Press enter after choosing selection

An Engineer's Story

An Engineer's Story image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

'1 fctfi Stop twenty minutes i'or refreshmentsf called iut Conductor Etichardson, it Allen's Juuction. Thcn as the train crrtriö to n dead halt hè j 1 1 1 1 1 1 h (1 dou n upon tlie g&atíoil ]l;ilíoriii. rin along to tile front of tin.' Ion;; line Of passenger cara, where the engine was jftuidiiip, and swinfctajrhimself up üitq the cab, said tD the urineer: 'Vr-'rank, I wantyuu tq come '¦ac-k witli me to tlie flret passenger car and ser a Ilttle glrl tliat I hardly know what to make of." The engineer nodded wituouj apeakine, deliberately wiped bis oily, emoky hands onabunch of "waste." tookalook at his jrrhny, dusty lace in the DarrOW Ilttle mirror tlmt hung liesidc thc steatn eauge, pulled oír hls sliort hoek, put On, changed his Hule black, greaajr cap for his soft feit hat - taking iliese "dress-up" artlcles trom the tender-box, where an ngineer always htis something stowed away for any emergeney- and went back to the coach ai reqneateu. He enture. i the coach and made his way to tlie Kat where the klnd-hearted conductor lattalkngto a bright-looking littii! girl, about nine years old, oddly dressed in a woman'l shawl and bonnet. Scvcral of the passengere were grouped aromid tlie seat, evidcntly ranch interested in the child, who wore a Bad, preniatiirely old countenance, but seemtd to be neither timid nor contused. "Here is the engineer,'' :iid the conductor, kindly, ns Frank approaohed. 8he held out her hand to hini, v.iili a winsome smile breakiii"; over lier pinchcd little facèi and s:iid : ",Iv papa was au enineer lieforc he bename Blek and wl! to live on a farm in .Montana, lic is dcad and my inainnia is dend. Slie died iirst, before Susie and Willlc. Jfy papa usod to teil me that alter he should be dead there would be no one lo take care of mo, and that I must get on ra and go to lus home in Vermont. And he said if tlie conductor wouldn't let me ride bccause I hadn't any ticket. 1 must a-lv for the enrincer, and teil him I was .lames Kendrick s little girl, and'that, he osed f" run uu the M - uil 1 road.' The plohdtn; blue cycsweie uow full of tears; bursh did aot c.ry alter the manner oi cbildren n general. Knini'cr l''rank now qnifkly stooped ilowu and kissed her very tcnderly; and thctl, is he brushed the tean away from hii eyes, said: "Well, my lear, so yon are little Bessle Kendrick? It's my opinión a merciful l'rovidence guidcd" you oa board this tniin." Thcu tarnlng around to the group of pUBenger.s he went on: "I knew Jim Kendrick, tho fatiicr of this little irl, well. He was a man out of ten tliousand. WbonJ first carne to Indiana- before I {rot acclimated - I was sick a great part ot tlie time, so that I could not work and I eol home-sick and disconraged. 1 couhln't keep my board bill paid up - not to inention ray doctor'! bill- and didn't ïmich care whether I lived or died. "One day, When the pay caréame along, and the men were etttig thcir monthly wages, ther wasn't a cent coming to me, for I hadn't been free from the auc, nor worked an hoor, for the last month. "I f oit so bUiü that 1 sat down on a pile ofrailroiid ties aiid leaned my elhow on mv kneep, with my head in my hands, and erleá fike n great boy, out ot' sslicer home sickness and dlscoaraement. "l'retty soon one ef the rallroad men cainc along, and said in a voice thatsounded like sweet music in niv car-, for I hadn't found much real lympathy out there, although the boys were all {rood to me in Ilieir uay. 'Tou've ticen havinfí a l'OUfih time of it, and you must lec me help you out.' "I looked up, and there Stóod Jim Kendrick, with his months pay in his hand. He took out from tlie roll oí bilis a twenty dollar note, and belil it out to me. "I knew he had i sickly wile aiul two ar three ehildicn, and tliathe bad a hanl llnra of it himself to puU througli, from month to month, so I said half ashamad of the teára that were gtrearntug down my face. 'Indeed l cannot take tiie moncy. Vou Deed cvery cent yourwll'.' " 'Indeed you will tak(; it man.' said Jim. 'You will be all light in a few weeks, and Uien yon can pay it back. Now come home with mi' to slipper, and sec the babies; it will do you good.' "I took the bank note and accepted the invitation, and alter that wout to his hou-c frequently, until he moved away. and I gradually lost sight of him. I had retarned the loan, but it was Impowlble to repay the good that little act of kindness did die, and 1 guess Jim Kemlrick'.s little girl will not want for anything if 1 eau help it." Thcn tarnlng ngatn to the child, whoae blue ej'es were open wide enotigh now, gaid to her: "i'U take you home with me, Hessie, dear, wlien we get to Wayne. My wifc will lix you up, and we'll write and tind out whether thosc Vermont relations really want you or not. If they do, Jlary or I Shallgo on with yon. But If they don't care much about havinff you, you shall slay with us to be our little girl, for we have none of our mm. You look verv much likc your father; Gtod bien hl memoryl" Just then the eastern train whistled. "All aboard!" was sliouicd. Bnglneer Frank vanishcd out of the car door and went fnrward to his engine, wiping his eyes with his coat-sleeve, while the conductor and lympathetlc pauengera could not suppreMthe teanthlatouctnng episode evoked during the twentv minutes' stop at Allen'


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News