Adriana didn’t know exactly how she would get onto the next train but she could run fast and she could jump. She didn’t want anyone on the train to see her. So she found a soft, grassy spot surrounded by bushes where she wouldn’t be seen by the train and she waited. She heard talking and peered out of her hiding place to watch two men pull a huge tree over the track. Afterwards, they disappeared back into the woods. She was glad her hiding place could not be seen from there either.
She heard the distant grumble of a train coming up the track. She peeked out of the bushes again toward the woods and didn’t see anything but when she looked at the track, she saw the tree laying across 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, dropped something 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 ran to the train. She picked up a gold hat and a purse that the younger man had dropped. Then she found a luggage car that she could open. She climbed in and hid in the corner among the luggage. While she hid, she discovered more money than she’d ever seen in the purse.
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.
Try to buy the Jarvis Place?
Research the train robbers and seek their treasure?
Stay in her room above the bookshop and look for clues to the Jarvis treasure?