Around The Tea-Table eBook

Thomas De Witt Talmage
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 260 pages of information about Around The Tea-Table.

Let us ascribe to Satan nothing that is grand, or creative, or wise.  He could not make one of these grains of alum.  He could not blow up one of these bubbles on the spring.  He does some things that seem smart; but taking him all in all, he is the biggest fool in the universe.

If the devil wants to boil his “Tea-kettle,” or stir his “Mush-pot,” or whirl his “Grist-mill,” let him do it in his own territory.  Meanwhile, let the water and the fire and the vapor, at the lift of David’s orchestral baton, praise the Lord!

CHAPTER XXI.

The conductor’s dream.

He had been on the train all day, had met all kinds of people, received all sorts of treatment, punctured all kinds of tickets, shouted “All out!” and “All aboard!” till throat, and head, and hand, and foot were weary.  It would be a long while before we would get to another depot, and so he sagged down in the corner of the car to sleep.  He was in the most uncomfortable position possible.  The wind blew in his neck, his arm was hung over the back of the seat, he had one foot under him, and his knee pressing hard against a brass hinge.  In that twisted and convoluted position he fell asleep, and soon began to dream.

It seemed to him, in his sleep, that the car was full of disagreeables.  Here was a man who persisted in having a window up, while the rain and sleet drove in.  There was a man who occupied the whole seat, and let the ladies stand.  Here sat a man smoking three poor cigars at once, and expectorating into the beaver hat of the gentleman in front.  Yonder was a burglar on his way to jail, and opposite a murderer going to the gallows.  He thought that pickpockets took his watch and ruffians refused to pay their fare.  A woman traveling alone shot at him a volley of questions:  “Say, conductor, how long before we will get to the Junction?” “Are you sure we have not passed it?” “Do you always stop there?” “What time is it?” Madam, do keep quiet!  “None of your impudence!” “How far from here to the Junction?” “Do you think that other train will wait?” “Do you think we will get there in time?” “Say, conductor, how many miles yet?” “Are you looking out?” “Now, you won’t let me go past, will you?” “Here! conductor, here!  Help me out with my carpet bag, and band-box, and shawl, and umbrella, and this bundle of sausage and head-cheese.”  What was worse, the train got going one hundred and fifty miles an hour, and pulling the connecting rope, it broke, and the cars got off the track, and leaped on again, and the stove changed places with the wood box, and things seemed going to terrible split and unmitigated smash.  The cities flew past.  The brakes were powerless.  The whistle grew into a fiend’s shriek.  Then the train began to slow up, and sheeted ghosts swung lanterns along the track, and the cars rolled into a white depot, which turned out to be a great marble tomb; and looking back to see his passengers, they were all stark dead, frozen in upright horror to the car backs.

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Project Gutenberg
Around The Tea-Table from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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