Time Travel for Beginners - Last Half

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

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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.

(Chapter #2 of 2)


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, six years old, swinging on a tire-swing. The swing is just a stone’s throw from the front porch of that farmhouse.

Across the road from the house, there is 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, he fell from the loft of that very barn; a rope broke.

Near the barns, there 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 lunch," 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 of wealthy men; men who some might call the “who’s who” of 1930s corporate establishment. It seems that they planned 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 to let-go their two part-time farm hands. Duffy's older sister, Agnes, and his twelve year old brother, Oscar, had to take the farm hand's place and do their work.

Agnes, sixteen, dropped out of school, there just wasn't enough time to do both, and if something didn't change soon, then Oscar would have to follow that same path.

To make matters worse, the bank in Lynchburg was having some short term cash-flow problems and the owner 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 over a slight rise in the road, a Model "T" Ford fitted with a flatbed rounded the curve; the driver beeped the horn. Duffy moved to the side of the road and the driver pulled alongside of 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, it was.

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

"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 and bumpy ride into Lynchburg, but Duffy didn't mind because it was a sight better than walking.

Duffy slapped his hand on the roof and the old farmer stopped the truck in front of Joanne's Mercantile.

"Thanks for the ride," 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," Duffy said as he walked away from the truck.

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

Mr. Stokes replied, "Not that I 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, "Now that you mention it, he did look a little familiar. Maybe he's Sammy 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. Camps ..."

And so the dialog went as the chicken laden Model "T" Ford chugged along the street.


Duffy entered the Union-Crest Bank and asked the only visible teller if the manager was there. 

The teller 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. 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 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 the papers until he found the one that he wanted to show Mr. White. 

"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.

Here is the name of the person whose loan I am here to pay, so if you will fetch the loan account then we can see what the total balance is.

Mr. White beamed with excitement and immediately took the scrap of paper with the name on it.

Mr. White said the name out load, "Mr. Robert Ellsworth Duffy. Oh I know the Duffy's very well, a very upstanding family. And may I have your name Sir?"

Duffy frowned at Mr. White and replied, "Our business here is between you and I, and there will be no fly on the wall during this visit.

If anyone asks you who paid this loan off, even Robert Ellsworth Duffy, your answer will be the truth; that an anonymous stranger walked into your bank and paid the loan off with a bond. Is that clear?"

"Oh yes sir, just as you wish," Mr. White replied, "Discretion is always paramount at Union-Crest Bank.

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

When Mr. White return with the loan documents, he stated, "After paying off the loan with the bond, 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." Then the banker showed Duffy the loan papers.

"Well then, that is what we will do," Duffy exclaimed in a very jovial manner. Two hundred and twelve dollars and seventy-two cents will go into my pocket."


Duffy looked over the 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 very sorry. You look a lot like a local man 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 then laughed a little before replying, "Maybe so."

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

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

"Well I'm taking a train ride so I'd better have a half-dozen.

And those roasting peanut smell really good, so I'll have a bag of those with a bottle of Sarsaparilla to wash it down," Duffy stated.

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

Duffy replied, "Well they are really good and I bet a lot of people like them." Then he paid the lady and walked out the door.

Duffy made his way down Market Street toward the train station; he was munching on peanuts while talking to himself.

"You've only got one chance at this Duffy, Phase-One is complete and your parent’s farm is debt free; now no-one needs to drop out of school. And that's a good start.

Let's hope we last long enough to get to Wall Street and implement Phase-two; to sell these (soon to be worthless) bearer-bonds and stock certificates.

If that goes well then you can start Phase-Three, using the proceeds to buy those stocks that you know are going to make it through this depression, and will grow in value.

And if you are still around, you can implement Phase-four, the Trust Account," Duffy mumbled to himself as he boarded the train.



Two weeks after Duffy boarded the train, a letter arrived at the Duffy household. The letter said, "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 and bond 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 guardians of this account. So it will be necessary that you come to New York as soon as possible.

Please bring this letter with you. 

If you have any further questions, I will be happy to answer them, you can telephone me at the Grayson Building, New York, New York, just tell the operator my name and she will connect you.


Thank You, Toreador Prescott III,

(Manager, New Accounts)

Grayson, M/P Murphy & Co.



D. Thurmond / JEF


Final: 2020

Submitted: October 11, 2016

© Copyright 2022 D. Thurmond / JEF. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:



Interesting, JE. I wonder just how much things changed in the present from just those actions. A good two-parter!

Fri, October 14th, 2016 11:21am


Well, I guess we'll never know; as for me that is a good thing.

Fri, October 14th, 2016 12:19pm

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