I started walking toward the area that Stonewall had been grazing and resting, but he had vanished. I decided to continue for a ways and came to a church on the road running north along South Mountain’s eastern face. As I passed the church on my left I saw him next to the building. He was munching grass and being petted by guess who? That’s right. My nemesis. My bane.
She was leisurely leaning with her back on the church wall and apparently had been waiting on me. I let out a huff and said not too diplomatically, “What’d ya want?”
Her sly smile disappeared and a stern countenance took its place. She squared on me like she had pistols on her hips and was ready to use them. I was surprised and had to fight to keep from taking a step backwards.
“I am here to talk about a mission, actually “The Mission”, that we have wanted to propose to you from our first encounter. However, you got yourself embroiled in so many brouhahas, I believe that is the Earth word that you use, that we really didn’t have the length of time to discuss it with you. Plus, your very impudent and snide attitude toward my Mentor and Me has highly complicated the process. I have never endured such a…a… bullheaded, stubborn, obstinate, opinionated…”
I finally broke in on her long list of my characteristics, “I get the picture San Cirr Ray. What do ya want?”
Mentioning her name brought her up short and she lost some of her aggression. She looked quizzically at me and noted, “You remembered my name.”
“Of course, I remembered your name. How could I forget it?” I declared with a bit of anxiety in my voice.
This brought a huge smile that lit up her face like a lantern. Even Stonewall stopped munching and turned to see where the sudden light came from. This time I did back up one step.
I stammered, “Now…now let’s keep our distance. We don’t want something untoward to happen.”
She giggled and it sent chills up and down my spine. “Don’t do that. It isn’t seemly,” I retorted.
This actually made her laugh and then she added, “My, my, you have really reverted to 19th century jargon in a very short time. You are to be commended.”
This flattery didn’t faze me one bit. I had been in her clutches before and she wasn’t a creature to be trifled with. I abruptly uttered, “What is it that you want?”
She suddenly became all business and inwardly I breathed a sigh of relief. “We want to seriously talk with you about a way to help this Earth. You can perform a service that will bring great benefit,” she said.
I made the mistake of looking deeply into her eyes and like a vampire’s victim, began to be submerged in a whirlpool of Nothingness.
Stonewall sudden whinnied loudly and it brought me out of my trance. I shook my head and got back some semblance of coherency. I tried to talk, and it took a moment before I whispered breathlessly, “That little demonstration is why I don’t want to continue our communication. If y’all want to contact me, have Kann Mer Ray do it after this campaign when we are back in Virginia.”
I grabbed Stonewall’s reins and mounted in one smooth motion. I gave her a quick glance as I rode him out to the road and headed for Burkittsville.