RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 12 . . Narrow . . 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 12 . . . Narrow. 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 12 . . . NARROW . . . Part 6
Dan and George talked on the walk home. George wasted no time in apologizing for his terseness towards Dan. George explained, “You just came up to the office at the wrong time. I was a little uncomfortable overhearing the discussion between David Small and Dad. David was concerned that Dad was becoming overly conservative in business decisions. David insisted now was the time to be bold, especially with their good head-start in the narrow gauge business.”
George continued, “Evidently as soon as David saw that article in the morning paper, he immediately initiated planning for a 7 feet wide narrow gauge passenger car. Dad insisted on waiting several months to see if the 7 feet wide Jackson and Sharp car runs into any problems; after it gets some usage time on the rails out in Colorado. John Small told me that is what touched off the heated discussion, since I was not in the office when the debate started.”
Dan asked, “What about John Small joining the partnership? I take it that Charles was not in favor of the move, since he was not there for the announcement.”
George relented, “Your probably right. Actually I don’t know what to expect when I get home. You see, and you can’t share this with anyone, David used my suggestion of favoring a 7 feet car width, weeks ago, to push for me becoming a partner sooner, rather than later. However David told Dad that the addition of John H. Small into the partnership had to happen first. When David made those comments, I looked at John and John looked at me, while we sat in the outer office; we didn’t say a word. We were stunned.”
George sighed, “Dad asked ‘When?’ David told Dad, ‘Today, when I speak to our employees prior to quitting time.’ Dad exact words were, ‘If that’s what you’ve got to do, then that’s what you’ve got to do.’ Dad then walked out of David’s office. He only briefly looked in my direction as he zoomed past and did not say a word to me as he left. I looked out the window and saw him walking in the direction of home and thought about going after him, but decided I better not. That is why I don’t know what to expect when we get home.”
George and Dan walked into the house. Charles was in the parlor. As soon as he saw George and Dan he asked, “How’d David’s announcement go over with the employees?”
“They were stunned,” George admitted, “then afterwards as David talked to several of the Foremen, a few employees came to me for an explanation. All I could tell them was that I didn’t have any of the details.”
Charles relented, “I was very upset when I walked out of the office. After cooling down, the more I thought about it, I’m actually in agreement with David’s decision. Now is the time to be bold in our business decisions.”
George was relieved as he let out a sigh of relief. Charles continued, “I’m so proud of you George. You’ve gained the utmost respect of David. A respect that has been well earned.”
George had taken a year break from college due to the Narrow Gauge business startup at Billmeyer & Small. His plans had always been to return to Princeton in the fall of 1871 to complete his Senior year. In the coming days, after hearing the aggressive business expansion planned by David Small, George Billmeyer relented that his college days were over.
Go to Chapter 13, Part 1