"The Toy Train!"
Art: Robert Q. Sale
Teddy has taken a push broom and a blanket to create a pretend train, one
which would take him far away from his old Uncle Jonas. The boy's
playtime is over when the uncle grabs onto the broom and snaps the handle
in two. He will not have any toys in his home, and believes that such
things are not for orphans. Grabbing onto his nephew, Jonas intends to
teach him a lesson.
Bob Hammond had heard the yelling all the way to his own home, and bursts
into the room. Uncle Jonas knows that Hammond and his wife have no
children, but want to adopt Teddy. Since the boy was his late sister's
son, Teddy will stay with his uncle. As Jonas threatens to call the
police, Bob Hammond is forced to leave the house. Once the neighbor has
left, the little boy is sobbing, and his uncle threatens to break him,
too. Being a miser with his money, Jonas tells his nephew to go to bed.
Angered by Teddy's sobs, the uncle slaps his tearful face. Later that
night, Jonas is asleep, while his nephew is sleeping in the garret. The
outside wind is his only company, and it begins to whisper his name.
A ghostly figure appears in the boy's room, and a cold hand strokes the
slumbering lad with a tender touch. When Teddy wakes to find himself no
longer alone, his visitor leaves him an electric train to play with. Not
bothered by the ghostly gift-giver, the lad prepares to play with the
electric train set. Once assembled, the countryside set presents Teddy
with a place that he longs to visit. The boy begins to shrink in size,
and is now able to fit inside his train. As he walks along the train
track, Teddy sees the juicy red apples hanging from a tree, and the red
brick structure of the train house. Not needing a ticket to ride, the
lad prepares to ride his train.
CLOMP! CLOMP! The sound of thunder echoes throughout Teddy's new world,
and he knows that he must return before his Uncle Jonas arrives. Now
back at his normal size, the lad returns to his bed. The miser had been
awakened by a noise, and intends to teach his nephew another lesson.
Both are surprised to see the fully assembled train set by the bed.
Teddy tries to tell his Uncle Jonas what's happened, but Jonas shakes the
boy, and is about to bash his nephew's dream with a wooden chair.
Through a tearful haze, Teddy leaps towards his train set.
The lad is reduced in size, now the engineer of his own personal line,
and sees the giant chair threatening to end his trip. CHOO-CHOO Jonas
is getting ready to smash the toy train into a million pieces, but it is
the miser who is struck headlong by the locomotive. After opening his
eyes, Teddy finds himself back in bed, and wondering about the strange
dream he just had. Bob Hammond has just broken down the door, having
heard a tremendous crash. When the boy tells him about the dream, and
asks about his uncle, Bob tells Teddy that he'll be living with them from
now on. As he carries the boy from the old mansion, Hammond shudders
inwardly at the sight of Jonas being smashed up... as if a train had run
This story was reprinted in Chamber Of Chills #12 (September, 1974).
Uncle Jonas looks like a demented version of Terry-Thomas, complete with
a bald skull-like face, and mustache.
Teddy looks like a young Billy Mumy, and is wearing a polo t-shirt
similar to that of William "Flint" Marko, aka The Sandman.
The miser's speech patterns (including "yuh") would be perfectly at home
in a Western.
This uncle is a far cry from the likes of Ben Parker.
Thanks to toys and comic books, a child's imagination can take them into
The uncle wears some night apparel which would do the Yellow Kid proud.
Unfortunately for Jonas, although he could threaten his nephew, the miser
was not more powerful than a locomotive.
"The Review Train!"