Part of the USA Today Network

RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 20 . . Europe . . Part 5

RAILCAR GOLD   Chapter 20 . . . Europe add 2 blanks after GOLD
RAILCAR GOLD   Chapter 20 . . . Europe

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 5 of Chapter 20 . . . Europe. 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 20 . . . EUROPE . . . Part 5

George Billmeyer admired the intricate wooden paneling throughout the hallways and inside their compartment. Without a doubt, the Express d’Orient was much more luxurious than any of Pullman’s sleeper cars.

George was in a hurry to get to the social hour in the restaurant coach. He was anxious to see if any other railroad men were on the train. Emma insisted, “You go ahead, I’ll join you by 8:00 o’clock.”

The coach lighting was via old-fashioned German petroleum lamps. George thought, that was one area where Nagelmackers’ coaches were substandard to American coaches. However, as soon as George stepped into the restaurant coach, he had to admit it, he never expected anything this lavish.

George was beginning to wonder if any of the other passengers spoke English, at least English well enough, such that George could hold a conversation. However he eventually found a few and invited a Belgian lumber Baron, and his wife, to join them for dinner.

The dinner was quite good: a tasty soup with Italian pasta, lettuce, turbot with green sauce, chateau potatoes, and a choice of chicken, beef or an array of game animals. An assortment of desserts capped off the meal.

Emma thought the highlight of the meal, was when the Baron and George were swapping stories of their youth; of trying to stay on floating logs to direct them into the jack-slip of their respective sawmills. Emma had never heard these stories from her husband, nor had she realized how hilarious theses stories could be. Since after the opening stories, both the Baron and George had no shame in telling every detail about, what seemed like, every instance that they ever fallen off a log into the water.

As Emma and George walked back to their compartment, Emma quietly whispers to George, “Guess what, the beds have silk sheets.” They decide to turn in early; planning to get up for the sunrise breakfast; at which time, they’ll just be leaving France, upon crossing the Rhine River.

Emma and George agreed; breakfast while watching the sunrise over the Rhine and traveling through the German countryside was a spectacle not unlike crossing the Susquehanna and traveling through the beautiful Central Pennsylvania countryside. There were many similarities, however they still enjoyed soaking in the newfound surroundings as tourists.

Mid-morning, as the train slowed to pass through Stuttgart, George and Emma settled into luxurious leather armchairs by a window in the restaurant coach. For the next hour, they were offered a constant string of drinks and snacks, as they watched the scenery go by.

At one point George wanted something; he had no more than started to raise his arm to signal a waiter; two waiters were at his side almost immediately. George figured the staff to passenger ratio must be close to one to one.

After lunch, they stopped at Munich to receive a few more passengers. To the disappointment of George, there were still no railroad men. The Baron invited the Billmeyers to join them for Dinner, and later George was especially grateful he accepted.

The Baron was doing something with wooden box construction that George thought might have potential for a new Billmeyer & Small product. He was anxious to get a telegraph off to John Small, upon arriving in Vienna.

Go to Part 6