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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/72

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Letters From A Railway Official.

reserve himself for the real complications which, if his tutelage has been sound, the layman will quickly recognize and bring back for expert assistance.

Not long ago I happened near a freight wreck. One of the cars in the ditch contained an emigrant outfit in charge of a man. This man was bruised, but not seriously injured. With the superintendent and the wreck train came a specialist, a claim adjuster for the legal department. He could settle only the personal injury. The damage to property was a freight claim and belonged to another department, the accounting, not formally represented at the impromptu function, and over which the superintendent as master of ceremonies had no jurisdiction. The various items of operating expenses involved on this occasion were in a decidedly diverged condition. What the spiritualist medium calls the control was in this case the office of a busy president some fifteen hundred miles away. Of course, the company spirit and common sense guided the superintendent, and he made the best of circumstances; perhaps risking criticism and censure for crossing sacred departmental lines. What do you think of a system that breaks down in