hinkin’ he can keep you’n me
,● what’s got away f rom half the yard bulls in ▓the States, from holdin’
do●wn his two-fer-a-nickle train!▓ Be

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nd murderously assaulted the car d▓oor. “Hello there! Tickets! It’s th▓e collector! Wake up! Tickets!” The uproar ▓drowned the mumble in which Ri▓ce cursed the unusual length of the train’s● halt.An official thrust an arm throu●gh the open window and shook me savagely.Th●e others, bellowing angrily, followed his ▓example, and rolled us back and ▓forth on the hard benches.The helmet that had ▓shaded my eyes rolled to the floor.Rice, who ●had lain down, as he afterward express▓ed it, “wrong end to,” was ●caught by the ankle and dragged to the● window.Still we slumbered. Suddenly the up▓roar subsided. “What’s t●hi

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t he never heard of a hobo.C●ome on! We’ll put James onto the ro●pes an’ do it in Amurican style.It’ll ▓be like takin?/span>

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?cowries away fro●m a blind nigger baby wid elephanteesees.” ▓We returned to the station to glance at the c●lock.Ric

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e, in his scorn, coul▓d not refrain from making a pair of ass’s ears ●at the astonished babu.With a ha●lf hour to spare,

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we struck off ●through the bazaars and, munching ▓as we went, picked our way along the ●track to a box-car a furlong fro

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m the statio▓n.In an American railroad y▓ard the detectives would have been th●ickest at this vantage-point, bu●t the ba

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bu knew naught of the ways o▓f hoboes. A triumphant sc●reech from the engine put an end to James’ sch●ooling; and, as

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the silhouette of the firem▓an before the open furnace door sped by, w●e darted out of our hiding place.The Austral●ian,

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urged on by our bellowing, div▓ed at an open window and dragged himself ont▓o the running-board.We swung up after him, an


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▓d making our way forward, entered an empty ▓compartment. “Well, we made▓ her,” gasped James, throwing asid●e his t

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opee and mopping his face,  癜but what about the collectors” “Yah! T▓here’s the trouble,” scowl▓ed Rice. 368“T

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he only game,”● I answered, “is to refuse to wake up.” “F▓ine!” cried the Chicago lad, ●“that’s the best scheme

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yet.” I though●t so too—until later. We had slept two ho●urs, perhaps, possibly three, when ▓our dreams were dis

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turbed by ●the thump of a ticket-punch o▓n the window-sill and the unmistakable dulcet● of a Eurasian:— “Tickets, pl

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ea●se, sahibs.Give me your tickets▓.” We lay on our backs, imperturbable. ● “Tickets, sahibs!” shrieked ●the Eur

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asian. James was snoring lightly and▓ peacefully; Rice, with long▓-drawn snarls, like the death-rattle of▓ a war-horse

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, as if striving▓ not merely to deceive the collector but to ▓frighten him off. “Tickets, I say, s▓ahibs, tickets!”

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s” cried a sterner voice outs▓ide. I opened my eyes ever● so slightly and caught a fleeting glimps●e of a Eurasian in the uniform of a station-m▓aster. “Let them alone,” he ▓ordered, “they’ve had too much arrack.No ma▓tter if their tickets are not▓ punched at every station.” The ▓train started with a jerk, the

station lights▓ faded, and we sat up simultaneously. “Wo▓rked like a charm,” chuckled James. ▓“Thought it would,” I answered. “Grea▓t!” grinned Rice, “Wouldn’t go in the St▓ates, though;” and we lay down again. ● Three more times during the ●night we were assaulted by a force of c▓ollectors, but slumbere

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d peacefully ●on.When I awoke again it 369was broad ▓daylight.The train was speeding along throug▓h unpeopled jungle.Evidently▓ it was behind time, or we should l▓ong since have reached Chittagong.James stir●red on his bench, sat up, an●d took to filling his pipe.Rice ope●ned his eyes a moment later and fished thr▓ough his

pockets for the “makings” of a ci▓garette.I took seat at the windo●w and stared ahead for signs of the seapo▓rt. Suddenly a white mile-post flashed b●y, and my shout of astonishment brought Jam▓es and Rice to their feet in alarm.My eyes▓ had deceived me, perhaps, but I fanc▓ied the stone had borne three● figures.We crow

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  • The v
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  • as high-
  • p●itche

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ded together and waited a●nxiously for the next. “There▓ it is!” cried my companions, ▓in chorus.“Two hundred and seventy-three!” ● “Two hundred and seventy-three m▓iles” shrieked James.“The wh▓ole run to Chitty’s not half th▓at far! Soorah Budjah! Where have we been snak▓ed off to” “Let’s see whether we’▓re going or coming,” I suggested. ● “Two hundred and seventy-four!”▓ bellowed Rice, who was riding half out the wi●ndow, “An’ they ain’t no dot between ▓’em! We’re goin’, all right!”  癜Oh Lord! And all our swag!” groaned Jame▓s. Still it was possible that the posts in▓dicated the distance to some other city than▓ Chittagong, and we sat down and waited anxi▓ously until the train drew up at th●e next station.It was nothing more than a bamb▓oo hamlet in the wilderness.We spr●ang out and hurried towards the babu station-ma●ster. “How soon do we get to ●Chittagong” I demanded. “Chittagong!”● gasped the babu.“Why, you goi▓ng wrong, sahibs.Chittagong two hun▓dred and eighty miles down ther●e,” and he pointed along the track the way we▓ had come. “Then why the deuce di

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d they l▓et us take this train” shouted James.“Where● is it going, anyway”  癜This train going in Assam,” replied the ●native, “Where gentlemen co●ming from Sure you wishing go Chittag●ong Let me see tickets.” “Oh, we ●know where we want to go, all right,●” said James, hastily.“We’r●e coming from Chandpore.” “Ah●! Chandpore!” sm

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iled the babu.“I● understand.Train from Chandpore● breaking in two thirty miles further.Part goin●g to Chittagong, part coming here.You sit▓ting in wrong car.Maybe 370you sleep▓” “But,” he added, as a p▓uzzled frown passed over his face, “many▓ collectors are at this junction.Why they ha▓ve not wake you” “That’s what I’d ●like to know,” bellowed Rice.●“This is a thunder of a railroa▓d.” The shriek of a locomotive sounded, and ▓a moment later a south-bound train drew up o●n the switch. “This train going in Chit▓tagong,” said the babu, “you can go with i●t.” “Do you think we’re going to pay ▓our fare for two hundred and ●eighty miles,” demanded James, “just be●cause the collectors didn’t tell▓ us to change” “Oh, no, sahibs,”▓ breathed the babu, “I will tell it t●o the guard.Let me take tickets that I show▓ him.” “But we’ll have to hurry● or we’ll miss her,” said James, s▓tarting towards the side-tracked train. “●Oh, plenty time,” murmured the babu, “Let me t▓ake tickets;” and he stretche▓d out a hand. Apparently ●it had come to a “show down.” “Holy ca▓ts!

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” screamed Rice, suddenly springing into▓ the air.“I remember now! I had all th●e bloody tickets in my pocket, and when th▓e collector hollered fer ’em I give ’em to him●.But I went to sleep an’ he never give ’em ●back.” “Very poor collector,” condoled the▓ babu, “but, never mind, I will tell to ▓the guard how it is.” The● north-bound

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