Warrior Gap

Charles King
Warrior Gap, by Charles King

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Title: Warrior Gap A Story of the Sioux Outbreak of '68.
Author: Charles King
Release Date: December 10, 2006 [EBook #20082]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
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Warrior Gap
A Story of the Sioux Outbreak of '68.

AUTHOR OF "Fort Frayne," "An Army Wife," "Trumpeter Fred,"
"Found in the Philippines," "A Wounded Name," "Noble Blood and a
West Point Parallel," "A Garrison Tangle," etc., etc.

Copyrighted 1898, by F. Tennyson Neely.
Copyrighted, 1901, by The Hobart Company.


Riding at ease in the lazy afternoon sunshine a single troop of cavalry
was threading its way in long column of twos through the bold and
beautiful foothills of the Big Horn. Behind them, glinting in the
slanting rays, Cloud Peak, snow clad still although it was late in May,
towered above the pine-crested summits of the range. To the right and
left of the winding trail bare shoulders of bluff, covered only by the
dense carpet of bunch grass, jutted out into the comparative level of the
eastward plain. A clear, cold, sparkling stream, on whose banks the
little command had halted for a noontide rest, went rollicking away
northeastward, and many a veteran trooper looked longingly, even
regretfully, after it, and then cast a gloomy glance over the barren and
desolate stretch ahead. Far as the eye could reach in that direction the
earth waves heaved and rolled in unrelieved monotony to the very sky
line, save where here and there along the slopes black herds or scattered
dots of buffalo were grazing unvexed by hunters red or white, for this
was thirty years ago, when, in countless thousands, the bison covered
the westward prairies, and there were officers who forbade their
senseless slaughter to make food only for the worthless, prowling
coyotes. No wonder the trooper hated to leave the foothills of the
mountains, with the cold, clear trout streams and the bracing air, to take

to long days' marching over dull waste and treeless prairie, covered
only by sage brush, rent and torn by dry ravines, shadeless, springless,
almost waterless, save where in unwholesome hollows dull pools of
stagnant water still held out against the sun, or, further still southeast
among the "breaks" of the many forks of the South Cheyenne, on the
sandy flats men dug for water for their suffering horses, yet shrank
from drinking it themselves lest their lips should crack and bleed
through the shriveling touch of the alkali.
Barely two years a commissioned officer, the young lieutenant at the
head of column rode buoyantly along, caring little for the landscape,
since with every traversed mile he found himself just that much nearer
home. Twenty-five summers, counting this one coming, had rolled over
his curly head, and each one had seemed brighter, happier than the last,
all but the one he spent as a hard-worked "plebe" at the military
academy. His graduation summer two years previous was a glory to
him, as well as to a pretty sister, young and enthusiastic enough to
think a brother in the regulars, just out of West Point, something to be
made much of, and Jessie Dean had lost no opportunity of spoiling her
soldier or of wearying her school friends through telling of his
manifold perfections. He was a manly, stalwart, handsome fellow as
young graduates go, and old ones wish they might go over again. He
was a fond and not too teasing kind of brother. He wasn't the brightest
fellow in the class by thirty odd, and had barely scraped through one or
two of his examinations, but Jessie proudly pointed to the fact that
much more than half the class had "scraped off" entirely, and therefore
that those who succeeded in getting through at all were paragons,
especially Brother Marshall. But girls at that school had brothers of
their own, girls who had never seen West Point or had the cadet fever,
and were not impressed with young officers as painted by so indulgent
a sister. Most of the girls had tired of Jessie's talks, and some had told
her so, but there was one who had been sympathetic from the start--a
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