Page:Ralph on the Railroad.djvu/210

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lars, kid!" declared the engineer, giving Ralph a glance of the profoundest admiration.

But Mr. Bardon, inspector, was not to be moved by matters of sentiment. He fixed a stony stare on the free-and-easy engineer, and turned upon Ralph, the icy, immovable disciplinarian to perfection.

"What right have you to tamper with the railway company's switches?" he demanded.

"None, perhaps," answered Ralph, "but——"

"You are a switchman?"

"No, sir, but I am an employe of the company."

"Oh, you are?"

Ralph bowed.

"In what capacity?"


"At the roundhouse?"


"And you took it on yourself to——"

"To choose the best horn of a dilemma, and saved the company a big lump of money," put in the imperturbable freight engineer. "And bully for you, kid! and if we had more sharp young eyes and ready wits like yours, there would not be so many smash-ups. That's right, Bardon?"

The inspector scowled dreadfully. If the engineer had called him Mr. Bardon he might have