Part of the USA Today Network

RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 10 . . Work . . Part 5

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 5 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 5

George and Dan had gone back to their home to await the completion of the remainder of the preliminary frog jump round.  They really did not want to be there when their pellet bugs failed to deliver the frog jumping results similar to those of Davy Croakett.

They wandered back to the fairgrounds at 4 O’clock.  To their amazement they learned that two of the four other frogs in the Frog Jump Championship Round had successfully used their technique with the pellet bug on a string.  However Davy Croakett still held the record during the preliminary frog jump round.

At 5 O’clock Dan was told to walk in a parade that weaved throughout the York Fairgrounds, ending at the Frog Jump Circle.  The leaders of the parade carried a big sign with the wording, “Follow us for a contest to crown the Grand Champion Jumping Frog of York County.”  Several drum and bugle players followed.

Then came the owners of the five frogs that qualified for the finals.  Each owner was given a sign to carry with the name of their frog and the jump distance in the preliminary round.  The names of the frogs, in descending order of preliminary jump distance, were Davy Croakett, Penelope, Max Jumper, Mr. Ribbet and Leapin Leo.

Dan drew the fourth spot in the championship round starting order.  The owners of Mr. Ribbet and Max Jumper went first and second; they gave a few introductory remarks and jumped their frogs.

Dan and George watched Max Jumper with great interest.  Max’s owner, Karl, had purchased the “proven” pellet bug.  Max’s jump distance was more than two feet less than the preliminary distance Davy Croakett jumped; however Karl appeared happy with the results.

While back at their home prior to the championship round, George had expressed feelings of remorse for taking the other entrants for the 2-dollars and 30-cents profit made by selling the pellet bugs.  He no longer felt so bad after Karl exclaimed from the center of the jump ring, “I couldn’t get Max to jump for a hoot, but he seems to like this pellet bug.”

Next up we have Sally and her frog named Penelope.  Sally introduced herself and explained, “Penelope lives in the pond in our back yard.  My younger sister Molly caught this frog last year, bestowed upon it the name Penelope and kept it as a pet.  When Molly got sick, she released it back into the pond; however Penelope continued to recognize us and would allow us to feed it bugs directly from our hand.  Molly has since died.  If I win, I’m dedicating this championship to my sister.”

Sally’s brother held Penelope on the Starting Spot and Sally got directly in front of the frog, almost at the edge of the jump circle.  Sally simply clapped her hands while saying “Molly, Molly, Molly” for Penelope to rapidly make successive jumps.  Penelope was the new leader with only Davy Croakett and Leapin Leo yet to jump.

Dan quoted a few lines from Mark Twain’s story about Jim Smiley and his Jumping Frog as the reason for entering the Frog Jump.  He noted Davy Crockett as an American hero and master of home spun tales.  Dan said, “Davy was quoted as saying proper spelling is ‘contrary to nature’.”  Dan concluded, “I think Davy Crockett would get a chuckle out of changing the ‘c’ to an ‘a’ to name our frog Davy Croakett.”

Dan sat Davy Croakett down on the Starting Spot and let go.  George held the food pellet bug from a string just out of reach, for each of Davy’s successive jumps.  Disaster struck during the second jump.  George was not fast enough.  Davy clearly touched the food pellet bug.  Davy Croakett was disqualified.  Dan was dejected more so then George.

Leapin Leo was the last entry.  Leo was another frog that was successfully coaxed to jump with a food pellet bug on a string.  Leapin Leo jumped in a nice straight line, however Leo had a jump distance only good enough to place third.

Sally was awarded a medallion; it was finely painted with the wording 1866 Grand Champion Jumping Frog of York County.  From the reaction of the crowd, Sally and Penelope were clearly the crowd favorites.

Go to Part 6