I walked over and hoisted myself into Stonewall’s saddle.
Lieutenant Kirkland and Al mounted their cayuses, also. Al was still looking apprehensively in my direction. I know he thought I was coming down with some sort of illness.
I looked at him, smiled and said, “Al, I’m alright. Don’t be a mother hen.”
He grinned and retorted, “Ya never can tell when ya might get hurt again. For a time back there, I thought ya might have been shot and didn’t even know it.”
I chuckled and returned, “If’n I was hurt, I’d let ya know. If’n I didn’t, Daphne would whip me within an inch of my life.”
Al chuckled, and looking at Kirkland, said, “Lieutenant, don’t let the Capt’n fool ya. His wife would have my guts for garters if I let anything happen to him.”
Lieutenant Kirkland looked back and forth between Al and me. Finally, he shook his head and said, “Y’all definitely have a comradery in the Third Virginny Cavalry that is to be envied.”
I looked at the Lieutenant and added, “Ya are a part of tha Third now. Ya are our compatriot. We take care of our own.”
Kirkland grinned from ear to ear and said, “It’s a privilege to be in tha Third.”
I grinned and looked at both men. Then I got a serious look on my face and said, “I would like for us to visit Mr. Throckmorton at the bank.”
Suddenly the grin on Al’s face was replaced by a frown, and Kirkland looked at me with a questioning expression.
I turned Stonewall toward the bank, and we walked our horses to the largest brick edifice in Shepherdstown.
We dismounted and entered the bank. No bank patrons were present. However, the two tellers on duty looked up as we strolled in. Mr. Eldredge, the clerk that had opened my bank account, asked, “Is there some way I could help you gentlemen?”
“Yes, is Mr. Throckmorton in?” I asked.
“No suh. He left just before all tha shooting occurred at tha telegraph office,” Mr. Eldredge remarked.
“Know where he went?” I asked.
“He went out back and got on his horse. I think he headed to his house,” answered Eldredge.
“Where does he live?” I inquired.
“Why do ya ask?” intoned Mr. Eldredge with an edge to his voice.
“What’s it to ya?” I retorted belligerently.
Mr. Eldredge had been standing behind one of the teller windows. My shocking rejoinder made him take a step backwards. However, he quickly recovered and stepped back to his original position as his haughty veneer returned.
I looked at Eldredge with as much disdain as I could muster and added, “In answer to yar question, we’ve come to clean out a nest of vipers.” Then I pulled out one of my Colts and pointed it at him.
Eldredge’s eyes widened, as he raised his hands and rasped, “They made me do it. They made me do it.”
I saw movement out of the corner of my eye as the other teller pulled a gun out of his belt. However, he didn’t have a chance to point it before he was blown off his feet and landed on his back. I turned and saw that Al had a smoking Colt in his hand. I smiled and nodded. Al grinned and returned my nod.
I kept my pistol pointed at Eldredge and said, “Lieutenant Kirkland, I think ya better tell Major Mosby in Harpers Ferry that he is needed here as soon as possible.” I took a quick glance at Kirkland. His eyes were as big as saucers and his mouth was open so wide that it was the perfect trap for flies.
Finally, he stuttered, “Yes suh,” and exited the bank for the telegraph office.
I gestured with my pistol for Eldredge to back up, which he immediately performed.
Walking to the waist-high gate to the rear of the bank with my pistol still pointed at the teller, I said, “Al, why don’t cha close and lock the doors to the bank and put up the ‘Closed’ sign. When yar done, come join Mr. Eldredge and me in Mr. Throckmorton’s office. ”
Al said, “Sure nuff, Jim.”