RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 11 . . Princeton . . Part 6
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 6 of Chapter 11 . . . Princeton. 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 11 . . . PRINCETON . . . Part 6
On December 22nd 1869, the whole Billmeyer family was at the York Railroad Station to greet George, upon his return from the fall term at Princeton. This was the first uninterrupted session for George; the first term that did not include any weekend trips home.
Elizabeth Billmeyer questioned her son George after giving him a giant hug, “So, what’s the verdict on your courses?” George proudly responded, “Excellent in every subject except Latin, although I’ve improved.” Elizabeth sighed in relief, “Good, I was beginning to worry, since we did not get any letters after the gang visited you last month.”
Dan interjected, “I’m dieing to know, who won the third game?” George chagrinned, “We kept going back and forth with Rutgers on further enhancements to the rules; possibly even allowing running with the ball. The faculties at Rutgers and Princeton ultimately claimed this was becoming too much of a distraction. They forbid any more discussion about the game and canceled the third game.”
Between Christmas and New Year, Dan proudly showed George his new ideas that were being used in the Paint Department at The Car Works. George again spent his whole vacation working in the offices of Billmeyer & Small. Since the Pacific railroad was completed, new railroads were multiplying faster than rabbits. The demand for railcars outpaced the national car builder production capacity.
One evening, Dan asked George, “Do you think I’d enjoy going to college? Your Dad told me that he’d pay the majority of the costs, if I choose that route.” George encouraged Dan to attend college and showed him the courses he’d be taking in the upcoming second & third terms:
- Logic and Metaphysics
- Mechanics (Olmstead’s)
- Natural Philosophy
- Physical Geography
- Christian Evidences (Butler’s Analogy)
- Rhetoric (Day’s Art of Discourse)
- Mathematics (Integral Calculus)
- Modern Languages (French and German)
George admitted, “From everything I hear, these sessions during the junior year, are the most demanding that I’ll encounter. It will be nose to the grindstone until the third session ends in June.”
George’s Christmas break seemed to go by so fast. Everybody saw him off at the Railroad Station on January 11th 1870. George doubted he would be home until spring break in April, however he promised to write letters.
When George returned for spring break, he brought along books from several courses, since the second and third terms were a continuation. George spent days at the York Car Works and late into every night he did his studies.
One evening after supper, George asked Dan to go for a walk with him. George told Dan, “You have to promise not to tell this to anybody. Billmeyer and Small is on the verge of getting some very big orders from a new type of railroad. I’m going to finish this upcoming term at Princeton. However we’ve agreed that it is best that I help out here, in the coming year, by taking an extended break before my senior year.”
Dan wondered why George shared this information, then the reason surfaced, “I don’t know what conversation Dad had with you about attending college. However he appears troubled that you’d think of him as an Indian-giver, if he were to ask you to delay your college decision.”
Dan was flabbergasted. He’d never think of Charles Billmeyer that way. A week after George returned to college, Dan let Charles know of his leanings not to go to college. Dan was long overdue, as he expressed his gratitude to Charles for being treated like a son.
Go to Chapter 12, Part 1