酷兔英语



[Illustration: RALPH STEPPED OVER HIS RECUMBENT COMPANION AND PLACED HIS

HAND ON THE LEVER.]

----

RALPH OF THE ROUNDHOUSE

OR

BOUND TO BECOME A RAILROAD MAN

BY

ALLEN CHAPMAN

NEW YORK

GROSSET & DUNLAP

PUBLISHERS

Made in the United States of America

----

Copyright, 1906, by

THE MERSHON COMPANY

----

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I--THE DAYLIGHT EXPRESS

CHAPTER II--WAKING UP

CHAPTER III--A LOST BALL

CHAPTER IV--IKE SLUMP'S DINNER PAIL

CHAPTER V--OPPORTUNITY

CHAPTER VI--THE MASTER MECHANIC

CHAPTER VII--AT THE ROUNDHOUSE

CHAPTER VIII--THE OLD FACTORY

CHAPTER IX--AN UNEXPECTED GUEST

CHAPTER X--THE MYSTERIOUS LETTER

CHAPTER XI--ON DUTY

CHAPTER XII--IKE SLUMP'S REVENGE

CHAPTER XIII--MAKING HIS WAY

CHAPTER XIV--RALPH FAIRBANKS' REQUEST

CHAPTER XV--"VAN"

CHAPTER XVI--FACE TO FACE

CHAPTER XVII--THE BATTLE BY THE TRACKS

CHAPTER XVIII--A NAME TO CONJURE BY?

CHAPTER XIX--IKE SLUMP'S FRIENDS

CHAPTER XX--THE HIDE-OUT

CHAPTER XXI--A FREE RIDE

CHAPTER XXII--BEHIND TIME

CHAPTER XXIII--BARDON, THE INSPECTOR

CHAPTER XXIV--A NEW ENEMY

CHAPTER XXV--DIAMOND CUT DIAMOND

CHAPTER XXVI--A ROVING COMMISSION

CHAPTER XXVII--RECALLED TO LIFE

CHAPTER XXVIII--MYSTERY

CHAPTER XXIX--A RIVAL RAILROAD

CHAPTER XXX--THE RIGHT OF WAY

CHAPTER XXXI--A REMARKABLE CONFESSION

CHAPTER XXXII--FOUND

CHAPTER XXXIII--IKE SLUMP'S RAFT

CHAPTER XXXIV--VICTORY!

CHAPTER XXXV--CONCLUSION

----

RALPH OF THE ROUNDHOUSE

CHAPTER I--THE DAYLIGHT EXPRESS

The Daylight Express rolled up to the depot at Stanley Junction, on

time, circling past the repair shops, freight yard and roundhouse, a

thing of life and beauty.

Stanley Junction had become a wide-awake town of some importance since

the shops had been moved there, and when a second line took it in as a

passing point, the old inhabitants pronounced the future of the Junction

fully determined.

Engine No. 6, with its headlight shining like a piece of pure crystal,

its metal trimmings furbished up bright and natty-looking, seemed to

understand that it was the model of the road, and sailed majestically to

a repose that had something of dignity and grandeur to it.

The usual crowd that kept tab on arriving trains lounged on the

platform, and watched the various passengers alight.

A brisk, bright-faced young fellow glided from their midst, cleared an

obstructing truck with a clever spring, stood ready to greet the

locomotive and express car as they parted company from the passenger

coaches, and ran thirty feet along the siding to where the freight-sheds

stood.

He appeared to know everybody, and to be a general favorite with every

one, for the brakeman at the coach-end air brake gave him a cheery: "Hi,

there, kid!" gaunt John Griscom, the engineer, flung him a grim but

pleased nod of recognition, and the fireman, discovering him, yelled a

shrill: "All aboard, now!"

The young fellow turned to face the latter with a whirl and struck an

attitude, as if entirely familiar with jolly Sam Cooper's warnings.

For the latter, reaching for a row of golden pippins stowed on his oil

shelf, contributed by some bumpkin admirer down the line, seized the

biggest and poised it for a fling.

"Here she goes, Ralph Fairbanks!" he chuckled.

"Let her come!" cried back Ralph, and--clip! he cut the missile's career

short by the latest approved baseball tactics.

Ralph pocketed the apple with a gay laugh, and was at the door of the

express section of the car as it slid back and the messenger's face

appeared.

The agent had come out of his shed. He glanced over an iron chest and

some crated stuff shoved forward by the messenger, and then, running his

eye over the bills of lading handed him by the latter, said briskly:

"You will not be needed this time, Ralph."

"All right, Mr. More."

"Nothing but some transferfreight and the bank delivery--that's my

special, you know. Be around for the 5.11, though."

"Sure," nodded Ralph Fairbanks, looking pleased at the brisk dismissal,

like a boy on hand for work, but, that failing, with abundant other

resources at hand to employ and enjoy the time.

With a cheery hail to the baggage master as he appeared on the scene,

Ralph rounded the cow-catcher, intent on a short cut across the tracks.

His appearance had been actuated by business reasons strictly, but,

business not materializing, he was quite as practical and eager on

another tack.

Ever since vacation began, three weeks previous, Ralph had made two

trips daily to the depot, on hand to meet the arriving 10.15 and 5.11

trains.

This had been at the solicitation of the express agent. Stanley

Junction was not a very large receiving point, but usually there were

daily several packages to deliver. When these were not for the bank or

business houses in the near center of the town, but for individuals, the

agent employed Ralph to deliver them, allowing him to retain the ten

cents fee for charges.

Sometimes Ralph picked up as high as fifty cents a day, the average was

about half that amount, but it was welcome pocket money. Occasionally,

too, some odd job for waiting passengers or railroad employes would come

up. It gave Ralph spending money with which to enjoy his vacation, and,

besides, he liked the work.

Especially work around the railroad. What live boy in Stanley Junction

did not--but then Ralph, as the express agent often said, "took to

railroading like a duck to water."

It was a natural heritage. Ralph's father had been a first-class,

all-around railroad man, and his son felt a justifiable pride in

boasting that he was one of the pioneers who had made the railroad at

Stanley Junction a possibility.

"Home, a quick bite or two, and then for the baseball game," said Ralph

briskly, as he ran his eye across the network of rails, and beyond them

to the waving tree tops and the village green. Preparing to make a run

for it, Ralph suddenly halted.

A grimed repair man, tapping the wheels of the coaches, just then jerked

back his hammer with a vivid:

"Hi, you!"

Ralph discerned that the man was not addressing him, for his eyes were

staringly fixed under the trucks.

"Let me out!" sounded a muffled voice.

Ralph was interested, as there struggled from the cindered roadbed an

erratic form. It was that of a boy about his own age. He judged this

from the dress and figure, although one was tattered, and the other

strained, crippled and bent. The face was a criss-cross streak of dust,

oil and cinders.

"A stowaway!" yelled the repair man, excitedly waving his hammer.

"Schmitt! Schmitt! this way!"

The depot officer came running around the end of the train at the call.

Ralph had eyes only for the forlorn figure that had so suddenly come

into action in the light of day.

He could read the lad's story readily. The last run of No. 6 was of ten

miles. There was no doubt but that for this distance, if not for a

greater one, the stowaway had been a "dead-head" passenger, perilously

clinging to the brace bars, or wedged against the trucks under the

middle coach.

The dust and grime must have half-blinded him, the roar have deafened,

for he staggered about now in an aimless, distracted way, hobbling and

wincing as he tried to get his cramped muscles into normal play.

"What you doing?" roared the old watchman, on a run, and waving his club

threateningly.

"I've done it!" muttered the boy dolefully. He kept hobbling about to

get his tensioned nerves unlimbered, edging away from the approaching

watchman as fast as he could.

"Show me!" he panted, appealingly to Ralph,

The latter understood the predicament and wish. He moved his hand very

meaningly, and the stowaway seemed to comprehend, for he glided to where

a heap of ties barricaded a dead-end track. Rubbing the blinding dirt

from his eyes, he cleared the heap, dropped on the other side, and ran

down a narrow lane bounded on one side by a brick wall and on the other

by a ten-foot picket fence.

"Third one in a week!" growled the watchman. "Got to stop! Against the

law, and second one lost a foot!"

Ralph moved along, crossed four tracks and a freight train blockaded,

and kept on down the straight rails. The stowaway had passed from his

mind. Now, glancing toward the fence, he saw the lad limping down the

lane.

The stowaway saw him, and coming to a halt grasped two of the fence

bars, and peered and shouted at him.

"Want me?" asked Ralph, approaching. He saw that the stowaway was in

bad shape, for he clung to the fence as if it rested him. He had not

yet gotten all the cricks out of his bones.

"It was a tough job," muttered the boy. "It took grit! Say, tell me

something, will you?"

Ralph nodded. The boy rubbed the knuckle of one hand across his coat to

wipe off the blood of an abrasion, and groped in a pocket.

"Where is that?" he asked, bringing to light an envelope, and holding it

slantingly for Ralph's inspection. "Can you tell me?"

"Why," said Ralph, with a start--"let me look at that!"

"No," demurred the other cautiously. "It's near enough to read. I want

to find that person."

"It's my name," said Ralph, quickly and with considerable wonderment.

"Give it to me."

"I guess not!" snapped the stowaway. "I don't know who John Fairbanks

is, but I know enough to be sure you ain't him."

"No, he was my father. Climb over the fence. I don't quite understand

this, and I want you to explain."

The stowaway sized up the fence, wincing as he lifted one foot, and

then, with a disgusted exclamation, turned abruptly and broke into a

run.

Ralph saw that the cause of this action was the watchman, who had come

into view through a doorway in the brick wall, and had started a new

pursuit of the boy.

He was a husky, clumsy individual, and had counted on heading off or

creeping unawares on the fugitive, but the latter, with a start, soon

outdistanced him, and was lost to Ralph's view where the lane broadened

out into the railroad scrap yards.

Ralph stood undecided for a minute or two, and then somewhat reluctantly

resumed his way.

"He'll find us, if he's got that letter to deliver," he concluded. "I

wonder what it can be? From somebody who doesn't know father is dead,

it seems."

Ralph neared home in the course of ten minutes, to save time crossing

lots to reach by its side door the plain, but comfortable looking,

neatly kept cottage that had been his shelter since childhood.

It was going to be a busy day with him, he had planned, and he flung off

his coat with a business air of hurriedpreparation for a change of

toilet.

Ten feet from the door through which he intended to bolt as usual with

all the impetuosity of a real flesh and blood boy, on the jump every

waking minute of his existence, Ralph came to an abrupt halt.

He expected to find his mother alone, and was ready to tell her about

the stowaway episode and the letter.

But voices echoed from the little sitting room, and the first

intelligible words his ear caught, spoken in a gruff snarl, made Ralph's

eyes flash fire, his fists clenched, and his breath came quick.

"Very well, Widow Fairbanks," fell distinctly on Ralph's hearing,

"what's the matter with that good-for-nothing son of yours going to work

and paying the honest debts of the family?"

CHAPTER II--WAKING UP

Ralph recognized that strident voice at once. It belonged to Gasper

Farrington, one of the wealthiest men of Stanley Junction, and one of

the meanest.

Whenever Ralph had met the man, and he met him often, one fact had been

vividly impressed upon his mind. Gasper Farrington had a natural

antipathy for all boys in general, and for Ralph Fairbanks in

particular.

The Criterion Baseball Club was a feature with juvenile Stanley

Junction, yet they had many a privilege abrogated through the influence

of Farrington. He had made complaints on the most trivial pretexts,

winning universal disrespect and hatred from the younger population.

More than once he had put himself out to annoy Ralph. In one instance

the latter had stood for the rights of the club in a lawyer-like manner.

He had beaten Farrington and the town board combined on technical legal

grounds as to the occupancy of a central ball field, and Ralph's

feelings towards the crabbed old capitalist had then settled down to

dislike, mingled with a certain silent independence that nettled

Farrington considerably.

He had publicly dubbed Ralph "the ringleader of those baseball

hoodlums," a stricture passed up by the club with indifference.

Ralph never set his eyes on Farrington but he was reminded of his

father. John Fairbanks had come to Stanley Junction before the Great

Northern was even thought of. He had thought of it first. A practical

railroad man, he had gone through all the grades of promotion of an

Eastern railway system, and had become a division superintendent.


生词表:
  • 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)
  • daylight [´deilait] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.日光;黎明   (初中英语单词)
  • mysterious [mi´stiəriəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.神秘的;难以理解的   (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)
  • repair [ri´peə] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.&n.修理,修补   (初中英语单词)
  • freight [freit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.运货 vt.运送;充满   (初中英语单词)
  • dignity [´digniti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.尊严,尊贵;高官显贵   (初中英语单词)
  • everyone [´evriwʌn] 移动到这儿单词发声  pron.=everybody 每人   (初中英语单词)
  • recognition [,rekəg´niʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.认出;认识;承认   (初中英语单词)
  • aboard [ə´bɔ:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.&prep.在…上   (初中英语单词)
  • messenger [´mesindʒə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.使者;送信人   (初中英语单词)
  • running [´rʌniŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.奔跑的;流动的   (初中英语单词)
  • transfer [træns´fə:] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.&n.迁移;调动;转让   (初中英语单词)
  • abundant [ə´bʌndənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.丰富的;充分的   (初中英语单词)
  • intent [in´tent] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.专心致志的 n.意图   (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)
  • previous [´pri:viəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.先,前,以前的   (初中英语单词)
  • retain [ri´tein] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.保持;保留;留住   (初中英语单词)
  • amount [ə´maunt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.总数;数量 v.合计   (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)
  • waiting [´weitiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.等候;伺候   (初中英语单词)
  • hammer [´hæmə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.锤子 v.重击   (初中英语单词)
  • excitedly [ik´saitidli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.兴奋地,激动地   (初中英语单词)
  • readily [´redili] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.乐意地;容易地   (初中英语单词)
  • aimless [´eimlis] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.没有目标;无目的的   (初中英语单词)
  • normal [´nɔ:məl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.正规的 n.正常状态   (初中英语单词)
  • envelope [´envələup] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.信封,封皮   (初中英语单词)
  • considerable [kən´sidərəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.重要的;值得重视   (初中英语单词)
  • abruptly [ə´brʌptli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.突然地;粗鲁地   (初中英语单词)
  • doorway [´dɔ:wei] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.门口   (初中英语单词)
  • cottage [´kɔtidʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.村舍;小屋;小别墅   (初中英语单词)
  • preparation [,prepə´reiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.准备;预习(时间)   (初中英语单词)
  • existence [ig´zistəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.存在;生存;生活   (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)
  • breath [breθ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.呼吸;气息   (初中英语单词)
  • distinctly [di´stiŋktli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.清楚地,明晰地   (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)
  • universal [,ju:ni´və:səl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.宇宙的;普遍的   (初中英语单词)
  • hatred [´heitrid] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.憎恨,敌意   (初中英语单词)
  • beaten [´bi:tn] 移动到这儿单词发声  beat 的过去分词   (初中英语单词)
  • capitalist [´kæpitəlist] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.资本主义的n.资本家   (初中英语单词)
  • independence [,indi´pendəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.独立,自主,自立   (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)
  • unexpected [ʌniks´pektid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.突然的;意外的   (高中英语单词)
  • pronounced [prə´naunst] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.发出音的;显著的   (高中英语单词)
  • repose [ri´pəuz] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.&n.(使)休息;安息   (高中英语单词)
  • baseball [´beisbɔ:l] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.棒球运动   (高中英语单词)
  • baggage [´bægidʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.行李   (高中英语单词)
  • strictly [´striktli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.严格地   (高中英语单词)
  • streak [stri:k] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.纹理 v.用线条(条纹)   (高中英语单词)
  • forlorn [fə´lɔ:n] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.被遗弃的;绝望的   (高中英语单词)
  • comprehend [,kɔmpri´hend] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.了解;领会;包含   (高中英语单词)
  • inspection [in´spekʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.检查;视察;参观   (高中英语单词)
  • cautiously [´kɔ:ʃəsli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.小心地;谨慎地   (高中英语单词)
  • clumsy [´klʌmzi] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.笨拙的;粗俗的   (高中英语单词)
  • fugitive [´fju:dʒitiv] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.逃亡者,亡命者   (高中英语单词)
  • hurried [´hʌrid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.仓促的,慌忙的   (高中英语单词)
  • abrupt [ə´brʌpt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.突然的;粗鲁的   (高中英语单词)
  • technical [´teknikəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.技术的;专门性的   (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)
  • 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)
  • conjure [´kʌndʒə] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.祈求;召(鬼);变魔术   (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)
  • grandeur [´grændʒə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.伟大;富丽;壮观   (英语四级单词)
  • cheery [´tʃiəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.愉快的;活泼的   (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)
  • admirer [əd´maiərə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.赞美者,羡慕者   (英语四级单词)
  • heritage [´heritidʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.遗产,继承物   (英语四级单词)
  • network [´netwə:k] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.网状物 vt.联播   (英语四级单词)
  • tattered [´tætəd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.(衣服等)破烂的   (英语四级单词)
  • watchman [´wɔtʃmən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(夜间)看守人   (英语四级单词)
  • gotten [´gɔtn] 移动到这儿单词发声  get的过去分词   (英语四级单词)
  • exclamation [,eksklə´meiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.喊(惊)叫;感叹词   (英语四级单词)
  • episode [´episəud] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.插曲;一段情节   (英语四级单词)
  • trivial [´triviəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.琐碎的;不重要的   (英语四级单词)
  • picket [´pikit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(尖)桩 v.设置;监视   (英语六级单词)
  • knuckle [´nʌkəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.指关节 vi.屈从   (英语六级单词)
  • holding [´həuldiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.保持,固定,存储   (英语六级单词)
  • juvenile [´dʒu:vənail] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.少年的 n.青少年   (英语六级单词)
  • publicly [´pʌblikli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.公然;公众所有地   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 18:16:17
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