Buffalo Bill's tenderfoot pards, or, The boys in black

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Buffalo Bill's tenderfoot pards, or, The boys in black

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Title:
Buffalo Bill's tenderfoot pards, or, The boys in black
Series Title:
Buffalo Bill stories
Creator:
Buffalo Bill
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Street & Smith
Publication Date:
Language:
English
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1 online resource (30 p.) 28 cm.: ;

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Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels. ( rbgenr )
Western stories. ( lcsh )
Buffalo Bill -- Fiction -- 1846-1917 ( lcsh )
Genre:
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:
020910444 ( ALEPH )
454459158 ( OCLC )
B14-00087 ( USFLDC DOI )
b14.87 ( USFLDC Handle )

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serial

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A. 'WEEKLY PU LICA D EVOTED TO BORDER ,,,, J Weekly. By S ufJs crzptio11 $z.50 Pe.r y ear. Entered a s S e c ond C1ass flf atte r at New Post Offi ce by .)T R EET & I'> 1 ITH, 238 fVztuam st., _;'f. y No.87. Price, Five Cents. AGAIN HIS RIFLE WENT TO HIS SHOULDER, O NCE MOR E .J.HERE W A S A QU I C K AIM A N D THE R E PO R T FOLLOWED. "I HOPE I GOT THE LEADEH, FOR H E JS THE ONE I WANT, SAID BUFFALO BILL.

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A "WEEKLY. PUBLrCATION OEVOTE:D T O BORDER H15TORY Jsswd Weellzy. By Subscription $a .,so per year. Entered as Sloo n d Class Matter at tire N. Y. Post Offiu, by STREET & SMITH, 238 Wi a m St. N. r. Entered acco.:ainz to Act of Convess in lire y ear Iq<, in the Office of tire Librarian of Conp-ess, Wasllinpo n D. C. No 87. N E W Y ORK. janu ary 10, 1903. Price Five Onts. 'BUFFALO BILL'S T ENDERFOOT PARDS; OR- The Boy s Bla.ck. By the author of 44 BUFFALO BILL." CHAP TER I. ON A SECRET MISSION. "This is terrible! It is appalling, and the red d e ed calls to Heaven for vengeance!" The one who uttered these startling words was a man of world-wide fame-no less a personage than Buffalo Bill-among men the born hero of the plains. It was in the gray dusk of morning, and the scene as upon the limitless plains of the far frontier. Two companions accompanied Buffalo Bill on that mornin g He was acting as guide for them to a settlement whither he was going on an. important mission. The two were young men fresh from the civilization of the East-one a r e cent graduate of Yale, going to teach school in the border settlement, and by name Allan Treain; the other, Dallas Donohue, a young physician, ho accompanied his friend to begin the practice of medicine there in the new country among the farmer settlers, he miners and cattlemen. They had left the stage on the Overland Trail, and ;were told that they must await some parties going hromr h. as th e trails were b eset with danf!:ers-Indians and ro a d a g en ts bein g t h e ones to fear not to speak of the fea r of b eing los t i n t hat t h e n unbounded wil derness But just a stranger had ridden i n t o t he littl e stage station, alone and on h i s way t o t h e se t tleme n t which the young men sought. He was at tall, splendid l y formed man, dressed i n ve l vet coat, black trousers, slouc h hat, but showing n o weap ons about his person. He looked like a border sport, and his dark, strikingly handsome face was lighted u p with most expressive eyes, while a mustache w ith curling ends but h alf concealed his determined, reso l ute mouth. The keeper of the tavern had appeared to recognize him, bt1t ere the host could speak h i,; name, he receiv<'rl a warning sign and heard the words : "Landlord, I am going to. the Si l ver Thread Settle ment, and would like you to take care of me to-night and put me on the right trail to-morrow." The young men heard the name cif the settlement they wished to find and listened attentively, their gaze riveted by the appearance of the striking :;tranger. kin g it !o<.htin's I<.:r man and horse, pard, at my

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f THE HU F..FALO BILL STORIES. lay-out; but whar is ther rest yer outfit?" asked the landlord. "I am alone, pard." "And goin' to ther Silver Thread Settlement?" "That is my intention." "I guess you be a stranger in these parts." "\Nell, you might call me so." "Yer don't look like a durned fool." ''I an1 not generally picked up as one." "'vVaal, maybe yer hain 't; but fer yer ter strike trail alone to Silver Thread, yer would be. set dow .11 as a ten d erfoot hopin' ter git some one ter kill him. "Is it so bad as that?'' .. And wuss." "I was told I could not reach this station. that red skins and road agents were on the trail; but here I am, safe and hungry," said the stranger, smiling. ''What trail did you come?" "Down the River Valley." "Whew! You war playin' in great luck, for the whole country is as foll o' Injuns an o utlaws as a Bullfoundland pup is of fleas." \Vell, I pas sed. as we say in the game of poker, and here I a111." Luck can't s lick to one man clean through a trail, and f-a\'S I to you, jist wait anti! a \Yagon train, or soldiers ;;oes through,' or you'll tarn up yer toes. "\\ihy, here is two gents, tenderfoots from ther Land o' ther Risin' Sun, and greener than \n May, awaitin' ter shove through to Silver Thread; but they h a s h orse sense enough ter wait here and find company." \11 right; I'm company; so if they wish to go tllrough "ith me, let them say the word, for I shall start at day "Now. let me remind you, Pard Landlord, that I am hungry." "l'ollow my trail, pard," and, once out of the saloon, the landlord turned and grasped the hand of the stranger guest, and cried : ''But I is glad to see you, and Id like to give away who you was, though you hain t togged up as usual, and you has been s"calpin' yer chin, I sees, and choppin' off yer long hair." "I cut my imperial off, Pard Sankey, but my long hair is done up under my hat for I'm on a secret trail and do not care to b e known. "But who are the two going through to' Silver Thread?" "Gents, both of 'em, if they do be gents; one a son o' Settler Tremain, the big man o' the settlement; and t'other a young medicine man going to practice there." "Very well; let them go through with me, for there will doubtless be use for a medicine man there before long." The landlord soon returned to the saloon, and, going over to the table where the two young men sat, playing an innocent game of cards, said : "Young fellers, you kin pack yer grips ter go through to-morrow at daylight and I'll have horses ready for yer." "Is there a train going?" ;No only one man." "That splendid-looking fellow you "..:re talking to ?H "Yes, ther same." "But that will only make three of us !" "Don't you fool yerself, young feller! It makes a dozen, for I'll tell yer a secret-that man be Buffalo Bill !" CHAPTER II. THE GIANT SPORT. Upon the old idea, "when in Rome do as the Romans do," Allan Tremain was inveigled into a game !!f cards that night in the combined hotel. saloon and gambling den of Landlord Sankey, and which was kn9wn as the "Last Chance Lay-out," it being the end of that branch of the Overland stage line. To his credit be it said, Allan Tremain did not wish to play, but he also did not wish to anger the rough element about him, and so he and Dr. Donohue had entered int a little game with several miners and had won, the both being exceedingly fortunato..:. The sums won were not large, and, chiming in wit! their surroundings, both had "stood treat," and wer about to leave the saloon and retire early, preparatory t taking a daybre4k start for Silver Thread Settlement th next morning with Buffalo Bill as their guide and com rade. They had heard and read much of the famous scout and when the landlord had imparted to them the secret o who he was, they had been most anxious to go with hi 1 on the trail which they had been told before would n be safe to travel with less than a score of men at least. "I say, tenderfoot pards, you may be squar', and ye may not. but when strangers wins straight games in thi part o' ther country, we honest men suspects 'em of bein' card sharps, and you two galoots hain't lost a single game, and treatin' don t squar' yer in this crowd, as yer doubtless pays for the drinks with counlerfeit money while yer is too toney ter drink ycrselves, but takes a segar." This long and insulting speech was delivered by a man who suddenly stepped directly before the two friends as they were about to leave the salooq. The man was half a dozen inches over six feet, broad shouldered, quick of action, and was known as the "Gian Sport," also as "Circus sarn, the Iron Man," he havin once been the strong man of a circus, but openly confesse that he had killed two men and had been forced to fly f his life; hence had sought the congenial atmosphere o the Far West. If there had been any doubt about his having been of men in the East. there certainly was not sin he had come to the border, for he made it his boa that he had "his own private burying-ground, where l planted all those he killed, at his own expense." As a gambler he had wonderful luck. and playing card and fighting was about all that he did until he was greatly feared in one way as in the other. When, therefore, the Giant Sport stepped up befo1 the two young men from the East, and said what he di there was a geueral hush in the large saloon, for tho there knew that Circus Sam intended to treat the "te derfeet" to a scene, nothing of a very startling nafu having occurred in Trail End since their arrival so davs before. All eyes were upon the two strangers, both of who.

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fHE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 3 finely built, athletic young fellows, with the l ook of mq1 who were not cowards, though unused to the ways of the wild West. They were not attired in the fronti er fashion, either, but wore traveling suits and derby hats, which, in the eyes of Circus Sam, was a crime that should be atoned for, he being dressed in gray woolen shirt, buckskin leggings stuck in top-boots, wearing a broad sombrero and carrying a belt with a b owie knife and three revolvers, while about his neck was swung a massive gold chain, and a dia mond stud glittered in the black scarf knotted on his shirt front. "You speak such a jargon of slang and dialect that I do not know that I exactly catch your meaning, but it seems as though you accuse us of cheating at cards," said Allan Tremain, quietly, and the crowd awaited with bated breath, for they f e lt that he did not know just who Cir cus Sam was. "vV aal, yer is right; I does say yer is card sharps, ter win straight games as--" He did not fini s h the sentence, for the right hand of Allan Tremai n shot out with the force and quickness of a mule's hind leg, and the fist catching the bravo directly und e r the ear, sent him backward and downward in a h eap ''Good Allan! You never gave a better blow when you were the champion heavyweight at college," cried Dallas Donohue, delighted at the knock-down blow of his fri end. But the end was not yet, for it was no college affair th e two young men had to face, but a frontier game of life and d eath, as the bull y arose with a yell of rage, with a revolver already in his hand, while he roared out tl1e words: ''I'll have the lives of both of yer, fer Circus Sam never takes a blow, and lets the man live that gives it!" "You are mistaken, parcl !" cried a ringing voice, and the tall form of Buffalo Bill glided into the room. Seizing the arm of Circns Sam and wrenching the re volver from his grasp. he hurled him to the floo r, where, puttin-; hi s foot upon his neck, Buffa lo Bill said, sternly: "N'ow ask that stranger's pardon for the insnlt you ave him, or I vYill pin yo u to the floor with my bowie nife !., CHAPTER III. THE BRINK OF DEATH. Buffalo Bill had appeared to be unarmed, and with his long hair hidden under his slouch hat, and dresse,s:l in a hunting suit more appropriate t East than the vVest he might also hav e been mistaken for a tenderfoot. But the bowie with which h e h ad threatened to pin the Giant Sport to the floor had suddenly appeared in his hand, h1s foot was hard across th e throat of the prostrate man a,ncl there was a dangerous light in his eyes as he made the threat, and Circus Sam saw it. The Hercules Sport did not know who his antagonist was who had so quickly c h ampio n ed the cause of the two tenderfeet. This champion was not his h eig ht by some inches nor his weight by fifty pounds; but Sam, as di
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4 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. / "What do you say, pards? For there is three agin' me, as ye sees." And the ruffian turned to the crowd, who had ranged !n line for a drink at his expanse, while his eyes fell upon thos e whom he could rely upon to back him up in a diffi cu ltv. Buff alo Bill now knew that the bravo intended to force a fight that he might kill the two young men and him self, and a glance over the crowd showed that there was a dangerous element there who would be the backers of the Giant Sport. What had to be done must be done quickly, and with nerve, so he seize d upon the words of the bravo that there were three again s t him, and said: "No; I alone am against you, and as you seem crying for a fight, fire away!" T he scout had drawn a weapon in a secona of time, and I he bravo was covered before his hand could grasp his U \ \ n Bnt there were others, his minions, who were now ready t o support the Giant Sport, and one of them shouted : "Draw, Sam, for I has him covered!" "And I have you covere..d "C-p with you hands, quick, or I pull the trugger !" And another person appeared upon the scene, a revolver in eac h hand, as he suddenly sprung between Buf falo Bill and his foes. CHAPTER IV. THE MYSTERIOUS MAN IN BLUE. The newcomer upon the scene, and at the moment when a scene of death would soon have been ushered in, riveted every eye upon him, save that of Buffalo Bill, who never took his gaze off the Giant Sport. Had he done so, the lightning-like quickness with which C ircus Sam could draw a weapon might have cost him his life. The Giant Sport knew the voice of the newcomer upon the scene, and was readJ for Buffalo Bill to turn his head to see who he was, as he spoke as he entered the room. But the scout was caught in no such fatal error, and yet he saw", without appearing to do so, an elegant form, slightly built yet with the physique of an athlete, sud denly appear betv,een him and the Giant Sport. Nor was this all that the scout saw, for his attire was strikingly picturesque, being a dark blue velvet jacket trimmed with silver lace and buttons, broadcloth pants of the same hue and with a silver cord down the outer seam, and with top-boots of military pattern the heels of which were armed with spurs. A white silk negligc irt with wide collar, a black scarf with a ruby in it. the match to which was upon the little finger of his left hand, a bltre sombrero embroidered with silver, and a sash about his slender waist half con cealing his belt of arms, made up his striking appearance. His face was beardless youthful, for he seemed scarcely over twenty, and his features were refined and expressive, yet with a look upon them as though his life had been shadowed by sorne sorrow or crime. Masses of waving hair fell below his shoulders, adding to hi;; look an almost womanly appearance, and about him a,: -he ente r ed the saloon there was a look of recklessness as though he defied danger and gloried in risking hk life in a good cause. That he was known to those present was shown by a chorus of voices crying out as he entered : "The Man in Blue! "Now, pards, looks out for deadly music!" The situation was dramatic and thrilling. For a mo. ment it seemed as it would end in the cracking of a dozen revolvers, for the Giant Sport's friends had ral lied when they saw him again under the shadow of death from the stranger whom no one there, save the landlord, seemed to know as Buffalo Bill. "I said hands up! Did you hear?" and the Man in Blue broke the lrnsh upon all by his clear, resonant voice. As though his power was known and felt, the weapons that covered Buffalo Bill were lowered instantly, and as his eyes ran over the crowd the men belonging to the Giant Sport's clique raised their hands. "Did you hear, sir?" "With a quick step forward, the Man in Blue faced the Giant Sport and drove the muzzle of his revolver hard into bis face. Instantly the arms went up with a swing, and then the Man in Blue spoke, turning toward Buffalo Bill as theugh defying those his presence had subdued to fire upon him: "You and your friends are strangers here, I see, sir, and it never fails that there are cowards in Trail End City to force them into deadly feuds. ''I have interests here, and am captain of the Vigilantes, so you need have no fear of further trouble, for my word goes. "Will you all join me in a drink, gentlemen, and that means you, Circus Sam, and your pards ?" A wild cheer greeted the words of the Man in Blue. and, turning to the bar, he ordered drinks and cigars set up for the crowd, who quickly gathered around to take advantage of a treat. Buffalo Bill saw him replace his revolvers, and noted that, as he said, the trouble was over, at least for that time, for he was well aware that he had made Circus Sam ancl his followers his enemies for life. But he replaced his revolver and gazed with dee interest upon the strange man who had come to his a He had often heard of the "Mysterious Man in Blue,' as he was called, for other than that he was a prospector, or gold-hunter, roaming at will through the frontier, no one knew aught of him, it seemed. It was said that he was the deadliest of shots, and had a record of having killed a number of men, forcing those who sought a quarrel with him. or with whom he had trouble, to meet him in a duel, thus giving them equal chances. Rumor had it that he had found gold enough to make him a millionaire, but of that no one knew, for he still roamed the plains and mountains in quest of more, an was content to live a wild, dangerous exist-ence to goin wh e re his riches would bring him every luxury. "T have heard of you often, sir, and now am under deep debt of gratitude to you, for in aiding these two gen tlemen I woke up a nest," remarked Buffal Bill. "I have seen you before, sir, but. as you seem to be un known here I will not speak your name-mine is For

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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 5 Belfont, and if you happen near where I have a camp at any time I will be glad to have you as my guest, you and your friends. Good-night," and tossing several bills on the bar, the Mysterious Man in Blue raised his sol"!1brero and left the saloon, the landlord leading Buffalo Bill and the two young me.n out quickly after him as though dreading .further trouble. CHAPTER V. THE MAN FOR THE WORK. "Cody, I sent for you t9 put your life in danger, for YOtlr valuable services are needed." So spoke Colonel Royall, commandant 'of Fort Defiance, at which dangero u s military post in the wildest of the Indian country, Buffalo Bill was chief of scouts at this time, having been recently transferred there from f'.ort Faraway, where he had finished up a great fight agamst the outlaws in that vicinity. "I am ready, colonel, for any service I can render the army, sir," was the prompt response of William Cody in answe r to the words of the commandant. "But let me tell yo u now, Cody, that this is not a mili ta ry service you are going upon, for I am glad you so promptly accepted the mission I desire you to under take." "Whatever the duty, sir, I am under your orders, and will be glad to do all I can." "I feel, I know that, and for just that reason I need you, as you are the man for the work, the man above all others who can do it successfully, though the risk you will nm will be terrible." "My life belongs to my country, sir." "Well said, Cody, especially when \ I know that day and night you risk jt in the performance of your arduous dnties as chief of scouts at this post. 'But now to the work in hand." "Yes, sir." I received some time ago an urgent letter from an old friend of mine, a boyhood friend, Judge Oswald Tremain, w hose goodness of heart in indorsing for others ruined him financiall y and caused him to try and rebuild his fortunes. "Accom panied by his wife and daughter, and Jeaving his son to graduate at Yale, and then follow him, the judge joined a lar e party of emig:rants and settled in Silve r Thread V alley of which I believe you know some thing?" "I have scouted and hunted through there, sir, when there was not a cabin or a fort within a hundred miles of the valley "So I was assured, and you are, therefore, better fitted for the work in hand as you know th e country .. "I know every foot of it. sir," I may say "W. ell, in spite of the st r e ngth of the settlem e nt, the Indians cause a great deal of trouble at times, but even worse than they arc the band s of outlaws, the road agents who r o b the messe.ngers the Pony Rid.ers bearing the mails, all wagon trams and persons gomg to and fro. "A weekly coach is now to be established to Silver Thread from Trail End City, and as the mines in the mountains are beginning to pay well, the outlaws will \le more desperate in their efforts at robbery, and they are organized into a s;cret band that no one knows the retreat of, while, J ucfge Tremain wtites me, there is reason to believe that some of the settlers are secretly out laws. A Vigilante company was formed to hunt them down, and at once the outlaws began to hunt the Vigilantes, showing them no mers:y, and marking each member for death, until in terror the band broke up to save their lives. ''Herds of cattle have been run off, horses stolen, houses raided, and the miners have been robbed in their camp and on the trail, until a perfect reign of terror and death exists there, for even young girls have been kid naped and held for ransom. "Such is the situation, and Judge Tremain implores me to send a company of cavalry to the valley to put down the outlaws. "This, however, I cannot do, as my powers are limited; but, desirous of helping him and the people, I thought the matter over, and suddenly it dawned upon me that you were the man for the work, and so I sent for you." "I am ready to go, sir, and take as many men as you deem necessary, sir." "That is just it for I cannot spare a company, nor any of your scouts. In fact, I do not see how we will get along without you, but we must." "Then I am to go alone, sir?" "Alone, yes, Cody; but you are a host in yourself, and, as I said before, the very man for the desperate work to be done." '"How shall I go about it, sir?" "That you must decide. I will give you the authorit y of a United States marshal, which I can do, and place no limit upon you as to time so go about the matter in your own clever way. "I'll give you a letter to Judge Tremain, but to all others you had better remain unknown until you deem it best to take off vour mask, so to speak. "When do you think you can start, sir?" "Within the hour, sir." ".Take longer time, if you wish, and yet delays are dangerous, you know." . "T will go at once and get ready, s1r .. f1 "It is a long trail, and I will carry a pabk horse with me, for I suppose the duty will detain me perhaps for several months.,. "All of that and for all expenses needed the paymaster will fit you out." Thus it was that Buffalo Bill started upon his secret mission, his trail leading him through Trail EiJd City, where he so strangely and opportunely arrived in time to go to the rescu e of Allan Tremain and Dr. Donohue, whom the Giant Sport had singled out for victims. CHAPTER VI. T H E DE.\DLY W.\RXI"'G. \Vhen the day dawned upon Trail End City, Buffalo Bill and his two tenderfoot pards," as he called them, were a mile on their trail to Silver Thread Settlement. The scout found them ple asant intelligent, cheery fellows, ready for any hardship, and he had seen their courage put very severely to the test the night b.! fore. and knew that he could trust them in a close place. He had st;ggcsted their buckling on a belt of arms eac

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6 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. and securing rifles, and these weapons Landlord Sankey had to< sale, as he had a supply oh hand left by his guests who had been killed so0n after arriving in Trail End City. They were both well mounted, too, and, being fine riders and fair shots, the scout told them it would not take long to take the tenderfoot out of them. The trail was a long one, in places dangerous from meeting bands of roving redskins', and almost anywhere along it there was a possibility of meeting road agents, if half the tales were true that were told of the outlaws' doings in the valley and on the trails leading to it. "VI e will camp early, to-night, parcls, as we qm make th e valley in good time to-morrow night," said Bill, and he was looking about for a good camping-place, where wood, water and grass could be found, when he sud denly drew rein, for there was heard the clatter of hoofs ahead on the trail, and the next moment a horse dashed into view. But the held a rider all saw at a glance, and a thrill of horror shot through them as they beheld him. It was a man, and he was stretched out on the back of the horse to which he was securely bound. As the horse was dashing on at full speed, the form bound to his back, he neighed wildly at the sight of the horsemen, yet did not check his mad career. Buffalo Bill, now on the alert, gathered his lasso, ready to act in the startling emergency. Nearer came the frightened steed, with its frightful burden, and then the scout sent his las o flying through the air. and the frightened horse and his rider were brought to a sudden halt. ''My God! the man is dead!" cried Dr. Donohue, as he sprang to the side of the horse and felt the 1mlse of the man in irons, while Buffalo Bill cut the thon , loose and then pointing to a wound in his side, said: "With that knife thrust in his heart, yes." I did not see that wound. It means red work has be e n done." "Yes, doctor; but, see! here in this hand!" One of the hands, the right, was tightly clasped, and bound thus with buckskin thongs, but in it was clasped a piece of paper 1which Buffalo Bill drew out and read aloud. l It was as follows: ''WARNING! By this, the last one of the members of the Silver Thread Valley Vigilantes, we send this warning that should another band be raised to put us down, taking from us our right of outlawry, we will again put to death each and every one of them. "The last band of Vigilantes numbered twentx-one, and the last, their captain, bears this warning to you, settlers of Silver Thread Valley, for his four comrades lie dead and manacled, awaiting burial, on the summit of Lookout Mound. Go there and you will find them, and heed not this warning if you darn. I "THE Bovs IN BLACK." Buffalo Bill's fine face paled as he read this, and then he said: "\Ve '\vill go on and see if they have done as they said, for Lookout Mound is about ten miles from here, and there \s a good camp near \t. "'vVe will carry this poor fellow along and bury him with the rest, for though the night will be cloudy and black, I have a dark lantern by which I can follow the trail. "They evidently expected the poor horse to go to the settlement, but in his fright and suffering he got off the trail." With this the horse was taken in lead and the party moved on, Buffalo Bill leading, and not a word being spoken, for the tragedy they had come upon so suddenly had impressed them all deepiy. Nightsoon fell, but the scout led on unerringly, though the darkness at times was intense. c..._1d the two young men wondered how he could find his way in the midnight gloom. But qt last Buffalo Bill said : "There looms up Lookout Mound before us, and I have heard that it has been the scene.... many a tragedy-I know of one that happened here in which I was an actor. 'I will light my lantern, for the trail up to the summit is a rough and dangerous one." The scout dismounted, lighted his lantern, and as he moved on up the trail Tremain and Donohue followed him, leading their horses. At last the 'summit was req_ched, and, bending forward, Buffalo Bill flashed his lantern upon four dark forms that lay still and cold in death at his feet. As he did so out of the darkness behind him came a burst of wild, demoniacal laughter. CHAPTER VII. THE SCOUT'S VOW, The laugh which was heard by Buffalo Bill anii this two companions, coming as it did out of the darkness. caused the scout at once to close the lantern slide he held in his hand, and leave all gloom about them, while he said quickly in a low whisper: "Come this way to shelter, as we may get a shot." The two young men hastily obeyed, and all three led their horses over to the other side of the mound and there remained silent and watchful. "What a wild laugh?" whispered !\Han. Tremain. "Yes, it was the laughter of a madman," returned Dr. Donohue, in the same low tone, while Buffalo Bill remarked: "I believe you have struck it, doctor; it did sound like the laugh of a madman, and its not being repeated leads me to believe that some poor unfortunate fellow is near us. ., Hardly had the scout spoken when once again was heard the burst of wild laughter. It came from out of the gloom several hundred fe'et away and at the base of the large mound, and as its echoes ceased, a voice cried in deep tones: "He laughs best that laughs last. Now is my time for joy. for Butfalo Bill is on the trail! "Now is my time to be avenged-ha! ha! ha! "There will be red work now in Silver Thread Vallev-ha hGJ. ha!" The voice died away in the distance; the clatter of

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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 7 hoofs that followed grew fainter until, at last, it died from hearing in the distance. ""Well, pards, what do you think of the wild West as far as you hav e got?" queried Buffalo Bill, dryly, when the sound of hoofs no longer came to their ears. "A remarkable country, indeed, scout-full of surprises that are startling," answered Allan Tremain. "'Yes, and with people as startling as th e ir surprises," :tddecl the young doctor. \ Ve are tenderfeet and cannot deny it, but we arc: be ginning to catch o n fast. I do not wonder that this coun t r y produces wonderful men. "\Ve thought we knew it all, but we are as innocent as babes out here, and if you \\ere not with us we wonk! be as helpl ess." well, doctor, you will soon learn. and you will make good plainsmen with the n ern yo u have, for it requir.es n erve as the first of all acquisition s to Jive out here. "But now to our wild man. "Yes,_ he ailed your name." "That i s what stfrprisecl me." "And did he mean that he would avenge himself upon you, o r that you would avenge him now that you were here?" "That was not exactlx clear to me, I\.fr. Tremain; but Jet it be one \ray or the I do not care; for all goes. I am here for a purpose, and that purpose will be accomplishec:;I if I live. "Now l et us seek a camp. There i s a good one Bot far ;:nrny, but we must pack those bodies with us, or the coyo t cs would soon be after them." "The dead men will outnumber the living in our camp," ob s erved young Tremain, but he willingly assisted in pla cing the bodies upon the horses. T hi s done. the two friends followed the lead of the scout down the rugged trail to a place where there was ;:n exn:llcnt camp. ' ''There have been campers recently h ere-the Boys in as they sig ned themselves. It was they who mur ckretl these poor fellows," ancl Buffalo Bill pointed to !he s molckringremains of a camp-fin'. A fire was soon started and the horses staked out. after which the four boclies found at the monn.cl ; and the one bronght along, which ,. i\1azeppa like had been found. bound-to his horse, placed side by .S'ide. in the shadow o f some pi11ou tree 1iearby. . Supper was cooked and disposed of, after whii'.h the hYO young men were glad to seek their blankets. their first outdoor ,camp !.!Pon the far frontier. The scout said that h e would keep watch, am! when he hact scouted about t h e camp and found all quiet, and the horse s feeding, as though no danger was near, he ha I tee\ by th e bodies of the five dead manacled forms. Standing there with uncovered head, as the firelight f e ll upon the dead, Buffalo Bill said, in a low, stern voice: "1 came here to do my duty, and I now make a so lemn ''OW to avenge these murdered men. CHAPTER VIII. CAUGHT IN THE ACT. "Ah this looks suspicious." Bu(falq Bill drew rein as he spoke and gazed fixedly down at the ground. What he saw that looked suspicious," Allan Tremain and Dr. Donohue could not discover, but they 'rntchcd him closely. They had passed the night in their first camp in und is turbed rest and, in the morning, had buried the fiyc dead men, the scont removing the irons by unlock111g !lwill with keys from a bunch he carried and remarking as h1.: did so, in his quiet way: ""These are consecrated to and will be usef11i some day." The yolllng men had watched him place heavy logs OH'r the large grave, to keep the coyotes away, and Trcmai11 said in a low tone: ''\Ve are learning, Doc." "How ca n we help cloing-so with a teacher who kmm-; more about the frontier game than our great football coach at Yale does of the game of football. .. After a couple of hours' ride on the trail they saw the scont hal t at something suspicious h e had disconn: d. They watched him a.ce11tively and curiously. 1 \ t last Buffalo Bil l said: "We 'II follow this trail, pards. "'vVhat trail ?" "This one that crosses ours. "I don t see any, but l suppose it is there," young Tre main ren1arked. "Oh, yes, it is there, though faint. T ad1n. it. "Now, this trail, you comes from over yonder 011 that range, and it crosses ours and branches off to the left, which indicates to me that, whoever left the trail, saw us corning from yonder spur; and so, knowing that we wen! following the direct track to Silver Thread Valley, here to get on ahead to the range. twenty miles a\\ay yo1t der, and there ambush us. ''l\'o\\-. if we follow their trail. \\e will surpri!--c tl11, yon understand, not they us. so we will just branch 0ff and see what it will turn ont. \ \. e \\ill not be tak\'n Ycry far off our trail to the vallcY. ''Then, too, we could haYe come by a shorter trail from .T rail End City. and which would have brought. by yonder spur, as this one leads so that some one from the camps mav have decided to head us off here and get even for the little powwow of night before last. .. I came this trail as it is the safest one, though 'longer; and it is well we did, having made the discove.ry on it of the five murdered Vigilante s:" ''Y ou read signs as though you we re reading an open book before ,on. '.\fr. Cody," said Allan Tremain. It. is the doctor coincided, and added: '"'vVe are in your hands, so command and we obey; but first show me what you call a fresh trail crossing the on,, we are traveling?" ''See here; though the ground is hard. you can see faint traces on it which are made bv ironshod horses. I can trace it back yonde r and on al1ead for quite a dis tance." "Yes; 9ow that you speak of it, we can see it, but never would have noticed it otherwise." ''You will soon learn to take note of every sign Olll here, doctor, for therein is the virt, ue of being a good plainsman. "Now we will go on." An
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8 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. lowing, leading the pack horse 1and the animal that had b ee n found with the man tied upon his back. A tract of low wooded country was soon after passctl through, and then came the foothills of the range towering ahea d, and beyond which lay the Silver Thread Valley. Unerringly the scout followed the' trail, remarking, after several miles had been gone over and having come t o s p ots where the tracks were plainly visible: "There were five h orses." "That means as many men?" ;ot .necessarily, Mr. Tremain, as they m0;y have hall a led horse along." "True." 'But my idea is, frpm watching the tracks, that there are three ffen, as two of the trails swerve as though the h o r ses w e r e l ed." "Then if you exp e ct trouble with them, there 1s one each." '"Yes, doctor. unle ss we are ca u ght in an ambush, and then cne in cove r i s w orth half a doz e n riding upon him." T r ue.' "But if thev intend to ambus h us, it will be on the trail w e wE're follci,,ing, a nd, by striking them in the rear, we will h ave the ad vantage. "When we eac h furthe r in the foo.thi lls. I will go a h ead on foot ail of an eighth of a m i l e, le a Ying yo u to follow. At a noint furt her on, Buffalo Bill disrnountecl and w ent on t h e two yonng men s l owly following with his horse and the kd animals. and watching the trail closely so as not to go astray. They had go ne about a mile when th ey found the scout waiting for them. they are, /half a mile away, lying in wait on the trai l w e w ould ha've taken. "There are five horses, but T cannot see all the m e n, and they are protected well where th?.y are from any one approaching on th e other trail but you see we have flanked them. \ \"c can o nly ride on our way from h e re, and when they see us, if they wish to attack us let them do so." And Buffal o Bill mounted and rode slowly out of the shelter of the hills on the hi g h range some miles a he ad o f th e m. They had gone but a short distance when the men in am bu s h di s covered them. CHAPTER IX. T .HE U"NTOLD SECRET. when those they were lying in wait to catch were clen ly dis cove r ed in the rear, having flanked them, there was exci t e m ent. Then-11ors e s were s take d out a conple of hundred yards from where they were in ambush among some rocks_ ove r i;;rown with s crub pines T9 their hors es the v ran wit h foll speed. carrying their rifle s in their hands. and as theY broke conr .Buffalo Hill sa id. c1uictly : ''There arc three of them. ''Now you will haYe a chance for a border fight.'' ''The n you will attack them?" No, doctor, they have caught in the act, and so will attack us." "Then it will be. three to three, so tell 11s what to do." "Let them first show their hands," said Buffalo Bill, and !.c rode quietly on toward the nnge. The three men had reached their hoiscs meanwhile, hastily bridled them, and, leavingtwo still staked out, c;;mc riding rapidly toward Buffalo Bill antl his compan ions, one of thtm waving his hat and shouting as he dir! so "They wish us to halt, so their intentions cannot be hos t ilc after
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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 9 "Now, pa rd, you were hit, I believe?" "Slightly, in the arm, but as it gives Donohue his first case, I sho uld not, as his friend, complain," was th e plucky r esponse of Allan 'Tremain. ''Well, I'll leave you in the doctor's hands while I look after th ose two loos e horses," said Buffalo Bill, seeing that Trema in 's wound was not serious, rode off at a gallop to where the three ll)en had fallen, and two of their horses were feeding n ea r. ''Ho, doctor, here i s another case for you," cried the scout, as h e fomicl that one of the men was still alive. As the wound had been qttickly banClaged, Dr. Donohue and Tremai n came quickly toward the scout, who satd: 'vVho fired at the man pn. the right?" ''I did," called out Tremain. "Th en you are avenged, lVIr. Tremain, for the man will die," and Buffalo Bill h<1d placed th e wounded man in a more comfortable position, and was doing all he could to r e liev e him in his sufferings. Dallas Donohue quickly knelt by the wounded an, and sa id in a kindly tone: ":'.'lily poor fellow, yon;: wound is fatal. so if you have anything to say, let me urge you to speak now." The man's eyes re sted up o n the face of one then an othe r until at l as t he said; faintly: "I deserve my fate. "It was the Giant Sport who sent us to kill and roh yo u men, and th ere is a secret I wish to tell you that---" But he s aid n o more. b ut after several convulsive shucl de:rs, and strivin g to spea k his head dropped back and 111: was deacl. CHAPTER X. SILVER THREAD VALLEY. Silver Thread Valley was a perfecf garden of beauty in the mid s t of a wilderness. The Si lv er Thread River ran through it for a distance of twen t y miles, windihg its way along. a clear stream How ir;g o ver a pebbly ]Jctto m and indeed in the distance l ooking like a thread of s ilver embroidered in green vel v e t. for the banks, meadows and hill lands on either side we r e bri ght and b ea utifu l in the first blocm of spring. Into this valley bad gone a number of well-t9-do people to find homes, and adjacent to them were mining claims in the mo untains while upon the plains beyond were some ranches, each containing several hundred cattle and ho rses. 'The most promin e nt man 0f the settlement was Judge Oswald Trei'nain w ho h as b efore been spoken of, and what h e had left of his ow n fine fortune he had expended in makin g a n ew home for himself and family. His cabin was a large one. well built, with incircling piazza s a nd the judge had bron g ht along over many a weary mile. furniture eno u g h to..... furni s h it well; also hor ses, cattle and domestic fowls, to make an ideal home in th e wilds of the West. The familv of the iud(?:e c o11Sisted of his wife and < laughter, lVIyrtle, a beautiful \ girl of eighteen, his son \ llan bein g then on his way td his new home nnder the guidanc e of Buffalo Bill. .. There was another member of the family, a young gir! bY th e name of Blanche Vassar, and one more loy ely in and form it would ha-\e b een difficuh: to find. . Blanche Vassar's lite had had its shadows, rather than its sunshine, for her father had, years before, killed a inan, as he asserted in self-defense, yet having no other proof than his word, and circumstantial evidence being against him; he had been tried, found guilty and sentenced to be hanged. The trial was held before Judge Tremain, who plainly charged the jury that there was not proof sufficient tel prove guilt; yet, in SJ;>ite of this, the verdic;;t had been brought in agai11st Carl Vassar, and the sentence of death was pass.eel upon him. An appeal was taken, but again was the verdict the same, and Carl Vassar appeared to be doomed to die upon the gallows, when one night he mysteriously es caped from prison, and / all search for him W
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JO THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. build his c abin for him, the situation being a most beautiful o ne, whi c h Carl Vassar had marked out on the rriap as h is o wn I t adjoin e d the ranch of the judge, and the plans sent fo r b u i l d i n g the cabin were of quite an extensive kind, the fu gitive s ayin g in his last letter: I h o p e soo n to b e with you, and to enjoy the latter years o f m y life in my n e w home, for I have papers with n :cw hich will go t o pro ve tl1at I was falsely accused. .. \ J y ric h e s earne d here in l\fexico gave me the power t o 'et t h e mac hin e ry in motion t o prove my innocence and I c an d emand a pardon of the governor, and live with n o fu r t h e r dread upon me." L oo k ing forward to the coming of her father before n:a:1y m o nths, Dla nch e Vassar was a happy girl, and evl'fl' afte rn oo n wa s wo.nt to mount her horse and ride the t 1\:0 rnik s to h e r n e w h o m e to se c how matters progressed tlie1\., fo r the judge was carrying oitt the plans of Mr. \"as:,:'.lr full y C c n e rall y Blanche was accompanied by Myrtle, but, tfic la t t e r pl eading a desire to help her mother, one after noon a h e r brothe r and his friend, Dr. Donohue, who ll'a s comi n g a s the ph ys ician of the settlement, being almost daily exp ec t e d they were getting all in readiness fo r their arriva l a s it was thought that a wagon train ll' o ulcl soo n co m e through with supplies from Trail End C ity. S o Bla n c h e w ent alon e, and after visiting the cabin, fr m 1 h i c h a grand view of th e valley and its farms co uld b e had, s h e started on a long rictc back, going, as was h e r w o nt, b y the trail that led her many miles around. There were s e v e ral places along this trail where she \\' a s mil e fro m the nearest habitation, but, mounted upon h e r fleet and tirele s s white mare Snowflake, she had no fea r. and was clashing swiftly along when suddenly out of a canyo n das hed a horseman, who, seeing her, called lo udl y : about for your life, miss. I a m pursued b y outlaws!" Instantly Blanche wheeled ber hors e, but not to fly until t h e lio r seman clashed up to her side and cried: Q ui ck! t h e y are upon us!" As h e s p o k e there appeared in view several horse me n, i11 o tmt e d o n black horse s and clress ed in black, while their faces were masked. "Th e B o y s in Black ''[t i s time to f11 !" and Blanche, recognizing at a g l a n ce the s c ourge o f the valley, laid the whip sharply upo n Sno wflak e, jus t as se veral rifles sent bullets rat t lin g a f t e r the m. ''Cowards to fir e upon a \\'Oman! And they have wounded your h o r s e miss r -id the horseman, now dashing along by the of Ulanche, who, seeing his face deathly pale and his hand pressed hard upon his s id e where hi s clothes were stain<:d crims011, cried: And v o u a r e wounded. sir!" 'It wa s g iv e n m e s ome miles back, and I feel that it is se ri o us-bu t w e must ride faster-ah your horse feels h is w ound a s I fe e l mine. and the man seemed gasping for breath ll'hil e Snowflak e bleeding from a wound in h e r flank, a s stumbling badl y and not running with her accustomed s p e ed. "They have given up the chase, sir," cried Blanche, as she saw the pursuing horsemen come to a halt. "And I, too, must halt, for I can go no farther, I--. They dashed over a rise out of sight as the horseman spoke, and, reeling in his saddle, he suddenly fell heavily to the ground, while Blanche, in a vain effort' to hold. him up, felt Snowflake go clown beneath her. Nimbly the young girl caught on her feet, and as she did so managed to grasp the rein of the stranger' s horse, and, checking his speed quickly threw the rein over the limb of a tree nearby and hastened back to the fallen man. He lay upon his back. haYing twice attempted to rise after his fall, one hand clinched and pressed upon his wound, the other lying out limp by his side. His face bore the hue of death, and, kneeling by his side, Blanche placed her gloved hand over his heart. It seemeLI forever stilled; but the fingers of the girl 1.ouched a leather case which involuntarily she drew out from its resting-place by the wound, and, glancing at it, saw that it contained two photographs-one of' her dead mother, the other of herself. Then all her own danger was forgotten, all else but the fact thal the inan who !av dead at her feet was her own father. She stared at the photographs as though she read there the story, for she had a similar likeness of her mother at home, and the one of h e rself had been taken when she \\'as a little girl, and sh e also had one like it. .My Goel! it is my father. and they have killed him. 'I did not know him. but did he not know me, I wonder?" And, dropping clo ,vn upon her knees by the .form of her father, the fugiti\'e's daughter buried her face in her !ianc!s. 1\holly lmconscious that her foes were again co111111g 111 chas e of her, haying seen what had occurred from a distance. CHAPTER XII. THE PROTEST OF A UULLET. Bent in sorrow over the dead form of her father, for Bla11che heart had told her that he was dead, she did not even hear the coming of the horsemen who had pursued h e r. and \\ho had dealt her the cruel blow by slaying her father just as he. was in sight of his new home, just as he was almost within reach of her welcome. If she heard their coming, she did not heed. Seeing this. they came on more slowly, gazing at the scene with their masks hiding all feeling of pity that might have welled up in their bosoms at the sight. They were five in number, all mounted on jet black horses, while were clad in black pants, shirts and sombreros, making a gloorrty-looking lot, and defiantly wearing their garb. the emblem of their calling as out la s into the ven midst of the settlement. K care r and nearer drew the murderers, until they halted within twenty paces of th e young girl. I lut still she moved not. Then ?he leader dismounted and as he advanced to \l'ithin a few feet of Blanche, he paused and gazed upon her ior fully a minute.

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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. I I A..,t last he S-poke, and there was not an atom of pity in tone or words. A pretty picture, miss but our time is precious and it must be brok e n in upon. "I am sorry I have not my pencil and paper with me to sketch the scene, but I have not, and then, too, the grief is feigned-feigned to try and make us give up our prize." She looked her eyes flashing, and said, almost fiercely, as she faced him : "Feigned? ''Can grief for a father be feigned?." A father?" "Yes, my father, and you haYe murdered him." "That m a n y our father?" I t ell Y O U yes "Bah! Carl Vassar had a wife and child, but both are dead. ''It is a lie, for I, his daughter, am alive. Yes, and I shall live to yet avenge his cruel murder." A woman's threat is like a woman's vow of love, made to be broken." You insult me over the dead body of my father, whose name you but just now spoke?" Y es, I know him." W e re it not that you but now spoke his name, I wonld n o t b elie ve vou." I t e ll y o u the trt1th, for I knew him years ago." "vVho are v ou ?.' ''The telling will not please you ; that is, if you know nnything of your fath er's past life, if you are, indeed, his l r dang iter. "'I v o w that I am his daughter, my name is Blanche Vassar, and I know all of his cruel past, for he was forced to fly to save himself-from the gallows, his life being sw orn away by those who he supposed would tell the truth, ye t s w o re falsely to condemn him." I believe that y ou are his daughter. ''But the n he has just come from Mexico, and he is well sup plie d with funds which I want and will have. "\V e h e ld him up bu t he resisted, killing one of my men, a nd wounding another, who will also die, I fear." 1 h o p e so for he des e rved fate," was the plucky r e sponse of Blanche Vassar. "But a lasso dragged him from his saddle, and we cap ture d and di sarme d him. "The n when we did not expect it, he leaped into his saddl e and was away. I fired to stop him, for I had recognized him as my o ld friend Carl Vassar, but did not believe that I had hit him. N o w it se e ms however, that my bullet was not so badl y aimed and did the work I intended." The man stepped closer as he spoke, and as she drew back in h orror from his touch he called out to one of his m en: S e i z e h er!'' With a leap the man spran g to her side and grasped h e r rude l y b y t he arm. B ut a s h e did so th e re came th e crack of a rifle at long ra n ge, and th e man d ro pp e d in his tracks, while Blanche \ d re w th e knif e from his b e lt as he fell dead at her f e e t an d st 9 od a l bay facin g the mask e d Boys in Black. CHAPTER XIII. A SHOT AT LONG RANGE. "In an hour more, pards, we will be down in the Si.I ver Thread Valley, and I have a treat in store for you in just one minute-now see there!" ,, Buffalo Bill, as he spoke, had n eared the top of tJ1e range that looked down into Silver Thread Valley. It was the day following their adventure at Lookout Mound, and they had been delayed in burying the dead outlaws who had left Trail End City to ambush and kill them, for Buffal6 Bilf never allowed even a redksin's body to go without decent burial, for, as he said: 'Death cancels all hatred, and they are human beings who demand of us the same treatment we would hope for for o urselves." The party had journeyed along at a good gait, though they had an additional horse to lead, and, remembering the view he would surprise his companions with, Buffalo Bill had said what he did. When the two young men beheld the valley, with the river running indeed like a silver thread through it, and dotting the landscape here and there the homes of the set tlers, they were spellbound with admiration. "I do not know just where your father is located, Mr. Tremain, for I have not been here since the valley has been settled. 'There is a group of cabins up toward the upper end, and I suppose the store, the meeting-house and blacksmith shop are there-my glass will tell me-and the trail leads there after we have gotten down into the valley." Turning his field-glass upon the distant group of cabins, Buffalo Bill continued : "Yes, I suppose that is what they call the village of Sil ver Thread City, for they have a way out here of putting city even to a mining-camp, for instance, Trail End City, with its 11ve hunqred souls. "Yes; I see some very fine houses scattered about, and which one could hardly expect to find in so new a com munity. "Tt1rn your glasses upon the one on the slope, miles away on the right, and there is another this side, which appears to be just being built, for I see men working there. "It will take us until night, so shall we ride on?" The voung men were loud in their praise .of the beauty of the scenery, and as they rode on clown into the valley expressed their admiration. At length they came to a rise, and the scout suddenly drew rein before going over. "See anything suspicious, scout?" asked Allan Tre main and he, too, halted, while Dr. Dallas Donohue re marked: "If it is to be another fight, I hope it will be with In dians for we have had a couple of brushes with outlaws, and I have a consuming curiosity to behold a wild sav age on the warpath." "Sh! there is trouble ahead. hitch y o, ir horses, and keep out of sight," The cominand and the serious manner of the scout made the two young men at once obey. and when they came near Buffalo Bill they saw that he was very atte tivcly regardin g s o me scen e through his glass. "There i<: trouble ahead," he said.

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I 12 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. "What is it scout?" "If I mistake not, there has been an ambush of some one, for I see a dead man and a dead body, a woman in riding habit, and sbme forms clad in black, and I have heard that the road agents on these trails call themselves the Boys in Black; yes, and, by Heaven, they are masked!" The scout seemed to be at fault as to just what was to be done, and t h e young men, pe ering through their glasses, the three she lter ed by some pines, saw what he had pointed out, and Allan Tremain remarked : "Yes, the y a r e clad in black, and masked, as I can plainly sec "And I count five of them, and one woman, while a man s form lies near appa rently dead, added Dr. Donohue. "If the woman is in trouble, Mr. Cody, we ought to go to her aid," A llan Tremain said, while Dr. Donohue qu i etly r ejoined: "Yes, indeed, for odds agaibst u s are not to be counted where a woman demands our help." Goo d for you, pards "I lik e your grit, and yo u bet we wilJ help her out-ha! one of them has grasped the woma n 's arm; it is a risky shot al such long range, but l'IJ try it," and Buffalo Bill threw his rifle to his shoulde r took quick aim and pulJed trigger. CHAPTER XIV. l'OR A WOMAN'S SAKE. ,\t the words and act of Buffalo Bill, the two friends glanced quickly toward each other. They w ere evident l y anxi ous at the risk h e was taking at a shot at s uch long r ange, and w hich he had acknowl edged. They saw that the group t h ey were watching were close together. and in the midst of the black-garbed forms was a woman. and it must be that s h e was at their Co uld it be t hat Buffa l o Bill, and at the range of five hu11dred yards cou ld kill the one at whom he aimed and not hit anot h e r an innocent one? It did not seem possib le, and they w e re about to remon strate, but they saw that the woma n was in terror of the man and a lr eady was the scout's rifle-butt against his shoulder, his piercing eye glancing along the barrel. They dared not speak then, and stood in breathless sus pense, watc hing him, not the effect of his shot. It was a quick aim that h e took, appallingly quick thought Tre main and D qnol me, when so much depended npon it, anc.l w ith t h e crack of the rifle the eyes of all were s train ed for a glance at the result. There was no exclamat ion of triumph from the scout's lips, for he seemed to know his power, to liave felt just what h e could do; but both Tremain and Donohue gave vent to a ferv e n t ejac ulati on of thank sg iving at the re sult, followed by a s h out of triumph a s they saw the man who h ad attacked the woman drop in his tracks as though dead. They saw also the woman bend quickly. his knife from his belt and stand .at bay and they beheld the masked men. sta rtl ed b y th e shot and its deadly result Jook in the direction from whence it had come and then bound toward { heir horses. I They heard the command : ''We must fly, but we take that girl with us, men!" At the words, Buffalo Bill, who was turning toward his horse, wheeled quickly and called out: "No, but you shall not take her with you I" Again his rifle went to his shoulder, once more there was a quick aim and the report followed. I hope I got the leader, for he is the one I want, but I do not 1 now, so picked one at random," said Buf falo Bill. "You got your man, though for another has gone cried Tremain, exultantly. "Yes, that makes three men now-three to three, Donohue called out, and the three bounded to their horses, for they saw Buffalo Bill preparing to mount "Now come for that brave woman's sake," the scout, and he dashed over the ridge with one of his wild war-cries that fairly startled his companions and awakened a hundred echoes in the valley. The masked boys in black had obeyed their chief, in that the y had made another effort to seize Blanche Vas sar, who, with the bowie-knife she had seized from the b e lt of the fallen outla>v stood at bay as Buffalo Bill, from beyond the ridge, was preparing to fire again. One of the men nearest to her and who was preparing to rush in and grasp her uplifted arm was the recipient of the second long range shot from Buffalo Bill. Seeing him fall the leader uttered a savage oath and hissed forth the words: I will take you with me girl, or die trying." He was preparing to make good his boast when the wild war-cry of Buffalo Bill came to his ears, and his men, seeing the scout dash over the ridge, fled to their horses in terror and threw themselves into their saddles, on e of them calling out : R e member where you are, chief ''Fly, or we are lost!" But the one he addressed seemed determined to carry out his threat, and made a move toward Blanche Vassar, while he called out sternly: "Down with that knife, girl!" "No, I shall kill you with it if you touch me," was the firm reply. The man saw that she was in earnest, he saw that she was in a dangerous mood and had the pluck to execute her ..threat. She was not awkward in handling her knife, and stood at bay a beautifuL picture, but a dangerous one, and he hesitated. A glance showed him that the horseman coming over the ridge was not alone, as he had suspected was the case. One, two others followed, and there might be more. His men were already flying for their lives, and he knew that it was death for him to remain. "Another time, my beauty, we will meet again," he shouted savagely, and with a bound had reached his horse. In an instant h e was in the saddle, his splendid horse flying away with him, while a few moments after up dashed Bt1ffalo Bill followed by his two companions. 'She has fainted, doctor. "See to her both of you, while I give those fellows a run for it," shouted Buffalo Bill, and he sped on like the wind.

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. THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 13 ,CHAPTER XV. THE IFIRST VOLUNTEER. "You're a doctor Donohue, so your place is here. "I'll go with the' scout," shouted Allan Tremain as he reached the, scene of the tragedy. And he drove his spurs deep into the flanks of his horse in pursuit of Buffalo Bill, who bad dis.appea:ed over a hilltop, a c ouple of hundred yards away, m rapid chase of the Boys in Black. It was the wish of Dallas Donohue to pl,lsh on also m pursuit, to go where he suppos ed there would be an en counter and his good right arm needed, and he momentarily resented the words of his friend. But then his eyes fell upon the form of the young girl, and n ear her lay the others, while her dead horse was not far distant as he saw by its having a side-saddle on. Then his vvas aroused, and, leaping from his saddl e he threw the rein over the limb of the tree, to which' Blanche had fastened her father's f1orse, and ap proached the spot where, when the danger was over, the youn g girl had in a death-like faint. Kneelinoby her side, he felt her pulse, drew dff her g-J ovcs, and then stepping quickly to his saddle, returned \vith a leather case of medicines. It was not very long b efo re, under his effc:irts to her, Rhc showed signs of returning consc10usness, and she heard the kindly spoken words: "Have no fear, for you are with friends now, and your foes are gone." She opened her eyes and looked straight into his face, while she obeyed when he said: "Take a swallow of this, for you need it." He handed her the cup off his silver flask with brandy in it. She then spoke, asking: \i\Th o are yo u ?" "Dallas Donohue, a physician, come to Silver Thread to practice, and anxious to be of service to you, miss." "Dr. Dallas Donohue! "You are the friend of Allan Tremain?" she said, quickly. "Yes, ind eed, and he will soon be here." I have heard much of you from Allan's letters to his parents and sister, for I am Judge Tremain's ward, Blanche Vassar." "Ah, Miss Vassar! and l have heard much of you through Allan's letters from home. ''I am delighted, indeed, to meet you, though I regret to find yo u under the circumstances that I do." "Alas! far more than you can know, for there lies my poor father, slain by those cruel cowardly outlaws, from whom yo u rescued me. "When they left the reaction came and I swooned away; but I owe so much to you, Dr. Donohue." "Indeed, yo u owe me nothing whatever, Miss Vassar, for I am lik e the fifth wheel of a coach in this affair, for your rescu e r is the man who bas at long range killed those two black-robed men, and has now gone off in chase of the pth crs, leaving me to care for you, as did Allan Tremain also, for he wished to h e lp the scout." "To whom do yo u r efer Dr. Donohue, as the one to whom I am so deeply indebted?" asked Blanche, while her beautiful eyes were filled with tears. r "I refer to the man who was our guide here from the end of the stage line, and who came to see J ndge Trc main, sent by the commandant of the fort, to down the outlaws that have been cursing this valley by their deeds--There, perhaps I have said too much." "Oh, no, for I knew that Judge Tremain was expecting help from the fort, and how glad am I that it has come, for a company of soldiers will soon put down outlawry here, and avenge the red de e ds done." "A company of soldiers, l\Iiss Vassar, why bless your sweet soul, there is only one man." "One .man? "Then there is no hope for us." "Yes, indeed, there is, for. that one man is worth a company of soldiers at the work to be done here, and when I tell you that it is Buffalo Bill, you will under-stand just what he can do." "Buffalo Bill? I have heard so much of him yes, he is said to bear a charmed life, and to be a most wonder ful man." "He is all of that. Well, he it was who killed these two men at long range, and he is now chasing the others, while he told Allan Tremain and myself, that he had been sent to run clown the outlaws in Silver Thread Val ley, and intended to do so, and he will, for I heard him vow to avenge the settlel's." "But he is only one man, Dr. Donohue." "Oh, yes, but one man who will do as he pledges him-self to do. "But then he intends to raise a company of Volunteer Vigilantes, among the picked men of the settlement, so h
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THE BUFFALO BILL STORiEs. seven years of age, and he left home under a cloud, and my mother died, leaving me alone in the world, save for Judge 'Tremain, hi s wife and daughter, who are most clear to me. "To-clay my father was returning to me, and I came upon him suddenly flying from the outlaws, from whom he had escaped. "Of course, I did not know him, nor am I certain that he kn ew me, but he turned me back from clanger, the outla\VS fired upon us, and my father received a bullet in his b o dy which soon proved fatal, while my horse was wounded. "Do you wonder that I am revengeful, that I tell you I will glacllv become oue of the members of your Vigi lant e band?" '>Jo, Miss Vassar, I do not wonder at your just feeling of reveng e "Auel let me say, 1\1 r. Cody, that I, too, offer my ser vices as a volnnteer Vigilante of your band, Miss Vassar having put us to shame by setting the example," said Alla n Tremain. 'C ount me in also as a volunteer, Mr. Cody; for I gladly follow in the wake of Miss Vassar and rny friend Tremain," sa id Dr. Donohue. ''It will not take me long to recruit a company at this rate I see; but let me exp lain, Miss Vassar, that I came here for the work of running clown the outlaws, and I so told these gentlemen. "I made known to them the fact that I had determined to organize a secret band of Vigilantes, taking only picked men and not too many. "Let me explain to you that I came here in partial dis guise, I am not to be known as Buffalo Bill, and I wish t o remain unknown, save to Judge Tremain and those intimatel y associated with him. I have heard much of this leader of the Boys in Black, as they call themselves, and there is a large price set upon his heacl dead or alive, for his crimes. ''No blacker more cruel and cowardly crime can he h ave been guilty of than to fire upon yo u and take your father's life, and I pledge )1ou my word;Niiss Vassar, that tl\e l\IIascot of the Volunteer Vigilantes will avenge your father's death tenfold. "These gentlemen know well what has been the doom of those who belonged to the Vigilante band in this val l ey, but that has not deterred them from following your example and becoming volunteers, and it is just what I expected of them, though they are new to this CO).mtry and out h er e are called tenderfeet; but now let me urge that you rige on with Mr. Tremain and Dr. Donohue, while I r ema in h ere on guard until J uclge Tn:main sends after your father's body, and to bury these two outlaws. I regret that there are not more but my horse went lame, and so I gave up the chase. I will put your saddle and bridle upon one of these horses of the outlaws." Buffalo Bill hastily did this, and, being urged to go on with them, by Allan Tremain and the doctor, Blanche decided to do so, and the scout was left alone with the dead. It was nearly two hours before the rumble of wheels was heard, and Judge Tremain himself came up with an ambulance and several men, to carry the body of Carl Vassar on to his home, and bury the outlaws wher e th-:y had fallen. I Buffalo Bill saw in the judge a fine-looking gentleman of fifty -five, who greeted him most warmly and said: "I am glad to meet you, Mr. Cody, and as my old friend Royall could not send me a troop of cavalry, .I am glad that he sent me a man who can accomplish more than any one else that I know of in this most deacllv work. ''You will ride back with me now, Mr. Cod)r, and my men will follow more slowly with the ambulance bearing the body of poor Vassar, whose death is a bitter blow to us all, and .especially to his noble daughter." "I have pledged my word to Miss Vassar, J uclge Tre main, to avenge him, yes, and other victims of the out laws' merciless deeds of blood, and I shall keep my word, ;,ir, or leav e my band of scouts to avenge me, as I know they will,'' was Buffalo Bill's firm response, as he started \Vi th the judge for the to Hope vale Ranch. CHAPTER XVII. A MAN WITH A SECRET. Carl Vassar was buried from,;the home of his 0old friend, J uclge Tremain. The whole settlement knew Blanche Vassar, and, learn ing that her father had been killed by tHe road agents in sigh,t of his own home, and just as he was coming to dwell there,. the sympathy of all went out to the young girl, and the settlers came from far and near to the funeral. The miners too had heard the sad news, and came clown from the mountains in force, while the ranchers were well represented from beyond the range, and only the death of Judge Tremain or a call to arms could have brought out so many people. Jnen, too, there were strangers there, for the young son of Judge Tremain had arrived, just from college, and he was to be the teacher of the valley school. He had been accompanied by his friend, 'D1. Dallas Donohue, for the settlers had asked the judge to write East and get them a physician, as the only one in the valley was advancing in years, and he wi;,'hed to give up practice. But all were impressed with the friend of Judge Tre main who had come to th@ valley, it was said, to settle there. He was a Western man, rumor had it, had served in the army and knew wile! life well, and wanted to make his home in the settlement. His striking appearance, genial and courteous manners, added to a certain dignity of mien, impressed all most favorably and all s0tight to know him, and the two young men who also came in for their share of admiration. Judge Tremain had introduced his friend as "Captain Cody," and the claim upon the settlement the stranger had would have rendered him popular at once, for young Tremain and Dr. Donohue had told how he had come to their rescue at Trail Encl City, and had guided them to the valley, which he had known years before when serving in the army. ( The ambush prepared for them had been told of also as well as the fact of having found the settler tied to his (

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-THE BUJ:i'FALO BILL STORIES. horse and placarded with a warning for others and the four manacled forms lying at Lookout Mound. To these services rendered by "Captain Cody," was the rescue of Blanche Vassar, and the driving off of the Boys in Black. "He has said, my friends, that this lawlessness must cease in this vailey, that the outlaws must be taught a serious lesson, and we must not be cowed by the fact that they have put to death every one of our Vigilante band organized to hunt them down. You have asked me t o serve as yot1r chief, but I yield to a better man, one whose record I know, whose worth I appreciate, and I name Captain Cody as the leader of a new band of Vigilantes, for he has already avowed his d eterm ination to form one." So said Judge Tremain, who had called a meeting of the settlers after the funeral of Carl Vassar. Continuing. h e went on to say: "Captain Cody, moved by the scenes of outlawry he has already seen here, and wishing to avenge our com rades and punish the guilty ones, has already started to raise a company of Vigilantes, and so far he has three members, one of whom i s none other than Miss Blanche Vassar, my ward, and who is to be the mascot of the band. "He calls only for volunteers, wishes unmarried men alone to join him, and asks for but all told, a chief, two officers, a surgeon, and the fair mascot. 'Captain Cody has already arranged for a home in our midst, for he will dwell at Solace Lodge, as poor Mr. Vassa r had written his daughter to name their home. "As this ranch is most central, Dr. Donohue will make his home there for the present, until he can get suited for himself, and there you w ill find him, a'.1'ld let me say that he come s sp l endidly recommended as both a physician and surgeon. "Now, friend;, those of the young men who wish to join Captain Cody's band of Volunteer Vigilantes, know wh!'!re to find him, and he wishes to begin work at once to put a check upon further bloodshed and depredations in our midst. "Let me further state that the Volunteer Vigilantes will also have an eye upon the Indians-in fact, be at once O\lr scouts and guards. "Here comes the captain now, so give him a welcome as the Chief of the Vigilantes." T ust then Buffa lo Bill, a man with a history known ove r all the <:arth, but unknown personally to those of the se ttlement, and who determined to keep his identitJ: a sec ret as long as he could, rode up to join Judge Tremain, and the welcoming cheers that greeted him were a surprise, and caused him, while raising his hat and bowing his thanks, to blush like a schoolgirl at the honor done him. CHAPTER XVIII. UNLOOKED-FOR ALLY. "Ah! and Indian;, too?" So $aid Buffalo Bill, as he was scouting along the range ove rlo oking the Silver TbrPad, making himself familiar \\'ith the old scenes he had known years before when scouting there. He had been one week only in his new home, andhad taken possession of Solace Lodge, the home of Carl Vas sar, which had been completed just in time. It was supposed in the settlement that he had bought the ranch from Blanche, as her father had been killed, and the idea was to let the settlers so believe who wete not in the secret, for if it got out that Buffalo Bill was in the valley and had come to hunt down the outlaws, the chance to capture ,them would be destroyed, as it would be thought that he was backed by some secret force. Judge Tremain had stocked the ranch with cattle and horses for .Mr. Vassar, and so the cowboys on the place were simply told to transfer their allegiance to Captain Cody, the new master, and they did. Dr. Donohue had taken up his quarters there at Buf falo Bill"s request, and the two friends were getidng along sp lendidly together, the young physician b e ing kept busy. for nearly every settler's family seemed to suddenly de velop an ache or a fever just to test the skill of the new physician. The band of Volunteer Vigilantes had been raised the very first day, in fact, twice as many men could have been secured, but Buffalo Bill stuck to his original inten tion of twenty-five all told organizing another band. however, as a reserve force to draw upon, as he said, significa ntly : "We will need others to call upon to supply the places of those made vacant by death." Carter Kent. a young settler had been made first lieu tenant of the band, and, olit of courtesy to his father, Allan Tremain was appointed second lieutenant, with Dr. Donohue as surgeon, ai1d Blanche Vassar as mascot and color-bearer, for she had at once embroidered them a fighting flag, a rather ghastly one with a red hand hokling scales of justice with the words: "RETRIBUTffE JUST ICE." Beneath was the lettering in silver thread: ''VOLUNTEER VIGILANTES." "You must fight the Boys in Black : under a flag of their own color," grimly said Blanche as she gave the colors to Buffalo Bill. Buffalo Bj]] had been delighted witJ1 his band of volun teers. and found thei11 to be a splendid lot of young fel lows, magnificent riders, dead shots, men who could handle a lasso, follow a trail, anp not one of whom stood less than six feet in his stockings. "They are a band of heroes," the scout captain had said as he gazed at them sitting on their horses before him, clad in buckskin, wearing large sombreros and armed to the teeth. He had originated a series of signals, by which he could call them together in a short while, and giving them their orders, had started alone upon his reconnoitering expedi tions to see just what he could find out about the out laws, their haunts and their members. It was while scouting along the range that he sud denly came upon a sight which caused him to quickly dismount and creep to a ridge, over which he looked with his glass to his eyes. he saw was a white man in a canyon eng'.tged

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.. -\ THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. in fishing, while toward him, trying to get near enough tn kill him, were three Indians, while half a dozen more were beyond the ridge holding the ponies of their com rades who had 'gone to get the scalp of the paleface. "It may be a settler, it may be a road agent, but I will chip in and save him. "If he is a road agent, I will have saved his life and ha\:e to take it later. ''It is a long-range shot, but r can make it," and so Buffalo Bill brought his rifle arourl
PAGE 18

THE BUFF.ALO BILL STORIES many a n unfortunate s ettl e r, for on e night when we had a. l ove l y h o m e, and all was going w ell with us, my four ch ild re n w ere ha p p y and I was educating them along w it h the oth e r l it t le on es o f the settlement, the N avahoes sw ept down upon u s "My w ife was kill e d, my children, too, before my eye s and I w a s b a dly wounded, scalped and left for deadsee t h e sca r ye t remains h e re, but it is felt more here," a n d as h e s p o k e he first show e d among his thick, mas s y l o ck s w h e r e the scalp-lock had b ee n torn from his h e ad, a nd th e n press ed his hand over his heart to reveal where the hur t was d e epe s t. "My h o m e was burne d \ t oo Bill, and I saw the bodies o f m y l ove d o n es c as t into the flames. "I co uld d o nothin g, and prayed that I, to8 di e "Bu t m y praye r w a s una n s wered, and the n sudde nly t he r e c a me o ve r me a l onging to live-to live to avenge the dee d "I h a d n o t p r e a c h ed a sermon sinc e m y dau ghter went a w ay, a n d I t ell yo u t h a t curses came to m y li p s whe r e prayers h a d b ee n u tte r e d. How I got well I n ev e r knew; but 'I rallied and in ti m e t ook t h e trai l go in g fir s t a s a s cout at Fort Whipple ''Then I t ook to t h e w ild erness and b e g a n to ave nge my wrongs upon the r e d s k ins and y o u me t me about that t i me. I liv e d .fo r reve n ge, and the soldier s and m iners called me Nemes i s Nat, an d r suppo s e I d ese rved the name ; I know tha t I do no w for 1 a m onl y an avenger-I live fo;-reYenge "See, thi s c avern is my h o me Buffalo Bill, and I am comfo r table h e re, and yo u are the only one who knows where I dwell. "I h ave moi1ey, pl enty of gold hidd e n away, for the re d sk i ns did not ge t that, and wh e n I need provisions and amm uni tio n I g o t o t11e n earest fort or s e ttl e ment. 'I am a back n u mbe r, but I k e ep up with the m o st im p ro ved weapons, fo r I n eed t he m, Bill in m y busin ess for my m i ssion n ow i s to k ill, to add to my string of scalps "I show you my record," and h e a ro s e and took d o wn an appalli n gly long st(ing o f Nava ho scalps and rema rked: 'They we r e all the r e -at the k ill i n g and cr em ati o n o f my loved ones CHAPTER XX. THB UNTOLD SECRET. Buffa l o B ill had liste n e d w it h d ee p es t interest to the strange a n d pi t ifu l sto r y of o ld Nemesis N at. He felt g ri ef, n ot age, h a d tqrned hi s h air ancl b eard to a sn owy h ue, for h e w as sca rcely ove r fift y-fiv e o r s i xty, and as strong and athl e tic as tho u g h twenty years younge r. He had. i n deed, h a d a sa d life, a nd the s c o ut could not blame hi m fo r havin g b eco me a ernes is. He l ived alon e w ith his sorro w and wa s a mon o mani a c upo n t h e s u bject of sca l p t akin g In a differen t life memor ies o f the crue l past w ould have driven him mad. At last t h e scout said in a sy m pathetic t one: "You always had my symp a thy, Nem e sis Nat, and I am glad that you told me your story. I am glad that you brought me here with y o u, for I feel that we can be pards and help one another, and I have something to tell you too; but I shall hope to see you in better quarters some day and l eading a different life. "No, no, Bill, there is no other life for me to lead "I am an outcast, a rover of m o untain and plain, a dwell e r a w ay from my fellowmen, a n d my life is devoted to avenging my loved ones. "Feeling as I do now, I would be glad to hunt down the man who destroyed the h o n o r of my name and brought shame upon my b eauti ful ch i l d the idol of our h earts and home. I would have d o ne so, w o uld h a ve dogge d him to jus tice, o nly her pitiful letter told us that she loved him and for harm to befall him meant death to her." "And have you ne ver h eard from her." "No." "And do n o t kno w whethe r s he is d e ad or alive?" I h op e that s h e i s d ea d, and Go d r e st her soul and for g iv e h e r.'' '"vVell, N e mesi s Nat, let m e t ell you that I am here i!1 the v a lley on a special mission, though you must keep the secret, a s it is known onl y to a few interested ones." \i\Tho is the re for me to tell it to, Bill, even did I care to b et r ay you?" '"I s p o k e in a g e ne ra l way, Nemesis Nat, and I'll tell you wh a t my mis s ion is, and .YOU can help me in it." "I will do all in my power " I t is to run down the out1aws1mown as the Boys in Black." Buffalo Bill's keen e y es saw the man give a start at his w ords, and a sudden look of anxiety cross his face, but not a ppearing to notice it, he continued: Y ou have heard of t hese outlaws of coutse ? "Oh yes. " Well the ir deeds have been so vile that I decider! to come to t hi s valle y and see what c o uld be done to free th e sett lers from the curs e u p on them," and the start and l oo k h e had s een made Buffalo Bill cautious now. "And you in t end to hunt them down?" I ho p e to do s o. "They a re b a d men." Yes, there n e v e r have b e en worse outlaws banded toge ther on this fronti e r. " H a\fe yo u p roof of this, Bill?" "Yes, I have." "Vl!lfa t proo : ?" "The proof of my own ey e sight of what they have don e "That sh o uld be the best of proof. '' B u t tell me o f th e m." B uffalo Bill told of the cr imes o f the Boys in Bl a ck, t h e long list o f t heir r e d and crue l d e ed s up to the killing o f th e last of the s ettl er Vig ilantes the murder o f Carl V a s sar and th e cap ture of his
PAGE 19

18 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. "Yes, and do you not think it is time they should be wiped out?" ''{e s." And you will be my ally, Nemesis Nat, will help me?" "Dill, l e t me tell you something?" Y es ." "I know these Boys in Black, know their chief and their haunt s "But I did not suspect them of being what you claim t h ey are, for they have kept their red deeds hidden from me, and I only supposed that they held up wagon-trains, coach es, and robbed men of gold, not of life, and I bad no means of knowing to the contrary, though when last at the fort for s upp lies I did hear hard stories told of their acts, but supposed all was overpointed. "Now, Bill, you ask me to help you hui:\t them down, and I could do so, but l e t me t ell you tha t they have been my friends, and they believe that I am theirs. was woui1ded in a fight with Indians once, and they carried me to their retreat and cared for me most tend e rly for months, while one of their number, a physi cian he had been, saved my life. "Again, when a captive to the Kavahoes, and about to be tortured to death, their chief, who is an ally of the r edsk ins, demanded my release and secured it. "The outlaws are masked, Bill, but I have seen the faces of all of them, and some strange magnetism draws me to their chief. "Th ey tru st me and I will not betray them; but I shall not betray you either. I shall be ne utral, yes, more, for they a re evil, you are good, and I s hall protect you when .I can from th em "The secret of their r etreat and trails I will not tell, but I will protect you. "Ivior e I cannot, will not, do, Bill." CHAPTER XXI A ST RA NG E SI G HT. There was no doubt in the mind of Buffalo Bill but that >Jemesis Nat had told him the whole truth about the road agents. He felt assu r ed that the old man felt bound to them bv ties whic h would not allow him to betrav them. A 1nan of hon o r, he yet could not uphold. tht'.ir acts, or take s ides with them ; but yet he would not, owing them all that he did of gratitude, betray them, forfeit their c onfi d e nce in him in having taken him to their secret r etreats The scout realized just how the old avenger was situ ated, how he felt about it, and he would not urge him to ai d him. But he was sure that the outlaws would not be inform e d of his intending to hunt them down, that they would not be warned that Buffalo Bill was upon their trail, wh il e if he could save his, the scout's life, there was no doubt but what he would do so. X emesis Nat intended to remain neutral, as he had said, with a leaning toward aiding the scout, and with this Bu ffalo Bill must be satisfied, he felt. "C an you conscientiously, Nemesis Nat, give me any particulars regarding these road agents?" "Ask what you wish, Bill, and I will answer as I deem just to both sides." "How many men are in the band?" "All of seventy-five, but they are scattered, and, being on friendly terms with the Indians, they are strong in that, where they can retreat for safety to the camps of the redskins." "They have their secret retreat, though?" "They have their secret camps." "And are under the leadership of a man who is a very capable commander?" "Oh, yes; I consider him a very remarkable man. "He has the power of life or death over his men and has ironclad laws for them to follow, allowing no devia tion from them." '\Vil! you describe him to me?" "No, for you are liable to meet him at any time, an
PAGE 20

THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. came upon a strange scene, for there stood Nemesis Nat at the head of an. open grave in which were the bodies of the two redskins, while in his deep voice he was re peating over them the service for the dead. "I intended to bury them myself, but he has clone sowhat a strange man," and Buffalo Bill rode on by Nemesis Nat in his humane act to the dead Indians. CHAPTER XXJI. THE LASSO-THROWER. Buffalo Bill was ir.uch impressed with his long inter view with the man whose life was that of an avenger. I am glad that I saved his life, and I have discovered much by my talk with him. He will do as he says in my behalf, but nothing could make him betray the outlaws, after the debt of gratitude he owes them. "He is as true as steel to friend or foe. "This trail will lead me by the house of Judge Tremain, so I will return that way," and Buffalo Bill turned off of the trail he had been following, into one that b"ranched off to the right. He was within a mile of the home of Judge Tremain, when he suddenly reined his horse to a halt. It was jusl:j on the summit of a ridge, and he forced his horse back over it, as his eyes fell upon a scene of deep intere st for him. The burying-ground of the valley v\ras a most pictur esque spot, a meadow under a massive rock that towered a loft like a mighty monument. It was on the banks of the Silver Thread, and there was a natural grove there. Here had be e n buried the dead of the settlement, and there were a number of new graves that marked the last resting-place of those who had been victims of the Boys in Black. One grave there was apart from the others, and this was where Carl Vassar had been buried. Each d ay since his d eat h Blanche had gathered wild flowers, and, riding the three miles that lay between Hope Vale Ranch and the burying-ground, had gone to his grave. It was Blanche that Buffalo Bill now saw, an.cl she was spreading fiowers upon the grave, while her horse cropped grass near her. All unconscious that there was a human being within two miles of her, Blanche was wrapped up in her work of love. But there was one near who saw that danger threatened her. A h o rseman had come slow ly along trail toward the burying-ground and halted in the shadow of Monu ment Rock, where be had dismounted. What Buffalo Bill saw from the rid ge was this man leave his horse. and, with lasso in hand, creep cau tiously toward the spot where Blanche knelt, shielding himself as well as he could by intervening trees. The scout was within very easy ran:e of his rifle, but he did not think of using it. as he said : "I must cat ch that fellow alive." He could have called out to Blanche of her dangc:-, could have ridden ov'er the ridg-e and put the m2n to flight; but his horse had had a long ride and was tired, and he was not sure of overtaking the man upon the animal he then had. Then, too, night was not very far distant, and the man might elude him in the darkness. So Buffalo Bill decided t)l dash around the ridge, de scend to the meadow, and await the man by Monument Rock when he came there with his captive, for he was sure that he intended to kidnap Blanche, as he recalled the threat she said the chief of the Boys in Black had made to her. So Buffalo Bill rode r apid ly along the ridge out of sight, until he came to a water-wash leading down to the meadow, and in five minutes more he had concealed hi s horse in a pine thicket and was standing by the side of the animal of the man he had seen. It did not take him but a rninulc more to find cover behind a boulder, and, unswinging his lasso, he crouched clown ready to throw it at the time wqen it was needed, muttering to himself: "I'll give him a close of his own poison." In the meanwhile the man had glided over the quarter of a mile that lay betwe e n the spot where he had left his horse and where Blanche was, all unconscious of her danger in the sad me1pories that crowded upon her. She had placed the fresh wild flowers upon the grave, and was kneeling with bowed head. and her hands clasped, while and nearer crept the man as stealth ily as a coyote. "Oh, if he oould have only lived, how happy would 'we have been in our home!" she murmured. As the words left her lips there was a "swish" in the air, a blow and the lariat had coiled about her and drawn taut, pinning h er arms to her sides while, springing to her feet, she was dragged to the ground again with a hea vy fall. CHAPTER XXIII. UN'LOOKED-FOR i\TD. In vain did Blanche seek to free her arms and strive to grasp a revolver she had carried in her belt since her last adventure. The man who had caught her in toils was an ex pert hand wi1h a lariat and quickly had it coiled about her beyond all resistance. "What do yo u mean by this outrage?" she in dignantly. as he took the revolver from her belt and then secured lier beyond all resistance. "Keep that pretty mouth of. yours closed, miss, or I'll have to use a gag on yo).l, for my kind are not popular in this settlement, and, th ough folks is few and far be twf'en, the yell o; a lov ely can be heard a long way off." "I'll keep quiet if you do not gag me. "But why have you made me a prison er ?" she said, ap pea lin gly. She saw before her an athletic, wiry fellow, dressed as a miner. and with top-boots and a slouch hat. His face was bcarclecl, cruel in expression. and B:anche r equired but one glance i nto it to feel that she would ap peal in vain for mercY to that man But it struck her that she might appeal to his love of

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2 0 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. gain, and what he would not do from a sense of mercy, he might do for gold. So she said, quietly: 'i\Thy do yo u not answer me? "What do you mean by this outrage?" I am not acting for myself, miss, but for "Ah! you have a master, then, whom you commit cnme for?" "Don't put it that way, for I have no master." "Then you are paid for your work?" "You bet I am !" "Who i s your master?" "I said I don t like the name of master." "All right, who hires you for this work?" "You 'll know, I guess, sooner than you wish." \i\There is he?" "Up in the mounta ins." "It is the man who kill ed my father, at whose grave yo u have committed this crime, as he did over his d ea d body. "It is the vile chief of the band of outlaws known as the Boys in Black?" ,Yo u guesses well." "How mu c h does he pay yo u for your work?" quietly asked Blanche "Big money." "What do yo u call big money?" "A cool th o usand dollars?" "Then vou commit crime for pay?" "About that." "And you are for sale tG the highest bidder?" "That d e p e nds.' "Up o n what?" "How big t h e sum is that is offered.'' 'Suppose I offe r yo u fifteen hundred dollars if you will release me?" "Have you got your money with you?" "No, of co u rse not." "How could yo u pa y it?'' "I suppose you know who I am?" ''Yes c;\Vho ?" "Miss Vassar. "That is your father in that grave you were putting Howers on. "I was wi t h the chief the day he killed him and caught you and we were run off by a gang of settlers." ''Then, as yo u know me, yo u must be aware that if I promise you fifteen hundred dollars I am able to pay it." "Seeing is believing." "You doubt me?" "I want the money, and yo u have not got it with you." "I wi'.1 pledge you my word to meet you here at this time to-mo rrow and give you the money, for I have it, go ld my fa her had with him when he came from Mex. CO. "And which we missed?" "Yes." "\f.,T ell, I can't take your word, miss, though no doubt you mean what you say. "I've got yo u and you must go with me, so I'll get your horse and bring him here for you to mount." "If you will trust me I will give you two thousand dollars in gold.'' "If you had the money with you, miss, I'd take it and light out quickly, for it would never do to let the chief know I sold myself. "No, you must go with me." He walked over to where her horse was feeding near Monument Rock and, catching the animal, led it back to where he had left her. But as he dre w near to where Blanche stood, the picture of despair, a horsema n suddenly dashed out of a pinon thicket behind the y oung girl, there was the crack of a revolver and the self-confesseci outlaw dropped in his tracks. But it was n o t Buffalo Bill whd had fired the shot. It was the Mysterious Man in Blue. CHAPTER XXIV. THE RESCUER. It was a gfad cry that broke from the lips of Blanche Vassar, as she stood there by the grave of her father the lariat of her captor wrapped closely around her, when suddenly there dashed into view a horseman, one who came to her rescue. She turned at the rapid clatter of hoofs just in time to see him level his revolver and pull trigger. She saw the kidnaper leap into the air and fall heavily upon his face, as though killed on the instant. She had heard of the Mysterious Man in Blue, and the one she now beheld before her she was certain was no other than he . She saw a splendid horse, with Mexican saddle and bridle, richly ornamented with silver, and a lariat hanging from the horn. The rider riveted her gaze and commanded her admira tion in spite of herself. The rider was the same handsome, debonair Man in Blue who had come to the rescue of Buffalo Bill, Dr. Donohue and Allan Tremain in Trail End City, and whose word had been law to the wild element under the leadership of the Giant Sport, Circus Sam. He sprang from his saddle, and, with sombrero in hand, his long golden hair hanging in wavy masses upon his shoulders, he approached Blanche, his blue costllJTie even more elegant than the one he had worn at Trail End City. "I am sorry to find you in trouble, lady, and will quickly release you from those bonds," he said, in his low voice, full of melody. "You have saved me, sir, from one whom that was the tool of, the chief of the outlaws known as the Boys in Black, and without my expressing my gratitude, you can feel how much I appreciate your act and the risk you took on my account." "Do not speak of it, lady, for a man who would not risk his life for a lady is a despicable thing indeed.'' And the Man in Blue was quickly unwrapping the coils of the lasso from about the form of Blanche, who said: "You are he whom they call the Mysterious Man in Blue. are you not?" "Yes; but my name is Ford Bel font, miss.

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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 2 1 "You recognize me by my clothing, I suppose, as the most distinguishing feature?" "I have beard of you, sir, and of your costume, which is certainly picturesque, if odd." "Thanks I have a fancy for blue and silver., and humor myself in it. "You are Miss Blanche Vassar, I take it?" "And may I ask how yo u recognized me sir? for I do not recall that we have met before." "By your beauty, which has not been misrepresented," was the frank response, and yet so respectfully said that .J3lanche could not feel offended, but blushed visibly, while she said: "\!\The n you see my adopted sister, Myrtle Tremain, you will see one who is indeed b ea titiful, and ma y I not ask y ou to escort me to Hope Vale that you may tell Judge Tremain of the tragedy here, for he is dead, I is h e not ?" And Blanche glanced timidly toward the outlaw lying some paces distant, just as he had fallen. without appearing to hear her last remark, he said: "Yes, Miss Tremain is very beautiful, for I saw her once; but she is a blonde and being one myself, I like the opposite type of beauty. "Yes, this man is dead, for I shot to kiU, and I will escort you home with pleasure, -Miss Vassar, as it is growing late, and yo u should not ride alone. 1 "Permit me to h e lp you to your saddle." f He led her horse up and with courtly grace aided her to mount, when; leaping into his own saddle without using the stirrup, they turned toward the ranch of ) udge Tremain, Blanche r emarking : "Must he be left there ?" "Oh, yes, I'll see to having_ him buried upon my return, for my ranch is just beyond the range a few miles." I heard that yo u had a home in Silver Thread." "Yes, I have several homes, for I am a roving gold hunter, Miss Vassar, seeking my. fortune where I can find it, and they rode on in a rapid gallop. CHAPTER XXV. THE SCOUT SURPRISED. Buffalo Bill waited patiently for the coming of the outlaw to his horse, accompanied by his captive. But, as half an hour passed and the man did not ap pear, for he should have been there, certainly having had ample tin;ie to capture the maiden and bring her there, Buffalo Bill began to grow anxious. What the delay meant he could not understand, and he at last decided to reconnoiter; when suddenly he saw the man come into view. He was walking rapidly along and going straight toward his horse. Then the right arm of the scout began to move ii1 a circle, the lasso-coil grasped in the unerring hand, while his face grew stern as he wonder e d what had become of the maider:. Had the outlaw killed her? Had she escaped ? With doubt as to her fate he gave the lasso its last whirl and sent it flying toward the man. lt was aimed as straight as a bullet,. and the noose I settled down over the man s head, there was a hard and quick pull, and down went the outlaw his full length upon the ground, and with force enough to hal f stun him. Before he could realize what had happened, or rise to his feet, the tall form of the scout bent over him .an
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22 I THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES "Has you ever heard tell o' a Man in Blue?'' ''I have heard of hiin often, and once met him; in fact, he rendered me good service a short while ago." "He's the man." "That rescued Miss Vassar?" "Yes." "Where was he ?" "Lotd knows; but he came clashing out of a thicket, and fired at me with his revolver. "I didn't stop the bullet but I knows when I has got enough, and I jist tumbled down all in a heap, and played dead 'poscadence "It went, and he rescued the girl and rode off with her, and I came back after my hprse." "Well, I am glad no harm befell her; but why did you seek to capture her?" "For ransom money." "All right; I want you, and so you go with me. "Come, I'll help you mount, and then I'll take you face to face with Miss Vassar and see what she says ." And soon after the scout and his prisoner started at a for Hope Vale Ranch. CHAPTER XXViI. MAKING FRIENDS. There was something about the Man in Blue that was very fascinating. He certainly was exceedingly handsome, he possessed a slender yet fine physique, he rode with a grace and con fidence that showed the perfect horseman, while his manners were courtly, he was intellig e nt, refined, and spoke in a low tone with a voice that was peculiarly rich and of an al most pathetic cadence. He seemed to drop the affair at the graveyard, as he rode along and talked of matters wholly foreign to the surroundings. Once he spoke of himself, and then only to say: "I dislike city life, but love the wild career one leads out here in the midst of danger and living with nature all about you; none of man's artificial work. I enjoy the hunt for go ld, and though I have struck it 1 : ich, as they say here, I still keep on in my search." "One out h e re h ears such strange stories, we har
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THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. The fact was that when there was an,y one particularly marked upon the frontier, all kinds of tales went the rounds about him, and the judge had leaned b(' lieving some things he heard of the Mysterious Man in Blue, and it was a regret to him when he heard that h e had establi s h e d himself on a ranch over beyond the range. He had been told that the Man in Blue was a man kill er, ancl there we r e too many reckles s characters then in the settlement to look with fa v,or upon another one corning to settle there. and one who affected such a re markable costume as did Ford Belfont. VI/hat his son had told him of the l\Ian in Blue had, however his opinion in a measure, and yet he r\i
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THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. And th e f e llow latf g h e d, wh j l e the Man in Blue s aid, w i t h a s i gnifi ca n t s mile : 'It i s b ette r a s it is, for now t h e rope will make sure w ork o f yo u. "Don't. s a y it Man in Blu e ; and, besides, I'm this g e nt s game, n o t yours "How c o mes it, Captain C o dy, that you captured the fellow?" a s k e d Alla n Tremain. "I was co ming b y t his t rail wh e n I saw him from the r idge l eave h i s h o rse a n d c r eep up o n s o me one. I soo n saw that l\I i ss Vassar was h is i n t e n de d vic tim and, not w i s hin g t o fir e on him I went to where he had l e f t h is h orse a r t' d a wa it e d his retu rn "Whe n h e appea r e d I cau ght him with m y lariat. and he t o l d m e tha t t h e M an in B lu e ha d rescu e d Mis s Y assar and ri dden a w ay w it h h e r. "Yo u b et h e c a u ght m e with h is rop e and h e throws it for all there i s in it, s ai d th e p r i s o n e r, w hil e the judge re marked: "Y c s ; your ow n testim o n y c o nd e mns yo u, my man. "Bnt com e i n ca ptain, for yo u are in ampl e tim e for s upp er, and I w ill see that your pri so ner i s car e d for, as his c r i me i s too serio u s t o allow o f h is escapi n g. "Yes, judge, h e m u s t not es c ape," th e s co ut sai d firmly. "No, indeed, for a n example m ad e o f a few of his kind judge, woul d do great d e al o f g o o d in the sett l ement, from all I h ear of th e l aw l ess n ess h e re. "I am going to t h e villa ge from he re, and I shall b e g l ad t<;> p l a ce t h e f ello w in th e l ocku p yo u hav e th e re if Captain C ody w ill intrust hi m to m y ca re For a m oment B uffal o Bill w as sile iit bnt then repli e d : ' Ht: is i n t h e h an d s of J u
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/ THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. "I certainly saw that he also impressed Captain Cody, and yet not favorably, I feel certain, and the two men se e med to read each other, or that is my opinion." ''Why, Myrtle you argue your case like a lawyer," said Allan laughing, and he added: "But you are right, I am sure, for Cody did not appear to take to the man when he came to our aid in Trail End Cit y, and to-night he certainly was watching him closely and foll o w e d on his trail really because he had some doubt of him 'What doubt could he have, Allan?" asked Blanche. Well the pris o ner offered Captain Cody, the latter told me, a couple of thousand dollars if he rould allow him to go, no one else knowing of his capture, and he had the money with him, too, the scout said, and, therefore, there was a desire on his part not to let the fellow escape sho uld the Man in Blue yield to the temptation of the same offer." I "But Mr. Belfont is very rich, I believe," urged Blanche. "He may and he may not be, my dear. I h a ve heard it said that he has found some rich mines, yet he is not working them that I know of, and it may be all talk. ''I r a ther like him myself, but I have that confidence in' Cod y that I am sure he is not one to make a mistake, and if he suspects Belfont he has some good reason for it, and these are times to be suspicious in this valley after all that we have gone through with," and the judge spoke earnestly bu t it was certain that Blanche was determined to champion t he Man in Blue. I ln the meanwhile Buffalo Bill had gone but a short dis t ance along the trail after them when he suddenly tu r n e d off to the right, and, putting his horse into a sweep ing gallop, held on at that p a ce for some miles. The n he approached the main trail again through a can y on and hitching his horse h e walked rapidly to a group of rocks around which the road t.urned that the Man in Blue and his prisoner would have to ride. H e had not wahed long before he heard voices an
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THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. "Will you go, doctor?" "Oh, yes, for I may be needed," and ten minutes after the three mounted and rode rapidly away. It was over an hour's ride to Silver and when they got there they found quite a crowd gathered, anu Jake had told his story over and over again until one of the men said : "Say, Jake, pull the string on yourself, or you'll wear your teeth out talking." The crowd laughed, but Jake was very wrathy over his prisoner's escape, and was glad when Judge Tremain called him to one side and told him to again tell the whole story over to Captain Cody, the doctor and Allan Tremain. "You saw the men?" .sked Cody. "Oh, yes." "One prete11ded to be a prisoner?" "Yes, he was bound, I thought, only he wasn't, for he was the one who hit me-see, he gave me a eye, and they had me gagged and tied before I could say anything." "How many were there?" "I counted seven men, including the man who done 1ne." "How were they mounted, dressed, and what did they say?" "They rode black horses, but were not masked, though they seemed rigged up in a black suit. "Only the prisoner spoke as they and then I was left in the jug while they rode off, and that's all I know." "Who brought you the prisoner ?" "The Man in Blue, just before midnight, and he told me to keep him subject to the call of Judge Tremain, who would try him for some crime he had committed, and that's all I know, pard." Buffalo Bill made no reply, but thanked the keeper of the cabin known as the "Silver Thread Jail," and rode a\ay, followed by the judge anq the two young meri. "\iVell, Cody, what move is next to be taken?" the judge asked, when the four had ridden half a mile from the fort. '.'I am following this trail of the fugitive and his res cuers, sir." A h, yes, their trail. 1 _"I ee it now; but you will want more of us to go with I ;you." ::\ o, judge, r will go alone, unless the two young gen tl eme n wish to go with me, for you, sir, are not to track c rim inal s but to try them after we catch them." \ V ell, Cod y I obey orders always; but you certainly will need mor e men, as Jake Jessop says there \.Vere seven of them." \Ve are n o t g oing to fight outlaws now, judge, but to l t ra c k them. "They are already safe from immediate pursuit, but much can be found out by the signs of a trail, and we will report results on otir return." "See here,. Captain Cody, you have not the most perfect confidence .in the Man in Blue?" "I can only say, sir, that I suspect him, perhaps with out reason; but when I am suspicious of a man I watch him-I am watching the 1\Ian in Blue," and, leaving the judge to return to his home, Buffalo Bill and his two dcrfoot parcls continued on along the outlaws' trail. CHAPTER XXXI. A CHAIN OF EVIDENCE. 'See here, I tie to you every time, and if you have not been long on the frontier you are i<:arning your lessons fast and well. "I can trust you, and that is saying a great deal, anf himself or one being who holds a claim upon him. ''He lme\\ me, as you saw, and yet, as the 1\Ian in Blue or Ford Belfont, I never saw him in my life, before the night I met him in the Last Chance Lay-out at Trail End City "Now, I may have imagined it, but I thought I saw a look pass between the i\Ian in Blue and the prisoner. 'He volunteered to take my pt'isoner to Silver Thread and lock him up; was it through kindness for me, 1.o pre vent my going ten miles out of my way? ''The prisoner offered me a good, large bribe, and he had the money, to let him go, and when I did not, he seemed very little worried about his fate. ''Now, the Man in Blue did deliver the prisoner to Jake Jessop, and within an hour or so after he was released b y six or seven men. "How did these men know he was a prisoner?

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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. "If they saw him captured, why did they not rescue him from me? 'Such is the line of argument I take, and I now intend to take the trail of the Man Blue, see where it joins the tracks of the prisoner's rescuers, and then where it leads; but, see here; this is the track of his horse; it is a peculiar one, as you observe, and you will see that it goes back to Silver Thread, along with the men who went there to take the man out of the lock-up. "We will find out what it means." Both Dr. Donohue and Allan Tremain were consider ably impressed with the quiet reasoning of the scout. It did put a shade of suspicion upon the Man in Blue, and they were anxious to have it explained. \ T y rode carefully along on the trail, catching sight now and then of the s ingle tra ck of the horse ridden by the Man in Blue, and after a ride of half a dozen miles Buffalo Bill called them to note that the trail turned off up a can yon. Here we re found the traces of where half a dozen horsemen had e vid ent ly been camping for a day or more. "They were here all of twenty-four hours, and they came fr om over the range, you see, and went back that way. "The trail o f the Man in Blue came directly to this point, and from here the r e scu e rs started to Silver Thread lock-up and returned this way. \There were twelve hor ses not including that of the Man in Blue," and B uffal o Bill went on reading the signs in a manner that amazed the two young men and won their admiration. ''Yo u certainly know your bu s iness, Captain Cody, and I th ink that t h e Man in Blue has something to explain tha t it will puzzle him to do," Allan Tremain remarked. "'Yes; i f he did n ot come here, where these men were, and lead them back to the lock-up to rescue that prisoner, all s i g ns fail," rejoined the doctor. "'Ah! some one is coming, and at a fun, too-yes, there are more than one horseman, so be r e ady for a fight or a stamp e de," cried Buffalo Bill, riding toward the shelter of some tin ibe r in the canyon, and unslinging his rifle for use while his comrades did the same . Just as they reached the timber a horseman dashed into view, riding at full speed and behind him came otl,ers as though in pursuit. The o ne in advance was the :.vI:an in Blue. CHAPTER XXXII. AN EXPLANATIO "The Man in Blue!" cried Buffalo Bill as he caught sight of th e horseman, and the manner in which he rode showe d that he was flying for his life. "Stand by, pards, for that looks like a pursuit, as others are coming," cried Buffalo Bill, and they could di.$tinctly hear the ciatter of hoofs in the canyon. "If he is pursued, we have wronged the Man in Blue," said Allan Tremain. "It looks that way-but here they come,'' and Buffalo Bill rode into view and hailed the Man in Blue. "Ho, pard, this way if you seek friends." A cry broke from the lips of the Man in Blue, and he wheeled his horse off the trail and quickly rode toward the timber. As he did so he called out : "If you are alone turn and fly with me, for there are half a score of those fellows chasing me." "I am not alone, and we will make a stand," called bacl{ Buffalo Bill, and as the horsemen in pursuit dashed into sight he raised his rifle to his shoulder and pulled trigger. The crack of the rifle seemed the first intimation that the had of the presence of help for the fugitive horseman they had been pursuing so hard. As one of their horses went down, with a bullet in his brain, the others drew rein quickly, just as Buffalo Bill called out: "Now, pards, catch them in their surprise and let them have it, for they CJ.re Boys in Black, as you see." The Man in Blue had now reached his rescuers, and drawn rein, but as the others raised their rifles to fire, he called out : "See, I cannot help you, for I am in irons." The three rifles flashed together, and then, following the example set them by the scout, Allan Tremain and Donohue began to pump the lead at the outlaws, who at once stampeded, leaving one of their number dead and another wounded on the field, while a second horse went down also under their fire. The oittl ws did sot halt when they got out of sight in the but kept up their flight, as the sound of the rapid clatter of hoofs growing fainter and fainter proved. Then Buffalo Bill remarked, coolly: "We have set them going and, Doc, there is work for you, for we must save that fellow who is wounded, but unable to rise ," and he led the way at a gallop to the scene, the others followi11g. There lay two of the splendid b_lack horses the outlaws rode, and the dead form of one of the Boys in Black, and a wounded man sat on the ground further away. "Dead! that was your shot, Mr. Cody," said Dallas Donohue, placing his hand lightly upon the pulse of the d e ad man.

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28 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. '.'Now the other, doctor." The. other outlaw had drawn the mask from his face, as though for air, and dropped back in recumbent posi tion as the scout and the others approached. "Ho, pard, it is you, j s it ?" "Better have stayed in the lock-up and taken your chances with the Vigilantes," said Buffalo Bill, as he recognized his prisoner of the night before. "Yes, it's f:ne, and I guess I 've got my graveyard medi cine, so will cheat yer Vigilantes from a hangin' picnic, if you had any, whicj1 yer hain't, for the Boys in Black done for them, and scared 'em off from havin' any more. "But I is done for;" "No, you have too much breath to have it limited by a wound. ''How is it, doctor?" said the scout. "It is a wound in an ugly place, but the bullet may have glanced on a rib and if so it is not serious. "I will find out soon," and the doctor told the outlaw to lie down and let him examine the wound. "What fer? "If it hain't serious yer'll jab a probe into my vitals and kill me, and if it is fatal, I'll soon pass in my chips. "Jist let me lie here and die in peace." "Oh, no; we will see that you are cared for," and, leav ing the doctor to examine the wound, now that he had gotten out his case of instruments, which Buffalo Bill had told him never to go without in that country, he to thy Man in Blue and said: "Pardon me, pard, for not to you before, but it was a case of the dead and dying first-you are in irons, I see." The Man in Blue's wrists were manacled, while his feet were tied beneath his horse. "Yes, I am tied up, but it is far better than having a rope about my neck, for those devils meant to hang me," he said. "Indeed how was it?" "I delivered my prisoner at the lock-up an started for my ranch, and right here in this canyon ran into an ambush. "They caught both my horse and myself with lassos, and resistance was useless. "They said they had been waiting for a pard, who was on a special duty, and, as he was long overdue, they were sure he had been killed or captured. "Without thinking of what they might do, I told them that they need not wait, as their pard was safe in the Sil ver Thread lock-up. "I at once saw my mistake, for they decided to go and rescue him, and they ironed and bound me as you see, and I had to go along with them. "Your being here, gentlemen, proves that you have discovered the escape of the prisoner, and were on his trail. "When we halted, some miles back in the range, I made an effort to escape, ahd, wheeling my horse, sud denly dashed away. "But for you I would have been captured, for, my hands being manacled and feet bound, I could not urge my horse any faster, and they had frankly said they in tended to hang me." The scout glanced at his two comrades at the Pxplana tion of the Man in Blue, as though to say: "I was wrong, and did him an injustice." # CONCLUSION. With one of the Boys in Black wounded and a p'1soner and another dead, Buffalo Bill felt that it was time to st rike a hard blow against the outlaws. "V./ e have them on the run, boys," he said to his com panions, "and the thing is to keep them on the run." Allan and Dr. Donohue were ready at once to go on the trail of the outlaws, and a number of settlers were quickly gathered together with the majority of the Vigilantes to go on the trail. The Man in Blue, who had now been cleared of sus picion, was very much shaken up by his recent adventures, and said that he preferred remaining behind rather than going in for further' adventures. A little later Buffalo Bill led his followers on the trail of the fleeing outlaws. Their horses were1 fresh, the trail was good, and the chase ended in the overtaking of the outlaws and the wipe-out ef the whole ten of them. Such a heavy blow, together with the knowledge that there was a man in Silver Thread City who was their master, either at fighting or trailing, discouraged t' Boys in Black considerably. Their secret hiding-place was not discovered, but it generally knbwn that the band had scattered, and many a day the inhabitants of Silver Thread City lived in peace and serenity. THE END. \ Next week's issue, No. 88, will contain "Buffalo :Sill and the Man in Blue; or, the Volunteer Vigilantes of Sil ver Thread City." Of course, you are interested in knowing the further history of the Man in Blue. When the mystery surrounding him was finally re moved it meant a big surprise to everybody concerned. Can any of you guess who he really was? Make your guess, and then read next week 's issue to find out who he really was. The Volunteer Vigilantes did some fine work, which will be told in next week's issue. You will want to read all about that, too.

PAGE 30

Are you still dreaming, boys? Let us know the results. It is a capital contest so far. {or list of prizes and conditions, see page 3J. The Crimson Clty. (By Robert Laughlin, Poquonock Bridge, Conn.) My dream r e vealed to me a distant city, its domes and spires effulgent with a soft, rosy glow. I realized that peace and happiness dominated there, and fascination led me onward. But as I reached the gates the city van ished in a cloud of gold-tinged smoke, and I found my s e lf traversing a rocky, sand-strewn road, barren and desolate; hills upo n one side, a broad, tranquil lake upon the other. A brilliant sun shone in the heavens and was mirrored with burning luster in the lake waters. I saw an aged, white-haired man seated by the way side. "Can you direct me to. the Crimson City?" I inquired, addressing him. "Alas, no," he replied. "I have sought it for many days. I am sorely distressed. My wife and children were taken by a single blow of Death. But l still seek the city of red, for within its walls is Peace." I resumed my way, and the sun grew brighter while the waters of the lake around its reflection assumed a ruby hue. I overtook a maiden clad in the garb of a fisher girl. Her face was fair. yet bore lines of woe. Can you direct me to the Crimson City?" I asked her. "I know not the way myself,'' she said, "though I have long sought it. I crave the happiness that shines within its gates, for sorrow rests heavily upon me. My sailor lover went away upon the sea and never returned. My heart is broken." I spoke a word of sympathy, and conti11ued on my journey. Next I encountered a sad-faced woman, who led a small child by the hand. In response to my inquiry, she ignorance regarding the path to the Cr1mson City and also announced her desire to enter its gates. "My child and myself are starving and cold," she wailed. "We shall soon lie dead by the wayside." I divided a crust of bread with her, and once more journeyed on. The sun grew red and fierce and the lake waters began to gyrate around its reflection. A mar. wandered from a glade a,nd greeted me politely. "I know not the way to the red city," he said in reply to my query. "Would that I did. I was once a king, but my wealth and my kingdom were swept away. Alas! alas!" At this moment the lake began to burn and hiss. A dense rose-colored smoke arose close over its surface, and drifted about me. The strains of thrilling music rang in my ears, the smoke clouds formed themselves into beautiful shapes, a feeling of uhutterable happiness came on':r me, and I realized that I was in the Crimso11 City. I saw the aged man reunited with his dear ones tf1e foher girl with her lover, and the woman and her child dowered with riches. I saw nothing of the polite man or his kingdom, which, I presume, he never recoverc
PAGE 31

THE BUFFALO 1BILL STORIES. danger of m y life, and that w as when a huge and f e ro cion s l ion sp rang t oward me. If I had be e n on my g u a r d t h e dange r wo uld not h a ve been so great, but we h a d been rid ing a long f'or quite a distance without se e i n g any game of any kind, just l ong enou g h to make me co mple t e l y c a r e l ess in regard to d ange r, w h e n, with a growl I felt r a t h e r tha:1 saw the great lio n sprin ging upon mC1 w ith a bou n d I hardl y know h o w I did it, but I r e i ned up my bi rd-steed, an d the lion, making allowance in h is spring fo r the rate w e we r e trave ling, instead of springin g upo n me, sprang upon the os t rich, and in anoth e r moment the bc;a d of the bird was crus h e d in the jaws o f the king of the forest Quick as thought, my rifl e was ou t and in another minute bird and b east were lying t o gether in a h e ap, ming ling their blood and their brains. In t h e m e an tim e Buffa l o B ill. paying little attention to u s, h ad gone on ent i rely ob l iv i ous of the accid ent which had b efalle n me ; so knowing t h a t he would return when h e m isse d me, I sat d o w n unde r a tree to rest. H ow long I sat t h ere I k n ow not, for, b eing fatigued fro m m y r ecent e ncounter I mus t have droppe d off into a doze, when, all a t .once I felt myself lifted up into the ai r and a thous a nd snak e s r e s e mbling the boa-constrictor, wra pp ing themselv e s abo u t m y body and crushing the life out of me. h r ie d t o fr e e m y s elf, but found it impossible to move; I trie d t o c all to m y late companion but was unab l e to d o s o. I saw it w a s only the limbs of the tree encircling me and crus hin g m y life out of me so, trying ti me and time a gain, to cr y out in the hor.ror of m y p os i t ion I a woke. Rel ating t o my father this horri b le dream, h e told me that there was s uch a t r ee in Afri ca, and it was called the deadly lipas. A Funny Dream. (By Harol d G reene, Brookl;yn, N. Y.) About thr ee nigh ts a g o I had a very peculiar dre am. I thoug h t that I was stopp in g in the country. It was a b out dusk and as I we n t fo r the m ail I saw a dark shadow da r t am ong the t rees. As I w a s passing a forest my susp icions were aroused and I followed in the direction o f the s hadow. As I w a s a goo d runne r, I quickly cJVer took the W h en I was n early upon it, I could se e that it was a man w ith a large b a g on his back. I fol l owed it a long whi l e and. finally, I s a>v the m an sto p take off his h at, wipe the pe r spirat i on from his forehead, t hen set the bundl e down. As he went to remove the bun? l e fro m h i s h1>ulde r I c o uld see it w a s very heavy, for 1t we n t dow n wit h a ba n g. And I heard a voice fro m i n s i de yc.lling as it went t o th e ground. It seemed like hours to me, but 1 wai t ed t o list en. A fter a while the man sai d tha t they wou l d h ave to b e moving; then he bundl e up?n hi s bac k a n d m o ved rapidly in the direc ti o n of t h e r ai l ro a d statio n. Following him clo s ely I c o u ld make out that h e m eant busin e ss. He went to boa r d t he t rain and b e off as soo n a s p o ssible. I followed hill\ t o th e baggage c a r and I h eard the bagg age-master s a y that i t was necessa r y t o s t ay in the car with his baggage. H e saw h e was followed, and, as I jumped aboard the bagga g e-master left the room. As it was dark he did not s e e me enter. As soon as the baggage-master left the room I saw the man jump for the door. I made a quick for him, and he drew a pis t ol, and fired two shots but fortu nately, mis s in g me. He the n dro pp e d th e and' we began wre stlin g but as he was stron g er than he hurled out of t he baggage-car. As I was falling I woke up. So ende d my queer dream. A Narrow Escape from Prison. (By Forest Landrum, Avondale, Ala.) A .fe""'. months ago I was an office boy in a large store m Bmmng h a m, and I had three partners. Their names were Sam Emmerson, Frank Erkurt and Arthur Frazier. O ne day the y c a me to me and asked me how I would like to get rich. I was anxious to find out what they meant. They said they had a mint out of town. They said we could make lots of mon ey. VI e had a twenty-five c e nt piece press, and a fifty-cent p1ece pre ss. We we had it so nobody could find it, but w e were nustaken; for. one day, five policemen came in on us all at o nc e I was so scared I could not move but Sam Emmerson and Frnnk Erkurt had pi s t o ls, and out came b ot h of and killed three policemen. The other two w e re g omg to take us t o j a il, but I d on't re m em b e r an.Y more, so I gue ss all this wa s a dre am, for n ext mo rmng the oth e r boys w e re at work and they say they don't know anything of it. Tortured by Indians. (By Clarence Hand, Plainfield, N. J.) \Vhile ca mping this summer I had a dream that is ':".orth I d:eamed that I. was captured by Inmans, who, 111 the middle of the mght, had m a de a raid on our camp. I was k n ocked sensel e ss in the firrht was 0 stra pp e d on a horse and take n far mto the forest. vVhen the Indians : e ached their village, they put me into a tent for a sh ort ti me; then I ras tsiken out and tied to a tree. A great fire was built around me. which soon ate throuo-h m y clothes and b egan to burn my flesh. As the fire crte into my l egs I aw o ke and found that I had taken a walk in my sleep and had stepp e d into the camp-fire. 'j$1 ::iolor, boiUe !plrh G u a to 1ticlr: tllem oa.Doz ot BaniiCork to blac' lr:e t up, Im.Rubber Mo.tb, blc tee\b, hOTet it; ppannaa for perfonn!11c thcreanm,b111cha.irdou.rtrtc11:.Tbu blcoirere l1togetyour&ddroutoaendy plaJl.wf ,.,.I', ,.. " 1hl1 la a-4. r .. 111 -pnt 111 a Bnvy GOLD plate lacer &b&YJLU,,M..t..U.. -'.ddreuChu.llanball, Hfr . Loc!rport.N.Y. WANTED: Copies of Good News Weekly, No. 13 7 Any boy who has a ccpy of the above-mentioned numl:er should commt nicate at cnce with STEWART, Box 192, New York City.

PAGE 32

CURIOUS DREAM CONTEST you all know what a success the last contest was. We propose to make this e ven 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 a n EASTMAN BROWNIE CAMERA and a complete outfit fo' r 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 Curiou s Drea m you have ever had, write it in five hundred words, or less, and s e n d i t with the accompanying coupon, properly filled out, to BUFFALO BILL WEEKLY, Care of STREET & SMITH aas WU.LIAM NEW YORK "CITY THE PRIZES WE OFFER THIS TIME are about the FINEST EVER CBVEN in a of this kind. The cameras COUPON Buffal o Bill Dream Contest, Na. 2 Name . ..... . .... .. .. .. . ........ :-... . No .. .... ...... .. .... S t reet .............. ... ................. ........... Cit y o r Town .. ..... .. ...... . ..................................... : .... .. S t ate . .. ....... .. . .. . .................. .... Title of Stor y ........................................................... l 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.

PAGE 33

I I BlJFF !\LO BILL (LARGE> SIZS.) Containing the Stories Authorized by Hon. WILLIAM F. CODY ("Buffalo Bill"). 58-Buffalo Bill's Mvsterious Trail; or, Tracking a Hidden foe. 59-Buffalo Bill and the Masked Hussar; or, Fighting the Prairie 60-Buffalo Bill's Blind; or, Running the Death Gauntlet. 61-Buffalo Bill and the Masked Driver: or. The Fatal Run Through Death Canyon -,., 62-Buffalo Blll's Still Hunt; or, fighting the Robber of the Ranges. 63-Buffalo Bill and the Red Riders; or, The Mad Driver of the 64-Buffalo Bill's Dead-Shot Pard; or, The Will-o'-the-Wiso of the Trails. 65-Buffalo Bill' s Run-Down; or, The R ed-Hand Renegade's Death. 66-Buffal o Bill s Red Trail.; or, I\ Race for Ranson. 67-Buffal o Bill's Best Bower; or, Calling the Turn on Death Notch Dick. 68..,,...Buffalo Bill and the Cold Ghouls; or, Defying Death at Elephant Rock. 69-Buffalo Bill's Spy Shadower; or. The Hermit of G rand Canyon. 7 0 -Buffalo Bill's Secret Camp; or, Trailing the Cloven Hoofs. 71-Buffalo Bill s Sweepstake; or, Hunting the Paradise Cold Mine. 72-Buffalo Bill and the Heart Desperado; or, The Wipe-Out at last C hance. 73-Buffalo Bil r 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 Rafile of Death. i6-Buffalo Bill's Road /\gent Round-Up; or, Panther Pete's Revenge. 77-Buffa lo B ill and the Renei:!ade Queen; or, Deadly Hand's Strange Duel. 78-Buffalo B .ill's Buckskin Band; or, Forcing the Redskins to ihe Wall. 7 9-Buffalo B ill s Decoy Boys; or, The Death Rivals of the Big Horn, 8 0-Buffalo Bill s Sure Shots; or, Dawson's Big Draw. 81-Buffa l o Bill s Texan Team; or, The Dog Detective. 82-Buffa lo Bill's W'\ter Trail; or, Fcril'ng the Mexican Bandit. 83-Buffalo Bill's Hard i\ighL's Work; or, Captain Coolh a n d's Kidnapping Plot. 8 4 -Buf1a : o B ill and the Scout Miner; or, rThe Mounted Sharps of the Overland. 8;'5B u ffalo Bill's Single-Handed Came; or, Nipping Outl a wry in the Bud. 8 6-B'uffa lo Bm and the Lost Miners; or, Hemmed in by Redskins. Ba,ck numb e r s always on hand. If you cannot fet them from your newsdealer, fiTe a.' copY will to y ou, by mail, postpaid. STREET & SMITH. l?ublishers, 238 '-VILLIA1'<1 S'r.9 YORK CI'rV. __________________________ ,.,

PAGE 34

I . f .. Physical Healtl1 CultL1re (ILLUSTRATED) A Popular 1'1anusl of Bodily Exercises a11d I1ome Oym nestles for .Male and Female BY I I i ,,..;,;,,; PR.OF. FOUR.MEN i ::: CONTENTS The Physical Man. The Muscles and Muscle Building. The Lungs and the Science of Breathing. Indoor Exercises and Home Gymnastics. E a t ing and D rirlking for Health. Diet Cures anti A11Li-Drug Re1netlies. The of Baths and Massage. H o w to D res s for Health and Beauty. Walking and Running. Swimming and Bicycling. .. All Newsdealers, 10 cents If sent by mail, 3 cents additional for postage. Street & Smith PUBLISHERS f l "'; I I l . I i } I j .r.J / L c...

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