"Did you see that, mister?" said an elevated railroad guard to a man who stood with him on the rear platform of the first car the other night.
"Well, then," added the guard, "you saw my three little children. They were kneeling at a trunk in front of the window of that house we passed. Over them stood their mother. She was about sending them to bed, but before they go she teaches 'em to pray for me, and she brings 'em there so I can see 'em.
"And," he added, with a manly attempt to keep his voice from trembling, "she has told me what she tells 'em to say."
"What is it?"
"I hope you won't think me childish, sir; but, as I guess you are a married man and a father, you may care to hear it. You see, it's this way: The kids go to bed at 9. That's about the time my train goes by the house. So just then she brings them up to the trunk in their nightgowns and makes 'em kneel down, with their hands clasped on their faces. And then they pray that papa will be good and kind and keep sober and bring home all his money, and" — The big guard's voice trembled.
"I'm rough, tough and all that," he at length continued, "but I love my wife, and I love my children. They are the only ones on earth that keep me straight.
"Bleeck-e-e-er! Good night, sir." And the train proceeded, leaving at least one man with tears in his eyes. — New York Recorder.
Friday, August 29, 2008