We had a family reconciliation with Mr. and Mrs. Newcomer. I had never seen Mr. Newcomer as friendly toward me as he was during our reunion. Unfortunately, I am a skeptical person. Although I presented a friendly façade to the couple, I still had my doubts regarding their intentions.
Anyway, we talked and shared what we had being doing since leaving their home due to the warning at gunpoint that Daphne issued to Mr. Newcomer and his subsequent order to leave forever.
The big question I had was, “Where is Ahab?”
I counted him as one of the last dangerous enemies to Daphne and me. When I finally got the conversation around to asking Mr. Newcomer about him, Mr. Newcomer immediately looked at Mrs. Newcomer. She got a really angry look on her face, but didn’t say anything.
Mr. Newcomer bowed his head, cleared his throat, looked up at me and said, “He’s gone.”
I got a confused look on my face and looked at Daphne. She said gently, “Poppa, what do ya mean?”
Mr. Newcomer looked at her and explained, “He tied us up and gagged us, took all tha money we had in tha house from our secret places, which he had learned about over tha years, and took off.”
“What do ya mean, took off?” Daphne probed.
“He robbed us and then he and Bessie stole two horses from tha stables. They took off and we nor anyone else has seen hide nor hair of ‘em since,” Mr. Newcomer revealed.
I asked, “When did this take place?”
“I ’spect ‘bout a week ago,” Mr. Newcomer said.
“Was there anything that ya think could have caused him to do what he did?” I probed.
Mr. Newcomer bowed his head in thought and after a few seconds looked at me and disclosed, “Not really.” He got a confused look on his face and said, “But, it was right after we got word that Elias Throckmorton had been taken into custody for being a Yankee spy that all this happened.”
My eyes opened as wide as saucers. I looked at Daphne. She had the same surprised expression on her face.
Looking back at Mr. Newcomer, I asked, “Did Ahab ever have any meetings with Sheriff Gill or Elias Throckmorton that ya know of?”
Mr. Newcomer looked at the ceiling for a long time. Then he looked at me and answered, “He was rarely away from tha mansion except on family business, but he often went to town by himself. I guess he could have met with ‘em there, but it don’t seem likely,”.
It was my turn to look at the ceiling and try to think when Ahab could have given information to Gill or Throckmorton that resulted in an attempt on Daphne or my life. One attempt came to mind, which was when we left Martinsburg and had the shootout with the two killers on our way back to the Newcomers home. Ahab had driven the carriage in which we traveled. However, he hadn’t participated in the gunfight. In fact he had helped in using the carriage team as a battering ram.
I looked at Mr. Newcomer and said, “I think ya had a spy in yar household that kept Sheriff Gill and, therefore, Elias Throckmorton appraised of Daphne and my movements.
Mr. Newcomer’s shocked reaction wasn’t an act. He responded as if he had been hit by a bolt of lightning. His fell back on the divan and his eyes took on a glassy stare. Once he assimilated the information, his face registered a look of total devastation. He looked at Mrs. Newcomer, whose face also showed a look of despair.
Tears of anguish began to run down Mrs. Newcomer’s cheeks. She put her hand on Mr. Newcomer’s arm and sobbed, “Oh, Horus.”
Mr. Newcomer put his hand over his wife’s and hung his head. When he raised his head, tears flowed down his cheeks. Looking at Daphne, he stammered, “I…I…I’ve been such a fool. Can ya ever forgive me?”
Daphne bolted out of her seat toward Mr. Newcomer. He stood up and took Daphne in his arms. They both shook with the release of emotions, which disintegrated the wall erected between them. Mrs. Newcomer stood and was welcomed into the family hug.
After a few moments I stood and smiled at the creation of a new family right before my eyes that was based on love and respect.
The three released themselves from the family hug and began to smile and then laugh at the wonder of this total injection of love into their family relationship.
Mr. Newcomer turned and walked toward me. He extended his hand and stuttered, “I…I’m truly sorry for all I have cause ya and Daphne. I won’t blame ya if ya don’t wanna shake.”
I laughed and hugged him, which led to another family hug, except this time there were four participants instead of three. We all laughed and cried together.
Mrs. Douglas, who must have been listening at the door to the parlor, entered with tears running down her cheeks and said, “Praise God!”
This brought a lot of “amens,” from us.
Each of the Newcomers took turns hugging Mrs. Douglas and expressing how much they appreciated her taking care of Daphne and me.
Then Mrs. Douglas said, “Let’s all retire to tha dining room. Dinner is already on the table.”
Everyone filed out to tha parlor with a new lease on life and headed to the dining room.