Warpath Pt-2; A Gunsmoke story. All right to Gunsmoke belong to its creators. Matt and Chester found burning wagons that contained Winchester rifles. When an army patrol rides up Matt and Chester are arrested.

The commanding officer at Fort Dodge is a Lt. Col. Seth Anderson. He took the young Lieutenant's report in silence. Matt and Chester were standing in front of the Colonel's desk. Neither of them had said anything for the moment. The Lieutenant finished his report.

Colonel Anderson shut his eyes for a moment, and then fixed a cool gaze on the young Lieutenant. "Tell me; are you in the habit of arresting U.S. Marshals, Son?"

The young man looked confused. "Sir?"

Pointing to Matt "This big fella standing there is the United States Marshal for the state of Kansas and the territory of Oklahoma., and the good natured fellow next to him is his deputy, also a United States Law officer!"

The Lieutenant turned three shades of red. "But sir, I had no idea.'

"I know!" the Colonel barked "But you have to have a brain to think. You need a keeper!" Pointing to the door "Outside, we'll talk later!" The Lieutenant practically ran from the room.

Matt and Chester looked on with amusement. "Seth, the boy was trying."

Anderson shook his head "I know. But he should be using his brains too. Especially if we have potential hostiles with Winchesters."

"Beg your pardon, sir" Chester said "But where are these rifles coming from?" The Colonel gestured to the map. "About a month ago, there was wagon train that was attacked, remember that Matt?"

"Yes, it had come from St. Louis if I remember right." Matt said.

"That right, there were four wagons that disappeared from that train. They had 200 Winchesters, 100 colts, and nearly 4,000 rounds of ammunition. The army was transporting those arms from St. Louis to the Black Hills in the Dakotas."

"But the Arapahos did not take the wagons from the train." Chester said.

"No they did not; someone knew what was in those wagons." Anderson said. "We have to get a handle on this Matt. If we don't find those weapons soon, there will be more then just Arapahos to worry about. If word gets out of about Winchesters being available, every tribe between the Canadian border to the Rio Grande will be swarming up here."

Matt just looked at Anderson. He had a feeling what was coming and he did not like it.

"I am appointing you and Chester as civilian scouts. To find these weapons and the people responsible for taking them."

"What about Dodge?" Chester said "Whose gonna keep the law while Mr. Dillon and I are running all over Kansas?"

"That's easy Chester." Anderson said. "I sent a telegram to Hays City. To have a couple of deputies' watch over Dodge whiles you and Matt are working with us."

"Mr. Dillon, are we doing this?" Chester asked.

Matt glared at Anderson. "I don't think we got much choice, Chester."

Anderson smiled "Not really Matt. You and Chester are sworn United States peace officers, and technically can be required to work with the army when needed, and it's needed."

Anderson continued "Normally the scouts would be under the command of the troop leader. But in this instance, Matt will be in command of the troop."

Matt just closed his eyes. "And what officer are you giving us to baby-sit?" Anderson just chuckled "You all ready met him Matt."

Matt let out a long breath. "Never easy is it." Anderson shook his head. "Nope, Lieutenant Ryan in spite of his youth has the chance of being a good officer. If he lives long enough. And I want him too."

"Ok Seth, we'll move out at daybreak tomorrow." Matt said.

Anderson stood up and shook Matt and Chester's hands. "Thanks Matt." As they turned to leave the office. "If Ryan is still out there tell him to step in."

Matt and Chester walked outside. Lieutenant Ryan was out there. "The Colonel wants a word with you." Matt told him.

Ryan nodded and walked back into the headquarters. Chester looked after the young man. "Are we gonna have trouble with him, Mr. Dillon?"

Matt thought about it. "Maybe, but right now we have to figure out where these weapons are?"

It was a quick night, as daybreak came. The troop was all ready in the saddle as Matt and Chester stepped out of the HQ with Colonel Anderson.

"Are you clear with your orders, Lieutenant Ryan?" he asked.

Ryan replied "Yes Sir. Marshall Dillon is in command."

"Glad to hear it." Matt said, as he and Chester mounted up. "Best of luck, gentlemen." Anderson said.

Turning to Ryan. Matt ordered "Move out Lieutenant. Head them northwest."

"Yes Sir." Ryan said "The troop turned as one and rode out of Fort Dodge.

End of Part 2:

As we get to part 3. Matt and Chester will find out about the stolen rifles. And Matt will help a young officer to grow up.