Buffalo Bill and the giant miner, or, The mounted sharps of the Overland

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Buffalo Bill and the giant miner, or, The mounted sharps of the Overland

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Buffalo Bill and the giant miner, or, The mounted sharps of the Overland
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Buffalo Bill stories
Buffalo Bill
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New York
Street & Smith
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1 online resource (30 p.) 28 cm.: ;


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


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Volume 1, Number 84

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
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020910338 ( ALEPH )
454439646 ( OCLC )
B14-00084 ( USFLDC DOI )
b14.84 ( USFLDC Handle )

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A ,\NEEKLY PUBLICATION oevo T e:o TO BORDER HI 5TORY .iued Weekly. By Subscrzptio11 $2.JO per year. Entered as Second Class Matter at New Yor/l Post Office by If< SMITH 238 wmzam St. N. Y. No.84. Price, Five Cents.

ffiO[S[h A "WEEKLY PUBLICATION DEVOTED TO BORDER Isnu We1ily. By S"bscripticn $2.50 per year. Entered as Second Class Matter at tlte N. Y. Post Office, by STREET & SMITH, William S t. N. Y Entered acc,rdingto Act of Conpess in tlte year 1902, in tlte Office of tlte Librarian of Conrress, Wasllinrt_on, D C. No. 84. NEW YORK, December 20, 1902. Price F i ve Cen t s. BUFFALO BILL AND THE SCOUT MINER; The Mounted Sharps of the Overland. By t h e a u th o r o f "BUFFALO BILL." CHAPTER I. THE lllISSING GIRL. Outfit City was one of the smallest of the many little posts along the Overland coach trail. It was into this little haml et that Buffa lo Bill, chief of scouts, rode one fin<." October afternoon. At th is time Buffa l o Bill was engaged upon a special m1ss1on. It was tp put an encl to the constant succession of rob beries that had been going on along the Overland trails and especially to put an encl to the depredations of an un11sal l y bold band of thie, es who call ed themselve s the M ountecl Sharps of the Overland. Lloyd \Vint er, the superintendent of that portion of the Overland trails, had applied to the gov<."rnment for extra protection along this part of the tntil. Buffalo Bill, the finest scout the world has ever pro duced, was tllSsignecl to the duty. A few davs before news had bee n received that a Caii fornia randier, Lee lt15ley by name, was to pass along the trail going eastward, carrying with him his fortune, / sistirig of $30,000 in j ewels and money. His daughter, Lola Insley, a daring frontier girl, had been the tJ1eans of foi lin g the bandits who had heard. of the rich prize, and had laid specia l plans to capture it. \ The father had not arrived in the coach he was ex pected to travel in, as he had been taken sick at a point further back on the road, but the girl had gone on herself on a coach other than the one she was expected to travel on. Buffalo Bill had come to rruard the coach along the roads, and she had turned the jewels and mon_ey to hi m for safe keeping while she went on to Outfit City. That same night t he bandi ts, one of whom was a another a Chinaman, disappointed in thei r plan W get 1ns ley's money, had raided another coach and take.lil. off as prisoners t wo young men who had been a visit west to friends at Fort Farawav, the nearby military post. Buffa lo Bill knew o ne o{ the bandits-the negro, known as Darkev Dick. who. had been charged with robbery and tnurclerin.o a man at Fort Faraway, bnt who had es caped. Buffaloi:oBill h ad two objects in going to Outfit City: One ;vas to turn over to Lola Insley the valuables winch he had b een carrying for her, the other was to inform Lloyd Winter of the kidnaping of the two young men and to prepare himself with provisions and .so that he could run down the outlaws and rescue their pnsoners. He m et Ll oy d \iVinte r the superintendent of the Over land trail, at the only h ote l in the place, and made his report. \Vinter gave him some news that surprised hin\


2 THE BU ff /\L O BILL STORIES. "Lola Insley has been captured by the outlaws," he said. "The coach she t r aveled in was empty when it ar. rived here "But I am glad that the valuables are safe, anyway," he added, as the scout turned over the bag containing the money and jewels to him for safe keeping. Buffalo Bill started and stared at Winter. "Captured!" he exclaimed. "N('braska Ned was the driver of the coach she traveled in." "Yes, and a good driver he is," said the superintende nt; "the coach arri ved here empty and there is no way of knowing how the girl was taken out of it. The door was closed and the coach had not been broken open in any way, so far as we could see Ned was nearly crazy. He thought his passenger was safe asleep in the coach until he drove in here and found it empty "That takes me bjtck a little, I must confess," said Buf falo Bill "I see I have my work cut ont for me. Two men, visitors tq Fort Faraway, have been held for r an som, and now that this girl is captured that makes three prisoners that the outlaws have in their possession "I have more news for you, too," said the superintend ent. "What is it ?" "Lee Insley, the father of the girl who was captured, is coming through. to Outfit City to-night." ''I thought he was sick." "He has recovered sufficiently to travel, and besides he is very anxious to join his daughter. He thinks she is here at Outfit City." "Has he hired a spec i al c oach?" "Yes; the coach we call the California coach has been for his use." "When is he due here?" "An hour or so after the regular coach." "Well, then, I have no time to lose," said Buffalo Bill. "The outlaws seem to be onthe trails in foll force, and they would never let a prize like Lee Insley go by. They don't know that I have deposited his money safe and sound here at Outfit City, and they'll attack his coach sure I have time to foil them, though." "How?" ''The dangerous part of the road-that is the portion of the trail where Captain Coolhand and his Mounted Sports get in their fine work-lies between here and the relay sta tion. If I can reach there before the coach I will guide it here by a trail known only to myself, avoiding the regular roads. -rhe outlaws may then wait all night for the coach, but they'll never see it." The relay station where the coaches going to Outfit City '"'ere supplied with fresh horses was known as Lone Sam"s cabin. as it was situated on a lonely part of the trail, and the relay agent who hacl charge of the horses of t he Overland Company stationed there was a solitary in dividual known as Lone Sam. It was situated fully thirty miles from Outfit City. Could the scout reach it in time? That was the question that rose to the lips of Lloyd \i\ inters. the superintendent of the Overland trail. Buffalo Bill answered it by springing to his feet and calling to the landlord of the hotel in which the conversa tion took place. noots and saddles is the word!" he cried, as he sprang upon his prancing steed and lightly touched its glossy flanks with his gleaming spurs He was away in a cloud of dust, flying at a gallop down the lonely road. It was a long ride. Night was coming on apace, but the scout cared little for the gathering darkness and at last h e r eached the solitary cabin of Lone Sam, the stock-t en der. Sam was not visible about the place as the scout dis mounted, but a glance at the horses in the c orra l showed him that the California coach had not yet arrived. All the horses there were fresh. This Would not hav e bee1 the case had the California coach been there and gone, for the tired horses that had taken it that far would f1ave been kept in the corral and r eplaced by fresh ones. CHAPTER II. LONE SAM'S RESCUE. Buffalo Bill had much to meditate over, in the happen ings of the night, and he sat gaz in g int o the smoldering fire which he found in Lone Sam's cabin with his mind busy. He was pleased that he had gotten rid of the large treas ure intrusted to his keeping, and felt that it least was safe. Having done his duty thus far, Buffalo Bill could only wait for the coming of the California coach, for there wa s nothing else that he could do. In the meantime Nebraska Ned was driving along the trail on his way back from Outfit City, where had re ceived no passengers, and where he had r eceived a sev ere reprimand from Winters for allowing his passenger to b e kidnaped, with the appearance of an utterly dejected man. He had left Outfit City before Buffalo Bill, but the scout had taken an almost unknown trail which was much shorter than the regular coach road. Every few minutes there would break from the lips cif Nebraska Ned the exclamation : "My God! My God! 1' I am a ruined man !" He seemed to go on his way mechanically, allowing his horses to take their own way, and although it was already dark they seemed to know their way well. As he ascended the long slope which the trail wound up to the ridge, thus crossing the mountains where the outlaws held such an advantage, a voice sounded ahead in the darkness : "Halt! "Hands up, Nebraska Ned !" "All right! I ve halted, so have your way, for you can't do me any harm now," was the meek response. "It is not the custom of the Mountain Sharps to harm the drivers of the coaches at any time, unless they force us to give them a lesson," was the answer that came out of the darkness ahead. "Well, have your way; but you'll get nothing from my coach this night." "That remains to be seen." "I'm not lying to you. "I had a rich freight, but it was stolen miles back." "Do you mean this?" asked the voice quickly, for the man was not yet visible.


, THE BU ff J\lO BILL STORIES. 3 "I does." "Well, there was a lady along." "Yes; go on." "She has dead boodles of wealth." "I see." "But what became of it?" "It was taken, too." "Ah! a rich haul indeed; but I would rather be sure Gf this, for you drivers are experts at lving." "Well, go through the old hearse, if you find any thing of value yer is welcome to it as a gift from me." "I knew that you had a lady passenger who carried a rich freight; but I will have a talk with her." -_ "I wish to God you could." "Wh a t do you mean?" "I me ; that you blamed cutthroats has got her, too." ""What Did t he y take her?" "Look in the coach and you'll find her gone. She was trav eli n' to O utfit City, an' you fellers got her on the trip there. She wasn't comin' back this way, anyway. She was going East." "Then you must have been held up after I got the word to halt." "I don't know nothin' about what you got, but I does know ther boodle is all gone, and the !eddy, too." "\Vas it Captain Cool hand himself?" "I don t know you devils one from t'other." "\Vere there more than one road agent?" "How many has you got with you?" "Why?" "If I thought you was alone I'd chance it, fer I feel like killin' somebody to-night, indeed I docs "I'd feel better." "vVcll, I warn you not to try it on me, for it would cause you to weigh several pounds more as a dead man that you do now, my men would pile you so full of lead." "Show 'em up." "\Vhy?" "Seein' is beli evin' ." "It is too dark for you to see; but I'll give you a hint that I am not a lone. "Let's have i t," and Nebraska Ned was growinPreckl ess under his troubl e "Three of you nien send a shot over that fool's head," c:;:-.me the stern command. Instantl y there were three flashes, all a dozen feet apart, and one of the bullets shiv ered the coach lamp to atoms. "That's enm.:glt of that blamed nonsense now," growll'd' Nebraska 1':ed, reining in his lead ers, who were startled by th e shots. "Hearing is believing sometimes as well as seein'," saiJ the road agen t l eade r, with a laugh. "Well, you ta :e a peep in ther coach ter see thet the Jeddy is gone, and s'arch th er outfit if yer feels like it, fer I wants ter git along." The road agent, as though no longer dreading to ex pose himself to 'ed's fire. after revealing that he had comrades near, walked boldly towar

THE BUFf J\LO BILL STOR!ESa The dawn had not yet come when he rode up to cabin, apd to his surprise found that Buffalo Bill was. m his cabin and not alone, for there were two others with him, anti they were men who did not wear the garb of the frontier, but instead the dress of civilization. CHAPTER IV. THREE VISITORS. Lone Sam was not one whom any one would have sus pected of leading the life of a stock-tender on the Over land trail. He was a man of compactly built form, fine face, some thirty years of age, and a manner and bearing that courteous and not in the least spoiled by the rough hfe he was forced to lead. That he had been well born and educated, reared amid refined surroundings, was evident. And yet a year before he had come to his little cabin to attend stock for the Overland coaches. He would have been allowed a comrade to aid him, and help in defending the stage horses, but he declined assist ance, preferring to be alone, and so the name of Lone Sam was promptly "given him by the dri:.rers, who only knew that he had simply said that his name was Sam. He nad quickly built for himself a very comfortable cabin, had sent east for glass and put it in the windows, and his little home was as attractive and comfortable as any officer's quarters in the fort. He had a number of books, some pictures, a guitar, sang well, and appeared to enjo:y his lone life. . But his horses were always m the best cond1hon, he lived well, the drivers all knowing where they could get a good meal ; the man was popular with all, though a mys tery on account of one of his capabilities being content to live such a life. He was a dashing rider, a dead shot and could sketch well. Twice he had been attacked by outlaws, and several times by prowling bands ofIndians, seeking to run off his stock, but a group of graves back under the pines showed how deadly had been his aim, or brave his defense, and so Lone Sam, the stock-tender, had been left severely alone for the past few months. Buffalo Bill had always liked the man, and felt that he was to be implicitly trusted, but he was a mystery to the scout as weli as to others. Looking over his pleasant cabin when he found it empty, Buffalo Bill saw his books, his sketches, and other evidences of refined taste. "I wonder what can have brought that man out here to lead a wild life,'' muttered the scout. ''Soldiers are brought here in the discharge of duty, and. as for myself, it was bred in the bone to be a fron tiersman but I cannot exactlv understand a man raised so strangely at variance with this life of and_ hard,: ship. as he seems to have been, voluntanly takmg 1t up. Thus mused the scout as he sat in the cabin of Lone Sam. Suddenly he st arted. The light was quickly extin guished. and, stepping to the door, rifle in hand, Buffalo Bill stood in an attitude of listening. He heard the approach of several men, and they were t:ilktnl?' as they came on. Suddenly came a challenge in the stern tones : "Halt! "Who comes there?" The men halted and a voice calied out: "Ho, Lone Sam, we are corning to your cabin." "\Vho are vou ?" "The detectives you know, from the Gfont .Miner's cabin." "Where are you going?" "Our man is well enough to travel now, and we h<>ve come to take hin1 East in the stage that goes by to-night.'" Buffalo Bill was mystified. vVho and what were these men who called themselves detectives? He had heard of no such men b e ing in the country. Besides he knew that the 'regular coach eastward would not pass there that night, Lloyd Winter havin g told him that it had been discontinued. But it must be that Lone Sam knew about them. The one they spoke of a the Giant N[iner he had heard of-had, in fact, seen several times. He knew him as a man of giant form, who dwelt alone in the mountains, going to the camp only wh e n he neeQ.ed provisions, and on search f .or gold. The Indians were afraid of !um, the outlaws left him alone, and yet he was considered harmless, and a feverish searcher after gold, which it was said he never found, save only enough to buy food with. \Vas it this man the detectives now said they had, and who was well enough to go East? It could be no other, decided the scout. So he called out : "I will light a lamp; so come on to the cabin." As the lamp shed its light through the ca bin, the men started on beholding a stranger to them where they ha d expected to see Lone Sam. Two men in citizens dress entered and one stood on each side of a man of giant stature, with his head bound up with a handkerchief, a savage g leam in his deep sunken eyes, and his general appearai;ice haggard, unkempt, and with the appearance of suffenng. It was the Giant Miner of the mountains. The other two men Buffalo Bill did not know CHAPTER V. THE GIANT MINER. Buffalo Bill was really startled at the appearance of the Giant :tliine:-, so changed from when he had before seen hin.1. Then he was always neat in his attire, his hair anJ beard well kept, and his general app e arance prepossessing. N'ow he seemed like a man who had b e en hunte d down, who stood awed in the face of foes. What could it mean? The hvo men were resolute athletiC feilows, and Buf falo Bill saw that they were strangers to the border. The scout also saw that the Giant :Miner was manacled, small steel handcuffs being on his wrists. "You are not Lone Sam, the stock-tender?'' said one of the men, sternly. "I did not claim to be, gentlemen." "Who are you ?" "A pard of Lone Sam."


THf. BU ff ALO BllL STORIES. 5 "Has the eastbound coa-:::h gone by?" "Some hours ago." "Then we missed it?" "If you are going East-yes." "It was ahead of time, then?" "On the contrary, it was a trifle behind." "Does it not pass here in the middle of the night?" "No; soon after nightfall, if on time." "Then we have made a mistake, or misunderstood Lone Sam when he told us." "Doubtless." "And we must wait another week for another coach?" "Five days." "That is too baG, :or our man is able to travel now, and he n1ay get violent by delay." "Why have yo u that man in irons?" "Do you know him ?" "Yes, as a harmless gold-hunter known as the Giant Miner." "He is not so harmless as you think." Indeed ?" "He appears now to be suffering." "We had to deal harshly with him to arrest him. "You see, he received some severe blows on the head, but he is all right now, as far as the hurts are concerned; only off here, you know," and the speaker tapped his head. "You lie! ''I am not crazy, though God knows it is strange that I have not been driven so." T)ie words were uttered in a deep voice, ending in a tone that was pathetic. "When did you come here after this man?" "Three weeks ago." "From the East?" "Yes." "You came to get him to return with you?" "Yes." "vVhy ?" "He is mad and escaped two years ago from the Asylum." "I am not mad, but I did escape from the asylum, where they put me to drive me crazy, and die." ''Don' t mind him for you hear how he talks." ''Why, he killed one of the keepers in making his es cape." "Yes, when the keeper sought to kill me, for they wanted me dead. "I acted only in self-defense." "Don't mind him, sir, for he is away off." "But I do mind him; as any man is entitled to be heard." "God bless you," moaned the Giant Miner. ''\Vho are you, anyway?" sharply said the detective who had done the most of the talking. "I was just about to ask you that very question," said Buffalo Bill, quietly. 'We told you. "We are New York detectives. "You must have more than your word out here to back you up." "We have." "What have you?" "I could say our revolvers, but as you loot\ like one in authority we are willing to show our papers, if y<1u prove your right to demand them." "I have the right, or I would not interfere with officers of the law, as you claim to be." "Then tell us your authority, and we will meet you half wav." am known out here as Buffalo Bill, but I am down upon the army roll at Fort Faraway as William F. Cody, chief of scouts." "Buffalo Bill!" The men uttered the name in a surprised tone, glanced at each other, and then one of them said : "You have proof, I suppose, that you arc the man you say you are?" "Yes." "Where is it?' "My word." "That won't go with us." "It must." "I say it won't." "Then I must give you further proof, as you force it upon me." "Out with it, for we are not men to be trifled with or scared off from our duty by men in buckskin." "Here is my proof. "Hands up both of you!" Just how it was the two detectives did not fully under stand. They were only certain that a revolver covered each one of them, that a piercing eye glanced along the sights of each weapon, and they found themselves at the mercy of the man whose proof they had demanded that he had a right to question their acts. CHAPTER VI. PROOFS OF IDENTITY. Caught completely off their guard, with the scout's re volvers covering them, and their manacled prisoner show ing vigor and great nervousness, the two detectives readily showed a willingness to temporize, and one of them said: "You are too quick with your weapons, mister." "You refused to take my word." ''Well, if you say you are Buffalo Bill, I guess you are, for L think the way you draw and handle weapons is proof, from all I have heard of yott." "I am chief of scouts at the f01't, and am more than willing to meet you halfway; but it is my duty to know who men are that venture into this wild land, and especi ally when they come here to take a man away against whom no unkind word has been uttered. 'Show me proof of your claim as secret service officers, and then we can talk, for I also wear the badge of a d<" tective of the Rocky Mountain Police-see!" and the scout revealed a gold badge that he wore concealed from sight This was enough for the two letcctives, and they at once offered their hands as comrades. Then they also showed badges as ew York detectives. "Have you papers as well?" asked the cout "We have." With th.is they showed official-looking papers that testi fied to their being employed by the superintendent of an Eastern insane asylum to hunt down and l;iring back with


THE BUf'I" ALO Bl LL STORlfS. them a certain dangerous lunatic, Morris Linton by uame, and who, in making his escape, had killed a keeper. The said Morris Linton was a giant in size, had been for years in the asylum referred to, and labored under the hallucination that he possessed a large fortune, of which certain parties were trying to rob him. He had last been heard of in Omaha, and was then making his way to the far frontier. Buffak Bill read the papers carefully, noted the description of the man, and then said : "Are you sure that this is your man?" "We are." "I make no denial of my name or identity, nor the charges against me said the Giapt Miner in a low tone. "You confess then that you are the one these detectives aeek ?" asked the scout. "Yes, Mr. Cody, I am Morris Linton, escaped from the --Asylum, and in making my escap e I killed a keeper who was trying to kill me and thus get me out of the way, as I would not, in my despair, take my own life, or die a natural death." "How did you track him here?" asked Buffalo Bill. "We stopped at every stage station and made inquiries, showing his photogr a ph and d e scribing him, and a drive r by the name of Left-Hand Larry told us such a man was gold-hunting back in the mountains from Sto ck-Tender Lone Sam's station. "So we got off here. The stock-tender told us how to find our man and we surprised him in his cabin, but we did not capture him without a severe struggle, in which he was somewhat injured." "May I ask if there is a reward for him?" es." "Do vou know the amount?" "I think it is several thousand." "Do you not know ?" "It is five thousand," said one of the det e ctives, re luctantly. "And all Lone Sam is interested, then, is in having shown you your man's retreat? "Yes, and he brought us provisions we had to send for." "\iVell, gentlemen, in spite of your badges and official papers, I must say there are two sides to every question, and out here we have to be very particular. "Lone Sam will b e here within an hour or so, and in the meanwhile we will give up the cabin to your prisoner, and let him rest, for he seems weak, and to be suffering. "Lie down on Sam's cot, my man and rest qui e tl y and we will have a talk with y ou lat e r and d e cide what is b e st to be done." The two detectives evidently did not like this plan. But they had had a sample of what Buffalo Bill woulcl do if driven to it, and th e y agreed to leave it as the scout wished. The y saw th a t the man really was weak and suffering; he was iron e d and could escape only by the window or door, and the y would take care to watch the outside of th e cabin. But there was a large price on the head of th e ir man, all exp e nses were paid bes ides, and they had run him to earth and had no intention of losing him. But some t hin g warned them n o t to g o aga inst Buffa lo Bill. Then, too, there was no c o a c h e astward fo r d ays, and th e y could but submit with a good grac e So the pris o ner s tre t ch e d h im s elf u po n the b ed, the sc out and the t w o f erre t s left him a l on e and going out side the cabin sa t down to t a lk matte r s over. It wa s th e pair of d e t ec tiv es who did most o f the t a l k ing, Buffa l o B ill b e ing a n excel knt lis t ener, and th e y said all in their power to impress him w it h the str e ngth of th e ir case. It was while they w e re talkingthat the scout 's acute hearing caught the sound of ho of s approaching, an d h e "Here comes Lone Sam now, and the co ach westw ar d has come at the same tim e ." CHAPTER THE GIANT MINE R AT B AY. The d e tectives had not h eard the s o und that had c a ught the ear of Buffalo B ill. But the y list e n e d for a mom e nt, and we r e a b out to say th ey could c a tch no sound, wh e n th e scout sa id: "He will come in si gh t s oo n ." And in a minute m ore a h orsem an ap p ea r e d c om in g rapidly alon g th e trail. It w as L o ne Sam. He w as foll o w e d b y Neb raska N e d' s c oac h. H e w as surpri se d to s ee s e ve ral forms before h i s ca bin "Well, Sam b ac k again? I a m glad to see you." "Yes, sir. "You met the coach ? "Yes sir an d all is w ell; but I h ave so m e thing t o te ll you, Co dy, w h e n I ha v e put my h o r se up A h H e re a r e the t w o d e te c ti ve s, I see, w ho ca me a f ter t h e Giant Miner." "Yes, and their pri so n e r i s in th e c a bin for th ey had h o p e d to c a tch t he r egu lar e as tb o un d c oa ch but it d oes n t pass here to night. " I am not sorry for I hate t o s e e tha t man taken b a ck, for to me he d o e s n t s e em craz y and I hav e ofte n t a l ked with him; but, the n, the l a w m ust hav e i ts way, I sup p ose ." "If in the ri g ht, but jus tice err s so m eti me s, S am "You did not report the arriv al of th ese d etect i ves?" "Yes, I w rot e a n o t e t o th e b os s at Outfit C i ty, but he sent no instru ct i o ns." Buffalo Bill t hen went out a nd h a d a t a lk wit h Nebras ka N eu, who a ft e r chan g in g hi s ho r se s we n t on his way much ch ee r e d b y th e scout's assura nc e s tha t all would he w ell in regard to th e l os t pa sse nger Buff a lo B ill t h e n r eturne d to t h e c a bin H e n o l o n ge r h e ld an y su s pi c i o n th a t L o ne S a m '"'as in the pay of th e d e tectiv es, and f e lt th a t his s y m pa t hies wer e wit h th e Giant Min e r "\,Yell, S a m the se 'gent lem e n c apture d th eir ma n but not witl.10ut ha ving t o hurt him and h e r e all y d ocs n o t seem abl e to s t and t he long journ ey," h e s ai d. "I do not d o ubt th e ir legal s t a tu s in th e matter; but ou t here a man cannot b e tre ated u n fairl y and we ha ve n ot beard th e oth e r s id e ." "There is no oth e r side wh e n the f ello w is an es c aped lun a tic," s aid on e of the det e cti ves "That may or may not be.


.. THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. .. 'l "I shall hear his story, and then, assured if he is really mad, and hence dangerous, you will be allowed to take him, as you desire. "But we have never suspected his sanity, and he may ha voe a story to tell also. "I have regarded him as a man with a history--0nc who had had his whims, and nothing more. "I have a duty to attend to that may carry me off at any moment; so put your horses in the corral, Sam, and we will go in and have a talk with the prisoner." I do not see by what right you override our authority, sir, to take an escaped lunatic and a murderer," said one of the detectives, harshly. "I do so from a sense of justice. "I do not go against your authority, but I do intend to hear his side of the story, for I know of cruel crime:; that have been perpetrated against sane people who were {,aid to be mad, and, though yo11 are acting in the dis charge of duty, those who sent you may have some ax to grind." "Nothing of the kind. "All is open and above board." "Gentlemen, we will hear.the story of the accused man." "And you "viii take his word against ours?" hotly asked one of the detectives. "That depends upon the story, how it is told, and my own convictions in the matter." "And suppose you side against us?" "Then he shall remain here and have time and oppor tunity to get his proof," was the determined reply. "That means that he will be allowed to escape and we will have all our work to do over." "It means that he will be kept securely at the fort until it is decided whether his story is false and yours true. "Come, Sam, we will all go in now, for I have a matter on hand that cannot be neglected." So into the cabin went the scout, Lone Sam and the two detectives. Buffalo Bill was in advan\_'.e, Lone Sam next to him, and the two ferrets had hung back for a word together. But as they appeared in the door the large form of the Giant Miner suddenly rose from the bed, towering even 2bove Buffalo Bill, and he bent forward as though about to make a spring upon the party. The detectives uttered a cry as they suddenly beheld him, and one of them called out in alarm : "See! he has freed himself of his irons." "Yes, and has secured weapons in some way. "Look out!" cried the other. It did appear then as though the Giant Miner was really mad. He had indeed broken the slender steel manacles from his wrists, and in some way had become possessed of Lone Sam's extra pair of revolvers hanging in the cabin. The Giant Miner seemed about to fight for his life as he said in a low tone: "You cannot take me alive. "I will not go back to th!lt hell on earth." CHAPTER VIII. THE SCOUT'S DECISION. Tl at the Giant Miner was at ba y and meant what he said there was not the shadow of a doubt. But though the detectives shrank back, Buffalo Bill and Lone Sam held their places. The eyes of the scout were upon the man, though he made no effort to draw a weapon. vVhat might ha happened who could tell had Buffalo Bill's nerve failed him. But it did not, and keeping his eyes upon the miner, he said, calmly: "Corne, pard, lay aside those weapons, for I have come to hear your story and see that justice is done you.'' "Buffalo Bill, did other man than you say that to me I would fling the lie in his teeth, for no one has ever just to me. "I am the victim of a cruel plot, and I would die before I again submit to what I have suffered. "But, as you tell me that justice will be shown me, I be lieve you, and I show my trust by submitting to yon." \Vith the words the giant madman suddenly stepper! toward Buffalo Bill and gave up his revolvers. "You see, gentlemen, that this man means to act squarely." "Madmen are always tricky," said one of the ferret!'. "He's got some game to spring on us." said the dther. "Now, with Chief Cody, I believe in his honesty o purpose," Lone Sam remarked. "I thank you. "I do mean to be square; but I wish to say that those men are to be well paid for capturing me, and so do not wish you to hear but one side. "You have said that you will hear my s.tory ?" "We will. "Sit down and tell it to us." "I caunot sit down. I am too nervous. "I was left here, as you know, and supposed you had left me to my fate. "So I broke these manacles, as I am a giant in strength as well as size. "I intended to kill those men in self-defense. "But to my story, Mr. Cody. "I am a creature of unfortunate circumstances, from being born the heir to a fortune. "There were other heirs, I being third on the list. "But I making a good living as a rancher in Texas, and was content. "But lawyers hmted me out and showed me that the two heirs before me had died, one, it is said, taking his own life, the other being killed by highwaymen who sought to rob him, and nothing was between me and a million dollars. "Of course, I was glad to hear the good news, and went North to claim it. "But I had an anonymous letter sent to my hotel telling me that the two heirs before me had been foully dealt with ; that the first one was not a suicide, but had been poisoned ; the other had been killed, but by men paid to get him out of the way, and to be on guard or I would share the same fate. "I at once denounced the affair to my lawyer, telling him to find out who would be benefited by my death, as they were the ones who had committed the two murders. "That lawyer, I will swear, was in the pay of the heirs to get the fortune in case of my death. "The lawyer came to me and said that he had found


8 -THE I Uff ALO BILL STORIES. out abo11t the anonymous letter, and would take me to the writer, who was in an asvlum. "I went with him, and that day began my persecution, for I was incarcerated in the asylum as a madman "I am sure the superintendent was in the pay of the man to inherit my fortune, for but my great endur ance, watchfulness, anq a dread of being poisoned, I would have been killed. "I at last found my chance, and made my escape. "In doing so I distinctly heard the command of the superintendent : 'He rl)USt never escape "'Kill him! Shoot him!' "I 'sprang upon the keeper to struggle for the revolver h e had, and which he tri ed to t\,Se. "In the struggle the weapon was fired and the keeper dropped dead. "I escaped, and, having some money I had kept con ceal ed all the while, I made my way \Vest. "I was fearful of arrest and the consequences; so I ca me here to hunt for goid, hoping to get enough to go far from here and then begin suit for what was my own, and punish my foes. "I had laid up a snug little sum-bnt these men ap peared, and. professing friend s hi p they unexpectedly at t acked me, dealing me stmming blows, as though to kill me. "But they did not kill me, and but for yo u I would hav e been taken back to that asvlum, and there I would have te for them and they were sent to me, and I have kept them in hiding." "Yon must get them and then go on to the fort, for they will be important. '"Now, Sam, as turn about is fair play, I will leave th ese men under the guard of the miner, while I have a talk with you, for dawn is at hand, I see." The detectives swore, but it did no good, and the scout and the stock-tender walked apart for a talk. Buffalo Bill, in spife of his calm demeanor, had grown more and more anxious regarding the California coach. Its not coming seemed to assure him that it liad been held up further a long the tra i l than he had supposed the road agents to be stationed. Had any acciden t occurred to th.e coach causing de l ay? So why had not the dri ve r come on to the station to s e ek Lone Sams aid? All thes.e questions, which he could not answer, worri e d Buffalo Bill greatly. So he decided to tell Lone Sam the story and hear what he had to sav. He felt thit he could trust the stock-tender iruplicitly. "Sam, I have something to tell you," he said, as the two walked away from t he cabi n leaving the Giant Miner scc.t ed on a bench, watching the two d cte::t ives The latter had been disarmed by Buffalo Bill, but the mine r had a revolver. The detectives were wholly free otherwise, Buffalo Bill desiring to treat them as well a s they would allow him to. Disapearing behind some pinon trees, Bill and Lone Sam had halted ..


THE BUFF hLO BILL ST1 lRIES. 9 Thouo-h not seen hv those at the cabin, they could see the thr:e men there: :md while talking kept their eyes upon them. The scant had confidence in the miner, yet he was de termined to be on the safe side \Vhen they had halted, Buffalo liill went on to say: "K ow Sam first of all, r will say that I am sure it was ' .""t_ a game to g et rid of that 1111 er, and I believe his story implicitly." A s I do and it looks as though they had intended to kill him, for mon e y will make some men do any crime." CHAPTERX. A FRIEND IN NEED. Lone Sam went O!J to tell his story of coming up with N e braska Ned's coach the flight of the robbers, and just w hat the driver had told him. "There were four at least, Ned felt confident," Lone S a m continued. "They also knew that h e had a lady passenger on the co a ch, or had h a d.'" "They knew this?" asked Buffalo Bill in surprise. "Yes, sir." "Indeed?" "This is what I was anxious to tell you, that the Mounted Sharps knew of Ned' s having a lady passenger alon g." . "vVell, Sam, I am glad to be thorot1ghly posted as to their d o ings It is most important that I should be, as yo u will understand when you hear what I have to tell y o u for I am g o in g to ask your a.id. Ar:d Ned was s o e x cited when I talked to him outside the cabm that h e could give me little information." "I a m at y our service fqr life or death; Chief Cody," the fervent r e sp o nse. I we ll know that, Sam. But what I t ell you is a known only to Captain Llovd Winte r, or a t least s upposed to be, and I tell you fra 11.k!y I am out on the trail now for big game.'' S ome h o w I half suspected that you were playing a b old hand and some waiting game.'' "It is jus t thi s, S am: "There have be e n so manv, and such darmg attacks upon the Overland the pony riders for 1.1ast si x months tnat Captam \Vmter began to feel certam ih at the l \ 1o unted Sharps must have spies very close to him. '"The truth came out when he began to watch the hold ups, that coach e s and p ony riders bearing no treasm e w ent throuP-h un m olested. "That sure proof of an outlaw spy system." "Yes "And coach e s w ith passen g ers who had money were halte d while those who carried people, though supposed ,., to b'e poor, never saw a road agent. "Is that so?" "It is. "And it cau se d Captain \ii/inter to send for me. The c o l o nel t o ld me what was wanted of me, and I at once volunte e r ed to go." "Of course you would. "It's that kind of a bold game you like to play, Chief Cody." "The colonel told me to take what scouts of my company I wished and to call upon him for any number of soldiers." "That was liberal." "Yes; but I refused all." "Refused help ?" "Yes." "But why?" "If the outlaws have the spys they are suspected of baving, they would at once know that a hunt was to be begun." "True." "That would drive them all off the trails, all would be quiet, and when the hunt had ended they would begin their old crimes again." "You are right." "So I decided simply to play a lone hand.'; "And a bold one." "Well, I am playing it now, but I have come to a point where I need aid, and you are the man to help me, Lone Sam." "And I am the man that will do it,' was the prompt re sponse of the stock-tender. When Lone Sam said what he did he held out his hand and the scout warmly grasped it. . He !mew that in the stock-tender he had a fnend m need, and he was just then in sad need of an ally. Then Buffalo Bill went on to tell aboqt the coach coming through from California and that it was driven by Lige Lumley, a good man and true, and whom they both knew. "Now, it is said that these Californians carry a large fortune with them, and it is most foolish for them to do so, but as they taken the risk \Ve must do all in our power to protect them, if not too late, for let me tell you that the coach was due here last night." Lone Sam listened with deepest attention to all the scout said. and then the two arranged what they thought best to be

1 0 THE BUff ALO BILL STORIE!. Sam's cabin, for, not expecting that it had come this far, I did not search the trail as I came along. "Now, where can that coach have disappeared? ''It certainly could not have passed Lone Sam's cabin. unless it went by without stopping, and at a very slow vace, for I heard not the slightest sound ''If the coach did go by, then the road agents had captured it and then sneaked by. "The road agents had doubtless run it off the trai1 some where to rob it nearer their retreat Thus mused the scout for some minutes But, being convinced that the extra coach had certainl y been in to Fort Faraway, and returned on its eastward run, he mounted his horse and starterl back over the trai! to Lone Sam's cabin, watching every foot of the way as he rode slowly along. CHAPTER XI. THE MYSTERY OF A NIGHT. The sun was a couple of hours above the horizon when Buffalo Bill made the discovery that the California coach had certainly been following Nebraska Ned, and had got ten as far on his way as the turn-off from the fort trail. It had gone in there to the fort for some reason, known best to Lige Lumley, the driver It had come out again, and there were the tracks leading along the main Overland trail and toward Outfit City. But where was the coach? llad tnc Californians been left at the fort. where the coa c hes passed each way only once in five days, it was easy to see the tracks they left. Worried at the mysterious disappearance of the Cali fornia coach in tl,1e night, Buffalo Bill kept on its trail ww-:i:::-

THE BU ff J\LO BILL STORlf.S. 11 The river that was in the valley was but a mile or two beyond and there the smaller stream entered it. But 'the latter was becoming impassable for a coach alon o its bed, and when the scout had drawn rein there deep wash that barred his vvay. But down in the depths of the ravine he saw the trail of the coach. It had left the brook there. who drove it knew that he could follow the bed of the stream no further. "Com e over, Sam.'.' The stock-tender heard the scout's call and plunged into the stream. Come out in the ravine here and follow it to its head." "Ay ay," answered Lone Sam, and, as he reached the hc..nk, wh e re the ravine, in rainy weather, sent a small cre ek into the stre am, he called out: "Here is the coach trail." "Yes follow it up, for I cannot get clown there." Half a mile back from the stream Lone Sam came out at the head of the ravine. Buff a lo Bill met him there. There was the trail of the lost coach, and it led away across the valley toward the river, a mile away. Instantl y the two pards began to follow it at a gallop As they neared the river they <:ould see that the banks w e re hig h and steep, and it would be a long distance down t o the water. The trail Buffalo Bill had intended to take the coach crossed the river miles above where it was fordable, anJ ran down the vallev upon the other side. How had the driver of the coach gotten it across, for nwo-ecl work it would have been to !rn down on that side bi,, of the stream both men saw. But there led the trail straight toward the river bank. \Vould thev find it there, hidden in some ravine? Nirrht was iiot far off, they had come twenty miles from the cab in, and they would not have much longer to work. So they still further quickened their pace. Drawing nearer the river, they saw where the coach had been brought to a halt. There were tracks all about it, the footprint!! of men and horses. The ground was of such a nature that the tracks were all plainly visible. ThenA:he coach had been driven on again. The tracks showed that the horses had been put to a rapid pa.ce. what could it mean, with the river cliffs only a short distance ahead? Tlien the a-round grew the tracks were hardly v i sible at all,0but the trail led straight to the cliffs. Soon the ground grew of too flinty a nature to reveal any trail. But the two trailers held on. They drew their horses to a s l ower pace as they neared the cliffs. Nearer and nearer they came, until the edge was just before them, and thev could see that the bank went off sheer two hundred feet to the river below. Halting near the edge, they sprang from their horses and l o oked over. Standing on the very edge, they looked over, and Buffalo Bill called out : "There is the coach !" CHAPTER XIII. AS BUFFALO BILL SAW IT. The two men stood in silence upon the edge of the cliff, gazing down at the depth far The cliffs were far part, the nver runnmg near left bank, and upon the rocks under where Buffalo Bill and Lone Sam stood were the horses and the coach. They had found the lost coach. But it seemed terrible to behold it as it was. Shattered to atoms, and with the horses dead, it was a pitiable sight. At last Lone Sam spoke, breaking the silence that had lasted for moments. "What a fate to meet; for I guess they all went over together." "Why?" "My idea is that Lige Lumley, poor fellow, tned to save his passengers and their treasure, to throw the road agents off his trail." "Well?" "So he took to the brook, and when he got to where he believed his trail would not be seen, he turned out on the plateau and pushed ahead rapidly. "And drove over the cliff?" "Yes ." "In the "] ust so." "That would be all ri ght, Sam, but for two or three things." "V\That are they?" "vVe saw where the coach had left the brook." "Yes." "Now those coach horses would not have gone over this cliff in the darkest niP-ht, their instinct would have warned them of danger, they not have. seen." "But there they are." "Yes and I"ll wa a-er bi amoney that they were blmd-, b 0 folded, muzzled, put at a rush, and thus sent over. "Oh, Lord !" "If not, they were brought here and forced over, the coach being rolled after them." "Then you do not think any one went over with the coach?" "No indeed." believe the Mounted Sharps did it?" "Yes, of course." "But why?" "They had in the an on. their hands. "They wished to get nd of 1t, to hide it, so that they could not be traced by it, and so they took to the brook and brought it here." "You are on the right trail, I guess, Pard Cody." "I may be wrong, but I think it as I see it all. "You see, they thought the hors es and coach, falling from this heig-ht, would r.oll into the river." "But they dia not by a dozen or more feet." "No.'' "Had they done so the current would have swept them away and all trace would have been lost of them."


THE BUFFALO BILL STO"ll!S. "And they either did not look over to see the result, or could not get

THE BUfF A.LO BILL STORIES. 13 L one S a m ran to the horse, and' then came the strai n up o n the rope The scout had begun the hard climb. A nd it was. a h ard cl i m b o f two hundr ed fee t but, w i t h rests h e r e a n d there at t he loops, was made in safety Lone Sam g r asped the hand o f th e b o ld climber as he s a w him ap p ear ab ove t h e di ff, and said : "Well, no w t o follow the trail of the o u t l aws I s u p p ose?" 'Yes, b ack fro m w he re w e saw those tracks "You are more ce r t a i n tha n e ver about the outlaws hav in g robbed th e c oa ch ?" "Yes, fo r ther e i s n ot a ve stige o f an ything left in t he c oac h ; i n fa ct, it was robbed of ev e ry thing th e outla w s thou g h t they m ight find u se for. "Now w e will break u p camp and take the tra i l of t he Moun ted Sharps and their v i ct i ms A n d this the y d id CHAPTER X V T H E C ALIFORNIANS. Along t he Overhnd stage trail u po n the a f t ernoon of the clay of Buffalo 1"'.l' s c o n ve r sa ti on with Lloy

THE BUFF l\LO Bt'LL STORIES. on ahead at a rapid gallop, while Lige Lumley said wi t h enthu siasm: "That's ther man, J\Ir. Insley, and with him along we has nothing to be afraid of 110\v." . "God grant it," was the fervent reply of the Cahtorman. CHAPTER XVI. WHERE WAS BUFFALO BILL? For some reason the scout rode very rapi d ly after leaYing the coach. . The driver and Mr. Insley listened to the r apid clatter of the hoofs, until they could be no l onge r heard, and then the former said : "Does yer know what I thinks. ]\fr. Insley?" "I confess that I do not, Lumley. "Well, it 's just this: "This co ac h b e thoroughly searched and nothing found of much value." "Yes." "Well, we told him about thcr young lady goi n' on ahead in Nebraska Ned's coach, and having lots o f boodle along with her." "Yes." "Now I thinks he d on't want her scared, and more particular robbed, and he 's just a makin' Ned ter be on hand if ther i s trouble am! cmp rnter ther game himself." "I sincerely hope so." "I know it, from ther way he rides. "He didn't want us ter think h e'd g iv e us the r go by, but he wasn't goin' ter see ther young lcddy from scare, and he'll be thar near by when wanted. "Buffalo Bill is a noble fellow." "You kin gamble on it he is, mister. "He's a man ter tie to in a ti ght place." "And you think if we get through to-night we will be all safe." "Sich is ther chan ces, after yer leave Outfit City, though the trail i s a bad one for outlaws clean past Good-Luck Camp ." "There must b e a large band o f the se l awless fellows, to patrol such a long stretch of country as they do." "There is plenty of 'em t e r ther worl.c . "There is men as h as been gents m their time, aud Captain Coolhand is one of 'em ." "Who is he?" "I don't know fer sartin but they say he were once a rich man and kilt somebody. hevin' ter come \ Ves t, and, as he didn,'t know how ter work, he b egan ter git another fortin by killing and robbin "He don't scare a Jirt ic l1it. rides like th e r devil on horseback, can match 11uffalo Bili in s h oo tin' a gun or revolver, and he's got men under his control like they was regular soldiers. "I tell ver h e is a had man from Ditter Creek, and 'I will be 1nighty glad w!1en_ he runs agi1; a and my idee is thet Buffalo Bill 1s t het man, cause its got ter come if he k eep s up his redhand work." "Has he killed many people?" "He has fer he don't stand no nonsense, shoot in' quick and dead when he wants t er show h e ain't doin' ther robbin" act ji st fer fun." Thus the driver talked on, Mr. Insley deeply interested the while, and the miles were put behind the coach as. the night wore on. . . At last the driver drew rem to give his horses water m a b1oad shallow stream they were crossing, ana he said : we'Jl soon be at Lone Sam's cab in and then I'll find' out about yer .darter going on with Nebraska Ned, and if he seen Buffalo Bill go by." "I shall feel easie r in my mind then, and--" The Californian stopped short, for sn in each one. "My Lord! it are a nigger. "l pass," cried Lige Lumley, recognizing by the star light that the man was a negro, or had face and hands biacke

.. THE BU Ff ALO BILL STORIES. 15 "I'll attend to that, Lige Lumley," shouted the voice from the. bank, followed by the words; called across the stream : "(.; pon the othe r side, then "Follow d ow n the stream wit h the coach. 'Now. Darkic Dick, \ou know what to do," and the heads of the horses were turned dov.'n the stream. CHAPTER rVIJ. A MAN IN MASK. That the outlaws had taken p ossession of his coach and pas e:1ger s was a surprise to Lige Lumley. He could not unders t and it. He saw that w ith the uegro driving down the bed of th e stream, the outlaws following on horseback, there was an i ntention to cover up the trail. This he could not see through. \!Vhy shou ld they kidnap the coach and all. Dut he consol e d himself with the thoug-ht that Lola I ns!ey w'hs safe. and the strange conduct of the outlaws made him fear fo r the lives of his passengers, and even himse!f. At last came to the conclusion that they believe

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