Railway Tales
THE ENGINEER'S STORY
by Anon ( From 'The Denver Post' ) Well, yes, 'tis a hair-curlin' story— I would it could not be recalled. The terrible fright of that hell-tinctured night Is the cause of my head bein' bald. I was runnin' the Git-There Express, sir, On the Yankee Creek Jerkwater line, An' the track along there was as crooked, I swear, As the growth of a field pumpkin vine. My run was a night one, an' nights on the Yank War as black as the coal piled back there on the tank. We pulled out of Tenderfoot Station, A day and almost a-half late, An' every durn wheel was a-poundin' the steel At a wildly extravagant rate. My fireman kept pilin' the coal in The jaws of the ol' 94, Till the sweat from his nose seemed to play through a hose An' splashed 'round his feet on the floor, As we thundered along like a demon in flight, A-rippin' a streak through the breast of the night. As we rounded the curve on the mountain, Full sixty an hour I will swear, Jest ahead was a sight that with blood-freezin' fright Would have raised a stuffed buffalo's hair. The bridge over Ute Creek was burnin', The flames shootin' up in their glee ; My God! how they gleamed in the air, till they seemed Like the fiery-tongued imps on a spree— Jest snickered an' sparkled an' laughed like they knowed I'd make my next trip on a different road. In frenzy I reached for the throttle, But 'twas stuck an' refused to obey. I yelled in affright, for our maddenin' flight I felt that I never could stay. Then wildly I grasped the big lever, Threw her over, then held my hot breath, An' waited for what I assuredly thought Was a sure an' terrible death. Then came the wild crash, an' with horror-fringed yell Down into that great fiery chasm I fell. When I came to myself I was lyin' On the floor of the bedroom ; my wife Sat astride of my form, and was making it warm Fur her darlin', you bet your sweet life! My hair she had clutched in her fingers, An" was jammin' my head on the floor, Yet I yelled with delight when I found that my fright Was a horrible dream, nothin' more. I had wildly grabb'd one of her ankles, she said, An' reversed her clear over the head of the bed.
The end