BRANDED

Call to Glory - part 3 — episode #42

Jason was surrounded by the Sioux Indians.  Chief Crazy Horse ordered Jason to go back.  “Tell the others they are not welcome here.”  Jason argued that they had to talk or many would die.  “Go back!” Crazy Horse ordered. 

 

“It’s too late to go back, Crazy Horse.  For the white man, or for the red man.”

 

Crazy Horse led Jason back to the camp.  They talked over a camp fire.  “Three times has this man kept faith with our people.  When the son of my sister was in danger he helped him.  When the Pony soldier came into our land seeking blood, he led him out.  When I was held in the lodge of the long hair, it was him who spoke for me.”

 

“Let the white eyes talk,” Sitting Bull suggested.  “We will judge HIS words. 

 

Jason explained to them about what had happened.  The Indian Agent’s home was burned to the ground, the agent disappeared.  “My warriors have already told me,” Sitting Bull assured Jason.  “…that they have not done this thing.  He wronged our people, but we did not kill him.  Perhaps he was punished by your gods.”

 

Jason shook his head.  “This was the work of a man.  The long hair thinks it was a red man.  A Sioux war lance was found by the trading post.”  Jason was called a liar.

 

Custer and his men advanced toward the Indians.  Custer stopped and his man ordered the men to dismount.  They stopped at the edge of the creek that separated the Indian land from theirs.  Custer ordered they wait until dark – then they’d go in rather Jason was there or not.  Custer told Briggs to get the horses ready to cross, but only on his order.  “And that includes you, Briggs!”

 

“I guess I can wait until dark, sir,” Briggs assured him.

 

“I guess you can,” Custer agreed.

 

Back at the reservation, Jason continued to explain to the Sioux what had happened.  He told them they’d left him to die in a burning building – he’d found the lance himself. 

 

“I believe you speak the truth,” Sitting Bull stated.  “I speak the truth also.  My people did not leave it there.”  Sitting Bull stood up.  “White man will not accept evil that is among him.  It is easier to blame all the wrongs on red man because we are a different color.  We wear a different color skin.  Our ways are not his ways.  When men do not keep faith with each other, the gods become angry.  We have heard war drums over the skies.  And this time, we shall be ready for the storm.”

 

Crazy Horse explained that the men there were leaders of their tribes.  They came from far away to sit at the council table.  “If we are to talk again with the pony soldiers, it will not be as rivalss but as brothers…Not as tribes, but as a nation.”

 

An Indian came forward and quietly spoke to Crazy Horse.  Crazy Horse hurried over to the opening of the tent and peaked out.  “What is it?”

 

“The long haired solder has camped his soldiers on the east boundary of our land.  They are ready to move across.  Ride to him!  Tell him  what has been said!  You must stop him.”

 

Jason rushed out.  He carefully rode toward the boundary, but as he came out of the rocks, he saw a bear trap set.  He looked up as Yates spoke to him.  “Get off your horse, McCord.”  Jason stared at him.  “Drop your gun.”

 

“Look, Yates…I you have a grudge, we can settle it later.  I must see Custer before sundown.”

 

“That’s part of the grudge.  Get down.”

 

He made Jason drop his gun.  Then he picked up a big stick and walked toward the bear trap, wondering if Jason had ever seen that sort of trap before.  “Guess it might tear a man’s leg off if he accidently stepped into it.”  He stuck the stick in the trap.  The trap closed, cutting the large stick in half. 

 

“What did you do with Galvin?” Jason asked.

 

“Curious as a ring-tailed coon, aren’t ya?  Galvin was another man that had accidents.  Had a bad one.  He ran into a Sioux war party.”

 

“With the name of Yates?”  Yates laughed.  “But you’re not smart enough to engineer this.”

 

“I’m no genius, McCord, but I’m smart enough for Gregory Hazin to use me as his right hand man.”  Yates hit Jason in the gut with the butt of his rifle, and then hit him over the head.  Jason fell to the ground.  Then Yates reset the bear trap.  While Jason lay unconscious, Yates started dragging him over to the trap, intending on killing him.  As Yates lifted Jason’s head to the trap, an arrow struck him in the back.  He fell into the bear trap.  The Indian on the hill at saved Jason’s life.

 

Jason quickly rode back to Custer and told him what was happening.  “So, while MacAllister is using my vanity to make me into a wood monkey, Galvin and Hazin are short changing the Indians so they’ll be ready for a fight, is that it?”

 

Jason figured Hazin was willing to sacrifice anything and anybody to get the Black Hills gold.  Custer didn’t think that made since – Hazin already had enough money.  Jason told Custer he was going to have to prove it to Sitting Bull.  “Take a ride with me?” Jason asked Custer.

 

MacAllister was worried that Yates hadn’t returned yet.  Hazin thought MacAllister was a born worrier.

 

A knock sounded on the door.  Jason was escorted inside.  Hazin was sure surprised to see him.  “This is an unexpected pleasure.”

 

Jason smiled.  “I’m sure it is.  Next time you pay someone to kill a man, make sure he’s quicker and…less talkative than Yates.”  Hazlin wanted to know why Jason had come.  “To make a deal.”    There was 6000 square miles in the Gold Hills, but Jason assured Hazlin that it wasn’t one big gold mine like he thought.  “Nine tenths of that oar is worthless.”

 

“What are you talking about?”

 

“I’m talking about fool’s gold,” Jason announced.  “The army trained me to be a geologist.  Now look, I’ve had my eye on that territory just like you. That’s why I took the scouting job with the seventh.  It gave me a chance to…ride in there…take some samples.”  Hazlin ordered Jason to get to the point.  “The point is if the treaty’s broken, there’s going to be a lot of land grabbing.  You  just might grab it at the wrong place.”  Jason told him that he could draw a map that would put him on top of the mother lode as rich as the Denver mint.

 

“How do we know we can trust him?” MacAllister asked.

 

“You don’t,” Jason stated.  “All I want is enough money to get out of this country for good.  Twenty thousand dollars.  Ten now, and ten when you make your first strike.”

 

Custer and Briggs watched from the window as Hazlin told Jason to draw him a map.  “Not until I see the money,” Jason said then with a laugh.  “I’m not as gullible as that dim-witted dandy out there dodging arrows because he thinks it’ll put him into the White House.”

 

“I thought Custer was a friend of yours.”

 

“Nobody in an army uniform is a friend of mine,” Jason growled.

 

“I’ll have to get you my money from the bank, but you can take my word for it,” Hazlin told Jason then.  “Now let’s see that map.”  Jason went over and drew it for him.

 

As Jason discussed the map with Hazlin, Custer and Briggs made their way around the side of the house.  A guard sat by the front door, his back to them.  Slowly and quietly, Custer made his way up onto the porch.  But the man turned suddenly and tried to punch Custer.  A fight broke out.  When Hazlin heard the fight outside, he realized it was a set up and a fight broke out inside as well. 

 

The fight was ugly and long.  They jumped through windows and busted hitching posts as they fought.  Then when one of Hazlin’s men pointed a gun at Custer, Jason hit him, knocking the gun from his hand.  Then he attacked the man.  They fought and struggled.  More men continued to show up and join in on the fight.  Custer, Jason, and Briggs worked hard in the fight.  Each man received the wrath of they deserved.  In time, the fight ended.  All the bad guys were knocked out cold.  They laid all around Hazlin’s yard. 

 

Custer walked over to Hazlin and grabbed him by his coat.  He demanded Hazlin to get up.  Briggs took Hazlin away.  Jason stood beside Custer who was quite beaten.  “Buddy, did you really want to be President?” he asked then quickly walked away.  Custer glared at his friend’s retreating figure and groaned. 

 

It was time for Jason to leave Fort Lincoln.  Briggs and Jennie said goodbye to him.  Briggs even called Jason “Lieutenant.”

 

Jason gave Jennie a special goodbye.  “Jennie, do you remember that school-girl dream you told me about?”

 

Briggs gave her a curious look and she smiled.  “About her night in shining armor?”

 

“About a knight in shining armor,” Jason smiled.  Briggs and Jennie looked at each other and smiled.  “Good luck to both of you.”

 

Custer came out and hopped on his horse.  “Come on, Jason…What’s holding you up?”  They took off on a race to the finish.  They sure were a good team.  First one was winning, then the other…

 

Jason had to say goodbye.  “Big, dumb Irishman!  You gonna spend the rest of your life killing for General Reed?  You’re an army man, Jason.  You’ll always be an army man.  A court martial ain’t going to change that.”  Custer said he’d talk to Sheridan and…

 

“Stay out of it, Woody.  I’m happy with where things are,” Jason said quickly.  Custer knew that was Jason’s decision to make.  Custer gave Jason a watch, to remind him he’d always be a member of the Seventh Calvary. 

 

“I know my Indians.  There’s a fight coming sooner or later.  You’ll step up to me one of these days and say I was right about that.  Meanwhile, I’ll be happy just to…do my soldiering and ride in.  I tell you something, Jason…some people call this God-forsaken country …{inaudible}…It’s about as barren country as a man can get.”

 

“It’s beautiful country though,” Jason declared with a smile as he looked over the land.  “What do they call this valley?”

 

“Well, the Indians name this valley ‘Rich Grass.’ Trappers call It the Little Big Horn.”

 

“The Little Big Horn…” Jason repeated, deep in thought.

 

“So long, Jason.  This is as far as I go.”  The men shook hands. 

 

 
 

Jason didn’t know it at the time, but that’s the last time he’d ever see his good friend, General Custer.
 


Call to Glory ― Cast


Next ―
The Ghost of Murrieta


Episode Guide 1 & 2


the saddlebag..... 1 &
2


Branded


HOME

*Thanks to Michelle Palmer for writing this episode!

Site Map
 around The McCain Ranch