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RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 2 . . Orphan . . Part 2

CHAPTER   2 . . . ORPHAN . . . Part 2

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 2 of Chapter 2 . . . Orphan.  A new part will be posted every Thursday.  New readers may want to start at the beginning.


CHAPTER  2  . . . ORPHAN . . .  Part 2

At long last Danny got his wish.  On Saturday November 5th 1859, his parents left him go with his Uncle Rufus to his first horse auction.  Danny had looked forward to this day practically ever since hearing the first tall tale about these auctions.

Very early in the morning, Dan got into the carriage with his parents and siblings.  Dan was dropped off at Rufus’ place. Della gave Dan a penny to buy a treat for himself at the auction.  His family continued on into Philadelphia to complete some errands related to their pending move.

Dan rides his favorite horse to the auction.  Buck was a jet-black stallion.  Buck was born at his Uncle’s place and was the horse that Dan liked to ride the most.  Della had warned Dan on occasions not to become to attached to Buck, because Rufus was in the business of selling horses.  So far, Dan’s pleas to his Uncle to keep Buck had worked.

On their ride to the horse auction, what started out, as a light rain became a driving rainstorm as they crossed Raccoon Creek.  They were soaked by the time they reached the auction site several miles later.  At least the auction was held under the cover of a large barn.

The thing that Dan liked the most about this auction was finally being able to put faces and various peculiar traits to the characters in Rufus’ stories that he had heard for so long.  The shed next to the barn sold food and drinks.  Dan did not spend his penny; Uncle Rufus bought him pretty much whatever food and drinks that he wanted.

Rufus bought three horses at the auction, which they led back to Blackwood under clear skies later in the afternoon.  Dan was happy that he got a chance to experience this auction.  He had an enjoyable time.  Dan knew this was likely his first and last horse auction, since he would be living in Philadelphia in a few weeks.

That evening Dan’s parents had planned to pick him up on their way home.  When they did not show up, Rufus suggested to Dan, “They must have stayed overnight in the City.”  Rufus made space in an upstairs storage room for Dan to spend the night.

The following morning Dan woke to the sound of strange voices in the house.  Dan went downstairs and learned their message.  Rufus told Dan the sad news, “Your parents and siblings drowned yesterday in a ferry mishap while crossing the Delaware River.  A squall flipped the ferry.  The bodies of your parents and brother are on their way to Blackwood.  The body of your sister has not yet been recovered.”

At eight years old, Dan was an orphan.  The grieving process was made even more difficult for Dan; he could not understand why the body of his sister could not be found in the river.

Uncle Rufus was appointed Dan’s guardian.  Dan continued to attend school in Blackwood and learned the ropes of training horses from his uncle.  The body of his sister was never recovered.

With the passing of a few months, things eventually returned to some semblance of normalcy for Dan.  Then, out of the blue in early March, Uncle Rufus announced to Dan, “this Saturday, we’re going to move to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.”

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