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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 288 pages of information about The Valley of the Giants.

“I happen to know, Colonel, that the big mogul kicked those flats in to load the rails!”

“I know it.  And what happened?  Why, that old trestle squeaked and shook and gave every evidence of being about to buckle in the centre.  My engineer threatened to quit if I sent him in again.”

“Very well.  I suppose I’ll have to wait until the switch-engine comes out of the shop,” Bryce replied resignedly, and hung up.  He turned a troubled face to Ogilvy.  “Checkmated!” he announced.  “Whipped to a frazzle.  The Colonel is lying, Buck, and I’ve caught him at it.  As a matter of fact, the mogul didn’t kick those flats in at all.  The switch-engine did—­and I know it.  Now I’m going to send a man over to snoop around Pennington’s roundhouse and verify his report about the switch-engine being in the shop.”

He did so.  Half an hour later the messenger returned with the information that not only was the switch-engine not in the shop but her fire-box had been overhauled the week before and was reported to be in excellent condition.

“That settles it,” Buck Ogilvy mourned.  “He had gum-shoe men on my trail, after all; they have reported, and the Colonel is as suspicious as a rhino.  He doesn’t know anything, but he smells danger just the same.”

“Exactly, Buck.  So he is delaying the game until he can learn something definite.”  He drummed idly on his desk for several minutes.  Then: 

“Buck, can you run a locomotive?”

“With one hand, old man.”

“Fine business!  Well, I guess we’ll put in that crossing to-morrow night.  The switch-engine will be in the roundhouse at Pennington’s mill to-morrow night so we can’t steal that; but we can steal the mogul.  I’ll just send word up to my woods-boss not to have his train loaded when the mogul comes up late to-morrow afternoon to haul it down to our log-landing.  He will explain to the engineer and fireman that our big bull donkey went out and we couldn’t get our logs down to the landing in time to get them loaded that day.  Of course, the engine-crew won’t bother to run down to Sequoia for the night—­that is, they won’t run the mogul down.  They’ll just leave her at our log-landing all night and put up for the night at our camp.  However, if they should be forced, because of their private affairs, to return to Sequoia, they’ll borrow my trackwalker’s velocipede.  I have one that is driven with a small gasolene engine—­I use it in running back and forth to the logging-camp in case I fail to connect with a log-train.”

“But how do you know they will put up at your camp all night, Bryce?”

“My men will make them comfortable, and it means they can lie abed until seven o’clock instead of having to roll out at five o’clock, which would be the case if they spent the night at this end of the line.  If they do not stay at our logging-camp, the mogul will stay there, provided my woods-foreman lends them my velocipede.  The fireman would prefer that to firing that big mogul all the way back to Sequoia.”

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