16 Oops ! T.M.I.

by admin on October 27, 2011

The boys continued to regale the old fellow with stories of shipboard experiences, which included a way-too-graphic recounting of a seasickness episode.  The adults let out a groan followed by a hearty laugh.  Ida mockingly scolded the boys and told them to mind their manners.  Their attention turned quickly to the next part of their journey – America by rail.  Alex seemed old beyond his tender age, describing events in a mundane adult manor. Michael was much more animated and was particularly enthralled by the trains they had taken to get this far.  At age 4 he was able to tell you about the conductor, the fireman and the engineer and what jobs they each performed.

Fascinated by this little character Samuel told Michael that he and his great uncle Charles owned part of a railroad.  Michael’s eyes grew ever bigger as he hung on this old man’s words.  “Fact is I’ll let you drive the locomotive from Denver to Lake Neccudah later today” he said.  Michael danced up and down as if he had ants in his trousers.  He asked if they could leave right now.  Everyone smiled.  “Not just yet, but soon” Samuel replied.

Ida found the conversation to be flowing remarkably.  She realized that she no longer had a knot in her stomach and the tension stiffness in her neck was gone.

Charles flagged the waiter down and told him to put the breakfast on his room bill.  Proud man that he was Harold began to protest the generosity of the Dunwells.  Charles raised his hand as if to say “Halt”.  With an understanding look he told Harold there would time enough for gratitude later.  Feeling humbled Harold nodded.  He then excused himself and took the family upstairs to retrieve their suitcases.

Fifteen minutes later everyone was assembled in the lobby.  Charles made his way to the front desk and signed for the rooms and meals. Smiles and goodbyes were exchanged with the desk clerk as the clan made their way toward the front door.  Leading the way Charles held the door open for all who followed.  They stepped off the veranda and into a beautiful morning. It was a clear and cloudless day with the early morning temperature hovering around 75 degrees.

Just then the biggest car the boys had ever seen pulled up in front of the hotel.  The driver got out of the stretch Cadillac and opened all six doors and the trunk.  “Good Morning Mr. Dunwell” the driver said.  “Yes, yes, Good Morning to you” Samuel replied.  Without another word the driver loaded all the Bingham’s earthly possessions into the cavernous trunk.  The Bingham clan entered the Caddy from both sides with the boys taking up residence closest to the windows for the best view.  Charles joined Harold and Ida in back, Samuel rode up front with the driver.

On the short ride to the station the boys grew restless with anticipation while the adults engaged in small talk about the day that was about to unfold.  Harold couldn’t help but remember the events of just the day before.  Robbed and swindled with nowhere to turn.  Could it be just twenty four hours ago?  He was shaken from his nightmarish daydream by the low growl of a big steam whistle.  In moments that was replaced by the shrill sound of a small whistle that pierced the air…their train was arriving.

A few minutes later the big Caddy pulled up to the Burlington, Colorado passenger depot.

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