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~Escape From Fort Bravo~
Published Sep 23, 2008


Written By

drewsoltesz

Storyteller
22348Views4.6Rating

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WELCOME TO SIM CINEMA!

This story is VERY loosely based on the 1953 western movie starring William Holden...I have made changes to the story to fit Sims gameplay and the guidelines here at TSR. A few lines of dialogue is from the movie, the rest is mine. If you ever catch this on TV check it out! (sadly, it is not on DVD)
Thanks to Hordriss (here at TSR) for answering my request for a Calvary hat, shirt and uniform for me to use in this story! The Fort Bravo lot is by me, available here at TSR!

WELCOME TO SIM CINEMA!

This story is VERY loosely based on the 1953 western movie starring William Holden...I have made changes to the story to fit Sims gameplay and the guidelines here at TSR. A few lines of dialogue is from the movie, the rest is mine. If you ever catch this on TV check it out! (sadly, it is not on DVD)
Thanks to Hordriss (here at TSR) for answering my request for a Calvary hat, shirt and uniform for me to use in this story! The Fort Bravo lot is by me, available here at TSR!
In 1863, while the war between the States still raged, a large group of Confederate prisoners were held in a sunbaked stockade at Fort Bravo, Arizona Territory...
Captor and captive, these men in blue and grey eyed each other with hatred.
In the wilderness around them, a common enemy eyed them both, the deadly Mescalero Indians~~
Captain Jeb Fincher is returning an escaped Confederate prisoner back to Fort Bravo after tracking and capturing him deep in the Arizona desert.
The man is exhausted, and collapses from heat prostration, right in front of his comrades behind the iron fence.
There is not much deterrent to hold the Confederates in, for there is no escape from Fort Bravo, either the desert or the Indians will get you, or the dogged steely determination of Captain Jeb Fincher.
The Confederate prisoners watched in shock as their fellow soldier was dragged like an animal back into the Fort.
Captain Fincher dismounted and gave orders the prisoner be taken to the Fort's doctor for examination. He glanced briefly at the angry prisoners, and then went into the Colonel's office to brief him.
Captain John Marsh of the 27th Georgia closed his eyes and sighed dejectedly. The poor man being dragged back to camp at the end of a rope was his best friend, Huestus Bailey; he silently prayed his friend would be all right. Colonel Smithson pulled out his chair. "How far did he get?"
"Casa Grata." Fincher stated.
"And you made him walk back the whole way across that desert?" The Colonel questioned, astonishment in his voice.
Fincher sneered. "He drove that horse until it dropped dead, damn right I made him walk back."
Smithson sighed. "You have to show a little humanity, Fincher. I have as many soldiers as prisoners here; we are cut off from civilization. We may need the Confederates to help us fight off the Mescaleros."

Fincher's face was a mask of hardness. "He showed no humanity for that horse! He was so scared of being caught he ran it to near death, then didn't even bother to put the poor animal out of it's misery, Coward!"
"So you made him walk back because you love horses, or do you hate men?"
Jeb did not respond.
"When I see you soldiering Fincher, I am glad we are in the same army. I don't like what you done, you figure you bring a man back like that, the others won't try it, is that it?"
"That's right, Colonel." Jeb said sharply.
The colonel shook his head in disbelief.
"One more thing Fincher, we have a small supply wagon train overdue, I want you and a few men to go out tomorrow morning and find out what has happened, pick who you want. Heed my advice Captain, this is hard country to stay alive, we may have to arm those Reb prisoners if the Indians attack. The better we treat them, the better they will treat us if the tables should get turned."
Jeb saluted and headed out of the office.
As Captain Jeb Fincher made his way toward his barracks, the confederate prisoners began to whistle 'Dixie' quite loudly in time to Fincher's long purposeful strides.
Jeb stopped and glared at the men. They stopped the heckling whistle, the anthem of the Confederacy, when Jeb stopped.
As soon as Jeb began walking again, 'Dixie' followed him all the way to his quarters.
Jeb immediately stripped off his shirt to wash the layers of desert off him. He turned to Sgt. Carmody. "Tell Lt. Beecham I want to see him immediately." He snarled.

"Yes sir, Captain. By the way, the prisoner Captain Marsh wants to talk to you, he said it was urgent."

"Bring him in here Carmody, after you bring Beecham." Jeb said roughly.
Jeb Fincher had grown hard and bitter in his three years at Fort Bravo, he hated the war, and that fact he was stuck far away from the action. All he considered himself was a glorified prison warden, and it stung.
"You wanted to see me Sir?" Lieutenant Beecham said.
Jeb continued to wash himself. "Yes, get together 5 or 6 men, we leave tomorrow morning to track some supply wagons that are overdue."
Jeb saw the worried look on his face. "Don't worry Beecham, we will be back in time for your wedding. Dismissed."
Beecham did not move.
"What is it Beecham, speak your piece." Jeb stated.
"I have to say sir, I do not like what you did today. It is causing unrest with the prisoners. That will not bode well if the tide should turn."
Jeb was about to yell at his Lieutenant for insubordination, instead he just sighed. "I didn't like it much either, Robert. Had to be done. There is no more to be said."
Beecham saluted and left.
"What is it, Marsh?" Jeb said as he put his coat back on.
"I would like to see the prisoner Bailey at the hospital if I may." Marsh said quietly.
"If he had fought and behaved like a man I would have brought him back as one, but he isn't Marsh." Jeb said darkly.
"He is just a boy, and my friend..." Marsh said in a low voice.
"You can go see him, Carmody will escort you to the Doctor's." Jeb replied a little more kindly.
Jeb stared at the Confederate Captain intensely. "You're all right Marsh, you look out for your men, you are a good officer, you were just unlucky to be in the wrong army."
Marsh smiled slightly. "But the right cause..."
Jeb snickered ironically. "Well, they say that's the one that wins...that's all Marsh, Carmody is outside."
Early the next morning Jeb Fincher, Lt. Beecham, Carmody and a couple of other soldiers started out to try and track the missing supply wagons. Not only was there much needed food and medicine, but the wagons were also carrying rifles. It was days overdue and the men began to think the worst, that the Mescaleros attacked the train and took the weapons and supplies. All that long day with the sun beating down creating a furious heat the soldiers rode without respite. They finally found some tracks and began to follow them into the canyon below. From a distance, Jeb could see some black smoke rising out of the gully.
"Wensley! Get down there ahead of us and investigate!" Jeb barked.
Corporal Wensley came upon a horrific sight; all the wagons were aflame, what wasn't stolen was now burning in the rubble of what was the supply train.

"Captain! Captain Fincher!" Wensley shouted.
The rest of the troop galloped into the ravine as fast as they could.
Carmody searched among the burned out wagons and made an even more horrific discovery. The men on the supply train had been tied to stakes to bake in the hot Arizona sun. He felt a wave of nausea wash over him.
Jeb walked up. "Calm yourself, Wensley!" he snapped at the distraught Corporal.
Jeb turned to Carmody. "See that they are buried properly Sergeant."
Carmody swallowed hard. "What a way to die..."
Jeb looked over at the bodies. "When you find yourself in the grave, it doesn't matter much how you got there," He said inaudibly.
As the sun was setting, the soldiers quietly saw to the burial of the unfortunate men. Carmody said a few words over the graves.
"Mount up..." Jeb said sternly when it was all over. "We have to find a place to camp for the night before we head back to the Fort. There is nothing more we can do here."
As the soldiers finished their meagre meal, they were sitting around the campfire when they heard far off Indian cries and some rifle fire. Before they had a chance to investigate, a stagecoach pulled into their camp.
Jeb went over and opened the door to the coach to let out a woman.
The driver and his man were shaken but unhurt.
"I could do with a cup of hot coffee, by chance do you have some?" said the woman in a strong steady voice.

Jeb shook his head in disbelief. "Certainly, right this way." The woman was so calm; you would never know the stagecoach had just been chased by some Mescaleros.
"Are you the 8th Calvary?" the woman asked, looking around at them all. "From Fort Bravo?"
"C troop, yes ma'am. Why do you ask?" Replied Jeb curtly.
"I am on my way to visit the Colonel and his daughter. My name is Carla Forrester."
Jeb gave a sarcastic snort. "This is a hell of a long way to come for a social visit, Miss Forrester. We just buried some men from a supply train heading for Fort Bravo. You were lucky to get through."
"You shouldn't try to frighten me, Captain." she sniffed with a haughty air.
He looked into her determined face. "I can see I'm not. So you know the Colonel then?"
"Yes I do, I went to school with his daughter, Alice. I am here for her wedding." Carla stated.
Jeb motioned to the flaxen haired man by the fire. "There is her intended, Lt. Beecham. Are you from the North or South, Miss Forrester? Hard to tell from your accent."
"Neither." Carla said flatly.
"Ah," Jeb nodded. "You must be from Texas. I suggest you try and get some sleep Miss Forrester. We have a long journey back to the Fort."
Carla nodded and walked away, Jeb gave her a quick admiring look, brave handsome woman...he thought to himself.
By mid afternoon, the group made it back to Fort Bravo. The Colonel came out to greet them. "Carla! We weren't expecting you so soon!" the Colonel exclaimed.
Jeb explained briefly what happened with the stagecoach. "Are you alright Carla?" Smithson asked, concern in his voice.
"I am fine sir, if you will just point me in the direction of Alice."
Smithson motioned for a soldier to come over. "The private will show you. Pardon me my dear; I must get an in-depth briefing from the Captain. I will see you at dinner."
"Perhaps the Captain will join us for dinner." Carla said sweetly. She batted her eyes shamelessly at Jeb.
The colonel cleared his throat. "Of course, Fincher, do come."
Jeb looked at Carla for a few moments with great intensity. "I will be honoured Sir."

In the Confederate prison yard, Captain Marsh watched the scene with interest.
Two soldiers that were captured with Marsh and served with him in his company came up to him. "When do we make our break?" Cabot hissed.

"We'll go when I say so and not before." Marsh replied quietly. "Do you want to end up like Bailey? Leave it to me; this will take some planning. Fincher is not a stupid man; he is ruthless and determined. If you don't want to be dragged back at the end of a rope, let me handle it."
The men murmured in agreement.
Dinner was over and Carla brought in a tray of coffee and cookies. "Fresh hot strong coffee, just they way you like it. Alice and Lt. Beecham have gone for a walk about the Fort. Tell me Captain, will you be at the dance tomorrow night? I am in need of an escort, and you will do fine."

Jeb raised one eyebrow and looked at the bold woman in front of him, the Colonel just guffawed with amusement.
"I would be honoured to take you." He said with an delighted but wary glint in his eye.
The Colonel got up and excused himself.
"It is safe here at the Fort to go for a walk is it not? Alice and Robert have gone for one. Perhaps I could walk you home, Captain." Carla purred.

Jeb raised his eyebrow again. "Just what part of Texas are you from, anyway?"

Carla laughed gently at the Captain's astonished tone.
He shrugged nonchalantly. "Fine, if you want to walk me home, Let's go."
Carla glanced at the Confederates behind the iron fence. "Do the prisoners ever try to escape?" she asked thoughtfully.
"Sometimes..." Jeb replied.
"What happens?" Carla inquired.
"I find them." He stated a matter-of-factly.
"So you're the man who finds everybody." Carla said quietly.
After walking for sometime, they made the loop back in front of Jeb's quarters. "Well, here I am...thank you..."
Carla cut him off. "Must I ask you to the dance tomorrow night?" she said in a breathy, feminine voice.
Jeb had to admit he was flattered. "I'd like to hear you ask me."
Carla lowered her eyes. "Perhaps I am moving too fast..."
Jeb smiled briefly. "Perhaps you are, perhaps you're not, I'll pick you up at 7 PM tomorrow night."
He touched his forelock and went into his barracks.
The small dance was underway at the Colonel's home. Jeb and Carla danced every dance together.
As they waltzed, she noticed a man standing with a Confederate uniform. "Who is that, a prisoner? How forward thinking of you to invite the enemy to this soiree."
Jeb looked across the room. "That is Captain Marsh, the colonel believes in having good relations with the prisoners, especially their officers. It is no never mind to me."
"Excuse me Colonel, I wonder if I may get your permission to ask Miss Forrester for a dance." Captain Marsh asked graciously.
The Colonel looked over at Carla dancing with Jeb. 'Well, it's never been done, I don't see why not. Come with me Captain Marsh."
"Pardon me, Captain Fincher, I believe this my dance...will you do me the honour Miss Forrester?" Marsh said gallantly.
Jeb glanced at the Colonel and he nodded briefly. Jeb backed away from Carla. "Of course, Miss Forrester, this is Captain Marsh."
Carla turned to the Confederate Captain. "I would be honoured, Sir." she demurred.
"At last..." Marsh whispered. "How are you Sis? I am so glad you made it safely. I was worried! Have all the arrangements been made?"
Carla smiled noncommittally to her brother. Inside she was ecstatic to see him. "Yes, I stopped in Mescal and saw that shopkeeper. I paid him half the money as you instructed. He will be here on the 19th, the night of the wedding with his covered wagon under the pretence of selling goods. I told him there would be four of you to smuggle out. I told him you would pay the rest of the money when you are safely away."
"You're a good daughter of the Confederacy Carla, Father would have been proud. The horses and change of clothes will be waiting in Strunton Canyon?" Marsh whispered while smiling a fake, pleasant smile.
Carla smiled and nodded in return.
"There is only one danger," Marsh whispered. "Captain Fincher. He is not a man easily fooled."
"Don't worry dear brother..." she whispered conspiringly. "I can handle Captain Fincher...I have it well in hand."

Colonel Smithson watched Jeb intensely staring at Carla Forrester. "They seem to have a lot to talk about, don't they Captain? She is a beautiful young woman, is she not?"

Jeb's penetrating blue-grey eyes were filled with longing. His eyes never left her.
The colonel cleared his throat. "Fincher, are you starting to fall for that girl? Amazing, you are actually acting human." he teased his Captain good-naturedly.
Jeb just smiled slightly...
As the dance was starting to wind down, Carla walked Jeb home once again. He led her around the back of his barracks, where he has a little garden of roses. She was amazed. This gruff and stern man, tending and nurturing roses!
"A little water, a little dirt and a few cuttings from back East." He said gently.
"You raised these?" Carla said with awe and admiration.
"Fincher's roses, always good for a laugh." Jeb grunted.
"A green thumb and an iron hand..." Carla said softly.
"My father believed in this country, in planting and watching things grow, that's why I do this...It isn't much is it?" Jeb said with quiet purpose.
Carla was fascinated by this complicated man, such contradictions. "I think it is...what was your father like?"

Jeb's face softened. "He taught me to ride and to shoot...he was everything to me. He was a wonderful man..."
"Did he teach you to smile?" Carla asked gently, but not sarcastically.
"He did that too, I guess I forgot how...until tonight." Jeb said, his voice thick with emotion.
"I think you better walk me home now..." Carla whispered.
Jeb smiled slightly. "Yes, I think I better."
For the next five days, Carla and Jeb spent every waking minute together. That night, He took her up into the hills overlooking the Fort at sunset, to see the scenery. He impulsively reached out and caressed her cheek. His touch sent a fiery wave of heat through her body. What was going on?

Aloud she said, "You are awfully sure of yourself Captain." her voice had a slight chill to it, though she did not feel cold toward him in her heart.
"You've been after me from the first moment we met Carla, and I liked the way you did it...open and direct and just fast enough." Jeb said, his voice rumbled with emotion.
Carla felt her control of this situation start to slip away. The attraction between them was thrumming with a monumental force. Jeb was looking particularly handsome...She had to extricate herself immediately.

"I had that coming...I've seen the view, you can take me back now..." Carla said, her voice trembling.
Jeb grabbed Carla and pulled her to him, surprising her with an ardent kiss. She was frightened, and excited at the same time. She struggled a little in his arms.
"You do not want to fight this, Carla...admit it." his voice growled huskily.
And in that moment, she knew Jeb was right, she wanted him to kiss her...
Carla stopped struggling and returned the passionate kiss as eagerly as he offered it. All thoughts of keeping him occupied to give her brother and his men time to plan their escape from Fort Bravo left her mind.
All she could process was his tender embrace and deep, amorous kiss. The cool night air crackled with desire.
She was falling for the hard, tough Cavalry Captain...her enemy.
And so the 19th of the month was soon upon them, and with the Colonel's blessing, his daughter Alice was married to Lt. Robert Beecham. It was a small but joyful affair; Beecham had Jeb stand up for him, while Carla was Alice's Maid of Honour. The happy couple were declared man and wife, and everyone applauded as the Lt. enthusiastically kissed his bride.
"Let the wedding party commence!" The Colonel cried happily.
Old Mrs. Bolten sat at the piano and began to plunk out "My Darling Clementine".
"Doesn't Alice look lovely?" Carla said to Jeb.
"Yes, beautiful." he said a little sardonically.
"Women always look beautiful when they get married...and the men always look scared!" Carla teased good-naturedly.
Jeb laughed ironically. "Yes, they both get over it."
John Marsh left the wedding briefly and went back to the prisoner's barracks. "How's the wedding going, Captain? Did you sneak us out some food?" Old man Cabot sneered.

"Knock it off! Cabot, Young, listen close...we are almost ready, the wagon is here, there are only 2 sentries posted. Go through the blacksmith shop and we will meet behind the mess hall as soon as the party breaks up."
"What about Fincher?" Young hissed.
"Don't worry about Fincher, he's being kept busy." March laughed.
The other men snickered knowingly.
"I suppose now that the wedding is over, you will be leaving..." Jeb said quietly as they danced.

Carla looked into his grey-blue eyes and felt her insides flutter. This was not supposed to be happening! She was to flirt and be charming and keep the taciturn Captain occupied but at a distance, she should have never returned his lush kiss! What a mess this was turning out to be!
Carla could not reply, her throat had grown thick; she knew if she spoke, her emotions would give her away.

"Come...let's go for a walk, I will let you walk me home..." Jeb teased affectionately.
They wound up in back of Jeb's barracks again among his roses. Jeb stared at Carla for the longest time. "The Fort is no place for a woman anyway, I guess." He said in a low resigned voice.

"Will you miss me?" Carla said quietly.
Jeb sighed deeply. "Yes...I will miss you."
Carla gave a little nervous laugh. "Oh, for a week or a month maybe..."
The full moon moved behind some clouds, darkening Jeb's handsome features.
Jeb took her hands. His touch sent another wave of warmth through her body, straight to her rapidly beating heart.
"No Carla...for the rest of my life. I haven't stopped thinking about you since the first moment I saw you, and it has been the same with you. I see it in your eyes." Jeb said huskily.
Carla was trembling now. "You have a way of hitting with the truth that really hurts..." she murmured.
Jeb began to kiss her hand tenderly. "I don't mean to hurt, I have no other way to tell you I love you."
Carla felt her breath catch with a start. She could not believe what she was hearing. A few hot shameful tears clustered in the corner of her eyes.
She had deceived him so, how would he ever forgive her? How could she ever forgive herself?
The prisoners made there way behind the mess hall at the storekeeper Watson's covered wagon. Marsh turned to his friend Bailey. "Are you up for this? Have you recovered enough?"
Bailey nodded. "I'm fine John..."
"Look at him, he's shaking all over! He's going to slow us down, and get us caught!" Young hissed through clenched teeth.
"Shut up!" Marsh seethed, showing a rare flash of temper. "We will stay here until Watson comes, not another word!"
"Don't look so sad Jeb, you haven't lost me yet..." Carla said, trying to lighten the mood.

Jeb stood for the longest time. Finally he said, "Carla, I am asking you to marry me. There is a kind of life I have always wanted, maybe I was afraid of trying for it, I don't know. I can never have it for myself, but maybe we can have it together. I'd make it good for you, I can promise you that."
Carla was sorely tempted to throw herself in his strong arms and accept his heartfelt proposal right then and there. Even though they had known each only a matter of days, she loved him, deny it, ignore it...it was there, hanging in the air like a thick fog.

"Let me be alone to think about everything you've said, Jeb." her voice quivered.
Inside, her emotions were in turmoil.
Jeb kissed her deeply. He has never felt like this before, he had resigned himself to a lonely life in the cavalry; he never dreamed he would find love out here in the desert. Carla was everything he wanted in a woman; outspoken, forward, brave and beautiful.

"I will leave you alone...but know this, I will ask you to marry me every time I see you from now on...Goodnight my love." Jeb whispered passionately in her ear.
Jeb went into his barracks and closed the door. The tears Carla had been holding back for the last hour finally sprang from her eyes. Her heart was breaking into pieces. She felt torn, her love for Jeb, her love for her dear brother. How could she stay here and take Jeb's love, share his life if she had decieved him so by aiding and abedding her brother's escape? Carla took one last longing look at Jeb's barracks. She lifted her skirts and ran across the courtyard and in behind the mess hall. Marsh turned to his sister. "What are you doing here?"
"I'm going with you!" Carla cried. Marsh put his finger to his lip. "Quiet! Are you crazy?? You can't do that, it isn't part of the plan!"
Watson the storekeeper came out into the yard. 'What's going on?"

Marsh looked at his sister, she had that determined look on her face. "She's going with us." He said finally.
"I don't care who is going, get in the wagon and let's go! I could get hanged for this!" Watson hissed.
Jeb had come back outside after changing out of his dress uniform, He noticed the storekeeper Watson from Mescal pulling out of camp, he walked up to the wagon. 'Hold it Watson..."

"Good Evening Captain..." Watson smiled nervously. He started patting his pockets. "I have a pass...now where is it? Ah, here it is..." He passed it to Jeb, his hand was trembling slightly.
'What's in the wagon?" Jeb asked, looking the pass over.
Watson shrugged. "Nothing, some flour sacks, some laundry..."

Jeb handed the pass back to Watson. He glanced at the wagon and wondered if he should search it. he dismissed the notion, they never searched it before.. "Ok Watson. I was just wondering why you were pulling out without an escort."
Watson chuckled nervously. "Who would bushwack a man with a load of dirty laundry? Night Captain!" Watson snapped the reigns and pulled away, he also exhaled, that was close!
Early the next morning after roll call Lt. Beecham came in to Jeb and the Colonel to report. "They're missing sir, 4 of them. Marsh, Cabot, Young and Bailey."

The Colonel's jaw began to move in agitation. "Fincher, I want you to bring them back!" He thundered with rage.

"I already brought one of them back and nobody liked it...it seems it didn't do any good anyway." Jeb stated coolly.
The Colonel sighed. "It isn't just the prisoners Jeb...it's Carla."
Jeb's eyebrows knotted in confusion. "Carla? What about her?"
"She's gone too, can't you see?" The Colonel's voice began to rise. "She planned this whole thing! She made a fool out of us!"
Jeb felt as if a saber had been shoved into his heart.
The Colonel was shaking his head, "I can't believe it, it doesn't make sense!"
Jeb thought for a few minutes. "It does to me..." he said with a quiet menace.

Smithson felt bad for Jeb. "I know how you feel..." he tried to sympathize.
"I don't feel anything." Jeb said with no emotion in his voice.
And he didn't, he felt as if his guts had been kicked out.
"We have to bring them back...we have to bring her back, in spite of what she's done, I don't want her to get killed out there!" The colonel said quietly. He looked at Beecham, "Alice will be devastated, her dear friend..."
Beecham replied. "We don't know if Carla was involved..."
"Fine..." Jeb growled. "I'll bring them back...like she said, I'm the man who finds everbody."
Robert Beecham followed Jeb to his quarters. "I want to go with you." he said firmly.
"Don't be stupid man, you are still on your honeymoon, and besides..." Jeb started to get annoyed, he looked at Beecham's rigid set face. "What's the matter Robert, don't you trust me? What do you think I am going to do?"
"I don't know," Robert said flatly. "I only know I am going along with or without your permission."
Jeb looked at Beecham, the man was dead serious. Fine, he had no time to argue with him, time was wasting, the Rebs had had hours head start.
"All right Beecham, get Carmody and pick 3-4 men, and I mean pick them!! And send Corporal Owen in to me at once!" Jeb said sharply.
Beecham Saluted Jeb. "Yes Sir!!"
Corporal Owen came in to Jeb's quarters. Jeb liked the man, he spoke his mind and didn't take any guff off of anyone, including Jeb.
"I'm pulling out, keep the roses watered or I'll dig them up and plant you..." Jeb said with fake roughness. "If I don't come back..."
"Oh you'll come back Captain, only the good die young." Owen smiled.
Jeb laughed for the first time that morning. "In that case I have a long time..."
"I'd say forever..." Owen said softly. "Take care Captain..."
Jeb grabbed his saddlebag and headed outside...he had a long ride ahead of him, and prisoners to apprehend....

After a few hours of hard riding, the small group of soldiers pulled up into Mescal. After they dismounted, Jeb went up to Beecham. "After the men get a bite to eat, and the horses are seen to, I want you to make camp with the men outside of town." Jeb instructed. "I am going to start looking here."

"Where, Captain?" Beecham inquired, somewhat puzzled.
"Where most cowards go, a saloon. Dismissed Lieutenant."
Jeb looked the saloon over. He knew Bailey would be the one person in the escape party that would chicken out and seek refuge in a dingy saloon, drinking himself into a stupor. There were four saloons in town, he would check them all.

He tried not to think of Carla, he was still hurt and angry, he felt betrayed, and he felt foolish for exposing his feelings to so calculating a minx, she played him as deftly as a fine violin...and he enjoyed every minute of it, if he were to be truthful to himself.
One of the saloon girls sidled up to Jeb. "Ooh! Aren't you handsome, I just love a man in uniform!" She cackled, fluttering her fake eyelashes and trying very hard to flirt with Jeb.

Jeb looked her up and down and sneered. "And I'm going to stay in it, so shove off!" He snapped irritably.
He left the saloon angrier than when he went in, if that were possible.
Jeb went into the last saloon. "What can I get you Captain?" The bartender said.
"I am look for a man, about 25, light sandy coloured hair, crying in his beer." Jeb replied.
The bartender snorted. "How about crying in his whiskey?"
Jeb nodded.
The bartender motioned. "In the back." He said with disinterest.
Jeb walked into the back and up to the table, as he surmised, there was Bailey. The young man did not seem at all surprised to see him.

"You were right Fincher, when you brought me back the first time, you said I was yellow, a coward. Have you ever been yellow? I suppose not..." he looked into the captain hard, rigid face. "You need a heart for that!"
Jeb ignored the insult, "Where are they, Bailey?"
"Where?" Bailey cried. "Halfway home I hope!" Bailey took a swig from his glass. In a quieter voice he said, "They haven't got a chance Fincher! When we got here we heard the whole area is alive with Mescaleros, you know how they kill a man! I...I couldn't go with them, I'd rather you get me! That's why I yellow!" Bailey took another swig and slammed the glass on the table. "I'm glad you got me, I glad it's over, take me back, Fincher..."
Jeb looked at the man with disgust. "I'll take you back...but all together, get up Bailey, we're riding out!"
Outside the saloon as Jeb and Bailey were about to get on their horses, Lt. Beecham walked up to them. "Captain Fincher this is Sergeant Drew with the 6th Calvary out of Fort Edward. Tell the Captain what you told me, Drew."

The man saluted. "We are pinned down about 30 miles from here by some Mescaleros, I was attached to a wagon train of settlers heading west. I was on my way to Bravo to get help."
Jeb turned to Beecham. "Get Carmody and the men to follow Drew and assist the wagon train, you stay with me, we're going on with the search."
Beecham looked at Jeb. "Just the two of us Captain?"
"That's all we need to bring back those prisoners, dismissed Beecham." Jeb snarled.
Meanwhile, the four remaining escapees were making their way toward Texas. They had picked up the fresh horses and clothes at the canyon as planned, and Carla changed into some more practical travelling clothes. She has hardly spoken a word since they left the canyon. Every once in awhile, John would look over at his sister, and see a few tears spill down her cheeks.

John cleared this throat. "Funny isn't it? There is supposed to be Indians everywhere but we haven't seen a living thing!"
Carla did not answer.
John stared straight ahead. "What are you thinking about Carla?" He asked quietly.
"Nothing..." she replied in a small voice.

"Well, it's this country I guess, it frightens us all, maybe we are hoping Fincher will catch up with us, maybe that is what you are afraid of...or that he might not." John said softly.
"John! What do you mean! What are you trying to say...I...I..." Carla began to sputter.
John shook his head sadly. "You fell for Fincher, didn't you? Oh sis, I am so sorry. I should not have used you that way. I never dreamed you would have feelings for him! Carla!"

Carla rode away from her brother, she could not talk about Jeb or her feelings right now, it just hurt far too much, the wound was still too raw.
Late that same afternoon, the escapees stopped for a rest, and they decided to make camp, they figured they were far enough away from Fort Bravo for now, and far enough from Fincher.
John sought out his sister once again, he couldn't stop thinking about her, what he put her though, he felt terribly guilty.
"Carla, will you forgive me about Fincher? I never would have suggested you spend so much time with him if I thought..."
Carla sighed. "I already have forgiven you, John." Carla sighed.
"What are his feelings toward you? Please Carla, tell me, talk to me, I'm your brother, I love you very much..." He said gently.

Carla exhaled deeply. "He asked me to marry him, he said he loved me...Oh John, what have I done? What have we done?"
A few moments later, Jeb Fincher and Robert Beecham stepped into the campsite.

The men could not believe it. What did Fincher do, ride all night?? The man was relentless!

"Pack this stuff up, I'm taking you back...all of you!" Jeb roared.
"How Fincher, the same way you brought Bailey back?" Marsh sneered.
Jeb thought for a moment. "Maybe."
Marsh's eyes narrowed. "I was thinking of the girl..."
Jeb cut Marsh off mid-sentence. "I wasn't". He snarled.

Marsh and Jeb glared at each other with intense dislike, if they had a grudging admiration for each other before, it was not evident here, not today.
The words cut Carla deeply. Jeb had not even looked at her once since he strode into their camp.
John Marsh saw the heartbroken look on his sister's face. His ire rose and bubbled over, frustration and guilt and disapointment for his escape plan not coming to fruitition washed over him. Damn Fincher!

Marsh turned to Jeb. "Can I tell you something Fincher?"

"You can't tell me a thing, Marsh". Jeb replied coldly.

"You Fincher are a cold-hearted, lousy, stinking son of a...." Marsh poked Jeb in the chest with each word.
Jeb threw the first punch. His frustration and rage had got the better of him, seeing Carla only stoked his anger even more. As angry and hurt as he was, he still loved her, but hang it if he would show her how he felt!
He also was angry at the escape of Marsh and the other men.
The fight was brutal, Carla ran and yelled to them both to try and get them to cease and desist.
Beecham stood to one side, keeping a rifle on Cabot and Young and Bailey.
The men splashed around in the water, they also rolled around in the dusty dry terrain.
Jeb finally got the upper hand, he had Marsh in a headlock and was choking him. A Purple rage had overtaken Jeb.
Everyone was yelling, finally Carla ran in between the two men, she had had enough.
Carla's anger boiled over. "Why don't you take it out on me? That's what you would really like to do, I'm the one who made the fool out of you!"

"Are you proud of it Miss Forrester? If that is even your name!" Jeb hissed through clenched teeth.
Carla stared into his cold, hard eyes. "Forrester was my mother's name...and Yes! I am proud!" she said, her voice dripping with ice.

"Well don't be, Miss Forrester or whoever you are, it wasn't that hard to do."

Carla glanced over at John, Jeb felt envy and anger engulf him. "Afraid your lover maybe finished Miss Forrester?" Jeb could not keep the vitrole out of his voice.

Carla looked up at Jeb. While there was anger deeply etched on his face, she could see the hurt and sadness in his eyes. "John is not my lover, fiance, or whatever Captain Fincher. John is my older brother..." her voice trailed off.
Jeb could not have been more shocked. That never crossed his mind. He just assumed Carla did what she did for the man she was involved with, not a sibling.
"SADDLE UP!" he roared. "We're heading back to Fort Bravo!"
With Jeb leading the way and Beecham bringing up the rear, the group silently rode back toward Fort Bravo. No one spoke; there was really nothing to be said.

Jeb for his part, was deep in thought. Her brother. While he was silently relieved she was not romantically involved with Marsh, he still could not get his head around that she may have played him for a fool.
The three mescalero Indian scouts watched the group with interest. They would head back to the rest of the tribe and report what they had seen. But then, a small group like that would be easy to take, only a couple of soldiers.
They motioned to their horses...

Jeb at last had notice the Indians watching above. Damn.
He rode on, ignoring the scouts above, who were now getting on their horses. "Quick, gallop!" Jeb yelled.
With no hesitation whatsoever, everyone followed Jeb's orders. He motioned above and they looked up, some Indians were riding down the hill in pursuit. "Quick, they're gaining!" He yelled.

Just as the Mescaleros were about to overtake them, a loud bugle call roared through the air...It was the soldiers from the fort!! Jeb and the rest veered off and let the rest of the soldiers begin the pursuit. They jumped down off their mounts,
Captain Marsh turned to Jeb. "I know you have to take us back, but Carla had nothing to do with this, she tagged along at the last minute. Don't let anything happen to my sister, and we will come back with no trouble."

Jeb looked at Carla and smiled. He wasn't stupid, he knew she had some small part in the planning, but he could not prove it...nor did he want to. He was in love with her, no mistake.
Jeb walked purposefully over to Carla, there were tears in her eyes.
"Can't see the Colonel wanting to throw my wife in jail, do you Marsh?" Jeb looked at Carla. "I told I would ask you every time I saw you...Well Carla?"
She threw herself into Jeb's arms. "Yes! I will marry you Jeb, I love you..."
Jeb kissed her, deeply. She wouldn't be able to escape him now...

THE END~~

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#48happyb8888Sep 27, 2008

Wonderful story as usual! Write another soon! \:rah\: \:rah\: \:rah\: \:rah\: \:rah\: \:rah\:

#49jaundyce61Sep 27, 2008

Very enjoyable as always! Your shots were great, I do know how the movie ends and you are right, you could not have re-created in game, Wonderful adaption, loved see Jeb again! Great work!\:wub\:

#50Pandora0246VIPSep 28, 2008

Great adaptation of the orignal story!Your characters were fantastic and the scenery was dead on. All I can say is BRAVO!...LOL!!\:D

#51jayb04Sep 28, 2008

\:rah\: \:wub\: \:rah\: Great Job Thanks for sharing!!

#52GFitzSep 29, 2008

You must be from Texas...that just cracked me up! Wonderfully done, the writing is crisp and the shots as always are perfection! I am completely amazed at the terrain, the structures, and of course every little detail. Wonderful wonderful job! William Holden would be proud. ~gayl

#53iron mumVIPSep 30, 2008

Great story, the scenery was great. I'm glad they got together \:rah\:

#54Oct 6, 2008

Great interpretation of the movie, with the big showdown with the Indians at the end, I can see where you could not recreate in game, but well done! Shots were great.\:cool\:

#55katty007Oct 17, 2008

Oh, these women! At first they are playing with men like a cat with a mouse, but than they get into their own trap!\:D Thanks a lot for the story, I liked it very much!\:\)

#56KvetoslavaMar 16, 2009

\:rah\:

#57omik79Apr 5, 2009

yay good story!  i cant wait for more..keep them coming \:\)  thanks!
\:rah\:

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