A NOVEL OF TRAVEL BACK IN TIME
I rode Sampson out to the River Road and turned north. He must have sensed that we were going to his home because he was restless and wanted to gallop.
I was able to keep him in a gentle lope and he never seemed to tire. So we ate up the ground quickly. When we rounded the bend in the road that revealed his farm, he whinnied loudly. The lady of the house must have been waiting anxiously near the front door for us because she came out on the front porch along with two younger men. She had her hands on her hips and the two men had grim looks on their faces.
Once I had ridden into the yard, she said,” Well, at least you brought him back in one piece.”
I dismounted and said, “Yes Ma’am, and he was instrumental in the capture of about 24 Yankees and the rescue of Miss Daphne Newcomer.”
She and the men acted as if they had been hit by a ton of bricks.
I took off my hat and gave a short bow.
“Ma’am, I apologize that I don’t even know your name, but your spirit of patriotism in allowing me to utilize Sampson has been a great benefit to our country.” Pointing at the two men that stood on each side of her, I asked, “And who might these fine gentlemen be?”
The lady was flabbergasted due to the news of the enemy encounter, the rescue of Daphne, and, if I may say so, the eloquence of my apology.
Gaining her composure again, she uttered, “I am Sarah Throckmorton, and these are my sons, Caleb and Joshua. The reason I allowed you to take Sampson was because of your reference to banker James Throckmorton. He is my brother-in-law, I mean, was my brother-in-law. His brother Caleb Senior was my husband who died last fall of consumption.”
With my hat in my hand, I walked toward Mrs. Throckmorton bowed in front of her and shook hands with her sons, who were still taken aback by my news. All of a sudden Joshua said, “Well don’t keep us in tha dark. What happened?”
“Could we take Sampson to the barn and I will relate the happenings on the way?” I asked.
They all agreed. So we walked to the barn as I gave them a recap of the day’s adventures. The family knew of Captain Mosby and was thrilled at the news that his cavalry contingent performed so well.
As we reached the barn, I said, “Oh, yes! Mrs. Throckmorton, I wanted to thank you for the use of the pistol. I didn’t have a chance to use it, but it was an encouragement to know I had it.”
Then, I handed her the Colt six-shooter she had loaned me. The sons really raised their eyebrows at the return of the pistol. I thought that she would have a lot of explaining to do once I had left.
Mrs. Throckmorton flushed a bright crimson and took the weapon. “Glad it was a support to you,” she said.
I told them I had to return to Harper’s Ferry for a dinner with the Newcomers and wondered if I owed them anything for the use of Sampson. They all were very solicitous and said it was their privilege to have helped the cause.
The sons took Sampson into the barn for a rubdown. I mounted Beau, who seemed very annoyed that he had to continue traveling this day.
Before I left, I touched the brim of my hat and said to Mrs. Throckmorton, “Sampson really was the difference in what happened today. I appreciate you trusting what I said and allowing me to ride him.”
She actually blushed again, gave a little curtsey and stated, “It was the least I could do.”
After kicking Beau profusely, I bounced out of the Throckmorton’s and on to the River Road headed south to see the beautiful Daphne Jane Newcomer.