Wednesday, April 18, 2012

T. E. Story #43

As I was putting my horse away, I got to thinking about the problem of everyone who is involved probably does know what I look like.  When I walked into the ranch kitchen for a cup of coffee, I was pretty confident, but your suggestion brought me down to earth again.  You're right in that these shadow clowns don't seem to worry much about killing people.  You would think that the war was already in full swing.  I get used to having an armed escort with me in the field.  Time to smarten up a tad and get good and scared!!

Your idea is a good one.  I take it that the boat is moored in a tributary of the Eastern Potomac Branch to the East of Washington City.  We could take the boat and head down the East Branch and into the Potomac.  There is a inlet about 8 miles South on the Potomac River.  The road South on the peninsula crosses the creek there just below Fort Greble.  The name of the creek is Oxen Run/  The bridge where the creek crosses Oxen Run is about a mile upstream from the beech.  If we follow the river bank fairly close it will not be hard to find even in the dark  If Hezzy thinks we can make nine miles in the boat that is a good place to stop.  The only other places along the river bak are steamer landings and fisheries which would probably require some kind of explanation, which is not a good idea at this point as Hezzie has pointed out.  I have made a rough sketch for you to follow-Take the North Road into Washington City.  Follow the direction signs to Uniontown, and cross over the bridge to Uniontown, and follow the river route South to Fort Carrol.  The following roads will be taking off the main route:

--within less than 1/4 mile, road to Fort Stanton, to the left;
--immediately to the right dirt road to a wood landing;
--next road to the right goes to J. Barry's house on Poplar Point;
--next road to the right in about two miles is the road to the U.S. Lunatic Asylum, and some government storehouses;
--about 1 1/2 miles later road to the left goes to Fort Snyder;
--next road is to the right, dirt road, no address;
--1/4 mile further on is Fort Carrol;
--2 miles further on is Fort Greble;
--You are now 2 miles from the bridge over Oxen run.

If you get there before we do, pull into the bushes on the right side of the bridge on the North bank,  Wait for three whistles, reply with two whistles.

If you gentlemen are ready, I suggest that we leave sometime tonight after dark, which should  give us about nine hours of darkness to get to the bridge and join up again. Let me get a few items for my drawing kit and the maps that I have drawn while you guys hook up the team to the wagon and we will be off.

I turned to the owners of the farm and shook the man's hand and kissed his wife's hand.  "My thanks to you for this refuge, and these preparations.  I know that it must be racking for you, but I have not mentioned your name or the farm to any-one, and I have been very careful, gaining and leaving the North Road.  Even Col. Abert does not know your name or where you live.  However, he has given to me his thanks, for your help in this enterprise and should anything at all be unusual around the farm here, take this ring," I removed my West Point Ring from my right hand, and pressed it into the man's hand that I had just shaken," and go to his office in the Military Building in Washington City and present this ring, and he will take care of any concern."  I also handed the gentleman a sealed letter and said, "If you would please post this to the office of the Topog Engineers, it contains the information in it about the rifle that I found and the information that I have about the man who shot at me tonight and whom I shot in return.  No ma'am, I didn't kill him, but I think I winged him although he was well enough to get away from me after a short chase."

I turned then to get my personal field drawing kit and some pre-graphed paper that I had prepared just for this project.  Hezzy and the boy had left the house after saying their goodbyes and headed for the barn and the horses.  I joined them in the barn and did what I could to get the wagon ready with the boat in the boat racks on the wagon.

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