Part of the USA Today Network

RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 10 . . Work . . Part 4

RAILCAR GOLD    Chapter 10 . . . Work   add 2 blanks after GOLD
RAILCAR GOLD   Chapter 10 . . . Work

RAILCAR GOLD is a historically accurate multi-generational fictional tale of hidden treasure, primarily set in York County, Pennsylvania during the latter half of the Nineteenth Century.  This is Part 4 of Chapter 10 . . . Work.  A new part will be posted every Thursday.  Recent chapters stand alone, starting here; however new readers may want to start at the beginning.


CHAPTER  10  . . . WORK . . .  Part 4

The smell of spring was in the air on a very pleasant Saturday in April of 1866.  It was the day of the big Frog Jump at the York Fairgrounds.  George decided to let Dan register as the official owner of their frog Davy Croakett.

George Billmeyer had his reasons for doing this; his dad, Charles Billmeyer, was perturbed over all the time the boys were wasting training that stupid frog.  George felt it best to distance himself, especially if their frog got into the Frog Jump Championship Round.  George felt it better if Dan gave the introductory remarks in front of any of their family friends and neighbors that may be in attendance.

Dan pulled number 122 from the box.  The boys figured it would be early afternoon before their number was called; they were glad they left Davy Croakett back home, in his usual surroundings in the stable.  They reasoned that would keep Davy fresh for his best jumping.

It was fun watching the other frogs jump; especially the antics of the frog handlers in coaxing their frogs to jump.  Two frogs even made their way to freedom; with persistent rapid escape jumps until they found nearby building crevasses as hideouts.

Some frog owners passed up their first opportunity to jump their frog and decided to wait until their back-of-the-line opportunity.  Word quickly got around why they were doing this; to observe the best methods to get frogs to consistently jump in basically a straight line for maximum distance.

Soon many frog owners were passing up their first opportunity to jump their frogs.  George sent Dan back to the stable to get Davy Croakett; they were ready, they were confident and they had a reason not to wait.

Dan sat Davy Croakett down on the Starting Spot and let go.  George held one of their food pellet bugs from a string just out of reach, for each of Davy’s three successive jumps.  Davy Croakett’s Jump Distance measured 12-feet, 10-inches; over three-feet further than any other frog, up until that time.

Dan and George briefly congratulated each other then George went into a sales pitch they had planned just for this moment.  George held up the food pellet bug on a string that he had used to coax Davy to jump and announced to everyone, “We’ve developed a food pellet that our frog can not resist.  We have other pellets, however this is our frog’s favorite.  We can not guarantee that your frog will react just like Davy Croakett, that said, follow me off to the side, over there, if you would like to bid for this exact, proven, food pellet bug”

They did better than expected in auctioning off the pellet bug.  The winning bidder paid 23-cents for the “proven” pellet bug.  That allowed George to set the price for the other pellet bugs in the can that he waved in the air.

George announced, “I have a can of about 25 additional pellet bugs.  The starting price is 15-cents for any takers.”  They sold a few, until there were no additional takers.  George dropped the price to 12-cents; selling a few more.  Eventually 4-cents was the price level where they sold out, except for one pellet, which George saved for their use in the Frog Jump Championship Round.

George and Dan took their frog back home and counted up their money; 2-dollars and 30-cents.  Realistically they had expected to make no more than one-dollar; they were quite pleased with themselves.  Dan imagined that Jim Smiley would have been proud of them.

Go to Part 5