Scamping Tricks and Odd Knowledge
Excerpt: ...started the van jerked a bit over the crossing or a badly-packed sleeper, and just as one of the swells was going to pick up his cigar, it slipped, fell upon the top of my box of powder and then upon the floor, and the sparks did fly!" "No wonder you felt bad. I feel for you now, I do. It makes me dry." "Stop! Worse is to come -- worse. Pass the bottle. Wait a minute; I can say no more until I have loosened my collar." "Well, true as I am here, if there was not a fizz, a few grains had got loose. My box had a hole in it; a knot in the wood had shaken out! I knew the fizz was not like that of sporting powder, but my powder -- and to think there might have been a train self-laid right up to the bottom of the box! Providence again." "Shake." "I'm hearty to you. It must have been an angel that broke the train of powder, for on looking carefully about I saw a dozen or more grains. Luckily for me, the guard had his head out of the window all the time, as the whistle had been sounding. The swells only laughed at the fizzle. I did not; I knew what a fearfully narrow squeak I had had. I expect they thought it was a match end. However, I have had a life of narrow squeaks, and so I got over it pretty soon, and said, 'The next station is mine, gentlemen!' I moved my box a trifle, and noticed there was a bit of paper on one side sticking out. I saw one of the swells also noticed it, and seemed thoughtful. He soon made me understand that he knew the paper. It was specially prepared, and a peculiar colour. His father was the owner of the powder mills, and lived about five miles from my cutting. If I was not previously blown up, I knew it was in his power to have me fined fearfully heavy, if not imprisoned. He stared at me, and as we were going down a long 1 in 50 gradient and corkscrew line the guard looked out for squalls and two of the swells on the other side. He then whispered in my ear, 'Is your name Dark?' "I could not speak, it took...
- 189 x 246 x 3mm | 127g
- 13 Sep 2013
- Illustrations, black and white