Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/265

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227
SHOWS AND SHOWMEN

trains at a very slow speed, and, as your cars are top-heavy, I can see nothing but complete destruction for them."

"Well," said I, "can't you send an engine after the runaway section?"

He promised to do this and, as there was nothing more I could do, I finished my breakfast at leisure.

BARNUM'S ONE UNCONQUERABLE SUPERSTITION

The locomotive went out and caught the train. It had passed safely over the trestle and had reached a heavy ascending grade. Here it naturally lost its momentum and began to back down the grade toward the city. I was unaware, at that time, that a passenger train was then due and that the superintendent fully expected a collision to take place. I can assure my readers that I drew a long breath when the operator looked up from his key and remarked: "Thank the Lord! Number Six, the passenger, is an hour late!" Thus a dreadful catastrophe was prevented. Two men were asleep on one of the platform cars of the circus train, and one of them, in the stress of excitement, jumped off and was instantly dashed to pieces one hundred feet below. The