A NOVEL OF TRAVEL BACK IN TIME
The brothers left to do some weeding work and to check on their fields of corn. Later, they would join Poppa, who left to open the mill for business.
Hattie gave me some bread, cheese, and salted pork, which she put in a poke sack and tied the end with a strip of rawhide.
I had worn my new suit to breakfast. So, I donned my new hat (which I was rather proud of) and stuffed another sack with my handy newspaper, the old shirt I had worn when Hattie founded me, and a borrowed pair of her brother’s socks that I promised to return without holes.
After tying the ends of the sacks together with Hattie’s rawhide strip, I slung the sacks over my left shoulder like saddle bags. I told Hattie I might be gone for a few days and began to walk to the livery stable in town.
The sun was just breaking over the horizon and the partly-cloudy eastern sky erupted with streaks of pink fluff that looked like cotton candy. I just stood for a long moment and beheld the magnificent handy work of the Goddess Eos before continuing.
I estimated that I had arrived in town about 7:00 and went to the livery stable. A worker was mucking a stall in the back when I entered.
I could see that he had three horses in the stable. One was a black stallion, which fixed me with a fierce stare and his ears laid back. Another was a red and white mare that was contentedly munching hay. The last one was a brown gelding that was just standing in its stall with a dopey-eyed gaze.
I asked if I could rent a horse for a trip to Harper’s Ferry, which would take about 3 days. He said the black stallion and the mare were not his to rent, but I could rent the brown gelding. We settled on $2.50 a day, in advance, and the promise that I would take care of Beauregard, which was the gelding’s name.
I told him we would have to wait for the bank to open to withdraw the money. So I settled down for a cup of coffee in the café that I had frequented the day before.