Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1924 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
By H. M. Egbert
That was Rolfe's posiiton after he
had worked five days for the Eastern
railroad. He had been taken on after
submitting his references, because
the line needed men in a hurry. It
had just come out of liquidation, and
everything was topsy-turvy. Freight
and passenger trains were mixed; a
certain number had to be sent along
the metals to anywhere within a cer
tain time, for the retention of a fran
chise; altogether the Eastern railway
was in confusion. But Wilbraham,
the new president, was going to
make it efficient. Nobody doubted
Rolfe's references were satisfac
tory, but therewas a gap in them. He
did not offer any explanation of the
gap, but resolved to make good.
On the fifth morning the president
sent for him.
"Rolfe, you are said to have served
a term in the penitentiary for theft,"
"It is true, sir, but "
"You are the son of Wm. Rolfe of
"Yes, sir. I "
"You can lay off until I send for
you," said Mr. Wilbraham.
Rolfe left the office in a blind fury.
The theft had been nothing but the
thoughtless act of a boy. He had
stolen some money from his step
father in order to go west and had
been arrested five miles from home.
Despite his mother's tears the old
man had pressed the charge to the
limit. Rolfe's mother, terrified, had
not made a favorable impression on
the court and Rolfe had gotten two
When he came out, crushed in
spirit, he resolved to fight his way
nevertheless. He obtained several
pobiuons, dui every time old Stevens
had him discharged. His stepfather's
hatred of him seemed the passion of
his life. The malice of the old man
was beyond understanding. Why did
he hate him so?
Anyway, Rolfe was resolved to jus
tify the world's opinion of him. He
went back to gather up his things,
with a deliberate plan in his mind.
The superintendent called him.
"Rolfe, you'll take Joe's place as
conductor on the 5:12," he said.
The line was desperately short of
men. The 5:12 consisted of an en-
Saunders Pitched Forward Insensible
gine and a single empty passenger
coach, required to comply with the
terms of the franchise. No! Rolfe's
heart leaped up as he remembered
something more, and the blood began
to hammer in his ears. A cash ship
ment of $50,000 was to go in a spe
cial express car. And the superinten
dent had evidently not heard that he
"AUright, sir," Rolfe responded.
Just as the train swung out Rolfe