WAR WHOOP AND BATTLE CRY, edited by Brian Garfield, was a 1968 publication of Scholastic Book Services. That would put it in the young readers class I suppose. I remember when I was a boy buying many a book from Scholastic through school. The four stories here are three reprints and one original for the book, two short stories, a novelette and a novella. The link between the stories is that of Indians and cavalry confrontations.
RED BLIZZARD and UPRISING were published in Esquire in 1951, TRUMPETS WEST! in Argosy in 1945, and “NO-FIGHTS” is the new story for the anthology.
1. TRUMPETS WEST! by Luke Short: Cavalry Lieutenant Burke Hanna is the only man who seems to care about his men and the Apaches he was sent to herd back to the reservation. He left with five weeks rations and, when he caught up with Ponce and his bunch, they were starving. He sent dispatch with requests for more rations, but was denied. He got everyone back, but all were half starved, down to one horse(several had been slaughtered for food) and sore footed.
The post commander was unsympathetic because Hanna had been complaining about the crooked Indian agent shorting the Apache with thin, bony cattle, but charging premium prices. Unfortunately the commander was engaged to the agent’s daughter.
When he refuses to go back out when the Indians break out again, he’s facing court-martial. The collusion between commander and agent will be hard to prove.
On top of that he’s supposed to marry in the next few days.
2. “NO-FIGHTS” – T. V. Olsen: The war-like braves of the Sioux didn’t like the young Indian. He was thoughtful and quiet and had a twisted lame foot. They called him No-Fights. His father-in-law had taken his family out of the village just ahead of banishment and they were alone. The father-in-law and his two sons had gone hunting. He was left with the women.
When No-Fights saw the four soldiers riding toward them, one obviously wounded, he knew it was trouble. Though in uniform, they were slovenly looking and seemed to be looking for trouble. One kept eying his wife.
Being the only man in camp, it was up to No-Fights to do something. With no weapons and four to one odds, what?
3. UPRISING – Clifton Adams; The Colonel had his orders. Guard the Indians and only fight if attacked. He was a strict interpreter of his orders. But now, in a skirmish, several men were dead and the coach full of passengers, four men and a woman, they were accompanying all killed. Still he had to obey orders. Didn’t he?
4. RED BLIZZARD – Clay Fisher: Two blizzards were baring down on Fort Will Farney that week before Christmas, 1866. Scout Pawnee Perez, a half-breed, brought word. The thick. gray clouds were building in the sky. Perez’s word was of the red blizzard coming. He’d spotted Tashunka Witko and five hundred braves forging through the snows. The fort commander and his officious Major weren’t even alarmed when he told them the translation of the chief’s name. Crazy Horse. When the second scout came in with a report of two thousand Indians, they still didn’t think it was a big deal. They could handle a “few” Indians.
Suddenly they are surrounded by Indians, the white blizzard hits, firewood is short, and no one wants to volunteer the 190 mile ride to a telegraph post to send for help from a fort further down the line. The temperature is well below zero. Perez is in the stockade for “deserting” rather than ride into an obvious trap he tried to warn the officious Major about repeatedly, rebuffed every time.
What to do?
A fine collection from the Western Writers of America.