At 3:10 this morning, the Florence and Cripple Creek railroad carried out the boldest and most successful coup d'etat so far attempted in its warfare with the Midland Terminal railroad.
About fifty men who were armed with picks and shovels, hammers and saws, were suddenly turned loose on the Midland Terminal, and in a short time a crossing had been effected of the tracks of the rival road, and the line of the Florence and Cripple Creek was well on the way to the Portland mine, in the effort to reach which the trouble three months ago occurred.
The stroke had been well planned. Today is a legal holiday, tomorrow will be Sunday, and not until Monday morning can the courts issue injunctions, or take any official cognizance of the matter. And long before that time the road will have been completed.
By nightfall everything was in readiness. A train, loaded with timbers all ready to be set up, with cross ties, rails, spikes, tools and men, stood on the side track at Alta Vista, ready to make the descent.
But, this could not be done this early. The Midland Terminal has a passenger train which leaves Cripple Creek at 11 o'clock, and the train men would surely see the work and give alarm.
So the train, with its load of men and material, was held until the midnight Terminal had gone by, when it was hurried into Victor and the work begun.
As a precaution every avenue of approach was guarded, every switch of the Midland Terminal was spiked, so that no rival train could by any possibility be rushed to the scene, and every engine in the yard was watched.
The crossing was made on the ground of the Taylor and Brunton sampler, over which there was a squabble when the Midland Terminal people tried to lay their own track there.
It was necessary for the new line to be laid on a trestle twenty-five feet above the ground, but the train had brought an ample supply of timbers ready fitted to be joined together, and there were fifty pairs of skilled hands ready for the work, so that when the sun rises on the scene the line towards the great Portland will be well on its way to completion, and the entrance to that property, which has cost both human life and treasure, will have been secured.