Just before noon, a passenger train was due to come through the area. So the man began to make preparations to let the bridge down so the train could pass safely across the river. As he examined the bridge, he noticed that someone—a small child—must have crawled over the guardrail next to the bridge and had gotten his foot stuck in one of the gears. As he looked closer, he was horrified to discover that it was his own son. He heard the train’s first whistle blow. The child was too far away for him to run to his rescue and get back to lower the bridge. He knew he had to make a quick decision. If he lowered the bridge now, his son would die, crushed by the mammoth gears. But if he didn’t, all the people on the train would die as the train plunged into the river. He barely had time to think.
As he screamed in agony, the man thrust forward the lever to lower the bridge just as the train arrived. His son died instantly. As the train glided by, the man noticed people in the boxcars reading their papers and magazines, sipping their drinks, some laughing and some waved—all were oblivious to what had just taken place. The man could take it no longer. He screamed after the train in heaves: "Don’t you understand? Don’t you know what I did for you? I gave my son’s life for you! Don’t you care?"