bottle, and Ralph could hear the gurgling dispatch of a long, deep draught.
He had overheard some of the men in the dog house hinting at the boss' failing, that morning. Now, Ralph kenw what it was, and the discovery depressed him.
The stimulating draught seemed to restore the foreman's equilibrium, for in a minute or two, when he again addressed Ralph, his old half-dignified, half-autocratic manner had returned to him.
"We shall have no more Ike Slump here, father or no father," he observed. "I'm going to give you a chance, Fairbanks."
"Thank you, Mr. Forgan."
"Keep on as wiper till I get a new helper, and I'll give you a boost into an extra berth quicker than any boy ever shot up the roundhouse ladder before. I tell you, I'll never forget what you've done for me—and my dear little Nora!"
"Mr. Forgan," he said, "I am much obliged to you, and I hope I shall deserve and win your good opinion. But I want to earn my way. I don't wish to slip over one single branch of the course that will make a thorough, all-around, first-class railroad man out of me, and too fast promotion might spoil me."