On a star lit evening, a horse drawn carriage came to a stop in front of Hotel Westminster Concord. A proper young woman emerged, wearing a long petticoat with a hoop skirt and a blue bonnet adorning her long tendrils. The hotel doorman took her hand and helped her out of the carriage while the driver went to the back to grab her luggage. A telescope captures all of this from across the street where a man heads out his door toward the hotel.
“Right this way, Miss,” the doorman said, taking her arm.
Inside, Senator Crittendon awaited his new bride. He was anxious to see her since it had been a month. President Lincoln had him busy on his new Emancipation Proclamation, which kept him out of town. It also kept him in the way of a lot of controversy, for there were many people against this. Suddenly all of those thoughts vanished as he saw Emily heading his way.
Rising to meet her, he drank in her beauty and said, “Why hello there Mrs. Crittendon.”
Curtseying, she flashed a brilliant smile, “Hello there Mr. Crittendon.”
As they sat down he asked her about her trip which she said was fine. He tried to tell her about the goings on in the White House to which she stopped him.
“No business tonight, honey.”
“Fine by me, sweetheart, the night is ours.”
Suddenly entering the hotel was the mysterious man in a top hat. He took a seat far enough away from the Senator as not to attract attention, but close enough so that he could make out what was being said. He removed his hat and glanced at the newspaper on the table stained with coffee rings. “Senator Crittendon and President Lincoln to sign Emancipation Proclamation!” the headline screamed. This made the man fumble in his seat as he grew angry. Almost forgetting why he was there, he glanced back at the happy couple.
“I saw Aunt Starla while in Virginia,” Emily stated as she took a sip of her freshly ordered wine.
“And how was she?” Senator Crittendon replied taking in his Scotch.
“She was fine, asked about you. She is always saying you work too much and I can’t say that I disagree with her.”
“Emily you know how important it is now that I am with the President more. This Proclamation will make history.”
“It’s also dangerous, John. There are many people against this and I don’t want you in harm’s way.”
‘He already is,’ thought the man across the way. He knew Senator Crittendon and President Lincoln were the only two people in the way of this Proclamation.
“Why don’t we head to dinner? I have reservations at Beardslee Castle,” Senator Crittendon said.
Grinning, Emily asked, “Just what do you have planned tonight?”
“You’ll see,” he replied.
‘You certainly will,’ the man thought.
As the couple headed out to the horse and buggy, the man followed them out. He decided he would walk to where they were headed. It was brightly lit as it was a full moon out tonight. Taking out his pocket watch, he glanced at the time. 6pm. Plenty of time before his next rendezvous’.
He slowed his pace as he saw them get out at Beardslee Castle. After waiting for them to head in, he went in after and got a table for one. He was a few feet away, but was an accomplished lip reader so that shouldn’t be a problem.
“Why do you have to keep talking about this? I thought this was supposed to be our night!” Emily suddenly exclaimed after they had been there 20 minutes or so.
“I am sorry honey, it’s just really weighing on my mind. Did you know that I received a death threat today? A DEATH THREAT!”
As Emily gasped, the man just smiled at his handiwork.
“You should have the secret service protecting you as well.”
“They are where they should be … with President Lincoln.”
As their food arrived, neither one of them were in the mood to eat. Slowly picking at her food, Emily said words of comfort to her new husband. She knew she was being selfish, he was under a lot of stress, but so was she and he didn’t seem to notice that. The Senator spoke kind words back and the man thought to himself, ‘they better enjoy their last meal together.’
Paying the check, Emily went into the restroom, kissing her husband on the way.
“I will get the carriage ready,” he called after her.
Now was the time. The man exited the restaurant and headed across the street to the deserted building. Pulling a rifle from his trench coat, he positioned him on the 3rd floor. He waited patiently for Emily, he wanted this to happen in front of her. After securing a clear shot, Emily emerged from the restaurant and gave her husband a final kiss. A single shot rang out. The Senator slouched down, blood stains following. Emily screamed. People flooded the area yelling for the police and an ambulance.
The man only smiled, as he headed down the stairs, rifle put back away. He went out the back of the building so as not to attract attention. His next stop: Ford’s Theater where the President would be taking in a play.
by Renee Furlow. Not to be copied or removed without permission.
3 weeks ago