Buffalo Bill and the gold ghouls, or, Defying death at Elephant Rock

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Buffalo Bill and the gold ghouls, or, Defying death at Elephant Rock

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Title:
Buffalo Bill and the gold ghouls, or, Defying death at Elephant Rock
Series Title:
Buffalo Bill stories
Creator:
Buffalo Bill
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Street & Smith
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Language:
English
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1 online resource (31 p.) 28 cm.: ;

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

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University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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020823187 ( ALEPH )
223329159 ( OCLC )
B14-00068 ( USFLDC DOI )
b14.68 ( USFLDC Handle )

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serial

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lssUl!d By S ubscription $a.so per year. Entered as Second Class Matter a_t New York Post Of!ic1 by SrREET & SMITH, 3.J8 Wz1liam St., N. Y. No. 68. Price, Five BUFFALO BILL HAD BEEN TOO QUICK FOR HIM,' ANO PUT IN A SHUT FROM BIS t / i= Q) -Q) ";j

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. . tif morsrs A WEEKLY PUBLICATION DEVOTcb TO BORDE-R HI By S"bscription $2,Jo ,Per Entered as Second Class M4tter at tlte N. Y. PoJt STREET & SMITH, Z.J8 Wl71iam St., N. Y. Entered accrdin1r to Act of Conpess in tire year 1qoa, i11 tlze Office of tlie Librarian of Co11greu, WasltinJr(on, LJ. C. 68. NEW YORK, August 30, 1902. Pric:e Five Cents. FALO BILL AND. THE .GOLD (YD Defying Death at Elephant Rock. By the author of "BUFF ALO BILL." CHAPTER I. A CAPTURE. I It was a bright spring morning and the boy who was I spurring his horse across the plain from Fort Rattle seemed to enjoy the cool morniqg breeze, as did his horse. which was cantering along with a dash and s pirit that showed that it was in good trim for a long gallop. It needed all its mettle, for Sherman Canfield, a tJpical border boy who bestrode it, was off for the day on a hunting expedition, and he generally put his horse pretty well through its paces before he returned from one of his hunts Sherman, who was about sixteen years of age, sun bnrnt, handsome and wiry, was going on vvhat he ex pected would be his last hunt in the wild West for son1e time to come. Through his kindness to a Ser geant Fessenden, a soldier who had been sorely wounded by outlaws, and whom he rescued from death,' he had been bequeathed of a gold mine, which the sergeant had discovered, and which he left to the boy when he died. Buffalo Bill. the 1Zreat scout, who was then attached I to the staff of Colonel Carr, the commandant at Eort Rattle, had urged the youth to use the riches left him in securing a good education in the and Sherman Canfietd had decided to take the advice of the Border King and go East to college, intending, h owever, to return to the wild border country as soon as his edu cation was completed. He was to leave for the East in two d,ays, and this mo1; ning he had decided upon taking a long ride and hunt across the prairies. Flying along at breakneck speed, boy and horse sobn lost sight of the fort and came into a wild and slightly mountainous country, which lay to tiie westward, and where game abounded. Into this cou ntry the boy was pressing on, when, as he came around the side of a huge rock that overhung the trail, a lariat fell from above, was tightened about shoulders, and h e wa':s dragged from his horse The frightened animal plunged away, the boy falling on his face, partly unconscious: He was dragged to his feet a moment later, and found himself sur rounded by a group of iough-looking men, all wearing black masks.

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I 2 THE BUFF The boy's heart sunk within him like lead. "The GoLd Ghouls!" he muttered to himself. This was the name .. applied to a band of outlaws which infested the trails in that vicinity, -robbing the miners of their hard-earned gold. In some way they had learned that Sherman Can .field knew the l ocation of a rich gold mine-the one Sergeant Fessenden had discovered. Once before, by orders of their chief, the Gold Ghouls had c aptured the boy, hoping to secure, by torturing him, directions as to the locality of the mine. On that occasion the boy had escaped from the man in charge of him before he was taken to the outlaw's stronghold. This time there was no chance for the boy, however. He was securely bound and disarmed before he c ould make a struggle. "We has yer this time, kid ," sa,id one pf the masked figures, "and \.ve blindfolds yer and takes yer to our stronghold-see?" Sherman Canfield saw, but the prospects did not please him much. There was one ray of hope, how ever. His horse had galloped off in the direction of the shaking off one of the outfaws, who had tried to ca"'t'ch i t by the bridle. Sherman knew tliat when it arrived, riderless, at the fort, it would not be long be fore his friends, Buffalo Bill, king of scouts, would be hot upon his trail; and, like every border b oy or border man, he had the greatest confidence in Buffalo Bill's ability to do anything he set out to do. So he tried to make a good appearance before the outlaws, and smiled as the black cloth was tied about his face, blinding him completely. . A moment later he was started on a long journey. For nea r l y an hour he rode Behind Ol}e of the out!aws. Then the party dismounted and climbed up a steep and rocky hill, finishing the journey by walking in single file, Sherman between two of them, over what, tothe boy, appeared to a t:idge over sonie great chasm It seemed a very long trail to the blindfolded boy, and once o r twice when they halted he felt with his and discovered that there was a drop-off on either side, and that they seemed to be walkil}g .aLoi)g, a ridge, not more than two feet in width. At last a sigh of relief broke from one of the men's lips, and he said: "Waal, yer made it, and yer is game clean through. "Maybe, if yer had seen it, yer couldn't hev got through," said one of his captors. "Try me." "I'm durned ef I do," and the men continued on for about half a mile, still leading the captive; who was yet blindfolded. At length they began to descend by a steep path, and after going a few hundred yards the guard halted, and one said: "I'll take off yer now, as ye(ll ha,;e ter see. \ .; He did so, and for a while Sherman's eyes were dazed, but then he saw after they became accusto med to the light, and he found they were descending an other steep cliffside to a canyon far below, and which was fille? with heavy timber. Several columns of smoke were cu-rling up 'ard from among the timber, ri sing above the treetops, but then ftoatirig off into mist as they struck the upper currents of air. The youth gazed at the scene with interest, for he felt that the end of their journey was near, that there was a camp in the depths of the canyori. Down the steep face of the cliff they went, along as dangerous a trail as had been the climb up from the meadow, and at last re ached the bottom just where there was a large pool, or small lake, the water seeming very deep and to come from springs, as there was a constant flow from it, forming a rivttlet that glided down the canyon. In the midst of the tall and massive trees in the can yon, Sherm an Canfield beheld a camp, and about it were ha1f a dozen men. It was not such a camp as he had expected to find, for there were substantial log houses, with rock chirp neys, and they had the of having been built for some time. Down the ca!lyon some distance was a meadow, upon which scores of horses were feeding, and Sher man Canfield felt that he had been brought to the retreat of the band of Gol d Ghouls, which he had heard so much about through campfire tales, and which, it was said, no one had been able to find. He remembered that it was said that the masked Gold Ghouls, when pursued, after committing a crime, most mysteriously disappeared, and could not be tracked. He had come there on foot a part of the way, and from what he had passed through he did not wonder that the retreat was never discovered. There were horses in plenty in the canyon, and this showed that there some way for them to get to the mysterious retreat when mounted. There were seven or eight men about the cabins, and upon seeing a prisoner they at once hastened to put on their masks, so when the guard arrived with his pi.p tive Sherman was not able to see a single face. Sherman Canfield was glad that he had at least reached the retreat of the outlaws, yet he was confident that from what he knew of the way there the scout would not be able to' track him. That the outlaws had a lair so near the fort and set"' tlement which remained undiscovered, was proof of how well they covered up their tracks and what a thoroughly secure retreat they had found. The men whom the youth now met greeted Slay back, the chief of the party which had captured him, :with a nod and word, and qne asked: -"What have you got there, pard ?" \

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q"HE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 3 "A prisoner for the captain." "He's a young 'un." "Yes, and a bad one, too, I guess." "Was he well fixed ?" "I don't know exactly what he's worth, but the lieutenant roped him in, and seemed to think he would pan out big, so sent me on to the retreat with him." If he don't materialize, well, it will be the end -of him, for you know our motto, pard: 'To enter here Is to leave hope behind.'" "That's so." "But that is for the chief to say." "Is the chief here?" "No; he left the lair this morning-, but will be back to-morrow." "Then I will have to wait until he comes." "See here, young fellow, I'll put shackles on you and turn you loose, but to-night you occupies my cabin; but let me tell yer, ef yer tries ter escape from this out fit, yer signs yer own death warrant, for nobody that don't belong to this band leaves this retreat, that's dead squar'." "I would not know which way to go if I did get away." "No, but you'd soon find out, for you hain't no j J fool." "Just wait her e," aii.d Slayback entered one of the cabins, but soon returned with manacles, which he locked upon the ankles of hi s young prisoner. Sherman made no resistance, looking coolly on, and his pluck won the ad miration of the outlaws, several of'them commenting upon it. His hands were then untied and he was told to go about at will, so long as he did not leave the immediate vicinity of the cabins. Night as falling, and the outlaws began tb cook their supper r and the boy watched them with interest, ) for he was half-starved. He wondered if he was going to be given a square meal. When supper was ready he was told to join them, Slayback telling him: "Pitch in, young feller, for if yo u i s as hungry as I 1 is yer could tackle coyote meat." Sherman Caufield did "pitch in," and he was sur prised at the good supper the outlaws had, of broiled bacon venison steaks, birds roasted potatoes, ash cake and coffee. "If ypu is ter be here long, pard, ther cap will hev ter git a' extra supply o' grub,'' said one of the out laws. Sherman laughed, and soon after was sound asleep. He arose at daylight, and hobbled out of the cabin. One of the outlaws was building up a fire, another getting wood, and both quickly drew their masks over their faces at sight of him. "You is an early riser, boy," said "Yes; when I cannot sleep, there is no need of lying in bed." "Scared, eh?" "Of what?" "Our killin' yer." "Oh, no; I take things as they come, and will not be frightened until there is no hope for "Guess the chief will be here to-day." "Who is he?" "Don't know.'' "Don't know who your chief is?" "No." "That is strange." "Waal, it"s so.'' "Where is he?" "Don't know." "Don't he stay here?" "Sometimes. "But is away now?" "He be." "Yet comes to-day?" "We expects him to-day." "What is his name?" "Don't know." "What do you call him ?" "Chief an' cap'n.'' "Then you do not know him by any name?" "I doesn't, and, if any of the band do, I don't know it.' "What kind of looking man is he?" "Don't know." "You are not blind?" "No, I has darned good eyes.'' "And yet cannot tell how your chief looks?" "vVould you know my face ag'in if yer met me elsewhere?" "I haven't seen your face." "Jist so. I hasn t seen ther chief's face." "Ah! he goes masked, then, like you?" "No, not like me." "How, tb'en ?" "He wears a black cap, with a tassel on ther end, and it pulls dow1t over his head to his shoulders, with only holes for him to see through." "A complete mask?" "You bet: and he wears a black gown that covers his clothes, fallin to ther ground (J.lmost, and only hi s feet is Visible." "Is he ashamed to be seen?" "Waal, don t allow nobody ter see his face or form, ana that hain't all." "What else?" "He rides a horse which has his head and body-yes, and even his legs, hid, too, the black cloth hidin' saddle. bridle and a11. "I tell yer, boy, he do look awful terrible." "Like the black ghost of a horse and man?"

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ifHE BUFFALO B ILL STORIES. "Jist that." "And keeps himself unknown to his own men?" "You bet he does." "But you are known to him?" "Oh, yes, he's got us down fine, you bet." "I should like to see him." "Better feel sorrv." "Why?" "It's big chances to nothin' he orders you shot." "Why?" "It may be his notion "I'v e d o ne him no harm." "That makes no difference." "Does he not stay here?" "He comes and goes "We d on't know when ter expect him ontil he rides i nter ther canyon, only we thinks he ll be erlong now, see1n' as the lieutenant who sent you here must have reported, a nd I guess you wa s held for some good rea son." "I hope so, at least; but see there!" The man turned his gaze down the canyon, and c ried, quickly : "There he comes now!" "Who?" "The chie f." CHAPTER II. THE CHIEF OF THE GOLD GHOULS. Sherman Canfield s gaze w a s turned up o n the one who m the outlaw had said w a s the G o ld Ghouls' chief with int e nse interest. The man who had been talking t o him was prepar ing breakfa s t, and the youth was watching him while they talked, wi t h a look that s howed his night of sleep lessne s s had not taken away his appetite. The o ther outlaw who had been about had gone off dist a nce for wood and was retut : ning with a ':large bundle upon his shoulders. But Sh e rman was all eyes now for the com ing chief. He had forgotten the preparation for breakfast in the great int e rest in the one who held his de s tiny in his hand. He saw a h ors e a nd man approaching slowl y up the can yo n The m a n was e n ve l o p e d fr o m h e ad t o foot in a black gown tha t c o mpl e te ly shielded his he a d fac e a nd fo rm. Over his h orse a l s o was thro w n a bla ck bl a nket so tN.a t it w o uld be imp os sible to tell eve n the c o l o r of the animal, o r get a glimpse of his saddle artd bridle. A close r l oo k at the s e c o verin gs s howed tha t they we r e mad e o f the f1nest rubber. Certainl y th e wearer did n o t intend that either him self or his h o r s e s hould be known. The word that th e c hief w a s c o ming was qqickly pa s sed a l o ng t he c ab ins and half a d o zen men were soon assembl e d t o g r e et him. He drew rein near the fire, dismounted, left his horse standin g and came toward Sherman. The boy's eyes were riveted upon him, and he no t iced that he was of large size, yet stooped in his walk, and was certainly round-shouldered. His hands were gloved by the same rubber covering, and the coat he wore fell to his feet, yet r evealed small feet, and that he wo1:e gold spurs . The chief regarded him a moment in silence, and t hen said : "I heard that you were and sent here and that you were one of a b a nd o f g old-hunter s Yes, and you were with the dying s o ldier, S ergeant Fess en den, when he breathed his last? "I w a s "And the sergeant told you h i s story '?" "He told me to take hi s p e r s on a l effects to the fort and send them to his wife." "You know where the ser g e ant's mine and gold isl believe that he told you all a n d I swear to you that you sh a ll te ll me, o r I will kill you Sherman Canfie l d fd.t a thrill run through his heart a t t he words of the savage chief, for he had fairly roared out his t hreat, being worked into a violent pas sion at he considered the loss of a fortune. The men trembled, for they knew their chief and f eared him greatly They expected to see him spring upon the youth and drive a knife to his h ea:rt But, whatever he may have felt inwardly, Sherman Canfield did not outwardly show it. .His fearless face did not change color, he did not flinch from the masked chief, and he looked squarely into the two holes through which glanced the eyes of the leader of the Gold Ghouls He argued quickly that, as he was supposed to know the sergeant s secret, to be able to serve as guide to the mine, his life was safe. And so the men and the chief were astounded to hear h im calmly respond to the latter's threat: "I can die but once and don't you think for a mo ment that I am afraid to, when my time comes, o r you' ll fool yourself The men gazed at eac h othe r in amazement, while one, the m a n wh o m Sherman had been t a lking to when the chief c a me up, said in a whi s p er: "Do n t, b oy pard, or he 'll jump yer." Sherman's face flushed for the w o rds s e emed ut t e r e d in kindne ss. He r e m e mbered that the man h a d a s ked Sla y back to put less heavy mana cles upon his feet, and he h a d b e en the one to s h o w h i m h i s bed, and make him as comforta ble as p oss ib le. He had als o h e lped him mo s t generously at supper the night before, a n d now w a s th e o ne to urge him to have a c a re how he spoke to the Clr ea ded ch ief. It w a s but littl e t o p i n h op e t o but under the circum stances Sherman felt it, and he said no more.

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1'HE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 5 The chief had turned and paced to and fro several times, and then said, savagely: "Gorman, serve my breakfast in my cabin, and afterward bring that boy there, for I wish to have a talk with him." ".Yes, chief," answered Gorman, and Sherman saw that he was the man who had at least not been unkind to him. The chief wheeled and walked away to a cabin that stood apart from the others, back under the cliff, his horse following, and then Sherman noticed that animal's hoofs were muffled, so as to prevent his le av -ing a trail. The chief opened the door with a key he had carried and entered the caqin, the horse taking his stand near by. Sherman sat clown upon a log near the fire, while the men regarded him curiously, one them breaking the silence that followed the chief's departure with: "See here, kid, thet tongue o' yours is goin' ter git yer neck in trouble." "How so?" "Yer don't know the chief." "I don't wish to." "Waal, he's one ter git a cquai nted, and see if he don't git quite intimate with you afore you die." "Oh, I suppose he w ill kill me." "Yer don't seem ter sigh over it a heap." "'What's the use?" "Does yer know whar ther glitter is?" "What do you mean?" "The se rgeant's dust." "If I did I wouldn't tell." "Does yer think more of another man's gold than yer does of ye r life?" "Maybe I do, maybe I don't." "vVaal, my advice to yer is ter spit out wha t yer knows, and jine this band, if yer ever want ter see yer hom e and mother ag'in." allusion made Sherman cast a retrospe ct ive glance, and he was silent. Then Gorman gave him his breakfast, with the Je mark: "This will brace you, lad." Sherman ''"ent to work with a will at his breakfast, while Gorman went to carry the chief his, for he ne:ver unmasked before his men but ate alone in his cabin when he was at the retreat. When the youth had fini s hed his breakfast, Gorman said: "Come, boy pard, we'll go now." He called out, as h e approached the cabin, and asked if the chief wished to see the pris oner, and received a gruff answer in the affirmative. "Say, boy pard, go slow, and don't make him mad." "He won't kill ye r as long as he thinks yer knows whar ther sergeant's gold is; and yo u knows whether kr tell or not, only lt_ol
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1'HE BUFFALO BlLL STORIES. a prisoner went that way," said Buffalo BHI, in his quiet way. "You are right, chief; the cliffs have a trail up them, only we haven't found it, but we'll try again after breakfast," said one of the scouts, and the others were also convinced from what the chief had said that there must be some way of getting up the cliffs, and all said that find it they would, for they would not be outwitted by a gang of cutthroats. After they had finishecf their breakfast, they all went to the base of the cliffs, and once more began the search for the trail. The l)liff was like a wall in many places, being per pendicular for fifty and a hundred feet upward, and again, where there was a break, a shelf something over twenty feet from the base. But along the base for the length of the canyon there was no footing to be found in the massive wall of rock, no break lower down than twenty feet. The scouts returned to their chief in great disap pointment. They found him standing with his lariat in hand, and preparing to throw the coil up"vard. There was a slight slope in the wall there, and within the reach of a lariat there was a shelf whereon grew a stunted cedar and a few bushes. The scouts watched their chief closely, for they felt that he, as was his wont, had "struck it rich," as one of the men expressed it. The throw was made; the lariat caught on the cedar, and Buffalo Bill, drawing it taut, called out: "Here, Jenks, you are a light fellow in weight, so go up and see if from that shelf a way can be found up to the top of the cliff, for we could not ride around and get there without going many a mile, if even then we could get horses upon the top." Jenks caught hold of the lariat, and quickly went up to the rocky shelf. It was a minute before he spoke, and all eyes were upon him, as he said: "I think you've hit dead center, chief." He disappeared from sight back upon the rocks, and was gone so long that at last Buffalo Bill said : "One of you fellows of lighter weight go up and see if Jenks has gone to sleep up there. "In fact, it would be better for two of you to be along." Another of the scouts of lighter weight climbed the lariat, reached the shelf, and disappeared . He was gone but a minute, when he darted again into view, his face white, while he cried: "Chief Cody, Jenks is dead! "He has been murdered !" Large man that he was, at the startling report of the second scout who had climbed the lariat to the shelf, and so quickly brought the tidings of his comrade's fate, Buffalo Bill seized the lasso and ascended rapidly to the rocky shelf. There stood the man who had said that Jenks was dead, and he was almost unnerved by the shock, brave as he was. Hardly had the chief gone up, when half a dozen lariats were thrown, and caught on the cedar, and the scouts at once began to ascend to the side of their leader. Buffalo Bill had, meanwhile, followed the scout back from the edge of the shelf. There was a break in the cliff there, forming some thing like a cavern, and, going back through it for a hundred feet, they came to a well-like opening from there to the cliff above. But in this space, like as though at the bottom of a large and deep well; lay the form of Jenks, and he was dead There was a gash upon his head, and he had evi dently beem dealt some terrible blows from above. "He was killed with this rock," and Buffalo Bill picked up a piece of rock weighing all of ten pounds. It lay loose on the rock flooring, and had certainly fallen frcom above. The other scouts now began to gather upon the scene, and one said: "It broke off and fell upon poor Jenks just as he came in here. "We must be careful, chief. "Not from fea,r of rocks 'breaking off and faHing upon us, but of their being thrown down. "Stand back under shelter of the arch men," and the chief spoke in a low, stern tone that showed he was deeply moved. "You think he was killed then, sir ?" "Yes." 1 '.'See this side of the rock." "rt was just picked up from where it was half-im bedcled in the soil, for, you see, it is wet. "That proves it did not break off from the rock above and fall." There was no &nying that Buffalo Bill read the signs aright, and the rock was passed from hand to hand among the scouts. "Poor Jenks; he never knew what killed him said Brandon, the lieutenant of the soout band. "You are wrong, Brandon, for you see rock struck Jenks almo s t squarely in the face, crushing in his forehead." "I see that, chief." "And you notice that Jenks' rev olver is in his hand, and cocked, so you may be sure he had some reason for drawing it, and he had doubtless disco vered his foe above, and intended to kill him, but was given the fatal blow before he could pull the trigger. "Jenks lay on his back, which shows that he was le a ning backward and looking upward when struck, for otherwise he would have fallen on his face. "Some of you boys wrap his body up, and leave it on the shelf by the tree, and then we will push on up

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t"HE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 'l the side of the cliff, for I am sure that we can reach the top from that starting-point." The body \Vas wrapped in a blanket, and laid near the tree, and, Buffalo Bill leading the way, began to make the climb. He soon took his boots off, and tying them together, slung them over his back, while he called baek: "If any of you boys cannot trust your heads, you had better not make the climb, or there will be others to bury." S evera l of the scouts were already growing dizzy, and they at once took advantage of the chief's words to return to the tree, and he called to them to go back to camp, and take the body of Jenks with them. There were just eight men who followed their leader up the dizzy dimb along the face of the cliff, which rose there to the height of five hundred feet above the meadow land. Those below, having descended to the meadow, stood watching their daring comrades with awe and admiration, for, though men without fear themselves, their natures were so constituted as to cause them to grow dizzy when on lofty places, as is the case of very many people. The chief at last reached the top, and stood gazing down at the others strung out on the cliff. Not having started just as Slayback and his prisoner had, they had taken a far more perilous way up, one the outlaws would not have risked, and had reached the summit in safety. Fearless as they were by nature, the scouts were wondering all the way up if the chief would return by the way he ascended, and there was much foreboding felt among them, in case he did so, as to the result. Calmly stood Buffalo Bill, surveying his men, and saying a pleasant word to each one as he gained the summit. He knew the great danger, and dared not l eave the spot pntil each one had landed in safety. Far below him he saw the men in the meadow, the body of Jenks lying at their feet, while they looked in horror at the daring climbers. At la s t the rear man rea(:hed the summit, and but for the quickly-extended hand of the chief he would have reeled and fallen backward. Their comades in the valley waved t heir hats but uttered no cheer, for they were too well trained for that. Then the chief, after a moment spent for the men to regain their breath, led the way over to where they must find the well-like fissure in the mountain at the bottom of which poor Jenks met his death. They pulled on their boots once more, and walked quickly in the direction they expected to find the op ening. The fop of the cliff was rugged, uneven and stretched away in vast expanse toward a distaqt range of mountains. It was almost treeless, and it would seem that nothing save to commit crime or escape from death would tempt man to go to so drear a spot. A quarter of a mile from where they reached the summit of the cliff, they came to the fissure in the earth. It seemed as though the cliff had split in twain back from the canyon for several hundred yards, then closed up again, leaving a tunnel-like passage below, and not fully closing toward the end of the break, and this formed the well-like opening. Down into the place the scouts gazed, and then be gan to search around the top. There w ere numerous rocks scattered about, and one place from which a piece had been very recently re moved, for resting-place of it was moist still. "That was where the rock came from that killed Jenks and riow we must find the trail of his murderer ," said the chief. As they looked down, they saw there were breaks, or shelves, in the wall of rock all the way down, nat ural, yet about thirty feet apart, and arranged with a: regularity as though cut there. As their eyes became accustomed to the dim light below, they saw that from one of the shelves to an., other hung a rope. The upper end was made fast to a rock, and tile lower end hung loose upon the shelf below. "See here, men, that rope tells the story. "There were ropes hanging from the top down to each shelf, and the man who killed Jenks was watching us, and, when he saw me throw the lariat, ran back and made his escape. "He pulled each rope up after him, but was too hur ried to get that one, or missed it for some reason, and had reached the top, gotten that stone, and threw it down upon Jenks wh<;i he saw that he was discovered. "Now, let us see where the upper rope was fastened here." They were not long in making this discovery, as a cedar grew some twenty feet' away from the aperture, and the mark of a rope around its base was distinctly visible. ' Then ; too, there was the line along on the rocky soil where it had passed, and a pad was found, which had evidently. been put over the ledge to prevent its wear ing the rope. "We must find these ropes, men, and the necks for them to encircle," said Buffalo Bill, grimly, and, call ing for the lariats of the scouts, he soon had them fas tened together, then one end passed around the tree and the other two dropped down to the shelf, wl\e.re the rope was fastened. Though ther e were volunteers for the descent, the chief slung himself over the edge and went down. He unfastened the end of the rope about the rock, put it about his waist, and climbed up to the top.

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THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. "New rope, one inch in size, tied in knots for hand rests, with here and there a loop for a foot-rest. "It was, of course, bought in Overland City, and it took all of three hundred feet for the use it was put to. "I must find out who has been purchasing so much rope of late in Overland City. we'll what we can find in the way of trails upon this ridge-top." The men scattered, and began to hunt like Indians for a trail. They stuck to their work untiringly and patiently, never thought of rest or dinner, and did not give up the hunt until nearly sunset when they all assembled a mil e away from the starting point. . They had made no discovery, and Buffalo Bill c ould only account for the escape of the outlaw or outlaws, rrom the ridge by saying that they had descended fr?m the ridge by the same means they had gotten up, a lme o f ro pes, and had taken "'.ith tht;m. Where they had gone 1t was 1mposs1ble to disc?ver, and the glasses of the scouts revealed only the wildest country beyond the ridge. The outlaws had used the ridge a s a means of escape on foot; if cornered, by means of the ropes, and, re treating from there, had gone no one knew where. / To go around and follow th_em would be a lo:ig and tedious work and, not knowmg where to stnke for their retreat in that wild mountain range, all would be gue5swork, while it would take a regiment of scouts to hem them in. "Men, I regret to say that we are baffled utterfy baf "We can teturn by that hole, with this rope and our l a riats descend and soon get to camp. "Then our plans must be to find out who the Gold Gh o uls are and shadow them down; but now we are wholly baffled," and the scout led the retreat toward the canu:>. CHAPTER IV. THE OUTLAW'S PLEA. When the masked and s avage chief of the Gold Gh ouls made the threat he did to Sherman Canfield, he seemed to feel that he would terrify and frighten the youth into an immediate confession of all he knev : of the sergeant's gold-mine. To the surprise of the chief, the youth l ooked him squarely in the face, and replied : "I have seen Indians, and they are no m."OFe cruel than you are." . "Do you defy me?" roared the outlaw. "I am in your power, and in irons; you are master her .e, and an outlaw, so I can do nothing." The masked outlaw chief turned ?avagely upon the youth drew his revolver from his belt, cocked it delib erately, and, pointing it at his heart, said, sternly: "Confess all you know about that gold mine or you have but one minute to live!" Not a muscle of the boy's face quivered, and he answered, fearlessly: "I know n0thing that you can force from me by threats." An oath broke from the outlaw's lips and he again walked back and forth across the cabin. At last he changed his tactics completely. He resumed his seat, and said, in a kindly tone, pointing to a second chair that was in the cabin : "Sit down, young man Sherman Canfield obeyed in silence. "See here, it is my profession to get gold. H::iw I get it I cio not care, and I work for it harder than the most industrious miner works with pick and shovel. Mine is brain work, and endurance of body as well, for I am constantly on the go. I take my life in my hand in seeking gold, and what I get is from the sweat of other men's brows; yes, blood-stai ned often, and more lives are given up in its defense. I do not feel just happy over this ,life, and yet I am not rich enough to give up yet. There is a belief in my mind that Ser geant Fessenden was a Yery rich man. Though en listing as a private soldier, he was a man of superior education of refinement and a gentleman. He. was a o-eologist, and a botanist a s well; and he made rocks, trees and flowers the study of his life. He found, in his lone ramblings, a gold mine, and he be gan to work it at different times alone. It was a long time before I suspected what his lone pilgrimages meant, and then I had him shadowed. But he wa$ as cunning as an Indian, and t oo good a plain s man !0 be caught. "Two men whom I sent to shadow him lost iheir lives, and he must have killed them, believing them to be seeking his life. "One was dressed as a soldier, the other in the dis o-uise of an Indian, and I found their bodies; but what fhey had about them had not been disturbed, though one had a belt with considerable money in it. I never heard that the sergeant ever reported these h yo deaths a t the fort, so he kept his killing them to himself. "You know just what happened; you know that the seroeant made a confidant of you before he died, and Jefthis papers and all to your keeping. Knowing this vou could keep it for yourself, if yo u were not my pris But, being my pri sone r yo u must buy your freedom, your life. "Tell me where that mine is, guide me to it, and we will o-o halves and you are free to go where you will. you know just what I wish you to do, and, _if you do not obey then your life shall be the forfeit. This I swear to you." "You needn't swear to it to make me believe you will kill me, for I am sure that you will; but I wouldn't tell you if it was to save a thousand li ves."

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THE BU ff ALO BILL S T ORIES. 8 ''Do yo u think you could find the mine, if you tried, from the spot where the sergeant was kil!-ed ?'' "I might." "Will you go there with me alone and make the attemptr Sherman Canfield was like a drowning caught at a straw. In going alone with the outlaw chief, the chance might come for him to make his escape, or even to kill him. He would compromise to please himself, and so re, plied: "I will go with you, but I won't say I can find the mine." "All right ; we will go together, but not for several r days yet, as I have other work on hand just now will return here within a week and be prepared for the trip, and you go with me, and, having c a iled Gorman to take the pri soner in charge, the chief soon after mounted his horse and rode away. When Gorman saw the ch ief ride away, he seated himself upon a log, and said, in his quaint way: "Squat, boy p ard." Sherman sat down quietly, and, whittling a stick in silence for a while, Gorman then said: 'fDid yer tell him?" "No." \Vhy, are you a member? asked the boy, "l\!Ie ?)' "Yes." "Why shouldn't I be?" "\!Vell, in the first place, you have not the evil man ner the others have, and you don't talk like a man who was wicked just because he wanted fo be. The man started at the words, and his eyes peer ed sharply through the holes in the mask straight into the face of the youth. Sherman's quest.ion seemed to have struck some chord in his heart. After a few minute s he said, abruptly: "I am not bad because I wish to be but for the rea son that a cruel fate made me so." His vo ice had suddenly changed, and he s poke for the first time without using the border dialect. He looked still squarely at the youth, and, after a short s ilence went on to say: "Yes, it was m y cruel fate that made me what I am to-day and I can never battle against the destiny that has marked my life. "You need not have become an out.law if you had not \vished to be one," boldly said Sherman. "You think so, eh ?" "Yes." "\Vell, you shall hear my story, and be the judge." "Do you know why I take a fancy to you?" "Have you done so?" "Yes, I have. "\.Vhy ?" "Because you remind me of my younger brother, for I am not an old man, see?" He took his mask from his face, and revealed it to the youth. Sherman Canfield was surprised to see that he was so young, for he could scarcely be over twenty-three or twenty-four. He was beardless, save for a mustache, and his dark eyes, white teeth and fine features made his face a handsome one. He at once resumed his mask, with a quick glance toward the men's cabin, to see if his act had b e en ob served. But no one app eared to have seen it, and he went on to say: "Yes, you are strangely like my younger brother, Harry, just seventeen years of age when I killed him, six years ago-eighteen months by junior." "When you killed him?" "Yes, for I did kill him, though not intentionally. "We loved each ot,her devotedly, but he was my parents' pet, and for some reason I was slighted continu al ly, though I tried to be obedient to them. "I was sent to college, and it was when I was home on vacation that he came into my room one day and accused me of slandering him to a young girl h e was in love with. "I was not guilty, and it, but he grew wild with rage, said that I--tied, and in an ungovernab le fit of fury said he would kill me, and sprung to the d esk in my room where I had a loaded revolver-this is the weapPn," and the man took a small revolver from his inner breast pocket and showed it to Sherman. "I sa\v that my life was in danger, and sprung to seize the weapon, and in the struggle for it the revolver was discharged and the bullet pierced the heart of my poor brother. "I was dismayed, terrifie<;l, dazed, and the gallO\,\'S rose befor e me so I made at once my preparations fo escape. "'vVe lived in the country; my parents were away from home for a couple of days ; the revolver shot had not aroused the servants, and, hastily packing u p a few thing s1 I 1eft the room, locking the door after me, and taking the key. "I have the key no\\. "J had, however, written to my parents the trnth. leaving the letter upon my desk, and folded the d ead hands of poor Harry upon his breast. I mounte d my best horse, and rode rapidly a w ay, and by sunset was miles from home. "I caught a train at a small station, and, going to ihe near est city, disgui se d myself, sold my watch, and with the money I had came \Vest ward with all haste. "I sought the mining country, but an accursed fate still clogged me and made me \vhat I am." "Did killing your brother by accident clri ve vou to

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10 THE BUFf J\LO BILL STORIES. commit crimes '.n earnest?" asked Sherman Canfield, \\hen the outlaw paused in his story. .. It made me desperate; but I was a fool, as I after ward learned, but not until too l ate for me to r et urn home. "It was only a year ag-o that I took another life, and of a dear friend. "l was in City, and I had not heard from home since leaving, but I had a constant dread that I would be captured and taken b ack to b e hang;ed, for I was sure my parents would so wish it. "I was walking along one moonlight night, alone, when I met a man, who halted, looked at me, and 'I've got you at last! ,; 'You are Gorman Field!' "Quick as a flash I had wh1ppe4 out my revolver and pulled the trigger, for the man was a stranger in the camps, and I was sure that he was a detective on my track. "He fell, mortally wounded, and then I learned 1;hat he was my old chum at college, and who was looking for me. "He had who I was, said he wanted to fi11d me, yet did not explain, and all thought, of course, that there had been trouble between us, and I had been too quick for him. "He lived but a few minutes, yet l ong enough to tell me that my brother had been seized with insane fits while I was at college making attemp ts, for imaginary wrongs, upon hi s mother, father and servants. . "They had hoped my coming home would cure him, but a l as! he was seized with a desire to kill me, and the result I have told you. "After leaving college, as I could nowhere be found, my good chum said that he would find me, and he star ted on the hunt. "You know the result. Well, I was suspected of a muq:ler and robbery in Overland City, and again I was innocent but the miners intended to hang me and try me afterward, and I skipped, and joined the Gold Ghouls, for I knew the chief, and I guess I am the only man in the band who does. "I have told you my story, pard, and that I took to you because you reminded m e of my prother Hai-ry, and you 'll find I will do all I can to help yon, though I tell you frankly, when the chief is sure you won't tell him where to get that gold, he'll kill you as sure as you are sitting here now." "I do not doubt that, when he is sure I will not tell him ." "Then, my advice is for you t o tell him, and then l ight out, for your life is worth more than gold, a nd you've got much to live for, while I have nothing.'' "You are wrong there, for what made yo u a .fugi tive you were not at heart gui lty of, and in killing your friend yo u were, as you be!'ieve, only saving yourself from arrest and carrying back to be hanged." "Boy parcl, you give me the first consolation I have had in six long years,'' said the outlaw, feelingly "Then l et me give you more." "Can you?" "I'll try. "You are not, at heJ .r t, a bad man, and you have leagued yourself with outlaws, because you did not kn ow what else to do t o save yot1r life. Now, have yon b een very bad sinc;e you have l;ieen a member of the ban d?" "No, for I have escaped having t o be by mere luck, however." "Well, suppose yo u decide to turn over a new leaf, and be pards with me." "To do what?" "To get out -of.this at first, and then help me." "Can I trust you?" "With your life," was the earnest response. "Then let me tell you a secret." "The mine I have a half-share in, if I ch oos e to c1aim it, and I'll tell you what I'll do." "'I/Veil?" "You have got full power here, and can go and c ome as you ple ase?" "Yes." "There are some fine horse s here, and you as cook, hav e the run of the provisions." "True." "And the weapons?" "Yes." "Now, as you are not at heart an out law, and I never intend to be, and if I stay here I wi ll be killed, and you will be guilty of my death, I say that we can skip out t oget her and, well armed and equipped, we will go, and half of my share I will give to you, and you can get out of this countr y and go where you ma y yet be contented, if not happy, and comfortably off as well. "vVhat do you say?" "Boy pard, you hold out a big temptati o n to me for it will let me save you fr om death, and that I think m ore of than th e gold I will get, though I believe all is as yon say it is. "I'll tell you that I know this country even better than Buffalo Bill, and that is saying a great deal; but I have hunted it all oYer for gold, and it was I who told the chief of this retreat, and he came to it last fall, with his men, and there are secrets about it that he and I only know. I'm your friend, and I'll think over what you say, and let you know to-morrow-at any rate. if I do not go, you shall, boy pard." .CHAPTER V. CONSIDERING. Sherman Canfield could have given a whoop for joy at the words of the outlaw, but h e wisely restrained his feeli ngs, and simply said :

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THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 1 1 "All right, pard; I'll expect you to go with.me." "Yes, you wish to snatch a brand from the burning, as it were," answered the Gold Ghoul; and he arose, and went back to his cabin to prepare for the noonday meal. Sherman still remained seated where he left him, for with his feet manacled close together his keepers had no fear of his escape, and even would not have sup posed he could do so if free. "Now, is be playing me, or in earnest?" This question the youth asked himself, when left alone. He thought the matter over carefully, and mused about as follows: "If he is playing me, then I will make a big mistake, but I'll have to pretend to trust him, and then fix him at the first break he makes to play me false. ''I don't think he's bad at heart. "He does not look it or talk it. "He was kind to me from the first, and I noticed he sat eying me in a strange way when Slayback brought me here. "He talks like an educated man, too, and he un masked his face for me to look at it. "If his story is true, he certainly has had a big i:.un of bad luck, and I heard one of the men telling him thi.s morning that provisions were getting low, and he would have to send some one to Overland City, as he would not dare go himself. "Now, if I get out of this alive, I can afford to give half of wf1at the sergeant left me. "I will go alone to the river, and see if the saber still holds the packages on the bottom, for, if it does not, then I have got to look for the mine and firi.d it, for I must ]feep my pledge to Sergeant Fessenden. "If 1 find the package there I will go on to the fort, and report to Buffalo Bill and Colonel Ca1r. "If I don't find the package, then I will make a se cret hunt for the mine, and when I find it will repoi=t at the fort, for I have too much pride to go there and say I have lost the package intrusted to me by the dying sergeant. "I must find that, or the mine and this man-Gorman Field, he called himself-will help me, if he is tme, and, if he plays me false, then we must have it out together. At any rate, if I leave here, with his aid, I will sup ply myself from the camp of the ou tlaws." At dinner Sherman was well helped by Gorman, and he listened attentively to men talking over the visit of the chief. Gorman seemed to lead them on, as for the youth's benefit, and he picked up considerable information. During the afternoon they had some shooting matches, and, allowed to shoot with them, Sherman Canfield proved to be the deadest shot of all, and won their admiration. :They talked together again at supper, about the chief, their plans for the future, the hold-ups th_ e band had had, and also spoke of their comrades ;who had gone to look up the the c-omrades of Sherman Canfield, while they ended up by stating that their companion who had gone over the plateau to fetch in the horses of Slayback, and the young prisoner would have a hard..time of it. 1 night Sherman Canfield slept soundly, and the next day he was wondering what his outlaw friend would decide upon. "Give me another day yet, boy pard," he said, late in the afternoon. "I haven't quite made up my mind yet." "All right," cheerily said Sherman, and that night as they sat around the campfire the men began to won der why their comrade, sent after the horses of the party that had brought Sherman to the strong11old did not come back. "Two of yer better go over in the morning and hev a look for him," said Gorman, and the next morning a couple of the outlaws made an early start over the plateau. They were back at noon, and with a story to tell that was not very comforting to hear, for they reported that they kacl gone down the ropes in the chasm, recon noitered with their glasses from the cedar bush, and were sure that scouts were lying in wait in the timber, while coyotes about one of the horses showed that he was dead and propped up, while the other animal was staked out. Their comrade, sent after the horse, had gone down the cliff and had been certainly killed or captured, and this proved that Slayback's party with his prisoner had been tracked that far at least. Still in irons, though allowed to hobble about near the cabins, Sherman Canfield heard all that was said by the outlaws. They spoke unreservedly before him, not appearing to take his escaping into consideration, and, from the the past deeds of their chief, apparently looking upon him as already to be numbered among the dead. He heard with horror their story of going to th e camp of his comrades the gold-hunters, pretending to be a rescue party, and thus getting a chance to kill them without clanger to themselves. He looked over the men who had been of that party, led by Slayback, and mentally photographed them, for upon their return, having learned that the chief had been there and intended to put the young prisoner to death, they removed their masks,' and those who had remained at the retreat did the same, Gorman among them. A harder lot of villains Sherman Canfield felt that he had never seen congregated together, though he did except Gorman, yet no other. All the rest he was assured were bred-in-the-bone devils. The prisoner was deeply pained at the fate o f his

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12 THE BUFF J\LO BILL STO"il:S. comrades; ancl, as lie lay upon his blanket that night, the tears would come into his eyes. That Slayback had said Buffalo Bill and his scouts were on the watch for the outlaws, was a great 'joy to Sherman, but the cool manner in which they t9ok it convinced him that the approach to the retreat must be most secretly hidden, or guarded, as they appeared to dread not the coming of the scouts, only to go ahead and run upon them. The youth 11oticed, however, that the outlaws sent out spies the next day, botli down the canyon and over the plateau, a:nd seemed anxious for them to come in with their reports. Some mention was made of a fear that the chief might attempt to come to the retreat and run upon ,Buffalo Bill and h is men, and all seemed to realize what that vvotlld mean, desperate anq fearless as they knew their leader to be. Each day had Gorman put Sherman off with the requ est for more time to consider, until the young pris on er began to feel doubtful of him. Bnt Gorman still fed him well, and otherwise looked to his comfort, though at other times he seemed to shun being with him. Sherman could not escape, that was ce1iain, without his aid, and so was compelled to affect a patience he did not feel. One afternoon one of the two scouts sent over the plateau came in very hastily and a signal was given calling the men at once to assemble. As soon as he saw him, and he was about the first who did, Sherman made his way to the general rendez vous, and was there when the others came up in haste: They t ook no notice of him and at once heard the storv of the scout. lt was in effect that they had gone to the plateau and descended into the well-like chasm, when, re.aching the little shelf on the side of the cliff where the cedar grew, to theii.amazement they had beheld Buffalo Bill and his scouts in the meadow . The chief of scouts was at the base of the cliff, and his men were coming toward him from different cl. irec tions. They counted fifteen, incl u ding Buffalo Bill, and the latter had said so that they heard him that he intended to Jasso the tree on the rocky shelf and see if they co\.tld get up that way. ' Then they had fled back through a cave which gave them an entrance to the stronghold, and began to climb the ropes, pulling' them up after them, though one they had forgotten Looking over after they had reached the top, they saw a scout enter the chasm below, and he spied them and was drawing his revolver, when the narrator, who had seized a heavy stone, threw it down and it crushed the man beneath it. "Then we ran," he continued "and taking up a po sition in a hiding place t11at gave us a view of the mea-. '
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e f) THE BUFFAL O BILL STORIES. 13 1 "So they went back and retreated to the meadow, so ll give it up and bury their dead comrade, I guess." i "And they can never track us here around the other ay," said Gorman. .. "You bet they won't." "I tell you this is the safest hidin' place on 'arth," plied another. Sherman Canfield made no reply, but to ok in every ord that was uttered. .That the mov ement of the scouts might not be a End, Casey was ordaed to return with half a dozen utlaws, and go prepared to remain on the plateau 11 night. At the s _ame time, in ca se a double move was in eqded, there were h alf a dozen more sent down the can yon to j oin those who had gone that way in the morn ing and all were to be prepared for resistance should Buffalo Bill track them to their lair. Gorman had given the orders dispatching the out aws as guards, for, in the absence of Brandon, the out' aw lieutenant, the chief a lways gave him command of he camp, and both Lheir were then away. With a dozen men off as guards, there were but few eft in camp, and that night Gorman ga':'e a sign to. riove away from the fire where all sat. ; This the young prisoner did by going to his blankets or the night. 1 Gorman soon after counted the men, saw that none ere ausent of those left in camp, and he slipped away o the c abin. He sat down in the door where he could 1 see the 1en and said, quietly: "Gone to sleep, boy pard ?" "No, indeed. "You heard what the men ;-eportecl ?" "Yes." "Well, if Buffalo Bill has set out to find this place he'll do i." 1'1t may not be to-morrow, or next clay, or next week or month, but in time he'll get here by some means." "I have heard that he is not a man to give up, onc e lhe starts on a trail." . "That's it, he never does." "He is like a bloodhound on a trail when he knows he is right, and he 'll get here." "And that means a hot fight?" "I don't know, for he'll come when we are off our guard and it means a rope for most of us." "Well, you all know that you deserve it," was the I not very cons o ling remark of the young prisoner. "Yes, I guess they do; but you have set me to I thinking, and I've got very fond of y<;>u, lad "I am determined not to be here wheo Buffalo Bill comes and I'm going to give you a pledge." "I am mighty glad of it, Pard Gorman, for I thought you had decided to break your word." "Oh, no, not that; but fve been thinking, plotting,, vlanning for our good. "I am going to give you a pkdge to stand by you, to join you in the work you said you had to do, but upon conditions." "Well?" "They say there is honor among thieves, and I do not wish to have the chief believe I am.a traitor to him, that I would set you fre e and so I will have you go alone, an
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14 ifHE BUFF ALO Bill STORIES. nation of the cabins, the chief's quarters, how many men sleep in each and the number in the band. "With this is a paper with copies of the reward for the chief's head, dead or alive, so much for each Gold G:houl, and such a sum for the capture of the outfit. "I put the paper where I it, and soon after he came along white as a sheet looking for something and f:,icked it up. "Now, I told him to-day I wished him .to go to Over land City in a few days, on a special mission for the chief, and he seemed delighted at the chance. "He is the man who will have to suffer for your es cape, and I tell you frankly he is robbing the men se cretly and making all preparations for getting us hanged "So he'll run his neck in the noose himself." "Well, sooner or later I do not suppose will matter much ; but can you fasten the suspicion on him?" "I can and will, and there is no man more deserving of death, for, by his own confession he killed his wife and came West, and he is as merciless as a hyena, while he is now plotting to get his comrades hang e d, to get rewards for his treachery and is robbing them before hand.'' "Let him hang," was Sherman's complacent rejoin der. "Now, to-morrow night, instead of coming to bed, slip down along the cliffs and wait for me. "I'll join you there at tpe big cedar you have sat under every day." "I remember." "I'll unlock your irons and lead you to s<,lfety. "This man, the traitor, will be o n duty to-morrow night, for one man has always to remain up, and gen erally sits by the fire half asleep. His name is Doyle-the men call him Father Doyle because he shaves clean and looks like a priest. "I know him." "I can get back to my blankets un s een, and in the morning will try and keep your escape from being known as long as I can. "Now y ou know my plan?" "Yes, pa:rd Gorman, and it is a dandy one, though a little rough on Doyle "He has himself to blame for it." "All right, it is his funeral.'' "Now, boy pard, for my conditions." "'vV ell?" "Y.ou said you would hunt the s ergeant's mine and--" "And finding it will give you half my share.'' "That is all right, but I wish to say that the chief o f this band has twice saved my life. "He saved me once when the Indians were going to burn me at the stake, and again when the miners were going to hang me. "He is a bad man, and does a great deal of harm, but I wish to see him come to no trouble through m'nc or my act. 11 "I wish you to promise me that you will not kill hirr unless in defense of your own life; that you will nc guide Buffalo Bill to catch, or kill him, whatever yo-.iv may do for the rest of the band, and if you discoveet him as he is that yon will not betray him. "Do this and you go free, and within a week I wi 1 join you and we will be pards t o gether. "Refuse my request regarding the chief, and I wii say frankly I will not 1-.elp you.'' >e "I appreciate your motive, Pard Gorman, and accep your conditions, so give you my pledge," was th\.n earnest response. Then it is a compact.'' 1 "Now go to sleep and get a g oo d night' s rest," antv' Gdrman returned to the group at the fire, leaving man Canfield in a very pleasant frame of g: v CHAPTER V. THE ESCAPE. The next morning Sherman Canfield arose with deep feeling of anxiety, though he had young as he was, learned the Indian trait of completely hiding hil}1 feelings. h He ate a good breakfast, listened t o the talk of thtt outlaws, and hobbled about near the cabins, going tc the cedar a hundred yards away, where he ha<\) found comfort in lying upon the straw at the base and thiDking. Then would form itself upon his mind the dread of the chief's coming that clay, the fear 'that the scouts might make an attack, and Buffalo Bill meet with de, fe at, perhaps death. Then loomed up before him the fear that Gor man s plot might fail, until at last he muttet :ed: "\Vhat a fool I am to lie here borrowing trouble when I've got more 'than I want now. "I'll not worry, but wait and take my chances." Just then he saw Doyle passing down the canyon 1 toward the spring, carrying two buckets. The man saw him, nodded, went on after the water and, leaving it by Gorman s campfire, came o ver and sat down on the cedar straw near him "Say, young pard, I guesses you is gettin' pretty tired o' prisoner life," he said. "Yon bet I am.'' "I believe you knows where Sergeant Fessenden has a mine." "They say I do.'' "I gt1esses you does, for you was with him when he croaked and he didn't go without tellin' you." "He told me a great deal ab out his family.'' A nd his gold, too, I'll bet ,on it.'' Suppose he did?" "'v V aal I'm on ther make I am, and I don't care who dies or lives so I gits gold, and I feels sorry for you

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THE BU ff ALO BILL STORIES, 15 m
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13 THE BUFF J\LO BILL STORIES. into it, Gorman turned down it, the water coming up to the stirrups. He held on in the water for several miles, when the other shore began to look less black and dismal, and crossing, the depth almost lifting the horses off their feet, they came out at a regular trail where wild ani mals sought a drinking place, and which was also a crossing place for Indians on their hunts, when they sought the country lying beyond for big game. Once out of the stream, Gorman led the way at a gallop, and this was kept up for miles not a word being said between them. At last he came to a halt, and said : "Do you see anytl:1ing familiar about you?" "Well, yes, I have passed here before." "You did on your way to Overland City." "The country where the Gold Ghouls' retreat is all supposed to be impassable, almost to the foot of man, and yet you ha v e seen that it is not. "Yonder mountain you ste is in just another such a country, and there will be your retreat until I join you. "Keep on for the mountain and halt until daylight when you get near it. "Then consult your map and follow its directions, and you will find a retreat as safe as the one you have been a prisoner in. "Look for me in a week or ten days, and make yourself comfortable until I come. "Do you see this horse I am riding?" "Yes." "It is Doyle's favorite animal and will add another link to the chain of evidence against him." "Let me tell you that he came to me and had a talk." "\r\That did he say?" "He told me he would aid my escape and got me to give him a paper giving him balf in my mine, wherever that may be." "You did so." "Of course." "Good! it will be found on him and that will be another evidence against him." "Ah! I had not thought of that-so it will." "And I'll see that the key that unlocks your irons is found in his pocket when he is searched." "It looks as though Doyle was as good as hanged." "He is ; but I must be off. "Should. luck go against me and I do not come to you, you are free at least." "Yes, and I can never forget what you have done for me, Mr. Gorman." "Nor what you have done for me,. for the sight of you, my boy, recalled me to myself, and has made a new man of me. "I will not say good-by, but good-night," and with a firm grasp of the hand Gorman leaped into his saddle and dashed away, soon disappearing in the darkness. For a few minutes Sherman Canfield stood like one dazed. Never in his life before had he seemed so utter! alone in the world. At last the thought came over him that he was free. He was no longer a captive to the merciless Gold Ghouls . He had two splendid horses, a pack with food, ammunition and blankets in plenty. He was splendidly armed and the morning would reveal to him that there was a safe retreat for him. He gained his spirits quickly, and mounting, took the mountain peak as his beacon of hope and rode on. It seemed to grow no nearer for a long while, but at last he r eached the foothills and he came to a halt. He would rest until dawn. This he did, unsaddling his horses and staking them out He was quickly asleep and the sun shining in his face awoke him. Recal!ing all that the night had brought for him, he arose quickly, burfdled up his blankets, took a bath in the stream near and ate a cold breakfast from the haversack Gorman had hung to his saddle Then in the broad daylight he had a look at his horses and his outfit, and was delighted with every thing. "Why, I am rich," he said, with a pleased look breaking over his face. Then he got out the map, and after studying it found jt1st where he was, and mounting pressed on. The trail led him, following the map's directions, by a way that he felt very sure he could not be tracked or discovered, and at noon he came to the end of his journey . a little valley in the very summit of the mountain, with grass, wood and water in plenty, and what was more, a small log cabin. I:Ie ha<;! reached the goal he had started for. CHAPTER VI. THE SCOUT'S DREAM. Buffalo Bill returned to the fort in no enviable m ood, after his failure to track the outlaws to their retreat. He had to confess that he was baffled and that to capture the outlaw band he must try strategy. He rode back into the fort in a gloomy mood and at once sought headquarters, where he told the colonel his story. "Now, there are several men ih Overland City whom I have suspected of being the outlaw chief, a11d it is just that I intend to find out," he said. "Who are they?" said the colonel. "One of thein, Colonel Carr, is Death Notch Dick, whom I laid up for repairs for a while. "Just the man to suspect, too." "He is, sir, for he is playing a part I am sure, and \

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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 17 in spite of his boasted pluck cried for his life when I had him at a vantage; but I will soon know about him." ''And there are others you suspect?" "Yes, sir; the man they call Golden George, the Gam bler." "I have heard of him." "He is a dashing fellow in his way, sir, lives by cards, and has a very strong following of men who do not work for a living. "He may not go in the field as chief, but he still might be the head imp to plot, plan and order, and I shall keep my eye on him to see what he does do when not gambling." "Is there another you suspect of being the leader?" "Yes, sir, there is." "It i s some one you do not care to name?" "I would not wish to, sir, save to you; and, in fact, all are simply under my suspicion, as the Gold Ghouls chief keeps so completely unknown and yet appears to know all that goes on, just when to strike a coach with money aboard, or make a raid that will pay. To be so posted he either lives in Overland City, or has spies there who are men who keep him well inforined. If I can hit upon the chief, all will be well, and if I can rope in a spy it will lead to the wiping out of the band, but to attempt to catch them,by force, I do not see how it can be done unless we catch them in a body at their deviltry, sir, an4 push them to the end of the trail." "That is just my way of looking at it, Buffalo Bill, and I will be glad to have you go about the capture of these outlaws in your own way." "Thank you, sir, I will endeavor to rende r a good report in time, for it cannot be quickly done, save by a lucky accident. "There is no hurry; but now as to this third person you ha Ye under suspicion?" "You know of Montebello, the Mexican, sir?" "\Vho does not iR this country?" "He is the one I suspect, colonel." Colonel Carr looked both surprised and pained, and s a id reproachfully: "But, Cody, Ddn Montebello is a Mexican caballero of great wealth of splendid family, was an officer in the Mexican service, amf is a royally good fellow, gen erous to a fault, brave, and has many friends among the officers at the fort." "I know all that he is, colonel, openly, but I am not so sure that he does not live a double life, as many others do .' "You have some reason for saying this?" "Really, Colonel Carr, I have nothing more than a suspicion that originated in a dream. "In a dream ?" "Yes, sir, and, strange to say, I have had a drearri in which he figured no less than three times." "\Vhat was the dream, Cody?" "First, sir, I dreamed that I was fired at from am bush, and the bullet proved fatal. "As I lay upon the ground, Don Montebello came up and told me that he had fired the shot. "My second dream was that we had captured the masked Gold Ghouls, and when I unmasked the chief, it was Don Montebello. "The third dream was a few nights ago, when mY, old pard, Tom Taylor, whom the Gold Ghouls killed, appeared to me and said : "Don Montebello is your man to hang, and that the Gold Ghouls." In spite of himself, Colonel Carr was impressed by the earnest manner in which Buffalo Bill told his dream, and after a moment's thought said: "Well, Cody, dreams are strange th ings, ;md is hard to understand them. "That you should three times have such a dream with no thought against Don Montebello before,' I cannot comprehend, and yet it is ha.rd to condemn a man on a dream. What is your plan of action?" "I would like to carry an official envelope on each coach, sir, to Overland City, and go after one from the return coach, colonel.'' "But there may be no dispatches to send, Cody, ftener than once a month." "That is where I wished to ask your help, !ir, to have your adjutant write several each week, bogus ones, addressed to the adjutant of Fort Douglass, who must be posted to send back dispatches weekly. "This will give me an excuse to go into the settle ment twice a week, and I'll manage to stay a while each time, gamble a little, pretend to spree considerably and have chats with the boys." "In other words, Cody, as the detectives say, you intend to shadow the Gold Ghouls to their doom." "That is just it, sir, and I believe we can do it with your kind aid." "Take the fort, Cody," said the colonel with a smile, "if you need it: but candidly, I believe you .are on the right track, that you are pushing strong in the direction to win, and do not hesitate to make what demands on rne that you need, and I will promptly meet them." know that, Carr, and thank you, sir." "I will send for the adjutant and have him write at once to Fort Douglass and request dispatches-if be::>gus -by each coach and to lo ok for others from Rattle, and, in case they might be captured by Gold Ghouls, it would be well to have them appear genuine." "A splendid idea, sir." "Now, I will go and pick out the two scouts who are to be in my secret, to go in my pl, ace at times, and I have an idea, sir, of pretending to let one man go, so he can go to the mines and hunt work, for he can do a great deal by being constantly on the scene, and I will have Dr. Dillon, too, as an ally." "Cody,. you are going about this like a general pre paring his plan of campaign, and it cannot fail," said the colonel, with considerable enthusiasm. The adjutant was sent for, and after some further

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ia THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. conversation witll the two officers, Buffalo Bilf took his leave and went to his own quarters. There, fl.ying at half mast over the cabin of the chief of scouts, was his own flag. It was an embroidered field, representing a prairie, in the midst of which was a buffalo, on the side of was branded the name : 1'BILL," while in the distance were a band of mounted scouts coming at full speed t,oward the buffalo. Calling to one of his men, Buffalo BilL said : "Sit down, Ernest, for I wish to have a talk with you. "You were a miner before you took to scouting, I believe?" "I was a guide in Texas sir, and ranger, guided a party of miners up into Colorado and then went to min ing, but gave it up to come with you." "Well, Ernest, I wish you to go back to mining again." "Oh, chief! do I not suit you?" cried Ernest Ames, quickly and excitedly. "You do, and that is just why I wish you to tur miner, to go to Overland City, buy you an outfit, and set to work, and at the same time shadow three men, trying also to find out who are Gold Ghouls and who are their spies and connected with them." "Oh, yes, sir, I'll turn miner with pleasure," said Ernest, with a smile. "Now go and fetch Baldy Benson here and .Jack Hardy, and I'll tell you a game I am going to play to win, and which yo have got to hold hands in, and play only trump cards." Ernest Ames hastily departed but was soon back with Jack Hardy and Baldy Benson, three as fine specimens of manhood as one would wish to meet. They heard the chief's plan of action, were told to breathe it to no one, not even the other scouts, and when Jack and Baldy went to Overland City as cour ien, what their duties were to -be, while Ernest was to go at once and begin mining, or, in other words, ,Play the detective.. CHAPTER VII. DON MONTEBELLO THE GOLD '.KING. The stage coach began on its weekly runs out of Overland City a few days after the talk Buffalo Bill had with Colonel Carr, and the turning of his rncn into scout shadowers, to ferret' out who the Gold Ghouls were. The coa,ch was to leave Overland City at nine o'clock, taking tl:te mail that from the camps, set t1ement and fort, and Buffalo Bill was sent w1th the little batch of dispatches to go through eastward, for the fort mail was sent the evening before by a regular rider. Going along at a swift canter, a s he neared the long up-hill trail leading to Overland City, his little batch of dispatches stuck in his belt, Buffalo Bill drew rein as he came to a steep ascent to give his horse a min ute's rest. As he did so he saw a horseman coming toward him down the trail. "Well, he's a dandy for looks," muttered the s c out, and he meant it, for the horseman was indeed one to see and remember. Horse and man were alike in their bearing, which was ha ughty and magnificent. The horse was a long-bodied, clean-limbed stallion, as black as jet, with an embroidered bridle and massive silver bit, while a breast-strap was also embroidered and oraamented with silver. The saddle was a most gorgeous affair, with hous ings embroidered, and studded with silver, even the stirrups being of the same precious metal. With long, fl.owing mane and tail, the splendid :mi mal stepped along as though he bore an emperor his back. But the rider! He was a man of s plendid physique, six feet in lieight, broad-shouldered straight as an arrow, sat in the saddle with the air of one who knew his power and held his head up with a haughty air of con s ciou s dignity and importance. . He was dressed in a velvet jacket of the Mexican pattern, embroidered with gold lace and ornamented with solid gold buttons. His pants of snow-white broadcloth, fitting close, and stuck in enameled boot-tops that came above his knees and were armed with massive gold spurs. He wore a white silk shirt, with a scarf knotted un der the large collar that was turned over his jacket, and in a broad, embroidered belt about his waist upon either side, was thrust, without holster, a large re volver, gold mounted Upon his head was a broad-brimmed, soft sombrero, turned up in a rakish manner, and encircled by a go ld chain to the end of which hung a miniature g o ld r e volver and dagger as ornaments. And the face? It was darkly bronzed, betokening th e Mexican race, and every feature was cast in a pe r fect m o l d He wore a full black beard the e nd s of hi s l ong mustache curling upward, and his eyes we r e l a rge and full of expression, a slumbering fire se e min g t o d well back in their dark depths. One odd part of his costume was tha t h e wo r e a silk handkerchief like a cap bound about his head, and o f the brightest hue s of yellow, scarlet and blue, hi s h a t fitting over it and set upon one side. Such was this remarkable inan in appearance as h e rode toward Buffalo Bill, who muttered to himself: "He looks, indeed, the Gold King they tall him."

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tHE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 19 And this was the mq.n who had come under the suspi cion of Buffalo Bill through a dream! He }Vas a Mexican, he said, a man of rank andl riches, and he had come to the mines to look after in terests he held there, and he was known to hold many shares in claims and employ a number of men. He was generous, and in spite of. his haughty ap pearance, was ever courteous to all, and had a genial' word for the meanest man in the mines. A popular man he was, too, and he had become a favorite in the settlement, at the fort and the ranches, I while he lived on a ranch of his own a mile from Overl;ind City. He had proven Himself fully able to take care of him s elf when attacked or insulted, yet never sought trouble, and when he gambled it was for amusement, as he always insisted upon paying money back won from a poor man; and if this was refused it was spent in treating the crowd. If he found any one to play for a large sum he would never flinch if he lost heavily, and seemed never to have his temper ruffled in the slightest. "Ho, Chief Buffalo Bill, I am glad to meet you. "I am just on my way to the fort to dine with Captain Detrick. "You are well, I hope?" He spoke in a richly-toned voice, yet with a marked Mexican accent, and his smile rev:ealed t\.vo rows of miik-white teeth. "Thank you, Don Montebello, I am well, and Cap tain Detrick hailed me as I came away and asked me to tell you, if I saw you, not to forget your promise for to-day." "I could never forget a pleasure in store, but Jet me congratulate you upon your punishment of that man Death Notch Dick the other say it was grand. "He forced it upon himself, sir." "Yes, and I hope we will have no more of the Ranger Regulators now." "Or the Gold Ghouls, for they are becoming more and more dangerous." "Yes, it is so, and to be regretted ; but some
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20 T'HE BU ff ALO BILL STORIES. "I will." "Ding-Dong is going to help me in some ferret work for you, Bill, and no one would be better." "I guess you are right, for you can trust him, with the hold on him that you have." Buffalo Bill then made known his scheme to shadow certain men in the camp, and Dr. Dillon promised him his help. Then the scout went on the search for Ernest Ames, and found him in his mine, and alone. "I hear you have struck it rich already, Ernest." "I struck a lot in a bag, several hundreds, chief, that some poor fellow had hidden away and then got killed I suppose; but it pays well, and I may pick up more." "I hope so; but any news?" "Nothing to tie to yet, sir, but I am on the alert." "So is Dr. Dillon and his Chinese servant, and we'U strike it rich yet, I feel. "I met Montebello to-day, and saw Death Notch, but have not yet run across Golden Georg_e." "He's away now, chief; but I'll trust none of them, and you look out for Death Notch," was Ernest Ames' parting advice to Buffalo Bill. Buffalo Bill spent an hour or two in Overland City, after leaving _Ernest Ames, in idling about the tavern and the saloons. He saw Death Notch Dick again, and had another talk with him, and, after dinner at the tavern, mounted his horse and started upon the return trail to Fort Rat tler. He did not ride very fast, and was going quietly along the rocky trail, near the spot where he had so op portunely arrived upon the scene in time to save Sher man Canfield from the Ranger Regulators, when he was surprised to see drop before him, from on top of a high cliff near, a stone to which was tied a of paper. He at once dismounted and picked it up. Without breaking it loose from the rock, he unfolded the paper, and read : "Do not return by the trail you came. "You are fearless, I know, but no courage will avail against a coward foe in ambush. "If you value your life, take another trail back to the fort, for not very far from here deadly enemies are in hiding to kill you. "YouR UNKNOWN SHADOWER." "Well, who wrote this, and is it a bluff, a blind or the truth?" said the scout, when he had read jt. He looked upward, and saw only the cedar-fringed cliff towering hundreds of feet above him. The stone and its warning had certainly come from off the cliff. The stone was a small one, a string was tied to it, and then around th<: warning. The latter was written in a distinct hand, with pencill and on half a sheet of note-paper. Buffalo Bill did not remember to have ever seen the writing before. To reach the top of the cliff he would have to ride back a mile and ascend a trail there that meant another mile to the spot from whence the stone had been thrown. By the time he reached there the one who had warned him could have over two miles the start of him. It was doubtful, too, if he would leave any trail in the hard soil on top of the cliff. If he was not mounted, he certainly would not. So argued the scout. Then he asked himself if he should heed the warning. At first he decided that it seemed to have been writ ten in good faith, and it was best for him to do so, for, as the one who had warned him very truly said, what could a brave man do against a coward in ambush? Then came the thought to the scout that the out going stage traveled that trail for fully a mile further, and something might have happened to that which it was wished to cover up. if he took another trail to the fort, he would have to turn off on a trail not a quarter of a mile ahead, and, if anything 'had gone wrong with the coach, he would not know it. So, all things considered, he decided to go on as he had started. He remembered the warning to keep his eye on Death Notch Dick, but then he had left him back in Overland City. He thought then, strange to say, of Don Montebello, the gold king, who had gone on to the fort. Then his mind turned upon Golden George, the gam bler, whom he remembered Scout Ernest had said was just then away from Overland City. Reading over the warning again, he thrust it a!ld the stone into his pocket, and his mind was made up as to what he would do. He had sat upon his horse undecided for several minutes, but he would hesitate no longer. He would go on, and by the trail he had been so mys teriously warned he must not take, as lurked there for him. Looking to his revolvers, and with his rifle acrnss his saddle, he glanced up at the cliff, saw no one, and rode on. He had disregarded the mysterious warning. CHAPTER VIII. AN UNKNOWN FRIEND. Buffalo Bill, though he determined to take chances, went along with a full realization that he must be ready to meet any danger there was. He felt that he was taking his life in his hands, an he did so without fear of result, once he made up hi mind, for, if death came through it, he would meet it a bravely as m'.an should.

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\\ \ THE BU ff ALO BILL STORIES. 21 His horse was s. splendid animal, for he rode no er kind, and long association with .the chief of uts had made him like his master, sensitive to danand watchful in a wonderfu l degree. 'Keep your eyes and ears open, o l d fellow, for we y be fired upon. 'Watch for 'em sharp," said the scou t speaking as would to a hunting dog, and the horse seemed t o erstand the warning, and at once picked up his s. fhere was something in the falling stone and flutter paper, the halt of the scout, and then ca tious ad ce, which the horse seemed to have instinctively set vn as a warning, and he now moved forwa rd with t tread, watchful eyes, and ears set for the sligh test md. o horse and rider went on to face the ordeal they been warned lay in their path. fter a quarter of a mile the scout came to where he tld turn off on another, though l onger, trail to the t. e went calmly by. nother quarter of a mile and he beheld ahead of the very spot for an ambush. t was a pass between groups of rocks, covered with am, a kind of natural gateway b etween, though a e ural breastwork, for it was thrown up like a fort t there. pon one side the line of piled-up rocks, overgrown h cedars, ran to the edge of the ri ver, the same in ich Sherman h ad left the sergean t s packn the other side the cedar-grown rocks ran to the h line of cliffs along which the trail led at the base. uffalo Bill was within three hundred ya rd s of the bs t when his eye t ook in its position for an ambush s 'If there is an ambush, it is right there, he mutd, and then settled himself more firmly in the sad-il and grasped his rifle with ready grip earer and nearer he approached until he got within s-undred feet of the rocks, when suddenly there was a rp report, followed quickly by another and a yell of n. ut the shot h a d n o t come from the rocks, but above. he quick glance upward of the scout had revealed a of smoke over the edge of the cliff, and just be d the line of rocks in the trail. here the shots had come from. n an instant Buffalo Bill was ready for battle, and purred forward toward the rocks. s he did so, he saw a form running at full speed, a look backward revealed that the face was masked. e was running toward the river, where two horses e now seen by the scout, as he passed through the k in the rocks.' his 1nstantly his rifle was at his shoulder, his horse came as sudden halt, and Buffalo Bill fired at the masked ou t l aw who had turned quickly to puH trigger upon the scout. But Buffalo Bill was the quickest, and the outlaw went down; his rifle bei,n.g discharged as he fell. Then the scout l ooked about him, and there, right behind the barrier, n o t thirty feet from him, lay an other d ead man He, too, wore a mask. Riding up to him, the scout saw that he had a bullet wound in the top of his head, at the back. He h ad never known what l ? illed him. He had been kneeling among the rocks, his rifle resting in a gap before him and he lay upon his face, his h ands yet grasping the weapon, which was cocked, the forefinger almost touching the trigger. Then Buffalo Bill glanced upward. No one was visible on the cliff, and the two puffs of smoke had floated away The scou t rode to the second bocly, that of the man he had killed. There was a wound in his back, besides the bullet he had sent through his head. That accounted for the second shot from the cliff and the yell of pain. "Hello! Hello! shouted the scout, looking up to-ward the cliff. No response came He took off his sombrero and waved it. No one answered the signal. Again he called, and said : "Ho, pard, show yourself, that I may see who it is that has saved my lif e "I did not he ed your warning, and but for yo u I would now be as dead as this fell ow at my feet." Still no reply The top of th e cliff was nearly five hundred feet ab ov e the scout, and to reach there, even on foot, he would ha ve to go a couple of miles in either dir-ection. He kn ew that the one who had warned him, seeing that he had not heeded it, had gone along the top of the cliff and fired upon the outlaws in ambush before they could fire upon him. Hearing the rapid approach of hoofs, 1 Buffalo Bill turned to see who was coming. The one who came into view Buffalo Bill recognized at a glance. It was Don Montebe llo the gold king. "Ah, Cody, we meet again-What, a dead man!" he cried, as his eyes upon the body on the rocks. Buffalo Bill silently pointed to the other outlaw. "What, another?" "Two of them, Don, and two of a kind." "Who are they?" "Their masks. show. "I have not yet looked at their faces, but will do so now, and ma ybe w e will recognize them." "H6w could we recognize them, Cody?"

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22 THE BU fl" ALO BILL STORIES "Might have seen them in Overland City, when they did not consider it necessary to wear masks Don." "Very true; but how did it occur, for I heard two quick shots, then two more so spurred on." "Oh, simply an attempt to ambush and kill me n_ .1 .. "To kill you, Buffalo Bill?" "Oh, yes; there is nothing strange in that, for I am threatened all the time, and did not some good angel protect me, I would have been killed hundre ds of times." "And yo. u killed them both after they fired and missed you ?" "Oh, no, Don; I was riding into t hei r trap, when my good angel aloft shot one and wound ed the other as he skipped away. "The shots put me on my guard, and I -got a bead on that fellow over there as he turned to fir:e on me-see ?" "Yes; I congratulate you, too, Senor Cody, on your narrow escape, only I don't understand about your good an.g.el." "That I do not understand myself, Don; but some one warned me by killing this man, and who my un known pretector is I do not know." "Ah, Cody, you must know. You have a secret bodyguard." "See here, Don Montebello, no matter what men have said of me in my life, there are two things I have never been accused of, and they are cowardice and be ing a thief, and I could as soon be one as the other. Please do not insinuate that I take men along secretly to protect me, for I would brand the lie very quickly." "My dear senor, I made no such charge, only saying that you must have some guard, for this being pro tect ed by an unknown foe is a most remarkable coinci dence. "You and I want no quarrel, Senor Cody, for my words were not meant to offend, as when I give an in sult it is too pointed to misunderstand." "All right, Don; I regret mistaking your meaning; but the fact remains that but for 'some one, who fired from yonder cliff I would have been a dead man now. "See, this bullet entered the back and top of this man's head, and the bullet in the back of yonder man plowed downward 100, I will wager, showing that both shots came from above. "I haled and called, but got no reply, so who my pro-: tector is I am utterly ignorant of, but I thank him with all my heart." "Most certainly." "Now to see if I have met these two gentlemen before." -He dismounted as he spoke, turned the body over gently, as though he held no ill will against the dead, and then removed the mask, the Don l ooking on the :while with deepest attention. "Yes, I have seen this man before, but do not kn !l him." "I do not recall his face, either, but I have seen him," said the Don. Then they went over to the second body, and he, tel was unma sked. E "I know this man, for he u se d to be a miner, at was kn o wn as Casev," said Buffalo Bill. "Yes he worked for me a year ago," the Don sa 1 and add d: :< "Now, what is to be done, Cody?" p "Don Montebello, you are going to Overland "Yes." "Will you kindly report the affair to Dr. Dillon, have him send out a part y to bury them, while I w<., here; and yet, before you leave, I would like to ha': You see ine search the bodies." h "Certainly." Buffalo Bill did search the bodies, firiding, besi l thei.r weap.ons, a bel.t containing mon.ey and jewelryJ various kmds ; which revealed their trade as ri agents. In a thicket, close to the water's edge, were foil. their two h orses, hitched, and they had an outfit camping fastened to their saddles. "Don Montebello, to the victor belong the spoil s uppose so I will turn this money and jewelry overa. you, asking you to place it for the good of poor 1 sick miners in Overland City, while the horses their outfit, I will put in fqr tne good of my scouts.'}) "A fair division, surely, Senor Cody, and I your commission, and will see that the money reaclf the most deserving, in your name. "I will also send help to you at once," and, wit1e salute, Montebello, the gold king, rode away, leavi? Buffal o Bill alone with the dead. CHAPTER IX. n KEPT A SECRET tt "Now, what am I to think? "Is Montebello guilty or not guilty? w "He was strangely near this scene of ambush set !n me. 1 "One. of these men, he says, worked for him, an I am not mistaken, the other did, too. e "He made me hot when he insinuated I was p tected by a secret bodyguard. n "Now, who on earth, or up in the sky, is my p tector? "I give it up; but it is some one who does not W!a to be known n "A man who has done what he has need not, afraid of show ing his face anywhere. "I could forgive an outlaw for that act. f "This will astof!ish the colonel, but please hin:bi know that two more of the masked Gold Ghouls 1 0 gone to the land of fireworks .JI

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THE BU ff 1\LO BILL STORIES. 23 n the future, if I get another warning, I will heeLl ly too quick. hat fellow had a bead on me when he was the other was to chip in a bullet if 1 didn't drop ut the shots from above scared one to death, and the other off With a tear down his back that looks ," and thus musing, after the departure of Don tebello, the gold king, Buffalo Biil drew off the et of the man he had shot, revealing the gash of a t from the shoulder to the waist, clown the back, i n g conclusively that the bullet had come from st over the man. : he scout paced to and fro, while his horse cropped s, for an hour or more, and then voices were heard 1 a party of horsemen dashed into view. r. Dillon was along, and a score of others, and they all heard the story from the Don. r actor, I'll leave the bodies with you, for I : will go o the fort," said Buffalo Bill, with a significant ) at the doctor, and, as he shook hands with him, he note in the hands of the physician which told the l y as he knew it, with the meaning and all, and d with: {.eep your eye on the Don." '.' ounting his horse, and takingthe animals of the ,aws in lead, Buffalo Bill went on at a gallop along 1 rail. hen at last he came to a place where a trail led up he top of the ridge, he hid the outlaws' horses, and on up. eaching the summit, he went rapidly along the e back toward the spot where his pro r had fired from, and, arriving near, he dis-1 nted and continued on foot. he party had thrown the bodies across the backs of orses, and returned to Overland City, so the scout ce began a thorough search. ut not a trail of horse or mai: was visible anye. nly where the one had fired the shots was a stone NO dis placed recently, nothing else. 1 hour's sea rch revealed no more so, returning to orse, Buffalo Dill went on his wa y taking the out' horses in lead, as before. e rode rapidly, but it was sunset as he reached the P and, coming in with two led and riderless horses, 1 every one was out, created a sensation. here did you get them, Bill?" called out the ofof the clay, and Buffalo Bill's reply was a signifi w and silent one, as he held up the two masks he had from the faces of the outlaws, and which caused fficer to call out: ood for you, Cody\ hat means three less." n oing to Colonel Carr's quarters, Buffalo Bill found h officer seated on a rustic hench under a tree, and lied to him to join him there. "Whose hor;;es have yo).1, Cody?" "Gold Ghouls', sir." "And the riders?" "Here are their scalps, sir." The colonel looked up in a startled way, bi.it, ing the masks, took them and looked them over care fully. while he said: "You have thl.'ee now?" "Yes, sir." "How did it happen?" ,. "In a most unlooked for way, sir." "Are you hurt?" "Not at all, sir, though I had as close a shave, Cor onel Carr. as I e\1er had in my life." "Tell n1e about it." "Pardon me, sir, if I first ask you if Don Monte bello, the gold king, was here to-day?" "Not to my knowledge." "Will you kindly let your orderly go to see if he vis ited Captain Detrick at the fort to-day ?'1 "Certainly." The orderly was dispatched on his errand, to ieturn with the information that Don Montebello had : not been at the fort to see Captain Detrick that day, nor had that officer seen him.' "Why do you ask, Cody?" "I rnet the Don, sir, just out of Overland City this morning, and Captain had told me to say to him he was expecting him to dinner, and he said he was coming here. "I met him again this afternoon, a few miles out 0 Overland, and just after I had very nearly lost my life at the hands of men who wore these two masks, and it seemed a coinciqence, sir." "It seems strange, though the Don might have been detained elsewhere in one of his claims; but now tell me your story." The story was told, from the delivery of the dis patches to the coach driver, and call on Dr. Dillon and Ernest Ames, to the my)>terious warning letter tied to a stone, and the result. . The colonel listened with deepest and said : "Well, Cody, l begin to feel, with the soldiers, that yo1J bear a charmed Jjfe, and glad .I arn of yout "But I cannot see how we cap Don bello with the affair withot.it direct pro.of." "It is proof that I am looking for, colonel," was the answer of the scout, and, go-iqg to his qt.iarters; talked over his escape with his men ; yet kept the warn ing note thrown before him in the trail a secret, as he had from all save Colonel Carr. Colonel Carr thought deeply over the narrow escape of Buffalo Bill, and the scoi.it hirnself meditated more seriously upon it than he was wont to do where he was himself concerned. He was seated in 'hi"s qu
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24 THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. from the guardhouse came and said to him, as he step ped to the door, in answer to his knock: "A letter for you, chief." "Ah, Foley, thank you. "\i\There did you get it?" "I do not know more, sir, than the corporal of the guard said I was to at once bring it to you." "Thank you, and, as the s oldier left, Buffalo Bill opened his letter. 1 It was in an envelope, sealed and addressed as fol lows! "Important! Deliver at once! qTo CHrnF oF ScouTs, WILLIAM F. ConY-BUFF.ALO BlLL, 'FORT RATTLE. "By hand of Spetial Courier." Buffalo Bill twice read over the address before he tore open the envelope. He then saw that the handwriting was similar to that of the warning letter tied to the stone, and which he pad laid carefi.tlly away among his treasures. The letter was as follows : "I write to warn Buffalo Biii of deadly danger. "From undisputed sources I know that he is to be shadowed to death by the Gold Ghouls. "They fear him, and feel that they have wrongs at his hands to avenge, while, with him removed from their path, they would be free to rob and commit other crimes oftener with far more safety than with him alive and on their track: "They also believe that he is secretly planning to wipe them out. "Let him be' warned by this letter not to go on any trail alone. "All trails will soon be ambushed for him, and, if alone, his death will quickly follow. "This is no false alarm, but a warning in good faith, from "AN UNKNOWN FRIEND." "It came in an odd way. "It was before the last guard change that the geant came to me and reported that the sentinel at I east gate had called the corporal of the guard and livered to him a letter for you, said to have been hant to him by some one, I don't just recall by whom." r "That sentinel is off duty, sir, so may I ask yo send for him, please?" "Assuredly," and Captain Baldwin ordered the s tine! just off duty at the east stockade gate to repor him at once. "My man, tell Mr. Cody jus t how you received letter giYen you for him to-night." "Yis, sur I will." "Will, sur, it was aftlier this way: "I was afther being the sintinell at the 'aste gc: sur, and--" "I know your. post my man so just tell how you I the letter." "That is jist what I'm afther duing, sur._ ter pl': yer. "It was afther this way: "I was afther bein' the sintinell at the 'aste gate, s and--" "My Lord! and yet he is an American citizen; go on, my man," said Captain Baldwin. "I will, sur. 1 ait was, as I was afther sayin' whin yer honor s Oh, Lord, and that I was an American citizen, anr was glad of it, sur, for, with the famine in ould 1 land and--" 1 "See here, my man I wish you to tell me at a how you got that letter ," sternly said Captain B win; and, turning ro Buffalo Bill, he added: "You can have him as a scout . Cody, if you w him, for he is a new man, and can learn to trail an' di an as soon as h e can to be a soldier "Yis, sur, that's phwat I was afther sayi n to sur--" "Tell the s t ory in your own way my man, for I The scout gave a long, low whistle when he had officer of the night as well as the day and time ha read this letter. heavy on my hands, while Chie.f Cody is used to k Then he read it carefully again. ing late hours, so just let us hear all about ould His next move was to get the warning note of the land, St. Patrick, and any other interesting data afternoon and compare the two. have on hand, and, incidentally, while we are bet\'4 "One hand wrote both," he muttered. the devil and the deep sea, drop in any information) 6'Now to fihd out who brought it." ma y have of how you got that letter." He arose, put on his hat, and walked over to the "Yis, sur, I'll be afther duing that same," was guardhouse. complacent response of the Irish-American soldier. The corporal was there, and said that the sergeant of Seeing that the man must tell the story in his ( the guard had given it to him. way, Captain Baldwin allowed him to do so, and, a The sergeant was called and he said that it had been fifteen minutes of real Irish c o medy, it was le ai; given him by the officer of the day. that a horseman approached his post, was challen1 Then Buffalo Bill went to see the officer of the day. was told to dismount, advance and give the c "Captain Baldwin, I have received a letter under petersign, and he obeyed, in that he dismounted i culiar circumstances, sir:" handed over the Jetter for delivery to the scout. t "Yes, I sent it to you, Cody." Captain Baldwin and Buffalo Bill at least enj "May I ask how you got it, sir?" the story of the soldier, but when asked why he

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THEBUFF liLO BILL STORIES. 25 detained the man when he did not give the counter-1, he very coolly replied : 'He wag afther givin' me the letther, and, sure, I ught thet was more thin the word. 'Thin he says good-avenin', a s perlite as yez pl'ase, es me a salute, and walks back to his horse and 1 ist-he was gone like a spook." 'What did he look like?" s 'Loike a man, sur." 'Was he young or old, short or tall?" "Sure, and I didn't ask him his age, and he was ut as tall as mesilf, maybe shorter, maybe taller." "Did he have any beard?" asked the scout. "Indade had he not." "A smooth face?" "I didn't fale it, sur." "Was his face clean shaven, as yours is now?'"' "Faith, it was not my face at all, but his own." "No whiskers, no mustache?" "Now yez is talkin', sur; he heel a moostache, but it sn't overgrown, as I saw it in the darkness." "He was alone?" "Bedad, I was with him." "No one else?" "His horse, and maybe it was a mule "You can go, my man," said Captain Baldwin, ickly; and, as the soldier departed, the officer burst rth into a roar of laughter, which Buffalo Bill heartjoined in. 1 "Talk about your Irish comedians, that fellow ocks them all out, and the manager who put him on e stage would make a fortune just to let him tell a ry in his own way. "I shall congratulate Captain Kelly upon his having ch a man in his company, and offer him an r him; but Kelly is an Irishman himself, and would ver know the man was funny," and Captain Baldwin ughed again, while Buffalo Bill remarked : "I'm of Irish descent myself, and I wonder if any of y ancestors were that fellow's match." "There's no telling, Cody, for a generation or two in r merica civili zes a man wonderfully. "Now, that fello\Y' s children may make a name for emselves, and his grandchild might President me day, for this new country is a wonderland; btit w to the letter ?" "Yes, sir." "Do you suspect who could have left it?" "I do not know who my unknown friend can be, cap in; but I thank you for your kindness, sir." "I thank you, Cody, for being the cause of my spendg a most enjoyable hour. "Come again, and bring your friend with you," ughed the captain, as Buffalo Bill walked away. Returning to his quarters, he read over the letter, d then retired for the night, but, as soon as was con tent with military etiquette, he went up to headquar s to see the colonel. Placing the whole affair before him, he gave the col0nel a treat by his inimitable imitation 0f the soldier's way of telling the story, for Buffalo Bill is a splendid story-teller, and then they discovered the serious aspect of the case. "Well, Cody, forewa.rned is being forearmed, at least," said the colonel. "Yes, sir, I certainly have one good friend to warn me, and his warning will doubtless save my 1if6, as I know that I am being shadowed by the Gold Ghouls, so can prepare against it." "Yes, and I think it would be a good idea to carry out the insinuation made by Don Montebello, the gold king, and give you a bodyguard." "Oh, no, sir; not that." "Your men might shadow you, too, and be near te render aid, if it was necessary." "No, no, colonel; I would feel that I was haunted. "It is bad enough, sir, to be shadowed by one's foes, but far more to feel that your fricnlis are dogging your steps to protect your life. "I would feel like the Emperor of Russia, colonel, that I could not move w ithout a guard, and would have to wear an armor." "I would feel very much the same way myse1, Cody, but, then, I do not wish you picked off by an outlaw." "My men would avenge n1e." "Oh, yes, fully; but you "vould not be here to enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that you were avenged." "But what will you do?" "I shall put the letter to the test, sir." "How do you mean?" "I shall start out to Overland City to meet the coac h, in a couple of days, coming in, taking the lower trail going, sir, and the upper one coming back." "If you get back." "Well, colonel, that is a risk I must take, and the test of that letter must be made at once. "I will act with all caution, sir The colonel said no more, and three days after Buf falo Bill rode away from the fort again; on the trail for Over1and City. c!-IAPTER X DEFYING DEATH. When he rode away from the fort, upon his second run to Overland City with dispatches, Buffalo Bill seemed to defy death in going in the face of the warning he had received. But he went by one trail, was a couple of hours in Overland City, and returned by another, and had not met a friend or foe on the way. On his third ride he came upon a stick in the middle of the trail. In the top, which was split, was a piece of paper, and, opening it, the scout read: "A masked Gold Ghoul is lying in wait for you be-

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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. hind Elephant Rock. He is alone, but mean s to kill y ou if he cati "Thanks, my unknown protector, for the informa t i on. "I'll just fla nk Ele phant Rock, and rope in that gentleman. The scout at once ld its name from being strangely like a giant elephant On the top of the rock, lying at full length, was a man his rifle leveled up the trail. But he uttered a cry of alarm when behind him came the words: "Come down, pard ; I w ant you! He turned a masked face up o n the spe a ker tried to bring his rifle to bear, and tumbled off the rock with a bullet in his brain. The scout had been too quick for him, and put in a shot from his revolver. "Ah! another of Overland City s good citizens I'll carry him in on his horse, which must be near here," Buffalo Bill decided as he removed the mask from the face and recognized a man he had often seen before. "His name is Brandon, I think, but I had no idea he . was a Gold Ghoul, for he is one of the Regulators, too." It was Brandon the Gold Ghoul lieutenant who had played a lone hand and lost the game An hour after, Buffalo Bill rode into Overland City, leading a horse, acro s s the saddle of which was tied a dead form. His arrival created a sensation, and a large crowd gathered. "My guardian angel protected me again, r;>on, for I was warned to have an eye out for b r eakers ahead," said the scout, addressing' the Don who had ridden up, and who replied: "Brandon an outlaw? I would never have sus pected it! but I congratulate you ; and I only wish I had such a protecting spirit." "I have four scalps now for my tepee,'-' s aid the scout, holding up the mask. "But was he a Gold Ghoul?" a s ked a man, bluntly. "He was lying in ambush for me ; he wore this mask and this pin on his hat, and that is the G o ld Ghoul badge Being warned I got in my shot first," and Buffalo Bill turned his piercing eyes upon the man who had asked t h e question in a way that appeared as though he wished to cause trouble. But the man did not re.ply or press the matter fur ther, and soon after Buffalo Bill rode out of the camp, upon his ret u rn taking th, e same trail back to the fort. He reached the fort without adventure, and, placing the three gold ba,dges upon the colonel's desk, said, modestly : "Anothe r secret badge and another scalp, colonel." "The col onel was and, when he had h ear d t he story, sa id, earnestl y : "You are, indeed, shadowed, Cody by foe s [-3 friends." c "It seems so sir ; and I can find out shad o wers are, but not m y fri e nd-shadower. " "True, and it costs a life to find it out; but, if is kept up with out harm to you, even the large baJB Gold Gh o uls cann o t stand the drain." "I shall still c o ntinue my rid es, col o nel, though killin g bus ine s s is a bad one and yet I suppose on e mu s t be e x ecutioner." "I've a mind to order you to stay at the fort, or an escort with you, Cody." 1 "D,on't do it, colonel eith e r way, I be g, sir; for you n o t see tha t I h av e a secret e scort, that surely tect s me? I hope it will c o ntinu e so." "Hea ven grant it ," was the colo n e l's f e r v ent a ns : and, when he s aw Buffa lo Bill start o n his fourth patch-bearing mi s sion, it was with a f ee ling of \ misgiving as to the re s ult, and a strong d esi re to an esc ort of scouts t o follow him. But he h a d the strong est c o nfi d ence in the chi sco ut s and felt t hat he wa s d o in g that w hi ch w 1 bring o u tla w r y t o an en d thou g h a t terribl e pe r risk. Buff a lo Bill h a d re po rte d t o him tha t Dr. Dill o Scout Ernest" wer e b eg i nn in g to fas ten s trong s usp upon half a d oze n m e n in O ve rl and Ci ty, as be i n lies of the Gold G h o uls, and tha t the circl e of doo m being d r awn about them. CHAPTER XI. UNMASKING THE There was not a shadow upon the fac e of B Bill as he rode awa y in the e a rly morning fr o n fort fo go for the fourth time on his di s patch-be run The colonel in his anxiety had risen early tQ him off and wish him godspeed and as he rode could hardly refrain from sending, as has been his scouts after him. "Which trail do y ou take to-day, Cod y ?" the co had asked. "The cliff trail sir, wher e I got my fir s t warni "May it not be the last was the low r es p o nse. Why he took the cliff trail that m orning Buffalo did not really kn o w but s o mething prompted hir do so. It was a trail where h e could guard a g ain s t an bush fairly well, s av e at the spot where the two ers had been. ln approaching that barrier, the cliff made a s bend before it got it and b y dismoun t ing there, ing his horse and going to the river he could flank one who was in a mbush there with o ut b e i n g seen. That he w o uld receive an o ther w a rnfog he c hardly believ,e.

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TtlE BUFF J\LO BILL STORIES. 27 e was nearing the bend, and a bout to halt, when a seman came in s i ght. 'Ah, the Don !" 'There will be trouble, sure, for he is a bird of ill n, said the scout. ut the Don w a s all smiles, and as polite as a dang-master. 1 e shook hands wi:th the scout, talked with him for w minutes, and then said he was going to the fort, would not be turned from his intention, as he had before by remembering that he ha1 to go to a dist camp. s the scout started on, Montebello, the gold king, ked back, turned his horse ,quickly, drew his re ver, and was rai s ing it to take deliberate aim at Buf-. o Bill, who was not twenty feet from him, when a rp report rang out the top of the cliff, ang a let crashed down through the top of the head of the ended assassin. Buffalo Bill wheeled his horse quickly, drawing his olver as he did so, and was astounded to see Monte lo, the gold king, fall from his saddle, while his se darted off from the trail. He looked upward, and there, floating away from the 1 cliff top, was a suspicious little cloud of bluish oke. Ere he could collect his wits as to what it all meant heard a shot from arot,md the cliff and at once rred his horse in that direction. Before he rounded the sharp curve, however, several ts were fired, sounding above his head and on a el with him and the next momertt he dashed into w of a strange sight. One masked man lay dead ; another was on his knees d firing upw ard, while a third; with one arm in a ng, also had his revolver pointed at the top of the Seeing the scout; the latter gave vent to a mild yell d leveled on him, and two revolvers flashed almost ether. he result was that Buffalo Bill's splendid horse fell d, while the masked Gold Ghoul, with his arm in a ng, followed the animal's example and toppled over. "If you are not Death Notch Dick, I'll smoke a pipe l powder," cried Buffalo Bill, as he sprang from the ound, having fallen with his horse, and made a run I the outlaw he had killed for the wounded one had seen on his knees now lay silent upon his face. Tearing off the mask he revealed the face of Death tch Dick, and, bounding to the other two, he un sked them, too recognizing both of them as men he d seen about the settlement, one being none other ; n the captain of the Ranger Regulators! 1 ] ust as he looked upward he heard a shout, and the c rds: 'Hurrah for Buffalo Bill! 'We'll come down and foin you." 'If that is not my boy pard, my right-bower, lucky star, or whatever I choose to call him, I'll give up scouting, and Buffalo Bill shouted back: "Come right down here, boy pard, and come a-jumping !" With this, he walked back around the bend, his dead horse an affectionate and a kind word as he went by; while he dashed a tear from his he said: "We have been on many a trail together, clear old fellow, but this is your last one, and you caught the bullet intended for me." The elegantly-clad form of Montebello, the gold king, lay where it had fallen, and, walking up to it, Buffalo Bill saw that the bullet had crashed through the large hat and sped down through the head. It was some little time before he saw his Lucky Star coming, and he was not alone, for Gorman Field was with him. Sherman Canfield ran up and grasped the Jcout's hand, and cried : "I did not inttild to let you know yet; but, Mr. Cody, that man is the chief of the Gold Ghouls. You killed Brandon, the lieutenant, on your last run, and my pard, Gorm an, here, thought it best we should let you know now, so the balance of the gang could be cor ralled right off." "Well, boy pard, it was a lucky day for me that I saved you from the Ranger R-egulators, for you have saved my life time and l}gain." It was half an hour before explanations had b een made by Sherman Canfield to fully satisfy Buffalo Bill; for it was Sherman who had sent the mysterious warnings to BilL Gorman having spied upon the meetings of the Gold Ghouls while they were hiding together, in the retreat they had found. "Now, Mr. Cody, I am going to intrust t(1 you a se cret," said the boy. "This is Mr. Gorman with me, my pard. He has been like an elder brother to me, and what has been done could not have been accomplished without his aid; iri fact, he has done nearly all. "The truth is, Mr. Gorman has had a hard life of it, and he was driven to join the outlaws; but he aided me to escape, then joined me, and together we planned to save you." "But if Gorman goes to Overland City, the miners will kill hii:n for a past offense which they believe him guilty of, though since they found out who the guilty one was. So is going with me to httnt up the sergeant's mine and help work it. I thus can keep iny pledge. He will go there at once, while I will go with you and pick out the Ghouls and guide you to the r e treat, for I know it well"

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2& THE BU ff ALO BILL STORIES. Buff alo Bi11 listened attenti v ely to the youth, and then stepped forward and grasped the hand of the ex outl aw, while he said : "I owe m o re to you pard, than I can ever repay, and your secret will be safe." Then turning to Sherman Canfield, he continued : ''.Find out where these dead outlaws left their horses. "I know; they a quarter of a mile from here." "I will go and bring them up," said Gorman, and he walked rapidly away while Buffalo Bill remarked: "I ha v e lost a splendid horse, but there is his match and I appropriate him to ride to Overland City and the fort, for he belongs to you, as you fired the s hot that killed the chief." "Then accept him as a present from me, sir and I'll catch him for you now The fine animal was caught and brought up at'id Buffalo Bill said that he \ v ould accept him under the circumstances a s an outlaw's property belonged to the captor. "Now, Mr. Cod y let me tell you that this bundle you see on his saddle contains his mask, cloak, robe and a hump, for Gorman told me that he w o re a false hump to disguise his., form, and always spoke in a changed voice, besides he is not a Mexican but a Canadian and : as Montebello ; the gold king affected an accent in his speech he did not ha v e "He played it well ; but here come s Pard Gorman. Now we'll gather the bodies, and then I w i s h y o u to d r d f 1 o some uty or me 1Certainly, sir." "Go w ith all speed to the fort, and ask Col o nel Carr to please send my scouts here, and a troop of cavalry, as well for it woutd raise a riot to take the D o n's body into Overland City v i ithout a good force for no one wc:iuld at first he was guilty. "Ride the Don s horse now I think of it and come back on one of mine with the tro o ps." It took Sherman Canfield just a minute to mount and get away, and he went off like a rocket lea v ing Buffalo Bill and Gorman together with the dead. For a while they talked, and then Buffalo Bill said: "Now, pard, you can go and g et your horse and Sherman's, and bring his here. "Then my adv ice is that you a t once st art for your retreat up near the mine. your boy pard w ill c om e there and join you when the trouble b l ows over. He will go with me into O v erland C ity, a nd t h e m e n w ho belong to t h e outl a w band he will poinf'out and bag them a fter whi c h we will strik e the retreat ;z:e clean those out w h o are there. ie "I think I had better go with you s ir for I do i like to run off like a coward "You are no co.ward, for I remember you well h and I am glad you told me your story. rie "But I recall the charge aga inst y ou in the m e : and that it was pro v en fal se; but yo u w ould get trouble. When the Gold Gh o uls a re w i p e d out noiv will know you once were an o utla w a n d our boy tri and I will keep the secret. he Thus urged, Gorman Field did as Buff a l o Bill quested ; and ha v ing Sherma n's h o rse toh; scene, he bade the scout and ro d e away. i'h CHAPTER XII. THE ROUND-UP. It was a proud moment for Sherman he came up to the spot where Buffalo Bill stood, rif by the side of Colonel Carr, who had himself cortj the scene of the tragedy, the youth tell ing his story> they rode along together. Besides the colonel s escort of an aide and squa cavalry, Captain Baldwin s troop had c o me along, a sco re of Buffalo Bill s sco uts. A wild cheer broke forth as the y all b e held chief st a nd i n g by the deq.d b o dies of Mo n te b ello his b a nd. .. The c b l one l and B uffa l o B ill had a short, ea taik ; then t he bo d ies w e re pla c ed in an ambu l anc e had been b ro u ght a l ong, a n d t he march was take for Overl a nd C ity. Buff alo Bill ro d e in advance as scou t with 5her Canfield b y his si de an d foll owi n g c ame half o f stouts. The n th e c o l one l and his escort t h e troop follm with t he ambu l ance behind it, and the rest of the s c bringi ng up t he r ear T here was a st ir i n O ver l and C i ty the c c a d e app ea r ed, and as men came a long who m S he r Ca nfie ld reco gnized as o utl aws t hey were seized, the name s o f th e R eg ul a t ors, w h o we r e a l so sec Gold Gh o uls, havir )g be en furni shed b y Go rm a n al s o we r e a r rested, th o ugh not wit h ou t fatal resul s o m e cases w h e r e t hey resisted W h e n Co l o n e l Carr h im self denounced Don M o hell o the g o ld kin g as t he chi ef of t h e G old Gho

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I THE BUFF J\LO BILL STORIES. 29 d ordered a lieutenant to t ake a squad of men and ize his house and effects, the bewildered people reaed that there was more guilt in Overland City than ey had ever supposed. > Leaving Captain Baldwin and his troop in charge f Overland City, Colonel Carr returned to the fort, hile Buffalo Bill and his scouts dashed away, under e guidance of Sherman Canfield, for the secret re eat of the outlaws. They entered it at night, before a warning could be iven, and the do zen men found there, though sur rised, fought desperately, and no mercy was shown em. Laden with plunder, the scouts next day returned to e fort, to find that short work had been made of those ho were really guilty, for Colonel Carr had ordered n immediate trial by court-martial and sentence of eath had been quickly pronounced upon them, and as almost as speedily executed. Sherman Canfield found himself a young hero, and as given an officer's salute whenever he went about e fort. Soop. after Sherman started East, and Gorman at ompanied him. They visited Sergeant Fessenden's widow, in her pleasant !;tome, and Sherman told her the whole story of her husband's death. Then he went to German's home, and found out just how the land lay there, and that the fugitive was never believed guilty of his brother's murder, under the cif. cumstances, after his letter had been read, and a hand some property was there awaiting his coming back. But, though Sherman Canfield returned once more to college for a year or so, he went on several trips again to the wild West, meeting with numerous adven tures, and few who know him to-day suspect the strange life he has led with his lifelong friends, Gorman Field and Buffalo Bill, the prince of the Platte, as he is often called in Nebraska. THE END. Next week's issue, No. 69, will contain "BUFFALO BILL'S SPY SHADOWER; or, THE HERMIT OF ZroN CANYON." This is a wonderful story of one of the most wonderful places in the world-the Great Can yon of the Colorado. Buffalo Bill's adventures there have never been told before. They will thrill you. Look out for them. Another Great Stor;:y b;:y Frank Merriwell. .o READ Frank.Merriwel. 1 writes exclusively for BOYS OF AMERICA. .tP FRANK MER I ELL'S Latest and Best Story, entitled I "BUCK BADGER'S RANCH; Or, UP AGAINST TH GOLD PIRATES." Opening Chapters Appear in No. 51 of .BOYS OF AMERICA. Ever;:y bo;:y of America will want to read this 1r stor;:y. 8 """ .8 Out Thursday., Sept, A Rattling Stor;:y of Western ranch life. ......

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Look on page 3of for the announcement of the new contest, boys. Isn't it a dandy? :t What clo you think of those prizes? Corkers! The Adventure contes t is dosed. There are stacks of entries that have not been printed yet, and for several weeks we will continue to print them. Na111es of the prize-winners will be printed in three weeks. In the meantime, get into the new contest. F a11ing Off a Train. (By Joe Hill, N J.) I:ast winter, as some boys and I were coming home from the copper mines in Arlington, we got on a freight car that wou ld take us near home. We were all right until we were going to get off. I was one, and as I started to go down the ladder one of the brakemen shouted at us. I looked up, but lost my balance on the ladder, which was s l ippery with ice, and fell on the sort of iron run board ai: the bottom of the car. I slipped off of this into the snow, my head being about five inches from the car wheels. I rolled down an embankment, which the train was going along, and when the other boys got to me I was cryipg It was a narrow escape from death. My First Balloon Ascension. (By Earl Schoenburger, Ohio.) One day in August, durin g the week of the Co unt v Fair; there was going to be a balloon ascension. There was a large c rowd there. There were many men and boys holding the balloon down whi le it was filling. 'i\The n i t was filled, the man "Yho was gQing to make the ascension gave the order, "Let her go I did not' l et go in time, and befor e I knew it I vvas about twenty feet a bo ve the ground. I had a n otion to drop, I did not know what the result might be, so I hung on. Higher and higher we went. When I started they all halloed, "hang on," and I got so high I could not hear them any more. .When we were abo ut five hundred feet high'"I l ooked I down. Everything looked far away. At last my an got so tired I let go the balloon. Fortunately my ff caught in the ropes of the parachute, and I hung downward. Then I knew no more until I found myself at hott in bed,. with my leg broken and a big gash cut in If head. I got we ll in about fowweeks, but I forgot my balloon ride. I don t think many boys ha had s uch a balloon rid e Through the Ice. (By Joe Bond, Pa.) t i It was in t he winter of the year 1897, w hen I ''f about ten yea rs old that I had a very narrow from being drowned. 'Vhere I live there is a brjckyard, about three squaf away. The men had been digging cla y for the yard, al there was a pond where they had been diggi.qg. Wi this pond was frozen over, and. I, with tw o other bo) went there to have some fun on the ice. I did not kn that the ice was thin, and I started to go across. I was in the middle when the ice began t o crack tried to reach shore, but failed, and in a moment I fo myself in the icy water. I cried for help as I could 1l-J swim. A man who was riding on a w h ee l jim1ped off atl tried to save me His wheel was smashed and he jumfl( in after me. c He could not get at me, though, on account of the I had gone down twice and was going down the thr time when a plank was shoved out to me. I managedrc grasp it and was drawn as h ore. I must have become lb conscious, for there was a blank in whic h I don't remd; ber anything. 'Vhen I cai11e to, I found myself in tl driers of the brickyard; that is, the pl ace where they d 1 bricks. I must have presented a comical sight, for I h<

PAGE 32

1'HE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. at a pair of overalls and a sweater of the engineer's, and old cap. At any rate they were very kind to me, for they dried 1 clothes and gave me a dose of ginger, so that when vent home I was none the worse for my adventure. But I would not go through it for a thousand ilars. Boys, take my advice and don't venture on nds until you have tested them. Kicked By a Horse. (By Hays Ecl(ert, Cal.) When I was about five years old I was in the first ade in the public school. One day I was going to tool, and my friend, who lived across the street, called me to come over and see his new pony. I went up to him and patted him, but he did not like it d kicked me away. I did not know anything till the xt day, but I came to, and was up in a few days. That as the only narrow escape I ever had. Enough to Make Your Hair Curi (By Allatt Ob rock, Ohio.) We were out hunting, and when we were coming home y cousin saw a bird and he was going to shoot at it. If told him not to do it. D"fhe boys are in the field, so he put his gun on his He did not know that it was cocked, and all of I ;udden the bullet went through my cap. took off some hair. p l fell down. My cousin looked as white as a sheet. e1r tell you that was a narrow escape. A N arro.w Escape. (By Johrt Murphy, N. Y.) One day, on the 3d of May, there was a fire at a paint ctory on Plymouth street, near Bridge, and I was going cross the gutter when an engine came along and the ran over me. My playmate just pulled me away in time. was the nat1rowest escape I ever had. l l l s Saved from Lake Winneb ago. (By H. W. Luscher, Wisconsin.) In the summer of 1898, while camping on ... the west of Lake Winnebago, near Oshkosh, Wis., my three <\nrades and myself were invited to take a trip to Island ) \rk. We were to go on a pleasure launch owned by one cl the boys' father. Island Park is a pretty little island, c\nost in the center of the lake, and is a very pleasant ace on which to spend a day's outing. The day of the e f ic dawned bright. We started for the boathouse rtly after old Sol put in his appearance, in order to : e everything in readiness for an early start. Being 1 home on the launch we had steam up and were ready start as the last of the party arrived, and were off as 1 n as all the eatables were stowed away in the locker. ') here is quite a long pier built out off the northern shore of the island. As we neared the shore I was in the bow of the boat ready to jump on this pier to tit the launch fast. The line, one end of which I held in my hand, lay coiled back of me. When there was but six to seven feet between the launch and pier I jumped. But instead of landing on the pier, as I expected to do, I was jerked back, striking the boat and falling into the water. Not -0nly was I in danger of drowning, but also of being crushed between the boat and piles. The gentleman who caused the accident by standing on the coil of rope, preventing it from unwindi:ng, caught me by my hair as I rose to the surface of the lake, and, with the assistance of my comrades, pulled me from the water. With the exception of a lump on my head and a soaking I was none the worse for my experience, and donning a pair of old overalls I joined in with the crowd and had a very good time. Losing Two Toes. (By Edward Houlihan, Ill.) One day two boys and myself were going down the Chicago and Erie Railroad. One of the boy11 suggested that we take a ride. We got on a switch train, and climbed up on top. We were walking along the top, and just as I was stepping over to another car I lost my balance and fell between the cars. My foot got caught between the bumpers, I wai; brought to the hospital and had two toee cut off. In the Rapids. (By James Gray, New York.) My little adventure took place on the Mohawk River, near Little Falls. A friend and myself were O\lt. rowing one day and had decided to take a swim. We rowed to the shore and started to undress. I had my clothes off first and sprang into the water. I swam out to the middle of the stream, and glancing back at my friend, who was still on the shore, I discov ered, to my surprise, that I was several yards below him. The swift current was carrying me down the stream, and I was unable to resist it. Then, to my hor ror, I heard the roar of the f::tlls a short distance below. My friend, who saw my danger, was about to swim out to me, but I called to him to row out with the boat. In the meantime I had managed to get my feet on a. large rock, but the swift waters would not allow me to remain there; they dragged me away and I was hurled down toward the falls. The water was becoming swifter and swifter, and I felt sure that I would be dashed on the rocks below. My friend, however, came t<;> my rescue in the nick of time. me into the boat, and with our combined efforts at the oars we rowed a way from the angry waters.

PAGE 33

The Contest just starting is going to be the greatest we ever ran. (t's an entirely new idea. The Prizes are nt:w and the finest we ever offered. The other contests h eld in the BUFFALO BILL WEEKLY have all made splendid success, but this one is sure to break all records. Why? Because it is a brand-new ideaa contest every boy in America has an equal chance in, and because the prizes beat anything ever offered before. All you have to do is to write out an account of any of your Curious Dreams. Everybody has had remarkable dreams and anybody who sends in an account of one has a chance of winning one of the prizes. They consist of HERE IS A LIST OF THE PRIZES: The. three boys who send in the three most interesting accoun ts will each receive an E,ast:rnan Pocket Kodak. with complete outfit. The camera takes picture l!x2 inchca; use s film, and has capacity for twelve pictures without reloading; weight six ounces. This wonderful little camera takes pictures equal to the most exp e n sive. It makes negatives of such sharpness and definition that b ea utiful en largements of any size can be made from them. Has perfect Achro matio Lens of fiAed focus Rotary Shutter, with sets of three stops, square View Find er and covered with fine Seal Grain Leather. Takes snap shots or time exposures. Easily carrie d in pocket or on bicycle. Complete with roll of film for twelve exposures and Leather Carrying Case, with room for three extra film cartridges. and of such a nature as to make it almost impossible for one part to becom,e detached fro m another. The h ead has an oblong serni-ci;:cular recess milled in either side to receive th e slotted end-of ha.;;dle, which is accurately milled to a close fit and firmly held by a l;-inch steel screw. This method of handle fastening prevents any liability of the blade working foose on the handle. The upp er part of the handle is slotted on the under side to receive the folded sheet steel guard, which is so arranged as to be fir1:ily held by a fiat steel bar when open or" closed. The five hovs who send in the five next bes t accounts will each ra ceive a Sportsman's Ideal lf:untinl& Hni.fe. There is ab0ut as much difference in point of utility and beauty between one of our" Ideal" hunting knives and any other knifo <>11 the market as there is between a grizzly bear and a porcupine. r Tl}ey are baud hand temper ed, h2nd tested by the i:igidest' possible tes t and finished in a manner that makes them hand s omest: )rnives in the market. The "Ideal" knives are made with 5-inch bla des leather handle, brans and fiffi:e trimmin gs, with polish e d stag-horn tiJJ. A handsome black. or ru.net case with each knife. It's Up to You to Win a This Contest doses December 1st. All entries must be in by that date. Remetnber, the "BUFF ALO BILL

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...... ...... \ .. .. ;... The Physical Man. The Muscles :md Muscle Building. The Lungs and the Science of Brealhing . Indoor Exercises and Horne Gymnastics. Eating and D rinkin g for l-lealth. Diet Cures crn1..l Anti-Drug Remedies. The V::ilue of Baths and Massage. How to Dress for Health and B.:!auty. Walking a nd Running. Swimming and Bicycling. --------i I l ... Physical :1 I-Iealth 1 CL1lture (ILLUSTRATED) A Popuia r !tfanwil of Bodily Exercist.s 1111d lfome

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