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The Chauffeur’s Story

From the Omaha Daily Bee, February 28, 1913.
 By Ted Robinson.

 “I shudder yet,” the driver said, “whene’er I tell the tale—
 I’ll think of it till I am dead! Its memory turns me pale.
 ’Twas when I drove old Brown’s imported high-power racing car—
 And I was young and reckless—courted all the thrills there are!

 “Upon the day this occurred, I’d fifty miles to go
 Ere lunch and you can take my word, I wasn’t driving slow.
 The road was good but narrow. A rail fence on either side
 And the car sped like an arrow in a swift and easy glide.

 “I took the curves at forty miles, then at our highest speed—
 I shot along those forest aisles with just the road to heed—
 When suddenly there stepped into our track a little child
 With golden hair and eyes of blue—just looked at us and smiled!

 “Not fifty feet ahead was she—and I, too scared to touch
 Or think of the emergency, or e’en throw out the clutch;
 And even when it was too late—no time to turn aside—
 No space, no field, no open gate—the road was ten feet wide!

 “All these I saw as in a dream—the lassie’s happy face
 One of those moments that will seem to hold a lifetime’s space—
 ’Twas just one smile of innocence—ah, would it be her last?
 And then—she climbed up on the fence and watched me thunder past!”

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