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Author's Chapter Notes:
JUNE 21, 1865 (9:11 PM)
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At least half the Congreve rockets launched, from behind the fort, landed short of their target. The other half--particularly the three launched from Father Cypriano's donkey cart--detonated on impact with the fort's rear wall.

There was not much damage done; even with the added explosive power of the Ketchum grendades tied on to the rockets! For, as predicted, the timbers comprising each palisade had been fashioned from pretty sturdy oaks.

Yet, it had never been anyone's intention to breach the rear wall. Merely to distract the new occupants of the fort from the three men who had finally snuck up to its main gate on foot. One of them--Dutch Fleischer--carrying the other box of Ketchum grenades. While Tom Bigby and Buck Skinner stood guard.

"You all set?" whispered the former. Fleischer nodded. Whereupon, all three men backed away about twenty-five paces.

"Here you go," said Tom, handing over the crossbow he had been toting (very carefully!) in his right hand.

"Danke," replied the Hessian. Following which, he got down on one knee and aimed the crossbow skyward.


The Ketchum grenade that had been resting in it went sailing upward, at a ninety-degree angle, before peaking and descending...right smack-dab amidst the other grenades.


The main gate, bolt and all, blew inward. Allowing the three scouts to go racing into it on foot. Buck levering his Henry rifle at the guards on the front parapet. While Tom and Fleischer used their Colts to hold off the guards on the ground. Long enough for Lancer and his men to come charging in, anyway.

"Doot! Doot-doot-doot-doot! Doo-DOO-doot!
Doot! Doot-doot-doot-doot! Doo-DOOT-doot!"

Heraclitoris, being taller than everyone else, heard the tell-tale bugle call first. And, she knew she had to act before things got beyond her control.

"Alison! You and your sisters recapture these trouble-makers. I shall deal with their reinforcements."

Whereupon, she shot up to a hundred feet in height, and bounded over the front wall to meet the Sixth Cavalry, head on.

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