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It was nearing two o'clock when the four cavalrymen rode back to the Oxbow Saloon. Making it hard for Lewis to believe that everything he had seen and heard had taken place in just eight short hours.

But, that was nothing compared to the sight of Yankee cavalry horses hitched to nearly every post in town!

Lewis, Fleischer, and Tom warily entered the saloon behind Skinner. The commanding officer of the troops looked up at the sound of the batwing doors, and immediately sprang to his feet.

"You must be Captain Cross! I'm Brevet Major Lancer; 6th U.S. Cavalry; 4th Squadron (Provisional). Formerly, with the 1st Vermont Cavalry."

Lancer extended his right hand. Lewis grasped it, out of professional courtesy. Noting, as he did so, that the man was roughly the same age as him. Albeit, a tad more clean-shaven.

"Forgive me for being blunt, Major. But, what are you doing here? And, do you know what you might be up against?"

Lancer nodded: "Your stepfather and Rev. Shephard have briefed me. Frankly, I would have thought them mad, if not for your brother. His condition being such...unique confirmation!"

Lewis could not help smiling.

"As to my presence, here?" continued Lancer: "I was dispatched from New Orleans, with three troops of cavalry, to reinforce your brother's re-occupation of Fort Pecos. The bulk of these men being 'galvanized Yankees,' who had previously served with the Third Louisiana Cavalry!"

"Then, you've got more men headed here?"

Lancer nodded, again: "They'll arrive by sundown. Although, I can't, for the life of me, think of what good they'll be able to do against such...unusual foes!"

As if in reply, a voice called to them from outside. A thunderous, and clearly female, voice.


The ex-Confederate raced back to the batwing doors, with Lancer right on his heels. Both emerged on to the wooden sidewalk and looked up. Their jaws dropping, and their eyes bulging.

Gazing down at them, from above and behind the buildings on the opposite side of the street, was the wickedly smiling face of Heraclitoris, herself.

Completely topless...and thirty feet tall.

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