Engine Driver's Story, A Thrilling Incident

A Driver goes mad at the controls and the fireman saves the day by killing him (Comic)

I'm only an engine driver my eyesight bleary and dim
But I always remember that night
The night when my eyebrows and whiskers went white
The night when I lost sunny Jim

I was stokerĀ¹ and Jim drove the mail sir
The night mail sir, not the daily mail
Well on Xmas eve as the train rushed along
I looked at Jim's face and saw something was wrong
Saw something that made me turn pale

He was eating the cinders and coal sir
I tell you it made my blood boil
He finished two pieces and started a third
Then took my oil can without saying a word
And with a gulp drank all the oil

I've know men do silly things sir
But never a one who ate coal
And as engine oil aint the best stuff to drink
I felt there was only one thought left to think
Poor Jim had gone clean up the pole

But just at that terrible moment
Another sight made my blood freeze
For there on the track about two miles ahead
A little kid walked with deliberate tread
As fearless and calm as you please

"Stop the engine" I cried in frenzy
Oh don't hurt the poor little soul
The kid will be killed if you don't stop the train
But Jim looked at me with a look most insane
And still went on eating the coal

I thought of that little kid's parents
And tho' I was gasping for breath
I nerved myself up for a terrible fray
And snatched the coal from him and threw it away
Then clung to his whiskers like death

Then Jim started struggling with me sir
And I started to struggle with him
He fought with the strength of a dozen strong men
But the door of the furnace blew open just then
And into the furnace flew Jim

I shut up the door in a jiffy
Perhaps I did right and praps not
But somehow or other I seemed to recall
The word of a preacher who once told us all
That the end of poor Jim would be hot

And then I remembered my duty
Before anyone could say knife
I put on the brakes sir, as hard as I dare
And pulled up the train with two inches to spare
In time sir to save the kid's life

The passengers called me a nero
Shook hands with me right on the spot
And then a collection of sixty-odd pounds
They put in the hat of the man who went round
But the bounder went off with the lot

I raked out the ashes next morning
I don't mind admitting I cried
But tho' I searched carefully all over the ground
A small piece of cinder was all that I found
With two of Jim's teeth stuck inside

I went up before the directors
The tale that I told made 'em sob
And tho' a big present they could not afford
They gave me Jim's teeth that I'd found as reward
And promoted me into his job

When I think of that terrible night sir
It makes me feel thick I the throat
But I'm not sorry now that I did what I did
For the missus and me adopted that kid
And he's turned out a fine billy Goat!