Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/95

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71
MOVING THE BIG SHOW

over the train, loaded down, as it was, with toppling chariots, with horses, animals, elephants, camels and human freight.

PANIC AMONG THE ANIMALS

Evidently the animals instinctively knew the danger, for above the rattle and roar of the train could occasionally be heard some of those strange trumpetings which proceed from an animal only in moments of danger—often just before a storm or cyclone. Momentarily I expected the whole train to be thrown from the tracks and down the mountain side. By the occasional streaks of light that flew past us I could see the blanched faces of both the engineer and fireman, and knew that they fully realized our awful danger. Both of them, however, kept perfectly cool, and I tried to imitate their example. How far I succeeded I do not know, but I do know that my nerves were strung to a higher pitch than they ever were before.

A blinding rainstorm added to the horror of the situation, and, with the speed at which we were traveling, each drop seemed to have the penetrating power of a shot. Quick as a flash the thought passed through my head: What if we meet a train? Just at that moment we sped