Wednesday, April 18, 2012

T. E, Story #50

Hezzie and I climbed out of the boat, and I stayed below the bridge while Hezzie went up the side slope to see if our carriage had arrived as yet.  I sat down with my sketch pad and made some quick drawings of Oxen Run and the Bridge.  This bridge would not support anything heavier than a farm wagon with a medium load.  It would have to be strengthened significantly for artillery and freight wagons.  The timbers supports were fairly old, I should say about ten years, and two kegs of gunpowder properly placed would bring the whole bridge down from one edge of the canyon to the other.  Fifteen minutes later I heard some brush move, and I took refuge close under the bridge supports on the Northern bank with my hand on my pistol.  It was probably Hezzie, but as he has said, in this country you can take nothing for granted.  As it turned out it was Hezzie and the lad.  Looking at the boy now in the surrounding in which we found ourselves he looked pretty young to take the boat back up river, against the current all the way to the farm by himself.  We had it easy coming down, but going back would be hard work for the two of us, and I knew where I was going and he best way to get there.  I was sure that Hezzie saw the same thing, so I waited to hear what he had to say.

Apparently the wagon had arrived and without any outstanding concerns.  I supposed that it was hidden above, in the area that I had suggested, was not visited much, and could not be seen from the road during the summer.  The road South from here stayed close by the shoreline until we reached the Pomankey Creek and then it veered inland and divided.  There were two divisions which I hoped to follow and see if there were any surprises.  One was as long (on the map) as the primary route, the other was  approximately twice as long and touched one small village along the route.  One of the alternate routes had a bridge over the Matawoman Creek as did the primary route, both of which I wanted take a look at to see what kind of support was there, what it would take to destroy and then rebuild each bridge.

I knew that I would need to run all this by Hezzie and give him the final say since it was his task to keep us safe and out of local speculation.  However both those bridges were the key to those roads as much as the bridge I was standing under at the moment.  I wondered if this information would ever become vital due to fighting or if the diplomats could work it out again.  The question of secession had been brought up as early as 1836, and the diplomats had been successful at squashing it until now, but both sides were pulling stunts that could very well not be pushed under the rug again.

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