Henry and Patrick followed the rusty old tracks until the rails ended at a grassy bend.  "This is it," said Patrick. "The end of the line."

Henry stopped and tilted his head, first in one direction, then the other. "Do you hear anything?" he asked.

"Like what?" Patrick replied.

"I don't know," said Henry.  "I have a feeling that someone is watching  us."

"Yeah," said Patrick.  "Like we are not alone.  Maybe we should just go back."

"Do you want to rescue your puppy?" asked Henry.

"I'm not scared," said Patrick, trying to hide the shake in his voice.

Henry's instincts were right. 

Someone was watching every move they made.

"Look," said Patrick. "There's the rest of the train track.  It's all torn up. What is this place?  It looks abandoned."

"Looks like a junkyard," said Henry.


"That isn't a very nice thing to say!" said a voice popping up from seemingly nowhere.

"Who's there?" asked Patrick O'Malley. 

"Conductor Hobo.  Hobo T. Bumpkin, 'T' stands for 'The'.  At your service," said a scraggly black and white dog in a conductor's hat.

"I'm so sorry," said Henry, introducing himself. "My name is Henry, and this is Patrick. We didn't realize this was your home."

"It's ok," said Hobo. "It's usually a lot nicer than this. My 'refrigerator' has been empty for three days and I'm too hungry to work on the railroad."

'What refrigerator?" asked Patrick.  He looked around but all he could see was an old chained up trash can.

Hobo laughed.  "Out here in the woods, we make do.  Yup, the trash can, as you call it, has been empty for three days."


"We have some lunch," said Henry.  "Would you like to share?"

"You don't have to ask twice," said Hobo.  "I'm starving!"

"Why are you working on this railroad," asked Patrick. 
"Are the trains going to run here again?"

Hobo looked sad. "Not really," he said, jumping up on an old cart.  "There is just one train I have to get out of here.  We're being evicted, but he's my friend.  I can't leave him behind, but I can't get him out without the rails."

"Is that your friend?" asked Patrick, pointing to the cart.

"No," laughed Hobo.  "My friend is a caboose, and the caboose is my only home."