Buffalo Bill's desperate strategy, or, The mystery of the cliff

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Buffalo Bill's desperate strategy, or, The mystery of the cliff

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Title:
Buffalo Bill's desperate strategy, or, The mystery of the cliff
Series Title:
Buffalo Bill stories
Creator:
Buffalo Bill
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Street & Smith
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Language:
English
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1 online resource (30 p.) 28 cm.: ;

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

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University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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020849172 ( ALEPH )
223329206 ( OCLC )
B14-00074 ( USFLDC DOI )
b14.74 ( USFLDC Handle )

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serial

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A VJEERLY PUBLrCATION DEVOTE. D TO BORDE' R HI5TORYJ .issuea 1Vetiuy. By Sui>scn}liim $zsc per year Entt>red as Secona Liass M
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:Trpenn(?[PfA\[b@ ffiO[b[S A WEEtfLY PUBLICATION DEVOTED TO BORDER HIS.TORY Jsssu Weekly. By Subscription $2.5 0 per year. Entered as Second Class Matter at theN. Y. Post Offiu, by STREET & SUITH, 238 Wt71iam St., N. Y. E1ttereli to Act of Conpess in the year Jf)02, in the Office of tile Librarian of CongTess, Washinlf(on, IJ. C. No. 74. NEW YORK, October I I, I902. Prke Five Cents. 1 Buffalo Bill's Desperate Strategy; OR, \ I THE. MYSTERY OF THE CLIFF ... By the author of u BUFFALO BILL., CHAPTER I. FOUR OF A KIND. "Pards, Buffalo Bill ain't so smart as he thinks he is. See thar !" The speaker was one of four men in an Overland stage coach, on its run east from the mountain mining camps. They were a hard-looking four, as faces gobearded, long-haired and roughly dressed. They were, apparently, securely bound, hands and feet, and linked together with raw-hide They were pri so ners, on their way to be delivt;t:ed up at the fort. They had boarded the coach tC tlold it up, on the ,IVay, kill the driver, and rob it of its treasure in golden freight; but ere they could carry out their purpose, the coach had been halted, suddenly, and there in the trail was Buffalo Bill, the great scout, and two comrades. His comrades were boys in years. for they were under twenty, and ye bold fearless fellows wlio would foJlow Buffalo Bill anywhere. They were young Texans who had come to the great 1\ ortlnvest on a se cret mission-a hunt f@r tbt father of one of the youths, who had not been heard of for several years, but had been in that mining COU!} try, and there knovvn as the Midnight Mail Rider of the Disappearing suddenly, maBy believed that he had ruu off with the valuable mail he carried on that run; others said they were sure he had been killed; the ma jmity of th e miners knew not what to think. He always rode by night, took different trails, and had two horses and two dpgs, one of each going with him on each ride. His horse had come into camp the clog had not, and so a mystery hung over the fate of the Night Mail Rider. His son, Harold Hart, chief of cowboys on a Texas ranch, had made up his mind to find his father, and

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2 THE BUff J\LO the son of the wealthy ranchero a youth of his own age. and Leonard A s hley by name, had accompanied him. Aided by Buffalo Biil, who made them his boy pards, his Stll'C Shots, as he called them, and also by B11ck Dawson, the stage drive.r, who had been the Mail Rider's friend, and still had his horses and dog in keeping, the youth in search of the father had soh:ed the mystery of his parent' s fate. They had found h i s skeleton form in a cavern, the bones of. his faithful dog near him, als o his rifle and the missing mail bags. The latter had been robbed, and the dying man had written with pencil, on the envelopes of open letters, the story of the attack upon him and named those who had been his murderers. with this information the youth wh() had to mourn his parent's fate vowed vengeance against his father' s slayers, and his comrade, Leonard Ashley, and Buf falo Bill were to be his allies in the work of bringing the guilty ones to justice. With this determination Buffalo Bill and his Texan tea m had gone on to the fort, expecting to find there two of the criminals, whom they had sent on in the coach under guard of the driver, Buck Dawson. But they were grievously disappointed, as the reader of these pages will see. Two of the men whose name s were on the list, writ ten by the Mail Rider when he 'vvas dying in the cavern, were now of the four who were bound and seated in I the stage coach. The one who had uttered the words which open this story was their leader, Doc Driggs, a professed miner, but secretly an outlaw. As he spoke, with a slight effort he drew hand out of the lari a t thongs that b ound them, then the oilier. "See there?" he said and he held up his freed hands. The others c o uld hardly resist a shout of triumph, but he quickly placed hi$ hand upon his lips in token of silence, and said, in a whisper: "That is what it is to be blessed with small hands and fer et, and not with such paddles as you fell o ws "Buffalo Bill thought he tied me tight, for he hopes ter see me hanged, but I ain't dead yet, as he'll find out. 'ow I must free you fellers; then v.: e 'll be ready ter act, for thar's a man up on that box tcr kill." .. .,...... "But, we hain 't got no weapons," whispered the three bound outlaws. ''I ain't the fool you and Buffalo Bill took me for. See here!" He thrust one of his freed hands into a pocket in the leg of his pants, and tlrew out a small pistol, but a deadly one, for it carried a large ball. "They didn't find this gun, and now it will in mighty well. ''But, first, I wants ter set you fellers free, and you bet we'll hold up Buck Dawson mighty quick and git his boodle, too. "Then I has something ter say to you, men," and the man begun to unbind the lariats which secured his feet. CHAPTER II. A BOLD BLUFF. The outlaw leader workeu diligently at his bonds, while, all unconscious of the dangerous work going on in his coach, Buck Dawson drove on his way, n13 whistling, now singing in a fine voice some lines of a Wild \7
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BUFFALO BILL STORIES. "Yes, but I don't want ter steal it, or git it by doing a mean act." "You is too pa rti cu lar." "Maybe I is, but I goes by my conscience in what I does." "What is that?" "Something you hasn't got, so it can't explair:"ed to you. ) "I hain't rich, and yet I hain't going to take a dollar of any man's money I don't git honest." "Sunday school talk." 1 "Yes, I l'arned it from my mot.her when I were a d, and I ain't ever done nothing to disgrace her ame, and I hopes ter tell her so yet afore she dies, r I'm laying up money year by year, but coming hont by it." "You're a fool.'' !"Maybe; but I ain't a murdering outlaw as well." ({"Well, I ain t forgot that one time you took my par t when I was gitting worsted, and saved me from assing in my chips." "I did what I would for any man in trouble." "It's because of that I wish ter help yer." -
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THE BUFF .&LO BILL STORIES. summon Buffalo Bill the outlaws would know that the scout was not there as an escort. As soon as he had gained the tree Buck acted, and called out : "See here, you cutthroat fellers." "What does yer want?" demanded Doc Driggs, from the coach. "I wants yer ter hands up all 'round and come out as I calls ther roll, bringing yer lariats with yer." "Thet you may tie us up ag'in ?" "In course." "It don't go." "It's got ter, or somebody be stiff, right here." "Why don't yer call Buffalo Bill?" asked one. "I'm not wantin' help jist now, fer I kin run this leetle racket all by my lone self." "Yer better try it on, then." "I'll do it." "Say when." "Is ver comin' out of that coach?" "N arv come!" look out fer a hint thet yer had better." With this Buck leaned around the tree, aimed for the upper part of the coach, and fired. There was a startled chorus of cries within, and the men ducked down into the bottom of the coach as the bullet tore along the top. But Buck had gained his point, as he was not fired on in return, and this convinced him that the outlaws had only the one little pistol. "Is you coming out?" "Nary come!" "Look out!" Again a bullet tore through the coach, lower down, and the horses began to grow uneasy. But Buck soothed them with his voice and again called on t : "Does yer intend to mind?'' "Not a mind!" "I'm a gittin' closer ter yer each time with my bul lets." "You dare not kill us." "Well, I ain't a man ter draw trigger on a human bein' without good cause, but I thinks I has thet same right here and now." Still no shot came from the coach, and no effort was made to dash out upon the defiant driver. The outlaws were protecting themselves with cush ions and crouching low as they could "Is yer com in' out? I is losing time, an' next time .[ shoots ter kill, and ef yer don't mind thet then I opens lively, fer I'll take four dead men inter tl1er fort if I can't take four live ones." There was no reply from the coach, but Doc Driggs whispered to his comrades: "I've got him covered through ther side, here, and ef he shows up well ter draw trigger ag'in, I'll risk a shot ter kill him." Not knowing that he was now covered, Buck Daw-son called out: "Last call to you all! "Does ver come out?" No "All right; here goes a bullet on a life bunt, and though I can't see yer, somebody's got ter take ther consequences." A derisive laugh followed his words. Then, not feaiing a shot from the coach, the driver leant well armtnd the tree, took quick aim at the coach body, and pulled trigger. There was a wild cry from some one, followed by the words: "My God, pards, I is clone fer! He's kilt me! he's kilt me!" The man fell back in the coach, dead, and grasping his body, Doc Driggs used it as a shield, and prepared to fire upon the driver, who once more out: "\Vill yer hands go up now? I ain't got ther titiJe ter spare ter talk no longer, so talk quick!" No answer save a puff of smoke from one of the curtains of the coach, and the deep report of the der ringer pistol in the hands of Doc Driggs. It had been well aimed, and with a zest, for Doc Driggs knew well how much depended upon that sole shot. vVith a startled cry Buck Dawson stepped backwttr paces; his revolver fell from his hand as he sought to raise it to fire on his foes, and down dropped the brave man his full length upon the ground. CHAPTER IV. THE HERO OF THE REINS. "Pards. I got him! "Ther boodle is ours!" So shouted Doc Driggs as he spra1. 1g from the coach, followed by his two remaining companions, while th fourth came tumbling out after them, to lay -clown upo the ground. With a few bounds Doc Driggs reached the sid of the driver, who lay in a heap upon the earth, j tst as he had fallen. "Dead, and out of trouble," cried the Then, turning to the others, he called out to one of the men to get their belts of arms and rifles off the top of the coach. The other man was ordered to un harness the two leaders and one of the middle span of horses. "\Ve hain't got no saddles, pards, but we has got lives, a mount, and ther boodle, so we is playin' in great luck, when half a hour ago it were a hundred ter one thet we'd be hanged. "Ill sarch fer ther boodle while you git ther horses and mind yer, maybe Buffalo Bill and them two bo eards of his ma:f: come this way_. If the

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1'HE BUFf' ALO BILL STORIES. 5 don't coine, some soldierf is likely ter be out on the trail, so don't waste no ttme." This suggestion about Buffalo Bill and his two Texan boy pards set the outlaws to work with a will. Doc Driggs first buckled on his belt of arms, h4nded down from the top of the coach, and then began to search for the gold he knevv had been put on the coach. The treasure was quickly found, and the bags were put in the ends of one of his own blankets, for their ontfit had been brought along when they were captured. The was strapped upon one of the leaders, and Doc Driggs mounted, the others quickly following his example with two more of the horses. f'W hat' s tcr be done with N abby?" asked one, point-. ing to their de::td comrade. "Leave him for coyote meat, or ther finder to bury, along with Bnck Dawson. "Now, is yer ready?" and Driggs seemed excitedly anxious to get away from the scene of his crime. "We is ready," was the answer, and the men, now mounted, closed up with their leader. "Then come!" and he went off at a gallop. Hardly had the outlaws disappeared when a deep groan broke from the lips of Buck Dawson. His face was deathly pale, and he appeared to be suffering greatly, But, after several efforts, he rose to a sitting posi tion; then he got upon his feet, and, tottering to his got hold of his canteen, and took a long draught of water. That done, he saturated his handkerchief, and, tearing open his shirt, bound it upon an ugly-looking -..vound in his side. With an effort he placed the body of the dead out law in the coach, closed the door, and arranged the re.ins so that he could drive the middle horse as a leader. This done, he dragged himself up to the box, tied himself there, as he was very weak, and started once more upon his way. There was no stage station in the twenty miles be tween himself and the fort, he having passed one just before the outbws had freed themselves. The three horses had a fairly good trail to travel, and the coach being light, the brave driver, suffering untold anguish, pushed them hard on their way, for he felt that his strength was failing him fast. :'Am I to die thus?" he several times asked himself as he went along "No, no! I must not-cannot die thus, though this is the v.-orst wound T ever received, and it seems to be tearing my very life out of me," and he groaned 111 agony. Soon after he said : "I am growing 'veaker and weaker. I will write now while I can, a letter to BilL telling him what I wish done-and he will avenge me." The last five words were uttered in a very stern tone, and as one who had full confidence in the scout'!' doing what he said. With a pencil he wrote something on a sheet of paper and fastened it upon his breast with a pin. This done he seemed to feel more content, though the groans wrung from him py each jolt of the coach showed how greatly he suffered. On, on, went the three horses, until, at last, the flag of the fort came into view, a couple of miles away. The brave driver saw it, and his head drooped upon his breast. A moment later, the reins slipped from his hands, but he had ahead) made them fast, so that they could not fall upon the backs of the horses. Then he reeled to and fro, aqcl fell back upon the box. Had he not taken the precauti_on to tie himself to the box he would have fallen to the ground. And on went the horses at a trot, they halted at the fort, where a crowd was gathering, as the sen tinel had reported the coach coming in with hut three of its tearrt of six animals, and no one on the box driving them. CHAPTER V. DUFF ALO BILL AND HIS TEXAS TEAM. The arrival of the coach at the. fort created a de cided sensa tion. At first supposed to be dead, Buck Dawson was found to be still breathing, and hastily borne to the hospital, where the fort surgeons, after a long time extracted the bullet and reported that the chances of his recovery were very doubtful. When, the next day, Buffalo Bill and his two Texan pards came to the fort' they heard with deep regret and almost dismay of the attack upon Buck Dawson and the result. It was the scout who had given the four outlaws into the keeping of the driver, and certainly he had ered them most securely bound. Instead, they had escaped by wounding Dawson; and, though one of the four had fallen by Buck's shot, the other three had escaped, carrying off three of the horses, as well as many thousands of dollars in uncoinecl gold Buffalo Bill felt that now he had a double duty of vengeance. The scout, with his two young pards, had been out on the special work of finding ant what had been tl1e fate of the Midnight Mail Rider, and he had been most anxious to do this, to relieve the mind of Harold Hart, the son of the missing man, whom he had prom i sed to solve the mystery hanging over his father's disappearance This clone, through the aiel of the dog, Deathgrip, ai1cl the two horses, Blue and Gray, belonging to the

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THE BUFFALO STORif.S. Mail Rider the chief of scouts had returned to the "Well, boy pards, it is a compact even to the death fort with the story of the finding of the skeleton form of one or more of us?" in the cavern, and bearing with him the story written V V e have given our word, Chief Cody, and death by the dying man. alone can make us break it." was Harold Hart' s sol-But the scout and his two young Texan pards had emn assurance. also discovered by that same story written by the dy... ing Mail Rider, th a t Doc Driggs and others had been his murderers and the robbers of the mails. They had learned, likewise, that there had been a "mysterious unknown" who was the leader of the band, yet was masked and seemed not known to any one of them. Who can he be? That was what Buffalo Bill had been most anxious to find out. Doc Driggs, Scotty, and others named by the dying Mail Rider, they had believed to be safe at the fort, where they had been sent, as we have s e en, on Buck Dawson's coach, but now the scout knew the worstthat the scoundrels had esc a ped and had added other crimes to their past evil deeds. So it was that Buffalo Bill renewed the vow to run down the masked leader recapture Doc Driggs, and Scotty wi t h the others of the band who had killed the Midnight Mail Rider, and thus avenge the latter and Buck Dawson a s well, whiie he wo uld render, at the s a me time good service to the government and country. In this re s olve b oth Harold Hart and his comrade, Len Ashley, eagerly entered the scout's service "Boy pqrcls you have determined to help me, then?" s a id Buffalo Bill, after the three had visited the hospitaf and gazed upon the suffering and unconscious stage driver, hovering between life and death. "I have vowed to avenge my father, Mr. Cody, now I know who it was that murdered him, and cast upon his name the stain of having robbfd the mails he was sworn to protect," said Harold Hart. "And I am with Harold in all that he may do," was Len Ashley s deci s ion. "I wish you .to understand fully what is before you, that it will be a perilous trail to follow-that both of you cannot hope to escape wounds or death, in the work of and it will be a hard, long trail, per haps." "We will not shrink from anything before us," de clared Harold. "I well know that, boys, but it is my, duty'to tell you what you may have to. encpunter." "You know it was through good Buck Dawson, Mr. Cody, that I got the inform a tion which led to the finding out of my father's sad fate, and also .t;he two horses and dog belonging to him, so I owe it to. avenge him also by aiding in the recapture of Doc Driggs". "And I am with you Hart, you and Chief in all that you do or undertake," Len Ashley said, in his quiet, determined way. CHAPTER VI. Y A MYSTERIOUS TRACK. Buck Dawson was hovering between life and death, and wholly unable to tell of the attack upon him and the robbery of the coach; all that Buffalo Bill had to go upon was the fact that Doc Driggs and three other prisoners had been left with the driver to take to the fort. The driver had arrived badly wounded with one of the prisoners dead in the coach, the gold gone, and that 'I;V::J.S all that could be fou-nd out, save that three of the coach horses had also been taken. The scout's first mo\ e was to have a talk with Col onel Ramsey, and get leave to take his own wa,y in avenging the Midnight Mail Rider by running down the road-agents He acc o rdingly left the fort with the two o o ys, and started upon his trail to foil other deeds o the out laws and get upon their trail, and which he had vowed should be a fatal one for them. -f, led horse was carried along, a fine animal, to re place one of those they rode should they meet with ac cident. The animal also carried a pack-saddle in which was a complete camp outfit, provisions, extra ammunitiorf, and other things the scout suspected they might need Leaving the fort by sunset, the three rode to a camping-place near the scene of the tragedy which poor Buck Daws on told about. We'll be on the spot by dawn, boys and let me say that if we do not find the three coach horses de a d there, then they were taken by the roadagents, and their trail can be followed. "If they elucle us, and they may be able to do so, then the mining camps will be the place f01; you two to go and play detectives upon the miners there to find out just who are the allies of Doc Driggs, and the identifica tion of thi s mysteriotis masked leader that the Mail Rider said was the chief in the attack upon him. With perfect confidence in Buffalo Bill, the two boys were more than willing to follow his lead without a word. Tbey went into camp that night, and bright and early the next morning were upon the scene of the escape of D o c Driggs and his two pards. "No horse here," said Buffalo Bill who was reading the signs about him with a skill that is phenomenal in him. He at once saw the whole situation as it was at the attack on Buck Dawson, and the tracks of the three

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THE BUfFALO B!LL STORIES. 'l 1 1 orses taken from the coach had left a broad trai1, easy t o follow. "Here lies our way, boy par<\s," said Buffalo Bill, :1nd as he started off on the trail he added: "But four horses left this trail, not three." "Only three were taken from the coach, sfr." "True, but another animal "vent along on this trail." ''Now, the outlaws were four in number, 'and one :arne in with the coach, and dead, so that accounted for i:J.im . "Three remained, and three horses wer e taken from coach. "Still, from where they left the Overland trail there .are the tracks of four different horses. "Who rode the fonrth animal, and was he the one who rescued the prisoners?" "It looks as though he might be, sir." "Yes.' "But we must find out." The tracks of the four horses were followed for sev e ral hours, and the direction they led was up toward the string of mining camps. "Boy pards, these fellows were carrying coals to Newcastle, so to speak ; that is, they were carrying the gold they got from the coach back to the mining camps." "What does that mean, sir?" "It means that they can send it o\.1t from the mining camps and realize upon it in cash, while they would not dat : e do so any other way. "We will see how far we can track them, and then, if we lose the trail, can at least discover to which mining camp they hav. e gone, and, mark my words, either Doc Driggs or that masked unknown, is the captain of a well-disciplined band of road-agents, as has been shown bv recent robberies, so if we can track them to doom, 'vill be a feather in our cap, and no mistake." It was without the slightest difficulty that Buffalo Bill followed the. trail of the three stage horses and the fourth animal, w hich the scout said had l)een the last co go along. Buff a lo B i ll, as he went forward, saw sigljs that Indians had heen nea r the place as well as outlaws. He told his companions to remain behind, as they l!vere not as experienced in Indian tiickery as he was, and m ight do som ething to _attract the attention of the Indians .. E n ffalo Bill di s mounted, and, taking advantage of every bit of cover, went forward. It was well he did so, for he soon saw a band of five r ed s kins. They h a d evidentl y caught sight o his compani o n s and were stealthily advancing !o take them imawares Buffal o Bill climbed a nearby tree, and, sheltering himse lf in the bran c hes. watched the savages approach bo ys, who were all unsuspicious of his coming. his wild warcry rang out, and his terrible rifle began to crack. He fired just five shots, and left five redskins dead, and was just descending from the tree when the boys whose lives he had saved came up to see what the shoot-ing meant. . The sight of the five dead Indians explained mat ters to them, and after thanking the scout heartily for saving their lives they proceeded on their journey. As they entered a valley they came to where two streams met, ,and four separate branches were thus formed. . "Here is where we will lose them1 I fear, or at least be detained some time in finding them," said Buffalo Bill. It was just as Buffalo Bill had said, the tracks dis appeared in the stream that crossed their trail, and did not reappear the other side. It showed to the scout that the outlaws had kept in the shallow stream, and thus ma. de their way into one of the others, hiding their tracks completely by so doing. The scout paused for a l011g while, pondering over in his mind as to just what the outlaws had done, and while thus engaged Harold and Len were riding about in search of whatever they might fuld of value. Presently a call came fr,om Harold Hfl.rt, and both Buffalo Bill and Len Ashley rode rapidly toward him. "See here, Mr. Cody, I naye been on this single trail and it has led in a circuit around and across the streams. "It is the fourth track we saw with the three stage horses, and I am sure that the rider of this horse was doing what we are doing, following the others, so sup pose we stick to this trail, as, if he is one of them, he may knoV\; better than we do where to find them." "Good for you, Harold, and we will t ick to this single trail," and getting the pack-horse, they rode off on the tracks of the fourth horse that had mysteriously followed the coach animals. CHAPTER VII. THE MYSTERY OF THE CLIFF. The fourth track had certainly been following the trail of the three coach horses, as had Buffalo Bill and his boy sure sh o ts. It had been thrown off the trail at the crossing o f the stream, a s had the trio of trailers, and_ then, to find it again, had b{lgun to make circles around spot. each circle increasing in size, and thus crossing and recrossing the stream time and again. As the scout followed this single track unerringly he knew that they would either there find the trail of the stolen coach -hors es, or, at least, could keep on after the single one, and certainly it had &orne connectiolJ with the other, left by outlaws or else why follow on after them so diligently? He knew that not one of his scouts was absent from the fort, so it could not be one of his men, and why

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8 THE BUf'l"' ALO BILL STORIES. would any one else pursue those three stolen coach horses so untiringly, unless he knew just what it would lead him to : At last the scout halted, and in silence pointed to the ground. It was growing near night, and they were miles away from where the tracks of the three coach horses had entered the stream and been lost. But the clever plan of the single horseman had been successful in picking up the trail he so diligently had sought, for there were the three tracks again left by the coach horses. They had just left the stream, having turned up the one they entered, ridden in its bed for miles, and then left it to push on their way in the same direction they had just been going. "We'll push on rapidly, boy pards, now we have found the outlaws' trail again by following this single track. "But who can this petsistent trailer be who has aided us so well, I wonder?" On they rode until the sun was on the horizon, and Buffalo Bill said: "There is a good camping-place on a cliff a couple of miles ahead, and I think the trail leads there, or near it, at least, so if we lose it in the darkness, we will not have far to go to find it in the morning." "How far ahead of us do you think they are, Mr. Cody?" asked Harold. "The outlaws are fully thirty-six hours ahead, but this single track is not over was the answer. "You read signs well, sir. Somehow jJ1ave perfect faith that you will track Doc Driggs and the other murderers of my father down 111 trust so, and this mysterious masked leader, for Doc Driggs is only a tool in his hands, I feel certainah see there!" It was dark now, and the scout pointed ahead to where a light was visible, some distance ahead. "It is a campfire." "Yes, in the very, camping-place I spoke of." "Deathgrip sees it," and Buffalo Bill pointed to the huge and. savage-looking dog which had belonged to the murdered Midnight Mail Rider and then been given to Harold Hart by Buck Dawson. Deathgrip was sniffiing the air as he had his eyes turned upon the campfire. / "Lead on, Deathgrip," said Harold, and the dog trotted on ahead, for the trail they had been following was too cold for him to follow, so he had simply kept his place behind his young master's horse until the firelight came in view. Slowly they rode ahead, and soon discovered that the campfire was burning briskly, near the foot of the cliff, and by its light they saw a man working hard with a pick on the ground. Buffalo Bill halted, and the boys did also, all three gazing at the movements of the man with considerable interest. The fire was evidently kept up to aid him with light in his work, whatever it was. "There is only one there," said Harold. "Yes, and I see his horse staked out near," Len re marked. is the one we have been following, for the others are not there/' Buffalo Bill added. "What can he be doing?" asked Harold. "If appearances speak for anything, I would say, as he has p1ck and shovel there, that he was digging for gold." "At night, and by firelight?" "So it appears at a glance, though that is not what he is doing." "What is it then, sir?' "He is digging a grave." "Ah! but where is the body to bury in it?"' "Do you see yonder where his saddle lies?" "Yes, sir." "A blanket covers some object on the ground." "Ah, yes, and one can never mistake a dead form covered up, for it has a look peculiarly its own.'' "Y ott are right, Harold." "The man is digging a grave, and he has the corpse K,eady." "But who is the man and who was the corpse?" asked Len Ashley. "I will find out." "Hold my horse, and I will take Deathgrip with me, for he seems to see, or know, more than we do about this night burial," and Buffalo Bill pointed to the dogls great anxiety to go ahead and investigate. CHAPTER VIII. JUDGE DOOM, THE TERROR OF THE TOUGHS. Buffalo Bill threw his bridle rein to Harold, dis mounted, and patting Deathgrip on the head, said in a low tone: "Come, good dog, we'll go forward and what this grave-digging racket means, for it has a queer, uncanny look. ) The dog detective seemed to understand perfectly what was said to him and trotted alm1g behind the scout, as though fully satisfied now that somethi n g v vas to be clone that should not be put off. The two boys sat on their horses fnlly three hun dred yards from the grave digger at \ YOrk, the bright firelight revealing him distinctly. The spot where he was at work was the very one referred to by the scout as a good camping-place. There was a cliff there, a small stream, some tim ber, and a meadow land, all sheltered by surrounding hills and near ,.,, hich led no trail. Once before the scout had camped there, when hunting Indians, and he knew that there was no reason for a white rrian to visit this spot unless he was lost, or.had

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THE BUfFALO BILL STORIES. some dee p purpo se, such as the lone grave digger must have. As he drew nearer Buffalo Bill saw that the man was of splendid physique was dressed in a suit of black wore a: large-brimmed sombrero, high-top boots, and a white shirt. Abou t his waist was a belt of arms, the silver adorned weapons glimmering in the firelight he worked. His face w as darkly bron z ed and he wore a lon g brow n beard, and his h a ir fell in \vaves upon his bro ad s h oulders, but wa s well cared for, as though the man w as anx ious to appear neat and well dressed, in spite of hi s St} rroundings. U pon h is no s e Buffalo Bm observed that he wore a pair of g o ld eyeglasses and altogether tl;e lone grave digger was a very striki ng personage. But with pick and shovel he was surely digging a g rave, or had d one so, for, as the scout lo o k e d on, now n0 t t w o hundre d f eet from him, he seemed to have fin i s h e d h is weird task. C rou c hing in a g n lly, the dog by his side, Buffalo H ill was wat ching the man with increasing int e re s t a s he saw him turn fromthe grave, and walk to the spot wh ere the c o vered form l a y awaiting burial. But it wa s not the blanket-covered form that th e g r av e d igge r pick e d up. Instead he t ook in e ac h hand a canvas bag tha t see me d t o b e f ull of som e thing heavy. "If th a t is not gold in those bags, then I am away off, a nd the man I k no w well, for it is none other than th e one they call Judge Doom, the Red Hand of the Min es N ow to see what follows, for I am getting in ten se l y inte re s t e d in all this mysterious work for is that m an, the Terror of the Toughs, as he is als o ca ll ed, true or fa l se, I should like to know, and Buffalo Bill' s e yes watched e v ery movement of the man bef o re h im. 1 . He saw t he man in bla ck, ; eemingly so out of place in t h a t wild country, pick up two bags that were ap parently of c o ns i derable weight, and place them by the si d e o f the open gra \e. lnto. t h e grav e he then got, and, tf!.king the bags, d own out of sight. He remained unseen for a few minutes, and then re a p p ea red H e sprang ligh t ly out of the grave, and walked over to the place where he had gotten the other two bags, took up a couple more of about the same size as the others. The se w e re t a ken to the grave and placed within, as th e others, the fireli ght revealing distinctly all tha t w as do n e Buffalo Bill watched attentiv e ly from his place of concealment, near at hand, while the two boys in the dist ance al s o 8aw the movements of the man in but could not tell just what he was doing. The scout saw and knew that the man was burying bags of gold in that grave he had dug, and hiding them in such a way that they would not be found were it opened. He knew the man as one who Had the appearance of a gentleman, was educated, refined, and had come West for a: fortune, he said. He was known only as what he was in the mines ; a gold-hunter, one who rode a fine horse, was splendidly armed, carried a pick .and shovel tied to his saddle, would be prospecting for gold for days alone in the mountains, and with considerable success at times. He \v-as a man who dressed well, in his eccentric style for the frontier, and bore the names of the Red Hand of the Mines, Judge Doom the Terror of the Toughs, and the Man in Bla ck, from his style of attire. He was known as a dead shot, and the foe of all outlaws and desperadoes, for when they were known he at o n c e demanded a trial for them, sat as Judge Lynch himself, and they were surely sentenced to d e ath, hence his name of Judge Doom. As he had always shown himself a deadly hand with the revolve r he had been given the name of Red Hand, but to his credit be it said he never sought a quarrel, and always was on the side of peace until patience ceased to be a virtue. As the m a n had a fine voice, played the violin and guitar well, t o ld a good story, and was a brilliant con versationalist, he had become very popular with offi: cers at the fort s and f r equently visited them. But still nothing was known by any of them o.f him other than that he had come vVest to find a fortune and then meant to return East and enjoy it. The commanding officers regarded him as an able ally in putting down lawlessness on the border, though .he had a se v ere way of doing it, and yet here he was diggin g a grave in a secluded spot by night, and bur y ing gold, while a body lay also near awaiting burial. It was no wonder that Buffalo Bill did not just un derstand what Judge Doo r n, the Red H a nd, was doing. CHAPTER IX A STRA;NGE SITUATION. As Judge ,Doom d1sappeared for a second time ii1 the open grave, with the other two bags he was to bury there, the dog crouching close by the side o f Buffalo Bill gave a low growl, hardly audible, and fixed his eyes upon another spot within the arc of light from the fire. Looking in that direction, Buffalo Bill saw a man's form appear, run a few yards to a large tree, and stand behind it, where he would not be by the one in the grave when he should reappear. This second individual stood where Buffalo Bill had a good view of him. In an instant almost lte recogrlized hitn as one of ..

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10 THE BUFF f\LO BILL STORIES. D ec Driggs' crowd of fm;r that had been sent to the iort the charge of Buck Dawson. He saw that he was one of the trio who had escaped, lbe body of the fourth having been brought in by the driver. I ''1-Jis name is Loper, and if he is about then Doc Driggs at1cl the other must be somewhere near. "Things are growing more. and interesting," muttered the scout. The man behind the tree .had his rifle in hand, but it was held upright and not on a level. If he inteuded harm against Judge Doom. he was 1(\lt in a hurry, but would wait a while. .. I 'The scout also felt that he also could afford to wait. ..;The two young Texans at a distance had also seen the man rui1 from the shelt e r of the timber to the large tree. But they knew that Buffalo Bill was lying in wait anrl would look after him at the proper time. So they concluded to also patiently await develop ments. In the meanwhile Judge Doom reappeareg above the .ecJge of the grave, leaped out as before, and walked back toward the tree beneath which lay the blanket covered form. He stooped and took the blanket off, and a human face was revealed. Then he spread the blanket upon the ground, leaned oYer, and, raising the body with great ease app<\rently, placed it upon 'vhat was to ?erve as _its winding sheet. He rolled the form qp closely in the blanket, raised it. again with an ease that showed very great strength, and. bore it to the grave. Placing it on the edge, he leaped down into the grave, and, raising the form, disappeared with it in the dark a'nd loathsome depths Judge Doom was yet invisible, placing the b b dy iil the grave and seemingly taking great pains with his task of burying the dead. A moment more and his head and shoulders ap peared. Then he placed his hands upon e 1ther side gra,ve to draw himself out. . This seemed the for the m a n behind the tre tCl act. l He brought his rifle up to his shoulder, and began to clr
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THE. BUFFALO BILL STORIES 11 trigger, for the firelight revealed his form bent for ward distinttly. But it was Deathgrip, the dog, that caused the de a dly shot He nn d ged Buffalo Bill's elbow with his nose just as the scout pulled trigger. This changed the aim a little, and the bullet went into the-breast of the man behind the tree. \ V h ether Deathgrip gave that nudge on purpose, he certa inly was responsible for the man' s death the scout s fatal aim. But the sitn a tion did not Jag in interest with the death of the man behind the tree and spring of Judge Doo m to the cover of the wave. Shouts folJo-,, ved the shots from a distance, and into view das hed a party of horsemen, while the cry o f the leader was distinctly heard : "Loper. has killed him, and, by Heaven, I shall ,hang him for it. T 1ere v { ere three p e r so ns who rec o gnized that vo ice. Those three were Buffalo Bill, Haro ld Hart, and Len Ashley. They knew that it was none other than Do c Driggs w h o h a d s p o ken, the v ery man they were in search of. He hac! a strange voice and once h eard was not easily f9rgotte n. The two y oun g Texans saw in the indistinct li ght five h orse m e n das h out of the timber near them and ride f o r the campfire at full speed. They had heard them approaching before they ap peared anci stood ready { o r them, silent and anxious, et not daring to warn Buffalo Bill The two s h ots had started the scene of silence to a cti o n, f o r up o n hearing the two rifles the leader o f the horse me n h a d uttered the cry that he did. Instantly the h o rs e men ap pe ared t he t wo young Texans decided t o act. Who the man in the grave was, friend or foe,. they did not kn o w or care 1 T h e y knew Buffalo Bill's aim too well not to fe e l tha t he h a d down e d the man behind the tree. H e wa s t h e re, and five h o r semei1 were da sh in g t o w ard him. Thy knew that one of those fiv e was Doc Driggs, Buffalo Rill s foe, while the words he had ut tered se e med to indicate that he was the friend of the m a n in the grave, who m Loper h a d s o u ght to kill, for he h a d sai d he w o uld hang .him for it. They kne w tha t Loper wa s one of the. four men le f t in the ch a rge of B uck Dawson, h e nce he was an ou t l a w. \ Vith the five h o rsemen dashing toward Buffalo Bill, and Doc Driggs le a ding them, the scout's boy sure s h o t s acted promptl y and with deadly effect. "Do n t aim at Doc Dri g gs, Len, for I wish to catch him alive-he is i n the lead had said Harold H a rt. T h e t w o youths sat upon their horses in the edge of the timber. With the bright starlight, the cpen spa c e b etw ee n them and the camp, and the blazing fire l igh t t hey could see well. The fiv e horsemen had lef t t he timber not a hundred yards from where they were watching and waiting "I wouldn't kill Doc Driggs for a fo r tune, Harold, for we want him alive, not dead, as you say," was Len Ashl e y s rejoinder to his comrade's reques t t o spare the Oti.tlaw leader "All right, we ll fire now, if you are A ll r eady." "Which is vonr man?" "The one ;ext to the leader. "Good! ""I'll take the one on the '' hite horse," "All right. "Ready! aim! fire!" The rifle of Harold Hart flashed a se c ond the soon est, then the rifle barrel of Len Ashley's gun, follo w ed quickly by the shotgun barrel, loaded with bullets. Two m e n dropped from their saddles at the rifle fire, for the boy sure-shots had aimed well, while a horse fell and a rider was wounded by the shower of bullet s fro m the s h otgun barrel Len Ashley had turned l o ose in the midst of the outlaws. CHAPTER XL GOOD WORK ALL AROUND. The intention of Doc D r iggs, as the sure shots had d e cided the leader of the h o r semen was, to hang Loper if he had killed the man in the grave, was quickly changed whert he heard two rifle reports, followed by a loude r one, c o me from the timber on his left, and saw two of hi s fo ll o w e rs drop from their sadd l es H e was q uic k i n his mov e ments to protect hims e lf, and in wheeling his horse, saw an animal go down and heard a third one of his men crv out: 1 "I've g o t it in the hip cap'n.'' "Co me wi t h m e," shouted Doc D r iggs, and l ying low on the neck o f his horse, he went flying back to the shelter of the timb e r. H alt, D o c Driggs, or I will kill you!" shouted Harold Hart, springing toward him, his revo l vers drawn now Len Ashlev was close upon his heels B u t the of the youth went unheeded, while Doc Driggs and his two remail).ing comrades spurred for d ea r li f e into the timber, and continued their break n eck sp ee d thro u g h it. The youth s h a lted at the ed ge of the timb e r, listened, f o und that the outlaws were flying with all speed, and while Len Ashl e y went to get the led horse, Harold r o de on to whe y e the two had fallen, at the s ame ti m e callin g out in a loud voice: "Ho, Mr. Cody!" "Ay, ay, b oy pard!" "They w e re outlaw s five o f them, led by Doc

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f2 THE BUffALO BILL Driggs, but Len and T have two of them here and They met there, and, gtasping the scout's hand, wounded another, who, escaped with the others." Judge Doom again warmly thanked him for saving his "Good for you, boy s life, and asked: "Come on here, for I have a man dead here, and "Did you say that he was an outlaw, Buffalo Bill?" one I know is under cover i11 the grave here." "Yes, sir, one of Doc Driggs' band, the latter being "\tVe'll come right along, .sir," answered Harold, as the leader of a gang of road-agents, and whose trail I he dismounted by the two men, who lay close together. am on, along with two young pards, who seem to have As he placed the. fon1;1 of one across his saddle, Len had trouble over yonder where I left them. came up with the pack-horse, and said: "I saw your campfire, as we were.on the outlaws' "There are their horses, Harold, so I will rope them trail, and then I saw you, burying a body, just as I in." discovered this man run to this tree and take aim at This he did quickly, the bodies of the two men were you as yon appeared above the grave, so I fired, and thrown across the saddles, and the equipments of the my bnllet doubtless caused his finger to pull trigger in animal killed by Len's shotgun were stripped off, and a death clutch." also taken with tbem. "God bless you again, Cody, my good friend, for I They aclYanced slowly toward the c a mpfire ; Death-am not anxious to die yet. though I live with my life in grip bounding forward to meet then'! with a yelp of de-my hands, as it were, out here. light .atthe success that Buffalo Bill and his boy patds "I have nmch to live for, and I shall never forge t had accomplished. yo u no never," and the mar'! spoke with considerable Buffal o Bill had meanwhile attended to his end of feeling. the situation "Don't mention it, judge, fol' it just came my way The dash of the fiye mounted outlaws, the cry of to be of service Doc Driggs, and the 1 hree shots from the boys had "Now tn my boy pards!' and Buffalo Bill answered indeed bee11 a to him. . the hail of Harold Hart. He hacl recognized Loper as one of Dot Dtiggs' con1A moment after the two boys rode up with the packrades, and yet the outlaw had appeared suddenly with horse, the cap tured animals of the two outlaws, with fonr others. their tliders' dead bodies upon their backs. From whence had he come? They gazed with considerable interest ttpon the tan Who was the dead man Judge boom had put in the form in black standing by the side of Buffalo Bill, J;>ut grave? as the scout seemed not unfriendly toward him, \Vas the gold J ndge Doom had 9u1ied that which were a ssured that he was not a vet recogdi e had bt>el1 taken ft'om Buck Dawson's coach? him as the grave digger of h alf a11 hom: 1 so, how did the Red Hanel get hold of it? Then, too, what had the words of Doc Driggs meant, that if the man, Loper, had killed_ the man at the grave, he would ha!ig hirrl? These questions were a puzzle to Buffalo Bill. He could get no satisfactory answers to them in his own mind. But he would soon solve the mystery, and hence he call eel ott t : "Ho, Judge Doom, are yo u there?'' "Ay, ay, who calls me?" came the answer from the man in the grave. "I am Buffalo Bill." "Ah, Cody, glad indeed to see yott. "But who fired those first two shots?" "One I fired, and at an outlaw by the t'l
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l'HE BUffALO BILL STORIES. 13 to fincl a "fortune, I may say, in the mining coun try. "They were met by Doc Driggs and his band, and I got them out o f a scrape, and they aided me to catch the outlaws w ho had boarded Buck Dawson's coach to rob him. "\V e sent them on to the fot't under Buck's care, but they got loose in some way, wounded poor Dawson, perhaps fatally, though he killed one of the quat'tette, and three escaped with the gold, a very large sum. "We were on their trail, and found a solitary horse man also following them, and I take it that you were the man. "It's a long story, judge, but that is the situation from our standpoint." The man in black had listened with deepest interest to the scout's somewhat lengthened out story, and then shook bands with the two boys, welcomed them to the Wild and said that they could count him as one of their friends. "And that means a good deal, boy pards," said Buffalo Bill. Then Judge Doom remarked: "Well, Cody, I'll tell my story now, for I have some-thing to say of interest." "I have no doubt of it, judge," said the scout. "You know T prospect a great deal alm1e for gold?" "Yes, sir." "\Vel! 1 I vvas out on my gold hunt, with my pick and shovel, when I witnessed from a distance the outlaws h : ave the coach in the trail and go off with the three and considerable booty apparently. "I did not my rifle, only my pick and s hovel, with my helt of arms, so did not care to bite off more than I could chew by attacking them. "I was a long way from my camp, and on foot, so I set off for it, and when I got there, saddled up and 'started bark to the. scen e of the hold-up. ."The coach was gone, but I took the trail of the outlaws and followed ''h." "And tollowed it judge, for you aided us to find it when we lost it crossing of the stream." "Tt was lucky for me that I did, Buffalo Bill. "I tracked those men to this point, saw that there were three of them, shot one from cover, and dashed upon the other two. "They were just sadrlled up to leave, so mounted their horses and escaped, leaving their dead comrade and booty'behind them. "I pursued the m for sotne distance, then returned here and found the man I had killed lying by their s tolen booty. "He proved to be a man by the name of Scotty, whom I knew in the mines, and once had nursed me most kindly through a spell of illness. "I knew h im, judge. "He was Doc Driggs' right bower." "Well, he is dead now, and fo1' wnat lie liad been I determined to bury him decently. "I decided also to make the grave the hiding-place of the stolen gold, until I could report to Colonel Ramsey that I had recaptured it, so I dug into the side of the dirt wall and made a secret shelf for it to rest in. "You see I did not dare take it with me, as it was heavy, and I might b!! held up myself." "You did right, judge, and I am glad thar you retook it." "I had just hidden it away in the grave and was burying Scotty's body when I heard those shots. "Now you see I was wise, for Loper returned to kill me and get it, after his flight with Doc Driggs, and it seems that tlie latter also came back with reinforce m ents to hunt me down, kill me, and get the gold back." "That is just it, judge." "And but for you and these brave boy pards .of yours it would have been done, Cody, so you sec how deeply grateful I am to you all." "It is fortunate all around, judge, for your life was saved, yon killed one of the gang, and a hard one, too, thus saving the gold that had been taken from the coach, and I got another one, thus partly Buck Dawson, whether he gets well or dies, while my boy pards here got two more of Doc. Driggs' men, and the leader is a fugitive now, and will be very careful about making other attacks." ''I hope so, Buffalo Bill, for I have not faith in his great pluck, though he is cunning as a fox, treacher ous, and very clever in his acts of lawlessness." "He has h.is neck 1n the rope's end now, sir. and some day it will be drawn taut and Satan will get his own,'' said Buffalo Bill, and his look and tone were convincing proof that he intended that Doc Driggs should not escape him. CHAPTER XII'I. PREPARED FOR THE WORST. The gold having been recovered through Judge D oom, B uffalo Bill decided that it would be best to start with it to the fort, so there would be no danger of losing it again, as Doc Driggs would at once get others of his uand together and make an attempt to once more get possession of so valuable a treasure. The judge urged delay until the morning, after a night's camp, put the scout said they woulCl only re main long enough to bury the dead outlaws, and t1:1en start. The bodies were gathered together, wrapped in their bla11kets and all put in the same grave, the deep one dug by Judge Doom. This being filled up and l ogs placed over it, Buffalo Bill packed the gold bags upon his own led horse, and all having had supper, the start was made for the fort. Buffalo Bill led the pack-horse himself, and each the boys started with one of the <.lead outlaws' horses in

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14 ifHE BUffALO BILL STORIES. lead, the judge saying that he would go on his way to Flush City, the mining camp where he had his home. \iVith a warm handshake all around, the judge went on his way, while Buff<;t1o Bill cut across country to strike the stage trail and meet the COiich on its way to the fbrt. l He knew the driYer who wonld be on the box in place of Buck Dawson, and if he could send the gold and the two horses of the outlaws on by him, he would be able to get at once upon the trail of Doc Driggs and the two men who had escaped with him. Before parting with Judge Doom the scout had asked him his opinion as to who it covld be that was secretly the leader of the road-agent band, remarking: "I am sure that it cannot be Doc Driggs, that he is merelv the tool in the hands of some brilliant scamo who is a clever captain and yet keeps himself ur{known." "What reason have you to believe this, Cody, for I may be able to entrap him if you give me a clew to work upon?" asked Judge Doom. "That I cannot do, sir, for I do not know. "But Doc Driggs is no more the leader q that band than I am-that is, the brains of it, and that I will some day prove." "Well, call upon me whenever y o u feel that I can hel.p you." "I will do so, and I feel sure that you can aid me, or rather us, for the bovs are in the hunt with me to stay," was the scout's reply. when the stage trail was reached it was after mid night, and Buffalo Bill halted and said: "Boy pards, you saw that I kept all the extra clothing that I could get from those dead outlaws." The youths remarked that they had ob s erved the fact. "vVell, now, I'll show you what I did it for, so get to work to help me, and we will make three very respect able looking effigies of men." The boys dismounted, and while one cut some grass to use as stuffing, another got the lariats together to hind the effigies on their horses, the scout meanwhile getting each suit together to make a dummy man with. The three effigies were soon complete, and upon one was placed Buffalo Bill's hat, the other two having Har old"s and Len's sombreros for head covering. The one wearing Buffalo Bill s hat was fastened se curely upon the scout's horse, and held up r ight il::! the saddle with s t icks. The other two were arranged in like manner, upon the two horses ridden by the boys. This left the pack-animal, bearing the gold also, and the two horses belonging to the outlaws, and upon these the scout and his boy pards were to ride. "We pmst lie down on them so as to look like packs in the d a rkness, and we will play our part as well as thf' dummies will play theirs. "My horse will lead the way, just as though I was in the saddle, and all will travel in Indian file and be held together by lariats, so there will be no stamped ing." "Then you really expect to be attacked, Mr. Cody?" "Oh, yes, Harold, for Doc Driggs knew that Judge Doom would give up the gold, and I would carry it to the fort. "He could cut us off and get to this trail before we did and then ambush us. "There were three of tflem, counting the man you /" wounded, and perhaps he was not so badly hurt but that he could help in Doc Driggs' deviltry. "Even if he did not, two of them would be enough at the spot I feel sure he will select to ambush us, while he mav have others of the band near whom he can call upon to aid him." "I see, and you wish the dummies to catch the bullets intended for us." "Exactly, Harold, and we will slip off our horses and be ready for the outlaws, if they are half a dozen even." "Just give the word, Mr. Cody, and your boy pards will be w1th you to the end," said Len Ashley. "J know that well : but I'll explftin fully the plan of ambush, and just what we are to do if fired upon. "My horse will keep the others from running off, and if it comes to a fight, we will be under cover and thus have the outlaws on equal terms; but if you an outlaw, shoot to kill, unless it be Doc Driggs, and 1 he must not be shot down but captured, for I want that man alive, for he is more valuable by far living than dead. "Now we'll push ahead, and if we are not fired on, we have at least the satisfaction of being prepared." "And that is half the battle," said Harold. CHAPTER XIV. THE UNKNOWN CAPTAIN. "When the end comes and I jail those road-agents, it will be a fatal jail to them, !-promise you," Buffalo Bill had said when he had fully explained the situation and his plans to the two young Texans, Harold Hart re sponding: "I feel that it will be a terrible trail to avenge my poor father, Mr. Cody, but neither Len or myself will shrink from it, and we will try and prove worthy of our great leader." Buffalo Bill silently bowed at the compliment, and then mounting, the scout's horse was put in the lead and the uncertain trail was begun. It would take a keen eye, even in daylight, at a short distance, to say that the dummies in the saddle in advance were not real men, so at night there would be no suspicionof that kind in the minds of those who w o uld ambush them. Buffalo Bill read the plans of the outlaws from his

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1'HE BUffALO Bill long e.xpe.rience in figtiting t11em, and his knowledge of what they wonlcl do to gaiu their ends. He was morally sme that they would try and head him Qff, that. though the; had from the camp, they had not g-one far. but from .a-s iJfttapce had been watchincr them. b . Seeing t(lat they took t)1e gold. and which trail the scot1t led them by. Doc Driggs was su re to cut across and head them off by laying an ambush. \ VhateYer his vice,: were, Doc Driggs had the virtue of persistency. of always turnii1g up smiling for the -next blow. \Vhether he was really the leader or not, he was cer tainly a man that wonk! not be downed, and his plans were la id well, and always \vith a loophole of escape. lf his tt'tte courage. was doubted, he yet was trusted and his men followed his 1eacl unhesitatingly in the t !eld, no matter who might be the chief in the secre t to p!an it all. \Vhen h e had escaped from the coach, with his two companions, and gone off with the gold on the three tea m horses, Doc Driggs felt that he had accomplished wonders. gained a triumph in the face of defeat, and he bad. He todk the trail for some secret rendezvous, and he had cunningly thrown pursuit off the track when they came to the crossing of the streams. Expecting that the non-arrival of the coach at the fort, after being hours overdue, would cause a search party to be sent Ot1t for it, he supposed that it would be found where he had left it, with the driver dead, and that it would then be taken in and a report made. This done a search party for him would be sent out, he argued, but as he had gained so long a start, he did not think his trail could he found and followed, even by Bnffalo BilL Still he die! not neglect lo hide his trail at the stream and then pus h on for the rendezvous he had 1n VJeW. That rendezvous was the camp 'which Buffalo Bill had aimed for while following the outlaws' tr' ail. It was a secluded little retreat where wood, water, and grass were plentiful, and from which half a dozen cany.ons led, and trails ran up into the mountains by which to escape should the pursuit track them there. There had Doc Driggs often of late made his retreat, and there met his allies and comrades when he loqked for news or wanted men for a blow at the coaches, gold trains, or emigrants and pony riders, for all who had monev or bootv fell under the ban of the outlaw raiders. As the three escaped outlaws and successful robbers came in sight of the retreat, Doc Driggs saw that some one was there before him. A second glance showed him who it was, for he said: "Pards, there is the chief. and you bet we is lucky ter git away and crib Doc Dawson's gold." "So we is." "I'm a thinking we is in htck," were the answers of the t\vo men. and all seemed to stand in wholesome awe .of their chief, whoever he was. As they drew nearer their eyes fell upon the one whom Doc Driggs had recognized as ,their chief. He sat upon his horse as though he had just arrived, and \vas a,,,aiting them. But neither man nor horse was hardlv more than visible in outline. The animal was covered from head to foot with a green cloth that co ncealed. head, ears, and body, ha.les for and nostrils alone being cut in it. The cloth covered the saddle and brielle as well; the rein passing through holes i n it. The rider vvas also eiweloped in a green domino, with a cowl over the head, .serving as a compl e te mask. All that cou-ld be .made out w as tha t the horse and his rider were' both large in stature. If the rider was armed no weapon was visible, and only through the holes in his cowl-mask could his eyes be seen. "l am here in tini.eJ Driggs, so what haYe you to report?" said the masked chief, in a 10\Y, deep voice, that had a dangerous ring to it. ".A. great deal, captain, for I has had both bad luck and good." ''Out with it then, for I have busine ss calling me elsewhet'e, and I heard in the mines that you had made a bad break in yonr work, ,,,.-hich was all well planned for you. "If you cannot execnte what I plan, I must find an other lieutenant who can and the ma3ked outlaw leader spoke sternly. CHAPTER XV. THE OUTLAW LIEUTENANT'S REPORT. With no show of ill will at the remark of the unknown leader to put another man in his place, Doc Driggs said : "I has ter report, sir, that with six men, I took a on the Overland trail to catch the coach of Buck Dawson on its nm tlirough westward, as you ordered me ter do:" -"\Vell?" "\Ve seen a horseman coming, so either had terrope him, or give up the ambusli, and I decided ter nail him." "But he escaped you?!' "No, sir, we roped hirn, and he had considerable money with him, a good horse, and outfit." "You have all?'' "No, sir, fer he had a pard, too, that were behind on ther trail, 1111.1St have seen our work, SO chipped in and kilt Sam--" "I don't care who he killed, only if he rescued his pard'?" "No, sir, he didn't, but he got in another shot that wounded---"

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THE BUFf' J\LO BILL STORIES. "All right, and rescued his friend?" "No, sir, we chased him off, and was about ter hang his pard, when up comes Bill." "Ha; the chief of armv scouts!" "Yes, sir." "That settled it, for, of course, he received the pris one r and got back the booty." 1'Vve had ter yield ter Buffalo Bill, sir, fer you knows what he is." "And he was alone?" o, sir, he had the pard of our prisoner with him and we give up all, and they went on ther trail, while we laid fer ther coach." "And got it and its booty?'' "No, sir, we got ther devil, .fer Buffalo Bill had cut around 'vith them two kids, got inter ther coach, and you bet we jist got lead instead of gold." "You alw ays will when you buck against Buffalo Bill." "But I do not blame you so much when he is your foe. and plays the game against you. "But what else?" "V.fe could only Iay fer the coach on its way back, and which you had told me wonld carry out a big sum in yellow metal." "Did it?" "We gold, yes, sir." "Well?" "Vle, me and three others, jist played miners going home, got aboard ther coach and laid out ter hold up Buck Dawson at a certain point on ther trail." "And dirl. ?" "No, sir, we were held up, fer Buffalo Bill and them two kids was met, Buck sung out that we was bad medi c\ne, and they just pulled off our disguises and hed us tied up in no time." "And then?" "\Ve were sent to ther fort with Buck Dawson 111 charge." '\Vhat then?" "Vve didn't go." "\Vhy not?" "\Vel!, cap'n, I has small hands and I jist slipped 'em free of ther lariat thet tied me, Jet ther other fellers go, and so held up Buck Dawson, fer I bed saved a small Derringer hidden in this secret pocket in my britches leg, yer see, sir." "You are not so bad after all, Driggs." "Thank yer, sir." "Go on." "Vve hed ter kill Buck Dawson, fer he's a bad one, as you know." "Yes, and a good one in his way, too, as I also know. "I an1 sorry you l
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THE BUFfALO BILL STORIES. 17 laws that he had made them a study as he had the "You know just to do. Loy pards, so I need Indian and his ways. say no more. He knew that there were very able men among the "Remember, howeyer, n o t to kill Doc Driggs if you lawless element of the border, men who would have can help doing so, for he is too valuable a man to be "l.ade a name for themselves as soldiers and in other shot-he must hang." honest professions. The boys made an appropriate reply in a low tone, Thwarted in one way1 these men would turn to anand. on they rode in silence. other plan, plot out another scheme, to gain their end, "'Here!'' said the scout in a whisper, as they ascended and there was no one who appeared to be more clever a hill to the summit. at this pJrk than was Doc Driggs. The trail led over the ridge there, and among bowl-If he did have a leader behind him, he certainly ex-ders and dwad pines that gave a fine shelter to amecuted the plan of campaign well. bushers. The man's courage might be doubted, his daring of But all was as silent as death there, and a deer sudaction, yet, still, he would make up in cunning and dedenly bonnded away qefore them, having evidently termination what he lacked in bravery. been asleep and just aroused by their presence. \Vhen Buffalo Bill, therefore, took in the situat{on, "That is proof positive that there are no outlaws in of liow Judge Doom had gottc:;.n possession of the gold ambush at this place, or that deer \vould never have taken from the coach, ancl knew that the man Loper been here," called back Buffalo Bill, no longer speaking had come back alone to get possession of it for himself, in a subdued tone. he m a de up his mind that Doc Driggs was playing a "How far is it t.o the next place, sir?" asked Harold double game. Hart. , He half believed that Doc Driggs was in league with ' About two miles, and Doc Driggs is really most Loper but had, after giving him time to assassinate likel:9' to be there, as, now I come to think of it, the the judge and get the gold, gone with the men whom he outlaws would have more time to get into position, and had met on the trail to get back the treasure, should his it is really more every way." ally havt; failed ''For them?' Foiled in this by the two young Texans, and with "Apparently for them, for the shelter is better, but the loss of two of his men, Doc Driggs would, in the really for us, for we can from the direction we come scout's mind, be but that more determined to regain command .the position and drive them out." possession of that gold. "I only hope they will be there, Mr. Cody, for we Knowing the country most thoroughly, as he cer-are steadily thinning out the band." tainly did. and aware that it was Buffalo Bill who had "Yes, Len, but there are plenty more of the same recaptured the gold bags, Doc Driggs would feel cerkind of material in this cotmtry for the leaders to draw tain that it would be taken at once to the fort. by the upon. :;cout. "It is the chief and his lieutenants that we must cap-So Doc Driggs ar:guecl, as the scout believed, and turc, and then the band will quickly disperse. hence it was that the latter managed to be held up on "Be on your guard now, boys," and no more \Vas the wav or ambushed. said as they approached the second place of ambush This. Buffalo Bill, with his boy pards, hacl prepared which the scout had decided the outlaws would se lect ior, as has been seen. Whether Doc Driggs would have more men witi'i him thah those he had escaped with from the fire of the boy sure-shots, Buffalo Bill could only conjecture; but if he had three, including himself, and fired from an ambush, they would be one each for himself and two youths. Knowing the country as he did, Buffalo Bill could readily place just the point of ambush, as he felt sure Doc Driggs would take down the valley to re ach the Overland trail and woi1ld seek the very spot for an ambush and then lie in wait until the scout came along with the recaptured treasure. vVhen they were drawing nigh to this piace the s cout had decided which would be Doc Driggs' selection of an ambuSh, and he called back: "We are nearing one of the two places he will select, if be has done as I believe he has. CHAPTER XVII. THE SCOUT' S FATAL FOIL. As the t hree horses in the lead, carrying their dummy riders, reached the place of amhush, as decided by Buf falo Bill, the latter and his boy c::ure-shots l ay low upon the backs of the animals they rode, to appear to resemble pack-saddles. This place also was a hilltop, and it was heavily timbered along the summit. The trail led up from the valley. turned on the ridge and ran along it for a considerable distance. Just when the trail reached the summit there were groups of rocks of large size, but no trees. Further on the trees began, and were the outlaws in ambush there, then they were among the rocks and had left their horses among the timber in hiding.

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18 THE BUFFALO Bill STOR I ES. From tt1e rocks they could see by the starlight the party coming along the Yalley and then up the hill. The horsemen approach e d at a 'walk the animal of Buffalo Bill leading the way. Tht; three dummy riders S\vayed in t h eir sa ddles l ike men who were worn out and had gone to sleep. The three real riders w e re pro strate upo n the b a cks of their horses looking like p ac k s s t rap p e d on the a ni mals. It would take very clo s e o bse rvation t o see that the leader was not Buffalo Bill in that mountain l i ght. As the party re a ched the foot of the hill, Deathgrip, who had been trotting h y th e s ide of H a rold Hart, gave a low growl. "They are there, f o r that is Dea tbgrip's warning." whispered the scout. "All right, sir/' came in a whi s p e r f r o m each y o u t h Again Deathgrip gave a growl. and th e n an o the r Even in that light he could be seen t o bri s tle up s a v agely and show his teeth "All right, D ea thgrip. Keep qu iet!'' sa id Buff alo 'Bill. This t old the int e llige n t d o g 1 hat his warni n g grcnvls were heeded, and he trotted s ilently along once more Up the hill trail they began to.mount, the dummies swaying wildly as though they were rider s fast asleep Ne::uer and nearer to the top of the ridge they drew until, when Buff a lo Bill's horse was among the b o wl de r s, there suddenly blazed out half a dozen bright flashes, as many reports were heard and s t x bullets went tearing through the dummy riders. Lying upon his horse as he was, Buffalo Bill had his r ifle at a level, and with the flash of the weapons from over the rocks. he also fired and a death cry followed. Then as he slipped from his horse and sprang t o the shelter o( the rocks he heard the report of the shot g u n barrel l oaded with bullets, fired by Len Ashley, and the sharp crack of Harold Hart's rifle. None knew better than did the scout that D oc Driggs h ad gotten more men t o h im in the ambus h He h ad counted half a dozen sho ts, he was s u re,. and, knowing, even if he had killed his man, and he was pretty su r e that he had, that they had big odds to fight, he played a game of clever strategy to help them o u t, for he shouted : "Boys, t hey have shot the dummies full o'f holes, so now all of you show yottrselves and at them!" He gave a yell, as also did the two Texans, and they sounded as though half a dozen men were hidden among the horses, which had come to a hal t and stood t he firing w ithout stampeding But just then D o c Driggs had shown a caution that had often g i ven his men cause to doubt h i s cou rage. He would never hold on against a s u rprise, never stand 'and fight it out, even with even numbers. He would rather r un off and leave his turn of l uck fo r another day than take chances of capture and death t hen. The momen t that h e had given tlie order to his half dozen followers, w hom he had met and done just what B uffalo Bill had anticipated he would d o to fire tw o e ach at the supposed three horsemen he realized that the y were trapped that they had fired upon mock rid e rs. He h a d fired his revolver at the leader, feeling sure tha t the two rifles and his shot would surely bring clown th e mighty and invincible scout. But \\' ith the scout's return fire, which killed the man by his side. the shower of bullets from the sh otgtm bar rei of Len Ash l ey's weapon, and which seemed t c come from R dozen men, and wounded two of the g a ng, Doc Driggs l ost no time in meditation, but h oun decl over the ridge and sped a\vay like a deer c all i ng ty)On th e others to follow him. Three of them did so, but three did r i ot. .Tho s e \rho d i d .not had started up o n their last trail, or r a ther, o n e had, and two were fatally wou n ded. CHAPTER XVIII. T H E D Y I N G 0 U T L A \V Buffalo Bill was too good a general t o J e t his e n emy see his weakne s s Did he and the two boys clash out fro m among the rocks the o utlaw s would see them as distinctly as they d i d t h e fugitives. ''Don't fire, boys, for we do not know which one may be Doc Driggs, called out the scout to the boys, and then in a l oud tone he shoute d : ''Come on \\'ith your cavalry, Captain Evans, and you can capture the outfit. It seemed that the four flying forms s eemed to doub l e their pace at hearing this, and, anxious to keep them going at the same pace, Bill said: "I w ill open with my repeating rifle, Len and you turn loose your arsenal again, and they will think a whole is firing, but aim low, for Doc Driggs must n o t be shot." The shotgun sent i ts shower of bullet s as the re peating rift'!:! rattled, and the fugitives sped along like frightened deer : "There they go, captain! "Your men can cat c h them, sir," shouted the scout, and cheers were given just as the speeding outlaws dis appeared in the da r kness of the timber further along the top of the ridge "Pards, it was a success," cried the scout he began to lead the horses up to the top of the hill. "If was a most fatal foil to their trap, you see, sir.'' cried Harold. ".You remain here and dismount the dummies as soon as you have looked to those poor fellows groaning there, and I will scout along on foot with Deathgrip to see if. they have left any hor.ses and gone in earnest," said Buffa l o Bill. He went off as. h e spoke, the dog at h i s side, and \

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BUff J\LO BILL STORIES. 19 soon disappeared toward the timber, and there the boys heard the rattle of his rifle, followed by his warcry and loud commands. This told them that he was simply pushing the fugitives along. Harold and Len approached the two men, whose groans touched their hearts. The battle was over then, and they could be merciful to those vvho a moment before had sought to kill them. "My poor fellow, can I help you?" "\Vho are you?" came with a gasp. "l\.iy nq.me is Harold Hart, if it will do you any good to know," was the reply, in a kindly tone. The effect was startling, for the wounded man gave a shriek that checked the groaning of his dying pard near. "No, no; you are not Harold Hart, for he is dead: I helped kill him, and the grave does not give up its dead. "No, no no; I have always said that the dead cannot come hack to life. You are not Harold Hart!" The words were pitiful, and though the lips that con fessed that he was one of the murderers of the Midnight Mail Rider, the young Texan replied in the same gentle way: "I am not Harold Hart the Mail Rider, but his son and namesake. "I came here to find my father and found' him dead, murdered, and his body thrown into a cavern." "I helped do it, and I knew that the dead would not come back. "I knew him well, and your voice, your size, are tbe same as the Mail Rider's. "Yes, you must be his son." "Why did you murder my poor father?" "I had to." ."Why?" "I had my orders." "\,Yho from ?" "God knows, for none of us do save Doc Driggs." "He knows?" "Yes." "You refer to your secret leader?" "Yes." "No one save Doc Driggs knows who he is?'' "No." "Do you not suspect ?" "No." "You know nothing about him?" "Only that he plans the work and Doc Driggs carries it out." "Why did he kill my father?" "For that which all men and women sin for-gold." "To rob him?" "Yes." "But there was no need to kill him." "Did you know your father?" "Oh. yes and he was a noble man." uThat he was, and a brave one. "I knew him years ago; but he was not a man to submit to robbery, and he resisted against big odds, killed two of our band, and fought until b,. is dog fell and he was too weak to do more, for his horse had escaped and nm off. "But got the mail bags and it was a big haul. "That is the story, Harold Hart, of how your father died, and often has his cruel death haunted me, for I was from. Te..-xas and I knew him well, poor man." "You are from Texas?" Yes." "\IV hat is vour name?" "I will not tell you," was the faint reply. CHAPTER XIX. THE CONFESSION. "I will not seek to kno\v what vou do not care to tell; but, come, let me see if I can help you, for I have neglected it too long, and your wound may not be mortal." "It is, I feel certain. "Yes, it must be." "Do yon wish to die?" "If I live now it will be to end my life upon tlie gallows." "I am sorry for you." "Sorry for the man who helped kill your father?" "Yes, for men seldom intend to go wrong, arid circmnstances make them do so oftener than a deliberate intention to sin." "You are like vour father, for he \vas one to look kindly on all who went wrong. "\i\Thy, time and again he had argued with me, telling me to give up my evil life, bnt all to no purpose, and now you see the end." "Yes, I fear your wound is fatal," said Harold, as he examined the wound as well as he could. "I hope so. "But do you know who killed me?" "No." "You did." "I?" "Yes, you were on the gray horse." "Yes." "You fired at me, and then leaped off your horse and ran to that rock yonder." "I am sorry." "T t is justice, for I fired upon your father also; I was one of those who did, but .it was because he would have killed me in the fight, not knowing me then in the darkness. "Others fired also, and Doc Driggs was one, and Brassy was the other, for he was shot three times." "Three times ?" "Yes, and knifed also, while Doc Driggs alsf, hit him over the head with a revolver.

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20 ifHE BUffALO BI L L "He fouglit nard and was game to the last." "Doc Dtiggs and Brassy \Vere the others who fired the fatal shots at my father?" "Yes.", ''Doc Dtiggs led you to-night?" "Yes, but got away, as he always does." "And Brassy?" "He .was along to-night also, but got away, for he is lucky, too, but I am nbt." "Doc Driggs and Brassy," said Harold Hart, as though thinking aloud. "Yes," murmured the man. "You have given me my death wound; but to avenge your good father Doc Driggs and Brassy must also die." "I shall not forget." was the stern reply. Then Harold turned to Len Ashley, who had been for some time a listener to what had been said and asked : "What about the other wounded man, Len?" "He died a moment after I got to him." "You have heard what this man has said?" "Yes." "He is dying, Len, and is a Texan." "Yes." "He knew my father, was once his friend, and I wish to in some way help him, but he will not tell me his name." "So I hearcl, so let it go." "No, for he may have some one clear to him whom he would like to send a parting word to, and I would be glad to carry out his last wishes." "Would YOU?" "Indeed i would if in my power." "Could you tell that I was dead, and yet not tell how I died?" "Yes indeed?" "And your pard, there?" "'i\Tould also keep your secret." "What is his name?" "Leonard Ashley.'' The man gave a start and asked: "Son of the ranchero of Sunset Ranch?" "Yes. "I knew him, though I have been long years from Texas. 'Have you any kindred there?'' "Yes." "Some whom you love?' "Yes..'' "And who love vou ?" "Yes, oh yes. "I have been a bad man, but they do not know it, though they believe I have been only unfortunate in f b my usmess. "You see, they have helped me time and again, and begged me to come home and live with them. "But I had gone to tne l:iacl, you see. got worse ana worse. "Harold Hart, your father recognized me, but he was true as steel and never told on me, and tried hard to get me to "We will your secret, too!" "How will you tell that I died?" "Shot in a fight with outlaws." "That will be true, and say that you beard my last words?" "Yes." 1 "That I had to leave, had still been un fortunate?" "Yes." "I believe 1 will trust you, and quick, for I am grow ing very faint." "Take this Harold gave him a drink from his tanteen, at1d, partially reYived, the man said: "I am that hoy's uncle, for his mother is my sister, Ranchero Ashley's husband. "Now vou know." "Yes, Len Ashley has with him money he bronght from his father to give to you to help you. "I half suspected who you were when you said you were a Texan." "And you vvill not tell those who love me and ba live me true, just what I am?" "Never !" "Yon swear it?'' "Inclee
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1'HE BUFFALO Bill who cared for him need never know that he was other. than they believed. "I liave many such secrets locked in my breast, :1ever to be revealed. "But we must get a move on us, for there is much to clone yet." "The ontlaws escaped, then, sir?" "Those who do not remain here did." "And Doc Driggs?'' "Had his usual good luck, but he will tm; n up again, md soon, for he must redeem himself, so look out for his next blow "V-/hen and where wiil that be, sir?" "Perhaps to-night when the coach comes along." "So soon ?" "Yes, he i s a smooth one and no mistake." "I should like to give this mart decent burial, sir, for n1y mothe r's sake," said Len Ashley. "Certainly. I hold no ill will toward the dead and we will bury the three bodies, your kinsman, however, 1part from the others. "We \\ill get right to work, and be ready for the :oach when it comes along, fo r Deathgrip can stand ;uard." The dog mts accordingly placed on guard some l it' Oi1ile we keep his trail." "Mr. Cody, seem to know jus t what these men will do," said Harold. "It's a guess. you know, yet may be a good one; but it is worth plotting. against," -was the answer of the scout, and after a mot11ent he continued: "'vVe will bring Ott!" dummies use again, a t least two of them, and I'll tell you q1y plan." The two boys were all attention to hear it, and Buffalo Bill continued: I will slip away back on the trail, halt Ad Wil son, the driver, and tell him the situation. "Then I will riue back with him in the coach, and so be h ere to halt him in a loud vo ice, that the spy, if there i!:i one, can hear, after which we will discuss the plan I have in view. ''But ym1, Harold, I wish to remain here to play the part of the three of us, aided by two ,of the dummies, while Len and I secretly go on in the coach. "You mu st follow at a short distartce behind the coach, Harold, and when you are needed come Qn quickly with your bogus riders and lend what aid you can." ''I will, sir, and I believe your plan will again thwart the outlavvs, clever as Doc Driggs is in his schemes,'' All the while the three pards were at work the clog had been on guatd, though he had been very nervous, and several times had come up to his young master a11d w hi11ed. said Harold, while Len remarked: "He wa11ts t o tell us someth1ng, and I believe I can guess it," said scout. "Yes, h e runs up to me anq goes back again in a very strange way," responded Harold Hart. "That means that the band have not wholly left ns, but we shall hear of them again. "Being fore\Yarned is being forearn1ed, so we will b e prepared for Doc Driggs' next move," said Buffalo Bill. The scout in his search after the outlaws in the timber hacl found the horse s of the three who had been killed and led them with him, placing them Nith the others before joinitig the two youths and dying man. He now clecider l upon meeting the next plot of Doc DriQe-s with more strategy. so said: "l feel sure that we will be a ttacked, or rather the will, for if there has not been a spy upon u s ':l'vi y! But it is an life one lives out here. "I thought there "
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21 THE BUfFALO BJLL STORIES. Involuntarily the driver drew his team to a halt, though with fear and trembling. "Is it so-is it a warning?" he asked in a Voil:e that showed rtervousness. "It is all right, Ad. "Dismount as though you were repairing your harness, so I can talk with you. "l am Buffalo Bill." Reassured now, the driver said "Darn that harness, it's broke again-whoa!'' With this he got from his box and Buffalo Bill stood close to his stde. "Ad, we are on the trail of the road-agents, and have had several fights with t!1em one-half a inile ahead on the ridge. "We got three of them, but I feel sure they are spying to see if we send the gold on with you, for we have recaptured what they took from Buck Dawson." "Good for you, Buffalo Bill, and it's just like you. "How many of your scouts are with you?" "None, 1 have but two boy pards, but they are enough." "I heard of them at the fort, and you know best. "Count !Tie in to help you." "Well, I'll slip into the coach, and when you reach tlie place I'll get out, call to you to halt, and explain wnat I wish in a loud tone, so if they have any spy watching he can hear and run on with the news to his pards." "That's all right." "Then I will get into the coach, witli one of my boy pards, and be with you when we are needed." "That's fine." "And my other young comrade will follow in time to lend a helping hand." "Good again." "All this may be for nothing, but I believe that my suspicio n is right, and it is est to be preparea, Ad." "Every. time." After a few words more Buffalo Bill slipped into the coach. Ad Wilson remounted to his box and drove on once more, his mind greatly relieved to feel that he had the scout and his boy pards to pro tect him. As he neared the spot where his young pards were awaiting him, Buffalo Bill slipped out of the coach and gliding among the rocks got ahead on the trail, while he called out : "Ho, Ad Wilson, halt, o.ld man; for I have news for you!" The coach came to a standstill, and the driver inno cently asked : "Who are you, for it's down-grade work halting on this trail." "I am Buffalo Bill; I thought you would recognize my voice, Ad." "All right, Pard Cody:; I do now." "Anything gone wrong?" "Yes, we were fired on here by road-agents, but we had planned to block their game and got three of them. "The. rest have gone as though the devil was after them and will lie mighty low now for a time." "That's good. "They deserved all they got." "I want you to take their horses, three of them, on to the fort with you, and report the affair to Ramsey, telling him we missed here a trio of them. "I'll do it." "And I'll give you a valuable freight to carry on, too, Ad, the same that got p o or Buck Dawson into trouble." "You order, Pard Cody, and I'll obey. "But won't you go along, too?" "You see, I wish to pick up the trail of those fel lows when day dawns, for it is time they were run to their lair." "That's so, and you'll run them there if anybody can .. is the dust?" "In bags on my pack-horse." "vVho have you along?" "Two boy pards, and they can't be beat." "vVell, give the word and I'll do as you say.'' This conversation was carried on in rather a loud tone, and all the while Deathgrip was on guard ov. in the timber where the outlaws had disappearedk' their fight. The gold bags were handed up to the driver, and the horses with the dummy riders were kept in the background. Then the three animals taken from the outlaws were hitched to the rear of the coach and Buffalo Bill and Len Ashley s lipped inside, leaving Harold Hart a short distance back among the rocks with the two mounted dummies. Calling out good-by to the driver, Buffalo Bill added that he should have no fear, as the outlaws would trouble him no more. Then tl:!e scout and Len settled in silence back upon the seats, while Harold, mounting his horse, with the other animals in lead, among them the pack-horse, started to ride back over the trail. But he only went a short distance, w hen he turn and followed on after the coach. CHAPTER XXII. DOC DRIGGS IN AMBUSH. The coach rolled on its way over the dark trail, Ad Wilson skillfully handling his team, while, well acquainted with the way, he knew just what was before him in the way of rugged driving. But Ad's thoughts were as bus y as his hands, and he was anxiously awaiting the hold-up, which he now felt most certainly would occur.

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t'HE_ BUFfALO BILL STORIES. -. Bi.tffalo Bill had suggested to him several points eie 1-ie might expect i t_. and had shown him that the daws wonld not wish to go any nearer to the fort n they had to. fhen he had stated how easy it would have been one of the men, who knew the locality of the last : d-up, to make his way along the ridge to within tring distance of what took place there, and then, rning what be done, to quickly make the ; cent o f the n.igged hill to the valley through which coach must go, and where he could join his comles by a wa1k of half a mile, while Ad vVilson \vould 1 e s everal m iles to cover in reaching the same spot foll o wingaround the regii-1ar road. [t was Buffalo Bill's knowledge of the locality that tbled him. to guess the outlaws would do, if ry beli e v e d that the gold would be sent on in Ad i lson s tare to the fort. !\gain it w a s only with the scout, yet he very exact i n his surmises and having ar,ranged thw art the outla ws, both Ad \Vilsori and Len Ash-felt m orally sure that the hold-up would come. fhe driver was naturally most anxious, as, withom n o m ent of warning he might be greeted with a t that would hurl him down from his box. But they were brave .men, these 0Yerland stage "'r4, and A d VJ 11son philosophica1ly remarked self as he droYe along: 'If I go under, Ruffalo Bill and his kid I aveng e me." -Hardlv had he thus comforted himself when frorn h side o f the trail flashed a shot that momentarily im1ned the darkness., The hvo rifles were both aimed at the same object, head of Ad wilson, the philosophical driver They had been the summons to halt. The outlaws were in earnest now. They would waste no words, not one. If Buck Dawson was clead, Ad Wilson should fol v him quickly. Tilet e was a fortune at stake, and Doc Driggs had fore gotten possession -Qf it and then lost it. He would take no more chances, but get the gold all hazards. He must redeem himself in the eyes of the unknown el He must get the better of Buffalo Bill, and, re ced as his force of ontlaws was to himself and f<>ur !n, he wonld show that he_ was a match for the great mt. Just wh
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24 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. scout's head, and down dropped the man just behind Doc Driggs. \Vith a bound the two men at the head of the leaders started for cover, firing at random as they ran. But a shot came from the box and an outlaw fell. The remaining man of the four turned as if be wildered, ran up the trail, and darted into the timber. There he leaped upon the first he came to, made a quick flank n;10vement, and regained the trail and dashed right upon Harold Hart, and, as he sup posed, two others. "Halt! hands up!" shouted Harold. The man was desperate now and he fired his re volver full at the youth. The bullet cut through the fleshy part of his arm. Dashing spurs into his horse the maddened and ter rified outlaw tried to rush by Harold, when the youth, whose revolver had been from his right h and by the shock of the wound, had drawn a second weapon in his left, and sent a bullet into the head of the horse, almost upon him Dowp went the animal, throwing his rider hard, bnt ere the dazed outlaw could spring to his feet the youth had slipped from his horse and had his revolver muz zle pressed hard in his face. or I wj!l kill you without mercy! was stern demand. "If I have to, I haYe to," was the sullen reply. "Hold your hands above your head!" "They is up." "Now turn vour back to me!" It was done, and the youth ran his knife through the leathern belt, letting the weapon dtop to the ground. "Ho, Harold, need any help?" cried Len Ashley as he came running to the scene. "Only to tie this fellow, Len." "Fll do it with pleasure,' you bet!" .an d running to the fallen horse of the outlaw, Len got the stake rope and. soon had the man securely bound. "All well with the coach, Len?" "Oh, yes, and we got Doc Driggs alive, and this man is Brassy, of whom you have been told !" "Good." "Then we have the two I wanted most. ":attffalo Bill thinks we have got the whole now, save the unknown ch-ief." "I hope so. "But no one was hurt, the scout or you?" "No, but Ad wilson had the closest of calls, for he was fired upon without warning, and one bullet gave him a scalp wound, knocking him silly for a few sec onds, and the other struck his pipe in his side pocket and glanced, only giving him a ruge shock." "I am glad, indeed,._it is no worse." "Yes, but he was soon out for bear, and got one of the outlaws as-they skipped off." 'How many were there?" . "Just four." "And you can account for three?" "Yes." at "Doc Driggs, too?" "Oh, yes." e1 "There is no mi stake?" "Not any." "That is good news, for tl1e sco).lt was so anxious t a catch him alive. " \Vell, he did, for when he s tuck his nose into th i : c oa ch to look np the gold he was grasped b y the throa\v, by Buffalo Bill, and felt the weight of two drives ol the latter's fist that put him t o sleep for a minute." pr "But he is notbadly hurt?" "Oh, no." "And the other man?" "I got him, Harold, as he came up with D Driggs." "Then with thi s man all are present o r accounte for?" "Yes." "At least so Doc Driggs told Buffalo Bill and h said the man who had escaped, thi s one here wh didn t, you !mow, was named Brassy." "That settles it Len, and the scout has kept hi pledge to ns, but that unknown chief must also be ru down. "That is what Buffalo Bill just said, and that m ;an. he will be; hut he hopes to make Doc Driggs give th unknown chief awa v "I wonder if he ;.,ill." "It is to be hoped so; but, come let us go back t the coach with yonr pri so ner. "I'll bring the horses. The dead horse of the outlaw was stripped of sad die and bridle by Len, and then the twb pards starte with the otheranimals and the prisoner to-j oin th scout, Harold Hart. for the first time making know to his friend that he was wounded. ''I got a bullet in the arm, Len, and it is bleeclin rather too freely," he said. CHAPTER XXIV. A TELL-TALE NOTE. Buffalo Bill was fatind with D oc Driggs and th driver. The outlaw leader was bound hand ?nd foot, and fire having been built by the trail, his face s howed th severity of the scout's blows. The-villain looked really a pitiable object, and sat on a rock with downcast appearance generally. The driver had made a m ost wonderful double es cape from instant death. But for his large pipe wor in a pocket on his left side the bullet that glance would have entered his brea st. The other bullet had struck a gold pin which up the rim of his hat, mashed it and, cutting

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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIE!. 21 he felt, had a wound in the scalp. It was an l ther marvelous escape. But Buffalo Bill, ascertaining that neither shot had a u s ed any real damage, brought up the two dead out !.W S and placed them near the firelight, just as Len eturned with Harold a nd the prisoner, leading the 1 or s es. M r. Cody, Harold got his man, but I fear he is ;Gadly wounded, called out Len, anxiously. In an instant the scout was by the side of the youth, iis coa t was drawn off the shirt-sleeve opened and the l:Vound exposed. J "Good! It cut its way through so there will be no l robing he said. The lo n g experience of Buffalo Bill with wounds 1ad taught him much, and, as he always carried lint, Jandages and remedies with him, he was not long in 1etting to work. (' "It has bled rather freely Harold, but is only a flesh w ou n d and is not at all serious. I will fix it up all ight and y ou can go on with Ad \Nilson to the fort." A nd you, sir ?" { "Vv7 ell, Len and I will make a search for the last of :he band, the unknown chief, and I believe we'll find [ s li m after I ha v e had a talk with Doc Driggs." "No, Mr. Cody, I g9 with you and Len, if this fVOUnd is not serious. I must be in at the finish of u s game!" pluckily the boy. e "All right! I'd like to have you with us, and if our wound does give you trouble you promise me you will start at once for the fort?" "Yes, sir I promise." "That settles it. Now I'll have a talk with Doc Driggs here, and if he don't tell what I wish to know r.r will try Brassy. t "Ad, we'll have to detain you a while to wait for ]-our prisoners." .. 1Don't menti o n i't, c;Iuef, for I came near to making this spot my forevermore," earnestly re. f'Pl ie d the dri v er. Turning then to Doc Driggs Buffalo B1ll said: "See here Driggs, you are about worst man in the s e mines, sa v e one, and, as you are the tool of that one, I am willing to let the buzzard go to catch the eagle so tell me now who is your unknown chief?'' "You off e r me pardon, do you?" "No; life." r "Ho w i s that?" e "I will give y ou my pledge that you s hall not be hanged but, in s tead be sent to prison for the term rlof years the cour:t may decide." "And I am to betray my chief?" "Yes, that is the price.'1 "I won't do it." "Then you'll have to hang!" "I may, but I am not l)anged yet, and the man I jcall chief will see to it that I do not hang!" :1 "He may, and he may not I But as you will not tell, I'll give Brassy the chance." "No, yer don't, Buffalo Bill, fer I don't know who he is." "You don't know who the unknown chief of your band is?" "I don't, fer a fact." "I do not believe yon." "It's ther truth, fer all the orders that come ter us were given by Doc Driggs, and only he knows who the chief is.'' "You have never seen him?" "Yes, but not ter know him, fer he was allers cov ered up from his head to his f-eet, and his horse was also the same. "No, I'd squeal mighty quick ter have my life ef I know'd, fer I hain't stuck on being hanged a little bit, and Doc Briggs is a durned fool ef he don't tell.'' "I'll be a durned fool, then, fer I will not tell.'' "You mean this, do you ?" "I does, Buffalo Bill, so don't make no mistake; I'll ha1;1g before I tell.'' "All right! Hang you will, and your unknown chief as well, for I have a clew and I'll root him out, though I can hardly believe I can possibly be on the .:izht track. -" A d. you must tak e these prisoners on with you, nd I'll see to it that they cannot get free as tliey did o nce before with Buck Dawson. "But, first, I'll search them well. That may give a clew.'' At this Doc Driggs turned deathly white. He fairly shook as though seized with sudden terror. Several times he tried hard to free his hands and to get to his pocket. Buffalo Bill saw all this, and went on with his searcl1 the more interestedly. He found an inner belt of gold, a watch bearing the initials "H. H.," and a Texan star, which Harold at once recognized as having belonged to his father. But, better than all, was a sealed envelope, addressed in pencil. 1 The scont read the addre ss, tore open the envelope a nd read what was writt e n on the slip of paper within. IIe made no cornment a s to the contents, but re marked: "No" Ad, you can go on and report to Colonel Ramsey what has happen@cl, telling him that I start at once with my boy team t o the Red Ridge Mining Camp and ho] i e to have another prisoner for him soon." CHAPTER XXV. THE TRAIL)S Ad \Nilson drove on his way, a happy man, Just as day began to break. He had the captured o utlaws horses in lead behind

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26 THE BUffALO BILL STORIES. the coach, and their riders in the vehicle, the two dead men on the front seat, the two living tied securely to the rear. Doc Driggs and Brassy were both silent as their dead comrades, for despair had settled upon them. The gold had been taken upon the box, and the driver was congratulating himself upon Buffalo Bill's success and the great victory that he had won with the aid of his two Texan sure-shots. ., He also had cause of congratulation over his na; row escape, and therefore he was really in the best of spirits, as he held rein on his way, sending his team along at a rapid gait. \Vhen at last th e fort came in sight he breathed with perfect freedom, for he had finished his run in safety, with prisoners and gold. Almost his first qttestion was as to the condition of his fellow-driver Buck Dawson. "The surgeon says he's out of danger and all right," was the sergeant's most welcome reply. Then Ad wilson gave a whoop of joy and made his way to the colonel's quarters, where he gave up the recaptured gold, his prisoners and the two dead out laws, with the remark : "Buffalo Bill and those two dandy kids of his did it all, colonel, saving me in the bargain, for if they hadn't bee1i. on hand the agents would have made short .work of me, sir. "It was a clean wipe-out c olonel, save the unknown leader of the gang, and Buffalo Bill told me to say that he and his little Texans are on his trail, and he hopes to have good news for you soon. "The gold is here, sir, the gang is wiped out, save -.those to be hanged; Buck bawson is getting well, and I'm 0. K. Shake hands, colonel !" The colonel shook hands with a will, and the happy driver went to his fellow-driver and told 11im the good news. * * * When Ad Wilson had driven on his way, Buffalo Bill had said : "Boys, we are a pretty tired-out lot of but we must act now and rest later. "News travels fast ai1d mysteriously in this coun try, and we must reach the Red Ridge Mining Camp be. 1 fore it is known that :Qoc Driggs is captured, for there is a customer there whom I very much want." . l "The note you found on Doc Driggs, sir, gave y some information?" old "Yes, Harold, and I have a great surprise for bo aV( of my aids." "' The boys waited until the scottt to ok the 'no te fro h his pocket and read it aloud. It was 'aS follows: I "0. T., "After mid11ight, "Thursday. "C.: "Layed for B. B. and 2 B. Got head off C. on 0. T. that carries G. without fail. worsted. W j and will get "\Vill send this by special messenger if all goes we "Will bring G. to you earliest moment possible. n "Expect good news. "D. D." 'Now, boy I>ards, I read this like this: "'Chief: 'Overland Trail, 'After midnight, "'Thursday. 'Layed for Buffalo Bill and two boys. , G worsted. Will head off coach on 0. T. Gand will get it without fail. t 'Will send this by special niessenger if a rk J well. '\!\Till bring gold to you earliest moment possibl 'Expect good news. 'Doc DRIGGs.' "Don't you think that fills the bill, my little sil sashes?" "It does; sir; but to whom is the letter addressed? asked Harold . "An important question, indeed my boy; very 11 portant. "It is addressed to Judge Doom, Re d Bridge was the reply "But he was the man who returned the gold to u sirl" "Yes, but the very man I hav e had my suspicion of for a long time. "A fox cannot match him in an<:l I hav timible up to this time t9 him, as I now done, I feel . "Surely you do not think can be the guilty tU1 I kn10\Vn t: "I feel sure of :it, Len. We caught him with tha

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THE BUffALO BILL STORIES. 27 yl __ old, but not knowing how much we knew he just boave it up as a proof of his intended good faith. "You hoth h e ard Doc Driggs remark about Loper, : ro i he had killed the judge?" "Yes, sir. "Well, there is no doubt but that Loper went back 6 kill him and get the gold, and Doc Driggs, meeting J ther men, returned to the judge." V -"Now, my idea is that Doc had met the judge, urned the gold over to him, and left for some purW\os e." "But the dead man, sir?" e "Oh! he might have been left with Judge Doom, : ried to kill him, but was himself killed. "That is a small matter but it is certain that Judge Doom alone knew all the information the road-agents nave worked on. The first time I saw him I set him down a s a villain, and now I am sure of it. He i s our mutton. I shall go to Red Ridge and arrest him, and if I a.m wrong, then I am willing to accept the conse quences, wha tever they may be." ( "That's the talk, chief, and we are with you, sir." "Indeed, we are, Mr. Cody," and Buffalo Bill well Jmew that his Tex as sure-shots were Texas true hearts! Go o d reason he took pride in his Texan team! '] CHAPTER XXVI. CONCLUSION. ? Jud ge Doom had the best quarters to be found in the mining camp where he made his home. He was said to live on the very best the country could supply. Seated in his quarters, enjoying his after-supper pipe, the judge suddenly beheld Buffalo Bill before < him. "Ah, Cody a pleasure, indeed!' he exclaimed, with feigned heartiness. "Thanks, judge. I got this letter on the trail, so brought it to you." The judge took the envelope, opened it, looked at 1 the note within, glanced up at the scout, and-and found a revolver covering him! "Ha Cody, what does this mean?" "That this time Judge Doom is under sentence of death if he moves or resists! "You are my prisoner, sir I" Protests, anger, arguments, were all useless; the judge was a prisoner, and he realized fully what that meant. His threats of the displeasure of Colonel Ramsey at the scout's act had not the least effect. He had to go to the fort, and much of a comprom ising nature found in the cabin went with him. An after the capture of the judge four horse men rode away from the cabin. The little troop was composed of the scout, his two boy avengers and the judge. The latter was securely bound to his horse and was also gagged, so that he could not cell for help to any one who might be met on the \vay on the lone trails of the hills. The scout's pack-horse was loaded with things taken from the cabin. "It will be a hard night's ride, boy pards, but we must make it. Then we'll take a rest I" said scout. The ride was made ; the fort was reached before breakfast, and the judge was taken at once before Colonel Ramsey then accused of being the secret chief of the road-agents. Ample proof was found among his effects to prove that he was guilty, and so, with D.oc Driggs and Brassy, he was put in prison to awa. 1;. Trial meant a quick verdict of sure sen tence to the gallows for the murder of Hart, the Midnight Mail Rider, and for other murders. Until they saw the men hanged, the Texan boysBuffalo Bill's "team" as he was pleased to call them -remained in the settlement. Then they took leave of their beloved chief and their many other friends and returned to their homes in the Lone Star State, where to-day they are both wealthy ranchmen, widely known and favorites with all true Texans. Harold Hart won for his wife the sister of his team mate, Leonard Ashley-his tried comrade on the trail to avenge a father's death. THE END. Next week's issue (No. 75) will contain "Buffalo Bill and the Black Mask; or, The Raffle of Death." The Death Raffle was an exciting thing, for it meant death to the man who drew the unlucky number. How it was drawn and who by, and how the black mask was unmasked by Buffalo Bill, will be told in next week's issue.

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The contest -is humming along, boys. Entries are piling in. Don't let yours be among the missing, but get in line with the boys who know what's what, ancl who are getting their entries in as speedily as possible. Full particula1s on page 3l. An Excitit)g Dream. (By Gus. Reiman, Conn.) One night as I was sleeping I dreamed of going out hunting. As I was going to the woods I saw a bear, and at about the same time the bear caught sight of me. I raised my rifle and fired. The ball struck the bear in the back. He came after me, howling very loudly. I fired another shot, which killed the bear, with a bullet in his brain. Then I went home to get my father to help me skin the bear. We no sooner got near the dead bear than two other bears rushed out of the bu shes. My rifle was not loaded, for in my haste I forgot to load my father and I climbed up a tree. The bears continued to stay under the tree .as we loaded our rifles and fired, the bears howling as loud as they could and plunged into the bnshes. We no sooner got down from the tree than the b"ears came out and we dropped as if we were dead and held our breath. The bears smelt us and sat down be side us, and then I got up and cocked my rifle and fired at one, which killed it The other turned around and rushed at us, and we climbed the tree quickly. He watched us and then walked away. I fired at the bear, ]Jut did not hit it. I fired once more and I hit the bear in the brain and killed it. My father and I got down from the tree and we were going to skin the three bears when suddenly anothet: bear came from behind some bushes and we climbed the tree for the third time and tried to catch hold of a limb but I did not succeed. I fired, but did not reach my mark, and I fired again. This shot hit the bear in the ear. It howled fiercely and came under the tree to try to catch hold of a limb, but again failed and the bear ran to the side of the other three dead bears and rolled them over to sec if they were hurt, but seeing that they were dead the bear tc howl so loud that it made my hair curl. The bear sat on the ground and continued to how furiously. I fired my, la st shot, which disappointed me by nat hit ting the bear. l;'he bear rushed at the tree and bumpe against it, which nearly stunned the bear. The bear fel over, but got up quickly and again rushed at the tree Catching a limb the bear caught my foot and pulled m down to the ground. I was frightened terribly, but at that moment I awok and looked around and did not see any bears, which dis appointed me. On the Tail of a Comet. (By Robert Welty, Ohio.) One cold December night I went upstairs, took a Bttf falp Bill story from the desk and began to read. A hot fire was in the stove near me, so I was quite com fortable. After I finished the story I began to feel sleepy. Suddenly I fell asleep and began to dream. I dreamed I was walking along the street when suddenly a man came out of an alley and hit me on head with a club. When I came to I was in the air. I tried to move, but I couldn't. I wondered what was the matter, so I looked down. To my astonishment I could on\y see the atmos1 ph ere. I was on something hot; so hot it was that it burned the cords that held me down. I started to explore. Everything was red lik e fire. It burned my feet, but I walked an. After a while I found out that I was on the tail of a comet, and that I was going at the rate of 2,000 miles a minute. After a while it began to get dark, and I to sleep. When I awoke the next morning I was $till going> whe!l

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l'HE BUffALO BILL STORIES. 2e the tail fle..,v up and hit me on the side of the head with such force as to knock me off the comet. Off I went, falling to where I did not know. I did not fall far, for I on a man's head and knocked him unconscious. "\iVhat yer doing?'' said the man, as soon as he regained consciousness. "I am not doing anything, at present," I answered. He was the queerest man I ever saw, for he had four eyes, two heads, four arms and four legs. He was a regular giant, for he was over ten feet high and weighed 0ver five hundred pounds. "Where am I ?" said I. "You're en Venus, you idiot," he answered, gruffly. He then started some peculiar signs over my head, ,vhen, to my astonishment, I put my hand up to my head r could feel two heads. "Ha, ha! be, he! ho, ho !" laughed he, "you're my brother now ; you and I look alike. You will have to stay here with me for a while and keep me company till the rime comes for another sacrifice." "What do you mean to do with me then?'' I asked. "You are condemned to die." I then resolved to have some fun with him as long as I was going to die. "Do you really mean it.?" ''Yes, I do," he said, angrily. "Let me tell vou how I came to be here, will you?" I said. ; All right, but hurry up about it." So I told him everything. I was ke : t there about a week, having all the fun I wanted with him. At last he said: "Prepare to die; I will give you an hour to say your prayers; then you get thrown into that fiery pit which you see yon t ler." I gave myself up for lost, for to struggle against him was useless; so he picked me up as if I were a baby and was just going to throw me over the pit when, crack! something hit me on the jaw and I woke to find my mother standing over me. I was very thankful to find it was only a dream, so I took off my clothes and went to bed, and was up the next morning bright and early. A Dream in Camp. (By C. D. Malone, Ohio.) Last summer, with two boy friends. I camped for a couple of weeks on the banks of the Scioto River We were sitting around the camp fire one chilly night telling stories. The last one told was of a boy's journey across the country to California. It was full of thrilling adventure and hairbreadth escapes. A trip to California was one of my most cherished dreams. After getting ready for our night's rest I rolled my self in my blanket and lay down on my bed of dried leaves and, closing my eyes, suddenly felt myself transported into space. A balloon was fast bearing me from the earth, far above into the blue heavensl till the earth was '\. but a mere speck in a sea of blue. Hearing a strange noise that caused me to cast my eyes upward, I found, t o my horror, that the gas was escaping from the balloon. The flight was arrested nntil the balloon was almost motion less, and in another second I was shooting downward ,at the rate of two hundred miles per minute. As I neared the earth I expected to be clashed to pie c es, and to my great surprise I struck the ocean, and down I went into unfathomable depths, still keeping the two hun dred-mile speed, going too fast to think, and deeper through another ocean, and out into space. The force of the,fall had taken me through the earth and out the other side, and shot into space again. Soon the force was spent, I found myself falling earthward again; a great crash sounded in my ears. I awoke to find myself half buried in leaves, my bunk had broken and thrown me to the ground, bu.rying me in leaves. I had taken a wonderful journey in the space of a few seconds. A D ream of Ro bbers. (By Jay Eckman, Pa.) One night I went to bed and I thought I would not dream, but I did. l dreamed that some robbers came in the house, and when they came into my room they saw me and took me away back into some big, deep hollow Then they said they were going to burn me at a stake and tied me, hand and foot to a stake which had been thrust in the ground. Some of them got some wood and threw it down at my feet. Next they poured a c an of oil over the wood, and one robber struck a match and was about to set the oil on fire when I awoke. That was as mysterious a dream as I ever had. My M o ther's D ea t h. (By Chas. T. Morse, R. I.) Last Year's evening, after a family gathering to watch the old year out and the new' year in, my father, mother and I took our chairs circled around the fire to warm our feet before going to bed. We were very still on account of the late hour, but my mother broke the silence by saying: "I may not be alive next N Year My father told her not to think of such a thing, and we then retired. While I was undressing I thought of my mother's re mark, but having heard it so often I did not mind it. When I retired I was restless and could not sleep I rolled around in the bed, first on my back, then on my sides, but I could not sleep. I dressed myself, lit the gas in the parlor and read a story. I then retired again, and after rolling from side to side for an hour I fell into a light slumber. While in this slumber I bad a terrible dream. I awoke feeling weak distressed. I did not know what had

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30 THE BUFF J\LO BILL STORIES. happened to me. But as my senses came back to meI could see a picture which almost made me faint. I saw my mother stretched in her bed and she was dead. I had been dreaming of the same thing. I could not sleep the remainder of the night, and at seven o'clock I arose and found that no one was up. This looked very strange for my mother was in the habit of having breakfast ready at seven; so I went to her chamber to awaken her but she did not respond to my calling. I opened the door and saw the same thing I saw in my dream. I did not know what to do, but I managed to call my father. When he came to the room he found that oJ had fainted. I awoke that evening and found myself in bed, attended by the family physician. He said my mother died from heart trouble. A H;orrible Dream. (By Walter F. Akin, Cal.)' About two months ago I dreamed that a large star fell from the sky; My brother and I went to find it and lost our way and lay down by a pond of water and went to sleep. I dreamed that l went up in the sky and saw a man. He said everybody had a star, and it was a lamp. When all the oil burned out the p e rson who owned the lamp died. I looked at my lamp and saw it was almost burned out, but my brother's lamp bttrned beautifully. Not knowing what I was doing I poured some of the oil from his lamp into mine, and stirred it, and that mixed us together, and we both looked alike and could not be told apart. Jess my brother. murdered a man and they thought it was me, and hung me. I was about dead w hen my lamp was knocked down and some oiL spilled on the rope and burned it and freed me. Once while pouring the oil from Jess' lamp I dreamed I awoke and was pouring water in my ear. When I was free the alarm bell on the clock woke me up. I was so scared that I fainted, but when I recovered I had b ee n asleep thirteen hours. I was badly scared, but am all right now. My True Dream. (By R. C. Skinner, R.I.) What I am going to write about is what I dreamed December 20, Igoo. I f o rget which day it was. The day before I went skating and had such a nice time that I thought l'would go skating the next day. After I had gone to sleep I st arted in to dream I was dreaming about going skating and playing polo. I thought I won three goals in succession. I had started in to make an other one when the boy I was playing with hit me over the shins with his h ockey stick, and knocked my feet out from under me. When I got on my feet he had made ten goals while I had only three. In the last part of the game I made seven more goals. Then suddenly my right foot went through the ice. I struggled hard to get my foot out, a11d while struggling I suddenly awoke and found it all a dream. I thought a good deal about it and then went to sleep. The next day at two. o'clock in the afternoon I started for the sk ating pond. While there I received" a challenge from a boy to play him a game of polo. I accepted, and, strange as it may seem to you and the readers of Buffalo Bill, everything I dreamed carne true. I never dreamed before and had the dream come true. This may seem like a fish story or fish dream, but it is true, all the same. The Happy Dream. (By C. J. Odell, Mass.} Same time ago I came through a Western city and at the railroad station my eyes fell upon a very pretty girl. I admired her very much and at last thought, "I am going to win. her." But still there was but little prospect for me of ever meeting her again, as I had then come about six hundred miles and had about a thousand miles more to the end of my trip. I stopped off in different cities along the line and most every night I dreamed that I was to meet that girl in \Vorcester, although I had my ticket for Boston, but to see if my dream would come true I stopped off at W orcester and I was taking in the city for a week, when at last I got tired. So one day I had the expressman take my .r baggage to the station and I was just going to purchase a ticket when I happened to see the sam : lady, and we are now a happy couple. A Oose Call. (By Emmet Beall, Ohio.) The dream is that I, in company with my father, were hunting in Yellowstone Park. Our guide was a good hunter and brave. He warned us not to become sep arated. We tramped for about a mile wh e n he spied a deer. My father shot and in the excitement I became separ.ated from them. I wandered around trying to track them again. In my eagerness I did not notice a pai r of tigers until one growled in my rear. Turning I fired. The foremost fell, but his mate, grO\ vling fiercely, attacked me, before I could fire again. I thought I had received several wounds, and feeling weak from the loss of blood I tried to cry out, but could not In the nick of time there was a crack of a rifle and my father who had been attracted to the spot by my rifle crack came tearing through the bushes. I let out a cry and awoke to find myself in bed. Then I knew it was a dream. Was not that a close call?

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' i'HERE'S A NEW CONTEST! .e A CORKER!, I I 0 : The Contest just starting is going to be the we ever ran. It's an entirely new idea. The Prizes are new and the finest we ever offered. The other contests held in the BuFFALO BILL WEEKLy have all made spl e ndid success, but this one is sure to bre a k all records. Why? Because it is a brand-new idea a contest every boy in America has an equal chance in, and because the prizes beat anything ever offered be f ore. All you have to do is to write out an account of any of your Curious Dreams. Everybody has had remarkable dreams, and anybody who sends in an account of one has a chance of winning on e of the prizes. They consist of I T HREE FIRST-CLASS PHOTOCRAPHIC OUTFITS, : Including Camera. and all Appliances for T ak.ing and Devdoping Photographs. : I Five Hunting Axes and Five Hunting Knives. l I Th ink of the fun you can have this winter with one of those cameras. You can take and develop photogr a phs of all your friends. Full directions go with each camera. Think how useful and handy a first r ate huntin g knife or ax will be whe n you go hunting or tr a pping in the woods this winter. To Win a Prize.-Write an account of any curious or remarkable dream you have had-no J matter wha t it was about. Tell it in five hundred words, a nd send it with the coupon you will find on this +rage, properlyf1lledout, tothe BuFFALO BILL WEEKLY, careofStreet& Smith, 238William St., NewYorkCity. HERE IS A LIST OF THE PRIZES: 1 The t hre e boys who s end in th e thre e most interesting accounts will and of such a nature as to make it almos t impossible for one part to eac h r e ceiv e an Easbnan Pocket Kodak. with comple te b ecome 1\etached fro m ano ther. The head hail an oblong s e mi-ckcular outfit. The camera t a k e s picture lx2 inch e s ; uses film, and h a s recess milled in e ither s ide to receiv e the slotted end of ha;;dle, which capa city f o r tw el v e picture s without rel o ading ; w e ight six ounces. This i s accurat ely mille d t o a close fit and firmly h eld by a !-inch steel wonde rful lit tl e cam era takes pictures equal to the most e x p e n sive. It s c ew. This m e th o d of handle f aste ning pr e vents any liability of the mak e s n e gatives of such sharpness and definition that beautiful enblade working lqose on the handle. The upper part of the handle is lar ge m e n ts o f any size can be made from them. Has p erfect Achro-slotted on the under sid e to recei v e th e fold e d .sheet steel guard, which i matic Le11_s o f fixed focus, Rotary Shutter, with sets of three s tops, is so arranged as to be firmly held by a flat steel bar when open or s quar e Vie w Find e r, and cove r e d with fine Seal Grain Leather. Takes closed. s nap 'Sh ots or tim e e x posures. Easily carried in pocket or on bic y c le. Complete with roll of film for twelve exposures and Leather Car r ying The five boys who send in the five next b est accounts will each r&-1 Cas e wit h room for t hr ee extra film cartridges ceive a SportsDlans Ideal Hunting Knife. e There is about as much dijference in point of utility and beauty between I The five b oys wi10 send in the five n e xt b est account8 wiil each re-one of our" Idaal" hunting knivfls and any other knife on the ceive a Safety Hunting Ax. Dimensions over all llx4 as there between a griz z ly b ear and a porcupine. They are hand inches: weig ht 18 ounc es. The blad e is made of soli d tool ste el, finely forg ed, hand t e mpered, hand tested by the rig i d est possible test and t empe red and highly polis h ed. The h andle i s made of mild steel, nic kle finished in a manne r that makes th e m the handsomest knives in the pl a t e d on copper, with handle plat e s of engr a v e d hard rubber. The market. The "Ide al" knives are made with 5-inch blad es, leath e r guard i s of s h eet steel, hinge d on a s pr ing in suc h a m anne r that eith e r handle, br as s and fibre trimmings, With polished sta g-horn tip. A hand3 o p en or clos e d it is firmly h eld in pos ition The co n s tructi o n is unique aome black or ruue t case with each knif e J Now, Boys, You See Your Chance! It's Up to You to Win a Prize! : COUPON. This Contest closes DeceDlber 1st. All : must be in by that date. + BUF FALO BILL DREAM CONTEST. ReDleDlber, the "BUFFALO BILL. Name . ... :........................................... Y" has greatest circulation of any S t reet and No. weekly descriptive of Indian warfare ever published. Cit y or T own. .......................................... Your story, whether it wins a p r ize or not, has a State : : .' .. : .. : " .. "" " : h f be bl h d d 1 b d Title of Story ........................ : ............. .' ... : c anc:e o ing pu is e an wil e rea through.s....------------------.J out the length and breadth of the Continent. Q+e ................................................. .............

PAGE 33

BlJFFI\LO BILL STORIES (J:....ARGE SIZE.) Containing the Only Stories Authorized by Hon. WILLIAM F. CODY ("Buffalo Bill"). 45-Buffalo Bill in the Bad Lands; or, Trailing the Veiled Squaw. Bill's Trail of the Ghost Dancers; or, The Sioux Chiefs Secret. 47-Buffalo Bill's Deadliest Deal; or, The Doomed Desperadoes of l\'J lne. 48-Buffalo Bill's Secret; or, The Trail of a Traitor. 49-Buffafo Bill's Phantom Hunt; or, The Gold Guide of 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. -62-Buffalo Bill's Boy Pard; or, Training the Buckskin Bov. 53-Buffalo" BiWs Vow of Vengeance; or, The Scout's Boy Ally. 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 B ill's Mascot; or The Mystery of Death Valley. 57-Buff a l o 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 Praiftie Pirates. 60-Buffalo Bill's Blind; or, Running the Death Gauntlet. 61-Buffa!o Bill and the Masked Driver: or. The Fatal Run Through Death Canyon. 62-Buffnlo Bill's Still Hunt; or, Fighting the Robber of the Ranges. 63-Buffaio Bill and the Red Riders; or, The Mad Driver of the Over lands. 64-Buffalo Bill's Dead-Shot Pard; or, The Will-othe-Wisp of the Trails. 65-Buffalo Bill's Run-Down; or, The Red-Hand Renegade' s Death. 66-Buffai'o. BiWs Red Trail ; or, 1\ 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 Bitrs Spy Shadower; or. The Hermit of G rand Canyon. 70-Buffalo Bill's Secret Camp; or, Tailing the Cloven Hoofs. 71-Buffalo Bms Sweepstake; or, Hunting the Paradise Gold Mine. 72-Buffalo Bill and the Black Heart Desperado; or, The \Vipe -Out at Last Chance. Back numbers always on hand. If you cannot them from newscka.le.r, five cents a copy will brinz them to you, by mail, postpaid .. . . I STREET & SMITH, Vublishers,

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'h i . I -------------,---... .. \ .... .; ,. -> The VvT orld-Reno\vnec ( HON. \VM. F. CODY) One of his btest photos by St.Tc) Buffalo Bill Stories is the only publication autlb by HoN. 'vVM. F. con ) n E were the publishers _o the first story ever wnt ten of the and v;orld renowned Buffalo Bill, the hero whose life has been onf succession of exciting an tllril ling incidents combined witl great success e s and accomplish nients. all of \Vhich will t e tole in a series of grand storie! . which we are now placing be. I fore the American Boys. ThE popularity they have alrear) obtained shows what the b9yl I want, and is very gratifying tc the publishers. STREE'r & SMITF PUBLISHERS NEW YORf


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