A fictional story by Junior Johnson
After arranging for the good Doctor’s body to be picked up the next day by the Cloutierville Undertaker, Harold and Andrew left the Trading Post and made their way down river to Antee’s Bar in hopes of obtaining information as to the whereabouts of Captain John Winston.
Upon arrival there was a rowdy crowd of locals discussing the news of the murdered Doctor. Harold and Andrew ordered drinks and mingled with the customers in hopes of learning where Winston could be found.
As they passed the end of the bar they noticed a couple of men in conversation that seemed to be secretive to the rest of the crowd. One of the men was dressed in a tattered Union Army uniform and the other more formally dressed. They decided to draw nearer to perhaps overhear news that they were searching for.
As luck would have it the two men were talking about the foiled attempt to kidnap Pete and the snake bite to Captain John which brought them in search of the Monett’s Derry Doctor. As they listened they learned of Winston’s leg being amputated and that he was resting in Robber’s Roost.
The conversation then turned to Captain John’s gold and the plan to leave him once it was obtained. Would the old Union Soldier want to be a party to this since he had free access to Robber’s Roost and could possible help them with their getaway after the other accomplice took the gold. The old outlaw thought this was a good opportunity and said that he would go up to the Roost to see how things were going.
After hearing this conversation Harold told Andrew that he would ride back to the Johnson and Lodrigue Plantations and deliver the news. It was only an hours horseback ride back to CoCo Bed and perhaps a plan could be made for an invasion during the night. Andrew said that he would remain at Antee’s Bar and possibly gain information on a plan of attack.
While these plans were unfolding, the Robber’s Roost outlaw leader had his men remove weapons from Winston’s thug and tie him to a post in corner of the cave. He had heard about the old Doctor’s murder and knew that these men were responsible for it. He now needed to figure out how he could work this to his advantage.
While this was taking place Captain Winston had regained consciousness from his medication and saw what was happening, although there was nothing he could do about it. He had no weapon and the strength to defend himself and his companion.
The leader walked over and began rummaging through Winston’s belongings and found his money belt filled with gold, and a couple of bags of nuggets as well.
He smiled and told Winston that his days were numbered. Although they may be thieves, murder was not tolerated. Blanchard Dubois was the outlaw leaders name, and he gathered his group of men to decide how they would handle this situation.
While Andrew Hernandez was trying to hear the conversation between the old Union soldier and his companion, he glanced across the bar and saw an old friend of his from Gorum, a small settlement deep in the forest from Monett’s Ferry.
His friend Richard Shilling had been the one who found the Doctor’s body while hunting near the Burbee which ran through the area. The body had washed ashore downstream from where Winston’s thugs had dumped it, in hopes it would never be found.
Andrew walked over to where his friend was and told him that he had gained information of Captain John being in Robber’s Roost.
Richard Shilling had served under General Bee and fought at the Battle of Monett’s Ferry, where the Confederate forces suffered a terrible loss of over 400 men in 1864. Shilling had been a Prisoner of War for almost a year, and when he heard about what Captain John Winston had done he was eager to help in any way that he could.
Shilling told Andrew that he had some black powder stored at his place in Gorum and it could be used for a smoke bomb to flush the outlaws from their Roost. He could make the trip home and be back before morning.
Andrew told Richard that Harold LaCaze had gone to the Johnson Plantation on CoCo Bed to let them know that he had located Winston, and he expected a large group of lawmen and volunteers to be arriving soon. Shilling was more than happy to help and they walked outside where he mounted his horse and headed for his home in Gorum to get the black powder.
After explaining to Abslom and Levy that Captain John was hiding at Robber’s Roost, Deputy Moran ordered his men to saddle up. He would lead his posse. The two Mississippi Deputies, David and Donald Roque, would lead their Isle Brevelle Rangers. Johnson and Lodrigue would follow with their boys and volunteers from their work force. More than 35 riders departed in the early hours of the morning for Monett’s Ferry.
It was approaching dawn when they all arrived at Pershing’s Trading Post. Richard Shilling had made his way back from Gorum with the black powder only minutes before.
It was decided that Shilling would go with the Isle Brevelle Rangers to the top of the hill above Robber’s Roost cave. There had been a shaft built to allow smoke from cooking fires to escape the cave and that was where they planned to gather. Shilling had fabricated a smoke bomb that he would light and drop down the shaft when the signal was given.
Abslom and Levy split their group and stationed themselves on both sides of the riverbank approaching the cave. Deputy Moran began leading his men up the trail near the entrance.
Deputy Moran told Shilling that when his men were stationed he would fire a single shot, and he could then ignite and drop his bomb.
Blanchard Dubois and his men inside the cave knew nothing of the approach from outside. The guard who usually watched the road that led to the cave entrance was inside listening to what Dubois had planned.
They heard the sound of a muffled gunshot from outside and before they could react the cave began to fill with smoke.