Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #49

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #49

… The Ferrell Grocery truck has made a very special delivery…

Delivery Truck-001

Before that scenario can be played out, there is some unfinished business, where State Road 268 runs into the city of Quincy. A bright autumn sun emerged from the east, there to find the entire Gadsden County Anti-Slavery Society gathered in the town square, rejoicing in their success. 5 October will be red letter day for years and

years to come. It is somewhat of a strange celebration to the eye of an outsider, like hearing a joke’s punch without benefit of the set-up. Nonetheless, the payoff seems to be a fine one.

Oct 5 red letter-001

The Ferrell Grocery truck has made a very special delivery. In the cab of the paneled truck are driver John and passenger Jacob Haley, he of narrowly harrowing fame. Standing proudly on the rounded rickety fenders are the Flying Bleaker Brothers, never content with grounded positions and waving like conquering heroes of some Slovakian revolution. Peaking out the canvas back are the three Negro children who should be dead—tired that is, everyone in the strong arms of the blacksmith and thrilled at getting a first ride in motored vehicle. Martha Ferrell is in the back as well, tending to a weak Grandma Lettie Golden and fervently praying with Willy and Amanda for a promising future.

No one is more excited than Herbert and Phoebe Love.

“Good Lord Almighty, by your mercies and your power you have brought us success! Herb screams skyward. He rarely screams.

Jacob Haley opens his door and leaps into a Love embrace. “We did it, Herb, we did it!” he cries.

“Yes Jacob, but we heard you had some trouble at Little River?”

River gorge

The school teacher is puzzled. “How do you know this? Nobody has said one word of our predicament.”

The engineer of the midnight freight stopped at our station to report possible pedestrian contact on the trestle. We were sore afraid you all had been killed.”

Locomotive3

“He was going so fast I am surprised he noticed us and he certainly did not stop to find out if he had hit anything,” the nearest thing to a victim, laments.

“He apologized, explaining that he would never have made the Thunder Hill grade if he stops.” Love chuckles. “Hey, at least we did inspect the cowcatcher for fabric and blood. Finding neither, we sent the train on its way.”

“You should have checked the bottom of the train for sweat. I just thank my lucky stars they weren’t a chain or something hanging down.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Escape2

Episode #49


page 46

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #45

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #45

…Real time seems to slow down for Jacob, as he falls beneath the wheels of the clamoring iron beast….

The locomotive continues to close_________

Limping and frightened, Hosea makes it to solid ground, reaching his parents who are shouting words of utmost urgency. Agnes and Francis are back in Fabulous Bleaker hands, not having opened their eyes for fear of what they would see if they did. In an effort to clear the way for the onrushing Alfrey and Jacob, they leap over each side of the trestle, plenty of air remaining below, using slight of hand to pass a rope (no high wire performer leaves home without one), to each other. They swing forth and back with the greatest of ease, all the while coaching Jacob about the closing steam engine, ‘50 feet, 40 feet, 30 feet, hurry!’, so he does not look back.

Jacob Haley All-American

Idealism has gotten him into this pickle, but as a member of the first All-American football team, it is the skills of that new combination sport that will sustain him and Alfrey to the goal line. He has tucked Alfrey under his right arm like a twenty pound sack of sugar and sprints to survive.

But he and his singular talent is no match for the would-be tackler. He can see his teammates in the end zone, but the tackle will be made first, leaving him time for a forward lateral only. The toss is accurate; sending Alfrey tumbling onto the grassy slope, head over heals.

  Real time seems to slow down, Jacob visually capturing the moment in fine detail, as he falls beneath the wheels of the clamoring iron beast.

The sound is deafening, yet this appalling sight consumes any noise. Pulse rates are soaring still, leftover anatomical byproducts of a two minute travail. Stunned shock grips those who remain, as they watch the red light blinking on the caboose, the last of the ten cars passing without knowing what it is passing or what it has run down.

The Flying Bleaker Brothers regain the trestle, arm weary from their weighted suspension. They need go 20 feet to reach the site of Jacob Haley’s heroic end, not knowing what they will find. Clouds have overtaken the only source of light, making the dark even darker. Some of the innocent eyes are mercifully closed.


  Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #45


page 42

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #42

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #42

The good thing about railroad tracks is that they travel as very nearly as the crow flies, the shortest distance between two points…

For the record, 30 minutes before the beginning of 5 October, Jacob Haley summons A drawing of the Colt Navy Model .36 cal revolver manufactured in 1851. The scene beneath the revolver shows a group of sailors firing a canon at a distant ship. One of six prints enclosed in a folded cover entitled "A Collection of Colt Historical Prints 1836-1873".the Campbell’s for their flight from servitude. The children have been properly coached in the art of silence, as well as single file marching. Willy leads the way, followed by Hosea, Agnes, Francis and Alfrey, backed by Mother, Grandmother and finally, Jacob, bringing up the rear with a Colt Navy Model 36 Cal.  revolver on his belt and the determination of a charging bull. Willy sets the pace, Jacob backs them up.

Much of the ground leading to the Pensacola & East R.R. right-of-way is woodlot, which provides fuel for all the many and varied Sumter fires. That forest of deciduous trees absorbs this string of conspicuously shadowy figures, formerly highlighted by a full harvest moon.

Uncut windfall and branches make for treacherous going, slowing their all important pace. Jacob is aware of the P&E R.R.’s midnight freight, but does not know where it is on its way west, as the clock strikes 12. His nose tells him that absence of coal smoke means it has not preceded them, his heart hopes that it is still stopped in Tallahassee, taking on much fuel and water after its long haul from Jacksonville.Midnight Freight-001

The good thing about railroad tracks is that they travel as very nearly as the crow flies, the shortest distance between two points; over, around and through natural and man-made obstacles. The stretch from Midway to Quincy is as rugged and secluded as there is on its 400 mile course. The  hills are shaved, the hollows filled by the hills and the Little River valley trestle, making their five mile trek to State Road 268 as easy as possible. Any other way would never do.

Plot-001After reaching the parallel iron rails, a left hand turn is made and the evenly spaced wooden ties are host to eight sojourners, careful to match their stride to each. There will be 13,000 creosote coated 6”x 8” timbers anchoring the rails on the path ahead.


 Alpha Omega M.D.

RR tracks

Episode #42


page 39

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #29

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #29

…The action we are contemplating could go a long way to eliminating the need for vigilante raids, in the name of freedom…

Rescue-001

Pres. Jacob Haley of the GCASS group ends the social section of their meeting, gavel-less style.

“However, the Pensacola & East Railroad cuts through the backside of the plantation. It also crosses State Road 268 and there will be a full moon the night of 5 October. These are real positives.

          “And negatives? One of us must infiltrate Sumter the day before, the 4th, to prepare the old lady and the children, for the five mile escape route.

 “And there will be one of us stationed at each of the three mile of track, until road 268, where a LOVE  ICE truck will take it from there, for the final leg to Quincy. We figure no one will suspect an ice truck.” Smythwick has been known to line the pockets of certain unnamed constabulary, enabling to keep his “employees” on the property.

But the early hours of the daily ice run should mask its surreptitious companion purpose.

So far, Haley has dominated the meeting, doing much of the research on their possible mission, mainly because he is the lone black in the raid contingent. He is the most likely candidate to take on the highest risk.

Every mission seems to spotlight a different leader. Herbert Love planted the seed this time, the inspirational forerunner. In the past, other ventures have been precipitated by those most greatly been affected by witnessed injustices. There are many of these in the course of living in a segregated environment.

“Jacob has done a great job with the plan, even to the point of volunteering to go undercover. So I would like to propose that we accept it as presented. A show of hands please… unanimous? Good. We have 45 days to hand out assignments. There is a sign-up sheet at the end of the table for those who want to be part of the action.

“And remember, as always, we are not to discuss this or any other rescue with anyone, period.” Love exhorts the room.

Jacob Haley has one closing thought, “The action we are contemplating could go a long way to eliminating the need for vigilante raids, in the name of freedom. We are acting above the law, but Jefferson Smythwick’s influence will be severely damaged if he loses his best people.”

Quincy Reporter-001The publisher of The Quincy Reporter, Harv Pearson will see to it that Smythwick will not become a sympathetic figure, only pathetic. “You can be sure that my paper will make the Campbell escape the headline story. And every paper in the Panhandle and north will get the story as well. We will refresh the slave issue, make it the topic of the day from Texas to Maryland, the Texas Rangers to Grover Cleveland.

“Let’s put an end to neo-slavery for good!”

‘Yes!’, ‘Amen!’, ‘You bet!’, ‘Slavers be damned!’, are among the shouts of acclamation, robust reaction to Pearson’s inspiring impromptu speech.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #29


page 28