Page:Ralph on the Railroad.djvu/203

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resented advice or censure, especially from a man whom they intensely disliked.

During the afternoon various little things were done about the dog house that indicated the spirit of the crowd there. A pasteboard box nailed to the wall bore written directions to engineers and firemen to keep their kid gloves there. Another stated that brakemen must not wear turned collars. Various receptacles were labeled "For cinders," "Clean your nails here," and the general layout was a palpable satire on the strained relations with an expected visitor who was considered a martinet.

Ralph went carefully and conscientiously to work to brighten up things a bit and make them look their best, while Limpy growled and grumbled at him all the afternoon.

About four o'clock the lame helper was enjoying a brief respite from work at his usual lounging place, standing on a bench and looking out of a window. He called Ralph so suddenly and sharply that the latter hurried towards him.

"Quick!" uttered Limpy, face and hands working spasmodically, as they always did when he was excited.

"What's up?" inquired Ralph, leaping to the bench beside him.

"Look there!" directed the helper.