The Great Train Robbery, Week 3

Welcome to Week 3 of the Online Book Club discussion of The Great Train Robbery

Did you enjoy this section? Are you liking how all of the parts of the robbery are coming together? It's just crazy to me that Pierce has to keep track of so many details!

One of my favorite parts of this section occurred right at the beginning. I loved how Miriam went to that safe shop so she could figure out if the safes were being changed before the robbery. She played her part so perfectly! I couldn't believe how confident and belligerent she was. I loved how the men didn't take her seriously and thought she was a loon, but she found out all of the important information the team needed. I thought that scene was really well-done. 

Clean Willy sure made some wrong decisions in this section. He tried to get more money from Pierce, and then he ended up getting killed. I thought that was pretty sad. Were you surprised when he ended up dying? I thought the Crystal Palace that they met in sounded really interesting. Check out this article to learn more about the Crystal Palace, and click here if you'd like to see what the ruins of the place look like now. 

I was sad to see Elizabeth Trent show back up in this section. She was pretty sad that Pierce hadn't kept up his conversation with her. Do you think she believed Pierce's story about the lost letter and then finding a new lady since he never heard back from Elizabeth? I don't think I would have, but things were different back then. I guess it would be believable for a wealthy man like Pierce to get married quickly, especially if he was hoping to have heirs or something. I was just sad that she was a victim to the whole scheme. She didn't do anything wrong. 

The whole having Agar pretend to be a dead body in a coffin to gain entry to the train was gruesome but ingenious. What an ingenious way to sneak someone on to the train. I liked how Pierce explained why the coffin had to be opened in the way it was opened. The railway workers were going to search the coffin either way, but if they hadn't heard the bell and thought the body was alive, they would have checked for pulse and looked around. But, since they were expecting a live person and saw and smelled a dead looking person, they shut the coffin back up again quickly without an inspection to the body. That was so smart. If you'd like to see how the scene played out in the movie, check out the clip below. 

I thought that Pierce was never going to be able to get rid of Fowler once they were on the train. Didn't that part make you nervous? I couldn't believe how tense I felt while I was reading it. It was smart for Pierce to light that smelly cigar. I was so relieved when Pierce was finally alone in his train car. 

Pierce thinks that he will be able to climb across the roof of a moving train car to get the gold. I have a hard time imagining that he will actually be able to do it. How will that work? I really doubt there are a lot of hand holds on the top of a train. I would think it would be pretty slippery! I think the wind alone would be enough to disorient a person. Do you think he will do it? Will he be successful? 

What do you think will happen in the last section? We've had hints throughout the book that there will be a trial. How do you think that's going to go? 

I hope you enjoy finishing the book for next week! I can't wait to hear what you thought of this section in the comments!