so fast, young man," he said. "As the executive of the P. K. & R, system it wouldn't be exactly official and proper in me to approve your judgment in that matter of the Italians; but as a man--plain man, now, you understand,--I know grit when I see it and--" he dropped his bluff stiffness got out of his chair and came along and squeezed Parker's muscular arm, "you've got a brand of it that I admire. Yes, I do. No mistake! But that is just between you and me. That is simply my own personal opinion. I don't believe the directors relish the idea of gladiators in the engineering corps. Just respect this little private hint of mine hereafter please."
He surveyed the young man with twinkling and appreciative eyes.
"Parker," he said, "once in a while there comes up in the railroad business a demand for a man who has brains and spunk and muscle all rolled up in one bundle. I haven't tested you out yet on the first named but the chief engineer speaks in your behalf. The last two you certainly have.