Buffalo Bill and the mad hermit, or, Finding a lost trail


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Buffalo Bill and the mad hermit, or, Finding a lost trail

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Title:
Buffalo Bill and the mad hermit, or, Finding a lost trail
Series Title:
Buffalo Bill stories
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Buffalo Bill
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New York
Publisher:
Street & Smith
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English
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1 online resource (31 p.) 28 cm.: ;

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

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Volume 1, Number 54

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
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020822922 ( ALEPH )
223329022 ( OCLC )
B14-00054 ( USFLDC DOI )
b14.54 ( USFLDC Handle )

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No 54. "NOW YO.;'LL SEE Ml!: LASSO A GHOST," SAID .IHLL, S .>JNu!SU .l'liO: LAlUAT.

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.. e r1 n (?[?/A\l1@ ma [b[b . A WEEKLY PUBLICATl.ON DEVOTeD TO BORDER HI 5TORY f3w.11/ Weelly. lJy la..so p.-year. Enln-ed lfS Second C/au Matter tZt Ille N. Y. J't1st 0.ffiu, by STREET & SMITH, ll.J8 Wi/li11m SI., N. Y. Ent1rell acC#r!/inr t11 Act of Conrress in tile year r9011, in t"4 Offiu of t"4 Librarian of Congress, W11Slzin,e-ton, D. C. No. 54. NEW YORK, May 24, 1902. Price Five Cents. BUFFALO BILL AND THE MAD HERMIT; OR, Finding Lost Trailo L ., --.:.... -.---- By the author of "BUFF ALO BILL/' CHAPTER I. THE THAII,ER. In the Montana wilderness, standing beside his horse, on an autumn afternoon, some years ago, was a man of majestic presence. Tall, broad-shouldered, erect as a soldier, he stands with his hands resting updn the muzzle of his repeating rifle, while his eyes roam with admiration over the vast expanse. He is clad in buckskin leggins and hunting jacket, top cavalry boots, a wide-brimmed sombrero of dove color, and about his waist is a belt containing a bowie and a pair of revolvers. He stands upon the brow of a cliff, with a surging river two hundred feet below him, and which would receive his form did he take one step lorward. In the near backg1:ound is his horse-a large, long bodied bay, with clean limbs, an arching neck, and accoutered with a Mexican saddle and bridle:, haver sack, roll of blankets, saddle blanket one holster revolver. The man is Buffalo Bill, the bold scout of the plains, and sheer love of adventure has made him penetrate far into that wild land, a score o.f years ago, wQ.en settlements and forts were few and far between, and that he might be able to tell his com rades about the campfires of this section of wonderland.

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2 THE BU ff': S_TORIES! Strange stories h<;td floated about the ar>ny campfires in that borderland, of gold mines in the Rocky Mountains, hidden away frnm all but a few daring spirits, of a score of bold pioneers who haon his splendid bay, his companion in many a long and deaClly he had ventured forth alone, giving to his comrades no limit as to how long he would remain away, and smiling grimly when they urged him not to go. Thus days passed away, and we find him standing in the very midst of the wilderness of mountains . Not a fellow-being has he seen since leaving camp, and a struggle with a huge bear, an attack b)": a party of hungry wolves, had been his only adventures, thus far. He does riot believe that a human being is within a grizzly claws, a huge knife was in his belt, and in his hands was an enormous bow with one arrow, long and sharp as a needle, set, and covering the scc01t. At the back of the man's belt were several quivers of bark, filled witl.i half a score of ar"r9WS, each of a like pattern with the dangerous-looking one he held ready to let Hy at the heart of Buffalo Bill. The face of the man was a study, for it was brown as an Indian's; the features visible above his fong beard bold an d determined, and yet wearing a look of settled woe. His beard was iron gray, as was his hair, and both were long and unkempt, while his eyes were almost fierce in their expression. Buffalo Bill saw that the strange being had him covered, that before he could throw his rifle to his shoulder and pull trigger, the arrow could be let fly, and he noted that the hand that held the bow was firm as steel. Had it been a redskin he had to face, or a dozen hundred miles of 1-Wn, and yet there is ho danger that. of them, he would have at once opened fire. he dreads to meet and bravely overc6nie. "This scetude is so impressive-this silence so deep-I only w1sb there were some human being near t() break the charm," said Buffalo Bill, aloud, little dreaming that there was one human being near, one appro,aching him with the noiseless footfalls of' a tiger about to spring upon its prey. A startled snort from his horse caused the scout to turn quickly, and his rifle was at a ready in an instant. It was a man his eyes rested upon, and yet one who might, at first glance, hardly be taken for A man, tall, powerful in build clad in a garb of kins of wild beasts, and wearing upon his head an pddly-ma'.cle cap of birds' feathers. His feet were clad in moccasins of rudely-tanned leather, his neck was encircled by a necklace of As it was, this was a white man, and one whom he had little dreamed of meeting in that wilderness of His attitude, too, was hostile; yet the scout did not show the slightest feeling of dread, and said, in his light-hearted way: "Hello, old Rip V an Winkle, where did you sp _ring from?" The strange man eyed the scout fixedly, seemingly trying to stamp his face and form in his mind, and respon<;!ed : "You is Buffalo Bill, hain't yer ?"; "So men call me; but how is it you know me?" "First, I know no other man w'u'd dar' come inter th er mountains alone; and, next, I recalls yer from what I hes heetd you was like.';

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q'ffE BU ff ALO BILL STORIES. 3 "And who are you, may I ask?" "I don't know," was the simple response, and the man lowered his bow, placing the arrow in his belt, ready for instant use if need be. Buffalo Bill at once slung his rifle at his back, and stepped toward the old man, while he asked, in a kindly way: "Don't you know who you are?" "No, for I has forgot my name, and much else has gone from my mind, sin' I hev been roaming about these mountains." "And what are you doing here, old man?" "Lookin' fer a lost trail," was the calm reply. "What trail?" "The trail of a devil! the trail of an angel!" came the savage reply: "Poor old man, you have, indeed, had a hard lot of it; but you will go with me, now I have found you, back to the fort and settlements, where friends will care for you said Buffalo Bill, realizing that the old man was demented. "Neyer !" came in a deep voice. "You will not return with me?" "Never! for did I not tell you I was looking for a lost trail?" he said, petulantly. "But cannot find it?" "I can and will "See here, Buffalo Bill, I came into these mountains following a trail, two years ago, and I sunk down by the way, sick and delirious. "Why the wolves did not devour me, God only knows; but they did not, and after lying for days, raving with fever, I came to my senses once more, and tried to keep on the trail I had been following. "But memory seemed to have gone from me, Buf falo Bill, and I have never found it since, though I as they came and went, twenty-four have I seen fill and wane; and yet I cannot him." "Find who?" asked the scout. "Ther devil." The scout felt assured that the old man was insane, but how he got into that far-away land was a mys tery, and he meant to solve it. r So he said: "Well, I am trying to keep the devil off of my trail, and here you are trying to get on his, old man; but, never mind; you go with me, and he shall not trouble' you any more?" "I go from here and not find her?" he asked, fiercely. "Find who?" "Angel." Buffalo Bill shook his head sadly, and, seeing it, the old man said, quickly: ."You thinks I am mad, Buffalo Bill, and. I suppose that I am; but thar is method in my madness, fer I are s archin' fer ther trail o' one I knows is a though he be in ther form o' a man, and she whom he tuk away with him-stole from my home-are an angel, ef God ever 'lows a leetle gal ter be a angel afore he takes 'em up te'r hea v in. "Ah! Buffalo Bill I am mad-yes, a poor, old, mad trailer in these mountains, but ontil I dies I'll never give up lookin' fer thet man, and some day I will find him and so deep will be my vengeance upon him thet my own lips will pray ter ther Mighty Chief up yonder ter hev mercy on thet poor wretch," and he spoke with a manner that was majestic, while he pointed upward as he referred to God, as the Mighty Chief, in a way that was most impressive. His words touched the scout deeply, for he, too had begun to feel that, although the old trailer was mad, there was some mysterious method in his madhave hunted day after day until, counting the moons ness.

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THE BUFF /\LO BILL STORIES. CHAPTER II. THE FATAL SHOT. Three years before the strange meeting of Buffalo Bill and the mad trailer, a man was riding slowly along through the Rocky Mountains, following an indistinct trail that led across the valley. He was a person of fine appearance, with long, black hair and beard, and a face intelligent, handsome and fearless. He was dressed m a much-worn suit, such as mmers are wont to wear; his sombrero was in tat ters, and his general appearance was that of one who had been a long time absent from camp. Although armed with a rifle and a revolver, his weapons were rusty, and his saddle and bridle seemed to have had hard usage. But his face wore a pleased expression, and he was singing in a loud tone a verse of "Home, Sweet Home." "Another twel v e hours and I will be at home, and then no more poverty, no more toil, for I have that here which makes me a millionaire," and he tapped his breast, lightly as he spoke. "Six months ago I left Nellie, telling her I would bring back to her a fortune, and I have kept my word, for here I have the proof that I possess mill ions." Suddenly, as the !"a.st words left his lips, there came a puff of smoke from a small thicket on one side, a crack of a rifle followed, and the horseman reeled in his saddle, clutched at the air and fell to -the ground heavily, while his startled horse bounded away for a few rods, and then, turning about, trotted back to the side of his prostrate master, giving a low, sym-pathetic neigh as he did so. At the-same moment a man sprang out of the thicket from whence had come the shot and rifle in ' hand, approached the form his deadly airn had laid low. He was a man of perhaps thirty-five, his face bearded, his hair long, and with a sinister, reckless look upon his darkly-bronzed face. He was dad in a nt,iner's costume, but looked more neat than 'the ordinary run of men of his class, while his face and manner bore indications of refinement not often seen upon that wild border. Approaching the man who, a moment before had been so full of hope and joy, he saw that he was alive, yet, without doubt, fatally wounded. The wounded man started as his eyes met those that gazed down upon him, and he said hoarsely: "Carter Creighton, it is you?" "Yes, Roy Ripley, you have almost as good a memory as I, for it has been over twelve years since last you saw me," the assassin, cooll y "Yes, and you have kept your vow, that you would have revenge upon me for marrying your cousin Nellie?" "Yes, I loved her with all my soul, and she threw me aside for you-'-gave up wealth for poverty, and became your wife. "She has suffered bitterly, and she has made my life a curse, for I became reckless, was expelled from college went from bad to worse, until I became a gambler, and then drifted out here to the mines. "One day I shot a young fellow over a game of cards and his friends wished to give him a decent burial, so one went after an old trapper, who lived some distance from the mining camps, am! who, it was said, had been a clergyman. "He came, and, seeing him, I thought of you, somehow, though his and beard gray, and he was dressed in buckskin, and I recalled how your father had been an Episcopal clergyman in a Vir-

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. 'THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 5 ginia vil!age, and. liaa, one night, in self-'defense, taken the life of a human being, and which had so I weighed upon him that he had come to the far West to live, away from those who had known him. "He had preached in the camps, where no one knew him, nor the sorrow that bowed him down, and he devoted himself to trapping, living in a cabin, he told me, with his little family. "They called him the Trapper Parson, and he said that his name was Ripley, and that he had been a clergyman, and then I knew that he was your father. "\Vell, he buried the young man I killed and returned to his home. "But I trailed him back, saw Nellie, your wife, and your daughter Rose,, tho'ugh they did not see me. "By inquiry at a settler's house some miles away, I learned that you had gone on a prospecting tour in the mountains .after gold. "I knew you would be successful, for I, too, had believed there was gold where you had gone, and I determined then upon my revenge. "I camped on your trail, the one I knew you must come, anct I have waited long for your coming; but you lie there at my feet, Roy Ripley, and my revenge is complete." The !nan had spoken in the calmest manner pos sible, his face full of hatred and triumph commingled. The dying man had breathed heavily, but uttered no word, while his eyes were fixed upon the face of his foe. As the assassin ceased speaking, he said, in a voice that was getting husky with the apprnach of death: ful, for I have foun d a fortune in mines in the moun tains." "You went alone?" asked the assassin, quickly. "Yes." "And you alone know of these mines?" "No one else, and I was happy in the thought of giving riches and joy to those I love, when your bul let awoke me from my dreaming." "I, too, had rude awakenings in the past, Roy Rip ley, through you." "Bring not up your reyengeful feelings agam, for see you not that I am dying? \Vhat sorrow you had through me i s more than avenged. "Now let me beg of YC?U to do what I ask!" "Well?" "Will you grant my dying request?" "Yes." "You swear it?" "I do." "By your hopes of heaven?" "I do." "In my pocket there is a map of the region where lie those mines, and the way to reach there, which is most necessary, for without the trail well marked no one would ever find them. "When I am dead, take this map and papers to my wife, and tell her it is my legacy to her and to our
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6 THE BU ff J\LO Bl LL STORIES. that was felt by the man who lay prone upon the ground, and his slayer turned away from their soulreading glance and shuddered. When he again looked do\vn upon the form at his feet his eyes fell upon the face of the dead. At the same moment he heard the clatter of hoofs, and lookirl'g up quickly, cried: "By Heaven! it is the Parson Trapper himself!" CHAPTER III. THE TRAPPER PARSON. The one whom the assassin had seen coming to ward him, dashing suddenly out of a clump of timber that bordered a small river running through the valley, was a man strangely like the one who lay dead at the feet of the one who had slain him. A man of fifty-five he looked, tlrnugh his long, flowing hair and beard, turning gray, gave him the appearance of a patriarch. His was a kindly face, sunburnt, rugged and full of intelligence, though with a certain look of sorrow that seemed indelibly stamped upon his features. He was armed v.rith a rifle of ancient pattern, a revolver and a hunting-knife, and even to his moc casined feet was clad in buckskin, while his head was surmounted with a cap made of wolfskin. His horse was thin, wiry, and like his master, was evidently well along in years. It was the Trapper Parson, and he had been rid ing along a distant ridge, when his eyes had fallen upon a horseman in the valley. Instantly he had taken from his case an old-fash ioned spyglass, and fixed it upon the stranger, who was fully a mile distant. "It's my son, if my old eyes do not deceive me!" he cried, in a voice that rung with gladness, and, wip-ing the glass carefully, he again turned it upon the horseman. As he did so he beheld a white puff of smoke come out of a thicket, he saw the arms of the rider wave wildly, and then the horse dash away, as his master fell from the saddle. "God have mercy!" came through his shut lips, and he brushed his eyes, as though he could not be lieve his own sight, and once more turned his glass upon the spot in the valley where a strange tragedy had suddenly flashed before his vision. There lay the rider, and his horse had returned to his side, while a man was visible, calmly walking to ward the spot. It was no hallucination, but a deadly reality, and quickly he urged his horse down the hillside, across the plain toward the river, and, reaching it, into the flowing waters. A cross the stream his true horse swam, up the other bank he struggled, then out of the timber into the open plain he dashed, straight toward the spot where one man lay dead another, his slayer, standing over him. The face of the Trapper Parson was livid, the kindly expression was gone, and there dwelt upon every feature a look of stern resolve. The murderer saw him. coming, and recognized the old clergyman who had once buried a victim of hi s deadly aim; knew him as the father of the man he had just slain. How should be meet him? Could he lie to him about the death of his son, saying he had found him there, dying? Should he meet the Trapper Parson as his foe, and let the best man win? He had to decide quickly upon his course, and one glance into that hard, stern, pallid face, and he knew that he must fight.

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THE BUff i\LO BILL STORI E S 7 So he threw his rifle t o his shoulder, and cried in a sharp, commanding voice that many had knO\'fn better than not to heed: "Halt, old man, for this is not my work!" "Assassin! you lie!" came back in stentorian tones. "I say no! Halt, or I will fire on you!" thundered the man, standing at bay. "No, you killed him, and it shall be your life or mine!" cried the Parson Trapper, and he threw for ward his revolver to fire. As he did so the man at bay brought his rifle to his shoulder and pulled the trigger. There followed only a click. "Curses! I forgot to reload after m y shot!" he said sav a gely, and, throwing th e weapon down, he ing to his own animal to follow, he started off at a rapid gallop, wholly forgetting the man he had shot down but a moment before. Oi1, on he went through the valley, the strong horse keeping up hi s steady gallop while behind came the Trapper Parson's animal close on his heels. Mile s were gone o\ er, and, at last, under the shelter of a distant ridge, a cabin appeared in view. It was a large structure, of several rooms, well built; had a hands-ome look, with its stable near, a cow grazing not far di stant, and scores of chickens feeding about, while a fenced-in patch down in the valley was a well-cultivated garden. A pleasant home, miles from the nearest neighbor, and a home in which peace a nd contentment reigned, and refinement held sw ay e v en in that far frontier Janel. drew a revolver; but, ere he could dr aw trigger, th e Before the door was seated a woman, engaged in Parson Trapper fired, and Carter Creighton dropped the btlllet s ewin!! upon a homespun dress and a short distance in his tracks, leaving its mark over his temple. But, unheeding him. the Parson Trapp
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.. THE BU ff J\LO BILL STORIES. She spoke in a disjointed way, and sank back into her chair, while Rose bounded away like a deer to meet her grandfather and discover the truth. "Oh, grandfather! it is papa, and he is dead!" cried the girl, as she dashed up and met the old man and beheld the corpse-like face. "He is dead, I fear Rose; but sprmg upon my horse and ride with all to Powell 's, and ask him to come here, for he was an army surgeon, and no man can do more than he can, if my poor son is not dead." But Rose did not hear his last words, for already had she leaped, just as she was into the saddle and old Golia t h as the hors e wa s called, had ne../er been sent along at such a breakneck pace before in all his long experience in i:he m ountains not even whe n flying from pursuing Indians. And on to the ca b in rode the trapper, his. face white and stern almos-t as the face of his dead son, while he would hope against hope that one little spark of life yet remained in the splendid form which Frank Powell, the Surgeon Scout, could bring back into full flame once more. As he approached, Mrs. Ripley shook off the emo tion that nearly overpowered her, and, rising, advanced toward the old man. "9-ive him to me, s he said, hoars ely and when the body slid down into her arms, she held it "Frank Powell's skill can do no go.ad now, father. But how did it happen?" "I saw him riding along the valley, and, as I recogni z ed him through my glass, for I was a long way off, I saw a puff of smoke from a thicket, and he fell from his saddle. The old man spoke in a low, calm voice, and the woman listened eagerly to each word; but, as he con cluded, she cried: "Murdered! he was murdered! then, sure as there be a God above, his murderer s hall die for this cruel deed!" Her v oice ran g like a trumpet, and she held her hands aloft, as sh e bent over the dead body, in an appeal to Heav en to he a r h e r thre at. "My child, he i s dead!" sole m nly said the old man. "And yo u k ille d the sla yer of my husband an d your so n, fa th er?" "Ye s, my poo r child, I rode up on him as he stood b y the side of m y de a d boy, and he leYeled his rifle at me but it did not go off while my revolver did and he fell in his tracks." "Roy! Roy! can you hear? Your has avenged you, Roy!" and the woman bent again oYer the dead form while the old man turned away, mutterin g to himself : 'Merciful Heav en! She h as gone mad!" firmly, kissing over and over again the cold face. CHAPTER IV. "You have come back to me Roy, as you prom-DON, THE MONTE MAN. ised. :vionth s h a v e pa ss e d s ince Roy Ripley, the miner, "You have come back to me, dead!'' she s aid in a returned to his c a bin h o me in the valley-returned a voice that did not quiver, and then the trapper, wh o dead man. had dismounted, bore the body into the cabin and Like the wind had Ros e ridden aher Frank Powell. la id it up.on the bed. known in the camps aud among the scattering set"I had hoped, my child, there was life still left, and tlements as the Surgeon Scout, and the noble man so I sent Rose after Powell." had ridden at full speed at the appeal of the girl, lea\"-

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THE BUFF ALO BJLL STOR I ES. 9 ing her far behind on her tired horse, while he pressed on to save life if in his power. But one look told him that the miner was dead, one glance t old him that the loving wife had lost her reason from the shock, for her -husband had been her earthly ido l ; for him she had given up a luxurious home, been cast off by her rich and aristocratic kindred, and struggled through life in poverty with him "It will kill her! she will die of a broken heart within six months!" Frank Powell had said to a set t ler, w h o had happened in and they sought the Trapper Parson to tell him how closely she must be guarded, how tenderly she must be nursed. But nowhere could the trapper be found, and for hours he was absent, until ,Frank Powell became most a,nxious for him as the hours passed on toward midnight. Then he suddenly glided into the cabin and motioned to the surgeon to come out. "Doctor, I've been back to bury the man I shot. the man who killed my poor boy. I did not wish hi:n to be torn to pieces by wolves, to lie tinburied and so I went to do my duty by the
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10 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. ''And what think you, Dr. Powell, was his rea for following the trair"left by my son?" asked the t ra pper. "He doubtless belie\'ed that he had discovered a gold mine, and sought to track him back to it, having first taken his life." "Yes, that was his motive, without doubt, and be has escaped a just retribution." "Yes, for the Mr. Ripley; bl.1t murder will out, and some !ay that man may be face to face with his deed." "And what do you think of my sorrowing dashed upon the scene, a revolver flashing forth deadly music in either hand, and in terror the redskins fled, leaving several of their number upon the field. The gctllant rescuer gave chase for a short dis tance, and then returned to those who owed so much to him. He was a man of perhaps thirty-five remarkably well preserved for his ag e; wore a long, drooping mustache, and possessed a that was most attractive, as far as the perfection of manly beauty was concerned, while, otherwise, it seemed a face to ter, for she is as dear as though she were my own dread, so cynical was it, 'SO reckless. flesh and blood?" And the old trapper sighed and eagerly a\Yaited the response. 1'My dear Mr. Ripley, it is my duty to tell you the truthr-she will die soon!" Dr. Powell spoke the truth, for the woman died the next night. And little Rose, with a heart full of grief, cheered up for her grandfather's sake, cheered him by song and pleasant words, went with him on his hunting trips and t .rapped and fished, ridin g e\ er by his side, carrying a rifle and revolver, and becoming an expert with both. 'Thus these two became wrapped up in each othtfr, and fife s eemed really worth the living to the old hermlt parson. One day when out hunting together the two were set upon by half a score of mom1ted warriors. The trapper, with his grandchild's life at stake, fought with desperation, and too, stood at bay and shot down a huge brave who would have seized her in his arms to bear her off a captive. -.. the Indians kn@w their s trength, and were making a dash, when a horseman He was dressed in a style that was not common on the border, for his suit was dark-blue corduroy, of stylish cut, the jacket being short, and the pants stuck in the tops of cavalry boots, on the heels of which were a pair of silver spurs. A sa s h was about his waist, and in this were thrust the silver-mounted re\'olvers which had done such good s ervice against the Indians, along with a bowie knife of rare workmans hip. He carried no rifle, but a lariat hung at the horn of hi s silver-be s panglecl 1fexican saddle, and his general appearance, with his black sombrero, embroid ered on the crown and rim, gave him the air of hav ing come from the land beyond the Rio Grande, an appearance which his darkly-bronzed face and long black hair and mustnche carried out. His hors e \Vas a fine one. as black as night, and seemed to be in keeping with J-.is reckless, handsome .ma sl er. In the fight the trapper had been wounded through the arm, but he \\ elcomecl his rescuer heartily as he rode back from his chase of the Indians. I ha v e no t the p leasure of knowin' yer name. parcl said the Trapper Parson, dropping into the

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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 11 dialect of the border, which he often used with seeming though he never used it in addressing his granddaughter. "In the camps, sir, I am called 'The Don,' and also "Dhe Monte Man,' for my occupation, or, say my piiofession, is that of a gambler.'.' The old trapper seemed deeply pained to hear this frank confession; but then he knew life on the frontier pretty well, and that there \\'ere brave men and true there who were gamblers and nothing else. So he said nothing, and, as the stranger seemed to wish to give him no name; he called him simply Don, and Rose foJlowed her grandfather's example. From that day the Monte Man became a frequent visitor at the trapper's cabin, and both the old man and the young girl seemed to become greatly attached to him, and they told him of their sorrows in the past, and their simple lives in th,e present. The Don dwelt over in the mining camp of Sawdust City, where the trapper was wont to go and buy his supplies each month, and on such occa sions he heard of his rescuer as the most reckless man in the mines, and the boldest gambler, while he had taken life several times when pressed by his ad versaries in a game of cards. Still he was ever kind to Rose and himself, seeming to possess a second nature \\-hen visiting them, and the trapper was glad to have him come to his little home in the hills. One day .the trapper came hoq1e, after a long hunt in the mountains. He did not see Rose running out to meet him, as was her wont always, he rode up to the cabin with an anxious face. There his eyes fell upon a placard upon the door, and, with pallid cheeks and quivering voice, he read aloud: I "Fourteen years ago, old man, your son, Roy Ripley, stole from me Nellie Creighton, the maiden that I hoped to have made my wife, and it wrecked my life and made me what I now am "It was I who tracked Roy Ripley from the recesses of the mountains, where I felt assured that he had discovered a mine of vas t worth. "I headed him off, ambu she d him and he fell by my hand, while you n e arly cost me my life but, by mere chance, your bul lel glanced, lea \ ing an ugly scar, which you little dreamed that you had made, as I told you I had rec e ived it in a personal en counter in M e xico. "But I did not die, and I w ent on the search for that mine; but in vain and dis guising myself, I determined to find it by other m ea ns. "Your s on left a map of his mine and how to reach it, and you have never tak e n it from his coat pocket; but I do so this day, and more, I take with me your grandchild, Roy Ripley and Nellie 's daughter, and so my revenge will be complete, for one day she sha ll become my wife '"Now, old man, for your son"s sake. I h ate you, and l eavin g you to your sorrow and loneliness, I say farewell. ''DON, THE MONTE MAN." As though shot through the heart, the old man fell upon the ground, and there he lay through the long hours of night; but with the dawn he arose, and when another night fell he was far on his way to the mountains, following the trail of the Monte Man and h1s captive-following it with a vow registered in heaven that he would know no rest until he came face to face with the fiend who had so cruelly wronged him. And he it was-white-haired, m tatters, with no firearms, his brain in a fever, his heart aching, whom Buffalo Bill, the scout, met two years after in his wandering;; in the wild fastnesses of the Montana mountains . still hunting for the lost trail of the two \Vhom he called the Devil and an Angel. CHAPTER V. THE LOST TRAIL, When Buffalo Bill heard the words of the old man he felt sure that he was mad, and yet there seemed

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12 THE BUFFJ\LO BILL STOR!l:S. to be some powerful reason for his madness and his presence in that wild country. The scout's kind heart was touched with compas sion as he gazed upon the noble face and powerful form, and he determined to get from him just why he was there alone, in rags, with only a knife and bow and arrows as weapons. He had heard strange stories of stranger mysteries that were c .onnected with those mountains, and around the campfires of miners, scouts and soldiers, tales were to.id of rich gold mines hidderr away in the depths of the wilderness, while all who had soght to find them never returned again to civilization. Old trappers had related how they had seen phantom miners gliding through the mountains, with pickax and spade upon their shoulders, and others stated that they had come up o n camps, around which were the bones of human beings. Filled with a desire to see this mysterious land for "And so, after all, the mountains do hold a mys tery?" muttered B uffalo Bill. "The stories of phantom miners of settlers \.Vqo have dared 'to come here, ha Ye at least some founda tion, for did most men with the superstition ruling bordermen as it does eailors behold this strange be ing, they would fly for lives and protest that they had met the ghost of the \Vandering Jew, or of old Rip Van Winkle, or the Devil himself. "Now to see just why this old man is here, for, if there i s a trail to fin{ perhaps I c 'an s trike it." So mused the scout, while the old tenant of the hills watched him closely. "Come, old man let us go into camp together, for it is getting toward nightfall ," he s aid. kindly. "Buffalo Bill can I trns t you?" he a s ked in a \vhis per, looking about h i m a s though he was fearful some one would hear him. "With your life you can, Rip Van Winkle.'' was the himself, to trace these strange stories to their source, frank re s ponse. Buffalo Bill had asked for an unlimited leave from Rip! Rip! You call m e Rip and it seems so the commander of the fort, and, mounting Comrade, his best horse, and the fleetest on the border, it was said, he had gone forth alone. He had not hurri' ed his ho-rse or himself, for he was amply stocked with ammunition and provisions, was prepared against the worst kind of weather, and meant to make the trip a holiday for himself, for there was no greater joy to the scout than in roaming over plain and mountains, alone with Nature, and facing dangers that might confront him. He had been two days in the mountains, and was beginning to think that the tales told by the few hunters who had pe,netrated them were the offspring of a vivid imagination and superstition, when he found himself face to face with the old man who looked a veritable Rip Van Winkle. str::rnge so Familiar, for I believe my name was s om e thing: that; so call me Rip Van Winkle; it pleases me." "I will, sir; but now let us hunt a camp." "It was to my camp I was going to take you, Buf falo Bill, when I asked you if I could trust you." "I'll not tell any one, Rip." "Come, then!" And the old man started off at a rapid pace, that seemed surprising for one of his years. ''I'll ride, old gentleman, for you get over ground like an antelope,' c:i.lled out the scout, springing into his s addle and foll o wing. "I had a horse once-Old Goliath was his name, and she named him that, changing it from Job, which I called him, as he was so patient and so good."

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'I f'HE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 13 "I don't see that you need a horse, the way you g o. And the scout followed on after the old denizen of the wilderness, who was going at a swinging trot, fol lowing the ridge back from the cliff where he had found Buffalo Bill standing, gazing over the valley. A half a mile brought them to a mass of piled-up rocks, which seemed to have been tossed up out ot the earth by some convulsion of nature. These apparently barred their way, but the old guide wound in among the scout following close, and soon they came to what' looked like a bowl; at one time, evidently having the mouth. of a crater in the mountain top. There was a spring of crystal water bubbling in the center and falling back again, running off into a crevice in the rocks, while there were small trees around the edge of the basin and quantities of luxuriant grass. On one side was a large cavern, and in a natural, chimneylike cre\ ice in the rocks a fire was burning brightly. In the cave was a bed of skins, a couple of ragged blankets, while an old rifle and revolver hung u pon the rocky wall-useless for want of ammunition. But the strange old hermit did not seem to suffer on this account, as there was ample supply of game, smoked, and fresh, hanging about the wall back in the cave. Severa1 bows a quantity of arrows, and a lariat of horsehair, with an old saddle and bridle completed the furnishing of the cave, which was large, comfortable and dry. Gazing upon the old man ir;i. pity, Buffalo Bill said, in his kindly way: "I thank you for your welcome to your home, sir, and some day I shall expect you to return my visit; but now, let me stake out my horse,'which seems anxious to get at that juicy grass, and then we'll have I supper, and talk over the lost trail." The scout soon had Comrade free of sa ddle and bridle; then he brought from his haversack some coffee and provisions, for all the hermit had to eat was game. "Come, Rip, that coffee will make a new man of you and clear the cobwebs from your brain, s o that we can decide what is best to be clone. "But don't you keep a h o t fire for the weather?" he asked, moving back from the blaze. "It is my habit, for the fire in the entrance to the cave I keep burning all the time, as it drives wild beasts off and there a re many of them 111 these mountains." Buffalo Bill noticed that the hermit had dropped the border di alect and spoke a s an educa t ed man and he became more and more interested in thi s strange dweller in the mountains. After a hearty supper the two sa t to gether in the gathering darkn e ss a nd the s c out s a i d to draw the hermit out: "So you came here t\\"o years ago?" "Buffalo Bill, my memory seems to be coming back to me now; I have met you before. "So it seems to me; but I cannot place you, meeting you here, although I am not to forget a face easily." "You are the friend of Surgeon Frank Powell?" "By Jove! you know Frank, then?" "Oh, yes-very well." "Then Y.OU know one of Nature"s noblest works. I L old man, for Frank Powell is truer than steel-stead-fast to a friend, and surer than death i tself to a foe; but where did you know him?'' "You visited him at his cabin, near Sawdust City, some years ago, and--"

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...... 14 THE BUFF J\LO BILL STORiES. "I place. you, old man! You are the Trapper Par-"All alone?" son, that lived ten miles from Powell's, and we "Alone, as far as human beings are concerned," stopped one night and had supper with you." answered the old man; "but there is a ghost in these "Yes; that is the only time I ever saw you, and it comes back to .me now." "You had your son, his wife, and their little daughter living with you, and we all had a happy evening, for they sang together, and I wondered how they could content themselves there in the wildest part mountains." "A ghost!" exclaimed Buffalo Bill; "you must be dreaming." "No," said the trapper, shaking his head sadly; "there is a ghost in these mountains. There are no Indians here. The ghost has driven them all of the West. But how is it I find you here, parson?" and it is deserted, save by me and' the ghost." The Hermit Parson was silent for a full minute or more, again passing his hand over his brow, as though to clear his and then he began, and in a low pathetic way, told Bill the story of his life, of the lives of those who were so dear to him, endi;ig with his pursuit of the Monte Man and his fair, girl captive. Not once did the scout speak, until 1-.e had heard the sad story, and then he said: "Powell is no longer in the mines, as then, but gone up among the Indians, as a white chief, or I would ask him to aid me in this search for your lost trail; but, as it is we must go it alone Rip, or with such help as may come to hand, and I feel that it that man, whom you rightly called the Devil, is in these mountains, we can find him. "Now, tell me where you lost his trail?" "In the valley below, at the river." "How many days were you behind him?" "Three." "And you tracked him to the river?" "Yes, near the head of the valley, where it comes down from the cliff above in a fall." "I see; well, we can take up the trail there, if it is two years old." "But have you dwelt here ever since?" uYes." "What does the ghost look like? Where did you see it?" "A white specter, mounted on a snow-white horse, passes down the valley every night," said the hermit. "The old man is mad," muttered the scout, as he . tnr' ned in that night; "but I'll lie in wait and see if I can't get a glimpse of the ghost to-morrow night." CHAPTER VI. LASSOING A GHOST. Next morning both trapper and scout were up be, times. The whole day was spent in searching for trails. Each was anxious to discover both Don, the Monte Man, and the white specter tqe trapper had seen. Not the sign of human footsteps, however, rewarded them. It was near nightfall \'/hen they reached a clump of trees, near which the trapper said the ghost he had t:old the scout about on the night before generally passed, and they paused here a moment, as a sound had suddenly reached their ears. The sun had long since gone down, and the moon was at its full; it sent a flood of silver light in the val ley, so they drew back in the shadow of the trees, watching and waiting.

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THE BU ff J\LO BILL STORIE S J:. muffled sound was heard, and Buffalo Bill said, quickly: "It is the neighing of a horse," and, to carry him out in this, Comrade gave a low whinny and grew very nervous. ,' .'Be still, and don't spoil all," sternly ord_ered the scout, and in silence they waited. "Look there!" It was the Hermit Parson who spoke, and he pointed down the valley "It is a horse and rider," calmly said Buffalo Bill. "Yes and--" . "You were going to say they are phantoms, and they look it, both horse and rider," and the scout gazed at therri in amazement. The animal was snowy white, and the rider wa s robed in white, from head do_yvn. They came on slowly, directly toward the clump of trees. "Keep still, Comrade, and don't be nervous, for you may have to chase that phantomlike steed," said the scout to his horse, 1or the animal \Vas now very uneasy. "What are they?" calmly asked the old hermit, glad that the scout could see for himself that there were strange mysteries in those mountains that had so long been his dwelling-place. -"I do not know." "\Vhat will yon do?" "I shall lariat the rider, then catch the horse in a race; for, if he is real flesh and blood, Comrade can do it. ''Please hold the encl of ny lariat." The hermit obeyed, and, the noose end, the scout coiled it carefully and turned Lis horse quietly l as to be able to throw the lariat strong and true. The spectral-looking horse and rider were still coming on, in the same slow pace, and, following the deer trail they were in, must pass within thirty feet of the clump of trees. The moon shone in a cloudless sky, and not a sound broke the deathlike silence of the valley. Nearer and nearer drew the specter steed and rider; then Buffalo Bill said in a whisper, as the Hermit Parsbn stood by the side of his horse: "Now, Rip Van vVinkle, you will see me lasso a ghost!" As he he sent the la sso flying through the air. When Buffalo Bill threw the la sso from his covert among the trees, he felt sure of catching the object of his aim, for no man on the plains could throw a lariat more skillfully True, he had never before tried to lasso a ghost, as this appeared to be; but his nerve did not desert him on that account, his arm did not lose its strength. and the coil went tr:ue and settled clown over the shoulders of the white-robed form A shriek, as wild as a panther's cry. broke from the lips of the spectral-looking being, while white horse, w ith a startled snort, bounded away, at t he sa me instant that Buffalo Bill shot Comrade out of the amb u s h iq chase The spring of the horse, with the tlghtening of the lasso, one encl of which was held by the old her mit dragged the ghost from the back of the animal to the ground, which it struck with a heavy thud. Instantly the hermi t was by the side of the pros trate form, and bending over it, ,, bile Buffalo Bill was flying a\Yay in hot pursuit of the \\h it e steed. Glancing up, tl1e one thus dragged to earth beheld the weird being bending above him and a groan of terror broke from his lips. Glancing dO\rn upon his pns,oncr, the hermit be, held a form robed in wh1te; a hood oYcr the head and two holes cut for the eyes.

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THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. "Man or ghost, who are you?" sternly said the hennit, and he drew back the string of his bow, while an arrow was set and pointed right down upon the prisoner so rudely taken. I hain't no ghost, Massa Debble, I onl y a poor nigger, dat's all, sah," came in trembling tones. The hermit seemed to feel no fear now of his cap tive, ai1d seeing that Buffalo Bill was returning with the captured horse, he said, sternly: "Take off that hood and let me see who you are!" "Yes, sah-I do it mighty quick, Mass a Debble." "Why do call me the devil?" "Hain' t you him, sah ? "No; I am a man like yourself, only more un-fortunate than yon," was the sad reply. "I misfortunate 'nuff, s a h, an' 'fore de Lord, I thought you was Ole Massa Nick, 'deed I did, sah, for i has heerd o' sich doins in these mountains, I was prepared to see anybody, sah; but who
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. ...... 1"HE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 17 and sich; and I didn't like thet much; but then I hed either ter risk ther ghosteses or hangin' fer murder I didn't do, and be tamed inter a ghost myself, and I concluded I'd come. "Then ther idee struck me, Massa Buff'ler Bill, thet perhaps I'd do well playin ghost myself, and I jist goes inter ther buys me a full outfit o' shrouds, or muslin ter make 'em, buys a extra horse, with provisions ammunition, a pick, ax and shovel, and comes into these durned mountains." "Where did you g e t your money?" "I were paid off, sah, afore I Jeff ther fort, you recomembers, and I made a little m ore in ther mines, sah." "Yes, sah." "No treachery." "I hain t no two-faced nigger, Massa Buff'ler." "No, I have always found you a square fellow-brave, and a good. borderman, and a good Indian fighter for you stood by me several times when your men ran off, and it surprised me to think you would kill a poor army settler and rob him," and Bill spoke with mock seriousness "'Fore de Lord, sah, I didn t do it!" "Well, I'll have to take your word for it, so now we 'll lo o k up your camp ." "Yas, sah; btit won.'t de ole gem' man who I tuk fer de d e bble ride my horse, s ah ?" "All right; you came into these mountains to fight And Toby lo o ked at the Hermit the devil with fire. "No, sah, ter dig gold and ter play ghosteses my self, so as ter skeer off t' others." "I see; but when did you get here ? I "Two days ago, sah." "Where is your c amp?" "I goin' thar now sah, for I hed been out on a tramp thi s arteJ
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JJ . I 18 THE BU ff ALO BILL STORIES. ..J ; And away Buffalo Bill dashed like the wind, in in tremendous leaps, as if he felt that his master was chase of the mysterious dumb pards-the white steed angry with him. and the black dog. Still, the dumb parcl s ahead gained slowly, and the CHAPTER VII: THE DUMB PARDS. When the scout set off in hot pursuit of the horse and dog that had dashed by them down the valley, he felt confident of soon solving that mystery at least. He knew tire speed of his splendid horse and his endurance, and he had yet to see the animal that could hold the lead ?f him in a long nm. In chasing the white horse, from whose back the negro, Toby, had been. so rudely dragged by the lariat, Buffalo Bill had run alongside of the animal and grasped his bridle rein before he had gone the eighth of a mile. Now, he settled himself in his saddle and urged Comrade on, and the nob c horse fairly flew al png the trail. But the white steed and the black clog held their own, and, with a hundred yards start, seemed re solved to keep it. As the scout shot out into the bright moonlight the dog a startled yelp, and the horse a nei.gh, I as a note oi alarm1 and their speed increased greatly, for they bad been going at the pace of a sweeping gallop. "Come, Comrade, you are not doing well," said the scout, urging on his horse, when he saw that he was not gai :ig. And the noble animal responded by warming up to his work, and pushing ahead with speed. Still he did not gain. "Why, Comrade, what are you about? On, sir, on I" and Buffalo Bill just touched his flanks with the spurs, and the noble beast fairly bounded forward scout could see it. I must have that horse, for, Comrade, you have at last more than met your match," the scout said, firmly. Once or twice he half brought his rifle around, as though to u s e it, but, quickly checking the inten tion, he said: "No, it would be sacrilege to kill either the horse or the clog; but I must have them, and I will, if I s tay in these mountains for Then, to see if Comrade could really increase his pace, and noting tha t t11e horse and dog had dou bled the dis t a nce they had held, he spurred his own bea s t s harply. But, though Comrade snorted vvith anger and strained every nerve and muscle, the two strange pards ahead held their own steadily. "Ah! my poor Comrade, I am driving you hard. and for no use--Ha! they ha v e disappeared!" It w as true.' for just as.the scout was about to draw rein and give up the chase the dumb pards disap peared. So he rode hastily on to the spot where he had last seen them flying along in the moonlight. Just here w 'ere piles of rock and clumps of trees while the trail they had been follovvfrig reached the river and ran along its banks. But he could s ec for s o me dist a nce along the bank, and he kn e w they had not gone that way. But there wa s but one other way they could go, unless they had dodged behind some of the rocks and trees, and were hiding, and that was int? the river, which here clashed swiftly along. To go into the river must take a leap of some

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a T'HE BUFFJ\.LO BILL STORIES. 19 ten feet, and the sco ut could not believe thty had done that intentionally, but perhaps gone over by accident. So he looked ftmong the rocks ana trees, that could afford a shelter, and then returned to the river bank, just where the trail curved, and arrived there as the Hermit Parson and Toby rode up "Well, they have gone?" he said, in a disappointed tone. "Your horse could not overtake them, Buffalo Bill?" asked the hermit. "No, sah, in course he c'u'dn't, though I knows what Comrade kin do, but then them animiles hain t human," urged Toby. "No, Toby, they are not human, but belong to "No more than were you a ghost, Toby, and I will yet prove it to you; but, parson, suppose we camp here on their trail for the balance of the night, so as to be on hand at daybreak and see what tracks they have left, though, according to Toby, their trails will not be v isible?" "As yon please, Buffalo Bill, for I think it would be a good idea, answered the Hermit Parson, and the three sought a hiding-place for their horses among _the. rocks and stunted pines, and then threw themselves down upon their blankets, only a few yards from the trail which the 'dumb pards had fol lowea in the ir rapid flight. The scout lay awake for some time, arra his thoughts were busy with the discoveries he had made the b:;-ute creation," the scout said, smiling at Toby's in those mountains, which he had not believed in-remark. habited by mortal man. "Dey ain't real brutes; nuther, Massa Buft'ler, but He h a d looked upon the stories told by the nerphantoms, and as Comrade didn't cotch 'em it proves dat." '1 :. \ "Where did they go?" asked the hermit, with interest. "I saw them last just about here, and, as they had steadily gained on me, in spite of all I could do, I determined not to worry my horse, and was about reining up when they suddenly disappeared. "They did not go down the trail, for we can see a long distance, and they are not hidden among the bushes or rocks, for I have looked. "Then, they could only go over here into the river?" "That's it, parson." "And are lost?" "No, sah, them hain't lost, I knows for water don't drown, bullet don! t kill, and fire don' t burn things like them. "No, sah, them is spirit animiles I" mit Parson as imaginings of a diseased brain, ana yet he had certainly seen proofs that there were unfathomable mysteries in that weird land. He had met there the old mad trailer, he na
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20 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. The trail hag an ending surely, that was not it. There were others certainly in these mountains, but where were they? the Monte Man, had come there with his cap tive, and yet he had not left there, the Hermit Trapper felt certain. Altogether, the brave scout had a world of thought, with mystery at the bottom of all, a seem ingly m1fathomable bottom, as h":' lay ;iwake in his bbnkei, while near him peacdully slumbered Toby, and the Hermit Trappe r lay motionless, but also awake. Presently, the scout dropped off to sleep, and his repose was undisturbed until dawn was stealing over the valley and paling the moonlight. Then he awoke, for a sound broke on his ears, ever alert, even in sleep. up and saw that the Hermit Trapper was also aroused. It was the rapiCl clatter of hoofs, and they were coming toward where they were. "Up, Toby, for some one i s coming," Buffalo Bill ordered. "It's the hoof falls of that wild horse, for I know them well," said the hermit. To reach their horses and mounf would be impos sible, in the short ti.t;ne they had, the scout knew, so he said, quickly : "We must lasso him, then. You, parson, try for the horse with me, and, Toby, you take the dog." Buffalo Bill knew that the negro so ldier was noted as a lariat thrower, while he wa!l not so sure of the Hermit Parson, never having seen him throw a rope, so he asked him to try for the horse. -Their lassos were at hand w.ith their saddles, and quickly they seized them and sprung to be hind the nearest rock or tree facing toward the trail. A moment more, and the black dog appeared m sight, and behind him came the white horse. They were dashing swiftly along with the wind, so the keen senses of the dog had not caught the scent of their foes "Golly! but dat am a big dog ter tackle! "I think he's
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-THE BUffl\LO BILL STORIES. 21 Toby had not put on his belt of arms, in seizing h i s lasso, and the moment the noose settled o v e r the head of the dog, the brute .gave a savage ye l p and bounded directl y for the negro. Toby was as brave as a lion where mankind were but he did have a holy horror of dogs and snakes. And such a dog! A brute of enormous 'size, with long, white, g littering teeth, and a shaggy hide like a bear. In that sharp, vicious yelp, half growl, half bark, he showed just how furious he was, and he made directly for Toby, almost before the noose could be tightened to drag him to earth. Toby had not made his lariat fast-in fact. he did not see the need of it in lassoing a dog-and, as the huge brute came bounding toward him, the negro dropped the rope and deserted the field. To fly fror'n so swift an animal he knew was use less, and shoot him he could not, so he made his exit from earth by means of a tree; springing up to a imb and catching it, he drew himself <;>Ut of the dog's outh just in the rtick of time. In the meantime, Buffalo Bill had made his lasso nd fast to a small sapling, growing i n the rock, while he Her m i t Parson had simply held one end in his and. and the effect was surprising, for the shock of ringing the horse to a halt tore up the little tree by he roots, and jerked the old trapper off his feet. In an instant, the splendid animal had sprung a\vay, towing the two lariats, to one of \vhich was trailing the little sapling which had been so rudel y torn from its hold among the Seeing his horse companion flying away, the clog had given up a premeditated attack upon the scout and t rapper, for he had started toward them, and went bounding after the white steed, also trailing the "Lost them both, so we d i d r ried Buffalo Bill runi1ing toward his horse an d seizing h i s saddle on the way. "No use ter 'em, Massa Bill fer they hain t ter be tuk," answered Toby, d ropping fro m h is perch in the tree. "I'll try, at least, and, parson, you and Toby come on as fast' as you can." And Buffalo Bill s0on had Com r ade bri d led and saddled and set off in hot chase with the dog drawing the lasso and the h o r s e a small sapling, the scout felt hopeful that t h ey wo uld both be caught in some way, and he rode o n at t h e full speed of his horse, while the trapper and T oby also follO\Yed, but at a slower pace, the latter r iding his pack horse. The dumb pards had disappeared from sight b e fore the scout had mounted, but t h en he k n ew that such a trail as they wonld leave cou l d be ve r y r e a dily found and fo11owec1. The sun was now above the hori zon, so t hat the darkest shado\\ s of the valley could be penetra ted, and .. with the day before them, Buffalo Bill was as sured that some cliscoYery should be made regarding this strange mystery of the mo u ntains For some distance he dashed a l ong, Comrade r un ning easily and yery rapidly, seeming hi mself to be anxious to overtake the two animals whi ch had dropped him behind so easily in his last ch ase of them. Pres ently the spot came into the Yiew of the sco u t where the horse :111d clog had disappeared on th e other occasion, and he knew as he approach e d t h e bank that they had again eluded him, for there was no hiding-place there for them. A moment more and he drew rein upon the bank overhanging the swiftly-flowing stream.

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-----..... 22 THE BU Fr ALO BILL STORIES. .There lay, neatly coiled, the three lassoes, the little sapling was standing against a rock near by, its branches scarred and leaves torn by being dragged over the ground, but nowhere were the dumb pards. _They _had disappeared most mysteriously. To do so, they must spring from the bank a distance of ten feet into the swiftly-flowing waters of the river, for the trail turned neither to the right nor left, but ended just there. Soon the Trapper Parson and Toby came up and foun d the scout standing there in deep meditation. He seemed slightly b()wildered by what had hap pened. "You got the lassos, but not the animals?" said the trapper, inquiringly. "I found those three lassos lying there, coiled just as you see them, and the little tree the horse pulled up by the roots, standing just there," answered Buffalo Bill. "The dog and horse could not coil the lassos," said the trapper. "No; only a human being could l1ave released them and placed the ropes there." "It was sperrits, Massa Buff'ler, thet's what it I were," Toby said, anxiously glancing about him. "But you could not h_ ve been more than two or three minutes behind the animals, Buffalo Bill?" said the trapper. "No; and whoever took off the ropes worked fast, but where did he go, and where are the dumb pards?" "This is the only they could reach the nver to jump in, for see how rough the bank i above and below, and a mountain goat could hardly find footing there." "True, parson, and their trails lead right here, as you see.,. "Yes; and they sprang into the river?" "Yes-they could do nothing else. "No, parson, there is a mystery about this, and if the dog and horse went into the stream, the man who took off their lassos did the same, and where one man went another can go. "Do you mean that you will go into the stream?" "Yes, parson, and you and Toby camp yonder in that thicket and get breakfast, while I take a little swim, and Buffalo Bill quickly divested himself of his clothing, wrapped a revolver in a waterproof rubber cloth, placed his lasso about his waist, and sprang from the bank into the stream. He vvas swept down the stream like a flash, and soon whirled out of sight of the trapper and Toby, who w ere watching him. He was swept along by the swift current for se\ eral hundred yards, the banks still steep and impass able and they seemed so for a long distance below. But he was watching them closely, and his fell upon a break in them, and he swam toward it. And jus t in time he put forth his strength, for otherwise the current would have swept him by. It was a narrow chasm in the rocky wall, which served as a bank; but the footing was good, and he saw that the landing W2.S easily made. The rock s were wet, and for some distance, sho;v ing that the hors e and dog had landed there, by making the leap into the river above, had thus eluded capture vvhere the trail ended. "Those brutes have been well trained," muttered I Buffalo Bill, "to thus seek safety in flight, and double upon a pursuer. 'I will see where this trail leads me, and can per haps head them off at this landing next time." He followed the >vater-dripped trail for some dis-

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11111" l'HE B U f f -J\lO BILL STORIESo 23 a nce, when it ceased, and he had to depend' upon the racks of the animals. These led to a cavern in the rocks; but seeing day ght beyond the scout boldly ventured into the dark lace ancl came out upon a broad or meadow and, and from here he could find no d;.;;ect1 trail, hough the animals had evidently crossed it. Glancing about him he recognized a lightning iven tree in the distance, which he had obsenecl at far from the spot they had camped in during the ight, and he made his way toward it, struck the trail long which the dumb pards had been clashing when r iated, and an hour after parting \\ith the parson ncl Toby. put in an appearance before them. They had breakfast waiting, for they had expected e would soon return, as he was not in scouting stume for a long tramp. and he sat down to it with r elish, while he told of his disco ver ies, remarking: "N"aw we can capture that noble pair of animals r starting in cha se, when \Ye see them next. and en heading directly for the la nding. ''There are rocks there \Yhich we can hide on, drop r lariats over the heads o f the hors e and dog and oke them into quiet, ,.,,-hen we can tie them s ecure and they are our sure game." so, c'ertainly," said the trapper, while remarked: "'The rope hain't made, Massa Buff'ler, ter tie dem i)iles wid for dey is spei:rits sartin." 'ell, Toby. we can try, and my opinion is when pture the'm we will discover some secret of who nasters are that \\c ::ire anxious to know.'' 1ffalo Bill, ProYidence sent you here, and I 1ope now that I will find my little \Vild Rose nay be days, weeks, months perhaps, before I know you \1iil solve this inystery-I feel t he trapper, earnestly. "I hope so, parson, and we won't say die until there is no hope." "I \\'ish we was huntin' fer somethin' that wasn't sperrits ... said Toby, and the scout laughed hearti ly, at the fears of Toby, and remarked: "\Vhy, Toby, you played ghost yourself, and you see ho,, we t'.J\Yned you, and you'll find t hat there i s nothing but humbug at the bottom of these mountain mysteries and, in my opinion, they have good cau se for \\'ishing to keep people out of this wild land. "But \\'e are here to stay, to settle, to die, if need be, .. and the stern, resolute face of the sco u t showed that he meant just what he said CHAPTER IX:. CUC\'NING CAPTIVES. The next e\ening Buffalo Bill, Uncle Toby and t h e mad trapper \\'ere at their posts again, waiting for the arrirnl of th e dumb pards, who, they believed, wo u ld pass that way again, as on the pre, ious night. They made all preparations possible, deciding that this time the mysterious horse and the dog which accompanied it woltld not escape them. i\ o sign of either horse or dog, howev e r, w as seen that night, and the three watchers h ad t heir long wait in vain. "::-\"eyer mind," said Buffalo Bill, "this is our o n l y way of solving the mystery. \Ve must have patienc e and wait. "The next time that we get our lariats abou t t he throats of these -dumb pards we must see that we keep tight hold of them." "\Ve can sleep in the daytime and watch by n ight," said -the mad trapper. "vYe'll nehber catch dem animiles, Massa B ill,"

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24 THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. said Toby, "and I'm scart to stay in dis ha'nted val ley, but whatever you says goes." And so for nearly a week the trio watched care fully the trail which they knew the dumb pards must sometimes pass over. At length one clear, moonlight night, when they were sitting chatting and sm .oking at their post, a clatter of hoofs was borne to their ears by the wind. "Up, Toby," said Buffalo Bill. "It's now or never, Trapper. Are your lariats ready?" Both Toby and the parson were soon prepared, swinging their long lassos, and a moment later the dumb pards came into sight in the bright moonlight. They had posted themselves behind some trees, and were hidden from the two animals. "Toby, you can try your hand at the dog again," said Bill. "Berry good, sah," said the negro. "Parson, you and I will try for the horse. Are your lariats both fastened to the trees?" "Mine is," said the Hermit Trapper. "Mine's fast, sho' enoff," said Toby. And now the dumb parcls were in range. and Buf falo Bill swung his Jong lariat about his head. "Throw, and don't let them escape y'ou this time!'' he cried. His lariat went flying through the air, quickly fol lowed by the other two. All three sped true to their aim. coil, he skillfully threw his lasso over the fore feet of the animal, as he reared, and he was at once brought to terms, for the noose had tightened about his throat and was choking off his breath . "Hole} him well, parson, while I slip down and se cure him, cried the scout, and he soon had the las sos firmly binding the noble animal. He turned him over to the parson, who had als o come down into the chasm, and went to help Toby, who kept the. dog half-suspended, by the lasso as high in the aicas he could, so as to place him beyond resistance. The dog was also secured, and both animals were led around to the camp, where the captive horse was lariated out between two lassos, givinghim just the' slightest amount of freedom. The dog was also tied in the same way, between two trees, and feeling that they were secure the trio of strange comrades took from the back of the white s teed a pack saddle which was firmly strapped th e re. In each ea o f the hors e hung a ring of silver. which marked him at once as having some connec tion \Yith some mystery, while about the neck of th d o g was a collar of the same precious metal, welde on. ''You didn't s ee if there wa s a motto on the dog'. c o llar, did y ou. Toby?" ask e d the p ac k saddie tm\ard the campfire among th Horse and dog were going at such speed that the lassos closed about their throats in an instant, choked them and threw them upon the ground. rocks. ':.Jo, sah. I didn't, for I wasn't 'zam'nin' thet dog' collar too close, as all I wanted ter do was ter git Jn tied afore he come; to fer bitin' work. "At them, boys! Bind them!" cried Bill. He 0threw himseif upon his horse, follov,ed by the hermit. "Here's whar I tackle de ghost again, and I habn't no time to say mah prayers, muttered Toby, as he hurled himself upon the big dog, which had not yet risen to its feet. "We've got 'em !" cried Bill. When the old trapper saw that Toby had secured the dog all right, and Buffalo Bill had the horse in his "I tell yer, Massa Buff'lcr, thet bear and stronger than a lion." "He is a bad clog, Toby, and I am very gla were able to secure him as we did." "He came back to his senses mighty quick arter got him tied and quit chokin' him." "Y.es; he is a .. dangerous brute, and that hors vicious, Buffa.Jo Bill, and, but for his knovving him bottnd, muzzled and hoppled, he woul

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42 0 bi THE BUFFALO BILL STORll!.S. fought like a wolf," the trapper remarked, as they reached the campfire and sat down before it, the scout pla cing the pack saddle in the glare of the light to see what it contained. "Ah! this tells a secret," he said, as he drew out from a leather pouch in front of the saddle a slip of paper. It bore no address, but simply was an order for ammunition, provisions and half-a-dozen miner's picks without handles. At the end was the line: Do not forget to send papers and some books. There was no signature, but a well-drawn cir cle in stead. "Ah! that is a carrier steed, and thus, much of the secret is solved," said the scout, as he opened the leather flaps of the pack saddle. But the pouches were empty and nothing more could be discovered to give a clew to just who the horse had come from, and where he was going. "What do you make of it, Buffalo Bill?" asked the trapper, as the scout had completed the search. ''That these dumb pards are most thoroughly t rained, the one a guide and guard, the other a carrier steed, and they belong to those who are united I by this mystic silver band or circle." "And can you make out just what it all means?" eagerly asked the trappei. "That a band of men, ho w many I cannot of course even guess at now, are hiding in these mountains for some purpose of their own and that they have all ie s in the settlements this paper proyes for it is a lireft order for some one to send back these things d 'the horse is to be the bearer," sa id th e scout. 'That looks like gospil, Massa Bill," Toby said. "It seems the only solution to me, and my ide a is mount that horse and let him carry me to this et camp." ill he do it Buffalo Bill?" think so; but if not, we can hopple both the and the dog, so that we can follow them at a "Yes, we can do that.N "But perhaps the best way would be to begin in the settlement.". "How do you mean?" "To find out where the dog and horse go." "It must be Sawdust City?" "Yes, doubtless; and if I can find out who is the ally there, I can force him to reveal what I would know, and, if this mountain band are numerous, I can get a force from the fort to whip them out." "You are right, Buffalo Bill; the starting point to solve this mystery will be in the camp to which the dog and the horse are sent." "Yes, parson, I think so; but in the morning we will see just what we can do with those dumb parch!; but now we all need rest." And so the trio, tired out but triumphant, soon had !aid themselves down and were sound asleep. Their horses were little more than a lariat's iength away, and in the bright moonlight lay the white steed, held by a lariat upon either side of him, drawn taut. In the shadow, between two trees, was the. dog, crouching down, as though asleep, and also held by two lines. But before lying down to rest it would have been well for the scout to have taken a glance at his dumb captives, for the dog \Vas by no means asleep, but quietly gnawing at one of the lassos fastened into hi s si!Yer collar. He seemed to be asleep, crouched upon the gronnd, and his head bent to one side; but the lasso in his mouth, and the sharp teeth were slowly cutting the strands. Every fall of a leaf, every sound caused him to be on the alert, and h e was cunning and cautious as an Indian captive trying to make his escape. At last the lariat parted, and still keeping the same position, he began upon the other. This was soon in twain, and, rising, he crept slowly toward his dumb pard, who seemed to understand just what was going on.

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26 THE BUFFA.LO BILL STORIES. The horse was lying down, the lariats on either -side drawn taut, and an imprO\ised bridle upon his head and about his neck. But the dog stood close up to him, and the gnawing process was begun once more. He soon had his comrade free, and with a neigh o f joy the horse sprung to his feet, while he bounded a w a y after the clog, who was leading the way, yelping with delight. In an instant Buffalo Bill and his companions were u p o n their feet, and they caught a glimpse of the d umb pards they disappeared in an adjacent thicket. "You remain here and watch for their comino for hi t hey will go to the river again. "I will press them there. "Get your lariats, quick, and be ready," and the scout threw himself on the back of Comrade, without saddle or bridle, and dashed away in pursuit. He got the white horse in view once more, as he gained an opening, and pressed rapidly on. The dumb pards took the same old trail and headed straight for the bank. The scout was but a couple of hundred yards away when he saw them go right over into the stream. CHAPTER X CAPTURED AT L. \ ST. It was with bitter clisappo1ntment in his heart that B uffalo Bill turned back to his two comrades. "\Ve must not gi\'e up, parson," he said. "\Ve must find yonr granddaughter." "My granddaughter?" said the old man. "Do you think that those dumb pards could lead us to her hid i n g-plac e ?" "There is, in my mind, a band of 111en in these mountai n s united from some peculiar cause, and whose interest it is to keep all others awayi and hence their acts to frighten those who might come here," said Buffalo Bill. "Now, your grandchild, parson, may be with this band for here you tracked her, and the ma n who kidnaped her; but that we must find out, a11d we will, and my idea is that by capturing the horse a n d the dog, is our best plan to start with. "So, Toby, go back to your post, and should you again see a horseman, looking like a ghost, run to him, not from him, and you may solve the riddle." And Buffalo Bill turned to Toby, who gathered up his rifle and blanket, ai1d, returning to his post of duty, once more stood on guard, while the parson and the scout soori after retired to rest. But, trained to awaken at any given time, Buffa l o Bill was awake at the hour to relieve the so l dier and went to the post. "Anything moving about, Toby?" he asked. "No, sah-only wolves, and they is ravin' distracted this night." "I am glad they did not have a feast on huma flesh; but now go to rest, and I'll stand the night out so don't disturb the old parson, as I notice he puts 01 his best licks of sleep ju s t before dawn." "Yas, sah; but he do seem to keer precious leetl for sleep, anyhow."' And Toby started for camp, on duty as a sentinel. Standing in the shadow of against it, the scout was as motionless as a statu e marble. But, though he was lost in deep thought, his ea were open to the slightest sound and his eyes swep the moonlit space about him constantly, for mechan ically he seemed to see and hear, so thorough h been his training as a plainsman. Suddenly he started; his attitude was that of tening. "It is the horse and his clog pard," he said, as beat of hoofs reached his ears Then the sound ceased, wild howls were he loud and saYage barking, the neighing of a hor the yelps o.f half-a-huridrecl wolves. Like a deer, Buffalo Bill sped toward the sc

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THE BU ff ALO BILL STORIES. repeating rifle in hand, and m a few moments he came up9n a strange sight. Against a wall of rock was the dog at bay, springing upon any wolf that approached him, and by his side, his heels pointed outward, his head pointed toward the rock, was the superb white horse. About them were a half-hundred wolves, ravenous and preparing to rush upon the two dumb pards. Such an unequal struggle could end but one way, and Buffalo Bill went to the rescue with a will to do good work. As he dashed out of the shadow of the pine thicket he began to "pump" the bullets out of his repeating rifle, and every shot dropped a wolf. When the click announced that the rifle was empty he drew a revolver in each hand, and these,too, rat tled forth lively music as the frightened wolves darted away, lea ving a number of the pack dead upon the scene. TI1e moment his weapons were empty, the scout halted and began to hastily reload, at the same time gazing intently at the dumb pards. These two seemed to realize that they had met a friend, and they gazed at the scout intently, as he stood some fifty feet distant. Then, as if to thank they gave vent to a neigh and a yelp and darted away. In vain did he call after them, for they heeded not; and he said aloud: "Now, to give chase, and then get back to the ra vine to head them off, for they are sure to follow the o Id trail." As he spoke he saw the trapper and Toby coming on horseback, and leading his faithful animal. They had heard the rattle of the firearms and had uickly come to the support of the daring scout. "Parson, you ride on in chase of the horse and he dog, and after they run toward the trail that reaks at the river, return with all haste to our camp we will go and have all ready to meet them as ey land, and lariat them," said Buffalo Bill, -taking time for explanation. far off the white horse was still in sig ht, dashing g, and the trapper started in chase, while Buf Bill himself returned quickly fo the camp. a short while they had hitched their horses, and mounted upon the top of the rocks which ed the narrow ravine, or chasm, leading to the There were stunted pines growing there, ana to these the ends of their lariats were made fast, as that of the Hermit Trapper, so that all would be ready immediately on the latter's return. "You take the dog, Toby, and you can soon choke him quiet, when we can tie him to a tree and tame him. "I will take the horse, and I will drop the loop over him quickly from here, forI slo not wish him to hurt himself against the rocks. "Once he is choked down, we can tie him, too, and try the taming process. ''If either of us fail to catch our game, the parson can come in on the homestretch, so we are sur. e to get them." Such was rhe scout's explanation, and then thoy, stood in waiting. Soon there came the echo of hoofs and the tra.pp;r dashed up to the camp in the rear, hitched his horse and quickly came up to the top of the rocks. "Well?" said the scout, interrogatively. "They made the leap as usual, Buffalo Bill," the other responded. "Then we have little time to wait. "There is your lariat, parson, fast to that tree, and if Toby or I fail to catch om game, then you drop your coil. "If we do catch on, then your lariat will come in well to help one of us, or both." "All right, Buffalo Bill said the trapper, and he took his stand further along on the r-ocks, and he held his coiled lasso in hand. Soon a splashing sound was heard some hundred feet away, and a moment after, peering through the branches of the pine tree that shielded him, Buffalo Bill saw the dog trot into view, and then came the horse. "Ready!" He whispered the word, and all was then as still as death each of the three men standing ready, lasso in hand, and with their eyes fixed upon the two dumb pards seen in the ravine below. :Nearer an
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a \ 28 1'HE BU ff ALO BILL STORIES. then drawn taut wit h such r a p idity that neither the horse nor the dog had the chance to make much o f a spring, and this was e specia lly satisfactory as re garded the horse, who was brought to a halt before he had an opportunity o f bounding a way, t o be brought up w i t h a shoc k that might h ave harmed him in somew a y "They a r e o u r s cried Buffalo Bill exultantly, as he saw t h a t at last the dumb pards were in his power. CHAPTER XI. CONCLUSION. This t1me the dumb pards were tired out with the -1truggl e t h ey had made and too weak to resist their captors a s vigorously as before. The dog was soon choked into submi ssion I t w as e v e n e asier subduing the horse, for it seemed t o re{;ogni z e B uff a lo Bill as a friend. It w h innied softly as the sc .out laid his hand on its mane and v aulte d easily upon its back. "Loose the lariat, Toby," said B u ffalo Bill-"the horse will o bey m e now Toby loosed the rope, and the scout slapped the hors e on the flank. It trotted forward at an easy pace, and the dog, w h i ch was also quieted, trotted meekly at, his side, although Toby, who had mounted, as bad t h e o ld hermit, kept a respectable di stance from him. "We will soon solve the mystery now," said Buf fa l o B ill "This horse, which is a splendid animal, will l ead us t o its own e r, and I hope to y ou r daugh ter." "I hope he may," was the Hermit Trapper' s de v out prayer. In single file, the three riders, the dog and Buf falo Bill's horse, which, at a word from the scout, trotted close by his side, passed the little r a vi ne, and then turned sharply to the right. The r e was no trail, b u t the horse ev i dently knew its way. T h r ough a clump of trees it passed then through another narrow passage between two tall rocks, w h ich we r e completely hidden by the trees. Then it led the way out into a grassy meadow, came t o a standstill in front of a small log cabin and w h inni e d s of t ly. A young girl a ppeared at the door, a n d in a seco nd, the mad t rapper had leaped fro m h i s horse and thrown his arms about h e r. I t was Rose his k idnaped d aughter. * * * A moment l ater, with Rose mo unte d on the extra horse, party were retracing thei r ste p s from the hidden valley. The girl had told them that they had found her in the hidi n g-place of a den of outlaw s "They are called the Bandits of the Silver Circle," sa id, and Don, the Monte Man, who is their chief kidnaped me while my grandfather was absent, a nd kept me here. In the daytime the men are all at the min es near by, but they may return at any moment. The y would kill you all and take me pris'. oner agarn. "Let us turn back then," sa id Bill. "I will never rest until the band is broken up, and as soon as I can make sufficient preparations, I will return to fini s h the work I have commenced." On the way back to the m ad trapper's camp, R os e told the stor y of her k idnaping. The Bandits of the Si lver Circle kill e d all w h came into the valley, she said, in o rd e r t o keep a ny one from discovering the mines which they were workin g E very week they sent the magnificent white ho r s e which Buffalo Bill now rode to the nearest mining settlement, his s addle bags filled with gold dust. A landlord of a tavern. there, the girl said, a friend of Don, the Monte Man was secretly in leag u e wi t h them and sent them provisions, using the d u mb pards a s carriers. The horse and the dog had been carefully traine to make the journey alone and at night. The bandits had done all they could to make p e pie think that the valle y was haunted, and so h kept it lone and deserted Ros e and her arandfather never tired of showi h their gratitude to the great scout for his rescu e the girl. "Never mind s a ying anything more about it," s Buffalo Bill. I only did my duty." THE E ND. Next week's issue (No. 55) will contain: B u Bill s Bonanza; or, The Clan of the Silve r Cir How the great scout broke up t'.1e outlaw b and covered the mine rightly belongmg to the rnur Roy Ripley and restored it to his daughter, w told in this story.

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....... f Si 4 i Look out, boys! Here are a few more thrillers that will make your hair stand on end. If you don't want a cold shiver to run down your back, don't read them, for that's what's liable to happen to you if you do. The new coptest is humming along grandly." Keep it going, boys. You are responsible for its success. Look on page 31 for a list of prizes and directions how to win one. I\ Double Escape. (By Harold Lover, Ohio.) While riding in t11e Talcott llfotmtains last July, exercising a pair of young a:id ne,.vous horses, I had a hairbreadth escape from death by having my brains knocked out and also owning. William, the coachman, had his hands full"keeping m to the road, which was very steep and narrow. On our urn trip a trace slipped off and Wiliam got out to fix it while eld the horses. Just then a squjrrel ran across the road, and ey started to back. William jumped to their heads, having the trace, and succeeded in quieting them. 'fhE>n he arted to get in, but no sooner did they have their heads than th went flying down the hill in spite of all I could do. The spense was awful, for I expected nothing else but ha viug my rains dashed out on some bowlder. At length we reached a level strip along the reservoirs that supply Hartford with water, and here they seemed to fly. The pneumatic-tired runaboutbounced over the rough road and I was momentarily in danger of falling out and that is just what I dirl. A ditch about three feet wide had been boarded over and in crosSing this two' wheels did not connect, and I was tipped out and down the steep bank into the water. I was rlar.ed, but managed to get to shore and up the bank, where. I met William. After drying my clothes we started home, a walk of eight miles, whic h we 1'eached at seven o'clock. The horses had arrived an hour before, and the singular part of it was not a thing was broken. I wai; laid up for a day, but connt my escape a pure case of luck. /\drift On the Bay. (By Carl N. Y.) It was a hot mm mer day in the month of August when I and a frienc1 of mine resolved to go boating in Ne"' York Bay. We had about fifty cents, so we walked down to the bay. When we had looked all over Bowling Green and had seen the Aqual'ittm ou1 fifty cents had been reduced to twenty-five. At last my friend went up to several boatmen, but nobody wanted to hire a boat for a quarter. We came ac1oss an old sailor who was willing to let us have a boat for a half hour. "AH right," we answered. Then ,the sailor showed tt!j an old boat which had once seen better days, but now it was not painted, ancl the oars were in verJ" bad condition. But what we expect for twenty-five cents? But we did not care, for we jumped into the boat, aod we began to row away from the shore. We rowed about a half mile "hen my friend started to speak. "Why not row over to Bedloe's Island?" "All right; but won't it take too long?" I asked. "Ob, the old sailor don't care," my friend answered, so we started to row for Bedloes' Island. When we were about in,the middle of the bay the waves began to pitch ou1 small boat up and down like a nuts h ell. My friend, who was m,ore of a 1>ea man than I, told me to take an old tomato can which was lying in the bottom of the boat and bail out the water, which was coming into the old tub rapidly. The waves pitched our small boat higher and higher every minute; we might We were doing all we could do to keep the old tub afloat, "for our lives were at stake. The storm lasted about an hour when the wate1 began to grow calmer. Theo we began to row for the shore, but that was not easy, because t.he storm had driven us far out in the bay. We also were soaking wet. But after rowing hard for an hour, we managed to get our boat anchored. Then we jumped out of the boat, and we were once more safe and sound ashore. Three Shots That Missed. (By E. V. Early, N. C.) About three years ago, when my brother and I lived in the little village of Navesink, N. J., we narrowly escaped from an adventure with our lives. It happened in t ,bis way: We were coming home from the post oflice one night in October. We saw a man in front of us who was so full of the bad whisky that he walked like a three-legged parrnt, as my brothe r said at the time. Well, we thought we would have some fun with him, so we began mocking reeling aoo.,ut from one side of the lonely road to the other. iviy brother had been eating an apple, the core of which he now flung at the man ahead. 'l.'his core landed with a "squash" on the soft part of his ear. At first he t'licl not know what struck him, and he began.to hoe it down. I have neYer since seen n man dance with so laughable a step, and hardly e,xpect to witnes s such a performance agai. I hope I never do. My orother and myself started laughing, and nearly split om sid e s, at the sight of his ludicrous move)llents. This made him mad. Then before we realized what was happening we heard a sha1p "crack" sound forth on the still night ai1:. Our laughter stopped instantly, for we saw glitter in the soft moonlight. It was a largl:! pistol, the ca!tbre of hich we never stopped to investigate.

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0. 30 THE BUFF l\LO BILL STORIES. We made for the asparagus patch at one side of the road as fast as our feet could carry us. Another shot whizzed by us, as we entered the half-dried-up branches of the seed asparagus plants. When he saw we had gone he-iave 1111 chase; he chased us, running very unsteadily. We iained ground all the time. He saw he wae losing and fired again. A:ain the bullet mis sed us. We had DY that time reached the edge of the woods and entered the bushes. We were too tired to 10 much further, and, after a short, whistiered "palaver,'' hid in the undergrowth. This was the best thiJ1i' we could hav e done. He came rush ing by us, so near us that we could have touched him, as he went by, had we half tried. We waited breathlessly until he had passed almost out of. hearing. We suddenly heard a great crashing sound near and then, "crack! crack!" ranr out on the still night air. We took our chances, then, and "struck out" for home. We bad beard five reports, and richtly judged that his round had given out. We arrived home 1mfely We recognized him, and the next morning we went to bis hous e. He said that he had not known what he had been doing, and that he would -lene rum alone if we would keep it a secret especially :II.is name. With his last two shot& we found he had killed one of his own hogs. He has not exactly kept bis promis e, but I have never heard of him getting drunk since, although he takes a little occa sionally. Chas_ed By a Panther. (By Davy Messersmith, Kentucky.) About two years aro a emall gang of boys used to go about two miles back of town to an old vacant coal mine and dig coal. We would go out in the morning and come back at evening. We had been roing out there for about a week. One day we did not co out till about two o'clock. I was the first to enter the mine, 1md as I wentin I heard something, and did not pay any attention. I heard it again an.d I took my lamp and walked back. and my eyes met something shining. I began to get frightened and went back out and called to the othtJr boys who went in. I did not go back. All of a sudden I heard the boys coming. I began to run, and being the smallest, I could not run so fa st, so they all got ahead of me. I looked back and saw something coming, jump ing. I did not know what it was. But a moment later I s a w it was a panther. We bad to get through a wire fence to get out of the field, and as I was going through the fence I got caught. The panther was within a few rods of me. I heard some one com mg and looking back saw a man with a gun. He saw my danger and raised bis gun a .nd shot the panther, wounding him badly. He turned then and made his way back. The man cut me loose and I went.home. Everybody said it was a dog that had chased me, but the next morning some men went out and found the panther stretched out upon the ground, dead. My Adventure With a Mexican Lion. (By Conrad Goss, Texas.) Two years ago I lived near El Paso, Texas, a half mile from the Rio Grande River. I was then fourteen years old. On my fourteenth birthday my father made me a :present of a fine new Colt's Winchester, and mallla a pretty httle Pinto pony, when my cousin, Ned Boren, came to visit me for a month or two from Chainey, Texas. So on my birthday we planned a big hunt. Just ue two. The morning was bright and clear, and "Two Eyes," our Indian servant, woke me at four. As I had to go itp in the pasture and get Ned a horse and bring'back a bunch of two-year-olds, I got back about five-thirty, and we had our lunch all fixed up, and Ned got on his pony and he began to buck. Well, the first jum.p Ned flew head over heels and landed with a jolt on the back of an old milk cow, who politely gave him a punch in the side for his impudence, and Ned refused to mount unless I rode him first, so I got on him, and after a shor t tuss le succeeded in breaking in the little brute. We fin ally got off, and we were jus t across the Rio Grande when Ned's pony gave a snort and tried to run. Well, I knew at once that he had s cented a wild animal of some kind. We had hardly di smounted when a huge shot from a tree across the road and landed on my back, knocking uie down. Ned wa s so scared he didn't know what to do. I was not knocked sens eless. But I couldn't do anything with a 200 pound Mexican lion crouched on my back grow1inf: at Ned. But Ned recovered directly and t aking aim tired at the beast. He only broke his shoulder, and the lion flew at him and knocked him down, and I grabbed my new Colt's Winchester to try on him when }Yhat was my chagrin to find I had left m y cartridges at home. Ned's gun was not loaded, and Qe sides, it was under him, so, drawing m y knife-a large hunting knife I always take huntingI flew at the lion and after getting a torn arm and lacerated shoulder, succeeded in killing him, and r evived Ned with some water from my canteen. KillinSl a Mad Dofl. (By Louie Mathis, Illinois.) In the year lg<>l, on the evening of a hot, sultry day, I was returning from a riding party with some friends, passing a farmhouse and being thirety, we stopped to get a drink. No one appeared to be at home. All of the party had a drink, and were returning to their horses but myeelf. S ecuring a drink and leaping into the saddle, I was about to follow the rest when my hor se sprang to one side. Glancing arouna, I b eheld a huge dog, the fro t h dripping from its mout h I instantly hit my horse and started for the road, th dog following. Drawing a Smith & Wesson from my pocket, I fired, bitting him in -""' Staggering a few steps, he fell dead. 'rhe rest of t e party, the shot, turned back. That is as near a mad do_g as ever wtsh to be. Lost In a Mine. (By Ray Fuller, Iowa.) J ,ast summer I went to Colorado to visit a friend of mi One day he said: "Ray, suppos e we go o ver to a mine and get some spec mens?" I consented to go, and we set out for an old, unused mine When we arrived at the mine, my friend, Arnold, bad for gotten a c a ndle. We could not g-et any specimens, for it wa too dark to see to dig them out. He looked around and at las found a piece of a candle. We went back in the mine and soor turned off from the main passage into a branch tunnel. We kept on and soon found a place where we could dig som iron out. We each go t a pocketful of specimens and starte back. M y friend said we would have to hurry as the candl was getting short. We walked hack toward the entr;mce but soon the candl burned out, leaving us in the dark. We had to move mor slowly now and feel our way along the side of the tunnel. Presently we came to a branch tunnel which we had no notice d when we came in. "Ray," s a i d my companion," which way shall we go, straig,h ahead or turn into the branch tunnel?" I being from the East, <;ould not give him much satisfac tion. At last we decided to go straight ahead. After a while the air Decame foul and the floor of the tunnel became covered with water. We waded along and soon got out of the water. After walking a few minutes, we were amazed to fi.d we were back at the same place as we started from. We bad come out of the branch tunnel. "Arnold," said I, "what do you think about it?" "I am afraid we are lost," said he. "Lost! That one 'l\"Ol'.d sent a feeling of horror over me. Lost in the heart of a mountain. We had gone on straight ahead, gone around in a circle and came out. the branch tuflnel. Suddenly we heard a sound. What was it? Some one to lead us into safety or some wild animal to destroy us? I pulled

PAGE 32

THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 31 my comi?anion back into the tunnel. Presently we saw two balls, of tire. A form of a mountain lion crept by us. Where hn had' come from we could not tell. i'Arnold, suppose we follow him? Maybe he will l .ead us out." We crept after him, and suddenly he stopp1;1d and 1.ooked back. The shining eyes like red coals. The lion moved on again and presently we came to another tunnel. Looking into this tunnel, we .beheld those fiery eyes. When the lion started we crept after htm. Great was our joy when we beheld the light' of da:ie stream ing in from the eo}rance. When we reached the entrance vowbe1e could our be seen. f.!.dventure at a fire. (By l\Iortimer Barnes.) It was a cold, rainy night in the month of 19or. We had all retired for the night. I had been aslee p for a long time. When my mother came into my rnom and awoke me. She said: "The is'a;1d is afire." I sprang out of bed at once, and going to the window, saw the summer hotel and theatre afire. It was a grand sight to look at. I lost no time in dressing my:;elf. I was soon on the en-e, and like the .others, I began to help saye the furniture from the hotel. I had saved a number of l\rticles, and wa s standing looking at flames roar. When the proprietor's wife came to me and satd: "Mortimet', go and. get the cash register." ''All right,"l answered, and started on the errand. I found he registel' on the counter, and it was too heavy to carry. fter I had tried for a while to open the drawer by pounding t the lock I got tired and gave up. I made my exit from the oom for it was getting too hot. I got out and &food looking. -fter' a while the roof went in with a crash ar.:d sent a showe1 sparks in the air. If I h!ld a minute longer in the ding I would not be wntmg thts adventure. I\ Crooked finger. (By Garnet Brown, Minnesota.) I am now fifteen years old and have a very crnoked finger. e day my older brother and I were chopping some meat for e hens when I dropped my knife. When I reached for it my brother accidentally chopped ru'.y and and cut three of my fingers, one of which pretty nearly ropped off. I ran for the house, but fell and knew no more ttntil I fottnd yself lying in bed with my hnnd all done up in a cloth. My rother ran a mile for my father, but before he got back my other had stuck my finge1 back in its place with some courtlaster. I never want as painfttl a wound again in my life. sample 1902 Bicycle._ 1902 Models, $9 to $!5 'OI & '00 !.lodels, high grade, $7 to 511 SOOIJecondhand Wl:ieel S"le Bth&itfaetorycOBt."'lie ohfp I<> anyone ou a.pprovAl and tenda.ys trld.1 without a centln adv a.nee. EAllN .41 B/OYCLEdlstributtng 1000 catal6(tueR tor us. Writt at once for JIJ1tand onrwooderful spial o er to a.gents. Tires, eq:uJp. eot, 8UDd.rle8. all nds, bait regular prices. MEAD OYOLE 0011 &'UCl.M,li:r. : ........... 0 .......................... ., I F 1SSHiN G0TACEKi E I I : i ASSORTMENTS i : 6IVEN AWAY AS PRIZES I Look on the Back Cover of No: 52 to I See What They Are Like. IF YOU WIN ONE of these famous fishing tackle assort ments you will have you poS&i'bly need in the way of fishmg tackle. You will have such a complete assortment that you will be able to MAKE MONEY retailing hooks, lines and sinkers to your com rades who have not been fortunate enough to win prizes. You rrl'ay become a dealer in fishing tackle if you win one of these prizes, for you will have a complete assortment of over i I NINE HUNDRE;D HOOKS of All Kinds, ONE HUNDRED LINES, Besides ; SINKERS and TROLLING HOOKS. lg of the I one which has just closed-one of the most successful con! tests ever inaugurated. Every boy in the country has had some THRILLINC ADVENTURES. You have had one yourself-perhaps you were held UJ? by robbers, or we:e nearly run over by a train: perhaps 1t was a close shave 111 a bunting building, in a precipice, in or swimming; whatever 1t \vas, WRITE IT UP. Do it 111 less than 500 words, and mail it to us with the accompany ing coupon. All entries must be in before September 1. The contest closes on that date. The Prizes Will Be Awarded to the Seven Boys Sending in the Best Stories. Look on the back cover qf Ne. 52 for photograph and description of one of the prizes. To Become a Contestant for These Prizes cut out the Anec dote Contest Coupon printed herewith, fill it oct properly, and send it to BUFFALO B!L'L WEEKLY, cate of Street & Smith, 238 William Street, New York City, together with y_our anecdote. N o will be considered that does not have this coupon accompanymg 1t, COUPON. BUFFALO BILL WEBKLY ANECDOTE CONTEST, 4. Name ...................... :.:, ............................................ Street and Number ... /' .. - I : City or Town........................................................ State.................................................................. i Title of Anecdote................................................... : o+.o. ... a ..

PAGE 33

.... ., BUFF !\LO BILL SIZE.) Containing the Only Stories Authorized by Hon. WILLIAM F. CODY ("Buffalo Bill"). 27-Buffalo Bill Entrapped; or, The Phantom of the Storm. 28-Buffalo Bill in the Den of the Ranger Chief; or, One Chance in a Thousand 29-Buffalo Bill's Tussle with Iron Arm, the or, Red Snake, the Pawnee Pard. 30-Buffalo Bill on the Roost Trail; or, The Redskin Heiress. 31-Buffalo Bill's Peril; or, Going It Alone in Dead Man's Gulch. 32-Buffalo Bill in Massacre Valley; or, The Search for the Missing Ranger. 33-Buffalo Bill in the Hidden Retreat; or, The Captives of Old Bear Claws. 34-Buffalo Bill's or, The Stranger Guide of the Rio Grande. 35-Buffalo Bill95 Mission; or, The Haunt of the Lone Medicine Man. 36-Buffato Bill and the Womah in Black; or, In League with the Toll-Takers. 37-Buffalo Bill and the Haunted Ranch; or, The Disappearance of the Ranchman'5 Daughter. 38-Buffalo Bill and the Danite Kidnapers; or, The Green River Massacre. 39-Buffalo. Bill's Duel; or, /\mong the Mexican Miners. 40-Buffalo Bill and the Prairie Wolves; or, Hunting the Bandits of Boneya Gulch. 41-Buffalo Bill at Painted Rock; or, /\fter the Human Buzzards. 42-Buffalo Bill and the Boy Trailer; or, After Kidnappers in Kansas. 43-Buffalo Bill In Zigzag Canyon; or, fighting Red Hugh's Band. 44-Buffalo Bill's Red /\llies; or, Hand to Hand with the Devil Gang. 45-Buffalo Bill in the Bad Lands; or, Trailing the Veiled Squaw. 46-Buffalo Bill's Trail of the Ghost Dancers; or, The Sioux Chief's Secret 47-Buffalo Bill's Deadliest Deal; or, The Doomed De speradoes of Mine. 48-Buffalo Bill's .Secret; or, The Trail of a Traitor. 49-Buffalo Bill's Phantom Hunt; or, The Gold Guide of Coiorado Canyon. 50-Buffalo Bill's B r o ther in Buckskin; or, The Redskin Lariat Rangers. 51-Buffalo Bill's Trail of ihe Man Tigers ; or. The Doom o f the Branded Hand 52-Buffalo Bill's Boy Patd; or, Training the Bucks kin Bo y ; 5'3-Buffalo Bill's Vow of Vengeance; or, The Scout's Boy All y Ba.ck numbers always on hand. If you cannot 2'et them from your newsdealer, five a copy 1 will bring them to you, by mail, postpaid. I STREET & SMIT.JI, Publishers, 238 WILLIAlVl ST ., NEW CITY.

PAGE 34

$500.00 IN GOL TO BE GIVEN AWAY TO Readers of" Boys of America' Only R_eaders of BOYS OF .AME R_IC.A can win this money . This Money Will be Paid to the Boys Who Send Us the Best Opinions of the Stories that Appear in this Paper. Now, boys, you will not have to go to the Klondike to strike a gold mine. You all know that BOYS OF AMERICA (sixteen page boys' publication) is worth its weight in gold, and we are just going to give you some of its weight in the precious yellow metal itself. Notbing is quite so good as puregold, boys, it' s the standard money pf the world, and that is what we are to give away in lumps of $20.00 to every \Vinning contestant. cash prizes $20.00 e f C absolutpl given READ THESE DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY: Commencing with No. 31, out April 17th, and ending with No. 43 (inclusive) out July 3d next, there. be published in Boys OF AMERICA a st:ries of rattling, up-to-date stories, written by some of the besWdl writers in the country. Send Us Your Opinion ot .Any One of these Stories. The 26 Boys who Send i n Written Opinions Will Win the Gol d. Is there any easier way to win five hundred gold dollars? ... You can write about any story that appears in BOYS OF AMERICA between these numbers, No. 3; and No. 43. You can send in as many opinions as you like, but only one opinion of each story. -Tke coupon printed on page I5 must be sent witli tke opinion. Any reader of B O YS O F AMERICA can compete for this golden prize. D o not write more than 300 words about any o ne s t ory. Eac h o f the T wenty-fi v e Winners Will Recei v e $20.00 in Solid Gold. This offer is a golden opportunity for you. We are going to give away tis m oney in solid gold, Uncle Sam's bes t c o in. The name s o f the boys who receive it will b e p u blished in B OYS OF AMERICA. Address all l ette r s t o How easy to write a 0 pi n o /If. It is ;ust as easy win $20.00. W should this gold n go to you ? Send i y o u r op in i o n once! BOYS OP AMERICA. Care oC STREET SMITH, 238 Street, New York


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