Two Men, a Skunk and a Trolley Car

by Laurel | August 25th, 2009

August 25, 1905, page 08


This is the season for involuntary skunk-hunting by the Holyoke street railway car men, and from time to time the suburban and Mountain park car lines come into the car-house with a 600-volt current of essence of polecat. Then the night men at the car-house go out into the alley and sob over another skunk destroyed. Anywhere from a half-dozen to a dozen skunks are killed by the cars each season. No advertising is necessary of it. The season opens about August 1 and the most satisfactory nights for his skunkship are those with a little chill in the air. The little animals are as independent as the beef trust. One walked in front of a Mountain park car last evening. The motorman stopped the car and an altercation ensued between the motorman and conductor as to whose duty it was to clear the track. The motorman held that the skunk’s tail was a switch, and the conductor, by rule 7, section 4, should proceed at an even rate of speed whenever he had a clear track, and that the one little polecat displayed only a cautionary signal. Meantime the skunk sat up on his haunches and made insulting remarks about the Holyoke census. This was borne for a time, but finally the motorman turned on the “juice” so suddenly that his polecatship hopped off the track before he realized what he was doing. But there was ample proof of his presence left, and every car up and down for house could give positive evidence the he had been present.

From The Springfield Republican.

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