Thursday, December 27, 2012

1898 - From Sabatis by Electrics

SABATIS, Me., Nov. 11 (Special) – When car 18 slid up the main street of Sabatis and finally anchored in the driving rain and slush by the co-operative steps at 6.20, Thursday night, a good number of passengers for Lewiston furled their umbrellas and boarded the car with a rush. Two people bent on seeing Old Kentucky in Music Hall; a number of day laborers 8 miles from home and supper; some Germans who intended to meet their brethren in the Shillerverein in Central Block; and two students were among the party, to say nothing of the dog – a black and white purp with solemn mein and melancholy eyes, whose cognomen “Sport” was as belying as the name Lillian when tacked on a plump brunette. Everyone settled himself for an immediate start, when the motorman grabbed the lever and started for a lunch room, and the conductor, with the remark that he “shouldn't start for fifteen minutes sure,” slumped after him. The student slammed his Latin grammar shut. “Ain't yergoin'?” said somebody. “Goin' home and go ter bed,” growled the student.

The man with the dinner pail started out to do a forgotten errand and the car door stuck. He struggled silently till he felt something violent was expected of him, when he remarked without a show of enthusiasm, “Damn the door.” And with that the jeers of the passengers proved the open sesame.

The man in the soft black felt passed his pocket piece across to the man in the brown felt, who carried off a hunk, and both ignored the City Hall motto that gentleman will not, others must not --. The purp rose and humped himself against the seat with a conscious air when any one moved. A kid on the platform suggestively shouted “all aboard” and another swung the go-ahead signal with a white lantern. The man with the burr of the Teutonic race under his tongue remarked on the apparent appetite of the motorman, while the quiet man broke his silence to move an adjournment. The car finally rolled out of the village at 7.15. The trolley buzzed and whined on the wire. The flames danced overhead in glints of diabolical fire and flashed peppermint greens and goblin blues on the snow. The power came in jerks that made the teeth of the purp rattle like castanets. Four and five lunges were made at every grade, and six and seven times did the car go back to gain impetus at the foot of Thorn Hill, which retreating, the man with the burr in his speech said was like the Spaniards. In an interval of inky blackness while the power was off, a cheery orchestra man piped up on the “Georgia Campmeeting.” The car finally reached Lewiston at 8.35. The theatre-goers looked blue, the vereiners had missed their meeting, the purp gingerly picked his way through the icy mud on Lisbon street, and sighed for a warm Sabatis fireside – and the slush on the rails was at the bottom of it all.

Lewiston Evening Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, November 11, 1898