I was standing to the man’s left side. He looked at me and said, “Who are you?”
“The devil incarnate!” I yelled.
Then I slugged him with a right cross that, in his inebriated state, laid him out cold. A pain suddenly shot through my right hand. I moved my fingers. They were mobile, but it hurt like the dickens.
I looked down at the wrapped wound on my arm. The makeshift bandage was held in place by some coagulated blood. I would worry about that later.
One crisis at a time.
The sky was growing lighter. I wanted to get across the Potomac River before dawn, if I could. So I began to put on the 19th century trappings.
First came the shirt. With my t-shirt as a buffer, the shirt’s grime only accosted my arms. Next came the trousers. The prior owner probably outweighed me by a good 50 pounds, but he was shorter. So, once I pulled the bracer straps up on my shoulders, the trousers hung loosely on me, but they didn’t drag the ground. However, I could feel the dirty, course wool rubbing against my legs, and I knew they would soon chafe my legs badly if I didn’t get some type of long underwear for a cushion. Lastly, I stuffed my feet in the man’s brogans, which were about a half size too small. Needless to say, they were uncomfortable.
I stood up and let out a breath I didn’t know I had. Once I inhaled, I retched. The combination of the time travel situation, the dog attack, and my purloining of the traveler’s filthy clothes brought on a nausea that hit me suddenly.
What was going to happen to me?
That question brought me to realize that I was in a very precarious situation. I stopped moving for a few seconds and thought about all the worst case scenarios.
I knew I had to get control of myself and let go of these thoughts. I closed my eyes, went into a Wu Ji stance, completely relaxed my body, and took a few deep breaths.
Suddenly, the thought hit me, “Keep to your plan.”
I turned and walked down the hill toward the Potomac River.