Finally Alex concluded first to learn something further of what was going on, and to count on the velocipede as a means of making his escape in case of emergency. To this end he proceeded cautiously to place the little jigger in a position from which he could quickly swing it onto the irons. Then continuing forward under the edge of the train, he reached the pilot-car.
After supper, the wire being silent, Alex made his way amid several trains of track-material already filling completed sidings, for a closer view of the big machine. There proved to be less to see than he had expected; and having climbed aboard the pilot-car and examined the engine, Alex ascended the tower from which a brakeman controlled the movements of the train.
Simultaneously there was the sound of someone springing to the ground, and Alex and the oiler scrambled into the velocipede seats, Alex facing the rear, and threw themselves against the handles. The oilless wheel again screeched, and from the pilot-car rose the cry, "Around at the end! Quick!"
With the first move one of the wheels gave forth a shrill screech. The two paused as the sounds on the pilot-car immediately ceased. "If we hear one of them going to the edge to look for me, we'll make a run of it," said the oiler. "They may go on tiptoe," Alex pointed out. The suggestion was followed by a sharp exclamation from the head of the train. "The oiler's gone!" cried a voice.