Lillie, the reckless rider, or, The wild hunter's secret


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Lillie, the reckless rider, or, The wild hunter's secret

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Title:
Lillie, the reckless rider, or, The wild hunter's secret
Series Title:
Beadle’s Boy’s Library of Sport, Story and Adventure
Creator:
Major H. B. Stoddard, Ex-Scout
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
M.J. Ivers & Co.
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (30 pages)

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Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Sports stories -- Fiction ( lcsh )
Adventure stories ( lcsh )
Boys ( lcsh )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )

Notes

Original Version:
Volume 1, Number 4

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
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.
Resource Identifier:
B35-00007 ( USFLDC DOI )
b35.7 ( USFLDC Handle )
032657519 ( ALEPH )
07393354 ( OCLC )

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Copyright, 1892, b y Beadl e & Adams. Entered at Post omc e New Y o r k N. Y., as second c las matter Jan. ::S, 1899, al .J. IVERS & CO. Publls her11, (.Jameg t;ulllvan, Proprietor,) M9 Pearl Street, New York, Prlce5 Cent& $2.!l()a Year. Vol. I ILLIE, THR BECKLES& RIDEB ay MA.TOR H. B S'l'ODDARD, Ex-Scout.

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P nblished Eve1 y W.-k. J.U, J. IVE R!'I & CO., Publlsh e r 8, (James Sulltvan Propr1etnr,) 3'9 P or u I Ne'v Yo1lc. Piire 5 Cenfs V I I a Ye!tr. 0 ILLIE, THE RECKLESS RIDER. BY MAJOR H. B. STODDARD,

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Gorclon Llllie LILLIE, THE RECKLESS RIDER; OR, The WilaHunter's Secret. BY MAJ. H. B. STODDARD, Ex-SCOUT, .S.UTHOR OF "NECK-Tm NED," "PONY, THE COWBOY," ''RAPIER RAPHAEL," ''THE BOY VIGILANTES," ETC., ETC. CHAPl'ER J. A QUARREL AND A FIGHT. THE subjooc of tbis was horn in :Sloomingto, Illinois, in 1861, and little of in terest happe ned during bis school -days until be arrived at tae age of sixteen, wben, just b e fore he graduat/.d from tbe High Scbool, an incident occurred which changed the wbole course of bis life. Gordon Lillie was a youth of unusual bril liancy and quickness of memory, end these qualities m ide him en exceptionally bria;bt schol ar, so that be readily acquired lessons in o. few which it took others hours to commit to m emo ry. Beside s th is be was a perfect model of boyish bP.auty and his fair hair, blue eyes and almost feminine delicacy of complexion made him a great favorite with tbooe scholars that belonged to the weak e r as well as with bis teachers: for be combined with bis good looks a gentle ness and c imrtesy of manner that won tbe hearts of nearly all those with whom he cam13 in contact. But there was one member of bis nlass, who, jealous of Gordon's popularity and chafing be neath the tbought tbat tllfs striplingwho was so far inferbr to him in strength, should be es teemed his superior in all other accomplishments, seized every opportunity to insult and to mock and scoff at the lad. taunts at length became unendurable, and one day when Big Ben, as tbe boy was call ed hf.l.d gone further than usual, Gordon Lillie suddenly tumed upon bim as they were leaving the school-house together, and said: "Ben Wil o n, I'm tired of your bullying, and it's J?Ot to stop. " Got to, has it?" sneered the bully, confident in bis superior years and strength. "And who 'JI rri11ke me stop?'' 1 will !" Yon. yoJ baby!" "Yes, I. And to prove it, take that!" "To:it," 'Vas a sounding slap from Lillie's right hand w hit'b suddenly struck the other's che ek with o resounding smack, before be could parry the blw, and l eft a deep red mark where tbe palm ha irritated the ski11 and fiesb. With a gl'owl of rage Big Ben drew himself together to I on the frail lad who thus defied blm and crush bim to tbe ground beneath a hail of blows; but the sight of the principal of the school, wbo at that moment came around the corner, deterred him. "Just wait until to-morrow, you y(ung milk-sop, and I'll fut you!" muttered t.he eldP.r, as, mad with pain and rage and mortitlcationfor a half-dozen of the boys bail witnessed his discomfitur e-he bottled up bis anger as best he could and slunk away_ "I'll be at 'Tbe Hole' to-morrow afternoon," called out Gordon, naming a favorite swim ming place much affected by the boys in the summer, for here was an eddy, end the water, shAllow above and below, just at this spot was some twenty feet deep The other nodded that be understood and tbe little group separated, most ol the boys following Wilson, to whom they wished to toady; for, although they disliked, yet they feared, him. But two of t he lads remained with Lillie, and walked slowly home with him, talking of what bad happened end while praising bis pluck, advi iug bim to keep out of llig B Pn's way. "You'd better look out for him, GOrihm.' cautioned, one of his friends. "He never's been licker\ and h e 's bad l ots o fights." "Never's a long time. J11u," laconiclly an swered Gordonb" end if hA never has been that is no sig-n that e never will be." ''We ll, good luck. I'd lik e to see bully Ben taken down a peg." And having reached his borne the three sep arated, Gordon entering tbe house and telling the bovs good-night, they promising to be l\t "The Hole" on the succeeding afternoon. The boy kept bis own counsel and bi p orents suspected nothing as he quietly ate bis supper, chatting with them on various subjects, anll taking bis books, when the table was cleare1 away, and applying himself to preparing h :S lessons for 'tbe next day. This task finished, be said a quiet good-night, and retiring to his room, be was soon iu bed, wh ere he quickly f e ll. as!eep anrl. slumbered as quietly as if no such person as Big Ben were in existence. U iearly the next day by the time the mol"ft ing meal was prepued he bad performed th doz e n little tasks he bad allotted himself, a1111 then, after a hearty meal, s!ung his books over bis shoulder and started tor school, reaching whicb be found, from sundry nods and whispers interchanged between tbe boys, that the atfafr had been confided to several of them, and that a goodly crowd would visit the arena to witness tbe combat that aftPrnoon. He also S'lW Big Ben; but no words passed between them, as the bell rung at that and tbey all flocked into the school room. And when the classes were called up ,1Jorrl'on only added to Wilson's wrath by answering ci.uestions which the other missed, so that by tbe time recess came Lillie was at the head of bis class, while Beu Wilson bad gradually slipped down near the foot where be stood, nursio11; bis wrath and biting bis n'lils until the blood At length twelve o'clock struck, And the boys were free for the day, for it was Saturday and a half holiday, and thfl boys bound Ari out of the with shouts and whistles, rejoicing in their freedom. Gordon was detained for a moment by the prioclpal, who praised him for bis excellent pre paration, anci spoke a few kindly worda whicb

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Gord.on Lillie. made the boy's heart glow with pride and pleas ure. and thw, linkin11: bis arm in the lad's, walked with him until nPerly home, their roads lying in the same direction. ... But, as they separated, and Gordon turned off toward bis home, he came upon a crowd of his schoolmates, among whom was Big Ben. As he came within bearing, he caught the words that a little boy spoke, who was not more than twelve years old: "Gordon isn't a coward, and I don't believe, Ben Wilson, that he told Mr. Evans" (the teacher} a thing. He is no more coward than you are, you big hully." And with clinched hands and flushed face the little champion confronted the other. But be cruellv raised bis hand and struck the little fellow a c rushing blow on tbe head, while even his intimates cried "shame!" G o rdon hast.ened up and. spoke to them: "You know, boys, that I am no tell-tale. and that I wouldn't say a word to any one about anything that had taken place. "As for you, Ben Wilson, I ll be at The Hole' at three o'clock and we'll see who is the coward! And be wend(ld his way homeward wh ere he rte bis dinner and then with some excuse for his absence, left tbe house and set out for the place of meeting, which was some two miles distant out in the country. On his way he was joined by Jim Davis, one of his particular friends, who exhibited with great pride a sp o nge, a bottle of vinegar and an emptybottle which, he explained, was.-to hold water. "I'm to be your second, Gord, an' '11 sponge you off in great shape. "We' ll have a regular prize-fight, an' I reckon Ru Callender '11 second Ben." "All right, Jim," returned the boy eheerily, 11nd they hurried along the path, Davis giving Gordon much useful or useless advice regar\Jing the strategy he should display in t be combat. "Keep a-peg3in' away at his ribs, Gord, an' tr:r; an' get out o the way of his rushes. 'If he ever hits you fair you're a gone sucker; but if you wind him there's no tellin'." In a few moments more they had !:."eached the ground and found it occupied by twenty or more or the boys. The turf was level and The Hole," a few f.;et dist.ant, was covered with ice. not thick enough to sustain a person, but' sufficiently strong to make it difficult for any one to get out if they broke through. A few trees scattered here and there bore amid their branches a dozen of the smaller boys who bad climbed up to secure a full aud uninterrupted vbw of the fight. The prelLninar1es were soon arranj!:ed, and as the boys insis!ed on a fair, stan1-up fiKht, a. wPuld-be Fporting youth was armed itb the authority or referee, w l ile Big B e n and Gordon pro mised faithfully that when Pitber W8S dow.n no blows were to he struck, and at the call of "time" advanced and shook hands. And as they stood there the d!lference in the two was remarkable: Gordon with his slight limbs and white skin, seeming almost eft'emi yet beneath the velvet covering lurked musclPs and sinews of steel, the result of care. ful habits and thorough PXercise: but the mas sive limbs of Big Ben stood out in cruel contrast, although his skin had a past y look from overfeeding and much drinking of beer. As they stood sparring. Wilson suddenly rushed upon his young o pponent, aiming a sledge-hammer blow full at his face, but Lillie leaped lightly aside and, 8Vo iding the rush, sent his right hand into Ben s tower ribs with a sound like the beating o f drum and lanched his left with full for c e hef<:>re the other could stop or turn, and catching him full bhind the ear. sent h i m st8J!gering over the turf until he meesurd his l ength on the ground. A chorus of cheers l!'reeted this knf ck down, and Gordon retired to his corner. smilinP-', while Big Ben was assisted to bis feet llnd led to a seat on his knee, where fb9 Jun p t .e bind bis ear. now the Fize of a pigeon' Pg!!', was bathl'd by R e uben Callender, while B e n at bis ant<;1gonis t as if he would bim In a moments "time" was again cell e d and this round was decidedly in favor of Wil son for burling him>elf upon Gordon before the latter could get out of the way, be struck him on the cheek just b e low the eye, knoc kiniz bim fer off his feet and following it up with a vi c ious upper -cut under the chin, which made the bo y 's teeth ra\tle. and sent bim prawling into bi s c or ner befo'l:e Gordon could strike a blow. It was all that Jim Davis could do to restore bim to consciousness, and when he Bj!ain ad vanced to meet bis antaeonist he was decidedly light-headed and groggy on his pins yet, ing and confident, f o r h ; s indomitable plu;!k stood him in good stead and the severe punish ment he had received only served to make him more cautious. Following Jim Davis s advice, he kept well away from Ben until he saw an opening "hen, rushing under the bully's guard, be planted one, two, three stinging blows in his face and as Wilson staggered back, gat.hered all of his strength into one well-directed blow "' hicb caught him full in the mouth and knocked him backward over the bank, whence be through the thin ic and disarpeered beneath the dark waters of "The Hole,' while a cry went up from Jim Davis: "Heavens! Gordon you have stunned him, and he will drown!" CHAPTER IL .A. NARROW ESCAPE. Fo:& a few moments tbe boys stood awe stricken by this sudden and unexpected termina tio1.1 of the fray, while it eemed as if it were to be a fatal one; and n t the l"ast startled or tbe crow l was Gordon Lillie, who wa h"rri fietl at I.he thought that he had thus sent a human being to eternity. But in a eecond more be recovered himself, and leaping to the bank he tbrew his hands fer above his head, and sprlnj!ing into the air, plunged head-foremost into the opening where Wilson had disappeared, and dove deep down into the icy-cold waters.

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aordon Down, down be went, until h csmA nearly to the bottom wben with w!-1 open rV's be saw, close to the bank, a.dark objeco wbicll he knew must be lTilson's body, anJ grasping, be en deavored to draw it to tbe surface; but tbe drowning lad's hanti had clut ched an outstretched riot, and bi,; grasp on it was hke iron, s1 fiercely does a drowning person clutch at an ytbiog bl may feel. Gordon pulled, and tugged and wrenched with all bis migl t, while bis chest felt as if weighted down with tona of lead, his te-mpJes throbbed and bis veins swelled as if they would burst -from the ef'ort to bold bis breath. Just as I m was about to give up in despair and release bis bold to save bis own life, while he gave a mi.:hty wrench at the boy's arm, the root parted, and taking a fre,b clutch on Wil son's collar, be gave a push with bis feet and shot up tow 1ud the surface. But the !llowly swirling wateri; of tbe eddy bad carried them under the and far away from the place where they bad plunged in, and as he rose bis head encountered the ice which was thicker just here, there being scarcely any perceptible current. For a moment bis heart failed him, as bis strength we s almost gone and bis lungs would no lo:iger remain inactive; but with a last despairing effort he drove bis band upward, and altbougb be cut and bruised it, the ice yielded aocl bis b.iad rose above the surface of the water, where a few deep inspirations restored bis breath, and he was Pnabled, with but little exertion, owing to the thickness of tbe glassy surface, to support both himself and bis com panion, who remained insensible and apparently dead. And their situation was still a desperate one, for it seemed impossible for him to break bis way tbrougb the ice until be reached the shore, while there was not a fonce anywhere near from wbicb rails could be obtained which could be pushed across the frozen surface to his aid. And all this time the cold was creeping through his bones and bathed in the icy water his limbs were becoming numb, his muscles were growing stiff and powerless and it seemed as if be could not sustain the exertion of supporting himself and his burden much longer, wbile as he supported himself with one arm, stretched out over the ica, tbe treacherous sur face kept crashing and breaking, often letting him until be was entirely beneath the cold fluid tbat surroundeq him. But in a short time, just as he was about to up, a man, seateti in a wagon, came driv ing <'ross the field toward where tbe boys verP a r sembled, gAzing at the tragedy which was bein g enacted b e fore their eyes, and shout ing cl'ies of encouragement to Gordon to keep u.., a little longer. Jim Davis had seen the vehicle being driven along the road a short distance off aod running as rapidly as he could toward it, bad pantingly shouted to the driver: "There's a boy drowing in 'The.Hole'; come quick." Ar1'iving at the bank the man leaped from his seat and, as the boys clustered about him, pointing out the little group framed in the ice, he hastily ordered them to loosen the relns1 while he sprung to tbe rear of the wagon ana hfted tb<1. tail-board out. This was fastened to one end of the lines by a staple in one eud, which held it in i ts place, and two or three comforte" r, hastily fr0m the boys' necks being tied to the reins the tail-board was sent spinning ov0r the ice in the rUrection or Gordon, and slid up close to him so that be Cvnld easily it. Resting on tbe board for a Q'.JOment to re!. But as the board neared him and he partially raised himself to grasp it as it c1me within r e ach, a cry of horror broke from the little crowd gathered on the bank. for the board, striking an obstruct. ion in tbe shape of a morsel of rough ice and turning, flew far from him, while the knot which held the lines came un done, allowing tbe board to slide over to the opposite side wbere it lay out of his reacb. Aiain and again did tbey endeavor to reach him with the end of the leather r e ins but without avail, for the lines were new and stiff and without a weight at their end to keep them straight curled and twisted so tbat tbey would not reach, while the boys bunted far and near for a stone or some heavy arti:cle which tbev could fasten to the end of tbe lines and tl'us reach Gordon who was perishing from cold be,. fore their eyes. And su-iilenly a .:ry of horror rose to their lips, for Lillie, calling out a fi;iw words wbicb they could not cakh as thE)y issued from bis blue lips, threw up his hands with a despairing cr. v, and disappeared from their sight. Aud they stood staring at the spot where he bad sunk until they abandoned all hope of ever seeing him alive again, when tbey, wrapping Ben in all of the over and under-coats thPy could muster, started to return to the city to obtain aid to recover the body of their much &,loved friend and comrade, the insensible bo_ y being laid in the wagon and ca refully driven over the frozen ground by tho driver, who could not cease blaming himself for not more carefully attaching the lines to tbe tail-board. They soon reached the road along which the vehicle was traveling wben Jim Davis bati ePn it, and turned off to the right in the direction of the town. As they moved slowly along, all talkirur at once. and discussing the late wbicb bad bappenecl in much less time than bas been necessary d11scribe them-in all their various aspe cts, they were startled almost ou'

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Gordon Lillie. ot their wits by bearing a famili11r V n, herP, need, him bad." Fortunatelv the dnctor was tn anrl shortl. v bad st.ripped and laid on a lounge in Hs back office, which was well-heaterl by a small stove, tbe warmth of which was very welcome to Gordon. For a Jong time be labored with Ben, Gordon watchin11; him with intense anxiety, for he would be partially responsible for the boy's death if he did not recover, and ev entually bis patience was rewarded, for Ben opened bis eyes, gave a deep groan and began to breathe nbturally. Then Gordon, putting on some dry clotbrs brought by tbe good-natured dri er, jumpe d into tbe wagon, was driven home a ,d was soon warmly covered up in bed, wbere be quirkly fell into a deep slumber from wbi. ber of playeN was complete and the boys !Jo.

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Gordon Llllle. gan to practice assiduously in the long evenings after school. And soon the important announcement.was made that tbe Bloomington Club bad challenged tbe High School to a friendly game, and, tbe cba.lleng a being a.icepted, the excitement reacoed fever-beat, while as the all-important day drew near tbe auxiety regarding the weather was almost insupportable. At all hours when there was light to see and they had leisure to devote to it, the two chums occupied themselves in practicing; Gordon trying the "in-andout curve," the "up-anddown" anll tbe slow twisters, while Ben carefully studied bis signals until, at length, they understood each other, thoroughly. And finally tbe day came and every boy in the city, at peep of dawn, leaped from bis bed and ran to the window to take a look at the weather; and great was the rejoicing when they beoeld the fair sky overhead, scarce fl. eket a bun-door!" "T shim one!" "W uat yer hittin' at?" and the like. So the High School was retiredin one, two three order and took their positions in the field again with disconsolate faces, which were not brightened when the first batsman for the city bit for three hases far out to right-field und almost got home. But the t wo succeeding men fell victims to Gordon's strntegy and they commenced to f.,el more hopeful, when the third man drove the first ball pitched stnight at Gordon, and so swiftly was it coming tOat the boy involuntarily stepped asidfl to avoid being hit but stuck out bis left hand, and in some manner the ball in his fingers and although they were instantly numbed, be held on to it and the side was out without getting in the run they were so confident of. And the 'cheers that went up caused the b
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Gordon Lillie. opponents had not yet brought a man home, while they themselves had not been able to SCOl'e. Niae, t en, ele ven, twelve, thirteen innings were played an".! still n e i t h e r side bad w o o and such excitement had neve r been seen m tbe cit.v. Nine mere lads to b old down thes e experts to nothing in thirteen innings1 Wby, it was in credible! The driver of tbe four-hor s e team was in an ecstasy of delight, and even went so f a r as to oft' e r to wager his team and wgon against an old horse-shoe that the boys would win; but no one woulcl accept tbe outra9e ous odds Gord!" be cried, 'the man don't live as C'an give tbat boy p oints. "Just ain't be a-daisy!" But tbe oun was sinking low in tbe west, and all saw that another inning must terminate the game, and so it was agreed between the two captains, and a great bus h fell on tbe imme nse nudience as they took their positions for tbe final struggle. And in a sbort time, by an unfortunate play by their short-s top, a grievous error by tbird baseman, who bad an excellent chance for a double play, and an outrageous muff by the first-basem an, tbP has e s were all full, and not a man out on tbe Bl oomington sirle, and tbe case certainly l o ok e d d esperate for tbe b oys. And as if to add to th eir misfortune s a foul tip, glancing off tbe bat, struc k tbe mask worn by B e n, heavily, and, breakin g it, cut bis cbeek just below his eye terribly, almost blinding bim, when "time" was called, and ice water ap plied to the wound. Ben was tbe only catcher, unfortunately, that tbe High School boys b a d, and it seem e d as if they would have to relinquis h the game and give it to their opponents ; but Wils on, who through constant a s sociation with Gordon, b a d ahsorhed some of the latter's plu1:k, leaped to bis feet, and r e fusing tbe oft' e r of the otber mask, took up bis p o sition, bare-fac e d, unde r tbe bat Rod nodded to the umpire to c a ll "play,'' while tbe applause sounded l o ud and fast. And, wonderful to relate! so puzzling did Gordon send in his balls, that tbe next thre e men were put ont by pitcher and catcher, anri were wbi.tewasbed for tbe fourteenth consecu tive time! But tbe first two of tbe school-boys followed suit, and then Gordon came to the bat, called for a fair hall, hanged away at tbe first that came, sent it sailing far over the fielder's beads, and before it could be returne d bad C'rossed the home-plate amid yells and cheers that fairly shook tbe earth. The great match was won I CHAPTER IV. A NIGHT ADVENTURE. IN a short time after, Gordon graduated at the High School and, always having had a great desire to go West. be began to urge tbe project upon bis parents: but they, considering bim too young, opposed the idPa. But many of bis friends pointed out how thoroughly capable of t nking care of himself be was and how he b!ld proven his courage aod self-reliance in the sa'\'ing of Ben Wilson's life1 so tbat, et length, their argumer. t s prevailea and be left home in the spring ol' 1878, when seventeen years old, and landed in Wichita, K;i.nsas, a short time afterward. At that time tbe town was full o f cowboys, cattle-men, gamblers and bard c 1 a ractErs of every description, and midnight brawls and murders were of sucb comm o n ccc:rrence that scarcely any attentio n was paid to hero. One lligbt, shortly after he bad arrived, he found bim Gelf some distance fror l the town having taken a long walk out ove r tbe pra irie, and knowing of a hotel or lodgiog-1 o use riot far I oft', where be could procure a b e d be directed bis way thither and, arriving ar, the door, knocked loudly, for there was n o light visible and no evidenc e of life about tbe p l w e And r e p Pating his summons m m e vigorously he in vain e, d eavored to rouse som o one witllin_ but avain wit-bout s ucc ess. "He llo, in there!" be cried, detern:ijned upOlll entering, for tbe night was geting dark and a f e w drop s o f rain began to f a 11, a 1d he kicked vigorously on the door until it fair! y crei.ked on its binges. "Who is tbere1" at tbis rude suo:;mons growl-ed a v o ice inside. "Open up!" "Not to-night." "The n I'll rap bere until morning, and placing bis back against the door be be ga11 to beat a tattoo on tbe wood with bis heels. "I am in bed," repli e d tbe voice. All tbe worse for you; get up! Whoever was inside thought b etter of his former answer, evidently, so cried out: "Wait a mo:n ent!" And in a f e w minutes tbc door was opened and Gordon stpped in out of th r ain which began to foll heavily as be ente r e d. Tbe door had been op n d by a nugh-looking cus t o mer, wbo was completely d r ess ed and notbiug about him indicated that b e had jus t risen "He llo!" said Gordon, "I thoug:i.t you wen in bed." "It is tile boss who is lying down " A.b I then you are not tbe "No, I nm,'' interrupted a voic e wbicb Gor don recognized as tbe one wbicb b e bAd beard while outside, and by tbe light of a lamp wukh the .man held, tbe boy perceived in tbe corner of the ruom, where it was darkest, a bed and in it a man lying down, wrapped up t o the cbin in the cover. "You are the proprietor, then?" asked d-or don. "Yes, s:r." "And wby didn't you open up? "Be cause I am in b e d and sick." Ob, "hills I .appose. But I wa n t to ren.1ain bere to -nigl!t; c'ln you give me a room1" "Nol" "But I cannot return to Wichita in tbts rain." Tbe man half-raised and then, recollecting, hurriedly covered himself, but not before Gor don had noticed that be was comple.tely dressed and bad a revolver buckled about his waist. -"Curious,'' thought the boy; "sick and ID

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8 Gordon Lillie. bed yet completely dressed and armed; I'll see adventure through!" "Well, if you must stay, I have a bed tha t I can give you; do you want to go to your room now?'' "Immediately." "We ll th e n, Jim, show the lad to bis bed." And a f t e r whispering a few words to the boss." as b e called him, Jim, taking the lamp, motioned t o Gordoo to follow him and left the room, going up to the story, which was nothing but tbe garre t, and opening a door and pointing out a straw b e d to tbe boy. Then l eaving the lamp on a cbair-tbere was no t a ble in tbe miserable apartment-with a gruff g o od oigb t{' he closed the door and witbdrew. And G o rdon began to ponder: "Tbis m a n i s in bed, comple tely dressed and is arme d. "No w t;bes e pr(lparations cannot be for my b e n efit as l came here unexpectedly. "I a m naturally curious and I sc ent trouble f < w so me or persons unknown. "1'11 see i t out." And blowing out the light; he laid down on the bed, and lay the re, waiting. In a. s h ort half-hour be heard the stairs creak, a s if so m e one were m ounting them stealthily, and immediately b egan to snore gently, wbil e the s teps approached the door and then stopped, a s if the p e r so n were li s tening. A p p a r e n t ly satisfie d that Gordon was a s l e ep, the vi< i to r de s cended the steps again and all became qui e t. A h a lf-mile away stood a farm-hous e, surrounde d b y m any acre s of tilled land, while the ou t -buildings sc attered about, tbe general 1Je atness of everything, gave proof that the o w n e r w as w ellto-do and awply blessed with this world 's good s The d iy b e fore h e had sold a number of fine cattle t o a purc h a s e r from Chicago and the m o n e y w a s s ; ill iu the house, where his wif e was a lone, except a s ervant who slept in the uppe r story, for the farme r bad been suddenly c a ll e d to anooher farm be possess e d s ome ten mil es off, l eaving bis for eman Jim Reynolds, in charge unt il he should r eturn. But R e ynolds bad prove n faithless and after sendin g tb<1 farm-bands off in various directions u n d e r diff erent pretext. s had sought out the proprietor of the iun where Luke had stoppAd and proposed to bim that they should rob the h o u s e, a proposition which was immediately agree d to. Tbe farmer's wife was seated in her room, r e ai.ling, when suddenly the barking of a dog w a s b eard out side, and she recognized in i t Pluto, an enorn,ous watch-dog which. was loos en er! every night, and the young woman startled, r o s e from ber chair and listened, w bil11 tbe nin b eat against the window-panes and the wiml m oa ned down tbe cbimne y At the same moment she thought she heard voi ces in the garden, just below her window and sh e tremble d with fear as she thought of the lawles 3 populatio n of Wichita and at the lection of tbe sum of money her husband bad left in her charge. She went t;;; the window, opened lt and looked out, but the darkness was intenee and all wail silent, the dol! having ci>ased bis growls. "It is nothmg," she thought and again seated herself. But a half-dozen minutes had scarcely passed when again she rose and listened, for an nnu sual sound, one difficult to describe, a creaking and a crackling, struck her ear, a s if some one were pressing bard against the front door. Frightened, but determinerl to see what it meant, she took the lamp from the table and opening the door, stepped into the ball, but there sbe saw nothing, and tben, going down stairs, stepped into the front ball, and there she with a cry of alarm. l women, their faces daubed with soot so as to be entirely uprecognizable, bad just entered the front door, one of them c8l:rying a naked knife tbe other holding a short but massive iron b a r in his hand. The se two men bad just broken open the front door, and were about to go up-stairs when tbe young woman had appeared before them, lamp in band, and they stood for a moment, hesitat ing. Th e n one of them spoke: "If you remain quiet we will not harm you; but if you call out or endeavor to escape, it might r esult in injury to you." And as h e spoke be turned the blade of his knife until it shone in tbe lamplight. "What-what do you want1" stammered the frightened woman . ''To say a \YOrd regarding your absent hus band. He made a sale of somi; cattle yesterday and the m o n e y i now in the house. We do not wish to harm you-at least I do not, ''My friend here is a little impetuous, anrl if he was aloae I do not think that he would have argue d with you at all. "He has a knack of cutting all disputes short with a blow of his crow-bar"-bere the poor girl-for girl she was in years-shuddered, "which cuts all argument short. "It is a sb01 t wajr of settling difficulties if it is a little brutal. "But may be we can arrange matters ami cably," c ontinue d the villain, who seemed to take plea surE1 in tormenting the trembling wo man. "But tell me what you want. "Take everything, anything, but spare my life!" And the young woman fell on her knees, setting tbe lamp on tbe stair beside her, and, clasping her banes, looked up entreatingly in the fac es of the two robbers auj !l.SSassins. "If you care for life, you will show me where your husband's money is-all of it. ''WEI want-" He never finished the sentence, for a flash sprung out of the darkness, proceeding from the half-opened door, a report was hearrl, a ball whistled and the inn keeper, struck full in tl'Je chest, uttered a horrible blasphem v, turned in his tracks for a f u ll minute and then fell to the flo or, stone dead. At tbe same moment a slight fi,11;ure sprung into the ball and1 \'?itb leveleclrevolver, coverecl

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Gordon Lillie. 9 thf> 1econd robber, who, as cowardly as be was cruel, trembled with fear as be saw bis companion fall, and tried to escape. But a ringing voice cried: "One step, and I fire!" And be dared not move. "Throw down that crowbar! or-" And the iron clanged to the floor. Then turning to the young woman, Gordon, for it was he, asked: 1 "Where can I confine this wretch?" "The cellar bas no wludow, and if be is tied-" stammered the girl, still half-stupefied, and scarcely comprehending this sudden change in affairs. "Oh! I'll tie him fast enough. Come, you nnbung sc o undrel, get!" And b e marched him to the cellar at the point of bis pistol, being lighted by the young woman, and, following him down the steps, bound him fast with a clothes-line brought to him. And then going be was about to ex plain his sudden appearance, when tbe dog again barked, tbe sound of a horse's hoofs was beard, and in a moment m ore tbe farmer enter ed, having hurried home as he was uneasy about bis wife. Arad seated before a bountifully spread table, Gordon told bow his suspicions had been Arous ed, and bow, dropping fro m tbe window, he bad followed the burglars, and arrived just in time. And he was thanke d again and again by both husband and wife, and at length retired in tile b es t bedroom, the two vying with each other to see which could do the most for him. And the dead body having been carried out into tbe woorl-sberl, and the door of the cellar securely the h o us ehold sunk to slumwas disturbed no more that night. CHAPTER V. A FIGHT WITH A PANTHER. IN the m orning they were all astir bright and early, and the man who bad be e n confined in the cellar all night was brought up-stairs, >Uffering intensely from the l ong vigil of the night, as he Jay like a trusse d fowl, unable to sleep, and a cup of coffee being given to him be was allowed to make a hearty meal, when, the farmer 11.nd G ordo n having mounted, he was marched off to Wichit a, there to be tried before Judge Lynch. For, although the town was full of desperate characters, stealing was frowoed upon, and any one caug;bt in the act was mure than once punished by tbe extreme penalty of the law. When tbe n e ws spread of the attempt of the night before, the better class of immecli ately assembled to judge the man, while the roll!gbei: elPments crowded to the spot from curiosity, and when G ordon b3d told bis story, amid many expres,ions of praise and comments on bis nerve and cQolness, which were remarkable in one so young, 8entence was p!iS8ecl; the accus e d man not offering a word in nnd the wagon containing him was driven to the edge of the town, halted under the spread ing branches of a large tree, and soon returned, empty, while a swinging body hanging to a limb, and with a placard on its breast, swayed to and fro as a warning to all evil-doe1s. S ;on tiring of the lawlessnel!S of his associ ates, Gordon, in furtbr pursuance of bis first intention, started on foot for the Indian Territory, a distance of fifty miles, and passed some time in hunting and fish ing, for the country was full of gall'!e. He bad not long in the country when one day in tbe summer, "Vhile in search of l!ame on the banks of Camp creek, where black bear and small panther abo unded, be was wander ing under the trees, when be suddenly sight of a dark object stealing through 1 b e undergrowth two or three buvdred yards off to the left, anrl tbink;ng that it must fie a 1,ear be cautiously hurried toward it, his rifle to a ready,and loosening bis knife m its sbeat.b. Owing to bis being compelled to pay some attention to the path he was fallowing, be lo s t sight of the game be was pursuing; but beard a crackling among tbe bushes oot far. ahead, which wnrned him that be was rapidly approaching bis prey. He r doubled his caution, and soon caught sight of the animal, when raising his weapon, he took a snap-stot, and t.he bear rolled over on the 11:round, tearing up the turf in bis dying agonies; while the boy, Fpringing forward, drew bis knife, and coming alongside bisquany, sunk tbe steel to the hilt in the "ounded beast's side, the point of the keen blade r Eacbing bis heart. And as the fatal stab "'as given the beer rolled over, gave one convulsive struggl, and instantly Jay dead at bis f eet, when he, Je11ni11g his rifle against a tree near by, plucked out bis knife and set about the animal. But ns be leaned to bis work, a scream rung I through the woods that sounded almost lik e 1,e death-cry of a human being, anrl Gordon re ceived a shock on bis shoulders tba't sent him rolling over and over on the gra..s, while bis knife flew out of bis band and landed on the turf a dozen paces away, while the mdde n blow dislodged bis revolver from its resting-place on bis hip, and it fell on the ground as be tumble<}, just beyond his reach. And es be lay face down upo n the turf, be realiud, fro m the low growls, the tearing claws, tl.Je gnnsbing tettb and the bot breath that bis face as the white fo.'lm dropped from the crunching jaws, that he was in the clutches of one of tbe panthers which roam about the banks of Camp crek, and which, crouched on the overhanging branch of some tree, bad leaped upon him as be bent over the bear he bad sbo; : And then began a life and de1tb struggle, for the lad was wholly unarmed, and for a f e w mo ments was unable to use bfs band>, bring pinned to the earth; and all the time tbe curve d cla"' s were tearing at bis bark, so that bis buck!
PAGE 11

his struggles, held the brute firmly on the ground: while all the time the rending claws were tearing bis clothes into strips, and leaving long, deep, cruel gashes in tbe white skin and tender fles h. And all the time the green eyes of _the strug gling panther fl "shed fire, and low growls issuing from bis deep chest, the foam ffaw from his jaws in every direction, covering them both, while the green turf around was dyed crimson by the blood wbich flowed so freely from the boy's gaping wounds. And Gordon, growing fainter and fainter, suddenly was thrown to one side, as the brute gave one convulsiv11 struggle and a mighty boun'.I, and his bold on the pant.her's throat was shaken loose by tbe muscular eff ort. In a moment more be was lying on the turf, with the grinding fangs of the animal ripping at his shouldei: and neck, and be closed bis eyPs, utterly worn out, and gave himself up for lost. Brit suddenlv liis outstretched band encountered someLbillg cold lying on tbe grass, and catching it be, with one last effort, cocked bis revolver, placed it close to the head of the rav ening brute and pulled trigger, when the panther, with an unearthly screech, leaperl. high in the air and then feil with crasning weight full on the boy's body, crushing what remained of life out of him, and leaving him lying tbere in sensible; while tbe tawny brute, stretcbing out his massive limbs, fell over to one sidedead. And dyed as he was in the crimson fluid sherl. by botb the p::tnther and himself in tb1s mortal struggle, the boy presented a ghastly sigbt, and seemed to have won the victory only at the price of bis own life. And the day waned, the sun set the moon rose and still Gordon gave no sign of life, while the beasts of prey that roamed tbe forest, scent ing the carnage from afar, began to gather from all directions, with numerous howls and screeches, and tbe noc turnal birds of prey, their shadowy forms fli tting about the gloom cast by the trees, seemed like ghosts or uneasy spirits, hovering about the central figures in the moonlit glade. But as the night-winds arose and blew with increasing freshness over the stream and along its banks, a long-drawn sfa:ht broke the momentary stillness, and Gordon, drawing his bands across bis forehead, wet with the dews of life and of death, opened bis eyes, and, looking about him, strove to recall bis sc!tttered senses_ For a moment all was vague and indistinct and dim to bis mental vision and then as bis band, thrown lisLlessly out by his side, encountered the yet warm body of the panther. r ec ol lection flashed upon him, and be recalled in all its vividness, the terrible encounter in which he bad shortly before taken so prominent a part: And he, with an effort, suildenly sat up, wbi.o the b east s of prey. emboldened bv the si lence that enc()mpassed him, which bad drawn their circle of glistening fangs closelv about him, startled by the movement, hounded back under cover and crouched1 waiting until tlleir victiUJ sbon\_d once more smk back. while their glaring eyeballs shone like blazing stars as they crouched in their coverts, licking their cbops and uttering. low growls of impatieuce at the delay which interrupted their expected feast. In a short time Gordon sprung to bis feet, feeling stiff and sore in every muscla and joint and mising bi> revolver, aimed at one of the balls of fire that glared at him and let a bullet fly in the direction of the greenisb-bued target. Instantly there was a yell of pain as the animal bounded into the afr and then fell back crashing into tbe bushes which rustled and snapped as he rolled in his deathagonies, while the r est of th!J b orde fl e d in direction, snapping and snarling. and the birds hooted a discordant accompaniment to the noctlirnal cborus. F eeling somewhat better from the fresh air, G o rdon staggered to the river and there, re moving his snreds of clothing, stepped iu to the water and washed 11.nd bathed his wounds thoroughly, although be was only able t'.l use bis right arm, his left hanging almost-useless at his side from the severe wounds in bis shoulder where the panther bad gnawed and crunched it, and, feeling a hundred per cent. better after bath, returned to the tree where bis rifle was placed, after dressing himself, secured bis knife 11nd then, gathering a quantity of dry branches that strewed tbe ground in every di rection, he built a rousing fiUB, and, cutting off a juicy bear-steak, toasted it over the embers on a forked stick and made a hearty meal, washing it do"'n with long draughts of water from the creek. And then he began bis lonely vigil, keeping the fire burning the double purpose of driving away the wild beasts ar.d protecting him from the chills of the night air, until finally the sun rose, when, cooking another steak, he made bis breakfast and then, banging tbe re maind e r of tbe meat in the branches. but with little expectation of finding it when he.returned, he skinned the panther, when, throwing the bide over his shoulders he set off for the ranch "where be was staving for a few days, reaching it after 0 long and fatiguing walk, often being compelled to stop and rest. But at length he arrived and was warmly welcomed by such of the cowboys as were in camp, to whom be related bis narrow escape, and receiving their congratulations and praises with becoming modesty. One of the boys pos,essing some rude skill in surgery and medicine, dressed bis numerous scratches with some healing ointment, and, after assuring himself that there were no bones broken, bound up the wounderl. shoulder with the assurnnce that in a few davs there would be no further troubhl and that the boy uld be "all right" in less than a fort.night. And Ro it turned out, for within the time $pacified, Gordon was completely restored, pass ing the interval ahout the camp and aiding the cowbovs by attending to such li;;bt duties as he WAS able to perform. Soqn after this, bv the advice of his father be applied for a position in the Government Indian Service, and through the influence of ex Senator David of Illinois, he was ap-

PAGE 12

Gordon Lillie." pointed principal of the day-school at Pawnee .A,gency, Indian Territory. S?nator Davis was an intimate friend of Gor don's father and Jost no opportunity of doing all in bis powereo aid the lad, and he soon be came extremely popular amorg his associates and made friends with all the Indians with whom be came in contact, soon acquiring per fect command of their langua1?:e, to which he took naturally, end in a short time being called "brother" by the young men and." son''. by the more aged Indians-terms of fr1endsb1p they only be>towed upon tb0se whom they like and who have their entire confidence. CHAPTER VI. LOST IN A SNOW STORM. THE time pa s sed pleasantly enough at the Agency and Gordon, es the days wore on, be came thoroughly familiar with the Indian man ners and customs, and extremely inLimate with the young men, hunting and fishing in their company and traveling all over the Territory with them. He was soon initiated into all their secret rites anJ on more than one occasion assisted at their scalp dauces, when he was the only outsider in the room, this being a secret dance and white persons not being admitted to wimess it. He also attended their Doctor, Medicine, Pony; Buffalo and Cow dances, after participa ting and'dancing with the Indians as if he were one of them, besides joining them in playing Moccasin and other of chance and skill. He learned the sign language rapidly and thoroughly and soon found no trouble in con versing with the different tribes, the result being that be made many. friends among them. "Spotted Horse," who was shot and killed hy a United States Marshal shortly after Gordon arrived in the Territory, or Nation, as it is sometimes called, was a warm friend of yonng Lillie, although their first meeting was a hosLile one. Whi.Ja camping on Bear creek, Gordon met him. Spotted Horse came up to the boy and gruffly accosLing him said: "I am poor: the white boy is rich. He must give that suit of cloLhes he wears to my son, who is with me." Gordon naturally demurred, for be did not care to part with bis outfit, and replied: ' No, I will not; for I need them myself." "But my boy needs them more than you do. "You have money and can buy others; but the Great Father, at Washington has given me no money for two years. "Do you know who I am!" "I do not. "Who are you!" "I am Spotted Horse, chief of the Kit-kahocks" (0ne band of the Pawnees). All white people know me and fear me. If you do not give me those clothes right awa. v, I will kill you!" "Spotted Horse," replied Gordon, "I have often beard the white pPople talk of you, and I know that many persons fear you. But I do not. I will not give you these clothes, a11d l kpow that you will not kill me." And turning on his heel the boy started ta walk off, and leave the chief, with wbrm he aid not wish to have any trouble or Rny further con versa ti on. But Spotted Horse called him baek, and as the lad turned toward him the Indian fpoke again: "No, you are brave, like the PawnPes and I will not t>arm you, but will be your friend. "I want you to be my brother. Will "Yes, i will always be your brother, and we will never have any mpre tr0uble." And then, giving the chief a shirt and ome stockings and one or two other articles of dress Lhat be could dispense with, he added: "'l'bese are pledges of friendship." "Little Bear," replied the chief of the Kit ka-bocks, "I will be glad to have you come t<' my lodge. "It shall always be your borne." And the two cemented the friendship wit\, warm grasp of the hand, and from possible enemies beeame the closest intimates. G ordon met him many times afterward and invariably found him pleased to see tbe boy, olways calling him his brother and treating him as such. Wbe11eV'.er Gordon visited bis lodge, which was often, Spotted Horse never failed to give him bis best buffalo-robes to sit upon, while the squaws hastened to before the boy the best they had in the. way of provisions, wbicb he could not refuse without offending the sensitive chief. And although he was what is called a "bed Indian" and many persons, both whlte and Pawnee, as well as members of neigbhoring tribes rej .. :cad at bis death, Gordon was very much grieved to learn of it, for the Indian had always been a true red brother to the lad, and, despite his faults, the boy loved him. Through the influence of White Eagle, cbiel!' of the Skeedee band of Pawnees (upper clesS, and others of bis Indian friend J Gordon wa. induced to allow bis hair to !?:row long. "Little Bear, my son," said White Eagle. to him, one day while they were talking together, "you are very much like tbe Pawnees. "You talk their language, wear moccasins and buckskin, and have maay ways like theirs. "Wny is it you do not Jet your hair grow long as mine and that of your other brothers is!" He replied that he would some time soon, and the conversation dropped. But a day or two afterward Night Owl, an other intimate friend of Gordon, broached the subject to him again. "Why do you not let your hair grow like mine1'' His Jocks just swept bis shoulders. "Night Owl, I will not cut my hair for a year if you will agree to let yours grow for the same length of time." "It is agreed," returned t he Indian and they struck bands on the bargain, since which time Gordon's hair has been allowed to grow as it would and now sweeps down over bis shoulders in a golden flood which is the admiration and euvy of all who seE> it, both youths and maidns. And thus he became Qompletely

PAGE 13

11 Gordol? Lillie. resembling tbe Pawnoes in dress, in manner, in customs and In langua11:e and becoming tbor oug-bly id entified with them. He remained in cnarge of tbe scbo')l for about two years and then resig;ned and went to the State lin e for a short time, but soon returned to tbq Agency and re-flnt e r ed tbe Government s q rvice, ttlis time as assistat:lt or secretary to the agent aad also actiug as interpreter, a position be could fill thoroughly as be had acted as sch ool interpre t e r during tbe last six montns of his c rnnectiou with it. During the winter of 1880, Gordon, in comp'lny wit.b a friend, starte::I on a week's vi:;it to I bis former home, and in tbe early morning set out from tbe Ag;ency much advice of all, for it wa:> bitte r cold and tbe gray sky above 11:ave evidence of a coming snow-storm should the weather moderate. And so it proved, for as noon approached tbe white fl. ikes hegm to drift down until finally tbe.v were completely shut in by the whirling mass as tbe wind rose and blew tho fl eecy particle s before it. And soon they their way; for the wind shiftr.id a doz en times aud they were at a Joss to know in wbich direction their destination lav, but were compelled to keep moving for fear of succumbing to tbe inte nse drowsiness which weighted down their eyelids like lead so great was the cold. And finally they bec.ame separated-bow neither of them ever knew, and Gordon, leading bis borse, for tbe poor brute was utterly exbaust.ed, staggered on an on until tbe day faded out and darkness settled down over the wbite plain. But pres3ntly he came to n little gully, tbe banks of which were bigb enough to sbelter him and bis horse from the piercing blast, and rem oving the saddle and bridle, b e crouched low undPr the overhanging bank, wrapping himself cl isely in the saddle-blanket, while tbe borse stood witb bowed bead, shivering with cold as he too sought the shelte r of tbe bluff. .(\.nd as tbe darkness came on tbe wolves, ren dered furious by the long fast that they had underg1Jne, gitbered close and closer about him, snapping and snarling at eacb other, while the gaunt, gray forms stood out spectral against the wide background behind them made by the sheet of snow which enveloped and covered the whole face of nature. But as they drew closer and closer, Gordon's revolver fla qbed its red flame out on the darkness of the night and, aq one of tlie wolves fell, bis companions l eape d upon bim. an'! before be was yet dead t Jre hug e mouthfuls from the yet quivering fles'1, as ttiey growled and iought over the remains. And all through the night GJrdon fought against the slumber which overpowered h i m and agninst pack of famished wolv es shoot ing agqin and Again, with varying success, and whenver bis aim was tl'ue, seeing tbe victim of his tom into a thousand morsels and in devourer!. But at the fir;;t streak of dawn tbs creatures fled, and Gordon, catching tbe east bv the faint light wbictl stole over it, mounted his _llQfS'l aqq rode iq I' soutb westerl;y direction ,.through the piled up masses of fleecy for tbe snow bad ceased, the wind had lulled anci bis progress was easy compared to th it of tbe pre cerliog eveniog, wbile ajl arouod was as still ad death, not a souod breaking the silence while the solitude w1:1s awful in its loneliness. But soon bis practice d eye caught si;:?;M o C as obj,;ct outlined against'tbe snow-covered landSCJpa, and as be drew near he recognized bis companion's borse, while a little mound near by showed where be bad fallen while tbe white shower had covered him as with a windingsbeet. In a moment be was alongside and, brushing away the show bad lifted bis friend's body from b eneath it, and, placing the inanimate form across the other horse be remounted and set out again across the prairie, far over wbicb be saw a thin, black streak arising, and knew it must_ be smoke from some camp fire or dwelling. And in a half an bour or so he pulled up in front of a stage-ranch, and canyiag bis frozen burden insid e soon was applying restorations to bim, which in due time bad their effect, and the young fellow opened his eyes to consciousness anrl life. And then Gordon, taking a bot cup of coffee whicb the man in charge of the roncb prepared for him, learped that they had strayed nearly twenty miles out of tbeir way, aud that, instead of being to tbe north and east of tbe Agency, they '<"er(} to the eouth and east, so coufused had they become so oimlesoly had they drifted about on tbe prairie. Profiting by their experience t!:-e two friends remained at tbe station for several days, until they snow bad disappeared and tben tbanl:ing the man in cbargu, wbo refused all p9.y, set out over tbe stage-road on their journey. No furtbsr adventures befell them and in a day or two Gordon was once more at bis former borne, where bo was m9.de mucb of and warmly greeted and welcomed by nil who knew bim And he was mPt at tbe depot by his old friend the driver, who seemed never to tire of looking at him and asking b.im ques tions, while Ben Wilson, bis former chum, now grown to he a perfect giant, nearly wrung bis band ofl', so glad was he to see him again. CHAPTER VII. STOPPING A RUNAWAY. A PLEASANT visit was Gordon's at his old home aod be was urged to remain longer than the week be had allotted for bis beart was in the ln1ian country and be wotild not prolong bis stay. On the day before hp left Bloomington, he walked out witb Ben Wilso n into tbe country and soon came to "The Hole" where, a few years before they bad both had sucb a narrow escape from drowning, a!ld stood thre looking at tbe frozen stream, and talking of the days gont'I bv. "If I had h'l.d this, Gordon, ing in bis band n long hair rope with which be bad been lassoing various objects that morning to show the boys how it Wa$ Qse(j an4 which bo

PAGE 14

Gordon Lillie. ,1.9 bad not thought to leave at the house, "I would have yanked myself out in a burry; that is 1f I bad .>ne end and some one on the bank tbe otber." "Why, Gord, I shouldn't think that was strong euougb to beer any srreill. Ob, you're 'way wroug," ret11rned his friend. "l've roped many a steer wiLb it, and, a turn aruuud my saddle-born, stopped Lim, too.'' .. I sbculd think it would be awful bard." 'Muc h eesiPr than to catch nnytbiug standing still, for you have only to throw tbe loop in front of the auimal, and be generally runs iuto it, bead fir-t." And as Gordon spoke be skillfully tossed the la sso over a stump standing m the field, thirty feet away from theCJ, and j k him what be thinks of rny lariat scheme. You must sbow him bow simple it is to catch enytbing that you want to take in-But wbat is that?" h e asked suddenly as a wild shriek ca me floating c ver the air. Let's hurry and see." AnJ tbe two boys, running as fast as they could, sprung into tbe road, just as a maddened borse, draw!np.: a light -:iutter, desbed down the r'lari toward them, while a lad.Y, s eated in the sleigh, and clasping a little child close in her arms, uttered scream aftP r scream. Just beyond where the boys were standing was the creek, with high banks, and it was m ore then probable that the horse would dash into it, if he did not smash the ligbt sleigh to piec es against tbe sides of the bridge. He was completely beyond control, for the bPad stall bed given way and the bridle had slipped off of his head and hung only by the check. As Ben saw the danger of the occupants of the 1leigh, he sprung ro the middle of the and braced himself for flhe shock, but sprung back as Gordon cried out: There's uotbiog to catch him by-stand away, I'll rope him!" Ar:J le aping to. tbe side of the r oa d, the boy stood until the fiyrng steed .r1s almost opposi e liim wben !:iuched 1..i,; lariat enrJ the di c:i r:e; noose, whirling iu the air, bettled down over the borsB's head onto bis shoulders,: nil then, in obedience to a quick pull, tightened about his neck. As he j erked the r o pe, Gordon pessPd the end be held twice around the trunk or a Fmnll trne just besid e him, and held bis end filmly, a ud ad the rope tautened, the horse was j e 1 ked clean 00' his feet, and f e JI as if 5bot, His neck had been brokm by the sudden strain, and all danger to the ccrupants of tbe cutter was over, although were tbroVI n out, but fell unhurt on the yielding snow. The lady and child were assisted t.o rise by the two young m 2n, and found to be safe, with the exception of the shOck and a minor bruise or two which were cf small importance, whi l she, realizing how narrow bed been her escape, es she Fbudderingly r e called the impetu ous rub of the horse and saw the steep banks that e so short a distance away, burst into a thousa n d expressions of gratitude, thanking Gordon over and overegai.;. And he endeavored in vain to check the torrent of words 1u: d told h e r that wbat be bad done was nothing, and only what any one els o could have accomplished. But she stopped. "We owe it to your skill and coureg-e, and cooln ess that we were not dasbe d to pieces. "Fo r es I saw that we were opproacbing tb" creek, I guvtl up and believed that only o mirncle could save us. "What wonderiul nerve you ni:bibited, when you knew that two human lives probably de penned on your catching my horse." Gordon.endeavored to laugh the mattrr aw Ry, but during tile entire walk beck to towr, th" l ady continued to ring bis praises in his enrs and would only allow him to leave ber when be het'i given bis name and address that her tusband might call and thank him. "Tell vou what it is, Gord," said Ben, as the two walked away together. "I'm more than ever determined to pmh my proje c t or equipping tbe police witb las;oes. '' Ano meeting tbe local reporter of the &nring Budget, stoppe d him and gave him a vivid und glowing account cf the late advent urP. So. before long, the news was spread all over the city, and Gordon found himself onco mon. tbe hero of tbe day; wliile many cloth es liner. were surrE>ptitiously removed by 1 1umerous smell boys who the evening in practicing at n 11 kinds of marks. And many an unfortunate pig, lassoRd, ws yanked about by tbe hind-leg, sqealing, hy his triumphant c aptors. And \h&t the of tbe lady CAiled to thank Gordon, end brought" ith him a magnificent gold watch and chain, which l:e forced the boy to accept, despite his urgent protests to the contral'y, only begging in return tbe hair rope, which Gordon willingly rev"

PAGE 15

Gorc1on him end which, to daJ, forms one of the prin clpai ornaments of bis parlor and is one of his !Dost cherished treasures. But tbe next day, despite tbe earnest requestR wbich be received from all sides, to remain for a short time longer, after shaking hands with bis numerous friends, Gordon left Bloom ington and set out on his way to the Indian Territory. Reaching the Territorial line without further adventure, he engaged a freighter to take him the eighty miles which Jay between him and the Agency, and started off. Tbey had gone but a short distance when the teamster, turning to Gordon, said: "Suppose we cut across the country and strike the trail; it will save us five miles." H you think we can get through with the go ahead!" 1n course we kin git through." "Are you sure!" "Sure!" "Yes.,, "Well, I done it a couple o' weeks ago, an' reckon I kin do it Crack your whip and drive on your wagon then; I'm game for anything." The creeks is froze, an' we kin go through all 0. K., I'll bet a doilar." Shoot ahead I" And tbey started over the prairie without further delay, it being then a little after seven o'clock in the morning, and, the sky being clourted, tbey had no sun to guide them. Within a couple or hours it began to snow so hard that they could not see, and Gordon recalled, with dismay, bis experience of a short time before, and wondered if it was to be repeated. The snow came ftom tbe south, in which di rection they were traveling, and they guided tbem>elves by tbe wind; but it changed without their being aware of it, and veering around gradually, completely deceived them, so that soon they were entirely bewildered, and came to the conclusion tbat they were lost. Yet they struggled on until about two hours after dark, when they reached the Salt Fork, tired and hungry, for tbey had been running and walking all day to keep from freez ing. They had no provisions, for tbey had expected to bave been able to get tbeir meals at the stage rancbe3, and llad laid in no supply. But they built a huge log fire, and camped for tbe night, neither of them sleeping mucb, and alternately watching the fire. At length, however, the day broke, and trying the ice, tbey found that it was something over a foot thick, and through this they. bad to break, in order to allow their horses to drink, and tbeil parching a little of the grain carried by the freighter for his team, they made a 8.:)anty meal, after which they hitched up and prepared to break: camp. Bu& suddenly Gordon, who had been watching a darlt spot on the plain, which gradually grew larger and larger, motioned to his c<)m panion to wait a moment. "What's the matter!" growled the freighter, rendered ill-humored by the cold that pierced C!\ him through and through, and tbe pangs ot hnn. ger which now gnawed at his vitals. Indians I" replied the lad. "Well, what of it1 "Ain't they all friendlyl'' "Not always." Wben ain't they?" When they are Osages, and have just lost a chief. "That is an Osage 'Hair.Party' J" CHAPTER VII[. THE HAIR-HUNTERS. WHEN a chief of t he Osage Indians dies, they form bands of horsemen, who start out in diff erent directions, scouring the country, north, east, west and south, which bands are known as "Hair Parties." These "Hair Parties" ride about in search of any one they may encounter, and, capturing them, they cut their hair off with knives;Itot scalping them but merely severing their lqcks close to tbeir heads. All is fish that comes to tbei r nets, and they treat every one, white or Indian, in the same manner, and this arbitrary proceeding often causes much trouble with the Pawnees, for they are only forty miles to the northeast of the Pawnee Agency. By their dress Gordon could distinguish tbat the band which was now approaching belonged to the Osage tribe, while by various insignia and trappings they wore he was enabled to that they belonged to a "hair party,' and realized that if they were not prevented both be and bis companion would soon be shorn of their flowing tresse s And although tbe boy bad only worn bis hair long for a little over two years, 7et he as much pride in preserving it as i it bad neve r felt the edge of the shears, and so determined to defend himself at all hazards from the attacks of the band. 'fhe horses were hastily unharnessed again, and led back some distance into the wood, and then Gordon, taking bis rifle, adv. need to the edge of tbe stream, and as the band of warriors rode up on the opposite bank, be usin1< the sign languag;e, motioned to them to stop and asked what they wanted. The conversation that ensued, although carried on entirely by signs, was easily understood by both parties and was translatable as foliows. "Wbat do you want!" was the first question propounded bv the boy. "Leaping Panther, our great chief, bas gone to the Happy HuntingGrounds, and we seek the flowing locks of the Pawnee. "We bave met none of that tribe and will not return empty-handed. Tbe white boy and bis friend must not for it will be all the w orse for them." "You have no right to be off your reserva tion and will surely be punished. ''I will not, nor will my companion, to tbis outrage. "I warn you to keep away, for we will
PAGE 16

Gordon Lillie. The warrior who h!ld been carr.vlng on this Interview with Gordon, then turned to his com panions and said a few words to them, wben suddenly, with a wild yell, the whole band ap plied tbeir stinging quirts to tbeir borses, and urging them forward, leaped down upon the snow and ice-covered surface of the frozen st1eam, and came galloping toward them at a furious pace. "Aim only at their horses, Dick I" shouted the hoy to tbe freighter, and at bis words, the two rifles cracked in unison, and two of tbe muE tangs rolled over on the snow, while tbe rest of band riding on in tbeir impetuous course. Barricaded bebind tbe wagon, Gordon and Dick repeated the fiery salutation and another horse fell, pinning bis red rider to the ground beneath him, baving fallen across tbe ludiao's legl before th!! latter could. throw himself to one side. 1 nd in an instant more the savages were upt n them, and they were in the mid$t of the ho\ 1 Jing mob, standing with clubbed rifl e s, and des 'ing blows right and left, and keeping the In< ians at bay for some time. 'lhe savages did not try to injure them, fol\ their endeavor was to obtain tbe hair from their beads without otberwise harming them, wbile Gordon and Dick withheld their fire, not caring to shed any blood. The boy had leaped into the wagon-bed, and from here hammered blows on all sides, and the butt of bis rifle, encountering more than one skull, bad brought several of the riders to tbe ground, where tbey lay half-stunned and completely out of the fight. But just then a howl of rage uttered by Dick fell on bis ears, and turning, he could not suppress his laughter as be saw the freighte r danc mg about like a madman, while tbe short bris tles st!lnding up over bis bead showed that bis hail bad been shorn close to his scalp. One of the men whose horses bad been shot at the first onslaught, bad risen, anrl glidini:r between the struggling mustangs. bad slipped up behind Dick, gathered his long hair deftly in bis left band, and then, with a circular sweep of his right, which held "knife, bad cut the locks off as cle&nly as it a first-class barber bad done the job. Bot the Indian's exultation was sbort-liverl; for, while tbe rest of tbe band werA 11;nzing with stolid countenances and. stoical satisfaction at the ,ropby which the r ed-man waved io the air, Gordon, who was far above the man on foot, leaned from bis position in tbe wagon, and catching the ravisher of Dick's locks by the scalp lock, sent tbe razo t-like blarle of bis own knife about the roots with a quick turn of tbe wrist, and in a moment more tbe long black braid, of a like a horse's mane, was lifted high in the air, while the discomfited savage roared witb fury. '' Diamond cut !"laughed the boy; and then, stuffing the hair into the bosom of bis bunting-shirt, he dropped bis rifle into tbe bot tom of the wagon, and leaping astride of a mus tang near by, be clung to the wai$t or the astonished rider; and then, gently touching the horse in tbe fl.gnks with the point of his knife, sent the a!Pighted steed bounding through the while the rest of the band looked on in astonish ment. As the horse-a powerful animal, which s eemed scarce to feel the weight of bis double burden-sped otr up the bank of tbe S alt F ork, Gordon kept kicking bis heels into bis flanks un til the terrified steed fairly flew over tie ground; and the n, clinging by his leg s, the lad gra$peil the top-knot of the chief, and before he could do anything to prevent, bad added a second trophy to bis otber prize, when tbe horse, $Uddenly turning, threw tbe ll'l1d demoralized Indian far out onto tbeice-whicb just be re was very thin-and be broke thro ugh without injuring himself, and escaped at the expense of a cold bath. Gordon's escape from beiug swept off by the overhanging branches of tbe trees, as tbe bo1 s e dasbed through 1 bem, was something wonder ful; but be at length $UCceeded in checking the animal, and then turning bis bead, rode hark to where Dkk was still battling with the Indian. but now with only bis <::!inched fists, for be bad been disarmed and could have recourse to notl.J ing bn t nature's wee pons. But as G ordon, again increasing the speed of bis horse, rode down upon them, knocking them right and left, bis long, golden hair streaming in the breez e shaking aloft tbe black tresses o f tbe chief and yelling like a demon, they scat tered and fl.ed, luving tbe lad and bis companion in of tbe fie Id. The Osages only stopped l ong enough to pick up tbeir dismounted companions, and tben away over the prairie completely discomflteo, and soon disappeare_d And while G o rdon sat at bis ease on his cvp tured steed, with one leg thrown carelessly ov r the withers of the panting animal, gazing Allbe woe-begone countenance of Dick, a wbis1le ru111o: out on tbe still air, and the horse, in obedience to the well-known s11mmons, finng bis heels hi)?h, throwing Gordon headlong onto tte snow, anrt then, galloping off, rPjoined bis master, "I o quickly n,ounted and spe d away Lri the dii-e.: tion taken by bis fleeing companions. Picking himself up, G o rdon submitted quietly to the sarcasms ebowererl on him by tbe freight er, and acknowledged that it was only fair that be should, in turn, be laughed at; but told Dick that long before tbe latter's hair bad grown be would have forgotten all about Gordon's mis hap. Tben tbe team was once more harnessed up, and, crossing the froz en Salt Fork, stopping for a moment to secure the bridles from tbe dead mustangs, they being curiously plaited and interwoven with many odd uev1ces, they pro ceeded on their journey, and, by ten o'clock, bad found the trail from which tbe mow bad been blown in places, leaving it bare and easily discernible. About three o'clo<'k that afternoon they haul ed up at Walker's Ranch, on Big Greasy, and there got all the food be bad prepared, and being decidedly sharp-set. after their Jong fast, ate heartily and with tbe greatest relish. After resting themselv e s and their horses for a sbort time, they again set out and traveled steadily until nine o'clock that night, when they rtached the Pawnee agency, which was only

PAGE 17

18 Gordon Lillie. eigbt.ien miles from Walker's, but so heavy was the hauling they had only been able to make the distance in that time. Gordon was warmly welcomed by the agent, and, althogb he bad only been gone a short time, was very glad to get back: among the friends who loved him1 and whom he liked so wall, end to the life wbwb suited him far better any that be had ever experienced A good night's rest completely restored him, and the next day he felt entirely recovered, and to an adntiring crowd be related his ad venture in Bloomington. and bis encounter with the on the Salt Fork. During the evening be called at the lodge of one of the old chiefs who bade him enter and who placed at his disposal bis finest robes and ordered the squaws to set before his son, Little Bear, the best that the larder afforded. And then. after they bad supped, they drew around the fire and story succeeded story, until far into the night, when, as Gordon was about to leave, the robe which bung before the entrance to the but was dashed violently aside, and a young warrior leape d into the lodge, trembling like an aspen and'his face of a ghastly hue which denoted the terror that held him in its thralls. Speaking in Pawnee, without stopping to sa lute Gordon and apparently without noticing him, the young man spoke, addressing his fatber: "I have seen the Wild Hunter!" "Impossible-be bas not been heard of for many, many moons," returned the old chief, incredul o usly. "But I m e t him to-night, on Black Bear" (the stream on which the Pawnee Agency is sit uated) "and was as close to him as you are to me." "What happene d?" "I struck at him with my knife, but the bla de turned a s ide, and with a hollow laugh, be disapp eared in the trunk of a tree near by." "My son, you h a v e be e n dreaming. Go to sleep and try and dream bette r tbingo. -"You rome "-to Gorre s t ress the favorite was, could scarce c ontain their exultation, but they pretended the l':eepest symp,atby, yet offered no consolation. The wound is mortal,' said they, 'and naught can save biml' "But at these words a tall, fantastical! v-dress ed man, mounted on a -powerful horse rode into their midst, sprung to the turf, and ad vanced toward the wounded man. "'Who says naught can cure him? be asked in a harsh, imperious voice. l can cure him and will, on one condition.' "'Name it,' returned the cbi e f, eage 1ly, 'and though it took bait my possessions it is yours I' "'I ask no gifts; my condition is tbat y ou a s k no qestioos, nor s eek to follow m'l when I de part .. 'Granted; and now show your skill.' "Without a further word the unknown knelt by the quarry, and taking a huge, keen edged hunting-lrnife from bis belt, cut off tb e b ead of the stag just at the of tbe skull and then cut a slit from lip to throat. "And while the chief and the warriors Joo ired on in astoni shment, what aU this might m ean, be turned to the V\Ouoded man and said: "'This must be hound on his bead, and In a month's t ,ime be will be cured.' "Despite his incredulity the chief ordPred that all should be done as the unknown wi s h e il, and tbe skull was firmly bound on White Wolf's bead with buckskin thongs, when the unknown lii'ted birn carefully in his arms, and bounding on his horse, eried to the Indians:

PAGE 18

Gordon Lillie. "'In a month's time I will return with him, cured,' and before they could stop him, he was gone. "But one of the young braves followed rapid ly after him, while tha chiPf cried: "'Trace bim to his lair, Moose-Deer, and bring us word of his whereabouts.' "And turning away the chief rode off to his wigwam, followed by the others. "Seeing that he was followed, the mysterious interloper cbecked bis steed and allowed the other to approach, when Mcose-Dear accosted him. "'What interest have you in this man?' "'None,' replied tbe other. 'Then why do you take so much trouble1' "'For my own ends.' "' And they are?' "'.What will you give me to cause his downfall?' I have but little.' 'Promise me to give me a sacrifice. 'Promise to kill the first living thing you meet, after leaving here, as a sacrifice, and I will so arrange matters that you shall take White Wolf's place.' I promise.' "'Enough. I will kPep faith with the chief, and this man will recover; but he will lose all bis craft and skill as a hunter. Begone!' And Moose-Deer, returned on his solitary way, and riding along, soon saw, coming to ward him, a horse, walking slowly, but far over the plain, and he congratulated himself that here was the sacrifice that be was to of fer; but-at that moment the bu,;bes alongside were suddenly parted and a young girl came bounding toward him-his well-belcved daugh ter. "And, bis heart full of jealousy of Wbite Wolf, and full of fear of the mysterious st1 an ger, he drew to tbe bead tbe arrow be had al ready fitted to bis bow, and the shaft, glancing like a ray of light, buried itself deep in the bosom of the fair child. "And in a moment she fell dead, with a soft pathetic look in her eyes like a stricken fawn, while he, not turning back, hurried on to the village, where be reported that Wbite Wolf was comfortably lodged and was well cared for. "At the exact time promised White Wolf presented himself alone Lo the chief, looking thin and haggard, but entirely out of danger, and was welcomed more warmly than ever by the.chief, who almost regarded him as one risen from the dead. "But about a week after his return, White Wolf, having entirely recovered his strength, B<'-Cumpanied tbe cliief on another bunting an!l they had hardly set out when bis horse shied and threw bim. "Up to that time nothing of the sort had ever happened to him, for be was a perfect rider, and be got up much discomfited, while lioose-Deer looked at him malfriously, end when they started a deer, and at length suc ceeded in killing it, Wbite Wolf was left far behind although mounted better than even the chief himself. "And shortly afterward, getting a fair shot at a buck scarcti tb'lrey yarP,s off, he pulled his bow and let the arMw fly; but it missed its mark. and the deer dashed off unharmed, 'You are out of practice, my son,' said the chief.i..' but you sbaH have another trial. 'J:Sring me down yon eagle,' pointing to a bird not far off. "And as he spoke, the arrow sped, but it quivered in the trunk of the tree, some distance from the mark, and the unfortunate shooter looked distracted, while the brow of the chief clouded. "'You must regain your skill, White Wolf,> said be, 'or you never can hope to be chief of the Pawnees.' "Moose-Deer kept bis own counsel and did not divulge bis secret to any one, and caving buried the body of bis daughter. pa;Sea hours in a pretended search for her, while tue village rung with bis lementationi;. "The next day White Wolf went out alone; but, practice as he would, be found that be had lost bis cunning with how and arrow, while he had no c.c,ntrol over either bis horse or bis trained wolves. "And when he again hunted with the chief he became the laughing-stoc k of all. "The chief at length dismissed him, saying: "'Take a week for practice and then we will see; but if you tber. do no better, some one else must succeed you as future chief.' "Wbite Wolf answered not a word, but rode off wildly, but teturned at evening with ghastly looks and strange a ppea ranee, for he bore. flxe{I like a cap on bis heacl, the antlered skull of th& stag be bad killed, aLd which had formerly been bound about his bead. "His every action that he was crazy, and all but his jealous companions pitied him, yet they only j eered and scoffed, and, after committing tbe wildest exlravagances, bf> turst froo all restraint, and, plunging into the forest, be disa ppe red. "And of all the young who were install ed in his place, not one of tbem retained their cunning-all their went wide cf the mark; all of their bounds lost their scent, all of their horses their speed. "And the seasons came and went and the old chief died and none saw or heard of White 11.r:ilf, save now and then a belated wanderer in the woods, who claimed to have met a tall, weird-looking figure witb antlered skull, who approached mysteriously and in tbe same way whenever any one drew near the spot wben Moose-Deer bad slain his daughter. For afflicted wiib remorse and a prey to a mvsterious disease which tormented him, a1,tl ha-filed the skill of the m edicine-man be had confessed all, and said tb11t at night he was forced t o leAve bis coucb and hunt in the fornst with WbitP. Wolf. And v. henever they had killed a deer, tbe Wild Huntr forced him to cut off its bead and then look in its face, wbich invariably turned into the much loved ancl tit.terly mourned fea tures of bis murderecl daughte1". "But no one bad seeu or beard aoytbiog of the Wild Hunter for years, until the evening before when Night Owl bad burst upon them with the assertion that he bad encountered bim, "And th.is is the legerni of the 'Wild Hunter,'

PAGE 19

18 Gordon Lillie. my son, and may you never meet him, for the meeting always bodes ill." And then sileoce fell upon the lodge, and Gor .. don sat there, in the dim light of tbe fire, scarce putting any faith in this tradition of tbe Paw nees, born of-superstition, yet halfexpectiog to see the antlered helm peeriog through tbe crevices iil front of him. And be made up his mind that when the weather became settled be would hvest.igate this matter and if there were an y-thiag in the vision which Night pretended to have witoessed. So rising, be left the lodge, and proceeded leis11rely the banks of .Black B aar, when s11ddenly without a. sound, a dark form ap him from the w : iod, and as be drew nearer be could dis L inguisb. a huge black horse, bearing on its b'l.ck: a tall form. And outlined against the sky be could dis tingui3b tbe branching antlers it wore on its head, when d1awi1Jg bis r.ivolver, he was about IO challenge the intruder; but suddenly the florse ga,.ve a lou by a brilliant flash of blue flame and as a tiUlpburous smoke filled bis no;trils, the rider vanished, while two ghostly forms, like two gray wolves, dashed by Gordon's feet and followed the ghostly rider. Tbeu all was once more quiet, and tbe lad, half-terrified aad wholly puzzled, hastened to the Ageacy and to bed, wh ere bo dreamed all sorts of wonder fill tb ings abo11t blue fire, ghostly visitors, black hors3s and slaughtered maidens. __ As soon as the they belonged to tbat tribe-saw the J.oarty when they near the camp, tbev drew rein, and Gordon thought that they intended to stop; but in stead, they kept riding on without saying a word, and observing the outfit of the party cJogely. There were leaning against the wagon-wheel two Winchester rifles and a snot-gun, the latter having been brought alon11; to kill small game with-the country being full of turkeys, coons, 'possums and other small game-while each man wore one or two six shooters. There were eight in the ppbere of the lodge, and wben you knocking him down with tbP shock came out the fresh air irritated the air pas-It was a very close C'lll, and tbe party vowed 1111ges." vengeanc e should they be able to overtake the "Well, you may talk as you please, but.what Indians, and, leaving .if their comrades I saw I saw, and that much I know." wihh tbe driver to protect tbe <'!Imp equipage But to make the thread of my story complete, and team. the others, numbe l'iog four and in mu3t ask my to go back with me to eluding Gi>rdon, started off at a harrl e:allop the summer of 1881, the month of Audown the trail in _pursuit of the band of Creeks gu3t, when the out. break: of the Creek Indians who had s
PAGE 20

Gordon Lillie. How many were there in the partyt" "Five" Arm'ld and in full war-paint and dress." "Boys," i;aid the other turning to his me ''they are the ones we're after I "Ttiese Indians," be continued, again address ing Gordon, killed a Creek officer and wound ed one or two others while resisting arrest, and we are trying to find them. "Do you know which way they went?" "Tbey must have '3luded us in the broken country, for we have s ee n nothing of them since they tried to shoot me." Turning back witb his companions, Gordon rode along with the new-comers, relating bis late experience, aud soon after, meeting the wagon which was slowly following, they separated and Gordon saw the posse no more. He often tried to find out the fate of tbe band of Indians, but without success, and at length came to the conclusion that they bad been exterminated and the matter kept quiet by the avengers of the officer and bis aids. One beauLiful moonlight night, ten days afterward, Gordon and bis friends were in camp, wben the boy, who was on watch, saw sweeping over tbe plains, a large party of warriors, who seemed unaware of the presence of the whites in the vicinity, and Gordon, calling one of his companions to take hi!\, place on guard, and telling him that be was gomg to re connoiter, quietly mounted bis horse and rode away. after the band without disturbing his other friends. .He knew that not far from where they camped, about four miles away, lived au old minister a'.3d bis daughter, and fearing that it was the intention of the Creeks-for such he supposed i;he band of warriors to be-to massacre the old man and the young girl, spurre d hurriedly forward in bis endeavor to warn them. But be was some fifteen minutes behind tbe warriors, and as be drew near tbe lonely cabin, be saw a bright ligbJ. leap high in the air, and heard the wild yells of tbe savages as they ex ulted in the of their deadly schemes. U rgfng bis horse forward, be soon swept from tbe gloom of the forest into the daylight bright ness of the glade, in which was siLUated the home of the minister, and there burst upon him a scene of carnaga and ruin such as be had never before w'itnessed in all of bis varied ex peri9!e. The torch had been applied to the cabin, and the flames leaping high, infolded it in their tongues of fire, while at tbe doorway Jay the dead body of the old preacher, bis white locks dabbled with g'Ore, while a small red spot on the crown of bis bead showed where the scalp-lock had ben torn away. And in the foreground, kneeling with uplifted bands as in prayer for merc y was his young daughter, clad all in white, while behind her, her long and flowing tresses in bis left band, stood a red demon with tomahawk up lifted, ready to sink the keen blade crashing into her brain. Bot at that instant Gordon's revolver cracked and the Indian, shot through the head, reeled and spun around, and then, utterly dazed and bewildered, turned and leaped headlong into the flames. Gordon, sinking his spurs deep into the flanks of bis horse, sent him bounding forwifrd like the wind, and coming alongside the fainting girl, checked his steed with a pull that sent him on bis h1mocbes, leaped to the ground, lifted the 11:irl in bis arms, sprung into the saddle without using tbe stirrups, and disappeared in the forest, while a storm of arrows and of bullets whizzed harmlessly after him from the astonished sa v ages. Making a long detour be at length reached the camp, where be warned his companions of the proximity of the Indians, and advised them to watch until morning, which they did, without, however, being attacked. The girl was tenderly cared for, and the next morning was placed in safety, begging Gordo n to endeavor to get word to her brother of tbe fearful fatE> that had befallen her father, aud of her whereabonts, tbat he might come to her. And although tbe boy endeavored by every means in his power to find him, he could glean no trace of the missing man, and was forc e d to the conclusit)n tb&t be must also have beiin murd ered on tbe same fearful night. For the girl told him that when attacked, she and her father were sitting up, awaiting his arrival, as he had promised to b11 with them that evening. And the girl went East, and the recollection of the tragedy faded from tbe noy's mind as other and newer incidents attracted !::is attention But the Indians who bad figured in it were punishe d severely and deservedly, for the old mini ste r had Jived in tbe country for years, and had always been a kind friend to the Indians. Many and many a time be had clothed and fed the starving Indians, and none ever came to his door to ask, who was turned away empty banded. And not witb killing and scalpin(I him, the murderous Creeks so mutilated anly s t ill, and there was a pervading feeling as if a thunder-storm were about to burst upon them, and soon the sky be overspread with black clouds, and the low

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O Gordon Li1He. growling of heaven's artillery could be beard, approaching nearer and nearer to their camp. The cattle moved about uneasily, and tbe men were kept busy, rirling about and rounding them up, es tbey evinced a desire to stray, wben Gordon, wbo was far out on the plain, turning back som'l stragglers, saw three persons running over the plaio toward him at full speed He stopped bis borsa, and tben, turning, rode toward tbe visitors, intending to stop them and prevent a stampede, for the Te:xcas cattle are totally unaccustomad to the sight of a person on foot, and easily take fright when a pedes trian approaches them, if, indeea, they do not attack him. Gordon soon drew rein alongside the newcomers, and saw that they were three Indi!ln girls of varied types of savage beauty, and "'"ho, at the first word he spoke, stopped sbort as if for the fitst time realizing their impru dence. Tney told him that they were Oteos and that their ponies bad taken fright at something and off in a bunch, leaving them ten or twelve mile from their village, and that seeing the camp, they had hurried toward. it, fearing the approaching tbunderscorm and seeking shelte r. And as they talked the curious cattle gradu ally drawing nearer and nearer, stood in a semi in front of them, the air uneasily, pawing the 11;round and soaking their beads, while they occ as ion ally uttered a low bellow as they looker! and won.Jered at the to them curi ous objects before them. And Gordon, realizing in wb11t danger the girls' thougbtlessnes;; had placed them, slipped to the ground as slowly and qui etly as be could, and told one of the girls to mount, to take one of her companion s behind her, while tbe third could grasp the borsa 's m'lne and run along side. while he would endeavor to conceal h i m self behind the borse and cir away, while a terrific crash of overhead shook the earth and deafene i th e hearers while at the same mo'Ilent the fl iod-gates of beaven were openea and the rain came down in torrents. And tbe frighte ned su idenlv wheel ing, tore th e bridle from Gordons band and bounder! off over prairie, while, as if the thunder-clap bad been a signal, tbe whole herd of cattle stamperled and came sweeping down upnn the q 1artette with a resistless force Wild with terror, the tbun ier of thei r hoof beats on the eart, b drowning tbe thunder that rolled aad eraslred above. their lou
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Gordon Lillie. 21 with a magnificent plume plucked from the pinions of tbe war-eagle. Aud then t .begirls stood back while the oldest and principal chief of the tribe arose and de livered a long harangue, in whicb be drew a flattering picture of Gordon's kill as n bunter, bis bravery and bis coolness in danger, concluding by asking bim to come and hve with, and be one of the tribe, and o fl'ring him. as his wife, either of tbe <'Onfused l'irts wbo stood gigglivg and tittering in the darkest cor ner of t .hP But Gordon, in return thanked him fer the propose d honor, which be assured him it was impossible to accept; and as for cboosi og a wife from the trio of Indian beauties: "Tbey are earh and all so lovely and so lovable that I could not choose among thrm," This concluion bad a double effect. On the one hand it flattered the trio as such; but on the other it rendered each of the dusky maidens j alous of the other two, end their friendship began to grow weaker until at length they be ca rue almos t enemies But Gordon, escaping as quickly as be could from the cloe atmosphere of the lodve, fol lowed by bis companions, rode away under the bright and was rnon in camp, wondering that be had gotten cff so easily. But tbe hearts of the Indian girls were sore, for it was they who bad suggested the proposition of Gordonts marrying one of them, each being confident of her own superior attractions, and when: they found that tbey were all rejected, hate and the fact that tbev were scorned drew tbem into an alliance, offensive and defensive, when tbe bonds of friendship would not have induced either one to seek the aid of the others. So they began to plot and soon formed a scheme whereby they hope<). to win, or rather fore., Gordon's c onsent to the proposed change in bis life and habits. But be, all unconscious of all of these mac hinations against bis peace and happiness, rode away with t.be herd and was only occasionally reminded of the incident when bis eye to encounter one of the gifts presented to him by the three girls. Tbey their journey'3 end when Gor-. don bade farewell to bis comrades and returned to the Agency, reaching the Black Bear." as tbe stream is called, on which the Pawnee Agency is situated, late at night and riding slowly down the stream, after crossing it. But suddenly his horse stopped with a shiver and neighed loudly, while an answering whinny came from the woods near by, and turning bis head Gordon, thought be could a coal black steed standing u Jder a spreading tree near by, and pressed bis unwilling horse a little nearer in order to investigate. And be found .be was not mistaken, for be beheld ii wild-looking attached by the rein to one of the lower hraocbes of the tree, and the eye.s of the flamed like carbuncles as be at Gordon. And Gordon, urging his horse forward by the free use of the spur, drew near, when alarmed by bis approach the black steed riE>ighed loudly, tnd a dark figure, with branching antlers oo its bead, dropped from the tree into the saddle and loosening the fastenings dart.!d among the trees with incredible swiftness. And Gordon gan chase, but although well mou11ted, was soon left far behind, arid aband oned the pursuit, returning along the road be bad been folowing and, recognizing tbe tree wbPre t.he horse bad tied cut a deep in the bark that he might be able t<> distinguish it wben he next came that way, for be was determined to solve tbis mystery, which, at the present time, seemed wholly inexplicable. CHAPTER XII. THE WILD HUNTER TO THE RESCUE. WHEN Gordon arose the next day be went to the Agency and tbere met several of tbe Paw nees, who seemed to be very much excited, and were talking and gesticulating rapidly, and, mingling with them, he soon learned the cause of their conversation. Some of tbe young men, who bad gone out very early that morning, bad ridden along Black Bear, when t .bey came to the spot where the tradition tbat Gordon bad heard placed the abode of the Wild Hunter; but, as davlight bad their fears, they .were and laugbmg, when suddenly a met tbell' eyes which filled tbem with terror, awe and super stitious fancies. For laid out, side by side on the ground, were the bodies of seven Creek warriors, each oue dead, and bearing in the center of bis forehead a brand, burnt deeply into the flesh, and the mark was a pair of antlers! They bad not stopped to investigate, but bad turned and fled from the haunted bpot as if tbey feared that the same fate might overtake them, and bad not ceased their headlong flight until tbey had reached the Agency. There tbey arqt:ainted their companions with what they heel seen, while tht legend of the Wild Hunter flew from lip to 1ip with many and varied embeJlishments. Gordon, recalling the vision that bad confronted him tbe night before, was much im pressed by tbis new incident, but could not believe that there was an-ytbing supernatmal connected with it; but be went to agent and told him what le had seen and of tbb last tlevelopment. "Well, Gordon, we'll settle it now. "Go and saddle two horses and we will ride out and see if tbe Indians are mistaken or not. "I have known them to mistake a swan for a. ghost and a limb of a tree for a corpse." "All right," replied Gordon. "i'm going to see this thing through if I have to go to the place at midnight." They were soon mountet! and riding along the banks of Black Bear, but alone, for not one of the superstitious savages would venture out of tbe :village. "Will you know the tree againl" asked the agent, as they trotted along. "Certainly'." "And howl" "Ob I
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Gordon Lillie. "Yes." But suddenly be started I "Well, If It is a demon who Is working all of A light band harl been laid upon bis shoulder, these mysteries he'll shun that spot." a soft voice bad whispered in bis ear: "Why!" "The maidens of the Oteos woo thee from ''Because no first-class evil spirit wil)J'llver thy slumber! venture near that holy symbol." "A 'akel" "W elf demon or mortal, I'm going to track At first be could scarcely distinguish anything him to bis den I" about him, for it was growiug dark and the [ hope you may; for if the mystery is not long shadows cast by the trees hightened the soon solved the fodians will all go crazy with gloom that. surrounded him. fear, and then we would have a lively time." But soon he saw standing in front of him "Here is the tree," suddenly interrupted Gor-three indistinct figures, whom be recognized as don, as b e pointed to a huge monarch of the the three girls be bad saved from the mad forest a few rods away, in the trunk of which cattle a short time before, and would have could be seen the wbite cross cut deep in the stepped toward them to obtain an explanation bark. of this mystery, when be suddenly realiz e d that "And there are the bodi es! he was bound fast to the trunk of the tree be "The Pawnees were right, then." hind him. "Yes for once" And be also saw that bis arms bad been deftly "W let us take n from bis belt and that he was without a But search as they would they could find no weapon. trace of the presence of a human being save the Approaching him as he sat there, the tbretri presence of the seven stark bodies. girls lifted him to bis feet, after loosening the Each man had been killed by a deep cut in the thongs which held him close to the tree, and back of the bead, evidently inflicted by a toma-then, with many an encircling fold, bound him hawk or hatche t and burnt deep into the fore-upright to the trunk, wrapping the lariats they head of each was the brand the Indians bad carried around and about him in a hundred spokeu of-a pair of branchiug antlers. coils, until he could not move a single muscle. r bis tallies well with wbat their legend And then one of the girls teaches them, and is certainly most curious. "Little Bear, you see before you three "But we can do nothing now. maidens who are rivals.in love, but sisters in Come, Gordon, we will go back t.o the bate. Agency and send a wagon for the bodies which "You saved our lives not many days ago, and we will care for until we can communicate with won our !(r atitnde; and this gratitude bai the Creeks." changed to love. "I will stay here," replied Gordon. I "We have vowed that you wed one of "IE the antlered hunter ret-urns I will give us, and now we await your choice. him a warm web.>me; send me out some luncll "'.l.'wo of us will abide by your choice of the and I will remain until morning." third, and, although sorrowing, will wish you "Very well; you are not afraid!" much happiness. "or what1" "Refuse to take one of us, and you perish by "Of the WiW Hunte1J'' laughed the agent. fire where you stand. "Not a bit, no more tnan of a tame one." "Choose I" "Well, good-by!" And the three took up their before Good-by!" returned the lad cheeril Y and him and stood, with folded arms, awaiting, his then, leading his horse some distance off, be answer. hoppled him and returned to the tree, leaning "But at least give n::e a little time to reflect!" his rifle against it and seeing that bis revolvers cried Gordon, whose situation seemed desperate were easy in their pla c es and then seated him-and who wished to plan some mode of escape. self on the turf and leaned back against the "You shall have until the ri,siog moon ca'l be huge trunk. seen over tbe topmost branch of yonder tree. Not a sound disturbed the silence of the forest "If you have then decided we will ride away except the occasional snorting of bis horse as he to our village and bring our friends and relatives grazed, until the wa!!:On sent b.v the agent ar: here to Celebrate the nuptials. rived and the bodies were placed in it. "If you have not chosen, then you perish by The men in charge then departed, leaving fire. G ordon's lunch with him, and he, after eating it, "Think well before you speak; for we are de and taking a drink from the stream near by, termined and merciless when our love is scorn seated hims e lf in bis former place and began to edl" think of a hundred different things. Not for a moment did Gordon think of acBut from thoughts be gradually drifted off cepting their propo3ition and be well knew that into dreams, and, leaning back against the they would not arley with him. gnarled trunk of the tree, slept 10ng and pro-He understood the Indian nature thorOU,(hly touBdly, for he bad been up late night be-and realized that wben scorned the love of B red fore and was htlgued from bis long ride. maiden turJJs to the most deadly bate, and that And so he slept on, unbe ding the light footthe caressing bands of one moment often wield ete ps wbich barely stirred the grass over which l the keen blade on their lover the next. they swept; unaware of the slight figures that His position was a precarious one, for no on1r cautiously approached him; unconscious or the was near to aid him and be was powerle\ls to plot that was being unfoided to win, or lose, help himself, and at length be became reckless tim forever, and desperate, and after tugging vainly at tho

PAGE 24

Gordon Llllle. ea \Kinds which held him, be called to the girls who sat a little oft', lika statues of fate, and they eagerly approached. The DIOOn b!M not yet reached the point set by the girls and they doubtle ss supposed that be was tired of his consrrained po$ition and bad determined to accept their propo$ition. But if they believed this bis first words quick-ly undeceived tbem: "Bring on your fagots, demons, rather tban women I" he cried. "Better to perish in tbe slow-burning fbmes than to purchase freedom at such a price!" "This is your determination?" fairly shrieked the three. mad with rage and disappointment; for each had thought she would win bim. "My final determination-I shall speak no word more!" Then the Indian blood boiled at what they conidered a deadly insult, and they began to pile leaves, twigs, branches, and dead boughs in a half-circle in front of him and some distance away, tbat his torture might be greater from the slowly increasing beat. And then as the rays of the moon shot over the top of the tree pointed out by the girli the trio stepped forward and ignited the pi.e of brusbwoc d in three clift'erent places, and the flames began to creep, witb snap and eparkle, in dift'ereot directions, until the whole mass was ablaze. And soon the heat became unbearable, his clothes began to smoke and scorch, while tb" flames kept growing hotter and hotter, and gradually crawling nearer, darted their ted tongues toward bis face. But suddenly a loud neigh was heard, and an imII\ense black horse leaped into the circle of light, a tall figure sprung from his back, wear ing an enormous pair of antlers on bis bead, releesed Gordon with one sweep of bis knife, and, lifting tbe boy, with oner bound was again in the eaddle, and witb a wild laugh disappeared, while the terrified girls, for one moment stupe fied by fright, the next fled from the place, overcome by their superstitious terror of the Willi Hunter. CHAPTER XIII. A WILD RIDE. THE intense pain be had suffered from the gcorcbing flames and the suffocating smoke that be bad inhaled from the green boughs that had had been scatteretl in the fire, bacl reduced Gor don to a state of insensibility, so that as he was cut loose from bis bonds be was unconscious of what bad happened, and lay like a log across his rescuer's knees during the ride through the forest. When be recovered consciousness be found himself lying on the turf the Agency, while all around him was still, not a living thing being lo sight, while far above him the moon sailed on placidly. He recalled with an eft'ort the narrow escape that he had inade, but could not understand bow it bad been effected but came to tbe conclu$ion that the three maidens bad relented and releas ed him, aCter trying his courage to the utmost. He determined, therefore, to keep bis own coumel, and not to say anything to any one regarding hi late adventun: so crawling to bed, be remained tbere1 suffering, but ena Pled to re duce tbe pain of bis burns by some simple oint ment that he had, and, evading all questions, pleaded sickness and kept bis room for several days. When be reappeared be was cc\mpletely re covered, and in answer to the agent's ques tions, him that he had seen nothing of the Wild Hunter, and that he bad fallen asleep at the foot of tbe tree. The matter was finally dropped, and Gordon, goix:g to tbe place where be bad so narrowly escaped a terrible death, found bis weepons banging to a branch of the tree to wbicb he had been tied; they not having been disturbed, as no Indian, since the late discovery of the bodies beneath it, cculd be induced to venture anywhere in its vicinity. The charred branches scattered about and the scorched bark on the tree, however, gave witness of the rrcent attempt on bis life, and Gordon determined that be would not again be caught napping beneath the shadow of tbat tree, at least. But on reaching the .Agency again, other thoughts took the place of those which bad puz. led him; for be found that it was necessary that be obould be the bearer of certain dis patches tbat it was extremely should be delivered without delay at another Agency. And to carry them Gordon was requested and readily consented, wishing for a change of scene and a more active life he had been leading for the past few days, When the news spread that Gordon was to make the attempt, his brother-" ho was known as "Bare-back Al, on account of bis once having ridden ninety miles in a day, bare back-and bis uncll!, known as Pawnee John, decided to accompany him. The dispatches were most important, and G ordon was cautioned, time and time again, to be careful with, and to deliver them at all haz ards. The road they were to take lay through a wild country, with Indians, horse tbieves and desperadoes of every description, and it was well known that the enterpribll was one of difficulty and danger; but the boy did not hesitate for an instant, but prepared for bis wild ride as gayly as if dressing for a ball. And as the sun reached noon-mark they set forth, spurring through tbe streets of the vil lage amid the well-wishes of all, and the shout ing and yelling of the ladians, who had assem bled in full force to see their young friend off. Their objective point lay three hundred miles away, and t.bis distance was to be traversed, ac cording to Gordon's calc-ulations, in four days a task that required iron en
PAGE 25

24 Gordon Lillie. miles from the agency, they stopped to let their horses rest and to eat il. mouthful of lunch. But as they sa.t around the camp-fire which they bad kindled to make a cup of of coffee, Gordon suddenly rose to his feet as a horseman rode over tbe brow of a rise on the prairie, and, seizing his rifle called out to know what the stranger wanted, for in every approaching obied an enemy was to be feared. "I hev l ost my way, pardner," replied the tmknowa, "nn' seein' the smoke ot yer fke, came up to ask ef you could d'rekt me." Where are you going?" "To ther Agency." "The Pawnee Agency1" "K'rect." "St.raigbt north, about thirty five mires." "Whevrl" whistled the other," too fur ter go "Say, young teller, kin a lonely wand'rer camp_ with yer to night?" "We are going to break cami;> in about an hour." Goin' ter ta Ire a moonlight ride, be yer1" sneered the stranger. "Well, don't let me detain yerl" and wheeling bis horse the stranger galloped off south, instea l of taking the direction pointed out to aim by Gordon. 'Some fellow sizing us up," quietly remarked Bare b ack Al. wbo sat quietly and unconcernedly mun ching his supper. "If bi s are in the neighborhood, we'll have to lo-:Jk out, that's all." But nothing happened to interrupt their r& pas t and they chatted oa a thousand different subje ts until GorJoa suddenly said: "My instructions are to acquaint you with the contents of my dispatches, so that in case anything bappens to me and either of you gets through he can deliver the m essage "Word bas been received-how I do not know-that a large band of borse-t':iieves is b& ing to make a raid down the territory and into Texas, and these d1spatcbes are sent to warn the commander of Fort Blauk to be on tbe lookout. "Th!lt is all there is in them. "But I have noticed, hatigiag around the Agency for Sdveral day, a tough-looking cus tomer, whom I suspect of b eing connected with tbi; same band; and if I am not mistaken be is the identical gentleman _who accosted us a while ago. "They evidently suspect something and want to get hold of the papers to obtain proof. "If we are attacked, you, uncle John, act as if the documents were in your possession to draw attention from me, and I'll try and get through with them." "All right, Gordoti, we'll focl 'em!" And the horses bsing by this time somewhat rested the three ll.rose and, saddling their steeds, mounted and again rode south. As the_y drew on the prai1ie, a little clump of trees loomed up on the plain not far ahead and in the shadow cast by tbe branches, tbe tbree riders could distlaguisb several horsemen: but Gordon whispered : "Ride straight on1 and don't spur until they give chase," "All right," was tbe quiet answer cmd the. three galloped steadily on without increasing their speed until nearly opposite the grove, when a dozen mounted men burst from their biding-place and swept ol!lt over the plain to ward them. Then t-bo trio put spurs to their 'horses and the noble animals, much rested by their late bait, reaped out in a stretching run and fairly flew e>Ver the p>airie. On, on, they sped until the pursuers, whose horses were of blooded stock and much fresher than the others, began to g .. in on them, inch by inch, and the boy, looking over bis shoulder, saw that the chase could only last a sbort time longer, when they would be overtaken. Not a shot was fired, for the evidently were certain of their victims and did not wish to shed blood, knowing that the killing of a Government messenger would entail serious consequences. But at length Gordon whispered to Pawnee John: "Make a break tor the bluffs at the left, and answer me when I call to you!" The other nodded understandingly and, bearing on the reins, suddenly swerved and beat off toward the broken country on his left, while Gurdon cried out: "Take care of the dispatches!" "I'll not l ose them I" came back the answer, while tbe band of pursuers, thinking Pawnee John had the imp'>r ,tant docume11ts, swept off after him, all but one man, who, fearing a galloped on after Gordon, and, coming along side, grasperl his horse by tbe But the boy, drawing and clubbing bis revolver, dealt him a fair blow with the butt, between the eyes, and the man loosening bis grasp on the rein, fell heavily to tbe ground, while Gordon, the horses ruaniag each other at full speed, leaped from bis saddle onto the other steed and swept away at re doubled gallop. And be and Bareback Al, r ode along together, and were soon lost sight of the horse-thieves, who, overt,.king Pawnee John, quickly st rip pe'i him, and finding nothing, were mad on discovering how they bad been tricked, and kicking and cuffing their victim, left him for dead on the nlaiu. And Gordon and bis brother pursued their way, stopping now and then to rest, until Al's borse succumbed to the terrible strain and fell dead, while Gordon pressed on alone, riding but slowly until at length bis horse also gave out, and he was compelled to traverse tbe remaining ten miles on fodt. And as be drew near his destination. he was again attacked and ran a race for JiF and death, through the thic!r chRparral, toking' to the broken ground where tbe horsemen C(Uld not follow, cutting bis feet on tbe sbarp rocks, tearing bi' clotbes anrl bis flesh in a thous
PAGE 26

Gordon Lillie. CHAPTER XIV. W'MtNJNQ, Tm! return to tne J.gency was ..mmarl!ed b)'.' any Interruption, as most ot the distance was tra'7eled in company with the United S1 .>1es v;ho wel'e &ant out m senrcu ot the threatening bana ot horse thi-ves; but with no success. Knowing of G'.>rdf'n's mission ana that be had carried it through, despite the efforts made by them to prevent, they had taken fright and left the country: while the young fellow was warmly praised tor bis dating and strategy. At the Agency he found both Pawnee John ana .Bareback Al; who had succeeded in reaching it without any further encounters, although Pawne e J 'obn still bore the traces of his encounter with the band which had pursued him. Gordon determined that he would unearth tne mystery that hedged the Wild Hunter about, !llld determined, a:so1 that he would solve the enigma, :i.lone and unaiaed. So. soon after aniving at the Agency, h set out, one dark night,. well-mounted ond prepared to ve a pressing chase r.o >,be weird He was well armed: but as be baa an Indistinct tdea that he had been saved trom the flames by the Wild Hm1ter, he determined not to use his weapons &(l:ainst him. nut only to resort to them in case of rus encountering some unexpected danger. Arriving at the mysterious tree which seemed to be the ot the apparition, ne withdre w into the deeper shadows of the wood and there sat motionless, his well-trained horse betraying by neither sound nor movement that he was there. And after a somewhat prolonged vigil, his patience was rewarded by heaiing a noise, as if some one were crashing through the undergrowth, and soon a tall figure came toward him through the darkness, barely discernible through the shades of the night, and rapidly approached, while his hor!'e broke the stillnes s for the first time by a whurny of fear, and trc!Dbled in every limb. At the sound the unknown stopped and peered In the direction where Gor Ion was and at the same moment the lad urged bis frightened horse forward and neared the weird-'ooking str,anger, who stood, drawn up to his full hight, which rooked gigantic to Gordon, with folded arms, awaiting the npproach of the intruder. But as Gordon approached, the figure circled the huge tree near which he was standinl?, and disappeared as completely as if the earth had yawned wide nod swallowed him in the openinj\', and nearing the monarch of th 3 forest. he nrw1g from his pant ing steed and, taking the br' dle-rein in his hand, walked in Uie direction where he had last seen the apnarition standing. Ever and anon a rustling In the grass warned hi'll that the spot abounded in snakes. aue connected with you, I do not believe that 1t i s superr;unuai." 14 An idle curiosit y infiu ences you, then?" "No; a wish to aid the unfortuna1e ea.tore who Is thus compelled to Play upon the 'ears of the credulous savages for srme pun:iose ot llis : iwn. "ls it for vengeance that you thus maequeradt" "I am the spirit nf the Wild Hunter, and my ven geance is direeted against the whole of the 'Inman race "And wry?'" "Give m" your band that you will no t untold my history until l give you permission, and I will tell vou all." Gc,rdon stretched out bis bane\ and {>laced it in the palm of tbe str a nger, and instantly b1s fingers were squeezed as it in a vise, and be was drawn toward the tri,e by a strength that seemed almost super human, while be wns bLinded and S'f:ocated by a thick sulphurous vapor that arose about 'iis b eau. At the same moment a bl au ket was 11irown ove'" his head, and before he could extricate himself from its fold s, his arms were pinned to his body by an en. circling cord, and be was dragged into the nollow tree, and then. betore he was fully able to realize what had happened, he becaml'I unconscious, ana knew nothing of what foll o wed. When his sensel> returned to him Gordon found himself lying on the turf, near the edge of the forest, a most headache racking hjs temples and the recollection of paFt events vague and indistinct; but with an effort be recalled the gdventures of the preceding night-f'or it was now broad daylightand bl& interview wiiu the Wild Hunter. Despite bis doubts he could scarcely refrain from attributing something supernatural to tne strange being, and this was hightened by his weak and exhausted condition, for the overpowering smoke he bad inhaled, and which had caused his insensibility, still left it.s effects lingering in his heated imagina tiou. The champing of a bit and the stamping of a l iorse aroused him somewhat, and looking off a little distnnceh he. saw his horse fastened by the reins to a l owanging branch near by. and rising, he approached him, and was about to mount when a small piece nf white paper, scorched around the edges as if it had been near the fire, pinned to the trunk of the tree attracted his attention, and taking it down he 0aw that it bore a brand and some written characters, which were flame-hued in color On the document thus stamped, was written: "Seek not to solve the mystery which environs the Wild Hunter; or do so at your peril. you have escapee\; but the third adven ture may be fatal to you I "BEWAl"..El His ..engeancP, dPmands sac1ifice; and he will immolate all on the alta1 of his wrath. "Be warned and 'l"enture no more near tbis fatal spot. Respect his secret and you are safe; endeavor t-0 penetrate it and the consequences will surely be fearful! "Again, BEWARE I Tm: WILD HUNTER." Carefully reading the missivP, G<>rdon then mounted and rode back to the Agency, wondering whether or no he should tell lbis Jast adventUTe to

PAGE 27

Gordon LWie. the a.gent; but at length decided to keep his own counsel aod to pursue the adventure alone; for he was det&rt<..ned to abandon it, d&1pite the warn jna he had received lhriviogo be was accosted by the aaent: "Well, out on another hunt after the mysterious demon o'f the woods?" "Yecs." "Did you find him?" 1 Yes; or rather, he found me.'' "An1 what was the result?" "Oti, mv horse got frightened and broke away from m e the demon,' as you call him, disappeared and I did not him all'am; and when I recovered mr. horse it was daylight." 'Sl you have no clew as to who be is!" "None at all." "Well, I don't believe In the existence of any ghost3, and don't think any person ever saw one. "C.lpture the Wild Hunter and bring him in, and perhaps you'll convert me." "Oh, I'm m:l.king no converts. 11 "I thought you were. "The ne>.: time, though, you want to go on a mid nil\ ht chase, Jet me know, and I'll join you. 'What do you say! "If there is to be any capturing done, I want to do it siuglehan1ed. 'To the victor belongs the spoils,' you know." "You'd better be sure of victory before you count on any spoils." 'That's so; but I don't want to brag; just you wait au J see." "I can't see without waiting, so will have to be patient. "But come in here and see what this old Indian wants-I can't make head or tail out of his gesticu lations." Entering Glrdon found au old chief standing Inside, an(i the conversation that followed made Gordon yet more determined to continue bis hunt. For the old chief graphically told how he and a few c..,mpaniom, who were huntiu;:;, had suddenly come upon the bo:lies of two Creel< warriors, laid out side by side, one killed by a stab in the back, and bearing on th ir foreheads the same mys terious braud which ornamented the document that the boy had found pinnetl to the tree by a pointed stick hat morning. And relating this to the agent, the latter, in spite of his incredulity, admitte: l that there was some tb.ing strange in the whole proceeding. CHAPTER XV. OAPTORING THi!: WILD HUNTER. TaE gaunt trunk of the huga tree. whence Gordon had seen the app:i.rition appeir, loomecl huge and shadowy in the as the hour of twelve drew ne::.r, on the succee:linJ night; and hidden lo Its branches, along a large limb that overhung the tjft iu tbe trunk, lay the boy in waiting. He liad waited until ail about the Agency were l>uried ii:. slumber. an i h:!.d then ridden out alone and without n()tiryin' any on& of bis inte ntion. Lying quietl.v, his form could not be distlngnished in the gfoom, and he patiently waited for the a1) pearanM o! the Wild Hunter; while despite hts courage he felt awed bv the darkness and s.ilenc', yet determine:! to brave all danger:. to pirce thrQugh the depths of the mystery which enveloped the weird stranger. At length be bearcl a sllgb. sound below him. and pee ring cautiously down, saw issue from the trunk Of tho tre., tbrou'l;'h the opening in its side two huge gray wolves, which weut sniffin,'l;' about the tree and soon fo1md his trail apparently, for they snarled susplciousiv nod, followin!(' tLe scent, came close up to the .spot where be had climbed up, clawed the bark as hig1' as they could reach, and then bayed loudly. fiordon clrew a little further back on the limb and holding in his bands the noose of his lariat, ..aned out over the rift and at that moment Raw the atran. !('er appear, a dim bm0 J?hOsphorescent light playing about bis head and adding to bis ghastly and ghost like In an instant the noose fell noiselessly from above, and Lefore the Wild Hunter r<>alized what bad hap pened, it tightene d about his anns and he was to release As Gordnn drew lfi.e amlered head close up to the limb on which he was now sitting asLride, be fastened the end of the lariat which be held and tbeu, draw ing bis knife, leaned down and severed th<> thongs which fastened the deer's antlers to the head of the Wild Hunter, and lirted the horns high in the air. Then he spoke. "You are 110" in my power, audyouseethatyour warning was of no av!lil. Silence your four-footed companions, "-for the two wolves were howling tremendouslyt and leaping high in tho air with g.1ashing teeth, enaeavoring to reach the two above. Satan 1-Drngon I-lie doWJ) I" commanded the hoarse voice of the captured and in an in stnnt the two brutes crouched wliimpering to the ground and lay quiet. Then Gordon, taking a thong be bad provided in case bis i>lan was successful, leaned over again and tied the hands of the other firmly, after which he lifted him on the branch, close to the trunk and bound him to the tree. For although the strat1.1?er was of an immense yet he was very slightly built, and his weight was as nothing in the strong arms of the young boy, although It could be plainly discerned on g-rasping him, that muscles of irou and sinews of tee! lurked heneath his skin. His face was drawn and haggard, and there lurked in his deep set eyes a baleful glare that maniacal in Its furr., while bis unkempt hair nDll beard, floating in wild disorder, now that their fast enings were undone, added to his weird appearanc!'\. "Now," said Gordon, "that I have you firmly so cured I will return to the Agency and soon h'.tve you under arrest; unless indeed you will relate your history to me and >vhat this jisguise means. "I owe It to you to inform you, for what you have done for my family--0r rather attemvted to d<> for them.n "What do you mean!" "Listen, and I will tell you. "I am the son of the old minister who was massa cred by the Cre e k Indians not long since I was returning home for a short visit on th!l.t fatal night, when, just as I was nearing the cabin I was f e lled from my horse by a cmshiog blow on the head, and for a moment Jay insensible In tbR w()Qds near the edge of the clearing or glade in which our little home was situated. "I rt>turned to consciousness just as you rode Into the circle of light, cast by the burning building, and saw your face clearly. "At that moment I also saw my father stretched out on the ground and an Indian. with uplifted tom abawk, about to brain my innocent sister." And, his face bent dow'I, be shuddered at the re collection of that fearful night. But as Gordon W!\S about to speak he raised his eyes that were wet with tears and continue.d his nar rative: "I could not bear the awful sl.e:btr-I sunk to the earth powerless to prevent the 'blow, for my rifle was gone and my pistols had been taken from me after J had Ileen scalped. Yes1'' as an exclamation of horror sprung to his listeners lips while the lad, drawing his knife, cut the bonds which held the stranger: "I hav6 bten scalped, and live to tell the tale! "But the awful scene that was before my very eyes, the terrible blow l had th

PAGE 28

Gordon Llllle. I pain of my wounds and the loss of blood were too much for me nd I again sunk backhunconscious. .. When l returned to my senses, t e was de serted and nothing livln!( remained in 1t. and crawling cautiously out I approached carefully aud found the dead body oC my father, scorching uear the yet smolaering embers of our former home. '.' Ot my sister there was no trace, yet, searching In the a..<\hes, I found a few charred bones, which l am sure were hers, as the savages undoubtedly tlung her yet warm body into the tlames. "For I know you were not in time-No 1 do no speak yet-and tbeu what could you do alone against that howling mob of red demons? "And, after burying them in one common grave, l knelt beside the mound and lifting my hand to high heaven, swore that I would devote my life to vengeance, and that all my future days shonld be PSS!led-in wreaking my revenge on the Creeks. "I had heard the story or legend of tbe Wlld Ruder and determined to adopt this disguise, the better to further my schemes-and it has worked well. "Their superstitious fears are Instantly aroused whenever I appear, and they do not stop to defend themselves, but invariahly seek safety in flight1.my good horse easlly overtaking them-whlle a tittle sulphur and phosphorus adds to their fears and a woven vest of steellinks turns their knife-thrusts and I.eaves me unhurt. "NowJ that I have told you all, you will not betray m&-anu [ nm not now at your mercy-I am unbound and free, and live only for vengeance 1 vengeance I" But as be fairly shrieked out the last words with a yell that would have chilled the blood of a less courageous hearer, Gordon spoke: "You have something else to live for! "Your sister is alive and ""ell, and demands your care. "She did not perish on that fatal night; but was rescued by me, unhurt." "What I" screamed the maniac, for such Gordon np,w realized he was. "My sister alive 1 oh 1 where is she?-where is shef-tell me, I beg." And he broke into a storm of tears, the reaction being so great, but was cabned and quieted in a lew moments and able to listen to Gordon. And iu a short time the lad bad explained how he had been able to rescue the girl and how the bones the other had found must be those of the Indian who was ab ,ut to tomahawk her, and which were s o charred as to leave but a few fragments. And tbe stranger-the Wtld Hunter no Jongeralmost fell on Gordon's neck and kissed him, so grateful was he for the daring rescue he bad succeeded in making. And then they descended from the tree, the sup pose a deep slumber. during which the mrgeon t:xamined him and found that a small piece of bis skull, crushed in by the blow of the tomahawk", pressed against his brain. Calling his assistant and procuring a C se of his instruments, he deftly performed au operatior. llft lng the piece of bone up and bandaging it, so that when, in a few hours, Robie awoke, his mind was clear, and his bead i::ave him no more trouble. And in a few days morf., completely restored to health, he set out for the East where his sister was, clotbed and in bis light mind. And not Jong after Gordon received a long letter from bim in which be renewed bis thank, joilled thos" of his sister, whom he !'ad found, to bis own, and stated that he intended to study for tbe ministry and return among the Indians to take the place his father bad occupied before him. And as time wore on the legrnd of the Wild -Hun ter became only a legrnd; but the superstition of the Indiai:s kept them away from the fatal tree, to which Gordon often rode, accompanied by the two hounds Robie had presented to him before leaving. He told the whole story to the agent, and he In turn repeated it so that Gordon was praised on all sides for his courage. But the Indians placed no faith in his statement, and adhered firmly to their former belief. CHAPTER XVI. ADOPTING A DISGUISE. DURING the famous C'reek outbreak, when so many inoffensive persons-were massacred in cold blood by the Indians, Gordon was actively engaged in dif ferent capacities; acting now as scout; now as \!OU rier and again as messenger to the tribe. Learning of the prese ce of some of the tribe In the neighborhood, he, with two of his young Indian left the Agency one bright morning, nud started out to reconnoiter in the direction ol tile supposed camp. Th:i snow lay deep on the !!round and they started on foot, thinking tkat they could proceed with more r.recaution and with less likelihood of discovei-y than 1f the y took their horses with them, and traveled all tJmt day at a pace which would not seem ad weller in the city. About sunset they reached a tall bluff which over. hung a swift running stream, the rapid waters o. which had remained unfrozen. A vast plain lay before them, on the other side ot the stream, and as they stood and looked, the dark ness came do,vn upon them, and as the landscape became indistinct in the !!loom, the sparkle of a. campfire on the other side of the river, broke on the night, and sEemed so close that it aimost ap peared possible to pitch a stone into it; yet it was nearly a mile away. Drawing his belt closer about him Gordon started down the least precipitous side of the bluff, in order to cross the river and, approaching as near the camp-fire as he could, learn what manner of person it WM who had thus bivouacked for the night. Followed by the Indians he stealthily arproached the sparkling light1 crawling tlnouirh a 1trowth of underbrush 11s caretuU.v as the panther steals on his prey, until, flnally, they Jay close to the grouped band of Indians and could distinc1 ly hear every word Ibey mtered. And there they lay and listened to the talk of the Indians, 1
PAGE 29

18 Gordon Lillie. After lying quie fo r some time, scarcel y daring to b1s own animal riding the black at:ld followei,;bt course, crossing the presence of many warriors. riv e r s<;me distance be:ow the Cj)Jllp, and, as be And su1denly day broke .tpon them, bef<'re they drew near. stopping and 11ismounting and festeniDR weM aware of it approach, and they realized that the two horses to a tree near by. they were in de'.\dly peril, and must trust to their The night was well udvanced and he feared that swiftness of limb as well as their cunning, to escape h e might be too late, vat be hastened his prepar:\o from the toils whi cll eneompassed them. tious as much as po&sf'ole, hoping that he might arSo they hurried off on their return, and, rapidly rive in time and s;.oe his friend's life, and his ar a.nproachiug the river, ran plump into a band of a raugemeuts being fully completed, he rod' boldl.Y half dozen savages. who wandering about. with toward the Creek oamp, leaving the led horse tied no definite purpose. to the tree wllerf l.e had first stOpPf'd. Th'3 surprise was and they stood gazing When Night f1w1 fell, lle was rapidl y reached by a.teach other for a moment, 11nO. then Gordon, turn-the band of Creeks and. two cf them stopmg aharply to the right, plunged into a. thicket that ping, be was soon made plisoner and firmly secured stretched far toward the river, and. followed by his by thongs fast.eJed about hands and feet, and car t.>o companions. disapp9ared, while the mounted ried back to camph where the arrival of bis band skurried after them, bol\ linl( like a. pack of capters was l.ia.ilcd wi:. enthusiasm, all rejoiciu11 demons. over the cap<>1re of the spy. And so the chase swept on, until finally, the pur-The wound he had received had not disnble1 him suers aiTivin" within gun-shot. tit'ed. a.ud one of the much, althoi;.-gh the shock had sent him headlong to Indians fell headlong to the ground, shot through the turf, and the bleeding once stoppecl. he WB.li the hip, while Gordon and his r emaining companion comparativeV a. well man, and able to undergo en.v turnin r. back defiance at their purruers with tortures inflic.'ed upon him wlt.h the stoical endur two shots that brought death to one of the Creeks ance cbara.cte,istic of the Indian who disdains to and sent, another tumbling to the ground, his horse give way to ru y exhibition of pain. having heen shot beneath him. .A.nd soon th" rest of the band returned mad with A gbort run across an open p!'lin, and then, as rage and clisap-0ointment at the escape of the other they were about to plunge into the woods which two who had ,;ucceeded in eluding them, and with lined the banks of the stream, another volley hissed wild cries they 1emanded that Night Owl should be a.rter the m from the following horsemen, and the put to the tortt. re other Indian stumbled and f e ll, sorely wounded, .A.nd this pror-0sition was hailed with deligllt on aJ while Gordon, as by a miracle, remained unhurt. sides, whil e preoarations were quickly made for th<. Stopping an instant, be turned and lifted !q final tragecly in the captured man's life. friend, throwiu!l' the body across his shoulders with The booy of \he dead Indian was placed before a. marvelous strength, and then, plunging into the I him as be stood bound to a tree, and tre Ttoilian om. grove, realized that, for the moment lle was safo; tors IM>.gan theiJ high-flown speeches, alluding to the for the Indians would not approach the timber anrt bravery of the cHad r.'.lan, and endeavoring by all the e:.:pose themse lves to his fire, preferring to wait means in their power to arouse the wrath of the llntil h11 should start to swim the stream and then captured ma!'l, hut wi 'hou success; rm he realized riddlfl. h lm at their l eisure. that the gratification be could afford them from trunk to trunk of the huge trees would be to f,i...a way to au outburst of rage-this which li'led the bank, a.nd still carrying his como:nobeing th11 en-J for which they were striving. Ion, Gordon at length reached the edge of the gio\u But at Je11gth they exhausted their insultinl,\' vo-anu sto<>d upon the bank of the stream. cnhula1y, ud, his feet and ha.ads being unbound, Asma \I log lay on the ground near by, and, rollin '" while he Vtas closely guarded that he might not es thisdoWl'linto the water, three feet below1hesteppctl c'.\pe, h& was led toward the camp-fire which burned down, ph.ced the Indian on t'1e log, laid Jus revolvC'ri h rt;;M l: r lu the center of the gllide and there n1min on the trunk of the small kee he was thilll utilizing f astP u rJ(J to a huge tree, while the Creek wanlors a.s a raff;, and pushed otr, drifting down the river begaJI, their fiendish torture3. with the current and beinghirlden from their pursuT<> speak of Le variou means they resorted to, ers by t i le steep b:mk, so that, before the Creeks in c,rtler to wriD)1; fro''' him nn exclamation of pain suspectel it, Gorri on and hi3 re&cued compani,o'l w011lci be useless repet;tio!l; the story ha. been told were a mile away, and nearing the ban!< on the othe r over and over again until it bas bP.come a tooshore. fmrilbr one. But th1:y did not land there, for they were drifting l3"1fflce It to say that in a short time his bo.:!y pre-In the diwction of the Agency, and although chilled ssated a terrible appearance, so gash eel, so scarred, to the bo11e, Gordon determined to stick to the river S' burned and blistered wns it, altboug ll he had as long a; he could, until finally they were forced to 11.ot as yet receivecl any fatal wound. abandon ii; and land. wben dordon built a small A.t length, as his c ourage remaine d unshnken, ood shelter f n the Indian with bou:;cs and t'vi.'.;s, and d'Jsni t e the most excruciating p1in inllicted on him, then ligl:Jling a tire, m'.lde him as comfortable as ""bad not given one sign of weakne s, but con possible1 wb.eu ho started off for the Agency on foot tinned to gaze sneeringly and contemptuously on m se'\rcn )f h e lp his t ormentors, they preparecl to exerci"o their It wa:i long tramp, and h ewas w e ll-nigh tire d ;;:du in tbro"in::; the tomahawk with the Indian us a out, but h on and reached the villa::;o some mar'<; the object b e in:; to come ns close as possible time b &fore dark, ancl immocliately iufor!n c d t"!.le to him without inflicting a wound. wounded lmlian's brothers of his condition; upon D!awing lots for precPdecP, tho Indians formed which they, taking ponies and blankets, set out to themselves in a line, and Owl, s 'Cing that a hi s relief, while theunwearyinglad began his prep. brother of the dear! m:m stoor l third, up his arations f. another journey, the obj0ct to mind that lle wouH soon cn:iee to as thls rescue;.:1 Indian brother, who was a prisoner in the relative woU:d s:irel.Y seize thiq opportunity for vcu han ls of tbe Creeks. ;>;eance. ond crush out his life by a ekillful throw of Rol>ie1 Imel left with h im not only llis rlogs but also h is kaen-bladed h'.\tcb0t. the magnificent bL>ck horse he llaJ always ridden forward, the first of the Creeks drew '9 well ti.I! the costume h e ha.d assume::! w h e n setb ackbls arm and sent bis tomahawk and t u t on .his errands ot vengeance, and leading whi zzin g throuyh the air until the b lade struck th

PAGE 30

Gordon Lillie. !9 ...-unk with a thud that shook It and buried itself deep, while a cry of approbation edge bad grazed NJgbt Owl"s ear, barely scratching it, and proving the skill of the warrior. The second thrower's went wide of the mark, and he retired discomfited ..mid the jeers of bis ccmpauions; when th<; third, he who would surely 1-ill the prisoner, out, poised bis tomahawk lightly in his hand, surveyed his victim who looked Fwrnfully at him-witli..a sneering fmile nnd leap iJ1g sent the 'leadly missile whizzing to ward the tree. But at the moment he lnnched it a wild yell disconcerted bis aim, and the ax tlew harmlessly by Night Owl, while a thundering tread was heard, and a tall, weird hol'$eman, breathing fire and smoke, and bearing on his head a huge pair of antlers, spea illto the !!la.de. while, amid a cry M-" The Wild Hunter I" the Creeks scattered and fled in every direction, while the rider, cutting the bonds that bound the prisoner, drew hlm up behind him, and in a moruent more disappeared. Gordon bad saved his friend. CHAPTER 2.."VII. A WHOLESALE THEFT. WnE111 they rode into the Agency the Indian was so weak that he could scarcely sit bis horse, and Gordon bad to support bim and aid him to dismount, but he was soon made comfortable, and re lated the story of tbe boy s courage and daring, so 'bat Gordon soon became a greater hero than ever. By his requP.st the rescued man did not go into particulars regarding the dis1mise that bad proven ('ftective, as Gordon did not wish the story to be com<' too widely circulated, preferrir.g rather to let C1...,eks remain in ignorance of the true solution ,>f the for he knew that t::e story would and perhaps interfere with any plans he might co1i-eive ill the future. So be care'ully locked away the different articks be bad received from Robie and kept his own coun sel, while the Night Owl promi>;ed strict silence on his part, and as 1'0nc of the Creeks ventured near the Agency, the ta.IP. of the night's rescue was, for a time at least, thorougb ly believed. Kept up by various <1nties dnring all the next day, 'vben night came Gorct0n was completely tired out, and seeking bis quarc.crs was FOOD round asleep, bmied in a profound and dreamless slumber that lasted for hours. But suddenly bis rest became disturbed as with a nightmare and, after rolling and tossing about for ome time he awakened and sprung up in bed and listened intently. There was a choking sensation in his throat and he a smell like smoke from a burning sound of cries and exclamations Springing to his feet, he hw-rltdly dressed and hastened outside, when a bright glare burst out over the <>ntire scene spread before him and a volume of smoke and sparks drove him back from where be was standing, the wind blowing directlv toward J.im from lhej burning mass. Not far from where he stood was a large corral, or pen for horses, and <'n one si : le of this ttood a huge stack of hay. The corral coutained two or three hundred head of horses, belonging to the and was built of stout logs set into the ground and supporting cross-pieces of lighter timber. But now, ill the full glare of the blazll:g hay, Gordon could see that there remained not one horse in the lnclosuo, and that the Ore was rapidly increasing, the sparks criv ing toward the village and threatening to set ff re to t11e houses. And a thundering, rolling sound of boofbeats came to him from over the prairie, as the frit:htened herd swept away, urged on l'' their mad flight; by yells and cries and the cracki.ng ot wbips; he realized tbat a raid had been made by the horse thieves, and that every animal in the villege bad been st(llen, leaving no m"ans of pursuit, and that the raiders had fired 1hestack that the fla11 es might threaten the village and occupy the atttntiou of all persons nbont the Agency. 'l'bey could thus get well on tbeir way to the north, and then dividing up into smaller baud, scat: ter to east and west and di;;pose of tlleir bcoty to any one who ntigbt "ish to bny and who was not too particular with bis questions relating to the seller's antecedents. Instantly comprebendinsthe situation, Gordon raised his fingers to his lips and blew a Jong. shrill whistle which might have been beard a mile away, ovtr the prai.!e, and at the same moment an an swering neigh came back to him and shortly hla horse-the black ona given him by Robie, came gal loping to bis side. Hastily mounting and entirely unarmed as he was, be hurried away on a dead 1 un, after the tleeing herd, and rapicUy overtaki11g them joinHl in the chase, yelling as loudly as any of the otbel's and, the darkness being iutense, evidently mistaken by them for one of the band. And so they swept on until the glare in the sky from the burning co1-ral Jay far behind them, and Gordon was still unrecognized; but came to the con clusion that if anything was to be done. it must be ccomplisbed soon, as day would soon break and his identity and non-membership of the band be ex .Bnt how to proceed he knew not. for there were at least twenty of the men who wou Id S'irely shoot him without a moment's notice if they discovered tbat be was a stranger; so riding up alongside of one of them, he endeavored to learn, without betrvying himself, where they were going, ar.d how soon they would stop. And in this he was successful, for the other, ap p11rently not familiar with the Jay of the country where tbey were, and mistaking Gordon for one of his friends, addressed him: "Say, Curt," he began, "how fur is it ter Little Greasy, anyhow?" "Whar from?" rejoined Gordon, making his voice as g1uff as possible, and using the Western dialect as well as be could. ' Wbar frum,' ye blessed ijut'. wbar d'ye suppose from?" "Hanged ef I know." "'Y'y frum Pa'\V"De, in course." "'\Val, why didn't :yer say so1" "Bu Iller SJ!rings an seventeen mile from Pawnee, an' Little Greasy air three mile from Buffier Springs. "Doer. yer know enuff :rithmetik ter kalker!ate a little problem in mathermatiks?" 14 Cert! twenty mile; an' co1ne about fhe. "Ef ti.er Cap don' stop purty soon 1 '11-" What was to follow this last remark is forernr lost to bisloryl for Gordon, seeing that they wue well separatea from tbe rest of the band, l eaned over as if to fix his boot. and riding close to the other caught him suddenly by t!1e leg and tcs .. d him far over <'ll the other sid e of his ho1 se before the desperado realized what he was about to do, and the man lay stunned while the rest swept on nnno .. ticin15 this little by-play. And still riding close to the other hvrse, Gordon removed the sad die and bridle and placed them on his own steed-a matter of no little difficul'y at full gallop-for be had been riding bare-back and witiJ. no sadtlie. But in his difficult task he was aided by the intel ligence of the noble animal which ca1-ried him and was soon seated in a banrtome rnddle and holding tbe lines of a plated bridle that was profusely adorned with );ilver ornaments. He soon saw that his horse was far speedier tbP

PAGE 31

fiord.on t.Ulle .ny of the others and, knowing bow a herd will folpw the bell, determined to put an idea he had con ieiv e J into execution. His other horse whlch was galloping along with J1e herd, bad a fastened by a strap to Ws neck; ?Ut it was deadened by having a cloth tfpd about be cl!t.inper, for when the horses were in the corral 11,., be l was not needed and was only when thev \vcre turned out to graze over the praine\ for, 11 the broken country a man might pass near tnPm 1vhen looking for tb.e herd, ani! not be aware that ; hey wPre iL1 the vicinity. And the herd will al ways follow their leader as a 'lock of sheep does the bell -wether, so accus'.omed <1ro they to this usage. Urgiug his horse. therefore, into the midst of the erd, he, as the animals scattered and iillowed him (o pass, u tered, at intervals, a low cry of a r-ature, with which he wns accustomed to C..'\ll his harse to him, and was soon rewardt-d by hearing a low whinny of r:i.cogujtion in answer, and. drawing near the sound, he saw his favv 1;te, c'..tstinguished from 'he r est by his silvery mane an 1 tail. Urging his horse close 10 the galloping animal, he bent over, and in a moment, unbuckled the strap heh! the bell, an I f 1.St<>ning it atounJ the ..nmuffl e d the clapper and the chime rung out loud and clear m the direction of til e sound. And then he urged his horsa on to a rn'.>re furious pr.c !, and as the bell rung its signal the herd, onward like the wind, gra1ually convergd toward the noint wherd he was riding and followe : l as one anhuiil. Sw rviug off to the left he n distinguishable by the hcofs of the gallc ping herd. A.nd Gordon, as the ot:ber borees. frigl;tened l y the report of the rcvolvrr. CB me madly on, D!!>Jn I< nred into the Sf ddle, ard allowd tie bell tor iLI? c,,-ain, and soon rode ir.to :be .Agrncv, followed by all er 1he stolen hflrses, "!Jich "ff" Hien f8fely corrnlcd, !he fire having been extinguished b : torn it bad n.att:li ally injured the fe11ce. CONCl USION. Gordon remained f,, ,. some little time lon11er m tl Nation and continued to occunv the post of inlc r y,rcter until the summer of "lien be l eft t J e with them. He is the same quiet, retiring, unofsumi"I! 1r:an tbat he always bas been, and makes friends "h
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' ( ---,BIG-J 0KEBQ0 K SERIES. "OH! BUY ME THAT." A COLLECTION OF JOLLl .ND FUNNY STORIES. Illustrated. 64 pages. GRIN'S CATECHISM OF FUN. Illustrated. 64 pages. THE TROUBLES OF MR. AND MRS. BOWSER. Illustrated. 64 pages. McGINTY'S JOKE BOOK. Illustrated. 64 pages. WIT AND HUMOR OF THE BENCH AND BAR. 48 pages. WIDE-AW AKE SKETCHES. Illustrated. 80 pages. SOME SCREAMING YARNS. Illustrated. 64 pages. &OARING JOKES FOR FUNNY FOLKS. Illustrated. 64: pages. I "JOLLY JOKES FOR JOLLY PEOPLE." Illustrated. 64 pages. ec THE BUTTON BURSTER; OR, FUN ON THE RAMPAGE." Illustrated. 64 pages. LAUGHING GAS; OR, DRIVE DULL CAitE AWAY. Illus trated. 64 pages. PUT THROUGH; OR, FREEMASONRY AND ODD FELLOW SHIP EXPOSED. BY "BRICKTOP." Illustrated. 64 pages. "FUN ON THE ROAD." A RECORD OF AMERICAN WIT AND. HUMOR. 48 pages. 12 OEN'l'S EACB: BY MAIL. POS'l'AGE S'l'Al'lllPS 'l'AXB& M. J. IVERS & CO., PUBr..ISHERS, .f. .. ....... _;,. U" PEARL STREET, NEW IOBS.

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PAGE 34

LATEST AND BEST. HANDSOME TRl-nOLORED COVERS. e library 32 Pages. Issued Every Wednesday. Buy One and You Will Buy the Rest t ll!:xll'acte from the New York Evenlnir Sun, TWO ICE1'1AltKA.Dl.E HEROES. In only one eenee of the word can tt he regarded as a nove l 1tateme11t when the tact Is here recorded that \ure ha.A given many heroes to the world, and perhaps than one reade r wlll have to thlok a momeut over 'bte remark Uetore the subtle delicacy of Its genial wit 1trlkea home. But It la moat e111entlally a halt dime novel statement tbat wlll he news to many when It la added that ltterare, It traced from the dimly dlatant de.ya wben Adam waa a mere child down to the present day, would show bat few heroes that lo the eyes of boyhood would be een judged worthy of comparison with ttie two greatest t.eroee known to American llterature, or, to promptly reeal them, Deadwood Dick and Deadwood Dick, Jr. The modern heroes o r ncrlon for youn1 America, who are now aa countle1s as the sands or the 1ea1 awl of th: away the palm or popularity, and aucb as be l eft lar behind ht the race. It can be easily believed, therefore, that the. two Dicke ftrmly engrafted on the tree of popular literature boye and young men, that their posltlou IA aRsnred and that they stand to-day head and sh o n I d era above all rival s In the eyes or t he public ror wblcb they have lived, and for which one of tr.em has died. American boyhood, and that ts a tremendous factor tn the laud, now knowa Deadwood Dick, Jr., a good beal bet ter than It koowa Its catechism, and mllltous of young mlnda ab1.oru the thrllllng-tncldenta of hie career In hit 'everlasting warfare against crime and hie never-ending solving or tmpenetraUle mysteries. Mii lions of boys follow his stealthy rooisteps as he track& his vicious v ictims to their undoing, and then, when the victim& are thoroughly undone, the mtlllons wait hungrily for the next volume. which on.every Wednesday appears with the certainty o f the Wednesday ltaelr, and a new se\. or dellghtrul thtllls go tbrllllog away rrom Maine to Cali fornia. There are the volumes each e o crowded with thrllle and heart-tuge that I t were madne88 to hope to do justice t<> them collectively and rank tnjuat.lce to dlscrtn1lnate be tween them. To abandon the Idea or giving a tew extracts causes fn Hnlte pain, but If once a start were made In that direc tion, It would be cruel to The Evening Sun's readers to stop, and It ta therefore better not t o relate one slngle ac1vf'lnturf'. Sumce tt to say that the atortea are clean and well written. DEADWOOD DICK LIBRARY. I Deadwood Dick, the Prince of the Road I The Double Daggers; o r, Deadwood Dick's Defiance 8 The But?alo Demon: or. The Borde r Vu ltures I Bulfal o Ben, Prince of the Pistol II Wild Ivan, the Boy Claude Duval II Death-Face, thP Detective f The Phantom Min e r ; o r, Deadwood Dick's Bonanza 8 OIJi the Great AnnihilatOl'; or, Wild Edna, the Girl Brlitand 9 Bob Woolf, the Border Ruffian II Omaha Oil, the Masked Terror; or, Deadwood Dick In Daniter 1 Jim Bludsoe, Jr. the Boy Phenix; or, Through to Death II Dead wood Dick's Eagles; or, The Pards of Flood Bar 18 Buckhorn Bill; or. The Red Rifle Team 14 Gold Rifle the Sharpshooter Ii Deadwood Dick on Deck: o r. Calamity Jane II Corduroy Charlie. the Boy Bravo It Rosebud Roh; or, Nugget Ned, the Knight of the Gulch 18 Idyl, the Girl Miner: or, Rosebud Rob on Hand SI Photograph Phil: or, Rosebud Rob's Reappearance ID Watch-Eye, the Shadow II Deadwo o d Dick's Device; or, The Sign of the Double Cross Canada Chet, the Counterfeiter Chief Deadwood Dick In Leadville; or, A Strange Stroke tor Liberty Iii Deadwood Dick as Detective 15 Dick Bonanza Bill. the Man-Tracker; or, The Secret Twelve 17 Chip, t .he Girl Sport Ill Jack Hoyle's Lead; or, The Road to Fortune 11111 Boss Bob, th"' King of Bootblacks 80 Deadwood Dick's Double; or, The Ghost ot Gorgon's Gulch ll Blonde Bill: or. Deadwood Dick's Home Ba.e a Solid Sam, the Boy Road-Agent Tony Fox, the Ferret: or, Boss Bob's Boss Job 34 A Game or Gold: or. Deadwood Dick 's Big Strike 8.5 Deadwood Dick or Deadwood; or, The Picked Party 36 New York Nell the Boy-Girl Detective 87 Nobby Nick of Nevada; or, The Scamps of the Sierras 88 Wild Frank. the Buckskin Bravo 89 Deadwood Dick s Doom; or, Calamity Jane's Las& Adventure 40 Dadwood Dick's Dream; or, The Rivals of the Road 41 Deadwood Dick's Ward; or, The Black Hills Jezebel 42 'fhe Arab Detective; or, Snoozer. the Boy Sharp 48 The Ventriloquist Detective. A Romance o f Rogues 44 Dtective Josh Grim; or, The Young Gladiator's Game 45 'rhe Frontier Detective; or, Sierra Sam's Scheme 46 The Jim town Sport; or, Gypsy Jack iu Colorado 47 The Miner Sport; or, Sugar-Coated Sam s Claim 48 Dick Drew, the Miner's Son; or, Apollo Bill, the Road-Agent 49 Sierra Sam, the Detective 00 SiPrra Sam's Double; or, The Three Female Detectives 61 Sierra Sam's Sentence; or, Little Luck M Rough Ranch 52 The Girl Sport: or, Jumbo Joe's Dinuise 68 Denver Doll's Dvice: or, The Detective Queen 54 Denver Doll as DPtecti ve 55 Denvr Dnll's Partner; or, Bill: 11uckskin the Sport 116 Denver Doll's Mine; or, Little Bill's Big L oss 57 Dadwood Dick 58 Burk Hawk, Detective: or, The Messenger Boy'e Fnrtnne 59 Deadwoo d Dirk's DiSJ!'UiSA; or, Wild Walt, the Sport 60 Dnmh Dick's Pard : or. Eliza Jane, the Gold Miner 61 Deadwood MisRion 62 Spotter Fritz: o r, The t)tore-Detectlve's Decoy 63 The Detective Rm1d-Agent; or, The Miners of Sassa fra. Oily 64 Colorado Charlie's Detective D ush; or, The Cattle Kings M. J. IVERS & CO., Pnblishrrs (James Sullivan, Proprietor), 379 PP.art Street, 11\EW


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