Royal Jelly

Wallace sat in the camp tent. The tunnel disaster had set them back at least a week, and they were already behind. That fool of a drunken Irishman had contrived to blow himself to kingdom come, taking a dozen prime tunnelers with him.

“What’s the chink’s name again?”

“Feng something. We call him Royal Jelly on account of him being good with the blasting gelatin.”

“And you’re sure he knows what he’s doing? We can’t afford another mishap like happened with O’Meaers.”

“O’Meares was always drunk, Chief. Nerves. Chinamen don’t drink. And you know, they was the ones invented gunpowder.”


Friday Fictioneers

8 thoughts on “Royal Jelly

  1. Working on the railroad was a dangerous occupation, made more so by the sharp lines of mistrust and bigotry between groups.

  2. Nice combination of period lingo and attitude, peppered with historically correct sterotyping and prejudice. I especially like the pragmatic reaction to the Irishman’s blunder–to immediately hire some one else. This shows an acceptance, of the intrinsic dangers of the job, that is not common today. Today there would be a candlelight vigil for the victims. Nice last line brings the focus away from race, back, to who can get the job done.

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