Friday, September 18, 2020


      By the end of his first month Bud Nagle had known he was not a cavalryman.  He knew he was not a soldier of any kind, but after seven months, it was too late to do anything about it, and even if the office door in Milwaukee that bore the legend L. V. Nagle, Attorney, could not prevail against it.  Enlistments do not dissolve, even if the recruit realizes he is out of place; and especially were not dissolving that spring of 1870 when Apacheria, from the Dragoons to the San Andres, was vibrating with the beat of hundreds of war drums.  The Apaches were up and Cochise would not be stopped.                                                                         Now he saw the street again.  The shouting, laughing people and the ordinarily shy girls who giggled and threw their arms around the returning soldiers and kissed them right on the street.  Right on Wisconsin Avenue.  He remembered the deep-blue uniforms and the glistening boots and the one-eyed angle of the kepis, and could hardly wait.                                                                                                                      The uniforms disappeared from the cobblestone street.  They had been gone for almost five years, but never from the mind of Bud Nagle.  Smiling girls and glistening boots.                                                                  By the time he found out how long issue boots kept a shine, it was too late.  He was in Apache country.

-Elmore Leonard, from his short story, Cavalry Boots

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