A NOVEL OF TRAVEL BACK IN TIME
Thank heavens that each town, no matter what size, usually had a livery stable. I got Beau bedded down for the night for just $1, which included a combing, some hay and a sprinkle of oats.
I asked if there was a hotel in town.
Mr. Johnson, the livery owner, just laughed and said, “There ain’t no hotel, but Widow Hawkins takes in boarders for a dollar-a-night, plus breakfast.”
I thanked him, and following his directions, walked down the street with my pokes thrown over my shoulder for about two blocks. I turned right for one block and found the white, two-story house of Widow Hawkins.
Apparently, this was a very popular boarding house. There were five men sitting around the parlor smoking cigars, reading or talking when I entered. I asked for the Widow and was directed to the room across the hall.
Once I entered the room, I was taken aback by the beautiful woman sitting behind a desk in the middle of the room. She looked up and smiled. I asked if she had any room for the night and she said yes, but I would have to share it with a drummer from Richmond. I remembered a drummer was like a traveling salesman.
I grinned and replied that it depended on what he was selling. She laughed and said his wares were men’s shirts. I said that was fine and asked how much for the night.
“One dollar and breakfast in the morning.”
I acquiesced, paid the rent, and got my key to a room on the second floor.
The Widow said Mr. Holstein would be the other room occupant for the night. I thanked her, went across the hall to the parlor, and asked if Mr. Holstein was there. I was told he had gone to the local saloon to celebrate a rather large sale he had made in Harper’s Ferry at a local hardware and clothing store.
I went out on the front porch and sat in the lone rocking chair to watch the beautiful sunset. I allowed myself to relax my guard and thought of how far I had come in just 10 days.
It was amazing to me that I was still alive.