RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 3 . . Missing . . Part 3
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 3 of Chapter 3 . . . Missing. A new part will be posted every Thursday. New readers may want to start at the beginning.
CHAPTER 3 . . . MISSING . . . Part 3
Dan learned that Conoy Creek ran beside their place. Tom continued filling Dan in on tidbits about his new neighborhood. “That small town on the other side of the creek started out named after George Stacks; it was called Stackstown. When we got two bridges over the Conoy relatively close together, that place took the name Bridgeville. A year ago the ‘B’ fell off the sign. It’s been known as Ridgeville ever since.”
Dan started to laugh. Tom interjected, “I’m not kidding, they were to lazy to put the ‘B’ back on the sign. Everybody, I mean everybody, calls that town Ridgeville.” They both had a good laugh.
Tom continued, “You can float down the Conoy to the river, we’ll do that another day when we have the time. It’s about a mile and a half float to the millpond near the river. There’s a more direct path from the downstream bridge, on the other side of the creek, that will get you there in half the distance.” This is the path they take to the mill, where there is a bridge to the other side of the creek.
They are near the mouth of the Conoy Creek, with its flow passing into the Susquehanna River. They first pass a railroad track then up over a bridge spanning the Pennsylvania Canal. Along the eastern riverbank Tom points to a narrow path, “my fishing spot is about a quarter-mile upriver. I have to go first, because I keep my fishing pole hidden up there. Not that I don’t trust you, but I’ve only met you this morning. Wait here for several minutes then make your way along this path. Paths slippery; be careful you don’t slip into the river.”
As Dan waited, a train passed on the nearby track. Dan waved to the lone passenger car following several freight cars. No passengers returned the wave. Dan had never been on a train, he wondered if he would soon get a chance with tracks so close to his home.
Dan walked the slick muddy narrow path between the bank of the canal and the river, taking great care not to slip into the river. After a distance he passed a broader area where two boys were fishing, however not seeing Tom, he continued further along the path. The path got very narrow. Splash, his left foot was suddenly in the river. Dan swiftly grabbed a tree to prevent his right foot from hitting water. Dan heard the boys he had just passed howl with laughter.
He pulled himself up onto the steep canal bank by holding onto trees and commenced to slowly make his way further up river. A significant distance further Dan saw Tom standing in a wider flat area that extended out into the river. Tom was laughing, “Got a wet foot, didn’t you. The trick is not to use the path on that last narrow section, but to go higher up on the canal bank and hold unto the trees.” Dan scoffed, “You could’ve told me that earlier.”
Tom just continued laughing; it did not take long for Dan to join in the laugher. Tom commented and asked, “Those two boys that you passed fishing are not the friendliest. It’s best that you steer clear of them and don’t use that fishing spot. Did they say anything to you as you passed?” Dan replied, “They didn’t say anything, however they both had uninviting expressions. I just minded my own business and continued along the path.” Tom retorted, “Wise move.”
Tom had an extra fishing pole in his left hand that he held out for Dan, “A friend moved away not to long ago and left this. I guess its yours now.” Dan thanked Tom. The boys commenced dropping their lines into the river while Tom continued filling in Dan about life in communities around Bainbridge.
Go to Part 4