Buffalo Bill's bonanza, or, The clan of the Silver Circle

Buffalo Bill's bonanza, or, The clan of the Silver Circle

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Buffalo Bill's bonanza, or, The clan of the Silver Circle
Series Title:
Buffalo Bill stories
Buffalo Bill
Place of Publication:
New York
Street & Smith
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
1 online resource (31 p.) 28 cm.: ;


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

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
020823122 ( ALEPH )
223329034 ( OCLC )
B14-00055 ( USFLDC DOI )
b14.55 ( USFLDC Handle )

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DEVOTED TO issued Weekly. By Subscription .ta.so per ytar. Entered as Second Class Matte r at New York Post O_ffice by SrREET & SMITH, a_?8 Wz1liam St. N. Y. No. 55. Price, Five Cents. 'rlit! 'au IN A MOMENT LONG WAS UPON HIM, BUT BUFFALO BILL DREW ;HIS REVOLVER QUICKLY Ar\'D FJHED.


I IBO[S[b A WEEKLY PUBLICATION DEVOTED TO BORDER Juiud W eeltly By S #bs c,.t"ptio1' l2so per year. Entwed as Seco,,,d Class Malter at flu N. Y Post Ojfia, by STREET & SMITH, z38 Wi7liam S f ., N. Y. Entere d a ccor d i nlf' to A c t of Q,,.pe ss i11 tire year 1902, t"n tlte Of/ice of lite Liora1ia,,_ of a,,,. greSJ, Was hing-ton D. C NEW YO RK, May 31, 1902 Price F iv e Cents. Off ALO BILL'S BONANZA: OR, The etan of the S ilver eir cle. B y the auth o r o f "BUFF AL O BILL." CHAPTER I. SA \\'DUST CITY IN ITS PRIME. The s aloon at the Sinner's Rest. in Sawdust Cit y ms in full blas t am! tobacco smoke arose in a heavy :loud abo, e the heads of half-a-hundred gamblers hile others, n o t engaged in pla ying cards, mostly rom the r e a s on that they were dead broke, sat at tale s near the bar enjoyin g thems elve s in chatting. Here a joke was told that elicited shouts of laughr there a man p layed upon an accordion, and thers sang, while a few leaned against the long bar nd drank what suited them be st. The clink of gla s se s kept up an accompaniment to e untutored music while the voices of the singers ere more in harmony than were the notes of the heezing accordion. t A score or more \\ere gambling, and at s everal the stakes were large, drawing about them a umber of lookers-on interested in the games of thers. The saloon was an addition to t h e tavern proper, one, side of it, of o n e story, with planked walls cl roof, and wa quite large. The light came from half-a-aozen swinging lamps, over the tables and bar, the latter being ornamented with rows of. jugs on which >vere painted in red let ters the names of the contents ln front of each jug w as a bottle, which held "the s ame, and the s e latter h a d to be frequently filled up a s there w as a steady drain upon them, from the one marked "\V h is ky" to that marked 'Brandy. It was hinted that the landlord of the Sinner s Res t bought but one kind of liq u or, and that bad whisky and by a process known only to himself he manufactured from it both rye and bourbon, brandy, gin and mm, while, by diluting alcohol and throwing in some extract of lemon h e made "sherry, which a littl e black molasses added changed into old port." Be this as it may the barrels under the shelf, which were drawn upon as the jugs went dry, all looked alike, and certainly bore a strong resemblance t o whisky casks. The c igars were cheap and strong, but cost a good deal of money and patience to smoke. .'\ s for the hotel so called by simple kindness, it


THE ijUFf J\LO BILL STORIES. \VaS the best in that \Yild COl\lltry, ancl if one got the best he had no right to complain. The fare was really not bad. and there were sev eral good rooms in the house. the best of which hao been given to Don, the Monte :.\fan. and afterward to the Black Canary, who appeared so mysteriously in the midst of them all. charmed them by her oice. and then disappeared e\en more mysteriously. \Vhat had become of her hacl been more than a nine days' wonder. and the denizens of Saw Dust City had kept her memory green. As she had not reappeared. there as a hl1nt arranged. and she had been tracked from camp to camp, and thence to the home of the Trapper Par'On. It \\as found deserted, ancl there \Yas eYiclence that there had been a fight there, but with whom could not be diovered .. \\'here the Trapper Parson. or his dal1ghter, \Vild f{ose. had gone. no one eyer knew, any more than they could fin cl out "here the Black Canary and L'ncle Solomon, her boy guide. hacl gone. They were tracked to the main mountain trail, the 0Yerlancl stage road. which ran near. bLJt this was the most often tra,elecl high,rny in the mountains, and all trace \Yas lost there, and the trail had to be g-1 ven up. So this but deepened the mystery, as the Trapper Parson and \Vile! Rose had disappeared too. and certainly the house had not been left as though with the inte.ntion of deserting .t. .\nother mystery arose on these t\YO, ancl that was lhat Don. the Mpnte .:\Ian. also failed to put in. an appearance in Saw Dust City. His traps were still at. the Sinner's Rest Inn, and the landlord said that he kept his room for him, though there were many to assert that he had been foully dealt with, or voluntarily left the mines. So these mysteries were talked over around the mining-camps. and neither the l\lonte Man, Black Canary or Uncle Solomon were forgotten, as time went on, while seldom cli(l a stage come in that the driver was not asked: ''ls thar any one stirrin' up at thei Trapper Pars o'n's cabin?" The stage trail led by at a point from where the cabin in view for quite a while, but at a dis tance. and the drivers got so that they always lookecl in that direction. But the same response had to be made each time: "Stifl desarted, pards." Thus two years glided by, and Saw Dust City had not solved the mystery of those mysterious disappearances. The mining-camp had grown some. 1)ut there had been no rich leads struck of late, so that few out siders had been drawn thither with the hope of mak-ing a sudden fortune.. There \Vere some \\ho had dug riches out of th( earth. and gone back home to cast off thE:ir mjne It suits and wild ways, and spend their clays in an( plenty. and. others had stepped into their places, a few additional settlers, and thus the settlement ha) increased a little and the dwellers there hoped som clay to see Saw Dust City a famous city of the moun1 . '1y1 tams. 1 d Bunco. the landlord of the Sinner's Rest, was money-making man of the camp. which had beef given the name of Saw Dust City on account of sa\vmill near. which furnished sawdust for the pa,:f ing of the streets in the rainy season. .. J e H \\That Buncos other name \\"as no one kriew, o ho\\ he received that strange one; certainly it \V::l never given him in baptism. )Oll He \Yas a man: ven, l111 black, and chcl not look unlike an 1tmera.nt mm1stel He had a cynical look, but an obsequious air, assumed to speak in the dialect of the border. v Beneath his long-tailed black coat he carried a pa;esl of re,olvers, and he knew how to use them, as eversk one \\" as he was, he had been known to send a bulfl straight through the brain of a ruffian one day sought tci bully him. and had cleared the store several occasions of men \Yho sought to trouble. e r


THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 3 It was to this town that, many years ago, on a mmer evening a stranger rode up. Landlord Bunco happened to come out of his saon into his office just as .the ho1,,.eman rode up. He saw a tall man, with great broad shoulders, a hysique of a Hercules and an Apollo combined, and in buckskin pants, tucked in cavalry boots, upon hich jingled massive spurs, a blue hunting-shirt, a 1 rduroy jacket, under the skirt of which peeped jut a pair of revolvers. while a large bowie was visi thrust in his belt in front, and very convenient his right hand. A large-brimmed slouch hat was upon his head, oped up upon one side with a gold star. His face was as handsome as an Adonis, and yet 1111 of manliness, while a dark mustache shaded his solute mouth, and his dark-brown hair hung in aving masses below his shoulders. With a quick, firm tread he advanced to the office esk, carrying a repeating rifle across his arm, and rpked in a pleasant way of Room Key Johnny, the who was a large and powerful fellow, the nbouncer" of the Sinner's Rest: "Can I strike a camp-ground in your shanty toght, pard ?" I 'I guesses so, ef you hain't over pertic'ler an' will D 1pnk in with several other pilgrims,", was the surly d1S\Ver. a\ "\Veil, I am a trifle particular, and wish a room ,iJone and that says so." and he tossed a gold 1 renty-dollar piece upon the desk. 1 "You can't haye no room all alone. even if yer a nes plank clown yer gold," said Room Key Johnny. ''You know best. pard, as to what yon can do. tehile I know there is no la\\' against my looking else.,here." J "Hold on. parcl: maybe \Ye kin fix you, for you a oks like a gent as was used ter th er best," and a Unco stepped forward. 1 "I ha Ye had the best and the worst, my friend; but edium will do me just now, as I am a long way om home, only don't pnt me in the pig-pen, or in 0 il. and let me pick my company," said the visitor, i an off-hand way that 'v\'aS natural to him. rv ''I'll giYc him the Don's room, Johnny," said the 1dlord. 1 ''There. Johnny. the cut of your face told me you re playing it on me about not having a room," b cl, turning to Bunco, he continued: t "I thank you, sir. and I may be some days with fr r u, as I have come here on a prospecting trip, and ult1 hungry as a bear, so if you have anything left \V er from supper I would be delighted." "You shall have a good supper. sir, but will you ite your name on the register?" "Give me your autograph album, Johnny," said ; e stranger, and, as the huge clerk threw the regisdown, he seized a pen and hastily and skillfully sketched a buffalo, after which he wrote the name "Bill," following it with the letters ''U. S. A." The clerk glanced at it, and said in his sulky way: "This hain't no sketch-book ter paint in." ''Anything to please you, Johnny," was the cool response. and \\ith a quick movement of his hana Buffalo Bill tore the leaf from the book. ''Hold on thar You'll get bounced. young feller," cried Room Key Johnny, and he leaned over and grasped the arm of the scout in his big hand. In an instant he staggered back and fell in a.corner, sent there by a blow from the scout's fist, planted directly between the eyes. "Hands off, Johnny," said the scout, and he stood his ground as the clerk slowly arose, his face bleed ing from the stinging blow. Bunco had merely stepped to the door of the dining-room to order supper, so had seen and heard all, and he felt that the clerk had provoked it, while he was surprised at the easy manner in which the strartger had sent him to earth. He knew that the large man, who had the boyish name of "Johnny," with the prefix of Room Key, on account of his wearing a bunch of keys at his belt. was a most dangerous man to offend, and he felt there would be trouble. He had engaged "Johnny" on account of his great muscular strength, and his bulldog courage, which was mixed with a great deal of bravado. In fact, the clerk was most awe-inspiring the frequenters of the Sinner's Rest, and was the right man in the right place. Of hi s antecedents nothing \ \'as known, o r cared. He wrote a good hand, kept the books correctly. made a good clerk, an excellent "bouncer," and was a po\Yer in the taYern against servants a nd guests alike, who did not care to conform to the slight dis cipline of the establishment. He had glanced at Buffalo Bill on entering, ancj. determined to make him feel his importance. He had "tried it on," to use a slang of the camps. and had gone headlong into the corner for his pains He rose slowly, amazed. dazed and livid with fury. He arose, with his hand upon a revolver; but ba fore Bunco could intt!rfere, the scout sprang over the railing into the office. and the revolver he held in his hand coverc

4 T H E BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. as I have a bit to eat, and maybe you can make a few dollars out of me. "\Vhat do you say, shall it l::e peace or war?" Johnny was a strategist, and he saw that it was necessary for him to say peace, so he said: "All right, parcl, I don't want no trouble with yer, and so I cleclar' ther game atween us off, and thar's my hand on it." "Sensible Johnny! Now we can be frienc\s\Vhat, landlord, have you been looking on at our mePrymaking ?" and Buffalo Bill turned to Bunco. "Yas, I seen it all, and I do say it is the first time I ever seen my clf;k hedge. ''Your clerk has a great big head, landlord, and I like him, so \Ye are to be friends; but how about that little supper, for I hav'n't had the photograph of a meal all clay." 1lt's ready, so come in." "See you later, Johnny," said Buffalo Bill, and he strode toward the

THE BUFFALO BILL STORIESg 5 0 CHAPlfER II. BEATEN AT HIS O\VK GAME. \\'hen Room Key Johnny entered the saloon of the Sinner's Rest, many glanced at him, and there the look would have ended. but, accompanied by a person like Buffalo Bill, a general hum followed the look. The cout was certainly a most striking looking and he walked to the bar with the air of one who did not know that he was the. center of scores of eyes. 1 "Come, Johnny. you will drink champagne, I be fi lieYe," he said. in his free-and-easy way. and the sur prised bartender got out a bottle of that sparkling wine, and set up two tumblers to drink it out of. Though a good server of liquors. he was out of his element \\ here champagne was concen1ed and was going to draw the cork with a corkscrew, when Buf falo Bill said: "Let me open it. pard.'' As the cork flew into the air with a loud report, a dozen men prung to their feet, for, engaged in gambling and unused to hearing champagne popping at the Sinner's Rest, they thought it was the crack or a revolYer. This centered the eyes of all upon Buffalo Bill, and ?" queries went around as to whom he could be, for, though his name was a byword around every campfire. he was personally knowl1' among the mining c camps to bt\t fe\\'. A laugh followed the act of those who had sprung up. and, unheeding the presence of others, the scour b touched his glass to that of the clerk, and they drank clown the sparkling wine. Having clone this. Johnny lerl his guest around the i saloon. seemingly proud at introducing a stranger who attracted such uni\ersal attention. 1 At length they stopped over by a table where four n men were busy in a game for considerable money, and Buffalo Bill took by one to \Yhich the clerk seemed to direct him. m The man was as large as Room Key Johnny, of a po,yerful frame. wore a reel shirt, black pants, stuck in hi s boot-tops, and carried four revolvers in his belt. and no knife. 1rn His face \\'as coarse, savage and that of a pro-nounced ruffian, and he was a successful and clangerttlt ous gambler. \Vhen he entered a room and invited men to be his J companions in a game of cards, fc\\-were \\'Ont to en, decline, some bein g \\illing to take the chance of ha winning rather than the prospect of offending. the m olicitor by a refusal, and even were \rilling to lose R rather than quarrel with Iron Grip, as the man was he called. He had come into the mines some years before, and his occupation \HS gambling, and woe be unto the man he caught cheating him, while he was al ways wont to say if he was caught playing a false game he would make no resistance to being shot. He had caught, or pretended to catch, several players cheating him. and, after his warning cry of "Look out for Death,'' he was wont to draw and fire. Others were quick with their weapons, too, but somehow Iron G ri p always got his revolver leveled first, and he seldom missed his aim. This was the man by whose side Buffalo Bill had halted. \\'hile Johnny went around and stood so as to face him. Betwe.en Johnny and Iron Grip there seemed to be a close friendship, and, seeing the clerk, the gam-bler noclclecl. He soon after glanced up at Buffalo Bill, and a moment after frowned. threw down a card, and the game went against him. The next game was also against him, and, look ing up angrily at the scout, he said: "Look here, Dandy, git one side. for you give me bad luck, or you is spotting my hand and givin' it ter ther others. ''l will stand one side; yes. for you are not a pleas ant brute to be near; but if you say that I would be guilty of giving away to others your hand, you lie!" The \\ ords came cutting. distinct, and all near heard them. And all expected to see Iron Grip spring upon the scout, whom they were assured could not know who the gambler was, to thus. answer him, while Johnny said in a whisper: ''Don't make him mad, par

THE BUffJ\LO BlL L STORI ES. "Pard, you has grit, and I want ter shake yer hand." Buffalo Bill was neYer a man to seek trouble. He knew the border as no one else knew it, and he was aware that if be showed fear it would be his death-knell. Fear he did not know the meaning of, and yet he wished to avoid trouble, for he saw that it was 8eing forced upon him as a stranger, to add to the capital of the man of the Ir:on Grip. \iVhen, therefore, the gambler held forth his hand, the scout was willing to take it, and there drop the matter, so he grasped the horny hand of the des-perado. It was a mistake. for Iron Grip had sought that opportunity to show his strength, and, without ris ing, he gave the scout q. sudden pull, which, unpre pared.,as he was, nearly drew him upon the table. Many laughed, and. realizing at once the game of the gambler, Buffalo Bill, with a lightning-like rapid ity of movement for which he is famous, recovered himself in a second and dealt the man a blow square in the face that staggered him, and caused him to release his grip on the right hand of the scout. A yell burst from many lips in chorus, for they saw a tragedy ahead, and they wanted just something of that kind to whet their appetites. Had not Iron Grip been sitting down the blow would have floored him; but he was strong as an ox, and he rose quickly, at the same time trying to get his hand upon one of his revolvers. Buffalo Bill saw this, however, and he gaYe him a terrific blow upon the arm that dropped it to his side benumbed, and then, seizing him in a clutch which showed Iron Grip that he was the master, he slapped his face right and left with. stinging hlo\\s and hurled him into a corner. Unheeding the yells that arose upon all sides, Buf falo Bill stepped over to the now limp form. for the man was stunned by the blows rained upon him and disarmed him. handed the four revolvers to the bartender, with the quiet remark: "Keep this arsenal for that gentleman, who will doubtless ,-..ish to fire off a salute when he feel s bet ter." Then the scout walked quietly from the saloon. fol lowed by ringing cheers. while Room Key Johnny was besieged upon all sides with the question: "Who is yer pard, Johnny?" "Durned ef I know," said J olmny, who really had not caught at the scout's name from the buffalo he had drawn and the four letters he ha d written after it. Bunco had been in the saloon and had seen it all, and he was not sorry to see Iron Grip punished, as the terror of the man kept many from playing cards. and the landlord got his percentage upon each game won. It did not take lron Grip long to recover his Sqit-Ji iered senses and, rising slowly to his feet, he passed ai his huge hand across hi s eyes, as though striving tc "'i r e call what had happened. "What are it, Johnny?" he asked, as he saw the clerk standing near. "He licked yer, Iron, thet are it," was the reply. "It's a lie!" he said, in a thoughtful kind of way, o as though not exactly sure that it was not the truth. ''Waal, he are puttin' up in this hotel, and I kin \ call him back ef yer wishes ter see him." lron Grip cast a hasty glance toward _the door, g_ and there was some anxiety in it, too; but, missing n bis weapons, he said. savagely: h "Whar's my guns?" "He took 'em, an' giv 'em ter Rum Charlie," said P the clerk, alluding to the bartender, who was knO\rn I by that not inappropriate cognomen. y "Here they is, Iron Grip," sung out Rum Charlie, cl who was afraid of the

THE BUfff\LO BILL STORIES. 7 "I gues s he don't \\'ant any more of that sort, but tn. o\\. waitin' for you ter come inter ther saloon a'i1d tr.y it on with \Yeepons. ''I shall not seek him and he mus t keep out of my way." ''He's a dangerous man with a gun, sranger." ''So am I!" The \Yords were quietly said, and ith not an atom of bravado in them. Y They imply \\'ere the truth, and the scout knew th. what he could do, for he had been tried too often. m Bunco read the \\ords a s they \\ ere meant, and, or gazing into the face of the man, he saw that he was 11 right, for he looked it. "\Vaal, pard, yer keep_ yer eyes open hile yer i s 1 here, fer Iron Grip "ill be round when yer least ex I pects it." aidl ''Thank ) OU, landlord. I ill take ) our adYice but 1n I came here to pa s a fe\\' clays. and mostly to see lie you, and I don't intend to be nm off by any one or a dozen desperadoes such as is that ruffian I punished." ''\Vaal. I'll be glad ter entertain yer a s l ong as yer hi . S D remams m aw ust; but yer hasn t told me yer name?" t "Perhaps this will introduce me?'' "as the quiet t ,, reply, and Buffal6 Bill drew UP. the sleeve of hi s left arm and revealed a silYer band about the wrist." "Ther Silver Circle!" h le The cry came in surprise from the lips of the land-lord, and he glanced at the silver band, and then at the scout. "Yes, I see you recognize it," Buffal o Bill said, calmly. "I sh'u'd say so; but is yer straight from the moun-er tains ?" ;aw "Yes; I did not tarry long on the \\'ay.'' ".'\nd ther pards ?" ''They are all right, and I came for supplies for them." ee ''. h, yes; I'll give you them all right. a nd suppos e hi yer has a pack-horse with yer ?" ''No, I'll have to' get one here.'' 111 .\11 right, pard; I kin supply yer, so just say when yer wishes ter go.'' "I think I shall start back soon. and--" tde A knock upon the door caused the scout to stop in what he \\'as saying and call out: ''Come in! I As he did so Bunco noticed that his hand agam rfu dropped upon his revolver. Room Key Johnny entered, and' said: 11 "Bunco, that" a man here from ther mountains ter see yer !" ''\Vho is he, Johnny?" askecl the landlord, \\ ho h seemed always uspicious \\ hen he was wanted. "I dunno. but he wears ther Silver Circle." .roi "Ah!" and Bunco hastily left the room, \vhile Buf-:i.m falo Bill said, calmly: Jlie ''XO\\', I'm in for it." Buffalo Bill had come to Saw Dust City.on a secret 1111ss1on. He had just Ros e Ripley. a young girl who had been kidnaped years from a band of outlaws knO\rn a s the Clan of the Sil Yer Circle. This band li\'ed in the mountain range known as the Haunted Mountains in a secret den of their o\\ n. They were miners as ell as outlaws and highwayme1i, and scared off other miners from entering the hills by masquerading a s ghos t s They "ere in the custom of sending to Bunco 'for pro,isions using as messengers a white horse and dog. \\'ho had been trained to make the journey alone and at night. Buffalo Bill had captured these Dumb Pards. and the horse had led him to the hut in which Rose Ripley a s kept a prisoner. He restored her to her grandfather, the Trapper P a r son. ho had been searching alone among the hill s for her "hen Buf falo Bill had gone to hi s assistance. Bill s u spected that the leader of the outla" s Don, the ::\1onte ::\Ian. as he was known, had othe r prisoners in hi s keeping. \ beautiful woman. known for her \ Oice as 'the ni ghtingale'' had come from the East two years before and had entered the Haunted HiJls with a boy known as Uncle Sol, whom she had hired as a guide. The pair had disappeared as if by magic, and Buffalo Bill had decided to find out if they had been captured by the Clan of the Silver Circle. He had left the Trapper Parson in the hills. to gether \\'ith Toby. a negro scout, and had gone to Saw Dust City, \\ith the intention of finding out from Landlord Bunco other particulars about the Clan of the Siher Circle before he made his attack upon it. In order to deceive the landlord he had placed upon his \\'rist a silver circle, the badge of the Clan. whic h he had taken from the wrist of one of the out la\\ s who had attacked him and who had fallen a Yic tim to his unerring riAe.' ,\ml s o when Bunco had left the room in order to see a member of the Clan who had just arriv_ed he felt hims elf in a ticklish position. "Xow. I'm in for it!" he muttered, ith the great e s t coolne ss CH. PTER III. T\\'O OF .\ KIKD. \\"hen Landlord Buncp went out of Buffalo Bill's room at the Sinner's H.est to see the person whom his clerk told him had arri.,,ed to see him, he found at the office a man whose appearance indicated that he was a miner. He 1Yore a red fla nn e l shirt, a slouch hat and buck s kin leggings tucked into his top-boots.


8 THE BUFFJ\LO BILL STORIES. He carried at his back a rifle and in his belt the t\vo revolvers and bowie, without which a miner's outfit was by no means complete. The man looked jaded, as from a hard trip, and his face was a trifle anxious in expression; but it was stamped from forehead to chin with a look of villainy that no one could mistake. not even the most casual observer of human nature. .L\s the landlord approached him the stranger said: "Ho, parcl: how are yer ?" "\Vhy, Fansha\Y. it's you, is it?" said Bunco, ing his hand. "It looks like me, don't it, pare\?" "Yes; you do look nat'ral; but what's up?" "A heap; so come somewhar and I'll tell yer, fer I hes a letter fer yer." The landlord led the man into his own quarters, and said: "When did yer leave?'' "Ji st sixteen hour ago, and I hes ri

BU ff ALO BILL STOR I ES. 9 But their knock brought no response, and, openiiig" the door with his key, the landlord saw that itwas vacant. CHAPTER IV. SILENCED. Soon after Bunco left Buffala Bill to see to the stranger the scout arose. looked carefull y at hi s lr l and left the room. He stepped out of the hotel upon the piazza, going by the office. where Room Key Johnny had installed e)a Chinee in his place for a while, as he had gone into e the saloon. <, Glancing through the window, Buffalo Bill saw Iron Grip coming toward the outer door, and he stepped back in the s hac!O\L n As the man stepped out upon the piazza he turned back and called out: v '.'I'll find him yet, pards, and then you'll see a cirkis. I promises you." 11 Then he banged to the door. and .walked toward the steps. I ''Git. sir; git li vely !" One glance did the bully cast behind him. and he saw hi s enemy. with revolve r lereled, and \\ith a bound. he sprang from the piazza to the ground and 11 !dashed clown the street. evidently expecting a shot. \Vith a laugh at the fligh t of the desperado, Buf' falo Bill entered saloon. 11 :-\t his coming a hush seemed to fall upon ail; but. unheeding it. h e \\'alkecl over to a come; and took y his sear at a table. his hack against the wall. and in s uch a position that no one could get behind him. Cl while his eyes commanded all in t h e room.

10 THE BUFF ALO Bi LL STORIES. git mter a row 1Yith him.'' "You knows best." "And kill him .. "Maybe it could be clone better afrer he goes ter ter-night." ''No; I likes ther fun o' a ro1y in public. and it will jist make me a gamecock with ther parcls here ter turn up ther toes o' thet dandified chap." "He's a gamecock himself." "Thar's but one gamecock whose spurs I can't clip 3unco. and that's ther cap'n. "I is quick as lightnin' on ther draw. death on ther trigger. and J kin handle a grizzly in a rough-ancl tnmble, \\'hile as fer ther knife, yer he.s seen me use it.., "I ktIO\Y you is good. Fansha\\. hut so is he." "Thet may he. bnt I'm better. so here's to suc cess," and the man dashed off a drink. for he ancl the landlord had been standing at the bar \\'hile talk mg. "Parcl. j'ine me in a game o' keer

THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 11 inger, and its loud report drowned the crack of Fanshaw's revolver, for both weapons were discharged 0 together. All in a heap Fanshaw fell, a bullet in the center of bis forehead, while Buffalo Bill stepped to the 1e table and resumed his arms, saying, calmly: "I saw that revolver in his boot, so did not lay my 1e derringer on the table." "Right yon are!" "\Ve hacl ther fnn !'' "He got it squat" atween ther eyes." Such and manv other like remarks vYere heard on all sides. while Buff.a.lo Bill stepped quickly up to Bunco and said in a whisper: )O "'What did yon let the fool attack me for? "Quick. take his body out. and let us get that sil ver circle from his wrist, for it must not be seen. or rn we will be ruined." e "Then you is squar' arter all," the surprised BltnCO. e ut "Do yon think the cap'n lets eYery man of his band know all his business?" "Can't he ha;e spies?" was the evasi\ e response. And Bunco hastily called to Room Key Johnny to help him, and the body of the dead rnffian was borne from the sabon, while Buffalo Bill hastily departed of also, refusing the many invitations to ''Take su'thin', Jfpa rd." and followed by the cheers -0 the wild crowd, ck 1who had been won over by his cool courage. I Then agair: and again the question was asked: ht "Pards. who is he?" he But no one could answer. a Ji-CHAPTER V. ll:' STR.\TEGY. 1Jc Bunoo. the landlord of the Sinner's Rest, was in a ile nnanc!ary. ng He had certainly believed in Buffalo Bill being connected \Yith the mysterious members of the Silver ircle until the coming of Fanshaw put the idea out ite f his head Int. He knc\Y Fanshaw, and there was no doubt of him. But theu the_ suspicion upon the scout by Fan haw caused bun to doubt him. e If he was playing a part, it certainly was a bold ofbne. r 11d He wore the silver circle upon his wrist, and, more, e had come straight to him. to He had seemed to know of the existence of the of an'cl and their locality in the mountains. while he ad brought an order jn a handwriting which Bunco ecognizecl for just the things he knew were wanted. nd They had been getting .along all right until the me oming of Fanshaw. and then doubts crossed the ind of Bunco. "-it Fanshaw had said there were three men on the lertrack of the mystery of the Silver Circle, and that one of those men was Buffalo Bill. He was known far and wide as the best Indian fighter on the plains, he had followed trails which redskins had given up, and he was a terror to roadagents and evildoers. LiYing in the army camps, he was not often seen among the mines, and yet there were none who had not heard of him. Fanshaw did not know him by sight, but one of his comrades did. and, recognizing him as one of the trailing trio in the mountains, he feared that the stranger might pro,e to be the scout. \YaS he wrong; but then, when he saw the tall. graceful. handsome man' he could not believe that it co'ttlcl be the renO\rned Buffalo Bill, and he at once began a system of bullying. lf he knew the secrets of the Silver Circle, as he deemed he dicl. he felt that the man before him. a1though he \Yore the sih"er band about his wrist, 'ns not one of the league. So he set to work to entrap the scout into a dif flrnltv ancl kill him. Th.e reader has seen that the biter got bitten. and Btrnco \\'as in almost despair at \\'hat to do, when Buffalo Bill came to his side and whispered to him not to let the silYer circle on the v\Tist of Fansha\\ be seen. This caused him to feel that Fanshaw had made a mistake, and the other words of the scout almost c01winced him of it, and so he bore the body of the dead man into an empty room, Room Key Johnny aiding him. Then the clerk \Yas left on guard. while Bunco sougl1t Buffalo Bill in his room. .. Say, pard, I guess that was a mistake Fanshaw made?"' he said, inquiringly. .. Jt seems so,'' was the quiet reply. "He thought at first you might be Buffalo Bill." "YVhy didn't you tell him to the contrary?" "The fact is. I didn't knO\r.'' "You might have known Buffalo Bill would never wear the silver circle." "Thet's so, and you does." ''You see tt for yourself." "Fanshaw was too hasty." 'My idea is that he was not hasty enough on the draw." came the laconic response. "Fact; but you hes more lightnin' than I ever seen in a man afore." "?ne has to be quick, living as I do in daily danger. .. And so you is ther cap'n's spy?'' '"Yes, I am a spy, and I hope 110 more of the band will make a mistake such as Fanshaw." "You sh'd' hev told him whC? you was.'' "I think not. for vou told him I wore th'e silver circle. and he picked 'a quarrel with me to amuse the


12 THE BUFF ALO BILL crowd and win glory for himself and I allowed him to do it. ''Had he not played false in putting his weapons on the table, I vvould have put my derringer there; bnt 1 saw him hold back the revolver in his boot, and when I said Next,' he said that was all, so I kept my little gun, and it is well I did. "It would have been better for him had he taken hi..;;: knpck-clown and departe<'l ancl not rushed upon sudden cl ea th as he did." "You is right, pa rd." "Did you secure the siker circle?'' "Johnny is guarding the body, ter keep folks out, and I hes sent for a file ter git it off.'' "\Vhen you do I want it." "You wants it?" "Yes: he \\'as my game. and I wish to take it back \\ith me, and make my report. ''As it is, I ,, ill trouble you to get that order ready to-night, for I shall start at dawn, and it is now nearly eleYen o'clock." 'The store is closed, and--" "Open it. for I leave by sunrise" "Pare!, I don't think I can git ther things together by sun-up." "All right; do the be s t you can, and procure a pack-saddle, too .. "And a horse?" "I shall take Fanshaw's horse.". ' I can fincl yer a finer pack animal than he'll be 'J \\'ill take Fanshaw's horse, his weapons and all, back to the mountains," \\'as the decided reply, and Bunco kne\\' that his guest \Yas in earnest. As if to com ince him. for he feared trickery, Buf falo Bill said: "I will go out to the stable now ancl see that a man takes good care of the horses to-night. .. "Oh, 1'11 s ee to that." "I prefer to see to it my s elf." and Buffalo Bill left his room and sought the stable adjoining the Sinner's Rest. A man was there, and he seemed sullen until a gold piece was dropped into his hand, when he orightene

.,. l'HE CUFFALO BILL STORIES. 13 "Your store aajoins your hotel, your clerk is in '.lere, for I just saw him, and he says he can fill any fder, and if you refuse I shall get them elsewhere, rd report to the captain why I did so. .e This seemed to bring the landlord to terms, and e said, sullenly: 1e "Waal, ef yer must have 'em yer must, so I'll do "Johnny, have breakfast for me so I can get off m facts of the case. if I caJ1." So spoke Buffalo Bill \\hen he went into his room r the night. He arranged his things so as to be ready to make co hasty start, and then looked at the pictures on the all. the one of Don. the Monte "'.\fan. the other of a e Black Canary. He drew the tacks out of the backs and took them ou it of the little frames, muttering as he glanced at ou le name of the maker: "Both by the same man-1 thought so." Next .he overhauled the luggage of the D.on, and ncl:emecl to find there something to interest him. co Then he looked at the things left by Clarice lreighton, and which were in a closet, \\'here Bunco illad placed them upon taking them from.her trunk. aa 11' Here, too, he seemed to find something of interest, 'lei. apparently satisfied, he said: ''N O\Y, to get \\hat sleep I can." eel \Vhile the scout was making his arrangements to !tire a man \\'as seated alone ir the office without. It \\as Room Key Johnny, and he seemed anxious, though he expected some one, from the way he pu. nstantly watched the door. st Bunco had gone into his room some time before, th cl thence into his store to pack up the things that e order he had recei vecl called for, and Johnny, er closing the door in which lay the body of the ad man. had called up a Chinese senant and sent off on an errand. Soon the Chinese returned, and the clerk asked, quickly: "Diel yer see him?" "Yes, me see himee allee samee." "Is he coming?" "He.comee puttee quickee." "Now you get ter bee\, and keep that yaller trap o' yourn closed, ef you is axed any questions ter-mor rer." "Me keepee trapee close tightee," and the Chinese dis a ppearecl. "I wish he'd come," said Johnny to himself soon after, and, as he uttered the words the front door of the hotel opened and a face peered cautiously in. "Come in, Grip,'' said the and in response to the invitation Iron Grip into the hall. He looked demoralized and not like the swaggering bully of few hours before, and Johnny was struck ith the change. "Johnny," he said, in a whisper. ''Waal, Iron?'' "\Vhar is it?" "\Vhat ?" "Thet which tackled me." "In bee\." "Sart'in he ain't wakeful?" "No, he's gone to sleep." "I'm glad." "\Nhy, man, you look scared." "I is scared, Johnny." J'At what?'' "'That 'arthquake I run ag'in'." "He's a bad one, Iron.'' "Sure." "He handled you mighty easy." "Don't speak of it, Johnny." "\i\/aal. Iron, I'll tell yer I thought he was jist ther man you \\"anted ter tackle, and so I tuk him up to yer table and give yer ther wink ter go fer him." "And l \\'ent fer him, didn't I. Johnny?'' "You did." ''And, Johnny, he come mighty near killin' my father's son.'' ''You bet." ''And when I left ther saloon, and started out on ther piazza thar he were and he had me covered, and said git!" "And--'' "I got, Johnny." "You ran?" "It seemed so ter me. Johnny." ''Diel he fire at you?" "No, but he laughed as if he were glad ter see me dust, and I dusted lively. fearin' 1 1\ere goin' ter catch ther bone-va rel fever." "Waal. cleaned out a feller here ter-nig;ht in .ther same style. "So l heerd. Johnny. and thet is wlw T \\'as cau-


14 THE BUFF ALO Bill STORIES. tious in coming, for I was afeerd ther boys would set adept at the trade, he had dropped it fo.r the "pro_ him onter me ." .... fession of lock-breaking. 1 "'vVe closed up yer knows at twelve o'clock, and .i.. It was this little scientific knowledge on the thar is no one here, so I sent ter see yer.' of Room Key Johnny which had caused him to has IS "Has yer got ther ke y o ther bar, Johnny, fer I i s ten from the s cenes of hi s youth toward the land 'V't awful dry ? the setting sun, where he expected he would have t:, 1 "Yes I've got it, and we'll g o in an' hev suthin'." pass hi s old age, for \\'ith a rope cravat awaiting hi n So into the bar they >rent and after Johnny and neck for a murder he had committed in house-breal< his pal had ''braced up .. wit h a s tiff drink, the former ing, he had no desire to return to the home of s aid : childhood. "Do y o u m ean t o let thet f eller take ther town, Room Key Johnny had put his scientifi Jim?'' kn owledge to use in the hotel and the result wa'ga ''He's g o t it. that he could do just what he told Jron Grip, ope: :. ''\Veil. does yer intend ter fight t e r g it it back?" an y door from without, and do it noi s ele ss ly, too. "Johnny, let me tell yer a few \\'Ords o' Gospil. \!\Then, therefore, Iron Grip had decided upobo 'Yer kno\\' s me, an yer lie s seen me trie d, when I carrying out the reel work in hand, he was quitt \rnltz e d to th er front in a style thet were charm in': tremulous, and Johnny said: 1 but th e t man clean upset m e and he's got a grip I ''Take another drink, Grip. nev ( thought were human poss ibility afore. This w a s done, and then came the words: 'He shoots a s h e g rip s right whar he wants ter. ''Now, my knife i s dull Grip, so u s e yours. as h e did at ther parcl ter-night. fer he tuk him clean mind y er, send ther blow home .. atween ther e y e s they t ells me." ru do it,'' said the man, and he drew his bowi "He did ; it wa s a b e autiful shot." a nd passed his finger o ver the edge, tenderly feelin a ''\V a a l, I i s up s o t, as I says, a d I'll he\' ter lea ve the point also. 1 c .. Saw Dust, o r the bo y s \Yill n e yer le t up. ::\ o w Johnny \\'a s re\'enge ful, and he meant t.01 ' Say, Iron?" have reve1)ge on the scout for ha Ying handled hi1 r \i\T a al, Johnny." s o readily; but he was desirous that another "Thet is why I sent fer yer. strike the blow. 111 "Ter leaYe town ? "How' s it to be clone, Johnny? 'Yes " Well, I'll turn his key in the lock with my litt60 "You ha s suthin' up t o ols, and then shoot back ther bolt. he "I'll tell yer, Iron. thet feller ha s oot plenty o' du s t 'Then we 'll go in, and you creep up to ther be and sleep s so und and drive yer knile home, and I'll be right that ter le0d I has a ke y to his ro om. a nd w e 'll go in thar quie t, him hev mine ef he i s able to show fight, for w and you use y our knife on h i m while I pertects y e r mustn' t u s e guns if he wakes up ''No. "You take ther du s t a nd git, and that will be all 'If all is clone without raisin ther hous e, I'll thar is o f it, f e r I'll tell ther boys 1 se en t h e r man run th et yer get off with all ther dust and sich; but if hehe out a s did it. and it wasn't yot'I. able ter kick up a row and alarms ther house you g "What doe s yer s ay?" out o ther winder, and I'll pretend I jest nm in tsp \ Vhar is I ter go?" s ee what were up so I'll half undress tumble u p rn "Make kr ther Hermit's Canyon, and hide thar bed, fer yer knows I s leeps next ter ther office." 01 ontil I brings yer a horse an' all yer needs, an' kin "Yas 11 tell yer whar ter go, fer thar' s work you kin do "Are yer :eady ?" I "\\That does ye; s a y, Iron Grip?" Give me a l eetle more JUICe ter steady "I'll do it. n a r v es. CHAPTER VII. THE A S S ASSINS. There was one peculiari t y about the lock s on the room doors at the Sinner's R es t which Room Key Johnny prided himself upo n This was, that though the d oo r might b e lo c ked within, and the key in the lock, he could open it. Now Johnny confe ssed in hi s e a rlier days to bein g a locksmith, when the truth is he had proven such .. n "Don't git drunk, Grip. "No danger, pa rd," and the drink was taken. 10 Then the two men left the bar, and after the hug clerk had divested himself of some of his clothin and rumpled up his bed in the little box of a roo1ie adjoining the office, they stole toward the door S the scout's room. 5 Reaching it. Johnny set to \\ork with some too, he had, and it wa s not lon g be fore the skillful burgl4r had opened the door, and with but the slightea s ound' hi s work. . ;1 Entenng, all was dark w1thm though the starhgif


THE BUFF A LO B I LL STO RIES .. ;ug-h the window enabled. them to see the room ist(nctly enough fo r their purpose. has They crept toward the bed, Iron Grip leading and [I. 0 rith his right hand alreacty raised and grasping the e t ng, murJerous knife. f h i N earei and nearer tlley crept, scarce! y daring to reathe, and then clown upon the outlined form came 1 he savage blade. A curse escaped from the lips of Iron Grip, while ti gainst the head of each pressed a cold muzzle and wa stern voice said: pe ''Hands up, g ents!'' They_ had not seen the tall form glide into the tp? 00111 after them, follow them up, and then hold them 1mt t his mercy. The words that broke from their lips do not look \ell in print, but in their surprise they did not neglect do obey the stern order: an "Hands up; gents!" march!'' They obeyed, out of the door into the lighted hall !lm ay arnl thence to the office. "J.'l"ow. gentlemen. you will a xcuse me if I disarm t and to lower a hand meam death." hirl Tl_ien, laying one of his revolvers upo11 the desk. u l ith his disengaged hand Buffalo Bill disarmed first and then the other of the pair. "Th is rope is handy," he said, with a smile, and he ittlook a lariat down from a hook and skillfully bound he prisoners, back to back. b e, Then be led them to the room, wherein was the er of Fanshaw, and said: r \VI ''Sit clown !" They obeyed, and, taking another lasso, which he 1acl found in the office. he cut it in two and bound feet of one, tying fhe encl to the bed on lay heb e dead man. u g The other's feet were likewise secured, and the n tCVpe-end made fast to a hook on the .val!. m ":"Jaw, gentlemen, if you can get up from here, ou will be smarter than I think; but I forgot one ping," and the scout left the room. In a short while he returned with two sticks, a Tll;iece of blanket and some string. These he made into gags which he forced into 1he 'lonth of each man, and, raising his sombrero "ith 10ck politeness. he said: 1 "I b.icl you adieu. pards." :hm Then he locked .he door, for Johnny had mended 00 e lock after its having been broken off by the scout. r cl, placing the key in his pocket, he went back to s room. too "I tellee rightee allee samee." said the Chinese rgl rvant, popping his head into the room as the scout hte s lighting his candle, and wh9 was the same one _om .Room Key Johnny had sem cin the errand h g tet Iron Gri1 ). Yes, my good fellow, you did me a great service, and, ha.cl I been a hard sleeper, and not been warned. they woi1ld have killed me." "They nmchee mad. don tee?" .. Yes. they a re not happy; but here, let me make you this present. ;ind lhen I wish you to go to Fort -#--ancl gi\'e this piece of paper to the officer in charge there, and he 1 Y ill look after you until I get back, when I ,,_,ill that you are taken care of," and Buffalo Bill gaye the Chinee a bucks kin bag of gold and a piece of paper upon \\ hich some words were written. "Ha1ee Chi nee; goodee alle samee likee me," said the Chinee, with a grin. ''All right; him \\'ith you to the fo r t, and you'll both find something to do there, for I tell you again, you dicl the square thing by me." "Johnny nmchee frightee. don tee?" "Oh. yes. the\' \\'ere both crushed at their failure. and d i d ;10t a wore\. "They think l \\'as hiding in the room, as I woulcl ha\'e been had you not told me to get out of the window and watch tliem from the rear hall. ''But dawn i s near, so you had better go to bed. Hop lJp. so no one will suspect you. "Good-by, and good luck, and don't forget to g o with your brother in a few clay s to the fort, and go by the stage coach. for here's money for your fa 1 :es,' and the scout thrust some more monev into the hand of the Chinee. \\ho grasped h i s warmly, and glided out of the room like a shadow. Going to bed. Buffalo Bill rem.oved the ''dummy" of bedclothes which Iron Grip had driven his knife into. and, throwing h imself clown to r.est, he was al most instantly asleep. The dawn lighting up his room awakened him. and, r ising, he went out into the office. c\11 was still there, and he knocked at the door which he knew !eel into the room of Bnnco. A loud knock brought the landlord to the door. and he was fully ressecl, though he had evidently been lying down. "Ho. landlord, am I to get any breakfast before l start ?'i he asked. "Johnny ordered it last night fer yer, pard." "And the things I gave you a list of?" ''Is all packed in the saddle and in ther stable." ''All right, and thank you; hut do you wish to send the captain any word?" "\\Taal, yer kin tell him I was all m ixed up at luvin' t\YO men come here from h i m, instead o' ther rt"g'Jar messenger, ancl I prefers he'll send in ther same old way." ''All right; I'll tell him; but strike the trail of that breakfast, if I'm to get any!" "Johnny! oh Johnny!" yelled Bunco. But no response eame, and the laridlord sought his clerk in the office. But he 1..-as not there.


1 f3 THE BUFF /\LO BILL STORIES. "Here, landlord; you'd better bury that poor fel low at my expense,'' and the scout handed Bunco some money, which. he grasped with the air of a man who felt that he was grasping that which he held dearer than all else on earth. "'I'll do it, fer this will bury him fu'st-class,'' '1e said, glancing at the amount. But Johnny could not be found. though the cook had breakfast ready, and the scout ate it \\ith a relish. Runco escorted him to the stable. and asked: "Did ther cap'n say anything to you about Buf'ler Bill. ther army scout, bein' up in the mountains along with two others?" "They kno\\" he was there." \Veil, Fans haw had orders for me to send a party up there after Buffaio Bill and his pards; did you hear anything about it?" "I o, for Fansha\\" left after 1 clid. yo11 remember.'' "Yas, so he did.'' "If the captain f.ent you word to send me11, you had better do it, and let me know what to tell him.'' v\'aal, I'll send three good fellows. fer I dasn't trust more, and they'll get :iway with eve11 Buffalo Bill an' his pards, fer l kno\\" who l 'll pick." "I'll tell him. landlord,., and. as his horses were ready, the white which Fanshaw had ridden bearing the pack-saddle, Buffalo Bill tossed the stableman his promised gold pi-ece. and mounted, while he said: "By the way, Bunco. t\\ o persons in your house tried to kill me last night, and, catching them at their little game, I tied them together, and you'll find them in the room, keeping Fanshaw's body company. _"Good-by. Bunco,'' and the scout rode away, just as the sun peered oyer the mountain-tops. while Bunco. in amazement at his last words. rushed into the hotel and to the room where the prisoners were confined with their ghastly companion, while he said: 'One is Johnny. I'll bet dust on it, fer he hain't no man ter take ther knockdown he got and not seek revenge. "\Vaal, that feller are ther boss o' ther him s elf," and Bunco threw himself agaiust the door to Gpen it, and went headlong into the room. CHAPTER VIII. COWED. \Vhen Bunco burst open the door, with such force as to go sprawling into the room, he was not alone, as he afterward wished he had been. There were always a few very early risers in Saw Dust City, men who had been drinking deep the night before. and who sought to quench the thirst in their parched throats the next morning. Not with water, however, for that was not an al-leviator of thirst after strong drink, an

THE BU ff ALO B ILL .STORIES. 17 They CO}lld not mov e to get up, and if they had. tried to they would have tipped over on their sides a nd thus remained. Their faces were black with passion and working with hatred, while in the mouth of each was a stick wrapped around with a piece of blanket and fastened with strings at the back of the head So securely fa stened were they that they could not force them from their mouths. In dismay almost Bunco regarde d them, and then he sprang forward, and with his knife severe d the s tring s that held the gags The men breathe d more freely,-but they could n o t a t fir s t speak. Then the ro' pes binding them together. their feet and their arms were also cut, and the two men were free. But they were stiff and wretched, and made no ef fort to speak. They felt the humiliation of their position, and looked as savage as wolves. But the crowd, now increased to oYer a scq,re, en -joyed it. ,_ Nearly all present had suffered at the hands of those two huge bullies and it was delightful to s ee that some one had caused them t o suffer. vVhat are it, pards ? a sked one. "Durned ef I didn't think you was ther Siames e Twin s said another. "Did th er stiff rise up and tie yer ? ''Yas, they was sittin' up \Yith ther stiff, and his ghost jis t tied e m ''Yer oughter hev heel. yer pictnr's tuk, ter sho w ther boys.' Su c h \Yere th e remarks that were heard from thos e pre s ent and a fter each one the crowd laughed. "What's it all about, Johnny?" a sked Bunco. But Johnny made. no r ply: hi s mouth p a ined him and was a s dry a s dust. Waal. I kin tell y er. parcls. as they don' t talk: ifs t h e r pilgrim a s \\"aS here la s t night a s did it fer he told me a s he rid off that two gerloots in ther ta\' ern tried to kill him, and he held a full hand and trumped thar leetle game. and I'd find 'em here, tied up. "Ther dandy who kicked Iron Grip and slewed that feller over thar waitin ter be planted?'' asked one. "Yas, that's ther man," and at Bunco's reply the two unfortunates groaned. ''\Vhar is he?" called out several. "He hev gone home, wharever that is, crie


THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 19 bridles, and upon the other, vvrapped in his blankets, the form of the scout. "Ef he jist hed a idee we was arter him, Grip, I'd feel narvous about thet bein' him said Johnny. "Thet's him, fer thar's his boots toward ther fire, and he hes his hat over his head. 'Now, we has him this time. "And shall we open on him with our re v ol vers?'' ''It' s time ter take them when ther rifles fail; but you fire at his head right under his .hat, and I'll jist send my bullet s 'archin' for his heart." "I are ready, \Vas the answer. The t\vo men were not sixty feet away. and, raising their rifle s together, they counted in chorus : ne, two three. fire!" The reports rang out in the canon like a hundred guns, and the form was seen to twitch Yiolently and then remain still. "We hes him!" yelled Johnny. "And his gold du s t," shouted Iron Grip. Then, revolvers in hand, they rushed forward, while the two startled hors es snorted wildly a s they trotted to the lariat barrier across the canon. But onl y half-a-dozen yards had the two as s assin s advanced when a tall form bounded down from a rocky shelf, ten feet above the fire, and instantly fo1-lowed the crack of a re v olver. Iron Grip dropped in his tracks, hi s revolver going off as he fell, while Johnny, with a yell of terror, fell upon his knees and, raising his hands above his head, shouted: "My hands is up pard don't shoot!" "I would serve you right to kill you, but I am n o murderer, to fire on a man who begs for mercy," said Buffalo Bill, sternly, and, stepping forward, he dis. armed the wretch, who trembled violentl y Then he bound him securely his hands behind his back and said: "\Vhere is your camp?" "I'll show you, sir; indeed I \viii." "Is that your only companion?" and he p6inted to the dead body. "Yas, pard; he are all." "Wait until I pull my boots on, and I'll go with you," and the scout walked to the fire and picked up his hat from the blankets, which were wrapped about a Jog. ) Then he put on his boots, while Johnny, hoping to curry favor said: "Maybe Grip hain 't dead pard, and he might rise up and kill yer. ' "No danger of that, sir was the cool repl'y, and, with perfect confidence in his aim he said: ":>Jow to your camp." The man led the way, and in half an hour they r e turned, leading the horses and bringing their traps. "Now, if your dead friend has any valuables with him, you can have them." "Thank you, pard," and the body was quickly stripped of all that was valuable about it. Next morning Johnny, stripped of his arms, was turned loose by the scout, with orders to get as fast as his legs would carry him. Johnny obeyed. Later on in the clay he met the trio-Long. Short and Stumpy-and, thirsting for revenge, joined them in their hunt for the scout. CHAPTER XI. TH& \V ARNIN G Bunco had arranged his compact with The Triplets he pa s sed with them into the store by the printe pa ss a gew a y leading from his own rooms. vVhen does yer expect ter start, pards ? he said. "To-morrer arter ther buryin'," said Long. '"Yas, we must attend ther funeral, out o' respect to ther remains. "'Ne never mis s es bein in at buryin's," Stumpy chimed in last. \ V aal jist s a y wh a t yer wants and I'll hev it all ready fer yer ter-night. The order wa s given and The Triplets left. ''\Yhar's Johnny gone?" a s k e d Red Tom, the storekeeper. ' l don t knovv, but I guess ter seek another camp." "Yas; he can t live here." "Not after ther way thet stranger handled him and Iron Grip." "T11ey v vent tergether ?" "Yes." "Somebody' s bound ter suffer." "So they will, fer, though their spurs is clipped here, they'll put on airs where they are not known; but where is DeerE yes?" "He's just gone out afore you came in and said he was goin ter visit Miner Mingo's fam'ly up ther valle y but I'll stop him. fer I wants his help in gittin' out these things." Bunco left, and Red Tvm called his clerk, who entered, all ready for a ride. ';Dickie I wants yer help so yer can t go," said Red Torn. 1 "But I will go, for Mrs. Mingo is sick, her husband told me so to-clay, and I have some things to take her," said the youth, firmly. I wants yer here, Dickie." I cannot help it; I am going, and, as it is getting late, and some miles to the Mingo ranch, I'll start now. "Don't you go. said the man, threateningly. "I will," and, wheeling on his heel the boy left the store. His horse was all ready saddled for him in the stable, and a splendid animal he was. Slinging a pair of s addle -bags over the saddle, the


2 0 THE BUFF l\LO BILL STORIES. boy tightened his belt, which contained his weapons, and shot out of the stable, just as a Chinese servant came to tell him Red Tom sent for him to come back. At a sweeping gallop the boy sped along the val ley, and his horse kept up the pace untiringly for mile after mile. Then he halted at

THE BU ff ALO BILL STORIES. 2f nostrils of the tired horse,' and ga,e him another rub bing, keeping it up for a long time. Then the animal. greatly refreshed, was allowed a drink of water. and, opening the saddle-bags, which he had wisely brought along, the youth took out a good feed of oats from them and gave them to his horse. While the animal enjoyed his repas t Deer-Eye sat down and ate his dinner from food he had brought. This done he lay down for half-an-hour's nap, and, waking with a start, found that he had slept more than an hour. His horse had finished his oats rested \Yith a wallow and \Yas cropping grass near. Saddling hastily. he rode on. It was after sunset when he rode up to the stable, and the man in charge said: "Deer-Eye. Reel Tom's fightin' mad about your gain', and he said if yer didn't tarn up ter-night he'd put a dozen men out in s'arch of yer .. , 'Tm here to save him that trouble--. Hello, Hop Up!" And he turned to the Chinee who had befriended Buffalo Bill and ,, ho just then confronted him. ''Tomee a\dee rnadee. but clon'tee get frightee," said Hop Up. ''No. Hop: I am not at all alarmed." "Sha'n'tee hurtee you." added the Cliinee. And the youth went on into the sto're by the rear door. A clerk \\"aS there, and he ga,e .the cheerful infor mation: "Th er old man's go in' ter skin yer. Dick. fer he's mad as a wet hen." Dick made no reply, but passed on into his O\Yn room. which was reached by going through that of Reel Tom. The storekeeper \ras not in, and. after a ,, hile. Dick put in an appearance at the store and Iet the other clerk go to upper. Then he had his supper, and Reel Torn did not appear. \t last he came, and his face ,, as black \Yith fury. "You kin git out fer ther rest o' ther night." he sa id to the other clerk, \\ho hastily departed. Then he clo sed the door. and. turning to Dick. asked in a voice of suppressed passion: "Tell me \Yhar ver \\ent.'' "For a ride. ''\Vhar?" ".\rnong the mountain trails." "What for?" "I will not tell you.'' The words ,, ere uttered finn ly and distinctly. "\\.hat?" ,\11CI the man looked like a \\ ild beast about to spring upon its prey. "I have done no wrong; I went off on a ride for a special purpose, and I will not tell you more." "Then I'll kill yer !" He adYancecl as he spoke and drew his knife from his belt. That he \\:as mad with fury his writhing face 'and flaming eyes showed. But the boy die! not mme. did not drop his hand on the knife or the revolver he wore. He looked calmly in the face of the man and said slo1dy: "Ki!! me if you wish, for better death than suc:. h a life.'' He ga,e a howl like a wounded wolf and sprang toward the boy: but suddenly out from behind a counter near sprang a lithe form, a knife glittered in his hand, and the blade was thrust to the hilt in the bod\' of Red Tom. Ere he could fall. for he was dead before the blade ,, as witlidra\\n, he \\as caught in the arms of his s layer and dragged behind a counter. Then came the \1orcls from the lips of the youth: 'Oh. \rhat fia7c YOU clone?" "Killee Reclee 'i'omee," was the cool response of Hop Up. the Chinee. "Yon have saved me from death, my poor Hop Up. but you \\'ill be killed." o stay and let tee elican man killee. "Hop Cpee no foolee.'' ":.\1y good friend. you do not know from what you have freed me: but I fear for you, yes, and for my-self. too.'' "Hop Up say comce \\ icl he. "He go to-nightee pretty quick to Buffalo Billee. 'He friend of Hop Up.'' "\\.hat. is he friend?" "'..\[uchee gooclee friend of Hop Up." ''But you must fly now. for some one will come in soon and discover all.'' ... o cleadee man insidee there . and you close door for night timee. "Hop Up brother nabee two horsee and readee no,, to go .. You go wid brother and Hop Up?" ''I do not know ,,hat to do,'' said Dick, plaintively. ''Stopee to thinkee getee hang up." "True. and you shall not suffer for me, so I will close up the store and get you started.'' go \Yidoutee you.'' "But vou mu:-t." stay rightee here and get kilee allee samee. Dick stood in deep meditation an instant, the Chinee coolly looking at him. Then he s aid. suddenly: "}-Ie told me to come to him if I needed a frien d, and I ,, ill do so.''


THE BUffJ\LO BILL STORIES Gbing quickly to the door he was about' to. cio se it, \vhen tv v o miners came in to buy a few things. With perfect calmness he got them the articles. "Whar's ther boss, Deer-Eye?" asked one. "He's here," was the reply "I wants ter see him." "He cannot come now, so drop in to-morrow." "All right, Deer-Eye, anything tb please you," and the men departed. Instantly the door was closed behind them, and barred. Then the door leading into the hotel was locked, and, going into Red Tom's room, Deer-Eye tried to open a trunk that was there. "The keys are in his belt," he said with a shudder; but he went out into the store, where Hop Up wa s hastily getting together a supply of prO\isions, ancl secured the keys from the dead man's b e lt. Then he unlocked the trunk; which was a very strong one, encircled by iron hoops, ancl took from a box some papers, which he thrus t into an inner pocket of his jacket. Then he went to his room and secured a buckskin bag of gold, and some things he wished to carry with him, after which he joined Hop Up in the store. "Gottee plentee for allee," said the Chinee, with a smile. "Ther. e is a packsaddle, Hop Up, and we will load it," and he took down from a nail \\here it hung a large pack-saddle. Into it were pl a ced provision s of various kind s ammunition and the article s which he had taken from his room. Then some canvas cloth, rubber and \:oolen blan kets, and then heavy overcoats were strapped onto the pack, Deer-Eye saying to the Chinee: "Half of this store belongs to me, Hop Up, for my money Reel Tom put in with Bunco on shares, and I have a right to take what I wish and it is not s teal ing." "Takee allee, no stealee," w as the response. "Now we are ready, and I must go out to the stable, and get my other horse, Faithful, while I'll make the one I rode from Mingo' s the pack-animal until I get there and change for Flyer. "'Melican man callee brother Skillee; he allee ready, too, ridee horsee for Hop Up." "All right, we'll carrv the pack out to the store stable, for no one i s there." So they took up the pack-saddle, Deer-Eye locked the door of the store, and they re a ched the s table vvithout being s een by any one. Securing hi s own horse, Faithful, from the Sinner's Rest stable, and the animal he had ridden from the settler' s, he soon had them ready and rode away in the direction of the gravey ard. while Hop Up ran off after his brother, who was none other than the cook left i n c:harge of The Triplets' cabin, and who had not been at all backward in amply providing himself for .. the trip he contemplated making, with all that he 101 found handy in the house or stable. ea While waiting for his Chinee friends Deer-Eye sat .. upon his horse in deep and seemingly sad meditation, for he s aid earnes tly, as he brooded over what1s had happened: )la 'Well, I di

THE BUFF ALO BllL STORIES. 23 and yet h e kept a keen eye behind him, for 'ear of a surprise in that direction. :\s for The Triplets. they were in their .element. They had committed crimes iu partnership, such as murdering, running off stock. stealing horses and laying road agent, so they leagued together for rotection. Starting at early morn. they came up the valley nly a couple of hours after Buffalo Bill and his comanions had taken up the position in ambush. The spot chosen by the scout seemed to be a nat iral ambuscade. It fronted the cliff, on \\hich \\'as the strange and sign of the Silver Circle. and it held the posiion so that one approaching the river bank, where he trail so .abruptly enweep ,,.e need not fear the phantoms. for, after \\'hat yon tell me. parson, I do not think we have over half a dozen, all told, to go against,'' the 1 scout hacl said, as they waited for the coming of the trailers. _\nd now the trailers \\'ere in sight. coming on slowly, feeling their \\'ay, \\'atchful, cautious, cun- ning. as those 1men well kne\\' how to be. The eyes of the three in ambush were upon them, and a stern smile rested upon Buffalo Bill's face, a t look that was almost merciless. Nearer and nearer they approached, Long half-a hundrecl yard in froi1t. and directly on the trail of the scout, Short a hundred feet to one side, Stumpy as many more on the other, and Hotel Johnny bring? ing up the rear. They looked like army skirmishers in their cautious ad\'ance. and when Long was on foot the others were mount.eel. P1:esently _Long stopped, and his eyes ,\ere llJ:JOn th::-piie of rocks. His cunning eye saw at once its advantages for a;1 ambush. and he conned it closely. The others halted as he did. Then he took his field-glass and scanned with the utmost patience every part of it. Still, he seemed not satisfied, though he saw noth ing of a s uspicions nature. Then he looked at the distant cliff, and its weird circle painted npon it. and examined the open space leading to the riYer bet\\een the cliff and the massive, impassable rocks on the right. lt seemed too open there, on either side, for an enemy to find a lurkin> place; but the oasis on his left he did not like. He heard the roar of the river as ;t surged along, and doLJbtless thought that \\here the trail forked it there was a shallow crossing. and, still keeping his eye upon the suspicious pile of rocks on his left, he once more 1110\ed on, and his companions followed as before. CHAPTER XIV. \ Dl'EL OX HORSEBACK. ,\s the trail left by Buffalo Bill bent to the right. toward the open space leading to the river, the trailers followed it slO\\'ly, though each one had somehow gotten an iclea of suspicion that all \\'as not right iu that pile of tree-fringed rocks on the left. .:-\t last Long reached the steep bank of the river. and the narrow space between the steep, rocky banks on the right. and the Silver Circle cliff on the left. bringing all nearer together; the four \\'ere soon as sembled upon the encl of the trail, \\here it broke off at the ri,er. Panis. no man or horse e\er ,,ent O\'l:r thar and lived." saicl Long. "::\ ot much, fer ther stream goes along like a ,drove o' Te. -as bronchos," Short said, while Stumpy i :ejoined: "It do look like certain death to go over thar. "Yet th er trail comes here," put in Johnny. "Yas, and tarns back. too." ''\Vhar does yer see ther tarn?" "Thet is so, ther trail comes right here and stops." "This is th er end o' it." ''Ther scout hes committed suicide,right here." "Ef he hes ri

24 THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. So they talked, each one giving his views, and all at a loss to discover the mystery. Leading the way, Long went to the cliff, and there they stood, gazing at the strange de\'ice painted upon its rocky wall. "Pards, wait here until I takes a sarvey o' yonder bit o' rock, for it may hide a ghost. and may hide a man as kin make ghosts o' human bein's. "Arter I has tuck a look thar, we kin go inter camp, and then we can reconnoiter pretty snug about these parts, and, more, I kno\\"s o' no better camp ground fer us then right over yonder among t11em bawlders which is piled up so perrniscuons." ''\ i\Tasn't thar su'thin' said by Btmco o' a letter rock here?" asked Stumpy. "Yas, and I'JJ put ther letter thar now, fer thet must be ther rock" and he pointed to a rock upon one side, which seemed to ha,e fallen from the cliff above. He raised it and placed beneath it the letter gi,e n him by Bunco. The.n he mounted his horse and rode toward the ambush, leaving the others \\"atching him. He apprnached with caution, his rifl e ready to fire if sprung upon by any dangerous game. Buffalo Bill, the parson and Toby watche

THE BUFFALO BILL 24 n ent a bullet so close to Toby's face that it stung. 11m. f_But Toby was a good shot, too, and he wounded s the desperado, breaking his right arm; but, quick as c.!'a flash, Stumpy drew a revolver in his left and re turned the compliment by clipping a piece out of the soldier's shoulder. They were now almost upon each 01her, and to e dfamount hi:s enemy the brave black spurred his large horse directly upon the smaller animal. it With his weight added the shock was terrific, and 1 Stumpy C!nd his horse went down, while Toby's horse r barely saved himself from a heavy fall. Wheeling instantly, Toby spraHg to the ground, f. and advanced upon his foe. But, though the horse had risen, his rider remained 111 o tionless. "Bravo. Toby! The Desperado Trio ha\e been ll'iped out; but come and help me out of my scrape. e for parson has gone off after Hotel Johnny, and h may need our aid. The negro ran to the scout's assistance, and their united efforts extricated him fron-i his most painful position. .. Ther fhree of em is cleacl, ::-rassa Bill, and de ar-0 son am hot arter de man yer calls Hotel Johnny. "Yes. Toby, and \\e 11111s l go after the parson, for that fello-1\ is a snake and may play some trick of l being dead an cl turn on him. i:i -I-e kno\\ s he rides for his life now."' and Buffalo e Bill sprang upon Tobys big horse, calling to him to 1 catch Sturnpy's anirnal and follmY When Hotel Johnny saw that the tro11ble had be s gun. be edged rlown the trail. to get a fair start, if it n \\ as necessary to run for it. Leading the pack-hors e, he rode along. and yelled with deli!Z'ht when he saw Buffalo Bilrs .horse go u 1 1 down and pin him under him. g But he became liYid as he sa\\. Long. the best mall of The Triplets. fall, and. puttingspurs to his horse. a he urged him on, cmsing the pa.d:-hors e for not fold lo\Ying faster. cl \\Then Short went down. 1111der the fire of the pin-ioned cout. and he sa\Y the parson coming for him Hotel Johnny felt that he made a mistake in ,_ coming to the Haunted :\fountains. and. Jetting gu a of the pack-horse. he fled for his life. Once he glanced back, with the hope that Stumpy niight redeem the day: but what he caused his teeth to chatter. as Toby \Yas just riding the last of 1 th.e trio down. d parson. too. as coming on S\\iftly, thol\gh Hotel Johnny was delighted at seeing that his horse e was the faster and gaining rapidly. d "'I may yet escape, for Buffalo Bilrs leg must d broke." he murmured as he sped along. ''Yes, I will escape, for night \Yill come on, if I can only leave them far behind, and then I'll git awa,y, I knows I will," he whined. ''I war a fool ter oome, fer I might hev know'd thet thar were no man as c'u'd kill Buffalo Bill,'' and the man was livid with fear. He had no saddle, only a blanket fastened around the horse, and he urged the animal with knee, voice and spur. The parson had not fired upon him, he was surprised to see, when he could have done so at first, as be was in good range. And he, too, had not fired on the parson, as he now recalled, and he cursed himself for his forgetting that he really had arms. Then, as he drew further away, he grew braver, and bitterly reproached himself that he had not charged when Short and Stumpy had done so. "If I hed gone then. why it would hev settled it. for if two of them went down, t'other and me c'u' d hev held ther trumps, and we'd hev been parcls, and less ter divide spoils among. "But ifs too late ter talk now. and all I hes ter do is ter git, and rm doin' it ther best I knows how." \nd on he \Yent, with the parson far behind now, and no one else in sight, rn he began to congratulate himself that he had for a third time escaped from Bnffalo Bill, when he rode into a canon, through which the trail ran. Hardly had he clone so. wben he uttered a yell of terror. for he sa1v that he had clashed into a hornet's nest, figuratiYely speaking. for he had run full UP,011 three horsemen. and their attitude was hostile in the extreme toward the fugitive desperado, who, flying for his life, seemed to haYe come face to face with death. CHAPTER XV. WELL :\LET The three horsemen who terrified Hotel Johnny by their unexpected appearance \Yere Deer-Eye Dick and his hrn Chinese friends, Hop Up and Lick let. They had follower! the trail of Buffalo Bill and The Triplets. ancl. hearing the firing. had come to ci. halt. They were 111 a deep c a 1ion. 11ith sides like a stone wall, and along the base on e "ither side a growth of stunted trees. There 1rere b o \\Jders here and there. too, and, after li stening to the shots an instant and seeming to think they gre\1 louder. as though coming that \\"a}'. Deer-Eye fell back to a group of bowlde1:s, \1here the trees were a little thicker than elsewhere The pack-horses were quickly hitched in a safe place, the Chinese \Yere left in charge and Deer-Eye rode forth upon a reconnoissance. He reached the month of the canon and halted,


26 THE BUF F ALO B ILL STOR I ES. for he saw far in the distance a horseman approach-. ing at full speed. He knew that he must come through the ca11011, so, wheeling, he rode back at a gallop. It was not the scout, he had seen at a glance, but he had not recognized just who it was. "\i\ r e \\ ill head that fellow off, for I believ e The Triplets have attacked the scout and he has sent them flying," he said to his t\YO comrades "Allee lightee, we headee off," was the complacent rejoinder, and they smiled as if it was already done. Seated on their horses they waited, and to their ears came the rattle of fl) ring hoofs. A fe\' 1 moments more and there da shed into sight a bareback horse and rider. "Bad 'Melican man!" cried Lick Skillet. "Muchee bad Johnee," echoed Hop Up, who recognized him at a glance. "'Yes it i s Room Key Johnny, and he looks a s though he had seen a ghost. "I was in hopes that Buffalo Bill had killed him; but we must stop him." Ont from behind the bo,dders spurred the three, and then it was that Hotel Johnny ga,e a yell ofterror undisguis ed. He tried to dodge by on the other side of the canon. but saw that he \ vas headed off. He started to turn back, but the clatter of hoois behind him stopped that intention in s hort order. Then he grew desperate. drew a reYol\'er in e a ch hand. and, in his fright, began to fire a t random. Deer-Eye rais ed hi s re,-olnr, but dropped hi s hand again. saying: "No, no!" But if any conscientious scruples di sturbed him about firing upon the desperado. the Chinese ''"ere not troubled that \my, for Lick Skillet, a skillful thrower of the lasso, sent the rope flying through the air. while Hop up at the same time opened fire. The result was a natural coincide nce, for the noose of Lick Skillet's lariat settled O\'er the head of the flying horse. upon which the Chinee had a business eye, while the bullet from Hop Up's re,-olver perforated the body of the unfortunate wretch. "l catchee hossee yelled Lick Skillet, with d elight, a s he brought the animal to hi s knees whik over hi s head -ent the desperado. "Me killee 'Melican man," shouted Hop Up, ith equal enjoyment, as he saw that Hotel Johnny did not rise. "Oh! what a life this is,'' sadly said Deer-Eye, as he rode toward them, and asked, quickly : "Is he dead?" "Heapee dead." ''Gooclee hossee, badee 'Melican man, \\"ere the responses he receiv ed. A moment more and the Hermit Trapper clashed into the canon, and at sight of them he drew rei and brought bis rifle round ready for use. .'. But when Buffalo Bill arrived on the scene a fetl moments later, be recognized the newcomers, an bade them join his forces. t CHAPTER XVI. THE CAPTI\'ES 0 Se,'.eral days passed away \Yhile the party resteci But at length all were ready, and the cavalcada started out for the hiding-place of the Cbn of the Si;b ver Circle. / Their guide ,ya s a magnificent white horse. whica the great scout rode. It had been used by the bar clits to send messages to and carry supplies from Sa1 Dus t C ity. It, in company with a clog was trained t make the journey there and back alone. But Bu falo Bill had captured the Dumb Parcls. He had le.t the horse at the cabin oj the Trapper Parson while b paid hi s vi sit to Saw Dus t City, but now he rnounte,. it again. "Show u s the way to the bandits hiding-place," b a s aid. slapping it s flank, and the little army, led b, Bnffalq Bill, started. Up to the base of a mountain range they went, an here the leading horse half-turned one way, the r paus ed, turned back and went to\\ arcl a break in th t range, a s Buffalo Bill could see by the inclentatiQn r the treetops. He \\'aS somewhat surprised at the action of th hors e but allowed him to hav e hi s way, hile h mntterecl : 1 "Ther. e are t\\ o trails, and he was at a loss whic a to take." J So on the horse went toward the mouth of th. canon, and was going into it when Buffalo Bill dre11 him to a halt. and, dismounting hitched him to t r ee determined to go .on foot, a s he felt that he \YI s. getting into a dangerous neighborhood. He di scovered, after a short walk, the cano tl o p ened )ike a huge gate"ay, crags towerii1g on eithf side standing for posts . lt was scarcely more than sixty feet wide, and th s t o p s of the sides "ere heavily. \Yooded. Like alls the side aros e fully a hundred fee gro"ing higher a s they went to\\ arcl the top of ti 11101,mtain range. Enter'ing it with caution. and keeping on one sid1 h e passed along for some di stance, the cafio1 1 na ti rowing a s he did so, until it became a mere chasm b1 t\\ een walls hundreds of feet in height. The scout paused, for the moonlight showed hi1 ti that the chasm passed into a large canon, or \ alle beyond. "If there i s a guard he will be here," said Buffa tl Bill, and he walked s lo\\ ly up to\\-ard the chas1_11.


THE BUFF /\LO BILL STORIES. 27 As he did so he saw the glimmer of a light upon '' the rocky wall. 1 T11is was a warning for him to go ahead wifh the I greatest caution. Approaching in a noiseless manner, he soon saw that the light shone out of an open door of a cabin or hut. The cabin he approached was a snug little home of three rooms, with little beds of wild flowers about it, q,n arborlike piazza along the front and an air over .1 all that the occupants wished to make the best of a 1 bad situation. Giving a gentle knock at the door, the scout heard c a voice within answer: ''Who is there?" "A friend." "I know no friend here." "I am a friend, and I do not care to have it known that I am here." 1 "Pard,'' and a voice from another room spoke, e ''we don't receive no visitors at night." "Uncle Sol, did you ever hear of Buffalo Bill?" 1 asked the scout. feeling assured that the last speaker was the boy guide. "I has, and who hasn't?" "Well, I am Buffalo Bill, and I have come here to e rescue you from the Silver Circle League after your h two years of imprisonment." "Glory!" "Thank God!" h The first exclamation came from the room in h IC which was Uncle Sol. the capti,e boy, at a window, and the next from the door where the \Yoman stood. "Dress yourselves quickly. and I have the key, for J took it from the guard, who is now bound securely in his cabin.'' A hasty toilet was made by the woman, and she said: "Come in." She had lighted a candle. and the scout unlocked the door and stepped in. Handsome. sad-faced. yet stern, she looked, and 1 she gazed earnestly upon the splendid-looking man who entered. c 11 "You are Buffalo Bill," she said. earnestly. ''Yes.'' "And you is for a fact. for I seen yer once." d And Sol entered. haYing grown considerably in the two years since he \Yas kidnaped. ''And you have come to rescue us?'' "Yes, madam. and have been in the valley some time trying to find this secret retreat. ''In a word, I found here an old trapper parson, whose grandchild had been stolen from him by Don, the .Monte Man-'-" "That man?" cried the woman, anxiously. "Yes, and he brought her here. "He had slain her father, procured a map of a gold mine he had found here, and so he came here to work it, organizing a band to help him. "\Nhat he is to you I know, as I do that his name is Carter Creighton, and that, when you visite d Saw Dust City in search of him, he fled, and more, he had you and this brave boy kidnaped and brought here." "And he is here?" she asked, in a voice full of amazement. ''He is chief of the Gold Hunters' League, and not a mile from you, and has been for two years." "I felt that I owed our capture to him, and was to be kept out of the way, but I supposed he was far from here." "On the contrary he has kept you near him." "''vVe will meet now,'' she said, with a dangerous gleam in her eyes. "It is my intention to come for you to-morrow night, so be prepared to start at a moment's notice. "I shall come soon after nightfall, and have horses for you both." "'Why not to-night?" she said, "I will tell you. "I am alone to-night, and must return to my friends down in the valley below. "I shall bring them with me to-morrow night, and you shall be rescued quietly, and go with one of oun party to a place of safety. "Then I shall move against the Silver Circles, going to their camp through the tunnel under the mountain." "Can you go that way?" "Yes; it runs through to the other valley, beyond yonder range." "If we had but known it." ''It would have only been your death, for, on foot, unarmed and without food, you would soon have been dragged down by wolves." "Yes. that is true, and these mountains seem full of terrible beasts." "I shall ask you, Sol, to join our party in an attack, for l have but four others I can call, and we will have to fight half-a-dozen desperate men." ow you is iist la yin' out a picnic fer me, Mister. Bill. .. said Sol, with enthusiasm. and the scout felt that the boy would enjoy the fight to his heart's content. "Now I must leave you, but be ready by bo-mor row night, and all will be well. "Good-night." "One moment. sir,'' said the vvoman, as the scout turned to go. "Let me tell you in a few words that I know all the black history of Carter Creighton. and you must nut kill him. for brave men die in battle. ''Keep him for the hangman's rope. ''He was in love wi_th his fair cousin. Nellie Creigh ton, but she loved Roy Ripley, a charity student, but ''"ho was a noble, splendid man.


28 THE BUFF !\LO BILL STORIES. "She was an heiress, and she was discarded for marrying Ripley, ai:id then they came West and joined his father, a who had hidden him self upon the border and gone tb trapping. "Carter Creighton sought to marry his cousin, anU get her money, when he was already tny husband." "He that he had killed me, for onenight, while we 'were hastening home along the beach, as a storm was coming up, he dealt me a stunning blow, bound me hand and foot, and put me in a frail skiff, shoving it off from the shore. "The storm broke in fury, and. but for an aceidtint, that he had by chance gotten bold of a lifeboat, I would have been lost. "I was blown out to sea and picked up by a vessel bound around the Horn to China. "It wds nearly ten months before I set. foot on land, and then in a foreign country. "The captain was kind to me, but he was poor, an.cl, finding I 9ould do nothing as a woman, I cut off my hair, donned male attire, and went before the mast as a cabin boy. "It was years before I could work my way back to America, going from vessel to vessel, but at last I did so, and I found my parents dead, and Carter Creighton had my inheritance. "They had believed me dead, and had willed the property to him ; after which I discovered that he had caused their death to get it. "Suspected of it, he had fled and, keeping the 'secret that I was alive. I determined upon revenge. "Then I set ot;t to find the man \\'ho had s o wronged me. .. I am poss es s ed of a wonderful Yoice, and I took that as a means to pay m y \Yay, singing from to place and really making money. 'At last, after long years o f s e a rch. I heard of a man in the min es a gamb l e r ,, h orn I belie ved to be Carter Creigh t on. ''l a t o n ce began t o g o th e r ounds o f the camps, and f ound him at Sa\\' Du t C it y o r rather wa s put in the room h e had o ccupied t h e re, for he fled that very clay and I am co nfid ent he sa,, and re cognize d me. "I got th is yo ntli t o be m y guide. ancl we started t o s.e a rch throug h t he camps ancl h a d I f ound him, I ,.,.a s s o re engefnl. th a t I h a d d e t ermined to proclaim my w rongs and I kn e;\' th os e rude, bu t good h earted men wouh.l

Come alongt boys! Keep up with the proces5ion. The. entries are being shoved in on us so quick that ies no cinch counting them. more the merrier. Remembert everybody has a chance. Just look at the list of prizes on page 3J. When you see that youtll get in the contest if youtre not in it already. A Burglar. (By B. Franklyn Foley, Washington, D. C.) We li,e in the beautiful city of Washington, in the southwest section of the city. In the rear of our home is a beautiful common overgrown with trees and beautiful shrubbery, making it a regt1lar Eden. On last Thursday I \vas seated in the dining-room with my parents and brothers listeni11g to father read the papers. I heard him read of a burglar who had broke11 into a person's house aud had nearly killed one of the family. Somehow, I could not get the thought of burglars out of my mind. At last, bedtime came and after prayers we went to bed. Still thinking of the burglar, I and my little brother uudressed and climbed into bed. We lay awake about an hour talki11g \'>'hat we would do if the bad man broke into our house. How long I had been asleep 1 don' t know, but I awoke with a start. Yes, I was sure some one was at my door now and then heavy knocks were h eard, and I thought tha t the door wotild fall in broken from its hinges. I heard my little brother snor ing. I felt m y hair bt=giu to stand up. I could not cry out. l\fy only thought was of my little brother. I had often protected him when bad boys would tease or mo lest him. I crept out of bed. My legs felt as stiff as if I was 011 stilts. I could only drag my feet along the floor. Over near the wall my feet struck something. I knew what it was. It was one of my big brother's Indian clubs. I grabbed it and went back to the foot of the bed with oue hand on the bed and the other holc!ing the club. I waited. All at ouce I beard a terrible strnggle and heard my mother say to my big brother, Mind, Qeorge, don't let him hurt you," and t heu I heard some one fall down the stairs bump, bump, bump! Theu I heard father ay, "Hold him till I get clown." I beard father when he ran downstairs, and heard the sen ffle all' along the hall. Then all was quiet. I heard father halloa up to Illa, "I believe he is dead." I knew no more. When I came to the doctor was bending over me, and my parents and brothers were all around the room. I heard the doctor say, "He is all right now." I f ell asleep and did not wake until late next morning, aud who do you think was the burglar? Why, Johnny Jones' pet billy goat. Pa had left the basement door open aud l\.Jr. Billy walked iu and upstairs and tackled my door. I guess he wanted a bed. Auyway he did uot sllffer much from his fall downstairs. Ma says I am a bra,e boy. On the Monongahela. (By Ralph Parray, Pa.) In l898 my playmate and I went down to the Monongahela River in Pittsburg, where we lived. We went out ou the coal barges and I took a misstep and fell into the ri,er. I could not swim. I .shouted niy playmate, but he was too frightened to come to my assistance. I went d o wn under the water twice and' then seeing my danger caught hold of a log of wood. My playmate he) peel me a shore. I wept home through the back streets with a pack of fellows shouting at my heels. Not very long ago, my playmate was drowned in the same river. On a Hunting Trip. (By A Jackson, Alabama.) I was visiting my brother in north Alabama. My brother asked me if I would like to go on a hunting trip. "Yes," I replied, "it's a w onder we didn't think of this before." We gathered up our wagon and horse and on Friday morniug. \Ve went to what i s known as J,.ong Ri9ge. \Ve left our wagon there, took our horse, grub, blankets and rifles with us. We struck the wide hollow, took a little path which led us over the cliff, which was a dangerous place. We made it dowu the cliff after some time. Crossed the creek, went through the dark thicket for three miles. I felt \ 'ery lonesome, but didu' t say anything about it. We arrived at the old camp ground at two o'clock p. m .


30 THE BUFFALO BILL STO. RIES. on the same day. We built a fire, and I went out some distance away from the camp to see if I could find some small game. The first thing that I saw was a squirrel. I took my rifle from my shoulder and fired. Down came the squirrel. I took him to camp and dressed it. Theu I took from the basket some bread while my brother cooked the squirrel. By this time our camp was looking very booming and I was better contented than when we were coming through the dark thicket. As night was coming on we lay down to sleep. We were aroused at one o'clock in the morning by our horse breaking loose. We caught our horse and went tci.. sleep again. As morning came on we went out from camp we saw a large bear creeping upon us. \Ve fired our gun and wounded him. 'rhen we started to the bear. He sprang at tis with such force foat we were compelled to use our knives. We used our knives with such good advantage that we killed the bear. We took the bear to camp. That even ing we started back to our wagon, got there all right, and arrived at home some time in the night. A few days later I took a train for Adamsville. Overboard! ( By Eddie Plummer, Wash.) One Sunday afternoon as I was walking down the street, a thought came in my mind that it would be a nice thing to go down to the bay and watch the boys go in swimming, so I went down to the wharf, and as I was crossing the railroad track I saw a train coming, so I thought that I would wait until it got past, and I com menced to walk backward and I walked off the wharf. It was high tide then, so down I plunged in the water and there was a barge scow where I fell in and I came about a foot from bitting it with my head. It happened that two men saw me when I fell in, so they ran down on the beach and one of them hauded me a stick and pulled me out. A Runaway. (By Tipton Pawley, Mo.) .' One day while walking down Main street with a friend, the cry was given: ''A runaway!" Looking up the street, we saw coming at a furious pace two powerful bay horses, on the sea t sat a tiuy swayiug form He looked as if he might be six or seven years old. He held the lines in one of his tiny hands; his other grasped the seat. Out in the road stood two men, one a burly policeman, the other a stylish young man, a bright, honest face and a graceful form. As the horses neared them he said to the policeman '"Better move out of my way, and leave the horses to me.'' "You?" sueered the policeman, "you could not hold a kitten." The young man smiled, but made no answer. He walked a few yards behind the policeman. As the horses neared the first man the crowd hold their breath so intent are they. Hemming them in without noti cing it. ''Look! look! He is dragged! he is down!" Then the crowd scatters. As the horses bear down on the young man he nms the way they are r:.mning, swerves in, catches them by the bridle and soon stops them. The way they got away was through the carelessness of the boy's father who went into a store, leaviug the horses unhitched. An Alligator Tale. (By Newdie Tilton, Louisiana.) A friend of mine by the name of Bill Childris and I went buntiug one Sunday morning in the swamps right back of the city. We had borrowed a flatboat from a nigger hunter the day before. I bad a shotgun that I got for Christmas, and Bill had a: six-shooter belonging to his father. We had gone about a mile aucl a half back when we heard a great splashing iu the water, and when we looked we were horrified to see a big alligator falliug off of a log. I was paddling the boat at the time aud dropping the paddle I seized my gun and shot both barrels at him and Bill shot three times. Then we both jumped in a tree. The alligator swam around the boat once or twice. He swung his tail around and knocked the side out of the boat. We stayed in one position so long that our legs were stiff. At about six o'clock a moose hnnter came along and we called to him and he took us out of the swamps, and we were mighty glad that be came along, for if he had not we would have had to spend a night in the swamps. Struck by an Engine. (By Marshall Coursen, Ohio.). My brother and I drove a milk wagon for father. One morning while crossing the "Nickel Plate" tracks, we were struck by an engine and thrown about twenty 'feet and the wagon was broken all to pieces. Pieces of the wagon were found sixty feet from the track. The horses escaped serious injury, a thing that no one seems to understand. People who saw the acci dent say it \\as miraculous how we escaped death or serious injury. We had a few slight scratches to show for our thrilling adventure. Shipwrecked. (By Carl Ahlstrom, Jr.) One morning I got up very early to go fishing. After eating a hasty breakfast of bread and milk, I went down to the boathouse, aud put my fishing tackle and bait into the skiff that I ustd for gunning and fishing. The sky was very dark and a light rain was falling. It just the day that a fisherman likes. I pulled out a mile into the stream and threw my lines overboard and then began to-fish in earnest. The sport was so lively that I did not notice a squall corning up in the sot1theast. I was warned by the pitching of the boat to start for


THE BUFfi\lO BILL STORIES. 31 . home. \Vhen I got half way back I felt a s udden bump and back I fell with a loud crash into the bottom of the boat. I had runinto a ha1f-sunken snag, which are very numerous in that part of the rjver. I never saw so many stars and comets in all my life. When I had gathered my scattered wits I sa t up and looked around. In the bow of the boat was a hole large enough to put your heaQ. tbrougl1. I stuffed my coat in it-and started pulling rapidly for the shore. The water came through tht: cloth, and in a short time it was within three inches of the gunwale. I saw that it was no use to row any longer, so I drew in my oan and watched the movements of .sort1e men on the boathouse dock. I began to shollt with all my strength to attract their attention. They apparently heard. me, and I saw tw.o of them put out in a boat and pull toward me. I slipped over the side of the sunken skiff and struck out for the shore. The wind blew the water off the top of the waves in fine spray, blinding me. I felt my self rapidly sinking, and letting out one last

BlJFFl\LO BILL STORH5$ (LARGE SIZE.) . . .' .. : 1. Containing the Only Stories Authorized by Hon. WILLIAM F. CODY ("Buffalo \ 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 Renegade; 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 Vallev; or, The Search for the Missing Ran.ger. 33-Buffalo Bill in the Hidden Retreat; or, The Captives of Old Bear Claws. 34-Buffalo Bill's Disappearance; or, The Stranger Guide of the Rio Grande. 35-Buffalo Bill's Mission; or, The Haunt of the Lone Medicine Man. 36-Buffalo Bill and the Woman in Black; or, In League with the Toll-Takers. 37-Buffalo Bill and the Haunted Ranch; or, The Disappearance of the Ranchman's Daughter. 38-Buffalo Bill and the Danite Kidnapers; ;or, The Green Rfv .er Massacre. 39-Buffalo Bill's Duel; or, Among the Mexican Miners. 40-Buffalo Bill and the Prairie Wolves; or, Hunting the Bandits of Boneyard Gulch. 41 -Buffalo Bill at Painted Rock; or, After the Human Buzzards. 42-Buffalo Bill and the Boy Trailer; or, After Kidnappers in Kansas. I 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 Chiefs Secret. 47-Buffalo Bill's Deadliest Deal; or, The Doomed Desperadoes of 5atan's Mine. 48-Buffalo Bill's Secret; or, The Trail of a Traitor. 49-Buffalo 6ill's Phantom Hunt; or, The Gold Guide of Colorado Canyon. 50-Buffalo Bill's Brother in Buckskin; or, The Redskin Lariat Rangers. 51-Buffalo BHf's Trail of the Man Tigers; or, The Doom of the Branded 52-Buffalo Bill's Boy Pard; or, Training the Buckskin Boy. ( 53-Buffalo Bill's Vow of Vengeance; er, The Scout's Boy Ally. 54-Buffalo Bill and the Mad Hermit; or, finding a Lost Trail. Back numbers always on hand. If you cannot 'Ct them from your newsdeakr, Hve cents a copy will bring them to you, by mail, postpaid. STREET & SMITfl. Publishers, 238 'VVIbLIAlVI NE"V YORK CI'J.."'Y. )


:=:= =:=:=:=:= : : === : : =======:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=: ? === McGOVERN CROSS-COUNTERS WITH RIGHT. THERE can be no question about the advantage of being able to box well. When called upon to defend 1 yourself you are always r@ad.y and the manly art of boxing if practiced as set forth in the pages of the book entitled "The Art of Boxing and Salf Defense will bring the muscles into play and transform a weak man into a noble spedmen of his race. . The Art of BoXin g a"d Defense B,,PROF DONOVAN ... The only authentic work on 'Boxing notv on the market. DIAMOND HAND BOOK No. 9 THE CONTENTS AND ILLUSTRATIONS WILL INTEREST THE MOST INDIFFERENT PERSON. DIAMOND HAND BOOK No.9 JT is profusely illustrated with. 37 elegant halftone cuts, showing the different positions and blows. The originals of these j!Iustrations are such noted pugilists as James Jeffries, Robert Fitzsimmons, James J. Corbett, Terry McGovern, Young Corbett, and all the heavy and light-weight fighters who have ever held the championship of their class. The book is printed on good paper, clear, sharp type and bound in attractive illuminated cover. PR.ICE 10 CENTS ALL NEWSDEALERS If sent by mail, 5 cents addition.al for postage. STREET & SMITH >;::=: : :'t: = zc: =: PUBLISHERS NEW Y 0 R K YOUNG CORBETT GETS IN A STRAIG,1-\T LEFT ON McGOVERN'S STOMACH.


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