Title: Thrilling Lives of Buffalo Bill, Col. Wm. F. Cody, Last of the Great Scouts and Pawnee Bill, Major Gordon W. Lillie (Pawnee Bill), White Chief of the Pawnees

Date: 1911

More metadata


(Buffalo Bill)



(Pawnee Bill)

To my Friend
Frank Winch
G W Lillie
"Pawnee Bill"

Last of the Great Scouts
White Chief of the Pawnees
  Copyright 1911
All European and Dramatic Rights Reserved
S. L. PARSONS & CO., Inc.
Publishers and Printers
No. 45 Rose Street
N. Y.



(Copy of personal letter written by Buffalo Bill to the author.)
VISALIA, CALIFORNIA, October 13, 1910.


Yes—I had the great pleasure of meeting your dear little mother, and when I gazed on her sweet face and listened to her gentle voice she reminded me very much of my own angel mother who was little and sweet like your mother.

And, Frank, I grew up among some of the roughest men and some of the most desperate characters that ever infested the border of civilization and had it not been for the teachings and prayers of my mother I, too, might have died with my boots on. I think to our mothers we owe most. God bless our mothers.

Your true friend,




I Boyhood days of "Buffalo Bill" 9
II Shoots First Indian 19
III As Pony Express Rider 29
IV A Civil War Spy 39
V Wild Bill's Own Story 51
VI How "Buffalo Bill" Won His Name 59
VII Sheridan's Chief of Scouts 71
VIII The Battle of Summit Springs 81
IX Cody Entertains Royalty at Buffalo Hunt 91
X Pawnee Bill's Boyhood Days 101
XI Buffalo Bill As an Actor 115
XII Pawnee Bill Meets Jesse James 125
XIII Buffalo Bill's Duel with Chief Yellow Hand 139
XIV Pawnee Bill Heads the Oklahoma Land Boomers 147
XV Buffalo Bill Made Brigadier-General 157
XVI Opening of the Cherokee Landstrip, Pawnee Bill in the Lead 165
XVII How Buffalo Bill's Wild West Was Organized 175
XVIII Pawnee Bill, the "Jekyll and Hyde of the West" 187
XIX Buffalo Bill's Last Time on the Battlefield 195
XX Buffalo Bill's Vast Properties 201
XXI Pawnee Bill's Buffalo Ranch and Home 207
XXII Buffalo Bill's Personal Farewell in the Saddle 217


Buffalo Bill Frontispiece
Pawnee Bill Frontispiece
Proclamation 8-9
Cody's Boyhood Friends 16-17
Custer, Duke Alexis, Buffalo Bill 24-25
Characteristic Pose 32-33
Close to Nature 40-41
Death of "Tall Bull" 48-49
The Wounded Scout 56-57
Chief "Iron Tail" 64-65
Shooting Glass Balls 72-73
A Typical Cowboy 80-81
Scenes from Cody's Life 88-89
Generals Cody Served 96-97
A Duel in the Open 104-105
Cody Meets the King 112-113
Buffalo Bill and Pawnee Bill 120-121
Battle of Summit Springs 128-129
Why Buffalo Bill Retires 136-137
Buffalo Bill's Properties 144-145
On the Cody Trail 152-153
A Band of Sioux Indians 160-161
Pawnee Bill's Home 168-169
Pawnee Bill's Buffalo Ranch 176-177
The Lillie Family 184-185
A Consultation 192-193
The Indian Monument 200-201
Making the War Bonnet 208-209
The Farewell Salute 216-217


History is merely the chronicle of great men. Their deeds remain alive forever—time and epochs flicker only a moment and are succeeded again by time and men. As we each span our brief career, it is given to some to know great men only by the history they create—others to do with, to know personally, to enjoy their confidence, to study at close range the qualities that differentiate greatness.

It is just this favored opportunity of intimate observation that prompts the dual life histories of Buffalo Bill and Pawnee Bill. Buffalo Bill's fame was spreading when the gray heads of to-day were romping youngsters of yesterday, others grow old but the famous Scout seemed to revel in perpetual youth, at last, however, the inevitable is clocking off the showmanship days of Buffalo Bill, he has decreed the present season as his farewell in the saddle. He retires to enjoy the fruits of a life teeming with danger, sorrows, joys and struggles crowned with the ineffable gift of being America's most loved and Ideal Hero Horseman.

The question is asked, "Who will take Buffalo Bill's place?" and the following pages will couple in golden links the passing of the world's greatest Scout, Colonel William Frederick Cody, with his only legitimate successor, a man who courted prairie dangers when a boy, whose metal was tempered with the trying hardships that beset a primitive West, whose whole life has runged the ladder of Indian warfare, adventure, scouting, border fights, and the early settlement of one of our finest Western States—Major Gordon W. Lillie, "Pawnee Bill."


The lives of both these history makers are threaded with action of fact. I have eliminated from these pages every detail that smacks of tinseled theatrics. Buffalo Bill is one of the gentlest of men, warm hearted, kindly and generous. He is not demonstrative, nor does he enthuse, he is not impressionistic, but at all times he is observant of the slightest good in others. He notes every turn and twist of character, he is a student of human nature and a good one. He is a man that rewards friend and foe in a befitting manner.

I hero-worshiped Buffalo Bill when a child, adored him in youth, and now in manhood my fondest kid dreams have become crystallized in fact by the pleasure and honor of meeting him, knowing him and valuing his good friendship. I want every boy-man and every man-boy in the world to know Buffalo Bill and Pawnee Bill as I know them, I want to poise these two greatest of our living frontiersmen as an example for the emulation of young and old America—that those whose trail in life is cobbled with the sharp-edged stones of adversity may take a fresh grip on determination and reach their goal of happiness, every man's heritage.

In this volume I aim at nothing more than giving to their million friends a simple, accurate and fictionless résumé of the two greatest and most noted living plainsmen that America ever had occasion to cherish—the Honorable William F. Cody, "Buffalo Bill," and Major Gordon W. Lillie, "Pawnee Bill."






W. F. Cody
Buffalo Bill


AFTER MANY YEARS of almost constant devotion to my calling, I have determined to retire from active service at the expiration of a final and complete tour of the American continent. THEREFORE, following a series of "Farewell Exhibitions" which I hope to give in 1911 and 1912, I shall permanently abandon the arena, and seek to enjoy some of the fruits of my labors, which I feel that I have well earned during a long life of activity on the frontier, in the field during the Civil and Indian Wars, and as a provider of the most approved drama of our National History.

IT IS, however, my earnest desire to once more salute from the saddle my millions of friends and patrons, and I take this opportunity to emphatically state that this will be my LAST, SOLE AND ONLY PROFESSIONAL APPEARANCE in the cities and towns nominated in the present itinerary, as it is my purpose to leave the active management of the great Educational Exhibition, which I have created, in the hands of my partner, Major G. W. Lillie (Pawnee Bill), and his associates, who will continue the enterprise on the same magnificent scale and true fidelity that I have always tried to maintain, but without my personal presence in the saddle.

AND NOW that I have reached this unalterable conclusion, I want to thank my numerous friends and the public for the full measure of success and applause that they have bestowed upon me, and I know of no honor that I shall cherish more than their good wishes, while the silent years are lurking in ambush for "The Old Scout," and at the conclusion of each and every performance I shall bid my numerous friends a fond farewell.



Yours, always sincerely,

W. F. Cody
"Buffalo Bill"




MOTHER, I've just killed my first Indian," gleefully shouted a bright-faced, rosy-cheeked lad of eleven, with eyes glistening as they fondly ranged over the rifle he carried. Putting the gun away, the youngster ran to his mother, kissed her and took both hands in his.

"It was pretty exciting, too, mother," the lad continued.

"Willie, you must be careful."

It wasn't that Mrs. Cody didn't exactly approve of Indian killing, for in 1857 the redskins were recklessly massacring any and all the whites they chanced upon, but she feared for a lad of such tender age going into the open and risking his own precious life—made more so at this time, for youth that he was, Willie Cody was the head of the family and its sole male protector.


This then is our first introduction to William Frederick Cody—later on Colonel—the Honorable—and as he is known in every civilized country on earth—"Buffalo Bill." Isaac and Mary Cody, his parents, pioneers of Iowa, lived near the town of Le Clair, on the comfortable Scott Farm, Scott County, Iowa. It was here on the morning of February 26, 1846, that Cody was born. There were seven children, Martha, Julia, Eliza, Helen, May, Samuel and William. The latter was the fourth child. His first few years were spent in the ordinary life of most robust farmers' children. At a very early age Billy Cody became an adept at boating, fishing, shooting and in the art of horsemanship.

In 1849 Isaac Cody operated a stage line between Chicago and Davenport, Ia., there being no railroads at that time. His business was prosperous, but like many others he listened to the call of the Far West. California was then in the throes of its gold fever craze. The elder Cody made up his mind, turned his property into cash, and shortly after with the entire family safely stored away in wagons, joined one of the numerous cross-continent caravans.

Proceeding but a few miles, they met returning   stragglers from the Pacific Coast Eldorado. Tales of hardships were not infrequently heard. Among the party were friends of Cody who endeavored to discourage him from the perilous and, as they found it, fruitless trip across the country. Dreams of golden fortunes vanished from the newly organized prospectors, most of whom returned home.

The Cody family moved along, however, and finally located at Walnut Grove Farm in Scott County. Bill Cody was sent to school. While his merry nature was the life of his class, it also proved too trying a task for the teacher. The lad was in constant deviltry, first one thing and then another, until one day, after being attacked and badly whipped by a boy much older and stronger than the little fellow, Cody made up his mind for revenge. His chance came soon after. The bully attacked him again. Cody retaliated and thrashed the coward in good school-boy fashion. With loud cries that he was being murdered, the big boy ran to the teacher for help. Cody was dismissed, and afterwards offered reinstatement, but he was too full of animal spirits, he loved out-doors too well, his traps, gun, horse and the woods were his only curriculum of study.


Isaac Cody became prominent as a farmer and politician. He was elected Justice of the Peace and frequently stumped the county on behalf of the Whigs. It was during a convention that he harangued an interested crowd at a cross-road tavern called "Sherman's," that the first disaster entered his life, one that was to have portentous weight in the future, one that spun the cycle of events sadly and swiftly for his devoted family.

It was on that day that William and Samuel, the older brother, had gone for a horseback ride; Sam, who was then fourteen years old was a remarkably good horseman. His pony, a wild and unruly little creature, suddenly plunged. "Look out for him, Sam!" Billy cried.

"Oh, he's all right," Sam answered. "Pretty near got me then, didn't you, pony?" he said, scolding his horse.

Without a second's warning the animal plunged again, and when standing on its hind feet reared backward, fell to the ground, the unfortunate Sam was pinioned beneath. The lad lived but a few hours.

Crushed by the loss of her son, Mrs. Cody could not remain where painful memories of the sad accident were constantly freshened to her mind. The family moved westward—this time heading for Weston, Platte County,   Missouri, where a brother of Isaac Cody was living. It was the father's intention to eventually reach Kansas.

For a year or so things moved quietly. The father engaged in trading with the Indians, earning their respect and friendship, likewise that of the settlers. Will Cody spent most of his time playing with the Kickapoo Indian boys, learning their language, how to handle the bow and arrow, and in many ways studying their traits and habits.

In 1854 a bill called "The Enabling Act of Kansas," was passed. Thousands of homeseekers flocked to the territory. Many came from the adjoining States, including numbers of Missourians.

The country was being racked with the slavery question. Most of the Missourians, as was his brother Elija, were in favor of negro bondage. Frequent meetings were held and speeches intended to inflame pro-slavery support were heard on all sides.

Isaac Cody maintained discreet silence, but his ability as an orator led others to draw him from seclusion, little thinking of the calamity that was to follow. From the North and South came the ominous rumbles of battle talk, the pro- and anti-slavery men in all sections busied   themselves in proselyting to one banner or the other. Weston, the little prairie village, issued a call for a gigantic mass meeting. Speakers from near-by settlements were invited to strengthen the cause by an expression of their views. The elder Cody was prevailed upon to talk.

Billy accompanied his father to the meeting place. It was held in the open, a huge box doing service as a rostrum, and on all sides a hundred or so drink-crazed slavery fanatics had gathered to hear Isaac Cody's denunciation of pro-slavery. His appearance was greeted with cheers, then as he mounted the box a silence spread, the men listened eagerly.

"Gentlemen and fellow citizens," began Cody in clear, determined voice, "I accept your invitation to speak—it is against my will. My views are not in accord with the rest of this assembly. The question before us to-day is: Shall the Territory of Kansas be a free or slave State? The question of slavery is a broad one; your motive in calling upon me is to have me express my sentiments in regard to the introduction of slavery in Kansas. I will gratify your wish; I am one of the pioneers of Iowa, gentlemen; I voted that it should be a white State."

This unexpected statement came like a thunderbolt,   "Down with him," yelled an infuriated wretch, brandishing a pistol.

"Hear him out!" shouted others; and when quiet was restored, Cody continued: "I say to you now, and say it emphatically, that I propose to exert all my power in making Kansas the same kind of a State as Iowa."

Angry murmurs and subdued threats swept over the crowd. Bill Cody, young as he was, scented danger, and edged closer to his father, keeping an eye on a wicked-looking gangster who was fingering his revolver.

"These are my sentiments, gentlemen," Cody continued, "and let me tell you—" But the sentence was never finished. The mob was worked to a fever heat of frenzy; it hooted and hissed.

"Get down from that box!"


"Kill him! Kill him!"

The elder Cody was in the act of continuing his speech when a skulking coward sneaked up behind, dealt the guarding youngster a terrible blow on the head, jumped to the box and sank his bowie knife to its hilt in Isaac Cody's back.


Instantly pandemonium reigned; the assassin sprang at the prostrate body as it rolled to the ground.

"Men, this is not fair play," exclaimed Billy Cody. "Give father a chance."

The better element in the crowd overpowered the murderer. Realizing the effect of this lawlessness in the blood-stained body of heroic Isaac Cody as it lay on the ground, most of the mob quickly dispersed. Helping hands carried the unconscious man to his home. For weeks he hovered between life and death, and for weeks the family was kept in constant terror by the frequent raids of a blood-thirsty gang, who, on hearing that he was still alive, demanded Cody's life.

One evening a month or so after the stabbing, when Mr. Cody had convalesced sufficiently to sit up, a party of horsemen drew rein at the door. Billy had seen them approach, and gave the warning, Mrs. Cody hastily hid the sick man in an upper room.

"Halloo, there! Open that door!" came the shouts from the crowd.

Mrs. Cody opened the window.

"What do you want?" she exclaimed.



As They Appeared in Their Younger Days.


"We are after that abolitionist husband of yours," answered one of the crowd.

"He is not in this house," Mrs. Cody replied, with brave voice.

"That's a lie! We know that he's here, and we're bound to have him," said the spokesman, advancing with his crowd.

"Stop, or you will all be killed; this house is full of armed men." She withdrew from the window for a minute, and hurriedly instructed the herder to call aloud certain names, any that he might think of, just as if the house was full of men to whom he was giving orders. He followed the directions to the very letter; the crowd outside heard him, and thought that there was really quite a force of men in the house. While this was going on, Mrs. Cody opened the window and said:

"You had better go away—the men will surely fire on you."

At this point the herder, Billy Cody, and his sisters commenced stamping on the floor, imitating a squad of soldiers marching to the front of the house, and the herder issued orders in a loud voice to his imaginary force of men:


"Get ready, load guns, aim—"

The stratagem was successful; the villains, all except the man who stabbed Cody, fled. This fellow approached the house steps. Bill Cody, grabbing a rifle, sprang to the window, leveled at the ruffian. "Stop!" exclaimed Cody. "Not another step! And if father dies I will kill you!"






BY NO means had the turbulent days come to an end for the Codys. The pro-slavery men kept up a persistent persecution of Isaac Cody, whose recovery was slow and never complete.

In the Spring of 1857 he succumbed to the wound, a martyr for the cause of Kansas in an effort to keep it unsullied with the blackness of slavery. The land of his adoption and where his son in after years was to carve glory from hardships became his last resting place. Isaac Cody's remains now rest at Pilot Knob, which overlooks the city of Leavenworth. Friend and foe granted him in death the tributes of respect he merited as an upright, generous, kindly and just man.

Some weeks after this, a youngster not twelve years old walked in to an office in Leavenworth.


"I want to see the boss," Billy Cody said.

"I'm he," replied a Mr. Majors of the firm of Russel, Majors and Wadell, who were overland freighters and contractors. "What do you want?"


"What can a boy of your age do?" asked Majors kindly.

"I can ride, shoot and herd cattle," said Cody. "I'm the head of the family now and will do anything honest that pays the best money, so that I can take care of my mother and sisters."

"What's your name, my boy?"

"Billy Cody."

Mr. Majors looked at the handsome, manly youngster for a second; he had known his father well.

"I would like to do something for you, but our work is too hard for such a lad."

"You pay man's wages for man's work, don't you?" asked Bill. "Give me a chance; I want nothing but what I can earn."

Will was employed as extra boy on a freight caravan.

The die was cast; unknowingly to boy and man he was launched on a career that meant more for civilization than   any would have ventured to guess. Thrown on his own resources when most lads think only of marbles or top spinning, with the added duty of earning a support for mother and sisters. Cody, whose fame was subsequently to penetrate the farthermost corners of the world, began a life that for half a century afterward was beset with every danger and peril that human could encounter and survive. He keystoned the arch of reclamation that gave to our country its best, most fertile and richest section of the great unknown West.

In a twinkling Billy had hurried home, told his mother and sisters of his good fortune, packed away a few trinkets, a small Bible, fondly kissed his sweet little mother and the youngsters good-bye, and rushed back to report for duty.

Quick orders had been received at the office to dispatch a herd of cattle to General Albert Sidney Johnson, who was enroute across the plains, headed for Salt Lake to fight the Mormons.

Frank and Bill McCarthy had charge of the supply train and herd of cattle; young Cody was assigned as extra boy, his duties carrying him from one wagon to the other with messages from the different bosses.


The "bullwhackers," in other words drivers and the wagon masters, took a great fancy to young Cody. They liked his quiet and manly ways, his pluck in undertaking such hard work.

The first part of the journey was uneventful. Cody welcomed an order, as it gave him a chance to dash back and forward on a spirited pony. His riding won the praise of everyone on the train. So far all had been serene. He was homesick at times for the loving ones left behind. He grew tired, as his young body was not hardened to the tiresome travel; but always before him shone the beacon of success, he made up his mind to win out, and how well he succeeded subsequent events speak for themselves.

Nothing occurred to interrupt the journey until the caravan reached Plum Creek on the South Platte River, about thirty-five miles west of Old Fort Kearney. The train had made its morning drive and halted for dinner. Three men were placed on guard as outpost, and nearly all the balance, tired with the arduous trip, spread themselves under the mess wagon for a short sleep.

Will Cody was repairing a broken saddle strap. In the far distance he thought he espied a cloud of dust or rain.


"Going to storm, ain't it?" he asked one of the drivers. "Look over there."

"Storm hell!" shouted the other, after a glance. "Them's Indians."

Cody gave a shout of warning, and a second later as the men hustled from a soft sleep, grabbed their guns and prepared for action.

A volley of shots came from the left, the air rang with demoniac war whoops in a flash, the cattle had stampeded and were scurrying in all directions. The three guards were shot down, and the Indians by hundreds came charging at the brave little body of men huddled behind the wagons.

This was Cody's first sight of Indians on murder bent. He had heard of them, their bloodthirsty yells, their poisoned arrows, their naked, highly-colored, stained bodies; their fantastic-colored headgear. He was flushed with excitement, quietly pulling the gun trigger he raised just over the wagon side.

"Get down there, boy!" yelled the man beside him, as a bullet whistled over the youngster's head.

"Them red devils can shoot like mad!"


Cody crouched beside the wagon master and waited for orders from the boss. On they came, the Indians mounted on snorting, hard-breathing ponies, war-whooping to the accompanying horse-hoof tattoo as they raced over the hard, brown, sunburnt prairies.

The wagon men were all well armed with heavy Colt revolvers and Mississippi yaegers, a powerful gun carrying a bullet and two buckshot.

"Steady, boys!" Frank McCarthy sang out coolly. "Take good aim, pick your man. Fire!"

The guns thundered, and through powder flash and smoke the leader saw the effect of the fire. The volley checked the rush for a moment.

"Boys," McCarthy yelled, "load up as you run and make a break for that slough yonder; we can use its bank for a breastwork."

On double-quick the men dashed for cover, reached it in safety, carrying along one of their number who had been wounded. The bank afforded excellent protection, but McCarthy was worried.

"The longer we stay here," he said, "the worse we'll be coralled; we must try to make our way back to Fort   [photograph] GENERAL CUSTER, GRAND DUKE ALEXIS, BUFFALO BILL. From a Picture Taken at the Time of the Famous Buffalo Hunt in Honor of the Grand Duke Alexis.   Kearney by wading the river, keeping in the shadow of the bank."

Slowly and cautiously the little band of men edged their way down the stream, in places it was so deep that they had to swim; a raft was built for the wounded herder.

The Indians followed at a safe distance, occasionally sending along a bothersome shot or poisoned arrow. Strong men as they were, the strain and labor began to tell on the wagon drivers. It was a case of every man for himself; little attention had been paid to young Cody, who was drenched to the skin.

Surging with excitement, his brain and body not used to such a gruelling task, was deadly fatigued. The youngster began to lag behind.

It was about ten o'clock that night—the moon at times peeped through tree tops fringing the river bank. All was quiet save the gurgling water as the stream swirled around the tired legs of the wagon men. They were moving forward very slowly.

Cody crept to the bank exhausted. He crawled beneath a big bowlder for a moment's rest, his body numbed, his eyes drowsy; the youngster's head was soon nodding its willingness to toss off to slumber.


The others of the party continued on. All was silence. Suddenly a twig snapped on the bank's edge overhead. Cody was alert in a second. He listened. Then came the sound of dry grass rustling as if an animal were stealthily moving. Instinctively the boy scented danger. He cautiously peered around the bowlder's edge, and at the same instant the moon rays fell aslant the river bank's crest.

There, peering down the stream, lying prostrate, poising his rifle for a deadly shot, was an Indian with head plumed in Chieftain's feathers. The redskin's rifle trigger clicked and at the same instant Cody aimed.

Bang!—a blinding flash, a puff of smoke, and the Indian came tumbling down to the water's edge, dead.

The shot was a warning for the men ahead; a second later the Indians, who had wriggled themselves to the river bank top, opened fire. Cody's shot had drawn their attention, and, thinking that the entire body of whites were close at hand, the redskins fusilladed the direction from where Cody's shot came. He had dodged back behind the bowlder, and lay there uninjured waiting for another chance.

Led on by McCarthy, the men soon routed the Indians, Cody scrambling over the bank, joined in the fight and   had his first taste of Indian warfare. The little heroic band gathered around two of its men that had fallen in the skirmish.

"Men, that first shot was the warning that saved all our lives," exclaimed Frank McCarthy, gazing at the Indian Cody shot. "Who fired it?"

"I did," modestly spoke up young Cody.

"By thunder, Billy, you're a dandy!" and the wagon master was the first to grasp his hand. "We owe our lives to you."

The men showered their gratitude and congratulations on the blushing youngster.

"Just doing my duty," Bill remarked. "Mr. Majors told me that I would have to do a man's work to get a man's pay, and I'm trying to do it."


W. Lenders'




FOR an hour or so the party waited; making sure that the Indians had abandoned their attack, they proceeded cautiously to Kearney, where Russel, Majors and Wadell had an agent. McCarthy reported the battle. A company of troops was sent out as escort. The bodies of the slain herders were found scalped and literally cut to pieces, the remains were buried on the plains.

A few of the stampeded cattle were caught, the expedition was a failure, and young Cody returned home, where the news of his Indian killing had preceded him. He was warmly congratulated by Mr. Majors.

Billy Cody was not slated for a life of inactivity. He joined another outfit with supplies for General Johnson's army. This fared with but little success. The Danites   captured the supplies, and the men were again sent home. It was during this trip, however, that Cody met one of the greatest of frontiersmen—James B. Hickock—who won fame as a man quick on the trigger, earning the sobriquet of "Wild Bill." He took a great fancy to young Cody, which ripened into the warmest of friendship, continuing throughout the life of Wild Bill.

Cody spent a year or so trapping, was captured by Indians, had a marvelous escape, encountered a band of horse thieves, killed one, and led an expedition which captured the rest. For weeks shortly after this he had a leg broken and lay in a cave while a boon friend and chum rode and walked a hundred miles for medical aid.

Then came the agitation for a mail service between the East and West that was faster than the then present-day mode of transporting letters. The Pony Express was created. By relaying horse and rider with others at certain points along the route, mail could be sent to California in about three weeks. Letters were written on the finest tissue paper and were carried at the rate of five to eight dollars an ounce. As the experiment became a success, valuable parcels were dispatched. It took but little time for the outlaws infesting the Western deserts to realize   that robbery of the express pouch would result to their profit. In consequence a new terror was added to that which already menaced the riders, in the shape of wild animals and marauding Indians.

The riders received about one hundred and twenty-five dollars a month for their perilous work. Two hundred and fifty miles was the daily assignment that these intrepid men must cover.

On the 3rd of April, 1860, the first Pony Express rider with pouch strapped to his back bounded away on the journey that led from St. Joseph, Mo., to Sacramento, Cal.

Cody, now a lad of fourteen, had gone out West again. He intended to try mining. At Julesberg he met the agent of Russel, Majors and Wadell, who owned the Pony Express line.

"Hello, Billy," said Mr. Christman, who was formerly in the same wagon train with Cody, as the latter ran into him accidentally. The meeting was a cordial one. The agent was then buying ponies and equipment to get his section of the line in readiness.

"Sorry you aren't older, Billy," Christman said. "I'd like to give you a job as Pony Express rider."


Then the agent explained the new venture, its dangers and the pay the riders would receive.

"A hundred and twenty-five a month," mused the fourteen-year-old plainsman, thinking of the mothers and sisters at home. "Say, Mr. Christman, give me a chance at that job, will you?"

"Can't do it, Billy; the work is too hard and too dangerous; nerves of steel and a quick enough eye along the pistol barrel don't come in youngsters of your age, no matter how game and willing you are."

In a twinkling Cody's revolver flashed from its holster; a cowboy twenty feet away was striking a match to light his pipe. A sharp report, and the astounded cowboy gazed at the stub end of the match held in his fingers, the other end lay on the ground.

"My nerves are as good as my eye—I want a job as a rider," and Cody pleaded his case to such good effect that he was promptly engaged.

For three months the lad pounded against the saddle, making fifteen miles an hour every day. The work wore him down; at times he thought that possibly his nerves were made of iron instead of steel, but his will was indomitable.



"Ladies and Gentlemen, Permit Me to Introduce a Congress of the Rough Riders of the World."


The folks at home needed the money, and he was determined to stick it out as long as he could keep his tired body together on the back of his dashing pony. So far he had been decidedly lucky in not meeting with any trying experiences with either Indians or highwaymen, and in due proportion he felt deeply chagrined. He craved for just a little excitement to relieve the monotony of the continuous pound, pound, pound of horse hoofs and the scurrying of coyotes. At the stables he even twitted Christman about the forewarned dangers. Wish as he might, nothing would occur to give the lad a chance to test his metal against real trouble.

One day Christman called Cody to the office.

"Be careful to-day, Billy," he said; "we're sending a very valuable package through—there are reports of the Halloway gang along the trail."

"I'll get through safely," Bill replied, leaped to the saddle and dashed away.

For several hours nothing untoward occurred. He was speeding along the narrow trail when, just as he was rounding a bend, some one shouted:

"Throw up your hands!"


"Can't," Cody replied. "Horse will run away." He drew rein. "I say, Mister, point the business end of that gun of yours away from my head."

Cody was decidedly cool—here was a predicament, just what he had hoped for, but it came without a warning; then he remembered that Christman told him to get his pouches through.

"Hurry up, throw off those mail bags," commanded the outlaw sternly.

"These ain't mail bags," Cody fibbed, sparring for time to get his plan of action working; "just some old papers I'm taking over to the post."

"Look here, boy, I don't want to hurt you, but throw 'em off quick or I'll shoot!"

Cody knew he meant business. He unbuckled the bags and threw them over the horse's head at the robber's feet. As the latter stooped to pick them up, Billy rammed the spurs to the pony's flanks, the animal jumped wildly, struck the outlaw flush, and sent him sprawling to the ground.

Cody's gun covered the thief in a second.

"Look here, Mister Robber, I don't want to hurt you,"   Billy said banteringly, mocking the other, "but throw those bags up here quick, or I'll shoot!"

The robber lay motionless. Billy dismounted, approached cautiously and saw that the man was unconscious. He had been struck in the head by the horse's hoof. A deep gash across his forehead told the story. After disarming him, Billy replaced the mail bags, hid the outlaw's weapons in the brush near by, dragged him to a tree, and, using a leather rope, tied the outlaw fast; then, remounting, urged the pony on to make up for the time lost in tete-a-teteing with the robber.

As he neared the next station where he was to be relieved, Cody saw signs that foreboded trouble. The door was opened, the windows shattered, and, lying beside the hitching post, gun in hand, the relief rider was dead. There was no one to take the bags on to the next station. It meant a serious delay on the one side—an eighty-five mile ride for him if he continued. Cody was tired; without a moment's hesitation the gritty youngster nosed his pony on the trail for Rocky Ridge. It was a heart-breaking task, but when duty called Cody did not know the word quit. About ten miles out he had a skirmish with a party of ten or fifteen Indians; bending low over the   pony's back and reaching under its neck, he emptied both revolvers at the redskins; they gave up the chase, as the boy's pony was too fleet of foot and the bullets had whizzed too near their heads.

Arriving at the post he changed horses, reported the other rider's death, and half an hour later was tearing along the path homeward bound.

The ride was eventless. Approaching finally the bend where he had met the robber the day before, Billy, pistol in hand, made the turn cautiously. The man was still unconscious. In a second Cody had the figure strapped on behind him.

It was dark when Cody and the captive outlaw reached headquarters. Christman was standing out front; he was mad through and through.

"What the devil kept you so long?" he exclaimed. "This won't do. You're fired and fined a month's pay."

Billy drew rein, dismounted, and let the outlaw slip to the ground; he was conscious and made an effort to escape, but was promptly checked by Cody.

"Who in thunder is that?" shouted Christman.

"Don't know much about him; he tried to hold me up," Cody replied quietly. "Better send some one up to the   other station, someone killed the agent. I took his bags right through to Rocky Ridge."

Cody started to lead his horse to the corral.

"Hold on, Billy." Christman's voice had softened. "To Rocky Ridge? Why, man alive, it's a three hundred and twenty-three mile trip, and you made it?"

"Yes, sir."

"Well, darn my hide, I take back what I said; you're not fired—you've got a life job and a twenty-five-dollar-a-month raise in wages. Here's my hand."

"Thank you, sir."

Then Billy fed and watered his horse, shook down some hay and tumbled off to sleep.


E W Lenders




YOUNG man, I want some one that I can trust to send on a very dangerous and important errand," said General O. J. Smith. "You will do."

And with those words young Cody, now eighteen years old, tall, handsome, with a frank, boyish candor in every feature, assumed one of the most arduous military rôles ever assigned to a soldier.

Many events had transpired since those narrated in the preceding chapter. Mrs. Cody had passed away. Broken-hearted, he gave up the Pony Express riding. The guns of Sumter had written in flame their ominous message. Bill Cody decided to enlist. He was recruited in the Seventh Kansas Regiment, known as Jennison's Jayhawkers, which had once disbanded, reorganized and re-enlisted as veterans.


The regiment was ordered to Tennessee, reaching there just about the time that General Sturgis had been soundly whipped by the forces under General Forrest.

"Report for duty within an hour if you are satisfied to take the big risks for your country."

"You mean," answered Cody quietly, "that you wish me to go as a spy in the rebel camp?"

"Exactly; you know the penalty if caught—you will be hung."

"I am ready to obey any duty assigned to me, sir," replied the youngster.

"I am sure, Cody," said General Smith kindly, "that if any one can go through safely you will, dodging Indians on the plains was good training for the work you have in hand, which demands quick intelligence and ceaseless vigilance. Take these maps to your quarters, study them carefully, return to-night for full instructions."

Saluting the officer, Cody wheeled about, his bearing every bit the soldier. When once beneath the canvas of his tent, his whole frame relaxed.

"A spy," he mused; "by thunder, I don't mind being shot, but I hate to think of the disgrace of being hanged.   [photograph] CLOSE TO NATURE. Photographed From Life With the Wild West.   It's important work, and some one must do it. I will, and succeed, too."

Just as he was about to enter the general's tent that evening, Cody saw the figure of a man skulking in the brush. He eyed him for a second, then quickly throwing rifle to shoulder, gave the command:

"Halt! Who goes there?"

"Don't shoot; I'm wounded," came the reply.


A limping figure emerged from the bushes. It was dressed in Confederate gray. Cody approached.

"Good God!" he exclaimed. "Nat Golden, whom I knew when I was on the freight caravans."

Golden recognized Cody instantly.

"Hello, Bill Cody; what are you doing here?"

"At present making you a prisoner of war," Bill answered. "Nat, this is too bad. I would have rather captured a whole regiment than you. I don't like to take you a prisoner. Why in thunder did you enlist on the other side?"

"The fortunes of war, Billy," laughed Nat. "Friends shall be turned against friends, and brother against brother. You wouldn't have had me a prisoner if my   rifle hadn't missed fire, that wounded stunt was only a bluff; mighty glad my gun failed me, Bill, for I wouldn't have wanted to be the one that shot you."

"And I don't want to see you strung up," Bill said; "so hand me over those papers that you have and I will turn you in as an ordinary prisoner."

"Do you think I am a spy, Billy?" asked Nat, with face paled.

"I know it."

"Well," Nat replied, "I've risked my life to obtain these papers, but they will be taken from me anyway; so I might as well give them up now if it will save my neck."

Cody called the guard, turned over his prisoner, and presented himself to the commander. As usual, he thought quickly. His plan was original and daring.

"General, I gathered from a statement dropped by a prisoner that I just captured that a Confederate spy had succeeded in making out and carrying to the enemy a complete map of the position of our regiment, together with some idea of the projected plan of campaign."

"I am glad to get this information," replied the general. "I will change my position so that the enemy's   information will be of no value to them. When will you set out?"

"To-night, sir. I have a Confederate uniform and everything ready for an early start."

"Going to change your colors, eh?"

"Yes, for the time being; but not my principles."

"You will need all the wit, pluck, nerve and caution of which you are possessed to come through this ordeal safely. Good-bye, and success go with you," and the general grasped the young man's hand in hearty manner.

At four o'clock in the morning Cody was in the saddle, riding toward the Confederate lines. At dawn he sighted the enemy's outposts. He was carefully dressed as a Southern officer. With a reassuring touch of the papers in his pocket that he had taken from Nat Golden, he spurred toward the sentry.

"Halt! Who goes there?"


"Dismount, friend, advance, and give the countersign."

"Haven't the countersign," said Cody, dropping from his saddle, "but I have important information for General Forrest; take me to him at once."


When Forrest heard the report he ordered Cody brought before him.

"Well, sir," said he, "what can I do for you?"

"You sent a man named Nat Golden into the Union lines."

"And if I did, what then?"

"He's an old friend of mine; he tried to reach the Union camp to verify some information that he had received, but before he started he left certain papers with me in case he was captured."

"Was he captured?" Forrest asked.

"Yes, sir; but as I happened to know he wasn't hanged, for these weren't on him. Golden asked me to bring these to you." With that Cody produced the maps he had taken from his erstwhile acquaintance.

General Forrest knew Golden's handwriting, the documents were manifestly genuine. His suspicion was not aroused.

"These are important papers," he said. "Do you know what they contain?"

"Every word; I studied them carefully, so that in case   they were destroyed I could still give you the information."

"Very wise thing to do; are you a soldier?"

"I have not joined the army. This uniform belongs to Golden. I wore it to get to your lines easier. I know this section very well—could you use me as a scout?"

"What is your name?"

"Frederick Williams," Cody answered, almost telling the truth.

"Very well; you may remain in camp, I'll send for you when the time comes." Forrest called an orderly.

"Make this young man comfortable at the couriers' camp."

"Yes, sir."

The second day after saw Cody busy. He had picked up valuable information, had drawn maps, and was prepared to make his escape at the first opportunity. Forrest had not as yet sent for him, and the young spy realized that his only mode of escape lay in taking leave without orders, the which, most likely, being followed by a volley of sentries' bullets.

Cody approached the General's tent and saw him talking   with a soldier. He could not see the other's face. Suddenly he recognized the voice.

"Nat Golden!" he muttered under his breath, turning abruptly on his heel and making for his quarters.

"Here's a mess," Cody thought, "with Golden in camp. I can see where the Johnnies will have a hanging party with me as the central figure of entertainment, and that won't do."

Quietly saddling his horse, Cody mounted and leisurely rode toward the outpost, his gray uniform passed him through without a challenge. He had gone a good fifty yards and was heading for a stretch of timber; suddenly the dull thudding of horse's hoofs caught his ear, and he turned to see a small cavalcade bearing down upon him at a gallop.

The spurs grated his horse's flanks as he dashed for the timber. It was out of the frying pan into the fire. He ran into a dozen Confederate cavalrymen guarding two Union prisoners.

"Men, a Union spy has escaped!" shouted Cody, dashing up to them. "Scatter at once and head him off. I'll look after your prisoners."


Without a thought of questioning his command, the cavalrymen scurried right and left in search of the fugitive.

"Come," said Bill in a whisper to the Union soldiers, "I'm the spy—there," cutting the ropes that bound their wrists, "now ride for your lives!"

The Confederates soon discovered the ruse and set after the fleeing trio in mad pursuit. It was a running battle, bullets snipped the trees, Cody turned, taking quick aim, brought the leader of the pursuers to the ground; and then gave the order for his two companions to separate. The three men scattered to different parts of the wood.

For an hour or so the young spy spurred through woods and open plains. The sound of pursuers ceased, and Cody jogged leisurely along the old country road, chuckling over his good luck.

Riding up to a farmhouse, Bill entered and asked for food. Seated at the same table was a man dressed in Confederate gray. The two were alone.

"You little rascal, what are you doing in those 'sesesh' clothes?" the tall man inquired, with a quiet laugh. Cody's first thought was that he had been recognized. In an instant his pistol flashed in view.


"I ask the same question of you, sir," he bravely replied.

"Hush! Sit down; put that shooting iron of yours away and have some bread and milk." It was "Wild Bill," one of Cody's staunchest friends, disguised as a Confederate officer. After a quick luncheon, the two strolled out.

"Billy," Wild Bill said, "I am mighty glad to see you. What are you doing here?"

"Scouting and getting information."

"That's exactly what I'm doing. Take these papers, Billy, to the General; tell him I'm digging up too much good news to leave the Confederate camp."

"All right. When will I see you again?"

"You'll hear from me in a day or two."

They shook hands and parted.

True to his word, it wasn't long before Wild Bill and Cody met, but in a manner that neither had counted on. One day while both armies were drawn up in skirmish line near Fort Scott, Kansas, two men were seen rapidly leaving the Confederate side, dashing toward the boys in blue. Instantly volleys were discharged from the soldiers in gray, who also began a pursuit and some five   [photograph] DEATH OF "TALL BULL," AS RE-ENACTED BY BUFFALO BILL.   hundred shots were fired at the fleeing men. It was evident that the two were trying to reach the Union lines, but when within about a quarter of a mile the one in the lead suddenly raised in his saddle, took quick aim, and the other toppled to the ground to rise no more. A detachment was sent out under Cody to meet the horseman and check his pursuers. In the dim twilight it was difficult to distinguish faces. The Confederates, on seeing the charge made by Cody and his men, paused and, wheeling around, rode back to their lines.

The lone horseman kept on coming. He was a Confederate officer. Instantly every Union rifle came to the shoulder, awaiting the command to fire.

"Don't shoot, boys; it's a Union spy. It's Wild Bill!" shouted Cody.


E W Lenders




SIX foot two, broad chested, measuring fifty inches around, with a waist that you could almost span, a foot like a woman, long, blond hair, which glistened like gold in the sun light, and with muscles equalling any trained athlete or prize fighter, Wild Bill Hickok was a magnificent specimen of manhood and one of the most deadly shots with rifle or pistol that ever lived. Moreover, he was an expert horseman, with nerves of steel and a heart as brave as a lion.

Fiction in its wildest flights of imagination never chronicled a more thrilling episode than that which happened to Wild Bill—and what follows is an exact reproduction of his own story of the McCandlass gang fight—the greatest single-handed encounter and battle   ever fought—here are his exact words as told to Buffalo Bill, shortly after the fight:

"I hardly know where to begin. I was at it for the Union all through the war. I don't like to talk of that McCandlass affair. It gives me a queer shiver when I think of those ten blazing men eager, literally, to pull my heart out and eat it. Lord, how wicked we men are down deep!

"You see, this Jack McCandlass was the captain of a gang of horse thieves and murderers who were the terror of the border States. McCandlass was the biggest and most brutal of them all. Jim McCandlass was next. He was Jack's brother. One day I beat him, Jack, shooting at a mark, and then threw him, wrestling—and I didn't drop him as softly as you would a couple of poached eggs on toast, either—so he got savage-mad about it and swore that he would have his revenge on me some time. That was just before the war broke out, in April, '61, and we were already taking sides for the South or Union. McCandlass and his gang were border ruffians in the Kansas row, and, of course, they went with the rebs. I forgot McCandlass, but he didn't forget me, it appears. I went Union.


"It was in '61, when I was guiding a detachment of cavalry that was coming in from Camp Floyd. We had nearly reached the Kansas line, and were in South Nebraska when one afternoon I went out of camp to go to the cabin of an old friend of mine, a Mrs. Waltman. I took only one of my revolvers with me, for although the war had broken out I didn't think it necessary to carry both my pistols on all occasions. In ordinary fights one is better than two—if you shoot straight. I saw some wild turkeys on the road as I was going down, and I shot one, thinking it would be just the thing for Mrs. Waltman's supper, for a wild turkey is very sweet eating. I rode up to Mrs. Waltman's, jumped off my horse and went into the cabin, which was like most of the cabins on the prairie, with only one room and two doors, one opening in front, the other to a sort of yard and pretty garden.

"'How are you, Mrs. Waltman?' I said.

"The second she saw me she turned as white as a corpse and actually screamed—

"'Is that you, Bill? Oh, my God! They will kill you! Run, run, or they will chop you all to bits.'

"'Who's going to kill me?' I said.


"'It's McCandlass and his gang! There's ten of them, and you've no chance! They've just gone down the road to the corn rack! They came up here only five minutes ago! McCandlass was dragging poor Parson Shipley on the ground with a lariat 'round his neck! McCandlass knows of you bringing in that party of Yankee cavalry and he swears he'll cut your heart out and eat it! Run, Bill, run, like a good boy.' I was only twenty-three, then. 'My God, you can't! It's too late! They're coming up the lane and they've seen your horse!'

"All the time the poor lady was talking I was thinking that I had only one revolver, and a load—for the turkey—was gone out of that. On the table were a horn of powder and some little bars of lead. I poured some powder into the empty chamber and rammed the lead after it by hammering the barrel on the table, and had just capped the pistol when I heard Jack McCandlass shout:—

"'Yes, it's that damned Yankee, Bill Hickok's, horse! He's here! Let's skin him alive!'

"If I had thought of running before, it was then too late. I never dreamed that I should leave that room alive. Later something breathed on me and made me strong."

Here Hickok stopped, rose to his feet and glided back   and forth in great excitement. It was not acting. It was the real thing. He seemed to have forgotten us. He was living in the past.

"I tell you what it is, gentlemen. I don't mind a scrimmage with these fellows around here. Shoot one or two of them and the rest will skedaddle like a lot of frightened rats; but all of the McCandlass gang were reckless devils who could and would fight so long as they were able to stand, sit, shoot, stab, punch, tear or bite. That was one of the few times that I prayed, gentlemen. Since then I've prayed often. Prayer is wonderful to help out.

"'Surround the house and give the — — no quarter!' yelled McCandlass. When I heard that I felt as quiet and cool as if I were going to church with my father and mother and sisters. I looked around the room and saw a Hawkins rifle hanging over the bed. 'Is that loaded?' I asked Mrs. Waltman.

"'Yes,' the poor thing whimpered. She was so scared—and no wonder!—that she couldn't speak out loud. I felt guilty to have pulled the row off in her cabin.

"'Are you sure?' said I, as I jumped on the bed and caught it from its hooks. She nodded yes again. Just   then McCandlass poked his head inside the doorway, but jumped back when he saw me with the Hawkins in my hands.

"'Come in, you dirty dog!' I shouted. My voice seemed to me to cross the Atlantic. McCandlass was a big bully, but not a rank coward. He jumped into the room with two hells in his eyes, his gun almost levelled to shoot the heart out of me, but he wasn't quick enough. The Lord must have delayed him, and my rifle ball tore the top of his head off. There was a dead silence as he fell back through the doorway. I put down the rifle on the bed and picked the revolver from it. Mrs. Waltman—bless her dear soul—had disappeared through the yard. I couldn't help inwardly smiling and saying, like an actor in a St. Louis stage play, 'Deserted on the eve of battle by my army!'

"Only six shots and nine men to kill! I don't know how it was, but something really seemed to breathe on me just then and things seemed clear and fine and sharp. I could think strong. There were a few seconds of that up yonder silence, and then they came through both doors with a rush! How wild they looked, with their red, sin-splashed, crime-masked faces and flaming eyes, shouting   [drawing] THE WOUNDED SCOUT AND A FORTIFICATION OF DRIED BUFFALO MEAT.   and saying things I was glad good Mrs. Waltman didn't hear. I never aimed more coolly in my life. One, two, three, four—and four men were dead, not wounded. I never wound. McCandlass made the number five. That didn't stop the remaining five. Two of them fired their bird guns at me and I felt fire run all over me. The room was full of smoke. Two got close to me, their eyes burning like hell. One I knocked down with my fist. I think I broke his jaw. The other I shot dead. The three others crowded me onto the bed.

"I had to fight fast. I broke one man's arm. He had his fingers round my throat and was tearing at it like a wildcat. Then I went wild as a grizzly—some one struck me across the breast with a rifle and I felt the blood rush from my nose, ears and mouth. Then I got ugly, bad, horrible, as all of them put together—cruel, crazy, sorry that there wasn't a roomful more of them—and I got a bowie somehow into my hand. Then it was all clouds, smoke, flame, blood, runaway stars, breaking suns, bursting moons, roaring seas of crimson, and as they tried to rise I slashed at their heads with the heavy backed bowie, chased them around the room, into corners, closed the doors so they couldn't escape, stabbed, chopped,   slashed breasts, arms, heads, faces, until I knew that every man was dead twice over!'

"All of a sudden it seemed as if my heart were afire. I was bleeding everywhere, from knees to scalp. I staggered out to the well, drank from the bucket, and then tumbled, the bucket over my head soaked with blood—my own and theirs—and well water, over in a faint, just like a girl."

Hickok was wounded by three bullets, eleven buckshot, and was cut in thirteen places. It was six months before "Wild Bill" fully recovered from the result of what was one of the most thrilling exploits in border history.






IN 1865, at the close of the war, Cody was discharged with honors. He had served his country well. He went to St. Louis and brought to a culmination the sweetest romance of his life by marrying Miss Louisa Frederici. For a period the scout settled down to a quiet life and became a hotel proprietor by renting a hostelry in Salt Creek Valley, Kansas. He was a jolly "mine host," and it looked for a while as if the plains would lose one of its favored sons. But the call of the wild pleaded strongly, and once more Bill Cody donned the buckskin.

The war had left its bitterness in many places. Cody was to see one instance that was anything from pleasant. Shortly after his wedding the happy pair started on a short journey. They boarded a Missouri River steamboat and headed for their new home in Kansas.


"I say, Cody," one gentleman remarked, after the boat had proceeded but a short way, "the people on this boat don't seem to have any too great a love for you."

Cody had noticed that several on board had pointed their finger at him and passed remarks that he could not plainly hear.

"What does it mean?" Cody asked. "What are they saying? It's all a mystery to me."

"They say that you are one of the Kansas jayhawkers, and one of Jennison's house-burners."

"I am from Kansas, that's true; and was a soldier and scout in the Union army," Cody replied, "and I was in Kansas during the border ruffian war of 1856. Perhaps these people know who I am and that explains their hard looks."

The second day out from St. Louis the boat stopped to wood up at a wild-looking landing. Suddenly twenty horsemen were seen galloping through the timber, and as they came nearer the boat they fired on the negro deckhands, against whom they seemed to have a special grudge. The negroes jumped back on deck, from where they had been throwing on wood, and pulled in the gangplank.   The steamer pulled out in the stream as the bushwhackers appeared on the bank.

"Where is that abolition jayhawker?" shouted the leader.

"Show him to us and we'll shoot him!" yelled another. But by this time the boat was well out and the incident closed. It was rather embarrassing for the newly wedded man to meet with such a reception as this; but he was equal to the occasion. Telegraphing from Kansas City, Cody had a party of his friends meet the steamer on its arrival, and the reception they got was more than gratifying to the young bride.

In 1866-67 he acted as scout at Fort Fletcher, and later at Fort Hays. While there he met the gallant Custer for the first time.

"Cody, I want a guide," Custer said, "to take myself and men to Fort Larned. Can you do it?"

"Yes, sir."


"I am ready to start now, sir," and Cody saddled up a big mule.

"I want to travel fast; do you think that mule of yours can keep up?"


"General, never mind the mule," Cody replied; "he'll get there as soon as your horses."

For the first fifteen miles, until they came to the Smoky Hill River, Cody had trouble in keeping his mount moving fast enough. But soon the animal struck its gait, and when the party reached Fort Larned, sixty-five miles away, Cody was in the lead.

"General, how about that mule?" asked the scout, with a smile.

"You had a better vehicle than I thought," Custer said, laughing.

A short time after this, while the Union Pacific was pushing its tracks westward, in the very heart of the buffalo country, the Indians being constantly on the warpath, it was difficult, almost impossible, to obtain fresh meat for the workmen.

The Messrs. Goddard Brothers had the contract for supplying meat, and found themselves sorely pressed to live up to its terms. It was suggested that Cody, being a crack shot and thoroughly familiar with the plains, might be the very man they needed, as he could kill all the buffaloes necessary. They sent for the young man, an offer was made him of five hundred dollars a month for   all the fresh meat they would require. Cody accepted, and the next day started on a hunt.

He rode a horse named Brigham, one that Cody believed was the shrewdest and best plainsman's animal that ever lived. It did not take the hunter long to locate a buffalo herd. Just as he was preparing to make a charge a party of horsemen rode out from Fort Hays. They proved to be some newly arrived officers from the East, one being a Captain Graham and the others lieutenants.

"Hello, my friend," called out the Captain, "I see you are after the same game as we are."

"Yes, sir," Cody replied. "I saw the buffaloes coming over the hill and was just starting for some fresh meat for the railroad men."

Cody's unassuming saddle outfit made a sad comparison with the excellent equipment of the soldiers. His horse in particular came in for a bit of joking. As a matter of fact the animal in his straps did not show to the best advantage.

"Do you expect to catch buffaloes on that nag?" asked one.

"I hope so, by pushing the reins hard enough."


"You'll never do it in the world, young fellow," the Captain said. "It takes a fast horse."

"Does it?" asked Cody innocently.

"Yes, but come along with us—we're out for pleasure more than anything—all we want are the tongues and tenderloins, we'll be good to you, you can have the rest," the Captain added generously.

"Much obliged, Captain, I'll follow you"—Cody had a twinkle in his eye. About a mile away was a herd of eleven fine buffaloes. The officers dashed ahead. Cody took in the situation at a glance. The herd started for a creek and the scout knew their nature well enough to realize the difficulty of turning them from their direct course. He sped towards the creek while the officers closed in the rear and gave chase. The herd came crashing by Cody not over a hundred yards away. He circled the band and in twelve shots the entire herd was sprawled on the blood-stained ground. He dismounted and was examining the buffaloes when the officers came up.

"Gentlemen, allow me to present to you all the tongues and all the tenderloins that you wish from these carcasses," and Cody smiled graciously.




"By Jove, that was great work," pouted the Captain. "Who under the sun are you, anyway?"

"My name is Cody."

One of the junior officers had heard of the scout's feats in the expeditions that had gone before, and they all shook hands warmly, insisting that Cody return to the fort with them for a little celebration. That very night Indians made a raid on the horses. A detachment of colored soldiers under Captain Graham, with Cody as scout, started in pursuit. Nearing sunrise he located the redskins and just as the charge was to be made one of the negroes in his excitement fired a gun. A dash was made but the Indians being warned and seeing they were outnumbered took to their horses and escaped.

Cody resumed his work as meat provider for the railroaders. One day, in the Spring of 1868, he started for Smoky Hill River, where reports had it that large herds of buffaloes were grazing. On reaching the place he selected a knoll from which to make a charge and was just about ready when about half a mile away he discovered a party of about thirty Indians. That he had been seen the scout knew, as the Indians started for him on a mad gallop.


"My only chance is to make a run for it," he mused, and wheeling his horse, started for the railroad camp. After a few hundred yards he turned, saw them coming, and saw, too, that they were gaining on him. Eight or nine of the yelping devils had closed the gap to about three hundred yards—one Indian in particular, who rode a fine spotted, swift-footed horse, annoyed Cody by sending frequent rifle bullets in unfriendly proximity to his head.

"That's about enough for you," thought Cody, as one ball clipped the air near his ear. He pulled his horse up short, swung in the saddle with rifle to shoulder; the Indian was eighty yards away and coming like mad.


Down went the Indian's horse.

Cody saw the effect of his shot and spurred on. The others were making big gains. By turning and shooting quickly, then dashing away, Cody laid several in the dust. The rest still kept up the chase, but Cody's horse had the staying power and soon outdistanced the maddened redskins. Dashing into camp Cody secured a detachment of fifty soldiers and started after the Indians. It was just in time, too, as they had just overtaken one of the supply wagons of the railroad coming from another direction.


At first fire from the soldiers the Indians retreated, only to renew the attack a second later. The battle waged for hours when, with a final charge by Cody and his men, the Indians fled, leaving five of their number dead on the plains.

And so it went from day to day. Cody was in constant peril, but despite it all he stuck to the terms of his contract in supplying meat for the railroad. It was largely due to his sturdy efforts that the Union Pacific was able to make the progress it did.

While hunting one day Cody met Kit Carson and his escort. The two were fast friends and spent several days together at Fort Hays. Cody's fame and success as a buffalo hunter spread far and wide. There were others that achieved success in the perilous game of buffalo hunting and each treasured his own record.

One in particular—Billy Comstock, a noted scout, guide and interpreter, then chief of scouts at Fort Wallace, Kansas, had the local distinction of being the champion buffalo hunter. There were others that thought Cody the best shot on the plains. When the subject was mentioned to the latter he had nothing to say, he was always modest, but when pressed agreed to enter any sort of a competition   that would leave no future doubts as to who was entitled to the laurels of champion.

The officers had taken a great liking to Cody and believed that as a buffalo hunter and all-around scout, guide and crack shot, his equal did not exist. A purse of five hundred dollars was raised and Comstock challenged to settle the matter of supremacy between him and Cody as buffalo hunters. The money was to go as a side bet.

A condition of the hunt was that it should commence at eight in the morning and close at four in the afternoon, the winner to be considered as the champion buffalo hunter of the world.

These details were sent to Comstock, who was at that time known as "Buffalo Bill Comstock." This title was also involved in the outcome of the shoot. He readily agreed to the terms, and the event was advertised far and wide.

A point twenty miles east of Sheridan was selected as the place of contest. Hundreds of men and women assembled on the designated day, coming from St. Louis and many other cities.

The day broke clear and cloudless, with just enough crisp in the air to make it invigorating. It was agreed that   the men should go into the same herd at the same time, each killing as many as possible.

Comstock was mounted on his favorite horse, Cody rode Brigham. The referee gave the signal and the great hunt was on. Both men spurted for the herd, Comstock to the left and Cody to the right. Comstock got twenty-three, Cody shot thirty-eight, the entire number in the herd he was in. He was loudly applauded by the throng of spectators, who had been left a half mile away, until the charge was made, and then they closed in close to watch the shooting.

After a short rest another herd was discovered. Comstock shot fourteen and Cody eighteen, making the score fifty-six to thirty-seven in the young scout's favor.

A halt was called for lunch; good fellowship prevailed. With victory thus in sight and flushed with confidence, Cody proposed a feat that was astounding.

"In the next trial, ladies and gentlemen, I will ride my horse without saddle or bridle," he announced—and good as his word, when the signal was given, Cody's horse had no harnessing of any kind.

Guns popped, the hunters rode like mad, Cody cool and deliberate, taking his shots with such skill that it evoked   constant exclamations of wonder from the spectators. The plains were strewn with dead buffaloes. When the final score was announced it stood, Comstock forty-six, Cody sixty-nine. A tremendous cheer arose, Cody was smothered with congratulations.

"Three cheers for Bill Cody," some one suggested.

"Wait—wait" shouted another—"let's give three for Bill Comstock, and then three rousing ones for the greatest hunter of them all and crown him with his new title—now, all together—three cheers for Buffalo Bill Cody!"


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I HAVE important dispatches for General Sheridan, and my instructions from Captain Parker, commanding Fort Larned, are that they shall be delivered to the General as soon as possible," announced a courier, dust covered and fatigued from a hard ride.

"Give them to me," an officer said.

"I prefer giving them to General Sheridan myself and at once." Sheridan was asleep at the time—an orderly went to notify him of the courier's arrival, and it was none other than Buffalo Bill Cody.

Shortly after the hunt in which he won his title Cody completed his work with the railroad, supplying in all four thousand two hundred and eighty buffaloes. He then returned to scout duty at Fort Larned. He had been sent on   a mission to Fort Zarah, and completing it, started on the return to Fort Larned on a mule.

Not a dozen miles had been covered when about forty Indians dashed up.

"How, how," they exclaimed in friendly greeting.

"How," Cody replied, eyeing them suspiciously, noting they wore their war paint.

"Shake hands," an Indian said.

Cody extending his in good will, it was seized with a sudden grasp, a tightening of grip and the scout was jerked violently forward, another grabbed the bridle and a second later Cody was completely surrounded. Then all grew black before him, he had been felled with the blow of a tomahawk dealt from behind.

When he opened his eyes Cody found that he had been carried to an Indian village. There was a council going on and he was placed in the center of the chiefs, presided over by Santanta, a bloodthirsty and crafty redskin. The outlook was bad, and Cody realized it. Never for a moment did he falter in bravery, his wits collected he knew that it was one chance in a hundred if he ever escaped, and if he did it would not be by force but by outscheming   [photograph] BUFFALO BILL AS A MARKSMAN, SHOOTING GLASS BALLS.   the Indians—just how he could not tell then, but the chance came and he was equal for the emergency.

"Where have you been?" Santanta asked.

"After cattle," came the quick reply—it flashed through Cody's mind that the Indians had been without meat for some time and that in their efforts to pacify the redskins meat had been promised them by a certain general.

Santanta was interested at once. He eagerly questioned the scout.

"I was sent by the General"—Cody lied glibly—"to tell you that the cattle were coming."

"Good," grunted the old rascal, then, with a frown, "soldiers come, too?"


"General send cattle to us?"

"Yes, I was ordered to bring them over here"—then in a bold tone—"why did your young men treat me so roughly, I came here friendly to you?"

"Very sorry, all a mistake," and the wily chief smiled. Santanta was thinking hard. He wanted the cattle, but he did not want a fight with the soldiers.


"I was to bring the herd to the river there so you could get them," Buffalo Bill said with nonchalance.

"Shall I send my young men with you?"

"No, it is better for me to go alone—then the soldiers can go right on to Fort Larned while I drive the herd over the river for you."

Santanta, believing that Cody was telling the truth, apologized for his unruly young men and permitted the scout to leave the village. Cody wheeled about, spurred his mule and rode away in the supposed direction of the cattle.

All went well for a little while. He took his time in getting away, so as not to arouse suspicion, and then, when at a safe distance, he struck into a lively gait and swerved from his course, heading for the fort. He had gone but a short way when, upon looking back, saw that ten or twelve Indians were following him. They saw him turn, and in a flash realized that they had been hoaxed, started in pursuit. The chase continued until within a few miles of the fort, when finally Cody spied a government wagon with soldiers.

"Into the brush, quick!" shouted Cody, "Indians coming."


The team was driven among the trees and hidden. A sharp turn had made the hiding successful from the Indians. It wasn't a long wait before the redskins thundered along. Two of them passed the hiding place.

"Give it to 'em," commanded Cody.

Others had come up in the meantime and four feathered warriors toppled to the dust at first fire. Finally Buffalo Bill popped another from his horse, then realizing that they had been ambushed, the other Indians turned and fled. The scalps were taken along with their arms and equipment by Cody and soldiers. The next morning Santanta with his entire force surrounded the fort.

"Cody, the captain is anxious to send dispatches to General Sheridan at Fort Hayes," one of the officers said, "and none of the men are willing to go, will you tackle it?"

"It's a risky trip, the country is full of hostile Indians," Cody replied, "but if no other scout is willing to volunteer I'll chance it. Give me a good horse and I'll start at dusk."

A terrific rainstorm gathered in the later afternoon. By six o'clock it was impossible to see a dozen rods ahead. This added further peril to the undertaking which none would risk except brave Cody.


"Good-bye, Bill, and good luck," was the parting salutation that greeted the scout's ears. He groped his way slowly. Only once during the night was he in real danger, and then he ran into an Indian outpost watching the village. The redskin had fallen asleep and Cody was on him in a flash. A heavy blow from Cody's rifle butt laid the Indian unconscious. He could just as easily have killed him, but it was not Cody's way of doing. It might be said here that in all the bloody times that Buffalo Bill went through, he never took a redman's life except to save his own.

Cody got away without being seen or heard by those in the village. It was a sixty-mile grind. He reached General Sheridan's headquarters just at sunrise.

"Hello Cody, is that you!" greeted Sheridan, coming from his room.

"Yes, sir—I have some dispatches here for you from Captain Parker."

Sheridan read the papers carefully, and then Cody related his experiences of the day previous.

"Bill," Sheridan said, "you must have breakfast with   me. That was a good joke you played on Santanta. You have had a long, hard ride and must be tired."

"A little weary, General."

"Come, have breakfast with me."

"Thank you sir, but I think I'll ride over to Hayes City, it's only a mile, and I have some friends there."

"Very well, but come back, as I want to see you before you return to the fort."

A short visit, a hearty meal and after handshaking around and a brief nap, Cody returned to headquarters and was about ready to leave for Fort Larned. Several scouts were gathered around headquarters and talking excitedly.

"What's the matter?" asked Cody.

"The General wants some one to carry dispatches to Fort Dodge."

"That's about a ninety-five mile trip and a long one, too," Cody mused to himself, walking in to see the General as he had been requested.

They had been talking a few minutes when the chief of scouts entered. "General," he said, "no one has volunteered to go to Fort Dodge."

"Very well," Sheridan replied, with just a trace of a frown.


"General, if no one will volunteer I'll carry your dispatches myself."

"I had not thought of asking you to do this duty, Cody," the General responded, evidently pleased and in surprise, "as you are already pretty hard worked, but it is really important that these dispatches should go through."

"If you don't get a courier by four o'clock, I'll be ready at that time," Cody answered. "All I want is a fresh horse, meantime I'll take a little more rest."

Four o'clock came, but no volunteers.

"General, I'm ready," Cody said, presenting himself to Sheridan.

"Good luck go with you, my boy."

The trip proved uneventful except for the hardship it entailed on the already worn-out courier. He arrived at Fort Dodge a little after nine next morning. The commanding officer there had dispatches for Fort Larned, but, as before, no one cared to volunteer on the long, hard and dangerous ride. Cody again came to the front.

"Give me a fresh horse and I'll carry them for you," he said.

"I am sorry, but we haven't a decent horse here, but we   have a reliable and honest government mule, if that will do you."

"Trot out your mule, that's good enough; I'm ready to start at any time."

At dark the scout was on his way for Fort Larned. Thirty miles out he dismounted at a creek to drink. He had neglected to tie the lariat from the mule's bridle to his belt and the animal jerked loose, started down the creek at a trot. Try as he might, Cody could never overtake the beast. He coaxed and threatened to no advantage, and stranger yet, the mule struck the trail for Fort Larned and kept to it with the maddened scout walking on behind. Mile after mile this kept up.

When day broke Cody was plodding on behind the jogging mule. "Damn your tantalizing hide, take that," and a ball from Cody's rifle brought the recalcitrant mule to sorrow.

Continuing on, Cody walked to the Fort, where he delivered his messages, secured a new mount and the morning after reported back to General Sheridan. Altogether he had ridden and walked three hundred and fifty-five miles within fifty-eight riding hours, a long and danger-bestrewn trip.


"Cody," General Sheridan said, after warmly complimenting him on his remarkable feat, "the Fifth Cavalry is going on an expedition against the Dog Soldier Indians—in recognition of your good and faithful work, I hereby appoint you as guide and chief of scouts with the command."


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HALF-PAST nine and all's well," rang a sentry's voice. Then there was a pause, the outpost next made no sound. "What the divil's the matter wid that other sentry?" asked an Irish sergeant of the Fifth Cavalry, "why don't he answer?"

Fully ten minutes went by and still no sound. The sergeant mounted his horse and rode cautiously along the river bank to investigate. There was a rustle in the brush, then he heard the tread of the sentry. The sergeant called out, "Hallo there, why didn't ye answer the call?" and still getting no response, rode on over to where the sentry stood. It was one of the Pawnee Indians that had joined the expedition as scouts, under Major Frank North. There were several companies of them, and on account of their excellent work they had been enrolled in the   regular army and assigned to many of the white soldiers' duties.

That the Pawnees, who were the deadly enemies of the Sioux, were splendid warriors and rendered invaluable aid to the Fifth Cavalry was apparent, and at the same time it was equally apparent that the Pawnees had a hard time to master the English language and grow accustomed to the usages and routine of the regular army.

"Hey, there, ye divil," exclaimed the sergeant, "why didn't you answer that call. That's what you're out here for, when we hear ye say 'all's well,' we know that the enemy isn't at hand."

"Me forget—very hard for me to do that," answered the Pawnee scout.

"See that you don't forget again—say something when the sentry next to you passes the word. Don't forget, now," and the sergeant rode away.

Half an hour later the sentry cried:

"Post number one, ten o'clock, and all's well."

A minute's pause and then in no certain tones the Pawnee shouted:

"Poss number half-pass five cents—go to hell—I don't care."


There was a rumble of laughter from the men. The system was found impractical, and the Pawnee scouts were thereafter relieved from sentry duty. This was not the only laugh that the hard-fighting Pawnees gave their white soldier friends. While the Fifth Cavalry was at Fort McPherson awaiting the completing of its equipment, a general dress parade was ordered, and the Indian scouts were in their glory. It was the first opportunity that they had had to display themselves in the full regalia of a soldier of Uncle Sam. When the bugle sounded for the review the Pawnees appeared dressed as if for a scene in comic opera. Some of them had on their heavy overcoats, others large black hats, with all the brass accoutrements attached. Others wore the regulation pants but had no shirts and were bareheaded. Others again had the seat of the pants cut out, leaving only leggings; some of them wore brass spurs, but had on no boots or moccasins.

Despite all this, they were good soldiers, hard riders, crack shots and desperate fighters. The order was given and the command moved on up the Republican River. The next morning shots were heard along with the whoops of Indians in the vicinity of the mule herd which had been taken down to water.


"Indians are there!" shouted a herder as he staggered into camp with an arrow sticking in his shoulder.

Cody was mounted in a second, and followed by a band of the Pawnees, made for the watering place. It took only a few seconds of fighting to disperse the attacking party. A running fight of fifteen miles was engaged in, resulting in several of the marauding Indians being killed. It was during the chase that Buffalo Bill, mounted on one of the fleetest of horses, was overtaken and passed by a Pawnee, who was riding one of the swiftest animals that Cody had ever seen. After the fight Bill swapped his horse, some tobacco and other trinkets and secured the Indian's horse, which he named "Buckskin Joe."

The Pawnees had been sent out to kill fresh meat and soon had a herd of buffaloes surrounded, there were twenty Indians in the party, and in all they killed thirty animals. Just then another herd hove in sight, Cody dashed away and in a very short time had strewn thirty-six bison along a half mile of prairie single handed. The Indians after this held the scout in the very highest esteem.

The command moved on up the Republican River. Indian tracks were found which Cody discovered were made by the Sioux. He was sent out with a small party of   Pawnees to try to locate the band. The day after Buffalo Bill came on fresh tracks and was astounded upon close examination to discover the imprints of a woman's shoe. Word was sent to General Carr. Orders were issued for a forced march.

Cody was then about ten miles in advance of the army. He saw that he was nearing the village of the Indians, and sent word back for extreme caution to be exercised. Keeping the command wholly out of sight until it was within a mile of the Indian village, Carr commanded the soldiers to close up, and at his order make a dash for the village.

"Sound the charge," General Carr called out—but the bugler was struck dumb with fear at the sight of hundreds of Indians. Again the General issued the order, but the bugler could get no command of his lips.

"I'll do it," shouted Quartermaster Hays, seizing the bugle, sounding the charge, tossing the horn away and grasping a revolver in each hand, sprang out with the leader.

The Indians had just driven up their horses and were preparing to break camp when they heard the bugle notes and saw the soldiers rushing down upon them. Many   succeeded in getting to their ponies and fled in precipitate haste, others leaving everything behind in the camp advanced out of the village, and with true Sioux determination prepared to meet the attacking party of whites.

On came the soldiers, yelling and shooting, they stopped for nothing, but plunging straight through the camp they left a trail of dead and wounded on every side. Buffalo Bill was engaged in a hand-to-hand conflict, when above the din and roar of battle he heard a woman scream. A quick thrust with his knife and his Indian antagonist rolled to the ground writhing in agony. Cody broke for the teepee whence the screams came. He reached there just in time to save one of the white captives from being tomahawked by the squaw of Tall-Bull.

The captive, though badly wounded, told that she and another woman had been taken prisoners after the Indians had robbed and killed all the male whites of a settlement not far away. The other woman had been slain by the squaw just as the soldiers entered the village.

By orders of General Carr, all the effects of the Indians were burned, the injured woman was taken under care by the surgeons. Cody rode on to reconnoiter. The Sioux were not long in gathering together their scattered forces   and returned to battle the whites. Buffalo Bill was on the skirmish line and in the hottest part of the fight. One Indian in particular seemed to be the chief and it was the following out of his orders that led to disaster for the soldiers. Cody determined to put a stop to his career. Dismounting from his horse the brave scout crept to a ravine where he could command a better view, though placing himself in greater peril.

The chief dashed by and yelled commands in his language. Cody could understand enough to let him know that the chief was urging his people to make it a do-or-die affair, and just then the scout's rifle cracked. The Indian rolled to the dirt. He had been mounted on an excellent horse which, as soon as he was riderless, in place of turning back to the Indians, made straightway for the soldiers and was captured. In token of the shot he had made the horse was presented to Buffalo Bill. The fallen Indian proved to be Tall Bull, one of the most wicked of all the Sioux chiefs.

That ended the battle. For his noble work General Carr received a vote of thanks, as did Buffalo Bill, from the Legislatures of both Nebraska and Colorado. Not long after this Buffalo Bill met for the first time Col. E. B. C.   Judson, known better as Ned Buntline, a famous writer. Buntline became very much interested in the great scout, effects of which were to manifest themselves at a later date. In the Spring of 1871 General Emory, who was then in command of Fort McPherson, called Cody to his quarters.

"Cody, there has been so much petty deviltry going on in this neighborhood that I want it stopped," he said, "and the best way that I knew was to get an appointment for you as justice of the peace."

"General, you compliment me too highly," Cody replied, blushing; "I don't know anything more about law than a government mule does about bookkeeping."

"That doesn't make any difference," he said, "you will make a good squire."

And so he did. For several weeks he busied himself with the various things that came to him under his new routine of duties. Finally he was called upon to perform a marriage ceremony. The bridegroom was one of the sergeants of the company. This was a stunner to the scout. He looked through all the available books at hand to find the mode of procedure, but nothing came to his rescue. Finally he picked up the "Statutes of the State   [drawing] COL. W. F. CODY, "BUFFALO BILL" THE ILLUSTRIOUS LIFE OF BUFFALO BILL. From Original Sketches.   of Nebraska," thinking possibly somewhere there he would find instruction—he looked in vain. The time approached for the wedding and nothing daunted, Cody determined to do the very best he could.

"Do you take this woman to be your lawful wife?" he said bravely, when the pair stood before him, "and promise to support and love her through life?"

"I do," was the reply.

Then he repeated the question to the young woman; she answered in a manner that was satisfactory.

"Then join hands—I now pronounce you to be man and wife, and whomsoever God and Buffalo Bill have joined together let no man put asunder. May you live long and prosper. Amen."


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ABOUT the first of January, 1872, General Forsyth journeyed to Fort McPherson to make preparations for a big buffalo hunt at which the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia was to be the chief guest of honor. Cody informed him that there were plenty of buffaloes in the vicinity, especially on the Red Willow, sixty miles away. Buffalo Bill was commissioned by the representatives of General Sheridan, who was arranging the hunt, to visit Spotted Tail's camp, one of the Sioux warriors, located somewhere on Frenchman's Fork, nearly a hundred and fifty miles from Fort McPherson. The purpose of the visit was to induce about a hundred of the Indian warriors and chiefs to come to the Grand Duke's camp, so that the latter could see the Indians and observe the manner in which they killed buffaloes.


Cody guided the party to Red Willow with a small escort of armed men, and left them there while he proceeded alone. The weather was very cold, there was more or less danger from the Indians, for although Spotted Tail himself was friendly, it might prove a dangerous task to enter the camp. As he had during the past few years made many enemies among the Sioux in the different battles, there was a possibility of meeting them at any time.

From fresh horse tracks and the dead buffaloes lying here and there, Cody knew that he was nearing Spotted Tail's camp. He rode on a few miles farther, then hiding his horse in a low ravine, crawled up a high hill where he had a good view of his surroundings. Four or five miles straight ahead he saw a number of Indian ponies and knew that the camp must be near by. Waiting until nightfall, he mounted and rode into the camp unobserved.

Cody wrapped a blanket around his head, leaving just enough room to see, and rode around until he found the chiefs tent, then dismounting threw back the flap and entered. He was cordially greeted. Spotted Tail, when he knew the request came from General Sheridan, accepted the invitation.


Next morning the chiefs and warriors were assembled according to orders, and to them was stated the object of the scout's visit.

"Do you know who this man is?" asked Spotted Tail, pointing to Cody.

"Yes, we know him well," replied one, "that is Pa-he-haska (which means long hair in the Sioux language), that is our old enemy."

"That is he," returned Spotted Tail," I want all our people to be kind to him and treat him as my friend."

Cody returned to Red Willow. Great preparations were being made for the hunt. Everything was finally in readiness, when on the morning of January 12, 1872, the Grand Duke and his suite arrived at North Platte by special train, Cody and a delegation of soldiers were at the train to meet them.

"Cody," General Sheridan said, "this is the Grand Duke Alexis. I am going to ask you to take charge of him, and show how you kill buffaloes." General Custer was one of the party that witnessed the war dance given by the Indians that night. Morning broke with a fine sun shining warmly. Just as the party were about to start   for the hunting grounds some one came up to Cody and said that Mr. Thompson did not have a horse.

"What Thompson?" asked Cody.

"Why, Mr. Frank Thompson, who has charge of the Duke's train."

Cody had following him "Buckskin Joe," his celebrated war horse. This animal was not a very prepossessing thing to look at. He was buckskin in color, and rather a sorry-looking animal, but was known all over the frontier as the greatest long-distance and best buffalo horse living. Cody had never allowed anyone but himself to ride this horse, but as he had none other there at the time he ordered it bridled and saddled, and told Mr. Thompson he could ride him until another could be secured.

This horse looked so different from the beautiful animals that the rest of the party were supplied with that Thompson thought it rather discourteous to mount him in such fashion. As Thompson rode past the wagons and the ambulances he noticed the teamsters pointing at him, and thinking they were guying him, he rode up to one of them.

"Am I not riding this horse all right?" he asked.   Thompson felt some personal pride in his horsemanship ability.

"Yes, sir," the driver replied, "you are riding all right."

"Well, then," Thompson said, "it must be the horse that you men are guying."

"Guying that horse!" the teamster exclaimed in surprise. "Not in a thousand years."

"Well, then, why am I such a conspicuous object?"

"Why, sir, aren't you the king?"

"The king—why do you take me for the king?"

"Because you are riding that horse. I guess you don't know what horse you are riding, do you? Nobody gets to ride that horse but Buffalo Bill. So when we all saw you riding him we supposed of course that you were the king, for that horse, sir, is Buckskin Joe."

Thompson felt relieved, and afterwards thanked Cody for the honor of allowing him such a mount.

It was planned that the Grand Duke was to have the first shot. The nobleman elected to use his pistol. At the first sight of the herd the Russian galloped at them, firing six times without scoring a hit.

"Better try mine," Cody suggested, handing over his revolver. But the next six shots went as before, and Cody   seeing that the herd would get away from them rode to the Duke's side.

"Take my rifle and I'll give you the word when to shoot." The nobleman was now mounted on Buckskin Joe, and as he took the gun Cody swatted the animal, Joe gave a jump and took the Duke to the buffaloes' side.

"Now's your time," shouted Buffalo Bill, and the Russian fired, killing his first buffalo. Afterwards, on the return to camp, Alexis shot a buffalo with his pistol; it was either a remarkably good shot or a scratch, but none of the party cared which, and the Duke was given a rousing cheer.

One day the Duke asked Cody to get the Indians out for a buffalo hunt. Spotted Tail selected several of his best hunters, armed them with bows and arrows and had them surround a herd, bringing the animals down with arrows and also lances.

"I will show you a remarkable shot," Cody said a second later, calling upon an Indian named Two Lance to do one of the most difficult feats that has ever been accomplished with bow and arrow. The Indian rode into the herd and with string pulled tight sent an arrow straight   [drawing] W. F. Cody
Buffalo Bill
  through a buffalo's body. The arrow was given to the Duke as a souvenir. Buffalo Bill astounded the Royal party by his own expertness with rifle and pistol.

"Get in here, Cody," General Sheridan said on the way back, "and show the Duke how you can drive a stage coach." It was a thrilling run with the General and his royal friend hanging on all the time.

"How was that?" the Duke was asked when the horses came to a stop.

"Very fine, but I prefer to go a little slower," he replied smiling.

The hunt had been a great success and Buffalo Bill was warmly complimented by General Sheridan.

"By the way, Bill," Sheridan said, "you have an invitation from several of the gentlemen who were on the hunt with us at Hays City, to visit New York; you will never have a better time than now. Write a letter to General Stage, of Chicago, and he will send you a pass. I have had a talk with General Ord and he will give you a leave of absence whenever you are ready to start."

"Thank you, General."

General Ord granted the leave readily, and as Buffalo Bill was stepping out of the room he said:


"Cody, how would you like a commission in the regular army? General Sheridan and I have been talking the matter over and it can be arranged for you without any trouble."

"I am much obliged, General, but I guess just being a plain scout is good enough for me."

Cody was received in the East with open arms; he was a guest of honor at many homes, and time flew by very rapidly. It was the first trip East, but his reputation had preceded him, he was the cynosure of all eyes, and mightily embarrassed to be stared at from morning until night. Among the entertainments prepared for the great scout was an invitation to a very exclusive masked ball. The very best of society was there. Its brilliance dazzled Cody.

"What did you think of that?" he was asked the next day.

"Reminds me of an Indian war-dance," he naively replied.

It was on this occasion that he visited the theatre for the first time. The play on the boards was a border drama called "Buffalo Bill." As soon as the audience recognized   him sitting in a box, there was a shout and cheers and calls for a speech.

"I'll give you five hundred dollars if you will play the leading role," the manager said.

"Not on your life," blushed the bashful Cody. At that time he would rather have faced a thousand warriors on the plains than gone on the stage before all those people.

A few days after Cody met General Sheridan.

"Bill, are you having a good time?"

"Say, General, this is the best camp I ever struck—my furlough is about up; couldn't you extend it about ten days?"

"Yes, gladly; but after that Cody, you must get back to Fort McPherson, there is to be an expedition sent out and we will need you there."






SAY, are you Trapper Tom Evans?"

"Yes, young fellow, what do you want?" the other answered coldly.

"Just to tell you that I am going to work for you."

"The deuce you say."

"When do I begin?"

"By thunder I like your nerve, never saw you in my life before and now you just make up your mind to go to work for me without asking any one's permission. Where'd you come from?"

"Ran away from home."

"How did you get down here in Oklahoma?"

"Walked most of the way."

"What for?"

"Looking for work."


"What's your name?"

"Gordon W. Lillie."

"Can you shoot?"




"Got any grit?"


"Alright, we'll try you out."

Gordon was at this time a lad of seventeen, of sturdy figure, frank in manner, sharp blue eyes, and a chin that stood for determination. He was born in Bloomington, Illinois, February 14, 1860. Newton W. Lillie, his father, owned one of the largest flour mills in the city and was very prosperous. Gordon received a high school education. The family had planned that the lad was one day to go into the mill and eventually succeed to the business. But the youngster had plans of his own, he was just in the impressionable age and he did what most high-spirited self-willed young men would have done under the circumstances. He ran away from home.

Tales of the West had inspired fanciful dreams of easily gotten wealth and it was quest of that rather than a   bloodthirsty desire to fight Indians that prompted Gordon W. Lillie to hazard Fate in unknown lands.

Just about this time the father conceived the plan of moving to Kansas and erecting there the first flour mill in the southeastern part of the state. With his wife, Susan Ann Lillie, one son, Albert, and two daughters, Newton Lillie started for the south. From Bloomington the journey was made by train to Wichita and then to Wellington by wagon.

"Mother," Gordon said when alone with her, "I am not going with you and the family."

"My son," exclaimed she in surprise, "you must not be foolish, come."

"No, mother, I am going to strike out for myself, and see if I can't make my way alone."

The mother pleaded in vain for a long time, then seeing that the lad was determined and knowing his nature consented to his leaving.

"Promise me, Gordon," she said, "that no matter where you are or what you are doing, that you will always think first of me and whether I would be proud of your undertaking. Promise me that you will think twice before you act, that you will always help the weak, be generous with   those that are deserving, avoid trouble. You are going into strange lands, you will be a stranger, you will find temptations of all kinds, do not gamble and do not drink. Do you promise?"

"I do, mother."

Gordon a few days after loitered along the main street in Wichita; it suited his fancy, there were cowboys, gamblers and the motley throng incident to border towns in the early days.

For a week the experiences he was injected into interested him, it was something new, something out of the rut of home life, and for the first time he commenced to realize that he was thrown on his own resources, that he had his own battle to fight. He made friends quickly. His jovial good nature installed him as a general favorite.

"Hello son, you look lonesome," a burly cowpuncher said one night as Lillie was watching a play at cards in the "Good Luck" gambling house, "have a drink."

"Never touch it."

"Come on have a drink I say," and the bully edged close to him, "you tenderfeet can't learn to be men any younger; hurry up, barkeeper, give Mother's baby a drink. I'm going to make a man of him."



From a Painting Entitled "The First Scalp for Custer."


It might be noted here, that to refuse the hospitality such as was offered, constituted about as deadly an insult as could be given. Of course, Gordon did not know this or if he did he didn't care.

"Go on Kid, humor him," whispered a bystander "take a drink."

Before Lillie had a chance to move one way or the other, the drunken cowboy dealt him a terrific blow in the face. Gordon caught himself on the bar railing, steadied for a moment and then planted his fist square on the cowboy's nose.

The latter reeled and tumbled to the floor senseless.

"Holy smoke, Kid run, he'll kill you," yelled the bartender.

"I guess not," calmly replied Lillie, adjusting his coat.

"Come on get away before he comes to, don't you know who that is?" pointing to the figure on the floor, now slowly moving in a struggle to regain his feet.

"No, and I don't give a damn, I guess if there is to be any education of tenderfeet around here I'll take a hand in the teaching."

"Got a gun?"



"Take this one and look out, you're a game boy, but you're going against a tough proposition when you snag 'gainst 'Trigger Jim.'"

Lillie shoved the gun back as the cowboy was getting to his feet.

"What in hell fell on me," muttered Trigger Jim, wiping the blood from his face, then seeing Lillie, "oh, yes, it was you wasn't it," and reached for his pistol. Gordon was too quick, he pounced on him like a panther, both rolled to the floor, a smashing thud and Trigger lay quiet.

"Guess he'll be good now for a while," mused Lillie.

With the first sign of the struggle, the gambling stopped, one or two of the players ducked behind the tables, others used the stove as a shield to protect them from the bullets that everyone expected to see fly when Trigger Jim got up the first time. He was a genuine bad man.

"Say sonny you're alright, but take my tip and scoot, that fellow is a bad actor and you're made of too good stuff to carry a pound or so of his lead around in your hide as a souvenir."

Gordon listened to the well-intentioned advice.

"Any way," he mused going through the doors, "guess I don't want too much excitement for a starter. This town   seems to be able to accommodate a fellow with most any kind of trouble he isn't looking for."

He jogged down the street. The whole town was in a buzz, every second building was a saloon and gambling house. Men of all creeds and classes jostled each other, beneath every coat on the right hand side rearwards was the usual hump that bespoke a shooting iron, and there were many with notched handles. It was too early to go to bed. He strolled into another saloon, walked over to a faro table and sat down to watch the play. It was exciting and the hum and whirr of it all suited the lad to a dot. Stacks of money were seen everywhere, gold and silver in more quantities than he ever dreamt existed. The dealer was called Lame Bill, a wheezened old man with only one eye. He nodded to Lillie.

"Want a stack?"

"No, never play."

Several of the gamblers looked up, one or two laughed and the play went on.

"What do those dealers make a day?" Gordon asked an onlooker.

"Eight to ten dollars, some of 'em get more when the boss aint looking."

"Pretty risky stealing aint it?"


"Sometimes—if they get caught—Old Bill there is dead square—he ain't got enough education to be crooked. Have a drink?"

"No thanks, just had one." Gordon smiled to himself. He sat there for an hour, the heat, the tobacco smoke and the liquor fumes made him drowsy. He fell asleep. Suddenly there was a crash and loud swearing. Gordon awoke with a start. All was in confusion, the play had stopped, men scurried under cover. Several pistol shots rang out. From where he was behind the stove Gordon could not see the front part of the saloon.

"What's happened," he asked a fellow crouching beside him.

"Shut up," the other whispered. "It's Trigger Jim fuller than a beer keg and he's looking for some one."

It didn't take Lillie long to figure out the object of the ruffian's search. He sat quiet.

"Where is he, that infernal young tenderfoot?" roared Jim.

"He ain't here, Jim," declared the bartender from a safe hiding place behind a pile of barrels, "he went out five minutes ago."

"It's a lie, he thinks he can lick me, I'll show him, I'll   show you all there ain't no man living what can lick Trigger Jim."

Bang! bang, and the bullets from the maddened cowboy's pistol shattered the back bar mirror. No one stirred. Trigger was too well known, his aim was too quick and deadly for anyone to foolishly try to pacify him in his frenzy. The crowd figured that when he had given vent to his spleen he would leave. Just then a woman opened the doors. It was Jim's girl.

"Come on home, Jim," she urged.

"Shut up, I'll come home when I get good and ready."

The woman stood still in the doors and looked at him pleadingly.

"Get out I say or I'll throw you out," raged the drunken cowboy, lurching toward her with unsteady step.

"Jim you're crazy drunk, come on home."

"Drunk am I? Crazy am I? Take that," swinging his clenched fist at the woman's head. She fell in a heap and, unbalanced by the momentum of his blow, he tumbled to the floor beside her. He struggled to his feet. Lillie had watched the brutal assault, no one raised a hand to help the woman. Lillie was at the cowboy's side in a second.

"That don't go, you cur," he said, kicking the pistol from   Jim's hand. "No hitting women when I'm around," and as the cowboy rose Lillie dealt him a smacking blow, sending him half way across the room.

"Boys, take care of the woman, and when that bully comes to, tell him that I'll pull his nose the next time I see him."

The crowd was struck dumb with amazement. Not a word was spoken as he pushed through the swinging doors.

"Guess if I want to keep out of really thrashing some one to-night I'd better go to bed," and suiting action to the word, undressed and was soon fast asleep. Shortly before daybreak there was a loud knocking on his door.

"Who's there?"

"It's Pete, the landlord, open up quick." As soon as Gordon let him in, he continued, "Say Kid, you've got yourself hooked up to a bunch of trouble."

"What's the matter?"

"Trigger Jim has been gunning for you all night—says he's going to kill you on sight—some one told him that you were stopping here. Get up and get out quick, it's your only chance."


"He's bluffing, I licked him twice last night, he don't want any more."

"I tell you he's sober now, the last punching you gave him did it, he ain't used to be licked by anyone and it hurt his pride."

"I guess his nose too," and Lillie smiled.

"He means business this time Kid, you'd better get away while you can." Just then angry talking was heard down stairs.

"Let me at him, it's him or me this time, I'll shoot at sight."

There was no mistaking, Jim's voice or the sincerity of his intention. Gordon dressed in a second.

"Got a gun?" asked Pete.


"Take mine, slip out the back way, when you see him shoot, or he'll get you," and added Pete, "do the town a good turn by aiming straight, now go."

It didn't take the news long to spread that there was to be a shooting match. They all knew Trigger Jim's ability and from what they had seen of Lillie the night before they had good reason to believe that the youngster wasn't going to run away. In times like this everyone found it   safer to remain until one or the other got his man. If the inward well wishes of the town counted for anything Gordon went doubly armed.

"By thunder," he said to himself, "things are moving lively for me, I come for work and get astraddle a bunch of trouble that would nearly make a fellow quit, and here this chap is insisting on decorating a grave with my body. Guess it looks like business this time." Quickly examining the revolver and testing it he turned the corner, gun in one hand, his coat in the other. It was not yet daylight, a heavy mist gathered and deepened the slow breaking dawn. It was difficult to see more than a hundred feet ahead. Keen-eyed and ears alert Lillie started up the street. Suddenly a head popped around the corner and then jerked back again.

"As I thought," he muttered, "any man that strikes a woman is a coward, this fellow isn't going to fight in the open."

A pistol hammer clicked.

Then a dead silence.

Lillie stopped, he could hear Jim breathing. He was waiting for the youngster to reach the corner. Gordon made up his own mind quickly.



In the Wild West Camp at Olympia, London, England.


He walked straight ahead, until within ten feet of the corner, then coughed, and threw his coat straight ahead, it passed the corner where Jim was lying in wait.

Bang, and a flash of flame spurted from Jim's pistol.

The ruse worked.

"I got you, you little pup," yelled Jim jumping out in the open as he saw the coat fall.

Then seeing how he had been tricked, wheeled and fired point blank at Lillie. Two shots rang out at the same instant. Trigger Jim pitched headlong to the street. Lillie wiped a trickle of blood from his own ear which had been creased by Jim's bullet.

Within a few seconds after the shooting the crowd collected, they found Gordon bending over Jim's dead body.

"Guess he's dead, boys; sorry, but I had to do it."

"Gentlemen," the sheriff said, who had in the meantime arrived, and heard the entire story, "the first twelve of you men there step forward, rest of you stand back. That's it now, gentlemen of the jury this young feller here has just pulled a killing on Trigger Jim. Is he guilty or not guilty?"

"Not guilty," came the answer in one accord.


"Thank you men, the jury is discharged," the sheriff said, "some of you fellers dig a hole back yonder and do a little planting, guess where Jim's gone it won't do no good to have the preacher do his spiel." Then turning to Lillie, "Young feller you're alright, shake."

The crowd dispersed. Gordon went to the boarding house, packed up his things and left. He struck out for Indian Territory on foot, a walk of a hundred and sixty miles south. Being unfamiliar with the lay of the country he mistook the trail and found himself on the bottom lands which had overflowed from the Kansas River. He was often compelled to walk through water varying from knee to hip deep.

It was on the second day out that he met Trapper Tom Evans and his party. Working with them appealed more to Lillie than to continue his hard walk.

"What happened to your ear?" asked Trapper Tom, "it's bleeding."

"Oh, just scratched it," Gordon replied, "on a briar brush."




DURING the Fall of 1872, Buffalo Bill received many letters from Ned Buntline, whom it will be recalled met the great scout some time previous during a hunt of the plains. Buntline had been very successful as a magazine writer.

"Come East, Cody," he wrote, "I'll make an actor out of you. There's money in it, you'll prove a big success."

Cody had only recently been elected to the Legislature and was just settling down in a comfortable home. His friends with whom he spoke about venturing on the stage urged him against it. But Buntline was persistent, and finally Buffalo Bill capitulated. He sent for Texas Jack, one of his friends and a noted scout. They left for Chicago amid the good will and misgivings of many friends. Buntline met them at the depot.


"Well boys," he greeted, "are you ready for business?"

"I can't exactly answer that," Cody replied. "For we don't know much about this acting business."

"Come with me," Buntline reassured the two plainsmen, "we'll see the manager of the amphitheatre, that's where we play, opening there on Monday night."

The details of making a contract with the manager were soon arranged.

"Have you your company Buntline," the manager asked.

"Not yet, but it won't be hard to get, there are always a lot of idle actors hanging loose around Chicago."

"Give me an idea of your play and I may be able to help you pick the cast, I know where most of the actors are. We haven't much time to loose."

"I haven't written the play yet," Buntline returned.

"What the deuce do you mean, no play, no actors and here it's Wednesday, and you are to open on Monday night, it's preposterous, Buntline I cancel your contract."

"That's alright about the contract, how much do you want for the theatre for one week?"

"Six hundred dollars."

"You're on, here's half of it in advance, come along boys."


The trio went to the hotel, Buffalo Bill and Texas Jack to have a nap and Buntline hustled himself to his own room.

"Don't let any one disturb me until I come down," he said.

Four hours later he rushed into the room with Cody and Texas Jack.

"Hurrah for the Scouts of the Plains, that's the name of the play, I've just finished the drama," he exclaimed. "Here are your parts; now boys, get to work and study hard, rehearsal will be at ten in the morning."

Buntline hurried out to arrange for the rest of the company.

"Say, that fellow is swift, ain't he?" Jack said.

"He's as speedy as Tall Bull."

"How long will it take you to learn that part Bill?"

"Well, I figure in about six months."

"Me too, to get the first line, say Bill, let's cut it and go back West."

"No, sir, we came on to act, here we are and here we stick," Cody answered with determination, at the same time wishing inwardly that they were back in the saddle.


"The Scouts of the Plains" was an Indian drama, with a lot of thrills, mainly it permitted the public to get a near hand view of the great Western character, Buffalo Bill, they had read so much about. Financially it was a success. The dramatic critics treated the embryo actors with leniency, although one writer remarked that if it really took Buntline four hours to write the play, the scribe wondered what he had been doing all that time.

But Buntline was right, Buffalo Bill was a novel character and it was soon evident that the public would pay well to see him on the stage. A road tour commenced which lasted until June 16, 1873. Cody's profits from the season amounted to six thousand dollars.

He determined to try it again, this time including with Texas Jack, Wild Bill, the scout and hero of the McCandles' gang fight. The company was known as the Buffalo Bill combination, with John M. Burke as its business manager. Lively times were in store for the troupe. Wild Bill took the show business as a huge joke and would never take his work seriously, he was up to deviltry all the time.

It was at Titusville, Pa., when soon after the company arrived the landlord sought out Cody.


"Don't you or any of your party go into the billiard room," he said trembling.


"There's a gang of toughs in there from the oil fields, they are all drunk and say they came up to clean out your party."

Wild Bill overheard this.

"Watch me Bill," he said starting for the door. "Keep count as I throw 'em out."

"Hold on Bill," Cody said, "wait until after we show to-night."

Good as were his intentions and promise not to go there, Wild Bill's curiosity overcame him and he sauntered into the billiard room a little while later.

"Hello Buffalo Bill," one of the rowdies exclaimed. "We've been looking for you all day."

"My name isn't Buffalo Bill."

"You're a liar," retorted the bruiser.

Bill knocked him down and seizing a chair soon had seven of the gang strewn out on the floor. The show went on that night without any disturbance.

When the season closed in Boston, Cody made his preparations to return to Nebraska. An English gentleman by   the name of Medley presented himself with a request that the scout act as guide on a big hunt and camping trip through the Western territory. The pay was liberal, a thousand dollars a month and expenses; Buffalo Bill accepted the offer. He spent that summer in his old occupation and the ensuing winter continued his tour as the star of the drama. Wild Bill and Texas Jack were again in the company, but the second season proved too much for the patience of the former, and he attempted to break his contract. The manager refused to release him, but Wild Bill conceived the notion that under certain circumstances the company would be glad to get rid of him.

That night he put his plan into execution by discharging his blank cartridges so near the legs of the "dead" Indians on the stage, that startled supers came to life with more realistic yells than had accompanied their death.

This was a bit of business not called for in the playbook, and while the audience was vastly entertained, the management withheld its approval. Cody expostulated with the reckless Indian slayer, but Wild Bill remarked calmly, "that he hadn't hurt the fellows anyway," and continued to indulge in his innocent pastime.



Side by Side on Their Favorite Mounts.


Severe measures were next resorted to. He was informed that he must stop shooting the Indians after they were dead or leave the company. This was just what Wild Bill had hoped for, and when the curtain went up on the next performance he was to be seen sitting in the audience, enjoying the play for the first time.

Cody sympathized with his former actor, but he had a duty to perform and faithfully endeavored to persuade the recreant actor to return to the company. Persuasion went for nothing, so the contract was annulled and Wild Bill made ready to return to his beloved plains.

"Here Bill is a little gift from Texas Jack and myself," Cody said handing him two one thousand dollar bills.

The next season Buffalo Bill removed his family to Rochester and organized a company of his own. There was too much artificiality about stage life to suit one that had been accustomed to stern reality, and he sought to do away with as much of it as possible by introducing into his own company a band of real Indians. The season of 1875-76 opened brilliantly; the company played to crowded houses everywhere.

One night in April when the season was nearing its close, a telegram was handed to Cody, just about as he was   to step on the stage. It was from his wife summoning him to Rochester, to the bedside of his only son, Kit Carson Cody. He consulted with his manager and it was arranged that after the first act he was to be excused, so that he might catch the train.

That first act was a miserable experience, though the audience did not suspect that the actor's heart was almost stopped by fear and anxiety. He caught his train and the manager played out the part.

It was too, a miserable ride to Rochester, filled up with the gloomiest of forebodings, heightened by memories of every incident in the precious little life now in danger.

Kit was a handsome child with striking features and curly hair. His mother always dressed him in the finest clothes and tempted by these combined attractions, gypsies had carried him away the previous summer. But Kit was the son of a scout, his young eyes were sharp. He marked the trail followed by his captors, and at the first opportunity, gave them the slip and got safely home, exclaiming as he toddled into the sobbing family circle:

"I tumed back adain, Mama, don't cry."

Despite his anxiety, Cody smiled at the recollection of the season when his son had been a regular visitor at   the theatre. The little fellow knew that the most important feature of a dramatic performance, from the management's point of view is a large audience. He watched the seats fill in keen anxiety, and the moment the curtain arose and his father appeared on the stage, he would make a trumpet of his little hands and shout from the box:

"Good house Papa."

The audience learned to expect and enjoy this bit of byplay between father and son. His duty performed, Kit settled himself in his seat and gave himself up to undisturbed enjoyment of the play.

When Cody reached Rochester he found his son still alive, though beyond medical aid. He was burning up with fever, but still conscious and the little arms were joyfully lifted to clasp around his Papa's neck. He lingered during the next day and into the night, but the end came, and Cody faced a great sorrow of his life. He had built fond hopes for his son and in a breath they had been swept away. Little Kit was laid to rest in Mount Hope Cemetery April 24, 1876.

Cody determined to cut the theatrical season short. There were still several weeks of contracts to fulfill. One   day as he was leaving the hotel for the theatre he heard the newsboys shout:

"Extra! Extra! All about the Indian war out West!"

"Here boy, give me a paper," and Cody glanced at it hurriedly.

"What's happened Bill," one of his company asked, peering at the paper over his shoulder.

"Another uprising with the Sioux."

"I'll bet the government wishes you were out there."

"I'm going."

"What," exclaimed the other in surprise, "you can't break your theatrical contracts."

"I can bust anything when my country needs me," Cody replied. "To hell with the show business, I'm going West to-night."






FOR several years Gordon worked for Trapper Tom Evans. His youth was for a time the butt of many jokes among the trappers. But they soon grew to know him as a determined youngster afraid of no danger that man or elements could suggest.

He took naturally to the trails, its ways and its hardships. It wasn't long before the men ceased to call him tenderfoot. In the fall of the year Lillie started to market in charge of a pack train laden with dried hides and pelts. The nearest selling place was the Pawnee Indian Agency.

One bitter cold night on the journey he decided to remain on Camp Creek until daylight. Hardly had the horses been tethered and the fires going when a cutting northwester gave his experienced mind the foreboding of bad weather.


The pack mules bunched on the side of the creek, refusing to leave either for food or water. They too knew that a storm was brewing.

Amid lightning flashes and a down-pour of rain the elements raged in their fury. Seeing that remaining in camp would be as bad as forging ahead, Lillie thought it best to try to make some headway. But his mules refused to budge an inch.

Saddling his own horse, he started for the agency to get provisions, leaving the remaining animals securely tied. Within an hour the rain turned to snow, it fell in blinding flurries, obliterating every landmark. He could see nothing ahead and hear nothing except the wailing of the wind. Lillie dismounted, broke a small limb from a tree and stuck it in the snow, fully half an hour later, though he was riding all the time, he came across the same bough.

"As I thought," he muttered with teeth chattering. "Completely lost and just going round and round in a circle." He tried to build a fire but all his matches were wet, he was without food, with no prospects of the storm abating.

"Guess we'd better keep a moving any way old horse," and with that he started again, with head bowed low over   the saddle pommel. He had gone but a little way when with a pitch he was thrown head foremost from the saddle, rolling over in a pile of snow. His horse had fallen over a river bank. Lillie's wrist was bady bruised in striking a cake of ice. He made his way back to the horse, the animal was lying on its side and seemed unable to rise.

"Here old fellow you must get up, this lying down here won't do." But try as he might the horse could not move. Gordon soon found the reason why, the animal had broken its leg in the fall.

There was only one thing to do, Lillie did that reluctantly.

"Too bad old pard, I hate to see you go," he said, drawing his revolver, "this will put you out of your suffering."

Lillie removed the saddle from the dead animal and wrapped the blanket around his own body. There was nothing to do but wait or freeze to death. He sat down on the horse's side. A few minutes passed when he was startled to hear a groan, it sounded like the creaking of trees. A bit more and Gordon heard the sound again.

"Some other animal has fallen over the bank, I guess," he mused and thoroughly numbed with cold, sank to the ground, his eyes were heavy, the icy grip of a death sleep   was stealing over him, he seemed to realize it and made a final struggle to his feet. Stumbling on, numb in every joint with the bruised wrist aching badly, the young trapper tried to make headway against the storm. He found that by keeping close to the under side of the river bank that the force of the storm was somewhat spent before it hit him. He had gone a few feet when he heard the groan again.

He stopped and listened intently. Then again came the sound.

"Halloa," he tried to cry, but his lips would hardly open to let out the sound. He listened.

"Halloa," came a faint answer, like the echo of a dying wind.

"My God," he mused, "there's some poor devil out in the storm too."

Bending every muscle he started in the direction of the voice, not twenty feet away he came upon the prostrate form of a man nearly covered with snow, which had crimsoned with blood.

"Halloa there, stranger," Lillie said, kneeling down beside him, "you look to be in a bad way."

"Got any whiskey," faintly asked the other.


"No," and despite the seriousness of their predicament, a smile traced itself over Lillie's features.

"For heaven's sake," he thought, "everywhere I go someone is talking about a drink."

"Can you stop me from bleeding so much," the stranger said. Lillie took the horse blanket from his shoulders and wrapped it around the wounded man. There was a gaping wound in his forehead, and one arm was shot through.

"What happened?"

"Sheriff and his men—" but could get no further.

Lillie saw that unless aid was secured for the bleeding man that he would soon die, he did not know which way to turn, the snow still fell in blinding sheets.

"Cabin-up-river-bank,-about-two-hundred-yards, try-to- get-me-there," faintly faltered the other.

"I'll go for help," thought Lillie, "no I might as well try to carry him along," and with that the youngster summoning all his strength drew the wounded man to him and started on the journey. Stumbling and falling at nearly every step, it seemed a hopeless task. But Gordon would not give up as long as there was an ounce of life left in him. He staggered on.


Dimly through the falling snow Lillie thought he saw a light. He tried to cry out but no sound came from his lips. The wounded man, exhausted by loss of blood and cold, had swooned away. His dead weight was beginning to tell on the sturdy youngster. Finally, seeing that he could not carry his burden any more and that he was within a few feet of the cabin, Lillie laid the man in the snow and half falling at every step staggered to the door, he stumbled against it and fell, as he did so there was the sharp report of a rifle. A bullet crashed through the door not two inches above Gordon's head.

Then all was still, Lillie had fainted.

After a few minutes the door was opened just enough to allow a rifle barrel to come through.

"Who's there," demanded a voice from the inside.

There was no answer.

The door opened a little more and finally was gradually shoved back. Gordon's body which had fallen against the bottom part fell into the room.

"Guess you got him alright," said one of the men in the room. "Who is it?"

"Dunno, turn up the light."

"Why, it's that young feller that works for Trapper   Tom," one said rolling Lillie over on his face. "That's too bad, didn't mean to hit him."

Just then Gordon moved, the heat of the room had revived him a little.

"Man out there," he panted and fell off to unconsciousness.

"Go out Dick and see who it is."

In a few minutes Dick returned carrying the almost frozen body of the wounded man. At a glance the men inside saw it was one of their number. Stimulants were applied and the injured man regained consciousness, in a few words he told the story of his rescue by Lillie. Gordon about this time was coming to, they put him to bed, applied the usual restoratives and treatment for those who are frozen. In the morning Lillie awoke refreshed after a sound sleep and was but little the worse for his experience the night before.

He raised his head. He tried to collect his scattered senses. He could not account for his being in bed in a strange place. At the far side of the room there were several men, including the wounded man that he rescued the night before. Slowly memory came back, he recalled   everything up to the time that he had fallen against the door.

He got up.

At the first sound he made there was a quick movement on the part of four men, they wheeled facing him and Lillie was astounded to find himself looking down four rifle barrels.

"It's only the young feller," said one, and the guns came down.

"Well bub, how do you feel?" one of them asked.

"Pretty good, but where in the deuce am I and why this cordial greeting with the guns. Do you fellows always say good morning to a stranger with a rifle?"

"As a rule we say good night to him with that," laughed one who seemed to be the leader. "Any way you have nothing to fear. The boys want to thank you for saving one of our pals."

"Oh, that's all right—now don't ask me if I want a drink of anything, except some of that good smelling coffee over there." He got up, one of the men bandaged his swollen wrist and the party sat down to breakfast.

"That chap was in pretty bad shape, lucky I happened   to get lost in that storm, or I guess he would have passed in before morning. How did he get shot up?"

"Well," began one of the men, "we don't as a rule talk much about those things, but I guess you're entitled to know. You see, we boys ain't very popular with the constables or the detectives, and when we come across each other there's usually a burying takes place."

And from the armed appearance of every member of the gang Lillie needed no stretch of imagination to believe it.

"Who the dickens are you fellows anyway?" he asked.

"Jesse James and his men," replied the tallest of their number, who had acted as the spokesman.

"Gee whizz!" exclaimed Gordon.

"That's alright, don't be afraid."

"Not a darn bit afraid—only surprised, you don't seem to be a bad sort of a fellow at all."

"Well, that's because you wasn't looking for us and we wasn't looking for you, that might make a difference," the other replied. The storm had abated by this time and Lillie prepared to go.

"Now young feller, we have got to stay here and look after the one that was shot—you know there's a big   reward for us—what are you going to talk about when you get to town, if we let you go?"

"About the first thing will be to talk someone into giving me a job, I suppose Trapper Tom will fire me, for losing his horse; the rest of the team, I guess, is frozen to death by this time."

"Aren't going to say anything about us."

"Why the devil should I?"

"To get the reward."

"Well, I'm not looking for that kind of money—you've treated me right—if you hadn't been in this cabin I'd a froze to death, I'm glad to be alive but don't like the idea of that long walk to the Indian agency."

"You won't have to walk," James said, "you can have one of our horses."

And true to his word, Gordon never mentioned having met the Jesse James crowd until long after they were driven out of the state by the Rangers.

For several months he continued in the employ of Trapper Tom. The work offered no advancement and his ambitious nature chafed under the limited opportunities. One day while at the agency he learned of an opening. He secured the influence of several prominent men who had   been watching the youth's career for some time. He was installed as secretary to the Government agent. He liked the work. The Indians with whom he was thrown in daily contact grew attached to him. He saw a way of further advancement but it meant much study, but after some time he overcame all the difficulties of the Pawnee language.

The opportunity came and he approached Colonel Hayworth, the Government Inspector.

"Colonel," Lillie began, "I've been studying hard and I want to be an interpreter."


"I know twenty dialects," Lillie ignored the objections, "and I would like to get the place."

"You are too young, my boy."

"It's not youth you're hiring, Colonel, it's my ability as an interpreter."

"Yes and your obstinate determination to get whatever you go after," Hayworth laughingly said, "Alright, I'll get you the commission."

In this position he remained for some time, adding new friends and achievements to his budding career. In the summer of 1884 a party of four masked men, heavily   armed and swiftly mounted rode up to the only bank at Medicine Lodge. One held the horses and the other three entered the bank.

"Hands up," exclaimed the leader.

"Not so fast," cried Lillie, who had only a few minutes before entered the bank to deposit some government money, his revolver was in action at once. The hammer fell on an empty barrel, the desperadoes opened fire on him and Lillie, seeing that a four handed fight with three men who had loaded pistols while his was empty, was not conducive to his best health, made a dash around the counter and escaped through the back door while the robbers kept shooting. Both bank clerks were killed. Lillie dashed into the street.

"Get your rifles," he yelled, shouting to a crowd of citizens a little way off. "Bank being robbed, let's give 'em a run for it."

The ranchers and cowmen headed by Lillie soon overtook the bandits, a running fight commenced in which one of the bank thieves was shot from his horse, another wounded and the other two captured. The cowboys were for a lynching bee then and there.


A Few of the Reasons Why Buffalo Bill Retires






"No boys, give the law a chance, they'll get theirs anyway."

That night, however, the jail was broken into and the two men strung up to a tree.

Not long after this Lillie bought a herd of cattle and started for Cedar Creek where he intended taking up a homestead. The country then was filled with desperate characters. Men who thought nothing of jumping the weak-kneed settlers' claim and holding it for their own. Cattle land was then becoming valuable.

Lillie selected his site and built a rude little cabin. The next morning he picked up a note lying on his door step. It read:

"Save trouble and move away quick."

Reversing the sheet of paper he wrote on its back: "Move nothing, I'm here to stay, if you fellows are looking for trouble drop around to see me any time," and riding over to the supposed author's ranch, he stuck it to a post and returned home to wait for results. They came.

One evening he was sitting in the cabin door cleaning his rifle. He heard a noise like leaves crackling and then a bullet whizzed by his head, coming through a window just   to the rear of the door. There was an empty rain barrel a few feet away, he was in it in a second.

For a long time there wasn't a sound—then the figure of a man crept stealthily around the corner of the cabin in full view of Gordon who was watching through a hole in the barrel. The man raised, took aim at the open door and was about to press the trigger. He was between the cabin and Lillie's hiding place with his back to the latter.

"Hold on there," Gordon cried, rising above the barrel and covering the intruder—"drop that gun."

"Don't shoot," whined the culprit, letting his rifle fall.

"You're too poor a marksman to be prowling around at night — you might accidentally hit some one."

"It's all a mistake."

"Yes, but only because I wasn't where you thought I was. What are you after?"

"I was looking for some cattle that they told me you had stolen."

"Don't tell any lies that you can't prove. There isn't any stray cattle around here except the one my gun's pointed at now. Now get away quick."

And he did.




HERE comes Buffalo Bill."

Three ringing cheers expressed the delight of the troopers over his return to his old command and Cody was equally pleased. As good as his word, Buffalo Bill closed his theatrical tour and hastened to Chicago on his way West. It was his intention to overtake General Crook. A few hours after his arrival in Chicago, Cody was met by an officer from the military headquarters.

"Just the man we're looking for," the latter said. "General Carr, in command of the Fifth Cavalry, has sent for you to act as his guide and chief of scouts on the march to meet General Crook in Arizona."

Hastening on to Cheyenne, Buffalo Bill overtook the command and was met at the depot by Captain King (now General). His reception by General Carr was warm.   He was at once installed as chief of Scouts. The next morning the command started for Fort Laramie, where it overtook General Sheridan en route to the Red Cloud agency. Cody was asked to accompany him as scout. Indian depredations of recent occurrence caused the Fifth Cavalry to scour the country at the foot of the Blackhill mountains for about two weeks. Frequent minor engagements with the redskins occurred.

At this time General Wesley Merritt had relieved General Carr in command of the Fifth. He and Buffalo Bill soon became fast friends. On June 25, 1876, came news that staggered Cody, officers and men alike. Custer had been killed and his whole force massacred.

To Buffalo Bill the loss of this gallant soldier was a personal one. The two had been the warmest of friends. Cody swore vengeance, not realizing that it would come soon enough. Orders were instantly given to proceed to Fort Fetterman and join General Crook in the Big Horn Basin.

The last seen of Custer, as he started into that memorable battle of the Little Big Horn, was when he went over the ridge and waved his hat in salute to the other commands. Custer made a wide detour, to fall on the rear of   the Indian village or what he thought was the rear, immediately struck a very strong band of warriors, for by this time Chief Gall had been informed of Custer's presence and hastened to that point with reinforcements. Word was also sent to Chief Crazy Horse to assist in the combined attack on Custer.

They crossed the river at a point where they were concealed by a large ravine and got on Custer's flank, and so astute had been Chief Gall's arrangements, that the brave soldier found himself attacked in front and on all sides at once.

Custer's first charge was successful until he saw the immensity of the village. It was a full-fledged city of yelling redskins. He decided to make his stand on a high hill, half a mile away and back from the village.

He sounded recall and tried to make the point, turning his back while doing so. The Indians were never so brave as when they saw a white soldier's back. On the retreat to the hill half of Custer's command was killed. The rest took up positions, but the Indians being so elated at the effects of their first charge concentrated and fought Custer like demons.


Fighting desperately to gain a point higher up, he was compelled to dismount his men and act upon the defensive. Unable to advance or retreat and probably unwilling to do the latter anyway, Custer must have based his actions on the diversion the other commands of white soldiers would make. Steadfastly believing that help would come, they fought coolly, hoping and expecting for reinforcements that never came.

The Indians were all well armed and in overwhelming numbers circling and riding at high speed, they kept up a continuous and active fire, while skirmishers and marksmen crawled through the grass picking off officers, eventually killing Custer and every one of his gallant fighters. They all died in their proper military positions, every officer at his post, every man in line. Custer's body was found and although all the others were mutilated or scalped, his remains seemed to have been untouched, except by his death wounds, a tribute from the savage foe for his bravery and courageous fight for life.

On the march to join Crook, a messenger arrived telling Merritt that eight hundred Cheyenne warriors had left the Red Cloud Agency that day to join Sitting Bull's hostile forces in the Big Horn region. Merritt selected five   hundred men with Cody as guide, dispatching them to War Bonnet Creek in an effort to intercept these Indians. The detachment reached the Creek on the evening of July 17, 1876, and went into camp. Buffalo Bill at daybreak struck out to reconnoiter.

"General, the body of Cheyennes are approaching from the south," he reported to Merritt.

Quietly the order was given for the cavalry to mount and remain out of view. Cody and Merritt, with two aides, went on a little tour of observation to a neighboring hill.

"They're coming directly at us," exclaimed General Merritt.

Presently fifteen or twenty Indians dashed off to the West in the direction from which Merritt's command had come the night before.

"General, I see two mounted soldiers pushing their way on our trail," Cody said with his eyes glued to the field glass. "They are evidently carrying dispatches to you."

The Indians were trying to intercept the messengers. Merritt did not think it advisable to send out soldiers to the couriers' aid as it would disclose the fact that a body of troops were nearby.


"Wait until those men get a little closer," Cody said, "and as the Indians are about to charge I will take my scouts and make a dash to their rescue."

"Alright Cody," Merritt replied, "it's risky, but if you can do it, go ahead."

Buffalo Bill rushed back to the command and mounting, picked out fifteen men then rejoined Merritt on the hill.

"Give the word," Cody said, "when you think it's time General."

A few moments later Merritt exclaimed:

"Go in now Cody, be quick about it, they are about to charge."

The two messengers were not over four hundred yards distant, with the Indians about six hundred feet behind them. Cody and his men dashed over the bluffs and galloped straight at the redskins. A quick skirmish then three dead Indians were on the plains.

The balance retreated joining the main body of war painted Cheyennes. But not for long.

A second group came dashing at the white men who were by this time nearly a half mile from the cavalry. The fighting began in earnest. Suddenly one of the Indians   [photographs] AT THE IRMA HOTEL INTERIOR OF PAHASKA TEPEE THROUGH WONDERLAND CAMPING ON THE CODY TRAIL   decorated with the head gear of a chief broke from his band and rode straight for Cody.

"I know you, Pa-he-haska," he yelled in the native tongue. "If you want fight, come ahead and fight me."

The chief drew his men to line and rode back and forth in front bantering Buffalo Bill with challenges for a duel.

"All right, you red devil, get ready." Cody galloped toward him, the Chief started at the same time, both riding at full speed to within a distance of thirty yards of each other.

The Indian fired first and missed. Buffalo Bill's shot killed the redskin's horse. At the same instant his own mount stumbled and Cody was unseated. Springing to their feet both the red and white man, not more than twenty paces apart, fired simultaneously.

The Indian sank to the ground with a bullet in his breast. Cody was uninjured and at the Chief's side in a twinkling. A quick thrust and Buffalo Bill's bowie cleaved the redskin's heart. Jerking off the war bonnet Cody quickly scalped the dead warrior.

The whole duel had lasted but a few minutes. The Indians watched in awe, but as soon as they saw their chief fall they charged the daring scout. Merritt was on the   lookout too, and sent a company of soldiers to Cody's relief. They arrived none too soon. A quick volley and the Indians retreated. Cody mounted his horse and galloped back to Merritt.

"Well done, Cody, well done," he exclaimed.

"Pretty close call," Cody cried exultantly, waving the chieftain's topknot in the air. "That was Yellow Hand, Chief of the Cheyennes, and here's the first scalp for Custer."






IN THE spring of the following year after his experience with the claim jumpers, Gordon W. Lillie was sent with a tribe of Pawnee Indians to join Buffalo Bill's Wild West. Lillie was to act as interpreter. Returning to the agency he was made white chief of the Pawnee tribes, succeeding Major Frank North. It was due to his persistent fair dealings and his every effort to advance their cause that to the Indians and those who knew him he became known as "Pawnee Bill."

"Why is it," mused Pawnee Bill, "that Oklahoma is not opened up for the white settlers?"

The question was easily answered.


In his constant intercourse and association with the Indians he gained the fact that all the existing claims of the American redman to that section of the Indian Territory   known as Oklahoma, had ceased and the lands were subject to public entry. Yet whenever a pioneer settled he was promptly expelled.

Why was this?

Simply because it was a rich and fertile tract controlled by influential cattle men.

Money was the dominating influence that kept the poorer settlers out. The more he investigated, the more Pawnee Bill became determined to see if the land could not be opened for rightful settlement.

At first it was difficult to interest others in a concentrated movement. Many had tried and after almost superhuman discouragements had given up.

On the morning of December 20, 1888, Pawnee Bill rode into Wichita—a few hours after the entire town knew his mission. He had left the dent of his courage on Wichita some years before and the citizens recalled it. They flocked to his banner. A mass meeting was called for that night. Pawnee Bill laid before the gathering his plans, harangued to good advantage, he answered the heckling of the undecided; he finally thrust his enthusiasm into every heart.


"Men, listen to me," he addressed them, with cheeks and eyes aflame, with whole-souled enthusiam, "this land is ours—yours and mine—we are entitled to it. Years have gone by since it passed from control of the Indians. If it belonged to them, if they were in anyway getting the benefit of it, if it were against any law in the land for us to get our share, I would be the last to urge you to action.

"You can look for little aid from Congress—too much money and influence are back of the men who have usurped the territory for their cattle. We are justified in entering this property by the Homestead Act of 1879, which says—'all lands belonging to the United States to which the Indian title has been or may hereafter be extinguished shall be subject to the right of pre-emption under the conditions, restrictions and stipulations provided by law.' Men, I claim that you and I have just as much right to that land as the cattle men who now control it, and yes—by thunder, we have more right—the right that citizenship gives to every honest man—men, are you with me?"

"You bet," came the answer in a chorus.


No sooner had the wires flashed the arrival of Pawnee Bill and the mass meeting at Wichita than he was deluged with large quantities of mail from every State and Territory in the Union. There were letters of inquiry, some condemned the project, but the vast majority asked for information as to how the writers could join the venture.

Pawnee Bill organized sub-colonies in Kansas, Arkansas, Nebraska and Texas. The one in Omaha enlisted over two thousand enthusiasts, sending on a delegation to confer with Pawnee Bill at Wichita.

The colonies as yet did not have a central head, each were governed locally, and as a result concentrated action was lacking. Pawnee Bill was unanimously chosen as the Oklahoma Boomer Leader.

On January 1, 1889, a detachment of Boomer Eggleston's forces broke away and made a settlement in Oklahoma. They were promptly expelled by the soldiers and many rushed over to join Pawnee Bill's colony.

Eight days later Pawnee Bill and his followers pitched camp at Arkansas City. They were met by Captain Woodson and the Seventh Cavalry, reinforcements   having been sent out from Fort Leavenworth; also Chiefs Mayer and Bushyhead, of the Cherokee Nation, had ordered their mounted Indian police to the assistance of the cavalry. It may be worth while noting that open charges were made that the Indian police were being generously subsidized, in fact maintained, by the rich cattle men.

Finding that his efforts here at entering Oklahoma were fruitless, Pawnee Bill moved with his forces to Honeywell, Kansas, in the night of the 29th. On the following day Lieutenant Elliott and a detachment of cavalry took up their position across the line just opposite the colony. It was a trying position. Wordy conflicts were frequent, and had it not been for the cool head and masterly leadership of Pawnee Bill there might have been serious trouble many times.

On February 1st all was in readiness to make the entrance. During the night Pawnee Bill mounted his horse and dashed across the border to investigate and lay out the route for the invasion next day. He was shortly afterward surrounded by a squad of soldiers, overpowered and taken from his horse and handcuffed to the back of a commissary wagon, and in that way the gallant leader   was ignominiously forced to march twenty miles on foot over the burning ground to the border line.

"Won't be safe for you to try this again," one soldier yelled. Pawnee Bill made no answer. His fight was a bigger one than engaging with a minion of Uncle Sam.

The order was given and Pawnee Bill with his colony started further West, intending to go a distance of about twelve miles, then cross the Bitter Creek and Secaspie River, which at that time were swollen to impassibility on the bridges. Once over, Pawnee Bill figured that by getting the two impassible streams between his forces and the soldiers, they would be better prepared to make the dash.

"Pawnee Bill here?" shouted a mounted messenger. "Important messages for him."

And such they proved to be. One was from the committee in Washington, D. C., stating that the Lower House had just passed the Oklahoma Bill, and the other was from the Board of Trade in Omaha urging him not to make entry until the bill was acted upon by Congress.

"Well, darn their skin," Pawnee Bill exclaimed, "I've stirred them to action at last." A meeting was called and   [photographs] A COSY CORNER AT "T-E" RANCH BUFFALO BILL'S HOTEL "THE IRMA" AT CODY, WYOMING THE CITY OF CODY, WYOMING NAMED IN HONOR OF ITS FOUNDER THE HIGHEST DAM IN THE WORLD ON THE CODY TRAIL THROUGH WONDERLAND   when a committee from Caldwell arrived, was in session. The committee told Pawnee Bill it was necessary for the good of all that he should wait.

"I can wait, all right," he answered. "But some provision must be made for my people."

It was decided to let Pawnee Bill and his sturdy band of pioneers have the use of every vacant house in Caldwell and also the Fair Grounds.

In March the bill passed, the news was received in the West, particularly in Pawnee Bill's camp, with demonstration and rejoicing. Pawnee Bill was congratulated from far and near, press and public the country over were loud in their praises of the heroic boomer leader, the man who wore the mantle of the people's champion, made sacred by the life's blood of Carpenter, Crouch and Oklahoma Payne.

President Harrison issued a proclamation that Oklahoma would be opened on April 22, 1889, at twelve o'clock noon.

Preparations were made for the entry. Thousands thronged the boundary line, and all were in breathless expectancy for the great event. The Seventh Cavalry was stationed at Caldwell. Pawnee Bill had been joined by   his brother, Albert Lillie—now a wealthy rancher living near Pawnee.

The colony moved to Honeywell and entered the Cherokee strip on April 18th with about four thousand and two hundred followers of Pawnee Bill.

Floods retarded their progress and several were drowned in crossing overflown rivers. At Hackberry a halt was made for dinner. A courier dashed up, informing Pawnee Bill that the cavalry under Captain Woodson was collecting all the boomers on the line at Bull Foot and holding them under guard until noon of the opening day. Lillie saw the disadvantage he and his colony would be placed under by being thrown together with about seven thousand men eager for land. He decided quickly. A move was made twelve miles west to Turkey Creek when camp was made until April 21st. Then they marched across the open country, drawing up at the Oklahoma line at dark of the same day.

That evening Pawnee Bill sauntered out for a walk—to be alone with his thoughts. The following day was to bring its own big events—the gritty boomer leader was about to see the fulfillment of his one greatest desire—   Oklahoma free to the settlers. Unconsciously he walked a mile or so.

"Halt, stay where you are!" rang out a stern command as a young mounted policeman rode up. "You're one of that boomer gang, aren't you?"


"Well, get back of the line and stay there until the cannon signal to-morrow—and say, is Pawnee Bill with your outfit?"

"He was over there a little while ago."

"Tell him he'd better stay out of here until noon to-morrow."

"That so? Why?"

"We've got orders to shoot him on sight."








AFTER the thrilling duel with Yellow Hand the army moved on. It was on August third that the command reached Goose Creek, joining General Crook's forces. Cody was enthusiastically greeted by Crook, who had heard much of his heroic deeds. After one day in camp the commands headed for Tongue River, leaving the wagons behind, thence starting in a westerly direction.

Buffalo Bill was sent ahead, and he soon discovered the Indian trail, judging it to be about four days old, and from its size estimated that about seven thousand Indians had passed. For several days the soldiers pushed on without seeming to make much headway on the redskins. Some time after, when Cody, again in the lead, mounted a hilltop and scanned the surrounding country far and   wide with field glasses a cloud of dust caught his eye. It proved to be General Terry's command. Terry's scouts had evidently seen Buffalo Bill, and reported back to the commander that there were Indians ahead. Terry at once went to the post. Shortly after, Buffalo Bill's attention was attracted by the appearance of a body of soldiers forming into skirmish line. He also saw a party of Indians who later proved to be friendly scouts with Terry's army. The Seventh Cavalry, much to Cody's amazement, was thrown into battle line.

Then it dawned upon the scout that there had been a mistake. He had been seen and taken for the outpost of Sioux warriors. Spurring his horse, he rode toward the skirmish line. Five hundred rifles were leveled at him. He waved his hat, and when within a hundred yards of the soldiers Colonel Weir recognized Cody and rode out to greet him.

"Boys, it's Buffalo Bill!" Weir shouted, as they dashed up to the lines. The regiment gave Cody three rousing cheers. It was a proud moment in the scout's life to be thus received by the army. That night both commands went into camp on the Rosebud.


"Gee, that was funny," Cody was thinking, "I scared the whole army into lining up for battle."

A few days later Cody was selected to go on a scouting expedition with General Mills. He was to ride on the pilothouse of a steamboat and keep watch on the river banks for Indian trails. Two companies were landed after a short trip, and Cody with another guide was instructed to push on ahead and reconnoiter the vicinity. They came upon a fort built and occupied by Colonel Rice and his men. Cody returned to his command and was ordered with dispatches to General Whistler, whose steamboat was forty miles down the river. The journey was made over bad lands in just four hours.

"Cody, I want you to take some information back to General Terry," Whistler said. "I can't get anyone around here to risk it; if you will, I'll see that you are well paid."

"Never mind the pay," Cody replied. "Get your dispatches ready and I'll start at once." In due time he reached General Terry. The latter read the dispatches and held a consultation with General Crook. The commands then started for the dry fork of the Missouri River, where Indians had been reported. Cody was sent with   dispatches again to Colonel Rice, who was still camped at the mouth of the Glendive Creek, on the Yellowstone, eighty miles away.

He started at night, through a new country, in a drizzling rain, and with a poor mount. At daylight Cody stopped for a bite of breakfast and a rest. In a few minutes he was asleep. Suddenly he was awakened by a roaring, rumbling sound. Seizing his gun and dragging his horse deeper into the bushes, he crawled to the steep side of a bank and looked over.

In the distance was a herd of buffalo being chased and fired at by thirty Indians. For two hours, gun in hand, expecting to be discovered and attacked at any minute, Buffalo Bill watched and waited for the redskins.

They did not see him. At nightfall he started again. Bearing off to the East for several miles, he semi-circled the Indians' camp and at daylight reached Colonel Rice without adventure. Starting back the next day with dispatches to Terry, Cody overtook the command at Deer Creek.

This for a period ended Cody's scouting career. He obtained leave to return to New York for a visit with his family, shortly afterwards returning West to meet   [photograph] A BAND OF SIOUX INDIANS ON FAVORITE STEEDS.   Major Frank North with whom he was to enter the cattle business.

In 1878-79 Cody successfully starred in a drama, entitled "The Knight of the Plains or Buffalo Bill's Best Trail."

In 1880 the famous scout was bereaved by the death of his little daughter Orra. She was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, Rochester, by the side of her brother Kit Carson. In 1882 another daughter was born—she was named Irma and is still living.

It was about this time that Buffalo Bill made his first visit to the valley of the Big Horn. Cody was impressed with its remarkable beauty and determined it the ideal place for his future home. He selected a site near two little lakes, naming them after his two daughters Irma and Orra. In testimony of the valuable service he had rendered his country, Cody was later on appointed Brigadier General in the State National Guard of Nebraska. He actively served in that capacity for many years, but when a moment's rest came Cody was to be found at his home in the West near the little lakes.

Once when standing there a Sioux warrior came up to him. This man was unusually intelligent and desired that   his children should be educated. He sent his two sons to Carlisle and himself took great pains in learning the white man's religious beliefs, though he still clung to his old savage customs and superstitions. A short time before he talked with Cody large companies of Indians had made pilgrimages to join one big conclave for the purpose of celebrating a Ghost dance. The authorities attempted to stop it. The Indians resisted and blood was spilled. Among the slain were the sons of the Indian who stood beside the lake.

"It is written in the Great Book of the white man," the old Chief said to Buffalo Bill, "that the Great Spirit—the Nan-tan-in-chor—is to come again on earth, the white man in their big villages go to their council lodges (churches) and talk about the time of his coming. Some say one time, some another, but they all know the time will come, for it is written in the Great Book. It is the great and the good among the white men that go to these council lodges, and those that do not go, say, "It is well; we believe as they believe. He will come.'

"It is written in the Great Book of the white man that all human beings on earth are the children of the one Great Spirit. He provides and cares for them. All he   asks in return is that his children obey him, that they be good to one another, that they judge not one another, and that they do not kill or steal. Have I spoken truly the words of the white man's Book?"

"You have."

"The red man, too, has a Great Book. You have never seen it; it is hidden here." He pressed his hand against his heart. "The teachings of the two books are the same. What the Great Spirit says to the white man, the Nan-tan-in-chor says to the red man. We, too, go to our council lodge to talk of the second coming. We have our ceremony, as the white man has his. The white man is solemn, sorrowful; the red man is happy and glad. We dance and are joyful, and the white man sends his soldiers to shoot us down. Does their Great Spirit tell them to do this?

"In the big city (Washington), where I have been, there is another big book (the Federal Constitution) which says that the white man shall not interfere with the religious liberty of another. And yet they come out to our country and kill us when we show our joy to Nan-tan-in-chor. We rejoice over his second coming; the white man mourns, but he sends his soldiers to kill us in   our rejoicing. Bah! The white man is false. I return to my people, and to the customs and habits of my forefathers. I am an Indian."

The old Chief folded his blanket around him and stalked away.

"After all," mused Cody, "every question has two sides to it."






IT WAS a red sun that broke April 22 into day, a coloring that betokens storm, but the conflict was not to be between elements, but men. And it raged viciously. Thousands upon thousands had flocked to Oklahoma weeks before the memorable day of opening. The prairie became a melting pot of races. Gamblers, thugs, assassins, adventurers, men, women and children were huddled along the border line.

On every side was gambling, carousing and fighting with all the trimmings that one might expect when such a motley crowd gathered. There were some, thousands in fact, bent on a legitimate errand, other thousands were there to find easy prey. Food prices soared to the pinnacle where only a robust bank roll could purchase, articles of apparel brought the fanciest of prices, but every one   seemed to have money, the clink and rattle of gold and silver was heard on every side.

Pawnee Bill's colony was aloof from excitement and terror that prevailed a few miles down the line—he exercised wonderful control over his people, and they realized that he was the master with their very best interests at heart.

The morning passed quickly, men unhitched horses from their wagons, cutting away the harness that might impede their flight. The women gathered in bunches preparing to follow the wake of the others, and everywhere good nature prevailed.

Across the border line only ten feet away the mounted police were patrolling, while a detachment of cavalrymen swung the signal cannon into position. At quarter to twelve Pawnee Bill had the bugle sounded, the colony stretched out along the line of entry.

"Men," he began, "in another few minutes the signal will be given—my work for you is nearly done—each of you now must do for yourself. We are in a good position, we are in the choicest part of the Cherokee strip, those of you who have strong mounts ride farthest along   to give the others a chance. Get ready now and when she fires, jump."

Horses pranced and chafed at their bits, they seemed to know what was expected of them, the men wished each other good luck. Their long days of hardship were over, another few seconds and each would be dashing away to locate his future home.

Boom! Bang! roared the signal cannon.

A thousand horse hoofs pounded the dry ground, and an immense sheet of dust wrapped itself around the mad-racing riders. Pawnee Bill was mounted on his fleetest mare "Bonnie Bird," he soon took the lead. Turkey Creek was his destination, twenty miles away. He made the run in sixty-five minutes. It was there that he located a town site.

The great race was over, everyone staked off his ground. Those that entered with Pawnee Bill fared well, the best section of the entire strip was theirs to choose from. Lillie in the early days as a cattleman had ranged over thousands and thousands of acres in Oklahoma, he knew its every trail, and he knew the best land.

Oklahoma became his permanent home. He invested in cattle and became actively interested in all that portended   for the public welfare. Time rolled on and he was elected to the presidency of the Arkansas City bank, which office he still holds. Despite the fact of business cares at Pawnee, Major Lillie pined for excitement, something to get the red blood coursing through his veins as in the days of old. The travel fever seized him.

One day his brother strolled in the bank and found the Major pondering over a lot of railroad maps.

"Going on a trip?"

"Yes, Al, and I'm going to take you with me."

"Where to?"

"Oh, around the country, I'm going to organize a Wild West and Far East exhibition."

"You must be crazy."

"Well we'll take a chance anyway." And as good as his word Major Lillie began the organization of a show that was to see many ups and downs and that sooner or later was to figure mightily in the big amusement enterprises of the world.

The first attempt was a crude affair. Lillie painted all the wagons himself, just to see that they were done right. He bought horses, secured the services of a fine band of Pawnee Indians and the season commenced.








Reverses greeted the show at every hand. The section it played through was not interested in cowboys or Indians or the Wild West. It was hard going for Pawnee Bill.

"Confound it," he said one day, "there must be something wrong, this show is alright, and the public wants entertainment. But they wont come. I'll stick until they do or bust."

And he did both.

For a few seasons the show played to various streaks of fortune. It was a hand-to-mouth affair nearly all the time.

"All I had to eat for three days was one apple," confided Al Lillie to the author not long ago.

But finally fortune turned. The show seemed in a single night to swivel from a loser to a big profit maker. Thus encouraged, Pawnee Bill had ideas of expanding his scope.

"Why not go to Europe?" some one suggested.

And soon after came an offer that was too tempting to overlook. There was to be a World's Fair at Antwerp. Nations from every continent were to be represented.


"Just the place for your Wild West," one of his managers confided to Lillie.

"It don't sound so very good to me."

"But I've been there a dozen times and know how crazy those people will be to see this show."

Almost against his better judgment Major Lillie was induced to take the trip across the seas.

It didn't take long after landing for the Major to see that the natives were very much interested in his exhibition. They would flock around the tents from morning to night. This was during the time that the show was getting in readiness to exhibit. Elaborate preparations were made to accommodate the thousands of spectators.

"Say, Pawnee Bill," exclaimed his manager, "look at that jam of people, I tell you this is going to be a knockout, we'll stand 'em in so tight that we'll have to take the painted letters off the tent. Don't it look good—aren't you glad you came?"

"I'll tell you better after a week or so," the Major replied.

The day of opening arrived at last. Banners swept the breeze, bands played, spielers in brazen voice announced   the different events, and the box office was ready to accommodate the crowds that would jam in.

"Now watch 'em come," exclaimed the excited and jubilant manager.

There were thousands of people on the exposition grounds, they walked around the front entrance of the Wild West with bulging eyes. They craned necks to get a peep over the top canvas, they were astounded at the cowboys, they were interested in everything that went on outside, but that was all.

Only a handful paid admission.

It was a crushing blow.

And so it lasted. For weeks they would not spend a dollar to see the exhibition. Pawnee Bill used every cent he had to pay salaries and expenses, and when the exposition closed he had reached the limit of his resources. After securing return tickets for his people he had just enough left for himself to take a second passage back. The animals and entire equipment were left in Antwerp.

Pawnee Bill returned to America a much wiser and sadder man. He set to work one day figuring how much he owed. It was not a day's task but a week's. The sum was staggering—over a half million dollars. There was   only one thing to do, face his creditors and tell them his troubles. A meeting was called.

"Gentlemen," began Pawnee Bill, "I have figured up my debts, they amount to something over five hundred thousand dollars, you are my sole creditors, every cent that I owe has been lost honestly in the show business."

"Have you a proposition to offer?"

"I have a little property left, it would not bring over a few thousand dollars, I don't want you to take that, I want and I intend to pay each and every one of you dollar for dollar. But you have to help me."

"Can you suggest a plan?"

"It's this, I am going to work for you, each of you, until every dollar I owe is paid back. I want you to give me more time."

"Willingly," one said, and they all agreed.

"And beside, I want you, gentlemen, to raise one hundred thousand dollars between you, and lend it to me. With that capital I will get out of debt."

It was an astounding proposition. The creditors sat spellbound at the request, which seemed nervy enough for a man to make who was in pawn then for a half million.

"Lillie, I believe in you," one of the heaviest creditors   said, "and for one I'm going to see you through." Then turning to the others, "are you gentlemen willing to take this chance?"

"Yes," came the reply and the hundred thousand dollars was raised for the undaunted showman.






TO MY very good friend, Mr. Louis E. Cooke, I am indebted for the facts of this chapter. For thirty-five years Mr. Cooke has been most prominently identified with all the big shows, such as W. W. Cole, Forepaugh, Sells, Barnum & Bailey, Buffalo Bill's Wild West, Pawnee Bill's Far East, which have known and benefited by his capable labors.

The facts in this chapter, from Mr. Cooke, who has followed the Wild West's career, will prove of double value, interesting and authoritative.

In 1882 the citizens of North Platte, Nebraska, all of whom were fighting patriots of the most indomitable red, white and blue stripes, resolved to hold a first Fourth of July celebration, of the unique and exhilarating character of the day, with power to select the features for the "Old   Glory" blow out, and to make all arrangements appertaining thereto. Great was the general surprise, apprehension and remonstrance when Col. Cody announced that the feats and festivities of the day would be heroically localized to include wild buffaloes, wild steers, wild bronchos, wild Indians, cowboys, noted plainsmen, personally identified with recent stirring events, and other strenuous attractions mostly inclined to buck at the mere sight of civilization. The attendance was unprecedented for that section, the whole country for a radius of over one hundred and fifty miles being temporarily depopulated.

Thus in a still distant and debatable region, a wilderness over which the buffalo roamed and the hostile savage prowled; under most difficult and dangerous conditions; in furtherance of a purely patriotic purpose, was roughly organized an ephemeral celebration, destined through Col. Cody's efforts and masterful personality to become not only the progenitor of all the "Frontier Day" State and Inter-State tournaments since and still given in the West, and ranking as the most popular attraction at its greatest holiday gatherings, but to serve as the basic idea for an American revelation; border warfare and illustriously illustrative educational entertainment; the only one of its   [photographs] THE BUFFALO RANCH PAWNEE BILL'S BUFFALO RANCH, PAWNEE, OKLAHOMA.   kind, and which has electrified and conquered the civilized world, and all the rulers and greatest soldiers, statesmen, educators, scientists, artists, horsemen and historians thereof.

Realizing from the strange, spirited and unprecedented object leason created through his efforts at North Platte, its magnificent and meritorious possibilities, in 1882 Col. Cody enthusiastically devoted all his practical knowledge of the plains and intimate acquaintance and superior influence with both the white and red denizens thereof, to the organization of "Buffalo Bill's Wild West," which gave its initial performance at Omaha, Neb., in May, 1883, and was witnessed by the writer, and even though then lacking many of the notable exclusive features and original living attractions from time to time since introduced, it scored so instantaneously and heavily that it became famous in a day, and en route to Boston was greeted by record-breaking, boundlessly enthusiastic crowds on the race tracks and in the fair grounds where it was at first compelled to exhibit. Its season at the Hub was succeeded by its first one in New York City, at Gravesend Race Track, where its success was so instantaneous and unqualified as, upon its removal to grounds adjoining the   Brighton Beach Race Track, Coney Island, to induce it to establish thereon its first enclosed arena and grand stand. Next in sensationally progressive order came its extraordinary six months' season in co-operation with Mr. Erastus Wiman at Erastina, Staten Island, where in the presence of hundreds and hundreds of thousands, it inaugurated the precedent for summer open-air exhibitions which, in various forms, have since come to stay at the big seaside resorts and elsewhere.

Then came the memorable winter season of 1886-7, in which Col. Cody set the whole amusement world agog with wonder and admiration in connection with the "Wild West," by inaugurating in Madison Square Garden, New York City, a gigantic new era and departure in colossally realistic scenic production under the personal direction of Mr. Louis E. Cooke, with the aid of such famous producers as the late Steele Mackey who wrote the scenario of the great Drama of Civilization; with scenic effects from the brush of Mr. Matt Morgan, who was acknowledged as one of the greatest artists of the day, with such mechanical effects as were worked out by Mr. Nelse Waldron, the master mechanic who devised the first double or moving stage used in a theatre. Day after day and night   after night, the Wild West and Col. Cody attracted throngs of the illustrious veteran Indian fighters under whom he had served as Chief of Scouts, in many a hard-fought campaign, and both native and foreign representatives of every branch of military service. Such authorities as Sheridan, Sherman, Merritt, Carr and Miles, showered congratulations and encomiums upon their old friend and implicitly trusted comrade in arms and on the war path.

Thus heralded and indorsed, in 1887 Buffalo Bill's Wild West made its first trip to Europe to prove the most popular feature of Queen Victoria's Jubilee, held in celebration of the semi-centennial of her benign reign. Earl's Court, London, was selected as the location, upon which at an enormous expense was built a huge arena and a grand stand of 20,000 seating capacity. These and other improvements have been preserved, and Earl's Court is locally known as "London's Playground." So unparalleled was the Wild West's prestige that Queen Victoria was induced to visit it, and the magnitude of the compliment involved may be inferred from the fact that it was her Majesty's first public appearance since the death of her husband, Prince Albert, twenty years before. Nor did her Majesty's gracious recognition end there, for so   deeply was she impressed and delighted with the Wild West's novel, electrifying and educational superexcellence, that, by her special command, a performance was given for the entertainment of the three thousand royal representatives assembled from every part of the vast British Empire and the globe, in honor of the Jubilee with which the fiftieth year of her sovereignty was so joyfully crowned. On that occasion the Prince of Wales (Edward Seventh), taking Col. Wm. F. Cody aside, said to him:

"Colonel, look around you and you will see more Royalty than I ever before have seen at any time, and undoubtedly more than ever was assembled on any one occasion in the World's history or is likely ever again to be."

Returning to New York in 1888, the Wild West appeared for the summer season of that year and for the second time at Erastina, and in 1889 again crossed the Atlantic to become the leading attraction of Paris, during the Exposition Universale, an arena and grand stand having been built for it the previous winter in the military zone outside the old walls of Paris, at Nueilley. In the fall of the same year the exhibition moved to Barcelona, Spain, and thence crossed the Mediterranean to Naples, Italy,   where it opened January 26, 1890. Passing on to Rome, the Wild West next visited all of the leading cities of Austria, Hungary and Germany, including Vienna and Berlin.

The Sioux Indian outbreak at Pine Ridge Agency, known as the "Ghost Dance War," caused Col. Cody to peremptorily close his exhibition at Strasburg, Alsace, and to start post haste to lend a strong hand in the threatened conflict. The exhibition was put in winter quarters in an old castle near Banfeldt, and Major Burke, having the big contingent of Indian Chiefs and braves in charge, sailed from Antwerp to Washington, where in an interview with President Harrison, and at his special request, they, one and all, promised to act as peacemakers; which promise was faithfully and effectively kept. Meantime, Col. Cody had reached the field of action with the rank of Brigadier General of Militia, and as Advisory Scout to General Nelson A. Miles. Subsequently Major General Jesse M. Lee and John M. Burke were appointed Peace Commissioners representing the U. S. Government, at a Grand Council met 10,000 Sioux Chiefs and warriors, and persuaded them to lay down their arms and make a treaty of peace, undoubtedly the last of the kind that will ever be required between the Red Man and the Pale Face.


April 1, 1891, Col. Cody sailed from Philadelphia to rejoin his exhibition, taking with him from Fort Sheridan, Kicking Bear, Short Bull, and twenty-five other rebellious Sioux leaders, held as hostages, and who were entrusted to his care at the special request of General Miles and Scofield, that travel and observation might modify their savage prejudices, convince them that the white man, notwithstanding his infinitely superior numbers and resources, was not inclined to oppress them, and that in the maintenance of peace and good will lay their only hope. As a result, these hostiles became the best and most progressive citizens on the reservations.

Reopening at Strasburg, April 19, the continental tour included the cities on the Upper Rhine and Brussels, the capital of Belgium, and then via Antwerp, the wonderful invasion sailed across to the "tight little isle," and was continued throughout the provinces of England, until winter found the exhibition housed in the Exposition Building at Glasgow, Scotland, altered to admit of the production of the heroic scenic spectacle of war and wilderness, as given in Madison Square Garden, New York City, five years before.


Opened at Earl's Court for the second time, May 7, 1892, and was commanded to appear before Queen Victoria, on the Lawn Tennis Grounds at Windsor Castle; the first entertainment of any kind given there in the twenty-five years succeeding the Prince Consort's death. The honor of a second presentation was also accorded by Her Majesty, who gave Col. Cody a magnificent signet ring, and Mr. Nate Salisbury and Major Burke imperial souvenir pins. Closed season October 12, sailed for America, October 15, arrived in New York the 26th, immediately began pushing the work of building Buffalo Bill's Annex to the Chicago World's Fair, opened it in April, 1893, and to such phenomenally continuous patronage, that the attendance rivalled that of the Fair itself. In the spring of 1894, opened Ambrose Park, Brooklyn, upon which over one hundred thousand dollars had been expended in improvements and additional conveniences. On the road in 1895, and in the spring of 1896 followed the Barnum & Bailey Show in Madison Square Garden, in the course of its four weeks' season there being compelled to turn clamoring thousands from its doors from lack of capacity, every seat being sold from days to weeks in advance, after which the exhibition began touring the   country as a traveling organization under the able direction of Mr. James A. Bailey, and the succeeding five consecutive home seasons were also inaugurated in the Garden and continued with undiminished eclat throughout the length and breadth of the land, the Dominion of Canada, and as far West as San Francisco, even including many prosperous cities younger than itself, now ornamenting the redeemed wilderness, and transforming the dark and bloody region of its birth. The enthusiasm with which it was there received is simply beyond adequate description, and swelled into a continuous ovation most vigorously participated in by the grizzled old timers, to whom its historic truthfulness and realistic reproductions of stirring events, and glorious pastimes, "all of which they saw, and part of which they were," appealed like a resurrecting trumpet. The test it thus courted was the severest to which it could be put, and the result not only speaks volumes for its character, but furnished the keynote of its success throughout the world.

At the close of the traveling season of 1902, Col. Cody and his army of braves and rough riders of the world, once more took the trail leading across the big salt waters, and appeared for the ensuing winter at Olympia, London,   [photograph] THE LILLIE FAMILY. ALBERT F. LILLIE. MRS. GREENE. MRS. JUDY. MAJOR GORDON W. LILLIE.
  making farewell tours of England, Scotland and Wales in 1903-4. In 1905, on the famous Champ de Mars, it more than duplicated its previous rousing Parisian triumphs. In 1906, opening at Marseilles, France, it made its final continental tour, which included Italy, Hungary, Galicia, Slavonia, Bohemia, Croatia, Belgium, Austria and Germany, and in November returned home, with added victorious wreaths bound on its brow, having visited, in the last four years, countries and principalities that, besides patois, spoke seventeen different languages.

While this is, and is intended to be, but little more than a summary itinerary of "Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World," it is alone sufficient to forestall eulogy and establish a firm conviction of its transcendent wondrous worth and superexcellence as universally recognized by the stranger abroad as the friend at home. Thus, Col. Cody and the enterprise of which he is the creator, stand conspicuously and uniquely alone, as a mighty and marvelous educative and instructive influence; a credit to their country and a delight and benefit to the world. And as they are, so will they remain.

As may be readily imagined, the difficulties in staging this monster enterprise were many and varied. For a   number of years Johnny Baker has had active charge of the arena, his directorship has been nothing less than marvelous.

Mr. Baker has been with the exhibition since its inception, he is the foster son and pupil of Buffalo Bill, and long has been acknowledged the world's foremost expert marksman. Mr. Baker has had to manipulate and manoeuvre the actions of over one thousand men, women and horses, a herculean task, one that has been accomplished to the highest point of efficiency. No stage director in the world has had as many difficulties to surmount, a generous portion of credit is due to his ever untiring efforts.

In the Spring of 1908 Major Lillie was playing an all-summer engagement at Boston, he made a flying trip to New York, and following a conference with Colonel Cody came the announcement of a gigantic merger, the largest ever consummated in the amusement field.

It was then that the Buffalo Bill Wild West combined with Pawnee Bill's Great Far East. The first joint season commenced at Madison Square Garden in 1909.




PAWNEE BILL looked long and carefully at the hundred thousand dollars. It was the chance he asked for, he must make good and make good he did. Reorganizing his show, he added to it, secured new features and with the experience of the past it wasn't long before profits began to appear on the right side of his ledger.

Dollar by dollar his debts disappeared, and a few months after all bills had been cleared away the creditors were surprised by checks in their mail for the entire amount of interest due from the very first.

For several years he continued with his exhibition. The struggles and worries of showmanship wore on him. He had amassed a comfortable fortune and decided to retire to devote his time to raising buffaloes. He purchased the   Casey herd then located in Missouri and moved them to his ranch just south of Pawnee. They became his sole study. He was successful beyond all expectations. At that time there were not over a thousand bison in the country. Less than a generation before there had been a million. No one dreamt of their ultimate destruction but it was closer at hand than the casual student of history was aware. To the westward march of progress, the blame has been laid, but Lillie, as many others knew, it was the failure of the government to take steps necessary to protect the bison from disappearing altogether. Major Lillie prepared a bill to be introduced in Congress asking that immediate action be taken to perpetuate the purely American animal.

At that time the government owned a small herd in Yellowstone Park, but it did not multiply rapidly. The bill that Lillie wanted introduced in Congress would have provided an appropriation to secure a ranch far removed from civilization, as buffaloes do not thrive otherwise. They multiply better when turned out summer and winter, as nature intended they should be; a buffalo calf will survive a blizzard that would mean death to the toughest of ranch cattle. Nature has taught them to defy winter and has   provided them with a coat of sufficient warmth to keep them from suffering with the cold.

Pawnee Bill worked for months to have the matter taken under consideration but the bills were side-tracked. Finally his persistence was rewarded by the query:

"Suppose we carry these bills through," asked a Congressman, "where will we buy the buffaloes?"

"You don't need to buy them," Pawnee Bill replied, "I will donate my entire herd to the Government."

Still time dragged on and nothing seemed to be reached in the shape of a conclusion that Pawnee Bill desired. Steps were finally taken, however, to preserve the bison and Major Lillie had won a great victory. For years he collected all the pure blooded buffalo that he could buy. He spent most of his time studying their traits. One day it struck him that a new breed of bison might be discovered by interlining with domestic cattle; the experiment proved a vast success, Pawnee Bill, at this time has the largest individual herd of pure blooded buffaloes in the world.

In 1907 he reorganized his Wild West and conceived the idea of adding to it a separate feature "The Far East," the latter section being composed of curious peoples from   far and distant lands. The venture was immensely successful.

As showman and banker, Major Lillie met with many remarkable and amusing incidents. One day he was sitting in his office at the Arkansas City bank in Pawnee, when an old Indian Chief walked in the room. The true western spirit of hospitality and man to man equality still prevails in many sections of the West, even an Indian can walk in a banker's private office and be entertained.

The Indian had come on business connected with the show's trip the next season, he wanted some special consideration. It was the first time that he had ever been on the road, in fact, in all his years he had never left the boundaries of the agency.

Just then the telephone rang. The Major talked a few minutes then hung up the receiver.

"What is that you make talk into," the Chief asked in surprise; it was the first telephone he had ever seen. The Major explained how it worked.

"It just talk, white man talk though," the Chief grunted.

"No, it talk Pawnee too?"

The Chief could not believe it, Lillie went to one of the   outside offices, put an interpreter on the extension and then gave the receiver to the Chief. For several minutes the latter talked, with every second his eyes bulging larger and larger in wonderment.

"What do you think of that?" Lillie asked.

The old Chief sat still for a minute.

"That's one of the white man's inventions."

"White man very smart, to make that talk white man's talk, but to make wire talk Pawnee talk, him damn smart."

"Major, excuse me," a clerk said, entering with a hand full of greenbacks, "will you please sign these."

A telegram a few minutes later called the Major to Chicago in a hurry. There was a train whistling at the depot, without stopping Lillie made a dash for it just as the cars were pulling away from the station. Arriving at Chicago he transacted his business and stepped up to the hotel counter to settle his bill. To his amazement he found that he had only a little small change. He was about to ask for a check book when he remembered having some of the unsigned bank notes in his pocket. Pulling out a sheet of these he asked for pen and ink and then a pair of scissors. The clerk was thunderstruck, it was the first time he had ever seen anyone sign greenbacks. Before he had   recovered his astonishment, Lillie was on his way to a bank nearby.

After greeting its president and while just sitting down for a chat, the banker's bell rang, and a second later a man entered the room.

"I beg your pardon," he said, addressing himself to the banker, "do you know this man," pointing to Major Lillie.

"Yes, indeed."

"Well I'm sorry, but I have to place him under arrest."

"Arrest," Lillie exclaimed in surprise. "Who the deuce are you?"

"I'm from a local detective agency and have been instructed to take you in for forging a bank note."

Lillie's face was covered in smiles.

"Come on, sir, or I'll have to put the cuffs on you."

"Why, you idiot," exclaimed the banker, "don't you know who that is. This gentleman is Major Gordon W. Lillie."

"That don't entitle him to sign greenbacks, does it? Anyway he used the name of Pawnee Bill."

"That's the name he is known by among the public who   [photograph] MAJOR G. W. LILLIE, CONSULTING HIS GENERAL MANAGER, LOUIS E. COOKE, AT BLUE HAWK PEAK. MRS. LILLIE AND HER PET COYOTE ON THE RIGHT.   have witnessed his exhibition, he is a banker and is entitled to sign greenbacks as the president of his institution."

The detective looked sheepish.

"Well I'll be darned, a showman and a banker and a fellow that can sign his own greenbacks—well, talk about your Jekyll and Hydes, he has 'em all beat a mile."








THE breaking of Indian treaties so frequently and the invasion of the Black Hills and other sections by gold seekers, prospectors and trappers became the cause of constant irritation, leading to almost continual contests, raids and massacres on the Western plains. This was the condition of affairs that really brought on the war of 1875-76, resulting in the Custer fight as well as many of the succeeding ones.

The forfeiture of the Black Hills and injudicious reductions of rations kept discontent alive among the Indians. When in 1889 Congress passed a law dividing the Sioux reservation into many smaller ones so as to isolate the different tribes or clans of the Dakotas, a treaty was submitted, whereby reinstating the cut off rations and paying for ponies captured or destroyed in the '76 war   and for other certain conditions, they ceded about one-half their land, eleven million acres. Fulfilment of the conditions was delayed,—postponed, forgotten, almost by Congress. Even after the land was being settled up, Congress had still neglected the appropriations and Sitting Bull's power was again in the ascendant.

At this time, through some mysterious mountain phantom or trickster, the "Medicine Men" became easy victims of a craze. They believed that the Messiah was coming back to earth to use his miraclous power in favor of the red man, to crush out the whites; to restore everything to the idealistic condition of former years and re-stock the ranges with big game. This created a universal fanatical fervor, not only among the Sioux but affected all the Indians on this continent. Former foes became fast friends, and from the Yaquis in Old Mexico to the Alaskan tribes in the Far North, the religious ghost dance festivities fanned the flames of war. The Medicine Men's preaching that the holy medicinal ghost shirts would protect the wearer, turn the white man's bullets, was accepted and made recruits by the thousands to the cause. The dancing frightened the settlers, shocked the religious   philanthropic friends of the Indians and was officially ordered stopped.

Buffalo Bill was at that time in Alsace-Lorraine with his Wild West exhibition and had with him seventy-five Indians. Leaving the exhibition in an old Castle near Strasburg, Cody left on fast trains and hastened on to the scene of strife in America. The Indians were brought home by Major Burke, they made a strong peace contingent at Pine Ridge, while, with General Miles' permission, Col. Cody hastened on to see Sitting Bull in person, feeling sure that his old enemy and later friend would listen to good advice. In war the great Indian chief was a bitter foe and Cody's enemy, in peace the two became friends.

Sitting Bull's claim of the primitive possessions for ages beyond the white man's coming; of conditions being undisturbed for centuries and as the Great Manitou had ordained were the arguments that he advanced. He had all the old treaties in his head in the Indian legendary manner, also in hieroglyphics; he had a copy of the treaty that set aside the part of the Dakota for the Sioux use. And the Big Horn Basin was to be used as a hunting ground. The old man had this well worn parchment in   a buckskin cover and treasured it as one would the articles or legacy to one's birthright. Sitting Bull had a very strong, determined face, a splendid head, well set on a long-bodied short-legged frame.

The fact that Buffalo Bill was willing to take the risk of acting as peacemaker with the Indian chief, alarmed some well meaning philanthropists, they divining a sinister motive in his action. Those who were crying the strongest for Sitting Bull's suppression now claimed that his person was endangered by the very man who had travelled thousands of miles at his own expense, risking his all and with nothing to gain—Buffalo Bill. Going to a hostile camp of Indians, chancing all on the card of friendship and man to man respect was a dangerous undertaking, but Cody was prompted to do so solely to save his red brother from a suicidal craze. Influence was brought to bear on President Harrison and the statement made that Cody's visit would bring on a war, the chief executive countermanded the mission. Afterwards President Harrison expressed his regrets to Colonel Cody.

Colonel Drum, commandant at Fort Yates, and Major McLaughlin were ordered to co-operate to secure the person of Sitting Bull. Henry Bull, lieutenant of the   Indian police, had intimated that the old chief was preparing his horses for a long ride. Couriers were sent to tell him to quietly arrest Sitting Bull. Major Edmund G. Fatchet of the Eighth Cavalry and a Hotchkiss gun were sent to support him.

After a hard ride, just at dawn they saw a man coming at full speed on Sitting Bull's favorite "White Horse," a Kentucky charger that had been presented to him by Buffalo Bill three years before. The man was an Indian policeman.

"All police killed," he yelled.

Riding like mad, they arrived to find but few of the police still alive and still fighting from Sitting Bull's cabin, being surrounded on all sides. Volley after volley was poured in unexpectedly on the besiegers and a few shells from the Hotchkiss scattered them, the beleaguered were relieved.

The attacking party had reached Sitting Bull's cabin early in the morning, surrounded it, and capturing the chief in bed, arrested him. While dressing, his son, Crowfoot, alarmed the camp. Bull harangued his friends, frenzied by the thought, no doubt, that his own tribesmen were his captors, not feeling for them that respect he would have had for the military.


Catch-the-Bear and Strike-the-Kettle dashed in and fired, hitting Bull Head in the side, who fired and killed Sitting Bull. The latter, firing as he fell, Shave Head was shot in the abdomen, and all three fell together. The fight became general, until the arrival of Major Fatchet and several police, many of the Ghost dancers were killed. Thus was ended the life of the chief whose faults and virtues will long be a subject of discussion, but who will always stand as the great red chief of the Uncapappa Sioux.

Cody returned to Nebraska, where he was ordered by Governor Thayer to join the Nebraska National Guard, with General Colby. Cody was himself a Brigadier General. They entered the battlefield at Pine Ridge and placed the militia in effective position to surround the hostiles. Then Buffalo Bill joined General Miles as advisory Scout and used his great personal influence to pacify the Indians. Through General Miles' stern measures and at the same time diplomatic methods, the greatest planned of Indian uprisings was quickly suppressed through the bloody battles of Wounded Knee and The Mission—they were the last struggle of the red man—the finale of all Indian wars.







BACK to the land, back to the farm, is the warning cry of the nation's most distinguished social economists—political and commercial leaders, railroad magnates and statesmen—conservation, irrigation and subjugation of arid territory to the husbandmen's productive power is a national issue.

With the teeming millions of people, with the sense and judgment from the congested centers, having already appropriated all the available land, necessity forces attention to the possibilities in the almost equal number of virgin acres, classed as arid, that engineering skill can make even more productive than the naturally watered districts.

This is the subject of intense discussion today, but years and years ago plain, practical men conversant with the immense unpeopled territory of the West, like Col. Cody, Congressman Cary of Wyoming and others, acted   as pioneers in advocating a governmental and state movement that would assist in giving additional homes to millions of our people and thus augment the nation's productive possibilities, with a certainty, through irrigation. Like all movements it had to have its missionaries, and it is one of Col. Cody's (Buffalo Bill) pleasant memories that with his experience, suggestion and money he was in the advance guard among those demonstrating the utility, feasibility and practicability of achievement on these lines. It was his fortune in the early days, as well as his duty as an army scout, to learn the secret recesses and impregnable fortresses, furnished them by nature, to which the aboriginal contestants of the white man's progress retreated to live in security and peace. Thus it was that he, an early hunter, trailed and scouted, in that then most extremely dangerous and secluded home of the red man, strongly fortified with immense mountains as a barrier to encroachment—now known as the Big Horn Basin. With the army as scout and on expeditions with the gallant Custer, Mills, Carr, Miles and others, he became familiar with the valley and its surrounding wonderland—the Yellowstone Park, the Teton Range, the Snowy   Pryor, Shoshone and Big Horn Mountains that separated it from the rest of the world.

In 1893 Buffalo Bill and many conferees took up the initiative in bringing about its settlement. He and his associates acquired under the Cary act the first claims that were endorsed by the national and state governments and began the pioneering of its settlement. The opening struggles in such a scheme are but a repetition of history and were as usual eventually overcome. The first Cody canal was built, success and prosperity developed gradually until now the future is assured and the empty valley is being traversed by railroads finished and many others projected, thousands of farmers, miners and prospectors, so that this vast valley, the size of the State of Massachusetts, is dotted with towns and cities.

Progress was so rapid that all the available land under the first canal was taken and through Col. Cody's influence and surrender of his proprietary rights to the government, the Reclamation Service has been performing one of its most gigantic tasks in the furthering of future prosperity. This is none other than the recently completed highest dam, in the world, known as the Shoshone Dam.

Buffalo Bill owns thousands of cattle and horses, is   heavily interested in many mining properties in Arizona and elsewhere, owns and controls the Irma Hotel at Cody, Wyo., the Wapiti Inn near Cody on the Yellowstone and the Pahaska Teepee at the foot of Sylvan Pass, sixty miles from Cody.

For over half a century, Buffalo Bill has been before the public. He can scarcely be said to have had a childhood, he was thrust early among the rough scenes of frontier life, to play a man's part. He enlisted in the army before he was of age, and did his share in upholding the flag during the Civil War as ably as many a veteran of forty, and since then he has remained for the most part, in his country's service, always ready to sacrifice every personal interest and go to the front in any time of danger. He has achieved distinction in many and various ways. He is president of the largest irrigation enterprise in the world, president of a colonization company, of a town site company, and two transportation companies. He is the foremost scout and champion buffalo hunter of the world, one of its greatest crack shots and its great popular entertainer. He is broad-minded and progressive in his views, inheriting from both father and mother a hatred of oppression in any form.


Taking his mother as a standard, he believes the franchise is a birthright which would appertain to intelligence and education, rather than to sex. It is his public career that lends an interest to his private life, in which he has been a devoted and faithful son, a kind and considerate husband, a loving and generous father. "Only the names of them that are upright, brave, and true can be honorably known," were his mother's dying words; and honorably known has his name become, in his own country and beyond the seas. He has visited every country in Europe, and has looked upon the most beautiful of Old World scenes. He is familiar with all the splendid regions of his own land but to him the New Eldorado of the West—the Big Horn Basin—is the fairest spot on earth.

And here, in the shadow of the Rockies, yet in the "very light of things" it is his wish to round out the cycle of his days, as he began them, in opening up for those who come after him the great regions of the still undeveloped West. It is here that Buffalo Bill wishes once more to roam, and when the curtain of life finally falls, it will be his "Home, Sweet Home."






FOR years Gordon W. Lillie—Pawnee Bill—lived in a modest log cabin built by his own hands. It still stands in Pawnee, Oklahoma, a memento of his hard work and untiring efforts to rung the ladder of success. Throughout privations and adversity, the days of lawlessness, when brave men were made and tempered over night, when the government called him to duty as guide, scout, sheriff, and when the territory was nearly torn asunder with internecine strife, when vandals and cutthroats infested every trail, when the effort to make Oklahoma free for settlers was met with stubborn resistance by the cattle interests, when he nosed through every danger a dozen times a day, when blood had to be spilled in defense of the weak—then Major Gordon W. Lillie was a man of action, his arm and pocketbook were   always available for the less fortunate, he was the Indian's friend, he was the white man's strongest safeguard. After years of vicissitude and privation he struck his gait, and after a gradual rise he became in succession white chief of the Pawnee Tribe, president of the town's leading bank, and succeeded in making his mark one that will indelible his great and honored career on the escutcheon of the State of Oklahoma. Political honors have been offered and gracefully declined. Major Lillie cared nothing for this sort of leadership glory, he preferred to remain in the rank and file and do all in his power to further the interests of the city that he loves and the State that honors and respects his conscientious citizenship.

Last December, 1910, his new bungalow was completed. It stands atop the Blue Hawk Peak, so named after one of the greatest of Indian warriors and a great friend of Major Lillie. Hundreds of invited guests from the elite centers of Europe and America journeyed out to the prairie. Cowboy boots and the patent leathers of effete society toed each other under the Major's hospitable table. The citizens of Pawnee turned out en masse to welcome the glorious home-coming of their beloved and esteemed neighbor—it was an occasion long to be remembered.




Artists, writers, men famous in commercial lines and the bright lights from many professions gathered to do the Major homage. In testimony of their esteem many famous artists contributed original and specially painted oil panels for the bungalow, among these were artists Charles Schreyvogel, Deming, H. H. Cross, Emil Lenders and Charles Stevens. Among the others present were: The Hon. Wm. F. Cody (Buffalo Bill), H. Wilson and wife of Philadelphia, Dr. Moore, Major John M. Burke, Johnny Baker, Louis E. Cooke, Albert Lillie, Joseph Miller, of Bliss, Oklahoma; S. T. Rock, of Pawnee; Michael Russell, of Fargo, North Dakota; Mark L. Stone, of Paris, France; Henry Valliers, of Vienna; Major McLaughlin, of Philadelphia, and Frank Winch, of New York.

A week of hilarity followed. Each day had its own pleasure—automobile trips in Buick cars over the plains, Indian dances, small game hunting and receptions, all topped off with the wondrous spectacle of witnessing Colonel Cody kill a buffalo as he did years ago.

It was the fulfilment of a promise that Pawnee Bill had made to himself years afore, to the effect that, should fortune ever favor him, he would stand loyally with the   village that loved, respected and helped through his troublesome years of struggle.

The bungalow would grace any exclusive residential section in the world. It was erected at a cost of $75,000, and holds within its walls furnishings and ornaments that approximate $100,000 more. The structure is of a stone exterior made from the native rock taken from the location on which it stands.

The town of Pawnee lies nestled at the foot of Major Lillie's fifteen thousand acres of his buffalo ranch—whereon graze the largest private herd of buffaloes in the world. Approach is made through two massive stone gateways, ornamented with the gilded steel initials "P. B.," which were made from the rifle barrel once carried by his great friend and benefactor, Major Frank North.

Circling along a sloping knoll, close to the edge of an artificial lake with its thousands of gallons of water and shaded by trees from every section of the world, is a road laid with tons of low grade ore from one of the extensive mining properties that the Major owns in Colorado and Mexico. The drive is a mile to the hill top, at frequent intervals intersectioned with stone statues indicative of scenes and characters of the early wild western days.


To your right the eye travels in unobstructed view for miles, taking in at a glance the new magnificent hospital and sanitarium that Pawnee Bill erected for the city. A bit further along you see the ten thousand dollar public school house that also stands as a memorial to the Major's generosity. And further yet looms up the old log cabin that housed Pawnee Bill through his early days of privation and hardship.

Approaching the hilltop, the eye is staggered with the beauteous panoramic splendor of scenic glory that unfurls itself on every side. Blue Hawk Peak is the highest point of elevation in the county—for miles and miles the eye ranges over rolling plains, by day golden brown under a soft summer-like sun, and by night punctuated here and there with the sizzling flames of a genuine old time prairie fire.

The first building approached is the Pawnee and Osage Indian council and medicine house. A most wondrous testimonial to the building skill of the native Indians. There are only two of these structures in the world. Time and civilization have left but little for the fast disappearing red man. Major Lillie was determined that as long as he had a home, the friends and foes of an earlier period   should not want for a place. It is a circular affair, with walls four feet thick made of stone and mud overlapping huge timbers set end to end and notched. There is not an iron nail in the entire building, and the whole was constructed by Indian labor according to the plans of former council houses and paid for by the Major and then donated to the tribe as a perpetual remembrance of his esteem and friendship to the Pawnee and Osage Indians. It is here that they gather in all their regalia, feathers and fanciful colored blankets for their war dances and exhortations. The ceremonies are of very deep purport to the Indians and usually last from three days to a week, the strictest privacy being maintained so that none but the red men are allowed to attend.

Continuing on, you reach the old settler's cabin, an exact replica of the only kind of dwelling known in the frontier days. A huge log cabin with every detail carried out to its minutest point. There are three rooms, the center being the living room and flanked on both sides with bedrooms of generous proportions and equipped with just such crude furniture as one would find in the days of '59.

The center room has a seven foot open fireplace, dirt floors, the old-fashioned cupboard with its heavy crockery   and tins, the walls are embellished with trophies of the chase, several rifles that were used in warfare, Indian relics, blankets, tomahawks, arrows and scalping knives. To the Easterner, this cabin presents a world of suggestions for deep study and retrospective thought.

A bit further along is the garage and stable. An elegant pile of native stone and hardwood, in keeping with the general exterior finish scheme of the bungalow. There are three automobiles, a dozen of the finest equipages and fifteen blooded Arabian and Kentucky horses. A few steps more and the bungalow.

If Aladdin of the Arabian Nights were to arrive today and wanted to astound the community with a building venture he would borrow the plans from which Pawnee Bill erected his home. Fifth Avenue in New York would nudge elbows with its neighbor in genuine pride were it placed there.

The house is constructed with native stone taken from the site on which it stands. The hardwood interior is all selected from the rarest and most expensive materials that go to make any home elegant. There is a spread of refined lavishness on all sides.

Entering through massive stone arches, you twist the   knob and stand beneath the buffalo head that Pawnee shot when a boy, the meat of which saved his command of scouts from starving to death. The interior of the house beggars description of photographer's art or writer's ability to hinge words together. The main living room is rugged with Oriental weavings, the furniture is leathered in red, setting against dark and precious woods; a monster ten foot open fire place with solid bronze hand irons, its merry glow of warmth extends the hearty cheer and hospitality that awaits from host and hostess—the gallant and smiling Major and his sweet, charming wife, Mrs. Lillie, who will be remembered before her retirement as the most expert woman rifle shot that the world ever knew.

Drop chandeliers of diamond cut glass radiate a dazzle of electricity generated from the Major's private plant, walls leathered in brown with gold stained burlap frieze creeping up to an old Dutch ceiling. To the right is a cozy little den, floor tiled with red and white flagstones, the furniture is weathered oak and another open fire place adds warmth and glow. The windows in both rooms reach the floor, the glass being the very finest imported bevel plate. The dining room is a spacious affair, a seven-   foot diamond cut glass chandelier dropping down to within a few feet of the table that will seat fifty guests, the walls carry tapestries made in the seventeenth century. To one side is a bay window with plate glass, running nearly twenty feet in length, topping over a leather covered window seat.

The bedrooms are in various tints and furnishings, here and there are scattered monster rugs of buffalo, bear or lion. The silverware came from Tiffany's, New York, the linen and dining room service were made to order in different parts of Europe. Throughout is readily seen the effects of lavish and tasty expenditure, the walls are hung with oils of the finest masters.

With the Indian council house, the old settler's cabin, and the up-to-date bungalow of present-day civilization, Major Lillie has erected a splendid reminiscent tribute to past, present and future. He struggled hard, fought square and to-day Pawnee, Oklahoma, is right well proud of its famous and highly esteemed first citizen.








GOOD-BYE, Buffalo Bill. Good-bye," ten thousand voices shouted, no, not shouted, shrieked, as the famous scout made his final salute and bow to New York at Madison Square Garden, New York City, at the conclusion of the engagement there in May, 1910. The announcement was made that Colonel Cody was beginning a tour of the country that would be his last—his positive farewell in the saddle.

I was one of the ten thousand present at Madison Square Garden on that never-to-be-forgotten night. New York couldn't seem to realize that it would never see the old plainsman in the arena again. Every performance was packed with thousands of his enthusiastic friends and admirers. Buffalo Bill and Pawnee Bill had joined forces, it was a tremendous exhibition. And   Buffalo Bill told us that he would never come back to New York as the active head of the great institution that he had fathered and fostered through nearly thirty years of wondrous success. He looked about him for a man worthy to carry his mantle of command and one entitled to carry out the great project that he had started. Pawnee Bill was the only logical choice.

New York could not realize that Buffalo Bill will hereafter only be linked to it in history.

"Buffalo Bill isn't ever going to come back," a man sitting near me said to a youngster at his side.

"Gee, ain't that tough," and the lad meant it.

Just imagine over ten thousand throats raspy from cheering, ten thousand men, women and children standing atop seats and railings, hats in hand, umbrellas and canes waving—a hundred spotlights pushing sunshine through every crevice of flag-tinted Madison Square, a thousand more men, women and horses, elephants and camels sprinkled over the tan-bark—then picture Buffalo Bill, as dashingly handsome as ever, on a prancing horse, and the music—picture this and you get only a mental glimpse at the Garden when the memorable farewell season began.

Nothing like it has ever been seen before, nothing can   ever approach this nonpareil consummation of artistic achievement. Buffalo Bill had scoured the Wild West, Pawnee Bill had drawn a fine-tooth comb through the burning sands of Oriental deserts—the result, a most amazing combination. Cowboy, Indian, Cossack and Moslem, contribute deeds of daring that fringe the danger line of death. None seemed happy unless coquetting with Madame Disaster, and yet withal, it's so apparently easy, so triflingly inconsequential, that even the most timid are rapture-bound.

There is no trickery in the exhibition, there is no resorting to magical artifice, there's nothing left to routine; it's just dare-devil chance. I saw rider after rider tossed mid-air—a loose clod of dirt, a slipping surcingle, a broken bridle, these are the things that unlock the injury sprites.

No eye so trained, no brain so quick, no muscle so brawny but what Fate or accident can't master. When you realize this and realize that every participant in the spectacle before you is master of its own destiny for only a tiny fortuitous second—then you realize just how truly wonderful is the exhibition that you're witnessing. The   circus has its dangers, but the element of chance is entirely eliminated when you parallel the risks.

Every child or man among us has immortalized the name of Buffalo Bill. He is the living epitome of uncivilized America. We watch him in mimic warfare, his accoutrements dazzling, his mount slickened with care and grooming, his every appearance denoting peace and contentment, admiring thousands cheering as he sweeps a graceful acknowledging bow, this is what we see, and this is all that the most of us have ever seen, but—take a minute away from to-day, turn back the page, there's an Indian scout, tattered, half-famished, blood streaked, a trusty rifle balancing, an eye-glance as true as the steel over which it looks, death and carnage on every side; a horde of wild, bepainted, gore-thirsty red demons lurking in ambush.

I wonder if Colonel Cody ever thinks of those days—I wonder if Major Lillie ever thinks of them? The frontiersman has gone. Cooper did much to send him down to posterity, but Cooper was impossible in his unrealities. The leather-stocking heroes of his fiction were not actualities. We have the living, breathing history before us   today, in Buffalo Bill and Pawnee Bill. But they are the last.

Time will come when the cowboy must go in training schools to learn to shoot and ride. And all this makes the exhibition the more remarkable. In the box next to mine sat the richest man that America has ever known. I wondered what his thoughts were as the old stage-coach rumbled in. King Commercial met King Plainsman face to face that night.

Major Lillie stood at the entrance with elbows athwart the rail. Possibly not a hundred, except friends, recognized that sturdy, rugged face. I wondered if the scene recalled olden days to him. The time when but an adventure-seeking youngster he ran away from home to seek his fortune in the West—to roam the plains, to become an adopted son of Mother Nature, when he waded icy streams thigh high and finally joined Trapper Tom.

From that day on Pawnee Bill grooved his way through hardships to high honors. These are the things that caught a flicker of my thought. I wonder a hundred years hence who will be our Buffalo Bill or Pawnee Bill, or will Grandma take the youngster aknee and read today's and yesterday's history?


Just then a shout, a piercing, shrieking hi, hi, ke, yep hee, torn toms, warwhoops, and a mad dashing body of horsemen, white and red, raced on the bark. A most imposing spectacle—the Far West greets the Occidental East. Copper-skins from the world's opposite corners vie with each other in feats of extreme horsemanship. A second later and then another yell, this time from the lusty-throated cowboys, and what a yell—and what riding, and what horses. In quick succession equestrian experts from everywhere, Sioux and Cheyenne Indians, cowboys, Mexicans, scouts, guides, veteran members of the U. S. Sixth Cavalry, a group of Wild West rosy-cheeked girls, Australian bushmen, Arabians, Japanese and Cossacks pranced into position.

Suddenly a hundred spotlights flooded the arena, martial music blared, the curtains parted, and in rushed Colonel Cody, the greatest of all living scouts. Sweeping acknowledgments to the cheering throngs, he charged straight for the front. The great performance was on.

As the final curtain was about to close, the storm of pent-up enthusiasm broke—Cody was greeted with ringing cheers and insistent demands for a speech.

"Ladies and gentlemen—and you, my little friends 'way   up there in the gallery, I thank you." The old scout sat erect in saddle, there was a tremble in his voice. "I am about to go home for a well-earned rest. Out in the West I have my horses, my buffaloes, my sturdy, staunch, old Indian friends—my home and my green fields, but I never see them green. When my season is over the hillsides and the meadows have been blighted by a wintry frost and the sere and yellow leaves cover the ground. I want to see nature in its prime, to enjoy a rest from active life. My message to you to-night is one of farewell (the old scout's voice filled with emotion). Thirty years ago you gave me my first welcome here. I am grateful for your continued loyal devotion to me. During that time many of my friends among you and many of those with me have been long since gathered to the great unknown arena of another life—there are only a few of us left. When I went away from here each year before I merely said good night—this time it will mean good-bye. To my little friends in the gallery and the grown-ups who used to sit there, I thank you once again. God bless you all—good-bye."

A deathly silence spread over the vast assemblage, the old scout's horse backed to the arena's end—the animal   knelt before a huge statue of an Indian camp. Through its base flashed the word "farewell." Then, awakening from its stupor, the throng, realizing that they were looking for the last time on the greatest hero the plains ever knew, broke in ringing cheers.

"Good-bye, Buffalo Bill, good-bye! God bless you, too!" There was not a dry eye in the Garden.



Title: Thrilling Lives of Buffalo Bill, Col. Wm. F. Cody, Last of the Great Scouts and Pawnee Bill, Major Gordon W. Lillie (Pawnee Bill), White Chief of the Pawnees

Publisher: S. L. Parsons & Co., Inc.

Date: 1911

Topics: Buffalo Bill Himself

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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