Buffalo Bill's diamond mine, or, The Bedouins of the plains

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Buffalo Bill's diamond mine, or, The Bedouins of the plains

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Buffalo Bill's diamond mine, or, The Bedouins of the plains
Series Title:
Buffalo Bill stories
Buffalo Bill
Place of Publication:
New York
Street & Smith
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
1 online resource (28 p.) 28 cm.: ;


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


Original Version:
Volume 1, Number 274

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
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.
Resource Identifier:
020910580 ( ALEPH )
70706285 ( OCLC )
B14-00108 ( USFLDC DOI )
b14.108 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Issu e d Weekly. By s1'bscription $2.Jo per yea r Entered as Secon d class Matter a t the N Y. Post Of/ice, by S TREET & SMITH, 79-&J O:,eventlt Ave., N. Y. lll i M. LfllWCe, Five Cents The attempt of the Pawnees to surprise and capture Buffalo Bill was a failure, for he swept by like a whirlwind, his revolver barking out death.


Trpr:nn(?lfmCT:i@ ffiD[blS A 'NEEKLY PUS-Ll'CATION oevoTcD TO BORDER Hl5TORY l I .sued Wee1'ly. By subscription $2so per year Entere d as Second-class Matter at the N. Y Post Offece, by STREET & SMITH, 79-llQ Salentn Aven1111,. N. Y. Entered according to 4ct of Congress in tile year Igo(>, in tile Of/ice of tile Librarian of Congreu, Wash i ng-ton, D. C. of Wild West imitations of thl'i Buffalo Bill Stories. They are about fictitious chm acters. The Buffalo l -::i_ Bill. weekly is the only weekly containing the adventures of Buffalo Bill, (Col. W. f. Cody), who is known all n over the world as the king of scouts. No. 273. NEW. YORK, August 4, 19o6. Price Five Cents. I BILL'S DIAMOND MINE; THE BEDOUINS OF THE PLAINS. By the author of "BUFFALO BiLL." CHAPTER I. CHAS. ED BY P AWNEES. Well mounted; picturesquely garbed with head erect, and keen e y es searching hi s surroundings, Buffalo Bil}/ cantered slowly along. At his side rode a young man, who lacked the easy ability of the great scout. His face and hands were not so tanned, and he had that indefinable air of inexperience which one always exhibits when in unfa miliar surroundings. Yet that he had accompanied the scout on this perilous quest was proof of hi s coura ge. The Pawnees wer e still the Bedouins of the plains, contestin g th eir supr e macy with the fierce Sioux, and white men ventured out into what was then the "Great American Desert" only at the peril of their lives. About the great scout and his youthful companion was the wide valley of the Uppe r Platte, and the far-reaching plains that extend to the great mountains. Close up by the sand-choked stream rose ragged sand hills, like those which frin g e the shores of man y an pcean. The reddish broom-sedge floated in the prairie wind, mingling with the coarse grass that covered the hills. Cottonwoods grew along the river at intervals, with here and there clumps 1of stunted willows Occasionally there were rocky rid g es, and these were particularly noticeable as the horsemen galloped into and across a small stream that here became a tributary of the Platte. "I think I'd like a look at that paper again," said the scout. The young man took from an inner pocket of his coat a yellowed, time-stained bit of writing-paper. Apparently it had been torn from a note -book, and the writin g on it was in faded penciling. The paper was in tatters, and falling to pieces by reason of long exposure t o th e weather. Buffalo Bill took it and spread it out on the horn of bis saddle. This was what he saw: "I'm surrounded here by Pawnees, and the end can't be far off. Somebody may find this, and it may talk for me when I'm no longer able to talk for myself. The diamonds are my daughter Nellie. l T. J. BENTON."


THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. Pieces had been torn and worn from the paper by the weather, ap.d the message was incomplete. "He was killed, of course, by the Pawnees," said the young man, as the scout passed back the paper. Instead of answering, the scout drew rein suddenly, having made a startling discovery. His roving eye had caught the gleam of a painted head feather behind a rock on the crest of a ridge close at hand on the right. He struck his horse with his heels, and lashed that of his companion. "Ride!" he commanded sharply. A revolver leaped into his hand. But the disc overy and the movement had not been made quick enough . A rifle flamed from behind the rock, and the young man pitched forward on the saddle-bow. The scout caught the scared horse by the rejn. "Hold hard!" he sho uted to 'the swaying man. Eut the latt e r pitched over stiffly to the ground. the ledgy and rock-strewn ridge was now alive with Pawnees, who had been lying.in ambush there, and who were eager for the scalps of the gr.eat Long Hair and his companion. One of them leaped out to grasp the scout's horse by the bridle. He paid for his recklessne ss with his life, dropping d e ad almost under the feet of the horse, fr o m a pistol s h o t sent by the scout. Though they had brought down his companion, the atte mpt of the Pawnee!'\ to surprise and capture Buffalo Bill was a failure, for he swept by like a whirlwind, his r e volver barking out death. The ponies of the Pawnees were bel]ind the hill. Some r a n for them, while others sprang ouf and sought to fol low the scout on foot, .shooting at him with rifles and bows. Both horses were wounded. The led horse was so badly hit by arrows that Buffalo Bill soon abandoned it, riding on and leaving it to its fate. He wanted to go back to the aid of the youth who had tumbled from the saddle, but he knew that if the young man was not altogether dead, he would J>e slain and scalped in short order, and, besides, to return to help him was now out of the que s tion. For from behind the ridge came galloping Indians, yelling fiercely and confidently. They were sure the horse ridden by the scout was hard hit. The led horse had fallen to the ground almost as soon as the scout dropped its bridle-rein. It was now a race for life, with the chances apparently against Buffalo Bill. His horse was bleeding from a number of ugly wounds. However, he was himself still unharmed, though arrows had gone through his clothing, and one still stuck, sway ing, in the crown of his hat, its feathered shaft looking not unlike an Indian head-feather, as it rose above his head. Notwithstanding its wounded condition, the horse held up well. It was a Kentucky thoroughbred, with unri valed speed and bottom. Urged on by the scout, its tremendous burst of speed began to leave the smaller. Indian ponies behind. The sun was already sinking, with night not far away. If the horse could out hold its own until darkness, the scout felt that he would be safe. But after a time its strength began to fail. The Indian ponies began to decrease the distance. Soon they were so near that their yelling filled the air. A rifle cracked, and the bullet came singing over the head of Buffalo Bill. "A little longer, my good fellow!" he cried, still urging the spent horse. It had exhausted its strength. In leaping a gully, it fell, sprawling out as it wnt down. The scout saved himself from a nasty tumble by tat

lTHE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 3 face and body, and his strong frame trembled, for his exertions had been almost superhuman. He did not yet feel safe, for the keenness of the Paw nees was proverbial. They were the best trailers of the plains, able to follow human footprints with almost the tenacity of bloodhounds. The scout held his revolver ready in his hand, and listened. fl'.1> hoped he had baffied the human demons who had cha9. hitr33:0'\. B i ii<: ifs' reflections were not all of himself and his dang&r. He thought regretfully and sadly of the young man w ho had been his companion, and who had fallen under r SlP Pawnee fire. f fl;r'le felt like condemning himself for not discovering hat ambuscade sooner. -' He had thoughts as sad for another-a young woman, to whom this youth had been much, and he asked him self how he should be able to report to her what had occurred. CHAPTER II. AFTER THE CHASE. When, after a night spent in hiding, Buffalo Bill de scended from his post of retreat, the Pawnees were ap parently gone. A sudden thunder-shower in the night, which had drenched him, had put out the fire before it had traveled far. Yet, apparently before that time, it had driven back the Pawnees. Probably they believed he had fallen a victiJ:p. to the fire he had himself kindled, and so had n den away. He was grateful, if that were so, for to be free from the persistent search of the Pawnees was an indescribable relief. He felt peculiarly helpless in' that sea of grass, on foot, with enemies mounted and known as onderful horsemen. Having convinced himself that the Pawnees had de parted during the !'light, Buffalo Bill made his way back to the spot where the giJ.llant Kentucky horse had fallen. He found its body, blackened and burned by the fire, but the saddle and bridle had been removed by the Paw nees. In the saddle-pouches was his store of dried beef, so that he was now without food. He killed a prairie-nen with his revolver, and, finding ,,-61ri* charred sticks in the gully, he put them together, lighted them, and roasted the bird. He had no fear that smoke from this fire would reveal him to the watchful eyes of Indians for little curls of smoke from smoldering grass-tufts were still rising here and there, and any one of them the smoke of his fire could not be distinguished. When he had satisfied his hunger, and his thirst at the river, he set out to walk back to the place where the ambuscade had been fallen into, that he might learn the fate of the young man. Though he had ridden the distance in so short time, the hour was almost noon when he came to the rocky ridge, even though he was a good walker. Fortunately, as it seemed, the fire had not reached to this point, and he might hope, therefore, that whatever bad be s12elled out in the grass. On the spot, he found the body of the horse which the youth had ridden. But the body of the young man was not there. The horse had not been stripped of its trappings. but lay just as it had fallen, which indicated that the Paw nees had not returned to that point. Buffalo Bill began to hope that the young man had not been killed, and that he had walked or crawled away, and so he began to earch the ground closely for his trail. But there were no plain footsteps. The grass was trampled, the trampling having been done by the mocca sins of running Indians, and by the unshod hoofs of Pawnee ponies. These marks had so scarred the grass and the sandy edges of the rock ledge that no other trail could be made out. "There is one way to find his trail, if he recovered and left this place, and was not carried away by the Paw nees," thought the scout. Forthwith he began to put this plan into execution. This plan was to walk i11 ever-widening circles round the ledge, in the certainty that when these circles had widened over a sufficient area to take him beyond the beaten grass, any trail leaving that beaten area could be found. He spent an hour in thus circling, inspecting the grass with his utmost' skill, and there was no more skilled trailer on the Western plains; but at the end of that time he confessed himself baffied. Buffalo Bill, nevertheless, now cotrered the ground again, thinking that the young man might have crawled off somewhere, and then succumbed to his injuries. He called loudly to him, also. Every device to which the scout could resort was made use of. But these efforts were useless. The body of the youth had disappeared. And w):l.ether the young man had been killed, had,, dropped dead from his saddle, had crawled away and died later, or had escaped, was a black enigma. While thus searching, the scout came to a singular spring of water. It was in the sandy margin of the dry tributary of the Platte, at the base of a bush-tangled hill of rock. Here it bubbled up in a strong flow, being a yard or more in diameter. The scout drank from it, and then sat down to finish the prairie-hen. As he sat there, eating and thinking, happening at the same time to be looking at the spring, he saw it swell and mount slowly, in a considerable overflow, which for a few moments noticeably increased the volume of the small stream that flowed away from it. At its highest rising-point, or immediately after it be gan to subside, big bubbles rose to the surface and broke, and a little cloud of steam, or gaseous vapor, floated upward. It was a peculiar phenomenon, and attracted the scout's attention closely. "A thermal or mineral spring of some kind," was his conclusion. And he began to speculate concerning the future time when, beside this mineral spring, a health resort might arise, to which many people should flock for healing. ;Having finished his simP.le meali he drank again from


THE BUFF ALO BILL ST O RIES. tlie spring, and fancied he could taste in the sparkling waters some mineral solution. He had already looked the ground over closely about it. Now, though he had already done so, he again mounted to the top of the rocky hill that rose jt.1st behind the spring, and from that point surveyed the landscape ,"Aha!" he said, as his eyes caught sight of some mov-ing dots on the plains. He brought out his field-glasses and inspected those aots. "A Sioux hunting-party, or I'm much mistaken," was his conclusion "And perhaps that explains why the Pawnees departed in the night, and did not come .Pack to this point for the saddle and bridle belonging to that horse over there." The Sioux and the Pawnees claimed alike these rich hunting grounds and battl e d for th e m stubbornly, so that if the Pawnees had seen this band of Sioux, and were fewer in numbers, they would likely get out of the way, or else try to ambush them. Though he searched the country round, Buffalo Bill saw only that small band of wandering Sioux. But when he turned his glasse s closer in, to the base of the hill on which he stood, he beheld a horse feeding on the grass close down by the river. "The one thing I need most," was his thought. He began to study how he could get the horse. After a few moments h e d e scended from the hill, and hurried to the dead horse, and stripped from it the bridle, rope halter, s addle, and long lariat of rawhide. The horse he hal'l seen, which he judged to be an escaped Indian pony, was close by a clump of willows, and forthwith he hastened in that direction, and succeeded in gaining the willows without frightening it. The pony was feeding now close along the edge of the willows, c o ming toward him, and, with a celerity and quietness that did credit to his marvelous skill, he threw the noose of the lariat out on the grass, and then lay down to await the result, holding the lariat-end in his hand and keepin g well concealed. He saw no w that this was a Pawnee pony, for the remnants of a rawhide bridle of Pawnee manufacture dangled from its head. Had that bridle been of white man's manufacture Buffalo Bill might ha e shown himself and tried to coax the horse up to him, but such an attempt with a Pawnee pony would have be e n useless, for it would have a natural fear of a white man and in addition, the Pawnee ponies were notoriousl y ill-broken and seff willed. For a little while it seemed that his plan to capture the pony would succeed. It walked straight along the wi1Iow fringe, feeding slowly, its e yes on the ground, and all unaware of his pre s ence. The wind was favorable, blow ing from the pony to him, so that it could not scent him, a thing he had been careful about when creeping into the willows. But, when the pony saw the coil qf the lariat on the grass, it became suspicious, sniffed at it, and backed away, refusing to walk over it. He had hoped it would set its feet in the noose, and if it did he counted it his. The wary pony lifted its head in the air, snorted, and, backing farther away, seemed on the point of running off. To lose this pony, perhaps the only one he was to see, was a thing not to b e considered. There was but one chance left l:>y which he might hope to get it. An accurate shot might crf;a s e it and bring it down, without seriously injuring it. There were two methods by which this might be don e The first method, used by old plainsmen and hunters, was to shoot the horse through the upper part of the 1ieck, back of the head, and rather hig h the neck vertebra, the shock bringing the horse down as if it were killed. If carefully done, the method was good. The l r,rse recovered from the shock in a little while, at"1 die cm cut wound of the bullet healed rapidly, an

THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES hair, but the blood flow had stopped, and the wound was of a character which would soon heal. "I suppose you've got something of a headache, old fellow," said the scout, patting it on the neck, "but that will pass away after awhile. I hated to dQ it, dcn't you know, and wouldn't if you'd been kind enough to put your foot in the noose I prepared for you. You wouldn't do that; and I had to have you, you see." He stroked it and patted it, and then again mounted to the saddle. The Sioux hunting-party bad long since passed from sight. The scout looked round regretfully. ''Too bad, to have to go on and not be able to make a satisfactory report of the fate of my companion," he re flected. "But what can I do? I'm sure the Pawnees killed him. For some reason or other, they carried the body away. That's a sad enol1gh report to make." Then he rode off, in the direction he had been going when the Pawnee ambush-trap was sprung. He was thinking 0 that ambush again, and condemning himself for not having seen it sooner. CHAPTER III. . BOASTFUL BOLIVAR .. "Cody, my gay gazelle, whither strayest thou?" The v0ice came from some cottonwoods close by the river trail, which for some hours the scout had been following, and he drew rein sharply. A greasy fat man appeared in sight, stepping forth from the cottonwoods-a fat man, whose oily face exuded smiles, and whose whole appearance spoke of ea s y lazi ness cunning, and deceit. ... _,Bolivar!" the scout cried, staring at the man; for this was the last place in the world where he would expect to see such a person. Usually Bolivar was found near, or in, some saloon, or round a card-table, for he eked out a precarious existence at cards, and sometimes descended so low that the free lunch counter, and beer to be had for saloon cleanings, were all he had to support life. But whatever bis circumstances, his buoyancy was usu ally irresistible. Yet he was notoriously a coward, and the surprise of -... the scout was greater because of that, to see him here. "The same old Bolivar!" he said. "I didn't know but you was a hostile, Cody, and so I put my precious anatomy these bushes, and told the young lady to--" "The young lady?" Bolivar wiggled his fat hand amiably, and smiled with supreme self-assurance. "I believe I said young lady Cody.I" "You out here with a young lady, when hostiles are thick as mosquitoes in August, and--" Bolivar looked about with a start, and then smiled. "That's all right about the hostiles, Cody,'' he inter rupted. "There ain't none, or I wouldn't be here. And, as fur as the young lady's concerned, you're to blame fer that." He stepped farther out, beyond the trail, and waved his fat hand, hallooing at the same time. ' "She's hid over there with the horses. \N'hen we seen you comin', I didn't know who you mighi be, and so I told her to hike over there,. while I laid here to intervie':j you, if you seemed friendly. And you're to blame fer her bein' here, Cody, and that's a fact." Buffalo Bill was almost too much surprised for words. Bolivar went on explaining: "She come to the town ye. see, .. and begun askin' fer you. She's the daughter of the man you set out to in vestigate about, and when I heard that, you and me bein' sech friends, ye know, I went over to her room and interviewed her." He smiled, and stroked._ his fat face with a pudgy hand. "Well, when I heard abdut them diamonds, Cody, I knowed it was important, and so I told her I d guide her out here, fer she was determined to see you at once, and I didn't know but mebbe if she and me found 'em to gether, she'd be generous about it; and I ruther thought that even you would treat me right, if I brought her to you." The angry flush which had come to the face of Buffalo Bill did not disturb the man's monumental self assurance. "You mean Miss Benton?" "That's the name, Cody. And there she comes now." The woman had seen him wave his hand, and had heard his halloo, and now she came out of the near-by sand hills, riding one horse and leading another. "Bolivar, you're about as big an ass as I've met lately!" said the scout. "This is no place for a girl like Miss Benton, nor for you. I had a narrow escape last evening from Pawnees, and this morning I saw a band of Sioux. I suppose you're anxious to have your scalp lifted?" Bolivar clapped his hand nervously to his head, and stared up at the scout, and then off over the plains. "You don't mean it, Cody?" he asked. "I certainly mean every word of it. Sioux and Paw nees are about, and if we don't have trouble before we get away from here I miss my guess." "But there ain't none in sight, Cody, and, now that you're here to guide us, you see, why, we--" He wiggled his hand again, and tried to smile. Buffalo Bill sat on his horse in the trail nntil the woman arrived. He had met her more than once before, and his pres ence here was because of a mission he had undertaken in her behalf. She smiled when she recognized him. Yet she glanced anxiously along the trail over which he had come, and said, as soon as she had greeted him: "I suppose Mr. Ingalls is near?" Deceit was foreign to the nature of Buffalo Bill. He looked away, not daring to meet her eye. Yet what was he to say? Ingalls, the man she inquired about, was the scout's companion, who had been shot from his saddle by the Pawnees, and of whom later he had riot been able to find a trace. Ingalls was1 moreover, the man whom this .woman had expected soon to marry Ingalls had brought her and the scout together, and when the scout had been won over to undertake the work she wished done, he had set forth with him. "To tell the truth," said Buffalo Bill, stretching the truth to the breaking-point, "I haven't seen him this morn ing." "Then you don't know where he is ?" she cried, in alarm. Her face had paled, and her eyes grew big and bright. "Something has happened to him,'' she declared "I can tell it from ).'.OUr manner !"


6 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. Bolivar's fat face had become suddenly of a pasty yellow. He took the bridle-rein of his horse, and began to climb heavily into the saddle. "Cody, I suppose .Ale's just wandered off some'eres," he remarked, as he settled his stirrup-leathers, coming thus to the scout's aid. "I reckon we'll be finding him by and by, if we look1 a little." "I've been searc4,ing for him," said the scout evasively. "Mr. Cody," said the girl, "you must tell me the truth I Something has happened to Leonard !" It was not easy to evade a direct answer. And if the truth was not told now, the result would be continual evasion, deceit, heart-questioning, and self-condemnation. The scout resolved suddenly on the straight course, much as he regretted the necessity, which must bring sorrow to this young woman. He looked into her pale and expressive face. Already he had admired her beauty, as one may admire the beauty of a flower. He knew that she was warm-hearted, intelli gent, keen-witted, and this, her plunge into the plains with Bolivar, showed that she was coura.eous, though lacking in judgment and discretion. Impulsiveness was her chief fault. So he said to her : "Miss Benton, if you insist on knowing all that I !<:now, which I could wish was more, I shall have to deal frankly with you. I do not know where Leonard Ingalls is, but I am very much afraid he has been killed by Pawnees." Her face became as white as chalk, and she reeled in her saddle, catching her breath with a sudden gasp. "Miss Benton," he went on, "I spared you this as long as I could, but you made me speak. I--" He spurred quickly to her side, thinking she was about to faint. But she summoned her energies, and did nothing of the kind. For a moment she said not a word, but tears gushed to her eyes. "Mr. Cody," she said, when she could command her words, "I thank you for telling me the exact truth. When did this happen?" "If you can bear the details now?" he said, his tone protesting. "Yes,'' she insisted; "I must know everything, at once!" Thus commanded, he detailed to her his knowledge of the affair, smoothing over the gruesomeness as well as he could; and he worded the tale in a way to give her as much hope as possible, though he had very little himself. She caught at this hope with trembling eagerness. "I'm going to believe that he was not killed!'' she de clared, as her face brightened. "We can find him! We must find him!" "Cody," said Bolivar, with beaming effusiveness, "see how luck hangs round me and my

THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 7 it would be healthier fer us to back track toward the town. I ain't got but one scalp, and I don't keer about losin' it. I'm proud of me looks, ye know, and there ain't any kind of f i air-oil that I know of will grow hair on a head that's been treated by a scalpin'-:knife." He tried to smile, and to something of his customary lightness of manner, but rather failed in the attempt. CHAPTER IV. BOLIVAR'S MOTIVE. Miss Nellie Benton stuck to her determination to make a search for her missing lover, Leonard Ingalls. She declared hysterically that she would not return to the town unless they tied her to her horse and returned her by force, and that if they would not assist her in making that search for Ingalls, she would try it alone. Buffalo Bill then had an "aside" with Bolivar the boast ful, and expressed himself strongly to the greasy loafer and gambler. "Bolivar," he said, "don't you think it was scoundrelly of you to bring tliat girl out Why did you do it?" Bolivar had the hide of an elephant, so that words of reproof fell on him without effect. He smiled oilily. "Cody, I've been wantin' to explain that to ye fully. You'll say all sorts o' things when ye hear it, but you'll with me, jes' the same, though ye may not admit it. I don't boast o' bein' better'n otqer people. The girl told me her story. She said that her father had set out from California to cross the continent by way of the plains, and that he was bringin' with him a fortune in diamonds, which he'd picked up in Asia and Afrka, where fer some years he'd been wanderin'. She said that when he reached the plains he dropped out of sight. He had writ a letter, which he sent on by another way, tellin; jes' how he meant to cross the plains, and the route he was to take, when he was to start, and when arrive, and all that; and the letter came through. But he didn't. He was never : ... : 1 eard of ag'in. "That was nighabout a year ago. By an' by this plucky girl sets out with her lover to look into the thing. Both of 'em don't know much about the West, and less about the plains and Injuns. Ingalls, the young feller, gits you to go with him and make a search fer Benton, the girl's father. "You're gone so long that she gits uneasy, and she comes to the town there where you'd started frum, and where at the present I'm stayin'. She puts up at the hotel where I'm drinkin' my good red liquor and playin' cards with the boys, and I hears about her. Knowing what was in the wind, and all about them diamonds fer sech things can't be kept on the quiet, Cody, I to see her. I'd been told by a man I believed in that all this talk of there bein' Injun peril out here right now was bosh, fer the Injuns was that quiet, he said, they'd feed out of yer hand like lap-dogs; and so I told her, and offered to come with her and guide her, and all that." He smiled in a manner meant to be ingratiating, but which was simply irritating to the scout in his present frame of mind. "Go on!" Buffalo Bill commanded. "Well, we come; and you'll acknowledge that we found you!" "By an accident." "I don't call it that, Cody. It was simply gambler's luck, the kind I have sometimes when the cards run my way. I made a bet with myself that I'd find you, and I won ." "Did you really want to find me?" The greasy face flushed. "Well, Cody, to be honest," and he laughed uneasily, "I'll admit that I wasn't keerin' if I did er not; if I suc ceeded in hittin' that diamond-mine I That was what I was anxious about." The scout's face hardened, and his voice grew sharp. "Honest, now, Bolivar, wasn't it your hope to find those diamonds, or a clue to where they were, and then light out of the country with them? You would have ab andoned the girl, and let her find her way back to the town alone, if you'd done that?" Boastful Bolivar's face paled again, and his eyes glittered with a touch of anger. "Cody, that's a hard sayin'." "Unless you meant something of that kind, I don't see why you ventured out here with her. And I don't under stand how you expected to make any discoveries !" "I was gamblin', Cody Can't ye understand that? I couldn't lose anything, unless it was my scalp, and from what I've heard I didn't believe that was in danger. I -couldn't lose nothin', I thought, and I stood to win a good deal." "And-you would have robbed the girl?" "Yoi1're rough, Cody! No, I didn't mean to do any thing of the kind; but I did calc'late that if I won out in this gamblin' deal, she, bein' the lady she is, would have hung some o' them diamonds round my alabaster neck. Fer, you see, she was huntin' fer her father, with the diamonds a secondary consideration, w hile, to tell ye the truth, I was thinkin' of the diamonds fu'st, last, and all the time, and not carin' a hoot in Halifax fer the old man. Of course, if he was livin', I--" "Bolivar, I'm afraid you don't know what it is to be honest. But you will have to play hone st, so long as you stay with me." Bolivar's easy manner began to return. He had got through this ordeal ytithout scorchin g his fingers.


8 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. "What do you intend to do, Cody?" he asked, ignoring the scout's unpleasant opinion of him. "I think we'll look for Ingalls." "With any hope of findin' him?" "I don't know." Bolivar was silent for a minute. "Cody," he said, presently, "I reckon you didn't find any diamonds where you found that letter you told her about?" "You heard what I said to her!" "Yes, but ye might have kep' that back, ye know. There was some diamonds there, Cody?" His oily face flushed, and his eyes glittered greedily. "There were no diamonds there!" Bolivar hesitated a "Then, Cody, I don't see that really there's any use of goin' farther. I vote with you, that we hike fer the town." "There's the plain trail before you, Bolivar." "You ain't goin', yourself?" "No." "You're goin' to search ag'in 1 fer the diamonds?" "I'm going to see if I can discover what has happened to Ingalls. There will be a good deal of danger and--" "Ye ain't goin' to hunt no more for the girl's father?" "We may." Bolivar took off his greasy hat, and doubled it nerv ously, as he wiped his perspiring forehead. he said, "I'm to know what to do. I think, though, that I'd like to take a look at the place where you found the bones of the old man's horse and that letter. Yes, I think I would. Mebbe you didn't look close enough. And she really does want to find them diamonds, you see, and--" The scout turned to ride back to where the girl was awaiting them. Bolivar hesitated but a moment, and then followed the scout. "Miss Benton," he called out, before Buffalo Bill had "me and Cody has determined to stand by ye in this thing, and make a search as complete as ye kin .yish I said I would when I set out with you, ye remember, and I'm a man that stands b y his word." CHAPTER V. DISCOVERED BY THE PAWNEES. Two days were spent in journeying to the point where Ingalls had fallen from his horse, and to the point where Buffalo Bill and Ingalls had found the tattered note written by Tom Benton, the father of the girl. They were days of wearing anxiety for her, with nights of and tears. The scout exerted himself to the utmost to ug the trail of Leonard Ingalls. He had made the effort before, and his success was no better now. Included with this searching was the constant need of watching against a surprise by Indians. The girl clung to the belief that Ingalls had been car ried a prisoner by the Pawnees. She argued that if h e had been killed his body would have been found, for it was not the custom of the Pawnees to carry away the bodies of their foes. It was certain, however, that, if so carried away a prisoner, he was wounded, and that the Pawnees should carry away a wounded prisoner was a thing so contra ry to the experience of the scout that it seemed to him almost improbable. The trail of the Pawnee ponies had been destroyed by the thathad burned over a large area of grass. That it could be picked up beyond this burned area seemed likely, if time enough were given to it. But as the Pawnees were no doubt a hunting-party, wandering about in search of game, the task of them would not be easy. And the chances of rescuing any prisoner they held would certainly be an undertaking so difficult that it ought not to be contemplated, with thegirl. Bearing this in mind, Buffalo Bill was almost ready to declare that Miss Benton must return with him to the town, and remain there, while, with a number of border men, he tried to follow up the Pawnees. He had made a last unsuccessful search in the neigh borhood of the spot where he had been ambuscade."""'u.:..l:it __ Ingalls, and was thinking of turning away, when Bolivar came riding toward him, swinging his hat in much ex citement. Bolivar and the girl had been down by the sandy river bed, while the scout was plodding round through the sand-hills; and there, lookin g through the screen of cot tonwoods, the good-natured loafer had descried a body of mounted Indians on the other side of the stream. His fright, as seen by Buffalo Bill, partook of the comical. He fairly shook in his saddle like a bag of jelly a s he reined in by the scout. 1 "Pawnees, by all the gods o' war!" he exclaimed. "Cody, I seen them-a hundred if there's one; and they're comin g this way. We've got to hide er hike, and do it this minute. I left Miss Benton and rode Iickity-split to tell you. We've got to move !" Buffalo Bill slipped from his saddle to the ground. "Hold my pony a minute, Bolivar," he said, throwing the rein to him. The Pawnee pony had become as docile as any rider could wish by this time, and the "creased" wqund on its forehead seemed not to trouble it. "Hurry!" said Bolivar, as he caught the rein. "There ain't no use

THE BUFFALO BIL:C STORIES. They're comin' toward the river, and I reckon they mean to cross. If we stay here we'll be seen." "And it looks as if we might be seen while riding away I" The scout scrambled to the top of the highest sand hill near at h a nd and there ha,d a view of the Indians beyond the riv er. They were Pawnees. not in such numbers as Bolivar had said, but a strong enough party to be very dangerous customers, and the scout was half convinced they were the same Pawnees who had ambushed him and Ingalls almost at this very spot. Having determined this, he came sliding down to where the fat rider awaited him. "It's as I s aid, 1 Cody? And now we've got to git!" "We can't get away by fast riding," said the scout. "No? Then we're goners I" His g r e asy face paled "Cod y if w e make a hot run fer it we might bold 'em till dark, and then we' d h a ve a chance "A better chance is to hide here until dark. Night is a long way off." "Hide ri ght here?" "No; in thos e will ows beyond the little river." Bolivar wav e d frantically to the girl, and she came galloping to ward them. It was of all things what she ought not to hav e done. The Indians wer e much nearer the river than when :Solivar had ridden away from it and now they heard th e clatter o f th e hoofs o f her horse. A s ingle yell b a rk e d out like the y elp of a coyote. Buffalo Bill pal e d slig htly, though his fear was not for himself so much as for others. Bolivar shook in terror. "They' r e com in', Cod y?" "Yes; they heard Miss Benton 's horse, and they re ridin g no w for th e river. There s a crossing up peyond, and the y' ll be on thi s side in a little while. "We' d b e tter run for it, Cod y !" The scout s eemed to hesitate The untiring spe e d of Indian ponies and the dogged ,..de t e rmination o f Indian rider s were things to be counted, in a race of that kind. Buffalo Bill had an Indian pony, which was probably in a s good condition as any of those ridden by the Paw nees. But Bolivar and the girl, in venturing forth into these d a ngerous plains, h a d not chosen their horses with care. 'They w ere h e av y horses, somewhat of the cart-horse va riety, and in a test with Pawnee ponies ridden by merci less Pawnee riders they would have small show of suc cess. "It seems to me I'd ruther be runnin' than hidin', Cody. They're sure to find us I" Bolivar. urged. He looked toward the ri\'er in terror, expecting to see the Pawnees break into view there. "The trouble is," said the scout, "that we're likely to be overtaken out bn the open plains. The chances are that way. And we'd have there nothing to put up a fight behind, except possibly the bodies of our horses. The Pawnees would then be sure to wipe us out." The girl had reached the side of the two men. Fright shone in her eyes. "Pawnees!" she gasped. "Yes," said the scout calmly. "We may be able to get beyond the hills before we're seen," she urged. "Your horse was heard, Miss Benton," was the answer. "But, even if it had not been, we couldn't have escaped discovery. Our tracks are all round here, where we've been searching, and the Pawnees would be certain to see them." "There goes another yell, Cody!" exclaimed Bolivar, in fear and excitement "They're at the river!" "Follow me," said the sc:out. -"W e'.11 have to make a stand in the rocks and cottonwoods not far from that spring. It'.s the bst place in the neighborhood for that purpose; the only place where 'we'll have a chance. Miss Benton, don t get frightened!" But the girl was frightened terribly She realized suddenly what she had done in insisting on remaining in this dangerous locality. They rode down from the sandy crest, into the half-dr y bed of the tributary of the Platte, and then galloped toward the spring. When near it they turned aside, and took shelter be hind some high rocks on the lower slope of the hill. Back of these rocks the horses were secure so long as the weapons of the scout and his companions could hold the Pawnees at bay. The Pawnees had not seen this movement, so rapidly was it executed, but they crossed the Platte, fording it a half -mile below, and then advanced up the stream. "They're comin', Cody!" said Bolivar, shaking with excitement. "They hain't seen us yit, but they'll be certain to pick up that trail." He and the scout were looking out from behind a group of small boulders. These boulders and the larger rocks formed an ex cellent wall-like barricade, behind which a stiff fight could be made. "Brace up !" said the scout. "Don't let Miss Benton see that you're frightened." Bolivar smiled in a sickly way. "Cody," he said, "fighting with Indians ain't my long suit. If I'd dreamed there was danger out here, I'd hung close to the ,Parrooms back in the town. They tell me that whisky and cards are dangerous, but I prefer 'em to redskins." .He was making an admirable effort to summon his old cheerfufuess.


tro THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. "And, Cody, speakin' of barrooms calls my attention ag'in to the mournful fact that I ain't had a drink sense yisterday mornin', when I drained the last of the liquor: I brought with me. If I had jes' a taste, I reckon I could fight better." He glanced longingly at the flat metal flask which bulged the scout's hip pocket. "I reckon, Cody, you wouldn't want to part with jes' a few swallers of the snake-bite antidote you kerry about with ye?" he asked. "We'll fight better without it." "Not me, Cody; you don't know me. I'm as bold as a lion when I've got a few stiff drinks in me, b1.1,t no good fer anything when I ain't." The scout did not respond to this solicitation. "Well, have ye got somethin' to eat with ye? I've got to be

THE BUFFALO BILL STORiES. II The smoke had vanished, and the spring had subsid e d, and now merel y flowed on in its ordinary placid mann er. Then the y beheld a Pawnee who was evidently a chief, haranguing the o thers. He shook his bow in the direction of the rocks, and s quirming round in his saddle, went through some e xpres s ive pantomime. What's the villain meanin' by that?" asked Bolivar. I can t h ear his words. But I judge he' s urging the Pawnee s to make the attack, and disregard the spring." B olivar s face paled again, and its hopeful look was replaced by anxiet y Soon the Pawnees be g an to spread out in a semicircle, and rode toward the s pring. They came forward for a time bravely enough but a g ain, as they neared the s pring they waver e d veered their ponies and rode by at a distance, contenting them selves with shooting a number of arrows at the heaps of rocks. --_ B olivar's courage returned. "Cody, they're more afraid of us than the spring!" he boasted. "They know we re armed, and like brave men will fight to the last gasp. It's a good thing for that chief th e y didn t c o me an y nearer. I had my revolver on him and was jes about to pull the trigger when he shied and went by on t'o ther side, like the Levite in the parable. Cod y w e re all ri ght!" His voice bub b l e d with joy. Aga in the Paw nees g ro uped together and talked, and t_!1eir chief rep e at e d his pantomime. esprit m e n l ay in' at ba y and p e rtectin' an inn o c ent femal e a in't t o b e tackl e d with o ut due consideration, Cody, and the y know it It w o uld mean some d e ad redskins strung round out there on that plain. They ain't no more read y to die than so me other fell e rs I could mention." But the Pawnee chief seemed a g ain fusing courage into his braves. Once more they formed in that wide semicircle, and came on This time they broke into a wild chorus of yells as they rode at the rocks. Some of th e m were firing bows, and others rifles. The ir yells were demoniac. "They're comin' I" Bolivar screeched, in a renewed panic of fear. He pitched up his revolver nervously, shut his eyes as he pulled the tri g g er, and fired it into the air, high over the heads of the Pawnees. The spring was bubbling again to its overflow. The overflow came, and the smoke-cloud lifted. Buffalo Bill, sighting from behind the rocks, had pointed his rifle at the plumed chief. The chief fell w ith a wild death yell; yet the scout had not pulled the trigger. The Pawnees stopped, jerking wildly at the reins of their ponies, as the chief pitched over, his arms hanging down. Between his shoulders was fixed an arrow that had spitted him through and through, pinning him to the raw hide saddle, the feathered shaft sticking upright. Where had that arrow been shot f'rom, and by whom? The howling Pawnees closed in a panicky group round their chief, and then all raced away, breaking for the higher ground in scared flight. There they stopped, and the scout saw them lifting the chief to the ground. Wow! Did ye see that, Cody!" squalled Bolivar, in wild excitement. "How's that fer shootin'? Didn't ye see me pot him ?" I didn't." But you didn't shoot, Cody! I was the only one that s h o t." You shot an arrow from y o ur pistol, I suppose?" s aid the scout scornfully. "An arrer? No, I shot a bullet!" "And the chief was killed by an arrow." Bolivar stared with wide-open eyes. "Do you mean tbat, Cody?" "I certainly do. I think Miss Benton saw it." She nodded. Her e yes w e re shining in a strange way. "And the arrow came from above," the sco ut went on. "Some one must have shot it from the top of the hili." "I wond e r," she said thoughtfully, "if a rock up there c o uldn t have glanced the arrow back in such a way that it struck the chief?" "It' s a better explanation than I could have thou g ht up m y self," said Buffalo Bill. "It mu s t be the r e al one, too. For, as we saw when we were searching round here, no one is on top of this hill." He looked out at the excited Pawnees. Then he smiled grimly. "You saw the smoke lift from the spring as the arrow: s truck him. It would be just like Indians to believe that arrow was shot out of the spring into the air, and fell on the chief, slaying him for daring to approach it." "Cody, I'm hopin' it!" Bolivar gurgled. His face was a greasy whit e and his e y e s were bulging. "But it kinder makes me feel queer in the j'ints myself. If arrers go to droppin' out of the air, they might take a notion to plug us as well as the Pawne es, Cody." He twisted his head round and stared up at the rocky hill that rose behind them. Contrary to the expectation of Buffalo Bill, the death: of the chief filled the warriors with a strange rage. "They must have argued themselves out of the belief that the killing of the chief was mysterious or connected with the smoke of the spring," he said, as he saw the braves gathering together for another advance. "And if that is so, then the worst is right before us." "Cody, I was a fool fer ever venturing out into this place! Miss Benton, I--"


12 fl'HE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. The yellS of the charging Pawnees broke Bolivar's wailing sentence. They came on, more furious than ever in their wild charge, yelling more like fiends than before. As if they feared to trust their nerves, they began to lash their ponies as they approached the spring. At their head rode a plumed brave of gigantic stature, held a long lance that was fluttering with feathers and silver ornaments. His feathered war-bonnet streamed out behind him like the tail of a comet, as he thus rode to the charge. The eyes of the scout and those with him were fixed on this terrible figure, and on the warriors who rode at his heels, and the scout had his rifle ready intending to bring down this brave, if he could, and so check that wild advance. Then, unseen until that mom e nt, a gigantic dog leaped apparently out of the smoke that hung over the spring, or else from behind the rocks near the spring. With quick bounds, he reached the horse of the plumed war rior, and sprang at its throat, pulling it d9wn. With a yell of rage, the brave who rode at the side of the big warrior poised his lance for a thrust at the do g when an arrow struck him between the shoulders, as it had struck the chief, and he dropped over on the back of his pony. The advance of the Pawnees was no sooner checked in this strange way, when other wild Indian yells broke on the air-yells keyed to a different pitch1 and which, while as terrible, were wholly different from the yells of the Pawnees. "Sioux!" cried Buffalo Bill. He sprang up, recklessly exposing himself, that he might see over the rocks. Then he beheld a band of Sioux charging the Pawnees. They had ridden straight from the river at a wild gallop, unseen until then by the Pawnees, because of the excite ment of that charge upon the rocks behind the spring. The scout dropped down behind the rocks, crour.hing ; and he pulled down Bolivar, who had al s o risen. "Sioux!" the scout repeated. "More Indians?" "Yes; they're attacking the Pawnees." The answering yells of the Pawnees rose in a series of wild and defiant whoops. The Sioux were their her e di tary enemies, and they were not loath to meet them in deadly combat. CHAPTER VII. INVESTIGATING THE MYSTERY. The battle between the Pawnees and the Sioux r-0lled off across the sand-hills. Bolivar swung his hati and have ,risen uP.t in his delight to see them go, but Buffalo Bill s hand restrained him. "C;mtion !" said the scout. "But, Cody, they've gone I" "Yes, I know; but we want to lie low." "Now's the time to -git out o' this, Cody. We want to hit that trail and fly fer home, sweet home, where the beer-bottles air poppin' an' the mint juleps air julepin', and the--" He swung his hat again in an ecstasy. "Cody, if J eve r plant th ese number ten shoes on them blessed stre e ts a g 'in, there I stay forevermore, you bet! Don't it make you have a lon g in', to think of the boyees waitin' round the card-tables, and the barkeep shakin' the drinks, and the billiard-balls clickin', and the wheel o' fortune goin' round and round? It fair bu'sts my heart to think of it." In his delight he had forgotten the presence of the girl and the stories he had told her of his courage anrl_. disinterestedness. But she was not thinking of him. "It was singular about that dog," remarked the scout. "Where did it come from ?" "Maybe it was a wolf, instead of a dog, Cody. It scooted, soon's it pulled that horse down. Anyhow, I didn't see it no more. Maybe I was too excited to see it. But the hopped up and lit out, with t'other Pawnee ponies." "And the Indians carried that warrior off with them," the girl added. ---Buffalo Bill again looked over the rocks. The Indians were now out of sig ht. "I think we ought to investigate that matter a little." "And run the risk of havin' the Pawnees on our backs, by waitin' round here!" B olivar protested. "I say, now is the time to slide fer h o me. M iss Benton agrees with me." She hesitated. "I wish it did not seem necessary to go home, or back to that town; but I'm willing to do whatever Mr. Cody Both understood what she meant. They had not found any traces of the missing young man, and what they had discovered concerning the writer of that yellowed note, her father, had not been of appreciable amount. She was loath to return with these things un,determined. Yet, feeling that already she had led these men into deadly peril b y her selfis h desires, s he was ready now to follow the advice of the scout. Buffalo Bill left the rock fortress when he knew that the battling Indians had disapp e ared, and climbed to the top of the hill near-by. The way was rough and rocky, and in places very steep. He keE_t in mind the aparent fact that the arrows which


THE BUFF ALO :BILL STORIES. 13 had slain the chief and the giant warrior had come from above, thus s:-iggesting that they had been fired from the top of this hill. The girl had suggested that perhaps Pawnee arrows had glanced back from the rocks. While that might have happen e d in one ins t ance, it seemed unlikely that it could have happened twice in the same way. That was against the law of probabilities, as he viewed it. 1 The scout kept his hand qn his revolver, and looked about warily. But he saw nothing te indicate that any one had been on top of the hill. The summit was piled with great stones, and there was a thick growth of bu shes of various kinds, with thorny plant nd much cactus. In places the ground was wet, and s ggested hidden springs; and that recalled to his mind the singular spring in the bed of the stream, of which the Pawnees had so evidently been afraid. From the top of the hill the scout could see the con tinuance of the battle between the Sioux and the Pawnees. Putting his field-glasses to his eyes, he watched the battle. The Sioux were getting the worst of it, apparently. Half their number were and Indian ponies were galloping about riderless over the plains. Now and then the wild and distant yells of the battling savages reached him. "A good thing for us that the Sioux put in an appear: just then. Bolivar th o u g ht perhaps the arrows which killed those two Pawnees were fired by some Sioux who had climb ed up here, and while it's possible, I find nothing to s how that his view is correct." With the aid of the glasses, he searched the ground clo sely about the of the hill and along the half-dry bed of the little river, but nothing was gained by it. When he descended from the hill, Bolivar was in a fev e r of impatience to be going. "I think it best to wait until dark," said Buffalo Bill, in reply to the fat man's import nities. "The Sioux and -, Pawnees, as you see, have g almost in the direction .r"We shall have to travel over. traggling parties of them might come upon us and make trouble. If we wait until after dark, we can probably get through without being seen." "But they may c:ome back here, Cody!" "They may, but not soon. I'd like to take a look about that spring, I think, and see if we can discover anything there." "Concernin' that dog?" asked Bolivar. "In my opinion, it was a wolf." "Dog or wolf, I'd like to look at its tracks. And I'm puzzled, I confe ss, about those arrows." "There's nothin' puzzlin' about any of that, Cody," said Bolivar, with an air of superior wisdom. "That dogi was a wolf, and some Sioux climbed onto the hill and shot them arrows." "Would you like to go down to the spring?" "I dunno," said Bolivar doubtfully. "And then we 'll get our horses and start, just a little before sunset," the scout. Bolivar came climbing over the rocks. He feared to remain alone there with the girl, yet dis liked to confess it, for he desired to pose as a brave man. "I reckon, Cody, I kin go wherev e r you do!" he boasted. "If you'll remain here near the horses, a little while, Miss Benton," u rged the scout, "we'll take a look down there for the tracks of that mysterious dog, and then will come right back." She was really much braver than Bolivar, and answered the scout with a smile. Yet the smile was troubled, and her face was pale. She was thinking of Leonard Ingalls, and of her father, and wondering concerning their fate. She was asking herself the singular question, if either of them could have fired those arrows. It seemed so foolish a question that she would not voice it. The scout and Bolivar disappea red from her view soon after climbing over the rocks. Then the bravery that had upheld her in their presence gave way, and she cried piti fully. "Oh, Leonard Leonard!" she moaned. Bolivar was talking loudly to the scout trying to dispel his fears by the loudness and bravery of his words: "Cody, if that Sioux hadn't downed them two Pawnees, it would have fell to me to do it, fer I was pullin' on 'em jes' at that time. I reckon the Sioux skedaddled, when the fight begun, and j'ined his side in the fight. Sing'lar, though that a wolf should be bold enough to jump out and tackle a horse in that way." "It was the most remarkable thing I ever heard of, if that was a wolf." "You don't believe it was a wolf ?'i "We'll know soon." They descended into the dry bed of the stream, and then leaped across the little watercourse made by the overflow of the spring. The spring was rising again for its periodic -0verflow. Together the scout and Bolivar stood and watched it, as it rose to its highest, with bursting bubbles, and that rising of gaseous vapor. "It's so durn queer, Cody, that it makes me feel as the Pawnees do about it. I reckon that dog, er wolf, couldn't jumped out o' that smoke? That's a foolish question. He jes' couldn't done that, ye know!" Buffalo Bi)l walked on, and came to the spot where the animal had leaped at the throat of the horse and pulled it down. There his big tracks :were found! and a red stain on


14 !THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. the sand, showing that blood had flowed from the neclC of the horse. The scout scanned those tracks closely. Bolivar also looked at them. They saw where they had advanced from a point near the spring, and they had returned, with long leaps, almost to the same point. Slowly Buffalo Bill followed the tracks back to the spring, and to the rocks there, which were slippery with the overflow. From that point they could not be farther seen. "I reckon that wolf hopped back into the spring," said Bolivar jocosely. "It was a dog." "How d'ye know it?" "By the appearance of the tracks." "Ain't they the same?" "I've seen too many wolf tracks to mistake them for a dog's. I admit they're much alike, but not just alike." "And he hopped into the spring?" said Bolivar, trying to grin and make merry over the mystery. "He leaped to those rocks, I suppose, and went round that side of the hill. The ground is ail covered with rocks there, .and that would prevent him from making tracks." "A cute dog, if he did, Cody! He must have the brain of a human, if he figgered that out, an' kept on the rocks to keep his tracks from bein' follered. I'm still thinkin' you're mistaken, and that the critter was a wolf. No offense, Cody." Buffalo Bill began to inspect the rocks, to determine, if possible, if the dog had passed over them, but the result was unsatisfactory. By and by he gave it up, and returned to the spring, Bolivar following him closely wherever he went. "You'll agree by and by that I'm right, Cody, that a wolf made them tracks, and that a Sioux shot them arrers down from the top of the hill. The thing ain't a mite mysterious to me." He was becoming boastful again in tone and manner. CHAPTER VIII. DISAPPEARANCE OF MISS BENTON. "Bolivar," said the scout, as they discussed the matter, "a . dog is usually seen in company with his master. Now and then a dog will stray off and become lost, but it isn't likely that any dog would stray this far." "Unless he was a wild dog!" "A dog might revert to a state of wildness, and join a w:olf-pack. I've heard of the like. This dog may have joined a wolf-pack, though we've seen no wolf tracks about here." "But there couldn't be any man round here, without us kno\\'.in' it1 argued Bolivar. "Some one shot those arrows, Bolivar_." "And it might have been the master of the dog, you're thinkin' ?" "It might have been." Bolivar was skeptical, and the scout confessed he was himself very uncertain. As they talked, returning along by the spring, a scream came from the hillside. It was like a wild shriek of fright or terror, and arose from the point where Miss Benton had been left. Buffalo Bill drew his revolver, and ran in that direction. Bolivar, after an instant of hesitation, bounded after him, feeling that safety for him lay in keeping close to the scout. Though Buffalo Bill ran rapidly, the way was up-hill, and some minutes passed before he could reach the place where Miss Benton had last been seen. She was not there The scout stared round. "Gone!" gasped Bolivar, his eyes rolling. "Miss Benton!" the scout called. The horses in behind the rocks a little farther on were stamping the ground and champing their bits. The scout leaped toward them. But Miss Benton was not there. He hurried on, his eyes scanning the hillside. "Miss Benton!" he called again, in louder tones. No reply came. Bolivar's red face had turned fairly blue, and his teeth chattered. "Somethin's wrong here, Cody!" "Very wrong !" Again he shouted the girl's name. "Go in that direction, Bolivar, and see what you can discover:" He pointed. Bolivar hesitated. "But, if there's some one over there, and--" "If there is, we want to know it. I'il go this way. Look close." He moved off, and saw Bolivar walk slowly in the direction indicated. But Bolivar stopped soon, and came back, retreating in fright. "Did you see anything?" Buffalo Bill asl

THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 15 Buffalo Bill saw it was useless expect help from i:Bolivar. .. "Come along, then," he said, "and see if you can keep a still tongue in your head." Bolivar crept after him, as subdued as a whipped hound. "Cody," he whispered, when they had gone some yards, "what's the use o' nmnin' needless resk? If the feller that shot them arrers is layin' some'ere, he may drive one o' the things through us, an\i then--" "Keep a still tongue in your head !" the scout inter rupted. "But, Cody, I reely can't go on! I:m fat, ye know, and this hill-climbin' winds me! I'm subject ti!> heart disease, and--" "Stay behind, then," said the scout impatiently. "I'm going to see what's up here." Bolivar followed, panting and perspiring, and shaking with terror. Buffalo Bill made a careful search along that side of the hill. Then he retraced his way, and as carefully searched on the side where the shadows had scared Bolivar. When there were no results, he returned to the starting point. "What d'ye make of it?" Bolivar whispered, staring round with wide, rolling eyes. "Nothing yet." He began a closer inspection of the ground behind the rocks where he and the girl and Bolivar had been when the fight between the Sioux and the Pawnees commenced Finally he knelt down, closely looking at something he had found. "What is it?" Bolivar panted. "It isn't plain, but it seems to be a dog's track." 'A dog's track!" The scout searched farther, looking for" human foot prints. But the ground was not only rocky, it was covered with scattered boulders. "There may have been a man with that dog, and if he ran over the rocks his footprints would be invisible." "Ye mean he wouldn't made none ?" "Yes, that's what I mean. I find none." Bolivar's mouth gaped open. "Cody," he whispered, "could the brute have run off with the young lady?" The scout continued searching. "It's ridiculous to think it, I know, but what else kin we think? We left her here, and we find her gone, and the only thing we discover is one lonesome dog track. No man was here. So, unless the dog skeered her away, it carried her away. Ain t that logic, Cody?" "I'm going to make another search." "The horses have quieted down, Cody I" "Yes." "Whatever the thing was, it skeered the horses, or else her yellin' skeered 'em. l'm free to say sich shrieks would have skeered me." He mopped his face with his dirty handkerchief. Buffalo Bill set forth again, and Bolivar followed him as before, keeping close behind him. The scout mounted now to the top of the hill. As has been already said, the sides and top of the hill were bush-grown, and in addition there was much cactus, all of which made a search of this kind peculiarly difficult. There were innumerable dark holes between the big boulders, and openings between the bushes appar ently made by the passage of animals. By the time the scout and Bolivar reached the summit of the hill, the sun had set, and along the lower slopes and in f'he river valleys the shadows of night were al ready descending. The top of the hill was, however, still brightly lighted. The scout once more searched with his field-glasses the surrounding country and the base of the hill. The search, as before, yielded nothing. Both Pawnees and Sioux had disappeared, and on all the wide expanse of the plains not a thing moved. The persistent wind had dropped at sunset, and the silence on top 'Of the lonely hill as night thus gathered was peculiarly impressive, and even depressing. Bolivar dropped, panting, to a seat on a rock, as Buf falo Bill made his examination. And he looked longingly at the red sunset. "Cody," he complained mournfully, "of all the durn fools, I take the belt! Off there is the town I left in a spi'rif 'of hilarity and hope, and there the boyees air now gatherin' before the bar of the Superba saloon, washin' the dust "frum their throats and puttin' the red fire of courage and good cheer into their stummicks. In a little while the roulette-wheel will be playin' its merry tune, and the poker-chips will be stacked on the tables. A band will maybe play music in the square, and the people will be out in the streets enjoyin' themselves. And here I am! On top of( this hill, that looks as if it was the last hill in the universe, miles frum nowhere, and night comin' on. I hain't had a drink fer so long that forgot how liquor tastes, and I'm that hungry that I could eat the soles of my shoes." He mopped his face again. "And, Cody, to make wuss a critter of some _kind, in the shap,e of a dog er a wolf, has run off with the only female we had to lighten up our society, and maybe the blame thing is layin' roun' eyin' us at this r;ninute,. waitin' to git us sep'rated so it kin do the same, one by one, fer us. I thought, maybe, I'd git to handle sparklin' diamonds, if. I acted as guide to the young lady ; and I reckon the only thing I'm ever likely to see that's real


I THE BUFFALO BIL"C STORIES. sparklin' bright is the mica shinin' in these here ledges. Kick me fer a fool, Cody, and I'll feel better! But I'm chantin' to you that whenever I do git back to town, if I have that luck, I'm goin' to have chained to the leg of a card table, within easy hearin' distance of the clink. in' of the beer-glasses, so that I can't never stray away no more." "I'm more than puzzled," Buffalo Bill admitted, not answering this wail; "I'm alarmed for the young lady." "You don't think that dog skeered her away?" "I don't know what to think. But it seems to me that, if the dog frightened her away she would have tried to return, or answered my calls; and we would have seen her somewhere. She has disappeared completely." "I reckon, Cody, you wouldn't feel like strikin' a trail fer the town?" said Bolivar wistfully. "And leave her r "'But if we can't find her, Cody!" "We can continue the search." "Cody, if we stay 'round here, there won't neither of us ever see that town ag'in. This country is bewitched, somehow. The girl's father dropped out of sight. Ingalls has dropped out of sight. The young lady has dropped out of sight. It will be one of us, next." "You'd go back to the town and abandon her?" said the scout, with scorn. "But, Cody, if we can't her!" The scout began to descend the hill, and Bolivar, still arguin g thus, hopped to his feet and followed. "V/e've got to keep together to pertect each other, Cody," he whispered, almost afraid to speak above his breath. CHAPTER IX. BOLIVAR'S STARTLING EXPERIENCE. The scout and Bolivar spent the night near the base of the hill. They were startled, and Bolivar was thrown into a panic, about midnight, by the discovery that Indians were below them. "The Pawnees have returned," said the scout. "How d'ye know they're Pawnees, Cody?" "I heard one of them speak, and recognized the lan guage." 'They've come back fer us?" said Bolivar, trembling. "I think they have. They've had it out with the Sioux, and now they've returned to this point to see if we're still here, and to follow our trail in the morning if we were gone." "We'll be dead men, Cody, to-morrow. We ought to have hit the trail for town before night came. I advised that, you'll recklect." "I recollect that you advised abandoning further search for the young ladY.," "But if we're killed out here, Cody, that ain't goin' to benefit her any." "We've not been killed yet." "Cody, I'll never venture into an Indian country ag'in If the bushes out here were strung with diamonds big as apples, you couldn't hire me to. Life's worth more'n wealth, Cody." They listened together now, for the Pawnees had drawn nearer. "Will they climb up here, d'ye think?" Bolivar asked. "Not before morning. They'd be afraid to try it. Yet they may send up a scout or two." "What ye to do?" "Nothing at present, except keep quiet." "They'll hear our horses !" 'They're more likely to hear you!" That silenced Bolivar for a time. But for the fact that he was unwilling to leave that vicinity while the fate of Miss Benton remained un known, Buffalo Bill wot1ld have tried now to retreat from the hill with the hor ses and Bolivar. If lie could have got off the hill wilhout discovery, he c o uld have been far away before morning. But he would not go until he had done all that he could to settle that mystery. The strange disappearance of the girl troubled him so that even if the Pawnees had not been below, requiring wakefulness, he would not have been able to sleep. The Pawnees sent a scout along the side of the hill, but through caution, or by accident, he did not to the place where Buffalo Bill and Bolivar were in hidi11& Shortly before daybreak the scout decided to get closer to the spring. He had seen that the Pawnees regarded it with fear, and that offered some protection to whoever was near it. Bolivar at first refused to go, insisting on a flight to ward the town while the darkness held; but, he saw that Buffalo Bill was going without him, he changed his mind quickly. The difficulty of getting the horses down without arousing the attention of the Pawnees promised to be so great that Buffalo Bill was about to abandon the idea and leave them there, when a thing occurred which favored him. At the same time, it was so closely connected with the mystery which had puzzled them and given them that sleepless night that it was amazing enough. A sudden commotion arose among the Pawnees, with shouts, and then a wild yell. Buffalo Bill and Bolivar both tiptoed to hear, and to try to see. The light in the east was increasing, with day just at hand. "They're goin' to charge us?" gasped Bolivar. "I don't know; I think not, though." "Maybe some one's chargin' them?"


l'HE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. The scout lifted his hand for silence. T h e n th e re reached them sounds as of running feet. chasin' some one!" "Perhaps the girl !" said the scout. He grasped his revolver, and moved down the slope. Bolivar came crouching behind him. Then they beheld dimly in the uncertain light the form of the big dog, running. "The dog!" whispered Bolivar. "He's bearing something on his back!" said the scout, bending forward. "And, as I live, it's a man!" The dog disappeared from sight almost instantly be hind a big rock. The was makin g gigantic leaps, that bore it forward with almost the speed of a horse. The man seen on its back was clinging, with arms round the dog's neck apparently, as if he were weak or The dog had scarcely passed behind the rock when running Indian forms sprang across the opening, in pur suit. Then Indian yells broke on the air. "By all the dogs and cats of Egypt!" Bolivar gurgled. "Say, Cody, that all of 'em one better don't it? What does it m ean?" The scout was listening intently. "I don t know what it means," he said suddenly, "but it gives us a chance to g e t the horses down near to the spring, while thi s racket and pursuit are on." He ran to th e horses. "Jump lively, Bolivar. Imagine that a Pawnee is reaching for y o ur hair, and you've got to get away from his ;Scalping-kni,f e as quickly as you can, and maybe that will help you to He threw off the ropes that tied the horses, and started down the hill, and Bolivar came behind, leading one, and panting with excitement. "Cody, if my raving hair ain't white in the mornin', it's because hair's quit turnin' that way rum fright and sich I kin feel it curlin' and sizzlin' round under my 1'Com e along, and quiet," warned the scout. 1ttiey reached the vicinity of the spring in safety, and placed the horses among the rocks behind it. "If the brtites would lie down, they'd be safe all the time from Pawnee arrows, and we might tie their feet and make them lie down, but I think I'll risk it without. The Pawnees won't shoot them so long as the y think there's a chance that they can capture them, and. us." "They'll see the horses soon's it's light." "There's no help for that, Bolivar." "And then they'll come b'ilin' fer us !" "And there's no help fw that, either. We've got to take the chances. I'm pinning a good deal of f(!ith in this spring to keep them pack." ''.Cody, we' re dead men, soon's it's light enough for the redskins to shoot at us !" He sank to a rock, fanning himself with his hat, and groaning. Again he was in a greasy perspiration of fear. The Pawnee h o wls had ceased. "Did they ketch him?" Bolivar asked anxiously. "I think not. There was no yell of triumph, or exultation." "What was it, Cody?" "The dog and man?" "Yes." "A dog and a man." "I didn't know if I seen right, er if it was a ghost, er what ? He fanned himself wearily. "Fe r, ye see, Cody, when I've steamed up too long on bad whisky, and sich, I have sp e lls of seein' a good many kinds of things thf(t never existed-green rats with red tails, and lizards with two heads, and both bitin' at me, and a lot o' pleasant things like that. I didn't know but excitement was having the effect of the whisky, makin' me see things that never happened. But you seen the dog kerryin' the man, Cody, and the Pawnees streakin' it after 'em?" "I saw that, all right." "It makes me feel better to hear ye say it Cody This is my last trail, and I know it. And jes' about now, over in the town, the bums air crawlin' out to the saloonsl to g it their mornin' cocktails. Cody, this is hard." The gray of the dawn brightened slowly into full day light. Then it was discovered that the Pawnees were hot near the spring, but off by the willows which lined the Platte, some distance away. The discovery brpught much relief to Bolivar. But he again turned white, and trembled when Buf falo Bill informed him that he thought this a good op portunity to investigate the meaning of that dog and man seen early in the morning "I'd like to have you b 'tay here with the horses, Bolivar, while I l

18 THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES_ unearthly yell came from the vicinity of the s pring. It was in the voice of Bolivar. The scout turned immediately, and sprinted in that di rection. A glance showed him that the yell had reached to the Pawnees by the Platte. A few leaps brought him in sight of the spring. It had bubbled up as for an overflow, and the gaseous vapor was rising from it. Arid then, to the scout's intense astonishment, Bolivar shot upward out of that smoke and out of the sp;ing. He rose, yelling and, clutching the rim of the spring, began to draw himself out. When Buffalo Bill arrived, Bolivar was lying on the sand by the spring, gasping and gurgling as if in a fit. Moreover, he was wet as the proverbial "drowned rat," showing that. he had been in the water. "Bo livar !" Bolivar started up, gasping, his wet face purple and his eyes staring. "Thank Heaven, Cody..,, it's you!" He sat up, looked at the spring with a gurgle of fear, and then stared at his wet clothing. A glance toward the Platte showed the scout that the Pawnees were not yet advancing. "What happened to you, Bolivar? What made you fall into the spring?" "Wow!" yelled Bolivar. "Fall into the spring? I didn't fall into the spring!" "No?" "No, sir, I didn't fall into the spring; I was pulled in, or, ruther, kerried in. And I had the gol-dingedest fight of my life, Cody." He puffed out his cheeks. He was still alive, and his courage and boastfulness were coming back. "Well, sir, Cody, you won't believe me, likely; but I had a fight that was a rip-snorter! You hadn't been g.one long, and I was tryin' to see if the Pawnees was thinkin' of comin' this way, when I heard a patterin' of feet on the rocks there; and, when I turned, a creature sech as I never seen was rushin' on me. It wasn't a man-not any man, anyhow, like I'd ever seen before. Its eyes was shinin' like fire ; and I can't better describe it than to say that fust glance I thought it was that dog standin' up on its hind legs. But it had a knife, big as a sword ; and it jumped fer me. "I hit back, beltin' it in the jaw; and then it swung its long arms round me; and, if you'll believe it, jumped whh me into the spring. "I let out a yell then, and follered it with a fight fer my life. Well, I fit some, I tell you! The thing was clawin' me and I was clawin' it, and we went down into the spring, both clawin'. I thought I was drowndin', and I guess I wa:; fer a minute or so. But I got a grip on the throat, and I held his head under the water, chokin' like one bulldog chokin' another ; and, sir, I drowned the thing "Cody, you won't believe it, but I drowned it. That is, if it was a man. 1 dunno it it 'Was a man., er a de. man! Do ye believe in demons? Well, sir .. that beat anything I ever saw. Worse than the green rats with red tails and the two-headed lizards with both heads bitin' at ye at the same time; worse'n anything I ever ex perienced, Cody. And I'll swear I ain't lyin' ." He was panting and out of breath as he concluded, and stood back from the spring, staring at the boiling water with popping eyes. That he had been engaged in a fearful struggle, or be lieved that he had, admitted of no doubt. The scout gave another glance at the Pawnees by the willows, and then began to question Bolivar closely, to get at the truth of his extraordinary story. However much he deviated in some of his details, Bolivar stuck to the main points. "To tell the truth, Cody," he admitted, when pin'ne

THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 19 it grabbed me it jumped straight from off the rocks into the spring, without techin' the sand onc't. It was a big jump, but that thing could go through the air like any kangaroo." CHAPTER X. BUFFALO BILL CAPTURED. In order to determine the cause of the excitement ap parent now among the Pawnees, Buffalo Bill left the spring and ran up on the hillside. Bolivar, afraid to remain near the spring, followed him. What they saw destroyed one of Bolivar's theories at once, and filled them with surprise. Miss Benton was out on the faiothest side of the hill, and was running in the general direction of the spring, a half-dozen m o unted Pawnees galloping after her. "' Boiivar's astoni s hment caused him to shake again like a wet dog. "By all the jumpin' tarantulas of Texas, Cody," he be f gan, the exclamation dying in a gurgle of amazement. Buffalo Bill ran wildly toward the girl, hoping against hope to reach her in time to be of assistance. But, when still a consiqerable distance off, h e saw the leading Pawnee overtake her and swin g from his horse The scout fired at him with his revolver, and saw the bullet tear up the sand at his feet. -1'.h e Pawnee swun g a hatchet, and the terrified girl sank in fear to the ground. Then the Pawnee clasped her round the waist, threw her to the back of his pony as if she were a pag of salt ; after which he climbed up behind her, and rode off, shaking his lance defiantly toward the scout. The other Pawnees closed round him. Bolivar, left behind by Buffalo Bill's sharp run, stood on the rocks, opening and shutting his mouth like a dying fish. He was too astonished and fear-stricken even to find his voice. The scout stopped. _...,It was useless to go farther. The Pawnees were in force down by the willows, and to attempt anything now would be simple madness. He retreated toward Bolivar. "Cody, that goes ahead of anything yit, except the man-devil that jumped with me into the spring. I was mistaken about her, I see. Where in the name o' time has she been all this while?" The Pawnees had begun to advance from the willows toward the spring, shaking their lances and yelling. Buffalo Bill and Bolivar retreated to the shelter of the rocks. I Bolivar eyed the spring askance, being now almost as much afraid of it as of the Indians. His wild-eyed search ing of the rocks about it also showed his nervous fears. He would have urged a flight on the horses, but for the patent fact that the danger of such a flight was greater than the danger of staying. Nevertheless, he tried to keep a show of courage, and declared his intention of fighting to the last, and he re his revolver, to make sure that it was loaded and in working condition. "We'll die behind these here rocks, Cody, if we have to. We won't run !" He was trembling, and his puffy face held a greasy pallor. It was evident to the scout that the Pawnees intended to charge the rocks, and he prepared for a desperate battle. He could not now see the girl, who had been taken by her captor back toward the river. When just beyond rifle-shot, the Pawnees halted, and held a conference, with much gesticulation. "Then they spread out in a wide half-moon, and putting their ponies at a wild gallop, they rode at the rocks which hid the scout and Bolivar. As they did so they fired their 'rifles and sent in a shower of arrows. Bolivar emptied every chamber of his revolver, but was so poor a marksman and so terrified that ever y bullet went over the heads of the Pawnees. Buffalo Bill drew on the warrior in the center 1 wh o seemed to be the leader, and tumbled him from the back of his pony. The yelling Pawnees threw th e mselves behind their ponies, using the bodies of the animals for shields. Again and again the scout's rifle spoke and ponies t \i mbled to the sand, hurling their riders down ; but the desperate Pawnees came strai ght on, yelling with in creased ferocity. Bolivar shrieked with fear, and, diving behind the scout, lay prostrate on the ground, shaking in every muscle "Cody, we're dead men!" he howled, in the extremity of his terror. The spring boiled up and puffed out its gaseous vapor, but it did not now stop that wild rush; the Pawnees rode right up to the rocks. The scout rose to ais feet, pistoling the Indi an who was trying to reach him with a lance, and then fell, struck to the earth by a lance-head. Boliver lay howling on the ground, his close against it. An Indian thrust his lance over the tops of the rocks and prodded him in the back, and Bolivar sat up with a jerk and a scream of fright. His face was livid, his eyes rolling, his teeth chattering. "Please-please!" he yelled "Don't Oh, don't! I'll do anything ye want me to-I'll--Wow !" The lance-point had touched him again, gashing his coat and ripping open the skin beneath it.


I 20 rrHE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. Bolivar fell to the ground in terror, but continued to howl and to beg for mercy. The Pawnees were jumping from their horses and leaping over the rocks. They surrounded him, lifting him to his feet, and one waved a scalping-knife over h i s head. Bolivar was s o spin e less with fright that he had no more supporting stren g th now than a jellyfish, and sa nk down when, at the s houted c o mmand of a chief, the sup porting hands were remov e d from him. Then he saw that Buff a lo Bill appeared to be dead, and that the Pawnees were sto oping over him. "There goes Cody's hair, and I'll be scalped and killed next he moaned. Instead of scalping Buffalo Bill, two of the Indians knelt by him, discovering that he was not dead but that the lance which had struck him down had only gashed his head. The Pawnees grouped now about him, all talking at once, though one stopped lon g e111ough now and then to let out a blood-curdling yell of victory. A few Pawnees came gallopin g from the direction of the river, to share in the wild rejoicing o v e r the capture of the noted and dreaded Long Hair. Bolivar was left for a minute or two quite alone. He looked round. Close by him stood a pony, its rawhide bridle-rein trailing oilthe ground. The wild thought that came to him he tried to put into action, by leaping to the back of the pony, makin g a jump that would have d o ne credit t o an athl e te. He struck his heels into the flanks of the pony, y elling at it; but a long arm reached out and cau g ht him by one of his thrashing legs, and he was dragged in continently to the ground. It was the owner of the pony who did this; and to reward Bolivar for his attempt, this Paw nee kicked him heavily in the ribs, causing him to d o uble up like a jack knife and drop over, groaning with fright and pain. Bolivar now began to sham dead, and la y on his back, with his mouth open, and tried to stop as much as possible his breathing. But he saw, out of the tafl of his eye, that Miss Ben ton had been brought up from th e willows, and that she was tied to the back of a pony. "It's you air the cause of all this thou g ht Bolivar. "If you hadn't sung yer sweet s o n g to Cod y he wouldn t been here; and I wouldn't been here either but fer yer honeyed tongue. You said 'diamonds I' and we come, b'ilin' over with enthusiasm; and this is the result. A man allus gits into a tangle when he goes to foolin' round tryin' to aid a woman. So help me, Joshua, if I live to git through this, I'll never look at one ag'in I" Then he closed his eyes and played dead once more, The Pawnees paying little attention to Bolivar They were too wildl y jubilant over the capture of the noted Long Hair. Bolivar was small fry. The horses behind the rock barricade they brought out, and showed surpri s e when they saw the "creased" P a wnee p o ny, which Buffalo Bill had i.1sed. They e x amined the "cre a se" wo und and talk e d excit e dly about it ; the y h a d ne v er b e held cr e asing" done in so marvel ous a manner. The y knew it was the work of Long Hair. By this time Buffalo Bill was s lowly returning to consciousness. As he strug g led back to life, the Paw nees s t ood ab o ut him; and, when he at len g th o p e ned his eyes and see m e d to understand the situati o n in which he wa s pla ced, th ey yelled in a manner to shake the nerves oFa man unused to s uch Buffalo Bill put a hand to his bloody head, touching the wound made by the lance. .. ,.. He saw the Pawnees ringed round him, saw H'olivar "possuming" on the g round and also beheld th e g irl not far off, sitting, bound, on th e back of a pony. The great scout's face was already pale the effect of the wound. He was dizzy and sick ana his head thumped with torturin g pain. He said nothing, as the Indians jabbered and screamed at him. When they commanded him to stand up he did so, though he reeled from weakness. B o li var beheld him standin g thus, through half-closed eyes; but closed his eyes quickly when one of the ne e s loo 1

THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. gesticulating; they delighted to see his cowardly antics. This man, they saw, was of a different -guality from Long Hair. CHAPTER XI. THE DIAMOND NECKLACE. It was late that afternoon before Buffalo Bill found a chance for a few words with Miss Benton. He had longed for a quiet talk with her, that he might understand the mystery of her sudden disappearance. Contrary to his expectations, the Pawnees had not departed from their position by the Platte. Apparently, they were watching for Sioux. The scout had also dis covered that they had sent off with messages to other bands of Pawnees, and they were awaiting the coming of these. This latter was far from reassuring. It told the experienced scout that he, and possibly those with him, had been reserved for torture; that these other Pawnee!i had been sent for that they might, with their friends, have the joy of seeing Long Hair endure the fire ordeal and all the other devilish, pain-inflicting devices which Indian malignity can invent. But while there is life there is hope I The scout did not forget that. He more over the position of Miss Benton than over his own; and he even felt a great sympathy '01 poor Bolivar, who had been reduced by terror to a pitiable condition. Buffalo Bill had been left with Miss Benton and Bolivar in the willows by the river, where they were guarded by Pawnee sentries. They were tied, also, to make them more secure. The other Pawnees were off on the plains, scouting, or on the rocky hill, scanning the surrounding country. "I have been wondering what happened to you," the scout said quietly to the girl. "It has been a puzzling mystery." Bolivar ceased to groan and anathematize his fate, ..:mu pricked up his ears to listen. "I have been wanting to tell you, but was afraid to say anything while we were so closely watched," she answered. "I had a very singular and startling adven ture, and have been so puzzled I don't know what to think.'' Her face flushed and her eyes brightened. Yet the marks of distress, both mental and physical, were so apparent that the scout's heart ached for her. "We have all had queer adventures," he remarked, watching her with sympathy. "You heard me when I scr eamed that time?" she said. "I was looking down into the bed of that little stream, and hadn't heard a thing; but without my knowing it come UP.. behind me. l Just caught a glimP.se of him, and thought him an Indian, and I screamed because I couldn't help it; and then he threw some thing over my head, and, picking me up in his arms, he carried me away." "Same feller that tried to drownd me in the spring, I'll bet!" said Bolivar. "The man wasn't an Indian ?" said the scout. "No; he was a white man; yet the strangest white man I ever saw. I didn't really get to see his face, nor more than half a glimpse of hlm ; but he had the voice of a white man. He carried me away, with that cloth, or whatever it was, over my head. "I fainted, I think ; for the next I remember I was in some kind of a dark place, like a cave or a dark cabin, and my hands and feet were tied." "He didn't try to drownd ye in spring?" said Bolivar. "I didn't know where I was," she went on, not di rectly answering Bolivar's question. "But I heard the man talking with some one, and knew by his voice that he was a white man. They were in another room, I think; and I heard him laughing in there." "And that must have been near here?" Buffalo Bill queried. "I couldn't be sure of it at the time, but I know now that it was somewhere on the side of that hill . For, when I escaped from the place finally and got out into daylight, I was on the side of that hill." "Wow I ye escaped!" commented Bolivar, his interest in the story making him almost forget his own position. "Not right away," she answered. "I was kept there in the dark a long time. By and by the man came in, bringing me something to eat and drink; and he took the cords off my wrists when he put the food before me." "You must 've seen him, then?" said Bolivar. "But not his face; he had a cloth over it." "J eewhittaker That seems to spell road-agent, Cody!" "He means," explained Buffalo Bill, "that the road agents one encounters in this section of the country are generally seen masked." "Road-agents?" "Highwaymen are called road-agents out "Oh I Well, he might have been a highwayman, and I think he was. And I think"-her voice sank to a whis per-"that he is the murderer of my father !" "Christopher Columbus I Ye don't mean it?" Boli var gasped. "The reason I think so is this," she said, leaning toward the scout, and glancing round to make sure no Pawnee was near,' "As I stumbled out of the place, the first time I was left thete without my wrists tied, I put my hands on a string of diamonds resting in a niche in the wall."


22 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. "Diamonds?" cried Buffalo Bill. "Yes; arid when I saw what they were I looped them round my neck, and brought them out with me. The man had gone away a short time before. He was sick, or hurt, or something, I thought; and he had ceased to pay much attention to me. He did not tie my wrists after giving me something to eat. With my hands free, it didn't take me long to untie my ankles, and then I began to try to find my way out. "I found the diamonds, as I said, while doing that. And then I came out into daylight, through a hole in the rocks, where there were a lot of bushes. "I didn't know where I was, for the country was unfamiliar. I set out down the hill, hoping to find you. The diamonds were round my neck, and I examined them, and saw that they were really diamonds, if I am any judge. I kept on going, hurrying fast. "I was hunting for you and Mr. Pawnees saw me and chased me. I could, but I was captured." Bolivar, when the I ran as fast as "And the diamonds?" said the scout. "Are round my neck now, concealed by my dress. The Indians made no close search, and failed to discover them." "Diamonds !" Bolivar was gasping. "I am sure they are diamonds," she said, answering him. "My father was surrounded by Pawnees, and fight ing for his life not many miles from this place, accord ing to that note you found, Mr. Cody," she went on. "He must have escaped from the Pawnees. He came on to this point, probably, or near here, and these men murdered him. That would account for the diamonds I found. _I have a feeling that they belonged to my father, which is the reason I took them. Otherwise, I should have left them there. My father had a for tune in diamonds, which he was bringing across the plains, when he mysteriously disappeared." "You didn't get to see the other man you heard this fellow talking with?" askea Buffalo Bill. "No." "He might, then, have been talking to himself?" "But he was asking questions of the other man, and I heard the other man answer him,'' she objected. "I'm satisfied a band of robbers have their hiding-place near here, and that I was carried into it." Bolivar began to bubble over with his story Of the man who had tried to drown him in the spring. "It's my opinion he's the same man tackled you," he asserted. "And I'm satisfied,'' she declared, "that we're dealing with a band of highwaymen, and that all the myste rious things which have happened can be explained by that." "Well, I drownded one of 'em!" Bolivar boasted. "And he couldn't 've been the one the dog was carryin' home wounded, Cody. You rccklect what we saw the dog doin' ?'' "Doesn't it go to show that a band of outlaws are close by here ?" she argued. "How far from here is the Overland Trail?" "Less than a day's ride?" the scout answered. "Then this would be a good hiding-place for outlaws operating on the Overland Trail. They could dash in easily and rob a pony-express rider, or the Overland Express, and then get back to their hiding-place here and feel safe." "The only thing that puzzles me, in connection with that theory,'' said Bolivar, "is, that I never heerd of an outlaw yit that didn't want to be right where he could spend his money about as fast as he got hold of it; and so, ginerally speakin', they're either in towns, er where they kin git into towns without trouble; fer money burns their fingers, and they ain't happy till they're spending it on liquor and cards and other things that they think makes 'em happy. But, Cody!" He rolled over and looked out through the willows. "Everything is so powerful quiet, now, that mebbe we could do Miss Benton's trick, and git out o' this. D'ye r e ckon if I rolled over close to you that ye could git the cords off my wrists? We could go right on talkin', ye know, and maybe fool these red gentlemen into thinkin' we're jes' carryin' on a quiet conyersation." But when Bolivar rolled over and thrust out his hands in that way he discovered that the Pawnee senti nels were wide-awake and watchful. One of them came hurrying up to the little group of prisoners, speaking harshly and swinging a threat ening lance. rolled back with a shiver of fright. CHAPTER XII. THE ATTACK OF THE SIOUX. A little later wild cries came from the slopes of the hill, and the Pawnees who had been there rode rapidly down to the willows. The Pawnees had been thrown into a flutter of excite ment by discovering that a band of Sioux, perhaps the band they had recently fought with, was out on the plains, advancing toward the Platte. They retreated from the river up the valley of the smaller stream, and halted in the rocks close by the spring, using thus the same measures for their protec tion that the scout and Bolivar had adopted, They kept a little farther off from the spring, how ever, showing their superstitious fears regarding it, a thing that the prisoners noticed.


THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 23 The latter were tied even more securely, and deposited in the rocky stronghold, where, for a time, little atten tion was paid to them. The Pawnees gave their heed to the coming Sioux, whose position and movements were signaled from the hill. \ From the excited talk Buffalo Bill learned that the Sioux were following the trail of the Pawnees to the stream. A little later they came in sight, after fording the river When they discerned signs which told them that the Pawnees had been there but a few minutes before their loud yells reached to the rocky hillside where the Paw nees now lay in concealment with their ponies hid among the rocks behind them. "There will be some fighting," Buffalo Bill prophe sied. Bolivar trembled from the excess of his fright, his eyes be gan to shine. "It'll give us a chance, won't it, Cody?" he asked. "I'd like to have 'em play the trick of the Kilkenny cats, and simply exterminate each other. It's the only thing that will give us any chance, ain't it Cody?" "If the Sioux should drive the Pawnees back from here, and at the same time not disturb us, we mi ght have hope of twisting out of these cords and getting away before the victorious party returned," the scout nswered, assuming a hopefulness on that point he did not feel. The wild yells of the Sioux rose loudly as they fol lowed the trail of the Pawnees toward the spring. Bolivar la y on the grou nd groaning with fright. "Cody, we're done fer!" he "If I ever let good impu lses drag me into danger ag'in may 1 be shot! I beg yer pardon fer sayin' it, Miss Benton; but if I hadi:i.'t come out here I'd be now listenin' to the pianner tinklin' in the Superba saloon and h istin' the ruby wine to my thirsty lips. I r ecko n I'll never know the taste of good wine ag'in, ner see the twinklin' of the Superba." _.."I am very sorry," she said, and she meant it. "We thought we were safe, you know." "If I ever meet up with the guy that tole me the Indians out here were so tame that they'd eat out of yer hands like tame rattlesnakes, I'll cave his head i'n," said Bolivar. Then he shivered again. "Wow! Cody, hear 'em yell!" The Pawnees were yelling back at the Si oux They stood behind the rocks, lances, bows and ar rows, and knives in their hands th e ir fierce dark faces aflame with hatred of their hereditary enemies.* *When in l ate r years Buffalo Bill had both Pawnees and Sioux in his Wild West Show, found it impossible to keep them from fighting. .. Buffalo Bill began quietly t o work at the cords on his wrists, while the attention of the Pawnees was thus diverted. Seeing it, Bolivar began also to squirm and twist a t the cords that held him. "Drop it, Bolivar!" the scout whispered. "You'll at tract their notice, I m afraid. Let me see if I can d

ffHE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. Then Buffalo Bill beheld a sensational thing. The strange wild figure, knowing that he had to move quickly, aband o ned his seeming purpose of going also to the aid of Buffalo Bill, and caught up the girl, swing ing her up as lig htl y as if she we. re a feather. Bolivar was already moving his legs in a frantic effort at escape impelled by terror Of the Pawnees and of this man. Yells of surprise and rage burst from the Pawnees, whose attention had been drawn. Having caught up Miss Benton, the skin-clad 1'nan sprang with her ov e r the rocks, leaping them as lightly with this burden as if he were winged. was running wildl y in the same direction in advance of this man, swinging his bound hands. Yelling furiously, the Pawnees came lunging over the barricade to stop this flight. The foremost was a brawny brave who had set his h e art on the l;>eauty of Miss Benton, intending to make her his squaw. His roaring yell of wrath boomed across the rocky hill in a way to mak e one shudder. He poised his lance, intending to drive it through the body of the man ; but as he did so the wolfish dog flew at his throat and brought him to the ground, the lance-head being driven into the ground, breaking the head short off The furious attack of the dog stopped the rush of the Pawnees. The dog had set its teeth in the throat o f the warrior and was shaking him as a cat shakes a rat. The other braves rushed to his aid, yelling the dog, and striking it with their lances; and the fight that followed baffles description. The dog turned from the brave he had downed, and though a lance pierced his shoulder, he furiousl y as sailed the Pawnees, making so fierce an onset that they were driven back. Though fascinated almost to the point of being spell b ound by this fierce struggle taking place right his eyes, Buffalo Bill still tugged at the cords that held him; for this was the great opportunity to escape, if he could but release those confining cords. The terrible combat with the dog was ended at length by a lance driven through its body. By this time most of the Pawnee warrio.rs were round the struggling beast. But now, with yells, when it was seen that the dog had been killed, some of them set out to pursue Boli var and the rescuer of the girl captive. They were in a mad rage, not only because of the daring of this invasion, but over the fact that three of their warriors had been fearfully mangled and almost killed by the dog. CHAPTER XIII. BUFFALO BILL'S PERIL. The beaten and baffled Pawnees came back in a blind fury, without bringing Bolivar, the girl, or the man. They were but little mollified when they discovered that their enemies, the Sioux, were retreating from the vicinity of the river because of the approach of parties of Pawnees that had been sent for earlier in the day. When the new arrivals had crossed the river and joined their friends b y the spring, and it was known that the Sioux had departed, matters began to look black for Buffalo Bill. He was the onl y enemy on whom the Pawnees could now satisfy their hatred. He had slain some of their best warriors. He was one of their deadliest foes. They believed, also, that the skin-clad man who had sprung among them with that enormous dog was the scout's friend, and that did not elevate Buffalo Bill in their estimation. Moreover, they had summoned these other bands of Pawnees for the express purpose of torturing him in their presence for their mutual edification. Buffalo Bill fully understood his critical position. But he was helples s bound hand and foot, and with apparently no one near to aid him. After the coming of the Pawnee allies, another search was made for the trail of the missing prisoners and their singular rescuer. The body of the dog had been beaten and mangled until it was an unreco g nizable mass of flesh and bones; and, having failed even thus to satisf y their rage they desired to lay hands on the supposed owner of the dog and on those h e had assisted. Night was fast coi11ing on, for the sun had set; and b e cause of the poor lig ht, for one thing, the trail sought was not found. Big fires w e r e n o w kindled, which shot up into the gathering darkn ess. These, it was suppo s ed, would keep off th e demon th e Pawne e s b elie v e d inhabited the spring. spring. But for their fear that the Sioux might return and attack in the nig ht the y w 9 uld hav e moved away from the spring. This f ear kept them close to it, for the protection of the rocks that here made such an excellent position for fighting. After feasting on the buffalo meat brought in by the visiting Pawnees, the Indians began to dance and yell round the fires. The y dragged Buffalo Bill bound, up by the largest of the fires, and there shouted at him their hate and condemnation. The fact that he was now the only one on whom they-could vent their hate seemed to make them even more furious.


THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES They slashed him with pony-whips, as he lay bound on the ground by the fire, and they spat their hate at him, telling him that he was a coward, and loading him with all the vile epithets they could think of All this the great scout bore with a stoicism that was Indianlike. He knew that he had been condemned to die, and he began to fear that his end had truly come; yet he made no sign that would please them. Not a sound came from his lips when the pony-whips cut his skin. Even before that his physical condition was not good for he had not recovered from the lance-wound on his head. "Let them do their worst," he thought, "it will bring the end the quicker." And then he began to taunt them, in their own Indian style, hoping that if they had made up their minds to kill him, and there was no chance of escape, that would drive them to finish their work at once. Soon the maddened Pawnees, smarting under this tongue-lashing, set a green cottonwood post in the ground close by the fire, tied the scout to it, and heaped up round him a quantity of wood, much of which was green and mixed through with green leaves. They meant to roast him in a slow fire, and, while he thus expired with incalculable tortures, to sing and howl round him, upbraiding and belittling him and glo rifying the greatness of the Pawnee nation and their own individual prowess. _As the fire which they kindled sprang up about the feet of the scout, lighting, with the camp-fires, the gath ering darkness, a flash of flame shot from the hillside some distance away, and a bullet cut down the Indian who had applied the torch to the heaped-up wood. The Pawnees dancing round the fire stopped their wild gyrations and dropped down behind the rocks, and then, seizing their weapons, began to creep like cats in the direction of the point from which the shot had come. As they did so another bullet came singing into their midst, but without doing an y damage. / _..-Buffalo Bill s hopes were keenly alive now. Yet the manner in which help was to come to him he could not guess. He tried with his knees to thrust away the burning wood that was scorching his clothing his legs, and as he did so he became aware that the cords which held his ankles together and bound them to the post had been eaten through by the fire. His feet were free, but his arms were tied together and to the post, and his body was bound to the .post; so that, though his feet were free, he was not able to get away. But he kicked away the burning brands. As he did so, thus attracting the attention of the nearest Pawnee, the latter swung his hatchet, facing with threatening mien round toward him. The Pawnee with the hatchet fell prostrate at the same moment, knocked down by a st o n e tha t was hurleci from somewhere; and at almost the same instant the skin-clad man before seen sprang to the side o f Buffalo Bill. There was as before the lightnin g like thru s t s of a knife, cutting through the cords that held the sco nt to the post and bound his arms and wrists The Pawnee knocked over gave a yell, and oth e r Pawnees y elled in unison with him. Buffalo Bill was about to spring away in flig ht yet found his legs were so stiff because of their long c o n striction by the cords that the y felt cumbersome. Nevertheless, he started to run heading t o ward the spring, not knowing a better cour s e to take. A revolver flashed in the hand of one of the Paw nees, and there was a simultaneous twang of bowstrin gs, with more wild yells. Buffalo Bill saw that the skin-clad man was running at his side with tremendous leaps. Then the wild clamor of an angry pursuit rose in a hubbub, with the hurtling hiss of more arrows and the flashes of other firearms, none doing any damage. The scout, running faster as his legs limbered with the exertion, was aMut to pass the spring, which he saw rising for its periodic overflow. But just then the man, with a great leap, caught him in his af'ms, lifting him with an abnormal exhibition of strength, and before the scout understood his intention or could resist, the man had plunged into the boiling spring with him. The pursuing Indians yelled wildly at that sight, for the scout and the man disappeared. As they thus went down, the gaseous vapor that rose like a puff of smoke out of the troubled water flashed into a flame of fire, burning blue on the surface of the spring. It was so and altogether so weird an exhi bition, that the Pawnees drew back in clamorous alarm, their superstitious fear concerning the spring reassert ing itself. -CHAPTER XIV. BUFFALO BILL'S DISCOVERY. Clasped tightly in the arms of the skin-clad man, Buffalo Bill felt for an instant that he was drowning. Then the man rose with him out of the water into a cavernous room of rock. The sight the scout beheld as soon as he got the water out of his eyes was the most amazing thing in his ex perience. For there before him on a rocky shelf by: the edge


20 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. of the water stood Nellie Benton, holding up a torch which lighted this singular place. She was trembling and agitated, and almost let the torch fall as the scout and the man shot thus out of the water together. The scout scrambled, dripping wet, ou t upon the rock, and saw the skin-clad man dancing like a wet dog beside him. But faintly he heard the startled cries of the Pawnees, as if they were far away, though he knew they must be quite near. The girl ran down and held out her hand as if to help Buffalo Bill up the wet slope. "Miss Benton !" was all he could gasp at first. "Isn't it wonderful?" she said, almost hysterically. The skin-clad man stopped his wild dancing, and stood listening to the faint yells. "I must see that!" he exclaimed suddenly, and darted away out of sight, vanishing in a rocky gallery that led upward. "Miss Benton," said Buffalo Bill, feeling dazed and hardly sure of himself, "I hope I'm not dreaming!" "Not at all," she said, brightening. "It is too good to be true, yet it is true." The scout reeled, panting, to a seat on the rock. "And where are we?" he asked, as she stood solicitously beside him. "In the heart of the hill." "The hill by the spring?" "Yes." "I got here by way of the spring, of course." "Yes; and the thing is as simple as day, though when you come to think of it, what we call simple as day is a most wonderful thing. And so with this spring." "I feel as if I dreaming." "You're wide-awake, and safe. Think of it-safe!" "And grateful." "Yes, it is very simple," she went on enthusiastically. "This water is part of a pool of which the spring is the overflow. Back there, on the other side of the wa ter we see, is a flow of what must be petroleum, or else natural gas, which mixes with the water and rises on the spring as a gaseous vapor. It will burn with a blue flame, when lighted, that man told me; and he said that sometimes he lighted the vapor on the pool at night and let it burn for the purpose of frightening off Indians. He says he has made them think the spring is haunted, and I don't wonder at it." "And who is he?" asked the scout, hungry for infor mation. "I don't know. I told you I thought he was the mur' derer, or one of the murderers, of my father. I don't believe that now. But I know so little about him yet. He has not given me much chance to talk with him." "And you ?" persisted the scout. "How did you get here?" "He released Mr. Bolivar and me, you remember. He lifted me up and ran with me to a hidden opening in the cav e on the side of the hill. Bolivar ran with him or in fr o nt o f him and he pulled him into that hole at the same time, while the Pawn ees were fighting his dog; and we hid down in here while th e Pawnees searched for us. It's a cunning opening, concealed by bushes, and I rather think it's the one I got out b y that time. For you see, this seems to be the place I was hel in before; and this is the man who held me." "There was another man, then, you said?" "I thought so; but I haven t seen him yet. He may be out s omewhere. As I said, I hav en't had a chance, hardly, to talk with this half wild fellow." "And Bolivar?" "He is back in here somewhere, scared to death al most." "I suppose he diQ. the shooting, which gave the man a chance to rescue me just now? Or, perhaps, the othet man did that!" She was about to attempt further explanations, when the man appeared, slipping down from the rocky gal lery with the agility of a monkey. "Oh, it's great!" he exclaim ed, hopping excitedly on the rocks. "The Pawnees are in a panic. The gas is still burning on the spring where I lighted it as I jumped with you into the water, and they are thinking all kinds of queer things about it. "They must think we were drowned," s aid the sco'Jt He recalled vividl y that B olivar had said some one leaped with him into that spring, and that he drowned the one who did it. Buffalo Bill knew now that it was th i s man who seized Bolivar at that time, and that he had not been drowned. No doubt, he had then been try ing to take Bolivar to this cave. He looked keenly at the man, and saw man y e v i dences of insanity in his words and acti o n s The girl was also looking curiou s ly and in half fright at the capering ngure. "Now, I must see about the other one! the m a ttcried. He darted away again, taking this time anoth e r gallery. "He is I judge!" said the scout. "Yet he has helped us." "Yes; and we'll not condemn the bridge that takes us over to safety. There has been method in the fel low's madness." "He's coming back," she said, holding up the torch. "He stationed you here?" .the scout queried. "Yes. He told me the Pawnees were go ing to burn y ou at the stake, and that he was goin g to save you; and he asked me to stand here with the torch. Then he


THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. explained to me what I've told you about the spring, saying if he could get you free he would jump into the spring with you; and he wanted me to stand here with the torch to light this place when he came out of the water with you. At first I couldn't believe he meant it; but he assured me over and over that he did; and then I agreed to do as he wished, and--" She stopped. Running footsteps, heard before, approached them; and Bolivar came bouncing out into the light. "Wow!" he bawled, in a delirium of excitement and ecstasy, "Cody, it's you I By all the hoppin' horned toads of Texas it's shore you! And I thought you was dead, and I was goin' to be dead soon, and-but, Cody, shake!" His face looked pale under the light of the torch, and his eyes were rolling. "Cody he said, grabbing at the scout's hand, "we've ..__struck Wonderland, and the man what owns it. He's a luny, but he's got more sense than any ten men out side of a lunatic asylum. He' s got the most marvelous place in here. Why, it outshines the Superba saloon and all its glitter of glass and chandeliers. You ought to see it with the lights on it. Miss Benton, let Cody see the roof of this palace !" She flashed the light of the torch upward. What the scout saw were many glittering stalactites on the roof of the cave, flashing back the torchlight like gems. __ The scout rose to his feet. He still felt the stir of strange excitement, and he was willing to admit every thing wonderful that could be said about the man and the cave. As he thus stood up the water dripped from him, making wet pools on the stone floor. "Cody, it's the same feller that I thought I drowned that time. I admit I was mistook about that." "I suppose you fired those rifle-shots out on the hill side, which drew the attention of the Pawnees, and gave him a chance to release me?" Bolivar's eyes opened still wider. "Cody, I didn't; nor didn't know about it! I thought .-.lheard shots, but--" "Then there is another man in here with this strange fellow," said the scout emphatically. "And I had been thinking that Miss Benton must have heard him talk ing to his dog that time, and only fancied she heard answers." "The dog is dead!" cried Bolivar. "Yes. It made a gallant fight, though, before it went under." "The man's as much of a fighter as that dog was, Cody. He is a wonder. And there he comes now." They heard footsteps hurrying toward them along the passage taken by the skin-clad eccentric. "Yes, there he comes! said Bolivar. "He's been tellin' me some things, but I'd like to have him ex plain a few more, for I'm that excited and turned round I don't know whether I'm on my heels or. on my head CHAPTER XV. BACK TO LIFE. 'Miss Nellie Benton uttered a scream when she beheld the man whose foosteps they had heard. She dropped the torch, which fell sputtering and wa s caught up by Buffalo Bill, and ran with hysterical cries and sobs to this man, throwing herself on his breast. Buffalo Bill stared, and then uttered a cry of joy and amazement. The man was none other than the girl's lover, Leonard Ingalls. He was pale, and his head was bandaged with a cloth in a clumsy manner ; yet the scout recognized him at a glance. He knew, then, that the man whose voice the girl had heard, but had not distinguished, was young., In galls, the youth who had been with him when the Paw nees surprised them in ambush, and whom he had searched for, and for some time had believed was dead. Ingalls had his arms round Nellie Benton and was quite as wildly rapturous as she was herself. She had not expected thus to meet her lover, but the rapture of the meeting was all the greater because of the surprise; and they forgot that others were present for the time. Weeping with joy, she disengaged herself from his arms, and turned to the scout and Bolivar. "He is alive !" she cried, as if they could not see that for themsel es. The scout stepped forward. "Ingalls," he said, his voice choking, "let me welcome you back from what we believed at least to be the land of death. I suppose this strange man has helped ybu, too?" "Yes," said 1 Ingalls, "and it seems t0o good to be lieve that you are still alive, when until a short time ago I thought the Pawnees had killed you. But I might have known that your wonderful luck would remain with you." "He found you?" said the scout. He was shaking Ingalls by the hand, while the young man had his other hand lovingly on the girl's shoulder. Bolivar stood by, staring, for the once not finding a word to say. "Yes, he found me, after the had rushed on after you. I suppose they meant to come back for me, but he carried me here ; and he brought me back to life, and took care of me. He has had me in a room over there somewhere, until to-night_; he .came to


THE BUFF AI,.O BILL STORIES. me and asked me if I could shoot a rifle. He said the Pawnees had a white man they were about to burn at the stake, and if I could shoot a rifle and would open on them, he would try to rescue the man. "I said I could shoot pretty well ; and he took me to some place out -on the hill, and then ran back, and he said for me to count slowly up to two hundred, which would give him time to get where he wanted to be, and then for me to open on them. "When I saw the Indians and the man they had, I discovered it was you, Cody. But I obeyed instructions, counting out two hundred, and then I began to shoot. I downed the fellow who lighted the fire about you, and then pumped away at the others, while this man jumped to help you." He looked with strong admiration upon the scout. Then he looked at girl. "Cody, I hope we're not all dreaming!" "It would be too sad to awake from a dream like this I" said Nellie Benton. * * * Things almost as wonderful as those recounted, but which have been somewhat foreshadowed, and may have been already guessed by the reader were soon revealed to Buffalo Bill and his companions. The skin-clad man, returning, stood for a time in front of the girl, studying her face closely. "I think you are my wife !" he said, in so strange and solemn a way that she was almost frightened. Having said this, he darted away, and returning soon he looped about her neck a string of diamonds. He went away again, and brought back to her oth er diamonds, in ropes and crosses; diamonds that were cut and uncut, a whole array of glittering gems of great value and marvelous beauty. And then, by degrees, came the revelation, brought out by his wild statements and by the questions of falo Bill and his companions. He was her father, the man who had tried to cross the plains with a fortune in diamonds, and had dropped out of sight; the man who, when surrounded by Paw nees and thinking he could not escape, had written the note on the torn scrap of note-paper, which later Buf falo Bill and Ingalls had found. The fcrct that she much resembled her mother had stirred in him that recollection of his wife. In his running flight from the Pawnees, ana oefore being surrounded by them, he had cunningly dropped his diamonds in a waste of rocks, without them know ing it. He had been shot by the Pawnees, but not killed, and the wound depriving him of his reason, he had been kept by them for a time, escaping one night in the dark ness. After his escape he made his way back to the place where the diamonds had been dropped, finding them there undisturbed. It was doubtless his intention to go on to civilization; but, finding the cave, his insane fancy made him make it his home; and there he had remained many months, with the dog that had strayed to him and made a home with him there. As he had a fresh wound on his head, it was conjec tured that he had been injured recently by a fall, and that when the y had seen him riding on the back of the dog the animal was thus bringing him home to the cave. Some of this, it will be seen, lacked the accuracy of positive knowledge, but the truth was not far from these surmises. In the meantime, later, he re gai ned his reason tirely; and then, strange to say, his life in that cavern under the hill back of the vaporous spring became as dim to him as a half-remembered dream. The flames burning on the surface of the spring scared away the superstitious Pawnees, thus permitting the occupants of the cave to depart from it at their lei sure, and without danger or molestation. To -day it is noted as a mineral spring of peculiar properties, and has become famous as a health and pleas ure resort. More than once, since those memorable times, B.uf falo Bill, Nellie Benton Ingalls and her husband, her father, and Bolivar have visited the place, watched the bubbling spring, set fire to the mineral gas rising to its surface, and explored with t or ches the strange stalactite cavern under the hill. Bolivar, still worthy of his title of Boastful Bolivar, was accustomed for many a year to arrogate to himself all the heroism displayed during those hours of dan ger from Pawnees and Sioux, and to claim that but for him Buffalo Bill and all with him would have perished. And to prove the truth of his bragging assertions he displayed a diamond of rare beauty given to him--bx the girl. It was the one thing he would never sell; and he always had a marvelous tale to tell of how it had been given to him by Nellie Benton in recognition of his courageous services. THE END. Next week's issue, No. 274, will be "Buffalo Bill and the Pawnee Serpent; or, The Vendetta of Death." Here is another story dealing with the wild Pawnees of the plains, and giving an account of some stirring adven tures of Buffalo Bill in connection with them. IF Beware of Wild West imitations of the Buffalo Bill Stories. They are about fk:t.itious characters. The Buffalo Bill weekly is the only weekly containing the adventures of Buffalo BUI, (Col. W. f, Cody), who is kaown aH _over tlae _world tJae Wng of acouta.


BUFFICO BILL STORIES ISSUED EVERY TUESDAY. BEAUTIFUL OOLORED COVERS Buffalo Bill wins his way into the heart of every one who these strong stories of stirring adventure on the wide prairies of the West. Boys, if you want tales of the West that are drawn true to life, do not pass these by. PRICE FIVE CE NTS PER COPY For sale by all newsdealers, or sent, by the publishers to any addre11 upon receipt of price in money or postage stamps HERE ARE THE LATEST TITLES: 248-Buffalo Bill's Creek Quarrel; or, Long Hair's Long Shot. : 249-Buffalo Bill Among the Pawnees; or, Nick Whar ton's Redskin Chum. 250---.Buffalo Bill on a Long Hunt; or, The Tracking of Arrowhead. 251-Buffalo Bill's Wyoming Trail; or, The Conquering of Red Hand. 25 Buffalo Bill and the Redskin Wizard; or, The Mystery of Biting Adder. 253-Buffalo Bill's Bold Challenge; or, Fighting Red skins in the River. 254-Buffalo Bill's Shawnee Stampede; or, Evil Heart's Last Call. 255-Buffalo Bill's Worst Foe; or, The Blacl{ Panther of the Sioux. 256--Buffalo Bill On a Desert Trail; or, The ystery of the Mojav-e. 257-Buffalo Bill's Rio Grande Feud; or, The Giant of the Apaches. 258-Buffalo Bill in Tight Quarters; or, The Ruse of the Jumping Tarantula. Bill's Daring Rescue; or, Hunted by Wolves. 26o-Buffalo Bill at the Torture Stake; or, A Oose Call Among the Utes. 261-Buffalo Bill's Treasure Train; or, The Doom of the False Guide. 262-Buffalo Bill Among the Blackfeet; or, The Wizard of the Wind River Mountains. 263-Buffalo Bill's Border Beagles; or, The Trail of Gold and Death. 264-Buffalo Bill and the Bandits in Black; or, The Wild Riders of the Wilderness. 265-Buffalo Bill and the Indian Tiger; or, The Lea1> for Life. 266-Buffalo Bill on the Deadwood Trail; or, Cat-Eye, the Sioux Renegade. 267-'Buffalo Bill in the Cafion of Death; or, Ringed In by Navajos. 268---Buffalo Bill and Billy the Kid; or, The of Apache Land. 269--Buffalo Bill and the Robber Ranch King; or, The White Tarantula of Texas. 270-Buffalo Bill in the Land of Wonders; or, The Mad Chief of the Madocs. 271-Buffalo Bill and the Traitor Soldier; or, Fair Inez, the Pearl of the Post. 272-Buffalo Bill's Dusky Trailers; or, The Bandits at Bay. 273-Buffalo Bill's Diamond Mine; or, The Bedouins of the Plains. 274-Buffalo Bill and the Pawnee Serpent; or, The Ven detta of Death. 275-Buffalo Bill's Scarlet Hand; or, The Accusing Blood Stain. 11!' YOU WA.NT A.NY BACK NUMBERS of our tlbrarles and lllLrulot procure tbem from nemdelere, they can be obtained from tbis ol!!ce dlreat. Out -0at and i!ll In the following order blank e.nd send lt t.o u11 the price ot the books '1011. wa.ut and we 'Will send th.em to you by mlliL POSTAOB STAMPS TAKEN THE! SAME! AS MONE!Y. STREET & P11bUaher&, 79 Seventh .A.venue, New York Olty. .... ..................................... 190 Gentlemen :-Enclose d find ... cents for wh:tch please eend me: ...... oopieeofTIP TOP Nos...................................... .. ...... copieeofBUFPALO BILL Nos ................................... Noa ............................. Nos ............................. ........ '' '' DIAMO D DICK Noe.......................................... .............. '' ''ROUGH RIDER Nos ............................. .............. .. Name ......................... .................... Street and No ......................................... ........................ State .......................


r DIAMOND DICK WEEKLY ISSUED EVERY THURSDAY. BEAUTIFUL COLORED COVERS Diamond Dick and his son, Bertie, are true men of the Western plains. They are noble-hearted fellows who don't impose on the weaker man and who don't let anyone else do it if they can help it. You ought to read how they clean up a mining camp of the dis honest gamblers and other toughs who usually prey on the uneducated miners. PRICE FIVE CENTS PER COPY For sale by all newsdealers, or sent, by the publishers to any address upon receipt of price in money or postage stamps I HERE ARE THE LATEST TITLES: 14-86-Diamond Dick for the Flag; or, Holding His O w n Under O ld Glor y 487-Diamon d Dick's S t range Debt; o r Keeping His Wor d wit h a S coundrel. 488-Diamond Dic k s Du m b P ar d ; or, Th e Ghost of B lack C ano n. 489--Diamond D ick's Long Race; or, Neck and Neck for Big Stakes. 490-Diamond Dic k in the Rapi

AND BOLD ISSUED EV.ERV WEDNESDAY. BEAUTIFUL COLORED COVERS The re are a large number of boys to whom stories about the same charact e rs, w eek aft e r week, become monotonous . It was to suit these fellows t ha t w e published BRAVE AND BOLD. Each s to ry is f u ll 30,000 words in length and is 1comp1ete in itself, ha ving n o c onne ction with any that went before or will come after. Don't m i ss these. P RICE FIVE CENTS PER COPY F o r sale by a ll n e wsdealers, o r sent, b y the publishers to any address. upon receip t of price i n money or postage stamps 159-"That Boy, Checkers;" ot, Chased Hal!way Arourtd t h e World By Lawrence White, Jr. t6o-Bound Boy Frank ; or, The Y oun!l'i Amateur Detective. By Herbert Bellwood 161-The Bra zos Boy; or, Among the Border Firebra n ds. By Lieut. A. K. Sims 162-Battery Bob; or, The Young; D ock Sleuth of Gotham. By J.C. C owdrick. Bob; or, The Boy Spotter of the Slums. By Herbert Bellwood 164-An Army Pos t Mystery; or, The Strange Voyage o f a Balloon By Lieut. A. K. Sims. 165-The Lost Capt ain ; or, Skipper Jabez Coffin's Cruise to t\lte Open Polar Sea. By Capt Frederick Whittak er. 166---Never 'ay Die; or, The Clear Grit Detective Trail. By He. bert Bellwood. 167-Nature's Gentleman; or, The Voyage of the "Saucy Kate." By Matt Royal. 168-The African Trail; or, Adventures in the Dark Continent. By Lawrenc e \iVhite, Jr. 169-The Border Scouts; or, California Joe's War Trail. By 1 Captain Frederick Whittaker 170-Secret Service Sam; or1 A Detective i n the Gold Mines. By Herbert Bellwood 171-Double-Bar R anch; or, The Man from Kansas By Lieu_, tenant A K. Sims. 172-Under Many Suns; or, Gordon Keith's Longest Chase By Lawrence White, Jr. 173-Moonlig ht Morgan; or, The Hunt for the "Hold-Up" Man. By J. C. Cowdrick. 174-The Girl Rancher; or, Nob';y Nat, the Tenderfoot o f !..-On e Star. By Herbert Bell\ ood. 175-T he Panther Tamer; or, Mystery

THI: ROUGH RIDfR Wl:EKlY ISSUED EVERY MONDAY. i HANDSOME COLORED COVER Ted Strong wants to make your acquaintance, boys, and we are ,. convinced that you will be proud to have him as a friend. The tales of his adventures among the cowboys are full of fascinating interest. He is known to every one as "King of the Wild West'' and he upholds the title. PRICE FIVE CENTS PER COPY For sale by all newsdealers, or sent, by the publishers to any address upon receipt of price In money or postage stamps HERE ARE THE LATEST TITLES: 94-King of the Wild West s Submarine; or, The Search for Sunken Tre asure. 95-King of the Wild West s Finish; or, The Great Stone Door. 96-King of the Wild West's Peril; or, The Cannibals of Tiburon Island. 97-King of the Wild West's Strange Quest; or, The White Prince s s of S o n o ra. gS-King of the Wild W e st's Horsethief; or, The Enigma of Lost Springs. gg-King of the Wild West's Chase; or, The Rescue of Yuen Ho. 100-King of the Wild West's Meteor; or, The Race for the Klondike Diamond. IOI-King of the Wild West in Siberia; or, Castaway on the .Rrctic Ocean. 102-King of the Wild West's Haunt; or, Stella's Escape from Sacrifice. 103-King of the Wild West's Dive; or, Tne Finding of the "Golden Baby." 104-King of the Wild West's Guard; or, Stella's I.:ong Shot. \ io5-King of the Wild West's Posse ; or, Stella's Own Vigilance Committee. a:o6-King of the Wild lWest Unaergrouna; or, Stella to the Rescue. 107-King of the Wild West's Brand: or, How Held the F ort. 108--King of the Wild West's Campaign; or, How Stella Won the Vict o ry. 109-King of the Wild West's Boot y ; or, Stella Finds the Pirate Loot. IIo-King o f the Wild Wes t s Succ ess; or, Stella anC.: '!:_:t!'1-. M ar ke d Bill. II r-King of the W i ld West's Daring; or, Stella's Great Lariat Thro w I12-King of the Wild West's Key; or, Stella in the Hidden Vault II3-King of th e Wild West's "Hassayamper"; or, Stella. in the Death Cavern. II4-King of the Wild West's Strength; or, Stella on the Cattle Ranch. II5-King of the Wild West's Danger; or, Stella among the Hopis. II6--King of the Wild Wes t's Gulch Diggings; or, Stella s Star R ole. u7-King of the Wil d West's Motor-Car; or, Fosdick's P e ril. II8--King of the Wild Wes t's Duty; or, Stella Cast Away in the Wildern ess. Hg-King of the Wild West's Wild-Goose Band; or, Stella's Long Flight. IP YOU WA.NT ANY BA.Cl"K. NUMBERS of our l\brariea and oannot pro onre them from newsdeal e rs, the y can be obta ined from th!a offic e direct. CJut out and ftll In the following orde r blank and s end it to us with the price of the books you want and we will s e nd the m to you by return mall. PO.STAOB STAMPS TAKEN THE .SAME AS MONEY. STREET .. SMITH, Publishers, 79 Seventh A.venue, New Y ork Cit y .. 190 Gentlemen :-Enclosed ftnd .......... cents for whi c h please send me: eop1111of TIP TOP Nos ......................... . .... ...... ....... c o pi es of BUPP ALO BILL N o e . . ... -..... -.. ..... -" "NICK CARTER No s ............ ......... ....... ... '. . AND BOLD Nos .......... .................... "DIAMOND DICK Nos. ................... .. ......... . ..... "ROUOH RIDER Nos ...... ........ ................... .... . Jlame ... ..... Street and N o ...... ................ . ........... ..... T o wn .... .......... ..... State ....................


THE FA VO RITE LIST OF FIVE-CENT LIBRARIES BUFFALO BILL STORIES Buffalo Bill is the hero o f a thousand exciting adventures among the Redskins. These are given to our boys only in the BUFFALO BILL STORIES. They a r e bound to interest a n d please you MIGHT AND M AIN NICK CARTER WEEKLY We know, boys, that there is no need of introducing to you Nicholas Carter, the greatest sleuth that ever lived. Every number containing the adven ture s of Nick Carter has a peculiar, but delightful, power of fascina tion. BRA VE AND BOLD Every boy who prefers variety in his reading matter, ought to be a reader of Brave and Hum. All these were written by autho rs who are past masters in the art of telling boys' stories. Every tale is complete in itself. DIAMOND DICK WEEKLY .. f!t!(J!Ml6A"Dff[lfJ'tt5:lUA5 :( ; ...... The demand for stirring stories of Western adventure is admirably filled by this library. Every up-to-date boy ought to read just how law and order are estab lished and niaintained on our Western plains by Diamond Dick, Bertie, and Handsome H a rry. Ted Strong was appointed deputy marshal by accident, but he resolves to use his authority and rid his ranch of some very tough bullies. He does it in svch a slick way that. everyone calls him "King of the Wild West" and he certainly deserves his title. BOWERY BOY LIBRARY The adventure s ofa poor waif whose o nly name is "Bowery Billy. Billy i s the true product of the streets of New York. No boy cao read the t a l es ot his trials without imbibing some of that resource and courage that makes the character of thi s homeless boy stand out so prominently. THE TIP TOP W EEKLY. Boys, Frank Merriwell has opened a schoo l of physical devel opment. He has gathered all of his old-time comrades about him and their adventures are wonderfully interesting. These are cer tainly the best tales of athletic adventure.


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