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Why Didn't the Train Stop?

A man got up on a train, but he didn't remember how did he get there.

By Cosmin ChildPublished 2 years ago 8 min read
Why Didn't the Train Stop?
Photo by Denis Chick on Unsplash

It was the year 1872. The Express train seemed to fly over the plains of England. The sun's rays entered the windows of the train cars, waking up the sleepy passengers. In a dark corner of wagon number 2, a man about 40 years old was sleeping peacefully on a bench. He seemed to be a rich gentleman. The clothes were made of quality fabric and were skillfully sewn. A silk handkerchief was sticking out of his pocket. His beard was cut short and his hair was carefully combed. Next to him was a large and heavy suitcase made of fir wood. Suddenly the train stopped. A ticket collector shouted:

"Tickets at the control, please!"

The rich man got up. The ticket! Where was it? How did I get on the train? What will I do now? The poor man did not know how he got on the train. He tried to remember. He didn't remember anything. What will he do?

"The ticket!!" The ticket collector shouted angrily.

"What ticket?" The gentleman asked naively.

"Listen to him. What ticket?! Do you want to go to jail?" The ticket collector yelled.

"But sir, I don't know how I got here. Last night I slept in my bed." Said the poor man.

" Very good! Tonight you will sleep in prison! You are a thief!!” The ticket collector shouted.

The ticket collector gets out of the train car and gets off the train to get into another train car. After a few minutes, the train started. But he started at such a high speed that several people fell from their seats.

"What happened?" An older lady asked as she got up from the floor.

"I don't know... I know the conductor, he's a good man. I don't think anything bad happened." Said a young gentleman.

The train was traveling at 160 km/h! It was something unusual for a train, especially in 1872! But let's let the train for a bit and tell you something about the gentleman without a ticket, who will be the hero of this story. The gentleman's name was Mr. Abraham Kyle, but we will call him Mr. Kyle. He was a rich gentleman and lived in a big house in London. His parents were dead and he was not married. He had five servants who took care of his house and he only read, walked, ate, and slept. He had a quiet but sad life... How much he wanted a child!

Suddenly the train hit something. Screams were heard, then was...QUIET. The silence was occasionally interrupted by a moan. Mr. Kyle tried to get off the train, but the train was overturned. Crawling he was able to get out from under the bench that had fallen on him. Everything was shrouded in silence. Getting up Mr. Kyle tried to break a window. Pop! The window broke. The sun, which 30 minutes earlier had bothered the passengers, was setting now. Mr. Kyle got up on the train. He had to get some things and go for help. But where? He had to walk on the railway until he will reach a train station or a house. He took some food, some money, and a bottle of water, and started...

He walked for two hours and did not find any house, station, or village. The truth is that he was walking slowly because he was not used to it. Stop! There is a wisp of smoke. It must be a house or at least people. Where there is smoke there is fire, and where there is fire there are people. Mr. Kyle quickened his pace. Yes!!! It was a house. Mr. Kyle knocked loudly on the door.

"Who is?" A child's voice asked.

"Quickly! Open!" Mr. Kyle shouted.

"Who is? The name.” The voice continued.

"Mr. Abraham Kyle, if it helps you to know my name."

Suddenly the door opened.

"Mr. Kyle!" The child shouted

“Alice?” Mr. Kyle asked.

“Yes, Mr. Kyle. I am." Alice said.

"I have a lot of questions to tell you, but now I need help." Mr. Kyle said.

"How can I help you?" Alice asked politely.

"The train I was traveling with overturned!" Mr. Kyle replied.

"It can't be true! Dad's train!" cried Alice

"Your father? Who is your father? The conductor?” Asked Mr. Kyle.

"Oh no, the ticket collector is my father." Alice replied.

" What !? Is your father that rude ticket collector?!” Mr. Kyle asked, surprised and nervous.

"Yes. But, he's not rude... I mean, he is. He's rude, mean, and envious. I don't want to speak ill of him, but he deserves to be in prison. I'll tell you later." Alice said.

"What are we going to do to help the people on the train?" Mr. Kyle asked.

"I don't know, but we'll go and see what we can do," Alice replied.

Soon Mr. Kyle and Alice arrived at the place where the train overturned. A few people also were able to get out of the train cars and were trying to help the people who were injured. Fortunately, one of them was a doctor, so before they arrived many people were bandaged and cared for. Alice looked for her father among healthy people, but she did not find him. Suddenly her gaze fell on a badly injured man, even badly.

"Father!" cried Alice.

"He? Is he your father? Is he the ticket collector? He doesn't look like that angry ticket collector.” Mr. Kyle said.

Indeed, that pale and bandaged man did not resemble that powerful ticket collector. Poor ticket collector…

"I have to get my father home and call the doctor," Alice said crying.

" I do not know how." Mr. Kyle said.

Just then a farmer passed by with a cart.

"Sir, if you take this man to the house where his daughter tells you, I will give you 100 pounds," said Mr. Kyle to the farmer.

"Sure! But is that Mr. Sky, the ticket collector?” asked the farmer.

"Yes," Alice said.

"I know where he lives. But, I have no way to get him into the cart without help. Will you help me, sir? The farmer asked Mr. Kyle.

"Sure." Said Mr. Kyle.

"And I don't want a penny." Said the farmer.

"OK, but I would like to repay your kindness." Mr. Kyle said.

Soon the ticket collector was in his bed and a doctor was taking care of him.

"He has no chance to live, and even if he lives he will be paralyzed for the rest of his life..." Said the sad doctor.

Alice burst into tears.

Suddenly the controller opened his eyes:

"Mr. Kyle... It was my fault that... I can't speak... My wife will tell you... She is..." That's all the ticket collector was able to say and then he died...:(

"Alice, how will I get home? It's night already... I would have liked to stay with you for the night, but I can't..." Mr. Kyle asked.

"You have to get to the station that is in the village. The village is 3 km from here. I think you can go with the doctor. He goes to the village, too. There is a hotel near the station where you can stay. You can not go home until the bridge is repaired. I will write a letter to my mother, and tomorrow we can take care of the funeral. You will help me, won't you? I will sleep at night with my aunt who is in the village. I will go with the doctor, too." Alice said.

"Thank you, Alice!" Mr. Kyle said.

"And I will write you a letter to tell you what father wanted to tell you. I know everything, but he doesn't know that I know." Alice said.

"You are a wonderful girl, Alice! Good night!'' Mr. Kyle said smiling.

____________________________________________________

It was a sunny morning. Mr. Kyle was sitting in his office chair. A week had passed since the train overturned. Now Mr. Kyle was holding two letters. One from Alice (the promised letter) and one from Ms. Sky, Alice's mother.

This is the letter from Alice that Mr. Kyle read first:

October 11, 1872

Dear Mr. Kyle,

I promised you that I would write you a letter. This is the letter…

First of all, the ticket collector is not my father. My father died when I was little. I was only one year old then. I didn't know that until yesterday. Yesterday I found this out from my mother. Maybe you wondered how you got on the train and why the train overturned... You will find out in this letter.

One night (evening) I couldn't sleep at all, so I heard what my parents were talking about. Dad was envious of you because you were so rich and that's why he made a plan to put you in prison. Here's the plan: My mother, who is your cook, was going to put some powder in your evening tea that would make you fall asleep and not feel anything. Father was going to come at midnight and get you on the train without a ticket, and so it happened. Because you were going to leave the next day, my father took one of your suitcase and put it next to you on the train. Since you didn't have a ticket, my father could hand you over to the police and put you in jail. But there was a problem. The bridge was broken, so my father paid the conductor to start at a very high speed and cross the broken bridge. Because the train was going at a very high speed, it would have passed over the bridge without falling into the chasm. But the plan was not the best. Because of the speed, the train overturned. This is the truth...

Respectfully,

Alice

Mr. Kyle folded the letter sadly. Then he opened Mrs. Sky's letter:

October 15, 1872

Dear Mr. Kyle,

I don't want to work for you anymore. I will go to live with my mother. I can't take Alice, so I'm sending her to you to take her to the orphanage. If you want, you can keep her to work for you. I will come to visit her every month, wherever she is.

Respectfully,

Ms. Sky

Ding dong, ding dong... The bell is ringing. After a few minutes, Alice entered the room accompanied by the maid.

"The lady that I think you're waiting for has arrived." Said the maid leaving the room.

"Good morning." Alice said sadly.

"Hello, dear Alice!" Mr. Kyle said cheerfully.

"Did you read mother's letter?" Alice asked sadly.

“Yes, Alice. And I won't send you to the orphanage. I want to have a child, so if you don't mind, I'd like you to treat me like your grandfather." Mr. Kyle said.

"Yes, M… Grandpa!" Said Alice throwing herself into her grandfather's arms.

"I never thought that anything good would come out of this whole story." Mr. Kyle whispered happily.

Adventure

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    CCWritten by Cosmin Child

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