Buffalo Bill's death charm, or, The lady in velvet


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Buffalo Bill's death charm, or, The lady in velvet

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Title:
Buffalo Bill's death charm, or, The lady in velvet
Series Title:
Buffalo Bill stories
Creator:
Buffalo Bill
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Street & Smith
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (30 p.) 28 cm.: ;

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

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
Resource Identifier:
020848785 ( ALEPH )
223329198 ( OCLC )
B14-00073 ( USFLDC DOI )
b14.73 ( USFLDC Handle )

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serial

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" A ,VJ EKLY PUBLICATION EVOTED TO. &ORDER HI 5TORY issued Weekly By S ubscription $2.SO per year. Entered as Second Class !'lf.ztter at /\lr.v Yo r k Pt1st Office by STREET & SMITH, 238 T17il!iam St., N. Y No. 73 . Price, Five Cents. THE LOUD, COMMANDING VOICE OF BUFFALO BILL WA.S HEARD, TRA.T SArD: "STAND READY, ; I'LL GRASP YOTT AS I WHEEL A.ROUND YOU."

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/mail Weekly. By Subscription 12,so per year. Enlereif as Second Matter at llze N. :V: Office, cy STREET & SMITH, W111iam St., N. Y. Entered to Act of Conp-ess tn tlte year 1r;oz. zn tlte Office of tlze Librarian of Congress, ivaslimon, .lJ. C. No. 73. NEW YORK, October 4, 1902. Pric e Fiv e Cents BUFFALO B ILL'S DEATH CUARM;. t OR, The La.Cly -B y the autho r of B UFF A L O BILL." CHAPTER I. THE DEATH CHARM. Buffalo Bill, the Wizard of the Trail and the King of the Borderland, was on a long journey across an almost trackless expanse of prairie traveled only by marauding bands of red men, outlawed whites, and an occasional trapper or hunter. For some months he had been stationed at Fort Faraway, one of the smaller posts on the Southwestern fron tier, and now he was the bearer of important dispatches to another frontier army post. Fort McRae was separated from Fort Faraway by many leagues of wild border coun try, The commander at Fort Faraway had urged him to take an escort of soldiers with him on his wild journey, but Buffalo Bill, confident in his power to cope with any peril he might meet, and, as ever, utterly reckless of dan ger, said that he wottld go alone, packing the saddle of his good horse with enough emergency rations to last him during a long trip. A day s journey found him crossing a low range of foothills overlooking a rolling prairie that stretched for miles before the Ione horseman, as far as the eye could see and Buffalo Bill thought, as he pulled up his steed for a moment to gaze before him, that he had never seen a wild e r country. Suddenly, as he gazed, his eye caught a moving object upon the plain before him. He looked closer. It was a figure on horseback, with garments streaming in the wind. ,.. Buffalo Bill uttered an exclamation of surprise, and, clapping the binocular fieldglass he always carried to his eyes, focussed it upon the rapidly-moving figure, which had the outline of neither white man nor Indian. "A woman, by all that's holy!" exclaimed the scout. "What can sh e be flying from? She certainly is urging her horse to its utmost speed." Presently, a rumbling, thunderous sound came from the prairie to the right, and a dark mass came rapidly into view. Buffalo Bill knew what it meant in an in stant. It was a herd of cattle, stampeded from some u n known cause, and bringing destruction to anything in its path.

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TH E Like an arrow shot from th e bow, the scout's hor se J._, . J forward under the spurs, which had be e n pressed i1..n i: s flanks. [ must save her I" grated the King o f the :Border be tween set te et h. "Ha! her horse has fallen, probabl y breaking its l eg in a coyote h o le. She is wholly at their mer cy, but I am not too late." The re was littl e time for Buffalo Bill to act, for the herd was within a hundred y ards of the pro s hor:se and terrifi e d rider, who had sprung to her feet as Buffalo Bill whirled toward her. The roar of the thund e ring ho ofs of cattle was trem e n dous, but above it th e l o ud comi11anding voic e of Buf falo Bill was h eard, that said,: "Stand r .eaJy I I 'll grasp yo u as 1 wheel around you!" The hor se, matchless in trainin g, answering every touch of th e rider 's limbs, for the rein s hung loos e upon his n eck, around th e agonized woman 111 a short circle, all bttt losing it s feet in the s h o 'rt turn. The rid er lean e d from the saddle, se i zed the woman and swung h e r up before him and they were off to th e fdcit hills. A moment later they were safe b e hind a jutting r ock, and the herd of cattle had thundered past in th e ir mad flight. By some chance, almost a miracle, they had swerved to either side of the woman 's h o r se, which r egained it s footing and -trotted slowly up to rej o in it s rider, who s tood l;>eside th e great sco ut. Buffalo Bill look e d at th e woman, curiously. She was dressed in a b ea utiful habit of blu e ve lv et, trimmed with gold in militar y fashion, and from h e r girdl e swung a knif e and r evo lve r, both richl y inlaid .wit h go ld. She. was in h e r saddle before the sco ut c o uld assist her and, turning to him, spoke in a rich clea r voice. "I know yo u Bill! You have saved my lif e," she said, "and '.:: can do somet hin g in r e turn. She unclasp ed fr om h e r bosom a pin, .c!uri o u s l y shaped, a nd hand ed it to the sco ut. J k gazed at it curi o us l y The pin was made of gold, s hap ed like a hand and in it was set a sk ull and cross bones of ivory, From the pin hun g, suspe nd ed by a gold chain a gold owl, with emeralds for eyes "I rec og niz e this pin," said the scout "I had one in my possession once b efo re and it saved me from dea t h. It was given me b y the woman l eade r o f a band of thieve s She was known as the Queen o f the Golden Canyon; and has since gone to Mexico ''She was m y sister, for yo u once saved her life in th e same manner as yo u did mine," said the woman in velvet. "I, too ; have some p owe r over th e outlaws in the vicinity, but my home lies over the border in Mexico, and I int e nd nev e r to cros s it again." She pointed so uthward. "Thirty miles ride will take me home to m y own country, she said. "That pin may save your life if yo u are ever ove r powered b y outlaws in the. vicinity. Do n o t follow me. Farewell." She dashed off, l eav ing Buffalo Bill gazing at her, and presen tly disappeared over a l ow hill. Buffalo B ill knew that what she said was probably true, and pinned tlie death charm on hi s breast. "Who knows? I may hav e n eed of it," he muttered, and resumed his journ ey H e did have ne ed for it, for his path la y in the midst of perils. CHAPTER II. A BOY'S VOW. "Every man of that band shall die, boy though I am, I swear it! This burst of passion over, the speaker look e d about him upon a scene of death and ruin a nd, throwing him self full l eng th up o n th e ground, buried hi s face in his hands and wept bitt e r sca ldin g t ea r s. Toward th e spo t where h e l ay, unconscious o f all about him n ow sav e hi s gri ef, cam e a h or seman across th e prairie at a rapid l ope. Nearer and n eare r h e came, until his eyes, falling up o n th e sc e n e of a ruined house, he drew r e in suddenly and his face b ecame white and stern as h e muttered; "There ha s be e n reel work h e r e A h there lies one o f the vic tirris still alive." Quickly h e thre w him se lf from his h o r se, and, bending over the form, &aid ge ntl y : "My poor fellow, are you--" The o n e h e add r essed was upon hi s feet in an instant, his face stained wit11 tears, his eyes inflamed and hi s wh o l e form quivering with emot i o n The horseman saw a yo uth of seventeen, well grown, o f athletic build, with a daring, hand some face, and clad in buc kskin l eggings, stuck in top boots, a g ra y hunting shirt and a slouch h at, while about his waist was a belt of arms-his hand falling upon a revolver as he sp rang to his feet. "No no You are not one of that accursed band ; yo u wouldn't do a wrong!" And the yout h l ooked into the face of t h e hors ema n as one might who was intuitively r ea ding his very soul. "Some great wrong h as b een clone you, my lad if this is your hom e," gen tl y spoke the h o rseman. "It was m y home, sir, and a happy one; but see it now All gone, and those I loved lie dead over yo nde-r in th ose bushes-dead, murdered! my poor father and mother and my littl e brothe r and. I alone am l eft! !'See, sir! L ook around you and see what they h ave done!" The youth p o int ed about him to the charred timbers

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T H E B U f f A L O BI LL STORIES of what had been a large cabin home and outhouse, the ranch of some prosperous settler, but all now a scene of desolation. The horseman did not speak, but walked quickly over to the bushes, where the youth had said the dead lay, and there beheld a man of forty, a woman several years his junior. and a lad of fourteen. All were dead, and bullet wounds in their heads showed how they had died. The youth gazed upon the dead with white, stern face, for he had gained control of himself novv, and the horse man asked: "Who did this red deed, my lad?" "Indians, sir." "It was done last night?" "Yes, sir." "Where were you?" "Away on a hunt, sir, with several comrades from the other ranches." "Are other homes destroyed also, for I know there are ranches to the north of here?" "I do not know, sir, for I left the boys to come on home-and this is what I find." And the lips quivered and eyes dimmed. The horseman made no reply, but began to move about the grounds, his eyes taking ir\ everything in a way that showed the experienced plainsman. The youth stood watching him, with intense interest, noting all that he diCI. He even, in his great grief, observed that the stranger possessed a superb form, was about six feet in height; his dark, waving hair fell upon his broad shoulders, and he was dressed in a picturesque costume and wore a broad sombrero, all of which was most becoming to him. About his >aist was a sash and a belt of arms, and, glancing toward the stranger's horse, which had been allowed to roam at will and feed, he saw a splendid ani mal, handsomely equipped with bridle, saddle and camp ing outfit, while a rifle hung to the horse upon one side and a looped lariat upon the other. The youth was much impressed with the stranger, and his appearance, and muttered : ''Who can he be, I wonder?" Having completed his survey of the surroundings of the ruined home, the stranger walked to where the bodies lay and bent over the1i1. He seemed to try to read from their faces what he would know-to expect the dead lips to open and tell him the cruel story of their death, so intently did he scrutinize them. Bending over the body of the little lad, he took something from between his fingers; then he proceeded to fold the hands of all peacefully upon their breasts. "There are more, sir," faltered the youth. "More dead?'" "Yes; my old negro nurse, who came with us out here, and her husband. They lie over yonder, in the edge of the woods, and our two cowboys are further along, where they fell fighting. "Those are all, sir." "All! and seven of them! And from one household! And you alone are left, my brave la\!." "I am the last. sir; but I can avenge those who ar_s gone, and I will! I will! I have sworn it, and I will take the trail of those Indians and--" "Boy, you are wrong; all wrong." "Do you mean to say that I shall not avenge my dead?" fiercely demanded the youth. And his hand again dropped upon his revolver, for it flashed upon him that the stranger was not his friend after all, to make such a remark. "I did not say that you should not avenge, but I meant that you must not punish innocent for the guilty, for Indians did not do this work of death !" said the stranger, impressively. ., CHAPTER III. TELL-TALE SIGNS. The youth looked at the stranger in a startled, doubt ful way, as though he could not believe that he had heard him aright, when he told him that Indians had not done the atrocious deed there in evidence before them in all its horror. The stranger, as the youth had pointed out where the other bodies lay, had gone, first, to where the two negroes had fallen, then to where the cowboys had ended their lives. He had looked well at the bodies, then at the surround ings of each, and, apparently satisfied in his mind, he hac! told the youth that Indians were not the guilty ones. "You say that Indians did not do this deed, sir," al most gasped the youth. "Indians did not do it, my little friend." "But, sir, we crossed the Indian trail going and com-ing this way." "Who did?" "My pards and I." "Who are they?" "There are five of us, sir, and we are all boys. "I am the captain, and we scout to prevent the settlement from being surprised by redskins; but we did not believe any were on the warpath, and so went on a hunt toward the Rio Grande. ''Coming back, we crossed a fresh Indian trail leading from the settlement, and it frightened us; but soon after we came upon the same trail. going to the settlement

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THE B UFF J\LO B ILL STORIESo "This fairly scared us, and we each rode toward our homes, and this is w hat I found And the youth very nearly gave way to his grief once m9re The stranger had listened attentively to the boy's story, and then asked : "How many ranches are there in this valley?" "Nine." "How many people on them?" "Cowboys and families all told, about sixty sir." ": 1'And you are one of five scouts who patrol the coun t ry to guard. against surprise by redskins?" "Yes, sir." "When did you go on your hunt?" "Two days ago. "How far is it to the nearest ranch?" "Eight miles, it is called, sir." ."And the other ranches lie up the valley beyond?" "Yes, sir." "How far do you call it to the Indian country?" "Some sixty miles to the borderland, sir." "Did you notice the force in the trails you saw going and coming my lad?" "About twenty in the one coming m, and twice that many going back." "I see that your cattle and horses were not taken And the stranger pointed to a large herd of cattle feed ing a couple of miles away and a band of a hundred horses nearer "Some of the horses appear to be missing, sir." "Did you notice whether the trails you sa,w were of shod or unshood hoofs?" "No, sir,'' "They were of unshood hoofs." "How do you know, sir?" "All the tracks about here are of horses that are shod, and you'll find that the raiders rode hard in coming here and left their worn-out animals and took fresh ones from your drove, and as many as they could carry along at a good pace." "Oh, sir, you seem to read the signs well." "It is my business to do so; and let me show you this and ask if it is an Indian's hair." held up a bunch of hair of reddish hue, evide1:t1y torn from a human head. "No, sir; it is a white man's hair." "I got it fr m the hand of your little brother, for he to r e it from the head of his murderer in the struggle." "Poor Sammy !" "Here is a spur I picked up. Is it your's, your father's, or the cowboys'?" "It belonged to none of us, sir." "Indians don t wear spurs nor ride iron-shod horses, and these are not ponies' tracks. No r do they have hair like this. So, though those who were here did al l they cou l d to appear t o be r edskins, being painted like them even, they were white men "How do you know that they were painted?" asked the boy, in some astonishment. "You w ill find paint smeared on your father's clothes, rubbed off in the struggle with his foes, and also on the face and hands of your brother, and of the negro man, too, proving that they all had a death grapple with their slayers "No, white men, not Indians did this fiendish deed." "But who can they have been?" "I am a stranger here, merely pas sing through with important dispatches from fort to fort, so I know noth ing of your people; but you sh o uld know if your family had bitter foes who would perpetrate such a hideous deed "Are there not outlaw bands in this part of the coun try?" "Yes, sir, there are the Red Rovers-a band of out l aws who rob and kill without mercy; but they have never been in Meadowland Valley." "Well, my poor lad, my duty calls me on my way; but I shall stop at the ranches as I pass and send you help at once." "If they have not also been ruined, sir." "Ah, yes; but it can hardly be. "See, yonder come some horsemen now, so we will be ready for them if they prove to be foe s." "They are my pards !" shouted the boy as he turned his gaze upon the four horsemen whom the stranger had caught sight of, coming at a run up the valley. CHAPTER IV. THE FIVE FERRETS. "Your parcls ?" asked the stranger, quickly, at the words of the youth "Yes, those four and I make the five I spoke of-the fighting five some in the valley call us, while others give us the name of the Five Ferrets, as we have always found out when a raid was to be made." "They arc corning rapidly. as though b earing news of importance." "'Perhaps they have the same story to t ell of d e ath and destruction." "No; I am .confident those men did not go down the "alley, for they doubtless stinck your home just before daylight, and, had they gone on in th e ir work of ruin, we would now see the smoke of th e burning ranches. "And, besides, they were not in force enough to attack settlers of large number in their own homes, and b y day light. "No; for some purpose, they came here, and, accom-

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l'liE BUFF ALO BILL STORIESo 5 plishing their fatal mission, they have gone to seek safety and l et the redskins get the censure of their crime." "You speak lik e one who knew, sir, and I believe you are right," said the boy, sadly, and he added: "I certainly will be glad to know that no one else has had to suffer as I do." The stranger now had his eyes upon those rapidly ap proaching where he and the youth stood He saw that there were four of and that they were mere boys, being about the same age, but, like the yout h by his side, well grown, strongly built and clad as he was; they were thoroughly armed and well mounted, he noticed, also. They clashed up a moment after, four abreast, l eaped from their sadd l es, and in silence ran up and grasped the hands of their comrade. At first the heart-stricken youth seemed about to break down utt er ly, but he was of stern courage and decision of character-the quality that controls the makeup of strong natures-and, mastering his emotion, he said, in a low voice: "Pards you see that I am left alorie, and homeless. "Here lie my parents and Sammy; over there is Maum J,innie and Uncle Peter, and yonder are the two cowboys, Lige and Burt. "Diel "the human fiends go clown the valley?" "No, Bird; they went back to the mountains. "vVe saw the smoke of your home soon after we left you, and gave the alarm in the valley, and then came here with all speed." "Is it too late to follow them?" asked Kane Noland. And his eyes, as he spoke, were dim with tears of heart strung sympathy, while the rest of the brave band of boys seemed too full for utterance, as they gazed about them upon the scene of desolation and suffering. "It is too late now, boys, to follow them, but they shall answer for this-every man of that band-for I know that you will h e lp me in the work of avenging this act," said the youth, in a voice full of determination. At once came the reply, strangely stern and threaten ing, from the lips of each one of the four youths: "We will stand by you to the end, Bird-even to the death, if necessary." I know that well, pards." "Yes, the redskins will suffer for this," said Nick Walker, while Bird Bainbridge, who seemed to be the lead er of the five, broke in with : "But redskins did not do it, boys !" "Who says so?" came in a chorus of voices. "This gentleman-I do not know his name." He turned to the stranger, who had be e n qui e tly ob serving the youths, as if reading each one of them through and through with his piercing gaze. They had also taken particular notice of him, in spite of the scene they had come upon, and their grief for their compan ion, wondering who he was. At th e hint of Bird Bainbridge to know who he was all eyes were now upon the stranger, while Seth Saunders echoed, incredulou sly: "Indians did not do it?" "That is my opinion, my young friend, though we are all liable to err." "Why, who else could or would do such a deed but Indians?" Bud Rainey asked. I say that white rilen, disguised as Indians, did this red work, and I have seen as much cruelty among some of the palefaces on this frontier as ever the Indians were guilty of," said the stranger. "Then you uphold th e Indians, sir, in their acts? some >vhat h o tly intimated Seth Saunders. The stranger smiled, and replied with no show of anger: "I am an old plainsman, though still a young man, com paratively. I have seen the base s t of acts committed by Indians upon this border; but I have seen their every act of cruelt y and death equaled b y the d eeds of white out laws and renegades, with this difference-that, where the redskins have been trained from infancy to fight in their own cruel way against women and children, as well as men, and to regard the palefaces as their natural foes, driving them from their own homes, the outlaws, fleeing from justice for crimes committed elsewhere, come here and act toward their own race with a degree of inhuman ity that the savage cannot surpass." The stranger spoke so impressively that all the boys fc]t the truth of his utterances, and Bird Bainbridge asked: "Will you tell us who you are, sir?" "My name is William F. Cody, but I am better known as Buffalo Di thief of army scouts in the Northwest." CHAPTER V. BUFFALO BILL. "Buffalo Bill!" The name was echoed by each one of the five under his breath-uttered in an almost incredulous tone. The "Five" seemed hardly to credit their hearing. CoulJ it be that they stood face to face with a man of whose daring deeds they had heard even before they came to find a home in New Mexico upon ranches sit uated in the very midst of incessant danger? They had read of him in their homes, far from the scenes of his exploits; they had heard of him around the hearthstone of their n ew habitations; had listened to stories tclcl of him by ranchcros and hunters about the campfir e They knew him especially as the ideal hero of the cow-

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t'HE BU Ff hLO BlLL STORlf:S. boys, and even then two of the lads had in their saddle pockets romances of the great scout's career. Buffalo Bill The name had a wonderful charm. It was the open sesame of their hearts Could it really be their hero? Was not the stranger deceiving them? No It was he-the scout of scouts They looked into his frank, fearless, handsome facethe face of a marvelous man They regard ed his splendid physique-it was the form of a hero. They scanned his picturesque frontier garb-it was just such as a hero should wear Then they glanced at his splendid horse and complete outfit, the rifle and lariat hanging to the saddle horn-all were just what the make-up of a hero should be! No, there could be no mistake. Buffalo Bill stood be fore the five young frontier fighters of Meadowland Val ley. "You must pardon me, sir, for saying what I did," said Seth Saunders, frankly retracting his words. "Don't think of it again, my boy. Now, let me tell you that I have been trying to thi11k how I can serve our young friend here, whom you have promised to aid in his determination to avenge this most foul crime against those he loved. "Oh, sir, if you only would help us!" cried Bird Bain bridge, while the others chimed in with : "Yes, sir, if you only would.'' After a moment of the knight of the plains ad dressed the youths : "I am chief of scouts up at Fort Faraway, and am carrying .important dispatches, which of 1 te have failed to get through, along the chain of forts -to Fort McRae, in the Tule Rosa Range. "l\fy orders for haste are imperative, but when I return ,;r-Faraway I am to have a leave of absence, and I prom ise' you that, instead of going to my home in Kansas to spend it, as was my intention, I will return h ere, and aid you to hunt clown the fiends who committed this atrocious deed." The b oys, together, broke out in a cheer, waved their hats, and seemed to feel as though the murderers were already run to earth! "It is so good of you, sir, to help me." Bird Bain bridge extended his hand, which the chief of scouts grasped, warmly. The other lads, taking advantage of the situation, also offered their hands, proud to get a grip from the great plainsman. "It is not kind of me, but my duty, to help you," con tinued Buffalo Bill. "I have told you that the murderers were not redskins, in my opinion, but white men. I am more than ever con vinced of it now; but let this belief be kept a secret be tween us. "You all understand ?" "Yes, sir," was the prompt reply from each one of the five. "If they learn that they, not the Indians, are suspected, they will be forewarned, hence forearmed, and thus have a chance to cover up their tracks, or to leave the country. "If they know that Indians alone are suspected, they will be reckless, and can be the better tracked, or identi fied." "That is true, sir," assented Bird Bainbridge, and all echoed his ';YOrds, for the five would have indorsed any thing Buffalo Bill wished them to think or do. "Now, you must let no one into this secret of our sus picions, but proceed quietly to work to find out what you can. "You are to be, in fact, detectives, ferrets, to trace and spot the guilty ones. "Get all the information you can, and I will meet you here in just six weeks from to-night. "If I do not come, it will be because I am dead, or wounded; and I shall see to it that there is one to take my place should I fail you, for I have friends and assistant scouts at Fort McRae "But I will be here if possible, and, should we meanwhile, elsewhere, do not appear to know me, unless 1 first recognize you.". "We won't, sir; but you will know us by the silver star yo11 sec we wear on our hats." "Yes, I will not forget my Fighting Five, and let me warn you that you must be ready for serious work when I return. "Have your best horses and weapons; don t neglect your l ariats, for I look upon the lasso as a most effective and dangerous weapon when skillfully handled. "Have your supplic.>s near to get at in a moment of time, for, when I put in an appearance, I will have done some ferret work on my own account, and when I want you it will be like the Texan and his gun-want you bad. "But I notice quite a party of horsemen coming up the valley, and, as I do not care to be seen by them, I must be off. ''Remember, six weeks from to-night, if you do not hear from me sooner. "Good-by, boys!" and, with a quick step, Buffalo Bill reached his horse, leaped into his saddle, turned into the timber, and disappeared at a gallop, leaving the five young fighters speech l ess with admiration and joy at their good luck in having for their ally their hero of heroes.

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THE BU ff J\.L O BILL STORIESo 'l CHAPTER VI. THf; LAST OF HlS RACE. The scout had been gone five minutes before ai;y one of the five spoke Each one was to o deeply impr essed b y all that hap pened-'-the wiping out of the Bainbridge home and dwell ers, and the meeting wit h B uffalo Bill; their food for r e flection kept them silent. In the meantime, the party of h o r seme n now coming up the valley had drawn nearer; they w ere a score in number, and were riding rapidly. The boys knew them as the ranchers and cowboys has tening to the sc e ne after t h e warning spread by the four companions of Bird Bainbridge, for so th e popular youth was called by the cowboys, though his real name was Burr. There were o l d men and young r anc h owners and c ow boys in the cavalcade. They were c om ing to see what harm had been done, and if Indian s were 'really raiding the upper encl of the valley All knew the Bai nbridge home as the best in the valley. f-Tr. Bainbridge had moved th ere from a Texas ranch He was in fairly good circumstances when he came, so had made himself and family most comfortable. He had a good band of ponies, a large herd of cattle, a hundred acres of land under use or cultivation, so there was the appearance of s ub sta ntial and pro s p ero u s home upon all about him. It was said that he had l eft a fine r a n c h in T exas, sell iqg out at a sacrifice for cash to move up into New Mex ico, thougli. just why, no one could tell, for little r eally was known of his actual history. He was a handsome man of forty-five, and his wife was a beautiful woman, whi l e their two sons Burr and Sammy, were bright, han dsome, daring boys, w110 had been we11 bro ught up and well taught b y 'their parents, both of w h om were peop l e of education and refinement. The)' had brought with them th e o ld negro, Peter, and hi s wife, Jinnie, as also the two cowboys, who worked upon the ranch in Texas. When sett lin g there. Mr. Bainbridge had en 1ployed a number of men to build hi s h ouse and outbuildings, fence in his fields,. clear the land and put it in grain, pa y ing them liberally for th eir work, which few of th e wid e l y scattered settlers could do. If there was a ske l eto n in the close t of the Bainbridge home, as was hinted in Meadow land Valley, no one had been found to unearth it nor to as ce rtain just what it was. All understood that th ere was some m ys tery in the lives of the Bainbrid ge family, sofne special cause for their leaving Texas; but neither th e two young sons, the ne g roes, or the cowboys, had ever given the secret awa',, if the re was one, and they knew it Still, the family was popular with all, and, when Bird Bainbridge bad organized the small band of ranchers' sons of about his own age, as the Silver Star Scouts, to prot e ct the v alley from a raid, all tbe settlers had been g lad of it, and especially as the gallant lads had rendered m os t excellent service on more than one occasion All the youths were dead shots, could throw a lCj.sso with great skill, ride an yt hing in the shape of a horse, and had the pluck of true border boys to back up th e ir ac complishments They ne ver had given a false alarm-never cried "In jnn when ther e was no "Injun"-and, und e r their able young l eader and trainer, had b e come great favorites, and were mos t thoroughl y trusted The Bainbridge h ome was deli g htfully situated-the lar ge cabin,. enc ircled by pia zzas, standing upon a hill, at the edge of some fine timb er, and with a large creek run ning n ear. A grand view was obtainable down th e valley, and of th e land s where the cattle grazed. It was well furni s h ed for a fr o nti e r home and happi ness seemed to dwell there, in spite of the haunted, anx i ous look that ever seen1ed to r'est in the e yes of Burr Bainbridge t}:ie senior. In one fell swoop thi s ideal fronti e r home had been wiped out. Not only had the dw e lling, but the outbuildings, been l ef t in as h es, while, as narrated, the bodi e s of the ran chero, his .. wife, little son, and four faithful servitors had been l ef t dead amid the ruins. The boy who remained, as far as all others knew, was the la s t of his race, the sole survivor: of Ranch, asMr. Bainbridge had called his ne\v hot!:, Amid this sce ne of rapine and ruin, of deadly hate and vengeance, the Fighting Five stood, as the settlers dashed up t h e valley. The horsemen, as they came in at a foll gallop, drew their h orses to a walk as they came first upon the two cowbqys l y ing dead by the side of the trail. 'The1i the bodies of the negroes were seen, and, as the men nearer, their hats were doffed, their heads bared in th e presence of the dead rancher, his wife and littl e Sammy . Not a word was spoken, as they drew rein and c on front ed the sole survivor of the once happy and prosper ous home, until at last a white-haired set tl er c r ied, w ith ch ok ing voice : "My God! All !?2ne 0

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8 'THE BUffALO BILL" STO R I'f.S. "My boy, the reel fie nds have dealt yon a cruel, a merci less, blow. "Heaven have mercy upon yon, for human sympathy cannot console for such as this." CHAPTER VII. LASSO SOL'S ACCUSATION. "Where are the red fiends that did this? "Yon, Bird Bainbridge are a good trailer ; you have been the sufferer; and, boy though you are, I, for one will follow your lead to avenge those yo n loved ." The speaker, one of the settlers, spoke in .q uivering voice His hair and beard were iron gray; age was in hi s frame; yet he avowed his purpose to follow a boy's lead. "And I will go, to o," cri ed another and along the line ran the cries : "Count on me wit h yon, Bird, to the end !" "Me, too boy pard " I am another "Not a man can back down wit h thi s sight b efo re his eyes." "Hooray for our young !" So the offers of aid were volunteered The brave bo y was touched deeply, and his lips quiver ed with repressed emotion. But it was tim e now for action, not tears. The first terrible blow at the discovery of th e dead was over. There could b e nothing mo re to come to hin.1 then, he knew. Whatever he felt, no Fnatter ho w his heart was torn, he would be a man. "My friends I thank yo u all, and if some of those not so well '\ ble to stand a hard ride will remain to care for my I will be glad to have those w h o will go with me td'follow on the trail of those w ho se de ed o f death is before you," and the yo uth spoke in a manly and firm tone, while his four imn;1ediate pards looked at him with s urpri se, in th e face of what Buffalo Bill had told them. Bird Bainbrid ge saw their looks', an d sa id in a low tone: / ''We must know where this trail l ea ds, for that is our first duty." The justice of this the ot h er boys saw and it was de cided that ten of the b est mo un ted and hardiest of men s hould accompan y the five youths o n the trail., the half score others remaining b e hind to go into camp there, se nd for aid to the other ranches, and pr ep are for th e burial of the dead on the morrow. "But there was some one here with y ou for we saw him ride off <]Uick as we came 11p." said one of the settlers, a man who dwelt alone in his cabin and had a few cattle he h e r ded. Q In the settlement he was known as Lasso Sol, and by no other name, while he was sa id to have been a guide and hunter. He was a large man quick in hi s actions, had a stern, hard face and was admitted to be the best hand with a liariat o n the border and h e h ad been the one to give the five Sil ver Star scouts tlfeir lessons in throwing of the rope. But all in the valley rather feared Lasso Sol than liked him and his que st ion as to who was the horseman who had ridden off as they approached caused several others to call out: "Yes, who was he, boys?" As spokesman for the Fighting Five, Bird Bainbridge replied: "He was Buffalo Bill, c hief of sco ut s in the army, and h e was bearing important dispatches to Fort McRae. "He was in a hurry, o r would h ave stopped l onge r. "All a lie young pard, fer Buffalo Bill don't come down into thi s country, and I'll bet my guns and horse that he were a ren egade white man, who led the Injuns here, and then s neak ed back ter see how well he had done ther biz. "He's no more Buffalo Bill than I is, and my guns and horse says so." "I'll take you up at that bet Lasso So l ," hotly said Bird Bainbridge, t o the surprise of all, w hil e one cried: "Th e re, Lasso Sol, it 's buck or back now. Prove he h ain't Buffalo Bill or pay up." "I'll win 111 y bet. "Here, Reddy, I wants you, and yo u too, Barney, ter go with me and rope thet fine feller in and show he 's what I says he is." "Would yo u go and take men wit h you, Lasso So l when every man is needed n ow to go on the trail or re main h ere, and do his duty to the dead? said the elder sett l e r repro ac hfully, and who, next to .Mr. Bainbridge h ad been l ooked upon as a leade r in the valley, for the sla in ranc h er was the acknow l edged head of the settle ment." "Let them as wants ter go on ther trail on a foo l's er rand and them as wants ter stay here do so; but I kno\'s my bu s iness, and I says thet feller as ran away was a repegade white man, 'vvl10 led them Injuns, and I goes ter bring him ba ck, a nd you, Redd y and Barney, goes with me so g it inter saddles and come ri g ht a l ong," and Lasso Sol toward his h orse, the two men named doing likewise, w hil e some of the sett l e rs expressed the ir regret that the force should be. divided. But Lasso So l was determined to have his way, and he rode off on the trail of Buffalo Bill, followed by Reddy .and Barney, who seemed to enjoy going after one man much more than purs uin g a band of Indians. And with a !!lance at his dead, a sad, silent farewell, I

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' THE BUff ALO BILL STORIES. Bird Bainbridge also rode away with his men, but not until h e had whispered to one of his Five, Seth Saund ers: "You know how you 2an head Buffalo Bill off, so drop off afte r we start, take the short cut, and tell him that Lasso Sol is on his trail." CHAPTER VIII. BUFFALO BILL' S DISGUISE. \.\Th e n Buffalo Bill rode away, at sight of the band of hor s emen coming up the valley, he entered a thick belt of timber, and kept in its hadow, though the main trail ran in the open as far as the eye could reach. The scout appeared anx ious to avoid being seen by the horsem e n, and he then made a wide flank movement by way of the timber and came out into a trail a couple of miles from the Bainbridge ranch. In the Meadowland Valley the ranches were aH on the north side, close under the mountain ranges, to protect them from the cold northers when they blew. The main trail ran down the valley, therefore, nearer the northern side, and across to the other range were miles of op e n p asture land. Clo se in under the southern range there was plenty of timb e r land and a deer trail led through it. Into this trail Buffalo Bill made his way, as though to av o id b eing se e n b y any of the minding cattle in thi s valley. He seemed anxi o u s to avoid each and every ranch, and wa s g oing along at a s low canter, as though anxious to make up for his del a y at the Bainbridge ranch, when he s aw ahead of him in the trail the tall form of a redskin. The Indian sto o d upright, his arms folded upon his bro a d breast and his eyes fastened upon the scout, though not with h os tile intent. He was almo s t deYoid of clothing, being attired in only the bree ch clout moccasins, and a head dress of eagle plum es 'His large arms and bodv were bare, and shone like . I brdnze as the sunshine fell upon hinf where he stood. He wor e a red sash about his waist, and in it, in front, were stuck a knife and a revolver, the only weapons he s eeme d to possess. Why, it is the Tonca chief, Lone Buffalo, and he has recognized me or he would not stand there," said Buffalo Bill as h e the waiting redskin. Drawing nearer to him, the scout called out: "Ho, Lone Buffalo, I am glad to see my red brother !'.' "Tonca chief glad to meet great white chief. "Lone Buffalo see him come, and wait-me got tell something. The scout grasped the hand of the Indian, who pleased at the meeting, and said: "The Tonca is my friend, I know; but does h e still l i ve apart from his people, alone in the mountains, as he did when I met him a year ago?" "Tonca chief live all alone; hide his face from his people. "Where White Buffalo go?" "To the fort." "Me go, too." "Then I shall have company; but where is your pony?" "He there, with rifle," and the Indian led the way through the timber for several h undred yards, to whern a large roan mustang was staked out, and a saddle, bridle ,and rifle lying near. "Me stop rest pony; see white chief way up trail, go to meet him." Again Buffalo Bill expressed his pleasure at meeting the Tonca chief, for he knew well the true worth of the lone redskin. Once, a couple of years ago, when scouting with some cavalry, he had made a dash into a village of Comanches, and rescued the Tonca, just as his captors were going to torture him to death. The Tonca was released by the scout, an& from that day became the devoted friend of the palefaces. Learning that the chief's tribe had captured an officer and two troopers some months after, Buffalo Bill had boldly entered the Indian village at night, disguised as a redskin, and, seeking the tent of the Tonca, had asked him to release the paleface prisoners. The Tonca at once went to the tepee, where they under the guard of a brave, led them to where he had left the scout and told him to take them with him, and that the y would find ponies in the valley. This act made his people furious, and for a while his life was in danger; but he had been a great <;hief, had served them well, and, after a council, he was told to go to the mountains, and dwell alone. This was his punishment, and he was told to hide his face from his people, and remain a redskin hermit until the chiefs of his tribe sent for him to return to them. \i\Tith a sad heart, he obeyed the sentence put upon him, and sought a home in the depths of the mountains, be coming known to whites and redskins as the Lone Buf falo. But the lone Indian hermit was not idle in his solitude, for, the 1rienc! still of the palefaces, he had several times warned the settlement of danger from Apaches, had given his own people a warning of an attack by foes, an
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10 THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. _o w, when he said that he had "something to tell," Buffalo Bill was anxious to learn what it wa _s, knowing that the lone chief was his fast friend. CHAPTER IX. THE CHIEF'S STORY. Lone Buffalo, having bridled and his horse, and mounted, rode alongside of the scout, as he once more resumed his way to the fort. "vVhat has my red brother to tell?" asked the scout, having ridden for nearly a mile in sil ence, for he knew the Indian nature too well to show any anxiety regarding the communication he had to make. After a moment, the Tonca said: "Heap bad paleface, paint like Indian, get ready make war on good paleface in valley. ''So many," and he held up his fingers until he told off twenty. "Ah! the outlaws, disguised as Indians, are to make a raid upon the settlements in this valley, chief?" The Indian nodded. "\Vhen ?" "One sleep-.''. "To-night, that means?" Again a nod. "vVhere are they ?" "Up mountain." ."Mountain robbers?" Again a nod. "How did the chief find out?" "Hide tree, bad paleface coir.e and camp and have pow-wow. ":i:.,9ne Buffalo stay in tree two sleeps, get heap tired, but bad paleface camp and camp. "Then go, and Lone Buffalo come to tepee, get.pony, and ride to tell palefaces and chief at fort; se. e great white Buffalo come, was so g lad." Buffalo Bill understood the broken story of the Indian perfectly. He read that he had seen a band of outlaws coming, had climbed a tree to hide from them,' and they had gone right there, remaining for two days, and he had been unable to come down off his perch. That he had heard the outlaws' plan to disguise them selves as Indians and attack the settlement of Meadow land Valley. \Vhen ; at la st, they had broken camp, the chief had has tened, as well as h!s cramped limbs would allow him to do so, to his lon e camp, gotten his pony, and was going first to warn the settlement, then to inform the command. ant at the fort. Seeing Buffalo Bill, coming, he had waited to tell him. Thinki n g it over calmly, the scout knew that the chief ha_ d seen just what he said h e had, but he felt certain that he had gotten the night of the attack wrong. He questioned the Lone Buffalo as to what the outlaws had clone _while in the camp, and, when to l d that they were "making Indians of themselves," the scout was cer tain that tlie band was the one that had attacked the Bain bridge ranch. Either the chief misunderstood the time set for the raid, or the outlaws had attacked a night sooner than at first intended. If they had .also intended raiding the valley, they had contented themselves with the destruction of the Bona ventura Ranch, and the killing of all who dwelt there, save Bird Bainbridge, the young Silver Star Scout. Finding just where the outlaws had camped, and kept him up a tree, the scout was convinced that the party of "bad palefaces" and those who had left death antl ruin behi1'1c1 them at the Bainbridge home were one and the same. Coming down the mountain canyons from his lone tepee the Indian hermit would not have discovered the burnin g barns, and, striking l\Ieadowland Valley miles below Bonaventura Ranch, he was going to give warning at the first cabiff of what might be looked for, and then hasten on to the fort, in the hope that a troop of rangers might head off the outlaws before they could escape with their plunder. "The Lone Buffa l o is the brother o.f the palefaces, aRd I will tell the great chief all he has done. "Bltt the Lone Buffalo does not know that the bad paie faces attacked the settlement one sleep sooner, an d last night: killed ar;d destroyed the barns at the head of this valley. "Then the bad palefaces fled back toward the moun tain, but the white braves of the valley will go on their_ trail." The Indian was surprised at what he heard, but did not doubt the scout, who continued: "I want the Lone Buffalo to tell me if he knows ariy one of the bad palefaces?" "rd e know--" and he held up three fingers, to denote that he knew that many of the outlaw band. "Good! "Kow, I wish the Lone Buffalo to do something for n1e." The chief seemed pleased at this, and nodded in the affi.rmative, showing that he was tnost willj11g. "The Lone Buffalo must take the trail of the bad pale faces, and find out just where they go, and, if they have a retreat.

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THE BU ff ALO BILL STORIES. 11 "When the chief knows, let him meet me at the Deep Spring, on the Zuni Plateau, six sleeps from now." "Chief know-he be there." "All right. I shall be returning by the Zuni trail, by way of Fort Tule Rosa and Fort Wingate, and will bring the Lone Buffalo heap things for himself." "Lone Buffalo glad. "He take trail of bad paleface now." But, as he spoke, a horse and rider suddenly dashed out into the trail several hundred yards ahead of them, and they came to a quick halt. CHAPTER x. rHE'.' WARNING OF THE SILVER STAR. The horseman, who so suddenly dashed into the t;ail ahead of Buffalo Bill and the Indian chief, drew rein, as though to await the coming of the scout. His appearance did not indicate hostility until he saw the India n with the scout. This he had not at first seen, evidently, for he turned, as though t o dash away and halfway made a motion as though to bring his rifl e round for use. The scout, however, recognized at a glance who it was that thus crossed his path. He saw that the horse was panting, as though hard ridden and he recognized the rider as one of the Five he had parted from but a short while before. Seeing that the young scout of the Silver Star did not seem to understand th e presence of the Indian with him, and whom h e doubtl ess did not know as a friend of the palefaces Buffalo Bill waved his hand, and called out: H ello, my Silver Star pard How did you manage to head me off so quickly? The youth returned the wave of the scoufs hand, and, as the latter drew up to where he was, said: "Does the redskin speak English, sir?" "Yes, but he is my friend, and yours. It is the Tonca, known as the Redskin Hermit." "Yes, I have heard of him sir." "I met him a while since as I now do you, and we are o ld friends. "He was on his way to warn the settlement in the valley of the raid of last night, but supposed it \>Vas to be made tonight, and he tells me they were all white men disguised as redskins. "Lone Buffalo, this is my young friend, Silver Star, and I want my red brother to know him." "Lone Buffalo glad to know young 0brave," and he held out his hand which Seth Saunders warmly grasped, after he had been told by scout of th e Indian 's intention to warn the settlers of danger. Then he said: "But I mnst talk quick sir, for I have no tima to lose. Bird Bainbridge, our leader, you know, sir, told me to come on and warn you of danger." "Thank him, and you, also, my young friend, but what danger threaten;; me now?" "vVhy, sir, the men who came were the settlers, and they saw you ride away, so Lasso Sol said you were the renegade chief who led the attack last night on the Bain bridge ranch, and were not Buffalo Bill, and he called upon two of the cowboys of his stripe to come after you, and make you a prisoner." Indeed !" "Yes, sir; but the other settlers urged him not to do so, and a dozen went off with Bird and the rest of our Five, to follow the trail of the raiders. "Then Bird told me to cut through the valley timber, hecrd you off, and tell you what Lasso Sol saia, and that he, Barney and Reddy were on your trai l and they were very dangerous men." Not a muscle of Buffalo Bill 's face changed as he lis ten ed to th e youth, and when he had heard all that he had to tell he held forth his hand, and said : "I thank you, and I wish you to avoid these men, and return to your young leader. "Tell him that I will heed his warning to the extent that I will take good care of myself, and Lone Buffalo is with me to help me out. "Also teii'him that I shall act only in self-defense, not wishing to harm any settler in th e val!ey. Remember what I told you about meeting you at the appointed time and let me tell you that Lone Buffalo here is our friend, and may be with me when I come to meet you. "Now, hurry off th e trail, so that these men will not see you, for it is best that they should not." The youth was of the same opinion, and with a wave of th.e hand to the scout and the Indian, he wheeled his horse and dtshed away, soon disappearing in the timber. "Now, Lone Buffalo, we will go on our way quietly, and decide what is best to do when they overtake us." "Lone Buffalo know," was the laconic response of the Indian, and the two rode on their way once more. The warning of Seth Saunders, that Lasso Sol and two men of his stripe were coming after him, to capture him, set the scout to thinking, though it did not disturb him in the least. He did not b e lieve the man thought he was a renegade, but, having heard his name, he was doubtless some old foe of his, who sought that opportunity to square any grudge he might have against him, or think he had. If he could make him appear as a renegade, the settlers, in the humor they would naturalfy be after the scenes they
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12 T H E BUFFALO B ILL "\Ve mtlst not kill them, Lone Buffalo, but beat then: off in some way and only, if it cannot be avoided, draw on them," and the scout spoke 1:ather to himself than to the Indian; but the latter understood that he must not ki ll a white man, save in defense of his ovvn life. CHAPTER XI. THE n!ESSENGER's REPORT. It was \Yith a feeling of almost despondency that Bird Bainbridge rode away upon the trail of the men who had murdered his famil v and left his home in ruins. He believed in Buffalo Bill implicitly, and felt that it would clo no good, as the raiders had been white men, to follow them. If Indians, they might, loaded clown with plunder, as they \\"Ould be, possibly be overtaken and punished. But white men had planned for their escape, beyond doubt, before corning upon their fiendish errand. Then, too, the stand taken by Lasso Sol against Buffalo Bill had been such that all of the Five feared the result. They knew Lasso Sol as a man whose past was not open f<;>r inspection, and he had the name of being in hid ing in the valley. I Ie was a dangerous man, too, and no one had ever doubted his bravery. The way he could l:andle his lasso was a marvel, and that it was a deadly weapon in his hancls, all knew. The Five also were aware that both Barney and Reddy had been hard citizens before coming to i\iearlowland Valley They had been under the tuition of Lasso Sol in the use of a :-r>pe, :rnd were his pa!ticular chums. \Vi th three s uch men going on the trail of Buffalo Bill, it was no wonder that the Five were anxious about him. Being accused of having been the man who led the. In dians against &t:he Dain bridge home, this act st
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l'HE BUFFJ\LO BILL STORIES 1 3 CHAPTER XII. AN OATH OF REVENGE. A great load seemed lifted from the breast of Bird Bainbridg e wh en he heard the report of his messenger, and how h e had warned the scout and found the Lone B uffal o with h im. I don't feel anxious about him n ow, Seth; but what was the othe r sca re you said yo u had rec e ived?" "Oh yes "Whv I r ode into a brook to water m y horse, and it was so. ;hallow he moved up the stream some fifty feet, among the bushes. "Well, I had hardly gotten into a pool for the horse to drink from, when I h eard hoofs, and the ne x t instant L asso Sol and his two pals clashed b y I h eard him swear at his horse for wishing to stop to drink and then call out that th ey dared not halt, or they would not head the scout off at the cliff." "They intend t o ambus h him there?" "Yes, they did int end to but he was right near the cliff when I met him, so they came out b e hind him and failed." "Good "And they cannot h ea d him off anywhere else, but will pick up hi s trail there, and follow him. "That does n ot scare me, now, S e th, since you put him on his guard. "But it was a close shave for you, for had Las sq S o l susp e cted your errand I do b elieve h e would have killed you." ''I am sure of ic, and when I r ode back to the ford and l ooked up among t h e willows I saw that only their not l ooki n g that way saved me. "But now you must get some supper and go to sleep, for you l ook haggard, pard." B.ird Ba inbrid ge forced hims e lf to eat something, and then retired to his blankets. But when th e camp was in slumber he arose, went to where the sentinel was on duty, and t o ld him to turn in, saying: "I can't s l eep, l\1r. D e nny, and yo u can." At dawn the party were in the saddle, having been awakened by the young sentinel in time to have bre akfast and get r eady to start as soon as the trail could be seen. It was evid en t that the raid e rs had been so l oade d down with plunder from t he ranch that th ey had b ee n unable to trave l rapidl y Just as the trail began t6 lo o k so fresh that even Bird h ad hope of coming up with the m soon, a halt was called. All cou l d see that th e re the pursuit must end, for the large trail branched off into a s c o re or more. Not one of the trails showed more than four horses, and from that point all knew it was useless to go further. But Bi rd Bainpridge, though giving .ip all hope of overtaking the raiders called his immediate pards about him, and said : "Boys, you know that I must return now to see my peopl e buried this evening, but we must not give up the trail here, so I am going to a s k yo u to each one take a trail and follow it. "Drop out as we turn back, so as not to attract atten tion and follow your trails until night, and then make toward a common center, and see if you have made any imp ortant discover y "I will start back this way as soon as the funeral is over, and will take a trail that yo u have not, for I will see your tracks, and I will find you "If not, I wi11 go to our old camp in the Little Colo rado River, and you do the same, so that will be our meet in g -place. "You r e m ember, it is at De ep Spring, near the Arizona line." With th ese instructi o ns to his Silver Star pards, Bird Bainbridge turned the settlers on th e h omew ard trail. They had n ot gone very far when he sa w that his four young pards had dropp ed out, and the n h e said that the others could ride at their leisure, but that he would push ahead rapidly. All kn ew his rea so n well, and a few sought to keep up with his pace, to all be at th e sa d scene of the bu6al at Bonaventura Ranch. But th e bo y soon dropp ed eac h one behind him. and at last, just after the sun had disap pear ed, he rod e ove r the ran ge and l ooked clown into the valley. He saw campfires about th e spot where his home had be en, and knew that the settlers were there, and that the y were waiting for hi!'n. 1 As h e rode down th e trail into the vall ey, the full moon peered ove r the m o untain ran ge and lighted up the scene in silvery beauty. Drawin g n ea r to the now sad scene for him, he drew hi s tired-out horse to a walk, and slowly approached the spot. Still nearer h e came, and, slipping from his saddle, he approache d o n foot, with h ead U!1cove red and bent, for the moonlight s hon e full up o n a sce n e that th e n and th e re in delib l y stamped it se lf in h eart and brain. In a littl e grove of scatte r e d cedars, upo n the bank of the cr eek, was a group of nearl y half a hundred people, men and women. They stood in a circle, about some n ew l y-dug graves, three in number, and by the s ide of which stoo d ruclely macle coffins. There was o ne large grave for the ranchero, his wife and littl e Sam. Another was for the two cowboys, a third for the old n egro man and woman

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14 l'HE BUFF ALO Bill STORIES. It was a pitiable, terrible scene. The kind settlers, with tear-stained faces, had waited until the last for the return of the stricken youth. But, as he came not the last sad rites must be per formed. A prayer fell from the lips of one settler, and as it ended the sweet-toned voices of women rose in music, the men joining in, and "Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me," swelled upward in a volume of melody. Within the cir<:f e suddenly crept the yout h, and, drop ping upon his knees by the side of his mother's coffin, he buried his face in his hands, while the voices sang on. the melody was hushed, and 'an saw the boy's 'right hand raised on high ; his lips muttered, as though in prayer, but one who stood nearest to him said that it was an oath of vengeance. CHAPTER XIII. THE MISSING ONES. In silent sympathy the kind-hearted settlers joined around the brave youth, as the last shovelful of earth was placed 0ver the graves of his dead, for words were useless then in consolation. But from one and all came the warm '"elcome to him, if he would enter their homes and let it be his. "I thank you, oh, so much, one and all. "But I shall remain right here. "The cattle are to be cared for, you know, and my boy pards will help build a cabin, and this will still be my home. "I will not be alone, you know, for the dead will be here__.:_the graves." : How every heart bled for the poor youth. and how they urged him to go with them. But he was firm in his determination to remain, and told how the raiders would soon be back, and his four pards would remain. for a while with him, after the Five had come back from a scout they intended making. Most .of the settlers; then rode away for their homes down the valley, but some remained, and two cowboys were to remain at the ruined ranch and care for the cattle and horses, while others said the trailer's would btiild stockades and get things in shape again. One by one the trailers dropped in, all tired out, and when dawn came all were there, save the four young scouts of the Silver Star, who had gone off on the mis sion their leader had sent them. There were a dozen men ready to go to work when day came, in clearing away the ruins, rebuilding the stockades into which to drive the horses and cattle, when there was danger of a raid, and to put up a small cabin for Bird Bainbridge, who was determined to still make his home there. But the youth was not to be found, and the storekeeper from down the \!alley, who had come up with his supply wagon, reported that he had bought a large quantity of provisions and ammunition from him, some extra blank ets, and other things, and had ridden away about dawn. The cowboy guarding the ponies reported that he had come to the herd before daybreak, and had taken two of the best animals there, saying that he was going off on a long trail. It was useless to go after him, for all knew that h e woulci not return until he had accomplished the task he had set himself to do, whatever that was, and so the kind settlers had their breakfast, and then went to work with a will. Every piece of the charred timber of the cabin and out buildings was burned up, and, with a lot of lumber Mr. Bainbridge had had already cut for future improvements on his ranch, a good two-room cabin was built for the lone youth. ,; A stockade was also put up, with newly-cut timber and contributions of household furnitur e were sent down by the settlers, until Bird Bainbridge would find a comfort able, well-furnished cabin upon his return. After several days of hard work, the task was com pleted, and the kind settlers departed, leaving two volun teer cowboys in charge .. But then arose a deep anxiety for Bird Bainbridge and hi s pards, for not one of them had put in an appearance. \Vhere had they gone, and where were they? was the question all asked. And, more, what had become of Lasso Sol and his two companions, who had gone after the scout, whom he de nounced as a renegade and the leader of the redskin raid ers, whom all believed to have made the attack on Bona ventura Ranch ? It seemed strange that neither Lasso Sol nor either of bis two comaades had returned in the four days that had passed since they had gone on the trail of the scout. They were known to be men who stayed close at their homes, and why had they not returned? Had the scout proved too much for the trio? Had he discovered their pursuit of him, and led them into an ambush? It certainly looked most mysterious that at just such a time eight persons were missing from the valley-Sol and his two companions and the Fighting Five. Just what it meant, no one in Meadowland Valley could comprehend.

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THE Bl.Jff ALO BILL STORIES. CHA;? ,TER XIV. LA SSO SOL FINDS HIS GAME. Lasso Sol and his comrades knew the Meadowland Val l ey well, and, if Buffalo Bill foilowed the regular trail down it they felt s ure o f overtaking hitn. They we r e in t oo great haste to catch him to take his trail and st i ck to it. Then, if h e saw the m c oming, they felt s ure he would take t o flight, and they might not be able to overtake him, well mounted tho u g h they were So they determined to "cut c o rn ers" where they could, get ahead of him a n d ambush him at a point where there was :i high cliff and the trail the nature of the country, r a n through a narrow grove, the very place for an ambush. So, on they das h ed, as soon as they had seen the tracks left by the scout's h orse, to where th ey saw them vvh ere. They kept to th e timber, throug h thickets and among fo. othills, in the valley, and at la s t came ou t in the trai l w h ere t hey wis h ed to amb u s h the s cout. T h ey f e lt confident that they had gotten
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/ 16 l'HE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. CHAPTER XV. THE LASSO THROWERS. Buffalo Bill and the Indian rode quietly along until they passed the cliff, and then the country was more open about them. The vallev widened a great deal, and now and then, on their left, far in the distance and under the shelter of the northern range, could be seen a ranch. Occasionally a herd of cattle could be seen far away, being driven to corral by a lone cowboy, as the rest had gone up the valley to the Bonaventura Ranch. But the scout and the Indian rode quietly along, only waiting for the coming of those whom Seth Saunders had repQrted upon their trail. This affair disposed of, the Lone Buffalo would branch off over the range to seek his retreat in the mountains, and then pick up the trail the scout havhich is sharp as a razor and will cut the coils. "Then we will wheel and cover those fellows with our guns, but don't pull trigger, unless to sa;ve your life, for they may believe that I am a renegade.' ''Lone Buffalo know," was the laconic rejoinder of the Indian, who understood just what the scout wished to do. ''Ho, pard, is yer deaf, dumb and blin;:l ?" called out Lasso Sol, who had begun to be nervous as their coming up behind had no attention whatever. Neither the scout nor the Lone Buffalo paid the sEght est attention to the question. But the scout had his glass in hand, and, raising it, the situation in his rear was at once revealed. The three men were riding abreast, but were apart, as to give the swing of their lassoes full play. Each man had the coil in hand, and, when S:lol' s hail brought no reply. had begun to twirl it around and around his head, preparatory to throwing it. But suddenly the scout let go the glass, his knife was now in hand, his spurs tot'.1ched the flanks of his horse, and he called out to the Indian : "Now!" At that moment the coils were launched by the three pursuers, and up went the keen knife of Buffalo Bill, cutting the lassoes like strings, while Lone Buffalo caught the noose aimed at him on the length of his rifle, and thus preventedit catching about his neck. CHAPTER XVI. CACGHT I=" THEIR OWN TRAP. Lasso Sol had won his name by his skill with the lariat, and few men could equal him in throwing it to dead center.

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THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 17 He had"pped them upon the ground. T hen he went to Reddy and did the same. Lone Buffalo followed th e example of his leader with arncy, and the three men were disarmed. "Well, Lasso Sol, yo u do not appear to recognize me?" said Buffalo Bill, quietly. "You is Lightning Eye, the renegade white man who is chief among ther red ski ns, was the sullen repl y. "You know that you speak falsely, for I am as well known to you as you are to me." "\Vho are yer ?" Buffalo Bill winked in a peculiar way, and replied: 'As yo u might not believe me if I introduce myself to you, I shall take you to Fort McRae with me, where the commandant can tell you who I am." The three men t rned pale, for they did not know what the r esult of their going there might be. Say, pare\, if I has made a mistake I is awful sorry, deed I is! But yer see thar were a Ingin raid on our set tlement last night, and seven people kilt, and ther finest home in ther valley wiped out. "Ther was men l ed by a white man, and, seeing you ride off as we come up, we tuk after yer, fer. you may know how bad we is feeling over thar raid. "Yes, but how did yon know the Indians wer > e led by a renegade? Lasso So l 's face flushed, but he answered: "Ther Five told us. "Who do you mean by the Five?" "Them five boy scouts you was talkin' to when you seen us coming." "Did not the boy scouts tell you who I was?" Ko, indeed they didn't, and when we seen you with this Ingin, we was sure you was a renegade." "Why did you not kill us, then, when you had every opportunity to?" "You see we wanted to take yer alive." "I see. "Well, I turned the tables on yo u and instead of kiliin g you, take you aiive. ;'I shall take you to the fort with me. "Lone Buffalo, just hand me up those 6elts of arms and I'll tie them to my saddle." The Indian did so. "Now, search those three gentlemen, to see if th y have any weapons concealed." A revolver was taken from an inner pocket of Lasso Sol's shirt, and handed to the scout,. who said: "Now, tie the hand s of each man behind him, and make the rope fast to his saddle horn." This the Indian did with skill and despatch. CHAPTER XVII. A BLOW FOR FREEDOM. Covering the three prisoners with his revolver, Buffalo Bill watched the redskin secure them beyond all possibility of escape.

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18 THE BU ff ALO 'BILL S TORIES Then he took his lariat and ran it from bit to bit of their three horses and made the other end fast to his sad dle, so that the animals would lead in single file behind him. This done, he dismounted and walked apart with Lone Buffalo, whom he thanked for his aid1 told him to go back and take up the trail of the raiders, and to meet him at the spot he had named within a certain time. The scout then shook hands with the faithful Indian, and, going back to his horse, mounted and rode on his way, the three horses leading well. r The three men l ooked anxious as saw the Indian turn back on the trail they had come, and wondered what it meant. They were thoroughly awed by the cool manner of the man whom they had felt sure was their prey. "I say, ,Pard Buffalo Bill, I--" "Who toJd you my name was Buffa l o Bill, Lasso Sol?" "Nobody." "Why did you call me by that name, then?" "I didn't." "Ah, I thought I heard you say Buffalo Bill." "No, but I did say ef Bu ffalo Bill were here he wouldn t allow us to be tuk to ther Injin camp and tortured." The scout laughed, and said: "You are a sly one, Lasso Sol, but. I k ow you." "You don't know no bad of me, the t" "Not of Lasso Sol, as that is your name now, save that yo u tried to run me down under a false pretense, but suppose I called you Black Lariat, what then?" Both Barney and Reddy glanced at their companion, leaning well forward in their saddles to get a look at his face. They saw, a's the scout did, Lasso Sol's face pale at the ..question asked him, and the start that he gave also. But he answered : "I have heard of Black Lariat, a bad man up in Col orado, but I don't know him. " I have the advantage of you, then, for I think I do," and the scout rode on in silence, while the face of Lasso Sol was foll of anxiety. After a while he said: "Say, pard, we hain't had no chance to talk together, we three, since we were captured, so jist take us one at a time and ask us who and what we is." ''-:;:-know." "What?" "Settlers in Meadowland Valley, and who hoped to make capital, or get. rid of me by capturing me under the pretended belief that I was a renegade. "This is why I am taking you to the fort, to prove that I am not." "we'll take yer word for it now." "I do n ot ask you to. "I intend to convince you." "You wants ter hang us." "What for ?" "For revenge, 'cause we thought you was a renegade." "Th at is not my nature, but, as I may ride through your valley again some time, I wish to have proof of my identity.''. "S'pose ther valley is attacked while we is away, fer there hain't any too many men there?" "You should have thought of that before," and the scout again lapsed into silence, and miles gone over without a word being spoken \Vhen the encl of the valley was reached a halt was made for dinner, the scout dismounting his prisoners and Jnok in g to their horses with his own, but leaving the men still bound. He cooked dinner for all, while the three men lay all huddled together, as though asleep when the meal was ready, he said: "I release one of you at a time, to eat your din ner, but look out if you attempt any nonsense, for I noticed that you were plotting something." As spoke, Buffalo Bill approached Lasso Soi, to suddenly see his hands come around from behind him, and his right hand held a revolver, while th e command came sharply and with triumph in the voice: "Now, Buffa l o Bill, it i s my time. "Hands up, or you are a dead man!" Buffa l o Bill saw the muzzle of the revolver not five feet from his face, and there was no tremor in the hand that held it. But, to the utter amazement of the three men, he said in the lightest vein : "Fire away, Lasso Sol, and see if you can hit me. "But first l ook at this," the scout added, pointing to the death charm upon his breast. Sol started back in astonishment. "\IVho gave yer that?" he muttered, hoarsely. "'Fhe Lady in Velvet," said the scout. "Then you is one of us?" "I'm Buffalo Bill." "Well, I'm bound by oath not ter kill yer while yer wears that." Sol flung down hi s revolver. It was evident now to the scout thet h e was one of the band of outlaws spoken of by the Lady in Velvet. The death charm had indeed saved his life. Buffalo Bill h as never seen the Lady in Velvet s !nce, but l earned l ater that she was living peacefully in Mexico, having resolved to l ead a better life before she met him and being on her way across the border when he saved her from the herd of cattle.

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l'H E BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 19 Whatever crimes her hand committed, he always felt that h e owed her a debt of gratitude. At this instant there came a shout of alarm from Barn ey and Reddy, and down went Lasso Sol with a weight up o n his back. The weight w as the form of Lone Buffalo, who had bounded from a thi cket near and lighted upon the back of t h e priso,per. "Me ki'll quick, paleface m ove So said the Indian, and his warning was heeded, for the blow on his back had b ee n a seve r e one, and he was half dazed by the shock. In fact, all fight had been knocked out of him. I didn't know yer h ad t o ld ther Injun ter trail us, growled Lasso Sol, while Barney and Reddy were willing to weep with disappointment. I did not t ell him to follow us and had no idea that he was within less than fifty miles of u s "I put up that little game on yo u to try you, for I saw Barney gnawing your rope l oose while pretending to lie there asleep. So I dropped that rev o lv e r to see if you wou ld r ecognize the death charm. ou bit at the bait o nl y t oo quick." T h en, turning t o L o n e Buffalo, who s to o d silently b y, h e t hank ed him warmly, and asked how it was that he happened to be on 1and when so much n eeded "Three bad pale face; White Buffalo all alone. Lo.ne Buffa l o think 6ad pale fac e might kill big white chief, and follow him all right." "Yes, and it was all ri g ht but I shall see that there is no other chance to better me, for I will not halt again, when l start, until I reach the fort." The three prisoners at this l ooked terribl y crestfall e n. But Buffalo Bill told the Indian to give them their dinner, one at a time while he bathed his sadly-bruised chest with arnica. Lone Buffa l o seemed to e nj oy his dinn e r and then, aid ing the sco ut to mount his pri so ners and tie them to th eir horses ; h e again said good-by and took the back trail. Buffa l o Bill rode o n hi s way in no very pleasant mood, for the blow of the re vo lver in the chest pained him and he answered s hortl y when addressed by Lasso Sol. Cross in g the Rio Grande at a ford, late in the afte r noon, Buffalo Bill came out upon a mesa t o suddenly ride npon a couple of wagons and a half do ze n horsemen. There was no time for r et r eat, and yet he did not know just w hat th e party would prove, friends or foes. The cri e s of his prisoners, h oweve r at once told him that they knew them, and Lasso Sol called out: "Ho, pards, to the re scue This man is a renegade ch i ef among the r edsk ins and ha s us foul." There were five h orseme n in the party, and two drivers, one to each wagon, and they all quickly surrounded the sco ut and his prisoners. A glanc&...into the faces of the men showed Buffalo Bill that he did not know one of them. This appeared bad for him. But he smiled complacent1y at the words of Lasso Sol, and said, politely: "Goo d afternoon gentlemen." All eyes were upon him, and the leader of the party said: "What did ye r say, Lasso Sol, and what is you three doing prisoners to one man ?" '' I U tell yer, and quick, pards. "Ther Injuns raided the Bainbridge Ranch last night, and was led by a white man. ''They burned the cabins kilt Bainbridge, his pretty wife, Little Tommy, ther two niggers, and ther two cow boys and carri e d off all ther plunder. "We, Barney, Reddy and me got onter ther trail of this man, but he had a Injun with him, and was too flip f e r us, fer yer see how he has got us foul." The eyes of the seven h1en were glittering now malig nantl y a s they h ea rd Lasso Sol's story, and their hands were up on the butts of their revolvers. It l ooked very black for Buffalo Bill just then. CHAPTER XVIII. AT THE MUZZLE OF A REVOLVER. Buffalo Bill did not change countenance at the looks turned up o n him, and the threatening attitude of the men. He l ooked upon the men as just what they were-a p11rty of settlers from the valley going down to Fort Mc Rae to purchase supplies, for there was a trading post there. Wholly unknown to them they would naturally take the word of their comrades against hi s But he mad e up his mind not to yield, in spite of the odds, for he was not a man to give up when he knew he was right. "Ge ntlemen, there are two sides to every story; you have heard one, now liste n to mine. Several demurred at t his, and the three prisoners cried ont against their friends listening to the accused, while one man sprang forward, knife in hand to cut the bonds of Lasso Sol. But, quick as a fl
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20 THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. "Yes, say your say; mister." "It's a lie; he hain't no government officer, but a nne gade !" "Why, he claims ter be Buffalo Bill," shouted Lasso Sol. It was a mistake of Lasso Sol to utter the r.iame of the great scout, and he realized as much the moment he had spoken. He saw each one of the party he looked to to rescue him take their hands quickly off their guns and gaze at the scout, with something like awe. "Yes, gentlemen, Lasso Sol ha51 said aright, for I am Buffalo Bill, chief of scouts at Fort Laramie, and I am going to Fort McRae under orders. "I rode into your valley-as I take you for settlers of Meadowland-to discover a youth standing by the ashes of his own happy home, and about him were the dead bodies of his loved ones. "Other youths came up, and I left them, being in a hurry to reach the fort. "Some iniles clown the valley I met the Indian chief, whom you may know as Lone Buffalo, the Redskin Her mit, and the friend of the whites. "He was on his way to warn your settlement of the intended raid, but had mistaken the time. "As I rode away, settlers were coming to the scene 0f the ruined home, and then three men followed me to take me a prisoner. "I was the fortunate one, with the Indian's aid, and am carrying them to the fort, to be sure that they will take my word for it, next time, thar I am Buffalo Biil. "Allow me to pass, please." "All a lie!" shouted Lasso Sol. "He's taking us to his retreat to hang us. "Don't let him do it, pards !" Several hands again fell upon their revolvers, and one of the men said: "You've got to give these pards of ours up, for we know them as honest settlers. "Hain't I talking right, boys?" Several answered in the affirmative. "I shall not give my prisoners up, for they must under stand that they cannot attack a government officer and call him a renegade to suit their humor. "Stand back, there, sir, for I mean what I say-these men go with me!" Buffalo Bill's story and manner had impressed some of the party. But there were others aching for trouble, and they were g:0ing to get it if the scout had his way. He saw how great were the odds against him, but he was not a man to be driven from his purpose. He had his revolvers ready for use, and sat upon his horse unflinchingly. That the first act of one to rescue the prisoners would bring one man to his death, the older heads knew when they looked at the scout, and the leader of the party said, quickly: "Have you anything to prove that you are who you say?" "No, he hain't. "He's a fraud!" shouted Lasso Sol. "I have, sir, my name upon my weapons, my saddle, / my sealed dispatches for Fort McRae, and several letters, as well, from my home, and addressed to me at my head quarters post. "Draw off your men, and I will show you my proof." "Men, we have made a mistake. "This gentleman goes on his way," said the leader, sternly; and yet there were several who dissented, and Lasso Sol shouted to be rescued. CHAPTER XIX. THE DUEL ON THE TRAIL. "You are wise, sir; but I thank you for coming to my aid," said Buffalo Bill to the leader of the party, who returned: "It is not our wish to do a wrong, sir; but you have three of our men of the valley as prisoners, and it is a charge and countercharge, and so we were in a quandary as to which to believe; but I am sure you are who you say you are, for I heard much of Buffalo Bill, and few men other than he would show the pluck you have JUSt done." "A man in the right, sir, will take big chances to go through; but let me show you my authority." Still holding one of his revolvers in his hand, the scout drew out a paper and handed it to the leader, who with several others, glanced at it, while three of the party were whispering apart, as though not willing to be beaten out of their intention. "This paper is satisfactory to me, sir, and all of 11s, I suppose," and he looked toward the whispering trio, while Lasso Sol called out : "That paper is forged, to help him in his devil s work. "Any man kin have a paper!" This gave those who seemed determined to starni by him renewed courage, and one of them said : "What does vou intend to do with these men?" "Take them to the fort." "And then?" "Turn them over to the keeping of the commandant." "Anci then?" Nettled by the manner of the man, the scout replied : "I shall tell my story, and it will be believed without a word; while, if I am right, this man calling himself Lc;.sso Sol is the one I once knew as Black Lariat up in Colorado, will doubtless be hanged, while the other two go free." All started at this, and Lasso Sol turned livid. Several of the party had heard of Black Lariat, a noted desperado of the Colorado mines, and of his crimes. "Yer don't take him with my consent," said the leader of those who wanted to free the prisoners. "Gentlemen, if I free your settlement from such a man as I know Black Lariat to be vou will all have cause to thank me, for he is hiding in your valley for no good, as you would have found. "It is seldom that I mistake a face; but I may be wrong in this instance; yet there are men at the fort who know Black Lariat well. ''If this man proves not to be that villain, he wil'. go free with his pards, I having no apologies to offer after his attack on me." "I say you don't take him!" shouted the one who 5:ood

PAGE 22

THE BUFFALO B ILL STOR I ES. 21 l:ass o Sol's fri e nd, and the latter gave a cheer, and s outed: "St and b y me, pards " Y o u s t and a l o ne, Burnett, if you take issue with the sc o ut," s aid J\1r. Co lvin, the l e ad e r o f the party. \ Vell, I'll s t and b y a fri e nd if you do back down Lorn one man!" cri e d Burnett; and Buffalo Bill, glancing over the crow d asked, c a lml y : "Do yo u ma k e thi s a p e rs o nal i s sue with me, sir?" I d o "That m eans that yo u will take thes e m e n from me i'" "Yes; it means jus t that." Goo d fo r yo u pard I'll n ever forget you!" Lasso S o l and the other two pri soners fairly cheered "Begin work a t your will," said Buffalo Bill. "You v e got your guns drawe d. vVhy don't yer git d ow n and fig h t i t o u t like a man?" Severa l of t h e m e n a n swe r e d thi s with a che e r. B u ffa l o B ill sa i d with th e utmos t coolnes s addre s .--ing M r. Co l v i n : I trus t yo u sir, w ill see fair play? " I will, s ir ; but, Burnett, yo u a re wrong in what yon are doing. " I am o f aRe, a nd judge o f my a c ti o ns." "All ri g h t. "\tVha t i s your w ill?" "Step off t we nt y p aces, put us a t ea ch end, b a ck to b a ck a n d yo u g i ve the w ord to turn and advance, empty in g our g u ns as w e go. "Does that s uit yo u, r e negade?" S eve r a l l a u g h e d at t h e m a n s calling Buffalo Bill rene gade, and L asso So l jus t g a v e a wh oo p. B u ffa l o B ill' s fa c e was a s se r e ne as moonli ght, and he s h owed n o anger at the in s u l t but said: I t woul d be b ette r for yc u to com e on to the fort, and find o u t yo u r m i stake, t h a n c hall enge me t o the duel, for I d o n o t want t o kill yo u. "Yes, that would. b e bett e r," cri e d s ev e ral. B u t L as\O So l cri e d o u t again s t it a nd Burnett said: I a m fight ing t o free my pards, and it goes that if I kill you t h a t sett l es it. " Y es, a nd i f I k ill y o u thei1 y ou have brought death upo n yourself. "You h a in't got the r nerve for I don't go under fer a n v man," and l\[ r. Co l v in s aid, in a low tone: ;'He's the d eadest o f d ea d shots, sir, and quick as a flas h .. "So am I," w as t h e r e j o ind e r, with o ut the sligHest sh ow o f boastin g. "\I r. Co lvin t h e n ste p ped off th e twenty paces; the s et tl e r t oo k t he end q u ick l y that h e de e m e d the b e st, and Buffa l o Bill wal ke d to th e o th e r s t a nd. Their r evo lv ers we r e t o r emai n undraw n from their belt s un til t h e w o rd was given: \ V hcel an
PAGE 23

, 21 THE BUfl"ALO BILL STORIES. But Buffalo Bill had seen the knife slipped to Lasso Sol, and knew that he was working hard, as be rode along, to free himself. The man was again bound, the girths we r e clinched up, and just at dark the way was resumed, the scout pressing on at a good pace. The moon lighted th eir way, and, true to his won! the scout pressed on a long the now we llmarked trail until the lights of Fort McRae came into view just before dawn. Answering the challenge the reply was: "Scout with ,dispatches and three prisoners." He was soon admitted into the frontier post, and his prisoners put in t he guarC!house, while hi s dispatches, not being urgent for quick delivery, he was given quarters, and told to await to see the colonel in the morning. Colonel Tipton had just finished his toilet when tlw arrival of the scont was reported, bringing both dispatches and prisoners. "Why, Cody, i s that you? "I am, indeed, g lad t o see you, while, you being the dis patch bearer, indicates that they are important," sai d Co l one l Tipton, greeting the scout, warmly, for Buffa l o Bill had served with him in the Northwest. "They were dispatches, sir, for the chain of posts; be sides, I am on the search for a mysterious individual who has been robbing the officers of half a dozen posts, and who is supposed to be either at McRae or Tule Rosa, col onel." I h ope you may catch him; but what prisoners are those you brought in?" and Colonel Tipton was opening his dispatches while he talked. In a calm way, Buffalo Bill told the story of the de struction of the Bainbridge home and murder of the peo ple, his meeting w ith the young Silver Stars, and, heing pursued by Lasso Sol and his two companions, with what had followed "Well, Cody, yon are a wonder, for you do escape de<1th most miraculously, and, what you undertake you uccomplrsh. "You certainly h a vii: done well ; but I am pained to hear about this massacre, and will send a troop up the v::illey e.t once "Nlay I ask, sir, that you do not, for there is a mystery about the raid that I wish to solve, and by going quietly about it I believ e I can do so, while sending the soldiers wo uld drive the villains into hiding. "I have the Fighting Five for aides, one of them, as I told you, the last of the Bainbridge family, and they will aid me gi;eatly, while the Lone Buffalo I can depend on, and he is now on the trail of the raiders." "I guess you are right, Cody, and I will l eave all to YO U "But, now about these prisoners?" "There are scouts here, sir, and troopers, who know B l ack Lariat, and I wish to have them see the man Lasso Sol and ask them who he is, and where they saw him." I shall have them l ooked \.lP at once." B u t the very scouts Buffalo Bill had in mind were then off scouting with a troop of cavalry, in which were the soldie rs who also knew Black Lariat. Thus, severai days passed away before Lasso Sol was brought to confront those whom the scout felt sure would recognize h im the desperado of the Colorado mines two years before, for he had mysteriously disappeared from his old haunts w h en he learned the military were to arrest him for his crimes CHAPTER XXL FACING THE MUSIC. The settlers came in the next evening, with their wagons, and went into camp near the post traders. Almost the first man that greeted them was Buffalo Bill, and h e was accompanied py the su r geon of t he post, whom he had asked to go with him and do what he could for the man he had wounded in the duel. Mr. Colvin receiv ed them cordially, and said: ''The boys hardly need the proof of seeing you here, sir to be convinced that you are Buffalo Bill, and Burnett will be ashamed of himself when he hears you have brought the surgeon to see him. "He is in the far wagon, and I will call him out." . Burnett crawled out of the wagon, with assistance, and his face was pale and haggard, showing that he had suf ferecl. He l ooked sullenly at Buffalo Bill, but, unh eeding, the scout said, pleasantly : "Glad you have gotten in, pard, and the post surgeon is with me to pnt yottr hand in the best shape possible." The man's face changed instantly and h e said: ''Thank you, sir. "Ther cap 'n drove faster to have me cared for, as my hand is in a bad way. "It was my fault, though, so I don't blame you; and Lasso Sol has been a good friend to me more than once." "You were right to 'Nis h to help them, then, for stick to one who helps you in a time of need. But the surgeon will see your hand." He did, and the forefinger was so shattered it ha d to be taken off at the third joint. Burnett stood the amputation bravely, and was much relieved when the broken bone was gott11n rid of, remark ing, coolly: "It was my trigger finger : sir, and I'll have to train the next. one now ; you are the quickest and best shot I ever saw, for Mr. Colvin told me you said yo u intended to wound me in the hand, and not kill me. "I owe you my life sir, and I rather think I have got something to keep you in remembrance," and the man held up his bandaged hand. "Come over to-morrow and see if I am not right about Lasso Sol being Black Lariat, the desperado," and Buffalo Bill returned with the su r geon to the post. The next day at noon the troop returned, and, after they had rested a while, Colonel Tipton called on the men designated by Buffalo Bill, scouts and soldiers, and, one at a time, had them led down to where the three prisoners had been drawn np to face the music. 1 The first man, a sergeant, was told to look well at the three men, and say if he recognized any of them. He glanced at Reddy and Barney, fastening his eyes upon the face of Lasso Sol. and said : This man I have seen before, and, if he's the one I think he i s there is none worse, sir. "Who do you think h e is. se rgeant?" "He has cut olt his long h a ir and let his beard grow_ ;

PAGE 24

THE B UFFALO BILL STORIES. 23 but, if he is not the Colorado desperado, Black Lariat, I am verv much mistaken, sir." Lasso So l turned to the hne of a corpse, and Mr. Colvin said to B urn ett, vvho stood next to him: "That sett les it. "See what the ot h ers say." A scout th en was called, eyed the three men, and said : 'If I knows any, thet pilgrim are the one. and he oughter h ev been hanged long ago, if ies who I thinks." ''Who do you say he is?" "Black Lariat, sir, a Colorado bad 'ui1. One soldie r said he had see n Lasso Sol before, but c ou ld not say where. Another of the soldiers sa id, at once: "That one is Dlack Lariat, sir Another soldier failed to r ecog nize him until asked the name of a desperado of the Colorado mines, and called out, qttickly: "Black Lariat, sir, and thi s is the man!" A scout then called: "Cut his beard off, g ive him a wig of long hair, take that scared l ook off his face, and, if he ain t a man I thought dead, I 'll g ive m y gun to him." "\i\Tho ?" "A man by the nickname of Black Lariat, s ir." "If Buffalo Bill, our chief at Fort Lyon, was he! e he'd know him, for: he never forgot a face, sir, knew the differ ence between one Chinese and another," said the sc out. "Buffalo Bill is h e re, and he brought this man into the fort a prisoner, for he sa id that h e \as the desperado known as Black Lariat," said Colone l Tipton, and Buffalo Bill was called, and the c omma nrlant continued: "Th e two men u nrecognized, Cody, and whom you asked to ha\'e released, are free to go; but this man I shall hold." Barney and Reddy were only too glad to join the o ther settlers, and go with them to their camp, to start on the return to the valley the next day; but Lasso Sol was sent back to the guardhouse, to await an opport unit y to sertd him, under g u ard, to Co l orado, to sta nd trial for his cri m e s 'Tm not dead yet, Buffalo Bill, and some clay we may meet again," called out the desperado, as the y led him away to the guardhouse. where i\Ir. Colvin was allowed to visit him to arrange about his ranch and cattle in Mead owland Valley. Buffalo Bill then began hi s prepa rations for his depar ture. and his first duty was to purchase a fine horse, with provisions and ammunition, and a l o t of u se ful presents, as he bad promised, for Lone Buffalo, the Tona chief. As he rode off o n the trail the next day, leading his well-laden pack-horse, he passed the set tl ers' outfit on its wav home, and Mr. Colvin called out: ''Luck to vou, Buffalo Dill, and rem ember you have man y friends in :fl1Ieadowland Valley, for Lasso Sol, we all know now, was there to one day deal u s a cruel blow," and the settlers gave three cheers for the gallant scout, who raised his broad sombrero in r ecog nition. CHAPTER XXII. PICKING UP THE SCATTERED The young Silver Starf,when the settlers turned back after discovering the trail of the raiders to have branched off into a do zen, obeyed th e instructions of the leader of the Fighting Five, and dropped out, one by one Each youth was w ell mounted and armed, and supplied with his own haversack and food. No one knew the country better than they, for they had roved over everv mile of it for far about the settle ment in carrying out th eir duty as a ranger guard of the vallev. So, one by one, the Five "started upon their sepa r ate wavs, t o follow the trails they deemed best. Each one wis e ly made a sign on the trai l to show the others that he had taken that one, and not have two take th e same waY. They were soon all four marching off from each other, a1Jd eagerly watching every sign they came upon to give them any clew regarding tho se they follow cl. The scattered trails would indicate that Indians we r e the raiders, but the young rangers had such confidence 1n Buffalo Bill 's assertion to the contrary that nothing co u ld make them b e lieve he was wrong. 1 \i\Thile the four men were trailing, Bird Bainbridge was dashin g back to hi s burned h o me to attend the of, hi s parents, littl e b rother Sammy, and the others lio 'ruthl ess l y slain. His disappearance the next morning, with pack7horse of suppi ies, will be recalled, while the kind sett l ers re mained to build his h ome, as he had determined to live a t th e o ld place. At a quick pace, Bird Bainbridge pressed on after his comrades, and, c oming lo the spot where the raiders ha.cl scaltered, h e found first one, then the other of t h e trails showing which ones his pards had taken He quick l y selected a fifth trail to follow, and set out' up on it. It was ju s t nightfall when he was compelled to give u p trailing and halt until the morrow. But h e had made one important discovery only a few minutes before halting and that was the fact t hat no Jess three of the scattered ti;ails had come together again. On one of them that merged into the one he had been following he found a stake, wh i ch he at once recognized: It simply s howed that one of the Five was on one of the trails lea9.ing back into that he followed, and w h i ch seemed to be the principa l one. Thi s told him that one of his rangers was now on the trail he was following, and had passed that point about no o n of that day, so was ha l f a dozen hours ahead of him Utterly prostrated for want of sleep, rest and food, for he had eaten nothing when he had staked his horses o u t, he threw himself down upon his blankets, not carin' g for any s upper. He expected to have another night of sorrow, like the past. But his eyes closed in spite of him, and so deep was the slumber he sank into that he did not a:waken unti l daw n . He was utterly amazed athimself, and he quickly r olled up his blankets and, wholly rested now, was hungry, so; built a fire and had a good breakfast Saddling up, he pressed on his way once more, and at a good gait, to suddenly come upon the spot w h ere the raiders had halt ed for the night.

PAGE 25

24 THE BU Fr ALO Bill STORU:.S. He knew that, having scattered, they wo uld not expect t o be followed, a n d he did not do u bt, as another trail join e d the large one he was following, that he would find all of them come together again during the clay. vrhis belief was carried out b y seeing another trail merge into the o n e he was on soon after, and here he found another sta ke. This to l d h i m that two of hi s Ferret Pards were then ah ead of him on that very ttail. At noon another trai l mer ged into the main o ne and h ere again was another s tak e so three o f th e five were now ahead of him, he knew, and his fac e brightened at the th o ught. As the trail he had taken seemed to have been the main one, and taken a more dir ec t course, he saw that the others of the five haclltravelecl miles more than he had. and h e had, con s equently, gained upon th em. During the afternoon three m 9 re trails had joined the one, and on one of them was anoth e r stake w h ere it cam e in. This told him that his four guards were now ahead of him ; and, having counted the trail s where they had first scattered Bird Bainbr i dge knew that when he found th e spot where another came into the one he was on, it would b e the last one. AIL had united now save one. As he had come along, he had picked up every clew e specially at the camps and, the more he had seen, th e more he was convinced that Buffalo Bill had mad e no mis take when he said that white men not Indians, had bee n the r ai d ers of Bonaventura. Ranch. CHAPTER XXIII. FOUND. As Bird Bainbridge progressed upon his way, picking up th e scattered trails, he p u s hed his horses to a good pace, hoping to catch up wit h his pards b y nightfall. H e saw that the nature of the country was changing; h e was coming to arid plateaus, and where the trai l was not easv to follow. This told him that the boys ahead had had s lower work of it than had fallen to his lot, for they hacl in many ways left what s igns they could for him to more rapidly follow the m One thing however worried him-the missing trail had yet m e rged into the main one He had made no miscount, he knew; one trail was missmg. Whoever had taken it had not ye t come back to the ma i n one. The country he was now in was strange to the young trailer. He had once, with his pards, pen etra ted northward, b y another trail, to the Arizona line just whe r e the L ittle Colorado River crossed it, and the boys had hunted and fished there for a we e k, for game was plentiful. This was the old camp which had been made the ren dezvous for the F ighting Five, for Bird had an idea that t h e raiders had their haunts in the Little Colorado countrv. That the Five dare not atte mpt to fight the raiders when found, th e young leader well kn ew. He merely wished to track them to their haun t. and then be able to lead Buffalo Bill there, leaving the r es t for the scout. \ V ith the night Bird camped on the shore of a tin y l ake, surrounded b y cedars, and where th ere was fairly good grass for the horses. Again tired nature demanded rest, and once more h e s l ept 50tmd ly, thus regainin g hi s strength through the "sweet restorer, sleep. H e ate a good s upp e r, and enjoyed hi s breakfas t for the tax upo n his e nergies demanded it. His grief was just as poignant, but he h ad se ttl e d into the d et erminati o n not to yield to it, to be a man, and one day strike th e blow to ave n ge t h at h e had sworn to. Bright and early he was again in the s ad d l e T he trail which he had followed near the Rio Grande thus far, bran c hed off to the westward toward the Littl e Colorado. -Through a barren country it n ow led and, w hen the tracks of the horses of his pards were visible. h e could see that they were going very slow, for it was difficu lt except here and the re, to follow th e trai l of the raiders. when plainl y seen, th e re were the tracks of all the ani mals, as far as could b e judged, that the raiders ha d left the Meadowland V alle y with. Whether the missing trail had yet come into the other, Bird Bainbridge was not sure, for it might ha ve done so where the soil was too barren to leave a trace. On he went feeling pretty certain that h e wou ld at least come up with the four pards by noon, and they c ould t ell about how far ahead the raiders were. He grew a tittle anxious. f earing that the yo un gsters might have pressed th e raiders too close, and h e knew what would follow, for the Five to be caught by superior numbers thu s far from h ome and help. The more he thought of this, the it troubled him, so h e incr e as ed his pace and m oved on at a canter, only her e and there able to d etect any trail in the rocky soil. A short halt was made at noon, for the sake of the hor ses, not himself. Then the rid e was renewed, and the rapid p a ce kept up b y the resolute yo uth It was near sun set when Bird Bainbridge ascended a r o ck y rid ge covered with sca tt e r ed cedars. \Vh e n I get up th e r e I can see far ahead," h e con cluded, and he urged the h o r ses into a gallop. As he n e ared the hill h e s uddenly saw horsemen appear upon the summit, and gave a cheer as h e r ecog ni zed his four comrades. But thev neither h eard him n o r saw him ; they appeared to be bew i ldered riding about in a most unmethoclic way, which Bird could not und ersta n d. At last one of th e m gave a shout, whereupon the others da shed toward him and w e r e seen to quickly dismount. Then the young le ader realiz e d what the trouble was they were being pursued, and had been scatte ring to find an advantageo us position in wh;ch to intrenc h themselves. The s po"t found on the hi g hest point of the ridge, right where the r e vvas a pile of rocks thrown up lik e a fort. They rod e into or behind th e rocks, and their h orses were not vis ible. Spurring u p the rid ge t owa rd the spo t Bird Bainbridge was seen b y his comrades, and a wild chee r greeted him. The ne x t moment he, too, clas hed into the little fort,

PAGE 26

,-HE BUFFALO BILL STORlf:S. 2 G and then he knew the truth, for, pressing back over the trail, in hot pursuit, were a score of ho r semen, and not half a mile away. They were the red-handed raiders of Bonaventura Ranoht CHAPTER XXIV. UNDER SIEGE. The sight that met the brave young leader of the Five was not reassuring. The position had once been a place of defense, not before. Big stones had been thrown together and put m position, forming a breastwork six feet in height and the spaces behind large enough to conceal the horses of the boy braves and themselves. That those who had fought there before had met a sad fate was shown by a dozen < bleached skeletons lying within the inclosure-a mute witness but a sad one. There was one opening to the aisle of stones through whi c h the horses could enter, where the rocks had been pulled down or had fallen. .... This gap the alert fioys quickly closed up. That the Five had halted r.aiders did not to believe, for they were pressmg irap1dly on up th.e hill, evidently expecting to catch them on the open plam be yond. The young captain was welcomed with a joy which made his heart glad, but there was no time then for questions to be asked and answered '"Boys, I have plenty to eat; ammunition enough, also, and three canteens of water. We must stand them off as best we can, and shoot to kill every time. "Be ready to give it to them just as. soon as they come within range. Each one should get his man ; that 1s the only way to cut down the number against us. "Are you ready?" ''All ready," was the ansv,er, and, leaving their horses saddled as they were, the boy braves quickly had their r i fles on the ready. The trail. such as it was, led over the ridge a hundred yards from the little stone fortress. Along this the raiders were riding, their horses on the run. Reaching the top of the ridge, a 11cl seeing nothing of those they pursued flying along the plain, as they had ex pected. they drew rein, in surprise. At that moment Bird Bainbridge said: 'They are those who raided my home, for I see several of onr horses yonder. and one man is riding my father"s saddle. r will tah.-e him-fire!" The Jive rifles flaslwd almost as one. The man whom the young leader had picked out fell dead from the saddle, and one other dropped from his horse. One man was wounded badh-, as could be seen, and one horse dropped dead, another being hit hard, for he dashed off with his rider. Every one of the shots of the Five had told, though not as well as could have been wished, owing to the excitement of the marksmen. The raiders had just suspected that their foes were in hiding in the rock fort, and were turning to charge it when the came. The shots, as was expected, threw the rai de r s i n to dis orde r allll for a moment they hardl y knew w hat to do; but one called out to change the fort, and this t h ey d id. But the defenders opened with t h eir revo l vers, an d t h e raide rs, with the l oss of one man killed, anothe r wo unded and a coup l e of horses struck h a rd, turned and ro d e rap idly out of range. Watching them. the Five saw them tal ki n g excited l y for a few minutes; then the w h o l e band went into camp in a cedar thicket, while one man l ed their horses down into the valley Qeyond, the Littl e Colorado flowing on l y a short distance away. The raiders were seen to divide in two columns, one going on one side of the litt l e fortress, the other round ing it, so as to completely encompass it The men, counted now to be thirteen in number, sought rocks for refuge to take posit i ons around t h e fo r t a n d besiege it. They seemed to be s u re of their game n ow, t h e i d ea b e ing to simply starve them out for water. One other man, clown with t h e horses i n t h e valley, made the number fourteen, but a fifteenth was d i scerned in the cedars, apparentl y their leader. Three dead bodies lay upon the fiel d, and several wounded men reclined upon b l ankets in the "Tbey are easily three to one against us, })s>ys,..but we hold the posit i on on them. "It is simply a case of siege, and we'll see how long we can stand it," remarked Bi r d Bainbridge, quite at his ease. Then the boys each told how they had followed t h e i:especti ve trails they were on, and thus had all come to gether again. They had gone over the ridge, intending to camp 011 the river for the night, when. sudden l y, t hey had di'scovered the r aide r s already encamped be l ow 011 the r iver; so there was nothing to do but to skip, which they had clone, mak ing for the hi l lcre?t, where their leader h ad found them. T hu s be l eaguered, the b oys made the best of their s i tu ation, and first strengthened it by filling up crevices in rocks, and so making the i r fortress as secure as h ands could make it. The horses were unsaddled and kept in one corner, the blankets were spread for beds, and the supplies were pro duced. Food they ha
PAGE 27

26 THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. ness might t empt the raiders to make aH, advance qt;1ietly, and then a rush. That this was attempted, a shot soon r evealed, for Seth Saunders had discern ed a moving object, and had prompt ly fired upon it. A yell of agony followed; rushing feet were heard; then another shot, that time by Bird Bainbridge, a moan following, and after that utter silence. There was another shot in the night, late, when one of the raiders attempted to remove the dead. Rud Rainey fired the shot, and anotJ1er raider remained on the field with the dead. The night finally passed, but daybreak revealed that the raid ers were still in position around the stone stronghold of the dauntless Fi11e. They were seen to go by twos to brea,kfast in the camp in the ceclars, and their horses were visible grazing in the valley beyond, a guard with them. So the whole clay passed in perfect quietness, the boys on incessant watch, ready for any Bttt the enemy made no mov e, up to nightfall. In tl;e darkness which came b efo re moonrise a feint of attack was made by the raiders, but n ot out The moon was well up when, to the surprise of the be lea guered boys, a shot flashed out in the valley, and there was heard the sound of troops at a gallop. Had some one fired upon the guard and run off with the horses? The raiders were heard calling to each other excitedly, aryd soon after, in the still, rarified air, a di stant voice shouted: ."They have killed Buster and stampeded all the horses! They've got some pards outside the fort !'' The Fighting Five cheered lu stily, and were joyous over what thev heard. But, who could be their friend? "It' must be Buffalo Bill," cried one But"the others shook their heads. "'It is probably true; for, if he left the fort soon after his arrival, and was goin g by Fort Tule Rosa Wingate, his trail "vvould l ead near h e re," said Bird Bainbridge Soon after fr1idnight the watchers in the fort were star tled by another shot. ick vValters and Kane Toland, who were on guard, r eported that they had seen a rifle's flash a couple of hundr_ed yards from the camp in the cedars. That the shot had told on some one in the camp, the ex cit ement there sufficiently showed. 'vVho could be this unknown friend? I The r est of the night was a uneasy one for the be s i egers, but one of intense expectancy to the boys in the fort . came at la st, and. the Fighting Five then dis covered that the raiders' horse s were not in the valley. Had they been s tampede'd by the l one shot? Their foes still surrounded the position; they at last had not b een stampeded would the solitary marksman come again to the raid ers' dismay? So brave b oys fonclly hop ed, and kept on the watch for every movement; but nothing transpired all that day; the enemy W'aS not disturbed. The plunder seen in the camp in the cedars Bird Bain bridge .knew to have be en taken from his home, and he felt all the more merciless toward the men he had to fight. Another night came, and i1:i the darkness preceding the rising of the moon another flash was seen, another shot was h eard. The ir unseen ally was still at work! A dozen shots quickly followed, fired from the camp ev id ently aimed toward the spot where the unseen ally of the bovs had been "I do hope none of those bul!ets hit him," said Bird, anxiously. Then they began to count. If the three shots fired by their solitary friend had each killed a raider, the band had been reduced bv seven killed and several wounded. At midnight another shot rang out, sharply, on the clear night air, now still nearer to the camp in the cedars. The delighted l ads r esponded with a cheer, which told their unseen friend that all was vet well with them "It must be Buffa l o Bill !" cledded Bird, and all agreed with him. Thus another night passed away The water was by that time almost gone from the can teens, and the h o r ses were intensely suffering from thirst and ht111ger. r o food or water'had they had, and the Five decided that the next morning they would turn the animals loose, to go to the valley for grass and to the river to quench th e ir thirsL ,As besiegers kept themselves out of sight, the lads not tell whether any more had been killed or wounded until the march to their camp kitchen, by twos, for their meals was observed. "Yes, our invisible pard i s -cutting them off," announced Bird, after a careful watch and count; he is killing them off, o n e by one." All then were inspir ed with the hop e that the raiders would soon have left the siege and depart. So the Five kept in their horses and waited. Again night fell. and hardly had it done so when both the besieged Five and the raiders were startled by a dozen shots ringing out in rapid succession! "That is Buffalo Bill I It is his terrible repeating rifle!" s hout ed Bird Bainbridge and the Five screamed themselves hoarse with their welcome CHAPTER XXVI. AVENGED AT LAST. when Bill left Fort McRae he fle ld on his wav along the trail leading to 1\Ieadow land Valley until h e came to where it branched off toward Fort Tule Rosa. This fort was reached without incident, and only a short halt made there: Then the scout pulled out a lm ost due north to cross the Zuni Plateau and reach D eep Spring, the rendezvous appointed with tl]e Lone Buffalo . He did not doubt but that the Indian would be there with some informati on of the raiders. Expecting to h alt at Dee p Spring for a good rest, he pushed on rapidly for that point, and, as he drew near it, late one afternoon, he was. surprised to see some h orses g r azing ahead in a littl e meadow, not far from theLittle Colorado.

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THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 27 Altnost in s tantl y h e noticed a hors e man coming toward him. "It is the Lone Buffalo and he has got a big drove of horses in some way," sa id the s cout. Soon after. the. two met, and th e Indian 's face was aglow at w hat he h ad to tell. He had followed a trail of the raider s. and had dis covered, several days b efo re, that they were encamped on the Little Colorado. He had hardl y made this discovery, watching them from a rid ge, when he saw a party of four horsemen as cending the ridge, and far back over the plain was a single horseman, with an animal in lead. He c o uld not warn the party from where he wa though he had recognized the young Silver Star who had come to Buffalo Bill and him se lf upon the trail. He saw them going right upon the out l aw camp. Then followed the discovery, the flight to the fort, the coming of the single hor se man and the pursuit of the raiders. "How many?" The Indian h e ld up his hand four times to indicate twenty "Rather a large force, but what di'd you do then? "Me help," was the r ep l y Encouraged to talk b y the scout. Lone Buffalo went on to tell how th e Five had stoo d the raiders off, and he, hav ing fully reconnoitered the position, decided to pick the raiders off as h e could. Then h e related abo ut th e killing of the guard over the hor ses and stampeding all the animals, bringing them to w h ere they were then grazing. He told of his continued good work, and added how glad he was to see the scout, for, they could s tamp ede th e o utl aws "We must do better than that, Lone Buffalo ; we must wipe them out! "Su c h cutthroats as they deserve no mercy and that brave boy will be a\renged. sooner than we tl;ought. ''He has :ilr eady done goo d work toward it himself from your account, though he was reckless to push on so far after so large a band. "But he is h e re now with his brave pards; the raiders of his h ome, the s la yers of his people, are all here, and so, too, are we, Lon e Buffalo! L et us do our best to wipe out that band of outlaws, and now decide upo n our plan to do it ," and the scOLit's words and manner showed that he was moved to the quick and in deadly earnes t The result of the powwow with Lone Buffalo was that half a dozen effig i es, t o represent men, wer e made and put on the horses andfa s t e n ed ther e B uffalo Bill finding that the Indian had bridled and saddled eve r y outlaw's hor s e before killing the guard and stampeding the animals! \Nh en th ey moved toward the camp in 7he cedars, after dark, it certainly a pp eared to b e half a do ze n horsemen following the scout and the red sk in. Leaving the dummy horsem e n to be brought up by the Lone Buffa lo, the sco ut crept to a spot nea r the camp in the cedars, and opened with his repeating rifle. The effec t was startling, and when the Indian came dashing up, with hi s h o rsemen, the rising moon revealing them, the scout shouted in commanding tones 1 "Troopers, charge!" The outlaws were panic-stricken, and fled, while the Fighting Five dashed out of their fort ml'unted u pon their p o nies weak thou g h they were, and joined the pur suit Driven to bay in the plain below, the ranch terrors fired a volley, that wounded Bird Bainbridge and the Indian slightly, and killed two ponies ; but the answering fire caused them to shriek for mercv. Five of the desperadoes were.made prisoners and were quickly led t oward the camp on the Little Colorado, where wood water and grass could be had in abundance. It was midnight before the other horses were brought up and th e campfires bui l t when supper was p r epared, and the Five went at it as they had fought-with a venge ance The next da y and night were spent in camp for rest, and the next morning the Fighting Fiv.e parted company with th e gallant scout and Lone Buffalo, Bird Bainbridge ""Saying. with deep emotion: "Through you, Mr. Cody, I have avenged my dead. God bless you, and preserve you for other good work I" CHAPTER XXVlI. CONCLUSION. Buffalo Bill held on his way to Fort Wingate, to corl tinue on in his remarkable career as the king of the bor der. The Lone Buffalo, loaded down with the presents Buf falo B!ll had brought him among them a repeating rifle, and things given h i m by Bird Bainbri
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Her e we are, boy s Fairly starte d on the new c ontest. The e ntries h a ve been com ing in for som e tim e now, and there's quit e a m ou n t ain o f them o n h and. We begin to print them this w e ek. Some of t hes e are corkers They are s i mply the fin est. Well ther e' s no us e t alki n g, just read the m yourself. You'll find some of the m below. By the w a y of course, you know a ll about the pri zes we are offering in thi s n ew con test. Just sharpe n your recollection by taking a look at page 3t. A Night's Adventur e. (By A. Kirkpatrick, Neb.1 About a year ago I was engaged in giving stereopticon entertainments at the public school houses. I was then a b oy about seventee n years of age. I had been trave lin g with another young man several years older than myself, b ut on the night of which I write I was alone. It was a cold, stormy night, and my audience was small. I had closed my entertainmen t and started for my boarding place, which was about eight miles away, and had gone about two miles, when, just as I was descending a gentle slope two men sudden l y came out from the hedge at the side of the road and p l aced themselves right in my way. One of them carried a long pole, and they ordered me t o stop. It was Saturday night, and I had considerable money with me I asked them what they wanted and they told me to get out of my wagon. My wagon was a covered rig, with side doors and a w i ndow in front; the window and left-hand door was closed, but the one on my right was not. I whipped up my team and tried to get by, but one of them caught my h o r ses by the bits, while the other tried to break out my window with his pole, but he only broke one of the hi nges l oose at one corner. He was just drawing back for another blow when I drew a revolver from my overcoat pocket and, leaning out of the door, sent a bullet into the earth at his side. I could have hit him easily, but as he did not seem to be armed with any dangerous weapon I thought I would try and sca r e him, and I succeeded. I never saw a worse s cared man in my life. He gave a terrib l e yell and, dropping his pole, dashed across the road and through the hedge. I leveled my revolver at the other fellow, but he stood as if spellbound, looking into my gun. I ordered him to let go, and he did so at once, following his com panion across the road and through the hed ge When they got safely on the other side they shouted some defiance at me I was stron&ly tempted to send some more shots at them, but I only had two cartridges left in my revolver, so I drove on and arrived at my boarding place without further adventure. What the men wanted I never found out, but I believe they wou l d have robbed me if I had not been prepared for them. My D re a m (By Romeo Mains, Cal.) "Whoa!" "Look out there!" "Gracious !" The next minute I was over the little girl. Dear reader, all this was a dream When I returned from the field with my papa I was very tired because 1 had to do a good deal of hard work trying to drive my new team of horses I always went out with papa, and finally he consented to let me have the team to drive. No sooner had I finished my supper than I f e lt sleepy and went to bed. I don'tknow how long I slept, but my sister says that after about thirty-five minutes I jumped up and began to cry out the words with which I opened my story.

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THE BUFF J\LO BILL STOR I ES. 2 9 Ye:c;, I remember being on the wagon with the lines in hand, and very proud of having two horses. ing. I gave r ein to the horses and started on a gallop. Down I went to the village to show my ability in driv ing. I gave r ei n to the h o rses and started on a gallop. I galloped for about five bl ocks, then, in turning a corner a little girl ran out from a door to cross the street. When I saw h er I tried to stop the horses, putting the break on, and at the same time calling to her to look ou4., but in a second she was under the horse's feet. I jumr t i d off the wagon and ran over to the girl's side, and picked her up to bring h e r to some drug store, but I h e ard h e r say : "What is the matter, Jack?" That woke me up. and everything was over. It was my s ist er whom I was trying to bring to the drug store Burne d at the Stake. (By Guy C. Thompson, Ind.) One ni ght two boy friends of mine, who were spending the night with me, and myself, agreed to tell the next morning our dreams of the ni g ht. \ i\/ ell, h ere is what I dreamed: "I, with two boy friends of mine, went huntin g. After huntin g a while in the woods without securing any game we agreed to separate and see who would h ave the most game on our return h ome. I went off t9 the east abuu t one-half a mile, and was go ing along with my mind on something else, when I ran i nto a band of Indians who, on seeing me, gave vent to a l oud yell and started after me. My limbs seemed to be paralyzed, as I could not even run or walk. "The Indians to o k me right into the center of the camp, where they b ound me hand and foot. They then c o mmenced to torture m e by prodding me with sharp pointed sticks. "After doing this they gathered leaves and twigs around the base of a tree and saturating my clothing with oil of some kind dragged me to the tree and tied me with thongs of buckskin. "Th ey were just going to light the fire when in rushed my two companions and, puttin g the Indians to rout, tore away my bands and let me go free." This is what I had to tell the next morning. As my friends failed to dream they acknowledged mine to be the mos t curious dream they knew of. In Battle. "Close in! Close in!" was the constant command of the squadron and troop officers as the casualties made in the ragged line; but the order was scarcely needed for of their own instance and, as it seemed, me chanically, men and h o rses alike sought to regain the t ouch. \Ve had n ot broken into the charging pace when poor old J ohn Lee, m y right-hand man on the flank of the n-giment, was all but sm ashed by a shell. He gave my arm a twitch, as, with a strange smile on his worn old face, h e quietly said, Domino, chum I" and fell out of th e saddle. His o ld gray mare kept alongside of me for some distance, tread ing on and tearing her entrails as she galloped, till at length she dropped with a strange shriek. My comrade, Peter Marsh, was my left-hand man; next beyond him was Private Dudley. The explosion of a shell had swept down four or five men on Dudley's left, and I heard him ask Marsh if he had noticed "what a hole that shell had made" on his left front. "Hold your foul-mouthed tongue," answered Peter; "swearing like a blackguard, "when you may be knocked into eternity the next minute." Just then I got a musket ball through my right knee, and another in the shin, and my horse had three bull e t wounds in the neck. Man and horse were bleeding so fast that Marsh begged me to fall out; but I would not, pointing out that in a few minutes we must be int o them, and so I sent m y spurs well home and faced it out with my comrades. It was about this time that Sergeant Talbot had hi s head carried off by a round shot; yet for about thirty yards farther th e headless body k ept the saddle, the lanc e at the charge firmly gripped und er the right arm. My narrative may seem barren of incid e nts of the charge, but amid the crash of shells and the whistie of bull e ts, the cheers and the dying cries of comrades, the sense of personal danger, the pain of wounds, and the .._ consuming passion to reach an enemy, he must be an ex cepti ona l man who is cool enough and curious enough to be l ook ing serene ly abo ut him for what painters call "local color. I had a good deal of local color" myself but it was running down the leg of my overalls from my wounded knee. R o mance of t he G o l d R ush in C alifornia Away back in the mining days a party of fourteen gold-seekers-I was one of the number-left Eldorado county to "hunt b etter diggin's." We took the Indian trail leading up the Sacramento to Oregon, and the noble river soon narrowed clown to a rivulet. We passed along the base of grand old Mount Shasta, following on the Oregon trail. Here about thirty miners were camped, di&t'ing and washing dirt that paid them from three dol lars to five dollars a day. Most of them were from the Scott Riv e r, and d e clared this better than anything they could find in that camp. This was a poser for us, so we determined to go to Rogue Riv e r to prospect. The start was to b e made on the morrow while the party of miners and campers decided to start on a prospecting tour clown the Sacramento River to Shasta City at the same time. This was March 20, 185r. The horses and mules of the camp were grazing t ogether, and the exhilaration of warm sun caused them to start out for a run just as we wer e starting to driv e them to camp to pack up. We tried hard to capture them, but the whole band disap peared over the low hills, and we were compelled to follow them by their fresh tracks in the snow and mud. At ..last we sighted them several miles from camp in a large flat or basin, grazing on "b unch grass" up to th e ir knees. \iVhen we were scattered out to h e rd them together to go to camp one of the men Ballou b y name, saw in the fresh dirt turned up by the foot of a horse a nugget of gold He hastily picked it up and poclce ted it without being ob served. The horses were d:ivrn to camp, and we were

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I 30 THE. BUFF l\LO BILL STORIESo I I soon on the road to Oregon. Ballou was not an acquaintance of ours, nor was any of his party, and naturally his find was only revealed to his friends in his tent. Fourteen years later I met Ballou at Salt Lake, and he told me what our party had missed by rushing away on the road to Oregon that afternoon in search of mines they did not find. The nugget fou nd was worth about four dollars and fifty cents. It was soon planned by the finder's party to postpone starting south, ostensibly .l;?n account of the detention, and to take pans and start /tom camp in different directions to prospect, and to come t o gether out of sight of those not yet in the secret When together they were guided by Ballou to the spot where he found the nugget on the surface. Pan after pan was tried, and from fifty cents to five dollars to the pan obtained, the best being in this dirt among the grass roots. Claims were staked, and when they returned to camp all those remaining were told of the discovery. Only a few hours passed before the entire camp was transferred to the new find This was "Yreka Flat" in r85r. The town of Yreka now marks the l ocality from which much gold has been taken. M y Escape in the Bo e r War (By N. Buchanan, Johannesburg.) I have had many adventures out here in South Africa. I read Buffalo Bill stories and see you ask any boy to write for a prize. I have never been out of Africa, but I have had many adventures dGring my time. I am thir teen years of age. I was in a corps as bugler. and I was in the mounted rifles and on horseback. One day three of us went out, about twenty-five miles from Pot keeta, a small village we were camping at. Well we were going out to try and get some game, b e cause we rarely got a1,1ything but biscuits and bully beef. Suddenly up sprang eight Boers, all of them armed. We showed fight, because we all had rifles with us and plenty of ammunition. It was no use running away, for they had horses, too, and they could shoot, too. Three against eight was rather hard lines, but there was a chance yet. We had our water bottles with us, full of brandy, and the Boers took us prisoners. Vv e went wit h them to an old farmhouse and we asked them if they would like something to drink. Of course they said they wou ld, and we gave them flask after flask. You know three flasks of strong brandy would soon make them drunk, and it did. in about three and a half hours they were all asleep, and as soon as we got a chance we took their guns and hid them under some sacks of wheat and took our own rifles and galloped away as hard as we could go. We never stopped till we reached camp, wit h our water bottles empty. Bear Hunting. (By Bruce Lineburg, Pa.) V,T e had been planning to go hunting for some time, so one day, late in December, three of my friends and myself met. It was decided we should take a chase, so we started for Manganese Ridge. It was col d, so we walked pretty briskly. We got some squirrels and a few rabbits, w h ich the dog chased up. We hunted about but did not see any large game. It was about four o'clock, so we thought we wou l d start for home. We had gone about a quarter of a mil e when the hair raised on the dog's back. Down over the ridge he went and barked at the foot of a large elm. We went down to where he was. The tree had a large hole in it, about twenty feet up. It was decided that one of us should climb up and look into the hole, while the others stayed on the ground to shoot the bear w h en he came out. As I was the best climber they insisted on me going up; so up I went I h ad on l y looked when the bear thrust his head out of the hole right in my face. I was so terrified t h at I l et go my hold and fell twenty feet to the ground. Happily I was not much hurt, so we left Mr. Bea r in his tree and marched on toward home. By this time it began to get cloudy and before we had gone far it began to snow, and we did not get home till it was quite dark and we were nearly frozen. This was my first l ook in a bear's den, and I think it will be my last. A T t r r ible Sight. (By Kneass Egerton, N. J.) George Appleton and I, wh ile spending a few weeks in Tucson. Arizona. last summer. heard of an insane I n dian who had escaped from the Papago Indian Reser vafion, and, who after killing a few Mexicans, had ta ken refuge in an old tavern on the Santa Cruz River. Several attempts had been made to capture him, but they were unsucce s sful, so George and I thought we would try to get him. We hired a Mexican by the name of Jose to guide us to the tavern. We reached it at about midnight, and Jose said h e would see if t h e Indian was there o r not. We waited about fifteen minutes, and the Mexican climbed in a back window and disappea r ed Suddenly a shriek was heard ; then all was still. W c slowly crept forward and looked in the room and saw a sight that nearly froze the blood in our veins On the floor lay a body with a pool of blood around it. The head was crushed in with a tomahawk, and a knife was sticking in the breast Over it stood a tall figure, brandishing a knife It was the Indian, whi l e the figure on the floor was the remains of poor Jose. George pulled out his revolver and shot the Indian. It was a terrible sight, and I was glad when we got done burying the Indian and Mexican. \Ve quickly made our way to Tucson and came home as fast as we could. We had had enough of Arizona.

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\ ................................................ .... I HERE'S A NEW CONTEST! A CORKER. . I The .Contest just starting is going to be the greatest we ever ran. It's an entirely new idea. The : Prizes are new and the finest we ever o ffer e d. The other contests h e ld in the BUFFALO BILL WEEK L Y have all m ade splendid success, but this one is sure to brea k all r ecor ds. Why? Bec a use it is a brand-nctw. idea a contest every boy in America h as a n equal chance in, and because the. prizes beat anything ever offered before. All you h ave to d o is to write out a n account of any of your i @ I Curious Dreams. Everybody h as had rem a rkable dreams, and anybody who sends in an account of one has a chance of winning o n e of th e prizes. They consist of f T.HREE FIRST-CLASS 'PHOTOCRAPHIC OUTFITS, I Including Camera all for Taking an<;l Developing Photographs. j Five Hunting Axes and Five Hunting Knives. Think of the fun you can have this winter with one of those cameras. You can t a ke and develop photograrhs of all your friends. Full directi o ns go with each c a m era Think how useful and h a n .dy a first rate hunting knife or ax will be when you go hunting or trapping in the w oo ds this winter. To Win a Prize.-Write a n account of any curious or remarkable dre a m you h a ve h ad-no matter w h at it was about. T ell it in five hundred words, a nd send it with the coupon you will find on this page, proper ly filled out, to the BUFFALO BILL WEEKLY care of Street & Smith, 2 38 William St., New York City. HERE IS A LIST OF THE PRIZES: The three boys who send in tbe three m ost in te r esting accounts will : each rec e ive an East:rnan Pocket Hodak, wit h complete 0 o u tfit. The camera takes picture in c h es; u ses film, and ha s : : capacity for twelve pictures without rel oad ing; weight six ounces. T his wonderful little camera takes pictures equa l to the mos t expensive. It make s negatives of such sharpness and definition that beautiful en : largements of any size can be made from them. H as perfect Achro matic Lens of fixed focus, Rotary Shutter, wit h sets of three i square View Finder, and covered with fine Seal Grain L eather. Takes Q snap shots or time exposures. Easily ca rried in pocket o r on bicycle. Complete with roll of film for twelve exposur es and L eather Carrying : Case, with room fot three extra film cartridges. 8 The five boys who send i n the five next best accoun t s will each re ceive a .Sa:fety Hunting Ax. Dimensions over all llx4 i+ inches: wd eight 18 ounces. The blade is m ade of solid tool st2e l finely tempera and high l y polished. The handle i s made of mild steel, nickle plated on copper, with handle plates of engraved hard r ubber. The guard is of sheet .steel, hinged on a spring in such a manner that eit h e r : open or closed it i s firmly h el d in position. The construction is unique S Boys, You See Your Chancel *.& ,.. COUPON. : BUFFALO BILL DREAM CONTEST. Name ............................................... Street and No ........................................ and o f such a nature as to make it almost i mpossib l e for one part t o become d e tached from another. The h ead h as an oblong semi-c i;-cular r ecess mille d in either side to re ceive the slotted end of ha;;dle, which i s accurately milled to a close fit and firmly h e ld by a !-inch steel screw. This method of handle fastening prevents any liability of th e I blade working on the handle. The upper part of the handle is s l otted on th e unde r side to receive the folded shee t atee l gua rd which as to b e firmly h eld by a flat steel bar when open or I The five boys who send in the five next b est accounts will eac h r e ceive a Sports:rnan's Ideal Hunting HniCe. There i s ab?)lt as much d_ifferen_ce in point of utility beaut->: between one o f our Ideal" huntm g kmves and any other kmfe on th e market as there i s between a grizzly b ear an d a porcupine. They are h and forg ed, hand tempered, hand teste d by the rigidest possible test a n d finished in a mann e r that makes them the handsomest knives in the i market. The I deal" knives are made with 5-inch blades l eather handle, br ass and fibre trimmings, with polished stag-horn tip. A hand some black or r usset case with each knife. It's Up to You to Win a Prize! This Conte.st doses December 1st. AUentries must be in by that date. Reme.inbe.-, the "BUFF ALO 'BILL WEEKLY" has the greateat circulation of any weekly descriptive of Indian warfare ever published. I (> Oity or Toum ... .. : Your story, whether it wins a prize or not, has a i .. ...... .. .. : "." chance of being published, and will be read through-' Title of St 11 .. .. : .... .. .. out-the length at)cl breadth of the Continent. ; ........ +e+e+e .. .... .................... ......... o .......... ..

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BUFF !\LO BILL STORIES (L,-ARGS S I.ZS.) Containing the Only Stories Authorized by Hon. WILLIAM F. CODY ("Buffalo Bill"). 45-Buffalo Bill in the Bad Lands; or, Trailing the Veiled Squaw. 46-Buffalo Bill's Trail of the Ghost Dancers; or, The Sioux Chiefs Secret. 47-Buffalo Bill's Deadliest Deal; or, The Doomed Desperadoes of Satan's Mine. 48-Buffalo Bill's Secret; or, The Trail of a Traitor. 49-Buffalo Bill's Phantom Hunt; or, The Gold Guide ot Colorado Canvon. 50-Buffalo Bill's Brother in Buckskin; or, The Redskin Lariat Rangers. 51-Buffalo Bill' s Trail of the Man Tigers; or, The Doom of the Branded Hand. 52-Buffalo Bill's Boy Pard; or, Training the Buckskin Bov. 53-Buffalo Bill's Vow of Vengeance; or, The Scout's Boy J\lly. 54-Buffalo Bill and the Mad Hermit; or, Finding a Lost Trail. 55--"Buffalo Bill's Bonanza; or, The Clan of the Silver Circle. 56-Buffalo Bill's Mascot; or The Mystery of Death Valley. I 57-Buffalo Bill and the Surgeon Scout; or, The Brave Dumb Messenger. 58-Buffalo Bill's Mvsterious Trail; or, Tracking a Hidden Foe. 59-Buffalo Bill and the Masked Hussar; or, fighting the Prairie Pirates: 60-Buffalo Bill's Blind; or, Running the Death Gauntlet. 6t-Buffa1o Bill and the Masked Driver: or. The Fatal Run Through Death I Canyon. 62-Buffalo Bill's Still Hunt; or, fighting the Robber of the Ranges. 63-Buffalo Bill and the Red Riders; ot, The Mad Driver of the Overlands. 6 4-Buffalo Bill's Dead-Shot Pard; or, The Will-o'-the-Wisp of the Trails. 65-Buffalo Bill's Run-Down; or, The Red-Hand Renegade's Death. 66-Buffalo Bill's Red Trail; or, f\ Race for Ranson. 67-Buffalo Bill's Best Bower; or, Calling the Turn on Death Notch Dick. 68-Buffalo Bill and the: Gold Ghouls; or, Defying Death at Elephant Rock. 69-Buffalo Bill's Spy Shadower; or, The Hermit of Grand Canyon. 70-Buffalo Bill's Secret Camp; or, Trailing the Cloven Hoofs. 7 t-Buffalo Bllrs Sweepstake; or, Hunting the Paradise Gold Mine. 72-Buffalo Bill and. the Black -Heart Desperado; or, The Wipe-Out at Last Chance. Ba.ck numbers always on hand. If you cannot 2'et them from your newsdealer, fin cents a. copy will brini them to you, by mail, postpaid. STREET & SMITH, Vublishers, 238 WIL,-L,-IA1"I S'T., NEW CI'TV. , J


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