The Operator

The sceneshows a railroad station on a one-horse road.
A man and woman make up the cast. The scene shows a railroad station on a one horse road. The sketch opens quietly. The operator, it is explained, has worked seventy hours at his key without relief. A substitute is being rushed to him. He falls asleep, only to be awakened by the ticking instrument which carries train orders. The wife wakes him up to receive the message, but half crazed for want of sleep, he confuses instructions and sends two trains toward each other. This situation is worked up naturally to the point where the operator realizes that his mistake may cost many lives. He reaches for his revolver to pay the penalty by self destruction, but the wife begs that he kill her first. She suggests that there is a last chance that one of the trains is late. They will know at twelve o'clock. One of the trains must then pass unless it is destroyed. As the station clock points to the hour, the husband stands with his revolver to his wife's head prepared to pull the trigger at the last stroke. The bell chimes eight times and the audience fairly gasps
The subject is sufficiently gruesome and thrilling without that bit of realism of pressing the revolver against the woman's head, and this might well be avoided. The man also misses something at the opening in working up his point of great weariness. Where a sketch of rather sombre color is in demand "The Operator'' should have steadv call.
Variety 7:4 (07/27/1907)