RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 5 . . Westward . . Part 3
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 3 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 3
Dan threw everything from Billy’s sack into his sack. He wanted to be ready to make a run for it if York was the next station. In a flashback, Dan recalled Billy’s account of the first time that he ran away and why he ended up getting caught.
Billy was convinced that he got caught and returned to his guardian because he used his whole real name. Part of Billy’s success the second time, was attributed to using an alias surname.
Dan pondered his alias. His inspiration came from one of the shops in Philadelphia where his Dad had made deliveries. The shop sign contained the name Robert DeWalt, Proprietor; Dan always thought that was a classy way to spell a name. Dan decided to use DeWyatt for his new surname; after his mother Della and his father Wyatt.
Dan was contemplating the stops on the train schedule when he heard the train whistle and felt the train slowing down. Instinctively Dan tucked the schedule in his pants pocket and quickly clutched this sack of personal belongings; getting ready to make a run for it.
Dan was relieved when he saw the sign, “Turnpike” as he peered out a crack in the boxcar as the train came to a stop. That meant on more stop before York. Dan made his mind up to get off the train at “Heistand’s.”
Dan heard more cans of milk being loaded at Turnpike Station. After the door shut and the train started moving Dan dashed to the cans with Billy’s cup and drank several cups of milk before returning to the crate cave.
The Heistand’s Station stop happened so fast, the train stopped, milk cans were loaded and the train was moving before Dan could react. Dan literally froze in his crate cave; he tried to move, but couldn’t. He was terrified! He wished Billy were here to provide guidance.
Dan slapped himself and exclaimed, “Snap out of it! Do that at the York Station and you’ll be caught!” Dan decided to immediately stand by the door and as soon as the train came to a stop he made up his mind to not waver.
The train started to slow down, yet there was no whistle like all the other stops; this puzzled Dan. As soon as the train stopped, Dan slowly slid open the door on the right side of the railcar and poked his head out. He quickly looked both ways. He only saw one person walking away from him at the front of the train.
Immediately Dan opened the door several more inches, and jumped out with his sack. He closed the door and scurried over a second set of tracks and into the trees a short distance away. Dan lay down amongst the trees; his heart was pounding out of his chest. He sneaked a peek back towards the train. Nobody was headed in his direction; he had pulled off his escape from the railcar!
Dan waited for the train to pull away before standing up. He headed through the trees in the direction that the train had gone. Dan realized the train must have stopped to throw a rail switch between the two sets of tracks. Emerging from the trees, straight ahead was a roadway; Dan headed in that direction.
Go to Part 4