Page:Ralph on the Railroad.djvu/206

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The box car was smashed teetotally. The car that struck it had one end battered in, its rear trucks rode up over the debris threatening to telescope or derail others, but the engineer ahead, catching the token of some obstruction from the shock, shut off steam quick enough to prevent any very serious general results.

The crash had sounded far and wide. Ralph stood surveying the wreck and ruin in a kind of fascinated daze.

Yardmen came rushing up from all directions. Soon too, the brakeman of the freight and its engineer were hurrying to the scene of the wreck.

More leisurely, a man carrying a cane, faultlessly dressed, and accompanied by the depot master, crossed from the semaphore house to the spot.

Ralph turned to look at the stranger of the twain as he heard a voice in the crowd say:

"There's Bardon, the inspector."

The engineer was vociferously disclaiming any