Note: You will only see this box once.

We would like to invite you to sign up for the completely free Newsletter! Join our other 480,975 readers.

Subscribers are automatically registered to receive free teaching resources including lesson plan ideas, printables and more. Stay informed of all our new resources as they're developed...we have some exciting features coming in 2018!

P.S.. To officially become a newsletter subscriber, be sure to confirm your subscription by responding to the email we send you.

We respect your privacy!
Home Kids Safe Search for Stay informed - subscribe to our newsletter! Add this site to your favorites folder Sitemap - Contents of Website Contact Us
Home of - Elementary lessons, stories, poetry, vocabulary worksheets, children's book reviews, craft ideas for teachers.
Thematic Book Reviews Fun Printable Coloring Sheets Holidays Events and Occasions Teacher Worksheets
Thematic Books Color Holiday Fun Teacher Printables
An Educational Resource Site for
Teachers and Homeschoolers
  November 30, 2023
Featured Themes

Online Short Stories for KidsOther Short Stories


Printable Labor Day Short Stories for kids - Community Helper Stories for ChildrenLabor Day Short Stories

The Smithy

The Nail

The Elves and the Shoemaker

The Hillman and the Housewife

Hofus the Stone Cutter, A Japense Legend


The Metal King

The Choice of Hercules

The Speaking Stone

The Champion Stone Cutter

Bill Brown's Test


Labor Day Short Stories for Kids
Printable Children's Literature
Theme of Community Helpers


Home > Holidays and Occasions > Labor Day > Stories for Kids > Bill Brown's Test

Short Stories to share on Labor Day
Community Helpers Theme

Bill Brown's Test

by Cleveland Moffett, Careers of Danger and Daring

All firemen have courage, but it cannot be known until the test how many have this particular kind - Bill Brown's kind.

What happened was this: Engine 29, pumping and pounding her prettiest, stood at the northwest corner of Greenwich and Warren streets, so close to the blazing drug-house that Driver Marks thought it wasn't safe there for the three horses, and led them away. That was fortunate, but it left Brown alone, right against the cheek of the fire, watching his boiler, stoking in coal, keeping his steam-gauge at 75. As the fire gained, chunks of red-hot sandstone began to smash down on the engine. Brown ran his pressure up to 80, and watched the door anxiously where the boys had gone in.

Then the explosion came, and a blue flame, wide as a house, curled its tongues halfway across the street, enwrapping engine and man, setting fire to the elevated railway station overhead, or such wreck of it as the shock had left.

Bill Brown stood by his engine, with a wall of fire before him and a sheet of fire above him. He heard quick footsteps on the pavements, and voices, that grew fainter and fainter, crying, "Run for your lives!" He heard the hose-wagon horses somewhere back in the smoke go plunging away, mad with fright and their burns. He was alone with the fire, and the skin was hanging in shreds on his hands, face, and neck. Only a fireman knows how one blast of flame can shrivel up a man, and the pain over the bared surfaces was - well, there is no pain worse than that of fire scorching in upon the quick flesh seared by fire.

Here, I think, was a crisis to make a very brave man quail. Bill Brown knew perfectly well why every one was running - there was going to be another explosion in a couple of minutes, maybe sooner, out of this hell in front of him. And the order had come for every man to save himself, and every man had done it except the lads inside. And the question was, Should he run or should he stay and die? It was tolerably certain that he would die if he stayed. On the other hand, the boys of old 29 were in there. Devanny and McArthur, and Gillon and Merron, his friends, his chums. He'd seen them drag the hose in through that door - there it was now, a long, throbbing snake of it - and they hadn't come out. Perhaps they were dead. Yes, but perhaps they weren't. If they were alive, they needed water now more than they ever needed anything before. And they couldn't get water if he quit his engine.

Bill Brown pondered this a long time, perhaps four seconds - then he fell to stoking in coal, and he screwed her up another notch, and he eased her running parts with the oiler. Explosion or not, pain or not, alone or not, he was going to stay and make that engine hum. He had done the greatest thing a man can do - had offered his life for his friends.

It is pleasant to know that this sacrifice was averted. A quarter of a minute or so before the second and terrible explosion, Devanny and his men came staggering from the building. Then it was that Merron fell, and McArthur checked his fight to save him. Then it was, but not until then, that Bill Brown left Engine 29 to her fate (she was crushed by the falling walls), and ran for his life with his comrades. He had waited for them, he had stood the great test.


Email this page to a friend Email this page to a friend


Follow Us...

Follow Us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow Us on Pinterest

Labor Day Activities for Kids-Community HelpersLabor Day Activities

Labor Day Activities

About Labor Day

When is Labor Day 2019?

Labor Day Coloring Pages

Community Helpers - Printables

Thematic Reading List

Back to School - Suggested Class Supply List

Labor Day Short Stories

Community Helpers Word Search

Fun Holiday Activities and Games for Kids


Holidays and

Teaching Themes

December Teaching Activities & Worksheets

Winter Theme Unit of Study - Winter
Christmas Thematic Unit - Christmas Fun
Christian Christmas Theme Unit of Study - Christmas - Religious Christian Christmas
Hanukkah Thematic Unit - Hanukkah
Kwanzaa Theme Unit of Study - Kwanzaa
New Year Thematic Unit - New Year
December Calendar of Events - December Teaching Ideas - Other December Teaching Ideas

Sample Thematic Activities & Teaching Ideas

Letter Activities, Coloring Pages, Worksheets and Games - Letters of the Alphabet Games
Community Helpers Games, Activities, Worksheets, Books, Poetry, Lessons and Teaching Ideas - Community Helpers
100th Day of School Games, Activities, Worksheets, Books, Lessons and Teaching Ideas - The 100th day of School Activities
Seasons Thematic Unit - Summer - Summer
Seasons Thematic Unit - Fall - Autumn - Games, Coloring Pages, Activities, Worksheets, Articles, Books, Poetry, Lessons and Teaching Ideas - Fall
Seasons Thematic Unit - Winter - Winter
Seasons Thematic Unit - Spring - Spring
U.S. Presidents Games, Coloring Pages, Activities, Worksheets, Timelines, Books, Poetry, Stories, Lessons and Teaching Ideas - Presidents
Dr. Seuss Thematic Teaching Unit - NEA Read Across America - Read Across America - Dr. Seuss' Birthday
Native Americans Thematic Unit - Games, Coloring Pages, Activities, Worksheets, Articles, Books, Poetry, Lessons and Teaching Ideas - Native American Study
USA States - U.S. Geography Thematic Unit - U.S. Geography
ADD, ADHD, Literacy, ESL, Special Ed, Bilingual Ed, Gifted, Health Ed, Early Childhood Education   
Home Search About Us Contact Compensation and Affiliation Affidavit Getting Started Privacy Policy Terms of Service Sitemap is a teacher created website with elementary and homeschooling activities:
first grade, second grade, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade and sixth grade teaching materials and lesson plans.

Copyright ©1999-2020
Owned and operated by Webstantaneous Web Marketing, LLC