As soon as we left the house, Daphne grabbed my arm and demanded, “Where’d ya get all that money?”
I gave her a very shocked expression and remarked, “I bet that is the first time in history that a wife was dismayed at the amount of money her husband possessed.”
She hit my arm and said, “Don’t be such a smarty. Now where did ya get those bills?”
I gave her a serious look and admitted, “I don’t really know, but I think it was slipped into my pocket by Mosby.”
She looked at me with a questioning look.
So I added, “I had just come back from being shot at Ferry Hill and went to the Confederate cavalry to meet with Mosby. When I rode back to Hattie’s Place, she needed my rent money, and when I checked my pockets, the $100 bills were in my front pocket. We figured that Major Mosby had put them there.”
Daphne didn’t look dubious anymore and knew that I had told the truth. Whether that was what happened or not, I don’t know, but I was going to ask Mosby about it the next time I saw him.
Daphne and I had stopped on the porch of Ferry Hill to have our discussion. Just as I had finished my tale, John Lee brought the carriage around the front of the mansion.
Daphne and I were surprised because we thought we would have to go to the stables and get horses to ride for our journey into town.
I called to John Lee, “Is the carriage for us?”
“Shore ‘nuff. Missrez Douglas said to hitch up the carriage for y’all to go into town,” he apprised us.
“Thank ya, John Lee, for takin out time to do this for us,” I acknowledged.
“Twern’t me. Twas Missrez Douglas,” he replied with a big smile.
Daphne and I both laughed with delight. Then we got in the carriage, snuggled down into the comfortable seats and put a blanket over our legs.
John Lee clicked at the team of horses, flicked the reins and we were off to Shepherdstown.
We made it down the hill, past the Confederate guards on the bridge, and into town. Once we had arrived on German Street, we turned right at the bank and then left again on Old Queen Alley. John Lee must have known where we were going because he brought the carriage team to a halt in front of the nicest looking cottage on the street. It was just as Mrs. Douglas had described it: white lap siding, small front porch, baby blue front door.
John Lee turned and stated with a big smile on his face, “Here y’all are.”
I nodded at him as I helped Daphne down from the carriage.
Daphne was so happy that I thought she was going to dance through the short front yard to the door. She left me cooling my heels as she hurried down the front path to the porch. I meandered behind her.
Daphne tried the front door knob and it opened. She rushed inside just I stepped on the front porch.
I heard her gush, “Oh my goodness. Isn’t that beautiful!”
I entered the front door into a small room that acted as a living room. Continuing to down a short hall toward the back, I came to a little bedroom that was empty except for one small piece of furniture. In the middle of the room was a baby crib with an elaborate white fabric canopy, which sat on rockers for swaying a baby to sleep.
Daphne looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “I love ya Jim Hager.”
I took a big gulp and returned, “I love ya too, Daphne.”