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When Titans Drive

Burt L. Standish

213 pages
Library of Alexandria
With muscles tense and legs spread wide apart, Bob Bainbridge found himself crouching in the middle of the office shanty. It was yet dark, and in his ears still seemed to sound the dull, rumbling detonation which had made him leap from the bunk before he was even half awake. For a second the stillness was absolute. Then from the other side of the small room came a hoarse, shaking whisper: “Bobby! What the dickens was that?” The young man drew a long breath, and an instant later the flame of a match split the darkness. “Don’t know, John,” he answered, hastily lighting a candle. “It sounded a lot like—dynamite!” He set the candle down on a rough table, and, reaching for one high, spiked shoe, began swiftly to drag it on. From the bunk across the room came a stifled gasp of dismay, and a short, stout, middle-aged man with a heavy, square face and deep-set blue eyes rolled forth into the uncertain, wavering light, and sat for an instant staring at his companion. “Dynamite!” he repeated, in a tone of consternation. “You don’t mean to say——” “I don’t mean to say anything,” was the crisp reply, as Bainbridge tied the leather lacings with a jerk, and reached for the other shoe. “I only know it sounded like dynamite to me, and people don’t usually set that off at three in the morning—for fun.” John Tweedy delayed no longer. With an agility surprising in one so bulky, he fairly flung himself at the pile of outer garments lying on a near-by box, and when Bainbridge, a couple of minutes later, jerked open the door to plunge forth into the night, the stout man was close at his heels. Quickly as they had acted, there were others equally swift. The windows of the big bunk house across the clearing glowed faintly, and they had no more than reached the open before the door was flung wide to eject a crowd of men fully dressed in the garb of the lumber country. They were headed by Griggs, foreman of the drive. Tall, lean, with a tanned, impassive countenance which betrayed nothing, he glanced for a second toward the approaching pair, and then fell into step with Bainbridge.