Page:Ralph on the Railroad.djvu/205

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191
BARDON, THE INSPECTOR

high sill, and made a run towards the backing freight.

The curve prevented his seeing the engine or any one to whom he might signal. He doubled his pace, reached the split switch, unlocked the bar, half-lifted it, and stood undecided

It was not his province to interfere, he well knew, if half the cars on the road were reduced to kindling wood through the mistake or carelessness of some one else, but action was irresistible with his impetuous nature when the same meant timely service.

If he left the switch as it now was, the freight would back down into the show car with terrific destructive force.

It seemed a pity to spoil that new pretty model of the car builder's art. Ralph discerned that the box car was ready for the scrap heap, and decided.

He pulled the switch over, not a moment too soon, jumped back, and the next minute the freight train struck the solitary box car, and it collapsed like a folding accordion.