Deck of The Vast Explorer
Judson stood on the deck of the Vast Explorer staring at the ocean. He wasn't thinking about the conversation he had on the phone call he had received earlier, from a Captain Hastings. He still wondered how he had gotten his name. Judson didn't offer his services to just anyone, but the more he thought about it the more his curiosity got him. If he decided to take the offer, he would have to explain it to Annie. He didn't know if she would understand since he had been gone longer on this last trip then he was planning to. He had been thinking so hard about the offer that he didn't hear Mac coming up from behind him.
"Judson, I brought you some coffee, I thought that you could use some," replied Mac sitting the coffee on the table.
"Thanks Mac," Judson replied as he drank the coffee.
"Well Judson. I know you were up here thinking. We could hear you pacing back and forth. Did you make a decision?" asked Mac standing with her hands on her hips and staring at Judson.
"Yeah, I made a decision, but I was also remembering something that my dad said to me when I was eighteen. I had just told him that I wanted to be like him. He told me that I had to treat every discovery that I made like it was the biggest discovery in my life. Know matter what it may be. Mac, tell Gabe to head home. If you need me, I'll be in my cabin. I have to let Annie know and then I have to do some research on the information that Captain Hastings gave me. Also, I need you to call the captain and have him to meet us. Tell Gabe to dock at the harbor in Norfolk," replied Judson as he turned and walked down the hallway to his cabin.
"Gabe? How far are we from Norfolk?" Mac asked as she walked into the wheel house.
"At this speed, we should reach Norfolk in five hours, unless something happens. I've been listening to the engines and they need to be rebuilt or at least overhauled," replied Gabe frowning at Mac.
"Let me know when we're getting close, so I can tell Judson," Mac replied as Gabe shook his head.
Judson had already started to think about the information he would need, before starting anything. He opened the door, standing in the doorway looking around the room. He would be glad to get home, even if it meant that Annie and Connor would have to go with him this time. The thought brought a smile to his face as he walked across the room and picked up the picture of Annie that sat on his desk. He sat down at his desk and started putting in what information he had from Hastings. After finding some info he ran into a section that was classified. He tried everything but still he couldn't get in. He sat there thinking of another way but when he tried it, he had no luck. He knew that he had to call Annie. She could get the information that he wanted, thought Judson as he started to dial the number.
"Hello. Cross residence. This is Annie," she replied.
"It's Judson," he replied smiling at the sound of her voice.
"Where are you Judson?" she asked.
"Annie, we're going to be docking in Norfolk soon. The reason I called you, besides missing you, is I need some information that only you can get," stated Judson.
"You're trying to get information from the computer and it wouldn't let you. What is it you're trying to get into?" she asked.
"I need anything that has to do with a Colonel James Scott, U.S. Army, 1865. I need information on his court martial and his involvement at Sioux Ridge. Also the names of the men under his command who survived the battle of Sioux Ridge. I need for you to do this as soon as you can get it," said Judson.
"Why do you need the information on this Colonel Scott? Judson have you committed yourself in something that you haven't told me about?" Annie asked with a frustrated sound to her voice.
"I was contacted by a Captain Hastings because he heard that I was an explorer. I still don't know how he got my name, but after talking to him he explained why he needed my help. He found out that he is somehow related to Colonel Scott. He has read about the colonel and wants to try and find the proof that the colonel isn't guilty. He didn't tell me anything more so I need whatever you can get?" said Judson.
"I'll see what I can find. Judson? You are coming to Bay Cove?" asked Annie.
"No. Gabe has the Explorer coming into Norfolk. The engines need an overhaul. I need Connor to fly the jet here for a pickup," replied Judson.
"I'll let Connor know to have the jet ready, so when you're ready you can call," remarked Annie.
"I need you to call some people and have them meet me there. You need to get hold of Mo. She'll call Pete and Harry. They know to bring the trailer so we have a place to work. Call Dr. Wolf, have him go to the reservation in the Dakotas. He will know what to do," added Judson.
"Why Dr. Wolf?" Annie asked.
"Because he knows a lot about the plains Indians, their customs and beliefs," replied Judson.
"I know he's an expert, but he's also Apache and you're going to the land of the Sioux," replied Annie.
"I've called Tommy Whitehorse, and he's going to meet Dr. Wolf. Annie, there is something else that I need to tell you, before you'll find out. Captain Hastings is going to be coming with us. He wants to be there when the proof is found," replied Judson.
"How does he know you can find the proof?" asked Annie.
"He's hoping that I can find it," remarked Judson.
"I'll have everything when I see you on the plane," replied Annie smiling.
"What do you mean?" Judson asked with a surprise look on his face.
"I'm going with you and that's final. I need to get back to what I was doing. The information you wanted is starting to come up on the screen," Annie replied, putting the phone on the intercom as Judson continued talking. "Judson! what's the matter? You sound like something's just not right. The tone of your voice is telling me that something may be wrong," stated Annie.
"Ever since I talked to Captain Hastings I've had this feeling that there may be something wrong or he's not telling me everything," replied Judson.
"Let me see what I can find out, okay," said Annie.
"Call me when you're at Norfolk alright. I just hope that I didn't get us into something that could be trouble," remarked Judson as he hung up the phone.
She looked at the info as it appeared on the screen. She couldn't believe what she was seeing.
Turning back to the computer.
Annie was busy working on the computer, putting the names and dates that would help her to find what she needed. As the information came up she found herself reading what was on the screen. What she saw had her attention, so much that she didn't hear Connor enter the room and sit down in the chair that was in front of her desk.
"What's so interesting that you didn't hear me come in?" asked Connor staring at his mom.
"Sorry Connor, I started reading this as it came up and, yes it is interesting. Your dad requested this information. He was having problems with his computer," replied Annie smiling at Connor. "He called and ask me to find what he needs," said Annie.
"So dad can't get the information because his computer doesn't like him. So what did he want when he called?" Connor asked.
"He wants you to fly the jet to Norfolk and pick him up and the others that will be with him," Annie said.
"Why can't they come to Bay Cove?" asked Connor.
"Gabe is having trouble with the engines, so Judson is having him dock in Norfolk," replied Annie
"Yeah! I guess I can go get them," said Connor, smiling.
"I need to go back to what I was doing. I need you to call Mo and let her now that she, Pete and Harry are needed. I have the information coming up the computer that Judson needs."
"He's still having trouble with the computer, huh, but ask him to find something that has been lost a hundred years or more, an he can find it with no problem," replied Connor smiling.
Annie had to smile at what Connor had said. When she heard the phone ring, she knew from the sound of the ringtone that it was Judson. Now what, I suppose he forgot to tell me something else that he needs, thought Annie as she answered the phone.
"Annie! Its Judson, Did you tell Connor that I need him to fly Norfolk?" Judson asked.
"Yes, I told Connor, but Why Norfolk?" asked Annie.
"The call I received came from a Captain Hayes, he's stationed at Norfolk Air Naval Station. I have decided to do it, but I need whatever you can get me. I need you to call Mo, tell her to take the trailer to the Sioux Ridge. Tell her to call Harry and Pete and have them go with her. I'll call Grey Wolf and, have him get an interview with the people at Sioux Ridge," he replied.
"I was just starting to read Colonel Scott's military records. Did this captain tell you what Scott's involvement was?" she asked.
"No, he didn't say, just that he was at this Sioux Ridge," he replied. "Hey, I've got to go." He ended the call but Annie carried on reading.
"According to what I started reading, this Colonel Scott was found guilty by his peers of the massacre at Sioux Ridge. Connor, can you get me that file from the table. It has everything that I could find on the massacre. According to this file, he and his men wiped out an entire village... every man, women and child," replied Annie as she continued reading.
"What has dad got himself into now?" asked Connor looking at his mom.
"I don't know, but there has to be a reason. He doesn't do things with out a reason," said Annie.
"You said that dad wanted Captain Hastings called. I called the number that he gave you and left a message for him," replied Connor looking puzzled.
"What's wrong now?" asked Annie.
"The guy who answered the phone acted like he didn't know a Captain Hastings," said Connor.
"Is the jet ready, Connor?" asked Annie looking at Connor over the paper she was holding.
"The jet is ready and I have everything on it, that we will need. I put the laptop on the plane because I know you would want it," said Connor.
"This makes no sense. This next part says that Scott was over a hundred miles from where he was suppose to be. According to the map, he was in the Black Hills and he was suppose to be going to Fort Lincoln, but why was he so far off the trail he was suppose to be on," replied Annie.
"Maybe he got lost?" asked Connor.
"I just don't know, something doesn't make sense but I guess we will have to find out why. Is the jet ready?" asked Annie as the last of the information came out of the printer.
"The jet has been ready for the last two hours, I'm just waiting for you," replied Connor looking at his mom who was putting papers and the map in the briefcase.
"I hope I didn't forget anything. I'm ready so let's go," said Annie walking out the door of the house.
The Vast Explorer
"Hey Mac, tell Judson that we will be docking in a few minutes," said Gabe turning the ship toward the dock. Mac started down the hallway towards Judson's cabin. She knocked on the door. Then she heard Judson open the door and walked out into the hallway.
"Gabe sent me to tell you that he is docking at Norfolk harbor now," replied Mac.
"Have you heard from Connor yet?" asked Judson standing in the hallway.
"He called to let us know that they are on their way. They should be here soon," replied Mac going down the hall. Suddenly Gabe came running toward Judson yelling about something.
"Judson! You need to come up to the deck. I was looking over the railing for the mechanics to work on the engines, but it wasn't them J...Judson," replied Gabe stuttering.
"What are you trying to say Gabe?" asked Judson looking at Gabe as he made his way up the ladder and on to the deck.
"Well, do you see the men standing by the cars and their wearing uniforms that are a certain green color and one of them wants to talk to you. Have we done something wrong?" asked Gabe looking at Judson who was looking over the railing at the men.
"I'm Judson Cross, do you want to see me?" yelled Judson as they looked up.
"I'm Major Quinn, Mr Cross. Its very important that I talk to you. May I come aboard?" asked Major Quinn patiently waiting.
"I don't know what I did, but you can come on-board," he replied to Major Quinn, wathign as the major walked up the ramp.
"Mr. Cross, we have information that you have been contacted by a Captain Hastings and that it has to do with a Colonel James Scott," said Major Quinn.
"Yes, he contacted me by phone. I still don't know how he got my name but he wanted me to find proof in the court martial of a Colonel Scott. He told me that he just recently found out that he is somehow related to this Scott," replied Judson.
"This is not possible. According to what we have on Scott, he and his wife had three children. Two sons and a daughter. He lost the sons in the civil war and the daughter died in 1905; she left no children," said Major Quinn.
"Did his sons have any families?" asked Judson.
"According to the family history, his sons did have wives, but there is no record of any children being born," said Major Quinn.
"What about Scott's immediate family? Did he have any brothers or sisters?" Judson asked.
"The Army has no records of Scott before he entered the Army," replied Quinn.
"What do you want me to do?" asked Judson.
"He came to you because he saw one of your discoveries and he knows that you can find anything you're looking for. What I'm going to tell you is classified by the army and has been since his courtmartial," replied Quinn.
"Why are you telling me this then?" asked Judson.
"I learned that you have worked for the army before. We wanted you to do so again. What I'm going to tell you is the part of Scott's military records that are classified. In 1865, it was near the end of the civil war and he was in command of a unit assigned to take the payroll to the post at Fort Lincoln," replied Quinn.
"That's what Annie was talking about," replied Judson.
"Who is Annie?" asked Quinn.
"My wife," answered Judson.
"She is the one who got into the information on Scott's court martial. That means you know pretty much about what happened," said Quinn.
"Yes, I read the records of Scott's trial and that the payroll was never found," said Judson.
"The Army has always believed that the massacre was part of the cover up, by whoever took the payroll," said Quinn.
"I have one question. Has anyone looked for this payroll?" asked Judson.
"When Scott and his troops didn't arrive, they sent troops out to look for them. They found what was left of them. There were survivors but they were badly wounded. They talked about seeing other troops there. I brought with me everything on the courtmartial and the testimony of the Scott's men," replied Quinn.
"Just one more question. Is there any part of the wagon that was carrying the payroll left?" asked Judson.
"If there is then it would be at Fort Lincoln," said Major Quinn.
"Fort Lincoln is in the northern part of Nebraska, up close to the border," said Judson.
"Yes, it is," said Quinn.
"Is there a number to reach you?" asked Judson.
"Yes, it's on the file I gave you," said Quinn.
"I will call if I need anything more," replied Judson as he watched Major Quinn leave the Vast Explorer.
Judson stood there watching as Major Quinn drove away. According to what Scott's men said, there were other troops lying in wait for them. If Scott's troops didn't have any reason to attack the Indian village then who did? Judson asked himself.
The Cross Jet
"Excuse me Mrs. Cross. There is a man out here and he says that he was told to come to the jet but he wouldn't tell me his name," said the guard.
"I don't know who it could be but I will come out there," said Annie walking down the stairs and smiling when she saw who it was.
"Connor called me and asked me to meet him here at the plane. I have to assume that Judson needs me," replied the man as he walked toward Annie.
"Thanks for coming, Tony. Judson is going to need you on this one," said Annie walking up the stairs followed by Tony.
"What is he up to now?" asked Tony.
"A few days ago Judson called me and ask me to do some research on a Colonel James Scott. Believe me it hasn't been easy as the Army has most of the information on him classified. Judson called me and said that he was meeting with a Major Quinn," replied Annie walking over to the desk and sitting down.
"Is this Quinn the client?" asked Tony sitting down in the chair across from Annie.
"No. The client is a Captain Hastings. He says that he is related to Scott but I have checked everything that I can and there are records of Scott having any descendants, except for his immediate family. I checked his military records that weren't classified. I found that he had two sons and a daughter. Scott was from Ohio, so I looked up what I could on his children. His oldest son Daniel married but died in the last days of the Civil War. The other Son Matthew was killed a few months earlier, there is no records of any children coming from his marriage either. His daughter Amanda died in 1905. There is no information on the daughter except for when she was born and her date of death," said Annie.
"Can I ask what does this Hastings want Judson to do?" Tony asking.
"He wants Judson to find proof that Scott's not guilty of treason or the massacre of an Indian village at Sioux Ridge," replied Annie looking at Tony.
"We may have a problem. Sioux Ridge is under the protection of the Lakota Sioux and the U.S.government, it is part of the treaty that was made in 1876. According to the treaty no white man may set foot on it because it is sacred ground to the Sioux people," said Tony looking at Annie.
"When I talked to Judson, he told me that he was asked by a Major Quinn to find the proof and Judson would be given the right to enter the village. I think that the army wants him to solve this mystery once and for all," replied Annie.
In a car several yards from the Cross jet, set four men watching the jet and talking.
"As soon as that jet leaves, I want you to follow in the plane that I rented. When you land, I need you to stay out of sight till I call you," said the man in the military uniform.
"Is this where you were suppose to meet this Cross guy?" asked the dark hair man.
"Yes. That is his jet. He should be here soon as he called just before he left to say that he was on his way," said the man.
"Does he suspect anything about you, like what your real motive is?" asked the dark haired man.
"No. He thinks I'm Captain Hastings and that I want him to find the proof on Colonel Scott," he replied.
"If he only knew the real reason is for him to find out what happened to the payroll that disappeared that day," said the dark haired man.
"There is Cross driving up now. I will get out here, that way he won't see any of you," replied the man in the uniform before getting out of the car and walking toward the jet.
Judson got out of his car and he took the briefcase out of the front seat. He had started toward the jet when he noticed the other man coming toward him.
"Are you Captain Hastings?" Judson asked.
"Yes, I am. You're Judson Cross," he asked.
"Yes, this is my son Connor, and my wife is on the jet. Her name is Annie. Connor, there is one more person coming. A Major Quinn. We have to have a government official because of the Indian village. Major Quinn is it. As soon as he gets here we can leave Connor. He should be here in a few minutes," said Judson walking up the stairs.
"Judson, the tower just called us and a car is coming toward the jet," replied Annie, walking toward Judson.
"Annie, what is bothering you?" Judson asked her.
"Nothing is bothering me, it's just that I have been reading so much on Scott lately that I'm not sure about what I have read," replied Annie just as Connor came up to them.
"Major Quinn is here. I saw a car drive up to the jet and a man get out. He is just standing at the bottom of the stairs," Connor replied.
"He is looking for me. Connor will you go to the door and tell him to come up the stairs," replied Judson as Connor went to the door.
"Are you Major Quinn?" Connor asked the man.
"Yes, I am. Is this the Cross jet, because I'm looking for Judson Cross?" asked Quinn looking at Connor.
"I'm Connor Cross and you're at the right place. He is on board the jet. He said for you to come on up," replied Connor as he watched Major Quinn walking up the stairs.
"Connor, you can take off now. Everyone is here," said Judson, as Connor walked to the front of the plane.
The Dakota Sioux Reservation
"Hey Tommy, there is a car coming up the drive. Are you expecting anyone?" asked Sam Two Pony.
"Yes, a Dr. Grey Wolf. He is one of Judson's friends. He is coming here to help in the investigation. I wanted to let you know that Joe Walking Bear is here. He arrived a few minutes ago," said Sam.
"As soon as Dr. Wolf gets here, we have to meet with the tribal council to get permission to go on sacred grounds," said Tommy Whitehorse walking out the door to wait for Dr. Wolf, who was getting out of his car.
"Tommy! Don't tell me, that Judson called you too?" asked the doctor, looking at Tommy and smiling.
"He called me, and he called Sam and Joe also. I'm glad you're here. We get to meet with the tribal council. Did Judson tell you who the person is that he is working for or what is involved here?" asked Tommy.
"I will tell you while we are walking to the meeting hall. Judson was hired by a Captain Hastings, then he called to tell me that, a day later, he met with a Major Quinn who is with the Army special investigations. This Quinn hired him to solve a 144 year old mystery. The same mystery that a Captain Hastings hired him for. It involves a Colonel Scott and his involvement with the massacre at Sioux Ridge," replied Dr. Wolf walking with Tommy to the hall.
"Does Judson know how hard it's going to be to get into that village? Only the tribal elders and certain women from the tribe are allowed in there," said Tommy.
"He has permission from the government and the bureau of Indian Affairs. They have agreed and he talked to Red Cloud's son, who told Judson that his father would agree, but we still have to ask him," replied Dr. Wolf looking at Tommy as they reached the doors of the hall. The doors opened up and they walked in to meet with the men of the tribe.
"Please come in. I am Red Cloud, Chief of the Lakota Sioux. My son has told me what you want. Why should I let you enter this place? It is consider sacred ground," said Red Cloud.
"I have known Judson for a long time and he has always left the area the way he finds it. Judson is trying to solve a mystery that is decades old. Don't you want to know who massacred that village?" asked Dr. Wolf.
"We will talk and let you know our decision," said Red Cloud as Tommy and Dr. Wolf walked of the hall with Red Cloud's son.
"My father isn't sure. He and the others will meet and let you know by this afternoon," said Red Cloud's son, Eddie Two Moon, watching as Dr, Wolf and Tommy walked out of the hall.
"We really need Judson here. If he could convince me to come here, then he can convince them," replied Tommy as he and Dr. Wolf walked back to the house.
"Judson, won't arrive for another two hours. Do you know the area that Judson is going to working in?" asked Dr. Wolf looking at Tommy.
"I know where the place is. I can take you there," replied Eddie Two Moon.
"I'm not sure where the place is. The Indian village is close to the area. We can take a look and see what we are getting into," said Tommy as they got into the car.
"How far is this place?" asked Dr. Wolf looking out the window.
"It's not to far, maybe twenty minutes," said Eddie.
"What is Judson looking for?" Tommy asking.
"You read the file on Colonel Scott's court martial?" asked Dr. Wolf.
"Yes! I couldn't believe what I was reading. His men believed that they were being followed, but they didn't know who they were," replied Tommy.
"Something in the court martial doesn't make sense. Scott was accused of the massacre of the Indian village and of treason. I couldn't make any sense out of what I was reading. Why was he accused of treason? So I called Judson. It seems that Scott and his men were transporting a payroll shipment to Fort Lincoln, but it was something that Judson said. Only Scott and his aids knew about the payroll and he told me that in the last days of the war, the south was looking for money to keep the war going," said Dr. Wolf.
"So whoever was following Scott may have attacked the village too, that would answer a lot of questions. Since being here I have learned that some of Red Cloud's people are descendants of that village," said Tommy looking at Wolf.
"How did you find this out?" asked Dr Wolf.
"Red Cloud's son told me. Many of them were able to run and hide. He told me that when his father was a small boy, his grandfather told him the story of how his village was destroyed, but he talked about how many still lived after the attack," said Tommy looking at Dr. Wolf.
"Does Judson know this?" asked Wolf.
"No, I only found this out yesterday," said Tommy.
"We need to let Judson know this as he will want to talk to Red Cloud," said Wolf.
A landing strip near the reservation
Annie watched as Judson came out of the cockpit and walked back to where she was sitting. He looked around and noticed a tense look on Captain Hastings face. Major Quinn was looking at Hastings with a serious look on his face. They both gave Judson the feeling that something wasn't right. Oh well thought Judson, the truth will come out sooner or later.
"You need to put your seat belts on, Connor is ready to land the plane. Harry is going to pick us up. He rented a van. I called him from the cockpit, he said that Tommy and Dr. Wolf are looking at the area where Scott's men were ambushed," replied Judson looking at Annie, who was watching Hastings.
"What do you know about this Hastings, I have been watching him and he looks like he's guilty of something. I not sure of what but he just has that look and he keeps watching Quinn," said Annie looking at Judson.
"I don't anything about him, except that he is a Captain in the Army. I think you need to check into his past and make he is who claims to be," said Judson picking up his briefcase as he helped Annie down the steps and walk to the van, where Harry was waiting for them.
"I thought you would never get here. I have been waiting for what seems like forever," complained Harry as he put the equipment in the van.
"Sorry you had to wait, but we didn't leave Norfolk when we planned. Everything okay here?" asked Judson as he got in the van.
"We have the trailer set up a mile from the site. Tommy and Dr Wolf are out there now looking it over. We are still waiting on the tribal council's decision. They had a ceremony a few days ago honoring those that had died and they asked us to watch; it was something that I will never forget. That place is more than an Indian burial ground, it's a shrine to those that died that day. Judson, you will be able to feel the spirit of those that died there," replied Harry.
"Major Quinn and Captain Hastings. If you want to go to the house Harry will take you now, otherwise, Harry is taking us to the site where we will be searching for answers," Judson stated, looking at their faces.
"I would like to see it," said Quinn looking at Hastings.
"That is fine with me," replied Hastings staring at Quinn with a guilty look on his face.
"Judson, while your looking at the site, I will see what I can find on our friend," replied Annie softly as they got out of the van. Judson started for the burial grounds, he knew what Harry was talking about, because he could hear the cries of those that died that day. Judson walked around the white picket fence, he could feel what Harry was talking about. The village still look it might have looked like that day. Judson walked over to where Harry was standing with Tommy and Dr. Wolf.
"It's like I could feel them and their pain. That's how strong the feeling is. You can feel it too or you wouldn't be looking at me that way," replied Judson walking around the edge of the fence.
"We had only been here a few minutes when we felt like there was someone was watching us. We had the same feeling at the site where Scott's troops were ambushed. You need to go there and see what we found," replied Tommy looking at Judson.
"Alright, let's go there and you can show me what you found," said Judson as they drove to the site. Judson got out of the car and walked behind Tommy and Dr. Wolf as they walked to the site of the ambushed. He stood there and just looked at what he was seeing.
"Is that what I think it is?" asked Judson staring at the small cemetery.
"We couldn't believe what we saw. According to the records of the court martial, Captain McHenry and his command was sent to look for Scott and his troops. In his report he didn't say that they buried the dead troopers where they found them. So why didn't he bring them back to the fort and let their families bury them?" asked Dr. Wolf.
"It doesn't make any sense," replied Tommy walking around what was left of the area.
"Can we make out anything that's there?" asked Dr. Wolf looking at the area.
"We might be able to find something, but I don't know what. The markers are pretty worn down. I can barely see the names. Harry may have a way to restore them so that we can make out the names," replied Judson picking up a piece of a marker that laid on the ground.
"Can you make out anything on the marker?" asked Tommy looking at Judson.
"I can see maybe a couple of letters and that's all. I need a bag to put this in to protect it from further damage. We will take it back to Harry and he can start on it," said Judson walking back to the village.
"We need to get back to the tribal council hall. Red Cloud said that they would have a decision by this afternoon and it's almost time now," said Dr. Wolf walking back to the car.
"When do we start?" Tommy asking.
"We start at 7 tomorrow, with what we found here in this area and then we can work on the village after the chiefs agree," said Judson.
Back at the house
"I will be glad when Judson gets back. There is something about Hastings that I don't like. It's like he is acting strange, like something is wrong. For someone who wants to know about Scott and find the proof that he is not guilty,Hastings didn't even want to go with Judson. I'm starting to get the feeling that he can't be trusted," replied Annie looking at Connor.
"Have you found anything on Hastings?" asked Connor looking at his mom.
"We may have a problem as there is no record of a John Hastings. I checked military records and found nothing. Then I ran a search on the name and I still found nothing. Maybe if I keep looking I will find something," replied Annie as she went back to the computer.
The Tribal Council Hall
Members of the council sat at the table talking about the request that had been put before them.
"We need to find out what happened that day," replied Red Cloud.
"We know that the soldiers attacked the village, killing everyone that they could find," said Mark White Eagle.
"They didn't kill everyone. We know this because some of them made it to safety by hiding in the mountains," replied Paul Standing Bear.
"We know that some of them lived that day to tell the story to others, but we only know what they told us. My great-grandfather was one of them. He was a small boy of five when it happened. I heard the story every day till he died, so did you. I would sit at his side and listened to what he would say about the soldiers attacking the village. When they came out of hiding they found soldiers dead, but our people didn't kill them. So who did kill them?" asked Red Cloud looking at the other men sitting at the table.
"This man who comes here to find the answers to your questions. He is already searching for them. I took him to the village of our ancestors. He is waiting for your answer before he enters the village," replied Eddie Two Bears standing in front of the council, and he watched as each one of them shook their head yes to Judson's request.
"Have him come in," said Red Cloud as Eddie left the hall.
"My father will see you now," said Eddie as Judson walked into the hall with him.
"You are this Judson Cross, my son has told me about. He has watched you on the television and he says that you are know what you are doing. I believe him and that you can find the answers," said Red Cloud.
"I will try and do it. I will put the village back they way that I found it. Eddie has told me that you want answers for why the village was attacked and who killed the soldiers, because your people didn't do it. He has also told me that some of your people are descended from the people in the village?" asked Judson.
"I have sent Eddie to have them come to the hall so you can talk to them. Many of them are very old. They may not remember very much, but they have passed their stories to their family members," said Red Cloud.
"I need to get Annie; she can record what they say and then I can listen to it," replied Judson as he asked Tommy to go get Annie.
Annie was busy looking for information when Tommy came in the house.
"Annie, Judson needs you to come to the tribal hall and listen to what Red Cloud's people have to say. Judson has been told that some of these people are descendants of the village," said Tommy looking at Annie looking up from the computer.
"I'm busy with research. Connor will be come to the hall and record what they have to say. I know it's important, but so is what I'm reading. Connor knows what to do," said Annie going back to the computer as Connor came in the room.
"I got the message from Tommy. I'm to record everything that they say. Do you want me to ask questions?" asked Connor picking up the recorder.
"Yes! You know what questions to ask. It's pretty much what we talked about on the plane," said Annie. Connor grabbed the recorder and followed Tommy back to the hall, where Judson was talking with Red Cloud and the other tribal elders.
"I need to know if the village is the burial grounds?" asked Judson.
"The burial grounds are inside the village. There is hardly anything left, it has been so long. The elders of the tribe had them wrapped in the blankets that covered them and then had them put in coffins made by the tribe," said Red Cloud as Connor walked in the hall.
"Where is your mom? I need her to record what these people say," replied Judson.
"Mom asked me to do it because she is researching something that is important," replied Connor setting up the recorder's microphone.
"I need to go see what is so important for your mom," replied Judson walking out of the hall and going toward the house. As he entered the house Annie looked up to see Judson standing there.
"I know you wanted me to talk to them but I have found something that you need to read when I get it printed out," replied Annie going back to her work. "I didn't find anything on John Hastings, but let's see what came up on Scott's family."
There's nothing on Daniel or Amanda, but what do we have here. According to this, Matthew was married to a woman named Mary and there were two sons, but according to his Colonel Scott's military records, he lived in Ohio. I found military records for his son Daniel, but not for his son Matthew, but from I read earlier his two sons died in the last days of the war. is it possible that Matthew belonged to the Confederate Army. That would explains why there are no military records for him. From what we know the south didn't keep military records. I need to find out what happen to Matthew's sons. I need to know where they were born. I have to assume it was the southern states so I will start with Alabama and then continue with the other states till something comes up," said Annie as she started to read what she had printed earlier; the printer started to print out what she had been searching for.
I don't believe it, she thought, as she read the information. I need to do a family tree and see what I get. She entered the names of James Scott and his sons. This will take at least a day to do, so I will go to the tribal hall and listen to the people tell the stories that they were told, thought Annie as she walked out the door and toward the hall. Where Connor was listening to Red Cloud, who was talking about what happened that day.
"My grandfather would tell me every day about the village of our people. His grandfather had been a small boy, when they were attacked. He would tell my grandfather that they were scared and running for their lives, that they couldn't see who they were," said Red Cloud.
"Colonel Scott testified that his men didn't do it. Did they see anything at all?" asked Connor.
"You might want to ask John Black Crow. I will send someone for him," said Red Cloud as he asked one of the younger men to get John Black Crow.
Connor sat there waiting as his mom walked in the hall.
"Connor, have the people told you anything that could help us?" asked Annie as she sat down in a chair.
"Most of them don't remember ever hearing about who attacked the village. So what ever they tell us, it wouldn't matter. We need to know who attacked those people," said Connor.
"I heard the chief say that John Black Crow may know who they were," said Annie as John Black Crow walked in the hall.
"My grandfather talked about that day. He did see who they were. He was hiding in the rocks, it looked like the men were wearing gray, but he said that it was very blurry to him. So he wasn't sure of what he saw," said John Black Crow.
"Lt. Smith testified that he thought that they were being followed," replied Connor.
"It's possible, we know that in the last days of the war, renegade rebels were attacking anyone that was carrying money. They had to have known that Scott was coming that way," said Annie.
"That means they may have attacked the village in the hopes of wiping out the entire village and making it look like Scott's troops did it," replied Connor looking at his mom.
The Site of The Indian Village
As they stood outside of the white fence, Judson was thinking about where they should start. Then he realized that they should start at the site where the marker had been found.
"Harry, do we know what the name is on the marker?" asked Judson walking around the site.
"We have been able to make out some of the letters, but we still don't have a name. Replied Harry handing the Judson the notes he had taken from the marker.
"We need to take more of the marker and try to make out their names. Is there a list of the troopers that were killed. It may help in figuring the names on the markers," said Judson as he looked at the markers.
"The file on Scott's trial would have the names of those killed that day. During the trial they called out the names of those killed," replied Major Quinn.
"The file is in my briefcase, take it out and write down the names. Pete get the x-ray machine out and start scanning the graves. We need to find something, even if it's a bullet or the buttons of a uniform," said Judson walking toward Quinn.
"According to the files, their were fifteen troopers who died that day but I only counted ten graves. Scott was leading a detail of twenty five troopers," replied Quinn looking at Judson.
"If there were nine troopers who survived plus Scott, then what happened to the other five troopers? The only thing that makes sense here is that those five men were in on the ambush of Scoot and his men. Those five men would have known that Scott and his troops were escorting a payroll shipment and which way they were going. Lieutenant Smith testified that he felt they were being followed, that would have made sense as, if those five men had told someone else, that would explain everything," replied Judson looking at Quinn.
"Hey Judson, we need you to come over here, we found something that you might want to see," yelled Tommy Whitehorse as he watched Judson walking to where he was standing.
"Did you find something?" asked Judson looking at Tommy.
"We were running the x-ray over the graves and then we set the machine down to look at one of the markers and we found what looked like the remains of a body. We scanned more of the area and we found four more sets of remains," replied Harry. "So we have found your five men. It looks like they were shot and then dumped in this grave. It looks like who ever they were helping, decided that they didn't need them," said Tommy.
"That would explain what happen to them," said Judson going back to the other graves as Quinn following them.
"What is wrong, Major Quinn?" Tommy asking.
"If those men had known what was going to happen to them, maybe they wouldn't of betrayed Scott," replied Quinn, looking at Judson.
"The payroll Scott was moving, how much was it?" asked Judson.
"It was somewhere in the region of twenty-five thousand dollars but the army paid the men with gold coins not paper," said Quinn.
"So how much are we talking about at todays prices... if it were gold coins?" asked Judson but just then he heard yelling coming from the village. They ran toward the village where they saw Dr. Wolf standing there looking like he had seen a ghost.
"Grey, are you alright?" asked Judson as they came closer.
"I'm fine, I should have known it would happen. I was just walking around and he just appeared in front of me. He was dressed in the clothes of a chief and he wore the headdress of one. I shouldn't have let it bother me, instead I should of been expecting it. Tommy and I came here the other day and I had these feelings of being here before. The village became stronger when I touched the fence,a nd now they are even stronger inside the fence. I see the children playing and the women working in the village. One of the braves is yelling about men slowly approaching the village on horseback. The braves are trying to protect the people but the men are shooting at anything that moves. The shooting has stopped and the men ride off toward where Scott is coming up the road," said Grey as he walked out of the village.
"Grey, could you see what they were wearing?" asked Judson looking at Dr. Wolf.
"I couldn't see it was so blurry but what reason did they have for killing those people? Unless they were planning to ambush Scott and they didn't want anyone to see them," replied Grey.
"That's another question we have to answer. Quinn, I asked you earlier how much would that payroll be worth today?" asked Judson.
"At today prices it would be worth a million dollars," said Quinn.
"It's possible that they could have been renegade rebels. They were known to raids farms in the area. They could have been the ones to attack the village," said Judson.
"If they were rebels then that would explain their ambushing Scott. They could have been after supplies not knowing that Scott was carrying a payroll in the wagon. But why would they attack the village? They had nothing to gain by it," replied Judson as he started toward the trailer.
"All we have done is asking ourselves more questions and we still don't know the answers," replied Tommy following Judson.
"We need to stop trying to guess what happen here. We have to dig up the boys so Mo and her guys can start rebuilding the faces. Then we'll know who they were," said Judson reaching the trailer just as Mo and her assistances walked out.
"We were just going to start digging up the remains. Tommy gave me the x-rays so we know where to dig," replied Mo as they picked up the shovels.
"Why don't they just use a front loader to open the graves?" asked Quinn.
"They can't. The bodies are wrapped in blankets and laid in the graves, so they to be careful when they start opening the graves," replied Judson.
"What are they going to do?" asked Quinn.
"Mo and her guys are going to rebuild the faces of those troopers. Harry and Pete will try and determine how they were killed and hopefully they will find the bullets," replied Judson walking out of the trailer and picking up one of the shovels.
"Could you use some help?" asked Quinn picking up a shovel and following Judson to the site of the graves where Tommy and the others were placing flags around the edges. Tommy took one of the stakes and slowly pushed it into the ground till he felt the stakes hit one of the remains of a soldier and then he stopped.
"The stakes are the outlines for the remains. The stake in the middle is marked how far you have to dig. For those of you who never done this, when you can see the first signs of the remains, stop and start using a brush to gently sweep away the dirt," explained Mo as she went to the next one.
"How far apart are they?" asked Judson measuring the distance between the flags.
"I would have to say about four or five inches apart," said Tommy running the x-ray machine over the graves, as Judson looked to see haw far apart they were.
"Beware when you start to dig, because the remains are really close. I would have to say that they are six to eight inches apart. This is not ten separate graves, but one mass grave. Whoever dug them, did it in a hurry, so be careful," replied Judson as he started to dig.
"Judson, Joe and I will work on the grave over here," replied Sam Two Pony as they walked over to where the other grave was.
"I have some boxes for the remains. Since we don't have a name for them, we will call them number one and so forth. I have numbers for the markers. Judson you have one and it goes down the line. I put a box with one at the bottom of the first grave, it's marked and so are the others," said Mo as she went to the next one.
After several hours of careful digging, they slowly started brushing away the dirt from what was left of the blankets that the bodies had been wrapped in. As he brushed the last of the dirt from the remains, he noticed what was left of the uniforms. He picked up the tattered pieces of what had been their uniforms and places the remnants in the plastic bags. There is something not right here thought Judson as he went to the next one where Quinn was brushing off the last of the dirt. Quinn looked at the remains and then looked at Judson and then looked back at what he saw on the remains.
"You saw what those uniforms looked like, didn't you?" asked Quinn looking at Judson who was looking at the remnants of a uniform.
"I see it but I'm not convinced of it. It doesn't make sense. Why would Scott's men bury rebs and then put up markers with the names of Scott's men on them? Let's wait and see what Mo finds out," replied Judson as they carried the boxes to the trailer.
The site of the graves
"Judson, we need you to come to the other grave. We have two uncovered and the remains look like the other ones," replied Tommy putting the remains in the numbered boxes.
"So we have the same in that grave--five sets of remains, but no markers and nothing that would look like one," said Tommy looking at Judson, who was looking for Major Quinn, who was sifting through the dirt for any signs of buttons.
"Quinn, I was looking at the buttons we have found so far. I was hoping that you might know what they looked like in 1865?" asked Judson looking at Quinn.
"I was looking at the ones I found. After I brushed off the dirt, they are really rusted but from what I could see they aren't from a uniform that a Union soldier wore," said Quinn showing Judson the buttons.
"So the buttons could of come off a reb uniform?" asked Dr. Wolf.
"Then who took the time to bury those men and why did they put of markers with the names of Scott's men," replied Judson with a puzzled look on his face. Judson walked around the graves sites, looking at each one of them. "Something I don't understand, if I were a group of rebs raiding a Union patrol in the north. I know what I would do if I were the leader of that rebel group and had to find away of getting out here without being caught," murmured Judson to himself. "I would take the uniforms of Scott's troops and replace them with the reb uniforms. That would explain part of the question. McHenry was sent to find Scott and his men after they didn't arrive at Fort Lincoln. When he found them, that may explain why he buried those men where he found them. That would explain the markers with the troopers name."
"That look on your face tells me that you may have an answer to what you found in the graves," replied Dr. Wolf.
"I'm not sure if my theory is right or not. It does explain a lot though. Mo might know. Let's go see her. Have you seen Captain Hastings lately? He was supposed to be here. When I spoke to him earlier, he said he would meet us here," replied Judson as they walked to the trailer where Mo and her people were working.
A motel room several miles from the reservation.
"It's about time that you guys got here. I have been waiting for you. I have start acting like I'm really interested in what they are doing," replied Hastings.
"We had to be careful. We think someone was following us, when we left the airport," said the dark haired man.
"How do you know you were being followed?" Hastings asked.
"There was two people and they got off the plane at the same time we did. We found out that they were looking for this Cross fella," replied Brown.
"Did you see who picked them up?" asked Hastings.
"A guy with blond hair," replied a Young.
"He didn't see you did he?" asked Hastings.
"If he did, he didn't say anything. The other two, I would be worried about," said Brown.
"Cross hasn't even started to look for the gold. He is more interested in this Indian village and Scott's men then looking for it," replied Hastings.
"You may have to give Cross a reason for looking for the gold," said Young.
"We can't hurry him, he might get suspicious," replied Hastings.
"What do we do sit around and just wait?" asked Young.
"You don't know Cross when he's looking for something. He doesn't give up till he finds it. I hired him, because I was told that he was the best and he could find anything. You two stay here. I have to see if he found anything," replied Hastings walking out the door.
Mo's Research Lab.
Mo sat at the table putting the markers on the pivotal points of the face. Then she continue with markers on the hairline of the skull.
"Harry, do you have the remains of the skeleton put together?" asked Mo looking at the table where the remains laid.
"I'm just about done. I have to put the legs together," replied Harry attaching the bones to the lower pat of the torso.
"Make sure you put the number on the remains. Use a marker to write on the remains," replied Mo going back to her work.
"Mo, I have been taking the remnants of what is left of the uniform. There isn't much left of it. I had to put what is left under a microscope in order to see what the color is as it's so faded out. What's left of the pants are Union blue. When I put a piece of it up against the remnant of the uniform top, it looks like it could be Confederate Gray. I just have to keep checking. We took a piece from each set of remains, I'll keep checking," said Pete as he picked up piece of the remnant, just Judson walked into the trailer.
"How is everything going with identifying the uniforms?" asked Judson looking at Pete and Harry.
"It's not easy. There is not much left of the uniforms. We have bits and pieces and there not very big. We found buttons in the graves but they are so rusted that we have them soaking them in a rust remover. Tommy came in and told us the other five soldiers are rebels. He said there was no doubt about it," said Harry looking at Judson.
"Judson, Sam has been working on the markers. He started with the first one and we have a name on the first one. It's a Sergeant Master Jamison. We checked the list of names from the trial and he is on the list of those killed. We figured that when McHenry came to look for them, they were buried just like they were found. We have the names of the nine troopers. We order new markers for them and a marker for those five in the other grave," said Mo.
"So we have ten of Scott's men, but what happened to the other five? Were they were involved with the men who ambushed them?" Judson asked with a frustrated look on his face as Quinn walked up the steps.
"Nothing is going right for you," replied Quinn.
"No, it's not. I read all the research that I could get my hands on, but everything I read doesn't make sense," replied Judson.
"What you read is the truth. Scott was found guilty of treason," replied Quinn.
"If they thought that he committed treason then why did he go free?" asked Judson.
"It doesn't make sense why he was set free unless he knew something about the ambush. His trial was closed except for the judges and the witnesses, but they were called as needed. There had to be a reason for what they did," said Quinn.
"After the trial he was discharged from the army. That would explain why he was set free. They were hoping he would lead them to the payroll but he didn't. He went back to his home, didn't he?" asked Judson looking at Quinn.
"Yes! He never led them to the payroll because he never knew where it was. He died six years later at his home in Ohio," replied Quinn looking at Judson.
"I Have something in my room that thought might help. Scott wrote a book about what happened at Sioux Ridge," said Quinn.
"It may help us to know what Scott was thinking that day," replied Judson.
"I'll bring the book and you can see what I read," said Quinn.
"I need to go back and see what Annie has found," replied Judson as Harry came up behind him.
"Judson, we need you to come with me to the graves. Tommy was running the x-ray over the area and he and Sam found something that was buried in the ground," replied Harry.
"They may have found the break that we need," said Judson as he followed Harry to the site where Tommy and Sam were digging up the ground.
"We were looking over the ground and it just looked different then the rest of the area," said Tommy who was digging in the area.
"It was when I ran the x-ray over this area that's when we saw something in the ground. So far we have found the following things," replied Sam showing Judson the items that they had dug up.
"There's not much here. The pieces of canvas could be from the wagon. You can hardly see the lettering but it looks like it could be U.S. Army, but it's so faded out it's possible," replied Judson
"When I saw the wood, I noticed that it looks like the same wood used to make the markers that we found," said Tommy as he and Judson looked at everything that he and Sam had dug up.
"Do you think that you found what is left of the wagon?" asked Judson looking at Tommy.
"Yeah. I think that we have found what was left of the wagon, but we need to keep looking for the remains of the payroll box. So far we haven't found anything that looks like it. We are going to run the x-ray scan over more of the area," said Tommy as he moved the x-ray scan to the next area.
"Let me know if you find anything more. I need to find Annie and see if she has found anything on her search of Captain Hastings. I tried to get a background search on him but I couldn't find anything, so Annie was doing one. Just call me if you need me," replied Judson as he went back to the tribal hall. If Annie hasn't found anything on Hastings then I have to assume that he doesn't really exists and that he is only looking for the lost payroll. That may explain why we haven't seen him around here, thought Judson as he walked the trail that led to the tribal hall. He couldn't help but look at the Indian village. As he stood there he could feel their presence all around him. Suddenly he saw Dr Wolf coming closer.
"You feel it don't you? The same feelings that I had a few days ago. It seems like they don't go away," replied Dr. Wolf as he walked with Judson.
"We need to find the proof that Scott wasn't guilty, but it's not easy," said Judson.
The Tribal Hall
Annie sat there listening to the last of Red Cloud's people. She picked up the recorder and started for the house. She hoped that the information she had been searching for had finally come up on the monitor so she could print it out. As she walked back to the house she thought about what she had heard from Red Cloud's people. They had pretty much told her the same story from what they could remember. She thought about what they had told her and realized that the village had been destroyed after Scott's men were ambushed and killed. Judson needs to hear this when he gets back, she thought as she entered the house.
"Connor, how long have you been here?" she asked as she walked to the table where her computer sat.
"I have been here about ten minutes," replied Connor putting the recorder on the desk.
"After I took over at the hall, I noticed that you were gone. Where did you go?" asked Annie.
"I left with Red Cloud's son Eddie. He wanted to talk to me. So I picked up one of the recorders and went with him. We went for a walk and he told me what he had been told about what happened that day. I turned on the recorder and just listened to what he what he had to say. He said he was four when his grandfather told him the story of what happen that day. His great-great grandfather was a small boy when the men attacked the village. His father and the other braves tried to stop them but they were helpless against the guns. His mother ran with the other woman to try and hide in a cave. After it was over, those who had made it to the cave came back to the village when they thought it was safe. Most of their people were dead or dying. He told me something that doesn't make sense to me. Most of the young women between the ages of sixteen and twenty were missing from the village. A few of the braves that had made it, went to look for them but they never found them. Eddie said that the braves had just started the search when they saw the blue coats lying dead on the ground. The others were wounded, some of them were trying to help them, but Eddie said that his great-great grandfather had the other braves just rode away. He says that his father knows more about what happened to the bluecoats after the braves rode off," said Connor putting the recorder on the desk.
"What he told you is pretty much the same story I heard from the others. Red Cloud told me that there was less than fifty of the tribe remaining out of two hundred members of their tribe. I have been listening to what they say but I'm starting to wonder about what I'm hearing if it is the real story. When I talked to Red Cloud, his story felt like it was so real that I felt like I was there," replied Annie looking at Connor.
"I have heard so many stories, I'm not even sure about what I heard is even right," replied Connor looking frustrated look on his face just as Judson and Dr.Wolf walked into the house.
"From the looks on your faces I take it that you have heard a lot of stories about that day. What Red Cloud said is probably as close to the real story of what happened that day," replied Judson walking over to where Annie was sitting.
"So what Eddie told me, may not be right? He said that he was told that many of the young girls were taken and they were never seen again," said Connor looking at his dad.
"Red Cloud said the same thing to me. The renegades probably took them and sold them in Mexico. According to history in the last days of the Civil War, the rebels were looking for the money any way they could find it. The wealthy plantain owners were broke and could no longer support the war. They started robbing the trains and banks of the north. The ranchers and the towns were not safe. The renegades raided them and kidnapped the women, took the horses and cattle. They even took the men to be sold as slaves in the silver mines of Mexico, but the war was over by this time and they consider the renegades as outlaws and the Union army went after them," replied Judson.
"You were gone most of the day, did you find anything?" Annie asked.
"We found a graveyard and the remains of ten soldiers that were with Scott. We also found a mass grave with the remains of five rebels. We found something that doesn't make sense--the ten soldiers were wearing what were the remains of a rebel blouse and the pants of a bluecoat. That's how they did it," said Judson looking at Annie.
"What are you talking about?" asked Annie.
"There has to be a reason for everything that I have been finding, but I don't know the answers," said Judson looking frustrated.
"Maybe what I have to tell you will help. I did a search on Hastings like you wanted. You know that Scott's son Daniel was killed in the last days of the war but his oldest son wasn't killed like we thought. According to what I read, Matthew married a girl from a wealthy southern family. I found two military records for a Matthew Scott in the Union army and for Matthew Scott in the Confederate army," said Annie handing the papers to Judson
"Are you sure that the two men are the same one?" asked Judson.
"Yes, they are the same man," said Annie looking at Judson.
"I was reading what you gave me. Matthew Scott was a spy for the south. He was also an officer in the Union army. He is the connection, but how," replied Judson.
"Here is the printout on Hastings. There is a family tree on him that explains everything," replied Annie looking at Judson.
"I have been reading the printout on Matthew Scott. It says that he dropped out of West Point. This made his father very mad. He left and went to the South. In the printout it says that he married the daughter of a wealthy plantation owner. If I were mad at you and I wanted to get back at you, what would I do?" asked Connor looking at his dad.
"You would do the opposite of what I wanted you to do. His father wanted him to join the Union army but he had already join the South to get back at his father. He is the connection. Matthew Scott became a spy for the South. He took his hatred for his father one step further. He joined the Union army and passed secrets to the South but the war did not go the way he wanted to. A dispatch comes down about Colonel Scott and his men escorting a payroll to Fort Lincoln. He found out which way his father was going and followed him," said Judson.
"How did they get back to the South without running into the Union soldiers?" asked Connor.
"Connor, what you said is the answer to one of the questions on how did they get through the Union lines to the South. Colonel Scott's men lay dead or wounded. Matthew Scott's men took the uniforms off Colonel Scott's men and then had his men put them on. He had his men put theirs on Colonel Scott's men. That would explain how those uniforms got on Scott's men. Now I have to figure out what happened to the payroll. Quinn told me that the payroll would havebeen hidden in the wagon. They took the wagon apart looking for the gold. That would explain what Tommy found," said Judson.
"Are you saying Tommy found the wagon, but where?" Annie asking.
"Tommy and Sam were looking around the area. They saw what looked like the remains of a wagon wheel so using the x-ray scanner, they found it under several layers of dirt. If there was a payroll box we didn't find it," said Judson.
"So you think that you know what happen that day?" asked Annie looking At Judson.
"Yes, I just need to talk to Quinn. I need to read the report that McHenry made to the commander at Fort Lincoln," replied Judson as he kissed Annie and started out the door.
"I'll be at the Indian village if you need me. Red Cloud is going to show it to me," said Annie as she watched Judson leave. As he walked back to the site of the ambush he thought about what he had read in papers from the court martial of Colonel Scott.
There was something in Lieutenant Smith's testimony. He had said that he thought he saw at least twenty or thirty rebels during the ambush. McHenry reported that there had to be at least fifty riders from the tracks they found but according to McHenry, Smith had a head wound that would explain why he saw fewer men, thought Judson. Over a hundred people were killed according to what Red Cloud had told him. His great-grandfather had told him that the men were firing at anything that moved. He said that they were all around the village. I have to start on the village, maybe I'll find more evidence of what happened that day. Judson continued to walk to Dr. Wolf and the others were working when he heard his phone ringing.
"This is Judson," he answered.
"It's Annie. Major Quinn is looking for you. He came to the house as he has something important to tell you. I told him that you were going up to the village," said Annie.
"I'll be on the look out for him," replied Judson as he reached the village. Judson turned to see Quinn walking up behind him.
"Judson, Annie said that I would find you here. We have a problem and I just found out about it," replied Major Quinn looking at Judson.
"What do you mean a problem? You sound like it's serious," replied Judson with a puzzled look on his face.
"I just received some information from my commander in Norfolk. Captain Hastings has been found dead in his house on the base. According to security he has been dead almost two weeks. They searched his house and found his uniforms gone and whoever did this was looking for something," said Quinn.
"I met with Hastings six weeks ago and I didn't see him again till two weeks ago. He told me it was important that he find the proof that Colonel Scott wasn't guilty. He had to clear the Scott name as it has to do with something that his grandfather told him. It has to do with the Scott family, but when I saw him again and asked him why he needed the proof, he acted like he didn't know what I was talking about. He was on the plane with us but I haven't seen him since then. He acted like this was very important. I expected to see him here everyday, but he hasn't been seen once," said Judson.
"Security is still searching the house for anything they can find that will help us," replied Major Quinn.
"He is supposed to be staying at a hotel in town. I'll have Sam and Connor check out the place," replied Judson walking up the stairs of the trailer where Mo and the others were working.
"Hey Judson! We sifted through the dirt and found some buttons and bullets. The buttons are from Confederate uniforms. Harry says the bullets are the same ones used by the Confederate Army. They used mostly Kentucky long rifles and any other rifles they could get their hands on. Historians have it on record that many rebs would walk the battlefields just to take any weapons they could find by the Union soldiers," replied Harry.
"Have you guys seen Dr. Wolf?" asked Judson looking at Harry and Pete.
"The last time I saw him he was working in the Indian village. He is having a hard time. He has been having flashbacks of that day," said Pete looking at Judson.
"Is this Dr. Wolf psychic?" asked Quinn.
"Dr. Wolf is a full blooded Apache. When I first met him it was in Arizona. My father was at a dig site. It was like he could feel the spirits of the Indians that had been there. I was eighteen then. He showed me how he did it. I just stood there beside him and it just happen. I could feel their spirits and I could see them as they walked around the area. That's him standing in the middle of the village. He put himself there that day. The massacre of the Indian village had something with the ambushed of Colonel Scott's troops. Hastings never told me why he need to find the proof that Colonel Scott's wasn't guilty of treason. Annie did a search of his family tree. I have it here," replied Judson showing Quinn the papers.
"Whoever killed him was looking for something. Security said that his house was torn up from someone looking for it," said Quinn.
"Maybe we can find something in his family background. Hastings is a direct descendant of Colonel Scott. His lineage goes all the way back to Matthew Scott. He said that he had found all of this in an old trunk that his grandmother had," said Judson.
"When you told me that he needed proof I thought about it. Then I called Norfolk about it. I talked to the Jag officer and he told me that he would have to do some research and then he would have to get back to me," said Quinn.
"What did you asked the jag officer?" asked Judson.
"There were some questions that I needed answers to and only someone from JAG could have known the answers. He told me the reason Hastings needed proof was because he can reclaim what was confiscated from Colonel Scott after the trial. Hastings came to ask him what he needed for proof so that he could reclaim Scott's properties," replied Quinn.
"Did Hastings tell anyone else other then the JAG officers?" asked Judson.
"No! he just talked to JAG officer, but someone could have been listening to him and the officer. They could have assumed that he was taking the payroll," replied Quinn.
"I know that the missing payroll is one of the army's biggest mysteries," said Quinn.
"Is it possible that someone in the JAG office could of been listening to what they were saying and thought that they were talking about the payroll?" Judson asked.
"It's possible and they killed him thinking that he had proof of where it is," replied Quinn.
"When I talked to Hastings he said something about a journal that was left to him by his grandfather. He said that it was a journal that was kept by Colonel Scott right up till his death. He said that he would send it to me, and that it might help me in finding the proof," said Judson.
"Did you ever get this journal?" asked Quinn.
"If he sent it would have come to my house in Bay Cove. Annie would know if it came to the house," replied Judson as he and Quinn left the trailer and walked toward the house.
As Judson and Quinn walked to the house. Two men were seen standing in the shadows of the trailer.
"So that's why we didn't find that journal. He sent it to that Cross guy. Now I will have to find a way to get it from him some how. No matter what happens," said the man in the captain's uniform with a smirk on his face as he watched Judson and Quinn going toward the house.
Annie sat at the computer working on research that Judson had requested. She was so deep in to what she was reading that she didn't hear Connor come in.
"Mom, where is dad. This was delivered to him by special courier," replied Connor handing the package to Annie.
"He is with Major Quinn. They should be here soon. Connor, I need you to go up to the village and help Tommy and Sam. Dr. Wolf is there, they are going to use the x-ray scanner on the village," replied Annie as she heard the front door opened and Judson and Quinn walked in.
"Connor, Dr. Wolf needs your help at the village," said Judson walking over to the desk.
"Yeah ! I'm going... this came for you by courier," said Connor handing the package to his dad who was opening the envelope and pulling out the contents.
"It's a journal that belonged to Colonel James Scott. There's more... a letter from Captain Hastings," replied Judson opening the letter,
"What does it says?" Quinn asked.
"Mr. Cross, I'm sending this to you because someone is following me. In the last few days someone has broken in to my house looking for the journal. I have decided to send it to you. I will meet you at the Norfolk airport as we planned. Signed Captain Hastings."
"When I first met him he talked about a trunk at his dad home, that it contained certain items that belonged to Colonel Scott. He told me that his grandfather used to read from a book and when he was done he would put it back in this trunk. Is it possible that we may find the proof in this book and he didn't know it?" asked Judson looking at Quinn.
"Do you think that it's possible that Scott wrote everything down in that journal?" Quinn asked.
"Yes, I think he did and whoever killed Hastings wants it so bad that they would kill anyone to get it," replied Judson opening the journal and looking at the pages.
"So how do we protect it from being stolen?" asked Quinn.
"Annie, did you have the book scanned and placed in the safe?" asked Judson.
"Yes! I did it as soon as I realized what it was. I'll start reading it as soon as possible," said Annie as she typed in a code.
"If that wasn't Hastings, then who did we bring with us on the plane?" asked Quinn looking at Judson.
"Probably the person who killed Hastings... and I have what he is looking for," replied Judson with a smile on his face.
"Do you think they will come after you?" asked Quinn.
"I know they will" Said Judson walking toward the Indian village. He didn't see the men standing in the shadows watching as Judson and Quinn walked to the village.
"I need to get my hands on that journal. Only my brother would send it to Cross. Now I have to get it back. He didn't have it on him so it must be in that house that he came out of. Let's look in the house and see if we can find it," said the man posing as Hastings as they walked to the house.
Annie typed in the code to unlock the file where she had stored the file. She had started to read it when she heard someone at the door. She picked up the cell phone and dialed Judson's number, then she laid it on the table next to the computer. She quickly typed in the code locking the file as the men opened the door.
"Can I help you?" Annie asked as the men came closer to her.
"I'm Captain Hastings. I was looking for Judson Cross. They told me he might be in here," replied the man.
"Judson is at the Indian village, you will find him there," said Annie as she watched the men.
"I was just wondering if he got the book I sent to him?" asked the man.
"He hasn't received any book that I know of. Is it an important book?" asked Annie.
"I thought that it might help him that's all," said the man as Judson listened to Annie on the phone.
"We need to go back to the house. Someone is in the house with Annie and they are after the journal," replied Judson starting to run toward the house.
"How do you know she's in trouble?" asked Quinn running beside Judson.
"She dialed my phone and I can hear everything going on. They are after the journal. It's the man from the plane. We have to pretend that he is Hastings," said Judson as they came back to the house. They stood outside of the windows and listened to what the men were saying to Annie.
"They are getting a little rough in talking to her. They want the journal real bad," said Quinn looking at Judson.
"Annie knows what to do," replied Judson listening as the men talked to Annie.
"We have to go in there and act like nothing is wrong. Just follow me and do what I do," said Judson walking toward the door. Judson could hear the man still asking Annie about the journal.
"Everything that is sent to Judson is delivered to me. I haven't received anything that looks like a journal," replied Annie as she heard the front door open, she turned her head to see Judson walk through the door.
"Captain Hastings! I was just coming to the house to have Annie call you. I haven't seen you since we landed," replied Judson.
"Why did you want to see me? Have you found the proof?" asked the false Hastings looking at Judson.
"We may have found the proof that you are looking for. We found two graves with the remains of ten of Scott's men in one and five more sets of remains in another one. They were Colonel Scott's men. They were wearing what was left of Reb uniforms. That means rebels attacked Colonel Scott's troops. We will have the proof soon that rebels attacked the Indian village too, to throw suspicion on Colonel Scott and his men. We should have more proof in a few days. We are looking at the village now for more information. We need to know where you are staying so we can contact you," Judson stated.
"I'm staying at a motel in town. I will leave my number with your wife," replied the man calling himself Hastings as he and the other men left the house.
"Did you see the look on his face when I told him that we had the proof?" Judson asked Quinn.
"He looked like he didn't care," replied Quinn.
"When I talked to Hastings in Norfolk, he couldn't wait to find the proof. He said that he would be there in everything that I did. This was the first time we have seen him. He wanted that journal for a reason. If he had read it then he would know what's in it. Annie, you read faster than me. I need to know what's in the journal. I don't trust those guys. Call Connor and have him bring Tommy and Sam back to the house," replied Judson.
"What are we going to do?" asked Quinn looking at Judson.
"We are going to the village to find Dr. Wolf," replied Judson.
"Don't you think we should stay here? Those men may come back and try to get the journal from your wife," said Quinn.
"Connor is on his way back with Tommy and Sam. They are going to sit with Annie while she reads the journal. Those guys wouldn't try anything with them sitting there," replied Judson.
"The first time I met them, I realized that they are Indian," said Quinn.
"I met them when I was on my first dig with my dad in Arizona. They are full blooded Apache. If anyone tries to hurt Annie, they will take care of them," said Judson as he saw Connor approach the house with Tommy and Sam.
"God help them if they did," said Quinn.
"If they hurt Annie, it will take more than god to help them. I have seen what an Apache does to a man. It's not pretty sight," said Judson as Tommy and Sam walked past them.
"We will watch her. If they try anything, you might have to put out the fire," replied Sam as Quinn looked at him.
"You're looking at me like they would? The answer is yes," said Judson smiling at Quinn.
"I have to remember not to say the wrong thing to them," replied Quinn walking beside Judson.
Not too far from the house, three men are standing in the shadows talking.
"We need to get in that house to find that journal. I know my brother sent it to Cross," replied the captain's brother.
"What are we going to do about getting into that house to look for it?" asked one of men.
"We just have to wait till they leave the house or they go to bed," said the younger man.
"How do you know she will leave the house? We have been here two weeks and she has never left the place," said the older man.
"Then we will have to go in there and find that journal," said the younger man.
"Are you crazy, have you seen her son and those two men standing guard? They look like they could take you apart," replied Hasting's brother.
"They don't look too tough. We could take care of them," said the older man.
"You haven't heard anything that has been said. Earlier I heard Cross tell Quinn that those two men are full bloodied Apache. They will kill you and ask questions later. Some how we will get in there, but for now we just have to listen for anything that they might say," replied Hastings brother.
The Indian village
As Judson walked up to the village, he could see Dr. Wolf standing there looking around. He knew what he was doing. He was feeling the spirits of those who had died. Judson knew how he felt.
"Judson, I didn't see you standing there. Have you been there long?" asked Wolf looking at Judson.
"No! I haven't been here long. How did the scans go? Did you find anything?" asked Judson.
"The scans are on the table. We have more proof. We found bullets among the remains. Harry took one of the scans back to the trailer and they matched the ones taken out of the grave of those men. We have what we need here. There is no reason to dig up those who are dead," replied Dr. Wolf.
"I agree. We have all the proof we need. A journal was delivered to me. It's from Captain Hastings. He found it in a trunk that was sent to him. It was his grandmother's. Annie did some checking on his ancestry. The name Amanda Scott came up. She was Colonel Scott's daughter. I have to assume that the trunk was handed down till it got to Hastings. When he opened it he found the journal. It was sent by special courier to me. Annie is reading it now. The journal belongs to Colonel Scott. I need to warn you. Major Quinn received news from his commander. Captain Hastings was found dead in his house so the men who came with us... we have no idea who they are, but they are after something and it has to do with Scott that's for sure," replied Judson.
"I will go back to the house and help Annie with the journal," said Dr. Wolf who started walking toward the house.
The house where Annie has started reading the journal. Connor has gone outside to talk to Tommy and Sam.
"You know those three men who are walking around here. Dad wants you to keep your eyes on them. One of them claims to be Hastings, but he's not him," said Connor.
"No problem. We can take care of them if they come any where near the house," said Tommy looking at Sam.
"I talked to Eddie and some of them are coming up here to help," said Connor.
Annie had read the first few pages when she realized that she needed Judson. She picked up the phone and dialed his number. She had been so interested in what she had read that she didn't hear the door open and the three men walk in.
"Alright lady you can tell me where the journal is or they will have to get rough. It's up to you? he demanded.
"I don't know what your talking about. Does Judson know that you're here?" asked Annie.
"This is the last time I'm going to ask you," said Hasting's brother as he started to get angrier.
"We have to get back to the house. Those men are in the house with Annie," yelled Judson to Quinn as they started running.
Judson dialed Connor's phone.
"Connor, those men are in the house with your mom," said Judson.
"We didn't see them go in. They must have come in the back way," said Connor.
"Just be careful as they have already killed one man," replied Judson as he ran faster toward the house.
"Connor, Eddie and his men are here," said Tommy.
"I need you to go around to the back door. When I give the word, I want you to come through that door and help take care of those men. Just one thing...my mom is in there," said Connor.
"I'm not going to tell you again, I want that journal," yelled the man.
"If this journal was sent to Judson, they would have sent to the house in Bay Cove. We never get things delivered to us when we are out in the field. Go ahead and look around if you want to. If you find it then you can have it, that is if you can get out of the house. Have you looked out the windows. They have you surrounded. I imagine the Sioux are waiting at the back door and then there are the Apache's at the front door. Either way you are not going to get out of here in one piece," replied Annie as they looked out the windows.
"We can always take you as a hostage and then no one would dare to follow us for if they do then we will kill you," said Hasting's brother.
"Have you ever seen what Apache does when they torture a man?" Annie asked as she looked at the men.
"Don't listen to her, she is only try to scare you. Indians don't that any more," said the man.
"Are you so sure of that? Do you want me to tell you how they do," replied Annie as the younger man looked at her.
"What will they do?" asked the younger man.
"First they hang you upside down from a tree, then they light a fire under you and then they put wood on the fire till it engulfs you. The only sound you hear is you screaming for it to be over. Or you can take your chances with the Sioux. They tie your hands and feet and then they dragged you till your almost dead," said Annie.
"Don't listen to her, she is trying to scare you. They don't do that any more," said Hasting's brother.
"I don't care what you say. I'm going to get out here," replied the younger man.
"If you go out that the door, it could be the end of you," replied the brother with an angry look on his face.
"What do you mean?" asked the younger man.
"What he trying to say is that he will shoot you if you go out that door," replied Annie as Judson stood outside the door with the others as they tried to come up with a plan.
"We can try and rush the front door," replied Connor looking at his dad.
"What we need to do is rush both doors at the same time. Connor, go around back and let Eddie know what we are going to do," said Judson as he and Quinn rushed the door, breaking it down. Judson and Quinn stood there as Connor and Eddie came through the other door.
"You might as well give up that gun before they do something that you will regret," said an angry Judson as he walked over to where Annie was standing.
"You must be Mark. I should of known it was you. You killed your brother for a journal that contains the actual truth of what happened that day in 1865," said Quinn.
"Annie, do you know what he is saying?" asked Judson looking at Annie.
"Yes, I started reading the journal as soon as it came. Major Quinn told me that journal would tell us what happened that day. Captain Hastings gave the journal to Quinn to read. It would prove that Colonel Scott was really innocent of treason. Colonel Scott wrote the journal after he left the Army. The court martial was part of the trap that they were setting. Colonel Scott agreed to do whatever he could do to stop the Rebels from raiding the payroll wagons. He also had another reason for doing it. He had learned that his son Matthew was the leader of the Rebels. They leaked out the information that Colonel Scott and his men would be escorting a payroll to Fort Lincoln. The hundred mile detour was part of the plan. When the Rebels ambushed the troops, they found a strongbox in the wagon, but it was full of rocks. Colonel Scott wrote that the Rebels went crazy and attacked the Indian village. He wrote that he was wounded but he saw the young women being taken away by the Rebels," replied Annie.
"So there was never a payroll. Colonel Scott was never guilty of treason," replied Judson.
"No. He retired from the Army and went back to his ranch in Texas where he died two years later. He also wrote that his son and the other rebels were caught a few months later and tried for robbery and other crimes against the Union. That included the killing of fifteen troopers and the massacre of the Indian village," replied Annie.
"Why did Captain Hastings come to me then, to help him find the proof, when all he had to do is to read the journal?" asked Judson.
"He came to the military police and said that he thought that he was being followed, but he wasn't sure. He told us that he had a brother who suddenly was coming around a lot. So we sent someone undercover and to make friends with his brother. It didn't take long for him to become friends with him. You can release Sergeant Martin. He is our man," replied Quinn.
"So what do we do with these two?" asked Connor.
"There should be some men standing outside. They were staying in the town so all I had to do was call them," replied Quinn.
"He's right, there are six of them and they are coming to the house," replied Connor looking at the men as they walked up to the house.
"The two men are in the house with Marten," said Quinn.
"We have something to do before we can leave. We have fifteen troopers to bury and maybe they will find peace, just as the warriors of the village will."