Chapter 10 – Pete’s Daring Escape

A fictional story by Junior Johnson

Johnson-water moccasin

As Captain John Winston’s cowardly thugs made their way up the riverbank to where the horses awaited for their escape, they were unaware of the terrible situation their Captain was in.

As Winston stared down at the big water moccasin coiled around his leg with its fangs embedded in his thigh, his attention turned from Pete to the snake as he desperately tried to get himself free from its painful fangs.

Pete smashed an elbow into his captor’s face, temporarily stunning Captain John as Pete had caught him off guard. Although his hands were tied in front of his body, Pete was able to loosen the rope.

Once free, Pete rushed to the waters edge and plunged into Cane River.  He remained underwater as long as he could, kicking his feet and propelling himself the short distance to the other side.

While John Wesley and his boys Harvis and Dempsey were aiding Tony and John Levy with Reverend Cryer, the Deputy, along with Abslom and Levy were at the waters edge firing shots across the river to cover Pete as he made his way toward them and safety.

Once he reached the bank Abslom and Levy pulled Pete from the water and rushed him behind some trees to safety.  No shots had been fired from the other side of Cane River.

Captain John was finally able to free himself from the snake and screamed for help to his men. The three men who had traveled with him from Mississippi rushed down the riverbank to find out what was going on.

When they arrived at his side Winston told them about his snake bite.  One of his thugs removed a knife from its scabbard and cut away Captain John’s trouser leg where the bite was.  After making a deep cut on Winston’s thigh, the thug applied pressure and forced as much blood and venom out as possible, and then tied a rope above the cut near his groin.

They slowly made their way up the riverbank and by the time they reached the top Winston was beginning to feel the effects of the poison remaining in his body.

After making sure that Pete was alright, Abslom, Levy, and the Deputy, along with Pete, followed Tony and John Levy up the riverbank behind the horse pulling the litter with Reverend Cryer.  Four of their plantation workers remained behind making sure there was no one across the river to cause further harm.

When the boys reached the Johnson compound, Noah and Aiden were met by Aiden’s mother Rita and her mother Lucille.  Her sisters Levaine, Romona, and Gayle quickly began preparing a splint with bandages for Aiden’s arm.

Dylan bid them all farewell as he departed rapidly for Cloutierville to bring back Doctor Scruggs to hopefully save Reverend Cryer’s life.  Dr. Scruggs had come to Cloutierville near the end of the War of Northern Aggression from Virginia and was considered one of the best Doctors in this part of the country.
As Dylan was rushing to Cloutierville, Abslom and Levy were leading the way to their compound. Reverend Cryer was pulled on the litter as carefully as possible so his chest wound wouldn’t begin bleeding again.

He hadn’t regained consciousness and was very pale due to the loss of blood. Levy looked at Abslom as they began their trek home and both men shook their heads grimly.

On the other side of Cane River Captain John Winston and his five hoodlums were deciding the best way to get back to Monett’s Ferry with only four horses.  It was finally decided that the two local men would walk while Winston and his three men would take the four horses and get to Monett’s Ferry as soon as they could so Winston could get treated for his snake bite by the old Doctor who resided there.

Captain John Winston was rapidly fading as they rode up to the Doctor’s office at Monett’s Ferry.  Once he was placed on a table and the Doctor had removed the rope that had been tied above the snake bite, he looked at the swelling and discoloration on Winston’s leg.

The Doctor then looked at Winston and handed him a bottle of whiskey.  A decision had to be made as he walked over to the cabinet where his knives and saw were stored.