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Cab and Caboose
The Story of a Railroad Boy

written by "Munroe, Kirk, 1850-1930"
...d roofs of those express cars as they were hurled on through the night at the rate of nearly a mile a minute; while to leap from one to another seemed almost suicidal. Not more than one brakeman in a thousand could have done it; but Rod Blake, with his light weight, athletic training, and recent experience combined with absolute fearlessness, was that one. His inclination was to get down on his hands and[Pg 145] knees and crawl along the slippery roofs. If he had yielded to it he would never have accomplished the trip. He believed that the only way to make it was by running and clearing the spaces between cars with flying leaps, and, incredible as it may seem, that is the way he did it. He had kicked off his shoes before starting, and now ran with stockinged feet. The occupants of the cab were as startled by his appearance beside them as though he had been a ghost, and when his story was told the engineman wanted to stop the train at once and go back to the assistance of the imperilled messenger. Rod however succeeded in persuading him that, as the messenger’s fate was probably already decided, their only hope of capturing the robber lay in carrying out Conductor Tobin’s plan of running at such speed that he would not dare jump from the train until a station prepared for his reception was reached. When the engineman finally agreed to this, and before he could utter the remonstrance that sprang to his lips, Rodman clambered back over the heaped-up coal of the tender, swung himself to the roof of the forward car and began to retrace his perilous journey to the rear end of the train. He argued that if Conductor Tobin’s place was back there [Pg 146] exposed to the shots of a desperate man, his brakeman’s place was beside him. Even if Rod had not been a railroad boy, or “man,” as he now called himself, his natural bravery and sense of honor would have taken him back to that coach. Ever since he had enl...

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