Buffalo Bill's prairie police; or, The decoy of Death Desert

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Buffalo Bill's prairie police; or, The decoy of Death Desert

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Buffalo Bill's prairie police; or, The decoy of Death Desert A story of the old Mormon Trail
Series Title:
Buffalo Bill stories
Place of Publication:
New York
Street & Smith
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
1 online resource (31 p.) 28 cm.: ;


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


Original Version:
Volume 1, Number 8

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
Resource Identifier:
020845988 ( ALEPH )
436941842 ( OCLC )
B14-00008 ( USFLDC DOI )
b14.8 ( USFLDC Handle )

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TheOn!Y Publication authorged flY the Jssued Weekly. By Subscrzptzim $2.so p er year. Entered as Second Class Mattet at New York Post Office by STREET & SMITH, 238 U?il!iam St., N. Y. No. 8. Price, Five Cents. "HANDS UP, KENO CAIN, THE DANITEl" CRIED BUFFALO BILL, SUDDENLY COVERING THE TRAITOR GUIDE.


" \ TheOnwPubli(d1ion authorued b}'the I ssued W e ek ly B y S u bscr i p t i r m $2-so pe r y em-. Entere d a s Sec o n d Cl ass Matter at tlte N. Y. Post Offi c e b y STREET & SmTH. William S t., N. y Enter e d a ccordi"n/{ t o Act of C.'o11/{rcs s i11t lieyear1qo1, in til e Offic e oft/r e L i / n arian of Congres s H a slti11gt on D. r : No. 8. NEW YORK July 6, 1 901. BUFFALO BILL'S PRAIRIE POLICE; OR, The l=>ecoy of I>esert. A S'I'ORV OF THE OLD JM:ORl'\'.ION TRAII..,.. By the author of "BUFF ALO BILL." I CHAPTER I. THE PRAIRIE The prairie p o lice were down in Arizona to protect the settle m ents the overland stag e trails and the pony r i d e r courie s, who were c on s t antly facing d eath either fr o m Ind i a n s or desperado b ands. It w a s in the d ays of Indian w arfare upon the Ame r ica n fr o nti e r wh e r e d ee d s o f da ri u g made recGJrds for the m e n in b11cks k in a ud life was freely o !Ie r e d to win fame, or to save thos e who w e re help les s to aid the m selve s. Along the far frontie r a of military police ex tended from Northern Utah, throug h the de sert lands of Arizona down into New Mexico, and the soldiers were the barrier between the hostile savages th e renegade white outlaws and the bold pionee rs who dared to seek homes in the La11d of tbe Setting Su11. All that the soldiers conl d do they gladly did, from commandant to pri va t e butfthose they 1 ; 1cl to meet a nd b eat back w e re b oth Ind i a ns and otl tl aw s of a kind that had to be met upon their own grot111cl, in their own style of desperate warfare-in truth, it was a c a se of "fighting tbe d e vil with fire." 'l'he men who could do this were the p lainsmen, mo11ntaineers, wild Wes t e rn hunters and the sc o11ts of the army, those who were often b order born, wl: o could out-Indian the Indians at their own game and


THE BUfrAlO BilL STORJ:.S. meet the outlaws as they fought, with cunning and without mercy. It was for this reason that borclenuen were those who comprise d the clashi11g band known as the Prairie Police, an

THE BUFF /\LO BILL STORIES comes in, don't give me away and say I was looking for him." The m e n gave a cheer a t Rio Grantle Rob's bright id ea, a1Jd, a few mom nts after, well-mounted and ar;necl, th e Texan was off ou hi.s secret miss iou to try a n d fiud s01ne clew to Buffalo Bill's strange absence from the retreat. CHAPTER TI. BUFFALO RILL SEES SIGNS. As has hee11 stated, Buffalo Bill had taken the place of a wou nd ed rider, and had left the retreat, carrying the mail pouches. He had d etermined to make the ride and get a cha11cP. to see just what the Forty 1'hieves were doing along the trails, for they had been getting so, bold of late h e was anxious to give them a lesson by striking a blow they would remember. Tlie scollt chief was, as was usual with him, splendidly mounted and armed, and eyes and ears were ope11 to face any danger that might threaten or.: discover anything that had a snspicious look. He had not gone many miles before he discovered a party of horselllen in the distance. He at once drew rein and raised a smal1 field glass to lt is eyes. "Some of my Prairie Police, patroling the trail," he muttered, and, soon after, they came within hailing distance, and he c a ll e d out: "Hello, Dan, what's up?" "There's been tronble along the trail, chief, and the station bos s asked me to take some men and patrol along the liue; but I have seen 110 signs of an outlaw or Iujun." "All right, Dan; but I'm 011 the watch this nm myself for signs, and I'll report meeting yon the station boss," and, with this, Buffalo Bill rode 011, the meu giving him a hearty salute, for he was the idol of all in his command. He had passed through Wolf Den Pass, a fatal spot 111 the past for the pony riders, and halted at what w as known as Monument Rock, to give his horse a swallow of water at a brook that crossed the trail, when his eyes fell upon somethiug that at once ri vetec1 his attention. The brook ran through a pretty valley, heavily timbered, in fact, so de:1se was the 1111dergrowth that the snn seldom penetrated there, and the spot was dark and somber. Just across the brook in tbe center of the little valley was a rock that t o w ered aboye the trees, corn ing up from the ground as though erected by man. It was formed by r.ature into a shaft, and did, indeed, look like a rnonumeut. And a mo11ument it was, for in that valley a wagon train had once come to grief, the settlers ha\' ing been murdered by the Indians, a nd long after the bones had been gathered and buried there. At another time a company of cavalry and a band of India u s had fought fiercely in the valley, and the bodies of the dead, redskin and soldier alike, had been buried under the shadow of the rock. Several pony riders lay sleeping their la s t sleep close to its base, in the shade of the somber valley and with the waters of the brook murmuring a requiem to the d e ad. But it \Vas not the monument that the eyes of Buffalo Bili rested upon. Nor was it the monnd over the slai n emigrants of the train, the graves of the soldiers or the redskin:, or tlie little hills that marked where reste d three dead comrades, shot down there by the Forty Thieves He had often gazed sad l y upon them a11d woncl e reci if he, too, was sorne day to fall by the way, shot down by am bus heel outlaws. What now caught his eye was a broad trail d o wn through the little valley. It was beyond the Monument Rock, and came from the southward and w ent northward. It was a trail that was very fres h, and it. was mad: not only by horses, but by wagons. Quickly Buffalo Bill rode toil, and halted where it crossed the pony trail. "It is the trail of a wagon train, and it bas :io: passed here more than an hour or two. '' Wha. t does it mean? "Why, what can it mean, going in this directio11. but that the guide is lost and is going ::;Lraight u;: into the Indian country. "This will 11ever do, for a massacre will foll ow. "It must be overtaken and turned back," a11rl, wheeling up the valley, he went clashing along 011 the strange trail. Buffalo Bill had heard of no emigrant trai11 com in(; to that part of the West, a11d, in the face of the dangers to be encountered. he could not b e lieYe tl1at settlers had intentionally sought that wild land,


THE BUff ALO EHL!L STORiES. especially iu suclt s mail force as the tracks he was fol lowiug showed them to be. They might be Mormons, it was true, but then they must u o t be allowed to run into peril any more than any oi1e else. It was true that the Mormons were not at war with tile Indians, or, to put it as it really was, the In clians did n o t war against the followers of Brigham Young, as they kuew there was trouble between them aud the Govern111e11t. B11t the Iuclia11s would not recognize a wagon train as lllor111011:;, or stop to consider who they were, so loug as they were palefaces. Thal the trail led in th e direction it did was proof to Bnifalo Bill that those who co11tro1Je

([HE BUFF l\LO BILL STORIES. but neatly dressed in a corduroy suit, and a soft, round hat. He was a fine-oo king man of forty-five, and his face was intelligent, his bearing dignified and courteous. By his side in the a111bula11ce sat a young girl, neatly dressed and wearing a soft felt sun hat. Her face was that of a maiden of seventeen, and very pretty, and her. form was graceful, but her nrnnners were those of the city-bred girl. There were in each of the wagons a couple of men dressed as frontiersm e n, but which, however, did not disguise that they were tenderfeet. ''May I ask, sir, if you are in charge of this train?" and Buffalo Bill r e ined up his horse alongside of the ambulance, raising his hat politely as he did so. "I am supposed to be, sir, though really being what you call out here a t e nderfoot, I leave all to our guide,'' was the answer. "Permit me to say, then, sir, that your guide is on the wrong trail.'' "I can hardly believe that, for he is a perfect plainsman, sir. "He ma y be that, sir, and yet be going wrong. "But for what purpose, for he is in my pay to guide u s right? "Where would you go, sir?" "I liave he ard of a settlement near a station known as Prairie Police Ranch, where it is said tbere is fine land for cultivation and stock-raising, and, as my friend s who accompany me are willing to follow my fortunes, \\ e are seekiug that point." "I am from Prairie Ranch, sir, we call it the Riders' Retreat. I left it at noon, for I am a pony rider bearing express, and it was from seeing your trail cross the pony trail that I knew something was wrong and I fo11owed you. "I took the liberty of halting your wagons in the renr until I co11ld turn you back. The parties had now all gotten out of the vehicles, and s tood regarding Buffalo Bill with marked interest, and the caplai11 of the train said: "But why may you uot be the one who wrong, and our guide be right?" "I might be, sir; .but I am not. "I know this country thoroughly, and ride the trail daily, and I tell you, sir, frankly, that your guide is either lost or he is a traitor, and would lead you to your death.'' "Strong words, my friend." "I will repeat them to his face, sir." "You say you are a pony rider?" "I am so acting now. I am chief of the Prairie Police," said Buffalo Bill, simply. ''May I ask your name, for mine is Thomas Star buck.'' "Ah! the same as my pard's, the Overland Boss, sir, for his is Nat Starbuck. My name i .-s :auffalo Bill, or rather, William F. Cody, though out here they call me by my nickname." "Buffalo Bill!" he exclaimed, startled to fin

6 THE BUFFALO STORIES. "What did you say the man's name was, miss?" quickly Buffalo Bill. "Keno, sir. "There wus a man by that name who was executed : at om ranch for his crimes. He was known as the Red Danite, and as Red Hand, the Danite Captain, on accon n t of his red deeds. "He was a deserter from the army, a renegade chief of the Indians, a l\Iormon1 and, later, au out 1av.; but my pard, W il d Bill, captured him hist fall; he was tried by Captain Nat Starbuck, found guilty, and hanged. Your gnide must have taken his name. 11 "vVell, the guide bas seen us halt, and is return-ing,'' said one of the men, and Buffalo Bill saw a man coming rapidly back toward the train. CHAPTER IV. KENO, THE GUIDE. If the people of tlie wagon train had expected to see Buffalo Bill, at the coming of tbe guide, show .'the "white feather, 11 they were very much mistaken. Not a un1scle of his handsome face moved, and he said, in his qniet way: "Mr. Starhuck, I wi 11 lead my horse beyond that wagon a11d keep out of view myself, while you say to the g11ide that you feel you are wrong and ask him to turn back. "I will hear what he has to say, and be on hand at the proper time. 11 "I will do .as you wish, sir, thongh it seems strange to take the word of a stranger against one who h as proven himself a most faithful guide. 11 "I will be answerabl e to him, sir, and to you, if I go wro;;g." "Trust this gentleman, father, for I feel that the guide has deceiving us, 11 said Ada Starbuck, while one of the men added: "I say so, too, Cap111 Tom." "I will do as you wish, 11 Captain Tom responded, tho11gh he evidently still had faith in his guide. B11ffalo Bill went into hiding,-and, a few minutes after, the guide came up. "By God!" said Buffalo Bill, as he caught sight of the m a n through a tear in the wagon covering. '!'he grave this time has stirely g i ve: 1 tip its dead, for that i s Red Haucl, the Danite Captai111 in the flesh, and I saw him ha;1ged four m onths ago." "\Vliy l!as yer h alted 11ere, cap'11, when I told yer I was goin' ter find yer a first-rate camp fer th er uiglit ?" said the guide, as he approached, and 'his toue was one of anger at having to return a mile or more on foot, as lie had left his horse with the train. He was a tall man, over six feet in height, of most muscular build, and with a wonderful quickness of movement for one of his size. He was roughly dressed .in striped pants, stnck in the top of heavy hoots, a blue woolen shirt and a slouch hat, while he carried in his belt no fewer than four revolvers, two on each side, without holsters, and a long-bladed knife b ehind. His hair, short beard and mustache were unkempt, and his fa c e was bronzed to the hue of leather. The face was a bold one, and was marred b y the e v il lurking in the piercing, de!.!p-set eyes, and the almost savage expression about the mouth. l 'i "I thought we might be wrong, guide, and, as there was a doubt I decided to halt1 and when you returned go back." "Go back be blowed What am I here for? Don't I know m y biz? You'll go wfoere I g1;ide yer in The words were jerked out, and the voice was harsh and angry, while the eyes fairly flamed. The man had never shown such a manner or look before, but had been all gentleness "I will not go on, for, from what I have heard, the Indians must be in yonder range," declared Captain '1'01111 firmly. "The redskins is all through this country. In yonder rauge is the ranch, an' that's whar I'm guidi n yer, so start .up ther out6t, as I wants ter go in camp about four miles from here. 11 "I prefer to put back, guide, to the trail we crossed some ten miles back." "That's a Injun trail. So, come, I says again; do111t stand here, but pnsh ahead!" "Hands up, Keno Cain the Danite !11 cried Buffalo Bill, corning suddenly ont from behind one of the wagons, and coveriug the guide. Tliere was a startled cry a muttered oath, b11t the hands went up quickly .abo v e the head of the guide while from the lips of the treacherous guide came distinctly: "My God! B11ffolo Bill, the Prairie Police Rider!" All iiad liecircl the J\iormon g11ide's wor ds which proved that tlic stranger was, indeed, Byffa lo Bill, the pony rider, as he clai111ed Lo be


.. q'HE BUfF ALO BILL STORIES. 7 "Yes, I am Buffalo Bill of the Prairie Police, and you are-_:_'' "A guid' e, so why does yer hold me up?" "Wliere are you guidi11g these people?" ''They wan ts to settle liere. '' "They wish to settle 011 the land, not under it, and you were guiding them into a trap, for the Indians are in ambush for them right ahead-I'll m y life 011 it." "It's a lie! it's a lie.1 yelled the man. "I uever quarrel with a dyiug man, and that's what yon are," was Buffalo Bill's significant reply. "Come, you are my prisoner, so I'll take those weapons.'' "I'll give 'em to yer," cried the guide, and he started to lower his hands when the voice of Buffalo Bill raug out: "Hold up your hands, sir, or I pull trigger. "I'll disarlll you," and, stepping forward, he ql1ick l y threw one after the other of the weapo11s from t h e belt to the ground. "l\Iay I ask for a lariat, sir?" "Certainly. "I will aid you to bind him," said Captain Tom, now thoroughly convinced of the treachery of his hitherto trusted guide. "No, sir; I can biud him, as I have bad more experience in ::mch things," answered Buffalo Bill, and the manner in which h e coiled the lasso about the man's body, bis hands and feet, showed that he had indeed had "experience." "Give him a place in one of the wagons, sir, and let one man keep his eye upon him, for he is as slippery as an eel." "Yon know the man then, sir?" "I klleW' a man beari11g his name, but he was hanged in the Ranch Valley four months ago. This mati is tlle i111age of him, is the same size, and has his voice, while he also bears his name, so it re111ains to be seen whether we l1anged the wrong man or not, sir. "At any rate, this fell ow has also placed his head in the noose by his act of treachery to you. "Let me urge that yon at once turn back.,, "I will do so, sir; and yon must pardon me for doubting you, but that man has been as'geutle as a dove up to his breakout a while since, and has been thoroughly faithful, why, be saved my life only yesterday at the risk of his own.'' "How was that, sir?" "I was away from the train, and India11s, ve of them, surrounded me, when he attacked them singlehanded.'' Buffalo Bill laughed, and then said: "Pardon me, bnt if you saw Indians yesterday, and that man ran them off, they were there to meet him and plan an ambush ahead. "Were any of them killed, sir?" "No, they ran when he fired upon them. n "You will find, Captain Starbuck, that this 1s a land of treachery and clanger, sir. "That man planned to lead yon into a trap, ancl is either an outlaw of the Forty Thieves band, or he is a renegade paleface dwelling among redskins. "Are yon ready to move back, sir?" ''Yes, and we are ready to obey your orders." "1'hen ptish on the back trail with all haste," and he added in a low tone: "I nm confident I saw Indians ahead just now, and it is some miles to a place where we can find a good stand-them-off camp." These words hastened matters considerably, and the ambulance and wagons -\vere soon on the back track. Buffalo Bill galloped on ahead to h asten the other wagons in turning back, and, by the time the party, now in the rear, came up with them, they were all moving at a good pace. "Drive to the front in your ambulance, Captaiu Starbuck, and set the pace, for there are Indiaus where I thought I saw them," said Buffalo Bill. Captain Tom immediately obeyed, while Buffalo Bill, dropping back in the rear, turned liis field upon the spot where he had sighted danger. He had not long to look before he beheld striking proof that he had not been mistaken. What he beheld were a number of Indians on a run, going from a spot, where they had been in hiding, over a ridge, a mile away, where lht>\: horses h ad been left. "Tlir, -could hide tliem selYes, but not their there, n1JCl, when your train weat iuto calllp in timber, they would Jiaye been very near you, sir,'' said Buffalo Bill, handing his glass to Capt'

.. 8 spoke with feeling. 11! was sure something was sir, when I saw the wagon tracks crossing the trail." "Yes, there are a couple of hundred of them yonder, at least, and I am sorry we cannot get further on to-night." "Then we cannot push on?" "Only to the camp I speak of, and which is a strong position, with water, timber and grass. They will head us off if we go further, and we will be am bushed. How i s the train off for weapons?'' "We have plenty of firearms and ammunition, too.'' "And you can rely upon your people?" "Jucleed I ca n, for tiiongh they may be wha t you c;:ill ont here tenderfee t, they will fight bravely, as you will see, and I yield the command to you.'' "I should go on with my pouches, but, fortun ately I have none of importance this run, and, as there are women and children along, I cannot de sert you, nor will I. "We will go into a fortified camp, I will be missed, they will search for tile in time, see your trail and follow i t, and if we can stand off the redskins twe11ly-follr hours we will be all right, for the Prairie Patrol will come to our aid, and they can whip five times their weight in Indians." CHAPTER V. PREPARING TO FIGHT. Buffalo Bill intended to make a stronghold of a rise of land with a brook that flowed around it, swift, deep a nd strong, in the shape of a horses hoe. No horse or swimmer could cross the stream and reach t11e rocky s110re which the emigrants must d e fend. Tbe land end of the place was not three hundred f ee t wide, and it rose abruptly and presented a bold front of rock. It wa s however, off the overland trail some half a dozen miles. The rise was well timbered, was about forty feet above the adjacent land, and there was plenty of grass while the wagons could be drawn up the steep without a great deal of trouble. For water, there was the brook which could be lowere<1 into 1J, when the Iuclians could not see tllc 011e wiio wa:; ;t 1 1 p1 am! if forced to stand a siege, the rifles of the defenders would keep the redskins at a safe dislance, for tlie shore on the other side was barren and sandy, with no place of protection for their foe. In his observing way, Bt1ffalo Bill had taken in the place in passing there as the very one for a strong hold when be was riding swiftly after the train. Now to reach there was the question, and as he rode by each wago11, he called out: "'l'here is a good camp ahead, so p ush on with all speed, but drive steadily and don't have a break down.'' When he came up with the ambulance he saw Ada Starbuck seated in it, the reins held well in hand, and her little foot ready upon the brake to be used quickly if needed. "The wagons are keeping up so well, miss, you might drive a little faster," lie said. "I will, fur I feel that time is everything uow,,, was the answer, and the mules were urged 011 a little faster. Then on over tile roug11 trail the wagons and the led horses tlrnndered, eac h driver fully realizing that a dread danger threatened them, and gazing with expressions of admiration and gratitude upon the spie11did form of Buffaio Bill as he now led the way with Ca ptain T o111 by his side. Having se e n the train doing its best, Buffalo Bill had said: "Will you ride on with me, sir, to look over the ground and place the wagons as they come up?" "Certainly, and it is a good idea." "You uegl ec t n othing, I see, my friend," and Captain Starbuck urged his horse to a run to keep up with the SCO!l t. Out of the trail wheeled Ruffalo Bill when he came near the camping place, and, riding up to it, the two quickly dismounted. "You see we have a natural stronghold here, sir, and the wagous can make the climb with assistance. "Once here we have a small fort, as it were; uot mnch over an acre i11 size, and one we can easily defend, for yo u must have at least thirty men.'' "Thirty-seven fighters, sir, then half a dozen boys from twelve t o fiftee11, and, in all, ninety -one people." "vVe can make a brave show then. See, the In dians are pressi n g 011, but ,,,.e will be ready for tli c111,


THE BUFF ALO Bill STOR IES. 9 Captain Starbuck took the field glass handed to him and said: "They look to be ill very large force. 11 "Two hundred at least.'' "I should have said far more. How far are they away?" "All of five miles." "And th e wagons are near, thank Heaven. "Yes, sir; they will be a 11 coraled here within a few minutes, and in twenty the Indians will be upon us, while darkness will soon fall. "Let me tell you now, sir, that my idea is that the Iudi:rns will come with a rush, trying to stampede the cattle and demoralize the p e ople at once; but, if we meet tliem bravely, we will check them, and then they will try strategy. "Have your people ever been under fire?" "Well, I can hardly say that we have, for we only had a slight brush with a small band of redskins, and, before that, some outlaws sought to rob us, bnt were foiled by a few shots. '' "All right, they will not waver, I am sure; but the redskins have halted there from some cause, just what I canuot say; but I think something has fallen from one of the wagons, though why that should stop them I cannot see; but here are the wagons,'' and, as the ambulance drove up, Buffalo .Hill called a halt and drdered the men to the front to aid each vehicle up the steep and rugged way to the hilltop. They obeyed quickly, and first went the ambu lance, then the l o ose horses were driven up, and next, wagon after wagon, until all had safely reached the top and were placed in position by Buffalo Bill. As the last one came up, the chief called out to the driver of it: "Is not that the wagon that was ahead with the am bnlance ?'' "Yes, sir; it's Captain Tom's w a g on." "Is your prisoner all right?" "My God, sir; he is gone! He has jol t ed out of the rear end," cri ed the man. "He jolted himself out and took chances, bound as he was," exclaimed Buffalo Bill. "It was he that the Indians halted for; but never mind him now, for there is work to be done, and the redskins are coming ahead once more," and Buffalo Bill turned to arrange the men for defense CHAPTER VI. THE RltD RIDRRS CHARG!t. The traiu p eopl e wttr e nervo;is, there was no den y ing that fac t but men a n d w o m en saw how c ool th'!i:!: commander. was, a n d tri ed t u emula t e his example. Captain Tom w a s calm and se lf-p ossessed while Ada Starbuck was a s chipper a s a bird anci showed no fear. All had read of the massa cres b y Indians, ard, since reaching the far West, had heard tales ,;f ea sk in cruelties timt: and again. But Buffalo Bill got the men to g e t her t o ri se leadiug to their positi on, ca lled for all ":-:> weapons, and to l d the wome n just where they wcfrJ to remain, with the children, whil e the h orses mules were corralled in a secure place. The snn was j ust upon the 11orizon as B uffalo said, cheerily: "Let them come n o w, for we are ready for them." There were two guns to a man, counting muskets and shotguns that were in addition to the rifles, and the men had over a hundred revolver'.'. Ammunition was in plenty, and with the weapons all loaded and mep occupying good positious, a feeling of confidence began to settl e upou all, as Buffalo Bill passed along the line. "Unfortnnatcly, that traitor guide of yours knows exactly our numbers, and we m ust fight the harder for that. "Tlien, too, thf! Indians will b e rathe r anxious to capture me, but I'll do all I ca n to thwart them, and, altogether, we can make a grand fight of it," said Buffalo Bill, t o Captain 'l'om. Some of the women hacl tears in their e yes, but they kept from showing further weakness, and, if a few of the children were crying in their fright, that was to be expected. Buffalo Bill stoocl upon a rock, calmly viewing the approach of savage horsemen. 'l'o him i.t was au orcliunry spec t acle, b u t t o Ada Starbuck a most extraordinary one, and as she lool,cd a t the rapidly movi11g ponies, the gayly decorr .tl'rl braves and the painted faces coming to C1ud destroy, s!ie was awed as weil as impressed with tile grandeur of the scene, and said, earnestly: "That is a grand, yet terrible sight, Buffalo Bill." "You are a brave little lady to admire what thrcateus you with death; but it is, iBdeeci, a grand ;,igiit; ancl will be grander w!Je11 they charge us


10 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. when shots and yells fill the air, ponies and riders go down, and death holds high carnival," replied Buffalo Bill. "See our tenderfeet defenders, following your example, sta11d as brave as veterans at their post." "Yes a11cl they'll fight like veterans, but you must i1o l expos e yourself, Miss Starbuck, for arrows and bulle t s respect uot even beauty." The young wo111an blushed at the compliment. "But just think," she said, "what all that grand di splay of painted, savage braves would have meant to ns but for yo11, sir. "Oh! how much we have to thank you for, and 11o w quietly you snbdJ.led that man who loved .to tell 11s of his hairbreadth escapes, and that he knew no ::-;uc h word as fear. "Bnt I mistrusted him all the time, only the othe rs, my father included, liked the man; but see, what are they halting for?" 'To form for the charge.'' "Yoi1 nm st go to shelter now," and, turning to the men, Buffalo Bill called out: "A tte n ti on, all! "Le t no man fire un ti! I give the word. "The n la y aside. your empty rifles and take the extra ones, firing again. "The11 use your revolvers if they still come on. "Keep well under cover, do not throw your shots away, but fire deliberately and take good aim. ''The boys who reload your weapons must do it quickly and well. "Are all ready?" A chorus of voices answered in the affirmative, a n t l Buffalo Bill continued: "If any man is killed, and we must expect it, pay 110 h e ed to it, for he will be beyond aid. ''If any man is wounded, let him stick to his post, i f able to do so, and if not, he can withdraw quietly. "You can die but ouce, but there are those you love, t o defend, s o let every man do his duty. tl1ey are ready. "Keep cool and await the co111111aJ1d to fire." The cheer 3nswcred the words of Buffalo Bill him that he had brave men to fight under Liw, tbougl1 they might be to the ways of the Wild T:1" fodians had now formed in three columns of braves abretst, and each column Buffalo Bill quickly e stimated at about seventy horsemen. A chief was at the head of ea c h column, and, as they moved forward, Buffalo Bill saw that a group of horses remained behind and there were several braves with them. B'.lt iu their midst he recognized the face of Keno Cain, the guide. "Coward, I dare yon to come on!' he shouted, in a voice that reached the traitor guide, for he was seen to raise his fist and shake it, but what he said could not be heard. Once they moved forward, the Indian horsemen went from a walk to a trot, then to a canter that ended in a wild charge, wltile from two hundred throats broke forth sayage yells, and showers of arrows were sent flying upon the little camp of defenders. It was an appalling scene, and it seemed that the mass of horses and warriors would surely break into the line of defenders and the end must soon come. Every eye was upon Buffalo Bill as he stood upon a tock in full view, seeki11g no shelter, though he had so earnest! y urged it upon all others. women and children from the rear beheld him standing there, a rifle by his side, and the men gazed upon him with ad111iratio11, while Captain Tom twico called out to him to seek shelter. But stifl he stood watching the advance of the savage horsemen. Sudde11ly to his side glided a slender form. It was Ada Starbuck. ''If you seem to think there is no danger here, 1 will remain with you,'' she said, in a tone of reproach at his seeming recklessness. "My dear young lady, there will be the greatest danger here when the red devils get nearer; but I know the ranges of their weapons, and i11te11

THE BU Ff /\LO BILL STORIES. 11 a:id that the men were getting anxious there was no doubt. A few more bouuds of the ponies up the steep hill, aud the n came the command, heard above the demoniacal yells of the Indians, who were maddened at the fall of their chief. "Fire!" Nearly forty rifles flashed forth like a volley fired by disciplined soldiers and down went ponies and ride. r s while the column, hit hard, staggered under the s hock. "Now, your extra guns-fire!" They were tbe muskets now, and the shotguns, loaded heavily with slugs and buckshot, and the reports were deafening and scattering. The blow was at a still closer range than the rifle volley, and the shock was more staggering than the other. Bnt the red horsemen still pressed on from the rear over the dead and wounded braves and horses in their frout, their blood-curdling yells sounding more appalling as they drew nearer. CHAPTER VIL A FIGHT FOR SCALPS. "Now your revolvers, men! "Fire at will! "Boys, reload quickly and well." The fir s t was shouted to the men. Bnffalo Bill bad called out the last words to the bo y s eugaged in reloading the emptied rifles. "I'll command this squad!" cried the clear vo ice of Ada Starbuck, rising above the popping of the revolvers. 'l'he men were now emptying their revolvers at clos e range, for the redskins had drawn dangerously near. Loud rang the voice of Buffalo Bill, cheering them, as, now defying danger, he stood boldly exposed and fired his revolver with cool deliberation, while Captain Starbuck was doing all in his power to eucourage the men. "More rifies loaded!" shouted the clear voice of Ada Starbuck, as she rushed forward with an armful of them, and was followed by several bo ys also bearing weapons The men seized them, and as the rifles began to roar again, the Indian horsemen, some of them on foot aud climbing the rocks, could no longer faee the deadly storm of lead, and with yells of rage, turned and fled Those still pressing ori in the rear also were seized with the panic, and broke in confusicrn, a few of them ra1lying to bear off their wounded comrades. "Keep up your fire, men! ''Spare no one, for they know not mercy!'' was heard in the voice of Buffalo Bill, while, as the now reloaded weapons began to rattle, the Indians, unable to longer stand the fire, stampeded down the slope like a herd of Texas steers, and quickly sought refuge beyond the range of the death-dealing rifles. "Bravo, 111 en We have won "Three cheers for our gallant commander!" It was Captain Tom whose voice was new heard, and the men gave three cheers for Buffalo Bill, who raised his hat quickly in response, and then said: "Now to see to our dead and wounded and th e reloading of all weapons and replacing them, ready for use, for these redskins have not given up the fight, by any means." These words cast a slight damper over the victo r:=:, for they had supposed the fight ended, but they felt that Buffalo Bill knew, aud at once set to work t o first get their guns ready and then to care for their wounded. In the gathering twilight, the men saw to the reloading of their weapons and sta1.1ding them b y their sides ready for instant use. Then Buffalo Bill and Captaiu Tom, with fonr men who bad improvised a stretcher of a blanket folded around two tent po l es, tenderly bore the wounded back to a safe place, where Ada Starbuc k and several of the women at once took them ill charge, to care for them under the direction of Ul!( of men who had served for a couple of years ill : : hospital. There were half-a-dozen wounded, two of the nu1nqer seriously, and three men had been killed. A boy had also been slightly wounded, a11d on e of the women, who had not remained in the shelter, h ad an arrow lodged in her arm. Several of the horses had also bee11 hit with arrows, and a mule killed:. so that the little camp had suffered severely in the fight, though the-'' were b y n o means disheartened, and were fnl I o f pluck foi another brush with their foes, if necessar y One and all were loud in their praise o f Buffalo


12 THE CUFF l\LO BILL STORIES. Dill, and freely aclmitted that they owed everything to him. He had, in the meantime, thorough, ly reconnoitered the position, and had placed sentinels where he felt they would be needed. ''I will do my duty out in front, Captain Starbuck, and y01 t must keep going the rounds of the sentinels, f;:t?' I expect no attack before dawn, and do not believe the redskins can attack from the river, y:m must keep up a night watch, and let no man go t o sleep on his post.'' ''I will see to it, sir, that the)' keep good watch, but do you think they will wait until dawn before attacking?" "Yes, sir; for these redskins, being Apaches, will nut fight at night; but to be prepared for them, I will scout outside." \'You will ta"ke desperate chances in doing so." ''No, sir, for I am accustomed to this kind of work, and I hope with that long-range rifle you loaned me, to get a chance to pick off your guide, and s e e how many more lives the fellow has." "Don't venture too much, I beg of you. But did not the redskins suffer heavily under our fire?" "Yes, sir; for the meu fought with coolness and g ood judgment. They did great execution, and the Indians lost at least a third of their ponies and a fomth of their braves, killed and wounded, I feel certain." "'I'hen our loss is light in comparison; hut come, for Ada is calling us to supper,'' and 'l'homas Star buck led the way to where his own little camp was, and there an old family servant of his, who had been his daughter's uurse, and had refused to leave her, had prepared a good supper for them. Buffalo Bill ate heartily, and with the air of a man t o whom such scenes as the one they had just passed through was an everyday occurrence to him. Supper over, he made the rounds of the sentinels with Captain 'rom, and then, with the long-range, borrowed rifle in hand, he started down the hill. He soon came to the dead braves and ponies that liad reached nearest to the line, and from there on made his way most cautiously. In the darkness be could see nothing at a further distance than a few feet, for the sky was overcast with clouds. He saw horses writhing in agony with their wounds, but 110 wouuded braves lay upon the hillside, for they had either been carried off by their comratks or had crawled away themselves, but there were quite a number of dead warriors. Buffalo Bill had reached the base of the hill, and then he halted as he heard a sound that startled him. "That has prevailed upo11 them to make a night charge, and they are creeping np on foot," said Buffalo Bill, and quickly he began to retrace his way, for, dark as it was, he had seen what appeared to be a mass moving slowly toward the rise. In a couple of minutes he was within the camp, the men were aroused for action, and the word was passed along : "Aim your guns at a dark shadow you will soon see slowly moving up the hill, and fire at the word of command The men were uerved by their victory of two hours before to do their best, and they were also aware that a night attack might be harder to repel t ban one by day. They had not long to wait before they could see the coming "shadow," and, a moment later, came the loud command of their trusted leader: "Fire!" 'l'he sheet of flame that shot out from the hilltop told the cunning braves that foes were not to be caught napping, as they had supposed, and a per fect hurricane of leaden hail tore with dull thuds into rnauy a heart and brain, while the glare of the red flashes lighted up the scene, revealing the crouching savages all ready for their fatal rush upon their paleface foes. \ CHAPTER VIII. A BOLD VENTURE. Cunning as they were, there was one in the camp who could overmatch them. Down the hill the Indians retreated in a greater panic than before, and when darkness once more, the wounded braves began to drag themselves off the field. 'I'here was no groan of anguish from these red warriors, schooled to suffer pain without a murmur. All in the camp knew that again they owed their Ii ves to Bnffalo Bill. What if he had not gone out upon that scouting tramp? The result was too fearfnl to contemplate, and -


THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 13 men and childre n pres sed around liim a ud expressed 11aps, late tlie second day before they reach here, and their gratitude iu earnest words. in such small force they can do no good, as the InCa 11 i ng C a p tai 11 To111 and s e veral of the meu as ide, cl i a ns will have reinforcements long before. Buffalo Bil sa id: H avi n g explained the situation fully, and tha t "We have driveu the se r e d s ki11s off t wice, but they when aid comes as the Indians will have reinforce iave by no 111ea11: giveu up th e light. m ents before then, it may be too late, I will now t e ll ''It is not th eir uature to do so. yon my plan.'' "The y will 110l make another attack before dawn, "We rel y wholly upon you, Mr. C9d y, to guide u s ut I expect that they will do so then. out of this predicamt7nt," said Capt ai n Starbuck, "As they c annot c:ros.;; the river, they will again with an anxious smile. ttack a t the op e n end of om camp. "My plan is to leave you and go with all speed 011 ''.Jaw you h a Ye all s liowu yourse lves as steady as foot to the nearest rela y s tation, and send for the veteraus u11de r fire and y ou will uot n eed me for the Prairie Police." next attack, which cau110t be as slro11g iu numbers "But you cannot possibly l eave, Mr. Cod y, with as they h:: l\ e lo s t on e-third tl1eir force." a ll those Indians in our front," said Captain StarAll l oo k eel a11xious ly at. Buffalo B ill as the camp-fire bnck. light fell upo11 him. "They have it well guarded ; but I think I may g e t After a pa11se, Buffalo Bill co nti11ned: through by disgui sing myself." I ow, these reclski11s are da11gerousl y near their "Disgnisi11gyourself?" village, a11d after their seco n d defeat just now, I am "Yes; playing Indian." sure tbe y have se11t couriers up ill to the m ountain "I do not exactl y grasp your meaning." range yo n w e r e making for when I overt ook y ou, to "vVhen I wen t out before I saw a number of Inbring many more warrio rs t o their aid." dia11s, and I can go now, get some of their traps, "Tbe y are well aware t!int they are out of hearing rnb paint enough off their fac es to smear mine, of a11y pony rider passiug alo11g the trail, h a lf a dozen which, with a little charcoa l black, will make m e miles frolll here, aml that the riders dash by like the look fod i a n e11ongh to foo l tlt em in the night. w incl, a11d more, they do 11ot expect aid to com e to "Then a headdress and bl anket will do th e re st, y o n, ki10wing from this guide that n o one knows of a11d, if I am not i nspec t ed at close ra n ge, I will go yom here, save myself, and that I am here through a ll right, and perhaps can cut out a h o r s e with yo u. from their herd, so I will not have to walk." "So, if they fail in the daylight attack, they will "Ah, Mr. Cody I caunot think of allowing you to ettle down to capture yu n b y s trategy, keeping yo n take s u c h a risk," said Captai n Tom, wh il e tl1e 011sta11tly on the a lert, tiring yo11 out, pickrng off others said: o u r scntiuel s firin ? on you from across the river, ''No, no; it will never do to take such a ri s k. or they will dig l1o l es to li e in and shoot from ''Gentlemen, l e t me t e ll you frank l y that it will b e "In fact, there is 110 end to an Indian's cleverness a greater ri s k to re111ai11 h ere unless aid comes to ncl means of capturing a foe you quickly," wa s Buffalo Bill's signifi cant reply. "Now, I am but o u e m a n, and y ou would miss me The im_tJressive and s i g nific ant ma1111er in which only as such in the next fight, while I can do you Buffalo Bill r ep lied to them convi n ced the trainmen n o re good away from you than h ere. of the gravity of their situation. "I will be mi s sed when I fail to go in on time, at Having s h ow n that h e might pass through the h e ranch, but it m ay be twenty-four hours before line s easily in clisgn ise without goi n g very n ea r t o h ey start out a sea r c h party for me. any Iudian, Buffalo Bill convinced the men that it "If so, tl1e y will reach the spot wliere you crossed was the on l y thing for him' to do. the trail after 11ightfafl, and so will not see it, and They did not wish to give him up, nor did they you will then have a long clay and another night of care to see him risk himself in such a way, while siege. they felt that they need eel his he! p and example; but "If the patrol find I have 11ot passed the sta ti cjns, there was nothing for it but tha t he should go, and they will have to wait until clay, so it will be, perb e was quickly ready for the start.


14 THE BU ff /U 0 Bi LL STORft.S. H e carried with him his revolYers U!lCl knife, and go;ug over the banier of rocks as quietly as he could, with a wl1ispered farewell to Captai11 Tolll and the otbers, h e soon clisapeared in th"' darkness. Fiuding the bodies of tlie dead Indians, with his haudk erchief, whic h lie had fir s t saturated in water, h e began to rub the paint off their fac s and fer it to his own. T!iis he kept np, from Indian to Indian, until he fell that b e had made his face hideous enoug h to pass muster. 1'1Je11 h e pulled his 1011g liair 011 each side of his face, put on au Iudian headdress, aud folded about him a blauket thn t he took from the body of the chief he had killed. He \Vas tempted to wear his gorgeous war bonnet also: but he knew it woulcl quickly catci1 the eye, a11cl what he desired most was to avoid attracting at ten ti on. When folly costumed he went on more boldly to the base of the hill. But he lialted suddenly, for instead of finding an India n guard t here, l1is keen eyes detected that the wiiole band was camped straight acrnss the neck of J anel To attempt to pass through such a line would be worse than madness and B u ffal o Bill Jay there poudcrillg ns he took in the long line of sleeping red skius tl!at barred his way. "There are more ways than one of out-lnjuning an Injn11," he muttered at last, aud he began to creep bad, UJ? the hill. W\Jeu he sudde11ly appeared before Captain ;rom and t\ie group l;e had left not an hour before, his appeurn.nce gave the m a shock which caused one of the meu lo remark: "None of us have heart disease, or that sudden fright would !Jave killed us, J.Ir Cody. "l am glad I look so much like an ludian. Vet it was all of no use, for they are camped clear across tlie neck, au

THE SIORDES. t5 .t\ll the rill rs spnrred quickly to his side, :llld wh:.it the tronble is, seud a man back here to meet ever) <.: was fi. ed upon what he was looking at in yon nil. s _ti r prise. "A trail!" "A wagon trail!" "A big oue, too!" "Au army force, I gness!" "No, it's not artillery." "And goi11g toward Indian land." "Goi11g to the devil!" brol'e in Rio Grande Rob. "It's a wago,11 trail, a11d made by settlers, of our;;e, lookiug for a place to settle, and who will 1 ncl a place to remain until Judgme11t Day. "There are a dozen wagons at least, half a hunlred or more driven horses, and they are lost and ,;oing to their grnves. "Boys, I believe Bnffalo Bill saw this trail and fol lowed it, for he's not the u1an to let men, women and children go to death if he can prevent, 110 matter what the Overland Compa11y rnay snffer. "But why has he not come back before this?" This last question of Rio Graude Rob 110 one could answer. "I guess you are pard, and Bnffalo Bill followed this trail to tnrn them back," said Harper. "B n t where is he?" asked one. "Where are tl!ey ?" another qnestionecl "It looks bad." "Parcls, we'll take this trail, but first I want to senci for help, so one of you go westward, collecting one or two men at every stati on to the relay this side Valley Ranch; it wouid leave bis daughter Sunbeam alo11e if you took Velvet Dick, and yo u can get half a dozen stocktenders without him. "Send them right here with all speed, and you, Hale, ride as though Satan wa s after you, sending the 111e11 here.from each statio11, a nd tell Captain Nat the situation. "I hope Dan and his party will have returned by the time you reach the ranch, and a big force of men can be sent, for I'll bet the Lone Star of Texas against au Indian's scalp, that outfit that left tl1is trail is corralled by red skins so mewhere and with a bi g chc.nce of making 'stiffs' of the w h ole party. "Now, parcls, be off, a11d just say that you think Buffalo Bill is with the outfit, and that will make them push the faster. 1J "I'll ride on with the rest here, and when I find "Go!" Away they darted, one eastward, the other westward, and they soon disappeared from sight, while the others roc:le o n, following the wagon trail up Mo11t1ment Rock Valley. "v\ie are only seven, pards, a small force to go to the rescue against a large number of Indians,,, said one of the men, more cautious than the others. "Pard Reube11, never count the odds when wome11 and childre11 cry for help,,, was the Tetort of Rio Gra11de Rob, and he coutinued: "My idea is that Buffalo Bill is at the end of this trail, aud I>]J bet every dollar I ever expect to win at poker that he never counted the odds against him in tryiug to save those who he knew were going this way to sure death. "I did fear Bill might have gone under, but to m y mind this trail explains where he is. "If I am wrong, we can, at least, save others. "If we are but seven, those two boys will be se11di 11g help 11ere from each station, and by night we should have near fifty mei1 following on our trail, and I would then like to see the half a thousand redskins our rangers can't whip out in a good cause. "Co111e, pards, we'll strike a livelier gait than this, for I've seen time wben minutes were worth days.,, The pace was qui ckened, the men riding along in a swinging gallop. When they got out of the somber valley and came to where there was some mud from the overflow of :1 swamp, Rob suddenly drew rein and cried: "Look at that, pards "Tracks!" ''.Yes, the tracks of Buffalo Bill's horse, or I neve r si1111ed in rny life, for I have beeu taking stock of these hoof marks all along. "Buffalo Bill's horse made that trail." "Right you are, pard," cried a voice from a thicket near by, and with one accord the pony riders shontetl: "Buffalo Bill!" The men cried out with delight at first and then tl1ey all looked in wonder, and ended with a bnrst of la n Rh ter. And 110 wonder, for there s tood Buffalo Bill, the


15 THE BUFF ALO BILL STOR!ES. handsome, dashing, well-dressed "Dandy of the 'l'rail," changed into a most comical-looking being. His hat was gone, and his ha_ir was wet and matted. He was in his shirt sleeves, and his belt was devoid of any weapons. His shirt and leggings were wet and clung close to 11i! ; form, while his feet were bare of shoes or socks. But worst of all was his face; which was daubed all lllles of the rainbow, giving him a most ludicrous cx;, ress 1 ou Buffalo Bill joi;ied iu the ianghter at his expense, :11i:l said, dryly: "I gne s I am an nglv picture, pards. I'd like to li::i..-0 a pl1otograph of myself." .lfol the lnuQ;liter su

, THE BUFF/U_O B!LL CI-Lt\.P'I1ER X. 'l'HE CHARGE OF 'l'HR PRAilUR POLICE. To c l o just as Buffalo Bill sa id, the riders would liave followed hi!ll to certaiu deatli, aJJd Rio Grande Rob saicl : "Y 011 are the doctor, Pa rd Bill, and know j 11s t what the patients need to drive ofI tl:e att ac k of the red devils they are suffering with. Just set the tune and we'll join in with you.,, "I know lliat well. Now we have given our horses a breathi11g spell, we will further res t them by goi11g s l0w t o the ford. "Are you ready, boys?,, "All ready," was the answer. Buffalo Bill had l.iorrow ed one of Harper's revolvers and Roi; Jiau au extra oue along, and Buffalo Bill took that, so h e felt like biu1self once again with the two weapons stuck in his belt. "I'm all right now, if I Jo:1't look it "he said with a smile, and he rode ahe
aus'.vered with a yell, obeyed the order, dro'. J p c d llieir reins upoll tlie horns of their saddles a11d followed their daring leader. The cries of the savages had told the train people tl 1at something w2s wroug with them, and they heard the war cry of the riders, aud then beheld the dc'.oted little Land of h e roes "It is Buffalo Dill comin g to our rescue, but, my


18 THE BlJff ALO B[LL God! he vvill be utterJy wiped out!" cried Captai n Tom to tli e train peopl e, as all n ow beheld the daring Prairie Police in their magnificent charge. To the joy of a ll those of tl1e train, men and wome11, who looked on the desperate rus h of the little band, they ca111e nearer the goal. They had their faces bent on the hill they were risking so much t o meet, but their eyes were upo n foes, rushing with full speed to head the m off, reckless of their own lives if they could only overwhelm those riders. But the little band pushed ou, and, as it seemed, they must meet their red enemies in a hand-to -b aud struggl e, the train people heard the loud comn1a11d of Buffalo Bill : "Halt and give them your rifles! "Fire!" There was a sudden halt, six rifle s flashed, and each shot told. If they had Jos t a moment to fire, the Indians were staggered by the deadl y discharge, and a wi ld yell went up as they beheld half a dozen of t heir comrades fall from their ponies, for the mounted warriors had been the ones aimed at, as they were the mos t dangerous. "We must support them and cover their retreat," cried Captain Tom, aud he s tarted with a d ozen men down the h ill. Buffalo Bill shouted: "Go back! We'll get there!" The Prairie Police were tliankfnl, ho\Vever, for the voll e y the train people poured 11po11 t heir foes i a gain s ta g g ering them, and gave C aptain 'l'om and his men a cheer. '''rhey are usi11g revolvers, now," cri e d the leader of the traiu people, as Bill's command was heard: ""Give tl1 em your r evolve rs, men!" The rapid rattle of the revolvers m a d e merry music, and the shot s were not throwu away The daring riders w e r e a t ba y but cairn aud da11gerous Again the Indian rnountcd column wave red under the fire, but the clis111ou11te d brave s were hastening on, and, half halting, fired. A horse went dow n It was Rio Grande Rob's. But, agi l e as a cat, he c a ught on his feet, and, with a leap was up behind the neares t comrade to him in a seco11d. The n ca1:1 e a shower of arrows, with a few Gullets, and one of the rider:;, Nat Clay, reeled, clntched at tl1e ai r, aud fell from his sadd le. Bnt, hardly had lie struc k the gronnd before Buffalo Bill b ad halted, thrown hi111 across hi s horse, and was again in the saddle, just as a11other horse went down. But tl1e rider did not fall, bnt caught also 011 his fe e t, a11c1 grasping the tail of the rid e rl e s s horse as lie passed him, kept up with the process ion. The revolvers were empty 11ow, bnt C apta in To111 and 11is lllen sent i11 a11otlier stagger i n g volley, and, the next insta11t the hill was reached, amid wild cheers of tri umph, mingling with tli e madden ed yells of the reel sh us. "Wheel aud hat them back! "Load tlte r ifles, boys!" slionte d Bnffalo Bill, and, clis111ou1Jtiug n o w, the s i x Prairie Ride rs tnrued abont and, weapons handed the m b y the bo y s and several v J orne11, tliev op elle d fire upon tlie Indi a11s, w ho, m o unte d a ud on foot, were trying to brea k in during the confusiou. But the extra rifles and guns sent a storm of bulle t s into their rnitlst that even Indian conrage c on Jcl not face, and as the boys, ura ed 011 by Ada Starbuck, kepl s11pplyi11g all with fr eshly loaded weapons, the Yictory wo11, a11c1 the foes ra n fo r shelte r witl1 a ll speed, l eavin g a numb e r of d ea d 11,tJ011 the f i e ld The u Ca p t a i!l Tom turned to Buffalo B i l l and, grasping hi s haHd, c ri ed: "You are back agaii1, safe, thank God! But \\'hy did yo u take suc!1 d esperate cha11ces ?'' "For two reasons, one being tha t I hoped ou r com ing would s tampede the Indians, who would 11aturally expect a large force. "In the second place, lf they did 11ot st::n 11pede, yon would ha\'e tile benefit of our aid, for m y com rades are o ld and skilled Inclia11 fighte rs and could help greatly 1111til rei11force111e11ts came for others are coming and b efore 1011g." "Mr. C orly, how can vve all thank yon and your fri e11ds ?" said Ada Starbuck, co ming up, and grasp ing his hand, and she added: "Your appearance shows what you went through


THE BU F f /\LO B!LL STORIES. 1 9 to s er\'e u s \Vhy, yo n a r e w 0 1 1mlcd 111 the i1eacl !" sli e cried, sucicl 11ly, a nd the braYe giL"l tl<>slie d off t o her iw pro vised hos pi t a ] to secu r e baud ages. CHAPTER .. TI. WILD BILL I N 'i'HE GAME. The Iud ia11s r ettlrnecl t o their forme r po s i tions, and w e r e ve11ti ui.: lhei r fury by occa sional shots and with w ild yells o f hatred. Capt ai11 T o m t o ld Buffalo B i ll that a d emonstration b a d b ee n made at d awn, but fin ding the train people ready for them, the Indians h a d not made a direct cl1arge. The s h a d o ws w e re l e11gthe11i11g whe n Buffalo Bill, who h ad b..:en searc1 1 i u g t he expa11se o f country towarcl tl1e h ills, c allecl to Captain '1'0111 to approach. "'l'ake m y glass, aud y o u w i ll s e e that r einforce m ents a r e comi n g t o them." "You a r e right. "The courier w e sa w rid e rapidly awa y, after our arriva l was sent to hasten them 011, sir." "Ho w many d o you think are corn i n g?" "As well as I c a n judge at t hi s d i stance, I should say all of a hundre d, if not more Rio Grande R o b then joine d the m "Take my g la ss, and se e if yo u c a n make out any-thing o ver t owa r d the mountains." "You b e t I do!" "What?" "Indians." "How many?" "I call tli e m a hundred or more. They will be here in an hour's time." "Yes for they are p u shiug right along." "It will b e night, then." "About." "And what about our pards?" "They' ll not be far away whe n w anted." "So I say, thoug h they may not sh o w up until needed.'' "The messengers will explain all to them. "Let me see, w e ough t to liave at least fo rty by dark, and more comiug." "All of tha t chief." "And forty o f our men, Capta in Starbuck, are a matc h fo r t e n times their nu111be r a n d t h e Indiaus know it." "f 1 1n11e V.7i ld Bil l will be in command, p a rd. Y e s Rob, for h e knows this hill well, as he a11cl I camped h e re once aud he is acquainted with it:, approac h es while be al s o understands handling t he men in a fight. Now, Captain Tom, how m any rne11 have y ou for a fight? "Twenty-seve n of us, including myself." "And w e are five, as we lost poor Clay, and Boon e is too badly wounded to be of any service-thirtytwo, all told. "Captain Tom, we have nothing to fear from those Indians and their reiuforcements, and, if I am noL mistaken, before another sun rises, they will have caus e to remember Horseshoe Hill." "I 11 ope so. "Cheer your people up, sir, and l1ave horses sad dled for thirty men, for two men aud the boys can guard the camp, and when our patrol of riders corn' up w e can ride out and join in the attack." 'Yo u speak as though sure of your men, M r. C ody.'' ''They have never failed a comrade in time of need, s i r, and never will. Did Captain Nat S tarb u ck know you need ed h el p, he w ou l d com e himself tho u g h the co 111pa11y' s a re that he shall not risk his li f e having such respon s i b i li t y on his hands, and I w as elected Ca p t ain of t lie P rairie Pol ice w hile Wild B i l l i s fir s t l ie ute11an t a u d Rio Gran d e R ob h ere second l i eute n ant, for we have a t l1oro u g h milit a r y organiz a tion of riders, and, in time of great n e ed the s ta b l e-men form a n o ther c ompa n y lhe s t ocktend ers a third, and the settlers and mi11er s a fourth, giving us a hundred and fo r t y m en to take the fiel d and the Indians know wha t w e can d o, a s we o n ce c arrie d the war into their camps. "Se e, tha t reinforcing b and i s co ming on rapidly, a n d those in our front see lheu11 to o fo r, hark, h o w they yell." "They feel sure of us now," sa i d R ob, with a smile, and he added: "But I g u ess yo n '11 get back to h eadquarters ranch, chief, to go out on time at noon to-morrow. "Yes, i f w e those redskins off easi l y I will g o on to Valley Farm to-night." You are snre l y not going to put such an extra tax u p on yourse lf, Mr. Co d y, afte r all you have gone throug h with ? Yes, Capt ai n Tom, d11ty dema11ds that the pouches go t hrough, a n d, i f I did not g o, s olll e one


20 THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. else would have to, and the boys are all tired; as well as I." "But you cannot stand such a strain." "Wait until you h ave been out here a while, sir, and discovered just what we can stand," answered Buffalo Bill, with a smile. Just then there came a crashing volley of rifles from across the stream tha t startle d Indians and palefaces a like. Back beyond the sanely botto1:p several hundred yards were the heavily wooded cliff s and from the foliage had burst forth flame and smoke from two dozen rifles. They had aimed down upon the Indians crouching behind rocks, scrub willows, and in holes they had dug at night, and who had been constantly dropping shot into the wagon train camp, killing a child, a woman, a boy, wounding several others, and now and then a horse. Good shots with the rifle were posted on .)1ill, hidden by rocks and watching them, or the death rate would have been far more. There were all of two scure of these sharpshooting braves, who had crossed the river by night at the ford and taken up their positions. The n the main force was encamped on the neck of land facing the hill, and this force there was over a hundred, with as many more a few miles away, coming to their aid. Though the people of the wagon t rai n had suffered, the dead redskins and ponies lying on the neck of land an

THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 21 revolvers began t o rntlle, though they cast d espairing gb11ces towarcl the longed-for r einforcements, wavrecl, and then broke i n wild flight. Yet as they ra11, it was but a t eu 1porary act, for hey hoped to rally upo11 their coming comrades, ow see11 to b e fully t wo hundred in number. CHAPTER XII. BUFFALO BILL' S RIVAL. :

\fHE BUFf 1\LO BILL STORIES. "Silence! I command here! Buffalo Bill, you h:...ve 110 right to incite the men against my authority." "See here, Burke Bradshaw," and Buffalo Bill wheeled hotly toward the man he addressed. "I yielded my authority without a word, and you shall not accuse me of a charge of which I am i11110-Take command, sir, and as this is 110 time for quarreling among ourselves, I will do all I can to aid yo o.1 "No, no, n0 !" "We will not move an inch !" "He never saw an Indian outside of a circus!" "He is a clerk A nd numerous were the cries raised by the men. "Silence, men! If you cause trouble now, we may be run over by the redskins, and let me tell you that two small bands of your comrades are now flanking them, and without yonr aid will be wiped out, while uack yonder on the Horseshoe Hill many women aud children depend upon y o u to defend them. Obey Mr. Bradshaw, men!" But these words of Buffalo Bill met with a flat refus al from the men, oue and all. The stable men refused to budge, the settlers and miners said th ey would uot serve under a man who did uot kuow au Indian from a cigar sign, and the train people flatly decided that they would return to t:; c ir camp aud defend it as best they could, Captain Toa1 remarking: ''I do not know you, sir, but you are acting most 1111wi se l y to put yourself forward to command the 1;1e11 who a11 repudiate you, wliile to a man we will follo w Buffalo Bill to death, if need be." T he stock rangers had, meauwhile come quietly 11p, and nnderstauding the situation, Velvet Dick sa id, firmly: "Vve follow no man's lead but Buffalo Bill's, and if lie refuses the command, there are Wild Bill and Rio Grande Rob to fall back on." This decision of Velvet Dick expressed the uni versal wish of the men, pony riden;, settlers, miners, stable boy s and stock tenders, and Burke Bradshaw would have been a fool to have further urged agaiust it. Seeing that he was not wanted as commander, he tried to surrender with as good grace as was possible, and said : "You men don't seem to know that I once fought Indians o u t 011 the fron ti er and natural l y arn better fitted to command ill a battle than a pony rider. "I wa s only anxiou::; to

THF BU ff ALO BRLL STOR!ES. 23 ?buut to open fire toward the main force of redskins, uclclenly the command was given to wait a minute. The keen eyes of Wild Bill had caught sight of a rk column of horsemen moving straight toward i s po s it'i o u, and instautly the gun was sight ed upon 1em and the order given to fire, a score of rifles shing with the ca1111011, for they were withi11 easy nge of the smaller anus. The shell went true aml burst with a lond report d red glare right iu the mids t of the Indian horse en, who had 11ot seen their foes against the little in ge of ti111ber, nor dreamed of dauger. Hardly had Wild Bill's sigual gun fired when there me a crash from half a mile away on the left, and e shell from the other gun burst a111011g the warriors t he main fore.:!. t the same time a long line of flame shot forth OI' down in the mole, and then, with wild war ie Buffalo Bill and the main force charge d up the se t1pon their foes. The redskins were startled b y the first gun on their 'ft, o.1111azed at the second one on their right, ancl, ith the deadly volle y in their front, the charging +hree quarters and the continued bursting of el is, i1 ad all the fight taken out of the m and in turned and fled. CllAPTER XIII. WILD BILL'S WAGER. Bnffak Bill's plan was a good one and had n thoroughly' well executed all the men under admitted, oue. hat one was Burke Bradshaw, who, when the eat was ordered, found himself with Captain Tom, hom he said: 'You are with the t rni n, I believe?" Yes, S: My 11allle is Br.adshaw, and I am, though I may say manager, at the headquarters ranch, I repre1. the company, and I would be glad to give you \ a1'lvice about settling in this country." l ;I.'hank you, sir; but I shall be guided by my !n, Captain Nat Starbuck, and--" Nhat! Are you Nat Starbuck's cousin?" :es, sir, and my name is Starbuck-Thomas )nck." i0eei1,! I am glad to meet you. And you are the settlers?" "'l'hey are with me, for they came beca11se I did, and I a m glad to learn from Mr. Cody that the country about the ranch is jus t the place for homes." "Well, I should say other points were better, not so 11ea r the ra11cli." ''There i s safety in 11u111Lers, sir, a11d our addition to those :l.bout the ranch, Buffalo Bill says, will have a v e r y w l .1olcso rne effect upon the Mormons, the India11s a11d ontlaws." "Buffalo Bill i s a fool, and knows nothing about it." "I have found hirn a11ything but a fool, sir." "He is only a sco11t and the men elected him captain of the patrol because he-he--" "Deserved it, eh?" "No; there are far b etter men for the place; but he has had some. l11cky esca pes, and it turned his head, and I fear tha t after his luck to 1ight there will be 110 li\'iilg in the same with him.;, j'You certainly do not call his victory to-night luck?" "Nothing else. You see, yo11 don't m1derstand as we do out here about such thi11gs." "I understand that he turned m y train back when it 'Was being l ed iuto a trap b y n traitor guide. He made the guide a prisoner, and l ed us to where we made a s ucces s ful clefe11se against three attacks of the redski11s He riske d his lite to bring us aid, and brought it, and to-night he won a splendid victory. "Yes 1\1r. Bradshaw, I understa11d Buffalo Bill, as I also m1dersta11cl that, for some reasou, you do not like hi111, and di sliking a man, it is hard to see his virtues." Burke Bradshaw bit his lips and was si lent for a mo111e11t. rrhen he asked: "You your guide was a traitor?" ''Yes, he was.'' "Wl1at was his name?" "Keno Cain." "Ah! tltere was a man of that hanged at the ranch some months ago." "So BIJifalo Bill told me." "He was said to be the Danite captain known as Red Hand." "Buffaio Bill said our guide was the very double of the man that was hanged." "vVhere is he now?" "He escaped."


"Escaped?" 'Yes." "Where and how?" "Buffalo Bill bound him, and he was put in the rear of one of the wagons. On our turning back, when the Indians were pursuing us, bound as he was, he worked his way out of the wagon, and, falling in the trail, the Indians picked him up." "Did the fall hurt him?" "Not seriously, for I saw him afterwards among the redskins who attacked us, and in the flight of them before us this evening. 11 "Well, l suppose he will turn renegade and live with the Indians now, giving us no end of trouble, but there has been a great blunder made by some one at the ranch in hanging the wrong man.'' "Well, whoever was hanged deserved it, from all accounts, and my guide also richly deserved it; but I am very sorry he escaped, though Buffalo Bill seemed determined to recapture him to-night.'' "He can never do it." "Well, I feel that he may, for all I have seen that wonderful man undertakt! yet, he has carried out." "Bah! he was born for luck, and that is all." "Well, Buffalo Bill caught sight of the guide to night, when he rallied the Indians for a minute, for he saw him by tht! light of the flashing revolvers, and he told me then that he would make the effort of his life to recapture him." "A boast he knew he could not make good, for Buff alo Bill cau never capture that mau." "I've got money that says he will, Mr. Bradshaw," a voice behind them, and Wild Bill rode up a longsid e "You heard what Buffalo Bill boasted he could cl 0 ?)) "Call it threat, boast, or what you will, I'll bet if Buffalo Bill goe s off on the special duty of catching tlial man, he will either kill or capture him, aud rriy mo11ey talks." "Name your sum." "One lmndred." "Goocl I'll t ake the bet." C a pt ain Starbuck, here, will hold the s t akes, so w e will go to yonder camp-fire and count out the rnoue y, a1H1 Wild Bill pointed to a fire some of the 1ne11 b a d built to light up the field, for they were il:1sy coll ectiug the wounded and the dead, for half a dozen brave fellows had fall el'!, never to rise again, ancl a score or more men were more or less seriously w o1111cled. 'l'lte men were dropping back from the pursuit four and five at a time, a11'3 were halting upon the fie ld as they came, and riding up t o the fire. Burke Bradshaw and Wild Bill connted out thdr money aud gave it to Captain Tom to hold for them. In an hour the men had all come in, with one exception-Buffalo Rill, and none of the men bad see n him since be dashed ahead in hot pnrsnit o f flying r e dskins. The chief of the Prairie Police had beeu ou th e watch for the traitor guide d 'uring the entire figh t as his men said h e "had it in for him." H e wished to l e arn the true story of that hauging where the man whom, as he believed h e had see hanged, could come to life again. Then, loo, Buffalo Bill was m os t anxious to punj ish the man for his treachery to the t rai n of Caplai Starbuck, which meant such inlnw1::rn treatment t, the wome n a nd children of the traiu, not to speak l ) the butchery of lhe rne n. When h e thought of Ada Starbuck and tl1e other the chief of of prairie men grew :nercile.s.' He had noticed 1n th e fight that the traitor glll rode a large w hite h orse, and 'Nitl1 his e ye rivet upon the auimal a u d his rider, B u ffalo Bill saw tl 1 Keno's desire wh e n he saw the Iudians stamped would be to save himself. i ) He rightly guesse d that the traitor would fea go with th e Iiidia11s, after such a f ear ful defea 1 they had met with, for they would be very bi Jtt1 perhaps visit upon him their revenge for the crus!'hii disaster. So the white horse was seen to dash off alone,'; b Buffalo Bill was hot 011 his trail. The Mounted Prairie Police chief bad fit te d hi: se i f np again from the wardrobe of Ca}Jt ai11 T() m, a 1 having left his rifle, horse and other in t1 camp when he went off o n his daring rescue he h, therefore, found them sa fe, while he had been sti plied with a pair of revolvers and a knife. He then felt like himself once more, fot his and bleeding fee t and other slight troubl him bnt little, having been well cared for by Ca1t Tom. He kept the white horse in si ght, and he watcl like a hawk t o s ee when the guide halted,' so that : might do the same and not be dfrc1wered. The chase continued for miles, the man bear: away from the Indian country until at last he ca to a n open valley which Buffalo Bill knew was 011 t b order of what was known to bordermeu as Del D e s e rt. It wa s s o called a s seltler s who hacl gone there I found ollly death a t llie end of their trail, and I clian s bad also perished in the barren countr y there was no water there that was known. ) Though the country had in it hills, valleys,: canyons with heavy timber, there was no fe e ground-at le as t, no11e known to Indians, grass aud water could be found. 1 But Buffalo Bill when on a trail one day had c< upon a band of elk, and they were coming out of :1 Death D ese rt. 'l'o him this meant that there were water an<\g to b e fou n d the r e and l ie at once took the tra


THE Fi LO STORIE S. the anirn;:ils, ro e for hours alo11g it unti l it neared the Grand Call) 011 country, au cl, a t last, in the wildest rec esses there lie found a stream of water in the head of a canyo n, and saw that it lost itself in the ands a mile aw:w But i11 that at its head, and as far as the trea111 ran there was the fin es t grass, and it w a s seen o be a r etreat for wild animal::;. feveral times had the chief of Prairie P olice v i si t ed h e place for a h1111t, once with Wild Bill and again 1itli Rio Graude I ob. When the traitor guide turned i11to this v al!ey, uffalo Bi ll suppose d that he m ight know the secret f t hi s fertile spot in the Death Desert, a nd be going but before he discover ed if such was the case 1e white horse can1e to a h al t a nd the chief a t once iok refuge a m o n g a group o f rocks overgrown with n' 1 b pi u es. H e knew iie could not be see n there and was readv or any m ove. But the traitor guide suddenly turned his horse and m e back-over the trail toward him. CHAPTER XIV. BENT 0. >IISCHIEF'. After the severe battle with th e Indians, as nothiug 11ld be done iu the way of followi11g the trail of dfalo Bill, t h e rnell g athered 11p the wounded a n d e dead and were ready to carry all to a camp on the earn, where it was deci de d that the whole force ottld r emain for the 11ighl. The slain horses l1ad b e en stripped of their t rap.1gs and as al l was prepared for tile 11Jove, i t was ped that Buffa l o Bi ll unable to follow the fugiti ve 1id e wonlrl come in. 1 his ab se nc e, h owever, B11rke Bradshaw s ought i n to assume command, but \\'ild Dill wa: not a mau staud the slightest non sense and hearing him g i vi u g ders he went u p to Lim and sni d, iu b i s drawling ay: "See herP. B radshaw, in the ab'ienc e of B11ffalo Bill COllllJlanclthis ou tf:' t a nd shonlcl I drop aead ,,ith art disease, tben Rio Grande Rob pla y s a full hand at e commanding business, so just give no more orders re unless they come fr o111 m e .'' "Why is not Buffalo Bill here t o take command, e n ?'' "He's off winning the money I bet y ou he would n, was t!Je r epl y, a nd Wil d Bi ll turned aw a y ut at heart he w as really anxious about th e abs ence Buffalo Bill, and weut from mau to rna11 l o lea rn who been the last one to see him. aving gleaned th e in formation tha t h e h ad be e n seen the right of the line, chargin g after an Indian n ho >re a chief's war bo11ne t, Wild Bi ll deci ded t o take a v o f his men an d ride O\'er that par t o f tl ie field. "If they have captmed him, I will take the whole nmand on their t rnil P be sa id, in his decid e d way felling the men to build fir e s aud get what r es t they collld, be started out on the sea rc h for his devoted pa rd, for wbom he felt an almost fatherly regard, though be wa s only a bout six years the senior of Buffalo Bill. Still he bad known Buffalo Bill since be wa s only ten years of age, and had begun his career as a mounted messenger on the Santa Fe trail from wagon trail to wagon trail With the horses in a canter, and every man on the watch, \Vil d Bill rode first to the spot where be bad heard t h a t hi s pard had l as t been seen He had the man aloug w ho bad been the last one to se e hirn from a ll accounts, and from there on he w oul d stretc h his m e n out in a line a nd follow on over the trail of n i ght, so that if dead or wounded Buffalo Bill would b e found. H e felt no anxiety for the command left behind, or the wa g on t rain They would be all right, and h e had call ed Rio Grande Rob to one sid e before goin g, and told him that he was t o take command. ''In case," h e added ''that Burke Bradshaw t ries to u snrp your p o wer, as he did Buffalo Bill's and min e pul him under arrest at once, and bind and g a g him if ne ed be for t he fellow i s trying to rnn the ranch and all els e, and, if I am n o t mistaken, Captain Nat Starbuck will have to jump on him hard b efore lon g." "I'll take care of him," was Rob's quiet comm ent, and it me ant a great deal from him. So Wil d Bill a nd his little band rode away in searc h of B uffal o Bill, d ead or alive, and they had hardly gotte11 out of sight b e for e Bn rke Bradshaw sh owed again tllal he considered him se lf in charge. ''Come, m en, tb e re is no ne ed o f our remaining amon g these rocks wi th ont b l an k e ts and food, so we will g o t o tbe Horseshoe Hill a n d ca mp for, a ft e r sa vi u g the111 fr om mas sac re, th e t ra i n people ought to be only too glad to feed a nd en t er tain us." ''I assure you tha t they w ill, sir," said Captain Tom, qui ck ly. The men had stripped for the fight so their extra bl ankets aud a ll the provis ions had gou e t o Horse f'ho c Hill on the pa c k animals aft e r crossing the ford, Buffo.lo Bill's negro man-of-all -work being in charge. 'l'h e v i c t ory be in g won, the men we r e only too w illin g to go ai:d get a good suppe r and the n turn in for a rest for the bahinc e of the night, for they wer e ve:y tired, so they we re very quick to obey t he co111111anc1 of Burke Bradsh aw, as both Buffa l o Bill and Wile! Bill nere gone Bt1 t suddenly Rio Grande Rob stepped forward and said: "Hold on men! You get you r orders from me for I wa s l ef t in command." "And who gave yo u the right to comm a nd here abo ve me?" shouted Durke Bradshaw. "Wild Bill d id." ''Bah! he has n o right to say who s h a ll command in hi s absence." "See h e r e, Durke Brads h aw Buffalo Bill i s the autho ri zed captaiu at the post, Wil d Bill i s bis firs t lien tenant, a n d I am the next in rank, and I was left in command "If Velvet Dick desires to take his stock-tenders a way, and H ad in g to ca ll off his settlers and miners, Birney the stable me n, and Cap ta in Tom here his train


26 THE BUff AlO BILL STORIES. people, they a r e a t l iberty t o

TiiE BUFF ALO STOR IES > 2 1 The man obc\'ed. '' (}i\e ;Ile ,. ;llr 1\'eanons !" 11c liesitfll;ti an iust'r.nt, lrnt did as he 1;'.as told. '' a hir!at. Birne !" T t v:as brol1ght, anrl. unaided, save by his revolvers o subdue the rnnn, the Texau bound him secu re!), hands nd feet. 'l'heu lie took Braclslia\Y's own knife, and, thrusting b e s cal1bard into his mouth bound i t there, completely agg: 11g hi1n. '' ::\uw '"e wiil lJ;iye no more orders from vou whil e I 111 i n comli1<1lld," a11d h e liacl jns t (11rn e d away when l:e rapid c l atte r of hoofs was beard, and one o f Wilrl ill's me11 dasliecl 11p and cried: '':fo111Jt, Rio Grande Rob. aud follow me with all iOU r force, for you are needed!" CHAPTER XV. THE FORTY 1'HIEVES. '' Xow 1 have got him," muttered Buffalo Bill. and he epated t o hnlcl the rnan up, taking him alive, if possi le. kill him if he \\a s forced to do so. He cm!ld drop hi 11 from ambush, withont risk to bim ,if, h u t lie was determined to take the man alive if in is powerto let him b e hanged. Buck came the trait o r guide, and he h alted within fty fee t of the scout. Buffalo Bill w a pre ared to act, 'iVben he heard a utH.l that s tartled. b.im, and it told him why Keno had uned back. It wa t h e sound of many hoofs. To retreat was out of the question, then, aud so t h e 'Out wait ed, wliile the sound of hoofs grew loude r and 11

2 8 THE BUf' f A LO BI L L STO RIES ''Then I'll iutroduce myself to those ff'llows, and if all goes as I plan, I'll lead them into a trap from which there is no escape. He took from his pocket a large sheet of paper a:nd a pencil, dismol1nted and placing the sheet on his saddle wrote in the darkness by guesswork: "Followe d Keno-be is Captain Cruel-met his gang of Forty Thieves h e re, and I heard all said. ''I make myself known and let them follow me as a decoy. "Lead the m into trap in Deat h Desert-follow trail, for Wild Bill or Rob knows where. ''Will de coy the m the re and hold until you come. I chance this paper--''B. B This paper was stuck in a stick where the Prairie Police would find it, for Buffalo Bill knew what his men would do in searching a trail. The n h e remounted, and slowly moved off among the rocks until h e reached the other side. Like a trnmpe t his voice rang out: ''Ho, Keno, if you want me take me, for I am al one!" 'l'he words fell upon the Forty Thieves like a cannon-shot. But into view, at l o n g rifl e range as seen in the dark ness, dash ed Buffalo Bill, and off he sped like a deer. ''Buffalo Bili! H e has tracked me here. ''A thousand dollars t o the man who capttues himthe price o n his head besides!" It was Captain Cruel's voice, and the men uttered a s hout of joy anp started in pursuit. No one fired, for each one wanted to kill or capture the chief of the Prairie Police, and win that double price OD his head. Away they swept, and the outlaw leader was in the advance, while his meu followed a ccording t o the speed of their h orses. And Btiffalo Bill, silent aDd determined, rode on out of rifle range towards the Death Desert. CHAPTER XVI. THE PECOY IN DEATH DESERT. Buffalo Bill was well pleased with two things, as he boldly gave hi s dofiaDt war cry that told who he was, and that the whole force of the Forty Thieves h a d come in pursuit. He s e t off in a way to attrac t not avoid their attenti o n a11cl his horse was surely the superior of any animal ridden by the outlaws The scout readily understood w h y the outlaws did. not fire npon him, as their desire was to t ake him al.i\'e. Fortunately, the position take11 b y the sco.ut gave the idea that the outlaws would not follow him into the Death Desert, while, if b e went bac k t oward the scene of the fight, h e would likely run upon India n bands. Had he gone in the opposite direction it would have led him far from his people. So all seemed iu favor of the Prairie Poliee captain. As h e ran a long \Veil ahead, with the whole band in pursuit, he d e te rmined to see how his r ifi would carry, and if he could 11ot give the band still b ter reason for wishing t o take him. So he suduenl y drew rei n and careful not to fire a t t man on the white horse, as be was anxious to take h i a l iv e, h e pulled trigger. A horse weut down, but the fate of the rider he d not know, though some of the horsemen checked up f< a moment. Keepin g on again be still held his distan ce, and fom that the pace was t elling upon bi s horse, and certain it must be upo11 those of his pursuers. "I don't want to lo se them," he muttered. ''If I can reach tbe canyon in time to go into hidir the re I know the very spo t a n d I ca n b old it agains t hundred m e n for to reach me they will bave to din and only one m a n can come u p at a time. "It means tha t I mus t lose my horse, but I gues. can get him back, and rnore, it means I will hav e to hungry until the boys arri ve. ''But I g u ess I can stand it for the goo d it wi 11 do." So the chase weut 011, tlle dai 'ing decoy's speed co ing down until his horse co1tld o ni y go iu a slow lope. But the pursuers' horses n:e r e able to do no more Down came the horsemen to a walk only, but Buff Bill knew that his horse could do better thau that, as had some r ese r ve force left. When be should come in sight of the canyon wished to decoy the band iuto, h e would ridl'.! fast giving him a chance to reach the spo t, fill h i s canteen tli e spring and climb to his retreat before the others there. As the suD rose he began to cou11t bis pursuers; "Twenty-seven o f them; big odds, but I don't mi the m with the c h a n ces in my favor ouce I reach t can yo u," h e sai d and, soon after, he began slowly quicken h is pace. He felt sure that some of the men mus t know th was water and grnss iu the canyon, as they would n even to take him, have gone that far in the desert wi worn-out aDd hungry horses. As for themse l ves, the h a lf dozen pack a uimal s t1 had alon g proved that they had provisions in p lenty. The purs uers were stretched out for several miles O\ the desert, the pack horses c01ni11g along far iu the n and with appareut effor t. As he increase d hi s pace; the o thers t r i ed to do so, their horses were uot equal to it, and Buffal o Bill rode a slow lope He reached t h e cliff, entered the canyon and rod the full speed of his horse the mile and a h a lf up to furthe r end, where the stream began and the grass t o be fotrn d. He shot .an antelope that dashed by him and carr him a long, stopped at the spring and took a long dri1 filled his canteen aDd turned his splendid borse loos e Theu he gathered some dry brush for firewood, some choice bi t s of meat from the antelope, and his blankets aud weapons begau to climb the cliff.


THE BU Ff t\LO BILL STORIES. 29 He bad reached a dizzy heighl w l i e n h e saw his pur !ilJers c on1e iu sight, aud they app e ar e d lo be afraid of a s h ot. J3(1t be went u p higher still, r ea c h e d a narrow shelf a n d had t o crawl al ong it to a ca v e in tli e cliff so me f eet in diame t e r He had j u s t rea c h e d it wbeu K e no th e traitor guide, s aw him, and believing h e was making his escape, ordered all of hi s men t o fire. The bu ll ets flattened against the cliff, bnt Buffalo Bill wa s sn f e. "Ho, Captain Cruel, if you wish to get me, yo u will ha\e to s tarve me out, for I've come to the end of m y rope can t go any further; but I've got some food, so am g o od for a f ew days.'' They a ll heard every word h e nttered, a ud the outlaw chief replied: "And I'll s tarve you out, Bnff alo Bill, for I know you've onl y go t parts of the au t e lope yo u kille d, and you may ha e a canteen of water. "On e of my m e n who knows this canyon says you cannot escape, and we can wait and build up our horses and ourselves, for we have p l enty of food, and game com es in pl enty." "Quit t alking and let me go to answered Buff a l o Bi 11. But iu s t ead h e lighted a small fire of brush and broiled one of his antelope s t eaks. Then he spread his blankets and l ay down to rest, sl eeping with oue eye open. 1'he outlaws supposed he would go to s leep a t once after eating and have no f ea r of them, so three of them started to climb the cliff as he had dou e; whil e others were on the watch that h e did not come out of the cave and fire on them. A sense of danger awakened the scou t when the three m en bad reached the spot where they had to crawl along the narrow led ge. H e saw the m the momen t his eyes open ed, quic kly lev eled his r evolver, pull ed the trigger once, and t wo were dead ere they fe ll from the cliff, while the third in his fligbt sprang off from the di zzy height, and Cod y did n o t fire upo n him. A shower of bullets in retaliation were fired into the cave, but the scout had a lread y sprang to cove r and called out: ''Yon want me so bad, Keno, why don' t you com e after me?" But the men had retrea'ted to shelte r, fearin g the scout would fire on them. So the day passe d, and, before s un se t, Bl1ffalo Bill agaiu lighte d his fire and cooked a s t eak, which with a few s wallow s of wa t er, were hi s s up per. He had looked fa r out over the w es t in h opes of seeing aid com in g, but no r escuers were in sight, and so he dampened the brush s o that it wou ld make a smoke as a signal to be see n far off. "I guess if Wild Bill or R io Grande Rob co me they will be careful not to appear in sight in dayli ght. ''I' 11 get a good r es t to-ni ght, for I am sure those fellows will not try the cliff again, but I'll make s ure aud put my lariat there with a rock on the end for them to Jrnock off and that will rouse me." So he set his trap and then went to sleep. CHAPTER XVII. THE END OF THE TRAII,. Wild Bill had bnt one aim in view, and that waste find Buffalo B i ll. He had not gone far with his small forc e, when he r ea li zed that as Buffa l o Bill had pursued Keno the Guide, he could be J e d into an ambush b y him, as there must be a number of bands of redskins about. This decided him to a t once. send for Rio Grande Rob, and the rest o f the Prairie Police. A courier was therefore sent at once with orders for t he Texan. Within an hour Rio Grande Rob and ):iis men joined Wild Bi ll and the night trail was begun to track Buff a l o Bi ll. B efore leaving, Rio Grande Rob gave orders that :Brad shaw was to return with the stock tenders, stable uie n and the pony riders who mus t retun1 t o duty, and the man was to be reported by Velvet Dic k as a prisoner. The Texan also took along their provisions and ammunition to go prep are d for a long trail,. if nee d be. It was nearly dawn when the Prairie Police, after a f ew hours' re s t mounted their horses and started upon the trail of their chief. They were fairl y w e ll rested as were also their horses. They soon picked u p the t rai l of the two horses, the one ridden by Keno Cain and the other by Cody. It was the middle of the forenoon before they halted for breakfast, and it was jnst a t the point where Buffalo Bill had t akeu refuge i n the timber and rocks. A t once they saw the tracks of the Forty Thieves and Wild Bill said: ''The horses are shod-they are Captain Cruel's gang, and Heaven grant Buffalo Bill did not run upon them." Every man was se t to work then looking for trails and signs, save the t wo men wbo were to cook the late breakfast. And it took just such men to find signs and read them as an op!"!n book. Cody's no t e was found. It made a11 plain that the r e was any doubt abo ut. "He's a good one, is that same Bill, for he's taken big ch a nc es t o decoy those va).'mints into Death Desert, trusting for us to follow. ''Now, I know th e ca n yon, as you do, also R ob, and there is no chance o f his escape, and we'll catch the out-l aws there like rats in a trap. "But we'll go slow, so as not to get in sight by daylight from th e cliff, and snrpris e the m at dawn to-mo r ro w Wha t do you say, Rio Grande Rob?' ''Could n t be b ette r and just what Chief Cod y would have u s do; 'but I suggest that we cook our supper now, so as not to .have to build a fire on the desert, for fire s are such telltales, you know, and we can all gather a


10 THE BUff J\l.O B.LL STORiESo huu::lle of grass to take along, for our horses, a11d fill everything with water here, so as to give the animals a few swallows to-uight, for water is a precious thing from here to the canyon. "We'll do it," said Wild Bill, and his orders were strictly carried out. 1 The m e n had a hearty meal, then mounted, and at a steady pace se'.: out across the D eath Desert. They only halted for short nntil sunset, and then t h ey all saw the smoke on the di stant cliffs. "They are there, and I'll b e t ten to one that Buffalo j i ll has made that fire as a sigua l i f he had to burn his !;111kets, for there is no wood ou that cliff," and ''.iild bll :;ee med disappoiuted tliat he could get no one to t ake .. s bet. After a short rest they rode on and kept up a steady iiace for hours. T .hen they halted for food and to give their horses the grass and a few swallows of water, while they caught a co uple of hours' sleep. It was just growing dawn when they drew near the outlaws to the canyon. and Rio Grande Rob and Velvet Dick went forward on foot. There was no guard there, but the horses were halted i u the canyon, and left with a guard, and the men then crept forward on foot. They soon saw the outlaws lying down near the spring, and just as day dawned clearly, the Prairie Police were in position, and almost as one r ifle came a volley. It was l! complete surprise, and at once became a hot fight, and, for once, Buffalo Bill was not in it. Aroused by the shots, he at once knew what had hap pened and gave his war cry, while he began to crawl away from the cavern and descend to join his comrades. But bis services were not needed, as the work was done, and the outlaws not slain were prisoners, and they were very few. Among the latter was Captain Cruel-haggard, white faced and savage. "You've won, Cody,'' he said, as the scout was greeted by his men with a cheer. "Yes, for I held a foll hand of trumps, as you see here." and Buffalo Bill pointed to bis Prairie Police. "What do you intend to do with me?" "Take you to the commandant of Wingate." "To hang me?" ''Doubtless.'' ''I believe you came to this canyon which has been our death trap, just to decoy us here, knowing your men were following." Buffalo Bill laughed and replied: ''I decoyed you to your d o om, feeling very sure the Riders would strike my trail. I guess now with the lesson the Indians have had and the wipe-out of the Forty Thieves, this country will get some rest." "You have not cau ght all of us," and the outlaw seemed sorry that the <.von.:s e scap e d his lips the be had spoken. ''But we will." "N' ever." "Life and fre e dom lo the man n ho guides me to t h e den of th e For ty Thie \ es," cri : d Cody. E\erv prisoner sprik e up, wh! l e the chief cried qnickly: '\ "I'll m:ike terlil s with you C o d y." ''Ko, I do not trade with you. Men, yo n a ll see m anxio us to save your necks, I will Jet you draw lots." 'I'his agre ed to and the youn ge st and abou t .th e far J es s viciom; looki11g one of the band got the p ri ze though he al o ne had n o t \'OL rn teered to b etray his co m raclcs u ntil Cocly forc e d him t o draw with tlie others. "No w s e e t o th e n otmdc d rneu then bury the deacl, and we' ll camp here until ili ght," came the orVh en i t was possible or n ecessary for their work, fooling rnany: bu t I g o t on to their little game by accident, and k n ew it al l. "You K e no Cain all right, but only one o f the m, the twin brothe r, you know, and, as I sa i d, they both nse d the same 1iame. ''Th is one liad an ally in the Overland Company who posted him ou rich freight going through, \.JY J?OllY r i de r or coach and he heard of the Starbuck ""ago n trai coming West aud went East to become its gui de. ''Now I'll give you a poiuter as to w h o the a ll y is. ''Captain Kat Starbuck's trusted clerk Burke Bradshaw, is the mau, for he is a crook and a bad one, fro m way b a ck. "I've seen him meet Keno Cain ofte n, secretly, o n a trail a11d I intended, when I skipped the outlaw outfit, t o go to you, Chief Cody, and tell you the trut h." It v\'aS a g reat surprise to Buffa l o Bi ll and his tw


{. JI .' : THE BUfff\LO BILL STORIES. 31 comrades to learn the trut h about K eno Cain a m a n who m th e y had regarded a s d e a d. This surprise w as inc r eas e d a l so b y learn ing of the d o u b l e lif e b e in g l e d by B urke Brad s h a w. Bradshaw's strange b eh a v i o r could thus be acconute d for w h e n be sou ght t o t a k e com malid a nd p reveut the b a t t l e with the Indian s a ud l a t e r to ch ec k the pnrsuit of K e n o C ai n. Man y things about him the y now r ec all e d, w e re cer tuin p roo f o f hi s guilt. "See h e r e Bn c kl e y, I b e lie v e wha t y ou sa y about yourse lf, a nd o f the se two rne n, an d if y on care to re main in this co1111try as a pou y rid e r I'll g iv e y ou a chanc e," s ai d Bnff a lo Bill. "I'll gladly do it, sir, and thank yon for this chance, as s o on a s I have guided you to the den of the Forty 'Thi e v es The yo nn g man earned hi s fre e d o m fairly, and guide d the Prairie P olice to the F orty 'fhieves d e n. The n again it was !11.Jothe r co111ple t e surpl"i se and wipe out, with a f e w more prisoners taken, who, to e scape death, cried alotH1 for m e rc y. "Now, said Cody, "the Fbrty Thieves are all pres ent or ac counte d for. The pri soners we1' e taken to Wingate, and the com mandant the r e los t no time in ha11gi111?; Captain Cru e l, Devil Dan, his li eute n a nt, a nd se \' e ral or the most guilty of the lbt, while the others were seut E a s t as prisoners to a lon g term in prison. When the Prairie Police returned to Vall ey Ranch, Ed Buckle y, the ex-outlaw, ac co mpaui e d the m, for h e bad propo sed to entrap Burke Brad s h aw in a cl e v e r way. C aptain Tom Starbuc and hi s ontfit had alre ad y reache d V a ll e y Ranch, whe r e a ll had be e n m a d e com fort able b y C aptain Nat, th e B o ss o f the Ov erla ud and the train people at 011c e se t t o work builcli11g their homes, and ::;taking out their la1.1d. Burke B ra d s h a w had bee n liberated by Capta in Nat when he atfived as Rob's pri s oner, for h e had fol;lnd lt hard to b elieve that his faithful clerk had behaved as Velve t Dick had r eported he had done. ''I know D ic k, that he has worried you b y his atte n tions to your s w ee t daughte r, Sunbeam, and that you do not like him, sa i d the boss. ''I c o nf ess I d o not, nor do e s my upon whom h e h as for ced hi s attentious; but, h aving c ome out here to join m e afte r h e r m other's death, she i::; c o ntent to accel!Jt the wild life as s he finds it, and puts up with much she cannot avoid. Yet I wi s h you to know, Captain N a t, that I only o beye d Rio Grande orders in bringing Bradshaw to you as a p.risoner." "You did right, Velvet Dick; but I am glad my Cousin Ada is h e re now, for she will be company for your daughter." "They seem to be already the best of friends, sir, and Sunbeam wishes Mi s s Starbu.ck to be our guest in her cabin until her father bas a ho111e." ''I kuow she will be.glad to do so, as my cabin is too public for a lad y g ue s t, and not as comfortable as yours." Thus it was settle d, and Ada Starbuck became the g n es t of Verna De ering, whom t h e men bad nicknamed "Sunbea m, for she was of a sunshiny nature, with a kiud word and a smile for every one, a fitting companion for Captai11 Tom' s "Dandy Angel," as .Ada was already known t o the meu of the Overland Trail. Whe n the Prairie Police came to VaHey Ranch, they brought I M Buckle y as a prisoner, securely bound. This was the tric k of the young ex-outlaw, who told Buff a l o Bill tha t he could thus show Bradshaw in bis true Bgllt, if they were allowed to be together, as he w o uld pretend to have a secret message from Keno Cain to him A s Bradshaw had already b e e n r e leased, Buffalo Bill tol cl Captain Nat of the charges a g ains t him, and a plan wa s arranged for him to s e e Buckley while unknown witnesses were to bear all that Was said. The s c h eme worked to perfection, for, believing Buckley to b e a prisoner, B tadsbaw gave himself dead away, and C aptain Nat and Rio Grande Rob overheard all that was said. In that wild country hi s trial and sentence quickly followed the 1.atte r beillg that b e should be banged for hi s tre a chery. The s ente nce was cattiecl out by order of Buffalo Bill, the Prairie P olice b e in g th e executioners, a u d, fr o m tha t da y the la1;vless11ess o u the Arizona trail was ende d From the y e r y fir s t, Hi o Grand e Rob, who se r e a l n a me w as Field, at1cl who \ V as a Texas ra11cbe r w h e n at lion1e, living the lif e of a polly ri d e r fr o m mere l ove of adventure f e ll in lo ve with Ada S tarb t : ck w ho r eturne d his affecti o n a nd w ith i n a year, they we re married. The h a nds o m e yo un g g ro o m t o ok hi s bride t o hi s hom e in the Lon e S t a r State, wh e re Captain T om accompanie d them, for t!Jey w o uld have it s o N o r wa s that the o nl y we dding in V a ll ey Ranc h for Ed B uckl ey, wh o b a d show n hi ms e lf n spl e nd i d f e llo w aft e r all w o n as hi s w if e Verna D eer i n g Ve l ve t Dick' s pretty dau ghte r, the "Snnbe am o f the Overland. N o t l o n g afte r the grand vi c t ory w o n b y the P ra irie P o li ce B uffal o B ill r ec e iv e d ord e rs t o re p ort a s chief o f scouts to the Tenth Cavalry R eg im eu t a nd the n com m e nc e d hi s wonde rful and a d venturous caree r with that g allant r egiment. THE END. The story of Buffalo Bill s adventnres with the famous Tenth Ca valry ( colored) will b e found in ne x t weeks' Buffalo Bill Stories ( No. 9 ), and w i ll b e e ntitled, "Buffalo Bill's Black Scouts; or, O n the Trail o f the Outlaw B a nd of Devil' s D en." A Story of the Forbidden Land.


_______________ ....._.. -. ,;, The only publication authorized by the Hon. Wm. f. Cody (BUFFA.LO BILL) -----THE-----ILL STORIH Our New Sc. Weekly .. A Sure Winner Hon. Wm. F. Cody ( Buffalo Bill) We were the publishers of the first story ever written of the famous and w or 1 d renowned BUFF ALO BILL, the most daring scout, wonderful rifle shot, expert guide, greatest Indian trailer ever known, and a popular hero whose life has been one suc cession of exciting and thrilling incidents combined with great successes and accom plishments, all of which will be told in a series of grand stories whkh we shall now place before the American Boys. These exciting stories will appear regu larly in our new Sc. weekly to be known as READ THE FOLLOWING TITLES 5. Buffalo Bill's Gold Guard; or, Fort Fet-7. Buffalo Bill's Phantom Arrow; or, The t erma n 's Girl in Grey. 6. Buffalo Bill's Avenging Trail; or, The Secret of a Grave. Ghos t Dancers1 Doom. 8. Buffalo Bill's Prairie Police; or, The Decoy of Death Desert. LOOK OUT FOR THE CREAT INDIAN STORIES STREET & SIVIITH, Publishers, NEW YORK 111tt .. ---------=-..


JESSE J MES STORIES WE were the first pub-Jesse James. lishers in the world to print the famous storie s of the James Boys, written by that remarkable man, W. B. Lawson, whos e name is a watch word with our boys. We have had many imitators, and in order that no one sha ll be deceived in accepting the spurious for the real we shall issue the best stories of the James Boys by Mr. Lawso n, in a New Library entitled "The Jesse James Stories," one of our big five-cent libraries, and a sure winner with the boys. The first four issues are: "Jesse James, the Outlaw. A Narrative of the James Boys," "Jesse James' Leg acy; or, The Border Cyclone," "Jesse James' Dare-Devil Dance; or, Betrayed by One of Them," "Jesse James' Black Agents; or, The Wild Raid at Bullion City." STREET & SMITH, Publishers, New York. BUFF ALO BILL STORIES The only publication authorized by the Hon. Wm. F. Cody (Buffalo Bill.) Buffalo Bill. WE were the publish ers of the first story ever written of the fam ous and world-renowned Buffalo Bill, the great hero whose life has been one succession of exciting and thrilling inci-dents combined with great successes and accomplishments, all of which will be told in a series cf grand stories which we shall now place before the American boys. The first of these stories entitled "Buffalo Bill, the Border King," appears in No. I of our new five=cent library entitled The Buf falo Bill Storie's." STREET & SMITH, Publishers. New York. NICK CARTER STORIES T HE best known detective in the world is Nick Carter. Stories by this noted sleuth are is sued regularly in ''Nick Carter Weekly" (price five cents), and all his Nick Carter. work is written for us. It may interest the patrons and readers of the Nick Carter Series of Detective Stories to know that these famous stories will soon be produced upon the stage under unusuar y elaborate circumstances. Arrangements .ave just been completed between the : blishers and Manager F. C. Whitney, t" present the entire set of Nick Carter S l ies in dramatic form. The first play of t r series will be brought out next fall. Jll STREET & : ITH, Publishers, New York. ,. ,,, DIAMOND DICK STORIES Diamond Dick. THE celebrated Diamond Dick stories can only be found in Dia mond Dick, J r.,The Boys' Best Weekly." Diamond Dick and his son Bertie are the most unique and fascinating heroes of Western romance. The scenes, and many of the incidents, in these exciting stories are taken from real life. Diamond Dick stories are conceded to be the best stories of the West. and are all copprighted by us. The library is the same size and price as this publication, with handsome illuminated cover. Price, five cents. STREET & SMITH, Publishers, NEW York.


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