Part of the USA Today Network

RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 5 . . Westward . . Part 5

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 5 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 5

Standing at the intersection of Philadelphia Street and George Street, Dan gazed in each direction.  The biggest crowd was in the direction to the left on George Street; Dan set off in that direction.

Two large market sheds graced the next intersection.  Dan focused on a stand selling fruit and purchased several apricots.  Dan added the apricots to his food stash within his sack and pulled out something to eat.  While munching on a piece of beef jerky, he walked around the sheds observing this place and the people of York.

Dan saw a sundial mounted on a pedestal; it was similar to one that he had seen many times in Blackwood.  This caused Dan to have flashbacks about moving in with his Uncle after his parents died in the accident.  Dan reflected that Rufus was not so bad at that time.

Dan was beginning to have serious doubts about running away, but knew it was far to late to turn back.  He noticed a family with three children.  They reminded him so much of his parents and siblings, he missed them.  They got up from the crate, where they were sitting, and started walking down the street.  Dan took a seat on this crate; just staring into space, pondering what he had done.

Dan did not realize how long he had been sitting there when a man startled him out of thought, “Sonny, these crates are for customers, be on with it, if you’re not buying anything.”  Dan got up and had another look at the sundial; almost one hour had passed.

Dan figured if he walked down Main Street to the east, it would intersect with Queen Street to take him back to observe the Railroad Station.  He hoped Billy would be on the next train, however he still had two hours to pass before the afternoon train was due from Wrightsville.

As he walked east on Main Street, it was heavily decorated with flags to observe the Fourth of July.  The Courthouse, on his right, was superbly adorned with flags.  As Dan approached the Queen Street intersection, he noticed a crowd in the courtyard of the church on the corner.  Someone was speaking; he joined the crowd to listen.

“We’re here today at the gravesite of James Smith, to honor his memory and the memory of all fifty-six patriots who signed the Declaration of Independence eighty-four years ago.  By putting their names on the great document, they knew they faced execution, by the British Crown as traitors, should the American Revolution fail.  Quoting from the last sentence of this great document, saying for the support of the declaration, ‘we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.’’’

“All of these fifty-six honorable and brave men are remembered today for their great deed, however we are here specifically to honor James Smith; York’s own lawyer who was among those who signed the great document.  James Smith was not only York’s most famous lawyer.  His iron works and furnace at the mouth of the Codorus produced cannon shot for the Continental Army.”

“James Smith also was an appointed judge.  He was commissioned as a Brigadier General in the Pennsylvania militia.  He served as the president of the York County Library Company.  He became a trustee and then president of the York County Academy.  Especially in these turbulent times, it should be noted that James Smith was also an early proponent of Pennsylvania’s anti-slavery organizations.”

“We honor the memory of James Smith today upon the eighty-fourth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, marking the birth of freedom for the United States of America.  We also especially honor all those brave soldiers who fought to gain that freedom.”

Go to Part 6