***Hope you guys like part two of this Civil War tale. Remember to leave a comment :)***
Sometime later I wake up lying in a ditch next to the trail. Jester is surprisingly still standing over me like a guard. Why he did not bolt as soon as the shots rang out is beyond my guess.
He nudges my leg, almost as if he was telling me that we need to get up and get a move on before those dang yankees find us again. Yet, as soon as I attempt to sit up, a sharp, stabbing pain shoots through my right arm. I glance over, cursing myself for getting shot in the first place.
The bullet appears to have entered my shoulder from the rear I cannot see an exit point, so obviously the bullet is lodged somewhere. One thing is for sure, the army is going to discover my true identity when the doctors have to go digging for the bullet.
I slowly and weakly sit up, rejoicing in the fact that I can move my arm ever so slightly, despite the excruciating pain. I then tear a piece of cloth from my shirt, and fashion a sling of sorts for my arm. Once this is accomplished, I force myself to stand, leaning against Jester as a wave of dizziness almost sends me crashing back down to the ground.
The horse nudges me again, encouraging me to get in the saddle. After several most unladylike words, and a huge struggle to not be overcome with the pain, I do manage to get on, stopping to rest for the briefest of moments once I am in the saddle.
The sun is hot and blazing overhead, telling me that it is midday. I was supposed to make Lee's headquarters hours ago. I am surprised he has not sent out people to look for me. I then proceed to urge Jester forward. If I am going to be kicked out of the army for being a women, I want to maintain my own dignity by going to Lee and resigning my commission first.
Jester absolutely refuses to walk on, choosing instead to veer off into the woods entirely of his own accord.
"You stupid horse," I mutter, gritting my teeth in effort to block out the pain. After several failed attempts to get him back on the right track, I give up. Too weak to force him to go my way, I let him have his head. Jester then proceeds to make his own way through the woods with me to helpless to do anything about it.
A short while later, Jester's shrill whinny snapped me out of my pain-induced stupor that I have slipped into. I look up and notice a man in a battered grey uniform sitting on the ground by a tree almost directly in front of us, a bloody bandage tied to his right calf.
Painstakingly, I dismount Jester and make my way over to the man, wanting to try and help him despite my own injured state. As I walk over and kneel next to him, I gasp in recognition.
This man is none other than my missing husband, Jim. His eyes open, wild with terror, only to relax when he realizes that I am wearing grey.
"Dang it all, calvaryman," he gasps, his voice barely above a whisper. "I thought you were one of those yankees coming to drag me back to that heck of a camp..."
"Jim," I whisper, cutting him off. "It's me, Jim!"
Jim's eyes open wide at the revelation I have thrust upon him. I had always worried about what his reaction might be if I found him alive and he realized I had enlisted. I guess now is the moment of truth.
Jim manages to crack a smile despite his weakened state. "Well, I'll be," he drawls softly. "You have never been one to sit around at home and host dinner parties".
I smile back at him. "No honey, I have not." After a moment's pause, I glance around for any sign of the enemy. "Honey, we have got to get out of here before any of those yankees do show up."
He nods at me, and together, we work on hauling our worthless carcasses up onto Jester, who stands still like a statue through the whole ordeal. We then make our way to Lee's camp, hoping to make it there before we pass out.
*The photo below was found at this website*