Ch.23: “On a Train Bound For ‘No-Where’”

By admin On December 8th, 2012

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Click on image credit links below each photo, for licensing names, details, tags, etc.. Most images cropped/reduced in size

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Have you ever wondered why one nation rises to power…while another crumbles? Why does a great kingdom fall, just like a castle made of sand, down at the seashore? Perhaps this chapter will be of interest.

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“At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.” Jeremiah 18:7, 8

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Anyway, let’s get back to the story…

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Sand castle at Cannon Beach Oregon. Cropped image – Wikipedia share-alike license. Click here for link to Photographer’s web page.

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CHAPTER 23…

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“ON A TRAIN BOUND FOR NO-WHERE”…

(Lyric from the 1978 Kenny Rogers song, “The Gambler”)

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_ScreamWe were dropped off at the train depot. We found a place on this very old train. The seats were just wooden benches, and most of the windows were broken out! But primitive as it was, this little locomotive was filled with passengers! Excitement filled the morning air! People were chattering! Chickens were clucking! And the spirit still talking at me…NON-STOP!!!

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Each person going to his or her own special destination. And we were no exception! And Becky, being a very gifted conversationalist, no doubt had already found someone to chat with along the way.

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We were just about to embark on a trip to the Eastern Guatemalan Coast. Our big destination was Tikal, to see the Mayan temple ruins. The ancient temples! The jungles! The tropics! Mystery and exotic intrigue!

.http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Klockarnils

This train-ride happened to be one of my “Jesus” days. And the spirit didn’t let up! He didn’t get tired! But on this day, his rhetoric was all about me…being Jesus in a former life!

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And this spirit was all about talk, talk, talk! He just didn’t let up with all his talking! I was exhausted, to say the least! But thankfully, he wasn’t condemning me for being Hitler at the moment! And so this was definitely a step up from that! I mean a HUGE step up!! I mean…I’ll take being Jesus in a former life, rather than Hitler, AAANY ol’ day of the week, thank you!!! 

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 Guatemalan train station by Nils Oberg share-alike license.

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“GOOD MORNING GUATEMALA…HOW ARE YA?”…

800px-Tourist_train_at_Alto_Mire_Olga by Nils Oberg for wikipedia share alike license

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This old relic of a train began to roll down the rickety tracks, taking us to an otherwise colorful and wonderful adventure within that tiny but beautiful little country… Belize. I say “otherwise”, because this excursion would also be part of my “Vacation From Hell”.

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Before long, this bumpy train-ride became very uncomfortable. Wooden benches for seats, after all! But we stopped at various times, and I was no doubt glad to get off the train for a few minutes for relief!

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At one lingering stop, I remember that Becky befriended a little child who followed us everywhere on that 30 minute stop.

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Photo of Guatemalan train courtesy Wikipedia. click for link to photographer – Nils Öberg.

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PRIMITIVE, PRIMITIVE, PRIMITIVE!!!

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But we were soon back on the train, and the wheels were rolling down those rickety tracks once again, chugging steadily toward our destination. 

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But as morning turned into afternoon, the passengers began to thin out. We looked at all the scenery. I was kind-of disappointed that there weren’t more trees in Guatemala, at least in the parts that I saw. Oh yes, there were a lot of fields. But I had Guatemala figured for jungle-like terrain. Guess I was wrong!

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hut_(5071823007).jpg

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There were big grass huts in some of the fields. I was a little surprised at how primitive some of these country-folk were. 

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As I looked out the train window, my eyes “bugged-out” as I saw one peasant lady, standing stark naked, outside of her grass hut, just standing there, looking at us rolling by! As I said, these country folk were very primitive (This photo I got from the Internet shows a grass hut was similar to what I remember seeing along the way).  

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similar-type hut (not guatemala) – wikimedia-commons – share-alike-license

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“WE WERE BOTH TOO TIRED TO SLEEP”…

(Lyric from the 1978 Kenny Rogers song, “The Gambler”)

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As night drew on, this train became deserted. All the passengers had gotten off. But we still had a long way to go, till we reached our destination. 

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At some point it started raining. And not just your average rain! This was an incredible torrential rain-storm! It was like someone upstairs decided to pour a giant bucket of water on the earth!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:HardRain.JPG

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And just now, as I’m writing this, an old childhood memory is coming back to me: I still remember asking my Grandpa one day, as we both walked along through one of those proverbial Willamette Valley, Oregon rainstorms, “Grandpa, does God pour out a bucket of water when He wants it to rain?” Well, all I remember is, he gave me some nonsense about “atmospheric conditions” or something! But still that answer didn’t convince my little 4 year-old mind! I simply held on to my “God’s rain-bucket theory”!

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But that was years ago! And right at the moment, I’d have to say, this Guatemalan rainstorm we were now riding through, quite possibly made those rainstorms back home in Salem Oregon, merely seem like a bad drizzle! And this wouldn’t have been much of a problem for Becky and me, except that most of the windows were broken out on this little old antique train, as already stated! So we were forced to find a seat with windows. But since most all of the passengers had already gotten off the train, we pretty much had our choice of where to sit!

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By now it was dark. I can’t remember if the train had stopped, but it probably did, to let off the last few remaining passengers (or, at least I thought it let off the last passengers!) But somehow, we made it to another train-car. And we found a dry seat. And though there was no way to escape from those hard wooden seats, we were just happy that we had found a DRY wooden seat!

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But even though we solved the water-through-the-windows problem, a new dilemma now arose! A dilemma in the form of a mystery! This is because, when we did finally find a seat with windows in-tact, we immediately noticed out of the side of our eyes, this big dark silhouette looming about five seats in back of us. Other than this dark lone figure, there was not another living soul on the train (not counting the engineer of course!)

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Hard Rain – wikimedia – public domain

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“I MET UP WITH A GAMBLER”…

(Lyric from the 1978 Kenny Rogers song, “The Gambler”)

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OK-OK, this was no gambler (like the above title suggests). Actually, he looked like a man who didn’t like to take chances. He looked like a guy who made sure the job got done, whatever that job was!  Even though the dim lights inside this train-car were possibly kind-of flickering, I glanced back to get a more detailed perspective of the person. The man looked like an American. He had on a dark business suit and an overcoat. He was wearing a Dick Tracy style hat. He just sat there, kind-of looking down. Very morose! I thought to myself, “This guy has to be CIA or Mafia! One or the other!” He looked like Luca Brazzi (The hit-man in “The Godfather”). Definitely the destroyer-type! A real Apollyon! A formidable Abaddon! Becky and I were both nervous with this mystery man in back of us.

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BECKY GOES RIGHT TO WORK TO GET INFORMATION!

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After a while Becky said, “I’m going to talk with him”. So she went back there and sat down in the seat just in front of him. As I said, Becky was a gifted conversationalist. But I couldn’t hear what she said. I suppose the rain was making such a loud sound on the roof above us, that it would have been impossible for me to hear (not to mention, the sounds of the rickety old tracks below us).

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But to my disappointment, when she came back she didn’t have much to say about her conversation with this stranger. She probably did most of the talking. But this mystery-man was definitely on a mission! That was for sure! I didn’t need anyone to tell me that! And it didn’t look good for somebody! But just who was that “somebody” gonna be? That was the $64.00 question (As my high school math teacher, who btw, didn’t like me too much, always used to say!)

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“SOMEWHERE IN THE DARKNESS”…

(Lyric from the 1978 Kenny Rogers song, “The Gambler”)

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Eventually we arrived at the end of the line, which was the eastern seacoast of Belize. It was about 10 pm or so. The rain had finally stopped. And this part of town was completely deserted. Well, maybe it was completely deserted. Hopefully so!

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From all appearances, we were probably in an old industrial section of town. Or maybe the docks and fish canneries, by the ocean.

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Yeah, it was the fish canneries, no doubt! 

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We walked through the dark, wet, empty streets. And beside us, the only sounds were the echoing of our shoes, as we nervously (and hurriedly) made our way through this (hopefully) deserted area of town.

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And all the while, I listened intensely, so as to make sure there weren’t an extra pair of shoes echoing!

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But fortunately, the long row of tall buildings probably amplified every little sound. So I would have immediately known, had there been somebody following us!

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But probably still, a cold chill ran through my already-adrenaline-laced body! On such occasions, it usually did! And I’ve been beat up in similar surroundings. And robbed as well!

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And really, what are ya gonna do, even if there were an extra pair of shoes echoing? Do you look back? Ya really can’t run! You’d feel stupid doing that! And ya can’t really hide! That would look even stupider! And so we just kept walking. Hurriedly. Hurriedly. (maybe occasionally glancing behind us, like this drawing is attempting to portray.)

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ABOVE DRAWING: Chuck and Becky hurry through the dark streets, Chuck glancing behind them.

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SOMEWHERE IN THE DARKNESS, I MET UP WITH A…A PIZZA PARLOR!?!

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We finally found a room. Fantastic!

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The night-clerk told Becky about a nearby restaurant.

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Shortly we found it; a large pizza parlor, miraculously still open!

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First of all, I was astonished that there was an Italian restaurant here, much less being open at this late hour! So we were happy about that! This large restaurant with big rooms and tall ceilings was totally empty; and there were only several employees, at this late hour.

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“I MET UP WITH A GAMBLER”…AGAIN!!!

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But as we entered, we were somewhat shocked at what we saw inside! Yes, over in the corner, sitting at a table, was the Destroyer (the CIA/Mafia man)! Sitting there alone, looking down at his table, as if he were waiting for his next contact, to give him his final instructions!

man in the corner

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Now Becky could liven up any room, and I’m sure she did…to a certain extent in this mostly empty restaurant, talking to the one or two employees still working. But still, the destroyer just sat there, off in the distance…looking down. The shadows in the far corner of this restaurant providing him with an extra cloak of darkness. Either he was trying to find something or someone….or trying to not be found! But if he was trying not to be found, he probably wouldn’t look so CIA-ish! The business suit made him stand out like a pit-bull at a poodle-picnic! So logic would insist that he must be trying to find something…or someone!

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“THE GAMBLER HE BROKE EVEN”…

(Lyric from the 1978 Kenny Rogers song, “The Gambler”)

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We never spoke to, nor saw that mystery man again. But one day, some time later, upon mentioning that incident, Becky informed me that she had heard “There was a murder in that sea-town…at that very same time!”

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OK, so I guess my gut instincts were right about that guy! Sometimes you can tell about someone by just looking in his eye!

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AN INCIDENT LONG AGO: “DOS MUY MALO HOMBRES!”…

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And speaking of getting the “heebie-jeebies” about someone, I recall one time, a few https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NCR_Registrierkasse_Austria.jpgyears earlier, at our restaurant, that two guys walked in. I could tell that they were from out-of-town. But the moment they walked in, they just stood in the hallway, staring at my cash register like it was a New York Steak!! Medium Rare!! I knew that these two cool customers wanted to cash-in on my cash register, real bad! But since I was standing there like a Mother Hen guarding her eggs…well… they probably just figured they’d have to fight me for it, and gave up on that idea! So nothing happened that day!

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But those two bad hombres had larceny in their eyes! And sometimes ya just get the chills…cause you know a man’s got murder in his eye!

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And this guy was no exception! This Destroyer was sent. He was following orders… orders from the Boss! His orders were to get the job done and apparently he did get it done! I guess this Apollyon has been getting the job done for a long, long time!

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So now that his job was finished in this town, where would this hit-man go to next? To the next job, no doubt! This Abaddon would find the next person… or group of persons who weren’t holding up their end of the bargain.

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NCR cash register – Wikimedia – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license

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Judgment Day license plate www.devouringfire.com

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To go to next chapter, just click here…

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Chapter 24: “The Lost Isle of Thunderbolts”

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Chuck turns into a “Right-Turn” extremist, and buys the world’s costliest gum! 

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