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Over breakfast they sat with Jimmy and Tom again. The meal was very simple – bread and jam – but very welcome. They needed to fill their empty stomachs. Chuck’s grace before they started eating was similar, if not the same, to last day’s when they ate pritta.
“You two ever operated the wheelbarrow?” James asked when they dug in. Jack nodded, and so James continued. “What’s it like?”
“It’s hard as nails, man. Compared to that, mining is easy.” He then paused a bit, spread the jam on his slice of bread and continued. “Why? Got punished to do it?”
“Just wondering. The guard offered if I wanted to yesterday. What’s it like with the wheelbarrow? Just going up and down the mine transporting the ore?”
“Pretty much, but it’s hard. Pushing the heaping full thing uphill is no joke. Especially in the scorching sun. You get sunburnt like mad. But yeah, you just empty it onto the train and go back down into the tunnels. Going back down with an empty wheelbarrow isn’t easy either, though. Let go for a second and it goes its own way downhill. Dangerous stuff.”
“Trains? Where are those headed?” James tried acting surprised as if he hadn’t seen the trains yet.
“Don’t know. Probably somewhere to get smelted? I just dropped the ore on the wagon and left like everyone else.”
“So you use that ore for something?”
“Not that I know of, no. I mean, I’ve never seen anything made of it yet, so I don’t think we do, no.”
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