The Dangerous Spy  LbNA # 7915

Placed DateApr 18 2004
LocationSwinks Mill, VA
Found By Night0wl
Last Found Dec 10 2012
Hike Distance?
Last EditedOct 23 2015

Harrison Raines wasted no time putting distance between himself and Fort Marcy and its trusting Colonel. "Well, you lied to him like a spy," he thought to himself, "and he believed you. When he finds out the truth, that you fled Washington under suspicion, he'll be angry with himself but mostly with you." Yet, letting Harrison go, and even thinking he let a spy slip through his fingers, will help the Union cause after all. For Harrison "was" a spy, only for the Union side against his home Virginia. That rumors circulated about him spying "for" the south, only helped his cover.

Harrison turned off Dolly Madison's escape route and headed up Georgetown Pike. By noon he had reached Swinks Mill where he stopped to ask after Faye. "Yes, yes, she was just here. Said she was taking a walk up to the old homestead. Nothing left there but the chimney. Can't imagine what business she'd have up there. You can probably still catch her," he had to yell towards Harrison's retreating back.

Crossing the Pike from Swink's Mill, the path up the hill to the old homestead beckoned like a long flight of stairs up into the woods. Harrison turned right at the top and enjoyed the trail following a wide ditch on the left. He turned left at the T intersection crossing the ditch/stream and headed up hill almost North. He came to a fork with big fallen tree trunks. [Note: There is a map here with a "You Are Here" notation. You aren't. You can amuse yourself by trying to figure it out.]

Taking the smaller left fork to the east of north he headed downhill going right at the next fork just a few yards down. The path took Harrison downhill between large cut tree trunks. He followed the trail to the right and steeply up hill. Almost at the top he ignored the path off to the left and followed the trail curving around to the right.

As he approached the summit of this hill he saw a log fallen across the path ahead. Harrison decided to investigate this summit and look around. He followed the log off the path to the right. At the end of the log he stopped and stared, looking off over the summit at 220 degrees. "What am I doing here?" he asked himself. Faye was a fellow Virginian and unlike him, loyal to the southern cause. Harrison started walking across the summit as he thought about how he abhored the "peculiar institution" the south was fighting for. What was Faye doing up here anyway? He wandered over the summit for about 25 steps. There was a tree here with a bunch of rocks around it and a fallen log. He sat on the near end of the log and absent mindedly poked around in the leaves and branches under it. Was Faye hiding something? It suddenly occured to him that Faye might be more than a loyal southerner.

Returning to the path he continued along it as it crossed over a bunch of roots and went downhill and to the right. Here the path ran along the top of a ridge, the land falling away on either side. Harrison realized he had turned around. He was walking some kind of loop. He was lost. "I know the homestead is that way, vaguely, but I'm not going that way anymore." On the left he saw some kind of lean to structure. Hunters? Vagrants? Children?

He came to a fork and took the left one since it went in that direction he thought the homestead was. After a bit the path turned to the right and went steeply down hill. Ahead he could see the old reservoir. On the left he passed the spring emerging from its rock alcove. What could that mystery mound on the right be? Across the reservoir the path zig zagged up hill at about 20 degrees. Voices. Two voices.

Harrison started to run, then thought better of it. He crept up the hill. At least his sense of direction was correct. Through the trees he saw the old chimney. One voice sounded like a rough drunken man. The other was Faye, and she didn't sound happy. Harrison decided to look first and peered through the branches. Faye was yelling at a drunken and disheveled looking ruffian. He shouted. She retorted. He questioned. She slapped him. He grabbed and started pushing her down. Harrison leapt up. As he started to move he saw Faye's skirts fly up, and Faye grab at her leg as the drunkard tried to wrestle her down. That was the last image before Harrison's head hit the low branch.

Harrison awoke, wondered, then immediately remembered and jumped to his feet. There was no one in sight. He ran/staggered to the middle of the old house. The ground showed that something or someone had been dragged off to the north. Did the drunk kill her and drag her off? Fear gripped Harrison. Fear and fatal stupidity for knocking himself out when she needed him most. The drag trail led off to the north, over the side and down into the brush. A body lay there in the brush. It was long and grey. It wasn't Faye. It lay there like a log, it's clothes disheveled and dirty, hanging on it like peeling birch bark. One shoe was missing. Harrison looked up Mr. Log's pant leg and saw what must have happened. Fear for her safety giving way to another fear and a grudging respect.

"Well dang. Now where has she got to?"

There is a map here at the homestead. Following are directions back but of course you can explore any direction you wish. I wanted to include the waterfall but it was too overrun by the gravel road, signs, and tourists. Head south on the wide trail. You'll come to a big trail going off to the right due west. Pass by a trail going left. Pass by a trail going right. You'll go up and down. You'll go down to the intersection with the big fallen trunks and the sign with the incorrect "You Are Here." Go left, retracing your steps now. Right after crossing the ditch/stream the trail to the right will take you back to the top of the stairs.
I recommend the Harrison Raines historical fiction mystery novels by Michael Kilian. If you are puzzled, write. I would enjoy hearing from you to show that the clues work.
Note: We planted these in the winter. I know one box is now quite overgrown. You wear long pants don't you?
Important Note: The first box, "The Dangerous Spy", is now part of the Femme Fatale series. The two series overlap. Weird, I know. Check out that series' clues for why.