It was a plain white papered bundle, held together by twilled white cord in a cross pattern, square-kotted and slip-bowed, tucked tightly high up under his arm. The train approached the station at quarter to nine, late evening. As the steam whooshed out from the undercarrige, the worsted-suited man rose up the steps, grabbing the railing with his free arm, the package securely cradled in the other.
He immediately turned right into the last passenger car and moved swiftly down the aisle towards the last compartment, opened the door to see the small, balding, mustachioed man he knew would be there. Sitting beside him was someone totally unexpected, a young, urbane, dark and stately woman in a large hat and veil. The strangers exchanged glances and nervous nods, as the package lodged now deep into his breastbone.
The pudgy man arose quickly at the next stop and lurched across the compartment as the train screeched to a halt. This left the strangers alone for the rest of the trip. Both read the entire way, the woman buried deep into the stock pages, the man holding up a folded newspaper in the one free hand, never letting go of his load.
Both got off at the last stop, the woman walking towards the dimly lit parking lot as the man got on a bus, still hanging on tightly to the now crumpled mass. He arrived home, placed the bundle on a table to open it but was tired and went to bed.