Author Topic: The Last Patrol  (Read 257385 times)

Offline Elegant Ella

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #60 on: December 04, 2006, 12:57:13 PM »
Scarlet busied herself in the house as long as she could, then gathered her shooting gear and headed for the range again.  As she approached, she heard gunfire.  Someone was practicing, but the rhythm of the shots didn't sound familiar. 

She was surprised to recognize Ella, wearing britches instead of her usual skirt or divided skirt.  Ella was shooting faster than usual for her, and missing a lot more. 

Scarlet waited until Ella stopped to reload to make her presence known.  "Hi, Ella.  What's up?" 

"Hi, Scarlet.  I'm taking my own advice," replied Ella, holstering her guns and turning back to the firing line. "I" BANG! "heard" BANG! "from" BANG! "Alan." BANG! "He" BANG! "wrote" BANG! "a letter." BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!

Ella returned to the loading bench.  "He got back a month ago. He says he is staying in Boston until fall.  He was offered a position as a guest instructor at the medical school and agreed to take it for six months so that he can share what he heard in Vienna.  He 'suggested' that I come join him in Boston.  Of course, if I do, he is never going to come here." 

She sighed then continued, "I'm almost calm enough to write a reply.  I am needed here.  I won't leave."
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Offline Scarlet Angel

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #61 on: December 04, 2006, 03:14:21 PM »
Scarlet was shocked to hear what Ella had to say. She took a deep breath then said “Of course you needed here Ella. You’ve also become family and we’d all hate to see you go, but what is it that is best for you? Do you want to start a practice in the city or stay here, and does Allan want the same?”
"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 #62 on: December 04, 2006, 05:09:03 PM »
"If Alan had asked me two weeks ago to join him in Boston for the summer, I would not have hesitated to go.  I could have traveled east with Patches and Bill, and Alan could have met me in Washington for the last leg of the trip.  That might have been a nice trip for getting reacquainted," replied Ella.  "I had told him in letters about learning to use the telegraph and that I expected to get a wire from him as soon as he arrived.  And I got replies from him that said he had received those letters.  But he was in Boston for two weeks before he wrote that letter.  I don't feel respected by him."

She sighed again before continuing, "Grammy's journals tell about when Grandpa first came to their town to practice.  He didn't take her healing skills seriously until a scarlet fever epidemic forced them to work together.  Then they fell in love and married.  My healing skills have always been overshadowed by Alan's, which seemed perfectly natural.  But I've learned a lot of practical medicine during the past 2 1/2 years, and learned a lot more independence, especially from Rose.  You and Patches are more independent, but Rose is a clearer model for how independence fits into a marriage.  I want Alan to learn from Johnny how the man's side of that kind of marriage works."

"I will send a gentler answer than would have come out of my pen an hour ago.  One reason I will give for not heading east is your condition.  I won't say any names, just that I have a patient at high risk of miscarriage that I need to keep close watch on."
Elegant Ella

Offline Scarlet Angel

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #63 on: December 04, 2006, 10:53:20 PM »
“When you said you and Alan were going to through some readjustments you sure weren’t exaggerating.” Scarlet smiled “I hope he realizes how lucky he is and what a great team the two of you will make with your combined knowledge.”

Scarlet’s smile turned into a grin. “If he doesn’t I’m sure there a few men around the place that will inform him how lucky he is.”

Ella knew Scarlet was referring to the doctor from the fort. There had also been a few of the ranch hands that had told Ella her husband was a lucky man.

Scarlet was not the only one the sound of gunfire had attracted, Grey Eagle rode into view. Scarlet excused herself, mounted back up and rode out to meet him.

“I didn’t expect you today.” Scarlet said as she approached.

“I came to” Grey Eagle paused trying to figure out how to say it without upsetting Scarlet.

“You came to pray for him didn’t you?” She looked over at her friend who looked incredibly guilty of the accusation. “You always seem to know when something is happening in my life.”

“We share the same blood. Sometimes the same vision.”

“I am glad my brother thinks my husband is worth praying for. It means a lot to me.”

“His time has come. I wish to pray for the husband of my sister before he rides into battle.” Grey Eagle replied.

His comment puzzled Scarlet. “Do the old ones speak of things happening beyond their home?”

“Yes. They speak of changing times.” Grey Eagle said looking into the distance. “They say things beyond our home will shape our future.”

“Sometimes the same vision Grey Eagle. You know what I ask. What have the elders seen?”

“They have seen mother earth blanketed in blood but they are unsure what this vision means. Black Wolf fears for his people while he waits more advice from the elders.”

“Must be something in the air making everybody unsure of what tomorrow holds.” Scarlet sighed.

“I must go.” Grey Eagle said looking at her. “Where shall I look next time?”

Scarlet knew he was asking where she’d be next time he came to visit. She shrugged her shoulders. “You’ve always known where I was, I spect it will be no different.”

Grey Eagle nodded his head in understanding then moved his horse out at a quick pace.
 
"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 #64 on: December 07, 2006, 12:00:22 AM »
"Scarlet, will you promise me something?" asked Ella.  "Will you let me know before you take off somewhere so that I can go with you?" 
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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #65 on: Today at 04:52:21 PM »

1stSgt Fritz King

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #65 on: December 07, 2006, 09:58:57 PM »
The hardest part was saying goodbye.

Knowing that there is a possibility that this will be the last time you ever see your loved ones in this world.  You hold on as tight as you can, for as long as you can.  But eventually...you must let go.

After that, it's easier.  As you ride down the trail, you begin to focus on your mission.  The sooner you get the job done, the sooner you can come home.

Fritz made about forty miles that day.  He set camp when the sun was low, tying off a picket line between two trees.  Both horses were unsaddled and wiped down, then fed.  They liked Ella's oatmeal cookies as much as he did.  Once the horses were taken care of, he made some coffee, and watched the sun set.  Fritz ate light, and looked at the stars awhile.  As he bedded down for the night, Fritz missed his bed...and the woman he shared it with.  As he drifted off, he began to dream..   

1stSgt Fritz King

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #66 on: December 10, 2006, 07:01:32 PM »
He was back a Jefferson Barracks.  It was some sort of ball, in full dress uniform.  He was wearing the shoulder straps of a First Lieutenant.  On the left breast of his jacket he wore the medal.  They made him wear it at every event.  A string quartet could be heard in the background.  The tinkling of glasses, cigar smoke and small talk filled the air.  Fritz hated these things.  There were arranged to impress people you didn't like.

"Fritz?  Is that you?"

Fritz turned to see an old friend.  Sgt Gustav Geotsch. 

"Good to see you old man!  How are you?"  Gus had a cigar clenched in his teeth, as usual.  His uniform was grey.  Gus was serving in the 10th Georgia...when he was killed.

"Ah...good.  And you?"  Fritz reached for a glass from a tray, and hoped it was bourbon.

"Never better!  Glad you finally made it!"

Gus swirled away in the crowd before he could reply.  But he wasn't the only one.  They were all around him.  Old friends, long since dead.  Most had perished in the war, some on the plains.

But they were all dead.  That much was certain.

"What are you doing here?"  The voice shocked him.  She hadn't changed.  His first wife, Melissa.  She adored these parties.

"You gave all this up, and for what?  A blonde whore and a tin star!  You're worthless!!!"

"It's not like that.  I love her," Fritz replied.

Melissa said "You should go," turning her back on him.

He said "Wait!"  But she vanished among the revelers.

Suddenly, there was a knock at the large double doors.  The Officer of the Day called out, "The Guest of Honor has arrived."  Fritz ran towards the man as he pulled the latch.  The doors swung wide as blood curdling screams fill the air.  Savage Sioux poured through the opening.  Fritz instinctively reached for his Colt...but it wasn't there.  Only his sash and belt were tied about his waist.

In a moment, they were all upon him.             

1stSgt Fritz King

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #67 on: December 12, 2006, 07:41:37 PM »
Fritz sat bolt upright, the hammer back on his short Colt.  He scanned the darkness for...

...nothing.

Strider looked at him and snorted, as if to say, "what?"

Frtiz tossed another piece of wood on the fire.  It was going to be a long trip.

Offline Scarlet Angel

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #68 on: December 12, 2006, 08:54:33 PM »
Scarlet watched after Grey Eagle for a moment then turned to Ella. It was no secret that when Scarlet grew restless she could not stay put in one place, in fact along with the restlessness came the dangerous side. Scarlet didn’t know why for sure, best she could figure if she doing something dangerous it took her mind off of other things. Danger kept her focused on the task at hand.

“I promise Ella, but when I go you may want to think twice before you choose to go with me.”

Ella looked at her questioningly.

“I saw a wanted poster on Tensleep’s desk I was considering, Charley Firehorse, the one wanted for murder and arson. Or maybe I’ll give a shot at that outlaw mare the boys been tryin’ to tame.”

Ella knew the man Scarlet talked about. He’d been robbing stages and setting them on fire along with some of the passengers recently, and the horse, Ella had set two broken arms and wrapped one man’s ribs thanks to the horse Scarlet was considering.
"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 #69 on: December 12, 2006, 09:10:31 PM »
"I'm telling Alan truthfully that I'm not returning to Boston because I have a patient I need to keep close watch on," replied Ella seriously.  "So if you go off bounty-hunting, I'm coming with you.  Women die from miscarriages, far too often.  Most of the rest of the time, the miscarriage leaves her weak and sickly.    I'm not trying to keep you from activities that might trigger a miscarriage, but I want to be on hand to minimize the impact it would have on your health."
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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #70 on: Today at 04:52:21 PM »

Offline Scarlet Angel

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #70 on: December 12, 2006, 10:59:03 PM »
Scarlet took a deep breath and slowly let it out then said. “I love you like a sister Ella, and I appreciate your concern, but please do not saddle me with the guilt feeling I am keeping you from joining Allen and I don’t want you endangering your life following me around.” 
"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 #71 on: December 12, 2006, 11:11:55 PM »
"It's Alan who is keeping away from me, no fault of yours.  I was not planning to return to Boston, because in his letters Alan had agreed to come out here," replied Ella.  "I am going to follow you around.  You might as well get used to the idea.    But can we take a pack horse?  I've gotten used to carrying a field hospital with me."
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Offline Scarlet Angel

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #72 on: December 13, 2006, 03:03:25 PM »
Scarlet had to smile at the get used to it statement followed immediately by the request for a pack horse in spite of the fact part of her really wished Ella would leave her alone. Scarlet knew Ella would follow her, even if she snuck off in the middle of the night. Ella was stubborn and resourceful, too much like herself and she reminded Scarlet of Becca to a point.

“Yes, we can have a pack horse.” Scarlet chuckled softly then asked “You always been this stubborn 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 #73 on: December 13, 2006, 05:41:41 PM »
"Of course, I've always been this stubborn.  Grammy wanted me to be able and willing to stick up for my opinions.  You just hadn't seen the stubborn much since I was usually getting my point across without it."
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1stSgt Fritz King

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #74 on: December 13, 2006, 09:25:03 PM »
Fritz ran a hand across his face.  There was stubble there.  He'd shave tonight if he found a good creek to camp by.  Maybe even a bath.  If not a creek, he'd have to wait until the next town. 

"This sure is a pretty country," he thought.  Fritz would see a good chunk of it on his journey North.  He adjusted the McClellen on Buddy's back, and readied for the day's ride.

Offline Scarlet Angel

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #75 on: December 13, 2006, 11:21:02 PM »
Scarlet and Ella rode back towards home. When Scarlet split off and rode towards the grave yard Ella let her go.

Scarlet dismounted and dropped the reins on the ground, the gate still squeaked when she entered. She walked to the grave and sat down at the end, leaning against the old tree that had stood there since the beginning of time, best she could figure.

She didn’t know how long she’d been there when she heard the gate squeak again. Turning she saw the woman enter. Scarlet said nothing and leaned back against the tree.

Mrs. Corbin came to a stop next to her. “It’s your fault you know.” The woman said looking down on Scarlet in disapproval. “They’d both be alive if it wouldn’t for your actions.”

Scarlet shifted uncomfortably.

“How many mothers’ sons are you going to put in the ground?” The woman asked.

“Wasn’t my fault.” Scarlet said quietly hating being in the very presence of the woman.

 “Their death” Mrs. Corbin snorted as she gestured towards the two graves with her chin “was indeed your fault. Seems to me that Marshal Hart’s death was your fault and Fritz’s death will be your fault too.”

Scarlet’s head jerked up and the two women exchanged looks of disgust.

“You could have kept him at home, Fritz I mean. All you had to do was ask him and you know it. How many times did he offer to quit and YOU told him no. Didn’t you want him around very long Scarlet?”

Scarlet stood to face the woman. “Leave here.” She growled.

“I would have done everything in my power to keep the man I loved away from battle.”

“I know how miserable you made Travis, guilting him to stay and run this place, I will not repeat your mistakes.”

“Only because I couldn’t get them to go to the city. What is it about this God forsaken land men find appealing?”

Scarlet looked around. “Perhaps it is the fact you can see the stars shine brightly and have a single thought without being interrupted here. The Corbin men never liked the city, not Travis, Bo or their father.”

“And it was their downfall.” The woman snapped. “I wonder if you will be responsible for Bo’s death?” She tilted her head “and that woman Ella too, because of your selfishness.”

“Ella is free to make her own choices, like Fritz and Bo.” Scarlet retorted.

Mrs. Corbin laughed. It was somewhat of an evil sound to Scarlet’s ears. “Didn’t you learn anything from me?”

Scarlet had had enough she put her hands on her hips and leaned towards the other woman.  “Yes, I learned how to make a good man miserable. I had to listen to Travis rant every time you told him it was his responsibility to take care things his father could no longer do. I had to listen to him rant about the way you made him feel like he was a child and how he hated you for trying to keep him under your thumb. Now GET OUT.”

The woman narrowed her eyes.

“Out” Scarlet said pointing towards the gate, that’s when she noticed him. The tall dark clothed man that had ridden next to her for so many years. He was handsome in his own dark way and many times had brought her some sense of comfort.

Scarlet escorted the woman to the gate. “You are not welcome here today either.” She said.

The man held out a bottle. “It can end, your friend Ella wouldn’t feel obligated to follow you, you wouldn’t be waiting to die trying to be something you know you never can be. Set yourself free.”

“Why now? I prayed for you to take my soul for so long and you wouldn’t.”

The man smiled “All in good time my dear. You never considered knowingly shedding blood of the innocent before, but lately.” The smile broadened.

“You go to; I’m not ready to sell my soul today.”

The man picked up her hand and kissed the back of it before she yanked it away.

“I will be back Scarlet.” He said.

“Just go.” She said turning and going back to the tree.

“Scarlet”

The feeling of his hand on her shoulder made her jump, her head jerked up and slammed against the tree.

“Scarlet”

She was almost afraid to open her eyes.

“You been here all night?”

Scarlet opened her eyes. She was relieved to see him. “When was the last time you talked to you mother Bo?”

He put his hand down helping her to her feet. “Been sometime, you know that.”

“You ok Sweetcheeks?” He asked.

“Yeah” She replied wondering herself.
"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 #76 on: December 14, 2006, 11:15:42 PM »
The two rode in silence back to the barn. Scarlet slid off her horse and began to unsaddle him. Bo dismounted and stood watching her.

“You never told him did you?” Bo asked.

Scarlet’s back stiffened, she could never hide anything from Bo for very long and she knew it. “What?” She asked turning around to face him.

“You didn’t want him to go. How mad you are. Better yet.. where you’d place the sights of that ol’ sharps on his C.O. if you think for one minute he is the reason Fritz doesn’t come home, if that were to happen.”

“No.” Scarlet said flatly not liking at the moment how well he really did know her.

“I bet you never told him you’d be gone from here within the week neither.”

“No, I was a good wife Bo. I smiled and gave him a kiss.” She replied.

“Why didn’tcha tell him how you really felt?”

“He’s a grown man Bo, just like you, free to make your own decisions.”

“I’m surprised you didn’t insist on going with him.” Bo half teased only to receive a glare from Scarlet.

 She walked over to where the pack saddle sat on the stand and started to examine it.

“I knew it.” He said watching her. “Not even gonna wait a week.”

“I too am grown Bo, free to make my own decisions.” Scarlet said as a matter of fact.

“First I’m going to take a bath then I’m going to go see the Marshal.”

“I’ll see you before you go.” Bo said kissing her on the forehead before he left.
"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 #77 on: December 16, 2006, 09:26:03 AM »
Supper with Rose and Johnny was a quiet meal that evening.  Fritz's departure that morning had dampened everyone's spirits.  After dishes were done and the kitchen cleaned up, Ella went out to the telegraph office. 

Patches had introduced Ella to the network of professional telegraphers when she started learning the codes.  Patches was prone to spending half the night chatting across the wires, exchanging gossip.  Those contacts had been useful several times when the Marshal was tracking down outlaws.  Ella had chatted enough to maintain those contacts. 

Now was time to see what they could say about Charley Firehorse's recent activitiy.  Maybe they would also say something about Army activity in the direction Fritz was heading. 
Elegant Ella

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #78 on: December 16, 2006, 11:13:21 PM »
Scarlet had finished her bath, gotten dressed, geared up and was headed back to the barn. While she’d sat in the bath she had decided Joker and Dancer would be the pack horses. Ella could handle riding either one of them for switching mounts and they both would follow and be able to keep pace with Lucky without being worried about.

She had finished putting the pack saddles on horses and packing the things she wanted when she heard “Incoming rider!”

Scarlet stepped out of the barn. She recognized the man, it had been sometime, since she rode with Hart best she could remember.

“Corbin! There you are.” He said riding up, his horse steaming in the cool morning air.

“Daniels, what brings you looking for me?” She replied curiously.

“You got a letter. It’s marked urgent from Fort Laramie. The way I figure it is they are either lookin’ for ya cuz ya went and made some soldier mad and you best be headed back to Mexico or they want somebody’s head in a sack and figure you is the one for the job.” He chuckled at his own humor. “Anyhow looks like you might already know.” He said eyeing the horses.

“I’m headhunting.” She half grinned almost afraid to take the letter. Her mind raced, Fritz had only been gone a day and something regarding him would have come to Mrs. King and most likely been brought from the nearby fort.

She took the letter. It was clearly marked on the outside.

CORBIN
SOUTHERN STARR
EL PASO TX
URGENT

“I got to get back ‘for the stage leaves without me.” He said turning his horse.

“Don’t be such a stranger Daniels.” She said looking at the envelope.

“You owe me a drink at the Ace anyhow since I hand delivered that. Gives you a head start!” He laughed as his horse moved off.

Scarlet looked at the return address that simply said Kane, Ft. Laramie, Wyoming.

She couldn’t think of anybody there who would be contacting her but then again this week had been full of unpleasant surprises.

Scarlet tore open the letter that looked like it had been hastily scribbled out.

“Corbin,
I find myself looking beyond locals for the upcoming task. The ones who are good at what they do have already ridden out and I am short handed except for young inexperienced. While they are good scouts I fear they will crap their britches under fire.  When I tell them we are headed for Ft. Fetterman I fear they will desert, as you know the only thing appealing there is the Hog Ranch.”

That made Scarlet chuckle. One of the girls that worked the Ace had come from the Hog Ranch. She knew from what the woman had said the Hog Ranch was the only option for the soldiers to socialize with women, and they had to swim the river to do it. She had told the other girls about all the soldiers in wet uniforms half frozen at times that would come to visit. The letter continued.

“From there we are to scout out hostile Indians. I have been lucky enough to get a couple of half breed Crow Scouts, however some of the others would rather see them hung than ride with them. I fear my hands will be full babysitting when I should be able to concentrate on other things. So far only a handful speak the language of the men we go after. What good is that to me? If you can recommend any good scouts that will NOT desert me, have seen battle and speak the language I would be in your debt.

Cyrus Kane

P.S. It is with great sorrow I heard of your brother’s death.”

It was then Scarlet realized this was meant for Bo. She remembered Cyrus too, although she had only met him once. He had come to the Starr to meet with Bo, Travis and some of the other men that ran in their circle. She’d never forget the face of a man who survived an attack from a grizzly. She remembered Travis thanking her for being nice to him. At first she did not understand, later she’d heard some of the other women talking about how scary and awful looking he was and they were afraid to talk to him. She could remember thinking her mother raised her better than that.

Scarlet folded the letter, placed it back in the envelope and looked at it for a long moment. Cyrus needed good scouts, she was just as good as anybody he’d be able to find and better than others.

“I can’t ask you to go with me, it’s gonna be dangerous, conditions will be harsh.” Fritz had said. Scarlet mulled this over for a moment. She’d been through the gates of hell more than once, knee deep in snow and mud or in the middle of the desert in August. She’d ridden with some of the foulest men she’d had the displeasure of meeting, at least soldiers were supposed to be disciplined.

There was her current condition to be considered. If she let her mind wander she could remember the pain of the late term miscarriage and the condition that had followed. If she carried this child that long she was probably as good as dead anyway, her instincts told her so, besides she had already decided she was not going to sit around feeling sorry for herself. The fates had dropped this letter right in her hands, the dreams of the devil earlier, who was she to ignore such signs?

Fritz’s wife did not belong there, it wouldn’t look good at all, she could only imagine what people would say, but the bounty hunter called Corbin would be an asset to Cyrus Kane. Scarlet finished with the horses then swung into the saddle.

She rode past the garden. Ella wasn’t there so she headed towards the telegraph office. Seeing movement inside Scarlet pulled Lucky to a stop and dismounted.
She was smiling when she went inside.

“Good morning Ella.” Scarlet was smiling like her old self. “How fast can we make Ft. Laramie, Wyoming territory? If I am not mistaken we can take the train part way.” She said sliding the envelope towards 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


1stSgt Fritz King

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Re: The Last Patrol
« Reply #79 on: December 16, 2006, 11:49:59 PM »
He'd made about a hundred miles so far, and though he had enough prvisions, the town below looked pretty inviting.  So as the sunn began to dip, Fritz rode Buddy towards the main street.  The place he was looking for was well marked.  Fritz dismounted, a bit sore from the hard earth and the days ride.  He tied his mounts to the railing and stepped inside.

A bell rung as the door struck it.  The shop was small, but all was neat and tidy.  A voice called from the back, "Just a minute!"  A woman's voice.  Fritz took off his hat.

As the barber emerged, he thought he'd entered the wrong place.  A buxom blonde wearing scarlet and black came from the back room.

"Good evening ma'am," Fritz said.  Have you closed for the night?"

The woman had a warm smile.  "Why no sir.  That is, if you're needing my services."

Fritz hung his hat on the rack, along with his gunbelt.  The short Colt came with him as he sat in her chair.

"What's your pleasure?"  The lady leaned in close, and tied a sheet about his neck. 

"Haircut, shave...and maybe a bath.  What's your name?"

She smiled.  "Rowena...yours?"

"Fritz."  The two shook hands.

Rowena went to work.  She was quite adept

"How close can you come to the scalp?"

"Close as you want," was her reply.  "You don't want your hair?"

Fritz looked her in the eye.  "If I don't have any hair, they can't scalp me."

Rowena broke out a larger pair of scissors.




 

 

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