Wednesday, April 18, 2012

T. E. Story #20

"I am not sure why you should be amazed at your new rank.  You certainly deserve it since you know the army, have done projects and tasks on your own with great success, and you understand that I do have a difficult task and need the best people for this kind of work with me.  Col. Abert understands that as well, or he would not have given me so much leeway.  In regards to your friend Big Bear, I would caution him that from now on the river will be a zone of extreme contention as the final months of this verbal conflict heat up.  Piracy may not be simply taken before a court any more when a buffalo gun from the brush and a quick toss in the river can settle almost any conflict.  There will be bodies in the old river before long, and no-one to worry much about them."

I stopped my lecture for a moment, and thought about what Hezzie was going through right now. "Yet, I understand your feelings of the moment.  My feelings are spiking now too, but they will come down as soon as some Lt. Col. jumps all over me for something he doesn't like.  That's why you have the Sgt. Major’s stripes.  Very seldom do Senior Officers risk getting nasty with the old Sgt. Major.  Too much chance for strange things (undesirable things) to happen! In regard to Capt. Lewis, I will write him a note on the way South to the Project to pick up my gear and say goodbye to the team.  If the Col. is correct, and he usually is, the project will be stopped and everyone reassigned on a war footing just about the time that they all want to leave anyway.  I am thinking that for the first month or so, you and I will be doing the beginning efforts in this task, since the first steps will be short ones.  In that area of endeavor, we will be able to work together.  Later when more people are needed, I shall have to spend more time in Washington City.  I would tend to agree about Capt. Rufus.  I would expect him to be raised to the rank of Major at least and given a project similar to ours, only perhaps further inland or further South."

I walked into the stage office after the ride from the rail station.  "When is the next stage South," I asked the cashier behind the desk.

"Leaves at  6:00  P.M. this evening Capt." grinned the old man behind the desk.  "How was yer trip out toward the East?"

"Interesting, very interesting," I replied.  "It seems that I will be going back there for awhile.  They just can't get along without me.” I grinned and took the man's proffered handshake.  "You gonna give me and my friend here enough time to pick up our junk before the wagon takes off South?"

"Oh, I reckon," the Stationmaster said.  "The stage will have to change horses and get a new driver, cause the other driver's shift is over.   Do you want me to send a telegram that you are going to be there tomorrow?

"That's a good idea." I said, and handed him the money for the two round trip tickets and the telegram.  "We'll be back in about an hour or two, and thanks for the information and reminder."

"Say there Capt., talking about a reminder, some fella left a message for you just a few minutes ago," the stationmaster handed me a folded piece of paper:

>>>Capt. McKay;

I have gone on ahead by horseback.  I will read my orders and take over the project.  I assume that the men will have taken many advantages of the Lt. and it is time to rein them in.  I will see you again in camp.


I read the message hastily, having a good idea what it said when the message was announced.  When I finished reading, I gave the message to Hezzie. "How does that message strike you Hezzie, my friend," I asked with a grin?

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