RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 6 . . Independence . . Part 6
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 6 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 6
Elizabeth Billmeyer peppered Dan with questions during supper; everything from questioning his boast that he could be their carriage driver to details about his Guardian. Her husband, Charles, eventually requested, “give the boy a break, let him enjoy himself while he’s with us. Just wait and see if we get any responses to the inquiries.”
That comment momentarily startled Dan; although he realized that Charles had every right to make inquiries about a run-away orphan. In his mind, Dan thanked Billy for the suggestion of adopting a new surname, and he even congratulated himself for hinting that he stowed-away on a boxcar near Philadelphia. Dan relaxed; he thought the chances were slim that any inquiry would find its way to Rufus.
Following supper, the whole family adjourned to the shade of the back porch. Charles told his boys to gather-up twigs and tear-up squares from old newspapers. He pointed with his foot, marking each location to lay down a piece of paper and then stick it with a twig.
With the course complete, Charles instructed Dan on the specifics of getting the horse and carriage ready for a carriage driving skills test. Charles asked Dan, “any questions?” Dan had no questions about getting the horse and carriage ready, since they were the same instructions he’d already heard twice in the morning; however he did ask, “Why don’t I get to drive in the streets?”
Charles replied, “With your age, I want to make sure you can handle a horse and carriage on my property; before I’ll risk you in the busy city streets.”
Charles watched intently, as Dan got the horse and carriage ready. It appeared that every time Dan looked up, Charles was writing something on a piece of paper. This puzzled Dan, he was confident no mistakes were being made.
As Dan led the horse and carriage out to the stable, Elizabeth yelled out to Charles, “How’d he do?” Without missing a beat, Charles replied, “not a single mistake.” That comment produced a proud smile from Dan.
Dan noticed that Elizabeth immediately turned and was laughing with her Mother Eliza. He came to the realization that his carriage driving skills test was the entertainment for the evening.
Charles soon had Dan going through the paces on his driving obstacle course. Dan went quite a while before he grazed a twig and it fell over. Charles comment, “You’re doing good, that’s the first mistake.”
Elizabeth yells, “You’re soft on him!” Charles relented, immediately flying into a rage; just as George had described.
The skills got harder, yet Dan did not make another mistake. Finally, Charles announces, “Dan, put the horse and carriage away. Congratulations, you’ve showed me that you know your way around carriage driving. I’ll let you drive me around town tomorrow.”
Go to Chapter 7, Part 1