Buffalo Bill and the masked hussar, or, Fighting the prairie pirates

Material Information

Buffalo Bill and the masked hussar, or, Fighting the prairie pirates
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 )

Record Information

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:
020848386 ( ALEPH )
223329081 ( OCLC )
B14-00059 ( USFLDC DOI )
b14.59 ( USFLDC Handle )

USFLDC Membership

Dime Novel Collection
Buffalo Bill Stories

Postcard Information



This item has the following downloads:

Full Text




' A WEEKLY PUBLrCATION DEVOTco TO BORDE-, R HI STORY Iu1114 Weeltly. By S116scri/lio,, per year. Entered as Second at tlte N Y. Post Oj/iCI!, by STREET & SMITH 238 Wt1/iam SI. N. Y. Bnteretl acurdinr to Act of Conrress in t/le year rQOa. in l!te Of/ice of I/le Librarian of Co"K'Yess, WasltitcKton .b. C. No 59. NEW YORK, June 28, 1902. Price F i ve Cents. Buffalo Bill and the Masked Hussar; OR, FIGHTING THE PRAIRIE PIRATES. B y the a uth o r o f "BUFF A L O BILL.11 CHAPTER I. THE F.-\TE. "Well, Cody, what do yoLi think now?" This question W\lS addressed by Colonel Yulee of "the United States Army to Buffalo Bill,. as the two sat together at the frontier post-Fort Advance. The scout had been asked for his advice in a serious matter. A band of robbers known as the "Masked Hussars," becanse thev invariablv wore brass helmets which com pletely concealed their . faces from view, had just stopped a coach on the Gold Valley Road and killed the driver. Thev h a d even the to send one of their O>vn miniber to drive the coach to the nearest village A short time before this Buffalo Bill had led an expedition against the Masked Hussars, had traced them to their hiding place and destroyed their stronghold. The robbers, however, had escaped death by means of an underground tnnnel, which was discovered later and it was supposed that they Iiad left that part of the country for good. Every honest man in the vicinity breathed more freely vhcn Bnffalo Bill's exploit was known abroad, and it was generally hoped the series of robberies which had been terrifying the bordermen on all sides was a thing of the past. But now the s e bandits had broken out again, showing that they had not left the country, but had only sought some fresh hiding place from which they could sally .out to h9ld up passing coaches. Buffalo Bill frowt'ted as he read the d i spatch announ cing the latest deeds of the Masked Hussars. The dispatch read as follows: "The Gold Valley Overland coach was halted yester day at Bitter Brook by a party of horsemen who suddenly dashed out of a cafion and surrounded it . ''They were dressed in uniform, wore brass helmets with visors that served as perfect masks. ;,There were thirteen of them, and three appeared to be officers one having his uniform trimmed with gold lace, and the other two gold and silver insignia of rank, which were skull and cross-bones worked on the left sleeve. '.'Only one, the leader, spok e the oth e rs remaining silent. "He looked into the coach, eyed each passeng e r cl o s el y, and then glanced up at the driver, w ho m he told t o dis mount from his box.


THE .. BU ff ''The drh er did so, and t!ie ieader l11ade him take his coat off and roll up the shirt sleeve of his left arm. "After glancing at the arm tht; leader called to one of his officers and said: '''I doo111 this man to death I' ''He then said something to the driver which seemed to terrify hi111 greatly, and he was led away a few paces and six of the mounted rne11 drew their revolvers, and, at word of their chief, fired. .. The unfortunate driver dropped dead, the six bullets havi!ig been t111e1i11gly sent into his forehad. "Then the leader told one of his officers, the one wear ing silver slrnll and cross-bones, to mount the box and drive on into the stage station ten miles qistant. "He obeyed, his hors e trotting behind obediently, at the call of his rider. "We rolled away, leaving the Hussars, as they call themselves, in the road, by the body of the dead driver. "I got upon the box with the masked driver and asked him a number of questions. "All I coHld get out of him in response was that the leader was l\lajor l\Iephisto, and that the bana were known as the Masked Hussars. "He drove us to within half a mile of the station, dis mounted from the box,. and bade me take the reins and drive the rest of the way. "As he mounted his horse one of the passengers, a reckless miner, foolishly shot at him, wounding him I am sure, for he reeled in the sac\dle ; but his revenge came quickly, as he dashed up to the coach window and sent a bullet into the brain of the one who had fired the s hot. 'Then he wheeled and rode rapidly away, and I drove on to the station, then here with this rej)Ort, si;nding it to you by one of the stablemen." Such was the report, and it was written by a young lieutenant who had beert a passenger on the coach. Buffalo Bill read most attentively the report, and then said: "l eil; -colo11el,' there is 01-1e way for me to learn the myStei-ious w ays of these Masked Hussars." "AJu:l how is that, Cody r" -. .. "To take th e coaches through and b!!ck." "They may ki!I you." ,. "I must take the same chances that other passengers do, colonel." .. "Well, Cod) ; the solution of the inystety is in your hands, so do as you deem best, attd '.t11e ajd you !1. eed, tommahd me for it." '' "Thank you, sir; but I will start' otit alone, and when I have made the discoveries r hope to, I will call Oil you, sir, to help me . "Vlhen do you start, Cody ?" ''To-n_ ight, sit." . And as the scout spcike Captai11 Vaughan, a young office!' who commanded a con1pany at the fort, hastily en tered, his manner showing that he had important news to communicate. Both Colonel Yulee and Buffalo :Bill saw that Captain Vaughan had from his usual custoni. and gotten excited. . His face showed it, and his had an angry ring as he s2okc. "Colonel Yulee, I come to make .an unfortunate port, sir," he said. "\/\Tell, Vaughan, what has happened, for your looks show that it is no ordinarv affair?" "The prisoner has sir." "The Indian, for he was all we had ?'1 "Yes, sir." "Fighting Fox?" "He is as sly as his name," the scout said "But that i. not all." "Ah thet'e has beeh culpab)c Mglige11ce then?" said Colonel Yulee, sternly. "Hardly that, sir, under the circumstances, _.which 1 will at once explain." ''The relief. guard ou its rounds, sir, went to the gate sentinel's post, and the man on duty was found bound and gagged." "What?" ''He was released, sir, and reported that he was pacing his post when he received a blow on the back of the head that felled him to the grbund. ''He was partly. stunned, but had no power to cope with his adversary, who, he said, was dressed in unifo1 m and wore a mask. "A gag was thrust into his mouth and he was bound and dragged to his sentry box. "Then his captor took his uniform cap ai1d walked boldly into the fort." "A bold fellow, certainly; but he must have been one of the garrison." "Ko, colonel, for the daring fellow then went to the guardhouse, waited at the corner until the sentinel came along on his beat, and, springing upon him, dealt him a blow that must have stunned him. At any rate, he got the man in his power, opened the door of the guardhouse, released the Indian chief, and between them they carried or forced the sentinel to go along. The Indian. must have rigged out in a uriiform; for there were some scattered about the floor. They passed out in the darkness,. with a and as they reached sentry box at the gate, halted. Then the bo1d rescuer told. the sentinel there tb say to you that he needed the scily

s if HE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 3 This announcement was a cause of amazement to all, but the scout smiled and said : "I am sorry I cannot follow the advice of Major l\Ie phisto, for I shall still fo11ow on his track." "Who can he be, for he certainly must know about the fort, or he could never have come in as he did," the col onel remarked. "There is but one way to find out who he is, and that is to trail him," said Btiffalo Bill. he will have a great start of you by morning, 1 Cody. as you cannot follow to-night." "Yes, colonel, I will be off at once, for Surgeon Powell has made me a pr sent of his splendid Spanish hound, Grip, and he will follow the trail once he is on the scent." Exclamations of pleasure followed this announcement, Lieutenant Otey being loudest in his enthusiasm. The scout at once left to prepare for his midnight trailing. In a short while he was ready, Hussar under saddle, and one of the two other horses he was to take along carrying a large pack. The enormous Spanish hound, as fierce looking as a tiger, was then taken by Surgeon Powell and Buffalo Bill into the guardhouse. He quickly caught the scent, and a lariat 'A' as fastened to the ring in his collar, the other end being looped around the horn of the scout's saddle. Then Buffal'o Bill mounted, waved farewell to the crowd of officers assembled to see him start, and rode out of the fort. The noble hound never swerved but an instant at the gate, sniffed about the ntry box, and then, with a low,. yelp. started off across the prairie. He seemed. to soon feel that he was not to go at a rapid pace. as he was held in check by the lariat. and intelli gently regulated his speed to suit what the scout deemed the best gait to p:o. Arriving a quarter of a mile from the fort, the hound h;i.lted and moved about in different directions. Instantly Buffa.lo Bill dismounted, and striking a match lighted a small lantern. ''It is as I thought; here are tracks. and here he left his horses while he went to the fort. There were two horses, and there are three men, so they will not be able to travel rn very fast. On, Grip. and follow the trail you are on, for it is the right one." Again mounting-, the scout once more followed the hound on the trail through the darkness. When daylight dawned and Buffalo Bill halted for rest, he was many a long mile from the fort and up in the mountain countrv. The noble Spanish hound had unfailingly followed the trail through the long hours of the night. and the scout had made him keep a slower pace by far than the animal cared to go. When it became so light that he see, the scout sought a good shelter to camp for breakfast, and, after feeding the hound and staking out the horses, he went back to the trail and closely examined it. ''Two horses, both shod, and a man on foot wearing a boot. ''I am on the right trail, that is certain." So saying, he returned to the side of the little brook, built a small fire, made a pot of coffee and ate his break fast. An hour's rest he felt was enough for the hound and the horses, and so mounted and pressed on once The trail led him into the depths of the mountains, and in a direction that he knew, by going on a straight line for a hundred miles, he would cross the five Overland trails of the coach lines. It was evening when he halted upon the brow of a lofty ridge that overhung a beautiful valley. Through the lower end of the valley he knew that one of the overland trails ran, and he was aware that no settler had yet been bold enough to make a home in that vicinity, few caring to go far from the mining camps or army outposts. So occupied was he in looking toward the lower end of the vallev that he failed to observe a more interesting sight nearer, until a growl from Grip caused him to fol low the eyes of the hound, who was looking sheer down beneath him. 1 The sight that the scout beheia seemed to please him, for his face lighted up with a smile. What he saw was a level meadow encircled by a flow ing stream. It was close under the ridge, and upon the meadow were staked a number of horses, feeding upon the rich grass that grew there in abundance. Nearer in under the ridge was a, and in it the scout counted fifteen forms. The was a temporary one, for there were no tents, cabins or wickyups, but merely severai-fires, around which the men were gathered eating their evening meal. The trail which the scout had been following led down the ridge-side to the valley below. But for Grip it would have been Jost a score of times, never to haYe been regained, as the nature of the ground had been such no human being could have followed it. But Grip's nose never failed in following the scent, and Buffalo Bill patted him on the head and said: "You true as steel, Grip, and you brought me to the right spot." It was yet nearly an hour to sunset, at least from where the scout was on the ridge, though the shadows in the valley had begun to deepen already. From his ooint of lookout Buffalo Bill could see the little, he himself remained unseen. He had fastened his horses back on the ridge, where they had good feeding, and, with Grip by his side, was watching the movements in the camp below. There were fifteen men, thirteen of whom were in the uniform and helmets of the Hussars, and not a visor did he see up-even though they were in camp-further than to permit of their ea.ting their supper. Taking his glass, the scout turned it upon the party, and then. off under a tree, he discovered a sixteenth per son, busy about a small frre. There, too, was a pack saddle and a camp table. This man also was in the uniform of the Masked Hus sars, but even though engaged in cooking he wore the brass helmet. Two of the men about the other fires were, however, without a uniform. One of these was, as Buffalo Bill plainly saw, his cap tive Indian, Fighting Fox, who had been rescued the night before from the guardhouse of Fort Advance by Major :..fephisto.


THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. He was in his chief's costume now, though it was pretty; much worn after his confinement in the guardhouse. Ee stood slightly apart, talking to one whose tall form and erect bearing showed him to be the leader of the Masked Hussars, Major Mephisto, who had warned the scout against trailing him. Leaning against a tree not far distant from where stood j\fajor Mephisto and the Indian chief, was a man in uni form. The scout turned his glass upon him for a long time, and then murmured slowly to hi1;nself: "He is bound, and he is the soldier that Major Me phisto brought from the fort with him, the man who was on guard over the Fighting Fox. "I will see what can be done to rescue him to-night." So saying the scout led his horses back to a good camping place, made them secure, fed Grip and tied him to a tree, placing a muzzle upon him to prevent his making any sound, and then went back to the ridge bluff. During his absence the prisoner in uniform had been released from his bonds and was eating his supper, while one of the Masked Hussars stood near waiting for him to finish the meal. Riding away from the camp was Fighting Fox, having just parted from Major Mephisto, who had appar ently gone to get him one of the horses staked out on the meadow. "I shall see what can be clone for that soldier to night," muttered the scout a second time; and he went back to his solitary camp to eat his supper as the night gathered about him. CHAPTER II. A DARING DEED. It looked as black as jet in the valley to Buffalo Bill, as he returned to the ridge bluff and looked down. The fires twinkled as they smoldered, now and then a flame springing up to die out in an instant. The scout had prepared himself for the daring trip he had contemplated by taking off his boots and replacing them with a pair of mocca:sins. He also took off his coat and sombrero, placing a cap upon his head. His rifle was slung at his back, and his revolvers and knife were in his belt, while a lariat was held in one hand. He had noted the trail that Jed to the valley while it was light, so that he had no difficulty in making his way down and around the side of the hill-the way that he knew Major Ylephisto., the Indian and the prisoner had gone. Arriving at a position near the camp he remained watching for some time. The flame i11 of the fires flashed up for a moment, as though for h i s benefit, and he spied the camping place of the chief, near him a man lying, who was without doubt the one he had seen cooking at the fire off to itself, and in a group benea_th a large tree were the men. "They are not all there. Some are lying elsewhere, or have gone off on guard duty, so I mu s t be very careful," he said. .Creep_iog_ &till neareri he .w.aited until the flickering again flashed up in flame, and he s aw the prisQner lying at the tree to which he had been bound. To reach him would' be dangerous in the extreme, but Buffalo Bill meant to try it. While the flame burned he took in the entire situation, and then, going nearer, he remained for a long time wait ing and watching. 'Fires are treacherous. for when one thinks they are out, up bursts a flame, so I must not be caught that way," he said. 1 Feeling convinced that the fires had died out, he at last began to move along toward the tree. He had noticed a wash in the ground that led near the tree, and, getting into this, he made his way to within twenty feet of the prisoner. Not thirty feet off in another direction were the Hussars asleep on their blankets, and he felt that a chain of sentinels were around the camp and horses, excepting on the side toward the bluff. "Now or never," he muttered, grimly and he wormed himself along on the ground toward the tree. He was within three feet of the prisoner, when he saw him start, and he knew that the soldier was awake and had seen him. 'Sh! I am Buffalo Bill," he whispered. "Thank God! you have come to save me, came the an swering whisper. The scout drew nearer and held out his hand with the knife in it, and quickly the bonds on the wrist were severed. Then those that held the ankles were cut. ''Now fix your blanket to appear as though you were under it, and creep after me, but make no sound." 1'he soldier obeyed, and the gully was reached in safety. Here they remained for a moment, and then once more the scout was about to move on when sud denly his quick 1 eye detected a form coming through the darkness. Lying quiet, they saw him approach the sleeping men and call up five of them. These arose and started away silently, while the man who had aw:1kened them threw himself down upon the blankets just vacated. "They are changing guard, for it is midnight. Some of them are awake, so we dare not leave this gully until the others return go to sleep. But if it comes to a run, follow me when I give the word," whispered Buffalo Bill. "I will do as you say, sir responded the soldier. In five minutes, forms weie seen approaching through the darkness and coming toward the camp There were four of them, the fifth man come in to arouse the relief to go out to their posts. The four passed near the tree where the prisoner was supposed to and then went and joined their sleeping comrades, throwing themselves down to rest . It seemed to the soldier ages that Buffalo Bill waited, but the latter was as patient as an Indian, and not until he was sure that the Hussars were all asleep again did he stir from the gully Then he crept out, the soldier close at his heels, and at last the shelter of the trees at the base of the bluff was reached. .Goi1).g u _p, trail at as raP,id a g,ait spldier cQ.uld


ng re st e l1 f BUFFALO BILL STORIES 5 follow, they soon reached the place where the scout had believed that he was secretly a friend of the Masked left his horses and the hound. Hu!sar, to have been so readily surprised on his post. He told the soldier to mount and then started along the "You are back, sir?" ridge, going slowly and cautiously. "Yes, colonel, and glad to get back, sir." It was fully an hour before they reached a broad trail "What excuse have you for leaving your post?" that crossed the mountain, and here Buffalo Bill halted. "Colone l Yulee, I was no more expecting danger than "Now, my man, this trail will lead you to the stage you are now, sir I was walking up and down, from station twelve miles from Fort Advance, and this horse corner to corner of the guardhouse, when I was suddenly will carry you there in four hours if you push him. knocked down. The guardhouse lamp over the door was Please say to Colonel Yulee that I continue on, and send burning, sir, and I saw that the man was in uniform and you back to report. Do you understand, my man?" wore a mask. He thrust a revolver to my head, and told ''Yes, sir." me he would fire if I uttered a word, and then he forced a "Now let me ask you if you know the man who made gag into my mouth and drew up the sleeve of my left you a prisoner?" arm. 'I thought I was not mistaken when I saw your "His men call him Major Mephisto, sir." face,' he said to me, and then he tied my arms behind my ''You know him by no other name?" back, and a more powerful devil I never saw, sir. "No, sir." ''Then he unlocked the door, sir, and called to the Injun, ''Why did he make you a prisoner?" speaking in the Sioux tongue and he made the redsJcin "He said he would tell me before I was shot." put on a uniform that he pulled out of the chest there, ''Ah! but he knew you?" and put him on one side of me, telling me if I made any "He seemed to recognize me, sir, when he made me resistance he would knife me. prisoner at the guardhouse." "He then led the way to the gate, and, getting there, ''Have you any mark on your left arm, my man?" I saw that Dennis Lester was gagged and bound in the '"V.TeU, yes, sir." sentry -bo x. Going out on the prairie, we came to two "What is it?" horses staked out, and I mounted one, the Indian spr\ng''There is tattooed in my arm a skull and crossbones in ing up behind me, and Major Mephisto rode the other black, with a chain of red links surrounding it." animal. After a long ride the Indian walked, and then I "A strange device." was forced to, and in that way we kept on into the moun-The man made no reply, and Buffalo Bill said: tains until we came to the camp of the Hussars, about "Now be off, and I advise you not to tarry." noon the next day. "But, Mr. Cody, I wish to thank you for saving my ''I was tied to a tree, sir, and, knowing I was to be life, and :y-ou took a fearful risk to do so, sir." killed, for Major Mephisto said he would ha\je me shot, "We all have to take risks upon the border; but now and tell m.e why when the time came, I could not sleep, good-night, and I am. sorry I have no saddle and bridle and was lying awake, when I saw something dark creepfor you, but the blanket and lariat will serve in their place, ing toward me. The Hussars were only a short distance and I have an extra revolver you can have, as you may off, and the guards were around the camp; but I thought rieecl it." it was a panther or bear, and, being bound, I was a!5out The soldier held out his hand, and wrung the scout's to call out, when I saw that it was a man." warmly in farewell. / ''Buffalo Bill, by all that's holy!" cried Colonel Yulee, Then the two parted, the soldier retuming to the fort excitedly. and Buffalo Bill penetrating further into the mountains. "Yes, sir, and he saved me, though while we were lying \i\Tben the rescued soldier rode up to the gates of the there in a gully the guard was changed; but the scout fort his horse showed that he had been pressed hard, for had made me fix my blanket to look as though I was he was covered with foam, and panted heavily. under it, and my absence was not noticed." ''The splendid fellow," said the colonel. The rider had not spared him, in his anxiety to reach "So I think, sir; but he took me to where his horses a place of safety, and had not tarried at the stage station were and r10de with me to the stage trail. Then he put longer than to learn the nearest trail to the fort. me on his extra horse, gave me this revolver, and told me His coming had been reported to the officer of the day, to come back and report to you that he was going on after and taptain Vaughan had been sent for, and recognized the Hussars." with his glass the man who had been captured by Major "\IVell, Van Dorn, you have had a close call, and you while on duty at the guardhouse. owe your life to Buffalo Bill. "\!Veil, Van Dorn, you are back again, I am glad to see, "I will not have you punished for being captured on and it looks as if you had escaped from Major 'SIIephisto," your post but be careful not to be caught napping again." said Captain Vaughan. "I will, sir." ''I have, sir, but not by myself. Could I see the colonel, ''Do you know who this man is who calls himself Major sir?" a11swered the soldier. Mephisto ?" ''Yes; I will take you to him. "No, sir." Now Van Dorn was not a soldier that was very pop"Diel he give you no reason for your capture?" ular in the fort. ''No, sir." He was a surly fellow, and one of a number who had "But he meant to kill you?" enlisted upon the border and who had given considerable "So he said, sir." trouble on account of their recklessness and unruly ways. "And the Indian?" :._ Colonel )'.ulee

8 THE BUFF ALO Bl LL STORIES. him a horse, and he started for the camp of Red Heart, the Renegade." "Did you see this Mephisto's face?" "No, sir." "Nor the faces of any of his men?" "No, sir, for they were kept constantly hidden by the mask on the helmet." "Well, you can go now," and Colonel Yulee turned to Lieutenant Otey, a recent arrival at the fort, who had joined the army from civilian life, who just then entered. "Well, Otey, what is it?" "Colonel Yulee, have you not had the key of Sergeant Drew's cabin until you gave it to me an hour ago, sir?" Sergeant Drew was a soldier who had quarreled with Lieutenant Otey, his superior officer, for some mysterious reason, and shot him, wounding him severely. He had been sentenced to die, but had been pardoned. Buffalo Bill, who brought the pardon, had arrived at the fort just as Sergeant Dudley Drew was being executed. Several rifles were discharged, and the sergeant was seen to It was never known whether he was killed or only wounded, as a band of Indians had attacked the fort at the same moment. After the savages had been beaten off no trace could be fouqd of the sergeant, and it was supposed that the redskins had carried him off in order to torture him. Sergeant 'Drew had been a mysterious man, evidently of great education, and much above the ordinary soldiers in refinement. Every one supposed that he had some bitter quarrel with Lieutenant Otey before either of them entered the army. He had received permission to live in a cabin him self, which he had decorated with pictures of his own painting, as he was something of an artist. It was this cabin that Lieutenant Otey had just been examining. "Yes, Otey," said the colonel, in answer to his question. "No one e.lse has had it?" "No, for it has been kept in my private desk." "'\Vho locked it up, sir?" "Vaughan did, at m y request." Turning to Captain Vaughan, who was present, Lieu tenant Otey asked : "Ca ptain, will you oblige me by going with me to see if all in that cabin is as you left it?" "Certainly," and Grayson Vattghan walked out with the ordnance officer In a short while they returned. and Captain Vaughan said: ''Some one has been there, colonel." "You are sure ?0 "Yes, sir, for a number of things are gone." "Among them a most beautiful portrait which the ser geant had painted of some lady friend," Hobart Otey re marked. "There can be no mistake, Vaughan?" "None, colonel for I left all there in very different shape from what I found them, I assure you." "There were a pair of rapiers, some dueling pistols, the sergeant's belt of arms, and numerous other things that I saw there, are not there now, colonel," Hobart Otey ob served. "Well, I will have the matter looked into, ai1d if they h ave been taken by any; one in the fort, they can be found; but is not that a courier, \T.aughan ?" and Colonel Yulee looked out of the window as he spoke, his eyes resting upon a horseman who had just ridden into the fort. The man was a courier, and, entering headquarters, hand'ed to Colonel Yulee his dispatches. Having glanced over the official papers, Colonel Y ulee picked up a letter addressed in a very beautiful feminine hand. His face brightened, and then clouded as he read it, and he turned, as was his wont, to his adjutant: "Vaughan." '"Yes, sir." "I have a letter here from my

THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 7 Jee and m;my people forced .to travel that way were fearful of massacre. Then the :Masked Hussars had won a fearful name as rs, ) desperate knights of the road, though, excepting their attack on soldiers, not an act of bloodshed could be placed ee against them, nor had they robbed the passenger in a e single instance. Still, the Indians and the Hussars were a nightmare to passengers, and travel on the overla11d trails was entered upon with fear and tremblitlg. ng t, At one of the stations a stage was standing one rnprn ing, waiting to start on its tun through the mountains. It was a breakfast station, and a wretched place at that, for only hit! a dozen log cabins joined together com prised what was known as the "Prairie Hotel." There were log stables, a saloon, blacksmith shop, and a few scattering cabins of hardy settlers, and these in toto were .known as Prairie City. The driver of the coach about to go over the mountain trail was known as Reckless Ben, and he had won his name from his sheer recklesshess in the face of dangers which he had been .. forced to meet in his half-dozen years of stage-driving. He was a giant in size, sttong as a lion, quick to use his weapons in necessity, and a shot. He dtove four spl.endid horses to his coach, which was painted in the highest degree of art, according to his views, but did not look unlike a rainbow as far as colors were concerned. He '"'.a? patiently waiting for the incoming stage across the prames, when he would take the passengers and mail brought in, and start on his drive of sixty miles to the prairies beyond the mountain spur, and which would carry him within twelve miles of Fort Advance. He was calmly smoking his pipe when a stranuer walked up and saluted him politely: ::> "You in .last night, didn't yer, pard, fer I thought I seen :ver ncle mter ther hotel stables?" he said to the st::anger. "Yes, a1:d I tried to find you last night, but could not, as they said you had gorie to a dance at anbther settle ment," the stranger replied. "So I heel, pat'cl, fer thar was new settlers come in thar and they had darters with 'em and gals is skeerce these parts and I does iike ter sling a hoof in a Virginnv reel an' sich." "T hope you had a good ti11ie, sir.11 "J .rid fifteen mile ter git thar, danced ontil four o'clock, rid back her(', and I jist fee1 k>Yely, and will go ag'in, for thar is a female critter that T tuk a shine to, and I is a marryin' man, pard." ''I i10pe to be at your wcd

THE BU ff J\LO BILL STORIES. turned to the large, sagacious-looking homJd that he had just led out of the stable. In obedience the noble animal went up over the wheel to the box, and laid down out of sight in the boot. "I'll be keerful all ther same not ter put my foot on his tail in mistake fer the'r brake," said Reckless Ben. The young lady passenger now came out, and she was kindly assisting the old woman, who seemed in feeble health, while she remarked: "I eope I can stand it to get to the end of the road, whery my boy is in the mines. When he sent for me to come to him, that he was getting rich, I don't think he knew I was getting old, miss." "Oh, you will soon recuperate after you get there," said the young lady, in a pleasant tone, and she the other into the stage, just as the stranger stepped forward to offer his services. "Thank you, sir," and the maiden glanced up into the handsome face of the stranger. The miner and soldier now got in, the stranger fol lowed, and with a crack of his whip Reckless Ben sent his six-in-hand on their followed, as was the custom of Prairie citizens, by a whoop from those who were congregated about the "hotel" to see the stage depart. In fact, that was the event of Prairie City. On rolled the coach, moving toward the Lone Moun tain range rising in the distance, and which was yet miles away. The seat of the s tranger wa s in front directly opposite to the maiden, and the soldier and the 1i.1i11er also occupied a seat in front with him. The two ladies occupied the rear seat, the center one be ing folded up and not in use. The soldier asked several questions regarding the coun try, which the stranger answered, and this caused the young lady to also make inquiries regarding the overland trails, and the distance she would have to travel to reach Fort Advance after leaving the coach. The stranger gave her all the information she wished in a quiet way that was very winning, and she was em boldened to say : "And how will I reach tne fort sir, after leaving the stage for I have not notified m y father of my coming? 1 d I am a daughter of Colonel Yu ee, the comman ant ''I am going to the fort, ::viiss Yulee, and will inform Your father that you are at the station or I will be glad to offer myself as an escort, if you will accept of my services." .. "I should be glad to do so, thank you, sit, I am most anxious to reach my home, for I may call it so; as an army officer has no home, I suppose but the garrison where he is stationed; but will yon tell me something of those terrible Masked Hussars that I hear s o much abou t all along the way?" "Thev are a band of road agents under a skillful leader who seems to be seeking revenge rather than "But rev e nge against whom?" "The army, for his blows have been against soldiers, and his r e venge lies against them." "He is the soldiers' foe, then?" "Yes, Miss Yulee." "But what motive can he hav e of revenge?" "Tha

e \ ) I / THE BU ff ALO BILL 8 I At noon they stopped at the mountain station to change the horses and get .dinner. A rest of an hour was made, but the leaders were again put back in the team, with four fresh horses be hind them. But the Jeaders seemed not to mind this at all, for they appeared equally as fresh as the new and Reckless Ben seemed to have spared them all he could. As they were getting into the coach to s art again, a hor seman suddenly dashed by at full speed. He was clad in uniform, and the stranger sai, and she cried: "Spare him, sir_. I beg of yo\1, for he is one of my father's command." "Your father, lady?" "Yes, sir." "His name, please." "Colonel Y ulee.' "I cannot spare this man, Miss Ynlee, for he must die." "My dear sir, will you not make an exception in your revenge this time, for the sake of the ladies present?" said the stranger. Major Mephisto now turned his gaze full upon the speaker, :mcl said in a stern voice: "Buffalo Bill, do not tax my patience with you too far." "Buffalo Bill!" The name \Vas uttered by each one in the coach in their amazement at finding out who the handsome stranger was. "Yes, that's him! that's Buf'ler Bill!" cried Reckless Ben, who had gotten down from the box and was stand ing on the step of the coach, looking in the window opposite to the Hussar. "Yes, I know that it is Buffalo Bill, for we have met before said Major Mephisto. :We meet too often to please me, Major :Mephisto," said the scout with a meaning look. "l could have killed you several rifghts ago." ;Ah!" "Yes." ; 'Where and how?" "Jn your camp in the Meadow Valley."' "Ha you were there, then ?" "Did you not miss a prisoner?" "By Heaven! but you released that soldier?" "I did." "That was the boldest act of your bold iile, Buffalo Bill." The scout laughed. "I went into Fort Advarice to rescue a.n Indian --"


10 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. "One I captured r" "Yes, and. I knew he was being held for the good conduct of that renegade whit e chief o f the Sioux, Reel Heart. .I feared Red Heart w o uld do some act to get Fighting Fox out of the way, for he is next to the rene gade in rank, and so I determined to free him . I ri s k e d my life to enter the fopt--" "And that was the boldest act of your lif e ; Major Mephisto." "Oh, no, C o dy, for I have d o ne the same thir\g before." "You have?" 'Yes. "It was n o t know n ''The sentinel 011 duty seeing that f did no damage, kept i t to himself that I caught him on his po s t, bound and gagged him until 1 came out. I recognized in the guard over Fighting F o x one I wanted, and I forced hitn to go with me. I w o uld have shot him at sunrise ; and you rescued him in the night." ' Yes, I saved you from committing one murder, at least." I shail catch him again, mark my words. " I think not. "Wait and see; but how did you follow me 111 the night, and even keep my trail b y day?" ''I'have good eyes for trailing outlaws, was the stern reto r t. D o n o t be severe, Buffalo Bill for you know not what impels my actions in this matter." "Some day I will find ou1." 'Never. "We shall see ; but to t'he question at hand; will you not spare this man?". .. I will n ot." "Not at the request of these lad ies ?" "No, nnder no consideration will I spare him. He must di e," and the voice fairly rang out the words. "How have I wronged you ?" crieC: the poor soldier. \ V hen you face your executioners, sir, you shall !mow wh y it i s I sentence you to death. C ome, you are delaying the stage. Get out, know that you have but ten live, so make your peace with your if you hop e for niercy for yo .ur gilty soul." The soldier seemed with terror; -O.:ut Buffalo Bill said:. . . Co me, m y man, if you are forced to face death do it l i k e a man, for we all have to die, and must not shi r k it like a c oward. T he WQrds seemed to help the rpan, for he looked up a n d said: 'But must I die?" ''You must!" was the stern respo n s e of l\ r Me1:ihisto "It's 12;0t 10 be did, pard, so brace up and haive son1e s ty l e a b out ycr said Reckless Ben. "lin t \ 'O U c a n sa n m e Buffalo Bill!" cried the soldier .. r cailno t." Y o u are calle d the bravest of the brave, you are arme d an d w i th the driver, the re are five of us so let us fight th e m." ).f y fri end, Buffalo Bill i s th e braves t of the brave, aml y et h e is no foQl, for I have around this c9ach men, arme d to the teeth and it would be certain death to re s ist me Io y ou must die and if y o u will not die as bec o m es one who wears y(lur uniform, then I will yo u dragge d out, tied to a tree and shot, said the Hussar. ''If die I must, I will face death as becom e s my uni form. 1 have been a bad man in the pa. t, and I hoped to redeem my life as a soldier ; but say it s hall not be I am read y Major Meph isto. " Bravo, p"ard, you has got grit arter all cried Reckless B e n w hile Buffalo Bill grasped his hand, and remarked: ' Well said, Soldier Pard, and I will go with you t o t h e la s t m o m e nt, if Major M e phisto will permit." 'I will sir for the sake of the man s last words,' for I admire pluck. I am glad I will not have to execute a coward, as I feared," wa!l th e repl y "Give me your name, and I will t e ll m y father how you died, said Ethel Yul ee, o ffering her hand. "His name was Henry Jackson, Miss Yulee; b u t he ha:;; doubtless changed it for certain reasons," said Major Mephisto ''You do know me," the soldier said, with surprise. Ye s that is why I kill you." ":My name is Henry Jackson, miss; but in the army I a m enli s t e d as Jack Henderson, and I belong to Captai n Vaughan' s cavalry company bu t have been East on / a furlough for some week s r thank you miss, and g o od-by." The old lady then gras p e d his hand with a simple: 'God bless you!'' Then he sprang out of the coach, while Reckless Ben said in his quaint way: Good luck, pard, whar yer is goin', and I guesses it's Scriptur' ef yer repents o' yer onery deeds, and dies game, yer soul will strike ther right trail when it shakes yer body fer good. The soldi e r walked b oldly to the rear of the coach Buffalo Bill acc ompanied him and on each side of the ve hicle every other Hussar drew his horse back and rode al s o to the sce ne which Major p o inted out for the e:x:eclttion ground. The old lady sat back we eping in the corner of the coach, and Ethel Yulee with white, stern face, looked out of the windbw, unable to resist the fa s cination of the strange scene. As though well drilled in thei r work, t h e six Hussars dre w up in line at one side of the road, and Buffalo Bill walked with the soldier to the spot which Major J.\1e phisto pointed out. CHAPTER IV. AV EK GED. The sold ie r had now gained his nerve and was perf e ctly calm. I {is fa ce was white. but his mus cle s were firm, and he s aid with a sad smile to Buffalo Bill: ' I wish I h a d take n your advice, s ir. "I w i s h so fro m m y h eart; but, m y friend thongh it may b e p oo r co n so la t i o n t o you to know it now, the time w ill co m e wh e n thes e Hussa rs will re ac h the end of their rope," s a i d t h e s c out, ste rnl y I know not whv h e has me shot > bu he told me he would tell m e b efo re I di e d.


\fHE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 11 "Is there anything I can do for you, my friend?" s !'Yes, sir; take these papers and my watch and chain to Captain Vaughan, and he will send them back to my d young wife, for I was only married three weeks ago, and had thirty days' leave to go and come; but I'll never get 0 . back now." "Kindl y step one side, Mr. Cody," called out Major 1\'1.ephisto, and the scout grasped the hand ot the soldier. "Be brave, for it will be over at once. You are a brave fellow, and Colonel Yulee shall know all. Good-by." Buffalo Bill stepped to one side as he spoke, folded his arms upon his broad chest, and gazed upon the scene with unmoved face. What he felt he did not show. The soldier stood erect, his face calm, but livid, and his eyes turned upon his executioners. Then the Hussar chief dismounted, and walkeQ. to the side of the doomed man, opposite to that on which stood the scout, and, turning, he called ou : "Attention, Hussars!" The six horsemen sat upright and faced the doomed soldier. "Draw!" Their hands dropped upon their holsters, and six re volvers were drawn forth. Then Major Mephisto stepped quickly to the side of the !>oldier and said something in a low tone. The soldier started, and gazing at the Hussar chief's masked face, cried excitedly: "No, no, not yon?" "Yes." Then came the order in a voice that rung through the mountains: "One, two, three, fire!" The six revolvers flashed as one weapon, and the six bullets almost went as one into the forehead of the soldier. Without a moan, he sank in his tracks, and :\1ajor Me phisto said, calmly: "For the courage that man showed, bury him, and do not leave his body for the prowling wolves.'' The six horsemen rode up to the body, and, dismount ing, bore it away. "Now, Major Mephisto, I suppose we are at liberty to go on our way?" said Buffalo Bill. ;.Not vet, sir."' "Do )".Ou seek another victim?" "No, sir, not a yictim.'' "\Vhat then?" "A hostage."' "\Vho do you want as a hostage?" 'One of the passengers."' 'And a hostage for what?" 'For one I desire to get possession of." 'J snppose that yoi.1 wish to keep me as a hostage?" "::\ o." The two stood by the of the coach, antl all heard what was said. 'J trust this miner does not wear lhe mark that seems to have the same effect upon ,vou that a red rag has on a bu!!?"' "'Yon are inclined to be facetious, l\.fr. Cody. Dut that miner docs not wear the fatal tattoo, for, as I said, I never for,;ct a ial:e, and I m:ver saw him before to-day." "You surely are not going to deprive us of our driver, Reckless Ben ?" "No; thonglr I found a driver once who had the fatal tattoo, and he shared the fate of your soldier comrade." ''Then who, sir, is it that you claim for a hostage?" "Miss Yulee:" "\Vhat !" and Buffalo Bill's face flashed up with a dangerous ligh:. ''Yes, sir, I shall claim Miss Yulee as a hostage." "Be a man and take me. By Heaven, step off there ten paces and meet me, and let it decide >Yhether you shall do so cowardly an act," cried the scout. ''Be calm, Mr. Cody, for I am no coward. I mean no harm to !\fiss Y nlee. "I wish to take her as a hostage that this red work may encl, and I shall make a _demand upon her father, and see what the result will be." "rviy father is poor, sir, and can pay no large ransom for ive," said Ethel, with a manner that was strangdy calm. ''The ransom I ask, Miss Yulee, is not gold, but flesh and blood." "\\That do you mean, sir?" The Hussar chief took from his pocket an envelope and a sheet of paper. Upon the latter he 'wrote a few lines, placed it in the envelope, and sealed it. This he addressed to COLONEL YULEE, Commandant Fort Advance. Kindbess BUFFALO BILL, Chief 0 Scouts. "Mr. Cody, if you will deliver that to Colonel Yttlee, he will give you an answer. That answer you can bring to me by this stagecoach, or you can give it to Reckless Ben to deliver to me. Upon the response of Colonel Yulec de pends his daughter's freedom. Buffalo Bill took the envelope and placed it in hi s pocket, while he said: "Let me be your hostage, Major Mephisto, to gain what point you wish." No; Miss Y ulee alone will do." "I will go, Mr. Cody, so do not say more; bttt I s uppos e ( I can at least carry my traveling satchel with me, if I am to be your prisoner, Major Mephisto?" "Certainly, Miss Yul ee, fo r my desire is to treat yo u in every respect as you deserve." "Take me, sir, for I am an old woman, and s h e is a dear young girl who--" "You won't do, madam," was the laconic response of the Hussar chief, though he added: "I thank you, however, for yom offe r." There was grim humor in this that seeme d to amuse Reckless Ben; but his smile faded when Major Mephisto said, sternly : r am ready for my hos-tage, Miss Yulee." "I am ready, sir," and Ethel Yulee was as cool as an icicle, as she stepped from the coach, after bidding her feminine companion good-by. "I say, major, yer is kinder crowdin' things in

12 iHE BUFF ALO B ILL STORlr:S. coach, I is down on yer fer keeps,., and Reckless Ben spoke in very earnest tones. "I mean the lady not the slightest hat1n, Ben, and I shall treat her with the respect that I would my mother; but I w'ish Colonel Yulee to grant me certain demands I have asked him in my note, and I take his daughter as a hostage to force him to do so." "My father is not ol1e to be driven to do anything, you will find," said Ethel, with spirit. "Where his daughter, an only child is at stake, he will yield, I think," was Major Mephisto's response. ''Well, I thinks it's a mean trick, and some day when I hears you is hanged, I'll be glad," said Reckless Ben. The Hussar chief laughed lightly, and replied: "Come, Ben, hand out the baggage that this lady wishes to carry with her. "I am sorry I have no side saddle for you, Miss Yulee, as you will have to ride .. "My own saddle I brought with me, and it is wit.1 the bridle and my riding habit in that hamper," said Ethel. She gave the key to Reckless Ben, and the articles were taken out, the maiden throwing the skirt over her head and fastening it about her waist. One of the Hussars then dismounted, and the side sad dle and bridle were placed on his horse, and Ethel was lifted to her saddle by Buffalo Bill, who whispered: "Keep up a good heart, for I will be on your trail within the hour." "Thank you," she whispered. The satchel which the maiden wished to carry was then handed out and slung to the saddle of another of the Masked Hussars. ''You can drive on now, Ben, and, Mr. Cody, the sooner you deliver that letter to Colonel Yulee that much sooner will his daughter regain her freedom." "It shall be delivered in good time, Mephisto," was the scout's reply, as he raised his sombrero to Ethel. Then Ben called to his horse and the coach rolled on, Buffalo Bill on the box with the driver. "W aal, pard, wasn't thet done prime?" "Yes, Ben ; that is a dangerous man to have on a trail," replied the scout. "But hain't he a gentleman?" 'He certainly possesses very elegant manners." ''He nailed thet poor soldier?" ''Yes." "And he got ther colonel's darter." "He has, indeed; but he may not be able to hold her." "Not ef you takes ther trail, Bill; but lordy, hain't I glad ter meet yer, and say I knows yer now, for I has heerd of you for years. Does yer know, I has heerd so much o' your

ifHE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 13 er He looked life one who ha d ridden hara, ana he said,_ iickly: ti-" Are you ther colonel, sir?" t"Yes, my man." 1 ''I has a letter here fer you as Reckless Ben give to me bout sunrise ter give ter your own hands only, and he t Id me not to let ther grass grow under me while I were s -comin", and I didn t. "Who are you, my man?" asked the colonel, as the ourier was fumbling for the letter d "I is Stable Joe, up at the old Hearse Sta1ion." "And who is Reckless Ben?" "Lordy hain't yer heerd o' Reckless Ben?" ro. "Then yer is a way back in ignorince, fer Reckless Ben are ther boss driver on ther Overland, and runs ther dog- gondest rainbow hearse I ever seen. He sails out o' Prairie City, and keeps clean through to Land End City, nd--"' "But the letter." "Yas, here it are, fer it got mixed inter my duds in ome way, Pard Colonel," and the odd genius handed out 'the letter which Buffalo Bill had given to Reckless Ben to forward for him. He give me a twenty fer bringin' it, too, and thar's a answer to go back." "All right. I will call you when it is ready." "Orderly!" "Yes, sir." ''Take Mr. Stable Joe out and have him given a good supper anc: his horse feel." "Thet's music," said Stable Joe, with a grin, as he fol lowed the orderly, whom he seemed to think was a greater personage than the colonel. Hastily breaking open the envelope, Colonel Yulee glanced at the contents, and his face became pale. Then he said : 'Vaughan, listen to this. "It is from Cody," and he read aloud the scout's let ter, telling of the death of the soldier, the capture of Miss Ynlee, and Buffalo Bill's intenti<;m of trailing the Hussars. ":.\1 v God! what a blow!" cned the colonel, as he fin ishe<:l 'reading the letter. "How fortunate, sir, that Cody was there!" "Fortunate indeed! but I feel assured he will do all man can do. "My poor child! how she must suffer!" "He will treat her with respect, sir; but what of Major Mephisto 's letter?" "True, what of his letter?" and the colonel quickly tore open, though the brave man's hand trembled as it did so, as no deadly peril to himpelf could have caused it to tremble. In a bold hand was written as follows: OVERLAND TRAIL, Friday. COLONEL ROYAL YuLEE, Commandant Fort Advance. SIR :-This will be placed in your hands by your chief of scouts, Buffalo Bill and I write to inform you that I have in my keeping your daughter, Miss Yulee, whom I will hold as a hostage until you grant my demand upon you. That demand is that you deliver into my hands an officer now in your command. If he is a man he will consent to it, rather than have me hold for one moment your daughter captive. If he is not, you will have to deliver him to me If you

l'HE BU ff ALO BILL STORIES. ''Have you seen Otey?" "I just sent for him." "He can do but one thing." "And that?" "Give himself up." "You think so?" "By Heaven! Colonel Yulee, there is nothing else as a man that he can do." so Vaughan says." "So any one but a cowar d would say, sir." "It being my child that is in the hands of the outlaws, and one of my officers whom the demand is made upon, 1 am not a competent judge as to what should be done." "I am, sir, and I say frankly that Otey is a coward if he hesitates an instant," hotly said the gallant surgeon. "But this Mephisto may mean to kill him." "It matters not, sir; he has no right to hesitate when Miss Y ulee is held for his sake." "But will he?" anxiously asked the colonel. "He shall certainly not hesitate frnm not knowing what I deem it his duty as a man, a soldier, an officer to do." "Nor mine," added Captain Vaughan, glad to be so strongiy backed up by the bold surgeon. "I am glad to have your opinion, so please remain, but say nothing until Otey has been thoroughly put to the test. "Vaughan, please ask Lieutenant Otey to come in, for he is outside." A moment after Lieutenant Otey entered. He looked a trifle pale, and seemed nervous at being sent for at so late an hour. "I had retired, Colonel Y ulee, and so was forced to detain you, sir," he said. ''You are in ample time, Lieutenant Otey. "Be seated, please." The officer obeyed, glancing quickly at Captain Vaughan and then at Surgeon Powell, to see what it all meant. But their faces revealed nothing, and Colonel Yulee continued: "Lieutenant Otey, I have here two very strange letters, and they concern me vitally, as well as yourself, and I desire that you read their contents thoroughly and see what is best to be done. ''This one is from Buffalo Bill." The lieutenant took the letter, and his hand a tremor as he did so. He read it through without a word, but when he was handed the second letter his face turned livid, and his hand trembled so he rested his arms upon the table. "This is infamous, Colonel Yulee," he said, fiercely. '.'It is, Lieutenant Otey." "Why, that man is a fool to wish to get me into his power through holding Miss Yulee as a hostage." "It is a remarkable proceeding, sir; but who is this Major Mephisto, Otey?" "I cannot tell you, sir." "Cannot, or will lJOt ?" "I do not know. sir." "Have you no enemy that you could place as this man?" ":>l'one, sir." "You are sure?" "Unless it be--" "Who?" "That Sergeant Drew." "Sergeant Drew was executed, Lieutenant Otey." "It has never been proven, sir, that he was killed." "T _hese "He must have been killed, or wounded at least an,ho s the Indians carried him off." "His body was not found, sir." "True; but why do you suspect this Major of being Sergeant Drew?" ew "I hardly know, sir." for "vVhy should Sergeant Drew be the soldiers' foe tha this man is?" the ''I cannot tell, sir." \ 'And what has Sergeant Drew against you now, Otey if he be alive?" "I do not know, Colonel Yulee." po' \Vell, Lieutenant Otey, what can we do in this mat ''I am at a loss to tell you, sir," was the low reply, anasu11 at his words. the eyes of Frank Powell flashed ominously. Lieutenant Otey seemed deeply moved at the positionfo he found himself in, and he glanced furtivelJ at the colonel, and then at the two other officers. He saw that Colonel Yulee wore a stern expression, and Captain Vaughan had a sneer upon his lip; but the expression on Frank Powell's face he liked least of all. u "Lieutenant Otey, this is a most unfortunate affair, sir," yo said the colonel, breaking the ice after the last remark of the officer, which showed that he had not entertained the th ?f going. to give himself up to release Miss Yulee.}, ''It 1s mdeed, sir." "It seems that you could tell me mbre about this maty ter if you would." "\Vhat more could I tell you, sir?" "That is what I wish to know, lieut enant, just what ti you can tell." e "I can tell nothing, sir." a "You surely know if you have any enemy 1vl10 would o do so desperate a deed to get yo u into his power." "1 suggested the sergeant, sir." "He was not unfriendly to me, sir, so why capture my daughter, for I tried hard to save him?" t "Yes, sir, I know that the court-martial tried to pre) vent his execution, though compelled to sentence him." "It was becat\se they thought there were circumstances in the favor of the sergeant that did not come out at the trial. He held his lips, and you said nothing, and it was not understood how he could delibei:ately have run his sword into you, meeting you out in the timber as he did, and then placed himself in jeopardy by bringing you home." "I could not understand his strange action, sir." "unless it was manliness in him," quietly said Surgeon Powell. "Well, Otey, what are we to do, for, be the man whom he is, he holds my daughter in his power on your ac count?" "If you will let me take a company, sir, I will attempt her rescue." "Buffalo Bill says nothing must be done." "He is not the best judge, as he prefers to rescue her alone and thus add to his fame." "Well, he has the pluck to attempt it against tremendous odds, Otex."


'HE BU ff' ALO Bill STORIES. "True, sir;. bpt why not let us at begin a \vat on .hese Hussars ?!1 :Because five hundred men could not catch them in t, an hose mountain fastnesses, and, if driven to it, -they would o to the renegade Red Heart, and thus escape. No, hey must be taken by just such men as Buffa1o Bill, and )htst( believe that lje. Hawk-Eye Harry, Poker Paul, and a few others like them, could accomplish what my entire Jorce could not do." th "It may be, sir; but it is a pity to leave Miss Y ulee in the power of this man a moment longer than is necessary:" .. 'So I think," said Frank. Powell, dryly. "And I,"added Grayson Vaughan. "He says he will hold her until he gets you 111 his power." mat 'I shall take good care. .that he does not get me in his power, Colonel Y ulee, for he would put me to death, I am an .. ttsly "'But what about Miss Yulee / who is held as a hostage itio for you, Otey?" asked Frank Powell. th "I can give no advice, for I do not know what to say." "I could give a little advice.'' ion "Well, Surgeon Powell?" "I wilt not offer it as advice, for I never give advice unasked, but I will tell you what I do if placed in :. ,, your position.'1 >lr, "HT Jl ?" v' e sir. "I would go at once, find Buffalo Bill, ask him to meet I e the Mephisto with me, and deliver myself up, releasing I ee. y I I 1ss u ee as a 1ostage. iat-"/\.re you aware, sir, that he wou!d kill me, while ;\1iss Yu lee is in no clanger?'' "Suppose he might, is .it not better to take your chances hat than to have :vfiss Y ulee, a young girl of refinement and education, forced to remain among a band of outlaws in a mountain retreat? By Heaven, Otey, but I'd rather uld give my life than have a woman thus suffer for act of mine." "But I have done nothing whatever to cause this." ny ''That is not the question, sir; he demands you .in re turn for his fair captive, a11cl you should go and reyourself, be the result what it may to you." :es he nd "I will first see what the scout for I have great hopes that Buffalo Bit! can work wonders." "Procrastination makes cowards of us all, Otey," hotly said Surgeon Powell. .m ."Do I understand you as referring to me as a coward, he Surgeon Powell(' )U m "My dear Lieutenant Otey, if your mirror rev:ealed you to yourself as I see you, you would not ask that question." "Then you it as an insult.?" hotly said Lieutenant Otey. Frank Powellwas now perfectly caJ;n, and looking the officer straig-ht in his face. he said, slowly: "OteY, I have been mistaken fpr you often, as you have >t for me.' ''\Ve are the s ame size, the same form, and have a bear .. ing alike, while our faces ar-e said to be as similar as r j though we were twin brothers. ."But if I thought my nature was like yours I would ge out in lhe first and. try to be struck by !" "This is outrageous, Surgeon Powell; and he insults me, Colonel Ynlee, in your presence." "I beg Colonel Yulee's pardon;" and Frank Powell bowed low and turned to leave the room. "And you shall take back your words to me; sir, or must abide the consequences," hotly said Hobart Otey; Frank Powell turned; and said ii1 the soft-voiced man ner natural to him, and wholly unmoved: "I never so far forget myself, Lieutenant Otey, to say aught to a.: brother pfficer that I have to retract-in fact, I never eat my words," and .Surgeon Powell saluted Colonel Yul ,ee and left the g uarters. "' CH.APTER VI. TfIE Cj\P'i:lVE. Whe11 Ethel Yulee saw th.e stagecoacl1 driva away and leave her alone, in the power of the Masked Hussars, her brave spirit almost sunk. within her at the thought. But she made up her mind to face the ordeal with a fearless heart, and she Ie!La perfect confidence in Major Mephisto, that he would t,;eat her with the greatest respect. VVhatever his nature might be, in carrying out his ven geance, his cruelty in coolly taking the life of a human being, he certainly appeared the man to protect her, and not trear her with disrespect. ''I am ready, Yulee, and permit me to express my deep regret at having to do as [ have clone . and the Hussar leader spoke in the tone of one who meant his utterances "I also regret it, sir; but I. fear I hall have to remain long upon your hands, for my not one to sacrifice one of hi officers, to save his daui:>;htt>r." "Miss Y ulee, I feel that; but I have done as I did to try and force the officer I told of, tfr come forward ancJ rescue you by himself coming forward that you might be released." "He will hardly do so, sir, where he knows that deat11 awaits him, and I certainly would not wish it." 'rt is ' ery kind of you to say so, to offer .t. sacrifice yourself for him; but i'f he has the manhood I hope he has, he will certainly at once release you by coming and delivering himself into my hands." "I shall urge against it, for better that I should suffer inconvenience for awhile than that: he should lose bis life." "Do. you know any of your father's .. officers ?" ".I met one, -Captain several years ago.' "A splendid fellow he is too." "Then he is not:the olJject of your hatred, sir ?'' "No, indeed." "I a111 glad to hear this ; for I have always liked Cap tain and my fa:th 'er seems very fond of hil)1." ''Yes, and w .hat I know of him he \vou.ld be the 111an, if he was the one I had in view, to at once come and give himself up to free and Surgeon Frank Powell. Captain Talbot, and in fact many more would do the same." ''You seem. to know the qftic.ers of the fort well, sir.'' "11rnow some of them, and I think you wiil enjoy Ii fr there. Y our father i s a whole-souled gentleman .a.rnl a perfe<.:t !:>olclier. Captain Vaughan is one of Nature's uoblerne:i, and he is a young !Jache!or. Captain Talbot


1 3 THE BUFF J\LO BILL STORIES. is a fine fellow, but married, and Surgeon Frank Powell '.s a king among men, bllt is engaged to be married, I be-1 ieve, to a lady East. Then there are plenty of younger '){ >.:ers, some older ones, and the garrison is a charming place to live." "I am sorry that you prevent me from ascertaining how trne your praise is." ''I am sorry, too, Miss Yulee; but I am determined to get possession of that 1nan, and I feel that I can only do rn through you ; but see, is not this grand sce,1ery about \'OU ?" "It is indeed, sir; but may 1 ask where you are taking me?" "To mv retreat, the Home of the Hussars." "Is it far from here?" ")fot very; but I am going to ask you to perniit me to blindfold you, when we arrive a mile nearer, foi should you escape and ward a beautiful valley. Through it ran a river, in a bold, rocky bed, and at times with overhanging, clifflike banks. As they neared this river, Major Mephisto said: "Now permit me to make a bandage of your veil, Miss Yulee." She offered no resistance, and he securely bound it over her eves. After a ride of half a mile they came to where a chasm in the high bank formed a pathway to the river. Here the Hussars dismounted. and the chief lifted Ethel Yulee from the saddle. "Now, Miss Yulee, as we have to -..valk, and you are blindfolded, accept my arm, please." He asked with the conrtesy of a cavalier, and Ethel did as he reauested. It was quite a walk along the river-bank, the Hussars following on foot. At last they came to where the bank was very high and precipitous, and the river rushed along many feet below. A hundred feet away was an island, also with precip itous banks. The island was rocky, and yet there was a heavy growth of timber upon it, while in the were hills rising a hundred feet in height. There were perhaps thirty acres on the island, but that human foot had ever trod theie no one would have be lieved had they not seen the manner of reaching it. Arriving at a clump of tree s that grew on fhe bank :vfajor Mephi s to placed a bugle to his lips and blew three sharp blasts. Almost instantly they were answered from the island, and soon after a man appeared upon the other shore. In his hand he held a huge bow, with an arrow set. \iVithout particular aim he fired, and the arrow fell near the group of Hussars. Instantly one seized it, and there was a string attached. Drawing upon it he soon held a rope in his hand. Another arrow was then fired, and it, too, had a string attached, and which also was made fast to a rope. Two Hussars then began to draw hard, hand o.ver hand, while two more took up the arrows and fired them bad to the island, where two men then seized them andbegat .i; to draw in the rope, which had been passed around twt q trees near the bank upon the main shore. s Several Hussars were now drawing upon the TOM and soon a narrow bridge was drawn across the river, ti. men on the island making their end of the ropes fast_ whet it had reached well across. The bridge was of ropes, with a bottom of small polei n for the footing, and two hand-ropes, one on each side, tected the one who went across from falling. It looked frail indeed, but it was substantial enough tt hold }Jalf a dozen men at a time, and t.he time taken ia throwing it across from bank to bank was not more thar fifteen minutes. "Now, Miss Yulee, come with me and have no fear. "Place your hands upon the ropes you feel on either side and let me lead you." Blindfolded as she was, Ethel obeyed, and though she knew the footing was frail, and she must be high over the river, she never auailed. But a sigh of relief escaped her as she got to the island shore and felt firm land beneath her feet:. After leading Ethel a short distance into the interior of the island, Major Mephisto said: :Miss Yulee, I will relieve you of that on your eyes." As soon as she could see she glanced about her. She saw a pretty little \Voodland scene, a small vale, as it were, in the island. There wer e horses just then passing near, and she saw that they and their trappings were dripping wet, whic h showed that they had crossed to the island by swimming, for she recognized the animals as those of the Hussars, and among them the one she had ridden. In the vale there were some rude)y-built cabins, half a dozen in number, with one off to itself, which was larger and better than the others. ',Miss Yulee, there is your home while you are mv guest," and Major Mephisto pointed to the cabin. "It is a pretty spot,'' she said, really enjoying the little camp scene. "Yes, and not an unpleasant home for hunted men. "The cabin is mine, and you will find it comfortable, and you need not feel that you are inconveniencing me. for I can turn in with my officers, whose hut is equally as good-you see it there among those pines.'' They had nciw reached the cabin, and the chief threw open the door, bowed, and walked away. He had gone but a few steps when he turned and said: ''Miss Yulee, by glancing about you, you will see tha I have quite a little band of Hussars, and t!ieir eyes will be upon you, should you attempt to leave the island. "There is but one way you can reach it in safety, and that is the way I brought you. To attempt to leave it would be your certain death. "If there is anything you need, simply call, and I will send you my cook who will prepare your meals and obey your bidding, in all except aiding you to escape." Bowing, the chief retired and a man in uniform and mask soon after approached. She could not see whether he was white or black, but he was polite, and it seemed to Ethel that he spoke with a egro accent.


l TtiE BU ff ALO BILL STORIES. 17 He set about getting supper with the air of one who m '-llnderstood his business, and as Ethel gazed at the broiled rd quail, '1enison steak, coffee and biscuit she felt hungry in spite of her surroundings. s, As the night was a little cool the cook built a large log fire in the cabin and lighted a lamp that hung over a table :n in the centei:. Any ques tions regarding the band and the island were not responded to; but in all else the cook was most polite. As she could get no information from inquiries, she o to do so from observation, and she set about n counting the men and horses on the isla,nd, though not n appearing to do so, for, she said to herself: e r ;It may e useful, and I am sure that that daring and hanllsome scout has not deserted me." And Ethel Yulee was right-he had not. CHAPTER VIL Arriving at the. little Clump of timber, he savv them halt, and, though too far to see just what was done, he beheld the rope bridge drawn across and the maiden and the Hussars cross on foot. At the same time he saw the riderless horses l;mding at the upper end of the island and going up into thy in terior. Once the Hussars had disappeared from sight Buffalo Bill beheld two men on the island release the bridge ropes, and lowering on them the briqge, in some mysterious way, was dragged back .to the island shore again. "So far so good. The horses go 'lone to the island; I suppose it is because the waters are too rough for them to carry a rider, and perhaps it is to prevent the horseman from getting wet through. The men come down the barik, give some signal, and the ropes are thrown across and the bridge is stretched. It is a clever little scheme; but I do not despair of getting upon tbe island. I'll camp just opposite to that bridge and then BY SIGHT AND SCENT: I'll know who comes to and fro. If .I could only When Buffalo Bill was left in the Overland Trail he two of those M

f 8 THE BUFFt\LO Bll.L s TORIES. island; he was sure that he had struck the sp0t where 1he ani mals swimming down from the i:sland dme out upon 'the shore. Having satisfied himself upon how the horses reached the island and left it, and in regard to the means by which the Hussars crossed to and iron'\ the mainland, Buffalo Bill set out upon his return to his camp, hoping that the 111orr0\v would bring forth gl':lod fruit. Tlie sun was rising when Buffalo Bill awoke, for he was fatigued after his eventful day and night, and had slept. soundly. His first care was for his horses and Grip, and then he ate a cold breakfast, for he dared not build a fire in 1.he daytime, fearing that the smoke would be seen. Then the scout went to his point of lookout, and leveling his glass upon the island, he \Vas delighted to s e e a horseman just leaving it from the lower end. It was a Hussar, and he rode into the water, and his horse waded for some time, but at last began to swim. He c "o1il

THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 19 "I suppose you think I will let you go, for the sake of old times?" "If you don t, I'll be swung up, sure, and yon wouldn't \vant to see that, I know." The man had always been most kind to Buffalo Bill, had seemed to regard him with real affection, after res 1 cue of him from a horrible death, so that the scout had liked him greatly. This the prisoner seemed to remember and he took his capt u re with great equanimity. "Come, watts, I wish to know from you all about the :iiasked Hussars." "I am under oath there, Bill, and wouid die before I would tell you anything." "Now, who is Major Mephisto ?" "The chief. "I know that; but who is he?" "Bill, I am under death-oa-th to tell nothing, and I will die before I do." "You know that Major Mephisto has a captive on the island?" Yes." "How has he treated her?" "\11/ith the respect." "I expected it of him; but, Watts?" "Yes." "I wish to aid that lady to escape." The Hussar shook his head. "I mean it, Hal Watts; I wish to aid that lady to es cape, and what is more, you shall help me," and the look of the scout showed that he meant all that he said. "You must help me in this ma:tter, for you know it is not right for your leader to hold that lady prisoner." "It don't seem so, Bill." "If Colonel Yulee wished, he could lead his whole force here and crush you all. "I could go and get men to come here and lay siege to the island, catching you all in there like rats in a hole." '''!'hat's so, Bill." "I could get the artillery from the fort here cut off all escape, and in time the last one of you." ''I b e l ieve you." "Now, I don't wish to do this, for your chief might say, if we attacked him, he would put Miss Yulee to death. Of course, if he did. no ptmishment would be too great for you all, for the soldiers wou l d take the idea that yon men had no right to allow him to do such a deed and all of you w o uld suffer." wha t do you want, Bill?" "I wis h you to show me how I can get on that island." You'd be killecl." "I'll take my chances on that." "I coul<,i not show you, Bill." "You can." "How: "You do not suppose I vvould be such a fool as to go there as I am?" ''Well, how?" "I11 your rig." 'No, Bi l l." "I say yes." The man shook his head. "See here, : Watts, I do not wish you any harm; but I'll take you straight to the fort unless we can come to some compromise." "The soldiers are very much enraged at the action of Major Mephisto in shooting their c;omrades, and I assure you they would visit quick punishment upon you." "I can't betray the chief, Bill, if I die for it." "I don't ask you to betray him." 'What, then ?" I wish you to let me have your uniform and helmet ." "Well?'.' "Then when it comes night you can go with me to the place where they cross to the island." Better not risk it, Bill." "That is my lookout." "And then?" "I wish to cross to the island." 'But what for?" "To see Miss Yulee." "Is that all?" ''Well, I would like to look about me while there." The man again shook his head. "I see you are stubborn ; so we will go to the fort." "Hold on!" \Veil sir!" "I was sent away on duty." 'You'll never get there, Hal Watts." "Don't talk that way, Bill, for you scare me." "I mean it. "\Vhat would you do with me while you go to tlie island ?" "Leave you here in camp." "Bill, will you promise not to betray me under any circumstances?" Yes." "Will you simply go to see Miss Yulee ?" "I'll go to see her, but I'll not promise to go blind-folded." 'I suppose l will have to submit." "You must, or go to the fort." "Well, I'll compromise the matter, and let you have them." "All right. "But you must leave me free in camp here." "No, I shall see that you are here when I come back." "Then I refuse. "It is better for you, \V atts, should I be taken, for I can show that I captured you, bound you and -took yQi-1.r rig by force. "That's so." "It would be best." "And you would say so, Bill?" ''Yes, if I am taken." "All right. I'll just get out of my clothes and you can then tie me and put them on." wait until night." "All right." And so the compromise was made, with all in favor of the scout. When it began to get dark, the Masked Hussar took off his clothes and helmet, and Buffalo Bill put them on. Then he tied the Hussar securely, and said: "Kow for full instructions, watts!" "Take that little bugle hanging to my belt, and, when you get to the cliff bank, bJo.w three sharp blasts. If n o t


20 THE BUFF /\LO BILL STORIES answered very soon, blow again three times, and so on until you are answered; but you ("ill doubtless soon have a reply. When you get a reply, an arrow will be fired across the stream. Watch where it falls and pick it up; but before doing so, get a bow out of the third large tree on the cliff. You will find it in a hole in the tree, level with your head on horseback. The arrow will have a string attached, so draw on it until two ropes come to your hand. Pass one of these around the nearest tree on your right, the other around the tree upon your left, and make the ends again fast to the string tied to thearrow, which you are to fire back acro s s the river. Those 011 the other side will haul the ropes over and make them fast ther e when they have dragged the end of the rope bridge up to your bank. The bridge has hand ropes at tached to it, which vou are to make fast to trees on either side, and you can then walk across." 'And the men on the other side?" "There may be only one on duty, but he will not speak to you; in fact, our Hussars are not allowed to talk on duty, unless necessary to do so. Once you get across, go straight toward the camp, and the chiefs cabin is at the further end." 'Any guard there?" "None, for none is needed." "The chief is not there to-night?" "No." "And then?" "See Miss Yulee, sav what vou wish and retrace vour way; but, as you are going back, simply tell the man at the bridge that you will return in a short while." ''Well?" 1 "Cross the bridge, blow one blast when you are on this side, and the man will .let go the ropes and haul the span back again." "It is an ingenious affair, certainlv." "Yes, the work of the chief." \V ell, I shal_l be off now, and you may expect me back as soon as possible." :Mounting his horse, Buffalo Bill rode out of camp upon his perilous mission, leaving his prisoner securely bound to await his return, and with Grip standing guard over him. The scout rode directly toward the spot where he had seen from the hills the Hussars cross the stream with Ethel Yulee. He knew that he was taking big chances, but then he is one who enjoys clanger, and never thinks of self where he can be of service to others or do a gallant deed. He boldly rode up to the scattering clump of timber on the river bank. Drawing rein, he listened for a few moment at tentively. The rush of the river, the cry of a night bird, the wind sighing through the pines, and the bowl of a wolf back in the mountains, reached his ears; but no sound of a human voice. Then he raised the bugle to his lips and gave the three sharp blasts he had been directed to blow by the Hussar. No response came, and he repeated the signal at the end of a minute. Immediately it was answered, and then he dismounted and hitched his horse. As he stepped again to the river bank, he heard a re whirring sound, and an arrow fell near him. )e He picked it up and found a small, but strong twine attached. in Drawing upon it, he at length came to where it was at,, tachi;d to two ropes. These he divided and passed around the trunks of two h trees, one growing on either side near the bank and twenty feet apart. Then he got the bow, and attaching the strings to the ropes once more, fired the arrow across. lt was successful thus far, for the ropes began to draw, s and after a while a dark object came up to the edge of the bank and he pulled it over. 11 It was the bridge, and he soon had it made fast, along ic with the hand ropes. It was a frail-looking structure, yet strong; but it required a cool head and ready nerve to go. across. 1< Still the scout was not one to grow dizzy, and he stepped boldly upon the rope bridge, and, accustoming himself to the swaying motion, went across. A man stood upon the other shore, and though in camp, he wore the uniform and helmet of the Hussars. ,. ' I will return soon," said Buffalo Bill, and the one he' addressed quietly sat down, as though to await his coming. Passing on without hesitation, Buffalo Bill glanced eagerly about him. A short walk revealed the camp, with several fires burning, yet so arranged under brush shelters as not to be 1 seen away from the island. By day the Hussars never allowed a fire to be built on account of the smoke betraying their presence. Having discovered the arrangement of the camp, he e spied the cabin of the chief and made his way thither. If he was seen, no one noticed him, for not one would have believed it possible that other than a Masked Hussaq could enter the camp. At last he arrivecl at the cabin. The door was closed, but a light was within, and he tapped lightly. "Who is it?" asked the voice of Ethel Yulee "Open the door, please, for I have a message for you." "Who are you?" 1 Buffalo Bill glanced about him, saw no one near, and ii said: "I am Buffalo Bill." "Ha!" He heard the exclamation, then the quick step, and the a bar was taken clown and the door opened. Instantly he stepped within, but Ethel Y ulee started back with a cry of alarm, while she said.: "You have deceived me." "No, Miss Yulee, I am in this disguise He raised the helmet from his bead as he spoke, and she saw that he spoke the truth. ''You a brave man, Buffalo Bill, to dare what you have this night." "It was the only way that I could get here to see you, so I captured a Hussar, and here I am; but I must return r at once, as the man at the bridge is a waiting me, and he;> thinks I am one of the band." "Oh! if you should be taken!" 1 "I think there is little danger; but I came to see how.


t'HE BU ff ALO Bill STORIES ; 21 a you were treated and to tell yon -that arrangements are '>eing made to release you as soon as possible. at"Keep up a brave heart, and if we cannot get you free in one way, I will come as I have to-night and take you at-iway. "If I have to do so, my signal will be three knocks on .vo ;he window to arouse you. nd I "But I hope we can release you without this risk." "You are so good, Mr. Cody; but let me tell you that he [ am being treated well in every respect. "Still, I long to be free and see my father, who, I know, w, r in great distress about me. he "But you must go now, so good-by-nay, do not re1ain a minute longer; and now that I have seen you, I ng ave hope and shall not worry. Good-by." She graspea his hand, and he at once left the cabin. re-He made his way along the line of camps, saw the cers' cabins and those of the men, and passed enough .he ussars to cause him to mutter: rg ''Major Mephisto has a large force. ''Where did he get them all, I wonder?" f p, One man spoke to him, but he muttered an unintelliible reply and passed on. 1e 'Tve done enough for one night, he said, and he reis urned to the bridge. eel n be on The one who had sat down to await his return was still ere. "From my knowledge of redskins, my idea is that this s one, for no white man has the patience to do what he as done. .. I will speak to him." So said the scout to himself, and, emboldened by his scape thus far, he said : he "Any one gone over, pard ?" ar he 1." nd "Ugh!" ''I thought so," muttered Buffalo Bill, and he said in e Sioux tongue: Has any one else {"'.Orne over since I went by?" ')Jo," was the reply. ''That settles it; that pilgrim is a redskin and I believe early all of l\Iajor Mephisto s band are." And Buffalo Bill stepped upon the rope bridge. Crossing over, he released the hand ropes, mollnted his orse, returned the bow to its place, gave a single blast on is bugle, and rode back to camp. He found his prisoner just as he had left him, and Grip n guard. "All right, vVatts, I have been there, and all was as you he aid. eel nd OU "You can go now." Half an hour after Hal Watts rode away from the .oufs camp a free man. CHAPTER VIII. REC'KT,ESS BEN DELIVERS TWO LETTERS. Reekie s Ben was on his back trip, and he had an empty age. . u, His horses. however seemed to miss the splenchcl leacl-rn s thev had had on the up run, and often had to be enhe uraged by the crack of the whip. ''Horses is like humans; jest give 'em a leetle help and ey expects it all ther time," said Ben, taking in the situ yer) quickly. ow He kept his eyes open all the time for he expected to be halted by both Buffalo Bill and the Mephisto. "That Buffalo Bill is a great one, and I'm o' ther opinion he"ll run that :Major Mephist.o out o' the road agency biz afore he is done with him ' I expects ter see him afore long, 'cause he said as how he'd ri1eet me; qut then, he were alone and ther road agents were many, and maybe arter thet he hev been tuk in "Ef so, I guess somebody got hoisted 'si des Buffalo." A turn in the trail brought Reckless Ben in full view of a horseman. "Ther scout, as I are a-livin' !" he cried, excitedly, and, whipping up his horses, he was soon near where the scout was seated on his horse. ''Ho, Bill, I are as tickled ter see you as though I had swallered a feat.her. How is yer, how is yer ?" "All right, Ben; but the young lady is s till in the hands of the Philistines." "I am sorry about that; but you'll git her out, and no mistake.'' "I hope so." 'I knows it." ''Have you a letter for--" ''?-.iow I has: it were sent over from t.her fort." Taking a letter from his pocket, Reckless Ben handed it to Buffalo Bill, with the remark: 'I has one for Major ::VIephisto too, and I'd like to know what are in it." ''Perhaps the colonel tells me what he has written to Major Mephisto," and the scout tore open his letter, which was addressed : For Captain W. F. Cody "Buffalo Bill," Kindne ss Reckless Ben. Chief of Scouts, Overland Trail. Opening the letter, Buffalo Bill read as follows: Mv DEAR Conv :-The officer whom this iajor Mephisto de m ands, in return for my daughter. doe s not consider it his duty to free her by deli\'ering himself into the hand s of his enemies, or at lea st he wishes some little time to consider the matter, and that time J must grant. You will have a better chance to act in the meantime, and I will so write to Major Mephisto that he will consider it the in temion of Lieutenant Otey to deliver himself up, on a certain day say to-morrow, Sunday week, at noon, at an appointed ren dezvous. I will keep you posted of all that occurs, by messengers to the station. and thence through Reckle ss Ben to your hands. In the meantime I will ask you to do all in your power to rescue my lo ved child from her peril. Vaughan joins me in remembrances and good wishes to you. Your friend, YULEE Buffalo Bill read this letter attentively, and then gave Ben an idea of its contents. "Now, Ben, I must go back to my camp and reconnoiter as soon as I know if i\Jajor Mephisto comes alone to get his letter from voti. "If he does, i ask no greater luck; but if he is not alone, then l shall remain out of sight., you may rest as'surecl." Hen laughed and said : "I hopes he may be solitary, Dill: but good-by, and it's just three miles from here to whar I'm goin' ter' meet Major i\lephisto." The coach rolled rapidly on, and Bu ff a lo Bill followed at a canter.


22 'fHEBUfl"ALO BILL STORIES. He knew a trail that would cut off a mile and bring him near the scene, and he took it. Approaching the spot where the Hussar chief was s:ip posed to be, he dismounted and crept to a commandmg position. He had just reached his place of refuge when he heard the stage coming, and saw the Hussar chief ride out to meet it. But he was not by any means alone, for his twelve horsemen were with him. "That settles it," said the scout, and, regaining his horse, he rode rapidly away. In the meantime Major :Mephisto had received his letter from Reckless Ben. It was short and to the point. FoRT ADVANCE, Saturday. SIR :-You have done an act in the capture of my daughter which places you outside the pale of manhood, and for which I shall visit upon you the severest penalty when I have taken you prisoner, for sooner or later you will be in my power. Your terms, for the restoration of my daughter, I have con sidered, and consulted with Lieutenant Otey about, and he de sires until to-morrow, Sundar week, at noon, in which to deliver himself up to you, but it wil be arranged just when and where, the communications being sent to you through Reckless Ben, the Overland driver. I warn you that my child must be treated with the respect she deserves, and if otherwise, it wiil be the worse for you and yours. If you can think of any other arrangement for the restoration of my daughter than the giving into your hands of Lieutenant Otey, communicate with me. ROYAL YuLEE, Commandant Fort Advance. This letter the Hussar chief read carefully through, and then said to Reckless Ben : "There is no answer other than that I shall expect Colonel Yulee to surrender Lieutenant Otey into my keeping on Sunday next." ''He'll do it, if he says so, you kin gamble on that, pard," responded Ben. ';Can you tell me where Buffalo Bill is?" asked the chief. "Waal, now, T cannot, fer he left me at ther station and returned to ther fort," responded Ben, without the shade of a blush at the lie he told. "Well, you just say to him that I warn him to keep off the trail of the Masked Hussars." "Pard, I won't tell him, fer he's jist ther man ter strike yer trail if I does; but good-by, and bad luck to yer." The Hussar chief laughed, and waved his hand as Reck less Ben drove on, muttering to himself: ''Now, he war too mean to come alone; but like as not Buffalo Bill hev got his eye right on him now. "It's jist like him, and ef he hed come alone, I guesses ther colonel's darter wouldn't be a prisoner very long. "Waal, thar is goin' ter be music afore long, and it are mY. opinion them Hussars will hev ter pay ther fiddler I" CHAPTER IX. AT THE FORT. That lie might understand the situation more fully, and fllso relieve the mind of Colonel Yulee regarding his (iaughter, Buffalo Bill decided to. make a trip to the fort. He found a spot on the bank of a stream that ran through a wild canon in the heart of the mountains where he could stake his extra horse out for the thirty-six houf that he would be absent. S He placed him so that he could get water from stream and the grass about him was most luxuriant all I d f f d ist in great quantity, so that he would not nee or oo Some time before it was dark he mounted Hussar set out for the fort, which he hoped to reach by He pushed forward at a fair pace through the moun,w tains, and, reaching the prairie, urged Hussar on at a rab< that he knew the horse could stand. a i So well had he calculated that it was but a few mintttt': after midnight when he rode into the fort and asked to St' Colonel Y ulee. pc He was taken by the officer on duty at once to tbll colonel's quarters, while his horse was given into tlb charge of a soldier, with instructions to rub him down; for an hour and then feed and water him, for the noblht animal had brought his master a long journey in splendir, time. n Colonel Yulee was just about to retire, and the sco1tq was admitted at once into his bedroom. "Bless you, Cody, this is indeed a pleasure, but you bring me no bad news, I hope, of my child?" sir, but, on the contrary, good news." 'I "You have not rescued her?" and the colonel grew e>lf cited at the thought. r ''No, sir," but I have seen her." "Seen her!" "Yes, sir, I paid her a visit." "What! you dared invade the retreat of those men?" "It was not difficult, sir, the way I managed it." "Ha! you found some traitor in the band?" "No, sir, but I captured a man, and found one wholf I knew, and had once served well. He would not betra his comrades, but compromised by telling me the way It could reach the island, on condition that I would do ne harm, and simply visit Miss Yulee to cheer her up. 0 course he meant that I should set him free when I camo back from the island.'' C "The island r" Jl ''Yes, sir, for they have the best retre2.t I ever saw, oJ an island in a river that tuns through clifflike banks." t, "Tell me of it, Cody." Buffalo Bill related briefly his adventures at the isla1111 home of the masked hussar. u ''I counted the men in camp as well as I could.,'' iJ.' added, "and the major has fully a hundred; but my is that they are Sioux Indians from the renegades' carnf excepting a few white rne!1 who are the officers, tht'5 fr is that he appears to be on the five overland tratls abo1. e the same time. \Vith the men in camp, and those cv dently kept on the different trails, he must have at leasttt hundred, and ninety of them at least are Sioux." "You surprise me, Cody." ''\Veil, sir, that is my idea, and yet he has the Sioux mh drilled and under perfect discipline." lt, .. He is a remarkable man.'' "He is, indeed, sir; but when is Lieutenant Otey to g11 himself up?" :m ; Cody, I do not think that Otey has the s ightest idrh of doing so." t ; ;And vet he calls himself a man?" 111 "Trne; but he feels that it is certain death for him .'\ lo


THE BU ff ALO Bill STORIES. 23 Llr 1 so, while he says the Hussars will not dare to harm thJss Yulee." md''He has no right to allow her to remain there a,s a .stage for him, even if he was sure they would hang J:1 n "So Surgeon Powell to l d him, and I fear there wjll be f:ttble between the two, for you know what Frank m well is if aroused in a good cause." at "Yes, Otey will find him more dangerous than he would ,ajor Mephisto," said Hie scout. 1td"Well, I will write a letter to this Mephisto, by you, you can give it to Ben, the driver, and I will make an pointment to deliver Otey to him on Sunday next. This th II keep matters quiet, and Otey appointed that time, th ugh he has no idea, I believe of carrying it out. Still, w ay misjud&e him. In the meantime, if you can rescue 1bl he!, do so, but do not risk too much. If you can rescue di r, it will be far better than having Otey go and give 1self up, and terms with these outlaws are not to be ou de if it can be avoided." "This is the best plan, colonel, and I will carry back )"Odttr letter to-morrow, as I shall start about noon on my urn." Thus it was artang.ed, and after dinner the following e y Buffalo Bill started upon his return to the mountains, rgeon Powell and Captain Vaughan accompanying him r half a dozen miles upon his way. CHAPTER X. T ,HE CHALLENGE. 10 There was bad blood among several of the officers at ra rt Advance. .y It was engendered by the action of Lieutenant Hobart n ey in declining to give himself up to the Masked Huss, and thus at once free Ethel Yulee, who was held as ostage on his account. olonel Yulee had been placed in a position where he ld not say much to the officer, but Grayson Vaughan allowed the lieutenant to know bis views, Captain Talt, another of the officers stationed at the fort, had done same, and SLtrgeon Powell had expressed himself in an anner so plain that Hobart Otey could not misu nder nd his meaning. The fact was that Surgeon Powell's. high sense of honor de him speak out, and he was just the man, if placed in ike position to .Lieutenant Otey, to spring upon his se and go to the Hussar camp to deliver himself up to enemr, cost it him his life or not. ev 'There will be trouble between Powell and Otey yet, ,st ughan,'' Captain Talbot had said to the adjutant the foll owing Buffalo Bill's visit. 'Otey will have to make it, th en, for Powell has said we he intends to, and that was enough to make a parson t, so he will not refer to it again, and it rests with the 1tenant to resent it, or not, as he deems fit." rri\ 'He is a good deal of a bully, I have thought, and he "" ws his I guess; but he had best not force trouble id h Frank l"owell, for though our surgeon is the meek.-tempered nian ii1 the fort, and as mild-mannered as a iman, he is the worst man to arouse I ever saw." t1'You are right; a friend can walk over him rough-shod, n long as he does nof touch 11im in a tender spot, but if / so, look out; but do you think Otey intends to giye him self up?" "No." ''Nor do I." \i\!hat will Buffalo Bill do now, I wonder?" "He will rescue Miss Yulee, mv word for it," if some arrangement is not made soon; but" here comes Powell.'" Surgeon Powell now joined the two officers, who satin front of Captain Talbot's cabin, and Grayson Vaughan asked: '"Well, Frank, what do you think Cody will do?" "If he catches a Hussar, whose clothes will fit him, he'll Miss Yulee out of the hands of Major Mephisto before ::,imday comes." "So I think," replied Captain Vaughan. "And I," added Captain Talbot. "But do you think Lieutenant Otey will give himself up?" asked the adjutant. .. Not I, or he would never have q.llowed himself to re main under the stigma of coward," was Surgeon Powell's quiet reply. "You certainly spoke to him very plainly, Frank." "I spoke as I felt, for I cannot understand a man allow ing a young and lovely girl to remain in the h;uids of those outlaws, and not at" once going and surrendering himself to free her, be his fate what it may.'' "You are right." "Yes, you are .. , Such was the verdict of the two officers, and Surgeon Powell had just begun to speak, when Lieutenant Otey turned the corner and came toward them. "Sh!" said Grayson Vaughan. ''There is Otey," whispered Captain Talbot. But l"rank Powell continued with what he was saying, without a change of muscle, simply adding: "I was just speaking of you, Lieutenant Otey, and a? I never say behind a man's back what I fear to say to his face, and YGU have appeared at this moment, I shall go on with nw remarks. '"I was 'saying, Vaughan, that Lieutenant Otey knew his duty in this mattet; as we)l as any man, and his coward heart caused him to shirk it. 'He has asked for time to consider, and Colonel Yulee has granted it, though he had to compromise himself by writing to Major Mephisto and requesting a favor of him, an extension oi time. "But my opinion is that Lieutenant Hobart Otey will not then do as a brave man, a gentleman and an officer should, for it is not in him." Lieutenant Otey had heard every word, and his face flushed and then paled. He was a fine-looking man, in fact, strangely like Sur geon Powell in face and form, only there was not .tha manly, determined look in his countenance that was stamped in every feature of Surgeon Powell. The lieutenant showed vacillation and cunning in his face, rather than the stamp of noble manhood. But he was noted for his courage, and neither Grayson Vaughan nor Captain Talbot could see how fie could eat the words thus thrown in his teeth. They knew that Surgeon Powell was seeking -110 quarrel, and that he would not have said what he did had no t Lieutenant Otey appeared and found him talking Then, like the brave man he was, he kept on.


24 THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. They knew that he was one to avoid trouble, and had merely expressed his views in the matter, so they had c9me from his heart and upon impulse under excitement. But could Hobart Otey allow the brand of coward to remain u,pon him? That was the question, and the two captains glanced at him anxiously to note the result. They were far removed from civilization, out in a border fort, and when a man there acted in a cowardly manner he must exp e ct to hear of it in very plain lan guage. "Captain Talbot, as I would like this matter to remain a secret among those who now know it, for I believe, out side of ourselves now present and Colonel Yulee, no one else at the fort is aware of the capture of Miss Yulee, I will ask you to act as my friend in the affair which must be arranged between Smgeon Powell and myself. Will you do so, Captain Talbot?" "Under the circumstances, Otey, I cannot refuse." "Then I leave it in your hands to challenge Surgeon Powell to meet me, and to arrange weapons, place and time," and Hobart Otey turned on his heel and walked away. An unpleasant silence followed his departure. Frank Powell did not show the slightest sign that aught had occurred to mar his serenity ; but Captain Talbot and Grayson Vaughan looked annoyed, and in fact, deeply pained. At length Captain Talbot said: "You heard, Powell, what I was commissioned to do, and I accepted the unpleasant duty that, as Otey said, the secret might not become known to others." "Do your duty, my dear Talbot, independent of any feeling of regard you may have for me," was Powell's re sponse. 1' Then I shall have to challenge you, in the name of my principal, Lieutenant Hobart Otey, to meet him upon the field of honor." "I will accept, Captain Talbot, the challenge of Lieu tenant Otey, though I regret exceedingly that it is necesc sar) to do so. I spoke impulsivel y at.first, and it angered me to see an officer hang fire when placed in the position in which he was. I cannot retract my words, for they are true, so I refer you to Captain Vaughan, whom I must ask to act for me." '"Certainly, Powell, and we will see what we can do to arrange it, for if Otey goes to Major Mephisto to deliver himself up, and thereby free Miss Yulee, you will withdraw your charge of cowardice?" "Willingly, and beg his pardon, too." "Then we will go and see him, so please wait here." The two officers departed, and they were gone a very long while; but F1ank Powell was reading a book and smoking, as thougn indifferent to the passing of time, or what the result of their interview with Lieutenant Otey would be. vVhen they returned their faces showed a lack of suc cess. "Well?" simply said the surgeon. "I am Powell; but Lieutenant Otey says the af fair cannot be arranged. He has told Colonel Yulee that he will do as regards Major Mephisto, and as you have called him a coward, he says you shall answer for it." "As he / "Talbot suggested the fact that he -might be dismissed from the service for fi'ghting a duel, and he said that he had already sent in his resignation." 'As I have, and it has been accepted; but, as you know I am acting surgeon now at the request of Colonel Yulee, who requests me to remain until his surgeon and his as sistant arrive. "So you see neither Lieutenant Otey nor myself have aught to fear." "\Vell, th e affair must go on, so I will ask as to your choice of weapons, time and place?" Captain Talbot said. "As to weapons, I do not care what are used-rifles, revolvers or swords; but suppose we say, as to time, to night at sunset, over on the ridge yonder," and Surgeon Powell pointed to a timber ridge nearby. Captain \T aughan and Captain Talbot at once agreed upon the place and time, and revolvers were the weapons chosen. Grayson then went over to headquarters. The colonel had gone off for a ride on the prairie, the orderly said, and a note had just been brought by a soldier, who said it was important. who was the soldier, orderly?" "Faith, sur, I was not afther takin' notice o' him, for they is all the same in looks." The young captain smiled, and, entering the colonel's quarters, took up the note. It was addressed : Mo s t Important! For Colonel Yulee. The writing was bad, the spelling worse, and it read: There will be a fight with pistolls betwene Doc Powel & Lieu tinent Hobert Oty at the Timber Rige near the perade ground at s unset In his capacity as adjutant, Grayson Vaughan had a It right to open the letter, and a glance showed him that it was written in a disguised hand. "Heaven forbid that I wrong Otey, but I believe he I wrote this, in this style, to app ear to come from one of the men, that C olonel Yulee might haYe Po\\ ell and himself arrestee!. "I will ju s t keep thi s until after sLJnset." Anrl h e placed it in his pocket At the appointed time Captain Vaughan went to the cabin of Surgeon Powell, and they mounted their horses s and rode out upon the prairie. Soon after Captain Talbot and Lieutenant Otey fol lowed them, and the four met Qp the ridge, on the very spot where he had received his severe wound at the hands of Dudley Drew. It had been agreed that the surgeon and lieutenant should stand thirty paces apart, and at the word should each march ten paces forward, halting at marks placed for i them. i Then, their reyoJvers being in their belts, the word should be given to draw and fire. I As they were awaiting their call to position Captain j Talbot said in a low voice to Surgeon Powell: IJ "V:aug.han you intend to show mercy; but he vows I he will kill you. .., "Thank you." . 0 And Frank Powell walked to his stand, throwmg his cigar away as he did so, and wholly unconcerned.


,.HE BUFF ALO BILL 25 Otey also took his stand, but his face was white and he had a wicked look that boded no good for the surgeon, for it plainly said : "I know I am a dead shot and that I can draw quickl y and I intend to kill you " Gentlemen are you ready?" called out Grayson Vaughan, who had won the word. "Ready!" came the fro m e ach. "Forward, march! "Halt! "Draw and fire!" Quiok as he was, the weapon of Lieutenant Otey was not leveled when the crack of Frank Powell' s revolver was heard. The lieutenant staggered back, tried to take aim at hi s foe, who stood motionless and calm, and then pulled the trigger. The bullet missed its mark, and Hobart Otey fell to the ground. Instantly Frank Powell was at his side and said in a kindly tone: \i\/ill you let me see to your wound, Otey, for I did not wish to kill you?" r "Yes, but I feel that I must die. Tell me the truth." Frank Powell examined the wound carefully, and then sa i d, calmly: 'You must die, Otey, and God knows I regret it." r f e el that you do, Powell, and I deserve it at your hands; but I have something to say to you, if these gentlemen will leave us alone for a f e w minutes." Captain Talbo t and Grayso n Vaughan a t o n c e r etired, and the dying officer said in a low v o ic e: I have a confession to make, and you must set me right after I am dead. "It is in my pocket, so read it and do as you deem best. t Five minute s after, Frank Powell called to th e hrn officers, for Lieutenant Hobart Otey was dead. e e f CHAPTER XI. '!HE S C O U T AND THE RENEGADE. \Veil aware that Major M e phi sto knew o f hi s pre s e n c e e in the mountains, and that he c o u ld but be there as a s y upon the movem ents o f him self and hi s Hussar s, Buffalo Bill felt that it was necessary for him to u s e t h e greatest caution not t o surpris ed. f Y It had been hi s desire to remain in the v icinit y o f the Hussars' I sland a s long a s h e could, b e for e starting fo r k the fort to carry ont the c ontract -to d eliver t o M aj o r 1J M e phi s to, Lieutenant Otey in return for Ethel Yulce, fo r h e was watching ev e r y opportunity that might prese n t D t it s elf t o res cue her and thns n o t t o d elive r t h e offic e r into the hands of hi s foe to be kille d. d The scout was in hopes that he might a g a in run across Hal Watts, or capture some other of the Hussar band. rn for, were he able to do so he JUade up his mind to pla y a bold game for the rescue of the maiden. l s "If I can only catch one of those Maske0d Hussars," --: he said to himself, as he sat in his lonely camp, looking out from his point of observation, "I would play a game n s that I think would win ." I oul