It is a story book. Ralph Fairbanks swung into the cab of No. 999 with the lever hooked up for forward motion, and placed a firm hand on the throttle. It looked as though half the working force of the railroad, and every juvenile friend he had ever known in Stanley Junction, had come down to the little old depot that beautiful summer afternoon to especially celebrate the greatest event in his active railroad career. Ralph was the youngest engineer in the service of the Great Northern, and there was full reason why he should center attention and interest on this the proudest moment of his life. No. 999 was the crack locomotive of the system, brand new and resplendent. Its headlight was a great glow of crystal, its metal bands and trimmings shone like burnished gold, and its cab was as spick and span and neat as the private office of the division superintendent himself. No. 999 was out for a trial run—a record run, Ralph hoped to make it. One particular car attached to the rear of the long train was the main object of interest.