eels increased as if they were live things burning with the fever of some bloodthirsty hunt.
"Firing her up," said the red man; "always racing time, these passenger wagons. It's a dog's life and no blooming error." He prodded my foot with his. "I said 'it's a dog's life and no error.'"
"What is?" I growled.
"Engine-driving, of course. I'm on the road myself. Goods-pushing just now, but I've been on the expresses off and on, though it don't suit me--too much flaring hurry."
He rattled off into technicalities of his trade, embroidered with tales of hair-bristling adventures and escapes.
"Yes, old chum, there's more in our trade than what most fat-headed passengers thinks. As long as an accident don't occur they don't know what trouble we've been to avoiding of it. I've a good mind to give 'em a smash-up now and again just to teach 'em gratitood. F'instance, me and me mate was running a local down Ilfracombe way last week when what d'you think we runned into?"
"Ilfracombe?" I hazarded sleepily.