Buffalo Bill's water gauntlet, or, The mystery man's talisman

Buffalo Bill's water gauntlet, or, The mystery man's talisman

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Buffalo Bill's water gauntlet, or, The mystery man's talisman
Series Title:
Buffalo Bill stories
Buffalo Bill
Place of Publication:
New York
Street & Smith
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Physical Description:
1 online resource (30 p.) 28 cm.: ;


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

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
020910240 ( ALEPH )
454452151 ( OCLC )
B14-00094 ( USFLDC DOI )
b14.94 ( USFLDC Handle )

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A ,WEEKLY PUBLJCATJO N D "EVOTED TO BORDER HI 5TORY issued WeeklJ By Subscriptftm $a.so per year. Entered as Second Class Matter at New York Post Office by SrREET & SMITH, 238 Wt7ham St., N. Y. No. 94. Price, Five Centsa AS BUFFALO BILL LET DRIVE WITH HIS .REPEATER, THE REDSKIN IN THE PROW OF THE W All CANOE THREW HIS ARMS WILDLY IN THE AIR.


ffiOD::i[b A WEEKLY PUBLICATION DEVOTED TO BORDER Hl5TORY issued. B $2.;o per y'ar. Enf,nd .1s Second Clau Ma'ler at lite N Y Post 01/ice, b v STREET & SMITH, 238 William St., N. Y. Entered a c c ordi n sto Act rJj Congr.ss in theyeur 190], in lite Office o f t!te Libruri.m of C..on,e-ress, W

2 THE .BU F.FALO BILL STORI ES change. bttt no inducement was strong enough to make him quit those hnnting-grounds. ( )n this account, the heart of the Sierras had remained as '1 closed book to all but a few lucky pioneers, who, having penetrated their mysterious depths, had returned laden with a rich golden spoil. The tales they told of encounters with an unknown race of [ndians, of gold in such abundance that "washing" was unnece ssary-indeed, a waste of time-coupled with the actual production of immense nuggets, yielding a percentage higher than any others in the richest fie lds of Ccrlifornia, fired the gambling instinct of their hearers, and produced a 'rush" for this wondrous Eldorado. From that day dated the fierce hostility of the Sho shone li1dia11s. Separate parties of miners were massacred, others were forced to return, havinti lost all they p o s sessed, broken in health and spirits. One man only succeeded, and got back to tell the tale, and by him the mine had received its name--:the \Vall of .Cold. The. settlers of Long Pine appropriately dubbed him 'J.ucky Jack. Thev did more, for thirty of the most influential miners in the settlement put their earnings together, and, procur il)g the finest and most complete outfit that money could b11y, they placed themselves unde r "Lucky Jack's" lead ership, and took the trail with the avowed purpose of estab lishing a settlement in the vicinity o. f the Wall of Gold Mine. Being men of substance, and good citizens, they prevailed on the military authorities to afford them the protection of a small mounted troop Thus, numbering nearly fifty souls the band, adequately equipped for all the dangers and diffkulties of the trail, had ridden hopefully out from Long Pine one bright December day. Since then, more than six months had elapsed, bringing no tidings from either citizens or soldiers. Nothing could be gleaned from the grimly taciturn In dians, and the authorities, becoming anxious, had attacked the Shoshone Indians, with disastrous resnlts The force dispatched suffered defeat, and the red man, emboldet1ed by s1,.1ccess, swooped down upon the settle ments, massacring and pillaging whenever the opportunity occurred. The timely arrival of several regiments of infantry, however, taugh t them a severe lesson, and forced the m back into their own httnting-grounds. Nevertheless, they remained practically unassailable here, and, in con sequence, it was deemed advisable at headquarters to adopt other tactics to disccwer the fate of the missing band of pioneers This change took shape in giving Colonel Cody and his companion scout, J. B Hikok, generally known as \!Vild Bill, a free hand. Their long a n d t h riiling experience with Indians in every part of the great Far west, rendered them peculiarly fit for the present enterprise, and when, true to their principles of working with the least possible incum\ brance. they decided to make the trail by themselves, the authorities wisely refi;ained from offering any objection on the score of paucity of numbers Their preparations consisted in getting-together a light. b.t suitable, equipment of arms and r etainfog for their own comfort merely one blanket api ece and. a seniceable shotgun, for bringing down small winged game. These articles, packc::JJ.Q a small birch-bark canoe, completed their ontfit, ample, so they judged, to insure success of th' A fortmght had elapsed $1t1te their start. As they had resolved to make trail b)'. :'1t7ater, and si n ce success de pended in large measure capaclt) 1 for eluding the Indians, especially dudng "'the initial sta'ge _of the jonrney, their rate of ptogress was, necessarily slow So far their efforts to escape had been crowned with s:,uccess. Agreeably fa tigued after the stiff lnqrning s 1rnll. Buf fal o Bill, having ascertain e d that in no danger of an immediate surprise, indulged 1h the luxury of a pip e while hi s co m panion proceeded to make a small fire. 'Here goes ther last bit o' rneat from the1 la rder. \ Ve air cleaned dry a1ier this, pard," said Wild Bill, with a laugh, placing in a row of heated stones a tenderl oin steak taken from a fine fat buck, which had fallen to his rifle on the previous day. The meat w a s soon co o ked, and, being washefl down with some well-sugared black coffee, made a very ap peti zing a n d substantial meal. For an hour or more the two scouts remained in the secluded creek, smoking hard, and exchap.g'ing occa sionally a few remarks. The wild grandeur of. their surrotindings impressed them. and neither was in the mood to be communicative.. Through a break in the timber upon the opposite bank of the swift stream, there opened up a vista of forest, a!l.c\ i;anyon, intermingling in a manner peculiar on!\' to thatdistrict. Gigantic redwood trees raised their dark and lofty crests from the steep side of a gloomy canyon. f These trees the monarchs of the forest, attai e i r grandest proportions in the Si erras, where the a i;rage measurement is ninety feet in girth; and over three hundred feet in height. Hard by. one of these giants of the forest towefed up above the small creek occupied by the two scou ts. Its massive trunk rose upward sheer two h undred before throwing out a single branch. The rays of the. sun fell aslant its shaggy c rest, but failed to penetrate to the resting men. They were grate ful for the shelter, and might have en joyed it longer, had not their empty larder called for speedy. replenishment. It wanted some hours till sundown, and in the interval they would have to procure sufficient meat to last them a week, since the less they were compelled to hunt, the better would be thei r c h am;es of keeping clear of the Indians. Neverthel ess, it was patent to both that they would soon have to strike one of the Indian trails, in order to attain tl1e object of t h eir journey. Wild Bill was the first to move "I guess I'll take a scout around, pard," h e said. "Bunch an' huffier-grass are rare plentiful back o' this crik, an' if we

THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 3 Left to himself, Buffalo Bill proved as good as his word, and long before \hlild Bill r eturned, the rifl es haf the deer, and one of the animals fell. : Instantly the rest broke away in one uniform bound, co!l1ing in the direction of the watchful scouts. \Vith necks craned forth, and legs seemingly doubled up, the animals raced along at lightning speed At one and the same moment, there broke from the cover of the tall bunch-grass. to the right of. th(' scouts and closer than either had suspected, a small band of Shoshone Indians each warrior being armed with a long warlance and bow and arrows. With the agility of practiced huntsmen, the redskins Jet fly a dozen flint-tipp e d arrows. The foremost antelope bounded into the air and dropped back in its tracks. Two others rolled over, one of them mortally wmmded, but the other merely disabled. for, bounding up, jt made a plucky effort to regain the flying herd. All this pa ss ed before the scouts in swift succession. The excit ement of the chase ahead made their pulses throb. and their fingers itch e d to pull triggey on the flying game, but since the act would undoubtedly have proven fatal t o themselves, they were forced to lie still and in active. On came the racing herd of antelopes, followed by the fleet-foo ted huma11 foe. They were making almost in a b ee line for the spot occupied by the watching scouts. "Say, pard, if we can t 'pull,' I guess we orter scoot. V.le ain't aiming ter let them red varmints drop slap inter us," whispc:-ed Wild Bill, edging quietly and imperceptibly backward. "Too late," returned Buffalo Bill. "\Ve'll have to make tracks along the Shoshones' trail, and make them very quickly, too." So saying, he commenced to wriggle backward along the trail running parallel to the top of the acclivity. Nor was his comparlion slow to adopt this modified arrangeme nt. Holding their rifles in such a manner that they could be used at a moment's notice, the two scouts made rapid prog re ss backward. Being hidden by the tall grass, they were unable to note the s wift approach of the flying herd. Kotwithstanding, as the sounds of the chase became more audible, they were able to time their own move ments in order to secure some

4 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. -. Quitting the trail, they wormed themselves into a thick tussock of tall, rank grass, where detection would be exceedirygly difficult. / shelter, however, was not reached a second too soon, for they had not settled themselves, when the leader of the herd-a magnificent bull-came plunging over the crest, barely a dozen yards from their place of conceal ment. He offered a splendid mark, and it >vas hard to let the opportunity s lip, and with s o mething like a sigh of regret, the watchers beheld the animal go racing down the slope toward the water. He was followed by another and another, and then by the whole herd, bunched close toget\1er. Simultaneously a storm of arrows swept the acclivity, and three more animals rolled over. One of the fl.int-tipped mis s iles struck the middle of the grass tussock and p e netrated the ground to a depth of se\'eral inches. "Them varmints ain't 'fur off, Buffier, I engage to bet," said Wile! Bill, nosing his rifle gently through the grass, and keeping his eyes fixed on the long crest line ah e ad. Meanwhile, Buffalo Bill, seeing that his companion was ready for any contingency, directed his efforts to re moving the arrow, Jest the upstanding feathered shaft should attract one of the warriors to the spot Finding it impossible, however, to remove the barbed h!'!ad, he broke the shaft in two, and quickly rearranged ._,, tJH! top of the grass. 1 ' All a.t once a faintly-muttered exclamation from Wild Bi11 caused him to desist. position he occupied in the tussock was not so good for observation as his companion's, and it was not till seven or eight panting redskins had gained the top of the acclivity that any of then'! became visible to him. A glance showed them to be warriors of note, each being decked out in full warpaint and feathers while each wore a wampum of scalps, freshly taken. The long, lank, black hair of Apache Indians, mingl e d horriply with various shades of shorter hair, speaking grimly and unmistakably of white victims. Their long, glitteriug war-lances w re, near the keen pointed top s also decorated in grews o me fa s hion with the scalps of their human victims. Bqffalo Bill eyed these gory trophies with more than passing interest, being anxious to discover some clew to the fate of the Wall of Gold pioneers. The fact, however, that none of the savage warriors carried any but native weapons tended to puzzle him. 1\or did they n ; main long enough within his range of vision for him to discover whether the scalps white victims were of CO!Jlparatively recent Those of the Apaches were urnnistakably fresh. From this circumstance, he was .inclined to think that the present ban,d were returning .to their head village after a successful encounter with their hereditary foe. Waiting till several minutes had elapsed from the time of their .disappearance, he whispered to Wild Bill. But. the latter made nd response. Again he essayed to attract his companion's attention, \ and again failed. It ;ccurred liim, all at once, that Wild Bill might have followed tne enemy. In a moment a thousand and one possibilities flashed upon him. \Vorming cautiously through the tough, strong grass, he found V\Tild Bili's place of concealment empty. But it was not difficult to note the latter's trail through the crushed and broken grass beyond. Following it up, he was surprised to find his companion lying prone, and to all app e arance lifeless, since an arrow had pierced his jacket and pinned him down. ; The thought that their presence was known for the moment stuJmed Cody. He cast a swift glance around. The s e v e n or eight warriors whom he had first obse rv ed were at the boltom of the slope approaching the oak glade leading down to the stream. The arrow piercing his motionless companion had been fir e d fr o m that direction, as the veriest tyro could ob ser v e by the angle formed by its feathered shaft. V\T ith a sense of heavy foreboding, he tt1rned his gaze clown the valley where the chase had first begun. Two or three dozen braves were moving up in an ex tend e d line, doubtless to dress the meat which the war riors had secured. In ten, or fifteen minutes, at the most th e y would gain the t o p of the acclivity. He had scarcely n1ade this discovery when the distarlt, report of firearms drew his gaze once more to'\\r.ard th vicinity of the oak glade. ''Bufl1er, did yew hear that?" The hurried whisper came from 'i\Tild Bill. ''Thank Heaven you live!" ejaculated Cody, wriggling snakewise up to his companion. '(lZ v. ''Did you hear that gun?" Wild Bill repeated, in EI,ttick, incisive tones. "Yes; but the fact that you lived knocked its signifi cance clean out of mind. Can it be one of the pioneers?'' 'I o Buffi er; yew kin bet on it them pioneers is dea

.. THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 5 plenish their larder with a stock sufficient for several days. One thing was certain-their canoe had not been espied. CHAPTEi II. ON THE TRAIL OF WH-:D BILL'S.ASSAILANT. "See here, pard, I guess tttese ar' the varmint's tracks," Wild Bill explained, with suppressed excitement, as, pushing back the undergrowth, he exposed the impression of a pair of moccasins on the moist ground. Buffalo Bill examin.ed them eagerly; for judging by the nature of the impression, the moccasins were of a size and pattern unknown to him, there being several curious in dentations which attracted his notice and baffled all his attempts to explain. Nor was Wild Bill a whit less puzzl e d. "I only knows, pard, thet ther vam1int what made them tracks warn' t much darker than yew or me. "Ther first tinie I fixed a glim on him, he war nosing around ther top of yonder bluff, jest back o' ther oak glade. He war stand in slick out in ther sunlight, a-seeming mighty interested in them hunting warriors. These varmints were powerful busy slittin' ther throats of their game down the bottom of ther slope. Tween watchin' ther two, I guess I got fixed; any ways, ther red fiend kinder marked me fer dead meat." "He must have seen us enter the tussock," mused Cody, noting particularly the direction taken by the mysterious tracks. .. In that case, possibly he sent the first arrow into our inidst." .. l'm open to gamble on it," agreed wild Bill. they climbed the steep side of the small bluff where the mysterious Indian had firs.t been seen. This bluff stood at the southern extremity of the oak glade, in the middle of a natural clearing, but so well sheltered by the surrounding foliage as to be unnoticeable until one was actually tipon it. Steep, rocky sides, tufted here and there with grass and : some, creeping vine, were succeeded by a smooth, moss surface of oval shape, containing a small hollow m the center, where further signs of the mYsterious Indian were evident. However, pothjng of any considerable importance was gleaned, and since it wanted but an kour to sundown .. :&u:falo decided follow up the strange ti'
    -"! around the camp-fire. , I:uffalo Bpi \vas, in tl'iis instance, both right and wrong; f after following the trail till darkness closed down, the two scouts iotffd in the neighborhood of the Shoshones' catiip. '.. That something unusual was proceeding, there needed no second glance to divine. The camp-fire blazed up merrily on the edge of the timb e r-ridge, which the scant s had observed early in the afte rnoon. The spoil of the chase was roasting, throwing off an odor so savory that it made the two friends' mouths water. The camp, however, was held by less than half a dozen braves. And the question immediately occurred to the two scouts-what of the others? Had they been informed of the presence of the white :nen, and were they already endeavoring t9 steal a march up o n the latter? 1 t looked so. Yet the roasting meat was sufficient testimony that the band could not be far away. Suddenly Wild Bill nud g ed his companion, and drew his attention to a faint glow flickering through the trees. Almost at the same moment there broke upon the cars of the two scouts the muffled tones of a weird shout. It was followed by several s harp yells, which, in turn, were succeeded by silence most profound. Then, with uncanny swiftness, a deep glow leapewly and deliberately around the inner ring of seated braves. It was only occasionally that the two watchers could obtain a glimpse of him, but the little thev saw led them to conclude that he was the medicine-man in the act of performing some incantation for the edification and oe wilclerment of the superstitious braves. By degrees his movements became more rapid, 1bqt since they were absolutely noiseless, it was impossible to follow them with anything like accuracy The scene was weird in the extre;11e; and when at last in obedience to a signal from the medicine -man, the ting braves sprang suddenly to their feet and commenced to circle around arid,.around the dimly-glowing ; peat fire, the two scouts shrank further back into the tintber. It was well for them that they adopted this precaution since barely a ininute elapsed ere a sudcle11, lurid illumined the timber glade. The earthen vessel had been removed, and the fire stirred into a blaze. Over fifty cruel faces' we r e exposed to the somber Among them, Buffalo Bill recognizett the four warnors J J

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    " 6 THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. he had seen for a brief space in the afternoon. H e was pointing out the latter to Wild Bill wh e n th e i r u n it e d atf tention was once more dire cted to th e central figure. "That's ther varmint, Buffier, who tri e d mig hty hard to pass in my checks," whi s pered Wild Bill, with a c o n vulsive grip on his companion s arm. "I could size him up inside a hull crowd of Injuns. He ain't neither Sho shone nor 'Pache, nor a Piuva red. Dun1 me, ef I've ever corned across his tribe afore Tile s am e thought had assail e d Buffalo Bill, for the redskin was of fine r physique than even a Comanch e while his complexion was considerably lighter than that of any tribe Cody had ever come in contact with. To what tribe did he belong? As the puzzling question forced itself upon Buffalo Bill s attention, he was conscious of one of those wond e r ful flashes of memory which comes to one s aid occa sionally at the most critical times. :: He recalled a rumor to the effect that the heart of the Sierras was inhabit e d by a m y sterious tribe of Indi an s who had never yet come into direct touch with the white piqneers. Possibly the present medicine-man was a member of this mystei-ious tribe. In a few hurried words, Buffalo Bill explained his the ory to his companion. "Anyways, ther varmint carries a shootin' iron," was the latter's significant c o mment This circumstance had not hitherto forced itself upon Cody's attention; but now. sinc e he had both the o ppor tunity and time to examine the mysterious Indian he per ceived that the latter carried a rifle slung across his shoulders, while something very much like a revolver was stuck into his bearskin belt. He had scarcely made this discovery, when the object of his scrutiny raised two powerful arms aloft. Instantly the cfrcling Shoshone braves fell to the ground in -an at titude expressive of sul)mission and reverence. The powerful Indian addressed them in the Shoshone tongue: and braves of the Sho shone nation, hearken to the words of the s ervant of the Gr e at Snake who rul e s the thunder, the s k y and the m o u ntains. The Great Snake has made the Shoshones a mighty nation, and y e t mightier sh all they become. "The whit e man has cast his eyes toward th e huntin g grounds of the Sho s hone nation. It is well for man y sc_ alps shall fall to warriors and braves. Let High Lance stand forth. and the M yste ry Man will speak furth er." In obedience, there rose from the circle of groveling redskins the semi-nude fig ure o f the warrior named It was not difficult for the scouts to r e cognize in the latter the warrior in command of the prong-horn hunters. "High Lance is a mighty warrior; he has rubbed out the Apaches, and carries many scalps to the villa g e of the 0reat Snake. Once, many moons a go, he was a p1is o n e r in the camp of the Coman c h es. The Comanch e s w ould have slain him, but th e )' held another prisoner the Gr.eat Paleface Tracker of the Indians, whom they lneant to sla y first Does Hig h Lance remember?" "Waug;h Hig-h Lance remenJb e rs his capti v ity," said thewarrior, gruffly, as though he did not altogether relish the other's drift. "High Lance never forgets," r e marked the self-styled "l\lyste ry Ma n ," signifi t antl y "He will remember how th e Gre a t Paleface Tracker escaped the Comanches, and h o w t h e Comanch e s mourn ed two full moons because their w a r r i o rs had fail e d to spill his blood. If High Lance w oulci stand first in th e lieart o f his qticen, Sour Tongue, he must bring the scalp of the Great Paleface Tracker to the l odge of the Great Snake." "The M y stery Man speaks well, but let him say how High Lance is to go forth into tJ:ie pl a ins of the paleface and f e tch the scalp of the great Buffalo Chief, Pah-e has ka. High Lance would need a powerful totem. "No warriot n o r medicine-man has yet been strong en o u g h to take the scalp of the Great Paleface Tracker. ''Hig h Lance cann o t d o so unless the Mystery Man will give him a fresh totem." The re was a subdued note of defiance about the manner of t h e warrior's utterance from which Buffalo Bill ma de a f e w skillful deducti o ns. He perc e ived that th e re was no l9ve lost between High Lance and the Mystery Man. The latt e r s reply however, gave both scouts something els e to think about. "The totem which Hig h Lance seeks shall be his to ni g ht he said. "Let High Lance take the warpath, for t h i s da y th e M y stery M a n set eyes upon the Great P alefac e Tracke r. He has come with another paleface into1th e Shosh o ne hnnting-grounds." "\\'a ugh the Mystery Man's medicine is strong," said High Lance, half cont e mptuously. 'Tl.ie M y stery Man has spok e n. He goes now to talk with the Great Spirit ; for the heart of High Lance doubts. L e t the warrior s and braves dip their arrows and\ lance t ips into the p o ison which the Mystery Man has made. L e t th e m wait till he comes back with the totem which the Great Spirit has sent to High Lap c e." The sp ea ker. winding up with some unintelligible jargon stepped lightly and rapidly from the circle of kneel ing braves. He was coming in: Wild Dill and Buffalo Bill's direction "Quick!" whispered the latter, "we must trap him at all haz a rds. It is his life or ours." "Eh, pard, I g ues s it's time ter get in ther fust blow, an' ter knoc k th e r t a rnation lnjun inter the middle o' n ext moon I jedge we hell let him nose past Vv'ithout an o ther word Buffalo Bill unwound from ab o ut his middle several coils of seasoned hide. CHAPTER III. TRACKING THE TRAILER. T ith light, brisk and noiseless tread, the redskin moved t oward the spot occupied by Buffalo Bill and his com pani on. The scouts kept well in the deep shadow of a great c yp ress ; th e y scarcely breathed lest the sound should ac qu ai nt their alert foes with the secret of their presence. The m o ments se e med lik e h o urs the suspense being all the greater on account of the profound stillness brooding over the timber. It was hard to believe that over fifty Indians were within beck and d.11, and that another was nearing their place of

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    T HE BUFFALO BILL STORIES ln a few moments the Mystery Mafl passed unsuspect ingly by. He appeared to be 111aking for the further end of the timber line, and the two scouts were not slow to follow in Iris tracks. Tiptoeing noiselessly from tree to tree, with eyes fixed on the dimly-outlined moving on ahead, they fol lowed their quarry into the furthermost limit of the tim ber, from which the gathering of redskins within nor their camp without was visible. Up to this point they had despite the darkness, c o n trive
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    l 8 1 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. So much they had gleaned at the settlement of Long moved forward, intent on exammmg the fire-blacke,ned Pine. patch of ground Indeed, they only too conscious A little further on they made yet another discovery. that their worst fears were likely to be confirmed. The river branch e d, the main portion s,wirling around in A few recent bear tracks was afl the grass disclosed, till a stiff current to the right, taking a direct easterly course, they came to the barren patch, where a quantity of doubtless finding its level somewhere in the backwoods of twisted, rusty iron, a few charred embers, and the partly Nevada. consumed stocks of four guns told their own grim tale Here, also, looking down from their point of va.ntage, of surprise and they could distinguish a vast opening in the mountains. A little further on, hard by one of the steepest bluffs, The probabilities were that from this direction the piolay a huddled heap of bleached bones. neers had struck the heart of the Sierras. Ip silence two scouts climbed to the top of the bluff. "There lies our way of retreat," said Buffalo Bill pQ'ihtSigns were not lacking to show that here the fight had ing to the swift current, where it plunged between the waged hottest. walls of a gigantic canyon. "The stream ahead looks Broken arrow-heads and several shattered lances lay like a tributary, and possibly, if we follow it, we shall scattered amid the short, thick scrub which grew up in come across some sign of the luckless pioneers. Yonder patches at the side of the bluff. must lie the Gateway of the Mountains, which the Piuva The top was gained at last. It form ed a commanding Indians hold to be fatal to every white man who attempts position, but it had evidently been carried by assault. to enter it. One thing was plain-the pioneers, notwithstanding the "I should imagine that our people met their fate somepresence Of the military escort, had perished in their bold where between the opening of this tributary and the Gateattempt to reach the Eldorado of the mountains. w,;y. The mountain sides are densely timbered, while the' Seemingly, they had not even succeeded in reaching undulating ground near the stream is adapted for every the ill-omened Gateway of the Mountains. : kind of Indian ambush." Wild Bill was first to break the silence that held the two "We ain't going up-stream some longer witl1 this load friends spellbound. aboard-not ef we i means ter run ag'inst time in this yere "See here, pard, them fool pilgrims have left a message trail" Vv'ild Bill commented. behind. It war a thousand chances ter one them reds With the practiced eye of an old trapper, he had disdidn't light on it. Anyways, here it ar'," and so saying, covered, about a couple of miles off, higher up the tribhe drew from the soft ground the broken blade of a bowie. utary, a difficult cascade, :which meant, if they kept to the Scratched on its surface was the following message: water, that they would have to carry their load up the "We are lost. The reds-Great Snake--Punnak viisteep bank, a tedious and difficult process. !age. vVhoever reads this, send help! send help!" Cody was not slow to follow his old friend's reasoning. Presently a solution of the difficulty occurred to him. "If it costs us our lives, we 'll strike that village," said "There's a b\eak in the bank a little way to the right. Buffalo Bill, grimly. Suppose we cache some of the things there? They'll come Depressed by their discovery, they made their way back in handy, too, if we lose everything and have to to th e tributary and lightened the canoe of every article beat a hasty retreat," he suggested. that could be dispensed with. "Them words, Buffler, yer hes took clean out of llJY These they p1:ocee&d to hide in a small cave at the foot mouth," said Wild Bill, steering the canoe carefully towof one of the bluffs ard the spot. Then, after a hurried meal, they pushed off up the The current ran so strong, hbwever, that they soon tributary. found it required their united efforts to make any per-Just by the cascade they landed on the further bank, ceptible headway. At last, having breasted the main and carri e d their little craft up the st eep side. river, they entered the smaller tributary and gained the Night was closing down when they launched fortli. bank at the spot indicated. once more. Upon one side of the spot rose a wall of rock perpenBy moonrise they must have covered between eight and dicularly for over a hundred feet, surmounted by clusters ten mil es, for, as the y proce eded, the stream widened of mesquites, but sloping gradually backward to meet c onsiderab ly, while the current slowed. the lower ground some quarter of a mile inland; upon the They were proceeding leisurely along, when the faint other side, some two or three hundred yards from the est of faint ripples behind caused them to gaze sharply perpendicular wall. the ground was broken up, consisting around. of innumerable bluffs, some timbered, some covered with They were elect rifi ed to b<:-hold two large war-canoes, wild vines and creepers, and some quite bare the space crowded with warriors, bearing rapidly down upon them. between consisting of a fertile, rolling grass valley, rising "We are in for a warm time, Bill. Depend on it, those gradually to meet the higher ground beyond. red devils belong to High Lance's band; probably others By the water's edge grew a thicket of red willows and are swarming the banks; keep to the middle of the stream, acacias in full bloom. and paddle for all you're worth !" The scene was bewildering in its fairy-like be:wty, but The redskins raised a shout of defiance when they this the two scouts hardly noticed, their gaze being rivfound their presence had been noted. For a while the eted upon a dark, ugly patch in the very middle of the two scouts kept a good lead, but at last, numbers told clearing. and not far from the water's edge. agai ns t them. The pursuers were surely getting nearer. Neither spok e as, bringing the canoe to land, they "Them varmints air calculating on running us down

    PAGE 10

    . THE BUFFALO BILL STGRIES. 9 jest ther pard," said Wild Bill, plying his pad dle with fresh vigor, and sending the frail birch-bark canoe far out into midstream. Buffalo Bill did not speak; kneeling behind his com panion, he dropped his paddle and picked up his \Ninchester repeater. The Shoshone warriors meant to bring matters to a chmax. The two canoes, filled with over a score of warriors foll chase behind, were well vvithin rifle range, but he did not fire, for every shot was precious. Nearer and yet nearer drew the pursuing red men. bucks were paddling like demons, ever and anon g1vmg loud yells of anticipated triumph. Full well they knew that hard by the bend in the stream another and larger canoe, manned by a dozen war-be decke.d Shoshone. each with his war-lance upraised to stnke, was wa1tmg to flash out across the brio-ht moonlit water. "' Buffalo_ Bill, _with his glance directed toward the pur suer_; behmd, did not obs e rve the danger lurkinaahead until an exclamation of surprise and dismay from his comrade. "Trapped like varmints, Buffl.er, durn me!" he gasped, wrathfully. And, indeed, as the canoe shot out from the shelter of the dark foliage, lining the left-hand bank of the stream the possibility of escape for the two scouts seemed indeed. The leading redskin uttered a fierce yell, and all the others, dropping their paddles and springing upright, poised their glittering lances, ready to launch at the daring paleface scouts. But the latter had braved many a similar danger, and, following the momentary confusion, came a grim deter mination to baffle their savage enemies yet. Without losing scarcely a foot of headway, the two friends pulled their paddles hard over, swinging about some eight or ten points, and then rushed off at a wide angle for the opposite bank. The redskins in stantly divined their scheme, and set about to defeat it. Half their number, dropping their weapons, seized the paddles and sent the canoe leaping through the water. At the same moment a couple of lances came flashing across the moonlit space. Wild Bill turned the canoe sharply to avoid the deadly missiles, while Cody, sighting the foremost Indian; let dnve with his repeater. His shot was greeted by a yell of defiance, but the gro tesquely-painted redskin standing in the very prow of tl1e swiftly-approaching canoe threw his arms wildly in the air, and uttering a yell, fell headlong into the water. A moment later the Shoshone canoe struck the frail craft containing the scouts. They were flung out backward as half a dozen spears were hurled at them, to the accompaniment of a deafening yell of triumph. CHAPTER V. A DESPERATE ENCOUNTER BENEATH THE RIVER. With that fierce yell still in their ears Buffalo Bill and his companion went being pov;erless to save themselves; yet, despite the gravity of the situation, they clung to their weapons, since these were their last hope in the coming hand-to-hand encounter. The vengeful braves, however, had no intention of al lowing the bold explorers to escape. content with the havoc they had already wrought, qmte half the number of braves dived headlonoto the of the 0 Their lances had been cast aside and with their lonC'J' I "' sea ping-knives they sought the scouts. Buffalo Bill, as he arose toward the surface felt his thrnat suddenly gripped by one of the fierce Bringing his rifle up with a jerk, he struck his assailant full in the chest with such force that the recoil sent him downward, when the half-dazed redskin relaxed his hold. By a tremendous effort he retained his breath and struck rapidly out with his free. hand, going with the current, and, as well as he could Judge, moving toward the left hand bank, where the shadow cast by the timber would be deepest. He had not miscalculated, as was made patent when he finally arose, gasping, to the surface. .Swinging rapidly around, he perceived several strug figures around the large canoe, about twenty yards distant. He fancied he could make out Wild Bill among them, -and was about to strike out to his friend's assistance, when the dangers attending his own position were recalled sharply to mind. An arrow flew hissing into the water, but a few inches from his head. Another and another followed, and one pierced the collar of his jacket. Be had been noticed by the occupants of the two canoes in lhe rear. the leading craft was almcit upon him, when he the full gravity of the situatio11. vv 1th a rapid downward move, he ducked as the canoe shot over the spot which, less than a moment before he had occupied. He rose again, somewhat nearer midstream and a few yards behind the last canoe. His reappearance was greeted by a fresh storm of arrows. To his fierce assailants it must have seemed that he bore a charmed life, since none of t11e deadly missiles touched him. Then to the -of a veritable pandemo!1ium of war-who?ps, the in the last canoe leaped mto the stream with the object of swarming around him. They were speedily reinforced by their comrades in the first craft. . Bill waited till the first Indian got within strikmg distance, then, as the latter made a furiou.s cut at him with a tomahawk, he took a swift side-stroke and shot by the luckless brave. Next instant he seized the latter around the middle and with the purchase thus obtained, was able to wield bis clubbed rifle to some effect.

    PAGE 11

    I O THE BUFF ALO BILL STO.RIES A crashing blow stunned his assai l ant, who sank like a stone J This Codv had foreseen. Clinging to the stunned redskin. he was dragged down some distance, a11d by this simple method he Stunnak village. The plan. in the first place, meant reverting to the '..Vater and following the canoe down stream as far as was possible under cover. Wasting no time over preliminaries, Cody slung the rifle over his shoulder, and treading softly back to the inner side of the floating snag, he lowered himself down and strnck out hugging th e bank as Closely as possible The precaution was a wise one, for, presently, uver come by fatigue he was seized by a horrible numbness, and .had just time to crawl up the bank when consciotis Hess fors o ok him. He lay for homs in a heavy stupor, and when at last he awoke, it was to find himself still surrounded by darkness, but wonderfully refreshed i n body and mind. This circumstance, coupled with the pitc!1y darknessfor the moon had set-puzzled him not a little Could it be po s sible that he had slept through a suc cee ding day and night? Jt wa s hardly lik e l y he could have recovered his present dl'gr e e of strengt h in a few short hours. lncleed. the probabilities all pointed to his 'first con jecture b e ing the corr e ct one. He sprang to his feet, alarmed and dismayed; his limbs w e re uncommonly stiff, causing his movements at first to be awkward and slow. By degrees. however, his wonted agi l ity returried, and, feelina his way cautiously, he proceeded toward the oute r z::, JJ edge of the great 'snag. As \Yell as he could recollect, it was little more than a score of feet acr o ss. And, h a ving cover e d this distance, he felt about for the edge, !mt in vain. It was not to be found. So methinP" like a t hrill of fear assail e d him. What ha c !' happened? \\'hither h a d the snag drift ed? A thousand wild conjectures filled his mind and held hilll transfixell to the spot He could, however, do nothing till daybreak, and had, p e rforce, to make the best of a baffling situation. Y e t. with mind and body alert, the delay seemed inter minable. Gradually the distant m o untnin crests to the east showed dimly against a leaden sky .. A little later they were aglow with the bean1s of the rising sun

    PAGE 12

    THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. II The crisp morning air Buffalo Bill sus,cepti ble to the wants of the inner man. The pangs of thirst were easily and quickly satisfied. To lessen in some degree the gnawings of hunger, he tightened his belt, and set about resolutely to discover his whereabouts. He found, as he had already begun to suspect, that the snag had become lodged against a jutting porlion of the bank, but how far it had drifted he was quite unable to decide. Neither Indians nor canoes were in sight, while there was no particular landmark to arrest his attention. the edge of the forest and proceeded to thoroughly over haul and clean his weapons. The process was a tedious one, but he felt well repaid when, by the encl of a couple of hours, his rifle and re volvers vvere in fit working trim. He smiled grimly when, having replaced the revolvers in his belt and the rifle over his houlder, he set forth, pre pared to surprise Wild Bill's fierce captors. CHAPTER VI. A DESPERA E CHASE AND A DESPERATE CHANCE. Stepping from the snag to the solid bank, he proceeded Bv midday Buffalo Bill had rea ched the further edge of cautiously to climb the higher ground in the hope of being the forest, while stretching away for miles lay the clear able to make a survey from the top of a great bare blllff, ing, a jumble of rocks, sand and wate.r. relieved by which, rising abruptly some fifty feet above a sea of dark patches of chaparral, as well as by small, contfued grass fronds, commanded nearly the whole of the timbered prairies. valley. Timber WqS not plentiful, though her. and there a i.e gained this point of vantage an honr after sunrise, fringe of cottonwoods or a coppice of live oaks marked when the valley was bathed in a glorious sheen of light, the locality of either a miniature lake ot stream. and the towering, snow-capped peaks of the Sierras were Direct!.,: west, 11pon the very limit of the horizon, towaglow with all the colors of the rainbow. ererl th e backbone of the Sierras, dad with dark pines al\Vith something akin to magic, the forest seemed to atmost to the region of eternal snow. tune itself to the dawn of another day; its somber depths, Cody was not a little surprised to find that the redskins pierceo by the rays of the morning sun, became alive with he had observed at
    PAGE 13

    I :z, THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. roused itom a sotmd sleep, to be confro11ted by a danger such as this, was sufficient to unnerve the hardiest. Moreover, he was taken at a fearful disadvantage, since the reptile, being well within striking distance, had ranged itself :n a line with his weapon. One swift sttoke, and those cruel, darting fangs must pierce his face. The very slightest movement would precipitate the rep tile s attack. To shoot was his only chance. It was an awful positio11, for at any moment the huge rattler might strike. Its rattles were working with angry vehemence, while its tongue seenfed attuned to those awful sounds, darting in and out at lightning speed. :Su:ff alo Bill watched it stretch its coils preparatory to making the fatal stroke. The. monster's horrible little eves met his own with a glea m of hideous comprehension: 1'hete was something uncanny in that baleful look. At last, impatient with himself, and determined to pttt an end tb the f'eartul suspense, Buffalo Bill jerked the rifle up an inch or two. The challenge was instantly accepted by the rattlesnake, which, with lightning speed, moved i1ltd line with the weapon. This circumstance was not lost upor1 its would-be vie tim, for, i11 a flash, there occurred to him a means of es cape. He recalled how the Comanche had a peculiar manner of ki!ling this particular species of rattlesnake1 whkh, they averred, was wont always to keep its head and body iti line with any gun or wea:po n ai111ed at it. Of one thing he was certai11-the Com:rnches were re by all the neighboring tribes as experts in the art of killing the double-fanged tattler. Be decided to trv the Comanche method. Again he moved the rifle slightly, elevctting the muzzle to a conv enient point. The great, yellowish-brown monster glided almost im perceptibly into line, and seemed to look straight down the barrel. Satisfied with the experiment, Buffalo Bill rapidly sighted his horrible foe, and as the rattlesnake swung forward, he fired. The shot was an awkward one, owing to his confined. position, and the recoil sent him hard against the side of the bowlder. Nevertheless. it proved fatal to the reptile. The mon ster's ugly head was blown clean off, yet the muscular contractions of its huge body gave it a horrible semblance of life, as, thrashiqg the ground, its coils rose and fell in ghastly agitation. Bwffalo Bill sprang to his feet, uncertain whether the reptile was ki1led outright or merely disabled, but a rapid 11crutiny relieved him of any further dread on that score . He was roused quickly, however, to a sense of further danger by an a.rrow striking the top of the bowlder upon a level with his shoulder. Dropping instinctively behind cover, he peered through one of the crevices near the base of the rock, and per ceived a party of some ten or twelve Shoshone braves ra pidly approaching, dodging from cover to cover as they dr.ew near. . They were spreading out toward the edge of the forest, evidently anticipating his flight in that direction, and with the object of rendering escape thither impossible. The shot he had been compelled to fire in selt-defense had doubtless acquainted them with his presence. All this he divined in a moment, as, with caution born of long practice, he slippe.l another cartridge it'lto the empty chamber of his Winchester repNMr. He had no choice but to retreat, and 1rtake fot the cove1 of the tin'lber. Delay meant certain capture. ln an instant he was up, and, bending dot.1ble, started at a rnn for the forest. His enemies raised a hoarse yell of defiance, while, an instant later, half a dozen arrows whistled by. One of the deadly missiles actually cut lengthwise across his belt, but, strikir1g the butt of one of his revol-' vers, its poisoned tip was turned aside. He had no time to dwell, however, upon the ah11ost miiaculous escape. for the two leadir1g braves1 with that fleetness of foot characteristic of their tribe1 were almbst upon him. The distance he had yet to cover to gain tl1e tirrtbet was greater than the distance separating him froril the two foremost redskins. The situation desperate. It would be imp:)ssible to teach the shelter of the fore t in time. Wheeling suddenly abot1t, he let drive at one of his assailants. As the snioke from the rifle cleated away, he saw that the brave had fallen; but at the same 1110ment tl1 other sp1a11g at him with spear uptaised. With a yell of triumph, the redskin struck his spear forward1 i"ts keen poi11t catc:hing the scout's jacket jttst below the artnpit. Sl111u1ta11eously, Buffalo Bill discharged his sec ond shot and leaped aside as the redskin sptang liigh in tl1e air, givirtg utternnce to a :fearful death-scteam. Tearing the sp ear from his side and reloadir1g at light ning speed, Buffalo .Bill aimed at one of his captors who was close upon the edge of the forest, His shot told true, and the Shoshone brave toppled ovet With a bullet through his spine. A swift glance around showed that his remairting assail ants were taking' aim at him with their arrows. A moment later the feathered messeng:ers of death we1' e speeding over the intervening space. Cody dropped promptly, with the result that the arrows flew over him; then. springing up, he again essayed to reach -the cover of the timber. By this time the other braves were issuing from the camp, and judging by the fierce yells echoing and re echoing around, the rt1.1mber of his assailants was con siderable. He never faltered, but kept steadily on1 and at last1 with a sigh of intense relief, he darted 111 between the Clark pines. Being unable to cover his tracks, his one chance de pended on his ability to get well ahead of those braves who were trying to intercept him at a point some two hundred yards to the left. To do this, he must needs run at an angle to their point of approach. Anxious and breathless, straining every nerve and muscle, he raced along with fully a score of hot

    PAGE 14

    ( THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. I pursuit behind. They were steadily gaining, since they cai-ried no weight whatever. If only he could k eep them at bay till night set in, his prospect of escape would im measurably im1'.>rove. With this object upp e rm os t in his mind, he plunged into a clump of underbrush, and, kneeling down, prepared to deal with his assailunts separately as they came up. The redskins however, in stantly divined his object, and accommodated themselves with amazing promptitude to his change of tactics; for the moment he disappeared in the underbrush; th ey, too1 took to cover. In vain he strove to sight the nearest. The timber might have been empty of copper-skinn ed foes, so far as any display on their part was concerned; yet h e was con scious that some of them were s tealthily working around to his rear. He strained his ears to catch the very faintest sound mvam, In truth, Bt1ffalo Bill's fierce foes were in their element. Practiced in every art of woodcraft, accustomed to stalk the foe into the very depths of the forest, each brave enjoyed the fierce anticipation of triumph. The great Paleface Tracker was at their mercy-they had trapped him at last. B:iffalo Bill was quick to comprehend his mistake, yet equally quick to rectify it; and it was just this marvel lous adapt abil ity to circumstances that was destined to confound the Shoshones Finding that his pl ace of c oncea lm ent would speedily be into a trap, he proceeded without a mo ment's delay to get out or it. To advance or retre;:tt would, however, rnere!y draw npdn him the attention of his enemies. He adopted at'i other pla11, and one st1ch as the cunning i edskins did riot anticipate. 1'he undergrowth embraced the trunks of several scarred pines, varying considerably in s ize, but all grow ing closely together, and well screened by their mass of foliage. \Vith the utmost caution and absolute stealth, he proceeded to i;limb one of the smallest, and, working his way along it s stoutest limb, he, by this m eans, gained the giant of the group. By working his way along one of its tapering branches he was able to swing himself on to another tree beyond the clump of underbrush. Thus, by usin g the interl ocking branch es, Buffalo Bill stealthily worked away from hi s place of concealment. The labor involved, how eve r, was imm ense, and, having covered a space of something like one hundred paces, l}e lower ed himseH to the ground. Hard by his place of descent lurked a Shoshone bravef lying flat upon the ground, with his gaze fixed intentl 1 upon the dump of underbrush; his trail, where he had wormed himself over the carpet of pine-needles, being dis tinctly visible, It was characteristic of Buffa!() Bill's stea lthy move ments that the redskin had neither heard nor observe
    PAGE 15

    , THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 14 High Lance struck further, a bullet would have sped ward, and brou g ht him crashing down. But the spear was withdrawn, and, with an angry grunt. the Shoshone plunged into the water to as sist further in the seemingly fruitless search. Ruffalo Bill breathed freely again, since the risk of discovery was momentarily decreasing with the near ap proach of night, for, with the setting of the sun, dark ness closed in quickly, there being little twilight and no moon till nearly midnight. With eager vigilance he watched the little gleams of daylight through the tangle of wood overhead grow dim mer and dimmer, till at length they faded out, leaving all dark : and grim, and cold. Now and again a distant splash warned him that his foes had not all departed. Possibly some of them had been stationed among the willows with the object of renewing the search with the coming of day, in which case it behooved him to make good his escape before moonrise. Yet' to venture forth so close to the willows would be to invite instant discovery. It was patent to the daring scout that some other plan must needs be devised. For some time he cast about in his mind for a possible solution of the difficulty, tiil at last a plan, as daring as it was novel. occurred to him. It was nothing less than propelling with his own strength the timber-drift to the further bank. As well as he could judge from the brief glimpse he had obtained of the extent of the water, the further b a nk was neither distant nor difficult to negotiate. No sooner did the plan occur to him, than he put it to a practical test. Fortunately, a perceptible current moved in the direc tion he wished to take. The driftwood had evidently come down from some stream or lake higher np. By turning off his back and planting his head against the lower portion of the log which had so long sup ported him, h e was able to strike out with both arms. Nevertheless, it took both time and patience to get the tangle of driftwood into motion, but after several minutes of exhausting effort, he could tell by the wash of water against the under part of the logs that the attempt had not been made in vain. With little more effort on his part the driftwood glided on, impelled by its own momentum. Nevertheless, Buffalo Bill continued to ply his strokes with undiminished vigor. Elated at the prospect of escape, and the possibility of yet saving Wild Bull from his remorseless captors, he exerted himself to the utmost. For nearly half an hour he wo,.ked thus, ever and anon sounding the depth with his legs in the hope of findiqg he was close by the bank. He had just repeate<:l this operation, when the tim ber gave an ugly lurch downward. Simultaneously Buffalo Bill found himself forced be neath the surface. With a quick back-stroke he endeavored to recover the gap where breathing was po>sible, but his body striking the pile beneath the surface, he was forced by the shock further down. Instantly he seized the advantage of freeing himself entirely from the timber by giving a quick twist to his body as he struck outward and upward. lt seemed to him as he passed to the surface as though a number of arms were stretched forth to drag him down. A moment later a gasp of sweet, fresh air infused fresh life into him. He struck out; but, simultaneously he be came aware of something detaining him behind. Surprised and alarmed, he turned swiftly on to his side, dreading the exultant yell which would assmedly break from his enemies the very moment they discovered that their presence had become known. No such sound, however, broke the deathly stillness; only the faint ripple of the water against the driftwood r eached him. Pitchy darkness enveloped him, not so much as a star gleamed from the heavens above. He was unable to dis tinguish the bank, yet the fact that one of his legs had become entangled in a mass of weeds argued that it must be close by. Again be struck out, this time with considerable force, making a desperate effort to free his foot from the en tangled growth; but, to his horror, he was seized around the waist by something which felt like cold steel rope, and, despite the most desperate struggles, he was dragged beneath the surface. Down and yet down the horrible something forced him. His very struggles seemed to increase the tenacity of that awful grip, for his arms were next seized in the same hideous vice. Alone, gasping for breath, enveloped in darkness, he realiz e d the awful tru'th-he was helpless in the loathsome grip of some water monster l To struggle with a foe whose very form and nature are unknown, is a very diff e rent thing from facing a horde of yelling redskins ; different, too, from staking one's chance against the most deadly of reptiles. But when, in addition to such a struggle, the victim has no possible chance of getting to know what his grewsome assailant is like, something more than mere physical courage is required. In this critical moment of his life's history, Buffalo Bill displayed the very highest form of bravery. He retained his presence of mind, and with grim de tennination grappled with the unknown horror. Since his struggles only increased the tenacity of that fearfnl grip, he relaxed them; then, with every nerve throbbing, the blood hammering at his temples under the. avdttl strain of being so long confined beneath the surface. he remained, by a tremendous effort of his will, for several moments absolutely passive. The steel-like ropes encasing his limbs became less agi tated, but their tenacious grasp showed no sign of abating, since the slightest effort on his part was immediately at tended by the addition of further streamers. With despair in his heart, yet determined to struggle to the bitter end, Buffalo Bill adopted a change of tac tics. Very gently, almost imperceptibly, he moved his right hand to his belt. Then, swift as a lightning flash; he snatched away his bowie, as once mor.e the horrible thing. envelopin.I?' him tig-htened its 1ncshes.

    PAGE 16

    THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES: A desperate life-struggle ensued. Buffalo Bill, with iong, sweeping strokes, cut through the meshes enveloping his right side, only to find the rest tighten con vulsively and drag him further and yet further down. At last his feet touched the bottom, and, making one supreme effort, he drew the ribbon-like attachments taut; then, with two quick, strong strokes of the knife, he severed most of them, and with all his strength pulled agair,st the few streamers still enveloping him. They parted, and, at a rush, his body shot to the surface. Arterwar r e d willow thicket through which he had taken his first des perate plunge. Reing o n a somewhat higher eminence. he could make out the chain of small lakes, whose presence the current had Jed him to susp e ct. They described an irregular course through the barr:e. n valley. llis nex' t act was to rec o v e r his rifl e This was not diffic11lt, since the driftwood had turned bottom upward, exposing the butt of the weapon and enabling Buffalo Bill to secure the same by reaching forward. A h orrible fascination impelled him to examine the spot where he had engaged in such a fearful struggle for life. The surface was covered with a greenish slime that made him shudder; but this was not all, since the pile of oriftwood, being caught in the meshes of the \vater hor ror, was slowly but surely being sucked below. Buffalo Bill cnt one of the long, ribbon-like attach ments in half, and watched the severed portion fall awav from the timbers. while from the raw edge there ooze c l a glntinous fluid of a greenish tinge. Jt was a vegetable horror, after all. being, he aft er ward ascertained, a river weed peculiar to the Sierras. As well as he conk! make out, the weed grew in pro fusion along the bank, which further on was strewn with derelict timber, overgrown by a mass of greenishbrow11 climbers. The red skins were doubtless aware of the horrible ancl peculiar properties of the weed, since they had that. portion of the bank, it being doubtless clue to this cfrctimstance that he had escaped their notice after day break. Having ensconetl himself u1 a sheltered nook on the bank, Buffalo Bill next proceeded to overhaul his weap ons, and presently, by means of ;m old trapper's ruse, he snared a prairie rabbit, and set about preparing a well earned meal. It wanted a couple of hours till nightfall, when, haviug satisfi e d the craYings of the inner man. cleaned his wea pons, and overhauled h(s sadly-depletecl stock of a111rn11nition Buffalo Bill sallied forth, resolved to pick up the trail of High La11ce. . He proceeded perhaps a inile, and had no practical reason lo icar a surprise since no redskin was in sight, whe:1 he \vas assailed by a strange premonition of danger. A1lother man n1ight have pnt it d0\ \'11 to idle J fancy, and have pass e d it by unheed ed. Not so Buffalo Bill; he was too old a hand to ignore anything in the shape of a warning, while this very feeliJ1g, unaccountab,le th ough it might be, had saved him frolll being 011 more than one occasion He t11rnecl abrnptly from the trail and made for a small rockv blnfi to the left, surmounted by a great peaked bowJd er. Gaining the top, he took care to avoid the shadow si
    PAGE 17

    16 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. b e rs however, instead of taking the warpath, w e re d e di cat e d to the mystic rites of a 111ysterions temple si t uated s urnew h e r e in the fastn e ss oi the mountains. They nu111be r r d less than three hundred s ouls e ach b e ing a Man, as the m e dicin e -men are calle d among tile Sho s hones, in his own right. They seem e d to be held in considerable awe by the figl1ting warri o rs. The se latter, although united. und e r one q u een, who bor e the ominous name of Sour Tongue, really embraced two riva: ban ds. the larger being led by High Lance; th e oth e r consisting of a small, picked band of dog sol diers, the esp e cial followers of a chief called Hailstorm. It needed no great amount of discernment on I3uffalo Bill's part to dis cover that between the two chiefs, Hig h I .a:nce and Hailstorm there ex i sted a state o f rivalry, each aspiring for the hand of the queen in marriage. Since lligh Lance had h e avily by the capture of 'v\'ild Bill, Hailstorm was especially anxious to take Buffaio Bill alive. This was news, indeed and the daring scout fc>lt tha'1kf.ljl! for tlie chance that had put him in po s s e ssion of it. [ Moreover, he learned enough to convince him that the whole oi the Wall of Gold Mine pioneers had perish e d in their foolhardly attempt to effect a settlement in the very heart of the fierce red man's hunting-grounds. The most imp o rtant item he gl e aned r e lat e d to Wild Bill, wh o it seemed, was destined to be hand e d ovc>r to the tender mercies of the Great Snake by nightfall 011 the morrow. It was toward evening on the second day that Buffalo Bill becam e acquainted wit h this piece oi ne\vs which made it plain to him that his old friend and compani o n was doomed, unless within four-and twenty hours he could in some manner effect his rescue. To Buffalo Bill the one thing needful was to get out of his present trap. If he could do th at, he mig ht, with the information he had gleaned concerning High Lance's whereabouts and intentions, effect his friend's re s cue. The su s pens e was becoming unbearable, when, as night closed down, Buffalo Bill cautiously raised him s elf from his place of concealment and peered into the warriors' camp Fully fifty dog soldiers were gathered ar01md the campfire, awaiting the evening m e al. Their l e ader and three of his chi e f warri o rs had not yet returned from a careful search through the dist ant forest, whither th e y had depart e d e arly in th e afterno o n. The warriors were speculating on Wild Bill' s probable fate. and the horrible torture s which Buffalo Bill heard C Jtnm e rated made his blood run cold and increased his anxietv to save his fri e nd from the mercile s s clutches o f the. chief M yst e ry M an . It occurr e d to him to venture forth at once accepting the ri sk. since the night gave promise of fa voring such a n e nt e rpris e B eyon d the gl o w of the fire all was inclo s ed in pitch y d a rkness : rain was beginning to fall, and a strong wind was getting up. *This n a m e i s uni,rr sa lly a ppli e d b y th e R e d t o t h os e w a r ri o r s o i th e s ev e ra l tribe s who ado pt a stricter c o de of rules th2.11 the grncral b oLly. The title 1s much covet:u.-J.:..U. If once b e yond earshot, he felt equal to eluding the wh o l e o i the now feastjng band. ln ord e r t o t est the vig ilance of his foes, he moved the st oc k o f his rifle throug h the cluster of mesquite, making a s mu c h sound as he judge d would be attended by the p a s sage of his body. Two or thre e of those in the circle nearest to his place o f c o nc e alm ent cau g h t the sound and glanced sharply aronnd, but putting it down to the increased violence of the wind, th e y soon relaxed their vigilance, and returned to the savory haunch of venison which the rest were dispa t ching w ith avidity. Deeming the opp o rtunity ripe, Buffalo Bill slowly em erge d from his coiled-up p o sition in the coyote s bur o w, and s tealt hily wormed his way b e neath the cluster of mesqnite furthest fro m the camp-fire. Then, having gain e d the open, he back for his rifl e and securing the needful weapon, he commenced a nois e l ess retreat. Ever and anon he glanced back at the fire-lit faces of hi s deadly foes. 1 The slightest movement on their part brought him to a stop. liis own mov e m ents were conducted with absolute stealth. bnt th e y were necessarily slow, a circumstance frau g ht with grave dan g er, since now that he was clear of th e mesquit e th e r e w a s no possible means of cover till he gained the outer ring of darkness, while eyen there the pi e rcing e y es of the redskins rni gfa pick him out. Slowly he wormed lis way over the fitfully-illumined circle of ground, cre eping gradually into the surrounding darkness. Not till he was well beyond the fireglow did he breathe freely. At this point he quickened his pac:e, making for the chain of lak e s where he had previously eluded the vigilance of Hig h Lance. His o bject was to skirt the edge of the distant forest and thus reach the Gat e way of the Mou ntains, through which he must needs pass to gain .the Punnak village. During his two days' inactivity he had taken his bear ings and these serv e d him in good stead now, enabling him to ford th e wat e r and strike the forest quite half a m ile from its southern termination. Cauti o usly as any India n on the trail he crept forward, cautiou s ly y et swiftl y creeping from tree to tree, peering forward whene v er he came t o an open glade, and with th e sense of hearing alert, darting across at racing speed. S o metimes he fancied he was being tracked stealthily down and as he crouched in the brushwood, listening t o th e moaning of the wind overhead, and the shrill sw ee ping of the rain, the fancy grew like a horrible night mare. Pre sently, when a g ain he pressed on, the storm be came s o furio u s that it threatened to impede his progress By this time the fancy that he was being tracked down had b e come a certainty sounds which his experienced ear detected could proceed from no other cause than mocca sined feet moving swiftly ) over the rain-soddened g r o und. i<; enemies apparently were numerous, and close at hand.

    PAGE 18

    THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 17 All at 011ce the trees thinned, and he darte d forward into an op e n glade. Ahead the swirl of a river sounded like music to his ears, since it offered the of escape. The rain was sweeping down in torrents when he B'ained the river' and securing his rifle to his back, plunged m. There was little fear his splash would be heard ; the fury of the storm forbade it. But danger of another kind, and such as he had not allowed for, confronted him. The current was s\virling like a mill-race, and in spite oi everv effort, bore him s teadilv back. with rifle and belongings, he was pow erless ro stem it. To mo?t men the difficult ) would have spelt defeat ; not so to Buffalo Bill, who, finding it impossible to struggle forward; macJ._e once more for the bank and essayed to pull himself o\.it. Next mom e nt from the depths of the glade the hght of a torch blazed forth. H discovered A gtotlp' of Hailstorm's fierce dog soldiers were racing toward him. The wind bore their fierce yell. past, and simultaneously a warrior, whom he had not before observed, sprang out from the shelter of a great pine, and aimed a crushing blow at him with clubb e d rifle: Leaping as ide, the hard-pressed scout drew his revol ver, and fired point-blank at his assailant. The Shoshone dropped at his' very feet; but this mo mentary victory was dearly bought. As Buffalo Lill simultaneously sprang back inro the swirling stream, a doz e n rifle-shots whistled past his head, and splashed into the water arou nd. He was struck by two--in arm and shoulder. \Vith dogged pluck he struck out for mid-stream as a second volley was discharged at him. Choking and struggling he was borne along by the swift current, as other torchlights flashed and gleamed alongthe timber-covered bank. The for e st seemed fllive with his fierce redskin foes. Some of them, dropping their weapons, plunged into the swirling waters, and with powerful strokes made for him throug-h the stonn of wind and rain. He grappled bravely with the first to come up, ahd sank beneath the agitated surface in a life-and-death wrestle. But the fierce renly uncovered and dragged forth, to be exposed before the blaze of a mighty fire, the cynosnre of mmdreds of fierce eyes. Instinctively he guessed the truth-this was the Punnak village. Yonder, beyond the great fire, where other though smaller fires sent their smoke-rings curling up into the darkened heavens, rose countless and lodges. They rose tier upon tier up the sides of a tremendous :tnd rugged, crowned by im!Jlense redwoods, being here and there broken by a leaping cascade, whose dashing waters and clouds of foam sparkled and scintil lated in the glow of the great central fire. The thunder of the falling waters echoed from crag to cr;;ig through that mighty hollow. The scene was weird in its startling contrasts, for, as Buffalo Bill swept his glance around, he espied in the distance, beyond a dark, pine-clad ridge, portions of im mense walls, flanked by pinnacles of astounding size, which gleamed like burnished brass. Further still, there loomeJ indistinctly a mass which was neither forest nor mountain. All this he tooR in at a glance, for his speculations were quickly directed into another channel. In his immediate vicinity, grouped about the mighty fire, and forming a semi-circle around the tipper portion of a circular lake, were many hundred Shoshone warriors and braves in all the glory of war-paint and feathers. They w e re armed to the teeth, while the majority carried the scalp-decked, keen-pointed lances. These were the members of High Lance's band. Those nearest to the water, and but few in number relatively, were armed with rifles and tomahawks; some, indeed, carri e d revolvers-a. grim but sure testimony fo the massacre of the pioneer gold-seekers. The moment Buffalo Bill was dragged forth they closed around him, while a yell burst from the crowd such as in all his experience he had never heard equaled. It was deafening, ear-splitting, and calculated to try the most iron-nerved. It sent a cold shiver down his spine. That some event was impending he guessed from the manner of his captors, but its especial nature was hard to divine, since there were no indica tions of a coming scalp or war dance. Next, his limbs were liberated, and held in the powerful grasp of four dog soldi e rs, he was led through a double line of High Lance's braves. Every eye was upon him, while a fresh burst of sav a2'e war-whoops greeted his progress toward the firelit village. Hailstorm had disappeared, but presently Buffalo Bill espied him standing just outside one of the largest te pees in the village. Nor was he alone, for hard by stood I{igh Lance. Neither of the two chiefs seemed on the best of terms, a circumstance that was hardly surprising, seeing they were both bent on proving their superior claims for the hand of the queen.

    PAGE 19

    TH-E BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. High Lance was scarcely inclined to give his rival the full credit for the capture of Buffalo Bill. Hailstorm, being fully alive to the importance of the capture, was quick to re sent his rival's slurs. L ed forward by the four dog soldiers, Buffalo Bill :was ush e red into the tepee. .. A group of fantastically-garbed Punnak Mystery Men were assemb led, each bearing aloft a lighted pine-torch. By a simultaneous flourish they swept a blaze of light full upon the captive. At the same mcment a flap was turned up at the fur th e r e nd of the tepee, and a hands ome maiden, tall and supple, clothed in a robe of b e aver-skins, and wearing a wampum of gold about her waist, moved soft l y in. Behind h e r towered a weirdly horrible figure. Buffalo Bill divined at a glance that this was Great Snake, the cbief Mystery Man He wore a mask shaped like the head of a gigantic rattl e r, his m ed i cine dress being strung with skins o f de formed animals, r ept iles, and birds-the of animals 'with the claws and toe-nails of birds. He carried no weapons, but a wand, fashioned in rud e re sem blanc e to a snake, whose extended fangs contained n ear the fork a small, oddly-shaped crystal. scintill ating with all the colors of the rairtbow, as it caught the reflection of the torches. This latt e r object rec alled vividly to B uffal o Bill's mind th e crystal' h e h a d removed from th e p e rs o n of th e Myste r y 1'.ifan whom he had slain. He still poss esse d it and he felt a certain amount of curi osi ty to l earn its properties. Seemin g l y, it was an emb lem peculiar to the Mystery Me n for h e observed nothing o f the kind in the p ossess i o n of either the warriors or dog s o ldiers. The Great Snake as Buffalo Bill ha
    PAGE 20

    THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. "The queen of the Shoshones is content with the words spoken by the Do g Chief ," s he said "The hea r t of Hig h Lance is bi t ter. He has appealed to the Great Snake. Let the Great Snake answ e r him She had barely time to finish, ere the Mystery Chief stepped forward. He was cle arlv beside himself with rage. His inten tion was unmistakable; favoring Hig h Lance, he thrust the uncannv wand into the latter s e a ger grasp. "This morn the h eart of Great Snake is grie v ed by the words of Som T ongue; she loves the Dog Chief and sh e has judged foolishly. "It is the will of the Gr e at Spirit that henceforward the Shoshone nation be united und e r one supre me chi ef. "As Sour Tongue cannot choose wisely let the two warriors settle their dispute here "One must fall, and the victor shall claim the hand of the Shoshone queen. The Great Snake has spoken it.' : Simultaneously the assembled Mystery Men fell back, and Buffalo Bill. still in the powerful grasp of th e four dog soldiers, was dragged to the opening of the tepee. The rival warriors lost no time over preliminari es. Both discarded their weapons. and with only their scalp ing-knives met midway in a fierce wrestle. A yell of bitter defiance burst from their lips as the y grappled in th?t fierce embrace, which meant certain death to one of them. The struggle was sharp and deadly, and was brought to a !'p e edy issue. Hailstorm, being the cooler. prevailed. One well-directed s;troke robbed his rival of life, and made him undisputed chief of the Shosh o ne nation. Buffalo Bill's four guards raised a triumphant war whoop, while Sour Tongue directed an anxious look toward the Mystery Chief, who apparently had not an ticipated the issue. He recoiled with a grunt of anger. Quick to follow up the advantage he had gained, Hail storm addressed Great Snake: "Behold Great Father of Mysteries the Dog Chief has prevailed, and the hanrl of Sour Tongue is his. To Great Snake she gives his prisoner, but the medicine of the paleface is strong. Hailstorm would the Mys tery Man to guard the paleface closely." "Hailstorm has spoken wisely said the Mystery Chief, making a sign to one or two of the torch-bearers, who instantly stepped to Buffalo Bill's side, while the dog soldiers retreated. Their fierce eyes seemed turned upon him in a hungry manner-evidently they anticipated what followed. The chief of the Mystery Men moved to tbs: opening of the tepee with Sour Tongue and Hailstorm on each side; then, in a deep, sonorous voice, he announced to the assembled village that the Gre at Spirit, being angry with High Lance for his failure to capture the Buff a lo Chief, had destroyed him, and made Hailstorm undis puted chief of the. Shoshone nation. A deep silence. broken last by a few ominous mut terings, greeted this announcement. The cunning Mystery Man saw that something was needed to appease the warriors, who had regarded High Lance as head chief. He called the leading warriors together, and for some minut e s held an animated discussion with them. Sub se quently Buffalo Bill learned that the warriors disputed th e power of his medicine, and demand e d a sat isfactory trial of the same before the assembled nation. This Great Snake agreed to, and preparations were at once made to settle the point of dispute by putting the d a ring scout to a test of skill and courage such as rarely falls to the lot of any mort al. The exact nature of this trial Buffalo Bill had no m eans of ascertaihing until it was actually thrust upon him. K e pt a close prisoner in the tepee, carefully gua.r-ded by the Myst e ry M en, he was not led forth till something like a couple of hours had elapsed ; then, surrounded by a s core of Mystery M en he was being finally brought to the op e n space near the head of the circular lake. A striking alteration had been made. The immense fire blazed up in the very middle of an inclosed square, sev e ral hundred feet in extent. The sides of the square were composed of pine branches closely packed together, reaching to a height of some four feet from the ground. Behi n d these barriers were grouped warriors, braves, sq u aws, and pappooses waiting in eager silence for the coming trial which was to decide the quality of the Buffalo Chief's ''medicine." Buffalo Bill was led toward the fire by his captors. His weapons had long since been removed, conse quently his feelings of surprise may be imagined when the hideously-disguised medicine chief stepped forward and thrust a very long, keefi-edged scalping-knife into his hand. The silence was profound, when the Great Snake ad dressed the surprised, yet helpless prisoner: "The warriors of the Shoshone nation have heard the fame of the Paleface Tracker, whose medicine is stronger than the medicine of the bravest warriors. But their hearts are sad, and the words of the Great Snake have failed to reach their hearts. ''They would try the medicine of the Paleface Tracker. "It is well, for the Mystery 01ief, who can read the secrets of the Great Spirit, knows that the Paleface Tracker will prevail. '"His medicine is strong, but the medicine of Gre;it Snake is stronger. ' Now listen, warriors of the Shoshone nation: it is the will of the Great Snake that when the Paleface Tracker shall prevail, he shall pass through the villa
    PAGE 21

    1;0 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES fer, contrary to all expectation, his guards fol lowed their leader from the inclosure, leaving him alone, unbound, and artt1ed with the naked scalping-knife. As the Mystery Men withdrew, a deafening yell burst from the watching throng, to be instantly followed by a shrill chant, which jarred on the scout's nerves most hortibly. The whole Shoshone nation was watching him with cruel, eager eyes, and, by a supreme effort of the1wi1l, he retained his composure. Presently the warriors lining the inclosure began to move around in <. circle, with short, measured steps. Simultaneously, those beyond, i11cluding the whole of the vast concourse, took up the uncanny refrain, while small parties of the Mystery Men began to fill in the open spaces in three of the four corners of the indosure. The scene was horrible in the extreme The hideous faces of the warriors, streaked in war paint, the fantastic dress of the Mystery Men, togethet with the frightful din, which grev.r louder and l ouder as the warriors danced faster yet faster, their forms flashing in the red glow of the great fire. All at once Buffalo Bill caught sight of Hailstorm; who, surrounded by his principal dog soldiers, was making for the only means of ingress. At the same moment he started back, literally staggered by the horrible nature of his surroundings. A thread of flame shot front corner to corner all along the in closure; then, as the inflammable substance kindled, rib bons of flames streaked upward. He was hemmed in by walls of living fire! Yet no sooner had he become alive to this danger, than he was confronted by another, while the true nature of the ordeal was made plain to him. His enemies had let loose a mountain-lion, and the great, tawny beast, maddened by the proximity of the flames, and catching sight of the human victim, sprang forward, uttering a thunderous growl. In a moment Buffalo Bill had nerved himself for the encounter, while the COtlgar stopped short in an attitud-.: not unlike that of a cat when about to leap. At close I quarters the brute looked twice his real size. His mask and forepaws were stained with blood, and a1 he watched Buffalo Bill, he licked his lips with a relish that sent a cold shiver down the scout's back. Fortunately, Buffalo Bill was sufficiently versed in the brute's habits to know what tactics to adopt at the onset. He knew that the cougar always strikes with its fore paws, like a cat, lacerating its victim with its sharp claws, drawing with its muscular forearm until the fatal bite may be inflicted, the brute invariably striving to bite its victim in the head. Quick as thought he snatched off his jacket, and, holc)ing it before him with his left hand, advanced toward the crouching monster. This movement precipitated the leap. Simultaneously, Buffalo Bill sprang aside, and the monl!iter, with a howl of rage and fe.ar, landed hard by the great central fire. Wheeling sharply abottt, he rushed the daring scout, allowing the latter no time to execute a similar maneuver. With rare presence of mind, Buffalo Bill hurled his coat into the monster's face. Blinded by the garment, and taken at a. disadvantage, the a11imal sprang into the air, and, by good fortune1 missed the scout Then, leaping back a pace, Buffalo Bill waited his op porti.irtity, and as soon as it arrived, thrust forward at the beast s side with all the strength at his command. The blow took the brute behind the shoulder and be tween the ribs. With a growl of pain the monster stumbled and rolled upon its side. For a brief space there followed a featful struggle, lumined by the fea of fire and watd1ed by the savage crowd with bated breath To Buffalo Bill all was vague. The great foam-flecked face and gleaming teeth of the t ut came perilously near his shoulder. Deeper and deeper he drove the scalping-knife into the cougar's body, and by swerving to one side, he
    PAGE 22

    THE DUFFALO DILL STORIES.' 2I The speech was not without effect. The l\Iystery Chief started slightly; nevertheless, h,is retort was equally hos tile. ''The words of the paleface arc empty," he said. "This night the Great .Spirit has appointed the paleface prisoner to die. Would the Buffalo Chief b eh o ld the death of his brother? ''But let him remember that the medicine of the Mystery Man is strong, stronger than the strongest medicine of the paleface warriors. "These arc the words of the Great Snake. ,.., "The Buffalo Chief is warned," and so saying1 glided away. Buffalo Bill gazed from one to anothe1 of the fil!rce crowd. His position was certainly novel, being free to mcwe where he chos e till break of day, and then l).t the mercy of the first redskin who cared to make a bid for his scalp. A wild thou ght occurred to him to spring upon Hailstorm and avenge vVild Bill's end upon him; but by so doing he would only pretipitate matters, and he dismissed the plan as impracticable. He turned aside to hide alike his chagrin a:s well as a feeling of faintness that was stealing over him. Leaving the hjdeous crowd behind h e directed his steps to the highe r ground where the village stood Hi"s whole thoughts were centered upon 'Vild Bill's danger; yet1 ti:y as he might, it was impossible to arrive at any plan which gave even the slightest promise of suc cess. J i.1dging roughly, the village tmmbered considerably over a t h ousa11d souls, while its cortlmanding position in that wild mountain fastness rendeted futile any hope of es.cape. yet he was not inclined to remain inactive, a passive spectator of Vvild Bill's fate. Buffalo Bill, in all his vast at1d varied experiences, failed to recall anything exactly lil
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    22 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. ing him of his war-trappings, and taking care to remove his feathers and wampum, as well as his tomahawk and war-lance, the daring scout proceeded to deck himself out in the Shoshone garb. By adroitly manipulating three Apache scalps, he made a wig which, while it completely cover e d his own hair, re sembled as nearly as possible the long, lank hair of the warrior he was bent on impersonating. There was plenty of war-paint in the lodge, consisting of red and white clay, vermilion and charcoal mixed with bear's grease. By covering his hands, anns, neck, and shoulders with the charcoal and bear's grease, and his face with a thick daubing of white clay and vermilion, he effectually altered his appearance; then, slipping on the Shoshone warrior's leggins, fringed with scalp-locks, his breech-cloth, moc casins, and beaver's robe, his disguse was completed by the long train of dyed eagle's feathers, reaching from his head downward. This done, he made a hasty meal off some cold roast venison, and then, as his denuded assailant began to show signs of recovery, he wisely fastened the latter 's ankles and wrists in such a manner as to render movement impossible. He was loath to leave his own clothes behind, but since there was no help for it, he fastened them up in a bundle and thrust them beneath the ashes of the firehole in the center of the lodge. They would be consumed by the red-hot embers long before Hailstorm entered. The only thing of value he possessed was the curious talisman which he had taken from the Mystery Man attached to High Lance's band. Pulling it out, he thrust it carelessly into the wampum pocket; then, snatching up his captive's war-lance and tomahawk, he emerged from the lodge. So far fate had dealt kindly with him. Being fully equipped, he was ready to put his daring plan into operation. This consisted of making a bold dash to rescue Wild Bill at the critical moment, following this up by taking to the water before his enemies could recover from their surprise. Nevertheless, when he stepped forth and viewed the scene below, it was horne In upon him that his plan would need some revising. The Mystery Men held the field entirely to themselves. Adorned in full regalia of relics, paint, bear!>' claws, and other oddments, they were yelling and leaping around some inanimate object stretched upon the ground near the central' fire. Buffalo Bill guessed only too surely that the object was none other than his friend, Wild Bill. He saw the hideous figure of the Mystery Chief leap into the air to the accompaniment of an uncanny scream from the rest. The crowd stood back at a d istanc(! of something like fifty paces from the circle of Mystery Men. Here and there, as Buffalo Bill moved down, he caught a glimpse of a few glowing embers, all that remained of the inclosure which had hemmed him in during his terrible struggle with the mountain lion. At last, and not without some trepidation, he reached the crowd of squaws, braves, and warriors. Would they detect his disguise, or would they regard him as one of themselves? was the question uppermoi;;t in his mind. He made his way as rapidly as possible to where a small party of warriors had gathered; there, at least, he would attract least notice. Nor were his calculations far out. He found to his great relief that the warriors never once suspected his identity while, mingling with them, he soon learned some particulars of Wild Bill s impending fate. He found that the Mystery Men were displaying the power of th e ir ma gic for the edification of the crowd; that when Wild Bill had been brought into a state of abso lut e helplessness, the Great Snake would give the woi:d, and the warriors were forthwith to cast the helpless captive into the midst of the blazing pile. So strong was the Mystery Chief's magic considered, that the victim, who was neither gagged nor bound, would be incapable of offering resistance or uttering a sound. In silent anguish he would be consumed before their eyes. How much of this was true, and how much was merely the outcome of blind superstition, Buffalo Bill had yet to discover. He found his task no easy one. To play th part of a warrior, and yet listen to the hor rible speculat>ions of the rest upon the subj ect of his friend s death, tried his courage and patience almost to breaking point. Still, with the knowl edge that Wild Bill's life hung upon the success of the darin g plan he had thought out, he contrived to master his feelings, and bide his time. All at once th e circle of Mystery Men opened out en abling Buffalo Dill to obtain a brief glimpse of his prostrate friend Wild Bill was stretch e d out at full length upon the ground, bound hand and foot, but as Mystery Men fell back, their leader knelt beside the captive and severed the thongs securing his limbs. Then, with lightning speed. before Wild Bill could move, he made a number of furious passes, his brown, shriveled hands working up and down and from side to side with the speed of a pair of humming birds. Suddenly the Mystery Chief sprang up and began to dance around the recumbent figure At the same time a strange cry seemed to creep up from the ground. It was ca used by some of the Mystery Men, while others now began to file into the open, uttering a wild, droning cry, repeating !he bar again and again though each time in a higher key, until it seemed i111possible that they could reach a l
    PAGE 24

    ; THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 2J Again the faint, trembling cry began to ascend, then ceased with startling abruptness. Simultaneously the Mystery Chief bent over his pris oner. Wild Bill was motionless, and seemed absolutely devoid of life. Buffalo Bill's h eart beat anxi-0ur.ly. His attenti o n was suddenly called off by a sickly odor, which struck him full in the face. Glancing around, he saw a number of the Mystery Men filing through the crowd, each carrying a great bunch, or torch, of what looked like grass that had been steeped in some resinous substance. These they waved above their heads to keep them alight; handing them finally to their companions in the open circle. At the same m o m e nt the Mystery Men in the circle be gan their dance. '.fhey went very slowly at first, softly waving their evil-smelling torches. Gradually they became excited, and moved faster a11d faster, until they r e sembled electric figures. I As they danced they raised the torches frantically, and shrieked at the top of their voices. Flying bits of grass flew through the air, and settled everywhere. To Buffalo Bill, almost overpowered by the sickly odor, the whole thing seemed like some half-waking dream. It was unreal and unnatt:.ral. A mad longin g p osse ssed him to his w a r-l a nce into the heart o f the hideous Medicine Chief; moreover the suspense was beginning to try even his well-steeled nerves. The circl e of dancers parting suddenly, enabled him to get another glimpse of his friend's body. vVild Bill lay th e re entirely m o tionless, at a distance of several yards from his cruel foes who still continued to dance, but with a slower motion, while at the same time they lowered their evii-smelling torches almost to the ground. That the crucial moment was n ear at hand, Buffalo Bill had little difficulty in guessing, for the utmost e x c it e ment was n o w e v inced b y the crowd. Be kept his gaze alt e rnately upon Great S11ake and the apparently lifeless prisoner. 1 All at once a faint murmur broke from the watching redskins, and Buffalo Bill felt his heart give a jump, as, peering forward, he b e held a sight s uch as he could never have imagined po ss ible; such as, indeed, he had never beheld in all his experiences with the Indians. The body of Wild Rill was gradually rising fr0rn the ground He was as t igid as a bar of iron, and ascended very slowly, not with j e rk s but w i th a regular, silen t rriovement, until he had o btain e d a h e ight o f ab o ut thre e feet above the ground, and here he s t o pp e d and hun g without a: quiver or a motion on his bed of air, outragin g all the laws of gravitation. Buffalo Bill was unable to restrain an exclamation of wonder and alarm. The sight was uncanny, grewsome; that it was no optical illusion was patent for the bot tom of \i\Tild Bill's jacket was hanging down and s tirring faintly in the breeze. ;His hands w e re rigid at his sides, as tho ugh b o nnd there, and his entire body was as straight and st iff as a length of board. Suddenly the torches flicke red out, and the captive began to descend in the same slow and stately manner,. until his body rested again upon the ground. This was the moment'. which the eager warriors ha
    PAGE 25

    THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. The moment, however, that Wild Bill sighted the wel come craft, he seemed to shake off the stupor which had held him spellbound so long: He stopped short and gripped his companion fiercely. Buffalo Bill's quick laugh disarmed his fears, and for the first time he recognized beneath the grotesque dis guise his chief and friend. "Buftler, old pard is it you? Thank Heaven!" he gasped. "I guess them red fiends fixed me some close to the big divide. "Them magic rites war darned frightful. "Ef we gets outer this yere hole, no power on earth will induce ]. B. Hikok ter make this trail again." "I'm aiming to get out, Bill; but I reckon it's going to be a close shave. The redskins are after us." "Sink them canoes, Buftler !" said Wild Bill hurriedly. The same thought had entered Buffalo Bill 's swiftly working mind, and both simultaneously catching up heavy stones, dashed them through the frail bottoms of two of the craft, which immediately began to settle rap idly in the water. Hastily severing the connecting leath ern thongs from the wrecks, they leaped into the fore most canoe, and Wild Bill, seizing a paddle, sent the craft swiftly over the rippling water. But the pursuing Shoshones had already reached the bank, and in a moment the remaining two vessels were manned by about a score of hideoi,1sly bedizened red fiends, while the rest of the dog warriors, h e aded by one of the minor chi e fs, dashed off through the undergrowth to follow by land. To a chorus of shrill yells and deafening war-whoops the chase had begun. The sit11ation of the two men was indeed desperate. They had but barely eighty yards' start of their pursu ers, who were gaining on them perceptibly with almost every stroke of the paddles. Wild Bill, weakened as he was by the terrible hours of meqtal and physical suffering through which he had just passed, could not perform such an am
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    THE BUFFALO BILL STOR!ES. The Indians raised a yell of terror and rage as they saw the course the tomahawk was taking, and endeavored to back the canoe out of danger. But too late I the aim of the scout liad been unerring, and the hatchet with an ugly "zip" tore through the bow of the leading canoe, just below the water-)ine. In a moment the craft was half full of water, and would have sunk, but a warrior, evidently of more resource than the rest, sprang forward, and placing a leather pouch over the jagged hole, endeavored to stop the inrush. But Buffalo Bill had foreseen some such possible event, and like a flash he cast his lance, transfixing the Indian, who flung up his l eft arm, and pitched over into the waves, unluckily for his comrades, retaining his grasp on the edge of the hole and ripping a great sheet of bark from the side of the frail craft as he fell. In another second the canoe had sunk, and its late occupants were struggling in the water. As soon as he had seen the success of his maneuver the scout again seized his paddle, and commenced tp place as much distance b etween the enemy as he could; i this he was aided by his companion, for in the short time that sufficed for these incidents to take place, Wild Bill had had an opportunity for a brief re st, of whi ch he bad availed himself, and the two sped on again in silence. In a little while Cody turned his head to glance at the pursuers, and then with a glad cry he called a halt. "See, pard," he said, "we've had the good fortune to win the victory with two single blows." It was indeed so. As soon as the foremost canoe had sunk, its occupants had immediately made for its consort, and the united rush to the side of the little craft had been too much for it, and even as the scout watched it capsized, and a score of dusky warriors were struggling in the stream. Yells and guttural exclamations of baffled rage were borne to his ears, as the dark forms of the swimming redskins at length reached the bank. The pursuers on the shore had abandoned the chase when it became apparent to them that, without the aid of the war canoes to capture or drive the scouts ashore, there would be nothing to gain by their continuance of it alone. A lopg silence ensued, as the two companions paddled slowly on, which was at last broken by Wikl Bill. "W a,al, Buffler," 0he said, "I guess .. 1 owes yer some thing more'n thanks fer this yer night's work-something as I reckon I shall be glad ter give yer j es' as soon as yer it, and thet something is my life, pard. "Twice in a few hours has saved me ther mortifica ti;n o' hevin' ter iVrrJy checks ter a parcel o dog' goned red fiends, and I'm blamed of the debt I '' t _,. owes yer. .... .. ,,,, He ceased paddling as fie fi speaklng, and turning about in his placel ex tended his hand to his friend and For a moment the scout held it in a silent grasp of friendship. "Wild Bill," he replied, "we have been together in a good few tight corners lately, and if I have done my duty under trying circumstances, I am assured that it is not more than you would have done had you been in my position, and that if ever I need a gallant comrade to help m e out of a mess and you are close by, y ou will be the first to lend a hand. "So we'll say no more, pard, for you must not put too much value on the little assistance I have been able to render you to-night.'' For about an hour longer they kept on their course. Wild Bill, espying a little creek, suggested that they should camp on its shores for the night. Having thrust the nose of the canoe into the reeds, the two men sprang ashore, and sank wearily upon the grassy slope of the bank. But despite the feeling of comparative security, Buffalo Bill was keenly alive to the fact that they were not by any means out of danger yet. They were, with the exception of the si'ngle remaining tomahawk, and the knife that he had retained, entirely una rm ed, cast upon the shore of a lake, at any moment likely to be recaptured by their relentless foes, or s with the fever with which the heavy steaming atmosphere was too obviously laden. A glance at his friend showed him that he was too utterly exhausted to allow them to proceed on their jour ney before some hours' rest had been taken by him. Not daring to light a fire, for fear that the smoke s hould acquaint the foe with their whereabouts, Cody set to work to collect some of the berries which had SU$ tained him i1! his previous exP,eriences in the mesquite bush, to be eaten in lieu of cooked food. When this was done, and the two had made a hearty meal-if it could be called a meal-the scout, stretched upon the ground by the side of his comrade, remarked upon the lucky escapes from death by the hands of sav ages that had come under his notice. This he did partl)I' to keep up the spirits of his friend, and partly to while away the tedium of waiting for his friend's slow recovery. I "I remember," he said, "old Senator Duncan McArthur telling me of a somewhat similar experience to ours of to-night. \ "He was one of a band ot three brave scouts, who had escorted a packet-boat from Maysville, Kentucky,

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    THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. up the Ohio River, to a point past the Big Sandy, where the country was considered safe for the voyagers, and were on their return down the river n a canoe, which had been taken up with them for this purpose. '' "When nearly opposite the mouth of the Scioto, a tributary of the Ohicr, Duncan said to his companions : "'I say, boys, just put me ashore here, and I'll go np to a deerli c k, right over the hill yonder, and see if I can bring in some game. A little fresh meat now will not be a bad thing to take.' "'Don't you think it too risky right here now, Dun can?' queried one of his companions. 'You know, on our way up, we found a canoe sunk in the mud on the other side of the river, which was proof enough that a party of Indians had crossed over there, and it's just as like as not they're back here again and prowling around; it may be watching us from the very point you. want to land.' "The young man laugh ed. "'To hear words of caution from Nat Beasley is like listening to the devil quote Scripture,' he said, gayly. 'I don't often do it,, that's a fact,' was the rejoinder, 'but somehow I seem to smell Indian in the air to-day.' "'Well, I'll r isk my part of it if yon are not afraid to land me,' returned the intrepid Duncan. "'All right, then, and ashore you go, even if it's good by forever,' said the other, as with his long paddle he sent the canoe toward the land 'Do you want me to go along with you, Duncan? asked the other one of the three. "'No, Tom, you had better stay in the canoe with Nat,' was the answer. 'If there ls any dan-ger one will be enough to lose.' \ "'Yes, and one too many, my friend. Shall we wai t for you here, or drop along_ down?' 'Oh, the latter, decidedly! for if the savages about here they migpt su r prise you and cut us all off. Besides, if they s h ould see yo u waiting here they wo n ld be certain of somebody being ashore, and then they would either attack you or follow me.' "After getting ashore, young Duncan moved cautiously forward, gliding through the bushes almost as silently as a serpent tit! at length he reached the deer lick, and stretched himself on the ground to patiently await the coming of some creature that would be worth the shoot ing. No sights or sounds broke the dull monotony of his lonely watch until he found himself unconsciously yielding to a drowsiness that would soon have ended in an unconscio u s s l eep. "At length rousing hitnself with a start he looked sharply a r o u nd, and fancied he saw the bushes carefully parting on the other side of the lick. 'vVell, somethi n g at l ast, I hope,' he said to himself. "But t h e something he saw wasnot the -something he was wanting to see, for as the bushes parte d farth e r h e beheld first the grim face of one savage, and then that of another, pushed cautiously fonva r d, their black eyes seeming to glitter as they surveyed the whole scene b efore them. .. They had evidently come hither for the sam e ob j ect as himself; the hope of surprising some animal a t the spring; and when they found there was none they stepped boldly forward, and stood revealed in the open spa c e around the lick, which the saline overflowing always kept clear and bare of vegetation. "It was a critical point of time in his adventurous career, and thoughts rapid as lightning whirled a n d flashed through his dizzy brain, sending a b u rning h eat down through every portion of his physical system "'At least, if I must die, I will only yield to fate after I have done my best for l ife,' was his mental comment, as he ran his eye along the barrel of his rifle and took de liberate aim at the heart of the most formidable of t h e t wo warriors, who chanced to be facing him, and was looking down into the spring. 'I can at least kill one t hem, and then I shall be man to man with the other.' ''With this last determination he pulled the trigger The forest resounded with a loud explosion, and the Indian he had selected for his target dropped motionless at the feet of his companion, who, contrary to savage precedents, did not turn to fly, but grasped his loaded weapon and pointed it at Duncan is no merit in waiting here to be si10t a dog-/ thought the y01.J11g white borderer, as h,e suddenly bounded to his feet and ran in a zigzag manner up the hiH behind him, to prevent his foe from taking a certain aim. "\Vith fierce yells of ras-e the savage darted forward in "As Duncan neared the b r ow of the hill he glance.cl over his shon)der to see how great the danger was be h ind, and perceived the Indian coming at full speed Ther e was not a moment to be but as he turned his head again to see bis course, and made a desperate .spring forward, he suddenly, to his h orror, found himself en. tangled in the branches of a fallen tree "He was thus caught lik;,e an insect in the meshes qf a spider, and, while making the most desperate exertions to free himself his savage pursuer, seeing his predicament, made a quick halt, drew up his gun; took a ha ty aim," and fired "Fortunately fo r Duncan, the Indian was not a perfect marksman, or else his firearm did not carry accurately, for the ringing bullet sped past him, but so close to his head as to cause him to cast it to one side instinctively "'Now, then, that his gun is as empty as mine, f will stand my grou nd for hand.to-hand fight,' mutter ed the ..

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    THE BUFFALO BILL 27. border scout. 'It shall never be said that I fled like a coward fr o m a single foe.' "With this he was about to come out of the tree on the same side as he had entered it, when suddenly the forest resounded with a series of the most appalling shrieks and yells that seemed to curdle his blood, brave as he was, and, glancing off to the right, he saw at least a dozen savages come leaping and bounding forward through the bushes. "Now it was instant flight alone that could save him, and quickly extricating himself from his perilous position, he dashed over and down the opposite 1ide of the hill, the Indians, all screaming, after him in fierce pursuit. "When he had reached the foot of the declivity he un fortunately had another ridge to ascend, in order to keep the course which would the most speedily take him to the river in sight of his companions, his principal hope. "As he struggled up the acclivity, therefore, he be came a fair target for his bloodthirsty foes, who were in the act of rushing down the opposite slope; and at least twenty shots were fired at him in quick succession, but Providence still kept him unham1ed. "But he was not to escape entirel y free, for after a brief interval there came a single shot, as if the marksman had paused for a more deliberate aim, and he felt the shock of something strike his side, and then the blood flowing freely down to his feet. That the ball had passed completely through him, and probably given him a mortal wound, he did not for a moment doubt, and his only wonder was that he still had strength enough to pursue his flight and did not faint nor fall. "He reached the top of the ridge, ran down the other slope, and up another acclivity, with such wonderful celerity, that his savage pursuers only came in sight of him again as he neared the summit. They had loaded their pieces in the meantime, however, and they all now fired at him again; but though two of the bullets cut his clothes, and one passed through his hat, just barely grazing his scalp, he escaped without another wound. "This was the last he saw of his foes; and altering his course, a little he ran toward the river, where he hoped to find his companions. '"To his inexpressible joy, as he came in sight of the Ohio, he beheld them nearly opposite to him. "He shouted to em, and they hastened to the shore, where Duncan met them, blood-covered and out of breath and really dying, as he believed. "They were alarmed at his condition, and as soon as they had got safely out into the middle of the stream again, they examined his wound. ; "To their great joy and his, it was found that the ball, instead of passing thfough him, had supposed, had s uck his powder-horn, and driven some of the splinters into his flesh, which had caused the blood to flow freely, but in reality had only inflicted a trifling wound, from which he speedily recovered.'' A few moments' silence followed the close of Cody's narrative, until he rose from his reclining posture and re marked, with a smile: "So, you see, Bill, we are not the only ones who occa sionally find that they have to be dependent on Provi dence for a little timely jntervention. If McArthur's powder-flask had not intercepted the bullet, and if those rascals had not upset the second canoe themselves to night, Duncan and you and I might at this moment be exchanging greetings on the other side of the big divide.'' After another hour's rest, spent in a peaceful doze by Wild Bill, and in alert and ceaseless vigilance by Cody, the two, as by mental consent, rose, and embarked once more on their journey. Taking it in turn to propel the canoe, they made rapid progress. The dawn broke, and found them skirting the great forest. All through the day and the succeeding night they pressed along, seeking neither rest nor food till they had crossed the portage and recovered the weapons which they had hidden in the bluff where the river took its bend eastward. Ten days later, weary, ragged, and well-nigh unrecog nizable they entered Long Pine Settlement. The story of their sufferings, and their description of the Shoshone fastness in the heart of the Sierras, sufficed to deter even the most foolhardy and reckless miners from seeking the Wall of Gold Mine. Wild Bill never took that trail again. He had been kept a prisoner in the mysterious mine, of which Buffalo Bill had obtained a glimpse, and the horrors of his cap tivity, tC?gether with the temporary loss of his faculties on the night when the Mystery Chief displayed the power of his magic, made him vow that he would never more undertake a trail beyond the prairies. And even Buffalo Bill, although fate destined him to go over the same ground on a subsequent occasion, had no relish to repeat that awful and never to-be-forgotten experience--his life struggle. THE END. Next week's issue, No. 95, will contain "Buffalo Bill's Gallant Stand; or, the Indian s Last Victory.'' A story of de s perate fighting against the redskins and some 'of the most thrilling adventures in the life of the greatest of scouts. Wild journeys in the Bad Lands and the last fight made by the Indians there are described in this issue.

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    . Nex t week is the last o n e of the p rt.sent conte st. g et a mo;e o n you, boys, if you want t o get i n. 1 prizes a:t e w orth w h ile. A lit tl e e ffort will w i n or. e. The new cont e;t w ill b e anno unc;ed next week. F o r fu ll part icul a rs, s e e pi.\ge 3 J. I n l\II e xico (By Robert Welty, Marion, Ohio.) One hot evening in July, I went to bed quite early, something I had never done before. It took me quite a whi l e to go to sleep, but when I did, I dreamed the fol lowing: I was in Mexico-how I got there I
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    , THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. \ after which he allowed me to pass through the massive folding-doors which had rtow noiselessly opened to ad mit of my entrance. I now thought I descended numerous flights of stairs of gold and silver. Having arrived at the ground floor, I was again accosted by a sentinel, who demanded the password. I replied: "All is not gold that glit ters." After which he rang for a servant. A valet in gorgeous liv ery appeared and conducted me into the presence of his majesty, the King of the Druids. It seemed as though I was previously acquainted with this royal personage, !'for he extended his arms, saying: "Enter, noble prince of the Druids." After having had dinner in a magnificent dining1 room, all ablaze with gold and jewels, the king led me to his private apartments, stating he had something of im portance to rdate to me I thought we seated ourselves in golden chairs at a table with a massive top of gold, laden with the choicest wines and cigars. ''My son ." began the ki11g,'' what I have to relate to you is an important secret." I bowed resp e ctfully. "It is this," continued he. "I am in love." I do not know why. but I thought this news produced quite an eff e ct on me. "The object of my aff e c i o ns." resumed his majesty, '"is the fair daughter of a millionaire at Lima, whose name is C--" It seemed that I bounded to my feet with a loud cry. The name he mentioned was identical to that b o rne by the girl to whqm I was enga ged to be married! ''Sir." I replied, "this same man to whom you refer is the father of the girl to whom I am engaged. And, since he has but one daughter. the object of your af fections must be my Mamie." This declaration enraged the king, who bounded forward with a fierce oath on 1is lips. "You," he hissed. "you dare to tell me that you are in love with thi s girl !" "I can prove it," I r eplied "Then, by Heaven," stormed the king, "you shall not leave this. place alive." see if I was dressed. I was, and, fortunately, had a supply of matches in my pocket. Striking one, I could discern by its sickly rays a long and narrow u!'lderground tunnel. Quick as a flash, the truth occurred to me. I was in an abandoned mine I The next thing then was to get out of this place. By a superhuman effort I managed to gain my equilibrium. Once on my feet, I began a tremendous stamping to start my sluggish blood to circulating. I next took from my pocket some old letters, and, twisting them into a torch, lighted it. My confused thoughts slowly righted them selves and I knew that in my sleep I had entered an old mine. By the aid of the torch I was enabled to see my way for a considerable distance. And, oh, horror9 I right where I had l ain was a wide, deep shaft. Glancing up, I perceived another tmrnel. Then I knew that I had fallen from this passage above to the one below. I trem bled at the thought that had I fallen into the shaft de scribed, I met instant death. I managed to climb to the upper passage, which I supposed was the main one. On reaching this, I saw daylight ahead, and knew this was M1e surface tunncl. As I walked along, the horror of my dream came back to me with fearful distinctiveness. You may be sure that I was overjoyed on again see ing the lig ht of day. The mine proved to be the one I had visited the day before. That nig ht I had really gotten up and dressed and visited the "underground palace," whic h proved to be an old g-old mine. How I had gotten there, I nev er knew, unless the "electrical van" had been a street car. One thing, though, I lost no time in making my way down the mountains to the Hauser Boulevard and taking a car home. On reachin g there I l earned that it was 4 P. M., the eve of the next clay after the night on which occurred "A Realistic Dream." Caught by Indians. I thought he came toward me, and it seemed as if I detected murde r i11 his eyes. Grasping me by the col-(By Carmelo Guinta, Boston, Ma s s .) lar, he dragged me through the door, along a dark and I dreamed that my father was a rancher. He had narrow passage, and stopped at what appeared to be a one thousand cows and seven hundred and fifty horses, black and yawning chasm. and also Winch e ster rifles, Colt revolvers and bowie I tried to resist, but I was powerless. I seemed to be knives. He also had saddles. gold mounted, and bridles. immovable. I cried out again and again. but the only One afternoon I was riding out on the prairie with a bowie, answer I rec eived was the echo, which seemed to be, two revolv ers, and a repeating rifle hun g on my saddle. "You are doomed." I t horn, and a lariat. 1ad been riding for a dozen miles, The king then gathered me in his arms. and) with a when suddenly six Incliarts sprang upo.)t me. 1 hey demoniacal lau g h, hurled me into th e gaping pit. bound me up tig htly. Then they searched me. but I was The light seemed to fade. and darknessreigned over Juel<)' They
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    THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. was to send a troop of cavalry . Then they mount e d and rode out of s i g ht. When I came to the v illage it was d a rk. The first thing they asked me was where the In dian boy w a s. I told them he was killed by a bear. They bound me hard t o a tree and the y went to the sp o t where he was killed. In the ni g ht they did not return for an Indian squaw came r u nning over and said in broken Eng lish that they were killed, wounded or captured by s o ldiers I was glad when I heard that. One day a great big miner came up tp me in some secret way and t old me that my father would give a large amount of money i f any one would bring me back to the ranch. He untied me and gave m e a re v olver While he was g iving it to me an Indian sprang upon him I grabb e d his revolver and fired H e fell dead The o ther In dians heard the shot a n d ran to s e e who was shot. The miner and I went in hiding, and while they w e re looking at their dead comrade we killed ten more. When the Indians h eard the shots they thought soldiers were nearby, and the y ran off lik e rats. wh e n the y see a cat. While we were in hiding somethin g struck me and my friend. \Ve w e re unconsciou s Whe n we came to, we found ourselves inside a wig w am. The n ext day a troop of cavalry arrived wit h a piece of artillery a nd the y shot all t h e Indians in the village and, aft e rward. I was free once mor e I met my hther at th e fort anil while J was speaking with him, I awoke to find mysdf on the floor. A D r eam of Horseba : k Riding. (By Charl e s E Larrab ee, Auburn, Me ) One ni ght I feeling v e ry tir e d so I w e nt to bed v ery earl y and soon dropp e d asle ep. That ni ght I dreamed that I was out in front of my hou s e riding on a horse, which was trying to throw me off I could not jump off, so all I could do was to han g on "io h m. It s e emed to me as though I was standing o n my head. A nd oh, how big my head f e lt when I awok e and I was jumping up and down, cr y ing for all I wa s worth I s c reamed to m y mother to take me off that h o rs e and she came and found me cr ying and told me it was only a dream. I wa s not o n a hor se and I never wis h to go through sach an experience again. This is a true dream. C ha s e d by C a tamounts. (By Price Smit h Al b any, Ga ) T had be n us e d to playing out every evening witf1 a crowd of b o and gi r ls. It was late one summ e r nig ht when I was coming home. I saw something cro ss the street in front of me that look e d like a catamount. A s there was thought to be on e in t h e vicinity. 1 start e d to run, and when J got home I was out of br e ath and frig h ten e d nearly to d e ath. I undresse
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    u US DREA CONTEST you all know what a succ ess the last cont est was. We propqse to make this even bigger. L 0 0 I t AT T H BS S P L E N D I D P R I Z E 0 F F E R 1 5 CO PLETE PHOTOGRAPHln OUTFlTS includin g a n EASTMAN BROWNIE CAMERA and a outfit for taking,., developing and printing photographs CET INTO THIS CONTEST whether you w ere in th e l a st or n ot. All you have to do is to remember any Curious Dream you have eve r had, write it in five hundred words or less, and send it the accompanying coupon properly filled out, to BUFFALO BILL WEEKLY, Care of STREET & SMITH. . 238 WILLIAM STREET, .NEW YORK C!TV THE PRIZES WE OFFER THIS .. TIME are about the FINEST EVER CIV.EN in a cont e st of this kind; The cameras are beauties simple in operation and COUPON Buffalo Bill Dream Contest, No. 2 Name ........ ..... ............ ......... ............................. .. .. .. .. No; ........ . .... .. . Stree t ....................... .. . _. ....... : ... . .... .. City o r 'l'own . .. .. .. ....... .. .. ..................... ..... .. .. .......... hold cartrid ges with film enoug h for six exposures without reloading. A car; trid g e and a complete outfit tog ether w i th a book of instructi ons a s to how s tat e ... ., .. ........... .. .... .. ........ .... .. ... ... ... .... .. ....... . to take and develop photographs go Titl e of Story.. .... ... .................... ............................ ... with each ,camera. .

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    I .. 1 BUFFl\LO BILL STORIES CONTAINING THE ONLY STORIES AUTHORIZED by HON. WILUAM f. CODY .("Buffalo Bill") 61-Buffalo Bill and the Masked Driver; or, The Fatal Run Through Death Canyon. 62-Buffalo Bill's Still Hunt; or, Fighting the Robber of the Ranges. 63-Buffalo Bill and the Red Riders; or, The Mad Driver of the Overlands . 64-Buffalo Bill's Dead-Shot Pard; or, The Will-o' -the-Wisp of the Trails. 65-Buffalo Bill's Run-Down; or, The Red-Hand Renegade's Death. r 66-Buffalo Bill's Red Trail; or, A Race for Ransom. 67-Buffalo Bill's .Best Bower; or, Calling the Turn on Death Notch Dick. 68-Buffalo Bill and the Gold Ghouls; or, Defying Death at Elephant Rock 69-Buffalo Bill's Spy Shadower; or, The Hermit of Grand Canyon. 70--Buffalo Bill's Secret Camp; or, Trailing the Cloven Hoofs. 71-Buffalo Bill's Sweepstake; or, Hunting the Paradise Gold Mine. 72-Buffalo Bill and the Black Heart Desperado; or, The Wipe-Out at Last Chance. 73-Buffalo Bill's Death Charm; or, The Lady in Velvet. .74-Buffalo Bill's Desperatt; Strategy; or, The Mystery of the Cliff. 75-Buffalo Bill and the Black Mask; or, The Raffle of Death. 76--Buffalo Bill's Road Agent Round-Up; or, Panther Pete's Revenge. 77-Buffalo Bill and the Renegade Queen; or, Deadly Hand's Strange Duel. 78-Buffalo Bill's Buckskin Band; or, Forcin the Redskins to the Wall 79-Buffalo Bill's Decoy Boys; or, The Deatl Rivals of the Big Horn. 80-Buffalo Bill's Sure Shots; or, Buck Dawson's Big Draw. 8r-Buffalo Bill's Texan Team; or, The DogDetective. 82-Buffalo Bill's Water Trail; or, Foiling the Mexican Bandit. 83-Buffalo Bill's Hard Night's Work; or, Captain Coolhand's Kidnaping Plot. 84-Buffalo Bill and the Scout Miner; or, The Mo u nted Sharps of the Overland. 85-Buffalo Bill's Game; or, Nipping Outlawry in the Bud. 86-Buffalo Bill and the Lost Miners; or, Hemmd in by Redskins. 87-Buffalo Bill's Tenderfoot Pards; or, The Boys in Black. 88-Buffalo Bill and the Man in Blue; or, The Volunteer Vigilantes of Silver Threa
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    . The Biggest Success of the Year W as ma d e by S treet and Smith s Big Dete c tive Library The Old Broadbrim Weekly I t i s the la rges t library of detective stories published, as well as the best. JOSIAH BROADBRIM the Quaker detect i ve, is a favorite all over the country T he s tories are fascinating and exciting, and contain the t rue solutio ns of many of the g r ea t mysteries of crime that have nev er before b e en explained. Here are the numbers published so far : LIS T OF TITLES. 1. Old Broadbrim, The Quaker Detective; or, Solving the Mad House Mystery. 2.. Old Broadbrim Fighting a Clique of Crime; or, The Detective's Ghost Ally. 3. Old Broadbrim In a Race for Life ; or, The Thirteen Days' Fight. 4. Old Broadbrim's Crimson Knot; or, The Bats of Baltimore. 5. Old Broadbrim On a Perilous Quest; or, Running a Band of Assassins to Earth. 6. Old Broadbrim Chasing the Thieves; or, A Brilliant Piece of Detective Work. 7. Old Broadbrim On a Water-Front Trail; t or, Breaking up a Dangerous Gang. 8. Old Broadbrim On an Qcean Chase ; or, The Diamond Smuggler's Great In vention. 9. Old Broadbrim Solving the Railway Mystery; or, The Millionaire's Strange Death. 10. Old Broadbrim J1inding the Millville Robbers; or, The Miser of Great Wallingford. 11. Old Broadbrim After the Gold Brick Swindlers; or, The Blacklock Bunco Gang. 12. Old Broadbrim Among the Thugs of Harlem ; or, Landing a Big Catch. 13. Old Broad brim On a Strange Abduction Case; or, The Tramping King of Ireland. 14. Old Broadbrim Fighting Western Desperadoes; or, Playing the Counterfeit Game. 15. Old Broadbrim Forcing Their Hands ; or, The Panel Thieves of the Tenderloin. 16. Old Broadbrim On a Kidnapping Case, or, The Search for a Young Heiress. 17. Old Broadbrim Destroying the Swamp Angels; o r The Mysterious Crime of Gotham C ourt. 18. Old Broadbrim Up Against Grave Robbers ; or, The Tomb Hunters of Tavistock. 19. Old Broadbrim Seeking the Matt in Black; or, Miser Ben's School of Crime. 20. Old Broadbrim Untying a Tangled Knot; or, One of the Queerest Cases on Record. 21. 01d Broadbrim the Dark Terror; or, The Cnmes of the Red Hands of India. 22. Old Broadbrim Revealing a Double Life ; or, The Cle"' of the Blood-Stained Paper. 23. Old Broadbrim Keeping His Vow; or, The Tangled Mystery of the Quaker City. 24. Old Broadbrim Trapping the Foxes; or, The Crime of the Boathouse 25. Old Broad brim On the Trail of the Iron Frog; or, Who Killed Percy Manson. ? 26. Old Broadbrim In Ticklish Places ; or, Hunting a Banker's Assassins. 27. Old Broadbrim Playing a Desperate Game; or, The Mystery of the Red Dragon. 28. Old Broadbrim Playing a Master Stroke; or, The Mystery of Pier No. 4 These stories ma;y l:..e purchased f'or F ive Cents at an;y newsdealers, or f'rom STREET SMITH, Publishers, 232-238 WILLIAM STREET, NEW YORK CITY.


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