John Graham, capitalist and railroad president, had the reputation of being a hard man, and for once, popular rumor was not far from right. He was a hard man. Hard in his business and hard in his home. Hard to his friends and harder to his enemies. The employees on his road called him "the old skinflint" and John Graham, hearing the term, smiled grimly and went his grasping way. The railroad needed new equipment. The tracks were bad, the roadbed was bad, and the cars were bad. Worst of all, only the most meager sort of precautions were taken for safeguarding the lives of those brought in contact with the road. A discontented, underpaid, overworked force of men slept when they should have been watching and woke to curse the close-fisted tyrant who treated them as mere inhuman cogs. There were a great many accidents on John Graham's railroad, and after each one there would be much argument as to the proper person on whom to fix the blame. Happily, a scapegoat was always found, a ...
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