Page:Ralph on the Railroad.djvu/78

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64
RALPH OF THE ROUNDHOUSE

He trod the air as he left the roundhouse. The gruff, uncivil manner of the foreman had not daunted him a whit. He had met all kinds of men in his brief business experience, and he believed that honest, conscientious endeavor could not fail to win both success and good will in time.

Ralph went back to his friend More, at the express shed, and told his story.

"You're booked, sure enough," admitted the agent, though a little glumly. "I'd have struck higher."

"It suits me, Mr. More," declared Ralph. "And now, I want your good services of advice as to what I am expected to do, and what clothes I need."

Ralph left his friend, thoroughly posted as to his probable duties at the roundhouse. The agent advised him to purchase a cheap pair of jumpers, and wear old rough shoes and a thin pair of gloves the first day or two.

Ralph visited a dry-goods store, fitted himself out, and started for home.

He was absorbed in thinking and planning, and turning a corner thus engrossed almost ran into a pedestrian.

As he drew back and aside, a hand was suddenly thrust out and seized his arm in a vise-like grip.