Chapter 4 – 3

The drive was smooth on VA-20N and eventually ambled when on State highway VA-3 E. John told them they were going to avoid the highway. They drove adjacent to Highway 95 on VA-235N. He pointed to a couple of places along highway 95 that had congestion.

“You see those spots up where the cars aren’t moving?”

The three of them acknowledged the stoppage of the vehicles on highway 95. They drove a minute more before John spoke again.

“That’s why we’re avoiding the highways. They have TSA checkpoints on all of the major roadways. They tell us it’s for our own protection but anything out of the ordinary is reported on and people are detained.”

Benjamin Franklin piped in, “This is very concerning. What has happened for it to come to this?”

“I’ll explain but I want us to speak to Mr. Washington first.”

John turned off of Highway 95 onto Mount Vernon Memorial Highway. He passed several parking lots before making his way to a large roundabout, near George Washington’s house, where John turned off the roundabout to a smaller and more secluded parking lot. Trees surrounded the parking lot. The parking lot contained two rows for vehicles. John shifted the van into park. The five of the them made their way out of the van. After John stretched his legs, he opened the door at the back of the van, and pulled the instrument cases out of the van. Immediately following John, Emily pulled the stand out from the back of the van.

“Well, it looks like we should set it up behind a few of the trees over there.”

Emily agreed and started walking alongside John to the other side of the parking lot. With their arms they carved through some brush. John and Emily walked forty feet before setting down the stand and instrument cases. John had the time machine set when Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin made their way to the clearing. He set the date on the phone app to March 4th, 1798. Everyone has grown accustomed to what always followed the date being picked, they knew It was their queue to walk through the time machine. John set the time on his watch to seventy five minutes before being the last one to step through the time machine.

Immediately they were pushed through to 1798. It didn’t take long for them to meander out of the woods, and when they did John and Emily were the first to see George Washington’s estate. John and Emily became nearly breathless when they saw the size and grandeur of the estate. They did not see the estate when John was parking the van so this was this their first impression, and quite an impression it made. They stopped their feet right outside of the woods when the other three caught up to them. Now they walked in unison.

John and Emily saw people of color walking around the estate. They could only imagine that they were George Washington’s slaves. This time they were not distracted by the thought of the black people being slaves. For the most part, it had to due with John and Emily’s task at hand and the sight of the black people working somewhat independently.

Benjamin Franklin, being the most gregarious, approached a man near the five of them who was of color.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Sir.”

“Yes, suh”

“Would you be so kind as to tell me where Mr. Washington is?”

“Suh, I believe I heard he was in the manor.”

Benjamin Franklin offered a small genuflect, “Thank you”

“You welcome, suh”

The five of them continued to George Washington’s manor. The land on the estate was flat which made the walk fast and smooth, especially for Benjamin Franklin. They approached the door and Thomas Jefferson knocked on it. Soon a person opened the door. This person was black as well. John thought she must have been one of the house servants. Benjamin Franklin went on to ask the person who opened the door to see George Washington. She asked the group to follow her which they did. She led them to a large dining room. She asked everyone if they would like to take a seat.
Then she said, “I’ll make Mr. Washington aware of your presence. He’ll be here shortly.”
They waited several minutes. In that time, John was noticeably fidgety. He looked at his watch, over an hour had passed. There was too much waiting. Everyone picked up on it but only Emily understood the sense of urgency. Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and James Madison knew of the consequences but for their entire lives, they lived in a 3 M.P.H world.
George Washington entered the room with a slow, methodical walk. He greeted everyone with a bow. Greetings had taken place. Benjamin Franklin introduced John and Emily. John understood the greatness of being in the presence of George Washington but his focus was singular now. John asked Benjamin Franklin if he could speak to George Washington.
Benjamin Franklin conceded to John when he said to George Washington, “John has a fascinating story to tell. It does not sound true but I can tell you it is.”

“Thank you Mr. Franklin. Mr. Washington we don’t have much time before we have to leave. We got here through an invention I made. The best way to put it is that it’s a time machine. I would like you to come back to my time.”
George Washington went to the window, in the dining room, looking over Mount Vernon’s landscape before he said, “I just retired from public life and I’m old. The years have taken their wear.”
“I understand. You are probably worn out, I shouldn’t say what I’m about to say, but you will die in a little over a year. If you come to the future with the rest of us you could very well live another ten years. The knowledge you would bring back with you would be invaluable.”

“Well, surely, this may mean it is my time to go.” George Washington replied.

John was starting to get nervous about the real possibility of George Washington not coming with the rest of them back to 2014. The last thing he told George Washington was “If you came to my time you would not have to hold any public office.”

George Washington turned to look at his three peers. The three of them walked to him, let him know it was entirely his decision and that they would be honored if he did join them. George Washington nodded his head in approval. He told everyone he needed to speak with Martha and he would be back in a few minutes.

George Washington wasn’t gone long. When he came back, he let everyone know he was ready. Since John was giving up four inches in height to Mr. Washington, he looked up at him and told him Martha will barely know he had been gone. George Washington didn’t say anything. Now the six of the them went into the woods, through the time machine, and appeared in 2014.