Buffalo Bill and the renegade queen, or, Deadly Hand's strange duel


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Buffalo Bill and the renegade queen, or, Deadly Hand's strange duel

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Title:
Buffalo Bill and the renegade queen, or, Deadly Hand's strange duel
Series Title:
Buffalo Bill stories
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Buffalo Bill
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Street & Smith
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Language:
English
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1 online resource (31 p.) 28 cm.: ;

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

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Original Version:
Volume 1, Number 77

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
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020850050 ( ALEPH )
223329230 ( OCLC )
B14-00077 ( USFLDC DOI )
b14.77 ( USFLDC Handle )

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A ,\NEEttLY PUBLICATION DE-VOTED TO BORDER HI &TORY Jssued Weekiy. By Subscr!ption $250 per year Entered as Secoua Gass Mauer at New Yorli' Post Office v.1 5'1 REE' I & SMITH. 23.5 Wziizam St .. N. Y No. 77. Price, Five Cents. : 1 VOW BY HIGH HEAVEN, BUFFALO BILL, 'XO 'Xf!.A.CK Y0lJ 1'0 YOUR DEATH!"

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ffiO[brb A WEEKLY. PUESLrCATION DEVOTED TO BORDER HI S,TORY ltlflMI WNllly. By S#!Jscnption Ii.so jer year. Entered as Second Class Matter at tlle N. Y. Post Office, fly STREET c'l: SHITH, z38 William St., N. Y. Entered act:#rdi#.f' to Act of Canp-ess in Ille year rqoa, in tlle OjJica of tlle Libranis,. of Ca#pess, W ashinzton, D. C. No. 77. NE W YORK, November 1, 1902. P rice F i v e Cen ts Buffalo Bill and the Renegade Queen; OR DEADLY HANDtS STRANG E DUEL. B y the author o f BUFF A L O BILL.'' CHAPTER I. THE BEGINNING OF THE END. "By heaven! it is not the Deserter Sergeant, but Buf falo Bill He has been a spy in the band and tracked them to death. Ha! there is my gallant Fred Forrester, and he, too, comes with a noose in his hand, but not for my n eck, for I shall kill him now and end it!" As the speaker uttered the words a rifle went slowly up to his shoulder, and the aim was upon the form of a man in uniform, with straps on his shoulders to denote that he was an officer. But the trigger was not touched by the index finger, and the weapon was quickly lowered with the words : "No, no, it would be a mercy to kill him, so he shall live. for I shall make his living worse than death. "l\Iy God! why do I linger here when all is lost? I must not be taken," and the speaker glided back into the shadow of the timber, and disappeared in the darkness. The one who spoke these words, uttered with feelings of bitterest hate, was a woman, a l most a child, and a beautiful one she seemed, as the light of a flickering fire had fallen upon her face, and revealed, also, her form, clad in a riding hagit. The scene she had gazed upon was an appalling one for men were struggling for life and death but short distance away, and the shouts and oaths of maddened humanity mingled with the rattle of revolvers. It was a canyon, which might be called a fertile valley, for there were trees meadowlands and swiftly running brook, all overhung by lofty cliffs that surrounded ii:. The canyon ended abrupt l y at one end, and narrowed to a pass between cliffs at the other. Where the woman stood was a rude cabin hidden in a clump of timber, and in the background were several horse s Entering the cabin, she dragged out a pack-saddle which she hastily put upon the back of one of the horses. Upon another a side-saddle was placed, and leaping to her seat, the woman rode away from the cabin, leading the pack-horse and skirting the timber in the background so as to avoid notice Soon after she rode out through the pass and as as a phantom disappeared in the gloom And in the canyon the fight continued untii cries for mercy rang out and the rattle of the revolvers was hushed. What followed were death scenes, and an execution that sent a g u ilty soul into eternity. But while the one thus slain faced death, he had said in a voice in which there was no tremor of fear: "l uffalo Bill, you have given your pledge to me to see that my wife, now to be known as the Renegad e Queen

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2 THE BUFF l\LO BILL STORIES. 1 -of the Sioux, shall receive the letter I have intrusted to your hands ?" "I have," was the firm response "B\lffalo Bill, I trust you, though you brought nie to this fate I am ready !" They were the last words of Snow Face, the white chief of the Sioux, for a platoon of cavalrymen sent their bul lets into his breast. The group was a stran,ge one, and men were there whose names have become known throughout the landheroes of the border whJ will long live in poem and storv; It. was the end of a trail which Buffalo Bill had pledged himself to follow to the end, and he had kept his pledge. Assuming to be an outlawed soldier, known as.. the De serter Sergeant, whom he closely resembled in face and form, who had often been called the great scout's "double," and whom he had himself slain, he had joined a sion that Fred Forrester was not guilty as accusec;l, and she wondered, as she gazed upon the stern, handsome face, why it was not full of sunshine. And so in that canyq11 men were dying as the moments went by, graves were dug and filled in, and then in quiries for the beautiful traitress, who had acted as the tool of the outlaw chief, ?-nd visiting the fort, had lured K ate Kennerley, a belle and heiress, into a trap, pretending to be herself a victim <}.lso of the kidnapefs. So search was made for the traitress, whose childlike beauty had been her strongest card, and then it was dis covered that she had departed from the canyon: fled foto the trackless mountains, alone, to escape from those who might be merciless to her. But they dreamed not that she had escaped .for revenge. ; they had not measured the strength of her implacable will, nor the deep depravi7 of wo1:ian's heart. band of road-agents known as the Brother hood, the chief of whom, tracked to death, lay but a few CHAPTER II. rpds away from where Buffalo Bill stood. THE RENEGADE QUEEN. Impersonating the Deserter Sergeant, he hac\ v isited the Sioux village, over which Snow Face, the renegade, A strange place for a woman, and a beautiful one, too,r ruled, and he, too, had been lured to his death there in in the village of a redskin tribe. that canyon, the outlaws' retreat. Yet her surroundings are not altogether Indian, for her Gathered about in groups, some of them guarding outhome is a log cabin, with several rooms, with law prisoners, wern a score of cavalrymen, men o f the a piazza across its front, where swings a hammock, and U J S Cavalry, from Fort Fairview, who bad been where severaJ rustic easy-chairs are found. The furniture is not such as is found in an Indian tepee, detailed on special service under the scout, and had been known as Buffalo Bill's Boys in Blue but better than what many a cabin of a well-to-do farmer orrancher contains. Bending over a wounded man, tenderly caring for him, That it was taken on raids, pillaged from trains carry-was a man of superb physique, who had won fame as the ing the baggage of some commandant to his frontier post, surgeon scout, and who yet lives, in the person of Dr. did not make _it a whit less comfortable to the cabin s Frank Powell, the hero of many a border romance, and mistress. whose life has been the most exciti1;g and romantic of ro1,'he C?.;bin looked like the home of refinement, though rnances. about it, a mile or two away, were scattered tlie villages Not far frorri him, silent, Standing with arms folded of. the Sioux, over whom the former chief held sway, for upon his broad breast, like a statue of a soldier, wa s an it the one-time home of Sriow Face, the renegade. army officer, whose life was under a cloud. . The woman upon the piazza was his wife His name Captain Fred Forrester, and he had long The scene from her home was a grand one, of vaffey, been suspected of being in league with outlaws, but rewinding brook, meadow lands, a tepee village in the dis cently the confession of a dying outlaw; Captain Brimtance, herds of ponies feeding here and there, and a backstone, had cleared him. ot' lofty mountains. . H is stern, determined face is strikingly I1an' dsome, and The cabin was at the head of. the valley, and was. shelhis carriage superb, while his manners, though courteous, tered by overhanging cliffs fringed with mountain pines. are cold and reserved. Sketches in pencil, water-colors, and other bits of handi-He, too, has come to the end of a trail that he has folwork, were upon the cabin walls. lowe d long and ruthlessly, and the dead outlaw chief What had been an officer's loss had proven a renegade's lying at his feet almost, in the far bygone, wl)en : a poy, gain, and the latter had enjoyed the comfort thereof. he had called brother, and looked ttp to' as alr tha-twas The woinan was reading, and was seated in a rude but good and true, to in the end be cruelly deceived. comfortable rocking-chair the while, her eyes now and Apart from the group, half shrinking from sight; was a then turning from the pages of her hook to the beaiity of graceful form, one whose rescue had just been the scenery before her, the valley growing .. dark far away, accomplished, for she had, with the beautiful traifress who as the sun s;i,nk nearer .th<: mountain had led her into a trap, been kidrtaped by Captain BrimShe was clad in a: suit of buckskin, heavily beaded, stbne, the i roa d.:agent. fringed and worked with colored porcupine-quills.And, as she stood there, pale, hut beautiful, her eyes The skirt was short,
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"HE BU ff i\LO BILL STORIES. 3 low her waist, while a jaunty head-dress of feathers rested upon her brow like a crown. The face was beautiful, and as innocent looking as a child's; but, for all that, there was decision of character =n it most strongly marked. Her eyes, large, lustrous, yet dreamy, were dark, and shaded by long black lashes, presenting a striking contrast to her auburn hair, and her complexion, pure as a lily, was yet bronzed and .tinted with perfect health. Such was Irma Dean, the wife of the renegade chief, whom the reader has seen executed in a c;anyon, under the carbines of a platoon of cavalrymen. It was several days after the sceue in the canyon, and she was alone in her home a111ong the mountains, her red skin servant having gone over to one of the villages of her people. Though reading, the woman did not seem wholly inter ested in her book, for she raised her eyes often from the pages to glance down the valley. Suddenly her eyes became riveted upon an object, which soon proved to be a horse and rider. "Ah I thought. it was Douglass; but it is not he !" She sprang to her feet, and took a glass from a hook near, leveling it upon the horseman Then her face paled, and she cried, excitedly: "My God! What brings that man back here?" She replaced. the glass in the bracket, cast her book from her, and sank into her chair, as though from weakness. Her beautiful face was now white, and her lips quiv ered nervously, while her eyes glowed with a stran ge light. The horseman, meanwhile, had come nearer, and proved to be a white man. He was well mounted and armed, and would have been taken for Buffalo Bill had he been in buckskin. Instead, he was dressed in a cavalry uniform, wore the stripes of an orderly-sergeant upon his arm, and his black sombrero was encircled by a gold cgrd. He rode with the air of a man who knew that he was constantly face to face with death. His eyes scrutinized the cabin and its su t;oundings a&, he advanced, and a close observer would havlt1seen that he was ready for instant fight or flight. .He saw the woman, yet appeared not to do so, and soon aiter rode up to a tree, and, throwing the rein of his horse over a limb, dismounted Approaching the piazza, he did so with his rifl-e swung to his side and his hands conveniently near the butts of bis revolvers. Ascending the steps, he raised his sombrero, and said, politely: "\\Te meet again, madam.'' ''l\Iay I ask why, sir?" the woman demanded,. coldly. She was calm now, yet very pale. "I am here on a mission to see you, Mrs. Russell," anci there was a touch of sadness in his tone. "Do not call me by that name, sir How dare you do so?" and her face flushed with anger. "You are Mrs. Russell, I know. I have come to give you pain, I know, for I am the bearer of sad tidings to vou." "Good God! My husband He is dead?" "He i s madam." "And you are his murderer! By the heaven above, but you shall die for this, Buffalo Bill !" and the renegade queen drew a revolver from her belt and leveled it full at the man before her CHAPTER III. A WOMAN'S OATH. There was determination in the eye to kill, and the man whose heart she covered with her revolver real ized it. There was no q11iver in the small hand that held .the ex tended r e volver, and the eye was running along the sight for deadly aim, when, quick as a flash, the man dropped to the ground, and the bullet flew over his head. In an instant, he had seized the revolver, and wrenched it from the woman's hand, while he said, sternlv: "Hear what I have to say, madam! "Don't force me to be cruel toward a woman, for I would not be." He took the other revolver from her belt, and she sank clown into her chair, her form quivering, her eyes glaring at him, while her teeth almost cut into her lips to force her self to calmness. "I will listen she said, with an effort. I came here as the Deserter Sergeant, and yet, as you suspected, I am Buffalo Bill. "I took advantage of my striking resemblance to the deserter, whom I killed in a personal encounter, to play his part, and, as such, I was admitted to membership ih the band of the Brimstone Brotherhood. "I entered their ranks as a spy, to destroy them, and was ssmt here by their chief, whom you knew as Edmund Allyn. I formed an alliance between your husband and Cap tain Brimstone, and then I struck my blow. "But it was not as successful as I wished, for Allyn e s caped, and it did not include the capture of your husband. "I tried again, with a special detail of soldiers, known as my in Blue, and this time the result was all I could hope : "11 , :'My is dead!" and the words were with enforced calmness "You shall hear all, madam. I again played the part of the Deserter Sergeant, and met Captain Brimstone, also playing a part, that of an itinerant parson "As suclJ, in company with a woman, who is a beauti ful fiend1 from all I know of her, he went to Fort Fairview a11d kidnaped a young lady, who is rich, and able to pay a large ransom. "This was while I was here, your husband's prisoner, for he suspected me, as you know. "You were good enough to set me free. He followed on my trail, and, by a strange combination of circum stances I met an officer on the trail of the kidnapers of Miss Kinnerley, and the result was that we went to the retreat near of my Boys in Blue, ambushed your husband and his redskin warriors, who were upon niy trail, and captured t h e chief!' ' r "Then, he is not dead?" almost sh r ieked the woman. "Be calm, I beg of you, and hear all." "Go on, sir, for I am perfectly ca l m," was the answer, . (

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I THE BU ff ALO BILL STORIESo and she spoke the truth; but it was a calmness that was dangerous. "We theI? went on to the canyon, where Captain Brim stone had !us retreat, and surprised him, with his men." "And Edmund Allyn-I mean Captain Brimstone?" "Was mortally wounded, and died soon after." "Ah!" "Before dying, he made a confession, to the effect that he had killed the rich old gentleman whom your husband was arrested for the murder of, and had plotted so that he would be suspe8:ed." "Thank God, Douglass was innocent of that crime, as he always said he wa&." "Yes, Edmund Allyn committed the murder, got the and intended that Douglass Dean should hang for it, and thus he would make you his wife. "You pledged yourself to marry him, if he would aid Dean to escape, which he did; but you broke faith wifu him, fled with the man you loved, and left alT to believe that you had been drowned. '_'That was why you and your husband dreaded Captain Brimstone as you did. -"I pity your husband, for he was embittered by the charge against him, and fled with you to the West, and, somehow, became the white chief of the Sioux. "AIJyn came West, to save himself from the galiows for crimes committed; he became a gambler, and then a road-agent, chief of the Brimstone Brotherhood. "I trailed him to his death in Eagle Canyon, three mghts ago, and your husband also met his death there." She gave a moan, but said nothing, and Buffalo Bill continued: "I Iwd my orders to execute him, and also Edmund Aiiyn, when captured, and sq I detailed a platoon of my Boys in Blue as an execution squad. "Your husband asked to write you a Jetter, and I gave him my pledge that I would deliver it to you; hence I am here, for, still believed to be the Deserter Sergeant bv your warriors on sentinel duty, I passed through thei'r lines unsuspected. "Here is the letter, and I ask you to give me your pledge that I shall go free from this place, and unfollowed b)C your braves until I have been gone several hours. "If you refuse, I shall destroy this letter, and, as you are i11 my power, I can bind and gag you, and thus make my escape. Have I your pledge?" She arose, calmly, while her eyes turned wistfully 4pon the letter. The look of utter misery in her face touched Buffalo Bill to the heart, and he said : "You wilJ give me the pledge I ask, will you not? For God krv:>ws I pity you, and do not wish to act roughly toward you. "I know that your love brought y6u to these wilds, and I now know that, being accused of crim e when innocent made your h:-isband what he became-a renegade to own race, chief of a redskin tribe. \iVill you let me go unm<;>lested ?" "Yes, I pledge you to do so But did you have my hus bp.nd shot?" did so in the discharge of my orders and duty and he died like a man." "I believe that, sir, for he knew no fear. You can go .? now; but, Buffalo Bill, hear my oath," and, dropping upon her knees, the Renegade Queen raised her clasped hands, and cried : "I vow, by High Heaven, Buffalo BilJ, to track you to your death! And, when you are in my power, may God have mercy upon you, for I will not. "Give me that letter from my dead husband, my murdered husband, and go The scout placed the letter in her hand and turned away. An hour after he had passed the sentinels at the out post of the Indian and was riding through the darkness back to Fort Fa1rv1ew. CHAPTER IV. THE LIFTED CLOUD. Among the frontier posts from north to south, none were pleasanter, or more after by officers and men as a station, than was Fort Fairview Its situation was delightful, for the prairies stretched away from its walJs to the southward, and rolling timber lands were to the northward. There was a river, with bold, picturesque scenery, brooks, valJeys, and hilJs round about, and thus the surroundings were most charming to the eye. It was, at the time we write of, a post vf danger, how ever, and the headquarters for a string of posts and forts stretching north and south for sevhal hundred miles. It was strongiy built, of stockade waJls and earth forts: there were several batteries stationed there, a regiment of cavalry, and the crack one of the army, too, with a couple of regiments Of infantry, and a company of scouts, with Buffalo Bill as chief, who ,had been detailed there when he left Fort Taos, after his round-up of the road -agents in that vicinity. Col9ne1 Cassidy, the commandant of the post, was every mch a soldier a bachelor, and a courteous gentleman. He did his duty, and expected every man in command to do the same. The officers' quarters about the fort were large and well located, the barracks all that the soldiers could de sire, and then came a little settlement known as "the vil lage," where the sutler had his store and home, the team sters and hangers-on were quartered, with the wives of the married soldiers to add to the communitv. So it was that Fort Fairview was a pleasant abiding place, and yet one there had found it a hell on earth to speak forcibly. This one was a youngman who had been a favorite with his equals, a pet of the ladies. and the idol of his men. He was called a dandy, and yet was acknowledged to the J;>est soldier in the command, for he never neglected his duties, though, when off duty, devoted himself wholly to pleasure. Handsome as an Adonis, formed lik e a Hercules, cour teous, elegant and dashing. all could not but admire but he was kn.own to be fast. rapid as the wind," the officers said. He had a stable full, of fine horses his quarters were fu.rnished. the of a city belle for they con tamed pamtmgs1 bnc-a-brac, curios, and any amount of

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: THE .SUfFALO SILL STORIES. 5 tro"phies of the hunt and travel, with guns, rifles, revolvers, and swords. He had a cook, a valet and grootn, and lived luxu riously It was said that he had been born rich, but had been cheated out of his fortune by a guardian, yet little wa::; known of his past, other than that he hailed from the South somewhere, and had stood number one in his class at West Point. His pay did not, of course, support him in luxury, so it was known that he gambled, and was a bole\, extravagant, if hot a reckless, player. He was said to be a sad flirt, too, for there was a mag netism about him that seemed to win women at once. But his gambling, his orgies, and flirtations were con doned, and he still lived on in popularity, until one night he went to the rescue of a wagon-train, hemmed in by Snow Face, the renegade, and his braves. He gallantly made the rescue, but Captain Kennerley, the officer in command of the train, was mortally wounded, and intrusted to the young officer a large sum of government money and five thousand dollars belonging to his niece, Kate Kennerley, an heiress, then at Fort Fairview. The young officer became separated from his command, and returnee\ to the fort, after several days, with the story that he had been robbed of the treasure by road-agents. But he also stated that he had met Gambler Gaul, a noted sport of the border, who had paid to him a debt due him of five thousand dollars, and with this he liquidated a number of pressing debts due. "Then "Madam Rumor" set her tongue to wagging, and the "idol of the army" found hinJself suddenly ac cused of having hidden the money intrusted to his keep ing, and dark stories were floating about against him. So great was the pressure that he was court-martialed, but acquitted; but the verdict did not raise the cloud from about him. He came out of that terrible ordeal a changed man, cutting those who had meant to cut him; bis horses and household effects were sold, except those he actually ne eded; his valet and cook were dismissed, and his groom had to do treble duty, and his quarters were closed to all who had been his friends, with two exceptions, and they were Buffalo Bill and Surgeon Frank Po,vell. His men and the people of the fort yet remained true as steel to him and he ever had a salute and kine\ word for them, where his bow was freezing to his superiors and equals. . He shunned no one, devotee\ himself to his duty, and won the confidence and esteem of his commandant. There were three others who were his friends, too, and these were Dunbar Dunton. the major of his regiment, and his beautiful young wife, and Kate Kennerley, the belle of the fort, and the very one whose money he had been accused of appropriating. So it was that Fred Forrester, captain of the gallant Cavalry, hecame known as the "Outcast Officer," and bore all in stern silence, suffered uncomplainingly, and bided his time. Still, appearances continued against him for a boy b ugler, who had been with tb e rescued train, had been. dis covered to have formerly be.::u known to the captain; and rumor had it that he had been forced to leave the fort under orders of Fred Forrester. Believing in his innocence, both Buffalo Bill and Sur geon Powell had taken the trail to solve the mystery hanging over the young officer, and the solution came in Eagle Canyon, where Captain Brimstone and Snow Face, the renegade, were hunted to death. Then it became known from the lips of Edmund Allyn, alias Gambler Gaul and Captain Brimstone, that he was the stepbrother of Fred Forrester, had robbed him of his fortune, as his guardian, for he was rimch older, and when they had met on the plains, had never been betrayed by him. He confessed, too, how his men had robbed the young officer of the government treasure and Miss Kennerley's money, and, in a fit of virtue, how he had kept the saddle bags intaet to restore to the one he had so wronged, and thus the sttms had been returned to the paymaster at. the fort and heiress, and which act, which Forrester could not explain, had been misconstrued into the belief that he had had the treasure bag hidden all the while, and brought it back only under pressure to remove the cloud upon hi m. And so back to the fort went the Boys in Blue, under command of Captain Forrester, while Buffalo Bill went off alone to keep his pledge to the renegade chief. The Boys in Blue escorted the reseue d maiden, Kate Kennerley, and, upon arrival at the fort, the truth came out, the cloud was lifted, and Fred Forrester had won his triumph. But another mystery enshrouded him, for, who was this ''boy bugler" who had proved to have been a woman, mas querading as "Miss Meserole," the ally of Captain r imstone, to kidnap Kate Kennerley? Who was "Miss Meserole," and what was she to Fred Forrester? That mystery the young officer would not solve, so he yet remained "under a cloud." CHAPTER V. A WOMAN "CHIPS IN." ''Halt! Brakes on hard, and hands up!" Rainbo\y Rob obeyed these comm<1-nds, startling, terse, and threatening, that rung .out from the roadside, with the promptm;ss of a soldier on parade. Rainbow Rob was an old driver in the Rockies, and had, to use slang, "been thar before He knew just what such a command on 1!he Overland coach trails meant, and, if not promptly obeyed, that a volley of bullets would follow, and he would be made the recipient of leaden So he drew rein, put his foot hard on the brakes, and then held his ha11ds over his head. He had taken the box at the last station, the ment of his run, which was a short one, bu.t severe and perilous, and could only be drive n by the most skillful hand with the ribbons. He had six-in-hand-a splendid team, that knew their master as well as he knew them. The last driver had to l d him that there were fou r men inside and a woman, arid that was all the acquaintance he had with them. One of those inside was a miner, another looked lik e a:

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1'HE BUf'f' J\LO BILL STORlf.5. speculator frbm the East, a third was a Mexican, well dressed, but evil-faced, and the fourth "Judge" Jessop, the new landlord of "The Roost," in Gbld City, whither the coach was bound. The fifth was fl. woman, wearing a long cloak, and veiled. Rainbow Rob had won his cognomen on account of his hair, which was burned red !i.round the edges under his hat, was black on top, except where a tuft of snow-white hair grew on his forehead. He was a powerful fellow, good-natured, feared nothing, and drove with a skill that no other man on the Over land could equal. He gazed quickly at the toll-gatherers who had brought him to a halt. As to recognizing them, it was impossible, for the two were at the heads of the leaders, and the man who stepped tp the side of the coach wore a mask. Ti).ere were three outlaws in sight, but how many were not visible Rainbow Rob did not know, nor did he intend to discover by attempting to disobey the command. The last driver had hinted tl)at he thought he carried a rich party inside, and Rainbow Rob felt very sorry that they should come to grief upon his end of the line. But, then, what could he do about it? "Rainbow, you have dust aboard to-day, and I want it!" said the outlaw leader. "Help yerself, if they is willing, was the surly re sponse. But, ere the man could make a step toward the coach, the door flew open, and a feminine fom1 appeared, while shC1fply rang out the words : '"Gentlemen, I chip in here and call you Hands up, pard, or I play my sixes for trumps !" The outlaw leader and his men were so taken aback at the vision confronting them that they stood undecided and seemingly disconcerted. It was a woman, and yet apparently scarcely more than eighteen. She had a wealth of auburn hair, and eyes as black as jet, whlle every feature of her face was perfect. Her form was slender, graceful, and clad in a velvet dress of the Mexican pattern, slashed on the sides and trimmed with buttons and lace, and her head was surmounted by a sombrero, richly embroidered. A strange, beautiful, picturesque creature she was, and one who "meant biz," as Rait\bow Rob afterward remarked, for her "sixes," which she was to play as trumps, were in her hands, leveled and cocked. "I've got him dead if he winks, or if the other cattle raise a gun, so drive on, Rainbow Rob, or rush them down, as you think best." And the woman held the leader covered as she spoke, while he dared not raise the weapons which he held in his ha!1d, and his two followers would riot move without chief's orders. CHAPTER VI. MISTAKEN IDENTITY. Buffalo Bill had insisted upon terms with the Renegade Queen, for he had been going pretty steadily the past month, and had no desire for a running fight of a couple of days with redskin pursuers. If he could gain start enough to let darkness come on before his trail was taken, he felt that he had the night before him, and need not dread pursuit. So he had demanded the pledge from the queen that he should have a godd start. Had she not given it, he would have done as he threatened-bound, gagged, and left her so, and made his es cape, for he knew, if found there by warriors as her foe he would have not the slightest chance for life. So he made his terms, and she agreed to them, givin g her pledge, yet also taking oath that she would hunt him down for having taken the life of her husband. He left her, and the Indian outposts, regarding him a s the Deserter Sergeant, the ally of their chief, allowed him to pass through the canyons without suspicion or hin drance. The scout at once set off for the fort, and rode swiftly on until he came to a broad trail. Into this he turned, and, reaching a stream, he did not cross it, but followed the water-course for several miles when darkness had fallen, and he determined to camp until nearly dawn. He was looking for a place to turn out of the stream, when he caught sight of a firelight. Instantly he drew rein, and glanced, earnestly, in the direction of the light. The murmur o( the waters, here and there dashing over pebble-bed and among rocks he knew had prevented the splash of his horse moving clown the stream having been heard. So he once more moved along, keeping well in the shadow of the trees upon the farther. shore of the shallow stream. By the clear starlight, he easily picked his way, but moved slowly, to let the waters drown the splash made b y his horse. The firelight grew larger, and he soon saw that it was built in an open space upon the bank of the stream. A horse was staked out near the creek, and another stood close to the campfire, while some one was taking a from its back. The scout regarded the scene most attentively for a while, an' d then said to himself : "It is the boy bugler, Miss Meserole, or whatever he or she chooses to call herself or himself. I will pay him or her a visit in camp." So saying, he rode on past the camp, and, leaving the stream, staked his horse out about a hundred yards from the fire. Then he moved on foot to the vicinity of the camp, aud, when the lonely camper-out returned to the fire from staking his pack-horse out, he suddenly confronted the tall form of the scout. He had stepped out from the shadow of a tree directly into the firelight, and his form and face were distinctly revealed. The boy bugler started, and dropped his hand upon a revolver, while a startled cry broke from his lips. He possessed a slender, graceful form, clad in uniform, with the insignia of a regimental bugler denoting the rank he had held. Handsome he certainly was, and very attractive, with

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1'HE BUFFALO BILL STORlES c 'l his top-boots, spurs, uniform, and fearless face, as beauti ful as a womah s. A minute he stood regarding the scout, hi s motion to draw his revolver checked by Buffalo Bill's calml y -uttered words: ,Don t draw that weapon, or I shall break your arm with a bullet!" Then tHe lips of the bugler parted, with a cry of joy, and the words followed as he sprang forward : "Bens on, m y brother! Do y ou nat know me? I am Ruby, your sister!" The scout started back, but, quick as a flash she had sprung toward him, thrown her arms about his neck, and kissed him. I am not your brother, h e said in an embarrassed way, when he could collect hims e lf sufficientl y to speak. You do not know me, brothe r, in this dres s for I am not a boy, but a woman-your sister Ruby. I came West to seek y ou, and--But never mind now who else, for we will talk that over after a while ; but why do you not speak? The Scout was d e epl y mo ve d His face had paled, and he seemed about to s peak and y et checked himself each time. At last he said : I know you are not a youth, and t11at at the fortyou were known as Billie Blew the Boy Bugl e r ; but I am not Benson Roberts, as you believe "Great God! You are not he whom men call the De serter Sergeant?" and the woman started back, in evident terror. No, lam not the Deserter Sergeant." ''Then you can be but one other !" "Who?" Buffalo Bill " I am Buffalo Bill and not Desert e r Sergeant." CHAPTER VIL THE G R A VE BETWEE N THEM. You are the n, Buffalo Bill?" and the woman spok e with strange calmness as she gazed fixedl y into t11e fac e of the scout, upon whom the light of the campfire fell; r e vealing his features and form as distinctly as by daylight. "I am ; and y ou are not a yo uth as all at the fort b e lieved? " I confes sed that when I told y ou I wa s your s ister. "I knew it before. "Ah! And how?" "I know you as the one who pla ye d th e r o l e of Mis s Meserole." "Ha You know thi s ?" '.'I will tell y ou just what I do know o f y ou arid see what y ou care to contradict. "Pray, do so, and ther e was a sne et: _in th e ton e in which she spoke .and her hand again dropped upon th e butt of her revolver "Take yovr hand off that weap o n for th o ugh I will n o t kill y ou, being a woman, I will send a bullet through y our arm ii. you attempt to draw it. "If y ou know me y o u will tak e m y advic e .I' and Btff falo Bi11 dre\v his revolv e r and h e ld it in hi s hand, a s though to carry out his threat. "I do know you, as the quickest and deadest shot on the border. "I will not draw my revolver. "I will not trust you, so unbuckle your belt, and place it yonder, ten feet away. "I will not " Obey me!" "And thus give yo_ u the advantage?" I have it now, arid intend to keep it." "I will not obe y "Let me tell you that I have just come from the Sioux village, and that there are warriors upon my trail in large numbers. "I wish to see you to a place of safety before I l eave you for, if y ou ate on your way to an Overland station, as I beli e ve yon are off your track and lost. I mean you no harm, but I am determined that you, in a fit of pas s ion shall not kill or wound me. Will you obey?" There was something in the calm, commanding man ner of the scout that forced obedience, and the woman un buckled her belt and p1aq ; d it some distance off. Then she returned, and faced the scout, and said: I have yielded, so tell q1e what you know of me?" You are the si s ter of the man known as the Deserter Sergeant .'.' "I said as rimch. "Yon came West, perhaps, t o see your brother; who was a fugitive from justice, but more f.rom another mo tive." "Name it." "I do not it; but, taking advaritage of yo u r skill as a cornet player, you joined a westward-bound t rain, and was promised by the captain in command a position as bugler : "To that captain, Lucius Kennerley you told stories about an army officer, poisoning him against hir so that he did not longer regard him as a man of honor." "To whom do you refer? "To Captain Fred Forrester, who re!lcued your train, saving all from massacre. You got a position at the fort as bugler of the -th Cavalry, and stories began to go the rounds against this same officer. " Yon did not believe them? "No, _I dicl not; nor did several others; but Forrester became a social outcast, from charges made agai11st him and I be.Jieve you instigated all. "Why?" -. . : do not : kn Q w and it is none of my business, so I do n d t care ; but he forced you to leave the fort, arid you met in so me way Brimstone, the road-agent and allieci yourself_ to him for pure .. "_Iri disguise, or, rather, in your own_ character, as a woman onl y w e aring : a blonde wig-, you returned to the fort as M i ss M eserole, and led Miss Kennerley into a trap. "We re s cued her s e veral d ays ago and you escaped, and were allowed by Captairi F01; rester to go your way, o nly h e s e n t a s qu a d o f sol
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I 8 THE I UffALO B ILL S T O RTES. his band were captured; the former was killed, and Miss Kennerly was rescued. "I had captured Snow Face, the renegade, and had him shot. I promised to give to his wife a letter, and I am just returning from that mission, while the others went on to the fort, and. finding you here, I see that you have in some way thrown the squad t r ailing you off the sce nt. "Now, let me tell you that you mistook me for your brother, as I am dressed in the very uniform he wore. You did not expect to find me here, while you knew me at the fort in a different character, and saw me at the can:.. yon, before you fled: in my r ea l person as a scout." "And my brother?'' "Is dead in realitv." "Are t11e ma;; who killed my brother?" "As you force me to tel.t you, yes." "Buffalo Bill some day I w ill kill you-will avenge my b rother, mark my words !" and the disguised woman shook h er fist in the scout's face. "A threatened man. lives long, and I gr0w fat on thre2.ts," was the scout's indifferent reply, and then he added: "Corne! This is no place for you, anll l will guide you to the nearest point for you to Lhe Overl a nd coach East. ''If you remain, here you will be killed by re !skins. "When you reach the station. whic h we can do hy s u11-rise. I will return your belt of arms : but now You mus t go,,. and Buffalo Bill stepped forward, piclm; l nj) the bC:"lt of arms. saddled the horses and led the way from the camp, the strange woman making no remonstrance, and ob e ying in perfect sil ence. i Tot a word did she utter, through the night's long rid e nor until after the sun was an hour high did the _scout hal t. Then he spoke : "Do you see yonde r cabin ?'" "' ''Yes." "It is two miles from here and on the Overbnd. "The agent bears the name of Tenderfoot Tom, and the eastbound coach will go by at noon. "Good -by and take m y advice and keep awav from the 'vVest." "I thank yo u for your care of me in bringing me here: but I am revengeful, Buffalo Bill. so shall keep my word. and, calling to her pack-horse to follow. the -,,oman rode on her way toward the cabin on the Overland, leaving the scout to go his way alone. ., ,_ 1 ... ; i CHAPTER VIII. A FORCED ALLY. Tenderfoot Tom had th e confidence of the managers of the Overland line. He was faithful to his duties-they had always found him so, at least-and he was brave as a lion. Tom was sea ted in front o f his cabin, as was his I abit, gazing out over the scenery before him, when he saw a horseman ride out of the timber iollowed by a pack horse. "He are in uniform and do look like a yo ungster, muttered T om, as the coming hor sem an neared the cabin, ap) pro?ching slowl y up the hill, his pack trotting behind him. "Hello, Pard Buttons! Which way, arid whar gain'_?" "From Fort Fairview, a bugler of the -th Regiment, on leave and bound East. Wish to know more?" ''I is allers a bit cur'us; but dismount and stake out ther critturs, fer ther stage goes by at noon." "I will go b y it; but I wish to sell my cattle to you." 'We wants critters allers, and. yours seems ter be fustclass; but' I hain 't' no money." "Give me an order on vour bos s at the other ei1Cl of the line, and make it for just five hundred." \Von't give it, for ther critters hain't wuth more than four."' "I'll hand you fifty now for yourself, and throw in the s addle, pack-saddle, and bridles." "Now. you is talkin' sense, so I'll make if six hun c lred call it three horses in ther order, and yo u give me a cool hundred now fer my generos ity. "All right, Tenderfoot Tom." \i\That might be your name?" ''Roberts. ''.l see: but I thought as ho,\ you might be a I has h eerd of over at F::iiryiew, a s the)colls Billie Blew, thcr Boy B u g ler." "Yes, I know him well. of cours e ." 1 '"They do s;i.y as how he can play that fii1e as to make birds quit s ing in when h e beg ins; but, jis t make yerself at honw while I puts up th e r critturs and th e n 1 f e'il write ther order fer thcr moneY and, after th e t. hev some grub." This arrangement was carri ed cut and stage came in sight just a'.; dinner was finished. Tenderfoot Tum S3id something to Rainb o w Bob, the driver, in a low tone, and the young stranger was invited to tak e a seat on the box with him while his traps were hoisted to the top of the coach, which at once rolled away. Tenderfoot felt in a good humor, for he was a clean hundred in pocket, besides some other things he had falle n heir to through the generosity of his young com panion o f an hour b efore So intent was he upon his meditations that he failed to notice a hors eman coming np the trail tmrnrd the cabin until he was quit e near to him. Then he sprang to hi s feet, and seized his rifle, but at once laid it aside, with the r emark : .;It's the Deserter Sergeant. lt are iucky he didn"t catch up with ther boy. ' Then, as the horseman drew near, he called out: Hell o, sergeant, whar from and what news?" "Bad news, Tom," and the speaker dismounted, staked his hor se out and took a seat b y the tree, facing the. s tation man. / "Waal. I hop es nothin' hev gone ag'in' ther cap'n." ''It is just what ha. s happe ned. "The deuce Be he captered ?" "He is dead. "Oh, Lord! when and whar ?'' "Buffalo Bill led a party of Boys in Blue into the retreat a t Eagle Canyon and killed and captttred the '"Ceptin' yo?" "Yes, I got away.'' "You was playin' in great .luck; but did ther cap'n die

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THE BUFFALO BILL ST 1 )RIES. 9 suddint, or did h e git religion and in his last minutes give his pards away?" "Captain Brimstone did not give you away, .Tom; but how many more of the band of Brimstone Brotherhood are there besides you and ine ?'' "Thar is four or five more I guesses, scattered about the mines; but you is ther only one knows I are a secret member sergeant." Yes, now that the captain and several others in Eagle Canyon have passed in their chips, I am the only one that holds your secret, Tom. I followed a trail of two horses here ; who war the riders?" I "A young horn-bl o wer from the fort on leave, and going home, but he were a fool to come this far alone." "He took the 1stage ?" Yes." "Now, Tenderfoot Tom, as vou said, I alone know that yo u were secretly an ally of the Brimstone Brotherhood, and the compact between us is to be that you are my ally." ''I'm agreed, sergeant." "Yes, you are to keep your place here, and report to me every moveinent of an outlaw and horsethief, and you are to send your lett e rs to me in a cipher I will give you, addressed to tlie fort." "To the fort?" "Yes, for I will be there, or near there I am to know ever y suspicious character that goes through in the coach and if yo u fail me Tom, I will know i t, for I shall entrap you if I can. ''I say, pard, I--" "Now, Tom, I am not as yo u suppose, th e deserter se r gea nt. but one who w ill spare you and protect yo u if you serve me, as I wish, and ser1d you to the end of a rope if yo u fail me. ''My dear Tom, I am Buffalo Bill! Hold! t hose weap ons I exchanged with yo u are not l oaded, but yours are! "Don't make me kill you with your own revolver, Tom." "Durned ef I do, Buf'ler Bill; but I are ther dead est bcatec;!est man yo u .eve,r see n, and I caves comp lete. "You arc wise; but, you und e rstand me, and your posi tio n so we will talk business,'' and th e scout smiled, for h e was maste r of the situation. CHAPTER IX. THE LADY SPORT. The situation o n the Overland Trail, as detailed m Chapter V., when Rainbow Rob 's coach was brought to a hold-up by masked road-agents, and in the minute of their success a >voman suddenly sprang from the stage and ''chipped in with her sixes" was a most thrilling one. Rainbow Rob was a man to take quick advantage of anything that turned up in his favor. The fact that no fire came from others in ambush, and no other outlaws appeared, r eve aled to him at a glanc e that there were no more than the three. The leade r of these was under cover of the girl's r e volver, and the other two at the heads of the horse s seemed struck spellbound. I've got him covered, Rainbow Rob, so drive on with your h.earse and leave him to me, cried the girl. .."-1 Rainb ow Rob half ob eye d for he suddenly raised his hand, a report followed, while the man at the head of the leader, on the side of which stood the outlaw under cover of the girl s pistol dropped in his tracks, and at the sam e time the horses, startled by the shot, were swung rom1d directly over the fellow on the other side. He tri ed to escape, but was knocked down and hurt severe ly, while the brake was put on and Rainbow Rob leaped to the ground just as the girl swung out. ''Hands up outlaw, or die?" The man obeyed with promptness, for he saw that his situation was desperate, and knew that the trapper was trapped. At the same time the others in the coach leaped out, and Rainbow Rob said dryly: "No need o' yer services no.w, pards, fer ther stiff i s p e rvicled fer th er bury in by this !eddy. "As fer you, pard, I'd like a look at yer face and so will clip ye r claws and then take a peep at yer countenance, which are a m an one, I'll bet high on it. "May be it were better thet the r Jeddy send yer' ter kingdom come fer yer'll hang sart'in, when yer reaches Gold Pocket City." As Rob spoke he stepped up to the side of the outlaw who s t oo d with his hand s elevated above his h e ad, and at once disarmed him, after which he tore the mask from hi s face. "As I thoughted, you i'S one o' ther Gold Grabber s Gang; but I guess you i s about all is l ef t of 'e m. "Pards, give a hand yende r in puttin' thet gerloot on ther hearse, along with ther stiff I kilt, fer are my rule t e r tak e all game home arter killin' it." Thus appealed to, thos e from the coach raised the wo und ed ou tlaw, who h ad been down by the l ea d ers and placed him in the stage, while the dead man was thrown on top. "Pard, yo u get up thar, too," ordered Bob, to the out law leader who s to od sil ently in their midst. He was a young man, r eck l ess-fa ced, but really hand so me. His form was slight, l ;>Ut elegant. His dress wa s strangely n ea t for o ne whose life was spent on the roacl. a nd his hands and feet were small and shapety. He wore hi s hair long, apd it was dark brown and wav ing, while his face was covered w ith a diirk bC"ard some s ix inches in length. He gazed with a strange interest upon the girl who had captured him, and seemed dazed rather than alarmed. In obedience to the order of Rainbow Rob he mounted the bo x, but was told to take a seat back on the coach for the driyer remarked : -"Keep an eye pn yer dead parcl as a warnin' of what ye r own fate will be." The young outlaw smiled, ahd it lit up his face with an expression that was almost womanly in its softness . This the woman sport seemed to notite, for she gazed at him with interest. " I will ride on the box with you, if I may, she said, quietly. "Now I'll be just as tickled as though I'd run a tack in my heel to have you, miss. I wants your better acquaint ance for yo u is a dandy in petticoats : and no mistake.

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" 10 THE BU Ff ALO BILL .. "You called me by naine a white since, so what might be your name?" crsked the driver. "Oh, I heard you called Rainbow Rob back at the sta tion, and had heard of you before as the best driver on, the Overland. ''My name is-well, call me Bessie; and I am a lady sport," answered the girl, with a smile that fairly stunned Rob. "'vVaal, Miss Bessie, I am proud ter meet ye,r, and yer'll be conferrin' a favor ter ride with me on ther box," de clared the driver who then bade the passengers re-enter the coach . : Then, with the dead man on top, the prisoner seated near him, and Bessie on the bo x by his side, Roh drove on his way . . .. Rainbow loved a pretty woman as much as h e di_d a fine horse, and that_ was saying a great for him so .. he tried to ingratiate himself into the favor of his fair com panion with as much expedition as possible. vVhat so lovely a young woman : was doing in the West alone he could not understand, but he meant that she should in him a protector ; so, as they rode along, he made himself so agreeabl.e that he quite forgot his pris.: oner's existence, or that there was a man slain by his hand within a few feet of him. But the prisoner called himself to mind in a way that fairly startled eve n Rainbow Rob. CHAPTER X. A LEAP FOR LIFE. The outlaw prisoner, whom Rainbow Rob had recog nized as a man kn ow n in the mines as one of a band of gold grabbe.rs, had quietly remained upon the top of the coach1 his fair captor with a strange look on his face, and listening to the conversation her and the driver. He had not. been bOUJ}d_ ; as there wa s JW rope at ha!1cho tie him with, and thenr Rainbow his clavvs," as he called disarming him, and. therefore did not cxpect"him to be dal\gerous. "This is most dangerous part o' road, a:id a leetle bad drivin' right here woulc;l send us all ill ther old hearse dowri -to" death,' : said .l;?.-airibow, as the'' coach sud denly turned around a cliff. where a narro>v shelf of rock formed the coach trail. ,. It. wound arourid the di ff for a hundred yards _," vviih a r.recipice on one side looking sixty feet below. . ...,,,:: : -.. .,., -:'l '-,-: If R ob had expected_ the young womfl:IJ-).O g ) : apJla _Ucd at the danger, he was mistak en, for. she fookfcl Cjllmly clown from her loft y perch and said, coolly: -"There is hardly more than two feet between t he \vheel tracks and the precipice, so that a sudcleu swerve .o1 the horses \vould throw ns over." "Yer is a cool one miss, and-Oh, Lardy!" The exclamation Of Rob was at beholding the ontlay prisoner suddenly spring far out from the top of the stage coach to descend into the fq;tm\ng river . Instantly the driver threw hi-s for:w_ard-tQ fire upon the descending form of the outlaw when it was strntk up by the girl. "For shame!" she cried; "let him escape, if he be not dashed to death, for his bold act deserves it." "Yer is right, miss; he desarves to git away,'' said bow Rob whose revolver had gone off from the shock of the gii'l's blow, sending the bullet into the air. For an intant of time the form of-the but l aw seemed to hang poised in the air; then it shot downward, stiff, up right and like a flash, for the foaming river sixty feet be low. There were rocks here and there in the stream, against whiCh the waters surged furiously, and had the not calculated his place to sfrike, he would stagd a good chance of being dashed to death when he struck. Then too, there might be a sunken rock which the \va ters concealed, upon which he might fall. Again; did he strike a clear space, would he not sink so deep as to lose his strength ere he rose? To swim in that mad torrent would take a strong, bold swimmer, and one of great endurance as well. The banks of the river w;re rocky and steep, and it would be some distance before he could find a landing place. These slim chances ,for escape flashed through the mil'1ds of both the woman sport and Rainbow Rob, as their eyes were riveted up o n the descending form. They saw the outlaw strike the waters, disappear be neath the flood and it seemed like an age that they watched and wait e d for his reappearance. At last, a hundred feet below, he rose and st ruck out boldly to guide himself clown th e swift-flowing flood, and a yell of admiration broke the lips of Rainbow Rob at the thrilling sight "He'll git away, miss," he said "He swims superbly, and he deserves to escape," was the reply, and as the girl spoke, suddenly out of the coa,ch window dme the flash and report of revolvers. In an instant the girl sport took in the situatioq; the men inside the coach were firing at the escaping man. a quickness that .surprised Rob and won his ad miration, the young woman-swung herself down upon the box-step and thrust her re volyer into the coach :vindow, while she cried: . . . "Cowards! Dare fire another shot at that man, outlaw though he be, and l will send a bullet into your hearts [" Tf1e men in the coach shrank back at her bold act and .threatening words; while Rob called out : "Bully for you, little !'eddy, and I backs yer t.1p if yer docs kill 'em, fer it are a coward act.' Rainbow Rob had see med to forget his having fired up o n the outlaw a moment The girl swung herself back to her seat on the box, .and as the coach rolled off of the dangerous rock shelf to a place of safety, the brave swimmer was seen to reach a break in the bank where he could land, and in an instant he had drawn himself upout o f danger. T1.1rn!rig," he took off his dripping sombrero, waved it, and his voice rang out like a bugle : I owe you my life, miss, and I will not forge t it!"

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; THE BUFF ALO BILL STORlf:S. 11 CHAPTER XI. BOYS IN BUCKSKIN. The return of the Boys in Blue to Fort Fairview, with Miss Kennerly rescued, created a sensation, which was only increased when the whole story was known of the rescue and what Buffalo Bill had accomplished. Buffa1o Bill had been given a special detail of soldiers, which he had formed of picked men, and had secretly s ent out of the fort. He had wisely decided that when he wished a force it was too far to get them from the fort, and so had camped his men in a canyon, which he knew would be a safe re treat at all times. Here they hame under the proprietorship of a ne\'{ landlord, the former, with a great deal of wisdom, having sol
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THE BUFF ALO BILL "If any one offers me advice una ske d, let him do it 'Yi th his pistol ready for work, for I shall stand r:o meddlmg, nor will I allow my premises to be turned 1 m to a bear garden. Yours truly, BONIFACE BILL." Then a rumor went around that Boniface Bill was pre pari11g for oth e r l odge_rs, for some one .h;id him in Go l d Pock et bury1110--ground-wh1ch r ei01ced m th.e name of "Welc ome Cemetery"-laying out a pn-vate lot for his own dead, seemi ngly. He had already buried one man had shot tW.ere, giving him the post of honor as N umb e.r One .. It was s ome two months after his commg th a t Rambow Rob drove up to the d oo r of the Roost, with the l ady sport seated on the box b y hi s a dead bo.dy on the top M his coach, and a much-worned outlaw m th e vehicle with the pdsseri.gers. Rainbow Rob threw his r e ins upon the backs of his wheelers which the s tabl e boys already h a d in h a nd, ancl1 dismounting, turned to aid his fair companioi:i t o alight, when with a graceful spring, s he l ea ped over his h ead and ran up the steps to the h otel. A yell of admiration greeted h e r act, and the lan dlo rd ignoring the mal e passenge:s ha stened t o th e office to greet h e r followed b y the dnver. . "Wh o is she, Rob?" asked Lamllord Bomface B ill w ith interest. "I pa ss, more than to say s h e are a daisy, and calls h er self a lad y sport. 'Tll' interdo oce yer, pard." And, l eading the l andlo rtl up to the fair pa ssenge r who stood by the office desk, R o b said : "Mi s Bessie, this are Landlord Boniface Bill, o' th e r Roost, and he are a square man from toe ter topknot. "Bony, this are Miss Bessie, ther lad y sport, and she jist are a terror in as yer'll k1?ow when I tells ye r what she hav e did. "I an\ ,glad to meet you, Landlord Boniface, and l am here to Slay, so I wish yonr be s t room, and you'll find my baggage in the coach. Shall I register?" For once Boniface Bill seemed to be taken aback. The eyes of the woman were upon him ; his face flushed, and, in an embarrassed way, he turned the hotel register arou11d for her to write therein her name. In a bold hand, she wrote : "BOWIE-KNIFE BESSfE, The Lady Sport." I Then Rainbow Rob went off with the landlord to tell his story, and from that minute the lad) r spprt ;l 1-.Ystery in Gold Pocket C ity, and t11c 1dol ?f the miners. CH APTER XIII. ON A WOMAN'S TRAIL. Dripping panting. and barely able !O clamber the steep, rocky bank, after his desperate struggle wit h the foaming waters for life, the outlaw who had dared make such a bold effort to escape, dropped down to re s t, while the coach rolled on, leavin!! him a free man. For a long while h e la y" there to rest, and his thought s were bu. v-. \Vl10 i s s h e? what is she?" he mused. "She euchred me in the moment of success, for I had the very men whom I sought in that coach. I must try again . "But I must know that w.oman, and all about her. Dick deau, and Carl is hurt, and in the hands of the Philis tines so I am alone, except for Chinee at the camp. I1 give up the road, at least for a while, and go to the camps. "I think I can disguise myself so as not to be known. "Now to go to my camp. He arose, and walked along the bank for c. mile or more. Then h e came to where he could cross the river, and, springing in swam to the Taking a course that led him u:ito the stage trail after a walk of a couple of miles h e followed 1t back to scene of the traged}', and which had so nearly been fatal to him. He stood a moment upon the spot, as though recalling all that had passed there and, as h e turned to go . his e?'es fell upon what caused him to start, .utter of s urpri se, a nd spring toward an object lymg 111 the trail. It was a l eat h er wallet, encircled by a rubber !'.trap, and apparent l y well filled. Eagerly, h e opened it, and beheld papers. the.rem and a l arge sum in bank notes. all of large denom111at1on. ''G reat Scott! I have struck a fortune, after all! Now, I am myself again, and I take that woman's trail." Severa l hundred yards away he came upon three h orses hitc hed in a thicket, and sa
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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 13 "Bossee allee lightee ?" "Yes." "Chinee allee lightee ?" "Yes." "Keepee allee lightee, you bettee !" "'! hope so, Chinee; but we'll have supper, and then light out for our Overland station, where we can sell the horses,,and then take the coach for Gold Pocket." "To see Carlee hang up?" "No; for I guess they won't delay that little attention to him; but you will go with me, Chinee ?" "To
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ttl THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. He wore a belt of arms, had a rifle swung at his back, and his leggins were tuc ke d into the tops of cavalry boots. The man was a handsome specimen of the true plains man, a hero in buckskin, and one who won fame as Texas Jack, but who, when borri in a Virginia village was ginn the name of John B. Omohundro. "Hello, Jack I Back again?" said a man rising from a serape where he had been lying at full length, and he added: "I began to feel anxious about yo u, pa rel .. I am back, Bill. and I have news to tell ," was the re ply, and the two, Buffalo Bill and Texas Jack, sa t down for a council of war, for the Texan trailer; had brought very important tidings to the chief of the Buckskin Braves CHAPTER XY. BOWIE-K::'o
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THE surf'ALo s1tt sToRit:s. 15 t6 the : redskins as traile'ts : an'd who were also able to Jnjun" them \n <:ttnning. .... For pltJck Buffalo Bill would put his 'B. raves in Buck skin against _the worJd, while they, were, all of thein, si1-p erb horsemen ; deq.d shots, and endu rance to stand every har.dship fatig u e : ' Be had been working also to fjnd the hiding places of horse thieves who infested .the b<;irder, and discover if the rnmor was true that the Gold Grabbers of the Rocky Mbtjntain, drivehJ,rom their scenes of outlaw ry, were de te rmin ed to make the vicinity of Fort .Fairview their base otnotwithstanding the summary fate of the Brimstore Brotherhood Knowing th.flt there were yet half a dozen or rnore of this sarne brotherhoo.d at large; Buffalo Bill did not doubt but that they would be glad to unite themselves with any new banp of outlaws who i;night come that way, not only_ from feelings of revenge himself and the sqldrers, llut also for the sake .of plunder. With well-to-do settlers scattered here and there, a few thinly-garrisoned forts the mi11es panning .. out well, and trains and coaches running regularly east and west, there were chances the road-agents to make rich hauls. So ; as he had done with the Boys in Blue, the chief of scouts wished to have his Buckskin Braves on the field, where he coulcj. get at them when needed, and where their presence would be unsuspected. Acquainted most thoroughly with the country, Buffalo Bill knew scores of hiding places, which he was ever on the watch for,. and, with a glass one day, from the distant range of mountains, had discovered the canyon above the lake, and sought it out for his own convenience. 1 And thither he had taken his Braves in Buckskin, for well he knew any tracks he might leave would soon be ob literated by buffalo, deer, and elk coming there to drink. He h ad prepared for the lake by bringing from the fort two canvas boats, that closed up like an accordion, and could be carriec) 011 a pack-saddle, with braces to stretch it out when needed for use. Anc; l thus far hi retreat was know11 to but two persons outside of the command of fourteen scouts he had with him. 1'hose two Surgeon Frank Powell. and Captain Fred Forrester, who had accompanied the scout to their retreat. 1 Both of of-ficers were .. noted as scouts, and they were trusted as such on a trail as thoroughly as was any man in buckskin on the border. Going with chief of scouts and his men, they knew just how to reach the secret camp, and Buffalo Bill told them that one .. boat was always kept hidden in the th, icket on the little island and ano'ther at the camp end of the lake. The island was hardlv half an acre in size, and with deep water all ":round yet had a bar running out to it from the shbre, on wl]icb depth was not over three feet l so tl1at a horseman could ride thus far and keep dry. The bar was narrnw; and the animals seeking water there were never tempted to vis it the island, while a paleface or redskin sa.w no motive for doing so, as he expected, of cou;se, to have to swim there. Beyond the island from where the canvas boat lay the lake was many feet deep. . In breadth,' it was fr.om half. a n1ile to a quarter, with steep valley sides : for qanks, apd thus not be flanked, as towering cliffs arose on either side. Irt length, the lake was nearly two miles, and winding, narrowing to a pass at the upper end, the fett\le valley began . , This valley was rich iii grass,. would herd hunareds of cattle, so 'that the horses of the scouts found ample food there. . Beyond was the rugged canyon, ending in tne with the timber-clad or\. top of the ridge abqve. Here were the brush sfielters of the scouts, with the one thrown up for the chief slight l y apart. It was well made, and dry, even ill a rainstorm. .. A shelter of brush was over the front, to keep off rain and sunshine, and here the chief had a ossy bank on which to throw his serape for rest on the long afternoons . By moving his position a few feet, he could see out over the foothills and plains for miles1 and he had so placed boughs of tr. ees that those on the ridge could not be seen from the lowlands, nor their presence there suspected. It was natural, then, for all to eel no dread of tbeir re treat being discovered, and Texas Jack, who had be(;!n sent off on a specia l scout toward the Sioux village, with one companion, had no idea that. he had been tracked by a cunning redskin chief, tracked to the shore of the lake, and then even trailed across the ater, up the valley, and almost to the very camp of the Braves in Buckskin .' In trut\1, the redskin scout had gotten to a position where he could see the scout's camp, and, counting the in the valley, he had come to the conclusipn that there were a score of men in the encampment; but he had counted the pack-anifnals as well, so got five more than there really were. . And back he went, with his story, while Texas Jack had his story to tell of a discove .iy he had made, and both the scot1t's and the redskin chief's stories were o'f. much im portance, as the reader will discover. Between the chief of scouts and his !1ilen there always existed a friendship, as well as the position between an officer and those under him. Buffalo Bill put on n6 airs; he was not spoiled by the fame he had won nor by praise. He knew well his power, his capabilities, aud lie gauged his men accordingly. Texas Jack was his most intimate companion among the scot:lfs, :,a.. s was Surgeon Frank Powell among the of ti: i t h e had 1\nbounded for, and faith in, Captain 'Fred Forrester, and had ever believed him true as and a man to tie to in time of need. He owed his life to Texas Jack a dozen times over:, as the Texan did to him, and hence the two were like brothers. "Eat something, Jack, for you iook used up, and take your time in telling your story,'' he said, kindly, when the Texan. told him he had important news for him, and-.the tried an d hungry man obeyed, knowing that his had the patience of an Indian.

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THE BU Ff ALO BILL STORIES. CHAPTER XVII. A STRANGE DUEL. In a heavy piece of timber, with a ridge in the back ground, a river in front, was a picturesque encampment. There were full two hundred warriors, and their ponies were staked out around the base of the ridge where the grass grew luxuriantly, and their trappings lay by their stake-pins. The horses were of the class known as Indian ponies, and they were a fin,e lot of wiry, fleet-footed animals that showed good care from their riders, and no signs of hav-ing been on the trail for several Th(;! riders were in their full rig and warpaint, and a splendid lot of muscular, young braves, some of whom aI? peared to be so youthful they were doubtless upon their first warpath of importance. These were lolling lazily about under the trees, cleanmg their weapons, asleep, or conversing in groups, in low tones, for no loud sound broke the stillness, and one would hardly have believed that two' hundred human be ings could be as quiet. Apart from the main force was a group of four Indians, whose feather headdresses at once stamped them as chiefs. Two of these were along in years, men who had seen half a century of life, perhaps had passed the threescore milestone Their faces were stern and their lips were closed, while the two younger were talking calmly together, their voices low and hardly heard twenty feet away. Some fifty yards distant was what appeared to be a serape tent, in the shape of the letter A. The sides were gayly striped, and around it was a fence of the boughs of trees lately cut. \i\iithin this inclosure, pacing to and fro, her brow clouded, her face pale and stern, was the renegade queen, who was known now among her redskin subjects as Cruel Face. Yet she v!as verv beautiful, and her Indian costume was a grandly gorgeous one, with its beads and embroidery, its necklaces and amulets of beaten gold, and the head dress of gay feathers. The face of Irma Dean, the widow of the ren egade chief, showed that she had suffered. There see med to rest in her face a constant look of sadness, mingled with bitterness. It was resignati o n, yet for a purpose. Sh,e bad feigned to l;>e dead to all her friends. to follow a fugitive from the gallows into Western wilds . She had idolized him made him her hero, her religion, and he had been, by the dying confession of the man who had wronged him so cn.1elly, proven guiltless. Then he had be en slain, executed by order o{ Buffalo Bill,. as a renegade, when false charges had made him so. He had been put to death for crimes w,hich an embit tered nature had alone caused him to commit and she had vowed to be avenged for his death He could not live among his own race, for they had sought to hang him, though innocent, and hence he had found a refuge among savages. Like them, he had been cruel and hunted clown, and the man who had brought him to bis death she meant to also slay. Now, she had started upon the trail, for what sJie, mqre than the people she ruled ? When the death of Snow Face became known, she had shown the master spirit that forced the strongest brave s to acknowledge her as the ruling spirit. She would tolerate no interference, and old Red Toma hawk, the great medicine-chief of the tribe, was her friend, and urged her claims. So all yielded, all but one, a chief who hated a squaw as he did a paleface, and who began to foment trouble for the beautiful white renegade. She was told of his actions, and, mounting her horse, at once rode to his tepee. All eyes were upon her, and she cafled the insurg-ent chief to speak to her. He came, with savage face and wicked eye. "The Deadly Hand is my fqe--is it not so?" she asked calmly. "The Deadly Hand hates a squaw, for they are poison in the heart of a great warrior; they make boys of braves, was the reply. "Then the Deadly Hand refuses to obey the Cruel Face because she is a squaw, a paleface squaw?" "She is a woman', and so a fool. She will lead the Sioux only to death. Squaws have the hearts of deers braves have the hearts of mountain lions. " Then let the Deadly Hand mount his horse and wait here until the Cruel Face rides to yonder tree. Then she will turn and ride toward the Deadly Hand, and 1kill him; so let him protect himself F' "The Cruel Face speaks like a child; the Deadly Hand is a great chief, was contemptuous. reply. Then let him show lus cottrage for, 1f he does not kill the Cruel Face, she will kill him. "He has hearct, so let him be ready! With this, the woman turned her horse and rode sl owly away toward the tree she had pointed out, and was three hundred yards distant from the tepee of the chief. On either side were the tepees of the tribe, or, rather. villarre, over which Deadly Hand h e ld sway, for there were half a dozen villages in the tribe under the rule of the renegade queen. The news spread rapidly, and all was wonder and ex citement, and hundreds gathered closer to see the duel. Deadlv Hand was furious, for he had had the gantlet flung in 'his face by a woman. He had meant to kill her when he led his brave s to re bellion and now he was determined to do so, and sprang back his tepee for his weapons, which consist1 1 of a spear bow and arrows, a cavalry carbine, and an o1 fashioned revolver. He called to a brave to bring his horse and, the queen had turned around the tree, he was ready She had no rifle, only her revolvers, but he Im that she was a dead shot. nount. well Once faced toward the tepee of the chief, the queen rode on at a gallop, and the Indian sprang into his saddle. Then a score of' warriors rode forward, and headed off Cruel Face. begging her to let any one of them fight the sav age chief in her stead. But she waved them sternly back, and on her way, her horse his speed as he neared the of Deadly Hand, who now rode toward her. \

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THE BUFF ALO B ILL STO RIE S. 12 Suddenly, when about a hundred Yards only divided them, the chief halted, and thr ew his rifle to h i s shoulder. His horse stood like a statue, and a hush was upon all. At the act, the renegade queen did not flinc h or check he r speed, nor did she raise the revolver she ca r ried in her righ t hand: . With the puff of smoke from the rifle, the head of her mustang was jerked upward, and the bullet, sent true, buried itself in the forehead of the animal. Down dropped the mustang, but the agile woman. un. hurt, lighted upon he r feet, and ran swiftly toward the. chie[ He threw aside his car.bine and brought h is bow and a r rows into use, but was not quick enough, for, halting suddenly, up went the revolver in the re n egade queen's hand, and rapidly the shots rang out. A wild warcry, a snort of pain and fright and Deadly Hand and his horse fell. Advancing rapidly the merciless woman emptied her revolve r into t h e writhing form of the insurgent chief, and became, with his death, the indisputable ruler of the tribe. And now we find her, with two hundred braves at her back, on the warpath, determined to keep her vow against Buffalo Bill. CHAPTER XVIII. AT. TIIE GRAVE OF AN IDOL. A murmur ran through the Indian camp in the timber, a n d all eyes were turned toward a point where a h orseman appeared. It was a chief and his pony seemed to have been hard ridden. He came on toward the spot where the renegade queen had her camp, and, dismounting, advanced toward her. "The Red Eagle is welcome, and he has somet hing to tell me? she said, her dark eyes fixed upon the fine face of the young chief, for he was under thirty, and a splendid spe c imen of savage manhood. ,. "The Red Eagle has news for the Cruel Face. "She sent him to find the grave of the mighty Snow Face, and he has done so The woman's face flushed, with seeming pl eas ure and he heJd out her hand and grasped that of the young chief who seemed pleased at the act 'The Reel Eagle is a great chief, and the Cruel Face \Vill not forget him 'Th e gtave of the Snow Face was hard to find?'' "Like the of birds; but the Red Eagle looked close, and came upon the trail. "There are many graves there in a pass in the hills and there fell the braves of the Snow Face. "Some miles away, in a is a paleface tepee, and ther e are 9ther graves near, and there the Snow Face and the paleface robber band were buried .. You have done well, Red Eagle, and when darkness comes ot1 we will go to the grave of the Snow Face It was after the sun had set that the Cruel Face led her braves out of the timber, across the river and, with Red Ea_gle the g u ide, on toward the canyon where the scene of. t his story opens. I The Red Eagle had shown wondrous skill in ferreting out that spot, for tht; massacre of the braves, with the Sno\y Face when he was captured, had been thorough. They had been ambushed by the Boys in Blue, under Buffalo Bill, and t h ey had been wiped out, while their chief had been taken prisoner to meet a different fate The Red Eagle had studied the situation, and had known the trai l on which the ill-fated party had started, so had followed as closely as he could from what h e deemed had been the course and thus had come upon the ambush scene. From the r e he had held on in the direction of the can yon, after counting the graves of the dead braves. and the skeleton remains of their ponies, and had entered t h e retreat of the Brimstone Brotherhood. There he had seen the cabin, and not far from it the bones of horses, and the graves of those slain in the en counter. He read sig n s well and knew that the lwo graves apart must be those of soldiers, while the half dozen together were, doubtless, the robber dead, for the Boys in Bln e would not bury their dead with outl aws Then, there was another grave, apart from the others, and was not this where lay the Snow Face? This the Indi an trciller resolved to find out. So he dug down into the grave until he came to the blanket enve l oped form, and, though a coup l e of months had gone by since the body h ad been placed there, he knew that it was the form of tli e renegade chief. So he filled in the grave, mounted his pony, and started forth for the r endezvo u s appointed with the queen. By night only did the renegade queen move with her warriors, for she knew that by day they -would be seen afar off if any scout from the fort should happen to be in the vicinity The sun was rising when the Indian squadron rode into the canyon, and Red Eagle led Cruel Face at once to the gtave of_the man she had so dearly loved "There is n o mistake, Red Eagle?" she asked, almost in a whisper. "See where the Red Eagle pull e d out the earth-he saw the face and form of the Snow Face. "The Reel Eagle speaks with a s traight tongue." "I know it; I fee l it. "Go with the braves up the valley ,;I will r e main here to -d ay 'At night come to me." The Red Eagle departed, and soon there was not a brave in sight, for they qad gone up the canyon and encamped The horse of the renegad e queen was by the cabin,
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18 1HE BUFFALO BILL that I may oecotrn ;-cruel, 'vi_ ndictive re v engefol m y lov e for you, my dead idol "Oh, God! Am I never m'or e to s e e him. to feel the touch of his hand, the pressure of hi s lip s t ; p o n m i ne ? "The thbught m a dden s me!" And sprang t o h e r f eet, w i t h savage ve h e m e nce The act, perhaps, Sa';'ed h e r, fo r tw d m e n were just lea\ing a thick e t n ear the e ntrance o f the cavern to creep t;p on her, feeling that they w o uld n o t b e s ee n :n her deep grief . But her act caused them t o s p r in g ba c k for sh e lter into the thicket, and yet she s a w the m 11ot. so dimm e d w e r e h e r eyes with tears. Placing her hand to h e r lip s she g av e a long, s hrill, peculiar call, and ,a mom e n t a f ter the sound of h oofs was heard, and an Indian hors e man came do w n the can yo n at a run. The rene g ade waited until he drew r e in near and said: I "".ill remain here for a few clay s and my bi:av es can rest. "Let the Red Eagle pn? p a r e for the trail for I would know if there is any force between m e a nd the settlement." "The Crud Face has s poken a nd t h e R e d Eag l e g oes at once on the trail, was the re s pon s e and h e r o d e back toward the upper end of the canyon Soon after, the renegad e wh o h ad ta k en up h er quarters in the cabin, saw him cornin g t o 1rnrd the p as s wit h haH a dozen braves at his back. She st'.1pposed that he meant to t a ke them with him on the trail; but instead the left them as an outpost at the pass, a guard betw e en the renegade and danger. The Red Eagle loved the beautiful white queen of his people. As he reached th e pas s his eyes d e tected fresh tracks, and he followed them. They were the tracks left bv two iron-shod and alone he set forth upon the trail which ended in the camp of the Braves in Buck s kin. CHAPTER XIX. GOLD POCKET'S -IDOL. The sudden, quick act 0 the lady sport struck dumb with amazement the crowd gathered in Poker l:fall, and at once showed them why she had written herself down as Bowie-knife Bessie Her aim i1ad been as sure as a revolver, and though she had drawn the bowie-knife and thrown it like a flash of lightning, it had buried itself in the hand of the desperado, whose revolver was leveled at a mere boy. The truth was, the y.outh had struck a lead that day just as the desperado had come upon him, and ha:d urged him to keep it a secret. That night when drunk the desperado had determined to pick a quarrel with the boy, kill him and alone possess the secret. But for the action of the lady sport. he would have been successful. As the blade sank into his hand his revolver fell from his hand and exploded, the bullet shooting a miner in the leg, and a howl and a laugh follo\vecl. :As for .the desperado,he turned like a mad bull upon the one who had, wounded him, and dropped his left hand upon anoth,er revolver in his belt; Hold!' hand s off that weapon or I'll mark you !'' The voice rang o u t like a bugle, a11d it was the 1ady s port sp o ke But the maddened de s perado did 1wt heed. and with another guick movement the woman sent a second bowi e knife flying through the air and th e blad e was burie d in the forearm o f the man He utte red a h o wi of rai
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THE BU ff ALO BILL STORIES. 19 him to come to Poker Hall, and when he did he at once picked a quarrel with him. . "I am glad I served you, my boy, and I assure you yon will find a friend in me," answered the lady sport, am! she turned to Landlord Bony and continued: "As I told you, I came here to gamble so rent me a table by the month and I guess I can fitid men who are willing to win a woman's money, or risk theirs against hers." '"You are right there, Miss Bessie, for rnen here will gamble with an angel, or the devil. "A table is at your service, that one in the wing, with a window at your back, and it is not far across the yard to ;-our cabin." "Jt is the table I want, and I will begin work at once." And the woman walked over to the empty t.able in a niche in the building, but from which she could see the entire room. Before the hall had been enlarged it had been tf1e' bar and just suited the of the lady sport. The table was a new one, covered with a red blanket, drawn tightly over it and tacked beneath, and taking a chair with her back to the window, the lady sport coolly glanced over the room and the many wondering and ad miring faces before her. f\.<;J she did so a bat fluttered into the window and began to dart swiftly about the lamps, causing some of the ri1iners who would not have dodged from a bullet, to duck their heads nervously. "He is not a pet of yours, Bony?" said the .,woman, while an audacious smile crossed her face. "Oh, no; I hate them." "And I am afraid of them, so will kili him." A,nd quick ly drawing her revolver, the .report followed and the bat fell dead amid a group of miners, while the roof of the building almost rose under the yell of admira tion for the woman who in less than ten minutes had es tablished herself as Gold Pocket's Idol. CHAPTER XX. THE TEXAN' S REPORT. "Now; Jack, what is your news?'' and Buffalo Bill turned to Texas Jack, who, having refresqed himself with supper and a short rest, was ready to tell his story, for, as he had said, he had something important to tell. "Well, Bill, you sent me to find out i f the Sioux were on the warpath, or getting ready to go!" "Yes, and I knew yotl could bring me the news if any man could, Jack." "I did my best, and I'll tell you what we did." "N else kept with you ?" "Oh, yes, and following your instructions, I readily struck the trail into the mountains where the Sioux had 1 their village. . "But we came upon a large and fresh trail leading away from the village, so we decided that the redskins had al ready stnrted on the warpath. "To follow them might be to nm upon some of the warriors who were sent back, or dropped and I decided that we had best follow long enoug-h to get, the direction they were taking, and then head them off. "This we did and we reached a point which we knew I was in advance ot them, so Nelse and myself took dif ferent stands to wait for them, as I wished to count them, and then get on ahead and warn you "But \Ve did not see any signs, after waiting nearly two days, so joined each other and started to head them off at another point, for we knew they must either be traveling very stow, or have changed their course. "The next clay we came upon their trail and followed it. "It was heading toward Eagle Canyon--". "Ah! Eagle Canyon;" said Buffalo Bill, hastily. "Yes, and I followed the trail, which was very fresh. \Ve took to the ridge, and saw that they had not passed on into the canyon, and so awaited their coming. Soon they appeared, and at the distance we were from thein I counted them as well as I could and Nelse from another point did the same." "What did you make their force, Jack?" 'One hundred and eight y "And Nelse ?" "He said he counted criticall y one hundred and eighty''Then that doubtless makes their force two hundred, for some you <;loubtless missed or they were scouting." "I set them at that number, Bill." "There are five villages in the tribe, so each village sent a chief and fortv men. "That is a good force but n ot large enough to enter upon more than a raid. "Still this may be o nly one column, and there might be a l<;irge force out, for if each villag e sent two hundred, then the fort would have to look out." ''Y cs; but I was car e ful to note that only column left the mountains, for they would have to come out at the pass where they could cross the river o r as you say', go a four days' ride around, and this they would on l y do in case of intending a complete St,lrprise." "You are right; we have only this colnmn to dea l with, I am snre." "But they camped in Eagle Canyon?" ; 'Yes; they passed or: up the upper end-all. except one person." "Ah! was she along?" 'If by she you mean the wife of the renegade chief you had executed, she was. "She halted at the graves there?" "Yes; and tell me, which was her husband 's?" "There are a couple of soldiers' graves together:, and apart some fifty feet the outlaws are buried, while under a large pine in the edge of the timber is the grave of ithe renegade chief." "That one is the grave where we saw her, for Nelse and I left our horses and crept on into the canyon. "She was kneeling by it, and we saw her raise her hands as though she was taking an oath. "There was not a redskin in sight, so N else and I de cided to capture the renegade queen. "Great Cesar' s ghost! but she was gorgeous, and the sun glistened upon her gold armlets, so it was a good spec any way to rop,e her in. we were going to creep around into the timbe( and cotne upon her while she was huggingher grief over her dead husband. "It se emed a mean, Bill, but we knew she was up

PAGE 21

THE BUFF J\LO BILL STOR I ES. to deviltry, and would make the sioux worse than ever Snow Face did. "But you relented, it seems, a s I see that you did not bring her in with you," said the chief, with a smile. "Nary 'relent, Bill; but we gave over the idea just as we were about to begin business, for she suddenly got over her gri ef and blew a whistle that brought some mounted warriors clown the canyon at a gallop. "We feared she had seen us so we lighted out, regained our horses and waited at a good place to ambush them for over an hour when, sure that we were i10t followed, we deci ded not to monkey around any l onge r but to come at once to you and report." "Did you d est ro y your trail ?" "As well as we could, until we st ruck the buffalo trails." "All right, we will be on hand to check the se gentlemen. for I shall send a scout to Fort Fairvie\v, another to the settlen ent, an.d one to each of the posts, so they will be warned, and I will ask for Captai n Forrester to join me with a hundred men and see if we can't capture this rene gade qu e en, for she means mischief of the worst kind, J ad:, and has simply gone to her husband's grave to renew the oath there that she made to me. "But how \Yas it she picked out his grave among the others?" "Tru st a woman for that, Hill, for th ey've got ways a man can never find out. Buffalo Bill at once wrote severa l n otes, and soon a,ftcr five scouts rode away from the secret camp, and oYer beyond the lake took as many different trails. Then Texas Jack started off after nightfall, accom paniQd by another scout, to rep o rt the movements of the Sioux, or if they still rem ained in Eagle Canyon. The next day at noon the T exan and his companion re turned in haste to the r etreat and reported that the rern: gade queen and her braves hacl l eft the canyon and were heading toward Fort Fairvi ew "To your saddles, Buckskins! cried the chief, and be fore the order was obeyed there was a sight visib l e o ut upon the plains to rivet any eye. CHAPTER XXL THE IlEAUTIFU. DECOY The sight which met the eyes of the sco ut was a horse and rider far away out on the plain A moment's observation showed two things, first, tha t the rider was coming on at the full speed of his horse and next, that he was coming toward the ridge in the sum mit of which the Braves in Buckskin had their retreat. The chief of scouts leveled his glass, and all stood hiding in the thick et, awaiting what he would say. "It must be a soldier courier for he is in da rk clothes, and Indians are doubtless in cha s e of him though they have not appeared in sight yet." Still keeping his eye to his glass, Buffalo Bill called out a minute after: "Ah! as I si1pposed, there come Indians in pursuit." "How man, Bill?" asked Texas Jack. Counting them slowly, the chief -replied: "Something over twenty, and I think there are no more behind. "Go with the men, Neise, all of them, and cross the lake to the foothills. I will c ome soon as I see what those fellows are after and, Jack, yo u stay here. The men departed having put their traps together for a stay away of several days while Buffalo Bill wiped the glasses carefully and again turned it upon the fugitive. "Jack!" he sa id. in a tone that fairly startled his com. panion. "Well, Bill?" of a wagon-train, Government's C'.limmg west just now?" ' No, but one may be on the way to the fort." One must be, for yorn;ler rider is a woman." 'The mischief you say, Bill!" "Yes, a woman in a dark riding habit black slouch ha t, and must be an officer's wife or daughter. "Come, we must save her Jack. "vVe must at all hazards," and Texas J aek ran hastily after Buffalo Bill, who was already by the side of hi s horse. Mounting, the two scouts rode at a swift gallop down the canyon, reached the lak e and found N else awaiting them with the boat. "Men all across N else?" "Yes, chief, and we'll soon be with 'em," and Nelsc seized the oa rs while the scouts h e ld the reins of their horses. The hor ses swam well. and the i sland was soon reache d, the boat put away and the animals saddled. Reaching the spot where the Braves in Buckskin awai ted them, B uffalo Bill aid: .. Boys, be ready for a hard rid e and a fig ht. .. The one we saw chased by Indians is a woman, and we must r escue her. 'Come." The Braves in B uckskin mounted and followed their chief at a gallop around the base of the ridge. Down through the foothills th ey went until they reac hed some timber which alone separated them from the rolling plain bey ond. Buffalo Bill dismo unted and went on foot to edge of the timber. His g las s showed him the horsewoman not half a mil e away and ridi1ig toward a thick fringe of timber upon the banks of th e prairie stream. Behind came the Indians in full chase and gaining. The cry of the scout brought his men to his side, Texas Jack leading the chief s horse, and leaping into his s addle he led his Braves in Buckskin to the rescue. Away they dashed over the plain, to head the fugitive off, and meet her pursuers though two to one against them. The Braves in Buckskin counted no odds when going to the rescue of a woman. Who she was, what she was, they did not ask, or care, so long as she was in desperate danger. Like the wind the horses, thoroughly fresh, swept over the plain, while the riders cheered to encourage the fugi tive, whose hors e seemed to be rapidly failing. Straight for the belt of timber they rode, and it soon became evident that they would reach it about the time the fugitive did, perhaps a little sooner, while the red skin pursuers would arrive several minutes later. "Once in the timber, Jack, and we can stand them off,.,

PAGE 22

said Buffalo Bill as he went swiftly along, his rifle across his arm and ready for work. ' V./e can make it hot for them, Bill and save the girl as well. " Yes, but where are the rest .of the band, for these are from the renegade queen s party?" "Sure; but the rest may be still at the canyon and these be a scouting party; but where did that girl come from?" ''We will so?n know ,'' and with a cr y to his men to push on, Buffalo Bill spurred forward, and an opening in the timbe r r e veal e d the fugitive coming on, aIJd the redskins but a c o uple of h1mdred yards b e hind her. She was not that far from the creek and the scout s \vere y et n eare r. h e av e ns Jack, se e ther e we are trappe d. r tHalt fir e into the timber yond e r, all of y ou, and ready b o u t T h e w o rd s o f Buffalo Bill wer e caus e d b y s udd e nly b e h o lding in th e timber a numb e r of r e d form s around a pony which, forced to lie d o wn in hidin g, had suddenl y sprung to its feet. t A t .the same m o1:ient woman on h o rs e back seen o qm e tl y draw rem and seemed to pay no atte ntion t o h e r e d s kin s in h e r r e ar. "It i s the r e n eg ad e qu ee n h e r se lf ) .. F ire int.he timb e r pards A v olley of rifle s h o t s ran g out, : ,.Der, and then a scattering fire fr o m ti lowed. Hut for the keen eyes of Buffalo B ni zecl the rene g ade qu e en and d e tec t foe at the same time the scouts would !\, on to certain death. who had recog the ambu s h e d e
PAGE 23

21 l'HE BU ff' ALO BILL STORIES. charges against him, black as they looked at one time; but there is always, I deem it, the stamp of innocence or guilt in one's face, and I could never read aught but 'Not guilty' in Captain Forrester's." "You are right, for I so read it; but is a splendid of ficer, and I rather admire his refusal to be friendly with those who made every effort to prove him guilty. "Why, they still are trying to prove that there is something about the man," in spite of all charges being disproven." "Yes, Colonel Cassidy, and I believe he will yet show that what seems mysterious in his actions now is not crime "You refer to this strange creature w ho twice deceived us all-first as the Boy Bugler and then as Miss Mese role?" "Yes; and a remarkable, mysterious, beautiful creature s he is," replied Kate Kennerley, low e ring her voice, as the officer was now within a few yards of the piazza. He s aluted the commandant, raised his bat gracefully to Kate, and said : "Pardon me for disturbing you, Colonel Cassidy, and yo u also I crave pardon of, Miss Kennerley, for breaking in upon the colonel's visit; but a courier has arrived from the Northwest and rep o rts having crossed an Indian trail l ea ding down from the mountains where the Sioux have their village. "It was a trail, he said, made by fully a hundred war riors, so they must be on a raid, and as we have heard nothing from Cody, I was going to ask if I could not take three or four companies and go on a scout?" "Certainly, Captain Forrester, you can go, and I am glad to have you, for I, too, am anxious about Cody, as we have had no messenger from him for ten days. "Th e r e is some cause for alarrri, sir, as those Indians are on the warpath, and were heading for the locality where I know Cody's retreat to be. ''Can I take Surgeon Powell with me ,sir?" "V./ ell, yes, as the assistant surgeons can lo ok after the fort; but why take four comp anies?" "They were r eported, sir, about a hundred strong, and of course must be moving in large force, with other col umns as well." I hardly think so, for s ince Buffalo Bill so summarily exect\ted their ren ega de chief, Snow Face, they have been cowed." "His wife r ema ins, sir, the renegade queen. "Nonsense what can a woman do as thehead of a tribe of redskins?" "iVI uch, sir, if she is a woman bent on mischief, and has abilit y added to the spirit o f revenge, as I heard from Cody is the case with this fair ren ega de. "\/\/ome n can do much, Colonel Cassidy, for evil, when they se t their hearts upon it," was the rather earnest response, and somehow irito the minds of both the colonel and Kate came the thought of the woman who had masqueraded as the Boy Bugler and Miss Meserole. "I still b elieve t he Si
PAGE 24

t l'HE BUFF /\LO BILL STORIES. 23 "Going to the fort;. sir, with dispatches from Chief ody; to report redskins in force on the warpath, and four ther scouts sent to the different posts." "All right, Luke; but where is Buffalo" Bill?" asked the aptain . "Left him at the retreat, sir; and he was to take the rail with the balance of the boys.' "Then I shall find him iri that neighborhood?" "Yes, sir; thereabouts-any word to send, sir?" "Only say to Colonel Cassidy that you found me this ar on my way, and I will feel obliged if he will send Cap ain Bainbridge with two other companies lo support me. "I will meet them, or have a messenger there to do so, t Sentinel Hill." "Yes, sir And Lucky Luke shot away on his ride to the fort, while he pace of the troopers was hastened to a trot. lt was in the afternoon, as they were moving along after an hour's rest, when shots were heard not a mile way. Instantly came the order to prepare for hot work, and halt was ordered. The saddle-girths were tightened, the weapons loosened and holster, and the men mounted ready for 1e charge On they went at a sweeping gait, while the firing con nued, and grew louder and louder. They were in a valley, a prairie vale, with a stream upon one side and a ridge of timber upon the other. Beyond was a plain with a large stream, the banks heavily timbered, and a ridge, fringed with a thicket that was very dense in growth, and from the latter a long string of Indian horsemen were emerging and moving oward the river. From the latter had come a party of horsemen, ten in umber, they were whites. Behind them, in full pursuit, were fourscore It\dian arriors, mounted and with yells dashing svviftly along. Thus was the small band of horsemen caught between two bodies of foes, and had to fight a force of twenty to ne against them. Over in the timber the keen eye of Captain Forrester detected other foes, but how many he had no means of knowing, The small band of pale-faces were the Boys in Buck skin, and that there \vas no hope for them they seemed to realize, for instead of pushing on, as though to break through the Indian line ahead of them, they suddenlv huddled together into a solid mass, halted and faced the(r enemies. Buffalo Bill and his Braves in Buckskin were at bay. Captain Forrester had halted his men before dashing through the timber into view. He had ridden on with Frank Powell, dismounted and observed the situation. "Brave Cody I they have brought him to bay and he intends to die game, for he knows not we are :'No, and redskins do not know, eithe r, so we will gam a surpnse." "How many, at a rough guess, are they?" "I should say all of two hundred, with n1ore cou)1ties to hear from," replied Frank Ppwell. "I. would fight them to save Cody and his Bo)rs in Buck skin, were they a thousand "Attention, battalion! forward, "march!" His voice rang out and the soldiers came on to where he sat on his horse yvith the Surgeon Scout, awaiting them .Then came the order in trumpet tone: "Charge!" CHAPTER XXIV. THE RENEGADE QUEEN'$ BOLD PLOT. The Red Eagle was the king of trailers He had won fame the village of his people when a mere boy by' his success as a hunter. He trapped game and kept his mother s tepee supplied, while others of hi s elders could not do so. He killed his first bear when but thirteen, and saved the life of a wounded chief by doing so. His f:ither was a great chief, and tipon the clay of the child's birth had killed a reel eagle, one of whose feathers by some fteak were of a reddish-brown instead of grav. This gained for the boy his name of Red Eagle, and O'n that same clay of his birth the Sioux had gained a g'reat victory over their the Cheyennes \Nhen but sixteen the boy had taken his first scalp, that of a Pawnee chief and so he won his spurs arid before th.e age when an American boy can vote, he was a chid, and a noted one. Tall, an athlete in form, with a bold face and piercing eyes, a voice low and m,ellow in conversation, and like a trumpet in anger, Reel Eagle was the idol of the Sioux maidens But, from the coming of the renegade queen among his people, he had had eyes for her alone. She was the wife of his great chief, Snow Face, who, taking a fancy to the young Sioux, had done much to advance him; but he loved the b e autiful Cruel Face. She was a pale-faC
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