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RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 5 . . Westward . . Part 1

RAILCAR GOLD   Chapter 5 . . . Westward

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 1 of Chapter 5 . . . Westward.  A new part will be posted every Thursday.  New readers may want to start at the beginning.



CHAPTER  5  . . . WESTWARD . . .  Part 1

All of a sudden Dan remembered his Uncle talking about a really long downriver covered bridge; he thought this must be what he was on.  He had never seen the bridge between Columbia and Wrightsville; however from the distinct sounds, he knew this was definitely a covered bridge.  He concluded horses or oxen were pulling the railcars; since there was not a single locomotive sound to be heard.

Extremely scared, Dan was starting his westward journey to begin his new life.  His decision to run away was based upon Billy being there to provide guidance.  Dan never would have made the decision to run away without the prodding by Billy to do so.

Now through an unplanned circumstance in Columbia, Dan was unexpectedly running away on his own; a terrifying notion.  However he still held out hope that Billy would rejoin him on his journey to provide some direction and reassurance.

At long last the railcars emerged from the covered bridge and came to a stop.  Dan could look out a crack in the railcar to see Wrightsville buildings with lamps and candles; he also smelled cooking.  He still had things to eat in his sack, however without water he decided to eat lightly; a small piece of corn bread and two apricots.

Dan knew that he had to stay alert, since there were two boxes tagged to be off loaded in Wrightsville.  Dan waited and waited, on and on into the night.  He did not know what time he fell asleep.

Bang!  Bang! Bang!  Dan was startled out of his sleep.  The morning sun filtered in through cracks in the railcar.  He peered out through the cracks to see several boys lighting more firecrackers.  The boys were getting an early start on the Independence Day celebration.

Today is July 4th 1860, also Dan’s birthday.  He turns 9-years-old today.  Dan wished he could leave the confines of the boxcar, join the boys and play; however he knew the best chance for Billy finding him was to stay put.  Besides, he was certain that if he left the railcar, it was unlikely he had the talent to get back inside undetected.

Dan was eating his last apricot when the door to the railcar suddenly opened.  He froze in place within his crate cave at the front of the railcar.  He heard wooden crates being slid across the floor and off loaded.  In a little while the door slammed shut.  Dan resumed eating the apricot.  He looked through cracks in the front of the boxcar and saw sacks being loaded into the railcar ahead of his car.

It was not more than five minutes following this activity, that a locomotive coupled up to the railcars and they were moving again.  Dan recalled Billy’s words from yesterday, “There’s also crates with Wrightsville and York, so more than likely, this boxcar will head westward across the river into York before heading south to Baltimore.  We might have to get off before York because I only saw three boxes with Baltimore tags.  We’ll know better after stops in Columbia and Wrightsville.”

Dan crawled out from his cave and examined tags for any new crates that may have been loaded in Wrightsville.  There were none.  Dan pulled out the train schedule that Billy gave him yesterday.  He knew he would have to watch the stops closely to get out of the boxcar prior to the York stop.

Go to Part 2