Buffalo Bill's water trail, or, Foiling the Mexican bandit

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Buffalo Bill's water trail, or, Foiling the Mexican bandit

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Title:
Buffalo Bill's water trail, or, Foiling the Mexican bandit
Series Title:
Buffalo Bill stories
Creator:
Buffalo Bill
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Street & Smith
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Language:
English
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1 online resource (31 p.) 28 cm.: ;

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

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University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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020910172 ( ALEPH )
454439617 ( OCLC )
B14-00082 ( USFLDC DOI )
b14.82 ( USFLDC Handle )

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A ,VVEERLY PUBLICATroN DEVOTED TO BORDER HI 5TORY iSi"Ultd Weekly. By SulJscr1jJ 'ion $z.50 fer year. Entered as Second l1ass ; Watter at ?.nr Office fly .JTREET a SMrTH, 235" Wuuam St . N. Y. No.82. Price, F ive Cents. BILL AND SURGEON P OWELL, HELD B Y THE LARIATS S WAYED THEIR H O HSES T OW.Alill TtiE CAYhRN-LIKE C REVICE IN THE BANK

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.Trpenn(?[Pf%[6@ IBO[b[S A /EEK[.Y' PUBLl'CATION DEVOTED TO BORDER Hl5TORY Is1t116 By St1hscnption la.JO per year. Entwed os Second Closs Notter of tlie N. Y. Post Office, by STREET cl: SKITH :Z.J8 Wi71iam St. N. Y. Entered acc rdinr to Act of Conzress in tlie year 1902, in tlie Office of Ille Librarian of Conpess, W ashinrton, b. C. ' No. 82. N E W YORK December 6, 1902 Price F i ve Cents. J BUFFALO BILL'S W ATER TRAIL: ,. F9iling the M e xi can Bandit By the autho r of "BUFF ALO BILL.11 CHAPTER I. THE SOLDIER'S DAUGHTER. A daring robbery of a stage-coach had been com mitted upon the Northern Overland trail, in which a fair passenger had been the greatest sufferer. Tommy Todd had been driving his regular run along the Overland trail, with no thought of danger, although robberies were frequently committed by an outlaw band known as the Toll-Takers, when sud denly he had been brought to a halt by a ringing com mand from some unseen person on the roadside. Tom Todd was a fearless man and an expert driver, and he took the chances of losing his own life in an effort to dash through. But he soon saw that escape was useless, as not one or two outlaws, but eight appeared in sight, all mounted well, armed to the teeth and masked. "Don't play any funny business with me, Tommy Todd, if you have any value for your life," cried a stern voice as he covered the driver with his r e volver and rode up to the coach. "No, I guesses as how I won't, fer I really doesn't feel funny," was the cool reply, and Tom Todd ac cepted the situation without another word. The odds were against him; the Toll-Takers had revived and he was in for it. "Who have you inside, Tommy?" asked the leader. "Waal, thar be two miners, a pretty gal, and a sutler from Rock Port." "The miners and the sutler ought to be pretty good picking, while I guess the girl is only a soldier"s sweet and therefore poor as an empty haversack." "That's so about thepretty gal, but the miners is dead bu'sted and the sutler has got so leetle dust with him I hed ter credit him with his ride." "I'll see for myself," muttered the leader, and he called to one of his men to dismount and throw open the coach-door

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2 THE BUFF fl LO BILL STORIES. ''Now out of there, all of you! The first one to obey was a miner, rough-lookmg, but honest-faced and a trifle pale. "\Veil, old Pick-ax, hand over your dust! was the command. "I've got but little." "I want that little, pard, so lose po time." The miner unbuckled a buckskin belt and threw it upon the ground. "You have more "That is all." "I say no; but after a while I'll talk to you. "Next!" The second one to dismount from the coach was another miner, and he, too, was forced to surrender his belt of gold-dust. "Next!" The sutler, a smooth-faced man with a cunning look out .of his eyes, got out !1ext. "Your money I want, my friend." "I have nothing, for I am going East to buy goods, and sent my money ahead weeks ago." "You feared being robbed?" "Yes." "You have no money ith you? "None." "You are sure?" "So sure that I had to get Todd to credit me for my ride until I returned." "Well, I will keep you a prisoner until you send for your money that is all. "N' ext!" The sutler winced at this while in response to the command of the outlaw, a beautiful face peered from the coach and a soft voice asked reproachfully: 1'Would you rob a poor girl, sir?" "Well, yes, when I need money. Robbery is my trade, and I must work it for all it is worth. What have you with you, miss, of value?" "A little jewelry of trifling value, and my purse containing seventy dollars," was the answer. "Hand me your satchel, please." "On, sir!" "I must obeyed," came the stern reminder. The young girl handed over her leather traveling satchel, and opening it the outlaw began to coolly look over its contents. At last he took up a Jetter, and, opening it, read it carefully through. "Aha!" he said, as though he had made a discovery. Then he took a loaf of bread from the satchel, and said: "--"I think I shall take this lunch." "Oh,' sir!" and the girl pleaded earnestly, until Tom Tork! cnrsecl the outlaws for a lot of murdering thieves. Breaking open the loaf, with a smi'le the outlaw re vealed the fact that the loaf had been hollowed out and in it was a case of jewels a purse filled with gold and several rolls of bank bills. The maiden buried her face in her hands and began to sob but the hardened wretch coolly pocketed the r iches, and, turning to the sutler, said, sternly: Now, sir pay your toll, or you go into irons and imprisonment until you can do sol" The sutler vowed swore but all to no avail, and at last ripped open his bootleg and handed over the money he had sewn up there The miners also managed to find more money than was in their belts, and all were then told to get back into the coach, while Tom T o dd, vowing v engeance, drove on. For the men he did not care ; but fo r the young girl he felt most keenly. "It will be long weeks before I can ge t more money, and what am I to do meanwhile?" said the young girl who had accepted a s<;:at on the box with Tom Todd after leaving the scene of the robbery. "You say your father is an army o fficer miss?" "My father is dead sir ; but he w a s an army officer, a captain." "\il/aal, you kin git more m o ney mi ss, I guess? "Yes, by writing to friends for it ; but it w ill t a ke weeks." "vVaal, miss when I gits to the encl o' my I'll jist ride over with you to Fort Grand whar they will be glad to entertain yer I knows ontil yer hears from home. "Yer might stay a t the s tati o n but th a r i s onl y men thar, and the fort would be ple as an tes t for thar i s ladies thar, and lots o' hand so me young offic e rs who 'll git gone on yer pretty face. "I'll take yer to ther fort and thar y er 'll be we! come." / And Tom Todd was as good as hi s word and Belle Braddock did indeed find a wan11 welcome at Fort Grand, where she at once became the guest of Heloise Hembol
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BUFF l\LO BILL STORIES. and certainly she was a most beautiful maiden, while one and all loved her for her noble nature, as well as her beauty of face and form. With large, lustrous black eyes, fringed by sweep ing lashes, hair of a rich auburn hue, and a form the perfection of symmetry, she yet seemed unconscious of her loveliness. Heloise was a heroine, too, as this romance will and it was whispered about that she was an heiress to a large fortune. Major Jiembold, a man in not very robust health, jdolized his daughter, and dreaded the day when he would have to give her up to some gallant claimant for her heart and hand. The major had known Captain Braddock in earlier days, and was delighted to welcome his daughter to his home, especially as she was in di_ stress. "Braddock was a wild fellow, but married a lady in California, and settled down there, I heard, as also that he left his daughter rich. "She is certainly a beautiful girl," said Major Rembold to his daughter, the day of Belle's arrival. "She is indeed beautiful, father," was the response. Nor was their praise of Belle Braddock's beauty exaggerated, for their fair traveler was indeed lovely in the extreme. Her face won at a glance, and her manners were fas cinating in the extreme. Scarcely twenty she seemed, and yet she was an ac complished musician, and soon revealed that she p(.)ssessed a number of other accomplishments. She had wagered a kiss with a dozen young officers, against a box of bon-bons, and other things, that she could beat them shooting with rifle or revolver, and she had not a single wager to pay. She proved herself a fair hand with the sword, rode superbly, threw a lasso with the skill of a Mexican, and, in fact, was an expert in border ways and sports. She had not been a week at Fort Grand when the affection of the young officers was about equally di vided between the fair stranger and Heloise Rembold. But such a thing as "envy, hatred or malice" never entered the heart of Heloise against her lovely rival, whom she was really glad to see win favor with all. Thus the two girls, so strangely thrown together, became fast friends in a very short while, and with all of her enjoyment of the society of the young officers, Belle Braddock seemed to really care to be more with Heloise than the lieutenants, whom she had infatuated. Often she would propose to slip off for a walk or a ride together, with no male attendants, and though warned of the clanger of doing so, she would toss her pretty head and reply that there was no danger in their going alone, other than was imagined by those not invited tq accompany them. Heloise was herself a perfect frontier girl, and she knevi the surroundings of Fort Grand as well as di
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4 THE BUffl\LO BILL STORIES. CHAPTER III. THE LOST TRAIL. Belle Braddock had been correct in her surmise that, if seen by the officers of the fort going off alone, they would be followed. For doing so uninvited, the young officers would have the excuse that they feared to have them go alone, so followed as an escort. When their duties were over, several went over to Major Hembold's quarters to ,.;.sit the maidens, and learned that they had gone off for a ride. "Who with, orderly?" asked Lieutenant Emory Ames, who had several times averred in co11fidence that he did not know which of the two girls he liked the best. "Alone, sir ?" "How long ago, orderly?" "Over an hour, sir." "Then I shall go in search of them. What do you say, Vincent?" "With pleasure," was the response of Lieutenant Victor Vincent; and, fifteen minutes after, the two offi cen;, well mounted, were following the trail which the major's orderly had said the ladies had taken. They at once struck the trail of the two horses and pursued it easily for miles. "They were riding rapidly all the way, Ames." "Yes, and a precious pair of foolish girls they are, Vincent. "I should think the fair Heloise had had a lesson which would deter her from going so far away from the fort." "A woman never learns by experience, Ames, though a man will." was the sage rejoinde1. "Where can they be going?" asked Ames. "Quien sabe.?" responded Vincent; with a shrug of the shoulders. At last they reached the ford, and Ames again re marked: "Foolish girls! See! they have crossed the river, and it is a good fifteen-mile ride around to the other ford above the fort!" "Can they have taken it?" "Yes, for what else can they have done?" "Shall we follow?" "i To, for it would be useless, as they would reach he fort before us. Let us ride back rapidly and beat them there." "All right, and say nothing of this pursuit. "Yes," and away they went rapidly back upon the trail. It was nearly sunset when they came up to the stock ade gate "Have Miss Rembold and Miss Braddock ridden in yet, sentinel?" asked Ames. "No, sir." Arriving at their quarters they found considerable alarm existing at the continued absence of the two ladies. As they were not in sight, and the upper ford could be seen from the fort, several young officers were pre paring to go in searc h of them when they heard the report of Ames and Vincent. A party accordingly started by the upper ford, while Lieutenant Ames and several others went back the way they had come, for Buffalo Bill who had re cently been detailed to serve at Fort Grand in order to put down the outlawry in the vicinity, had come in and reported seeing suspicious trails on the other side of the river. The two parties met a couple of hours after dark fifteen miles from the fort and nothing had been seen, by either, of the missing women. So there was nothing to do but return and hope that they would find them there. But in this hope they were
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. BUf'I' ALO BILL STORIES. 5 "It branches off here to the left, down the river, Cap tain Taylor, instead of up toward the ford above the fort." "Yes, and they were riding rapidly, and side by side." "Miss Hembold certainly knew the danger of this course, down the river," Ames remarked. "Yes, but she bas taken the trail in spite of its danger," Taylor responded. On went the scouts, now side by side, on foot, and their eyes upon the ground reading every sign. Behind them followed their horses; then came.,,Cap tain Taylor and Lieutenant Ames, their two-score troopers following. For a couple of miles the scouts led the way, keeping the trail unerringly. Then it bore again toward the river bank. "Cody?" "Yes, Captain Taylor." "The other ford is not far away." "A mile only, sir." "If they recrossed the riyer there, then they had the prairie upon one side back to the fort and the swamp on the other?" "Yes, sir." "Had they taken the prairie they could have reached the fort by nightfall?" "Yes, sir, if--" "If what, Cody?" "If there was nothing to prevent them." "Ah, I understand. You believe that theyhave been captured?" "Something has gone wrong with them, sir, for word was to be sent after us if they reached the fort after we left." "Yes, and no word has come." "None, sir," and Buffalo Bill pressed forward on the trail once more. It led them at last to another ford, half a mile be low the one crossed by the two girls. The tracks of their horses were seen there, going into the river, but upon the other side there was no trace or sign to indicate where they had come out of the water. Two days before there had been a rain, and the only tracks on the other shore were those of a bear and deer. Nor was there a back track to show that they had retraced their way. "The trail is lost, Cody, and here in this stream." "Yes, Captain Taylor, the trail is lost," responded Buffalo Bill, dispiritedly. It was evident that both he and Texas Jack were be wildered by the discovery they had made there at the ford. CHAPTER IV. THE SURGEON SCdUT ARRIVES. The scouts being at fault, Captain Taylor and Lieu tenant' Ames grew very anxious and uneasy. They knew that Buffalo Bill and Texas Jack read signs on the plains as scholars did a foreign book, and when they admitted that the trail was lost, there was indeed cause for anxiety. For a long time Bnffalo Bill and Texas Jack sat in their saddles, their horses now standing up to their girths in the river. At that point was a shoal where the river could be crossed without much danger of a ducking, but above, as far as the eye conld reach, the river was deep and the stream was flowing swiftly. In the other direction, to a bend half a mile below the river flowed on as rapidly, and it was deep enough to swim a horse at any point within view. Still the tracks of the two horses ridden bv Heloise and Belle had not entered the river there at the ford and had not gone across to the other shore; nor had they gone back again the way they had come. The soldiers had halted upon the bank, and their officers were at the water's edge. The scouts ' vere in the stream, and the tracks they trailed were plainly visible leading into the river, bnt not out again. The imprints had not been in the least obliterated. and there was no mistaking the clean-cut, iron-shod hoofmarks of Captain Taylor's splendid mare, Black Cloud, or Lady Spitfire, the beautiful animal ridden by Heloise. Neither officer spoke, but watched the scouts until the silence became oppressive. At last Captain Taylor said : "Well, Cody, what is to be done?" "I can see but one thing, sir." "And that is--" "To go the way they did." "Which way did they go?" "They did not retrace their way, sir?" "No." "They did not cross to the other shore?" "Granted." "They could not go up-stream against this current." "Not they, Cody." "Then they went down the river, sir." "What?" "They went down the stream, sir." "You do not mean that they are drowned?" "I hope not." "Then what do you mean?" "That they swam their horses down the river." "Why, Cody, there is not a spot where they could come ashore within sight." "No, captain." "And perhaps not for miles below?"

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1'HE BU ff ALO Bl LL STORlr:S. \ "I do not know of such a place, sir." "That we must find out." "Then they were drowned." "But there are no other tracks visible than those of "We can find out in but one way, sir." their horses." "Well, how is that?" "Very true, but a moccasin would not make a trail "On the left bank a man can ride along close to here which we could follow." the edge for miles, but not on the right bank, owing "Nor would a boat make any sign," Buffalo Bill to water-washes and timber." added. "Well." "I see that you have both hit upon the same idea, "I will unsaddle my horse, sir, take off my weapons Cody, you and Po..,vell." and take the river, if you can find a couple more lariats "And I do not believe their were Indians, in the command besides Jack's and mine." Texas Jack remarked. "What do you need them for?" "No, for redskins would not be dismounted so near ''Well, I would like to tie one end about my waist, the fort," Powell declared. and have Jack go along the shore with the other end, ''Then you believe they are captives?" Captain Tay-so that if my horse should drown and I give out, I lor asked. can be pulled to the bank, for no man can catch a grip "They most certainly are, Taylor, and from all I on these steep and sli ppery sides." can glean of the case the plot has been as clever a "You are right; but I do not like you to take the one as that by which Miss Heloise was captured berisk, Cody." fore." "We must discover if the young ladies went this "Ah! now I begin to understand you, Powell." way, captain-Ah! there comes Surgeon Powell!" "Yes, it has been a clever plot to kidnap her, and As Buffalo Bill spoke, a horseman appeared on the Miss Braddock being with her and the opportunity hill, coming at a canter toward the ford. offering to kidnap Miss Heloise, both were taken." He was in a fatigue uniform, wore a black sombrero "I1half believe you are right, Powell." with a gold cord encircling it, and a belt of arms, while "I know he is right. Captain Taylor, for I had the a rifle hung at his saddlehorn. same idea, as did also Jack," Buffalo Bill responded. His horse was a large roan, and showed his mettle "\Nell, you scouts are wonders, I admit frankly," in his small head, arched neck and clean limbs. the captain laughed with a light laugh, while Buffalo The rider was a stem-faced man, with long, waving Bill urged: black hair, and looked just what he was-the resolute "Let us lose no time about following. Captain Taysoldier, daring plainsman, and one whose nature was lor, may I ask you to divide your force and send them cast in a noble mold, whose heart was true as steel to a down the river upon bank, while we will need friend. strong men to hold the life-lines for us?" "Ah. Frank, what news from the fort?" called out The orders were given, and the two daring swimCaptain Taylor, as Surgeon Frank rode down to the mers threw aside their boots, coats, hats and belts to water's edge. prepare for the peril before them. "No news of the young ladies, Taylor, and I am glad to find you are on their trail," was the answer, and the Surgeon Scout saluted Lieutenant Ames and the two scouts pleasantly. "Yes, we tracked them this far, and Buffalo Bill is just thinking of undertaking a foolhardy act, I fear, to see what more can be done to trail them," said Captain Tavlor .-,I am with you, Bill; but what is the situation?" In a few words it was made known to him, when Powell said, after a moment of thought: "If you desire to look for landing-places, Bill, on the banks, you can reach but one side, so I will take the other, for I have a lariat, and our stake-ropes will give us all the line we need. "I am with you, Cody, for, with you, I feel that they could have gone no other way, and if they went down the river on their horses, then they were prisoners, that is certain." "Prisoners, surgeon?" asked Emory Ames. "Yes." "To whom? CHAPTER V. THE DARING SWIMMERS. The lariats and stake-ropes tied together made two very long lines, and strong ones, too. One end of each was taken by a soldier on horseback, with a turn around his saddle horn. They then rode to the top of the bank on the left shore. The force was then divided, twenty men going, un der Lieutenant Ames, down the right of the river, and the balance, under Captain Taylor, following the left shore, down. I With the latter Texas Jack went, and the saddles and clothing of the two daring men were carried by a couple of troopers on their horses. Then, with only the bridles upon their horses, the two men sprang lightly upon their backs arn; l rode them into the swi ftly-fiowing river. They lost their footing before they had gotten ten feet from the ford. The sagacious animals seemed to

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1'HE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 'I realize their danger and that their riders were taking desperate odds. The current was so swift that to stem it would be impossible for horse or man, so that once they had there was no retracing their way. A moment more and the two horses were borne along clown the surging stream, Buffalo Bill in advance of Surgeon Frank Powell and the lariats about the waists of the two men leading to the mounted soldiers on the left bank and foll owing them as they swept swiftly down the river It was a thrilling sight. and one which the beholders never forgot. 'N ere Buffalo Bill and Surgeon Powell going to their death down that torrent? The lariats were long enough to allow the two scouts to sweep acr qs s t o the other shore and were drawn al most taut. The surgeon kept his eyes upon the left bank watching every break in the wall of rock, while Buffalo Bill eyed the other shore with equal watchfulness. On they swept the horses swimming strongly, and, having notb.ing more to do than to steady themselves in the current, as they rolled along, for they were carried a t a speed of over six miles an hour. Half a mi,le had been gone over, and twice the ri v er had swung around a bend; but left the bank continued entirely clear of timber, or of any other obstructions in the way of two mounted c a valrymen who carried the land end of the lines. They were cool headed fellows, too, and watched t he scout s with a critical e y e not doing aught to check their progress "Ho, Bill yo nder i s break on my side, so move over to the right, crietl Powell who was just the length of his horse in the rear of Cody, but well .over toward the right shore. "I see it and we can halt there for a rest, as our horses are feeling it answered Buffalo Bill. "Yes, and it may be more than a resting-place," re turned Dr. Powell. The two men swayed, rather than guided their horses in that direction. The break in the bank was not through the cliff, but near the water and the ripple there showed that there was a shoal. As they neared it both saw that there was a vide, cavern-like crevice in the bank out of which a stream of water poured into the river. Their h o rses soon touched bottom, and, a moment a f ter stood but knee-deep upon the shoal directly in front of the opening which from the opposite shore did not appear like a break in the bank, as the cliff had a bend in it a few feet from the opening. "I'll push in, Frank, and see where it leads," said Buffalo Bill freeing himself from the lariat about his wai s t and giving the end to Surgeon Powell to hold. The soldiers had halted on the opposite shore, and all were anxiously watching the scouts. The rock merely arched for a scor e of feet, not forming a cavern, and through this the scout made his way out into a narrow canyon, down which washed a small stream. The banks on either side towered thirty feet over bis head and the canyon, or waterway, was not over li\ c ieet wide-a mere chasm in the rocks. Following it, Buffalo Bill, after a walk of an eighth of a mile, came to where it rose abruptly for a few yards and then crossed a well-worn trail. The party of soldiers under Lieutenant Emory Ames had just gone by, the scout knew, having had to flank the stream that flowed down the ravine But there was another trail which seemed to ri\ ct the eyes of the scout, for he stood some time regardi11g it then crossed the l a rge track, still following the s tream of water After a walk of a lmndred ya: ds he halted, glanced a bont him, and ttirning abruptly, retraced his way to the river. "You haYe made a discovery, Bill? said the St:r geon Scout. qnietly. "l have found their trail, so we need go no further down the river." \I "Good! 1 am with :you!" Buffalo Bill then hailed Captain Taylor, told him to have t!;ie men haul in the lines when they released their end, and .retrace their wav to the ford and across the river down the snore to meet them, adding that he would o v ertake Li e utenant Ames and recall him. Then the two led their horses ttp the ravine nntil they came to the trail of the troopers, when, springing upon the back of h i s own animal, Buffalo Bill said : "Push on, Doc and see what you can discover, while I ride after Lieutenant Ames. "\i\Then we get back here, 1 will come on after you and have Texas Jack follow when he arrives with our saddles clothes and arms, for I believe we are going to find those young ladies." "From the tracks we saw on our way up the ravine, Bill, we are on the trail of their horses certain ly; but they are in the clutches of clever scoundrels, so we must go carefully to work." "Yes, their captors are no fools, and yet they can hardly expect that we have found their trail, which never would have been done had you not discovere
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8 THE I Uff BILL STORIE!\. Indians were not the kidnapers of those girls, so it must be that villain Monte Miranda. "V/ ell, we have the advantage, for he believes he has safely covered up his trail." The Surgeon Scout retraced his way to where Lieu tenant Ames' trail passed the stream. That officer had just returned, with Buffalo Bill, a.nd soon after Captain Taylor and Texas Jack rode up, the troopers following, a quarter of a mile behind. "We have found their trail, Captain Taylor, and Dr. Powell will tell you what he has discovered up on the ridge," Buffalo Bill explained, as Taylor rode up. Surgeon Powell told his story, and then all felt sure that the two girls were in the hands of Overland road agents. After a short rest they set off up the stream in Indian file, Buffalo Bill leading. Ere long they struck the trail of the kidnapers. Then they pressed rapidly on, hoping to come up with the outlaws before night fall. CHAPTER VI. THE LAST RESORT. The trail made by the kidna'pers from where they left the stream, was an easy one to follow, as they had seemed to take no pains to cover it up. The two men who had so daringly braved the tor .. rent, had seen in the little ravine evidence that a num ber of horses had been in hiding there. They followed the trail of these same animals across the main trail clown the right bank of the river, which it crossed by keeping on in the water. A mile beyond this, on the ridge, the kidnapers' trail turned out of the stream and was there plainly re vealed, and to the practiced eyes of the bordermen showed that there were nine horsemen in the party. Two of these horses were those ridden by Heloise and Belle Braddock, for their well-known tracks were often visible among the others. The kidnapers kept to the ridge in all it s windings for a distance of several miles when the trail turned down a dry canyon toward the river. To only the most practiced eye was the trail here visible, but the three scouts followed it unerringly. At last it c;,\me upon some broken ground, and soon after ended at a wild and rocky point on the ri v er. Jhat the kiclnapers had entered the river seemed cer tain, yet where h a d they landed on the other sh o re. was the question. That shore presented no landing-place, for it was hieh. steep as a wall, am! up and clown, and as far as the eye could reach no break was visible in it. Captain Taylor, Surgeon Powell and Buffalo Bill searched the other shore carefully with their glasses, but no break in the rocky wall could be discovered. Then it was decided to camp upon the spot and make a deliberate search of the surroundings. ''You suspect there is some trick in it, Powell?" said Captain Taylor. ''I am sure of it, as is Buffalo Bill and Texas Jack." "But to discover the trick is the question?" "Yes, Taylor, that is yet to be done. But how are you off for provisions?" "I have three days' supplies." "Good! Then my advice is to camp right here on the trail and let Cody, Jack and myself work out the problem." "A good idea,'' assented Captain Taylor. He gave the necessary orders, and the men were soon m camp. Buffalo Bill, Surgeon Powell and Texas Jack with Captain Taylor and Lieutenant Ames, then held a council io see what could be clone. The trail ran to the river bank and there ended. The river, at that point, was wide, with a broken shore on the side where they were, and a wall of cliffs on. the other, so there was no landing-place in view for the horses to get out had they swam across. On the shore where they were encamped there was a possibility of their foll o wing down the stream, though the banks were rough in the extreme. Still, as SnrgtSOn Powell wa s a supero swimmer, it \\"as cleciclecl that he should take to the river again, with Buffalo Bill and Texas Jack foll o wing up on the bank as best they could 011 foot. They wer to carry lariats with therp, to lend aid to Powell, should he need it, and thev could reach him. Jn case of any discovery, Texas Ji'ck w a s t o g i ve the weird, wild call so well known to his army comrades. and which could be heard a long way off. 1t wa s a call peculiar to plantation negroes in the South, in antebellwn days, and when expertly given could be heard even miles away. The brave Texan had caught the weird, wild, pathetic cry to perfection when a boy in "Dixie." The surgeon then again prepared for his swim while the two couts set out on foot as Frank P o well plunged into the stream, the admiration of the officers and their men. Away he went, with mighty s trokes until he disap peared from the view of the watchers a nd, struggling along the rugged shore, hurri e d the scouts. Thus an hour passed and another, and d a rkness came upon the scene. The solqiers had their supper s and grouped them selves about the camp-fires among the rocJ(s, after the sentipels had been placed around the bivouac. All seemed impressed with their surroundings, the dark-flowing river rolling bx, the sighing of the wind among the pines, and the uncertain fate of the two beautiful girls. One by one the soldiers dropped away from the camp-fires, rolled themselves in their blankets and sought rest. But Captain Taylor and Lieutenant Ames still sat

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THE B U ff ALO Bill ST 1 lRlf:S. 0 by their c a mp-fire conversing in subdued, anxious tones Where had the sco uts gone? They sh o uld have returned long before, the officers thought. A t length the challenge of the sentry down the r iver bank rung out sharp and stern : "Halt! who comes there? A respon s e was made which the officer did no t catch, and soo n a fter three forms advanced t oward them. They w e r e the surg eo n and hi s scout pards. B y Jup i te r P owe ll, but I a m glad to see you back, for Ames a n d I we re frightening ourselve s with all manne r o f f ears re garding you. S i t d own! and Brandy bring some supper at once," sai d Ca pta i n T aylo r, hi s la s t words being ad dre ss e d t o hi s negro s ervant, who hastened to obey "I am g la d to g e t b a ck, Tay l o r for I assure you I h a d a hard strnggle for life in that ri v er. I found no land i n g-plac e for t e n mi les, so wha t has become of those ki dnape r s ? "You swa m te n m i les d ow n that river Frank?"
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10 THE BU ff ALO BILL STORIES.. cue his daughter from her kidnapers, and to punish them to the fullest extent for their crime. More he did not say until he had been a couple of weeks at Fort Grand. Then he sent for Captain Al fred Taylor and asked almost abruptly : "May I inquire Captain Taylor, why the rescue 0 Miss Hembold and her friend has not been acconi plished ?'' The question, put as it was, quite startled Captain Taylor, who had been untiring in his efforts to dis cover and rescue the two girls, so he replied : "It has been an utter imp ossibi lity thus far, Colonel Barrett, to accomplish their re scue, or to discove r their hiding-place. "Pray state the situation to me fully, sir. for, except from I have heard nothing. Make it, as it were, an official report." Captain Taylor was glad to see that the new com mahder was interested in the case, and made known the situation fully Then he added : "Thei,:e are two persons, Colonel Barrett, .whose stories I would like you to hear, for they are fully ac quainted with the entire facts." "Who are they sir?" "One is an officer of the army, Surgeon Powell, whose wonderful skill as a frontiersman and his daring have made him famous as the Surgeon Scout." "I have heard of him, and as a most remarkable man as fine a scout as he is a surgeon, and one who has had a strange, romantic history." "Yes, sir, Frank Powell is a very remarkable man, and the peer of Buffalo Bill as a scout, and the latter so regards him, while they are boon pards." "And the o.ther to whom you referred? "Is Buffalo Bill, sir." "He has been away on a scout since my coming, but returned and reported this morning while I was out; so that I have not met him ; but I know of him, also, as a man whose deeds are world-famed." "These two men, sir, know the whole situation." "Orderly!" 'The orderly instantly appeared, and was given the order: "Present my compliments to Surgeon Powell and request his presence at my quarters,_ after which seek Chief of Scouts Cody and say that I desire to see him." The orderly saluted and departed on his errand \vhile the colonel gleaned what more he could from C<1ptain Taylor in regard to happenings on the border. "I am an utter stranger here Captain Taylor, almost to every one at Fort Grand, and all is new to me, for I have been stationed in California the past few years; bu..t I am anxious to ma ter the situation and will do all in my power to do so at' once." J i1st then Snrgeon Powell entered and was greeted pleasantly b y the colonel. who then turned and shook hands with Duffalo Dill, who came in after Frank Powell and was introattced to the commandant by Cap tain Taylor. "What a superb pair!" muttered the colonel to him self, as he gazed upon the two men before him and bade them be seated. "I have been having a little talk with Captain Taylor, gentlemen, who has been coaching me rn my duties here, in a kindly way. I sent for you at his reque st, to talk over this unfortunate kidnaping affair of Miss Hembold and her guest, something over two months ago. "May I ask, Surgeon Powell, for your view of the affair?" "Certainly, Colonel Bartlett, I will give you my view of the kiclnaping in a nutshell, and that is that the Dan ites are at the bottom of the outrage." "Ah! the Mormons, then, give you some trouble o ut here?" "Jn a quiet underhand way, yes, sir, though I do not believe their leaders sanction the acts of those wrong doers. "The truth is that the Danites broke up into smal! bands, some of whom went to mining, others invade
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THE BU ff ALO BILL STORIES. 11 whom he sent here for the purpose of kidnaping Miss Hembold so 'that he could force her to marry him and thus inherit the money. "Outlaw that he is, Miranda, who joined the Mor mons and is now a Piute chief, knew she would not willingly marry such a villain as he has become," con cluded Buffalo Bill. "I am still on a scout after the Toll-Takers, and was on my way to you to ask for more men to help me when you summoned me." "And with what result, Mr. Cody?" asked Colonel Barrett, who had listened with deepest interest to Buf falo Bill's strange story. "I found a letter from him awaiting me, sir, to-day, when I returned from scouting." "And what does it say?" "The Man of Mystery will come, sir, but upon strange conditions," responded Buffalo Bill. The colonel was then shown the letter. "By Heaven! what a charge he makes!" cried Colonel Barrett, with some show of anger. "I had not thought of that before, and now I also suspect her, colonel," Frank Powell coolly remarl!d. "Who and what is she?" asked the colonel. "She was a passenger on the Overland from Califor nia, sir, and was robbed of her satchel containing her jewels and tnoney. "Tom Todd, the driver, brought her here to await until she could write home to her fri'ends in the East for funds, and Miss Heloise at once made her her guest." "Do you know aught about her, Captain Taylor?" asked Colonel Barrett, for the captain had made the above explanation. "She was a beautiful girl of about twenty, sir, and her name was Belle Braddock, while she said she was the only child of the late Major Braddock of the army." Colonel Barrett sprang to his feet and crossed the room several times in quick succession. Then he said quickly: "Describe her, please, Captain Taylor." This the captain did, and with a sigh Colonel Barrett resmned his seat. "Who knows her in the past?" asked the officer. "Not a soul, sir "Who knew her as Miss Braddock?" "No one. colonel." "V./ as Miss Braddock known to any one in the fort?" "She was not." The colonel thought a moment, and then asked: "Did she say she was robbed in the coach?" "Yes, sir there is no doubt of that," interposed Cap tain Taylor, and he told the story of the coach robbery as he had heard it from Tom Todd. "Who saw her jewels and money?" o o .1e, I belie, -e: hut her satchel containing thei:n was taken, s i r. "You had her word, then, only for what \vas lost?" "Yes, sir." "Did she write home to her friends after her arrival here?" "That I do not know, sir." "What was her behavior?" "That of a very lovable woman, one who was fond of teasing the officers, a perfect coquette, and who seemed devoted to Miss Rembold." l "She was a fine rider, doubtless?" "Perfect, sir." "And a dead shot with revolver and rifle?" "Yes, sir." "Did you hear her sing?" sir, often, and she sang admirably." "A contralto voice, perhaps?" "Yes, sir." "She sketched a little, too?" "Yes, colonel, and it seems you have met her." "I have, Captain Taylor." "Then Buffalo Bill is wrong in his suspicions regard-ing her?" "Not at all. On the contrary, he certainly is right," was the almost solemn reply. No one questioned the colonel, and yet they saw that he knew more of Belle Braddock than he cared to re veal. At last he said : "It is strange I did not hear Miss Braddock's name mentioned before to-day; but, when spoken to of the kidnaping, it was always referred to as Miss Rembold and her friend's capture." "Perhaps I had better explain still more: "Major Bradddock was my best friend, and when he died he left his daughter to my guardianship. "She was a beautiful girl, but had been thrown from her horse and suffered from a.blow on her head, from which it was hoped she would eventually recover. "Perhaps she would have done so but for the fact that she had a rival at school-a girl with a beautiful face but the heart of a devil. "This girl was so like Miss Braddock in appearance that she was constantly doing things for which Belle got the credit and reprimands. "A young man meeting Miss Braddock, fell in love with her, as she did with him, but this school rival sep arated them by false reports. "Then came the accident, and fever followed, which nearly ended fatally. "The other girl, meanwhile, had become a schemer for wealth, and was a bold, bad woman, and, hating Miss Braddock, in sheer deviltry, one day put up in type a notice of her marriage with the young man whom Belle still Joyed dearly. "The result of this cn1el hoax was that my poor ward hecame mentally dis tempered from the sh o ck, and 1 was forced to place her in an asylum. where she now is. "What became of her tormentor I neYer knew until

PAGE 13

13 THE B U ff ALO BILL 5T09'1r:5. now, though I heard that she had gone to Salt Lake and had becom e the b ride of a Mormon of rank. "Now I realiz e that your unknown friend, Cody, is right, and that sh e is p laying a deep game by imper sonating the poor girl she s ent to the asylum, and whose unhappy fate was kept a secret from her friends, hop ing she would some day recover her reason fully." "Then you believe, Colonel Barrett, that the girl who pretended to be Miss Belle Braddock, here at the fort, was the one you refer to as your ward s rival?" "Yes, Surgeon Powell." "And that she is in league with this Mexican, Monte Miranda, to get possession of Miss Rembold for some deep purpose of their own?" "It seems so to me, I confess Surgeon Powell." "The n Bill is on the right track, sir. "I deem him so and all I can do to aid you in the rescue of Miss Rembold I will gladly do. "If this is the woman I suspect her to be-Cleo Ami don was her name-then I would like to see her cap ttired and made to suffer, for her cruel treatme n t of an innocent noble girl." "And if she is leagued with outlaws, Colonel Bar rC'tt, she must suffer the consequences," sternly de clared Frank Powell. After some further conversation upon the subject, it was decided that Buffalo Bill should pick six men from his scouts, with Captain Jack Crawford, a daring young officer, Wild Bill and Texas Jack as his special allies, whil e Surgeon Frank Powell s h ould go with .,Captain Alf Taylor, Lieutenant Ames and thirty picked troopcrs, to patrol the mountains trails and mines, and be within easy call when needed CHAPTER IX. A MAN' S SACRIFICE. Along the Overland trail, running betweeen San Francisco and Salt Lake City a coach was rolling at a rapid gait, for the way was good traveling and a relay of h o r ses had been taken a few miles back. The driver handled his team well, and was very watchful, for he knew that clangers lurked along the trails if not for himself, for the passengers he car r ied. \iVithin the coach, four passengers, one of whom was, apparently a young girl, though her face was so heav i ly veiled as to hide her features ; but her form was slender and graceful, her gloved hands small and shapely, ahd one would guess from her general appear ance that she was both vouthful and beautiful. She had seemed a bit.ner v ous on the way careful to hide her face and had not been inclined to conversa tion. The o n e wh o sat b y her s ide wa s a man whose ap pearance indicated that he was a lucky winner return ing home He was dres s ed in a new s uit of broadcloth, slouch h at, and \YOre a fu11 beard. All his overtures to enter into conversation with his seat comp a n i on a nd the one who sat opposite to him had been unavailing. The per so n facing him was a young man, with black hair and bea rd, splendid eyes and the air of a gentle man, though a for e igner. He was well dressed in what appeared to be a fatigue uniform of the Mexican army. There was a fourth persou in the stage in the pers o n of a rough looking miner. Suddenly the stage came to a halt as a loud com mand to halt was heard, and the driver called out from the box : "Pil grims, ther road agents ha s got us, and thar too many ter fool with yer guns hoping to skeer em. The three men quickly glanced fr o m the coach while the lady passenger uttered a slight cry of alarm. "Have no fear miss, for they will hardly harm or rob a lady the young m a n urged, with a slight accent in his speech These devils show no favor and we are all in for it," the s l eek-looking miner remarked 'Th e third man merely said, gruffly: "If they kin git any dust out o my purs e it's more'n I kin do." "Have you much that i s valuable with you miss? asked the Mexican, politely. "Yes, all that I have, my jewels and se v eral thousands in money," was the reply. T h e well-d r essed miner smiled and looked pleased. "I thought so! was his mental comment. The chief of the road agents now rode up to the win dow of the coach, while two of his men stood guarci upon the other s i de. "No use, pards. Thar is half a dozen more of 'em called out the driver. '"vVell, you all know what I want-your money or your lives so let it be what you least value called out the o utlaw chief. "There is my pile, and I'll keep my life ," wa s the well-dressed miner's response, tossing over a well-filled purse. "I has got a stake for a game when I reaches camp and no more, but if yer must have it thar it be and the rough-dressed miner handed over ten dollars. I want money not pocket-change. "Come, sir, what have you got to contr i bute? "A couple of hundreds, sir, besides a bill of exchange which is of no use to you." ''I'll rake the cash. The Niexican handed it o ver, and then the chief s aid : "Now, miss you looks like a bird of pretty fine plumage so what do you pay me? "If you rob me sir. I am u t terl y de s t i tute so I be g o f y ou to spare my m o ne y." "Not I, for you can get more, and are doubtless an heiress to a fortune, or are some millionaire s wife, so I guess I'll hold you for a ransom, my l;:tdy."

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t'HE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 13 "Say, my man, I am able to pay a ransom, and if you will take me with you and spare the lady, I will readily go." It was the Me4ican who spoke. "I'll kill you, you know, if you can't get your ran some m oney." "So be it; I will take her place." The road agent looked into the face of the Mexican earnestly for a minute, and then remarked: "I'll take you on those terms pard." "Oh sir do not go with him! cried the lady, and in her excitement she raised her veil revealing a youth ful face, and one of wondrous beauty. The Mexican glanced at her for an instant, and re sponded gallantly: "I accept the sit uati o n for your sake, fair lady." Then he sprang from the coach, and two of the out law s on foo t seized him. \IVhat he sa id to them was not heard by those in the coach, but one of them instant ly left him and called his chief aside, whispering something to him. The chief returned and looked at the well-dressed miner, while he said: "You are deceiving me sir." "How so?" "You are Harry Hawk, the 'Frisco detective, and you have plenty more with you-Ha! take that!'' and the chief fired full in his face, as the detective at tempted to draw a re vo l ver. With a groan he fell fonvard, and he was dragged from the stage "Yon see I am in earnest miss, but as I have a hostage who will pay well for you, I'll permit you to go; while, as for yo n I believe yo u have nothing worth taking," and h e looked at the r o ugh-clad miner, who took the situa t ion with the air of one who had nothing t o lose but his life. 'Tha n k you for nothin', p ard," was the answer. "Oh, s ir I will give yo u my jewelry yes, and my money if you will rel eas e that gentleman!" pleaded the ma iden. The chief glanced over toward the Mexican, and then said, slowly: "No, I'll make more out of him ; but if he deceives me, he dies. Driver I'll bury Detective Hawk, and you can tell it a long the trail how he met his death. "Go! The driver needed no second bidding, and, as the coach rolled out of s i ght around a bend in the trail, the chief sprang from his h orse, and, grasping the hand of his priso ner cried delightedly: "Captain Monte. T am delighted to meet you again. "Yes, and let me tell yo u that on the body of De tective Hawk you will find five thousand dollars in clean bank notes," was the re s ponse of Monte Mi randa for he it was. / CHAPTER X. ALLIES IN CRIME. "Well, Captain Monte, it really does my eyes good to see you," said the road agent leader, as, after taking the money from the dead detective, he turned again and greeted Miranda, for Monte Miranda, the "hostage" really was. "Yes, Rockwell, and the money you get the tip I gave you of Harry Hawk also is good for your eyes, and more than compensates for the woman's lit i.le purse." "I have an idea that she had a large sum with her, Mr. Monte." "You are wrong, for she is my ally, though we are traveling as though unknown to each other." "Ah, I see, sir." "Yes, and I am eastward-bound, Rockwell, to again get a lot of the old Toll-Takers togethe'i. for I have some big paying schemes on hand which I can put through with help." "You needn't look far, Senor Monte, for I have five of the boys with me and three others I have picked up on the trails so we are nine all told, at your service all of us." "I'll tell you, Rockwell, I have, as I said, some big schemes on hand that will make my men rich with my se lf, and I do not care to operate in this country, bllt clown upon an old ground, near the border..:line of out posts, mines and settlements." "We can go there, senor." "I will take command, and you can work your way there with the men, back to the old retreat. "I'll get a horse fro111 you, pretend to have escaped, and go on after the coach, catching it before it reaches Salt Lake, and you can bury that body and then hunt yonr retreat with your men. "But do not remain long for the killing of Harry Hawk will bring the Vigilantes upon you sure. "Make your way eastward by roundabout trails, and lose no time in getting away, while you must cover up your tracks fully "A good idea, captain, and we will tell the men what you have decided upon." "All right, but just let me have a thousand of that money you took from Hawk, for I was shadowing him to get it all. "He was watching the body and a gentleman back on the trail gave him this money to carry through for him and express East after he got to Salt Lake, sb I don't mind Jetting you have the four thousand and spare change, you know with his watch and chain." "All right, Captain Monte," said the outlaw Rock well, and the sum of one thousand dollars was counterl and handed over. The body of the detective was then buried. "Men, I have my plans all laid for work, and I will make your pockets heavy with gold, promise you," said

PAGE 15

THE BUFF ALO BILL S TORIES. the captain, and soon after, having had another convcrsation with Rockwell, he mounted the latter's own horse and rode away in pursuit of the stage. The coach had by this time gained a couple of hours' start, for the driver, Harkaway, had lost no time after leaving the road agents, but pushed his team hard, in spite of the trail he was following. He had been struck wjth admiration at the apparent sacrifice of the young Mexican, in offering himself to save the young girl, and was anxious to warn the Mor mon Patrol of the Mexican's being taken prisoner, hop ing by prompt action he could be rescued. It would be sunset before he reached the little moun tain hamlet where the Mormon Patrol of the Trails hacl their retreat, but he meant to drive for all his team was worth. The coach swayed wildly at times, but Harkaway explained to the lady passenger his cause of haste and she made no complaint. As for the miner on the front seat, he took the situa tion as coolly as before, except uttering a muttered growl now at1d then, when a leap of the coach would bring his head in contact with the top. Mounted upon Rockwell's fleet horse, for the ani mal was a fine one, very fast and sure-footed. Monte. the Mexican, went three miles to one of the coach, and, after a ride of several hours, halted at a stream for water. Then he heard the distant rumbling of the wheels over the rocky trail. Just as his horse held his head up after drinking, Monte, the Mexican, heard the stern command from some one unseen : "Hands up, pard, for you are covered to kill!" CHAPTER XI. THE PRETTY FllGITIVE. Mexican Monte was too well acquainted with border warfare to take. chances when the odds were all against him. He did not see his foes, for they were thoroughly ambushed, and another voice than the one who had startled him with the command to hold up his hands, told him there were more than one against him. His horse was knee-deep in the brook, and to dash forward and up the steep hill before him w ould bring him under the fire of he knew not how many weapons. To turn ;ibout and fly would be equally as bad a pro ceeding. So he quietly held his hand s over his head, and called out : "All right, pards, what is the demand upon me?" Then out from behind the boulders on each side of the trail stepped half a dozen men, and more appeared leading the horses of the party. "Mormons!" muttered the Mexican, quietly, and then the said: ;'So we hftve you, my fi'ne fellow." "So it appears, pard." "And yon were chasing the coach?" "Just what T was doing." "So you are a self-confessed road agent?" "\i\T .!10 savs so?" ''Yon just admitted it." "Look here, pare!, your head is turned, for I admitted nothing of the kind." ,. "You said you were chasing the coach?" "So I was, and I am anxious to overtake it." "To rob the passengers?" "You are a fool, for I have just escaped from the Toll-Takers, having been a passenger in the coach, and am hastening to catch np with it." "This is your story." "\i\1 ere you here when coach passed?" "No, we got here just after it went by, heard you coming, so sprang to cover and ambushed you." "Well, come on with me after the coach, and I'll prove my -..vords. "No, we only give road agents fifteen minutes to live after capturing them, and we will make no exception in yonr case. "You are Rockwell, the lieutenant, himself, for we know his horse and Mexican trappings well." "You are as silly a pack of fools as I ever saw, pards, and I wonder the Prophet allows you to go loose." "You rec o gnize us, then?" "Yes, vou are Mormons." \ Ne a.re the Mormon Minute Men." "Yes, the Patrol, and I shall report how utterly de void of reason you are when common sense is in de mand "You will report it?" "Yes." "You won't live to make any report." The answer of the Mexican to this was to suddenly raise his ha!1ds over his head, the palms toward the Mormons, and then, bringing them together, clasp them firmly, while he said in a stern, distinct voice: "N auioo ."' J The effect was electrical upon the Mormons, for they started, raised the i r left hands to their foreheads, shielding their eyes and stood in silence. "Shall I give you the o t h e r proof that I am a Danite captain, men?" asked the IvTexican, coolly. "None, chief we are satisfied," said the one w h o had before spoken, and he added : "\Ve humbly crave mercy and forgiveness from you, chief." "Granted, but be more careful in future not to be over-hasty. "I was, as I said, a passenger in Harkaway's coach, but held for ransom by the road agents, I escaped and rode hard to overtake the stage. "Come with me, for Harkaway may be able to give J. vduable information about these outlaws."

PAGE 16

THE BU ff' ALO BILL STORIES 1 5 T he Morm o n P atrol obe y ed, but the no longer rod e a t t h e b re a k n eck p a ce he had before. He was anxiou s t o get the p atrol well away from Rockwel l and h is me n, giving t he l atte r at ; nple time t c escape, for he knew t h e Mormons were s p lendid trailers a n d daring fighters A t the station sett lement they arriv ed jus t as Harkaway was preparing t o depar1, a n d a ch ee r broke fro m the driver lips a s he saw the Mexi ca n a pp ear o n R o ck well's h orse. The story of h is alleged escape was qui ckly t o ld, and then he said he woul d hitc h t h e o utl a w's h o r se hehincl the c o ach, to lead whi le he rode on. Thei1 the patrol start ed o n the back trai l after the o utl::t\\'s b u t t h e !-.1exi can knew ni g h t would co me o n before they reached the sce n e and h e f e lt n o anxiety for Rockwell and h is men. The m iner l ef t t he coach at t he so that "I\fonte ran cl a found himself ,a l o n e with the be a u ti fol l ady p a ssenge r. Her vei l was raised now, a nd sh e l oo k ed ver y beauti fu l as h e r face \\'as flu s hed in express in g h e r gratitude. The Mexican l iste ne d ca lmly, a nd the n s a id as h e glanced ()Ver some papers h e had tak e n fro m the body of t h e dead detect ive "I am more tlnn glad to have se r ved yo u Mis s A m i don." The maiden uttered a slig h t c r y and f1e r face paled, w hil e s h e s ai d, t re mn) o u s ly: Y o u kn ow me, th e n ?" I w is h t o tell yo u that I h ave se r v ed y o u more than you k now, fo r t he man who was killed by the outlaws was Harry Hawk, th e detective. "He had papers w ith him fo r the arres t o f a young gi rl by the name of C l eo Amidon wh o w a s a fugiti ve from California for having m os t s killfully robbed a j ewel r y firm by d rugging the h ea d clerk w ho v i site
PAGE 17

HI 'f'HE BUF f ALO BILL STORIES. I was born poor, so I was accursed, as poverty 1s a cnme. "I was well educated, and placed at schoql with rich girls, so was made to feel my poverty all the time. "Then it was that I vowed I would make my beauty win me riches. "So I took heart out of the question, and determined to "My being poor warped my nature, as well as be cause I was lowly born, and I hated all aristocrats and people of wealth. "My father was a Mormon, and my mother ran away froip S
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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 1 7 which meant a group of mining-camps in the valley, were as wild as untamed steers, and yet just as easily managed as steers by a master. They knew their master, too, when he came, and submitted with the good grace of borclermen who knew when to hold up their hands and when to draw trigger. The mines panned out fairly well, there were several stores well patronized, a few shanties known as "hotels," and one more pretentious building which was called Kate's Kitchen. This name was gi v en it by the miners on account of its having a landlady instead of a landlord. The landlord had prospered there, until one day the stage-c o ach on the Overland, which had Hallelujah City as a terminus on a branch trail, brought to the tavern a supposed youth, who went to the room of the proprietor. No one knew just what happened there, but a pistol sh o t was heard, a fall foll o wed, and the "boy" proved t o be a beautiful w oman who claimed the landlord as her hu s band He, b eing dead c o uld neither deny or affirm the allegation, and Kate Fenwick at once became installed as Landlord Frank Fenwick's successor And a g ood succe ssor she proved to be, for Kate's Kitchen became famous as a place to get a clean bed and a square meal. There was on ly o ne other female in Hallelujah City, and s he had arrived there with her husband, Gambler Gray, who kept the "bo ss saloon of the camps, which, in h onor of his wife, he had named the "Queen of Hearts." Gambler Gray m e t more than his match one clay and left his memory, his saloon and his fortune to his widow, who was, by a strange coincidence, equally as hand some a woman as was the widow of the late Landiord Fenwick. L o n Grav so o n became known as Gambler Lou, while with the marked c::ourtesy of the miners, both she and Kate v v ere given the title of "Lady" before their Chris t ia n appellati o n s and were spoken of from one encl of the valley to the other as "Lady Lou" and "Lady Kate." T here w e re other strange characters in Hallelujah City but they were masc uline, and the community boasted of Americans, Mexi. cans, Canadians, Mormons, fodi a ns and half-breeds, with a sprinkling of Irish, German, Chinese and negroes. M i ning, horse-racing, gambling and drinking were the principal pastimes, and the American element made its elf most strongly felt. There were quiet men there and boisterous ones, bravos and desperadoes, and altogether'men who lived with their lives in their hands. The law of the "quickest to draw" was what ruled, and almost daily poor unfortunate was sent to the burying-gronnd, in which hardly a man slept his last breath whq had not "died with his boots on There were a few men in Hallelujah City who "ruled the roost/' and were acknowledged "king bees Many of the older set of miners often sighed, when seeing these desperadoes pntting on airs. So reckless were the roughs becoming that Gambler J ,ou and Lady Kate began to hasten their arrangements for taking their departure for more congenia l scenes. They were coining money, so to speak. in Hallelujah City, and had to their credit in Eastern banks snug fortunes: but they were anxious to get m o re, so that the wolf of poverty would never come near their d o or. But they were beginning to feel that the camps were becoming too wild for the m. and they were thinking: of leaving. Such was the mining-camp knmrn as Glory Hallelujah City, at the time the Toll-Takers of the Trails were in full swing and the band was rich from their rob beries upon the Overland. It was not particularly startling news fb the miners to le<1rn that Keen Kit, the most popular driver of the Overland, had been held up, and his passengers robbed. They had promptly sent a Vigilante committee out to capture and hang the road and instead of victory met with dire defeat at the hands of the outlaws. This convinced the mine:-s that it would be best to leave the punishment of the Toll-Takers to govern ment troops, and they did; but the depredations still continued, and one afternoon the c oach roll ed in with a stranger on the box and holding the reins and Keen Kit sea,ted by his side with his arm in a sling The stranger was a most striking-looking individual, and he wrote his name on the hotel books as "]ACK OVERTON-Gentleman." CHAPTER XIV. A STRANGER BARS THE WAY. Kit Keen. or, as border nomenclature had metarrior phosed the name, Keen Kit, was a driver of the Over land whose only foes were road agents and despera does. He would give his last dollar to one in need, and never turned back on friend or foe, while in spite of his big heart and genial nature he would fight anything frorn a man to a grizzly if there was need for it. He hated road agents as he did a snake, and was wont to plot and plan to circumvent them and p r event his passengers from being robbed. Keen Kit also enjoyed the name of Old Owl Eyes, as it was said that he could see in the dark like a cat. Certainly he did drive the traii;; when all was as black as ink about him, and he was a man t o take big <;hances. His team knew him perfectly, and when anything

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18 T H E BUFFAL O BILL STORIES. was wrong ahead on a dark night, the leaders wer e wont t o give him prompt notice. A numbe r of drivers had been put on the Hallelujah branch of the Overland, but not one had made the suc cess t h a t Keen Kit had as a prince of the reins. Twice of late Keen Kit had met with misfortune on his run, for the road agents had held h i m up and gotten a snug sum out of the pas sengers he carried. There were too many to fight, for seven men were wont to appear, six on foot and one mounted, and un less it was a coach full of soldiers resist ance appeareJ to be madness and could encl but one wav. Keen Kit was, therefore, in no good l;umor at finding that, after a long respite, the Toll-Takers were again upon the Overland trails. But on this run, when he is presented t o the reader. he was congratulating himself over and over again that he had no "pilgrims" on board, for so he called passengers. "They'll find the old huss empty and then take it out in cussin' me. "But I guesses I kin stand it, for I has been swore at t hatm uch it do seem ther same ter me as pourin' water o n a duck's back. "Lordy but how they will profanitize, and won't I be tickled l" and Keen Kit laughed as he drove along with his empty coach After a while he resumed: "I kinder feel it in my bones thet road agints is about t h is trip. "Waal, let 'em be, for what hev they ter git out o' me? "Yer can't squeeze water out o' a dry sponge, and t het same do apply ter me on this run. "I hain't got dust enough ter chip in fer a liberal game o' poker ter-night when I puts up in Hallelujah City and drops ihto ther Queen o' Hearts saloon, arter I has had a good feed at Kate's Kitchen." S o did Keen Kit commune aloud with himself as he drove along, and though he knew that the road agents, in sheer deviltry at their disappointmerit at finding no pas3engers, might kill him, it did not make him at all nervous, He was a fearless man, and ready to die at post of d uty if need be. Suddenly the leaders pricked up their ears and one of t h em gave. a low neigh. Keen Kit had named his horses after his favorite drinks, for the leaders were Gin and Bitters, the next pair Tom and Jerry, and the wheelers Rum and Molasses. "Ah, there, Bitters, you scent a road agent or grizzly do you-which is it?" he said, as though acknowledging to the horse which hacl neighed that he thanked him for the signal given him of clanger ahead Some overliang\ng branches pre ve nted K it from get ting a good view of the trail which his horses: could see; but a moment after the driver beheld a man standing i n his way. "I'm in fer it," he muttered, and yet he did not draw rein in the slightest. "Waal, he are a dandy," he muttered, as he t oo k in the general appearance of the one who barred his way . He stood as upright as a soldier on parade, and his form was above the medium height. his s h oulders yery broad, and he looked like a grand, full lif e-size portrait against the backgro und o f the dark green foli age. The stranger wore a full beard re aching almost to bis waist, and his brown hair, a shade darker, fell in waving manes below his square expansive shoulders. His attire seemed out of place for a man on foot and in a border trail, for he wore white corduroy pants, stuck in high top-b oots, a v e lvet j acke t with s lashed sleeves fringed with gold buttons, a white s ilk shirt with broad col!a1, black scarf in which glittered a but brilliant i;uby star. and .an embroidered belt supporting a pair of most se rvice ab le r evolve rs and a l o ng-b l aded, ugly-looking knife fo r close quarters. Upon his head was a sombrero of sca rlet, which added greatly to his picturesq ue costume, as well as being very becoming to At his back slung a repeating-tifte of a new pattern. and altogether the handsome, picturesque stranger looked as though he was gotten up for a masque, rather t.han for service on the frontier. "\!\Tall, I be darned fer a fool, ef I ever see ther beat o' thet gent for a git-up-and-dazzle-my-eyes look. "A poll-parrot hain't nowhere to him in feathers. "I guesses he are ther head boss o' ther Toll-Takers. "But he hain't alone on this trail so I'll not clri vc over him, or holler ter skeer him, but let him have his way." As Kit spoke the stranger raised his right hand. The driver saw that it held no weapon, but that made no difference to him, as he felt that from an ambush other weapons cover er\ him so he obeyed the silent command and dre\Y : ein with the leaders within a few feet of the man who halted him so quickly. "vVaal, Dandy Parcl, was yer ont at a picn i c last night and ther boys painted yer hat reel fer yer ?" The stranger walked quickly to the side of the wheel ers, and Kit saw that he wore a very handsome pair of "Yo't. 1 are Keen Kit, he sa id, in a deep voice, in which there was a ring as though he was accu stomed to command. "Yes, parcl, Keen Kit, Kit Keen, or old Owl Eyes as suits yer best.., "There is no one in your cnach ?" "How does ver know that?" "You admitit?" "Yas. ther buss is empty. and my pu s s is empty, so that you has to credit me on toll this run, pard." ''. \Vliat you deem me a Toll-Taker?"

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1'HE/BUff ALO BILL STORIES. 10 "I kinder has a idee ver is "Vv' ell, you are wrohg, for my purpose is to aid you, not rob you." "Yer don t mean it?" "I d o "Wha r is y er g e rl oo ts ?" "I am alone." "Hed I know d thet I'd 'a' treated yer ter a little lead medicine and pushed on over yer." "I am glad you made no such effort, Keen Kit, for I am your friend and am here to serve you." "Jis t h o w?" "Well, there are h!tlf a dozen Toll-Takers lying in w a i t fo r y o u down the trail a couple of miles from here. "You, so the y s ay, have a large sum of money for rert a in m in er s who sent dust through by you to get b a nk b i lls fo r it." "Lorcly "I o v erheard the s e fellows say that their spy reported the money to be concealed in lanterns, which have a holl o w cup un der the one for oil--" "See here pard, if you e x pects to git that pioney without sh o wing up more men yer is mistaken, for no one man kin rob me, and if yer doubts my word jist try i t on," a nd, qu i ck as a flas h, Keen Kit had drawn and lev eled his revolver at the picturesque stranger. CHAPTER XV. THE M USIC OF A REVOLVER. At the sudden, and certainly unexpected act of the driver Keen Kit, in drawing and leveling his revolver, the picturesque-looking stranger showed not the slight est dread nor did he make any motion to draw his weapon and pre c ipit a te a fire. He smiled pl eas antly, and said with no show of anger: "My friend, you are on the wrong trail, for, as I told you I am your friend . "I am wandering ab out 'this country in quest of ad \ venture, and I lay in ambush and heard the Toll-Takers plotting to hold up y our coach and rob it. "They had been informed in advance by a spy that you were to bring money enough through, knew the amount and its hiding-place, and more, were well aware that you were alo ne on the run." The manner of the speaker was such that Kit low ered his revol v er and, now that he had a good look at his fa c e he dec i ded that, after all, he might be wrong, so he said: "\V hat m ight your name be dandy pard ?" "It might be almost anything, friend Kit, but I an sw e r to tha t just now of Jack Overton." A nd your biz?" "I am strnggling with the profession of being a gentleman at. la r ge." "\i\Taal, yer looks it, and I has ter find out if yer acts it, for many a bad man is disguised as a gentleman." The stranger latighed and replied: "Very true, Kit, but let us talk business now, for time is precious." "Waal, what are your biz with me?" "The Toll-Takers are awaiting you down the trail, and they think you alone." "Yas." "They have all things ready to get your money, and alone you can do nothing." "I wilts when odds is too heavy, pard." "Now, I propose to go as a passenger, in the rear boot of your coach." "I see said the blind man." "You halt so as to keep your foes well ahead, and if they look into the stage, they will not into the boot, and when they think all is going their way I will just open on them. "I'll take the men most dangerous to you at first, while you set your team going for all they are worth, and leave the rest to Jack Overton." ... "Pard, you is a gent from 'Vv and I are proud ter know yer. "Jist let me dismount and make yer comfortable back th a r in ther bo o t, fer thar is one trunk yer kin use as a cheer and ther kiver and straps must be fixed fer opening without no hitch, or you and me will both hand in our chips. "Pard, yer is a dandy." Kit sprang from the box as he spoke, and grasped the hand of his new-found friend most warmly. Then he asked : "Say, whar is yer horse?" "He will be around when I want him, never fear." "You is not alone, then?" "Yes, all alone." "\Vhich trail is you followin', may I ask?" "Can you recommend a good place to me for spending a few weeks?" "I'm the man what kin, pard, for what's the mat ter with Hallelujah City?" "I have not h e ard that an y thing was the matter with it, though it is said to be a trifle lawless." "It is all of that, and more, too; but Kate's Kitchen is the best hotel on earth, and that's sayin' a heap. "It may not hev gold napkin-rings, embroidered tablecloths and all sich, but ther feed are A Number One, and yer'll find it so, while sJ1e do hev good beds ier tired folks. "Kate's Kitchen are ther place, pard." "Well, I'll go on with you, Kit, if I am not killed by the road agents," and the stranger leaped lightly upon the rack and took a seat upon the trunk in the boot. Kit arranged the leather coverings, and then, mounting to the box, drove on, muttering his thoughts half aloud as was his wont:

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THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. "Now maybe I hev seen him afore and maybe 1 haven't; but he's a dandy all the same, and ef he hev ther nerve ter carry out his leetle plan, it will be all 0.K. "But I do begin ter fear he hev bit off more than he kin chaw. "I has my team ter look to, and he will hev a nestfnl o' snakes ter tackle, fer he said as there was six of 'em lyin' in wait. "Waal, thar may be more, but I hopes not, fer six are a leetle too numerous fer me. "Still, it's ther Red Sombrero's funeral .and he's ter pervide ther corpse, so I stands in ter share ther ex pense," and Kit began to carefully watch the trail ahead. He held his reins well in hand, and his foot on the brake, and a revolver lay by his side on the seat, with his handkerch ief over it, ready for quick use. Soon he drew near the spo t the stranger had desig nated. It was the very place for an ambush, with heavy boulders upon one side, overhung by a cliff around which the trail wound. To the left was heavy timber, into which the road agents could dash if they found the force too strong for them. But all was as quiet there as a ?\fay morn, and Kit began to feel thatthe stranger h ad mistaken the place. when suddenly a man rode out into the trail ahead of him. Instantly Kit drew rein, and from either side ap peared two men, making five in sight, the last ones being on foot. They were all dressed in black, wore masks, and were heavily armed. "\iVell, Kit, glad ter see you," said the horseman. pleasantly, as he rode toward the coach. "It's more'n I kin say fer yon, Pard Satan," was the response. "Ah ym1 flatter me, Kit, for I do not aim to such distinction as being Satan himself, being only one of his imps, by name Mephisto." -"Yer is a liar, fer Major Mephisto got wiped off the 'nrth over a year ago." "I know that well; but I am his ghost-Mephisto's phantom, you see." "I'd like ter make a phantom of yer, durn yer !" A laugh was the response, an'cl then came the words: "Nothing easier, Kit, for you are armed." "Yas, but I hain't a clnrned fool if I is heeled. "Now what does yer want with me?" ''The money you carrv.'' "I hain't got a passenger inside, and yer kin see I hain't no one on ther box with me. "Very true, you are going through empty of pil grims, Kit: but you carry a good sum of money. "Now yer is a\Yay off thar, for I hasn t enough ter buy p'izen ter kill yer." "Well, of your own dust perhaps not; but you have hidden away some bank notes in your coach.'' "Jest find it, pard, thet's all.'' "I will. "Keep him covered, men, while I get upc;:m the wheel and open the secret box in his new lamps. As he spoke the masked outlaw stepped upon the wheel and grasped the lamp. Just then over the rear of the stage came a shot, fol lowed by three others. The shots were not aimed at the leader, but at his men and at the first one Kit ielled at his horses and the outlaw captain had to spring for his life, and as it was fell heavily. Away
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1'HE BUFFALO BILL 21 let me look at your wound, and then I will drive for you. " Can yer handle 'em?' "Oh, yes, I think so, and taking th e reins, t he stranger brought the coach to a standstill. Then he skillfully set to work to dress the wound of the plucky driver "It is in your shoulder, Kit, but I can extract the ball without trouble-there, here it is,'' and, having drawn a fro m his pocket he took from it a probe and pair of pince r s with which he quickly drew o u t t he bul let which was imbedded in the flesh, having j u st reached the bone Hastily dres sing the woupd and then placing the arm in a cling said: N o w I'll drive in for y ou, Kit, and take your run out and back for y o u if y o u wi s h for you must give your arm a week s re st." \Vaal yer understand handlin the ribbons, pard, I s ecs. "Has ver ever driven ther Overland trails?" No, i am an amateur, Kit, but I have h ad consid erable experience in driving. " I c ud swear to it, for yer goes ahead ov many a man I knows on the road who are drawin' big pay. "Maybe yer wants a coach, and ef so I kin fix it fer you?" "Thank you no Kit, I am traveling from a whim of my own, and am in no need of a place of any kind, though I am much obliged to you fo r your kind offer." ,It's me ter be obleeged, pard, fer yer hes done me an etarnal sarvice, and I are yours ter command "\..Yell, I guess we will be good pards, Kit." "Now I thinks of it I are sor r y I recommended yer ter Hallelujah. "Why so?" \"It are ther place whar thar is more cu s sedness to thcr square inch than any place I ever seen afore, pare!. I tell y er thar is killin' thar at ther drop o' a hat; and men a s nms ther ranch, now thet ther Bravo in Broadcloth are gone. "Who was he?" "As clean a cut piece o' manhood as I ever seen, not onlike yerself in build and ways, only he had a clean face and looked like a parson, on l y h e w a sn't sich " A parson ? "You bet he wa s n t, for he c u d do more with men tha n m os t any folks I e ver seen. "He were the deadest dead shot on ther plains, c 'u'd outride a Co m a n c he, ancl ef Sampson, who yer reads :tbout in ther Bible, had a tackled him fe r strength he d a' found hi s m a tch and I'll sw 'ar to it." "And wl ; ere i s thi s m a n now ? "Ther L ord only knows, pard. "He come into Hallelujah my s terious like, and h e out th er same \ vay and I hes never heerd o' him s mce. "Fol ks di d say maybe he we re ther chief o' the r Tol! Takers; bu t ef he were he was a gent clean t hrou gh, and it d id look suspicious, as he went off about t h er time t h e r Toll-Takers gang wer e wiped out. "But when he were i n Halleluj'ah City, he run things in great shape, and accordin' ter his idee o' law "Ther desperado pards hed ter throw up their h ands and squeal, and he were ther king bee o' ther cam ps, though he never was ther man ter pick a quarrel, thcmgh he were in it ter make fur fly when it got te r goin ag' in' his idees o' right. "Pard, I wi s hes yer bed a' know'd him." "Yes, I am gl a d to meet a man who is out of the average of men. "But, how far is it to Hallelujah City now?" When we ri s es the ridge yonder we 'll look down inter the valley, and lialf an hour after will fetch us te r Kate's Kitchen The stage rolled on, and the stranger handled th e reins in a manner that delighted the driver, who a l most forgot his wound in watching his skill in dri vin g for the trai l was a difficult one to pass over. Soon the valley lay before them dotted with the miningcamps and Hallelujah City was pointed out, a clu ster of cabins and larger shanties having fo r a com mon center a prete n tious structure that dwarfed the o thers as a hen does a brood of chickens. Then Kit pointed out the hotel known as Kate's Kitchen, and he seemed proud of the op p o r tuni t y o f doing s o was plea s ed to s ee that t he stranger ap peared duly impressed therewith In fine style the coach clashed up to the hotel door, the six horses being brought to a )1al t as one animal and the style of the driver at once riveted every eye, while Kit's appearance showed that there had been trouble The arrival of the stranger at Kate' s Kitchen has a l ready been referred to but not enlarged upon and it may not be amiss to here state that Kit introduced his new-found friend with a whoop and a hoop-la. "Parcls ther man as says I hain't acquainted w ith ther best man as lives on air, jest lies thet are a ll. "Here he he-Mr. Tack Overton from nowhar in pa r tikelar and ever ywb-nr in gineral, travelin' fer healt h a n d pleas u re at his own expense. "Here are a man, Gentleman Jack, I names him, for he arc a man, and a gent, too, and he hev this day saved ther money I were bringing through, hev k ept me from tarnin' up my toe s and left some keepsakes back on ther trail fer ther Toll-Takers ter remember him by." Before Kit could say more one of his enthusiastic admirers, for the driv er was a prime fav orite and a big man in Hallelujah C ity called out: "Three cheers and a R o cky Mount'in grizzly s growl fer G entleman Jack, ther stranger in the r r e d so m brero I" The cheers were given with a roar, the growl re-.

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21 THE BU fl" ALO BILL STORIES. sounded like qistant thunder, and Gentleman Jack led the way to the bar of the Queen of Hearts, which was just the proper caper under the circumstances, and was a big thing in his favor for many of those present. CHAPTER XVII. THE TOLL-T. <\KERS AT HOME. The founder of the band of outlaws known as the Toll-Takers had chosen well in his retreats. The spot was certainly a good one for both a hidingplace and a stronghold. The valley was a large one, and across one end ran the Overland trail, and so many had been the tragedies there that it had gained the name of the "Valley of the Shadow of Death." From where the trail entered it, and left it through a canyon piercing the ridge, the valley narrowed, fol lowing a large, swift-flowing stream, first flowing upon one side, then on the other of the vale, and with precipitous and rugged banks, timber and thickets, un til only one well acquainted with the intricacies of the trails could find his way through. Thus it was that the Toll-Takers could drop all pur suers, and, reaching the wild and rugged ridges in the lofty ranges of mountains at the valley and river head, they could laugh at their foes. The stronghold power of the outlaws ., was a glen in the mountains, sheltered by a ridge of precipices upon one side, and sloping to the river. Down this they could command a fine view, and rally against attack, while to flank and attack them from the mountain-side would be next to impossible without a guide, and a work of days to get there even with one. If driven from this retreat, the Toll-Takers could go on up into the ranges, and, by a rapid retreat, leave their foes far behind, while they sought new fields for their lawless acts. I refer to the security and inaccessibility of the re treat, to show how hard it was to catch the Toll-Takers napping, and then to follow them after an attack. The cabins were of logs, with grass roofs, and yet not uncomfortable. The chief's cabin had two rooms in it, an attempt at furniture, and from what was called by courtesy a piazza in front, a fine view of the camp, the glen, river and further vallev could be had. Back of his cabin was a crevice in a high cliff of rocks, which had been a quick means of escape, if needed, by way of a rope ladder. Here it was, in this camp, that Monte Miranda joined Rockwell and his men when he arrived. Already deciding upon his future course, as regarded Cleo Amidon, Monte had hinted to Rockwell that he might bring a lady 'With him, but whether his wife or a captive, the outlaw lieutenant did not know. Still he made the best preparation in his power for her comfort, and had the cabin of the former chief in good condition on the afternoon when the Mexican and the supposed boy rode int o the stronghold. Rockwell had been there for over a week, and had brought with him just eight men, several of whom had been old Toll-Takers under Major Mephisto, Branch Bainbridge, and Monte himself. They were as hard a lot of cutthroats as ever had been gathered together, an
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1'HE BUFF Al:.O BILL STORIES. 23 Heloise w.as startled, then duoious, and she said, with a laugh : "A true border girl you are, Belle, for that was done as true to life as a road agent could do it." "And a road agent I am, Heloise Rembold, and you are my prisoner, so no nonsense." The tone and manner caused Heloise to look ear nestly into the face of her false friend. \Vhat she saw there .in the flashing eyes, stern-set mouth and pallor, told her that Belle Braddock was in earnest, that she was her foe, not her friend. But Heloise was blessed ith wonderful nerve, and sl1c asked: "Am I to understand that you have been playing a part, or have yon lost your mind, Miss Braddock?" "I ha Ye not lost my mind. and, though I have been playing a part, I am not now, and you are to go with n1e." "\!Vhither ?" "To the retreat of the Toll-Takers." Heloise turned pale, but calmly asked: "Are you a traitress, then, a decoy of the Toll Takers of the Trails?" '''{es." "And you have played a part to injure me, you have been a snake in the grass, where we deemed you a dove?" "I am just what you care to call me, l\, fiss Rembold, and I warn you that I played my game to win. "Having won, I will not allow of any chance of es cape on your part." "You are in the pay of that arch-villain, Monte Mi randa?" "Yes, if you so call him." Quick as a flash the whip-handle of Heloise fell upon the wrist of BelJe Braddock, and the small re Yolver dropped from her hand. The lash fell heavily then upon her horse, which gave a mighty bound into the air and attempted to dash away. But, though suffering from the blow, Belle Braddock held hard ,\rith her other hand the bridle rein of Heloise's horse, and, drawing a small derringer from her bosom, she cried : "Check' your horse, or I will kill him!" The answer of Heloise was to draw her own re volver from the saddle-holster and level it at the head of Belle's horse. "Unhand rein or I fire!" The was a laugh, and Heloise pulled trigger. Then came words : "The snapping bf caps does not kil,I, fair Heloise, and I took occasion last night to take the loads from your revoh er. "You are in my power, you understand." Heloise was almost overcome by the alarming posi tion she founp herself in, and r e eled as though about to fall in a faint from her saddle. But in an instant she recovered herself to find th:it the beautiful decoy had thrown the noose of her lariat over her waist and made the other end fast around the horn of her saddle. "Now, if you attempt to dash away, you will be dragged from your saddle," said the decoy, with a wicked smile at her victim. CHAPTER XVIII. HER OWN STORY. "Here come the Toll-Takers now," and she turned to the horse1rnm as they crossed the ford to where they awaited them. The party on horseback did not leave the river, but sat upon their horses there. There were five of them, and they were all dressed in black and wore masks. The leader rode a splendid black horse, was attired, Heloise at once noticed, as Mephisto had been, and though he was completely masked she felt that she could not be wrong, so she said, quietly: "Again I am the victim of your cruel persecution, Senor Monte Miranda." The man started slightly, glanced at the decoy,,an
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... THE BU ff ALO BILL T h en he led the way into the ford, and at once turned clo wn the stream with the remark: "Those who pursue will find a blind trail to follow, Cousin Heloise, and not even your famous scouts Buf falo Bill and the Surgeon Scout Powell can follow me "I am not so sure of that, Monte :rvliranda," Heloise replied. "vVell we shall see; but be careful now, for your horse has a long swim before him, though do not be frighte ned." "I fear death les s than I do you, my ignoble co11sin," was the plucky rejoinder, and as Heloise spoke her horse began t-0 swim. Monte Miranda had taken the mask from his face to see the better and now guided his horse and that o f Heloi s e down the stream and over toward the further shore. Behind him came Cleo Amidon, her hors e swimming easily, a nd s tretched out behind her were the four road agents. The bold leader guided well, and held his hor s e firmly on his course. It was a long and hard swim, though the current swept them rapidly along on their way. There was one shoal knee-deep where they halted for a re s t for their horses, and after a few minutes again went on. Bendi n g to the right, th e y came, aft er an.other long to the sp o t which had been found by Surgeon Powell and Buff alo Bill, and a la nding was ma de. l.p t he narrow c a nyon they went, holding in the lit tle st re am, c ro ss ing the mountain trail, and thus on ep to th e t o p of the ridge., where they turned off to the left. "Now, cousin mif1e, you surely will not say that the hand s ome Surgeo n Scout can follow the trail we have left behind u s?" s a id Monte Miranda. "If he d oe s n o t Buffalo Bill will, or both will together." "Wate r le a ves no trail." "That d e pe n ds upon where you enter and leave it." "\,Yell how can they find out where we entered it." "From the trail at the ford." "It is a drinking-place for buffalo, bear and deer, so they will track out all hoof-trails before morning." "Perhaps s o." "Well, granted that they found we took the water there, and I do not believe that they will, how will they discover where we left it?" "They may go down the river as y o u did.'' "No, not e v en those dare-devils will do that. "Well, your trail is open where yotdeft the stream." "True, but they will see where the mountain trail crossed the stream, and not follow on up to the ridge." "I do not believe that they will be less skillful in following my trail than they are in trailing an Indian." "You have firm faith in the scouts of the plains. "I have had reason to have. "Vv ell we will soon take to t he river aga in, and t hen you will be c o n v inced th a t y our heroes cannot foll o w us." Soo n after they arriv e d a g ain at the river at the p o int where Buffalo B ill and Surgeo n P o w ell had gi ven up the trail in desp a ir. The o utlaw chi e f again ro d e b o ldly in, w ith Hel o ise by his sid e and Cleo an d the oth e rs following a s be fore. A swim of a quarter of a mile brough t th e m t o a s h o al, and here they c a me to a h a lt whil e the chief pointed to a bend in the river around which w a s a p pearing a rudely-constructed flatb o at. Heloise g az ed up o n it w ith int e re st and w o nder. It \Vas s o me twe n ty feet in length but twel v e m width, had high sid e s a nd b o th ends were blunt. Over the c enter o f the b0w p ass e d a rope, w hich the three men in t he boa t w e re h a uling upon as it turned once over a w i nd l ass It ca me a l ong slowly but s u re l y aga i nst th e swi ftl y flowing strea m a c a ble bei n g a nch ored fa r a hea d ' Yo u did no t expect t o fin d a n av igating th ese wate r s Cousin Helo ise ? S<'.icl Mon te, speak ing i n hi s halfpo lite h a lfsne er ing m a nn er. "I c o nfes s that I did n ot." "We built it a mon t h ago. a nd it i s n o m e an piec e o f work for the fr on tier. a nd i s pe rfe ctly safe. "The cable is anchored yonder, fifty feet ab ove this shoal in the rocks so tl {at it w ill come right here, and these are barriers to pen the h o r ses in, and y o u will see that we will leave a trail whi c h no one c a n foll ow." "If your ingenious brain ferreted out the means for evil purpose ; the ingenious brain of the sco uts will fer ret it out forgood," was the answer. The boat had now drawn nearer and h a lf an h our after being discover ed came up along s ide the sho a l where the group awaited it. A barrier was then put np around the center of the boat, and a gangway placed over the side.

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BUFF ALO BILL STORltS. 25 \Vithout hesitation the horse of the chief walked over it into the boat. Heloise dismounted upon the side of the flat and her horse was led on. Cleo A midon did the same, and the horses of the men were then led on and placed in the barriers and fastened. With the rope over the stern, as a means of guiding it, the flatboat went swiftly down the river. Here and there the cable was spliced, but it seemed endless to Heloise and it was nearly a mile before they c ame to the end of the rope. The river here wa:s very wide and formed an eddy over on one shore through which the boat drifted slowly, and the chief said to Heloise: \Ve can use our sweeps in coming up here, as we are out of the swift current until we get a mile below, where we land." Heloise made no reply and watched their progress slowly. At l ast they ran in close to an island densely over grown by a thicket of willows, and here the boat was poled into a secure hid i ng-place. All mounted then once more, took to the water, and the horses swam the hundred yards to the shore. "Now, Cousin Heloise, you have seen my blind trail, an d I defy mortal man to follow it," said the chief, as they went into camp on the river-bank just as the sun set. CHAPTER XIX. THE OUTLAW'S ALTERNATIVE. The Mexican camped for the night on the river bank without seemingly any dread of scouts or sol diers. He had his men make a good resting-place for Helo i se and Cleo Amidon, and in such a position that the captive could not leave i t without passing near some of the outlaw s while the decoy was also expected to guard. her well The camping place seemed to have been quite often used before for there were the three horses of the men who had brought the boat up tne river, a11d the fire still burned. Provisions and blankets were hidden away among the rocks, and Heloise felt certain that the outlaws had been encamped there for some days, waiting for Cleo Amidon to kidnap her. But how had she communicated with them she won dered. Then it came to her that there was hardly a day passed that Cleo had not taken a ride, and no matter with whom she went, she always sought a certain place for wild flowers, and dismounted herself to gather them, and once she had seen her slip something into the hollow of a tree, and now knew that it must have been a receptacle known to Monte Miranda and herself, where letters were left reporting her progress. "It was a wonderfully well planned and executed plot," she said to herself, as, after eating a hearty sup per, she lay upon her blankets thinking over the adven tures of the day. A wicky-up had been built for Cleo and herself, and their resting-place softened by fine straw under their blankets, so that she was by no means uncomfortable. Early in the morning they were awakened, for Heloise had slept soundly, knowing the impossibil ity of making her escape then, though she did not give up hope of.doing so at some time in the future. After a good bre akfas t, at which Monte Miranda made himself very agreeable, they mounted and rode on their way. Now and then efforts were made to cover up their trails, and then they would resume their way, pressing on at a good pace. A halt at noon for an hour was made, and then the horses were urged on very rapidly all the afternoon, when the valley came in sight. Heloise had her own option as to the force of her degenerate cousin, as she had heard it di1>cussed one clay by the officers, and Surgeon Powell had said he
PAGE 27

ZI THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. aware of his having taken to the road again as a foot pad after his very narrow escape from hanging." "Don't let your tongue run away with your reason, girl," he said, with anger. "Why? Because you might strike or kill me? "Well, it would not surprise me, and, in truth, I would rather die by your hand than live near you. "But I think I shall live to one day see you hanged, Cousin Monte." ,The Mexican uttered a Spanish oath, but changed the subject. "Well, you will find I have men enough here to hold you prisoner, and I engaged the services of Miss Ami don especially to entrap you, and now she is to be your fair guardian, so escape is impossible." ('Doubtless; but what is your intention regarding me?" ".You know the terms of your grandfather's will?" "Perfectly." ".You are aware that, unless you become my wife, neitner of us gets a peso?:' "Yes." "If you become my wife, we get conjointly the large fortune?" "I understand; but I thought you cquld not go to Mexico, that you were a fugitive from there." "So I am; but money buys clemency, you know, and I have affairs arranged there so that if I return as the possessor of the large fortune I am heir to, conjointly with you, why, it will be very different from what it would have been if I returned poor, and I will be wel comed with open arms." "But to get this you m ust make me your wife?" "Yes." ''I will never consent, as you know." "Become my return with me to Mexico as such, get our inheritance, and let me receive my share, and I will release you that very day to return to the United States and get a divorce from me." "If I refuse?" "Then you will wish to Heaven you had never been born," was the vehement response of the Mexican. CHAPTER XX. ON THE TRAIL. There was no braver band of men ever left a frontier fort than Captain Alf Taylor, his Lieutenant Ames, l'_1:1r_&eon_.:E_o_w.ell an. d thirtz They were prepared for the event, should they have to face it, and to rescue Heloise Rembold if it was to be done. They were fitted out to camp for weeks if need be, and the colonel alone knew where to find them by courier when wanted. Surgeon Powell was also to be the scout of the Boys in Blue, and he alone knew the trails where he could t:ind Buffalo Bill when they needed to communicate with him, or to consolidate with him a!]d his scouts. The retreat sought by the Boys in Blue was a se cluded valley in the mountains. It was just large enough to support the horses for a few weeks, there was good water, plenty of timber, and around on all sides from the ridge a grand view could be obtained. There was a goodly number of pack mules in the out fit, so that the men would lack for nothing, and they soon had the camp in excellent shape. "Nick," the captain's servant, was a fine cook, and the three officers meant to fare well while waiting for a call from Buffalo Bill. The latter, with his scouts, had struck the Overland trail, and intended patroling it, and its branches, grad ually working down toward Hallelujah City, which Buffalo Bill and Surgeon Powell looked upon as the hotbed of l awlessness, and where they felt sure a trail might be struck to lead them to the outlaw retreat. Buffalo Bill moved out in good condition, the pack animals being horses to be used if needed. He had with him as his right bower Wild Bill, his friend in any emergency, and Texas Jack and Captain Jack Crawford as allies, so that the quartette was a strong one indeed. Then there were six other scouts, who, like the Boys in Blue under Captain Alfred Taylor, had beei;i picked for their worth, endurance and daring. The retreat to which the scouts went was all of sev enty miles from the military camp, and about sixty miles from the outlaw retreat. From there to Hallelujah City it was over thirty miles, while the trails could be easily followed by the scouts. So the camp was established in a quiet nook in the mountains, convenient to the trails, and two trooper s with Surgeon Powell returned to the militar y camp, while three scouts who had gone with the soldiers, to get the locality of such encampment, went to their rc .comm.u1ds. -" L

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THE BU ff ALO BILL STORIES. 27 "I tell you, Bill, I must take a run down into Halle lujah City," Buffalo Bill had said to Wild Bill Hickok, after having been several in camp. "Yes, it will be a good idea, and I think you had better send for Surgeon Powell to join us." "No,., said Bill, "I have an especial reason for going alone. I want a close watch kept here, and I want to make an attempt to get Heloise Rembold back on my own hook. I sent a letter to a friend of mine who was a Mormon and who has also been an outlaw. He has promised to help ma on this trail, and so I am going to meet him at Hallelujah City." So Buffalo Bill started off on his ride to Hallelujah City. The friend he was to meet there was none other than Gentleman Jack the mysterious man who had ex cited so much curiosity among the miners there. This man had once been a member of the outlaw band of Toll-Takers of the Trail himself, but had re formed, although being an honorable man, he had re fused to divulge to any one any of the secrets of the outlaws who had once been his comrades. Buffalo Bill was the only one who knew that he was an outlaw, and had spared him from arrest only on the promise that he would behave himself in the future. This Gentl e man Jack had been a respectable rancher in Texas, and he only came North at the urgent re quest of Buffalo Bill. The great scout met him in the tavern in Hallelujah City, and told him the details of the capture of Heloise Hembold. The ex-outlaw thought for a long time. "I'll help you, Scout Cody," he said at length. "I'll help you, but you must not ask me to go back on my old I refuse to divulge their secret retreat even to you Bill, and I owe you my life, for you might shoot me down at any minute as an outlaw." "How can you help me, then?" asked the scou-t. "I can't help you to run down these Toll-Takers, al th ough I wish you every success and think that you will finally run them out of the country, but I can get that girl away from them and I'll get her. I'll visit the retreat to-hight and bring her back in safety to morrow, hnt you must first give me your word that I w i ll not be followed and that you will never divulge my art in this work." "I pledge myself to all of that," said Buffalo Bill in his deep voice. ":Very well," said the Mysterious Man, "meet me in the road from here to your camp to-morrow morning at three o'clock," and he named a spot on the trail where the scout could meet him. * * The ex-outlaw was true to his word. Later that night Heloise Rembold was awakened by him and told to get ready for escape. She was a plucky girl, and, donning a man's cos tume similar to that worn by the outlaws, she left the stronghold by the same trai!\which she had taken. Those of the outlaws that saw the pair were de cei ved by the outlaw's voice, for he modulated it so that it seem ed in the darkness to be that of the cap tain, Monte Miranda. Side by side they walked through the darkness, and at last the girl felt that she was out of the power of the outlaws, and turned to thank her mysterious res cuer. He placed a hand on her arm. "Thank not me, but Buffalo Bill,'' said he. "I'll leave you now beside that tree. You will find Buffalo Bill, who will conduct you to safety," and he turned and disappeared in the dark ness. The ovation Buffalo Bill received when he arrived with the kidnaped Heloise Rembold safe and sound can better be imagined than described. Of course, both he and the girl were questioned as to how she had been rescued. Buffalo Bill, having given his word, was an swering none of the questions, Heloise Rembold knew nothing about her rescuer. She had heard his voice, it was tme, but it had been disguised, she felt sure, and she had not been able to distinguish his features in the darkness., As to the trail she had gone over, she found herself utterly unable to find it again, and so the mystery re mained unexplained until a month later on, when falo Bill made a raid on the Toll-Takers and wiped them out completely. THE END. Next week's issue, No. 83, will contain "Buffalo Bill's Hard' Night's Work; or, Captain Coolhand's K,idnaping Plot." One of the wildest and weirdest nights of adventure the scout ever put in. A negro robber figures in it, and he's a corker. How Captain Coolhand, the highwayman, met his match in a beautiful girl will also be told in this issue.

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Everythin g is "booming. One sa y it w a s a w o r l d o f drea ms. You are a ll drea ming of prizes. A n d many o f the d reams will be rea lize d. B u t w ake up t o tell u s w hat you r drea m is. F or particula r s and lis t o f pr izes, see page 3 2 M y Dream o f the Grun Men. (By A. Kenneth Church, Binghamton, N. Y.) One night not long ago I dreamed I was out hunting in the woods. It was getting dark and I started for home. On the way I noticed some queer footprints in the soft soil. I followed these tracks for a distance, when I came to where the trail ended. In front of me there rose a solid wall of rock for about one hundred feet in the air. About three inches from the cliff the trail ended, and I wondered what had become of the person, for he couldn't have scaled the cliff. As I was standing there the rock opened, as if by magic, and I was seized and carried in side. I was carried down a Jong and dark passage by my strange captors. At last it began to grow lighter, and I was taken into a room that was a mile long and a half mile wide. It was lit by a lake of fire in the centre of the room. By the light of the fire I saw that the skin of my cap tors was green, their hair as black as night, and their eyes were a bright red, which shone like fire in the dark. I was taken to the side of the room and chained to the rocks. One of the green men blew a large horn, and from all directions men came trooping by the hundred. They had the same colored eyes, hair, and skin as the h1en that captured me. Some brought snakes, lizards and other reptiles. They skinned the reptiles and broiled them over the coals of a small fire, which they used for cooking. They unchained me and placed before me dishes of the broiled reptiles. At first I couldn't stand it to eat the snakes At last, driven by hunger, I cleaned the dishes. :The snakes were very excellent eating. That night they had a great feast. They sat down to a very large table, which had a gold top. They num b ered in all about six hundred men ana a number of worn en and chi l dren. The chief, or king, sat in the center of the table, on a chair of pure gold. Three of the men opened a door in the side of the cave and brought a dozen men, who were prisoners like my self Their heads were cut off and they were cut up and boiled A piece of the boiled victims wa s given to each person, who devoured it with great relish. The next night they had another feast, and I was led forth to be killed and eaten. I got down on my knees and laid my head on the executioner's bleck, who cut my head off. I was cut up and boiled, and a piece of my body was given to e a ch cannibal, wl10 devoured it with as great re l ish as t hey had the others. ,. Then I awoke A Robbe r D rea m (By Thomas Berger, Hyde Park, I\Iass.) It was a cold December night and it was snowing very hard. I went to bed very late, it was about twelve o'clock. I was just after hearing of some desperate rob bery, and I was feeling very much afraid. I was sitting neai: my bed watching the snow, when my attention was drawn to a light which shone through the keyhole of the back door. I saw a man with a false beard on his face, for it diu not stick very well. He wore a large black mask, con cealing his face as far as his nose. I had never seen him before. He had two revolvers in his pocket, and in his hand he carried a light which shone very small. He looked like those robbers I h;'ld read about. I was frightened,

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THE BU ff ALO BILL STORIES. but did not show it, and watched him eagerly to see what he would do. He took a bundle of keys from his pocket and fitted some to the lock, but the key was on the inside and he had ti.Y break the l ock He did so and went upstairs, plundering__ as he came. He-did not see me right away and went I did not know what to do, and so kept very quiet. He went in all the rooms and looked around. I saw him take my watch and put it in a bag he carried. He then came to get some rings, which he saw on a shelf near me, and when he came near me I made him stumble by shoving my leg out. He looked very surprised, and said he would blow my brains out if I did not keep q.uiet. I said I would not and he werit away to the next room, and I began to yell, but he fired and hit me on the arm. I felt a sting, and he ran away, leaving me wounded. I woke up and found it was morning. This was my dream, at\d I was glad it was a dream. A Dang-erous Dream. (By Wallace Davidson, Indianapolis, Ind.) One night, about two years ago, when I lived in Ohio, I lay down upon my bed and began reading, a Tip Top I believe it was, and I fell asleep and began dreaming. I dreamed tha t I was out hunting, and that all of a sudden a band of Indians came up and took me prisoner. I thought they took me a great way off, and at last came to their camp. Then they bound me to a tree and piled wood around it Then they set it afire. I could f ee l the heat and the smoke choked me, when swish punk! and down I fell into a blanket held by firemen. I had in some way upset my lamp and set the house on fire. A fireman 1-'aved me and threw me down into the blanket inst in time. For two weeks after that I could hardly s.leep at all. \ An Adventurous Journey. (By Barnett W. Macy, Orlando, Fla.) I went out on a camp the other day, and I was sitting with a big crowd of boys that were with me. We were all reading Buffalo Bill stories, when I got tired and I fell asl eep. I drearqed that I was out in a small boat and the wind was blowing hard. The water splashed into the boat and we had nothing with which to bail the water out, and it kept on filling until it filled up and sank. We could all swim fairly well. While I was about halfway to shore, I happened to look back and I saw seven alligators after us, and I got so scared I could hardly swim. They kept on coming nearer and nearer, until they were up with us. One of them caught hold of Billy's leg and carried him under and that was the last we ever saw of him. We reached the shore in about five minutes. After we had stood there under a big oak tree to get rested we started back to the camp, but we lost our way. We wandered about until we found a road. We followed it for about five miles, and then we happened to find a cross road, so we took that road. We had not gone a quarter of a mile when we ran into a lot of rattlesnakes, but they
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30 THE BUFF J\LO BILL STORIE5o "Yes, Billy." So we gathered the deer up and took him to a furrier ; and h e sai
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l'HE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 81 sounded like the beat of a church bell. I entered a room, and, in the darkness,_ could just see the outlines of a bed and forms huddled up in the clothes. I went to a dresser and took what money and jewelry there were there. This I did in the rest of the sleeping rooms. Then I thought it was time to go. As I came down the hallway to reach the open window, I came upon a hat rack, on which a coat was hanging. I put the coat on arid found it was just my fit. I stepped out on the window l edge, and as I put my foot over to reach the other ledge, my foot slipped and I tumbled clown the airshaft. I could feel myself go ing down, down. Instinct made me throw my hands out; they grasped at space, and then closed around something cold like iron. There \vas a crash. I had struck the bot tom of the shaft. I awoke to find myself shaking like a leaf, and all tangled up in my bicycle, that was standing in my own hallway at home. I managed to break away from my wheel to find that in my sleep I had got out of bed, put my overcoat over my pajamas, and tried to get out l:he front door. The governor, hearing the noise, woke up. He came out, and, taking me by the ear, chased me off to bed. \ 1Vhat puzzles me is, How far would I have gone in my sleep, and what would I have done? In an Indian Camp. (By William Bautsch, Pottsville, Pa.) One night f ft er I had read one of Buffalo Bill's books I w ent to bed and dreamed that I was going out for chest nuts. When I got out in the woods pretty far I saw a bear, and was just going to run when the bear skin fell to the ground, and I was caught by an Indian. He took me to his camp and kept me there for a week, and then they decided to shoot me, so when the Indian aimed his rifle and fired I awoke, lying on the floor. I had fallen out of bed. How I Escaped. (By Ernest W. Bastian, Hornellsville, N. Y.) I dreamed that I was out gathering nuts, when all at once without a bit of warning, came the words: "Hands up!" Up went my hands like a shot. Then a large fellow, all dressed up like an Indian, came up to me with a gun ready to shoot if I moved, and then he told one of the men, who were back in the bushes nearby, to tie up my hands and he did it, and so well that I couldn't get them loose. Then the fellow, who seemed to be the leader said: "Take this dog away to the ca ye, and don't let him get nway. There is money in this deal." We went off. Once I tried to get behind a tree, but he raised his gun to shoot, and I got back mighty quick, I can tell you. When we got to the cave there were three other men there, and they greeted us by saying: "Here is another one to pull up, is it." I nearly fainted away. After a while they gave me some supper, and then the leader gave me a cuff across mv face that knocked me to the ground. When I got up I drew a knife and started for h im. I stabbed him in the side. Then there came a bang! bang I and I felt a bullet in my shoulder. I gave a yell and started for the fellow that fired the shot and killed him then they all started for me, and though I fought hard, they caught me and bound me. Then the leader said: "Hang him, the dog!" They put a rope around my neck, and he gave the order to pull, but there was a boom like a cannon that raised us off our feet. Then just before I struck the ground again I woke up with a start and looked all around, but could see no one but my sister, who had been trying to wake me up. A Curious Dream. (By Willis Butler, Shreveport, La.) One summer, when I was in Hot Sprirtgs, I dreamed that I went to an opera and sat across the aisle from a girl, who kept looking at me as if she knew me, and I thought I knew her; so when the opera was over she asked me to go home with her and I said, certainly. So we got in a carriage, which was waiting, and drove off. 'vVhen we got to her home it was late, and I said I would go, but she said for me to come in. I went in and sat down, and we began talking. After a while she asked me if I didn't want a cup of coffee, and I said yes. She went out and I waited for an hour or more, but she didn't come back. After a while I heard slow footsteps coming and an old man came to the door, and said: "Young man, what are you doing in my house this time of night?" I told him that I came home with his daughter, and he said, "That's too slim," and hit at me with his walking stick. Then he hit again and I jumped back and bumped my head on the headboard and woke up. A Terrible Fall. James Egan, New York City.) Three years ago this winter there was a fire near my home, which lasted for four days. It happened in a lum ber yard; and my friends and I watched it until past midnight. Being tired when I got home, I threw myself in bed and was soon fast asleep. I am a fireman. It is a cold win ter's night. Ding! dong! Fire in the lumber yard. Our engine is the first on the scene. Up I go to the top of lumber pile. My heart seemed to stand still, for there facing me with a knife in his hand is a man whom I recognized as a fiendish cutthroat. Horrors of horrors! I could not utter as much as an appeal for help. Gradu ally he pushed me toward the edge of the pile. I re ceived a lurch that sent me sprawling some forty feet be low into the icy water of the river. Imagine my surprise when I receiv e d a smack on the back and was told to get dressed for school. My teacher saw me shivering as if I had the ague and advised me to go home. And you can bet that I am tha:nkful that it was no worse than a dream.

PAGE 33

CURIOUS DREAM CONTEST you all know what a success the last contest was. We propose to make this even bigger. L 0 0 K AT T H IS S P L E N D I D P R I Z E 0 F F E R 15 COMPLETE PHOTOGRAPHIC OUTFITS including an EASTMAN BROWNIE CAMERA and a complete outfit for taking, developing apd printing photographs CET INTO THIS CONTEST whether you were in the last or not. All you have to do is to remember any Curious Dream you have ever had, w rite it in five hundred words, or less, and send it with the accompanying coupon, properly filled out, to BUFFALO BILL WEEKLY, Care of STREET & SMiTH 238 WILLIAM STREET, NEW YORK CITY THE PRIZES WE OFFER THIS TIME are about the FINEST EVER CIVEN in a contest of this kind. The cameras COUPON Buffalo Bill Dream Contest No. 2 Name ....................................................................... No ................... Street .............................................. City or Town ............................................................. State ....................................................................... Title of Story ............................................................ are beauties-simple in operation and hold cartridges with film en oug h for six exposures without' reloading. A cartridge and a complete outfit, to ge ther with a book of instructions as to how totake and develop photographs go with each camera.

PAGE 34

World-Renowned Buffalo Bill (HON. WM. F. CODY) One of his latest photos by Stacy Buffalo Bill Stories is the only publication authorized by HoN. WM. F. Cony WE were the publishers of the first story ever writ ten o.f the famous and. world renowned Buffalo Bill, the great hero whose life has been one succession of exciting and thril 'ling -incidents combined with great successes and accomplish. ments, all of which will be told in a series of grand stories which we are now placing before the American Boys: The popularity they have already obtained shows what the boys want, and is very gratifying to the publishers. STREET & SMITH PUBLISHERS NEW YORK


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