As the soldier ran off into the night, the doctor ran to the other soldier, but it was no use. He was dead. The doctor said that he would go back to town and raise the alarm about the other soldier, and said he would also send someone out to pick up the dead soldier.
As the doctor left, the ranch owner ran to the house to check on his family. All was well within his home, so he started to pack up some food and get into heavier clothing. His wife asked about what was going on and he answered her with one word: MURDER! He told her to keep a gun handy and to not let the girls out of her sight. He then told her what had happened, and that there would be a group of men at the ranch shortly. They were going after the soldier that ran off.
As he made his way to get a rope for a horse. He heard the sound of men on horseback making their way into the yard. They were all armed and looked very determined. They were all were asking questions at one time. He ignored them as he saddled his horse. As he mounted up, one of the men said that he had spotted the runaway soldier's footprints in the snow, and that they went north, up behind the ranch.
As they headed out they thought that it would not take long to find him, get him taken into town, and put in jail.
As they rode through the moonlight, it was easy to see the soldier's tracks through the snow. On they rode. After 2 or 3 miles they thought that they should have caught up to him, but the tracks went on. They could see now that the tracks were bloody; the man had no boots, just rags on his feet. They could see in the moonlight that his tracks were headed up over a nearby hill.
They kicked their animals into a gallop. As they raced up the hill, they heard a loud scream. Men pulled revolvers from pockets and holsters, others pulled rifles from scabbards.
As they topped out on the hill they spread out and stopped. Before them was an open snow-covered plain, and no tracks from the soldier. They searched all over for at least a mile around and could not come up with hide nor hair of the missing soldier. They searched until sun-up. Nothing was found.
The men headed back to town, with questions unanswered. The rancher, tired and cold, went back to his ranch. They held an inquest in town a few days later. The soldier that was lost in the snow was charged with murder. The soldier that died in the barn was buried, and there was no one at the funeral.
The other soldiers that had gone up on the Gore? Well, no one knows to this day what happened to them. They never found a trace of them anywhere on the Gore.
The rancher, after all of this, went on with his life, but said that he had a hard time bringing animals into the barn after that.
His oldest girl had been milking a cow in the barn and heard footsteps behind her. When she turned around, there was no one there.
He said that he had more mice and rats than normal in the barn and, at times, when he was in the barn he felt that he was being watched. His wife refused to go into the barn and finally confessed to her husband that she had gone to the barn one evening to get some oil for the kitchen lamp and while she was there she heard footsteps and a man moaning. She than told him that she turned around and saw, lying in the stall, the soldier that died there.
So, this has gone on all of these years. My cousins have said that they have seen the dead soldier in the barn several times, and that he always shows up just before the end of October. There are still blood stains on the floor where the soldier died.
He also shows up in town, where they held the inquest, and out at the cemetery where he is buried. When he shows himself, he is in a ragged uniform and is trying to hold his belly closed with one hand. He seems to be pleading with the other.
I can remember when I helped clean out the stalls in the barn one of my cousins would point to the floor and say, "That's where he died." And, sure enough, there is a big stain on the floor. On some fall nights on October when it is clear and the moon is out you can hear what sounds like a scream off in the distance.
Now years later, I am grown. The last time I was in the barn, I was about 16 or so. I had stopped by the ranch to see it again. The people that run it now are running it for some rich guy from California. The stain was still on the floor. And now that I am older, I can't say for sure what the stain is.
I never did get to see the soldier in all the years we went to the ranch, but I have heard the scream at several different times of the year, so it could be that it happens more often than just in October. I can't really tell what is is. It does not sound like any animal that I have ever heard.
Some years back, while my uncle still had the ranch, my cousins were herding cattle up on Gore pass. One of them found a cavalry belt buckle, and another one found a brass piece off of a cavalry saddle. My aunt just told me about this a few days ago when I took her and my Dad up on the Gore. Could it be from the lost soldiers that went up on the Gore all those years ago? And whatever happened to the soldier that ran off that night? I have never heard if anything was ever found. To this day I have not been able to find the soldier's grave in the town cemetery.
So, how much of this story is true? And, what of the ghost?
And the reason for the sheriff to be at the ranch that late afternoon with the siren on was because he was on his way out to the town reservoir where someone had supposedly driven their jeep into the reservoir, which just happens to be on the ranch. He wanted to know if Fay had seen anyone drive past the house in that direction. Fay said that they did not find anything up there except some drunk kids messing around with an old jeep they had bought.
I have personally seen the stains on the barn floor and heard the screams. My cousins found items from the cavalry, and my aunt has confirmed it.
So.... You be the judge.
And have a great Halloween every one