Buffalo Bill and the gilded clique, or, Pawnee Bill's mountain-slide


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Buffalo Bill and the gilded clique, or, Pawnee Bill's mountain-slide

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Buffalo Bill and the gilded clique, or, Pawnee Bill's mountain-slide
Series Title:
Buffalo Bill stories
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Buffalo Bill
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New York
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Street & Smith
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English
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1 online resource (31 p.) 28 cm.: ;

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

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
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020912942 ( ALEPH )
15930150 ( OCLC )
B14-00114 ( USFLDC DOI )
b14.114 ( USFLDC Handle )

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I A WEEnY-POBUCATIO Is1Ul!d Weekly. By su!Jscriplwn ,2,50 /er year. E11tered as Second-class Matter at tlie N. Y. Post Office, ey STREET a: SllllTH, 79-89 Ave., N. Y. Cojyri'g-111, 1910, ey STREl'.T & S KlTH. No. NE W Y ORK, Se p tem be r 10, 1910. Price <:ents. Buffalo. and the Gilded Clique; .1 9R, "-,,J 'PAWNEE MOUNTAIN=SLIDE I By t he a u th o r o f "BUFF ALO BILL. I / CHAPTER I. THE RETURN OF PERDITA. "Stop the horses, Carlos! Stop them!" The swarthy little Mexican on the front seat of the buckboard pulled in the team with a startle'1 As soon as the vehicle had come to a standstill, the woman arose from the seat behind, and peered steadily and won deringly in the direction of the Rio Concho "lv/,p,dre mia!" the woman whispered, "what is wrong? What has happened ?" The woman was young, perhaps eighteen or twenty. Her form was slender and graceful, her hair black as night and shiny as polished jet, and her eyes wide and dark and lustrous It was evident that, if she was not Mexican, there was at least Mexican blood in her vems. She and the driver were the only passengers in the buckboard. That the vehicle had come far was"' evident from the weariness of the horses at the pole. It was on ground that the girl had ordered Carlos to stop. From there tbe Circle-T ranch buildings, backed by the cottonwoods that bordered the Concho, could be plainly seen And there, where the girl had expected to see a great crowd, and to hear the shouts of hundreds of voices, she saw no one and heard not a sound A funereal quiet reigned everywhere. Between the white ;;terns of the cottonwoods, the Concho sparkled in the afternoon sun. From its situation on rising ground, the silent "headquarters adobe" brooded over a camp ) that seemed deserted. There were no horses in the cor rals, no loungers around the bunk house or chuck shanty, no sign of life anywhere. The strangeness of it all impressed even the tired Car los. "Por Dias!" he muttered, slapping the dust from his coat with a wondering hand. "Have I made a mistake?" breathed the girl. "Have I come at the wrong time? Have the games for this year been called off, or perhaps postponed?" "Quien sabe," muttered Carlos, shaking his head "Drive on to the camp," ordered the girl, a foreboding note in her voice, as she seatied herself. "We'll find out about this, and muy pronto." Carlos slapped the horses with his whip, and the buck board moved down the slope toward the Concho. The eyes of the Mexican and the girl were alert as they pro ceeded. Presently they struckt the trail that approached the headquarters adobe through the river cottonwoods. Here there was the flotsam and jetsam of a great camp--the remains of a sojourn of a large concourse of people. The trees were gnawed and broken, the ground trampled, and the white ashes of dead fires lay heaped in many places "People have been here," murmured the girl, "but they have gone. Why have they gone? Where is my father, and my father's men?" Carlos, thrilled with an enigma that was rapidly be coming portentous, made no response. His eyes gleamed

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2 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. as they darted from point to point, but his falo Beel he come, an' ze Pawnee Bee.I, an' zey mak e z e brain was numb and hi s lip s mute. trouble!" At a bend in the road they came s uddenly upon the first "Buffalq Bill? Pawnee Bill?' the girl echoed. sign of life. "Qui!" chatteced the one-eyed foreman. Zey bu s t up A German sat in the shade, smoking a long pipe phlegze games, zey fin' out 'bout ze counterfeit money, an' z e y matically, and leaning back against the rear wheel of a take away ze sefiorita s fazer to ze jail. Whoo sh,_ ze lu c k disreputable-looking wagon. The oth e r rear of ees bad! M e I feel lak ze whipped dog, an' I no got z e the wagon was mis s ing1 while that corn e r of the box was heatt for anyzing." supported by a trimmed s apling, bound to the wagon's Reyes s prang up,. dazed, a s tounded. Then, side, projecting backward and under th. e wheelless axle ; fiitlging her s elf forward, s he bent and dropp e d At a little di s tance from the German, two mules were both hands on the 1 half-breed s should e r s shaking him picketed. The man looked up, as the buckboard came frercely. to a halt in fro'?t of him. '1Is thi s true?'" she cried, her voice shaking with pa s "Who are you?" demanded the girl. sion. The stolid calm of the German was in npwise ruffied. I s pik ze truth alway io ze senorita," an s wered Jules. He blew a long whiff of smoke from his pipe, and peered You say that Buffalo Bill and Pawnee Bill came here curi o usly a.t the girI; to the game s ; that they discovered that my father was a Fritz Von Schnitzenhaus,er," said he deliberately. counterfeiter, and h ei; feet. . . arn .gla ? tQ find my father' s !oreman h,erei "lf the law has it s way with my father," s he hi s s ed Where 1 s my father? And are the game s (' Jules kept s ilence until the girl had alighted, "the n we will have oiir yvay with B uffalo Bill and Paw-: and Carlo s had driven the team and wago,n away toward n e e B illi Tbey s hall feel the w e ight of Perdita's vengethe near es t corral; then, after the girl ""._as s eatt:d on the ance I Tl1ey shall pay, they s hall J?ay I" veranda, the h;ilf-breed placed him s elf her. S he s h o ok h e r clenched fist. "Ze game s b e gan ze day, o-iti J zen ze ver' fir s t "Sefio rita," r eturned the for e man, hi s one eye glimmerda y we haf ze trouble. Senorita: Perdita Reye s she ingcurio u s ly, how you mak z c sc out an' hi s pard pay, come now 'and she find ver' s ad place at. Circle-T." huh? Z-e Beels zey haf ze c o urage of ze lion an' ze cun Fire fl.as h e d in the black eyes Perdita Reyes. ning of ze :-Ox. \ Wat ees zere for you an' me zat we can "Tell me," she breathed fiercely, -"and lo s e no time do alone?'" about it. Madr e d e Cristo.s I s it not my right to know, Not alone," s aid the girl. "There i s my hu s band, and to know quickly?" -Jorge -H<:! is at Montezuma camp. With Jorge i s Jac k Jules rolled a ciga;ette, and sank down on the top of B a rba z on and Emil Flint-all m e tnbers of the Clique of the veranda s teps. Gold. I will send for th e m, Jule s They come h e re, "Oh he, he mourned, hi s cigarette was coma'.nd thc57 will help u s What can Buffalo Bill and Pawn ee fortably going, "e e t ees a sad bizness. Me, I feel ;;:e deep Bill do again s t th T Gild e d Clique?' Perdita flung back sorrow for eet all, senorita. Ever' year, as ze s efiorita her s hap e ly head,. and laughed s hrilly. "Madre m ia," know, her fazer, ze Mon s ieur Jeff Trent, he haf ze she fini s h e d, 'we will t e(fch. the s e Bills a l e ss on. Tqey broncho bu s t, ze horse race, z e rope throw, an' ze guh s hall know wh a t it m e an s to cro s s the trail of Jeff Trent! s hoot, here at ze Circle-T, an' ze people come from all Find so me one, Jules, t o go to Mont e zuma. I will writ e ovair ze country. Eet was ze s ame zis year as alway. a lett e r, and the mes s eng e r s hall t a ke it to Jorge We haf m o re pe o ple to ze g a mes, py g a r, zan we haf She ran into the hou se / Fifte en minute s late r s!Je h a d q,ny ozzer yea[ zat l knovy. Zen, malediction I BfV:ritten her call to the Gilded Clique. Jules l}, imself { was

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THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 3 mounted on a ,, fleet horse, and waiting for the letter, at. the foot of the veranda steps. There was a baleful look in the foreman's scarred face as he spurred away. / CHAPTER II. THE PLOTTERS. During the night,;md early the following morning the 1 members of the Gilded Clique all rounded up at 'Jeff Trent's headquarters adobe at the Circle-T. They were not all with Jorge Reyes at Montezuma, so they could no4J all reach the ranch with Sefior Reyes and the one eyed foreman. Sefior Reyes sent out word to the other two members of the blackleg syndicate, however, and Jack Barbazon got to the Rio Concho at midnight, while Emil Flint arrived there in 'time for breakfast. Barbazon had been in the town o.f Wagon Wheel Gap, and Flint had been busy ma lumberman's camp on Whip saw Mountain. Perdita and her husband, Jack Barbazon and Emil Flint, had pooled issues in monte and faro. Each of the men was a past master in the legerdemain that makes these gambling games successful, and in all the South western country there was no more skilled dealer than Perdita. Behind the silv.er box, the girl was a siren. Her beauty a very tangible asset for the unscrupulous associa tion, and when she unmasked the battery of her liquid there were few bystanders who could resist laying their mone).' on the game over which she presided. So notorious bad become the Clique for its sleight of and its ".'inning?, that the appearance 9f any one of its members m a fairly respectable camp was a signal for the marshal thereof to conduct said member to the edge of the open country, and give him five minutes to make himself absent. Because of this unsavory reputation, it was the habit of the members of the Clique to wander from one settle ment to another, in disguise. Thus they continued to fo?l the town marshals, and to pile up their unscrupulous gams. ,.. Down among cottonwood?, while the gathering of the sharks was m progress, Fntz Von Schnitzenhauser continued to smoke, and to wonder where he was to up a spare wheel for his agon. He had seen the one-eyed foreman depart from the ranch at speed. This speed in itself foreboded important things going forward at the headquarters adobe but the most important thing in Fritz Von mind was where he could secure a spare wheel for his wagon, and he paid little attention to Jules and his flight. In the evening hours Jules, the foreman, rode along the trail through the cottonwoods with <\ comrade. Fritz was awake, and saw the dusky figures of the two horsemen, recognizing Jules by his shrill voice and his broken jargon. Later, Fritz was ar
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4 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. / take 'em in detachments, one at a time. And you'll ex .cnse me for sayin', that's the only way fellers l!ke us ought to go against an outfit like that of the kmg of scouts." "Caramba!" came from the girl in a tone of scorn. "Why should the be afraid of Bi;,ffalo Bill ancl'his pards, either separately or all together? "Tut, querida!" cati1e the .voice of Jorge. "This scout has little love for men of the cards who are not on the square. There was once another Gilded Clique which, I hear, crossed his trail and got the worst of it. This Clique of ours, novia, must stand until we each heap up much dinero and can-retire. Eh, amigos? Is it not so?" ''..It's so," declared Emil. "We've got to be careful. If we're not, we n1.ay find ourselves cold-decked; and I, for one, am not pining to have the Cody brand of kibosh !handed out to me. Jack's head's level. We'll take Buffalo Bill, Pawnee Bill, and the Dutchman, one at a time. In that way only cal). we hope to get even for what has happened td Jeff Trent, ouF unfortunate amigo; and the father-in-law of Jorge Tell us what else got on your mind, Jack," -"I'm a bit hazy from that-tJoint on, Emil," proceeded Barbazon, "but I reckoned that Perdita, properly dis guised, or not, as she thinks best, might, go to J?uffalo Bill with a tale of woe of some sort. He s a kmght of the plains, he is, and they do say he'll travel and far to aid any woman who is in distress. :i.fow, so far as I know, Buffalo Bill never saw Perdita. That's a point in Perdita's favor, when she comes to work the plan. Then, again, Perclita's good lobks, and her ability to play a part, will all tell in the game." "What sort of game is to resulf, Barbazon ?" denianded Perdita. "It's a trail of veng'eance, eh?" Barbazon asked. "I will have pay for what ha s happened to mi padre." "Exactly. It's vengeance you're after, and I am not averse to helping, because I understand that the tender foot, from whom I levied tribute in \i\lagon Wheel Gap, went at once to Buffalo Bill and a s ked him to help in recovering the money. I don't know what Buffalo Bill decided to do, amigos, but, personally. I'd rather deal violently with the scout before he has the to deal violently with me. You rise to that, eh?" Everybody, apparently, arose to Barbazon'.s remarks. "By the fiends," muttered Emil Flint, "if Buffalo B,ill gets after you, Jack, he'll be getting after the lot of us. As you say; the thing for us is to head him off before he gets started. Go on." "Well, Perdita acts a part, and lures the scout into some place where the r est of us will be laying for him? Jules,. here, knows a pretty trick with the knife, and-but, being a man who picks his words wit'1 con sideration, I hesitate to describe what will happen to the scout when he does fall into our hands." "Dios mio," muttered Jorge, "that's a point vJe must cover well. Whatever happens to the scout, the Clique must not be suspected. The scout has other pards; Paw nee Bill is still at Montezuma, remember; and the baron still on Whipsaw. Somewhere near Red River, I am told, compadres, that the Indian boy and the hombre called old Nomad, are waiting for their three amigos. There will be plenty left to settle with the Clique-with the scout out of the way, and the Clique suspected." "When we finish 'with Buffalo Bill, amigos," went on Barbazon, "then we will give attention to Pawnee Bill and to the baron, one at a time, and Pcrdita working in the way that seems best to her." "Trust me; trust me," breathed Perdita. "I remem ber my father, and it will steel my and make me keen and clever. I will do well part." Fritz, under the veranda, thdught that he had heard enough. He was quivering with excitemei:t. The thing for him to do was to get away from the C1rcle-T Ranch, and to do it quickly. As quietly as possible he crawled, inch by inch, out from tinder the veranda. He listened intently for sound s from overhead, indicating th
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THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 5 that lithe-limbed Mexican was out of the question. To send a shot after him-which would not have been advis able, anyhow, on account of the noise-was equally im possible, for Fritz had left his revolver in his wagon. There was only one course for Fritz to pursue. Bend ing his back to the buckboard wheel, he gave it a mighty shove. The wheel darted across the space separat ing Fri tz from the Mexican. By great good fortune, the wheel struck the Mexican, knocked him down, rolled over him, and wabbled to earth a dozen feet beyond. Before the dazed Carlos could regain his feet, Fritz was upon him. "A bird in der handt gadders no moss," remarked Fritz, sitting on Cados' chest and half strangling im, "und a rolling shtone is vort' two in der bush. For vich reason I ged you off my handts so kevick as possible und roll avay in der vagon mit der mools und der porrowed veel. Ho\v you like dot, eh?" Carlos was getting blue in the face. His eyes were bulging from his head, his broo.th came in wheezy gasps, and every limb was weak and helpless. "I guess dot vill do," muttered Fritz. iOon'd make some more noises oder I vill hurt you vorse as dot. Come, now!" He drew his hands from the Mexican's throat, go to his feet, seized the Mexican by the shoulders, and dragged him back to the pile of horse furniture. There, frorn among the riding gear, he selected a riata, and with that he proceeded to secure his captive. After the tying, a handkerchief was twisted into a rope for a gag, and bound between the captive's jaws. Lastly, Fritz heaved several saddles over the man and left him. Had the Mexican's yell been heard by those on the veranda? Apparently not, for, if it had been heard, there would surely have been intern, 1ptions for Fritz in his work with Carlos. A study of the adobe offered in the way of alarm for Fritz. He started toward the buckboard wheel, then paused and returned to the gate of the corral. All the horses at headquarters were in that corral. Follow ing a few moments' reflection, Fritz opened the corral gate and allowed the riding horses and the buckboard team to run out. "Oof dose peoble vant to shace afder me," chuckled Fritz, "dey vill haf to come on deir feet, oder vaste time gedding deir horses pack, py dunder. A stitch in time iss sufficient, und a vort' to der vise safes nine." He went after the wheel, set it upright, and began roll ing it toward the river. He was very careful to make for the cover of the cottonwoods at a place from which those on the veranda of the adobe would not be able to see him. In this he was successful; but, while he was trundling the wheel along the trail in the direction of his wagon, he looked out from between the cottonwoods and saw Jules, the half-breed foreman, descending the slope toward the corral. The foreman would discover that the horses were gone. That would arouse his suspicions. After a time-how long or short a time Fritz could not guess-the foreman wouW also discover Carlos. The story Carlos would tell would be worth the price of Fritz's scalp, unless Fritz could remove the scalp to a safe distance. The Dutchman began to make haste'. The hub of the new wheel went over the axle, and the new bolt went on, just as though they had been made for Fritz's wagon. ) But the wheel was six larger than the wagon's other rear wheel, gave the crazy vehicle a corner wise c;ant which did not at all add to its beauty. ''Haluf a loaf is pedder as a kick, anyways," mused Fritz, flying away to his mules, harness in his hands. "Voa, Bismarck, you olt shtick in der mud," wheedled Fritz, throwing on the harness. "Ve got to ged oudt oof !1c e in a hurry, so be goot now und don'd make some drouples." Having got the harness on Bismarck, Fritz ran to the edge of the cottonwoods, called there by various yells from the corral. What he saw still further aroused his alarm. Jules had found Carlos, and removed the rope and the gag, and Carlos and Jules were to attract the attention of the rrien at the adobe. Fritz turned, in a flutter of apprehension, picked up the other set of harness and rushed at the remaining mule. "Be goot mit yourseluf, Von Moltke," wheedled Fritz, puffing as he worked. "Ve got to run like anyding, I bed you. Donnervetter, my fingers iss all t'umbs." In his haste Fritz lo st more time than if he had pro ceeded mort: slowly, but at iast Von Moltke was in his harness, and th. e Dutcl 1man was hitching both mules to the pole. Voices could be heard in the distance, growing rapidly 1 louder. "Dose fellers vas afder me," he muttered. "Dey vas coming dis vay so fast as dey can run. V ell, der race is s not to der shtrong, nor der pattle to der svift, und I bed you I gif dem a run for deit' auburn chip. T'ings has come to a pooty fine pass ven der Von Schnitzenhausers don'd hang togedder. I vill safe der paron oder know der reason vy nod." As Fritz grabbed the lines, and scrambled to his seat in the buckboard, Jules, Carlos, and two more men ap peared in the trail. Three of the men had revolvers in their hands. "Ged ap mit yourselufs !" cried Fritz to the mules, bringing the gad down on Bismarck with stinging force. The mules jumped, and the wagon groaned under the strain; then, with a rattle and bang, the lop-sided vehicle shot into the trail and turned along it, scraping against a tree, and avoiding destruction by a narrow margin. "Stop!" yelled one of. the men behind. "I peen in a hurry, und I can't shtop !" answered Fritz. "Stop or we'p shoot-I" ''Shoot as you like, py dunder !" roared Fritz. "I. vas a Von Schntzenhauser, und bowder and pullets i ss tinner for me." The firing began before the words were fairly out of Fritz's mouth. Lead splashed against the wagon, missed Fritz by a hair's breadth, and touched up the mules. The two animals laid themselves out, and the way that tip-tilted, ramsh ackle old wagon got over the ground was a caution. The vehicle was little more than a scrap heap held together by rusty bolts, not one of which was at all dependable. But luck held with Fritz this time. Presently he was out of range of the flying bullets, and a little later he was on the top of the hill from which Perdita Reyes had taken her dismal view of the"
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6 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. they saw him stop, stand up, and look ardund, they began to wave their hats and arms. / "For vy do dey act like/dot?" mused Fritz. "Vone oof dem iss vaving a vite handkerchief valking oop der hill. It iss a flag oof druce, yes, und der feller vants to talk. Vell, meppy I led him, aber you bed you I vill do some shooding meinseluf oof he makes drouple mit n;J.e." Fritz reached down and picked up his revolver. Still standing, he rested the weapon across the ba c k of the seat. "Vat it; iss you vant ?" he "Don' d come too close oder I plaze avay." "Don't shoot," answered the man with the flag of truce, "I want to talk with you." "Den talk from vere you vas. ro come gloser as dot iss tangerous." The, man halted. "Did you turn our horses loose ?" the man asked. "Yah." "And you stole the wheel off the buckboard?" "I don'd shteal nodding. I took der veel." "Then--" I But just then, out of the tails of his eyes, Fritz saw a movement of some at the house. This movement, as Fritz interpreted it, was designed to place the girl and another man at a point in the trail ahead of the wagon while the man below was causing a deadlock by his talk. : With a defiant yell, Fritz dropped into his seat, and once more used th { gad. CHAPTER IV. ANOTHER TURN OF THE WHEEL. When Fritz Von Schnitzenhauser had placed six miles between himself and the Circle-T Ranch, he dropped his lines to grasp his left hand with his right, and shake it in a congratulatory way. "He laughs pest who iss oudt oof der vood s, remarked the Dutchman to himself, "und don d vistle ondil you can laugh lasdt. I peen a pooty schmardt feller, I bed ydu, und I vill safe der paron oder know der reason vy nod. Ged ap, dere, you Bismarck mool; voa, haw, mit your seluf, Von Moltke!" Fritz, wpile exulting over his recent escapade, and con gratulating himself, was oblivious of the disasters that threatened him. His crazy old wagon had never had such a shaking up before, and the wrenching had come at an advanced stage in the vehicle's. career, when it wa s least able to weather the storm. Like the "one-hoss shay," of song and story, Fritz Von Schnitzenhauser's wagon had weakened to the break ing point in every part. By' the grace of luck and a blunder of chance, it had held together through what seemed the time of his greatest need, but now it was only awaiting the psychological moment for falling into a scrap pile. Fritz, sitting on top of this gathering calam ity, continued blindly to exult and lay his plans for a rapid journey to Whipsaw Mountain. Those of my readers who have already made the ac quaintance of Fritz's mules, Bismarckand Von Moltke, will recall their distressing habit of suddenly leaping from a walk into an incipient run at totally unexpected moments. The trail, at the place where Fritz now found himself, made its way along the rim of Bowie Gulch. Fritz was allowing the mules to proceed at a leisurely walk, by way of resting them up after the hard race they had made, when, without the least warning, both animals flung them selves forward into a headlong run. Then, for Fritz, the unexpected happened. His ancient wagon; with a final sc reech and a hu s ky death rattle, dropped into its constituent parts. It was just the com plete giving way of a senile old rattletrap, and Fritz found himself on the ground in the mid s t of the wreck, as astounded a Dutchman as could have been found in that part of the country. The seat on which Fritz had been sitting was in pieces; his head was through the dashboard; the tire s had rolled from the three original wheels, and the spokes had caved inward from outward; the box had disintegrated into splinters and broken boards, and the iron stays had dropped from their bolts. Fritz was so astounded Uiat he was stunned. For sev eral moment s he could not realize what had happened. The mules were as much surprised as was Fritz-but they were not dazed. The wrecking of the wagon had frightened them into a run, and they raced off down the trail, with only the neck yoke holding them together. By and by, when realization had broken over Fritz, he stbod up in the midst of the wreck and looked around him with a sinking heart. "Vat a luck!" he wailed, to ss ing his arms, "vat a lu ck it iss ven I fieen in sooch a hurry to get by Vipsaw Moun tain. Und I don'd vas aple to fix oop der leedle vagon no more. Sooch a fine vagon vat it vas, und now it iss all pusted in bieces." Fritz felt inclined to blubber over the fate of the wagon. The only part of it that had remained perfect and intact was the wheel borrowed from the buckboard at the Circle-T. That, wheel, round and symmetrical, and firmly b'elted with its tire, lay off to one side, and mocked Fritz with its very perfection. He made his way out of the wreck, and kicked the wheel savagely, incidentally bruising his foot and hi s shin. "Don'd you make some faces at me!" he scowled. "You pelong to a vagon vat pelongs mit a lot oof rop pers, und dis odqler vagon vat iss a wreck is a hone s t vagon, you bet." While Fritz was slowly circling the scrap pile, and try ing to make up his mind as to what course of action he should now purs ue, he heard hoofs patting the trail to the north. Facing in that direction, hi s heart leaped joyfully at sight of two cowboys, speeding toward him, and leading his mules. Only the bridles were left on the mules, and the owboys were towing the animals by the bridle reins. '"What's the matter hyer ?" demanded one of the cow boys, as both drew to a halt in front of the Dutchman. "My vagon i ss pusted," said Fritz. "Oh, no," haw-hawed the other cowboy, "I reckon she ain't busted, Dutchy Seems ter me like she's jest nach1 erly gone inter junk." "Haf you a vagon some blace vat I could porrow for a vile, huh?" a sked Fritz earnestly. "I peen in der pig gest hurry vat you know." "We ain't got er wagon, Dutch,'' said the first cowboy, "but tell us what's yer hurry? We mout be able ter help ye in some other way than furnishin' a wagon."

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THE BUF 1 FALO BILL /STORIES. 7 "Oof you can do dot, I vill be opliged. You see, I vas ofer py der Circle-T Ranch, und I hear some fellers und a girl, py dot blace, blanning sboch high-handed pitz1 ness as you nefer heard. I got to make some dracks py Vipsaw Moundain so dot I safe anodder Dutchman1dere vat iss a Von Schnitzenhauser, der same as me. Yo vill hefup me, yas, no?" One of the cowboys had got behind Fritz. As he fin ished speaking, a hempen noose dropped over his head and shoulders. There was a whoop, and Fritz was jerked backward at full length in the dusty trail. Once more he was surprised. Before he could recover, both ce>wboys were upon him, lashing his hands and feet. When he was finally roped and helpless, the cowboys stood over him, jeering. "Ye hevn't got enough sen se ter wad a gun I" declared "If ye had," put in the other, "ye'd hev reck'ernized us as riders belongin' ter the Circle-T outfit. Y e're a thievin', no-gopd Dutchman, ye are, an' we got ter the headquarters adobe while ye was pounding away from the top o' the hill. We rode quicker'n what you did, slashed up the gulch, climbeel the rim at a place betweeh you an' whar ye was goin', ketched yore mules an' raced back hyer. Stole a wheel off'n Perdita's buckboard, didn't ye? Did some eavesdroppin' at the adobe, too; an' then put Carlos down an' out, opened the c'ral gate so'st the bosses could git away, an' did a hull lot o' things ye hadn't ort ter hev done. Gh, well, I reckon this is whar the wheel takes another turn, an' you lose." Cold chills crept along Fritz's spine. Novi, as he gazed into the two leering faces over him, he recognized the cowboys as men he had seen during the preceding day at the Circle-T Ranch. Their faces had not seemed famil iar, at first, but now they were very much so "Take der ropes off me!" he begged. "Not so ye kin notice," guffawed one of the captors. "Vat vill you do mit me, hey?" The cowboys reasoned together. When they finally made up their minds as to what they should do, fhey set Bismarck and Von Moltke adrift, picked Fritz up and carried him off among some boulders that edged the trail, and then gagged him with a twisted handkerchief. "We're goin' ter leave ye hyer fer a spell, Dutch," ex plained one, "while we tote that thar stolen wheel back ter. the Concho an' tell Perdita what's happened. Then we ll I.et her do what she wants to with ye. We'd take ye with us now, only we're in some sort of a hurry an' don't want ter bother with ye or yer mules. But ye'll be nice an' quiet hyer, an' ye kin look fer somebody .ter come along, in the course of an hour er two, an' ao what seems be s t with ye. Adios !" Thereupon the cowboys whirled on their si;>Urred heels, and vanished in the direction of the trail. -:Fritz was in a state of mind that can best be as niserable. Re had beaten out at his own game. Who was nqw to warn the baron? The Clique could go ahead and work its will, involving the baron and his friends in comprehensive disaster. Thinking thus, the captive groaned in the bitterness of his SP.irit, and wrenched impotently at the cords that "bound his hands. Failing to make any impression on the cords, he gnawed frantically at the twisted handkerchief. If he could not use his hands, the next best thing was to be able to use his voice But the gag was as tough as the rope about his wrists. Finally he gave up. Luck1 he thought savage ly, had never treated a man so scandalously For a minute for tune would smile on him and everything would go swim mingly; then fortune would frown, and everything would go wrong. '.'Sooch a tough luck it iss," he thought, "dot I nefe.r know vat minid iss going to be der nexdt. Now I am down und oudt, und vat iss to Jecome oof me I can't tell, aber I haf my doubts. _,Dis iss a pad tay for der Von Schnitzenhatisers, I bed you How long Fritz lay on the hard stones he did not know. At a rough estimate he placed the time at two weeks, although the shadows of a near-by boulder, mov ing slowly across him, assured him that it could not have been more than two hours. Then, very suddenly and unexpectedly , he heard a yell from the trail: "Hello!" Hope, which was all but dead in the Dutchman's breast, leaped into life. There was some one in the trail I $ome one had seen the wreck of the wagon, and was trying to get track of the rrian who had been in it! With all his might, Fritz attempted to snout an' an swer. The shout was only a gurgle, and could not have been heard half a dozen feet away. "Hello, I say!" went on the voice. Again Fritz tried in vain to ,respond. To. his great joy, however, he hearl:J hoofbeats drawing nearer and near the rocks. Now the sound receded a fittle, and now it was taken up and came closer. Then abruptly a man on a big buckskin horse appeared between two of the boulders, drew rein, and peered at Fritz in astonishment. The man whistled. "Call me a greaser," said he, "if it \sn't Fritz Von Schnitzenhauser, trussed up as n eat as you please, and with a cute little gag between his teeth. So-ho, Fritz Just a mim1te, now, a1 cl I'll have you so we can powwow." Pawnee Bill dismounted from his horse, and r:nove. d swiftly to the Dutchman's side. Fritz, recognizing t_l1e scout's pard on the instant, thanked his locky stars fbr a happy chance that was about as remote as any he had dreamed could come his way. "CHAPTER V. PAWNEE BIL1' GETS BUSY. Getting Fritz o t of his gag and the ropes was only a minute's work for the prince of the bowie. "How you know c;lere was dropple, hey?" inquired Fritz, as he sat up on the ground and leaned his back against a boulder. "On-she-ma-da laughed Pawnee Bill. "\Vhy, I recognized that stuff in the trail as a scrambled wagon, and it wasn't hard to figure out that the wagon belonged to you. On top of that, I saw the mules; and it wasn't necessary to tag Bismarck and Von Moltke to make me remember that I had met them before." "Um," murmured Fritz, rubbing a few bruises which, up to that moment, had been sadly neglected. "Vere you come from, eh?" "From Montezuma." "Und vere you go?" "To vVagon Wheel, to join Pard Bill. He's there."

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B THE BILL STORiij "Mebby." "No maybe about it; Fritz. Buffalo Bill was to re main there while I took a little ride over Montezuma way." "Don'd bank on vat you t'ink you kn ow, Pawnee Bill. A vort to der vise iss pedder as two pirds in der bush." The prince of the bowie stared hard at Fritz. "What have you g
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-/ THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 9 "An-pe-tu-we ;" exclaimed Pawnee Bill. "Can't you ous methods for "shoving the queer" and exchanging his itnder s tand, Fritz, that if we balk t):l.e Wagon Wheel end bogus paper money for gold and silver. of the plot, it settles thaiother ehd over on Whipsaw It fell to the king of scouts, the prince of the bowie, Mountain?" and the baron to help in apprehending Tre nt, an9 in "I helup vone oof der Von Schnitzenhausers, und I sending him out of the country.* go by Vipsaw M;_oundain so kevick as bossibk" Immediately after the affair of Tr.ent had been thus "Have it your way, then, but take my advice, and start satisfactrily brought to a close, the scout, the prince of somewhere before any of the Circle-T punchers have a the bowie, and the baron would have fared onward to chance to move this way and lay hands on you. The Red River and their wai!jng pards, had not Cap ki-yis won't run in any rhinacaboos on my compadres if tai\1 Coleman, of the Rangers,lfequested them to remain I'm able to call the turn, and I'm willing to bet the limit in that part of the country for a while longer. .. that I can. First off, though, I'll help you get started." Coleman, when he proffered the request, did not state Pawnee Bill spurred out toward the trail, gathered in his reasons for making it. He merely gave the scout to the loitering mules, helped Fritz mount Bismarck, and understand that the interests of law and order might then placeJ in his hand the reins of Von Moltke's bridle. profit materially if the scout and his pyds would delay "Think you can shift for yourself now, Fritz?" asked tQ.eir journey north Knowing that Coleman was the prince of the bowie. not a man of idle words, Buffalo Bill had agreed to re"I don'd vas afraidt oof nodding," declared Fritz. "I main for a few days in Wagon Wheel Gap. vill ride so fast as I can, und oof close Circle-T fellers Pawnee Bill, hearing of an old acquaintance who was ketch oop mit me, dey vas velcome." in Montezuma, had made a trip to the latter camp to re"Then, adios You're a good Dutchman, Fritz, but a new the ties of friendship first forged in the Cherokee number eight hat is too big for you." Strip. He had not left Wagon Wheel Gap many hours Fritz could not understand this last remark, and his behind him before the baron, tiring of inaction, saddled Teutonic dignity would not allow him to request an exhis mule, Toofer, and rode on a pilgrimage to the camp planation. With a wave of the hand, Pawnee Bill rat,,....on Whipsaw Mountain. tled his spurs, and Chick-Chick raced for the sky line. There was no particular reason wh.y the baron should TwC# hours later the big buckskin slowed to a halt in go to Whipsaw Mountain, apart from the fact that lively front of the Palmer Hous e in Wagon Wheel Gap. Zeke times were reported in the camp there, and that "lively Palmer, the proprietor, was sitting out in front, smoking times" were always a magnet for the scout's Dutch and gossiping with a couple of loungers. pard. "Buffalo Bill here?" inquired Pawnee Bill, slipping About this time it was that a callow youth from the down from the saddle. East called on the scout and stated that he had been ':Wall, answered Palmer, "he was, -but he robbed of all his cash gambling game. amt hyer.now. . The youth's name was Horace Parmenter. The scout, pnnce of the bowie straightened suddenly, and after a little investigation, found that Horace still had whirled around. a small amount of money left so he told the youth that ;;where is he?" he he had other and more impo;tant matters to deal with, A woman breezm erlong an hour 3:go, an read him a lecture on the folly of gambling, and bade had a private palaver with the scout .. which him go his-way and profit by the experience. scout saddled up an' shacked away with said moharne. What's ter pay, P..awnee ?" :earmenter returned to the Palmer. House early 111 the Just at that particular moment the prince of the bowie of that had w_itnessecl RFntz_ Von would have given his il.Jttrs to know exactly what was Schmtzenhauser s flight, from the Circle-T anch, and, to pay somewhat to the scouts amazement, Captam Coleman accompanied the youth. When they had hunted a private place for a talk, Coleman uncovered details which --still further surprised the scout: I CHAPTER VI. A QUEER CROSS-PLAY. Buffalo Bill and his pards wrote history rapidly when they set their hands to it. The downfall of J eft Tre., of the Circle-T Ranch, quite an exciting affair while it la s ted, had been accomplished and the
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IO THE BUFFAL O BILL STORIES, scout "It ought to be easy to locate a lot of tinhorns of that stripe." 1 "Not so easy as you think, Buffalo Bill. Thar's four in the gang, an' tpey've split up and took ter wearin' dis guises. I reckoned you might be interested in helpin' me run them tinhotns down. why I made bold ter ask ye ter wait in Wagon Wheel a spell before trai1in' north." "Why did yotr think l'd be irttetested in helping yot1 run the tinhorns down, Coleman?" amigo, they was connected, in a way, with J ef! Trent. ''In what way?" ''The four in the gartg are Perdita Reyes, her hu s band, Jorge Reyes, an ombray called Emil Flint, an' an other as totes the label o' Jack Barbazon Trent married a Mexican woman, years ago. The Mexican woman ha s been dead fer some sort of a while, but this Perdita i s her daughter." "Ah I Was Perdita ottt at the Circle-T Ra11ch dudng our trouble with Trent?" "No, she wasn't thei'e at.that time. The Clique o' Gold, I reckon, didn't allow it was healthy ter happen around at the ranch while the games was on." "Clique of Gold?" "That's the fancy natne this bunch of grafters have given themselves. The 'Gilded Clique/ or the 'Clique o' Gold' is what they call their gatnblin' crowd." "Why have you delayed telling me the reasort you wanted me and my pards to wait here, Coleman ?" "I had a notion," the Ranger answered, "that :Perdita might show up at the Circle-T with the rest o' the Clique arter she heard what had happened ter Trent. Gittin' the scattered tinhorns rounded up was the fust play, an' capterin' 'em was the second. I've had some o' my men watch in' the Circle-T, but they haven't discovered a thing. Horace Parmenter here is the first man ter throw a clue my way concernin' the movements of the gamblers." At that, BuffalC1 Bill took a fresh interest in Horace. "What sort of a clue has Horace got? he "He comes te me an' told me how he had been done up," said Colem n, "an' how he hatl been ter you, an' you had given him a lot o' good advice. Now, from Horace's description o' the blackleg that got his dinero. I've about made up my mlnd it was Jack Barbazon in disguise. I went ter investigate Barbazon, an' found that he had pulled out some time early in the night. Nigh as I kin figget his route, he struck out fer the Concho." ''Then," queried the scout, "you think that means that the members of the Clique are going to come to gether at the Circle-T Ranfh for some object or other ?'1 "Y e're playin' me fer a dead-opetl-an' -shut, Buffalo Bill !hat's ex-:Jl.ur doo,r, and called to the scout, who wa s sitting out in front. Buffalo,Bill got up, and went into the hotel, and Coleman gripped qis arm and dtew him into a washroom that opened off the office. "By the gt.eat Davy Crockett," breathed Coleman, ''this here game we're playin' agin1 the gamblers is openin' in a queer fashion, Buffalo Bill." "How sd ?" asked the scout. "A gal jest rode inter Wagon Wheel, an' asked fer you.i. "For me?" "That's it. I heerd her, an' seeh her: then I made tracks fer the rear d the Palmer House an1 pushed through ter the ftont ter git a quiet wotd with you." "What was the need of that ?'1 ''I'll tell ye. This gal, if I aip't plumb locoed, is no one else but Perdita Reyes. She's in disgttise, but thar ain't no disguise she could put on as 'u'd kiver up that purty face an' them Spani s h eyes o' hers. I'd know them eye s an' that face among a thousand It's Perdlta, an' she' s 1ookin' fer you.1 "Why for me?" "Quien sabe! Thar's trouble o' some sort a-brewin', I'll bet my hat. I was )est goiI?-' ter tip ye off as ter' how ter act when ye talk with Perd1ta." "What do you want me to do?" "Fall in with har game, whatever it is. It mcly lead somewhere, an help us ter accompli s h somethin' Wtith while. Sabe It don t make no diff'rence what happens, pard, I'll be handy by-count on that." !he scot1t wa s about to 1 eply, when Coleman dropped a hand on hi s arm, and pointed through the crack of the half-closed doot. "She's comin' inter the office," the Ranger whispered. "You go out an' palaver with her, but don't let her think yc've had any talk with me I'll git through a wi11der, so 's t s he won't sabe I'm anywhar around the hotel. Suiting his action to the word, Coleman turned to an outside window, opened it softly, a11d climbed through. T!J.e scout, unaware 0 the strange s:ross-play of circum sfances fencing with his fate, ope11ed the door, and stepped .into the r / The girl whs stand111g in the c of the roorrt. When he appeared, she moved quick l y toward him. ,. VII A WO AN' S TREAc'HERY. The girl, slender artd graceful, w o re a tattered calico gown, a sunbonnet, artd no shoes. Her raven-black hair hu11g in a thick bi'aid c\own her back, and she looked, at fir s t glance, to be no more than fifteen or sixteen year s old. Her face, half hidden in th e s hadow of the s un bonnet, however, sho wed that sh e wa s older than her dre s s and her martner would indicate. It was a darkly beautiful face, and the eyes were superb. 1 "Mexican to the core," thought the scout, "even though her father was an American." Duffalo Bill, pretending not to see the girl, started across the office toward the outside door. The girl g o t in his way

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THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. II 'Are-are you Buffalo Bill? Pleas e, are you Buffalo els e ye kin say fer him. He's plumb honest, pap is, an' Bi ll?" he never changed a brand in hi s life." The. v o ice w a s soft and tre mulou s and the girl wa s "Pretty hard on your father to be accused of someb r ea th ing fas t a s tho ugh under stress of deep emotion thing he never did eh?" ' I am Buffalo Bill, answered the s cout. "It's hard on him," s obbed the girl, "an' it is right I want ter talk with ye, Buffalo Bill," she went on, hard on me, too." w ith tearful eagerne ss I got ter talk with ye." "When did Big Blake shoot your father?" 'Well," laughed the scout, "yo u ll never have a better "Yes t e rday. Dad's been )aid up with the shakes fer a chance. G o ahead." week, an' couldn t go tei:.Jlie mine. Big Blake walked in "But I don't want no one out there t e r hear, the girl on u s an' when pap seen him comin he scented troubl e w hi s pered, waving a quick hand in the direction of the an r e a fer a gun. But Blake was t oo quick. He let o p e n door and the v e randa. pap have it, quicker'n a wink. I got the bullet out o' Come this way, then. pap 's s h o ulder, b u t he 's in bed, an' I'm that s cairt o' He led her to a corner of the office, s eated and B lake t e r-night I'm purty nigh cra z y p o inteq to a chair. Blake s aid he was coming t o y our s hanty to-night?" "If you keep your voice lower e d yo ung lad y he wen: "That's what he saii; an' I reckon he will, ka s e he' s on, no o ne will hear what y o u say except my s elf. You that kind." see m to be in trouble of some kind?" "This Blake i sn't bloodthirsty en o ugh to c o me to y our J'I-I never had so s o much trouble! place and any gun fighting with a wounded man, i s The girl s voic e chok ed. H e r face went down in her he?" hand s and her s lender b o d y :was rack e d with so b s "Ye don't know him, Buffalo Bill," breathed the girl. Buffal o Bill wa s p e rpl exed. T o f e ign s uch grie!.z_ and "He's ekal ter anythin', Big Blake is." do it naturally, d e man de d much ability a s an a ctress, "But he mu s t have some other iron in the fire, Tildy that he w a s te?npt e d t o think that Co l e man might b e mi s -It can t be that he s trying to do all thi s to y our father on take n, and tha:t the girl w a s n o t playing a part, but acting account of so me stolen cattle." i n g oo d faith. H e want s pap ter confe ss, an Blake allow s he'll kill Calm yours elf," s aid the s c out, in a kin d l y t o n e "and him if he don t confe ss S po s in pap, je s t ter save hi s tell me who you are, and what y o u want w ith m e lif e admitted that he did chang e Blake' s brand? That The girl dried her eyes on the cape of h e r s unbonnet u d s ave him from Blake, mebby, but it w o uldn't save and l oo ked up. him fro m bein' arreste d an' put in jail. That's what "I'm Tildy McAndrews," s aid s h e "an' if yo u can t Blake 's s chemin fer. He want s ter do pap up, on e way o r w on't help me, then there s n o 011e on thi s earth I c an r an o ther. If pap had be e n abl e ter ride, I'd hav e turn to." brought him er Wagon Wheel; but he can't ride-he's If the girl wa s really Trent's daughter, part Mexican flat on hi s bacl) in bed." a nd the w ife of Jorge R eyes in giving the name of "Why have you come to me, Tildy?" inquired the "Tild y McAndrews" s h e was a c cu s ing h e rself o f tri c ksco ut. "The s heriff i s the man you ought to s ee." e r y That there w a s M e xican bl ood in the girl's vein s, "The s h e r 'ff ain t in town." th e s c out knew with out a d o ubt. Captain Co leman, of the Rangers i s in town, and T ell m e what I can do for y o u, Mi ss McAndre w s h e's a b ette r than the s heriff. Why d on't you get sa i d th e sco ut. him t o d e al w ith Blake? "Pap 's in a h eap o' tro uble ans wered th e girl, an Pai:ehad trouble with the Rangers oncet," answered th e r e ain t no one but me h e can dep end on. Mom's the girl an' I w ouldn't go a.nigh 'em. It troubl e dead, a n I g o t te'r l oo k afte r pap an d o everythin It's o pap' s makin', nuther, but the Rangers g o t s u s picious o' m ight y h a rd, I'm t e llin' y e him. Say, if I wa s ter take Cap' n Coleman out there ter "How l o ng sinc e y o u lo s t your moth e r?" \the s hanty, m o n ;'n ltkely he'd s ide right in with Big H e r nam e :was Ann Carruthe r s afore s he marrie d B lake an try ter make pap confe s s he d been stealin pap, a n s he died three year s ago. B lak e's c a ttle. If ye won t come al o ng o' me, Buffalo T h es e words convin c ed the s c out that h e wa s d e aling Bill, pap 'll git killed an' I won t have no home left, an' no w i t h a treacherou s woman-undoubte dl y with Perdita n o thin .. ye wa s here in an' heerd ye're Reyes jus t a s C o leman-' h a d s ai d alle r s willm t e r help folk s a s cant help their s elve s so I "What's the matte r your fath e r M i ss McAnl ef t pa p an' rode here. Will ye come, an' come right d r ew9'?" now?" The s cout, intere s ted t o di scove r w h y the .daught e r o f '::rww f_ar i s it to, your Tildy?". Jeff Trent s hould come t o him in that w a y, co ntinued t o T e n ov e r to rd s Mountam. Ye wont draw the girl out. need with ye. I r e ckon from what I "Why," quavered the girl, p a p g o t s hot by Big Blake Buffalo Bill her head ent up, an1, a a f e ller he u ster work f e r an B lak e s /ars h e's comin' of and adm1rat1 oi; fla s?ed m eyes-he bac k t e r our shanty ter fini s h i1 p the j o b He's du!Yc1t t no o dd s o a Blake the s h a nty ter-night, an' I w ant ye t e r g o o ut with me an' I 1 e c k o n h e w ont, s miled the scout. W k ee p B ig Blake from doin' what h e s intendin . till my gun s and I 11 nde out to your home with "Wh o i s thi s man Blake?" y ou. "He's got a bunch o cattle n ear our pla ce Pap quit I knowed ye wouldn't turn me down," whispered the workin' fer him an' went inter the min e at the foot o' girl. "Ye' re je s t the kind o man I've heerd ye was." W hip s a w Mounta in Blake allow s pap o nly w orks1in the A little s adness mingled with the s cout' s curiosity a s mine f e r a bluff, an; that hi s r e al bizne ss i s rus tlin' Blak e's he went ups tair s to his room to get his belt and gun s c attle. But it ain t true! Pap's honest no matter what How a girl like Reye s could play so contempti I I I

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12 THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. ble a part, and play it so well, was a problem that struck hard against the chivalrous side of his nature.. she was playing the part was the problem-and this qmte apart from the suggestion made by him to agree to go with her. By runnmg out the trail he .would surely discover what lay \at the of it. He came down with his guns buckled about his w ist and went out through the rear door of the hotel to get riding gear on Bear had. mounted and started toward the trail the girl JOmed him. was riding a sorry-looking mustai;g, bar' eback and with a bridle that had been patched m half a r dozen places. . : The scout was conscious of a certam amount qf admi ration for this fair trickster. There was nothing of the Mexicana in her talk but every word was true to her assumed character of an uneducated American girl of the frontier. Her tattered gown, her bare fttet, her sun bonnet, even the ragged little mustang the bare back and the patched byidle, all lent an air of truth to hei; story Yes, she was a clever woman; there could be UQ mistake On that SCOre. I "We got ter hurry, Buffalo Bill," said the girl. "D'ye reckon ye can keep up with me?" "I reckon I can," laughed the scout. "Then hyer goes!" She struck the mustang's sides with her bare heels and the little animal wabbled into a gallop. Bear Paw could have traveled six feet to the mustang's three, and not half tried but the scout drew his war horse down to a gait that the pony's "I'm plumb tickled ter think ye're. com n' re marked the girl, as they galloped side by side. Pap allowed ye was too busy ter bother with po' white folks like us-all, but I knowed differ'nt." The scout made no response, and foi; mile after mile they rode in silence. The trail to Whipsaw led into rough country, antl the country g_rew h1lher and rockier as they advanced The scout was casting up the possibilities tht might lie ahead of him. The girl, playing so desperate rQle, was surely not considerin&' the scout's w.elfare m the least. Her plbt, whatever it was, was agamst him; and his knowledge of this was to be his principal against threatening disaster. At the end of the he would at le ast discover the correctness or the falsity of Coleman's judgment regarding the girl and the gamblers. Buffalo Bill's reflections were brought to an abrupt termination. His companion's hands suddenly dropped the reins of the patched bridle; she gave a gasp, caught at the mustang's mane to hold herself on bis back, and then, with a low moan, slid to the ground and lay there. Buffalo Bill reached out and grabbed the mustang by a bit ring, at the same time drawing Bear .Paw to. a halt. Pulling the reins over the he 1<1:1d a loop of them around his saddle horn and qmckly d;s mounted. "What's the matter, Tildy?" he asked, stepping to the girl's side "I'm-I'm about played out, I reckon," whispered .the girl, ; trying feebly to rise, but falling "I didn't sleep a wink all last night, I was that scairt on accou_nt o' Big Blake. I reckon if I had a drink o' water I could go on. Git me a drink, will ye, Buffalo T.here's a crick jes t over that 'rise' on the ,Iett. Bnng it m yer I hat-but leave me one o' yer guns while ye're gone. I don't reckon I got the strength to use a gun, but I'd feel safer with it. I'm scairt ter be alone." "I'll get the water, Tildy," said the scout Then, very gravely, he drew one of. his fror:i his belt and laid it down beside the girl. Followmg this he hurried up the "rise," over it, and a little way down on the opposite side. Removing his hat, just below the crest of the ridge, he tur,ned, dropped to his knees and stole a backward glance at the girl. o What he saw left not the least doubt of her treachery. CHAPTER VILI. A LI4TCE TWO-GUN GAME. The scout was not deceived by this ruse of the girl's. Her professed weakness, accompanied though it was. by consummate acting, in no Wise struck at his creduh.ty. Had he so willed, he could have lifted 4er and earned her over the 1'rise" to the creek. However, he offered no sugge stions, but calmly met the girl's every wish with promptness, even to letting her have his revol.ver. As he turned and looked warily back f'.om the ndge crest he saw the girl rise alertly to a sitting posture, cast hurried glance at the top of the "rise," then pick up the revolver and begin removing the from the cylinder. These she cast from h.er, mto the rocks that bordered the trail; and then, from the bosom of her dress she took a small bag, emptied something into her hand' and stuffed the six chambers with-well, the scout was positive that his trusty weapon had been tilled with "blanks." "Tildy Tildy," murmured the scout ironically, as he turned went down the slope of the ridge, "yqu're trying to have me helpless when we reach your, shanty This gives the whole play a bad look, and you ll be m for a big suq)rise before you're many hours older." He reached the creek, scooped up a little watr in his hat and calmly carried it back to his M'aiting The girl had resumed her weak and attitude and the revolver, apparently, was lying where the scout had placed it. "I reckon ye'll think I ain't got no sand at all," murmured the girl, "but I'm jest plumb tuckered, no two ways about it." "This water will revive you,'.' returned the scout. "I reckon that's what I need-that an' a little rest from all tbe \vorry I've been havin'." He lifted her to a sitting posture a11d supported her while she allowed a little of the water to run over the brim of the tilted Stetson and between her lips. "Obliged ter ye, Buffalo Bill," said she. "Now if ye'll help me ter Balpy's back ag' in we'll be ridin'. I don't feel easy a minit while I'm away from pap." The scout assisted her to mo\tnt, and she sat drooping on Bald y's back in a way that still further aroused the scout's admiration. "Hadn't you better ride behind me on my queried the scout, after he had swung into the saddle, his revolver once more in his belt. 11 druther stay with Baldy," she answered. "You didn't have any use for the revolver, I see."

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THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. "I reckoned I wouldn't, Buffalo Bill. I jest felt safer with it, that's all. It's astonishin' how much safer a..per son ll feel, now an' then, if they got a shooter handy." "You're right, Tildy. A gun that can be depended on has brought nerve and confidence to many a man in a tight corner. But who were you afraid of?" "Big Blake-the feller I was a-tellin' ye of." "You haven't any notion that Big Blake is trailing you, have you?" "I'm that scairt I don't know what ter th,ink." They were riding on again, the girl swaying a little on the mustang's back and continuing to play her part with all tbe frills. The scout pretended to be very anxious. "t think, Tildy," said he, after they had covei:ed an other mile of the trail, "that we could make better time if you'd dismount and rest up a bit. The first thing we know, you'll have another fall from Baldy's back." "Mebby ye're right, Buffalo Bill," she answered. "If ye'll give me a hand down, I reckon I'll stop right hyer. Ever'thin's swimmin' around me-never was so pesky dizzy." Promptly the scout drew rein, assisted the girl to alight and then supported her as she staggered into 1 a scrap of shade cast by some trailside bushes. She sank qown wearily: "I dunno what ye'll think o' me," she murmured. Buffalo Bill had no sort of doubt on that point, but he answered gravely: "Never mind about that, Tildy. Our business is to get to your shanty before Big Blake there. I re ckon we'll make it all right, so don t fret." "I ain't frettin' much, now ye've come along with me ter stand between p'ap an' Blake I reckon," s he went on, "I'd feel a heap better if I had a piece o' sa s safras bark ter chew on It's migHty heartenin' when a person feels all gone an' down. D ye s'pose ye could find ine some?" "I can look for it, anyhow." "Don't be gone too l ong, an' don't fergit ter leave me .one o' your guns fer comp'ny." 1 He saw her watching him, covertly but with catlike vigilance, while he took the revolver from his belt. The other time he had left her the weapon that swung on his right side. This time he carefully gave her the other r e volver. A gleam appeared and vanished in her eyes as he laid the six-shooter at her feet. "Ye won't gone long, will ye?" she implored. "No he answered. "If ye can't find no sassafras in a few minits, dor{'t wa;;te time huntin'. I'll make shift ter git along somehow without it." 1 "I'll be back in five minutes." The scout got out of sight as quickly as he could and then, taking the revolver from his belt, he assured him self beyond all doubt that the girl had really replaced the ball cartridges in the cylinder with "blanks." "She doesn't give me credit for very much headwork," murmured the scout, "when she plays the same game twice. "But,'' he finished, as he proceeded to replenish the weapon with ammunition he could depend on, "this is a two-gun game that two can play at." Throwing the blank cartridges away, he proceeded to kill a few minutes of time by an aimless wandering among the rocks and bushes. Finally he returned to the girl. "I reckon this isn't a very good place for sassafras,'' said he. "Anyhow :fildy, I couldn't 'locate any." I "It's right nice o' ye ter go lookin' fer it, anyways," she gratefu).ly. "I'll tell pap how kind ye was ter me an' he'll be a heap grateful." The scout scooped up his revolver from the place where it was lying and dropped it into its scabbard. If anything went wrong with him before he had a chance to reload that second weapon, there was stiU one on which he could rely. "Do you feel able to travel now, Tildy," the scout ask ed, "or do you want to rest a while longer?" "I can't rest fer thinkin' o' pap," said she. "Mebby we' cl better be hittin' the trail." "You can ride with me, if you like." "Baldy's hard ter lead an' it'll be a heap easier, all around, fer me ter ride him." He helped her to mount, once mor:e, and they rode on. The farce, irt so far as it had to do with g etting the scout entangled with a braott of supposedly useless guns, had been played through. All that remanietl, now, was to carry out the rest of the plot. If the girl was really Perdita Reyes, the scout felt sure that she was schemin g to secure vengeanee on ac count of her father. That a girl could deliberately plan so murderous a proceeding, and then carry it out' so craftily, were points that gave him food for much unpleasant thought. The same silence settled over them now that had marked the' beginning of their ride. Buffalo Bill, how ever, took care to ride very close to the girl, to watch her covertly but keenly, and also to take stock of the trailside as they passed along. There were so many ways in which further treachery could be leveled at a defenseless man, that Buffalo Bill took note of the rocks and brush for an ambush quite as often as he watched for some hostile movement on the part of the girl her self. A spice of danger added attractiveness to that queer journey toward Whipsaw Mountain. The scout's wits lay between him and calamity, and he felt a keen pleasure in relying on his alertness of mind, and in beat ing the girl at her own game. In due course they turned from the trail into a blind road leading among the rocks and bushes. A hundred yards from the main trail they emerged upon a little plateau lying in an arm of a creek. A small adobe house stood in the cehtre of the plateau, and back of the house, on the creek bank, was a little corral. "Hyer's the pla,ce, Buffalo Bill," said the girl. "Buenos!" exclaimed the scout. "I'll take care of the horses, Til dy, while you go on in to your father." The girl h esitated The part she was playing called for her to take the scout at his word, while a suspicion, perhaps, that he might discover something demanded that she go with him to the corral. She took a chance, evi dently, with ht!r s spicion, and dismounted and walked unsteadily toward the front door of the adobe. "There's baled hay by the c'ral, Buffalo Bill," said the girl. "I ort ter take keer o' the bo sses myself, but ye'll understand why I don't. If I can git sot down, close ter where pap is, I'll feel a heap better." She disappeared inside the house, and the scout, lead ing Baldy, rode towai:d the corral. As he passed the side of the house he looked through a \vindow and saw a man lying in a bunk.

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14 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. "Verything has been fixed up nicely for me," thought the scout. "It won't be long now until I know what the game i s The girl will find, I think, that she has trapped a hornet." At the corral gate he stripped riding gear from both horses and turned them into the iii.closure ; then he threw some hay over the fence-incidentally reloading the sec ond revolver while the fence screened him from the win dows of the adobe-and finally turned and made his way back toward the door through which the girl had_ van ished. J / CHAPTER IX. "TRAPPING A HORNET." Buffafo Bill had not neglected to cast a critical eye over the surroundings of the hou s e and the corral. The re were cottonwoods and bushes along the creek, and the small stream crooked in such a way that this shelter of undergrowth almost surrounded the adobe and the fenc e d inclo s ure. Danger might be lurking m the brush for the scout, but to take a closer look in the thickets might have aroused suspicion on the part of the girl. Undoubtedly, he reasoned, she was watching him from th e house windows. Coleman believed that the girl was Perdita Reyes. Al s o, Coleman was anxious to round up the Clique, of which the girl was a member, and he no doubt had a pre sentiment that this move again s t the scout might involve Jorge Reye s Emil Flint, and Jack Barbazon. The scout th o ught he could see through Coleman's suggestions v e r y clearly, and he was glad to run the ri s k and find out ju s t how far right or wrong the captain of the R a ngers might be. The adobe was a relic of the days when Comanches and Apaches u s ed to make tneir raids against the cattl e m e n of the country, for there were wooden shutter s at the windows and loopholes pierced in the walls. The shutters were swinging wide open, and the scout could not discover that any weapon menaced him from the loopholes. The girl had left the door ajar. With seeming care lessness he stepped through the door. The carelessness was only assumed, and at any moment the scout could have conjured a weapon into his hand with paralyzing suddenness and made other lightninglike moves in his own defense. The interior of the house consisted of but one room. There was no loft, and the ceiling of the room were the pole rafters and woven grass covered with clay that formed the roof. What struck the scout most was the utter absence of furniture in the place. There was a bunk, and a threelegged stool beside it. Likewise there was a blanket to cove'f the man in the bunk. But even the most primi tive housekeeping calls for a s tove or a fireplace, and a few other domestic odds and 91ds which were not in this dwelling. The man in the bunk was in his shirt sleeves. His hands were under the blanket and there was a bandage over his shoulder. Nevertheless there was nothing about his face to indicate that he was suffering from a wound>. His eyes were clear and his face was bronzed and tinged with the hue of perfect health. The girl was sitting on the stool at the man's side. She got up, as the scout came into the room. "Hyer's pap, Buffalo Bill," saiQ. she. "I been tellin' him how good you-all waster me. He's mighty obliged. Ain't ye, pap?" "Ye know it, gal," answered the man. "Set down, Buffier Bill," he added. "Make yer s elf a s c o mfortable ai:; ye kin." The scout's mood was one of expectancy. How much longer was the girl going to keep up her tactic s ? j Buffal,o Bill seated him s elf. "How are you feeling, McAndrews ? he a s ked. I "Fair ter grinned McAndrews. "You don t look very much as though you w e re o n your last leg s and that's a fact. Sort of camping out here, aren't you?" "Sort of," ag t eed the man readily. "I suppose you live clo ser to the mines when you re able to work?" "You bet," was the an s wer. "Close the door, gal, he went on to the girl. "If Big Blake come s ye kno w : we want ter hev him shut out." "I'd sugge st," said Buffalo Bill, "that you let Big Blake come in. I want to meet him, face to face." The girl, however, went on clo s ing the d oor and fa s tened it by dropping a heavy wooden bar into iron brackets. When the scout turned his eyes from the girl to th e man, he was not particularly surprised to note that th e man had flung the blanekt a s ide and lifted his hand s In one of the hands was a revolver, and the revolver wa s leveled. "This has gone far enough!" s napped the man in the bunk. The' scout, in his best manner, started to his feet, evi dently startled. "What's the meaning of this?" he demanded. "It will take a little time to go into that," was the an swer. "You'd better sit down and make your s elf comfortable-while you can." "What sort of a game are you trying to play on me?" cried the scout.

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/ THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 1'W e've passed the trying point, Buffalo Bill,'' chuckl e d the m a n. You re here and in our hahd s and all that remain s i s to pttt on the fini s hing touches." The s c o ut' s hand jumped at his belt and das ped one of hi s weapon s A s hrill lai.tgh bur s t from the girl. T h a t will do you no good, Buffalo Bill," she taunted. "I have taken care of your You kindly left the m w ith tne, you remember, when yoit went fei.r water and to hunt for The guns are filled with blank s ." B uffalo Bill staggered back, brushing a hand across hi s for e head. "The n you deceived .me?" he a s ked. "There's no s uch m a n a s Big Blake? Your father was not s hot, and Big Blak e i s not cori.1ing?" All a frame-up, s aid th e man in the bunk, his eye glimmering e xultantly acro ss hi s revolver sight s "Per dita, the r e i s entitled to the credit." 1 "Perdita !" The s cotit turned to look at the girl. She had cast a s i de h e r st1nbonrfet and was standing erect, her iback again s t the barred door. "Ye s," s he je e red, twin demons glaring fro m her eyes and her face los-ing it s beauty in a 'diab olical expressi o n that twi s t e d through it, Pt!rdita, P e rdita Reye s I t old y o u I was Tildy McAndrews jus t to get you here wh e re B arbaz o n and I could hav e y o u at our m e rcy. Jeff e rson Trent i s my father. What mercy did you and your pard s s h ow him? Buffal o Bill,'' and the w o rd s came hissing th ro ugh her r e d lips "Barbazon and I are going to s how yo u the s ame sort of m e rcy. Madre mia! ;The great king of scqt.1ts i s no match for a determined w o man! Y o u w alk ed into thi s trap in a way I could s carcely have b e liev e d po ss ible." There 'Yas contempt in the very tones of Perdita's I voice. "Well,'' murmured the s cout, "this i s new s But I can't under stand-the wh ole thing i s somewhat mix e d.'' H e dropp e d back on the s tool, w rinkling hi s brows. Thi s i s a trap. You s ay that you have tampered with my re v o l vers a nd that th e y are u seless I take it that you are trying t o g e t rev eng e for what happened to Jeff Trent." "That's the way you can take it," s aid Barbazon. "An othe r thing for you to know, Buffalo Bill, is that, at thi s s ame m o ment, your pard, Pawnee Bill, is having a simi lar rhinecaboo run in on him at Montezuma, and I your other pard is being treated the same at the camp on Whips aw Mountain. Jorge R e yes i s looking after Paw nee Bill, and Emil Flint after the Dutchman. They b oth have helpers." Here, for the first time, the scout wa s teceiving a r ea lly s tartling piece of news; i Therr," s aid he, "this plot is leveled again s t my two pards as well as against me?" "It is," cried the girl viciously. "For:. what yot'! anti your two pards done to my father, you are all about to feel the weight of.the vengeance of the Gilded Clique." "Explain a little," begged the scout. "I seem to be perfectly helples s here and you ought not to begrudge me an before you wind up this end of your three-cornered plot." Keep the rev o lvel' leveled, Barbazon !" breathed the girl. "Better make him move to the other side of the room-he's too clo s e to you and might try to use his hands. They s ay, amigo, that he can b e quicker than chain lightning.'1 "You hear?" a s ked Barbazon, making a suggestive mov ement with hi s r e volver. The s cout backed obediently away. "Stand b e tween the windows!" ordered the girl. "Don't "I get m front of one of them." The s cout placed him s elf as directed. No w," went on the girl, "li s ten. I went to the Cir cle-T Ranch and found that the game s had been called off, and that nii padr e had been arre s ted and taken away to be tried and convicted as a I was told, too, that you and your two pard s Buffalo Bill, were re sp o n sible Fiercely s he raised her hand and it again s t her brea s t. \ V hen a M ex icaria i s treated so," s he cried, "she think s only of s he has a head to plan and a heart to dare. I s ent .at once for my hu s band, J o rg e and for Jack Barbazon, th e re, and Emil Flint. The y came, and we plann e d. \!\Then too lat e we discov e red that a Dutchman had been lis t e ning to u s That Dutchman got away but he was captured. Without los ing a m o ment we s tarted to can: y o ut our plot against Buffalo Bill, Pawnee Bill, and that other Dutchman, your pard. "At first, we were going to f ake you and your pards one at a time; then, after our trouble with the 'Dutch1 man, we decided to divide forces and take you all at the s ame time. You see how Barbazon and I have imc c e e .ded; artd I want to tell you, Buffalo Bill, that you will never leave this hou s e alive! Do you doubt what I say?" The scout ab s ently drew one of his revolvers. "If thi s ,'' said he, flouri s hing the weapon; "had not been tampered with, I certainly should doubt what you say, Perdita; but, as it is--" The scout's finger pressl!d the trigger. There followed a crash and a yell of pain from Barbazon. His revolver hand dropped, pierced with a balL ... ( "You lied to ine !" howled, half throwing himself frc_:>m the belt, "you told me you had wn his fangs !" "Stand where you are, Perdita Reyes!" ordered the 11cout. Both revolvers were in hi $ hands1 one trained on the man and the other on th e girl. "I have held this lit tle surpri s e in store f.of y o u right up to the la s t mihute. are eleven live s left in the s e guns-in spite of

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THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. your Don't make a move, either of you, or you'll have cause to regret it." Perdita, pallid as death, fell limply back against the door behind her. ( CHAPTER X. PERDITA, THE WILD CAT. For a moment, the silence in the room was broken Ol!lY by the stifled groans and the muffled oaths of Jack Barbazon. His emotions seemed equally divided be tween the pain of his wound and his anger against Perdita1 "You she-fiend!" ground out Barbazon, hurling the words at the girl like so many daggers; "what did tell me the scout s guns were harmless for when they were not?" "Don't blame her for hat, Barbazon," said the scout. "She thought she had fixed my guns-and so she only I discovered it and reloaded the cylinders." Throwing one arm over her face, Perdita slipped to her knees with a low moan. senor!'; she whimpered, crawling to ward the scout. "Mercy for me and Barbazon, senor." She twisted and writhed in her abject despair, finally coming so close to the scout that she could reach out and clasp his knees convulsively. "None of that, Perdita !" said the scout sharply, step ping away from her. "There's too much of the fiend in you for such an exhibition as this, or--" Like a flas h she sprang up and thre w her s elf reckle ss ly again s t the weapons in the scout's hands. Quick, Barbazon !" she screeched. Pick up the gun -us e it-us e your left band-pronto!" Like a wild cat Perdita struggled to deprive Buffalo Bill of his revolvers, or at least to prevent him from u s ing them. From somewhere about her' dress she had plucked a dagger and, with eyes glittering her face contorted with hate and fury, she sought to use the blade. Very ea s ily the scout could have brought one of his six-shooters to bear upon the girl, but his nature rebelled against such a move. Perdita, was not en titled to much consideration, but, for all that she had d5;me and was doing, she was a woman. Dropping one of his revolvers, the scout clasped the girl's slender wrist in his hand and wrenched at it until a gasp of pain fell from her lips and the dagger dropped to the floor. Barbazon, hoping against hope that something might yet be accomplished, ad nerved himself for a supreme effort. With his left hand he had picked up the and, on his knees, was waiting for an opportunity to get in a shot at the scout. Buffalo Bill's struggle with the girl made it impo s sible for Barbazon to shoot with any degre e of certainty. The scout, keeping track of what the man was doing, carefully held the girl in line with the leveled revolver. Presently, giving the girl a swift backward push, he threw her against the kneelit;1g Bar1fazon. Barbazon was back against the edge of the bunk by the weight of the girl's body, and the girl fell to her hands and knees. Once more the revolver dropped' from Barbazon's hand. With a quick forward jump, Buffalo Bill reached the weapon and kicked it across the room; he then stepped back and planted his heel on the dagger's blade, grind ing down until he snapped the steel in half. "Get up!" he ordered, addressing the girl. Slowly Perdita arose. "What good did that move do us?" snarled Barbazon. "Make the best of this, now. The scout s too much for us." Perdita muttered something under her breath, h e r gleaming eyes s hooting defiance the while at Buffal o Bill. "Have you any more weapons about you, Perdita ?-'' demanded the scout. "If I had," she hissed, "I'd turn them against myself for letting me be duped by a gringo Chfogado. Por Dios I ought to die for this!" "Perhaps you ought, but not by my hand and much less by your own. Allow me to point out to you, senora, that your energies have been misdirecte You have aimed t o plot at me and my on the score of your father, Jeff Trent. Your f;ather had broken the laws of the country, and the punishment he is to receive he richly de s erv es There is nothing in that for which you s hould seek r e venge on me. If you were not a woman--" "It has been the sorrow of my life that I am a woman shrilled Perdita stamping the floor with one of her small, bare feet. "I have cursed my fate ever since I wa s a child because I had not been born a man. But enough of that! I 1\.ave failed, Buffalo Bill, but Jorge will n o t fail in dealing with your pard, Pawpee Bill; nor will Emil Flint fail in taking care of the Dutchman." Although herself beaten and baffled, 9.1e girl was in a mood to exult over the work the other two members of the Clique were doing, and to torture tre scout by tel ing him of it. "You can't expect me to believe such locoed talk a s that," said the scout, by way of goading the girl into telling him more. "It is true I By all the saints, it is true!" "How is Jorge tp deal with my pard, Pawnee Bill?" A crafty, snakelike smile freathed the girl s lips. "He sends a cowboy to Pawnee Bill, senor-a cowboy

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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. fro m Circle-T who is not known to your pard. That c ow boy t ells Pawnee Bill that Buffalo Bill i s wanting him at o n ce, in Wagon Wheel Gap . Will Pawnee Bill heed the s ummons? Si, you kno.w he w ill t The prince of the bowie rides, and among the rock s where the trail follow s the rim of Bowie Gulch, a force of Circle-T men, cap tained qy Jules, the half-breed fore;nan will be waiting ." Th:; cout wa s de e ply impressed by talk. It wa s a pl o t upt could be ea s ily carri e d out, and, withal, it wa s so s imple that it s carcely se e med lik e ly to fail. Pawne e Bill knew that the scout was waiting to h ear from Cap t a in Coleman. The summon s brought by the strange c ow b o y, would lead prince of the bO\yie to infer that Col e man had sent in hi s call. P e rdita, watching the scout's face w ith weaz e l e y e s caught the drift of his thought s She laughed mock ingl y So, s efior," she breathed, "alth o ugh you h a ve s av e d you r s elf, yet it i s bitterness for y o u to kn ow that Paw n e e Bill i s alread y in another trap." 'Such fiendi s h work cannot s ucc e ed, d e clared th e s cout calmly. '1What has your pique attempt e d ag ains t my Dutch pard, the baron? "Ah!" murmured the _gi!'.'I, that i s eve n b e tt er! Emil Flint dres s es him s elf lik e one o f the R a ng e r s a nd ri des to the camp on W hip s aw Mountain. The Dutchman i s the re. Emil t ells th e Dutchman th a t h e has c ome fro m J C a ptain Coleman and Buff a l o B ill, a nd th a t th e Dutc h man i s to ride do w n the mountain at once. There i s a l a ke at the mountain 's fo o t and aro und thi s lake and a little way up th e s tre a m th a t form s it s outl e t i s th e s t a mp mill of the mine. On fhe left of th e lak e's bank th e r e are trees. The trail down the m o untain pa sses through the wo od s and there, w h e n Emil come s with the Dutc hman, m o re men will be w aiting She spurned him with her bare foot. "Dog!" she hissea. "Cur! What would Jorge and Emil s ay if they could hear you talk?" "I'm thinking of my own hide, and Jorge and Emil w o uld do the same thing, if they wen( in my place. Bind up thi s hand for me, somebody." With his left hand he raised his right arm. It was not a bad wound the scout had inflicted, but it was a wound c a lculated to make Barbazon s hand useless for revolver w o rk. "Bind it up for him," said the scout to the girl. No!" she flung back, and turned away. "She's got a s much feeling as a copperhead, just about," grow led Barbazon. "After getting me into this, and making a bobble of her part of it, she turns on me and--" Without th e least warning, a rifle banged suddenly out s ide the adobe. A window cra s hed to fragments behind 'the scout and he f e lt a quick tug at the sleeve of his coat as a bullet fanned pa s t him acro ss the room and buried itself in the o ppos ite wall. He whirled to take note of the marksman. At the same \ moment, Perdita leaped for the door, clos ely foll? wed by Barbazon. The s qmt heard the running feet and turned back. Barbazon was between him and Perdita. Even had he been s o di spos ed he could not a shot at the girl. He called on her to s top, but s he an s wered with a d e fiant laugh. Flinging the bar from the door she jump e d out of the hou s e Before Barbazon cduld fol l o w s uit, h o wever, the scout had him by the shoulder, and h a d thrown him back. The next moment the scout had the door clos ed again and the bar in place. The comprehen s ive nature of all thi s plotting made a / deep impressi o n upon the s cout. Ev e rything had b e en well planned, s o that the de s ign s again s t all of th e pard s could be carried out s imultane o u s l y --CHAPTER XI. "Who is at the back of all thi s villainy?" he a s k e d I, Perdita Reye s cried the girl exultantl y "Then you, Perdita Reyes; by thi s conf ess i o n to rt1e, h a ve placed a noo s e around your throat and Barbaz o n 's If but one of your plans succeed, it will s pell de s truction fo r y ou." "Madre mio flamed Perdita. "What is that to me?" S he s truck her breast with her clenched fis t. "All I care for is to let Buffalo Bill and his pards feel the w eight of the Clique s veng ea nce. I may los e my life, a nd s q may Barbazon, but Jorge and Emil are free ." Barbazon was not so complacent over th e pro s p e ct o utlined by Perdita. "Confound you, Perdita," he cried, sitting on the floor and rocking back and forth, with the pai of his wound, speak for your s elf and not for me." COLEMAN R A I S ES THE SIEGE. "Who did that? a,s k e d the scout sharply, turning upon Ba rba z on and pointing to the s ma s hed window. "On e of the Circle-T men, I reckon," answered the gambler sullenly. There are Circle-T men outside?" "There was to be." "How many?" "Two." "And you and the girl were planning to keep me occu pied in talk until those two Circle-T punchers got a c hance at me through one of the window s ? " I don't know what that viper of a Mexicana had in mind, but I haven't been thinking much about anything e x cept thi s hand Bang! went another rifle, and cra sh! went anotlie-r

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iI8 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. winaow. The bullet did tittle more than break the glass, however, and embed itself in the end wall of the adobe. "They'll get you, Buffalo Bill," declared 1 l3arbazoh. J "If they do," answered the scout significan tly, "it won't help your case any, Barbazon." The gambler, lifting hi s -eyes quickly to the scout, paled at the determination he read in the scout's face. The scout, whirling around in the half-darkened rooi'.n, saw that Barbazo n was still lying where he had alten. "I'll tie ttp that hand of yours now," said the : scout, crossing to the gambler and kneeling at his side "It's a small thing, I reckon," tmtttered Batbazon, be t"ween hi s teeth, "but it's taking the strength all out of 111e." "You rrtean--" These was a useless bandage around Barbazon'\shoul "You know what I mean, well enough," cut m the .der. The--scout removed it and swiftly bound it round scout. "Step to one of those broken windows. Don't the injur ed hand'. Then he passed his gtoping tingers try to bolt through the openirtg, for I shall have you covover the upper part of the gambler's body. ered. Tell those scoundrels outside that if they capture "Any more weapons, 1Barbazon ?" he asked. me, the_re'll be one gambler the less on this part of the "All I had was that gun you knocked out of my hand," range." was the answer. "If I had a dozert six -sho..oters, though, "They'll shoot me if I sl\.ow myself!" demurred I wo11ldn1t be able to use them." bazon. "You faw1 how Perdita felt when she left here." Satisfied that :Barbazon had spoken the truth; the scout "You'll take that chance, Barbazon. Move to the arose and picked up the weapon he had kicked to the window!" other side of the room. The scout was looking at Barbazon over his rev o lver "Get into the bunk, Barbazon," he commanded, "and sights There was nothing else for it, and the gambl er stay there. nr attend to the fighting and you'll conobe)ied J sider yourself a prisoner." Through the broken windowpane he called out to the The gambler rolled into the bunk and the scout stepped girl and the two cowboy s as he had been instructed to do. to one of the loopholes. The small aperture commahded A jeering laugh was his an swer the north side of the adobe. Well toward the cotton Buffalo Bill," came the girl's voiqe, woods and the .unde_rbr\1sh the cre_ek the ''that we care nothing what happens to you, Jack Bar-, scout cou ld see Perd1ta, talkmg with one of the C1rcle-T bazon." punchers. c'y ou hear?" asked Barbazon, turning his white face Placing the muzzle of his six-shooter through the lociptoward the scout. hole, the scout trained the piece at a sharp artgle and "I hear, certainly," was the cool response. "Close and fasten the shutters at that wiqdow, Barbazon." With his left hand the gambler managed to lift the window and to close the heavy shutters. But he was growing weak and dizzy, and staggered as he turned away from the window. L.1. "Close all the s ," ordered the scout. "It is safer for you to do that than for me. The villains outside wouldn't drop you with a bullet, Barbazon." "I'm about played out," mumbled the gambler, "and I wouldn't bet heavy that Perdita and the ''tircle-T men wouldn't have any compunctiotts about putting a 1 bullet into me. I'm between the devil and the deep sea, though, and it makes little difference how I'm snuffed out." ,He reeled to the other broken window, raised the sas h and drew the blinds shut. There was only one more window and, : m his way to it, he staggered and fell. Buffalo Bill leaped to the opening, flung up the window and jerked the shutters toward him. Two rifles snailed outside and the s tout wood shiv ered under the impact of the bullets. Only one slug pen erated the shutter, however, and the force of that one was spent so that it dropped harmle ssly to the floor of the cabin. pressed the trigger. I The angle proved too great for effective shooting, and the passed to the left 0 the cowboy-but not much to the left. Both the man and the girl gave startled l eaps "Get any one?" inquired Barbazon. "No." \ "I understood, Buffalo Bill, that you were a crack shot." I can come pretty close to a target, Barbazon, whe n it 's in range. Tell me this: Did Perdita give me the s traight of it in her talk about what g ofog on m Montezuma and the \i\Thipsaw camp?" "Yes, so far as I know.i' The scout crosse'd the room to a loophole in the opposit e wall. He cou ld see n o one from that side, but the glimmer of the sun on a rifle barrel amohg the bushes left n o doubt that the adobe was watched on the south as well as on the north. What the scou t wanted was to g e t a way -frorn the adobe, get astride. Bear Paw and ride at speed for Mon tezuma. Perhaps it was not yet too late to do something for Pawnee Bill. Plans, such as Perdita and the re s t of the Clique # had laid, vvould be subject to unforeseen delays, and th.e scou t might reach hi s pard in time to

PAGE 20

THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 19 prevent disaster from ove,rtaking him. After that, the baron could be looked after. But how was the scout to leave the cabin with those two armed men on the watch? He would not only have to leave the cabin but also go to the corral and get the riding gear upon Bear Paw. The sun was almost at the setting. When night came there was a chance that the darkness would befriend him and enable him to work his will. "You'd better keep a close watch on those Circle-T men," cadfioned Barbazon from the bunk. "I've a scalp to win or lose by having you get clear, That Perdita is foxy, and what she can't think up isn't worth anybody's time. Look out for her, Buffalo Bill." r:, The scout crossed the room again. He had instant proof, at his first look through one of the loopholes, that the girl's brain had been busy. A movable breastwork was advancing toward the north side of the adobe. This breastwork looked as though it had once been the door of a house and was con structed of heavy timbers. Two iron hinges, one of them broken, clung to one edge of the framework. There were two holes in the breastwork, some three feet down from the top, and through these were thru s t the barrel of a rifle and of a six-shooter. The upright framework ap proached by erratic leaps, .,a step at a time, manipulated by the girl and the cowboy who were evidently behind it. i W ell?" called Barbazon. "They've got a movable fort and are advancing this way with it," said the scout. "-....-. "It's the old door!" muttered the gambler. "Trust Perdita to think of that." "Where did it come from?" "Jorge had a new one put on this adobe and the old one laid out back of the corral." "Then this is Jorge's place?" "Yes. He used to live here before he married Perdita and took to the cards. Jorge's father lived here before him, and his father's father. When the plans were laid to entrap you, Buffalo Bill, this old adobe naturally sug-. gested itself." "I see. The girl and the Circle-T puncher will prob ably come right up to the wall under cover of that old door and then blazJlway through 01'}. e of the loopholes in the wall. I'll see what I can do toward laying a bit of lead through a hole in the door." The scout aimed carefully and fired. It was a Glifficult target he had, for the door was jerking and wabbling, and never quiet for a seco'nd. The small 3:perture at which he fired, too, would have been a difficult thing to hit, almost filled, as it was, by the menacing barrel lev eled from the rear of the breastwork. As a matter of fact, the bullet hit the rifle barrel, ringing against it and glancing off into space. Both the rifle and the six-shooter answered, the bullets thudding against the side of the house. \ Buffalo Bill felt that the situation was becoming acute. Protected by the door, the girl and the cowboy could come up to the house wall, demolish the shutters, draw away and then comb the interior of the adobe with flying lead. .. Just when the crisis was almost at hand, the cowboy from the south side of the house appeared moving around the bend of the creek bank. He was on his horse and showed considerable excitement. Reaching a point at the edge of the timber line directly back of the two who were operating the door, he yelled and waved his arms. What he said the scout cotild not hear, but it had instsnt and tremendous effect on Perdita and the cowboy who was with her. They dropped the door and bounded away at the top of their speed. The astounded scout watched them vanish into the The next glimpse he had of them they were all three mounted and splashing across the creek. "What's going ,on, Buffalo Bill?" inquired Barbazon. "That's a point I'm going to settle right now," the scout answered, hastening toward the door. Hurling aside the bar he .drew open the door and stepped out into the gathering evening shadows. A shout reached his ears, breaking through a wild clatte,. of run ning hoofs. Coming along the trail he glimpsed a couple of shad owy When they had come closer, he discov ered that they were R angers, and that one of them was Captain Coleman. \ "By Jupiter!" muttered the scout; "I was forgetting all about Coleman." CHAPTER XII. A DOUBLE SURPRISE. The scout remembered, now, that Coleman, in advis ing him to fall into any game the girl iight offer, had declared that he would be handily by. The swift run of events had blotted this from the scout's mind. The Rangers pulled to a halt. l "Buenos, compadre !" called the captain. "Howdy, Coleman," answered the scout. "! see you got here." -_"After a delay. Hank an' me lost sight of you an' the gal, and have been wastin' valuable time bushwhacking in the wrong A little while ago we heard shootin' an' that put us on the right "track." "You followed Perdita and me from Wagon Wheel?" "Si, but quite a ways behind. I had ter pick up Hank . \Vho was you exchangin' shots :with?"

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20 THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. "With Perdita and two Circle-T cowboys." "They was outside the cabin '?" "Yes." "Whar are they now?" "They heard you coming and took to their heel ." Coleman swore disappointedly. f' way did they hike?" The scout indicated the direction, and the Rangers chased away into the gathering gloom. back into the house. Buffalo Bill went "Coleman got here, eh?" queried Barbazon, from the dark. "Yes,'' answered the scout. "From what I heard of your"talk, I reckon yoq planned that he was to follow you and Perdita." "That was Coleman's plan, Barbazon. I d forgotten about it." "Then Perdita didn't have things quite so much her own way as she thought?" "Not quite." "You knew who she was all the while she was. making that play as Tildy McAndrews ?" "I had a notion." "When she exchanged the ball cartridges in your guns for blanks you kne that, too, and reloaded wlfen she didn't see you?" "Yes.' There was a moment's silence) broken at last by a low laugh from Barbazon. ."This isn't likely-to any laughing matter for you, Barbazon,'' said the scout. "I've saved my scalp, anyhow," was t)1e response, "and it's humorous to see that wild cat get her come-up-with, for once. I reckon you're the only man who could have matched wits with her and won out. You knew, every minute you were riding this way, that you were coming into a trap?" "I thought that was the case." "Why did you come on and take the risk?" "To find out what Perdita's game was-to get to the bottom of the plot." "Well, I take off my hat to you, Buffalo Bill. It was a bold game, but what you've found out won't help your pards any. Pawnee Bill be as sharp as you are, but that Dutchman is as good as wiped out.'' The scout was silent. He could not verJ well leave Barbazon, and he was itching to 'get a saddle and bridle on Bear Paw and to be riding toward Montezuma. "What can you do to me for this little flare up?" quer ied Barbazon. "Not much," said the scout. "You won't t5e brought to book for what happened to-day, Barbazon, but for a little work your Clique pulled off." "What was that?" "Shooting a man w'h<;> discovered that a table holdout was being used to get his money. The man has died in San Antone." Barbazon muttered under his breath. I "It wasn't me done that,'! he said, "but Jorge." "The Clique is held responsible,'' went on the scout "and the Rangers have been trying to round you gam blers up for some time." "Well, anyhow,'' said Barbazon philosophically, "I'm better off than I would have boen if the cabin had been stormed by Perdita and the Circle-T men." "You certainly are!" averred the scout. At that moment Coleman and his companion came pounding back to the d@or of the cabin. The captain dis mounted and hurried into the room. Whar are ye, Buffalo Bill?" the Ranger called. "Here," the scout answered. "It's darker'n a pocket in this cabin. Why don't ye have a light?" "We haven't anything but matches, and haven't thought a light Did you have any luck?" "Nary, we didn't," growled Coleman. "The gal's g o t away.'' "I have one of the Clique for you, all the same." "Ye hev ?" returned the startled captain. "Who?" "Jack Barbazon." "Gle-ory He's the feller that salted away Horace Parmenter's boodle. Waal, now! A leetle luck he s shore come our way arter all.'' "He's wounded in the hand,'' said the scout, "so be careful how you handle him. I'm going to the corral after my horse." The scout had a slumbering fear that the girl and the cowboys might have led Bear Paw away, or have done so mething else with the anii-nal. He was quickly reas sured regarding this, however, for both Bear Paw and Baldy were still in the corral. Only the has te which the girl and the Circle-T men had been obliged to use in get ting away, the scout was positive, had prevented them from taking Bear Paw in tow when they fled. The scout, after he had cinched up the saddle on Bear Paw, opened the corral gate and shooed the little mustang into the open. Mounting his war h b rse, he took Baldy at the end of his rope and towed him to the front of the cabin. "All aboard, Coleman!" cried t11e scout. "There's quick work ahead f .or me, and I can't stand for any delay." "What's the work?" demanded Coleman, appearing shaclowif y in the open door of the adobe. "I'll talk with you about it on the way to Monte zuma," said the scout.' "Ter Montezuma?" echoed Coleman. "Why ye goin' thar ?" "Tof try and save Pawnee Bill. Can't you turn Barbazon over to Hank and r\de with me? Here's a cayuse

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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. i2I Hank can use for toting Barbazon to Wagon Wheel, but if we ride with them it will delay us. If you think Hank needs help in getting the prisoner to town why, Ill have to ride alone." "Nary ye won't ride alone, compadre. Wait till I tell Hank." Coleman turned back into the house, and presently re appeared with the other Ranger, the two bringing Bar bazon. The gambler was a ss isted to the back of the mustang and his feet roped under the pony 's scraggly body. "Ye'll git along in good shape now, Hank," said Cole man, climbing to the back of his hor se. "Jest keep mov in', son, an keep out o' the way o' anybody ye meet up with in tlie trail. Adios !" "Adios, cap n," answered Hank. "Don't ye fret none er bout me an' the tinhorn. We' ll git ter Wagon Wheel with ground ter spare." Buffalo Bill and Colemarl, without delaying further, flung 9ff along the blind trail thaf led to.ward the main road. "Now," said Coleman, "cough up rest o' it, com-' padre." The road to Montezuma was also, for several miles, the direct road to Wagon Wheel Gap Whiie the scout and the captain galloped onward through the darkness, the former related the substance of what he had learned from Perdita. "Woudn't that knock ye s l absided ?" muttered Cole man, when he had got a firm grip on the facts. "It's high time, I reckon, that thi s hyer Clique gang o' trou ble makers was put whar they kain't do any more o' their bloodthirsty, high-handed plannin'. We'v e nailed Barbazon. Que s tion kin we nail Jorge Reyes at Mon tezuma, or aire we too late? An' kin we put a kibosh on Emil Flint at Whipsaw Mounting? I'm afeared we, kain't." "We may be too late to Pawnee Bill or the baron," said the scout moodily, "but we'll ndt be too late to set tle accounts with Reyes and Flint. Anyhow, Coleman, I'll camp right down in this par. t of the cot.tntry until those two scoundrels are keeping company with Bar bazon in the Wagon Wheel jail." "That's you!" exclaimed Coleman, with inten se satis faction. "When ye express yerself in that tone o' voice it's a cinch somethin' is due ter drap. But look at the foolishness o' what this Clique was plannin', an' all on o' Jeff Trent. Say, I'm use ter border ways, but fer cold-blooded schemin' that Perdita has 'em all beat. I'm a heap sorry she vamoosed." "She's a woman," returned the scout, "and s he won't be able to do much lawless planning with her husband and the re s t of the Clique out of the way. If we capture the men, Perdita will be helpless far as-" "Hist! warned Coleman, laying back on his reins. "Who's that ahead?" The scout eered into the gloom and saw a moving blur of shadow in the trail. "A lone horseman," muttered the scout. "Mebby Jorge, mebby Flint," whispered Coleman. "I don't think so; Jorge is at Montezuma, Flint's at Whipsaw--" "Onless one or t'other of 'em finished his work an' is ridin' ter that adoqe ter jine the gal," cut in Coleman. "Let's mal}e front on the ombray an' git his creden tials." Again they spurred into a gallop. The other horse man, at that, pulled to a stands till and could be seen to make a motion with one of his hands. "He's drawin'," called Coleman. "Hands up, you," he yelled, "in the name o' the Rangers an' the law!" "Boshii nei:hee," came a response in a familiar tone that almost dropped the scou t from his saddle. "If you're a Ranger, pard, then we're well met. I'm looking for Pard Cody, and you can help." "Loo\cin' fer him?" ye}ffd Coleman. "Take another l ook, ye ole hardshell, an' ye'll find ye're lookin' at him, right hyer, stirrup ter stirrup with me." "Is that you, neckrnis ?" asked Pawi:iee Bill; his voice reflecting the astonishment,that filled him. "Great guns, Pawnee!" gasped the scout, ''where did you, c?me from?" It was a double surprise for the pards. CHAPTER XIII. ON TO WHIPSAW MOUN'fAIN. "I had a notion,'; said Pawnee Bill, after a few silent moments in which he had adjsted himself to this unex pected stroke of luck, "I had a notion, necarpis, that you had tumbled head over heels into more trouble than you could handle. Now, by my medicine, this is one of the happiest surprises that ever crossed trails with me!" "I had entertained a similar notion regardipg your self, pard," returned the scbut. "By all the logic of events, about now you ought to be sponged from the slate "On-she-ma-da !" breathed the prince of the bowie. "'Vhere did you find out what the Clique was up to?" "And yciu know about the Clique!" muttered the scout. "What I discovered only came to me by a few hard knocks ; but you--" "My information came by hard knocks, too," laughed Pawnee Bill, "only it was Fritz Von S'Chnitzenhauser who corralled all the violence, and then passed his news om to me. To come back at you, by all the logic of events, as I see them, you to. be sponged from the slate first, and then I was to be a ttended to, and la st ly our Dutch ne-be-nau-baig, the baron."

PAGE 23

/ 22 THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. ''There was a change i n the plans, \After Fritz got a way from the Circle-T, Perdita planned to have the members of the Clique sepa rate, and each of them pay attention to one of u s I fell to Perdita and Jack Barbazon, you were Jorge Reyes' choice, and the baron was Emil F lint 's "Tell me about this!" murmured the prince of th e bowie. "It's enough to make the fur stand on a buffalo robe I All you and I seem to get out of it i s about a coup le of square miles of fun, mixed with a certain amount of worry; but the baron-I wonder what's hap pening to him ?" "Let's get at this thing with some sort of sys tem. How did you escape the net laid by the Clique? It was rather a clever scheme, from what I've heard of it. You were to be summoned to Wagon Wheel Gap by a cow boy messenger, the summons presumab l y coming from me. Among the rocks, along the rim of Bowie Gulch, you were to be laid for by one-eyed Jules and spme of the Circle-T outfit. Diel you get away from them? "That's a time, necarni s," answered Pawnee Bill, "that I unconsciously llloclged trouble. You see, I found Slo. cum in Montezuma, visited with him, and then fared away for Wagon Wheel-getting out of Montezuma before Jorge had a chance to send his But I'd have fallen for that play. You see, I thought I might be needed by you and 'Coleman. That's why I cut short my visit with Slocum." "Luck, blamed if it ain't!" interpolated Coleman. Pawnee Bill went on to tell of his discovering the wreck of Fritz Von Schnitzenhauser's wagon in the trail of finding the Dutchman's mules and, finally, the Dutch man himself. The Dutchman's information, repeated for the benefit of the scou t and the Ranger, clinched the proofs of the Clique's mul;clerous plotting "I was some stumped when I g o t to tf1e h ote l in Wagon Wheel Gap," finished Pawnee Bill, "and l earned that you had ridden out of town with a moharrie. No one said a word to me about Co leman following." "Fer the reason, Pawnee," ch imed in the Ranger, "that no one knowed about it." had supper in Wagon Wheel," the prince of th e bowie continu 'M, "and right after that I learn ed that you and the girl had ridden away along the Whipsaw trail. That was the trail for me, and I was following it, and fretting a littl e, when we came tog e ther. An-pe-tu-we Some thing s seem too good to be true, and I guess this is one of them. Now, necarnis, it's your turn." "Suppose we ride for whip saw Mountain while we g o into that?" suggested the scou t. "Good iclee !" approved Coleman "We'll never rea ch \i\Thipsaw, the )Jes t we can do, afore s unup." "Why?" demanded Pawnee Bill. "I was told it wasn't very far-not an all-nighf s ride, in any event." I "A three hour s' ride by day, when ye can see," said Coleman, "but it takes all night if ye got any regard fer yer neck. It's an up-and-down trail when ye hit the mountain. Part o' the way ye're travelin' a shelf tw o feet wide in places, with nothin but a hundred feet o' clear air below an a cliff wall above; arf part o' the way ye're crossin' chasms on causeways o' rock, whar a slip spells yore finish. It's a slow ride, up that blame' moun tain by night. "Then let' s be about it, Coleman," urged the scout, pointing Bear Paw the other way. "We may be too late to do anything for the baron, but it' s a safe bet we can do something to this Emil Flint." "Scoot-a-wah-boo cried Pawnee Bill. "We'd better d o our prettiest while the trail is g ood." Their "prettie st" was a gall op that made talking un sa tisfactory. They met and passed Bank and Barbazon -flirting by the two with only a reassuring shout. It was "klat-away"-"kl at-away" to the rescue of the baron, h oping against hope that chance would blunder, in some way, just as it had bhmderecl in the case of Paw nee Bill. When the country was reached and the hors e s slowed down, the talk began. Bnffalo Bill strai ght ened out the tangle s of the situati on, so far as they related to his own experiences "Pard Bill," remarked the prince of the bowie, "what you did and the way you did it would have been a beauti ful thing to see I'm hearing so much about this Per clita that I s h ould lik e to match wits wftth her myself That two-gun game she played might have resulted in disaster to you if your own wits hadn't been working overtime Well clone, necarni s "With the tip I had from Coleman, Pawnee," said tlie scout, "my on l y play was to fall in with Perclita's schem e and see it through." "I reckernizecl her," put in Coleman, "the minit shr showed up in Vvagon Wheel an' begun a skin' fer you." "She has a face and a pair of eyes that can't be di s gui s ed," answ e red the scout. "Once seen, they're nev e r forgotten. But she's a fiend:" "Dest faro dealer, they say thet ever turned over a "I can imagin e that. Cool hand, I take it, no matter what happens." "Aller s coo l ; an', by the same token, allers plannin' the deviltry fer the rest o' the gang. Ye say ye think, Buffal o Bill, that when the men members o' the Clique aire run in, that this Perdita gal will hev ter throw her hand int e r the discard. I got other id eas about that. She'll be after u s with a doub l e grievance--one on account o' what hap pened ter Jeff Trent, and another on account o' tel' happen ter Jorge.' "What's Jorge?" queried the prince of the bowie.

PAGE 24

THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. Another cobl hand," an s w e red Colemah. "He's through ah' through, but he's able ter hide it w h en he pa s ears around the variou s camp s in disgui se. All the a me, the greaser earmark s aire on him, no matter whether h e's purtendin' tet be an hone s t miner from the New M e xico hill s or an hone s t puncher from the Panhandle." "How about Emil a s ked the s cout. "I'm tathet more concerned about him than about R e ye s jus t now. It' s Flint who s to deal with the baron." "Thar' s of the Jew in flint, but ye wouldn't gue s s it t e r look at him or t e r hear him talk. He's a star in the gamblin' lirte, an' the w a y he kin s lip a cut, or stac k an innercent d e ck, or pull four ace s out o' the b ac k o' hi s neck dttrih' a game i s a caution t e r cat s Fronr what I know o' yer Dutch parcl, compadfcs I'm fearin' F lint won't hev no trouble nthnin in hi s rhin e caboo on h im. The bar o n i s some trus tfol w ith s tranger s I jedge." "Some," agr e ed Pawnee Bill, "but w e 111t1s t n o t over l o ok the fact that the baron i s full o f blun de r s and that his blunders u s ually carry him in the right dir e cti on. If he plans to do the wrong thing, fate lay s h o ld o f the pro ceeding s and he s tumbl es on th e right one. I h a v e h o pe s eve n if w e can t r e ach Whips a w camp till tnorl1ing and Flint ha s all night in which to w o rk." hop es my s elf," seco nded the scout. "The baron's blunder s have s aved him more thai1 onc e ." "If we could git up the m o untain by the l og c hute o b se r v ed C o lem a n "we'd s a ve quite er s pelt o bre ak neck travelin a n' several good hot r S .11 "Log chute ? '1 echoed the scout. I "It's er nach e ral s lid e down the m o ur..tain,'1 e xpla ine d the Ranger, "straight a s a di e an' s eem s like it wa s ma de 'spe cial f e r th e feller s that' s cuttin' the timb er. A l o g i s tipped inter the slid e an'-who o s h down s he goes lik e a s treak o' grease d lightnin'. The chute end s in lake an when the m l og s hit the water, a gey ser s pouts up fer fifty feet inter the air." t "What are the log s u s ed for, C o l e man ? " Fer s horin' up timber s in the Whip s aw mine. Tha t thar mine is run in tre acherou s ground, an the tunnels! an' crosscut s an' shafts all hev t e r be timbered plenti ful ter k e ep 'em from cavin' in, Thai' s what the log s i s fer, an' they're pulled acro s t the lake an' up the outlet t e r the mine an' the mill." He broke off his remarks abruptly. "Hyer," he fini s h e d, "is whar we b e gin the climb. Folle r me an' foller clo se. Keerful does it. It ain t m a ny men ye could hire ter climp ole Whipsaw in the dark." Certainly the great qulk of the mountain, showing d arkly again s t the background of aight s ky, looked omi n o us to the hor s emen. B ut they began their climb, led by the Ranger, who I knew eve'J inch of the trail ftoh1 ldhg and arduo'tJs exp e rience. For that thattet, all that part of the country was an open book to Coleman, and could read it by night ;i.s well a s by day. CHAPTER XIV. THE BARON AND THE FRIENDLY COWBOY. As ha s alreacry been stated, Villum. Von Schnitzenhau ser, othetwi s e the baron1 had l e ft Wagon Whee Gap, and the rat1er vague premonition s of excitem ent offered by Capfain Colem a n, for what he suppo s ed to be the cer t a inty of lively doings in the lumber camp. Never had the baron made a greater mi!ltak e The only e xcitement e x p e ri e nced by the baron was during the climb up the m o untain s ide. There w ere two trail s l e ading to Whipsaw camp, one on the ea s t s i c le of th e m o unt a in 1ano the other on the west. It wa s a current s aying in that part of the country that no matte r w hich trail y o u took y o u w o uld wish you had taken the o th er. ( So far as difficulty went ; there w as little to choo s e be tween the ,two trail s The baron, as it chanced, selected a diff e rent trail from the one cho s en by Captain C o l e man wh e h h e led the pard s in the direction of cre s t. But the ba ro n, unlike the Rang e r, the s cout, and the prince of the bow ie, had daylight for hi s trip. Half a dozen times, during his t1pward climb, the baron beli e v e d that he was s urely in for a breakneck tumble. Only the s ure-footedne s s of Toofer, hi s mule, stood be t wee n him and destruction. When he finally reached the half doz e n l og s hacks ott the brow of the mountain, he found the place as quiet as a chltrch y ard: There wa s no hotel, but a house wh e re l o dger s were accommodated. The baron secured a bed, and a s eat at h e table, ai1d stak e d T oo fer out dos e to water and with a bundle of b a l e d hay. Then he went to see \vhere the "liveliness" ca ine in. Afte r an hour 's tramp through the timb e r, watching the m o n o t o n o us work or tree f e lling, tree trimmirtg, and l o g hauling, he made up his mind that he had struck the wrong s ettletnetlt in hi s hunt for excitement. There were no more than a dozen tnen etrtployed in the camp, and the s e were all sober, ipdu s trious fellows who attet1ded strictly to their work and had no time for hunting ttouble1 or any other brand of fooli s hpess. The only thing the baron saw, that even r e motely en thu se d him, the log chute and the lightnipgtike dis appearance of the big s ticks down the gr o ove and into the lake.

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24 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. For the entire distance of their flight the 4fogs could be watched, and at tlie bottom of the m o untain, far below, they cou-ld be seen driving into the waters of the lak e and sending a plume of spr ay high into the air. The trail the baron had followed in climbing the mountain lay close to the l;iig s lid e, and a g ood deal of} the trail was visible as it wound in and out among the huge boulders, along the edge of the precipice and acros s natural bridges of rock that spa nned dizzy chasms. "I vas a fool for coming to dis b lace, grunted the baron, sitting at the head of the s lide and watching the logs go down. "All dere iss to see iss :ome feller s cut ting vood, und some more pushing it down der slide, aber dere vasn't so mooch oxcidement as vat you got in a Kvaker meeding, PX s hink s Oof I vasn't afraidt oof_ dot drail, py chimineddt, I could go 'vay ad vonce." The thought of again facing the danger of that climb caused chills to canter up and down the baron's neck. He asked about the other trail, and even in spec t ed the top of it. Finally he reached the decision that, when he finally made up his mind to leave, he'd take the trail he had used in ascending the mountain. He knew some thing about that, and he didn't know a thing about the other one. ) The baron went to bed early that night, fully resolved to go down the mountain and back to Wagon Wheel the next morning. In the morning, however, he studied the trail from the head of the log slide, and came to the con clu s ion that he wasn't equal '1:0 it. He would wait until ,!_he next day. He loafed and s lept and exchanged small talk with the man on duty at th e head of the slide. In the afternoon he spent a touple of hours watching a horseman climb the trail by th e big chi}te. It was very pleasant to the baron to observe, from a safe vantage p o int, a rider tack ling the same perils the baron himself had t ac kled. When the rider first came into s ight, at the foot .of the mountain, he looked like a manikin, he was so far away. By degrees... horse and grew to their normal s ize. After an hour of watching, the baron discovered th a t the approaching horseman was a cowboy. "He don'd vas vone oof der lumpermen, anyvays,': thought the baron. "Meppy he vill pring a leedle ox cidement along mit him. Oof he can blay sefe n-oop, I guess I can manach to lif undil do-morrow morning." The cowboy staked out his hor s e beside the baron 's and, quite casually, made the baron's acquaintance. His name was Lon Bingham, and he had jus t taken a couple of days off and come up the mountain for the sa ke oh change and variety. Yes, he ccmld play 'cards-poker, stud or draw, monte, seven-up, hearfs, or casino. Cer tainly he oblige the baron with a gaip.e. They went at it in the s hade, s moking their pipes and apparently enjoying themselves. Lon Bingham was very He.won all the baron's money in s ide of an hour-eight dollars-but he did it with so much good-humored badinage that" the baron was sorry lre hadn't eight dollars more to ; lo se "Say, pard,'' sa id the cowboy, leaning over and laying an affectionate hand on the baron 's shou lder, "it ain't often I take ter a feller, but I'm takin' ter you like a hou se afire." "Dot's der vay I hook oop mit you, Lon,'' gurgled the baron. "Ve vas bards all der time, hey?" "All the time. Say, I got a good thing I'll let you in on, if you want." "I like all der goot t'ings vat I can g ed,'' said the baron. I didn't come hyer like I sa id when I first met 0ye, jest fer an' variety," explained the cowboy, "but t e r find a feller named Jin;i Sampson." "Dit you find der feller?" "Nary, I didn't. He got killed by a fallin' tree la s t month." "Vat a luck!" "It's better luck than ye'd think, baron. Say, that feller was a pardner with me in a minin' claim that beat s the Whipsaw ledge hands. down. I've picked up float rock on that there claim that assays a thousand dollar s t e r the ton!" Dot's a ponanza !" exclaimed the barqn enthusfasti cally. "You bet!" declared the cowboy. "Say, I'm g oin' ter let ye i1i on that there claim, free grati s fer nothin'. Ye kin have Jim, Sampson's intru st. How does /that hit yer corporosity ?" peen der pest fell er vat I know," said the baron gratefu lly. "I like you more as I can tell. Shake I" They s hook hands. "\Ve got ter go ter that claim right off, baron, and make sure it' s on the map," went on Lon Bingham. "We go in der morning, huh?" "No, The baron looked down the crooked trail, with it s lump s and abrasions, drew a long breath and shook hi s h ead. "G if my haluf oof der claim to so me odder feller, Lon," s aid he. ''I' vouldn't go down dot drail in der nighdt for all der goldt in der vorld." "Aire ye afeared o' the trail?" "Vorse as dot, Lon. I peen sheared oudt oof my 1ife aboudt it." "I'll take ye down with me, baron. Ye won't make1 no s lip, ner go wrong, if ye travel with rrl.e." "Nein, I don'd go. I vas mooch opliged, aber I don'd take some shances mit der drail in der nighdt." Lon Bingham seemed disappointed. "Will ye agree ter go airly in the mornin', baron?" he a s ked.

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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. "Oof it ain'd so early dot ve can't see nodding, den I go." .. Kerect We'll start in the mornin'. Now let's take a pa s ear around an' see if we kain't st .art a dog fight, or some other kind of excitement. This hyer quiet's shore gittin' on my nerves." There was nothing in the nature of excitement to be found. Later in the evening, when the wood cutters knocked off work, Lon Bingham managed to get into a game of "draw." He staked the baron by lending him some of the eight dollars which had originally belonged to him, and the game began. It ended by one of the lumbermen calling Lon Bingham a thief and declared that he had seen the cowboy slip three aces out of his sleeve. Bingham drew a revolver. The lumberman picked up an axe. The baron threw himself on Bingham, and an other lumberman grabbed the axe. "Dere vas some mistake," said the baitn, in an deavor to make peace. "Look through the rest o' the deck," cried the lumber man, "an' see i_.f ye kain't find four more aces." The deck was examined, but only one ace was found. The lumberman begged Lon Bingham's pardon, and the game closed with everybody in a happy and forgiving mood. But all that night the baron was puzzled. At the time the lumberman had called Bingham a thief, the baron himself was holding three aces. In the interests of peace he had slipped three aces into his pocket. The fact remained, though, that Bingham had really developed three aces of his own; for those, with the baron's three, made six aces-,wo too many for any honest pack. This should have opened the baron's eyes as to the character of the cowboy, but the baron had centred his desires on Jim Sampson's interest in Bingham's gold mine, and he was not disposed to pick flaws in Bingham's character. . It was just dawn when Bingham routed the baron out and-they went for their mounts. Half an hour later they were slipping down the mountainside. CHAPTER XV. "I know some fellers up hyer," said Coleman, "an' while I'm huntin' up one of 'em, an' askin' fer inferma tion, you fellers kin nose around on yer own hook. We won't be long in findin' how the land lays." They separated, the scout and the prince of the bowie walking toward the log slide. A red-shirted lumberman was busy there with cant hook and pike pole," pulling logs from a pile an4 rolling them onto a wooden plat form. This platform was at the very top of the slide. The log, destined for the lake below, was rolled onto the platfo1i; with a little less than half its length over hanging the chute. In order to start the log on its de scent, it was tipped Jp at the platform end and dropped over. Then, with a hiss and roar, it shot downward, covering the full lel'lgth of the slide in a very few sec onds. The pards saw two logs tipped endwise into the stone trough and sent on their way. Another, with a pike pole jabbed into it midway of its length, lay on the platform ready tq be started. The red-shirted lumberman turned leisurely to look at the pards. "Can you tell me, amigo," inquired the scout, "if there has been a Dutchman by the name of Von Schnitzenhau ser in this camp recently, or if he is here now?" "Dunno nothin' erbout his name," answered the man, "but thar was a Dutchman hyar fer a couple o' who called hisself the baron." "He's the man!" exclaimed Pawnee Bill. "Where is he now?" asked the scout. 1 "He started down the mounting with a cowboy, right airly this mornin' ." "Too late!" muttered the scout. "Tough luck, necarnis," said Pawnee Bill. "When did they leave, frierid ?" he asked of the lumberman. "A leetle over an hour ago," was the answer. "They didn't go the other trail," remarked the scout. "Nary, they didn't," said the lumberman. "They went the trail by the slide." He stepped to the edge of the platform and looked down. "Thar they aire !" he exclaimed, pointing. "If ye look ye kin see 'em. They're still half an hour from the foot o' the mounting." The pards ranged themselves at the lumberman's PAWNEE BILL'S HAIR-RAISING FEAT. and followed his pointing finger with their eyes. What The sun was striking the top of Whipsaw Mountain with its first beams when Buffalo Bill, Pawnee Bill and Captain Coleman rode in among the cabins of the lumber camp. Their first move was to put out their If the baron wasn't in the camp it was their opinion they were too iate to do anything for him, so it was advisable to put out their horses and give them a rest after their hard night's work. ... they saw were two moving dots, weaving back and fortli a1;nong the boulders, now lost behind a clump of pines, and now appearing again. ' On-she-ma-da !" cried Pawnee Bill. "And to think we can see them, but can't overh aul them or get word to the baron. How's this for a g9 ?" It was a queer situation, and no mistake. Somewhere around the shore of the lake a lot of murde[OUS men I /

PAGE 27

I THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. were lying in wait for the baron; and there, at the t op of the slide, the two pards could watch their unfortunate Gomrade riding into the trap, Utterly unable to prevent the trap's closing! "We ought to be able to do somet hing," muttered the scout. "This slide follows the trail. If we tied a white rag to the top of that pike pole and pinned a note t o it, don't you suppose the baron would suspect something and, somehow, manage to g et to the l og?" "The J:iaron wou ldn't suspect a thing, Pard Bi ll, de clared Pawnee Bill. "He might think the white rag was something the lumbermen made use of in their work. Even if he did suspect, and tried to get at the log, F lint would interfere." The pards, for a moment, studied the extensive view below them with melancholy int erest "The trail ;" went on the prince of the bowie, "bends away from the bottom of th e chute. The baron and the gambler will have to pass that part of the trail be fore they can reach the point where the gang are lying in wait for our pard." "That's th e size of it," said the sco ut. "We were lame, necarnis, in not having one of us stay at the foot of the mountain and--" "We couldn't guess what was going to happen up fiere, Pawnee," cut in the scout "We've done what we could. All that's left for us, now, is to get on our horses and make as quick a ride to the bottom of the mountain as we can." "What ye fe ller s worryin' about?" ask d the lumber man, picking up an axe and beginning t o trim the snag of a limb from the l og on the platform. "That Dutchman is a pard of ours," explained the scout, "and the cowboy is_ l eading him into trouble." "Why don't ye trail arter him, then, an' tell him what's up? "The trouble is to happen 5Jbse to the foot of the We couldn't get tlown there m tim e." "No ye cou ldn't. I reckon yore pard's in fer it, neighbor. "I've got an idea!" cried Pawnee Bill. The lumb erman, hanging to the axe, turned reflective I eye s on the prince of the bowie. "What's yore idee ?" "Why, I'll ride that log down t o the lake! shouted the prince of the bowie. ''I'll hang to the pike p ole, and about all I'll g e t is a "No, ye won't!" snorted the lumberman. "No sich erazy doin 's'll be pulled off while I'm bossin' the head o' this chute." "Didn' t any one ever do the trick?" asked Pawnee Bill. "One feller done it, an' come out o' the lake with a bu s ted arm an' l e g 1-1\e lik e ter got drownded. Since then I got orders not ter l et any loafers hang around the head o' chute while log s are bein' sent down You \ fellers better clear out o' hyer. I don't like the way ye talk." "Don't be rough," said the scout. "My pard is only talking. Why, I wouldn't allow him to do such a foolish thing as that. Alf we want to do is to stay here and watch what goes on below for a few minutes." "I don't want ye hyer snarled the lumberman. "The thing fer you fellers ter do is ter hit the trail down the mounting, an' not stand gawpin' at the head o' the chute Cl'ar out! I got my orders an' I won ; t let ye stay. Aire ye goin'?" Axe in hand, th e burly lumberman advanced upon the scout. "Be reasonable," sa id the scout, stepping forward and confronting the man "Put down that axe, do you hear-? We'll only stay a few minutes." The lumberman, probably, wou ld never have used the axe on the s cout, but he made a threatening gesture and the scout lail hold of / him. He was a huge fellow, with muscles like an ox, and he made a tolerable handful for Buffa l o Bill. Pawnee Bill, meantime, had not been idle. He had seen how the logs were started down the chute, and he was fully determined to run a risk in order to help the baron. The moment was prop iti ous The scout and the lumberman were engaged in a tus sle, and there was no one to interfere with the plans of the prince of the bowie. Quickly but quietly, Pawnee Bill passed to the edge of the platform By throwing him s elf fiat down on the log and gripping the pike pole, enough 'of his weight would be over the chute t o cant the log into it. He threw aside his hat coolly, cast a look at his pard and the lumber man, then droppe"d downward Over went the log with a resounding thump. A howl of fear and rage burst from the "Ther blame' ijt1t is goin' down ther slide roared the)ur1berman. "He'll kill hisself, an' I'll my job! I told ye I had my orders !" The log, with Bill aboard, got away like a l ightning express, but Buffalo Bill was too busy to give much attention to the hair-raising spectacle The lumberman, re l ea s ing himself from the scout's grip, ju mped away and threw down the axe; then they both watched the slide. Coleman, seeing the scout tus s ling with the lumberman, had hurried to the scene He bounded upon the platform and jo.ined the other two in their fearsome survey of what was going on below ( "What's Pawnea
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THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. was the log with the dark figure of the prince of the bowie sprawled out on it and clinging to the pike pole. ; Pawnee s a goner!" declartd Coleman. "Thar! Look at him hittin' the lake! He'll be drowned, sure as ye' r e a foot high. Of all the pesky foolishness I ever heerd of this takes the banner." Without waiting loqger, Buffalo Bill turned away. His 1 face was gray with anxiety, but there was
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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. The baron, badly demoralized by what he heard and saw, took a rope from Flint's saddle and Pawnee Bill tie the prisoner's hands. At this par.ticular moment, another Dutchman, riding one mule and leading another, came upon the scene from belbw. This last traveler was headed up the mountain. The baron looked at him, and they both stared. "Fritz!" whooped the baron. "Der paron, iss it?" answered Fritz. "Here va's luck1 some more. It iss pedder to be porn lucky as to lif in some glass houses, and I vas sure a lucky E>utchman. Be careful oof yourseluf, paron I Dere iss drouple on der pike for you. Some feller? is blanning to \ead you avay und--" Just then Pawnee Bill rose UP., Fritz got a lobk at him and there was another surprise for the newcomer. "iDit you ged here aheadt oof n1e afder all, eh?" quer ied Fritz. "I did," answered Pawnee Bill, "about five minutes I ahead of you, Fritz. You're a little late in getting to Whipsaw Mountain, seems. to me.';.... lade as nefer," answered Fritz. "Der mools made me some drouples und I don't vas aple to come kevicker. Who iss dot fell er mit der ropes on?" "One of the gamblers," answered .Pawnee Bill. "Lend one of your guns, baron," he added. "I'm going to see what's become of, the rascals who were lying in wait for you." The baron, still bewildered by the rapid progress of events, yielded up one of his, revolvers and Pawnee Bill started down the trail. He had not gone far before, from his elevated post of observation, he saw four horsemen racing along the trail that followed the edge of the lake. They looked back as they raced, and he recognized one or two of them as cowboys belonging with the Circle-T outfit. "They were there, all right," he muttered. "The baron would have been either wiped out, or captured, if I hadn't taken that ride dowi1 the log chute. It was worth it." he returned to the prisoner and the two Von Schnitzenhausers; then, when all had seated themselves comfortaBiy, Pawnee Bill began to tell the baron of the danger he had been in and of the narrow escape he had had. The baron was thunderstruck. ''Vat drouples ve tangle oop mit ven ve don't know nodding aboudt it," he muttered, "Pawnee Bill, you haf safed my life, I bed you! Vat a sgoundrel dot Flint feller iss I lie vas schlick aboudt it, und he say dot he gif me haluf a goldt mine oof I come mit him. Aber it vas a lead mine dot he vas going to handt me, dere py der lake. Himmelbli.tzen, vat a close call id vas !" "I dit vat I <::ould meinse\uf," chimed in Fritz, "und I proke oop der vagon, I vork so hardt. Aber it vas all for. der Von Schnitzenhausers. Der Von Schnitzenhausers haf got to shtick togedder, eh?" From up the trail came a clatter of hoofs. Every one started erect and listened. The baron drew a revolver. "Oof dot iss more oof der gamplers," he muttered, "I vill do a leedle fig;hdting, I qed you." But it wasn't any of the gamblers. Buffalo Bill and Coleman, 'full of apprehension for both the baron and the prince of the bowie, were ni.cing down the trail. Never before had that treacherous course bee covered at such a pace as the scout and the Ranger had sel that morning. "Pawnee!" cried the joyful king of scouts, flinging himself from Bear Paw and rushing forward to grasp his pard's hand. "That was the finest thing I ever saw, pard, and it won!" "This performance o' yourn, Pawnee," put in Cole man, pressing close to te der his own congratulations, "will be the talk o' the hull kentry. I wisht ye'd jine the Rangers." Congratulations were passed around, followed by more talk to get all phases of the situation straightened out. "W aal," said Coleman, "we got two o' them gamblers -an' two's better'n none at all. But I'd like er heap ter bag the rest o' gang." "That can come later, Coleman," returned the scout. "My par4s and I have slipped through the coil Perdita and the tinhorns laid for us, and I think we have every reason to congratulate ourselves. Suppose we drop in at the Whipsaw mininir camp and get our breakfast be-' ..., fore going back to Wagon Wheel Gap?" "Dot's a goot itee," approved the baron. "I vas villing," said Fritz. "Und I vill go by Vagon Vee! Gap, too. I don'd like to go home mitoudt a vagon." Emil Flint, sullen and uncommunicative, was bound to his horse, and the reunited pards, with the Ranger, laid their course in the direction of the minif!g camp. "We'll hear from Perdita and Jorge before we are many hours older," declared Pawnee Bill. "I hope so, amigo," answered Captain Coleman, "but I'm not any bets. If them two know when they're well off,. they'll get out o' the kentry-an' kick up mighty little disturbance when they go." THE END. "A friend in need is a perd in de handt alretty," says comical Fritz, of Buffalo Bill, in the next story. He and the baron are sadly in need of somebody's help. They walked right into a trap set for them by a crafty girl. 'BuffaIO Bill plays the game with her, leaving no score unsettled. Pawnee does some ace-high bowie work as a trump card, and there are some exciting show-downs be fore the finish. The title of this bully yarn is "Buffalo Bill and Perdita Reyes; or, Pawnee Bill's Bowie Prac tice." Out next week in No. 488. Be sure to read it.

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THE BUFFALO BILU STORIES. 29 10 BORDER UH NEW YORK, September 10, 1910. TERMS TO BUPPALO BILL MAIL SUBSCRIBERS. Free.) Slagle Coplos or Back Numbers, Sc. Each. 3 months .. .. 650. I One year .................. $2.l\O y proper change ot number on yow: li.bcl. If not correct you h11vo not been properly credited, and should let us know at once. I STREET & SMITH, Publishers, ORMOND G. SMITH, l p I \ GEORGB C. SMITH, f r .,,ru ors. 79 .Seventh Avenue, New York City. A BOY WHO WOULDN'T FIGHT. :Quring the war of the Rebellion a boy named Tillman Vestal, about eighteen years old, a 'Quaker by birth and practice, who resided in Maury County, Tennessee, experi enced a remarkably checkered career. He was first taken from his quiet home near Columbia by conscript officers, who carried him to Bragg's army, then in camp at Shelby ville, Tennessee. Herc he was assigned to duty in, the Fourth Tennessee Regiment, commanded by Cofonel McMurry, as gallant a soldier as ever drew a blade in the lost cause, and who afterward fell mortally wounded at the head of his on t!l!e bloody field of Chickamauga. Vestal was ordered to duty, but in a calm, firm tone he informed the officers of the regiment that the war wa:s in direct opposi tion to the principles of his religion, and he could not con scientiously, and would not in ,,any way perform military duty. He was talked to kindly by the colonel, who said that if he did not obey orders he would be punished. His reply was to the effect that they might punish him, but no man living could force him to do violence .to his convictions of duty, or to the p inciples of his religion. Threats, en treaties, and persuasions were all unavailing to move him from his purpose, and at last he was discharged from cus tody and ordered to go. In a few weeks after his return home one of the many conscript officers who, in those days, rode through the country living upon the fat of the land and feathering their nests wh never the opportunity offered, came upon Vestal, and he again fell a victim to conscription. Vestal, having asked for two weeks' time within which to report, was granted his request, after having given satis factory assurance that he would report to Bragg's headquarters at the encl of that time. In the intervening time Bragg fell back with his army to Chattanooga. Young Ves tal, however, faithful fo his promise, walked all the way from Columbia to Chattanooga, and reported in person to the general. He was again assigned to duty with the Fourth Tennessee, Colonel McMurry, who a.t once recognized him as the same youth he had met at Shelby ville, and remarked to him that he hoped he had returned to the army to do his duty as a soldier. Vestal replied that he still adhered to his determination to do no military service. Colonel McMurry thereupon entered into a Scriptural argument to convince thf! young Quaker that his position was all wrong. Vestal proved to be equal to the occasion, and turned the colonel down so frequently that he sent for the chaplain to convince him of the errors of his way. The argument between the chaplain and Vestal was short, but to the point. The chaplain said: "My young friend, I would not give a cent for a religion which is opposed to my coun try." Vestal replied: "And I, sir, :would not give a cent for a country that is opposed to my religion." Here the argument closed with Vestal in possession of the field. The colonel threatened to court-martial Vestal, perhaps put him on bread-and-water diet, and by every means in his power endeavored to induce him to perform duty, but all his efforts were in vain. He refused even to police c mp, bring a bucket of water, or do any of the little ch res incumbent upon soldiers, or anything, in fact, that could be construed into military service. Some friend suggested to him that he might go into the hospital as a nurse. He repEed that he would con sider it his bounden duty to attend to the wants of the s ick of either army, if the occasion should offer, but goirlg into the hospital as a nurse would be as inuch in the line of military duty as carrying a musket on the field, and for this reason he declined to do it. It reached the ears of his commanding officer that he had served an apprenticeship making earthenware'. It was then s ugge sted to Vestal that there was a pottery clown in Georgia, and he was ,asked if he would accept a place in that. He replied that if it was a he would ac c ept a position in it, but if it was a l government affair and was run in the interest of the war he would not. The c olonel failed at every point in his efforts to bring the 1,1on to terms, and sent him to brigade headquarters, where he was assured that ff he persisted in his determina tion and refused to obey the orders of his officers, he would be shot. Vestal answered by saying: "You have me in your power and can take my life, but love of life, nor fear of death, can make me false to my principles." Possessed of the material which martyrs are m ade of, he had deter mined to die rather than be false to his religion. That he would have gone to the stake cheerfully rather than have performed military duty all were persuaded who witnessed his determined spirit and tone. This calm, quiet determina tion which nothing could move or s hake had nothing in it, however, of the braggart or bully. A law had been passed by the Confederate Congress al lowing Quakers, on the payment of five hundted dollars, exemption frbm military service. Some person who re spected the young Quaker's religious scruples, and who was satisfied that he acted from a con scientius sense of duty, a s ked him if he could not pay the five hundred dollars, and thus end the rlifficulties under which he was laboring, pointing out to him at the same time the rugged road he would have to travel, if he persisted in his cour se, and seri ously informing him that it wou.Jd at last result in his being shot for disobedience ofiirders. Vestal said he could raise the five hundred dollars easily enough, but that of itself would not remove his difficulties, for, said he: "With. the five hundred dollars I pay into their hands they could hire another man to fight, and I had as well do it myself as t
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30 THE BUFFAL O BILL STORiks. to the test to run away and return to his home and thus get rid of the trials, vexations, and punishments to which he was subjected. His reply was always: "No, I will not do it. They had me up at Shelbyville and Chattanooga, and have trotted me all over the country on the same charge for which I am now in arrest, and I am determined to have the matte r settled one way or the other." For a long time Vestal was a prisoner at Castle Thunder, in Richmond After the war cl osed he went North, completed his education, and taught school. He landed at his father's house, in Maury County, Tennessee, just seven years from the time he had left to repoi:t to General Bragg at Chattanooga. THE CORPORAL'S ADVERS A RY. Among the ambitious soldiers.longing to distinguish them selves and win an honorable name, during the war for:. the Union, was Walter Clyde, an intelligent young man belong-ing to the -th regiment regulars. ( Unfortunately, promotion is slow in the regular army. Walter had for ten years served in his regiment, to at last merely win the position of corpora:L He was a favorite both with men and officers, the latter frequently speaking in high tet"ms of the fidelity and courage he had shown during occasional combats with the Indians. He was never heard to grumble, but went steadily on, performing his. monotonous duties with a cheerful prompti tude which had a good effect upon all associated with him. A mere glance at the mf.n would have been sufficient for one to ascertain his character. Of fresh, ruddy complexion, his clear blue eyes sparkled with the light of health, while his firm, trumpet-like voice fell like music upon the ear. Drenched through and through with rain, loaded with heavy equipments, marching through muddy roads and marshes, the gallant corporal was ever the same cheerful fellow, infusing life and animation through the shivering frames of his comrades. After the breaking out of the war his regiment was sent to Virginia, where it encamped within five miles of Fortress Monroe Pickets and scouting parties were frequently sent out, the corporal often having command of a squad, which seldom came back without bringing a trophy of victory over some portion of the enemy's troops. Still, the corporei was not promoted, although the officers continued to .pear testimony to his good conduct Walter was not in the least discouraged by such tardiness, -but, like a true soldier, took it in good part-joking and laughing about it whenever his ,comrades were inclined to complain for him. \ Months passed. One day the colonel sent for Corporal Clyde. The young soldier felt hopeful. Only i few days before, with a small party of men, he had attacked and carried a Confederate breastwork. Now, surely the colonel was going to reward him; he was to be promoted. With this thought uppermost, he repaired to the colonel's quarters, and, saluting his commander, waited for the wel come words. "Corporal Clyde," said the c ommander, "I am going to trust you with a very important matter." "Yes sir" of all the men in the regiment, I have the most faith in you." "Thank you, sir." "You are to take this packet''.-putting a sealed roll of paper in his hand-"to General Warren, commanding Fort which is twenty miles from here, and to gain which you will have to pass through a country infested with stroll ing parties of Confederate infantry and cavalry." Yes, sir." "In case you should be attacked and cut to pie c es," added the colonel, with as much calmness as if he were speaking of a roasted turkey, "this paper must not fall into the hands of the enemy." "It shall not, sir," replied Clyde, equally as calm. "It is so arranged that it can in a moment be blown to pieces by the application of a match to the twisted piece of paper which you see protruding from it. There is a charge of gunpowder in the roll." "Yes, sir," answered Clyde, smiling; "but in case I should suddenly be shot dead, I would not have time to light it." "You would probably have time to govern the direction of your fall. Even when a man isa'ihot through the brain he retains sense for a few seconds. !n case you are shot, be sure to fall flat upon your breast antl face. You will carry t)le roll in your breast pocket, and in falling upon it the pressure will strike a concealed cap in it, causing an explo sion, and thus destroy the packet." "I will follow your directions." "Do so ; and in case you ever come back, I shall be glad to hear your report. If, on the contrary, you should be killed, I shall know that the packet did not fall into the enemy's hands. Now go-start as soon as you can." The young man left the tent in as cheerfula mood as ever Although the colonel had said nothing to him of promo tion, yet it afforded him intense satisfaction to know that his commander had such confidence in his fidelity and courage. He was soon equipped and on his way, with a chart of the country through which he was to pass in his pocket. His first day's journey was performed with no particular adventure. On the second day, as he approached a rugged cliff, ob structing his passage, and which he would be obliged to cross, several Con'federates appeared on the brow of the ridge. They lifted their rifles and took aim at him, showering ere they fired all manner of epithets upon him. Before they stopped talking the corporai sent a bullet through the brain of one of them, who, witli a wild shrie1', fell forward over the cliff "Aye, aye," thought Walter, "the colonel was right. A man retains sense after being shot through the brain." Boong whiz-z-z whizrz came a couple of bullets from the dead man's comrades while the speaker was reloading. The missiles passed within an inch or two of his head, as if warning him that he might have personal proof of his assertion. To stand all day firing at the two Confederates was not to the corporal's taste; so he moved on up the ridge, dodging from rock to rock, loading, firing, and receiving his ene mies' fire in return. At last he was fortunate enough to hit another of his foes, who fell, badly wounded. The other, lifting his wounded comrade, who was a light .. youth, in his arms, hurried off, shouting out that he would yet have satisfaction. Clyde hurried on, and; mounting the ridge, looked in vain for more The country beneath him was thickly wooded, however, so th t a foe might find an excellent ambush. He descended and marched on, holding his rifl e in readi ness to be discharged at a moment's warning. He met with no other enemy that morning. In the afternoon he beheld, far away, the ramparts of the fort, which was his destination. The sight of the Stars and Stripes fluttering from a tall pine staff cheered his heart. On he went with a light step. There is, however, "many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip." As he approached a thick copsewdod, he saw a man, with a carbine over his shoulder, emerge from among the trees.

PAGE 32

THE BUFFWLO BILU STORIES. t The man came toward him. As he drew nearer, Walter detected the unmistakable gray, Confederate uniform. "Hello!" shouted the foe, when Clyde was withia a hun dred yards of him; "jist stand thar whar you be, see if I can't hit you." I So saying, he lifted the carbine 'and sent a bullet whizzing on its way. You are my' pri s oner I" exclaimed the corporal, rushing toward the Confederate, who would not have time to reload ere the 'other would be upon him. r "Not so sure of that!"' exclaimed the foe, dra;wing an ugly-looking broadsword frotn his belt and dodging behind a tree. The corporal kept on his way. "Come he exclaimed, pointihg his rifle ; come from be hind that tree, or you are a dead man!" The Confederate, however, kept dodging behind the tree, thus eluding Clyde's rifle. Impatient of the delay, the corporal threw down the rifle, and drawing a revolver with which he was provided, rushed tip and seized the foe by the collar of his shirt, pointihg the pi s tol at his head. The man made a sweep at his a:tagonist with his broad s word, which, however, catching against the tree, failed to strike his adversary. 1 The corporal, determine
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_..LATEST BUFFALO BILL STORIES The most original stories of Western adventure. The only weekly containing the adventures Qi the fa,mous Buffalo Bill. High art colored covers. TJiirty-two big pagea. Price, 5 cents. 477-Buffalo Bill and the Pool of Mystery; or, 'fte Hand of 482-Buffalo Bill's Test; or, Pawnee Bill, Prince of tlie Bowie. the Prophet. 483-Buffalo Bill and the Ponca Raiders; or, Pawnee Bill's 478-Buffalo Bill and -theDeserter; or, TheSaving -of Sergeant Double-throw. Sebree. 484-Buffalo Bill's Boldest Stroke; or, Pawnee Bill's Riata 479--Buffalo Bill's Island in the Air; or, The Secret of the Dance. M 485-Buffalo Bill's Enigma; or, Pawnee Bill and the House of esa. . Mystery. 148<>-Buffalo Bill, Town or, A New Trick man Old 486-Buffalo Bill's Blockade; or, Pawnee Bill and t.1le TenderGame. foot. Bill's UltimatUm; or, Facing Terrors with Pawnee 487-Buffalo Bill and the Gilded Clique; or, Pawnee Bill's MounBill. tain Slide. BRAVE AND BOLD WEEKLY All kinds of stories that boys like. The biggest aiid best worth ever offered. High colored covers. Thirty-two big pages. Price, 5 cents. 392,--The Boy Motor King; or, Winning by Pluck and Daring. By Stanley R. Matthews. 398-Wrecked in the Air; or, The Boy Motor King's Bond. By Stanley R. Matthews. 393-Fpoling the Enemy; or, The Siege of Boston Town. By John De Morgan. 394-Turning a Double Trick; or, The Courage of a Bowery Boy. By Malcolm Fawcett. 395-A Game for Millions; or, The Luck of a Young Reporter. By John L. Douglas. 3g6-Winning by Speed; or, A Motor Boy's Splendid Exploit. By Stanley R. Matthews. 397-The Green Mountain Boys; or, Ethan Allen's Heroism. By John De Morgan 39g-The Boy Who Got There; or, A Thousand Dollar Start. By John R. Conway. 400-The Little Corporal's Double; or, Changing the Map of Europe. By John De Morgan. 401-A Game Boy's Start; or, Making Good Against Big Odds. By John R Conway. 402-Between Two Fires; or, A Hard Fight for Liberty. By J olm De Morgan. 403-A Dash for a Million; or, How a Fortune Was Found. By John L. Douglas. TI P TOP .WEEKLY' I The most popular publication for boys. The adventures of Frank and Dick Merriwell can be had only ill this weekly. High art colored C
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BUFFALO BILL STORIES ISSUED EVERY TUESDAY BEAUTIFUL COLORED COVERS There is no need of our telling American readers how interesting the stories of the adventures of Buffalo Bill as scout and plainsman, really are. These stories have been r ead exclusively in this weekly for many years, apd are voted to be masterpieces dealing with Western adventure. Buffalo Bill is more popular to-day than he ever was, and, consequently, everybody ought to know all there is to know about him. In no manner can you become so thoroughly acquainted with the actual habits and life of this great man, as by reading the BU FF ALO BI LL STORIES. We give herewith a list of all of the back numbers in print. You can have your news-dealer order them or they will be sent direct by the publishers to any address upo n receipt o f the price in m o ney o r postage-stamps. 245-Buffalo Bill's Lost Quarry . ...... 5 3!'i8-Buffalo Bill Amoug the Pue hlo s .... :; 425-Buffalo Blll's Balloon Escape ....... :; 250-Bufl'alo Bill on a Long Hunt ........ 5 3;;9-Butl'alo Bill's ]!'our-footed l:'!ll'd s .... 5 4:!6-Bufl'al o Bill and the Guerrillas ...... ;') 252-Butl'alo Bill and t h e Redskin Wlzurd 5 ''60 B 11' I Bill' 1> "' 4'>7 B fl' 1 Bill' B d w 253-Bufl'alo Bill's Bold Challe nge . ..... 5 ., u a o s rotegc .............. u -u a o s or e r ar .......... v 254-Bufl'alo Bill's Shawnee Stampede .... 5 : 362-Bufl'alo Bill's Pic k -up ... ........... 5 428-Butl'alo Bill's M exican Mix-up ....... r; 256-Butfalo Bill on a Desert Trail ...... 5 363-Buffalo Bill's Quest ................. i 429 -Buffalo Bill and the Gamec ock ..... 5 258-Butfalo Bill in Tight Quarters .... .. 5 364-Buffalo Bill's Waif of the Plains .... 5 430 -Buffalo Bill and the Cheyenne Raide r s :; 264-Buffalo Bill and the Bandits in Black 5 366-Buffalo Bill Among the Morm o ns .... 5 431-Bul'falo Blll's Whirlwind Finish. . . 5 267-Butfalo Bill in the Canyon of Death. 5 367-Buffalo Bill's Assistauce. . . . . . 5 432 -Buffalo Bill's Santa Fe S ec r et. . . 5 269-Buffalo Bill and the Robber Ranch 368--Buffalo Bill's Rattlesnake Trnil ... . 5 433 Bufl'alo Bill and the Taos T error .... :; King 5 369-Bufl'alo Bill and the Slave-Deal e r s ... 5 434-Bufl'alo Bill's Brace l e t of Gold ..... 5 : : g 370-Butialo Bill's Strong A rm .......... 5 435-Butialo Bill and th e Bord e r Baron ... 5 274-Buft'alo Bill and the Pawnee Serpent 5 371-Bul'falo Bill's Girl Pa rd ............ 5 436Bufl'alo Bill at Salt Rive r Ranch .... 5 275-Buffalo Bill's Scarlet Hand ......... Ii 372-Buft'alo Blll's Iron Brace l e t s ........ 5 437 Buft'alo Bill's Panhandle Man-bunt .. 5 278-Buft'alo Bill's Daring Plunge ........ 5 373-Buffalo Bill's Ranch Ride r s ......... G 438--Buft'alo Bill at Blossom Range ...... 5 2 2 8 80-3-BBufl'alo BBill's Gbosst Raid. 5 374-Bul'falo Bill's Jade Amulet ......... 5 439Buft'alo Blll and Junipe r Joe ... ..... 5 ufl'alo Ill Up a tump. 5 375 Buffalo Bill' Magi L I t r. 440 Buffalo Blll's Final Scoop 5 g 377=Bufialo Bill': .. 441-Buft'alo Bill at U earwatc 1::::.::.::: a 288--Buffalo Bill's Dance of D eath ... ... :> 378-Buffal. o Blll's Bowle ............... 5 442-Buft'alo Bill' s Wi:J.nlng Band ....... a 292-Butralo Bill's M e dicine-lodge ........ 5 379-Buffalo Bill's Pay-streak . . . . . r1 443Butfa l o Bill's Cinch Claim . . . . . J 293-Buffalo Bill in Peril ............... 5 380-Buffalo Bill's Min e ................ !i 444Buffalo Bill' s Comrad e s ............. U 298-Buft'alo Bill's Black Eagles .......... 5 381 Rtl'flllo B!ll's Cl ean up "\ 445-Buffalo Blll In t h e Bad Lands ...... 5 299-Buft'alo Bill's D es p erate Doz e n ...... 5 382-B' ff 1 Bill' R ........ .. 446 B ffa l o Bill a d tb B B le 305-Buft'alo Bill and the Barge Bandits. 5 11 11 0 8 use u n e oy ug r u 306-Buffalo Billi the Desert Hotspur ... 5 383-Buft'alo Blll Overboard ..... ; ..... . r._ 447 -Bulfalo Bill and the H eathen Cblnee. ti 308-Buffalo Bills Whirlwind Chase ..... 5 384-Butfalo Bin's Ring ............ .... r. 448-Buffalo Bill and th e Chink 'Var ... G 309-Butfalo Bill's R e d Retribution ...... 5 385-Buffalo Bill's Hlg Contract ......... !i 449-Buffalo Bill's Chln eso Chase ........ G 310-Buffalo Blll Haunted ......... 5 386-Buft'alo Blll and Ca:amity Jane ... :. r; 450-Bulfalo Bill's Secre t Message ...... 5 312-Butl'alo Blll's Death Jump .......... 5 387-Buffalo Bill's Kid Pard: ........... ;, 451-B11ffalo Bill and the Ilordc of Her314-Butl'alo Bill in the Jaws of Death ... :> 88 " 315-Buffalo Bill's Aztec Runners .... 5 3 -Butl'ulo Bill's D esperate Plight...... mosa ....................... ., 316-Bulfalo Bill's Dance with Death .. .:. 5 '189-Bulfalo Bill's Fearless Stand ....... r; 452Buft'alo Bill's Lonesome Trail. ...... 5 319-Buft'alo Bill's Mazeppa Ride ..... 5 390-Baft'alo Blll and the Yelping Crew ... r. 453-Bnffalo Blll's Quarry ............. 5 321-Butfalo Bill's Gypsy Band ......... :> 391-Buft'alo Bill's Guiding Hand. . . . r. 4G4-Bufl'alo Blll in Deadwood. . . . . . r. 324-Buft'alo Blll's Gold Hunters. . .. . 5 192-Bufl'alo Bill's Qu ee r Quest.. .. .. .. ;, 455--Buffalo Bill's First Aid.. .. .. . .. 5 325-Buffalo Bill in Old Mexico ....... 5 393-Bul'falo Blll's Prize "Getaway" ...... ;, 456Buft'alo Blll and Old l\Joonllght. ..... ;') 326-Buft'alo Bill's Message from the Dead 5 1 4r.7 B ft'alo Bill Repaid r. 327-Buft'alo Bill and the Wolf-master .... 5 394-Buft'alo Bill's Hurr cane Hustle .... :; 1 Bill' Tb .b ... k ............ "' 328-Bufl'alo Bill's Flying Wonder . 5 395-Bnft'alo Bill's Star Play ........... r. ' -u a o s row ac .... . . u 329-Buft'alo Bill's Hidden Gold ..... 5 3!l6-Bul'falo Bill's B!uf'I' ............. . ri 459 -Butfalo Bill's "Sight Unsee n ....... 5 330--Buft'alo Bill's Outlaw Trail ........ 5 397-Buffalo Bill's Trackers ............. :. 460-Buffal o Bill' s New Pard ............ S 331-Buffalo Bill and the Indian Queen . 5 398-Buft'alo Bill's Dutch Pnrd .......... ;, 461 Buft'alo Bill's "Winged Victory" .... 5 332-Buft'alo Bill and the Mad Marauder . 5 399...:....Bul'falo Bill and the Brnvo ......... !\ 462 Bul'falo Bill'.s Pieces-of-Eight ........ 5 333-Bufl'alo Bill's Ice Barricade ......... 5 400-Bul'falo Bill and the Quake r ...... r. 463 Bnft'alo Bill and the Eight Vaqueros 5 334-Buft'alo Blll and the Robber Elk ..... 5 401-Bul'falo Bill's Package of ..... r; 464Buft'alo Bill's Unlucky Siesta ....... 5 335-Butfalo Bill's Ghost Dance .......... 5 402-BufTalo Bill's Treasure Cache ....... !i 405Buffalo Bill's Apache Clue.. 5 336-Bufl'alo Bill's Peace-pipe ..... 5 403-Bufl'alo Blll's Private War .......... r; 466-Buft'alo Bill and the Apache 'l'otem 5 337-Buffalo Bill's R e d Nemesis ....... 5 404-B1 ft'alo Bill and tbe Trouble Hnntt'r r. 467 -Buffalo Bill's Golden Wonder .. 5 338-Buft'alo Blll's Enchante d Mesa ..... 5 405-Baft'alo Bill and the Rope Wizard .. :. 468 Buft'alo Blll's Fiesta Night. 5 339-Buft'alo Bill in the D esert of Death . 5 406-Bnft'alo Bill's Fiesta ...... ......... r; 469 Buft'alo Blll and the Hatchet Boys. ;; 340-Buft'alo Bill's Pay Streak ........... 5 407-Buft'alo Bill Among the Cheyennes .. :. 470 Buft'alo Bill and the Mining Shark.. :; 341-Buft'alo Bill on Detached Duty ..... 5 408--Buft'alo Bill Besi e g e d ............... r. 471 Buft'alo Bill and the Cattle Barons.. 5 342-Bul'falo Bill's Arm Mystery ........ 5 409-Buft'alo Bill and the Red Hnnd ...... !\ 472 Buft'alo Blll's Long Odds. ;; 343-Butrrllo Bill1s Surprise Party ....... 5 410-Buffalo Bill's Tree-trunk Drift ...... 0 473Butfalo Bill, the P eacemaker. 3 344-Buffalo Bill's Great Ride .......... 5 411-Buftalo Bill and the SpectPr ........ !1 474-Buffalo Bill's Promise to Pay# :5 345-Buffalo Bill' s .Water Trail .......... 5 412-Buffnlo Bill and the Feath e r s ... fi 47FiBuffalo Bill's Diamond Hitch..: 5 346-Buft'alo Bill's Ordeal of Fire ....... 5 413-Buft'alo Bill's King Stroke .......... 5 4ifl-Bulfalo Blll and the Wheel of Fate .. 5 348-Buffalo Bill's Casket of Pearls ...... 5 414-Bul'fnlo Bill, the D e s ert Cyclon e ..... ri 4 77 -Bnffalo Bill and the Pool of Myste ry G 349-Buffalo Bill's ::lky Pilot ......... : 5 415-Bulfnlo Bill's Cumbres S

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