My life is…well, not my own. My uncles directs all my actions, who to talk to, what to say to that person, what to do around them, what to eat at gatherings and at home, and even how to walk in public. My uncles want me to always act as 'proper' as I can. My uncles are now old and said I'd be taking a train to the southernmost part of Pennsylvania to the town of Strasburg. My distant cousin would be picking me up to go live on his farm; Fred's his name, I think. He and his wife used to live in New York like us in a city, but he missed the farm life. So one day he and his wife sold most of their belongings and traveled down to country land.
That is how I happen to be on a steam train heading down to them. It was ok since the seats were very comfortable and the conductor would come along sometimes and say a few jokes. The other two people in the opposite seat both had brown hats that had seen better days, simple jackets, and brownish tan breeches. They only exchanged a few words to each other and I didn't really have anything to say so I just keep quiet.
It didn't take long before I didn't know where we were so I just continued to look out the car window to watch the scenery pass by. It was like one of the adventures I had read about in my books where the character was going somewhere new and had fun and interesting experiences along the way. So far everything was normal for me, which was fine by me. I watched the trees and hills passing by with the occasional view of a stream in the distance.
Around five the trolley cart came around to our compartment and I bought myself a sandwich and an apple for just fifty cents and the two men sitting across from me had strong smelling coffee and I didn't like the smell. I pulled my jacket up and around my nose a bit and leaned back against the seat. I must have fallen asleep, because the next moment I wake up to the rising sun warming my face and more farm land surrounding the country side.
"We're coming up to Strasburg, Pennsylvania," I heard the conductor shout down the hall.
I grabbed my bag from under the seat and opened the clasp to look for the letters I was supposed to show my cousin, but I had one problem they weren't in my bag anymore. I quickly stuck my hands in my pockets to see I had put them in there without relieving it, but they weren't there either. The other thing that had me panicking was that the ten dollars my uncles had given me was also gone. 'What am I going to do? I lost the letters and my money was taken!'
I looked when a thought struck that maybe the two men had seen or heard anything unusual during the night, but their seats were empty. I saw the conductor walk by and I slung my bag over my shoulder and quickly walked into the hallway.
"Excuse me, but I think the two that men that were sitting in the compartment with me stole my money," I said getting the attention of the conductor.
"What's your name boy," He asked in a friendly tone while crouching down to be eye level with me.
"Jas sir, Jas Worthwight."
"Well, Jas they couldn't possibly have gotten off the train. Come with me we'll look around for them."
So I took his hand in mine and we walked around looking in each compartment for the two guys and asked just about everyone if they had seen them. We continued to the next car where shipments were kept and I saw the shadow of someone dart behind a crate and I quickly followed after the person. I had them cornered and when the person turned around it was just kid.
"Peter, come on we need to get going," One of the men stepped out and just stood and stared at me.
"Is that the man Jas," The conductor asked while walking up behind me.
"Yes," I replied seeing the letters and ten dollars in Peter's hands.
He looked at me with his big brown eyes and clutched onto the letters tighter. His face was covered in dirt along with his blond hair and his clothes, in worse shape yet, being torn in many places. It was easy to make the connection that Peter was related to the men. One of the men stepped over and picked up the boy.
"Sirs if you would please return what rightfully belongs to this young man there'll be no trouble," The conductor said with seriousness in his voice while placing a hand on my shoulder.
"Peter the papers, and money," The man holding Peter said while holding out his hand.
Peter handed it over to him and gave me a nasty look that I had seen on my uncles when they talked about, something called politics. The man handed the papers and money back to me and I returned them to my bag. I felt the train jerk a bit under me as it came to a stop and the conductor led us to the car's sliding door. The sun nearly blinded me since it didn't get into the car very well and we all stepped out.
"You'll be able to find your way from here," The conductor asked me.
"Yes I'll be perfectly fine. Thank you," I said while walking off the wooden platform onto the duty dirt road.
"Hey! You, wait up!"
I turned around and the two men walked up to me and Peter stared down from his perch on one of their shoulders, flattening the man's hat. They looked at each other and couldn't really form the words they wanted to say.
"Well I guess for starters I'm Tyler and this is my brother Alex. The reason we took your letters and money was because of our little brother," Tyler said while taking off his hat and fiddling with it. "You see me and my brother got jobs down here, but we couldn't bring Peter and we have no other family that we could send him to. So, when we looked through your stuff and found the letters and the money."
"We basically thought to ourselves saying we should have Peter take your place," Alex said.
"What's going to happen to Peter," I asked looking down the road and I didn't see any wagon coming.
"They'd sneak me into the workers hut," Peter said lifting his chin a bit while crossing his arms. "What's it to you."
"He could come with me."
"How would that work," Tyler asked narrowing his eyes at me. "You don't have any siblings."
"I could say he's my long lost brother," I said and I heard the sound of a wagon coming down the road.
"Peter you're going to be going with this boy, ok," Alex said while lifting Peter off his shoulders and setting him on the ground. "We'll come and get you when we're done with work."
I took Peter's hand in mine and we watched as the wagon pulled up and who I assumed to be Fred jumped down.
"You Jas," He asked me with a puzzled look.
"Yes," I replied while pulling out the letters. "And this is Peter my younger brother."
"Oh, How come you were never mentioned Peter?"
"His papers were lost for the longest time saying he was related to me and some people took him in and it was finally figured out not to long ago."
"Well it's nice to meet you Peter," Fred said while leaning down and shaking his hand. "Are you two the fellas looking for the work?"
"Yes sir," Tyler said looking at Alex.
"Great, everyone hop in, the farm isn't too far from here," Fred said while climbing back up.
Peter and I climbed up front onto the wooden seat as Tyler and Alex climbed in back. The wagon started heading down the road and it turned out that Peter would be able to see his brother's everyday with no worry.