Calumet "K" eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 198 pages of information about Calumet "K".

“Go ahead,” said Peterson; “you was telling about Murphy.”

“Well, that was the situation.  I could see that Brown was up on his hind legs about it, but it made me tired, all the same.  Of course the job had to be done, but I wasn’t letting him have any satisfaction.  I told him he ought to give it to somebody else, and he handed me a lot of stuff about my experience.  Finally I said:  ’You come around in the morning, Mr. Brown.  I ain’t had any sleep to speak of for three weeks.  I lost thirty-two pounds,’ I said, ‘and I ain’t going to be bothered tonight.’  Well, sir, he kind of shook his head, but he went away, and I got to thinking about it.  Long about half-past seven I went down and got a time-table.  There was a train to Stillwater at eight-forty-two.”

“That night?”

“Sure.  I went over to the shops with an express wagon and got a thousand feet of rope—­had it in two coils so I could handle it—­and just made the train.  It was a mean night.  There was some rain when I started, but you ought to have seen it when I got to Stillwater—­it was coming down in layers, and mud that sucked your feet down halfway to your knees.  There wasn’t a wagon anywhere around the station, and the agent wouldn’t lift a finger.  It was blind dark.  I walked off the end of the platform, and went plump into a mudhole.  I waded up as far as the street crossing, where there was an electric light, and ran across a big lumber yard, and hung around until I found the night watchman.  He was pretty near as mean as the station agent, but he finally let me have a wheelbarrow for half a dollar, and told me how to get to the job.

“He called it fifty rods, but it was a clean mile if it was a step, and most of the way down the track, I wheeled her back to the station, got the rope, and started out.  Did you ever try to shove two five hundred foot coils over a mile of crossties?  Well, that’s what I did.  I scraped off as much mud as I could, so I could lift my feet, and bumped over those ties till I thought the teeth were going to be jarred clean out of me.  After I got off the track there was a stretch of mud that left the road by the station up on dry land.

“There was a fool of a night watchman at the power plant—­I reckon he thought I was going to steal the turbines, but he finally let me in, and I set him to starting up the power while I cleaned up Murphy’s job and put in the new rope.”

“All by yourself?” asked Peterson.

“Sure thing.  Then I got her going and she worked smooth as grease.  When we shut down and I came up to wash my hands, it was five minutes of three.  I said, ‘Is there a train back to Minneapolis before very long?’ ‘Yes,’ says the watchman, ‘the fast freight goes through a little after three.’  ’How much after?’ I said.  ‘Oh,’ he says, ’I couldn’t say exactly.  Five or eight minutes, I guess.’  I asked when the next train went, and he said there wasn’t a regular passenger till six-fifty-five.  Well, sir, maybe

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Calumet "K" from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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