I went to Hattie and told her that once Mrs. Douglas, Ms. Newcomer and Willie Douglas viewed the remains of the dead raider, I would be accompanying them across the Potomac and back to their home at Ferry Hill due to the threat of raiders in the area. She smiled and asked if I needed a horse. I told her that I would take my charges across and walk back via the rickety covered bridge that spanned the Potomac upriver from the lock.
I had viewed the bridge from Hattie’s place during my period of recovery. If I hadn’t been in such a state of exhaustion when I first traveled down to the Potomac, I would have seen it and probably used it to go across, but then I wouldn’t have met the drunk and relieved him of his clothes, which allowed me to convincingly tell my tale of woe.
Anyway, all the dance attendees were moving toward town to look at the raider.
I got in the carriage with the Douglases and Daphne. Daphne and I seated ourselves next to each other with the Douglases facing us. Mrs. Douglas looked at us and smiled. This normally wouldn’t be allowed, but apparently Daphne had told her of our secret romance. So her presence provided us a chaperone, but an accommodating one.
Willie, sitting next to his mother, went to sleep almost immediately. The three of us that were still awake began to discuss the dance and how well it was attended, plus the fun we had until the raiders appeared.
When we got to German Street, the raider had been put in a makeshift coffin and placed in a vertical position in front of the mortuary. A line of wagons and riders on horses were filing past the body with Jonah and Jeremy on either side of the coffin, poised to act as information liaisons if anyone recognized the raider.
When it came time for us to view the body, Mrs. Douglas shook Willie awake and we proceeded past the body. Willie suddenly gasped when he saw who was in the coffin. This startled all of us.
I asked the carriage driver to stop and said, “Willie, do you recognize him?”
“Yes, sir. I seen him and two other men talking with Marshal Wells yesterday at the livery stable,” he stated.
“Saw,” I said.
“I mean saw,” he corrected.
“Are you sure it was Marshal Wells?” I queried.
“Yes, sir. I ain’t, I mean, I am not lying,” he swore.