A Novel of Travel Back in Time
The doctor got some of the townsfolk from the crowd surrounding our wagon to take Joshua into his office. Mrs. Throckmorton followed in close attendance. The town marshal and his deputy had other members from the crowd carry the bodies of the Gill brothers to the undertaker’s parlor. The deputy was left in charge of getting the bodies identified and ready for burial.
The marshal looked at me and Caleb for a long moment, beckoned us to follow him, and began walking. Caleb and I got into the buckboard, and like two sheep being led to the slaughter, slowly walked Sampson behind the marshal as he headed toward his office.
Caleb whispered, “Let me do all the talking. You know that the marshal and the Gill family are distantly related, don’t you?”
I looked at him in shock and then murmured, “No I didn’t, but it would explain why he took such a long time to try to find my assailants a few nights ago.”
We arrived at the marshal’s office and entered what was a one room office with two cells in the back of the room. Each cell had one cot, and I bet every bedbug in the county had taken up residence there.
Once you enter the office, there was a desk to the left of the door and a cot in a corner, to the right of the door, for the law officer that was on duty during the night. Two chairs faced the desk, and the marshal indicated for us to sit down.
Leaning back with his elbows propped on his chair arms and his fingers making a church and steeple, he let out a sigh and said, “Okay, want to tell me what happened?”
Caleb began describing what had occurred prior to my appearance and then gave a harrowing account of the shootout. Several times the marshal glanced at me with almost a look of incredulousness. He finally spied the bulges made by the twin colts stuck in my belt underneath my coat and sat forward in a more wary position.
I thought it was quite humorous, but I was able to keep from smiling. I wanted this meeting to go on without a hitch, and I wasn’t about to give the marshal a reason to hold me.
Finally, the marshal asked Caleb, “Will your brother and mother back up your story?”
Caleb replied, “I know my mother will, but Joshua was unconscious when the shootout went down.”
The marshal looked at me and said, “Is that what happened?”
I nodded in the affirmative.
He then asked, “What were you doing there?
“I was on my way back to Shepherdstown and thought I would stop and again pay my respects to the Throckmorton’s for the use of their horse in the capture of the Yankee Cavalry.”
The marshal’s face indicated a look of realization that he better step lightly in trying to implicate me in any nefarious motives. He came to a decision and said, “Okay, I understand all the circumstances, but I will need to confiscate your pistols.”
I looked him straight in the eye and stated, “That will be impossible marshal. These pistols were given to me by Captain Mosby for my protection, and only he can confiscate them.”
The marshal’s jaw dropped. A look of sheer terror spread across his face.