I trod lightly through the quiet house to the parlor. I stopped at the doorway to the parlor and peeked around the corner. The back of the divan that Daphne had been lying on the last time I saw her was facing me. I couldn’t see her, but the servant girl that was assigned to her was sitting in a chair facing me. She was asleep and it seemed that Daphne was also. I took off my shoes at the door, crept in and peered over the top of the high-backed, intricately-designed divan.
There lay the most beautiful vision of loveliness I had ever seen. Daphne had changed into a long white cotton nightgown that came up to the base of her throat. The gown had a short collar that was decorated with elaborately-sewn roses. She lay on her back with her lush raven hair splayed out behind her on a large, white pillow that supported her head. The two delicate curls of hair still hung down and accentuated the most perfect face I had ever beheld. Her hair was swept back from a flawless forehead. Her eyes were closed, but I remembered they were deep brown, almost black, and they would sparkle in just the correct light. When she smiled, her eyes would smile, too. Her eyes would slightly close as her mouth would turn up on the corners and reveal the cutest dimples I ever had the privilege to witness. I could just make out the beautiful red shade of her lips from the light of the candle that was on the table to the side of the divan. She had a blue blanket tucked under her feet and stretched up to the top of her shoulders. Her arms were under the blanket and I was glad because it kept out the coolness that was starting to play across the land as dawn was beginning to break. I didn’t try to wake her, but I just stood there and enjoyed this wondrous apparition of a Greek goddess.
Finally, I sighed and cautiously retraced my steps out of the room. The servant girl was wheezing softly as I left. Putting on my shoes once I left the parlor, I tiptoed out the front door, closing the door ever so gently.
The servant with the shotgun turned to face me once I started down the steps to the turnaround drive in front of the mansion.
I waved at him and he nodded at me as I began my trek back to Shepherdstown.
I had made it back to the road that came from Sharpsburg, Maryland, and was halfway down the hill when I heard a rumbling sound. I hurriedly ran for the tree line to the left of the road. I barely made it to the sanctity of the woods when a troop of Union Cavalry thundered by on their way to the covered bridge over the Potomac that connected Maryland to Virginia.