Buffalo Bill and the black mask, or, The raffle of death

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Buffalo Bill and the black mask, or, The raffle of death

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Title:
Buffalo Bill and the black mask, or, The raffle of death
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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Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels. ( rbgenr )
Western stories. ( lcsh )
Buffalo Bill -- Fiction -- 1846-1917 ( lcsh )
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serial ( sobekcm )

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University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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020849280 ( ALEPH )
223329214 ( OCLC )
B14-00075 ( USFLDC DOI )
b14.75 ( USFLDC Handle )

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serial

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];,-,,.,; vVeek!y. By 5,;/Jscrzption $2.50 per y ear. Entned as Second Class Matter at New Post Office by .YrREET & SMITH, 238 W1wam St., N. Y. Na. 75. Price, Five Cents. THE GREATEST DUEL OF BUFFALO BILL'S CAREER, TILL THE LAST SHOT FROM THE SCOGT'S llEVOLYER ENDED THE COMBAT.

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rrpf: n n (?(Pm[b@ ffi 0 [S[S A WEEKL Y P UB LICATI O N DEVOTE D TO BORDER Hl5TORY /JZU1li Weekly. By Sithsc r ij>tibn $2.50 {ler year. Entered as Second Class Matter at tlie N. Y. Post Of/ice. b y STREET & SMITH, :us William St., N. Y. Entered acct;rdin!f to Act of ConJ!ress in the year rqoa, in the Of/i c e of the Librarian of Co11gress, WaslnnJl"fo11. D. C. No. 75. NE W YORK, October 18, 1902. Price Five Cents. Buffalo Bill and the Mask ; OR T H E RAFFLE DEA TH. B y t h e author of "BUF F A L O BILL" CHAPT E R I. THE TRAITOR'S DOC'M. "The verdict of your comrades is that you mus t d ie, and I therefore pronou nc e se n te nce of death upon you. "The band will draw lots to see which th ree will get the red ivories that make them t h e executioners of these men, for in just on e -half hour they are t o die." The one who uttered these words, sentencing three feJJow-beings to death, was masked, not a fe(!ture of his face being visible. The scen e was a wild, picturesque one in a canyon in the high rolling lands of far-away New Mexico. It was nigh{. an
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THE JJUFF J\LO BILL STORIES. Yea led bv the glo w which glimmered upon the houl cler-straps of one, stamping him as an army officer, ana upon the long hair, silken mustache and imperial of the oth er-the strikingly handsome face so well known now in the Old world as as in America, as the Prince of the Plain s Buffalo Bill. Afte r heari11g the words uttered by the masked chief in the canyon below, the t\v'o watchers stepped back fr o m the cliff and glided away as silently as specters, while the o utlaws prepared for the death scene. The man who seemed t o be leader had risen, entered the cabin near and returned with a black box, a foot sqnare and with a hole in the top large enough to thrust the hand into. Upon one side of the box were painted a white skull and crossbones, upon another a nest of green, writh snakes, and on the third was a red coffin. The foui th s ide was turned. toward the outlaws and upon i t \\'ere the w o rds in red: _, T.HE RAFFLE OF l)EKfl!. The man placed this box silently upon the table, and stood hand upon it. Then one of the group advanced, put his hand Into the opening in the top, and, drawing it out, handed something to the man. He held it up to the gaze of all, uttering no word, and then mDtioned to the man to stand aside. He had drawn a white i v ory chip Another came up and drew and he also took out a white chip. .. Thus they came on, man after man, atJ.d drew in this R;;i.ffle of Death. So .far, though a dozen had drawn, each Ot)e had se ct1red the w hite chip, which spared him the exe. cutioner's duty. There sat the three prisoners, c silent, attentive, with lips quivering, but uttering no word for mercy. It made the scene more sad and impressive to into their pallid faces, yet hear no murmur, no appeal, no moan from their lips. -But when the thirteenth map in tJ1e Raffle of Death had also drawn a white chip ; they rose instinctively and went forward to 1see fo wonder, to wai 't Could 1t be possible that the man whose duty it was to put the white ancl red ivory chips in the box, had made a mistake and placed only the ones there? Or could it be that he had acted from a prompting of mercy and not placed a red chip in the box? The doomed men knew their lives were hanging by a thread, for if a mistake was made they were saved. This was the law of their lawless band. Whether from mercy or by a mistake, if the three red chips were left ont, they would not forfeit their lives. The rest of the band grew uneasy, for those three condemned men were traitors, and if set free might yet betray them. Those who had not yet drawn, and they were now bnt fow, grew nervous at the thought that th@y must draw the red chips if such were in the box. They did not, bad as they were, desire to shoot a man down, as they woulcl have to do, if it fell to their lot as executioners. At fasf three on}r remained to draw, and tliey hung back until the chief impatiently commanded: "Draw!" One stepped forwa1:d and thrust his trembling hand into the box. Withdrawing it, the man took it, and revealed a red chip. The spell was broken; the three red chips must be in the box. CHAPTER JI. THE RAFFLE OF DEATH. I There had been no mistake; the thr.ee red chips had been put in the box, and by a remarkable coincidence they were the last to be drawn out They were taken out by the men to whose lot they fell, with pale faces, while the three doomed outla"\\ rs, dashed from hope to despair. dropped back upon their bench, white and quivering But they uttered no word, gave no moan of anguish at their terrible fate. The chief, still impatient, a t dela,y, said sternly: "Come! There is no need of delaying longei:. If you intend to pray, a short prayer will serve the pur pose as well as a long one. and you but prolong yqur I misery. "Get ready, executioners, and let the wotk be d o ne at once, for I am anxious to be off." There was no remonstrance, but the leader walked up to the three doomed men and unlocked the irons upon their wrists and ankles. I-

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THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES 3 There was no fear of escape, no dread of resistance. til the man who had fired upon him fired twice very He said a few words to them in a low, soothing rapidly; then he, too, fell. tone, and then grasped the hand of each. The third sank upon his knees, and a second shot Then one of the outlaws led them beneath a tree, pierced his body when he was in that supplicating po where the firelight fell full upon them, and the three sition. 1 executioners stepped to a spot ten feet from them, and But there was no cry for mercy from any of them. facing them. "Lopez, you 9id your work well, for you killed Sol The three executioners stood with their backs to Nichols with one shot; the others were bunglers," said the fire and eyes ca st down. the chief, and, leaving the three men where they had The condejfed stood with staring eyes, gazing upon fallen, he continued: the fire, the group of outlaws, and the chief, with a "Now, I wish to say to you that with Lem Nichols hapless look. at large, the brother of that man whose threat you all The center one of the three was a tall ma11, with a just heard, we are no longer safe here, especially as the dark, evil face; Sol Nichols was his name. He it was great scout, Buffalo :Sill, has come to Fort Taos purwho had led the party, five in all, in the act of treachposely to hunt us down. ery against the band-their crime being that they had, "vVe will, therefore, break camp to-night, and dis in disguise, held up and robbed a coach, killed the band until I call you together again; but when that will driver, and wounded an army officer, yet planned to be I do not know. keep what they had secured for themselves, and not to "Now I shall go with a dozen men to strike one more allow the chief an.cl their comrades to know of their blow and then the Cobras are scattered until called secret act of lawlessness. again into the saddle." "Have you any request to make, men?'' called out He said no more, but soon after rode out of the the chi ef. canyon with a dozen men at his back. One had, he s aid. He would tell his executioner. The bodies of the three traitors had beerlleft where It was the tall man who spoke; and he said aloud: they had fallen, for burial on the morrow, and lay "We are guilty, yes, and there were five of us. there with the dying firelight casting flickering shad"One was killed by Buffalo Bill in Herders' ows about them. one escaped, and we three are to die now; but, Captain An hour passed and the canyon was as still as the Cobra, I warn yon and your band, that the one who dead. The fire burned low and failed to cast more escaped, my brother, will fully and surely avenge my than a faint glow about it; but that glow was sufficient death. to show that one of the three bodies moved "I have only a word of direction to give to the man A head was raised, a white face glared over the there who sends me out of life, and I am ready." scene; then the tall form of Sol Nichols arose and stole His calm manner was worthy of one dying in a silently away in the .shadows, gliding down the canyon better cause-his fearlessness in the face of death in the direction of the corral where the horses of the worthy of a better life. band were kept. The executioner appointed to kill him stepped forAnother of those five traitors had escaped and ward, the doomed man whispered a few words in his was at large. Sol Nichols ha-d escaped death and was to be his ear, and then the chief impatiently gave the word: "Now let there be no further delay "All ready, senor," said the outlaw under-officer who had placed the men in position. The three executioners drew their revolvers at the command of Captain Cobra. "Fire!" Three weapons flashed together. One 9f the three men fell heavily and lay motion less. A second uttered a cry and staggered back, unown avenger. CHAPTER Ill. THE SECRET CAMP. Buffalo Bill was at Fort Taos at this time, partly by accident. He had been spending a furlough traveling in the Southwest, and incidentally doing some good in the way of fighting and running down outlaws wherever he met them.

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I ,. < :\. THE BUf.FJ\LO Bill STORIES. He had visited Fort Taos in a social way, as he had many friends there, and had learned to his surprise that the Cobras, a band of outlaws, which he had broken up and dispersed when at the Fort six months before, had gathered again and broken out into fresh cnmes. \Vith several officers he started out on a scout by night and witnessed the scene just described, but as he was not ready to attack the bandits, yet, not having sufficient force with him, he went back to the fort without letting them know that he had been nearby where they had held their meeting and the Raffie of Death, but he determined to go out on a lone scout against them the next clay Buffalo Bill rode away from the fort the next morrl ing, mounted upon his favorite horse Pard, and with a match for him, Comrade, serving as a pack animaL The courtesies extended to a commissioned officer were given him, and he was followed by the cheers of the scouts and soldiers. As he left Taos, he took the trail toward Santa Fe, but, after going a few miles, he turned squarely off to the left and began to flank around toward the Co manche country. This way he kept up until he had gotten around to a point between ]fort Taos and Herders' Ranch, the settlement in that part of the country where cattlemen: miners, the stage h ands and storekeepers had congre gated, with a \arge portion of the wildest kind of an element, gamblers and toughs, who hang about a fron tier camp, for "The Ranch," as it was geperally c:=tlled, was nothing more than a camp of log cabins groupecl aboot the Overland stage station. To the southwest of the place where Buffalo Bill had camped lay Fort Summer, and thus he was the center of the triangle formed by the settlement and the two forts. The country was rolling, well watered, heavily tim bered in places, and grass grew abundantly, while game was plentiful and frequently lured the wily Comanches from their villages in the mountains to hunt there. The St
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t'Hf: BU ff' ALO BILL STORIESo 5 wronged him, and for whom he was looking, to kill a nd bring there. But there w as the warning that. it mu s t not again b e disturbed b y the o ne who h a d several times done so. It was in the h o pe of findin g out w ho this avenger was that Buffalo Bill h a d camped near enough to visit the grav e and thus keep w a tch. Havin g spent a cla y idly i n camp, Buff a lo Bill de cid e d t o g o on foot to the empty grave the ne x t morn ing fill i t i n l ogs and dirt, and then return by n i ght t o k eep watch. T h e g r ave was l ocat ed up o n the riverbank, in a g rove of timber and overl ooking a small valley. \\Then he arrived there Buffalo Bill found it empty. Several logs and a quantity of dirt were thrown into it, and then the scout started back for his camp. Late in the afternoon he led his horses to water, staked them otit in a good pasturage, and set off for the grave, armed with his rifle belt of arms, lariat, and a blanket He arrived there soon after sunset, and to his surprise, found that it was empty again. Disappointed, he filled it in once more, and then lay down near it to watch. The night passed, and no one came He w a ited until nearly noon, and, knowing that his horses demanded his care, he returned to his camp, byt was back again at the grave thre e hours. Again if was empty. CHAPTER IV. THE MYSTERIOUS STRANGER. The coach to Taos arrived on time at Herders' Ranch that clay, and one was on the box with Ned Nordeck, the driver, and dismounted to enjoy one of the good meals which Broaclaxe Jack's tav ern was noted for He was a man not of the Far \\Test, it was certain, but tall weH formed, and distinguished looking. His face was a fine oa;ie, yet was marred by a cynical look ho vering about the mouth that at times was bitter and cruel, so intense it became. Well dressed, he looked like a Southern planter, and Neel N ordeck said that he was down on the books as DR. EDGAR DRAYTON, Alabama. Ned N ordeck further state d that the stranger talked well, was apparently a rich man, and stated that' he came West on a special mission, but what that was the pas senger did not say. The strange r t oo k out a well-filled pocketbook to pay for his m eal, lig hted a fragrant cigar and handed one to N e d and then mounted the box again, and the co ach rolled on, six fresh horses having replaced the tired ones The trave ler seemed much interested in the country and its people, and asked many questions about the dweller s in t h a t remote l a nd, suddenly making the quer y : "Do y o u know a man here by the name 0 Tyler T a tn al, driver?" "I doesn't, by that name; but what does he call hims elf out in these parts?" "I know of no other name that he has." "I guess he don t hang out around here." "Yes, he does." "Never heard of him; but maybe some one at the Fort can tell you, for he might be a soldier." "He is no soldier." "What does he do?" "Nothing, that I know of, for he is rich." "The only rich man I knows of, save several officers at the Fort, that is, who has money without working for it, is Taylor Travis." "Who is he?" "A young ranchero south of Herders' Ranch. He has a large ranch, plenty of cattle, and money to throw to the birds "Taylor Travis, you say is his name?" "Yes, sir." "Describe him, please." "He is what some folks call a pretty man, but he's not one to fool with, though he's powerful handsome, and all the ranch girls is dead gone on him, though he gambles and is a little rapid, they say. "But he can throw a lariat with any Mexican, out ride a Comanche, and shoot with any Texan; in fact, he is a Texan." "He is not the man, for the one I speak of is about my age, forty, and is, or was, a handsome, polished gentleman "He don t hang out here, as I told you." "We shall see, for though I booked with you to Taos, I expect to meet him some\vhere upon the road between here and the fort.'.1 Ned Tordeck looked at the pas s enger su s piciously

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THE BUFF ALO Bl LL STORIES. He had known of well-dressed men who had been passengers on coaches, who had met friends on the trail who had proven to be outlaws, and, after robbing the stage, had quietly disappeared. Could it be that this fine-looking gentleman was a road-agent in disguise? Ned hoped not, for he had along quite a valuable freight for Fort Taos. Determined to watch his passenger closely, Ned drove along, leading him to tatk, yet getting nothing from him that would in any way cast suspicion upon him of being other than he appeared-a gentleman. But the more Ned studied his face with sly glances, the more he disliked that cynical look on the man's I "Were you ever out vVest before ?" Ned asked. "Never." "Expect to settle here?" "I may." "Yon may live here, then?" "I may die here." "Yer may, if ther road-agents holds us up or yer is suffering from heart trouble." "I am in perfect health now, but there is no telling how long before I have heart trouble, while, as for road-agents, I have but a few hundreds and some jewelry with me, hardly enough to tempt your robbers of New Mexico, from what I hear of them." "Maybe you have friends at the Fort?" "Not that I am aware of." "Interested in mining, maybe?" "Not in the least." "Going to cattle raising?" "No." "Another store in Herders' Ranch would pay, for the place is growing." "There is room for it; but I shall not open a store." "Going to remain long?" "I may go back with you, or I may, as I said, die here." "I shall stut back in two days." "I will be ready any time, if I am a.live." Ned Nordeck did not like the stress the stranger put upon the possibility of bis dying out West; it seemed to smack of trouble. But he drove on, and as his passenger had relapsed into silence, he could only watch him closely, and he saw that he was constantly watching the trail ahead on both sides. Suddenly, just after the coach bad crossed the rive.r 1011d came the command : "Halt! "I've business with that coach!" CHAPTER V. THE MASKED MAN IN BLACK. Ned Nordeck: drew rein involuntarily, for he had lived long enough on the frontier to know what just such a summons meant. He was well aware that if he did not obey the com mand a bullet through the head or heart would put an end to his usefulness in this vale of tears. So he drew rein, casting a reproachful look at his passenger, as though to say: "I knew it, and you such a nice gentleman, too." Then Ned looked for the Cobras to appear, from five to fifteen in number. Instead, a man stepped from the thick:et alone. To the surprise of Ned Nordeck, he was dressed in a suit of black, frock coat, pants, and slouch hat, all of the same somher hue. And, more, he wore a black mask that completely hid his face, and even neck, while his hands were en cased in black kid gloves. 1 Ned was surprised, but he made no effort to drive on, for the masked man in black carried a rifle across one arm, and had a belt of arms strapped around his waist. Advancing to the heaqs of the leaders, he called out: "Do not be alarmed; Ned Nordeck, that you may lose your gold or freight, for I am no trail thief. "'My business is with .that gentleman." "You mean to 'say you will rob him, but not the coach?" said Ned, in amazement. "I did not say that I would rob him, I remarked that my business was with him, not you." Ned Nordeck glanced toward his passenger. There was no change in face, unless it was that the cynical look had increased to one that was cruei. He was smoking one of his fragrant cigars; and taking it from his lips, affirmed rather than asked: "You are Tyler Tatnal ?" "Yes." "And you are Dr. Edgar Drayton?" "I am." "You received my communication?"

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THE BUFF /\LO BILL "My being here is proof of it. You did not come as at first I expected." I was neces s arily detained, a s I wro te y ou." A re yo u alone? Save f p r th is gentleman on the box with me." "Yo n und e rst a nd all that your coming : m ea ns ? I do "An d com e p r ep are d a s I detn a n d ed in m y fir s t letter t o yo u ?" "I d o." ''Very we ll. I a m re a dy N e d Nor de c k h a d l ist ened w i t h deepes t i n terest t o e er y word utter e d by the two men. \ V h a t c o uld it mean? The passeng er on the box with h i m \ V as calm, still sm o ked his ciga r but the loeik on his face deepened \ v i t h crn e lt y The o thei: ha d n o w appro<1chec1 tbe c o a c h and st Q o d by the side of t h e off wheeler. .. eel was co n fidept now th a t he wa s al o ne and seemed h alf ten1pted t o draw his r e v olve r and o pen u po n him. Bu t h e w i s he d to se e what the encl of thi s stra n ge me e ting w o uld b e So he ralmly watched and awaited de v elopments. \V hen the m as ked man in bla ck s aid that he was re ady, the passen ge r turned to and said, cour t eously: I I ha,e here a walle t in which a re my name artd ad d r ess, a n d a l ette r alread y w ritten and dir etted, a s well as sta m pe d fo r I pre par e d for th is me e ting. "Yes, par cl." There are s ever a l hundred dollars i n the wallet whi c h yo u c a n keep or turn o ve1' t o an y one .. more ne edy t h a n yo tlrself:' "Gu ess I ca n find p oo r fello w s ter h elpal o ng, for I'm no t s u ffering, pard th o u g h I thanks you." -"As yo u p l ease but the m on e y i s yo urs, only send t h e J etter as a ddre ss ed,s l ro uld -a.1'lything happen to me, for t his g entl e man w ho, for some rea s on best known t o h i m s elf h as nia ske(] hi s face has a grie v ance to set tle w ith m e "It's a 'fig ht, .. Ye s y o u m ight call it so hut I regard it as a duel to the d e ath for 1 have come many a long mile t o me e t this g entl e man at his demand by letter, and he has been waiting for me for quite a time. "But I am here at last, so he will not be clis app o inted. "Is you going to fight here?" Y es; I believe so wishes." "I do," the masked man in black. "Say P a rd. --Afta id-tos how ye r-face who be you anyh ow?" a s ked Ned, suddenly "Thati s m y own affair. Had I wished to re main unkn o wn I should not have worn this mask," was the st e rn repl y H e is the g entleman J. a s k e d y o u about an d his na m e i s T y ler Tatnal said Drayton. "Tha t' s his name, i s it?" "Yes. "I d oesn't k n o w him by that handle but ef I coulcl pttll that mask off I d know him maybe. T o attempt it would be to throw your life away." "I'm t o o old to be d o ing fool things on account of curi os ity, s o don' t get s ca r ecl." "Are yo u ready Dr. Dra yton?" impatiently sa i d the m asked m a n "Oh yes," and Dr. Drayto n lea p e d to the ground, b i tt said: . Yo u m y friend will see fair pla y in this duel?" "Ybtt et I wlll. ancl'.:I means it a nd wrapping his reins arouncj his l a ntern, Ned N o rcleck la!So leaped t o the ground. -CHAPTER VI. \ .. TO FIC..HT TO THE DEATH T here will be fair pla y never f ear," said tbe mas ked man quietly, a s .. .Jed leaped from the box. "I desire to see the face of the man I ain to fight," said Dr. Drayton, ad v ancing toward his adversary. I will n o t unmask before Ne'cl Norcleck, for'! wisl1 t o r e main unknown in this affair; but I will turn my back on him and y on -to. see my face '.'" "That will satisfy me, for i neither wfsh 'to kill or be ki'lled b y the wrong man.'' The man in black replied : "There is no rnistake, as you will see. E-ach of us kn o ws the garne he seeks. See!" He had turned his back; upc; m Nordeck, and then raised hi s mask so that Dr. Draytori could see his face. For full y a quarter o f' a minute-it 8ee\ned much longer to Neel N ordeck-the two men gazed intb each other's faces. Each man see med to read in the l o ok of the other all there wa s of hatred to review the past, while beholding the countenance of the other, and to feel that whatever

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I 6 THE BUff.i\LO BILL STORIES. the cause that brought about that strange meeting in far-away New Mexico, there was a cert:inty that botb men were in deadly earnest-that only one must leave the spot alive. "Come, gents, I've got ter hurrtp ahead, and though you may be anxious ter live as long as you can, I've the schedule time ter run on, when ther Cobras don't break in upon me, though, being as I hain't held up ter be robbed this time, I can give yer a few minutes." "We will not delay you long, Nordeck. As you are to be witness, see that. each of us gains no advantage. What will be your weapon, Dr. Drayton?" "A revolver." "That will suit me, though weapons are to me, whether rifles, revolvers or "This is no butchery, and l have not lived in the Wild West long enough to myself to knife encounters," replied Dr. Drayton, with a sneer. "Revolvers, then, are the weapons. Can I offer you a choice of my revolvers, that ar.e tried and true?" "Thank you, no; for I came provided," and, ping to the coach, he took out a gripsack, opened it, and selected one qf two revolvers that were remarking quietly: "I have novels here I brought to read on the way. If I fall, take them, for they may interest you." "Thank you, I will, and shall enjoy them, as my library out here is limited." "Ii you live-yes." "VVho knows?" "But a few minutes will tell. Ned Nordeck, step off ten paces, for I suppose that distance will suit you, doc tor?" "Oh, yes." "And you will give the word, Nordeck, as follows: you read,?:? Fire! One, two, three!'" "We are to lire between the wor ds "fire" and "three," but should either one of us draw trigger be fore the word fire, you are at liberty to shoot him down. "Does that suit you, doctor?" "Perfectly, Mr. Tatnal." "See here, gents! I don't know as I'm doi _ng the square thing to let this fight take place here on the trail," urged Ned Nordeck, suddenly. "And see hete, Ned Nordeck, if you attempt in any way to interfere, I will send a bullet through your brain," sternly said the Masked Man in Black. Ned was not disturbed by this threat, but replied : "I don't know whether you will or not, for we are two ag'in you." "If you are counting me as one, friend N ordeck, you make a mistake, for I "' ould take no underhand ad vantage of this gentleman," quickly said Dr. Drayton. "Then you wants ter fight this duel, doctor?" "That is the purpose that brought me to New Mex ico." "And you wants ter, masked man?" "I intend to, for it has been the wish of my life, for years, so if you wish to keep out of trouble do not in terfere." "I guess I had better keep ont, then, and I will. Just fight it out yonr own way, and I don't want no trouble with the stage company for helping two durned fools to kill themselves." "You refuse to act for us, then?" "I does; but I'll see that neither of you play a trick game on t'other." ''Very well. Doctor, as our second shirks the re sponsibility. I propose .that we stand back to back, step off at one, count alou
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THEBUfFALO BILL STORIES. Every arrangement had been effected with the most matter-of-fact and agreed to with a courtly manner that showed Dr. Drayton as willing to enter the ducl of as was the Masked Man in Black t force it upon him. The moment all of the preliminaries were made; and Dr. Drayton bade farewell to Ned Nordeck, they stepped to their places. Then the driver could not refrain from a slight fling at the masked man, whom he could not forgive for hiding his face. "Say, masked man, you hain't told me good-by, yet." "I have no last to offer, r!O directions to give, no to say. I have not the remotest idea of departing this life for a long time to come, Ned Nor deck." "Yon sing mighty l(l)u
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THE BUFFALO Bill STORIES. Ned paused, the revoiver o{ Masked in \ Rlack was coveri_ng him, the muzzle looking squarely into his eyes. CHAPTER VIII. NORDECK'S FRUSTRATED INTENTION. The driver of the coach to Taos was no CO\Vard, No one would have
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THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES 1 1 Returning to the coach, he started again upon his way, driving fa:st. About five miles from the spot where the fatal deed h,ad taken place, he came to some timber land, the ttees being large and 'Scattering, and the trail good and ver y le vel. St1ddenly ahead he saw a man come out into the tra i l and halt, he half drew rein, but at once held on as before, muttering to himself : I m gittin' skeery, for it's not a Cobra, but Buffalo Bill. CHAPTER IX. THE SCOUT INVESTIGATES. The driver of the Taos coach felt like a yell of joy when he saw Buffalo Bill standing far ahead in the trail. A s has been said he was one of the half score who kne w that Buffalo Bill was on the trail of the Cobras for the sec<;md time, a nd he had arranged with the scout to meet him if there was anything of importance to communicate. The plan had been for Buffalo Bill to appear far ahead on the trail, catch the eye of the driver, and re ceive a signal if there was any one in the coach by who m he did not wish to be seen. Then the scout was to go into hiding and Ned Nordeck was to pass him by, having dropped his whip, and, drawing rein go back after it. This same plan had been written to Lem Luby. But now there was no sign;il to make, and the driver laid his whi p upon the horses and drove up at a run to where the scout stood. The team had evidently been along when road agents h e ld up the coach, for upon seeing the scout they up suddenly without being reined in. "vVell, durn my pictur', ef they don't take you fer a outlaw ter hold us up," cried Ned, as he sprang from the box for what he had to tell was too important to sit up there and make known "\i\T ell ,' N o rdeck all alone, I see "Yes, Chief Cody, I am now, but I had comp'ny until half a dozen miles back." "\i\There are your passengers now ?" "Only had one, and he's dead." "Ah! you have been held up?" "I has and I hasn t, Mr. Cody." "I don t catch on. "I was held up, yes, and I were discreet enough not to kick ag' in it." "The Cobras are at work again, then?" "This wasn't no Cobra, or, if so, he'd changed his ng, for he was dressed like a gent, and were a Masked Man in Black. "He must have been a Cobra under false colors, i f he was masked." "He was under false colors if a Cobra, for he didn't rob me, and I've got rich freight along." Buffafo Bill looked mystified, and Ned then went on to tell the whole story of his strange passenger, the halt by the Masked Man in Black ; and the duel. The scout listened with tl:ie deepest interest, and, after asking certain pertinent questions, said: "And you have the man's effects with you?" Ned got out the grip and -revealed them. I "This is the most remarkable affair I have ever heard of, Nordeck, and I cannot understand it just yet. "You left the body there, you say?" "You bet I left it there, sir, for if I hadn't, I'd been left there myself. I saw that, though the man was masked." "And here I am on foot, miles from my camp, where both my horses are, but I shall go with all haste to the scene of the duel and see what I can discover before sunset," said Buffalo Bill. ''And I'll see you on my run back again, Mr. Cody?" I "Yes, for I would like to know what the colonel thinks of this strange affair." "I'll tell you, sir." "I came here to meet you to have you say to Colonel Kane commander at Fort Taos, that the grave on the river, which he knows about, I -am watching closely, and though .in the fo 1r days I have been on duty I have filled it 'Up, it has oeen time dug out, and I am, so far, utterly unable to catch the very clever one who d0es it." "I'll tell him, sir." "And do not speak of the grave to any one else." "I will not, sir." "Unless Lieutenant Willis happens to be with the for he knews about it also." "I'll remember, sir." "Do you wish me to bring you anythirig from the Fort, sir. Yes, here is a little list you can fill out at the sutler's." "I will meet you either here or at the scene of the duel."

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12 THE BU Ff J\LO BILL Ned Nordeck remounted his box. and drove rapidly on, while Buffalo Bill., throwing, his tepeating rifle across his shoulder, started on the trail for the scene of 1 the tragedy, his long, swinging stride carrying him rapidiy over the ground. As he neared the ridge where Ned had halted to }ook back, he made a wide flank movement, gained the timber, and approached the spot hidden by the undergrowth and s me rocks. He crept cautiously forward until he reached the trail and was ready to cover any one with his revolv r whom he might find there. But the place was as silent as the grave-there' was no one there. Buffalo Bill saw at a glance that the masked mav ha\! taken the body with him when he left, concealed it, or buried it near. There were tracks upon the ground of three different feet-of the driver's, his passenger ancl the Man in Black. There was the in:print on the grass where the body had been lying, and a small red stain. That was all the clew that Buffalo Bill had, save the story of Neel N ordeck. It was growing dark, and again the scout threw his r;fl.e upon his shoulder and strode away, saying, simply: "To-morrow will tell." ....; CHAPTER X. BUFFALO BILL MAKES A DISCOVERY. Back to his lonely camp went Buffalo Bill, and, finding his horses all right, he cha11ged their feeding ground and turned in for the night as soon as had eaten his supper. He was more impressed than he cared to admit by this duel on the trail, and could not account for so strange a circumstance as a man in the prime of life, handsome, as Ned described him, a physician, and cer tainly not in poverty, had come all the way to New Me, ico to allow his life to be taken by some mysterious person, who, dressed in broadcloth in the wilderness, masked his face, and held up a coach to demand his vic tim, but did not rob either Nordeck or the passenger. Buffalo Bill had been devoting most of his time to the empty grave on the river while in the secret camp. Try as he might. he could not catch the one who untiringly kept it cleared of earth and logs, which he as untiringly placed there. He laid traps, he lay awake all night, watched, plan ned, plotted, pretended to go away, yet did not, and never saw the unknown sexton who so carefully guarded the grave. But the very moment he returned to his camp to look after his horses, he found that grave So it was that he decided to head Neel Nor. deck off on the trail and ask him to send Dot Driver or Brazos Ben, two scouts, ou t to his aid,. for he could leave him in camp while he watched, and he had hi s reasons for not moving his horses away from the en campment where he then was. But when Buffalo Bill had heard from Ned Nordeck the story of the duel, for some reason he did not make the request for the scout to be sent out to join him. When it was yet dark Bnffalo Bill arose had his breakfa s t, monnted his horse Pard and rode away. He was on the same side of the river where the duel had been fought, and he rode on until he struck the stage trail. Turning into it, he was not very long in reaching the scene of the duel. Here he dismounted and spent all of an hour looking about him. Then he sprang into his saddle and rode for the ford. The river had a bar just there, made by a bend where it was not over four feet deep, so the scout could cross by holding his feet upon his saddle. Once across, the country was open for quite a dis tance, save the fringe of timber upon the riverbank. Hitching his horse in the timber, and hidden in a thicket from the view of any one passing along trail, Buffalo Bill went on foot to the grave, half a mile up the river. Jn going there before, cold as the water was, he was in the habit of packing his clothes and weapons wrapped in his rubber blankets, upon two logs tied to gether, and swimming across, pushing his little raft ahead of him. This gave him an unseen, unlooked for and noisel es s approach to the bank where he landed not h venty feet from the grave. But for all this he had not been able to catch what he ca1Iecl the "Specter Sexton." Now he walked boldly up the riverbank, and he could well see the way ahead through the scattering timher.

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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 13 The moment his eyes fell upon the grave he came to a standstill. His eyes were riveted npon it. Instead of the open grave, he saw that it had been filled. He had done this the last time he was there, filling it completely, to make the "Sexton" take longer in
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14 THE BUffJ\LO BILL STORIES. ''I am certain; "Still, I think tnat the grave should be opened." "I have already or.ened it, sir." "Ah!" I "And the body of Dr. Drayton is there?" "Of course, I never saw him, but the body is that of a man such as Nordeck described. There is a bullet wound in the very center of the forehad, he is dressed in dark clothes, and I feel that there is not the slightest doubt but that the one in the grave is the passenger who came out on the coach and fought the duel with the masked man." "And who is he?" "That is to be found out, sir. Vvr hat the masked man does, he does well, sir, for the body was placed in it, with his clothing neatly arranged. "I replaced all as I found it, and filled in the grave as before, so you see there 1s no doubt, sir, of the body being 'that of Dr. Drayton, the inscription on this cedar headboard also stating that fact." "Yes, it must be so; but I was dubious on account of this grave having been kept open so long." "My idea is, sir, that it has been dug for a long time, say for half a year or more, and was dug for the body now resting in it." "It must be so, but now about this Masked Man in Black, as Nordeck calls him." "He thns far, Lieutenant \Villis, been too clever and cunning for me." "You will see that all the lettering in that cedar headboard has been cut for some time, .save the and here are the shavings that came from its having been carved ont here at the grave. "Now, that post is well inade, and so is the coffin,.., and it took the best of tools to work with ,, "The man that did it must have a habitation somewhere near here, and there did the work. "As he never comes here on horseback; he leaves no trail, and save a track in the soft earth, I have nothing to trace him by. "He has done his work, filled his mission, in ki1ling Dr. Drayton, so he may le. ave here at once, and forever. "But that I will find out in time, for I have set my traps to betray the coming of any one i1ere, and I shall not give up the search. "Now, sir, is there any news at the Fort?" ,. "None; but we all fear you are imposing an exile upon yourself." "You go on to Herders' Ranch, I suppose?" "Yes, to see if I can learn anything there "Try and see if you can hear anything of the out laws sir." "I will," and, returning to the coach, the officer was soon on his way again. CHAPTER XII. PANTHER PETE. When the coach, after Buffalo B i ll had gotten the s upplies asked for, and said he would meet the lieu tenant on his return trip rolled on once more, Ned Nordeck driving briskly to make up for lost time, the driver heard from the officer wl:at had become of the body of Dr. Drayton. "Well, I declare", if that Masked Man in Black ain't a daisy! "He killed his man, and buries him in style, coffin headboard, and all. "Lieutenant, yer should know that man, fer yer' d like him,'' "I would like to know him, for he must be a very remarkable personage!' "He is all that, sir." "You have never seen any one about the countty here whom you could connect with the appearance of the masked man ?" "Not a soul, sir." "Nor at Herders' Ranch?" "No, sir; for except Taylor Travis and a few of the rich ranchers, there hain't anybody at the Ranch to fill the bill o that man. "vVhy, lieutenant, he is a gent, an' no mistake, and there is nothing of the tough or desperado about hitn "He had a debt ter pay, i for some reason, an' t'other gent come ter settle up, and I guesses, as he didn't load his weapon, he know'd well who was ter blame." "It is a total mystery, Nordeck. But do you know any one who a ranch or cabin on the trail, or near it, between Herders' Ranch and Taos?" "I only knows of, one, and' he lives miles to the west ward of here.' "Vlho is he?'' "They calls 1 1im Pete, sir, and he is a pelt hunter." / "Yes, I ha v e heard of hii11, but never H e has been suspected of being an ally of the Comanch e s as they never seemed to trouble him and of El Cobra s as they also let him alone, and both redskins and out-

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. THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 15 laws ,nmst have often been oy h is camp. But.nothing could be proved against him, and so he was never mo lested, and continues to trap, and sell his pelts." "Yes, sir; I gets his supplies now and then for him, as he don't care to go to H .erd. ers' Ranch He mee ts me generally about a mile ahead of where we now are, gives me some money and a list of what he rieeds, and I bring them out on my run back. "Every time he pays for the carrying, and will hav e it that I shall accept a present for my trouble, too, there is nothing mean about him." "What kind of a looking man is he?" "He's fa_irly tall, well fmilt as strength goes, but has a kind of hnmp on his back. "He dress es i11 buckskin, and wears his shaggy hair lo n g, and beard, too ; 11ot being handsome, as the word goes: at lea13t, I wouldn't think so if I were a gal." "How far is his cabin from the grave on the river?" ''I've neYer been to his cabin, sir, but I should say, from what he has told me, it must be a dozen miles, maybe more. "Then he couldn't be your i\I a n in Black?" 4 Ned laughed and replied: "No, indeed sir; Panther Pete cohlcl never be a gent, and that th e masked man was'. "Then, t oo t h e re is Panther Pete's hump, and his way of carrying himself was n o t like that genfs." 'Then we mus t look elsewhere for our Man 111 Bl a ck ; but there is some one in the trail ahead. "Is it an other case of hold up?'' and Lientenant Wil lis got his w eapons ready for use. "It's Panther Pete, sir. Speak of ther devil, and his imps will appear, cried Neel. Lieutenant \ V illis gaze with considerable interest upon t !1e. man they were approaching. He. s tood in the trail, leaning upon his rifle. His form would have been tall, but for the stoop i n his broad shoulders and the slight hqinp upon bis back. I 'He was dressed in buckskin, and had
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THE BUf f ALO BILL STORIES. "A strange character that, but an honest man, I feel c er tain, o r s igns fail muttered Lieutenant Willis, as the stage on its way. CHAPTER xrrr. THE YOUNG RANCHERO. There wa s quite a crowd gathered at Herders' Ranch to see the coach come in, and Broadaxe Jack To bin, the great man o f the s ettlement received the l ie utenant w ith courte o u s hospitality. He had the lo o ks and manners of a g e ntleman, in s pite of hi s record as a man-killer and he was so suave and quiet in his w o rds and actions that no one would have suspected him o f being such a terror if driven to it. "No ne w s of anv more disturbances of the Cobra s?" s aid the lieutenant. "None, sir." This was said within the hearing of a score of men about the cabin, for Jack Tobin was one who was iq the secret of Buffalo Bill's being after the outlaws. Just then a horseman rode up, and dismounting, ap proachec Lieutenant \\Tillis He rode a black horse that was a splendid animal, and his bridle and saddle were worth a small fortune. The was dressed in a pair of corduroy pants, stuck in handsome boots, a velvet jacket, slouch hat, and wore a white negligee shirt. He was a handsom e young '.fellow, and had a face da ring and determined. He was Taylor Travis, a young ranchero, who lived s o me fifteen miles away from Herders Ranch. He was said to be rich, had the largest herds of cattle and of horses, and the best cabin in that part of the country, and what was more, had i t well furnished Taylor Travis was a popular man in Herders' Ranch for he was ever generous cordial in m a nner, and held himself aloof from no one. He was nQt a dissipated man, but he drank in mod eration, Jack Tobin ordering the very best of liquor s and c igars for his use, and when he treated, whicp was a steady habit of his, he meant all should have the best. His visits to Herders' Ranch were frequent, and w h e ne v e r he c a me he gambled, playing for any sum h i s adve rsary c ared to risk, for he was an inveterate g a m b ler, and more frequently won than lost S uch was the man who now came forward and greeted L ieut enant \.\Tillis, the two shaking hands cor dially. "Anything importan t Lieutenant Willis, that brings y o u to the Ranch?" he asked,, in a way that showed in te rest rather than c.uriosity. me t ell you what brings me to the Ranch," and he t o l d both Tobin and Taylor Travis the story of the remarkable duel on t h e trail It could be seen that both men were impressed, and they talked long and earnestly over it. "The colonel wishes the matter kept quiet until news comes in reply to the letter he has written East, and it is best that the story of t he duel does not get out; but he is anxious in some way to find the man that killed Dr. Drayton, so I must ask you both to see if you can place anybody here, or among the ranch ers, vYho would answer to the des cription Nordeck gives of this man in bl a ck." Neither Taylor or Travis n o r Jack Tobin could think o f any one wh o m the des c ript i on w o uld fit but promi s ed to try and see if they could find out such a per s on. 1'1 w ill be here' until d ay after t o-morrow, wh e n the coach goes back to Taos, Mr. Travis, so if you hear of an y thi n g of inter e st in the matter ple a se let me and also of anything regarding E l C o bras." "I will, sir. with plea sure The more that Li e uten ant v V illi s talk ed with the men about Herders' Ran ch-thos e whose op1111ons were worthv oi coJ1sicleration-the more he was vincecl that "it was a wis e mo v e on the p art o f Buff a l o Bill to go into hiding s o certain d i d all s e e m to feel that El Cobras would not be ver y long in sho w ing them s elves again. J a c k Tobin wa s a plea sant comp a nion, but he had hi s dutie s to atte nd t o and a s T aylo r Travis, the y oun g ranchero had ret u rned to his ranch during the night, and Lie u tenant \iVillis found time h anging heavy up o n h i s ha nds, he clete1: mined to g e t Bro ad!'lxe's best hors e and accept the inv i tati o n he received to ride out and see the hands o me young cattle king His way leJ throu g h miles of prairie land for nearly half a score of miles, and then h e had a hill y and t i mbered c ountry t o cross, the ranche s l ying b e y o nd this. He had rid de n briskl y a s far a s t he hill s an
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THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 17 The fugitive was coming down the valley, and was turning up a hill, when a shot came from the direction in which the voice had been heard. The horse gave a bound, strained on up the hill, and, as he was falling, the rider caught up her skirt, le<\pe4 free of her saddle, and alighted safely upon her feet; turning at bay with a revolver in her hand. She was within fifty feet of the officer, and presented a beautifql and thrilling picture as she stood, a young girl at bay. She was clad in a close-fitting riding-habit of dark blu e wore a slouch hat and plume, gantlet gloves, and v-Villis, as he beheld her, mentally vowed that he had never seen woman half so beautiful before. Her hair was of gold bronze hue, and hung in two braids down to her knees. Her face, still flushed by her rapid ride, was beau ti fnl, and her attitude wqs that of one who knew how to use the revolver in her' hand, and dared do it, too. Not a moment did Lieutenant Willis allow her to remain in ignorance of help at hand, for he called out: "Keep your stand, miss, for aid is near." She nttered a startled cry, turned quickly, saw the blue uniform and said, in a low but earnest tone: "Oh, thank you. But there are four of them!" Willis did not care, just then, if there were a do.zen, and he answered back : "All right, mis s." Just then a horseman dashed into sight around the clump of timber ou the hillside and yelled out: "I killed her horse, and here she is." A whoop c a me from up the valley, while Lieutenant Willis inutterecl: "Yes and here I am .. In another moment the man clashed up and threw himself from his horse, halting some twenty feet away from the girl, who still maintaj11ed her defiant attitude. THe was a rough-looki1ig fellow bearded, longhaired, and armed. "I say, gal. put up tha,t' wee pin, or I'll lariat yer," ancl the man turned to take his lariat from his saddle horn. "Lay your hand upon that Jasso, and I'll end a bullet through your heart!" came the quick rejoinder of the I "Oh, I kn,ows yer kin shoot fer dead center, so I'll wait for t'others." As the man spo ke, hvo other horsemen dashed into sig ht. and came up the hill, one shouting: "Yer has sure got her, Hook." "I hain't so sart'in, pard, fer she's a shooter, and look tha' !" and the man called HcJok pointed .to the de fiant attitude of the young girl. "Lordy she do show fight," and the two men had now dismounted and joined their comrade, the three standi!J.g twenty feet away from their prey, and with an undecided look their faces. Hook whispered to one of the men, who held a lasso in his hand, and, springing behind his horse for protection, he threw the c oil with force and skill. But as the noose left his hand there came a shot, and though the coil settled over the head of the at bay, the one that threw it fell dead ere it reached her. CHAPTER XIV. DYING WITH SEALED LIPS. The shot and its fatal result s t artled the two men, who at first thought the girl had fired upon them. But quickly following the shot there came bounding out from behind the bowicler Lieutenant Willis, re volver in hand. He seemed not satisfied with dropping one of the men, and wishing to put the other two to flight, for he shouted in the sharp tones his men knew so well : "Hands up, both of you!" But tlie respons e was two s hots, follo xe d by a third and a fourth, all fired almost together. Down went the officer's hors e but even as he fell \\Tillis fired and another of the outlaws fell, while the third, bounding upon the back of his pony, was off like an atTO\Y, unhnrt by the rapid shots sent after him by the young girl, for Lieut _enant Willis had 'fallen heav ily. But he was quickly on his feet, and grasped the second outlaw as be was striving to escape. The mome.nt the man turned, Lieutenant Willis saw t!hat he was wounded, hi:; shot having entered his breast. "Come, my man, resistance is useless," he said, sternly. "I guesses I kno\vs it, and I woTJ't hang." "That will be decided later .. "l says no. fer d on't yo n see I has got it where I live, that yer shots has done fer me," and the man dropped clown and leaned his back the dead hors e of the young girl. .. "Yes, you are hard. bit, I }Jelieve "Let me see it I can help you," said the officer, kindly. "Doctor me up ter hang, yer means; but .it hain't no use. I'm almost dead." "! am sony for you, but you sought to harm this lady. and you must take the consequences." The girl had stood apart until then, uttering no word. Bnt now she advanced and said: "I f was not your w,ork, or yon had a master, and did what yon did for gold." "\Vho is that master?" The man looked at her but made no reply. "'I feel very, very sorry for you, my poor fellow, for I do not believe you intended me harm, other than in capturing me at the command ,of another." "Who was he ?"

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ta THE BUFF /\LO BILL STORIES. "I cannot tell, miss." "Y Ou that you will not." "I will not tell, miss." "You did n o t act fo r yonrself, then?" "No, miss." "And that man lying there, and the one who c:;s c aped ?" "\i\T ere the same as me, miss." "Your leader W<\S with you not ten minutes ago, for I heard his voice." The man was silent. "Speak, my man, and as you feel you must die, con fess to this lady the crime you entered into aga in s t her," said Lieutenant Willis "I'm going to die, but I won' t tell. "\tVould y o u die with such a sin on your consc ience?" "If I con fe ss ed, I would break my oath, die with a greater sin upon my conscience-no, I will not tell." The man had dropped his dialect, and he seemed to suffer more and more, while his face had already taken on the hue of death. He was a young man, bt1t sin and di ssipation had branded his face irrev ocably. At he s aid, faintly : "This is a sad s cene for you, miss; g o and leave me to m and drew it into the thicket folded the h a nd s across the breas t and t aking a blanket frp m the fall e n p o ny of the de a d youth, spread it ove r the two boclie s l y ing side by side. To catch the other two ponies was the \V.ork of a few minutes and to transfer his own and the young

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l'HE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. .19 girl's. saddles and bridles to their backs was his next The girl had stood silently watching him, and when he approached her leading the two horses she stepped forward with extended hand, and said: "Now let me thank you, sir, for all that you did for me, though words seem cold, indeed, to show gratitude to one who risked his life for me, who took upon hi s conscience the lives of two men. I feel more than I can tell you how deeply grateful I am." The tears stood in her beautiful eyes, and her voic.e, low and quivered with emotion. ''Pray do not thank a man for doing what only a dastard. would refuse to do, and you know killing is a soldier's trade." He spoke in a light vein, but she noted a tinge of bit terness in his tone, and replied : "\Vanton killing is murder, sir, but to take life in a good cause lias won honor and rank from the beginning of time; but let us at least know each other by name -I am Rose Reeves, of Evergreen Ranch, some six miles from here," and she again extended her hand. "And I am McKenny \Villis, First Lieutenant Commanding Troop A, -th Cavalry, stationed at Fort Taos." "Ah, indeed! Your gallant conduct in my defense simply verifies all that I have heard of you, for I know you, sir, as the commander of the two battles with the Comanches of late, and thus the one who prevented our settlement and ranches to be visited by death and
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THE BU ff /\LO BILL STORIES. voted slaves, until it was said by all, Taylor Travis was the favored one, though Rose Reeves hatl never se:emecl to show partiality to any one. Thus matters stood when she had been re s cued hy McKenny \ViUis when out for her morning gailop which often extended a dozen miles. Mr. Ree ves had regarded the attempted kiQnaping of his daughter as the work of some of the El Cobra band, attempting to capture and hold her for a large ransom. She told how she had been riding slowly along, when two lassos were thrown to ensnare her. Fortunately she had eluded both, and started in flight, when, looking back, she saw four men fallow ing in hot pursuit, one of them dresse d in deep black,, with face wholly masked. That was the man whom Lieutenant vVillis had heard give -the order to shoot he( horse, and he had done so. And that same Man in Black had not appeared on the scene with 1he three whom Rose had faced when she stood at bay. \Vho he was a my s tery to Mr. Reeves, and if Rose had any suspic ion she he l d her p eace As for Lieutenant Willis, he said nothing, bnt he conkl not but recall the Masked Man in Bla ck the duellist who had killed Dr. Drayton. The bodies were brought in from the ri
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THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES, .. 21 Nearer a n d ne a r e r the m a n approach e d and as the .ors e c ame a l o n g a t a walk, the form o f the rider wayed from s i de to si de. "He is eit h e r asleep or drunk, mutteredthe o fficer, n d just the n th:e s t range r 's h o r se h a lted just before an. "Ho, pard w hi c h way?" called out the officer. There was no reply "Cbme, my man, wake u p for i t i s da nger o u s t o eep on a trai l these ti me s." Still no repl y "Hello! hello W h oop shouted Lie utenant Willi s It made no i mp r essio n u pon th e r i d er, and the horse oocl vvith lowered head, as tho u g h also as leep, o r !ry tired. Finding t hat the m a n made n o re pl y, Lieutenant illis rode forward and laying hi s h an d up on his \oul de r said, stern ly: "Come, my man ; wake u p! The form s wayed tO\yar d him as h e g r as pe d it and en, for the first time, a thou ght fl.ash e d th rough the ain of the office r as h e be h e l d some t hing he h ad n ot before Placing his hand upon t he face o f the h o rseman eutenant w ill is cried: "My Goel! he is dead, a n d bou n d in hi s sa ddle! I t was a shock to the so l dier, strong as h i s nerv e s re, that he had been t rying t o awa ken the dead. He leaned forwar d and p la ced hi s h an d o ver the u-t. It was sti ll. The pul s e gaY e back n o throb t o hi s t o uch He saw that the man was not on l v bo und i n hi s sa d hut arranged there with great' ca r e t o m ak e him e upr. ight. f wo sticks had been c ut an d o ne end placed in ips on each side of t h e saclclle, an d b ou nd a round body with a lasso t o h o ld hi s form e rect, while the ids had been tied to the h orn, t he fee t t o the girth. folding up the h ead, t he lieu ten ant l oo ked into 'it by s t arlight. lut this did not sat i sfy h i m so he t o o k fr o m his k e t a silve r match-case .triking a match he took fro m it h e h e l d th e fla me t o the man s face and rega rd e d the c oun t e n an c e b y l ight I do not think I can be m i s t aken, t ho u g h I go t but t s ty g } ance of him this morn ing. Yes, I am pretty ain tha t it i s the man who escaped one o f the rio 1 attacke d Mi s s Reeves. His r e t rihu ti o n has been swif t but who was his er? Who w as it that tied him thus in hi s sa d d le, and ed his horse l oose?" nable to ai:1swer this question, Lieutenan t W illi s lered a minute as to what h e sh ould do. 10uld he tllrn the hor s e loose and allO\v h i m o on his way to some ranch, t o b e found a n d ca r ed for by others, perh a p s going to the randi of Taylor Travis, as he was o n the direct trail or should he lead the a n i mal qnd his gha stly rider to Herders Ranch with him. A fter delib e ration, he qecided upon the latter course. S o he to o k the rein s a nd starh; d once more upon his way going a t a slo wer pace than before, as he had the horse i n lead. He had gon e mil es w heq he came to a ridge of timber, t he same w hich he had crossed in the morn ing at a point miles further down, and at the very mo m en t w h e n he could be o f s uch v aluable service to the R ose o f Evergreen. He v v a s just ente ring t he ti m ber, when lod the words : "Lie u te n ant W illi s b y the gods of war!"' CH.A.PT ;ER XVIII. ., I B UFF.A L O BILL' S !>T ORY. I Buffa l o B iil' s vo ice am o n g th o u sand!" This was the answe r of L ieuten ant given after hea r ing h i s name called fro m the darkness of the timber h e w a s e n t e ri ng. "You a re right, l ieutenant, and. glad am I to meet you." With these won,ls th e t a ll forn'l of Buffalo Bill st e p ped out of t h e thicket into the starlight. And h ow is i t I find yo u here, Bill?" asked the officer a f t er grasp ing the s c out's hapd "I w as jtis t going to as k y ou that question, sir, e spe ci ally as you have my dead man with you." "Your d earl man ?" Y es, sir, I m a y s o call him." Y ou kille d him then ?" No, sir, I did n o t, but I cla imed him, ;;ts Ifound h im." "Found him?" "I'll tell.y o u h o w it was sir, as soon as I have gotten m y h o rse, wh i ch i s a hundred yards away, I will ri d e a l ong with y ou a mile to a trail by which I go back to my st a mpin g g round. I a m i n te r este d C ody, so get your horse and come alon g, for wh a t yo u a re doing here I cannot imagine." Buffalo Bill w a lked back into the timber, but soon returned. mounted upon Pard. W heeling a lon g side of the lieutenant Buffalo Bill s aid: ; "No, s ir I did not kill the n,an, but he told me who did ." "I t h ink I know him Bill." "Indeed, sir "F,.o m his own acco unt he was not a cred i table ac\ ', qu amtance .. "No; but yo u t a lked w ith him, then ?" "He did th e t a l king-the little that he could do T was comil'lg a long trai l when I disc o vered him. I

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23 THE BUfl"ALO BILL STORIES. "His hQrse was in a walk, and he was reeling in the saddle, hard to the h'>rn. "l supposed he had been imbibing tanglefoot iq Herders' R.aneh. 'fSudd4ttlly, wht:n some distance frQIIJ. me, he fell faf>m the saddle and his herse c;nilp near." "It was daylight, then?'' "Yes, sir; half an hour before sl:H'lset." "\Veil?" "I rode up to him, and then saw that he was wounded. "He was moaning pitifully, and had no fewer than three w'mnds in his back, one a scalp wou_gd, that was slight, another bullet having entered under his right shoulder, and a third was in his neck. "He had bled a deal, but had bouud th.e wounds up as bti't he could. "1' ioaw by his face that he was a tough citizen, but, ef <:ieurse, wished tg dg all that I could for him, and did. "A ittreQm ran near, and 1 bathed hii; wounds, but I knew that the one the shoulder blade was fatal, that it was but a question of a i;hort time. "The one in the neck, too, had cut his mouth, and was a bad one. "I told him frankly that time was up with him, and asked if I could do for him. "He bitterly at this, and asked who I was. ''I told him, and he seemed startled, for he said : 'If I fet over this you will me?' "Then told him I was not in the hanging business, and again asked what I cquld do for him, when he said, eagerly: { 'You are sure I will die?' "'Yes.' "'When?' 'Within an hour or two.' "When I do, tie me on mv horse, t\IU'n his ht'Qd in y'mder direction, and start him home.' do you live?' 'Never mind.' '\Vbat iit your name?' 'It does not matter.' 'Who wountled you?' "He was silent, and I repeated: "'vVho you your wounds?' '.A "Ah, I feared it," muttered Lieutenant Vvillis, and Buffa!" Bill seemed surprised at his words, but continu ed ; "His answer, as I said, was that a girl had gi y en him the wounds. 'A girl,' I asked. "'Yes.' "'Why?' "'I attempted to kidnap her.' "'When?' -. 'This morning.' 'Why did you do so?' 'I had orders. 'From whom?' The lieutenant drew a long breath. Was be now going to learn the truth whidi. the young lcidnaper had died to confess? Was he i:'Oing to learn the name of the leader of the kidnapers, and which he half believed that Roe Reeves knew ? "Go on, Bill, I am much interes t ed, he said, calmly. "\Vhen I asked h i m who had given him orders to kidnap a young girl, he did not reply for a while, andl then said: I won1t tell, for I took my chances with the others, and they were wiped out. '.''If I had been succeilsfol, my pay would have beei c and I won't betray him now.' 'There were others with y ou, then?' 'Y ti; our leader and two pards of mine. 'The captain escaped, my pards were killed; an I am e-oin: on the same trail, but I won't betray him. "I uri:'ed, but he refused, and only said that the gir wail the of a rich ranchero, and know as th Roie of "That they had her at their mercy, when some on came to rescue a man in uni fo m, and he had t tiy for hi11 life, as the rescuer killed his pards. "As he rode away, the w'ho was a dead sho fired at him, three of the bullets him, and th others near. "He had ridden hard, then halted to dress h. f wounds, and roamed about waiting for night, when h a could go to his home, but grew so weak he fell fro his s a ddle. "That wail all I could get from him, and s oo n aft he grew too weak to say more. he had uri:'ed me to tic him t'9 his saddle an let his horse take him home, I decided to do so. an when he died I cut some sticks and bound him a horse as you no doubt have "Tumin2' the animal loose, he took the trail in t direction, and shortly after I followed, for I ca clown this way upon a trail 1 am anxious to see t r end of." Such was Buffalo Bill s story and, having heard Lieutenant \Villis made up bis mind as to his plan action. CHAPTER XIX A DEAD SECRET. For some minutes after the scout had finished sp ing not a word was spoken between the two, both see ing busy with their own thoughts. The lieutenant was the firs t to break the silence a he said : "I have a story to teil you, Cody."

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BUFF ALO BILL STORI E S 23 sir, you will find me a ready listener." I wish to tell you what I know, and, putting it tith yours, of what the kidnaper told you, we will nd no difficulty in making it complete." : Then Lieutena.nt Willis to,ld his story of starting ver to see Taylor Travis, to put in the day he would. !ave to wait in Herders' Ranch, and the scene he be:!lme an actor in. "Then, sir, the young lady did reall y kill the man?" "Yes, and it is a pity, for her sake." o "So I think, Lieutenant Willis. d I have heard of her, fo r the scouts have seen her 1d say she is very beautiful, and everybody loves her. :>, "She is a dandy rider and shot, too, they said, and lS a piano which her father brought out in a spring :nagi:m for h er, while s he s ings like a bird. with the man who escaRecl from the attack upon Miss Reeves. ''Bill, that is the way we will have it. "Of course, I will report it as it was to Colonel so that he will know the trutQ. if:it h<\S to come out some day; but l told you of her sympathy with tha t dying youth, and if she knew that she had .killed this man she woulject." a
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24. THE BUFFALQ BILL STORIES. "'.fbe mat) in black again, doubtless." '.'Yes, sir; so I believed. know that I placed things so abeut the I tell if a ny one went there "Yei." "l for any one who went on foot. "'I r:emember." "B\.lt this time the viiitor was on horseeaek, I, of course had no difficu lty in him." "Well, Bill, you tracked him, of course?" "I a m still trackin i him, sir. "The man was there not very Joni before I was, and he a la r i e horse, iron shod, not a pony. .. "I followed the trail for a mile on foot, saw that it came in thii direction, so I returned to my camp and, i'ivini 011e of my horses a loni rope that would give him enou i h for a couple of days, and a chance to reach the b r o ok fo r water, I mo y n t ed Pani here and return.d to the t rail. "I follow e d it without difficulty except a t certain places, and it led m e rii"ht toward the ranch country here. "Abut three o'cl o ck this afternoon I a uddonly cam e this, ev idently dropped upon the tra il." ,,Bi,i.f(alo Bill handed to the li11ut< mant, who quic.l.dy iai d : .. "It is a m a sk." -.--"Yes, iir, a black gne, just the kind Ned Nordec!( deicrib e d ait 'being worn by the man in black." "Tpii intcr.stini, Bill." "All along I h a d the idea that I must be 01i the trail of the Masked Man in Black, as I did not know who else knew of. the grave or would visit it. 1'Then, too, the visitor had shaped up the mound a little better than. J did, and sitraightened the post1 so that naturally led me to the belil:!f that it could be no other than the Masked .Man in Black" "It would look it'il, as; who else wi;ml'1 take st1ch aa interest in it?" "No one, sir." ':The firidini of the mask 'vhich had been dropped for one of the str'niS had been broken, put the idea into my mind tha t the slayer 9f Dr. Drayton Wai some rancher. "Some one who had a home here the ranches, but while waiting for the f the man he wai to fliht r duel wifh;'had camped up near the irave he had for him." "It would seem so.,; "His s ecre t ,.camp I cquld not find, for he went to and from it afoot "After the duel returnee to his ranch, mo u nted his horse, and. rode qack to see if the was all right, knowih i t hat I had been tamperini with it for so a time. "He had come the sta.ge trail, and from the direction of Herders' Camp, that the tracks plainly sl;Lowed, but he came back the way I have follow!!d him/' "And have you tracked him anywhere yet?" "No, sir; r was still trailing him when I saw kidnaper coming, and that delayed me until after 1.l:htfall. "New, my plan is to return to the hills where I n kidnaper, and camp for the rest of the night and ask you to delay your return to the fort te-mor row, writing the colonel by Neel N6rdeck your rna"''1 and for you to ride out here to-morrow afternoon an4 : meet me." t "I will do so, Bi!L" "You see, sir, I do not wish to be seen by any on and as I am, I wot1ld be recognized. You certainly would." d "So ple as e me a disguise of some kind; Jad Tobin ca n fit me up with one, and I will follow th trail when it lcaclii. "Of course, can be clone to the man in blac' whoever he may turn out to be, for it was a square! J duel, a far ali he knew; but the colonel wish to tmd out wh he you told me and we can ma! the try." j "We will, :Bill." El "Then, to0, h e may prove to be none other th Captain Cobra, and Captain Cobra may be discoveret1 to be a r:ilnchero." n, "Y u do <;ertainly get at a from every sid Bill." "Have to, sir, to get there. "But there is one thing more I wish to ask you l do for me." ilJ "Cert:.iinly." 1 "The Masked Man in Black was called Tyler Tat! t by the man he killed." ''That 'vas the name!' "Please find out from Tobin if there is such rancher or settler about Herders' Ranch, or if he e delivered a letter through the post office to one of t nan1e." "A good id ea, Bill, and I v-:ill do so." as "Then, sir, I will leave you now, but let me t;;J.ke tl1e props away from this dead man1 and tie hl' differently upon the saddle for it would not be s 1 poaed that you would rig him up this way." n Thi'> was done, ::tncl -with his weird compani s Lieutenant Will-is started on for Herders' Ranch, wta Buffalo Bill returned to the hills, to go in.to canip the -of the an no CHAPTER XXI. er ,; fe THE MEETING IN THE TIMBER. -co It was one o'clock before Lieutenant Willis reac It Herders' Ranch, and he rode into the stable of d Steepwell tavern unseen b>.'. any one. av Sending a man in for Jack Tobin, he told hi

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THE BU ff ALO BILL STORIES. 2& the day's adventures, meeting Cody, and what he had idecicled to do to help the scout on his trail, but he did not tell him that the man had fallen under the deadly aim of the Rose of Evergreen. != "Your horse was killed under me, Tobin, and I Ibrought this one, that fell to me as one that belonged to the kidnapers, and will pay you what difference you !4deem just." t "\\Thy, lieutenant, a fair exchange is no robbery, and rthis is about as good a horse as the one you rode away, c 1 though that i s saying a great deal, as horseflesh lQ:iut bless her sweet soul, I would lose any horse I own t o have saved that sweet girl, the Rose of Evergreen; s o are even." le The two now entered Jack Tobin's private rooms. : he body of the kidnaper being left in the stable until lc.tylight, and the landlord continued : cl "Now to disguise Cody, for he is not easily disl<:\;cti sed. "No, but we can fit him up in some way." ::1 "Yes, I can rig him out in a suit of corduroys, send el1im some hairpins to tuck his long hair up under a slouch hat I have here and a razor for him .. tp tkhave off his mustache and iipperial if he wishes to, v ith an outfit of books, which were left here by a book 1 gent who was killed for lying some two years ago, 1a.aving said in one day that he was a Jew, Methodist, re:atholic and infidel, for he belonged to any creed the nan did he wished to sell his books to." id "And some one killed him?: "Yes, one of the boys played it on him under nt disguises, pretending to be several different per-1 ons, and a row followed and the book agent was i1led, the first case on reCGrd, I believe." Tobin then brought out the book agent's out t r t and thi1:1gs, and that. he could i uffalo B1l1 a fairly good d1sgmse, Lieutenant W1ll1s undled all up together and decided to go out after an : h1r-ly breakfast to meet the scout, as he had,in view e\iaking another visit before 1)-is returq to Herders' t1'.anch. \\Then the coach can1e into the ranch the 11eutenant as up; had had his breakfast and Ned N ordeck fi.j s letter to Colonel Kane. h "Fm sorry you are not goin' back with me, sir, si1t then you will:; I guesses, ne:x:'t time, atJd I has impany this time, as you sees,': said Ned, alludhig ni1 several men in miner garb who were going on in the w ach to the mines tip about Santa Fe. p The news that Lieutena .nt had found a dead 1an on the trail, in returning from Taylor T,ravis' inch, and brought the body in with him, did not cre e more than a ripple of excitemet)t in Herders' ranch, few going to see who he was and recognizing him as cowboy upon one of the srn:all ranches. ac It was at once put down that he had been murdered )f ld robbed, and he had been quietly buried in the aveyard of the ranch, which, as some of the boys im .. .-.; said, was running a close record for numbers in _f habitants, "Last trail," as the cemetery was called, having very few less bodies than Herders' ranch had souls in .it. Mounting another fine horse furnished him by Jack Tobin, the lieutenant set out for the place where' he was to meet Buffalo Bill, carryingthe scout's bundle with him. He at an easy canter, the good horse cast the miles behind him without the slightest fati{lle to himself. He passed the spot where he had left Buffalo Bill the night before, then turned off to the left for the hills, and in half ah hour, had entered the woodlands. He had not ridden very far b(forc he iave a hail, for his arrangement had been to meet the scout later in the day and at the edge of the' His hail was at once answered from a few hundre
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26 THf: BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. H;anging upon a limb near was a Mexican sad\_lle, bridle and lass o. That he was dead a closer look reveci.led to the office r, and more, he saw no fewer than four wounds upon the man. \ Vho is he; Bill?" In re sponse the scout handed the l ieutenant a note, saying: "It is in Spanish, sir, and I read it but indifferently The 9fficer took the note, which was in an unsealed envelope, and addressed simply in Span!sh : '"'' "By' VIPER." Opening it, lieutenant read, als o in-Spanisli.: -''The bearer, Viper, is a new man, but to be trusted. 1 "After .getting the stores from C-, put them in the cliff cavern, and disperse, until a call from "COBRA. "P. S.-Viper will bring me word of su cce ss or failure.' '"Well, Bill, I think I see something in this, but you doubtless read between the lines far better than I do, so "'Wha't dQ you make of it?" "J t.1st" this, sir. '-I have heard that, like Captain Cobra, all of h is men are named after some reptile. "'N 9w, Rattle stands, in my opinion, for Rattlesnake, and he is doubtless foe leader in charge of some act of outlawry. : "Viper is plain, and he ls a new man, but is to be trusted, and he is to bring oack news of success or fail ure of what is to fie done, to Cobra, who is no doubt Captain Cobra ; and -the writer of tl:li s n o te. "The 'C--' mnst stand for coach, and the stores are what it is rqbbed of. 7 : ''The cliff ca*rn is, I think, the i:>lace where Cap Cobra hid the day I chased him so close, and which vou know how I afterward discovered, but he dues not know that lam aware of the setret hiding place and he considers it a good place to put the ." Bill ; yon ha ve read it out as th0ugh it was so wtit-, te11 ; but hO\v did you get the nb_te ?" "Well, sir, T can lay it t o my Death Charnl, I sup pose, for that felkl\v was a figJ1ter. "He came along the trail last night at a galfop. soon after I got into camp. '' "t hea:rd hini so:ri'le dis tanc e L>ff, and ran to the trail tohe'ad -him off, fo1: I was sure i::har you were returning for some rearnf1. or it was my Tvlaskecl Man in Black. : I hatted him, kno,ving yo u would recognize iny voice an<'.! aiiswer, fo1 it was da 'rk in the timl)er. "A savage Spanish oat h and a sho t followed my 'l challenge, and the bullet cut through my h at, a dos call. "Instantly I decided to have my man, and-, leapin out into the trail. seized the bridle rein as he wa t dashing by. t "Then followed the closest and hottest duel of m life and only the fact that his revolver went back o b him saved me n "He pulled trigger the moment I grasped his bridl 1 but his cap snapped "My shot wounded him. "Again hi s cap snapped, and my shot told ''But he was game, and, cursing me in sti ll continued to pull trigger, as I did "Five times the weapon missed fire and four timer my bullets hit him, for as the horse was mad wiq fright and I had hard work to hold him, I missed on shot." "What a terrible and remarkable fight, Bill." "It was the closest call and fiercest fight of my lif sir, -and the man was dead-game to the very last. "My last shot brought him from the saddle, an having quieted his horse, I ;vent to him, but he wj dead. bn;mght him over to m y camp, q,nd went ba:tk f his horse. "Then, as I did not wish to build a fire that migl attract the attention of some one, I turned in for .tl 1 b<>..lance of the night, to await for daylight,. and needed the rest." "'Vhat a remarkable coincidence that five shouts mi ssed fire." ''Yes, sir. The first sent a bullet through my h but the other five fortunately for me." "Your Death Charm holds its power yet, Bill," sa the officer, with a smile "'Yes, sir, it wo uld see;n so. "But telt me the rest of your story." "\i\fheh dawn came, sir, I saw just what my sho had clone, and it is a wonder be had the strength to st fight on, ,. ... "This note he had upon him, a belt of gold about h waist, and his weapons are the very best, t horse he rode is the very animal I tracked from t grave here," ar'ld Buffalo Bill knew that his wor woi.1ld surprise the' lieutenant f l Lieute!1ant Willis had listened with n tention to all the had to his m1dmght Yenture. "\Veil, Bill, you the inost remarkable way n getting into scrapes, and the most clever manne r extricating yourself that I have eer heard of. "But you feel very sure that the horse of this m is the same 1'iclden from the upper country by the in you tracked and whom you re gard as surely the ot who killed Dr. Drayton?" e ''Of the last l shall not assert positively, sir, \mt t horse is the same, th ere i s 110 mistake there."

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r THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 27 I OS{ "You a re generally on the safe side." in g ''You see, sir I noted that track well, the peculiariNa:ties about it, measured all fou r feet, and noted the way the horse had of stepping. m' "Three. points I noticed at once in the tracks of this oi horse, when I led him to water this morning, with no idea of observing if he was the same animal I had dletrack ed. "Then I led him into soft ground, noted each hoof print, and measured it observed just how he stepped, and I am sure he is the animal." h "Then the rider must be the Man in Black?" "I don't think that, sir, for he is a Mexican, and rneNed Nordeck said the man in black spoke with no ;vi tJaccent. oni "This man cursed me in choice Spanish and English, and the latter, I observed, had a decided accent in the two or three words he uttered." lif( "Where do you think this man came from?" "That I could find out, if I had time, by trailing an
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28 THE BUff ALO .BILL STORIES. of the dead Viper. He h;d .caught up the coach, ready to plunge into the preast of the bra v i left his horse tethered beyond the turn of the road, driver when Buffalo Bill's rifle cracked. ,, i and had crawled forward taking advantage of every The Cobra fell dead and .the took t bit of c o,ver, and was now ,atching .Jhe liold-up, esflight leaving their booty, their leader and their
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A corking is what we predicted when it opened. what it is developing into. J u st read some cf these curious dreams. Just look at the prizes mentionedon page 3t and then en t er the contest yourself. A' Frightful Dream. (By Chas. Stammel, Col.) This is the dream I had one night: I dreamed I went upon a railroad bridge, and when I got in the middle of the br i dge, I saw a train coming each way, and when I found all hope was gone of stopping the train I jumped from the bridge, a distance of 125 feet, and landed in the water and swam ashore. When I got ashore my clothes were stiff with ice, and I was shivering with cold. It was five miles to the nearest h ouse When I got there I chan ged my clothes and started for home, and going home I had to go through a graveyard, and I was scared half to death. Then I woke up and was trembling with fear. A N a rrow Esc a pe. (By Wm. Conway, Pa.) I was on my way taking a walk to the river drive. and to make my way short I had to cross two large trestle bridges, which I was forbidden to do by my parents. I disobey ed them and crosi;ed it. I got partl y over the first bridge when I saw a fast New York express train approaching. I was bewildered an'd did not know what to do. I fell between the trestle and tried t o hang on for dear life to the ties, but my strengt h fai.Jed me and I fell into the deep, muddy river below the bridge, before the train had passed me. I was in the water for about thirty seconds. Of course I could not swim, like other b oys Three men were standing on the shore and they heard my screams for help. Tbey lost no time in securing a small boat and rowed out after me. I had no idea of be ing saved, and thought I was a goner, but I was safe in the man's arms and they th en hurried fhe boat back to shore. I They laid me with my toward the grourtd and rubbed my head and back, and very soon they brought me to. I thanked the men for their wonderful ad and told them that I could never, never pay them for what they had done Before leaving me they took my name and address, and thel1' I left them, making my way for home, saying over and ove r to my self, "Never disobey you r parents," and with that I awoke from my slumber, very much startled. An Escaped Lunatic. (By Joe Bauman, N Y.) A b out two months ago I was spending a week's vaca tion with a friend of mine by the name of Charles Mack. His age was 20 and mine 14. We used to s h oot at targets with pistols. Vf e alwa y s had one in our pockets. One night I dreamed that we had just started for home after we were tired of target shootit\lg. My friend was walking about one hundred yards ahead of me. As he turne d a corner and got out of sight I heard a sharp cry and a thud. I began running and as I turned the corner I was horror struck to see a man standing over the appar ently lif e less body of my fri e nd. He had a big knife in his hand. I did not know whether it was best to run or stay. All at once I thought of my pistol. I go t it pretty quick and shot at and shat tered the hand that held the knife. InstanUy the man turned. and with a wild laugh caught me b y the throat before I could shoot again. In the midst of it all I awoke, with the perspiration pouring down my face. In the morning I told the whole family my dream, and they all laughed

PAGE 31

30 THE BUFF f\.LO BILL STORIES. That afternoon we went targe ts hooting. Whe n we wen't home we wer e in the same position a s in m y dream, and everything ha p pened as I had drea med it except when the man cau ght me by the throat he was seized and bound hand and foot. He was an escaped lunatic and his keepers caught him just in time. My friend was not hurt at all. We both had a very narrow esc a pe from death, and I can never for g et tha t da y In the Mine. ( B y walton Davis, Ia.) Som e tim e ago I h a d a ver y curious dream. I thought I wa;; in the mine and had been mining. I mined a while and had commenc e d to feel tired so I leaned back to res.t. I happened to look up and, oh, horror' the roof was settling down up o n me. I tried to get out, but could not. All at once it settled down on me. The weight was crushing the life out of me ; my eyes were bursting from their sockets and I was pantin g for breath. I thought of all m y past life and kne w I would soon be dead, when I at last awoke with a start and, oh, joy! it was only a dream. A Redskin Dream. (By John Prior, Tenn.) One.night -it was very cold and I to bed. I had a dream of going out hunting and I ran across five Indians in the forest. They saw me and shot one arrow at me, striking me in the left arm, but not doing mtich damage. I had a rifle, a knife and two revolvers. "Whe n they shot I vyas too scar e d to move but after regaining my s e lf-po sses sion I raised my rifle and fir e d and killed one, but before I had time to shoot again they were upon me. 1 dre w my knife and hit one in the breast with it, not hurting him much. One of them hit me with a club and put me out of business. When I re g ained con s ciou s ness from the blow, I was boun disap peared in the darkness. When I came out of the barn to g o to the h o use there were three ghost s sitting b y the sid e of the barn, and father was with them I went down to the house and got the lantern and went up1to the barn, and they had disa ppeare d I woke up I was lying in one corner of the room. T his was a curious dream. LETTERS FROM PRIZE WINNERS. ---' PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 1 6 1902. GENTLEMEN :-I r e ceived the prize all 0 K. and am very much pleased with it. I did not expect to r e cei ve anything for my efforts, so I have been v er y agreeably surprised. Don't you think I have started v ery well? Please let me know if this letter will be publish ed. I am a don stan.t reader of BUFFALO BrLL WE EKLY, a nd am person ally acquainted with,Mr. Cody. Yours very truly, Jos. W. BqND. 'You bet you've started well Jos eph. Glad you like the prize. Get into the new conte s t. DEAR SIRS :-I wj sh to thank you for the fishing outfit. It is a peach. I will thank you now. I h o p e m y n ext story will win something. I have had an offer of $6 for1 the fishing outfit, but I won't sell. .. THOMAS KLINE. CORRESPONDENCE. R. M. F.-All the names you mention are those of real characters, now living.

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t e a = n r e y e t 1-1i:ie it. xt The Contest just starting is going to be the greatest we ever ran. It's an entirely new idea. The Prizes are new and the finest we ever offered. The other contests held in the BUFFALO BILL WEEKLY have all made splendid success, but this one is sure to break all records. Why ? Because it is a brand-new ideaa contest every boy in America has an equal chance in, and because the prizes beat anything ever offered before. All you have to do is to write out an account of any of your I Curious Dreams. Everybody has had remarkable dreams, and anybody who sends in an account of one has a winning one of the prizes. They consist of chance of i THREE FIRST-CLASS PHOTOCRAPHIC OUTFITS, Including Camera and all Appli:Oc:es for Taking and Devdpping Photovaphs. Five Hunting Axes and Five Hunting Knives. Think of the fun you can ha.ve this winter with one of those cameras. You can take and develop photographs of all your friends. Full directio _ns go with each camera. Think how useful and haody a first rate hunting knife or ax will be when _y_
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J! BLJFF !\LO BILL STORIES (LARGE SIZE.) Containi"ng the Only Stories Authorized by Hon. WILLIAM F. CODY ("Buffalo Bill"). 48-Buffa lo Bill's Secret; or, The Trail of a Traitor. Bill's Phantom Hunt; or, The Gold Guide of Colorado Canvon. 50-Buffol o Bill's B rother in or, T h e Redskin Lariat Rangers. 51-B u ffalo B ill' s Trail of the Man T igers; or, The Doom of the Branded Hand. 52-B uffalo Bill's E o y Pard; or, Training the Bov. 5 3-Buf falo B ill s Vow o f Vengeance; or, Tpe Scout's Boy Ally. 54-B u ffal o Bill and the M a d Hermit; or, finding a lost Trail. 55-Buffalo Bill's Bonanza; or, The Clan of the Silver Circle. 56-Buffa lo Bill's Mascot; or The Mystery of Death Valley. 57-Buff a l o B m and the Surgeon Scout; or, The Brave Dumb Messenger. 58-Buffal o Bin's M v s terious Trail; or, Tracking a Hidden foe. 59.:..Buffal o Bill and t h e Masked Hussar; or, fighting the P rairie Pirates. 60-Buffo l o Bill' s B lin d ; or, Runnin g the Death Gauntlet. 61-Bu ffa l o B ill and t h e M asked Driver: or. The Fatal Run Through Death C anyo n. i 62-Buff.alo Bill's Still Hunt; or, Fighting the Robber of the Ranges. 163-Buffa! o Bill and the Red Riders; or, The Mad Driver of the Overlands. 64-Buffalo Bill s Dead-Shot Pard; or, The Will-o -the-Wisp of the Trails. 65-B u ff a lo B ill s Run-Down; or, The' R ed-Hand Renegade' s Death. 66-Buffa l o Bill s Red Trail; or, I\ Race for Ranson. 67-Buffalo Bill's B e s t Bower; or, Calling the Turn on Death Notch Dick. 68-Bu f fal o Bill and the Gold Ghouls; or, Defying Death at El ephant Rock. 69-Buffalo Bill's S p y Shadower; or, The Hermit of G rand Canyon. 70-Buffa l o Bill's Secret Camp; or, Trailing the Cloven Hoofs. :.1 71-Buffalo Bill s Sweepstake; or, Hunting the Paradise Gold Mine. 72-Buffalo Bill and the Black Heart Desperado; or, The Wipe-Out at Last Chance. .., 73-Buffalo B ill' s Death Charm; or, The Lady in Velvet. 74-Buffalo Bill' s Desperate Strategy; or, The of the Cliff. 75-Buffalo Bill and the Black Mask; or, The Raffle of Death. I 76-Buffalo Bill s Road Agent Round-Up; or, Panther Pete' Revenge .. 1, BaGk numbers always on hand. If you cannot 2'et them from your five cents a I will them to you, by ma.ii, I STREET & SMITH, VU:blishers, 238 VV'ILLIAl'\:'.I: ST., NEW YORK CITY.


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