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Left Guard Gilbert by Ralph Henry Barbour

Ours got caught and scalded like the dickens


"Cincinnati papers had it. I haven't read the others. It wasn't much of a wreck really. Engineer killed, fireman scalded, about twenty passengers injured more or less. Several considerably more. Express messenger expected to pass out. Just a nice, cosy little wreck with no--no spectacular features, as you might say."

"Well, come on! How did it happen?"

"Freight train taking a siding and went to sleep at it. Our engine bumped the other engine and they both went smash. Hot coals and steam and so on got busy. It was about five in the morning. Just getting lightish. Everyone snuggled up in bed. _Biff! Wow!_ I landed out on the floor on my hands and knees. Everyone yelled. Car turned half over and sat that way. Doors got jammed. We beat it out by the windows. I was a Roman Senator with a green berth curtain wrapped about me. Afterwards I sneaked back and pulled out my shoes and overcoat. Always sleep with my shoes under my pillow, you see. Good idea, too. If I hadn't had them there I'd never have got them. Couldn't get my bag out. Car was on fire by that time. Three others, too. They saved all but the one I was in and the express and baggage cars. After awhile a wrecking train came and then a lot of us walked to a village about a mile and a half away and had breakfast and went on to Cincinnati about noon."

"Gee! But, still, you know, I don't see how you got burned."

"Well, things were pretty hot. Some of them got burned a lot worse than I did. Had to pull some of them out the windows and through the roofs. Women, too. Lucky thing our car had only two in it. Two women, I mean. Things were fairly busy for awhile."

"Must have been. The engineer was killed straight off, eh?"

"Ours was. The other one managed to jump. Firemen got off all right, too. The other fireman. Ours got caught and scalded like the dickens. Saw the engineer myself." Don frowned and shuddered. "Nasty mess he was, too, poor fellow. Let's talk about something else. I don't like to remember that engineer."

"Too bad! But, say, you were lucky, weren't you? You might have been killed, I suppose."

"Might have, maybe. Didn't come very near it, though. First wreck I ever saw and don't want to see any more. Funny thing, though, I didn't mind it at all until I was on the train going to Cincinnati. Excitement, I suppose. Then I came near keeling over, honest! What do you know about that, Timmy?"

"I guess anyone would have. How bad is your burn?"

"Not bad. Hurts a bit, though. It's the inside of the fingers and the palm. It'll be all right in a few days, I guess. Doctor chap said I'd have to have it dressed every day for awhile."

"But, Great Scott, Don, what about football?"

"I've thought of that. Nothing doing for a week or so, I guess. Rotten luck, eh?"

"Beastly! And Robey was telling me only half an hour ago to hurry you up. Said you'd have to come right out if you wanted a place. Still, when he understands what the trouble is----"

"I'll see him tonight, I guess. Who's playing guard, Tim?"

"Joe Gafferty, left; Tom Hall, right. Walton and Pryme and Lawton are all after places. Walton's been doing good work too, I think."

"All the fellows back?"

"Every last one. Remember Howard, who played sub half-back for the second last year? He's showing great form. Still, you can't tell much yet. There's to be scrimmage tomorrow. We play Thacher Saturday, you know. Sort of quick work and I don't believe we'll be anywhere near ready for them."


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