RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 19 . . Sustainable . . Part 4
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 19 . . . Sustainable. 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 19 . . . SUSTAINABLE . . . Part 4
The beach cottage rented by George and Emma Billmeyer came with a live-in housekeeper, coachman, and cook. Everybody raved at the feast served that first night in Atlantic City. A scrumptious dessert followed in the beachside gazebo to top off a great meal.
Later that evening, Dan and Becky were the final two remaining in the gazebo. Looking up and down the beach, they could see similar gazebos, also lighted by gas lamps. The sound of the Atlantic surf, splashing upon the beach, emanated from the darkness.
Such a romantic setting, however Clementon, Blackwood, Spring Mills and Big Timber Creek memories still lingered in Dan’s mind. Since Dan had come to York, he had never told anybody about his New Jersey beginnings, not even his best friend George Billmeyer.
Dan looked into Becky’s eyes, hesitated slightly, but not able to hold back any longer, blurted out, “I hope you don’t think any less of me after I tell you a secret.” Dan did not even give Becky a chance to respond before rolling out his story, pretty much non-stop.
Dan told Becky about Spring Mills, where he was born and spent his early years. He described the picturesque small hamlet on Big Timber Creek, one and a half miles upstream from Blackwood. The creek, the pond used to power the Spring Mills Agricultural Works’ waterwheels and the surrounding tangle wood forest were play areas that any child would be jealous to have.
Dan’s dad Wyatt carted the finished goods from the Works to not only local towns but also to the city of Philadelphia. Dan told Becky about riding along with his Dad on several occasions, however he especially focused on the visit made to Clementon almost 25 years ago.
Dan told how his mom Della had parents and a brother that lived in Blackwood; however his dad Wyatt had no other relatives living in this country. Della insisted that Dan get his education at a schoolhouse located in the southern part of Blackwood.
Dan admitted to Becky that he thoroughly enjoyed school. He stayed with his grandparents during weekdays when in first and most of second grades, however by the end of second grade he was walking the one and a half miles back and forth between Spring Mills and Blackwood; owing to the death of both his grandma and grandpa during the spring of 1859.
Thoughts of the ferry accident and the aftermath were still painful. Dan condensed that experience for Becky, “My parents and all my siblings drown in a ferry accident crossing the Delaware. They are buried in Blackwood, which is only four-miles west of Clementon. My Uncle Rufus was appointed my guardian; he was only interested in me as an 8-year-old worker. I was expected to do the job of two hired hands. He was intent on moving around to keep me from going to school, so he could get more work out of me. I ran away and faked my death so my uncle would not come after me. I regret the part about faking my death, but do not regret running away. I was extremely lucky to cross paths with Charles Billmeyer as I traveled through York. Now I’ll shut up and let you get a word in.”
Becky hugged Dan as she told him, “All I know is that we’ve got to get you back to Clementon, Blackwood and Spring Mills tomorrow.” Tears ran down their cheeks as they held their embrace for the longest time.
Go to Part 5