IT snowed. The switch-lamps at Valley
Junction twinkled faintly through the
swirling flakes. A broad band of
light from the night-operator's room
shot out into the gloom, and it, too, was
thickly powdered. Aside from this, the
scattered houses of the little hamlet slept in
darkness - all save one.
Through the drawn curtains of a cottage
which squatted in the right angle formed by
the intersecting tracks, a hundred yards or
more from the station, a light shone dully.
Inside, a young woman with a book in her
lap sat beside a sick-bed. On the bed lay
a young man of perhaps thirty.
They were not an ordinary couple, nor of
the type which prevailed in Valley Junction.
The rugged strength of the man, which
shone through even the pallor of sickness,
was touched and softened by an unmistakable gentleness of birth, and the dark eyes
which rested motionless upon the further
wall, were thoughtful and liquid with intelligence. The young woman was yet more
striking. Her loose gown, girdled at the
waist with a tasseled cord, only half concealed the sturdy, sweeping lines of the form
beneath. Her placid, womanly face was
crowned with a glorious mass of burnished
auburn hair. Her blue eyes, now fixed
solicitously upon her husband's face, were
dark with what seemed an habitual earnestness of purpose, and her sweet mouth
drooped seriously. After a moment, though,
she shook off her pensive mood. "What
are you thinking of, dear?" she asked with
a brightening face.
"Of you," answered her husband gravely,
tightening his grasp upon the hand she had
slipped into his. "Comparing your life in
this wretched place, Sylvia, with what it was
before I married you; and thinking of that
wonderful thing called 'love,' which can
make you content with the change."
The young woman bent forward with a
little spasmodic movement, and laid her
beautiful hair upon the pillow beside her
husband's dark strands. For a little she held
herself in a kind of breathless tension, her
hand upon his further temple, her full, passionate lips pressed tight against his cheek.
"Not content, my heart's husband, but
happy! " she whispered, ecstatically. After
a moment she lifted herself and quietly
smoothed her ruffled hair. "I mustn't do
that again," she said, demurely. "The
doctor said you were not to be excited. I
guess I won't allow you to think any more
on that subject, either," she added, with
pretty tyranny. "Only this, Ben - papa will
forgive us some day. He's good. Just give
him time. Some day you'll put away your
dear, foolish pride, and let me write to
him, and tell him where we are - no matter
if he did forbid it. And he'll write back,
take my word for it, and say, 'Come home,
children, and be forgiven.' But whether he
does or not, I tell you, sweetheart, I would
sooner flutter about this little dovecote of
ours, and ride on the engine with you on
bright days, than be mistress of the finest
palace papa's money can build."
For a moment the pair looked the love
they could not speak. Then the spell was
broken by the distant scream of a locomotive, half-drowned in the howling wind. Sylvia glanced at the clock.
"There's the 'Overland,'" she murmured. "She's three minutes late. The
wind is dead against her. Some day, dear,"
she added, fondly, "you will hold the throttle
of that engine, if you want to, and I shall
be the proudest girl in the land."
With a fine unconscious loyalty to the corporation which gave them bread and butter,
they listened in silence to the dull roar of
the on-coming train. But instead, a moment later, of the usual thunderous burst as
the train swept by, and the trembling of
earth, they heard the grinding of brakeshoes, the whistle of the air, and then, in
the lull which followed, the thumping of the
pump, like some great, excited heart. At
this unexampled occurrence, the sick man
threw his wife a startled glance, and she
sprang to the front window and drew back
the curtain. She was just turning away
again, still unsatisfied, when there came a
quick, imperative rap at the door. Instantly
connecting this rap with the delayed train,
Sylvia flung the door wide open, revealing
three men, the foremost of whom she recognized as the night-operator at the junction.
"Mrs. Fox," he began with nervous
haste, "this is the general superintendent,
"My name is Howard, madam," said the official
for himself, unceremoniously pushing forward.
"We are in trouble. Our engineer had a stroke of apoplexy fifteen miles back,
and I want your husband to take this train.
I know he's sick, but -"
"But he's too sick, sir, to hold his head
up!" Sylvia exclaimed aghast.
"What's the trouble?" called Fox
sharply, from his bed.
An instant's hush fell over the little group
at the door, and then they all, as if moved
by one impulse, filed quickly back to the
"Mr. Fox, I hate to ask a sick man to
get out of bed and pull a train," began the
general superintendent hurriedly, before
Sylvia could speak. "But we're tied up here
hard and fast, with not another engineer in
sight; and every minute that train stands
there the company loses a thousand dollars.
If you can pull her through to Stockton,
and will, it will be the best two hours' work
that you ever did. I will give you five hundred dollars."
Fox had at first risen to his elbow, but he
now sank back, dizzy and trembling from
weakness. In a moment, though, he was up
again. "I can't do it. Mr. Howard! I'm
too sick!" he exclaimed, bitterly. "If it
weren't a physical impossibility - if I weren't
too dizzy to hold my head up -"
He broke off abruptly, and pressed his
hand in a dazed way to his brow. Then he
fixed his excited eyes upon his wife. The
other men followed his gaze, plainly regarding him as out of his head. But Sylvia
turned pale, and leaned against the wall for
support. She had caught her husband's
"She'll take the train, sir!" exclaimed
Fox, eagerly; "and she'll take it through
safe. She knows an engine as well as I,
and every inch of the road. Sylvia, you
must go. It is your duty."
The superintendent, staggered at this
amazing proposition, gasped, and stared at
the young woman. She stood with her dilated eyes fastened upon her husband, her
chest rising and falling, and blood-red
tongues of returning color shooting through
her cheeks. Yet even in that crucial moment, when her little heart was fluttering
like a wounded bird, something in Sylvia's
eye - something hard and stubborn - fixed
the skeptical superintendent's attention, and
he drew a step nearer. Sylvia, with twitching nostrils and swelling throat, turned
upon him almost desperately.
"I will go," she said, in a low, resigned
voice. "But some one must stay here with
"This young man will attend to all that,
never fret," cried Howard gaily, in his relief, turning to the night-operator.
Whatever doubts the superintendent may
have harbored yet of the fair engineer's
nerve and skill were plainly removed when
Sylvia returned from an inner room, after
an absence of scarcely sixty seconds. An
indomitable courage was stamped upon her
handsome features, and she bore herself
with the firm, subdued mien of one who
knows the gravity of her task, yet has faith
in herself for its performance. One of her
husband's caps was drawn tightly over her
thick hair. She had slipped into a short
walking-skirt, and as she advanced she
calmly but swiftly buttoned her jacket.
Without hesitation, she stepped to the bedside and kissed her husband good-by.
"Be brave, girl!" he said
encouragingly, though his own voice shook. "You
have got to make seventy-five miles an hour,
or better; but you've got the machine to do
it with. Give her her head on all the
grades except Four Mile Creek - don't be afraid! -
and give her a little sand on Beechtree Hill.
Good-by - and God keep you!"
As Sylvia stood beneath the great black
hulk of iron and steel which drew the
"Overland" - compared with which her
husband's little local engine was but a toy -
and glanced down the long line of mail, express, and sleeping-cars, laden with human
freight, her heart almost failed her again.
The mighty boiler towered high above her in
the darkness like the body of some horrible
antediluvian monster, and the steam rushed
angrily from the dome, as though the great
animal were fretting under the unaccountable
delay, and longed again to be off on the
wings of the wind, rending the tempest
with its iron snout, and awakening the
sleeping hills and hollows with its hoarse
"You are a brave little woman," she heard
the superintendent saying at the cab-step.
"Don't lose your nerve - but make time
whatever else you do. Every minute you
make up is money in the company's pocket,
and they won't forget it. Besides," he
added, familiarly, we've got a big gun
aboard, and I want to show him that a little
thing like this don't flustrate us any. If you
draw into Stockton on time, I'll add five
hundred dollars to that check! Remember
that." And he lifted her up to the cab.
The fireman, a young Irishman, stared at
Sylvia as she stepped into the cab as though
she were a banshee; but she made no explanations, and, after a glance at the steam and
the water gauges, climbed up to the engineer's high seat. The hand she laid upon
the throttle-lever trembled slightly - as well
it might; the huge iron horse quivered and
stiffened, as if bracing itself for its task;
noiselessly and imperceptibly it moved
ahead, expelled one mighty breath, then another and another, quicker and quicker,
shorter and shorter, until its respirations
were lost in one continuous flow of steam.
The "Overland" was once more under
The locomotive responded to Sylvia's
touch with an alacrity which seemed almost
human, and which, familiar though she was
with the work, thrilled her through and
through. She glanced at the time-table.
They were twelve minutes behind time. The
twenty miles between the Junction and Grafton lay in a straight, level line. Sylvia determined to use it to good purpose, and to
harden herself at once - as, indeed, she must
- to the dizzy speed required by the inexorable schedule. She threw the throttle
wide open, and pushed the reverse-lever
into the last notch. The great machine
seemed suddenly animated with a demoniac
energy, and soon they were shooting through
the black, storm-beaten night like an avenging bolt from the hand of a colossal god.
The headlight - so dazzling from in front,
so insufficient from behind - danced feebly
ahead upon the driving cloud of snow. But
that was all. The track was illuminated for
scarcely fifty feet, and the night yawned beyond like some engulfing abyss. Sylvia
momentarily closed her eyes and prayed that
no unfortunate creature - human or brute
- might wander that night between the
The fireman danced attendance on the fire,
watching his heat and water as jealously as
a doctor might watch the pulse of a fevered
patient. Now the furnace-door was closed,
now it hung on its latch; now, it was closed
again, and now, when the ravenous maw
within cried for more coal, it was flung wide
open, lighting the driving cloud of steam
and smoke above with a spectral glare.
Sylvia worked with the fireman with a fine
intelligence which only the initiated could
understand; for an engine is a steed whose
speed depends upon its driver. She opened
or closed the injector, to economize heat and
water, and eased the steam when it could be
spared. Thus together they coaxed, cajoled,
threatened, and goaded the wheeled monster
until, like a veritable thing of life, it seemed
to strain every nerve to do their bidding, and
whirled them faster and faster. Yet, as
they flashed through Grafton - scarcely distinguishable in the darkness and the storm
- they were still ten minutes behind time.
Sylvia shut her lips tightly. If it was necessary to defy death on the curves and grades
ahead, defy death she would.
The sticky snow on her glass now cut off
Sylvia's vision ahead. It mattered little, for
her life and the lives of the sleeping passengers behind were in higher hands than hers
and only the All-seeing Eye could see that
night. Another train ahead, an open switch,
a fallen rock or tree - one awful crash, and
the engine would become a gridiron for her
tender flesh, while the palatial cars behind,
now so full of warmth and light and comfort, would suddenly be turned into mere
shapeless heaps of death. Yet Sylvia cautiously opened her door a little, and held
it firmly against the hurricane while she
brushed off the snow. At the same time she
noticed that the headlight was burning dim.
"The headlight is covered with snow!"
she called to the fireman.
The young fellow instantly drew his cap
tighter, braced himself, and swung open his
door. At the first cruel blast, the speed of
which was that of the gale added to that of
the train, he closed his eyes and held his
breath; then, taking his life in his hands, he
slipped out upon the wet, treacherous running-board of the pitching locomotive, made
his way forward, and cleared the glass. Sylvia waited with bated breath until his head
appeared in the door again.
"Fire up, please!" she exclaimed, nervously, for the steam had fallen off a pound.
As the twinkling street-lamps of Nancyville came into view, Sylvia blew a long
blast. But there was no tuneful reverberation among the hills that night, for the wind,
like some ferocious beast of prey, pounced
upon the sound and throttled it in the teeth of
the whistle. The Foxes shopped in Nancyville - they could shop fifty miles from home
as easily as fifty rods - and the town, by comparison with Valley Junction, was beginning
to seem like a little city to Sylvia. But tonight, sitting at the helm of that transcontinental train, which burst upon the town
like a cyclone, with a shriek and a roar, and
then was gone again all in a breath, she
scarcely recognized the place; and it seemed
little and rural and mean to her, a mere eddy
in the world's great current.
One-third of the one hundred and forty-nine miles was now gone, and still the
"Overland" was ten minutes behind, and it
seemed as if no human power could make up
the time. They were winding through the
Tallahula Hills, where the road was as
crooked as a serpent's trail. The engine
jerked viciously from side to side, as if
angrily resenting the pitiless goading from
behind, and twice Sylvia was nearly thrown
from her seat. The wheels savagely ground
the rails at every curve, and made them
shriek in agony. One side of the engine
first mounted upward, like a ship upon a
wave, then suddenly sank, as if engulfed.
One instant Sylvia was lifted high above her
fireman, the next dropped far below him.
Yet she dared not slacken speed. The
cry of "Time! Time! Time!" was dinned
into her ears with every stroke of the piston.
Her train was but one wheel - nay, but one
cog on one wheel - in the vast and complicated machine of transportation. Yet one
slip of that cog would rudely jar the whole
delicate mechanicism from coast to coast.
Indeed, in Sylvia's excited fancy, the spirit
of world-wide commercialism seemed riding
on the gale above her, like Odin of old in
the Wildhunt, urging her on and on.
Something of all this was in the mind of
the fireman, too, in a simpler way; and when
he glanced at his gentle superior from time
to time, as she clung desperately to the armrest with one hand and clutched the reverse-lever with the other, with white, set face,
but firm mouth and fearless eye, his blue
eyes flashed with a chivalric fire.
The train dashed into Carbondale, and
Sylvia made out ahead the glowing headlight
of the east-bound train, side-tracked and
waiting for the belated "Overland," her engineer and conductor doubtless fuming and
fretting. For the first time during the run
Sylvia allowed a morbid, nervous fear to
take hold of her. Suppose the switch were
open! She knew that it must be closed,
but the sickening possibility presented itself
over and over again, with its train of horrors, in the brief space of a few seconds.
She held her breath and half closed her eyes
as they thundered down upon the other
train; and when the engine lurched a little
as it struck the switch, her heart leaped into
her mouth. The suspense was mercifully
short, though, for in an instant, as it were,
they were past the danger, past the town,
and once more scouring the open country.
In spite of the half-pipe of sand which she
let run as they climbed Beechtree Hill - the
last of the Tallahulas - it seemed to Sylvia
as if they would never reach the summit and
as if the locomotive had lost all its vim.
Yet the speed was slow only by contrast,
and in reality was terrific; and the tireless
steed upon whose high haunch Sylvia was
perched was doing the noblest work of the
night. At last, though, the high level of
the Barren Plains was gained, and for forty
miles - which were reeled off in less than
thirty minutes - they swept along like an
albatross on the crest of a gale, smoothly
and almost noiselessly in the deadening
Sylvia suspected that the engine was doing
no better right here than it did every night
of the year, and that when on time. Yet
when she glanced from the time-table to the
clock, as they clicked over the switch-points
of Melrose with a force which seemed sufficient to snap them off like icicles, she was
chagrined to discover that they were still
eight minutes behind. They were now approaching the long twelve-mile descent of
Four Mile Creek, with a beautiful level
stretch at the bottom through the Spirit
River Valley. Sylvia came to a grim determination. Half a dozen times previously
she had wondered, in her unfamiliarity with
heavy trains and their magnificent speed, if
she were falling short of or exceeding the
safety limit; and half a dozen times she had
been on the point of appealing to the fireman. But her pride, even in that momentous crisis, had restrained her; and, moreover, the time-table, mutely urging her
faster and faster, seemed answer enough.
But just before they struck the grade, the
responsibility of her determination - contrary, too, to her husband's advice -seemed
too much to bear alone.
"I am going to let her have her head!"
she cried out, in her distress.
The fireman did not answer - perhaps he
did not hear - and, setting her teeth, Sylvia
assumed the grim burden alone. The ponderous locomotive fell over the brow of the
hill, with her throttle agape, and the fire
seething in her vitals with volcanic fury.
Then she lowered her head like a maddened
bull in its charge. The long, heavy train,
Sweeping down the sharp descent, might fitly
have been likened to some winged dragon
flying low to earth, so appallingly flightlike
was the motion. It seemed to Sylvia as
though they dropped down the grade as an
aerolite drops from heaven - silent, irresistible, awful, touched only by the circumambient air.
All Sylvia's familiar methods of gauging
speed were now at fault, but she believed
that for the moment they were running two
miles to every minute. The thought that a
puny human hand - a woman's hand, moreover, contrived for the soft offices of love
could stay that grand momentum, seemed
wildly absurd; and as Sylvia, under the
strange lassitude born of her deadly peril,
relaxed her tense muscles and drowsily
closed her eyes she smiled, with a ghastly
humor, at the trust of the sleeping passengers in her!
She was rudely shaken out of her lethargy
as the train struck a slight curve half way
down the grade. The locomotive shied like
a frightened steed, and shook in every iron
muscle. The flanges shrieked against the
rails, the cab swayed and cracked, and the
very earth seemed to tremble. For a moment the startled girl was sure they were
upon the ties, or at least had lost a wheel.
But it was only the terrible momentum lifting them momentarily from the track, and in
a few seconds - though every second meant
150 feet - the fire-eating behemoth righted
itself. Yet its beautiful equilibrium was
gone; and, as if abandoning itself to its
driver's mad mood, the engine rolled and pitched, and rose and fell, like a waterlogged vessel in a storm. The bell, catching
the motion, began to toll; and the dolorous
sound, twisted into weird discord by the
gale, fell upon the ears of the pallid engineer and fireman like the notes of a storm-tossed bell-buoy sounding the knell of the
The young fireman, who up to this time
had maintained a stoical calm, suddenly
sprang to the floor of the cab, with a face
torn by superstitious fear.
"What if she leaves the rails!" he cried.
But instantly recovering himself, he sprang
hack to his seat, with the blood of shame on
"Am I running too fast?" shouted Sylvia.
"Not when we're behind time!" he doggedly shouted back.
As the track became smoother, the engine
grew calmer; but its barred tongue licked
up the flying space for many a mile before
the momentum of that perilous descent was
lost. As the roar of their passage over the
long bridge spanning the Mattunk, twenty
miles from Stockton, died away, the fireman
called out cheerily:
"On time, madam!"
His voice reached Sylvia's swimming ears
faint and distant as she nodded dizzily on
her seat, bracing herself against the reverse-lever.
Meanwhile, in the general superintendent's private car, at the extreme rear of the
train, a party of men still sat up, smoking
their Havanas and sipping their wine. One
member of this party was the "big gun
mentioned to Sylvia by the general superintendent - the president of the Mississippi
Valley, Omaha, and Western Railway. He
was a large man, with luxuriant, snow-white hair; and, though his face was benevolent, even paternal, every line of it betrayed
the inflexible will which had lifted its owner
from the roof of a freight car to the presidential chair of a great road.
Mr. Howard, the general superintendent,
was regaling the party with an account of
his experience in securing a substitute engineer at Valley Junction. For reasons
afterward divulged, he suppressed, though,
the most startling feature of his story;
namely, the sex of the engine-runner he had
secured. But he compensated his hearers
for this omission with a most dramatic account of the heroism of the sick man, whom
he unblushingly represented as having risen
from his bed and taken charge of the engine.
Mr. Staniford, the distinguished guest,
listened quietly until Howard was done.
"Charlie, you are a heartless wretch," he
observed, smiling; and when Howard protested, with a twinkle in his eye, that there
was no other way, the president added: "If
it had been on my road, I should have held
the train all night rather than drag a sick
man from his bed."
"We all know how many trains are held
all night on your road, Staniford," answered
Howard, laughing. "Do you happen to remember the story of an ambitious young engineer who picked himself up out of a wreck
with a broken arm, and stepped into a new
engine, and pulled his train through to the
end of the run?" he asked significantly.
"I was young then and working for glory,
and no superintendent ordered me to do it,
or I should probably have refused," added
Staniford, good-naturedly. He added soberly: "These engineers are a heroic set,
and, Charlie, sometimes I think we don't always do them justice."
"I'll do this one justice," answered Howard, warmly.
The party dropped off to bed, one by one.
The general superintendent himself finally
rose and looked at his watch. As he turned
and made his way forward, his careless expression gave way to one of concern. His
mind was evidently on the gentle engine-runner. Possibly he had recurring doubts of
her skill and courage; but perhaps the fact
that he had daughters of his own gave his
thought, as much as anything else, a graver
turn. Three cars ahead he met the conductor, who also seemed a little nervous,
and they talked together for some moments.
The train, at the time, was snapping around
the choppy curves in the Tallahula Hills
like the flash of a whip, and the two men
had difficulty in keeping their feet.
"Fast, but not too fast, Dackins," observed the superintendent, half inquiringly.
"What I call a high safety," answered
"But fearful in the cab, eh?"
"Nothing equal to it, sir," rejoined Dackins, dryly.
Howard started back toward the private
car about the time the train struck Beechtree Hill. He paused in a vestibule, opened
the door, and laid his practised ear to the
din outside. Then he gently closed the door,
as if to slam it might break the spell, and
complacently smiled. When the train reached
the level of Barren Plains, and the sleepers
ceased their swaying and settled down to a
smooth, straightaway motion - that sure annunciator of high speed - the superintendent
rubbed his palms together very much like a
man shaking hands with himself. When he
got back to his car, he found Mr. Staniford
still up, smoking, and leaning back in the
luxurious seat with half-closed eyes. Staniford motioned Howard to sit down beside
him, and laid his hand familiarly on the latter's knee.
"Confound you, Charlie, you've got that
sick engineer on my heart, with your inflammatory descriptions, for which you probably
drew largely on your imagination. I have
been sitting here thinking about him. Confess, now, that you exaggerated matters a
The superintendent chuckled like a man
who knows a thing or two, if he only chose
to tell. "Well, I did, in one respect; but
in another I fell short." He paused for effect, and then continued exultingly: "Staniford, I've got the best railroad story to give
the papers that has been brought out in
years, and if I don't get several thousand
dollars' worth of free advertising out of it,
my name isn't C. W. Howard. The best of
it is, it's the gospel truth."
"Let's have it," said Staniford, smiling.
"Well, between you and me, that man Fox was
a mighty sick man - too sick to
hold his head up, in fact." Howard paused
inquiringly as Staniford turned sharply, and
gave him a glance.
"Fox, did you say?" asked Staniford.
"What's his first name?"
"I don't know. He's a tall, smooth-faced
man, with dark hair and eyes. Rather intelligent-looking. What do you know about
him? He's a comparatively new man with
The old man's fingers trembled slightly as
he flicked the ashes from his cigar. "I
don't know that I know him," he answered,
in a constrained tone. "If he's the man I
have in mind, he's all right. Go on."
"Ever run on your road?" inquired
"Yes, yes. But that has nothing to do
with it," returned Staniford, with strange
impatience. "Go on."
"Well," continued the superintendent,
with a mildly curious glance at his companion, "he was altogether too sick to pull a
plug. But it seems that his wife has been
in the habit of riding with him, and knows
the road and an engine as well as he does.
To come to the point - and this is my story,
which I didn't tell the boys for the sake of
their nerves," he added, with sparkling eyes
- "the 'Overland' at this moment is in the
hands of a girl, sir - Fox's wife!"
It seemed a long time before either man
spoke again. Howard stared in blank
amazement at the pallid face of the president, unable to understand the old railroader's agitation, and unwilling to attribute
it to fear from being in the hands of an
engineer who might lose her head. Then
Staniford took the other's hand, and held it
in an iron grip.
"Charlie, it's my own little baby girl!"
he said, huskily.
Howard was familiar with the story of the elopement of
Staniford's daughter with one of the
M. V., O., and W. engineers, and the situation flashed
over him in an instant. After a
moment - during which, as he afterward confessed, he could not keep his mind
off the added sensation this new fact would
give his advertising story - he said enthusiastically: "She's a heroine, Staniford, and
worthy of her father!"
During the perilous descent of Four Mile
Creek, the private car rocked like a cradle,
and cracked and snapped in every point.
Staniford clung helplessly to Howard's
hand, with the tears trickling down his
cheeks. When the bottom was at last
reached and the danger was over - the
danger at the front - the president drew his
handkerchief and wiped the great drops of
sweat from his brow. The ex-engineer
knew the agony through which his child had
The operator at Valley Junction had
flashed the news along the wire, and when
the "Overland" steamed up to the union
depot in Stockton, at 1:07, twenty seconds
ahead of time, a curious and enthusiastic
throng of lay-over passengers and railroad
men pressed around the engine. When Sylvia appeared in the gangway, her glorious
sun-kissed hair glistening with melted snow,
and her pale face streaked with soot, the
generous crowd burst into yells of applause.
The husky old veteran runner who was to
take the girl's place stepped forward, by
virtue of his office, as it were, and lifted
Sylvia' down. For a moment she reeled,
partly from faintness, partly from the sickness caused by the pitching of the locomotive. Then she saw pushing unceremoniously through the throng the general superintendent and - she started and looked
again - her father!
When President Staniford, struggling to
control his emotion, clasped his daughter to
his bosom, her overstrained nerves gave way
under the double excitement; and, laying
her head wearily upon his shoulder, and with
her hands upon his neck, she began to cry in
a choked, pitiful little way. "Oh, papa, call
me your dear little red-head once more!"
© RailroadStories, 2001.