[Illustration: "An Avalanche!" declared Fogg. "Dodge--something's coming!"

Page 254. Ralph on the Overland Express.]














Made in the United States of America


By Allen Chapman

12mo. Illustrated. Cloth


Or, Bound to Become a Railroad Man


Or, Clearing the Track


Or, The Young Fireman of the Limited Mail


Or, The Trials and Triumphs of a Young Engineer

(Other Volumes in Preparation.)

GROSSET & DUNLAP, Publishers, New York

Copyright, 1910, by


Ralph on the Overland Express



I. No. 999 1

II. A Special Passenger 12

III. One of the Rules 22

IV. A Warning 35

V. At Bay 43

VI. Four Medals 51

VII. Dave Bissell, Train Boy 60

VIII. An Astonishing Discovery 68

IX. The Light of Home 76

X. Fire! 88

XI. The Master Mechanic 95

XII. A Good Friend 104

XIII. The "Black Hand" 114

XIV. A Serious Plot 123

XV. "The Silvandos" 129

XVI. Zeph Dallas and His "Mystery" 138

XVII. In Widener's Gap 145

XVIII. At the Semaphore 153

XIX. The Boy Who Was Hazed 160

XX. "Lord Lionel Montague" 171

XXI. Archie Graham's Invention 179

XXII. Ike Slump Again 188

XXIII. A Critical Moment 195

XXIV. The New Run 203

XXV. The Mountain Division 209

XXVI. Mystery 217

XXVII. The Railroad President 225

XXVIII. A Race Against Time 233

XXIX. Zeph Dallas Again 244

XXX. Snowbound 254

XXXI. Conclusion 264



NO. 999

"All aboard."

Ralph Fairbanks swung into the cab of No. 999 with the lever hooked up

for forward motion, and placed a firm hand on the throttle.

It looked as though half the working force of the railroad, and every

juvenile friend he had ever known in Stanley Junction, had come down

to the little old depot that beautiful summer afternoon to especially

celebrate the greatest event in his active railroad career.

Ralph was the youngest engineer in the service of the Great Northern,

and there was full reason why he should center attention and interest

on this the proudest moment of his life. No. 999 was the crack

locomotive of the system, brand new and resplendent. Its headlight was

a great glow of crystal, its metal bands and trimmings shone like

burnished gold, and its cab was as spick and span and neat as the

private office of the division superintendent himself.

No. 999 was out for a trial run--a record run, Ralph hoped to make it.

One particular car attached to the rear of the long train was the main

object of interest. It was a new car to the road, and its blazoned

name suggested an importance out of the ordinary--"China & Japan


This car had just come in over a branch section by a short cut from

the north. If No. 999 could beat timetable routine half an hour and

deliver the mail to the Overland Express at Bridgeport, two hundred

miles distant, on time, it would create a new schedule, and meant a

good contract for the Great Northern, besides a saving of three hours'

time over the former roundabout trip of the China & Japan Mail.

Ralph had exchanged jolly greetings with his friends up to now. In an

instant, however, the sonorous, echoing "All aboard" from the

conductor way down the train was a signal for duty, prompt and

imperative. The pleasant depot scene faded from the sight and mind of

the ambitious young railroader. He turned his strict attention now to

the cab interior, as though the locomotive was a thing of life and


"Let 'er go, Ralph!"

John Griscom, the oldest engineer on the road, off duty, but a

privileged character on all occasions, stepped from the gossiping

crowd of loungers at a little distance. He swung up into the cab with

the expert airiness of long usage. His bluff, hearty face expressed

admiration and satisfaction, as his rapid eye took in the cab layout.

"I'll hold up the tender rail till we get to crossing," announced

Griscom. "Lad, this is front rank service all right, and I'm happy to

say that you deserve it."

"Thank you, Mr. Griscom," answered Ralph, his face beaming at the

handsome compliment. "I don't forget, though, that you helped some."

"Oh, so, so," declared Griscom. "I say, Fogg, you're named right."

It was to Lemuel Fogg that Griscom spoke. Fogg was Ralph's fireman on

the present trip. He presented a decidedcontrast to the brisk, bright

engineer of No. 999. He shoveled in the coal with a grim mutter, and

slammed the fire door shut with a vicious and unnecessary bang.

"What you getting at?" he growled, with a surly eye on Griscom.

"Fogg--fog, see? foggy, that's you--and groggy, eh? Sun's shining--why

don't you take it in? No slouch privilege firing this magnificent

king of the road, I'm thinking, and you ought to think so, too."

"Huh!" snapped Fogg, "it'll be kid luck, if we get through."

"Oho! there's where the shoe pinches, is it?" bantered the old

railroad veteran. "Come, be fair, Fogg. You was glad to win your own

spurs when you were young."

"All right, mind the try-out, you hear me!" snorted Fogg ungraciously.

"You mind your own business."

"Say," shot out Griscom quickly, as he caught a whiff from Fogg's

lips, "you be sure you mind yours--and the rules," he added, quite

sternly, "I advise you not to get too near the furnace."

"Eh, why not?"

"Your breath might catch fire, that's why," announced Griscom bluntly,

and turned his back on the disgruntled fireman.

Ralph had not caught this sharp cross-fire of repartee. His mind had

been intently fixed on his task. He had started up the locomotive

slowly, but now, clearing the depot switches, he pulled the lever a

notch or two, watching carefully ahead. As the train rounded a curve

to an air line, a series of brave hurrahs along the side of the track

sent a thrill of pleasure through Ralph's frame.

The young engineer had only a fleeting second or two to bestow on a

little group, standing at the rear fence of a yard backing down to the

tracks. His mother was there, gaily waving a handkerchief. A neighbor

joined in the welcome, and half-a-dozen boys and small children with

whom Ralph was a rare favorite made the air ring with enthusiastic


"Friends everywhere, lad," spoke Griscom in a kindly tone, and then,

edging nearer to his prime young favorite, he half-whispered: "Keep

your eye on this grouch of a Fogg."

"Why, you don't mean anything serious, Mr. Griscom?" inquired Ralph,

with a quick glance at the fireman.

"Yes, I do," proclaimed the old railroader plainly. "He's got it in

for you--it's the talk of the yards, and he's in just the right frame

of mind to bite off his own nose to spite his face. So long."

The locomotive had slowed up for crossing signals, and Griscom got to

the ground with a careless sail through the air, waved his hand, and

Ralph buckled down to real work on No. 999.

He glanced at the schedule sheet and the clock. The gauges were in

fine working order. There was not a full head of steam on as yet and

the fire box was somewhat over full, but there was a strong draft and

a twenty-mile straight run before them, and Ralph felt they could make

it easily.

"Don't choke her too full, Mr. Fogg," he remarked to the fireman.

"Teach me!" snorted Fogg, and threw another shovelful into the box

already crowded, and backed against the tender bar with a surly,

defiant face.

Ralph made no retort. Fogg did, indeed, know his business, if he was

only minded to attend to it. He was somewhat set and old-fashioned in

his ways, and he had grown up in the service from wiper.

Ralph recalled Griscom's warning. It was not pleasant to run two

hundred miles with a grumpy cab comrade. Ralph wished they had given

him some other helper. However, he reasoned that even a crack fireman

might be proud of a regular run on No. 999, and he did not believe

that Fogg would hurt his own chances by any tactics that might delay


The landscape drifted by swiftly and more swiftly, as Ralph gave the

locomotive full head. A rare enthusiasm and buoyancy came into the

situation. There was something fascinating in the breathless rush, the

superb power and steadiness of the crack machine, so easy of control

that she was a marvel of mechanicalgenius and perfection.

Like a panorama the scenery flashed by, and in rapid mental panorama

Ralph reviewed the glowing and stirring events of his young life,

which in a few brief months had carried him from his menial task as an

engine wiper up to the present position which he cherished so


Ralph was a railroader by inheritance as well as predilection. His

father had been a pioneer in the beginning of the Great Northern.

After he died, through the manipulations of an unworthy village

magnate named Gasper Farrington, his widow and son found themselves at

the mercy of that heartless schemer, who held a mortgage on their

little home.

In the first volume of the present series, entitled "Ralph of the

Roundhouse," it was told how Ralph left school to earn a living and

help his self-sacrificing mother in her poverty.

Ralph got a job in the roundhouse, and held it, too, despite the

malicious efforts of Ike Slump, a ne'er-do-well who tried to undermine

him. Ralph became a favorite with the master mechanic of the road

through some remarkable railroad service in which he saved the

railroad shops from destruction by fire.

Step by step Ralph advanced, and the second volume of this series,

called "Ralph in the Switch Tower," showed how manly resolve, and

being right and doing right, enabled him to overcome his enemies and

compel old Farrington to release the fraudulent mortgage.

Incidentally, Ralph made many friends. He assisted a poor waif named

Van Sherwin to reach a position of comfort and honor, and was

instrumental in aiding a former business partner of his father, one

Farwell Gibson, to complete a short line railroad through the woods

near Dover.

In the third volume of the present series, entitled "Ralph on the

Engine," was related how our young railroad friend became an active

employee of the Great Northern as a fireman. He made some record runs

with old John Griscom, the veteran of the road. In that volume was

also depicted the ambitious but blundering efforts of Zeph Dallas, a

farmer boy who was determined to break into railroading, and there was

told as well the grand success of little Limpy Joe, a railroad

cripple, who ran a restaurant in an old, dismantled box car.

These and other staunch, loyal friends had rallied around Ralph with

all the influence they could exert, when after a creditable

examination Ralph was placed on the extra list as an engineer.

Van and Zeph had been among the first to congratulate the friend to

whom they owed so much, when, after a few months' service on

accomodation runs, it was made known that Ralph had been appointed as

engineer of No. 999.

It was Limpy Joe, spending a happy vacation week with motherly,

kind-hearted Mrs. Fairbanks, who led the cheering coterie whom Ralph

had passed near his home as he left the Junction on his present run.

Of his old-time enemies, Ike Slump and Mort Bemis were in jail, the

last Ralph had heard of them. There was a gang in his home town,

however, whom Ralph had reason to fear. It was made up of men who had

tried to cripple the Great Northern through an unjust strike. A man

named Jim Evans had been one of the leaders. Fogg had sympathized with

the strikers. Griscom and Ralph had routed the malcontents in a fair,

open-handed battle of arguments and blows. Fogg had been reinstated by

the road, but he had to go back on the promotion list, and his rancor

was intense when he learned that Ralph had been chosen to a position

superior to his own.

"They want young blood, the railroad nobs tell it," the disgruntled

fireman had been heard to remark in his favorite tippling place on

Railroad Street. "Humph! They'll have blood, and lots of it, if they

trust the lives of passengers and crew to a lot of kindergarten


Of all this Ralph was thinking as they covered a clear dash of twenty

miles over the best stretch of grading on the road, and with

satisfaction he noted that they had gained three minutes on the

schedule time. He whistled for a station at which they did not stop,

set full speed again as they left the little village behind them, and

glanced sharply at Fogg.

The latter had not spoken a word for over half-an-hour. He had gone

about his duties in a dogged, sullen fashion that showed the

permanency of the grouch with which old John Griscom had charged him.

Ralph had made up his mind to leave his cab companionseverely alone

  • mechanic [mi´kænik] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.技工 a.手工的   (初中英语单词)
  • invention [in´venʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.创造;发明;虚构   (初中英语单词)
  • mystery [´mistəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.神秘;秘密;故弄玄虚   (初中英语单词)
  • conclusion [kən´klu:ʒən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.结束;结论;推论   (初中英语单词)
  • hooked [hukt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.钩状的;上瘾的   (初中英语单词)
  • working [´wə:kiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.工人的;劳动的   (初中英语单词)
  • system [´sistəm] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.系统,体系,制度   (初中英语单词)
  • crystal [´kristəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.水晶 a.水晶的   (初中英语单词)
  • ambitious [æm´biʃəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有雄心的;热望的   (初中英语单词)
  • interior [in´tiəriə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&a.内部地(的)   (初中英语单词)
  • character [´kæriktə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.特性;性质;人物;字   (初中英语单词)
  • expert [´ekspə:t] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&a.专家;内行   (初中英语单词)
  • satisfaction [,sætis´fækʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.满意;满足   (初中英语单词)
  • deserve [di´zə:v] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.应受;值得   (初中英语单词)
  • contrast [´kɔntrɑ:st] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.对比 v.使对比(照)   (初中英语单词)
  • mutter [´mʌtə] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.&n.咕哝;嘀咕   (初中英语单词)
  • privilege [´privilidʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.特权 vt.给….特权   (初中英语单词)
  • advise [əd´vaiz] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.忠告;建议;通知   (初中英语单词)
  • breath [breθ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.呼吸;气息   (初中英语单词)
  • series [´siəri:z] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.连续;系列;丛书   (初中英语单词)
  • thrill [θril] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.震惊;激动;刺激   (初中英语单词)
  • bestow [bi´stəu] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.(把…)赠给;使用   (初中英语单词)
  • standing [´stændiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.持续 a.直立的   (初中英语单词)
  • handkerchief [´hæŋkətʃif] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.手帕,手绢   (初中英语单词)
  • welcome [´welkəm] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.受欢迎的;可喜的   (初中英语单词)
  • plainly [´pleinli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.平坦地;简单地   (初中英语单词)
  • careless [´keəlis] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.粗心的;草率的   (初中英语单词)
  • old-fashioned [´əuld´feʃənd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.老式的;过时的   (初中英语单词)
  • swiftly [´swiftli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.迅速地,敏捷地   (初中英语单词)
  • enthusiasm [in´θju:ziæzəm] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.热心;狂热;爱好   (初中英语单词)
  • fascinating [´fæsineitiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.迷人,使神魂颠倒的   (初中英语单词)
  • marvel [´mɑ:vəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.令人惊异的事;奇迹   (初中英语单词)
  • mechanical [mi´kænikəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.机械的;力学的   (初中英语单词)
  • genius [´dʒi:niəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.天才(人物);天赋   (初中英语单词)
  • mental [´mentl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.精神的;心理的   (初中英语单词)
  • pioneer [,paiə´niə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.拓荒者 v.开辟;倡导   (初中英语单词)
  • beginning [bi´giniŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.开始,开端;起源   (初中英语单词)
  • volume [´vɔlju:m, ´vɑljəm] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.卷;书籍;体积;容量   (初中英语单词)
  • despite [di´spait] 移动到这儿单词发声  prep.尽管   (初中英语单词)
  • remarkable [ri´mɑ:kəbl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.值得注意的;显著的   (初中英语单词)
  • destruction [di´strʌkʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.破坏,毁灭   (初中英语单词)
  • advanced [əd´vɑ:nst] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.先进的;高级的   (初中英语单词)
  • resolve [ri´zɔlv] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.决心 n.决心;刚毅   (初中英语单词)
  • overcome [,əuvə´kʌm] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.战胜,克服   (初中英语单词)
  • release [ri´li:s] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt&n.释放;放松;赦免   (初中英语单词)
  • partner [´pɑ:tnə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.伙伴 v.同….合作   (初中英语单词)
  • restaurant [´restərɔnt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.饭店,菜馆   (初中英语单词)
  • vacation [və´keiʃən, vei´keiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.假期;休庭期;腾空   (初中英语单词)
  • sharply [´ʃɑ:pli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.锋利地;剧烈地   (初中英语单词)
  • spoken [´spəukən] 移动到这儿单词发声  speak的过去分词   (初中英语单词)
  • companion [kəm´pæniən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.同伴;同事;伴侣   (初中英语单词)
  • switch [switʃ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.开关 v.转换   (高中英语单词)
  • limited [´limitid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有限(制)的   (高中英语单词)
  • astonishing [əs´tɔniʃiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.令人惊讶的   (高中英语单词)
  • critical [´kritikəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.批评的;关键性的   (高中英语单词)
  • motion [´məuʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.手势 vt.打手势   (高中英语单词)
  • superintendent [,su:pərin´tendənt, ,sju:-] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.管理人,负责人   (高中英语单词)
  • routine [ru:´ti:n] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.日常工作 a.日常的   (高中英语单词)
  • schedule [´ʃedju:l] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.目录;清单;一览表   (高中英语单词)
  • prompt [prɔmpt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.敏捷的 vt.促使   (高中英语单词)
  • strict [strikt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.严厉的;精确的   (高中英语单词)
  • locomotive [,ləukə´məutiv] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.机头 a.移动的   (高中英语单词)
  • hearty [´hɑ:ti] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.热忱的;强健的   (高中英语单词)
  • compliment [´kɔmplimənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.敬意 vt.赞美;祝贺   (高中英语单词)
  • decided [di´saidid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.明显的;决定的   (高中英语单词)
  • veteran [´vetərən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.老兵 a.老练的   (高中英语单词)
  • crowded [´kraudid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.充(拥)满了的   (高中英语单词)
  • retort [ri´tɔ:t] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&v.报复;反击;反驳   (高中英语单词)
  • helper [´helpə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.帮助者,助手   (高中英语单词)
  • landscape [´lændskeip] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.风景;景色;风景画   (高中英语单词)
  • breathless [´breθlis] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.屏息的   (高中英语单词)
  • scenery [´si:nəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.舞台布景   (高中英语单词)
  • inheritance [in´heritəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.继承(物);遗传;遗产   (高中英语单词)
  • mortgage [´mɔ:gidʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.&vt.抵押   (高中英语单词)
  • related [ri´leitid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.叙述的;有联系的   (高中英语单词)
  • congratulate [kən´grætjuleit] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.祝贺   (高中英语单词)
  • cripple [´kripəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.跛子 vt.使残疾   (高中英语单词)
  • promotion [prə´məuʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.促进;提升;倡仪   (高中英语单词)
  • intense [in´tens] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.强烈的;紧张的   (高中英语单词)
  • learned [´lə:nid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有学问的,博学的   (高中英语单词)
  • sullen [´sʌlən] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不高兴的   (高中英语单词)
  • severely [si´viəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.剧烈地;严格地   (高中英语单词)
  • clearing [´kliəriŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(森林中的)空旷地   (英语四级单词)
  • fireman [´faiəmən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.消防队员;司炉工   (英语四级单词)
  • warning [´wɔ:niŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.警告;前兆 a.预告的   (英语四级单词)
  • dallas [´dæləs] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.达拉斯   (英语四级单词)
  • junction [´dʒʌŋkʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.连接;交叉点   (英语四级单词)
  • vicious [´viʃəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不道德的;刻毒的   (英语四级单词)
  • intently [in´tentli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.专心地   (英语四级单词)
  • tactics [´tæktiks] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.策略;战术   (英语四级单词)
  • stirring [´stə:riŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.活跃的;热闹的   (英语四级单词)
  • unworthy [ʌn´wə:ði] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不值得的;不足道的   (英语四级单词)
  • old-time [´əuld-´taim] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.老资格的;古时的   (英语四级单词)
  • unjust [ʌn´dʒʌst] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不公平(正)的   (英语四级单词)
  • overland [´əuvə,lænd, ,əuvə´lænd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.陆上的 ad.陆上   (英语六级单词)
  • resplendent [ri´splendənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.灿烂的;辉煌的   (英语六级单词)
  • roundabout [´raundəbaut] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.&n.间接的(方式)   (英语六级单词)
  • beaming [´bi:miŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.笑吟吟的   (英语六级单词)
  • fleeting [´fli:tiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.飞逝的,疾驰的   (英语六级单词)
  • minded [´maindid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有…心的   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 17:56:48
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