Steel Horse Saviors is about three Civil War veterans, two Yankees and one Rebel, who take their steam locomotive west to seek their post-war fortune. In the process they encounter Clementine O’Grady a auburn-haired beauty fighting to save the family business who causes the Steel Horse Saviors to rethink their master plan to escape their collective pasts.
Lulubelle, the real main character of the story, is a 4-4-0 ( Meaning 8 sets of wheels) wood-powered steam engine that will not only rescue Clementine O’Grady’s struggling family business, but power it to new heights as other markets begin to develop. When Clementine enters the story in 1866 Lulubelle is two years out of the manufacturing yards in upper New England. She won’t be nearly as brightly painted as the photo included for informational purposes, but as far as the look, this is it.
When the Saviors arrive in Penley River O’Grady Timber & Lumber is barely making do with a Stephenson Rocket. It was manufactured almost three decades before and sits idle due to maintenance issues as often as it is running. This engine has a 0-2-2 design for the wheels and the top speed is 28 m.p.h. Lulubelle can pull the Rocket and several freight cars with no issue at a much higher speed.
The moment Clementine sees Lulubelle she begins to imagine a future where O’Grady Timber & Lumber can not only survive but thrive.
Here is an excerpt:
The tall column of smoke was visible from several miles away. Clementine knew it meant something significant. There was very few times a steam engine found its way to Penley River without her advanced knowledge. The sheer cost of operating one was mind baffling. She had crunched numbers several times on getting new freight cars for her timber operation, but never found the way to make it happen. She had a couple sitting on rails a hundred miles east she couldn’t get delivered.
As the steam engine came into sight Clementine rubbed her eyes in disbelief. This was a monster, the new 4-4-0 design that she knew was running in the more populated east. What in the world was this technological marvel doing this far west? She felt her stomach flop when she saw the two promised timber cars with O. T. & L. painted on the side.
She quickly imagined using this machine to gain the crucial advantage she craved on Quentin Rollins. She craned her neck to try to see more as the locomotive began to slow as it neared the station. She had to no more.
Come back once more this week to learn about the Mystery of Lulubelle’s origin with the Saviors.