Buffalo Bill's hard night's work, or, Captain Coolhand's kidnapping plot

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Buffalo Bill's hard night's work, or, Captain Coolhand's kidnapping plot
Series Title:
Buffalo Bill stories
Buffalo Bill
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New York
Street & Smith
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1 online resource (31 p.) 28 cm.: ;


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

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Source Institution:
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.
Resource Identifier:
020910272 ( ALEPH )
454439628 ( OCLC )
B14-00083 ( USFLDC DOI )
b14.83 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Dime Novel Collection
Buffalo Bill Stories

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A VVEERLY PUBLfCATlo N o cvOTE, D TO BORDER' Hl5TORY issued Weeki). By Subscriptioll S2so per year. Ell/ered as Secoud Class ll/,1t/er at \ew Yvrk Post Office by STREET & SMITH 238 Willia m St .. N. }'. No. 83. Price, Five Cents. "HANDS UP, N I C K R OSS!" SAID BUFFALO BILL, STERNLY. "I WANT YOU! CROOK .A. FINGER, .A.ND I 'LL SEND .A. BULLET THROUGH YOUR HEART!"


Isnuli Wedly: By S11oscnplion $ per year. Entered as Second Class .Malter al the N. Y. Post by STREET & S)UiltH, '38 Williatn St. N. Y. Entered accrdin.rto Act of Con/{1'ess in the year IIJ02, in the Office of the Libran'an of Conrress, Wasliinrton, D. C. ' No. 83. NEW YORK, December 13, 1902. Price Five Cents. BUFFALO BILL'S HARD NHiHT'S WORK; OR. ,captain Coolhand's Kidnapping Plot. By the author of "BUFFALO BILL." CHAPTER I. THE SCOUT-DETECTIVE. "Is this a bluff, Buffalo Bill?" "No, sir. I am in deadly earnest." "I cannot believe you." "I stake my life upon the result." "Let me understand fully, for, as well as I know you, as thoroughly as I trust you, and believe in your power to do that whic h the bravest men shrink from, I can but look upon wha t you now say as bluffing." "Again I repeat, sir that I mean just what I say." The spe akers were Buffa l o Bill, ch ie f of scouts, who at that time ' vas attached to no particular fort, but was going from place to place on the border in search of outlaws and Indians, a nd Loyd Winter, the superin tendent of a part of the Overland stagecoach line. "With a full knowledge of the situation'?" asked Winter. "Yes, sir; just that." "You will undertake to find out who the spies are that are in the Overland Compa11y's service, track down the outlaws who act upon the information their spies give them, ferret out in fort, camps and stations the tme men from the false, clear the trail of the danger we now have to face almost daily?" "I will do all that, sir." "And on what terms, Buffalo Bill?'' "I have certain terms to make, sir, in that I am to be trusted wholly, have full sway in camp and on trail, and my orders are to be obeyed without question." "Agreed! "But, what arc your terms in the way of payment, i:f you accomplish what you pledge yourself to do?" "I am a government officer, t sir, and as such draw my pay." "You surely do not intend work for nothing, when your life any moment may be the forfeit?" "I accept only my army pay as scout, sir; but if cir cumstances, to carry out certain ends, cause me to make a demand upon you for funds, I shall do so."


a THE BUFF AL_9_BILL_ "And you shall promptly be supplied; but, in send ing to headquartets to request that you detailed to :ne to gcion this special duty, the Overland Company expected to pay you handsomely." "No, sir; I accef:lt no money outside of my legiti mate pay. "The general if I would volunteer for the work which you had written to him about, and as it catne within my of duty I

I THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 3 w as s u c h that it afforded the be s t of hiding places for outlaws, r e n ega des and hostiles, and many a driver h a d been kill e d who attempted to run the gantlet of the ro a d agents and his coach robbed of all he carried of v a lue It to o k men of iron nerve to drive these coaches, and o f late a ffairs h a d been becoming so that large prices we r e p a id to the man who dared handle the reins over a t rai l dange ro us in itself to drive, without the added f ear o f being he ld up by road agents 01' greeted with a s h o t fro m s o m e lurking redskin. But B u ffa l o Bill rode s e renely along, making his fir s t r e c on n a issance over the trail he had undertaken to clear o f hum a n pe s ts. He h a d b e en given a map of the trail for nearly a hundre d mil es on each side of Outfit City, and the place s of t h e rob beries o f the c o aches and killing of drive r s a nd p asse n gers had b e en marked, and was anxi o u s t o t a k e all in s o a s to thoroughly know his grou nd and surround ings. He h ad ridde n p erhap s a doz en miles away frpm Outfit C i ty, a n d w a s neari n g a place which had been parti c ul a rl y fat a l to t h e O v erla n d C o mpany, so he was o n t h e a lert tho u g h n o t appearing to be suspicious or app1'.ehensive o f d a n g er for lone travelers were ofter; h a lt e d a s well as t h e c oa che s ,,.-...., "Halt! was the gre etin g th a t welcomed him. "A dozen guns hav e yo u c ov ered, Buffa l o Bill!" The c o m ma n d w as in a to ne that admitted of no m isu n de r stand i ng, and Buff a lo Bill drew rein, remark ing in a dra wlin g wa y : I guess I'd bett e r obey, then, pard." He did n o t appear surprised; he simply accepted the s it uat i o n a s a m a tter of cour se, and with the uttered a c q uie sc enc e aw a it e d the result. "Wh e re a re y o u going, Buffalo Bill?" Y o u kn o w me I se e ? "Yes, than yo u think I do. "But, ..ans wer my question. " I a m returning to Fort Faraway." "Wh e re ha v e y ou been? "To Outfit Cit y "Wh a t for?" T o carry dis patches that had to go through, so I m ade s ure of t a king them beyond where you might ge t them." "vV h a t were these di s patches? "I a m not in c o mmand of this department." "But you know "If I did I would not tell "Do you not know that they were asking for escorts to be allowed for the coaches over this mountain run?" "No, for you outlaws don't scare anybody very bad as yet." "Don't we?" "No." "No man will drive or ride this trail without big pay." "I draw only my regular pay." "You are an exception; but you are no driver or pony rider." "I am a scout." "Well, as you have not been very hard on us, we don't bother you; but I want information now." "I ask no favors of you or your cutthroat gang," the scout, hotly. "It may come to asking but receiving none, if you ever turn your hand against the Mounted Sports of the Overland." "See here, I have heard of you as a bad lot, but it has never been my duty to be sent on your trail; if I am sent some day, I'll not be scared off by threats, you can go high on that!" "That is just it, Buffalo Bill. I believe you have been sent to Outfit City now to help Loyd Winter cor ral us; but it won't go; we are on the romp and not to be c o rralled by one or fifty Overland ropers-in." Buffalo Bill laughed lightly, and replied: I am an army scout, not a clearer of gallows birds. "Come state your business, for I wish to be on my way?" "It is to give you a warning, that if ever you take the trail a g ainst, or raise hand against the Mounted Sports of the Overland, yo71r days are numbered." "Thanks! Are you Captain Coolhand, the head imp of the Mounted Sports?" "I am "Well, you are afraid to show your face; you dare not let me see you, or your gang; you talk to me fr o m ambush; is that a true sport's style?" ''That is all right, in this case. We wis h y o u n o harm; but I repeat, Buffalo Bill, if you t ak e o ur trail then it means certain death to you. "I suspedt you of intending w a r a g ain s t u s and so give you fair warnin g, for th e fir s t h osti l e a ct again s t us by you s o unds your death kne ll. "The Mounted Sports are in the sadd l e fpr hig stakes, and they are on this trail to stay until for


t'HE BUFFALO BILL STORIE.So tune is made, so do not raise hand against us if you value ypur life. "Now go on your way!" Twice did Buffalo Bill call to his unseen foe, but got no response, and so rode on his l\vay once more. CHAPTER III. THE BLACK HORSEMAN. Buffalo Bill rode on his way considerably impressed with his interview with his unseen foe. There seemed something uncanny to him in the fact that he had been under the muzzles of deadly weapons, warned of death by the very men he had formed a com pact with Loyd Winter to run clown, and yet had not seen one of them. \Vhy had they shown him mercy, when merciless to others? He frequently was known to carry lar e sums of money between the fort and the Overland stations, aml yet no attempt had been made to rob him. He had had no demand made upon him for gold. A very shrewd guess, if guess it was, had been made as the reason for his going to Outfit City,_ and it showed him that he must be on his guard against his business being discovered. The outlaw leader had simply warned him not to take the trail of the Mounted Sports, or his death would follow. This had been all, and then he bad been all.o"ed to. go on his way unmolested. This the scout could not account for. Riding quietly along, he began to muse to himself, and it was evident that he was troubled by \vhat had occurred. Being fired upon he could haye but 'the treatment he h:id met with surprised him very much. "There may have been a dozen rifles covering me, as he said, but I doubt it. "To my mind, there was bnt one, and yet I dareJ not take the risk of trying to make him show his hand, for he might have had others near. "There certainly was a good hiding place for a hun dred men there, and on my way back I will have a look at that spot and see what trails were left. "That man's Yoice I have got clown fine, and will know when I hear it again, if it was not disguised to day, an? I

l'fHI!. BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 5 ing just passed through a strange experience with outlaws, the scout did not care to be caught napping agam. As he drew near he fixed his eyes upon the face of the Black Horseman, who, he perceived, was a negro, pure and simple, and after a moment he muttered: "I know him, now !" "It is Darkie Dick, the black burglar. "This is indeed a valuable find!" CHAPTER IV. DARKIE DICK, THE BLACK BURGLAR. "Hello, Darkie Dick; you here on the frontier yet?" called out Buffalo Bill as he drew near to the negro "Yes, Massa Bufferler Bill, I hain't gone yet. "I is still here," was the answer, and in a Yery melan choly tone. "And are willing to go back with me to the fort, and give up your stolen goods, I take it?" "Massa Bill, I hain't stole nothin', and I hain't will in' ter go back to ther fort, nuther." "Why are you here in my trail, then?" "Kin I let clown my hands, sah, 'cause they gits tired holdin' of 'em up?" \ "Yes, for nobody told you to hold them up; but had you not done so, and I had caught sight of you, I'd have sent a bullet after you. "But mind you! no monkey business with me, for you know I can use a revolver quickly and with deadly aim." "Lardy, Massa Bill, I would hurt my old grandma afore I would you, for I ain't forgot how you saved me from ther redskins, sah. 1No, sah; I trusts myself now in yer power ter have a talk wid yer, and I seen yer comin', so waited fer yer.' "\Veil, what is it, Darkie Dick? Time is precious, you must know." "I knows dat, sah, and so am dis nigger's life. "I yer, sah, I hab had a tough time since I done left de fort." "You have only yourself to blame for it, for you proved a thief to those who trusted you. broke into the homes of the officers and robbed your best friends, while, worse still, you killed the sentinel on guard 111 making your escape." "Oh, Lord! oh, Lord!" ''Massa Bill, I didn't kill no man, sah; 'jore de Lord, I did not, sah !" "The man was killed, and you were gone all the booty you could rob the camp of, though how yon escaped the force sent after you I cannot tell. ''But it is my duty, now, to take yon back to the fort, and the chances are, Darkie Dick, that you will hang for your crimes." ''Massa Bufferler Bill, hear me talk, sah !" and the negro spoke with impressive earnestness. "\Veil. what haYe you to say?" "I didn't put myself in your pmYer to be tooken b?ck to de fort, sah, but for another purpose. "I ha in t no born fool, if I is black, and I tells yon, sah, clat no man oi1 earth does I regard more higher Jan I does yer; but I'd fight it right out now wid ycr. if you war ter say I heel tcr go wid yer back to de fort." "You've got good nerve, at least." "I is in dead 'arnest, sah, and I tells you de truf. ''I hain't rob nobody, altho' dey says so, and I heel ter git out ter save myself, dat's what!" "You tells me clat I kilt de guard, sah, hut I did not do it, and I didn't know no life was tooken until yoct jist told me. "I left de fort, yas. sah ; and left a name behin' rnc dat is blacker clan my face, and all is ag"in me, Mass:l Bill; but I tell yer, sah, clat I heel a purpose I can't tell yer-in goin'-at least not now-but I hopes ter. some day, and I wants you ter trust me, sah, not ter believe all dey says I is, and I don't blame 'em fer it I want:> yer to jist let me work in my own way and show yer. in de Lord's good time, clat ef I bas a black skin I hai1d got no black heart." Buffalo Bill's eyes were riveted upon the ncgro as he. proclai med his innocence. He had always liked the rna11, as did all at the fort, and it was a great sltock to one and all to find him missing one morning. the se11tinel dying upon his po-.t, yet able to say that Darkic Dick had killed him, ancl then ha\'e the discoYery made that the quarters of the: officers had been robbed the paymaster's safe opened and numerous strong boxes skillfolly burglarized aml a large amount of money and ,aluables taken. The whole garrison \\'as turned out to pursue negro murderer and burglar, aud Buffalo Bill aw.I his whole company of scouts were for days on the trail, but all in vain; Darkie Dick, the colonel's trusted body servant, could not be found, and here, six months aft er, .. J


THE BUf'f J\LO Bk LL STORlf:S. the scout met him waiting for him in the stage trail, and with harids up in token of apparent surrender! But, in looking into the face of the negro, Buffalo Bill saw there that which caused him for the first time to believe that, \ in spite of the circumstantial evi clence of his guilt, he might, after all, be innocent. So feeling, the scout said : "Well, Darkie Dick, I supposed you were by this time in a foreign land, enjoying the fruits of you burglaries, and I never recognized you until close npon you. "Then I very naturally supposed your conscience had driven you to surrender and take the consequences of your crimes; but you tell me that you would fight to the death rather than surrender, that you are no bur glar and murderer, and left the fort for a purpose, while you have trusted yourself in my power for some reason you have not yet explained. "Now, what is it you wish, for if I did not have a be lief that, after all, you might be innocent, I would ar rest you, or have it out with you right here, for I know well your great strength, your unerring aim and undoubted pluck. "Come, now, tell me what y o u have to say." "Massa Bill, de Lord bress you for dem words dot ,,ays you believe I may be innercent, sah, and I tells yer /: now, I intends ter prove it, 'on'y yer must let me work in my own way. "Now, I can't tell yer what I is doin', why I left de fort, and no more dan dat I seen yer go ter Outfit City dis mornin' arly, and I jist waited for yer comin' back, w(.' I has something ter tell you, sah, so I has," 1 and again Darkie Dick spoke impressively. CHAPTER V. A DOUBLE MYSTERY. "I am waiting to hear what you have to say, Darkie Dick, and I tell you frankly, I do not like your having placed yourself in my power, trusting to my honor, for it is my duty to arrest you," and Buffalo Bill spoke in a tone that showed the black horseman that he meant jns.t what he said. "I see dat you don't believe me, Massa Bill, dat you t'inks I is de bad nigger dey calls me," said Darkie Dick, reproachfully. "\Vhat else am I to think, for I have only your word against facts that point to your guilt. "I find you here now, armed to the teeth, splendidly mounted, on the Overland trail, and app earan ces are terribly against yon ." "Dey is, sah, dey is; dat's gospil trufe; but, as I tole you, I seen yer goin' to Outfit City, an' I jist laid fer yer return. ,, "Massa Bill, I

THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 'I "Don't git scare(}, sah, for de l\Iounte

THE I Uff J\LO BILL STORIES. He haq evidently made a discovery 1that surprised him. After a good half hour of searching thoroughly among the rocks and timber, he said: Well, i was either held up by one man, or all the otliers he cl ai med to have must have been on foot, for T can find only the trail qf one horse: "Kext time I shall makethem show their h. ncl. "If that was Captain Coolhand, and he wa:s alone, then he is indeed a <::ool hand at his work, and no play on his name, either. "I w is h I had fired at chance, for sometimes I have hit dead center on a guess, and I'll spot him from the of his voice. am getting mystified and no, but the more mystery there is the more interest I take in my work. "Now for a rapid gailop to Outfit City Ah! I hear the coach and--" Buffalo Bill halted suddenly, for he had heard the rumbling of wheels around a tend in 'e trail, he knew that it was the coach from Outfit City to DeathTrap Canyon. The driver seemed to be pushing his horses along at a good pace, too, from the sound of rapidl y moving h oofs and wheels. But the sound had cease

THr: BUf'f ALO BILL ST1 \RIES. me cov ere d \Vith his gun, and he went tearin' away as though tl1er devil had sent fer hitn. "I tell yer, Pard Bill, it's gittin' ter be strange times on ther Overland when niggers 'is tarnin' road agents, and I is lookin' for a Chinee ter hold me up next time." Bu ffalo Bill laughed, but asked: "vVho have you along, Larry?" "Two gents and a man as may be one, but don't look it tho_ugh appearances is deceivin', as yer knows." Bffalo Bill rode up to the side of the coach and glanced in, with the remark: "Good-evening, gentlemen!" Two of themseplied politely, and their appearance indicated that they were not men of the border. They were dressed in corduroy hunting costume, and had the look of young men out on their first wild \i\Test journey. The third man was a different looking individual, for his clothes, boots and hat were new, and he had the look, to an experienced eye, of a plainsman trying to play tenderfoot. His face was darkly bronzed, save where his beard r d lately been shaved off, as though for disguise, and his hands were large, rough, and those of a working man. "We have t? thank you, sir, for saving our money, and we carry a large sum, I may say-if not for saving our lives," said one of the young men. "We are going out to Fort Faraway to friends for a couple of months, to have a hunt for big game, and we have valuable luggage along, which you have saved for us, and we hope you will allow us to reward you, sir," explained the other. "Thank you, sir, but I accept no reward for doing my duty. I am chief of scouts at Fort Faraway, and have heard of your coming, for your friends have been expecting you for. weeks, if you are Messrs. Sprague and Sanford." "Yes, I am Burt Sprague and this is my friend, Maury Sanford. Your name we have not heard." "Then yer was thet bad scared thet yer didn't9catch it, pards, fer I told yer we was all right, as Buffalo Bill were on hand," cried Left-Hand Larry. "Buffalo Bill !" The name broke from the lips of the young men to gether, while Larry answered: "Yas, Buffalo Bill, called at his christenin' William F. Cody, and ther whitest-hearted man in this countq. "He are fher best scout, Indian fighter, and all'round good feller--" "Hold on, Larry, or these gentlemen will think you are in my pay to sound my praises!" cried Buffalo Bill, fairly blushing at the words of the driver. "Well, I know yer," was the answer. "Aad so do we, sir, for we have heard and reacl much of Buffalo Bill, and I assure you we are gfad to have been rescued by one so distinguished. "In our visit out here business is combined with pleasure; consequently we brought along with us con siderable money, more than we cared to lose; so we owe much to you, as does also this gentleman, who told us he had a small fortune on him." Buffalo Bill's eyes turned upon the third passenger. who seemed to be trying to shrink back out of sight from the mpment the scout had ridden up. In the thanks extended to Buffalo--:Bill for driving off the black horseman he had uttered no word; but now when appealed to by Burt he seemed to withdraw still further back, while he muttered: "Yes. I have a very lar,pe sum with me-going to invest in the mines, you know. I thank you, sir, for saving it; indeed I do!" Then, to the surprise of all, Buffalo Bill quicldy cov ered the man with his revolv)r and said, sternly: "Hands up, Nick Ross!" "I want you-hold! Crook a finger and I'll semi a bullet through heart!." CHAPTER VHI. A COUNTER CHARGE. Left-Hand Larry was as much surprised at the sud den and threatening action of Buffalo Bill toward his third passenger as were the two young men who were on the way to the fort. But the driver knew enough of the scout to feel that he was not one to act "vithout g:ood reason, and in stantly stood ready to back him np in this bold act. for he called out: "If he's a bad one, Pard Bill, I'm. with yer !" "Is this the way you protect your passengers, sir? I shall report you to the superintendent, for I am a de tective in his employ," called out the man who was covered by the cout's revolver. "It you are, then Mr. \Vinter has got hold of a bad man for a detective, and does not know you as I do.'-' retorted Buffalo Bill.


10 THE BUff ALO Bill STORIES. "Who are you?" "A detective should know when he heard rr.e called Buffalo Bill." "Driver, I appeal to you for protection against this highwayman." Jy-ou is away off ther trail, pard, for that don't go down. I knows Buffa l o Bill and don't know you, and thaes a big difference. I chips in wrth William every time." "Larry, do you remember the post trader, Nick Ross, who was found out to be a road agent a year ago, and just escaped hanging by killing one of my scouts, whom I sent as his guard to the fort?" "I does, and there's money up on him "Yes, a thousand dollars for his capt.i.1re, dead or alive. "I don't care for the reward, as I never take blood money, but I've got the man, and will take all respon sibility of making any mistake. "Slip these handcuffs on him, while I keep him cov ered, and then search him, Larry." "I'll do it, William; bet your moccasins!"' "I appeal to you, gentlerJen, for protection against this outrage," called out the man to his fellow-pas sengers. "Pardon me, but as this gentleman is a government officer, he doubtless kno"ivs what his duty is," replied Mr. Sprague, while his friend said: "Yes, we are sorry for you, but if innocent you have your redress." "Gentlemen, as I said, I am responsible for my actions. I know this man in spite of the great change he has made in his personal appearance, to be the man I accuse him of being-Nick Ross, a one-time trader, who was recently an o u t l aw. "There, Larry, bundle these things up a:1d carry them with the pri5oner to the fort, telling Colonel Dun can that I send him in, and accuse him of being Nick Ross, the renegade trader." "I'll do it, Pard Bitl." "He told us that he had thousands of dollars with liim, sir; and seemed most particular to learn just what we had, I recall now," observed Maury Sanford. '"His thousands do not appear to materialize, how e,er, for that is all he had," and Buffalo Bill pointecl to the small roll of bills and a little silver 11101tey the man had with him, for nothing else save his weapons had been found upon him by Larry's close search. Having firmly secured his prisoner, Buffalo Bill turned him over to the driver, bade the two young hunters a polite good-evening, and, mounting his horse, said : "Keep a bright lookout, Larry, as you may be halted again, for I happen to know that there are more out laws abroad than the negro who held yo u up." "I say, Parcl Bill," called out Larry, as Buffa l o Bill was about to ride away. "\V ell, Larry?'' "\Vhat you say kinder scares me off, for I has got a pretty big sum of money along with me." "I am sorry, for I fear you will be held up." "\Vhar is you b ound now?" "To Outfit City." "Couldn't guard us to the fort?" "I would, Larry, but I have a very important duty on hand just now; but I'll send several men after you from Outfit City." "It would b too late, for if I am held up again it will be within the next thirty miles, so I say fer you to take the boodle back to Outfit City and turn it over ter ther boss ter keep until its safer ter send it through." "So I will do if you wish, Larry." "And you will assume the responsibility of our money and valuables also, sir?" asked Burt Sprague. "If you wish, but I am one man only, and may also be held up and robbed." "But the chances are in your favor rather than ours." "Yes, for it is but ten miles to Outfit City." "Then we will turn over to you all we have, to be sent through when you think it safe." "Hold on, all of you! and heed or not, as you please," said the prisoner, earnestly. "Well, what has you ter say?" asked Larry. "I assert that this man is not Buffalo Bill, the scout, whom I know well. "Remember, he accuses me of being an outlaw, and Nick Ross, the one-time trader; but I tell you that I. am a detective in the employ of the Overland Company and was sent along guard the treasure the coach carries41itnd the money you two gentlemen were known to have with you. "That man looks very much like "William Cody, strikingly so, I admit, but he is the outlaw, Shadow Bill, of whom you have heard often, driver, and this is but a clever game of his to deceive you all and get the booty, so don't trust your money to him I beg of you, for you'll find it as I have said, and that I also am what I represent myself to be."


r I THE 8 ff ALO BILL STORIES.. 11 CHAPTER I X. A BARRIER IN THE TRAIL. Even Left-Hand Larry looked at the scout wi t h sns1 p i cious gaze a t t h is c ounter charg e o f the man accused of being N ick Ross The char g e see m e d s o pla u s ible tha t the two young men w ere i m press e d by it. The man h is advantage at once, and ad

13 THE BU ff ALO B ILL ing the prisoner in ide, and bound to the coach so that he could not slip out when darkness came on. "There is such a character, then, as Shadow Bill, who resembles Buffalo B{l! ?" asked Burt Sprague as Larry drove on once more "There be, fer I has heerd o' his

1'HE BU ff' ALO BILL STORIES. 13 "No likee." "And I don't likee hevin' to stop here c hinning with a heathen Chinee, so if you intend to take this man, do so, and let me go on my way. "I half believe you have got no one near to help you, and I've a mind to make yer show your hand, heathen," said Larry. "Me showee !" and again the Chinaman gave a whistle. rnstantly a voice answered: "All right, captain! Shall we fire?" "No, blast you! I'm not crowdin' yer !" quickly called out Larry, the response from the rocks convin cing him that the Chinaman had help near, though in wh a t force he could not guess. "Allee lightee; no killee this time," cried the Cele s tial road agent. i He caile,q to the prisoner to get out of the coach and c o me with him. "I can t, for I'm ironed and tied in as well," he ex plained. The Chinaman gave another whistle, then rode up to the coach door, and, drawing a knife, cut the lariat that bound the priso1ier. "\:Vantee key," he said, laconically. "I ain t got it, for Buffalo Bill took it with him "Buffalo Billee? \Vhere Buffalo Billee ?" and the Chinaman gave an anxious look about him in the gath ering gloom. "It \Yasn' t Buffalo Bill, but Shadow Bill, Chinaman; but I don't believe he took the key,'' the prisoner averi-ed. "Then ask him, for here he comes!" cried LeftHand Larry, and, as he spoke all heard the rapid clat-ter of hoofs. As quick as a flash the prisoner, his hands still man acled, made a bound out of the coach and disappeared in the thicket, while the Chinaman wheeled his horse and spurred into the timber with equal suddenness. Larry called out: "Hold on, Chinaman, and I'll in terdoose ye r !" CHAPTER XI. THE THIRD HAI-T. "\Vell, of all things I ever seen, this beats 'em-a Chinee road 11gent on the Overland! "I don t quite grasp it, but it were a fact, fer you seen him, gents, with yer own eyes." So said Left-Hand Larry as the Chinaman disappeared i n the gloom of the timber, as the prisoner had done "It was a Chinee beyond doubt," remarked Burt Sprague, while Maury Sanford answered : "Yes, but who have we to meet now?" That was the question that was \vorrying Larry, for he heat"tl the hooffalls of q u ite a number o f horses, coming at a rapid canter along the trail. It could not be Buffalo Bill, unless he had ret ed with an escort for the coach; or had sent one after it. Waiting anxiously the coming of the horsemen, Larry did not start his team again, and a moment after saw them sweep around the bend in the gathering twi light. "Ho! Larry, is that you?", "Halt!" a commanding Yoice, an<;! a:. cavalry officer, a Lieutenant Keyes, from Fort Faraway, drew rein by the coach, while his men halted at his order. "Oh, Lieutenant Keyes! It's you, is jt, sir, and gla

THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. ter keep it in my possession, as there might be such a thing as your being held up again, for I cannot remain as your guard, as I must hasten on to the fort now." "Yes, sir, please retain our valuables and money," Burt Sprague said, while Larry remarked: "You bet I wouldn't want to carry it on this run, lieutenant, for there's a hoodoo on me ter-day, I'm t11inkin' ." "I will carry all safely through, and your prisoner, too, whom Cody told me about, for I have a led horse. Where is he?"-meaning the prisoner. "Gone!" "Where?" "Ther Chinaman helped liim off, though got Bill's irons on him, and I has ther key." "That is too bad, for the fellow is a gallows bird." "I only wish I had come up with you sooner. "But I'll carry your treasure safely through, and I'll acquaint the colonel, gentlemen, of your coming, so he will be you. "Good-evening, and permit me to hope that you will have no further delay and troubl e on your way With this the lieutenant was away at a canter, fol lowed by his escort of half a dozen troopers. "A dashing young officer that," said Burt Sprague, as Larry once more drove on his way. "Ther ain't no better than he is, pards, fer I hev known Liceutenant Ed J<;eyes well and what he hev done. "He'd fight old Nick with spurs on, he would, and he's a gent rum Wayback; but I guess we kin git through now without no more trouble, fer thet China man went off as though he'd keep ther pace up all night." "And the prisoner, driver?" "Ah! I ergot about hi'm. "Maybe ther Chinee were thet scared he ergot him, too, and ag'in maybe he hed a spare horse fer him; but what,:;oever goes, I has got ther key to his irons," and Larry chuckled over the thought, and drove on through the darkness with a skill that was the admiration of his two passengers. 'Ijus, mile after mile was put behind the coach, a couple of relay stations had been passed and the horses changed. and Larry had just remarked that they were beyond all danger, when, with startling suddenness, out of the darkness ahead came the command: "Halt that coach 1" CHAPTER XII. THE MYSTERIOUS CAPTURE. "This coach is halted, darn yer," and Left-Hand Lan)" spoke in 'very ill humor, for-'his prophecy had been very quickly proven untrue, that they were in no further clanger of being held up. "This is really growing monotonous ," Sprague re marked, while Sanford rejoined: "So long as they don't halt us with bullets I can stand it." Having drawn rein, as commanded, Larry sat await ing developments. He had not long to wait, for a horseman rode out of the gloom and approached the coach. "It ain't ther Chinee ag'in," muttered Larry. "Nor the black road agent," added Burt $prague. "By rights it oughter be an Injun this time," growled Larry, and then he called out: "Now, who is yer and what does yer want?" "I ar\l Captain Coolhand of the Mounted Sportsyou may have heard of me?" "I have, and too often, with nothin' in yer favor." "You should not complain, Larry, for I have given you your life scores of times." "Thankee for nu thin'." "Well, what have you along that is valuable, Larry?" "Seein' as yer cutthroats has held me up twice afore, l!Othin'." "Who has held you up?" "A nigger and a Chinee road agent, so I were lookin fer you ter turn out a Injun." "Not so bad as that, Larry. But what did they get?" "N othin' ." "You had a rich freight along, thou gh, as I happen to know?" "Y as, I had, only did yer see an officer and his men wh.l ?" r pass a 1 e ago . "Yes, but I get only steel and lead from soldiers, and it's gold I want." "Well, yer won't git it this time." "Why not?" "The soldiers tdok it fer safe keepin '." "Is this true?" "It be." "vVell, you have two pa sse ngers with y6u that I wish." for ?"


THf: BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 15 "I have taken a fancy to capture them." "Yer better change yer fancy, unless yer want ev ery man in ther for t o n top of yer." The road agent captain laughed, and then replied: "I take all chances, La, rry, as you kno w, and I intend to relieve yo u of your prisoners-hold, there, gentlemen, for you are covered by a dozen riflesstand ready, men!" The warning was given at the sudde n act of both Sprague and Sanford to resist, and the command was i s sued to men in hiding, for an answer came in a deep v01ce: "All ready, sir." "Hold, parcls. don't throw yer lives away, fer he is jist playin' a bold hand ter make yer show yer gold." "'Ne have none, so he is foiled," Maury Sanford re1narkecl. i "We want you; your gold we will finger later," replied the road agent \ "Does yer mean ter kidnap these gen ls?" asked Larry. "Yes." "What fer?" ( "I have reasons I cannot make kn own, but they go with me." Larry quickly g r asped the hand of Burt Sprague and the act certainly saved the life of Captain Cool hand, for in a second more the young hunter would have sent a bullet through his heart. "Don't be a fool, fer God's sake," cried Larry, ex citedly. "M\1st we submit to capture with weapons in our hands to defend ourse lves?" "I am with you, Burt, if you say fight," cried San ford. "Gentlemen, as Larry said, don't be fools, for the odds are ten to one against you. "An order from me would kill the three of you, and had you killed me your lives would have instantly ended. "But, Larry, I owe yo u \11Y life, for that was a close call for me, as I was caught off my guard. "I shall not f

.. 11 THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. "It could be none other than Darkie Dick, that is cer tain, so the claim he made to being innocent must be false, though I really did trust in him. "At any rate he gave me warning that the road agents knew of the coming of the Cal\fornians, and in tended to rob them. "But that must not be done, so I'll back to Outfit City and tell Mr. Winter just what I have found out, and then I must ride for it to head off that extra coach and its treasure." So n:-used Buffalo Bill as he rode along at a canter on the trail to Outfit City, Keeping up the pace until his keen ears suddenly caught the sound of approaching hoofs. Instantly he whee1ed off the trail and sought shelter behind a large boulder, for he knew not who he was to meet. And he stood ready, rifle in hand to fig}-it if he had to. "Cavalry," he suddenly muttered, as he caught sight of a party of horsemen coming into view some distance dowri the trail, and he rode out of his hiding place. It was the party of Lieutenant Keyes, and the young officer greetj!d the scout most cordially as they met, the latter remarking : "I'm awful glad to meet you, Lieutenant Keyes, for I am carrying more money than one man is entitled to, and I wish to place the responsibility of its safety upon you." "All right, Cody, my shoulders are broad, and l am willing to stagger under all the money you can heap on," answered the lieutenant, who listened to the scout's story of how he had come in possession the money, and learned that the coach, with the two young men and the man Buffalo Bill had made a prisoner not many mild oh ahead. "I'll overtake it by night, Cody, never fear, but what shall I report to the colonel for you ?" thank you, fqr he knows what I am doing," was the answer, and so they parted, gomg their separate ways. It was growing dark when Buffalo Bill once more drew rein, for again he heard hooffalls approaching. Going into hiding and with a keen watch ahead, he saw another party of horsemen approaching. ' \Vhy, it is the boss," he cried. and riding out from hi s place of concealment, he called out : "Ho, Captain \Vinter, I am glad to meet you." "Why, Gody, this is lucky, for I have news for you. Come aside with me," and Loyd Winter left the escort of four pony awaiting in the trail, while he led the scout apart from them and said, eagerly: "I missed a letter sent tHroug'h to me, for it went on to Good Luck Camp by mistake, and was at once sen / back to me by the agent, a special pony rider bringing it." "I hope it has not clone much harm, sir, by the delay in reaching you." "No, for finding you as I do, there is time to act. "You see, I started at once to see if I could find you, and if not to serve as an escort myself." "For what, sir?" "The Californians!" "Ah!" "You have heard of them, then?" "Yes, it was the lettet from the Trap that was tlelayed. .. ) agent at Death"He wrote me that the California coach would leave Death-Trap a couple of hours behind the regular, and that would pring if to Fort Faraway at midnight, for the regular coach is due at Outfit City at breakfast in the morning. "Yes, sir." "Now, by hard riding you can head off the extra, for it reaches the trail you intended to guide it by around the regular beat between Faraway and Outfit City, thus flanking the part of the way most to be dreaded." "Yes, sir, I can head it off in time, or even turn it back to take the other trail if it has passed where it branches off." "Good!" "Then it is safe; but had I not met you I intended to go on and escort it through, though you know the com pany does not allow that; but I intended to make an exception in this case, there being a young lady along, and so much treasure at stake." "It would be but right to do so, sir; but I hope I can flank the Mounted Sports all right." "I sincerely hope so; but were you returning to Out fit City?" "Yes, sir, I was going back to have a talk with you." "That must mean that you have made some discov ery of importance, as your intention was to push on and meet the Californians." I


THE BUFF ALO BILL STORA ES. "I made several discoveries, all important, I think, Captain Winter." "Out with them, Cody, and let me in if I can help you." "First, sir, I was held up myself by the Mounted Sports, as I believed, but a search on my return re vealed that Captain Coolhand clearly did the work alone. I was cGmpletely taken in," and Buffalo Bill smiled, while the boss said : "With a rifle covering his heart, Cody, a man is not to be blamed for obeying orders." CHAPTER XIV. UNLOOKED-FOR FOES. "That is a very kind way of looking at it on your pa rt, Captain \\Tinter, but I confess I 'supposed there was more than one rifie leveled at me, or I would have been tempted to play a trump card also; in other words, to have taken chances!" Buffalo Bill said in answer 'to the response of boss. "I know your nature, Bill, and am well aware that you mnst think the odds heavy against you to submit. "But tell me of the affair." "There is little to tell, sir, save that I was halted, told that a dozen rifles covered me, and warned that I was known to be here te hunt down the Mounted Sports, so must give up my intention or take the consequences. "He spoke of the band as the Mounted Sharps, rather than Sports, as they are generally called; repeating his warning to me and then ordering me to ride on. "I called to him several times, but no answer was given, so I did ri

ta THE BUFF.i\LO BILL STORIES. City, while Buffalo Bill put his horse in a canter and went back over the trail to meet the California coach and save it from the outlaws, whom he now knew would be on the watch for its coming, and be prepared to hold it up. Unerringly he kept the trail, and mile after mile was cast behind him. Coming to a stage relay station, he called up the stocktender, showed his order from the boss, and was given a fresh mount, and a fine animal it wa too. In a sweeping gallop he went on his way then, with no thought of being again disturbed, as the coach having passed some time before, he saw no reason for the outlaws to be lying in wait, and it really gave him a start to hear the loud command : "Halt I "Ha.nds up or take the consequences!" Realizing how much depended upon him did he ex pect to save the California coach, Buffalo Bill upon sudden impulse, decided to risk running the gantlet of whatever danger threatened him. CHAPTER XV. THE COURTEOUS OUTLAW. Buffalo Bill was too well accustomed to sudden gers to be caught off his guard, and at the very first words of the threatening command to halt, he made up his mind to risk a dash in the fading light, as it was about the hour of sunset, and try to push through. Were he captured, he well knew that the California coach would come along the trail unchecked, and run into that very ambush of outlaws. The regular coach, too, ahead of the extra some couple of hours, would also be held up, and that would mean robbery perhaps to the driver or some of his pas sengers. Buffalo Bill, therefore, realized all that depended upon him, and, dropping upon one side of his horse, opposite from whence the voice had come, and whipping out his revolver and firing at random, he drove his spurs into his horse and dashed forward. Buffalo Bill saw flashes mingling with. those of his revolvP.'f, he heard shots and the whistle of bullets, felt his horse give a mighty qound, and then go down in a heap, rolling over him. Then he felt all was a blank and blackness before him. But the sensation of unconsciousness could not have been but momentary to him, for he attempted to rise to drag himself from beneath the weight of his dead horse, realizing as he did so that he was not seriously hurt. But suddendy he beheld a form bending over him, and a revolver's cold muzzle touched his forehead, while he heard the stern words: I "Resist, and you are a dead man !'1 His revolver had fallen from his han _d, realizing that he was at the mercy of the speaker, he said: "You win the game, pa rd, and I pass." "vVho are you<" "My parcls call me Buffalo Bill." "Ah!" name was evi dently a surprise to the man. He really appeared startled. "Buffalo Bill, the scout," he said, in a low tone. "Yes." "\Vhere were you going?" "To the fort." "\i \There are you from just now?" "Outfit City." "What was your errand there?" "That's my business, not yours." "Why did you try to run the gantlet of my men ?" "I've often run a worse gantlet." "You risked your life." "I often do." "Your horse is dead." "Had he not fallen, I'd have gotten through." "Are you hurt?" "None to speak of." "I have no personal quarrel with you, Buffalo Bill so will allow you to go your way." "Thanks." ''.Now tell me who you are that is patroling this Overland trail and firing upon a government officer." "I am one of the band who call themselves Mounted Sharps, Sports, or whatever other name you care to give them." "I thought so, but why do you allow me to go free for I certainly have a quarrel with you, and might not be so merciful did I catch you." "That is my business." "Ah!" "Ati.d where are your men ?" "Within twenty feet of you." "Many of them?" "Too many even for the great Buffalo Bill to resist."


THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. '19 I "Introduce me. The o utlaw saw that the s c out believed he was alone, and was meditating bold game to spring upon him, so he said quickly : I have given yQu your freedom fox reasons I cannot expla in. .. "Flad I known who you were I would not have or dered my men to fire upon yon. ''As they did, I am glad they d i d you no other harm than killing your h o rse. "Now, take your, saddle and b ridle off your horse an

20 'l'HE BU ff ALO BILL STORIES. there was a bit of tneadowland, and beyond the land rose toward the ridge along which ran the stage trail. Listening attentively, Buffalo Bill heard sounds ahead of him. Crouching down, he kept silent for a few minutes. Then he muttered: "Their horses are in the open. between me and the hill. "If there is no guard over them, I will be all right. "If they are guarded, I must have an animal, any how." Having come to this bold resolve, Buffalo Bill scouted around in the edge of the timber until he came to the base of the slope. There he beheld the horses staked out to feed. 1 Creeping as near as he dared, without being more certain of his ground, he was enabled to see that there. were eight or ten animals at le ast. "It was lucky I made no break when the idea took possession of me that that fellow was all alone. "I kept myself out of trouble that time-perhaps out of the graYe. "Now, I wonder if there is a guard over those horses. ''There is one animal a little apart from the others, and I'll see if I can reach him, and what he is like, for l must have the best." Creeping up to the horse he found him staked out by a short rope, and a dark object on the ground near showed where his saddle and bridle lay. The animal slightly started at his approach, but a word soothed him, and as he greeted the horse affectionately he muttered: "This one is good enough for me. "I'll take him. "I do not think there is a guard here, and I could stampede the whole corral. "But I won't. "I'll just let them think this horse got his rope pin up and strayed off." So saying, the scout drew up the pin, and, allow ing it to drag through the grass, led the horse toward the timber. The horses all looked up as their comrade was seen moving off, and one gave a low whinny as though to ask the reason. But Buffalo Bill held his hand hard on the nostrils of his captive and allowed no answering neigh. Soon the shelter of the timber was reached, and, going slowly and as noisele ssly as possible, he led the horse out into the trail at the point where he had left his saddle and bridle: They were still there, and quickly the scout saddled up and mounted. "A little behind time, but still on the trail," he muttered in a grim tone as he settled himself firmly in the saddle and started his horse at a canter as soon as he felt that he was out of earshot of the ambushed out la ws I CHAPTER XVII. LARRY TELLS HIS STORY. Buffalo bill felt highly elated over his success 111 securing a mount. And the animal was a good one-a horse to be proud of. He was eas ygaited, willing, full of spirit, and went along as though he was possessed of great endurance. The scout quite forgot his hard fall, stunning shock, and the few bruises and cut or two he had received when his horse went clown dead under him. Several times as he rode along in a swinging gallop he congratulated him se lf upon not having made the mistake that the outlaw wh9 had held him up was all alone. ''I am lu cky as usual," he muttered. His desire was to overtake the coach of Left-Hand Larry and hoped to soon after meet the regular on its way to Outfit City. This, he had been t old by Captain Winter, w as driv. en by Nebraska Ned, a man whom he well knew. and who had been pony rider and scout before he took to driving stage. Captain Winter had also told him that the California coach would doubtless have Lige Lumley on the box for the run from Death-Trap Canyon to Outfit City, and this drinr th(Y scout also knew well, so anticipated no trouble in having him obey his orders to follow hin\off of the stage trail. The relay station, which Buffalo Bill had feared he would have to walk to, was reached in good time, but, as his horse seemed perfectly fresh and improved steadily on acquaintance. he determined to make no change, but to stick to him. So he passed the station without halting or making himself known. His horse kept up the same untiring pace and he was dashing swiftly along, when in an open space at the top of a rise he saw the coach ahead of him. "I have either ridden faster than I thought, or Larry has had a mishap, for I did not expect to overtake him for some miles yet," said the scout. Another moment he drew rein by the side of the coach as Left-Hand Larry called out to him that he "was the very man he wanted to see." "Well, Larry, here I am; but has anything gone wrong?" "Y. es, everything." "vVhere are the two gentlemen passengers?" "Gone." "Ah!" "And the prisoner?"' "Also gone."


THE BUffALO BILL STORlf:S. 21 "Then you have been again held up? said the scout, anxiously. "Parcl Bill, it is wuss than that." "Have thev been killed?" "No, but ti1e road agents has got 'em." "All three?" "Sure." "Where was this, Larry?" "Back from here a mile. "Strange they did not hold you up p a rcl." ".A mile back?" "Yes." "By a group of bonlclers, with heavy timber beyond?" "That's their p l ace "I heard a sound in the timber as I came by, but rnpp osecl it was a pack of coyotes or deer frightened at my coming. "They was two-legged coyotes, Bill, and the worst kind of 'em." "Tell just what happened, L a rry, for it distresses me to learn that these two yo un g men have been cap tured, as the colonel will feel it greatly, for they were his guests, you know." "1t couldn't be helped. Pare! Bill. "It was Captain Coolhancl himself did the work; and yer know it don't do to trifle with him, so as he said he wanted them young tenclerfeet I chipped in my ad vice for them ter go along, though they was game and wanted ter fight it out. "I know'cl what thet meant, so I says no, and Cap'u C o olhancl he just took 'em with him." ''And released the prisoner Nick Ross?" "You bet he didn't." Diel he escape from you?" "Pard Bill, ye r he a rd me say thet I 'spect next time it would be a Chinaman, a rter ther nigger had held me up?" "Yes." "Well, it were a Chinaman," and Larry uttered the words in a way that showed he well knew the sur prise he was springing upon the scout. "Do you mean that you were held up by a China. man road agent, Larry?" "Thet's what I mean." "And he it was who released the prisoner?" "His coming did, fer ther prisoner released himself. "I'll tell yer jis t how it all happened." And he told the scout the whole story. \ CHAPTER XVIII. WHAT BUFFALO BILL HEARD. It was with the deepest interest that Buffalo Bill listened to the driver's story of his adventure with the Chinese road agent. He did not ask a single question until Larry had ended his recital, and then he said: "vVell, Larry, this has been a run you will not soon forget." "You bet I won't." "Lieutenant Keyes put the Chi1ran to flight?" "In great shape. "The heathen was game enough until the soldiers came, and then he \vent off like the devil were chasin' him close." "And the lieutenant carried the money 011 to the fort?" "Yes, pare!." "The Chinaman got nothing?" "Only a scare." "Are you sure it was a Chinaman?" "He were from wav back. "He. ,, asn't playin' 'no game of heathen, and ef he had a trump keerd up his sleeve ther lieutenant didn't give him a chance ter play it." "And Nick Ro s s went with him?" "If that prisoner \Vere Nick Ross he did. "That is, he lighted out qnick on while the Chinaman scooted on top o' his horse, and I were in hopes he'd tumble off, only he didn't." "And the pri$Oner still had his irons on?" "Yes, fer l had th er key yer gave me." "\Veil, I am sorry he esc a ped, but we may get a grip on him again some day." "Ivlaybe." "I am surprised that you have been held up by both a negrn and a Chinese road agent, and Captain Cool hand as well, and regret eiceedingly that the two young men were captured." "So does I; but ther money is safe." "I wi sh that the y were. "But Coolhan

21 THE BUFl"J\LO BILL STORIES. reach ther fort before daybreak, so report my coming, please, ef I ain't kilt on ther way." "All right, Larry." "Good-night, and I hope you will have no more trouble." "I hope so. "Good-night, Pard Bill." Buffalo Bill again rode on at a canter, while Larry followed more leisurely, feeling mtfh better now that he had told his story to the scout, and he knew of the escape of his prisoner and the capture of his pas sengers. Continuing on his way, Buffalo Bill's thoughts were busy. He was reviewing the incidents of the afternoon and night. Leaving Outfit City at noon, he had first been held up by Captain Coolhand himself, then had met the Black Burglar under most remarkable circumstances, had next come upon the coach, received the large amount of monev it carried, in turn had given it into the keeping of Lieutenant Keyes, and then had fol lowed his .meeting with Loyd Winter, learned the tidings of the California coach being on trail near, and returning to its rescue had had his hprse shot, been made a prisoner by a road agent, released, then secured for himself a mount on one of the outlaws' ,. horses, and, overtaking Larry's coach, news had been told him that he greatly regretted, in the of the two young men and the escape of the prisoner. "Well, this has been ct checkereci trail and no mis take, since I left Outfit City and took upon myself the duty of running down the mounted sports, an undertaking that Loyd Winter appeared to think so impos sible, that he looked upon my promise to do so as a mere bluff. "But I will show him yet that I am not bluffing, but in cleadly earnest from start to finish. ''Now I must soon meet the regular coach, and be fore I come to the extra that follows, it will have pas s ed the tr_ ail by which I intend to guide it _around the Overland to Outfit City; but I can turn 1t back, and be well 011 my way along the valley trail when dawn comes-ah! I hear the rumble of the coach wheels now, and it has stopped! "By Jupiter's ghost! it is held up, for I hear voices!'' and Buffalo Bill drew rein and listened. CHAPTER XIX. BUFFALO BILL'S BLUFF. Listening attentively for a moment, Buffalo Bill took in the situation in the trail ahead of him with the quickness of one who was trained to think and act on the impulse of the moment. It was starlight, yet there was scattering timber along the trail which cast shadoyvs here and there. I Attuned to hear the slightest sound, the scout had heard the rumb l e of the coach wheels, then the silence that followed a halt, voices, and he knew that iii tha t lone place it could m ean but one thing. It was a hold-up of the coach by road agents. Knowing that the California extra was coming through, as they did, the 0111tlaws seemed to have patroled many miles of the trail, determined that it should not escape t he m Nearly all the w ay from Outfit City to Death-Trap Can yo n the trail r an through a country that \\"aS a per fect paradi s e for outlaw ry, fo r men could sq readily escape, either mounted or on foot. The fort was. some ten miles off the regular trail, bnt the c oaches went out of their way, when occasion demanded, to visit it. But its very location, and the fact that the soldiers had all they could do to g uard the country beyoml from h ost ile r edskins, ren dered the outlaws bolder. Then, too, they were supposed t o be in large force, their numbers being put anywhere from tvventy to forty men, and being splendidly mounted, thoroughly armed, Jed by a clever, daring leader, knowing every deer trail and m ounta in fastness as they did, they could put at defiance any force sen t after them that was l ess than a couple of hundred .men Of course, the commandant of the for t did all in his power to protect the Overland t rail, to guard against the coache s and pony riders being -held up by t he out'.. laws; but to patrol ,the trails for hundreds of miles would have demanded a regiment or more, and then it could not have been successfully done. Feeling that the mounted sports were stretched all along the trail, Buffalo Bill reasoned that those who had now held np Nebraska Neel's coach were neces sarily few in m1111ber, and so he determined to alon take the chances of drivi11g theni off from their game. So he gathered his reins well in hand, drew a revolver and called out sudde!nly: "Forward men! "The outlaws h ave halted the coach!" The deep tones of the scont echoed through the 1:imher, and the n came the command: "Lieutenant, throw flankers out and corral them. "\Ve \vill keep to the trail!" As he ,uttered the last words Buffalo Bill began to advance rapidly up the trail rattling his ca nteen C1gainst his revolver an d making all the noise he could to impress the outlaws with the idea that he had considerable force. Several t imes he i ssued orders to imaginary foes, a nd vet when he came within sight of the coach, halted in trail, there was but one to give b attle to what e\er foes he might ha ve to encounter. But h e was r eady to face all odds, and reined up along side the coach prepared for a death struggle. ''lfo, Nebraska Ned, is that you?"


. \ l'HE BU ff ALO BILL STORIES. 23. "It's m e "And I'm that tickled I'm a l m os t a fallin off my seat-what! i t's you, Buffal o Bill?" ansvve r ecl Ne braska Ned ''Yes} :!\ e

THE BU ff ALO BILL S "I trust it to you, sir, \vith perfect confidence." "Can you not await the coming up of Left-Hand Larry's coach, miss, and go back in it to the fort?" "No, for I must continue on my way "Then you are not from the fort, so must be from Death-Trap Canyon?" "No, I am simply passing through the country." "Then you have been most fortunate to have gotten this far in safety with your fortune." "Having done so, I do not care to lose all." "It would be for you to return and await until you can get an escort. "At least until another run, for just now, as I said, the mounted sports are more active than usual." "I cannot return, sir. "I must go on." "Then I will do a:s you wish, and take the money an "And will you take the packages without knowing their contents?" "You have told me." "But you have not seen them." "There is no need to do so." "Suppose I were deceiving you?" "How?" "Not giving you to keep v\1hat I said there was?" "Ah! but I'll trqst you as to that, miss." "You are verv kind." "I see no rea;on to doubt vou." "Still I will not be content 'without you seeing what the packages contain." "I assure vou there is no need to." "But I shall insist. "Mr. Nebraska will you give me the benefit of your lantern, for I wish you to see also." The driver brought the stage lanterp., the young girl opened the satchel, unfolded the package of envelopes and revealed that each one contained new crisp bank bills, some of large denomination. Then she opened the buckskin roll, and a quantity of gems were disclosed, with some rare old jewelry besides. The gems glittered in the lantern light until Nebraska Neel said: "\;\Thy, they just dazzles my eyes." "You can see, sir, that I told you the truth." "I never doubted it for an instant, miss." Buffalo Bill tried hard, as Nebraska Ned also did, to get a glance at the fair passenger's face by the light of the lantern. But, either intentionally or through accident, she kept in the shadow, and they were not able to see her. "Now, sir. I intrust my riches t9 your keeping, and I no longer fear a hold-up by road agents, for I have very little of value left, and only a small sum of money. "I certainly thank you for your great kindness, sir." "And I certainly appreciate your great ttust in me, miss, a stranger." "You are not a stranger." "Indeed!" "You are Buffalo Bill." There was a world of meaning in the manner in which she uttered the words, and the scout raised his hat and bowed low, making no reply. ow, sir, good-night, for I can see that you are anxious to go on your way," and she extended a small, gloved hand. anxious to go on, as I have an important work on hal\d.


,.HE BU ff J\LO BILL STORlf:S. JI "Good-night, and good fortune attend you, miss. "Good-night, Nebraska Ned." "Jst one minute, Pard Bill." "Well?" "\Vhat yer has said scares me, and I i ntends ter make yer banker for what I has got, too." "ThelJ you carry a rich freight, eh?" "I carries two bags putty with dust, that they give me at Death-Trap Canyon, to put through; but they'd rather have it go s l ow than not git there, and so I turns it over to you, Pard Bill, to keep until it's safe to carry it." "['11 hide it awav. somewhere. "You can pick it .{1p on another run, Neel." "That's what I wa11ts," was the answer. The b a gs were handed out from their hiding places, and tying them together Buffalo Bill hung them across his saddle. Then he again said good-night; expressed a wish that the coach would go through all right, and rode away. '{he coach rolled on, and looking back at it, Buffalo Bill muttered: "Nmv that was the richest load I ever saw a coach carrv over this trail. "And I'm-got outfit. "It \vould have been a great game for my counterpart, Shadow Bill, to have played Buffalo Bill and got ten possession of the whole lot. "What a bona:nza he would have struck. "It is in order now for some road agent who knows h; business to hold me up. "Kow I know the very place to hide this gold dust. and I'll put it there, for it is cumbersome to carry. "Come, old horse, we must get ahead, for there is a nother halt to hide this gold, and then we have got to rush for it to head off the California c oach "My! but wh a t a sweet voice that girl had. I'll bet big money she is beantiful," and the scout urged his ho r se into a rapid gallop CHAPTER XXII. A MYSTERY OF LONE SAM'S CABIN. Buff a lo Bill did not ride very far, after leav ing Ne braska Ned's coach, before he turned off the stage trail. He seem e d to know just what he was about, and to be thoro u ghly acquainted with the country. for even in the darknes s he did not hesitate as to what c ourse he should purs ue. After riding a couple of hu ndred yards off the Over land trail he halted, dismounted, hitched his horse, and swinging the two stout gold bags over his shoulder continued on his way afoot. He had not gone very far before he came to a mas_ sive group of rocks. They were scattered about and piled up in all kinds of shapes. Among them he disappeared, to reappear within a few minutes and without the gold bags. Then he rapidly retraced his way to his horse, mounted and rode on his way once more. M ile after mile he Jdt behind him, keeping his hor se at a swift and steady pace, until at last he drew clown to a walk and muttered : "The California coach is more than two hours be hind Nebraska Ned, that is certain." But he continued on until he came to the last relay station before the trail to Fort Faraway branched off fr om the Overland. The stocktender was not asleep, for he had given Nebraska Ned his relay team, and was awaiting coming of Left-Hand Larry. P "Ho, Lone Sam, you are awake, I see," called out the scout as the stocktender came out of his cabin as he heard ho ofs "Oh, yes; I'm on deck; but it's you, is it, Pard Buf falo Bill?" "Yes." "I thought it was Left-Hand Larry's coach, for he's behind to-11ight "Have you seen him?" "Yes, he will not be a long for an yet." "Go t into trouble?" "Yes, he was held up and some of his passengers we re taken." "That was bad." "Did yoM see Lieutenant Keyes pass?" "Long ago, pard. "He's at the fort b y this time.' "And Nebraska Ned?" "Yes." "Didn't you meet him?" "I did, ten miles back." "I say, l'ard B1il, who was that pretty girl?" "He had a l ady passenger, but I did not see whether she was young or old, pretty or ugly." "I did "You saw her then?" "Pard Bill, do you know who she is?" "I do not." "Well, it's strange about her." "\Vhy so?" "She came to this cabin on horseback." "Indeed?" "So she did. "It was night, and I was inside getting supper, as Nebraska Ned generally has a Dite with me, when I heard horses dash up. "I thought it was soon for Ned, and as Lieutenant Keyes had shortly before passed, I went out to see if he had come back."


.. 26 THt: BU ff ALO BILL STORIES. "Well?" "Going out of the bright light into the darkness, I couldn't see well at first, but heard a man's voice and then hoofs going off. "I was just going to call out to ask who it was when suddenly there appeared before me a woman." "Ah!" "There she was, right where the firelight from the door fell upon her, and she had a small satchel in her hand, a cloak thrown across her arm, and a revolver in a holster at her belt. "She was dressed in a dark riding habit, and had on a slouch hat with a large black plume, and I tell you she was a beauty." "Who was she?" "I don't know." "Where did she come from?" "I don't know." "Where is she?" I "She went with Nebraska Ned in his coach eastward." "It was the lady I saw with him." "Yes. "And you know nothing about her?" "Not a thing." "Strange." "So it is." "Did you not ask her any questions?" "I thought she was the wife or daughter of some officer at the fort, though I didn't recognize her as any one I'd seen before, and I tell you, Pard Bill, with all the pretty ladies at the fort there is not one to com pare "ith her in beauty." "Didn't yott ask her ho she was?" "She asked me if she was in time to head off Ne braska Ned's coach from the fort, and I told her he would soon be along. and asked her into the cabin. "She said she preferred to remain outside, said I must not mind her, but go on with my cooking, or I would burn my supper, and I did so, while there she sat until Neel came along." "And so went with him?" "Yes." "Was he expecting her to meet him there?" "No." "Strange," and Buffalo Bill was certainly puzzled. CHAPTER XXIII. THE SCOUT IN A QUANDARY . After a moment of thought and beyond doubt greatly puzzled by what Lone Sam had told him of the mysterious lady passenger, Buffalo Bill asked: "Did X ehraska Ned )mow nothing about her?" "Not a word, as far as I could find out." "Did vou not ask him?'' just it, I "He did not get his supper, then?" "Oh, yes. "But the lady came and stood in the do o r while 11e ate, and we had not a chance for a word. "It --.would seem as though she did n o t wis h yo11 to talk together?" "So it looked." "Did Ned not the run to the fort to-niglit ? ' "Yes." "I remember now that he told me he did, bttt vo u know he does not always do so." "N' o, not unless he finds the signal at the turn-off calling him in." "\\" e ll. just where that lady came from I cannot gue ss unle ss--" Culess what, Pard Bill?" ''She came from some of the ranches nearly a hun dred miles north of here." "She could come from nowhere else for had she been at the fort Ned would have picked her up there." "She is not from the fort. Sam." "Then she comes from one of the ranches." "That is it. "YoQ say some one came with her." "Yes "I heard a man's voice, but he rode off before I saw him." "And left her here?" "Yes." "And she knew about Nebraska Ned's coach?" "Yes." "And she took out a well-filled purse and paid him for her passage." "To what point?" "To Outfit City." "Then something must be known of her there." "The boss will doubtless know." "Yes." "But she is a mystery, Sam. "But have you seen or heard of any road agents on the trail?" "Not one." "No one passing along on horseback?" "Not for days." "No extras going over the run?" "None." "Nor any reported?" "No." It was evident that Lone Sam, the stocktender had not been told anything about the coming of the Cali fornia coach. 1 it came, all he would have to do would be t o give the driver of it a team of fresh horses But it was then time that the California c oac h should be along; in fact, if not following further l'Xr hind the regular than teported, it was already overdue.


THE BU ff ALO B I LL STORIES. 27 But Buff a lo Bill was willing t o halt there for a sho r t re st, as th e extra co a ch must have fresh h o r ses, espe cia lly as b y the trail 1 1 e w ould guide it there woul d be n o re lay before re achin g Outfit City It w o u ld be a l on g d r ive around b u t the t ra i l was fairly g ood, the re w a s n o hurry, and ti m e was n o th ing if the C ali fornia co a ch flanked the road age n t s iu safet y T h e scout wante d a fr esh mount h ims elf. a n d n o t h av ing h a d a n y t h in g t o ea t since leaving Outfit C ity, h e

No contest has ever excited so ffi\'Ch enthusiism as this. The letters are simply pouring in. We are proud of our boys. Let every one write. The prizes are splendid. For full particulars, see page My l.Qng Dream. (By Raymond Lynch, Pueblo, Col.) I had read a book of Buffalo Bill-"Fighting the Prairie Pirates"-and went to bed, wh e n I dream e d I was a scout and was following some Indians, when a score of men galloped up b e hind me. They said to halt, but I tried to make my h o r s e go, but it wouldn t. Then I got off and tried to run, and I could not do it. A big f e llow come up and grabbed me and put me on the back of the captain s hors e H e took m e to an Indian camp, where he gave m e to an Indian chief. He told an 1ndian squaw she could ha v e me or h e would burn me up. She to o k me and gave me a buckskin shirt and pants. She got tired of m e after a while and told me she would give me to the chief on the next clay But just then a troop of so ldier s tried to surpri s e the Indians, but couldn't do it ; The Indians broke camp and moved away in the mountains. The chief gave me a bow and arrow for a present. I fitted an arrow in the bow and let it loose. It went in a tree and killed an Indian. The In dians got after mt; and said in six days they would burn me to death. They set me to work in a field with a hoe, and I slung it away and sat down. The Indians got mad at this and hit me with clubs. They teased me so much that I hit one with a club. They then put me in a guardhouse with another boy. We got in a fight with our fists and the Indtans thought it so funny they took us outside to fight. I gave the boy a blai;:k eye and I never got hurt. They let me go hunting with them orie day and I shot a bear and wounded it. It came after me and I couldn't run, and only for an Indian I would have been torn up. He shot it, and gave me the fur. I kept the fur so if I got free I could sell it. They locked me again with the boy. He told me he was captured ;while herding cattle. I told him how I had been captured, .00 he !\aid I was brave to try to run from the whitct renegades ; that th ey would s end a b ulle t thro u g h me. He was a bo y with a bro w n fac e that was tann e d w i t h sun shine His clo th e s were lik e m i ne, an d h e said hi s father was rich and his moth e r w as good to hi m A b o u t t w o da y s aft e r thi s the whit es ma de a noth e r a ssa ult on th e Indians, which put them to flig h t I t was t h e n t h a t I was se t free. 'i\Th e n I got ho me, my fat h er and mot h er had thou g ht I wa s d e ad and I w as welcomed b y a l a r ge crowd. It w a s th e l o n ges t d r eam I e ver h ad An Aerial Voyage. (By H;a rold A. Laven, Dayton, Ohio.) Moored at her dock and r eady fo r her aeri a l voyage was a large silk balloon sw ay ing and str a i n ing to be off An excit e d cro w d had gathe r e d t o see th e ascensio!1, and I was amon g th e m, e a ger a nd r eady for a n yth in g a n d evt:rything. W h e n all w a s r eady, the aeronaut stepped out, and, afte r addressin g t h e crowd, i nvited me, much to my surprise, to accompany h i m For a moment on ly, I he s itated; then, with m y heart in m y m ou th s t ep p ed into the basket. The order was g i ve n to c as t off,1 and away we shot, the earth dropping rapi d l y from u s, and in J ess than a mom e nt e very thi n g was b u t a mere speck in the distance. We raced al o n g at incr e a s in g speed u nti l t h e earth seemed to haz e pas sing b e n eath u s I n o w began to en joy the novelty of the rid e O n a nd o n we fle w passing over an ever-changing larid s cape, u nti l da r kness f e ll a nd shut out our view; but still w e bor e d on into th e da r kness. I tried to keep awake but d rowsiness at Jast got the best of me and I sank into a dee p s le ep from which I awoke to find the sun s hinin g and t h e a ir i ntensely cold On looking out of th e w ic ke r car I saw a sig h t that thrilled me. There was ice, m ountains of it piled u p i n all its frigid grandeur. For so m e min u tes I stood g az -/


' l"HE BUFFALO BILL STt _________ mg at this scene ra).:lidly fadin'g past beneath, when I of ho me. :My heart sank. I pictured myself frozen to death on the bleak tops of icy or starved to death in that land cold and

. ..... ,UFFALO BILL STORIESo J some time ; amed that I an

\ 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 FE R 15 COMPLETE PHOTOGRAPHIC OUTFITS including an EASTMAN BROWNIE CAMERA and a complete outfit for taking, developing and 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, write it in five hundred words, or" less, and send it with the accompanying coupon, properly filled out, to BUFFALO WEEKLY, Care of STREET & SMITH 238 WILLIAM STREET, NEW YORK CITY. THE PRIZES WE OFFER THIS TllVIE 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 o f Story ........................................................... .. are beauties-simple in operation and hold cartridges with film enough for six exposures without reloading. A cartridge and a complete outfit, together with a book of instructions as to how to take and develop photographs go with each camera. I


I BUFF !\LO BILL STORIES I SIZE.) Containing the Only Stories Authorized by Hon. WILLIAM F. CODY ("Buffalo Bill"). 55-Buffalo Bill's Bonanza; or, The Clan of the Silver Circle. 56-Buffalo Bill's Mascqt; or .. The Mystery of Death Valley. 57-Buffa' o Bill and the Surgeon Scout; or, The Brave Dumb Messenger. 58-Buffalo Bill's Mysterious Trail; or, Tracking a Hidden Foe. 59-Buffalo Bill and the Masked Hussar; or, Fighting the Prairie Pirates. 60-Buffolo Bill's Blind; or, Running the Death Gauntlet. 61-Buffalo Bill' and the Masked Driver: or. The Fatal Run Through Death Canyon. 62-Buffalo Bill's Still Hunt; or, Fighting the Robber of the Ranges. 63-Buffalo Bill and the Red Riders; or, The Mad Driver of the Overlands 64-Buffalo Bill's Dead-Shot Pard; or, The Will-0-the-Wiso of the Trails. 65-Buffalo Bill' s Run-Down; or, The R ed-Hand Renegade's D eath. 66-Buffalo Bilrs Red Trail; or, A Race for Ranson. 67-Buffalo Bill's Best Bower; or, Calling the Turn on Death Notch Dick. 68-Buffalo Bill and the Gold Ghouls; or, Defying Death at Elephant Rock. 69-'-Buffalo Bill's Spy Shadower; or, Th.e Hermit o f G rand Canyon. 70-Buffalo Bill s Secret Camp; or, Trailing the Cloven Hoofs. 71-Buffalo Bill's Sweepstake; or, Hunting the Paradise Gold Mine. 72-Buffalo Bill and the Black Heart Desperado; or, Wipe-Out at Last Chance. 73-Buffalo Bill s Death Charm; or, The Lady in Velvet. 74-Buffalo Bill's Desperate Strategy; or, The Mystery of the Cliff ; 75-Buffalo Bill and the Black Mask; or, The Raffle o f Death. 76-Bufialo Bill's Road Agent Round-Up; or, P anther Pete's Revenge. 77-Buffalo B ill and the Renegade Queen; or, Deadly Hand's Strange D u e l 78-Buffolo Bill's Buc.kskin Band; or, forcing the Redsk ins to the Wall. 79-But"falo Bill's Decoy Boys ; or, The Death Rivals of the Big Horn. 80-Buffalo Bm s Sure Shots ; o r Buck Dawson' Big Draw 81-Buffalo Bill s Texan Team; or, The Dog 82-Buffalo Bill's Water Trail; or, Foil ng the Me xican Bandit. 83-Buffalo Bill's Hard Mght's Work; or-, C apta i n Coo l h=ind's Kidnapping Plot. Back numbers always on hand. If you cannot et them from your newsdealer, five unts a copy will brinl? them to you, by mail, postpaid. STREET & SMITH, Publish ers, I


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