Trapped on the D.C. Train!

BOOK: Trapped on the D.C. Train!
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Photo credits:
this page
, courtesy of the Library of Congress.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Text copyright © 2011 by Ron Roy
Interior illustrations copyright © 2011 by Timothy Bush

All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Random House
Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.
Random House and the colophon are registered trademarks and A Stepping
Stone Book and the colophon are trademarks of Random House, Inc.

SteppingStonesBooks.com
www.randomhouse.com/kids

Educators and librarians, for a variety of teaching tools, visit us at
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Roy, Ron.
Trapped on the D.C. train! / by Ron Roy; illustrated by Timothy Bush;
p.   cm. — (Capital mysteries; 13)
“A Stepping Stone book.”
Summary: On a trip to Pennsylvania, presidential stepdaughter KC Corcoran and her friend Marshall are exploring the rest of the train when the special caboose at the back disappears—along with the Vice President.
eISBN: 978-0-375-89815-0
[1. Mystery and detective stories. 2. Railroad trains—Fiction. 3. Vice-Presidents—Fiction. 4. Kidnapping—Fiction.] I. Bush, Timothy, ill.
II. Swearingen, Greg, ill. III. Title.
PZ7.R8139Tp 2011 [Fic]—dc22 2010030129

Random House Children’s Books supports the First Amendment and celebrates the right to read.

v3.1

This book is for my readers, every one.
—R.R.

Contents

1
Union Station Rocks

“This place is huge!” Marshall said. “The ceiling must be a hundred feet high!”

KC Corcoran and her best friend, Marshall Li, were hurrying through Union Station, Washington’s large train station. They followed Mary Kincaid, the vice president of the United States, through the crowd of people.

With them were two secret service agents. A muscular man named Robert walked next to the vice president. The other agent, Janet, was right behind KC and Marshall.

“I read that it once was the biggest train station in the world,” KC said.

Both KC and Marshall gawked at the sights as they followed the vice president. Shops and restaurants lined the sides of the cavernous station. It was nearly seven in the evening, and thousands of people were going home after work. Some, like KC and Marshall, were heading for trains. Others were shopping, eating, or just sightseeing. In one area, a small band had people dancing.

“I hope the train is air-conditioned, too,” Marshall said. It was June 15 and already hot in Washington. Marshall and KC both wore shorts and T-shirts and carried backpacks. KC’s hair was tucked up under a baseball cap.

“It will be,” KC said. “We’re riding in a special car.”

“It’s cool of the vice president to invite
us to her farm for the weekend,” said Marshall. “Does she have animals?”

Marshall loved animals of all kinds. But his favorites were spiders and insects. At home, he kept a pet tarantula named Spike.

“I know she has a dog named Bounder, and I think she has a couple of horses,” KC said. “Maybe she’ll let us ride them!”

“I’ve never ridden a horse,” Marshall said.

The vice president turned around and smiled at the kids. “Almost there,” she said. “I told you this place was gigantic! You’re doing a good job keeping up.”

Vice President Mary Kincaid wore dark glasses and a summer dress. A scarf covered her hair. She looked like any tourist.

“Is the vice president in disguise?” Marshall whispered to KC.

KC nodded. “She doesn’t want people to recognize her when she goes to her farm on the weekends.”

“Why not?”

“The president thinks she could get kidnapped, like he did last year,” KC said.

“Is that why your hair is hidden today?” Marshall said. “So no one will know you’re the president’s stepdaughter?”

KC grinned. “Do I look like a boy?”

“Sort of,” Marshall said. “A boy with a lot of freckles.”

The vice president stopped at the top of an escalator. “Our train is on the track at the bottom,” Mary Kincaid said. They all stepped onto the moving stairs. It took only a minute to reach the train platform. It was crowded with people and luggage.

“Boy, it’s hot down here,” Marshall said.
“What happened to the air-conditioning?”

“That’s only upstairs,” Mary Kincaid said. “But don’t worry, our car will be very comfortable!” She pointed at the train waiting a few yards away. “There it is. Ours is the last car, the one with the little platform on the end.”

“It’s so cute!” KC said. “It looks like the caboose in a book I just read.”

“I think it
was
a caboose once upon a time,” Janet said. Like the others in the group, she was dressed casually. No one would guess she was a U.S. secret service agent. “A few years ago, the train company converted it into a special car. A lot of senators and congresspeople ride in it when they take this train. The vice president uses it at least once a month when she goes home.”

The car was painted a dark, rich green. There were windows on the side with the blinds pulled down. Steps led up to a private door. The car was hitched to the end of a string of train cars, where other passengers were boarding.

“I didn’t know you could take dogs on a train,” Marshall said. He was watching a German shepherd standing next to a man wearing sunglasses.

“It’s a Seeing Eye dog,” KC said.

The dog wore a special harness and leash. The man carried a satchel with a large book poking out the top.

“And I’ll bet that’s a Braille book he’s carrying,” KC added.

A tall conductor helped the blind man and his dog up the steps of the train car just ahead of the vice president’s special
car. Once the man and dog were safely aboard, the conductor pulled a red bandana from his back pocket and wiped sweat from his bald head.

He smiled at KC. “Hot,” he said. “But the whole train is cool inside.”

Robert assisted the vice president up into their car. KC went next, followed by Marshall. Janet came aboard last.

KC took a deep breath of the cool air. She yanked her baseball cap off. Her red hair tumbled down to her shoulders.

“Wow!” Marshall said, taking in the car. “This is fancy!” The wide seats were soft and covered in dark blue leather. Each one had its own window and a small folding table. Above the seats were racks for luggage.

BOOK: Trapped on the D.C. Train!
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