Furnace Flat: A Western Duo
By Frank Bonham
Fort Haney, a forgotten outpost in eastern Oregon left behind by the regular Army during the War Between the States, is surrounded by hostile Snake and Cayuse Indians just waiting for opportunities to strike at farmers, ranchers, and stagecoaches. But its residents, the fifty-seven raw recruits in the Oregon Volunteer Cavalry that make up Sergeant Forson’s Dirty-Shirt Army, are only interested in fighting with each other.
Their commanding officer, Major King, isn’t much help. He plots strategy by retiring to his quarters, building model ships, and drinking whiskey. Only one man tries to make a difference: Sergeant Ward Forson, who trained in the regular Army before enlisting with the Dirty Shirts.
But when word comes that the daughter of the commanding officer is on her way by stagecoach, both Major King and Sergeant Forson know that an Indian attack is likely. It is up to Forson to ensure that these undisciplined recruits who have been living almost like animals will now pull together and meet their adversaries like true soldiers.
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