Scroll down to read chapter excerpt on carrier pigeons and their use in the 1941 La. Army Maneuvers.
This week is the official release week for our new novel, A Spent Bullet. We have 250 softcover copies and 150 hardcovers. We’re expecting our large order of 2500 copies in early November.
We’ll be signing books this Thursday, October 20 during Dry Creek Camp’s Community Lunch.
You can order copies online at http://www.creekbank.net by using PayPal.
Invoiced online orders are also being accepted through email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If your copy is not autographed, simply email us at email@example.com and we’ll send a free personally signed book plate to you. Give your name, mailing address, and how you’d like your plate signed in the email.
Finally, if for any reason you are not pleased with A Spent Bullet, we offer a full refund on request. We’re willing to guarantee this novel because of how strongly we believe in its story and quality.
5 ways you can help with A Spent Bullet
Our goal: 5000 copies in the hands of readers by May 2011 (Paper, hardback, ebooks, etc)
1. Read it and write an Amazon review.
2. Include copies as Christmas gifts. Signed copies make nice presents!
3. Ask your local library to order copies
4. Tell others about the book.
5. Pray that the book and its theme of forgiveness will find a home in needy hearts.
A Spent Bullet
Chapter 37 Pigeons and Horses
Sunday, September 28, 1941
Sarge studied the topographical map as Harry stood beside him. “Miller, it’s nearly five o’clock. It’ll be dark in about three hours.” They listened to the faint sounds of artillery to the north. “I hate not to be in the middle of the action, but hate even worse wandering around blind.”
Harry fought with a huge horsefly that had bitten him on the neck and arm, his hand poised for revenge. Shorty came up behind him. “It’s bad luck to kill a horsefly on Sunday. Extra bad luck to kill a horsefly on the last Sunday of the month of a waning moon.”
The horsefly made the last mistake of its life, landing on Harry’s arm. Whack. Shorty sadly shook his head. “You were warned.” “I’m not superstitious.” “Maybe you oughta be.” Shorty rubbed his chin.
A vehicle’s approach from the north caused the soldiers to melt into the bushes, even though they were in Blue territory. A truck loaded with a tall crate bounced along the road. Once he realized it was a Blue vehicle, Sarge flagged it down. As it squealed to a stop, Sarge said, “It’s a Pigeon Patrol. I’ll bet they’ll know where we need to be.”
The soldiers gathered around to inspect the truck and its cages. When a lieutenant climbed out of the cab, Shorty said, “How do those pigeons work?”
The officer stood erect. “We’re the 132nd Signal Corps. We keep everyone in touch when all the other new-fangled stuff doesn’t work.”
“So you’re Pigeoneers?”
The officer bristled. “We’re the 132nd Signal Corps and are just as much soldiers as any of you.”
“Sorry. I meant that you’re ‘Pigeoneers Soldiers’.” Shorty winked at Harry. “Soldier, I want some respect out of you.” Shorty put his hands up. “You don’t have to be touchy about it, Sir.” The officer walked to the cage and removed a large white pigeon. “And this is
Henry.” He tapped the bird’s leg band. “Also known as #634a-5789.” He pointed to a tube on the bird’s other leg. “This is the message tube.” He removed a small note. “Messages can be sent back to headquarters or to this truck.”
Shorty nudged Harry. “Kind of like your spent bullet and Elizabeth Reed.”
The pigeon officer was passionate about his birds. “We’ve been working with a Blue tank unit. Tanks, with all of that metal, are bad for radio communications.” He petted the pigeon. “The tankers sent Henry back yesterday with an important message about the Red armor’s location. The bird flew back to our truck and we passed on the message to HQ.”
“You’re right proud of what you do,” Shorty said. “Rightfully so.” “I heard a story about you Pigeoneers . . . I mean pigeon units.” Shorty was
on a roll and even a cleared throat from Sarge didn’t stop him. “It seems a full bird Colonel was giving orders to a regiment at Camp Beauregard. One of your carrier pigeons made a bombing raid overhead and dropped its ‘calling card’ right between his eyes.”
The Lieutenant groaned, but Shorty continued, “The Colonel’s aide ran to get him a Kleenex but a private stopped the aide. ‘It ain’t no use getting that, that bird’s a mile away by now.’”
The pigeoneer officer bit his lip, trying not to smile, but the seven Company K soldiers laughed enough for him.
Sarge pushed Shorty out of the way. “We’re looking for any 32nd Division boys. Have you seen any of them?”
“No.” “Do you know where we are?” The pigeon officer grimaced. “To be honest, we’re kind of turned around
ourselves.” Shorty, peering around Sarge, said, “You mean your pigeons are lost?” “Our pigeons aren’t lost. It’s us. . . .” “Then why don’t you just turn one loose, and—” Sarge had had enough. “Johnson, shut your mouth.” The officer, still holding Henry, nodded behind him. “There’s plenty of Blue
strength back there. The scuttlebutt is that Patton’s tanks are achieving a pincher action from the Texas border.”
Sarge thanked him and they resumed their journey, not stopping until they came to a small creek where they filled their canteens.