12 February 2024

Sabers And... Snippet 18

The truth be told, Fowler thought, not all of the Indians had disappeared twenty years ago.

The Commanche were still where they'd, finally, been corralled and disarmed.

The Blackfoots, Crow and Pawnee were living comfortably on their reservations; having once been aligned with the US against their... fellow wasn't the right word... neighboring tribes.

There was old blood there.

It was Crow shamans who'd helped the scholars from Yale figure out what spells had been used to make the spook-holes.

The Commanche had been especially restive and it was clear that the secret of the spell had been deliberately withheld from them by their neighbors.

It seemed that nobody wanted to live next door to them if they could help it.

Indian Territory problem, not a 77th Expeditionary problem...

And this expedition.

Fowler was feeling a little bitter about it.

His Army had been well starved by a Congress that didn't have an enemy to the North and felt that it was large enough to handle a foe to the South.

If the invasion of Cuba, last year, had not been such a near thing, funding would probably still be strangling.

But now we're needed again, he thought.

Urgently now that some members of Congress were noticing that only the Commanche needed active management and all of the other native tribes had absconded.  They were chipping away hard at the monies promised to a Bureau of Indian Affairs that kept watch on a rather small population of Indians.

He had to admit, the lack of Indians had allowed the Army to do its job and kept Indian Territory from being overrun by white settlers a decade ago and the BIA had realized that without an Indian Territory they'd have been wiped out completely by, then, President Harrison.  So they backed the Army in keeping the settlers out.

But there used to be reservations all over the nation, not just Indian Territory.

The Bureau was interested in keep the money taps open and their nests well feathered.

So it was up to The Army, Colonel Fowler and the 77th to prove there were still Indians out there, somewhere.

Which brought up a problem.

The scouts that were integral to his expedition were inexperienced.  In the past, he'd have simply enlisted the aid of a Crow or Blackfoot scout.

But he was ordered to make peaceful contact with the Sioux or Cheyenne, if possible.  He doubted in his bones if that were possible if he brought even one of their eternal foes with him.

General Crook agreed that it was going to be more likely to be found by the Sioux than to find them himself, especially if he didn't do any sneaking about.  As if a formation of this size could do any sneaking.

1 comment:

  1. Special thanks to Technomad for knocking this fruit from the tree.


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