Buffalo Bill's death deal; or, The queen of Gold Canyon

Buffalo Bill's death deal; or, The queen of Gold Canyon

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Buffalo Bill's death deal; or, The queen of Gold Canyon
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.
Resource Identifier:
020846346 ( ALEPH )
436937477 ( OCLC )
B14-00017 ( USFLDC DOI )
b14.17 ( USFLDC Handle )

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issued By Subs c ription $2.so per year. Entered as Second Clas. Matter at New York Post Office by STREET & SMITH, 238 William St., N. Y. No. 17. Price, Five Cents. 0 QUf e111 OF GOLC> 'CAUGilT AT LAST!" CRIED BILL AS IlE T HIMSELF AND HORSE CAUGHT IY THE LASSO COILS, AND VAINLY LOOKED Al!Ooi FOR HIS UNSEEN FOES.


a 0 q ; Jss:ted TVet'kly. B y Sub_scripti:m $2.50 per yea.-. !Mtered as Second Class Matte r at tire N Y. Post Office, by STREET & :'38 William St., N. Y. E;;frred accordi11,rr to Act of Con.gress i n the year rr;o1, in tlu: Ojjice cif t/le L i brarian of Congress, Washington, D. C. No. !7. NEW YORK, September 7, 1901 Price F i-ve Cents. Bill's Death Dea.I; (I r '{ \ I OR, By the auth or o f "BUFF AL O BILL." CHAPTER I. TAKING TIIE CHANCES. "I will take the ri s k if it costs me my life!" The words fell from the lips of William F. Cody, and at a ti111e w!Jeu he was mnkiug frontier history as a ''Prince of the Plains," aud sending t!Je name of Bllffalo Bill from the Atlantic to th e Pacific wherever heroism I Friglitened to frenz): by a d::isb of redskins upo n them miles away, they had stampeded from the base of a mountain range, across a vast pla i n, toward the foothills far beyond. In their path was the woman. was admi red in our Americau hom es She was well mounted, though her horse went with clro opiug head as though tired, until oYer a rif.:e came the tbuucleriug h erd directl y down upon them. : :; 3 d q @ "' 0 Q rn 0 > cd .... :i:l Q) ..d .... >-;2 Q) > cd .Q :-' .-< ;:l 0 The cause of Buffal o Bill's utter::rnce of the words that once again would make him take his life in his hands t o do a noble a ct, wa s iu beholding deadly danger to one who had suddenly clash e d into view. That other wns a womnu. A woman al one in that wil

' t. THE BUFF ALO BBLL STORRESe A fearful death awaited her if her s t raini11g horse should fa l 1. She would be trampled 011t of all h uman shape. She wa s nearing the foothills well ahead o f the thundering drove, and she might make them and find shelter. Then she would have the Indians to fly from, as they : would quickly turn from the brute to the human prey a lmo st within grasp. There were a scor e of the m well armed, and the picked hunters of their tribe. The woman was certaiuly a prize. Had they seen her ahead of the herd and the dust as she rode? She had see n them; she kue w her double dauge r. The herd o f maddened brutes would be no more merci less to her than the red skins, she well kne w. Her horse wa s a fine on e and rich ly equipped. She was beautiful i n face, young _am.l active, a. strange creature to be seen iu that wild l a ud. She carried a rifle swung at her back, aud revolvers were in h e r holsters, as we ll as a saddle roll and haversack, as though she was fitted for a prairie tramp of a day or more. Her face was a striking one, darkly bronzed, with strangely fascinating eyes, and certainly there was a mystery in her being there. She w a s la shing her tired horse fier cely She w e ll knew that her situation was desperate in the extreme. This Buffalo Bill also knew. He had ridden out upon a spur' of the foothills. He had seen the mad flight of the headlong herd of buffaloes. Then he had seen the pursuing Indians. They were gaining upon their brnte game. Then, with a cry of horror, the scout had seen the woman flying for her life. The frenzied bea!lts were gaiuing upon their human game. The mounted Indians were gaining upon both. Then Buffalo Bill determined to act. He took in all the chances at a glance. He took in the desperati@n of tpe woman's position as w e ll. What he did he did quickly. Settled well in hi s saddle, h e sent his horse ou t from the foothills at terrific speed. Buffalo Bill had taken all risk to save a life or to 1 ose his own. It was th e 11ature of the man to do so. Would he be successful? CHAPTER II. UNKNOWN. As Buffalo Biil shot out from the foothills, the woman saw him. Despair gave place to hope. She saw th e mecning of the brave m an's act. She reeled in her saddle with faintness. But she quickly regained th e calm courage that had sustained her in her wi'ld ride. 'l'he great scout calculated we ll the distance. ''I can make it.," he said, quickly. "If her horse fails her, 111 ine will do the work," he added. But h e soo n saw tha t her h orse wa; fa!liug her. She could h ardly drive the animal on. He stumbled again and again. Suddenly h e made a bad stumble, recovered himself, and then weut clown. But the was prepared for it. She caught on her feet just as Buffalo Bill shouted: "Run toward me for your life!" 'She did so. The scout's splendid horse made a sudden swoop to the side, the rider leaned from the saddle, and hi s strong arm grasped her firmly and swung' her up before him. The horse had not halted. He was off like a deer well ahead of the lierd of t buffaloes. Away he flew, gaining in spite of his double load. The spur of the foothills was reached. Into a canyon darted the scout. d cl 1'he woman was dtopped to the ground, a m l without a th word to her, the scout wheeled, riOe in hand and rode out on the ope n to meet his foes. The herd swept by like a black, heaving, surging sea bi to disappear into the valley b eyond. Behind came the redskins hot in their track. They bad not seen the woman or the scout. a sal


.f, to d of out a THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 3 That was evident, for the dust had hidden them. But this Bnffalo Bill did not know. The redskins were within range of the spu r and that matchless repeating rifle ros e to the sho ulder Once, twice, thrice it sent forth i t s death -dealing shots. T w o braves and a pony went down. Then arose the clear notes of a bu g l e in wild alarm calling for aid. Its call echoed among the foothills. The w oman had given that call, for she wore a silver cornet swung to her waist. Buffalo Bill was startled, bnt realizin g from whence came th e n otes, he. called out: "Well done! "The bugle call has set them going!" But the couduct of the India11s when those deadly sh ots had come among them bad shown their surprise. It had shown that it was their first kuowl edge of the presence of the scout. They bad wheeled quickly to dart away in flight. They now saw the h orse a nd rider. They knew well that majestic rider, and s uppo se d be must have sol diers nea r. The bugle notes of the woman bad added to their b e lief, and they fled in wild dismay along the base of the foothills. said in a voice that trembled, and which was straogely soft and winning: "I owe you my life, and to me that means a great deal. You are Buffalo Bill the great army scout." "Yes, but how do you know who I am, miss, as I am sure that we never met before? In fact I am bewildered at seeing you alone in this land." She made no reply, and as she did net appear to intend doing so, the scout said: "Your hands ome outfit is a little the worse for wear but I have all on this pony, which will serve to take you to your home." "Yes, be will serve me well." I will see you s afe to your home." "No, it cannot be. ''I am accustomed to go alone, and I know the way! But you appear to desire to ignore my gratitude to yo u. ''Do not spea k of it, please; but why can I not do as my duty demands and take you to your friends?" "Because duty demands that I refuse. ''H e re our pa tbs divide, though I hope some day we may meet again. The herd of buffaloes was forgotten. "I can give yo u no explanation, Mr. Cody, only say Life was the game they then sought to win. that we go separate ways. But there is one favo r I wish 'he scout made a move to give chase, waving his bat to ask of you." as though Gilling to others to come on. The herd had swept on out of sight. Soon the red skins also disappeared. Then Buffalo Bill rode down upon the plain and took the bad l y damaged saddle, bridle and trappings from the dead hor se. His next act was to catch an Indian p ony, whose dead rider stilJ held him by the rein. Upon the animal he fitt ed t h e trappings taken from the horse that had fallen under the woman. "Certainly, in any wa y that I can se rve you, com mand me," and Buffalo Bill spoke c o ldly for he did not wish to be treated by the woman as on e she could not trust with the knowleclge uf who she was and what sh e was doing there. ''The favor I ask is that you wil l wear this charm a s a g oodlu ck s ouveni r of our ha\'ing met; wea r it whcH' it can be seen. r od e Then he rode back to the spur. ''See, I pin it here, sir, for it may sa,i e you r life. "More I cannot, will not say-good-by She hastily pi1rnerl upon hi s breast a golden badge, le aped into her saddle aud said: s e a There stood the woman, her rifle in hand, aw aiting him. Buffalo Bill was more than amazed at beholding such a 'rornau there, and be raised his sombrero in courteo u s salute. She stepped fonrard and extended her liaud while she ''You will not follow me, I knew-you nn1st not."' With a waye of her ha:1d1 she was gone, lc :ff:n; ; ]ip scout standing like one who had recein::d a sever e :::oo:: sii-:: d i sarpc a r ed sig h t.


N1,, 4 THE BUFF ALO B"LL STORIESo CHAPTER III. IN THE TRAILS. Night was coming on, for the sun was touching the top of the range behind the scout, and soon the prairie wo!lld be cast in gloom. "Well, if that doesn't beat the Dutch? ''Who is she and what does all this mystery mean? ''Where is she from, where is she going?" said Buffalo Bill. ''Ab! I bad forgotten what she was pleased t o ca ll a charm," and the scout glauced down at the pin which she had fastened upon his left breast. He was fairly startled as he saw it, for he had not especially n oticed it before, and a closer inspection showed him its valne. It was a human hand, made of rubies, with a setting of gold, holding in the palm a miniature skull of pearls. Tiny gold chains suspended this s trange device from the pin, which was an owl of diamonds, with large, brilliant eyes of opals. Looking at this UD!que, weird and most valuable gift, Buffalo Bill said: "No, no ; I cannot accept this remarkable trinket, charm or whatever she may call it. "It is some costl y thing she must value )1ighly, aud gave it to me to show her appreciation of what I did for her, to reward me for her life. ''Come, old horse, I will have to force you to another run, for she shall take this charm back again. Ah, she has disappeared." He scanne d the prairie closely, but could not see l-.:r. He took the field glass that hung at his belt and ran his eyes over the green plain, but nowhere were horse and rider visible; they had disappeared as completely as though swallowed up by the earth. ''There is some break in the plain which she knew and has taken, to throw me off her track. "I can do n othing to-night, so will go to the little stream over on the range and camp, and to-morrow see what I can discover. ''Come, old pard, you will be glad of a good night' s rest, I know," and, patting his horse affectionately, Buffalo Bill mounted and rode back toward the range, now and then casting a glance behind him, hoping that he might catCh a glimpse of the mysterious woman agai n ''She's Mexican, no doubt of that, for she spoke with a slight accent, and she's as pretty as a basket of kittens. The scant rode at a canter back toward the range. He was to get into camp before it grew wholly dark. he recalled a spo t he bad seen on a little stream, where h e could be most comfortnble, with plenty of grass, wood and water at hand. Buffalo Bill was not forg e tful that he was in a perilous country, for the Apaches were to the north, the Co man c hes south, and the ranc11es that la y to the eas tward a u d along the trail of wagon trains, stage travel and the cattle-herdiug lands, caused a l awless element to infest the mountains, from which they would at times pounce upo n the traveler, the ranch, s ta ge coach, or attack an emigraut party. Fort Taos was the c heck to this lawlessness, as mu c h as was pr?.cticable, and a menace to the hostile llldiaus, as well; but, for all that, the outlaws would strike severe blows from time to time, and the redskins would go upou the warpath to kill and destroy. It was mainly to put down this lawlessness of Mexican desperadoes, to ferret out their hiding-places and bring them to punishment that Buffalo Bill had been ord ere d to Fort Taos a few weeks before the opening of this story. Colonel Hadaway, an old commander in the North west, where Buffalo Bill bad served as his chief of sca nts, had quickly made a demand for him in the new field he had been ordered to when he disco\"ered that the outlaws could not be driven out. ''I want every outlaw in this region killed, captured or hanged, Cody," was his significant announcement. "'l'he task is a big one, the danger i s terrible, the work hard, but you can do it, and that is why I sent for you it was for this death deal. ''The re is a large gang of them, under a leader known as El Cobra, the Snake They call him Captaiu Cobra the band takes his name, being known as El Cobras I "Every scout is at your command, and if you need th c whole garris o n, in your work, call on me and they ar ready." y Snch had been Colouel Hadaway's words to Buffa


s e F1 l s 1en of of ew he red or ou f nt. own bra ras \fHE BUFFALO BILL STOR!ES. 5 Bill upon his reaching Fort Taos, and the scout bad at-"Yes, and I'm Buffalo Bill yet." once begun his work. "We haug you verra hi g h up." With this explanation of Buffalo Bill's presence dowu "If I am to be ha ng ed I don't mind how high yo : in New Mexico, I will follow him on his ride back to hoist me, but who are yo n that appoiut yourselves m. the range to go into camp for the night. He approached the slope just as it was twilight, and allowed his horse to walk. He turned and glanced back over the prairie, but now all was darkness there. Cootinuiug on his way, be bad ridden about half a mile when suddenly, on each side of him, and over him, he heard a sound he knew but too well. It was the whirring of Jassoes in their flight. Quickly he sought to wheel his horse, but was too late, for several coils se ttled over his head and as many more over his horse ''Caught at last!" cried Buffalo Bill, as he felt him self iu the toils of the lassoes. With arms piuio11ed to his s ide s his horse securely caught also in the toils, Buffalo B ill was utterly helpless. The camp be had sought wa s just ahead of him and with no dread of da1Jger he was soon expecting to enjoy judge aud my executioners?" and Buffalo Bill was watching eYery chance for an escape. Could he on l y get one (')f his ren>h-ers in each hand it would surprise t)10se fellows to see how be could shoot. ''We Mexican-hate Grin goes-we EI Cobras!" "Oh! I've heard of you-a pretty bad lot-and from all reports I guess it's all up with me." "Yes, come now, quick, and he hanged." ''Don't hurry yonrselves, for I'm not at all impa tient, aud the scout was working hard to get bis bands upon the hilts of his guns. nut the baud had their lariats adjusted now; the horse was in lead and two of the men quickly unbuckltt. the scout's belt and disarmed him, taking his rifle from where it hung on his sadd l e horn also. But Buffalo Bill still had another revolver, worn in a pocket of his fatigue jacket, so he did not yet despair. Some of the men had gone on directly to the camp a good rnpper and a night's rest, after the thrilling ground where the scout had to camp out, and a adveuture of the afternoou. He was passing through a group of bowldcrs, shaded by trees when he was caught; it was the very spot for lurking foes to bide in. His hor se had reared, to break away, but, like his master, he at once r ecog nized his helplessness aud remained quiet. Buffalo Bill now saw about him a crowd of men, whose number he quickly counted. There were nine. They were of small statme, as h e could see in the half darkness; they were, apparently, i11 Mexican costume, and wore large sombreros with stiff brims and peaked tops. Buffalo Bill did not intend to give the fact away, SfJ asked in English: ''\\'ell, boys, uow you've got me, wbat are you going to do with me?" '' IIa11g you .!" \ms the quick retort of one who ap peared to be the lead e r and he spoke with a decided acfire burst into blaze. 'l'oward this fire the scout's horse was led, amd reach in g there, he wa s ordered to dismount. The three Iassoes coiled about bis body rendered resi stance vain, and he only could obey. The fire1ight revealed the horses of the men, staked out near, and toward them his animal was led. Watching like a hawk every movement of the El Cobras, Buffalo Bill only wanted the slightest chance to make a break for freedom. The light revealed to him that there was no mistaking who his captors were. They were Mexicans, and as hard-looking a lot as he had ever seen. Their dress was a striking and grewsome one, for it represented the skin of a snake, while about their som breros was coiled a stuffed viper skin. th cent. They \;ere armed with revolver and long knife, a short carbine hanging at their belts, and they bad a long l ance in imitation of Mexican cavalry, while, in addi-ar "That is bad for me, and I do not see that it will do tion, each carried a lariat. you much good. How have I wronged you'" ''Xo\\', come, we hang you," said tbe leader. ffal "You h::if' been Boofala Beel." '"\\'hat for?" as ked the scout, still trying to gain


6 THE BUFF ALO STORIES. tim e and having already determined upon his course of acti o n. It was better to die by bullet tha n by rope, he thought, and his intention was to whip a revolv e r from the belt of the leader and with that and his own weapon, to dash right upon them and shoot to kill The men talked in a low and rapid tone among themselves, and from what he bad before caught of what they bad said be was sure they me ant to carry out their threat and bang him. Afte r an earnest talk with the others, the leader again turned to Bu "falo Bill and said: "We hang you like a dog." He had placed bis hand to uncoil the lariat about the scout's when, suddenly, bis eyes fell upon the good-luck charm on his prisoner's breast as the firelight flashed full upon it. Instantly he u t tered a cry, called his comrades, and all stood gazing full at the strange trinket with amazement in their faces. CHAPTER IV. TRR CHARM. It did not take Buffalo Bill long to discover that the eyes of the outlaws were riveted upon the pin he wore. "They'll swear I stole it, I suppose, and kill me to get it. "But they won't all enjoy it, for now is my time to act," he muttered. They would, be felt sure, uncoil the lassoes abcmt him to bind his bands behind him, and also to tie bis feet, preparatory to hanging him, not supposing that he w ould resist so many of them. Confident of this, the scout was preparing to act the moment the last lasso was uncoiled from about bis body. But the work had suddenly stopped when the leader' bad espied the pin. They glared at it and at the sc0ut, and spoke a few words rapidly among themselves, which their prisoner could not catch. Then the leader spoke sternly and asked: "Where did you get that?" ''It was give n to me by a lady I saved from the stam peding herd of bu ffa.loes." "Who was the lady?" "I do not know; but I think s h e was a Mexican, from one of the ranches. Sbe did not give me her name, though I asked ber." ''Why did s h e not fly from the btoffaloes ?'' ''They cam e over a rise a n cl she had to ru:1 before them until her horse fell. "I saw her danger, rod e to her aid, brought her here, and then, pinning this on m y breast, she left me. Tha t is a ll I can tell you .. "Why did she place it there?" "I suppose to reward me; but I d ; d u o t notice its value until af t er ha d goue." "What did she call it?" ''A charm, and said it would protect me, but of course I t ook no stoc k in that." "Cao you guide us to where her dead hor se lies?" ''Yes, but what i s the use?" ''Can you direct two of my men while you remain here?" ''Of course I can." "Tell them." Buffalo Bill gave the d es ired direction, but suggested, as it was a dark night, it w ould b e best to send four men so they could stretch out in a longer l i ne. He had a motive in this, as if they did not rebind him he knew be could w ork his arms loo se, and then his guards would have a picnic. But the leader comproPllised upon three men and took the precaution to more securely bind the prisoner before he divided his forces. As Buffalo Bill was not yet ahle to resist, he had to submit. Then the outlaws s et about cooking supper, and thi scout was glad to see that it was going to be a good one for be was hungry. The three men had gone off at a gallop, and there wa. nothing for him to do but await their return. An hour later they were back again; the leader wa called to one side, and after a few minutes co nve rs a tion be approached Buffalo Bill, and said, with consid erable respect in bis voice and bearing: c Ji d ''Senor, you are right; you did sav e a senorita fro1 13 d eath, for my men report the horse there and seve n dead Indians about it. All mu s t be as you say, and y e t i are free.''


d is r to ne THE BU ff i\.LO STORIES. 7 Du:ialo Bill it hard to believe \Yhat he heard, a:ld, 1\ith -a s11cldc11 ii:;pulse, he said: ' r e I g l! ess i t i s t I! e ch arm that sn" es 111 e. "\"1.:., seuor, the charm sa\cs you." ''\\'ho is t!i e lady tha t ga,e it to me?" "I do 11ot know, senor." '' \Vhy do yott re spect it tlici1 ?" "Iviy race are superstitions, senor, and when one n:cars a charm we respect it; we da c not hnrm him; aud for that reason I sent lo see if the dead horse was there, to know that all you said was true. "I lirffe fotrnd it to be so; therefore, you arc free to go your way, senor, bt1t beware that yott strike not at the life of auy of the band of El Cobras, or the charm wi 11 l os e its power." '' 1 'll cha11ce it,'' muttered Buffalo Dill to hirnself, and he also nrnsed: ''That fellow was lying to ine, for he does know who gn,e m e the pin, and dares uot touch it or harm me. After talking with his men, the leader asked Buffalo Bill to share their supper, and added lhat they \VOuld thcu leave hirn to enjoy his camp alone, as they were goi11g ou a ni zht trail. Buffalo Bill knew that they had arraJ1ged to camp there all night after lrnngiug him, but he made no com ment upon their change of plans, accepted the invitation to supper, and afterward saw them mount and ride away, each one: giving him a respectful salute, and the leader saying: ''Good-by, s e u o r, but remember, let El Cobras alone if you wish to live." ''I' JI remember," replied the scout, and h e added, as they disappeared in the darkness: ''Now the charm has beeu put to the test aocl wou. Wha' t does it mea11? 'rl10se f ellows know, and it is for me to find out, as I surely will.'' Buffalo Bill was watchftil in spite of havi11g bee11 set fre e by the outlaws. One of them might do \\hat the whole band haa refuse d to do; s o he placed his horse close in unde r the shadow of the trees, a1JCI, Jinviug bad his sllpper, built up the fire aild theu arrange d his sad dle, overcoat and trappings to look like <1 man's form lying do\Vn. Taking another blanket, he went some distance from the fire and lay c10wn to sleep. If any one came be knew that he would a"'._aken, for his long training on the frontier in deadly danger had cultiyatecl in him an instinct a1most equal to that of a dog to d isco\'er a foe He soon snnk to. Jeep, and several hours thus passed, w11cn h e n a:; aro ised by a snort from his horse. The a11irnal nas as good as a \\atchdog, he weII knew, and in an instant was \Viele awake and on the alert. H e realized tha t some danger threatened or he would never have been warned by his horse. All was dark about him, but he had piled so much \mod upon the fire that it was burning fairly well, and cast a 1 ight around for forty or fifty feet. Under the s h<:dow of a pine near the fire, lay what he had made t o represent his s leeping form, and he could see it clistin c tl y. The w.1s in tl.e shadow of the trees, but the scout could hear him walking around his stake rope uneasily. Some one was about, that was certain; but Buffalo Bill was on his g uard, and that meant half the battle. Suddenl y out of the darkness burs t a red flame; a sharp r e p ort followed, and Buffplo Bill heard the dull t1 .. 1d as the bullet struck the make-believe man l ying near the fire It had struck iu such a way that it must have knocked the bridle in a heap, as there was a movement of the blanket after the bullet had hit. The horse puilcd hard at his st::ike rope and neighed wildly, but Bufialo Bill did not move from his position. He was bidiu g his time. Then came another flash and report, this time nearer than from where the first shot had been fired, and there was the same dull thud as before. The assass in intended to make sure of his there should be no struggle with Buffalo Bill. A silence followed the second shot, broken only by the frantic efforts of the horse to break a\Vay. The form by the fire naturally lay as still as death, but the scout remained in .his hiding-place equal,ly as still. Suddenly a man clashed out of the $hadow of the woods right i11to the glar e of the firelight. He ran across the circle of light, his knife in one hand, re\olver in the other, and with a savage Mexican execration,. threw himself clown upon the supposed form of the scout, bis knife giving a vicious blow as he did so. Thea the scout spoke:


"Here I am, Greaser! Up witl: your hands!" Tbere was a yell of .ter ror, as ihe Mexican sprnng to h is f ee t, and tho utih no t seeing the t::out, h e pull ed trigger at rando m in the dircc l i c n fro::1 \\'h c1cc had come the voice, \d1ilc a t t lie same ti?J1c b e bc:::;L}t.:d for the nearest co 1 er. the scou t's r e v olle : and m;ce n:: l y. It 1vas en oug h The m a n fe ll h ca \il y rolled over, and l a : : c;:o:i11i11g aud muttering :Mexica n praye r s Tlle scout knew that lie h::!d 1rnm11lecl him, but did n o t know how se 1erely He must match cuuniug witu cu1111ing, so he flanked around and appro ac:1ed hi:;i from bc!Jiud his revolver in hand. A word to his h orse, a j oy ou s neigh, as the a11iu1nl saw him, aud th e intelligent creature w a s 1;0 l ouger restive. "Senor, a padre for the l ove of the yirgi n !"cried the man as he licard the voice o f the scout. ''Now you've got me, for I could get anythin g e l se quicker than a pries t for you," s aid Buffalo Bill, not unkindly. ''You have killed me," groaned the man. 'That is what I shot to do, and I am only sorry it was not sudden death, for it is bad enough to have to take human life without having to see you die." ''Senor, I cannot die without a priest.'' "I don't see what I can do to help y ou Let me see your wound, and if it is not as severe as you think, I will bear you to an old hunter's cabin, and ri.cle to the Mission, fifty miles from here, for a priest." ''It will do no good; I am going fast,'' groaned the man. "Why did you seek to kill me?" "Tdi me-why d 1 d yo11

s THE BU ff ALO BILL STORiES. 9 serape, was piac::d; the grn ve wa s filled in hard, the dam remo\ e

(J 10 THE BU ff A L O B ILL STOREES. "How does she know you then?" ''Every body knows me.'' Buffalo Bill smiled He bad gotten back to the same answ e r a ga in. But be tried again. "You have s ee n the lady?" ''Several tim e s. Seen h e r riding iu the moun t ain s.'' "Alone?" ''Sometimes ' ''W ho w as with h e r w h e n s he was not a l o n e?'' ''Othe r peop le.'' ' D id yo u eve r s ee this b efore ? ' and the scout po inted t o the charm. ''No. "It was g i ve n to m e b y tha t lad y iu blu e for saving her lif e Do yo u ever g o to the for t?" "No." ''Does no one know y on the re ? ' E v e r yod y kn ows P anthe r Pete.'' The scout blt his l ips to b i d e a smile, and m uttered to bitns e l f: ' And P anthe r Pete i s a s l y old coyote." But alou d h e said: ' Do y o u k now an y body at the fort?" "Have see n them-that' s all." ' W e ll pa rd I e x pect to be scouting around this coudry now and then, and may see you oft e n, so we mu s t b e g ood friends." Yes." I ca m pe d on the range last night, and a baud of out l aws captured me, but let me go when they s aw this b adge I w ear. The old hunte r made no reply and Buffalo Bill said: ''Do you know those outlaws? El Cobras, as they call them se l ve s "Ye s ; bad men ''Do you know their haunts?'' "No." ' Did )'IJU ever see their chief?'' "Yes; se en him go by when he did m0t see me!' ' Describe li!im." ''Small mau, dresses fine, and in Mexican lancer s uniform." 'That w a s not the man I killed,'' muttered Buffalo Bill. ''Doubtless ene o f hi.s officers and he asked the hunter: "We l l pard, i s i t n o t ab out b r e:ikfos t l i : :!c ? ''Gues s so, come iu B11ffalo B ill c01icltided thi s t o be about a s c o .rdi a l an m vita t iou a s h e co uld g e t so h e disrno1111te d, t o o k tl w bridl e off his h o rs e aml t u rn e d it lo os e t o fee d whil e b e sai d : ' I ha Ye coffee, baco u crackers and s o me other tliings with me, if yo u w i s h a u y ?" "Got p l e 11ty." T h i s l1:1nt ller Pet e p r oved by s etti11g a good b r eakfas t b e for e t h e s c o u t who had t o u s e his ,O\\'n plate, c up k11if e a nd for k for the hunter ha d on l y h is o w n I' he ca bi n was a comforta bl e on e; ther e was o n e b ed i n i t, o ne ch air, t able a n d a nu r 11be r o f o ld books; al so a vi o l i n co rnet a ud a n y nt1nibe r o f rifl es, r evolvers a nd t raps for ca t ching fur a ni ma l s B u ffalo B ill s tu die d the mau' clo se l y, qu es ti o ned h im a s ski llfu ll y a s a law ye r but aft e r a c oupl e of h ours le f t him w it hout h aving m a d e au y di sc overy r egarding him more thau th a t h e lived alone s old pelt s and' ev e r y b o d y kn ew P anther P ete. u 'Eve rybod y knows more than I do, n muttered tb'e scout a s he rode away from the cabin. CHAPTER VI. STORM. Buffal o Bill had told the hunter he was going to Fort Taos tha t h e had l e ft a pack horse over in the hills, and w o uld pick it up on the way. H e had waite d about ten minutes, when he saw the old fell o w came out of the c a nyon, following his trail. K eeping on it for a q u ar t e r of a mile, he came to wh e re there w er e three tra il s one turning southward, the othe r k eeping straight 011, the third branchin g away to the northwest to ward Fort 1raos. It was this one the scout h a d take n Appareutly s atisfied tha t Buff a lo Bill had t o ld hii;n the truth, Pauthe r P e t e r etrace d hi s way a n d di sappeare d in his canyon. 'l'hen the scout wen t afte r hi s ho rse mo 'uute d and r o d e on to the t o p of the range an d, w h e n the r e glance d out o ve r the prai rie. With his glas s from that height he could see a bre a k in the prairie beyond, where b e had parted with the t l:


THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 11 wornau th e n i ght befor e This b r ea k h e discovered, enough posted. They told me that the outlaws were rall a long tmvard the north for nearly a mile. Tha t explaine d the m ys teri o u s di sappearance of the la dy in blu e She hacl turne d into the divide and fol low e d it n p c11t i l bidde n b y the a p proach of ni ght. ' S he k n e w it was there, aud thus threw m e off W e ll, I ll know w ho she i s y et." Thus d ec id i n g h e rod e o n t oward bis camp of the 11ight b efore, turne d into the bed o f the stre am there, at the s pot wh e r e b e had burie d the outlaw, and of which burial th e re was n o t a trace v i s ibl e. Ridin g d o wn the stre am a qu arte r of a mile, be found the outl a w' s hors e awaiting, but not patientty. He was still in the stream, tie d b y the lass o upon eithe r side. Unfast eniug him, Buffal o Bill rode on in the water for half a m i l e ; the n h e turned out just where the rocky sho re would not reveal the slightes t trace of a hoof track. This hard soil continued for quite a little distance, when the s cout struc k into a trail running to the northward, wl1ich he follow e d gradually working arouud to the right, so that he could cross the trail of the lady in blue, as he c alled her, where she mus t have come out of the divide. The truth was Bnffalo Bill was d etermined to track the woman to her home, giving as an excuse that he desired to return to her the valuable charm, the intrinsic worth of which he had not noticed until after her departure, and also to tell h e r that it had done good service in saving hjm from the outlaws. He could not rid himself of the belief that the ontlaws knew who the woman was for the dying outlaw officer bad as good as admi t te d it. As for Panther P e te Buffalo Bill looked upon him as a very m yste ri o us personage, cunning, clever, brave and a thoroug!1 plainsman. He had not c ompromi s e d himself by a single reply to all the s cout' s clo se q n cs ti oning, and bad appeare d much too simpl e to plea se h ; s astute questioue r. He might l e innoc eut but Bu ffa l o Bill f elt sure that be knew who the l a dy in b lue wa s and all a bout h er. 1'bat he mi ght k n ow more about the outlaws thau 11@ bad admitte d, the scout thought p ossible, also. Alto g e th e r Pautbe r Pete, to bis mind would bear watching. ''I sta r te d out from the for t without being well known as El Cobras were generally Mexicans, halfb re e ds or fugitive Americans, and bad their haunts som ewhere in these mouutains, while I wa s also to keep an eye upon the Comanches. ''The colonel gave me good ma p s but I was not told that I was liable to meet a beautiful woman, dressed in blue alone in the wildernE:ss run upou a lone hunter and strike a band of outlaws who would s p ar e me be cau se I wore a charm. ''I must return to the fort and get better posted, and then I will see my way clear. But, now to fillC1 the trail of the Jady in blue." Halting at noon, in his wide flank mo,em ent, Buffalo Bill continued on in his search and later came upom a trail leading across the prairie. It w a s of a single horse, coming from toward the head of the divide, and after examining it closely for some time, he said, decidedly: ''I have found it.'' The trail .led from the head of the divide on the prairie, just where the woman in blue had disappeared the night before so mysteriously, and beaded for the range to the northward. It was by this range that Buffalo Bill had circled around the prairie. Buffalo Bill had marked well the tracks of the horse, and was convinced that there was no mistake, and at once s e t out upon the trail. But he had not gone very far before he felt a change in the air. It was early spring, and he leoked for bad weather, for the winter was not yet fully broken. He was teo good a plainswan to neglect the warning, when he felt the atmosphere drep in less than an honr some ten degrees. N igbt was at baud, and he at once felt that bis w i s es t course ottld be to se e k shelter. He rode o n rapidly watchiug right and left, a s he went, and was glaq to see, at last, a sheltered no o k among hills. And the horses were glad, too, for their instiuct t o l d the m what to exp!' "ct. The re was a little canyon, in the head of which wa s a copiou s s p ring, while the grass grew luxuriantly on each sid e o f the tiny stream flowing from it. This canyou was thick with an underwood of pines, a


12. THE BUFF J\LO BILL STORlr::S. regular thicket at its head, while heavy ti1ube r was just IJclow. Tl1e scout w0rked with lightniug rapidity now, for he well understood that there was no time to lose. The horses were nm iu to the most den s e part of the thicke t and there tied s ecurely, the saddles and traps b eing dragged under the shelter of a bank right \.)y them, aud which would act as a wind-break. The n the scout's hatchet was wielded with a will, and in a few minutes he had a lot of pine boughs cut with which he made a wickiup that would him com pletely from the bitter-cold bla "sts. wood was gathered further down the canyon, several protected that it did not blow away as the scout had h feared it would. b Feeling that it had set in for a night of storm, with 11 look at his horses showjng that they were comv fortable, he returned to his blanke ts, chilled through by 11 only a few minutes of exposure. But he felt the heat of the fire and soon got comii fortable again, and was sinkiug iuto sleep, with no drt!ad of danger from other than the storm on such a night, whe u suddenly he was startled by beholding the shad1 owy form of a horse and rider. Was h e as l eep and dreaming? i A loud neigh convinced him to the contrary, s o be n great armfuls being carried, while logs were dragge d up sprang from his blankets, drew on his boots and over-with a lariat and his horse, and a large fire was kindled. coat, and was quickly at the side of the horseman. B The horses were blanketed, boughs were cut to make a more shelter for them; his own bed was spread iu the cozy retreat, and supper was put 011. The darkness now had become intense, though the sun had not yet set. It' s a norther, and will be a terrible one, too, or I am greatly mistaken. I might have perished if I had not found this snug retreat," muttered Buffalo Bill, and he ate his sUpfler hastily 1 to be all preparecl for the storm when it should strike. Then he looked again to the horses, tied their blankets cbser, arranged some boughs as a wind-breaker, threw aiaother heavy log 011 the fire, and crept into bis shelter. Hardly had be lighted his pipe and made himself comfortab. le, when there was a roar, tlue pines bowed to the piercing blast, the darkness was intense, and the cold became terrible to endure, the two horses at once lying down to keep wai:m in the pine straw, while they seemed glad of the heat of the fire blown over them. Crashes down the canyon told how the heavy timber was being twisted and shattered by the fierce hurricane, and Buffalo Bill well knew that but for the sheltered nook be bad fotu1.cl, his :fire would have been scattere d, his wiokiup tern down, and the intense cold would have made both his horses and himself suffer greatly. After the mad rush ofthe first fierce blow of the hurri cane, the sleet began to drive along with lightning speed, and again the scout congratulated himself as he lay snugly in his retireat. The fire roared under the pressure, but it was so well He discovered that the man could not speak, be was so nearly frozen, and, pulling him quickly from his sad) die, he drew off his heavy outer coat and boots, and thrust him into his warm blankets which he had )ust ) v acated. Then he took from his saddle pouch a flask of brandy, and pouring a geuerous drink into his tin cup, he forced it between the lips of the stranger, who seemed nearer dead than alive. CHAPTER VII. THit SCOUT'S VISITOR. Buffa l o Bill stripped the horse of his saddle and bridle, led him to the spot where the other two were, and quickly sheltere d him uuder the saddle blanket and another he had to spare, cuttiug pine boughs and piling the m arouud and over him, for the intelligent animal h a d quickly l a id down as the othe r s bad, aud s e e med to r feel tha t all wa s bciug done for his c omfort. '!'hen Buff a lo Bill, s uff ering hims elf from the inte n s e cold, returned and threw another log on the fire, aud, : sitting down by the side of the strauger, felt his hands and feet. 'rhey were already growing warmer, and another drink : of brandy was given the man, who this time seemed to be more conscious of his position. Heating the Mexicau 's s erape Buffalo Bill folded it ; close around him, and the n drew out of the coals a large stone which he had thrown the re. This h e wrappe d in the serape and pushed it under


THE BUfFf\LO BILL STORIES. 1 ..'..) the blanke ts to the feet of the stranger, whe n, feeling th a t he mu s t protect hims elf also, he dre w off his boots and al s o got into 'the s11ug b e d, f eeling that his own warmth would help to restore tllat of the halffrozen man For an hour the scout lay thus, and had gotten warm himself and was glad to feel that his patient was also thawillg out. "How do you feel now, pard?" he velltured, for the man had not spokeu. "I am warm, now, ,but numb. It was a close call, buf saved m y life. I would have died i11 a few minute s more. My horse's iustinc t l e d him here." So the man r eplied in broke11 sentences, and Buffalo Bill said: "You are all right now, but give this flask allother pull and the n go to sleep. "Thank y ou," and the man took a swallow of the brandy and s a id: "I nev e r s aw such a storm-never felt such cold. 11 "It is a terror; bnt go to slee p now, and I'll have a cup of coffee for you in the morning, so you will be 11 right." ''Is my p oor hors e fro zen'" h e a sked, feeliugly. ''No, indeed! H e i s lying over there with mine, lanketed and covere d with pine boughs. 11 "You have a noble nature to thi11k of him iu such a storm-a very 11bble n ature. Now I will go to. sleep, as ou command. 11 In a few rni11ute s more the strange r was sleeping eacefully, a11d Buffalo Bill soon followed his example. Thus the ni g lit pa s s e d, with snow, driving sleet and rain as the fier ce winds change d their humor; but ecure in the ir r etre at, both meu a11d horse s slept undisturbed until the da wn came, Whe11, as suddenly as it had come on the t errible northe r ble w ov e r, and 1 all was peace aga i n in the great trees. Buffalo Bill quietly, thre w more wood upon the fire, then unblanke t e d the hor ses, who had 11ot moved, 1 e

14 l'HE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. fast is ready, or will be by the time you have made your toilet," and Buffalo Bill banded the stranger a towel, soap and comb. He quickly walked to the stream and soon returned, feeling muck refreshed. ''It was kind of you to care for me so well and allow me to sleep until the last moment, while you also took care of my horse, I see." "My horse is my pard, sir, and I could never neglect 1 dumb brute. The other animal you see is one I found with saddle aud b .ridle on, and as he bas no ow'1er, I appropriated him.'' "Yes, finding is keeping out here," replied Tom -ravis, whom Buffalo ill had seen particularly regarding the outlaw's horse, and hence had spoken, for be did not know but that the man be bad killed might have stolen him from the settlement, and bis guest have recognized him. Complimenting the sc0ut upon his very good break fast, Travis, who seemed to regard him with increased interest, said: ''May I ask if that costly trinket is a badge given for services you have rendered?'' ''I may say yes, and no, to that, for I got it for a service rendered, and not, as you doubtless surmise, from the army." Travis looked at the fire with added interest and replied: ''I supposed it was au army decoration for gallant services.'' "No, sir, it is not, and I got it only yesterday. I saw from a range some thirty miles from here, a lady iu dan ger, .for she was horsebac k out on the prairie, and in the path of a maddened herd of buffaloes. I went to her re sc ue and was fortunate enough to save her. ''Her uame, or who she was, I do no t know, but wlien sl1e parted with me she pinned this beautiful and costly triuket on my breast, calling it a charm. Dutil she 1eft me I did not realize its value, and the n I decided to fol low her, but she had disappeared. I went into camp ou the range, was lassoe d by a band of nine outlaws, who were g oing to hang me, but saw this charm and set me fre e. ''1'0-day I intended tracking the fair stranger to her home a11d return the badge, but the storm h as destroyed the trail of her. horse and I must give it up. But I'll describe her, and perhaps you, sir, can tell me who the lady is." With rapt attention the stranger had li s t ened to the story, and when Buff a lo Bill had described thP. fair donor of the gift to him, he sa id, thoughtfully: ''I cannot conceive who she can be. Such a woman as you describe does not certainly belong over in the settle ments, for I kuow all there are at the ranches. "The woman is as much a mystery to me, Mr. Cody, as to you, and now that the storm has washed out the trail, I fear you will never find her.'' "Perhaps not, sir, but when I do I will return this costly gift." ''Aud lose your charm?" "I am not superstitious enough to believe in its virtues.'' "And yet confess that it saved you from the El Cobras.'' Buffalo Bill made no reply, for there came to him the thought of bis having also escaped death at his lone camp. "It is a beautiful thing, and I advise you to keep it. Yes, do not give your charm away, my friend. It may be the harbinger of more good than you dream." 1 1 ''Just now I cannot do as I proposed because I am unable to find the lady who gave it to me; but this charm certainly must be worth a great deal of money, 11 and to keep it seems to me as though I was accepting a reward for my services." p ''I do not so regard it, and would say accept it; yes, test its virtues again, and see if it is not a veritable ai talisman-a real charm. But do you go toward the se t tlement, Cody?" ''No, to Fort Taos, now.'' "Then our trails divide, for which I am sorry. must proceed to the settlement. sec "Travis is my name, as I told you. Don't forget it an for I hope to see you at my home, some day, as I woul( 1 1 . f i11 1 'e to prove my appreciation o your service to me." , I 1 d twas no more t mu any one woul have done, sir.' Buffalo Bill l ed up the three horses, the rancher J ]dl l . 1 d . 1 the sac 111g 11s own a111ma an mouutrng 111 a way t ia ;on showed the thorough horseman. 'Tl h rOJ 1en t e two men, so stra11gely met, shook hand ow warmly and parted, 011e riding toward the prairie, th llll I other in the directi on of the stockade fort.


THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. I m ay be wrong, but it seems as though I had seen sprang into vi ew from behiud a rock, and ran toward that m a u before," muse d the sco ut, as he rode on his the fall e n soldier. way. Buffalo Bi ll r ecognized their. intention in an instant; y n is a CHA.PTER YJII. Buffalo Bill asccJ1ded a rang e of hills and halted his hors e upon tlie summit. ''The r e is no hurry, and I wonlcl be late in the ui ght getting in, so I will camp Oll the river to-night. But what's that? There comes a horseman," and he turne d it soldier, and he is riding very rapidly; a conrie r, doubtless, beariug i111portant di spatches." So sayi11g, Buff aln BiTl threw himself upon the grass, allowing his h o r:.:l .:n11Cler a11cl feed at 'Nill, and thus awaited the comi11g oi tile bor$e111an. The trail would briug him "Within fifty feet of him, and the scout was auxious to know if anything bad go11e wrong at the fort. The mann e r in which the soldier rode i11dicated that be was upon an important mission, and at the speed be was forcing his horse, Buffalo Bill knew tbat the animal must be well use d up, as it was thirty miles to the fort! ''I will give him the ontlaw's horse, for he is compara ti vely fresh," said he. Still watchiug the rider, he sa\.v him reach the hill s, and there draw his tired horse to a walk. 1le He turned iu his saddle and kept constantly looking beh ind him, as tho11gh he was enjoying the scenery as he mounted higher aud higher. "One would think be was pursued," muttered the I scout, and just then the soldier halted, turne d his horse and l ooked back over his way for several minntes. it Then he dismounted and, holding the rein o f his bridle l lld in hand begau to walk up the bill, evidently to spare his tired horse. r." He had got within several htmdrecl yards of where era the scout lay upon the ground, shielded by the ridge and ha f some prnes rom view, when suddenly there burst forth fr om behind a rock a puff of white smoke, a report folmd low ed, and the soldier fell in his tracks, sbot from an th am bus li. \ 1.r'J.I 1 '" t yell followed, and two Indians it was to scalp their Yictim. One of the Indians wore the full war bounet of a Colllancb e chic., and the other was a warrior. The chief held a rifle in his band as ran, the warrior carried a lance a11d bow and arrows In au iustant Buffalo Bill had called his horse to his side, was i11 l iis saddle and clashing down the slope. He>

16 THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. as ii a .saw the warrior go down under his fire, he dropped back as though he, too, was fatally hurt. Another moment and Buffalo Bill reached the spot. ''Well, pard, retribution came quick on those fellows, hut let me see how badly you are hurt," and Buffalo Bill knelt by the side of the soldier, who said, iu. a low tone: ''And retribution followed quickly to me-it was a double retribution. I am dying, Buffalo Bill, for I recog nize you as the new scout from the Northwest." ''I hope you are not badly wounded, pard. Let me see." 'Yes, but it will do no good, for the rifle bullet did the: work, the arrow wounds are nothing." Buffalo Bill drew the arrows from the wounds, one in the shoulder, the other in the hip, and then opening the uniform jacket and shirt, looked at the bullet wound. It was in the chest, and Buffalo Bill's experienced : glance told him that the bullet had entered the lung and tbe result would be fatal. "I told you so-it will kill me. Tell me the truth," said the soldier, not waiting for the scout to speak. ''You are a soldier and a brave man, so I will tell you the truth. 'l'he wound is fatal." ''I knew it, but I am not a brave man, for I am a coward and a deserter. Last night I killed a fellow soldier, the orderly sergeant of my troop, and I thought I bad covered my tracks up well, but I feared I was sus pected, and I fled soon after. ''I suppose I am pursued, but what matters it now, for I will be beyond punishment. I will tell you why I killed him. It was for the accursed love of _gold. I entered the army only to kill him. He did not know me, but I knew him, and he stood between me and a fortune. ''With him out of the way it would be left to me, and so I devoted my life to removing liim frnm my path. I entered the army uader an assumed name, joined bis troop and plotted for one aim. I accomplished it, and retribution has come quickly. But tl Bill m ounted bis horse aud w ent out on his search. ::t He knew that the Indians were not on foot, for with 'I out his horse a Comanche is next to worthless. 1d They had evidently seen the soldier coming a longv way off, hidden their horses, aud had. gone into ambush near the trail. 'l'aking in the nature of the surroundings, Buffalca -Bill picked out about where he tho11gbt the ponies haG'O been left aud rode there. R


THE BUFF A.LO BILL STORIES. CHAPTER IX. AN OPEN GRAVE. Buff alo Bill found the two ponies of the Indians bitch ed among the pines. They were good animals, but looked to have been hard riddeu, t heir riders haviug beeu sep:uated, doubtless from a prowling band of warriors, a nd were making for th eir retreat when they discovered the so l dier. Takiug th e horses in lead, he returned to the spo t where he liad l eft the sold ier. Env eloped in his blanket, h e placed him upon hi s sad dle a11d strapped him there securely. The Indians were then tied upon the backs of their onies, and, mounting, with four animals now in lead, uffalo Bill set off for the river, where he intended to camp for the night. He r eached there before sunset, and went inlo camp n tbe river bank, ata spo t where the timber was scat tering, but the grass good. Just where he halted he was surprised to see an op e n rnve. It was well dug. deep .and empty! It bad been recently too, for the earth was fresh nd the place was well chosen for the last resting-place f some poor unfortt111ate who had 11ot ye t been laid to t est there. a It was on a slight rise jus t on the river bank, and ommaudiug a view for a long distance around, while it . as severa l hundred yards off t11e trail, and where it e rossed the stream, which was fordable at far it part. l o The open grave, grim as it looked, did not drive lufialo Bill to seek a camp elsewhere, for he determined d. p halt just th ere ee Unsaddling his horses, he staked tbem out, gathered ome 'l\ood for a fire, placed the body o f the dead soldier JoO one side, tbe Indians near it, am! while tb e fire was ;etttiug headway, he spread his blankets for th e night. .h-Theu he cooked and ate his supper, smoked his pipe, nd quietly poudered over that open grave, the firelight ugevealing it distinctly. 1sh But h e coul<.l not accoun t for its presence there, and 10ccupied, so gave it up, and turned in, c.leterrnined to al ake au early start in the morning, but first to give the Jad\'O Indi ans the beuefit of the gra\'e lie had found. Rising early, he had his breakfast, and was preparing to carry out his plan of burying the Indians, and not carrying them further, when his horse gave a low neigh, which the scout well knew was one of alarm. Instantly he was on the alert, and in the dim light of early morning he beheld a band of Indians coming down the river bank. There were a dozen of them, at least, and of course they had seen his fire and were coming to investigate. He was about to mount quickly, for his horse was sad dled, l eave the dead redskins, and with the body of the soldier, push for the ford, when to his surprise, be beheld a second body of Indians coming up the river bank t owar d him. He still thought of dashing out on the plain, trusting in t he speed of his horse, and being compelled to lea ve the soldier's body and the animals, when a third party of mounted warriors were visible, heading him off in that direction. A grim smi l e crossed his face, as be prepared to stand at bay, and he muttered: "1'he grave comes in handy." Then he took in the situation for and against him. There were three bands of warriors, and he was cut off from escape. To take to the river would be to go down with the current and be killed by the redskins ou the bank. But suddenly a thought flashed through his mind. ''You can go.'' And he spoke to his horse. In au instaut he had written on a slip of paper with a peucil these words: ''Am corralled near ford-about forty Comanches. "B. B." Tyiug this with a buckskin string abou t the neck of his horse, he led the animal to the bank, forced him iu and said: "Go to th e fort, sir!" The intelligent animal seemed to know just what was expected of him, and ran rapidly down-strea m toward the ford, while the scout played the ruse of trying to catch him not to let the redskins suspect that he was a dum b courier with au appe al for aid. 1'hen Buffalo Bill began action for defense. The Indians had all halted beyond rifle range. The n nm ber of hors es seen made them .cautious, fear ing many riders.


THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. But Buffalo Bill 1ost no time in preparing for deadly work, and the place of rduge he sought was the empty grave. Down into the grave leaped Buffalo Bill, having led the two Indian ponies, the outlaw's horse, and the one ridden by the soldier close up around it, saddled and bridled as they were. 1.'he three dead bodies first placed upon the two sides a11d one eud of the grave, and a log on the end toward the river. 1'his brought the i>cout's head just over the breastwork of earth and dead humanity. He saw the Indians were yelling at his horse, trying to turn him back, and two braves rode hard for the ford t9 try and head him off. It was an anxious moment for Buffalo Bill, and he gave a shout of delight as he saw his noble horse ahead of the braves. They had thrown their lassoes, but missed, and, wlieeling to the right, he had dashed up the bank and was off like a shot for the fort, the redskins little dreaming of the message h e bore. The two braves crossed the river, hoping he would halt there, and they would catch him. But Buffalo Bill knew their hopes were vain, and paid no more attention to them. In fact, he had to l oo k out for himself just then. The Indians had approached near enough to see that there were two horses and two pouies in the little clu111p of timber about the grave. If that meant four riders, they were not able to set: the m. They had seen but one. 1'hen they gave vent to a series of wild yell s, and grew very excited. Buffalo Bill knew jus t what this meant, for he nrnt tered: ''They have recognized the two ponies." Shouting to each other, each band began to strin g out now, and tliiey advanced until the semi-circle was complete, each end resting upon the river. Then they began to slowly advance toward the scollt. He knew what it rneant-that they intended to charge in upon him. So he said: "I am sorry, poor fellows, but it's self-preservation, you must die to make mt: more secure.'' h He spraug out of the grave as he spoke, and in au iu u stant his knife had sunk deep into the neck of the sol -dier's horse. The animal fell dead in his tracks, and with an effor t p of bis great strength Buffa l o Bill had dragged r.lougside of the grave. The outlaw's horse came next a 1 and tl1e11 one of the Iudinu ponies, the other breakiug away before he could be sacrificed. b The Indians \Vere advancing slowly, but were not yet within range o f the scout's splendid repeating rifle. of They h alted at the dashing away of the Indian pony, at and did not seem to at first realize just what was hapm pening. 'I'hen it butst upon them, and, with wild y e lls, they came fonrnrd. They sec111ed to know now that they had but one man to deal with, two at least, and not seeing the graYe, the. supposed the horses were the only breastwork for bin to fight behiucl. TII Buffaio Bill had glanced along the line, aud quick!} m picked out the braves who carried firearms. 'l'l I I b h 0 1 iey were not more t iau e1g 1t or ten m num er, < ia was glad to see. But all were ar111ed with lauces, bows and arrows. ''This empty grave is the very spot to fight fron1,'h1 ol said Buffalo Bill, as he had arranged the bodies of mer or and horses to his liking, cast a glance far across th he p lain to where hi s noble steed had disappeared, and th t wo Indians were returning from their useless errand .ia and then brought his rifle ready for use. ::o Defore him, upon the edge of the grave, laid the deai soldier's rifle, also a repeater, and his belt of arms, alon;u ( n with his own ready for quick 11se. '] 'I'hc ammunition was there also, and standing up in tl: ::>c gra\e, Buffalo Bill felt that he could a despera: I fight of it. ill ''If I go u1H.ler there will be wailing iu the Comand11 camp," lie said, sternly, and, co1Jcludi11g that it w1 C time to give the redskins a sample of \>'hat they had' d a expect if they crowded him, he drew a bead upou the r J chief, as his war bonnet showed him to btt. 1 e He was about the center of the semi-circle, and th1 ct the furthest, off of all. an But, with the report of the rifle, he went backwa 11.. ( off of his spotted pony. H Then folloscd rapidly, shot after shot, first aim


THE BU Ff ALO BIL'L STORIES. 19 here, theu there, and with as deliberate aim as possible under the circumstances. Braves rolled out of their saddles, killed or wounded, ponies went dmv11, and, as the empty rifle of the scout t was thrown aside and the soldier's weapon seized :md 1 began to rattle, the redskins began to recoil when almost upon their prey. t The recoil meant ql1ick retreat, and they sought sa fet y by getting out of range as quickly as possible. Stem-faced, with lips set, eyes burning with the fire of battle, Buffalo Bill stood at bay in the open grave, au arrow in his shoulder, a secoud one in his arni, aud two >-more ha\'ing pierced his broad soml.Jrero. y CHAPTER X. THE PURSUIT. 11 With the Taos Mountain to the north, th e Sacramento Mountains to the south, the Rio Grande Riyer 1 on the one hand, and the 'Rio Pecos 011 the other, sur ounded by fertile plains, and in a country where men h ad the gold fever, others were cattle and rauch owuers, be Indians were generally in au ugly humor toward the whites, and there were outlaws haunting the trails to rob the coaches and wagon trains, raiding the ranches et or booty and cattle. Thus the soldiers of Fort Taos had h ,heir hands full. :h The garrison was a strong one, but there were so counter interests to giiard, that offic e rs, mell alltl outs were kept busy, and hence the band of outlaws =a .uown as El Cobras had steadily iucreased their l!umber mind were adding daily to their list of lawles s deecls. The fort proper was large, aud was a combination of th1 ock, adobe and stockade. ra Its quarters were of the best, and as the su111:11it of the 1ill was a natural park, it was a picturesque and delight i chul spot to dwell in. wa Colonel Nelson Kane was tlie commandant, and he d ad been sent there as the right lll;ll in the right place, be::>r be was a born soldier and knew just how to deal with 1ie Indians aud lawless element he would co111e in conth ct with, while he spoke Spanish well, aud could uuder :aud the Mexican people who were scattered about wa1 J\. country. He liad some five hundred soldiers uuder bis comime maud, an eight-gun light fie ld battery, a battalion of in' fantry, and al!other of cavalry. But, with this force be had not been able to more than keep the Comanches in check, and the ontlaws h ad struck a number of severe blows upon the gold camps, the wagon trains antl settlements. To crush them, he felt that he must find their retreats, and run down their daring and skillful leader, and as hi s best scou t s bad faiied to locat e the strongholds of the outlaws, he had sent a request to the commandant of a Northwestern post for the loan of his chief of scouts, a man who had served under him iu several campaigns, a11d whose worth he well knew. That man was Buffalo Bill, and he had promptly vol unteered for the work when Colonel Kane's brother officer had told him of the request, and the duty he would have to go upou at Fort Taos. Of course Buffalo Bill knew that he would be going upon what to him was new territory, and among a strange people. All bad been told to him of what he was expected to do, and it at once became noised around that Buffalo Bill had been appointed a special scout at the fort, and was to serve as the chief of that most valuable baud of men in buckskin, the right arm of the army. After a day spent at the fort, where he found some friends among the officers and men, Buffalo Bill bad gone out alone on a scout, as he said, ''to get the lay of the land.'' He had been gone a couple of days when one nig]Jt all at the fort were s h ocked by l earning t!Jat a sergeant of one of the troo ps had b ee n killed. The query went around as to who had done the dastardly de ed for the sergeant could utter no word to explaiu the matter. 1'hen it was that a thorough investigation was made to find the murdere r. I One member of the troop the orderly sergeant belonged to wa s reported 011 the sick list. So he was not called upou. But the next morning the acting orderly sergeant of the troop reported that the horse of this same soldier, Otis, by name, was missing. "Go to the hospital and ask Otis about his horse," ordered the captain. The sergeant obeyed, to discover that though Private


20 THE BUFFA.LO BILL STORIES. Otis bad reported sick at the hospital, he had not remai ned there. Further investigation proved that Pri vate Otis had passed out of the fort the night Orderly Sergeant Eckford was shot, showing a pass signed by his captain to visit the scout's camp, and had not returned. 'rhus suspicion at oncll fell upon Private Otis, as the 011e who had fired upon Sergean t Eckford. The moment that Lieutenant Willis, acting captain of the troop to which Sergeant Eckford and Private Otis belonged, discovered that the latter had disa ppea r ed, he felt that he was the one who had fired upon the sergeant. Going to the hospital, he learned just how Private Otis had reported and left there. The officer who ha d passed Otis through the gate had s;id the pass he carried was signed by Lieutenant Willis. The lie11tem111t had given no such pass, hence it was a At ouce he reported his discoveries to Colonel Kane, an

THE BUFF ALQ ... Bl -LL STORI E S 2 1 l t C H A P T E R XI. A'r BAY. a Every trooper was nerved to what was before him, at he might find at the end of his hard ride. Buffa lo Bill was a new man in their midst, but they :l-id all heard of his mauy deeds of daring. 'l'he y wished to show him they were most willing to a ) swe r his appeal for help. n The lieutenant was close on to the heels of the scout's h rse now, as they dashed along, still following the 1 il of the fugitive soldier, which was leading to the d, all were glad to s ee. Lieuten an t Willis had in his miud an i11cideut of two n 1 i f rs before, when he and a small party of soldiers were th rralled by a large baud of Sioux, aud Buffalo Bill had en his life in bis bands to slip out and g o for aid. rul e recalled that be had killed the guard over the Iuponies, had selec ted the best auimal he ceuld in the kness, and then bad made a forty-mile ride to the e w t hi s horse dropping dead before he reached there, or the scout, then on foot, had run the mile interveuou and in half an hour was guiding a coinmaud back h the rescue. 1 ust when hope had been abaudoued, and the brave ) U ciers were ready to die, Buffalo Bill had come in lt. and behind him a long line of troopers on horses ea t were staggering under the strain. r 'He saved us then, and we must save him now," tt ered th e daring lieutenaut, who h ad always been warm frieud of the Kin g of the Border, as Buffalo ?la was known iu the North west. \.t last there came in sight a 1011glin e of heavy timsa1 fr o nto the l imber they dashed, then through the cut to ng ri\'er, and they were forcing their hor s es across to oth e r side, still unseen by the red s k in s. e hfhe last man was now across, aml as the n oise of d n splash in g waters was 110 longer heard, there came t he cars of t h e troopers the yells of a hundred red s, and th e rattle of a score of firearms. hey were starting upon tl1eir last charge. :ena ith se\'eral quick orders from Lieurcnant Willis, Oll rang ou t the "bugle uotes. The meu rushed into 1 their carbine s began to rattle, and a lm ost iu the very moment of victory the redskins had to face the despair of defeat Tlaey were startled by the suddenness of the shock, their wai>riors were falling under t1le carbines of the cavalry, aud with savage cries the were stampeefod. They would have rallied under !helter, but there was no shelter, and wit' h two dozen men sight, and the bugler seated Gtl his 1'10rse at tlte for

22 THE BUFFALO B!LL STORIES. the scout's words, their eyes rested upon the Buffalo Bill once more mounted upon his spleudid h\e that had served him so well. There were i:alf a-dozen of the killed and woun w Indians whose ponies hi::d run off uncaught, aud t4w were quickly roped auun d


THE BU ff ALO BILL STORIES. 23 r rn I l:::n: you, so tha t rnore t11a!I mak es u p for their 'nee." said the licutellant, a s he rode aheatl with J..UiHdrcd yards ahea d. Tb us 111nny miles wer.e gone over, and finally Lieu, t e n an t Willis halted and called the sergeant to him. I gnl'.:SS, after all Buffalo Bill was mistaken, sergeant, aud the redskins were too anxious to get away to make a h alt aud ambus h pursuers. ''Yes sir," said 1he sergea nt, for it was military cour tesy to agree with his commander. ''I will push 011 at a better gait than we have been goiug, for the scouts mus t be well ahead now, and--" "There's Brazos Ben now, sir," and the servant poiuted to the scout, who was coming rapidly toward tht:m. "NG; it i s Cody, and on the flank that Brazos :aen s tarted oo. He has made a complete circuit." ''Yes, sir, aud rides as though he had news.'' "Ho, Cody, how did you get to our left?" called out the lieutenaut, as Buffalo .BiH came up at a s wift gallop. '' Flauked around, sir; but you must halt here, or in good position for a fight, for the Coman c hes are am bushed a little over a mile ahead and h ave b eep rein forced.'' "By Jove! But you were right! I goiug on at a trot, i;ett in g tired of this suail's pace." ''It was well that you did 11ot, si r, for you would not hav e s u spected the ambush until you vere fired on, and there are all of hYo hundred Indiaus there. ''I saw them from their rear, for I rode at a good pace, f elt sure I passed them, and so obliqued to the left'to cross their trail. I did not cross the trail of those we were fp1lowiug, a11d"''that s howed that they had halted; but I did cross the trail of a band eq11al to the other in size, comiu g this way." ''Ah Then \\'e are in for it.'' "Perhaps so, sir, though they mo ve back now they have a large force; but I t -hink they'll stay there, hop ing we will advan ce to; 'uight or to-morrow." ''If reiufor cements came, we n ould. ' ''Bud Driver h as reached the fort sir, by this, so that by midnight your troop should be here, and I hope there will be more, for we could ca tch those reds in a trap worse than th ey have set for us." I h a d better se ud a courier back to hurry reinforce m ents, aud if only my trnop has been sent, to push on to the fort to request of Colo.nel Kaue a reserve, for there may be still more Comanches on the :warpat," ''I t!Jiuk there are, sir."


24 THE BUFF ALO BlllL STORiES .. "Cody, I just how you ride, and you can explain the situation fully to the colonel, so I wish yo u to go." "I will, sir, for your scout, Brazos Ben, knows just what to dQ." Within three minutes, Buffalo Bill mounted upon his matchless horse, was away upon his mission of life and dc:ath. Some hot:rs later the sentinel at the fort rep orted that there was a horseman coming rapidly toward the fort, Blld soou after that it was Buffalo Bill, .The colonel waited in his quarters witlh his adjutant for the scout's arrival. The colonel was puzzled, though he had not hesi tated to send out the troopers in charge of Lieutenant Willis, an officer under thirty, but known as one of the best commanders in th_e army for his years. He was full of dash, and though persoually reckless, was most cautious of lives entrusted to him. F .ull of ambit. ion, he was the first volunteer for every deed of danger, and be bad the name in the Northwest, where be had served fpr year's,. of bein,g a cl eve r Indian But the coming of Buffalo Bill alone to the fort, so after the arrival of Scout Driver, for help, seemed to give an idea of trouble. ''G>f course, Captain Irving, with Cody with the command, I felt that Willis would have a yery able adviser, for I would not to Buffalo Bill iu com mand of several thousand men in the field, .and I have known of campaigns where, had the commanding officers taken his nlodestly given advice, the result "'.ould have been far more successful, and redounded to their credit, instead of their having disaster to shoulder,'' Sf!id Colonel Kane. ''Yes, sir, Cody is a born sohlier and an able com mander, and as Willis has not got the big head, he would not only take his advice but ask it," an swere d Captain Irving. ''True, and I hope having this command did 11ot swell his head, as you put it," returned the col o nel, wit h a sm.ile "I'll vouch that it did not, sir; for Willis, with all his dash and pers,onal reckle ss n ess, is ambiti.ous to win promotion and mistakes do not ga in that desired e nd ''No, Colonel Kane, I am not at all worried; but bark! the men are cheering. Cody a s he tte for, and going t o the windcrn, the t1vo officers sav; Bill comi n g a t the sa111e rapid g::illop up to His horse 1rns in a foa1n, but did not appear brol down, and as he sat upright in the sa d dle, Buff alo J.: car.ried bis so111brero in his hand, ans\\ering tbe che. that gree ted him all alo11g, with the \rnviug of bandl1 chiefs from the l adies a11d shouts of the childr; Scout Driver had reported the desperate fight of man, as he s to od at bay in the open graYe against fea1 odds, aud be had written himself do1rn a hero with at Fort Taos, that kept up the name he had won e where. : Throwing himself from his saddle, Buffalo Bill r vanced headquarter::;, the sentinel, with a 1 glance around, to see if he was observed, giving hin1 salute of ''present arms," an honor the scout quic1 acknowletlged, while the colouel's orderly said: "Walk ri ght in, sir, for I announced your comink: the colonel," 1 "Ah, Cody, glad to see you back. Are you just fiJ the command?" and. the voice of the colouel w as e moved while be grasped the hand of the scou t and loo1 piercingly into his face to read there disaster or ne1Vs. Yes, sir, I left the command in what you may kJr as Ironsides Canyon and I have the honor of bejnge lected b y Willis to bear to you a help." I Having heard the scou t's report anu tbe colonel Ip ing given orders for a troop to get the men rea Colonel Kane said: f l ''Now, Cody, if yon are not too tired, I will b your report of yonr scouting expedition, for, from;t looks o f your l ef t breast, you seem to have struck a 6 and diamond mine." 'rhe colonel ancl likewise CaPJ1 lr\'ing had their eyes fixed upon the badge scout wore. "Yes, sir; I struck both; but pardon me if I de, take this off a nd show it to you as it was pinned, or one who told me I was to wear it as a good luck cua1cl .''A cham1 ?" Aud the colon el l;llld adjutant exam it closely, the former remarking: t i "I s h ould think it would prove to the co11trary, great value would tempt lawl ess men to kill you tter possession of it."


TciE. BUfF ALO Bill STORIES. 25 nffalo B i ll bugl: c d a11d rcpl!ed: 'Yo u s h a ll lie : n h ow I got it s i r wh e u I r eport the ult of m y s c outiug, and tho u g h I do not believe in er s i tio u s h a pp e11i11gs, C o l o nel Kane, it is a rcmarka coin cide n cc tha t I have hrtd m y life spared almost a culous ly, I may s a y, s in c e I have worn thi s charm.'.' 'Your lif e appea r s to be a charme d o ne, anyhow, ' dy from a ll I h aYe b eard of you. But t e ll us about : s cha rm, so w e may judg e if it has virtues or whtther r prov e r b ial g o od lu c k h

26 THE BUFF /\LO Bl LL STOPiESo The tut'ned to a drawer, took out a paper, an cl handed it to Buffalo Bill, Who slowly read it. It was a complete descripti01i of the lady in blue, a11d she was spoken of as the Qneen of Gold Canyon while di\'ided ii1to s e \ ;ehd i.Jnuc!s, with a cm:11 : n m rdrca1 011ekader." e ''Mostly l\Jexicaus, I tnkc it, sir?" \ ''Yes, yjth Americans, too and I [>;ncss the \';on there was a reward of five thoqsand dollars offered for general is pre tty \\1eli represented in its rn:rb... c her captul.e. ''But what has s11e been guilty of, sir?" asked Buffalo Bill. ''She is the fair decoy, the spy, of the El Cobras," replied the colonel, sternly. "I only wish I had known it, sir, I'd have roped her in," was Cody's emphatic rejoinder. ''I only wish you had, and I am at fault for not having posted you thoroughly. "You know it now, howevet, and yet you 1,11ay never her path again. Every one who dos not know her .as she is, .is sure to meet her, but though time aud agaiu men have sought to gain that reward, they. never see her. ''She had captt1red a dozer\ ml1le trains with ore, a11d has held up the coaches time and again, as also army and emig1 ant wago11 trains, wllile ha. $ pounced down upon the settlements and mining comps, at least her men, El Cobras have, ai1d many believe that she is really the leader, f.or few can say they have ever see u t.he outlaw chief known as Captai' n Cobra, a11d it is thotight she does the planni'ug." ''A most clange1:ous I shoultl say, sir," Buff alo Bill responded. f "And one whose career should be brouglit to au end, for she can be very daugerous, '' ''She has been, if all reports are trne . But tvhat kind of a f e llow was H \\'ho ,canle bac k.:: a t night t o kill yon?" Buffalo Bill described the outlaw. "It might have been the chief Captain Cobra." ''He. did not strike me, sir, M the leader, except of tha t baud I saw." ''We!I, lie is out of the way a t least, aud )'ou de serve a great deal of credit, Cody, for yom fight with him, and also for saving the woman from a most ful death.'' ''And now, sir, may t ask wllat was the hlfgest m1111-' 'ber yoti everheard accredited to the band at outlaws?" ''As high as sixty-as low as fitteen; but in my opinion,' two dozen would hit neare. r the trn_tl_1_, and these are ''No one k11ows, sir, 1:herc til e Qnern of Gold C'a' has her fetreat ?'' ''No; but I l rnve hopes that yon can fi11d e "I will try, sir, and 11ow I can r eturn to myJ w e ll posted about those I am to liullt dow11,"t Buffalo Bill. ''I have here some dispatches for Lieuteuant Wle said the 1 also l etters for him and those if command that arrived the night of their first seek his c.arnp and clelin: r them. Willis hae see n th'is lady iu blne, a:; yon call her, so ha,e o with him 11pon the subjec t, and what ad,jce bee you will be good. If you need any of the scouts1 his commaucl, take them with you." i "I pre fer to reconnoiter a t first alone, sir." "You are the best jutlge of that, but command cr all the aid you 11eed." Buffalo Bill left headquarters and we11t to lri11 cabin to prepare for his clepa1:ture. ( Vv'hen he bad collle to the fort from the. had brought with him two splendid horses, one al' so well kn0wn. But thls one h e h od decided to give a rest, aud si.\ away from the fqrt t1pon the other a11irnal. If anything, be was a helter aiii111al than tlie c' left be hind, so mewhat larger, certainly fleete r auc f ectly trained, for t h e scout ueyer kept watch wh was scouting ou this horse, and calllpecl for the ui. dangerous quarte rs. \Veil prepared with blankets, equipage' aif. for of B11ffalo Bill l ef t witj conficle11ce that h e would make so m e di!::coveryt that would enable him to tell the coloneA tlrni1 was yet known nbout the E l Cobras. He had clashed in ah e a cl of the troop to re po help was comiug rapidly, 01icl found tbe comrna f been in a bard :figh t with the Indians, who \;ere i1t forc e aucl defiant. r The cheers of the men at lle l p being near rau I t11e pJa .ins, and soon after the troop arrived, 'i!nd: decided to make a night attack.


THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 27 The nttack was 1:::::dc aud prO'\ed a grand success, for e imlia:1s were scattered i11 flight. \\'l;e11 at;ain i11 camp, Bl1ffalo :Gill :;poke to Lieuteuant illi s ;ibout the Queen of Gold Canyon, and a sked him io:1t h!s !Jayi:ig met lier. 'Oh, :es; I have met her, Bill. '' f h:id gone t o S:rnta Pe by coach, and was returning etty "\Yell stocked with purchases I made there, aud und that I bad as a fellow passenger a \ 'ery beautiful 11g girl. "I told her of my purchases, and showed her a few of e tri:1ket s I Ii:::::! bought; in fact, made a fool of my 1 Jf to a perfect s tranger, for the coach was held up by a tbd of El Cobras, and I showed fight, killing one of 3em in defense of the bea11tifnl girl, when, as they ::0111d have dragged me from the coach and knifed me, e interfered told me my punishment would be the my purcha ses, aud, mounting a horse they led up, she le off at their head, taking with h e r the things I had ught in Santa Fe, a ll snugly stowed away on a pack l)rse tbe outla1rs also had with them. "I tell you Cody, it almost npset my faith in womannd," and the lieutenaut laughed. Cot:lpariug notes, Buffalo Bill was assured that it was f.! same lddy iu blue he had met, and then he got con-1 erable iuformatiou from the lieuteuant about the rob 1rs, their plans of robbery aud supposed haunts. When th e command pulled out of camp the next ruing for the fort, Buffa.lo Bill rode away ou the trail 1ard Ironsides Canyon. CHAPTER XIV. THE DEATH DEAL. uffalo Bill had set out to run dowu the outlaw band, t d by so doing he would discover the Queen of Gold Armed with his maps, and the information giveu him Colonel Kaue, Lieutenant Willis and the scouts, he 1 out ou bis still hunt, folly equipped for the work. i He first made for the stage tr::il and met the coach 1 t as he reached the re. The driver had a story to tell of how he had been J1eld 1 by Captaii 1 Cobra, and then told that he need dread l outlaw band no more as El Cobras were to leave the 1 ils. "He then gave rue this letter for Buffalo Bill," said Driver Casey. The scout read the letter with a strange look upon his face. Then he hastily wrote a few lines to be given to Colo nel Kane, asked the driver a number of questions about the outlaws, and set off on their trail at a r apid pace. Thus nearly a dozen miles were gone over, the canter being kept up, and the scout came to the bed of a large stream. The other side, however, was a cliff, ranging in h eight as far as the eye could reach up and down, from sixty to three h m1dred feet. Had it been au artificial wall built there, it could not have appeared more inaccessible, for a squirrel could not have scaled it. Buffalo Bill was at a loss what to do, for the trail be followed led right into the water: When in a quandary as to which way to go, Buffalo Bill always allowed his horse to decide for him. So he rode back a hundred yards, dropped the reins upon the saddle horn, and said: "Now, pard, take your choice. The horse went straight to the stream, waded in, and turned up the cnrrent. "We go that way, pard," said Buffalo Bill, and, allowing the animal to drink, he rode up the stream, keeping in the shallow water to hide his trail in case he, too, should have a pursuer. A mile was thl1s gone over, and had Buffalo Bill beeu riding along the bank instead of in the stream, be would not have seen what he did. 1'here was a clump of willows growing on a bar that had formed clos e under the cliff. To the keen eye of the scout, the willows seemed to have been disturbed. He rode toward them, and as he got close he was sure that some animal had passed tbrongli them. Was the outlaw retreat there? Buffalo Bill decided to find out before be ventured. So he took from the pack horse a long hickory bow and a bundle of arrows, and, fitting one, he fired it jnt o the willows. 'l'his he repeated until half-a-dozen arrows had been sent into the thicket, but without results. He did not wish to fire his revolver, for the


28 THE BUfff\LO BILL STQRIES. might betray his presence to some one. So he rocle into the willows, revolver in hand. He saw there the tra<::ks of the horses which he bad expected to fi,nd there. The cl'iff was stin as unsealable as before, and the scout was thrown co111pletely off the scent. It was grow ing dark, and there was but one thing for him to of serapes. sever sad

T H E BUFF 1\LO B ILL STORIES. g-ef the horse m a n but be quic k l y d ec id e d u pon hi s plan acti o n. R isi n g fr o m hi s blankets, h e mad e his way over t o bvh e r e the h o r s e w as. u Fortuna t e l y the r e wa s a large tree n ea r in fac t it was t o a limb o f t h i s tree the animal w as tied, and t Buffa l o Bi ll to o k his s tan d behind the trunk. Day soo n d a wned, a n d h e saw tha t the horse was a : t good o n e a nd the sa d d l e and bri d l e were of the M exican t p attern, while a serap e was roll e d up behind the cantel, ancr a rifl e hung t o the horn, aloug with the cante en aud }]Prov i s i on b a g i t B uffal o Bill showed no im pa ti e nce, sim p ly waite d with t he s am e ca l m m anner an India n would have done who too k u o h ee d o f time ; t As the r e c a m e di stinclly to the scout's uos t ri l s the r\me ll of smoke, B uff a l o Bill gl a nced t oward the c l iff and saw tha t s moke was ri s in g ov e r the edge. l g ''Ah! C ooking his brea kfa s t is he? I 'll jo i n h im c t hou g h I h a ve not b ee n invited." y The n the scout wa lk e d ov e r to the tree, op e ned the secre t door, took out t he s h ort l a dder, mounted it and st epped w i thin. The doo r was clo se d b ehind him, and the odor of 0b ro iling ba c o n an d v e nison s t ea k come t o h i m, along with the ap p e t i z in g fum e s of c offe e. : r K n ow ing tha t the man must b e b usy with his cook1 1in g, forty fee t a way, Buffal o Bill d e ci de d t o go in at Y onc e. Thro u g h the dark a rchway h e b eheld h is ma n stand ain g i n the bro a d g l a re of the d ay light streaming in t o the cavern entrance iu the cliff. The breakfas t wa s bountiful for on e man a n d abom ri. r e ad y The m a n h e s aw was a Mexican with a face by no t m ea n s p r epossess in g His belt o f a rm s lay nenr him a nd he h ad thro"' n as i de h is so mbrero al so Just a s he !:turned an d t ook his brea kfast off the fire Buff a l o B ill ont of the arc h e d way to within ten f ee t of him, halting just whe r e the man had laid down his belt of and s o m b r e ro. h "I' ll b r eakfast with y o n p a r d," said Buff a l o Bill, qui e tl y, a nd a rev olver covere d the Mexi ca n as h e sp o ke. D There wa s a y e ll of t error, a bitte r M exi c a n o ath, a nd the man droppe d upon his lrn ecs a s h e b e hel d the tall form of Buff a l o Bill and the w ea pon coverin g him. ''Oh, se n or!" wa s all h e could say ' H a nd s up, there!" U p the y w e nt. T a king u p o ne of the many l ariats lying aro u nd 1 Buff a lo Bill thre w a n oose o ver the man' s h e ad, and t hen quic k l y pa sse d the c o ils several times around his legs .until h e fel t he w a s secure Then be fel t abou t him t o be sure he bad no conc ealed weapon, and remarked: ''Now, pard, we'll have breakfast, for there is enough for t wo ' Me 110 care to eat," g rowled the Mexican. "Ah! L os t yo u r appetite, hav e you? W ell I haven' t and I adv i se yo u to ea t al s o for you h ave a long journe y befor e you.'' ''Where go? "To t he for t "What for?" "To hang, I g u ess." ''Me good man-m e no do b a d." ''Who are you ? ' "Poor Mexican man Me cowb0y on ranch." "What are you doing h ere ?" "My fri end Ant on i o li ve here." "He is like you, t h en, an outlaw?" ''Oh, 110; me good man ''This is a de n o f Cap t a in Cobra's, for there a r e m ask s and o t h e r t h ings enough here t o i t Eat your breakfa s t and come with me." ''How yo u come here?'' ''Just a s y ou d id," and B uffa lo Bill b ega n to eat hi s breakfast. The Mex ican had on l y a cup o f co ffee a nd tha t nearl y chok e d him, for he was quiverin g with fear. Br e akfa s t over, the scou t bound his p r i son e r s bands and m a de him go a h ead of h im R e achi n g camp, Buff a l o B ill s taked out the horse and the n said: 'It w ill be several h ou r s b e for e the coac h comes al ong, aud I wish to fin d out just wha t you know ''Me po o r man Me don t kno w m uch." ' Well, I h ave seen very poor men know e n o ugh to t e a c h v e r y rich ones. I expec t fr om yo u g ood, common s e n se enough to k e ep your h e ad ou t o f t he hangman's no ose If y ou wish me t o say t he s am e t h i n g in Spanish I will do ''Me understand." "Good With that we c a n t alk business." ' You business man?' ''Yes, no w for I a m buying i n formation-have you got any to ''How m u c h y o u give? ''Pa rd Me x ican, your head i s very l eve l a n d we be g i n t o understand e ac h other, I see. I am hot on the t ra il of E l C o bras a n d you are one of t he gaug--" "No 110, s e n o r! Me g o od man." ''See h er e, I am no mi ssionary trying t o save your sou l b n t your n eck. Yo u are an outl aw, and a s o n e o f t he gang you kuow wbat I wi s h to k n o w Yo u have in format i on I wi s h t o b u y, and that is the situation.


30 THE BU ff J\LO BILL STORIESo ''Me 11ot a Cobra.'' "You know where their retreat is, yon have a mask to wear when need ed, and under your leggins and wooleu shirt yon hnve their dress, while your snake band to yonr hat is sticking ont of your pocket. Don't trifle with me or I'll haug you myself." '' \Vhat yonr uame ?" "Pardon m e for not introducing myself sooner, for I realiy should not haYe bee n so rude. Some call me Buffalo Bill." The man started, his face turned very pale, and his lips quivered as he looked piteously at the scout, and said: '' Y 011 Booffalo Beell, senor?'' "Yes, pronounced in a more American style." ''You wear charm?" ''Ah! you know that, do you?'' and the scout was interested. "Yes-there!" The man pointed to the charm on the breast of the scout. ''Another proof that you are an outlaw, if I need another. But come, let us strike a bargain." "Me \111dersta11d, senor," and the manner and look of the Mexican were m o re resp ectful n ow, siuce the scout had given his name. ''Now, I offer you your lif e for the information you can giye me about Captain Cobra; how many men h e has, where the Queen of Gold Canyon can be found, and all else thttt I wishto know." "They will kill me, senor,'' ''Who?" ''The Cobras." "\Veil, you appear to be between the devil and the deep sea, for I will kill you if you don't tell." "Me poor Mexican man. Me know heap, for me am Cobra meself, me am. Me got leettle life, but without money it worth nry little. ''If se?tor want to know what me know, take me to Herders' Ranch, \\here Cobra don't see me, don't know, and me tell heap much. He will give me my leettl e life two horse, fine saddle, brid'e, good serape and clothing, get all at ranch, and one thousand pesos, and let me go away to States-not to :Mexico, for Cobras kill me there. What se1rnr say to me?'' Buffalo Bill had expected a larger demand, and, feeling that he could promise the mouey, out of what would come from the Ol1tlaws' booty when taken, or at least take it from the reward on the head of Captaiu Cobra, and each cr;e of his band, he replied: "I will accept your terms upon one condition." ''Yes, sei;or.'' "I will send you through to the ranch in Lem Luby'% coach, and he will p11t a bullet through your heart if you play any monkey husiness with him. /1 ''When I have found that you are to be trnsted, I come to Herders' Rauch and fulfill my part of our con tract.'' "Me tell senor all,'' was the low reply; "me don' .., want die; rne want live." It was Buffalo Bill's Death Deal-the life of the traitor outlaw for the lives of Captain Cobra and his comrades. CHAPTER XV. CAPTAIN COBRA AND THE GOLD QUEEN. ing to a\\a it their comiug. fo When the coach came along, Buff a lo Bill stood in the trail to meet it. His Mexican prisoner was with him. ''The soldiers are com in', pa rd Cody; just out o sight behind me," said Cas ey ''Good! And here is a prisoner for you to take through to Herders' Ranch, and he must be kept there for me." ) ''He'll be there when you wants him,'' and the prison er, securely bound, was placed in the coach, which drove ou. Soon after Lieutenant Willis and his men came up, l thirty-three in number. "We are here, Cody. What is the game?" said th 1 officer, quietly. "Captain Cobra and his band." ''I knew you'd do it. Lead the way." 'I'he scout did lead the way to his camp and there the : borses were left under guard, and on foot the men wer : taken to the secret retreat in the cliff as soon as night : came on. It was a surprise to the soldiers, a greater one to the outlaws, thirteen in nt1mber, who were there packi11g up: their .booty preparatory t o leaving as Captain bad told Driver Casey it was his intention to do. The cliff cavern was their booty storehouse, and Captain Cobra had left a ll there to divide. But Captain Cobra not there. Thirteen of his men were, however, and they wer thundcrstrnck at seeing Buffalo Bill nnd the soldiers enler the can::rn, which as lighted up oy fires.


I THE BUFF l\LO BILL STORI E S 3 1 In answer to the stern command to surrend er, on e out fired a shot and a soldier dropped dead. t iJ It was a signal for Buffalo Bill's D eath Deal, for 1ith in a moment of time shots were fired by the s core 'il.nd not an outlaw was left alive. >n "Lea\'e the sergeant in charge here, sir, while you 111d a dozen men come with me, for we wish Captain now, Lieutenant Wi lli s, and-the Queen of Gold :oi "Do you know where to find them, Bill?" es. "Yes, sir; for my prisone r told me the truth-he ;aved his life and earned the blood money I promised oim." On through the ni ght B11ffalo Bill l ed the way, Lieu :enant Willis by his side and a dozen cavalrymen iollowing They passed the se ttlemet.it known as Herders' Rauch gfbefo re it was dawn, and j11s t as the east grew crimson CE,vith the risi11g s nu halted at the ranch of Tom Travis.' d He welcomed the scout and li eu t e nant cordially, as he 1 came out of his cabin to where they stoo.cl. as d''Come in t o breakfast, gentl eme n-I am g l a:i to meet you again, Mr. Cody." l ie "Auel I to find you at home, Mr, Travis-.:you are my pri soner. ' The man started back, bnt a pair of revolvers and a ol do zen carbines covered him. "What do yo u mean?" he gasped. 1 _That I know you as Captain Cobra, the outlaw, as : well as Travis, the rancher. Don't force me to s hoot you, Travis, for I will if you raise a finger, as I kuow na11. Where i s your wife?" :b ":i\ly wife?" "Yes, for your b::ind i s w i ped ou t, your retreat is Pknown, you are a prisoner, alld I now w i s h to find t11e Queeu of Gold C::inyon-your wife, whose l ove for you iEmade h e r an outlaw, and who followed your evil life iu to this wild land." ''Her crime only ha s been in aiding me to get gold, hoping I wonld tlie sooner gi,e up tliis ev il life. I a ll ow 1f a!11 gnilty. I gave t o Driver Casey a letter fot you, and ri1i it I told you that Captain Cobra a11d hi s 111e11 \rould It]eave the t ra ils. ''I told yo u that yom coming here h::id dri\en me to 1do so, for you had saved her life aud mine, ::incl I 1rot1ld lf not wa r against you. I h::id inte nd ed to see k your 1ddeath, and, as a warning of your doom, I had a gru\'e dug for you a t the ford and inte nd ed placing a h eadboard p t here, with a warning o n it for you to see. ''The coming up of the t JOrther drove me to seek shel te r, a11cl while my me n wen t to a retreat, I tried to reach r my hou1e. rE "You me that ui"ht "You have won; but I will never hang, for I have vowed to die by my own hand first." Quick as a flash, he raised his hand, and a small Derringer pistol snatched from his breast pocket sent a bullet into his heart. ''After all, he was a manly felk>w, though an outlaw," said Buffalo Bill. Search was made for the Gold Q u een, but in vain, for only the .servants were at the ranch and they w ere known not to have been aware of the evil seoret life their master led. Buffalo Bill bad really felt deep sympathy for the woman after their Mexican prisoner had told him her sad story and was glad of her escape, as was also Lieutenant Willis. The scout's triumph had been complete when he bad wip ed out the band, and upon bis return to the fort the greatest praise was given him, for his splendid work, which had indeed been a deal of death to El Cobras. Two days after the traitor outlaw had received bis r ewa rd and been set free to go his way at will. After the return of the scout, with Lieutenant Willis and his men, to Fort Taos, all loaded down with booty, a letter h ad arrived for Buffalo Bill, dated at a frontier town. It was written in a feminine hand and read: ''He told the truth, for we had planned to ret11rn to Mexico, as we could not raise a hand against you, after owi n g you our lives. "I was a t the ranch and saw my husband die by his own h and; bnt, disguised as a Mexican boy, you did not recognize me, and thus I escaped. ''I shall r eturn to my home a nd m y people in Mexico, where Ullited States la\rs will 11ot r eac h me, and perhaps I can a ton e for the evi l past by deeds of good. As a souve nir of an unhappy woma n, keep the charm I gave you. '' Goocl-by, allC!, may yo u know success through life is the farewell w i sh of T rrn GOLD QUEEN." Tliis l ette r Buffa l o Bi ll read to Colonel Kane a nd I.,icutenant Willis, for it t o l d the story of how well his \rnrk had ende d tll ere, for h e h ad wo n the game by his Death Deal. The clwrm he still has and prizes. THE END. Next "\Yeek's BuFF .\.LO BILL STORIES (No. 18) will contain "Buffalo Bill at Grave Yard Gap; or, The Doollled Driver of the Overland."


The only publQcation by the Hon .. Wm., f .. Codv I (BUFFALO BILL) -----'I'J:-:IE-----Our Ne\iv 5c. Weekly A Sure \\!inner Hon. Wm. F. Cody (Buffalo Bill) We were the publishers of the first story ever written of the famous and w or 1 cl -renowned BUFF ALO BILL, the most daring scout, wonderful rifle shot, expert guide, greatest Indian trailer ever known, and a popular hero whose life has been one suc cession of exciting and thrilling incidents combined with great successes and acco1n plishments, all of which will be told in a series of grand stories which we shall now place before the American Boys. These x citing stories will appear regu la rl y in our new Sc. weekly to be known as TtlE BUff P\lO STOF{IES READ THE FOLLOWING TITLES J 6. Buffalo Bill's Pa.-ds i n Gray; or, On the 18. Buffalo BHl at Grave-Ya r d Gap; or, The Death Trails of the Wild \{./est. Doomed Drivers of the Overland. 17. Buff alo Bill's Deal ; or, The Que.m of 19. Euffa!o Bill's Death Grapple; or ShaGold Canyon. dowed by the Sure Shots. LOOK OUT FOR THE CREAT ;NDIAN STORIES STREET SIV1ITI-I, Publishers, NEW YORK I ..._.... ... __ _J


I (ILLUSTR.\TED) i I , I j I 1 1 : 1 .. 1 1 Popular ATnmwf of Ilodil y E.-cr c/s::;s mJJ !1amc Uym asstlcs for ,JLuitJ Bijd Fcarnle \ I i I l l O Y .. i l I I FOURN l EN ____ .., CONTENTS The Physica l M an. .. Yc: .. 1 i:,. __ ----....:.:... _____ _J I The Muscl e s :1nd Building THE book i s r eg d ation :.;ize, proT he LUllQ"S anJ the Science of Brea thfuse l y illu s tra t ed by f!.!!l-page i 1 g / pi1otoe n g ravings showillg the Indoor Exe r cises and Home Gymdifferent ex e rcises by male and fe/' n:.is ti cs male mo dels po se d especially for this E:1ti ng anrl Drir k ing for Ith. t' \\'(,1 k !2xcrcis1.:s and h ome gyrr.Diet 1....ures alll l Ar!li-D1 ug Remedies. n;istics wil l do more hr b eau ty of The Value of B:1ths and Massage f:v:e, form and goo d health th a.i all H e w to Dress f o r H ea lth


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