Adriana moved away from the camp until she could no longer hear even a murmur of voices. She looked around and the forest looked the same in every direction except for the little crushed path she’d made on her way in. She had left a trail of destruction for the purpose of not getting lost. If she pursued finding caves, there is a good possibility that she could be lost in these woods forever and she really wasn’t equipped for that lifestyle. She decided to follow her trail back to the tracks and to wait for the next train to come by.

She heard the robbers say they were going to hold up this train and she decided she could sneak on sometime in all the confusion.

So she found a soft, grassy spot surrounded by bushes where she wouldn’t be seen by the train or the woods and she waited. She looked through her new purse and counted more money than she’d ever seen in her life. She admired the jewelry and placed it all back in the purse when she heard the distant grumble of a train coming up the track. She peeked out of her hiding spot toward the woods and didn’t see anything but when she looked at the track, she saw there was a tree laid across it. It was big enough to stop or derail a train.

She hoped the train would stop in time. It would be no use to her if it was off the tracks. She waited as the chugging came closer and closer. She exhaled when she heard the screeching of the brakes and she peeked through her bushes to watch the train slow. It was going so fast, even though it was making a lot of noise, it didn’t seem to be slowing. It was still charging toward the tree. She was certain it would hit it but finally the steam engine started to slow and stopped just short of the huge tree trunk.

Adriana watched the little faces looking out the windows questioningly. She watched the two men’s figures hop on board the nicer looking passenger car, one on either side.  There were ladies’ screams and then a man yelling, “Go, go, go.”

Only the younger man jumped off the train and ran to the forest. A flying machine brought police very quickly to the train and the older man was escorted into it before it flew away. While the police were on the train a few strong men had moved the tree. Adriana saw her opportunity and found a luggage car that she could open. She climbed in and hid in the corner among the luggage.

The train stopped in Fairville and Newton before Casterdale and each time Adriana prayed none of the luggage in the corner would be moved. Luckily, an attendant only approached her hiding place once to replace a case that had fallen. Casterdale was a much larger city than either of the two other stops. Certainly it was the destination of most of the passengers on the train.

When the train stopped and she heard the call for Casterdale, Adriana slid open the door she’d snuck into just a little. She could see people bustling back and forth. There was no way that she’d be able to sneak out unseen. So she opened the door on the other side. There was a brick wall but there was room for a person to walk as well. She gathered her purse, her hat and checked her holsters. Once satisfied she had everything, she slid out of the car, shutting the door just as an attendant opened the other side.

Adriana looked both ways. To her left, she could see more tracks and station. To the right, she saw at the end of the brick there was green grass and open sky. She hurried off to her right and found herself outside of a maintenance building. She began walking into the open grass when she realized she should find the town. She had money for boarding, she didn’t have to hide in a woods.

The train blocked her view of the station so she calmly waited until it moved on. She counted the fifty three cars as they crawled past her, gaining speed toward the end.

Adriana walked across the tracks and onto the bustling cobblestone in front of the station. She watched the people moving all over with baggage and tickets in their hands. She walked through these people and along the length of the station. Behind the station there were roads with homes and shops and a sign that read, “Welcome to Casterdale.”

Adriana walked into the general store and bought some soap and other necessities. Then she asked the cashier where she could find decent boarding. He told her there was a nice bed and breakfast down the street but she said she was looking to stay a while. He told her his sister had a room above the bookstore that she was looking to rent out for a reasonable price. He even rang his sister and told her to expect Adriana.

When Adriana entered the bookstore, she was amazed to see all the books in one place. She’d only read two in her life and didn’t realize so many existed. The cashier’s sister, Elizabeth, greeted her and showed her the room. It was much nicer than the one she’d had at the orphanage and she paid her two months in advance.  Adriana’s muscles ached from being cramped on the train and the bed looked so inviting. She washed up and went straight to bed. She dreamed of treasure in caves and trains coming off the tracks.

In the morning she rose early and bought a few outfits and had her gold dress cleaned. She also bought a paper. She read that a train robber, Harden Antilade was apprehended and imprisoned in Middletown and that there was a failed attempt to break him out which ended in the capture of another robber, Garett Spiney. They are awaiting trial.

Adriana thought about the caves, she could buy supplies and go back. But she did just commit to Casterdale for two months. She went to the local diner for breakfast and listened for any mention of Sean Jarvis. She’d finished eating and was about to leave when finally a conversation caught her attention.

The waitress said, “No one found anything up at the Jarvis place?”

A man said, “I went up there myself. The place is as clean as a whistle. The town already auctioned off all his possessions. The house will be auctioned today.”

“Oh, that’s right. What time was that again?” The waitress asked.

“One pm, today.” The man said.

“Are you going?” The waitress continued. But Adriana paid for her food and walked out.

She went to the town hall and inquired about the location of the Jarvis place and the time of the auction. The gentleman working there gave her a map and confirmed that the auction was at one pm.

Does Adriana

Try to buy the Jarvis place?

Go back to search for cave treasure?

Stay in her room above the bookshop and look for clues to the Jarvis treasure?

Go to the Beginning

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