A NOVEL OF TRAVEL BACK IN TIME
Captain Mosby heard me over the din created by rattling sabers, creaking saddles, snorting horses, the clip-clop of hooves and early morning town noises. He halted his patrol and looked to see who had shouted. Seeing me, he grinned, waved and rode over to where the confrontation was at hand.
He tipped his hat to Mrs. Throckmorton and said, “Hello folks.”
I smiled back and questioned, “Did you hear about the shoot out yesterday?”
He laughed and said,”Don’t tell me you were in on that too.”
I nodded and said, “The Marshal wants to take me in for rescuing the Throckmortons, who were held hostage in the hotel by Seaborne Gill and a henchman.”
The Captain’s face darkened as he shifted his gaze to Owen Gill. “Why?” he demanded.
Gill retorted, “You don’t have any authority in this. It is a town matter.”
“Let’s just say, when it comes to a person responsible for thwarting a Yankee foray into our territory, I have a vested interest in what happens to him. Why do you want to arrest him?” Mosby pressed again.
“I wasn’t going to arrest him,” the marshal stammered.
“Then why did you say you had a witness that said I shot the men in cold blood?” I countered.
“I have Alton Jones’ statement. He was with Seaborne Gill. He died just after I went upstairs at the hotel, and before he died, he said you shot him and Seaborne in cold blood. That is a dying man’s declaration, and it will stand up in court.”
“You might have a dying man’s declaration, but there are three of us that are alive and will testify that Gill and this Jones character held the Throckmorton’s as hostages at gunpoint. I will also testify that Jones shot at me without any justification. So, I believe we have a better and more logical story if you want to go to court,” I summarized.
The Marshal blushed and stuttered, “Well, I also asked some other people that were on the scene.”
“Then, why didn’t you come see us last night instead of waiting until this morning? And who were these other people on the scene?” I interrogated.
“I was getting all the facts together last night, and it was late before I got through talking with those people,” he declared.
“It would be interesting to know who these people were who said they were on the scene, because the only people who witnessed the fight were Mrs. Throckmorton, Caleb, Seaborne Gill, his henchman and me. I didn’t shoot anybody in cold blood, and I have the wounds to prove there was a shootout. You can ask Doc Morton.”
Mosby shifted in his saddle and shouted to his men to countermarch. When the troop was even with us, he commanded them to front toward our little gathering and halt. He then ordered them to draw carbines.
At this last command, Gill’s eyes widened and he swallowed hard.
Then Mosby pointed at me and declared through gritted teeth, “This man has repeatedly risked his life for the Country and the people of this region. I don’t want to hear of any trumped-up charges against him. He is under the protection of the Confederate Cavalry, and I better not hear of any sort of retaliation. If I do, I am going to come looking for you. Do I make myself clear?”
Gill was too scared to say anything. He just nodded his head, turned and walked away with his men.