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RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 4 . . Stowaway . . Part 2

RAILCAR GOLD   Chapter 4 . . . Stowaway

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 4 . . . Stowaway.  A new part will be posted every Thursday.  New readers may want to start at the beginning.


CHAPTER  4  . . . STOWAWAY . . .  Part 2

Dan wrestled with confronting Rufus, however the longer he lay in the loft, he decided it was to his advantage not to let Rufus know what he overheard.  When the stranger and Rufus went back into the house, Dan snuck off to see Tom.

Dan didn’t tell Tom what he had heard; just indicating the need for a change of plans based upon the mood Rufus was in.  Dan wanted to make it clear to Tom about his cover story; that he visited tonight to hear all about the trip that Tom and Frank made to see a waterfall.  Tom promised, “You have my word and I’ll let Frank know.  Now come with me; we need a witness.”

Tom led Dan past his father in the barn while remarking to Dan; “You should have joined Frank and me on our adventure to the waterfall; instead of hearing about it secondhand.”  Dan replied, “I would have liked to, however I had a lot of work to do while my Uncle is away on a buying trip.”

Dan ambled into his house; and acted surprised to see his Uncle at the kitchen table talking to a stranger.  Rufus immediately demands, “Where have you been?”  Dan replied, “After I finished my chores, I went over to Toms place for a little while.  I thought you weren’t returning until tomorrow?”

Rufus responds, “So, I’m not here and you decide to goof-off.  This is John; he’s another horse dealer that is looking to expand his operations and wanted to see how we operate.  He’ll still be here tomorrow.  You’ll have to catch a few extra fish, because it’ll be supper for three.”  Dan peppered John with questions about his horse business; anything to avoid talking to Rufus.

Dan was up early, he wanted to make sure most of his chores were done before Rufus got up; after all it would take him longer than usual, since he hadn’t done them yesterday.  Rufus was showing John around the place while Dan worked with the first of three horses he usually trained each day; when they rode off, Dan decided to head to his fishing hole earlier than normal.

Dan had changed to a fishing hole downriver; a place that the local boys considered haunted.  He had started fishing here after Rufus sent him to bed several times without supper.  Dan found a very large skillet in the rafters of the barn, likely left behind by Harry, and kept it at his new fishing hole for such occasions.  Since he did not have any supper last night by his own doing, this morning he was going to catch and cook a fish on the spot.

Dan was startled when someone snuck up behind him and announced, “That fish smells tasty.  I haven’t eaten a warm meal in several days.  Would you fry this one for me?”  As the boy picked up the largest fish in Dan’s catch.  Dan was in a generous mood, “Sure hand it here, I’ll gut and clean it.  You can start on the fish in the skillet.”  As Dan reached into a bag, pulled out a fork and handed it to the boy.

The boy quickly devoured the fish in the skillet, but in between gulps he managed several rapid-fire questions, “Is this your camp?  Are you a rail traveler, like me?  Do you really travel with this enormous skillet?”  Dan replied, “I live nearby.  I have never traveled on a railroad.  What is it like?”

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