A Narrow Escape
It was a fine Sunday morning. Mr. Miller had a quick breakfast and left his house at eight O’clock in his car. He was on this way to visit his sister’s home. She lived in a small village some miles away from the town.
Mr. Miller was in high spirits. It was a peaceful morning. The birds were chirping and the cattle were grazing in the meadows. He whistled a merry tune as he drove past the glades and the stream.
He had hardly covered ten miles when the car stopped. It was surprising indeed, as he had had the car overhauled only a fortnight ago. Getting down, he opened the bonnet. The fan belt had slipped out of its groove. He fixed the belt, closed the bonnet and again resumed the journey.
Soon he pushed the nagging worry to the back of his mind. He did not really anticipate any more trouble. The merry tune came back on his lips once more. He waved to a few children playing in the fields who also waved back in turn.
He was approaching an unmanned railway crossing. He looked to his left and then to his right. There was no sign of a train. He was also in the middle of the crossing when his car gave a cough and stopped there. Mr. Miller was dismayed. He hopped out and opened the bonnet again. This time he failed to locate the trouble. He tried to push the car but all in vain. It refused to budge an inch. Tired and frustrated, he sat down. As he was pondering over this misfortune, he heard the whistle of an approaching train. Mr. Miller got shocked. Paralysed with fear, he did not know what to do. He was rooted to the ground and stared at the train coming close and close. His mind stopped functioning. He was immobilized. Beads of perspiration appeared all over his face.
Just then a truck came by. The driver and his helper, realizing the need for quick action, got down from the truck and ran to Mr. Miller’s help. The driver pushed the car roughly away from the track and got behind the wheel while his helper pushed. He steered the car safely out of the tracks. Just then the train whizzed past.
What was Mr. Miller doing then? With the hard shove that he had received, his senses returned and he jumped clear out of the level crossing. There were simply no words to express his gratitude to the truck driver and his helper. They were a godsend. Mr. Miller clutched their hands warmly. His expression said it all. Mr. Miller had had a narrow escape.