Synopsis for
"Branded" The Mission: Part 3 (1965)

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From the voice of Jason McCord:

We rode to the Fort and acted out our part just like I suggested. I was in command, outranking the other soldiers in the Fort. The men were happy. Someone saw us sneak into the payroll office. We ordered the soldier to give us the money while I held a gun on him. Meanwhile, the man who saw was was Private Tyler. Unfortunately he knew me, and alerted his superiors.

I must admit that I was in a lot of trouble. I tried to explain to the soldiers that I was on special assignment, but with Colonel Snow dead...I was really in trouble. What was worse was the fact that the soldiers wouldn't let me get a word in edge-wise. He ordered me locked up. The fact that I was wearing a uniform was in breach of my court martial. I could be executed for that. Yep, I think I was in over my head this time for sure. I would face a firing squad tomorrow.

Private Tyler told me he was going to be on that firing squad. He almost went to Bitter Creek, but his best friend had gone instead. His best friend was Major Whitcomb's son. I went to see the Major and begged him to contact President Grant, but he refused to listen. He was bitter...angry that I caused the death of his son. He thought I was a low-life and he wanted to see me dead. I begged him to let me contact Washington, but he wouldn't hear of it. I told him I knew who was behind the raids, that I had secret information that could stop an all-out war. I wouldn't give him this information because I didn't trust him.

I would have to take matters into my own hands. When the guards brought my tray that night, I slugged them both, stole their holster, and snuck out of the guard house. Crispo and Brissac were upset that I had betrayed them. Crispo wanted to shout out that I was escaping, but Brissac thought my trying to escape would make me look more guilty. I didn't get very far. Unfortunately, Corporal Dewey was on guard outside the fort and he saw me. I was immediately put back under guard. No sir, things did NOT look good for me!

They drew to see who would be on the firing squad. There would be six of them. One rifle would be filled with blanks. Private Tyler paid off one of the soldiers so he could make sure he was on that squad. He wanted me dead. I was really scared. I really thought I was going to die! Corporal Dewey wasn't to excited about shooting me. He didn't think it was right, but Private Tyler said I was a coward and needed killed.

The morning of my death sentence came. The flag was raised. The trumpet sounded. I was brought out to face the firing squad. The Major asked me if I wanted a blindfold, and I told him no. But I did want one final request. He agreed to hear me out.

The two prisoners, Crispo and Brissac were in the cell. Crispo was very excited I was about to die. He wanted to watch.

The firing squad carried out their orders. The fired. Crispo was laughing like a crazy man, so happy I was dead. The Major came and questioned him if I was really their leader. Crispo could no longer stay silent. He admitted happily that I was not a traitor. I was indeed working for the United States army. I had tricked them into coming.

Then Crispo got a surprise. I was NOT dead. That had been my final request - to have the Major question Crispo when he thought I was dead. Boy, you should have seen the look on Crispo's face! The Major released me and sent me on my way. Even Private Tyler and Corporal Dewey saluted me as I left.

Oh, I knew this wouldn't clear me of being branded, but I knew that some in the world knew that Jason McCord was not a coward!


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