Part 10

Joshua scrapped his hoe across the hard ground. Miss Lyn hadn’t been exaggerating when she said that the plantation was run down. There was so much work to be done, but then again he was used to hard work. He had worked since he was a child in one way or another. He wiped the back of his hand across his forehead, leaving a dirty smear, and scratched at the scar that ran the length of his right cheek as it itched incessantly. He’d been back at the Randall plantation for a couple of months now and the fields were not looking any better. He smiled as Miss Lyn picked her way daintily across the rough ground to him, carrying a small hamper.

“I thought you might be hungry JC.”

“That’s mighty good of you Miss Lyn. I could do with a break.” He took the blanket she was carrying from her and spread it on the ground, before sitting down with her to eat. The fare wasn’t special. Just bread, cheese and some oranges but JC tucked in with gusto.

“Has there been any news today Ma’am?”

“”I’m afraid not JC. My dear sister sent me a message that Lance was injured in a battle some months ago and that there was still no word about Justin.” she started to cry, dabbing at her eyes with her frilly handkerchief. “I’m sorry JC. I miss my little boy so much and I’m so frightened that he has been killed.”

“Miss Lyn, don’t say that. Don’t even think that. Justin is fine, I know he is.”

The southern lady patted Joshua’s hand, sniffing back the last of her tears. “My what a fright I must look, with my eyes all puffy and my nose red.”

“You look beautiful Miss Lyn.”

She smiled and rolled her eyes. “What would I do without you Joshua?”

JC finished the last bit of his snack, and helped the lady pack the leftovers back into the hamper. “Miss Lyn, I still have a lot to do, I need to get on.”

“I’ll send Leroy over to give you a hand.”

“Ma’am, you don’t have to. He’s just a little boy.”

Lyn smiled, “Honey, Leroy will be glad to help you in what he will see as mans work. Momma Fee has him doing house chores and the poor dear is desperate to escape.”

JC laughed. “The company sure would be nice.”

“I’ll send him right over, I’ll have Carrie bang the gong real loud, so that you will have time to was up before dinner.”

“Thank you Miss Lyn.”

“You’re welcome Mr. Chasez.”


Justin’s arm ached. The wound in his shoulder had healed but it still ached when it rained. He stood on tiptoes and gazed out through the bars that lined the window. Across the courtyard a firing squad was being set up. He shuddered as three soldiers were stood against the wall and then shot.


Justin slumped down on the rancid straw covered floor, his back against the wall. “How do you know they were deserters?”

The grey clad man that had offered the information scratched at his shaggy beard. “Heard the guards talking. My names Kevin Richardson.” The dirt encrusted man held out his hand. “Just because we have to rot in this place don’t mean we have to stop being gentlemen.”

Justin grinned and took the offered hand shaking it firmly. “Justin Randall.”

“Pleased to meet you sir. I wish it could have been at a cookout and surrounded in sweet southern belles.”

Justin laughed, “Me too Kevin believe me.”

“So where do you hail from?”

“Carolina, I have a plantation there with my momma. I hope she is alright.” Justin wiped his eyes on his ripped sleeve, sniffing back his grief. “And you?”

“Kentucky, sir. I hold land in the south of the state.”

Justin jumped, startled by another round of gunfire. “More deserters?” he asked.

Kevin shook his head. “No, they were our boys. They tried to escape the night before last. Nearly made it too. It’s a shame, they were good, brave men.”

“This war is hell and I’m not sure we can win it. I have seen so many good men die, such a terrible waste, terrible waste,” Justin said sadly.

Kevin slapped the younger soldiers leg. “It’s not over yet son. I’m making my attempt tonight. I’m happy to have you come along.”

“What’s the plan?”

“There will be an explosion, and we run like the hounds of hell are on our heels.”

“It’s a good plan. But how we going to get out of this cage?

Ah, that’s where your friends come in.” Kevin grinned widely, his teeth gleaming through his dark beard.

“My friends?”

“Yep, they let me out so long as I make sure you go with me.”

“These friends do they have names? Justin asked curiously.

“CK and Fat One. That’s what they told me to tell you.”

Justin rolled on the floor laughing. “Son of a bitch, I knew I could count on them damned Yankees.”

“It’s not a set up then, you really do know them?”

“Oh I know them. This time tomorrow Kevin, we will be sipping mint junipers and sitting on my porch swing.”

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