Page images
PDF
EPUB

was not done on scientific principles, the protective shield. Externally it looks snow-plow's charge of a mountainous like a wrecking car, and inside it is the drift often spelled disaster; and from the engine that works the "eater," which broken machine hurled back by the ice- bites into the white drift that bars East hard drift, brave men were dug out dead from West. At the machine's end is a or dying of broken limbs. At Truckee, great wheei in a circular shell. This California, eight engines once "bucked" wheel has oblique cutting flanges, that head-long into a slide pack, and from the bore into the snow mountain, whirling débris less than half their crews came the while like the screw propellers of a forth uninjured!

ship. Behind the propelling engines But the rotary of today, that cuts come the tender and repair cars, and through mighty snow-masses which in those containing the laborers and their the early days would have meant com- tools. plete blockade, is one of the marvels of It is an inspiring sight to see the romodern railroading. In effect it is a tary hurled with a rush and a plunge monstrous revolving auger carried in a into the white mass. Dense smoke pours

from the eager engines; the great blades of the rotary eat relentlessly into the drift, and the snow shoots out of the holes at the side, forming a vast white nimbus, constantly moving forward in triumph. At length only the spouting stacks of the locomotives are seen, belching blackness in the virgin wilderness.

A few hours later the luxurious “Limited”

comes tearing along A "Wash-OUT" ON THE MEXICAN SOUTHERN RAILROAD, LEAVING THE TRACK SUSPENDED IN AIR.

with its palace cars, HAVOC WROUGHT BY FLOOD THAT HAS PASSED ON THE MADRAS ROAD, INDIA. and elaborate restaurants, whose diners difficult and dangerous business to feed little dream what labor was entailed the marooned passengers and get out the to get those shining metals clear for mails. their opulent flyer. In Canada one One snow-wreath on the Inverness and may see in the Rocky Mountain section Perth Line was attacked by two hundred eight linked engines charging impotently and thirty men with scarcely a break for against colossal snow-banks. A marvel- two months before a single train could ous sight in dense darkness, with each be got through. The snow nearly reached roaring and hissing locomotive throwing the telegraph wires. Traffic was totally a fitful light on the wood-laden tenders, closed for six weeks, and whole trainand great snow walls, from which emerge loads of fish and live stock were lost. here and there tall silent trees that seem Given certain conditions on the Highland to press round and mock by their awful Railroad in winter, a strong breeze will stillness this useless fuss and fury. And obliterate the railroad track in five minwhen dawn comes you will see the rotary, utes, even though no snow may be fallwith its twelve-foot rosette flange, boring ing at the time. A striking feature of its way amid a graceful arch of silver the landscape from the Perthshire Gramdust, flung rainbow-wise into the freezing pians to the shores of Pentland Firth are air to descend like fountains over the the snow-screens and corrugated iron half-buried posts of the telegraph.

[graphic]
[graphic][graphic]

FREIGHT TRAIN ON THE CORDOBA AND ROSARIO RAILWAY, ARGENTINE REPUBLIC, BLOWN

OVER BY A CYCLONE.

[graphic]

slopes intended to frustrate both snow Nor are the British Companies free and sand, driven into the cuttings on the from this trouble, especially in Scotland. bleak moors of Caithness and SutherThe Highland Railroad is perhaps the land. Another Scottish Company, the worst sufferer; and the Sutherland and North Eastern, has lost as much as Caithness section will be totally blocked $5,000,000 in one winter through snow; eight or ten times each winter by wreaths this enormous sum including loss of many miles long and forty feet deep. In traffic. such a drift two or three trains may be But perhaps the special enemy of the entombed for a whole week and it is a railroad in the old countries is the

[graphic]

THE ROTARY SNOW-PLOW CHARGING A BIG DRIFT ON THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.

Fog-Fiend. The Midland Railroad of England pays $50,000 a year to men who place detonating fog-signals on the tracks; besides. $15,000 for the little hollow metal discs themselves. The London and North Western Railroad frequently uses 20,000 detonators during twenty-four hours of a bad fog. But we may be sure that no matter what new move the forces of Nature make to embarrass the railroad compa

Snow Plows DEFEATED. nies of the world, the Scene along the Highland Railway, Scotland. Waiting for the Surfacemen to brains and intelligence

dig them out. controlling these corporations will always devise means of get- damage and plant new and improved deting the upper hand. It must be so, other- fences that win victory and then stand wise we should be deprived of one of our tentative another season, until their demost vital necessaries in complex modern signers see how the protean enemy take life:

them, and what new move will be atThus, when Nature has done her worst tempted as a counter-attack. Yet Nature along come the busy gangs to repair the always has some new surprise for them.

[graphic]

A Quiet Life

Warm fireside nooks - the newest books,

A chummy friend like you,
A wife that's fair-an easy-chair-

A bowl and pipes for two,
A song or two, the kind that woo

Our thoughts from care and strife,
A mind that's bent on sweet content;
This is the Happy Life.

-By HARVEY PEAKE, in The Bohemian.

The Man
With the Baneful Eye

By Harry B. Allyn

P

[ocr errors]

OLDEN went carefully and he leaned upon the table, unnerved over a formula in his mind, and helpless. Startled first, then astonas he sat by his laboratory ished, he grew quickly terrified by this table intently watching the Frankenstein of light he had unknowsolution in the test-tube ingly brought into existence. It seemed before him.

fairly to penetrate his brain and to numb Then he added the contents of a small his faculties, and suddenly he felt its vial, drop by drop. As the liquid from power strike in upon him like some the vial settled in independent globules to superhuman force which grappled with the bottem he arose to his feet, the better his mind—and conquered. Something to watch the chemical action that was hissed in his ears like the tongues of taking place.

serpents. He straightened up in an The globules sank slowly down. Just agony of pain, at once physical and before reaching the bottom, they shat- mental, and, clasping his hands over his tered and an ebulition began which, searing eyeballs, he fell back into his gradually rising upward, took on a glow chair and thence, unconscious, to the of a wholly strange and unnatural light, floor. increasing in intensity momentarily.

It was midnight when the final experiJohn Holden had passed through many ment had reached its climax. When trying and some thrilling experiences in Holden opened his eyes again, the sunhis search for knowledge on chemical light was struggling through the crevices matters, but this experiment, the final of the shutters and mingling with the test upon the value of months of arduous, garish gas-light. With dizzy head and

the climax, to set the crown of genuine self from the floor to his chair. Amazediscovery upon his efforts.

ment and dismay possessed him first, then But already the glow in the tube was the scientific mind forgot all else in proving strong to a degree of which he searching for new knowledge to be had never dreamed. So intense, so pow gained from the experience. He ponerful was it that it seemed to be gaining dered upon the exact conditions that had a hold upon him, upon body and mind, brought so strange a result. demonstrating a slow but growing mas- But the events of the night seemed far tery over the brain that had created it; back in the past—all but the memory of

« PreviousContinue »