OCR Interpretation

El Paso daily herald. (El Paso, Tex.) 1881-1901, February 27, 1901, Last Edition 4:30 p.m., Image 3

Image and text provided by University of North Texas; Denton, TX

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86064199/1901-02-27/ed-1/seq-3/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for

0 ;
' . -
f t
We are
1 1
Office Oregon Street, Brouson Block.
Wild Race
The Thrilling Adventure Which Bad its Start
in the Little Station on the Mountain
Side While the Operator Slept at His Post.
By J. Percy Barnltz, in the Argosy for
' With the approach of spring had
come the long threatened outbreak
on the Navajo Indian reservation.
A large party of bucks had started on
an expedition of murder and robbery in
the direction of the San Francisco
Mountains, closely pursued by several
troops of cavalry from Fort Defiance.
Orders had been issued that addition
al cavalry from Fort Wingate be sent
bv rail to Flagstaff in an endeavor to
head off the hostil redskins, and. to-
rather with the troops already in par-
suit, surround and drive mem duck
unon thA reservation.
Flagstaff, then a lonely little station
on the Atlantic and Pacific railway, is
situated on the eastern slope of the San
Pmnriani Mountains, the road de
scending by a series of long, sweeping
curves to the broad plateau stretching
away to the Continental Divide.
Although but early April, the weath
er bad been oppressively warm for sev
eral days. . Standing at the window of
his little bedroom over the station, late
one afternoon. Frank Barton, the night
telexraDh operator, was abstractedly
watching the heated air rising in dan
cine waves from the brown Arizona
plain below the mountains.
He was mentally deprecating the cir
cumstances which had forced him to
tike a nosition in that almost wilder
ness. But he consoled himself with
the thought that he was yet young and
one of the best railroad telegraphers
to be found anywhere.
Brides, had it not been for his diss!
pated habits, he would now be filling a
responsible position with tne great,
railway company in the east which had
finally dismissed him from their em
ploy after repeatedly warning him of
the danger of his course.
He would quit this infernal whisky
drinking; there was nothing in it but
trouble. He would brace up, be a man,
and see whether full application of his
abilities would not put him again upon
the main line of success from which he
had sidetracked himself.
But he was so nervous this evening;
he must have something to steady him.
He wouM go over to the board shanty
bearing the euphonious name, "The
Cattle King's Rest," and take one drink
before going to work.
An unusual number of rough, rollick
ing fellows were in the little frontier
saloon, and before he was aware of it, ,
now offering a bargain on
122 feet
We have some Choice Bargains Left on Texas Street.
Have for Sale the Cheapest pieca of Property on South Stanton Street.
This. Price will only Stand for a Few Days.
The Pierson Hotel Property: -
St. Louis Street and G. H. Railroad. This is a bargain for somebody.
Call and get our Prices. If they
With Death.
Barton's one drink had been multi
plied many times.
It was quite dark -when he started
back to the station. The day man had
the lamps lighted and was impatiently
awaiting his coming.
"Same thing over again," he savagely
muttered as Barton came through the
doorway. "Are you going to keep me
nere waiting tor you ior nours every
night. Frank?" he added. "I'm get
ting tired of it. and if you continue it
much longer I'll make a complaint at
headquarters. Look out for orders for
Forty Six; there's a troop f-pecial com
ing west from Wingate, and the pass
ing point, will likely be between here
and Canyon Diablo. Keep the instru
ments adjusted; a storm is moving up
the mountains, and the wires are work
ing bad. Good night.
And Barton found himself alone be
fore he could reply to the day man,
As the storm drew nearar, the night
air became suddenly cold and damp.
Barton shivered, closed the door, and
prepared to build a fire in the stove.
He had hardly finished this work and
settled himself in the chair before the
instrument table when he heard train
Forty Six the famous Overland Flyer
reported forty minutes late.
Shortly afterwards the telegraph rat
tled out his station call of "F. S.." and
he received the following order from
the train dispatcher at Winslow:
Order No. 14.
To Conductor and Engineer train
Forty Six. Flagstaff:
"Train Forty Six and troop special
Sixty One will meet at Cosnino. Forty
Six will take siding.
(Signed.) "Harwood,
Barton signed O. K. for the order.
and lighted" the red lantern.
The storm had broken over the moun
tains in all its fury, and when he open
ed the station door to hang the lantern
on the signal arm outside, a rush of
cold air extinguished the flickering
Curse it! he said to himself. "Who
can keep that battered old lamp light
ed in a storm like this? Forty Six
can't make up any time on the grade
between Williams and the top of the
mountain. I'll flag her when I hear
her coming."
on Kansas,
He closed the door with a bang, re
lighted the lantern, and threw himself
into a clumsy rocking chair beside the
The wind dashed the sleet and rain
against the window panes with great
force. The telegraph wires sighed
moaned and shrieked alternately, as
the blasts of wind struck them with
greater or less violence.
Occasionally the faint, far away howl
of the coyote broke weird and mourn
fully through the raging of the storm,
causing Barton to shift uneasily in his
The liquor he had drank began to
take effect. His eyes slowly closed,
his head dropped upon his breast, and
he breathed iong and regularly.
"F. S. F. S.," rattled the sounder up
on the table, first with clock-like reg
ularity, and finally with quick, nervous
The sleeping operator never moved;
his head had fallen farther forward up
on his breast, and his arms hung list
lessly toward the floor.
Far up the mountain side, shining
through the gloom like a twinkling
star, appeared the headlight of the lo
comotive drawing the Overland Flyer.
Iarger and brighter became the
light; presently a low. distant rumble,
gradually increasing into a roar, then a
long, sharp whistle which the howling
winds gathered in their arms and
smothered, and train Forty Six swept
past the t tat ion of Flagstaff.
Frank Burton gave a start, rubbed
his eyes, and, as his practised ear
caught the familiar call of "F. S.."
quickly stepped to the instrument and
answered it.
"Forty Six there?" asked the dis
patcher at Winslow.
"Not yet," replied Barton: and just
then his eyes fell upon the clock dial
The hands pointed to 10:25. His face
grew ashy pale, and a strange numb
ness crept over him as his sleepy brain
recalled the roar of a pasting train a
few minuter before.
Seizing the lantern, he reeled out
upon the station platform, peering into
the darkness.
Staring out of the night at his white
and haggard face were to two red tail
lights of the rapidly disappearing train.
He was dazed as the horror of the
situation dawned upon him.
There was no telegraph station be
tween Flagstaff and Canyon Diablo.
and, as Cosnino was but fourteen miles
east of Flagstaff and twenty-two miles
west of Canyon Diablo, the troop spe-
tial had already passed the latter
place ami waa hurrying toward the
meeting place.
leaning heavily against the side of
ihe building. Barton gazed down the
stretch of wet track until it was lost to
view in the darkness beyond the yellow
path of light which streamed from the
station window. He could hear the
distant rumble of the train rushing to
to certain disaster.
Kepe the safety valve popping Jim."
said Engineer Murray, of train Forty
Six, to his fireman as he glanced from
his watch to the quivering hand of the
steam gauge; "we ve drifted well and
Corner First Street.
are tiot the Lowest don't btty.
held our own. Now that we've done
with Dry Fork trestle and hit the level,
I'll pull her wide open, an' I'll go you a
wett s pay we make Winslow on time.
Hello! See that "
Bang' came the warning crack of a
torpedo from beneath the heavy wheels.
Murray quickly reversed, shut off
steam, pulled out tne sand lever, and,
throwing on the air brakes, stopped the
train with a suddenness that brought
the passengers excitedly to their feet.
Conductor Blake jumped down, and,
running forward, met the engineer. .
"Go back!" shouted Murray;
"there's something wrong. A riderless
horse, saddled and bridled. dashed
across the track not twenty feet ahead
of the engine, then came a torpedo sig
nal to stop, and a dark object rolled
out from the rails."
Several hundred feet behind the train
they came upon the form of a man ly
ing on the wet ground. He was hat
less, covered with mud. and his face
smeared with blood, which oozed from
a cut on the head.
Blake held his lantern close to the
man's face, while Murray wiped away
the blood with a clean bunch of waste
he took from his jumper.
"Why. great God! It's Barton, the
night man at Flagstaff!" he cried as he
looked at the white, set countenance.
'He has papers In his hand; what's it
Tearing the crumpled sheets from
the unconscious operator's grasp, he
held them up to the lantern and read
the orders to meet train Sixty One at
Cosnino. m
For a iiKiment the two men stared at
each other, speechless. Then, tender
ly picking up the injured man, they
can-led him into the baggage car.
"Forgot the orders! Tried to head
us off down the mountain, and did it
to! But how he did It, God only
knows. I don t! exclaimed Blake.
"Hustle now. Murray," he continued.
as they laid Barton on some seat cush
ions on the car floor, "we've no time to
lose, or we'll lay Sixty One out at Cos
nino. Close shave that! If we'd passed
Cosnino ahead of Sixty One there'd
a -been 'more whites killed than the
red devils'll get a chance at in a
month, eh. Murray?"
The train steamed on to Cosnino,
reaching there just as the special
rounded ihe curve beyond the siding.
The soft May breezes were blowing
across the New Mexican "mesa", when
Barton, sitting in an invalid's chair on
the veranda of the Albuquerque hos
pital, told an interested audience of
railroad men the story they had so anx
iously waited to hear.
Told how ho had performed the
seemingly impossible feat of beating an
express train down the rugged sides of
the Rocky Mountains, astride' an Ari
zona mustang the story of his wild
race with Death.
"You see. it was this way." !ie be
gan, I bad made up my mmo while
listening to Forty Six running surely
into the greatest head on smash that
could happen anywhere, to go back into
the office, take the rifle off the wall and
S. Oregon Street,
- -
130 feet front on
and Campbell
by 260 feet on
shoot out my miserable wasted life. It
seems now like a horrible story I'd
reaa instead or reality.
"Well, just as I was about to do that
very thing, something I don't know
what it was, I guess it was the Al
mighty but, anyhow, something said
to me, -faanrord ranch! Quick: San ford
ranch!" and Just that quick I said to
myself, 'I'll try it; I might's well die
trying to save 'em; yes, a blame sight
oetter that way than dying the worth
less wretch J ve been lately.' And try
it I did, winning out against death by
aoout twenty leet.
"There s a trail from the Sanford
ranch to Flagstaff which runs at right
angles with the railroad and crosses
the track thre miles west of Cosnino.
This trail is so steep that it is used
only in coming up the mountain, and
i ve neara the Doys say that have come
up there that anyone who couldn't ride
a horse when it was walking on its
nma legs had no business to try to
cnmu it.
"The distance from where the trail
crosses the track to Flagstaff is tiiree
and one half miles, while the distance
the train had to run to meet that point
was eleven miles. Bucking Bill Har
mon, with his roan bronco from the
Sanford ranch was up at the Rest with
a lot of other cow punchers, making a
night of it. Bill and his roan had
crawled that trail more times than any
other fellow in that section, and I fig
ured that his horse could go df-v n it on
the run if any animal could do so alive.
"So I grabbed the torpedo and the
train orders and ran over to the front
of the saloon where the horse was pick
eted, cut the lariat, and. mounting the
brute, started tor the trail on a mad
"Over the edge of the trail went the
roan with a leap; I closed my eyes and
threw my arms around the beast's
neck. The animal gave a loud snort of
fear and tried to stop, but it might as
well have tried to stop the world turn
ing around the impetus was awful
'I did not experience the sensation
of flying that night; I don't think any
one else ever has. Why, I'm sure that
bronco took leaps over a hundred feet
in length, and when its feet would
strike ground again I felt like I was
being hie on the spine with a sledge
fhe breath was knocked so com
pletely out of me that a terrible chok
ing sensation seized my throat. The
rowth of grease wood clutched at my
logs and nearly pulled mo out of the
saddle. My heart felt as though it
would fly out of my mouth, and I
thought I was dying.
Suddenly the frightened steed slack
ened, and 1 knew we were gettiug on
more level ground. ,
"A low, distant, hollow rumble, fol
lowed by a locomotive whistle, reached
my ears, it was Forty Six crossing the
Vy Fork trestle!
"The neadlight loomed out of the
night, and I could tell that the engi
neer was increasing speed by the
quickening exhaust of the engine. It
was still a quarter of a mile to the railroad.
'Oh! God. I prayed, 'let me beat
the train! I yelled. 'Go! Go!' at the
now crazed mustang, and my voice
sounded to me, weak, faint and far
"I peered steadily ahead in the dark
ness. There was the track now almost
before me, and the rails, reflecting the
glow from the headlight, looked to my
burning eyes like fiery serpents.
"I nulled with all mv mlp-ht fin tTiA
bridle reins and slid from the saddle,
reaching out my hand with, the torpedo,
I felt its spring catch clasp the cold
steel, and then the heat from the loco
motive firebox scorched mv face. I felt
an awful shock, and knew nothing .un-
"i i recovered consciousness here in
the hospital."
"Here, Barton, take a niD o' this: von
look weak," said a ruddy faced, con
ductor, offering the invalid a flask.
What! Booze? No. more for me.
Cooper; no more for me. Read this
read it loud to the boys."
"The Central Railwav
"Office of the General Manager. '
April 28, 1884.
Mr. Frank Barton,
"Albuquerque, N. M.
My Dear Frank:
"My private car, in which my fam
ily, were returning from Los Angeles,
was attached to A. and P. train Fortv
Six the night of April 7th. If you will
come to my office when you have re
covered irom your injuries and will
take the pledge, I will give you im-.
mediate employment. After you have
kept the pledge for one year, I will re
instate you in the position you held
when required to leave the service of
this company. I believe I can make a
man of you yet. Will you do it?
"Sincerely your friend,
James A. C order, '
General Manager.
"Boys," said Barton, straightening
up in his chair with an effort, "I'm
going to do it."
And he did.
A cheap remedy for coughs and colds
is all right,' but you want something
that will relieve and cure the more se
vere and dangerous results of throat
and lung troubles. What shall you
do? Go to a warmer and more regular
climate? Yes, If possible; if not pos
sible for you, then in either case take
the ONLY remedy that has been in
troduced in all civilized countries with
success in in severe throat and lung
troubles, "Bosche's German Syrup."
It-not only heals and stimulates the
tissues or destroys the germ disease,
but allaws inflammation, causes easy
expectoration, gives a good night's
rest and cures the patient. Try ONE
bottle. Recommended many years by
all druggists in the world. Get Green's
Prize Almanac.
Sold by all dealers in civilized coun
Like bad dollars, all counterfeits of
DeWitt's Witch Hazel Salve are worth
less. The original quickly cures piles.
sores, and all skin diseases. Fred '
Schaefer, druggist.

xml | txt