A NOVEL OF TRAVEL BACK IN TIME
I could feel Ahab’s eyes boring into the back of my head as we walked back to the house, but we made it without any mishap. I definitely felt refreshed, and I know I smelled better, although the odor was probably what you would normally expect from a dance hall girl.
Anyway, I was brought to the assembled guests who were chatting in the parlor of the mansion. I use those descriptive words of the home loosely. It would have been considered a mansion in the 19th Century. In the 21st Century it would be a high end residence with a market value of about $350,000; if it had running water, air conditioning, and electrical fixtures.
The ladies were fanning themselves, trying to keep cool. The elongated windows on both sides of the house were open, creating a cross ventilation that somewhat helped with the cooling. It was still humid, and the early fall weather hadn’t broken, yet, so the temperature was in the high 80’s.
Upon entering the room, I was directed to a chair by Mr. Newcomer, and he proceeded to ask me about the rescue of his daughter. I related all that had happened, from meeting the Yankee cavalry contingent until Captain Mosby assigned a trooper to escort Miss Daphne home. I played down what I had done and really gave all the credit to Captain Mosby.
At the end of my story, Mr. Newcomer turned to the Captain and profusely thanked him for the rescue of his daughter and for the service performed to our country. Captain Mosby bowed his head toward Mr. Newcomer in acceptance of the compliment and honor.
Mr. Newcomer then glanced at me and said, “I appreciate the candid description of the rescue. The way Daphne told it, you were the only one there and did all the saving yourself.”
I abruptly turned to Daphne, but she instantly shifted her fan to the front of her face. I could see she was blushing.
I turned back to Mr. Newcomer and reiterated that I felt it a privilege to have been allowed by Captain Mosby to accompany the troop in their daring assault on the invaders.
I added that I was both, scared to death and excited beyond all description, at the same time. This brought a chuckle from Mr. Newcomer and Captain Mosby and giggles from Mrs. Newcomer and Daphne.
The brothers tried to look bored with the whole affair, but I could tell they were wishing they had been in on the rescue.
It is the same story no matter what century you’re in. A boy’s transcendence from puberty to manhood is usually proven by successfully surviving participation in battle.
I could tell the boys were chomping at the bit to join some branch of the army, and I bet it was their mother who had vetoed that action from the get go.
It was at this juncture that the black servant lady announced that dinner was ready. So, we all stood to be sorted by couples for the grand march to the dining room.