A NOVEL OF TRAVEL BACK IN TIME
The two Yankee troopers began to quicken their pace to catch us. My muscles must have gotten an added infusion of adrenalin because I literally put my arms around the waists of Mrs. Douglas and Daphne, picked them up, hurried through the front door, and turned to the left out of the door frame.
Two huge explosions, almost in tandem, were released by Ezra’s scattergun. One of our pursuers was blown through the front door and landed face down on the porch in front of the door. I quickly turned 180 degrees with the women still in my grasp. I saw four mounted Yankee troopers in the yard in front of the mansion trying to calm their horses and pull their pistols at the same time. Apparently, their mounts had been spooked by the loud explosions. I continued my turn so we could enter the house again and not get shot by the Yanks in the yard.
As we entered the house, I saw our other pursuer crumpled against the hallway wall about two feet from the door. His sightless eyes were looking at the ceiling, and half his left side was missing. Mrs. Douglas let out a scream. Then she and Daphne put their hands to her mouths, almost in unison.
I put the ladies down and yelled, “Go to Ezra!”
I slammed the front door and saw that the dead Yank had one of my Colts still in his belt. My other Colt was mangled from the shotgun blast. However, the Yank’s pistol was still in his holster. I grabbed both usable weapons and turned to the ladies.
Mrs. Douglas was not moving. Looking at the mangled corpse, she started to scream incessantly. Daphne was also staring at the corpse. She was shocked by what she saw, but she hadn’t screamed. I grabbed Mrs. Douglas and shook her until she quit screaming and finally focused on me.
I said in a loud voice, “Go to Ezra!”
Her shocked gaze was replaced by one of comprehension. She began to move to Ezra. I looked at Daphne. She took Mrs. Douglas’ hand as they moved together up the hallway.
I yelled at Ezra, “Where’s Jacob?”
“At the back door,” he responded.
“Good. Where are Willie and the servant women?” I asked.
“Upstairs,” he answered.
“Is John Lee in the stables?” I asked.
“Yes, sah,” he replied.
I looked at the two women, who had gathered around Ezra. I really didn’t think we could hold out for long against the Yankee captain and his men. We had too much house to cover. We could hold the doors, but the multitude of windows provided them with too many entrances. If they wanted to, they could just throw torches through the windows and flush us out.
I took stock of our arsenal. Apparently, Ezra had more than just two shotgun shells because there were two spent shells on the floor and he was holding his gun as if it was reloaded. I had two operational pistols that were fully loaded and the two loaded cylinders in my coat pockets that the Yanks failed to take.
Just then I heard two shots ring out from the back door.