Puslapio vaizdai

bly swiftly, and I alone stood still. I fought against it, fought myself. Do you understand? It changed to a sensation of rushing backward. So dizzy I became that I was constrained to squat at the foot of a tree, pushing against it hard with my back, and press my temples until I felt the pain of it. Then I heard a sound, and looked up. I saw, or thought I saw, something. The earth seemed to tremble and heave. Out from it came swiftly a hideous thing, clay-colored and huge, a mighty mass of living flesh. The mud fell from it to right and left. I was breathless and unable to stir. The thing pushed upward and forward with clumsy, lumbering movements, side to side, extricating itself, growing huger each moment. Then I realized that what I saw was only the head and shoulders. The head turned slightly, so that I saw the upper part of it, blunt and triangular beyond the shoulder. The heavy-lidded eyes I saw. Then I noticed the mud dripping heavily, and part of the fore leg coming from the slime. My God! send that there are no such things on earth and that I was really mad!

"I remember rolling down the steep bank and falling into the river, so shaded and still, and then there was an awe-inspiring roar, dreadful to hear. I swam. I do not know. I cannot talk of it."

The man sighed deeply. It was almost a stifled sob. He was ashen

faced. When he spoke again, his voice was perceptibly huskier.

"There is no more to tell," he said. "There were weeks and weeks of misery in that jungle, and wanderings that I forget-wanderings in the swamp lands, and most wonderfully I came to Mannos and, in time, to Para, where the consul was good to me."

He ceased suddenly and fell to smoking. It was a long time before I dared to speak, but said at last:

"And you purpose to return?"

"I want to get back to the people, to where the superstition of gold is absent," he said. "Only there is the world sane. Only there do people enjoy their days and love the earth and know the beauty of life. Gold blinds all others. So I must go to the gentle people again. That is, if they will have me. have me. Then there's this expedition."

His voice was tense now.

"Suppose. You see, once I might have been a traitor to them. I dreamed of something of the sort, a betrayal to my own people. If this expedition is a success- Well, where white people go and where there is gold, sorrow and disease and death follow. The consul at Para knew something of my story. Would it not be a good thing to save a race, a gentle people, from destruction?”

The man's story stayed with me. And, as I said, since learning of the failure of the expedition, I have wondered much.


"What's the Matter with the


III- The Twilight of Competition

HE distinguished jurist who not many years ago startled the nation by saying that he could save a million dollars a day in the operation of its railroads was quite right. Mr. Justice Brandeis then proposed to accomplish his great savings by radical operating economies. In the earlier articles of this series I have indicated certain economies in operation that might easily be effected upon our carriers if they were worked with the proper imagination and vision. We have already seen how, in a two years' test, the motorized terminals of the city of Cincinnati have saved the railroads there over a thousand dollars a day. This was only one typical American city. It would not take many such terminal savings to make a fair part of the national economy proposed by Justice Brandeis. Similarly, we have hinted before at economies to be accomplished in branch-line operation by electrification of lines, the substitution of gasolene for steam as a motive power, or, where it is most economical to retain the steam locomotive, the development of cars and locomotives small enough to handle local and shorthaul traffic at a real operating profit. It is the present practice of most of our railroads to relegate nearly worn-out main-line equipment to these branch line and local services.

In fact, it is one of the present-day grievances of New England, where local service to-day is almost at its very worst, and where, in the nature of the territory and the congestion of the population, it might reasonably be expected to be at its very best, that some of the men who are attempting to operate its most important lines are railroad operators schooled in the Far West in long-haul movements, and therefore quite unfitted for the shorthaul density of traffic that the northeastern corner of this land gives. The New-Englander frequently calls attention to the similarity between his corner of the land and old England. Each is a great manufacturing area, dependent upon the outer world for both its raw materials and the major portion of its market for its finished products. New England is, if anything, a little worse off than old, which at least produces its fuel. The fuel energy that drives most of its mills New England must bring from afar.

A New-Englander notices that an English railway car is a small and simply made affair, constructed almost invariably of wood and carrying only from five to ten tons of merchandise. It is hardly larger than some of the great motor-trucks that to-day are tearing our American highways to pieces.

He thinks he finds the reason for them.

"Years ago they built their clearances too closely set together," he says. "Now they can't afford to change them. It would cost a national debt or two to rebore all the tunnels." But the Yankee railroader is only partly right. The British railway men are quite content with their tunnel and bridge clearances. They feel confident that they themselves know something about railroading. They know, for instance, that one of their fourwheeled, five-ton "wagons" can be handled easily with a horse; in an emergency with the stout arms of three or four able-bodied men. In America we would need an expensive switch-engine, to say nothing of the crew of at least four men that goes with it, to handle one of our cars. The Englishman has less than one tenth of our rail mileage, yet on it he handles more than a million of his little freight-cars, as compared with our 2,350,000, big ones.

§ 2

Some of our operating economies are to be classed under the head of electrification, particularly where the electricity can be generated at natural water-powers. Yet there are great economies even where the coal is burned in the boiler of the power station instead of the boiler of the locomotive, where a corp of firemen and stokers, working under the keen-eyed guidance and check-sheets of competent executive direction, can obviously obtain far more steam for each ton of coal burned than can be obtained by some lonely chap in a rocking locomotive cab, no matter how good may be his intentions. In New England's

chief city there is at this moment a magnificent opportunity for steam electrification.

As New England is like old England, so to a remarkable degree is Boston like London not alone in appearance, but in conformation. The generous and beautiful Boston suburbs lie close to the dome of her state house, very much as those of London lie fairly close to the dome of St. Paul's; the real problem of each of these cities is that of the vast congestion of their civic hearts, and must be solved almost entirely by the constant development of the suburban services of their steam railroads. In London, barring, of course, the five-years hiatus of the Great War, this development is in constant progress. In Boston it halted more than a decade ago. The Londoner already rides in several directions upon electric trains; in a short time he will ride in many more. The Bostonian, aside from his traction systems, which to a large extent are short, has no electric trains, and has no immediate hope of gaining them upon his railroads. Instead, he rides north and south upon passenger-cars forty and even fifty years old, hauled by wheezy and dirty locomotives nearly as aged.

"Yet," protests the railroad operating executive, "would you have us go into extravagant and elaborate electrification schemes when some of us are on the constant brink of receivership?”

Yes and no. Electrification, yes, but not extravagant and elaborate. Handled judiciously, electrification might easily become the means of avoiding receivership. In at least one case it might be counted upon to bring in large profits. I am referring to the

Boston & Albany, which has a fairly large and very dirty switching and storage yard in the heart of the finest portion of Boston. This railroad is under lease to the New York Central, which has shown a great deal of vision in the development of its property, yet nowhere a greater vision than when it took a similarly large and dirty switching and storage yard in the heart of Manhattan Island and created upon it not only one of the world's greatest passenger terminals, but, what is far more important, a real-estate development so large that not only does it meet the fixed charges of the passenger terminal, but brings the railroad a neat annual revenue in addition. What has been done in Park Avenue, New York, can be done in Boylston Street, Boston.

Those huge stations, the North and the South, although completed hardly more than twenty-five years ago, are already crowded. Yet increasing demands are constantly being made upon them. To enlarge them radically is virtually impossible at the present time, because of the almost prohibitive cost of the surrounding realty. To develop greatly the capacity of each is easily possible by the substitution of electricity for steam as the motive power of most of the trains that use them. In fact, although it is known to but few, the South Station was built in 1896 with a sub-level of loop tracks underneath the main station and trainshed in which an almost continuous operation of electric trains could be maintained, and the passenger capacity of the terminal more than doubled. North Station, situated upon "made land" at the very edge of the Charles River, could not be easily provided with a sub-surface terminal, yet it also

offers large opportunities for the further development of its very commodious main floor. The Boston & Maine might easily electrify its suburban lines out to Salem, Gloucester, Newburyport, and Portsmouth as a beginning, not by an "extravagant and elaborate" electric installation, but by a simple arrangement of overhead trolley and short, light, multiple-unit cars and trailers that could be run in single trains of from two to ten cars each. These trains, running upon even intervals, could pull into a single pair of rails in the North Station, and in one movement discharge passengers upon a platform on one side while receiving passengers upon the other. With steam as a motive power and a cumbersome locomotive always to be placed in its right position, these two trains cannot be made ready without four movements through the station yard. London knows how it can be done. Victoria Station is not more than one half the size of North Station, but in an average day it handles more passengers by the use of electric power and simplicity in its train schedules.

I have picked out Boston and gone into the situation there in some detail not only because of its similarity to the London problem, but also because the suburban service offered the second largest community in the United States (I am, of course, referring to the metropolitan district that lies for fifty miles round the gilded dome of her state house) is undoubtedly the worst offered to any considerable town in all this land. The freight problem is quite as bad as the other. For many years no effort has been made to create more modern merchandise terminals for Boston, and no effort whatsoever to provide either

smaller freight-car units or, failing this, a universal container, interchangeable between the deck of a flat-car and the chassis of a motor-truck. No wonder that in New England the uneconomic use of the motor-truck in long-haul traffic has become rampant. The railroads have refused to meet the local problems. Asked to render one sort of service, they have proffered another.

If operating economies such as these can be effected by electrical power generated by steam, think of those that may come when it is born of water energy. Go up to Niagara Falls. Stand beside that mighty cataract, with its flow and beauty only slightly diminished by the water that to-day is being taken from it by the power canals upon each shore, and realize that here is a force that drives the trolley-cars in Toronto, one hundred miles away, and in Syracuse, 150 miles away. Then begin to count the railroad trains drawn by electric locomotives that come up to that busy interchange point. No, you need not even begin to count them. There are none. For the entire twenty-five years or more of the Niagara power development it has gone absolutely unheeded by the steam railroads there.

Yet it would be hardly fair to say that all our railroaders have been deaf, dumb, and blind to the possibilities of this comparatively cheap and inexhaustible tractive force. It is more than a quarter of a century ago that the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad succeeded in installing electric power in its long tunnels underneath its home city of Baltimore, an installation that has remained in continuous and successful usage ever since. The electric suburban services of the New Haven, the New York Central, and the Pennsyl

vania in New York and in Philadelphia, and those of the Southern Pacific in and about Oakland, California, and Portland, Oregon, are too complete and well established to be longer regarded as merely experimental. Even the Boston & Maine has an electrical installation, through the bore of the fourmile Hoosac Tunnel, which some fine day it will extend for all the mountain stretch of its former Fitchburg line, from Greenfield, Massachusetts, to Rotterdam Junction, New York. The beginnings have been made.

The Norfolk & Western offers proof of some of the possible economies in its electrically operated division across the Blue Ridge Mountains of West Virginia, a busy thirty miles of single track over which there moves every twenty-four hours a tremendous tonnage of bituminous coal alone. This road makes a daily business of onehundred-car trains. To bring them over this mountain stretch formerly required three of the largest-sized Mallet locomotives. let locomotives. These same trains

are now hauled up the steep grades and around the sharp curves by two articulated electric locomotives, and at twice their former speed. Twelve of these double electric locomotives do a job that could not be accomplished by fewer than thirty-three of the largestsized steam freight-pullers.

What the Norfolk & Western is doing on a thirty-mile stretch, the progressive Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul is doing upon a far larger scaleon 649 miles of its main line across the Rockies and the Cascades. Forty-five electric locomotives have replaced 120 locomotives of steam. Trains and operating divisions have alike been doubled in length, with a traffic heavier than was even dreamed of when the

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