This is a continuing story, if you would like to read the from the beginning, the letter A : Aces and Eights But... each letter/story stands alone as well. Enjoy:)
Be sure to mark your calendar for April 29th! Jefferson Bass, author's of the Body Farm series will be right here on Gladiator's Pen to promote their new book The Inquisitor's Key.
The Union prisoners were gathered to the center of the Confederate camp. Ben growled as a soldier prodded him with the bayonet. “Mind getting that stick out of my back Johnny?”
The Confederate scoffed. “Just keep movin Yank.”
Ben searched the crowd of fifty other captives for his men. He spotted Charlie and Douglas to his left, Jackson to his right. He managed to make eye contact with each. After three weeks, this might be their best chance at escape.
The Confederate captain finally made his appearance. Ben wasn’t interested in his long winded speech about the Southern man’s rights as a nation. Ben didn’t care any more he had enough blood on his hands for several life times. He wanted to go home, raise cattle and his son.
The speech went on and while some of the other rebels shouted and cheered. Ben’s attention was called back to the egotistic captain when he heard a familiar voice cursing the southerners.
Tighe, one of the older men in their company, flanked by two large soldiers. One of them gave him a hard shove with the butt of his rifle up the steps of the gallows as the captain spoke. “This man, will serve as an example to you rabble. As further warning against outbursts. Corporal, string him up.”
Ben looked at each of his men. Charlie was wound ready to spring as he glanced back to Ben to get an order. Ben carefully motioned with his hand to hold.
Tighe stood swearing at his captures and issuing curses unto their decedents as the rope was tightened around his neck. The Captain lowered his arm and the hatch beneath the Federal dropped open.
Ben gasped, as he watched the big man struggle, the rope had not snapped his neck. His instinct took over as he spun grabbing the bayonet from the Confederate next to him and driving it into his neck.
He could hear shouts of those around him s fighting broke out. Prisoners against their jailers. Ben picked up the fallen rebel’s musket and turned. Tighe still struggled, but he didn’t have long.
Ben saw Charlie and Douglas almost to the gallows and raised the rifle. He had only one chance and no time to aim true. His finger squeezed the trigger and hoped.
The bullet struck the rope and Tighe fell to the ground, fingers clawed at the rope to get more than a gasp of air. Charlie and Douglas reached him first. Ben grabbed a pistol from another fallen soldier as he made his way through the fighting to them.
They had limited ammo and were in the thick of enemy territory. Ben looked back at his men who followed him into the woods. They were sure he could help them escape. He had to hope they were right.