Buffalo Bill's gold guard; or, Fort Fetterman's girl in gray

Buffalo Bill's gold guard; or, Fort Fetterman's girl in gray

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Buffalo Bill's gold guard; or, Fort Fetterman's girl in gray
Series Title:
Buffalo Bill stories
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New York
Street & Smith
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1 online resource (31 p.) 28 cm.: ;


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

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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020845897 ( ALEPH )
436936457 ( OCLC )
B14-00005 ( USFLDC DOI )
b14.5 ( USFLDC Handle )

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lheOn!Y Publimt on :QY the Hon.w. f A-JattU al 1\'ew } ork VI/ice b y tiT H E l!. I' & :;:,.\ti l 11, ZJ'.Y J1 u u,u1l .JI JV. Y. Price, Five Cents. AT THE WOUD FHOM JliJFFALO BILL, THE SCOUTS FIUED, AND THE SIX OUTLAW.3 DROPPED AS ONE MAN.


'1'r TheOniY PublicoJion authorued bYthe Issued IVeekly. By Subscription $2.50 jJe1 year. Entend as Second Cl ass jJfatter at the N. Y. Post Office, by STREET & SMITH, 238 William St., N. Y. E11tered accordin1r to Act of Co11gress in tlze year JQ

2 THE BU ff J\LO BBlL STORIES .. song in a way that would have moved deeply, rougher men than Frank Fox. He had forgotten where he was, his horses went slowly along the trall, and in the words of the song, it had "made him a child again." "Halt! you are my game!" ''Hands up, Frank Fox!" The last note of the song was dying on the lips of the young girl, as the rude, threatening voice of the road agent broke in so sharply and startlingly. Recalled to himself, and seeing but one horseman in sight, Frank Fox, with a fair passenger in the coach and a rich freight along, determined to attempt to run the gantlet. Shouting to his horses, he at once dr. cw a revolver to fire, but the act was fatal, as a shot came from behiud a large tree, piercing his brain, and he pitched forward, falling upon the heavy brake on which his foot rested, thus checking the horses by locking the coach wheels. The girl uttered no outcry, though she felt that harm bad befal\en the driver, and she saw a horseman, revolver in hand, riding toward the coach, while a man on foot advanced on the other side. ''Ah! the sweet singer-and handsome, too,'' rudely cried the horseman. But he said no more, as a clear, manly voice cried: ''Hands up, or die, Devil Dan!" 'the passenger's first thought was that it must be -_..,F'ratik Fox, but she Sil.W a l10rseman dash up over th ridge of the hill, an

THE BUFFALO Bil.L STORIES. 3 ''For she is as pretty as red shoes." All knew that sol'llell1i11g serious had happened, for Buffalo Bill's right arm reste d in a handkerchief fastened arou11d lii.s 11eck, and his face wore a seriou s look. All eyes, too, were upon his co111pm1ion. She was dresse d in a gray traveling dress, that fitted a perfect form, a:1d s h e wore a slonch hat of the same hue as the dress, while her face, flu shed with excitement, was certainly beantiful. ''Colonel Dandridge, this is Miss Kate Hughes, si r, and to her pluck is due that the stage and treasure comes in, for she sa\ed my life and poor Frank Fox is dead, sir, and with Devil Dau and oue of bis gang, is iu the coach." Such \Yas Buffalo Bill's rapid introduction of the young girl, and explanation of the tragedy back 011 the O verland trail. C olone l Dandridge at once warmly gree ted the fair pas.;e!1ger and led her to where bis \\'ife stood, while he ordered the surgeon to be at once sent to his where he told Buffalo Bill to accompany him. "I hope you are iwt severely hurt, Scout Cody," he said. ''No, sir, though the bullet struck the bone and my arm for a while." and .cl poor Fox was killed?" capt b l d "''"' H1Y, another good man gene; ut ie ha com-rany, for I killed D eYil Dan as I came up, and 11ot see i1ii::-Iris p01rd on the other side of the coach, he fired on me. giYing me this wound, and it knocked my revolver out of my hand; but before he co11ld fire again that plucky girl shot him through tlt c heart, tints saving my life. and the third rnan got a'irny." "All exciti11g scene \rhile it lasted." ''Indeed it \ms, sir, but that girl is the best I know, for she dressed rny wounded arm, and theu helped me l the bodies of Fox and the two outlaws in the coach, afte r which she said she \\oulcl take the reins, as she had ofte n clri,en her father's four-in-hand coach over the Te11ncssee mountains." ''She is a gem, and I am g lad we have got such a one for tcac11er of our children here. nut how was Fox killed?" ''I heard a Yoicc in song, sir, as I approached the trail, and Miss Hughes '\Vas s ingiug-just wait until you hear her, sir, for s h e can beat any bird I ever heard. "Then there came a shot, and it was the death of poor Frank Fox. ''I spurred forward, and I was just iu time to take a band in tli e pow-wow, and I've told you the rest, sir." ''Yes, and the co::ich came i11 serving as a hearse, the treasure safe a11d a hero and heroine on the box-but here is Surgeon Powell to look after your wo1111d," and the colo11el turned to Dr. Frank PO\Yei!, the surgeon of the fort. CHAPTER III. BUFFALO BILL'S SECRET '!RAIL. The skill of Surgeon Powell soou extracted the bullet in the scout's arm and the wound was dressed, with the assurance that a couple of weeks would bring Buffalo Bill rou11a all right agaiu. A great d e al of praise was showered upon the chief of scouts for his having killed Devil Dan, the worst road agent that haunted the trails, and upon whose life a price had been set by the Government. ''Now, tell me, Cody, just what brings you to Fort Fetterman at this time?" asked the colo11el, wheu the two were again alone together. "Well, sir, I am ou a secret mission, and one on which I am first goin g alone, but if I need aid, I am to return, and ask you for some of your scouts, and, perhaps, for a troop of cavalry.'' "They will be at your service, Cody; but you had better take them along with yott in tbe first place, though, of course yon are uot goiug for a couple of w eeks yet, until your wound gets w ell." ''That wiil be all right iu a fe,1 days, sir, so I ca11 Jt:ut, and, if you say so, I ,.,jlJ take John Burke awl !i:>. U a dozen scout s along with me to lrnve at a cerlniu pqint, where I can reach them-if I ueed them i11 a hurry. ''The truth is, sir, the general has orders to allO\'' no gold to enter the Big Horn cou::try, for they ex cite the Indians and cause others to go there, while the lands "ill n o t be open to settler.-; for loll g years yet." ''That is v e r y true, aud these Gold Sneaks, as \\'C call them, give 110 encl of trouble, and the Indians arc kept on the warpath all the time, and I f ee l sure sollle of the ba11cls of \\'hite men haye bee n utterly done a1rny with." "Ves, sir, but they kne w they were breaking the laws, and took big chances t o go 011 their hunt to steal gold, which many belieYe the country is full of. ''J311t I am sure that there arc one or !!ore gangs of lawless men lll the J3ig Horn, sir, and in clanger of getting wiped out, or else they are \dtli the Indians, and tlrnt mea11s they are renegades, so the gene ral bas gi, e11 me permission to go 011 a secret trail and find out." "Yes, and about the most da11gerous trail of your life, Cody." ''It i s a tough proposition, Colonel Dandridge, but I belieYe I can make it, and with a band of scouts camped wLcre I can fall back on tl1e111 in time of need, h:i send for more help I believe I can work it ::ill sir.'' "Deller ha Ye! a troop alollg \Yi th the scouts)"


THE 3Uff ALO BULL STORIES. "Xo,, sir, the did not wisli to send soldiers in, u:ilcss ne e d e d, as it would cause the Indians to rise." "It JJJay be so, a1:d you and yonr scouts can go through a country li ke spooks. ", 11 right, pick your meu, aud start when you feel able to do so. '' B11t 11ow, t el l me, did yoL; learn anything from Miss Hughes about herse lf, for all I know is that she an swered my advertisement i11 the New York Gazette for a teacher of the officers' children here, and of all the letters I got I I iked hers the best. "She said that she had been well educated in music also, a11cl, through the death of her father a year ago, l1ad to teach for her support-that was all, save the references she named.'' "She told rne she had been born on a plantation in '1\;>1rncssee, sir, not far from Nashville, aud had ridden and driven horses from earliest childhood, while she also was a good shot, and I can well be li eve it." "Yes, that she proved, and she certainly is very tiful, though young for a teacher." "Age don't always make the man or woman, colonel." "That is Y ery tme, Cody, for if I recall aright, you killed your first Indian when you were but ten, and when a boy in years were a veteran plainsman. I congratulate you upon Miss Hughes' being the all-round girl she is." i','s, sir, for I owe 1'.ny life to her nern:: qnic' aim and doi1ig the right thing at the right time. ''I shall not forget her, sir, never!" and the famous scout spoke with deep feeling. ''She will be Yery popular here," said the colonel. And he was right, for from the moment of her coming, Kate Hughes, the "Girl in Gray," as the soldiers called 11er, from the fact that she always dressed in gray, be came the idol of the fort with one and all. One week after his arrival, Buffalo Bill left the fort on his secret trail, and alone. But the day after, Arizona John and half a dozen picked scouts slipped away to join him on the trail at a certain camp. CHAPTER IV. THE GOLD GUARD. The scouts who left Fort Fetterman to meet Buffalo Bill, the chief of the men in buckskin at the frontier military posts along that far advanced line in the Indian country, were, one and all, picked men. They were seven in number, and under the leadership of John M. Burke, a Delaware boy who had drifted West and made a name for himself as'' Arizona John." If there was any one who did not like Arizona John, save outlaws who feared him, the man was not known to Burke's comrades. Gentle as a woman iu his manners to one and all, 1 age as a panther when aroused to anger and act Arizona J o hu was a splendid specimen of he was proud of the fac;t that Buffalo Bill, his cl: trusted him under any and all circumstances. "Pick your best men, John, and you'll suit me, ani is needless to say that I want only those who will c, the dead line when called upon." ''You shall have them, chief." i ''And double arm the outfit, too, carrying two hci for each man, so, if we get cornered we can do don work." "I will, and that means the same for provisions?" "Yes, for I do not know how long we will be out will tell you frankly that our trail is a secret one, fo1 go as a gold guard, to run out the gold miners who l' sneaked into the Big Horn country to steal the yei n1etal." i "We will get there all right, chief, if we are b1 handful of men," was the determined answer. The other scouts who formed the daring band u Texas Jack, an ex-Confederate scout; Pony Bob, a s11 man full of grit who had been a pony express r with Buffalo Bill several years before. Nebraska]' Hank Hutchins, Kansas Kit and Buck Nelson. 1 ; 1 All were giants in stre11gth, of great enduranct a1 shots, and h ence fit comrades for followers of t .;' king of bordermen, Buffalo Bill. nv, Arizona John had his orders, and he rode off 10, trail that would take him to where he was to join Bu Bill. The extra horses brought along served as pack i mals, and the m e n were ready for any work they m be called upon to do. They had slipped away from the fort by night, s not to attract attention to their going, and rode steai through the darkness a11d all the following day, '"! out rest, stopping only for their meals. It was sunset when they came to the appointed It was a fertile spot in a deep canyon, with water aud grass plentiful. Buffalo Bill was there, and greeted them in bis he' way. "This is a boss hiding-place, Arizona John, and within a day's call, by good riding, of the fort, i have to send for a troop. "Then, too, one end of the canyon is blocked, the other end can be defended by your outfit agait couple of hundred Indians. "I am going on a lone trail first, but I don't thi1 1 will be long before you see me coming back for 1 and, perhaps, we may want some soldiers, for I am o


THE BU ff lilO BILL STORIES. 5 )nt t:1ere are gold thieves in this country, though in ct 1 hat force I do 11ot know. That we mnst find ont. dt' 'If they are too many for us, why, then we must huut 1rner and send for aid." ''We are with you chief, but I was told to hand you 1 is letter." c "From the colouel ?" "He gave it to me, with a number of good wishes for ou, but the writing is a woman's, and it has a look and 1c vor about it of a feminine kind," aud Arizona John o 1iled. Buffalo Bill fairly flushed, b11t took the letter, and, 'bile the others were busy makiug themselves comforta1t 1 e in camp, he read it. It read: "MY DEAR MR. Cony: You slipped from the t rt before I could see you again and thank you for your lindness to me, for, had you 11ot come tu the .rescue of e coach that d?.y what would have beeu my fate? 1 "As Colonel Dandridge saw how badly I felt at not aYiug the opportunity to wish you good fortune, he ld me I could \Hite you, and I now do so to show you s at I appreciate yonr goodness to me, and express the pe that I may see you again some day. ''It is to you, I l.Jelicve, for Major Colfax told me. that owe my border title of the 'Girl in Gray,' one that I j!.::c especially, as my father \Tas a Confederate officer and wore the gray, while no\"'' I have become a willing capbve of the lloys in Blue, and .like the wild life of a 'ntier forl. 'Again, with every good wish, "Sincerely your frieud, 'KATE HUGHES.'' ''The solders named her from my saying that the little i irl in gray n as a trump; and she is, while it was kind f her to write to me. ''If I don' t mi:::take from all I heard, there are a 1rn111er of, Boys in Blne \Viti! shoulder straps on who would aike to capture the little rebel,' and Bllffalo Bill put the ighly prized letter away carefully f0r future refere n c e. The night i11 camp passed l]Uietly, and after breakfas t he next morning Buffalo Bill explaine d to his meu just by they had been brought there, and then set off alone pon his rnissiou to look up the gold thieves and also to eep out of sight of the hostile redskins who dwelt in hat country. CHAPTER V. THE UNKNOWN FORT. Taking out his compass, after he bad left the canyon, hich he did by riding down the sti-eam flowing from he spring, so as not to leave any trail.up to the camp, 1 be scout took his bearings and turned the head of his 10rse toward the by a little south. The morning. had 11early passed away, and his well-rested horse had 111:1de good time, when suddenly l:e came upon a fresh trail heading across his way, and toward a range of wild and rugged mountains on bis left. The hoofs of the horse were shod, and the trail i1::d not been made over a few hours, the scout saw, aud h e once determined to follow it. Giving up his intention to halt for the noon rest and meal, he pushed rapidly on along the trail. Miles were gone over, and it led him into the deepest recesses of tile mountains, and then up toward the sn111-mit of a range. Still on he followed, and ascending the range, to his great amazement he suddnly came upon a strongly built !Ock fort there in an unktiown wilderness, and the existence of which he had not had the remotest idea. Buffalo Bill halted and gazed with wouder at his strange find. The trail he h a d been following branched off just where he tli e n was, and did uot lead up to the old fort. Neither did the scout go ou at once, either on the trail, or up to the rock fort. He s e em eel lost in am azem en t. It was a rock cabiu, he saw, as he the more attentively regarded it, rathe r than a fort, though it had narrow wiudows and a flat roof. It was about thirty feet square, and very solidly built, b eiBg about twe h e f ee t ju, height. The rocks were Jar ge-. .:qnare ones had been selected -and it was we.II bnilt. Sitnated upon the apex of a hill, it commanded an extensive \ iew all about it, and could be well defended. As be dre w uearer, the s cout saw that it had the ap1 pearance of havrng been Jong deserted. Yet the trail he had followed led within a quarter of a mile of it. But who had built it? Where were those who had erected it t!1ere iu the wilderness ? These were the qnestions Buffalo Bill asked himself, yet co\1ld not ausner them. "My idea is," he said, at last, to himself, "that it was built as a strougliold by men who camped down in the valley, bnt retreated here in time of need." Dismounting, he hid his horse iu a cedar thicket, and, rifle in hand, slowly ascended the hill. As he reached the rock stronghold there seemed desolation and :lesertion alone to rest there. He stepped close np to the door, which had been built of hewn logs, and was hung upon hi11gcs made from ,... horseshoes. He looked in cantiously,. and saw that there wns a ceiling of logs, some seyen fe e t high, and a ladder up to a loft.


I THE BU ff /\LO BILL STORIES. "Yes; hors es could be kept below in time of Clanger, and th e mcn could fight from t he roof. "I can t understa11d about it, though, for I 11eve r knew of a white man coming up into this country so long ago ''I \\'ill take a l ook above.'' With this, Buffalo Bill walked toward the rude ladder a nd began the ascent. But s udd eu l y he was struck a violent blow that threw him dow n 011 his back upon the hard dirt floor, and ri g !Jt on top of hi m came the form s of three m e n. Stunned by the blow and fall, it was several seconds before h e co ul d recover himse lf, and by that time his revoher a n d knife had been taken from him, while his rifle had been knocked from his hand in hi s fall. But B u ffalo Bill was n o t a man to submit tamely to capture, and, by an exertion of bis wonderful strength, be rose with th e three me11 clinging to him. One of them be hurled from him, another was dealt a blow that put him out of the fight, and th e third was tluow u against the wall with a force that stuuned him. 1'heu it l oo k e d as thoug h the scout was master of the situation, in spite of being disarmed. His first thought was to regain bis weapons, but as he stooped a rifle barrel w'as thrust through the trap aud covered him : "Hand s up, Buffalo Bill or I pull the trigger!" It 1 5 doubtful whether tlte scout would have obeyed this threatening command, for he saw at a glance that tli e man was not visible, and >;\'Ould fire at random; but as he medita t e d a spring toward the door the man he bad hurled from him l e aped upon him like a panther. The n th e others rushed upon hinr, whiie the one in 1 e l of t dropped down, revolv e r in hand. ''You are a d ead man if you resist furthe r, Buff alo B ill, cried the latter, and hi s revolver \Va s thrust into the scout's face. Seeing that there was now no chance for him, Bnffalo Bill submitted in his indifferent sort of way to the force of circumstances. 1 All right, pards; what is your game?" Though shak en up by the b10w o n the head and fall from the lad de r, the scout w as in fair condition, had not the odds of pistols b ee n against him, and h e glanced from one to tbe other of his captors with a cool searchi n g glance. He saw that his blow in the face of the one had told l .. seyere y, the one thrown against the wall was badly bruised, and the third m a n ap peared m ore than satisfied with what he had felt of the scoul's grip. The on e who had dropped lrtst from the loft was all right, and appeared to b e the leader. And, mo re, the scout recoguizec1 the fad that IJe was )O in the hands of a s dangerous a lot of men as i t had H t his n1isfoftune to 111eet in many a l o n g day. '' Casting, howeve r, another glance at the man who r peared to be the l eader, Buffalo Bill at once saw" the r e was a marked diff e r e nc e between him and the otr men. av T he re was something refin ed about his face thalld not at a ll fit in with the desperat e charact e r he appem to be. '' Bnffalo Bill had ca use to r e member this in a s tri!o. ma11ner later on. CHAPTER VI. ,, ,, THE GOLD THIEVES. nd Buffalo Bill was securel y b onnd with lari a t s, tw:as the m e n keeping h im covered a s though dreading strnggl e. He saw in the four men the r eal types of the borb e m e n an d felt sure that they w e r e go ld bunte rs. 'rhe le ade r was a we ll-formed handsome mau, 'I' blond hair and beard, and was well-dres s ed. "I think I know you," said the scout, addressing l eade r.. Indeed?" ''Yes; we have met before:" '' V/ben and w her!'! ?'' ''Yon are a man I knew in Denver as Don Milner,, you are doing here what yo u were there.'' 01 "What is that?" "You are a gold thief." "Ah!" ''You have led m e n into Government lands h nnt for gold, and k eep the In

THE Bllff f\lO BALL STORIES. '1 ow that my pard h ere, I ro u Ike, was following ha1f a : ad e behind me. "No, I didn't know that. I should have been more vho refol." aw I Iron Ike saw you, though, and he at once set out for 1e ir camp by a short trail that took off miles that you aveled followiug me, and h e headed me off on foot and ld rne, so I rode on around to our camp, and then we pe m e here to bag you. ''Had you uot come here we would have shot you ril om the roof." ( "Tliat m ea n s tha t all of your band are here." "We are enough." "You did uot build this ruck cabin?" I "Oh, n o. '' Jt was built by a band of gold boomer s years ag-o, nd one o nl y escaped and h e told me about it when he tw as dying fron1 a b ullet wouud he got in a fight in P0theyenne, and I \\as kind to him. ''The others, he said, were killed in their fort and or heir bones I had decently buried." I ''He t o ld you, too, there \ms gold here?" "Ob, yes, or I would not 11a,e come. ''He int,rnded to get up a party and r eturn here, but eath checke d him, and we came." "How l o n g ha\"e you been here?" "Nearly a ycnr." ':J>,fost ha,e been s u ccessful." Yes, 1>e 1iave done well, a nd a re all ready to start or the settleme!lts with our find." "Iudians have 11ot troub l ed you?" "When do you start?'' "Iron Ike and I were returning from gathering up t s01ne gold pockets we had hiddeu away, when we saw I\' you, and we arc to s tart at dawn .to-morrow, so you came I just iu time." 1 ''In time to fi11d you breaking the laws in cornfug h ere s gold thieves." r "Yes; and that is not all," said Iron Ike. "What e lse?'' "You have com e to find yom: gr: : \\e here." "Tha t means tlwt yciu inteud to kill me?" "You are cool about it, certai11ly ., "I take things as the y COllle. "Yes you've got to

THE BUFFALO Bil!L STORIES. j us t a s much at stake as 'you have-ye s, more, for it was rny se c ret that you h e re, and I get oue-third of l he cl ust, as you all agr e e d. 'Now, this is no ordinary man that yon would kill, but one rliat is doing bis duty as an army officer. ''You all know who Buff a lo Bill is; tha t he has won a grea t name, and h a s risked his life a thousand times for o tli e rs. "He !Jas saved hundre ds of lives, has s tood between the India ns and the settlers, bas put down lavYlessness, a n d is the king of bordermen. ''I ask you, therefore, to accept his pledged word that he will not betray us if we will spare his life, and not h a ve it upon our consciences that you cruelly killed a m a n who was at your mercy, and that man, Buffalo Bill. "You will f e el better for it after and enjoy the more the gold yon have risked so much to get. "Now, pards, prove yomselves men and do as I a s k you-for this man will never beg for bis life; he is not built that way. The words of the leader were a strong appeal for the life of the scout, and they were earnestly uttered. But there was no relenting in the stern faces of the gold thieves. They were gold mad; they had made their fortune, and it should not be taken from them. They would take no chances Though adrnittinl the truth of their leader's argument in favor of Buffalo Bill ; though sorry, indeed, that he happened to be the man who had fallen into their power, they would not allow him to go free and thus have the chance to betray them. "No, cap'n, he may mean to keep his word now, when his life's at but when we Jet him go, then he'll forget it, and make for the fort to betray ns, and we can't travel fast, you know, as we only has two horses left," said Nick Morgan. "Then he wants his horse, too, and his outfit, cap," added Black Jack Dunn. "Yes, he's got to die," put in Iron Ike, savagely. The leader seemed deeply pained, aud looked at Buffalo Bill, who still showed an iron nerve. ''I am awfully sorry, Buffalo Bill, and I Dean it. "Why, pards, I'll give up half of my find if you spare him," said Don Milne r. ''Indeed, I thank you, sir, and appreciate your kindness, but if you gave up, all these men would not yield, for it's blood they want now." "That's. it, and your life we are going to have," said Iron Ike. ''Allow me to suggest a compromise,' said Buffalo Bill, with a smile. "What is it?" eagerly asked tl1e leader. "These men fear that I will betray them, they say, aud that is why they wish my life. ''As I do not care to go out of life at the will of several d esperadoes, I suggest that you put it out of my power to do you harm-that is, take my horse and leave me afoot, and b y the time I can get to a fort you can have reached safety." ''Good! I accept the compromise,'' cried the leader, Don Milner. CHAPTER VIII. A CRUEL ALTERNATIVE. Buffalo Bill's plan for saving his life was not well received by Iron Ike and the othe rs. They did not seem to trnst the scout, if even left on foot. "I say 110," said one. "I am w ith you." ''He's like a gun-dangerous, if loaded." "Your men wish my life, I see," Buffalo Bill re marked calmly to the leader. The face of Don Milner became a study. It grew stern all(l determined, and the scout saw that he was making up his mind to some act, aud his men saw it, too Handsome as a picture, he had that in his face that denoted nerve aud strong will. He had come to the :11ines to rnake a fortune, had gone agaiust him in g o ld -digging. Going alone into the mouutains, he had strnck it rich, as he supposed, but after piling up a fortune ht! went to the camp for help to get his metal to market. It was 11ot gold. It had the l ook of it, but was worth nothing. Then he had beguu to practice medicine, and it had paid him poorly, as he coll ected but little of the money he earned. Next had come the secret of the fatal expedition and the rock fort, told by the sole survivor when he was dying. Dou Mil11er, 1Vith companions, had then started for the gold country. It would be hard for him to be ruined now by a kiud act-releasiug Buffalo Bill. Still, he would do so, and he bad so made up his mind. ''Pards, yoll appear to wish the life of Bllffalo Billnot to escape with our gold, he said, quietly. ''\Ve intend to make sure we get \Yhat w e've earned, cap'u,'' said Iron Ike. ''I have offered you half of my gold, and the scout has said we could take his horse, leaving him nfoot, and now I tell you right here tbat the compromise he offers goes.


THE BU ff A.LO Ball STORIES. 9 "Does that mean that you go against us, Don Milner?" "Yes, Ike, for yon shall uot kill Buffalo Bill without cause, when it is in your power to escape witbout liis doing you harm." "I think we'll take issne with you, cap'n; for, having got the gold, I take no chances." "Ike is right." "Yes, I say the same." The face of Don Milner did not change as he said: ''It \Nas my secret that got yon the gold, and I brought you here. "I put up the money for all of )'ou, your horses and outfit and I have m o r e to los e than any of you. "For over two years I have struggled hard in this country, and I can see r es t a11d luxury ahea d of me now; when I return to rny home; but I tell you right here, and I am in deadly earnest, that I will kill the man who attempts to take the life of Buffalo Bill. ''Yes, leave him on foot, if you will, 1.iere in this wilderness, a lon e, and far from help, aud with his horse we can make good time and escape before he can put the soldiers on our trail; but, again I tell you, if rny life is the forfeit, the man who attempts to kill him dies by my bullet." There was no mistaking the '\\lords of the man. r meant just 'IVhat he said, aud was ready to sacr i fice his i1fe in defe11se of the scout. The me11 knew him a11cl sa'\V that he quietly stepped before the scont, to shield him. They looked at each other, tben at their bold l eader, then at the scout. ''Say, pards, if some of us dies, there remains yet the more gold. ''Shall we take the chauces to see who goes and stays?" asked Iron Ike. The other two men did not answer, but Buffalo Bill remarked, dryly: ''It is my idea that it will be the man iu your camp that gets the boodle, for your captain has got the draw on you, and ca11 drop two of yo11, anyhow, before h e goes unde r -perhaps three-and itwonlcl not stlrprise me, with 111y u s ual good luck, to escape free aud fall heir t o the gold myse lf. The men look ed a t him in amazement, a11d Don Mil ner said, adliliri11gly. "You are certainly a cool one, Buffalo Bill." 'l'lie others thought so, too but, as Iro11 Ike '\\as not back ed up iu hi s iutention to let the one who remai11ed aliv e get tlic gold, he wavered alld said: "\Vell, cap'n, I'm not the ntnll to wish to turn against yo11, and I'll o ffer a compromise." "Name it." '' .\11d I mean it, aml say take I3u.ffalo Bill's horse, outfit, weapons, aud all, and give hilll his life, while '\\e go Oll.'' "And leav e him t o die of :-tarrntio11, without covering at night, or a '\\eapon to defend hirnself with-no!" in dignantly said Don Milner. ''f accept tli e terms!'' said Buffalo Bill. CHAPTER IX. A SECRET FRIEKD. ''Do you mean that yon are williug to be left here in this wild country alone, miarmed, without food?" "Yes, Captain Niiluer." ''Why, it will serve the purpose qiese men desire your de at !1." ''No; for I c a n go days without food, and can reach the fort in three or four days." "But at night?" ''I can build a fire to keep warm.'' "But yon are not to have a match,'' said Irou Ike. "All right; I won t build a fire." "But you will have nothi11g to prot ect you from wild beasts.'' "I'll risk them." "Say, cap'n, we've given him his d1anet-he accept s -so what's the use Of your chipping in auy more?" said Iron Ike. With a bound, Don Milner confronted the man, and liis eyes were ablaze as he said: "You .utter another word, aud I will kill you if it's the last act of my life. "Buffalo Bill bas accepted the compromise, a one for yotl to offer; but I tell him right here-if l:e refus es I will stand by him." Iron Ike was cowed He felt he had goue too far. A quick glance at his two pards told hirn that the act of their captain had also subdued them, so he simpiy held up his hands in token of surreuder. He was really afraid to risk reply with those burning ey es before hi111. ''Buffalo Bill, I would sec you better treated, bnt rather thall ha, e a deadly scene h ere, I yield to the compromise which yo11 a ccept. ''We are all ready to start, or soo n will be, so h e r e you are to remain nutil we pack up and get off, but you an: t o r eu1ai11 bonucl 11J1tii the la.-t rno111eut." "I accept the. situation as it is." ''Jack, go after the scout's hor se, and bri1;g !IiE1 h ere, and you. Nick, go to the ca111p :rnd tell Jones \, e starL within half an hour npo11 the trail. "Ike, yon go over tht rnngc to the saclc11P our t-,...-n 11orscs allll \.;rinz ltcc, anci, \ritli Dllffalo Bill's hu1se, we can travel aloug well, r-


10 THE BUFFALO BILL carrying otir gold ::::Jtl outG ; and k1Yi11g one anin1al to ride by turns and r est u s .'' Iron Ike looked a s though h e iuleudecl to r e s ent the 1rder, but the two companio11s had already started off to 1bey, and he sulleuly w ent bis wa y "Well, sir, I owe you my lif e, a11d that I am on e to appreciate a favor I beli e ve y ou know,'' said Buff a lo Bill, when the l eader remaine d alon e with him. ''I hav e don e 110 more tha11 humanity d e manded, and let me tell you right now, that I happe n to have a little food in m y po c k e t a nd s h a ll place it for you in the o l d fort h e r e, along with one of m y r e volver s a few rouu ds o f ammunition, au d a k11ife.". ''Yo u are cer ta i n l y a fri e11d. ''vVheu I leav e th e ca mp, I will, if I can do s o with out b e in g see11-for I do uot wi s h ,trodble-Jeave you a bl anke t so you will have t b cov e r you b y I ni ght." I will not forget y ou Ca ptain .M l ner,'1 said the scout, ean1 es tl y 'l'he gold thie f the n did as he s ai d';'Ii 1j1 $ome br e ad and boiled \ eni so n hi d d e n away, with a revolver and a h e avy cla spknife, c alling to Buffal o Bill to see where he put them. By this time the man had returne d with Buffalo Bill's h o r se and s o 911 nft et up came Ike, with the two : anima ls b elonging to the g old hunters, aud the o1rly ones left of the dozen they had brought with them. "Say, Buffalo Bill, we want your coat an

THE BU ff ALO BILL STORiES. Descending from the roof of the rock fort, he went to where the.captain liad hidden the things for him. There was a piece of hoecake, a broi l ed venisou steak, som e ma'tches, a revolver, several rounds of ammunition, and a jackknife. 'fhen h e muse d aloud: ''I am not so badly off after all, for there is food enough to last a day, and I can reach camp early to morro w morning. I am luc k y to have the scouts there, and get another outfit for the trail. ''It will be a delay of a couple of

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