Track boss Dominic Book rounded up the track gang this morning. He had to pound on the doors of every whore house and tavern on the low side of town to do it, but Dominic’s not a man to shirk from his job, nor is he a man that people say no to. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he’s a regular customer of all those business establishments, where they met him at the door with hot coffee and gave him enough time to drink it while they rolled the gang out of whatever corners or closets they were sleeping off last night’s revelry.
When they were all in tow, Dominic marched the gang down to the kitchen cars in the yards at Dog Water to be fed, then put them on a special train that took them out to the crossings at Pistol where a pile of ties and rail were waiting for them. While the boys set to work, Dominic conferred with the Chief Engineer over plans to lay four switches through the crossings. The weather was good for trackwork: The skies were clear and sunny and the temperature, moderate. The gang worked through the day into the evening and were doing so well that Dominic didn’t blow the whistle until an hour past dinner time, but the gang didn’t complain, because they knew before they climbed aboard the special to take them back to Dog Water that there were iced buckets of beer waiting to refresh them on the trip back.