CERA'S HISTORY LESSON
"Okay!" Cera exclaimed. "Hearing about everyone else's ancestor is great, but when am I gonna hear about my ancestor!"
"Cera!" Ducky cried out. "You've really got to learn patience."
Cera growled at Ducky, which made the young swimmer dino cringe.
"Actually," Briank said as he pressed the console's handheld clicker a few more times, "Cera's ancestor is next in line."
Cera's facial features brightened. "See? So much for wanting me to learn patience," Cera said proudly to Ducky. Ducky simply glared at the cocky female threehorn.
"So what did my ancestor do?" Cera asked immediately. "I'll bet he established the first Threehorn colony in Laurentia, or singlehandedly defeated a whole bunch of crazy sharpteeth in that Laurentian Civil War that took place."
"Actually, he was a railroad worker," Briank said.
"A what worker?" Chomper asked in confusion.
"Railroad worker," Yolanda repeated.
"What does a rayl-rohd worker do?" Littlefoot asked.
"Quite simply, he helps build railroad tracks so trains can travel on them," Briank answered.
"OOH! I remember seeing pictures of traynz on board the Enterprise," Petrie admitted. "Quite impressive looking mah-sheens, if I do say so myself."
"Indeed they were!" Yolanda smiled. "Matter of fact, it was a revolutionary means of transportation that allowed for the colonization of all of the western regions of Laurentia."
"That's right," Briank said. He then pressed the handheld clicker once, and a map of Laurentia appeared on the cave wall. "You see, after the Laurentian Civil War ended, there was a huge resurgence in Saurian and Rainbow Face migration throughout the western states and territories of Laurentia," he said as he gestured with the laser pointer on the map. "There was already a certain amount of colonization going on — even before the Civil War broke out — but it wasn't until after the train was invented that this colonization greatly expanded, and every corner of the West was quickly being claimed in the name of the new settlers. Before the railroad existed, the quickest way to get from place to place was to simply walk to your destination, so it could take weeks or even months to cover the vast distances across the continent. Once trains came into service, even the longest of journeys could take no more than just a few days."
Briank then pressed the handheld control a few more times, and images of long passenger trains with their powerful steam locomotives appeared on the cave wall. This mesmerized the dinos so much and a few OOHs were heard when they saw the images.
"But it all wouldn't have been possible without the brave Rainbow Face and Saurian railroad workers to build the tracks that these trains could run on," Briank said as he clicked the handheld controller a few more times, displaying several images of Rainbow Faces and Saurians of all kinds hard at work building the railroads those mighty trains could run on.
"This is where Cera's ancestor, Frank Threehorn, comes into play," Briank said as he clicked the handheld control that showed a few images of threehorns doing various jobs on the railway lines. "He was hired by the Pacifica Railroad Company as a Cart Hauler. Threehorns weren't good for much else on railroad construction, since they don't have hands." Several images of threehorn teams hauling railroad carts filled with dirt and rocks to and from dig sites appeared on the cave wall.
Cera humpfed. "That job doesn't look so tough. I thought he'd be doing something much more dangerous than that."
"Actually, dearie, it was a tough job," Yolanda admitted.
Cera betrayed a look of disbelief on her facial features.
"Yolanda's right," Briank said. "Working conditions were quite harsh, because they had to go through some pretty rugged terrain to get the railroad built! They had to go over mountains and down into valleys, which meant a lot of steep inclines to go up and down! Many Rainbow Faces and Saurians died on the job! The fact that any one Saurian could stay alive for months at a time building the railroad was a miracle in itself! Imagine being a threehorn and hauling those heavily loaded carts up and down mountainsides!"
"I can believe that," Spike muttered.
"Well you should, my Saurian friend," Mr. Kark said. "For it is true."
"But your ancestor, Cera, holds the dubious distinction of being the one and only threehorn to survive the entire building of the western half of the Trans-Laurentian Railway from start to finish," Briank said proudly.
"Thus proving the resiliency and tenacity that threehorns are most known for!" Yolanda smiled.
"Really!" Cera beamed. "Tell me more!"
Briank smiled. "Well, it all started when Frank's family escaped from slavery in the South and eventually wound up in the state of Caledonia, near the west coast. Frank was very young back then, but his father was taken up by what was then called the "gold rush," when thousands of Rainbow Faces and Saurians moved west to Caledonia to gather as much of the valuable metal as they could. Frank's father was among those thousands who became prospectors. Alas, he — like so many others — was never able to strike it rich, and quickly abandoned that life. He soon found work in a saw mill, and actually made enough money to provide for his family, though they were not rich by any means.
"Then, when Frank reached adulthood, there came the day that his life would change forever. It all started when…"
In a saloon in a small, nondescript town in northern Caledonia, two Saurians were sitting at a table in the middle of the saloon, sharing a bottle of whiskey. It was midday, and the weather outside was actually quite warm. Both Saurians knew, however, that by midafternoon, the temperature may actually reach ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit (thirty-five degrees Centigrade), especially since there wasn't a cloud in the sky!
The area they were living in saw very little rain, except in the wintertime when rain was more abundant, with snow only in the higher elevations. It was currently the middle of summer, however.
One of the Saurians was a threehorn named Frank. He had been living in the area for the last twenty years. His struthiomimus friend, Steve, had only moved to Caledonia a few months ago. The struthiomimus would later become known as "egg stealers" because they like to swipe eggs from unsuspecting Saurians. Steve, however, always bought the eggs he ate from Saurians at the local market. Frank had known him for years, and through a series of telegrams, he was finally able to convince Steve to come out west and start a new life.
Frank was reading a newspaper while Steve slowly sipped another shot of whiskey and absentmindedly gazed outside, watching several Saurians pass by, going about their business.
"Hey, Steve!" Frank began. "Whadya think o' this?" the threehorn asked as he laid the newspaper flat on the table so Steve could see. He pointed to the headline on the front page that read "Laurentian Civil War over! North wins!"
Steve grabbed the paper with both hands to get a better look at it. "Well, whaddya know!" he cried. "Looks like the North finally won their bet!"
Frank smiled. "They sure did! But you know what this really means, don't you?"
Steve looked clueless.
"An end to slavery!" Frank exclaimed. "No more slaves to be had in Laurentia!"
"Oh!" Steve exclaimed, realizing the real meaning of the Civil War that just ended. "Yeah, I forgot that your father used to be a slave, and that he barely escaped with his life — and yours — to live free out here in Caledonia. Having lived in Bostonia for most of my life, my family has never known slavery."
"And with the North winning the war, slavery will be completely forgotten within ten years, you mark mah words!"
"We'll see!" Steve said with a smile as he downed his shot of whiskey.
It was midafternoon by the time the two Saurian friends made their way back to the ranch house they stayed at. The rancher who owned the property and boarded them would surely need help in tending to his livestock before the sun went down.
"So what do you think of this new fangled railroad they're lookin' to build?" Steve asked casually as they walked on.
"I think it's the way of the future," Frank said with a smile.
"The future!" Steve scoffed. "Get real! My new Miracle Cure is the real way of the future!" He proudly displayed a bottle labeled "Universal Elixir" to Frank.
"Thatnasty bottle o' fish oil?" Frank made a face. "You've got to be joking!"
"Hey! This stuff really works! You sure I can't convince you in taking a spoonful?"
"No, thanks!" Frank grumbled.
They walked on in silence for a bit before Steve spoke again. "Well, I, for one, think that this new railroad thing is too dangerous. I hear that a lot of Saurians and Rainbow Faces have died trying to build it over in the East, and those mountains are nothing compared what they could face out here."
"Well, I think it's a challenge," Frank admitted. "If Saurians and Rainbow Faces are dying during the construction work, they're certainly not talking about it."
Frank then noticed something to his left, and stopped dead in his tracks.
"What?" Steve asked, following his gaze.
Frank had noticed a poster next to a door that read: Workers needed for the new Trans-Laurentian Railroad. Great pay! Sign in here and become a part of history!
"Whadya think? Wanna sign up?" Frank asked Steve.
"No way!" Steve said right away. "If you wanna commit suicide, be my guest! But I will make a bet with you: If you can make it to very end of this thing being built, I'll pay you one hundred dollars!"
Frank didn't hesitate. "Deal!" he said as he shook with Steve.
Steve waited outside while Frank went through the door indicated by the poster to sign up for the railroad work force.
Later that week, Frank was standing in line in front of a Foredino's tent. There was already a lot of activity going on at the worksite. He saw several Rainbow Faces and smaller bipedal Saurians carrying steel tracks and wooden ties to be laid down on the ground, while other Rainbow Faces were driving metal spikes using heavy mallets in order to keep the metal tracks down. He also saw several larger Saurians carrying loads of steel tracks, wooden ties, and mountains of dirt and crushed stones all up and down the worksite.
"Name?" the Rainbow Face Foredino asked when Frank came up to him. He was of average height, for a Rainbow Face, and he had a clipboard in his hands.
"Frank… Frank Threehorn," Frank answered.
"Frank… Threehorn…" the Foredino muttered as he skimmed the page on his clipboard. "Ah, yes! Here you are!" He placed a checkmark using a pencil on the page. "You're one of the Cart Haulers. There's the cart you'll be using." He gestured towards the railroad cart that was already set up on the metal tracks. "Your threehorn partner should be along shortly. Somedino'll come by and hook you up to the harness."
Frank nodded and moved to take his place in front of the cart. "Welcome aboard!" the Rainbow Face Foredino smiled and called as Frank departed. Frank returned the smile and nodded.
A few minutes later, Frank was being assisted by a Rainbow Face helper in getting himself hooked up to the harness at the front of the cart when another threehorn showed up. This threehorn male was slightly smaller than Frank, but he looked pretty strong, nonetheless.
"Ah! Ya must be Frank Threehorn," The newcomer said in a rather high pitched and bubbly voice. "Top o' the mornin' to ya! I be Sheamus! Sheamus O'Brien!"
"Hi," Frank said in response as he exchanged pawshakes with the smaller threehorn male. "Ye're not from Laurentia, are you?"
"And what makes ya think that?" the smaller threehorn said.
"The way you talk," Frank said. "You sound different."
"Ya're very perceptive!" Sheamus said. "I come from Irelandia! The land o' the shamrock, don't ya know? And where are ye from?"
"Mah family comes from New Orlandia, but ah've been livin' in Caledonia for over twenty years now."
"Ah! Interesting!" Sheamus said. "I feel we're gonna get along splendidly, ye and I."
Once the Rainbow Face helper was done securing Frank to the cart's harness, he moved to secure Sheamus to his half of the cart harness, and they were soon on their way to accept their first load of dirt and rocks to be hauled away.
Almost a year later, Frank and Sheamus were still at it! While they were in Caledonia, the terrain was pretty much flat — and they had it pretty easy — but as soon as they reached higher elevations in the mountains in the western part of the state of Nevadia, things started getting harder for both of them.
Frank was tough as nails, though! He was able to scale the mountainsides without ever missing a step. Sheamus, however, thought it was really tough going. Whenever Frank felt that the cart was getting harder to pull, he knew that Sheamus was tiring, and that he had to slow down to give his partner a chance to breathe.
At one point, Frank had to stop the cart completely because Sheamus was too tired to continue.
"Hey! Ya all right?" Frank asked his work partner.
"I'm fine," Sheamus said in between heavy pants. "Just catchin' me breath, 'tis all."
"Hey! What's the hold up!" called the Rainbow Face Foredino from the top of the mountainside.
"Just allowin' mah partner to get his wind back!" Frank called back.
"Well, tell him to get it back quickly! Time's a wastin'!"
"Come on, Sheamus," Frank encouraged. "We gotta move."
Sheamus' breathing was more even and relaxed now. "Aye." He nodded, and started trudging on again.
Suddenly, a large explosion from behind the Foredino shook the entire mountainside. Several Rainbow Face and Saurian workers hit the ground as soon as the explosion resonated. Frank and Sheamus were winded as they felt the shockwave of the explosion.
"Oh, no!" the Foredino groaned as he looked upon the scene. "How many were still inside the cave?" he asked a Rainbow Face mallet handler who happened to be nearby.
"Uhh… five, I think," the Rainbow Face male said meekly.
"Dammit!" the Foredino cried out. "The explosives must've gone off prematurely. Okay, try to get a bunch of males in there to see if you can recover the bodies."
The Rainbow Face male nodded and moved to do as the Foredino ordered.
Sounds of coughing from behind him made the Foredino turn around. He smiled when he saw that one of the workers assigned to set the explosives emerged from the cave, all dusty and winded, but alive.
"Are you all right?" He asked his Rainbow Face compatriot when he got beside.
"Yeah, but I can't take this anymore!" the Rainbow Face male said in anger. "No dino can work under these conditions! I QUIT!" Then he stormed off back down the mountainside.
"Wait! Come back!" the Foredino called after him, but the male didn't even stop. He just kept marching on down the mountainside, never looking back!
"Great, just great!" the Foredino grumbled. "Frank? Sheamus? When you get back down, tell them that we'll need six new workers up here. Anyone they can spare."
"Yes, sir." Frank nodded.
"Aye. Whatever ya say, boss." Sheamus nodded as well.
Frank and Sheamus were unhooked from their harness and allowed to rest while shovelers moved to fill the cart with another load of rubble and dirt to be hauled away back down the mountain.
As the year passed, progress began to speed up a little bit. Once the crew had finally made it up the mountains, the plateau that covered much of Nevadia and the territory of Youta provided relatively smooth land to lay track. Barely two months into the new year and they had just reached the higher elevations of the territory of Coloradia. It was very mountainous terrain, which made it rough going at times, so their progress was slowed somewhat, but they pressed on.
At one point, however, a fierce snowstorm blanketed the area, which forced a halt to the construction project. The railroad company had a policy where if a worker didn't work, he simply didn't get paid, which meant that everybody wouldn't get their "dollar a day," which was their salary. Frank knew this would happen, but he didn't mind, while others griped and groaned about it — namely his Cart Hauler partner, Sheamus.
When the snowstorm finally lifted, the construction project started up again. When Frank and Sheamus arrived at the construction site, however, they were surprised to see a bunch of dinos standing around, chatting amongst themselves, instead of rushing about towards their assigned duties.
"Hey! What's goin' on?" Frank asked as he joined the group.
"Ah! Frank! Sheamus!" one Rainbow Face said with a smile as he greeted them. "Me and my honorable colleagues here have come to a consensus." By the Rainbow Face's accent, Frank could tell that he came from Eastern Orientia, a land far across the vast ocean west of Laurentia. There were many dinos like him living in Caledonia who were hoping for a better life than in their home country.
"We are going on strike!" the Orientia native Rainbow Face announced as he adopted a serious look and crossed his arms in front of him.
"Strike? What's that?" a puzzled Frank Threehorn asked.
"It means that we refuse to work!" A hadrosaur male stating beside the Orientia Rainbow Face said in answer.
"Refuse to work? Why?" Frank asked, even more puzzled.
"Because the conditions of our employment are most unreasonable and appalling." the Orientia Rainbow Face said.
"Think about it!" the hadrosaur said. "For five days straight, we were forced to stop working because of that storm, and during all that time, the company refused to pay us!"
"Well, yeah! Because we didn't do the work. It makes perfect sense," Frank said.
"Actually, we feel it doesn't make sense! If conditions make it impossible for us to work, and we're still under the company's payroll, we feel that they should pay us anyway. What's more: How many of us have died since this whole crazy project started?"
Frank shrugged. "It's an occupational hazard. We knew the risks when we signed up."
"But we refuse to work under these conditions!" the hadrosaur shouted. "And I think you two should, too!"
Frank scoffed. "You guys are crazy!"
"Actually, Frank," Sheamus began, "I think it makes perfect sense. We deserve better workin' conditions than this, as well as the protection of our wages. I, for one, am ready to join their cause."
Then he moved to join the group of strikers, who gave him pats on the back when he joined their ranks.
"Have you lost your mind!" Frank scoffed at his Cart Hauler partner.
"No, Frank. I haven't," Sheamus said. "Matter of fact, I'm beginnin' to think that maybe ye lost yours."
Frank glared at Sheamus and was about to retort when the Rainbow Face Foredino showed up. "So is it decided? You dinos are just not gonna work today?"
"That is correct, o' most honorable boss," the Orientia Rainbow Face said as he bowed respectfully.
The Foredino pursed his lips. "Fine! Have it your way, all of you! You do realize that I'll have to report this to the company?"
"Go ahead!" the hadrosaur said.
"We are prepared to accept the consequences of our actions," the Orientia Rainbow Face said as he bowed respectfully again.
After a moment, the Foredino nodded, then turned to face Frank. "What about you?"
"Well, I, for one, am here to work an' get paid. Personally, ah think they're a bunch of fools."
The Foredino nodded. "All right. Follow me. We'll find you something to do."
For the next few days, Frank was assigned work as a tie and track carrier, since no other threehorn was available to take Sheamus' place as Cart Hauler. When word got back to the company of what was going on, administrators were sent to try to negotiate a settlement — which involved firing most of the zealots who started the strike in the first place. The more important dinos, like Sheamus, stayed on the payroll of the company, but were placed under probation.
Frank argued with Sheamus about how what he did was foolish, while Sheamus argued that he simply stood up for what he believed in. Frank retorted that what happened didn't change anything. The working conditions were still the same, and the occupational risk of death was still ever present. Eventually, they stopped arguing and did their job day in and day out.
It was a new year, and they had made considerable progress! They were just on the other side of the mountain range that made up most of Coloradia, and they could see the flat plains of Midwestern Laurentia off in the distance. They only had one more big mountain to build around, and they would be done with the higher elevations for the foreseeable future.
Frank and Sheamus were hauling their cart filled with another load of rubble and dirt up the mountain slope to the dump site. Like many times before, Frank was forced to stop their climb so Sheamus can catch his breath.
"You all right?" Frank asked for probably the hundredth time.
"Aye," Sheamus answered for probably the hundredth time in between breaths.
"Y'know, ah just don't get it! Obviously, ya find this job is tough, and they won't let you do anything else! Why don't you just quit! Many other dinos have! Why not you?"
"I can't!" Sheamus admitted. "I have a wife and young boy to look after. I need the money this job pays me for them, and this was the most lucrative job I could find."
"Really? You never told me that!"
Sheamus was still breathing heavily. "'Tis true! Every week, I send half my salary to them so they can buy the stuff they need."
"Where do they live?"
"In Los Angela. We moved there five years ago."
Frank smiled. "That's pretty noble of you."
"Thanks," Sheamus said with one final deep breath. "I just wish that these appalling working conditions would change, though."
"You know that's not gonna happen."
"Aye. I know. But I can still dream, can I?"
Frank smiled. "Come on. We gotta keep moving," He encouraged.
Slowly, they got the cart moving again, and kept trudging on up the slope.
"At least there's one piece of good news," Frank began.
"This is the last mountain we've gotta build the railway around. After this, it's nothin' but flat plains, which should make things easier for you."
When they reached a rather narrow ledge, however, a portion of the rock under the ledge gave way beneath Sheamus' feet, and the threehorn screamed as he felt himself slip over the edge. Only his harness kept him from falling over.
"SHEAMUS!" Frank cried.
Sheamus' facial features betrayed fear as he tried to hang on to the safety of the harness. But the buckles on the harness began to creak, and it wasn't long before they would break under the threehorn's weight.
"HELP! SOMEBODY, HELP US!" Frank cried out.
A nearby Rainbow Face pick handler heard the cry, dropped his pick and ran to the threehorns' aid.
"Hang on, Sheamus! Help's on the way!" Frank encouraged.
"F-f-f-Frank!" Sheamus said in a shaky voice. "Promise me… t-t-that you'll look after me wife and son."
"S-s-s-Sheamus! D-d-d-don't talk like that!"
"PROMISE me, Frank!"
Frank could hear the tearing sound of the straps of the harness. He knew that it would break away in a matter of seconds. With quivering lips and sad eyes, Frank nodded. "I… I p-p-promise!"
Sheamus smiled brightly. "Thank ye, Frank!"
With that, the straps on the harness broke. Sheamus screamed as he fell to his death in the chasm below.
"SHEAMUUUUUS!" Frank screamed as he watched the form of his Cart Hauler partner grow smaller and smaller as he fell further and further down into the chasm below. Frank sobbed and squinted as tears ran down his facial features. He soon felt the weight of the cart he was holding up bear down on him, reminding him why this was a job for two threehorns. He quickly realized that he couldn't hold it up much longer.
By the time the Rainbow Face arrived, Frank's hind legs were already quivering from the weight of the cart. "I c-c-can't hold it up much longer!" Frank said hoarsely.
"Hold on!" the Rainbow Face said as he grabbed a knife he happened to have in his belt, and feverishly worked at cutting away the straps of the harness. Without both of the Cart Haulers, the cart was doomed to fall. The only thing that could be done now was to prevent Frank from being dragged down the mountainside with it.
When the last strap was cut, the cart started to quickly roll away backwards down the slope. "Heads up!" Frank called out as the cart rolled away.
The railroad workers looked up as they heard Frank's warning, and scattered when they saw the speeding cart come towards them. As it neared a curve in the slope, it derailed, fell over the edge and went crashing into the chasm below.
Frank was panting heavily from the ordeal. The Foredino came running up. "What happened?" he asked as he joined Frank and the Rainbow Face pick handler.
"The ledge gave way under him," Frank answered, still stunned by what happened. "Then his harness broke."
The Foredino sighed. "All right. I'll organize a team to go recover the body. Why don't you call it a day? Get some rest."
Frank was surprised to hear the Foredino say that. Even though another worker had died, he was not told to keep working until sunset, like numerous other times. Though he probably would've still kept on working, if given the order, he took the opportunity for the respite. "All right," Frank said as he nodded.
The Foredino smiled and patted Frank on the shoulder. "I'm sorry."
Frank was also surprised by this. He never imagined the Rainbow Face overseer to be so sympathetic. This was new behavior for him! He always felt the Foredino to be generally uncaring, and only worried about getting the job done on schedule. Maybe that whole "strike" thing that took place a year ago might've actually changed something, Frank thought to himself.
"Uhh… H-h-he's got a wife 'n son in Los Angela. Give my regards to them."
"Will do," the still smiling Foredino said as he patted Frank on the shoulder again.
"Back to work, people!" he said as he walked away. The dinos observing the scene started working again with picks and mallets, as ordered.
The very next day, Frank was assigned a new threehorn partner to be Cart Hauler. This threehorn male, though, was native to Caledonia, and was about Frank's age. Unlike Sheamus, he was able to easily keep pace with Frank, and they were actually able to get the job done quicker, which sped up the construction progress for the railroad.
Barely a year and a half later, the entire work team that had started out in Caledonia finally reached the state of Missouria, where they were to meet up with the construction team who started from Eastern Laurentia, building their section of the railway. The Eastern team may have had easier terrain to build over — since there were already many tracks across the eastern mountains in place from other railroad companies — but numerous delays due to financial issues had prevented them from pushing the meeting place further west. Just outside Ville Louis, the two railroads met. The fact that the two halves of the railway were perfectly aligned and joined together perfectly was a testament to the Engineers and Surveyors who oversaw the entire project.
A great cheer went up when the final pieces of the rail were joined together. It was a long hardship wrought with peril that finally culminated with this triumph for Saurian and Rainbow Face civilization!
The very next day, a grand ceremony was held at the junction point where a golden spike was laid at the exact spot where the Eastern and Western railroads met. All of the administrators of both railroad companies and the Mayor of Ville Louis were on hand to witness the ceremony.
As a reward for their hard work, everybody involved in the construction project was offered a free ride on the first trains to travel on the Trans-Laurentian Railway. Two trains were prepared for the journey: one headed east, and the other headed west.
Frank took the opportunity to board the train headed west, back to Caledonia, and home. He found a threehorn sized bench in one of the cars to sit in for the journey. While he sat there, waiting patiently for the train to depart, a lone Rainbow Face male approached him.
"Frank!" the Rainbow Face exclaimed as he saw the familiar threehorn sitting there.
"Bob!" Frank said in surprise when he saw who it was that approached him.
It was the old Rainbow Face Foredino he had worked under for the over four years it took to construct the western half of the railroad.
Both dinos smiled and shook hand to paw. "Uhh… May I?" Bob offered as he gestured towards the bench Frank was sitting in.
"Please!" Frank said as he moved to give the Rainbow Face male some room. The bench was big enough for the Rainbow Face male to sit in, though he looked pretty small in the huge threehorn sized bench.
"So where are you headed?" Bob asked in conversation.
"Back home, to Caledonia," Frank said in answer.
"You got family out there?"
"No family of mah own, but ah do have some relatives out there, yes! Plus, ah got a promise to keep for an old friend. And ah gotta cash in on an old bet ah made with another friend."
"How much is the bet?" Bob asked curiously.
"A hundred bucks," Frank said in answer.
Bob whistled. "That's a lot of money!"
"It is! And ah hope mah friend can pay up! What about you? Where are you headed?"
"I'm headed home as well," Bob said.
"And where is 'home'?"
"Denvia, Coloradia. It's where I'm from," Bob said with a smile. "I hear they're getting ready to make Coloradia a state soon, so I'd like to be there for the celebration. Hey! Did you know that you're the only threehorn who stayed on the project from start to finish!"
"Really!" Frank said in surprise.
Bob smiled and nodded. "I'm not lying!"
Frank sighed. "Just how ah wanted to get into the record books," he said sarcastically.
"Hey! You should be proud!" Bob said as he laid a hand on Frank's shoulder. "This further proves the resiliency and tenacity you threehorns are known for!"
Frank smiled. "Thanks."
"Last call! All aboard!" they heard the train's Conductor call out from outside.
"Looks like we're about ready to leave," Frank said casually.
"Finally!" Bob said with a hint of impatience in his voice. "I've been looking forward to this. So how long do you think this railroad will last?"
Frank shrugged. "A long time, ah reckon. Great Beyond knows it took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get the dang thing built."
"Damned right," Bob said softly.
The train's whistle resounded as the steam engine started to chug and push the train forward. Everyone on board felt the jolt as the train started moving. It moved slowly at first, but once it gained momentum, it started to move pretty fast, faster than anybody imagined! Both males talked idly and gazed out at the scenery passing by as the train they rode moved steadily on towards their respective final destinations.
"Soon after both males parted company," Briank continued, "Frank arrived in Caledonia and found Sheamus O'Brien's wife and son living in Los Angela, exactly like Sheamus told him before he died. The two soon hit it off, and they got married a short time later. They had three children between them, and Sheamus' son, Michael, became Frank's stepson."
He pressed on the hand controlled clicker once, and an image of a photograph came on the cave wall.
"This is a panoramic shot of the railway dedication ceremony depicting all of the important dignitaries who were present that day. That's Frank there on the right," Briank said as he pointed to the threehorn in the shot with his laser pointer.
He pressed the handheld clicker again. "This is a cropped shot of Frank, just to show you what he looked like."
All of the dinos gasped when they saw the picture. "Cera! He looks just like your father!" Ducky commented.
"Incredible! The resemblance is uncanny!" Cera commented.
"Fascinating," Mr. Kark said as he raised his eyeridges in true logical Vulkadian fashion.
Briank pressed the clicker again, displaying another image. "This is a photograph of Frank, his wife Margaret — who used to be married to Sheamus — their three children, and Frank's stepson, Michael," He said as he indicated each one with his laser pointer.
"I have a question, though," Littlefoot began. "Did Frank's friend Steve Struthiomimus ever pay him that… maw-knee… he owed him?"
"Hmmm…" Briank mused as he pressed the hand held clicker a few times. "Ah!" he smiled and pressed the clicker one more time to display an image on the cave wall. "This is an image of a bank receipt that clearly says: The deposit of the sum of one hundred Laurentian dollars to Frank Threehorn's account. That's Frank paw signature at the bottom," he described as he indicated each part with his laser pointer.
"Whatever happened to him? Steve Struthiomimus, I mean?" Chomper asked.
"Hmmm…" Briank mused again as he pressed the clicker again. "Aha!" he said as he pressed the clicker once more to display a fresh image on the cave wall.
"This is a picture of a newspaper ad that shows Steve hawking his 'Miracle Elixir.' Turns out, the elixir was fake, and he was exposed as a charlatan, or a fraud. Rumor has it that a short time after, Steve left Caledonia and allegedly headed back to Bostonia."
"Littlefoot!" Ducky exclaimed. "Don't you find he looks a lot like Ozzy? That egg stealer we dealt with those seasons ago?"
Littlefoot looked at the image carefully. "Why, yes! You're right, Ducky! I wonder if he was Ozzy's direct ancestor."
"Interesting hypothesis, Littlefoot," Mr. Kark said. "If you say he looks similar to a struthiomimus you've previously encountered, we can pretty much assume that he was his direct ancestor."
"Well, I, for one, am proud of Frank Threehorn's accomplishments. Except that dad's never gonna believe this, when I tell him."
Everyone of Cera's friends giggled at this.
"I think you're right, Cera." Littlefoot said.
Briank pressed the hand held clicker one more time, which made the image on the cave wall disappear. "And that concludes Cera's history lesson."
Littlefoot and his friends cheered in appreciation of the lesson they were given.