After talking with Major Mosby, I rode leisurely back to the Harpers Ferry livery stable. Entering the stable, I heard Stonewall give me a long trumpeted whinny of a welcome. I dismounted John Lee’s horse and gave him a pat on the neck for his help. I shrugged off John Lee’s coat and hat, and grabbing an empty pail, I went to the pump outside the livery and pumped up some water for John Lee’s horse and Stonewall.
Returning to the stable I let John Lee’s horse drink some, but not too much, of the spring water and gave the rest to Stonewall, who seemed to enjoy the elixir.
I had a meditation session with Stonewall in which I told him our plan and that he would be very important in the implementation of it.
Grabbing John Lee’s coat and hat, I wormed my way back to the rear door of the hotel and, upon entering, saw John Lee standing guard in the lobby with an eye on the stairs leading up to the guest rooms.
He nodded when I came from the hotel back door into the lobby. I handed him his clothes and took back my coat and hat, which he had been wearing. After we had exchanged coats and hats to the befuddlement of the desk clerk, I said, “Let’s go see tha ladies.”
John Lee nodded, and we hit the stairs to the third floor. Once we were in front of Mrs. Douglas and Hattie’s room, I gently knocked on the door and said in a low voice, “Daphne, it’s me and John Lee.”
I heard a “praise tha Lord” from the inside of the room, and when the door opened, a raven haired bundle of energy rushed into my arms.
Daphne buried her face into my chest and said in a muffled voice, “I am so glad yore here.”
“Me too,” I returned.
Looking over Daphne’s head at Mrs. Douglas and Hattie, I revealed, “We have a plan that is being implemented as we speak.”
Daphne jerked backwards to look at me and released the chest crushing hug she had instituted on my body. For such a small girl, she is one strong hugger.
“What plan?” she demanded.
“Well, we have outriders from the cavalry camp dressed as local men on horseback distributing themselves along the Halltown Road and the River Road, plus the Sharpsburg Road across the Potomac from Sandy Hook northward for about two miles,” I explained. I further informed them, “They’re riding out separately and then getting behind cover so they can view tha roads for any snipers. That way, they can confront any suspicious person they encounter, plus be ready to close in on a sniper that takes a potshot at us.”
“That’s crazy, Jim. Yore just asking to be shot at,” Daphne declared, which got a lot of affirmative nods from the other ladies.
“Yep, I sure am. In fact tha men are not to keep tha sniper from firing on us, but to try and capture him after he has taken his shot,” I clarified.
I stopped iterating my plan to view the reactions to its revelation so far. The ladies were regarding me as some brainless idiot that had one too many smacks to the head, and John Lee had a concerned look on his face. Once I had witnessed their reactions, I started to grin, which then led to laughter.
“Daphne cocked her eye at me and demanded, “Okay, what’s so funny?”
“I just thought yar responses were humorous,” I answered.
“Jim, I don’t want to be used as bait with the possibility of being shot,” she declared, which brought a series of amen’s from the ladies and a nodded confirmation from John Lee.
“Well, Daphne, not only are ya possibility gonna get shot at. Yore gonna get killed,” I added with finality.