37. Spotlight on Crepuscular Meadows: The house that straddled the tracks

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37. Spotlight on Crepuscular Meadows: The house that straddled the tracks

Way back in the mists of time, some of the state's movers and shakers wanted to build railroad tracks along the line between Crepuscular Meadows and Nobility. The terrain was flat and even, with no subsurface impediments to the project. There was just one snag: Heidelburg Road, which ran parallel to the line, but about 100 feet from it on the Nobility side, had a house that straddled the border.

And this was no ordinary house. It was simply massive, constructed of large stones, and so high that you could see it from miles away. Its access road connected with Heidelburg Road, and there were no other logical places for access to it.

Would someone figure out how to move it? Well, there was a pretty big fly in that ointment: a former governor of the state lived in the house. Another fly was that the house was a historical building. George Washington had slept there. Thomas Jefferson had *tried* to sleep there, but with little luck because of the cicadas that made their sleep-disrupting noise night and day.

Well, the railroad had to go through, house or no house. The only option was to see if someone could cut a hole in the middle of the house, large enough and wide enough for even the biggest train to pass through. This had since been done with large apartment buildings. Roads had even been built through the middle of some large redwood trees, particularly the Avenue of the Giants in Eureka, California. Nature carved one of the spaces, and man followed her example with one or two other trees. Of course, the planners who thought of this solution had not actually seen the house, or they wouldn't have bothered.

This house was one of a kind, among the biggest houses in the country, and owned by the sort of person who could muster enough clout to get his own way. The railroad officials wanted a straight track -- no shifting around the house. Plus, if you were the resident of such a house, would you want to have to wait for a train to pass if you were on the access road at the time?

Conveniently, a gap large enough to service the purpose already existed within the house. This was due to local regulations in both Nobility and Crepuscular Meadows, which forbid any sort of structure within twenty feet of the town line. The people who built the house used these regulations to enable coaches to follow the access road around and unload passengers and luggage in the middle of the house, bringing them closer to whichever rooms they were to occupy. This was why the person who thought of cutting a hole really ought to have gone out and inspected the property. He would have realized that the hole was already there.

So, that problem was solved, and the railroad track went through, and the only occasional snag was that any unusually tall or wide items on a train had to be somehow shortened or narrowed in order to pass through this one particular needle's eye.

Now for the odder fact: the current resident of this house was a dwarf. How likely is it that a dwarf would have enough money to afford such a place, or the desire to
live way out in the middle of nowhere with the occasional train going through?

Well, this particular dwarf was Dillard Fremont, the world's best-known dwarf, thanks to the many iconic movies he had made. The writer does not need to name any of the movies. If the reader has heard of or seen them, listing them is unnecessary. If the reader hasn't, the writer accepts that the reader might not be interested anyway, and won't saddle the reader with unwanted information. IMDB.com lists the movies, and the reader can look them up if need be.

But to get back to the bifurcated house, the railroad tracks, and the world-famous dwarf, what was the real reason for his buying such an unusual house? Well, he was inordinately fond of model trains. What could be better than to also have *real* trains coming through from time to time?

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