Cavalry Officer

 

 

The Cavalry Officer wore his military uniform, tightened his belt, hung his canteen on his left shoulder and his rifle on the right. In the yard, a cavalry soldier had brought his horse for him. He jumped on his horse and rode to the head of the company under his command and ordered them to set out.

 

Recently, World War I had ended. Because of the weakness of the government, the Bakhtiari tribe in the South-west of our country had rebelled against our government. The security of the region was altered. The roadways were unsecured. The cavalry officer, Hussein, had been chosen to hold the foremost position of the company to suppress the revolt. From the city to the center of the tribe was about twenty four hours by  horse. It was early Saturday morning. Counting the time that they needed to rest, they were supposed to reach to the district late on Monday or any time on Tuesday. Every two or three hours’  travel was followed by half an hour to one hour’s rest. In addition, they were supposed to have a longer rest at night.

 

On Monday evening, the company reached a foothill and  rested there for the night. Early in the morning, the company set out and passed all of Tuesday crossing through the mountainous region. It was late in the afternoon when the company went down the mountains to the plateau. Hussein called the sergeant and ordered him to put the company to rest.

 

The sergeant hadn’t transferred the order to the company yet when Hussein saw a narrow black spot in front of himself. It was to the south.. He paid attention to the spot and saw that it was moving away in the same direction. He rushed galloping toward the dark spot, staring at it; meanwhile, he took his rifle off his shoulder, aimed at the spot and fired. Hussein was a sharpshooter and he was astonished when he saw that spot was still running with the same speed  toward the same direction. He tried with another shot, and a third shot again.

 

Blushing, he perspired from head to toes, because of the hot weather and because  he saw that the dark spot was still going in its direction. Suddenly, he heard the sergeant’s sharp voice from behind and stopped.

 

The sergeant, who had seen his commander had ride so hurriedly  and had heard  the sound of the gun shots,  had been  worried and had pursued the cavalry officer. He had shouted many times, but the officer hadn’t  heard him until he got nearer and could reach his voice to the commander.

 

When Hussein stopped, he took off his hat to aerate himself a little. When he saw the sergeant’s anxiety for him, he was convinced that in the land near the enemy it was not wise to chase the enemy alone. He turned back and looked for the dark spot once more. It had disappeared. He put on his hat , but before making a decision  to go back to the camp with the sergeant he saw the dark spot again  going in the same direction. He took off his hat and pointed with the hat to the south to show  the enemy to the sergeant. But the dark spot had disappeared again. Suddenly he saw a black thread hanging from his helmet, jerked by every shake of the wind. He took the thread off and burst into laughter.

 

“What is it about Colonel?” The sergeant asked , snickering.

“Nothing!!” Answered the Colonel, taking a serious pose; “ The enemy fled!!”

 

Mohammad H.Zahraie

May 10, 1997

 

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