While Jones stood in open-mouthed amazement, the Manager instructed the engineer to go to Garden City when it would suit Mr. Jones, lay out a siding that would hold fifty loads, and complete the job at the earliest possible moment.
“By the way, Mr. Jones, have you got transportation over our line?”
Mr. Jones managed to gasp the one word, “No.”
“Buz-z-zz,” went the bell. “George, make out an annual for Mr. Jones,—Comp. G.M.”
Jones steadied himself by resting an elbow on the top of the Manager’s desk. The chief engineer was writing in a little note-book.
“Now, Mr. Jones—ah, your cigar’s out!—how much is this ten acres to cost us?—a thousand dollars, I believe you told Mr. Rong.”
“Yes, I did tell him that; but if this is straight and no jolly, it ain’t goin’ to cost you a cent.”
“Well, that’s a great deal better than most towns treat us,” said the Manager. “Now, Mr. Jones, you will have to excuse me; I have some business with the President. Don’t fail to look in on me when you come to town; and rest assured that the Santa Fe will leave nothing undone that might help your enterprise.”
With a hearty handshake the Manager, usually a little frigid and remote, passed out, leaving Mr. Jones to the tender mercies of the chief engineer.
Up to this point there is nothing unusual in this story. The remarkable part is the fact that the building of a side track in an open plain turned out to be good business. In a year’s time there was a neat station and more sidings. The town boomed with a rapidity that amazed even the boomers. To be sure, it had its relapses; but still, if you look from the window as the California Limited crashes by, you will see a pretty little town when you reach the point on the time-table called
THE IRON HORSE AND THE TROLLEY
Two prospectors had three claims in a new camp in British Columbia, but they had not the $7.50 to pay for having them recorded. They told their story to Colonel Topping, author of “The Yellowstone Park,” and the Colonel advanced the necessary amount. In time the prospectors returned $5.00 of the loan, and gave the Colonel one of the claims for the balance, but more for his kindness to them; for they reckoned it a bully good prospect. Because they considered it the best claim in the camp, they called it Le Roi. Subsequently the Colonel sold this “King,” that had cost him $2.50, for $30,000.00.
The new owners of Le Roi stocked the claim; and for the following two or three years, when a man owed a debt that he was unwilling to pay, he paid it in Le Roi stock. If he felt like backing a doubtful horse, he put up a handful of mining stock to punish the winner. There is in the history of this interesting mine a story of a man swapping a lot of Le Roi stock for a burro. The former owner of the donkey took the stock and the man it came from into court, declaring that the paper was worthless, and that he had been buncoed. As late as 1894, a man who ran a restaurant offered 40,000 shares of Le Roi stock for four barrels of Canadian whiskey; but the whiskey man would not trade that way.