And then one night it was
heard no more
From Stonington over Rhode Island shore,
And the folk in Providence smiled and said,
As they turned in their beds, “The engineer
Has once forgotten his midnight cheer.”
One only knew,
To his trust true,
Guild lay under his engine dead.
BILL MASON’S BRIDE.
BY BRET HARTE.
Half an hour till train time,
An’ a fearful dark time, too;
Take a look at the switch lights, Tom,
Fetch in a stick when you’re through.
On time? Well, yes, I guess so—
Left the last station all right;
She’ll come round the curve a-flyin’;
Bill Mason comes up to-night.
You know Bill? No?
Been on the road all his life—
I’ll never forget the mornin’
He married his chuck of a wife.
’Twas the summer the mill hands struck,
Just off work, every one;
They kicked up a row in the village
And killed old Donevan’s son.
Bill hadn’t been married
mor’n an hour,
Up comes a message from Kress,
Orderin’ Bill to go up there
And bring down the night express.
He left his gal in a hurry,
And went up on Number One,
Thinking of nothing but Mary,
And the train he had to run.
And Mary sat down by the
To wait for the night express;
And, sir, if she hadn’t ’a done so,
She’d been a widow, I guess.
For it must ’a been
When the mill hands left the Ridge;
They came down—the drunken devils,
Tore up a rail from the bridge,
But Mary heard ’em a-workin’
And guessed there was something wrong—
And in less than fifteen minutes,
Bill’s train it would be along!
She couldn’t come here
to tell us,
A mile—it wouldn’t ’a done;
So she jest grabbed up a lantern,
And made for the bridge alone.
Then down came the night express, sir,
And Bill was makin’ her climb!
But Mary held the lantern,
A-swingin’ it all the time.
Well, by Jove! Bill
saw the signal,
And he stopped the night express,
And he found his Mary cryin’
On the track in her weddin’ dress;
Cryin’ an’ laughin’ for joy, sir,
An’ holdin’ on to the light—
Hello! here’s the train—good-bye, sir,
Bill Mason’s on time to-night.
THE CLOWN’S BABY.
FROM “ST. NICHOLAS.”
It was out on the Western frontier,
The miners, rugged and brown,
Were gathered around the posters—
The circus had come to town!
The great tent shone in the darkness,
Like a wonderful palace of light,
And rough men crowded the entrance;
Shows didn’t come every night.
a woman’s face among them,
Many a face that was bad,
And some that were very vacant,
And some that were very sad.
And behind a canvas curtain,
In a corner of the place,
The clown with chalk and vermilion
Was making up his face.