IN a Western town not long ago the superintendent of a
railroad was seated in his office, when in walked a big,
burly negro, according to the Buffalo Times. The
superintendent looked up and said:
"How did you get in here, past my office-boy and
clerks? You have a lot of assurance, coming in here
without first sending in your name."
The negro replied that there was no one in the outer
office when he entered.
"I am looking for work," he said, "and
want it bad; am willing to go switching, or do
The superintendent said: "Do you drink?"
The negro replied: "It is a little early, isn't
CUSTER'S LAST TROOPER.
John Martin, the Bugler
Who Carried Custer's Appeal for Help to Reno,
Now a Ticket-Chopper.
IN the New York Subway station at One Hundred and
Third Street the one member of Custer's troop who came
alive out of the massacre in the Little Big Horn Valley
is employed as a ticket-chopper. For thirty years John
Martin served in the regular army, entering the Seventh
Cavalry in 1874 and leaving it a sergeant in 1904.
At the time of the massacre Martin was a bugler.
Outnumbered by Sitting Bull's men, Custer saw that he
would need help. "Ride to Major Reno," he
ordered the bugler, "and tell him to bring up his
men at once!"
Martin reached Reno's command, some three miles away,
in safety, and the major started at once to relieve his
chief. But there were hostiles in front of them, and in
trying to make a short cut the troopers struck an
impassable road, so that it was fifty-five minutes after
Martin left Custer before Major Reno brought his men upon
the battle-field. The only living thing to be seen was
one horse. During the fifty-five minutes Martin had been
away Custer and seven hundred men had fallen. Major
Reno was tried by court-martial, and it was chiefly by
Martin's testimony that he was triumphantly acquitted.
DIVIDING WITH HIS MEN.
Two Million Dollars for the
Who Stood By William J. Palmer When He Needed Them.
THE Chicago Record-Herald recently published
again the story of the most munificent gift ever made to
railway employees, a gift of two million dollars in cash.
There were hard times on the Rio Grande Western when
William J. Palmer was president of it and owned the
control of it as well.
To cap the climax, Palmer learned that a general
strike was to come in a few days. A strike meant ruin to
the road and to Palmer, and the president went out along
the line for a last personal appeal. For three days he
argued the case with the men, saying frankly that there
was no money for increased salaries. Their only chance
was to wait until the road had survived the crisis.
The president won out. The men liked him, and they
voted to stick to "the old man." The Rio Grande
Western prospered, the men got their extra pay, and
Palmer felt that his troubles were over.
Then came the era of railroad consolidation. Gould
wanted the road and was willing to pay for it. When the
deal was closed Palmer had five million dollars for his
share - the result of the loyalty of his men, as he
looked at it, a few years before. Of that five million
dollars he kept - three millions; the rest was divided
among the employees who had stuck to him in the lean
years, according to the responsibility of their
positions. There were section men and inferior operating
men who got five thousand dollars and seven thousand
dollars, and the man who then held the position of
traffic manager received twenty-five thousand dollars.
The old employees of the Rio Grande Western were the
wealthiest lot of railroad men in the United States.
HARD ON THE FROG.
Probably this Railroad
President Would Have Expected
His Cook to Make Codfish Balls Out of Fish~Plates.
RAILROAD presidents have not always been men
thoroughly familiar with the practical side of
railroading. In a recent issue of the Saturday
Evening Post Frank S. Bishop, the general Eastern
passenger agent of the Illinois Central, told of the
first inspection trip of a newly elected lawyer-president
of that road.
The roadbed was in a frightful condition, Mr. Bishop
said, and as the train began to jump about the new
president became alarmed. After one particularly
terrifying crash, as the train passed over a switch, he
"What was that? What was that?"
"Oh, nothing," said the superintendent.
"We just struck a frog."
"Well," sighed the president, "we
certainly killed it."
HELD UP BY RABBITS.
If This is True, It's
But the Story is a Mighty Good One in Any Event.
THE other night a passenger-train on the Southern
Pacific was halted west of San Antonio with a suddenness
that was startling to all aboard. Investigation proved
that the trouble was rabbits, plain jack-rabbits. The
long-eared creatures had crowded upon the tracks and were
so dazed by the engine light that they permitted
themselves to be killed by hundreds, their bodies
actuallv impeding the progress of the train.
It is explained that because of the unusual dryness of
this particular region of Texas the rabbits are drawn to
the railway lines in search of food at night. They come
by thousands, and have made themselves not only a
nuisance but a menace.
The idea that a heavy railway train can be held up by
jack-rabbits seems a little preposterous, and yet that is
just the sort of impedimetit that is annoying the
engineers on the Southern Pacific. In Kansas the
grasshoppers have halted trains on numerous occasions,
and locusts have been equally successful in delaying
This is a great country, a country of many singular
possibilities, and its greatness is shown by its
unexpected emergencies as well as by the steady tread of
its anticipated progress. - Cleveland Plain-Dealer.
A Wildcat Which Received a
Practical and Lasting Lesson
on the Effects of the Electrical Current.
A WILDCAT, or mountain-lion, recently climbed an
electric-power pole on an Idaho ranch on the Big Hole
River. The moment it touched the wires two thousand volts
of electricity went through the animal and set fire to
the pole. The linemen who were sent out to investigate,
says the Anaconda Standard, found the tail and
the feet of the mountain-lion at the top of the pole and
the rest of the body at the bottom.
What the Fireman, Turned
When His Mules Ran the Plow Into a Stump.
THE tenacity with which retired sailors cling to their
old sea habits and language is well known, but it appears
that in this respect they are rivaled by railroad men. A
brakeman who had given up railroading for farming, says
the Atchison Globe, started to break up a piece
of land with a plow and a team of mules, the reins lied
farmer-fashion around his waist. He had gone but a short
distance when he saw a stump ahead and immediately began
giving the railroad "stop" signal with both
hands. The plow struck the stump and the brakeman went
head first over the plow.
Picking himself up, he ran angrily to the mules and
roared: "You flop-eared scoundrels, don't you ever
look back for a signal?"