The Rifle – 1st draft and notes

The Rifle

Jim had wondered about the odd phrasing in the will:  “I leave to James Paul Moore all of my estate, my possessions and the Rifle.”  His great-uncle Ned had been a firearms collector and owned a lot of rifles, from Revolutionary War muskets to an almost modern M-1.  Jim crossed over to the gun safe, consulted his notes for the combination, and opened it.  Standing out among the gleaming metals, camouflage plastics and burnished woods was a tall gun case, with a large red silk cloth tied around it.

Jim brushed his fingers down the silk, thinking about what possible purpose it could have.  It was obviously not for protection, soft and fragile as it was.  As much as they had talked about the collection, Ned had never mentioned a special Rifle.  Jim shook all thoughts away and lifted the case out of the safe, being careful not to disturb the silk cloth.   Curiosity pulsed in his ears, telling him to hurry.  He placed the case on the table, untied the cloth and opened the clasps that secured the lid.  He took a deep breath to calm himself as he opened the case.

He instantly recognized the type of rifle as a Springfield Model 1861; a Civil War rifle.  He’d seen this before; he glanced over at the gun safe and saw an identical Springfield standing in the case.  “So this one is somehow different,” he thought out loud.  He reached down and grasped the Rifle with both hands and felt nauseous and dizzy at the same time.  He swallowed hard and closed his eyes.   But new sounds and smells assaulted his senses, a horrendous stink and the smell of sulfur, explosions close and far, yells and screams of anger and pain.

I opened my eyes to a scene I couldn’t even imagine; my back was against a tree and I was using my ramrod to pack the bullet in my rifle.  Men in battered butternut and gray uniforms were spread throughout the tree line, taking cover such as I was, loading and firing around the trees.  I put the ramrod back under the barrel, pulled out a percussion cap, fitted it to the firing nipple and cocked the hammer.  I took a deep breath, twisted around my tree and raised my rifle to fire at the line of blue soldiers moving towards me.  Something slams into my shoulder, spinning me around, the rifle flying from my hands.

Jim staggered back from the table as a wave of nausea hit again.  “What the hell happened?” he thought.  He saw the Rifle still on the table and the gun safe still open.  An envelope he hadn’t noticed before was stuck halfway into the bottom shelf of the safe door.  He fixated on the envelope, jumped over, grabbed it and saw written on the front, ‘Jimmy’.   He tore it open and read, “Do NOT touch the Rifle before reading my journals.”

Six thick journals sat on the top shelf in the safe; one had a red post-it note marking a page.  Jim picked that one, opened it and read the entry:  “The only thing ever to come back with me was the red silk bandana.  When I was Thomas on the second day of Gettysburg, his best friend Robert was killed in the Peach Orchard.  Robert always wore the bandana, a gift from his fiancée Marianne, around his neck.  When Thomas found Robert’s body, he removed the bandana and stuffed it in his pocket, intending to return it to Marianne.  When Thomas put the Rifle down and I returned, the bandana was in my pocket.  That is why I always tie the bandana to the gun case, to remind me of lost love and war’s tragedies.”

 

 

  • Ensure the ramrod is out of the barrel. Place it back into its holder below your barrel.
  • 6

Place the percussion cap on the nipple of your gun. Check to make sure the percussion cap sits firm on the nipple. When the cap is struck, it provides the spark that ignites the powder in the barrel. The nipple of the gun is the place the hammer strikes when it falls.
Read more: How to Load and Shoot a Civil War Rifle | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_8255285_load-shoot-civil-war-rifle.html#ixzz2JzF2AAD6

 

Thoughts?

  • Did Ned leave an envelope that Jim finds later with comments on the rifle?
  • Did Ned have a journal or journal about his trips
  • Did this affect Ned’s mental health
  • Did Ned use what he learned on trips to teach Jim
  • Did Ned become a writer?  Writing history about life in the Civil War, or does Jim do that?
  • Ned never fired the guns but took great care of them.  Used to fire them a lot, before he got The Rifle.  E-mails between them… hints at changes

 

Jim had wondered about the odd phrasing in the will:  “I leave to James Paul Moore all of my estate, my possessions and the Rifle.”  His great-uncle Ned had been a firearms collector and owned a lot of rifles, from Revolutionary War muskets to an almost modern M-1.  Jim crossed over to the gun safe, consulted his notes for the combination, and opened it.  Standing out among the gleaming metals, camouflage plastics and burnished woods was a tall gun case, wrapped in red silk.

Jim brushed his fingers down the silk, thinking about what possible purpose it could have.  It was obviously not for protection, soft and fragile as it was.  As much as they had talked about the collection, Ned had never mentioned a special Rifle.  Jim shook all thoughts away and lifted the case out of the safe, being careful not to disturb the silk wrapping.  A thought popped into his head, ‘A red flag?’, but curiosity pulsed in his ears, telling him to hurry.  He placed the case on the table, removed the cloth and opened the clasps securing the lid.  With a deep breath to calm himself, he opened the case.

 

Jim stood in the main room of his great-uncle Ned’s cabin, except, he realized, it was now his.  He had not been there in over four years, since he had gone away to college.  Always eccentric and prone to calamitous mood swings, Ned had not gotten along with most of his relatives.  It was not a huge surprise that Ned had chosen Jim as his only heir since he had spent most of his free childhood hours here.  Jim still wondered about the odd phrasing in the will:  “I leave to James Paul Moore all of my estate, possessions and the rifle.”  Ned had been a firearms collector and owned a lot of rifles, from Revolutionary era muskets to an almost modern M-1.  Jim crossed over to the gun safe, consulted his notes for the combination, and opened it.  Standing out amongst the gleaming metals, camouflage plastics and burnished woods was a tall, red silk wrapped, gun case.

Jim had wondered about the odd phrasing in the will:  “I leave to James Paul Moore all of my estate, my possessions and the Rifle.”  His great-uncle Ned had been a firearms collector and owned a lot of rifles, from Revolutionary muskets to an almost modern M-1.  Jim crossed over to the gun safe, consulted his notes for the combination, and opened it.  Standing out among the gleaming metals, camouflage plastics and burnished woods was a tall, red silk wrapped, gun case.

 

 

 

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