Title: Some Still Wilder Reminiscences

Periodical: Punch

Date: June 18, 1887

Author: Cody, W.F. (William Frederick), 1846-1917

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SOME STILL WILDER REMINISCENCES.

YOU have asked me if I cannot add to that history of marvellous, superhuman, and heroic exploit which characterises the whole stretch and sweep of my Transatlantic career, some startling incidents that have accompanied my rapid and decisive rise and progress in public favour since I have set foot in this country. Yes, I certainly could do this, and in a way fairly to astonish you, were it not for that lack of leisure which a continual flow of invitations to the mansions of the nobility and the aristocracy of this Metropolis forces upon me. I do not refer to this in any boastful spirit. That they should pay their homage to my world-famed courage and accomplishments, and wish to have my intensely picturesque figure, as represented on the advertising coloured posters, prominently adorning, as a central figure, their gilded saloons, is only natural, and I merely state the bare fact without comment. But such is the pressure brought to bear on my spare moments by Dukes, Earls, Marquises, and other members of the Hereditary Peerage of the Three Kingdoms, that I have not, as you may possibly have noted, yet been able to find time even to have my hair properly cut! This, however, by the way. But to proceed in some sense to answer your question. To attempt to detail the remarkable adventures, the hair-breadth escapes, and the combats to the death in which I have been engaged even since my arrival in this country with my troupe at Earl's Court, would far exceed both the time at my disposal and the space accorded me in your columns. I will therefore content myself with referring to few incidents connected with my display of personal prowess and undaunted pluck in the immediate neighbourhood of the "Show" itself. My single-handed encounter with one of the West Kensington omnibuses on the afternoon of the first of April may not be new to your readers, but it will bear repeating.

Seeing the vehicle approaching, and wishing to proceed to my destination on its roof, I straightway hailed it, but was met with the laconic reply of the conductor that it was "full inside and out." I was walking with the Chairman of the Concern, and asked him whether I should make a dash for a place. He gave his consent, and in another instant, like a mighty tornado, I flung myself upon the horses' heads, they reared up in the air, came down on their haunches, and I cut the traces. In another minute the passengers had dismounted and the driver leaving his box faced me in the road.

"I know you, BUFFALO BILL," he said, "if you want to fight,—well, come on!"

I had nothing but an umbrella and he a horsewhip, but without a moment's hesitation, I accepted his challenge, and went for him. For some short time we danced round each other, but at last I hit him over the head and he fell. At the same moment my legs got entangled in the thong of the whip and I stumbled to my knees. Then we closed and rolled over together from the pavement to pavement a couple of policemen looking on, but in no way interfering in the contest. We got disengaged for a moment, then I saw my opportunity, and, getting out my ready knife, ran up to him and scientifically scalped him in something under five-and-twenty minutes. The whole episode occupied but two hours and a half. As the Chairman who had been watching the diet from a neighbouring door-step, came up, I swung the Omnibus driver's top-knot in the air and shouted at my loudest, "The first scalp for the Boss of the Big Show!" And thus I relieved the General Omnibus Company of the services of an uncivil servant.

But the rash driver was by no means the only individual who owed his passport to the local hospital ward to my hands. In much the same fashion I shortly afterwards disposed of the Chief Contractor of the Refreshment Department inside the Show itself. But to detail these various feats would only weary the reader, and I prefer in conclusion just to glance at some other features in my career.

It would be easier to jot down those callings I have not followed than to relate the various pursuits in which I have been engaged. My heroism and endurance in flood and field are too well known to need repetition here. It may not, however, be in the cognisance of some that I have starred as a tight-rope dancer with fair success, and been, in turns, successively a coalheaver, Queen’s Counsel, Archbishop, dustman, greengrocer, Operatic Tenor, and Pirate. What other rôles I may fill before I leave these shores it is impossible at present to foretell; but that I am equal to any and every call that can possibly be made on my courage, philosophy, intelligence, intrepidity, and tact, cannot, I should say, for a moment be doubted by those who have read the modest and retiring manifestoes that have hitherto been submitted to the public under the unassuming title of

BUFFALO BILL.

Title: Some Still Wilder Reminiscences

Periodical: Punch

Date: June 18, 1887

Author: Cody, W.F. (William Frederick), 1846-1917

Topic: European Tours

Keywords: Aristocracy (Social class) Autobiography Dueling Hand-to-hand fighting Horse-drawn omnibuses Horses Kings, queens, rulers, etc. Nobility--England Nobility Police Scalping

Places: Earl's Court (London, England) Kensington (London, England) London (England)

Sponsor: This project is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Geraldine W. & Robert J. Dellenback Foundation.

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