## Buffalo Bill and the masked driver, or, The fatal run through Death Canyon

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## Material Information

Title:
Buffalo Bill and the masked driver, or, The fatal run through Death Canyon
Series Title:
Buffalo Bill stories
Creator:
Buffalo Bill
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Street & Smith
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (32 p.) 28 cm.: ;

## Subjects

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

## Notes

Original Version:
Volume 1, Number 61

## Record Information

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:
020848642 ( ALEPH )
223329106 ( OCLC )
B14-00061 ( USFLDC DOI )
b14.61 ( USFLDC Handle )

## USFLDC Membership

Aggregations:
University of South Florida
Dime Novel Collection
Buffalo Bill Stories

Format:
serial

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Jssuea Weekiy. By S ubsc ription $a 50 p e r yea r No. 61. Price, Five Cents. IND THE MASKED . . GIANT GEORGE DREW HIS REVOLVER AND FIRED AT CODY, BUT BIS AIM WAS NOT TRUE, AND BUFFALO BILL' S BliLLET PllmCED TB"' BIG R U F:i;"IA N S RREAS T - PAGE 2 . [> A WE.EKLY. PUBLICATION DEVOTED TO BORDER HI Iss u1t Weekly. By Subscription$2.50 per year. Enterd as Second Cl'lns Matter at the N. Y. Post by STREET & SMITH, 238 William St., N. Y. Entered accQrdingto Act of Concress in the year JQ02, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, Washington, D. C. No. 6j. NEW YORK, July 12, 1902. Price Five Cents. Buffalo Bill and the Masked Driver; OR, THE FATAL RUN THROUGH DEATH CANYON. By the author of "BUFF ALO BILL" CHAPTER I. THE SCOUT'S REQUEST. Buffalo Bill had just returned to Fort Rest after a long scout in order to ascertain ,whether or not the Indians were planning any attack on the post. As he drew horse to a halt upon the parade grounds a cheer came from the crowd assembled there . 'Buff3'o Bill will soon set thii1gs straight again!" "He's the only man w ho can se11d ther coach through in safety!" l "We're glad to see yer back ag'in, Bill, fer we needs ye r These were the shouts tha t came from the group that was coll about the great scout. \ Vhat's up pards ?" he asked, che erily. "The coach hes been held up again!" "And ther driver killed!" "And ther passengers robbed!" These we r e the answers that came from twenty 1 throats. Buffalo Bill's face darkened with anger. The coach which ran from Fort Rest to another frontier post---:-Fort Famine-through a gorge .known as Death's Canon had been held up repeatedly before, no less than four drivers being killed in suc ce ss ion. Then Buffalo Bill himself had taken the reins in hand and driven the coach through the gorge. v It was attacked, but the scout, who wa the only occupant of the coach, expected an attack:,_ and was prepared for it. The five outlaws who made the attack met their death that day. Then Buffalo Bill, after dri ving the coach through, left the fort on a scout, thinking that he had cleared the road of outlaws and that the coaches could go in safety from that time on. But now when he returned he found that the murders and robberies had broken out again. At that moment an orderly pushed his way through the crowd.

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' 2 THE BUFF J\LO BILL STORIES. ."Colonel Miles wishes to see you whenever you are at leisure." Colonel Miles was the commandant at Fort Rest, and it was not long before he was greeting the great scout heartily overjoyed at his safe return from his perilous mis s ion. The scout listened carefully to the reports the colo nel read of the latest stagecoach robbery, and then for a moment appeared to be lost ih deep thought. Then he suddenly raised his head and spoke: ''.I shall have a driver here in the morning who will take the coach through in safety.'' "Who is he?" "That is the secret, sir, I must keep from every one, and so I ask that .he may wear a mask, and, more, colonel, please give me a pass to allow my un known to go and come at will from and to the fort." The request of the chief of scouts fairly astounded the colonel, to judge from his looks. "You wish to send a masked driver out upon the coach, and to have me give him a pass that allows him to enter and leave the fort at will?" "Yes, sir." "That is as I understood you, Cody." "It is as I meant it sir." "This is a remarkable request." "I admit it, sir, and I wish that I could now explain my reasons, but I cannot." ''But will you answer me a que stion?" "Yes, sir." "Do not do so if it is going to compromise you in this matter of your masked driver, for I'll excuse you if you deem it best not to answer." "I will answer it, sir, if I can." ' Well, tell me if this masked driver is on e of my officers, one from the fort?" "He is not, sir." "Is he from Fort Famine?" ''He is not, sir." "VI/ ell, J will grant the request, Cody." "Thank you, sir "How do you wish the pass written?" The colonel turned toward his desk and tool{ up a pen. Then Buffalo Bill said: All guards, scouts and sentinels of Fort Rest, and Fort Famine, pass the masked bearer in and out of all military lines in my district, and to lend him any aid he may require at the hands of those under my command. "A well-worded special order, Cody, for your masked unknown; but it shall go as you dictate," and the colonel signed, sealed and delivered it to Buffalo Bill, who thanked him warmly for the document, placing it carefully away in his pocket. "Do you have hopes, Cody, of seeing your masked driver alive after he leaves the fort?" asked the colo nel, with a smile. "Yes, sir, I have." "Well, I have not, after what has happened." "I have another favor to ask, colonel?" "What, another?" "Yes, sir; I would like a le ave of absence, sir, for a month." "What! Buffalo Bill ask for a leave of absence in the face of the enemy?" "ft is not to go far, sir, only to be at liberty to go and come at will, for I do not wish to be hampered by. duties in the fort just now. "It shall be as you wish, Cody, for I am sure yo u are aiming at dead center in what you are doing now." I am trying to do my duty, sir-the work you have set me upon." "I can believe that without reserve." "T,hank you, sir." "When do yo.u wish your leave to begin?" "To-night, sir." "For one month?" "Yes, sfr." '('1, I r ,, The colonel turned again to his de s k and wrote a special leave of absence for the scout, who 'took it with an of thanks. "Now, you do no{ wish an escort to go wit h your new man, Cody?" ''Oh, no, sir." "Suppose he is killed?" "He must take his chances as the other brave lows have done, sir, who have driven the Fatal Trail." "And he has the pluck to do it?" "He has, sir." :11 "I wish to make his acquaintance some day." "I trust I shall have the _pleasure of bringing him to meet you, Colonel Miles," was the response of Buffalo Bill, who then took his leave going to the stage station to see who it was that had brought the coach in from Trail End City. G:HAPTER II. THE MASKED DRIVER. Buffalo Bill found that the driver who had brought the coach up from Trail End City, the point 2.t which the coach line ended, was Brighton, a Iflan wellknown along the Overland stage runs as a brave fel low, who could handle the reins t o perfection. "Well, Bill, I'm here, and come through with<. ut a mishap, I'm glad to say," said the driver. "I'm glad of it, Brighton, and hope you will have no trouble on your part of the run." "Who's ter take the coach on ter Famine, Bill? "I have a man who will be here on time in the mornmg. "What did yer say his name were?" "I didn't say." "But yer knows?"

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THE BU ff ALO BILL STORIES. "He is an unknown.' "Ah! and maybe he won't do it. "Vi / ell, pard, you w ill be h ere at the fort to see whether he does o r n ot, and you will take the coach back to Trail End City, when he brings. it here from Fort Famine." \ 'If he d oes " I admit that the ch,ances are against him; but then he is going to try. "He kin do no more than that, Pard Bill," said Brighton, and with t his the two parted, the scout going to his qu arters for supper. Later, after "Lights Out," had resounded through the fort, Buffal o Bill came out of his quarters and ,made his way to the stockade gate which was known as "the colonel's gate." He opened this w ith a key that he had and passed out, locking it behind him, 'fo r no sentinel was kept there. Out upon the plains he walked for a quarter of a mile, to where was a cottonwood tree standing alone. As he approached a man stepped out from its shadow and greeted hi m "I came as you Bill, and I think I have some news for yo u," he said. "All right, pard, we'll talk it over when you are safe in s ide my quarters. "I have the key of the colonel's private gate in the s t ockade \Ye will go in that way. "But first for fear of accidents, let me give you this paper of protection which the colonel gave me for you. "Ah! he knows then--" 1 T othing. "He does not know who I am?" ''He does not, nor does a ny one else save myself." "Good!" 'I am r eady." Buffalo Bill led the way, or rather they walked 1 along t ogether, app ro aching the s tockade at the point where they were npt visible i n the darkness to the sentinels on eit her side of the wall. ,iJq, l The scout unlocKea the dlor, the two entered, and -relocking it, a couple of heavy bars were put up that secured it more firm ly, though t he gate so fitted into t he wall of timber as to hardly be noticed by day31ligh t. Crossing to the parade ground Buffalo :{3ill and his companion .1>kirted a lon g an obscure path and, avoiding several whom they saw, made their w ay to the other end of the stockade, where in a corne' r was the L e;scout's quarters, the cabin of Buffalo Bill fronting the barracks of the men a nd being well located for >Observing all that went on in the fort. They reached the cabin without being halted, and fntering it Buffalo Bill struck a match and lighted a By this light it was seen that the stranger wore a mask which completely covered his face from view. He was a large man, erect, with the bearing of a soldi e r wore gauntlet gloves, top boots and a com plete suit of buckskin A silk handkerchief concealed his neck, so that there was not a particle of his skin visible to show whether his complexion was that of a paleface or In dian, and his head was sheltered by a hood sombrero. Such in appearance was the unknown man whom Buffalo Bill had gotten to drive the deadly trail that led through-Death's Cafion. He wa s to be known only as the Masked Driver of the Fatal Trail, and who he was no one could guess from looking at hi m. "All is ready for you to take the coach out to-mor-row, pard," said the scout. -"And I am ready to do so," was the calm reply, and the two sat down to have supper together, after which they sought their blankets for a goo
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THE BUFF l\LO BILL STORIES. he carried in a manner that showed how well he knew how to handle one. He was dressed in a suit of black corduroy, topboots, a sombrero, wore gauntlet gloves, and had a silk handkerchief about his neck, while," strangest of all, his face was completely hidden under a sable mask. This was a surprise to the crowd, and a murmur ran among them as to what it meant, so strange a proceeding as to be masked. As he came up to the station a silence fell upon all. He politely saluted the colonel, who, returning the salute, eyed the masked face curiously and in tently. "You are the stage boss, sir, I believe?" he said, in a low voice, addressing Porter. "I am, sir." "I was told by Buffalo Bill to report to you, to take the coach out on the run to Fort Famine. It is just fiv.! minutes to starting time," and he took out a handsome gold watch and glanced at the dial. "Yes, Buffalo Bill .told me he would have a man here on time to take out the coach. You are that man?" "I am, sir." "What is your name?" "My name has nothing to Clo with my driving, sir, so put me down as the/Masked Driver of the Fatal Trail, please." "All right; and you know what you-have to face?" "I have been told all, sir, by Mr. Cody." "There is not one chance in ten that you get through alive." "I thought the odds were much greater against one in a thousand," wa.s the cool reply "Well, you know what you are doifig I suppose, and, as I want no man to go blindfolded to death, I am glad to know you understand the peril of the drive." "I shall take all chances, sir, of the Fatal Trail," was the prompt and decisive reply of Buffalo Bill's mysterious messenger. "You had better leave your watch and valuables here." "No, for they will be of no use to me if I lose my life. I risk death and robbery together on this ven ture." "You are a cool one and no mistake; but, where is Cody?" "He was granted a leave of absence, I believe"." "Well, pard, you is ther durndest fool I ever struck ter drive ther trail o' Death's Canon, so I says goodby ter yer," and Brighton, the driver, who had listened to all that had passed, stepped forward and confronted the masked driver. The unknown took the extended hand, and, turning to the stage boss, said: orders,. "Not any, except not to get killed." "Time is up, then, so I'll be off." He turned, leaped lightly up to the box, gathered up his reins, and said" pleasantly: "Let them go, boys !" The stablemen sprung back from the heads of the horses, and, with a crack of his whip, the Masked Driver started his team on the run of the Fatal Trail. Every eye was upon him, and, as he wheeled his team sharply around and took the road for the main gate of the stockade, they saw that he handled the reins with masterly skill. Then, loud and long rang out a cheer for the bold man who dared to face the danger of Death' s Canon, while Colonel Miles, as he walked back toward h!s quarters, sent an orderly to summon Buffalo Bill to come to him at once. The orderly returned to headquarters, from going to the scout's quarters, to report that Buffalo Bill had gone away before dawn, it was said by one, on a scout, by another,-that he had a leave of absence. "Then he is not in the fort, orderly?" "No, sir." "Go and find out at what time Buffalo Bill passed the sentinel at the stockade gate, and if he was alone?" "Yes, sir," and the orderly hastened away. In a short while he returned, with the information that Buffalo Bill had passed out of the main stockade gate half an hour before dawn, riding one horse a nC.: leading another, the latter carrying a pack. The orderly departing Colonel Miles turned t( Captain May and said : "I told you the favor Buffalo Bill asked of me, cap tain ?" "Yes, s ir, to allow his driver to go masked." ''.That was it, and for a leave of absence for him self." "Yes, sir." '-'Now I gave him the key to what is known as m : gate in the stockade wall, and I verily believe h rode out of the fort, had some comrade awaiti111 him outside, and coming back ; t hr:ough the little gat went to his quartei;s and rigged up as the Maske Driver." "You think so, sir?" l{f 1 '.'I do." t "Why so, may I ask, colonel? "Well, the Masked Driver came from Cody cabin." "True, sir." f "He was about Cody's height and build." t; "Very nearly, sir, I should think." o "And he was masked, wore gauntlet gloves, ha even his neck concealed with that silk hat").dkerchi' ti he wore, and it looked very much to me as thoug si he had his long hair done up under his sombrero." ai "It might .be so, colonel.i_ but then .what moti\ ai

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1'HE BUfF"LO BILL STORIES. 5 would Cod.y hav e for going in a masquerading costume?" "He w ell knew that I would not allow him to drive that coac h again although I did once." "That is so, sir." "He was determined t o g o through the Death's ,Canon on the coach a n d h e is not one to stop at any danger to gain his ends, a n d I re ally believe tha t he masqueraded just to carry his po int and di s cover how it is all these peopl e h av e bee n mass acred, be l ieving that he could e sc a p e o nce mo re. " Shall 1 take a for c e a nd go a fter the coach str, for b y hard riding I can o ve r take it?" No, as it might b reak in u po n s ome pl a n he has, and I am c o nfident that h e h as sifted thi s murder my stery deeper than h e ad mi ts e v en to me H e i s not alone either, I am c o n v inced so we might undo what he has planne d by send ing aid t o p rotect him. "That i s very true, s ir and 1 : h as gone into sol ving this strange case w i t h b o t h e yes open, I feel sure. Some of his men are do ubtle ss with him." "Ah! there i s at presen t no t a scout out of the fort, unless he has gone w ith Cod y so muster the men in buc k sk in Captai n May, and find out just who i s missing." The capta in hasten ed away to ob ey, and in an hour's t i me returned t o headquarters Cody has gone on lea v e sir the men said, to visit some one at Trail E nd Cit y, or Fort Famine, they were not sure whic h and he left in command C. B, Owens, whom we k now bes t as Buckskin Charlie, he said. "He left his order s fo r Buckski n Charlie to start out half t h e scouts to-day a t noon on a run toward the Indian coun t ry, ho ldin g the balance here for a call, what h e did not s ay s hould they be quickly needed." "An d what scouts a re o u t, captain?" "Cody is t he only one of hi s band now away from the fort, so B u c k s k i n C harlie tell s me s ir. "Then who i s i t t h a t Cody has aiding him, for he c ertainl y is not alone o n t he trail?" That questio n Capt ain M a y found it impossible to answer,. for he, t oo, was in a quandary as to who it coul d be that was w ith B u ffa l o B ill on the hunt for the my steriou s murder ers. CHAPTER I V. Tl-I E DRIVER'S FIRST RUN. The Masked Driver went out o f the fort in a way that showed he understood h o w t o h a ndle the rein s over the back s of s i x h o r ses in mas t e rl y s t yle. a He saluted the offic e r o f the d a y as he went i through the gate, and tha t officer had the "guard stand at a "present" to him an honor which he s aid a n y man deserved wh o w a s taking the chance s l against death which th e Masked Driver w a s d o ing. On sped the coach, and it looked as though the Masked Driver knew the trail perfectly. He halted to water his team just where it was always done and blew the stage horn before he came in sight of the relay station, for the men to be ready to change horses. As he drove up before the cabin he was met by Fred Fox, the station master who had charge of the relay horses and his three assist a nts, who had the fresh horses ready to hitch in. It was evident that Fred Fox w as surprised, as also were his men, for he gazed with something akin to awe upon the masked face of the driver, who salute d him politely, but in s ilence. "Say, p a rd, who be yer ? a s ked Foxey. "I am the Masked Driver of Death's Cafion," was the calm res ponse in a deep voice. "Does yer expect ter git through? " I am going through." "Yet think so?" "I know it. "Many has thought thet same, and they is in the'r graves." "They trusted thos e they deemed their friends, perhaps "But I trust no man." "Whew! yet yer hides yer face "Yes ." "Why?" "It is a fancy of mine to do so "Well, I only hopes ye'll git through." "Suppose you accompany me, Foxey, and see for yourself that I d o ." "Not much, fer I don' t run ag' in sart'in death." "Well, I take chances, and the who draws trigger on me will never live to know whether his aim was good or bad." "vVhat does yer mean?" "Oh, nothing, only more than two can play at the game of hide and seek, you know. "Pard, yer i s a queer one, and I hopes yer git through, for I likes yer pluck; but I doubt it." I'll bet you a couple of hundred to one that I go through, Foxey, and that if there is a death in the canon on my runs I won t be the man who is buried. "Come, put up your money. But Foxey did not respond, but said: I likes yer narve, but I hain't goin' ter bet ag' in a brave man' s life." "All right, as you please Foxey." ''I sees that yer knows me?" "Oh, yes, Captain Fred Fox, alias Foxey, 1 know you, and also your three pards there, Bradley, Bladen a nd Knuckles. "Now yer d o es, for a fact ; but w e don' t catch on ter who you i s "Nor does any one else, for I drive this Death .Trail m as ked, and the. man who pulls trigger on me

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THE BUFF J\LO BlLL STORIES. does not know who it is he is killing, or what w ill be the result of his shot, for I am no fool, Foxey, to set myself up on this box as a target without being able to hit back." The four men looked at each other in amazement, for here was a character. Of all the drivers they had seen go by the relay they had never found one like this man, and his masked face and enigmatical words impressed them with a certain awe, for Foxey e xpressed the opinion of all when he said: "See here, pard, I'm betting your way now, for you is jist ther man ter go through." "That is my intention, and woe be to the one who bars my' way," was the calm reply of the Masked Driver, spoken in his deep, sonorous voice. The fresh team having been hitched in refusing a glass of grog offered him, the Masked Driver drove on his way, Knuckles remarking: "See here, pards, that coach was closed up tight, but I seen a man's eye looking out thet leetle gla s s on ther rear seat." "Yas, he intends a trap, he does," said .Foxey, and all stood gazing after the coach and wondering who the Masked Driver could be. On drove the Masked Driver along the trail and entering the Death's Cafion he drew his horses down to a walk, placed his repeating rifle acros s his knees and loosened his revolvers in their hol sters He passed the graves, the scene of the hold-ups, and no shot came, no one appeare d to mol est him: Once through the cafion he p ass ed on t o the n ext relay station, blowing the stage horn as before, l o n g ere he came in sight of the cabin which showed a knowledge of where it was situated, at least. Murdock was .the name of the station master at this relay When the coach drove up before Relay Number Two, Murdock and his men were there to greet the driver, and started when they beheld the large form and masked face of the one who had dared Death' s Canon. The Masked Driver halted, saluted politel y and waited for them to sptak. "\V aal pard, yer has got u s foul ," said Murdock. "In what way?" came the answer, in the deep voice of the unknown driver. "We don't know yer. "No man does "Yer don't show yer face ." "If my face is masked I offer my body as a target, however, for any murderer who wishes to take the chances of killing me," said the Masked Driver. "Yer is cut an' dried for 'em, then?" "Let them fire at me and then remember what I have said, for as I remarked before, I am no fool." "Waal, pard, luck to yer, and it will be a great d ay when yer breaks up this murder business on ther trails. :Will yer hev a leetle dinner?, "No, thank you, for I carr y m y l u nch with m e." "Won' t a drop o' liqu o r do ye r good?" "No, thanks, I never d rink," was the r esponse. The h o r s es being h it ched i n, the Maske d Drive r sent them off with a crack of h is whip, whi l e Murdock and hi s m en g ave hi m a c he e r It wa s an hour before su n set w h e n the s e ntinel on the watch-tower at Fort Famin e reporte d the stage c o min g in. Who was the driver that dared make the run w as the question upon every lip. On_ came the coach at a rapi d pace, and all the for t had gathered to rece i v e i t. As it drove into the stockade walls s uch a cheer as greeted the d r iver wa s never heard before in Fort Famine. He had run the Death G a untlet i n safety. The coach wa s clo s e d, s o t here co u ld not be any passengers. The dri ver had c ome through alone. And the driver was m a sked. The soldiers and oth e rs at For t Famine regarded the unknown man curious l y, and wi t h something akin to aw e "\!Vho is he?" That was the all-pervadin g ques t io n asked, with no one to gi ve a sati s fa ctory so lu t i on. The officer s s e em e d s urpr is e d t hat Major Dean, the c omman d e r d i d not know, and the ladies in the fort had the ir c urio sity excited to an almost alan11ing extent. T h e M a sk e d Drive r had been invited to half a dozen me s se s, but decli ned a ll invitati ons, and ad mirin g the pluck of t he man i n takin g the reins after the fatali t ie s he knew of to all d r ivers, the bachel o r club of officers sent h i m i n a splendid supper and a bottle of wine with the i r c ompliments to the little cabin belongin g to Buff a l o Bill w h ic h h e occ u pied. J It wa s early when the lig h t went out in t h e d r i ve r s lone cabin, and yet others remai ne d up until late dis cussing him. Nex t day the Masked D r i ver drove back at an ordinary pace, as thoug h not anxious to push his hors e s too hard, and arrived i n sight of the Relay Corral Numbe r T w o o n the us u a l time. Murdoclt, S y kes and Gia n t George, the three stocktenders, were there w he n he d rove u p a n d the two latter had the fre s h h o r se s a ll r eady i n place for the chang e Well, pard, I g ue s s t h ey made much of yol.t for g9ing through 0. K., didn t t h ey?" as k e d Murdock. "They seemed glad to s ee me g o throug h withou t losing m y life; but those who are posted understand tha t I w ill not be moles t e d, o r i f I a m i t will end, right there and for good outlaw r y o n thi s trail. "You don't say so! "Now, not wishin g you a ny harm, I co u ld almost want ther murderers ter make a break just, s o as ter tnd it all."

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T'HE BUFFALO BI L L STORIES. 7 So do I," was the cool response. "In fact, I am \ \ r illin g to b e sacrificed just .to have it happen that way Murd o c k a nd his men looked at the Masked D ri ve r w i t h inc re as ed admiration, mingled with awe. T h e r e was t h a t about the man th a t impressed them g r eatly Agai n ref u s in g lunch and a drink, the driver went on h i s way, and w h e n dra wing near the Death' s Canon brou ght hi s hors e s down as before, to a walk. He r ea ch e d the open space, where the graves were, wi t h h i s r ev ol vers r e ady and his rifle acros s his knees and co c ked He e v en h a lted a t place of hold-up and looked search i n g l y abou t him. B u t n.ot a so.und wa s he a rd, not a leaf moved, and al l was as q u i e t a s those in the graves near by. So on h e went once more, yet still keeping on his g u ard, and drove up to Sta tion Number One slightl y of time. Foxey and hi s m e n gav e a w ild cheer when they saw him co mi ng, a nd t he f o rm e r cried, triumphantly: "Pard, yer has done it "Yer has run th e r Fatal Trail yer has faced ther Death Ga un t let a nd come out all right! You is a dandy from 'Wayback pard." I h av e n o t yet rea ched the end of my trail, Foxey, for the r e are m a n y miles to trav el yet; but I'll be ready for who e v e r hol d s me up. "Yer hain't got no p assengers, has yer ? "Not one." "What m a k es yer keep ther old hears e closed up so .tight?" ... Why l eave i t open when there is nobody aboard?" "Maybe yo u h as a t r e asure in s ide thet don't need air?'' ."Maybe I ha v e pard, and I only wi s h some curiou s road agent would make a search for it "I g u ess the y' cl be surprised, eh?" "Th ey m i ght, if they lived long enough to know what the s ur pris e wa s." Foxey ste p pe d s e veral paces further off from the co a ch as thou g h fearful that it had been turned into an i n fern a l m a chi ne. If th e d river obse r v ed hi s actio n he made no tom men t but s tarted o nce on the trail. H e sent hi s t e a m alo n g at an ea s y pace, and yet k ept hi s ey e s c o nstantly on the alert for any danger. He was not to b e c aught napping, and was ready o r a n y emergency. I t was yet so me t i me before sunset when the coach c ame ove r t he ridge w hich brought the d r iver in sight of Fort R est The re w a s a pl a in broken here and there by ridges and ti mber, t o cross before reaching the fort, but t h e Mas k ed Driver s a w that the coach had been di s cove r ed at t he fort and that its coming was creating, a sensat ion As it drew near, the stockade walls were lined with soldiers, flags were run up on the staffs before t h e officers' cabins, and the guard was drawn up to recei v e the daring man who had been recognized as the Masked Driver. 1 The officer of the da y had ascended to the watch tower, and leveling his glass had called out to the sergeant of the guard: "Sergeant, report at once to Colonel Miles that the man on the box is the Masked Driver!" A yell of delight broke forth at this news, and de scending from the tower the officer of the day arranged a reception for the brave fellow. The notes of the stage horn rung out merrily as the coach neared the gate, and soon after into the stockade dashed the six horses, held well in hand by the Masked Driver. He saluted at the "Present arms" given him, and the cheers that followed, while a s he approachecl the stage station the fort band struck up the air: Se e the Con9uer i n g Hero C o mes! It certainly was a grand reception for the unknown man and he felt it as he glanced over the sea of faces, of soldiers, sco uts, women and children. Dismounting from his box the Masked Driver found it hard to avoid the crowd about him so said: "I have toJreport, sir, that I made the run in safety, not having been molested in the slightest degree, s o that the mails are intact. Pete Porter, the stage boss, grasped the hand of the spe a k e r and wrurtg it hard, while he responded: "You hav e clone that which no other man could do and I hav e faith that you were not born to be shot on the box of an Overland stage. " I trus t not, sir." "But now I must report to Colonel Miles for whom I have dis_patches." Way was for him through the crowd, and he w a lk e d with erect manner and dignified mien on to headquarters, bowing at the reception everywhere given him. The colonel met him in a very cordial manner and said: "Do you know that I have a suspicion that I k now you, my mysterious Unknown?" "No, sir." "Well, I do." "Who do you think I am, sir?" "Why, no more nor less than Willia m F. C ody, Buffalo Bill :" A light laugh came from beneath the thick, black mask, and then followed the rejoinder: "You are wrong, sir." "In love and war all things are fair, it i s said s o perhaps you consider it so to deny my charge; but still I believe you to be Buffalo Bill and for that very reason I have the more confidence in you."

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THE BUFF /\LO BILL STORIES. ; "Buffalo Bill is well worthy of your confidence, officer, four soldiers and a scout, and to have them sir; but I am not the one you think I am. I will releave in a way that it will not be known that they go." port, sir, in time to take the coach out again, for "All right, when do you want them?" Driver Brighton takes it on the run to Trail End "The night before the coach goes out on its next City, and back to the fort." run sir." "So I understand; but you will remain in the fort "Very well." of course?" "They can leave by your gate in the stockade, and "Your pass, sir, gives me the right to go and come I will be outside to guide them to a retreat. I have at will, so I shall avail myself of it, having your kind selected Buck s kin Charlie as the scout, sir and may permission." I ask for Lieutenant Manning Moore as the officer, "All right, the pass will protect you," answered with four soldiers whom he may. select?" the colonel, and as the Masked Driver left the room. "Yes, and both Lieutenant Moore and Btickskin he mused to himself: Charlie are the very men, I take it, you need-utterly "Now is that man Buffalo Bill, or is he not? fearless, intelligent, cautions and capable of enduring "I thought so, and I do not think so_.:__in fact, I do any hardships, and willingly in the disch arge of not know. duty." "Well, i must bide my time to see this riddle "They are, sir, and I would like Moore solved. to select just such me1r among the soldiers, for there Straight to the quarters of Buffalo Bill went the will be danger and hardship for them to face." Masked Driver, in the gathering gloom, for night "I will send for Lieutenant Moore in the morning was commg on. CHAPTER V. \ BUFFALO BILL'S DOUBLE. The fort had sunk into quiet, the band had ceased playing, and the bugle had sounded "taps," when a tall forn;i glided among the trees toward the qnar ters of Colonel Miles, and a few moments after presented himself before the sentinel stationed there. As chief of scouts the sentinel saluted Buffalo Bill, whom he recognized, and the orderly took in his name to Colonel Miles, who said, curtly: "Admit him." "Well, Cody, this time you come as yourself, I see?" said the colonel. "Yes, colonel as Buffalo Bill." "See here, Cody what does this masquerading of yours mean?" "I do not understand, sir, to what you refer." "I believe you to be the Masked Driver. that 1 s what I mean." "You are mistaken, Colonel Miles; but now that I understand that you mistake me for the Masked Driver of Death's Canon, let me remind you that I told you that I would secure a man to drive the trail and that I could not now explain any mystery attached to him?" "Yes, I remember." "I cannot explain the situation as it stands, for I am under pledge not to do so; but I confess that I asked for' leave, to work out thi'? mystery, and bring to punishment the guilty murderers of Death' s Cafion." "Go about matters in your own way, Cody, and if I suspect you it is only of being the Masked Driver." Buffalo Bill laughed and .replied: "I came into the fort to-night, sir, to ask for an / and tell him what you wish.'.' "And that not a whisper must get out, sir, of his going." "I will impress that upon him "And kindly send for Buckskin Charlie also, sir. for I do not wish to be seen in the fort, and must as k you to so state to your sentinel and orderly:" "Yott are going out then to-night?"' "Yes, sir, by your gate, which yon gav e me the key of. I came in that way to-night." The colonel smiled, but said: '"Where is your double?" "Who is that, sir?" "Your shadow, or shadower, the Masked Driver?" "He left the fort, sir, a short while ago, for he has his pass, you know, sir, and I met him outside." "Well, Cody, I will instruct the orderly, and th e sentinel to say nothing of your coming to my quarters to-night. Now tell me if there is anything I can do for you?" "Nothing, sir, I thank you, more than to detail Lieutenant Moore and Bucl,<:skin Charlie, with the four soldiers for the special work I need them' for." "I will attend to.it in the morning early." Then Buffalo Bill arqse and took his leave of the colonel. Leaving the colonel's quarters he glided among the trees to a clump of heavy timber in the rear of the stockade, which was u sed as a park by the officers and their families. It was here that .the c olonel's gate in the stockade was located and, fitting the key in the lock the sco u t removed the bars and went outside. A man stood close against the stockade wall apparently awaiting him, and Buffalo Bill asked in a low tone: "Have you the lariat, pard ?" "Yes, here it is." f J

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-THE BUFFALO BILL STOR I ES. 9 The scout took the lariat, re-entered the gate, locked it, replaced the heavy bars in position that made it more secure, and then: threw the end of the lasso around the limb of a tree near. Taking the end he climbed up the stockade wall, which at that point was twenty feet in height, and then lowered himself to the ground on the outside. Hauling on one end of the lariat he drew it over after him, remarking: ''Now, pa rd, we can go; but it would never have done to leave that gate unlocked." "No, for though no danger might happen from doing so, still, if there did it would fall upon you, Bill." 'Sure," and the scout led the way over the plain surrounding the fort. The sentinels at the corners of the stockade did not see them, and really there was no need of a guard near the gate, as the wall was built upon the side of a h'll, and \Vas all of twenty-five feet in height on the outside and of heavy timber, cut square and planted firmly in the ground. The two pards moved rapidly over the plain, reached the ridge and descended into the valley be yond, which they continued along for several miles at a brisk walk. .t}t length they turned short off to the right, up a ravine, and this led them to a canon, which they passed through to a range of n1ountains, which they ascended to the summit. Here was a plateau, heavily timbered, with a soft carpet of grass, immense bowlders here .and there, and a tiny rivulet falling over a precipice. In among the r ocks was a camp, a small terit being the-re, a couple of saddles and bridles hanging upon trees. near, a pack-saddle, and beyond, on a grassy plot, were three horses staked out, and feeding. Before the tent lay two larg-e, fe[ocious,.looking 'dogs; but they were chained to a tree, and seem ingly muzzled. so that they could not open their mouths to bark. They greeted the visitors by wagging their tails a nd shO\ying delight at their coming. Buffalo Bill scraped some live coals of fire out of t he ashes, threw upon them some wood, and soon had a blaze, the light of which was shut out by the rocks about the camP. and the heavy timber. The flaring up of the fire revealed the fact that the companion of Buffalo Bill was the Masked Driver of the Death' s Canon, for he still wore his black ma sk and his gauntlet gloves. \Vhile the scout set to work to get supper the Masked Driver led the three horses to the little pool of water to drink. Then he staked them out securely in a fresh grazing-grou_ nd some wood and returned to the camp. The scout was not long in getting supper, and the two sat clown and appeared to enjoy the meal im mensely, the clogs being unmuzzled and given their sha re, a)so. After supper the two pards talked together for a while, and then went to their blankets in the little tent, leaving the dogs to watch the camp, though they did not appear to dread any harm befalling them. The next morning they arose early, got breakfast, changed the grazing ground of the.ir horses. and then, each one taking a dog with him, started off down the mountain side upon a separate trail. CHAPTER VI. .. THE STORY TOLD AT TRAIL END CITY. vVhen it was the hour for the starting of the stage the next morning, on its run to Trail End City, a large crowd had assembled to see it off, for it was supposed by many that the Masked Driver was to be on the box. But Brighton appeared and reported rea_dy for duty, while the Masked Driver was nowhere to be seen. It was a great disappointment to all, and Driver Brighton saw, as he mounted his box and drove away, that all in the fort hero-worshipers, and he regretted, now that the Masked Driver had gone through to Fort Famine and back in safety, that he had not made the run himself and gotten the glory of it I'Ie drove on {)Ver the trail, where he looked for no clanger, unles s from solitary road agent, who, want ing money, might hold him up, and at each of the relay stations between the fort and Trail End City had his story to tell of the Masked Driver, who had taken the coach twice through the Death's Canon. "\Vho is he. Pare! Brighton?" was anxiously asked him. by the stock-tenders on the relay station be tween Trail End City and Fort known as Sta tion A. -But this question he could not answer, more than to say: "Many believes it is Buffalo Bill, playing some game he don't want to be known in, and if it is, I guesses ther colonel knows." Driving on more rapidly, after leaving the last relay corral, Brighton came in sight of Trail End City before nightfall. This time the coach was coming in on the regular time, not being late, and when the people of Trail End City heard the stage horn they flocked to the the only hotel in the place, to welcome it. Pete Porter was thei:e and heartily called out for a cheer for Brighton,' which was given with a will, and then he was asked: "vVell, Pard Brighton, did the coach go throi1gh to Fort Famine this time?" \

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I 10 THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. "It did, boss." "Did you drive?" \ "I did not," was the somewhat sullen response, for Brighton could not but see what a chance he had missed to become a great hero. ''Who did?" "Buffalo Bill's man." "Who were he?" "I don't know." "Was he killed?" "Naw." "Not shot at?" "No, nothin'." "vVhat then happened?" "N c11:hin'." There were those in the crowd who were disap pointed. They were looking for another sensation. They wanted to hear of another tragedy upon the Fatal Trail, another murder at the Death's Cafion, so long as it did not affect them. 'Yer say yer don't know the driver?" "Boss, I wants ter why I don't know nothin' about ther iz-ent as drove thee huss through ter Fort Famine and back to Fort Rest, whar I took it." "I wish that you would .:' "Yer see he were masked." "Masked?" "Yes." "Who?" "Buffalo Bill's driver." A murmur of amazement ran over the dense crowd, and then, having excited his listeners to the utmost, Driver Brighton told the story of the Masked Driver, unknown apparently to all except Buffalo Bill, who had taken the coach to Fort Famine and back without molestation. Though not the man who had_ taken the coach through to Fort Famine, Driver Brighton had his vanity gratified by stil being looked upon as a hero in Trail End City. He had brought the news of the Masked Driver going through, and as he was the driver of the same coach as far as Fort Rest and back, and that was a great deal, he found out, for he was invited to drink by every one who wished to hear his story, until he found himself not only unable t o talk, but to navigate as well, and the overcome hero was taken to bed by admiring friends, who, in drinking his health, had be come very nearly in a like condition. yYith a head felt
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THE BU ff ALO BILL STORIES 11 for it was a mountainous road to Fort Rest, and t here were two stock corrals between there and Trail End City, and once more the horses were changed. "Any news, pards ?" asked the driver as he drove up to the last relay. "Hairi't heerd none, hain't seen nobody," was the answer. "W-hat's the news down Trail Encl way?" asked one of the stock tenders. "Nothin', only ther bpys got me away off when I went in and told them about ther Masked Driver." "Did they believe it?" ''Does yer know any man would enjoy callin' me a liar, pard ?" was the very significant rejoinder. The stock tender did not appear to have any ac quaintance who dared to call Brighton a liar, and so argument there was none, and the coach went on once more. Five miles from the corral, and when within ten of Fort Rest, Driver Brighton halted in crossing a stream to water his horses, then suddenly there ap peared in the trail ahead of him a man, who called ont: ''Don't shoot, pard, fer I hain't no road agent, only a miner as wants a lift to Fort Famine." Driver Brighton was a man of good heart, and he could not refuse the wretched-looking vagabond who accosted him a ride on the coach. He had dropped his hand upon his revolver at sight of him, believing he was to be held up, but the words, quickly uttered by the man, disarmed his sus p icion, and he said : "Ef yer is in hard luck, pard, and can't pay yer tax, 1 treat yer to ther ride as fer as I go." Yer is mighty good, fer I is in hard luck, and so awful poor I hain't got nothin', fer my last gun went fer grub and I is thet hnngry I c'u'd chaw grass." The man was a hard-looking specimen of humanity certainly. His hair and beard were unkempt, his boots much the worse for wear, and his general make-up was that of a man in really hard luck. ''It's all drink, yer see, anc\ gamblin'. "I got drunk back in ther camps and ther boys cleaned me out, so I jist started fer ther new mines I has heerd of up near Fort Famine, fer I kin git a stake thar, I guesses, and ef not I kin join ther army." The driver smiled at the thought of such a vaga bond entering the army, but he said: \,.Yell; I have a part of my lunch here you can have, and I'll give you a seat on the box with me ter Fort Rest, and there the soldiers and scouts will give you a helping hand, for the boys in blue never go back on one in di tress." "Yer is mighty cind. pard, and I 'preciates it, deed I does-my! but this lunch do taste powerful good and no mistake." Brighton seemed really to enjoy seeing the man eat, and to have given him a lift along the trail, and chatted pleasantly with him, with no thought of treachery until suddenly the stranger drew his hand from his bosom, there was a flash and report, and, with a moan, the driver would have fallen from his box had not the murderer caught him and thrown him back on the top of the coach. Then he grasped the reins and drew the startled horses to a walk, when he glanced back along the trail. Almost immediately there came into view two men upon foot and walking rapidly. As they drew near the coach one of them called out: "You got him, Dav?" "You bet I did," was the answer of the man on the box. "Dead?': "I shoots ter kill, and it were a very neat job." "\Vhere's the plunder ?'1 "In ther cuddy under the seat here. "I'll hand it to yer." He took out the express packages, three in num ber, and handed them clown to the other two men, who were a most villainous looking pair of ruffians. "What'll yer do with ther deader?" asked one. "Leave him whar he is, soon as I has fingered his pockets." "And ther team?" "Start it on ther trail for ther fort." "Better riot, for ther critters might git thar too quick." "What"ll I do then?" "Why, jist tie 'em and let them at ther fort come out and look 'em ttp, when ther coach don't git it on time:" "All right. "I'll be with yer soon as I makes ther critters fast." He dro.ve the animals' out of the trail to where there were some trees that they could be hitched to, and, ma.king them fast, he went on after his com rades, who had swung the express packages upon a stick to be carried on their shoulders. Then the three started off, the pretended vagabqnd taking off the boots he had worn and putting on moccasins in their stead, and which would leave no track, his two comrades wearing the same. They started on then at a brisk step, going over hill and down valley, seemingly with untiring step, for mile after mile was left behind them. iAt length the sun went down, twilight followed, then night came on, but still the three men trudged along untiringly, one relieving the other two from time to time in carrying the pole upon which the ex press packages were hanging. But the darkness did not retard their way, for they

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I 12 THE BUFFALO BILL STOl:Ul:S. knew the trail well, frqm the steady manner in which they held on, and still w ithout i:.howing fatigue. At length they turned into a broad and shallow stream, flowing through a canon with lofty banks of rocks upon either side. Into the stream they went, turning against the current, and, after wading for half a mile, they stepped out upon some rocks and began the ascent of the steep hill, or almost cliff. A climb of sixty feet brought them to a plateau, where, under a mountain spur, they came a rudely-made cabin, built against the solid rock. "Well, pards, here we is, and I hope when the capt'in sees what we has captered ter-morrow, he'll find it a rich prize. "Now for supp er and then ter sleep, for I'm tired out." "Yas, killin' thet driver made you tired I guesses. "Yer don't exercise enough in thet lin,e o' work 'ter git yer hand in," growled one of his compamons. CHAPTER VIL FOUND. It was the afternoon of the day when Brighton was expected in with the coac;:h from Trail End City, that the sentinel beheld a man on foot approaching Fort Rest. He reported the fact, and, as the pedestrian drew nearer, made it known that he recognized in him the Masked Driver. It was the Masked Driver, looking fresh, and stepping with elastic tread as though he felt no fatigue, and had not tramped far. He acknowledged the military salute the sentinel gave him, and handed to the corporal his pass from the colonel, which at once admitted him to the fort. His steps led him tow?-rd the cabin of Buffalo Bill, and on the way thither he met a number who greeted him with marked respect. Halting at the office of the stage boss, he reported that he would be ready to take the coach out on time the following morning, and passing on when Gill, the -boss at this station, said: "I say, pard, the coach is now half an hour late." "Do you think anything could have happened to it on the trail between here and Trail End City, sir?" "No telling." "If you wish, I shall be glad to mount a horse, sir, and go out to look the coach up." "Well, if Brighton does not come in within the next half hour I wil! get you to do so, for th.ere were some valuable packages to come through on this ru1'J." "I will be ready at any time, sir. "You will find me at Buffalo Bill's cabin should you want me," and the Masked Driver passed on. The stage-master waited impatientl y for a while and yet no report came from the sentinel on the watch tower of the coach being in sight. The soldiers and others were gathering at the station to see the coach come in, and at last word came from Colonel Miles asking if Brighton had arrived. Then Gill went to Buffalo Bill' s c a bir after the Masked Driver. He was most curiou s to know who tha:t driver was and felt provo.ked .that he at lea s t wa s not let into the secret by Buffalo Bill no matter who el s e were kept from it. He therefore wanted to catch the man unprepared, and so acted slyly. He walked lightly to the door, put hi s hand on the latch and suddenly opened the door. There sat the driver by the window, studying a map, but he was masked. Gill "as mad clean through because he was foiled, yet dared not show it. So he said as pleasantly as he could: "I have cmne, sir, to a s k you to go and look Brighton up, for he is an hour and a h alf behind and this looks bad on the trail betwe' en here a nd Trail End City." "Cerfainly, sir; I will take one of Buffalo Bilrs horses and be off in five minutes. As though well acquainted with his surroundings, the Masked Driver took an extra saddle and bridle the scout had there in the cabin, and, going to the scouts' corral, selected one of the best horses of the lot. In a minute he wa s lassoed sa ddled bridled and mounted, when the Masked Driver went clashing out of the fort at a sweeping gallop. The crowd cheered him, and he acknowledged the compliment by a bow. Out of the gate he went and was soon lost to sight in the distance. All waited with what patience they could the result of his going. That some accident had befallen the coach they felt certain, but was it the death of the driver? Were the same red scene s to be enacted upon the trail between the fort and Trail End Cit y that had been between Fort Rest and Fort Famine. The sun went down in a blaze of glory, twilight. cast its golden haze over the land, and at l ast darkness crept on so gently that it was hardly noticed until no longer could objects be seen in the distance. One, two hours passed avvay since the departure of the Masked Driver. The coach was now nearl y four hours behind, and surely something had gone wrong. Three hours had the Masked I)river. been gone when the sentinel on the heard the di s tant rumble of wheels. Later he reported the coach coming along t h e trail

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THE B\}ff AJ .. O BILL STORIES. 13 t a rapid pace, and soon into the stockade dashed he lumbering vehicle, with the Masked Driver on 'the box and Brighton nowhere ".isible. But for the fact that "taps" had sent the soldiers to their barracks, and put the fort. under the night gnard, all the people within those stockade walls would have been on hand to receive the coach when it came in. "Where is Brighton?" cried the stage-master as soon as the Masked Drivtr came to a halt at the station. "Dead, in the coach, sir," was the reply. "Dead?" "Yes, sir." "Where did you find tJ:ie coach?" "Back on the trail about ten miles, the horses to a tree, and Brighton lying in the road [ dead where he had fallen from the box." "What! was he ill, or--" "He was shot." "Ha! by whom?" "The mysterious murderers, of course, for who else could it be, sir as the coach had been robbed." "Curses! this is getting to be appalli'ng." "It h a s been so for some time, I take it," was the quiet remark of the Masked Driver. "No one was there?" "I saw no one, sir, for it was dark when I reached the coach, and being off the trail where the team was hitched, I would not have seen it but for discovering the body of poor Brighton lying in the road, and then hearing one of the horses neigh." "And then?" "I found that t11e body of the driver had been rifted of all valuables, so I placed it in the and then discovered that the packages had also been taken." "Well, you had better make your report to Colonel Miles, and I suppose this will end the coach runs beyond Trail End City," disconsolately said Gill. "Why so, sir?" "Who will dare now take a coach between here and Trail End City?" "I will sir." "You?" "Yes, I'll drive the whole run, as was formerly done by the drivers." "I am glad to hear you say so, but I fear you will rot last long-." . "I can at least try it," was the reply. "You are game clean through and no mistake; but you had better go and report what has happened to the colonel.1 The Ma s ked Driver \\'.ent at once to the quarters of Colonel Miles and was admitted. "Well, sir, I have just heard that you returned w1th Brighton's coach?" .< "Yes, colonel, and brought poor Brighton's body back in it." "Ha! I had not learned more than that you had brought it in. "Tell me of your discovery." The Masked Driver did so and the colonel listened with deepest attention, and then said: "Then there is but one thing to do and that is, as the redskins are quiet now, to allow each coach to go under guard." "No, colonel, there is no need of a guard, fc;>r I will take the whole drive, sir, from Trail End City to Fort Famine and back." The coloflel looked at the masked man before him with surprise, and asked: "Do you suppose that will check the deeds of these murderers, your driving?" "l passed through in safety on the last run, sir." "And may be murdered on this." "I'll risk it, sir." "Well, go ahead, hut I am greatly tempted to guard the whole line." "Do not do so, Colonel Miles; do not send any men from camp unless necessary, for I intended to inform you, sir, that the Indians are not as quiet as you believe, and Buffalo Bill wished me to say to you to throw out nearly all of the scouts toward the red skin country, with orders to report every suspicious move, and have the men in buckskin at Fort Famine also go out." "You st1rprise me, for, after the thrashing we lately gave the Sioux, they certainly cannot be upon the eve of another fight against us." "Let me explain to you, colonel, that the Cheyennes to the north have come southward and allied then'1selves with their old enemies against the whites. "They came with food, tepees and ponies in plenty, and readily aided the Sioux in their distress and need after your battle with them, and, thus by the alliance, the combined forces are in a very ugly and threatening mood, so it will be well, Cody says, to run a double line of scouts across the country from here to Fort Famine, and have others to scout as near the Indian country as possible, to watch every move of the redskins." "This is startling news, surely," said Colonel Miles, with considerable surprise. "It is startling news, Colonel Miles, but it is the truth, as Cody will vouch for when he comes to see .you," said the Masked Driyer. "When will he come?" "Day after to-morrow night, sir." "Well, I am glad of the warning, and I will prepare accordingly. But where is Cody now?" "He is scouting, "Toward the Indian country?" "No, sir, on the Fatal Trail." "But now to sending out these scouts." "Here is a map, hastily drawn, sir, showi11g the I .

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14 THE BUFFALO BILL STPRIES. position of the Sioux camps, which they have changed from their old ones, and the place where the Cheyenne village is, with the distances apart marked, and also the number of miles between them and the forts. These red dots, sir, are in double lines, you see, Colonel Miles, and they mark the positions where the scouts are to take their posts, while the reel lines are the trails the scouts who move about are to traverse. This will be a strong barrier between you and the redskins, and, by the scouts keeping out of sight of the Indians, they will expect, should they make a raid, to surprise you, or Fort Famine, for they will attack one of the forts first in full force, and then sweep down upon the other." "W ho drew this map, sir?" "I did, sir." "It is just what I have wanted, and I thank you for it. "I see that you have the Fatal Trail marked upon it." "Yes, sir, it gives the country vvestward of the Fatal Trail line." "I am glad to get it, for it appears to me to be exact, but now to these scouts?" "I would send them out to-nig-ht, sir, showing them this map, and letting each man take position as he has been assigned." The orderly was at once dispatched to the scouts' quarters, to order thirty of their number to report to Colonel Miles within the hour, ready to start upon a long expedition, with ten days' provisions, and well mounted and armed. The Masked Driver turned to go, when the colonel said: "If you do not mind, sir, I would like to have you remain and give the scouts, when they come, certain directions abou. t this country, for you must be most familiar with it to hav e drawn this map." "I know every foot'of it, sir." "Then help me direct the scouts to their posts of duty, please." "vVith pleasure, sir," and when the scouts began to drop in, surprised at a call for so many men by night, for scouting duty ) that required ten days' provisions, th.e Masked Driver gave them full instructions as to what their positions and duties were, each one showing marked respect for a man they did not know, but whom they knew as their chief's pa.rd, and who had proven his claim to respect and admiration from them. Having sent the scouts out, Colonel Miles, ever on the alert to guard against attack, had at once held a consultation with his officers, tolcl them of the news he had received, and ordered that the whole con mand be kept as though in a state of siege, though nothing should be said to alarm the people. The next morning four-fifths of the garrison were on hand to see the coach start on its drive to Fort Famine. Out of Buffalo Bill's cabin, five minutes before starting time, came the Masked D river and he bowed courteously to the salutations that greeted him. He rep
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THE BU ff BILL The Mask e d Driver then explained the situation foll y to Major Dean, while the scouts were preparing to t a ke t he trails and when thev came thirty in number h e d irected each man to his position they treating him w i t h the s a m('! deep respect as the men in buckskin at F ort Res t had done. In fact, t h e s c outs looked upon the Masked Driver w i t h a c ertain awe w hich they could not fathom. The n ex t morning all the fort was on h _and to see the coach start off. 1 h e dr iver ca me out of Buffalo Bill s cabin as be fore, had a few words w ith the s tage -master, took the pac kage h anded to him by M aj o r Dean' s orderly, and addr esse d to Colone l M iles, and, with a salute to t hose who cheered h im mounted his box, gathered up hi s rei ns, a nd at the word, wa s off. Soon the coa ch rolled out o f sight, and then the e x cit e m e n t settled d o w n into almo s t gloom, for the s u sp e nse a s to what might occur was greater to bear t h a n t h e ac t ual re a lit y Back to S t ati o n T w o drove the Mas ked Driver, having h alted u po n the wa y a s before and closed up hi s coach a nd, af t e r a short talk with the men, and a change of hors e s went o n his way toward the Death 's Canon, ha v in g been told by Murdock, who had again r eturned t o h m p'ost, tha t "Captain" Fox wa s s till o ut u p on the trails visitjng the relay corrals. W h e n h e approached Death's Canon, as upon former occas i ons the Mas ked Driver drew his team dow n to a wa lk c oc ked his repeating rifle and laid it across h is k nees, put one revol ver on the seat by his si de and h a d the othe r in his belt ready to draw when the n ec e ss it y to do so should arrive. The h o rse s went along with ears pricked, as tho u g h t he y s cented dan ger, and this put the Masked Drive r tho rou ghly upon his guard. As he entered th e ope n space so frequently re ferre d t o before, the eyes glaring through the mask saw a hors em a n approaching H e was j us t entering the space, which Buffalo Bill had n amed the burying ground, from the other end. I t is Foxe y," s aid the Masked Rider to himself, and he drew his hors es to a halt. Foxey came o n at a canter now, and called out: "Sorry I didn' t se e yer wh en yer passed Number Three, par d o' ther m as k but I w as out on my rounds in spectin' th e r c orrals, for yer ma y not know I is cap t'in o f the r e l ay layout atween Trail End City and Fami ne?" ".Oh, y es, I knew th a t ? "Well, i s all well in the corrals?"_, "Yes. How i s it with yo u?" "Could n't as k to have it better." "Yer h a in t b ee n attacke d once has ?" "Fortunately for thos e thieving murderers, no." "And for yours elf ?" "Oh I d o n t mind for I w o uld give my life any tim e t o k n ow that t he y were hanged." \tV ell, now why can t yer let me in on this deal?" "How so?" "There's big 'money offered for tht::m men, as you knows." "Yes a very handsome sum by the stage com pany. "You surely want some help, and don't warrt all ther dust, do es yer ? "I want all I can get, Pard Foxey." 'Now, hain't greedy, and if yer will Jet me i n on yer leetle racket I'll take one-quarter share and work hard fer you." Well I have thought of that, and vvhen I get my plans all nl'acle a s I wis h them, I'll give you a call, Foxey." "Thankee. "Nm'-:, how is it thet you kin run this trail and not git kilt, as t' others has been?" Because I am sure, Foxey, only do not speak of it to any one outside of the stage company' s people that the murderers have learned in some way that I have a trap for them, which when they m0ake a break, will wipe the last one of them off the face of the earth. But not a hint of this or it may spoil all, and the Mas ked Driver spoke in a whi s per. No, indeed, you kin trus t me. "But what i s your leetle game?" ''I'll tell you when I make known my plans to bag the murderers alive. "Now, I must be going, so good-by, Foxey, and the Masked Driver started ahead, leaving the relay boss seated upon his horse and gazing after him with a strange expression on his face. When the coach came int.o Fort Rest it was not closed, as it had been when passing the relay station and through Death' Canon. The blinds were down and the curtains were up on each side, as when it had started upon its way from each fort. The colonel asked the Masked Driver many ques tions, and then said : I had wC1rd from the scouts' line an hour ago, and the report is that the redskins are certainly preparing for some move and it can only be against us, so I did the right thing in following Cody's advice and yours, in sending the men in buckskin out to the front, to be between u s and a raid." "Yes, sir, for you cannot be surprised now " Well, my masked friend, you will take. the coach to Trail End City in the morning, I suppose?" "Yes, sir, I will make the attempt." "Do you not wish an escort?" "Oh, no, sir." "Well, you know best, and good fortune attend you is my heartiest prayer, and the colonel shqok hands with the Masked Driver, who went at once to the cabin of Buffalo Bill. But he had not been there long b e fore he came

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13 THE BUFF J\LO BILL STORIES. o u t, l ooked cautiously about him, sought the shadow of a row of trees and made his way to the officers' park, the timber before spoken of, and where, in the stockade wall, was the colonel's gate He reached the gate, removed the bars, unlocked it, and in stepped a tall form. "Thanks, pard, I'll go at once to headquarters, for I suppose the colonel is there?" 'Yes, Bill, for I saw him there a of hours ago." "Then had you not best await for me here to bar the gate after J go out, for I will not be gone long?" "Yes, I will wait here for you The other then moved rapidly on to the quarters of the colonel, passed the sentinel, and sent his name in by the orderly, when he was at once admitted. ''\Vell, Cody, I am glad to see you, but I assure you that between the Masked Driver and yourself I am getting sadly mixed." ''You still are in doubt, colonel, as to whether I am mas queraditlg as the Masked Driver or not?" asked Buffalo Bill, with a smile. / "I must confess that I am not clear in my mind about it and yet I do not wish to doubt either his word or your own, if there be two of you instead of one." and the colonel looked quizzically at Cody, who rej c ,ined: ''There are two of us, colonel, just now, myself and n:y second self, or my s hado\ver, for we are working on each other's for a good purpose." "I can believe that; but where is Lieutenant. Manning Moore and his men, with Buclhkin Charlie, who went with them?" "They are on duty, sir, and I have come to ask of you seven more of my scouts, and I wish them to night." "You are aware that I sent thirty to the Indian country, as you suggested?" yes, sir, and they will save you a surprise; but you can spare me seven of my men in buckskin, can you not, sir?" "Of course, if you wish it." "Colonel Miles, it is not my wish to keep you in the. dark as to my movements, and what is being done, and if all comes out as we have planned, you will then understand why I did so; but I can secretly work to far better advantage, for I am my own mas ter, and you will, I hope, soon see the results." "All right, Cody, go ahead on the trail you have started upon in your own way. 'You shall have the scouts, so have you any choice of men?" ''Yes, sir, I would like these seven men sent for ," and Buffalo Bill handed the colonel a list of seven names. The scouts came to headquarters, seven in munber, and they seemed surprised at seeing Buffalo Bill there. He greeted them pleasantly, an .cl said: "I wish you to go at once, pards, and prepare for a t en days trip. When ready, ride out of the fort and halt at the cottonweed tree .on the plains, whic h is known as the sentinel. Lose no time in getting there, and I will meet you. Under no circumstances speak of my being in the fort. You understand?" They answered in the affirmative and left for their quarters . After some further conver, satio n with the colonel, Buffalo Bill took his leave having made the same request as before, that the sentinel and the orderly sho uld be instructed not to speak of his coming to the fa.rt. He made his way quickly to the little gate in the stockade wall, and there was met by his unknown companion, with whom he talked earnes tly for some minutes. Then they parted, Buffalo Bill going through the gate and the Masked Driver closing it after him. \l\/hile the latter returned to the caibin where he made his quarters, the scout hastily glided away to a distant clump of trees, where a horse was staked out awaiting him. Mounting, he rode on to the place of rendezvous appointed with the scouts. He arrived at the lone cottonwood trees and had not long to wait, the scouts soon coming in sight, riding in Indian frle. "Well, pards, you are here on time and I am glad of it, for you have some distance to travel before morning breaks." "We are all ready for any racket, Pard Bill," said the leader of the party, Arizona Bob, a man with a record. "I wish you to go to what you know, Arizona Bob, as Bee Hive Cliffs, and yo u will find Buckskin Charlie there awaiting you and one other, who will lead you to the party you are to act as guide and scout for. and which Lieutenant Manning Moore commands .. "He is a good one, none better," was Arizona Bob's quiet tribute to the young officer. "Yes, he is just the man for the work on hanid. "You will go to his command, and the rest of you, boys will go under the leadership of Buckskin Charlie, who will take you to the secret camp he know s of. "\Vith you, Arizona Bob, Lieutenant Moore will have six in his party, for he has four Indians with him, and Buckskin Charlie will have seven including myself, and this is just the fo!ce I need to carry out my plans vith." 'We'll do it, chief, neYer fear, "Name the game and we 'll follow you to death to bring it down;" was Arizona Bob's response. I know that, boys." "Now, good-night, for I have business elsewhere, but will see you in a day or two."

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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 17 With this the scout rode o n e way the m e n under rizona Bob bending their steps t oward the Bee ive Cliffs, a dozen miles distant. The,way taken by B u ffa l o Bill was t o .the ea stward, n d he rode at a gallop f o r m ile a fter mile. At last he halted in a lit t l e v alley, unsaddled his orse and staked him out, a nd o n foo t made his wa y o a rocky hill overhanging a swift ly-flo wing strea m, mile away fro m wher e h e h a d made his temporary camp. He went up amon g the rocks, s e a rched ab out unti l he fou nd a place to s uit h i m an d then spreadin g hi s blankets, laid down to rest. falli n g a sle e p almo s t i m mediately. Back at the fort, a f te r parting w it h Buff a lo Bill; t he Masked D river ha d returned to the c ab in where he made his quarte rs, and at o n c e r eti r ed for the n ight. ,He was u p i!1 good ti me, h a d hi s break fa st. which the cook of the office r s' m ess brought to h i m and then started for the statio n to go out on the coach. The interest i n the going and co ming of the coach. a n d in the m yste ri o u s u n kn o wn w ho s o lightly ri s ke d h i s l ife, had increased ins t ead of dimini s he d, and the result was that a large crowd h a d again gathered to see t he departure o f th e stage. T h e Mas k e d Driver wa s -received as before v ith loud app l a u se, and a c h eer foll ow ed him a s h e drove away, a "pre se n t arms" greeting him at t he gate when he dashe d t h ro u gh. T hi s t im e t h e r e was a p e r so n in the fort wh o expected to see him agai n, a n d i t w a s the univers a l belief that the myster i o u s murderers, ha ving shifted their scene of act i on fro m Death's Cafion were lyin g in \Yait to kill t h e Maske d Drive r o n his run to Trail Encl City, a nd a f eeling o f f eve ri s h s u s pen s e followed h i s going, with m a n y q u es t ions as k e d as to h y Colo n e l Mil e s did not send a n escort w ith the pluck y ma n a n d thus sa ,.e his l ife CHAPTER VIII. FOXEY IN T ROUBLE. When the Masked Driver l ef t the rela y station, where he had seen Foxey, t h e "captain o f the stock tenders, the latter stood gazing after him until the coach rolled 0 11t o f sig ht. Then t h ey began to d i s cus s hi s pluck and skill as a dr i ver, u nti l at l as t Foxey remarked: "Bu t I m ust be off, for I h as ter g it b ac k o n time as-ther boys will be an x i o u s And so Captain Foxey m o un ted hi s h o r s e a n d rod e slow l y away up the trail. He had gotten t o t he sp o t where Bri ghton had been killed, and was gaz i n g with c o n siderable inte res t at the scene lit tle dreami n g of d anger to him s elf hen he heard t he sta r t l i n g words: Bo t h hands up pard, or I pull s trigger!" turned deadly pale, for he saw that he w as fairl y caught. There, just to one s ide of him was a bowlder,. and leaning o ver it his rifle resting upon the top, his eye ru n ning along the barrel, w as a m an. V/ h o tha t m a n was he could not tell, for the face was concealed b y a red handkerchief tied around the, he ad, and holes ne a tly cut in it fo.r the eyes. The man was shabbily dres s ed, and -his hair wasl lon g and matted, hanging on each side of his jace l i ke a n old maid's curls But the rifl e c overed the he art of Foxey, and, loving life, h e obe yed the command w1th alac r ity Then the man came from behind the rock. I-le had a blanket o ver him, the ht!ad thrust through a hole in the center, and he looked like one in hard luck. / I w a nts yer g uns firs t pard, and yer knife. W ith t his he proceeded to take the belt of arms. "Now I wants yer valuable s ." I hain t got none." "Yer is dodgin' ther truth, fer here be a fine watcn and chain, an d I'll take thet ring, fer it may do ter g i v e m y gal some day when I quit s ther road-agent bi z and turns hone s t. Co me, I wants no nonsense, or y e r e oes ter g r a ss with a bullet in yer. Foxey groaned, but the robber was merciless, and he took the watch, chain and ring, and next struck him for his money. Foxey was rather well supplied with money, but had to hand it over though he swore by note at the robber for taking all he had. The road agent, ho w ever, appeared to really enjoy his fur y and made a bu s ine s s of getting all that he had for he s e a rched hi s pockets, made him pull hi s b oo t s off, and found a l eather ca s e of money in one o f thet'n an d a f ew p apers in the other. "Now, p a rd I g ue ss I has about got all yer has o' val ue, s o I'll s ay day day t o y er, and yer kin go yer, way in sorrow, w hile I go mine rejoicin Yer were goin' up the t trail so keep on and if y e r tarns back this w ay, yer is sart'in t e r get a bullet. Git!" Fox ey needed no s econd bidding but started off at a cante r swe aring furiously, for never before in his l ife had he e x perienc e d the sensa t ion of being held up and robbed He would ha v e been glad to have gone back to the relay and gotten his men to g o upon the trail of the ro a d agent, but, after the threat made if he turned back he dared not do so. Then he thought of going across the country ta his station, which he could do and not follow the s tage trai l around by Fort Rest; but he was unarmed, a nd he decided to go by the fort and report to C ol o nel Miles his having been held up and in th e v e r y spot where Brighton had been killed. H a ving com e to this determination, he contin.ueid I .. I

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18 THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. on at a rapid gallop for fort Rest, still swearing at his ill-fortune in having been robbed, and m uttering again and again to himself: I i s a fool from 'Wayback, I is.'' C:HAPTER IX. PETE PORTER'S EXPLANATION. To see the Masked Driver come in on the box safe and sound, after Brighton's death, to have gone to Trail End City and back without being killed, drove the soldiers wild with enthusiasm, and they cheered him to the echo. He, gave the mail to the postmaster, ana went ttp to headquarters. with a special dispatch handed to l him by the stage driver from the east. 1 He was greeted cordially and asked about his run When the Masked Driver walked away from the to Trail End City and back, and told his story. stage station at Trail End City, wh ere he had arrived "Yott know, of course, the boss of the stock tendin safety, hestrolled about the settlement until it was ers at the relay corrals?" said the colonel. dark, and then, descending the hill, crossed the "Oh, yes, sir stream upon the log bridge that spanned it, and went "Well, he was held up on his way from Number on up to the trail into the mountains Two, and robbed of all he had. He held on for several miles, until he came to a "He came here to report it to me, and pleaded ridge, and here he turned off, followiqg it to the left. pitiably for me to let him take a hundred troopers There was no trail along the ridge, but he seemed and hunt down the robber." to know where he was going, for he did not halt until "Yes, sir, he was held up at the spot whe e suddenly he heard a low whistle. Brighton was killed." He stopped short and answered it by three sharp "Ah! you know of the affair, then?" whistles. "Yes, sir." Then a man stepped out from the shadow of a tree "Then you have seen the man ahead, and said: robbed?" "Glad to see you, pa rd, for I was getting a trifle "No, sir." anxious "But his men told you?" "I am all right," was the answer. "No, sir." "Here are the horses, so we'll mouni: and get away "May I a s k then, how you learned of the robbery from here as quickly as possible, for we must visit of Fox?" both camps, you know, and we can travel only by "I am not at liberty to t ell just now sir; but you night.' will soon know.'' ''Yes, and I mus .. t be back on the morning of the "You surprise me, sir." third clay from this to take the coach out on the run." "I am sorry not to be able to make k11o\v n the "You'll get there on time, pard, never fear," was facts, Colonel Miles, but I will do so before very the answer. long, and it will be a satisfactory explanation to you And 011 the morning of the third day after his de1 am sure. parture, and 011 time, the Masked Driver, as has been "Now, sir have you any dispatches for Fort F amseen, marched up to the Wayside Hotel, and reiue ?" ported himself ready to Porter to take out the coach. "I will send a letter to Major Dean, and have it "Lordy, pard, where in thunder have you been?" ready for you in the morning.'' and with this the cried Porter, in amazement. Masked Driver returned to his cabin leaving the "I get so little 'time to hunt that I took my rifle and colonel more and more impressed with the unknown I went for a tramp through the mountains." man ,, horn he yet had a faint suspicion was Buffalo "And got lost, that's just about the size of it," cried Bill. Pete, laughing. As had become the custom now, the fatai coach. "Well, sir, let it gd at that." with the Masked Driver on the box, went out of "I see that you don't want to own up, but that's it, Fort Rest in a whirl of glory, followed by cheer after I g u ess. cheer, for it had begun to appear as though the un" Bu t come in and have some breakfast, for it's an known had broken up the killing epidemic inaugu-hour to starting t i me." rated by the mysterious murderers of Death's Canon. Out of Trail End City went the Masked Driver, At the stream the driver halted to go through the halting when he got well up into the mountains, and same tactics of entering the coach and then closing entering his coach, as upon former occasions. it, and when he came to the Death' s Canon it was the \!Vhen he got out, some fifteen minutes after, the same draw down to a slow walk the rifle across his coach was, as before, closed up completely. knees, the revolver on the seat by his side. The relays were passed with a halt only long Then a short halt was made in the open space, and enough to change the horses, and on to the fort went on the coach went once more toward Fort Eamine. t he coach, arriving a litt l e ahead of time Foxey was at Relay Number Four when he drove

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THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 19 up, and he had a piteous story to tell of his being held up. \ "The colonel told me about it, Foxey," said the Masked D r iver and yet he listened attentively to the >tory of the stock tender. "It shows that thar be road agents still around, don't it, Masked Pard ?'' "It does, and I only hope they 'll hold up my coach some day for this driving without danger is getting monotonous .'' "Yer don' t mean thet yer wants ter be held up?" ask ed Fox ey, in amazement. I do." "Yer 'll s in g a diff e r ent tune when yer gits thar." "I'll sin g a tune in which they can join me in the chorus wa s the complacent reply. Then the Masked Driver asked. '' What did they get from you, Fox?" "My watch and chain I pri z ed highly, a ring a pard ive me some papers thet were of value ter me, but Jo body el s e and some few hundreds in money." "Quite a haul indeed; bttt I must be off," and the r iver went on hi s way, and arrived safely at Fort amm e A t t h e ti me o f star ting the next. morning, puncu a l t o the minute, the Masked Driver drove out of ort Famine a n d, h aving halted ancl closed his :oach some miles out, he muttered to himself, as he ig ain mounted to the box and drove on: "Somehow, I feel as though something was going o happen on this trip, and my are eldom wrong, I have found by experience." The p resentiment felt by the Masked Driver kept 1 im more on the alert than usual. He had to halt a little longer at the first relay he : a me to, as one of the men had been kicked by a o r s e and was laid up, and another had gone on a unt for game. Reaching the Death' s Canon he let his horses walk l s u s ual and as he entered. the open space was about draw rein when, suddenly, one, two shots rang ut, and the Masked Driver fell back upon his coach s though shot through brain and heart. Then, from among the rocks sprang two men, earing masks, and, as they rapidly approached the a ch, their we apons in their hands, suddenly and 1expected, without rising from his side, as he had llen over on 'the box, the Masked Driver fired two 1ots There wa s no mistake this time, for the two asked road agents dropped dead in their tratks, a tll e t through the brain of each. Then the Masked Driver dismounted from his box, ith no sh o w of being hurt, approached first one an, t hen the other, and, raising the mask of each, a11ced fix edly at the faces thus exposed. He made no remark, but, mounting to his box, o v e on once more, and still on the alert. As he left the Death's Calion he muttered to himself: "My presentiment wa s right. "Something did happen." Driving up to the Relay Number Three, he was met by Foxey, who had heard the stage horn. Foxey looked very "disconsolate since his having been held up, and said : "Waal, pa rd, through ag'in safe, I sees?" "Yes, Foxey, but there have been two more sudden deaths in the cafion." Foxey started and said: "What! yer hed passengers kilt?' "Oh, no, for I had no passengers; but I was fired upon; see, here is one shot through my sombrero and you observe this cut in my coat on my left side, where the bullets gave me a close call." "The devil!" "I told you that somebody would go under when they fired on me." "Yer kilt them?" "Yes, and left them lying in the canon for their comrades to bury, for they must be near. "As they wore mash, of course, I could not see ... ho they were." "Vv aal, I'll be darned "You do beat all I ever seen, Masked Pard." "If you could scout back that way, Foxey, maybe you would see where their comrades buried them and find out who they are." "I'll do it. I'll go at once, and report to yer upon yer next run through." "All right; good-by," and the Masked Driver drove on. He drove into Fort Rest ahead of time; but as calmly as though nothing had happened, and only when he had dismounted, said to Gill, the stage boss: "Mr. Gill, come with me to Colonel Miles, for I have a report to make to him." Gill was surprised, and all seeing him go to headquarters with the Masked Driver at once surmised that something out of the usual routine had hap pened. "We.II, Sir Unknown, you have news evidently for me, as I have for you," he said. "I wish to report, Colonel Miles, that I was fired upon twice in Death's Canon-see, hete is 'one shot through my sombrero and here is another in my coat on the left side." "What! you are woul}ded ?" "Fortunately, I was not, sir, but their intention was to kill." "And you outran them with your team?" "Oh, no, sir; I played 'possum, dropping over on my box as though dead, which brought them out of / their hiding-places, and I shot them. I drove on, and told Foxey to scout back and see where their wmrades buried them."

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.. THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. "I vvill send a party at once to the spot, and see." "On the contrary, sir, please do not, for I wish to go right on to Trail End City to-night, with Mr. Gill's permission?" "Why so?" asked Gill. "I can only explain, sir, that an attack by redskins threatens the fort, and I brought out considerable treasure this time from Fort Famine, as well as val uable mail, so I desire to get it safe in Trail End City as soon as possible, for then I have several days off, before starting again." "Yes, Gill, let him start." "Certainly, sir." "And, Mr'. Gill, if you will kindly have the best team hitched at once to the coach, you will oblige me," said the Masked Driver, and the stage master started off to obey, while Colonel Miles said: "I wish to tell yoy, sir, that the s .couts 1send in word that the redskins are moving, villages and all, northward, so have given up their proposed raid, perhaps discovering we were prepared for them." "No, colonel, that is a blind, I am sure, for they will halt their villages, and sweep around with the warriors to attack you in the rear, take my word _on that, sir, and be more than ever on the alert." "I will," was the colonel's emphatic response. There was quite a stir in the fort when they saw the coach roll away toward Trail End City after a half-h.our's halt, instead of waiting until the next morning. "I can pass the second relay before dark, and reach Trail End City by midnight," mused the Masked 1Driver, as he went on his way He had gone about half a dozen miles when he suddenly caught sight of an object moving far ahead. He fixed his eyes upon it, yet did not appear to notice it. "An Indian, as I am a sinner, and hiding from me." The coach rolled on as though nothing had been discovered by the driver to threaten clanger, and when passing a little bush growing in a crevice of the rocks, the Masked Driver suddenly raised his rifle and fired. A yell followed, and a redskin roiled over the rock to a grassy plot ten feet below. Instantly putting on the brake, the Masked Driver leaped from his box and approached the Indian, who was writhing in pain. "Suddenly he stopped and called out: "What! is it my red brother, the Winnebago chief Many Hair? "Diel my brother intend to kill me. for I am his paleface brother, the Healing Hand-see!" and kneeling by the dying redskin he held his face close Clown and raised his mask so that the eyes of the In' dian alone could see it. "My paleface brother speaks with a straight tongue-he is the. Healing Hand, and he has killed his red brother, the Many Hair," was the low reply .. for the Indian was dying, and clutched his hand in his mass of waving hair, which was most strangely marked, as there were white, brown and reddish lock s in it, hence his name. "The1Many Hair is here to kill my people. forget ting, since he left his own people and joined the Sioux, that he is the brother of the paleface. He is seeking to become a great chief among their people, and has come here to scout and lead them by night upon the forts, to kill and to rob. Is this the teaching of the Healing Hand to his red brother? Has his red brother forgotten all?" The words moved the Indian greatly, even more than did the Fain he suffered. He was a splendid specimen of manhood, tall, muscular, and with a noble face. After a moment of silence the Indian chief said, in a low, earnest tone, and in good English: "The Many Hair is wrong. "He has a bad heart to forget the teachings of his white brother, the Healing Hand. But he is dying. so can do no harm, for soon be will be upon the trail to the happy hunting grounds." "The Many Hair can do good, he can make the heart of his white brother glad, for he can tell him of the reel foes that are coming to kill his people." Again the chief was silent for .some minutes, and tqen he said: "The Many Hair loves his white brother, and he will talk." And, lea11ing close to him, the Masked Drive listened to all that the Indian, under his questioning, said to him. The voice of the redskin grew fainter and fainter, and at last, with a convulsive start, his life was ended. Instantly the Masked Driver arose, took up the form, as he might tnat of a child, and carried it to t11e coach, placing it in it. Then, mounting to the box, he drove on jn the gathering gloom until he reached the scene of Brighton's 1 Then he halted and gave three long, shrill, ringing' whistles. They were answered from near by. nd a moment after a form appeared coming down the side of the hill. The Masked Driver met the stranger, there was a short talk between them, and then the Indian was quickly stripped of his costume, and his hair cut short off to his head, while the .body was wrapped in a blanket, the rig of the redskin and his weapons in another, which was tied up securely "Now, get your horse for me to ride back, while I dig a grave for poor Many Hair," s aid the M a sked Driver. The other clisappearecl, and when he returned, rid-

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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 21 ing his horse, the grave was nearly dug in the soft g-ro1md. "Now, you know, our plans agreed upon, so I will return at once to the fort," and mounting the other's horse, after strapping the blanket containing the In outfit on behind, the Masked Driver rode rap idly back on the trail, his companion driving the coach toward Trail Encl City, and going at a very l ively pace, too. "Ho, Buckskin Charlie, what. 's up, thet you is driv in' ther old huss, and coming ter-night, when yer hain't due ontil ter-morrer ?" called out one of the ;tockmen, as they came out to see what the coach ad come by night for. "Oh, the Masked Driver was shot at in Death's Canon to-day, and, though he brought down his game, they hit him, too, so I'm driving this run." "'Oh, that' s it; but why go through at n.ight ?'' ''To catch the morning coach out of Trail End b ty, to send by it' important dispatches." "I see." The fresh horses were soon hitched in, and away vent Buckskin Charlie, the scout, driving with great kill, for he had driven stage before. He passed the second relay, to the surprise of the tock tenders there, telling them the same story, ancl \ few miles beyond halted and gave the same signal rvhich the Maske.cl Driver had given to call him. The signal was promptly answered, and Buffalo Bill was the one who appeared. "Ho, chief I have news for you," cried Buckskin :harlie, as he sprang from his box, and the two held t conversation of some minutes togetl'ler, when Buf alo Bill said: "All right, Buckskin Charliej I will meet him at the )lace named, and when you have left the coach at End City, you go at once and notify Lieuenant Moore, and your own party, leaving one man n each camp, and coming with the others up to )recipice Pass." "Yes sir; we'il be there on time, never fear," repondecl Buckskin Charlie, and he drove rapidly on nee more. i Just at midnight, the people of Trail End City we1;e by hearing the coach clash up to the door of -Hotel, the only hotel there, and when ortei: ru shed out to see what one it could be, he s ied excitedl y : s "The Fatal Coach! and Buckskin Charlie, the tcout; driving if!" a This statement created a stampede for the door of -,e saloon, where many were gathered, drinking, ambling and chatting together, as inclination or cir I ,1111sta ices prompted. d Pete Porter led Buckskin Charlie to the supper00111, where he had a substantial meal set before 1-im, and which the handsome and dashing scout did full justice to, telling the story of the Masked Driver's fight with the outlaws as he ate. Then, his horses being ready, he went out to the stab le yard to mount, and was soon going back over the trail, but which he branched off of before reaching the first relay, going to the left, and keeping up a brisk pace. In the meantime, mounted upon Buckskin Char lie's horse, the Masked Driver had ridden with full speed back to Fort Rest. He was challenged by the sentiBel, but dis mounted, and, adYancing, showed him who he \Vas, and was at once admitted, when he went to head quarters. The colonel sent the orderly to tell him to come dght in, and. as he entered. said : "Ho, my masked friend, have you been fired upon again?"' 'No, colonel I did the firing this time, and I came back to tell you ornething of great importance." The colonel saw that the mysterious man was in deep earnest, and said: 'Sit clown, and let me hear what you have to say." ''Well, sir, it was fortunate that I decided to go on to-night, for I saw a man skulking on the trail, and discovered that it was an Indian in hiding." ''An Indian?" "Yes, sir, and I knew that he must be a sco ut, so I pretended not to have seen him watched his hiding place, and, as I passed fired at random." "Befo re he could fire upon you?" "He had no such intention, sir, for he was after bigger game." ''Ah!" He was mortally hit by my bullet, and, springing from the box, I ran upon him, revolver in hand, when I recognized him as a Winnebago Sioux, my reel brother, as he called himself. He had left his tribe .and gone to the Sioux, and, hoping to win fame and position among them, he had urged them to allow him to plan the campaign against the forts. "So his plan was to go northward with the villages to a stronger position, a few miles above, artd then, leaving them, to circle around, come clown through Precipice Pass, and rush upon Fort Rest at dawn, day after to-morrow morning." "This is great news, sir, and you surprise me. You believed him? "Yes, sir, wholly. I got from him that the Chey ennes were leading, the Sioux supporting, for, after the attack upon Fort Rest, they were to lead upon Fort Famine. There are a thousand Cheyennes, and twel\'e hundred Sioux warriors, and they are all mounted upon picked ponies and well anned.. They felt sure, or knew. that you had no scouts in the di rection of their.coming, and filing through Precipice Pass, they can be upon you two hours after, and they1 ha,e ponies carrying long poles and rawhide ladders ..

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22 l'HE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. for the Cheyennes to creep up and mount the stockade walls with, open the gates and have the Siou x charge in upon their ponies." The colonel's answer was a long whistle that expressed much. "It is, indeed, a well-planned attack, sir, and your red brother shows that he is a very skillful general. If carried out, a thousand Indians making their way in the early dawn up to the stockade, they would hardly be seen by the sentinels until too close to keep them off, and the result is appalling to think of, should the Sioux charge into the fort twelve hundred strong on horseback. "But continue, sir, with what else you have to say?" "I remained with the Many Hair until he died, sir, and then decided upon my plan, for I had asked him many questions to aid me in a certain idea I had formed for action." "Some daring move upon your part, doubtless." "It is dangerous, just in so far as the part is badly played. The Many Hair got his name from a very remarkable birthmark, for his hair is several colors in distinctly divided patches, or tufts. It is snow ,;..hite in one tuft, black as jet in the back of the he ad, and has a yellow and brown tuft as well. He was so proud of it that he never wore a headdress; other thax a beaded band about his head without feathers Now, he is just my size, and his feature s were regular, so tha t I can impersonate him to perfection, for I cut his hair off and to-night shall sew it into the beaded band he wore about his head, and which I brought, ,vith his clothing and weapons, with me. His horse is staked out, he told me, not very far from where I shot him, and I will go and get him." "Yes, I see your intention now. But about the language of the redskins?" "I :Speak both the Cheyenne and Sioux languages perfectly, Colonel Miles." "You will take a terrible risk." "Not near so much as you imagine, sir, and let me tell you that to-morrow Buffalo Bill will be here." "Ah! you have seen him, then?" "After the death of Many Hair, I drove on to a rendezvous the spot where Brighton was killed, and a signal brought Buckskin Charlie to me. "I told him what had occ:ured, ordered him to drive the coach on to Trail End City, while I returned to the fort. "He also to meet Buffalo Bill on the trail and have him go to a certain point to meet me, and I shall see him there at dawn, for he will help me make up as Many Hair. I am sure that Buffalo Bill will urge, as I do, sir, that the fight need not be here at the fort, but at Precipice Pass, where you can work your rguns and ambush your infantry, having your cavalry in the rear to charge when the stampede begins. rfhey can retreat but one way, and will doubtless at-tempt a stand at a point mile s beyond, but they will find that already occupied, I promise you, sir." "You talk like a soldier, sir." "Thank you, colonel; it is my amb\tion to be a good soldier." I know this Precipice Pass well, and it is the very place for an ambush, as you say. I can send word to Major Dean to-night to forward his cavalry to me here with all haste, bringing one light gun, and, with my force, we can press the redskins hard, for I will have fresh horses for Dean's men. I need have but a small force in the fort, and, if we are not as successful as we expect, we can retreat upon the fort, and, warned as we are, the Indians would never dare at tack us when prepared for them. "Is that your idea of it Sir Unknown?" "It is, sir. \ Vill you send a courier at once to Fort Famine?" "I will send him so that he can reach Death's Canon by dawn, for I hardly know a man who would go there at night, other than yourself and Cody, and he can get a fresh horse at the stag-e relay beyond, allfl reach Fort Famine by breakfast time." "That will give the cavalry time to get here before sunset, when, with fresh horses and a short rest, they can go to Precipice Pass to join your force, sir." "Yes; but do you go to-night?" "Yes, sir; as soon as I have gotten some things from Cody's cabin, I shall return." "Well, Sir Unknown, I must tell you that you hav tendered most valuable services, and I fully appre ciate them; but what will you say to the redskins when you meet them?" "I shall lead them, as Many Hair, the chief, into the ambush you prepare for them, sir, for they need a very severe lesson, not seeming to, have profited by the one you gave them a short time ago." "But look out for yourself for that pass \Vil! be a hot place, and bullets show no favors. "Oh, I'll look out for myself, sir," was the laughing reply, and, twenty minutes after, the Masked Driver was on the trail to hi s rendezvous with Buf falo Bill, again mounted upon Buckskin Charlie' horse. Half an hour later a scout started for Fort Famin wi' th dispatches for Major Dean. CHAPTER X. THE MEETING o);THE P ARDS. When the Masked Driyer arrived at the spo where he had shot Many Hair, he branched off to th right, and after a short sea rch in the darkness, faun the Indian's horse staked out in a hollow. He gathered up the saddle and bridl.e, and takin"" the horse in lead, rode on to the place appointed fo his rencle z yous with Buffalo Bill, and to which spa he had told Buckskin Charlie to send him.

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THE BUFFALO Bil l STORIES. 23 He met the scout and they went over their plans together. The story of Many Hair's death and the Masked priver's scheme was told, and then the two pards \urned in for the night. After several hours' sleep they a woke refreshed, breakfast, and then sat down to discuss the plan or the day and night. With the skill of a seamstress the Masked Driver : ewecl the long, variegated locks of hair cut from the iead of Many Hair, into the beaded band, and placng it upon his own head it looked, e\en by daylight, ike his own hair. While he was doing this, Buffalo Bill got out sev : ral little bottles the Masked Driver had brought vith him and which contained dark-red liquids. These were small boxes of paints, some brushes .nd other things to make up the full-dress toilet of a hief out on the warpath. Th. e clothing of Many Hair \..cts looked over care ully and tried on, and his weapons were put in good rnpe. The weapons of the Masked were placed on : 1e saddle of Buckskin Charlie's horse, and, looking ,veil ahead, .the unknown man had, though with great epugnance, taken the scalplock of the dead chief, r his intention was to carry the scout's horse with im and pretend to have killed him and captured the nimal. = Of course, the scalp would carry him out in this, s o r a yelJow lock had been taken that would look as oough coming from a paleface's head. ) 1'Now, pard, I will paint you," said Buffalo Bill, :l nd with the liquids, paints and brushes, he began cl is artistic work, the Masked Driver haying shaved is fac e clean for the operation. a The work took nearly two hours, but was most ar-stically done, and when the Masked Driver, clad in 1 ,1e costume of the Indian, mounted the redskin's cl ony, he did look the counterpart of Many Hair him-! l f. Then the two pards shook hands warmly in part ,g. and, with the horse of Buckskin Charlie in lead, e Masked Driver started northward on his perilous 1 ission, his clothing and mask being rolled in a blant and strapped behind his saddle. "There goes as brave a man as ever drew the feath of life said Buffalo Bill to himself, as he ood watching the disguised man ride away. ot 'then he leape? into his own saddle, put spurs .to h s horse, and said: old boy, it is a ten-mile ride to the fort, and n. >U have got to make it in an hour, so do not tarry the way." aglt was a few minutes under the hour when Buffalo 0)11 was ushered into the presence of Colonel Miles, >0) r the chief of scouts knew how to ride hard and are a horse at the same time. He saw Colonel Miles, and told him that the Masked Driver had started for the redskin camp dis-guised as Many Hair. "My unknown pard, or as you called him, my shadower, is the man to play the game to the end and win," he added. 'I am most glad to hear you say so." ''He got the whole thing from the .dying Many" Hair as to just what he was to do, the names of the chiefs and all necessary infon11ation and when he was to meet them." ''What will he tell them, Cody?" "That he has scouted about the fort, played the friendly Indian dodge, killed the white scout sent with him, and all is serene on this side of your posi tion, with no barrier between them and the tttack. He will send them off through Precipice Pass m just time for them to reach the fort before dawn, should they continue on, and you will get them into a trap, sir, which will completely demoralize them. In retreating they would take position to check pursuit in the Eagle's Cliffs, but "Lieutenant Moore and his four soldiers, Buckskin Charlie and five of the scouts, and the Masked Driver and myself will be there to drive them back and hasten them on in their flight." "A very small force, Cody." "I wish to get a eouple of dozen repeating rifles, sir, v.rith ammunition, to carry with 1ne, and that1 with what we have with us, will give each man three guns, or shots each, and that will make the redskins belie v e w e have considerable force stationed there. Then, too, a dozen men could hold the Eagle's Cliffs against hundreds. ''You and your unknown, Cody. have certainly planned well. You sha11 have the guns and ammunition. But when do you start?" "Very soon, sir, for we must _get into position be fore nightfall." Buffalo Bill went away from Fort Rest leading a heavily-laden pack horse, for he carried the extra rifles, ammunition and provisions for his party. He rode as rapidly as he coulCl, and came to the Precipice Pass while the sun was yet an hour high. The pass was narrow from the fact that it was nothing more than a split, a chasm, dividing the mountain, with lofty precipices upon either side, and not over a hundred yards in width. The center arose into a hill, and beyond this the walls narrower:l and were broken, so that infantrv could find lodgment on either side, the guns taking up position on the ridge, and commanding the narrow pass for a mile or more. At the entrance to the pass, Buffalo Bitl \yaS confronted by Lieutenant Moore and Buckskin Charlie, who were awaiting him. "Well, Cody, this is the scene of ambush,'' called out Lieutenant Moore, a handsome young officer

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24 THE BUFFALO Bill STORIES. who had won his spl.irs over and over again as an Indian fighter. "Yes, sir, and the general is going to bring every man he can spare. But let us ride on to our position, as it will be best to take a view of it by daylight." It was just sunset whep they came to Eagle's Cliffs, a spur of the mountain, around which the trail ran in half a circle, and with a river beyond the trail. From the position the chief of scouts led them to, they could command the retreating force coming around the spur and after they had passed it for some distance. They climbed up to their position, and had a long enough look by daylight to take in all its advan tages. The extra guns were unpacked, loaded, and each man was given two in addition to his O\Vn. The horses were securely muzzled to prevent their betraying them by neighing, and the men ate supper and took up the positions assigned to them, while Lieutenant Moore, Buffalo Bill and Buckskin Charlie themselves went on duty to watch, letting the men sleep. Meanwhile, the Masked Driver was playing a very bold part. He rode on his way, leading Buckskin Charlie's horse, which bore his weapons, close at hand, if there came. need to use them, a,nd, upon coming near the Precipice Pass, he saw two redskin scouts awaiting hi.m. "Now comes the test, and I hope there are no more. "Ah! I recognize one of, those bucks as Fighting Elk, though he is young now. "He is a Sioux, and the other is a Cheyenne. "If they recognize that I am not Many Hair, then there will be two Indians booked for the happy hunting grounds." As he drew nearer, the pretended Many Hair called out: "Why did the Fighting Elk and his Cheyenne brother come ahead on the trail when he knew that the Many Hair was here, that he did not wish the scouts to come?" "Tpe Fighting Elk was looking for scalps," was the sullen reply. "See, the Many Hair has a paleface scalp at his belt; and a horse and weapons. "The Many Hair knows what is good for his adopted people, for the braves on the warpath. i..et my brothers come back with me to the waiting braves, and to-night there will be hundreds of scalps to take. "Let tl\em go on, and they will spoil all. "The Many Hair knows." The Fighting Elk and the Cheyenne were pleased with the sight of the scalp, the horse and the weap ons, and the promise of the Many Hair, and so they turned back with him, happy in anticipation of what the night would bring forth for them and their red comrades. Back around Eagle's Cliffs they went, and there they found two other Indian scouts, who were also turned back. Some miles away from Eagle's hiding away in a valley, were the combined Sioux and Cheyenne forces. The scene was a strange one, for the ponie s were staked out in straight rows, from one end of the val ley to the other, and by each horse a brave lay upon his blanket, or sat smoking. his pipe or looking to his arms. There was a shallow stream in the center of the valley, the Cheyennes being upon one side, the Siou x on the other. There were at the head of the valley half a hun dred chiefs of both tribes, all in c 'onsultation and p a. tiently awaiting the r'eturn of the Many Hair, who was to lead them to certain victoFy for they had con fidence that he ceuld do so. The disguised man had so timed hi s arrival as not to run the gauntlet of more eyes than were necessary in the day time. He arrived just as the twilight was falling and it was dark when he rode up to the group of chiefs. A glance at the valley as he came in sight of it con vinced him that the Many Hair had told the t:ruth, that he had not overestimated the nuni.ber of either Sioux or Cheyennes. Pawnee Killer was the head chief of the Si oux, and Single Eye, a much-scarred redskin veteran, was the big man among the Cheyennes, and the former the pretended Many Hair had seen b e fore. Riding up to them, he dismounte d saluted in th e Indian fashion and calml y pointed to the s calplock and horse of Buckskin Charlie a s e v idence tha t he had been within the lines of the palefaces. He told them that he had been to t11e fort, as a friendly Indian, and had counted the soldiers, th J horsemen (the cavalry) and the big wagon guns (ar tillery) and that the fort had. not over four hunclie braves to defend it. He had seen but one paleface scout in the direc11 tion they were going to the attack, and hi s scalp hun at his belt. \ He would guide the red warriors through the: Precipice Pass, where they could halt for re s t then move on toward the fort, and attack it just as the day was brightening. The two chiefs listened to him with delight. At last the Sioux were going to a venge the mselve upon the whites, and the Cheyennes could kill an rob, to repay them for the sorrows they had know1 The sub-chiefs were called together and the move ments made known, how the Cheyennes were to lea

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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 25 all march to the Precipice Pass, halt for a r est, and then mov on to the fort. Arri ving near, the Cheyenne s were to leave their horses, the scale ladders were to be taken on the shoulders of two braves, and the band were to creep upon their unsuspecting foes, climb the stoc_kade wall, seize the big guns, open the gates and in would rush the mounted Sioux. It was a grand scheme, and after the arrival of the supposed Many Hair, supper was had, and an hour after the word was given to move, and as silent as specters the re
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2 6 THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. H e had p l a c ed his guns across the pass on the ridge and his infantry, over three hundred rifles, were stationed among the rocks upon either side in the rear o.f the artillery, and some of the men fifty feet above it. Back in the \'alley, out of sight, were the cavalry, the men standing by their horses ready to mount, but holding their heads to prevent a neigh when the Indian ponies came near. "I cannot but fear for Moore, Cody, and their men, they are so few," the colonel remarked to Captain May, who stood by his side. "I hope, sir, in the stampede that must come, the redskins will not think of taking possession of the .Eagle's Cliffs, and then the fire of ou r peopl e there will but drive them on the faster in their flight," an swered the CC\l)tain. "I trust so. "But' then there is that gallant fellow, the Masked D river, for he is exposed to 'the most desperate danger. "Somehmv, Co\onel Miles, I believe that man has a charmed life," replied Captain May. "It surely looks so; but see, is that not some one c oming up the hill?" "Yes, sir, a scout." !t was Arizona Bob, and he came on at a trot, and si l ently, up to where the colonel stood leaning on the muzzle of a gun. "They are coming, sir." "You saw them, Arizona Bob?" "Yes, sir; they are not a quarter of a mile a way." '"'vVell, we are ready for them. "Put the canvas up, men." A long piece of canvas was stretched across the canon, from gun to gun, so that when the Indians came up the hill it wo u ld look like the s ummit l ine, wh e reas the guns and men, relieved against the sky, would s tand out in bold relief. Then there was not a sound heard, and Colonel Miles, Captain May, several aides, with Arizona Bob and a couple of scouts, took position upon one side among the rocks, but where they could see through the pass when the fight began. The low rumble of the hoofs grew louder and louder, and soon after the dark mass of redskin hu manity was vis i ble coming up the rise in the center of t h e p ass. A w hi s p ered order from the colonel and the canvas blind was suddenly l et fall, and loud rang out the command in the commandant's voice: "Fire!" There were seven bursts of flame from the top of the r idge, i llumining the pass a long distance off, and revealing the mounted warriors looking ten times t heir number in the first glance at them. "Now the infantry! Fire!" commanded Colonel Miles and three hundred rifles fl.ashed forth, suddenly, a leaden 1 hail into the crowded mass of brave I and ponies, among whom the bursting fron the guns were playing sad havoc. One long, loud wail, rather than a war cry, an( the_ redskin colu mn surged backward, and then tl'. retreat began, with a few random shots back at thei foes. The shells of the guns were se:nt after them for th half-mile they were in range, and then the cannon were drawn to one side, for the order had gone fort h for the cavalry to charge. I Captain May had hastily mounted, for he was t d lead the troopers, and with the rattling of steel and cheers the mounted men swept by the guns to pur s u e the te r r i fied redskins Down the hill they thundered, and soon the crack ing of carbines and revol vers was heard, demoniac yells mingling with the cheers of the troopers Then there was a lull, broken by a loud volley f in the distance, and the coloned shouted: "Bravo! Moore and Cody are at it! "This night the Indians will long remember!" \ The rattling of rifles on Eagle's Cliffs sounded though a regiment was stationed there, and then, it died away it told that the stampeded warriors ha swep t on by. 1 1 Fainter and fainter in the distance sounded th l 1 firing, and then Arizona Bob, sple didly was sent to re<::all the troopers. : Arizona Bob, with his scouts, was then to slow follo\v the retreating army of redskins and see tlr they returned to their fastnes ses in full force, excep ing those left upon the field. Then over the valley, strewn with dead, came Ca tain May and his troopers in the early morning ligh and he reported that the Indians had attempted t < seize Eagl e's Cliffs, but had been beaten off by th terrible fire of the little band of defenders, who, whe he had all mysteriously disappeared. "They have not come here, so where are they asked the colonel anxiously. That was a question no one could answer. CHAPTER XI. r It I THE ;\!ASKED DRIVER REAPPEARS The ambush had dealt a bitter blow to Sioux a Cheyennes alike. k Preci p i ce Pass was strewn with deiad braves a a ponies, and as far as the guns had sent their sh fallen warriors lay, either slain or wou11ded, th horses near them. si a i Then there was a space that was clear of dead, e n cept here and there where a wounded brave or pm had fallen, and the spot where the cavalry had stru ther:1 was plainly visible. Piled up on the steep path leadmg up to Eagl Cliffs the dead lay thick. w

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THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 27 There were heaps of slain warriors here, and no better evidenc e could be found of how the little band I had done the ir duty. There were s cores of Indian captured, and : these were made to take their wounded on travois, their ponies being given them for the purpose, and start for their villa g es after the army surgeons had dressed the wounds of the unfortunate redskins. No prisoners or wounded Indians were wanted at Fort Rest, for there was no accommodation for them, and in returning them to their people Colonel Miles : was doing an act of humanity. The dead Indians were decently buried in the val ley while the dead and wounded soldiers, for there were a number of each, were borne back to the fort, where there w a s great rejoicing over the victory, 1 thoug h tinged witli sorrow for the slain. i The troopers from Fort Famine went back to their po s t having won laurels by their gallantry, and to tell how the battle had been won with five to one I against them, and that it was thought a long peace with the redskins would follow the severe blow they had received. The third day after the,battle the fort had settled down to the even tenor of its way the dead officers and s oldiers had been buried, the wounded were be ing well cared for and yet cloud hung over all, for, since the day of battle, neither Lieutenant Moore or Buffalo Bill, or the men wi'th them, had been seen. l Then, too, not a word had been heard by Colonel Miles of the Masked Driver. He had certa inly done his part, for he had led the Indians in t o the trap, which they had intended to I spring upo n their white foes. 1 He had, wi t h Buffalo Bill saved the fort from a surprise, perhaps from a massacre of its people. 1 The afternoon of the third day following the fig!1t e in the mass, the s entinel startled all in the fort by call ing out that the coach from Trail End City was in h s1g t I "Who was the driver?" That was the natural question of all. Nearer it came, and the officer of the day, having run up into the watch towe r with his field glass, elec1 trifi.ed all by the cry: 1 "The Masked Driver is on the box!" 1 Cheer after cheer went up, for it had become t known what a part he had played in the Indian raid, and he was thought by many to be dead. But, no, it was surely the Masked Driver, for he swept into the fort in his accustomed way, drew rein at the station, bowed courteously to the applause he e received a nd said: > "Mr. Gill no passengers this trip, but express 1 packag es and mail, a considerable of it going to Fort 1 Famine." His manner was cool as ever, and after a few words the stage bos s h e went directly to headquarters. I ,.. The colonel grasped him warmly by the hand and said: "I really believed you were dead, my masked friend." "Why should you, colonel?" "You neve'I' reporte
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T'HE BU ff i\LO BILL STORIES. ply, as the coach rolled on, the driver arriving at Fort Famine ahead of time. r:I'he next morning the coach left Fort Famiqe at a good pace. Within fifteen minute s' drive of Relay Number rrwo the coach came to an abrupt stop, however, in a lonely part of the road. Then from the Masked Driver came a signal, three sharp whistles, and, a moment after, men were seen coming from among the rocks upon a ridge. Tlfose who came down the ridge were Buffalo Bill and five scouts. They hastily clambered into the coach and it started off again. Fifteen minutes after, tl:e driver blew his stage 'horn, and when he dashed up to the cabin, Murdock and his two_ companions were there to receive him, the fresh horses all ready. "Murdock, I wish a word with you," and the Masked Driver got down leisurely from the box and, turning suddenly, called out, as he thrust a revolver into the man's face: "Hands up! for yoi1 are my prisoner!" At the same instant the two doors of the coach flew open and out leaped Buffalo Bill and his scouts, revolvers in hand. Giant George, one of the stock tenders drew his revolver and fired at Cody, but his aim or the sudden alarm and excitement, was not as true as his usual record, while Buffalo Bill's bullet pierced the big ruffian's breast. Sykes, the other stock tender, started to run, but in an instant was caught" by the scouts, and the two prisoners and the body of Giant George were placed in the coach. Two of the scouts remained at the relay to look after the stage horses until they should be relieved. Buffalo Bill and his other men now got into the coach and the Masked Driver went on for the next relay, passing through Death's Canon without a halt. As they neared the station loud rang the stage horn, and dashing up to the door, the Masked Driver called out: "Hoop-la, Foxey here I am again, and I've got a message for you, too." With this he dismounted while the stable men were looking to the changing of the teams. As he approached Fox, he turned him one side, with his back to the coach, as though he had something of a secret nature to tell him, when at once the coach doors opened and out stepped Buffalo Bill and his men. "Hands up, all around!" cried the Masked Driver, and, to the consternation of Foxey and his men, they \Vere all covered with the deadly little guns. One showed fight-Bladen-but he was promptly shot by Buffalo Bill, while Knuckles and Bradley attempted to run, and the former fell, shot by one of the scouts, and the latter was quickly captured. As for Foxey, he stood like a man who was daze d. j His bronzed face now had the pallor of death upon it, I and he made no move to resist, but muttered, after a moment: "What does it mean, pard ?" "It means that you are the chief of the mysterious 1 murderers, Foxey, and that we have run you to earth. Your other two stations will soon be in our I power also." "It's false!" roared Foxey. But he was quickly and securely bound; The Masked Driver, turning to Buff a lo Bill then I said: "Now, Cody, we will have a talk with The chief of scouts brought Murdock out of the coach and led him apart from the others. "Murdock, I happen to know that you have beet the man who has been kept by _Foxey at the and, therefore, you have not been with the bane i when they have murdered and robbed the coaches If is lucky for you that such is the case, for now yon J can save your life by leading us at -once to the plac where your booty is." "I'll do it, pard, I'll do it!" was the eager response "First, tell me if theire are any 0ther guards 1 there?" "One, Sampson, who is a perfect giant, pard. It is he who watches with me." I "All right; we'll take care of Sampson as his namei sake of old did the Philistines,'.' was Buffalo Bill s re mark, and, leaving the other scouts on guard, he or dered Murdock to lead to the secret retreat. To the surprise of the Masked Driver and Buffalo Bill he entered t!:ie cabin, caught hold of one end of two bunks that seemed fast to the wall, and, pulling them out, for the other encl \vas hung on hinges, tevealed the entrance to the cavern. A lantern was there, and, lighting it, the two pards bade their prisoner move on. It was a wa,lk of fully two hundred yards, ascend' ing as they went, and at last the guide "We are near the end of the cavern so I better cal' : Sampson in here, pretending I want him to help me for he's a devil and will never surrender." "All rig ht." Then Murdock called out : "Ho, Sampson, come and help me with a prisoner I has here, and be in a hurry, too'." "I is coming," crie d a deep voice; and a momen" later there appeared in the light from the other en<.1 I of the cavern a form over six fee;t in height, and ver: powerful in build. "Hands up, Sampson, or you die!" cried Masked Driver. .l, A yell of fury broke from the man, and, quick as <11 flash, he. fi:ed. i The victim was not the two rescuers,_ but Mttrdod

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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 29 who fell dead in his tracks, just as a shot from the Masked Driver brought down the huge outlaw. Before he could rise, Buffalo Bill and the Masked Driver threw themselves upon him, and he was ciuickly manacled, for he was not seriously hu t, it \Vas soon discovered. When the tvvo pards entered the space into which the cavern led them, after having firmly secured the prisoner, Sampson, and discovered that Murdock was dead, they found themselves in a perfect basin in the summit of the mountains. It appeared to be the crater of some long-ago extinct volcano, for, an acre in size, its walls rose smooth and perfectly perpendicular to a height of over a hundred feet, the brink all around pem;; fringed with trees. And in this crat'er, or basin, there was a sprin-s i1"c1bbling out of the wall of rock and flowing away into a crev ice n the o ther side, a score of trees, bor dering the tiny stream, and a long cabin close in uucler the overhanging cliffs. This cabin was filled with plunder, chiefly gold dust, and a part of it was carried out to the coach. Then, with his strange load, the Masked Driver started upon his way, Buffalo Bill calling out to him: "I "..-ill meet you there on time, pard." "All right, Bill," was the answer, and the Masked Driver, in spite of the load he carried, now drove more rapidl y along than ever before. And such a load! for in the baggage rack behind were thebodies of Murdock and the two outlaws slain at the stations, and inside the coach was Foxey, the wounded man, Sampson, and the other three outlaws, all securely ironed. But when the coach drew rein at the station there was indeed a sensation, and when it became known that the Masked Driver had brought in as prisoners the myster'ious murderers, the exciteinent was unbounded. \i\Tith tlrn three captives under his charge, the Masked Driver went to headquarters, and the welcome he got from Colonel Miles can better be imagined than described. Bright and early the next morning the coach 1 starte9 for Trail End City, the, Masked Driver again on the box. Though he had held a long conversatidn with Colo nel Miles, he did not yet unmask, and had gone to his cabin early and remained alone, as was his cus-tqm. Those who saw him start off in the morning knew that he had other work to accomplish, and felt that they would soon hear what it was, as the coach was to come back on the following day to keep up the old schedule, so many days having been lost by de lays that it would then be all right, and the runs would be on original days. When out some distance from Fort Rest the driver halted and gave a signal. It was answered by the appearance of Buffalo Bill and Lieutenant Moore: After a few words together the two latter got into the coach, which was tightly closed, and the Masked Driver dashed on to Relay B. The t hree stock tenders came out, and making an excuse to get down from his box and a moment after, the three surprised outlaws were looking into the muzzles of the trio who had so suddenly demanded their surrender. Rendered desperate by the discovery of their crimes, the three men resisted, and there. were sev ral shots fired. "I was forced to kill my man," said Lieutenant Moore, coolly, while the Masked Driver remarked; 'And but for the fact that this man's bullet flat tei1ed against my watch he would have killed me, for I was for once off my guard." As he spoke he took fron1 his vest pocket his watch in which the bullet had buried itself. "A whack over the head with my revolver took the fight out of my man," Buffalo Bill said. "Now to go on to Station A," said the Masked Driver, and, leaving the man killed by Lieutenant Moore in the cabin, and taking their two prisoners, the victors started on their way. As they neared the relay, the Masked Driver called down to Buffalo Bill and Lieutenant Moore, who were in the coach: "Buckskin Charlie has done the work, for he is there with his scouts." As the coach halted there was Buckskin Charlie, and near him were three soldiers, with one prisoner in their keeping, while upon the ground lay a dead soldier and two stock tenders. "They showed fight when I called upon them to surrender, sir, and so we had to have it out, for they killed Private Bowles, as you see, sir," said Buckskin Charlie, addressing Lieutenant Moore, who answered: "The regret is that poor Bowles went under and that the two you killed, Buckskin Charlie, escaped the gallows." "That ends it, pard, for not one of the myster ious murderer has escaped us," said Buffalo Bill, a n d he added, still add r essing the Masked Driver: "Buckskin Charlie and one of the soldiers will go on back to Relay B, while the lieutenant and his men and I will wait your return here, so bring out two tenders for each station, and a driver, yo u know." "Yes, don't forget the driver," called out Lieutenant Moore, as the coach rolled away. There was the usual crowd to greet the coach upon its nm into Trail End City, but little they suspect e d the happenings to the Masked Driver in the last two days." Taking Porter into his private office, the Masked Driver told him all that ha d occu r red, that Foxey,

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30 THE BU ff /\LO BILL STORIES. w ho had selected the stoc k tenders for the four. relay stations, and w a s their captain. was an outla w him self and had picked out outla w s for th e places H e had then organized his band o f cutthroats, a nd by going from station to station and never suspected, always being on foot to le a ve no trail and cutting across country from Stations Number One and Two, he had had things all hi s ow n wa y and s o carried on his devilish w ork unchecke d The ne x t morning the crowd at Trail End Cit y were surpris ed to se e another drive r o n the box with the Masked Driver and eight men go as inside pas sengers. Arriving at Number One two men wer e left ther e and Lieutenant Moore, Buffalo Bill and the two sol diers were taken aboard, with the dead bodies in the rear rack and the prisonens on top. At Number Two a couple more of the stock tenders were left, but he r e were the horses of the sol diers and s couts, and a s Bucks kin Charlie and the three troopers rode horseback, the coach was not o vercrowded, but again created a stir when it rolled into Fort Rest with its load. The testimony of the cap t i v e s of the myste rious murderers had been taken b y Colonel Miles, and the Masked Driver told his s tory. ''It was Buffalo Bill who played highwayman" he sa i d "and held up F o xey, the o u tl aw le ader, g e 'ttin g him the watch of o ne o f the dri vers slain the of another, the walle 1 t of a third and papers which alohe would hang him, and he, with hi s sc outs and Lieutenant Moore, with his s oldiers have been in _secret camps along the trail, hav e su f fe red hardships, have scouted da y and niP-ht and ferre ted out this mys t ery of Death' s for their tes timony will be gi ven to-day to Co lo n e l Mile s, and I h a ve been but a means to an end in the good work which will onl y be complete when those fiends ha,; e b e en hanged." You are too modes t my friend about your own -ser v ices." "No, m ajor, am simply j us t.' "But we may now know w h o you are?" "Yes, Colonel Miles, a nd pardon m e for keepin g the secret so long from y ou ," and the M asked Driver removed his mask, and at once came the exclam a tion from Colonel Miles: "What! Surgeon Frank Powell of the army? You are the Mas ked Driver. tl1e11? I might have known it from Buffalo Bill being in the s ecret, for you have been called his shadow, and he yours." "Let me explain Colonel M iles, that Buff a lo Bill wrote to me up at Fort McPhe r so n where I am sta tioned, telling me of thi s myster y of t h e 0Yerl a n d and asking my aid.". "Among my collection of curio s an d relic s I happen to have an old armor of wov e n s t e el the bod y doubly woven, and with s kullc a p apron for the neck and all. This I kn ew t o be bullet proof, for I h ad te s ted it, so I brou g h t i t a long, determined t o take my c hance s in it o f running t he gauntlet of Death's C a non. I made i t still more secu re by a r awhi
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. Hot weather, boys. Vacation time's coming in soon. Great fishing these days-so they say. .. Remem1:er those fishing sets we offer as prizes. Remembe; how to get one. If you don't, look on page 32, then get to work. A. Thrilling Adventure. (By Albert Bogart, Jr., New Jersey.) One night, just after the Fourth of July, oue of my frieuds asked me if I would go fishing with him, and some other fellows. I said I would, so that night we started out: We walked along the railroad track to North Paterson, where the traius stopped for water. We bung around, waiting for the midnight freight, which arrived in due time, and we all piled in an o p en box car. When near our destination, >ve got ready to jump, \Vhe n to our surprise the train increased its speed and we could not get off. Well, we made the best of our situation, and we decided to take a little ride. After ri
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32 THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. up the safe and the con ctlss i o n had set off a few pounds of dynamite that bad been stored a w a y t o be used on the electric road for blasting p urposes. We now joined an excited throng of men and boys, who were armed with stic ks, stones, shotguns and pistols and were rushing pell-mell after the safe crackers who were about two hundred yards ahe ad. We could plainly s e e that one of them as wouuded and limped badly. They were making for Lake White hall, which was about a quarter of a mile to the east of the burning building. Walt and myself were in the foremost ranks of the angry mob following Big Billy Brady, who posed as leader. Shouting, yelling, swearing, we followed them. By this time the crooks had reached the water and were rowing for dear life toward Sandy I s land. As there was no othe r boat near the exciterl men came down to the wharf and ran up and down the bea c h cursing roundly. My companion and I made our way up the s hore t o Horseshoe Cove, where I bad a canva s canoe n amed ''The Merry" secreted. / Clambering into the frail craft and each seizing a paddle we proc eeded to follow th. e cracksmeu who were about a third of a mile aheaa aud ro wing s lowly. U n doubtedly they did not fear pursuit a s theirs was the only boat on this side of the lake. Paddling as silently as possible, we m a naged to keep them in vi ew. Onward went pursuer and pursued. The crooks rowed up to the. ea s tern sl.lore of the island and effected a landing. One picked up the salchel, which pro bably contained their booty, while the other helped his wounded comp a nion. Walt and I paddled .around to the n orthe rn bauk, where we succeed e d in cre eping ashore undet ected. Lying down behind an old sycamore lo g, we pro c:eeded to watch the movements of the enemy. As soon as they had landed t hey headed inland for about six hundred yards, where the fellow w ith the satchel paused b efor e an old stump,stoo pe d ov e r and, to our amazement, lifted it up, re vea liug a dark cav i t y .underneath, into which they disappe a red We bad dis-covered their hiding-place. Telling Walt to stay and watch thell\, I started back post-haste for h e lp, taking their boa t with rue and tow ing our canoe. An hour later I returne d with twelve men, who s ur - rounded the cave and called '(}lit for its inmates to sur render. After parleying a while they gaye in aud came out of the bole On our return to the village \ V alt and I were bail ed as the heroes of the hour. The leader prove d to be Handy Bill, a notorious criminal, with a reward on his head, which Walt and I received. .. I FISHIN f ASSORTMENTS i 6IVEN AWAY AS PRIZES e h c,. 'd f te : Look on the Back Cover of No. '52 to (d See What They Are Like. l 11 F YOU WIN ONE of these famous fishing tackle assortments you will have everything you could possibly I need in the way of fishing tackle. You will have such a complete assortment that you will be'able to MAKE M O NEY retailin g hooks, lines and sinkers to your com rades who have not been fortunate enough to win prizes. Y ou may become a dealer in fishing tackle if you win one of i these prizes, for you will have a complete assortment of over i i I NINE HUNDRED HOOKS of All Kinds, OHlfOE WHUNTDOREDWLIINNES,ABespideRs E. 11e : SINKERS and TROLLING : i\$ This new Prize Anecdote Contest is on the lines of the Q one which has just c losed-one of the most successful con: tests ever inaugurated. Every boy 111 the country has had I some THRILLINC ADVENTURES. You have had one yourse lf-p e rhaps yo u were hel d up by robbers, or were nearly run ove r by a train; perhaps it was a close shave in I a burning building, in scaling a precipice, in bear-hunting, or swimming; whatever it was, WRITE IT UP. Do it in less than 500 words, and mail it t o us with the accompany ing c o upon. All entries must b e in before September r. The contest c loses on that date. 0 i The Prizes Will Be Awarded to the Seven Boys Sending in the Best Stories. : Look o n the b ack cover of No. 52 for photograph and d escription of one of the prizes. e To Ilccome "' Contestant for Thce Pri>ms cut out the Aneci. dole Contest Co:ipon nrintecl h ere\dth, fill it out proP.erl y and sen d ; I i t to BUH'AJ.,O l:l!l.L WEEKLY care o f Street & 811hth, 238 Willi:im 4t Street, New York City, together with your ::inecdote. No anecdote will be considered that docs not haYe tl1is coupon accompanying it, I I I City or Town..................................................... ... f e g State.................................................................. 3 i Title o f Anecdote ............... :.. . . . . . .. .

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The World-Renowned Buffalo Bill (HON. WM. F. CODY) One of his latest photos. by Stacy orized by HoN. WM. F. Co u y ======================= WE were the publishers of the first ever writ ten of the famous and world renowned Buffalo Bill, the great hero whose life has been one succession of e x citing and thrilling iiicidents combined with great successes and accoinplish m en. ts all of which will be told in a series of grand stories which we are now placing before the American Boys. The. popularity they have already obtained shows what the boys . want, and is very gratifying i td ; t the publishers. STREET & SMITH -PUBL/SfjERS NEW YORK

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