The Wolf Creek Depot was in all sense of the word, mobbed! People were everywhere! The WOLF platform was nearly as dense as a packed sardine can! And yet another train was coming in with even more passengers! The locomotives bell tolled and the wheels groaned and screeched to a halt. The noise from the crowd was defining. Aleu could barely hear the sound of the locomotive aside from the Ten Wheelers whistle! She squeezed her way threw the crowd and into the sanctuary of the Depot. She opened the door and quickly shut it behind herself. She let out a deep sigh of relief and relaxed her stance. Then she looked to her left towards the office, she then saw the Station Master plop down in his chair and put his fingers to the bridge on his nose. He looked a bit stressed out. Aleu quietly made her way over to the office and then knocked on the door frame. The Station Master looked toward the door and then sat up.
Miss Aleu! Something I can do for you? The Station Master asked.
Yeah, but are all these people her for the Rail Fest? Aleu asked. The station master nodded his head.
Im afraid they are! This is great for business but its hard on me! Every paper in the country has the Festival on their front pages! Were getting people as far away as Europe! The Station Master sighed. Aleu too was taken by surprise. She knew that Rail Fest was a big deal, but people as far away as Europe? WOW! Was all Aleu could think.
there was something you needed from me? The Station Master asked. Aleu snapped out of the little trance she was in.
Ah, I was wondering, do you know when the GFRRs Comanche will get here? Aleu asked. The Station Master had a slight look of confusion.
Miss Aleu, dont you have a copy of the schedule? Said the Station Master. He reached for a paper on his desk and handed it to Aleu. The Wolf took the sheet and looked it over. Then her eyes widened a bit and then she looked back at the Station Master.
It should only be a few more minutes until they arrive, 15 at the most. The Station Master replied. Aleu thanked the dog and handed back the days schedule. The Station Master put up his hand in refusal.
Keep it, Ive got more. He told Aleu. Again the Wolf thanked him and took off towards the Gunpowder Falls platform. As she did she folded the paper and but it into her pocket.
A couple miles away the Comanche came barreling out of a hard rock tunnel. Black smoke filled the air above the locomotive. The engines crew was a bit sooty and blackened with coal dust. With the exception on A.J., his fur wasnt white but a light grey with darker patches of soot. Comanches crew worked hard to keep her more than steamed! Her side rods clanked and whirled about, the flanges squealed as they rounded curves. The familiar sound of wheels clicking over the rail joints was easily heard over the sounds of the iron beast. Up ahead was a trestle, A.J. pulled down on the whistle cord just before the bridge to alert anyone on the deck. The trestle groaned under the Mikados weight. It was a healthy sound, not a groan of weakness. The GFRR gave religious attention to their right of way. Their bridges built to hold the weight of Standard Gauge Locomotives! Once across the train began to pass through a series of shallow cuts soon heading into deeper ones. It was here that during the last winter was the biggest attempt to rob one of A.J.s trains took place. Soon the slim gauge train would reach its destination. Wolf Creek was just a few more miles ahead.
Aleu was out on the Narrow Gauge Platform of the GFRR. Her ears were perked and she looked down the slim Right-Of-Way for any signs of the Gunpowder Falls Flag Ship. She heard no sounds of the Narrow Gauge train. But she did hear some one that shed rather never had met.
You who! Aleu heard off to her right. It was a familiar voice but one she didnt like. Upon hearing those two words Aleu tensed up and she slowly turned her head around. Regrettably Aleu saw who it was and it was just as she had feared, it was Jewel. Jewel was a Snow White Wolf, like Aleu, but just a bit shorter. Her eyes were a deep but brilliant shad of purple, the hair from her head came down to the small of her back and the tips were died a light green. Jewel, like Aleu, is a railroader and one with skills. Though how she uses them might warrant conversation. Aleu felt a feeling of dread wash over her.
Well, long time no see! Jewel said to the she wolf. Already Aleu was gritting her teeth.
Long time no see? We worked together to haul a fright a few days ago! Aleu responded. Jewel tilted her head.
Is something the matter? Jewel asked. Aleu gritted her teeth. Yeah, your being here. Aleu muttered under her breath. Then she turned and faced Jewel.
Ya know, what are you even doing here to begin with? Aleu asked. Jewel put on an innocent look of surprise.
Oh! You didnt know? Jewel replied.
Know what!? Aleu answered back. Then a smile grew across Jewels face.
Im participating in Rail Fest!