Gen. Davis wasn't sure if he'd gone unconscious or not. If anyone had ever asked him to describe the feelings he had gone through it would be very difficult. But he would have been able to say they were quite unpleasant!
When he began to regain his wits he realized he was in a luxurious garden. Beautiful flowers were everywhere. Someone cleared his throat and Jeff turned to see a stately looking gentleman staring at him. Jeff looked down at himself. His clothes hung on him loosely. His shoes were too big. His hat slid down over his eyes. The stately looking gentleman cleared his throat again.
"That was quite an entry, young man!" he remarked. "Would you mind telling me what you're doing in my garden?"
"Certainly President Davis," Jeff answered, "I'm your grandson. I've just come from the future, and there's a lot of trouble. I need your help, sir!"
The older man looked startled. "Nobody's called me President Davis in years, son!" he remarked. "You'd better come into the house. I certainly don't like the sound of what you're saying, I definitely don't like it at all! Sarah!" he called. "Come here, girl! W e have a visitor. Fetch some Kentucky sunshine, dear."
"Grandfather," came a girl's voice, "you know the doctor has told you you should forego any sunshine."
"Doctors!" the elderly gentleman moaned. "Why can't they just let a man die in peace, and enjoy the rest of his life?"
When they got in the house Jeff was ushered to a chair. "Now," the older man remarked, "who are you, young man? You say you come from the future? THAT'S a new one! Well, a good future, I hope."
"I only wish!" Jeff answered. Jeff poured out his story and the older man listened without interruption, then muttered 'Good God, son! You expect me to go back into the past and destroy what our forebears fought so hard to create? Do you have any idea what you're asking?"
"I understand perfectly what I'm asking!" Jeff answered, "Because I understand what will happen if we fail. Everything we dreamed of will be a complete waste!"
"What is this proof you've brought," the elderly gentleman asked, "that you think will so convince me that you are real?" Jeff looked to the gentleman's granddaughter who was standing nearby and seemed very interested in the conversation. "Will you excuse us, dear child?" the man remarked. The girl looked irritated but nodded and hurried off. "An old man's joy," the elder remarked, "a devoted grandchild that spends so many hours seeing to his comfort. Now, your proof, young man."
"Annabelle Dinsmore," Jeff remarked. "She was never part of any history. Only members of our family know of her relationship, and treat her with special interest. I think some others suspect but none have ever dared speak of it."
The older man starred at his companion for some time, then nodded. "Indeed! Something ONLY known to my family. God! How could you expect a man to make such a decision? The Confederacy cannot be saved? We must watch it die? This weapon you speak of would save it but we can't use it?"
"We have to put things back the way they were!" Jeffrey answered. "You have to go back and visit yourself before The Battle Of Hampton Roads and see to it that this weapon is never used. If you do not everything will be gone, every man, woman and child, every flower, every tree, every bird. There will be nothing left. Could you live with that? Could you live knowing you saved The Confederacy only to destroy your grandchildren? Because if you do not help us that is what will happen."
"What happened in the other history?" the General asked.
"I don't know," Jeff answered, "we've lost. That's all I can tell you. You were a prisoner for some time I was told, then released. You died in 1889, not when our history said you did."
"And when was that?" the General asked.
"I really don't think it's a good idea I tell you that," Jeff answered. "Let's just say your granddaughter wouldn't have to care for you much longer."
"Damn!" the older man cursed. "I hate it when those idiot doctors are right! It just ruins my whole day, just totally ruins it! You come from 1995, huh?"
"Yes sir!" Jeff answered.
The older man shook his head. "Still don't seem possible!" he remarked, "Just don't seem possible! But you're surely not from around here, that's unquestioned. You say I'll disappear in 48 hours?"
"Yes," Jeff answered.
The man slapped his side, then screamed "Daniel!"
A colored man appeared and snapped 'Yessuh, Mr. Davis?"
"Get my car," the older man snapped. "I wish to show this gentleman around, give him a tour of the city."
"Yessuh!" the colored man snapped. "Hopefully that confounded thing will run today!"
The elder man smiled as his servant hurried off. "I hate it," the older man remarked, "when the northerners say we abuse our colored folk! No servant of mine was ever mistreated! God help the man that did, and no matter what you've been told, sir, I've never taken any woman of color by force and I never would. Abominable lies, sir, abominable lies!"
Jeff nodded. The older man looked at him and grinned. For the next few hours they drove around the beautiful city. When they stopped people greeted the old gentleman cordially. Finally, very late in the evening they went back to the house.