Buffalo Bill's victories. Chapters 95-108

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Buffalo Bill's victories. Chapters 95-108

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Title:
Buffalo Bill's victories. Chapters 95-108
Series Title:
Buffalo Bill stories
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Buffalo Bill
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Street & Smith
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Language:
English
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1 online resource (31 p.) 28 cm.: ;

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

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University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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020782534 ( ALEPH )
71342338 ( OCLC )
B14-00027 ( USFLDC DOI )
b14.27 ( USFLDC Handle )

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---:r: A VV-EE.f(LY PUBLI CAT l ON DEVOTED TO BORDER. Hl5TO-RY issued Weekly. By Subscription $2..JO per year. Entered as Second Class Matter at New York Post Office by SrREET & SMITH, 238 Wit/tam St .. N. Y. No. 27. Price, Five Cents. I'VE TAKEN BIG ODDS AGAINST DEATH BEFORE. I'LL DO IT AGAIN I" CRIED BUFFALO BILL AS HE DASHED OUT OF THE CABIN INTO THE .MIDST OF HIS STARTLED FOES.-(CHAPTER XCVI.)

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Isnud We44ly. By SufJscnpti o n $2.JO per jear. Entered a s Class Matte. at tlze N. Y. Pru t Office by STREET & SMITH, 238 William S t N. Y. Entered ac cor dt'nK to A c t o f Cong-nss i n flu ye11;r 1qo1, in Of/ice of Librarf .,,, 11/ C on g r ess > Vashz'ng i o n. D C. No. 27. NEW YORK, November 16, 1901. Uff ALO BILL'S VICTO l[S. I ) -, t By the author of "BUFF ALO BILL." CHAPTER XCV. BUFFALO BILL ENTRAPPED. The great and in v incib le army scout, Buffalo Bill, was riding l e isurely along a rough mount ain trail on the far fro n tier. If he was dreading d a nger, his calm face did not reveal the fac t thoug h no o n e knew better than h e that he w a s in an enemy's co u ntry-a double enemy, in fact for there were b oth hos tile Indians and as equ a lly merciles s outl a ws to dread, the latte r unde r the leade r ship of a sworn and cruel foe of Buffalo Bill-a man w h o would have gi ven all but l ife to c apture the army scout with a career none hat l equaled. Buff a lo Bill w as ri d in g ne a r a c af:o n that cut de=p into the m ounta in and hi s destinati o n was a lone c a bin h e knew of h i dden in the r e c ess e s of the r a nge, for there he intended to pass the night, having clone so before i n his scou t in g trips alone. Suddenly, a n d c erta inl y as a surprise to him, Buffalo Bill was brought to a full reali zation of his deadly danger by a stern voice shouting from a hid ing-pl a ce ne ar: "Come, men, we have him now! Spread out so as to surround him, for a deep canon cuts off his flight in the rear," Seeing tha t they had but one to deal with, and determined to c apture the daring scout, the m e n pushed on with r ap id flight, spreading out in a lon g line so as to driv e their game toward a deep gulch ne a rl y a mile in length. Knowing that t h e gulch was from twenty to for t y fee t in wid th, p ossess ed ste ep, precipitous s ides, ancl w a s e x cee d in g l y d eep t he outlaw s felt c o nfident tha r the death h onr o f Buffalo Bill had come and an ex ultant smil e shone on the face of Solaris the lead er of the .band, for they had seen the scout coming far off on the trail and had gone into ambush for hir n. Calmly the scout s a t and g az ed upon his comi11g foes, his e y es narrowly watching the len g thening line, an d then, thoug i 1 the chief wa s mu ch nearer him

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2 T HE BU ff ALO BHLL STORiES. than any o f his b and, he quickly raised his repeating rifle, its sharp crack was heard, and an outlaw upon the right of Solaris toppled over. "Ha! ha! ha! laughed the scout, as if reveling in his deadly revenge; and then, with a quick cry to his horse, the noble stallion bounded away, with the speed of a rocket. "It is the Prairie Whirlwind!" "He rides the Mustang Stallion! the king of the wild drove !" "He has caught the wind Beater!" yelled the dif ferent voices of Indian and paleface, for they now recognized the famous king of the mustangs, for hy the above titles the wild equine rover that Buffalo Bill rode, and had but lately captured on the prai ries, was known along the frontier. "A thousand dollars to the man who will capture yonder horse for me l "A thousand more for the man who takes his rider alive!" yelled Solaris, almost beside himself with rage and excitement, for to own the Prairie WhirlwinJ had been his greatest ambition, and, though his entire band had spent weeks in the endeavor to capture him, the wild, fleet and matchless prairie ranger had been too much for them. Then, to have in his power Buffalo Bill, Solaris, the outlaw chief, felt that he would give ten years of his life. Mad_ly he gored with cruel spurs the splendid steed he rode, whose match he had never met, except in the Prairie Whirlwind, and, with a snort of pain and terror, the noble animal bounded forward, and seemed as if gaining on his famous rival. Then Buffalo Bill was seen to slowly draw rein as he approached the cafion, and suddenly came to a halt up'On the yawning edge, as if bewildered by the new and terrible danger that confronted him. Seeing his hesitation, and believing him now a.n easy prey, a wild yell of joy burst from the line of outlaws Glancing up and clown the canon and then observing it was impossible to
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THE BUFF f\LO BILL STORIES. 3 high into the air, shooting forward with tremendous velocity at the same time, and then his hoofs rang upon the hard footing on the other side. The leap had been taken successfully. \Vith one accord that band of desperate outlaws, headed by Chief Solaris, g-ave a loud yell of admiration at the desperate feat, and the ringing laugh 8f Buffalo Bill was borne to their ears as he s,ped on, to soon disappear in the gloom of the approaching darkness. In silence Solaris turned back toward the motte, and soon around a blazing campfire the scout was talked of with a gathering feeling of superstitious dread. Later, Chief Solaris called his lieutenant to him and said: "Have the men ready to move two hours before fawn, for he has not escaped me, he thinks. "I know where he will seek refuge for the night, as I noted the trail he took, and we will catch him there." At the appointed hour, the outlaws were on the trail. CHAPTER XCVI. THE FIRE TRAP. A grim smile..rested upon the face of Buffalo Bill after the desperate chances he had taken to escape from his outlaw foes. His splendid black stallion, only a short while be fore the king of a large herd of wild horses, yet captured by Buffalo Bill and completely masterecl, seemed to feel proud of the magnificent leap he haJ made across the canon. "Another escape from death to my credit, Black Whirlwind, and which I owe to you; yes, never saw I your equal," mut1..ered the scout, patting the neck of the animal affectionately Continuing to muse as he rode along, Buffalo Bill said: "I shall still go to the cabin to camp, for those fel lows only sent me a couple of miles off my trail. "But I little suspected that Solaris and his cutthroat band were up in these parts. "vVhat can have brought them here, now:? "Ah! can they have heard of Colonel Fields' com ing, and hope to capture him to hold for terms and ransom, knowing that he is rich? "It may be so, and mighty glad am I that I came by this trail." Night came on, but Buffalo Bill seemed at no loss to keep the trail, and, after an hour's ride, came to a cabin of logs hidden away under a cliff. "I don't think Solaris will suspect I came up here, though he may do so; but this is only place where I can find wood, water and grass, so I will risk it, and we'll leave early," and the scout dis mounted, opened the cabin, lighted a fire with dry grass and wood on hand, and then unsaddled his horse, washed him at the rivulet near and staked him out where the grass was plentiful. Re-entering the cabin he cooked his supper and later enjoyed his pipe for an hour or more, after which he went after Black Whirlwind. Leading him into the cabin, the scout made him a bed of the dry grass, placed a pile of it near for him to feed upon, and then, spreading his blanket-bed, sought rest for himself. It was just .dawn when he awoke, and, as cautious as an Indian, he peered out of a crack in the logs before he opened the door. It was well that he did so, for his quick eye caught sight of an Indian, then of a white man, skulking along his trail. They belonged to the band of Solaris, he well knew, but he said with strange calmness: "They have tr. acked us here, Black Whirlwind. "We did not get away soon enough. But I will keep quiet, and I guess I can pick off several of them as a starter." He gave his horse more of the dried grass, then ate a cold smack himself saddled and bridled Black \Vhirlwind strapped on his traps, and then began a search for his foes. J-\ s he did so, a stern voice called out:

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4 '.THE BUFF ALO BALL STORiESo "No, Buffalo BiII We know that you are in there, for we trailed you here." "I do not deny it. But what are you going to do about it?" coolly answered the scout. "Surrender, and I will spare your life." "Yes, just as an Indian would." "You do not believe me?" "You are a fool to propose surrender to me." "I have offered you you refuse them, and now I will show you no mercy." "Just wait until I ask mercy of a wolf." "I shall take you alive." "Talk is to work." "I will burn you up in the cabin." Buffalo Bill did not at once reply. When he did it was with his rifle. He could not see Solaris from where he stood when talking to him; but he did see in the thicket half-a-dozen outlaws, white men and Indians, grouped together, and in the line surrounding the cabin. He aimed at the bunch through the crack between the logs of the cabin, ai:id his rifle spoke once, twice, thrice There were yells of terror, cries of pain, groans, and all was silent; then a voice called out: "He killed two of us, chief-a .vhite .and a red." The man who spoke made the fatal mistake of considering himself hidden when he uttered the words-his last Another shot came from the deadly rifle in the cabin, followed by the words: "Make it three, Solaris !" A volley of shots were poured upon the cabin, and Buffalo Bill within uttered a cry, followed by a fall and groan. "That got him! Rush the cabin, men!" A dozen men rati. to the door, and instantly rang out the deadly music of the scout's rifle. Shouts of terror, yells of pain followed, and mocking laughter broke from Buffalo Bill's lips. He had taught the outlaws a severe l esson In a frenzy of rage Chief Solaris shouted: "Bring wood and brush an cl set his der: afire!" Buffalo Bill heard this mercil ess order with concern He was at bay successfully from the fire of weapons and the attempts of the to take the cabin; but to set it on fire meant a death struggle and quickly, without any shelte1:. But he did not despair, and muttered: "V.f e have got to face the music, Black whirl wind, and the chances are big against us." The men obeyed the cruel order of their merciless leader only too readily, and wood and brush were dragged and piled up against the cabin. But a shot from within brought down an Indian, and another broke the hand of a white man, causing all to rush to cover, and then to work again with the greatest caution. vVhen all was ready to apply the match Solaris, from his hiding-place in the rear of the cabin called out: "\Vill you surrender now, Buffalo Bill?" "No-I am all right." "I shall burn you out." "All right; others have been burned to death be for e me." "I will spare your life if you will give me that horse you have, your outfit and take your oath to keep off my trail." "I make no terms with cut-throats, Solaris." The scout heard the curse the outlaw leader uttered, and then followed the h a rsh order: 'Set the den on fire!" A yell from the baad told how happy this order made them, and Buffalo Bill heard the scratching of matches. "\Vhirlwind, I guess we'll have to try our luck against lead and shot, rather than fire. "They are a quicker death; but don't say die untiJ death gets its grip on you." So saying, Buffalo Bill noiselessly unbarred the door, tied a rope to it and with the other end in his hand mounted his horse. He settled himself well in the saddle, a revolver

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l'HE BUF F l\LO BILL STORIES. : i i ct.c'.1 hand, his rifle slung at his back ready for waited. The brush ahout the cabin began to crackle as the flames gathered he2 dway, and the logs took fire. ''Now, Black Whirlwind!" With the words Buffalo Bill dragged hard on the rope he held in hand, and the door was drawn wicle open. There was not an outlaw who observed the door open, shielded by the smoke, as it was. "I've taken big odds against death before-I'll do it again," cried Buffalo Bill,
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THE BUFF ALO Bl LL STORIES. fact, their horses, without a long and hard tramp, that must take them all day. "Well, that was my good luck, and as narrow a n escape as I ever had. "It does seem that I bear a charmed life, as so many really believe, or thos e fellows were too badly scared to drop me. "Now, to strike across the range for the trail that Colonel Field must be and with the band of Solaris
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THE BUt"fALO BILL STORIESo shot:ld h:i ve lcJ along tI1e base of the hills be yond? \Yell, I must push this p:lrty and find out just who left tliis trail." So s::iying, Buffalo Bill took more particular notc d the hocftru.cks, the n mounted aild rode on along; the :rail he had so nncxpectcclly fo'-md there in the mountains. Th:i.t he was anxiol:s, tl:crc w;::s :!o cloubt CHAPTER XCVJII. I' JIA::-:TO:UI or TITE STO!UI. "I gi\-c it up-we are lost!" ''Oh, no; do not say th:it, for to be lost in this wild laud means death." The first speaker w they struggled on. The horses, with low-bent heads, began to feel the strain, as with night the cold and snow increased in severity, and the colonel caHed out: "Ho! Nugent, we must seek shelter of some kind!" tenant Nugent," anxiously responded the girl. ''\Ve will form a camp here, sir, among these "I cannot deny the fact, but I will yet find the rocks," said the young officer, cheerily. trail, never fear," he responded, hopefully; but cast a foreboding look at the clouds. which threatened a storm, :ind that meant a blizzard in the early spring in those mountains. "Do your best, Nugent, and you will have done your duty, for yott did not care to take the risk of "It is best, for there arc a few scrub pines here, a.nd \\-e can find a little wood. Despair was at the heart of Lieutenant Nugent; but not for himself; he felt for the brave girl whose pluck would not yield to the1r desperat e a : ; she called out:

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8 THE BUffJ\LO BILL STORIES. "We will make the best of it, and if death come s meet it without fear." They halted there in that bleak, snow-covered pl a in, and from the lips of all came a cry. was it an image of their thoughts that they saw? The lien tenant f so at first; so did the others. But no, for all saw it, and it was not a phantom of the imagination. But phantom it looked-a phantom horse and rid e r, for the animal was snow white, and the one on his back appeared to be enveloped in a shroud. The seeming ghostly apparition was coming toward them. The one coming toward them was certainly fol lowing on their trail through the snow Suddenly the tra iler halte d some distance away, and clear-cut and stern came a h a il: "Ho, there! Are you friends or foes?" Nugent's firm voice answered: "Bravo, Buffalo Bill! I would know your voice in a thousand! "I am L ieutenant Nugent, and Col o nel Fie ld and his daughter are with me." The two soldiers broke out in a cheer, while Colonel Field asked: "Is it the army scout, Buff a lo Bill, Nugent?" "Yes, sir, and it m e ans re s cue for us." "I can hardly belie v e mortal man can rescue us now," said Bertha Field, as Buffalo Bill rode up. He shook the snow from his broad sombrero and saluteq qui e tly remarking: "I am glad to have found y ou, Li eutenant Nugent, for this is a bad night and pla ce to be caught in The young officer's h eart was beating with hy, and, grasping the hand of the scout, be s a id with enthusiasm: "God bless you Cody, for you h ave s a ved us "Colonel Field, this is William F Cody, better known as Buffalo Bill the army scout, and the only man on earth w h o c a n s a ve u s from de ath this night." The colonel rode forward, w a rmly grasped the b a nd o f Buffalo Bill a nd s a i d : "You are well known to me by your deeds and border name, Scout Cody, and I believe you can heip us. "My daughter, t his is Scout Cody, who in some way has found us." "I saw your trail, sir and followed it," mode stly said Buffalo Bill, as Ruth Field put forth :ler hand, and graspifig his hand asked: "And have you risked your life to follow and save us from what I now know was certain death?" "I saw your trail in the mountain valley, and, feeling that it must be Colonel Field a11d his escort, and tha t you were lost, I followed; but come at once, for you must find shelter without delay," and the sc out placed him s elf in the lea d and, drawin g his heav y storm-coat a bout him moved aw ay through the unbroken field of snow, the others following in single file "vVhat a remarkable man--without a sign to guide him and in this blinding snow-storm, he moves ahead in a vvay that gives confidence s a id the colonel. "Here is a trail, Cod y," called out Lieutenant Nugent. Yes, your own. You were only moving around in a circle when I found you-you will cross it again and a g ain yet," was the an s w e r. Buffalo Bill led the wa y unerringly across the pl ai11. to the hills, then through a valley toward a m ounta in range that l oomed up ah ead. A fter a few miles had bee n gone over, and the valley had narrowed into a cafion, a light suddenly gle a med ahead of them, a radiant b eacon of hope. A ll eyes were stra in e d on the light ahead, and from the lips of the l os t party broke a sigh of re lief, a prayer of tha nkfulne ss followed by a blessing for the s ilent man ahea d, who had sa ved them from de a th. I t i s a light from a cabin-come on, come on!" cried Lieutenant Nugent, and a cheer followed his w o rds as all spurred forward, and soon arrived at wh a t was a stoutly-built cabin, built at the head of 1.

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THE BUFF ALO Bill STOR1ES. )9 cafion, and ,in the midst of a pine thicket that afforded it good shelter. Buffalo Bill called out: "Ho, within there!" But no answer came. He called again and rapped lou'clly on the Cloor. Still no answer. Slipping from his saddle, he found the door opened readily, an9 a bright fire of logs burned upon the wide hearth. l But no one was there. Self-preservation being the first law of nature, they waited no longer but at once took possession, and then it was that they discovered how nearly frozen they were. Quickly all turned in for the night, though expecting that the owner of the cabin must surely appear later. But the night passed, day came and the storm was still raging, but the cabin's owner had not appeared. With hay for their horses and food for themselves, they did not suffer, however, and the day had waned into afternoon, when suddenly a blow was heard upon the door, and, springing to it; Lieutenant Nugent beheld sticking there and still quivering with the force of its flight, an Indian arrow. "Ah! a slip of paper is wrapped about the arrowhead, so no Indian fired this," cried the lieutenant, and quickly he unrolled the paper, glance d at lines But there on a rustic table was coffee, bacon, written on it with a pencil and cried with more exbread, and a quarter of venison hung up by the door. citement than he was wont to show: Cooking utensils were upon the hearth, a wooden "Read this, Colonel Field, for we must leave this bucket full of fresh water was there and all seemed cabin at once." as though just prepared for them. v..,r ood was piled up in the corner, and the cabin had three rooms ih it, the center one they had entered apparently the kitchen and eating room. One of the soldiers soon discovered a shed in the rear of the cabin and into this the horses were put, while there was an ample supply hay in one end. But whose home was it was the question asked Buffalo Bill, who answered quietly: "It is the home of a strange man known as the Mad Miner. "But make yourselves at home, for I will be re sponsible for hi1n." It took a long time to get thawed out, but the lieutenant made some coffee and that greatly helped and after a while Ruth insisted upon getting sup per, which she did for all, the colonel saying to the soldiers: "There is no rank to-night, boys, so help your selves In the two other rooms a lot of well-tanned bear, buffalo and other skins were found and they were quickly pressed into use as beds, Ruth being made most comfortable in another room, where the lieutenant built a fire that made it more cheerfttl. CHAPTER XCIX. ON THE OVERLAND TRAIL. Colonel Warren Field was a man with a gallant reputation, and his experience as a commander upon the Mexican frontier was such that he had been picked out as the very one to command a military post on the Northwestern border, where the lawless element had to be driven out, and the hostile tribes of Indians needed to be dealt with severely. He was a widower and Ruth was his only c hild. His earlier years had been passed in frontier forts, so when .. ordered to his new command, at her entreaty, he had decided to take her with him, she having jus t finished her school days in the East. So it was that Colon e l Field and Ruth started for Fort Defence, in Uta h, knowing that they would have to face many hardships on the way. The colonel had written to the major commandin g the fort, as he was to money; and a val uable outfit along, he wished an officer and several soldiers as an escort to rr.eet him on the Overland trail, for the road agents were to be dreaded, as they of te n held up the coaches

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\ THE BUffft.LO BiLL Thus Lieutenant Edgar Nugent, a young soldier who sev e ral years before had gone from \Vest Point, was sent with half-a-dozen men to take the coach and meet him and his daughter at a station beyond which westward the road agents were to be feared. When met the party just filled the rnach, and with the baggage of the colonel a n d Ruth it was a good load for the half-dozen horses over which Nick Dunn, the Overland stage driver, held the reins "It will be a bold band of road agents that will attempt to haul up this coach, with you your es cort, lieutenant," said Nick Dunn, as he started on the trail to the mining camp, where an ambulance and horses would be taken on to Fort Defence But the road agents at the Overland were bold men when gold and booty were at stake, and, in spite of the soldiers' escort, there suddenly rang out the loud command from a group of rocks upon the side of the trail: "Halt that coach, Nick Dunn, or you are a dead man I" Upon ordinary circumstances N ick Dunn would not have dar.ed to refuse; but with a lieutenant and six cavalrymen along he sjmply l aid his whip upon his horses to dash by and shouted back: "Not this time, you cut-throat thieves!" But they were the last words h e ever spoke, for a volley of rifle bullets were poured upon him, and he dropped back dead upon the top of the coach. At the reques t of Colonel Field, his escort, save one soldier, had ridde n in the coach with him, and, though the man on the box with Nick Dunn was wounded when the driver was shot dead, h e grasped the reins and tried to dash on. But other shots were fired, the brave soldier. fell from the box, still hanging on to the reins, and the horses, thus swerved to one side, ran hard against a rock, smashing one w h eel to atoms and bringing the wildly swaying coach to a sudden halt, amid the wild yells of h alf-a-dozen road agents that daslied into view, believing their victory w on. But already had Lieutenant Nugent seized his revolver, a nd. calling to his men to follow, he leaped from the coach, just as it halted, and his deadly aim brought clown the nearest of the outlaws. The colonel and the soldiers had q uickly follO\vecl the young officer, and the rapid rattle of carbines and revolvers made deadly music for a w hile. But the road agents, surprised by t h e extra guard, had quickly taken flight, leaving several of their men dead upon t he field. They had sought gold, but got lead But the driver and two soldic;s lay dead in the trail at1
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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 11 "These six horses are all good animals, and the horses of the dead outlaws we can use. "We have wraps along in plenty, and I say start for the fort, for I know you are a good plainsman and can guide us there." "And I say to the fort,'' said Ruth, adding, "I don't mind the hardships of the long ride." "To the fort be it then, colonel; but remember I do not profess to be sure of the trail," answered the lieutenant. "'Ne will risk it, for it is a risk any way." "Now to the baggage. We can hide it among the rocks, and cover it up so that it will be safe. It is the best we can do. .But now to the dead. We will place them in the coach, sir, and my idea is to send two of the men on to the mining camp to report to the Overland agent what has occurred. "There is a coach there, and he can send after the and the dead, while my two men can await at the mining camp until a for ce goes from the fort after them and the baggage." "Just the thing to be done, Lieutenant Nugent, and we'll lose no time," answered the colonel. The wraps, overcoats and blankets were then gotten and packed on two of the horses, while the other animals were saddled and bridled for the long ride. The baggage was hidden away among the rocks and covered with pine straw, the dead bodies put in the coach and two of the soldiers, mounting, started off upon the trail to the mining camp. This done, the colonel and Ruth, and the lieutenant and his two men, with the pack animals in lead, made the start for the fort, the young officer leading the way. On they pressed, the lieutenant keeping at a lively pace, for he v;as anxious to reach a camping-place he knew of for the night, in time to build for Ruth as good a shelter as possible, for the spring nights known Ruth Field, then 111 her sixteenth year, he had learned to love her, and now meeting her again four years after, he felt that she was the one woman in the world to him, and made up his mind to devote his life to winning her love in return. The camping-place was reached, a sheltered canon through which ran a clear stream, and wi .th good grass for the horses, while pines were in plenty for wood. A wicky-up, as the Indians call a bush arbor, was made for Ruth, to protect her from the cold, and after a good supper all retired save the soldier who was to stand guard, Lieutenant Nugent dividing the time with the men, so that each should have rest Bright and early the 11ext morning they were on their way again, for the young officer was casting anxious looks at the gathering clouds. Up to noon all had gone well; but just as they were leaving their camp where they had had dinner, a band of a score of Indians suddenly came dashing toward them, and at once it became a race for life. The Indians had cut them off from the trail to the fort, but the lieutenant in their flight kept circling around to get _back to it, and seeing this the braves pursued them the harder. For seven hours the chase continued, the fugitives being driven farther and farther from the trail to the fort, and the Indians steadily gaining upon them, un til all knew that they must soon stand at bay ancir fight. CHAPTER C. A RUNNING FIGHT. "Colonel you and Miss Field ride on with one sold:er and the pack horse, while I halt with the other man and try and stand them off." So said Edgar Nugent as he saw that the Indians were getting within range to fire. were cold and he feared that the long winter might "It is just what I knew you would wish, Lieutenbreak up with a blizzard, that it would be death w ant Nugent, but there must be no danger now that be caught out in. all of us do not share. When stationed at a fort in Texas, where he had "\Ve stand and fight together," sturdily said the ..

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12 THE BU ff J\LO BILL col o n el, while Ruth added cheerfully: "Ye&, indeed; other pony went down and a brave was seen to h& : 2 jus t consider me one of the boys and don't count me been hard hit. in a s a w o ma n ." B u t the Indians, feeling sure of their prey, agai1 : "Well s a id, my child. We are in this fight to came on, and steadily began to gain once more, for stand together,'' and yet the colonel's brave words did not hide the look of intense anxiety he felt for his loved child "I have my repeating rifle, sir, so will fall in behind instead of lead, for we are on no trail now; in fact, I do not know my way," and he added the last words in a whisper to the colonel, who answered in the same low tone : "Nor do I know even the direction of the fo r t t rail, we have had to turn and twi s t in our flight so. But try your rifle, Nugent, and yet do not drop back too far, or we shall halt for you. The young officer at once dropped back to the rear, just in time, for a shower of arrows fell almost in their midst. Leaping fr o m his horse to get better aim, he pi c ked out t h e leader of the Indians and pulled the trigger. Down went the chief's pony, but the rider, thou?"h falling heavily, was quickly upon his feet. "I must do better than that. "My hard ride has unsteadied my nerves," and o n ce more he leveled his rifle just as Colonel Field shouted back to him come on. The rifle again flashed, and a warrior fell .from the saddle dead. In an instant the dismounted chief had leaped upon the riderless horse of the dead warrior, and on came the band once more at greater speed than ever. "We have halted for you, Nugent," came in thunder tones from the colonel, while Ruth cried: "Come on or we will come back for you, sir!" The words made the youngofficer's heart thrill with pleasure, and he waved hi s hat, leaped into the saddle, fired several shots rapidly 2.t the coming redskins and rode after his party But his shots had not been thro\Yll away, as antheir ponies were not tired as \ Vere the animals of those they pursued. "vVe will cross that little valley, sir, and make a stand on yonder hill," said Lieutenant Nugent, and the colonel replied : "Yes, and there it must be a fight to the bitter end." All knew what that meant, and the faces of each one was white and stern, but there was no fear there, Rnth showing t.hc same undaunted courage as the men. The va lley was crossed, the hill gained, and they rode ipto a group of rocks and sprang from their horses, while yet the Indians \Vere several hundred yards away. Ruth grasped the reins of the horses, the colonel drew his revolvers. Edgar Nugent had his repeat ing rifle and the two soldiers had their carbines. There. they stood, at bay for the desperate fight, and determined upon rather than capture. The Indians were charging across the valley, now counted to be twenty-three in number, and seemeJ to be determined, cost what it might in losses, to make a desperate rush and settle the battle at close quarters. They well knew that there was revenge to get, scalps to take, prizes to win. "I will open, sir, when they reach the foot of the hill. "You, m en, keep your carbines for nearer work, an
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THE BU ff f\L O Bill STO RIES. 13 "Yes, father," was the rejoinder. "If all is Jost, use it." "If those fiends reach us, father, I will send a bullet through my heart," was the brave reply of Ruth, and she held in her hand a revolver. CHAPTER CI. THE MAD HERMIT. It was a moment fraught with deadliest danger, and when hope and despair hung in the balance. There was no flinching from death, if death ;t must be, in the four men who stood there to meet the worst. They had faced death often before, and, though pale and stern, they were yet ready to die in the discharge of duty. For the1:1selves they thought but little in comparison to what they felt for the brave girl they must protect. They.heard her words that told of her determina-tion to take her own life, when a ll hope was gone. They saw that it was no idle thteat. They knew that it was better so Lieutenant Nugent was bringing his repeating rifle to aim. His eyes were glancing along the sights to pick the chief and the braves. There must be no miss, he well knew; no shot thrown away. \iVhen his rifle was empty the two soldiers must use their carbines. When this was done all must use their revolvers. If the Indi:ms were not checked then there would be no one to tell the slory among that littie party. The repeating rifle cracked after what seemed an 2.ge to those watching the lieutenant. J3ut his aim was true, and the chief was seen to reel, clutch wildly at the air and fall to the ground. But his braves but momentarily halted, to then rush on once 111.ore. Then suddenly, ere another shot came from the repeating rifle, the yells of the Indians that rang in triumph, suddenly changed 111 tone to shouts of alarm, and, almost as one man, they wheeled their ponies to the right about and sped madly back down the hill. What did it me:m? What could it mean? The little band looked 011 in utter amazement. Had the death of their chief demoralized them? No; they still fled as though pursued And they were, for out of a break in the hill, denly appeared a strange horseman, almost like an apparition. He was mounted on a large black horse, and he was clad in black from hat to boots, his costume presenting a striking contrast to the long white hair that fell below his shoulders and white beard falling to his belt. He was certainly a most striking-looking personage, and not appearing to even see the little band standing at bay among the rocks he rode directly down the hill in pursuit of the flying Indians. Like mad they were riding, glancing b(lck over their shoulders to see if the man followed. Seeing the weird horseman coming on, his horse with great bounds rushing clown the hill, they but strove the harder to urge their ponies to greater flight. There was something in their strange pursuer that drove them from the prey they had believed almost within their clutch. An e xclamation broke from the lips of Ruth at the sight, while the colonel said: "Remarkable! \Vhat can it mean; who can he be?" ''It is what the Indians call the Mad Spirit, sir, while the soldiers know him as the Hermit Gold Hunter," said Lieutenant Nugent. "And that does not look much like his being in league with the Indians, lieutenant, as many have sa id," one of the soldiers remarked. ''No, indeed, for he has certainly saved us and the Imlians are flying in terror before him." "They saw him before -.ve did, .:\' .. Yes, colonel, and that is \\'h y they so quickly

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14 BUFFALO BILL STORIES. turneCt about ana flecl. See! they are lashing their t11e spot where they stood at bay against the In-ponies wildly and he is steadily gaining. "Shall I follow to see the outcome, sir?" "No, for we must press on, for I do not like the looks of the weather," and the colonel glanced anxiously at the heavens, which were growing darker and darker under the gathering clouds. "Yes, sir, it will be well to push on and try an
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THE BUFF ALO BILL STOf{I E S 15 CHAPTER CII. THE FRONTIER FORT. Fort Defence, over which Colonel \Varren Field had made the perilous pilgrimage to 'the Far \Vest to take command, was a very desirable military post once it was reached. It was situated in the rnidst of a wild country, but where the scenery was grand and picturesque, and, thotwh no habitation was near, no other post, the b mining camp, the termination of the stage line, be-ing a hundred miles distant, the garrison was a one and neither officers nor men grew lonesome or had time to get the blues. The o-arrison numbered half-a-thousand sonls, for, 0 besides the soldiers, there \Yere the wives and families of a number of the officers, the scouts, stock \ .enders, teamsters and usual hangers-on about a frontier fort. There were pleasant quarters for all, with drills, parades, hunting and other sports to break the monotony, while even in that far-away post love held sway, as there was a score of lovely women, and the usual rivalries and jealousies that always follow in feminine footsteps were by no means an exception in Fort Defence. Major Benton, who was to be relieved by Colonel Field was a dyed-in-the-wool bachelor, and had an intense hatred for all women, front the fact, it was whispered, that one had cruelly deceived him in his cadet days, for, though he had gone to the Mexican war to win his spurs for her swee t sake, and had come back with that honorable mention, he had found her married to his rival. It was therefore with a great deal of pleasure and much curiosity that the ladies of the fort, and the young officers were looking forward to the coming of Colonel Field, for he had written Major Benton to kindly have his quarters in the best of trim, as he intended to bring his daughter with him. "Field's a fool, for it's but one more woman to make trouble here," growled the major to his adjutant. "I have Leen told by Nugent, who met her i n Texas, that she is a very beautiful girl, sir," repl ied the adjutant. "Tha,t much the worse, for beautiful women are always raisjng the devil in some way. "A homely one is bad enough, but one who h a s good looks is always causing trouble." "Miss Field, I have heard, sir, is a love l y charac ter, sings divinely, can paint, r ides like a Comanc he and c:ln lasso a wild horse, or bring down big game with either rifle or revolver," ventured the adju tant, who liked to tease his superior. "Mannish ways, has she? She'd better been born a boy, and then I suppose Field would have been kept poor paying his debts, for half you young army cubs play cards for money and drink heavily," and the major stroked his own nose, which had a coloring only long years ,1 hard drinking could have put there. As the adjutant saw that the major had turned from women to men, he entirely dropped the sub ject and said : "Colonel Field shonlcl be here soon, sir, unless he is snowed in somewhere on the trail or mining camp." "Yes he should have e:otten here last night, so is doubtless there, for is too good a plaimman to have started 1or the fort in the teeth o f a threatening blizzard." "Yes, sir, Edgar Nugent has a wise head o n him, and will come in after the storm, for the snow won't last long, now that spring is here." "1 o, but was not that Mad Gold Hunter in t h e fort last night?" "Yes, sir." "He came in about ten o'clock last n ight." "And got snowed in here?" "No, sir; he left last night." "In that fearful storm?" "Yes, sir." "Then, he is a dead man, sure." "Somehow I think not, sir, for he came in the storm, made his purchases, packed them on h i s lea
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THE BUFF/\LO BILL STORIES. horse and left, though several of us tried hard to keep him." "Fool I the coyotes are feasting on his body this time, for this is one of the worst storms of the winter," and the major looked out from his snug quarters and shuddered as he thought of the Hermit Gold Hunter in that howling tempest of snow. "The old Gold Hunter doubtless knew what he was doing, sir, though it is bitter weather to be caught in." "It is, indeed; but I hope Buffalo Bill met Field and his party, for he left this fort to head them off. If he is with them there is no reason to be alarmed." "Yes, major, Cody is better than an Indian to read !igns; but the Mad Miner knows, too, and he would go." "And he preferred to face it to remaining in the fort!" "Yes, sir." "Then he is a fugitive from the gallows, I take it, and is afraid to remain among his fellow-men. "I wish we could find his haunt and know just who and what he is." "No one here seems to know anything about him, sir, and he will not talk of himself." "VI/ ell, we'll gather up his bones and bury them after this storm is over, but I do hope Field is not out in it, especially with that girl," and the curt remark of the major showed that after all he did have a tender spot in his crusty old heart for a woman. CHAPTER CIII. THE GIRL GOLD HUNTER. Storm or sunshine seemed alike to Buffalo Bill when duty called him. When he had guided the colonel and his party to the cabin up the canon, thus saving their lives, he said, after he had seen them made comfortable, that he was compelled to depart, but would see them the following day. Then he mounted his horse and rode away, seem in gly u n mindful of the storm. The fact was Buffalo Bill had met with a strange adventure when on the trail of the J!>arty he had res cued. It was soon after his striking the trail in the mountain valley, and while riding rapiclly along, that he was startled by shots ahead. Instantly he dismounted and went ahead on foot, to come upon a scene that surprised him. In the midst of a group of rocks was a girl at bay, crouching there and standing off foes, the scout judged some half-a-dozen in number, who were ing upon her. From his position he could see the girl, dressed in buckskin shirt, short skirt and black hat, firing at in tervals toward points where her foes were concealed in thickets or behind rocks. The scout took in the situation at once, and rap idly made a flank movement, which brought him in the rear of the girl's assailants. The first they knew of his presence was a shot, quickly followed by another and another, which in two instances brought down a man. The others, three in number, bounded to their feet, and started to run, but the girl from her am bush was on the watch for them, as was Buffalo Bill, and rapid fire brought them to bay, and they turned to it out, firing at random toward each enemy. Then followed a score of rapidly-fired shots and then silence, followed by the scout advancing and coming upon the bodies of those who had attacked the girl. "They are white men disguised as Indians, the worst foes on this border," muttered Buffalo Bill. Just then the girl walked up to him, her hand extended, and she said: "You are the great scout, Buffalo Bill, and you have sa vecl my life." "And who are you?" asked the surprised scout, gazing upon the sun-browned face of the girl, who was barely over eighteen. "It would be a long story to tell you, so I will say only that you must keep my secret, for my father

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THE BUFF A.LO BILL STOR!ES. 11 and myself are all who are left of a band of gold unters who came into these wilds before your army did. "I was a little girl then, and my mother and brother were killed with the other settlers by the Indians." "vVhere v\"as your home?" "In Perchido Valley." "I know it, and that a settlement was wiped out "Yes; I had gone with my father to his mines, and we two escaped, and since then we have lived to avenge those we loved-I guess we have done so, for even my father is at last tired of the red work, and ready to leave this wild land." "And where is your father now?" "Gone to Fort Defence after supplies-it was there that I saw you, and knew who you were, for I ave several times gone there, dressed as a boy." "And who is your father?" "My father is known under the names of the Mad Hermit, the Mad Gold Hunter and the Crazy Miner, and the Indians, believing him m ad, fear him, and they call him the Evil Spirit, and he encourages their fears of him." "Do you live near here?" "Not very; but I was out hunting, came upon a fresh trail, got ahead and from ambush saw the party pass me, and it w as soldiers from the fort and a young girl. "Later, feeling that we were going to have a bliz zard, I decided to ride after the party and take them to my cabin home, to save them from certain death. "I was on my way to do so, when I came upon tf1ese Indians, who fired upon me and kiiled my 1orse; but I ran to cover and fought t!{ern." "And did it well; but they are renegade whites rigged out as Indians." "Ah! vVe have had to deal with that kind, too, for they suppose my father has vast riches in gold hidden away--and he h a s got enough to make '.ls bomfortable when we go away from here; but you will go after that party, won't you, for to be caught out in such a night as this will be, means certain death?" "I believe you, unless the y find a good shelter for a camp." "Brin g them to my cabin, for I shall go to our mountain cave after another horse." "And where is your cabin?" "Do you see yonder two mountain peaks?" "Yes." "Between them is,a valley that' ends in a cafion, and it is at the head of that. "You will find food there, wood, water and plenty of dried grass in the rear shed for the horses." "I thank you-and you?" "Will go to our cavern, which is warm and com fortable." 'Why not to your cabin?" "I do not wish to be seen, and you must tell, for my father must first know; but let me tell you that I am sure the mountain tribes are combining to move down and surprise the fort; but I will tell you more to-morrow, if you will come to the cave, as we have two allies in the Sioux village, a Pawnee chief and his squaw, who left their tribe for sqmc cause, and whom father befriended. "These two went to the Sioux, but are friendly; with the whites, and the chief told me of the upris ing, but is to bring more to-morrow and meet me at the cave, and I in t ended to go to the fort and report, as father did not know of the trouble when he left." "You are a noble girl, and I will take the party to your cabin, and then seek your cave to know more, for what you tell me makes me very anxious, as the Sioux can raise a large force; but this coming storm may delay them a few days." "It may; but an Indian is hard to freeze, you know; they can stand any weather a wolf can." "You are right. "Now, tell me your name, please?" "Father calls me Dorothy." "Well, Miss Dorothy, I .am glad to know you, and, if you w ill tell me where to find your cave, I

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18 THE BUFFALO BnLL STORIES. will push 01: after the party now to turn them back to safety in your cabin." "Go into the valley leading to the cabin ; as I told you, and when you come to a pine thicket on your left ride in to it. "There you will find a blind cafion, and at its head is our cave." "I'll find it, never fear; but, as you have lost your horse, you must take one of mine, for I have two, and you shall ride my Black W])Iirlwind." "I thank you, Buffalo Bill, and will take good care of him for you; but you must not delay, for night is coming on, an .cl those people mus : not perish." "No, indeed," and Buffalo Bill hastened after his horses, while the girl coolly looked over the bodies of the dead renegades. "I found them well supplied with belts of gold, which you must claim, as they are no use to them." ''No, indeed; I'll--'' "Then we'll share them; but what splendid hor.,es." "None bettel'; but I'll look after these bodies, if you will get the saddle from my dead horse and put it ?n your for me." This was quickly done, the scotJt changing his saddle to the white horse, and packing the weapons of the dead renegades upon the black to be c arried to the cave home of the strange girl. After a few more words the scout mounted and rode away, after first taking care of the dead bodies, which was an easy task, as they could be disposed of ih the crevices of the rocks near. How Buffalo Bill at last overtook the colonel and his escort has been told, and in the very nick of time, and, after guiding them to safety, anxious to know what the Pawnee chief had to report aboutthe move ments of the Sioux, he rode on his way to the cave, hoping to reach it by dawn. CHAPTER CIV. THE MESSENGER ARROW. It was just-daw1: when Buffalo Bill, guided easily by the trail left in the snow by the Girl Gold Hunter, for she had gone first to her cabin home and arranged there for the coming of the party, as has bec11 seen, by building a good fire and setting out provis ions a fter which, in the snowstorm, she had set out for her cave h o me. The "blind cafiorl" in the cliff was foa11cl, and, af ter a ride of a mile, came its encl, where the scout so o n di s covered the cave, reached by a steep pathwe.y. Over the mouth o f the cave was a long shelter, _and within Buf falo Blll heard voices and saw a cheerful blaze. He called out, and, by some means, all in the cave became d a rk, and silence followed. A mo,ment after, from over his head came a voice: "Oh! it is you, Buffalo Bill-I'll open the door." It was the girl, and, as the door opened, she said: """'{ ou are prompt, and we have to be careful, you know. "I dropped the buffalo-1'obe curtain when you called to shut out the light, and went up to take a peep at you from our lookout above. "Bring your horse right in, for this is a double cave; there in that side is where he belongs, and you will find feed for him. "Then come in and you'll find the Pawnee chief here, for he was waiting when I got back last night. "I am cooking breakfast, and I'll add more, for J know you are hungry," and when the scout, having made his horse comfortable with Black \Vhirlwind and several other animals, went into the home cave, he found all cheery there, and a good supply of h9t c9ffee and breakfast-most acceptable to him. There was also an Indian there in the war bonnet of a chief, and, extending his hand to the scout, the redskin said: "Me know great White Chief Buffalo Bill-heap good man-heap great man-killer." "Yes, indeed, Chief Red Heart, I remember you and that your tribe drove you away because you were too friendly with the Sioux, as you married a Sioux squaw." "Me like Sioux, me like palefaces-better friends to me than my red people. Me glad, for have heap to tell big white chief."

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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. t 9 And what Buffalo Bill learned from the Pawnee was enough to se t him to thinking of how he could thwart the movements of the Sioux against the fort. After the three had had a long talk together it was decided that the girl, Dorothy, s h o uld go to the cabin and have the colonel's party l eav e there for the fort as soo n as the storm s l a ck e n e d i ts fury a little, and that she should guide them to the fort, to get to its protection before the Indians could surround it. Buffalo Bill was to go at once to the fort to give warning, and the Pawnee was to return to his redskins, and, if possible, give notice to the commandant of Fort Defence of the movements and force of the Sioux. Toward noon the t r io departed from the c a ve, bound upon their separat e miss ions, Buffalo B:ill again mounted upon Black \Vhirl w ind and with Ghost in the lead as a pack animal, while Dorothy rode one of her own horse s and the Pawnee the ani mal he had ridden from the Sioux village from which he had departed upon a pretended scout aft e r pale faces, not one brave of the village suspecting that he was not the bitter foe of the whites. It will be remembered that Colonel Field and his party, in the comfortable c a bi n home of an unknown host, were in no hurry to face the storm to continue on their way, unti l noon w a s n ear at hand and a blow came upon the door, which was made by the sticking into it of an Indian arrow. \i\Tho had fired t h e mes senger arrow into the door of the cabin? I t had been fired with considerab l e force, for the barb stuck deep, and it had struck so hard that all w i thin had belie v ed it was a knock at the door But no one was vis i ble wh e n Li eutenant Nugent had thrown open the door. The arrow a lone c aught his eye, s a ve that he saw how hard the storm was yet rag ing. H e looked o u t into the thicke t t o s e e if any one wa s visible No one could be seen \Vhen Colonel F i eld took from the young officer the bit of paper he wa s quick to read it, for the words of the lieutenant, that they must l e ave the cabin at once, had fairly star tled him, and he g l a nced anxiously toward his daughter, for m ust she a gai n face the biting storm h e won dered. After reading the lines writ t en on t h e sli p of pap; e r he said: "This is remarkable, Nugent, and, as you say, wet must leave at once. Turning to his daughter, he continued: "Ruth, here is a commu nicati on, a n d written in a woman's hand. "I will read it to you, for all o f u s must k n ow 111e soldiers d r ew nearer, and the co lonel read aloud: T h i s bli zzard prev ente d a n attack o f many w a r riors upon Fort Defen s e They were a ss e mbling in bands and were d rive n by the ter r i ble stonn, to seek what shelter they c o uld in t h e c afio n s and timbers. As s oon as the storm ends r e nd e red desperate b y cold and hung e r they will attack the fort and, contrary t o the Ind i a n custom the y will a t tack at n i ght, with every ch a n ce o f success, for it will be a c o mplete surprise and they outnumber the garris o n four to one Frorp this c a bin to the fort you will find a fresh trail made b y on e h o r se F ollo w it a n d a t night camp wh e re you will find a fir e burnin g for the spot is sh e lter e d. B e in th e saddle again a t dawn, and follow the trail from the mining c amp to the fort, and which some of your parly know. R e aching thi s cea s e to follo w the fresh trail, and push on to th e fort w ith all p os s ible s peed for th e s torm will bl o w out to ni g ht, a nd b y to-morro w night the a t t a ck w i ll b e made A RESCUER. When the colonel had read this, all looked a t each 0ther in silence ''.Let me see the writing, fathe r," said Ruth. He h a nd e d the paper to her, and, g l an c in g at it, she said: "A woman' s hand, and an educated one. "How strang e "You w ill hee d this w arning from our unknown rescuer, sir?" "Yes, Nugent, we followed our res c uer to these comfortable quarters, and it stri ke s me that this is thoroughly honest. "I have no d oubt of it, sir. "Men, saddle t he horses a t once, an d we will g e t the trz,ps together.

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20 THE BUff l\LO BllL "l\1iss Field, I shall take that large bear robe as a bed for you to-night, and lea ve its equivalent," said Edgar Nugent. In a quarter of an hour the h o r ses were before the cabin door, the riders all bundled themselves up warmly, the fire was covered up, the door closet! as foimd, and the party rode away. A short distance from the cabin there was a trail found. It' led up to a dwarf cedar, and from there the arrow had doubtless b ee n sent on its mi s sion of warnin2. 0 # "This is the trail we are to follow, s ir." "Beyond a doubt, lieuten ant,'' repli e d the colonel, <1nd th e horses \Vere at once following in the broken trai l in the snow. The storm still continued, but the trail led out of the qfion and the n to the left <1long the base of a range of hill s On they went, the afternoon growing rapidly shorter, and the eyes of Lieutenant Nugent trying to penetrate the falling snow to find the fire spoken of in the warning, for he clid not care to be caught out in the night, wit h no better shelter than what they saw about them for Ruth. The n1en might stand it, but could she? Soon they saw heavy timber ahead, and the trail that still led them entered a canon. As they went on the fury of the storm was hardly felt there, and, as night drew close, they entered a sheltered spot among high cliffs, where the pines grew thick. Before them, among the sheltering rocks, a smoke was seen, and, upon reaching it, they saw that it l}ad not long made, for it had just got to burnilJg well. "True as steel so far, our unknown guide is," said t he lieutenant. "Yes, and we will be fairly comfortable here our s elves, though the horses will suffer for food," the c o lonel rejoined. A creek was near, water was plentifu l the pines and rocks sheltered the campers from the winds anJ Ruth said it was by no means a bad Supper was soon ready, and th. en all turned in for the night, but were up, had breakfast and were ;n the saddle when clay dawned, and all rejoiced that the storm had ended. CHAPTER CV. A RESCUER OF RESCU ERS vVith the first glimmer of light Lieutenant Nugent led the way out of the sheltered night camp, and was anxious to find the trail of the night before, which, he feared, however, the storm having continued until late had been wiped nut. To his surprise, he soon saw the trail ahead, and it had led from a secluded retreat among the rocks where their unknown ;ind mysterious guide had be yond doubt pased the night, not half-a-mile from their own camp. There was a fire there, and they had no longer a faint trail to follow, b u t a fresh one. Hoping to overtake their guide, the lieutenant pushed on more rapidly, but he soon found that the tired and hungry horses could not stand the sj:rain, and let them take their own pace. The sun soon rose i n a clear sky, but the weather was very cold, and all felt anxious about Ruth, though without reason, for she said she was perfectly comfortable. Thus a couple of hours passed, and Lieutenant Nugent, looking ahead, called o u t : "I recognize familia r scenes now, for yonder j5 the regular trail ahead." "And there our unknown guide said he, or she, would leave us." "Yes, colonel; but you really do not suspect it can be a woman?" "If writing is proof, our guide was a woman, Nugent," answered the colonel with a smile "True, sir; I have nothing to say. "But see, here is the fort trail, and the fre s h one we have been following crosses it.

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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 21 ''Dut we keep OD." "Yes, sir, for I know where I am now, and the fort is only about twenty miles distant." The lieutenant turned abrnptiy to the left into the regular trail, though it was not broken in the least. A ride of several miles and they came upon a trail, erasing the unbroken one they were on. "Indians, sir?" "Surely." "One of those bands that our unknown ;:ibout." ''Yes, s ir ; a nd some fifty i n number. '"'I since r e ly hope that we will reac h the fort with out encountering any recl skias," anrl the young offi cer glanced at Ruth and then at their nearly used-uo horses "I hope so, indeed," was the l ow reply. But suddenly, after riding some miles further. Edgar Nugent drew r e in. "Hark!" All listened attentively. "Firing?" "Yes, colonel." "Some distanc e ahead?" "Yes, sir." "\i Vhat do yo u think it can be?" "A search party from the fort, sir, after us and they have run upon a band of redskins." "It is just that. "Perhaps our arrival will stampede the Indians.' "\Ve can try it, sir, especi ally as we cannot weil make a flank movement along here off the trail." "Lead on, Nugent; we follow." On they went, the men looking to their weapons, and, after a short ride, they ascended a rise to come upon a thrilling scene Down in a basin was a group of soldiers dis11ounted and formed in a circle, while they were fighting off a band of fully a hundred Indians who vere crouching around them in the snow and firing upon them. "Colonel, it is the search party and outnumbered. "I recognize a brother office r there, and they will be overwhelmed if we do not save them." "In God's name, what can we do, Nugent, though I am more than willing?" "They are all d ismou n ted, sir, and have their po ni es h a lf-a-mil e back in those thickets, so if we stam pede them we can dash through, call to Lieutenant Edmonds to be ready and then it will be a running fight to the fort." "You are a born soldier, Lieutenant Nugent, and it i s worth a risk to t ry your plan." "A courier can be sent on at full speed to call for hel p, s ir, to come and meet us." "Yes, l ea d on." "Pleas e keep b y the side of your daughter, colonel. "Burke, g i ve me your bugle. The soldier unslung his bugle and handed it to the young off icer, who at once blew a loud and ringing cavalry call. It was heard above the firing and yells of In dians, and the la tter turned in wild dismay to be hold a group, as they supposed, officers of a large cavalry force, riding over the hill. With wild yells they broke in a mad stampede for their ponies in the thicket, while the soldiers at bay poured after them a hot fire. 'vVaiting until the reds kins were well on the run, Lieutenant N ugent shouted: "Now!" D ow n the hill they rode, and Edgar Nugent cried, in a voice that rang over the valley: "Mount your men, Edmonds, and make a run ning fight of it to the fort. "Send a courier on your fastest horse for help to meet us! "It is Ed Nugent, and he has saved, u s," cried an officer with Bert Edmonds. "Yes, and the colopel and his daughter are with him," adde d a second lieutenant. Lieut en ant Bert Edmonds made no reply, but his face showed that he did not like being rescued by Ed gar Nugent's bold act.

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22 THE BU ff' ALO Bill STORIES. But life was at stake, and, leaving his dead, he was ready for flight when the little party came up at a run.. CHAPTER cvr. THE WEIRD HORSEMAN. Lieutenant Nugent had seen with the eye of a true soldier the chances to sa v e a comrade and his men, as also his own party. If, as the presence of the Indians there was an in aication, the unknown had told only the truth, and there must be other bands near, l'o make a flank movement to reach the fort the chances were that they would fall in with some of these bands. In the condition their horses then were it was a certainty that they could not escape by flight. Then the nature of the country thereabout would necessitate many miles to be gone over in a flank movement to reach the fort, not to speak of leaving Lieutenant Bert Edmonds in a bad way. 'As long as the young officer ordered with such calm judgment, Colonel Field left him in full control, not once interfering. The colonel now saw all as did Edgar Nugent, and he did not doubt their arrival would stampede the Indians temporarily, and give the s earch party a chance to escape, for he felt sure they had only ventured out in such weather to look him up. The dash was therefore made, Lieutenant Bert Edmonds grasped the situation as intended, the wounded men were mounted with a comrade behind them to hold them in the saddle, and when the daring little party came up and formed the soldi e rs who were at bay fell in behind them, and a flight was begun for life. A courier had already sped away toward t he fort for help, and Lieutenant Edmonds called out: "Your rank gives you command, Nugent." "Thanks; I do not assume it, howe v er, so remain in command," and Edgar Nugent rode ahead with Colonel Field and Ruth. The Indians were not long in discovering how cle v erly they had been tricked, and they gave vent to their rag e in wild yells, while they hastened to their ponies and started in pursuit. But the soldiers had now gotten a good start, and the men riding at a rapid canter, firing back as they w ent at the redskins who pursued them. Rifle bullets and arrow h eads flew thick and fast, and Lieutenant Nugent, see i n g a soldier killed and others wounded, suggested that Colonel Field and his daughter push ahead still faster to out of range. "I will send Ruth ahead with your two men, Nugent, but remain here with the command. "And I shall remail1' also with the command, father, so it is useless to urge the contrary," grimly replied Ruth, and the colonel said no more on the subject. On they dashed, keepingup a running fight, with a soldier and a horse hit now and then, and a -brave and a pony in their turn going down. But the redskins were drawing dang-erously near the fort, and they begun to slacken their speed. They realized that the courier would bring help that their foes had escaped and that they must re treat, especially as they were not anxious to be pursued just then too far from the fort, and only wished to be con s idered a band of prowlers. But as they drew rein, suddenly a warning cry came from Edga r Nugent: "Halt! we are headed off!" It wa s true, for a band of redskins suddenly rode into the trail ahead of them, and formed in line of b attle h a lf-a-hundred strong. The soldier s came to a halt, for their pursue;s sa w the ir predic a m ent and begun to press on once m o re with the w i ldest yells. "We mus t s t and at b ay, Edmonds, among yonder bow ld e r s cried Lieutenant Nugent, calling back t o his brother offi cer. "It is all that we can d o," came the answer. But, as the word s were spoken, a wild, terrible warcry was heard, almost above them, and upon a

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THE BUffALO BILL. STORIES. 23 cliff a hundred yards on their right appeared a horse and rider. The cry arose among both bands of Indians, be fore and in the rear of the soldiers: "The Evil Spirit! The Evil Spirit!" It 'v\'as spoken in thei r own tongue, but soldiers who knew their language heard what was said and u11 clers tood it. Again came that awful ae
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24 THE BUFF ALO Bill STORIES. -"He has kept his threat to enter the army, and more, is stationed at the post where we are to be." wondering at the strange of the Fields and Bert Edmonds again and confident that there was some m ystery back o f it all he could not fathom, Edgar Nugent rode back to where Lieutenant Edmonds wa s looking to the comfort of his wounded men, and said: "I-congratulate y o u Edmonds. But the coming of that Mad Gold Hunter, as they call him, was most timely." "You surely do not consider that the Indians ran from him?" "Certainly What e l se, if not from him?" "There is our fort on account of the turn in the trail they did not see our pursuers, and believing ';We were too strong for them, fled." "Not a bit of it. They heard the pursuit if they 'did n o t s ee their comrades from where th' ey were, and t he M a d Hermit alone stampeded them. "Why he did the same thing for us a couple of aays ago." "Nonsense! but I thank you for the bold charge you made, though w e were in no danger. "Still it was the best way for you to get through." Edgar Nugent smiled and replied: "Yes, best for all, as it has turned out." "I hope Colonel Field and his daughter are well, and appreciate our coming after them in such weather." "They q.re well yes; but a soldier and a s oldier' s 'daughter hardly a ppreciate a soldier doing his duty at any time, I take it. But, come, they sent me for you, as you did not come up and they expect to meet an old friend in Lieutenant Edmonds." "Said Miss Field so?" "She spoke of you as one to whom a debt of gratitude was due for some service rendered them, and also as having met you both in Texas and New York; but they did not know of your having entered the army." "No, I thought I would surprise them. "As they have sent for me, I will go with you, 'Nugent." Edgar Nugent simply bowed, and the two rode in silence. "I believe I need hardly introduce Lieutenant Edmonds, Colonel Field," said Edgar Nugent, as they rode. "Oh, no, for it is an acquaintance of four years ago." "I am glad to see you, Mr. Edmonds, and welcome you into the army," said the colonel, cordially. But the greeting of Ruth was not so cordial, yet she extended her gloved hand and said: "Perhaps the army is the very place for Lieutenant Edmonds, as he has had considerable exper.ience in Indian fighting on the prairies of Texas." CHAPTER CVIII. BUFFALO BILL' S CLEVER RUSE. Amid the thundering guns in a salute due his rank, Colonel Field rode into Fort Defense, escorted im mediately by Lieutenant Bert Edmonds' guard, and followed by the troops that Major Benton had sent out to his aid. It was a hearty welc0me both the commandant and his beautiful daughter recei v ed, and every woman's eye was turned upon Ruth, as she rode al o ng, to see if she was indeed as lovely as reported. "She certainly rides well," said one. "And is an exquisite figure," added another, for Ruth had dropped off the m.ilitary cloak she had ,,orn. "How gracious she is," remarked the wife of .l captain of cavalry. A n d so o n the comments of the women ran, not one being to the detrim ent of the fair stranger. As to the young officers, they voted her "divine" at sig ht but then they were already prejudiced in her fav or. The colonel s sold i erly appearance and handsome face won much prai s e also. "Very different from old crusty Benton," said a young officer. "Just my idea of a soldier, and he's already _made a fine record, res p o nded another. "And he will add to it here." "Yes ; he will h av e the chance." "A thorough dis ciplinarian, but always comteous to ofncers and men." "I wish I had been in young Nugent's place, for he's the lead of us. "They've had trouble, too, depend on it, for Nugent had six men and an ambulance when he went away."

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THE BU Ff 1\.LO BILL STORIES. 25 "Yes, Edmonds rescued them, so he's on even terms with Nugent." So went the comments of the young officers as they chatted together after the arrival of their colo nel. In the meantime the party had ridden to h ea dquarters, which Major Benton had in fine order for them, having him self moved into Bachelor's Row to give up all to the colonel and his daughter. He was, however, on hand to receive them, grasped the hand of the colonel, whom he knew, and, to the surprise of the lookers-o n, helped Ruth from her saddle with marked courtesy and grace. Then the m ajor did more, for h e led them into their new home, showed what improvements he had made, and play ed the most hospitable host. "You will dine with us of course, major?" said the colonel. "Oh, no, thank you; I'll go to the bachelor's mess, and will return this afternoon late to turn over thi; command to you." "My dear major, there is no hurry as to that, but there is need of quick action to prepare against au attack by Indians which I happen to know will be made to-night." "Nonsense! This weather will fre eze them out.'' "No, for they were coming to make the attack be fore the storm, but got sr.owed in and will make it to-night. We saw two bands of them-three, in fact-and the trail of a fourth, so you will kindly keep command unti l the affair is over with." "Yes, Buffalo Bill, my chief o f sco uts, came in and reported your coming, and also the threatened attack of the Sioux, and I, ther efore, have no fear of them when that fine fellow i s watching them, for he at once left again to keep his e ye upon them, ancl also to look up a mad mi11er who left the fort in the storm, and, we fear has b een snowed under." "Why, major, it Buffalo Bill who saved us, and--" "I know that he left you at a place of refuge, and an1e here." "And the mad miner is safe, for he it was who put the Indians to flight an h our ago." "Good! and Cody will report later," said the major. And two hours af ter, Buffalo Bill came into fort to report that t h e Sioux, aware that they couid not surprise the garrison, half-starved and frozen. were in retreat by separate bands towar d their vil lage. Then, by questioning the scout, it was learned that he had found the Mad Hermit and brought him back to the fort, as he was nearly overcome with the cold. "Then, was it not the Mad Hermit who drove off the force that attacked us, Scout Cody?" asked tha colon el. Buffalo Bill smiled and said: "I took the rig, sir, when I heard the fir ing, and played the Evil Spirit, as I knew the ruse would scatter the Indians. "But the miner is no more mad than I am, only. pfayed the part to h ave the Indians fear him, and to save his gold; but he is in tpe surgeon's care sir, a nd I m11st go to his retreat and bring his daughter here," and, the secret being out now, the scout told all about Dorothy, wd added: "She i s a fine girl, and her father has educated her. as well as he could, in spite of his wild life; and theY) are going to return to the miner's old home to live, as soon as he can do so; but h e knows the retreat of Solaris, the outlaw, and his band, and will go with me, Colonel Field, to guide a force of soldiers there as soon as he is able. Half-an-hour after Buffalo Bill started on his trail to the home of Dorothy, to bring the girl back witll him to the fort. Within two days he was back again, accompanied by Dorothy and half-adozen horses, iaden down with packs o f the belongings of the miner and his daughter. A few clays afte r the miner was able to start on the expedition agains t the outlaws, led by Lieutenant Nugent. It proved a complete wipe-out of the band, Buffalo Bill killing Chief Solaris iti an encoun ter at close quarters. Later the miner-Gabriel Goodrich by nameand his daughter Dorothy left for their old home, which they reac hed in safety. At the fort Ruth Field became very popular with all. But her hero who won her heart was Edgar, Nugent, and she became his wife, while Bert Edmonds, in his disappointment at not winniL1g her by turning soldier, resigned from the army in disgust. As for Buffalo Bill his duties as scout were soon to call him into new and thrilling dangers. To DE CONTINUEn.

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. LOOK THIS, BOYS! 19 I PRIZES. ANECDOTE PRIZE CONTEST I 19 PRIZES WHO HAS HAD THE MOST EXCITING EXPERIENCE? THAT'S the idea, boys. You have all had some narrow escapes, some dangerous adventures in yo u r lives! Perhaps it was the capsizing of a boat, or the scaling of a cliff, or a close shave in a burning building'! or something equally thrilling. WRITE IT UP JUST AS IT HAPPENED. We offer a handsome Prize for the most exciting and best written anecdote sent us by any reader of BUFF ALO BILL WEEKLY. The incident, of course, must 1ela.te to something that has happened to the writer himself, anc it must also be strictly true. It makes no difference how short the articles are, but no contribution must be longer than 500 words. HERE ARE THE PRIZES! TWO PRIZES. For Two Most Exciting and Best Written Anecdotes. Two first-class Spalding Standard Athletic Sweaters. Made of the finest Australian lambs' 1 wool, exceedingly soft. Full fashioned to body and arms, and without seams of kind. Colors: White Navy Blue, Black and Maroon. TWO SECOND For Two Second Best Anecdotes. Two pairs of Raymond's All Clamp Ball Ile aring Roller Skates. Bearings of the finest tempered steel, with 128 steel balls. For speed no skate has ever approached it. FIVE llilRD PRSZES. For Five Next Best Anecdotes. Five pairs of Winslow's Speed Extension Ice Skates, with extension foot plates These skates have detachable welded steel racing runners, also an extra set of short runners for fancy skating. FOR NEXT TE. N BEST A Spalding I 2 inch "Long Distance" Mega phone. Made of fire board, capable of carrying the sound of a human voice one mile, and in some instances, two miles. More fun than a barrel of monkeys. The contest will continue u iti1 Dec. rst, next. Send in your anecdotes at once, boys. We are going to publish all of the best ones the progress of the contest. We will have to reserve to ourse lves the right of judging which anecdote has the mos1 merit, but our readers know that they may de pend upon Street & Smith and on their ab solute fairness and justice in conducting contests This one will be no exception to the rule. % Whether your contribution wins a prize or not it stands a good chance of being publishe d to gether with the name of the writer. To become a contestant for these prizes, cu out the Anecdote Contest Coupon, printec herewith, fill it out properly, a11d send it t< BUFFALO BILL WEEKLY, care of Street & Smith 238 Wil.liam St., New York City, together witl your anecdote. No anecdote will be considerec that does not have this coupon accompanying it COUPONo "BUFFALO BILL WEEKLY" ANECDOTE CONTEST. PRIZE No. t. I Date ...................... 1001 Name ................................................. City or town ............................................ State ............................................ T ille of Anecdote ......................................

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PRIZE ANECDOTE DEPARTMENT. During the progress ot the Anecdote Prize Contest this space is being devoted to the publication of the best anecdotes sent in by the contestants. Here are some of those 1ecdved this week. Read them, boys, and then send in your own. There are still plenty of chances for everybody to win the prizes offered. A Horrible Dream. (By Harry Berrigan, Lima, Ohio.) Not feeling good, I went to bed early one evening and was soon fast asleep. I had a horrible dream. I dreamed I went to the fair aud that there was to be a balloon ascension. The professor wa11ted to take somebody up with him, and I volunteered to go with him. The balloon was an old -fashioned oue with a basket to stand in. We got in aud the balloon was cut loose and up we went. The professor was looking down at the people when all of a sudden he fell out. Imagine me all alone and going higher and higher. For quite a while the balloon soared on, then it began to settle down and when it came to the ground I fouud that I was in a wildlookiug country and could see no sign of any one anywhere. So I sat down on a stump, but pretty soon I began to feel hungry. I got up and walked all around, but could see no sign of a house. I came back to the balloon about dark and covered up in the canvas and went to sleep. When I awoke in the morning I was almost starved to death. I walked a good distance that day hunting for a house, but could not find one. I returned about dark and once more cuddled up in the canvas and went to sleep. A waking in the morning I was so weak I could hardly stand. But I managed to get on my feet and started to walk, but I did not get far, but sank down unconscious. When I came to I could see a man coming toward me with provisions in a bag. I cried out in joy and reached out to receive the things when I awoke. A Close Call. (By Walter N. Hibler.) It was one day in the early fall when my brother Tom and I started out to get some game for dinner the next day. After we had been out for some time and had seen nothing we wanted we Separated and I went deeper the forest. Farther and farther I went, until at last I found myself in a part of the forest with which I was not very familiar, and night was coming on. Darker and darker it grew, and at last I realized that I was lo:;t. Still I walked on until it became so dark that I could hardly see my hand before my face. I picked up a piece of dry wood and lighted it as a torch, but it made a very poor one. Suddenly I beheld two gleaming balls of fire before me and realizing that I was face to face with a wild beast I dropped my torch and, raising my rifle, fired. There was a snarl, and suddenly a heavy body struck me aud I was thrown to the ground and my rifle fell from my grasp. Then I found myself held down by the body of a wildcat and was looking into a pair of gleaming eyes. Never will I forget that moment. I broke out in a cold sweat. I trembled. I felt that all hope was gone and closed my eyes. What seemed like hours passed, then I beard the report of a rifle and the body of the wildcat fell off of me, and I knew no more until I found myself lying on the bank of a creek near by and my brother bathing my face and hands with water. It was his rifle that had saved me. He had gone home in the evening and, not finding me there, had gone out to look for me and hearing my rifle shot had hurried in the direction of the sound, and came up just in time to save my life. As soon as I was able we started for home, where we arrived about midnight, and it is safe to say that thereafter I was more careful in my aim when I shot at wild beasts. A Big Jump. (By Tip Panick, Emporia, Kansas.) As I wish to enter in the Anecdote Prize Contest, I will now relate an unexpected encounter with a wolf. In the summer of 1898 my brother Arthur started up an Indian tribe among the boys of Fifth avenue. It was a success, aud the tribe was called the Wickapaws, with Pontiac (my brother) the chief. One morning we started for the timber for a couple of days of campiog. As we neared Tumble Creek we saw two boys on top of a cliff abo11t forty feet high, and in a cav e about twenty-nine feet up this cliff were ten boys dressed like soldiers. We sneaked as close as we could. Then, with that

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28 THE BU ff ALO BILL STORIES. bloody warcry, '' Hl, yi !'' eightee n boys clad iu feathers and paint scaled the walls of the di ff on into tlie cave. Then there was a hand-to-hand combat. 'l'he soldiers were driven from the cave to the bottom of the cliff, where they threw rocks at us. "Jhile the battle was going on I made my way to a rock which hung out over the rest. I was s l1ooting arrows on the soldiers below when Walter Galey yelled to me to run for my life. I turned to see what was the matter and caught sight of a wolf about ten feet above rne, I icking his chops and crouching for a spring. A wolf was au uncommon tb i ug to be seen near Emporia, but there had been tl"vo lurkiug around Sarby's pasture, and this was one of them. I had no time to think, but sprnethiug inside cf me told 1!1e to jump, and I sprang far out into the air jus t as the 1Yolf passed where my head was a s e co nd b efo r e We both hit the water at once, but I was on top. The wolf came to the surface firs t and when I rose he sank his claws in the top of my head. I took a breath and sank again. I did not lose my rnind, bnt swam ti11c1Er the water as long as I could. Then I rose ill time to see my noble dog Sanco jump into the grnb tli e animal by the throat and choke 11i1;2 to death. I tried to swim to the bank, but currt'!l t tras too swift. Art was about to julllp it1 after n!c, but I t ; 1 l d him to get the wolf a11d I wouid niake it a ll right. The current carried me abo11t ba1f-n-mi!e down tl ie stream b efo r e I could gain the bank. I ran to the boys a s fast as I could. Jus t as I reached them I sauk to the ground unconscious. Tl'le boys skinned wolf 'and g
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THE BU ff ALO BILL STORK ES. 29 One of them 'ms crouched r eady to spring a t me. I would not have fired at him a t suc h a cl o se range, but I Jrnew if I attempt ed to move backward h e wou ld spring at me and so as quick as a flash I raised rny rifle to my shoulde r and fired. M y bullet did its work well, for the lion leaped into the air and fell dead. Before I could rel o a d my rifle, the othe r lion sprang at me and struck me full in the breast so hard as to k n ock me off of a bluff about si x feet h igh. I got to m y feet as quick as posible and started off with a ll of my speed, which was very, very muc h, so I thought. I did not do this a;iy too qliick, for the lion w as but a few feet behind me. Seein g that running w as of 110 use, I snatched my r e volver fron) my pocket a1:d turned 011 the lion. I fired four shot s befo r e I succe e d e d i n him in a vital place. As soon as I had stabbed him with my bunting knife, which I carried i n my belt, I went back and got m y rifle, whi ch I had lost when falling off of the bluff. I got it and went u p to the den w h e re the lions had been a few moments before. I found tha t there was a p a i r of nearly grown cubs the re. I did not care to ri s k m y life a n y more with the blamed things, so I set out for camp and reached it jus t about dark. A Wild Chase. (By Wni. Bastian, Cleve l a nd, Ohio.) While out one clay late in October with two fellows, about one and a half m i les the other side of South Park, which is abo u t four miles frolll Willow, and about t e n miles from m y vicipity, w e saw in the di stance an old farmhouse, unoccupi ed We made up our minds to camp the re for the ni ght. The farmboause was a rude strncture probably built by the people who lived there. It had four rooms consisting of a kitc hen, a pantry a closet an:i another' r9om, whch resen.1bled an Isoceles triangle having but two windows and one door leading into the kitchen. It had a garret, but it lo oked as thoug h it never was us ed. 011 firs t e ,nteriug you c ould see nothing but a f e w footm arks of mud and clay which we supposed some wanderer had made while lo ok in g for a lodging, but on close inspection the footmarks Jed to a cellar door, which we supposed was a trap door. But we cl e ared our mind that it was no trap door by placing a large bowlder on the door. That night passed fine and probably just as good a s at home. The next morning we wa s h ed our fac es in the cool spring which ran n ear the h o use. We the n went out and spent the day in hunting aud fishin g Toward ,evening we strolled back to the old farmhouse, which was very near two miles from the place we ''Vere then st:rn d ing. It was about eight.o'clock before we go t back and ready to take a rest, when suddenly we saw that the bowlder had disnppea r ed while w e were go ne, but not paying muc h atteution to it we la y ou the trap door, which gaye wa y, and we fell into the trap of some rasc al, so Tom Shrater lit bis lantern to see if there was any means of escape. There were no steps, but there was a large crack in the wall, whic h we broke o pe n and crawled out, w h en snddeul y as th e la s t of us c am e ont we bea r d footsteps of t wo peop l e who seem e d to come nearer. but passi n g u s t hey en t ered the hous e a1:d '\Yere surpr ised at seeing the trap open, so one let the other down. We the n crawled al ong the g rass abont one lnmdred feet, when snddenly ne heard the m:: rn in the cella r ex cia im, ''There h as b ee:; ou e down here and they bro ke th e wall whe re tl rnt crn c k w a s "Hurry, gi, e me y onr band; I will pnll y ou ttp and n e may yet ca t ch them," ca:11e fro u th e man aboye_. Hearing tl1e se exclamatio11 s we ra11 jllst to be fol lowed b y tbes e t1ro rascals for about t11 m il es when s ud den l y "e sa w the hea dlight o r au en gi11e coming our nay. We all three pi l ed into the car wbe11 s u d d e nl y the t\vo rnen ap p eared a n d threw l arge sto11es a t u s, one hittiug me in the chest, th e o ther 0 1 1 my for ehead, knocking me senseless, of which I s t i ll ba-..-e tbat scar, whi ch resem ble s a four-leaf clover. \Ve cam e t o t ow n jns t at midnight, being o u t two n ights and two days. My Experience in t11e Water. (By Stephen E F ow l er, Jr., Eldorado, Kansas.) It nas a spring da y in the yea r of 1 896. There were five of us-two b oys and my t w o brothers, and myself, one being older than myself, one younger. It being warm, we went in a s wimming. Only my older bro ther and one of the other boys could swim. Of course I had to go in, and at that age I thought I was very smart. I w as thirtee n years old. After the others had gone out and were dressing I started out t o show off. Suddenly I went over a step off and went in over my head. I bad som e sense l eft for "' hen I went to the bot tom I gave m y self an upward sli o ve, and I would wave m y bands wildly. At fir:;t they thought I was a fooling, but my brothe r, who c ould sw im, saw me and knew that I was not fooling and he m a d e for me, and caught rne as I was sinking. I jumped on b i s back, and we both went under once, then he tried it aga in and got to shallow water, and we b oth got out in s a fety, although I h a d a lot of dirty water in me. They can all t alk of facing lions, tigers, snakes, but r would rathe r face anything than drowning.

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BOYHOODS OF FAMOUS MEN. Th!s departmeat contains each week the story of the early career of some c:elebtated American. W atc:b for these stories ancl reacl them, ltoys. They are of the most fascinatineinterest. Those alrealiy pultlishecl a.re: No. f.-Buffalo Bill; No. 2. -Kit Carson; No. 3.-Texas Jack; No. 4.CoL Daniel BooneJ Nos. 5 ancl 6.-Davicl Crockett; No. 7.-Genera.1 Sam Houston. No. 8.-Lewis Wetzel. THE RENOWNED VIRGINIA RANGER AND SCOUT. Lewis Wetzel, the celebrated ranger whose fame among the early settlers of Virginia was second t? none, was one of the most efficient scouts and practical woodmen of his day. His services were eagerly called for by the new settlers anxious to found their claims in the further West. Under the protection of tbis scout they felt safe, for they no sooner landed in the neighborhood where be had been known all bis life than stories of him were told them, and they were advised' 'to get Lewis Wetzel and then they need have no fear of Indian. interlopers, for the Indians held him in mortal dread and always gave him a wide berth wherever he might happen to be.'' Wetzcl's father bad been killed by the Iudians, and Lewis swore eternal vengeance on them. This probably accounted for the redskins' dread of him, for he did not hesitate to kill every Indian that cross e d bis path. In appearance Lewis Wetzel was large and strong as an ox. His hair, when combed out, reached clear to bis ankles, and gave him a very ferocious appearance. The most exciting event of Wetz e l s boy hood was his capture by the Indians. He and bis older brother were at the time living with their parents in a small cabin near Wheeling, Va. It was a year or two before the Revolutionary War. 'rhe boys were asleep one night, and their fatber, John Wetzel, was sitting beside the open fire talking to his wife. Suddenly there was a rustling outside the do o r, and a pressure ag-ainst it. Mr. Wetzel put his eye to the knot hole. Outside, one by one, tall sha d ows passed by the door. There must have been twenty-five shadows. Each shadow, as it went along, pressed softly up to the door, then joined the other shadows collected a apart from the hou&e in au ominou s company. "What is -it?" bis wife whispered, awe in her voice. "Indians!" be whispered in reply. ''But why do they come tl:Fus?" "Wait!" They had not long to wait. The shadows again sepa rated and went to the back of the cabin There came a weird, soft tramp in the night, a soft tramp that carried a grim purpos e w ith it. There came a burst at the door, aud a plank gave way. Through the openini made thus John Wetzel fired his gun. There was a shriek outside. "What have you done?" wailed bis wife, wringing her hand s. "Iviurder !" be said, "and they will do more." S he ran back to her boys and clasped them to her, wildly praying to the Supreme Power to guard them from all harm. She looked at her husband; he was white as death. "You cannot hold out against them," she said. ''No," be answered. "Then why not ask them what they want?" "Look!" 'I1bere was a thin streak of yellow light shining in from the night outside, through the opeuint left by the shattered Her look told her everything. "Fire!" whispered Jobn Wetzel. ''They are never going to burn us!'' cried the a,ouized woman. There was a rasping sound all around the cabin, as the silent fieuds outside piled up the branches from the dry trees into a mountain o,cr the little cabin. Then the re came a tender crackling; then fifty thin threads of fla me sprang up Then for the first time there was a sound of voices outside: & shout of joy. Once niain John Wetzel's bullet sped on its wa y Even once more, and the place was as thol1gh filled with a great sun, so light tbe flames were A great blazing log tumbled in on the floor ; the roof 'v\'O.S a mass of tinder. 'l'he place was scorchiug bot and outside, joining with the shouts of the Indians, came the frightened bellowing of liberated cattle and the bleating of scurryingsheep ; while the quick stamps on the ground told of loosened half-wild horses m!lldnt for the river. The mother had torn a blanket from the bed and

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THE BUFf /-\LO BILL STORIES. 31 throwu it over the boys to protect them from the fla111es. Tbe smoke filling the place blinded her. She could no louger see her husband. A part of the roof fell in, aud with it came a crowd of yelling savages. "John! John!" she shrieked, aud hurried toward the place where she thought he must be. She was jostled against by fighting Indians, who were now stamping on the fire to put it out. Slie caught a glimpse of her hns band in the arms of three or four painted savages, hur ried from the cabin, struggling for bis life. Shrieking, she was after him. She had almost touched him, when a gleam of something bright blillded her-a tomahawk in the of a fierce brute over her husband's head. There was a quick movement of the Indian's band, a whoop from his lips as t)le instrument descended with a dull thud and crashed through the skull of John Wetzel. Then she knew no more,. .The early morning light brought its dew and songs of birds. 'l'he wife aud mother had fallen in the loug rank grass and been completely hidden from her would-be mur derers. She raised herself and looked around. There was the smoulderiug cabin. That was all. She knew that her husband was killed, she bad seen the deed done. She thought her children were burned up with the cabin. Groaning in her .agony, she determined to make her way to Wheeling, where her other cbildreu were. Fierce and weak, clutching her arms, she fled on. But the boys had uot been murdered, as the mother's despair had suggested to her. They had been discovered by the Indians beneath the blauket in the burning hut, where Lewis bad been struck in the breast by a bullet which tore away a piece of the bone. The conquerers spared the!:'e boys becnuse of their ex treme youth, and drove them before the band across the cotmtry, captives. On the 'Nay, by the light from bis burning borne, Lewis, looking down, saw in the crushed and trampled grass the mutilated body of his father. The boy stopped abruptly and seemed turned to stone. He looked around, and in the red light as far as his eye could reach rolled the boundless prairie, with groups of beasts huddled close together, gazing with wild, affrighted eyes upou the strange light. Great birds swept by toward the buildiug, wbeeled about it afar off, the circles eddying uearer to the flame, uearer and nearer still, until, with shrill cries, they darted iuto the heart of the. flame and perished there. There was a soft crackling in the grass, and spots of fire leape.d up here and there. The moon looked red and sullen through the smoke. That was what the boy saw. His brother at his side was bitterly weeping and c;:owering before their red enslavers. But Lewis Wetzel shed no tear, uttered no groan. "Did you see father there in the grass?" wept his brother. There was no reply. "Father is dead!" wept his brother. Still there was no reply to his wailing. Yet in tha.t instant of horrid sight there had come to the silent boy the bitter hatred that nevt!r left him thereafter-something that had meant life and being to him went from him into the dead body of his father, as dead as that body. A hush came upon him that left its impression forever after in his face. The love he bore the murdered man lived with ten-fold intensity, and deadened every other natural feeling. But that love, having nothing now on which to expend its wealth in fond endearments and happy hopes, turned immediately it knew the out rage done it into irrevocable hatred against tht'; slayers and their whole kind-a fiendish perfection of hatred that bordered closely upon madness, but which had not a grain of madness in it. "White boys hurry!" said the-tormentors night of the murder. A brawny chief came up and caught Lewis by bis hair an d threw him forward. 1,'he boy was only convalescent from smallpox, aud the wound in bis breast bled pro fusely. "White boy bleeds easy," said the chief; "his blood is thin," and gave the lad auotber thrust forward. Still there was no wiucing, nor a sound of complaint. ''Good!" cried the chief, with a sort of brute admira tion. "White boy no coward. He will be chief yet. If he will not be chief, he will roast." The Indians, though as a race peculiarly deficient in the comic element, and to a degree blind to the ludicrous, laughed at this sally of their chief, aud further sought to provoke the boy in order to test his endurance. They received no notice for their manceuvers, although oue of them caught up little Jacob and pretended to tomahawk 'I'hey then tied the arms of the boys with thongs drawn so tightly as to cause exquisite pain. The smaller boy wept in agony; his brother never winced. As a new variety of sport, the two bpys were then bound abotlt the knees, and, prodded from behind, were forced into a sort of jog-trot inexpressibly wearisome. To this latter torture the younger boy obeyed, and trotted on as he saw the man aiming blows at him. But the elder did not accelerate his pace from the tired march they had been reduced to, and every effort to barass him was use less if intended to cause him to act as his brother did. He was switched, and stinging blows fell unheeded on his limbs; a knife was brarnlished bdore his eyes, aud

PAGE 33

32 THE BUFF i\LO BILL STORIES. he did not wince ; it is doubtful if h e ever saw the knife meant to menace him. It was not so much bravery in the lad that made him c allous to all this; the shock of hi s father's death turned his nerves to iron. While the Indians admired bis stoic bearing, the hatred for them almost burs t his breas t. But the Indians grew tired of their sport and made preparations for goiug forwa rd. "They're us from hoUJe," wailed little Jacob, clinging to bis brother, and thus impeding their movewen ts. A blow from a brave separated the boys. Then, with 11its and thrusts they were driven on Day came, grew to meridian, declined, and uotbing was given the boys to stay the paugs of hunger. Night, a}1d another day, and the i r mouths were parched, their limbs faint and trembling. At nig!Jt Lewis Wetzel crouched upo n the hard, bare earth, for t hey were not all owed a blanket, and folded his brother iu his arms; and thus stifled the trembling, caused as much by weakne ss and even fenr as by the cold dews dripping thrmigb the trees upon their defenseless heads. The younger boy slept a t last, secure in the fold of his boy pro t ector; but Lewis never closed liis eyes, but crouched the re watching tbe guar d that now and then threw a glance toward the two youthful c1'p tives who rested jus t beyond the fire, but t oo far removed from it to feel any o f its warmth. "Courage! courage!" Lewis Wetze l was heard t o whisper; but whether the courag e was invoked for himself or bis brother, that brother wh o hear
PAGE 34

JESSE JAMES STORIES W E were the first pub-lishers in the world to print the famous sto ; ries of the James Boy s written by that remarkable man, W. B. Laws on, whose name is a watch word with our boys. We have had many imitators, Jesse James. and in order that no one sha11 be deceived in accepting the spurious for the real, we are now publishing the best stories of the James Boy s by Mr. Lawson, in a New Library entitled "The Jesse James Sto ries," one of our big five-cent and a sure winner with the boys. A number of i ssues have already appeared, and thes e which follow will be equ ally good in fact, the b est of their kind in the w o rld S T REET & SMITH, Publishers, New York. BUFFALO BILL STORIES T h e only publication a u t h o r ize d b y t h e Hon W m f. Cody (Buffa lo Bill) Buffalo B ill W Ewerethe publishers of the first story ever written of the famous and world-renowned l)uffalo Bill, the great Jilero whose life has been one succession of excitmg and thrilling inci-dents coru.bined with great succes s es and accomplishments, all of which will be told in a series of grnnd stories which we are now pl acing before the American Boys. The popularity they have already obtained shows what the boy s want, and is very gratifying to the publishers. STREET & SMITH, Publishers, New York. NICK CARTER STORIES THE best known detec tive in t h e worl d is NiC'k Carter. Stories by this noted sleuth are is s ued regularly in "Nick Carter Weekly" (price five cents), and all his Nick Carter. work is written for us. It may interest the patrons and readers o f the Nick Carter Series o f Detective Stories to know that these famous sto r ies will soon be produced upon the stage under unusually elaborate circumstances. Arrangements have just been completed between the publishers and Manager F. C. Whitney, to present the entire set of Nick Carter stories in dramatic form. The first play of the series will be brought out next fal l. STREET & SMITH, Publishers, NEW YORK. DIAMOND DICK STORIES Diamond Dick. THE celebrated D ia-mond Dick stories can only be found in "Diamond Dick, Jr., the Boys' Best Weekly." D iamond Dick and his son Bertie are the most unique fascinating heroes of Western romance. The scenes, and many of the incidents, in the:e exciting stories are taken from r eal li."e. D iamond Dick stories are conceded to be the best stories of the West, and are all copyrighted by us. The weekly is the : ;ame size and price as this publication, with hand some illuminated cover. five Cf: n t s. STREET & SMITH, Publishers, New York.


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