20 April 2020

Sabers And... Snippet 1

June 7, 1875

We'd ridden hard at the behest of the Affairs agent to stop the Indians from doing their annual Sun Dancing.

They simply wouldn't learn the practice was forbidden and that allowing it was just making their lives worse as their warriors took great vows to strike at us and settlers.

We'd been ordered to be extra strict this year because of the recent discovery of gold in The Black Hills by Colonel Custer and the Sioux and Crow were being extra agitated about the Treaty being blatantly ignored.

Never mind they routinely violated the treaty by wandering off and murdering folks.

Our arrival was not what we'd expected it to be.

"Gone? What do you mean 'gone'?" I asked.

The Affairs agent looked like he'd eaten a frog, "Gone! Major. As in, 'they were here last night and they aren't here now' gone!"

That was self evident. Aside from my troop and the agent's people there wasn't a soul to be seen.

Even more bothersome was our mage tracking them to the center of where they'd been doing their Sun Dances and finding no sign they'd left. Sgt Harrison didn't mess up simple spells like that.

The question remained. Where had over a thousand Sioux gotten to if they'd not walked away from the community center, and why hadn't we seen them as we rode in?


  1. Not nearly enough stories in that series. By either author.

    1. Uh... I wrote the above snippet.

    2. I did enjoy "A Study In Sorcery" by Michael Kurland, Ace, 1989 with that approximate opening. (My copy is in storage at the moment)

  2. Another snippet.
    Major Darden looked down at the War Office telegram, then up at Colonel Waller, then back down at the telegram. Waller, the Major knew from experience was one of the good ones, a man could say what he really thought and the Colonel wouldn't hold it against him.
    "Sir, we've just spent the better part of a decade trying to get the Souix, and their Kiowa and Comanch' running buddies, off the plains. Now the Thrones and Powers want us to up sticks, dive into a spookhole, and ........Bring them BACK?"
    The Colonel smiled that little smile he wore whenever he handed his subordinate a grenado with a lit fuze. "Well son it's like this. Our signals officer, that Quint boy, I like him, he's a good kid, but he's new out here and lets face it, not all that quick on the uptake. The B.I.A. on the other hand instantly grasped the situation. No Indians, no Indian Affairs. No Indian Affairs, no B.I.A.. No B.I.A., no easy graft, no feathered nests, no big fat bank accounts back east. The Agent got to the telegraph first and hogged it for a full twenty four hours. So his folks were whispering in the High and Mightys ears before our people even got their boots on, so to speak. Now it's official; our mission is to secure the tribes and, where ever in the seven purple hells they are, they ain't secured. So we, meaning you, will hat up, find their rotten asses, and damn well secure them, good and hard. Have a plan on my desk by 12:00 hours tomorrow. I'd suggest lots of mules and lots of ammunition, but it's your command. And always remember the motto of the 77th Cavalry forged in battle putting down the late rebellion."
    It was the Majors turn to smile. "As I recall that was 'Hey sweetie, show us your tits!'"
    "Yes, well, we'll gussie it up in the Regimental History. 12:00 tomorrow."


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