was open ; strange little groans of
distress came out of it. The paunch of him
quaked. He passed the end of the depot
platform, floundered over the gravel of
the main line. Groping, the Arkansan found
the throttle, closed it. Groping, he found
the air-cock, shifted it, a hissing moment,
center to right to center, noted the grind
of brakes. Slightly the train checked. The
caboose rail touched the tips of Magruder's
fingers, brushed along his fingers, along his
palm. Triumphantly he clutched it, de-
scribed a sprawl through the sunshine, and
sat upon the bottom step. The Arkansan
withdrew his head, for the first time faced
the front. He shifted the air-cock to left,
noted the whistle of emptying cylinders.
Again he drew forth the throttle the
breadth of a man's hand.

" We must n't reckon to leave any one
behin'," stated the Arkansan.

He leaned over the quadrant, and stu-
died it. Just in front of the center he
marked two notches that contact had
polished. Very delicately he unlatched
the reverse-lever and slipped it back to
the second of the notche.s. Also, he tugged
at the throttle. Then he waited, speculative,
brows lifted. The puffing of the Richmond
turned soft and fast — and faster. The lift
and jolt of the cab changed to a jig, a
breakdown. A cheery hum and tinkle
began underfoot. The white empty track
streamed up from the south briskly. The
two-mile swell neared. And the Arkansan
beamed.

Bullock did not. He sulked, yet he
observed things, did the overgrown youth.
He stepped to the right of the cab and,
tiptoeing, shouted into the Arkansan's ear.

" Say," he shouted, " who are you, any-
how ? You 're the feller who kind of argued
with Conkey an' Magruder yesterday an'
day afore, but who are you ? I 'm thinkin',"
he accused, ** you 're the agent back there."

The Arkansan clasped the whistle-pull
and blew a careful highway— the two long
bellows, the two short— for the Wood road.

"You are thinking right, seh," he an-
swered.

'* An' you," continued the youth, " was
askin' if I had got 'quaintance with enjyne
runnin'. Now / asks 7<7//— have you got
'quaintance ? "

"Down on the Ton Mountain," re-



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ARKANSAS FASHION



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sponded the Arkansan, " I have had a ride
now and then/*

"An'," Bullock reproached, "you never
handled an enjyne afore ? "

"Why," parried the Arkansan, "we
cyain't expaict to have everything go to
please us."

"But look a-here," Bullock protested,
" I don't knotv about this job o' mine. I
only fired once or twice, I tell you. Say,
this enjyne 's liable to climb with us. An'
there 's the switch-enjyne. Her fire was
slow, an', seems to me, her injector 's a
little open ; but if they ahCt I "

The crest of the two-mile swell and the
Wood road streamed under the pilot ; the
white cattle-guards of the Leroy road
mounted to view, and beyond, at the
track-side, a gaunt gray bulk, the depot of
forgotten Harrison town. Scrupulously the
Arkansan whistled highway.

"If we step right along," he averred,
"maybe we can have our ride befo' they
go to actin' up."

Lips pursed, head shaking, like one
confronted with a banquet for thought,
Bullock subsided. He scowled at the
gages hard. Then he wielded hammer and
shovel hard. Some sulkiness fell from him.
Presently he scrambled for the summit of
the tender to break a jam in the coal.

" An', while you are up thyeh," the Ar-
kansan requested, "just you reconnoiteh.
I expaict our passengers will be takin'
measures about now." A little swerve in
the track encountered, the Arkansan, him-
self a moment enabled to look back along
the train, projected his head.

For space and observation Conkey and
Magruder and Magruder's fellows as-
cended to the caboose cupola, and emerged
thence upon the roof. The detectives
thereon, for a council, mingled with them.
Those upon the refrigerators, for like rea-
son, wended back.

" Say," announced Ford, " he 's run off
with our engine, that Arkansas chap has."

" And he 's towing off my engine," fumed
Jonas Conkey.

"These here peaches," decreed Ma-
gruder, "ain't no business traveling this
a-way." Magruder's fellows nodded.

"/ ain't intending to ride after any
station agent," asserted CJreen. Oreen's
brothers nodded.

Hugh Corcoran rubbed his fingers on
his trousers-leg.



In Indian file, with harmony admirable
to see, daintily balancing, rope-walker
fashion, along the narrow walks that ran
the lengths of the unsteady roofs, with
carefully judged steps spanning the three-
foot chasms that yawned between cars,
strikers and peach-movers — Magruder
leading, then Jonas Conkey, then Cor-
coran, then Ford, then Latham, then
Green— set off engineward. The Arkan-
san, reconnoitering, sighted the column as
Magruder put foot on the second from thie
final, or twenty-first, refrigerator.

Bullock also sighted the column then.
Sliding, stumbling, bawling a warning, he
descended the coal.

The Arkansan withdrew his head.

" We have got to hindeh that-all," he
announced. He reached down and gave
Bullock the shovel which he had left lean-
ing against the boiler-head. " Just you keep
a-snackin'," he encouraged. His eye sought
the steam -gage— its pointer trembling at
195. His arms straightened, his fingers
closed about the throttle. Oently he
opened a second hand's-breadth.

The puffing of the Richmond waxed,
waxed, beat out the stack incessant, like
a drummer's long roll. 'ITie cheery hum
and tinkle underfoot swelled to clamor.
The cab rioted. Windows rattled a chiv-
aree. Without, the wind, rising, swept an
unending blast. 'ITie white track streamed
up from the south in haste, forward of the
boiler front became misty. Caunt Harri-
son depot grew and shaped. Another
swerve encountered; the Arkansan made
a second reconnaissance.

Of that Indian file, roughly, a half was
come to a halt and seated upon the roof-
walks of refrigerators twenty and nineteen,
holding firmly, with hands, to the edges of
the same. The remaining half, which in-
cluded Magruder, Conkey, Corcoran, Ford,
Latham, and Green, the six who led, ad-
vanced on hands and knees. For the re-
frigerators, the cumbersome, top-heavy
creatures, were rolling. The roofs of them
slanted into the east, reeled into the west,
bucked bronco-like. The ledges by the
three-foot gaps between laughed at foot-
hold. And, too, there was the wind.

Harrison depot hastened by, hurling
back roaring echoes. Hastened by the
farm fences that bestrode the Iowa line.
Into \new hastened, billowing, the begin-
ning of that hummock country which



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houses the I. & I. near to Dubuque— and
the first of the curves therein contained.
Thereabouts the engineers forswore cut-
tings and accompUshed economy, for which
they were instructed. Also, they accom-
plished levelness. But curves! The first
wound to hand; the Arkansan remarked
upon them.

"Seems a so*t of unlikely track," he
said, with no flavor of mirth.
Bullock peeped.
" Gee, yes ! " he agreed.
And with eye on the steam— 195— the
Arkansan' s fingers closed about the throttle
and coaxed it

"Gee!" said BuUock.
Of that half of the Indian file which had
continued to advance aH save the six who
led now sat down upon the roof-walks of
refrigerators eighteen and seventeen, and
held on. The straw hat of a detective
hiutled, whirling and dodging, into the
north — and another. No man raised a
hand of succor. The six advanced along
the walks on belly, as a boy rides his sled.
At the gaps they waited imtil both ledges
chanced to leap in unison, then swiftly
threw forth arms.

Curves zigzagged up, whipped and
slued beneath the Richmond's pilot. To
left and right hummocks billowed up and
past. Approached a curve that looked no
curve at all, but, instead, a square comer.
The Richmond shivered, a second tipped,
tipped — sank upon her springs with a
racking crash and whang. The oil-can
toppled and fell from its ^elf silently.

" I thought she was goin' on her back
that time," gasped Bullock from a brace.
Agreed the Arkansan, again with no
mirth : " I had that same notion."

And with eye on the steam— 190 now
—his fingers closed about the throttle and
coaxed it

" Gee ! " said Bullock. Then he wielded
his hammer and shovel very hard indeed.
Sulkiness altogether fell from him.

Rearward, some of those who sat rose
and essayed to twist brakes, and again sat.
Some thought of air-brakes, and remem-
bered that in the .flurry of the day before
the strike the refrigerators had been made
up with three non-airs in the lead. The
six gave over effort in the curves. In the
straightaways they wormed on sluggishly.
On the right of the grade the white
sign-board



MAPLE CITY

ONE MILE



approached, fled by. The Arkansan whis-
tled highway.

From behind a himimock Maple City—
green depot, stores, grain-house— de-
bouched, and, roaring, fled.

The Richmond's puffing beat a long roll.
Curves and curves whipped, slued. Hum-
mocks and hummocks, gold with wheat,
green with com, green with pasture-sward,
billowed past. Behind, the six wormed on
in the straightaways, llie Arkansan, head
out from time to time, regarded them crit-
ically.

On the right of the grade the sign-board



CLENDENNING

ONE MILE



approached, fled. The Arkansan whistled
highway.

Clendennirtg— green depot, stores, grain-
house — debouched ; roaring, fled. The six
pulled themselves, one by one, upon re-
frigerator twelve. The Arkansan withdrew
his head definitely. His eye sought the
steam, his arms stretched toward the throt-
tle, and relaxed. The pointer marked 180,
and falling. The Arkansan unfolded his
legs and slid to the cab floor.

" Fo' a spell,'* he shouted in Bullock's
ear, " I reckon I will hammeh."

In the fore of the tender, feet braced, the
Arkansan swung the hammer with long,
slow strokes, and broke the coal. Bullock
shoveled it into the white hole before him.
Regularly the fire-door banged open, shut,
open, shut. Intermittently Bullock straight-
ened to start the injector, intermittently
to still it. The six wormed over refrigera-
tor twelve — eleven — ten. The steam-gage
pointer crawled, trembling, upward, passed
180—185 — 190.

The sign-board



CURTIS

ONE MILE



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approached, fled. The Arkansan sought
the cab and whistled highway.

Curtis— green depot, stores, grain-house,
lumber-yard— debouched; roaring, fled.

The Arkansan hammered. Bullock
shoveled. The door banged open, shut,
open, shut. The six crossed three more
refrigerators. The pointer passed 195—
200—205.

The Arkansan put aside the hammer,
climbed to the engineer's seat, and folded
his legs as comfortably as might be. Deli-
cately he slipped the reverse-lever into the
first of those notches which contact had
polished. Then he fingered the throttle,
and coaxed it, coaxed it.

"It will come no fartheh," he an-
nounced.

The Richmond began herself to roll, and,
rolling, jerked and jumped and plunged
and shivered. The puffing of her beat out
the stack a fury, hammered at the ears
like the spanking of barrel-staves. The
crash of flattened springs dinned always.
The gangway apron clanged, clanged.
Bits of coal coasted from the tender to
the cab floor, danced there like popping
corn.

The wind, rising, lashed and slapped,
sang in the cracks of the hinged windows.
Bullock, stoking, in the strife for balance,
hopped to and fro, a jumping- jack.

And the refrigerators, the cimibersome,
top-heavy creatures!

" Remi-minds you," commented the Ar-
kansan from his rioting seat, " of asto-sto'm
at sea. Twenty-five sto'ms, countin' in the
liT engine an* the caboose."

" I can't 1-look at 'em," chattered Bul-
lock. " G-gives me the jimjams."

Rearward, those who sat now laid them-
selves belly down upon the roof-walks, in
the very likeness of their leaders, save that
they did not advance. Intermittently hats
—straws, derbies, felts— hurtled into the
north. Ahead, Latham came to stand.
Green, behind, could be seen in argument
with him. Latham shook his head. Ma-
gruder, Conkey, Corcoran, Ford, and Green
got to refrigerator five.

The sign-board



sped up, flashed away. The Arkansan
vented a succession of highways.
The sign-board



ELMER

ONE MILE



YARD LIMITS

20 MILES PER HOUR



sped up, flashed away. Switch-stands
darted by. Elmer— arc-lights and Addi-
tions—engulfed. Elevator, green depot,
freight-house, coal-sheds, stock-yard, oil-
tanks, close at hand, box-cars on siding,
closer, came and went shrieking — ivarr,
warr, warr. Dust of street crossings blan-
keted. Switch-stands darted by. Again the
white, empty track streamed up from the
south.

"We are d-doing betteh than twenty
miles," observed the Arkansan.

Rearward, some few adjacent to brakes
raised arms, and lowered arms. Horace
Ford halted.

From the northwest ciured the West
Central Railway and streamed at the elbow
of the I. & I. On the West Central a train
appeared. It grew and shaped: a thre^-
coach passenger, likewise proceedingsouth.
Its engine was pufiing busybodily; dust
eddied from beneath the coaches. It
drifted abreast. The fireman came to the
gangway and stared. The engineer quit
his seat and stared over the fireman's
shoulder. Silently it drifted astern.

Green halted. Magruder, Conkey, and
Corcoran made the third refrigerator. The
vomit of the Richmond's stack raked them
—a blizzard of soot and cinders.

The sign-board



COLE

ONE MILE



sped up, flashed away. The Arkansan
whistled highway.

Cole— green depot, stores, grain-house,
creamery, red West Central depot— de-
bouched; shrieking, departed. The sign-
board



R. R. CROSSING

400 FEET
STOP



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ARKANSAS FASHION



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flashed up, flashed, a blur, away. The
track of the West Central curved to the
east, crashed beneath the Richmond, be-
neath the 2, rubadubbed, thundering, be-
neath the refrigerators.

Corcoran came to stand. All alone Ma-
gruder and Conkey wormed to the second
refrigerator, and to the first. They gained
the head of the first.

By inches Magruder manoeuvered his
huge beard and huge shoulders and huge
paunch into the side ladder, hugging the
car, by inches shinned down. On the bot-
tom rung he halted, and, holding himself
out from the car, considered the gap be-
tween him and the 2 switch-engine.

On her four little drivers the 2 raced, a
mere blur. One saw in quivering outline
adozen 2's. Her tender foot-board quivered
by the rails a yard beneath and a yard and
more in advance of Magruder's rung. On
the tender's comer quivered a boarding-
handle a bit bigger than a napkin-ring.
Beyond quivered the tender's slant-built
back, smooth, bare of steps or cleats. Ma-
gruder held himself a little farther out and
forward, removed one foot from the bottom
rung, and extended it shyly into the gap.
Hugging the car, he climbed the ladder,
and on the roof- walk prostrated himself in
a manner of exceeding meekness ; move-
less and earnestly flattened, his cheek
pressed against the boards. Conkey
wormed past Magruder, into the ladder,
shinned down. On the bottom rung he
halted, and held himself out. His waist-
long red beard lay over his shoulder hori-
zontal, as straight as a yardstick. Suddenly
his jumper, unbuttoned, whipped open and
up, flapped about his ears madly. Hug-
ging the car, Conkey climbed the ladder.
In Magruder's wake he prostrated himself.

The sign-board



WEST LONDON

ONE MILE



flashed up, away. The Arkansan whistled
highway.

West London— green depot, stores,
grain-house — debouched; shrieking, de-
parted.

The Richmond rolled and lurched and
shivered. Her puffing beat a fury, ham-



mered at the ears. The wind slapped and
sang. Up from the south the white track
streamed and wound. Wheat, com, pas-
ture-sward, hastened by. Bullock stoked,
a jumping-jack. The Arkansan sat the
rioting engineer's seat.

Up from the sky-line mounted a white
dome. About it rose slim steeples, many
roofs. In the midst of them showed the
upper works of a grimed coal-chute and
the cornice of a red brick roundhouse.

" That yondeh is Powde'ly ? " inquired
the Arkansan.

" That 's Powderiy," assented Bullock.

On the west traveled a grove from which
projected hazily shabby sheds. A spur led
from this ; the switch of it clashed under-
foot.

"That thyeh," inquired the Arkansan,
indicating, " is the abandoned brick-ya'd ? "

"That 's the brick-yard," assented Bul-
lock.

The sign-fcoard



POWDERLY

ONE MILE



flashed up, away. The Arkansan raised
arm to the whistle-pull, and loosed on the
sweet chime a long, bullying station blast.
Then he closed the throttle and eased the
reverse-lever.
The sign-board



YARD LIMITS



approached, fled. Switch-stands fled, and
derby-hatted sentries, detectives. Pow-
deriy yard, silent, moveless, detective-
bound, surrounded. The Arkansan shifted
the air-cock center to right to center, and
repeated. Powderiy depot neared briskly,
then deliberately. The Arkansan shifted
to right to center slowly. The depot drew
abreast, with a jerk halted. The Arkansan
shifted to left, sent the pent air whistling.
Then he unfolded his legs and slid from
the engineer's seat. With a bit of waste he
set to tidying his hands.

On the refrigerators Jonas Conkey and
Green and Green's brothers sat up,
blinked, and bartered feeble smiles. Ma-



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THE CENTURY MAGAZINE



gruder and his fellows sat up, blinked, and
shinned down-ladder. Thence they took
themselves away mildly, not stopping for
their coats. Pleasantly and without haste
the Arkansan himself alighted.

From the second story of the depot,
which sheltered Division headquarters,
hastened Superintendent Webb, an oldish
gentleman, scholarly and benevolent, and
fell upon the Arkansan with gratitude. He
was enthusiastic, was Mr. Webb.

"The Company," he concluded, "will



extend you substantial appreciation, Mr.
Harbin, insists upon it. I, personally, in-
sist upon extending you some apprecia-
tion."

The Arkansan smiled a little smile of
relish.

" Why, I tell you, seh," he suggested,
"if you might happen to have on you'
book-shelf a copy of * Huckl'berry Finn/
and would cyah to affo'd me the privilege
of it until I can retu'n to Sain's Rest, I
would ce'tainly thank you."



"PLACE ENOUGH FOR ME AND PEACE"

BY JOHN VANCE CHENEY



UPON the thousands cast
Into the field of days, with troubled
flow
My thought went out ; I saw them ranked

and massed
In battle, and laid low.

To live, to think and feel,
It was to fat the robber of the nest ;
I looked, I saw the serpent at the heel.
The aspic at the breast.

I saw want's tightening twist.

His crushing coil, around the child of care ;

I saw the day-god wallow through the

mist
To gild a harlot's hair.

I saw high worth bowed down,
Vanity glad as laughing summer-green ;
I saw the unkingHest thing clap on a

crown.
Hoar honor wasting mean.

But on itself thought turns.
" Thou fool ! " mine said. " The lovely vio-
let blows.

There 's fire yet in the star, the foxglove
bums.

Runs love-blood in the rose.



" Curled in the shadow- vase.
Ferns cluster; mom shakes bright the

willow-leaves ;
The haughty worlds are at the appointed

place.
The swallows at the eaves.

" The grasshopper has song ;
The noon heat at the cricket's heart, it

stings ;
The bluebird still brings heaven with him

along.
Of it he shines and sings.

" Out of the sun and cloud
The silences, the wonders of the wind ;
All tmstful things with joyance cry aloud,
They seek not, and they find."

" Now will I once more bend,"
I said, " to humble service, wiser live ;
With trust makes hope heart-fellow, fate

a friend,
Take as the days may give.

" From murmiuing will I cease.
And longer after folly follow not ;
But, lord of place enough for me and

peace.
Will stand up in my lot."



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THE DEFENSE OF BALER CHURCH,

BY CAPTAIN HOEIACE M. REEVEL, U. S.A.




I

i



|N the province of Principe, Lu-
zon, about one hundred and
forty miles northeast from Ma-
nila, lies the little town of Baler,
which in ordinary times contains about two
thousand souls. It has a range of moun-
tains at its back, and faces the Pacific
Ocean ; in consequence of its situation, the
land communications are most difficult at
all times, while at certain seasons commu-
nication by sea is well-nigh impossible.

A more inaccessible or lonely place is
hard to find even in the Philippine Islands ;
but Baler will long be remembered in the
annals of the Spanish army, for this town
possesses a church, hardly more than a
chapel in size, in which a small Spanish
garrison was besieged by Filipino insur-
gents for nearly twelve calendar months—
from June 27, 1898, when four officers and
fifty men went into the church, until June
2, 1899, when two officers and thirty-one
men marched out of it. To relieve this
garrison, the U. S. S. Yorktown was sent
to Baler in April, 1899, and it was in the



Online LibraryA. B. (Alfred Barton) RendleThe Century → online text (page 36 of 120)