Author Topic: The Last Patrol  (Read 280325 times)

Offline Elegant Ella

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #800 on: April 24, 2009, 09:50:09 PM »
Dick's habit of bedding down on the edge of the camp made it easier for him to talk privately to those who were still his men, but this time, it let him sleep right through the commotion over Richardson's return to the camp. When he woke up at dawn, he found that Richardson had come back wounded, and Corbin had led a squad out after Teddy.

The plan looked like it was falling apart. Cyrus had not ridden off into trouble, and Richardson might not be in any condition to carry out option B. At least, Cyrus hadn't had a chance to question Richardson yet, and Corbin was away.

Dick wandered over to the tent that had been set up overnight.

"How's Lucas doing?" he asked Orville, who was sitting in front of the tent with a cup of coffee.

"He's still out, but Ella said he should wake up before much longer."

"Can I see him?"

"Ella's orders are that no one goes into the tent."

"I don't care about her orders. He's my man, just like you are."

Orville didn't know how to respond to that. True, Dick had hired him when no one else would, but Cyrus had accepted him even after knowing the worst of his past. Knowing that Ella trusted him helped him decide. "Sorry, I'm following her orders."

Dick saw by the set of Orville's jar that arguing was not going to help, so Dick turned away and headed to the cookfire for coffee and breakfast.  He settled down to eat, and looked at the backside of the tent. It had been set up in the dark. Did they bother to stake the sides down all the way around, when the tent was going to be taken down again in the morning?  It didn't look like anyone was watching the back, so he went to the spot where a stake should be and wasn't, and ducked under the wall.
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Offline Elegant Ella

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #801 on: April 29, 2009, 11:50:01 PM »
Dick had time to see that Lucas was lying on his stomach facing toward the front opening, before an arm around Dick's neck hauled him to his feet.

"Orville, we've got company," called Samuel, keeping enough pressure on Dick's neck to make him feel faint.

Orville came into the tent, and handcuffed Dick's hands behind him. When Samuel let Dick go, Dick stumbled and almost fell.

"Samuel, what do we do with him now?" asked Orville.

Samuel overrode the answer Dick was trying to give, "Just keep him in here with me until Cyrus comes. We wouldn't want the men to feel any confusion in their loyalties from seeing Dick bound and gagged."

"He isn't gagged."

"Not yet," replied Samuel, in a intimidating tone that sounded like he had been taking lessons from Bo. 

Orville nodded, and checked Lucas before leaving the tent again.
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Offline Scarlet Angel

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #802 on: May 06, 2009, 08:59:10 PM »
It was as if Bo and the arrival of the men and woman that rode with him breathed fresh determination into the crew that had spent the night huddled by the rock contemplating what had happened and what their next move would be.

Cyrus could hear the sound of gunfire traveling on the wind now. It was the sound of battle, even the greenest of men would know.  He hated to think there were traders among then men, yet his own brother. Bo wouldn’t lie to him, there was no reason. A talk with the man directly was in order.

Cyrus ducked out of the tent “Axe, I want you to find the soldiers that rode out of here. I want you to tell them I doubt they are headed for Indians, tell them.” Cyrus paused the words tasted like crap when he spit them out. “Tell them I believe there are traitors among the scouts. Tell them what happened in camp if they ask. Ride with them and identify the ones that are loyal.”

Axe turned on his heel and began to run. “Take the fastest horse in camp!” Cyrus yelled after him.

He turned to Black beard. “Traitors, last thing I want to deal with out here, among my own men. Richardson is going to talk to us, I don’t care what it takes.”

One corner of Black beard’s mouth turned up as he followed Cyrus. He never had much love for Richardson any way, the man was a card cheat and now a traitor.
"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain


Offline Scarlet Angel

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #803 on: May 06, 2009, 09:11:22 PM »
Bo could tell by the amount of return gunfire some of the traitors had been shot or killed. He found Ella. “Lets get down to Teddy.”

“Bo, we got two runners!” Scarlet called towards him.

He looked her way, then waved her over. Charley was close behind.

“How much of that blood is yours?” He asked when she reached him.

Scarlet lifted the side of her shirt “Just a graze. The rest is someone else’s.”

Ella was quick with the bandage; Scarlet could tell there was something on it from the slight burn she felt.

Bo grinned at Ella’s quick actions. “Those runners are not to reach camp. Charley go with her.”

With that the two were gone.

“Let’s go and see who can use your help. Be careful, there may be someone waiting.” He said to Ella.
"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain


Offline Elegant Ella

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #804 on: May 08, 2009, 12:56:17 PM »
Orville greeted Cyrus, "Go right on in. Richardson started pretending to be unconscious a while ago. If he's asleep, you can wake him up.

Cyrus stopped in confusion after stepping into the tent and seeing his brother bound and gagged. "What's going on?" he asked.

Samuel answered, "Just following Ella's orders. She told us to keep Richardson under guard and not let anyone talk to him before you did."

"Why'd she do that?"

Orville answered, "Don't know why. She was cleaning up and gave a little gasp. She looked like she was trying to remember something while she stared at the bits of lead in her hand. Then she poked her head out and called for Samuel. After he came in, she also told us to make sure Richardson didn't have access to any weapons. So we finished undressing him when she went to talk to Bo."
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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #805 on: Today at 08:11:57 AM »

Offline Scarlet Angel

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #805 on: May 13, 2009, 11:08:08 AM »
Cyrus took a deep breath, as much as he hated to think about it perhaps Bo’s hints had been more than hints. If one listened to the stories about Bo and Scarlet they both should be able to smell a traitor. Cyrus himself had walked a fine line to retrieve information from time to time, it wasn’t an easy thing to do, it was just something you learned you had to if you were going to survive. He’d also learned that traitors were usually loyal to someone, unless they were the one in charge. Richardson was not in charge, but there sat Dick, Cyrus narrowed his eyes as he walked past. Dick struggled, furious at his brother.

“Richardson” Cyrus said thumping the leg of the cot with his foot.

Lucas moaned pretending he was near death.

Cyrus looked up at Samuel and winked. “Damn, Ella said he’d be able to ride today, maybe she was wrong. We got to move, I’d hate to have to leave him here when we ride out. Guess you could stay with him Black beard.”

Black beard gave a sinister laugh. “Sure Cyrus. I’ll stay for awhile, but if he can’t ride by this afternoon I’m leavin’ him for the Indians.”

“Lucas, can ya hear me?” Cyrus said touching his shoulder.

Lucas opened one eye and tried to look around. All he could see was Cyrus standing there. Cyrus kneeled down. “You were lucky. Soldiers rode in not long after you. They have the man in custody that shot you. It was one of the scouts. They have ‘im in custody, he’s sayin’ you’re a traitor. I’m headin’ down to talk to him. I figured I should hear your side first, since you were the one shot in the back, but if you don’t wanna talk to me I’ll go talk to him, see what he has to say.”

Cyrus turned to leave. “You men, help break down this tent, leave him his horse and gear. If he can’t when you get tired of babysittin’ Black beard, do whatever you want. I expect to see you in camp tonight.” He said before walking towards the tent flap.

Black beard bent over and smelled Richardson. “Smells like a back stabber. You know what we do to back stabbers don’tcha?” He whispered.

Lucas rolled his eyes to Black beard.  Looking into Black beard’s eyes he got the feeling he’d be dead as soon as the others pulled up stakes.

“Cyrus.” He called.

Cyrus stopped and turned. “What?”

“Where’s Dick, I want to talk to him.”

“Dick rode out to get Teddy’s body. I’ll let him know what happened when I see him tonight. Unless you think you can get outta that bed and ride. Then you can tell him yourself.”

Lucas struggled to get up. “Where are my clothes?”

Cyrus walked to the pile of clothes, picked up the man’s trousers, shook them to make sure nothing was hidden in them then tossed them towards Lucas, doing the same with his boots.

“Who shot me?”

“Never mind, I will deal with it. Unless you got something to tell me?”

Lucas was in a mental panic. Would one of the men he rode with shoot him in the back? Had someone snuck up on them he missed and seen it. He didn’t know how much they would have seen. What if they saw it all and were waiting with the soldiers to tell Cyrus everything. If Cyrus found out it was him who shot Teddy in the back there would be no mercy. He was sore all over and stiff. Why that woman had said he’d be able to ride today he didn’t know.

The fact he was asking for Dick told Cyrus what he suspected. He wondered if he was safer in camp or in the field right now.

Cyrus took out his gun and his knife as he stepped next to Dick. “You breath wrong and I’m gonna blow yer brains out.” He hissed as he cut his feet loose.

Dick swallowed hard.

“Get up and go to the wagon.” Cyrus said stepping far enough behind Dick he could make a clean shot if Dick tried anything.
"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain


1stSgt Fritz King

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #806 on: May 13, 2009, 12:54:05 PM »
Scott had chosen Johann, leaving Dave as the senior sergeant in camp.  Johann had chosen John Bell, probably the most senior man in the unit.  John was First Sergeant when Fritz joined the Second, but had been busted so many times he preferred the life of a private.  Grant Frey carried the swallowtail; he was still a teenager, but carried himself well.  Six other green troopers rode along.  They were inexperienced but trustworthy. 

Scott led the detail to the sound of the guns.  He slowed his men to a trot, and gave the command to “Draw…Pistols!  At your discretion, load one round of ball ammunition into the empty chamber.”  He tightened the grip on his reins.  “Let’s go in.”   

Offline Scarlet Angel

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #807 on: May 13, 2009, 04:50:14 PM »
Scarlet noticed the dust devil, it was more riders. She laid her hands higher on Lucky’s neck and leaned forward a bit more. The horse’s strides lengthened, she could hear Charley’s horse falling further back. She didn’t want to lose Charley but she didn’t want to lose the two she was gaining on. 


Scarlet saw the first rider was nearing the group of incoming riders. She brought Lucky to a quick stop pulling the long gun from it’s scabbard, she loaded it, flipped up the sights and took aim at the second rider. He fell at the echoing report of the long gun. Scarlet reloaded wondering if they had a long shot of their own and who they were.

Albert Taylor’s horse nearly collided with Scott’s horse. He had been to busy looking over his shoulder at the black gaining on him he hadn't seen the riders. He was sure when the rifle leveled she had chosen him as a target.

Charley’s horse came to a sliding stop next to her. “Who’s out there?” She asked not looking up from what she was doing.

Charley looked towards the riders. The traitor had stopped with them. “Looks like soldiers.” He said spotting the swallowtail.

Scarlet’s head jerked up she eyed the riders looking for a raised gun barrel. “Recognize anybody?”

“First Sergeant is sittin’ out there. One of the horse’s from our camp. Ain’t Cyrus.”

“Hell.” Scarlet said putting the butt of her rifle on her upper thigh pointing the barrel to the sky. If they were watching her and Charley they would know they were being watched but nothing else. “I wonder what he’s saying.” She stated.

“First Sergeant, I’m glad to see you. I was barely able to get away with my life. We were ambushed. They’ve cut a number of us down already. We were trying to get back to get help. Did you see that?” He said pointing at the fallen rider. "You need to defend yoursleves."
"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain


Offline Scarlet Angel

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #808 on: May 13, 2009, 05:09:03 PM »
“I can only guess.” Charley replied to Scarlet’s question. “What’s yer call?”

“Stand fast. Don’t look aggressive and if it looks like they want to arrest us lets get outta here.” She replied.

Charley shook his head in agreement never taking his eyes off the situation. “That was a hell of a shot by the way.”

Scarlet wasn’t taking her eyes off the soldiers either. It had sounded like a compliment but since she didn’t look at him she wasn’t sure. “Another back shot. I’m gonna be real popular.” She remarked.

Charley chuckled softly. “Don’t let Frank get under yer skin. He ain’t used to women who know how to do what we have to do. You are doing what you were hired for, and you’re doing it well. Where’d you put that bullet anyhow?”

“If it didn’t kill him it shoulda broke his back, my money is on dead though.”

“Were you going to shoot the first rider?”

“If I had known who was riding in and confirmed they rode with the enemy I would have gone for him first. Since I didn’t know I didn’t want to give them the wrong idea. If one of them know anything about long shooters they should figure that out.”
"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain


1stSgt Fritz King

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #809 on: May 14, 2009, 09:59:30 AM »
The troopers came on line in the advance, their pistols drawn.  Scott saw the scouts riding hard towards them.  He heard the report, and saw one man felled from his saddle.  The other practically ran into his line.

“First Sergeant, I’m glad to see you! I was barely able to get away with my life. We were ambushed! They’ve cut a number of us down already. We were trying to get back to get help. Did you see that?” He said pointing at the fallen rider. "You need to defend yourselves."

Scott was unimpressed.  “Drop your weapons…now.”

The scout was flabbergasted.  “What???  I ain’t giving up my guns!” 

Scott cocked his Colt and leveled it at the man’s chest.  “Then you’re dead where you stand.”

The man slowly drew his revolver and dropped it on the ground.  He did the same with his rifle.

“I can’t believe this.  I’m the one who was shot at!”

“From what I know of the shooter,” Scott said, “if you’d been shot at, you’d be dead.  You’ll have the chance to speak your piece.  Until then, we’ll keep your guns for you.”  John Bell dismounted and collected the man’s arms.  Two troopers flanked the scout and wheeled about.

“Now,” Scott said, “let’s go down there and try to figure things out.  Stay sharp.” 

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #810 on: Today at 08:11:57 AM »

Offline Scarlet Angel

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #810 on: May 14, 2009, 10:34:08 PM »
A slight smile parted both Charley and Scarlet’s lips when they saw Scott level his revolver at Taylor’s chest.

Scarlet rode forward Charley next to her. She rode as far as the fallen man to confirm he was dead.

Charley didn’t wait for Scott to ask for a report when the soldiers rode up next to them.

“Teddy is pinned down in the rocks with Morgan. They’ve been hit. Teddy is pretty bad off. Ella is out there with Bo and Chris. They are trying to get to the wounded. Ben and Frank are down there somewhere, they are on our side.  The renegades are doing a good job of keeping the wounded pinned down and help out. They’ve managed to kill two of the scouts that tried to ride in and help.  The renegades are hold up in the rocks and trees surrounding the small group of rocks where the wounded are pinned down. We can’t get a solid count on them. At one time I counted eight. Three of them are dead and one you have in custody.” Charley finished.

“I’m guessing the men we are hunting were all at the fort at one time or another.” Scarlet added before moving off.
"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain


1stSgt Fritz King

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #811 on: May 15, 2009, 07:57:14 AM »
Scott nodded.  “Okay.  We’ll ride in as a unit.  Johann, you take the left wing and ride into the rocks.  Dismount and provide covering fire for the wounded.  I’ll take the right wing and sweep the renegades out of the trees. “

Johann smiled.  He was always ready for action.  It had been too long.

“You,” Scott said, pointing at Taylor.  “I won’t waste a man guarding you.  You can come or stay.  Interfere and you’re dead.  Got it?”

Taylor didn’t say anything.  The look was all Scott needed.  He’d be no trouble.

Scott almost wished Dave was here.  A bugler would be a nice touch.  “Oh well,” he thought.

“Scarlet, Charley, would you care to join us in a charge?”

Offline Elegant Ella

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #812 on: May 15, 2009, 09:52:48 PM »
Ella exchanged her rifle for her saddlebags, then dashed in Bo's and Chris's shadows toward the rocks shielding Teddy and others.
When she got there, she was giggling, thinking, "Wearing normal women's clothing is no fun at all."

The sight of Teddy, unconscious and waxy-complexioned, and the amount of blood around his leg sobered her up fast.
He was alive, but the pulse in his neck was weak, and the pulse in his wrist could not be detected. She stuck a needle in his arm, to be able to give him fluid.

Dr. Bill had improved the bottles of sterile salt water to make it easier for the contents to be run into a patient's veins. There wasn't anywhere to hang the bottle, to let gravity do the work, but Dr. Bill had provided a hand pump.

"Chris, work this little pump until the bottle is empty or I tell you to stop," Ella ordered. Once that was started, she cut the clothes away from the leg wound. It looked like a bullet had nicked the big artery, but Teddy, or someone, had been able to apply enough pressure to keep Teddy from bleeding out completely. 

Ella grabbed one of the other scouts, "You, press here, hard, until I tell you to let up."

She stitched the artery. "Okay, let go for now," she ordered, watching the seam for leakage. It was holding, so she finished cleaning and dressing the wound. before checking Teddy for any other wounds. His pulse was a little stronger with the salt water added to his remaining blood. She'd give him the whole bottle and then consider whether to give him a second.

A great flurry of hoofbeats announced the arrival of the soldiers while Ella was tending the other wounds the scouts had suffered. Once the soldiers had cleared the area of hostiles, Ella was able to check on those who hadn't made it into cover.
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Offline Scarlet Angel

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #813 on: May 16, 2009, 09:55:55 AM »
Charley and Scarlet fell in with the soldiers. Truth be told Scarlet was waiting for Taylor to make the wrong move when they started riding again. Maybe he knew the rifle was still loaded, maybe he figured Scarlet and Charley were only part of his problem, now he had the soldiers to contend with too. For now he’d do as told and caused no trouble.

When the gunfire finally died the soldiers had rounded up three men. The rest laid dead or waiting for Ella or someone to patch them up.

Frank watched quietly while Ella worked her way around. He would be one of the last ones she would stitch up. He had suffered a deep cut from a knife, one that required stitches but wouldn’t keep him from doing his job.

“She said she sent you a message for help.” He finally said softly. “Few of us thought she was crazy. How’d you know we were going to need higher skilled medic?”
"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain


Offline Elegant Ella

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #814 on: May 17, 2009, 08:51:17 PM »
"The two balls in Richardson's back said 'Send help', according to the war stories that Bo, Scarlet and especially Scarlet's father told", replied Ella while she cleaned the wound and prepared to stitch it. "Even though he had been marked as a traitor, when he said that Teddy was down, I figured that statement was true enough to justify me coming out with the rescue party."
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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #815 on: May 19, 2009, 12:27:07 PM »
Bo found Ella speaking with Frank while she stitched him up. “When and how can we move Teddy and some of the others?” He asked.
"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain


Offline Elegant Ella

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #816 on: May 20, 2009, 12:03:31 AM »
"Teddy needs to be transported in a litter between two horses, to keep his wounded leg at or above the level of his heart. I've got a canvas litter in my saddlebags. A travois can be used for the other ones who can't ride on horseback. I think Major Martin will let me take over one or two of the ambulances for the wounded scouts. We might want to keep the two groups separate. As for when, there's no advantage to staying out here with any of the wounded," replied Ella.
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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #817 on: May 28, 2009, 10:31:12 AM »
Getting the wounded back to the main camp was slow but uneventful.

Cyrus was relieved to see Teddy among the survivors. The soldiers looked as if they had rounded up a few men that would need to be dealt with too. Every time he had tried to talk to Dick during the day Dick had refused only getting angry and acting innocent. Richardson hadn’t been any better. Now that the scouts were back that had been there things were going to get clearer.

“Where is Richardson?” Teddy demanded when Cyrus was in earshot.

“He’s in a secure place.” Cyrus replied.

Teddy looked around for Ella. “I want to talk to Ella and I won’t be put away in some medical tent, I will sleep with the scouts.” He insisted.
"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain


Offline Elegant Ella

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #818 on: May 29, 2009, 12:43:02 AM »
Ella finished settling the other wounded men and came back over to Teddy in time to hear him insist on sleeping with the scouts.

"You can sleep with the scouts if you want, Teddy," replied Ella. "The medical tents were just being used by the doctors and their assistants so far, since they hadn't gotten any patients yet."

"I'm not going to be one of their patients, am I? I don't trust Army doctors," Teddy sounded anxious.

Ella tried to reassure him, "Major Martin is a very good doctor, even if he does work for the Army."

"Army doctors are too quick to cut off legs and arms. I'm not going to lose my leg."

That sounded like a statement rather than a question to Ella. She replied calmly, "There's no reason for you to lose your leg. You wouldn't have lost so much blood if you had used a tourniquet, but I know I discouraged tourniquets in my classes."

"When can I ride and walk again?" Teddy was starting to sound calmer.

"I don't want you to use that leg for three days at least, so you will be carried in the ambulance for those days. You'll be able to ride at least part of the day after that. I don't want you to try walking for a week."
Elegant Ella

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #819 on: May 29, 2009, 08:45:26 AM »
“Ridin’ will do just fine.” Teddy said realizing he was giving Ella a hard time even though nothing had been her fault and because of her he wasn’t laying dead in the dirt someplace. He looked at her and his facial features softened when he smiled. “Thank you Ella.”

He looked at Cyrus. “My horse and my gear?” he questioned.

“Red is fine, all your gear is in good shape.” Cyrus said pointing to where he’d tied Red. “Your gear is in my tent.”
"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain


 

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