The Mission - part 2 —
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
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
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
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
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!"
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.
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
Jas gave the command to form columns of two's and to
forward ho as they road on to Fort Perry.
around The McCain Ranch