Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

The voice on the phone said, "I understand that you are a friend of my son, James. He has gone missing. I require your assistance in bringing him home again...”

A university student has gone missing. Can his friends find out what has happened to James Frazer in 1920s Massachusetts?

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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Bullfrog » Wed May 20, 2020 3:36 am

"I've got quite the opposite problem; I'm a little tall for a steward, and the uniform may not even fit." Lawrence responds.

Spoiler:
Since he as a Size of 17, Lawrence may indeed be a tad large.
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Philulhu » Wed May 20, 2020 9:35 am

Both William and Lawrence tried on the uniform. Lawrence was proved right, he was too big and couldn’t fasten the jacket across his chest. It was big on William but at least he could get it on.

As he fastened the last button on the jacket, Thomas gasped. William appeared to flicker like a misaligned film at the picture house, and in his place stood one of the stewards!
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu May 21, 2020 2:38 am

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"What?" asks William. Then he looks in the mirror. "Oh. That's unexpected, but not unappreciated. Should I try to gain access to the engine alone, or should I try escorting you there and see if I can get away with it?"
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Bullfrog » Thu May 21, 2020 11:05 am

Lawrence was quite taken aback by the suit's bizarre effects, though it at least seemed to at least be to the group's benefit.
"The latter is worth a try, though it's got a lot more risk than just going alone." deliberates Lawrence, hand upon his chin.
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri May 22, 2020 4:18 am

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"Well, going alone would have a lot more risk for me," says William. "I'll try escorting you and see how far we can get."
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Bullfrog » Fri May 22, 2020 5:08 am

"If things go bad, we'll just have to start knocking teeth out. I'm going home, and that bunch of greasy devils isn't going to stop me." Lawrence aggressively states. "While you're at it, I'm gonna need something to tell you apart from the other stewards if things get confusing."
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Philulhu » Fri May 22, 2020 6:55 am

All of the stewards were of a similar appearance - quite tall, thin, with sallow-looking skin and slightly long, greasy hair, though Lawrence thought that William looked a bit shorter than the others. Whatever was causing the change in his appearance had some limitations and he could only hope it wasn’tenough to draw attention to themselves.

”We’ll go and wait in the salon,” said Thomas. ”If you need help, holler loudly and pray we can hear you!” He lead Howard and the young salesman out of the carriage, leaving Lawrence and William to decide what to do next.
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby HoneyDog » Fri May 22, 2020 9:24 am

"No!" says Howard. "Let's all go together. If they want a fight, let's give them one."
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Philulhu » Fri May 22, 2020 10:01 am

Spoiler:
Welcome back, Honeydog. I wasn’t trying to sideline you (honest! :)) but I know you’ve been busy with work so wasn’t sure how much you’d be able to join in.
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby HoneyDog » Fri May 22, 2020 4:52 pm

Spoiler:
Sorry for being inactive. It's safe to assume that Howard will go towards wherever the trouble is.
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat May 23, 2020 3:21 am

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"If they won't let the rest of you forward with me, I'd like to try going alone first," says William. "In this uniform, I should have access to the whole train. If I don't come back after a while, or if you hear something go wrong, then you can come after me. But hopefully they'll let you past if you're with me."
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Bullfrog » Sat May 23, 2020 6:46 am

"While you're out searching the train, I say that me and the rest of us speak with some of the other passengers." Lawrence suggests, "I think that we can enlist some help."
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Philulhu » Sat May 23, 2020 10:51 am

Friday March 7th, 1930 16.20pm.
Baton Rouge to Boston Train


They made their way back to the salon car, where everything appeared as it had before. The young man dozed on the settee, the woman was sat talking to her children, and the older man they had spoken to was sat studying his book, his unlit pipe twitching slightly as he read to himself.

The Steward behind the bar watched them pass. He focused on William with a puzzled gaze but said nothing until they approached the door that lead through to the dining car. ”The dining car will open at 7.00pm for first class passengers,” he said, sonorously.
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat May 23, 2020 4:52 pm

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"Remain here," says William to his friends, hoping to avoid arousing suspicion. Then he proceeds to the dining car by himself.
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Philulhu » Sat May 23, 2020 11:07 pm

Spoiler:
William made his way forward through the corridor linking the two carriages and to the door of the dining carriage. The blind was pulled down and the door had one of the star-shaped locks, similar to the cupboard in the WC.


Spoiler:
The three men watched William as he moved through the salon door and along the passage on the other side.

Around them, the passengers repeated the actions they had seem them do before, like a record repeated itself if scratched.
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat May 23, 2020 11:13 pm

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William returns and subtly motions for the others to follow him until they are out of earshot of the steward. "I need that makeshift key you used to open the cabinet," he whispers once they're alone. "The door to the next car is locked the same way, and I need the key to open it."
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Bullfrog » Sat May 23, 2020 11:25 pm

"I've still got it." Lawrence whispers back in reply, surreptitiously slipping the makeshift key to William.
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun May 24, 2020 12:11 am

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"Thanks," William whispers back. Once he has the key, he turns around and heads back for the dining car, peeking through the blinds before he even thinks about unlocking the door.
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Philulhu » Sun May 24, 2020 7:46 pm

Spoiler:
The glass was patterned with the train company’s logo and most of it was frosted, except for a border not more that 3/4 of an inch wide. Leaning closer, he could see through that narrow gap and into the carriage beyond.

The dining car was mostly full. Sat at the tables were people in dress reminiscent of the last century - wing collars and crinoline appeared to be the order of the day, with the odd khaki-coloured suit for good measure.
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun May 24, 2020 9:21 pm

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William unlocks the door. Then, keeping the key out of sight, he proceeds into the dining car.
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