Added: Kaija Loesch - Date: 01.02.2022 21:59 - Views: 40204 - Clicks: 9540
T his is a slow train anyway, Running a train stories it has slowed some more Running a train stories the curve. Jackson is the only passenger left, and the next stop is about twenty miles ahead. Then the stop at Ripley, then Kincardine and the lake. Already he has taken his ticket stub out of its overhead notch. He heaves his bag, and sees it land just nicely, in between the rails. He takes his chance. But the leap, the landing, disappoints him. Illustration by Raymond Verdaguer. The train is out of sight; he hears it putting on a bit of speed, clear of the curve.
He spits on his hurting hands, getting the gravel out. Then picks up his bag and starts walking back in the direction he has just covered on the train. If he followed the train he would show up at the station there well after dark. He would have been believed. Coming home from so far away, from Germany and the war, he could have got mixed up in his head. Maples, that everybody knows. The trees are just along the track, thick on the embankment, but he can see the flash of fields behind them.
Fields green or rusty or yellow. Pasture, crops, stubble. He knows just that much. And that was not true. Jackson himself was the son of a plumber. He had never been in a stable in his life or herded cows or stoked grain. Or found himself as now stumping along a railway track that seemed to have reverted from its normal purpose of carrying people and freight to become a province of wild apple trees and thorny berry bushes and trailing grapevines and crows scolding from perches you could not see.
T he little jersey, whose name was Margaret Rose, could usually be counted on to show up at the stable door for milking twice a day, morning and evening. But this morning she was too interested in something down by the dip of the pasture field, or in the trees that hid the railway tracks on the other side of the fence. But then decided to go back for another look. Well of course it was all right. Did he think she was afraid of him attacking Margaret Rose who had her horns still on?
That was too much for Margaret Rose, she had to put on a display. Jump one way, then another. Toss of the wicked little horns. Nothing much, but jerseys can always surprise you with their speed and spurts of temper. Belle called out, to scold her and reassure him. Now she noticed the bag he had hold of. That was what had caused the trouble.
She had thought he was just out walking the tracks, but he was going somewhere. If you could just lay it down for a moment. I have to get her back towards the barn to milk her. She got Margaret Rose headed back to where the pail was, and the stool, on this side of the barn. If you wait till I get her milked I can get you some breakfast. Margaret Rose. She was a short, sturdy woman with straight hair, gray mixed in with what was fair, and childish bangs.
Or I used to be. I have porridge made, on the back of the stove. We used to keep hens but the foxes kept getting them and we just got fed up. Just get out of the way for a bit. He took himself off around the barn.
It was in bad shape. He peered between the boards to see what kind of a car she had, but all he could make out in there was an old buggy and some other wrecks of machinery. The white paint on the house was peeling and going gray. A window with boards nailed across it, where there must have been broken glass. The dilapidated henhouse where she had mentioned the foxes getting the hens. Shingles in a pile. Running a train stories was a road running by. A small fenced field in front of the house, a dirt road. And in the field a dappled, peaceable-looking horse. A cow he could see reasons for keeping, but a horse?
Even before the war people on farms were getting rid of them, tractors were the coming thing. Then it struck him. The buggy in the barn. It was no relic, it was all she had. The road rose up a hill, and from over that hill came a clip-clop, clip-clop. Along with the clip-clop some little tinkle or whistling. Now then. Over the hill came a box on wheels, being pulled by two quite small horses.
Smaller than the ones in the field but no end livelier. And in the box sat a half dozen or so little men. All dressed in black, with proper black hats on their he. The sound was coming from them. It was singing. Discrete high-pitched little voices, as sweet as could be. They never looked at him as they went by. They walked on planks laid over an uneven dirt floor, in a darkness provided by the boarded-up window.
He had wakened again and again, trying to scrunch himself into a position where he could stay warm. She poured the fresh milk into a basin and covered it with a piece of cheesecloth she kept by, then led him into the main part of the house. The windows there had no curtains, so the light was coming in. Also the woodstove had been in use. There was a sink with a hand-pump, a table with oilcloth on it worn in some places to shreds, and a couch covered with a patchy old quilt. So far, not so bad, though old and shabby.
There was a use for everything you could see. But raise your eyes and up there on shelves was pile on pile of newspapers or magazines or just some kind of papers, up to the ceiling. I mean, I sleep here and everything.Running a train stories
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‘running a train’ stories