I commanded the driver to face the carriage, step back three paces and lean forward with his hands against the side of the vehicle. Never taking my eyes off the woman, I shifted the Colt to my left hand, patted down the driver with my right hand and found a pistol in his coat and a knife in his boot.
Putting my right hand in the flat of the driver’s back I ordered, “Stay where yar at and don’t move.”
Next I pointed my Colt with my left hand at the woman and ordered her, “Get out of tha carriage.”
She gulped and said, “What?”
I yelled, “Get out of tha carriage.”
She looked at me in shock. It was probably the first time in her fairy tale life that she ever had a gun pointed in her direction and been ordered around by someone who didn’t care who she was or what amount of money her family had. However, I had been shot at and my friends had been wounded. Daphne had been kidnapped and threatened with hanging. I was taking no chances with this woman. She could be the devil incarnate for all I knew.
Reluctantly, she came down the two steps from the carriage. I told her to take the same position that the driver had been commanded to do.
Her eyes flew open as she thought she would be getting the same pat down to which her driver had been subjected. She started to get her usual haughty expression until I fired my Colt into the ground at her feet. She screamed and her hands flew to her chest as if she had been shot.
In the confusion, her driver tried to get his feet under him so he could turn and hit me, but I quickly hit him over the head with my pistol. He dropped to where his hands and knees were on the ground. He moaned and shook his head.
I quickly stepped over in front of the woman, who was gasping for breath. She looked at me as if I was one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Taking advantage of the situation, I yelled, “What kind of weapons do ya have on ya?”
She looked at me for a second and then her eyes strayed to her small string bag that was looped around her left arm. I looked her straight in the eyes and commanded, “Give it to me.”
The woman quickly took the bag off her arm and handed it to me as if it was infected with the plague. I accepted the bag and put it in a coat pocket.
Backing up to where I had a good view of both of the probably spies, I fired another shot in the air. The woman screamed again and the driver jerked.
I stood there with my Colt aimed at the pair for what seemed like a long time. Finally, the woman got her breath back and the driver stumbled to his feet. After a few more moments, the woman’s color went from ashen gray to fiery red and she demanded, “What are ya going to do to us?”
I smiled the wickedest smile I could conjure up and replied, “Just wait.”
The woman cocked her head and then realization began to dawn on her when the thunder of hoof beats was heard in the distance. She looked at me in terror and the driver hung his head.
Major Murphy rode into sight with about four troopers. My eyes never left the two as the Confederate contingent stopped a few yards behind me and Major Murphy asked, “Did ya get another bunch, Jim?”
I responded, “I believe so, Major. This woman and her driver were tha ones who were transporting Throckmorton. I believe they’re part of tha spy ring, and if I were ya, I would put tha Lieutenant down at yar outpost In Martinsburg through some intense interrogation.”
The woman started to say something, but I bellowed, “Yar gonna get yar chance to talk once ya get to a Martinsburg garrison cell.”
She stopped abruptly and began to cry.
I turned to the Major, handed over the weapons that I had accumulated from the two and said, “Well sir, I’ll leave them in yar able hands.”
The Major’s eyes went wide with all the armament I gave him.
I added, “If I were ya, I would watch ‘em like a hawk.”
The Major nodded. We saluted and I called for Stonewall. Once he came trotting to me, I mounted and we rode toward home.