Short Story Classics (American) Vol. 2 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 327 pages of information about Short Story Classics (American) Vol. 2.

He prepared several despatches, two of which were as follows: 

“MR. HENRY SINCLAIR: 

“On No. 17, Pawnee Junction: 

This telegram your authority to take charge of train on which you are, and demand obedience of all officials and trainmen on road.  Please do so, and act in accordance with information wired station agent at Pawnee Junction.”

To the Station Agent: 

“Reported Perry gang will try wreck and rob No. 17 near —­xth mile-post, Denver Division, about nine Thursday night.  Troops will await train at Fort ------.  Car ordered ready for them.  Keep everything secret, and act in accordance with orders of Mr. Sinclair.”

“It’s worth about ten thousand dollars,” sententiously remarked he, “that Sinclair’s on that train.  He’s got both sand and brains.  Good-night,” and he went to bed and slept the sleep of the just.

III

The sun never shone more brightly and the air was never more clear and bracing than when Sinclair helped his wife off the train at Pawnee Junction.  The station-master’s face fell as he saw the lady, but he saluted the engineer with as easy an air as he could assume, and watched for an opportunity to speak to him alone.  Sinclair read the despatches with an unmoved countenance, and after a few minutes’ reflection simply said:  “All right.  Be sure to keep the matter perfectly quiet.”  At breakfast he was distrait—­so much so that his wife asked him what was the matter.  Taking her aside, he at once showed her the telegrams.

“You see my duty,” he said.  “My only thought is about you, my dear child.  Will you stay here?”

She simply replied, looking into his face without a tremor: 

“My place is with you.”  Then the conductor called “All aboard,” and the train once more started.

Sinclair asked Foster to join him in the smoking compartment and tell him the promised story, which the latter did.  His rescue at Barker’s, he frankly and gratefully said, had been the turning point in his life.  In brief, he had “sworn off” from gambling and drinking, had found honest employment, and was doing well.

“I’ve two things to do now, Major,” he added; “first, I must show my gratitude to you; and next”—­he hesitated a little—­“I want to find that poor girl that I left behind at Barker’s.  She was engaged to marry me, and when I came to think of it, and what a life I’d have made her lead, I hadn’t the heart till now to look for her; but, seeing I’m on the right track, I’m going to find her, and get her to come with me.  Her father’s an—­old scoundrel; but that ain’t her fault, and I ain’t going to marry him.”

“Foster,” quietly asked Sinclair, “do you know the Perry gang?”

The man’s brow darkened.

“Know them?” said he.  “I know them much too well.  Perry is as ungodly a cutthroat as ever killed an emigrant in cold blood, and he’s got in his gang nearly all those hounds that tried to hang me.  Why do you ask, Major?”

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Short Story Classics (American) Vol. 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.