By Junior Johnson
Standing in a grove of trees hidden from view, the evil Carpetbagger, known as Captain John Winston, silently cursed under his breath, as he watched the celebration unfold at the Johnson household.
His good fortune began when one of his loyal followers, a trustee at the jail, provided him with a gun enabling him to kill a guard and make his escape from the gallows.
He’d retrieved a horse that was saddled and ready for him when he made his daring jailbreak. As he rode out of town and headed to the Johnson place, his mind was set on murdering Aiden, Dylan, and their mother. Because of Dylan’s interference, his plans to take over their farm had been interrupted, at least for the time being.
Captain John, as he was known in his circle of evil friends, was no stranger to murdering women and children. He had served under General Grant in the War of Northern Aggression. It was Grant, who in the early stages of the War, sent a memo to the Secretary of War, stating that to break the spirit of the Southerners, it would be necessary to kill their women and children. This memo was sent to President Lincoln, who replied, “Do whatever it takes.” Captain John was a loyal officer for Grant.
As a reward, at the end of the War Captain John was sent to Mississippi to oversee reconstruction of one of the wealthiest cotton regions in the world. By the time he arrived there, over 150 planters had forfeited their land to pay debts. Captain John bought their property for pennies on the dollar.
He’d learned of the news that President Lincoln wanted the railroad line built through Mississippi, and the Johnson property was located on the intended right-of-way.
Since Daniel Johnson was killed at the Battle of Mansfield, leaving his widow with two young boys, it’d be easy to force her out of their home and take the land for himself.
Captain John had set his plans in motion to get the land by framing Aiden for a murder he’d die for, and forcing his mother and Dylan to sell their land.
A reversal of fortune had landed him in jail instead, but he was now out and planned to destroy the family and make arrangements for one of his friends to acquire the land. Captain John would stay on the run until he could clear his name.
As he looked at the celebration before him, he knew his plans would have to be placed on hold until he could meet with his cowardly friends and work something out.
While Captain John Winston watched from his hiding place, different plans were being made at the Johnson household.
Sheriff Jones stressed the danger that Mrs. Johnson and her boys were in. Until Captain John was apprehended they were in grave danger. Was there anyone they could be safe with until that happened?
Mrs. Johnson said that her late husband had relatives in Louisiana, and after his death they’d invited her family to stay with them. This might be the time, at least temporarily.
They lived in an area called CoCo Bed near the Village of Cloutierville, and had two boys, Pete and Noah, who were near the age of her own boys. This might be a good time for a reunion, and safety, until Captain John was apprehended.
They packed some belongings and loaded everything into their buckboard. Sheriff Jones would provide a security detail to accompany them to their destination.
Neighbors would take care of the place in their absence. Everything was set and those assembled swore nothing would be said about the destination for reasons of safety. Plans were to leave at daybreak. There was a lot of work to be done in the next few hours.
Later that night Captain John met with his trusted friend who was in the posse with the Sheriff, and included in the planning of the Johnson family escape to safety.
Captain John smiled as he listened to their traveling plans to CoCo Bed in Louisiana. He knew exactly where they were headed. During the War he was involved in a scrimmage called the Battle of Monett’s Ferry.
Aiden, Dylan, and their mother weren’t safe after all.