Buffalo Bill's victory. A story of tangled trails

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Buffalo Bill's victory. A story of tangled trails

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Title:
Buffalo Bill's victory. A story of tangled trails
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Buffalo Bill stories
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New York
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Street & Smith
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English
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1 online resource (31 p.) 28 cm.: ;

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Dime novels. ( rbgenr )
Western stories. ( lcsh )
Buffalo Bill -- Fiction -- 1846-1917 ( lcsh )
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serial ( sobekcm )

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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020845829 ( ALEPH )
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B14-00003 ( USFLDC DOI )
b14.3 ( USFLDC Handle )

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r OR GJ Issued Weekly. By Subscription $2..so per v e ar. Entered as Second Class Matter at New York Post Oj/ict by STREET & SMITH, :u8 Wz1/iam St., N. Y. No. 3. Price, Five Cents. -r>-t e AU TH o o F'eu FF=-... ,i-o ai

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Jsmed Weekly. By Subscription $z.so per year. E11tend as Secrnrf Cla. u Matter at the 1 Post Office, by STREET & SMITH, zy8 William St., N. Y. Entered accordinf[ to Act of Congress in t/Je year 1qo1, iu the Office of the Librarian of Coness, f,Vas/Jington, D. C. No. 3. NEW YORK, June 1, 1901. Price Five C e n ts. &UffALO BILL'5 A STORY Of TANG LED TRAILS. ) s ll B y the a utho r of BUFF ALO BILL." OHAPTER I. OU 'l'EXAS JACK S'l'RIKES A 'rRAit. t "Chief Cody, you will take an escort, a wagon-train 'as of provisions, and forty horses, which the corral-master will deliver to you, and proceed with them to the camp of Spotted Tail, where you will deliver them, saying that n these presents are from the Great Father at \Va hington ha tb the chief, to show him that we are his friends, and to !\.u help him to go to the reservation set apart for him and his people. Impress on his mind that he must keep his Youn2" braves on the reservation, and that we, the sol;h1 diers of the Great Father at Washington, will see that no 't settlers s hall occupy his lands, that no hunters shall dis-ai. turb his game, and that no hostile tribes shall break the ra peace we deciare. If bad men, white or reel, go upon .nr his territory, to make war, or deprive him of his rights, we will follow and punish them. These are your verbal !11 orders-yon will find them in this special written order fi11 from headquarters." These ll'Orcls. to Buffalo Bill by th e gall.:mt th officer in command of the department near his prairie iti home::, were listened to by the chief of scouts attentively, then, with a smi l e, he.. said: "I'll be in the saddle m an hour, sir. But, if you ht please, hear a word about these reds. Old Spotted Tail is all right. He gave me his word when I did him the to greatest favor of his life-saving his daughter from the hancis of Yellow Bear. But Spotted Tail i s old-he'll ho not live long, and there are ;;ub-chicfs in his band \Yho'll not keep his treaties ., "It may be so," said the officer. "But we have or ders to obey, and have no responsibility beyond that. Those who order are responsible. I should have told you that one wagon is full of extra presents, blankets, and other things, to put the chief and his band in good humor." "Thank you, colonel. !May I ask a favor? I would like to take Texas.Jack and my band of scouts with me, for when we return we can bring in a lot of game for the post." "Certainly, Cody, and take your ow n time in returning after you have delivered the horses and provisions to Spotted Tail. In fact, I'd rather you'd scout over a' large range of country, so as to know it better if we have, as I fear we will, yet to face a general Indian war. I have little faith in the Indians. You know when vott will be wanted for the Yellowstone expedition-the time between now and then is your own." "I thank you, col9nel. I'll not abuse the liberty." The brave scout saluterl and turned awav. An hour later he \Vas in the saddle, with a spare horse, iraine
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_) THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES rate, the speaker's eyes ha-d a searching look as he spoke. "You've got what the Indians seem crazy after of late," said the younger stranger. "What's that?" asked Harry Herbeson. "Pretty women.. They'll ride a thousand miles on the trail of such as them." The fellow pointed to the girls, who drew back from his gaze. "They will never get my sisters alive!" cried Marmion Herbeson. "No!" echoed Harry. "We would defend them while living, and kill them ere we died rather than that they should fall into the hands 'Of red or white miscreant s ." And he looked fiercely at the younger stranger, who had eyed his sisters so closely. "That's game talk, anyway. L ive up to it. Let's be goin', Bill Deekin,'' said the fellow, speaking to the other. "Good-night. If you keep your eyes peeled yo u may see us again 'twixt now an' Christmas,'' said the elder stranger. "Come on, Carter, or we'll be an hour after dark in reachin' our campin' ground." The younger made no reply, but he looked again at the shrinking. girls, and laughed strangely as h e rode on. CHAPTER IV. TI-IF; R8Nl!GADJ! WI-IITJ!S. Night had just set in-a night dark and cloudy. In a deep basin, made by a rim of sand hills, w h e r e a small growth of willows s howed there was waterlocated three l eag ues or thereabouts to the n ortheas t of spot where the Herbeso n family were encamped, a bod y o f about tw enty men were .cir cled :.iround a sma ll camp-fire. Their horses, saddled, as if for instant us e were picketed among some clump grass. The men, at a first glance, would be taken for Indians, for th ey were dressed and painted l ike Indians, and hid eo usl y, too. But their English talk, and especially th eir oaths, told that they were white men. "It i s time D ee kin and Carter got back. The trail vve found was fresh-not an hour old, and they've had more than time to scout the party and see what is to be made." ''Talk of the devil and he always turns up!" said an other, as a sharp whistle ran g out from the sand hills to the so uthwest. "That i s Bill Deekin's whistle." ''Yes," sa id the other. Here th ey come." In a minute more the two m en who were at the camp of the Herbeso ns rode into rthe circle and l eaped from their horses. 'So, cap, you're back! What news?" The m an known as Bill Deekin said, gruffly: "The n ews is good enough. 'vVe've seen th e party we trailed. They're not very rich in the way of plunder, but th ey've got a lot of good animiles, good shoot in' tools, some provision and cal'npin' gear, most like some money, and two of the likeliest lookin' gals we've seen since we quit th e bord er Hunker Ben-where's the l )o urbon? I'm as dry as tinder!" Hunker Ben, aboi.1t as well disgui eel as any of the others, arose from the blank et wher'e he had been lying \Yith his feet to the fire, and lifted up what he had been using for a pillow. It was a large demijohn, which t11e captain uncorked and raised to his mouth. Satisfied at last, the captain l owe r e d it and offered it to Carter. The latter shook his head and said : "No, cap; you drink enough for me and a half dozen more. Keep your red-eye for yourself. I don't hanker after it." The captain grunted out some repl y which brought a laugh from those that heard it. Then he took a watch from inside his hunting-coat, and, bending over the fire light, noted th e time. "Who \s on watch till midnight?" he asked, as he put the watch back "Me and Hort Grizzle," said a young, beardless fel low who lo oked like a boy Indian. "Well, it lacks two hours till then, and I need rest. Call me when your watch is up. Vv e'll start three hours afore clay, and we can take our time. Injuns always take the gray of dawn for surprises when they can. Then folks that aren't sharp on Injun ways are most careless." The captain now went to his horse, a blanket from the back of hi s saddle, and, wrapping it about him dropped down on the ground, feet to the fire. CHAPTER V. THE IMPERILED CAl\tP. "An hour before clay is an early start, boys, but we must make it to r each Spotted Tail's camp before night to-morrow." These were the la st words Buffa lo Bill spoke to Texas Jack and his mates when he turned in for the ?n, hi second night out, and long before that camp was all astir, teams harnessed, breakfast cooked and eaten, so as to start by the hour named. \!Vith an early start, and the .animals well fed from the grai n in the forage wago n s, the column made splendid headway, and had gone fully two l eagues by the tim e the gray of dawn began to show. ''What are you on now, Jack?" asked Buffalo Bill, as h e overtook the latter, who was examining some trac -' "A wacron trail, not more than a night old, and an Indian trail right on it as fresh as if they'd just passed. Least way, it seems so to me, though it isn't light enough for me to make sure." 'Tl! hav e to look at them," sa id Buffalo Bill, dismounting from his horse. "Yes: a wagon train, a small one, with shod mu.les and horses," he said. "And fresher yet the trail of unshod Indian horses There may be mischief ahead-forward with the teams, men-forviard at a trot!" "Suppose I go ahead with my men at a l ope, Bill?" said Texas J ack. "Our horses arc fre sh, and a run won't do 'em no hurt." "No, if you go I go, J ack,'' cried Buffalo Bill. "All right, Bill. But I feel just as if there was a fight ahead of me." "\!Ve'll soo n have light enough to see, Jack If there was a camping ground near I'd feel so, too. But it is a l ong ride from here to timber. \i\The n we see timber we'll be in sight of Tail's camp." \iVell, but hark, Bill. I am s ure I heard a yell."

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THE B U ff l\L O BILL STORIES. 5 "No; it was a wolf, nothing more," said Bill, confi dently. ''If so there's a pack of 'em," said Jack. "But hark! there's gun crackin'. Oh. Bill, let me ride on!" "You're right; there is a fight. Escort, stay wit h the train. Sergeant, keep your men close tog__ether, and look to the wagons. I'm going with Texas Jack and the scouts." These orders were hastily given, and he turned in his saddle and shouted to Texas Jack and the little band of scouts: -ow, boys, I'm ready! Follow me!" And away, silent and swift, he rode, followed in the same silent way by men who, if they knew fear, would not show it Lighter and lighter as they hurried on, till looking forward they saw, fully two miles ahead, the white tops of wagons and a tent, and what looked like a squad of red fiends riding in a circle about the wagon .. '.Buffalo Bill, when he saw little puffs of smoke rise here and there, knew that a fight was going on, and he gave a shout so wild and loud that he knew it must be heard by those who were fighting for life, and calling to his men to keep up if they killed their horses, swinging his hat high in the air, on he rode to the rescue. ''Oh, ride-ride, boys, or we'll be too late!" he shouted, as the firing all at once seemed to slacken away, while the yells rose louder and louder to his ears. CHAPTER VI. AN UNFORTUNATE FATHER. "Too late-too late!" cried Buffalo Bill, while yet a mil e away from the wagons, now seen so plainly ahead, for the firing had altogether ceased. But he did not slacken his speed, though his horse from the start had been put to the utmost-for he saw the Indians suddenly form into a compact line and ride swiftly off. "The cusses wouldn't wait for us!" said Texas Jack, as hi > panting horse ranged alongside of that rode by Buffalo Bill-'but I reckon our comin' has saved the train." "Not them that was with it, I fear!" said the noble scout, as he pressed his now almost exhausted horse. "I don t see a living man with the wagons, and the red curs have carried off all the stock." Texas Jack said never a word now. He drew his breath hard and stuck the spurs into the flanks of his horse. A moment more and they were at the wagons. These were three in number, with a tenl in the angle formed by their arrangement. On the ground in front of the wagons lay t\yo young and noble-looking-T'.1en, shot dead and scalped, and di rectiy in front of the tent la y an old man, who seemed dead, and who would have been scalped had not age robbed the crown of his head of its hair. "The old man is not dead, but there's hardly life left ," Hid Buffalo Bill, as he bent over him. "He has been first shot and then knocked clown with a club." ''Look there, Bill-look there! There were women in the tent!" cried Texas Jack, pointing to some female clothing hanging to the tentrpole inside. "1Icrciful Father! Yes, there were women. Heaven alone can help them now, for tliey're in the worst nands that helpless women ever knew. But we can do nothing now. I daren't take the escort from the traih, nor can I leave the train until it is at Spotted Tail's camp!" "Let me go, Bill; they're not m0re than ten to o n e C!lf my party!" cried Texas Jack. "No-no. I must be in the fight when they are over hauled. But give me your canteen of water, Jack; we must try and save this old man, so he can tell us how it all went." Jack went to his saddle, got the canteen, and while Bill was at work at the old man, he examined the two y oung men who were dead. "Hi, Bill!" he shouted, as he bent down close and looked at the heads of these men. "This work was never clone by reds. These scalps have been haggled off by white men. You know as well as I that Indians make a clean cut and whip it off at a jerk." "I'll see in a minute; the old man is coming to," said Bill. "There isn't an arrow or a spear wound in either one of 'em," said Jack, as he turned the bodies over. "Injuns would have left 'em stuck as full as an old granny's pin cushion. This has been done by white men tryin' to play; In jun." The exertions of Buffalo Bill had brought the old man so far back to life that he could see and recognize that friendly aid was there, but he seemed unable to speak. His head had been fearfully bruised : he had a bullet throug h his shoulder and another in his side. The wagon-train and escort were now coming on at a trot, and Bill waited for it impatiently, for there wc1. medical stores there that he needed, and an ambulance in 'A:hich the wounded man could be laid. \i\fh e n the train came up the w o und ed man had huskily whispered two words, and then relapsed into insensibility. "My daughters!" Buffalo Bill now had the wounded man put in the am bulan ce, and cletai!ccl a soldier to watch over him, and then he held a hurried consultation with Texas Jack and the sergeant, while a detail of men were set to work to burv the dead men. '"Strangers in our rear, riding at a gallop!" said the sergeant, sduting Cody. ''Sec who they are; keep the escort mounted!" cried Buffalo Dill, remounting his horse. "A citizen, with an escort of six cavalrymen!" reported the sergeant, as the party in the rear came galloping on. The next moment a young, nice-looking man, about Cody's height, with a rather handsome face, keen, dark eyes, a heavy mustache, in citizen s dress, but welt m ounted and armed, rode up. "It's Eugene Overton," -shouted Buffalo Bill. "You promised me you'd come, but I thought it was ail promise and nothing more. Old boy, I'm glad to see you How did you get on my trail?" ''I reached the fort about three hours after you left, with letters from the general, and the colonel at once gave me an escort to let me join you on this trip. I want to see all the life I can in the little time I have to spare." "You're just in time, friend Overton. Look here!" And Buffalo Bill pointed to the dead men wh o m the soldiers were in the act of burying.

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.\fHE BUFFALO BILL STORIES "There's b een b a d wor k done and hair taken h e re last night, and just as soon a s I get this. train into Spotted Tail's camp I shall take after the m that did it, and show 'em l eb r aska justi ce. I'm a justice of the peace at home, and I'll continue my office just as long as I'm on their trail !" "Dea: d men-and scalped!" said Overton, with a look o f horror. ''I didn t expect to see such a sight!"' "Pooh! I 'll show you sights before yo u r e off the plains." O verto n shudderes:l. The realities of savag e life had come up o n him suddenly, indeed. Prese n t l y a so ldier approached Buffalo Bill. "The burial is over, sir," said the se rgeant, saluting. "All ri ght, sergeant. Mount your escort and we'll move forward as fast as we can travel. I'll take the lead. L eave t>hat tent standing; it will be a good mark i f we ge t ba ck h e re in the night For I'll be on the trail by sunrise t o-morrow. Come, Overton, we'll take the l ead to-dav." "Bill may I and a couple of the boys take the trai l and scout till you come up?" asked Texas Jack. Texas Jack sa id this as he rode up to Buffalo Bill just after the colum n got in motion. "Jack. I don't know hut y ou're r ight. Jf you'll prom ise me one thing I'll let you take a couple of men and go. "What is that?" "That yo u will only trail them. It would.be madne s s for three to fig'ht forty and there's full y that many of them, by the trail. "I'll take care of my hair. I'm not insured, and don't want to lose it. I'll keep the trail and leave signs for you to folio\\. night or day. "Then go, Jack, and luck go with you. At sunrise I'll be on the trail." In a n instant Texas Jack and two cho s en sco u ts dashed out from the column :to take the trail. CHAPTER VIL THE. MURDEROUS ATTACK. The watch had just b een 111 the Herbeson camp. A negro alone was pat ro lling while the two brothers stood and ta lk ed. Suddenly Harry pau sed, for he heard a sound l ike a gust of h eavy wind over t he prairie. The next instant h e saw a cloud-like mass close upon the camp, and with a quick, pierc ing s hout: "Indians! To arms!" h e rai sed his gun, and fired at the g a.J"l oping hor' de, which, dis covered, came yelling upon them. A bullet wound caused Harry Herbeson to drop to the ground. As he fell he sa w Bill Deekin, followed by h is gang of painted ruffians, bound into th e little inclosurc, and in an instant the wildest tumult prevailed, the occu pants of the surprised camp fighting for their lives. Harry, although fatally wounded, endeavored to rise. Drawing his rev olve r, he aimed the weapon at Bill Deekin, whom he saw rudely dragging his sister Susie from th e tent. Weakness made Harry's arm un steady, and the bul let spe.Q. harmlessly aside. with a gasp of agony he mavoun.;are that force could now accomplish nothing, falling on his knees, th e darky piteously exclaimed: "Oh, d e blessed Lor'! oh, marse! lnjuns, don't ki:l my honeys D on't kill d ese blessed angel creeturs !" "Hold yer yap, you black d e vil! Don't kill him, Hort Grizzle; want a n igger t o wait o n me," s houted a white man in buckskin, whom th e girls only too quickly recog nized as one of their dreaded visitors of the night before. "Cap, there's no time fo r talk. M0tint the men, put the gals into thei r saddles. I'll see to the stock. There's help com in' that we don't want!" cried Carter. The poor girls were lifted to their saddles and bou11d there, and the 1,;i.ext instant, in the center of the yelling mass of fi'ends, with old Ben o n a mule close beside th{'.m, the man cailcd Captain Dill Deekin 011 one s ide, and Car t er on. the o ther they s p e d away, l eaving the dead behind t.hem, for t h e girl s had no tho ught that their father or brothers lived-th ey had seen them fall. At la s t, from s heer fatigue, the animals s l ackened their speed, though still urged on by the merci l ess riders. "Halt he re; ride to yonder peak, l [unker Ben, and look back over our trai l !" shouted Bill Deekin at la st, when noon came and they had reached a smdill stream between the two hills1 \\ here a few scattered trees made shade and some tolerable grass gaye t he horses a chance for feed. "Gals-no squawkin', and no h0ther now-or. it'll be the worse for yo u! \V e' r e goin' to let yon rest a bit, if yo u're still and quiet. Tf yo u ain't, you'll see what I'm made of and l a m that Old N ick i s n't half so bad!" said the ruffian leader. The shudderi n g girls dared not speak. Too full of grief to even weep, they were now only loo glad of a chance to clasp their arms about each ot h er's n ecks and to hide their faces from the gaze of the fiends around the m 1\ow for tlte fir t ti m e Carter had to tell Bill D eeki n t h e nature of the party which h e bad see n approac hin g. "'Twas a Go'!'e rnment train, with soldiers in uniform, far back. but t h e n closi n g in on us like mad \Yo l ves, were them cusse 1 scout., that dont fear nothin", and Indians l e s than nothin'."

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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. ;-"Them scouts are worse than tigers on a trail!" mut-tered the ruffian captain. ..If they're on our trail yet, we"ll have but little peace before we're with the main band in the Black Hills." .. Cap'n, we'd better up and git. There's scouts a couple o' miles back. I saw 'em ri e a ridge!" cried Hunker Ben, coming down from his post. '":i\Iount. men-mount again!"' shouted the captain. "A short rest is better than none, but this has been too cussed short." CHAPTER VIII. THE LODGE QUEEN. It was nol late in the day when the train under charge of Buffalo Bill came in sight of the camp of Spotted Tail. It was located near a stream and where timber was plenty and the smoke from many camp-fires rose in graceful columns above the grove. when in sight, leaving the train to follow at its best speed, Buffalo Bill, with Overton and a small escort, da hed forward. The Indians, all under arms before they knew whether friend or foe was coming. recognized "Long Rifle,. before he was within a half mile, and Spotted Tail, Two Strike, Red Leaf, and a long band of warriors rcide out in gala dress to receive and salute him. Firing their guns in air and whooping wildly, they dashed on toward the little party, and Overton, not u eel to that sort of thing, asked Bill if they meant well by it. To him it lookecl like war. ''The reds have that way of showing they're glad to see me, but it's a waste of powder!" said Buffalo Bill, quietly. ''Don't mind their antics. There's no danger now; they're not wasting lead. That is worth as much or more than silver out here." By this time the Indians were up, and Spotted Tail rode along ide of Buffalo Bill and grasped his out stretched hand. ''You thought us a long time coming with the presents from the 'Great Father, did you not?" asked the scout. "The Great Father is the master of his ow n time. Why should \\'e'who are poor. and so far away, count it?" "\Veil, the presents are here or close behind-forty rrood horses, meat and biead to cat, tools to make gardens 0 1 with, and corn to pant. ''The red men do not want tools. They will not work, or plow, and dig, and plant like the palefaces and the men who are black. I told the Great Father so when I was in \;y ashinrrton. vV c want guns, and powder, a:id ,., ,, lead to hunt with-blankets to keep our women warm. "vVell, I have some of them,'' said Buffalo Bi ll. "I think you q_nd your braves will be satisfied. I have three wagons' in my train which do hot to Th.ey are the property of an old man who very wounds got in a fight with bad men thi s mornmg. I-11 two sons were killed by them-his two daugbters and a nerrro carried off. The old man is in my ambulance and hi; well man is here to wait on him. ''\Vho did this? Not Sioux?" asked Spotted Tail, abruptly. "No, I expect it was white men disguised as Indians." r "Ugh! I will send out my braves to drink their blood." "No, you must do no suc h thing. You have promised peace and you must keep it (o all, l:i;:id and good, without you or your tribe is struck. Then you have a right to defend yourselves." "Are we not struck in our good name, when palefaces put o n war-paint and make war as if it were us?" ''Yes, in your honor. But here we are in your camp. Where is Dove En?" "She is sole queen of my lodge now; my wives are dead. She \Yill be glad to see Long Rifle; she knows .he is coming.'' "I have presents for her from people who have hear' about her in the great cities where the sun rises," said Buffal o Bi ll. .. Vhll she not come out to receive them?" ''Iler mother died but four suns gone by; her hair is down, she mourns. She will not come out now, but my son, Long Rifle, will go into the lod ge. He will be wel con1e." Buffal o Bill alone entered the lodge. Dove Eye rose from her seat on a pile of furs, and with her arms meekly folded on her bosom, bent her head down and waited for him to speak. "Is Dove Eye glad to see her o ld friend?" asked the cout, as he extended hi s hand. Dove Eye took it, raised it reverently to her lips. Then she sooke: "ls the little flower glad to see the sun after the long, cold night? The chief can speak. but this cannot." Eye tciok from her bosom the picture she had obtained-the scout did not know from whom or how-and showed it to him. "I have brought Dove Eye some presents from friends that have heard that she is good, and very brave," aid the scout. moved hv the incident of the picture. "They are in the \vagons. -which will soon be here. I will give them to Dove Eve before I go away." ''Dove Eye \.Vants n o gifts from strangers," he said, coldly "Long Rifle said he was going away. \Vhen?'' ''Jn a little time. Just as soon as the presents are taken out of the wagons and given to your father." "Why must Long Rifle go so soon? Dove .Eye will bind up her hair now that he has come. She will put on her scarlet robe and her coronet, and she will try to lo ok well in his sii:;ht." "You always look well, Dove Eyc--but I must take the war-path in a hurry. Three of my hunters are on .it now, trailing my enemies-::md 1 must follow. Two fair pale face rrirls are helpless in the hands of had men. 1 them :mcl rescue the girls. Did I not take you from the clutche:; of the Yeliow Bear? Sha!! I not save them a well?'' "Tl1 n DoYe Eve \\'iil speak against it no nwn.'. She loves Lono Rifle because he a great warrior. She will h:i. c food cO'oked, so lw rnav not go away hungry." The 1., dge Queen !lp the gr:-at ma;ses of black hair, which fell ner wau:t, ;urn then, while Buffalo Bill went out to receive the wagon-train, she hu;-ri e\l to set her women to ma){'.ing a fea s t for the vis itors. CHAPTER IX. 'A LE'rT;:R IN RED. Vvhen Texas h.ck dashed away from the co!t1'1111 undH Buffaio Biit witl1 b;.
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8 THE BUFF'J\LO BILL STORIES. a mere spirit of recklessness, \Vith no particular object Ill new. He knew ho\v necessary it \vas to keep the trail of thesr men, and to save those helpless girls. As nig-ht drew on, and the country began to be more rolling, wilh patches of brush he r e and there, Texas Jack dosed up on the trail, l eaving once in a while a white rag on a bush, tearing up his ''bilcd shirt'' for that purpo"c. "\\'e've got to keep 'em in sight about dark," saic! he ''Because then. if they're sharp. they'l_l scatter, with an understanding of "here they'll all meet, so as to throw us of:( the trail that the girls are taken on. But the fools forget. I reckon. that the girl are riding shod horses, for I've seen that all along." "They're not so soft as you take 'em to be, Jack; look there," said one of his men. po inting to a lot of horseshoes just torn from the horses' feet and left on the ground "hen the work had been done. "Now all the tracks "ill he alike." 'ot by daylight," said Jack. "The girls are light weicrht-their horses will make a shallow track where there's sand as there is every few rods. And there's anothc; comf rt in this : the horses the girls are on will go drad lame in a little while, with their shoes off I tell votl. 'h;!rlic. it's no Hse for the curs to think thev'll get away. How dark it's getting. i ow they'll scatter. Keep your eyes to the trail, boys. Here is the place we'll lose 'em if we ever do. This ground won't show a hoofmark. But there's a level bevond. which will." He rode "'"iftl y to a sandy plain yet to be seen in the gathering gloom. and here he found a trail. At the same instant the man to his right found one-then the other to the left fully a hundred yards. found another-all diverging. "Scattered-and night is upon us," muttered Texas Jack. "I c:111' t see the trail plain enough to judge which is which. Let's keep on, boys-on, and trust to Providence that it be the right one." In silence he took the trail he had at first come to. At times !-ic had to stop and actually feel for the trail. but he w01ild not g i ve it up-he still kept forward, feel ing that those helpless ones would need his aid. "Didn't l say there was hel p for the good in heaven?" he cried. when he h<>d been on the right trail nearly ae hour. "Look bovs !" :'\;1c1 :: 1;11g showed them a white handkerchief which I: 1rl found on a bush. "One ui' the girls has done this on purpose to show us. if we arc following. Thunder-ther's red marks on it." He lighted a match, and saw, written in blood, these words: "If this is found by friends, come quickly. "SusIE HERBEsox." "\\Tritten with her own blood!" "Yes,'' said Texas "and with her finger, by the size of the letters. Keep on, boys-keep on as fast as you can. T11is handkerchief comes just in time, for the last rag of my shirt was gone." The noble fellow had left strips of \1hite every hundred yards or thereabouts, since dark, upon his trailand he had now to tear the handkerchief in strips to follow it up. The \\av became more and more difficult, for now the darkness was becoming dense. and it went wildly thrillingthrough their hearts, a woman's shriek came rushing to their ears. "Forward !-in .Heaven's name, forward!" shouted Texas j ack. CHAPTER X. A TERRlBLE STRT TGGLE. An cl as Texas Jack exclaim cc! "F onrnrd !'' letting go the bridle of his tired horse, he rushed on at the fullest speed on foot, while his two companions followC"d. Again there was a wild scream, nearer now than before, and Texas Jack heard the rush of some one running through the grass and bushes, while still further on a man's loud curses, with cries of "Stop! stop!" were heard. "One of the girls has broke away-she will be here in a minute. Save her while J nail the cuss that's com ing!" cried Jack, in a tone loud enough for his men to hear. then when the girl flew so close pa t him that he could have touched her, for he stepped aside. he kept on a few paces and stopped just as another scream from her told him that his mates had her safe. Then, as a man came rushing on, breathing bitter curses and threats, he was on top of him, and with the butt of his heavy navy revolver he dealt him a blow on the head which effectually silenced and disabled him for the time. Instantly, losing not a second, he unstrapped the man' s own belt, and bound his hands securely behind him, stuffed a part of his buckskin hunting-coat in his mouth, and bandaged it there; then he called to his own men to come up. Already they had a sured the poor girl that they were friends, .and now, when she reached Texas Jack, she moaned out: "Oh, go and save poor Susie!" "Help me to do it, girl-help me to do it, and be quick!" cried Texas Jack. "How? Only tell me how! I will die for her!" "Livin' for her will do more good. Come with me, and cry pitifully while I lead you on. He'll think you're caught, and his mate is co111i11' back with you. Sing ont no1v, for we've no time to spare." Lottie at once understood his plan, and she cried piteously: "Let me go-oh, in mercy. let me go!" as Texas Jack rushed on in the direction from which she had come. Jack wept on as swiftly as she could follow him, and now and then hoarsely uttering an oath or threat as the fellow had clone, while his own men followed, confident that the man who was knocked down and tied could do nothing towar d making his escape befo r e their return. "Louder! louder! for I ee a light!" whispere
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'! -. THE BUFF ALO STORIES 9 gagged, was lying o n h is bac k, his great eyes wil<\ with pain or fear, and a brutal giant of a man, \Yith tangled hair and beard, grizzled with coming age, \\'as h olding the girl's small ha11d in his, as if feeling her pulse. "I'm coming!" s h oute d Jack, as he came into the circle of light, and the ruffian sprang to his feet as he heard th e strange voice, and drew his pi stol from his belt. But Jack was on him as he was cocking it, and both rolled to the ground together, the pi stol exploding at the moment they fell. Fl'lr an in stant they struggled, the n, with a terrible wrench the ruffian turne d bi s opponent over, and with a monstrous knife h e would have ended his career, for it was descending upon his unshielded heart, when the negro, with wonderful coolness, kicked with his hampered feet as h e swung his body around, and struck the descending arm. The knife flew from the ruffian's hand, and then both of the mates of Texas Jack were upon him before he could regain the w eapon, or even snatch the remaining pistol fr o m hi belt. Fearfully did Bill Deekin struggl e for freedom, but Jack was on hi s feet in a second more, and a heavy blow droppe d Deekin helpless to the ground. A second broke the arm which tried o nc e more to draw a pistol, and a ye ll of agony burs t from his lips as the wretch succumbed. "Darky, you sa;red my life, and I owe you the best turn I can ever d o for you!" cried Texas Jack, as he c11t the bonds of the negro, and took the gag from his mouth. "De Lor', marse. if you is a frien', indeed. von is a fren in need. My dear honey dare, Missee Si1sie, she done went dead, I reckon, when :!\.1issee Lottie run a\\'a'.". I hasn't seen her s tir since!" cried the negro, N orfoik Ben, as he rose to his feet. "She Jive s she lives! It was a faint-a dreadful, deathlike faint!" cried Lottie, who had sprun g to the help of her s i ster eve n while the fight was going on. "Jack, that other chap has got away-slipped or gnawed out his fa tenings. He i s gone, and so are our horses, too !" This was the cry which came from the lip s of the couts who had b ee n sent to bring in Carter and the hors s, as they rushed back. Texas Jack now took the gag which had b e e n used i n Ben's mou t h and fi.xed it firmly in that of Bill Deekin, and then bound him securely. Then the fire was pnt out. CHAPTER XI. D 0 \ E E Y. E S C I F T S. It but a htle wh! l e after Dove Eye gave her or ders l>efore a rich, and, for an Indian camp, rare feast, was made ready for B uffalo Bill a11cl hi s friend While Spotte.cl Tail, with his chiefs and warriors were aejoicing 1e r the prcscnits sent to them by rt:he 'Great Father, the Lodge Queen, now robed in sca rlet, with her coronet on her head, to do honor to Buffalo Bill and his friends, came to invite all to eat. A s his h crses had to re s t and feed, the gallant scout had no to disappoint her, mnch a s h e wished to h11rry back and take the trail which Texas Jack' \Yas afread_v upon. So all went to partake of the repast. But after they had supped, and his horses had eaten the last ;;t1bstantia l foo d they would be apt to get for a good w hile, selecting from such horses as could be spared from the t;ain and escort enongh to have a led horse for a change for himself and each man in his party, Buffalo Bill made his preparations to start. The train of empty wagons \\"aS to return to the fort under charge of the sergeant and his men, and to the non-commissioned officer Cody gave a written report to take to headquarters, detailing what h e had done. \Vith him also he sent the o ld gentleman, Mr. Herbeso n Mr. Herbeson was yet too lo w to talk, but when Buffalo Bill told him he would rescue his daughters if it la y in the power of man, his eyes ])earned ont thanks. Spotted Tail was anxious to sen d a band o f warriors with Bnffalo Bill to help hi m, but the latter wonlcl not hear to it. He would take that adventure all upo n hirnse : f fo r h e wonld not risk encouraging anythin g whi c h m:ght cornpromi e the peace promises of the great chief. H e counted his men. First, h e had Eugene Overton, then came his escort of s i x good, well-armed a\ld well rnounted cavalrvmen. But. best of all. seven hnntersm e n often tried, and as often prov ed--braw, hardy, skilled in arms and in all the phases of war on the plains. His party thus macle, with himself, fift ee n men. It was well on in the evening when he and his party were mounted. "Long Rifle will take this gift from m c, .. aid Spotter! Tail; ''he may find it of use. livery" chief qf all the tribes on the plains has seen it. and they \\'iii kn o w \\ i1ere it came from. If one smokes with Long Rifle throug h that pipe he will be his friend when he wauts h i m, for the sake of Spotted Tail." The chief handed Buffalo :lill his great council pipe, made from the red s .tone of the far Nor th west, covered with curious devices from mouthpiece to bowl. and cased in th e skin of a rattlesnake, adorned with bea ds. ''I will k ee p the pipe, and use i t in my hour of need, should that hour come,'' said Buffalo Bill. "Dove Eye has a preo;ent for her master," said the Lodge 011een. "Here it i s ." Sh. e p;;inted to a beautiful bnt strongpony, loaded with a pack of provisions, led by a b o y seated upo n another pony-a. k e en, smart-looking boy, about her own age, whose bright eyes spoke courage and intelligence. 'The great warrior, Long Rifle, will be hungry by and by. 1 se nd with him cooked meat and bre-ad made in the wav D o ve Eye learned t o make it so she could please L o; 1g Rifle. And I send two ponies, and Kionee, the reeper, who will take care of the ponies, and serve Long Rifl e till he is tired of him. Then he can se nd him back to hi s tribe." Buffalo Bill knew that it would pain Dove Eye v ery mnch to refuse her gifts, so he said: "J thank D o ve Eye. I will u se her gifts. the Creeper, ride close to me in the march. I will try to J.:eeo him sa f e and when I send him back to Dove Eye I will .send liim without a hurt."

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THE B UFF ALO BILL "Kioneie rs not afraid o f scars!" said th e b oy, proudly, straighten ing up in his saddle. "He will be a grea,t brave. \!Vear the se, and use them if you have a chance,'' sai d Spotted Tail, and he unbelted his own knife and r evol v er, and buckled th em abo ut the boy's waist. Then, \'vaving his hand, h e s aid, Go, and the Great Spirit go w i th you Buffalo Bill rea che d ou
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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. CHAPTER XIII. T 0 T JI E R E S C U E. when Buffalo Bill rode away from the camp of Spotted Tail after the feast was o v e r D ove Eye stoo d and l ooked long a:1d linger ing l y upon th e d e parting col umn. \'\7h en they were enti r ely out of sight a s igh broke from h er lips. Her fa her, sta ndin g n ear her, he'ard it, and h e said: "Why is the heart of my child so h eavy ? Her sigh comes like the m o an of th e winter wind over the dead grass on the plains." "Long Rifle h as go ne o n the trail of his enemies He ha s gone with few men behind him. He is a great brave, but he may b e killed." ":'-Jow l et Dove Eye go in and s leep. I have a talk to hold wit h my chiefs, for we must go now to the land s o n the Big Horn, whe re none but our own tribe will be all owe d to come," sa id the c hi ef. Dove Eye ente red h e r l odo e. The chief went to a great council tent. and soon the t om-to m was h eard, drawing together th e h ea d men of the tribe. The cou n cil wa s held late--or rather until an earlv hour, for the morning star was coming up when the chiefs came out from th e co uncil tent, grave and still. Then suddenlv a wild scream was h eard from the lodg e where Eye slept, and h e r father and his braves rushed thither to aid h e r if she was in dang er, Spotted Tail snatching a blazing brand from the fire as h e passed. "Why did Dove Eye c r y out? \i\T'ho has dared to "harm the heart of Spotted Tail ?" cried the chief, l oo king on her filled with terro1-, her eyes swimming in tears. "The Great Spi rit ba s b een in my lodge and spoken to me in a dream, she an swere d. L ong Rifle is in o-reat danger. He i s surrounded b y e n e mies. He is hemmed in on every side. He has called on Dove E ye for h elp He said bring twe;1ty braves of the Sioux, or J s hall go down i nto the ri ve r of death and rise n o m ore. Dove Eve must go. \.\Tho will go with her? Do not all mnst be twenty, no m o re no l ess." "Spotted Tail will go w it h all his tribe," cried the chief. "Long Rifle s h all not cry for help and I s tand still." ":t\o-no The Dream Angel said that only I and twen ty braves shou ld go, cried Dove Eye. "Then it must be so." said the old chief, sadly. "The Dream Angel is se n t by the Great Spirit. Who will go with the Lodge Queen of Spotted Tail?' In -an instant there was a great outcry, for every c hi ef, brave, a n d w.:irrior wished to be of the party. D o ve Eye soo n settled it. There w e r e forty in front of her, and putting her hand out, she pointed to -and called every .other one as they s tood, by name. "Get reacl v, with arms and m eat at your backs, for a Jona swift ri de Y o u will have time to hunt," she said. h1 ., "Be quick, b efore the sun look s up we must go. She turned quickly into the lodge to make her prep aration s wh ile Spotted Tail went out to select the best horse in all his band for her to ride TIe brave s had not long to wait. Dove Eye came forth, dres se d almost like Kionee th e Creeper. in hunting shirt an d frous;:rs, carrying a short rifle in her hand, a pistol and knif e in her belt, ammuni tion by h e r side. She kissed her father, then at a bound leaped astride the wild horse, waved her hand as a signal for all to follow. and without a word sped away upon the t>ia.il of him Whom she so wildly, h o pelessly loved. CHAPTER XIV. RAPID PURSUIT. Texas Jack, with one of his hunters, was on watch, waiting for day and Buffalo Bill to come. The first was soon at hand. And when it came, bright and cle ar, a warm m ea l was cooked at the fire, and the sisters, with those wh o rescu e d them, ate heartily, for the first had not tasted food the day before. Ben was in hi s glory, cooking and talking, for Barnett had shot an antelope close to camp, and the fat juicy rib s wer e d e licious when broiled over the red coals. After th e rest were all done, Ben included, food was placed b efore Bill Deekin, and the only hand he could u se l oosened so that he could help himself. He din this, and ate raveno usly, like the half-savage beast that h e was, and when satisfied, he looked around a s if he would like to do something else. But h is f ee t were ti e d closely together by thongs wound round his ankles, and he dared not attempt to un tie them. Jack now talked to th e girl s to try and cheer them up, while Ben rolled 01'er and went r to s le e p face clown. Barnett watched the outlaw, for the latte r, l y ing like a c rippled b ear, rolled his eyes from side to side, looking hate a11d mi schief all the time. Thus matte r s went in the camp until noontime went by. J\To on e seem in g hungry nothing more was Ju s t after the sun had canted westward of the mencl1an liri.'e Texas Jack shouldered hi s rifle and went to a ridge a little t o the right of the camp, from which he thought he co uld look back over his trail, hoping to catch a sight of Buffalo Bill coming. But h e sa w a different sight, -and one which brought all the man of his noble nature in.to in stant use. It was a large body of ho rsemen-he knew they were not Indians b y th e way they rode, though th ey were dressed and painted as s uch These men we re on swee pin g gallop, directly for the camp, but commg 111 behind th e ridge, so that Charlie, the sentinel, had not yet see n them. Jack knew there was not a second to lose. The me n were within half a mile and firing his rifle to call Charlie in h e rushed back to the camp. 'The hounds are comin' Lay low by those bushes. We'll give 'em all they ask for and' more, too.'_' By this time Charlie in, and Ben, wide had a r evolver in the waistband of his trousers and a rifl e in his hand. A yell and cheer were heard, and Bill Deekin, wild with the thought of rescue, yellecj. back as loud as he could. Ben, just stop that crow from croaking," said Texas Jack, coolly. "The court decides that he be shot." "Ben had literally itched for the chance. "Dar's one for Miss Susie," he said, as he fired a sliot

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' J THE BU ff ALO BILL STORIESo rrom his revofver 'ciireEttY" ihto the mouth of the wretch he opened it to give another yell, "and dar's another for Miss Lottie, and one for me,'' he added, as he com pletely shattered his head with two more shots. "Holk last night. But there's no time to talk. You've got spare horses-our horses were all stole last night. Put us in the saddle-tie us there, and put us after the hounds. I put a ball into the red-headed cuss who seemed to boss 'em, but I was dizzy-I c@uldn't shoot straight. You've a stranger with you." -"Yes, Jack; this is Mr. Overton and he is true grit. J l c is a city man, but he rides like one of us, and' won't say tire while there's game ahead. He is the one I told yo u of, that yott're t!il hunt fair next wint@r, if ;we1e s "Yes? I'm glad to see him. You t o ld about him. I'n' \lad to see him, and these blue-jackets, too. \Ve'll neeC.: em all. How many have we l aid out-look over towarctl' the ridge?" Buffalo Bill did so, and found six dead white men, as Indians 'I hen when Texas Jack, cheered by this news, was put mto the saddle, an .cl Barnett and Ben als'O mounted, the column again got in motion, stopping at the water close by only long enough to water their horses and then following the trail of the ruffians vvho had fled toward a range of hills in a westerly course, they rode on as swift as they could and yet k eep their horses in wind. The extra .horses, for their heaviest men to change, now came 111 play, and Buffa l o Bill felt sure he would overtake those he followed. But if he could not do it before dark he knew it would be almost impossible to continue the chase till daylight came again, for the country grew more and more rough as they rode on CHAPTER XV. STAKED-DOWN CANON. \i\Then Carter, the former lieutenant, but now leader of the ruffian band, saw the party headed by Buffalo Bill sweeping down O n him, he did not know their numbers, or he would have stood his ground and fought. Bnt he heard the ringing cheer, he s,aw the buckskin of the scouts and the blue of the soldier's uniforms, and with only one thought-the girls s'hould not be left be gave orders to secure th em, mount and retreat. while in the act of lifting Lottie to his own horse, he received a ba:d, but not an entirely disabling wound, from the pistol of Texas Jack, and he had to resign the care of the girl to another. "Follow me, and I'll get you out of this scrape, as I have out of fifty before. If old Bill Deekin hadn't been too cussed lazy to keep a lookout while I was busy, he'd be alive and your cap'n yet, instead of havin' the top of his head blown off, as I saw it back there," craed Carter. "You'r. e ten to one a better cap 'n that he ever was. Three cheers for Snap Carter!' shouted one of the ruffians "I go that and three better!" cried Hort Grizzle. "I see you and a yell," said Hunker Ben, and the wretches gave a cheer which made the ears of the wretched captive girls tingle as they were forced forward in the rapid rush. "That's noise enough, boys. Save your wind till it is needed, criied s nap Carter. "Them scouts and blue coats are started again. If we can make th e hills at the head of Lodge Pole by dark we are safe; if we can't, we'll have t0 stop at some good point and fight it out." "We can fight 'om better in the hills. I know every: crnok and turn there," cried Hort Grizzle, "No better than I d0," said Snap, who, while he rode, had managed to bandage hi s wound. "Give me your canteen, Hunker Ben. I'm not much on whisky, but this lettin' of blood weakens me." "There isn't muc h in it. Bill Deekin got one pull at it afore we parted last night, .ind you know a quart didn't far with him," sai
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THE B UFFALO BILL STORIES. 13 \ Then the canteen was passed over, and Snap Carter took the little that was left. lt revived him somewhat, and he turned to look at the two girls who had once more fallen into his power. "You've found out that there's more than one slip be tw een the cup and the l ip, ha veu't you?" h e said, with a fiendish sneer on his bad face. "I have found out that your partner in crime is dead, and you will follow him," said Lottie. "Not till I've broke your proud spirit, ym1 pretty vixen," said the wretch. You've found a devil in me, you have!" Y ou never spoke a truer word, Snap Carter-if that is your name." "'It is my name. Hallo, Tom, what's up?" The last words were addressed to a man left to ride a quarter of a mile in the rear two others as a rear guard. "Them chaps are a gainin' on us fast-they're not more than a mi l e behind my mates," said the man. "Have vou had a chance to count 'em?" "Yes. There arc nineteen all told-if I can count traight." "How many scouts-for they\e worse than the Boys ia Blue." "All but six are scouts, I think. There's one Injun." "And we're fifty-two men-not one got a scratch but me. "Boys, I'm not goin' to run much farther. If we can't wipe out a crowd of that size, it's time we left the plains and took to petty larceny in the cities. \Ve are almost three to their one, and, if we're cool, can get th e first shot." "Hadn't we better wait till we g-et to the Staked-down Canon?" asked Hort Grizzle. "We could hold that ag'i1:i a t!iousancl men-let alone nineteen." ''It's just the place for us to halt in," said Snap Carter. Then, turning to the rear guard, he said: "Wait here till your men come up; then watch the chaps behind us close up. Ge t a shot, if you can, to drop the headmost and keep 'em back. vVhen I'm in the i:ight spot ahead, I'll fire three shots, one after the other, and you come in qui ck. Hail us as you come, so we'll know, for it'll be dark in a little while." The rear guard halted for his mates to come up, while the main body swiept forward, with Hort Grizzle as guide. The country grew wilder and wilder as they rode on, and the shades of coming night were deepening fast. Soon they heard the clash of water, and in the gathering g l oom saw that they were entering a dark and gloomy canon between two enormous cliffs. Only a couple of minutes more of riuing and then Hort Grizzle, turning a sharp angle of the rock. shouted: "Here we are! This is the spot, c::ip'n. How d'ye like it?" ''first rate-it is just the place. Light up in the cav ern you told of, and stow the gal s there. Ht'.mker Ben, you guard 'em." The ruffian leader now drew a revolver, and raising it in the air, fired three shots jn succession, and then turning, he ordered his men to dismount, fasten tlicir horse s a11d to stand to arms. "We'll soon hear where the fools are that have been losing time chasing us," he cried. At the same moment a fire flashed up in a deep cavern in the side of the cliff, and by it he saw the two girls, guarded by Hunker Ben, standing pallid and wretched in the gloomy place. A minute later, and answering the hail of his men, the three men of the rear guard galloped in. "\i\There are the scouts and the Boys in Blue?" cried Snap Carter. "Close behind, cap-ck>se behind!" cried the leader of the three. I fired on 'em twice, and got a ball througl1 my hat from that cuss, Buffalo Bill." "Ready, men! Ready!" shouted Snap Carter. CHAPTER XVI. BUFFALO BILL'S TACTICS. "We're closing fast-I sa:w one of the scoundrels just now,'' cried Buffalo Bill, in high glee, as he the hills "If we can only get 'em before they get into a canon there that I know of we can have a square fight. If they get there first we'll have all we want to get them out or do anything with th.em. Old Bridger and I found it out about ten years ago. There was a gang of Ogal lala in chase of u s, and we got in there. We gave 'em hail Columbia, and made 'em the sickest lot of reds you ever saw." They were just eJJtering the dark cafion, when far away up in the dark gloom they heard three shots. ''Those are signals," said Buffalo Bill, halting his men by a wave of the hand as he checked Powder Face, his horse, by a word. "The advance is posted and the rear guard is called in. 'vV e've got to feel our way." It was now dark. He rode a couple of hundred yards in silence, and then dismounted, passing the word for the rest to do the same. TI1e horses were now led up and tied head to head so a singl e man could take care of them, and then the scout gave his orders. He held no consultation, for he knew the ground, and no one knew better how to fight on it. But hi s first thought was whom he could use, and next how he could best save those whom he must use. He wanted Texas Jack to stay with the horses. for he was yet weak from his wounds, though not disabled. But the heroic Texan would not listen to this. If there was a fight, and he knew there must be, he was in for it, and would be if he knew it would be his last. Barnett, though only able to shoot left-handed with his re volvers, would not hang back. Even the Indian boy, Kionee the Creeper, refused to stay behind, for h e said: "Dove Eye bade me go close to Long Rifle aml not to l eave him." "Overton, I reckon I'll have to l eave you as a horse guard," said Buffalo Bill, at l ast, to his friend: "Don't talk to me!" said Overton, impati e ntly. "As to my playing horscguard here, it isn't on the bills. vVhere you go in this fight I'm going. That's as good as sworn to." "I never did see fellows so anxious to have blood let as you all are, sa i d Bill. laughing. "I'll have to u se my c:uth q rity. Co:p oral,'' said he, to the non-commissioned

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.. 1 4 I l'HE BUF F .ALO B ILL STORIES officer in the cavalry escort, "select one of your men to take charge of the horses, while we creep forward and engage." 'n1e corporal selected the man, who had to obey orders, and then Buffalo Bill gave his final instructions. Each man, following as close to him as possible, was to keep close to the rocks on the right. If a shot was fired from ahead or a hail heard, they were to drop low, and only to fire when the enemy was massed. If Buffalo Bill saw a chance for a rush, and the enemy had any fire built by which they could be recognized, all were to charge and to do their level best to "wipe out" or destroy the crowd and rescue the captives. All matters settled, and orders understood, the scout crept forward. For at l east six hundred yards, past the noisy waterfall, and until he was near the sharp bend in the canon, he went without interruption, or hearing any sound to tell him they had halted. 'They're gone through, have11't they?" whispered Overton. "Hush! See there!" said Bill, as he pointed to a glimmering reflection on the wate r to the left, made by the fire in the cavern. On this reflection, dim and faint, but visible to such eyes as the scout had, could be seen dark marks, the shadows of men standing between the fire and the water. Buffalo Bill now waited till his men were all up, so they could touch each other. Then, whispering to all, even Overton and Kionee, not to move, he crept so far that his head turned the angle of th e rock. As ht> did so he accidently knocked a stone from the cliff that he touched. In a second a volley of balls whistled by where he had been. for he drew back too quickly for them to harm him. ''They're there in a body, and well posted," he whis pered. "I don't see what we can do before daylight. Then we can pick some of 'em and maybe make a charge. To do it no\\' \\'Ould be madness. But we're as safe here as they are there, and I don't know but safer, for we've got water whe r e it'll show their shadows, and not ours. We'll stick it out till daylight." "You will, eh?" said a sneering voice, so close around the turn that Buffa l o Bill knew he had been overheard. "vVell, take it easy till then, for it is the last rest you'll get." Dill did not reply. He i s not in the habit of wasting words, especially when in a tight pla.ce. Even breath is worth something then. He drew back a very little and bade the rest. in a \Yhisper, not to sleep, but to take easy positions and wait. He would let them know when it was time to work. Little did he dream of the plan at that moment forming for his des truction. CHAPTER XVII. LABOR LOST. It \\'as Snap Carter himself who had overheard Buffalo Bill whispering to his followers, and who answered him. He hoped in doing it to provoke the scout and his party to make a rush, for he had every gun so pointed in his party that it would have swept the ranks of those who attacked him. Failing to provoke a charge, not 'daring fo 'fry it him self, anuther idea entered his brain, so fertile in wicked ness. He went to the rear, where Hort Grizzle stood, and asked him in a low tone if he knew any way by which the r ear of the party of otheir assailants could be approached before daylight. ''Yes," said Hort. "I can get there in two hours or less. There is another caiion below here that I can get to the rear through." "So as to stampede their horses?" "Better yet, to hem them in and wipe 'em out entirely. You know how narrow it is where we entered, and that for fully two hundred yards it is straight as a beeline be fore it makes a turn." "Yes, I remember that." "Then how easy it wou1d be. with the loose rocks at the mouth of the canon, to wall up a good breastwork, too high for their animals to cross, and from behind it, with tern or a dozen men, to sweep them down if they tried to charge out of the straight, narrow pass." Ten minutes later Hort Grizzle was moving west out of the canon, with ten of the desperadoes under his command. Then, keeping a portion of his men ready to fire if any attempt was made to interrupt him, Snap Carter commenced building a breastwork just beyond the turn in the canon. Word now came up the line that the ,man wiili the horses wanted to see Buffalo Bill. "I don't like to leave my post." said the scout. "But you stay right where you are, Overton. Texas Jack is next. He knows what to do." The scout slipped back and soon reached the place where the horses were fastened. "I can hardly keep your horse still, sir; he wants to face the rear," said the soldier. "I think there is something up there-I've heard noises, singular noises, two or three times." ''Powder Face is sure lo know it if there's danger in the wind," said Buffalo Bill. "Maybe they left a squad out there to cut off our retreat. If they did it is all lost trouble. I don't intend to retreat. I ,shall go forward when day dawns." "Tirnt will be soon. There is gray 'in the east now," said the sentinel. "True-enough for me to look back a ways and see if there is re ally a gang in our rear." Buffalo Bill crept along under the edge of the cliff a short distance, until he became satisfied that there was a party in the rear, and that they had buiit a breastwork to cut him in that direction. i "It is all labor lost," he said, as he passed the sentinel. "Stand by your horses till we need them to advance." Regaining his first position, nearest the enemy, Buffalo 'Bill waited, with the patience which no one but a good Narrior or a true scout can show, for the approach of daylight. They were too far in the deep chasm for them to see when the morning star rose, but that there was a change in the density oi the gloom, Buffalo Bill was the first to notice. ''Keep wide awake now, boys," he whispered. "Dav is coming and we must watch for chances. The first

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THE BUFF 1\LO BILL STORIES. 15 death shot is everything in a fight like this. It brings luck, and I must have it." Laying aside his hat, Bill crept to a new position, down nearer the water, where a rock a nq some bushes cov ered him, and from which the rest of his party cou ld see him and receive o r d ers and signals, though there was room for but one where he lay. There was a ledge which, if gained, would overlook the position where Texas Jack, Overton, and the scout lay, and a tree reached from the ground where the ruffians were so near this ledge that a climber could ascend it and leap from the topmost branch to the ledge, if he. were active and cool. Buffalo Bill saw a young, active man, with bis rift slung to his back, attempting this feat, just as there was light enough for him to see th sight on his rifle when h eld toward sky. i\fotioning to Overton and the others to keep perfectly still when he fired, for they cou ld onl y see him, and n one of the enemy, the scout watched the ascent. It was made very quietly, and rather too rapidly, for it was yet very dark for a good shot when the fellow got to the upper branch; but it would not do to wait now, for in another second he would spring to the ledge and b<: out of the range of Bill's rifle. William Cody let him have it, aiming drectly for his head. without a word, the fellow sprang upward and fell at the instant the rifle crack was heard, dropping right down among the astonished ruf.ans below, who b elieved th e tree to be out of sight of the other party. Buffalo Bill added to their astonishment a second l ater, for he sent another ruffian to his account before the others realized peril and sprang to cover. Bill coolly held up two fingers to his own party to signify his success, and then watched for another chance 111e voice of Snap Carter was heard, swearing fearfully, and several random shots were fired toward the new posi tion of Buffalo Bill; but he was under good cover, and knew enough to keep it. The ruffians tried hard to get a sight on him, a nd soo n lost another man for th eir pains. "111ere's but one thing to do-we've got to charge an
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16 ifHE BUFF ALO BILL STORI ES. ans'Were'd Buffalo Bill. "Yes, for Red Leaf is wise in counsel, as he is terrible in battle. I will hear what he has to say." Red Leaf bowed his head to the compliment, and said: ''Reel Leaf knows all this country well. He has gone through this pass a gr:eat many times. He knows where there is another pass, which he -can go through before the sun is as high as a small papoose. He can go that way with his warrio'fs, and come on the backs of the enemies of Long Rifle, and none can get away." "The idea is splendid," said the scout, delighted at the plan. "We'll play their own game o n them." The Indians, at a signal from Red Leaf, now filed rapidly away, and Buffalo Bill, placing only a guard to watch the front, fell back with the rest to get something to eat, for they had been too busy to attend to the inner man. An hour was thus spent, and Overton had got over bis chi!, when all at once a gun, a single report, was heard away in the west. "The signal!" cried Buffalo Bill, and his whole face flushed with a happy light "Red Leaf has got to the end of the pass, and the retreat of the in front has been cut off. Now, all hands listen to me. There'll be no play in the work before us. A cornered rat fights hard, and when even a coward can't run he'll shut his eyes, cry, and battle like a mad tiger. I'v0e seen it, and know it. This work will be mostly hand-to-hand. So, put down your rifles and trust to you.r revolvers and knives "Dove Bye, stay back a little till the fir s t of it is over." "Dove Eye knows her will keep it," said the Lodge Queen, proudly, as she pressed even yet closer to him. "\Vell, ready then!" said Bill, and he d l'ew his keen bowie-knife from the belt. "Watch me and follow where I lead. Charge, men, charge!" And away he leaped, like a panther o n its prey. vVnen he turned the angle of rock, and faced a wall just b ui lt, higher than h i s head, Buffalo Bill thought he and his party wou l d have their hands mo r e than full, but he did not hesitate a second; he sprang t'Oward i t In a second he was over, not meetin g a volley as he expected, b u t seei n g only the dea d men on t h e ground, whom h e h ad k ill e d "They have fled he cried, a s his people came p ouring over the breastwork b e h ind him. "The cowards wou l d not wait for us But Read Leaf will intercept them, they got out b efo r e he r eached the pass, and we'll soon know." "There's a fir e there," said Overton. "I'm going fo see how it feels." "Why, man, you a re all i n a sweat n ow," s a id Bill. "Am 1-well it was some exertion to get over that wall-bre astwo rk, I suppose you'd call it. But loo k Bill-here is a piece of paper-a letter-oh, what a hand to be written by a girl in such p eril. She is as cool as as coo l as I was a while ago." And Ove
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THE BUFF A.LO BDLL STORIES. 17 "They'll weathe r it, I r eckon: but we must put the hor cs while we can. \ i\ihen that storm breaks we've got to have 'em in where we can attend to them, or they 'II stampede ." Buffalo Dill now gave the nece sary orders, and the stock wa put to feed, fires built, and f oo d quickly cooked, while there was a chance. Far away could be heard the muttering thunder. Dov e Eye, though pressed to eat with the men, would not but waited on by Kionee, she sat apart and took her food, while R ed Leaf and the other Indians did the same. When through, Red Leaf and the Indians quickly pre pared a shelter from bark stripped from the tre es, fast e ned to poles set upon upright crotches, and covered with other poles, in the thickest of the grove-made especially for Dove Eye; but not until Buffalo Bill and Overton consented to share the shelter would she promise to use it. The horses were now firmly fastened to trees, the a rms secur. ed, with the ammunition, from the approach ing rain, and even the sentinels called in to the shelter of the grove, for there was no danger of attack in such a s t orm as that which was now clos e upon them. CHAPTER XX. A TERRIFIC STORM. They had left the stream and its tree -bo rders far be h ind before Snap Carter and his crowd noticed the stormbank that was rising in the west. Then the niffian crew w ere sorry they had not kept nearer the timber, for in an open plain, where the wind has a fair sweep, the torna does of the far West a'fe sometime as terribl e to man and beast almost as the dreaded siroccos, or hot sandstorms of the Great Sahara D eser t. Carter ll'tged on his horses to their full speed as night dre\\ on, hoping to at last reach some ridgy country ahead, where he could camp paxtially sheltered from the wind, if not from the rain. But his horses, already pressed very for two days, refused to respond to whip and spur, and niglit came upon him while yet in a very open country. The storm was now on the point of bursting, and he knew that mounted he could not keep his animals to gether, and that he must dismount and face the weather, l et it come as haird as it might. "There's one comfort," he said, when he gave the or der to dismount and halt, to tether the horses and fasten t hem head to head. "I'd like to know what it is?" said Hunker Ben, as he l ooked at the dense black clouds. ""There 'll be torrents of rain by and by to wash out every track we've made," said Carter. "Isn't that com fort? I J like to see the scout that could find our trail afteir this storm sweeps by." A low laugh involuntarily broke f11om the lips of Lottie. She w::is thinking of the note she had left behind her, and which she felt sure mus t have reached the bands of the bo,ld scout whom these ruffians so much dr eaded. And she laughed w itho11t a thought of being heard and som e way because he couldn't help it for before her last gre at sorrow there was not a merrier girl alive than she. "'\\'bat you laughing at, girl?" said Snap Carter, s uspiciously. 'To think how it i s going to rain, and we without even an umbrella," s he said, so innoc e ntly that he laughed, too. .. W e 'll try to fix some kind of a she lter for you girls," he sa id. "\;Ve men can stand a drenching that would was h the life out of you. Here, men," he added, "stack you rs arms, muzzles down-stick 'em deep in the sand in a circle. Then we'll draw a couple of blankets 01Ver the pile, la s h 'em sec une, and let the women huddle und e r them as close as they choose. Hurry up; the storm i coming." The men understood his idea, though it was a newi one t o them, and soon a tolerable and very firm s helte r was arr:rnged for the captives. Now, the utter darkness 'd1ich fell upon them was ap palling. The silence, too, was terrible-the silenoe of the grouped men and animals-for it seemed like the stillness of death or that of a terrnr which could not speak. But the silence was not of the elements long. The thunder, which had b ee n rolling its deep-vociced warnings from afar, now broke loud and fearful close at hand, and the ragged, zigzag lightning ran in red streaks here and the1c, as if huge serpents of fire we-re at war in tJ{e sky, lighting up th e groups of scared men and horses, and making them seem thrice as large as they were. The girls tried to shut their eyes to all this, but when the wind came screeching on, blowing till the men and horses seemed unable to stand, and indeed did lie down, the girls dared not do otherwise than l ook up. "Oh, how fiearful!" moaned Susie. "Yes, yes!" said heroic Lottie. But now the wind and the thunder, and then the min, in aw ful torrents, made so much noise that they could not talk. How long it lasted they could not tell. The shelter, strange as it was, was so well made that it with stoo d th e rain and the wind, and when at last the storm broke away, and benumbed men and animals felt some relief, the girls were dry as when they went be neath it. The clouds went with the rain and the wind, and once more all was still but the dripping o.f the waiter from the scant shrubbe. ry, or the growling of wet, discontented men. The stars shone out in a clear cold sky, and' Snap Car ter ordered the line of march to be taken up again. For here there was no feed for the horses, no fue l to light a fire to dry b y-they might better get warm in motion than to lay o r stand about on the wet ground, half chilled to death. So the girls were remounted, and the crowd rode on till the clay dawned and then in a small valley, where there was a littl e wood and a great de>al of water, they camped to dry their clo_thes and arms, and cook some food. CHAPTER XXL 'AN ARMY Of WARRIORS. So well prepared in the thick grove of willows and cot ton-wood, where the wind bad but a po.or sweep, was Buffalo Bill and his crowd for the torm, that it came and went by without doing them any damage worth speaking of. Their stock was well secured and not a horse broke loose to disturb the quiet of the others.

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T H E BU ff ALO Bi LL STORIES. So when the cla:y dawned, bright and clear, there 1vas to keep back from the pursuit. ''vVhy, the rain i s over," said Overton, wh e n be rose from between the two indi a-rubber blankets spread out )y the foret h ought of the cont. "It was just coming clown in rivers when I went to sleep." ''It did sprinkle a little in t he night. By the way that river howls we'll have a bad cha n ce for a crossing." "Do you want to cross here?" asked Overton, looking at the red, turbulent torrent. "I did, if I could, for we could shorten our route to the hills by at least half a clay, if not more. The stream takes a terrible bend right here. I don t want those scoundrels to get so far ahead of us." "Then do let us push on." "I will as soon as the horses feed and t : he rest of U'S get a bite to eat," said Buffalo Bill, in his quiet way. So Overton light e d a cigar and smoked while breakfas t was preparing, unconscious that Dove Eye, who had made her toilet at the river side, was making a study of him in her q u iet way "Ghief, there's smoke away here to the left, across the river ," said Texas Jack. "A camp, but it's a long way off!" "Yes; these rascals got across before the sto rm and they're drying up now. But we've got to go fart11er up before we can cross. We'll move just as soon as breakfast is over. Ah w:hat do you see there?'' Buffalo Bill pointed to more smoke rising to the right of the stream-several large pillars, as if there was a big camp in that direction. "Smoke!" said Texas Jack, '"and built too careless for Indians. Our game is there." "I beli eve you cried Bill. "We'll saddle up in a hurry. If our game is t here we'll be on them t onight, as sure as I'm a sinner." In twenty minutes the hor ses were all up, and in ten more the column was in motion-the morning meal hav ing been swallowed in a h urry; for the scout felt s u r e that he would again strike the direct trai l of those he pur sued. "This is someijhing like!" said Overton, as he rode for ward at a gallop by the side of the scout once more. "Like w'hat ?" asked Bill. "Like going!" said Overton. "I hope you'll keep it up till we overtake those fellows." "No more talk about quilted saddles," said Buffalo Bill, smiling. "You're broken in. Halt-dose up!" The last order, given to fhe column in a sharp voice, as Buffalo Bill checked his own horse on the instant, told that something unusua l caused it. Overton l ooked ahead, and just rising a r idge, directly in front. r he saw what seeme d to .!Jim at least a thousand mounted Indian warriors. CHAPTER XXII. SMOKING THE PIPE OF PEACE. "I reckon we'll have a stirring time now," said Over ton, as h e saw this pai nted horde, !!heir lin e bristl i ng wth spears, halt on the crest of the rid ge while Bill, as if to himself, ejaculated: "Shosbonees !-and a war party!" "Snakes! 'vV orse than Shoshonees !" said Reel Leaf, gravely, for h e had ridden forward to the extreme front now. "Snak e or Sho s hone, if they mean fight, we'll have our hands full, said Dnffalo Dill. "I'll have to lry st rategy. I'll soon see what they a r e 1112.cle of. T exas J ack, I l e aye yo n in command while I'm gone. Overton, keep back. R e d Leaf, c o me with me-lend me that sp ear of yours." All this was said in a few sec o nds, and whe n Bt1ffalo Bill and R e d L ea f gallop ed on directly toward th e Indians the former fastened a white handke rchief to the s p ear head. "Form in circle, ready to face out; di smount, and tie the animals head to head, and J10bble cried Texas Jack, the moment Bill rode on. He knew how t11e attack would c o me if it was made; that th e band, though lar ge enough to rid e them down in one wild, sweeping oharge, would n ot make that, but would circle around th e m like a hawk swooping ab ove its prey, picking th em off, and watchin g fo r a chance to break them apart befor e th ey made a direct dash. This quick and prompt formation for d e fen se was not lost, for it made the Indians on the fi.dge h es itate, an
PAGE 18

) 1 ? di t, if >f : o THE BUF F ALO B I L L STORIES. 19 a rms ana laid tliem Clown by their horses, an eX'ample which Red Leaf followed. Then the three Indians at once advanced to the spot where the scout had planted the spear. "How!" said Bill, using the salutation common to every t ribe in the west which ever mingle with white men. "How!" grunted the Snake hicfs, but they did not r each out their hands in friendship, though both looked at the pipe which Buffalo Bill smoked as if they knew it. "The Snake warriors have come a long way south of t hei r hunting grounds," said Buffalo Bill. "Are there no b uffalo on their lands that they must come here?" "Vvho is the pale-face who questions the red ma n who i s master of the plains?" asked the oldest chief. "I am known to the reel men as Long Rifle; the B l ack f eet have called me Sharp Eyes, because I can see throu
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20 THE BU ff ALO Bi LL STORIES. The Snake chiefs were to find a wonian, and she the daughter of a great chief, in the party, and Red Lightning seemed gr. eatly smitten with her beauty, as well as her toumge. Presents were now exchanged-pipes, tobacco, medals, scarfs, etc.-to the apparent satisfaction of all parties, and then once more the peace-pipe, this time that of the Snakes, w1as 1-ighted and smoked by the head men on all sides. Then both parties mounted and separated, the Snakes going south, and Buffalo Bill once more head'ing to the west. "Full four hours lost!" muttered Overton, looking at his watch as the rrfarch was resmned. "Anything but lost, my anxious friend," said Buffalo Bill. "Time spent in keeping out of a bad fight isn't wasted by a n y means. Do you know how many warriors there were in iihat gang?" "A thousand, at lea st," said Overton. "About a quarter as many, but they would have been too many for us, for they fight hard." "But it seems as if we never would overtake those wretches that 11ave the girl s in their power," cried Over ton. "Yes, we will, and soon, too. They most likely had to take the brunt of the storm bst night on the open plains. If iihey did they'll be half tuckered out, and they'll go s l ow to-day. If we don' t overhaul them in camp to-night I'm not good on the guess." CHAPTER XXIII. TREACHERY. Snap Carrter, though appearing lost in thought, as they rode on that afternoon, was not only thinking of many things, but taking heed to what might at any time be expected from such a set of villains as those he now commanded-a plot to overthrow him. He had heard a few words dropped from Hunker Ben, and respo nd ed to b y another, which opened his eyes, but, wit!'. his usual sclfcommancl, he had not shown the least sign, by look or demeanor, that h,e had felt an y suspicion of them. From the moment he got an inkling of intended \reachery, there was not one second that he was not on the alett. Seeming absorbed in thought. he clicl not even place the usual guard upon post, over the ho1scs or about tb_e camp, and the men, thinkingthat he 1 clicved the pursuit was given up, were glad to have it so. Y ct h e had a reason for it. \Vhen Hunker Ben and his gang, for h e had a ga11g who vvorkecl with him, held a talk that night, though his back was partly turned toward them, Snap Carter heard every word. "Snap has grown spoony ove r them gal".", sa'.cl Hunker Ben. "Here we are, out on a lwo weeks tnp and not a dollar made-nigh onto tw e nty men gone under and no cbance ahead. Now I move we take the upper' hand of Snap Carter, put him under the soc! if he doesn't like it, and face off for the railroad. fix up a ll right in our Indian togs, run a train off, and sweep it of monev and jewels. vVhat do )'Oll say. boys?" "I "say it' s 0. K., and I'm for makin" you cap'n, be sides," said one. "And I, too," said another. And nearly two-thirds of the gang expressed thei.r assent. "All right!" said Hunker Ben. "I'll do the square thing by yon, but let me boss the whole job. \i\Te' ll wait till he goes to sleep, or better yet, till moonrise I'll put a man over him that will settle his hash." "The n we'll do a we like. Hey?" "That's the ticket!" was the cry, and th en, after a low tonecl conversation, the men separated. Hunker Ben, seeing where Snap Carter stood, apparen.tly lost in thought, approached him to satisfy himf self if there was any suspicion in the leader's mind of ( what was go ing; on Garter started. wlien the other spoke, and asked him what time of night it was. "I should think it was about bedtime for me," said Be n, yawning, "that is if you don't want to me stand watch?" "No. There's no need of it," said Carter. "All trail of us was washed out in the storm, and Buffalo Bill has 1 most likely gone back. I shall take a look at the horses 1 and then turn in." "That suits." muttered Hunker Ben, as he walked off to the place where most of th e men lay, on the other side of the main camp-fire. Carter was gone a long tim e so long that Hunker Ben 5 beg-an to feel u neasy, and was just going to look for him f ancl see what he was doin g when he came back and went r into the willow thicket where he intended to sleep. t "It i s all right now ," said I-Junker Ben. "He'll be asleep soon. Let Snap Carter drop to sleep. It shall be his last." The men dropp cl down and Gll was still in camp. The last thing which Susie H c1beson thought of when A she closed her eves in slumber w :::i breathmg softly she would not wake her, and soon she fell asleep again. Later s he w oke, for a cold, wet hand was on her wri t. ,, "Hist!" said a voice. "Not a word-wake your siste r and creep out into the stream from which I have crept) to save you! My m en arc in revolt. Quick-all now f depends o n you. I have your horses and mine the str eam, where, unseen, we can mo11nt and ncle away. :1 It is you r only hope. and I swear by all my memory o f 1.. good and my only hope of a hereafter, to save you o r die "You arc Snap Carter," whispered Lottie, seeming to'c realize the situation. 1 "I a m that unhappv wretch, only askmg, praymg nows to aid you and your sister." 3. "Vv e will go. Heaven nelp you and us! We will go !"r; said Lottie il1 a whisper, and gently she woke h e r sister,1 whi pcred to her the clanger and the promise of safety. \[ \i\Tithout a word 1Jottl1 sisters crept out from under thef bough shelter on the s i de next the tream. n Snap Carter took each by the h::nd, and though thdi

PAGE 20

THE BU ff ALO BILL STORIES. I .2l ater was 1Yait deep and vcry swift, he led them into 1.' it safely. l" ;;!1d1ce they crept up the ro ky bank, passed through t\1icket and mounted their horse s just as the moon "as e e n rising above the trees. At the same instant there was a terrible outcry in the rmp which they had just left, shouts and cnrses, and than all the voic e of Hnnker Ben crying: ''They're gone. To horse-to horse!" Then Snap Carter said to the girls, in a l ow tone: "Follow me!" And with their bridle reins fastened on either side to e head of his own horse he started forward at foll eed. In the same second fearful shout and yells and the pi
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2 2 THE B UFF ALO BILL S TORIES. shriek from : son1e discovere d wretch told that the pursuit was relentless, the punishment spee dy. Mr. Overton, dropping Hunker Be n with a mortal wound, rushed to the bough-house fro m which the disap pointed ruffian was emerging when he shot him, but the girls had gone. If all that ruffian band only a few wounded wretche:> 1iv-ed, and these, when questioned, though threatened with instant death if they did not speak the truth, could not or would not say what had become of the girls. "I'm dyin', and I know it!" groaned Hunker Ben. "There's no use for me to live. We chaps had mad e n our minds to kill off Snap Carter, our captain, si n ce Bi ll Deekin was killed. vVe were to do it at moonrise, and just then you charged and we're gone under !" A wide ci1-cle, taking in the country for at lea s t two miles around the late scene of conflict, was made bv the scout and his companions, while Red Leaf and his Indians finished -the and took the scalps of those who by their crimes had forfeited a ll claim to mercy. Buffalo Bill h ad crossed the stream, and was entering a pass to go around a hill that was in their way, when he saw where a stone, moss-covered on one side, had been broken and partiallx turned over in a little brook that ran through this pass. He examined the mark very closely and then rode: on, 'with his eyes following the water-course. "Mounted parties have followed up this stream, to hide their trail in the water," he said, as he rode on faster, to find some point where the tracks could be see n plainer. For miles they rode, and the trail was so well hidden by the running water that even Buffalo Bill could onJy here and there detect that a horse or horses had passed. Then they came to a spot where a rock had caved freshly from the bank in the late storm, fillin g the channel, and here the riders had to l e ave the water. Then with a cry of joy Buffalo Bill pointed out to Overton the tracks of three horses, side by side, close together. "The man and the girls have passed here," S<\icl the sco ut. "Let us overtake them," c ri ed Overton. "They have at least four o r five hours' sta rt. said the sco ut. "\Ve will. as soo n as our people are ralli ed and our horses have fed, tak e this trail. but we must follow it with care, for this Snap Carter has been on the plains, and is an old hand at evading pursuit. I'll do my level best to overtake him as soon as I can, but ,,-e h ave wiped out the worst of the wretches. and we can take it a little easier. He seems to have treated the g-irls so well so far that the crowd got down on him, and meant to kill him. He got wind of it, and got away. So you see there doesn't seem to be any immediate danger.'" Buffalo Bill turned his horse and rode back, saying, as he went: "In two hours I'll take the trail, and keep it till we find the girls." '? CHAPTER XXV. HORSE-THH:VES A'r WORK. When h e reach ed the sight of the desperadoes' camp and called his m e n together, Buffalo Bill was rather surprised to see Red Leaf bringing in a prisoner, for he had not told the Indians to spare any o"f t11ese baa n e ither had he ordered their extermination. ., Thi s pale-face asked me in the name of the Gr" Spirit to take him before Long Rifle, and said that al he spoke t o him h e was willing to die," said Reel Leaf: The man whom he thus led forward was bold. alrnc defiant in hi s look and did not seem to fear the i.., which h ad fallen up on his late companions. \ViJnt do you want of me?" asked Buffalo .IJ ste rnly. \ r want about five minutes' time to talk to you, a.. then the decency of being shot by a white man, inst\ of being killed and sca lp ed by a reel. l ve washed all c paint off, you see, and I want to die white." ,. "The r equest is reasonable eno ugh. What else do want to say to me?" t "'To tell you so m ething you'J n ever know but for f Two men b esides Snap Carter hav e got away. The cc; ardly cusses nm at the first yelp they heard, and the) away up in the hills before this." 1 "Why do you tell me tl1is ?" 'Partly for spi te, and partly b ecause it is no use 1 keep i t back They know all the signals, and if yo u fires burning, or lights flashing from any peaks to-nig' you '11 believe what I say." "Whom can they s ignal to?" bout two hundred just such as these that vou wiped out. A nd the r e's a lot of Utes and some Cheye11 Dog Soldiers link ed with th em. \i\The n you know whf you are and h ow many there are of you, they'll be loJ in g for r e venge. And 1 reckon they'll get it. Nowc you' ll let o n e o{ your sconts put a hole through my h)c or heart, or clo it you r self, which I'd like better-sail:i l"ve said my say and rm ready to go." Buffalo Bill laid his hand on the butt of his revoh half rlrew it from the belt, and fixed his eye on the face. i i There was not a sign of fear in it. He was as the scout himself. "What's your name? .. asked Buffalo Bill, for while 'rntchecl the man s fa e there seemed to be somethingc its expres ion which recalled a memory. "Steve Hatha,yay, .. sa id the man, c o olly. "' "You rode the pony through Bridge rs Ifc t\yo sea s ons. clicln "t vo u ?"' "1 did ,'' said Hatha"ay. 3. '"Yes! You had your pony shot, but you saved mail and carried i t in itb two arrows sticking in and one i n rnur shoulder." f "Yes, who told you of it?" said the man, surpri ed.t'. "No matter. You were a better man then than yo u now. But for that one bra ,c, good act your life is sp;< now. Take one of those rifles from the ground, a buk bag and a powder-horn, so you won't starve, and go.'u 'Td rather n ot. I'm in for a bad life 1 cant lead, other, and no\\" vouve me, vou"d better snuff me a a "I'm no stranger to you. teve Hathaway." saidr1 scout. "I'm Little Rill, that you fished out of the S'e< Water. when I was driving ox team in the same wat train when we carri ed stores for General Johnson's L up in lJ tab. Do you remember that?" "c "I reckon I do; there was a powerful sight of ice inr drink thal day. But that was long ago. I've

PAGE 22

THE BUFF ALO BILL STORI ES. 2 3 1 gh since to be hungfor a dozen times if the vigi e had caught me. So let drive, Bill, for now I know let drive, and do it quick, for I wish to die, and I 1 want to have these reels see me kick." tell you again you are free," said Bqffalo Bill. "I hurt a hair of your head now for all the gol d in a,s Peale" :r1e man stood and seemed to think a minute, then A I'll take the life you give me. Let me have a a and I'll go over the mountains, or some place where try work that is honest, just to see if I can pay you. 1ot go to them that I've been with, that's sure." Y ick out your own horse, saddle, and blankets, and them," said Bill. "And be quick, for I've a trail to ., v. it leads to Nick's Cavern don't take it," said Hatha Y 'for t.hat is headquarters for the band, and there's 1any there for you, with all your grit. And there's a party of Ute Indians that have been camped close e r three months or more that are friendly with them, vill fight for them." this the truth, Steve Hathaway?" is. I don't feel like lying when it can't do me any u you'd do me a favor I might put you in the way of g a better life," said Buffalo Bill. h hat is it, and how can I ever lead a better life, hard o as I am?" asked the desperado. "'' ou used to be the best express rider in the country. ect you arc as good yet. If you will go to Fort t i 1erson with a letter from me and then guide some r back to help me, I'll get you employed as an army h\, and those who can do it will have the President 1abn all your past crimes. He can do it, for you've h itted them outside of State lines." 01hhaway stood and reflected long before he answered. 1 he aid: e f I only could live honest as I was living when we ig on the Sweet Water, and could forget what I have 4 helieve I'd be happy. As to turning on them I've with, it is only what they'd do on me. So I don't for that. There is no honor among thieves, and I it. Bill, I'll take your letter, and if the comrnandngs me I can't complain." 1 e will not harm you, but will trust you when he c the letter I will write. Kionee, give me this haverd ull of dried meat. Pick two of the best horses in t-I mean from your lot, Steve, for they are rested i u e h. You know the route as well as I do. Ride as P rode for life. I shall follow Snap Carter's trail iu, ke it easy. You '11 find my trail here when you ). up with the troops, as I know you will come." d released prisoner at once made his preparations 0 as in the saddle, his led horse bv his side, and ready d rt. In the meantime Buffalo Bill had written and S\ d bis letters. a day was well advanced when Buffalo Bill once s ook the trail of Snap Carter and the two girls. rode on till dark, and camped in a wellheltered 111 n the hills, with good grass and water near by for ma ls. Overton took the delay hard, for he was an amateur in such work. A little after midnight there was an alarm in camp, but it soon subsided. It was caused by the approach of Red Leaf and his three warriors. The chief had two fresh scalps upon his spear. He pointed to these when he approached Buffalo Bill, and that was all the report that he made. The scout knew that no signal fires would be lighted on the hill-tops that night. So he returned to his blankets to sleep. At early dawn they were again in motion, and soon destined to a surprise. Instead of keeping to the hills, Snap Carter, after passing beyond this spur, took a short turn east, and headed away toward what Buffalo Bill said would be the hills at the head of the Loup. The Indian, one of the six sent before, came back to tell Buffalo Bill and Red Leaf that the trail bf the three horses, after striking directly east had come up0n the tracks of a large body of Indian ponies going south, and had made for the hills again. To save the others a longer journey this runner had been sent back, so that the course of the three horses might be in tercepted quicker by keeping along the base of the hills. At nightfall the trail of the three horses was found again, and, just as it was found, the Indian runners, who had taken a much longer route, came to the main column. Buffalo Bill told Red Leaf to bid his men rest till morning, for, now that they were in the hills, most likely; Snap Carter would not press his speed as he had done. In truth, he felt almost sure that a slender column of smoke, seen for a little while in the hills south of them, and not very far off, was made by a fire lighted by Carter. But could he have traversed that space, and known what terrible peril now darkened above those helpless girls, neither he nor a man in his party would have re mained an instant where they were. Buffalo Bill was too old a scout to build a fire without an actual necessity, and not having coffee to boil or meat to cook that night, he merely posted his sentinels, and tl:en those not on guard dropped to sleep. CHAPTER XXVI. CARTER SURPRISED. For all the first day Snap Carter and the two sisters traveled in comparative comfort, though fast, and when they halted or camped, the man was as attentive and kind as a brother could be, yet respectful as a servant in words and manner. He seemed to have thrown aside all his former insolent bravado; to have dropped his coarse, rude language; to have c11anged in every way. The very fact that the girls now trusted to him, de pended on his manhood, had nrnc!-. to do with this. On the second day he told them, after they had journeyed some distance along the hill route, that he was about to run a great risk-not for them, but for himself. "I am known in every railroad town," he said; "a reward has been offered for me, dead or alive, but I shall take you to some point where you can be placed on a train that will take vou to the bounds of civilization. If your father lives, will hear from him and find him. I

PAGE 23

24 THE B U f f A LO BILL S TORIES. \ Vhen once you are safe, I care not what. b ec omes of me. Bad as I have been I am an outlaw forever, and can never hope to be otherwise: but there is room in the wil derness even to live without doing more evil, a n d room to die when my time comes." Soon after saying this, he turned from the hills and urged the horses forward swiftly. The sisters, though tired, buoyed up now with hope, forbore to utter a word of complaint. Suddenly Carter halted, turned pale, and while he pointed down, he said : "\Ve must yet keep to t!Je hills. A large body of Indians have just passed here, whether on the war-path or for a grand h unt, I cannot tell. They, too, bend for the t imber where I hoped to find our fir s t rest and shelter. I dare not go on 1 can at least care for you and conceal you better in the hills till I can take some safer route." The girls, terrified ,,.;hen t h ey saw his alarm, were w i lling to go where he thought it would be safest, so h is trail was at once chan;;ecl Then onlv did he realiz e how he had overtaxed. the strength of the sisters by that long. w ift ride, for much excited ail clay, he had given l ess than usual attention to their looks. Susie fell in a dead faint when he lifted her from the saddle, and Lott ie had hardly strength to assist in re sto ring her to consciousness. Alarmed, thoughtless of the p eril Carter quickly lighted a fire and in his tin cup boiled some waler and made tea from a little store in his haversack; then he caught some trout from a stream which ran by the camp, and broiled t h em on the coals. For he k n ew that hunger as well as exhaustion was the cause of such weakness when they had supped and drank some of his strong tea, the girls felt better, and yet they were on l y too g lad when he arranged a bed for them under a l eafy pine. By t1Jis time nigh t had fairly set in, and thinking that he must be safe at least now from pursuit, he bel i eved he could himse l f t .ake a little rest, for never did he need it more. After seeing once more that the h o rses were well secured and feeding quietly, lie returned to the camp, and select ing a spot near the tree beneath which tl1e g i r l s were s l eeping, he l ay clown, hi s \\"Capons all b e lted to his side and his rifle in his hand L i g h t was breaking when Snap Car t e 1 was awakened. In a second his left hand grasped the hilt of his heavy bowie knife, and it was drawn at lhe instant he opened his eyes, and with an upward sweep he drove i t home into the huge I n dian warrior who was bending over to secure h is a r ms, while another was fini shing the same ta sk af h i s l egs. A ye ll broke from the lips of the Indian, and in a sec. one! i t was answer ed by a dozen more, while Carter bravely struck out at the second warrior, and tried to r i se, for he was clenched by the first Indian in the death g r asp The struggle was fierce but s h ort, fo r though he fought despe r ately, k illing one and vvouncling th e other Indi an, t here were mor e upon him in a second, and a crushing b l ow from a hatchet dropped him powe rl ess to the earth, while "ith fiendish ferocity the Indian whom he had wounded by his second blow tore tlie 1..'.ni fe from his less hand and drove it again and agai n into his body. All th i s was seen by the horror-stricken girls, wakened by the terrific yells, found themselves rounded by a band of painted and savage Indians;1 were yelling madly over their dead comrade a n @ woun ded mate, whi l e Carter lay gasping, dying btl thei r eyes Too muc h terrified to speak, utterly helpless, the 1 gir ls expected every seco n d that the death blows \ l e also fall o n them. And they had heard such t e tales of Indian atr ocity that they would not have s[ig for a second from leveled gun or descending knii hatchet. e An Indian, who by dress and looks seemed superit t h e rest, said, speaking in broken English: 1 "Keep still. Me no kill women. Paleface sq11 keep still. Eat, g uick-bave big ride all soon." j Then food was offered to them. f Rut not even to satisfy t h e savages wou l d they a morse l of the ha l f-cooked meat tendered by thei r tors. They were, in truth, so shocked by the sigt Carter's mangled body, so terrifi e d a they looked o ;r savage. merciless faces around them, that they werePt dead than alive. t Thev saw the arm which Carter wore taken andll tributed among hi s captors, and then th e hor ses t E brnught up their own and quite a large band more, c their captors seemed to own. t l The girls were again placed in their saddles, little after sunri se the Indian cavalcade, beading rt .across the p l ains, dashed away at a gallop. tf Soon after t hey left the hills Lottie saw the I n : looking back, talki n g in their own tongue, and seerni. show triumphant joy in their looks Looking back f r the reason of their l oo ks and actions, she felt sure tha saw a body of men in the timbe1 at the edge of theLg but t he v were not monntecl. Then. the thoug-ht came to her that these Indian e. robbed that party of t heir horses, and thus rendered suit hopele ss for there were more in the hills in ,a tvyice over, than there were Indians in the band ; 6 captors. These w e re only about a dozen in number, stout, i; w:.lrri ors unde r the le:.lclership of an elder bra,re. \ Vhcre do you go? V\Thy do yo u nm away frorr]c enemies?"' asked Lottie of Lhis Indian, for an i n 1 feeling told h e r the men seen in the bills were thosr11 had been trying to save her and her sister. e5 "Kceo st ill. Women know no thin!=,;. By and t heap more warriors. Then me go back and gedi sca lps Only one now." b The wretch da1;g led Carter's s cal p before her cfo his spear p oint. io And the Indian turned to look back again tmva1s h ills. 1e Lottie l ooked, too, and she was almost sure, tio thev were not so far ff. th
PAGE 24

THE B UFF /\L O BILL 2 5 CHAPTER XXVII. HIS LAST WORDS. n the gray of the coming day the march w;:ts taken and leaving the slowe. t to follow at their best pace, Leaf and his braves, with Buffalo Bill, went on at a \ 'hen Buffalo BiJJ and Reel Leaf, side by icle, ap ched the foot of the hill where they had seen the ke the night before, they saw on the plains to the east rge band of horses moving, and some mounted Tndians 1 them, but their attention was, a moment later, at ted by another sight directly before them. J wounded man, calped and dreadfully cut up, had vied to the brink of a small stream, to either wash his L nds or drink, and now he tried to rise when he r d their steps, but he could not. He fell back, helpless, fast dying. 1 uffalo Bill saw that he was white, and, rushing up, cl out : Who are you, man? How di cl this come about?" r m all that's left of Snap Carter. Don't bother for but try to save them girls. I was
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