I don’t know how Stonewall and I became connected, but some way in this universe we are locked in some kind of close rapport. I know that in my Universe, animals and humans have gotten in close relationships, but I don’t think it is anything like what I am experiencing with Stonewall.
Needless to say he can almost understand what I am saying to him, but the real kicker is he can decipher what I want him to do. I don’t mean the latter statement as a pun. You will know what I mean when I describe what happened next.
When Stonewall turned to see Hawks, his head turned to the left and all his weight shifted to his left side. I was walking on Stonewall’s right side, when we were accosted, and when I slapped his right hindquarters, his right rear leg shot out like a 105 howitzer shell.
Hawks made the mistake of approaching too close behind us, because Stonewall’s projectile caught Hawks square in the chest. I heard a crack, then Hawks was launched backwards about seven feet to land on his back with his arms and legs splayed like a dead cockroach.
I approached him and looked down at the surprised expression on his face and his eyes, which were permanently fixed on the heavenly firmament. When I reached down to get his pistol, I saw that his chest had a large indentation. The crack I hear must have been when his sternum caved in and pierced his heart.
I turned to look at Stonewall. He still had his head turned to the left and was viewing my investigation of the body. Other than bringing his right hind leg back to where the right hind hoof was jauntily put next to the left hind hoof, he hadn’t moved. He seemed to have a noncommittal expression on his face, as if this was an everyday event.
I said, “Thanks Pard.”
He just snored.
We quietly walked back to the main camp just in time to see Mosby again in a tight circle with the Battalion Surgeon and our “sacrificial lamb”…I mean, the surgeon’s assistant. Low intense voices were discussing some important factor of the upcoming ambush. As I joined the roundtable discussion, Mosby turned to me.
I gingerly pointed to the north and asked, “Do we have pickets north of tha pond up yondah?”
Mosby nodded in the affirmative, “Well, we just had a spy sneak past ‘em and accost Stonewall and me at tha pond.”
The three conversing members of the cabal suddenly jerked their heads to the north.
“It’s okay,” I added. “Stonewall took care of him. But cha bettah get someone to take care of tha body beforah long.”
Stonewall and I then turned and meandered back toward the tree where I originally dismounted. I could feel Mosby’s penetrating gaze on me all the way.
When we got back to the tree, I completely undid Stonewall’s saddle cinch and took off his saddle. I left his blanket on his back to protect him from the possible morning frost. I took the blanket roll off his saddle, laid down under the tree, wrapped myself in a tight cocoon and immediately fell into a coma.