him, however, to consider me his fireman for the rest of the trip, as he was best acquainted with the road; so without any more ado, I doffed my coat, we jumped on, and away we went, past hamlets, through wildernesses of stunted bushes, up grade and down hill, at a speed rarely equalled. Our light train made firing an easy task for me, and I had frequent leisure to scan the beautiful ranges of the Alleghanies along which we skirted. Joe was sitting, as was usual with him, with his left hand on the throttle lever, and his body half out of the side window of the “cab,” that he might the better scan the track ahead. A few miles south of the famous Cheat river bridge, is a deep mountain gorge, with precipitous, rocky sides. It is shaped like an hour-glass, wide at each end, but tapering each way toward the middle. The track runs for quite a distance along one side of the gorge, makes a very abrupt turn to cross the chasm, a very deep one, in a straight line, and then, still curving inwardly, follows the gorge in a line nearly parallel with the track on the opposite side, for three fourths of a mile. We were pitching along with that peculiar rocking, bounding motion, so different from the jar of ordinary fast speed. As we swept to the top of a grade, around the side of a hill that commanded a view of the gorge-Joe and I both on the lookout-we saw, at a moment's glance, enough to make us concentrate our thinking faculties, and act in a hurry, whatever was best to be done. There, on the straight track, just at the near edge of the gorge, a lot of men, in gray uniform, were hastily
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.