Branded He is a West Point graduate, an Army Cavalry Captain, and now his military career is over. As the sole survivor of the massacre at Bitter Creek, Captain Jason McCord is the only one who knows what really happened that day, and to protect certain people and prevent an even greater tragedy, he’s not saying. Instead, he is the one who is charged with desertion. He is the one accused of cowardice. He is the one who is court-martialed, convicted and dishonorably discharged. He is the one whose reputation is irrevocably tarnished. On the way to a peace mission to talk with representatives of the Apache nation at Bitter Creek with his mentor, the elderly General James Reed, in a 31-man unit, Jason and the unit are attacked by renegade Indians. When Jason realizes the old general is suffering from mental problems, he takes over command, but by that time the unit is under severe and brutal siege, and his actions to fend off the enemy are futile. He is seriously wounded and thought to be dead. All others perish in the surprise attack. For 10 days, Jason lingers in a coma, and once revived and able to report for duty, instead of being lauded a hero, he is, instead, charged with desertion, tried, convicted and dishonorably discharged, forever branded a coward. When a reporter begins to snoop around, suspicious there might be more to the story, Jason refuses to cooperate, even though the truth and certain evidence would exonerate him. Now, having reshaped his army saber into a long knife, he travels the west, continually having to stand by his innocence and prove he’s no coward.