Silas Buryman stood on the red brick sidewalk in the pelting October rain. He had been through some cold nights on the job, but a night like this was rather unusual this early in the fall- even in Boston. An annoying mixture of sleet and bitterly cold freezing rain nicked his face. Yet, he wore no oilskin jacket, nor a boat cloak, not even his tarred canvas hat to keep him dry. A local passed by and made a comment about donning a jacket and staying warm. But, Silas said he didn’t need it- his love for his crew and his zeal for his job kept him quite warm. Now, I know what you would say. Were it from any other man you would cry out, “Oh what pitiful stuff,” and dismiss it as mere enthusiasm. But there, on the coldest of nights, Silas felt his heart glow.
He stood there, not caring that he was drenched, shivering, and probably coming down with pneumonia- again. He knew that he had only one fleeting moment more before he had to jump back into the fray. But that could wait. He was determined to soak in this moment, and never forget it. Before him were hundreds of people. Most were guests clamoring for a seat aboard one of his trolleys departing that night. For their business and their patronage, he would be forever grateful. And he hoped that all, in turn, would have a frightfully good time. But what inspired this warmth inside of him that night was watching his crew work. Each one down to the last man jack of them shrugged off some of the worst weather this side of Cape Horn, and were not only completing their jobs, but excelling at them.
Silas scanned the Ghosts and Gravestones Booth and saw Carmen Zarella, his always-reliable first mate, cracking her whip, sending a pack of young hooligans screaming down the street. Madeline Sewall and Stephen O’Normal were busy answering questions and reminding several people that “No, we don’t go to Salem.” Dr. Bartholomew Jonathan Ribgy Wilberforce was answering a telephone that never seemed to stop ringing. On one trolley there was Minerva serenading her patrons with operatic tones, and on the other Anthraxicon the Death Bringer was busy making grown men think twice about taking his tour. Dick the Slasher, with whiskey in hand, was sitting in an elated woman’s lap and Seamus Rattigan was wearing a fitted bed sheet fashioned to look like a ghost as he chased a squealing woman in circles around the podium.
Silas chuckled to himself and turned his thoughts to Zati and Mortimer Strange huddled in the burying grounds waiting to scare more tourists as they wandered the forgotten pathways of the Granary Burying Ground and King’s Chapel. But his thoughts were broken up when a thunderous scream split through the air. Silas turned to see sixty more delighted guests screaming like Banshees as they ended their tours with Mercy Witherer and Maggie Poppins. He thanked them all as they disembarked and gave Maggie a slight jibe for letting so many of them “survive their journey”. One patron took Silas aside and said, “This was one of the best things I have ever done. We will be back next year- with my entire family.”
This certainly was not his first October atGhosts and Gravestones. In fact, he had been doing this for years. But he had never been as proud of his entire crew as he was that night, and he wondered what he had done to deserve to captain a crew of such remarkable and dedicated souls. With that, Silas smiled and placed his tarry hat snuggly over his brow, gave it a tap, and walked briskly into the sea of people ready to be scared out of their wits.