Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Corpse Had a Pistol


A Telegraph Operator's Exciting Experience in a Texas Railroad Depot.

"Talk about being scared to death, why, gentlemen, you don't know your A B C's until you have served in the railroad business on the frontier, as I had to do when I was quite a boy."

The speaker was a man beyond the border lines of middle age, with iron gray hair and a strong, rugged face, which showed by its lines that he had seen the service of a hard life in some forsaken region of this mortal vineyard.

"When I was a young man," he resumed, "I was depot agent for a road that ran out into the wilds of Texas. The country was not well settled, and I had a rather lonesome time of it out there. I never knew any minute that I would not be attacked the next, and train wrecking was a frequent occurrence on the line.

"One night I was sitting in the little depot by the lonely railroad track, keeping track of the trains over the wires, when something happened that I will not forget till I die. There was in the depot a coffin that had been brought there on the midnight train, strange to say, unattended by any one. It was addressed to some party in the neighborhood, who, according to my presumption, had been detained by swollen streams from coming to the station after it that night, so I had the ghastly casket placed in the depot to await the man who called for it. It was a rainy night, and as there was but one room to the depot I had the corpse for a companion that night and had about made up my mind to make the best of the situation till morning. It was about 3 o'clock, and I was clicking away with my telegraph key when I heard a noise in the direction of the coffin. Turning with a shudder, I was crazed with fright to see the lid of the coffin burst and a live corpse pop his head up with a pistol in his hand and start toward me.

"What did I do? Why, broke through the back door and left the fellow in the depot. I don't think I stopped running until I was a mile in the woods. As soon as I recovered I went back and waked the only two citizens of the place, and we went to the depot. Of course the robber had taken all the money I had and fled." — Atlanta Constitution.

No comments: