Wednesday, April 18, 2012

T. E. Story #36

Riding in the coach with the Provost Officer, I was wondering just what it was that I knew about this whole business.  I think that I may be in trouble with Col. Abert.  Maybe I shouldn't have grabbed that guy and pulled him out into the light.  At least now we know that there is something going on behind the scenes.  In my view that I would say that was pretty important.  Anyway, it would appear that I had provided something like an early warning.  Now it rests with the provost men to keep it quiet long enough find out who the dead men were and to determine what affiliations they might have had.
First the "man in black" who had been following me since I got off the train West of Washington City.  No telling how long he had been following me (us) before that.  Then the bit about him and the maps was puzzling, unless he had meant to track us into the South.  However, there was no way for him to know which way I would go since I had not decided upon a route or a departure time at that point in the game.  I wondered if whoever was behind the two who had died knew about the farm.  I had been very careful entering and leaving the farm, but I was not really sure.  Obviously, whatever it was worth the lives of the two men to find that information out so any further into and out of the farm should be done at night and as secretly as possible.  Then the  provost men arrived at the hotel with great dispatch which in and of itself was unusual, based on my past observations for that particular element of the army.  I knew better than to ask the Provost Marshall about that end of the stick since his words about Col. Abert seemed like he knew what was coming.  The only thing that I could determine was that someone had leaked the word about the mission, probably one of the Congressmen accidently or the Captain out of drunken spite against Col. Abert.  Perhaps the drill was to follow and watch until the mission was almost over and then steal the drawings and kill all that were involved.  However, that meant that my maps were of great value to whoever it was  that was behind this, and I had never given that much thought to that aspect previously.  If that was true, it meant that the proposed route that I had determined on, which was the easiest one to follow and map, would have to be changed and the start time either moved up or slowed until more information was or could be gained by which to consider our plans.  Perhaps one solution would be to leave early on the mission and reverse the intended route while leaking the original route's course  That was a possibility, but it could wait until I had heard out whatever information was awaiting me at HQ.  Then too,  there was the farm.  I would definitely want to insure the safety of those who had worked with Hezzie before we left.  That was a second idea that would wait until I heard something from the "boss."  The owners of the farm had been working hard on our project, and I appreciated it very much.

The traffic in the city was very heavy today, and what normally would have taken just a few minutes to walk, Took nearly an hour to get to the Military HQ.  The coach drew to a stop, and the door opened breaking into my thoughts.  A Sergeant handed me out followed closely by the Lt. Col.  Without any delay , we went into the building, all six of us; myself, the Lt. Col. and four men with bulges under their coats.  I felt rather like I was being escorted to the hangman's platform.  We reached the office of the Commandant and the sergeant at the desk was standing.  He saluted and said, "The Col. is waiting for you sir, go right in."

I'll bet he was !

I stepped into the office with my escort behind me, and the Col. looked up at me and said with that ironic grin of his," Well, here is the rabbit that tripped the trap."

Score one for me, but it didn't look that that would count for much in my corner.

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