Mr. Sage and I had bracketed the Captain. I was on the Captain’s right, and Mr. Sage was on the left. As the wagon carrying Jeremy approached, we could see a Corporal was driving. His horse was tied to the back of the wagon. Another trooper was on a horse behind the wagon. We were missing another trooper. I didn’t know where he was, but it was too late worry about that now. Anyway, two troopers were better than three.
When the wagon was about 20 yards from our hiding place, I poked the Captain in the back with my Colt and whispered, “Get out in the road and command those troopers to hand over their prisoner for interrogation just like I told you. And remember I have an itchy finger on this Colt.”
I then put my right hand, which held the Colt, behind my right leg and tried to make it look as inconspicuous as possible. Mr. Sage had a Colt in his left hand, which he put behind his left leg.
We slowly ambled out into the road in a slow left wheeling movement and faced the oncoming wagon. We approached within 10 feet of the noses of the wagon’s two draft animals. The Captain held up his hand, and in a less than commanding voice, said he needed the troopers to turn over the prisoner to him for immediate interrogation.
The Corporal, who was driving the wagon, halted his team of horses. His appraising stare swiftly looked us over from head to foot and then in a benign country drawl inquired, “Cap’an, who’s your two pards?”
This man was no fool.
With what I hoped was an official voice, I chimed in, “We were sent here from Washington City to take charge of this prisoner for a special interrogation.”
The Corporal had shifted his gaze from the Captain to me, when I started talking.
“That so?” He answered in an unbelieving tone. Then looking back at the Captain he added, “Cap’an, we didna even knowed about these Secess men until early this morning. How come the high muckety mucks knowed about it afore we did?”
“That‘s none of your business Corporal. You need to obey the Captain’s orders,” I declared. I stole a quick glanced at the Captain, and he had a pained expression on his face, which wasn’t helping our plan.
The Corporal snickered, looked back at me, and then revealed, “You know Mister. I just remember where I done seen you. Twern’t you one who shot at us breaking out of the barn in Shepherdstown?”
He slapped the reins down on the backs of his team and yelled,”Haw, Haw.”
(Dear Readers, I need to make a correction to Blog Episode 203. Mr. Sage watched the wagon with Jeremy leave the east side of Keedysville and not Boonsboro.)