I knew that I was getting close to the Blue River. I could smell the fresh scent of water. A minute later or so, my horse and I came up on the water. After looking left and right, up and down the river, I could see that there was no one in the area.
I dismounted and decided to head south. North would lead into more enemy territory. Surely, any southern sympathizers would head south toward friendly territory.
I got back on my horse and rode along the bank of the river. At one point, I could no longer see down stream, for there was a bunch of trees growing right on the edge of the bank.
As I approached the area, I noticed foot prints in the wet ground. The foot prints were small enough to be from women, and there were at least one set of children's prints. Surely this must be the group.
I reached the trees I had seen earlier, and I could indeed hear the sounds of children splashing in the water. I dismounted and tied my horse to a near by tree.
The sounds of the children playing abruptly stopped as I made my way through the trees. I emerged on the other side, meeting eyes with Katrina.
She ran up to me and hugged me tighter than I had ever been hugged by anyone. Though it hurt a little, she seemed to be the one to cry out in pain. I wanted to say something sweet to her, to tell her how I felt about her ...
But, now didn't seem the time.
"Are you all right?" That was the best question I could come up with, and it seemed appropriate from her cry.
"Just a flesh wound," she said, bowing her head low so that I couldn't see her face. I would have to ask about that later.
"The rest of the group has been worried about you," I said, trying to keep my mind on the things at hand.
But, my mind wandered to a few days before when I was delivering an open air crate of pigeons to Eliza and Moira. That was the first I had heard of Katrina's and Nellie's tardiness.
I began to worry not only of my sisters-in-arms but of Frederick, the guide I had assigned them. He was suppose to get the girls to town only a few days after the rest.
Though they were only a day late, I worried because even the slightest delay could mean trouble when you are in a foriegn land, acting as spies ... or, at least traveling in secret.
I was beginning to worry about who I could trust in this foreign land. I had made some contacts, meeting southern sympathizers. Were some double agents themselves?
Katrina shook my shoulder. "Jon, are you all right?" After she got my attention, she continued, "Your body was here, but your mind was far off."
I smiled slightly. "There is much on my mind. I was so worried about you ... and ...." I paused, not knowing how to say what was on my mind. Eventually, I finished. "I am so worried about this whole ordeal."
Katrina got back to business. "What do we do now?"
"Well," I said, pushing my emotions to one side, where they should be, "we've got some unfinished business back in that village."