Chapter 2: A conversation on the train

As Professor Moriarty begins the lecture, Garfield looked around the hall and spotted someone he had met in Frosh Week during the water rafting event in Renfrew this past Tuesday right after Labour Day.

In the morning of the water rafting event, the students are to gather in their teams as they meet up at the parking lot near the CP Rail tracks running through the university campus (The CP Rail Ellwood Subdivision, to be precise).

Garfield remembered that particular morning fondly, as while waiting for the chartered shuttle bus to depart for Union Station downtown, he spotted a CP Rail freight train running south on the Ellwood Subdivision.

"Probably heading south to either the Walkley Yards, Kemptville or Prescott." Garfield thought to himself as he took out his Polaroid instant camera and snapped a photo of the freight train, capturing the diesel locomotive hauling the first three freight cars.

A few minutes went by before the shuttle bus finally departed. Due to the NCC prohibiting commercial vehicles on Colonel By Drive, the shuttle bus had to first drive north on Sunnyside Avenue, whereupon it then makes a left turn onto Riverdale Avenue, followed by a left turn onto Main Street.

Before long, the shuttle bus made its way through Elgin, where it passed by the occasional early morning Route 5 streetcar as it made its way to Union Station.

Soon, the students have arrived at the entrance of Union Station, where each of them were handed a two-way train ticket from Ottawa to Renfrew.

The train they're riding is an early-morning CN Rail passenger train bound for Parry Sound, during which it will make major stops at the Elgin Junction, Graham Bay, Carp and Kilburn before crossing into Ontario, where it then makes major stops at Arnprior, Renfrew and Algonquin Provincial Park before reaching its destination at Depot Harbour, just in the outskirts of Parry Sound.

Much of the one-hour train ride was uneventful, though Garfield had his Polaroid camera ready for the scenery.

As the train departed from Graham Bay and passed the under construction Bayshore Shopping Centre, Garfield saw an eastbound CP Rail Canadian crossing the new temporary rail bridge as part of the CP Rail Carleton Place Subdivision realignment and eventual twinning and electrification project.

He snapped a photo of the Montreal-bound train before the CN train crosses under the CP Rail bridge, whereupon the train carried on westward.

His next photo was taken as the train was crossing the Mississippi River, whereupon the train enters Ontario and prepares to slow down as it approaches the Arnprior CN Rail station.

Another ten minutes went by before the train slowly pulled into the westbound platform of Renfrew CN Rail station, by which point the students got off and headed for the waiting chartered Cassalman Bus Lines coach.

Upon arrival, the students that were going water rafting were given numbered tags. Groups that are given the same number go water rafting together when their number gets called.

Garfield was originally not planning on going water rafting, though with the hotter than normal weather that week, he changed his mind and paid the extra five dollars to go water rafting.

Needless to say, he fully enjoyed water rafting, especially with him being grouped with a group of interesting students.

Of course, for students that decided not to go water rafting, are awaiting their turn to go water rafting or have finished water rafting, the facility has arcade games available, which included a couple of billiards pool, table tennis, a handful of pinball machines, board games and playing cards.

Garfield found himself at the pool table playing billiards with some students, and he had proved himself to be skilled in the game.

It was also during this time that he made a handful of new friends, including a girl who reminded him of a high school friend of his.

All the students are wearing the issued frosh shirts with their names and programs written on the shirts.

For the girl in question, Garfield saw that she, too, is in civil engineering and that her name is Kate.

As it turned out, Kate is from Hong Kong, though her family moved to Toronto when she was younger and Garfield found himself preferring to chat with her in English.

Anyways, as the calculus lecture began, Garfield spotted Kate seated near the entrance to the lecture hall and nodded at her when she saw him.

Kate nodded back at him and waved in greeting.

When the lecture ended at 17:30, Garfield walked over to join Kate as she and her friend were about to leave.

"Hey Garfield." Kate said in greeting. Like Garfield, Kate also wears a pair of glasses.

"Hey Kate." Garfield nodded. "What do you think of the class?"

"Ah, looks straight forward." Kate said as they exited the lecture hall. "However, the prof does seem a bit weird, especially with his name and relation to that infamous Napoleon of Crime at the turn of the century London."

"Oh yeah." Garfield nodded in agreement. "He does seem like a decent chap, but yeah, maybe a bit eccentric."

Kate nodded in agreement.

September 14, 1971

That evening at cadet training night, Garfield was speaking to a handful of cadet friends who are also attending Carleton University, including a few from the Girls Venture Corps Air Cadets squadron attached to 6th Wing.

"Oh yeah, how's university treating you so far, Wu?" Under Officer First Class Rachel Leclerc, who's the Girls Venture Corps Air Cadet squadron's cadet parade commander, asked.

Like Garfield, Leclerc is also attending Carleton University, though her program of study is business management and administration.

"Oh, first year civil engineering." Garfield said. "So far so good."

"What did you think of the classes so far?" UO2 Helen Chan, who's the Girls Venture Corps Air Cadet squadron's squadron under officer, asked Garfield. "I'm guessing you're taking a calculus course that is in a different section than mine, since I didn't see you in yesterday afternoon's calculus lecture."

Like Garfield, Chan is also attending Carleton University and studying civil engineering. In fact, Garfield ran into her on the fall orientation day that past Wednesday.

"Oh, you're in Section B, eh?" Garfield asked Chan.

"Yes I am." Chan nodded.

"Yeah, because I'm in Section C." Garfield said.

"Ah, okay." Chan said. "Did you have McKeller as your prof?"

"No, and here's the interesting part about the prof for my section." Garfield said. "Are you guys familiar with Sherlock Holmes?"

His friends all shared a look with each other before a few of them nodded.

"He's the famous detective at the turn of the century London who helped police solved crimes." WO2 Larry Pendrick, who's the squadron warrant officer, said.

"Exactly." Garfield said. "Now, my calculus prof happened to be related to the most dangerous man at turn-of-the-century London."

"Professor Moriarty?" Flight Sergeant Sandra Haufman, who's the new drum major for the Girls Venture Corps squadron, asked.

"That's him." Garfield nodded. "My calculus prof is not only the Napoleon of Crime's grand nephew but is also named after him."

"Wow." Chan remarked. "I have a handful of friends in class who told me that some of their friends got the descendant of a criminal mastermind as their prof. That totally explains things."

"It sure does." Garfield agreed. "He does seem like an interesting chap with a sense of humour, though he does seem eccentric."

"I do have a few friends that are in second year who had him as a prof when they were in first year, and they told me that he's very brilliant." Chan said. "He explains math theories well and they said that he has tricks on integrating functions and proving trigonometric identities flawlessly."

"Ah, I see." Garfield nodded thoughtfully.

September 25, 1971

That morning, Garfield found himself standing on the platform of Ottawa Union Station as he waited for a CP Rail passenger train bound for Toronto to show up.

His trip to Carleton Place, in which the Toronto-bound CP Rail passenger train makes a major stop at, comes a few days after he got invited over to a party there by an old friend.

George and Henry Stevenson, who was among the beneficiaries of the Bruce Stevenson estate that Garfield helped settled three years back, have bought a farm house in Carleton Place and with their 75th birthdays coming up and their family and friends celebrating, they decided to invite Garfield over to Carleton Place, an invitation he happily accepted.

(Note: See D4 Garfield and the Secret of the School Library! for more information on the Bruce Stevenson estate settlement.)

It didn't take long before the Toronto-bound train pulled into the station platform, and before long, the train was crossing the Alexandria Bridge as it travels counterclockwise on the downtown Ottawa-Hull loop with stops at Gare Centrale de Hull and Gare de Hull-Ouest before crossing the Prince of Wales Bridge back into Ottawa with a major stop at Ottawa West Station at Bayview Road and eventually carrying on down the CP Rail Carleton Place Subdivision.

After the train pulled into Westboro Station, a handful of passengers got off the train while another handful got on.

As Garfield looked out the window, he arched his eyebrows when he saw Professor Moriarty getting on the train.

The calculus professor made his way down the aisle before spotting Garfield and paused.

"Mr. Wu." The professor said in greeting.

"Ah, good day, professor." Garfield nodded. "Nice day outside, isn't it?"

"Yes it is." Moriarty nodded. "So how are you enjoying your first year of university?"

"You sure can say that we're getting onto the challenging part of university with all those labs and assignments to work on." Garfield said.

"Indeed." Moriarty said as he took a seat across from Garfield's. "You're in engineering, am I correct?"

"Yes, sir." Garfield nodded. "I'm studying civil engineering, to be exact."

"I see." Moriarty nodded thoughtfully. "So you're interested in building the country's infrastructure."

"Yes I am, sir." Garfield said. "I'm interested in railway engineering, as a matter a fact."

"Ah, I suppose it's safe to say, then, that if Ottawa gets a lot more railways in the future, we can all know who was responsible for the design." The professor joked, and Garfield have a small chuckle at the remark.

After some laughs, Garfield looked on as the professor took out a pipe, some vanilla grass and a match before striking it.

"Do you mind?" Moriarty asked as he held the match by the bowl of his pipe.

"No sir." Garfield shook his head and the professor nodded as he placed the fire tip of the match into the chamber of the bowl before shaking the match to extinguish the flame and tossed it into the nearby trash bin.

As the professor began producing a few puffs from his pipe, Garfield decided to ask him a question in his mind.

"So professor, just curious, how long have you been living here in Canada?" Garfield asked.

"Ah, since the war ended." Moriarty replied as he took the pipe out of his mouth. "At that time, I was still young and with Britain devastated by the war and in hearing about opportunities for a new life here in Canada, I decided to sail across the Atlantic, where I initially settled down in Montreal to teach part time at McGill University, working at the Dominion Bureau of Statistics where my expertise in statistical analysis and application of calculus and linear algebra methods to optimize data analysis proved handy."

"I see." Garfield nodded thoughtfully as the professor exhaled some smoke towards the partially-opened window. "You eventually begin teaching calculus full time, sir?"

"Yes." Moriarty nodded. "The faculty recognized my brilliance in solving problems and interacting with students and so they promoted me to teaching full time. Of course, that came with some competition and then, when I heard about the new Carleton University still in need for a calculus professor, so I applied for the transfer to the nation's capital and the rest is history."

"Ah, okay." Garfield said. "Have you made any voyages back to Britain after settling down in Canada, sir?"

"Yes, to visit family." The professor nodded. "I've got a brother in Manchester and a handful of other relatives in Edinburgh, Scotland. In addition, I've got plenty of friends who're doing well in London."

"I see." Garfield nodded thoughtfully. "I've always wanted to visit London, who, you know, is the cultural, economic and political centre of Britain. British culture and colonial history has always fascinated me, especially with the old saying that 'the sun never sets in the British Empire'."

"Ah, that's very good to hear." Moriarty nodded. "And the old saying was indeed, true. At its peak, you've got the United Kingdom, its major dominions like Canada, Australia, Newfoundland, South Africa and New Zealand, in addition to the colonial possessions in Africa, India and Hong Kong, the latter also known as 'Pearl of the Orient'. In fact, I've spent some of my younger days in Hong Kong as my father was a civil servant working at the colonial government of Hong Kong back in the day."

"Wow." Garfield remarked. "I've got a friend who's from Hong Kong and I actually had promised her that I'll visit Hong Kong some day."

"Good to hear." Moriarty said. "Are you...?"

"I was born here in Ottawa, but my family are from Taiwan and I've spent several years growing up there." Garfield said. "In addition, I've got a couple of aunts and other relatives living in Melbourne, Australia."

"I see." Moriarty nodded thoughtfully. "One of my distant cousins lives in Sydney and we've sent telegraphs to each other from time to time. Place is good, though the summers can get unbearably hot."

"So I've read." Garfield said.

By that point, the train has pulled out of Goulbourn Station in the village of Stittsville and is speeding down the tracks towards Carleton Place.

"Anyways, what brings you here on this train to Toronto, Mr. Wu?" Moriarty asked.

"I've got a friend who recently moved to Carleton Place and today's his birthday and I'm invited to the party." Garfield explained.

"Ah, that certainly explains your casual-formal dress, Mr. Wu." The professor nodded. "For me, I'm on my way to Peterborough to meet up with a friend teaching calculus at Trent University, where I'll be staying there overnight."

"Oh, okay." Garfield nodded thoughtfully.

Another pause went by as the professor returned to smoking his pipe and Garfield can smell the vanilla.

"It certainly smells like vanilla ice cream, Professor." He remarked.

"Yes indeed it does." Moriarty nodded. "That's because this is vanilla grass, which I prefer smoking over the typical tobacco."

"Hopefully, vanilla grass isn't as deadly to smoke as tobacco." Garfield said. "Because I read that smoking can cause lung cancer."

"Yes, I am aware of that." Moriarty nodded. "Hence the reason why I'm not using tobacco in my pipe."

Garfield nodded thoughtfully before they resumed doing their usual stuff.

Eventually, the train horn sounded as it slowly pulls into the platform of Carleton Place Station.

"Here's my stop." Garfield said as he got up from his seat. "Hope you have a nice day, professor."

"Thank you, Mr. Wu." Moriarty nodded. "And same to you."

Garfield nodded as he tipped his flat cap and made his way to the nearest door.

Eventually, the train horn sounded before it started pulling out of the station, passing through the junction whereupon it then continues on southbound on the CP Rail Brockville Subdivision en route to Smiths Falls and Toronto.

Little did they realize that something in store is about to happen in Peterborough during the professor's overnight stay.

September 26, 1971

That morning, Garfield got the Sunday edition of the Ottawa Citizen while on his way to take the streetcar to meet up with some university friends in downtown.

The first thing that caught his eye was the newspaper headline. It read:


Massive armed robbery at the Dominion Capital Bank branch in Peterborough, one police constable injured by thugs"

Uh oh. What's going to happen next?

Stay tuned, and please read and review!