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to the nearest station and repair shop. Soon after Springfield had a railroad to the east and west, a freight train ran away and went right through the town roundhouse. Three men were killed.

were killed. Behind the roundhouse were some big piles of cord wood, and that wood was scattered all about mingled with broken cars and freight and the wreckage of the building. A great many people flocked to the scene, and they wagged their heads and agreed that these railroads smashing around that way were a very doubtful blessing.

The road-bed of the early railways was made of whatever material came handiest, and it was streaked with all kinds of soils that had been dug through or dumped

When the ground froze, the soils that held water would bulge and tilt the tracks about in all sorts of shapes. Later gravel was used because water would drain through it, and it was not affected by frost, nor was it very dusty. The finest road-beds now are made of broken stone.

The tracks were at first made of flat iron strips three fourths of an inch thick, spiked on wooden stringers. The spikes soon rattled loose, and on each engine was a man with a sledge hammer watching the track and ready to drive down any spike he saw sticking up. Another source of trouble lay in the tendency of the ends of the strap iron to curve up into what were called "snake heads.” These sometimes pierced the bottoms/ of the cars and did great damage.

When the T rail was adopted the railroad managers

thought their troubles were at an end, and that little further care of the road-bed would be necessary. Grass was allowed to grow between the tracks, but the wheels crushed it on the rails and made them slippery, and the roots held water and rotted the ties. So steps had to be taken to keep the grass away from the neighborhood of both ties and rails.

Southern New England now has more railroads than any other section of the Union of similar size.

In 1835 a resident of Brandon, Vermont, built an electric motor, and with it operated a small model railway. Other experiments of the same sort were made later in Europe, but not until many years had passed was an electric railroad built for use. The first one in the United States was constructed in 1883. Since then the development of electric car lines has been: very

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A horse-car still used on Block Island in 1916 rapid, and latterly many powerful electric engines have been made to take the place of steam engines on some of the great railroad systems.

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Cape Cod CAR APE COD thrusts out into the sea like a man's

bended arm with the fist clenched. It extends eastward thirty-five miles, then northerly thirty more, and has an average width of about six miles. In the interior the land rises to a height of two or three hundred feet. The Cape is composed almost entirely of sand, not only on the surface, but to a great depth. A thin layer of soil overlays the sand, but there are many holes and ruts in this weather-beaten garment, and at the extremity of the Cape the sand is entirely bare.

Bartholomew Gosnold, who landed on the Cape in 1602, gave it its present name because of the great number of codfish he found in the adjacent waters. Various other names were bestowed on it, but none held except Gosnold's; and this, as the famous old Boston parson, Cotton Mather, has said, “it will never lose till shoals of codfish be seen swimming on its highest hills.”

Trees do not flourish on the Cape, and such woodlands as exist are apt to be fire-ravaged, and so thin that you can see the horizon through them. Oak trees twenty-five years old are often a mere scraggy shrubbery nine or ten feet high, and a person can reach to the topmost leaf of many of them. Much that is called woods is about half as high as this, and consists of patches of scrub oak, bayberry, beach plum, and wild roses, overrun with woodbine. When the roses are in bloom, the profusion of blossoms, which mingle their perfume with the aroma of the bayberry, makes these patches very delightful. They are like oases in a desert.

The soil is not so infertile as it appears, and there are some real advantages in its lightness and freedom from stones. A book printed in 1802, speaking of this land for raising corn, says, “A plough passes through it speedily, and after the corn has come up, a small Cape horse, somewhat larger than a goat, will, with the assistance of two boys, easily hoe three or four acres in a day.”

Many of the old farmers, however, understood ploughing the sea better than ploughing the land, and they did not disturb their sands much. Some of the land was not considered worth writing a deed for.

One Cape crop which is known far and wide is cranberries. Thousands of families in all parts of the country have Cape Cod cranberries served with their roast turkey every Thanksgiving Day.

The land devoted to raising these tart brightcolored berries was originally “fit for nothing but to hold the world together.” Much of it, with the crop growing on it, is worth a thousand dollars an acre. The cranberry vines require a great deal of water, and the unsightly and apparently worthless bogs are best adapted for their culture. A marsh is selected where running water can be obtained, and after it has been cleared of bushes, stumps, and roots, the ground is made as level as a floor. The rich bog soil is then covered with sand several inches deep to prevent the easy growth of weeds. Here and there ditches are dug across it, and it is encircled with a ridge of earth.

During the winter the marsh is kept flooded to guard the plants from the frost and kill insect eggs. Often it is necessary to raise the water in the ditches while

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