I should like to relate an incident which happened some...

I should like to relate an incident which happened some years ago. For a month it had been my practice twice daily to drive across a main line railroad at a certain point. This crossing was protected by a guard, who was stationed there because of an almost completely obstructed view. When a train was approaching, he could be seen standing in the middle of the road, flagging all cross traffic. When no train was expected, he usually was seated on a bench beside his little shelter.

One afternoon, a little later than usual, I started to drive over this crossing. I looked for the guard, and saw a man sitting on his bench reading a newspaper. His position indicated to me that the line was clear. The front wheels of my automobile had barely crossed the tracks of the north-bound trains, when that power not one's own impelled me to look up the tracks of the south-bound trains. There, thundering down upon me, by then only two or three hundred feet away, was the main line limited. Because of the clatter of the racing, low-geared, cold engine of my coupe, I had not heard the approaching train.

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Poem
Home at Last
March 16, 1940
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