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Old Guns

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1stSgt Fritz King:
Fritz took the big Colt out of the safe and brought it to the kitchen.  He sat at the table and looked it over.  It had some scratches from when Strider got tangled up at the Rosebud, but overall it was in great shape.  The armorer had exed out the martial markings when he purchased it at his retirement.  The armorer had added something else.  On the butt, he'd marked "2, I, FHK."

"Lest we forget," Fritz whispered.  He oiled the piece and wrapped it in waxed canvas.  It had served him well in the last war; it would serve his son well in the next.  He put it in the box with everything he'd dug up on Cuba.  There wasn't much; the maps from the atlas, and a few pages from the newspapers.  Maybe 'Sleep would have some more.  He'd check with him in the morning.  Fritz nailed the lid on the box and addressed it to "Cpl Grant King, I Company, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, Fort Riley, KS ."

Scarlet was sitting in the living room mending socks.  She'd lit a fire in the fireplace.  Fritz went to stir the coals when he noticed the mantle piece.  Sitting on the right side was the Whitworth.  Sitting on the left was the Springfield.  One was not above the other.  They sat as equals.  Fritz smiled, and poured them both a bourbon from the crystal decanter Rose had given them at their wedding.

"What are we drinking to?" Scarlet asked as they clinked glasses.

"To the past," Fritz said.  "And the future.  May the latter be as bright as the former."

They drank.


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