Fires Eternal Morning :

an allegorical novel by Johnes Ruta


Chapter 2






Ten months earlier and at twelve miles altitude over the north coast of Spain, a green line divided the land from sea. Below, over the long wings of the airplane, the vast bright blue Bay of Biscay stretches to the north over the horizon …

The memories keep streaming past Hauberc's eyes. There is no order in time. Some of these scenes even must be coming from other people and even from other times in history? Could there be something like “genetic memory”, like memory buds from his parents and grandparents ?

Still with child eyes, he had been looking out through the bushes / over silver-bird wing tips, off the edge of my yard, down through the stratosphere, over continuous ripples of bright steel-blue ocean stretching out for miles, the green east-west edge of land, coast ports far below with jetties that extend out into water glimmering in the sun like tiny diamonds; towns nestled deeper in the hills of Cantabria; and other villages far off to the south...

Assigned with a U2 reconnaissance mission, on orders directly from General Simone, his plane is just slowly floating, at near sixty-five thousand feet in non-hostile airspace, where he has been monitoring the infrared sonar screen to search for our B-52 that went down two days ago with live Hydrogen bomb warheads, gone underwater with all crew members.

Because of the danger, he had telegrammed Pamela to delay her flight to meet him in Madrid; but my message had arrived too late, and though they hadn't talked for almost a week, she was already on her way across, on a transatlantic flight. Somewhere, perhaps twenty-five thousand feet below this altitude, her airliner should be passing about now, and they would soon be running naked together on an isolated stretch of shining beach down on the Costa del Sol.

So long apart..

But her plane still hadn't come.

Lost : At the Madrid Airport, he waited in the vast terminal for her flight which would never arrive.

Now they had lost both the H-Bomb and the plane she as on. The U2 motto "Videmus Omnia" keeps ringing in his head, over and over, and he would add to it, Nihil Autem Gnoscimus! "But-- We Know Nothing!" Why hadn't Pamela told him sooner that she was coming? given him more notice to expect her arrival? This was now the inevitable (and irrevocable)

-- Her missing plane now with their bomber -- both on the bottom of the Bay of Biscay somewhere off the north coast of Spain below ? --- And there he spotted it below, a submerged glowing-cobalt circle of total stillness in the middle of a wavy, deep blue ocean ---
a zone that engulfed that dream into the depths, the depths of despair.

Waiting to explode into sunlight together......God, Love, where are you?
The fear hits him like a sudden bomb that something else has happened, and his plane suddenly bursts apart around him, the empty air pulling him toward the distant ground, plunging him down in free fall from sixty thousand feet -- tumbling down off the edge of the back-yard hillock through leafy branches of bushes --without parachute or goggles...



















In the busy harbor of Istanbul, he remembered the bay waters of the Golden Horn filled with ships and boats, horizon lined with domes and minarets, glimmering the smooth surface with gold and morning sunlight from the Eastern world; the aroma of strange spices and sea salt mixed with the coarse smell of diesel that gave the city its exotic smell; motor sounds and whistles, with a muzzin’s cries of prayer from a city parapet.

Hauberc has been assigned to observe a suspected courier contact in the indoor section of the old pier terminal of a ferry excursion to the Bosporus and Black Sea. Pursuing a lead intercepted yesterday in a short-wave transmission, decoded by his British contact, Blackwell Hughes, a higher ranking operative, evidently between Turkish and Bulgarian agents, he is awaiting Hughes' arrival, readying to take up his position, yet squeamish at being alone here. Was he alone at this critical contact point, or only informed as being alone -- not to know who were the others in position here?

This narrow strait between Europe and all of Asia could be the bridge, the transfer point, of data on microfiche which could alter the balance of power, the very proliferation of advanced nuclear weapons in the world.

Here, the cavernous inside of the pier is crowded with tourists and travelers of different nationalities, Eastern and Western, all standing in roped-off queues which fill the rear section of the room... He notices that the berth for the ferry itself is a U-shaped dock, similar to the terminus of a railroad track, in the outer covered section of the pier, from which the ferry, yet to arrive, can be boarded from gang-ways on two sides. Presently, waves from the approaching ferry break up the peaceful reflections in the water and lap against its inner sides of the dock as in anticipation of the ripples of altered history.

Even with the crowds, he is fortunately standing in a position in the line from which he has an unobstructed view of the dock and the tiny streaks of gold and brown and silver ripples
of water which begin to hypnotize the fear in him. He watches as the ferry-boat comes closer to make its landing approach, and as it slides smoothly into its berth.

As the people in the lines waiting to board impatiently begin to move by the ticket-takers and out onto the dock platform, he walks along with them as masses of people are disembarking and moving on-board, while he watches for the precise moment of a contact at a spot at the corner of the cabin on the deck of the ferry. Across the dock, he thinks that he sees Hughes finally arriving.

Now he is approached by three men, two of whom are in Turkish police uniforms, who roughly order him to come along with them, taking him onboard and quickly shuffling him toward a companionway, as the ferry is beginning to leave the pier and move out into the sunny harbor.

Glancing back, he is unable to glimpse Hughes again on the dock as he is taken along a narrow companionway to a tiny cabin. Not stopping to tell him why he has been seized, they shove him into the cabin, only leaving him grateful not to have been struck.

Climbing up from the floor, he finds that the door has been locked. Sometime later, another door to the right is unlocked from the other side, and slightly opened… Waiting several minutes, the door still left ajar, he cautiously opens it, where he finds the crowded kitchen galley.

The galley hand, walking back and forth between his counters, is preparing various dishes, but as Hauberc comes in the door the galley hand he looks over at him and says something to him casually in Turkish, which Hauberc is unable to follow, so continues to move around the end of the counter, making a gesture of greeting to the fellow, moving toward the door to the companionway. But the galley hand suddenly looks up, pointing a small pistol and gesturing for him to move away from the door and just sit there, while he watches Hauberc out of one eye.

Eventually, Hauberc playfully pokes his head into the passage, but he turns back only to find himself again looking down the muzzle of a gun, so
he just sits there on a stool across from the galley hand...

The constant side-ward roll of the boat, and his uncertainty, gradually churns his stomach, and he can only console himself that his partner is aware of his capture and might negotiate for his release...







Fifteen hours later, after making steadily eastward with no sight of land from his cabin porthole, he finally senses that the ferry is slowing into a docking approach.

Hauberc is by now mentally exhausted with the fearful prospect of capture, detention, and maybe execution. His thoughts have already raced into the state of blankness---
Guards come at last to lead him out onto deck, where four other male captives are also being brought out. All are quickly shackled together at the ankles, as the ferry thumps against the sides of another U-shaped dock, coming to rest. After the regular passengers disembark,

Hauberc and the other captives are marshaled to move through the gate, awkwardly tripping over their chains as they go.

But now he startlingly realizes that the pier is an exact mirror-opposite of the one from which they had embarked at Istanbul. And across the dock, through the crowd, he sees his partner Hughes casually walking to a waiting car, being saluted by the driver and driven off---

(Hope has been removed, and today he cannot remember the grueling interrogation, but only the name of someone in history named Xerxes, and a long walk inland from the Crimean shores into a Ukraine landscape -- thinking: 'Well, here I am as in the poem : Tennyson's phrase echoing in his memory -- “Cannons to the right of us/ Cannons to the left...” as he continues to walk eastward over snowy roads, a helicopter gunship circling high overhead in the blue to his right, and another to his left...)

"Cannons to the right of us... Cannons to the left of us... We marched down into the Valley of Death..."

Through woods of grass-blade shadows, a memory reeled back from more than twenty suns
ago -- '...even before my own twenty suns now?' -- Deep bush and trees, climbing forest trails,
this was somehow the mountain spine of Italy. Hauberc had to bury the map in his hand as soon as he memorized where he was. The Apennines. Walking alone, but not aimless, he had already ditched his parachute and buried it, away from where he had touched the ground, and tucked the small Barretta back into the ankle of his right boot between two layers of socks. Under his arm, a small canvas satchel carried the materials he will need.

From the view on this mountain trail, he can see over the distant hillsides of Umbria, quaint villages with pink stucco buildings, and the church steeple in the early morning angle
of sunlight from the east.

'I’ll have to climb through this rough terrain to get to the other side of a small ravine,' he said to himself -- though he was unlucky enough to twist his left ankle badly when he hit the ground, not the proper landing he was trained for. So he would now have to worry about getting back to his unit alive, without the fucking Germans seeing him!

General Simone, his Grandma’s nephew, had hand-picked him for this mission, since he spoke all the dialects, north and south. like a real paisan, with Pop from Sicily, Moma from Ferrara. “Uncle Simone” and Pop had enlisted together in the Italian Engineer Corps back in ’14. Then, before he was even born, his little sister Hope, only 4, and Grandma died when the Austrians were shelling Ferrara in '17. Knocking out this bridge would prove his competence to Simone and being worthy of being recruited for Strategic Services.

Mussolini was loosing ground since we invaded the Boot, he thought, and he’d soon be defeated, and then just the Nazis left to fight. 'But I’ve got to remember to think only in Italian. OK Giani, only in Italian!”

Still, if he could get to the other side of the valley, walking where he would probably come close to peasant houses he knew he’d be safer -- He hadn’t been in this province alone before and so had to watch out, not mistake anyone else to be his contact, Fascisti instead of partisan.

He hoped that no lookouts had seen his chute come down -- black silk in the black sky?
'I would normally be thinking in Italian, except for being scared. I knew what would happen if
I forgot to speak Italian right away, if I could stop thinking in English. They might rattle off an English phrase to trip you up. --- Even accidentally holding your knife and fork the American way in a cantina would land you in a torture chamber and being stood up in front of a wall.'

All he could think about now was just meeting up with his comrades and getting back to the US lines to the south tonight -- a long walk already but much longer with his aching ankle. They would be specifically looking for him in two hours. Still there was no sign of his contact.

Two peasants were walking further ahead on the path where he trod -- stocky tall men with dark hair and handlebar mustaches. Both carried beat-up looking Springfield rifles slung over their shoulders. But he couldn't tell for sure who might have issued these rifles, maybe leftovers from the Great War, so he decided to just watch them until they moved beyond his area, but not to completely lose sight of them.

The two stopped and sat on some large rocks near where Hauberc hid, their voices just within earshot, talking about the new Social Republic, and the news that Il Duce had just flown over to the Germans, but the sound of their words drifted partly to the other direction -- and he still couldn't make out their conversation clearly enough to be sure of their loyalties -- He would just sit tight until they decided to continue along further ahead into the early morning light.

Finally, after more than a quarter of an hour, Hauberc was able to make his way deeper and deeper into the woods, careful not to break branches where he trod. He was now beginning to locate his objective.-- The chart that he had committed to memory seemed slightly different from the actual lay of the land itself...

But when he discovered his destination some time later, and looked at his small timepiece, he realized how much later it was now, behind his schedule, because it had been necessary to stop to avoid these two peasants.--

The bridge over a gorge in the mountainside was wide enough and apparently strong enough to allow Panzer tanks and high half-tracks to pass over. Another 'road leading to Rome.'
By the time he had installed the explosives under the second and third bridge supports he realized that the sun was higher in the sky than he hoped it would be by now. The timepiece said 0810 hours --

He was just able to get the detonator wire stretched to a safe distance away when he began to hear the sounds of a mechanized unit approaching. They were ten minutes early! Shit! Fucking stupid goose-steppers. Shit!

They were now already coming out onto the bridge -- This is not what he hadwanted to happen -- He could have just done the damned bridge and gotten the fuck out, with no danger
to himself or having to kill anyone. -- But Simone’s orders were precise. -- And he was much more likely to get home than they were now.

Nazi infantry men were already at the middle of the crossing, two tanks rumbling up in line behind them, then a half-track already off the terra firma --

Why did they have to be so damned early ? What could he do now? This could only mean certain death to all these men and disaster to their wives waiting for them back home, as Phyllis waited for him. He would be damned by God for this ... just for touching the ends of these two wires to the poles of this little battery --

But fuck Hitler and his death camps. Hauberc knew the rumors were true after Simone had showed him the secret aerial reconn photos: trains of cattle cars and rail tracks leading to “resettlement camps” they called them, to which all the Jews of Europe were being brought, though the number of barracks stayed the same... Just a river of people being brought in every day, and no one gets out…

But, Oh, God, how could he get out of this? The rumbling of the engines vibrated the supports of the bridge, but not enough for them to give way by themselves.--

Now he had to shut his eyes tighter and tighter, wondering if he could do it with his eyes closed. Maybe not, as he felt the hot spark snap between his fingers. 'I'll pray for you men -- about to pay the highest price for obeying Hitler's orders -- Mother Maria, Forgive me my Soul!' Then the dark velvet inside his eyes suddenly flared to deafening white-orange -- a horrendous deafening blast of nitrate and the thundering sounds of men and heavy vehicles falling forward into the chasm : soldiers, jangling utensils, helmets, rifles discharging, and terrified cries.--

Just a few hours later, many young people have gathered and are crowding into the garage behind his parents' house, attempting to hide from the menacing war and the outside air – Huaberc is huddling everyone in, squeezing himself inside among them, so that he can roll down the overhead door, looking out through its small panel windows, and again pretend that the garage is a space-ship, 'We can blast-off, and escape the fallout clouds.'

But then Frederick Pageant, Hauberc's friend since kindergarten appeared again outside the side window, trying to get their attention before everything is closed out entirely to the exterior world. Fred looks now more like Hauberc remembered him from before, still the same refined looks but slightly buggy eyes, especially at this moment when he surely has something to say. Hauberc cannot understand from where Fred has arrived, although the same applies to all the others crowding in here.

Fred is smiling and starting to laugh when Hauberc pulls open the window:
"I'm glad you've gotten this window fixed by now," Fred says, referring to an episode when they were eleven, playing catch in the yard, with Hauberc under the den window, back and forth faster and faster until – crash!

"Climb out in the alley, I want to tell you something I just saw," says Fred.
"Where have you been?!" answers Hauberc, climbing out of the window, nearly spilling himself head over heels onto the hard ground, in the alley between four garages back to back. The armed lookout still up on the other roof glances down, rolling his eyes.

"OK, what?"

"There's something strange happening down at the pond," Fred tells Hauberc, "Hundreds of people are just walking around."
"Yeah, I don't know where any of these kids here came from either."
"Come on and take a look."

They climb over the barricade, cutting through into the drive-way of a rear neighbor's house and out to the street on the opposite side of the block, down to the end of the street of houses, to the top of the rounded stone stairway which overlooks the water of the wide pond.

Looking down into the park, they can see hundreds of people milling about, some picnicking in the field to the right which is split by the brook that feeds the pond. They descend the steps in slow motion, and walk along the people rambling by the sidewalk edges of the water, surprised by this sudden relaxed-looking re-population of the town. On the opposite side of the pond, one child drags a red wagon behind him, while a young girl pulls the line of a toy sailboat making waves along the bank. On the water at the far side of the inlet of the brook, two boys in a small blue polyethylene play boat poke around the edges of a sandbar in the harsh sunlight. Hauberc remembers that he had seen old colonial period maps: this land was virtually unchanged, with the narrow falls of rocks at the pond's lower end, built up in the 1930s by the W.P.A. into a brick spillway that topped a small bridge path. Now Frederick and Hauberc walked wordlessly around the bend of the high stone wall, coming to the lower neck where the water falls into the lower park. Passing by the stone steps which lead down into the lower park, they cross the little bridge, keeping to the ridge where it makes a wide circle overlooking the lower park.

In the small valley below, an old walled-in swimming area of the widened stream follows a crescent shape to another waterfall. Another walled brook further along leads to a culvert under a cross street and into a lower open park field, past the old Robert's Rouge factory. The water in the brook still leaches with yellow and red dyes flushed from rusty pipes. The next cross street, called Long Brook Avenue, runs down the hill from Main Street to the right, and over another hills to the left; where the stream here is crossed by a decrepit wooden bridge, though Hauberc distinctly remembered another culvert here.
The stream ahead passes ahead through a wide swampy area, which they skirt to the left, following a hillock path where Frederick decides to turn around to and say: "Let's pretend that we're in Stratford like it was a hundred years ago, OK?" Pushing through branches, holding them away from his face for Hauberc to catch up, he walks straight along the path.
They presently come out to a pasture where a cow-path crosses east-west, where Hauberc realizes that Barnum Avenue should run down to Ferry Boulevard, to the east towards the river. But something is wrong here, where he knows should be the back end of GRAND-WAY, a huge white, cinder-brick, one-level discount department store with wide asphalt parking lots. Further towards the left there should be a building tile manufacturing plant further down, and a contract plating business.

But now Hauberc feels lost, as he can only see a few old houses, and a thick grove of elm trees over the crest of the hill.
Frederick is already heading onto the rocky knoll across the cow-path, above the brook, and back into the area where I had found him once before, the old Union Cemetery, behind the Fire Department and Masons' Lodge building on Main Street. Up through the field of scattered headstones, Hauberc finally catch up to where Fred is standing, looking at one of the flag-decorated new grave sites.





"See?" He points out one stone which reads the name of an army corporal and the dates 1847 - June 3, 1864, with the epitaph newly chiseled:

"Dear Mama, I'll pin this letter to my fold,
My Comrades all have Fallen,
This Cold Harbor is so cold,
I hear my Lord a' callin'..."

They walk further southwest across the field parallel to the direction of Main Street and the buildings of the town center hidden behind a tall thicket of sumac across the railroad tracks...

The sky, once partly sunny, has become completely gray with heavy clouds moving in, shading the daylight. By another brook that joins Long Brook, they finally come up to the unpaved center of town, but there find only a few buildings surrounding: a tanner's shop next to an old homestead, then a General Store, with a sign “Ufford's,” and a darkened tavern and the stately white Congregationalist Church across the way.

As they begin southward down Main Street, somewhat confused, along the line of oaks and beeches and large mansions, a sudden commotion of several horses, galloping up the road from behind them, carrying riders in long coated blue uniforms, passes by them and then turns right up ahead at the Green at West Broadway ---

Following behind them, they also turn and walk through the small green, where they can see the riders tying up their horses outside Benjamin's Tavern, a stately wide yellow-stucco house situated at the far end of the green. The men dismounting their horses are already engaged in a subdued conversation with several other men standing outside the place.

Unheeded by the activity, Frederick and I enter the door of the tavern and find seats at the end of a long table, overhearing the semi-discreet talk going on.

We do not have to wonder long what is happening, as two of the soldiers are relating the events of a skirmish from which they have come in the town of Ridgefield against a large force of British Regulars who were marching back toward their landing point at Compo Beach by Norwalk Town after burning down the Continental Army supply stores at Danbury --
"Captain Coe's been captured by the bloody Red Coats -- we bear sorry news, men,”
--they talk out of breath... "General Wooster's been shot bad ---"

"No, by Jesus!" the innkeeper gasps. "How...What happened?"

"We split forces in Bethel when you men went with Silliman and Arnold against their main flank; we were with Wooster closing in on a splinter column left behind. He took a shot through the stomach and went down from his horse -- Looked like too much blood lost -- He'll not make it." The speaker slumps into a seat.

The others begin to speculate on what will become of morale at the loss of a rallying leader, and the loss to strategic planning.

But the innkeeper, who had been noticing Pageant and Hauberc's curiosity since arriving, finally comes over to where they sit. "You two young masters look strangers to this town --

Where do you hail from? And what brings you to Stratford?"

The question takes them off their guard. "I'm Inspection Committee Officer," the innkeeper goes on. "and I'll have a look at your papers..."

Frederick and I look at each other blankly. "We live up at the Green," he blurts.

"You are talking about the green above the ox pasture? At whose house there are you staying??"

"Paradise Green," Hauberc attempts to mend the story.

The innkeeper turns to call over the others, "Men! I think we have here those two Tory spies they saw in Danbury two weeks ago! They fit the descriptions."

"Don't let them escape us!" shouts the commander summoning the soldiers over to them.

"Wait a minute," chimes Pageant. "Were you talking about Benedict Arnold? -- We can give you important information!"

"It's too soon, Frederick..." Hauberc cautions.

"He calls him Frederick! He may be a Hessian!"

"You two will please move from that seat," orders the innkeeper. "Search them for weapons..."

Pageant and Hauberc are immediately questioned and at first accused of stupidity on account for their uninformed answers, then of diabolic deception regarding their claims that they come from the Twentieth Century. Producing dated coins from their pockets, they are next accused of witchcraft.

On into the questions, the Inspection Officer soon intervenes lest the other inquisitors reveal secret information.

Pageant and Hauberc are taken from the inn and told that they will be brought to Regimental Headquarters at New Haven, some twelve miles east, a three hour voyage. They will be interrogated and charged with espionage.

The Colonial fellows have Pageant and Hauberc walk along next to their horses through the parade ground they call Broad Street, across Main Street, and down New Lane, lined with large homes, by the cemetery to Elm Street with the same salt-box house Hauberc has always known in that lot. The questions that Pageant and Hauberc ask rain them with accusations of spying and witchcraft, as if the two we were so confident of rescue or escape that they would seek to ferret more intelligence.

Heading east, the Colonial fellows bring them across Tanner's Brook bridge and up the long Ferry Bridge Road, toward the landing, where they will be brought across the Housatonic River to go on the rest of the way through the Milford Colony on the Boston Post-Road to get up to New Haven. Walking up the carriage trail that traverses a wide heath covered with birds and sunshine, Hauberc begins to feel almost hypnotized with their predicament. But Frederick becomes more lucid and begins to tell their captors, as they walk, that one day this would be the path of a turnpike super-highway with six lanes and no stops from Florida to Maine for motorized "horseless carriages" and also for them on this site, a vast factory called Raybestos which will make asbestos-lined brakes for these motor-cars.

"Yes, you'll need good spark-proof brakes for a carriage powered by a machine...
hah, hah. Will that be enough to stop it?"

"How can you have a factory in the middle of a field where there is no stream for the water mill?"

"It runs on steam and electricity. Its the same thing that Ben Franklin discovered when his kite was struck by lightning." explains Frederick.

"Where will you get all this asbestos stone?"

"Oh, I don't know...South Africa, I think..."

"Queen Victoria will have a colony there after a war with the Dutch settlers."

"Queen who? Is she another Hanover ?"

"Over there is the baseball field where we used to go to watch the Brakettes practice, the Raybestos women’s baseball team from the factory. Its like cricket --" Hauberc adds.
"You mean 'wicket'?"

"They play a game called 'cricket' in New York City and in London, too! You know that well enough, Tory!"

"The mill owners will make women play field games in public?! It's an immoral outrage !!"
"No, its for fun, not wagering."

"You two boys would go to a Bedlam house, if we weren't going to shoot you first!"
"--Will these mill owners control our independent nation?" the other asks, ponderously.
"Hauberc, you Zarf, we had better shut up..." warns Frederick.

"Cease these lies!" shouts the Inspection Officer in their faces, lest they steal the sympathies of his men. "Hold your tongues and your absurd tales!"

Now they all proceed in silence, crossing the wide, scrub field. The same path on which they walked would shortly bring them to the crest of a small rise and down to the bank of the Housatonic River. Would there be a bridge there now? Hauberc remembered going out onto the span which would be called The Washington Bridge, far smaller than the Manhattan version of the fuller name, remembered walking out halfway across, looking down at the surface of the water below, and finding the iron gate unlocked so that he could climb the narrow stairway down one of the concrete support structures to the waters edge, hoping not to be seen, but spotted by construction workers, so that he had to run back to the top of the steps, and furtively retrace his steps back to the Stratford side.

But now wondering what will become of he and of Frederick when they have been interrogated at Regimental Headquarters in New Haven, Hauberc suddenly, finally realized that he was walking by himself, somehow, as though he always had been, that there were no others, but that he had been led here.

Coming over the rise, he could see no sign of Moses Wheeler's Ferry Landing as he knew should be here, that should have been here since the beginning of the Stratford Settlement. In fact, the only sign of habitation were the campfires visible deep in the woods on the Milford side of the river.

Now, fearfully, he recalled the game that Frederick had concocted to imagine the town in the past, and the game he has disappeared in the middle of, just as he has always been prone to do when they played in the woods, not to be late for supper at home...

A gnawing feeling of aloneness descends over Hauberc, as he tried to figure ways of crossing the wide but calm river. Instead he choose going west back over the trails behind him, consciously repeating the same journey as his earlier return home to an abandoned 20th Century town.

But mostly there were no trails leading anywhere, much less where he wanted to go. Now he could cut through the scrub-brush heath, making his way across a dry chalk bed, and eventually through other maple groves, coming along a puddle-covered open meadow at the place which he knew would one day become football and baseball playing fields of Long Brook Park.
One narrow path led slightly north up along the edge of the hill into the area the innkeeper had called the upper ox pasture, bringing in view the same long brook which Frederick and he had followed downstream. To the right, he could see the same undeveloped woods as would still be at the end of the street of his parents' house, where he had played and dug holes and tunnels as a boy.

The little path led up the slope, sparsely lined with tall oak and elm trees, bringing him closer to some tall conical objects located further back in a clearing, which he momentarily recognize to be wigwams, situated almost on the very site of his parents' and neighbor's car garages.
Cautiously approaching, he attempted to hear or see whatever inhabitants there might be about: At a spring close by, a handsome, middle-aged Native American woman was washing some clothes over rocks where a tiny brook was formed, running away west towards the pond he knew would be a quarter-mile away. At a small campfire some small game was being cooked with its sour smoke drifting over him.

But then behind him there was a sudden crashing through the underbrush to his right, and he turns to see a young Indian man running at him. The Indian grabs at Hauberc, but is moving so fast that he only succeeds in throwing Hauberc over to the ground. The woman, now alarmed, starts to run to her wigwam, but her flight is interrupted by the sharp report of musket fire in the air--

As she topples down in pain, Hauberc realized that the rumbling noise he'd heard as the young Indian was coming at him, was the gallop of approaching horses. An arrow flashes through the air striking one of the five white riders in the collar.

Another rider throws a torch upon the wigwam, sending orange flames immediately billowing up and around its sides: The screams of young children emit from inside it. Hauberc runs through the open toward the wigwam.

"That's one of them there, Capt'n Mason---" Hauberc see one of the riders pointing at him.
In the split-second, he see the musket swinging around in his direction, hears the quick report of the hammer, and the echo of gunpowder off into the sky -- sees the impact of the ball and the red mess in the center of his chest.


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