RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 8 . . Rebels . . Part 2
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 2 of Chapter 8 . . . Rebels. A new part will be posted every Thursday. This chapter stands alone, starting here; however new readers may want to start at the beginning.
CHAPTER 8 . . . REBELS . . . Part 2
Dan wondered why they were not taking all five horses; he knew that Charles must have his reasons. Dan and George got the horses ready, while they watched Charles in a lively discussion with Elizabeth on the back porch.
Charles must have got his way because Elizabeth walked back to the stable and wanted a hug from George and Dan, “George, Dan, you be careful. Be mindful if rebels cross your path. Don’t try anything foolish.” Belle came out with bags of provisions for their saddlebags, and they were on their way.
George had never seen the road to Wrightsville this crowded. There were varied groups of livestock mixed in with people on foot; along with loaded down wagons and carriages.
This was essentially a continuation of the parade of refugees he had seen in front of his house over the past two days; families fleeing the eastward push of the rebels. With each passing mile the size of this exodus swelled. Everyone had no choice, but to funnel into the Wrightsville entrance to the lone Susquehanna River Bridge to Lancaster County.
George and Dan slowly make their way through Wrightsville. The town stunk, with livestock everywhere doing their business all over the crowded streets. From the hill overlooking the sawmill, they count two remaining Billmeyer & Small railcars in the queue of other railcars; awaiting passage across the covered bridge.
Dan had a flashback to the frightening day when he first entered York County as a railcar stowaway on that mile-long covered bridge across the Susquehanna River. Just then, they hear, “George, Dan, what are you two doing here?”
George and Dan recognized Johnny. He is a foreman at Billmeyer & Small, and one of the guards that Charles placed on railcars holding business and personal goods being shipped east.
George explains, “We’re taking these horses across the river. We’re to stick close to the railcars and act as runners for telegraphs back and forth to the factory. Dad also did not want to loose these horses. We’ll head up into the bridge queue and see you in the rail yard in Columbia.” Johnny urges, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”
Johnny continues, “One of the mule team drivers pulling railcars across the bridge told me that on the Columbia side of the bridge, as each ridden horse exits, it is stopped by Union officials. If they deem it a good riding horse, it is taken and the rider is given a slip of paper entitling the owner to payment from the government.” George realizes he had not yet made the announcement, “Hanover Junction has fallen to the Rebels. George Small personally was witness to this.”
Johnny is worried, “If that’s the case, with all the railcars in line ahead of us and the limited number of mule-teams, I’m now concerned that we may not get across the bridge before the rebels are upon us.” Dan spoke up, “Why not use our horses to pull our railcars across. We have harnesses in that railcar.”
Johnny exclaims, “That’s good thinking, Danny-boy.”
Go to Part 3