BRANDED
The Mission - part 2 episode #9

Colonel Snow was the only one at the court martial who thought Jas was innocent. In the army's record book, Jas is marked a coward. They were looking for someone like Jas, a man with that label, a man who could hate the army. A man who could turn traitor....."We need you McCord," said the president. "What is it you want me to do, Mr. President?"

He told Jas the last few months their outpost, border stations, and civilian parties have been raided from across the Mexican border. They are an organized band of Mexicans. They hit in the U.S. and then run back across the border and we can't go after them without violating our extradition agreement with Mexico. The Mexican government apologizes and sympathizes, but the border is a long ways away from the capital and they have bigger problems to tend to down there. There are a lot of people in high places, newspapers, politicians and munitions maker that would like to see these incidences blow up into a war. Not just that, but there are also people in Mexico that would also profit from a war, topple the government and take over. The president didn't want to send a punitive force down there and risk that war. "I'd rather risk you," said President Grant to Jas. "Disgraced American officer, hates the army, his country and sells out," stated Jas. The president told him that was right, he wanted him to infiltrate, join up and get them to hit the payroll at Fort Perry. "I'll be there," said Colonel Snow. "I'm your contact....get a coded message to me." Colonel Snow was to be the only other person in the country to know about this. The president told him that they were treading on diplomatic thin ice....."Will you do it?" Jas agreed to undertake this mission. The President told Jas and Colonel Snow to go and work out the details. As they started to leave the room, the president told Jas.....one more thing. "Oh McCord.....this won't clear your record at Bitter Creek. Nobody will ever know about it except for the three of us." "But I'll tell you this.....if the President of the United States believed you were a coward.....he wouldn't send you on this mission."

Before leaving on his mission, Jas went to say goodbye to his grandpa. He told him about Senator Lansing wanting him to testify against General Reed in order to renegotiate a new treaty. Grandpa agreed with Jas and told him not to let them run him out of town. Jas told him he wasn't running, Jas told him he had a job, but couldn't tell him about it. He told Jas he had to start letting things go and that he felt mighty old that day. He said he wasn't feeling well. "Then I better not suggest a brandy before I go," said Jas. That made grandpa's eye light up. "Brandy! That's medicine son! Real tonic!" Jas then made a toast....."Well general.....as you use to say.....confusions to the enemies....." Jas told him when he finished his job he would try and get back to see him. "Whatever it is.....try and get that job finished.....before I'm finished!" Said Grandpa. "Now wait a minute, you said you were going to live to be one hundred and fifty.....I believed you," said Jas. Grandpa looked at Jas and said....."Good luck and God speed." They then embraced each other.

Jas made it into Mexico; he wasn't there more then a minute when a Mexican by the name of Crispo approached him. He asked Jas if he made a mistake, he asked him if he was lost, maybe a stranger in the wrong place. Jas told him he wasn't lost and started to walk away from Crispo. Crispo laughed and tailed along with Jas. He told Jas he looked like a man that would be looking for Santa Rosa. He then told Jas he had a very nice horse and he could get Jas to Santa Rosa in no time. Jas stopped and looked at him and then went on his way. He then drew a knife on Jas. He slowly moved the knife across Jas's face and then pointed the knife in the direction of Santa Rosa. Crispo then went into the cantina. Jas went into the cantina and ordered a drink. He then asked Crispo and another man where he could get a room. They told him no savvy. The other man grabbed Jas's saddlebag when his back was turned and threw it on the table where Crispo was setting. "Don't touch it.....they're my saddlebags," said Jas. Crispo then drew his knife. He took the knife and slid it under the one strap and cut the strap off. Jas then knocked over the table where they were setting. A fight broke out. Crispo came after Jas with his knife. Jas took his saddlebag and threw it at Crispo, and quickly taking his sabre out of the saddlebags and holding it on him. "Now tell them to pick up the saddlebags and put them on the bar!" Said Jas. Crispo just stood there looking at Jas.
"Tell them!" Yelled Jas as he started for Crispo with his sabre. Crispo told them in Spanish. "Now.....I want to talk to your head man," said Jas. Crispo told Jas he was the man. Jas called him a liar and told him he didn't have the talent nor the brains. Just then a man came at him with a chair. Jas blocked the chair, sticking the sabre in the seat of it and then hitting the man. He then drew his gun, and shot into the floor. He told him again that he wanted to meet the head man. Just then a man jumped off of the bar, hitting Jas with a bottle, knocking him to floor.

When Jas came to, he was in another room. There was a man there by the name of Brissac. He was looking at a piece of paper that was in Jas's saddlebags. It was information about Jas being a coward. Jas told him that everything on that paper was a lie. Brissac wasn't too sure about that. He asked Jas what he wanted to see him about. Jas told him he had something he needed. He told Jas to sit town and asked him what it was that they needed. Jas told him that he was familiar with army garrisons, forts and troop movements. Brissac said that they were familiar with them also. Jas told them that they have been lucky so far with their raids. Brissac told him they knew what they were doing. Jas told him that one day soon, some army man was going to study one of those maps and see the pattern. Jas told him to look at it, that anyone could predict his next raid. Brissac told him there was no way. Jas then pointed to a section on the map and said....."Fort Ryder." Brissac was surprised but did not let it show. He told Jas they might have considered it. Jas told him it would be a mistake if they did. "Look I know a place you can take easy, and come away with riches bigger then all your raids, and really rile up the American Army," said Jas. Jas did well at convincing Brissac, as he shared his enthusiasm and his desire to settle a score with the American Army. It didn't take too long to win Brissac over. Brissac wanted to know more of this place, but without a deal Jas wouldn't tell him anything. He told Jas it was a deal. Jas told him he expected to do a lot of business with his outfit and that he wanted a long term contract with the real head man. Brissac told him he was the head man, but he couldn't convince Jas, Jas knew better. Brissac studied Jas for a while, and then he poured them both a drink. "Tomorrow morning, you and I will take a ride.....to the man," said Brissac.

The next morning they went to a La Hacienda outside of town, to see General Arrioin, the man. He was a very demanding man. He was tasting wine and was not pleased with some of his workers wines. He threw one of the bottles of wine into the fireplace smashing it. The general told Jas whether or not the charges against him were true or not was no concern of his. "I demand excellence in wine.....but when it comes to men I am first of all a politician." "I must often deal with an inferior vintage," said the general as he looked at his workers. He asked Jas what he had to offer. Jas told him the first thing he had to offer was good advice.....change pattern of attack.....move at an unexpected direction. The general was interested and wanted to hear more. "Fort Perry," said Jas. The general poured himself a drink and was silent for a while. "There's a large shipment of silver and currency being held there for one day," said Jas. The general asked why they need him, when he just gave them all the information they needed. "First of all you don't know which day general and secondly, I'm familiar with that fort," said Jas. "If we enter it as soldiers we can take that payroll without firing a shot!" "And just how do we do that?" asked the general. "We can have some cavalry uniforms made up, and I can drill your men into something resembling a cavalry outfit." "Then we ride in and out of Fort Perry with just a few.....well chosen words," said Jas. The general thought it to be too simple to work. Jas told him the trick was the well chosen words. It would take an army man to know them and to use them. He told Jas he had a deal. As Brissac and Jas started to leave, the general called to Brissac. He wanted to talk to him. Jas walked out the door and Brissac shut the door behind him and walked over to the general. "McCord will lead you into the fort.....once you are out....." He then threw a glass into the fire place. Brissac got the message.

The next day Jas started with the training of General Arrioin's men. Jas knew this would take time and patience, all he could do was shake his head. He dismissed the men and headed for the cantina. Brissac was watching from the balcony of the hotel. He yelled to Jas and asked him if they were ready to ride. "Ready as they'll ever be. How are the women coming with the uniforms?" Asked Jas. Brissac told Jas that they were hoping they would be ready by tomorrow. "They better be ready.....that's the day the money will be at Fort Perry," said Jas.

"Stupid!" "Drilling is stupid!" "Mount.....dismount.....left, right.....I don't like it!" Yelled Crispo. Jas told him he would do as he says.  "I don't like being told.....I don't like being ordered around by a yellow streak!" Jas then hit Crispo and he fell to the ground.  "Do you like that better?" Asked Jas. Brissac told Jas to excuse Crispo.....he has very bad manner. "He's excused!" Said Jas and then walked away. Crispo laid on the ground laughing.

Jas was in his room writing a coded message to Colonel Snow when someone knocked on the door. It was Brissac. He came to review the plan. "Half of us will wear uniforms, the other half will chase up into the fort. Some of us will appear as if we are wounded and the fort will open it's gates to save us," said Brissac. Jas told him that was right. "The soldiers from the fort will give chase to the bandits," stated Brissac. "Leaving us and the payroll inside the fort," said Jas. They were interrupted by shooting and laughing from the cantina. It was Crispo and some of the men. Brissac was upset. He felt they should be sleeping so they could have clear heads in the morning.
 
Jas and Brissac went to see what was going on. Crispo and some men had several uniforms. Jas asked them where they got them. "Those soldiers made a big mistake.....too near the border," laughed Crispo.
"You're a fool Crispo! You'll stir up trouble and draw attention to our ride tomorrow!" Yelled Brissac. "They won't give us away.....their all dead!" Laughed Crispo. "It's a mistake.....it won't be repeated!" "For the rest of the night every man is confined to his quarters without exceptions!" Yelled Brissac. Brissac told Jas since he would be leading them he would need an officers uniform. As he went through the pile he came across a Colonel's Jacket and threw it to Jas. "See you at reville.....Colonel!" Said Brissac as he saluted Jas. "Everyone to their quarters and stay there!" Yelled Brissac.

Jas went back to his room. He was saddened by the death of these officers and solders. He just stood there for a while, thinking. Then it suddenly hit him. Colonel Snow was in this area. He picked up the Colonel's jacket and looked inside to see whose it was. Inside the label read: COL. HARRY S. SNOW, U. S. ARMY
Jas took his note that he was writing in code out of his pocket and crumbled it up. He then picked up the lighted candle and burn the message.



The next morning Jas and his new troop of soldiers were ready to ride. Crispo walked up to Brissac and said....."No fun this raid when you're riding with a traitor and a coward." Brissac told him that on his way back he could have the fun of killing Jas. Crispo laughed and said....."Now that is a good raid!"

Jas gave the command to form columns of two's and to forward ho as they road on to Fort Perry.


The Mission ― Cast


Next ― The Mission - part 3


Episode Guide 1 & 2


the saddlebag..... 1 & 2


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