Mosby watched Gill walk away for what seemed like five minutes.
Then he sighed and turned back to me and said, “Looks like your enemies keep multiplying instead of diminishing.”
“Looks that way.” I added. “Again I have reason to thank you for your help. I really appreciate it.”
Mosby smiled, saluted me, tipped his hat to Mrs. Throckmorton, and rode off with his men.
I turned to Caleb and said, “Let’s get out of here while the getting is good.”
“Amen!” he said.
“One of these days I’m going to shoot Gill myself,” Mrs. Throckmorton prophesied.
“Mama!” Caleb scolded.
We got Joshua in the buckboard and started for their farm. It was not a pleasant trip. The vehicle didn’t have any springs, and we all were jolted around something terrible. We had to stop two times to let Joshua and I get rested from all the jostling.
We reached the Throckmorton farm at about 11:00 in the morning. Caleb and I got Joshua into the house and into his bed. I think he was woozy from the trip.
Mrs. Throckmorton rustled us up some victuals. We all ate as if we hadn’t had a bite to eat in a week. After lunch, I asked if there was a stream, pond or river that I might take a bath in. I got shocked looks from all present, which made me blush.
I just shrugged my shoulders and they all laughed.
“There’s a stream on the back side of the field behind the barn,” Mrs. Throckmorton offered.
Mrs. Throckmorton provided me with a towel, and I headed to the back forty. I stopped in to see how Beau was doing. He was standing in his stall, but completely asleep. I didn’t bother him, but just proceeded on my way.
I stripped naked, which is pronounced Nay’kid, and has no bad connotation; as opposed to Nekkid, which has a wicked connotation.
I had the urge to go. So I retrieved the last of my newspaper and did my business in the woods across the stream. Then, I took a leisurely bath in the stream. I really didn’t know how bad I smelled until I took off my clothes. I scrubbed myself raw with the lye soap Mrs. Throckmorton had given me. Once finished, I dressed in just my trousers, coat and brogans. I carried my undergarments, socks and shirt on the return to the house.
Mrs. Throckmorton had procured a pair of trousers and a shirt of Joshua’s for me. She said she would wash the dirty linen and trousers and brush out my coat. I thanked her profusely. Caleb and I settled in chairs on the front porch and listened to the insects buzzing, the cattle lowing and the calls of a multitude of birds.
It was good to be alive.