RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 3 . . Missing . . 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 3 . . . Missing. A new part will be posted every Thursday. New readers may want to start at the beginning.
CHAPTER 3 . . . MISSING . . . Part 6
At long last, two additional passengers showed up, and the boys were on their way to the York County side of the Susquehanna River. They walked on the road leading downriver. A stream passed under the road at one point. Frank was certain this was the stream to the falls, so they climbed up through the gorge that flowing water had cut into the rocks and were rewarded with a minuscule two-foot high waterfall.
Tom turned to Frank, “I think your brother was pulling your leg. We just wasted our money on a ferry for nothing. Although it’s come to be expected with your suggestions, here lately.” Frank scoffed and suggested, “Maybe this isn’t the correct stream.” The boys followed Frank as he quickly retraced his steps; climbing down rocks. Tom continued giving Frank a hard time. Dan could care less; he was having fun, as they got back on the road and continued walking further downriver.
They soon heard the sound of falling water, even before sighting another stream passing under the road. Upon catching a glimpse of the waterfall, Frank announced, “My brother says they call this Wildcat Falls. Isn’t it impressive?” Dan and Tom nodded in agreement. Dan marveled and exclaimed, “Definitely more amazing than a picture in a book, glad I decided to join you guys.”
Frank pointed to a narrow path leading to the rocks besides the falls. The three boys follow the path and begin climbing the rocks; occasionally reaching out into the spray of falling water. Frank was being the tour guide, pointing out things his brother told in his stories of this place.
Tom looked back down at the falls, upon reaching the top, and exclaimed, “Frank, I take it back, you were right. “Wow, a vote of approval,” Frank uttered, “I never get many of them from you.” Tom continued, “Don’t let it go to your head. Now lead on to our camp site for lunch and then it’s on to the top of that buzzard peak.”
Frank led the guys to a nearby grassy area at an overlook. The clearing was near the edge of a cliff, where one could look almost directly down to the road along the river. They pulled some food from their sacks and had a bite to eat, taking in the view across the river; all the while being serenaded by the falling water of the waterfall.
Dan made the observation, “I’ve seen pictures of castles along rivers; this is the type of place where they would build an imposing castle.” Frank asks, “I’d like to see those pictures.” This request causes Dan to relay his sorrowful tale of the missing books. Tom had heard it all before, but this was news to Frank.
Tom could see that Dan’s tale was getting him down, so he quickly interjected, “I’m ready to climb that buzzard peak. No more lollygagging. Led the way Frank.” They make their way over imposing rocks to the top of the nearby summit. They were disappointed that only two buzzards were seen during the climb; and they were only sitting on nests. Dan suggested that the summit should be called Buzzards Roost.
They camped out under the stars at the location the boys had named Castle Point. The following day they followed the stream feeding the falls up to its source. Just as Frank’s brother had told him; there was an unusually named school at the source. The sign on the school: Burnt Cabin School. Frank informed the guys this was a school for the children of the charcoal burners in the area. The road back down to the ferry went directly by the school.
The boys had minimal wait time at the Vinegar Ferry on their return trip to Lancaster County. Walking past Shocks Mills, they were startled when a door slowly opened from the inside on a nearby railroad freight car. They initially saw the back of a boys head peer out. When he looked their way, he put an index finger to his lips; as if to say don’t give me away. He quickly jumped out of the railcar, closed the door and scurried into the nearby woods.
Go to Chapter 4, Part 1