November 24, 1946


     Captain Henry Abbott, his wife Mirabelle, and their four-year-old son, Thomas, moved to Cross in 1854. Captain Abbott was semi-retired from the military and worked for a local granary, so when war broke out with the secessionist states, he was recalled to the Federal Army. He left his wife and son in 1861 and was reported missing at the first battle of Bull Run.

     Mirabelle held out hope that Henry would return, but her hope was for naught. She passed away at the age of 72 in 1901, a widow in all but name.

     Thomas remained in Cross. He married, sired children, and saw them grow and leave to carry on lives of their own. His own wife, Anne, died in 1915, three years before their oldest son would die in France during the First World War. Thomas buried them both beside his mother in Cross Cemetery.

     On November 24, 1946, witnesses observed Thomas walk into the cemetery, still a strong and virile man at the age of 96. As he drew closer to the graves of his family, he saw a young man standing before his mother’s headstone.

     Duncan Blood, attending a funeral at the cemetery, stated that he saw Thomas draw a folding knife from his back pocket. With surprising stealth, Thomas stepped up behind the stranger and slammed the blade deep into the man’s back repeatedly.

     When Thomas was pulled away, he was screaming that the man was his father.

     The stranger collapsed to the ground, and as Duncan bent over him to see what could be done, the stranger smiled and whispered, “I am always amazed at what a child can remember.”

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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