I was shocked at his declaration. Goggle-eyed and at a loss for words, all I could do was stare at him for what seemed like fifteen minutes. In reality, it was probably only fifteen seconds.
Finally, he smiled, put his right hand on my left shoulder and gently squeezed. This broke my trance and I took a big gulp of air. I looked at San Cirr Ray who nodded at me in deference and then smiled. I returned her smile.
Looking out the windows in the back of the schoolhouse and then at the map again, Kann Mer Ray said, “Well, we’ve shown how to get there. Now we need to show you how to get back home.”
I nodded my affirmation to his statement because I didn’t want this to be a suicide mission.
Kann Mer Ray went over the escape route with me. Once he finished, he handed me the large map of the access route and the escape route. It automatically shrunk to the size of a napkin. I gasped at the extent of the alien technology.
Then he said, “Put your finger on a point of the map.”
I did so and the map automatically zoomed in on the point. I almost dropped the magically map in my amazement. I looked at him like a boy who had been introduced to his first magic act.
He smiled and said, “Don’t let your companions see this, if you can help it. If they see it, let me know when they get back and it will be one of the things that the mind sweep will delete.”
All I could do was nod my head like a bobble-head doll.
Kann Mer Ray smiled and said, “It is time for us to depart. May Tantas’ Blessings go with you.” Then, in an instant, they were gone.
I must have still been in a stupor when I heard heavy boots hitting the schoolhouse porch and then a hand turning the door knob. I quickly folded the map and put it in the right pocket of my vest.
Lieutenant Kirkland entered the schoolhouse, and when he saw me, he saluted.
I returned his salute and asked, “Did ya have any problems today?”
He returned, “No suh, none at all.”
I nodded and then we heard another horse being halted in front of the building. Al suddenly came in the entrance door and smiled at us.
I looked at the two and said, “Let’s sit down.”
I offered my desk chair to Kirkland because he was too tall to sit at one of the old student desks. I began, “We have Union uniforms that we will be changing into once we are down past Sandy Hook. During tha mission we will need to keep military bearing so as not to arouse suspicion. I have become acquainted with tha access to Washington City that we will be taking. Roughly speaking, we will be following tha C & O Canal towpath. Once our mission is accomplished, we will be leaving tha city by heading north and then swinging west back to tha C & O Canal towpath. One of tha most important things for each of us to remember is to try and tone down our Southern twang.”
I had been getting head nods with the information I was giving, but the thing about Southern twang brought smiles from my compatriots.
I looked at each of the two men until I had their full attention and they had quit smiling. Then I said, “I will be the one who will destroy tha Treasury Building. I have a special weapon to accomplish this. Y’all’s part of tha mission is to kidnap Lincoln from tha President’s House and get him over to see tha destruction. Only I can work tha special weapon, so I guess y’all will have to really protect my carcass, at least until we destroy the building.”
This brought another smile from the men.
At that point I said, “Well, it’s dark enough for us to leave, so let’s go.”