A NOVEL OF TRAVEL BACK IN TIME
I sat down to a hearty breakfast and, for the first time, had a chance to talk with Hattie’s brothers and Poppa. Up until this morning, I had always been recovering from exhaustion or sickness and was in bed in my rented room when they came home from work. I never had gotten to formally meet them.
I introduced myself to the men, and we all shook hands. They all had very strong grips, and I wondered how my grip and soft hands felt to them. I hope it gave the impression of strength. We males always wonder about that when we shake hands.
The brothers were a likeable crew. They were called A.B. and C.D. Don’t laugh! A.B. was short for Albert Benjamin and C.D. was short for Charles Doss. They were of average height; 5’5” tall, and both weighed about 145 pounds. The muscles in their forearms, which were visible from their rolled up shirt sleeves, stood out vividly. Also, their neck muscles appeared as ropes from their sculls to their shoulders. There wasn’t an ounce of fat on them. They asked some of the same questions about my past that Hattie had solicited and seemed satisfied with the similar answers. Poppa, who must’ve topped out at 5’2” and weighed 110 pounds dripping wet, possessed the commanding force in the room. He sat at the head of the table, as any God-ordained potentate, and ate without looking at me. You could tell he was taking in all my answers to the brothers with a critical ear.
Hattie furnished the additional information that I had just been given the job of school teacher by Mr. Throckmorton for the next session of school. I believe this was to allay any fears by her family that I wouldn’t be able to provide the monthly rent. My newest rent subsidy had undoubtedly provided the ham served this morning.
It took a while to tell my story again, which was beginning to be a little farfetched even to me. However, I stuck to the particulars, and put a little passion in the telling, hopefully, to dispel any speculation that I might be a Yankee spy or criminal.
I hoped my version of the information would get around to the rest of the town.