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Newspaper Page Text
"All I need i-a- shovel and pick,"
"And you an fix that rock along
side the railroad tracks so that at a
touch of my finger it operates?"
"To the thousandth part of an inch
and timed to the millonth part of a
second," asserted Red Davids posi
"Famous! If there is no hitch in
the plan I will give you a twenty dol
lar bill extra when the work is done."
For three days after that old man
Davids was occupied in digging about
a rocky ledge overhanging the rail
road cut about a mile from Rush
brook. It was a secluded spot, but
v whenever anybody appeared in the
vicinity the worker suspended opera
tions immediately and secreted him
self and his tools.
Of all these elaborate arrange
ments the town people -suspected lit
tle and knew nothing. Pierce was
rather conspicuous and overbearing
in his attitude to his friends, as if
harboring some glowing secret soon
to blaze forth in full power and mag
nificence and dazzle the community.
Roy Waldron was7 a practical ath
lete as well as a crack swimmer. He
took long walks, and one afternoon
was returning along the bluff road
from a ten-mile tramp when some
one suddenly hailed him with the up
roarious though unsteady words:
"Hey, you come here!"
Tracing the speaker, Roy located
Red Davis floundered down in a nest
of shrubbery, blinded, nerveless, fair
ly helpless from strong "drink.
"You look here, Levi Pierce," he
maundered in maudling tones, "I
want that twenty dollars right now,
I've made you a hero. Now then, I
want my money, or I'll blab the whole
scheme. Yes, sir. I'll tell the railroad
people and that pretty gal, Estelle
"What's this?" cried Roy in star
tled tones, "the rock? the railroad?
Speak, man! where "
"In the cut, of course," replied
Davids, "Hi! there's the whistle of
.the express. Better give me that
money and get to your hero act"
Some quick intuition seemed to
give Roy an inkling on what was go
ing on. The old miner in his present
muddled condition had taken him for
Pierce. Something was up between
the twain. Mischief, it seemed and
"a loose rock'" and "the cut" com
prised the clue to the same. Towards
the cut Roy now rah at the top of
Reaching the edge of the bluff an
amazing spectacle greeted his vision.
The side of the cut was all dented and
jagged where an immense rock had
rolled down it, landing squarely
across the double set of rails.
Running down the track in the
direction of Rushbrook was Pierce.
He had set a red neck scarf in the
crotch or a tree branch near the rock
and was dashing towards the town
and the coming express waving a
flaunting red handkerchief.
It was impossible from what Davids
had said to mistake the situation.
Pierce at a dangerous rock was aim
ing to pose as a- hero. There was no
doubt that he would succeed in halt
ing the oncoming train. At that mo
ment, however, there was a distant
echoing whistle from the opposite
Roythrilled as he surmised what
this might mean. An extra, probably
some special excursion train not reg
ularly scheduled, was coming; The
thoughtless, foolhardly Pierce had
never calculated on that. In an in
stant Roy realized the peril that men
aced. He had slid down the steep side of
the cut without hesitation. Gaining
the road bed below, he started to run
through the cut in the direction of the
inbound excursion train.
Just beyond the cut the long dry
grass -along the tracks had been mow
ed recently. Roy gathered great
heaps of the light, tindery stuff and
applied a match. Great clouds of.
smoke arose. Then, tearing off his
coat, he ran forward, waving it at the