Glancing over, I saw him reach into the top pocket of his overalls and produced a pocket watch, securely attached to a button hole in the bib of his overalls by a gold-toned copper alloy chain with a Masonic medallion on the end.
He consulted the time. “It’s three-o-two, we will leave in 8 minutes,” he proclaimed, still in the pensive mood he had been in all morning.
The watch was large as pocket watches go, given to him by his father ten years ago as a gift when he was appointed a Railroad Engineer. He was the third family member to have the watch; in the late 1880's, his grandfather was the original owner. Now, both father figures were gone. His wife gone; his mother was ill; a great many losses for a man with time left.
Housed in a thick gold case engraved in relief, with a picture of a stag and doe emerging from the forest into the bright sunlight of a meadow, the watch was his pride and joy; within contained all the memories of what little senior family he had left.
The watch seemed to exist on its own, an individual entity, and would live on and go to others when he was gone. In this way the memories of his 'tribe' would be preserved.
In a moment of intimacy between us, he had explained that in this life, he didn’t really 'own' anything, everything was 'on loan' to him, to be passed on to others when he made his final trip with me.
The above is the opening paragraph to the third chapter of my short story Western Union. You may continue reading it on my website
www.angelchroniclestories.com or you can start from the beginning.