Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/91

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81
THE READING-CLUB.

man every time. Andrew, his fust name was; and look how his hair stands up.

"And then, here's John Adams, and Daniel Boone, and two or three pirates, and a whole lot more pictures, so you see it's cheap as dirt. Lemme have your name, won't you?"

THE ENGINEER'S STORY.

Han'som, stranger? Yes, she's purty, an' ez peart ez she kin be.
Clever? W'y, she ain't no chicken, but she's good enough fur me.
What's her name? 'Tis kind o' common, yit I ain't ashamed to tell,
She's ole "Fiddler" Filkin's daughter, and her dad he calls her "Nell."

I wuz drivin' on the Central jist about a year ago,
On the run from Winnemucca up to Reno in Washoe.
There's no end o' skeery places. 'Tain't a road fur one who dreams,
With its curves an' awful tres'les over rocks an' mountain streams.

'Twuz an afternoon in August; we hed got behind an hour,
An' wuz tearin' up the mountain like a summer thundershower,
Round the bends an' by the ledges 'bout ez fast ez we could go,
With the mountain-peaks above us an' the river down below.

Ez we come nigh to a tres'le cros't a holler, deep an' wild,
Suddenly I saw a baby,—'twuz the station-keeper's child,—
Toddlin' right along the timbers with a bold an' fearless tread,
Right afore the locomotive, not a hundred rods ahead.

I jist jumped, an' grabbed the throttle, an' I fa'rly held my breath,
Fur I felt I couldn't stop her till the child was crushed to death,