by Lauren Gale
Even a boy can be a hero.
|Hank sat quietly next to his mother enjoying the rhythmic rattle of the train. He closed his eyes and dreamed that the ka-bump, ka-bump of the train was really the pa-dump, pa-dump of a horse’s hooves, the horse he was riding at full gallop in the dust of the outlaw he was gaining on. He put the reins in one hand and with the other reached up and fingered the silver star pinned to his chest, which he knew was shining brightly in the sun. Just as he was ready to draw his six-shooter, his mother nudged him awake to offer him an applesauce cookie.
The cookie was good. After licking his fingers, Hank opened the small tin he had brought with him on this trip to Wimington. He never left home without his treasure. Bringing the tin close to his ear, Hank shook it gently so he could hear the clinking of its contents. He removed the lid, took out a green cat’s eye marble, and holding it between his thumb and first finger he lifted it into the light to admire the swirls of color in the glass. He had fifty marbles in his tin. He was the wealthiest boy in Tuckersville, thanks to his great skill and powerful thumb. One by one he removed the glass spheres and admired them, until he became bored. He put the lid back on the tin, sighed, and sat back in the seat.
Before he had the chance to start a daydream, the door opened at the front of the train car and a tall man barged in pointing a gun and holding a half full sack. He wore a bandana across his face so that only his eyes showed.
“This is a hold up!” the man shouted. “Get your valuables out and put them in this sack. No funny business, I mean it!”
The robber started at the front of the car and one by one the passengers dropped into the sack their money and jewelry and watches. Hank did not want to give this bad man his marbles, but he took the lid off his tin, anyway.
While the train robber was collecting valuables from the people in front of them, Hank lowered his hand and held the tin in readiness. At just the right moment he dumped his marbles on the floor so the robber had to step on them, and the result was just what Hank had hoped for. The robber slipped and landed on his back, letting go of the sack and the gun. Hank kicked the gun down the aisle where a man picked it up and took aim at the would-be thief.
Hank’s mother unlaced his shoes and another man used the laces to tie up the outlaw’s hands and feet. They kept him under guard until the train pulled into the station, and everyone helped find all fifty of Hank’s marbles.
And that, as they say, was that.
An old fashioned train robbery. Include a mother and child. 500 word limit