Page:Ralph on the Railroad.djvu/204

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He pointed to a long freight train backing down the tracks. It had just passed a switch.

"Pivot loose, and the signal flanges exactly reversed!" pronounced Limpy quickly. "They think they are on track A. Say, it's sure to be a smash!"

In a twinkling Ralph's eye took in the situation. The train was on a curve, and had run back all right in response to switch A, set open, according to the white indicator on top. But red should have shown, it appeared. The pivot holding, the signal in unison with the operating bar must have become loosened, and the wind had blown the signal plate awry

The freight, therefore, had struck track B, which a hundred feet further on split off onto two sets of rails. Both had short ends, terminating at bumpers, and each held a single car.

Track C held a gaudy, expensive car belonging to some traveling show, all gold and glitter, and must have cost eighteen thousand dollars. Track D held an old disabled box car. And into one or the other of these the backing freight was destined to run unless checked inside of the next half minute.

"Give me a show!" spoke Ralph, in a hurry.

He brushed Limpy aside, leaped through the window, struck the ground eight feet below the