RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 19 . . Sustainable . . 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 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 6
Dan began playing various scenarios in his mind of people he might encounter in Blackwood, however before he knew it, the driver inquired, “Where do you two want to be dropped off?”
Dan asked, “Am I correct that this road passes the church in Blackwood? If so, drop us off there.”
Dan guided Becky, hand-in-hand, straight to the headstone of his parents and siblings. On the train trip, earlier in the morning, Dan told Becky about a dream that he had last night. In the dream he saw the headstone they were headed towards, at this very moment; with his name inscribed at the bottom, followed by ‘Drown in Susquehanna.’
Great relief swept over Dan when his name was not on the headstone. He dropped to his knees in front of the headstone and Becky joined him; putting her arm around him. Dan was glad to have Becky with him for this first visit after all those years.
As they walked through Blackwood and then through Spring Mills, Dan was certain that he recognized people from his childhood. Seeing the places of his youth was bittersweet. How he wished he had not followed the advice of Billy to fake drowning in the Susquehanna to dissuade his guardian Uncle Rufus from tracking him down. He regretted not being able to share, with childhood friends, all the good things that had happened to him in the twenty-five years since leaving Spring Mills.
Dan considered telling people the truth, however he decided not to rock the apple cart, at least on this visit. That was a subject he was looking forward to talking over with Becky after they were married. He wanted Becky to be comfortable with any decision as big at that.
On the train trip back to York, Emma Billmeyer wanted all the facts about Dan’s early life. Dan was happy to indulge her. As with Becky, he loved finally being able to talk about that part of his life.
Becky was always giving Dan a hard time about the color choice on the walls of his home on Philadelphia Street in York. It all stemmed from whenever a Billmeyer & Small customer ordered a non-standard color for their coaches. In such cases, Dan asked for whatever was left over. He mixed these leftovers until he got a color he liked, and it went on a wall, or walls, of his home. Dan was proud his one-of-a-kind wall colors. It wasn’t as if Becky hated the color selections, because she thought some of the combinations went together nicely.
Dan was ready to show off his latest color combination in the upstairs sitting room, so he invited Emma and George Billmeyer to stop by. Dan got George to the side and told him, “When Becky gets here, the order going up the stairs must be: me, then Emma, then you, and Becky last. It’s your job to assure that is the order. Don’t mess this up.”
George smiled and gave Dan a fast thumbs up.
As soon as Becky stepped inside, Dan announced, “I hope everybody is ready for the best painting that I will ever do,” as he headed up the stairs. George kind of blocked Becky as he let Emma go next and them George quickly followed.
As soon as Dan entered the sitting room, he got down on one knee with arm outstretched; pointing to lettering painted on the wall. As soon as Emma saw the lettering, she shrieked with excitement.
Becky called up, “Is it that bad?” To which Dan put his index finger to his lips, for Emma to not say a word.
As Becky entered the sitting room, all eyes were upon her, to view her reaction. On the wall, Dan had painted in fancy script lettering, “Becky, Will You Marry Me?”
Becky did not hesitate, in sheer delight, proclaimed, “Yes!”
Go to Chapter 20, Part 1