There, sticking out of the mud were two human legs, and as one leg had a piece of listing around it, just above the veal, the conductor knew, instinctively, that the surface indications showed that there was a woman in there. Then he thought that the engine had probably struck a female, and tore her all to pieces, and of course he knew that the company would expect him to bring home enough for a mess, or a funeral. Spitting on his hands he called a brakeman with a transom hook out of the sleeper, to fish with, they rolled up their trousers and waded in, after telling a porter to bring a blanket to put the pieces in. The brakeman got there first and took hold of one foot, when the conductor got hold of the brakeman’s coat tail and pulled. The passengers turned away sick, expecting to see the mangled remains brought to the surface. They pulled, and directly the balance of the deceased came up. It was an Irish lady, with a tin pail, who had been on the way to take her husband’s dinner to him, and she stood on one side to let the train pass, and had lost her balance and fallen into the mud. As her head came out of the mud, she squirted water out of her mouth, kicked the brakeman in the ear and said,
“Lave go of me, I am a dacent woman!”
The conductor asked her if she was hurt.
“Hurted is it,” said she, “Ivery bone in my body is kilt intirely, and I have lost me tay cup,” and she looked in her tin pail in distress.
After vainly trying to get the conductor to wade in and search for her “tay cup,” she permitted them to assist her into the car, where an old doctor from Racine volunteered to examine her to see if she was mortally injured. He put his hand on her shoulder and asked her if she was in any pain.
“Divil the pain, except the loss of me tay cup,” said she, “and kape yer owld hands off me, for I am a dacent woman.”
She shook herself in the car and got mud all over everybody, and finally took her pail and jumped off at a crossing before arriving at the depot. As the train came into the depot ten minutes late, and the conductor jumped off, all mud from head to foot, as though he had been playing spaniel and retrieving a wounded duck, Supt. Atkins looked at his clothes and said, “Where in —— have you been all the time?” The conductor took a wisp of straw to wipe himself off, and as he threw it under a car he said he had been in the artificial propagation of the human race. In fact he had been engaged in the noble work of raising woman to a higher sphere. He was allowed to go on probation and wash himself. The brakeman went down there the next day and was fishing in the same hole. He said he didn’t know but there might be more woman in there, but they say he was after the “tay cup.”