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A Brave Woman

A Brave Woman image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
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A Detroit correspondent of the New York Herald relates tlie adveatures oi Johnson B. Orburn and -wife, who were on the ill-fated train that went down with the bridge at Ashtabula. They were on the way to Saginaw valley. Both are past 40, and Mr. Orburn is an Ohio farmer, who lately purchased a farm in Saginatt Cotmty. As the train pulled out from A8htabula ths farmer's wife began eating luncheoiï, and her husband was trying to read a newspaper by the light of the lamp. He says he feit the flrst niovement when the bridge gave way. He first imagined that one of the wheels under his car had become detached, as a corner of the car seemed to settle down a little. He dropped the paper and seized the back of the seat in front of him. Then the whole car eeemed to lift up, and several women shrieked in alarm. There was no senaation of falling. Oh the oontrary, both agree they thought j the car was running up a steen hill. ! I This would provo that the rear e"nd of their car settled down flrst. From the i time the bridge gave way till the cars struck the ice not more than ten seconds eould have elapsed, and yet during that brief interval the imsband threw one arm around his wife, she grasped the seat and asked what had happened, and he 1 told her to secure a brace for her feet, I andadded: " We are off the track and running through the fields!" The rear end of their car struck flrst, smashing itself to kindling wood, the debris being thrown over the passengere in front. The farmer found himself on the floor, held down by a masa of wreek on his lef t leg, while his wif e was thrown across him, with the wreek of two or three seats holding her against the side of the car. While thus held, and before either had spoken, one end of the car settled a little, and the wife was released. i "Mary, are you living V' naked the I husband, being his first words after the ] fall. She replied that she was not even j hurt, beyoud a brnise or two, and by this time the shouting and confusión around them proved that the train was off the track, though neither one suspected that it was more tnan a tumble into a wayside ditch. It was wonderful how a woman eould retain her presence of mind iinder such exciting circumstances, butMrs. Orburn didn't even cry out after the shock. Scores of other passengers wexe shrieking in pain and fright as the cold waters floodcd one end of the car and the flames began to eat ayay at the other. The woman cleared herself of the broken seats just as the lire strted, and she then ascertained that her husband was pinned fast to the floor by the wreek of matter on his leg, which was partially bent around oce of the iron standards of a seat. She worked with ail her might to set bim free, but the raging flames were now only a few feet coming terrible. "JJlary, take hold of my foot ; bend my leg toward you with all your might, and see if you can't break it !" called the husband, who thonght he could easily free kimself if the leg was released from its eramped position. The wife seized his foot, nieaning to obey, but at that moment the car lurohed over a little and her husband released himself . When they left the car her dress was on fire, showing thafc acother minute would have enveloped both in the flamee. Both were ablo to -walk to the hotel as soon as released, having escaped with ODly a few brnises. The heroio wif e and mother was not only ready to obey her husband's orders, but she had a plan of ker own. " When I saw the flamea just upon us," ahe aaid, " and while I was aurethat my husband would be burned alive, I made up my raind to put one of the cushions over him, Jie down on top of that, and hope that while I was being burned up help would come to him for our ohildren's aake." " I was af raid she wouldn't be strong enough to break my leg," added the husband, " and then it would be all up with me. 1 was going to have her get out, and then, rather than be bnrned aïive, I was going to - Well, I had the big knife in my right-hand pocket, and my right arm was free to get it and use it!"


Old News
Michigan Argus