As we came through the door, Mr. Mumma must have finished his tale and was asked a question he couldn’t answer because he said, “Here he is now. Let’s ask him.”
All eyes turned to see Daphne and me arm in arm as we entered the back of the room. I must say that a lot of eyebrows went up when the parents and schoolchildren saw us together. It was awkward for just a few seconds. Daphne released my arm and went to stand by Mrs. Douglas.
Then I asked, “Mr. Mumma, what did you want to ask me?”
Mr. Mumma was shocked to see Daphne on my arm, but haltingly sputtered, “Did anyone in town recognize the raider we brought down?”
“No, I don’t think they did. And that reminds me…if we can identify him, it will help in the apprehension of his gang. So, I know this will be hard to do, but if everyone would go back through town, take a look at the raider and let us know if you recognize him, it would help a great deal.”
There was a lot of murmuring, but I didn’t get any abject refusals. I called Jonah and Jeremy over and asked if they would ride into town and ask the mortician to put the remains on display where everyone could view the body. They both agreed. Jonah went over to Peggy and said goodbye. He looked longingly into her eyes and whispered something that made her blush and then smile. Jeremy went to Ruth Pry and said a few words. Just before he left, he took her hand and squeezed it. Then both the brothers were out the door like a shot out of a cannon. Both girls looked longingly after the boys and sighed.
I smiled and looked at Daphne. She had witnessed the farewells, too. She smiled at me and I winked at her. Then I got down to business.
I went to Mr. Throckmorton and, in hushed tones, asked if he knew the telegraph operator. He said he did. I asked if he could bring him to the telegraph office tonight for I had an urgent telegram I needed to send to Captain Mosby in Harpers Ferry. Mr. Throckmorton said if I would write my message down, he could give it to Mr. Black for transmittal when he went to his house. I thanked him for the help, but told him the message would be based upon whether the raider is recognized or not.
He said, “I see,” and nodded his head in understanding.