Part of the USA Today Network

RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 6 . . Independence . . Part 3

RAILCAR GOLD   Chapter 6 . . . Independence

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 6 . . . Independence.  A new part will be posted every Thursday.  New readers may want to start at the beginning.



CHAPTER  6  . . . INDEPENDENCE . . .  Part 3

Dan turned around and saw a big man, who tells Dan, “I heard a little of your yarn from an open window of my house, and most of the rest standing here silently, behind you.  How long has it been since you’ve eaten?  Do you need a place to stay tonight?”

Dan instinctively was cautious about this man; however he was hungry and he did need a place to sleep tonight.  Dan acknowledged, “I am hungry and I’m open to suggestions on where to sleep.”

“The name’s Charles.  I live in that house,” pointing to the large brick house adjacent to the church courtyard.  Charles directs Dan, “follow me, I’ll get Belle to get you something to eat.”

Dan follows Charles around the back corner of the big brick house, up the steps and into the kitchen.  Charles calls for Belle and when she enters the kitchen, he instructs her, “We have an orphan here, who is hungry.  Cook him up a nice slice of ham with whatever else is handy, and he’s probably thirsty.  Make that two mugs of water, I’m kind of thirsty myself.”

Charles invited Dan to, “have a seat at that table,” as Charles pointed to the table by the window in the kitchen.  Dan sat and Charles joined him at the table.

Dan did not waste any time in emptying his mug of water; it was a welcome relief on a hot summer evening.  Belle immediately filled it.  With the smell of ham, cooking on the skillet, filling the kitchen, Charles asks, “what’s you’re name?”  Without hesitation he replied, “Dan DeWyatt.”

Charles and Belle look intently at each other for several seconds then focus on Dan.  Dan had no idea what that meant; however in a few days he would find out.  Charles surprised Dan by not pressing him for details, “I’m not going to force you to tell me why you ran away from your guardian.  If you ever want to tell me, that will be your choice.  You’re welcome to sleep in the loft above the stable, for the time being.”

Charles changes the subject and asks Dan, “Did you see the fireworks exhibition last night?” This leads to a conversation about the assortment of fireworks rockets, exploding bombs and the various glowing set pieces; until Belle placed an impressive plate of food in front of Dan.

Following the first bite, Dan thanked Belle, exclaiming, “ Thanks, this is just as good as my Moms cooking!”  Charles laughed, got up, patted his belly and prior to leaving the kitchen remarked, “better watch out; she’ll fatten you up, just like me.”

After Dan finished his finest meal in a long time, Charles returned and introduced his wife Elizabeth.  She asks, “How old are you?”  Dan replied, “Nine.”  Elizabeth remarked, “Ok, a year younger than George and two years older than Charles.”

Elizabeth looked directly at Dan and sternly warned, “You’re welcome to stay in the stable loft for the time being, as long as you do as you’re told and behave yourself.  Can you follow those rules?”  Dan nodded his head and confirmed, “I will not disappoint you, thanks for the food and thanks for giving me a place to sleep.”

Elizabeth smiles and exclaims, “Ohh, a boy with manners.  I like that.  Maybe your manners will rub off on my boys.”  As Charles walks Dan out to the stable, he cautions Dan, “For your sake, I hope that display was not a con.  In the long run, I hope that your words are backed up by your actions; in the interim, you’ll be on probation with me.”

Go to Part 4