A NOVEL OF TRAVEL BACK IN TIME
After about 45 minutes I had covered all the infantry, cavalry, and artillery information the Sage brothers should gather and the fortification locations they should memorize. They both would be leaving early in the morning as their wagons were already loaded. Mr. Sage would be leaving for Boonsboro, riding his horse alongside Jonah’s wagon. At Boonsboro, he would break off and proceed to the Union camp north of Boonsboro. They asked if I would be staying the night and I said I would, but I wanted to stay in the barn and out of sight.
They gave me a blanket and I went to the barn. Stonewall followed me of his own free will, which startled and pleased me at the same time. I unsaddled my cayuse and rubbed him down. He half-closed his eyes, let his head drop, and cocked his right hind hoof up on its toe next to his left hind leg. I could tell he wasn’t used to this loving care and had gone into what I would call deep meditation. I grinned as I performed his massage.
When I finished, he raised his head and looked at me, and I swear his expression said, ‘It isn’t over already, is it?’ I smiled and gave him half an apple that I had in my kit sack. I was beat and, after finding some hay for Stonewall to eat, I ascended to the loft via a ladder, spread my blanket in the abundance of straw, and immediately went to sleep.
I awoke suddenly when Stonewall snickered loudly. Pulling my twin Colts, I crept to the edge of the loft and looked down. There was a cloaked figure stroking Stonewall, and for all the world he looked as if he had gone to sleep. His head was so low that his muzzle almost touched the ground. The figure looked up at me, and I could see gleaming eyes shining from the folds of the cloak’s hood.
“Hello, Mr. Hager, or should I say Shelton Owen Woods?” she ventured.
I gasped and she giggled. “You better climb down before you fall down. Besides, we need to talk,” she suggested.
I put my Colts back in my belt and climbed down. I approached the figure and she threw back her hood. The white elfish face looked at me inquiringly, and I have to admit that I was dazzled by her appearance. Her blue-green eyes sparkled. I had to shake my head to keep from drowning in her gaze.
I ordered, “Stop whatever you are doing!”
She giggled. I further demanded, “And stop that infernal tittering.”
“Keep your voice down. There are Union troops in the area and they will hear you,” she hissed.
My eyes bugged open. She couldn’t help herself. She actually pulled a long languid arm from her cloak to stifle a laugh at my reaction.