The Young Engineers in Colorado eBook

H. Irving Hancock
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 140 pages of information about The Young Engineers in Colorado.

“The scoundrels haven’t gotten in at close quarters yet, sir,” Reade reported to President Newnham.  “At least, I can’t make out a sign of them on the high ground that commands this camp.”

“This whole business of an armed attack on us is most incomprehensible to me,” remarked Mr. Newnham.  “I know, of course, that the W.C. & A. haven’t left a stone unturned to defeat our efforts in getting our road running within the limits set in the charter.  However, the W.C. & A. people are crazy to send armed assassins against us in the field in this fashion.  No matter, now, whether we finish the road on time, this rascally work by the opposition will defeat their hopes of getting the charter away from us.”

“It might prevent them from doing so, sir,” Tom rejoined quietly, “if you were able to prove that the scoundrels who fired on our engineering parties this morning were really employed by the W.C. & A. railroad crowd.”

“Prove it?” snorted the man from Broadway.  “Who else would have any interest in blocking us?”

“Would that statement go in court, or before a legislature?” Tom pressed.

“No, it wouldn’t,” President Newnham admitted thoughtfully.  “I see the point, Reade.  After the scoundrels have done their worst against us, they can disperse, vanishing among the hills, and the W.C. & A. people will simply deny that they were behind the attack, and will call upon us to prove it.”

“Not only that, sir,” continued the cub chief engineer, “but I doubt if any of the officials of the W.C. & A. have any real knowledge that such a move is contemplated.  This trick proceeds from the fertile mind of some clever, well-paid scoundrel who is employed in the opposition railroad’s gloom department.  It is a cleverly thought-out scheme to make us lose three or four days of work, which will be enough to prevent us from finishing the road on time.  So, the enemy think that we must lose the charter, sir.”

“That trick will never work,” declared Mr. Newnham angrily.  “Reade, there are courts, and laws.  If the State of Colorado doesn’t protect us in our work, then we can’t be held to am count for not finishing within a given time.”

“That’s as the legislature may decide, I imagine, sir,” hazarded the young engineer.  “There are powerful political forces working to turn this road’s charter over to the W.C. & A. crowd.  Your company’s property, Mr. Newnham, is entitled to protection from the state, of course.  The state, however, will be able to reply that the authorities were not notified, and could not send protection to us.”

“But we have a telegraph running from here out into the world!” cried the man from Broadway way, wheeling like a flash.  “Reade, we’re both idiots not to have remembered, at the first shots, to send an urgent message to Denver.  Where’s your operating tent?”

“Over there.  I’ll take you there, sir,” offered Tom, after pointing.  “Still it won’t do any good, Mr. Newnham, to think of telegraphing.”

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The Young Engineers in Colorado from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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