RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 7 . . Driver . . 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 7 . . . Driver. A new part will be posted every Thursday. New readers may want to start at the beginning.
CHAPTER 7 . . . DRIVER . . . Part 3
Dan usually had supper in the kitchen with Belle, however tonight Charles asked Dan to join the family at the supper table. After the meal, Elizabeth announced, “Dan will be moving into the room above the kitchen.” She then turned to Charles and noted, “You need to get busy and hire a permanent driver, because if Dan lives in this house, he’ll be going to school in the fall.”
This was more than Dan could have hoped for. Dan thanked Elizabeth and Charles for opening their home to him.
Out in the yard afterwards, George was overjoyed, he liked the idea of having Dan around.
After a while Charles came outside for a conversation with Dan, “I don’t know what you did to change Elizabeth’s mind, but I can tell you that I’ve always been in favor of allowing you to stay with us. Since I’m swamped at the car works right now, I’ll leave it up to you to weed out the permanent driver candidates. Once you have two that measure up, I’ll interview them.”
Dan would occasionally drive Charles around town for business, although Charles drove himself more often. Most of Dan’s driving chores were for Belle on her shopping trips to and from the market or store. Elizabeth and the children increasingly utilized Dan.
Dan got a kick out of Elizabeth always apologizing for working him to hard. Dan, in all honesty, replied, “This is a piece of cake, compared to the way my Uncle worked me.”
Elizabeth gave Dan some of George’s old cloths, but she also took him shopping for some new cloths. One set of clothing was specifically purchased for Grand Promenade Concert of the York Rifle Band at the FairGrounds. Dan drove the whole family to the concert in the large carriage.
The FairGrounds was only one block away, however as Elizabeth explained to George, “A family in our position is expected to make a grand entrance, you can’t do that by walking down the street.”
Dan enjoyed these summer concerts at the FairGrounds. Elizabeth always included Dan when she gave her children spending money for refreshments in the brilliantly illuminated central building.
Every week, Charles would send one or two permanent driver candidates for Dan to put through the evaluation process. A few drivers refused to be interviewed by a 9-year-old; Elizabeth give one of them a few choice words when she overheard remarks made to Dan.
By the end of summer, Dan announced at the supper table, “John and Adam are, by far, the best candidates for a permanent driver.” Charles interviewed both and hired Adam.
The family visit to The Artic Panorama at Washington Hall on South George Street was the first time Dan sat with the family inside the large carriage. The celebrated painter George Heilge created this panorama, faithfully portraying Artic scenery. Dr. Kane’s celebrated sledge dog, Toodlamich, and one of Dr. Kane’s assistants accompanied panorama.
Go to Part 4