I went out the back door of the Ferry Hill mansion and headed to the stables.
As I walked into the stables, Stonewall whinnied and John Lee brought him, fully saddled and equipped, out of his stall.
I took Stonewall’s reins from John Lee, shook his hand and swung into Stonewall’s saddle. He must have known this was a very important mission, because he was feisty and ready to go. As I rode out of the stables, I happened to look back at Ferry Hill. Daphne was standing on the back stairs. She waved her handkerchief and I touched the brim of my hat in response.
I took the short cut to the base of the hill overlooking the Potomac River. Crossing the river on the old covered bridge, I swiftly rode to the schoolhouse and entered the site of my first job in this universe.
I walked to my desk and said, “I am here.”
Immediately Kann Mer Ray and San Cirr Ray appeared. I nodded at the twosome and they nodded back.
Kann Mer Ray held a weird device that I would describe as an old blunderbuss. Measuring from the butt plate on the stock to the end of the flared-out barrel, it was about three and a half feet long.
Kann Mer Ray motioned for me to come forward. When I got to his side, he explained, “This weapon is disguised as an antique weapon, but it is lethal in the extreme.”
Turning the dispenser of Greek Fire on its side to where the hammer was facing us, he continued, “To distribute the flame, pull back the hammer and pull the trigger. It will provide a spark just like a regular blunderbuss. It takes a moment after the spark is ignited for the liquid housed in the stock to spew out the barrel.”
“You need to be close to the building for the liquid to be effective, and I would aim the weapon at the building until all the liquid is dispensed. If you have someone that can throw water on the fire, it would cause the conflagration to intensify tenfold. If you don’t have time to add water, don’t worry; the flames will spread and not go out until the building is consumed, because the flames cannot be extinguished.”
I shifted my gaze from the blunderbuss to look at Kann Mer Ray and released a breath of air I didn’t know I had been holding.
Kann Mer Ray added, “I believe the weapon will ride just like a carbine on your saddle.”
San Cirr Ray brought forward three sets of Union cavalry uniforms and laid them on the desk. She looked at me and smiled.
I returned her smile and stated, “Looks like y’all have thought of just about everything.”
Kann Mer Ray said, “Not quite,” and brought forth a roll of maps from his robe.
Moving the uniforms into the chair behind my desk, he unrolled the maps and said, “Let’s go over the way down to Washington City.”
I moved to where I could get a good view of the way south to the capital and all the fortifications overlooking the C & O canal that would possibly affect our line of march.
Pointing at a position on the first map just below the Shepherdstown covered bridge, over the Potomac River into Maryland, he said, “I know you are familiar with a lot of the area, but I’m going to describe your best trek anyway.”
He began, “Get on the C & O Path and follow it until you can cross over to the Harpers Ferry Road, which comes out of Sharpsburg, and travel it until you come to Sandy Hook, which is across the Potomac River from Harpers Ferry.
Ride east from Sandy Hook until you pass through Weverton, Maryland and traverse the Gap between the end of South Mountain and the Potomac River. I recommend that you get back on the C & O Canal Path at that point and follow it as it passes south of the towns of Knoxville and Brunswick. Once past these towns, you won’t encounter any towns or settlements until you get to Point of Rocks, which is a major ford on the Potomac River.”
“I suggest you don the Union cavalry uniforms before you reach Point of Rocks and discard your other clothes.”
I raised my hand in abeyance of the information to let what he had said sink into my mind.