University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The Literature Collection

Page View

Olbrich, M. B. (ed.) / The Wisconsin literary magazine
Vol. 1, No. 7 (June 1904)

HFP
The silent five,   pp. 254-259


Page 254


THE SILENT FIVE
  The fall night was clear, the moon bright, as I "chugged"
along the road at a twenty mile per hour clip. The engines
were working nicely, in fact I felt at last I owned an auto-
mobile I could depend upon. I slowed down the machine
while I refilled my pipe and lighted it. As I rounded a sharp
turn, a stretch of road perhaps two miles long, straight and
level extended before me. I could not resist; the smooth,
firm road was too inviting and I opened up the throttle. In-
stantly the machine leaped forward like a spirited horse at
the touch of the whip. So smoothly did the machine glide
along that it seemed as if it were suspended a few inches
above the road and that the ground were passing by beneath.
I was, nearing a turn in the road and was just on
the point of slowing down when above the noise of the ex-
haust of the engine, I heard a sharp metallic snap followed
by a clanking noise. I choked off the engine and jammed
the brakes on. The rattling had sounded like a broken
chain. On investigation that proved to be the case. I soon
saw that the break could not be repaired that night, so began
to look about for a lodging place. Along the road about a
quarter of a mile, I spied a light and straightforth set out for it.
  As I approached the house I saw that it stood on a hill,
sloping abruptly up from the road. I entered the grounds
through a rusty iron gate, flanked on both sides by a stone
wall, badly weathered and ill-kept. The winding driveway,
bordered on both sides by large gnarled oaks, led up to the
porte-cochbre.  The house was square and substantially
built of stone. A wide veranda, the tall white pillars of
which stood out clearly in the moonlight, ran along the entire
front. Evidently some one of means had once owned the
place, but now it presented a rather ill cared for appearance.
Apparently there was a light in but one room, for although
the shutters were tightly closed, a ray crept out here and
                            254


Go up to Top of Page