They caught seven of us jumping off the boxcar when the train pulled in. I don't know how they knew it, but as soon as our feet hit the gravel, strong flashlight beams hit us in the face. I couldn't tell how many there were, but they force marched us into an old railroad yard shack. The dim yellow lighting and foul smell was no more inviting than their yelling at us. They didn't wear uniforms or show us any badges, but right then nobody doubted they were the law. The guns pointed at us were proof enough. I'd heard stories, mostly not good, about railroad police—bulls, they call them. But this was no story.
I've been scared big time before, like that time me and Geri—yeah, I know—Geri and I got into that cave trouble, but never like this. On my own now, this was worse—way worse. I just prayed my shaky knees wouldn't buckle on me, or worse, my bladder betray me.