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Newspaper Page Text
By George Elmer Cobb
Whenever Dan Beasley needed
food or a drink or a dime to pay for
a bed, he invariably made a claim to
having a. past where meritorious
work was his portion.
"I'm no lazy 'bo, friend," he would
say. "I've strung wire half over the
country," and he showed a pair of
nippers that belonged to the kit of
a telegraph construction crew.
If encouraged, Dan would dilate on
remarkable exploits in his line, "well
seasoned with peril and hardship. If
presented with a query as to present
lack of employment he would cite
old age and younger men crowding
Dan was tired of cheap lodging
houses at Wolverton and wanted to
get to Crescent, where a real metrop
olis presented variety and a broader
field for the exploitation of his pe
culiar genius. He swung onto the
platform of the last car as the 8:11
pulled out of the depot Dan was
familiar with railroad ways and time
schedules. He knew that the 8:11
was a through train to Crescent,
with an express car attached. The
chance of discovery by some lynx
eyed conductor, even huddled up in
the shadow of the lower step as he
was, were entirely against him, but
to compensate for that the proba
bilities were that he would not be
kicked off, nor would the train be
stopped especially to put him off.
Dan fairly cleared the door of the
rear car when it opened and a man
came out Dan scrunched close, but
felt easier as he observed that the
intruder wore no uniform. It was
only a passenger come out on to the
platform to get a breath of fresh air
and puff at a cigarette. He noticed
Dan, but made no remark. His
smoke being of contemplated brief
duration, the passenger had not tak
en the trouble to go ahead into the
smoking car. ,
"Tickets!" and the door swung
open and the conductor appeared,
punched the bit of pasteboard pre
sented and then noticed Dan.
"Stowaway?" he observed smart
ly. "You'll have to vacate." 1
"Where to Pullman or chair
car?" gririned Dan, coming to his
feet "You ain't the kind to fire me
into the ditch, your face shows that.
Have a heart, boss. I've seen better
days. See," and Dan presented the
inevitable last tool of his former call-
"What Is It?" He Grumbled.
ing. "Lineman once, and a good ode.
Lift me to Crescent, won't you"?"
The conductor growled some im-'
complimentary remarks, .evidently
deciding to make the best of it, and
retired, slamming the door after him.
The passenger dropped his half-consumed
cigarette. It fell to the plat
form. Greedily Dan picked it up and
with a chuckle of rare content placed
it between his lips, puffing luxuriantly.