A train was just making up. An
empty freight car attracted Mm. The
chalk marks on its outside told him
that it was city-bound.
At each end of the car was a heap
of straw, evidently the former cover
ing of a brick shipment. The train
had started and Justus had begun a
frugal lunch, when there was a rus
tle in the heap of straw at the other
end of the car. A frowzy-headed fel
low emerged from the impromptu
couch with, the words:
"Hey, old pard! That looks good
and I'm hungry."
"Then you're welcome to all you
dan eat," answered Justus brightly,
and his fellow traveler fell to with a
He was a good-natured, roving
tramp, one of the Sort that appreci
ates a kindness, and during the next
two hours he regaled Justus with
many an interesting recital of unique
They had got well out into the
country and Justus was seated near
to the half-open door, his companion
lying on his back smoking, when
there was an ominous jar.
The train had' suddenly let up on
speed. At the shock Justus glanced
beyond the door. His eyes bulged.
Ahead, near a bridge where the rails
curved, he saw half a dozen cars
swerve out and go down an 'embank
ment. "Jump!" he almost screamed, grab
bing at the tramp and pulling him to
Head over heels both went- tum
bling down the grass-clad embank
ment. They sat up at its bottom
somewhat bruised, to stare in awe as
the car they had left met the jam
ahead and was splintered to frag
ments. "I say!" shuddered the iramp, "you
grabbed me just in time. Thanks!"
Two hours later the queerly
matched twain stood near the center
of the wreck, interested in what they
saw. A great car full of grain had left
jhe track, striking a rocky embank
ment, Its golden contents scattered !
over the ground like an exhausted
The wrecking train and an inspec
tor had arrived. The tramp had been
acting in a reflective and calculative
manner for some time.
"Wish I had a fair cash stake," he
"What's the idea?" questioned Jus
tus. "Why, there's the inspector going
over things. I've been in this kind of
wrecks before. See that car of
"And the wrecked chicken car with '
about half its freight killed? Well,
that's wreck salvage, hard for the
company to handle. If I was a specu
lator I'd buy the stuff offhand. It
can be got for a trifle."
"But what would you do with it?"
"Well, by hook or crook I'd find i
some old shed or barn that I could.
rent and take care of the truck."
"Look here," said Justus, after a -moment's
meditation, "I have a little
cash. If you think there is something
to be made here, I'll invest"
"You will," cried the tramp read-
ily. "Leave It to me, then."
He was gone an hour and came
back with shining eyes.
"Say," he reported, "I'm able to
make a dandy arrangement to start
a regular chicken farm. Now, let me
dicker with the inspector."
Seventy dollars would buy the sal
vage, provided the screened boxes of
the chicken cars were denuded of
their contents within twenty-four
What an afternoon and night they
had of it! Less than half a mile dis
tant the tramp had located a little
cabin that had been vacated by its
owner for a more pretentious resi
dence. It bad sheds and a stable.
Its owner would lease the outfit for
a trifle. By noon the next day 1,800
live chickens had been transported to
the new "chicken farm." The grain
they could remove at their leisures
xml | txt