"I'll be pullin' out of here before he can get around," said Murphy, noting that the last car was almost filled.
Carson chuckled. "Hold tight," he warned; "he's comin'."
The side of the cut was steep, and the soft sand and clay did not make a secure footing. But when the black received the signal from Trevison he did not hesitate. Crouching like a great cat at the edge, he slid his forelegs over until his hoofs sank deep into the side of the cut. Then with a gentle lurch he drew his hind legs after him, and an instant later was gingerly descending, his rider leaning far back in the saddle, the reins held loosely in his hands.
It looked simple enough, the way the black was doing it, and Trevison's demeanor indicated perfect trust in the animal and in his own skill as a rider. But the laborers ceased working and watched, grouped, gesturing; the staccato coughing of the steam shovel died gaspingly, as the engineer shut off the engine and stood, rooted, his mouth agape; the fireman in the dinky engine held tightly to the cab window. Murphy muttered in astonishment, and Carson chuckled admiringly, for the descent was a full hundred feet, and there were few men in the railroad gang that would have dared to risk the wall on foot.
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