Time Travel for Beginners - Last Half

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
In this continuation and final chapter, of Time Travel for Beginners, Duffy reaches his destination.
He has places to go, people to see, and some very odd things to do.

Submitted: October 11, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 11, 2016



There is a blacktop country road that connects the town of Lynchburg to the rest of the world, and a man named William Roosevelt Duffy is walking down the middle of it.

As Duffy rounds a grassy hill he sees a farmhouse and a boy of six swinging on a tire-swing. The swing is just a stone’s throw from the front porch.

Across the road from the house is the tin-roofed duel barns, an upgrade made about seven years ago. One of the barns was built by his great-grandfather and grandfather and the other was built by Duffy's Dad and Uncle Clyde. Uncle Clyde died a few years later in a fall from the loft of that very barn; a rope broke.

Near the barns is the fire-pond which is stocked with a variety of suitable fresh water fish, thanks to their neighbor, Richard Gunter, the local game warden and avid fisherman.


"I remember this day," Duffy said to himself, "Dad hung that swing for us just this morning, and Mom is about to tell me to wash for ..."

"Billy, it is time to wash for dinner," said a slender woman who was standing on the porch, "now shake a leg or you'll be doing without."

As the boy answered his Mother Duffy mouthed the very same words that the boy replied, "OK Mom, be right there!"

The year is 1934 and this country is in the midst of a great depression. The stock market crashed in 1929 and further declines continued thereafter.

In this very year, 1934, there was a failed government coup. Most Americans had no idea how close they came to living under a Nazi-style dictatorship. It was a group, (who some might call the “who’s who” of 1930s corporate establishment), tried to violently overthrow the U.S.. government.

It was a tough time in America, people lost their life savings when banks failed, there were job losses that gave rise to families losing their houses, belongings, even farms that had been in their family for generations were foreclosed on due to outstanding loans that could not be paid. And it is for those kinds of reasons that Duffy has come to Lynchburg.


Just to fill in some gaps, you should know that Duffy's family was having a hard time of it by the time 1934 rolled around. Over those years, 1930 to 1934, they had had to let-go their two part-time farm hands. Duffy's older sister, Agnes, and his twelve year old brother, Oscar, had to take their place. Agnes, sixteen, dropped out of school to do so, there just wasn't enough time to do both. And if something didn't change soon then Oscar would soon follow that same path.

To make matters worse, the bank in Lynchburg was having some short term cash-flow problems and the owner/manager was considering calling in some loans, what they called seed-loans. Doing so could send some farms spiraling towards foreclosure.


As Duffy made his way past the farmhouse and over a slight rise in the road, a Ford flatbed truck rounded the curve and the driver beeped the horn. Duffy moved to the side of the road and the driver pulled alongside him.

The back of the truck was loaded with chicken-pins full of every color of chickens that you'd ever want to see. It reminded Duffy of the local trees that were just beginning to show signs of the fall season.

The driver was dressed in overalls and the lady sitting in the passenger seat was dressed in the brightest Gingham-dress Duffy had ever seen, yellow and red.

"Say young fella, where ya headed?” asked the old man in the coveralls.

"Into Lynchburg to catch a train," Duffy replied with a smile.

The old man shot back, "Ain't got no room inside, but you’re welcome to ride the sideboard."

"Much obliged," Duffy said while he stepped onto the sideboard and held onto the door.

It was a slow, bumpy, and steady ride into Lynchburg, but Duffy didn't mind, it sure beat walking that distance.

Duffy rapped on the roof and the old farmer stopped the truck in front of Joan & Sons Mercantile.

"Thanks for the ride, that was fun," Duffy said as he stepped off of the sideboard.

The farmer's wife smiled at Duffy and said, "You are still quit a jaunt from the station and it is right on our way. Are you sure you don't want us to take you further?"

"Oh, no thanks Mrs. Stokes, I have business at the bank first, but much thanks to you both. By for now," Duffy said as he walked away from the truck.

"Do we know that young man? Mrs. Stokes asked her husband.

Mr. Stokes, the farmer, replied, "Not that I can recall. Why you ask-in?"

"Well, he just called me Mrs. Stokes and neither of us introduced ourselves."

Mr. Stokes wiped his brow with his red hanky and replied, "Well, he did look a little familiar, maybe he's Sam Picket's boy, Elmer, home from the navy."

"That can't be right, Picket's boy went to work for the government building roads, or bridges. You know, in one of those C.C.. Camp places like ..."

And so the dialog went on as the chicken laden truck chugged along down Market Street.


Duffy entered the Union-Crest Bank and asked the only visible teller if the manager was there. The teller asked what Duffy's name was and then excused himself. He immediately went to an office at the back-corner of the building, stuck his head in the opened door and then returned with a Mr. White, the owner and manager.

"May I help you Mr. Duffy?" Mr. White asked.

"Well, this is a private matter and because this is a private matter I would like to discuss this in your office," Duffy told the banker.

Mr. White looked surprised and replied, "Of course, of course, my office is right over here."

Then the Banker turned to the Teller and said, "Harold, no visitors or interruptions please.

Upon entering the office Duffy pulled a group of papers from his inside coat pocket and laid them on Mr. White's overly indulgent, too big for the room, mahogany desk. He began sorting through them until he found the one that he wanted to show Mr. White and pulled it from the stack.

"I believe this is your bank's bearer-bond. Is that correct? Duffy asked White.

White looked it over closely and replied, "Why yes, it is, but I haven't got this much cash on hand if you are looking to cash it in. It would take several days to obtain."

Duffy replied, "You misunderstand me sir, I am here to pay off a loan and if you will fetch these loan account totals then we can decide,

then, if you have enough cash on hand. Here is the name of the person whose loan I am here to pay.

Mr. White beamed with excitement and immediately took the scrap of paper with the name on it, reading the name out load, "Mr. Robert Ellsworth Duffy, hmm, is he a relative of yours Mr. Duffy?"

Duffy frowned at Mr. White and replied, "Our business here is between you and I and the fly on the wall. If anyone asks you who paid this loan off, even Robert Ellsworth Duffy, your answer will be the truth; that a stranger walked into your bank and paid the loan off, no questions asked. GOT THAT?"

"Yes sir Mr. Duffy, just as you wish," Mr. White replied, "discretion is always paramount at Union-Crest Bank. You can rest assured that I will not give any information about any of this to anyone.

With that stated Mr. White left the room to get Robert Ellsworth Duffy's loan documents and soon returned.

"If you pay the loan in full then you will have two hundred and twelve dollars and seventy-two cents to put into your pocket, Mr. Duffy, and we can certainly handle that amount," the banker said as he showed Duffy the loan papers.

"Then that is what we will do," Duffy exclaimed in a very jovial manner.


Duffy looked over the Duffy Loan-papers again, making sure that they clearly stated that the loan was paid in full and were signed by Mr. White. After doing so he placed the papers and a hand written note into a stamped and addressed envelope that the bank had provided, then he mailed it.

"Phase-One is complete," Duffy mumbled to himself.


Duffy crossed the street and went into the Mercantile.

"Can I help you Mr. Duffy? Oh, my, I am sorry. You look a lot like a local who has a farm just outside of town, his name is Duffy," said the young lady that stood behind the counter.

Oh, think nothing of it," Duffy replied, "people mistake me for other people all the time, must be my handsome profile or my rugged good looks. What do you think?"

The clerk blushed and laughed a little, then replied, "Maybe so."

Duffy said, "I have a craving for some Whiskey-barrel Butterscotch suckers. Do you have any today?"

The young woman looked up and down the oak and glass case in front of her and replied, "I believe the candy man just made a delivery yesterday and, ah, yes, here they are. --- How many would you like?"

"Well, I'm taking a train ride so I'd better have a dozen. And those roasted peanut smell great, I'll have a small bag of those too please, with a bottle of Sarsaparilla" Duffy said.

"That's odd," said the clerk, "Whiskey-barrel Butterscotch suckers are Mr. Duffy favorite candies too, he never buys any other kind."

Duffy replied, "Gee, what are the odds?" And then he paid the lady and walked out the door,


Duffy made his way down Market Street toward the train station as he told himself that everything was now in place for the grand finally.

"You've only got one chance at this Duffy, Phase-One is complete" he said to himself, "keep your fingers crossed and pray that your life will be the way it should have been all along.

Let's hope that you last long enough to get to Wall Street and sell these soon to be worthless bearer-bonds and stock certificates. If that goes well then you can buy those stocks that you know are going to grow in value and leave everything in a Trust Account for yourself.

Just keep your fingers crossed and pray, because you will never know if this little time travel trip worked out completely.

The Old You, who doesn't belong in this time frame and most certainly wouldn't be here when the old reality changes. You will disappear and the new you, that six year old with a new and altered future, will merge into a different reality.

In that reality, hopefully, your father won’t die while working on a depression era bridge in West Virginia, where your family farm wasn't sold to pay bank loans and tax liens; and a future where the family wasn't split apart because of those problems.

It should be a better life for the Duffy family over all, I hope, but I will never remember," Duffy mumbled to himself as he boarded the train.




Two weeks later, a letter arrives at the Duffy household and it reads, "Dear Mr. and Mrs. Duffy; a Trust Account has been opened in the name of William Roosevelt Duffy, your youngest son, and in that account are certain stock purchases.

Included in this letter is a check payable to Robert Ellsworth Duffy in the amount of $500, as per the benefactor’s wishes.

Grayson M/P Murphy & Company requires that you, Mr. Robert Ellsworth Duffy and Mrs. Eleanor Prescott Duffy, sign papers acknowledging that you are the beneficiaries and guardians of this account. So it will be necessary that you come to New York as soon as possible.

If you have any official papers confirming your identities, federal, state, or military, please brings them along with this letter. Be sure that you bring this letter with you, please.

If you have any further questions, I will be happy to answer them upon your arrival. You can also telephone me at the Grayson Building, NY-77431, tell the operator my name and she will connect you.


Thank You,

Toreador Prescot III, (broker)

Grayson M/P Murphy & Co.



D. Thurmond / JEF --- 10-10-2016

© Copyright 2018 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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