RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 4 . . Stowaway . . Part 4
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 4 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 4
Billy and Dan walked down near the railroad tracks to the quarry and waited for the morning southbound train to arrive. They hid in a grove of trees as Billy went through the details of the plan over and over again. Billy showed Dan where to wait tomorrow for the signal to let him know the coast is clear to approach the boxcar.
Dan hid the sack containing his small collection of personal items in the woods near the quarry. There was nothing of great value other than to him, however the thought did cross his mind, would Billy grab the sack and make off with it, leaving him high and dry. This thought weighed heavy on Dan throughout the night, he did not get much sleep.
Tuesday July 3rd was a muggy summer day; it was already hot and sticky as Dan started walking down the road. He turned and yelled to Rufus attending to the horses, “I should have a nice catch today, Mr. Stover is letting me borrow his boat this morning.”
Uncle Rufus yelled back, “In that case, I expect you back quicker than usual. I warn you, don’t disappoint me like you always do.” Dan had thoughts of being emotional about seeing Rufus for the final time; that reply pretty much permanently severed his relationship with Uncle Rufus with very little emotion. As far as Dan was concerned, the situation had gotten intolerable the past few weeks. To top it off, last week when Dan returned from fishing, he discovered that Rufus had sold his horse Buck.
Dan walked to the dock in Bainbridge where the boat was tied up. Dan had convinced Mr. Stover let him borrow the boat in exchange for doing some yard work. In addition to Mr. Stover, Dan made sure several other people saw him row out into the river. He made sure that they saw him take off his shirt while out on the river.
Dan fished out on the river in sight of the dock for a little while before moving down river. He eventually was a nice distance downriver from his new fishing spot, at which point he rowed into shore; being careful that nobody was in the area.
Dan took a big rock and smashed a hole in the boat. He left his outer shirt lay in the boat, wedged in place. Dan was also wearing a second traveling shirt underneath; both were removed at the same time when he first removed the shirts in viewing distance of the dock in Bainbridge. Dan positioned the partly submerged boat as if it had drifted ashore.
Dan took the bottle of animal blood that Billy had previously supplied and applied the contents to the boat to make it look like he hit his head and fell overboard when the boat hit a rock. He carefully covered his tracks; then he headed off down the railroad tracks to the quarry.
Billy gave Dan the appropriate amount of time, before his part of the plan commenced. Which is when Billy came running up through the town yelling, “From the hills, I saw a boy in a boat. He was standing up fishing when the boat suddenly hit a rock. The boy went down hard, hit his head and fell overboard. I think he drown.”
In all the commotion, Billy had no difficulty slipping away through the crowd. He wandered up to the rail station and hid; the southbound train was due any minute. Billy applied the know-how that he had perfected in stowing away in rail boxcars to move from town to town. Billy was soon in a boxcar heading south towards the quarry stop.
Dan arrived at the quarry, having carefully walked through the woods next to the railroad track as they had done the day before; first on one side then the other side of the track, all to conceal his movements from any canal boats or quarry workers. Dan reached the tree where he hid the sack of personal belongings yesterday; his heart was beating out of his chest in anticipation; had Billy deceived him?
Go to Part 5