RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 4 . . Stowaway . . Part 5
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 4 . . . Stowaway. A new part will be posted every Thursday. New readers may want to start at the beginning.
CHAPTER 4 . . . STOWAWAY . . . Part 5
Dan was relieved to see the sack. He examined the items; they were all still there. Most of his personal items and clothing were left behind; his fake death on the river had to look like an accident. Billy explained that he was only allowed to take a very few items, otherwise he would appear more like a runaway. Dan even left some coins behind.
The sack contained three paper bags and a canteen of water. The canteen was something that Billy had found. One bag contained things to eat. One bag contained 87 cents in coins. The last bag contained selected personal belongings. Things to eat included: seven apricots, a tin of crackers and a tin with four pieces of corn bread and six strips of dried beef jerky.
Dan examined the five personal items over and over as he awaited the train. A spare shirt was something his Mother had gotten him in Philadelphia; Rufus had seen him wear it once or twice immediately after the accident. Dan had it tucked away ever since; he did not think Rufus would remember that shirt from all the other shirts left behind.
Dan felt very safe taking four other personal items. These had been packed away ever since the accident, he doubted that Rufus even knew that he had them. Two items were birthday cards made by his Mom; one had handprints of both of his siblings. A scarf belonged to his Mom and a shirt belonging to his Dad; which was currently way to big for him, some day he would grow into it.
Besides the cloths on his back, Dan was starting his new life with only those five items and 87 cents. Of course there was that 1849 penny; the last thing his Mom had given him. Dan carried that in his pocket pretty much all the time; he could not see himself ever parting with that penny.
The blast of a train whistle startled Dan.
Dan looked up to see a deer scurry off the railroad tracks in front of the approaching train. As the train approached and got closer, Dan crouched lower into the undergrowth between the rail tracks and the canal.
Just as they had seen yesterday, the train stopped and backed up into the siding at the quarry; to pick up two cars filled with crushed rock. Also just as before the engineer looked back on the left side of the cab where everyone from the train gathered to get some papers from the quarry-men and to couple the quarry cars.
Dan saw a door open on one of the boxcars. It was Billy, another huge relief for Dan! As practiced Dan swiftly made his way to the railcar, shielded from the quarry and from the trains-men by the railcars.
Dan handed Billy the sack while their other hands met. Dan found himself hoisted up into the car by Billy before he knew what happened.
The railcar door was quickly shut. Sunlight filtered in through several cracks, however the boxcar at first appeared pitch black to Dan. As practiced, Dan and Billy quickly scurried away from the door, primarily by feel. They did not say a word or make a noise until the train was well underway.
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