Captain Mosby had me dead to rights. I turned pale and just looked at him with a beseeching expression. Finally, I got my voice to cooperate with my bewildered mind.
“Captain, I really appreciate that you judge me a loyal citizen of the Confederacy, because I am. I guess I have been in the right place at the right time or, should I say, I have been at the wrong place at the wrong time during the last few months. In regards to all the gunplay, all I wanted to do was protect my friends, loved ones, and my community. In answer to your question, I am just a concerned citizen.”
The captain nodded at my reply, but there was still a dubious expression on his countenance. He then asked the $64,000 question.
“But where did you come from, and are you an agent of the Confederate government?”
I quickly answered, “I promise that I am not an agent of the government. As to how I got here, would you be satisfied that I am from Arkansas and, to be quite truthful, that I don’t know how I got here?”
The captain’s expression changed to one of incongruity. “What do you mean you don’t know how you got here?” he probed.
“If I told you what I think happened, you would have me put in an insane asylum,” I returned.
“Try me,” he countered.
Thinking fast I responded, “I think I am a victim of amnesia.”
I let loose with a torrent of words. “It’s where a person gets hit on the head and forgets some of his memories, especially the memory of what has happened in the last six to nine months, but he does keep the memories of what happened before he was hit on the head. I know I lived in Arkansas and the information about my family that I gave at the Newcomer’s dinner is true, but I made up all the information about how I came to Baltimore and then came here to Virginia. I don’t know how I got from Arkansas to here in Virginia. And furthermore, I really don’t want to know. I have tried to remember on many occasions, but all I get is a headache for my troubles. The true story must be vile for me not wanting to remember it.”
The captain, with his mouth agape, looked at me as if I had three heads.