June 23, 2019

42.129N \ 80.085W

To The Public:— You may purchase our books of any news agent, aboard every passenger train in the United States, Canada, England and Australia, carrying a "news butcher." At depot and other news stands and all up-to-date news and book stores...




"It is my turn tonight to relate for your entertainment a story of my past, and I shall repeat to you the most pathetic happening that I have ever experienced in all my life. I have never been able to eradicate its details from my memory, as I witnessed its beginning with my own eyes, and its ending, many years later, was told to me by one of the principal participants."
"I shall not repeat to you one of the same, old, time-worn tales of how slick hoboes beat trains, nor fabled romance concerning harmless wanderlusters, nor jokes at the expense of the poor but honest man in search of legitimate employment, but I shall relate to you a rarely strange story that will stir your hearts to their innermost depths and will cause you to shudder at the villainy of certain human beings, who, like vultures seeking carrion, hunt for other people's sons with the intention of turning them into tramps, beggars, drunkards and criminals—into despised outcasts."
The man who spoke was a typical old-time harvester, who was known amongst his acquaintances as "Canada Joe", and the men for whose entertainment he offered to tell this story had, like himself, worked from dawn until nearly dark in the blazing sun and the choking dust of the harvest field, gathering the bounteous wheat crop of one of South Dakota's "Bonanza" farms, and who, now that their day's toil had been accomplished and their suppers partaken of, were lounging upon the velvety lawn in front of the ranch foreman's residence, and while the silvery stars were peacefully twinkling in the heavens overhead, they were repeating stories of their checkered lives, which only too often brought back memories of those long-ago days, before they too had joined the flotsam of that class of the "underworld", who, too proud to degrade themselves to the level of outright vagrancy while yet there was a chance to exchange long and weary hours of the hardest kind of labor for the right to earn an honorable existence, were nevertheless, included by critical society in that large clan of homeless drifters—"The Tramps".

_The Harvester_ The Samaritans_ The Wreck_ The Drifter_ The Call of the City_ The Golden Rule Hotel_ False Friends_ Busting a Broncho_ The Abyss_ Slippery, the Yegg_ The Wages of Sin is Death_ Scattered to the Winds_ Where is my Brother James_ The Noble Work of the Salvation Army_ Forgive and Forget_ All is Well, That Ends Well_

...every tramp gives his kid a nickname, a name that will distinguish him from all other members of the craft. You have been a good lad while you have been with me, in fact been always 'A-No. 1' in everything you had to do, and, Kid, take my advice, if you have to be anything in life, even if a tramp, try to be 'A-No. 1' all the time and in everything you undertake...




Many years have passed since the day that "Peoria Red" and I were caught out of doors and entirely unprepared to face one of the worst blizzards that ever swept down from the Arctic regions across the shelterless plains of the Dakotas.
We had been "hoboing" a ride upon a freight train and had been fired off by its crew at a lone siding about fifty miles east of Minot, North Dakota. In those early days trains were few and the chances that one of them would stop at this lone siding were so small that we decided to walk to the nearest water tank, which in those days of small engines were never more than twenty miles apart, and there catch another ride.
It was a clear winter morning, and the sun's rays were vacillating upon the snow, that like a gigantic bedspread covered the landscape, and which made walking upon the hidden and uneven track a most wearisome task, the more so as neither of us had tasted a mouthful of food since the preceding day's dinner hour. While we were debating and wondering how and where we would rake up a meal amongst the few and widely scattered ranches, the wind veered to the north and commenced to blow with ever increasing force. Soon heavy, gray clouds followed in its wake, and quickly overcast the sky, and by two o'clock in the afternoon the rapidly growing fury of the wind commenced to drive sharp pointed particles of snow before it, which, as the storm increased to cyclonic proportions, changed to masses of rotating darts, which cut into the exposed portions of our illy-clad bodies and made breathing a serious problem.
We soon gave up the small hope of being able to reach a ranch house, as to leave the railroad track would have spelled death, as we would have lost our way in a few minutes, as even now, while it was yet broad daylight, we could barely see a couple of telegraph poles ahead of us, and when night approached the ever increasing fury of the blizzard greatly reduced even this short distance.
Staggering against the snow storm our one ardent prayer was that we would reach our only hope for succor—one of those railroad section houses, which are located ten miles apart along the right of way of every railroad, and are the homes of a foreman and a crew of laborers who repair and keep the track under constant surveillance.
Every moment the cold increased, and although we were spurred on to almost superhuman efforts by sheer desperation to thwart the fate we knew would be ours should we falter by the way, gradually our strength failed us, and although we tried to encourage each other to quicker progress, it took every vestige of our will power to drag our benumbed feet from step to step against the howling, snow-laden hurricane.
Peoria Red piteously pleaded with me to stop so he could recuperate, but well knowing the result should we linger, I shouted my warnings to him above the screaming of the storm, and when he reeled and even sank into the snow, I pulled him back upon his feet and forced him to move on.
Presently I felt myself overtaken by the same drowsiness that had enthralled Peoria Red, and a queer numbness which as it crept upwards from my feet seemed to kill my ambition to battle for life against the "Death of the Arctic."
Just as the last gleam of the blood-red sky which reflected the setting sun was swallowed up in the swirling masses of ice motes, Peoria Red sank beside the track, and although I tried everything to cause him to realize his danger if he failed to follow me, he keeled helplessly over into the snow, while a glassy stare in his half-shut eyes told me that he was doomed.
Then my own danger came home to me. Self-preservation is the first law of nature, and I promptly realized that to save my own life I must reach the section house, which I felt assured could not be many miles ahead of me, and where I would not only find shelter for myself, but perhaps obtain assistance to rescue my pal before it would be too late.
After taking one more farewell look at Peoria Red I made a step towards the track, but fell heavily to the ground. During the minutes I had lingered to save the life of my partner my feet seemed to have been turned into solid lead. I laughed aloud. As I was yet in full possession of my mental faculties this seemed to me a cruel joke, and I tried to arise so I could by stamping revive the circulation of the blood, but every time I arose half way I tumbled helplessly back into the snow. The desire to live increased, and when I felt the numbness creep from my limbs into my body, I crawled alongside Peoria Red and snuggled closely against him, hoping that our mutual body warmth would stave off the crisis to the last possible moment. He was groaning, and mustering the last vestige of control I yet had over my benumbed hands, I searched about in the darkness until I found his frozen fingers, and clasping them in my own I placed my mouth close to his ear and pleaded with him to bid me farewell. He was too far gone to speak, but twice a faint pressure against my frozen fingers told me that he had understood me, and I responded in the same manner. These were our farewells to each other in this world, a fitting finish to the tragedies of our toilful and thankless lives. I sank back into the snow and while I dreamily watched the snowflakes weave our spotless shroud, I dozed away and dreamed of those glorious, care-free days when I was yet with the "old folks" at home, chasing bright-hued butterflies in the warmth of the sunshine of youth and happiness.
The next thing I recall was a burning sensation in my throat, which involuntarily caused me to open my eyes. I felt as if I had slept for such a long time that all my faculties had become useless, for I could not, try as I might, utter a word or move a muscle, although to this day I vividly remember having heard a man, whom I could plainly see as he poured a steaming liquid into my open mouth, exclaim: "Thank God we are having better luck reviving this poor fellow than we had with the other one! Look, he has just opened his eyes, and listen, can you not hear him faintly groan?" Then I wandered back into dream-land—into a most dangerous delirium which lasted for several weeks and during which I hung as if by a mere thread, betwixt life and death.
When I recovered my reason, I found that I was domiciled in the bunk house, that together with the section house and tool house form the total of buildings upon every railroad "section" reservation. The foreman and his family resided in the section house, a two-story building; the tool house was used for storing the hand car and the track tools, while the bunk house, a small, one-story building, formed primarily the sleeping quarters, and secondly the social center of the section crew, whose five roughly dressed men were only permitted to enter the adjacent section house, where they boarded, at meal hours, as the foreman's home was at all other times considered by them a sort of hallowed spot. But the bunk house was their own, as within it they slept at night in the wooden "bunks", which were nailed one adjoining the other, all around the boarded walls, while in the center a small stove in which a roaring fire was kept up, made things comfortable for the inmates when they returned in the evenings after their day's work was done, and all day every Sunday--their day of rest.
While the men were absent and I was yet unable to attend to my needs, a sweet-faced lady looked after my wants and gave me my medicine. She was the foreman's wife, and her ever cheering words with never a sign of weariness that I, a sick and penniless harvester, should have so unexpectedly become a charge upon her hands, were most grateful to me.
I made inquiries among the laborers and ascertained from their answers that I was being cared for at the very section house that Peoria Red and I had striven to reach during the howling blizzard. I tried to find out what had become of my partner, but somehow they evaded my questions and it was many days before I managed by slow degrees to learn from them the facts concerning his absence.
During the height of the blizzard the foreman had ordered his crew out and upon their hand car driven at a lively rate by the power of the wind they had inspected every switch and car standing on sidings upon their section, to assure themselves that everything was properly safeguarded. While they were slowly "pumping" the hand car homeward, fighting against the force of the raging snow storm, they discovered us lying closely cuddled together, all but buried in the snow and beginning the eternal sleep of death. They stopped, and finding that we were yet faintly breathing, they loaded us upon the hand car and brought us to the section reservation.
Here by every means known to them they tried to revive the flickering sparks of life left in our frozen bodies. In my case they were successful, but Peoria Red, poor fellow, failed to respond to their heroic efforts. The following day they buried him on a slight elevation, diagonally across the track from the bunk house, where, whenever I looked in that direction, I could plainly discern the white board cross that the whole-souled laborers had erected to mark his grave.
The section foreman's name was Henry McDonald. He was a kind-hearted, yet stern man who demanded utmost obedience of those whom he commanded, while at the same time he was a loving father to his family. Foreman McDonald had none but the friendliest of greetings for me and he spent many moments at the bunk house trying to cheer me in my hard luck. Whenever I felt ill at ease for having added such a heavy burden to his small income, his quaint answer would always be: "Joe, what little we can do for you we would cheerfully do for any human being in distress. We do not ask for your excuses, as I feel that the Almighty above us will take care of me and my family, the pride of my humble life."
When I recovered some of my former strength I did the "chores" for the section foreman's wife, who not only boarded the five members of her husband's crew, but took proper care of her four healthy and ever hungry children.
The oldest one of them, a boy of sixteen, was named Donald. Then came a set of lively boy twins of fourteen, who had been baptized "Joseph" and "James", but who were for convenience called Joe and Jim. These twins resembled each other so closely that only their parents and intimate acquaintances could tell them apart. They were inseparable companions, and full of boyish mischief. The fourth child, the pet of everybody, was a beautiful, doll-like baby girl of three, whose name was Helen.
There was one singular imperfection about these children, that they had inherited from their father, which was a freak growth of an inch-wide streak of white hair which started from the center of their heads and continued downwards to the base of their skulls, and which as it showed plainly in their black hair made this strange birth-mark all the more conspicuous. Otherwise they were mentally, morally and physically perfect, and while I was convalescing I often stood by the window and watched them at play in the snow and it caused me to shudder every time I heard those youngsters shout with glee while they enjoyed the winter's sports, when I thought of poor Peoria Red whom this same merciless snow helped to murder.
In the evenings after supper had been served, I could see from the bunk house window how baby Helen in her sleeping room across the road in the section house knelt and humbly repeated her evening prayer, and then just before she was put to rest for the night, her father would kiss her "good-night", and as soon as he had left the room her sweet-faced mother would smother her with kisses before she tucked her darling between the spotless sheets of her cradle, and many were the times that I turned away from this picture of perfect domestic happiness as tears were welling into my eyes, for I realized that I had missed that which is most sublime in all creation: A loving wife and devoted mother; a healthy baby and one's own "home, sweet Home."




Gradually I regained the use of my one-time totally frozen limbs, and when I felt myself able to do the severe labor required of men who toil upon a railroad section to earn their daily bread, I begged Foreman McDonald to allow me to work with his crew. I explained to him that this would be the greatest favor he could do for me, who found himself marooned many hundreds of miles from a city, without a job and penniless, in the midst of a bleak, snow-buried prairie. I also argued with him that to give me employment would be the easiest means for me to discharge my debt to him, which, although he absolutely refused to listen to any talk of indebtedness on my part, amounted to a tidy sum. He finally consented, and I commenced my task, fully equipped with warm clothes that were generously donated to me by my fellow laborers. The first time the pay-car stopped and the paymaster handed me my envelope I repaid Foreman McDonald every cent I owed him, and although this settled my financial indebtedness to him, the debt I owe him to this day for his timely help can never be repaid with mere coin.

One other time the pay-car stopped, and then the glad holidays of Christmas approached, and when the happy Yule-tide was just a week away, Foreman McDonald procured for each laborer a return pass to St. Paul. We went and made our Christmas purchases and returned after an absence of three days, each of us staggering under the weight of a heavily-laden sack which we carried slung over our backs, from the train into the bunk house.

Every spare minute until Christmas Eve there was a mysterious activity within the crowded space of the small bunk house. We were not only busy sorting over the purchases we had made in the big cities, which included a suitable present for each one of our foreman's family down to baby Helen, and one for each of the laborers, but we were kept busy keeping the youngsters from prying into the secrets which we did not wish to be revealed to them until Christmas Eve.

One of us had smuggled in a small Christmas tree, while another one had purchased the long whiskers that always go with a genuine "Santa Claus", so dear to the hearts of the children.

At last the natal feast of the Savior arrived, and to the complete surprise and delight of the McDonald family, we marched over to the foreman's home, led by old "Santa Claus", who in all his glory of a fur cap, long white hair and snowy whiskers, carried a wondrously decorated Christmas tree. We were royally welcomed, and after the Christmas tree's colored candles had been lighted and our presents had been distributed, we received those which had been purchased for us by the foreman and his thoughtful wife. Amidst the shouts of glee of the youngsters, and especially of Baby Helen, the hours flew past only too soon. The time came for her to be put to bed, and the moment arrived for our departure, but just before we went, the stern overseer of our work descended to the level of a satisfied father, and proudly permitted each one of us to kiss his baby's forehead, a most signal honor considering circumstances. As we were returning to our bunk house, he called from the porch of the section house, reminding us to be sure to be in proper shape on the coming day to enjoy the best Christmas dinner that his wife, who was a very good cook, had ever placed before guests.

No sooner had we entered our bunk house than we threw off all the restraint of etiquette which we had to observe at the "big" house, and quickly had a roaring fire in our stove, and while out of doors another blizzard was playing a tattoo upon the telegraph wires and was piling tons of snow upon the right of way, we had brewing in a pot upon the stove something that is not altogether in accordance with the tenets of temperance, but which meant additional cheer to us, whose thoughts were ever and anon slipping back to those days when we spent happy Christmas Eve's in very different surroundings. It was a curious fact, that although we celebrated till into the wee, small hours of the morning, when the first one of us crawled into his bunk it was only a few minutes until all of us had followed his example. We seemed to hate to be left alone.

About daybreak a loud pounding upon the door of our bunk house aroused us from our slumbers, and while we rubbed the drowsiness out of our eyes we heard Foreman McDonald calling to us to make haste, as a wrecking train was waiting to take us up the line to clear away a bad wreck.

It took little time for us to slip into our clothes, rush to the tool house and throw our track implements aboard the wrecker, and then climb into the coaches provided for our accommodation, in which were other section crews who had been picked up below us, and into which were loaded those for whom we stopped west of our reservation.

We had the right-of-track over every other train upon the line, and with six powerful engines pushing a snow-plow at full speed ahead of us, we reached our destination in almost record time, where we were put to work clearing away a serious wreck, which had been caused by a heavy passenger train running into a snow drift during a blinding blizzard, and having at the same time been derailed from the tender back to the rear truck beneath the last sleeper. For three days and nights we worked like beavers, taking turns in eight hour shifts, sleeping and dining in the "bunk" cars attached to the wrecking train, shoveling away the solidly packed snow, "jacking" up the coaches, one at a time, and replacing the trucks upon the rails, and in the afternoon of the third day our combined efforts were rewarded, for amid the gladsome whistling of its engine the released train resumed its interrupted, eastbound journey.

We laborers were detained an additional day removing the wreckage, reloading the apparatus used and putting everything into a first-class condition for the resumption of the regular schedule. Then we boarded the wrecker to be distributed along the line.

The wrecking train's speed rapidly closed the gap of miles separating us from our reservation, and when at last—at about supper time—we entered upon our own section, we noted a satisfied sparkle in Foreman McDonald's eyes, when the cars, which had heretofore been lurching like ships at sea, spun with hardly a perceivable motion over the well attended road bed. Now the whistle blew for our section house; the brakes gripped the flanges of the wheels, and we gathered our belongings so as not to unnecessarily delay the others, and when the train stopped we soon had our track tools piled in front of our tool house. Then the wrecking train continued its journey, and while we stored our tools away we noted the disappointed look in our foreman's face when neither his wife nor any of his children came to greet him, or at least inquire as to the extent of the wreck, a most interesting item of gossip, considering the lonely location of our reservation.

When we had finished our task and the foreman had carefully locked the tool house, and while he walked towards the "big" house where not yet a single soul had opened the door to give him the usual glad greeting, although by the lamp that was illuminating the parlor we could see Mrs. McDonald and her children sitting about the heater, we hustled over to the bunk house, in which we quickly kindled a fire and then brought order out of the chaos we had left behind when we had been so unexpectedly called away to clear the track.

While we were thus busily engaged, our work was suddenly interrupted by several almost demoniacal shrieks that seemed to belong to Hades, and as if driven by some common impulse, we rushed pell mell out of doors and towards the "big" house. But before we could even reach it, we stopped short as if rooted into the ground, for there upon the front porch, with his face uplifted towards the starry firmament above him, stood Foreman McDonald, tearing like a raving maniac at the hairs of his head, while through the quietude of the night reverberated his heart-rending shrieks: "Oh God! Give me back my baby! Bring back my darling Helen! Merciful Father, do not punish me so cruelly as this!"

While we stood there wondering as to the causes of Foreman McDonald's strange pleading, his wife, pale as the snow, came from around the rear of the section house and begged us to take hold of Mr. McDonald to prevent him from harming himself, and when at this moment we saw the strong man sink into a corner of the porch and commence to pray aloud, we made a rush and after we took hold of him it required every bit of strength we six husky men could muster to restrain and drag him into the section house, where we stretched and tied him upon his bed and gave him narcotics that caused him to fall into a deep slumber.

While we sat about his bed watching his every move, poor Mrs. McDonald repeated to us, amid heart-racking sobs, the dire calamity that had overtaken her happy family since our departure. That Helen, the pet of the family and of the rough section men, had disappeared from her home, leaving not a trace. Further questioning elicited from the distracted mother this information:

The blizzard had given way to a perfectly calm afternoon, and after they had enjoyed their Christmas dinners, Mrs. McDonald had watched Helen toddle behind her brothers to where the passing siding turned away from the main line, permitting a small pond to form, which, being smooth as glass and swept clear of snow by the storm, offered a splendid opportunity to try out their new skates, which they had received amongst their presents.

The youngsters were altogether too busy enjoying their rare sport to pay heed to their baby sister, and when darkness approached they scampered back to the house where they told their mother of the good time they had had. Her first question, however, was concerning the whereabouts of little Helen, as she quickly noted her absence from the returning children. "Boys, where have you left your little sister?" "Why, mother," readily replied Donald, her eldest son, "Helen must have been back to the house long ago, as we have not seen her since she watched us put on our new skates."

Tormented by a mother's instinct which told her that all was not well with her child, Mrs. McDonald, assisted by her sons, made a thorough search of the house, thinking that perhaps the baby might have toddled back to its home, tired of watching her brothers skate upon the pond, and had, unobserved by her mother, entered one of the bed rooms and gone to sleep. Carefully she looked through every room and then she searched the whole building from cellar to garret, all the while loudly calling for her missing darling, but the search proved futile.

Then she lit lanterns, one for herself and one for each of her boys, and together they searched through the bunk house, the tool house and every other out-building on the reservation, but all their hunting was of no avail, as they found no trace of the child.

Up and down the right-of-way they searched, hoping to find the tracks in the soft snow showing the direction the tot might have taken, but every effort was in vain, and they had almost reached the garden gate of the house, all of them broken-heartedly weeping, having given up all hope of ever hearing again of their Helen, when "Spot", the shepherd dog, the playmate of the children, came racing towards them, swinging a rag, that he held between his sharp teeth, playfully about his head. He had been awakened by his mistress's calls for her child, and the lighted lanterns they carried had fooled the intelligent canine into reasoning that this was to be a prolongation of the Christmas festivities of the preceding night, and he had promptly entered into the spirit of the game.

Mrs. McDonald called the dog to her side, and examined the supposed rag the beast had played with, and found it to be the first clue that she had thus far discovered, as it was little Helen's red flannel undergarment. Reeling but upheld by the thought that she might not yet be too late, poor Mrs, McDonald ordered her boys to take securely hold of Spot, and then she ran as fast as her fright and weakened feet would carry her, to the dog's house, but its interior and the usual slim appearance of the watch dog, disproved the terrible notion which had caused her to make the hasty trip, that Spot had made a meal of her baby. Grateful from the bottom of her heart for even this small relief in her terrible perdicament, she rejoined her boys, and as sort of forlorn hope, she rubbed Helen's tiny garment against the dog's nose, and ordered the collie to go and find the missing child.

The intelligent animal seemed to understand what was demanded of him, for presently, whining as if to appeal to them to go with him, he rushed forward, and as they followed he led them to the pond, then across the tracks where he stopped by a small pile of clothes, which proved to be every stitch of little Helen's garments—shoes, stockings and all, with the sole exception of a tiny gold locket containing her parents' pictures, which Mrs. McDonald had hung by its gold chain around the baby's neck, and the red flannel garment that the dog had brought to their attention, no doubt considering it a most welcome plaything.

Back to the section house she dragged herself carrying the tiny garments. Arriving there, she carefully questioned the boys and brought out only one more useless item, that a westbound immigrant train had pulled into the siding to permit an eastbound passenger train to pass them.

For four seemingly endless days the poor mother with her three small boys helplessly waited for someone to assist her, her husband and all the other men having gone to the wreck. Telephones were unknown in those days, and with no strong hands to pump the heavy hand car through the foot-high snow that now covered the track, there was nothing else to do but to hope, as she did not dare send one of her sons to the nearest village, not knowing at what moment a blizzard might add another calamity to her burden of woe. In all those long days, until the released passenger train flew past, not a single train passed up or down the line, so all she and her children could do was to weep and wait for her husband's return, to whom she then told all the circumstances of the child's disappearance, which affected him far more than she thought it would be possible.

After she had finished her sad story she asked us to give her our opinion as to the cause of the baby's disappearance. One of our men had the most likely solution of the riddle as he thought that the baby had watched her brothers discard their overcoats, and later their coats, as the exercise while skating warmed them, and Helen, childlike, thinking this the proper thing, had in a playful mood discarded her clothes, intending to skate barefooted upon the glistening ice, and finding that the cold snow hurt her feet, and being unable to don her garments, had wandered out upon the bleak prairie and had been frozen to death, the fate that had overtaken Peoria Red and so many strong men.

Leaving one man to act as nurse to the foreman, we others returned to the bunk house, as Mr. McDonald's heavy and regular breathing assured us that he would at least rest peacefully until the following morning.

For several days, undaunted by constant failures to accomplish anything, we carefully searched the right of way and the prairie for our pet, and had Spot, the collie, assist us, but finally were forced to believe that little Helen had departed for the land of the Angels.

In the evenings, to while away the hours and to be in readiness when in the Spring the warm rays of the sun would remove the snowy shroud and reveal to us her mortal remains, we constructed a small coffin, that we carefully painted a somber black, and we also whittled another white cross, which should in due time mark her eternal resting place.

For weeks Foreman McDonald raved in a high fevered delirium, but gradually, assisted by the railroad company's physician, who made frequent calls at the section house, and the loving aid and attention of his ever faithful wife, he rallied so far that he again became able to take us out on the track and personally direct our work.

Night after night, for months after her disappearance, when our supper had been served at the big house, and we had returned to the bunk house and had blown out the lamp before retiring, the stern foreman, now only a broken hearted father, yearning for his own sweet baby girl, would slip noiselessly, and he thought unobserved, out of the front door of the section house, and slink stealthily to the very spot where his darling's tiny garments had been found, and there amid heart-rending shrieks, which we in our bunk house could plainly hear above the weird moanings of the winter storms, he would dig with his bare hands deep into the cruel snow, searching for his lost baby—his own little Helen.

As Spring approached the warming rays of the sun finally conquered the thick snow blanket that covered the landscape, and led by our foreman we carefully searched the prairie, praying to be permitted to give at least a human burial to his daughter's earthly remains, but it nearly wrecked his mind when even this privilege was denied him, as we found not a trace of the child.

Then, hoping to lighten somewhat the fearful burden of woe borne by her parents, we placed those last mementos of her brief visit upon earth into the little black coffin that we had constructed, and gave the baby's garments a solemn burial alongside the mound of my partner, Peoria Red, and above the new mound we erected the other white cross to keep company with the first one, and tell its silent story to the passengers who flew past aboard swift trains, that two pitiful tragedies had been enacted at this lone section reservation within the short span of a few months.



Where to Obtain Our Books_

To The Public:—

You may purchase our books of any news agent, aboard every passenger train in the United States, Canada, England and Australia, carrying a "news butcher." At depot and other news stands and all up-to-date news and book stores. If residing far in the country, your store keeper, always willing to handsomely add to his income, may get our titles for you by requesting us to furnish him the address of the nearest jobber.

To The Dealer:—

The American News Company and all its branches throughout the United States and Canada, and all other reliable jobbers from Halifax to San Diego and from Dawson City to Key West always carry a complete line of our books in stock.

Dealers should furnish a fair display to our books and explain to customers that their text is not only good reading but also that the stories are based on actual experiences of the author who wasted thirty years on the Road.

Do not bury the "A-No. 1 Books" on shelves or in train boxes, but give them a chance to prove their great selling merit. One copy sold is sure to bring a sale of the complete set to the reader, so entertaining are the stories which cover every interesting phase of tramp life.

Yours respectfully,

The A-No. 1 Publishing Company

Erie, Pa., U.S.A.