|Alan finally arrives in Hazel|
"End of the line!" the conductor announced as he walked the length of the train. Alan abruptly awakened - they had arrived in Roseville, where all passengers wishing to continue on to Putney had to transfer to the Victoria-Putney train, which was due in a few minutes. Alan grabbed his baggage and then lumbered off the train in a kind of daze - he had been quite asleep!
Waiting under the "Putney" sign, he watched the Putney Express train ease into the station right on time, and then climbed aboard, along with about twenty others. He was barely settled in his seat on that train before it stopped at Hazel's open platform.
No one else got off at Hazel. Alan stepped out onto the open platform and the train glided off, leaving a near-total silence. He stopped and looked around. He enjoyed the fresh breeze off the water, the faint sound of waves rolling toward the nearby shore, and the warmth of the afternoon sun. Hazel was not much of a town, and not much was going on, which felt comforting. The railway platform was surrounded by tidy plantings of plump pink and red geraniums. He felt good here.
Margaret had told him, "Your lodgings are above the art gallery next to the Land Office building just outside of Hazel. The owner of the gallery, Adrian, will show you up to your rooms."
He saw the buildings from the train as it passed, so he knew where to go.
Alan's apartment is upstairs. This will be his home for longer than he anticipates.
Hazel, a town of about 400, is in the distance.
Now, walking along the road, he could see the gallery sign ahead, and he realized that he was taking the last steps on a rather incredible journey! It seemed so long ago when he got on that South Shore train in Michigan City!
The gallery's front door was open, so he walked in.
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