The healing salve must have had some sort of sedative and hallucinogenic component
because I drifted off into a dream-like state with characters, from Mickey Mouse to James Bond to Tina Fey, cropping up in my head. One moment I was laughing, and the next, I was in mortal combat with an arch-villain.
I don’t know how long I was out, but when I awoke, it was still daylight. None of the Sage men had returned from their separate trips.
My head was still in San Cirr Ray’s lap. I stirred and got to my feet. I wasn’t tipsy or light headed, and I felt fit as a fiddle.
The lady, and I use that term lightly, got up with me. What was so weird is that she had no dust, straw or debris on her cape or boots. It was the first time that I realized she wore black boots, which must have had 3 inch heels and disappeared at her shins. The tops of the boots were hidden by her cloak.
I looked at my clothes. I was covered in dirt, and straw clung to the back of my pants and coat. I turned back to her and gazed in awe at this strange turn of events.
Guess what? She just giggled at my slack jawed look.
I finally realized that my mouth was open in an oafish expression. So I abruptly closed my mouth, blushed and grinned in embarrassment. That brought a laugh from her, and I had to join in.
We were looking at each other and enjoying the moment, when I heard the sound of a wagon approaching.
San Cirr Ray said,” I will contact you.” Then she disappeared.
Her departure stunned me, and I looked around the barn to see if I could catch a glimpse of her. But she was truly gone.
I went to the door of the barn and saw that Jonah was returning in his wagon, accompanied of Mr. Sage on his horse. I was eager to find out all the information, but first we had to unsaddle Mr. Sage’s horse, unharness the wagon team of horses, and put away all the related equipment.
Once all these chores were accomplished, we went in the house. Mr. Sage stoked up a fire in the hearth and put on a pot of coffee to boil. Finally, we all sat down and I asked Jonah how it went in Boonsboro.
He related that there was an abundance of military activity. He counted at least three cavalry guidons, which signified at least three squadrons of cavalry. He also saw at least 3 regimental flags of infantry and one battery of artillery.
“Did anybody indicate that they saw you observing the various units or follow you out of town?” I asked.
“No, they were too busy getting ready to move. Plus I tried to look like I didn’t really care about what was happening around me,” he answered.
I thanked him for the information and turned to Mr. Sage. “How did it go with the cavalry commander?” I asked.
“First off, he didn’t believe me, but when I warmed to the subject about my sons being abused, he fell in with the reasoning of wanting to see you hanged rather than shot. He asked when I could go to Shepherdstown and do some scouting for them. I mentioned that I had a legitimate reason to go this coming Saturday. He said that would be too late. Then he changed the subject and asked a bunch of questions about you,” he revealed.
At that moment we heard a lot of noise coming up the lane to the house. Jonah looked out the window and yelled, “Yankee Cavalry!”
We broke from the house and ran for the barn, but the Yanks surrounded us before we were half way there.