Whitewater Crossing: A Casey Jones Columbia River Adventure Book II HTML version

Whitewater Crossing
A Casey Jones Columbia River Adventure
Copyright © 2009 Roy W. Bush
My thanks to Jerome Buckmier for reading the first Casey Jones Adventure, Cry Of The Goshawk, to his
students, and for his encouragement during the writing of this sequel.
To the students and staff of The School for the Blind, Vancouver, Washington.
I rode out in the dark of early morning leaving the K2 Ranch behind, looked up and thrilled to the bright
November constellations. With Signus the Swan overhead, and Polaris over my shoulder I headed across the
Serpentine at the wood bridge and up the bluff. Within minutes, my fine cowpony, Jasper, and I began to cross a
wide expanse of lush grass that famously came up to a horse’s belly.
I leaned down and patted Jasper on the neck. “Hey fella, with grass like this, I can see why they call this area
the Horse Heaven Hills.”
As we loped along I thought, “How strange life can be. Here I am, Casey Jones, a New York City kid who has
landed way out here in the state of Washington to live on the legendary K2 Ranch.”
On this beautiful morning with winter on the way, my head filled with images thick as snowflakes . . . thoughts
of the old neighborhood swirled in my head, football at school, the fights and the friendships.
There was the small apartment in Brooklyn where Mom, Dad and I had lived our happy lives together. I’d never
asked them if they’d named me after the famous railroad engineer who’d died trying to avoid a train wreck, but
when asked about being related to him, I just answer, “No, Jones is a common name.”
Jasper seemed to love being out here. His smooth gait allowed me to revive memories of the fine folks who
lived in our tenement house, especially the kindly Mr. Lambrusco, who taught me to love history and music.
But mostly I remembered my loving Dad. Back then he worked long, hard hours but still had time for me. Boy!
Did I ever love those Saturday afternoons as we washed down hot dogs with big cups of frothy cola and cheered
on our winning team, the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Now in the year 1921, I don’t often look back to when Dad died on the job following an operation, and the
difficult days that followed. I had to leave Mom and head west to live with relatives, so scared I felt like
jumping off the train and running back.
I’d ridden the train through Chicago, across the plains, over the Rocky Mountains, and down again into the
fertile valley drained by the Serpentine where I’d been warmly welcomed by my new family.