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I look back everyday to that time in my life and I still can't believe it all happened. All the struggles and pain we had to go through. Not just by whites but by our fellow Buffalo soldiers. How we fought and persevered through it all to get to where we got. So, I felt it time to write down our story. From starting out as a bunch of misfits that nobody wanted. To becoming the best in the 9th. And most of all the story of our brotherhood.
It was a hot and humid day at the Fort Stockton base down in Texas. It was especially bad for in the A barracks where we find platoon A7. The barracks that they lived in were in bad condition, they were run down and badly ventilated because the base had low funding. Buffalo soldiers were revered as some of the best and bravest soldiers in America. Their name a testament to that, because Indians thought they had the fighting spirit of a Buffalo. But platoon A7 was different. They were the misfits, outcast, the people that nobody wanted.
Hunter and Trapper Anderson were identical twins that turned up on the base on night. No one knew what there names or where they came from and they sure didn't tell. When they got here one had a snare and the other a makeshift spear. So thats how they got the names Hunter and Trapper. The two were always at each other's throats fighting about one thing or another. It was strange how two people so close could argue so much.
Terrance Washington. He was the brain of the platoon. Out of all five of them he had the best reading and writing skill. He had the potential to be all the way up in platoon A1. but, he was one of the scrawniest people you would ever meet. He was barely accepted to the army because of his size.
Rex Craver, was a piece of work. He was always angry or upset at someone or something. He hated the fact that he was in platoon A7. He drank to much and always did something he regretted. Although he was always angry he was the best soldier out of any of them. Best rider, best shot, and best survival skills. So, even though he was always surly he was a valuable asset.
Finally there was the lieutenant in charge Booker Taylor. Booker was a good officer but because he was the only black officer he was assigned to the lowest ranked platoon. Besides that people did not know much about Booker. They knew his parents were slaves that died in the war, then as soon as he was 18 he enlisted.
So there that ragged band of misfits were in the hot Texas weather.
"It sure is hot, boy’s," Booker said
"Yeah it is," Trapper replied.
"Well obviously," Hunter responded, "Booker wouldn't have said it if it wasn't hot."
"I know I was just agreeing with him," Trapper retorted
"Whats the point if he already said it."
"Thats the whole point to agreeing. Saying someones right."
"Well then I guess I can never agree with you because you're never right."
"You're wrong then. Because it's right that I'm about to beat you down."
"Not if I-!"
"Shut up!" Booker thundered. Along with being in charge of the platoon he also had the duty of stopping Hunter and Trapper's constant fights. Since he commanded so much respect the twins always shut up when he told them to. "You two are like homeless men fighting over a piece of cheese." After that both of the twins shut up and hung their heads.
They went about business as normal until they heard a knock on the door. " Lt. Col. Wade needs to see Booker," a messenger said through the door.
"I'm coming!" Booker yelled back. "Rex, hold things down while I'm gone."
"Mmmm," was all the reply Rex gave. So Booker headed out to the guard tower to meet Lt. Col. Wade. As he walked to the guard tower he passed by Lt. Rollins.
Rollins yelled out," Hey Booker, hows your band of misfit rejects doing?" Rollins was the lieutenant of platoon A1, the best in company A. He always went out of his to tease Booker about the level his platoon was at. Rollins only teased Booker because he was the only black officer and he was white.
" They're great, considering the fact none of 'em shot themselves in the foot," Booker replied calmly. One Rollins's men had accidently dropped a pistol and shot his own foot so, that was a sore subject for him.
"Whatever," Rollins grumbled.Then he stalked off to his barracks.
Booker walked into the guard tower with a smile. Booker liked to go to the guard tower because it was one of the only buildings at the fort made of stone. He saluted Wade and Wade gave him a stern look then returned the gesture. Wade then motioned Booker to sit in a chair in front of his desk.
"What are you smiling about, Taylor?" Wade asked.
"Nothing, sir," Booker said as he sat in the chair.
"Good. Now I have a mission for, you and your platoon. In Santa Fe there’s a new bank there. Only about six months old. They are about to have their biggest movement of money since opening. About six thousand dollars in gold. It's only going to the capitol building a few miles away but they still want an armed escort. They're paranoid about getting robbed because they're a new bank. So, I need you and your men to ride out there tomorrow at dawn. Should be an easy enough missions. Dismissed," Wade said.
"Yes ,sir," Booker said as he stood up. He was about to leave when he turned back and asked a question, "If you don't mind me asking, sir, why do you always put my team on the easiest missions?"
"You know why, Booker. You have a group made up of a hothead, two arguing twins, and a scrawny bookworm. And you're the only black officer. If I gave you the best missions the other white officers would raise hell then walk out" Wade responded.
"Yes, sir," Booker then made his way back to his barracks to let the platoon know about the mission.
"Another stupid guarding mission!" Trapper exclaimed, " I'm so damn tired of those. They're so pointless and boring!"
"Well they must have a point, Trapper, if they are to be missions," Terrance said quietly.
" Oh shut up, Terrance!" Trapper yelled.
"Hey shut up, don't talk to him like that," Hunter said to his twin.
"You gonna make me shut up?" Trapper dared.
"I think I will."
"I'd like to see you try."
" That's it, I'm going to kill you!"
"Enough both of you!" Rex yelled out. The twins were instantly quiet. They fell silent so fast because Rex normally didn't care what they did. Just the surprise of him speaking shocked the two into silence.
"Thanks, Rex. Yes Trapper we do have another 'boring guarding mission' but these missions are important. What if the coach got robbed huh? That bank would be out six thousand dollars. And don't be so down ,if we keep doing well on these missions we can get moved up and become the greatest platoon there ever was,"Booker said.
" Whatever you say, Booker," Trapper replied.
"Good. It's about a ten to twelve day ride so make sure you boys pack up everything you need, and Hunter, remember to bring some clean underwear this time, last mission you only had one pair and they stank up the entire Mexican border," Booker said. The rest of the platoon let out laughs as them remembered the memory.
"Alright, Booker," Hunter replied his dark face getting a little darker in the cheeks.
"I'll make sure he packs extra, Booker. I'm the one that has to share a tent with him," Terrance said.
"Thank you." When packing for long missions like this the soldiers had a very clear list of things they needed. About a pound of dried beef per day. Salt, flour, whiskey, and coffee were all important to. They also needed to go and pick some vegetables from the fort’s garden. Each soldier had half of a two man tent so they had to share a tent with a platoon mate. Since the west was dangerous they needed to have a back up shotgun and enough ammunition to fill both of their shotguns.
"What time are we doin' our storytime?" Rex asked.
"As soon as y'all are done packing," Booker answered. Storytime was what their platoon and some others did before missions. They would all gather around a fire and tell stories. The stories could be anything to horror, from when they were kids, or completely made up stories. While this was going on someone was always playing a banjo and passing the whiskey around.
"Alright," Rex said.
Later that night after they had all finished getting ready for their journey they all sat around the fire. Since Terrance was the most musically gifted he took up the banjo and started playing 'Follow the drinking gourd'. This song was important to them as blacks because it had helped their parents escape slavery because it was a song that told blacks to follow the Big Dipper north.They all joined the song a Terrance started to play.
"When the sun goes back and, the first quail calls follow the drinking gourd .The old man is a waitin' for to carry you to freedom. Follow the drinking gourd.Follow the drinking gourd,follow the drinking gourd," they all sang out. As soon as they had finished the song Hunter downed the rest of the whiskey bottle. As he was leaning back he got off balance and fell back from his seat. The rest of the platoon roared out in laughter.
"Oh I'm gonna miss these times," Booker said
"What do you mean you're going to miss these times?" Terrance asked
"Well I guess now is as good of a time as any," Booker said, " After the year is up my 5 year term of service is over. Instead of re enlisting I'm going to go and spend time with my wife, Rosario. We have a baby on the way and I want to be there when it's born, takes it's first steps and all the other things that happen as they grow up."
"Well congratulations, Booker," Trapper said.
"For once my brothers right, congrats," Hunter said.
"I to share my congratulations, Booker," Terrance said.
"Well thats just great!" Rex yelled slurring his words together. It was obvious he had a lot to drink that night. " Our lieutenant of this craphole platoon is leaving to go and live some craphole life. That’s just swell!. Leave us to be tormented and hated by everyone else in the company. You know what, I don't need this crap in my life. I'm going to bed." With those last words Rex stumbled his way back to the barracks.
The rest of the platoon sat there in silence as they watched Rex stumble away.
"Whats his problem?" Terrance asked in a hushed voice, afraid Rex might be able to hear.
"I heard from a guy in platoon A3 he was beaten hard as a kid," Hunter answered.
"Nah thats wrong. I think he just has a small penis and is always bitter about it," Trapper supplied.
"No, both of you are wrong. If you're going to judge, Rex, you might as well know the truth. He used to be in platoon A1," Booker said. The twins and Terrance gasped in surprise. They just couldn't wrap their heads around the fact that Rex used to be in the best platoon in Company A.
"No way Booker, our Rex?" Hunter said with surprise.
"What he said," Trapper chorused.
"Yes our Rex. He was one of the best there was. But one night he got a little to drunk and said something undesirable to the commanding officer," Booker said.
"Rollins?" Terrance asked.
"No it was a different officer at the time," Booker answered, " That undesirable comment led to a fight in which the officer got a nasty head wound, he went into early retirement. The next day, Rex, was put in this platoon. But it was before any of you were here."
"Wow, no wonder he hates it here. He was at the mountain top but fell all the way down to the bottom," Trapper reflected.
"None of you go telling, Rex, I said this. He hates to bring up his past," Booker said.
"We won't say anything," the three replied.
"Ok. It's getting late. You should all get to bed, we have a long day ahead of us," Booker told them.
"Yes sir," they all responded. The three of them walked back to the barracks to go to sleep.
Booker put out the fire and cleaned up what trash was around the fire. After he was done he looked up at the starry sky and sighed. Then he said, "You don't like to make things easy for me do you." He chuckled to himself then walked away to the barracks.
Platoon A7 woke early the next morning ahead of their mission. They were all a little slow on doing things due to the fact that they were hung over. Rex went over to Booker and grumbled a slight apology for what he said the night before. Booker accepted it. After they had all packed their horses they set out.
They had been riding for about ten days now. They were about a days ride out from Santa Fe.It was as hot as platoon A7 rode the Santa Fe Trail for the last leg of their journey to the Santa Fe Bank. “It’s too damn hot out here,” Trapper complained.
“Well maybe if you weren’t fat you wouldn’t sweat so much and then you wouldn’t be as hot,” Hunter retorted.
Booker saw what was coming and decided to head it off. "Hunter, you and, Trapper, have the same body shape, you're twins for cryin' out loud. And Trapper we all know how damn hot it is, you don't need to remind us every five minutes." Both of them then took a sudden interest in their saddles.
" Hey, how much longer till we get to this bank?" Rex asked
" Approximately one day," Terrance replied
"One day too long if you ask me," Rex mumbled under his breath. " Hey Booker, I've got a question for you. Why is it that we have to provide an armed escort for a coach that's only going five miles?"
"Cause this bank is the First National of New Mexico. It only opened about a six months ago, and this is their first large movement of gold," Booker said.
"But, they ain't even a state yet, they're still a territory, why do they get federal government assistance!?" Rex shouted
"The bank asked Texas, and Texas handed it down to us at Fort Stockton, and that's how we ended up here," Booker said.
Rex grunted and spurred his horse so he moved ahead a little. Booker sighed a little a shook his head.
"It's a shame them miners are against making this place a state. I would sure wanna live here instead of Texas. People in Texas still treat our kind like we still slaves even though it's been ten years since the war ended. Its different 'round here," Trapper said.
"For once brother, you couldn't be more right," Hunter agreed. This moment where the twins agreed on anything was a rare one. So, nobody said anything because they were afraid if they talked it would ruin the moment.
After some time passed Terrance spoke up, " Rex, does have a point when he says they don't need an armed guard. With the transcontinental railroad being built not that long ago and other smaller railroad becoming more popular, why can't they use those?"
"Like Rex said, New Mexico is still a territory so the tracks are used for only the most important things and, this ain’t one of ‘em." Booker answered.
“ Well Mr. Ulysses S. Grant should look into building some train tracks in this here territory,” Trapper muttered, “So we don’t need to do stupid missions like this.”
“Stop being a downer about the crap hole we’re in little brother. Just take it all in while you’re here.From here we can see the beautiful Rocky mountains. Then over there you can see the Sangre de Cristo or whatever you call em mountains too! It’s sunny almost all year and has good temperature.” Hunter exclaimed
“I guess you’re right big brother.”
“You ladies done talking!” Booker yelled out as he rode ahead, “We’re burning daylight and Rex is way ahead of us so move your asses.”
“Sir yes Sir,” the twins and Terrance said in exasperated voices.They all spurred their horse and galloped on ahead.
"This doesn't look like much of a bank to me," Hunter commented. It was the next day and they had arrived in Santa Fe. It was a relatively large town but not quite a city yet. The people were friendly and enjoyed the presence of the soldiers there. They made them feel safe.
"That's probably one of the most intelligent things you've ever said," Terrance said. Hunter was indeed right. The 'bank' was a small little one story building with a sign that had peeling paint even though it was supposedly only six months old.
"You sure this is the right place, Booker?" Rex asked, "I don't want to go and do some illegal stuff with some sketchy place like this."
"I'm positive this is the right place," Booker answered not so confidently. "Let's go inside" As they entered they heard a jingle of a bell overhead. They were also hit with a dank musty smell and saw little c***roaches running around.
"I've seen roach inns with less roaches," Trapper whispered with disgust.
"Agreed," the rest of the platoon said. For the first time the group noticed a small short bald man sitting behind a booth. He was the only person in the bank. They all approached him with Booker in the lead.
"Are you, Mr. Walters?" Booker asked.
"Why yes I am! You all must be the Negroes sent to escort the gold," Walters said.
"Yes sir we are, my name is Booker and this is platoon A7," Booker answered.
"Great! Come around back and I'll show you the coach," Walters said. They all followed Mr.Walters as he exited the bank and went around back. When they got to the back they saw two thoroughbreds hooked up to a plain black stagecoach with a short driver.
"This is Thomas, he will be the one driving the coach," Walters told them.
"Pleasure to meet you gentlemen," Thomas said as he tipped his hat.
"The pleasure is ours," Booker replied also tipping his hat.
"Well now that all the formalities are out of the way I think that you all should be on your way. And Booker, try not to draw too much attention. Most people around here are friendly. But, some people in these parts don't like Negroes so watch yourselves," Walters advised.
"Yes sir," Booker responded. "Come on let's move men!" Mr.Walters went back inside the bank and the platoon with the coach in tow went to the front of the bank. The team saddled up and rode out.
Whenever the platoon had to guard a coach they had four of them surround the coach and one person be an outrider so they could be warned of any attacks. This time the outrider was Trapper. They were about two miles out from the capitol building. As they made there they had left the city and gone into open desert with some surrounding plateaus. Booker called out for a break.
"Trapper, come on in, ten minute break!" Booker yelled. Even from far away they could all see the sigh of relief Trapper had as he rode in. Once they were all in the got out of their saddle's and watered their horses. Once their horses had drank they all sat down and drank from their canteens. They invited Thomas down to come share a drink with them.
"So Thomas, how did you end up in the business of stagecoach driving?" Terrance asked.
"Well, my parents died when I was young and I was bounced around from relative to relative. Once I was eighteen I went looking for a job and this one seemed good. Since then I've been driving coaches all over New Mexico," Thomas explained.
"Sorry about your parents," Trapper said.
"Yeah, sorry about that, we never knew ours either," Hunter added. Everyone in the platoon except Trapper leaned forward a little to listen. None of them knew anything about Hunter or Trapper before they joined the Buffalo soldiers. So, they were all curious to find out about their lives.
"It's fine. Can't miss something you never had right?" Thomas replied.
"Sad but true," the twins said in unision.
"I think its time we get going, Booker," Rex whispered.
"You're right," Booker said back. "Alright lets move out." All of them got up and remounted their horses. Thomas went and got up on the stagecoach.
Thomas bellowed out to Booker, " Hey how much longer do -" He was abruptly cut off due to the fact he had just been shot in the head. Everyone gasped then turned to see where the shot had come from.
"There look, on the plateau!" Trapper exclaimed. They all looked at the plateau and saw where they shot had come from. On the plateau there were about fifty armed Apache and the person who looked to be the chief was holding a smoking gun.
"Take cover!" Booker ordered. "And Terrance grab the coach. We must not fail this mission.” Terrance rode over and grabbed the reins of the stagecoach horses. Then they all rode over to a ditch to take cover. When they got to the ditch they commanded their horses to lie down in a position that protected from the gunfire.
"What the hell is this, Booker !"Rex screamed. "I thought this was supposed to be some easy walk in the park mission!"
"You and me both!" Booker yelled back.
"Oh god, we forgot, Thomas, back there!" Trapper said frantically.
"There's nothing we can do for him. He got shot straight through the head. He's as dead as a Lincoln," Booker said solemnly. They had a moment of silence for Thomas with gunfire ringing around them." Well we can't bring him back now but we can make sure his death wasn't in vain. Here's the plan. Trapper and Hunter, I want you two to go around and flank them. Terrance, I want you to go all the way around and hit them from their rear. Rex, you stay here with me."
"Yes sir," the rest of them answered.
"And I want all of you to have both of your shotguns and saw off the ends. That way it's easier to hold two at once. Once you're in position wait for my signal then let em have it," Booker ordered. " Oh, and leave your horses here, Rex, and I will give cover fire. I have and idea for the horses."
"Alright Booker, but if we die I'm blaming it on you," Hunter said with a grin.
"Yeah me too," Trapper agreed.
"Well boys, if this is the last time we're together I'm proud to have been part of this platoon. I'm proud to have called each of you brothers," Terrance said. Up until that moment the rest of the platoon had not seen each other as a family. But, they all reflected upon their journey and saw that in fact they had become brothers. From the times hanging around the barracks, to their times sitting around the fire telling stories and singing songs, to their boring missions. Whenever the twins broke out into arguments or when a platoon member got drunk and did something funny. All these experiences had brought them together without them realizing it.
"You're right, Terrance. I'm glad we became a family," Booker said.
"Us too," the twins chorused together.
"Yeah me too I guess,” Rex cut in, “If this little heart to heart is over we have a group of Apache trying to kill us"
"Yes, yes," Booker mumbled. "Alright you three get in position, and Rex, be ready to provide cover fire." The twins and Terrance got up from behind their horse and ran around the group of oncoming Apache. Trapper to the left and Hunter and Terrance to the right. While they were running Booker and Rex were firing from behind their horse shooting up dust so that the Apache could not see their comrades running.
"I sure hope they get to where they need to go," Booker sighed.
"Me too," Rex replied.
As Trapper was running his position he had a lot of thoughts going through his head. What if my guns jam up and the Apache just come and shoot me down? What will happen if I shoot too soon and give away my position. Will everyone else get killed? And the biggest worry on his mind was his brother.Will Hunter die? "Oh god please don't let my brother die," he whispered as he ran.
Over on the other side of the Apache Hunter was thinking along the same lines. " Baby brother please don't die, I can't live without you," Hunter whispered under his breath.
"What did you say?" Terrance asked as he ran besides Hunter.
"Nothing!" Hunter barked. "This is where I stop. Keep going till you get to the rear, and good luck."
"Thanks, see you on the other side," Terrance said back then kept on running. His thoughts were on a completely different track than the twins. He was relishing in the upcoming battle. All of his life he had been the quiet shy kid. Now it was time to let out all the anger and ferocity out. "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" he screamed out. "My name is Terrance Washington, fear me Apache, fear me!" Then he sprinted off to his position.
Back at the ditch Booker was thinking aloud, "I've given them enough time to get to their positions." Rex nodded to him. "Ok, it's time I say hello to our friends. You stay down here."
"Right," Rex grunted.
Booker shoot of a round in the air and yelled, "Apache, lower your weapons and let us speak." The man leading the charge yelled out a command in the native language and all the Apache ceased fire. Booker got on top of his horse and rode out till he was about twenty feet away from the Apache leader. "English?" Booker asked the Apache.
"Yes I speak English," the Apache responded. "I am Fierce Buffalo and these are my men. We want that coach you are escorting thats full of gold."
"Hey we have something in common. Your name is Fierce Buffalo and I'm a Buffalo soldier. What are the odds. About that coach, I can't give that to you sorry, not sorry. Hey, some day I think that's going to be a popular saying," Booker said.
"Then I guess we’ll just have to take it then," Fierce Buffalo answered coolly.
"In that case...... LET EM HAVE IT!" Booker screamed. After that all hell broke lose.
The twins and Terrance leapt up from their hiding places and opened fire on the Apache. Rex started shooting from behind the ditch and Booker took cover from behind his horse.The Apache were in complete disarray because they had no idea who was shooting at them or where it was coming from. As Booker was taking cover behind his horse he took out a picture of his wife from his breast pocket. He looked at it fondly for a second then put it back in his pocket.
"Rex, now!" Booker barked at Rex. Rex heard the command and cracked his riding whip over all of the horses butts. They all bucked and leapt then went and stampeded the Apache. Booker's idea worked perfectly. Have his horses stampede the Apache's then their horses will get confused and they will buck off their riders.
"Keep on shooting, Rex!" Booker barked.
"No, really?" Rex replied sarcastically.
"I'll teach you how to keep your- Arrrggh," Booker cried out in pain.
"Booker what's wrong?!" Rex asked.
"I've been hit, left side. Probably that damn Fierce Buffalo" Booker replied in an anguished voice.
"Hang on I'm coming!" Rex cried out. Rex stood up a little from his sitting position behind the ditch to move closer to Booker. When he got Booker who was behind his horse he kept shooting keeping the Apache's heads down. "How is it?"
In response Booker moved his hand from his side. It revealed a big hole that was bleeding fast. "That doesn't look good Booker," Rex said.
"No, really," Booker mimicked
Rex chuckled. "I guess I deserved that. We need to get Terrance over here. He can patch this up." Terrance had been trained as the platoon medic.
"Alright, until then keep killing those damn Apache," Booker said with a pained voice.
Rex obeyed Bookers orders and kept shooting. With a total of eight guns shooting at them from what seemed like everywhere and their horses out of control the Apache went down. Once every last one had been killed the twins and Terrance came out from their positions.
"We showed those Apache!" Terrance challenged.
"Hell yeah!" the twins yelled together.
"Terrance! Stop your screaming and get over here. Booker's down," Rex ordered.
Terrance abruptly stopped his celebration and ran over to Booker and Rex with the twins at his heels. As soon as Terrance was there he took out the medical kit from the saddle bag on Booker's horse. He took out a bottle of alcohol and a probe to remove the bullet and he took out a wad of cloth to pressure the wound. As Terrance addressed the wound he thought to himself," He’s lost too much blood, they hit a vital spot."
"I'm sorry guys, there's too much blood lose," Terrance finally said.
"Damn it, can't you do something!?" Trapper asked.
"Come.... I," Booker whispered.
"Come on Terrance we made you our medic. Do something!" Hunter yelled, oblivious to Booker's whisper.
"I can't give him blood he doesn't have," Terrance said feeling useless and irritated.
"Well then I guess it was a waste to train you!" Trapper spat.
"A damn waste!" Hunter echoed.
"If thats what you-" Terrance started but never finished.
"All of you shut up!" Rex thundered. "Booker is trying to tell us his last words and you all are arguing like little school children!" All of them promptly shut up and moved in closer so that Booker wouldn't have to talk loudly.
"Thanks, Rex," Booker said. He coughed up some blood before continuing to speak. "The last words of Booker Taylor. Didn't think I would have to say that for a long time. Well here it goes. Terrance, you're really smart. You just need to have more confidence in yourself. You can achieve
anything you put your mind too so, go and chase greatness. I know you can catch it."
"Thanks, Booker. I'll do my best," Terrance said with tears coming to his eyes.
"Hunter and Trapper."
"Yes Booker?" the twins asked.
"You two are like no other two people I've meet before. Both of you are funny, brave and, courageous. You two will go and do great things together. But always love and appreciate each other. Treat everyday like its your last together."
"We will Booker," the twins said with tears coming down their faces.
"And Rex. I need you to step up. Be the leader this platoon needs and the one I know you are."
"I swear to it," Rex responded.
"And Rex, one more thing. My kid is going to grow up without a father. I need you to be there for Rosario and the baby in there time of need. If it's a boy he is going to need a father figure to guide him through the tough times in life. If its a girl.... lets just hope it's not a girl. The kid will want to know about their daddy and I need to make sure it is someone I can trust that tells them about me. So, Rex, can I entrust you with this responsibility?" Booker asked with a weak voices.
"Yes, you can," Rex answered without the slightest hesitation with tears running down the side of his face.
"Thank you. Well boys it has been a fun ride. We’ve had good and bad, ups and downs but through it all we stuck together. We persevered.And I'm proud to say we have had..true... Buffalo Brotherhood." Then he died.
After Booker died the platoon had a small burial for Booker and Thomas. After that had been done the platoon looked to Rex for guidance.
"C'mon and get in guys," Rex said to the rest of the guys. He had taken up the reins to the stagecoach and hooked up the two horses that were still alive. "Booker, would have wanted us to finish the mission." They all nodded and got into the coach with the gold while Rex drove. It was a sad group of men that rode into Santa Fe Bank. They delivered the gold without any further hitch.
When the platoon returned to Fort Stockton they told everyone of their great adventure and their painful loss. A memorial was held for Booker back at the base. The platoon was offered a promotion to platoon A3 but, they refused. They said that being platoon A7 is what made them special. Platoon A7 went on to be the best platoon in all of Company A and all of the 9th Cavalry. They followed Booker's last wishes till they died. Rex led the platoon, the twins got along more often but not much more, and Terrance grew more confident.
So there's our story. It still seems so unreal. I still think that some day I'll see Booker walking around on the barracks. But I know he won't. I still obeyed his dying wish and I grew more confident in myself and chased greatness. Now I lead my own platoon. I'm the only one of platoon A7 left in the army. Rex and twins retired a few years back. Now that I have my own platoon I'm going to try and teach them what Booker taught me about Buffalo Brotherhood.