A NOVEL OF TRAVEL BACK IN TIME
When I reached the top of the steps, Miss Daphne introduced me to her father.
He stood 5’7”, weighed about 140 pounds, had a thick head of white hair, and was impeccably dressed in a white ruffled shirt with black trousers and a green top coat.
He took my hand in both of his and said, “I can’t thank you enough for saving Daphne.”
I was taken aback by his statement and stammered, “I…ah…well, if it hadn’t been for Captain Mosby’s quick command of the situation and lightning speed attack, the Yanks would still have Miss Newcomer hostage.”
“I really can’t be considered the one that saved her. I was just accompanying the Captain in his venture.”
“Sir,” Mr. Newcomer said, “you are too modest.”
I was really shocked by the outpouring of thanks for the small amount of help I had been. I cast a narrow glance at Daphne. She just unfolded her fan and held it in front of her face so that only her eyes were showing, but I could tell she was smiling from ear to ear and thoroughly enjoying my discomposure.
Mrs. Newcomer was the next person to be introduced. She was a dainty woman. She stood about 5’2”, and if she weighed 90 pounds it would be a miracle. She wore a blue satin dress with a white lace collar that had an ivory cameo pinned at her throat. Her hair was a combination of white and black and she had the most pleasant smile.
She offered her hand and I took it and bowed.
She said, “Daphne told us you were most kind in your rescue of her runaway horse. Your thoughtfulness in calming Luce Belle and solicitous attention at the death of our brave cavalry man. I want to add my thank you also, Mr. Hager.”
I could feel my face turn bright crimson again. I was at a loss for words, but I bent over Mrs. Newcomer’s hand again and uttered, “Yes ma’am, I was privileged that I could help.”
I was wondering what Miss Daphne had told all these people. Captain Mosby was the hero here, not me. I glanced at the Captain, and he was smiling broadly. I guessed that he had become a party to this charade that, apparently, Daphne Jane Newcomer had concocted.
The next in line for introductions were Daphne’s two brothers. They were tall lads for 19th Century men. The first one introduced was Tom Newcomer. He was about 5’9” tall, weighed about 145, and had a shock of dark brown hair. I estimated his age was 20. His brother, Jonah, was 5’10” tall, weighed about 140, and had sandy blonde hair. Where his older brother had a solid handshake, Jonah had the handshake of a teenager.
I quickly reasoned that Daphne must be the middle child and probably about 17 or 18 years of age. Both of the brothers were dressed in black trousers, unadorned white shirts and dark blue top coats.
The crowd was ushered into the house and, for the first time since I had been in this century, I saw black servants. A short and smiling black lady kindly took my hat. Mr. Newcomer told Ahab, one of the male servants, to show me to the kitchen to clean up and refresh myself. I dutifully followed him out the back of the house and was glad for the time to recuperate from the onslaught of importance bestowed on my efforts.