Some years ago a fearful railroad wreck took a dreadful toll of life and limb in an eastern state. A train, loaded with young people returning from school, was stalled on a suburban track because of what is known as a “hot-box.” The limited was soon due, but a flagman was sent back to warn the engineer in order to avert a rear-end collision. Thinking all was well, the crowd laughed and chatted while the train-hands worked on in fancied security. Suddenly the whistle of the limited was heard and on came the heavy train and crashed into the local, with horrible effect.
The engineer of the limited saved his own life by jumping, and some days afterwards was hailed into court to account for his part in the calamity. And now a curious discrepancy in testimony occurred. He was asked, “Did you not see the flagman warning you to stop?”
He replied, “I saw him, but he waved a yellow flag, and I took it for granted all was well, and so went on, though slowing down.”
The flagman was called, “What flag did you wave?”
“A red flag, but he went by me like a shot.”
“Are you sure it was red?”
Both insisted on the correctness of their testimony, and it was demonstrated that neither was color-blind. Finally the man was asked to produce the flag itself as evidence. After some delay he was able to do so, and then the mystery was explained. It had been red, but it had been exposed to the weather so long that all the red was bleached out, and it was but a dirty yellow!
Oh, the lives eternally wrecked by the yellow gospels of the daythe bloodless theories of unregenerate men that send their hearers to their doom instead of stopping them on their downward road!