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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/223

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The Engineering of Men.

other on a plow or a scraper. If he happened to be clear at the front he might have to borrow another wagon and use three teams for supply. The point is that he kept all of his teams working all of the time and never ran out of supplies. The railroad would organize a department of wagons, a department of plows and a department of scrapers, and the foreman who kicked the hardest would have the most grub, even though somebody else was short. These foremen were jacked up if they used poor judgment in accumulating supplies and had too much on hand when the next move came. No clerk at the base was allowed to cut the requisition of a foreman. The resident engineers of the railway in charge of the several staking and inspection parties could not procure railway commissary supplies without the O. K. of a clerk in the so-called boarding house department.

Another noteworthy feature was the constant presence of officials and sub-officials with authority to act for the contractor. A general foreman and two assistant general foremen were riding the line and giving instructions to meet changing conditions. For example, in the afternoon an assistant general foreman