Archie tells Kate the Secret

“Instrument case.”

“Where was it? Why is it still on the train? You don’t have any right to sneak into it.” Kate said. “Anything of interest in it?”

“Guns, were in it,” Archie said. “two Colts and a Derringer.”

Kate said, “Maybe he sells them. Were they new?”

“They weren’t new and they were loaded.”

They were interrupted by white coated waiter, bringing his coffee and her tea, and a plate of scones. After the waiter left, Kate asked, “Where are they now?”

“Back in the compartment, where I found them.”

“Archie, you can’t leave them there,” Kate said. “What if someone steals them, then we’ll get the blame.”

They sat in silence for a couple of minutes.

Archie placed his linen napkin on the table, then slid out of his seat. “I’ll get it.”

It was several long minutes before Kate spotted Archie winding his way through the morning diners. He leaned into the table and deposited the case next to the outside wall.

“This thing is heavy,” Archie said, sitting down.

Leaning across the table, their heads almost touching, they spoke in whispers. Archie said, “Do you think he could be an outlaw?”

“Oh, no silly. He looks as much an outlaw as you do. If you didn’t have that ugly mustache you two would look like brothers.”


“Besides, outlaws don’t dress in suits and ties. What we’ll do is wait until uncle Herold picks us up this afternoon and tell him about it. He’ll know what to do.”

Their appetite gone, they made their way back to the compartment. Kate wanted to see the guns. After locking the door, Archie opened up the case, and removed the top panel. Kate reached for a pistol and Archie pushed her hand away. He said, “I told you they are loaded. Don’t touch.”

Kate said, “I know as much about guns as you, and I have as much right as you.”

“Ok,” Archie said, “Here.” He handed her the Derringer.

She handled it cautiously. “It looks new.These are pearl handles, I think.”

Archie held out his hand for the gun.

Kate pouted, but returned the Derringer to Archie. At that moment there was a sharp rap on the door. Archie stuffed the pistol into his waist band, as Kate slammed the case closed and snapped it.

Archie answered the knock. It was the conductor telling them that there would be a delay of a few hours at Dawson, due to a lightening storm that had knocked down one or more trees across the tracks. He said they would be allowed to leave the train, but to stay within the sound of the whistle.

Within minutes, after the conductor departed, they felt the train start to slow. Kate rushed to the WC to apply make-up. She always tried to look her best when there were young men around. Archie sat, trying to decide what to do with Doc’s guns. The case was too heavy to carry around, but he didn’t dare leave the guns in the compartment. In the end he left the top tray with the actual instruments in the compartment and took the guns with him.

Kate and Archie make a charming couple as they stepped from the train

The End

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