“Lad, ain’t you the boy that was in the wreck of the Rocky Mountain Limited, early in the spring? I’ve been watching you, and you sure remind me of him.” Willis’s face brightened. In a flash he recognized the fireman. He advanced with extended hand.
“Why, yes, sir, I am the boy, and you are the fireman. I have been looking at you all evening and wondering where I had ever seen you before. It’s the whiskers that threw me off. How is the broken leg?”
The stranger held the boy’s hand in his own and looked into his face.
“We got out lucky, didn’t we, lad? Have you ever seen the little Englishman since that day? He was a dandy, wasn’t he?”
Chuck had been listening to the foregoing conversation.
“What wreck? What Englishman? Who is your friend?” he questioned.
The stranger spoke. “Why, don’t you know about the wreck? Has he never told any of you?” In answer to a chorus of “No’s,” the stranger drew his chair closer to the fire and began to tell the story.
“So the lad has never told you, eh? He is a splendid fellow, this lad. I want to tell you boys there is no yellow in his system. He has cool, true nerve, like my old friend, that never thought of himself if there was trouble, always of the other folks that might suffer. That’s the reason he slid off this mortal globe so soon. The lad here came near doing the same thing. Then he never told you about it. Well, well.”
“I’ll see you again,” called the stranger as Willis passed out into the night.
A Plan Is Evolved
“Well, by the Great Horn Spoon, you are the laziest bunch of fellows I’ve seen in many a long day. What’s all this scheming and planning about that’s going on here? Are one of you fellows trying to get a Presidential nomination?” Ham seated himself on a chair facing the fellows. They were lounging on a big window-seat in a corner of the game-room, talking earnestly in low tones.
“Come, now, let’s hear about it. What’s the game? Say, fellows, I just heard a rattling good story.” “Well, now, Ham, let up on your stories for about two shakes and give us your attention. We have an idea, a real, first-class scheme, if you please, and we want you to give us your expert opinion on it,” said Shorty Wier, as he went and closed the door.
“All aboard; let her go! What do you want me to do? When are you going to do it? Hurry, I’m getting awfully excited.”
“Well,” continued Shorty, “Fat originated this idea, or at least he suggested it, and we have just been talking it over. How fine it would be if we owned a cabin, a good-sized log cabin, big enough to take care of at least twenty fellows over night. A place far enough from the city to keep it from being continually broken into by rowdies, and still within a couple of hours’ walking distance from the car-line. With all of this great string of mountains