"Hmm. That's funny," said the young man, looking through
is it?" asked his friend, a much older and oddly dressed man
in any period.
here. I wasn't expecting that."
The older man was peering through his own binoculars searching the
crowd below them.
not mentioned as being here today in any text I've read about him.
see him," said the old man. "It's not like he couldn't have
been here. He was contemporary to the times."
young man sighed. "I know. It annoys me how little we actually
know about this part of our history. We're mostly dependent on what
the newspapers 'reported'."
I recall," said the old man, "That's why we're here."
young friend stood up slowly. The rocks he had been crouched behind
were snow covered and he dusted himself off. His clothes were accurate
to the 1850's, except for a few gadgets hidden on his person. "I'm
going down there to talk to Mr. Blair."
old man took his arm. "I don't recommend it. I told you what
"What? I'm just going to ask him a few questions. I want to know
why he's here." He pulled himself free.
know why he's here," said the older. "We know he becomes
a railroad baron later on. It makes sense he'd be at the opening of
our county's first rail line."
younger companion was making his way down the rocks. "I'll be
the bottom of the rocks, the young man easily melded into the throng
of locals. Excited at being at the actual historical event made his
heart pound in his chest. He didn't feel the cold despite the December
chill. He and his companion had watched the train arrive from the
rocks. The view was better there and allowed some very nice digipix
to be taken. Now an impromptu speech was being given, the speaker
standing on a railroad hand car of all things. From the snatches he
listened to, it was much the same lecture that was reported in the
papers for posterity.
Blair was standing in the gauge of the rail, in the center of the
crowd. The young man sidled up to him, savoring the moment. He didn't
look nearly as crusty and gruff as the old photos suggested.
wonder if I could manage a pic, thought the young man. "Excuse
me Mr. Blair," he said. "Could I have a word with you?"
Blair looked at him and frowned. "Who are you? Can't you see
I'm sorry, sir. I'm a reporter and would like a word..."
you want a word, you can see me in my office next week. I'm on a tight
schedule and must make a rail connection to New York."
The opportunity was not to be missed. The young man tried again. "Mr.
he turned to say something, Blair's foot caught on the rail and he
lost his balance. He fell backwards onto the ground, his head striking
the rail. A few men nearby rushed in to help, while the young man,
stunned, slowly backed away. He made his way back up to his companion.