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[141] This, of course, was a ruse. Instead of going by the ‘Big Walnut’ we went in the direction of Upper Marlboro, travelling hard until sunrise, when we halted in the woods until the following night, when we took up the line of march for Colonel W. W. Bowie's, the Lieutenant's father, arriving there about 4 A. M, where we were joined by Brune Bowie, then home on furlough. After a short sleep, and refreshments, we were introduced to the Bowies, who received us in good old Prince George style, and gave us a very delightful day. At nightfall, having paid our respects to the ladies, and received the Colonel's benediction, we sauntered along the pathway leading to our horses, waiting for the Lieutenant and Brune, who had tarried a while in the hall to say good-bye and receive a mother's blessing, to join us. The bright eye that we had just left under the chandelier in the great hall of ‘Eglington’ evidently had impressed the knights.

Looking back at the group in the hall, Randolph said: ‘How pleasant the day has been spent. I shall always recall our visit to the Bowies with pleasure.’ This seemed to touch dear old Charlie Vest's poetic center, for he thought a moment, and said: ‘Yes, their voice like the pleasings of a lute—enchanting—draw one to them in memory.’ O'Bannon was about to supplement what had been said with one of his graceful speeches, when the Lieutenant with Brune, in his intensely-practical way, broke in upon the muses, saying: ‘Come, boys, let us get to our horses and be off.’ Once in the saddle, we drew rein for Hardesty's Store, near Annapolis, where we camped in the woods for a few days, while the Lieutenant and Charlie Vest scouted the Governor's house. Finding His Excellency more closely guarded than had been reported, they returned to camp with a sad heart to tell us of the unfruitful termination of our raid, and that we would return to Virginia on the morrow. That evening, Brune, Bowie and I were dispatched to Young's Store for Richard Belt, who desired to enlist in our command. This increased our party to ten.

At the head of the little band, Lieutenant Bowie took up the line of march for Virginia, going around Washington, D. C., via Sandy Spring, Montgomery county, Md., quite a little hamlet of about fifty inhabitants. One store, owned by Mr. Alban Gilpin, supplied the good people of that vicinity with the necessities of life. Mr. Gilpin, from long experience in mercantile life, had become skilled in decorative art, as was shown by his tastefully-arranged windows. Furbelows, flounces and fine clothes were artistically displayed in them.


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