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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, February 07, 1913, Image 14

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1913-02-07/ed-1/seq-14/

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and, whereas they'd have held her
now, at that time one just took
chances. It wasn't much of a risk.
Joe saw that he could make the
trestle, with a half minute to
spare only just as he opened up,
he saw his little girl on the line;
just a speck of white in the night.
Well, you can guess the rest. It
was one life against a hundred,
and Joe paid. The company
buried her and voted him five
hundred dollars; and that's why
the superintendent didn't look too
close into Joe's drinking habits.
I didn't mention that the shock
drove the mother crazy, did I ?
She recovered in time after
what I'm going to tell you had
happened and they're living in
Tapham now. although they
never had another child.
"It must have been two years
after the accident. Joe had been
going from bad to worse. He was
drunk nearly every night, and
once or twice if it hadn't been for
me I was his fireman then
there'd have been another and
worse accident. I used to talk to
Joe about it, but of course that
didn't do no good. At last I saw
that i, would be only a matter of
weeks until a smash occurred,
and I resolved to speak to the su
perintendent myself.
"It was the night after I'd
come to that decision that Joe
was taking his engine, as usual,
into Tapham. There were only
three cars that night, but they
held the president of the road and
his wife and daughters, and a
partv of guests. Thev weis run
ning through to celebrate the
opening of some branch line or
other. I spoke to joe and he
climbed into the cab.
" Joe,' I said,, 'give me that
stuff I see sticking out of your
pocket. They'll come along and
shake hands with you at the end,
sure as fate, and that'll be your (
finish. Hand it over, Joe.'
"He was in an ugly mood that
night and swore at me. The more
I tried to put reason into his head
the uglier he grew. He didn't
care if the train went to smash
and the president and directors, '
too, he said. He cursed them all,
from Mr. Hartman down to the
local traffic manager. Bill
Swayne. who'd always been Joe's
friend and stood by him. I saw
there wasn't no use arguing with
a man in that condition, and as he
was a match for two of me, and
fighting would only make things
worse, I couldn't do nothing but
stand by and hope for the best.
And I wasn't altogether sorry,
because it saved me from having
to speak to Mr. Hitchens, the su
perintendent, myself.
"We made the run on good
time. Joe was a good driver,
however much he had been drink
ing, and I had seen him taking
more than a few swigs at that
bottle he carried. We weren't
more than half a minute to the I
bad when the grade began to dip
down into the mud flats five miles,
this side of the trestle. Joe put
on speed here, meaning to slow
up before we started on the up
grade toward the trestle again. I
could see the line of trees across
the river soon.

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