Roving Joe, the history of a "border boy" : brief scenes from the life of Joseph E. Badger, Jr.


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Roving Joe, the history of a "border boy" : brief scenes from the life of Joseph E. Badger, Jr.

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Title:
Roving Joe, the history of a "border boy" : brief scenes from the life of Joseph E. Badger, Jr.
Series Title:
Beadle’s Boy’s Library of Sport, Story and Adventure
Creator:
A. H. Post
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
M.J. Ivers & Co.
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English
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1 online resource (31 pages)

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Dime novels -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Sports stories -- Fiction ( lcsh )
Adventure stories ( lcsh )
Boys ( lcsh )
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serial ( sobekcm )

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Volume 1, Number 9

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
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B35-00014 ( USFLDC DOI )
b35.14 ( USFLDC Handle )
032678750 ( ALEPH )
879383237 ( OCLC )

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C,1pyrlcrht .1884. by Beadle & Adams. Euter etl at P os t O fl:ke1 Ne w Y ork, N.Y., a s second c lass matter. Mar. 5, 1899. No. 9. Publis hed .Every Week M. J IVERS & CO., Publishers, tJames Proprletor. 1 379 l'earl Sarecr. Nt!w York. Price 5 Ct!nls. $2.50" Y ir Vol. I. ROVING JOE: THE HISTORY of a "BORDER BOY." -""Brief Scenea from Ule Lite of Jo1tph E. Badger. Jr, BY A. :a:. l?OST.

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Copyright, L884, by B eadle& Adams. Entered at Post Office, New York, N.Y., as second c lass No. 9. Pnblished Evey Week. !H, J. IVERS & CO., Publishers, ( James Sullivan, Proprietor,) l'earl Street, New Yo1k, Price 5 Cents. Vo I. I. $2.50 a Ye(lr. ROVING JOE: TH'E HISTORY "BffRDER BOY.:: Brief Scenes from the lite of Joseph E. Badge;, Jr, X$WCCC5--.,. .......... ) BY A-EI.:. J?OST_

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ROVING JOE: The History of a "Border Boy." Brier Scenes From the Life o' .Joseph E. Badger, .Jr, BY A. H. POST. INTRODUCTORY. To MY BOY READER: Your publishers have asked me, as an old friend and side-partner" of one who bas written a good many stories for you, to furnish them with a brief history of Mr. early career, he h aving declined to do so. The result js now befor e you. I wish to s a y one word as a friend to uoth you and him. All that follows I believe is strictly true, but however int.eresting it may iead, I would not acltise ,you to follow the example set by'' Roving Joe.' A full score of years have passed since he ran away from home, but even now he has not forgotten the deep grief and anxiety his conduct caused his loving parents. His eyes gli sten and his cheeks flush as he re calls the wild, free hfe he led in those boyish days-the prairie fever bas never left him, nor will it ever-but he oft.en regre ts that those youthful years were not more wisely spent. In these days a school-book h far more valuable than the hunt.er's rifle. Stick to your studies at least until your beard be grown. Time enough then to take a holiday. Your Friend, THE AUTHOR. dozen mlles up the Mis'S'ourf river from 8t. Joseph. This city was then a favorite outfitting point and rendezvous for prairie traders, trappers and freighters. A st.earn ferry ran between the city and Bellemont, its tariff being the same as tbe boats running straight across tbe river to Ellwood, though by the latte r oute a five mile bottom ot heavy "gumbo" had to be pulled through. This will explain why Bellemont was sur,h a favoritoi starting point for the plains, and in a measure, the skong attack of "prairie fever" which little Joe experienced. Every spare moment was spent in the company of some mountain man-Indian, half breed or white. B e sides, this rovin g fever was inherited. Among the first to make the overland trip to Calif ornia on the discovery of gold, wers his father and two uncles, one of whom never re turned hio fate a mystery to this day. The Pike's Peak fever was at its hight. The lev e l valley just west of Joe's home was a favor ite camping spot, a nd here he r e members hold ing the pot of black paint that produced the words every one bas read of-" Pike's Peak or Bu'stl'' And here be saw the wagon on its re turn, the dingy ragged tilt bearing on the op posite side the eioquent legend "Bu'sted, by-1" Denver suddenl y sprung into existence. It1 and the many mining camps bad to be sup pliea with provisions. Th ere were no railroads and thus were born the barely race of frei g hters, alias "bullwhackers." Ne arly every man in and around Bellemont took the fever, and in several instances, boys as young as Joe was, made the trip with their brothers or fathers. Many a time he pleaded for permis sion to go, but in vain. He was the eldest boy of the family, and after tba fir s t y ear, his father was CHAPTER I. away from home, earning a living for them a!L RUNNING A.W.A.Y-FROlll HCJilB. With bis horse, rifle and dog, Joe managed "COME go 'long, Joe." to smother his roving ins tincts for a time, but at "I'll do it." length he was conqu e red, and when he answered A laugh followed this emphatic G e orge Clark, he meant exactly what he said. declaration, for none who heard the words Secretly he made bis preparations tbat day, dreamed of t heir being any more than a boyish and when he went to bed at night, it was with boast. Crack went the long whiplashes, the no int.ention of sle eping. wide-horned st.ears bent to their yok e s and the Whe n all the rest wer.e sound a s leep, he stole heavily-laden freight-wagons ent.ered upon the softly .down stairs, and l eavmg a D
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Roving Joe. 8 wagons, Jyfng out on the pratrfe at nfgbt, to follow the same tactics on the next day and the next. On the morning of the fourth day, he mounted Pet1 his horse, and rode into camp, outwardly cool and composed, alighting and addressing the freighters: I told vou I'd come, and here 1 am, hungry as a wolf!'' For answer, George Clark a.rose and grasped the little rascal, his big blue eyes fia.shing ominously as he demanded: "Did your motber say you might follow us?" Joe h esitated for a m o m em, s trongly tempted to lie, but he felt that those keen eyes would i ead the truth. No, she didn't, 'cause I didn't ask. "You little rascal!" and Joe has often de clared that be could hear his bone s rattle as the angr;v fre i ghter lifted him from the ground, shau rng him us a terrie r m ight o. rat. T he kindes t jolli est fellow in the world when not. crosse d, C'rt'orge Clark was terrible wh e n en raged as now, and Joe would have fared badly but for the interfe r e n c e of the others. Dropping him, Georg e iurned away and spoKe no more until h e bad fuiten his fill Joe's beart sunk as be cov e 11El y watched the wagon boss, for be saw that h e was as angry as e v er, though outwardly more cool Sil ently Clark gave the lad food, and watched him eat. Then he spoke: "If your mothei: had given her consent, I wonld like to have you along, Joe2 for there's the making of a man in you, but as 1t is, you've got to turn back. The trail is plain enough. You can't miss it with y our eyes open. Strad dle your horse and light out." "l won't turn bacli until I see Denver," sullenly muttered Joe. "All the boys would laugh at ir.e, and say I was afraid." With a short, hard laugh Clark picked up his bull-whip-a hickory handle, eighteen inches Jong, with o. plaited lash of buckskin, twentyfive feet in lengt h, thick as a man's wrist eight feet from the hand le, then tapering gradually to a point. A terrible weapon in the hands of one sll.illed in its use, and Joe says that he never saw one who could equal George Clark in that respect. He could kill a fly without ruffiing a hair of the ox i t was resting upon. A common feat was to stick a pin in the cracker and at twenty-five f eet plant it in the center of a play ing-card. And once, when enraged by an ob stinate steer, he, in two successive blows, cut otr each ear close to the poor creature's head. "Back you go, boy, or I swear I ll paint a mnp of the trail to 'Denver on y9ur carcass in red ink I" be uttered2 swinging the heavy lash back until it lay straight on the ground behind him. N one of the others dared interfere now, while Clark's eyes blaze d like that. In bis rage he knew no friend, and a wounded grizzly was not more dangerous. .But little Joe bad a of bis own, and leapmg back, he cocked hlS rifle and leveled it-not at George, but at one of the wagon-master's oxen. / '"You whip and I'll sbootl" he cried. "See whieb'll get tired of the fun first I" '1oor&e hesitated. Had the weapon been lHeled at himself, he would have laughed, but ht knew tbat Joe would shoot at his first motion and he knew, too, that the little rascal could plant his lead true as tbe oldest marksman in the land. "Swear you won't touch me with that wbip or down goes your beef I" ad de..; Joe, encouraged by tbe general laugh which hroke from the other men. ''All right-I won't whip you," and Clark dropped the weapon, while Joe lowered bis rifle. "All the same, you ain't gCJing 'Jong with this train. Climh onto Pet, and vull out. Go bome and set :your mothe r s mind at rest, and on our next trip I promise to get her permission for you to go with us." This was wise and kindly advice, but like many another foolish boy Joe con sidere d h i m self the b est judge of what was be s t. Elated with the victory already won, he replied: I'm g o ing to D e rrver now!" He kn'ij w tbat time was money to the freighters, and f elt confid ent that they would not lose s everal days in turning b ack with him. He laughed aloud at this tbouglitbbut the next in stant be thought a whirlw,ind ad strnck him. Clark grabbed and flung bim upon Pet's back, thrust the rifle into his hands, the n struck the horse heavily. Like a flash Pet darted away out of camp, and the freighters began putting their oxen to. But Joe was not so easily conquered. He had started out to go to Denver, and he intend ed to make the trip. All day he hung around the train, in sight ofi.but without tbe reach of the bullwhackers. .1:1e did not close his eyes that night for fear Clark would steal upon him and take him pris oner. The same tactics were pursued on tlie next day until near night, when Clark, d espairing of tiring the boy out, and.. fearful lest some evil might befall him, sounded a parley. His anger had cooled down, and bis words were those of a true friend, but the little rascal would not listen to reason. "Motber'll guess where I've g one," he per sisted. Then you can send word back by the first train we meet. She'll know I'm saf11 enough with you, boy." To turn back to take the lad home would mean the loss of all profit on the trip, aud there was no other way to get rid of him1 so Clark was forced to make the best of a baa barg ain. It may be added here that word was sent by a train, but the message was nevey deliveJ;t>d, and for six months Joe' s parents knew not whetber he was alive or dead, or where he was. From that day Joe was enlis te d as hunter for the train, and right well he filled the position for so young a lad. CHAPTER IL ROVING JOE'S FIRST SCALP. FOB the first week or two out Joe had a jolly good time. He had no regular .duties save that of keeping the train men inl fre sh m eat. Game was abundant and tame. he was a fine rifle-shot, and there were only five mouths be sides his own to fill, the train consisting of but three wa&ona. The bull-teams made but com-

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ltoving 3oe. paratlvely slow progress, and Joe, on Pet, could The animal was quietly grazing in a valley, make wide detours from the trail after game. fl rnke d on one side by a long, low bluff, upon As yet he : 1ad brought to bag nothing of more the othe r by the prairie swell near the crest of value than antelope, the staple game so far hav-which the boy hunter now knelt. Between the ing been P.innated and sharp-tailed grouse, bnll and the bluff, Joe could trace a shallow "cotton-tail>" and jack-rabbits. But there ditch formed by the water draining from t'le were occasional buffalo-chips to be found now, higher ground. This was now nearly dry; b& and each day, as he rode away frcm the train, fore the rain it had been quite so. Joe mentally resolve
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Roving Joe. / 6' wheeled ap1f g;all<>ped away at fall speed, FeeII>.li:.gly te;ni!.led flt sight o! the dead monster. Joe yelled after htm, but the horse .only ran the faat.ar, heading straight for camp. Jt seemed a oourvy trick, but in tbe end it WAUI probably the means of savrug bis life. A few Y.11.oments later, Joe had something e"Ven l ss agtPeable to occupy his mind. The '!lull tbud if. distant hoof-strokes came to bis '\Jars, and tr.ming toward the point from wb!>'gce the saunt1!1 clhne, be saw a clump of horsemen appear at some distance along the bluff. It did not take more than one glance to tell him who an
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Bovina Joe. found If.II mark. The cowardly rascals leaped upou their ponies again and fled in bot baste, not even trying to carry off their dead com rade. No pursuit was made by the rescuers, for they were on foot. Besides, Joe's condition was critical. the rl!Qskin s bullet, ow ing to the lad's leapmg up, had only struck Joe In his left calf, a artery was severed, and he was rapidly bleedmg to death. Fortunately old Bob, who had studied medicine in his younger days, was able to take up the artery and stop the flow of blood. Joe was carried to camp, where be soon came around. No eff ort was made to extract the for fear of again opening the lacerated artery, and be carries the lead to tbis day. As he often says, the purpose of a barom eter, and he would hardly know how to do without it. Wbe Joe had listened to bow Pet bad bee n the means of saving bis life, old Bob brought forward a ghastly-looking object-no less than the head of the Indian killed. "'Tain't so pretty to look at," be laughed, as Joe sbudderecf, "but I thought it no more than right you should have a chance to raise the pelt you fairly earned. Sol you've went through the motion often enough in play. Let's see llf you're as good in practice as Joe performed the disgusting feat, though it went greatly against bis stomach. He was rnJy a boy, and afraid he would be laughed r. if he refused. But he never repeate d the actioa. The scalp of that Pawnee Pict was the first and thQ last scalp he ever "lifted." CHAPTER III. BA VED BY HJB HORSE. HARDLY a fortnight passed before Joe was once more in riding condition and skirmishing around for fresh meat.. His recent experience was of but little real benefit to him, thanks to the extravagant manner in which the train-men praiied his performance, and Joe confesses that just then he honestly considered himself a re vised and improved edition of Kit Carson, Davy Crockett & Co. I am afraid that, ere man! days, the freighters were glad when they sav Joe ride forth after meat1 for a brief space the) would be freed from his mcessant boasting. I'm afraid some of you youngsters will begin to grow dis gusted with my hero, he contrasts sa unfavorably with the imaginary heroes whose fabulous deeds and faultless qualities you have 1ecretly yearned to imitate, if not excel. But I set out to tell a plain, truthful story of how a ioung "border ruffian spent his early days, as warned you at the beginning. Joe was a boy, no better, no worse, than the generality of lads at bis age, and for me to set him down as per fection would be to foolishly caricature the por trait I have been asked to draw for you. Instead of learning prudence from his nearly fatal adventure1 the fortunate outcome re11dered Joe more confiaent in himself than ever, and all cautions were thrown away upon him., Several days P.llSsed after Joe was recoT"red sufilciently tO resume his duties as hun ter before he fell in with any more buffalo. This he was eager to do, for be was anxit>us to v:r his hone ill a ch111111 and kill hia nme in real sportsman fashion, wblle at full 'l>eed. Day after day he watched for his chance, and at length it came. From the crest of a prairie swe ll be sight of a small herd of a dozen buffalo, feeaing nearly a mile distant from where he stood. It was late in the afternoon, and Joe was al ready a considerable way from the train. Tpe ground between him and the buffa)oes WM nearly level and perfectly devoid of cover sufil cient to screen a footman, much lesi a horse. The direction of the wind and the lay of the ground was such that any attempt at turning the game was out of the question. The chase lf any, must be a tail-on-end one, straight a?:ay from the Denver trail, and careless as wag1 Roving Joe hesitated. Unluckily this interval of common sense was a brief one. "Maybe I'll neyer have B:Dothe r cbance1 the boy muttered, wistfully eying the unsusp1dous IUlimals. Pet can I'llI!. around those clumsy brutes inside of a mile. I can knock one over at a single shot. A blind man couldn't get lost on an open prairie like this I" Joe was onl" too willing to be convinced, and be felt tbe. t his reasoning was u,nanswerable. From th.at moment all doubts were at an end, and he had thoughts only for the big game she.ad end how he could the most surely bring it to bag. Thanks to his many long talks with old and plainsmenii who had e. very re tentive memory on a sucn points, could tell you just how every species of game on our con tinent should be hunted, and now he put what he had learned into requisition. He emptied a couple of handfuls of powdtr from bis horn into bis right pocket, then filled his mouth with naked bullets and placed bis caps whE>re they could quickly be used. This done, he rode cautiously f_orward, watching the buffaloes closely. When yet half a 1I1ile distant, the game took alarm, and tossing their shaggy manes, flirting their tails, they broke away in a lumbering gallop that seemed slow enough at first glance. With a yell of boyish excitement, Joe dropped tlie reins and gave Pet full swing. The noble creature entered fully into the spirit of its mas ter, and stretching out like a grayhound, the wild chase was begun The chestnut ran like a scared wolf, and his blood all afl.re1 Joe yelled in shrill as he saw how rapiruy the buffaloes were bemg over hauled. Already one portion of his boast was being verifi e d Pet was covering two yards to one made by the buffaloesi and in less than halt an hour, Joe was carried a ongside the hindmost animal. He felt that the chase was as good as ended, as he raised his rifle and endeavored to sight the buffalo in a vital spot, for of course not more than a sin.,.le shot would be necessary, since scarcely ..
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9 Rovmg Joe. ., ger, feeling sur.t> that the bullet would pierce the creature's heart. Instead, it hit one fore leg, just above the hoof. Joe leaned to one side, and Pet leaped abrupt ly in that direction, but the. anticipated charge was not made. The bull, with a deep bellow, raced straight on, visibly limping as though its injured leg was giving way. A little mortified by his failure, Joe attempted to reload his rifle as he had so often heard and rea!l of its being done in running buffalo Pet within a few rods of the wounded bull. Holding hi,s rifle in his left hand, Joe took some loose powder from his pocket and poured it down the barrel. '.!;he next move was to drop a bullet upon the powder, where the moisture upon it would hold it in place until another shot could be fired. So the instructions ran, but as he made the attempt, Joe began to wonder what sort of rifles those hunters were accus tomed to use in rUl'.lI)ing buffalo, for the naked bullet would not play the part expected of it. Forced into the muzzle, there it stuck, and could only be driven l).eme by use of the ramrod-no easy task for a novice while at racing speed. Luckily the hickory rod was an extra good one, and at length Joe succeeded in sending the lead home, capped his rifle and urged Pet on to deliver the coup de grace. llfore through luck than skill, the bullet sped true, and Joe was nearlyunseaJ;6d as Pet leaped a.way to avoid a savage charge by the wounded beast. Too hard hit to run further, the bull stood at bay, blood running from its nostrils, its eyes glowing red through its hairy mask. Retreating to a safe distance Joe dismounted and loaded his rifle, then resumed his seat on Pet, riding around to secure a broadside ;;bot. Round and round he rode but only to find that shaggy head fronting him, so busied that he failed to remark the setting of thll sun. At length, impatient and angry, Joe checked Pet, and resting his rifle between the good horse's ears, took deliberate aim and sent a bullet into one bloodshot eyP. As the bull's head was lowered, it was npossibe for the lead to reach its brain, but, roused by the pain, the animal made a fierce charge. Joe wheeled Pet, but he was not followed. The bull, having literally bled to death, plunged upon its head, dying after a spasmodic struggle or two. A yell of exultation broke from Joe's lips, but it was cut short as he caught the red gleam in the West where the sun bad disappeared. He had no idea of the distance covered during the chase, but he knew that he had been at least half a dozen miles from the Denver trail when the buffaloes were first sighted, and that the chasA had carried him still further away. Ir a body could only be sure there wasn't an:y sneakin' red-skins around I wouldn't layin' outull night," muttered Joe. "As it is, reckon we'd batter puclcachee." He only stopped to cut off the tail of the bufi'alo to show at camp in support of his story, then leaped upon Pet, and started o:ff in a lop& along the back trail, never once dreaming of toi!li 11Btra,y, For nearly an hour he rode on rapidly, hold ing Pet to what he deemed the right course, though several times he was obli;.!ed to bear sharply upon the reins to keep Pet curving to the right hand. Suddooly.hedrew:rein. Until that instant he could have swbrn that he was riding along the trail left by the buffaloes he had chased, but now1 like a, revelation, he felt that he was lost on tne prairie. It was a curious conversion, but I am relating facts. Joe aligbtedj and, by the starlight, searched for a trail. There was none, save that his own horse had just made. Bidding Pet stand, Joe made a wide sweep, first to one side then to the other, but without finding any traces. He knew then that he was lost on the prairie, and for. a moment be felt sick and faint at heart, for, boy as he wast Joe knew all that those words impyed, thanirs to his mountain friends and their frequent talks. He rushed back to his horse, intending to mount and ride swiftly-somewhere; but luckily he did not. In that critical moment he re membered the oft-rep eated warning of old Pete Shafer-and he decfares that he could almost hear the vojce of Pete uttering the words: Sto!? right short an' sit down until ye' git cool an cl'ar-headed. B'ar in mind that tbar aiu' t but one way to git out o' the scrape, which is the same road as ye got fu. Don't stir a step ontel ye make yourself know you're lost. Then -not afore-foller your own trail back. Don't pass .over a rod o' ground ontel you're you've read the sign right, even ef you had to crawl on hunkers every foot o' the way a.n' don't make one mile in a day. Don't look for anytbin' but tbe trail. Even ef you feelsure you recognize the lay o' the ground ahead, don't try a short cut. It may be a short cut-to your death!" Joe &bowed his good sense by acting upon thi!\ advice. To make sure that he would take up the right trail in the morning he crept back a few yards along the trail, then thrust his wip ing-stick firmly into the ground, knotting ha handkerchief to the rod. A trifll' more at ease now, Joe unblanketed Pet, and leaving the faithful creat.ure free to graze at will, he rolled himself up in the blanket and lay down. It was some time b e fore he fell asleep, tired and jaded though he was. Hungry, thirsty and lost. Three things 9,Uite sufficient to banislfslumber from the eyelids of any but a young, healthy and growing animal1 and at length Joe was snoring, chasing countless buf faloes in his dreams. How long he slept, Joe never knew. He was awakened by a sharp pain in his shoulder, as some animal had grasped him and was shakmg him severely...-With a yell, half of pain, half of anger, Joe out fiercely 'with his fi;ee hand, bis fist crashing against a bony head !lo heavily that every knuckle semed dislocated, then he clutched bis rifle and leaped to his feet, only to recognize bis assailant. n was none other than Pet, n4)W snorting and pawing, hit ears pricked forward, bis eyes glowing, the per sonification of angry terror, Ha.if stupefied, Joe could not realize what w&.11 in the wind for a 111oment, but then a. chorus of devilish yells and. screeches rent the IWrot air,

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Roving Joe. and dark figures Jeeped t?ward b!ID. 1ater was renewed by a small lltone Mechanically be attempte!i to raISe bis rifle, slab bearmg this legend: but it was wrested from bis bands, and a "Sacred to the memory or Pet Badger-the truest braWny indian made a grasp at bis tbr<_iat. friend, brav:est comrade, '?an ever_ had I" Pet uttered n wild scre11m and then bis white .A foolish display of sentimentality, say your teeth closed upon the red-skin's shoulder. One Then something is wrong with your heart, and 1ierce shake, and the savage was hurled aside, bis I'd rather have one such friend as poor Pet thau :rm forever ruined. Oneflerce plunge among the a million such as you. / astonished braves, a few kicks, and they fairly Joe-since I have know him, at not tulilhled over each other in their frantic efforts one to wear bis heart on his sleeve, but while to get ouf;of the way of the mad animal. Then talking of Pet I have seen him break down and Pet was beside his young master, and Joe turn aside to bide bis tears. baped upon bis back, gnided by instinct rather He carried that tombstone over four hundred tban reason miles to plant it, and I, for one, do not think With a shrill neigh the noble creature dashed bis time was misspent. away, but not soon enough to eEcape tbe mTowe which the yelling Jed skins sent after it. One arrow gashed Joe's thigh, but did not remain in the wound, and leaning far over on Pet's neck, be clung to the silken mane as the good horse clove the darkness with wonderful i!peed. Joe knew that the Indians were following, for he could bear the thud-thud of their mustangs' hoofs, but after the first few moments, be felt little fear of their overtaking him. A more serious danger lay in bis being chased so far that his back trail would be obliterated before be could trace it to the D enver trail. The trampling of pursuing hoofs died away. The occa s ional yells of the red-sk ins grew fainter, finally ceasing altogeth e r. For several minutes more, Joe rode on with out any-effort to check the speed of bis horse. He was without bridle, but that gave the lad no uneasiness. It was rarely that he used the reins to guide bis good horse. .A ,pressure of the knees, or a slight leaning to on e side being quite sufficient, and Pet was prompt to obey the softest whisper of its loved master. But now, as he spoke, Joe was amazed to find that Pet paid not the slightest attention to his voice. If anything, the racer stretched out longer and ran more swiftly tba. n ever. Again and agltin Joe spoke, but in vain. A demon seemed to have taken possession of tbe usually obedient animal, and no method at the boy's disposal could check its mad career. Joe grew more and more angry, and leaning far forward, tried to knock tbe creature down with bis fist, but Pet still raced on, never slackening his efforts until h 9 brought up in the center of a camp-the very one which Joe bad doubted ever seeing again. .Aroused by tbe rapid trampling of boof etrokes, tbe freighters greeted Joe warmly as be entered the camp, but he was too argry to answer them at first. Leaping to the ground, he snatched up a stick of firewood and aimed a blow at poor Pet. 'lbank goodness the blow was never dealt. Old Bob caught tbe enraged boy's arm, and Pet reeling, stepped forward with a low n e igh, bis steaming muzzle to Joe's cheek, then fell heavily over-dead I Three arrows were buried to their feathers in his flanks. An ordinary horse would never have given a second leap after receiving such wounds, yet noble Pet had carried bis master Dearly miles to safety-then died! Joe dug a grave and t>uried hts faithful friend, plantinii a beadbo!U'd above him. :Ni.ie Yearl CH.APTER IV. A BOYISH DUEL, IT was a bright and )oyous day in more senses than one when Roving Joe returned heme, after an absence of some six months. Of course the round trip to Denver, even with bull teams, did not take so long, but from Denver they went to Laramie, then back home. In all this time Joe's parents had learned nothing of bis whereabouts, and when the little scapegrace walked into the room where his mother and sisters were sitting at the supper table, you can iruagine there was a scene. Instead of being soundly flogged as he so richly deserved, he was and kissed and treated like one who bad rISen from the dead. Foolish, but very natural. From that day Joe set himself up as an auto crat over the Bellemont and some who were both older and larger, wno would under ordinary circumstances have stubbornly dis pu ted the palm, meekly subsided when that unlucky Indian was brought forward. For a few weeks Joe was in olover. Whatever he said or proposed was agreed to as a matter of course. One wbe bad "throwed his meat cold" must know better than those who had never per formed that glorious feat. Nor, to be simply just, was this altogether Joe's fault. The men, especially a half-breed son of old Joe Robidoux1 founder of St. Joseph, made so much of the }aa for having raise d a scalp of the natural enemy at such an early age, that it was no wonder he 'was in a fair way of being spoiled. But already there was a cloud rising above the horizon, and Joe soon learned that all was not smooth sailing. One boy, a recent arrival at Bellemout, never submitted kindly to wear the yoke Joe imposed upon the rest, and one day broke into open rebellion. b'lieve ;ire ever killed a ef ye did, be tumbled down an' broke his neck tryin' to ketch ye!" So said Bill Sheppard, a tough looking, chunky lad, not quite as tall as Joe, but con siderably heavier; pug nosed and freckled, a miniature edition of a human bull dog in looks ana disposition, as far as stubbornness was con cerned, though a jolly good fellow in the main. For a moment Joe was dumfounded, but then be threw aside his bat and rolled up bis shirt sleeves. He knew that be must whip tbh. rebel, or else resign bis position as "chief." Bill was equally eager for the and at it the two boys webt, twtli aull tQe-!JAi.1-'l'4ere wv

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R.oTfne Joe. little sefence displayed, but enough determina tion to make up for that. Blood Bowed freely, and loose handsful of hair floated in the air but neither one could make the other "boller,11 and when they were parted by the men too nearly exhausted to do more than make faces at each other, the question ot supremacy was no nearer decided than at first. The next day they met again, with the same even results and hardly a day passed the month that did not see Joe and Bill simi larly engaged. First one and then the other would gain a slight advantage, but before be was recovered suftl.ciently to brag over the fact, the account would be balanced b'.Y another Black eyes and bruised faces were chrome. A hard battle every day without the salve of victory to ease the bumps and bruises, then scolding or flogging at home for torn and soiled garments. Lively and exciting enough1 no doubt, but beginning to grow somewhau 1tale and monotonous in the end for those more Intimately concerned. So at least Joe began to think, and one day be never left the yard1 though from his nest in the bay-mow, ha coula
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10 Rovf.n& Joe. "I kin try Hlr.e thunder, anyhow!" grinned bulldog. "I know that-and leave off no better than you began, too was the quick retort. "But let that pass. You said last night that you do all I dare, and m_pre too. Now, I challeng< you to keep your word-to follow me 'to day, and do just as I do, then, if you are not settled, I'll aizree to follow your lead to-morrow. How is . "No runnin' or jumpin' an' climbin'?" hesi tated' Bill, for be knew that Joe was not to be beaten at any of those e:xercises by him, nor inde_ed any of his mates. "Nothing of the sort. You can do it all standin' or even sittin' down, if you like." "It's a whack, then! Pitch your jinny, an' I'm after ye I" "No such rush. Let's have it fair and rquare before we begin. Which ever one of us takes water first, will own up that the other is chi ef I" So it was agreed, and the rest Of the boys were wit.uesses to tbe agreement. "Con.., on, then," cried Joe. "We'll strike the Injun Mound first thing." '!'bis was a noted landmark some two miles tiortb of Bellemont1 being a huge mound raised by tbe Indians, nobody knew bow many ages ago, on a high bluff. It had been opened in severav places by curiosity-bunters from the East, and large quantities of Indian bones and Stone weapons found. It was a.-favorite resort for the boys, though rattlesnake' s and copper heads abounded amon g the rocks of the bluff proper, for straw berries grew there in profusion and from the summit the river could be trac;l for miles and leagues Joe kept bis own counsel until the rendezvous was reached, though the boys were very curious to learn what was the first test be proposed llUbmitting. "Plenty o' tin:e-the hull day's afore us," he would say; adding when thefoot of the bluff was reached: "Let's have some fun tlrst. Scat ter an' hunt for rattle-tails. Bet I kin ketct the one with the Snakes of nearly every sort were very plenty around B e llemont, and the boys were adepts in the a.rt of catching them, Their' metliod was simple. A Jong sti c k was cut with a narrow fork at the small end. When a snake was found it was kept at l:>ay until this fork could be clapped over .its neck, it helple ss. Then a noosed strmg was slipped over its bead and drawn close. This was tied to the pol e and the snakes were brought together and teased lll!til they fo!lght. Sometimes, 1 regret to saY} a ll.re was kindled and the snakes sus pendea above the flames to see them writhe and coil around their own bodies in viun efforts to escape the beat. Indian Mound was truly a snakes' paradise and. in than ten minutes each hoy busied w1uh a" rattle-tail." Then all went up to the mound proper-where the captives were compared, and the largest one, bearing fourteen rattles, was s ingled out by Joe. rl!sty old cuss 'd make "man sick in a hurry, 1f 1t only got a square nip at him wouldn't it!" laughed Joe, switching the loath: 10me rel)tile O.ll the head until It writhed with / impotent fury. "What 1think, Billi" and be turned toward bis rival "l'ith a peculiar smile, not frank and bold, but evidently assumed. Bill returned the glance in suspiciom Bi.l.ence. He was no fool, and he saw that Joe, when lfJS skin was not painted with bruises, wa.e__ white as a sheet, while his 'llyes looked unna tural. For a moment he shrunk back as a sick ening suspicion struck him. What if-bah I Joe was to set the example, and he was to follow his rival's lead. Joe would not be such a fool-Joe laughed again, as though he could read Bill's mind. That's just exactly what I mean, Bill We've wasted a hull month fightin' each other. _./ Both can't be chief,. an' we won't either way. They ain't many men would let a p'!Zen critter like that strike him if he could help it. But you've got to do it if you want to be chief!" "Not afore/ou do," put in Bill, feeling sure that Joe woul not dare make such a desperate ventur<>. "You show the way, an' 1'11 follerthat's your own offer." "I know it," was the quiet response, and Joe took several articles from his pocket, placing them on the grass, among them a pint bottleof whisky. "If you follow me, and we both live, then it'll be your turn to lead. I'm goin' to win if J die for it!" There was something in the lad's demeanor that awed his companions, yet they could not bring themselves to believe he was in earnest. They thought h e was trying to "bluff his rival, and, by making him "take wate1," thus secure a harmless victory. They all knew what danger there lay in those gleaming fangs, though the rattlesniike of the West is reputed not as venomous as its Eastern brother. Nevertheless, they aU knew of more than' one death from rattlesnake bites, and this made them more skeptical as to Joe's resolution. But they were wrong. Joe bas often said since that he must have been part crazy then for he was determined to conquer Bill if it cost him his life. H e had studied it all out that day in the hay-mow, and had set forth that you are li"li:edl You /

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Rovhag Joe. IW'O!'!! you'd foller my lee.a. You saw me take the bit&-" Bill turned and plunged down the steep side of the Indian Mound running like one from the plague, and like a ftock of sheep, the other lads followed him. Joe began to feel sick and faint, but knowing how much might depend on prompt action now, be took his knife and cut deeply into the flesh where the fangs bad entered, already marked by tiny circles of purple. He tore ope n one of the packages allude d to, and heape d gunpowder on tne wound until no more could rest there, then struck a match and touched it off. The flesh was seared and blackened, but Jbe was too excited to mind the pain, intense though it was, but snatching up the bottle, began drinking the whisky like so much water. While doing this, he killed all the snakes be could find, then, faint and terribly qualmish, he sat down. After that, all was a blank until be awoke at home and in bed. The boys bad hastened for help, and a party instantly set forth after Joe, lloding him dead drunk. It may be added here that that was Joe's first and last drunk. Whether it was the powder, the bleeding or the whisky, or all combined, Joe never suffered any serious effects from that bite. CHAPTER V. A WILD RIDE. RoVING JOE'S next noteworthy adventure did not pan out quite so favorably for him. He was then, lS no'Y, and ever will be, pas &ionately food of hunting, in the American sense of that word, I mean. Until the day in q_uestion, all of his shooting bad been done with rifle and pistol. To these be bad been accus tomed ever since be first landed on Kansas soil, and for bis age, was a remarkably good shot. But on this day, unfortunately for himself1 as after events proved, Joe borrowed a dounlebarrel, muzzle-loading shot-gun from a neigh bor, leaving the weapon he was used to at hom e. At that time, and for several years before and after, there was a regular flight of wild pigeons in the spring and fall, migrating north 'nd south, keepmg along the high ridges bordering the Missouri river. Nothing like the clouds of birds that mark the main tlight1 but enough to afford tolerable sport, espemally as the birds were wont to alight in the cornfields and woods to feed. A favorit.e stopping place for them was up in the Burr Oak Bottoms, where mast was unusually plenty on the year in question, and in that direction J oe bent his steps, on slaught bent, for, of course, h e then knew nothing of the art of wing-shoot ing, and 'meant to deliberately "pot" the birds, At, the outset, Joe was a little dubious con cernmg the "scatter-11:un.; or rather his ability When I first heard this incident, I thought Joe wns romancing, but I bavo since met two of those who were pres eot.---One none other than "Bill," and they declare that the foolhardy occurNd exactly aa it Is wmated bere.-Tw. 41m1oa. to use It properly, for the weapon Itself bad earned a wide reputation in the skillful handa of Dr. Crane, who bad brought it West with him, and whose wing shots were marvels to the unsophisticated Kansans. But a trial or two at squirrels soon reassured the lad. Each time he secured a rest, taking as close and careful aim as though the finest hair-sighted rifle, and each time be killed. That was enough for Joe. He had full confi dence in the gun, and would not have sbruuk from attacking an elephant with it then. Twent_y odd yeal'!I agoJ deer were tolerably plenty m the timbered ridges of lransos, though, as a rule, very shy and difficult to outwit. Joe baa often set forth in quest of antlered game; but always to return empty handed. Of course he bad beard bis old bunter friends talking about the "running season," when old bucks were bold as lions and foolish as a love-stricken swain, though be could never get them to tell why there should be sUch an alteration in the habits of the usually wary t\reatures. It was then The first of November-the very hight of the" rutting season," Joe failed to remember the fact. He was walking briskly along the ridge, keep ing a keen look -out for flying pigeons, to mark them down for slaughter, when he was startled by a p eculiar whistling sound coming from only a short distance ahead of him. Joe sto'pped short as though suddenly frozen still' in his tracks, for he knew well what that sound vras-tbe call of 11... lmck. More than once before this had the Jad heard similar sounds, only to be followed by the swift thump -thump of the coveted game boun.ding away in rapid fligh!:_, with mayhap a fleeting glimpse of a white "nag" as hIS only consolation, and naturally he expected to hear the same thing now. But it dld not follow. Instead, light hoof-strokes drawing nearer, and Joe's heart began to thump against his ribs after a mar vefous fashion. Was it possible that he was to be..:> favored by fortune, after alH twenty fe P t before him was a line of oak bushes, still densely leaved, through which the trail l ed, but which not the keenest eye of mall or beast could penetrate. Joe dared not move. The slightest sound no doubt would send the buck dashing away. He silently flung forward his gun, thumb on ham mers, fearing even to cock them until the game should come into view. There was not time enough for the "buck ager to fairly take possession of the lad, bir tween that first whistle and the crashing of the buck through the oak bushes, and the instant those branching antlers showed themselves, Joe raised both hammers with a single motion. The buck was on the fresh trail of a doe, all senses but one unusually obtuse, else it would have scented the presence of danger long ere that sharp click startled it. Even then it only raised its broadly antlered hea.d, staring at the human barrier in its path, instead of instantly wheeling to seek safety in fli ht. l oe never stopped to :press the gun against ,hill shoulder, but .pulleQt!,l triggen &!!. 'b'

PAGE 13

Roving tJoe. weapon came up t>reast btgb. As s nsrunu consequence, over he went, bac1.-ward, his head striking the ground first, but even as he fell he saw the buck rear up and fall over on its back. Quick as a cat, the lad was upon his feet, and seeing the huck lying among the bushes, itAI limbs quivering like those of aa ox when knocked down by the butcher, he uttered a yell of frantic exultation, and drawing his little bunt ing knife, leaped astride the fallen animal, grasping one antler and bending over to cut the throat of his prize. It was a very natural move to make. even for a far more experienced hunter tban little Joe, but it proved to be a most unfortunate one. Full in the face the buck had received both charges, and botb eyes were literally torn from their sockets, while the heavy shock caused it to fall. But the gun had been loaded with fine bird-shot, powerless as mustard seed to shatter or pierce that bony frontlet, even at such close range. Stone blind, but otherwise unhurt, the the buck felt Joe leap upon its back, it flung up its head and floundered to its feet. One prong of the wide spreading antlers tore the skin from Joe's forehead, its entire width, laying the bone bare. The hot blood rushed down into his eyes and blinded him, while the heavy blow half-stunned aLd wholly confused him. Fly pure instinct be dropped his knife and clasped the buck 'around its swollen neck, bang ing on for deal" life, digging his toes into the animal's flank, retaming bis place the frightful plunges which the teirified creature made. Blinded by blood, knccked half senseless by that heavy blow across the temples, Joe bad not sense enougli to leap or tumble off before the animal ceased its "'ild plunging and darted off at breakneck speed. His sole remaining instinct said hang fast, and ba11g on be did with the gripe of death. Joe could never recall the incidents of that mad ride with anything like clearness; it ever seemed to him like some wild\ fantastic night mare. He believes that the blinded buck tripped and . fell headlong more than once, but through 1t all he clung to the creature, feeling that to lose his bold while under such terrible headway would be death, or broken bones at the least. But it may well be doubted whether be thought or reasoned at all. He hung on through a sort of blind instinct. Afterward, it seemed hours were consumed In t.bat wild ride, but more probably they were only though the actual distance between where the race began and where the end came, in a straight line, was found to be all of two miles. Wbat with the blood from the wound in his furebead, and the blows inflicted by tbe bushes and brush through which the blinded buck tore, Joe could see nothing, and only by the swift shooting down through empty space did he Jmow that the buck bad leaped or fallen over a precipice. One gasping breath-then a terrible shock that seemed to shatter every bone in his body ttfterwards, a mP.rciful blank. lt was llearl7 sundown whell returned to unlucky Joe. For sometime he wu unable to realize what bad happened, or where he was. A dull, heavy pain pervaded his whole body, but as he made a motion to arise, this changed to such exquisite torture that he screemed aloud in agony. Curiously enough, this pain, instead of rendering bier senseless, served to clear the foggi ness from the lad's brain, and he remembered everything that bad transpired. He was lying upon the mangled carcass of the buck, whose body had, in a measure, broken the force of the fall, and undoubtedly preserved Joe from instant death. Forty odd feet above them was the crest of the cliff from which the buck had blindly leaped. They were lying in a small, three-cornered space between high rocks, situated on the steep bluff overlooking the Missouri river. 1 Cautiously Joe moved bis arms. Though sore and bruised he could use them. No bones were broketi. Then be strove to arise! but only made the one effort, intense pain causmg his brain to reel. He believed both legs were broken. At this terrible fear be gave way. It was day again when Joe remembers aught more of that unlucky adventure. Of the past night he could tell nothing. He may have been out of his bead, or possibly the hours were passed in a swoon. All he knows is that he awoke to a sese of keen hunger, while only s dull throbbing in bis lower limbs reminded him of his crippled condition. His buntinj? knife was gone, but be bad an old "barlnw' in his pocket, which be managed to get at, though every motion that in the least disturbed bis lower limbs drew groans of agony from his lips and started the beads of cold sweat out upon his face. This was not the first time that Joe had eaten his breakfast raw, and be now appeased his hunger without any serious qualms. Had he been given water, be would have felt comparatively at ease, so long as be made no move that could disturb bis lower limbs. Twice that day, Joe made desperate efforts to leave his stone prison, but each time be was conquered by that terrible pain. It would have boon no easy task for a perfectly sound lad to leave that curious prison, formeP, of three huge, square wedged close together and inc losing a triangular space some ten feet from corner to corner. Once outside, even if unable to drag himself to safety, Joe knew that he could start and keep a 'fire going, the smoke from which, aris ing in that desolate spot would sooner or later attract the attention of tbose whom he felt sure must even then be out searching for him. There was one unlucky fact which he now re called, and which caused him great uneasiness. On leaving home, he bad intended to go south, and so told his mother, only altering bis mind and going north, toward Burr Oa.k Bottom, after leaving town. As a matter of course, when night came and passed without his return, and his mother's fears were awakened, search would be made for him among the ridges in ao exactly opposite direction from where he now lay hlllpless. Only for this, Joe could have rested comparatively eruy, assured of being found and l'e!IOUed ill due COW1i8 of time. But now-be

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Ro.ui,r Joe. 13' hli.d no means of knowing how badly be was CHAPTER VI. hurt; might be not die before he was stumbled AQUATIC EXPLOITS. upon by chancel AMONG the brightes t of Roving Joe's youth-In after-days, it was no easy task to get Joe ful reminiseencas, or at least those which he to dwell upcm those hours. He owns that, at seems to take the most pride and pleasure in times he must have gone mad with mingled dwelling upon are bis feats in the water, and I pain and fear, screaming and yelling until he don't know as I can do better than to crowd a sunk into a stupor, worn out, body and mind. few of them into this chapter, though some Once he must have been heard by men on a transpired b e f ore and some a good while afte? flatboat, passing by, for when they landed at the adventure last detailed. St. Joseph, they spoke of the strange sounds Until Joe struck Kansas soil he was essential they heard and the morning papers had brief ly a" house boy," very much preferring home accounts of the affair, the superstitious flatboat company to that to be found on the streets, and men attributing the weird sounds to something tbougtc.he had lived until ten years of age on more than mortal. the bank of the Mississippi river, he had not The second day and night passed. Then, near yet learned to swim. In the new country where IlOOn, Joe was roused from a stupor by the ex-be soon found himself, all this was changed. Cited yelping of. a dog high above him, and Everything was to be learned over again, and Jooking up, bis joy may be imagined when be Joe proved himself an apt scholar, as has been recognized a black and white head-the head of shown in the preceding pages. his good squirrel dog, Trader-craning over the The "swimming bole" in the Missouri was edge of the cliff. One wild cry-then he knew admirably suited for the purpose. The river no more. made a deep indentation on the Kansas side, The story of his finding may be brie fly nar-some three lmrrdred yards long and thirty yards rated. wide at the center, where stood a huge rock Serious alarm was not felt on his account projecting into the water, shaded by a broad until the morning after his departure. Then spreading_ elm. This r_ock was nearly his mother gave alarm, as JoeJ eyer twenty feet b1gb, and at all times there was a since he earned hIS spurs by an 1ndmn comfortable swimming d epth of water around in open fight before his thirteenth birthday, bad its base, though occasionally the" June rise" become a general favorite, all the village turned would entirely cover the top. The current pf ou' to search for him. As he had feared, their tbe river ran from point to point-of tbe indenwl..v:ll attention was directed to the densely tation, leaving all within a gentle eddy. The wood u d ranges and valleys to the south of town, bottom was firm and smooth. A better "swim thanks to what he had told bis mother, and an ming hole" could hardly have been shaped t o entire day was lost. Men, women and boys order. were engaged in the hunt, and as a consequence, Joe's first lesson in swimming was a -rude but no one going to up the cows, seyeral ?f effectual one. He was watching the boys, en them staid out all mght. Next mornmg, Bill vying them their fun, but aflitti.d to venture in, Sheppard, greatly to bis disgust, was sent after when one of the older lads, Ike TP_mpkin by a missing cow, and in hunting for her, stumbled name, c a ughL and pitched him headlong from over the shot-gun Joe bad went hunting with. the end of the rock in fifteen-foot water. Quick as his legs would carry him, Bill ran to ''Swim or drownd, ye little varmint!" he Bellemont with his prize, and hardly stopping shouted as Joe, spitting and spluttering, rose to to tell his mother, caught the rope of the school-tbe surface. hou se bell and set it to ringing like mad. The Of cotirse be would have hastened to pull Joe, alarm soon caused the searchers to return, and out if he saw him in. trouble, but Joe was too then Bill told bis story. Quick as bis short legs badly scari;iJ to reason. t1!at it was could cover the ground he led the way to where indeed swim or drown, he d i d SWIIll. And the gun was found, and then the trail was within that same hour the little rascal was Jeap ciphered out. ing ofl' of the rnck and swimming ashore with Carefully it was followed, for a mistake might -ihe best of his comrades. That one l esson was ruin all thou ,.b few then present hoped or be-all be needed. lieved they find more than R oving Joe's Within a month from making 1'is first stroke corpse when the end was reached. Joe performed another of his "1,:.ol tricks,'' to Little attention was paid to old Trader, for use own words. he had never been known to follow the trail of He and another l!td-who bore the rather"pe&ny game larger than a squirrel or a rabbit, yet culia r name of Buenos Ayres-w .. s in swimming after all the noble old fellow was the one of together, and, as was frequently the case, the y them all 'to make the discovery. soon got to seeing which would dare venmre Joe was tenderly lifted out of what had al-furthest away from shore into the rapid cur-most proved his tomb, and forming a litter411ilf rent. boughs, they bore him home. A surgeon from On this day, neither _was willing to give in St. Joseph was brought in hot haste, and not first. and they swam on side by side, each hopuntil be came was it known how seriously the ing that the other would yield at the next lad was injured. . . stroke. At length, Buenos cast a backward Bis left leg was broken, his right blp d1slo glance aud witb a startled cry, turned to s" 1m cated, two ribs fractured, besides many bruises back. 'Not unt;l that moment did either of the from head to foot. That winter was !t dreary l lads suspect how far they bad Jett the Kansas and cheerless one to Joe, but when sprrng came &hore behind them. he was up and nround, lively and harum-scarum Joe looked track, then forwa. d. He wiu '8 'ver. er llli.ssouri than Kansas, aIM. IO be strucll

PAGE 15

14 Rovinjr oe. out with renewed vigor, never pausing, though his muscles ached in every fiber and bis wind was almost gone when ha "let down" and touched bottom. Not until be waded out and dropped breathlessly upon the sun warmed sandbar, did Joe remember that he would have to swim the river again, if he hoped to reach home. This was an unpleasant fact that never occurred to him when he struck out for the nearest land, fearing that he could not last back to the Kan sas shore. However, by wlllking up tbe river a mile or mnre, Joe succeeded in crossing in safety. .After that, hardly a day pass e d but what he swam the river at least once over and back. On the Missouri side lived a number of Frenchmen, who raised "garden-truck,'' and fruit for the St. Joseph market. One of these men the boys awfully down on him, and b o y-like, they formed a league against him and his. From that day, the poor fellow had little peace. .A. of boys of all a!?es and sizes, black yellow and white, would swim the river, storm his orchard and garden, then retreat to the water or sand r!dges and eat confusion to their enemy. More than once they were driven olf in confusion, chased by the irate gardener and his dogs, s1 and then, from behind a sand ridge, mock ana taunt their enemy. Not very moral, I admit, but very boy-like. On one of these occasions, Joe saved his first life. His sole comrade, Buenos .Ayres, was shot at and hit by the angry Frenchmen, just as they plunged into the water. When half across the leg gaJ!l out, but Joe managed to t;ow bJS mate safely ashore. That fall, Joe and Buenos caught a rude, clumsy canoe adrift-a small cottonwood log hewn out and pointed at each end. It was a very primitivo affair, and dreadfully prone to upset, but the boys_ thought it a marvel of grace and beauty, :..:id before Winter ca.me, Joe could handle it remarkably well. Early one morning )le was starting out to cross the river in this, to his wild-g0ose blind, when he saw two men floating down the river, clinging to a small log. They shouted for help, and though the ice was running heavily, Joe struck out in his canoe. The craft was not large enoagh to contain three, and even with one boy and a man for freight, it required skillful handling to avoid accidentsJ but Joe proved equal to the task, and brougnt one after the other safely to land. They proved to be two hunters, who had upset among the floating ice, twenty miles up the river. Their skiff filled and sunk, and only the knowledge that they were nearing a village enabled them to hold out as long as they did. .A.t that day, before railroads drove them out of business, the Upper Miswuri was thronged with steamboats. Owing to. the location of Bellemont, boa.ts could be seen coming up the liver, soon after leaving St. Joseph, and when coming down, more than twenty miles away. .A. favorite sport of the boys was to "ride the waves," and during the swimming season, whenever a ;!own or up boat w1111 sighted, word was P&8Md and a rus1i made tor the swimmiD11;-hole. On one occasion, this sport was turned into a tragedy, and, as usual, Joe was in the scrape. Two boat.a were racing up the. river, and, when they drew near the swimming-bole, were nearly abreast each other. .A.U of the boys were in the water yelling, screaming, diving and tumbling like porpoises. Joe and Bill Shep pard-now as firm friends and cronies as before they had been rivals-were furthest out, hoot ing and chaffing the deck hands as the boate ca.me on. These, mostly negroes, began throw ing chips and sticks of wood at the 1ads1 all in good humor, though some of the missiles were heavy enough to be dangerous, and so well aimed that both lads were forced to dive almosi continually. In their excitement tbey did not rememl-er that at this point the channel made an abrupt curve toward the Kansas shore, and they failed to notice the warning cry of captain and pilots until the prow of the nearest boat was upon them. In terror the lads sought to swim away out o. danger, but the huge wheel made such a terrible saction that the effort was worse than vain. Joe had barely time to scream: "Dive, Bill-dive dee_{>!" Down Joe went, kicking and striking out for dear life only stopping when bis head butted against the river's bottom. The noise of the paddle-wheel above him sounded like thunder, and the whirlin!f waters seemed about to tear him limb from limb1 so violently w a s he tos sed about. But when ne arose, the danger was past and the boa.ts more than a hundred yarJs away, their &'terns crowded by excited passen gers, who cheered loudly as Joe waved his hand and shouted at them. Then he turned to look for Bill just as that luckless youngster was whirled past him a wave. .A. strangling cry came back, and as Bill sunk Joe knew that he had been hurt somehow. Shouting to bis matea..for help, he swam forward and dove. More through pron dence than judgment he struck Bill and brought him to the surface helpless, dying as the li>d thought. Bill w1111 a heavy load, and little Joe was tired, so it may be guessed that he looked asx iously enough for his mates. To his horror they had not understood his cry, and were all s;vim ming for, or had already reached shore. He screamed for help in tones that could not be mistaken, and instantly his friends turned to bis aid. Both Bill and Joe were rescued, though they both had to be dove after. They were found so firmly locked together that their gripe could not be broken until land was reached. lijll had been struck by the paddle-wheel and three of his ribs broken. He recovered in due time The next life Joe saved was at a camp on the Smoky Hill river several years after the incl dent just recorded .A.n emigrant train had camped there, checked by the 1wollen river, their bank full, a muddy torrent. The men were all absent bunting 13everal children had started out to fish, when .one, a little boy, fell from his perch and wu swet down pas1 camp, strikinK ae:ainst &114

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clinging to tbe extreme point Of 'II. plfe of driftman awaY'. ft seemed bis entire windpipe and wood protruding from the further bank. tbroat were torn out when that death-gripe was Joe was alone, on horseback, and hearing the broken, and ashesbotnpto the surface, he was so wailing of women rode to the spot At a nearly exhausted that be struck out for sh o re. glance be saw that any hesitation would be Here be found his comrades all huddled fatal, for already the boy almost worn out. together in tbe flatboat moored there,-dressing Perhaps it was well that Joe had no time for themselves, some calling for a boat1 but not one collllting the :risk. AB it was he galloped up with coolness or manhood enougn to lend a the bank to the projecting point from wbicb band to save a fellow being from death. tbe lad had fallen, kicked off his boots, dropped Hard words, but ricbly deserved as one mare weapons and ammunition, then plunged into fact shows. the water. Tbere was no need of swimming, Joe reacbed the edge of the flatboat, and as for the current swept him straight to where tbe he grasp e d it, he beard the man who bad so boy clung, and it was an easy task to snatch nearly drowne d him in that terrible struggle. the lad up with orie arm as the current bore once more splashing in the water. him past. The hard work was still to come, "Tbrow me an oar I" Joe gasped, but not one and for one brief spell Joe thought that bis offered to do so, and it is a shameful f act that time had surely come. But life was sweet, he was obliged to climb into the boat, throw and he fought on, finally reachmg the bank overboard a heavy swe e p unaided, then swim nearly a mile below alone once more to the rescue. The mother was there to meet him, and almost He was in time, and guiding the failing man' smothered Joe with kisses before he could break band to the oar, which ,he grasped frantically, away. Extremely fearful, Joe ran to his horse, Joe towed him as h ore. snatching up but not stopping to put on his His name was Thompson, a printer employed things, he leaped upon his horse and fled like a in the offic e of the St. J osepb D aily Herald. coward. Besides these, Joe saved in 1865, a man from The most desperate struggle Joe ever had in drowning in the Missouri, at Jefferson City, the water, occurred in 1867, while he was a named Stevens, a cattle-buyer, who feh into student in Bryant's Business at St. the riv'er when drunk; in '68 be rescued a man Joseph. Directly baneatb the Lovers Leap, on named Clark, at Kansa s City, Mo. Prospect llill, the Missouri river there formed These were all the ];)uman live s he saved from a l"1ge eddy, which was a favorite resort after the water, but there was one more incident dall ; for those who wanted a good swim. which I cannot refrain from narraling, as it is One evening, Joe with a number of students, strongly characteristic of Roving Joe. visited the spot. A fine swimmer, Joe had been One fall while shooting ducks at Lake Con playing far out in the water for nearly an hour, trary, a few miles below the city of St. Joseph, and growing satisfied he returned to land. Joe shot an enorm "us hawk, which, with only a Before he reached it, be heard some one calling win g broken, fell ..nto the bayou, a deep, narrow for help, and 01itlined against the lights in arm of the lake among the lily-pads. Ellwood, he distinguished a human bead and With Joe was bis do g Oarlo, a good retriever, wildly gesticulating arms. At first be thou ght and a great favorite with his m as ter. Carlo at it was all in sport, as s o many persos foolis hly on<'e j umpe d into the water afte r the bird. Joe try to frighten their mates, but the moment be call e d to bim, but Carlo saw the struggling landed, be knew by the tones that this was I).Ot liawk, and would not return without it. 'l'be tbe case now. bird fou ght de s perately, striking out with beak "Come, boys, there's some one drown out and cl aws, and for a time f o iled all efforts to he cried, and le aped back into t he seize it, on the dog's part. R e solv e d not to be wateri without waiting to see the result of his b e aten, Carlo dove and graspe d the hawk from appea \ below. One bite, and the bird was dead, and A very few moments carried him to the man, with it in bis m o u t h, Carlo turne d toward who was still wildly beating the water1 turning shore. But bis l eg s were tangled in the slimy round and round, fairly insane with fri g ht, and ste ms of the lilyp a d s and the more be struggled almost gone. Joe made a grasp for the man's the wors e it.grew. back hair, trying to keep beyond rea ch of h i s Joe saw that his dog would drown with01,1.t arms, but failed. Instantly he 'Yas Cll;ught h e lp, and though t b e wind was sharp, the waaround n e ck1 .one hand a ter cold and a skim of iee forming upon deatp-gripe upon 1!IS throat, w1:1ile the drownmg it, be qui ckly stripped and plun ge d in to mans legs also twmed him., the rescu e knife i n hand. A f e w quick strokes Joe b11;d then 1!early attamed his growth, was set the d o g fre e, but while so doing, Joe himalmost SIX feet hi gh, strong beyond the ordmary self b ecame entang l e d, and in reachin!;I' down to run, q.mck and sup p le as a but now: he cut hims elf free, be lo s t his knife. Fiercely be was lite:ally help! e!'S, and with that te_rr1ble struggl e d, but fo r so me minutes in vain. The deathgripe upon his throat, he felt lumself ic e c old w ater was rar, i dly s a pping his stren"th @inking only wh e n t]ie 11nd be b egan t o l o se hop e when he finally bottom of river was struck. All wln le himsO!f loo se. It was on\r by aid of faitblul be was as. only a man can who I S fig ht;. I C a rlo, who h a d not d eserte d him, that Joe suc lng for hls hfe, and as bottom was 1 ce e d e d in renching l and; and be h a s of t en s a id he managed to free hIS legs., Ju< t how 1t was 'that be wollid do the same thing over to save a doue he never C01;Jld explam, by so me j d og of bis from su c h a death. me3:ns he.doubled up until bis fe e t R oving J oe it m a y be added, takes pride in aga.u;ist hIS ants;gomst s bre ast, the n thre w I knowing that, thou g h be has more than once &11 his strenatb into one effort, and kicked th11__ !->een forced to shed blood in sel!-defense, he bu

PAGE 17

koTing Joe. 1aved many more lives than be has tall:en, llO He was alone, all his min_d and a:len tar as the human race is concerned. to skating backward, wb1ct. a:.ccomplisbment be was determined to master er bust some tbin' "-8Jld he did burst something I CHAPTER VII. When.under full "stern-w'll.:f," Joe struck one A REMARKABLE ESCAPE. of the frail railin1'8,1, and as it gave way, he Trm Missouri river is no easy one to freeze realized his peril. une wild yell-be had time over owing to its peculiarly erratic current, fornomore-8Jld be crashed backward tbro?gb here' to-day and there to-morrow, its violent the inch of ice, sinking into the water right "boils" and "suckholes," the feat being ac-where the main current flowed. complished by floating ice becoming gorged, to That yell was heard by all, and some ot the be cemented together by continued cold wea-skaters were quick enough to catch ag!impse _of ther. Joe ere be disappeared through the ice, As will be seen, this process wae not espe-all saw the lanterns knocked down and rollmg cially favorable to the smoothness so desirable over the ice, telling only too plaIDly what had for pleasant skating, but the winter ot 1861 occurred. and '2 was a remarkable exception tp the gen-Instantly all was confusion. Girls screamed eral rule. It is possible that an ice gorge form-with horror, and boys rushed toward the opot, ed far down the river, though Roving Joe does though not one of them expected to ever lay not remember, but certain it is that from below eyes upon the luckless wretch again, alive or St. J oseph to many miles above, ti!e Missouri dead. None )f;new who the lad was in that was frozen over, smooth as glass, without fluw moment of alarm and confusion. This added or hummock, remaining thus until to their horror, fOr it might be a rehtiveTbe ice was cl!llll' as crystal, and even when it Then, what was little short of a miracle tran-reached a thickness of more than a yard, the spired. water could be seen flowing beneath, and even A human bead and arms shot up through the tiny bubbles followed: with: the eye !oi; yar?s. ice some yards below the broken railing-a Truly a glorious skating rmk, half a mile wide short gurgling cry was heard-then the dark and le'agues in length. And you may be sure form' sunk down almost to the level of the ice. that the boys made good use of the opportunity An instantaneous rush was made around the afforded. railings, and Joe-for he it was-was grasped J oe was particularly fond of the sport, though and pulled out of his icy bath, frozen stiff and he could never master the finer details of the unconscious. art performing as a general thing by main As quickly as possible be was borne to land, and awkwardness," but after all, he and into the -nearest house, where his frozen managed to quite as i;nuch of clothes were removed and restoratives success. the business for himself as his erratic didoes fully applied. afforded bis more skillea comrades. It was not until the next day that the full On New Year's night, the young folks of nature of Joe's marvelous escapade was underB cllemont and vicinity agreed to collect and stood. have a sort ot carnival on the river. The He had fallen into one hole left by the iceevening was a lovely one, clear 8Jld cold, the cutters, sinking down deep ii .to the water, then stars and moon shining brilliantly1 affording shooting up with such force that be broke an abundance of light, but notwithstanding through the inch-thick ice on _another this, nearly every one of the company had arha'Oing passed beneath a lJridge of solid we, ranged some sort of light or lantern, protected forty-two feet in width, by actual measure I against the wind, and secured somewhere. on All thili was done by the action of the current their person. When the sport was once fairly alone, and Joe never claimed ony credit. begun, the scene was a pleasing and animated Heated when he fell into the water, he wae one indeed. almost instantly deprived of bis senses. His Noone was enjoying the carnival more hugely cry and flinging out of bis arms when be came than Roving Joe, when as usual, he" put his to the surface, were purely mechanical. Bad toot in it.." he risen a yard further down-stream, it would A brief explanation must be given for a full have been only to strike the thick ice and bl understanding of what ensued. swept away to death. The current swept him The ice crop was of such an excellent quality agaist the square cut edge, and Ilis outfiung that an enormous amount was harvested that arms struck upon the fiat surface before him, winter, and a considerable quantity was reaped his clothes and thick mittens instantly freezing by some of the village people. fast. Only for that, the current would have As a matter of course, though no ice bad sucked him down before aid could re1ich him. been cut that day1 the holes left by the icem8Jl1 promptlf as his companions acted. while quickly skimming over, were 11ot AU th1gs taken into consideration, I do ot covered with a crust strong enough to bear up believe there is a more remarkable eS<;ape on any sort of weight, and to guard against record. accidents on this occasion, wooden railings had On one other occasion Roving Joe came near been set up around the openings, at each finding the fishes of the Missouri river with bis corner with lanterns, as danger signals. Witt precious carcass. This was in the spring of 1864. all theee precautions, it wc.uld seem that .at For a mootb or more, Joe had been living accident of the sort that followedl was !ID with an uncle, then in Missouri, some possible, but when thece was a ror gettm@ fifteen miles out from St. Joseph, beyond the mto a scral?!", Roving 1oe was a gemus that dd-I Platte river, in a region locally known u "tbe fled backle."

PAGE 18

Rov:fne Jo..,. lartial law had just been lifted from that lo ion of the State, and as no hunting had been d .11e for nearly three ye1J.rs, game was unusually plt.nty and tame. As soon as Joe received word of this fact, he took his rifle and rode over to have a glorious have it he did, too. The end came too soon for his liking, but when word was brought by a neighbor, who had been in to market, that the ice in the river was on the point of breaking up, Joe at once mounted and set out for home, as his parents were intending to remove to Jefferson City by the first down boat. Jo shot what game he met along the road, ana when he entered town, he aLd his horse were .half covered over with wild turkeys, ruffed grouse, squirrels and rabbits. The day was very warm, and fearing to delay even an hour Joe rode down to the river. The ice was brolt;;n at t,he edge, for several feet out, but he urged his horse in, and succeeded in scram bling upon the firm ice beyond. Joe toi:e off his CQl\t and flnn$ ft ever th trembling animal's head, blinding 1t completely. Then, using bis knife for a spur, be forced the t. the Union than ever since. Hardly a day, saloon fol" a drink, and so Joe gave him the slip. certainly not a week, would pass without All this Joe learned afterward. queries being made by armed men in quest of Like the general run of country lads, Joe bad stolen stock, and on more than one occasion a holy horror of policemen, and not knowing while hunting, nutting, berry-pieking or lookhut what he might have unwittingly broken the ing after the cows, the boys of Bellemont bad law in some shape or form, instead of pausing their blood chilled by the discovery of a ghastly or turnin_g backi he urged bis horse on at greater corpse banging from some lonely tree in the speed. He cou d not distinguish the warning woods, bearing the significant notice of Judge words of the policeman, else he might have Lynch on breast. turned back, but he soon saw that he was in a Roving Joe's first introduction to this peculiar bad box. pbase<>f border life will never be forgotten. All at once the rotten ice gave way beneath In coming to the new country, Mr. Badger his horse, and the snorting creature sunk half-brought an extensive assortment of stoves and way up its side. Joe tried to leap oil', but was hardware, having built store and dwelling be so incumbered with bis heavy rifle and load neath one roof, a large, two-story frame build of game, that. before be could do so, the horse ing, the family liv'.ng up-stairs and to the rear by a desperate struggle, scrambled up on the of the "store." firmer ice. Of course the sleeping rooms were all above Joe was ready enough to turn back then, but stairs, and Joe slept directly above the front it was too late. That fierce plunging bad shatdoor. Before the building was a plank plat Y,red the ice behind them for yard, and the form, and a stout sign, one end being bolted to cracks were rapidly growin!l' wider. There was the sill of.the window in Joe's room. only one chance-to press right on-and that a Late one he was awakened by the sound forlorn one. of excited voices and trampling feet without, Joe's good horse seemed to realize this fact as and as he started up in bed, heard the sign wellas its master, foritpressedabead, trembling board creak. in every muscle, its nose held close to the quiver-With visions of robbers dancing before his ing, water-{:overed ice. e;res, he leaped out of bed, and taking one burA score or two yards further and again the ned peep out of the window, ran to awaken rotten ice gave way, this time above the shallow bis father and uncle. place where a sand-bar had formed some two A horse-thief bad been caught in the act, and feet below the surface. Here the courage of the was even then being hung by means of a lariat horse failed it, and with firmly planted feet it flung over the sign! reCused to move either forward or backward. Tbe wretch was kicking and .swaying at the Joe kicked and lashed, but in vain. He was end of the rope, when the two men flung up the nearly distracted himself, for from up the river window and promptly ent the lariat, before came a sullen, roaring sound that could not be any of those below could realize their pur mistaken by one who had lived on its banks for pose. ao long. There was yelling and cursing and fierce The ice was breaking up, and woe be t-0 those threats when tlui halt-strangled thief dropped caught in its conrso when the shattered mass I to the platform. One or two shots were fired. came-dQwu. DVli both Joe's faf(her and uncle had smelt burnt

PAGE 19

18 Rovin&' Joe. powder before, and they de ecended and confronted the angry mob. lt was risky work for some few miuutes, and at one time it seemed as though the two brave men would ornament their own sign, but un flinchingly they pleaded the cause of law and humanity, gradually gaining converts nntil the crisis was past. Joe does not remember how that horse-thief was finally disposed of, but he knows that he was not hung then and there, nor by that crowd. One day aloni in the summer of 1859, Joe, with bis mates, were down at the "old swimming-hole,'' a.s usual, when they were treated to a scene from a tragniy such as one seldom witnesses. The swimming-bole itself bas already been described. At an ordinary stage of the water, there was a narrow strip of sand laid bare at the water's edge. Above this rose four or five sand clay ledges forming a regular series of 1teps, eaclr about two feet high and six broad. Then came a stony bank, of six f e et, where the water never reached, fringed with elder bushes. Along tbis ran a road, only wide enough here and there for teams to pass each other, and then rose the steep, rock-strewn and brusbcovered ridge for near a hundred feet, broken at that hight by a r egular rock ledge of more than a dozen feet in thickness. "Above this 'll'l!IS another level, along which ran a road, then the hill sloped back more gradually. All at once the boys w ere startle d by hoarse 1houts, pistol-shots and the rapid clattering of horses' hoofs, -:ioming from the upper !Ave!. As a matter of course, ell eves were turned in that direction, and right speedily they were rewarded by a most extraordinary spe ctacle. A horseman checked his frothing steed upon the rockledge, and turning in the saddle, fired 110veral shots in swift succ e ssion at bis as yet hidden pursuers. Return shots were given and the boys, even at that distance, the man's right arm drop as if broken. Then-with a yell of defiance, the d esperate fellow leaped bis horse from the rock-ledgei down the hillside, at this point an angl e of at east sixty degrees. It was a frightful sigbt--a desperate venture would have ended in d eath ninety and nine times out of a hundred. But the fug i t ive lay back until bis long hair mingled with the tail of his horse, both brushing the ground as the snort ing creature with forelegs extended, slid and scrambled down the steep, reaching the road in safety, but carried over and beyond it by their Impetus. The boys scattered with yells of affri ght as this reckless avalanche came crashing over the bank, and from the l edge above, nearly a score of horseme n mingledlells of rage with exclamations of wonder an even admiration at the reckless daring displayed by the fugitive. Only for a moment, however. Though none among them dared take the leap on horseback, they dismounted and plunged down the hill on foot, to cut the fugitive o ff before b e c ould re cover himself and regain Lbe lower r oad. Not until half burie d iJl the edge of the river oould the horse check itself, and then, as the rider ltlanoed back. he saw that turn back and attempt gafnlng the river road would be fatal to bis hopes of escape. Already the enemy were half-way down the hill, weiwonsdrawnfor use. With a defiant shout, and a mocking g esture with his left band-the other bung broke n at his side-he urged his horse straight out through the eddy and into the swift current. '.J.'his be entered, but there the mad race ended His relentless pursuers opened fire with their revolvers, and both horse and rider sunk be neath the blood-tinged waters. N either rose to the surface in life, and if ever, it must have been miles below. This man would bave been a hero, were be not. 8: horse thief. Joe will nev"r forge t that thrilling scene, when John Bickerstaff, horse thlef and murderer, met his death. Of the many interesting yarns which I have beard Joe spin concerning the "horse-dealers of that day, one more must suffice. On that occasion Joa playe d a more prominent than in those just recorded, and though In all no one can blame him for acting as he did, to this day be deeply re grets his share in the tragedy. Bui to the story. On the day in question, Bellemont was greatly excited. Word came of a series of unusually daring horse-thefts, ending in two farmers being killed and.a hot chase instituted. On e of the criminafu had been traced to the vicinity of Indian Mound, and there all signs ended. B e lle mont was warned to kee;i:> a elose look-out f o r a man of the description gIV0J1, and if discovered, to arrest him dead or alive. Of course Joe was bound to bear all the news, and he was thinking over the reports tha t even ing when he went up in the haymow to throw down hay for the horse and cows. A t the very first thrust of the pitchfork he made an amaz ing discovery. The outs ide tine pene trated human flesh instead of bay alone, ant so firmly was the steel held that it was with d ifficulty Joe plucked it forth. As be did so, som e hay clung to the fork, and by the dim light Joe re cognized one white hand of a man, the fing ers just closing themselves into a tightly clinched fist. Besides this, not a motion, not a aound came from the owner of that hand. Confidentially1 .Roving Joe admits that he was too badly Irightened by the disc overy to make an outcry, but at the time be meekly accepted all the praise s that were bestowed upon his c oo lness and n erve as then displayed. Qietl:y h e fiung down hay for the stock, and even whistled as he did so-possibly to k ee p bis courage up, for he firmly believed that this man bidden under the hay was the famo us horse. thief whom the Vigilante s bad lost trail o f nlllll" the Indian Mound, Joe Morey who m rumor credited with at least a of brutal murders. No doubt be bad entered the haymow on the preceding night, and was only waiting until darkness came egain to ride away on Queen, the successor to Pet. Joe left the haymow and bustled around be low for a few moments, then stole sil ently a way to tbe store, only a few yards distant, where he quickly made known bis discovery. T e n min utes later the hidden man was pounced upon and t.aken prisoner. He denied beiuii l"Je Ho-

PAGE 20

Roving Joe, 1t l'ey or any other horse-thief, but tbat was a matter of course, and as Bellemont boasted neither calaboose nor jail, be was bound, placed i n a wagon and taken to Wathena, several miles south, where be was identified by one of the relatives of the murdered farmer as Joe Morey. He was secured for the night in a room of one of the hotels, but before midnight a mob a rose and overpowering his guard, dragged him forth and st111ng him up to a sign post. But Joe Morey was not to die just then, nor there, for the Jaw and order party, anticipating s ome such move, had prepared to foil any at tempt at lynching. There was a brisk over the horse-thief, but it ended in bis bemg r escued and once more placed under guard. Through it all be displayed the utmost cool n ess and remarkable nerve, as one little sentence from his lips will serve to prove. The night was cold and frosty. When the first bell rung Morey arose and took a glance out of the window from whence was visible the s ign to which be had been strung up, then w alked to the little and l;?egau combing bis long black hair. He noticed a silver thread or two, and carefully plucked them out, then nodded to bis reflection with a short laugh, saying: "Your pow'd look frostier than that, old boy, if vou bad bung out there all night I" He was taken down-stairs and given break f ast, eating heartily, laughing and cha.fling bis guards between mouthfuls, seemingly wholly a t ease and ,the last man on earth to perform the desperate feat he did a short time later. Quick as thought be knocked bis two guards over backward, striking out right and left at the same time, then cleared the ta bJe along which near a score of armed men were seated, leaping head-first through a window, carrying t h e sash with him. Early that morning Joe started to escort his eldest sister to visit some friends residing at Palermo a village some distance south of and they were riding past the hotel when borse-tbief broke through the win d ow. At first glance J oe failed to the fugitive but as the cursmg came through the window m bot pursuit, fol lowed by the other men by way of the door, be r ealized the facts of the case. Boy-like, be was for joining in the chase, but his sister restrained hi m, and J oe was glad enough afterward that 1111ch was the case. Quickly recovering himself, Morey sb<>?k oft *he window sash, then darted awRy, runnmg as only a man can who knows that recapture mean s death. Back of the hotel the ground was level, unoccupied by either buildings o r fences, covered wi t h a growth of old grass and weeds. A quar ter o f a mile beyond was a cornfield, uncut, wit h a high "snake-fence" of rails, "staked and d o u ble-ridered." Beyond this lay the woods1 heavy timber, dense brush, where a man. <'.oula easily elude his pursuers or find secure biding. Toward this haven of refuge the desperate fugitive ran like a deer but hot on tis trail were hvo score men quite as desperate es he, firing their revolvers at every leap. O ne of the guards, a tall, athletic, middl &,lt6d f ello w was nearest the fu.iitive, in fa.ct; not more than a dozen paces separat.ed them. Twice around be snapped his revolver, but 9.1 often the caps failed to explode. with snarling curse he flung the weapon w1tn all h111 force at Morey. Struck fairly between the sboulders1 the horse thief fell forward upon his outstretcned bands, but recovering quickly as a cat, be raced on even faster than before. The guard snatched up his revolver and re peated the action, with the same result. Three distinct times did be knock Morey down thus1 but each time the active ltorse-thief was up ana away before bis pursuer could grasp him. In stooping for bis pistol the third time, the guard tripped and fell at full length. When be arose Morey had reached the fence of the corn field, 'and was climbing over it. l}ut there for tune deserted him entirely-. The guard cocked bis pigtol and fl.red-the cap exploding after having failed twice. His spine injured, the fugitive fell back, help less1 but scowling defiance at his foes as they fiocired around him. The almost incredible tl1lth was soon made known. Besides that last shot, twel-Oe bullets bad struck his body and limbs. In addition, blood was flowing from the bruises left by the revolver blows, and running from where JO<''s pitchfork bad penetrated his arm. An after in spection of the trail showed that he had been bit by the very first shots fl.red, yet he ran a full quarter of a mile, literall;r shot to pieces. Were this incident related m a novel, it would be laughed at as abstlrdly improbable, yet it occurred precisely as told here, and can readily be substantiated. Despite his sister's remonstrances, Roving Joe was a witness of the closing scenes. The dying man was carried into the edge of the woods, where a noosed rope was flung over a limb above him. "Make a full confession-tell who your mates are and where they may be found-confess murdared Brown and Appleby-reveal all the signs, passwords and hiding places of the accursed league to which you belong, or-" The speaker shook the noose signitlcantly, the action being far more impressive than words. But the dying man only laughed-a faint, husky sound, but full of scornful defiance. Horse-thief, perhaps murderer, though he was, a braver man than Joe Morey never drew the breath of life. Refuse, and we will bang ;oa,'' was tb6 1tern addition. Speak out, an if your words are proven true, may go fre.e. ". Again that mocking laugh, this tune-followed by words: "You lie when you say that, and you know i e as well as I do. If you were to set me free, after this those dtovils wouldhang you. I Bui even if you could keep your Jlledge, still I would laugh at and refuse you. Turn me free I You have shot me all to pieces! Even if I lived, it would only be as a helpless ?ripple, and death is better than such a fate. Kill me)lang, burn, do as you please-
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eo Roving Joe, more could they extract from bis Ups. If he held the secrets of the great league of horse thieves which undoubtedly existed in Kansas at that day, he carried them to the grave with llim. To their eternal shame be it said, the dying man was tortured in order to make birn confess, but all their efforts were in vain, and then, seeing that be was indeed dying, they fitted the noose around his throat and drew him up into the air. So died one of the most celebrated horse tbieves of his day, and despite his profession, despite bis crimes, Roving Joe declares that he died more of a man than the best 8.IIl._ong his executioners. __ CHAPTER IX. TURNED ADRIFT ON THE PRAIRIB:. FoR two or three years after bis first actual experience of prairie life, Roving Joe managed to content himself after a fashion around home, in obedience to his mother's entreaties. Not that the fever was killed or even smother ed, for a perfeet curo of the prairie fever has seldom if ever been recorded. But Joe was the male "head of the family," now, his father being chief-clerk in the Quartermaster Department at Jefferson City, Mo at that time, and until 1863, he kept his longings well within bonds. But be was growing older and more self-willed all the time, and for fear of losing him entirely, a sort of compromise was entered into. Joe was permitted to roam at will, only promising to report at home at least once in every three months in person, and by letter as much oftener as possible. Joe asked no better terms, and his leave taking was very briet. Rifle, revolver, knife and ammunition; a spare blanket, besides the one which served him as saddle; a quart can teen; a light knapsack containing a spare shirt and socks, matorfes, pepper and salt-such was his outfit. Queen, the successor to Pet, was a beautiful bay mare, which had won quite a reputation down South during the days immediately pre ceding the war, as a race-horse. She was captured by the 'Tth Kansas, and sent home to Joe as a gift by bis brother-in-law, Captain Weston. Beautiful, fleet and intelligent though Queen was, and dearlyas Joe learned to love her, she could never entirely fill the place left by the death of noble old Pet. For weeks at a stretch without eeeing a hu man face, white or red, Joe lived a bustling yet idle life that spring, summer and fall, with only Queen for companion and friend. Wbere ever night overtook them, there was their home. Through the day Joe shot enough game to give him supper and breakfast. Meat and water was all he required then and now; for bread and vegetables he cared nothing-even at this day he will go for weeks without tast.lni either, living entirely on beet steak, the result, probably, or the tastes and habits form. ed in the days of which I am now writing. A pleasanter eight months than those con sumed in the roving life hinwd at above, Joe declares be never spent. Through it all he was not ill a moment, had not one unpleasant adventure, met with no mishap or misfortune until the cold frosts of the early November nights warned him that he must return borne and see to putting matters in shape for win ter. Then the delicious charm was broken, and Roving Joe had another unpleasant ad venture to note down in his mental log. Joe had camped for the night on the north bank of tl:e Rattlesnake creek, and had j.ist finished roasting a fat, prairie chicken for his breakfast, when two white men presSPd through the bushes and greeted him. They were the first human beings whom Joe had laid eyes on for over two months, and as may be expected, he gave them a warm welcome, especially as he recognized one as having of ten stopped over in Bellemont, during the summer days when fur was not worth the trou ble and danger of taking. The other fellow was an entirti stranger. The account they gave of themselves was brief and probably true enough. They were on their way to the trapping-grounds, and had spent the night on the same stream, only a short distance below Joe's camp. Up at day light, they espied the smoke ascending from his camp-fire, and leaving their horses cached, they stole forward on foot to investigate. They had not yet breakfasted, and as Joe had an abundance of game, he cooked while they ate. Queen was standing close by, and naturally enough the conversation turned on her m erits, Denbre, the trapper known to Joe, joining freely in the praises bestowed by the latter. The other fellow seemed greatly struck by her beauty, ant.l bantered Joe to trade, hastening off after his horse, although the lad laughed at the idea of parting with,. Queen. He did entertain the sfightest notion of foul play be ing intended, full confidence in Denbre. The other trapper quickly returned with both horses, two tolerably fair mustangs, but not to be spoken of in the same breath as Queen. So Joe said, bluntly enough, and though the fellow talked glibly enough, his words made not the slightest impression. At length he grew so urgent that Joe, more to eseape b&ing bored by bis extravagant lies con cerning his mustang, bridled and blanketed his mare, then leaped upon her back and bade hi1 guests good-day. Joe had not ridden a dozen yards, when be was startled by the sharp click aa of a rine being cocked, and turning his head, saw that the unknown trapper had him covered with leveled rifte. So much he saw, but be-

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Ko"f'inc Joe. 11 fore be could speak or make another move, the weapon exploded and he fell from his horse. Whe n bis consciousness returned, Joe found himself lying in the water, a few rods below where he had camped. No doubt the assassin, believing him d e ad, flung him into the creek to hide the evidence of bis crime, but instead of/ baring Joe's brain, the bullet, owing probably to bis turning round at the moment of the dis charge had only tore through the scalp, mak ing a painful fles h wound, but not entering or even fracturing the skull. The current had swept Joe round the bend, then lodg e d him against a pile of driftwood in shallow water. Joe era wled forth, feeling faint and sick enough for tbe first hour or so, but indigna tion aide d him to recover his strength. A close inspection resulted in finding his rifle, broken at the grip by a blow against a tree, and with the lock lost. Queen was gone, no d oubt ridden away by the wouldbe mur derer. Joe found his knife still In its sheath, but his revolver was gone, either taken by the rob be r s, or else lost ou.t when he was pitched into the creek. Two hundred miles from any settlement that be knew of, Joe was anything but happy, and bis face was wet with something besides the water which dripped from his long hair. But this did not last long. Hot, deadly rage came instead, and the boy swore to fol low the trail of those who had so bitterly wronged him, even if it should lead to his own death. As a forlon hope, he cut some hickory splints and after a rude fashion bound on the stock of his rifle. His ammunition was all right, and where game was so plenty, he could secure enough to keep him from starving by ruaking snares, in case he could bit upon no plan of discharging bis rifle. For a lad of his age, Joe was a good trailer, and found little difliclllty in tracking his ene mies. They had. made no efl'ort to conceal their trail, no doubt fooling sure tbat he was dead, if not by lead, then by water, and the tbrae horses cut a plain swath throug'h the dry prairie grass. EageT to ma1
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Rovin.r Joe. covery. Denbr"' while In quest or dry wood CHAPTER X. to replenish the low fires under tbe meat came A DISAGREEABLE PRJIDICA.M:En. to the very clump of brush and briers beneath IN the spring of 1864, the Badger family which the lad lay curled up, and grasping a sold out their property in Bellemonj;, leaving dead branch, draggi!d it away, leaving Joe that place for good. For two years and over, almost wholly uncovered. Most fortunately Roving Joe's father bad been at Jefferson City, the fellow did not look behind hiUl, the brush head clerk in the Quartermaster Department, and brambles in bis path requiring all his atten-as bis official title read, but owing to the fact tion, and so the lad escaped, seeking another that the Quartermaster, Captain G--(since covert where there were no tempting sticks. dead, so the name is left blank) was almost enThat was a terribly long day, 'but the end tirely uneducated, Mr. Badger was in reality came at last, and as the shadows deepened in the head of th' e huge concern. Owing to this tbe timber, Joe stole cautiously around to. fact, his furloughs were few and far between, where he could inspect the b'orses. Tbese, as and as, in the early days of '64, people began night fell, had been brought in and tied close to believe the war would not end for ages, he togeth e r, a quantity of green cottonwood tops sent for his family, and Joe was taken into being placed before them as forage. the office, doing the work of a common clerk, With a coolness worthy an older head, Joe though without salary or having his name on waited for tbe p roper time bef 0re making a the pay rollS. I mention this to show that all decisive move, knowing that he would never employees..iid not try their utmbst to skin the be given another chance should he fail now, government. even if his life did not pay'the forfeit. The change from running round loose to Queen was so well trained tbat Joe knew daily work at the desk, was far from satisfac she would not make a sound after his warning tory to Joe, as those who may have read this whisper met her ears,_ but tie was suspicious of far will readily understand. But he was now the two mustangs, and took care to keep well sixteen years old, and if be was going to be to windward of the.m. Should they scent the come a reputable citizen, it was high time he presence of a stranger, they would almost cer-was laying the foundation. taiuly awaken the suspicions of their masters. Still, Joe was given frequent holidays, and Joe knew something of the way in which these were spent in hunting and fishing, ren meat was jerked, and knew tbat one of tbe dered doubly enticing by the strong element men must keep awake to watch the fires, to of uncertainty and danger hanging ove.r all keep them at exactly the right stage, neither those who ventured far away from earthworks too brisk nor too low. And not a little to his and soldiers. I satisfi;tction he saw that the ra cal who tried to There were not many pitched battles, where murder him was to keep the first watch. the forces engaged were numerous enough to Until then, he had only thought of recovering demand a place in history, fought on Missouri Queen, but now he resolved to return shot for soil during the war, but for all that, few States shot. were "liveliEr" or more "full of fU!J," thanks Resti g his rifle in a stout crotch, be covered to the guerrillas of Quantrell, Todd, Anderson, the rascal's left breast, and theu struck the cap Gregg and others scarcely less i:otorious on the on the nipple a sharp blow with the handle of opposing side: Jim Lane, Pavick, Jennison, bis knife. A wild cry followed the shot, and et al. The old feuds, begun long before the as Joe leaped up, be saw the trapper fall, Den-war, between Mi&souri and Kansas, were fought bra leaped up from hjs sleep, amazed and terri-out to the bitter end during the war, and fled, then, as Joe yelled like a demon, the fel-not a day passed but what some more or low plunged for cover. / less terrible trageuy occurred. At different Joe leaped to the horses, and cutting them times, Independence, Kansas City and even loose, sprung upon Queen and dashed away the State capitol itself, were hastily called to over the prai rie, followed by the two mustangs arms to beat back the audacious guerrillas, in full stampede. l and during tho darkest days of '64, he who enRoving Joe left a Jong trail behind him that tered the wooded hills beyond the fortifications, night, and in the morning secure!l tbe two did so at the risk of bis life. mustangs, taking them home to Bellemont with So much by way of preface, to an ad venture him, where, after bis story was told, the ani-which came very near putting an end to the mals were sold for his benefit. exploits of Roving Joe. l Neither of the trappers ever returned to During those days, even after martial law and it was years later when Joe was lifted, in t9e fall of '63, four-legged and I learned that, owing to the manner in which he feathered game was very little bunted in I had to explode bis rifle, bis lead had only Missouri, and flourished accordingly. Natural broken the fellow's left arm. But it was enough, wh, en the bunter knew tha.t each shot fated that they two. to meet once iu he fired might bring down upon his bacll: a We. gang ot bloodthirsty guerrillas or a scaro.aly -

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Roving Joe. 1-1 to be feared squad of soldiers out on a aoout. !ti was war to the hilt in those days, and when a suspe cted person was .captured by either party, rope or bullet saved the trouble ot guard duty or questioning. R o ving Joe was just rash and conceited enough to enjoy tlje situation, and J est worst should come of r e fu s al, be \\as given p e rmis sion to take a week s bunt along the O s age river. As yet be bad made no intimate friends a.."llong the youngsters of J e fferson City, for J oe was ever backward in that r e spect so be mad e n o e ffort to secure company on this bunt, feeling safer with only bis own hide 1Jo look after. F'or a day or two Joe was in clover, after striking the Osage_. Game was abundant and tame. Wild turkeys, squirrels and rabbits, with an ooca s ional summer duck for change. Once in awhile a d ee r cOuld be jumped or caught f ee ding by mo onlight in the few culti vated fie lds, but Joe did not waste muc h time on them. For precaution sake be had s e lecte d .a rifle carrying an exceedingly small ball, re quiring but a pinch of powder, and making a report scarcely louder than the explosion of a cap on a shot-gun, though lleadly enough on all small game under one hundred yards. Knowing that the report could scarcely be b eard by ears a hundred yards away, Joe soon gre w entirely at ease, anu enjoyed bis furlough amazingly. No t until the third day out did anything un pleasant occur. Joe fir e d at a gray squirrel, and like an echo, only much loug.er, came the "0port of another rifle the lead from which fairly barked the lad's l eft ear in its passage This was a close call, and Joe darted b e hind the n earest cover, rel o ading his rifl e as rapidly as possible, while ke eping a keen eye upon th.e clump of brush above which bung the blue sm oke of burnt powd er. For nearly an hour Joe lay in waiting, but not a s ound came from the direction of the ambush; and then be slowly backed away un til be could creep around the spot from whence the treacherous shot bad been sped. It was an easy m atter to read "sign on the thick car pet of dAcaying leaves, and Joe soon found where his unknown enemy had beaten a cau tious retreat, no doubt soon after the failure of bis shot. For s everal hundred yards Jee followed the trail, s atisfying himself that there bad only been one man engage d in the dirty business, then gave over the bunt, satisfied to let well enough alone. Who the bushwhacker was he never learned. The lesson was not forg o tten, though, and was emphasiz e d by the disr, when Joe returned to camp, that bis horse was mis sing-stolen beyond a d".lubt, since be bad been left haltered, while now sad dle and bridle aa well bad disappeared. / In selecting his bead-quarten, Joe bad an eye to comfort rather than prudence, taking possession of an old log house and stable. The family once owniQg it had been butchered by bushwhackers a year or mote before, though the stains of blood w,ere still visible on the rude punclieon floor. There was only one rqim in the house, a fe'VI boards being laid loosely across the smoky rafters, forming a small loft uuder the leaky roof. The fireplace and chimney were in good order, and so Joe, having scant fear of gho s ts, took possession of the building for the time be ing. The nearly fatal shot and the theft of hil horse gave Roving Joe plenty of food for thought, and though be was too stubborn k flee from an unseen danger, be concluded to roost high that night, climbing up into the loft and replacing the boards, so there would be no danger of his falling through in bis sleep. As fate would have it, there was little dan g e r of this occurring, for Joe did not got a wink of sleep that night. He was fortunate in retiring so early, for in less than an hour be beard footsteps prow ling around the building, and after a brief pause the
PAGE 25

Koving Joe. when day came, and he was onC{\ more tree to grass lest It should betray him by rustling be descend, this decision was modified. neath his weight. It was a forlorn hope, bul Joe was only a boy, and not as wise as he the best he could do. In that brightmoon might be When be spoke of taking a hunt on light, with the reflecting water all before the the O sage he was laughed at by his f e llowcave, not even a rat could.have left it without clerks and even when they saw him ready to being discovered by either the fugitives or pur set out, they predicted his return, scared out of suers, if not both. And in those days blows a year's growth, long before his week's fur were dealt in preference to questions-all men lough expired. And recalling this, Joe diu were' deemed guilty until they were proved in what almost any high-spirited, lad would have nocenp. done-mt>de up his mind to see the week out Straight to the cave floundered the fugitives, even if he !rad to crawl into a hollow tree and and tl;len turning at bay, opened a swift and stay there until the time expired. deadly fire upon their pursuers, now not far But he had a more comfortable refuge than from the middle of the river. Under i:over, that in his mind's eye, discovered while fishing revealed only by the red gleams of their re in the Osage. This was a cave on the river volver shots, the four men were more than a bank, l eve l with the water, and which could match for the score who pursued them, and not be entered except by wading. It was when two of their number fell de1>d, and others some forty feet deep, the entrance being jyider were wounded, the horsemen scattered, some and higher than the inside dimensions.' This making for bank, and to cut off the re and owing to its location near -a well known treat of the enemy, some turning back. ford, made it about the last spot one would Taunting yells followed them, and Joe felt suspect of being used as a hiding-place, and for bis heart sink as he recognized the voices of that very reason Joe res olved to make use of the four men who bad been his unwelcome it, at least for the remainder of the week, and guests on the night last past. Then he bitterly depend for food mainly on the fish he could regretted not having acted on his first impulse catch from the river. when he saw the fugitives bead for the cave. At the rear end of the hole, Joe dug out a That was to fire a shot or two toward them, comfortable berth in the sand, lining it with warning them to choose some other course. leaves and grass, choosing a little ledge several This he doubtless would have done, if the real feet above the level of the bottom. This be facts had been known to him, but in those occup ied that night, but was fated to sleep days, and in that portion of Missouri, he knew very litt\e. that the "boys in blue,'' unfortunately, were He had scarcely fallen into a doze, when he obliged to play the part of fugitives oftener was1 awakened by the sound of fire -arms, dis-than otherwise. This may sound ungenerous, tant yells and shouts. Scrambling out of his but the records of guerrilla warfw-e in Mis bertb, he ran to the entrance of the cave and souri will bear out the assertion. listened. Unluckily Joe had little leisure for bewail-The alarm came from the other side of the ing bis mistake. river, and as he listened breath:essly, he knew 'fhe soldiers who bad crossed the river, kin that the sounds wern coming n earer, for now died a huge fire directly above the cave, and he could catch an occasiontil. hoof-stroke, the their comrades on the other side, guided by it, iron ringing out against the rocky road lead-opened a brisk fire, sending almost every bul ing to the ford. let into"the wide mouth of the cave. The The night was a lovely one, the sky without very first one sent a little shower of sand a cloud, the stars and full moon shining bril down into Joe's face. liautly. The Osage, quite broad and shallow The luckless lad was threatened by a at this point, shone like a band of silver. But double peril If he tried to alter bis exposed Joe did oot dwell long upon the beauties of position, he would attract the attention of the nature, for just then four men rau down 'the bushwh .. ckers, and almost ceitainly be mur slope on the further bank, and da&hed into the dered, while if be remained,still, the very next 6hallow stream, making the water fly in silver musket ball might prove his death. Truly, spray. And before they had gained the mid-however looked at, it was a most unpleasant die of the stream, a number of horsemen dilemma, and for the life of him, Joe could not dashed into view and opened a lively fire upon decide which horn was the bluntest! the fugitives. Steadily the bullets poured into the cave, Joe saw this much-and more. As though and then Joe saw one of the outlaws stagger despairing of making their escape by flight, on up and fall, stone dead. An instant later, a foot, where horsemen were following hard second gave a wild scream of agony as a bul the fugitives veered to the right heading let tore away his entire lower jaw I 1traight for the cave. The survivors seemed panic-stricken by the Joe dodged back and retreated ro hi
PAGE 26

Roving Joe. tide <1l the cave. But still the whistling m.inie balls came over the river and into the wide mouthed cave, searching out every no o k and cranny as tho u g h ins t inct with reas on and thirsting for human blood. As may be imagtned, Joe was in a terri ble i;weat, probably wors e frighte n e d than he h a d ever been before, and as the vicious l ead con tinued to thud-thud into the sand around him, he slipped out of bis berth and croucb d down in a side niche, where he was better protecte d. Scarcely had he done so, wbeu the two out laws, driven out from their n est by the s earch ing bullets, came creeping further bac k 'into the cave. While the darkness cover e d him, Joe could them quite distinctly a gainst the lighter background, and knowing 'that he would almost certainly be he rose up, a heavy stone in on e hand, his r i fle in the other. With all bi s force, be burled the sto ne, stl'iking ont1 man full in the face and dropping him senseless, then, before the other fellow could realize what bad occurred, the clubb e d rifle descended upon bis skull with d
PAGE 27

. Rovin&: Joe. abanging to a scowl of hatred and sus picion. The keen-eyed sergeant was watching him, and the exact effect counted on by the malig nant rascal was produced. "You look as though you knew thl3 young gentleman," he said, quietly, but at the same time moving within arm's-length of unlucky Joe. The outlaw was no fool He this seemingly careless movement, and read it aright. Some men in their for revenge would have overdone the but not so this cunning scoundrel. His ugly face instantly became a blank, and be slowly shook bis head. But the seed of suspicion was planted, as he knew full well I'm glad of tl!at," said the sergeant. I did suspect him of being one of your garlg, seeing he was in the hole with you, and thought he had betrayed you in hopes of saving his own neck "It wasn't you that knocked me over, Jessel" fiercely demanded the outlaw, cowling at Joe, who was too greatly astounded at the question and the name, to reply at once. "You do know him, then!" quickly demand. ed sergeant ".Say you didn't do it, Jesse, or-" "I'm not Jesse anybody, and I only knocked you down to save my own life," spluttered Joe, excitedly. "That it! Put the nippers onto him, boss, or h e 'll play the devil with you all yet. He has broken tbe oath first, or I'd never squeal. That's Jesse James I" ..,Even at that early day the simple names of Frank and Jesse James were a terror to (:111 Unionis ts. Joe stood aghast, unable to believe bis ears, but the sergeant and half a dozen men pounced upon him, throwing him down and binding him with ropes enough to hold a giaut helpl ess. The lying outlaw laughed with grim delight, and knowiug that his own doom was sealed beyond all hope, seemed resolved on completing his revenge without delay. "It's the r'(pe for us all, I s'pose, sergeantf" "D-n you, yest" was the growling responsEI. "You've killed four of our mento-night, to say nothing of your other crimes. I only wish you each one had a thousand necks to stretch!'' "Only fer me, that cunnin' cuss 'd 'a' fooled ye thi3 time, jest as he's done so ofteu afore. I'd never Jet on, ef be hedn't squealed fust. Ef I tell ye why we run into sech a open kiver as that hole, will ye grant me a favor!" "That depends. Speak out," was the short response. "Waal, to git even with him, I will. A gang of twenty more o' our boys was to meet us thar by daybreak-" '.ihat cave was tha rendezvousf' "Yes. We thought we could hold out ontel they come, but them bullets weakened Jess, an' he sold us out All I ax is this: hang him fust. I do11't keer how soon I foller, but l would like to see him take the fust dance oo nothiu'I" Exhausted by his furious struggle and d um founded by the terrible charge brought against him, Joe had been unable to speak until now. .As he saw the rigging up the ropes each scouting party went provided with at tbat time, he bruke out into a fierce denial of the accusation. But he might as well have tried to whistle down a hurricane. He was jerked to bis feet and a noose was fitted round bis neck. Another minute and he woultl have been launched into eternity, but just then one of the soldiers cried out: "The major's comiu'-he wasn't killed, after all!" Several horsemen were just entering the river at the ford, and as the keen-eyed soldier had recognized the real commander of the squad, t!Je sergeant suspended the execution, and Joe felt bis hope faintly reviving. The major, followed by the" sharp-shooters from the other bank, rode across, and the ser geant briefly reported. It seems that th\l pf!lcer bad gone down be foro the first shots fired by the outlaws, and leaving a few men to look after him, the ser geant pressed the pursuit. Joe eagerly repeated his story, the one-armed major listeniug to him coldly, then turning to hear what the two outlaws bad to say. While he was thus engaged, Joe, with a vague re membrance of having ruet the officer some where, not far distant in the past, eyed him keenly, vigorously racking his brain, but a)l in vifm, until the man on whom his sole hope of life rested, turned from the outlaw to the_ sergeant, saying: "String them up, Morgan. We can't be bothered with them, for if their rascally fellows come to keep the rendezvous, we must rake them all in. Hang that rascal first," pointjng bis one hand, the left, at poor Joe. Not a little to his and the. soldiers amaze ment, Joe burst into a laugb--not of insanity, but of heartfelt joy. "Oue moment, Major Dale, unless you are anxious to commit murder on an innocent boy. I can prove to you, by your own lips, that I am what I be-a lover of the Union and a clerk in the Quartermaster officl'at Jefferon." The major seemed impressed by Joe's earnestness and drawing forth his watch op ened it and said: "I give you five minutes. Go on-prove. your words." I "Less will do, unless your memory tails 1 1u11,'' 811.id J"oe, confidently. "On th 10th ot.

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.... Roving Joe. 17 tbfs montb,.sou were !fl tbe office of the chief clerk, at Jefferson, signing your name to some vouchers. You, Mr. Badger, the head clerk, and a subordinate were the only pei;sons in the Tovm. You stood .at the subordinate's de s k, signing, w!;ien you dropped your pen. You stooped quickly to recover it-so did the clerk, at the same moment, and your heads bumped together, your hat falling off. The clerk handed you both hat and pen-you. thanked him-" "That's Bllfficient-I know you now!" cried the major, with his own hand removing the noose from Joe's neck. "I apologize for the unjust treatment you have been-" Joe cut him short, feeling too happy to listen further. The two outlaws were h!lng, cut down when dead and cast into the bushes, while the sol diers removed all traces that mir;;bt alarm the enemy they expected, then went into ambush. But they waited in vain, and when they rode back to towri that day, Joe bore _them com pany, satfafied tbat the hunting on the Osage was not good enough to pay for the wear and tear on one's feelings I CHAPTER XIL -"' A MIDNIGHT RACE. THE winter of 1860, was the first of three similar seasons which Roving Joe spent trap ping, for the most part on the head-waters of the Republican and its tributaries. The first season was spent with only two companions, old Sabe Sollars, an experienced trapper, Harry.Cornell, a dashing young cowboy, but who was ratp.er flighty and subject at times to sudden and unaccountable fits of cowar dice, for, as a general rule, he was a regular dare-devil. Late in December, old Sabe having discov ered fresh signs of Indians near their trapping lines, the three men were out looking after their traps, keeping all together and taking the lines in detail, instead of each one attena ing to his own. This was a degree of caution ooth Roving Joe and Harry>were reluctant to fall in with, but that very day their scruples were satisfied. All unexpectedly, in breaking through a plum thicket, they came face to face with at least a dozen Sioux. It would be no easy task to say which party was the most surprised, but the red-skins scattered and fired a volley, fortunately, so hastily that not a single bullet took effect. "Back to kiver, boys, an' lay low I" yelled old Sabe, his ride sounding the death-knell of the nearest red-skin. The next instant the tr' were under cover. The patch of plum bruh was small, not COT rinJ more than a squJ :e rod, but unwwi.lly dense and low. In this the trappers lay, eacb guarding one third, while the Sioux, fully ap preciating the excellence of the cover, retreated iu hot haste to shelter themselves. Still it was clear that they had not yet abandoned all hopes of lifting three scalps. It was not much after sunriRe when the first shot was fired, and as the skirmishing con tinued until near the middle 6f the afternoon, it would he tedious to dwell on the affair at length. To be brief, considerable was wasted on both sides. 01 Sabe was slightly cut on one shoulder, arry was "barked" in two places, while oe, strange enough for u sually unlucky fellow, es caped without a scratch. Oo the other side, two more Indians were killed that our friends were positive of. Harry chot one, while leap ing from one bunch of grass to another, and Joe, taking a soap shot at a puff of smoke, had the gr)m satisfac t ion of seeing a red-skin leap np, blood streamiug from a hole between and just above his eyes. After that shot, nothing more was seen or beard of the enemy, and after waiting a couple of hours, old Sabe stole forth on a scout that resulted in a most agreeable discovery. The red-skins no doubt concluding that they would get more kicks than half-pence, figuratively speaking, had beaten a retreat bearing their dead with them. O l d Sabe, with the wisdom born of experi ence, wanted to pack up traps and seek a healthier locality, believing that the Sioux woulli return with reinforcements, but He .rry and Ji'l.oving Joe were highly elated by theit easy victory, and overi uled him, declaring t.har they wanted no better sport than to whip out ihe entire Sioux tribe! So the rounds were completed, trap reset and baited, the animals taken lugged biick to camp, there to be at their leisure Our friends had not yet settled in a regullll' head-quarters, w!t:iting for colder well'ther, Their camp was a simple halt-shed, fully open 'in front, where a good fire was generally kept burning. Until now it had not been deemed necessary to keep regular guard through the night, but after the events of that day this duty was of course to be performed, the watch being divided into three portions. Joe stood the first, then Harry, who was to awaken old Sabe .at two o clock. For a perfect understanding of what follow11 the location of the camp must be described. It was. pitched on a narrow peninsula, or rather cape, the rear and both flanks being guarded by a small stream, the banks of which were about four feet high. This was now 007 ered over with a skin of ice probably an inch thick, of course not strong enough to bear up the weight of a man. A smail cottonwood tret bad been felled across tbis, the branches rudelJ

PAGE 29

/ Roving tfoe, trimmed ofi', the tnmk serving well enough as a foot-bridge. The fire was suffered to die down, and Joe's watch came to an end without any event worthy of note. He roused Harry, who went on guard with his double-barreled shot-gun, heavily charged with buckshot, twelve in each baITel. Roving Joe almost immediately fell asleep, and knew nothing more until he was awakened by a tremendous double report, one blending with the other, and heard Harry yell: "Injuns-Injunsa thousand of 'em!'' The cowboy, yelling this, plunged over his startle d mates, bolting his way through the brus h bac k of the camp, yelling "Injuns" at every leap. Such a panie is more contagious than the small -pox, and without s topping to catc h up t .heir ri11.es, both Joe and old Sabe followed Harry through the same hole. The trees threw a black shadow over the creek and foot-log, though the moon was shin ing clearly, and under ordinary circumstances none of the party would hp.ve dared attempt crossing on that slender, smooth-barked log without carefully feeling the way, but Harry was too badly frightened to lose a moment, and started to run across. His foot slipped when near the middle of the stream, and falling, his trowsers somehow caught on the stub of a limb, and there he hung, yelling for all that was out. Roving Joe outran Sabe, and reaching the log, straddled it to "coon over, for fear of falling. Alas! one foot struck HaITy, who grasped it like grim death, causing Joe to top ple over and crash through the ice, the shock tearing Harry's nethe r garments almost en tirely ff. They each was half-crazed with fright, and grappling, they struggled fierc ely, smaibing the ice and s ending the water flying in every direction. Their s trangling yells in the dark ness, added to old Babe s fright, and he scuf fled over the log, running away, yelling that awful alarm at every leap. The boys heard it, and tearing themselves loose, flound e r e d ashore, setting off after Sabe Sollars with the rpee d of frightene d turke ys. A more utte r panic, a wilder flight than that was i;iever placed on record. First one and then the other of the two boys would scream "Injuns a-comin I" and really b e lieve it, too. At each alarm they would plunge ahead with renewed speed, wholly ignorant whither they were beading, only striving not to be the rearmost one in tI:tat mad, midnight race. After the first few minutes, S a be Sollars re gained his wonted c oolne ss, as the eff ects of the panic wore off, and seein, nor hearing anything ot Indians in chase, bi; :mme to the oouclusie>ll that it wv.s notbing but one of Harry's periodical "scares." Nettled by tbfl belfof, and still sour toward the boys for over ruling and laughing at bis prudent advice, he re2olved on having sweet revenge. At first he had turned aside from the course taken by the boys, knowing that their screams and mad flight would surely guide tbe pur suers, if any there were, but now, his own fears relieved, he put on a spurt of speed and soon rejoined their trail, though som_!! rods in their rear. As often as the boys would slaoken their speed, from fati,;;ue, the old rascal yelled out Injuns a-comin' I" and with his hands shelt ering his lips to deaden the sounds in a meas ure, he would utter the thrilling yell of the Sioui warrior. And just as often would the boys let out a fresh link of speed, rushiirg through or over all obs t ac les that barred the way in their mad terror-it was a marvel they did not break their necks, at a doz e n dif ferent points which the y somehow contrived to pas s succe s sfully, on the same principle as the dPunken man problem, I suppose. Well, to a long story short, old Sabe kept touching the boys up and keeping tbem under full pressure until his tough legs cried out enoughr11-nd shortly after, that midnight race came to an end, Joe and Harry completely worn out. Old Sabe played his part to perfection, and the boys never suspected him then, nor until he chose to make a full confession, year after ward. He knew that there had been a mis take all through, else they would have seen the Indians long before, and by the middle of the forenoon, the boys having recovered from their scare, the party started along the back trail. A great deal more time was consumed in going than in coming, you may be sure, though the boys were now g etting angry enough to tackle an entire tribe, but Sabe would not consent to run any risk that could be avoi ded, making sure that the coast was clear, and tbat no fre sh Indian sign lay along the trail, before pa ssing on. Owing to this, ij; was mid-afternoon before the camp was reached, that mad race having covered full thirty mil es And the sorest point of all was the discovery of what Harry, no doubt on starting out of a doz e had shot ata cotton wood stump, standing at the edge of the brush, burnen black! The prints ot twenty-one buckshot could be counted. CHAPTER XIIL AN OLD ENEMY TURNS UP. DURING bis s e cond wiu\;r in the trapping grounds, R oving J o e came near "l>assing in his che cks for all time. There were six in the party that season-too l

PAGE 30

many for biding and not enough for fighting, were the Indians to prove troubles ome; but the main end in view was fun, not profit. With the exception of Joe, who bad spent one winter with the traps, and with, his u sual modesty claimed to be an "old band on the strength of it, and Pete Shafe r, a trapper, scout, Indian-fighter and mountain-man born and bred, the entire party were "greenhorns." Indeed soa;e who read this sketchy record may r emember the party, as Joe wrote up the trip in a series of sketches for the SATURDAY JOURNAL, baH-bUIlesque, half-true, some years ago. One day Joe, either through carelessness or a slip of his foot "bile setting a stout beavertrap, caught by his left wrist. no bones were broken, his flesh was cut and his arm almost disabled for the time being. Pete took bis round, while Joe, as" b e ing fit for nothing else with only one hand, was nominated camp-cook by acclamation. He yielded as gracefully as might be, when ...-one remembers how that position is dreaded and loathed and it was while acting in this capacity tba't the adventure occurred which I intend narrating here. "Head-quarters" bad been fitted up for the party in a style unusually neat and comfort able for bumble trappers, an' d while the arrangements were being made, both Pete and Joe were very free with their joke s, asking 'Wfhen the feather-beds and hair-mattr6sses were expected, etc., before that winter was ended both could fully appreciate the comforts of the "dug-out." Briefly describeu, "house of cottonwoo d Jogs was set into the hillside until only a front and part of the roof was to be seen from the outside, making a warm and snug retreat, while not being con spicuous One forenoon Joe was lazily cleaning up the breakfast dishes, his five mates having set out on their morning rounds, to inspect their traps, reset and bait those sprung, collect the game caught end if too cumbersome a load to back" to camo, skin it on the spot. The day was damp and muggy-everything out of doors telling plainly even to less ex perienced eyes tban Joe's, that a heavy storm of some sort was bre'Wfing. S v ddenly Roviug Joe heard footsteps without, and though a little surprised at such an early return, be supposed the sounds were made by some of his mates. But when the door standing ajar, was pushed open, he re aHzed his mistake. 'lhree rough-looking fel lows entered, stopping short as J oe jerked forth a revolver on seeing they were strangers. "Don't burn powder, stranger," one of them hastily cried. "We're white meu an' fri'nds." "May be so, but friends ai..,"t so plenty. Ill these parts," retorted Joe, stff on guard, but 110m ... wh&t reassured as he saw that the H ; str angers' nande were empty-and indeed could see no weapons whatever. "Who are you; and where did you come We're starvin' men-for God s sake give us something to eat I It's four good days since we tasted a bit o' meat, im' we're nigh played I" Tbe wolfish gleam in their eyes as they eye d the smoked hams of yenison and strips of buf falo "jerk" hanging from the ratters, >poke 1 plainer than words, and Joe's suspicions ftAd instanter. In a moment frying-pan and spider were on the fire, but the strangers did not wait for the meat to cook, gnawing away at the dried beef like starving wolves. The man who had spoken fiTit, seemed to have more self control than the rest, and be tween mouthfuls he told Joe their story. They were trappers, and bad OJ>tlned the season with an unusual run of good luck, but four days before, they had been taken by surprise by & gang of Indians, and overpo...vered before they could use a weapon in self-defense "'Twas a little streak o' luck that I knowed one o' the head devils, or I don't reckon they'd 'a' left us even our scalps. As it vras, tbey'd tuck ev.,rythin' else-traps;-'pelts, sh?oters, an; even our knives, then told us to skm out an never come back 'less we wanted to go bald headed fer the rest o' our lives, which wouldn't be long the fellow concluded. he was speaking, something told Joe that tbis was not their first meeting, but rank his brain as he might, he could not rem e m ber when and where he had seen the fellow before. By this time the trappers had about satisfie d their hunger, and once more Joe began to grow a little uneasy as he noted the keen glances they cast around thnn, over the snug dug-out, the pile of cured furs, the goodly stock of provisions and extra clothing, .and the pons which hurig on the wall rn hooks. As there were no signs of Indians around, the boys seldom took tbeir guns with them while making their rounds, relying on their revolvers in case of need. For men in their destitute situation, the dug-out and its contents must seem a veritab.le bonanza. What if they should attempt to kill him and tal<'<.' possession-Right th",r" Roving Joe found the clew he had been s(.!'' dog atter. Like a flash came back the n" "vry of that day wnen be had been shot anil '"' .. tus rascal. His hand .I' Qpon bis revolver, and he turned flharpl) tpon the treacherous scoun drel. only to caL1 a glimpse of a heavy slick of firewood descending upon bis head, wielded by the brawny arm of that same
PAGE 31

80 Roving floe hand or even utter a cry before the blow !ell with crushing force upon W head. Roving Jr,e was knocked senseless, but his uncon Bciousness could not have lasted long. He was lying half one of the low bunks, and the trappers were inspecting rides and shot-guns, talking eagerl,i: together. Every word was distinct to Joe, yet it seeme d that he was in a dream. He could not stir, thoug-h he tried, nor could his lips shape the c-y 'ie strove to give utterance to. For tbe time being iois body was paralyzed, only his senses of sight and hearing left him. It's easy enough." the man who dealt the foul blow, and the one who appeared to be the leader, was saymg. "I see 'em when they left the dug-out, an' every man jack of 'em kerried a ti horn like this 'un. Thar's only one solid way to 'count fer that. Whenever one o' them horns sd\Ind, it's to call on the others fer help." The cunning rascal had hit on the truth. Each of the party was provided with a stout tin horn, to be carried wh enever they left the dug-out. This was only to be sounded in case of danger, when aid was neede d, and tbe others were to abandon every thing els e aud hasten to the spot from whence the alarm pr"ceede d. On more than one occ asion that winter those horns proved a valuable addition to tbe trappers' outfit. I'll blow the durned thing-so!" and thmsting one end through a loophole, he souQded a long blast. "That'll bring them bai:k hot foot. Thar's five in the gang, but from their looks, they ain't more'n one th"t knows much. H 's a p'ize n hard nut. fer I know him, but. I'll crack him the fust. Git ready, nov, each to your loop. I'll fire fust, then Jim, then you, Dock. That wav thar won't be no two shots put in one man. We kin easy clean out. tbe two that' ll be left." 'l.'he blast of that horn and the knowledge of the deadly p e ril that threatened hi frie nds, was suf ficient to break the spell that bound Roving Joe. He never thought of the risk he was running, for his brain was not yet entirely clear. Against the end wall he saw the two guns left :-1ter the threl' m e n were armed, one his own rifle, the other a double-barreled shot-gun, both loaded, :.she knew. The three m e n were p eering out through their .osen loopholes, and Joe sil ently rose to his feet, 1'nseen, unheard. One s1vift bound carried ltim to guns, and seizing his rifle, he coverei the of the ruffians just as he wneeled, startle d by the sound made when Joe leat;>e d across the room. He may have re. tlized his peril. but he surely had time for no mora b e fore he fell in a h eap, blo o d and l'rains oozing fl'Om a round hole in his forehead, Atone dead! Quick as thought Joe caught up the shot-gun, ""aisine: both hammers as the weapon came to his Rhoulder, and cried: "Drop your weapons and up with your hands, or I'll lllow daylight through ye both 1" The hammers of their weapons were down. Be fore they could raise the m the youngster could kill one aftt>r the other. They saw this-saw, too, by tbe corpse of their leader that Rovin'( Joe would shoot, and shoot to kill-and down dropped their stolen ride s, up went their hands. "Stir 01e inch either way, and I'll kill you," added muzzle of his gun moving from one The tables were t;;rned, with a vengeance! CHAPTER xrv._ BORDER LAW. lT was an awkward situation for the ruffians held up" by a beardless boy whoT!l they had be lieved wholly out of the fight, if not killed by that treacherous stroke. But what could they do? Roving Joe swore that he W )uld fir e at their first mo tion, and that he meant business, was proven plain by the corpse of their chief the1e in a steadily widenlnJ? pool o! blood betore their f&Oa.\ And sooner or later they knew that the boy's Mends would return, hastened by that unlucky blast of the horn. "Steady I" cried Joe, in sh'. Pete Shafer as judge, the four amateur trappers filling the position of jury. This semblance was still further hightened when P e t e after Joa concluded, asked the prisoners what thAy had to offer in their defense. The two rascals, bound hand and font, had beeL' propped in a sitting posture a..-ainst one of the bunks. Both opened their lips to make answer a\ the same time, but Pete raised his hand and checked them. "One at a time is plenty. You, Dan Keifer, spit It out." "'Twas all 'long o' pick Amberley;-" bgan the fellow, but Pete cut h1 m short. "Dick Amberley's dead. an' a p'izen goort thing, too, fer he's been a cuss an' disgrace to all honest men ever sence he was fust hatched; but it ain't f e r ylYU to throw dirt. Tell a straight story, an' cut it off as short as ye kin. "'Tain't flirnpn' dirt to tell the truth "growled Keifer. "Dick was boss, an' we jist followed his lead. 'F you won't l e t me tell the truth, I don't see the use o' sayin' l:t.nythin' ,, "Go on your own way, but git it over as quick as ye kin," snapped Shaf<)r, as the prisoner ceased speakin!(. sullen and d e fiant. 'All right. Don't make mnch difference one way or t'other. You'"e got the under-grip onto us this time, an' nobody ever knowed you to let up on a. man you didn't like," growle d the fell.:>w, sulkily "You'll hev as fa'r a trial as if it was afore the bij?gest court in the land, an' you won't git no mo r e punishment then is your jest dues," waif the equable retort. "Talk's cheap-but I don't keer much. The bo y thal: tells & stra4'bt stor.v. so far all he knowa le.

PAGE 32

I Roving Jo .. 11 An' it was all straight work with us ont1l we struck this outfit, too. The reds cleaned us out, ao' sot us adrift without !?rub or means fer g ttin' any, not leavin' us even a knife to make snare or trap with. Four days an' not a bite. Then we struck tins place almost starved out. "Dick was out skirmisbin' fer some sort o' ff'erl, "-when be saw you five set out fer your trap, leaviug t boy alone. He come bck fer us. an' we di!ln't lose time, you kin bet, we was that nigh starved I "The boy treated us like white men, when we told him our story, an' at that time I dou't reckon ary oue o' us meant to make him troul>le. But it was a p'izen big temptation to men cleaned out like us to S<'e the weapons, the piles o' grub an' all that, knowin 'as we did Lhat a big snowstorn1 was com.in. But even couutin' all that in, I don't tMnk we'd 'a' played the boy dirt, only Dick, as he told us after wards, rec, qnized him. Some years Dick tuck the toy's boss. shootin' an' thfukin' he d killed him, but tbnr he was wrong, for a couple o' nig-hts after tbe lad broke Dick's Jen arm and run off all I be bosse s .. 'Skip that part; we know it a'ready," said Shafer. "Waal, as he told us, after knockin' the boy over, Dick was Hfeared hP'd be recoqnized, an' we all be turned out in the torm, so he made 11p his mind to take possession. You know how we slioped up on it, tad, so thar o.in't no use in sayin1 any more, as 1 see." "You 'lowed to knock us over when we come up I in answer to .be horn?" asked Shafer. "Sartin. What else could we do, after Dick set the ball a-l'Ollin?" but at this appeal, they ranged themselvei; along. side Roving Joe. "I don't want to hurt none o' ye, boys, but ye'd hetler tPp uside," said Shafer, quietly, almost soft eyes were blazmg, and there was u Nor are we i;;poiling for a mus8, Pete." rep1ied Joe, not one whit lt.-ss resolut1 Jr, ubut got 1 0 do more than hurt s01ue ot us before can butcrer these fellows. 1 like you b ler ihc.n any mfm I know, outf-ide of rPlntives, bua. l swear lbat 1 'll blow your brains out the instant that you lift a weu.pon against either of these two men It may be doubled whether there was 11notloPT p0r son living who could rave fnced Pete Starer
PAGE 33

1' 5 r r 'k -: n A et r : t SPEAKERS AND D IALOGUES. r THE M OST ATTRACTIVE SERIES, M o s t Available, Adap t i v e and Taking Collection s Declama tio ns, Reci ta ti Oils, Speeches, --011'-N otab l e l'auagea, Extempo r e Efforts, D ialogues C olloquies :Burle s ques, ALL THI: 1'IELD8 O F arces I .liti n o r Drama1, Acting Charade., DreH l'i8C011 Wit Humor, BnrleEu ne, satire, Elou nence and Aru;n ment SCHOOL E XHIBITIONS AND HOME ENTERTAINMENTS. 1 THE DIME SPEAKERS. 1-Dnm AMERICAN SPEill1oaous SPEAKBII. 18-DIIIE RAIL CoLU!dBIA. SPEAXa. 7-DI!dE ST.L'IDARD SPEAEJtB. 19-Dnm SEruo-Cowc SPilXL 8-DlldE STU MP SPtuKER. 211-Dl>!E SELECT SPEAKER. ._DIME JUVENILE SPE.i.KER. 21-DIME FuNi..'Y SPEA.E.lrnER SEVENTEEI<, .LU-Dnrn DIALOGUES N UlillER Two. IJe FolkJJ. Dura DIALOGUES N U MBER TBREJ:. DniE DIALOGUES Nt:MBER EIGH'l'ICEN. Dun: DuLOGUES NU!dBER Foua. Dna: DIALOGUES NU!dBER NINETEEN. DIME DIALOGUES NllltBER FrvE. DnrE DIALOGUES NmmER Twfil-'TY. D1111E DIA.LOGUES NulillER Srx. DIME DIALOGUES ])!UMBER TwENTY-01'E. DillE DIALOGUES N U !dBER SEVEN. I DlldE DIALOGUES NUMBER TwEl!TY"fWO Dura DIALOGUES NUMB E R EIGHT. DIME DIA.LOGUES NUMBER Twl'!NTYTHR n DT>111: DIA.LOGUES NU!dBER N n
PAGE 34

DeadWiiiid Dick} Library &xtracts fro m the New York Eve11lna !Sun. LATES'l' AND BEST. HANDSOME THI-COLORED COVERS. 32 Pages. Issued Every Wednesday. Price 5 Cents. Buy One a n d You Will B u y the T\V O ltElUAHKA.Ul.E lll:ltOE !ii. In only one 1en1e or the word can It be regarded aa a aovel 1tatemeut when the fact la here recorded that lltera. lure haR given many heroes to the world, 1uut perhaps more than one reader wlll have to think a mmnt-ut over lbla remark before the subtle dellca('y ot lta gt>ulal wit 1trlke1 home. But It ta moat euentlalJy a half dime novel statement 5h&t will Ue news to many when tt la tutded that ture, tr traced from the dimly dlslant d&) I when Adam &8 a mere child dow11 to the present day, woul d show t1r. few heroes that In the eyes of hoyhuod would be t"en Jnd1ed worthy of comparison with tt16 rwo greatest eroes known to Amertcan llteratnre, or, to prnrnpt.Jy re eat them. Dead wood Dick and Dead woud Dick, Jr. The modern heroes or ftc11011 ror yo1111tc America. who are now as countless as the sands of the 1ea, RJHt or horn the Deadwood Dicks are much thf> moat tmportaut It la but natural that their should hear away the vahn of popularity, and such as be left rar behtnd In the race. It can be easlly believed, therefore, shat the two Dicke are 10 ftrmly engrafted on the tree of popular literature for boy1 and young men, that their po8 ltlo11 IR assured and tbat they stand to-day head and shou lden abo..-e all rtvale: In the eyes of the publtc tor which the!' have ltved, and for which one of them has died. American boyhooct, and that 18 a trt>menOoua fttctor 111 the land, now kno\'\ I Deudwood Dick, Jr., a.gooct heal bE>t ter than It knows Ha catechism, and mllllo111 o r you11g mtnd8 ah1mrh the t hrlllt11g luctcte11ta of hl1 career In hte everlasting warfare agal111t crime and hla 11ever-endl0i solving of mysteries. M.llllonR of hm R follow hie iuealthy tootateps as he track a hie vl.,,lous victims 10 their undoing, and then, when 111e \'lcllms are thorot1Khly 1111ctone, the mllllon1 wait hnnR"rll _,, for the next volnmfl', which m1 every Wednesday appears with the certalnt. y c1f the Wednesday Itself, and a new 8f>& o f delightful tllrllls go thrllllng away from Mal11e 10 Call fnr11IH. There are the volumeateach 10 crowded wlth thrlllA AIHt heart-tugs that It were madne11 to hope to do ju11lct> tu them collectively aud rank lujustlce to discriminate he iwee11 them. To ahandon the Idea of giving a few extract& caUlf>" 111 ftulte pain, but If once a start were made 111 that. llreotlon, It would he oruel "to 7'he .Evenb1a Sun.s reader11 ro ltop, aud It Is therefore better not r o relate one alugle a.it vPnt.nrf". Sumce It to say that the storlee are clean aud well written. DEADWOO D DICK L IBRARY. I Deadwood Dick, the Prioce ot the Road I The Double Daggers; o r. Dick's Defiance 8 ThA Bufri\lo Demon; or. The Border Vultures C Bufl'alo Ben, Pri nee or the Pistol I Wild Ivan, the Boy Claude Duval II DeathFace, the DetectivP 7 The Phantom Min er; or, Dt'adwood Dick'11 Bonnza 8 Old Avalanche, the Great Annihilator: or, Wild Eclna, the Girl Brigand I Boh Woolf, the Border Ruffian JO Omallfl Oil, the Masked TPrror: or, Deadwood Dick In Damrnr 11 Jim Biudsoe, Jr. the Boy Phemlx: or. Through to Death It Deadwood Dick's or, The Pards of Flood Bar 18 Buckhorn Bill; or. 'l'o1A Red Rifle Team 1 4 Gold Rifle the Sharp hoott>r 1 & Deadwood Dick on Deck: or. Calamity Jane Ill Corduroy Charlie. the Boy Bravo IT Rosebud Rob; or, Nugget Ned. the Knight of the Uulch 18 Idyl, the Girl Miner: or, Rosebud Rob on Hand Ill Photograph Phil: or, Rosebud Rob's Rt>appearance IO Watch-E.-e. the Rhadow n Deadwood Dick"s Device; or, The Sign of th Double Cross II Canada Chet, the CounterfPiter Chiet 18 Dick i11 Leadville; or, A Strange Stroke for Liberty N Deadwood Dick as Detective Ill Dick IG Bonanza Bill the Mn-Tracker ; or, Th" Twel vr 17 Chip. t.he Gir l Sport 18 Jack HoylA's LPad; nr, The Roacl to Fortune Ill Boss llob. thP Kin of Bootblacks 10 Deaclwood Dick's Double; or. Tre Ghnst or Gorgon's Gulch n Blonde Bill; or Deadwood Dick Ho .... p llA..P Solid Sam the Boy Road-Agt>nt M Tony Fox, the Ferret; or, Boss Bob's Boss Job M A Game of Gold: or. Deadwood Dick's Big Strflr &5 Dt>adwood Dick or Deadwood : or, The Picked Party 86 Nt>w York Ne l l. the Hoy-Girl Detpctiv .. 81 Nobby Nick of Nevada: or. Th,. Scamps ot the Siertu 88 Wild Frank. the Buckskin Bravo 30 Deadwood Dick's D oom; or, Calamity Janes Last Adventure 40 DPanwoooll's Device: or, The Detective Queen 54 D"DPr Doll a Ot'tective 55 llt>nv .. r Do ll's Partner; or. Big Ruckskln the Sport 56 1> .. nver D o ll's Minp; or, Bill's Big Loss 57 Dt>adwoocl Di c k Trapped 58 Buck Hawk, Detective; or, The Messenger Boy' Fortune 59 D .. adwood Dick's Dial{uist'; or. Wild Walt. the Sport 60 Dumh Dick's Pard: or. Eliza Jane, the Gold Mine r 61 Dead woocl Dick's Mission 6'.l Spotter Fritz: or. The Decoy 63 The D..t.ective Road-Agent; or, The Miners of Samia fra. Oily 64 Colorado Charlie's Detective Dash; or, ('att.Je M. J JVCt:s & 1 0 1'11hlis ht'rs (James Sullivan, Proprietor), lli!I 1'1arI EW VOltK.


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