Fiction: A Shunning at West Point

  A few weeks later Buck accepted an invitation to help test the jittery new guards on duty. Stealthy cadets came at all angles and times. One officer played a stranger refusing to give the countersign; another called down from a tree while another one slid by undetected, much to the embarrassment of the fledgling…

FICTION SERIAL (part twenty two): Never Put Your Secrets in Writing

Lieutenant John Bourke discovers morphine-addicted John Weldon’s journal  behind some commissary supplies and returns it to Katherine. The writing was tiny like a secret. Katherine flipped through to the beginning. It predated their time together. It was older than time; the war, Carlisle Barracks, a bounty of withheld information. Maybe she should hide it and…

FICTION SERIAL (part twenty one): Stolen Strawberries

  Morphine-addicted Lieutenant Weldon remembers a friend’s generosity during the war. It was winter camp. Simon was on the outs with Captain O’Malley for flirting with the captain’s fiancé and for bleeding the captain dry at cards. Simon had also upstaged him in all the real fighting they had done so far and would probably…

FICTION SERIAL (part twenty): Fisticuffs

After a failed scout the newspaperman takes sides. By chance the mail came in early and with it the local paper from town. Just as reveille played there was a pounding at the door. John jumped from bed fully dressed. “Lieutenant Weldon! Look at this!” Jones whispered. Katherine came up behind them. “Morning, Mrs. Weldon….

FICTION SERIAL (part nineteen):Lonesome Desert Blues

John Weldon’s wife Katherine is feeling the effects of 19th century military living in the desert. Katherine took a long breath and thumbed through a book on European history. She moved to the door and opened it to the night. The few men left behind to guard the camp were supposed to take turns at…

FICTION SERIAL (part eighteen): Nits Make Lice

After tussling with Colonel James, Lieutenant Weldon brings back Indian prisoners, ending the scout on a sour note. The men followed as Weldon went off toward the supposed Indian camp. They made quiet time and chanced upon the faintest light from the smallest fire in a ravine. Weldon signaled for his men to crawl on…

FICTION SERIAL (part seventeen): On Being Hungover in the Desert

 After a night of drinking and dancing Weldon’s scouting party sets out on its mission. The sun baked the men till their limbs felt like clay. Dust took flight under wagon and hoof. They must march four hours in search of a tiny stream as they headed for the mountains. James, in full and heavy…

FICTION SERIAL (part sixteen): Airing Dirty Laundry

Righteous visitors spoil Katherine Weldon’s day. Weldon argued with a sergeant over the arrangement of the train as an army ambulance raced up to the guards on duty, stopping the men from their work. The driver wore a slouched white hat covering most of his face, but Weldon recognized the man’s style as Simon’s. The…

FICTION SERIAL (part fifteen): A Newspaper Man Changes Everything

Lieutenant Weldon suggests a scouting mission and regrets it. “Weldon!” called the colonel who rarely made it up before noon. “Yes, sir?” James cleared his throat and spit, smelling as usual of the previous night’s whiskey as he entered headquarters. “I’ve noticed that you’re fond of putting things in order…always working on this or that…

FICTION SERIAL (part fourteen): A Rough Ride at the Colonel’s

A politically incorrect dinner engagement leaves morphine-addicted John Weldon and his wife Katherine unsettled. When Katherine said goodbye to her parents in Englewood she imagined they would come visit her one day and be impressed with her, but that flight of fancy dimmed on the arduous journey out. Father would never make such a trip….

FICTION SERIAL (part thirteen): When Worlds Collide

Morphine-addicted and newly-minted 2nd lieutenant John Weldon cleans up his act and introduces his wife, son and baby daughter to  army life in the Arizona desert. They woke to the whistle of the wind curling up under the canvas where a stake had loosened.  Weldon jumped into his clothes, started a tiny fire, which the…