By Louis L'Amour
While significant Frank Paddock and Barnes Kilrone have been rushing younger officials in Paris, they either fell in love with an identical girl. yet now they're males in exile in a single of the most harsh territories of the yank West. it really is in contrast inhospitable backdrop, the place survival itself is a daily fight, that Paddock makes a fateful selection that may plunge either males right into a headlong conflict for his or her lives and the lives they’re sworn to guard. As Paddock leads his corporation of squaddies in pursuit of a Bannock battle get together, Kilrone is left at the back of to protect the post’s girls and kids. And earlier than the day is over, one among them, outnumbered and outgunned, should be trapped in a struggle to the finish.…
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Mellett was a seasoned officer, sure to be careful, but even the best of men could be trapped. Every minute of delay put Mellet closer to probable death by ambuscade. Between Mellett’s troop and possible massacre stood only the judgment of Major Frank Paddock. And to send out a troop to relieve Mellett would leave the post vulnerable to attack, practically helpless. His decision had to rest on the word of one man—a man who perhaps could not be trusted…or could he? Paddock stepped out into the heat and dust of the compound and closed the door behind him.
Not that he had ever left anyone behind…and that was the worst of it. Some of the men here tonight would be leaving no one behind. He knew how that felt. You sat in your saddle while the women said good-bye, clung to their husbands for that last moment, reluctant to let them go. You sat straight, looking right across your horse’s ears and you knew nobody really gave a damn if you came back or not…unless it was the sergeant who kept the duty roster. It was going to be rough out there. If Paddock was thinking of anything at all except a quick, crushing victory, he was thinking of Egan or Buffalo Horn.
All told, he had twenty years of the hardest kind of service behind him, and looked it. DENISE BROUGHT COFFEE for them. ” “He may have friends among the Indians, Frank. ” Paddock tasted his coffee. If he did as he planned, he was thinking, who would be left behind? The sutler, who was fifty-five and fat; two farriers, who were good enough at shoeing horses and good as veterinarians if nothing serious occurred; one line sergeant on the sick list, and four teamsters. There were several cooks, and three men in the guardhouse who could, if necessary, be freed to fight.