Title: Buffalo Bill (Hon. Wm. F. Cody) and His Wild West Companions | Including Wild Bill, Texas Jack, California Joe, Capt. Jack Crawford and Other Famous Scouts of the Western Plains.

Date: 1893[?]

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Wild Bill, Texas Jack, California Joe, Capt. Jack Crawford and Other Famous Scouts of the Western Plains.






The best description of Buffalo Bill, as the world knows him to-day, and his marvelous exhibition of pioneer life on the plains, that has yet appeared, was given by a writer in the London Era, in recounting a Wild West performance he witnessed at Erastina, Staten Island. It reads as follows:

"In the grove of Erastina, is the Wild West encampment, adjoining the exhibition grounds. It is not unlike a military camp, with its headquarters under canvas, and its grouped tepees savagely ornamented with scalps and feathers. The picturesque Indian children playing under the trees, the uncouth, extemporized comfort and the prevailing air of organization give it a novel interest. There are no restrictions upon visitors, who are allowed to enter the tents, chuck the Indian babies under the chin, watch the squaws at work, and interview the patriarchial chief who sits grim and stoical on his blanket. Of the exhibition on the grounds (and the proprietors will not allow you to call it a performance), especially at night when lit by the electric lights, the wild beauty of it is an entirely new element in our arena sports. When I saw it there were, by gate record, 12,000 people on the stands, which you will understand is the population of a goodly town. A stentorian voice in front of the grand stand makes the announcements, and as he does so, the bands make their entry from the extreme end of the grounds, dashing up to the stand, a third of a mile, at a whirlwind pace. As an exhibition of equestrianism nothing in the world can equal this. Pawnees, Sioux, Cut Off Band, Ogalallas, cowboys, make this dash in groups, successively, and pull up in a growing array before the stand 200 strong. Such daredevil riding was never seen among Cossacks, Tartars, Arabs. All the picturesque horsemanship of the famous Bedouins sinks to child's play before these reckless mamelukes of the plains. When the American cowboys sweep like a tornado up the track, forty or fifty strong, every man swinging his hat and every pony at its utmost speed, a roar of wonder and delight breaks from the thousands and the men reach the grand stand in a cloud, welcomed by a thunderburst. Col. Cody, the far-famed Buffalo Bill, comes last. I don't know that anybody every described Buffalo Bill on a horse. I am inclined to think nobody can. Ainsworth's description of Dick Turpin's ride stood for many years as the finest thing of its kind, and then young Winthrop in his clever story of 'John Brent' excelled it in his ride to the Suggernell Springs. Either one of these men, given a month and a safe publisher, might have wrought Buffalo Bill upon paper. He is the complete restoration of the Centaur. No one that I ever saw so adequately fulfills to the eye all the conditions of picturesque beauty, absolute grace, and perfect identity with his animal. If an artist or a riding master had wanted to mould a living ideal of romantic equestrianship, containing in outline and action the men of Harry of Navarre, the Americanism of Custer, the automatic majesty of the Indian, and the untutored cussedness of the cowboy, he would have measured Buffalo Bill in the saddle. Motion swings into music with him. He is the only man I ever saw who rides as if he couldn't help it and the sculptor and the soldier had jointly come together in his act. It is well worth a visit to Erastina to see that vast parterre of people break into white handkerchiefs like a calm sea suddenly whipped to foam, as this man dashes up to the grand stand. How encumbered, and uncouth and wooden are the best of the red braves beside the martial leadership of this long-limbed pale-face! There they are, drawn up in platoon front. No circus can approximate its actuality. Look down the line. Every man has a record of daring, and there, shaking her long hair, is Georgie Duffie, the Colorado girl. A word of command, the line breaks. Away they go with shouts and yells. In an instant the grounds are covered with the vanishing hoofs. Feathers and war-paint glimmer in the mad swirl and they are gone in the distance. It is impossible to escape the thrill of this intense action. The enthusiasm of the multitude goes with them. All the abeyant savagery in the blood and bones comes to the surface, and men and women shout together. An impression prevailed among some of the spectators that these wild bucking horses are trained after the manner of circus horses. Nothing can be further from the truth, as I had occasion to learn after staying at the camp for two or three days and making their acquaintance. There is one black mare they call Dynamite that is, without exception, the wickedest animal I ever saw. You are to understand that when a man attempts to mount her she jumps into the air, and turning a back somersault, falls upon her back with her heels upward. To escape being crushed to death is to employ the marvelous celerity and dexterity that a cowboy alone exhibits. The other day a cowboy undertook to ride this animal. It was necessary for four men to hold her and she had to be blindfolded before he could get on her, and then, letting out a scream like a woman in pain, she made a headlong dash and plunged with all her force into a fence, turning completely over head first and apparently falling upon the rider. A cry of horror rose from the spectators. But the rest of the exhibition went on. Poor Jim was dragged out, bleeding and maimed, and led away. What was the astonishment of the multitude, when the other refractory animals had had their sport, to see Dynamite again led out and the cowboy, limping and pale, came forward to make another attempt to ride her. 'No, no,' cried the spectators, 'take her away.' But the indomitable cowboy only smiled grimly and gave them to understand that in the cowboys' code a man who failed to ride his animal might as well retire from business. It was do or die. For fifteen minutes the fight went on between man and beast. Animal strength against pluck and intelligence. I never saw a multitude brought to such intense interest. It was the gladiatorial contest revived. The infuriated beast shook off the men who held her like insects. She lept into the air with a scream and fell on her back. She laid down and grovelled. But the cowboy got upon her back by some superhuman skill, and then he was master. As he punished the animal mercilessly and swung his hat triumphantly, the concourse of people stood up and cheered long and loud."

This graphic description of Buffalo Bill and his Wild West exhibition, and other similar accounts given by well-known English actors who had witnessed the performance in America, awakened a deep desire in the minds of the people of London to "take in" the entertainment.

The eminent English actor, Mr. Henry Irving thus spoke to a representative of the Era the leading dramatic organ of London, regarding a Wild West performance he witnessed at Staten Island, predicting that when it should come to London it would take the town by storm.

"I saw an entertainment in New York the like of which I had never seen before, which impressed me immensely. It is coming to London and will be exhibited somewhere near Earl's Court, on the grounds of the forthcoming Exhibition. It is an entertainment in which the whole of the most interesting episodes of life on the extreme frontier of civilization in America are represented with the most graphic vividness and scrupulosity of detail. You may form some idea of the scale upon which the scene is played when I say that when I saw it the stage extended over five acres. You have real cowboys, with bucking horses, real buffaloes, and great hordes of cows, which are lassoed and stampeded in the most realistic fashion imaginable. Then there are real Indians, who execute attacks upon coaches driven at full speed. No one can exaggerate the extreme excitement and 'go' of the whole performance. However well it may be rehearsed—and the greatest care is taken that it shall go properly—it is impossible to avoid a considerable share of the impromptu and the unforseen. For you may rehearse with buffaloes as much as you like, but no one can say in what way they will stampede when they are suddenly turned loose in the open. No one can say how the ox has to be lassoed, or in what way the guns have to be fired when the border fight comes on. The excitement is immense, and I venture to predict that when it comes to London it will take the town by storm."

Mr. Irving's prediction was fulfilled to the letter. Buffalo Bill and his Wild West riders were welcomed to London with a more than royal welcome, for royalty itself—the Queen, the Prince of Wales and other royal personages of high rank, as well as vast crowds of the London populace flocked to Earl's Court station to witness the much talked of performance. The public press could not say enough in its favor, all were flatteringly eulogistic. The London Illustrated News devoted to a graphic description of the exhibition a two full page illustration and four columns of descriptive matter. Following is an extract from the latter:

"This remarkable exhibition, the 'Wild West,' has created a furore in America, and the reason is easy to understand. It is not a circus, nor indeed is it acting at all, in a theatrical sense; but an exact reproduction of daily scenes in frontier life, as experienced and enacted by the very people who now form the Wild West company. It comprises Indian life, cowboy life, Indian fighting, and burning Indian villages, lassoing and breaking in wild horses, shooting, feats of strength, and border athletic games and sports. It could only be possible for such a remarkable undertaking to be carried out by a remarkable man; and the Hon. W. F. Cody, known as 'Buffalo Bill; guide, scout, hunter, trapper, Indian fighter, and legislator, is a remarkable man. He is a perfect horseman, an unerring shot, a man of magnificent presence and physique, ignorant of the meaning of fear or fatigue; his life is a history of hairbreadth escapes, and deeds of daring, generosity and self-sacrifice, which compare very favorably with the chivalric actions of romance, and he has been not unappropriately designated the 'Bayard of the Plains.'"

Buffalo Bill was personally honored by calls from the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone and other distinguished statesmen of the realm and then commenced a long series of invitations to breakfast, dinners, luncheons, and midnight layouts, garden parties and all the other attentions by which London society delights to honor what it is pleased to call the distinguished foreigner.

A writer in the London Sporting Life, thus concludes a laudatory notice of the Wild West opening performance:

"The opening of the Wild West Show was one of the most signal successes of recent years. Such a vast concourse of the cream—or it may be as well to say the creme de la creme—of society is seldom seen at any performance. The number of chariots waiting at the gates outnumbered those of Pharaoh, and the phalanx of footmen constituted quite a small army. There is much in the Wild West show to please. There is novelty of incident, wonderful tone, color, dexterous horsemanship, and a breezy independence of manner, which latter quality, by the way, is not entirely confined to the dramatis personœ. It is new, it is brilliant it is startling, it will 'go!'"

The concluding performance was thus noticed by the London Times.

"The Wild West Exhibition, which has attracted all the town to West Brompton for the last few months, was brought yesterday to an appropriate and dignified close. A meeting of representative Englishmen and Americans was held, under the presidency of Lord Lorne, in support of the movement for establishing a Court of Arbitration for the settlement of disputes between this country and the United States. At first sight it might seem to be a far cry from the Wild West to an International Court. Yet the connection is not really very remote. Exhibitions of American products and of a few scenes from the wilder phases of American life certainly tend in some degree at least to bring America nearer to England. They are partly cause and partly effect. They are the effect of increased and increasing intercourse between the two countries, and they tend to promote a still more intimate understanding. The two things, the Exhibition and the Wild West Show, have supplemented each other. Those who went to be amused often stayed to be instructed. It must be acknowledged that the show was the attraction which made the fortune of the Exhibition. Without Colonel Cody, his cowboys, and his Indians, it is conceivable that the Exhibition might have reproduced the Wild West in one feature at any rate—namely, its solitude—with rare fidelity. But the Wild West was irresistible. Colonel Cody, much to the astonishment of some of his more superfine compatriots, suddenly found himself the hero of the London season. Notwithstanding his daily engagements and his punctual fulfillment of them, he found time to go everywhere, to see everything, and to be seen by all the world. All London contributed to his triumph, and now the close of his show is selected as the occasion for promoting a great international movement with Mr. Bright, Lord Granville, Lord Wolseley, and Lord Lorne for its sponsors. Colonel Cody can achieve no greater triumph than this, even if he some day realizes the design attributed to him of running the Wild West Show within the classic precincts of the Colosseum at Rome."

From all of which it appears that Buffalo Bill and his wonderful Wild West exhibition proved a howling success in the British metropolis.

From London the Wild West aggregation of two hundred people, with the numerous horses, buffaloes and wild steers, moved on in triumphal march to Birmingham, and thence to Manchester, where it was attended by people from all parts of England, and Buffalo Bill and his wonderful Wild West riders soon became a familiar theme and marvel throughout the length and breadth of Great Britain.

To-day, the world over, Buffalo Bill, in the minds of men, women and children, is the typical American pioneer, guide, scout, Indian fighter and plainsman.

It is but natural, therefore, that the world should be eager to learn all that can be told regarding the career of this remarkable American.



William Frederick Cody, more generally known as Honorable W. F. Cody, and famous the world over as "Buffalo Bill," was born in Scott county, Iowa, February 26, 1845.

His father, Isaac Cody, was a farmer, in a small way, and with his wife Ann Cody, lived in a little log cabin on his farm in the Scott county backwoods, at that time regarded as a part of the Far West wilderness.

Mr. Cody did not find farming in Scott county a very profitable business, so, when Billy was about five years old, determined to "get out of the wilderness," and moved with his family to the little village of Le Clair, on the Mississippi river, some fifteen miles north of Davenport.

At Le Clair Billy was sent to school, but did not attend very regularly, as he found it much pleasanter, without the knowledge or consent of his parents, to go skiff-riding on the father of waters.

But he did not long have the opportunity to do either, for after residing at Le Clair for only two years, Billy's father again determined to make a move, and packing his family and possessions into a carriage and three "mover wagons" he started for the then Territory of Kansas.

After a journey of much interest to all, especially to Billy, across the plains of Iowa and over the hills of Missouri, the family arrived in good shape at Weston, a small town on the border line between Missouri and Kansas, where Billy's uncle, Elijah Cody, a well-to-do merchant, resided. Here the family remained, moving upon one of Elijah's farms, while Billy's father crossed the line into Kansas and established a trading post of the Kickapoo Indian Agency at Salt Creek Valley.

When Billy was eight years old his father bought him a pony, which at once gave Billy an occupation and a pastime, for he combined business with pleasure, and with the aid of his pony, made himself useful to his father in a number of ways.

There were many ready and rough riders at Kickapoo then, and Billy soon learned to be a pretty good horseman. But his pony continued to be stubborn and unsubmissive. One day a company of eight men came into the vicinity of Mr. Cody's trading post, driving a herd of several hundred horses which they had taken wild in California and driven across the plains. One of the men watched Billy as he was trying to pet his fractious pony into submissiveness.

"Here, my lad," said the man. "I can break that pony for you," and making a slip noose, he passed it over the pony's nose and springing lightly upon his back, dashed away over the prairie and kept the pony upon a run until he was completely exhausted. Riding up to where Billy and his father stood he sprang to the ground, passed the lariat to Billy, and said:

"He is all right now. Get on and ride him."

While Billy went away to care for his pony, his father drew the stranger out into conversation, and found he had been a great wanderer, that he had been in Australia, had served a time as a circus rider, had spent several years in California, hunting and capturing wild horses, and was then on his way to Weston, Missouri, to visit his uncle, Elijah Cody:

"What is your name?" asked Mr. Cody in surprise.

"Horace Billings."

"Then you are my nephew, the son of my sister Sophia. I am Isaac Cody, brother of Elijah Cody!"

The discovery was mutually pleasant, and Billy was called up and introduced to his cousin Horace. Henceforward they were fast and inseparable friends, the one being, however, only a lad about nine years old, while the other was a tall, handsome man, measuring in height six feet and two inches.

Billings was an accomplished horseman, and took especial pride and pleasure in teaching the boy the art of horsemanship, together with the use of the lasso.

The United States had lost about three hundred horses on the Kansas plains by stampede, and a reward of ten dollars a head was offered for their capture and return to Fort Leavenworth. Billings and Billy roamed the plains, chasing these semi-wild horses, and young Cody soon was proficient in the science and art of horsemanship.

In the meantime the Indian boys who visited his father's trading post, had taught him to use the bow and arrow, and from them he had learned to talk in the Kickapoo language.

In 1854 the bill known as the "Enabling Act of Kansas Territory" passed Congress. Immediately thousands of people poured into Kansas to pre-empt land claims. Among these were hundreds of Missourians who were very loud in their declarations that Kansas should be made a slave state, as was Missouri. Excitement ran high. The question was the one theme of conversation wherever a company of men were assembled. At one of these impromptu gatherings Mr. Cody was called upon for his views. He was quite a politician, and in Iowa was considered a good stump speaker.

He got upon a box and began to express his views in mild language, but insisting that Kansas ought to be kept "white," and slavery not to be allowed to fill the state with negroes. This ingenious argument in behalf of freedom did not "take" very well with his audience, and encouraged by the shouts of disapproval from the crowd, a ruffian jumped upon the box where Mr. Cody stood, and drawing a large bowie knife plunged it into the speaker's breast twice, and would have killed him had not some of the more humane spectators interfered in his behalf.

Mr. Cody recovered from his wounds, but was compelled to flee from the country to escape death by hanging at the hands of the pro-slavery border ruffians. He went to Grasshopper Falls, thirty-five miles west of Fort Leavenworth, but was pursued by his enemies even there, and would have been surprised and killed, had not Billy discovered their intentions, and, in a wild ride of many miles, mounted on his pony, most of the time pursued by the would-be lynchers, warned his father in time for him to escape to Lawrence, where he was made a member of the first legislature of Kansas, and assisted in organizing the territory into a State.

When Billy was but ten years old, he hired out to Mr. Russell, of Leavenworth, to herd cattle, and received for his services the munificent sum of twenty-five dollars per month, besides his board. At the end of two months he went back home, carrying with him one hundred silver half dollars, his salary as cattle herder. His mother received him joyfully, although he had run away to accept the position, not being able to get his mother's consent. He afterward spent seven years in the service of the same man, in the several capacities of pony express, wagon master, cattle driver, etc.

About this time he got into a difficulty with a schoolmate on account of having the same girl for a sweetheart. Billy and his sweetheart would spend the hours of intermission from study at school in building bowers for a mimic home. The other boy took delight in tearing these houses down as fast as Billy could build them. The finale was a school boy fight in which Billy used a dirk, inflicting an ugly but not dangerous wound upon his rival's leg. To avoid the punishment he knew to be in store for him when the teacher discovered his act, he fled, and did not stop until he intercepted a government train of freight wagons which he had noticed creeping slowly along over the prairie. Fortunately he was acquainted with one of the teamsters, and in him found a sympathizing friend, who, when camp was made for the night, mounted a horse and taking Billy up, rode back to Mrs. Cody's and obtained permission of her to take the young fugitive on his trip, to be gone about forty days. She finally agreed to the arrangement. When Billy returned, he found his mother had succeeded in pacifying the father of the boy he had wounded. Even Billy made friends with him, and the friendship yet remains between the two, a lasting monument of the gentle and benign influence of a mother's love and foresight.

In April, 1857, Billy's father died of kidney disease. Billy then determined to follow the life of a plainsman to obtain means to assist his mother in caring for the family.

The following month he found employment with Mr. Russell and his partners, and started for Salt Lake City with a herd of cattle for the United States troops sent out to fight the Mormons. It was on this journey that Billy received his initiation as an Indian fighter and killed his first Indian, though at the time but eleven years of age. His own account of the matter, as given in his autobiography, is as follows:

"Nothing occurred to interrupt our journey until we reached Plum Creek, on the South Platte River, thirty-five miles west of Old Fort Kearney. We had made a morning drive and had camped for dinner. The wagon master and the majority of the men had gone to sleep under the mess wagons. The cattle were being guarded by three men, and the cook was preparing dinner. No one had an idea that the Indians were anywhere near us. The first warning we had was the firing of shots and the whoops and yells from a party of them, who, watching us napping, gave us a most unwelcome surprise. All the men jumped to their feet and seized their guns. They saw in astonishment the cattle running in every direction, they having been stampeded by the Indians, who had killed the three men who were on day herd duty, and the red devils were now charging down on the rest of us.

"I then thought of mother's fear of my falling into the hands of the Indians, and I had about made up my mind that such was to be my fate; but when I saw how coolly and determinedly the McCarthy brothers were conducting themselves, and giving orders to the little band, I became convinced that we would stand the Indians off, as the saying is. Our men were all well armed with colts revolvers and Mississippi 'yagers,' which last carried a bullet and two buckshots.

"The McCarthy boys, at the proper moment, gave orders to fire upon the advancing enemy. The volley checked them, although they returned the compliment, and shot one of our party through the leg. Frank McCarthy then sung out, 'Boys, make a break for the slough yonder, and we can then have the bank for a breastwork.'

"We made a run for the slough, which was only a short distance off, and succeeded in reaching it safely, bringing with us the wounded man. The bank proved to be a very effective breastwork, affording us good protection. We had been there but a short time when Frank McCarthy, seeing that the longer we were coralled the worse it would be for us, said:

"'Well, boys, we will try to make our way back to Fort Kearney by wading in the river and keeping the bank for a breastwork

"We all agreed that this was the best plan, and accordingly proceeded down the river several miles in this way, managing to keep the Indians at a safe distance with our guns, until the slough made a junction with the Platte River. From there down we found the river at times quite deep, and in order to carry the wounded man along with us, we constructed a raft of poles for his accommodation, and in this way he was transported.

"Occasionally the water would be too deep for us to wade, and we were obliged to put our weapons on the raft and swim. The Indians followed us pretty close, and were continually watching for an opportunity to get a good range and give us a raking fire. Covering ourselves by keeping well under the bank, we pushed ahead as rapidly as possible, and made pretty good progress, the night finding us still on our way, and the enemies still on our track.

"I being the youngest and the smallest of the party, became somewhat tired, and without noticing it, I had fallen behind the others for some little distance. It was about ten o'clock and we were, keeping very quiet and hugging close to the bank, when I happened to look up to the moon-lit sky and saw the plumed head of an Indian peeping over the bank. Instead of hurrying on and alarming the men in a quiet way, I instantly aimed my gun at the head and fired. The report rang out sharp and loud on the night air, and was immediately followed by an Indian whoop, and the next moment about six feet of dead Indian came tumbling into the river. I was not only overcome with astonishment, but was badly scared, as I could hardly realize what I had done. I expected to see the whole force of Indians come down upon us. While I was standing thus bewildered the men who had heard the shot and the war whoop, and had seen the Indian take a tumble, came rushing back.

"'Who fired that shot?' cried Frank McCarthy.

"'I did,' replied I rather proudly, as my confidence returned, and I saw the men coming up.

"'Yes, and little Billy has killed an Indian stone dead,—too dead to skin," said one of the men, who had approached nearer than the rest, and had nearly stumbled upon the corpse. From that time on I became a hero and an Indian killer. This was of course the first Indian I had ever shot, and my exploit created quite a sensation.

"The other Indians upon learning what had happened to their 'advance guard,' set up a terrible howling, and fired several volleys at us, but without doing any injury, as we were well protected by the bank. We resumed our journey down the river and traveled all night. We reached Fort Kearney just after the reveille—bringing the wounded man with [drawing] J. MANZ & CO. Engs us. The commandant at once ordered a company out to endeavor to recapture the cattle from the Indians. The troops followed the trail to the head of Plum Creek and there abandoned it, without having seen a single red skin."



In the following summer Billy made arrangements to make another trip across the plains, in the capacity of "extra hand" to the wagonmaster of a train that was to transport supplies for the army of General Albert Sidney Johnson, that had been sent out to Salt Lake to look after the Mormons.

The wagonmaster's name was Lew Simpson, and he was one of the most trusty teamsters that ever commanded a bull-train. Simpson had known Billy for quite a while, and he knew that he was certain to obtain the latter's consent to make the trip with him across the plains, though at that time such a journey was exceedingly perilous.

When Simpson proposed the matter to Billy, he was wild to go, but his mother interposed an emphatic objection and urged him to abandon so reckless a desire. She reminded him that in addition to the fact that the trip would possibly occupy a year, the journey was one of extreme peril, beset as it was by Mormon assassins and treacherous Indians, and begged him to accept the lesson of his last experience and narrow escape as a providential warning. But to her pleading and remonstrances Billy returned the answer that he had determined to follow the plains as an occupation, and while he appreciated her advice and desired greatly to honor her commands, yet he could not on any account give up his determination to accompany the train.

Finding it was impossible to move Billy from his determined purpose to accompany Simpson at all hazards, Mrs. Cody reluctantly gave her consent, but not until she had called upon Simpson and secured from him the promise that he would take the best of care of her precious boy.

So Billy, after arranging with his employers that when his pay fell due it should be turned over to his mother, set out with Simpson and his train of ten wagons direct for Salt Lake.

A description of the wagon trains that carried freight from Fort Leavenworth to Salt Lake City, will interest the reader.

The wagons were huge affairs and strongly built, being capable of carrying something over seven thousand pounds of merchandise. They were provided with a double canvas cover stretched over bows to protect the freight from rain. The wagons were drawn by oxen, several yokes of them being attached to one wagon. Each team had a driver. The train consisted of twenty-five drivers, one wagonmaster who had control of the entire cavalcade, one assistant wagonmaster, one "extra hand," one night herder, one cavallard driver, whose duty it was to drive the loose animals. This company was divided into messes of seven persons each, and each mess did its own cooking. One of the men would cook, another get water, another wood, while another stood guard, and so on, each having a particular duty to perform. The entire company was heavily armed with revolvers and rifles, and always had their weapons handy in case of emergency. The wagonmaster, in the language of the plains, was known as the "bull-wagon boss," the teamsters were known as the "bull whackers," and the whole train as the "bull outfit." The company for which Billy was working had two hundred and fifty "outfits," which consisted of 6,000 wagons, 75,000 oxen, and 8,000 men. Thus it will be seen that the position Billy was called to fill was no mean one, and the wages paid, fifty dollars per month in gold, was a prize to be coveted.

The trip from the outset was full of interest to Billy. The country through which they passed fairly swarmed with buffaloes, and the train laid over one day for a grand bison hunt. They killed quite a number of buffaloes, captured a number of stray cattle—a portion of a herd that the Indians had stampeded—and enjoyed a day of rare sport.

The next morning the train resumed its onward journey towards great Salt Lake. The train was strung out to a considerable length along the road which ran near the foot of the sand-hills, two miles from the South Platte River. Then and there it was that Billy first witnessed a buffalo stampede. In his autobiography, Buffalo Bill thus describes the exciting scene: "Between the road and the river we saw a large herd of buffaloes grazing quietly, they having been down to the stream for a drink. Just at this time we observed a party of returning Californians coming from the west. They, too, noticed the buffalo herd, and in another moment they were dashing down upon them, urging their steeds to the greatest speed. The buffalo herd stampeded at once and broke down the hills; so hotly were they pursued by the hunters that about five hundred of them rushed through our train pell-mell, frightening both men and oxen. Some of the wagons were turned clear round, and many of the terrified oxen attempted to run to the hills, with the heavy wagon attached to them. Others turned around so short that they broke the wagon tongues off. Nearly all the teams got entangled in their gearing, and became wild and unruly, so that the perplexed drivers were unable to manage them

"The buffaloes, the cattle and the drivers were soon running in every direction, and the excitement upset nearly everybody and everything. Many of the cattle broke their yokes and stampeded. One big buffalo bull became entangled in one of the heavy wagon-chains, and it is a fact that in his desperate efforts to free himself he not only actually snapped the strong chain in two, but broke the ox-yoke to which it was attached, and the last seen of him he was running towards the hills with it hanging from his horns. A dozen other equally remarkable incidents happened during the short time that the frantic buffaloes were playing havoc with our train, and when they got through and left us our outfit was badly crippled and scattered."

Nothing further of special interest occurred to the train until it arrived within a few miles of Green River in the Rocky Mountains. Here the company was surprised by Joe Smith and a squad of Danites from the Mormons, who were permitted to ride into the camp while at noonday halt, as the wagonmaster and drivers supposed them to be a lot of Californians going East. The trainmen were given one wagon, some provisions, and their arms and six yoke of oxen, and told to put back to Fort Bridger. They could do nothing but obey. They tarried, however, and saw the entire train of twenty-four wagons, and the loads of hard tack, bacon, ammunition and other supplies for Gen. Johnson's army, burned to ashes.

They finally reached Fort Bridger, but there were gathered three or four hundred men in the employ of the Freight Company, besides the garrison of the United States troops.

Winter now set in, and provisions were scarce. The men were reduced to three quarter rations, and then to one half rations, and finally to one quarter. As a last resort they killed and ate the oxen, which by this time had been reduced to skin and bones, and as these failed to supply the demand, mules were also killed and portioned out to the half-famished men and soldiers. When mules and oxen were gone, the wood for fuel was brought from the mountains by men, twenty or more of whom would drag a wagon loaded with fuel. Spring, though, came at last, and with it a move to Fort Laramie. Here another train was organized to return to Fort Leavenworth. On this trip, Billy, Simpson and his assistant, rode ahead of the train to overtake one that had a day's start. These three were attacked by forty Indians. Simpson immediately dismounted and had the other two do the same. The mules were killed, and behind these the three lay all day and all night, keeping the Indians at bay with their rifles and revolvers as they were armed only with bows and arrows. However, the assistant wagonmaster was severely wounded in the shoulder by an arrow. Next day about l0 o'clock the train arrived, and the Indians suddenly departed, leaving on the field four dead companions.

Billy finally reached home in safety, to the great joy of his mother and sister.

The next move Billy made, was to join a party of trappers who intended to trap for beaver and otter, and kill wolves for their pelts. This business proved unprofitable, and was abandoned after two months. He then returned home and remained about three months, attending the neighborhood school.

When spring came again, he joined a party bound for Pike's Peak, the then newly discovered gold field. Two months of prospecting was all he could stand, and he then concluded he was not cut out for a miner.

The next business in which he engaged, was pony express rider. This was at that time a new business on the plains. He was obliged to ride forty-five miles in three hours, and change horses three times. He continued in this work two months or more, during which time he never failed to make his trips according to schedule. It was very hard on him, and he gave it up at the urgent solicitation of his mother.



Billy's restless spirit could not be satisfied with the seemingly humdrum life of a farmer, and soon he went on a trapping expedition up the Republican River and its tributaries in company with Dave Harrington. They were very successful, and had many trophies of their skill, when Billy, unfortunately, slipped on the ice while creeping toward a herd of elk around the bend of a sharp bluff, and fell heavily, breaking his leg just above the ankle. This left the two trappers in anything but an enviable situation. Dave played the surgeon and rather skilfully set the broken bone. The prospect was dreary enough. They were one hundred and twenty-five miles from the nearest settlement. Rather than remain in that dreary region through the winter, Billy persuaded Dave to go to the settlement, get an ox-team, return and take him home. This he consented to do, and left on his long tramp, after providing fuel and food to last his friend Bill until he should return. This he expected to do in about twenty days. The house where Bill now lay was a "dug-out," a hole made in the ground, covered with poles, upon which were placed grass, leaves and other similar materials. To be thus situated was bad enough for a well man, and far worse for a boy in Billy's condition. The days dragged slowly by until twelve of them had been passed. One day at this time, Billy was awakened from sleep by some one standing by his bed and touching his arm. He opened his eyes, and saw looking into his face, the hideous outline of a huge Indian warrior, all painted and bedecked for war. Through the door other Indians were crowding, and outside the dug-out, Billy heard the tramping of horses and the voices of those who could not get into the little room. He knew they were on the war-path and would not hesitate to put him to death after subjecting him to such torture as their devilish ingenuity could invent. They were not in a hurry, however, to execute their plans against him, but proceeded to investigate the hut and contents. They very deliberately set about cooking what food they wanted and could find at hand, taking special pains to use all his tea, coffee, and sugar. He watched their movements with intense interest, but could find no way by which he could escape. Finally, an old Indian came in, and Billy was rejoiced to see that he was a chief whom he had met before. The recognition was mutual. The Indian chief,—Rain-in-the-face, could speak a little English, and Billy could speak a little Indian language, and he thus succeeded in securing the old chief's attention and sympathy. He begged that his life might be spared, and food left to keep him from starving. The chief consulted his warriors, and told Billy that they would spare his life, but the provisions were to be used. He then asked them to let him keep his gun and pistol as a means of defense from wild animals. This they would not consent to do, as one of their number had no fire arms, and greatly admired Billy's outfit in that line. They staid all day and all the next night, and left next morning, taking all Billy's cooking utensils, and nearly all his provisions. He was glad, however, to see them leave without taking his life. A heavy snowstorm now set in and completely covered the dug-out. At night, wolves came in immense numbers, howled around the hut, ran over the top of it, scratched for an entrance, and made Billy's blood run cold at the prospect of being eaten alive by half-starved wolves after escaping the scalping knife of the savages.

The twentieth day came, the day appointed for Harrington's return. Billy counted the hours as they went by, and waited and listened for the welcome voice of his tried and true friend. Night came, but Harrington came not. A whole week passed beyond the appointed time, and Billy was still alone. Finally, on the twenty-ninth day, when hope was about dead, and Billy nearly dead, too, he heard a voice:

"Hello, Billy!"

"All right, Dave!"

"Well, old boy, are you alive?"

"Yes, but that is about all. I have had a tough siege of it since you went away."

This conversation was carried on while Dave was digging his way through the drifted snow to the door of the hut. He finally pushed the door open, went in, and was immediately clasped in Billy's arms. He would not let him go, but hugged him time and again, meanwhile telling him how he loved him.

"Well, Billy, my boy," said Dave, "I hardly expected to see you alive, but as I had left you here, I was bound to come through, or die in the attempt."

Again Billy threw his arm around Dave's neck and fell upon his bosom while tears of joy ran down his face.


J. MANZ & Co Engs

Dave then sat down and told Billy what great trials he had encountered in going and coming. How the snow had blocked his way; how the oxen had wandered off, and what a weary time he had hunting them.

The two fast friends soon packed up what little goods the Indians had left them, and put back in a wagon drawn by the team of oxen, for civilization. They accomplished the return trip, and Billy was once more at his mother's house. Dave Harrington accompanied him. Here Dave died, being tenderly nursed by Billy's mother and sisters, who felt that they could not do enough for one who had done so much for Billy. But his disease was not to be baffled, and after an illness of only a week poor Harrington died of pneumonia.



A short time after the death of his friend Harrington, Billy met his old wagonmaster and friend. Lew Simpson, who was fitting out a train at Atchison and loading it with supplies for the Overland Stage Company.

"Come along with me, Billy," said Simpson. I'll give you a good lay-out. I want you with me."

"I don't know that I would like to go so far west as that again," replied Billy; "but I do want to ride the pony express once more; there is some life in that."

Simpson laughed at Billy's hankering for further experience in the pony express business, but told him if that was what he had got his mind set on, he had better come with him to Atchison and see Mr. Russell, who would be pretty certain to give him a situation.

Billy acceded to this proposition, and was given the coveted position by Mr. Russell, on his arrival at Atchison. He was assigned to a route seventy-six miles long, and rode with ease and regularity. One day after making his trip he found the rider who was to continue the route a distance of eight-five miles, was drunk, and unable to go out. Billy immediately mounted a fresh pony, and started on the drunken rider's route. He made the ride on time, having accomplished 322 miles on horseback without an hour's rest. It is the greatest feat in that line on record.

A short time after making this trip, Billy was riding along the same route, when a band of Sioux Indians, armed with pistols, dashed out from behind a sand ravine, and gave Billy one of the closest calls for his scalp he had ever experienced up to that date. But, very fortunately for Billy, and for the pony express company, Billy's horse was a swifter stepper than any of those ridden by the Indians, and Billy soon placed a very safe distance between himself and his pursuers. When he arrived at Sweetwater, the first station on the route of his flight, he found that the Indians had raided the station, killed the stock tender, and driven off all the horses so that he was compelled to continue his journey without a fresh mount. He arrived safely at Ploutz Station, twelve miles further on, having made a twenty-four mile straight run without change of horse.

One day when Billy was laying off, taking the world easy, and only riding when other riders were disabled, he started out for a bear hunt, all by himself. He rode up into the mountains without discovering any bears, and not wishing to return without any trophy of his skill, he continued to ride until night came on. He now found himself many miles from headquarters, and in a wild and desolate region. He had killed two sage hens, and was about to make a fire to cook one of them for supper, when he heard the neighing of a horse. He sprang to his horse, which stood near by, to prevent him from answering, as is usual for horses to do under such circumstances.

He was now quite anxious to know whether the owner of the horse was friend or foe. He made a reconnoissance and saw a light shining at a little distance from him. Approaching the light he found it came from a dug-out in the mountain side. He drew near cautiously, and found that persons were conversing in his own language. He was glad to find that the occupants were white men. He rapped on the door, and was immediately answered:

"Who's there?"

"A friend, and a white man."

"Come in."

He stepped in and found himself in the midst of as rough a set of men as he had ever met in all his wanderings. One or two of them he recognized as formerly teamsters when he was connected with the freight trains of the plains. He was pleased to see that they did not recognize him. He was thoroughly surprised and frightened by his unexpected surroundings, but did not by appearance or tone of voice betray his emotions. He wanted to get away from them as soon as possible.

"Where are you going, young man?" said one of them.

"I am on a bear hunt."

"Who is with you?"

"I am entirely alone."

"Where are you from?"

"I left Horseshoe Station this morning."

"How came you here?"

"Just as I was going into camp, about one hundred yards down the creek, I heard one of your horses whinny, and then I came to your camp."

"Where is your horse?"

"I left him down the creek."

"Well, we will send for him."

"Captain, I will leave my gun here, go down and get my horse, and return and stay all night."

"Jim and I will go with you," said one of the men. "You may leave your gun here. You will not need it."

"All right, lead the way."

Billy now knew he was in the hands of a band of horse thieves. He knew that he would never get away from them alive, unless he escaped that hour. He thought fast, and soon had his plan matured. There seemed to be but little choice between being shot to death while fleeing from them, and being shot to death tied to a stake. He preferred the former. They reached the place where the horse was hitched.

"I will lead the horse," said one.

"Very well," said Billy. "I will carry these two sage hens which I have killed."

The man went ahead, leading the horse. Billy came next, carrying the sage hens. The other man brought up the rear. Every step onward seemed to Billy to be a step toward certain death. He determined to escape or die there. He dropped one of the hens as if by chance, and asked the man behind him to pick it up. He stooped to do so, but as it was dark, he had to search for the hen. Billy pulled his revolver, seized the muzzle, and with the butt dealt the man a heavy blow on the back of his head, felling him to the ground. The man ahead turned to see what was the matter, but, as he did so, drew his revolver. Billy was too quick for him, and sent a bullet crashing through his brain. He seized his horse, jumped into the saddle, and galloped away as fast as he could, over the rough road.

The thieves in the hut heard the noise and were soon in hard pursuit, and gaining rapidly on him. He abandoned his horse, gave him a sharp slap on the shoulders, and he went bounding away down the mountain side. He crept up into some brush, and had the satisfaction of seeing the robbers rush by him, and heard them firing at what they supposed was Billy on the horse.

When they were gone he slipped down and struck out for Horseshoe Station, distant about twenty-five miles. He traveled hard all night and reached the station at daylight. When he had related his experience, a band was organized to puruse the robbers. When the company formed for this purpose reached the rendezvous of the men, they found it deserted, and could find no trace of the route taken by the fleeing robbers.

Indian depredations in the neighborhood of the Express headquarters continued to grow worse from day to day, until they became so bad that it was decided to stop the pony express entirely for awhile, and to only run the stages occasionally. But this did not prevent the Indians from attacking the stage when it did run, and only a few days after this decision was made, several hundred Sioux attacked the overland stage between Split Rock and Three Crossings, plundered the coach, killed the driver and two passengers, and badly wounded Lieutenant Flowers, the assistant division agent.

After this robbery and murder by the Indians a party of the stage company's men and pony express riders was organized to hunt down the murderous Sioux, and if possible drive them from the country.

The party was headed by Wild Bill, the famous Indian fighter, and soon got upon the trail of the Indians. Pushing rapidly forward they at last discovered the Indians camped on the opposite side of Clear Creek, a tributary of Powder River. There were several hundred of them, and they seemed to be perfectly free from any thoughts of danger, for they had no scouts posted and were evidently relying for safety upon the fact that they were under their own vine and fig tree, with no white men within many miles of their camp.

The Indians outnumbered their white avengers three to one, so after taking the lay of the camp, upon the advice of Wild Bill, it was decided to wait until it was nearly dark, and then, after creeping as close to them as possible, make a dash through the camp, open a general fire, and then stampede the horses.

This plan was successfully carried out. The Indians taken completely by surprise, were bewildered, astounded, and did not comprehend the situation until the whites had ridden pell-mell through their camp and got away with not only the horses which the Indians had stolen from the whites, but with those also that belonged to the Indians.



In 1862 Billy, or Bill as he was now more commonly called, joined an expedition against the Indians in the capacity of guide and scout to Col. Clark, who was in command of the 9th Kansas Volunteers. They had several engagements with the Indians but none of any special importance.

After his return from this expedition he was summoned home by the serious illness of his mother. On his arrival home he found his mother dying, and when she was, soon after, borne to the grave and forever buried from his sight, Bill was distracted. His mother had been to him the one object that seemed to make his life worth living.

To drown the unbearable sorrow that was destroying all desire to live, he plunged into a career of dissipation, and would soon have gone to ruin had it not been for the fact that some of his old frontier friends got him enlisted in the volunteer service of the United States army.

The 7th Kansas regiment of volunteer infantry, known as "Jennison's Jayhawkers" had just re-organized and re-enlisted as veterans, and before Bill was aware what had been done, several of his old-time friends, who were now veterans of the Union, had him enlisted for the war in the 7th Kansas infantry. In the spring of 1864 the regiment went to Tennessee, and reached Memphis just after the memorable defeat of General Sturgiss, at Guntown, Mississippi. The fighting he was now called upon to do was new to him. He was finally made a non-commissioned officer, and placed upon detached duty as scout.

While serving in this capacity in Missouri he had a singular meeting with his old fellow Indian fighter of pony express days, Wild Bill. He thus relates the incident in his autobiography: "I was still acting as scout, when one day I rode ahead of the command, some considerable distance, to pick up all possible information concerning Price's movements. I was dressed in gray clothes, or Missouri jeans, and on riding up to a farm house and entering I saw a man, also dressed in gray costume, sitting at a table eating bread and milk. He looked up as I entered, and startled me by saying:

"'You little rascal, what are you doing in those secesh clothes?'

"Judge of my surprise when I recognized in the stranger my old friend and partner, Wild Bill, disguised as a Confederate officer.

"'I ask you the same question, sir?' said I, without the least hesitation.

"'Hush! sit down and have some bread and milk, and we'll talk it all over afterwards,' said he.

"I accepted the invitation and partook of the refreshments. Wild Bill paid the woman of the house, and we went out to the gate where my horse was standing.

"'Billy, my boy,' said he, 'I am mighty glad to see you. I haven't seen or heard of you since we got busted on that St. Louis horse race.'

"'What are you doing here?' I asked.

"'I am a scout under General McNiel. For the last few days I have been with General Marmaduke's division of Price's army, in disguise as a Southern officer from Texas, as you see me now,' said he.

"'That's exactly the kind of business that I am out on to-day,' said I, 'and I want to get some information concerning Price's movements.'

"'I'll give you all that I have;' and he then went on and told me all that he knew regarding Price's intentions, and the number and condition of his men. He then asked about my mother, and when he learned that she was dead he was greatly surprised and grieved; he thought a great deal of her, for she had treated him almost as one of her own children. He finally took out a package, which he had concealed about his person, and handing it to me, he said:

"'Here are some letters which I want you to give to General McNeil.'

"'All right,' said I as I took them, 'but where will I meet you again?'

"'Never mind that,' he replied, 'I am getting so much valuable information that I propose to stay a little while longer in this disguise.' Thereupon we shook hands and parted."

In this connection it may be of interest to the reader to know some further particulars concerning this zealous Union Scout, Wild Bill. The following description and estimate of his character is from the pen of Gen. George A. Custer, under whom he served as guide and scout:

"Among the white scouts were numbered some of the most noted of their class. The most prominent among them was Wild Bill, whose highly varied career was made the subject of an illustrated sketch in one of the popular monthly publications several years ago. Wild Bill was a strange character, just the one whom a novelist would gloat over. He was a plainsman in every sense of the word, and yet unlike any other of his class. In person he was about six feet, one inch in height, straight as the straightest of the warriors whose implacable foe he was. He had broad shoulders, well-formed chest and limbs, and a face strikingly handsome; a sharp, clear, blue eye, which stared you straight in the face when in conversation; a finely shaped nose, inclined to be aquiline; a well-turned mouth, with lips only partially concealed by a handsome mustache. His hair and complexion were those of a perfect blonde. The former was worn in uncut ringlets, falling carelessly over his powerfully formed shoulders. Whether on foot or on horseback, he was one of the most perfect types of physical manhood I ever saw. Of his courage there could be no doubt; it had been brought to the test on too many occasions to admit of a doubt. His skill in the use of the pistol and rifle was unerring, while his deportment was exactly the opposite of what might be expected from a man of his surroundings. It was entirely free from all bluster or bravado. He seldom spoke of himself unless requested to do so. His coversation, strange to say, never bordered either on the vulgar or blasphemous. His influence among the frontiersmen was unbounded, his word was law; and many are the personal quarrels and disturbances which he has checked among his comrades by his simple announcement that 'this has gone far enough,'—if need be, followed by the ominous warning that when persisted in or renewed, the quarreler 'must settle it with me.'

"Wild Bill was anything but a quarrelsome man; yet no one but himself could enumerate the many conflicts in which he had been engaged, and which had almost always resulted in the death of his adversary. I have a personal knowledge of at least half a dozen men whom he had at various times killed, one of these being at the time a member of my command. Yet he always escaped unhurt."

The friendship that had sprung up between these two men never grew cold, but rather increased as the years rolled by, remained unimpaired to the time of Wild Bill's untimely and tragic death.

Bill remamed with the army as a soldier-scout until 1865, when he was detailed for special service at headquarters in St. Louis. It was there he met and courted Miss Louisa, who afterwards became Mrs. Cody.



For some time after his marriage, Cody conducted a hotel called the Golden Rule House, at Salt Creek Valley, Kansas.

This very same hotel had at one time been kept by Cody's mother, and so Bill was very well received by the people of Salt Creek Valley, and with their encouragement and patronage did a good business.

But his adventureous nature could not long endure the monotonous routine of hotel life, and he was soon again acting as a guide and scout for the Government at the military post at Elsworth.

It was while so employed he first met General Custer. Bill was scouting in the vicinity of Fort Hays, when General Custer came up to the post in search of a guide to pilot him and his escort of ten men to Fort Larned, a distance of sixty-five miles across the country. Cody was selected for this duty.

In his autobiography he relates the incident as follows:

"I was ordered by the commanding officer to guide General Custer to his desired destination, and I soon received word from the general that he would start out in the morning with the intention of making the trip in one day. Early in the morning, after a good night's rest, I was on hand mounted on my large mouse colored mule—an animal of great endurance—and ready for the journey; when the general saw me he said:

"'Cody, I want to travel fast, and go through as quickly as possible, and I don't think that mule of yours is fast enough for me.'

"'General, never mind the mule, he'll get there as soon as your horses. The mule is a good one.'

"'Very well; go ahead then,' said he, but he looked as if he thought I would delay the party on the road.

"For the first fifteen miles, until we came to the Smoky Hill River, which we were to cross, I could hardly keep the mule in advance of the general, who rode a frisky, impatient and ambitious thoroughbred steed; indeed, the whole party was finely mounted. The general repeatedly told me that the mule was 'no good,' and that I ought to have a good horse. But after crossing the river and striking the sandhills, I began letting my mule out a little, and putting the persuaders to him. He was soon out-traveling the horses, and by the time we had made about half the distance to Fort Larned, I occasionally had to wait for the general or some of his party, as their horses were beginning to show signs of fatigue.

"'General, how about this mule?' I asked at last.

"'Cody, you have a better vehicle than I thought you had,' was his reply.

"From that time on to Fort Larned I had no trouble in keeping ahead of the party. We rode into the fort at 4 o'clock in the afternoon with about half the escort only, the rest having lagged behind."

A short time after his return to Fort Hays, Bill was ordered to report to the Tenth Cavalry as scout to guide an expedition against a band of Indians that had recently made a raid on the Kansas Pacific railroad, killing a number of men and running off a hundred horses and mules.

The cavalry, a colored regiment, quickly overtook the Indians, but soon wished they hadn't, for the Indians turned upon their pursuers, captured their cannon and stampeded the regiment.

Shortly after the above incident, Bill visited the town of Elsworth, where he met a man named William Rose, who persuaded Bill to go into business with him as a real estate promoter.

Rose was a contractor on the Kansas Pacific Railroad, and had a contract for grading near Fort Hays. He succeeded in convincing Cody that a million could easily be made in the enterprise.

The scheme was to purchase a site for a town at a point where they knew the Kansas Pacific would cross Big Creek, about a mile from Fort Hays, lay it out in town lots and boom the business for all there was in it.

When the site was surveyed and the lots laid out, they gave the new town the name of Rome. To make things boom, they gave a lot to anyone who would build upon it, reserving for themselves the corner lots and other desirable locations.

Their scheme was a success. In less than one month they had a town consisting of about two hundred frame and log houses, a hotel, several stores, and a saloon. Their fortune was now made, and they would frequently meet and figure up their gains, which as yet were in the future, but very near—almost within their grasp.

About this time, Dr. Webb, who was agent for the railroad, and whose business it was to locate towns, came to Rome and sought the proprietors.

"You have a flourishing town, I see," said he.

"Yes, indeed," said Bill. "Let us give you a lot. All you have to do is to build on it."

"No, thank you," said the Doctor. "But would you not like a partner?"

"A partner! No, sir; we have too good a thing to 'whack up' with any one," said Bill loftily.

"Gentlemen," said the Doctor, "I am agent for the railroad, and it is my business to locate towns."

"Ah, indeed," said Rose. "So we have saved the company great expense. Here we have a town already started."

"But the company expect to make money selling land and town lots, and unless you give the company or me a show in this matter, I will have to start a town near you and run competition."

"Go ahead," said Rose; "we have the 'bulge' on you."

The Doctor departed, and staked a place about one mile east of Rome and called it Hays City. He took pains to inform everyone that there the railroad company would build shops and establish headquarters. The result is easily and quickly told. All the houses in Rome were pulled down and carted to Hays City. Cody & Rose found their site deserted, the only sign of a town having been there was the lone shanty where they kept their little stock of merchandise. They too, finally pulled up stakes, and accepted two lots apiece in Hays City as a gift from Dr. Webb. Bill did not try to build another town. He returned to his favorite pursuit o£ scouting and hunting. Rose accepted a contract for grading a part of the railroad, and Bill undertook to furnish the camp with buffalo meat.



One day in the spring of 1868, while Buffalo Bill was engaged as hunter for the Kansas Pacific Railroad Company, he mounted Brigham and started for Smoky Hill River. After galloping for about twenty miles he stopped on a small hill overlooking the valley of that beautiful river, and was gazing on the landscape, when suddenly he saw a band of about thirty Indians some half a mile distant. From the way they jumped on their horses he knew they had seen him as soon as they came in sight.

Buffalo Bill knew that the only chance he had for life was to make a run for it, and he immediately wheeled and started back to the railroad. Brigham seemed to understand what was up, and struck out as if he comprehended full well that it was to be a run for life. He crossed a ravine in a few jumps, and on reaching a ridge beyond, Buffalo Bill drew rein, looked back and saw the Indians tearing after him at full speed and evidently well mounted. Had Brigham been fresh Buffalo Bill would have had no fear as to the result of the race, but as he was not, the outcome seemed decidedly dubious.

His pursuers were evidently gaining on him for a while, then Brigham suddenly made a spurt and shot [drawing] J. MANZ & CO. Engs ahead again. But he could not keep up his speed for any great distance, and when he had run about three miles further, eight or nine of the Indians were not more than three hundred yards behind, and five or six of these seemed to be shortening the gap at every jump. Brigham now exerted himself to his utmost, and for the next three or four miles got "right down to business." But the Indians were about as well mounted as Bill was, and one of their horses in particular—a spotted animal—kept gaining on him all the time. The other horses were strung out behind for a distance of two miles or more, but still chasing as hard as they could.

The Indian on the spotted horse was armed with a rifle, and would occasionally send a bullet whistling along in unpleasant proximity to Buffalo Bill's head. He saw that this Indian must be checked, or a stray bullet from his gun might do Brigham or himself some harm; so, suddenly stopping his horse and quickly wheeling him around, he raised his rifle to his shoulder, took deliberate aim at the Indian and his horse, hoping to hit one or the other, and fired. The Indian was not eighty yards away at the time, and at the crack of the rifle down went his horse. Not waiting to see if he recovered, Buffalo Bill turned Brigham and fairly went flying from the place; he had urgent business elsewhere about that time, and was in something of a hurry to get there. The other Indians had gained on him while he was engaged in shooting at their leader, and they sent several shots whizzing past him. Buffalo Bill occasionally wheeled in his saddle and returned their fire, one of his shots breaking a leg of one of their horses.

The chase was kept up until within three miles of the railroad track, where two companies of soldiers were stationed for the purpose of protecting the workmen from the Indians. One of the outposts saw the Indians chasing across the prairie and gave the alarm. There was mounting in hot haste, which the Indians observed, and they turned and ran in the direction from which they had come.

Upon learning what had happened, Captain Nolen of the Tenth Cavalry, with forty of his men determined to pursue the Indians. Buffalo Bill was given a fresh horse, and invited to join in the chase. As the horses of the cavalry men were all fresh, they soon began shortening the distance between themselves and the redskins. Before the Indians had gone five miles the cavalry overtook and killed eight of their number. The others succeeded in making their escape.



Bill found his contract to furnish the camp with meat was a pretty difficult one to carry out.

For several days no buffaloes were seen any where in the vicinity of the camp, and the meat supply was running decidedly low.

But one day when Bill had just placed his horse "Brigham" into a team that was used in drawing a scraper, one of Rose's horses having given out, one of the workmen discovered a bunch of buffaloes just coming over a distant hill. Bill jerked the harness off his horse,—the horse that afterwards became so famous—leaving the blind bridle on, and mounted without a saddle. Snatching up his gun, which he called "Lucretia Borgia," and which was an improved breech-loading needle gun, just received from the government, he dashed away toward the game.

Just then the gates of the fort opened and a captain and several lieutenants rode out, they too having discovered the buffalo, and were intent on a chase after them. As Bill rode up to them the Captain said:

"Well, my man, you are not going after the buffalo on that horse! It takes a spirited and blooded horse to take such game."

"Does it?" said Bill, innocently, as if he were ignorant of the business.

"Yes, it does; but as we only want the tongues and a few tenderloin steaks, you may follow us and take the rest of the game."

Bill bowed low in acknowledgment of the favor granted him, while the officers galloped off to overtake the buffalo. Bill knew the habits of the animal, and instead of riding directly toward them, as the officers did, he took a straight course for the creek, where he knew they would cross. In this way he arrived there as soon as they did, while the officers were in the rear about three hundred yards. He immediately threw off the old blind bridle and let "Brigham" have his own way. The horse understood his business. He carried Bill close up to the side of one buffalo, and as soon as he heard the shot and saw the animal fall, he dashed up alongside another, and so on. There were only eleven buffaloes in the herd. These were all killed in quick succession, only one shot missing aim. When the last animal was down Brigham stopped, and Bill leaped from his back, just as the others rode up. Bill saluted them in royal style and said:

"Gentlemen, here are your tongues and tenderloins."

"Who are you, anyway?" asked the Captain in astonishment.

"My name is Cody," said Bill.

"What, not Bill, the scout?"

"The same, sir."

"Well, I must say that horse of yours has good running points."

"Yes, a few."

"And what a hunter you are. Indeed, I never saw finer sport."

"Brigham did the hunting, sir. I had only to do the shooting. When I fired and missed, he would give me another chance at the same animal. If I missed the second time, he would dash away as much as to say, 'You are no good.'"

The Captain gave Bill a pressing invitation to come to the fort, and assured him that he would be glad to give him employment, whenever he should have need of a scout.

At Fort Wallace was a scout named Comstock, who was thought by some to be more expert in hunting and killing buffaloes than was Cody. It was arranged by mutual friends to have a trial of skill. The stake was $500, and both men found ready backers.

The place was twenty miles east of Sheridan, Kansas. The contest was extensively advertised, and hundreds of people from as far east as St. Louis, went to see the match.

It was agreed that both men should ride into the herd, and Cody should take the right side, and Comstock the left. Cody was mounted on Brigham, and had his trusty rifle Lucretia, a 50 caliber. He felt confident of success, because he knew his horse could not be excelled, and his gun had no equal. At the appointed day the company assembled, and soon a herd of buffaloes was discovered quietly grazing. A man to keep tally went with each hunter, while the spectators remained at a safe distance.

Cody rode to the head of his part of the herd, and by killing the leaders, and pressing the others from right to left, he soon had them running in a circle. He kept up the race until he had sixty-nine buffaloes lying dead in a very small circle. Comstock rode after his and killed the rearmost animal each time. The result was that he had only forty-six dead animals, and they were scattered along the plains for three or four miles. As may be guessed, Cody's plan made his skill appear to great advantage. The championship was cheerfully accorded to him. This circumstance, coupled with the fact, that as hunter for the Kansas Pacific Railroad Company, he had in eighteen months killed 4,280 buffaloes, gave him the name of "Buffalo Bill."

The grand finale of his contest with Comstock may be mentioned here. On the last run he took both saddle and bridle from his horse, and, although the ladies of the company begged him not to undertake so rash a feat, he dashed away on his well-trained horse without either saddle or bridle. He separated a big bull from the herd, and headed him toward the company of spectators. On they came, nearer and nearer to the assembly, and it seemed that the ladies must be run down before the infuriated beast and the wild rider. The ladies were frightened, and screamed lustily. Just as the buffalo was a few feet distant, "Brigham" came up alongside at one bound, and Cody sent a ball through the heart of the bull, which rolled in the dust at the very feet of the spectators, while Bill leaped to the ground and "Brigham" stopped short in his tracks. This brilliant feat won round after round of applause for "Buffalo Bill."



Twenty-five years ago, when Buffalo Bill lived in Hays City, Kansas was a pretty tough country, and there was sometimes something else for him to do besides fighting Indians and hunting buffaloes.

There were cowboys and rough characters galore and they used to run things to suit themselves. Among the towns set down on the hot prairie but ambitious for future greatness, that had suffered greatly by the depredations and lawlessness of the rough element, was Abilene—some folks call it the City of the Plains. It was almost as much as a Marshal's life was worth to arrest a cowboy in Abilene, and even if he did manage to get his prisoner in the lock-up, the fellow's cronies would come swooping down on the town, terrorize the citizens, intimidate the jailer, and release the culprit. In time the boldness of the cowboys became so intolerable that the Council determined to take extraordinary measures for the protection of the citizens and the apprehension of the marauders.

At that time Cody was being talked about very much on account of his recent Buffalo killing match with Comstock. All through the West he was known for his intrepidity as well as for his extraordinary success in handling rough characters. T. J. Henry, then Mayor of Abilene, and now the owner of an extensive irrigation ranch in Colorado, was instructed to write to Cody and learn how much he would demand to take the Marshalship of the town and rid the locality of its undesirable element. Cody laconically replied:

"One hundred dollars a month."

The Abilene Council thought the figure was too high and the negotiations were temporarily permitted to drop. Shortly afterward a negro cowboy was arrested for being disorderly. After considerable difficulty, he was locked up. A couple of hours later a party of his cowboy friends came riding into town, whooping and firing their pistols into the air, and almost before the town had realized what had happened, they had released the prisoner and were scudding away over the prairie with him.

This was the climax to many similar outrages, and it aroused the town to a pitch of frenzy. Mayor Henry called for a posse of citizens to follow the miscreants, and nearly every able-bodied man in the corporation responded. They were all heavily armed. Several miles out of town they came upon the cowboys, who had carelessly encamped for the night. The Mayor advanced at the head of his posse, and pointing out the fact that the citizens outnumbered the cowboys two to one, and were prepared to fight to the death, demanded the return of the culprit. After considerable parleying, the cowboys relinquished the negro and he was triumphantly returned to the lock-up. That night a heavy guard of citizens surrounded the jail.

The next morning brought with it renewed excitement. Everyone was nervous and expectant. All looked for further trouble and probable bloodshed. Gangs of cowboys began to gather early in the day, and signs of brewing trouble were everywhere apparent.

After a consultation with the Council Mayor Henry sent word to Cody to come at once to Abilene—at his own price. The following day he arrived.

About 9 o'clock in the morning the Mayor was sitting in his office when a well-built, wiry-looking man entered. He wore his hair long, beneath a slouched hat, and the Mayor thought he was a cowboy.

"Are you Mayor Henry?" asked the stranger.

"Yes," was the reply.

"Well, my name's Cody—Buffalo Bill they call me and—I've come over to look after the 'boys.'"

The Mayor extended his hand. "You've come just in time," he said. "The devil's to pay here and something's got to be done mighty quick. What do you propose to do?"

"The first thing," responded Cody, slowly weighing his words—"is to pass an ordinance making it a misdemeanor to carry firearms. I want you to get the Council together and pass it right away. Then I want some copies of the ordinance printed."

The Mayor smiled incredulously. "Why," he exclaimed, "how on earth do you expect to enforce such an ordinance?"

"That's my part of the work," said Cody. "You pass the ordinance and leave the rest to me."

The Council was hurriedly convened and the ordinance passed. Then a hundred or more copies were struck off. That night the new Marshal tacked them up all over town. The next morning everybody read the ordinance and went around with broad smiles on their faces. The cowboys were especially amused. Nobody thought for a moment that the ordinance could be enforced.

About 3 o'clock in the afternoon Cody was walking down the middle of the main street, when an uproar in a saloon attracted his attention. Quietly crossing over, he entered. A crowd of cowboys were inside and one of them in particular seemed to be endeavoring to see how much of a disturbance he could make. Going up to the fellow, Cody looked him square in the eyes and said, quietly:

"Say, stranger, ain't you making just a little bit too much noise for the good of this town?"

The cowboy looked at the speaker in undisguised amazement.

"Who the —— be you?" he demanded, contemptuously.

"I'm the man who is paid for taking care of fellows like you," was the reply.

"So you're the new Marshal, air ye?"

"I guess I am."

"Well, you be——"

Cody interrupted him. "Don't swear, stranger," he said, "it don't pay."

Just then the cowboy's coat flew back and the Marshal noticed a revolver in the fellow's belt.

"Don't you know that's against the ordinance?" he said. "Better give me that."

"I'll see you jiggered first," cried the cowboy, and he made a movement to draw the "shooting iron." But the Marshal was too quick for him. Before he could lay his hand on the revolver, Cody's fist caught him square between the eyes. He dropped like a log. The Marshal stooped down, relieved the prostrate man of his revolver and then quietly walked out of the saloon. The other men in the place, many of them the toughest kind of border desperadoes, were completely awed by the audacity of the thing.

The following day, as the Marshal was passing along the street, he saw another cowboy with a couple of long, murderous-looking revolvers ostentatiously displayed in his belt.

"You have to give them up, stranger," he said, approaching the fellow.

The cowboy started toward the Marshal with blood in his eye.

"Say," he yelled, "you're the fellow that floored my brother yesterday, ain't yer?"

"May be I am."

"Well, I'm just going to wipe up the earth with you."

Cody stood still, put his thumbs under his arms and looked the cowboy in the face.

"Now, look here, stranger," he said, "there's no use getting hot. Let's argue this thing out a little."

The cowboy, however, was in no humor for argument. His hands instinctively went down to his belt. The revolvers never came out. One of the Marshal's sledge-hammer blows sent him sprawling, and before he could recover his equilibrium his revolvers had gone to join the one confiscated from his brother.

Several similar incidents soon convinced the cowboys that they had an extraordinary man to deal with, and in a few weeks, under the guardianship of the new Marshal, Abilene became as quiet and orderly as the most conservative citizen could wish for.

Cody remained three months, and for his services in ridding the town of its desperadoes, often at the peril of his own life, he received the munificent sum of $300. But he made no complaint. It was the price he had himself set upon his services.



Soon after the incident recorded in the preceding chapter, Buffalo Bill reported to Captain Parker, in command at Fort Larned, for duty as scout and guide.

Gen. Hazen soon after arrived at the fort and took command. There were three hundred lodges of Indians about the fort. They were restless and anxious to take the war path, but were kept quiet by the efforts of the soldiers. Gen. Hazen wanted to go to Fort Harper, and ordered Bill and twenty infantrymen to accompany him, as he rode in a six mule wagon. They went as far as Fort Zarah, where they left the General to go alone, and had orders to return to Fort Larned next morning. But Buffalo Bill told the sergeant that he would return to Larned that afternoon, and saddling his mule, he set out alone. When about half way he was "jumped" by a band of Indians, who rode up saying, "How! How!" and one reached out his hand to Buffalo Bill for a hearty shake. He grasped the hand and was immediately jerked forward by the brave, while another redskin grabbed his mule by the bridle, and another snatched his revolver from the hostler, another grabbed his rifle from him, while still another struck him on the head with a tomahawk. They then started off towards the Arkansas River, one leading the mule, while the rest lashed him from behind. They were yelling, whooping, singing, as only Indians can when having everything their own way. These were some of the Indians who had been left at Fort Larned that morning. Bill soon discovered that the whole band were on the war path, and these were only a squad from the main army.

One of the chiefs came up to him and asked him where he had been. A happy thought came to him at that instant, and he answered, "I have been searching for the 'Whoa-haws.'" The Indians used this term to designate the cattle furnished them by the government. The old chief was anxious to know more about the "Whoa-haws." Bill told him they were back a little way, and he had been sent by Gen. Hazen to tell him that they were for his people. The chief asked if any soldiers were with the herd. Bill said there were. The chief seemed delighted; Bill then told him that the treatment he had received was mean and cowardly, especially as he was on such a friendly errand. The chief then made the young men give up Bill's arms. He was anxious to get the cattle, and believed also there were "heap of soldiers coming." Bill had been lying to him, but thought himself justified under the circumstances. The old chief told him to go back and bring the cattle up. This Bill consented to do, and started off, intending when in the valley, out of sight of the Indians, to put spurs to his mule and flee to Fort Larned. He had gone but a little way, when, on looking back, he saw fifteen Indians following him, he urged his mule to a lope. He reached the valley and turned sharply off and headed toward the fort. The Indians came in sight, and seeing him fleeing, started in hot pursuit. They kept up the chase for about nine miles, Fort Larned being still six miles distant, when the old road was reached, and Buffalo Bill put spurs to his mule and urged him to his greatest speed. The Indians came on, but did not gain much. At sundown Fort Larned was four miles away, but in plain sight. Bill's mule began to give out, while the horses of the Indians seemed fresh, and were gaining rapidly. When two miles from the fort, several of the Indians were only a quarter of a mile behind the fleeing scout. Fortunately, he saw a squad of soldiers in a government wagon going to the fort. He hailed them, and hastily told his story. They turned aside in a clump of trees near at hand, and waited the Indians, who came dashing along. They fired upon them, killing two; the others turned, and escaped in the dark. The two were scalped, and then Buffalo Bill and his comrades moved into the fort, where all the soldiers were under arms, and preparing for an attack, as they had heard the firing.

When Buffalo Bill reported to the Commander, he found him with all his scouts trying to find a man who would volunteer to carry a dispatch to General Sheridan, then at Fort Hays, sixty-five miles away. None were willing to go. Finally Cody volunteered, and although he had ridden sixty miles that day and was tired and hungry, he mounted a horse and left Fort Larned, to ride to Fort Hays in the night, not a star appearing, and a storm gathering in the sky. His route lay through a country infested by hostile Indians, but he reached General Sheridan's headquarters a little after daybreak, and delivered the message.

After taking a nap of two hours, and visiting with some old acquaintances at Hays City, near the fort, he reported again to General Sheridan, as he had been requested to do. He found him trying to persuade some scout to carry a message to Fort Dodge, ninety-five miles away. But none would volunteer, though the pay was large. Several messengers had been killed on that route, and the scouts were chary about taking the chances. It seemed hard to ask Buffalo Bill to do it, since he had just ridden one hundred and twenty-five miles the day and night before. No one would volunteer, and at 4 o'clock in the afternoon Cody mounted a fine horse and started. He rode seventy miles that night, and reached Saw Log Crossing, where he found a company of colored troops under command of Major Cox. Here he slept an hour, got a fresh horse, and was soon on the way again. It was now just sunrise. About 10 o'clock he reached Fort Dodge. He found the Commander anxious to send messages to Fort Larned, but no scout would undertake the trip. Fort Dodge is sixty-five miles from Fort Larned. As the latter post was Cody's headquarters, he volunteered to make the trip for the Commander. The Commander said he would be glad to send the message, but it seemed too hard for Buffalo Bill to make the journey after all he had done, especially as they had no fresh horse to offer him, and only a mule as a substitute. But Cody was anxious to return, and he mounted the mule and commenced his homeward trip, leaving Fort Dodge at dark. He did not take the main and generally traveled road, knowing the Indians would be watching that for scouts. Unfortunately his mule got away as he stopped to get a drink at the creek. He tried to catch him, but the obstinate animal trotted on ahead, just out of his reach, the balance of the night. Just at sunrise he came in sight of Fort Larned. When the morning guns echoed over the plains, they were just half a mile from the fort, the mule trotting along ahead, and Bill trudging after him afoot. He was provoked. Raising his gun, he aimed and fired, and lodged a ball in the mule's hip. He shot him again, and continued to pepper him from the rear until he dropped dead. The troops at the fort hearing the firing, came rushing out to see the cause. They all agreed that the mule had been served just right. Buffalo Bill reported to Captain Parker, delivered the message, and then lay down and took a long, refreshing sleep. General Hazen had returned to Fort Larned, and wanted to send some messages to General Sheridan, so that night found Buffalo Bill again on the road, mounted on a good horse, bound for Fort Hays, the headquarters of General Sheridan. The next morning found the intrepid scout again in the presence of General Sheridan, who was astonished when he knew of the rides he had made from post to post, since he saw him two or three days before. He had ridden 355 miles in fifty-eight riding hours, most of the time in the night, making an average of over six miles an hour, through a trackless plain infested by hostile Indians.



General Sheridan retained Buffalo Bill at the fort, and appointed him Chief of Scouts and assigned him to duty with the Fifth Cavalry, which was just about to set out on an expedition against the Dog Soldier Indians, who were then making considerable trouble along the Republican River.

The expedition set out for the Beaver Creek Country almost immediately after Buffalo Bill's appointment was made, and met with exciting incidents from the very first day of its march.


J. MANZ & CO Engs.

Buffalo Bill kept the officer's mess well supplied with fresh buffalo meat, and one day surprised the Colonel by running seven big buffaloes straight into camp, and killing them all in rapid succession in the presence, and almost at the very feet of the officer.

The Colonel was somewhat dumfounded, and not altogether pleased with the incident. He went up to Buffalo Bill and asked for an explanation. "I can't allow any such business as this," he said, "what do you mean by it?"

"I didn't care about asking for any wagons this time, Colonel," replied Buffalo Bill, "so I thought I would make the buffaloes furnish their own transportation."

The point of Bill's reply rested in the fact that only a day or two before when he asked the Colonel to send out some wagons to fetch back the buffaloes he intended to shoot the Colonel replied: "First kill your buffaloes and then ask for the wagons." The Colonel took the remark good-naturedly, and Bill was permitted thereafter to have as many wagons sent out after the buffaloes he intended to kill as he deemed to be necessary to bring in the carcases.

On the second day's march the cavalry arrived at the South fork of Beaver Creek, where they discovered a large fresh Indian trail. They rapidly followed it up for about eight miles, when suddenly they discovered a large number of Indians on the bluffs just ahead of them.

A company of cavalry and scouts were in advance of the main command nearly a mile. Suddenly about four hundred Indians charged down upon them, and a lively fight immediately commenced. The company was soon supported by the full force of cavalry. The Indians also kept increasing in numbers all the while until the fight became quite general. Quite a number were killed and wounded on each side. The Indians were evidently fighting to give their families and village a chance to get away. They had been surprised with a larger force than they had expected to see in that part of the country. The fight was continued until dark, when the Indians took to the hills and annoyed the troops by firing down upon them from the bluffs. Several times during the night the command was ordered out to dislodge them. Next morning not a redskin was to be found in the neighborhood.

The cavalry struck out on the trail, and soon came to the spot where the Indians had camped the day before. It could easily be seen that the village was a very large one, consisting of about five hundred lodges; and the command pushed forward from this point on the trail which ran back toward Prairie Dog Creek.

They soon came in sight of the retreating village, and the warriors turned back to give them battle. They set the grass on fire between them and the troops in order to secure as much delay as possible. The cavalry kept up a running fight for the remainder of the day, the Indians repeatedly attempting to lead them off the track of their flying village, but their trail was easily followed, as they were continually dropping tepee poles, camp kettles, furs and all heavy articles, belonging to them. They were evidently scattering and it was hard for the cavalry to keep on the main trail. When dark set in the command went into camp, it being useless to try to follow the Indians after nightfall.

Late in the afternoon of the next day the Indians were discovered going over a hill some distance ahead of the cavalry, and when they saw that they would be overtaken, the main body of warriors once more turned back and fought the cavalry; but they were continually driven back, until darkness set in, and the cavalry camped for the night.

Next mornng it was found that the Indians had scattered in every direction. The main trail was followed up to the Republican River, where the cavalry then made a cut off and went north towards the Platte River. They found however, that the Indians by traveling night and day had got a long start, and the General concluded that it was useless to follow them any further, as they had been pushed so hard and given such a scare that they would leave the Republican country and go north across the Union Pacific railroad.

Buffalo Bill continued to act as Chief of Scouts until 1872, and had many exciting fights with Indians. He was successful in all his expeditions, and was a favorite with the various officers of the army under whom he did service, including such distinguished generals as William T. Sherman, Phil. H. Sheridan, Nelson A. Miles, Eugene A. Carr, James B. Fry, Wesley Merritt, W. H. Emory, Col. James. W. Forsyth, and many other officers under whom he served directly as guide, scout and Indian fighter.

General Sheridan's estimate of the value of his services as guide and scout, as expressed in that officer's "Autobiography," will serve to show why Buffalo Bill was held in such high favor by the fighting officers of the army.

After describing the difficulties encountered in conducting a campaign against the Indians on the blizzard-swept plains of the northwest in the winter of '68, he says:

"The difficulties and hardships to be encountered had led several experienced officers of the army and some frontiersmen, like old Jim Bridger, the famous scout and guide of earher days, to discourage the project. I decided to go in person, bent on showing the Indians that they were not secure from punishment because of inclement weather—an ally on which they had hitherto relied with much assurance. We started, and the very first night a blizzard struck us and carried away our tents. The gale was so violent that they could not be put up again; the rain and snow drenched us to the skin. Shivering from wet and cold, I took refuge under a wagon, and there spent such a miserable night that when morning came the gloomy predictions of old man Bridger and others rose up before me with greatly increased force. The difficulties were now fully realized; the blinding snow, mixed with sleet; the piercing wind, thermometer below zero—with green bushes only for fuel—occasioning intense suffering. Our numbers and companionship alone prevented us from being lost or perishing, a fate that stared in the face the frontiersmen, guides, and scouts on their solitary missions.

"An important matter had been to secure competent guides for the different columns of troops, for, as I have said, the section of country to be operated in was comparatively unknown.

"In those days the railroad town of Hays City was filled with so-called 'Indian scouts,' whose common boast was of having slain scores of redskins; but the real scout—that is, a guide and trailer knowing the habits of the Indians—was very scarce, and it was hard to find anybody familiar with the country south of the Arkansas, where the campaign was to be made. Still, about the various military posts there was some good material to select from, and we managed to employ several men, who, from their experience on the plains in various capacities, or from natural instincts and aptitude, soon became excellent guides and courageous and valuable scouts, some of them, indeed, gaining much distinction. Mr. William F. Cody ('Buffalo Bill'), whose renown has since become world-wide, was one of the men thus selected. He received his sobriquet from his marked success in killing buffaloes to supply fresh meat to the construction parties on the Kansas Pacific Railroad. He had lived from boyhood on the plains and passed every experience—herder, hunter, pony-express rider, stagedriver, wagonmaster in the quartermaster's department, and scout of the army, and was first brought to my notice by distinguishing himself in bringing me an important dispatch from Fort Larned to Fort Hays, a distance of sixty-five miles, through a section infested with Indians. The dispatch informed me that the Indians near Larned were preparing to decamp, and this intelligence required that certain orders should be carried to Fort Dodge, ninety-five miles south of Hays. This too being a particularly dangerous route—several couriers having been killed on it—it was impossible to get one of the various Petes, Jacks, or Jims hanging around Hays City to take my communication. Cody, learning of the strait I was in, manfully came to the rescue, and proposed to make the trip to Dodge, though he had just finished his long and perilous ride from Larned. I gratefully accepted his offer, and after a short rest he mounted a fresh horse and hastened on his journey, halting but once to rest on the way, and then only for an hour, the stop being made at Coon Creek, where he got another mount from a troop of cavalry. At Dodge he took some sleep, and then continued on to his own post—Fort Larned—with more dispatches. After resting at Larned he was again in the saddle with tidings for me at Fort Hays, General Hazen sending him this time with word that the villages had fled to the south of the Arkansas. Thus, in all, Cody rode about three hundred and fifty miles in less than sixty hours, and such an exhibition of endurance and courage at that time of the year, and in such weather, was more than enough to convince me that his services would be extremely valuable in the campaign, so I retained him at Fort Hays till the battalion of the Fifth Cavalry arrived, and then made him chief of scouts."



The fact is not generally known that Buffalo Bill is as proficient in the matter of catching horse-thieves as he is in hunting buffaloes and fighting Indians.

But the following incident which took place while Buffalo Bill was engaged by the government as a guide and scout, as related by him in his autobiography, establishes his reputation in that respect beyond any dispute:

"In a few minutes more I was on my way to Sheridan, and after settling my business there, I proceeded to Fort Lyon, arriving two days afterward.

"'I'm glad you've come, Bill,' said General Carr, 'as I have been wanting you for the last two weeks. While we have been at this post several valuable animals, as well as a large number of government horses and mules have been stolen, and we think the thieves are still in the vicinity of the fort, but as yet we have been unable to discover their rendezvous. I have had a party out for the last few days in the neighborhood of old Fort Lyon, and they have found fresh tracks down there and seem to think that the stock is concealed somewhere in the timber, along the Arkansas river. Bill Green, one of the scouts who is just up from there, can perhaps tell you something more about the matter."

Green, who had been summoned, said that he had discovered fresh trails before striking the heavy timber opposite old Fort Lyon, but that in the tall grass he could not follow them. He had marked the place where he had last seen fresh mule tracks, so that he could find it again.

"'Now, Cody, you're just the person we want,' said the General.

"'Very well, I'll get a fresh mount, and to-morrow I'll go down and see what I can discover,' said I.

"'You had better take two men besides Green, and a pack mule with eight or ten day's rations,' suggested the General, 'so that if you find the trail you can follow it up, as I am very anxious ot get back this stolen property. The scoundrels have taken one of my private horses and also Lieutenant Forbush's favorite little black race mule.'

"Next morning I started out after the horse-thieves, being accompanied by Green, Jack Farley and another scout. The mule track, marked by Green, was easily found, and with very little difficulty I followed it for about two miles into the timber and came upon a place where, as I could plainly see from numerous signs, quite a number of head of stock had been tied among the trees and kept for several days. This was evidently the spot where the thieves had been hiding their stolen stock until they had accumulated quite a herd. From this point it was difficult to trail them, as they had taken the stolen animals out of the timber one by one and in different directions, thus showing that they were experts at the business and experienced frontiersmen, for no Indian could have exhibited more cunning in covering up a trail than did they.

"I abandoned the idea of following their trail in this immediate locality, so calling my men together, I told them that we would ride out for about five miles and make a complete circuit about the place, and in this way we would certainly find the trail on which they had moved out. While making the circuit we discovered the tracks of twelve animals—four mules and eight horses—in the edge of some sandhills, and from this point we had no trouble in trailing them down the Arkansas river, which they had crossed at Sand creek, and then had gone up the latter stream, in the direction of Denver, to which place they were undoubtedly bound. When nearing Denver their trail became so obscure that we at last lost it; but by inquiring of the settlers along the road which they had taken, we occasionally heard of them.

"When within four miles of Denver—this was on a Thursday—we learned that the horse-thieves had passed there two days before. I came to the conclusion they would attempt to dispose of the animals at Denver, and being aware that Saturday was the great auction day there, I thought it best to remain where we were, at a hotel, and not go into the city until that day. It certainly would not have been advisable for me to have gone into Denver meantime, because I was well known there, and if the thieves had learned of my presence in the city they would at once have suspected my business.

"Early Saturday morning we rode into town and stabled our horses at the Elephant corral. I secured a room from Ed. Chase, overlooking the corral, and then took up my post of observation. I did not have long to wait, for a man whom I readily recognized as one of our old packers, rode into the corral mounted upon Lieutenant Forbush's racing mule, and leading another government mule, which I also identified. It had been recently branded, and over the 'U. S.' was a plain 'D. B.' I waited for the man's companion to put in an appearance, but he did not come, and my conclusion was that he was secreted outside of the city with the rest of the animals.

"Presently the black mule belonging to Forbush was put up at auction. Now, thought I, is the time to do my work. So, walking through the crowd, who were bidding for the mule, I approached the man who had offered him for sale. He recognized me and endeavored to escape, but I seized him by the shoulder, saying: 'I guess, my friend, that you'll have to go with me. If you make any resistance, I'll shoot you on the spot.' He was armed with a pair of pistols, which I took away from him. Then informing the auctioneer that I was a United States detective, and showing him—as well as an inquisitive officer—my commission as such, I told him to stop the sale, as the mule was stolen property, and that I had arrested the thief, whose name was Williams.

"Farley and Green, who were near at hand, now came forward, and together we took the prisoner and the mules three miles down the Platte River; there, in a thick bunch of timber, we all dismounted and made preparations to hang Williams from a limb, if he did not tell us where his partner was. At first he denied knowing anything about any partner, or any other stock; but when he saw that we were in earnest, and would hang him at the end of the given time—five minutes—unless he 'squealed,' he told us that his 'pal' was at an unoccupied house three miles further down the river.

We immediately proceeded to the spot indicated, and as we came within sight of the house we saw our stock grazing near by. Just as we rode up to the door, another one of our old packers, whom I recognized as Bill Bevins, stepped to the front and I covered him instantly with my rifle before he could draw his revolver. I ordered him to throw up his hands, and be obeyed the command. Green then disarmed him and brought him out. We looked through the house and found their saddles, pack-saddles, blankets, overcoats, lariats and two Henry rifles, which we took possession of. The horses and mules we tied in a bunch, and with the whole outfit we returned to Denver, where we lodged Williams and Bevins in jail, in charge of my friend, Sheriff Edward Cook. The next day we took them out, and tying each one on a mule we struck out on our return trip to Fort Lyon.

"At the hotel outside the city, where we had stopped on Thursday and Friday, we were joined by our man with the pack mule. That night we camped on Cherry creek, seventeen miles from Denver. The weather—it being in April—was cold and stormy, but we found a warm and cosy camping place in a bend of the creek. We made our beds in a row, with our feet towards the fire. The prisoners so far had appeared very docile, and had made no attempt to escape, and therefore I did not think it necessary to hobble them. We made them sleep on the inside, and it was so arranged that some one of us should be on guard all the time.

At about one o'clock in the night it began snowing, while I was watching. Shortly before three o'clock, Jack Farley, who was then on guard, and sitting on the foot of the bed, with his back to the prisoners, was kicked clear into the fire by Williams, and the next moment Bevins, who had got hold of his shoes—which I had thought were out of his reach—sprang up and jumped over the fire, and started on a run. I sent a shot after him as soon as I awoke sufficiently to comprehend what was taking place. Williams attempted to follow him, and as he did so I whirled around and knocked him down with my revolver. Farley by this time had gathered himself out of the fire, and Green had started after Bevins, firing at him on the run; but the prisoner made his escape into the bush. In his flight, unfortunately for him, and luckily for us, he dropped one of his shoes.

"Leaving Williams in the charge of Farley and 'Long Doc,' as we called the man with the pack mule. Green and myself struck out after Bevins as fast as possible. We heard him breaking through the brush, but knowing that it would be useless to follow him on foot, we went back to the camp and saddled up two of the fastest horses, and at daylight we struck out on his trail, which was plainly visible in the snow. He had got an hour and a half the start of us. His tracks led us in the direction of the mountains and the South Platte River, and, as the country through which he was passing was covered with prickly pears, we knew that he could not escape stepping on them with his bare foot, and hence we were likely to overtake him in a short time. We could see, however, from the long jumps that he was taking he was making excellent time, but we frequently noticed, after we had gone some distance, that the prickly pears and stones along his route were cutting his bare feet, as nearly every track was spotted with blood.

"We had run our horses some twelve miles when we saw Bevins crossing a ridge about two miles ahead. Urging our horses up to their utmost speed, we reached the ridge just as he was descending the divide towards the South Platte, which stream was very deep and swift at this point. It became evident that if he should cross it ahead of us, he would have a good chance of making his escape. So pushing our steeds as fast as possible, we rapidly gained on him, and when within a hundred yards of him I cried to him to halt or I would shoot. Knowing I was a good shot, he stopped, and coolly sitting down waited till we came up.

"'Bevins, you've given us a good run,' said I.

"'Yes,' said he. 'and if I had had fifteen minutes more of a start, and got across the Platte, I would have laughed at the idea of your ever catching me.'

"Bevins' run was the most remarkable feat of the kind ever known, either of a white man, or an Indian. A man who could run bare-footed in the snow eighteen miles through a prickly pear patch, was certainly a 'tough one,' and that's the kind of a person Bill Bevins was. Upon looking at his bleeding foot I really felt sorry for him. He asked me for my knife, and I gave him my sharp-pointed bowie, with which he dug the prickly pear briars out of his foot. I considered him as 'game' a man as I had ever met.

"'Bevins, I have got to take you back,' said I, 'but as you can't walk with that foot, you can ride my horse and I'll foot it.'

"We accordingly started back for our camp, with Bevins on my horse, which was led either by Green or myself, as we alternately rode the other horse. We kept a close watch on Bevins, for we had ample proof that he needed watching. His wounded foot must have pained him terribly but not a word of complaint escaped him. On arriving at the camp we found Williams bound as we had left him and he seemed sorry that we had captured Bevins.

"After breakfasting we resumed our journey, and nothing worthy of note again occurred until we reached the Arkansas river, where we found a vacant cabin and at once took possession of it for the night. There was no likelihood of Bevins again trying to escape, for his foot had swollen to an enormous size and was useless. Believing that Williams could not escape from the cabin, we unbound him. We then went to sleep, leaving Long Doc on guard, the cabin being comfortably warmed and well lighted by the fire. It was a dark, stormy night—so dark that you could hardly see your hand before you. At about ten o'clock Williams asked Long Doc to allow him to step to the door for a moment.

Long Doc, who had his revolver in his hand, did not think it necessary to wake us up, and believing that he could take care of the prisoner, he granted his request. Williams thereupon walked to the outer edge of the door, while Long Doc, revolver in hand, was watching from the inside. Suddenly Williams made a spring to the right, and before Doc could even raise his revolver, he had dodged around the house. Doc jumped after him, and fired just as he turned a corner, the report bringing us all to our feet, and in an instant we knew what had happened. I at once covered Bevins with my revolver, but as I saw he could hardly stir, and was making no demonstration I lowered the weapon. Just then Doc came in swearing 'a blue streak,' and announced that Williams had escaped. There was nothing for us to do except to gather our horses close to the cabin and stand guard over them for the rest of the night, to prevent the possibility of Williams sneaking up and stealing one of them. That was the last I ever saw or heard of Williams.

"We finally got back to Fort Lyon with Bevins, and General Carr, to whom I immediately reported, complimented us highly on the success of our trip, notwithstanding we had lost one prisoner. The next day we took Bevins to Boggs' ranch on Picket Wire creek, and there turned him over to the civil authorities, who put him in a log jail to await his trial. He was never tried, however, for he soon made his escape, as I expected he would. I heard no more of him until 1872, when I learned that he was skirmishing around on Laramie plains at his old tricks. He sent word by the gentleman from whom I gained this information, that if he ever met me again he would kill me on sight. He was finally arrested and convicted for robbery, and was confined in the prison at Laramie City. Again he made his escape, and soon afterwards he organized a desperate gang of outlaws who infested the country north of the Union Pacific railroad, and when the stages began to run between Cheyenne and Deadwood, in the Black Hills, they robbed the coaches and passengers, frequently making large hauls of plunder. They kept this up for some time, till finally most of the gang were caught, tried, convicted and sent to the penitentiary for a number of years. Bill Bevins and nearly all of his gang are now confined in the Nebraska State prison, to which they were transferred from Wyoming."



As Buffalo Bill's great Wild West would be very incomplete without its contingent of cowboys, so any account of the famous scout's life would be lacking in an important particular if it contained no chapter devoted to their description.

"The following interesting and truthful account of the American cowboy appeared a short time ago in the columns of Wilkes' Spirit, and was written by the celebrated plainsman, J. B. Omohundro, famous the world over under the name of Texas Jack.

The cowboy! How often spoken of, how falsely imagined, how greatly despised (where not known), how little understood! I've been there considerable. How sneeringly referred to, and how little appreciated, although his title has been gained by the possession of many of the noblest qualities, that form the romantic hero of the poet, novelist, and historian; the plainsman and the scout. What a school it has been for the latter! As 'tall oaks from little acorns grow,' the cowboy serves a purpose, and often develops into the most celebrated ranchman, guide, cattle-king, Indian fighter, and dashing ranger. How old Sam Houston loved them, how the Mexicans hated them, how Davy Crocket admired them, how the Comanches feared them, and how much you beef-eaters of the rest of the country owe to them, is a large sized conundrum. Composed of many, to the manner born, but recruited largely from Eastern young men they were taught at school to admire the deceased little George, in exploring adventures, and, though not equalling him in the 'Cherry-tree goodness,' were more disposed to kick against the bulldozing of teachers, parents, and guardians.

"As the rebellious kid of old times filled a handkerchief (always a handkerchief, I believe) with his all, and followed the trail of his idol, Columbus, and became a sailor bold, the more ambitious and adventurous youngster of later days freezes onto a double-barreled pistol and steers for the bald prairie to seek fortune and experience. If he don't get his system full its only because the young man weakens, takes a back seat, or fails to become a Texas cowboy. If his Sunday-school ma'am has not impressed him thoroughly with the chapter about our friend Job, he may at first be astonished, but he'll soon learn the patience of the old hero, and think he pegged out a little too soon to take it all in. As there are generally openings, likely young fellows can enter, and not fail to be put through. If he is a stayer, youth and size will be no disadvantage for his start in, as certain lines of the business are peculiarly adapted to the light young horseman, and such are highly esteemed when they become thoroughbreds, and fully possessed f 'cow sense.'

"Now 'cow sense' in Texas implies a thorough knowledge of the business, and a natural instinct to divine every thought, trick, intention, want, habit, or desire of his drove, under any and all circumstances. A man might be brought up in the states swinging to a cow's tail, yet, taken to Texas, would be as useless as a last year's bird's nest with the bottom punched out.

"The boys grow old soon, and the old cattle-men seem to grow young; thus it is that the name is applied to all who follow the trade. The boys are divided into range-workers and branders, road driver and herder, trail-guides and bosses.

"As the railroads have now put an end to the old-time trips, I will have to go back a few years to give a proper estimate of the duties and dangers, delights and joys, trials and troubles, when off the ranch. The ranch itself and the cattle trade in the States still flourish in their old-time glory, but are being slowly encroached upon by the modern improvements that will, in course of time, wipe out the necessity of his day, the typical subject of my sketch. Before being counted in and fully indorsed, the candidate has had to become an expert horseman, and test the many eccentricities of the stubborn mustang; enjoy the beauties, learn to catch, throw, fondle—oh! yes, gently fondle (but not from behind)—and ride the 'docile' little Spanish-American plug, an amusing experience in itself, in which you are taught all the mysteries of rear and tear, stop and drop, lay and roll, kick and bite, on and off, under and over, heads and tails, hand springs, triple somersaults, standing on your head, diving, flip flaps, getting left (horse leaving you fifteen miles from camp—Indians in the neighborhood, etc.), and all the funny business included in the familiar term of 'bucking;' then learn to handle a rope, catch a calf, stop a crazy cow, throw a beef steer, play with a wild bull, lasso an untamed mustang, and daily endure the dangers of a Spanish matador, with a little Indian scrape thrown in, and if there is anything left of you they'll christen it a first-class cowboy. Now his troubles begin (I have been worn to a frizzled end many times before I began); but after this he will learn to enjoy them—after they are over.

"As the general trade on the range has. often been described, I'll simply refer to a few incidents of a trip over the plains to the cattle markets of the North, through the wild and unsettled portions of the Territories, varying in distance from fifteen hundred to two thousand miles—time, three to six months—extending through the Indian Territory and Kansas to Nebraska, Colorado, Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Nevada and sometimes as far as California. Immense herds, as high as thirty thousand or more in number, are moved by single owners, but are driven in bands of from one to three thousand, which, when under way, are designated 'herds.' Each of these has from ten to fifteen men, with a wagon-driver and cook, and the 'kingpin of the outfit,' the boss, with a supply of two or three ponies to a man, an ox team, and blankets; also jerked beef and corn meal—the staple food. They are also furnished with mavericks or 'doubtless-owned' yearlings for the fresh meat supply. After getting fully under way, and the cattle broke in, from ten to fifteen miles a day is the average, and everything is plain sailing in fair weather. As night comes on, the cattle are rounded up in a small compass, and held until they lie down, when two men are left on watch, riding round and round them in opposite directions, singing or whistling all the time, for two hours, that being the length of each watch. The singing is absolutely necessary, as it seems to soothe the fears of the cattle, scares away the wolves or other varmints that may be prowling around, and prevents them from hearing any other accidental sound, or dreaming of their old homes, and if stopped would, in all probability, be the signal for a general stampede. 'Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast,' if a cowboy's compulsory bawling out lines of his own composition: Lay nicely now, cattle, don't heed any rattle,
But quietly rest until morn;
For if you skedaddle, we'll jump in the saddle,
And head you as sure as you're born.
can be considered such. Some poet may yet make a hit
On the ends and odds of cow-boys' wit.

"But on nights when 'Old Prob' goes on a spree, leaves the bung out of his water-barrel above, prowls around with his flash-box, raising a breeze, whispering in tones of thunder, and the cowboy's voice, like the rest of the outfit, is drowned out, steer clear, and prepare for action. If them quadrupeds don't go insane, turn tail to the storm, and strike out for civil and religious liberty, then I don't know what 'strike out' means. Ordinarily so clumsy and stupid-looking a thousand beef steers can rise like a flock of quail on the roof of an exploding powder mill, and will scud away like a tumble weed before a high wind, with a noise like a receding earthquake. Then comes fun and frolic for the boys!

"Talk of 'Sheridan's ride, twenty miles away!' That was in the daytime, but this is the cowboy's ride with Texas five hundred miles away, and them steers steering straight for home; night time, darker than the word means, hog wallows, prairie dog, wolf and badger holes, ravines and precipices ahead, and if you do your duty, three thousand stampeding steers behind. If your horse don't swap ends, and you hang to them until daylight, you can bless your lucky stars. Many have passed in their checks at this game. The remembrance of the few that were footloose on the Bowery a few years ago will give an approximate idea of the three thousand raving bovines on the war path. As they tear through the storm at one flash of lightning, they look all tails, and at the next flash all horns. If Napoleon had had a herd at Sedan, headed in the right direction, he would have driven old Billy across the Rhine.

"The next great trouble is in crossing streams, which are invariably high in the driving season. When cattle strike swimming water they generally try to turn back, which eventuates in their 'milling,' that is, swimming in a circle, and if allowed to continue, would result in the drowning of many. There the daring herder must leave his pony, doff his togs, scramble over their backs and horns to scatter them, and with whoops and yells, splashing, dashing, and didoes in the water, scare them to the opposite bank. This is not always done in a moment, for a steer is no fool of a swimmer; I have seen one hold his own for six hours in the Gulf after having jumped overboard. As some of the streams are very rapid, and a quarter to a half-a-mile wide, considerable drifting is done. Then the naked herder has plenty of amusement in the hot sun, fighting green-head flies and mosquitoes, and peeping around for Indians, until the rest of the lay-out is put over—not an easy job. A temporary boat has to be made of the wagon box, by tacking the canvas cover over the bottom, with which the ammunition and grub is ferried across, and the running gear and ponies are swum over afterward. Indian fights and horse thief troubles are part of the regular rations. Mixing with other herds and cutting them out, again avoiding too much water at times, and hunting for a drop at others, belongs to the regular routine.

"Buffalo chips for wood a great portion of the way (poor substitute in wet weather) and the avoiding of prairie fires later on, vary the monotony. In fact, it would fill a book to give a detailed account of a single trip, and it is no wonder the boys are hilarious when it ends, and, like the old toper, swears 'no more for me,' only to return and go through the mill again.

"How many, though, never finish, but mark the trail with their silent graves! no one can tell. But when Gabriel toots his horn, the 'Chisholm trail' will swarm with cowboys. 'Howsomever, we'll all be thar,' let's hope for a happy trip, when we say to this planet, adios!"



In September, 1871, General Sheridan took a party of his New York friends, among them James Gordon Bennett, of the New York Herald, out to Post McPherson for a grand buffalo hunt.

Buffalo Bill, at the instance of General Sheridan, was on hand to act as scout and guide to the party. He was introduced by the general to each of his friends individually, and, to use Buffalo Bill's own words, given "a good send-off."

Under the experienced buffalo-hunter's guidance, the party had an exceedingly successful hunt, killing quite a number of buffaloes, antelopes, jack-rabbits and turkeys.

That they enjoyed their little Wild West experience goes without saying, and that they were grateful to Buffalo Bill for the part he contributed towards making it a success, was afterwards proven, when, at their invitation, he was an honored guest of Gotham.

Some time after this high-toned hunting-party returned to New York, Buffalo Bill, at General Sheridan's suggestion, secured a thirty days' leave of absence, and started for the city of New York, in response to a pressing invitation so to do from certain members of the high-toned hunting party for whom he had so satisfactorily acted as guide.

On his arrival at Chicago, on his way East, Buffalo Bill was met at the depot by Colonel M. V. Sheridan, who said that his brother, the General, had not yet returned, but had sent word that Buffalo Bill was to be his and the Colonel's guest, at his house, while he remained in Chicago.

He spent several days in Chicago, where he was kindly received and right royally entertained by many of her prominent citizens, some of whom had met him while on pleasure excursions in the West.

From Chicago he proceeded to New York where he was treated as a prince. His own account of his reception and treatment by his New York friends, as given in his autobiography, is as follows: "On arriving at New York I was met at the depot by Mr. J. G. Hecksher, who had been appointed as 'a committee of one' to escort me to the Union Club, where James Gorden Bennett, Leonard W. Gerome and others were to give me an informal reception and where I was to make my headquarters during my visit to the great Metropolis. I had an elegant dinner at the club rooms, with the gentlemen who had been out on the September hunt, and other members of the club.

"After dinner, in company with Mr. Hecksher—who acted as my guide—I started out on the trail of my friend, Ned Buntline, whom we found at the Brevoort Place Hotel. He was delighted to see me, and insisted on my becoming his guest. He would listen to no excuses, and on introducing me to Messrs. Overton and Blair, proprietors of the Brevoort, they also gave me a pressing invitation to make my home at their house. I finally compromised the matter by agreeing to divide my time between the Union Club, the Breevoort House, and Ned Buntline's headquarters.

"The next few days I spent in viewing the sights of New York, everything being new and startling, convincing me that as yet I had seen but a small portion of the world. I received numerous dinner invitations, as well as invitations to visit different places of amusement and interest; but as they came in so thick and fast, I soon became badly demoralized and confused. I found I had accepted invitations to dine at half a dozen or more houses on the same day and at the same hour. James Gordon Bennett had prepared a dinner for me, at which quite a large number of his friends were to be present, but owing to my confusion, arising from the many other invitations I had received, I forgot all about it and dined elsewhere. This was 'a bad break,' but I did not learn of my mistake until next day, when at the Union Club House several gentlemen, among them Lawrence Jerome, inquired where in the world I had been, and why I had not put in an appearance at Bennett's dinner. They said that Bennett had taken great pains to give me a splendid reception, that the party had waited till nine o'clock for me and that my nonarrival caused considerable disappointment. I apologized as well as I could by saying that I had been out on a scout and had got lost and had forgotten all about the dinner, and expressed my regret for the disappointment I had created by my forgetfulness. August Belmont, the banker, being near me, said: 'Never mind, gentlemen, I'll give Cody a dinner at my house.'

"'Thank you, sir,' said I; 'I see you are determined that I shall not run short of rations while I am in the city. I'll be there sure! Both Mr. Jerome and Mr. Hecksher told me that I must not disappoint Mr. Belmont, for his dinners were splendid affairs. I made a note of the date, and at the appointed time I was promptly at Mr. Belmont's mansion, where I spent a very enjoyable evening.

"Mr. Bennett, who was among the guests, having forgiven my carelessness, invited me to accompany him to the Liederkranz masked ball, which was to take place in a few evenings and would be a grand spectacle. Together we attended the ball and during the evening I was well entertained. The dancers kept on their masks until midnight, and the merry and motely throng presented a brilliant scene, moving gracefully beneath the bright gas-light to inspiriting music. To me it was a novel and entertaining sight, and in many respects reminded me greatly of an Indian war-dance.

"Acting upon the suggestion of Mr. Bennett, I had dressed myself in my buckskin suit, and I naturally attracted considerable attention; especially when I took part in the dancing and exhibited some of my backwoods steps, which, although not as graceful as some, were a great deal more emphatic. But when I undertook to do artistic dancing, I found I was decidedly out of place in that crowd, and I accordingly withdrew from the floor.

"I occasionally passed an evening at Niblo's Garden viewing the many beauties of 'The Black Crook,' which was then having its long run, under the management of Jarrett & Palmer, whose acquaintance I had made, and who extended to me the freedom of the theatre.

"Ned Buntline and Fred Maeder had dramatized one of the stories which the former had written about me for the New York Weekly. The drama was called 'Buffalo Bill, the King of Border Men.' While I was in New York it was produced at the Bowery Theatre; J. B. Studley, an excellent actor, appearing in the character of 'Buffalo Bill,' and Mrs. W. G. Jones, a fine actress, taking the part of my sister, a leading role. I was curious to see how I would look when represented by some one else, and of course I was present on the opening night, a private box having been reserved for me. The theater was packed, every seat being occupied as well as all standing-room. The drama was played smoothly and created a great deal of enthusiasm.

"The audience, upon learning that the real 'Buffalo Bill' was present, gave several cheers between the acts, and I was called on to come out on the stage and make a speech. Mr. Freleigh, the manager, insisted that I should comply with the request, and that I should be introduced to Mr. Studley. I finally consented, and the next moment I found myself standing behind the footlights and in front of an audience for the first time in my life. I looked up, then down, then on each side, and everywhere I saw a sea of human faces, and thousands of eyes all staring at me. I confess that I felt very much embarrassed—never more so in my life—and I knew not what to say. I made a desperate effort, and a few words escaped me, but what they were I could not for the life of me tell, nor could any one else in the house. My utterances were inaudible even to the leader of the orchestra, Mr. Dean, who was sitting only a few feet in front of me. Bowing to the audience, I beat a hasty retreat into one of the canons of the stage. I never felt more relieved in my life than when I got out of the view of that immense crowd.

"That evening Mr. Freleigh offered to give me five hundred dollars a week to play the part of 'Buffalo Bill' myself. I thought that he was certainly joking, especially as he had witnessed my awkward performance; but when he assured me that he was in earnest, I told him that it would be useless for me to attempt anything of the kind, for I never could talk to a crowd of people like that, even if it was to save my neck, and that he might as well try to make an actor out of a government mule. I thanked him for the generous offer, which I had to decline owing to a lack of confidence in myself; or as some people might express it, I didn't have the requisite cheek to undertake a thing of that sort. The play of 'Buffalo Bill' had a very successful run of six or eight weeks, and was afterwards produced in all the principal cities of the country, everywhere being received with genuine enthusiasm.

"I had been in New York about twenty days when General Sheridan arrived in the city. I met him soon after he got into town. In answer to a question how I was enjoying myself, I replied that I had struck the best camp I had ever seen, and if he didn't have any objections I would like to have my leave of absence extended about ten days. This he willingly did, and then informed me that my services would soon be required at Fort McPherson, as there was to be an expedition sent out from that point.

"The time soon arrived for my departure for the West; so packing up my traps I started for home."



In 1872 the Grand Duke Alexis, of Russia, visited this country, and having met General Sheridan, he expressed to him a desire to participate in a buffalo hunt somewhere on our Western plains.

General Sheridan was very much pleased to be able to afford the Grand Duke a splendid opportunity for engaging in the sport, and immediately set about making preparations for a grand hunt in the vicinity of Fort McPherson.

General Forsyth and Dr. Asch, of his staff, were sent out to the fort to have all the necessary arrangements perfected by the time the Grand Duke should arrive. Of course the first thing they did was to interview Buffalo Bill in the matter, and learned from him that there were at the time plenty of buffaloes in the vicinity, and especially on the Red Willow, sixty miles distant.

General Sheridan's commissioners then inquired of Buffalo Bill the location of the camp of Spotted Tail, chief of the Sioux Indians. He informed them that it was his opinion that the camp was located somewhere on the Frenchman's Fork, about one hundred and fifty miles from Fort McPherson, as Spotted Tail had permission from the Government to hunt the buffalo with his people during the winter, in that portion of the Republican River country.

The commissioners then informed him that General Sheridan wished him to visit Spotted Tail's camp, and induce about one hundred of the leading warriors and chiefs to come to the point where it should be decided to locate the Alexis hunting camp, and to be there by the time the Grand Duke should arrive, so that he could see a body of American Indians and observe the manner in which they killed buffaloes. The Indians would also be called upon to give a grand war-dance in honor of the distinguished visitor.

Next day a pleasant camping place was selected for the Alexis party, on a little knoll in the valley of the Red Willow, and Buffalo Bill started for Spotted Tail's camp. In his autobiography he thus describes his visit: "The weather was very cold and I found my journey by no means pleasant as I was obliged to camp out with only my saddle blankets; and besides, there was more or less danger from the Indians themselves; for, although Spotted Tail himself was friendly, I was afraid I might have difficulty in getting into his camp. I was liable at any moment to run into a party of his young men who might be out hunting, and as I had many enemies among the Sioux, I would be running considerable risk in meeting them.

"At the end of the first day I camped on Stinking Water, a tributary of the Frenchman's Fork, where I built a little fire in the timber; but it was so very cold I was not able to sleep much. Getting an early start in the morning I followed up the Frenchman's Fork and late in the afternoon I could see, from the fresh horse tracks and from the dead buffaloes lying here and there, recently killed, that I was nearing Spotted Tail's camp. I rode on for a few miles further, and then hiding my horse in a low ravine, I crawled up a high hill, where I obtained a good view of the country. I could see for four or five miles up the creek, and got sight of a village and of two or three hundred ponies in its vicinity. I waited until night came and then I succeeded in riding into the Indian camp unobserved.

"I had seen Spotted Tail's camp when he came from the north and I knew the kind of lodge he was living in. As I entered the village I wrapped a blanket around my head so that the Indians could not tell whether I was a white or a red man. In this way I rode around until I found Spotted Tail's lodge. Dismounting from my horse I opened his tent door and, looking in, saw the old chief lying on some robes. I spoke to him and he recognized me at once and invited me to enter. Inside the lodge I found a white man, an old frontiersman, Todd Randall, who was Spotted Tail's agent and who had lived a great many years with the Indians. He understood their language perfectly and did all the interpreting for Spotted Tail. Through him I readily communicated with the chief and informed him of my errand. I told him that the warriors and chiefs would greatly please General Sheridan if they would meet him about ten sleeps at the old Government crossing of the Red Willow. I further informed him that there was a great chief from across the water who was coming there to visit him.

"Spotted Tail replied that he would be very glad to go; that the next morning he would call his people together and select those who would accompany him. I told Spotted Tail how I had entered his camp. He replied that I had acted wisely; that although his people were friendly, yet some of his young men had a grudge against me, and I might have had difficulty with them had I met them away from the village He directed his squaw to get me something to eat, and ordered that my horse be taken care of, and upon his invitation I spent the remainder of the night in his lodge.

"Next morning the chiefs and warriors assembled according to orders, and to them was stated the object of my visit. They were asked: 'Do you know who this man is?'

"'Yes, we know him well,' replied one, 'that is Pa-he-has-ka,' (that being my name among the Sioux, which translated means 'Long-Hair') 'that is our old enemy.' A great many of the Indians who were with Spotted Tail at this time had been driven out of the Republican country.

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

"I noticed that several of them were looking daggers at me. They appeared as if they wished to raise my hair then and there. Spotted Tail motioned and I followed him into his lodge, and thereupon the Indians dispersed. Having the assurance of Spotted Tail that none of the young men would follow me I started back for the Red Willow, arriving the second night."

At the site chosen for the Alexis camp, Buffalo Bill found active preparations going on for putting up large wall tents for the Grand Duke and his suite.



On his return to the Alexis camp, Buffalo Bill found active preparations going on for putting up large wall tents for the grand Duke and his suite and for General Sheridan, his staff officers, and invited guests of the party. Proceeding to Fort McPherson he reported what had been done. Thereupon seventy-five of the very best horses were selected from the five or six hundred at the fort, and sent to the Red Willow, to be used by Alexis and his party at the coming hunt. Two days later a large supply of bedding, furniture, provisions, etc., arrived from Chicago for the use of the Grand Duke and his party.

A day or so later the Grand Duke Alexis and party arrived, and Buffalo Bill was at once introduced to the royal foreigner by General Sheridan, who remarked to the Grand Duke that Buffalo Bill would take charge of him and show him how to kill buffalo.

It would be difficult to say which of the two distinguished individuals thus introduced by General Sheridan was the more impressed by the appearance of the person to whom he had received an introduction.

The Grand Duke was a large, fine looking young man, and looked the very impersonation of Royalty. Buffalo Bill was attired in his best hunting suit, was feeling first rate, and appeared every inch the successful scout, guide and Indian fighter he was reputed to be.

That the Grand Duke had been thoroughly posted by General Sheridan as to Buffalo Bill's qualifications for acting as a guide on this particular occasion was evident from the confidence with which he entrusted himself to his care and direction, and the pride which he evidently felt when Buffalo Bill loaned him his splendid buffalo horse Buckskin Joe for the occasion.

That evening the Indians, who had arrived at the camp as per arrangement, gave their grand war-dance, much to the entertainment of the Grand Duke.

During the course of the evening Duke Alexis asked Buffalo Bill a great many questions as to how to shoot buffaloes, and wanted to know what kind of a gun or pistol was used. Bill told him that it was a very easy thing to kill buffaloes, and all he would have to do would be to sit on old Buckskin Joe's back and fire away.

Early next morning the party were all in their saddles and in a few minutes were galloping over the prairies in search of a buffalo herd. They had not gone far before they observed a herd some distance ahead of them crossing their way; after which they proceeded cautiously, so as to keep out of sight until they were ready to make a charge.

The Grand Duke became very much excited immediately, and wanted to charge toward the buffaloes forthwith, but Buffalo Bill kept him back, and by keeping behind the sand hills unobserved gradually approached near to the herd.

"Now is your time!" cried Buffalo Bill. "You must ride as fast as your horse will go, and don't shoot until you get a good opportunity."

Away they went, tearing down the hill like mad, throwing up a sand-storm in their rear, and leaving the Duke's retinue far behind. When within a hundred yards of the fleeling buffaloes the Duke fired, but unfortunately missed, being unused to shooting from a running horse.

Buffalo Bill rode up close to his side and advised him not to fire until he could ride directly upon the flank of a buffalo, as the sport was most in the chase. Without further words from either both hunters dashed off together and ran their horses on either flank of a large bull, against the side of which the Grand Duke thrust his gun and fired a fatal shot. He was very much elated at his success, taking off his cap and waving it vehemently, at the same time shouting to those who were fully a mile in the rear. When his retinue came up there were congratulations and every one drank to his good health with overflowing glasses of champagne. The hide of the dead buffalo was carefully removed and dressed, and the royal traveler in his journeyings over the world has no doubt often rested himself upon this trophy of his skill on the plains of America.

There are those who pretend to assert that there is something suspicious in connection with the shooting of that buffalo by the Grand Duke Alexis, and even go so far as to say that Buffalo Bill held the bull by the horns while the Grand Duke butchered it. But then there are always envious and suspicious people everywhere who are unwilling to accord to any one the just meed of praise earned through superior skill or bravery. The Grand Duke, undoubtedly, is entitled to all the credit he ever received on account of the animal's slaughter.

As the party were quite fatigued after the exciting affair with the buffalo, an encampment was made, and the evening pleasantly passed with song and story.

On the following morning, by request of Spotted Tail, the Grand Duke hunted for a while by the side of "Two-Lance," a celebrated chief, who claimed he could send an arrow entirely through the body of the largest buffalo. This feat seemed so incredulous that there was a general denial of his ability to perform it; nevertheless, the Grand Duke and also several others who accompanied the chief, witnessed, with profound astonishment, an accomplishment of the feat, and the arrow that passed through the buffalo was given to the Duke as a memento of Two-Lance's skill and power. All of which is vouched for by Buffalo Bill, in his autobiography, in substantially the same words as it is above given.

When the Grand Duke was satisfied that he had had enough of the sport, orders were given for the return to the railroad. And so ended the royal buffalo hunt.



In the fall of 1872 Buffalo Bill, very unexpectedly to himself, was elected a member of the Nebraska Legislature, and hence derived the title of Honorable. While serving as such member he received an urgent letter from Ned Buntline to come East and appear on the stage in a play which Buntline was certain would prove a howling success if Buffalo Bill would only consent to take part in it as the hero of the drama.

Bill's friends all advised him against taking the step, and reminded him of his stage fright on the occasion of his appearance on the stage of the Bowery Theater.

But Buntline had written him a series of letters, all having a tendency to brace him up for the final urgent request to come East and take the leading role in his play, and they had the desired effect, for Buffalo Bill, against the advice of General Reynolds and protest of his friends in Nebraska, resigned both his seat in the Legislature and his position under General Reynolds, and started for Chicago, to meet Mr. Buntline.

When he arrived at Chicago he found that Buntline had not yet written the play, but that he had it all in his head. Some tall hustling was done to get the play written and rehearsed. Buntline named his play "Scouts of the Plains," and within a week after Buffalo Bill had arrived in Chicago it had been written, rehearsed and placed on the boards of the Amphitheater.

Whether from stage fright or for want of sufficient study of his part, when Buffalo Bill came on the stage, he could not remember one word of the speech he was expected to make.

Ned Buntline, who also had a part in the play repeatedly gave him the "cue," but to no effect, the words wouldn't come. Buntline, however, was sufficient for the emergency. Slapping Bill on the back, he shouted, as if it were a part of the play:

"Where have you been, Bill? What has kept you so long?"

Glancing up into one of the boxes where his friend Mr. Milligan, a very popular man and widely known in Chicago, was seated with some friends, Buffalo Bill cried out:

"I have been out on a hunt with Milligan."

The "hit" was immense, and the theater echoed again and again with applause.

The fact was, and it was known to many in the audience, that Milligan had but recently been out West and met with an amusing adventure in way of an alleged buffalo hunt and fight with Indians.

Buntline took the "cue," and followed his first impromptu question with others equally as pat, and though Buffalo Bill remained on the stage for at least fifteen minutes, not a word of the part that had been assigned to him was spoken, for the entire conversation was impromptu.

Financially the "Scouts of the Plains" was a success, and Buffalo Bill felt perfectly satisfied with his debut as an actor. From Chicago the troupe went to St. Louis, thence to Cincinnati, and then all over the East and West, meeting with wonderful success in all parts of the country. The novel innovation of introducing Indians, scouts and cowboys on the stage in mimic pioneer life caught the enthusiasm of the people everywhere, and the troupe was flooded with offers of engagements from the managers of the leading theaters all over the country. At the end of the season Buffalo Bill found his share of the profits netted him $6,000.

The wonderful popularity of these performances proved beyond question that the people of this country wanted to see American pioneer life truthfully presented on the stage, and the "Scouts of the Plains" and similar plays presented to American audiences by Buffalo Bill and his troupe paved the way for the production of the magnificent Wild West exhibitions of after years.

In 1874 Buffalo Bill again went to the plains. After scouting until fall he returned to New York and organized another troupe. The summer of 1875 he spent with his family in Rochester, New York.

In the fall of that year he re-organized his troupe, and did a very successful business. While playing at Springfield, Mass., in April 1876, he received a telegram announcing the serious illness of his little boy, an only son, and arrived home in time to have the little one die in his arms.



In the spring of 1876 our war with the Sioux broke out, and Buffalo Bill was sent for by General Crook, to accompany his command as guide and chief of scouts.

At Cheyenne he came upon the 5th cavalry regiment, with whom he had done good service as guide and scout. The regiment was under command of General Carr, and was on its way back from Arizona to join General Crook. General Carr at once appointed Buffalo Bill his guide and chief of scouts, and the next morning the regiment proceeded to Fort Laramie.

On their arrival at Fort Laramie they found General Sheridan there, accompanied by General Frye and General Forsyth, en route to Red Cloud agency. Many depredations had been recently committed on the Union Pacific Railroad and on the Black Hills road in the vicinity, the Fifth Cavalry was sent out to scout the country between the Indian agencies and the hills. By continued scouting, with occasional small engagements, it was supposed the Indians were soon driven from the vicinity, and, under the command of General Wesley Merritt, who had been ordered to relieve General Carr, the regiment had started to return to Fort Laramie, when a scout arrived and reported the massacre of General Custer and his band of heroes on the Little Big Horn, on June 25th, 1876. The scout also brought orders for General Merritt to proceed at once to Fort Fetterman and join General Crook in the Big Horn country.

The massacre of General Custer and his little band of brave men by Sitting Bull and his Sioux, is a matter of too recent history to require repeating here. The blame and praise of that terrible slaughter has been given and charged to one officer and then another. Just where the blame belongs, probably none will ever know. The only certainty about it is, "Some one had blundered."

On the evening of the receipt of the news of General Custer's massacre, General Merritt received information through a scout that eight hundred Cheyenne warriors had that day left Red Cloud agency to join Sitting Bull's hostile forces in the Big Horn country. He immediately selected five hundred men and horses and began a forced march for War-Bonnett creek, with the intention of reaching the main Indian trail running to the north across the creek before the Cheyennes could get there. Buffalo Bill, in his autobiography, thus describes what followed: "We arrived there the next night, and at daybreak the following morning, July 17th, 1876, I went out on a scout, and found that the Indians had not yet crossed the creek. On my way back to the command I discovered a large party of Indians, which proved to be the Cheyennes, coming up from the south, and I hurried to the camp with this important information.

"The cavalry men quietly mounted their horses, and were ordered to remain out of sight, while General Merritt, accompanied by two or three aids and myself, went out on a little tour of observation to a neighboring hill, from the summit of which we saw that the Indians were approaching almost directly towards us. Presently fifteen or twenty of them dashed off to the west in the direction from which we had come the night before; and upon closer observation with our field glasses, we discovered two mounted soldiers, evidently carrying dispatches for us, pushing forward on our trail.

"The Indians were evidently endeavoring to intercept these two men, and General Merritt feared that they would accomplish their object. He did not think it advisable to send out any soldiers to the assistance of the couriers, for fear they would show to the Indians that there were troops in the vicinity who were waiting for them. I finally suggested that the best plan was to wait until the couriers came closer to the command and then just as the Indians were about to charge, to let me take the scouts and cut them off from the main body of the Cheyennes, who were coming over the divide.

"'All right, Cody,' said the General, 'if you can do that, go ahead.'

"I rushed back to the command, jumped on my horse, picked out fifteen men, and returned with them to the point of observation. I told General Merritt to give us the word to start out at the proper time, and presently he sang out:

"'Go in now, Cody, and be quick about it. They are going to charge on the couriers.'

"The two messengers were not over four hundred yards from us, and the Indians were only about two hundred yards behind them. We instantly dashed over the bluffs, and advanced on a gallop towards the Indians. A running fight lasted several minutes during which we drove the enemy some little distance and killed three of their number. The rest of them rode off towards the main body, which had come into plain sight, and halted, upon seeing the skirmish that was going on. We were about half a mile from General Merritt, and the Indians whom we were chasing suddenly turned upon us, and another lively skirmish took place. One of the Indians, who was handsomely decorated with all the ornaments usually worn by a war chief when engaged in a fight, sang out to me in his own tongue: 'I know you, Pa he-haska; if you want to fight, come ahead and fight me.'

"The chief was riding his horse back and forth in front of his men, as if to banter me, and I concluded to accept his challenge. I galloped towards him for fifty yards and he advanced towards me about the same distance, both of us riding at full speed, and then, when we were about thirty yards apart, I raised my rifle and fired; his horse fell to the ground, having been killed by my bullet. Almost at the same instant my own horse went down, he having stepped into a gopher hole. The fall did not hurt me much, and I instantly sprang to my feet. The Indian had also recovered himself, and we were both on foot, and not more than twenty paces apart. We fired at each other simultaneously. My usual luck did not desert me on this occasion, for his bullet missed me, while mine struck him in the breast. He reeled and fell, but before he had fairly touched the ground I was upon him, knife in hand, and had driven the keen edged weapon to its hilt in his heart. Jerking his war-bonnet off, I scientifically scalped him in about five seconds.

"The whole affair from beginning to end occupied but little time, and the Indians, seeing that I was some little distance from my company, now came charging down upon me from a hill, in hopes of cutting me off. General Merritt had witnessed the duel, and realizing the danger I was in, ordered Colonel Mason with Company K to hurry to my rescue. The order came none too soon, for had it been given one minute later I would have had not less than two hundred Indians upon me. As the soldiers came up I swung the Indian chieftain's top-knot and bonnet in the air, and shouted:

"'The first scalp for Custer.'

"General Merritt seeing that he could not now ambush the Indians, ordered the whole regiment to charge upon them. They made a stubborn resistance for a little while, but it was of no use for any eight hundred, or even sixteen hundred Indians to try and check a charge of the gallant old Fifth Cavalry, and they soon came to that conclusion and began a running retreat towards Red Cloud agency."

After the campaign against the Indians was ended Buffalo Bill returned East and played in a new drama written to illustrate scenes in the late Sioux war. After visiting the principal Eastern cities, the troupe went to California, and played to crowded houses.

Returning to Nebraska, he and Major North bought a cattle ranch. Leaving the Major to look after the cattle, Buffalo Bill went East, and in 1877 played in a new drama entitled "May Cody; or, Lost and Won." This was the most successful play he had ever appeared in.

The season of 1878-9 was very successful, the troupe being larger than any previous one, and real Indians, obtained from the Indian Territory, were introduced on the stage. The play was called the "Knights of the Plains," and its immense success probably had much to do with its being soon after followed up by the now world famous exhibition of mimic life on the plains, "Buffalo Bill's Wild West."



Buffalo Bill had now become almost as famous throughout the United States as a showman as he had before been renowned as a guide, scout, pony-express rider, buffalo hunter and Indian fighter.

He had accumulated considerable money and a vast amount of useful experience, both of which he determined to make use of in presenting his countrymen with a magnificent spectacle of realistic wild life on the plains, such as would not only afford them an intensely absorbing entertainment, but at the same time serve to instruct them in the pioneer history of their country.

His repeated successful tours through the country, giving the people a mimic presentation of pioneer life on the plains, enabled him to discover what the people really wanted in the way of an exhibition of American frontier life.

He learned that it was not fine acting, in the accepted meaning of the phrase, that was most popular with the people. It was the appearance on the stage of real Indians, real guides, real scouts, real cowboys, real buffaloes, real bucking horses, and last, but not least, real Buffalo Bill, who had already become in the minds of the people the ideal American plainsman.

Possessed of this knowledge, Buffalo Bill determined to give the people in entirety what they had so highly appreciated in occasional disjointed parts. With this purpose in view he proceeded to gather together from various portions of the country, the living heroes of American pioneer life, and have them enact in a grand amphitheater the very scenes through which they had passed in conquering the Western wilderness.

Besides collecting together these actual experienced guides, scouts and rough riders of the plains, he sent agents to the far West to gather Indians, Mexicans, cowboys, buffaloes, elk, mountain sheep, bucking horses, wild cattle, emigrant wagons, overland coach, etc., with which to produce his colossal entertainment.

And having gotten his stupendous aggregation together Buffalo Bill was soon in possession of more experience and less money than when he started on a tour through the States with his remarkable exhibition. In fact he found that he had an elephant on his hands, for his expenses were exceeding his income by a considerable amount.

But Buffalo Bill was not the man to give up a cherished ambition because he was losing money in attaining it He had faith in the ultimate success of the enterprise, and so pushed ahead, in spite of threatening disaster.

His first exhibition of Wild West was given May 17th, 1883, at the Fair-grounds in Omaha, where it played to vast crowds during its entire engagement. It played its next engagement at Springfield, Ill., and thence went East and played in all the large cities of the seaboard.

At the end of the season Buffalo Bill found that he had grown no richer in the matter of money, but regarded the experience he had gained as a fair remuneration for his time and trouble.

The vast crowds that attended his exhibitions in all parts of the country convinced him that the enterprise could be made a financial success, if a partner could be secured capable of attending to the management and business details.

Such a partner he found in the well-known and successful comedian, Nate Salsbury, and under the new management and partnership of Cody & Salsbury, the company was immediately reorganized, on a much grander scale than before. Nearly a hundred Indians, from several tribes, were engaged, among the number being the world famous chief, Sitting Bull, and several other Sioux that had distinguished themselves in the Custer massacre. Besides these the new management secured the services of many noted plainsmen, such as Buck Taylor, the great rider, lasso thrower and King of the Cowboys, Utah Frank, John Nelson and a score of other well-known characters.

Thus reorganized and enlarged the Wild West aggregation gave daily exhibitions during the summer of 1884 to enormous crowds in all the large cities of the country, and in the fall started for New Orleans to spend the winter exhibiting at the Exposition Grounds. At Rodney Landing, Miss., the boat on which the Wild West Company was being transported, collided with another boat, and sank to the bottom of the Mississippi River. All the personal effects of the company were lost, including wagons, camp equipage, arms, ammunition, donkeys, buffaloes and one elk. The loss entailed was about $20,000.

Buffalo Bill, however, opened the Wild West exhibition in New Orleans on the date for which it had been advertised, with, in many respects, a better aggregation of animals, camp equipage, arms, wagons, etc., than the company possessed at the time of the accident.

In eight days Buffalo Bill had been able to more than supply the loss occasioned by the sinking of the boat, which fact illustrates a feature of the man's character that has helped to make him the successful scout, hunter, Indian fighter and business man he has proven himself to be.

At the close of the New Orleans engagement the losses of the Wild West enterprise figured up for the winter spent in the Crescent City to something like $60,000.

This was certainly discouraging enough to dishearten most any man as ordinarily constituted. Not so with Buffalo Bill and his plucky partner, for the following summer they opened up in good shape at Staten Island, and with such splendid success that their losses at New Orleans were speedily retrieved.

For the season of 1886-87 they leased Madison Square Garden, New York, and gave their exhibition there for the first time in a covered space. Though the seating capacity of the place was 15,000 they played to crowded houses twice a day during the entire winter.



The unprecedented success of the Wild West exhibition in America, excited in the breast of Buffalo Bill an ambition to win the applause and money of the other nations of the world as well.

But the enormous expense which he and his experienced business partner knew full well was [drawing] LMANZ & Co. Engs involved in such an ambitious undertaking, caused them for a while to hesitate and carefully weigh the possible chances of immense success or overwhelming failure.

While so hesitating, halting as it were between two opinions, an opportunity was presented which promised to largely increase their chances of success

Several prominent gentlemen of the United States conceived the idea of holding an American exhibition in the heart of London, and to this end a company was organized that pushed the project to a successful issue, aided as they were by several prominent residents of the English capital. When the enterprise had progressed so far as to give flattering promise of an opening at the time fixed upon, a proposition was made Buffalo Bill and his partner, by the president and director of the company, to take their Wild West show to London and play the season of six months as an adjunct of the American Exhibition, the proposition being a percentage of the receipts.

The offer was promptly accepted, and immediate preparations were made for enlarging the organization preliminary to its departure for England.

The services of one hundred Indians were secured, including representative types of the Sioux, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Pawnee and Ogalalla tribes, none of whom had ever been off their reservations before. Among the prominent chiefs thus engaged was Red Shirt, a redoubtable warrior and second only in influence to Sitting Bull himself.

Arrangements having at length been completed, the Wild West aggregation of more than two hundred men and animals, consisting of Indians, cowboys, (including the celebrated cowboy band), Mexican riders, celebrated rifle shots, buffaloes, Texas steers, burros, bronchos, racing horses, elk, bears, and an immense amount of camp paraphernalia, such as tents, wagons, stage coach, etc., on March 31, 1887, set sail from the city of New York for England. The piers were crowded with thousands of enthusiastic friends of the company to wave their adieux and wish the Wild West a pleasant voyage, a successful season, and a safe return.

As the ship drew away from the pier, cheer after cheer went up from the crowd on shore, while the cowboy band played "The Girl I left behind me," in a manner that suggested more reality than empty sentiment in the familar air.

Before starting on the trip several of the Indians expressed grave fears that if they trusted themselves upon the mighty ocean death would soon overtake them, and it required much persuasion to induce them to go on board.

Red Shirt explained that these fears were caused by a superstitious belief that if a red man attempted to cross the ocean he would be seized of a malady that would first prostrate the victim and then slowly consume his flesh, until at length the very skin itself would drop from his bones, leaving nothing but the skeleton, and this even would never find burial. This weird belief was repeated by the chiefs of several tribes to the Indians who had joined the Wild West, so there was little reason for wonder that the poor children of the forest should hesitate to submit themselves to such an experiment. On the day following the departure from New York the Indians began to grow weary, and becoming sea-sick they were both treacherous and rebellious. Their fears were greatly intensified as even Red Shirt, the bravest of his people, looked anxiously toward the hereafter, and began to feel his flesh to see if it was really diminishing. The hopelessness stamped upon the faces of the Indians was pitiful to behold, and but for the endeavors of Buffalo Bill to cheer them up and relieve their forebodings there is no knowing what might have happened. But for two days the whole company, Indians, cowboys and all, were too indisposed for any active service except feeding the fishes.

On the third day out, however, all began to feel well again, and Buffalo Bill called the Indians together in the main saloon and gave them a Sunday talk.

When the ship had been out on the ocean seven days a severe storm came up, and raged so fiercely that the vessel was compelled to lay too. During its continuance the stock suffered greatly; but such good care was given the animals that only one horse died on the trip.

At last the staunch steamship, "City of Nebraska," with the Wild West Company aboard, anchored off Gravesend, and soon a tug flying the stars and stripes was seen coming out to meet the incoming ship. A tumultuous waving of handkerchiefs on board the approaching tug, evoked ringing shouts and cheers from the Wild West Company. Then a band on the nearing tug struck up "The Star Spangled Banner," and the Wild West cowboy band on board of the "Nebraska" responded with "Yankee Doodle."

The party on the tug proved to be the director of the American Exhibition, with Ronald Gower heading a distinguished committee, accompanied by Major John M. Burke, Buffalo Bill's advance manager, and representatives of the leading London journals.

The magnificent reception given Buffalo Bill and his Wild West Company by the people and press of London, has already been touched upon in our opening chapter, but no adequate conception of the cordial, enthusiastic, whole-hearted welcome given our fellow countrymen by the English people, can be obtained therefrom.

The English papers were filled from day to day with eulogistic accounts of the Wild West aggregation, and the overwhelming success of the enterprise in England was predicted on every hand.

The London Illustrated News of April 16th printed a two page illustration and four columns of descriptive matter of the Wild West show, from which latter the following is an extract.

"It is certainly a novel idea for one nation to give an exhibition devoted exclusively to its own frontier history, or the story enacted by genuine characters of the dangers and hardships of its settlement, upon the soil of another country 3,000 miles away. Yet this is exactly what the Americans will do this year in London, and it is an idea worthy of that thorough-going and enterprising people. We frankly and gladly allow that there is a natural and sentimental view of the design which will go far to obtain for it a hearty welcome in England. The progress of the United States, now the largest community of the English race on the face of the earth, though not in political union with Great Britain, yet intimately connected with us by social sympathies; by a common language of literature; by ancestral traditions and many centuries of common history; by much remaining similarity of civil institutions, laws, morals, and manners; by the same forms of religions; by the same attachments to the principles of order and freedom, and by the mutual interchange of benefits in a vast commerce, and in the materials and sustenance of their staple industries, is a proper subject of congratulation; for the popular mind in the United Kingdom does not regard, and will never be taught to regard, what are styled 'imperial' interests—those of mere political dominion—as equally valuable with the habits and ideas and domestic life of the aggregate of human families belonging to our own race. The greater numerical proportion of these, already exceeding sixty millions, are inhabitants of the great American Republic, while the English-speaking subjects of Queen Victoria number a little above forty-five millions, including those in Canada and Australasia and scattered among the colonial dependencies of this realm. It would be unnatural to deny ourselves the indulgence of a just gratification in seeing what men of our own blood, men of our own mind and disposition in all essential respects, though tempered and sharpened by more stimulating conditions, with some wider opportunities for exertion, have achieved in raising a wonderful fabric of modern civilization, and bringing it to the highest prosperity, across the whole breadth of the Western Continent, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. We feel sure that this sentiment will prevail in the hearts of hundreds of thousands of visitors to Buffalo Bill's American camp, about to be opened at the west end of London; and we take it kindly of the great kindred people of the United States that they now send such a magnificent representation to the motherland, determined to take some part in celebrating the jubilee of her majesty, the queen, who is the political representative of the people of Great Britain and Ireland."

So pleased was Buffalo Bill with the magnificent reception given his Wild West exhibition in London, that he at once sent a cablegram across the ocean to General Sherman, informing his old army friend of the glorious success he was meeting with in England.

General Sherman responded as follows:

"Dear Cody:—I was much pleased to receive your dispatch of May 5th announcing the opening of the Wild West in old London, and that your first performance was graced by the presence of the Prince and Princess of Wales. I had penned a short answer to go by cable, but it fell so far short of my thoughts that I tore it up and preferred the old-fashioned letter, which I am sure you can afford to await. After your departure in the 'State of Nebraska' I was impatient until the cable announced your safe arrival in the Thames, without the loss, of a man or animal during the voyage. Since that time our papers have kept us well 'posted,' and I assure you that no one of your host of friends on this side of the water was more pleased to hear of your safe arrival and of your first exhibition than myself. I had, in 1872, the honor and great pleasure of meeting the Prince of Wales and the Princess Alexandra on board our fleet in Southampton Bay, and was struck by the manly, frank character of the prince, and the extreme beauty and grace of the princess. The simple fact that they honored your opening exhibition assures us all that the English people will not construe your party as a show, but a palpable illustration of the men and qualities which have enabled the United States to subdue the 2,000 miles of our wild West continent, and make it the home of civilization. You and I remember the time when we needed a strong military escort to go from Fort Riley in Kansas to Fort Kearney on the Platte; when emigrants to Colorado went armed and organized as soldiers, where now the old and young, rich and poor, sweep across the plains in palace cars with as much comfort as on a ride from London to Edinburgh. Your exhibition better illustrates the method by which this was accomplished than a thousand volumes of printed matter. The English people always have, and I hope always will love pluck and endurance. You have exhibited both, and in nothing more than your present venture, and I assure you that you have my best wishes for success in your undertaking.

"Sincerely your friend,




From London the Wild West proceeded to Birmingham, where it filled a brief but successful engagement at the Aston Lower Grounds. Then it moved on to Manchester, whose leading citizens had held out to Buffalo Bill flattering inducements to visit that city and open up for the winter.

While preparations for opening the Wild West exhibition at Manchester were being made, Buffalo Bill took advantage of the interval, with his daughter Arta, for a two weeks vacation in Italy. When the fact is considered that from the opening day of the Wild West exhibition in London to the close of the engagement in that city Buffalo Bill had not missed a single one of the three hundred performances given, notwithstanding the innumerable social courtesies he was compelled to observe, it will be readily understood that a short vacation was necessary prior to his entering upon his winter engagements.

After a hurried visit to the ancient Colosseum of Rome, with a view to inspecting the ruins as a site for a possible future production of the Wild West Exhibition therein, and a hasty tour of the more important cities of Italy, he returned to Manchester and helped prepare for opening the winter season there.

To accommodate the Wild West show the largest theater ever seen in the world was erected by an enterprising firm of Manchester builders, together with a commodious building attached to it for the accommodation of the troupe, whose tents and tepees were erected under its shelter, the whole of the structure being comfortably heated by steam and illuminated by the electric light.

Of the magnificent entertainment given in this vast theater by Buffalo Bill and his troupe, a graphic account is here reproduced from the columns of the Manchester Sunday Chronicle:

"A vast amphitheater, shaped somewhat like a horseshoe magnet, with giant proscenium stretched across its poles; an enormous stage, constructed without flooring, the scenery and set pieces of which are let down upon the bare earth; a drama, dealing with a period of five hundred years, in which nearly three hundred men and women, and as many horses, buffaloes, and other four-footed creatures take part, performed in great measure immediately under the eyes of the spectators, on a huge plain level with the stage and drifting into a perspective upon it—such is a general description of the performance which was given for the first time yesterday afternoon by Colonel Cody and his magnificent troupe. The theater, brilliantly lighted and well warmed throughout, is like nothing else ever constructed in this country. The seats, accommodating nearly ten thousand persons, are ranged in tiers, from the pew-like private boxes in front to a height of forty feet or so; and the distance from the extreme end of the auditorium to the back of the stage is so great that a horseman galloping across the whole area diminishs by natural perspective until the spectator is fairly cheated into the idea that the journey is to be prolonged until the rider vanishes in the pictured horizon. The illusion, indeed, is so well managed and complete, the boundless plains and swelling prairies are so vividly counterfeited, that it is difficult to resist the belief that we are really gazing over an immense expanse of country from some hillside in the far West. The pictures, from the brush of the talented Matt. Morgan, are singularly beautiful in themselves, and it only needs the constantly varying groups of living men and animals in front of them to complete the charm.

"In arranging the latest development of their exhibition, Messrs. Cody and Salsbury have undertaken no trifling task. Besides the display of horsemanship and feats of shooting with which the notices of their doings in London have familiarized the public, they have determined to present the story of the development of the American Continent from primeval times until the present day. It is a play without a plot and without dialogue, unless the clever and humorous lecture of Mr. Frank Richmond, the 'orator' of the establishment, can be called such. This gentleman occupies a lofty pulpit to the left of the proscenium, and it says much for the acoustic properties of the gigantic building that his voice can be heard so distinctly as it is. The drama, however, has no lack of coherence, and the interest of the spectators is unflaggingly sustained throughout the long succession of exciting scenes from the introduction to the close.

"By the plan adopted the entertainment is divided into "episodes," of which the first, after the preliminary of a general personal introduction of the troupe, is the Forest Primeval, in which The murmuring pines and the hemlocks
Bearded with moss, and in garments green,
Indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of old.

It is midnight, and wild animals lie scattered about in their lairs. With the opening dawn we make the acquaintance of the Red Indian as he used to be before the white man crowded him out of his possessions. At sunrise—a beautiful stage-managed effect—we have the meeting of the Indian Tribes who execute a friendly dance to a quaint barbaric measure. Then comes a courier with notice of the approach of a hostile tribe intent upon massacre and the collection of scalps. The attack is delivered with terrific vigor, and the battle that ensues is an unequaled picture of savage warfare.

"The Second Episode deals with the landing of the pligrim fathers from the Mayflower on Plymouth Rock, with which the era of civilization is held to commence. Here again, the scenery is remarkably fine, and the characters in the tableaux are characteristically dressed in the short capes, steeple-crowned hats, and sad colored Puritan raiment of religious England in their day. From this, amidst appropriate music from Mr. Sweeny's cowboy band, the scene changes to Episode No. 3. the rescue from death of that heroic bearer of an honored name, John Smith, by that beauteous Indian princess, Pocahontas. Now ensues a most interesting delineation of Indian manners and customs, from the wedding to the war dance, by the whole of the Indian forces, under the command of Red Shirt himself.

"With the Fourth Episode we reach more stirring scenes. The picture, composed of innumerable front sets and a most lovely background, by Matt. Morgan, represents the prairie, with a drinking pool, or "lick," in the foreground, to which the wild buffaloes come to slake their thirst. In pursuit of the great game comes Buffalo Bill himself, on his famous horse, Old Charlie, who has covered one hundred miles in less than ten hours, conducting an emigrant train of white folks, with wagons, horsemen, women, and children, and all the accessories of a march across the wilderness. In the gathering twilight they camp around the pool, the fires are lit, and a clever performance of the "Virginia horseback reel" takes place. Subsequently, with the gathering darkness, the camp sinks into slumber, and for awhile all is still. Then comes a piece of stage managing, which more nearly approaches the terrible than anything ever yet attempted in this country. A red streak upon the horizon gives warning that some unwonted danger is approaching the sleeping folks; the glow broadens and deepens, and seems to creep gradually over the pictured miles of open country, until the slumbering people are roused with the appalling intelligence that the prairie is on fire. The conflagration approaches nearer and nearer, until the whole landscape appears one lurid mass of incandescence, and the roaring flames leap down upon the foreground with wild fury, threatening all concerned with a horrible death. The men endeavor to stamp out the conflagration with their rugs and blankets, and in the midst of the horror there swoops upon them a maddened rush of wild animals, flying from the fire, and a 'stampede' ensues in all its terrors. This scene, which reflects the highest credit upon the stage management, is one of the grandest ever placed before the public, and fairly baffles description.

"Next ensues some cowboy and Mexican vaquero business with bucking horses, throwing the lasso, in which that handsome cavalier and King of the Cowboys, Buck Taylor, figures conspicuously; and we get some extraordinary feats in shooting by Johnny Baker, the Cowboy Kid, all of which is very novel and amusing. And so we arrive at the Fifth Episode, the scene of which is a cattle ranch in the Wild West, with a real log hut and all appropriate surroundings. The settlers, after an interesting representation of camp life in the wilds, are attacked by Indians, and a fierce battle ensues, which is waged with varying fortunes until it ends in the rescue of the besieged party by a band of whites, and the flight of the Redskins. An interlude is occupied by some fancy rifle shooting by Miss Lillian Smith, "the California girl," and then we come to another grand historical tableau in the Sixth Episode, wherein is set out the routine of a military camp on the frontier. The unfortunate General Custer, occupying with his regiment a stockade or log fort, receives intimation of the discovery of a camp of hostile Indians by his scouts. "Boots and saddle" is sounded, and the troops move off to the second scene, which is the camp of Sitting Bull and his braves on the Little Big Horn river. The ambush and subsequent massacre of the whole of the gallant band of white men is presented with vivid realism, and the battle-field by night, which closes the episode, develops in its full horrors what has been fitly called 'the reddest page of savage history.'

"A brilliant display of shooting on foot and on horseback by Buffalo Bill himself is now given in the arena, and the magical promptitude with which glass balls and other small objects are shattered before his never-erring aim at full speed must be seen to be believed. In this remarkable exhibition, as in the other shooting performances, the iron fireproof curtain is made to do duty as a background or target, and the whole performance may be warranted to take the conceit out of any ordinary marksman. It is nothing less than marvelous.

"The Seventh Episode, which marks a still later period of frontier life, is perhaps the most exciting and picturesque of the whole entertainment. The first scene is a mining camp, 'Deadwood City,' in the Black Hills, with the 'Wild West Tavern' in the foreground, and we are treated seriatim to the incidents of a miner's holiday, with a shooting match, the arrival of the pony-express, and a frontier duel, with its characteristic ending of 'another man for breakfast.' Then comes the departure of the Deadwood coach, and the scene changes to a 'Canyon' or rocky pass in the hills. The Deadwood coach with its freight of passengers, guards and 'shotgun messengers,' is fallen upon in the canyon by Indians, and a stubborn battle occurs, in which the passengers are likely to succumb, when they are rescued by the sudden appearance of Buffalo Bill and the cowboy cavalry.

"It will be seen that there is no lack of exciting business in all this, and the consumption of gunpowder is enormous. The members of the company go at their work with appalling zest, and their picturesque mingling of spirited horses, quaint costumes and warlike impedimenta, in all the wild confusion of a frontier melée, is brilliantly effective. In the third scene of this episode we return to the mountain village, in which the climax of scenic effect is reached by the production of a genuine cyclone. Powerful wind-making machinery has been put down for this purpose, and a blast is delivered upon the stage strong enough to rend the log cabin to pieces, and scatter their fragments, together with wagons, camp-furniture, and even human beings from one side of the stage to the other. The howling of the tornado and the disastrous effect of its resistless current are realistically presented. How it is done is, of course, a stage secret, but there is no gainsaying the magnificent completeness with which the hurricane gets in its work and reduces the camp of the little mining community to chaos. This brings the performance to an effective close."

The winter at Manchester proved to be the greatest triumph thus far won by Buffalo Bill and his wonderful Wild West. From Liverpool, across country through Leeds and York to Hull and New Castle, and from Carlisle as far south at Birmingham, crowds of people of consequence and of no consequence, day after day throughout the entire winter season came in throngs to the vast amphitheater to witness the great Wild West's pictures of American pioneer life.



During Buffalo Bill's stay in Manchester he met with the same ungrudging and overwhelming social hospitality that had tried his physical powers so severely in the British capital. Of his treatment by the people of Manchester, Buffalo Bill has this to say in his interesting autobiography:

"'Thrones, powers, dominions,' and dynastic royalty are of course conspicuous by their absence from this vast manufacturing, money-making heart of northern activity. But that sublimer royalty of commerce, of invention, of fire and steel, of everflying shuttle and spindle, here holds high state, and its entertainments are princely in scope and hearty in their hospitality. They have a pride of their own, too, these coal and cotton lords and self-made millionaires. The man himself and the great things he has done for humanity are held in more esteem than long descent or the glamours of inherited wealth. I found here in fact, a closer resemblance to the natural dignity of the American citizen than I had experienced elsewhere in England. My invitation list would occupy more space than I can afford.

"One event, amongst my endeavors to make some return for this unbounded stream of hospitality, caused a considerable sensation in the district, from its novelty. It had been determined by the artistic, dramatic, and literary gentlemen of Manchester to make me a public presentation of a magnificent rifle, decked in flowers and gayly adorned with ribbons, and the event having got wind in London, the elite of the metropolitan literati, headed by Sir Somers Vine and including representatives of all the great American journals, secured a special train and ran up to Manchester, some hundred strong, to grace the ceremony with their presence. The happy thought struck me of inviting the whole crowd of local celebrities and London visitors to what for them would be an entirely original lay-out. This was a camp dinner, with fried oysters, Boston pork and beans, Maryland chicken, and other American dishes, and a real Indian 'rib-roast' as the piece de resistance.

"The presentation, which took place in the arena, being over, the banquet was held in the race-course pavilion. The Mayor of Salford and a number of civic dignitaries from both Manchester and the neighboring borough graced the table with their presence; United States Consul Moffat of London honored me with his company and Consul Hale of Manchester—a gentleman held in high and well deserved respect by the whole of the rich and powerful community amongst whom he resides and labors—made the speech of the evening. Nate Salsbury, as the vice-chairman, simply excelled himself; and the comments of the English guests upon the novel and to them outlandish fare they were consuming were highly amusing to us of the American party. I have reason to believe that the corn-cake, hominy, and other American fixings, were a complete revelation to them. The rib-roast, served in tin platters and eaten in the fingers, without knives or forks, was a source of huge wonderment. I reckon that Englishmen never toasted the American flag more heartily, and for a week afterwards the press of the country was dilating on the strange and savage doings at the Wild West camp.

"On Monday evening, May 1st, the Wild West gave its last indoor representation, in the presence of a vast and very enthusiastic audience; bouquets were presented to various members of the company, and when Buffalo Bill appeared he met with one of the warmest receptions of his life. Bouquets were thrown, handed and carried into the arena to him while the vast audience cheered, waved hats, umbrellas and handkerchiefs, jumped upon their feet, and in fact the scene was very suggestive of pandemonium.

"Every act went with a rush and a cheer, and was received by cries of 'bravo,' 'well done,' etc. At the close of the exhibition calls were made for Red Shirt and Buffalo Bill, in response to which the later expressed his thanks to his auditors, and assured them that the recollection of that evening's display of kindness would ever be fresh in his memory."

On Friday morning, May 4th, at 11 A. M., amid the cheers, well-wishes, and handshaking of a vast crowd, the Wild West left Manchester by special train for Hull, where the last performance in England was given on the afternoon of Saturday, May 5th, and at 9 o'clock on that evening the entire effects of the monster aggregation were aboard the good ship "Persian Monarch," upon which vessel, under the command of the brave, gallant, and courteous Captain Bristow, the Wild West left for New York the next morning at 3 o'clock. On the homeward voyage Colonel Cody's favorite horse Charlie died. For fifteen years he had ridden Charlie in sunshine and in storm, in days of adversity as well as prosperity, and to this noble animal's fleetness of foot Colonel Cody owed his life on more than one occasion when pursued by Indians.

During the night of May 19th, the 'Persian Monarch' arrived off New York harbor, and by daylight of the 20th steamed up toward Staten Island, where they were to debark.

The magnificent welcome home accorded them on their arrival at New York, was thus graphically reported in the New York World.

"The harbor has probably never known a more picturesque scene than was witnessed yesterday morning, when the 'Persian Monarch' steamed up from Quarantine, with Buffalo Bill standing on the captain's bridge, his tall and striking figure clearly outlined and his long hair waving in the wind, with the gayly painted and blanketed Indians leaning over the ship's rail, with the flags of all nations fluttering from the masts and connecting cables, and the band playing 'Yankee Doodle' with a vim and enthusiasm which faintly indicated the joy felt by everybody connected with the Wild West exhibition, including the musicians, over the sight of home. The stolid Indians had lost their stolidity, and the white men on board declared that from the time the rising sun had enabled the redskins to discover America, or that part of it known as Staten Island, unwonted bustle and excitement had reigned supreme.

"Cut Meat, American Bear, Flat Iron, Tall Horse, Kills Plenty and scores more of chiefs, braves and squaws hugged the ship's side and watched every movement of the accompanying tugs until the great vessel was towed up alongside the long wharf at Tomkinsville, and the huzzas of two thousand small boys and the noisy excitement of what seemed to be Staten Island's entire population. And it was a great day for Staten Island. So far as is known the 'Persian Monarch' is the first great ocean steamer which has ever landed there, and this, taken in connection with the unusual nature of her passengers and her cargo, furnished abundant reason for the greatest possible commotion, excitement and disturbance whereof Mr. Wiman's small kingdom is capable.

"All the teamsters for miles around had been engaged to carry the outfit of the exhibition and of the exhibitors across the island to Erastina, and the wharf was in consequence a confused commingling of express wagons, butcher carts, carpenter's wagons and other kinds of vehicles, with horses attached generally on their haunches, in response to the excited demands of vociferous drivers. If this scene needed any further animation it was provided by the small boys dodging imminent death, and scores of pretty girls in their Sunday best, scurrying away from out the reach of the horses' indiscriminate hoofs.

"The landing was at last effected, and Buffalo Bill, with his daughter and Major Burke, the general manager of the Wild West, Col. Ochiltree, George Trimble Davidson and several reporters, came up to the city on the tugboat Charles Stickney. Nate Salsbury, Col. Cody's partner, remained on the island and during the day the Indians and cowboys, with their tents, the Indian ponies and bucking horses, the Deadwood coach and emigrant wagons and all the paraphernalia of the show were transfererd to Erastina."

Though Buffalo Bill has ample cause to be proud of his triumphant success across the sea and his royal welcome home, the only thing of which he has proclaimed himself proud, is the cordial recognition of his services by his old army friend, General W. T. Sherman, as conveyed to him in the following friendly letter:

London, England.

"DEAR CODY: * * * In common with all your countrymen, I want to let you know that I am not only gratified, but proud of your management and general behavior; so far as I can make out, you have been modest, graceful, and dignified in all you have done to illustrate the history of civilization on this continent during the past century.

"I am especially pleased with the graceful and pretty compliment paid you by the Princess of Wales, who rode in the Deadwood coach while it was attacked by the Indians and rescued by the cowboys. Such things did occur in our days, and may never again.

"As near as I can estimate there were in 1865 about nine and a half million of buffaloes on the plains between the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains; all are now gone—killed for their meat, their skins and bones. This seems like desecration, cruelty and murder, yet they have been replaced by twice as many neat cattle. At that date there were about 165,000 Pawnees, Sioux, Cheyennes, Kiowas and Arapahoes, who depended upon these buffaloes for their yearly food. They, too, are gone, and have been replaced by twice or thrice as many white men and women, who have made the earth to blossom as the rose, and who can be counted, taxed and governed by the laws of nature and civilization. This change has been salutary, and will go on to the end. You have caught one epoch of the world's history, have illustrated it in the very heart of the modern world—London—and I want you to feel that on this side the water we appreciate it.

"This drama must end; days, years and centuries follow fast, even the drama of civilization must have an end. All I am to accomplish on this sheet of paper is to assure you that I fully recognize your work, and that the presence of the Queen, the beautiful Princess of Wales, and British public, are marks of favor which reflect back on America, sparks of light which illuminate many a house and cabin in the land where once you guided me, honestly and faithfully, in 1865-6 from Fort Riley to Kearney in Kansas and Nebraska.

"Sincerely your friend,




Not satisfied with winning the applause of the United States and England, Buffalo Bill was impatient to present his Wild West show to all the nations of Europe.

To desire a thing to be done is with Buffalo Bill to do it, and so it was not long after his return from England until he was preparing for another Wild West trip across the ocean, this time to Paris, thence through Continental Europe, back to old England again, and then home for another short rest and grander preparations than ever for another triumphal tour of the Wild West to the principal cities of the old world.

The majestic "Persian Monarch" was again called into requisition, and Buffalo Bill and his troupe were once more experiencing "a life on the ocean's wave, a home on the boundless deep."

The company arrived in Paris in good shape, met with an enthusiastic welcome, and played a season of seven months to tremendous crowds.

From Paris the Wild West proceeded on a tour through the South of France, and into Spain and Italy.

An interesting incident of its visit to Rome was thus related in a special cablegram to the New York Herald, printed in that paper March 4, 1890:

"Rome, March 3d.—One of the strangest spectacles ever seen within the walls of the Vatican was the dramatic entry of Buffalo Bill at the head of his Indians and cowboys this morning, when the ecclesiastical and secular military court of the Holy See assembled to witness the twelfth annual thanksgiving of Leo XIII. for his coronation. In the midst of the splendid scene, crowded with the old Roman aristocracy and surrounded by walls immortalized by Michael Angelo and Raphael, there suddenly appeared a host of savages in war-paint, feathers and blankets, carrying tomahawks and knives.

"A vast multitude surged in the great square before St. Peter's early in the morning to witness the arrival of the Americans. Before half-past 9 o'clock the Ducal Hall, Royal Hall, and Sistine Chapel of the Vatican were packed with those who had influence enough to obtain admittance. Through the middle of the three audiences the pathway was bordered with the brilliant uniforms of the Swiss Guards, Palatine Guards, papal gendarmes and private chamberlains. The sunlight fell upon the lines of glittering steel, nodding plumes, golden chains, shimmering robes of silk, and all the blazing emblems of pontifical power and glory.


"Suddenly a tall and chivalrous figure appeared at the entrance, and all eyes were turned toward him. It was Col. W. F. Cody, "Buffalo Bill." With a sweep of his great sombrero he saluted the chamberlains, and then strode between the guards with his partner, Mr. Nate Salsbury, by his side.

"Rocky Bear led the Sioux warriors, who brought up the rear. They were painted in every color that Indian imagination could devise. Every man carried something with which to make big medicine in the presence of the great medicine man sent by the great spirit.

Rocky Bear rolled his eyes and folded his hands on his breast as he stepped on tiptoe through the glowing sea of color. His braves furtively eyed the halbreds and two-handed swords of the Swiss Guards.

"The Indian and cowboys were ranged in the south corners of the Ducal Hall. Colonel Cody and Mr Salsbury were escorted into the Sistine Chapel by chamberlains, where they were greeted by Miss Sherman, daughter of General Sherman. A princess invited Colonel Cody to a place in the tribune of the Roman nobles.

"He stood facing the gorgeous Diplomatic Corps, surrounded by the Prince and Princess Borghesi, the Marquis Serlupi, Princess Bandini, Duchess di Grazioli, Prince and Princess Massimo, Prince and Princess Ruspoli, and all the ancient noble families of the city.


When the Pope appeared in the Sedia gestatoria. carried above the heads of his guards, preceded by the Knights of Malta and a procession of cardinals and archbishops, the cowboys bowed, and so did the Indians. Rocky Bear knelt and made the sign of the cross. The pontiff leaned affectionately toward the rude groups and blessed them. He seemed to be touched by the sight.

"As the papal train swept on the Indians became excited, and a squaw fainted. They had been warned not to utter a sound, and were with difficulty restrained from whooping.

"The Pope looked at Colonel Cody intently as he passed, and the great scout and Indian fighter bent low as he received the pontifical benediction.

"After the thanksgiving mass, with its grand choral accompaniment and now and then the sound of Leo XIII.'s voice heard ringing through the chapel, the great audience poured out of the Vatican."

The company visited Venice, Florence, Bologna, Milan, Verona, Munich, Vienna, Berlin, Dresden, Leipsic, Hanover, Brunswick, Hamburg, Bremen, Dusseldorf, Frankfort, Stuttgart, and Strasburg, at which latter city it went into winter quarters.

Here Buffalo Bill again showed himself to be the same patriotic American he was when in the service of the government as guide and scout.

Learning of the probable outbreak of Indian troubles in Dakota and Nebraska, he decided to at once return to America and offer his services in the campaign against the Indians.

Leaving the Wild West aggregation in charge of his business partner, Buffalo Bill departed for America, and immediately upon his arrival proceeded to the seat of the Indian difficulties in the distant state of Dakota.

He was at once appointed aid in chief on the staff of Governor Thayer, of Nebraska, with the rank of Brigadier General and rendered valuable services in the Indian campaign that followed.

At the close of the campaign he selected another band of Indians, including a number held as "hostages" by the military under General Nelson A. Miles at Fort Sheridan, and again left for Europe, in the Red Star steamer "Switzerland." Before returning to America the Wild West agam visited England, giving successful exhibitions in Leeds, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Stoke-on-Trent, Nottingham, Leicester, Cardiff, Bristol, Portsmouth, Glasgow, and then back to London, where Buffalo Bill gave a special performance in the grounds of Windsor Castle before the Queen and her invited guests.

After returning to America Buffalo Bill and his partner set to work reorganizing the Wild West show for performances to be given in connection with the World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago.

The result of their efforts in this behalf is too well known to the world to need recording here, "Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World," has been visited by throngs of people from every civilized and semi-civilized portion of the world, and if any of them were disappointed or dissatisfied with the show, that fact has never been made public.

The close of the season at Chicago is thus referred to by the Chicago Tribune, in its edition of Sunday, October 28th, 1893:


"Next Tuesday evening Buffalo Bill's Indians will don their war paint and trappings for the last time, and the cowboy riders, who have interested and thrilled almost a million people since the beginning of the World's Fair, will swing into the saddles of their shaggy Indian ponies for a final dash around the inclosure of the 'Wild West' arena. The Cossacks and Arabs and Mexicans who are unused to the chilling blasts of an approaching northern winter and who have lately ridden about the confines of the arena hooded and bundled in their long mantles, will soon depart for their homes in a more temperate climate. The rattle of musketry which has been a familiar sound out near Stony Island avenue and Sixty-third street will cease. The season of the great 'Wild [drawing] J.MANZ & CO Engs West,' which has been one of the most popular and remunerative in Col. William F. Cody's wide experience will come to an end. The secret of the success of the 'Wild West' has been that Col. Cody has not failed to realize every promise he has made. Not one of the features of the performance has been omitted from the entertainment at any time, no matter what have been the conditions of the weather, and promptly at 3 o'clock in the afternoon and at 8 o'clock in the evening the veteran scout has galloped out upon the magnificent charger presented to him by Gen. Miles, followed by his hordes of rough riders and companies of trained cavalry. The performances have never failed to be interesting and they have at no time lost the snap and vigor that constant repetition so often tames. The financial return to the management has been unexpectedly great, yet no one will be inclined to grudge them their success, as it has been amply deserved. At the close of the season Buffalo Bill will go to New York. He has leased a tract of ground in the central part of Brooklyn, where he proposes to give a series of exhibitions similar to his World's Fair 'Wild West.'



A biography of Buffalo Bill would not be complete without some accounts of Wild Bill, his whilom boon companion.

Among what influences, whether religious or otherwise, the days of his infancy were spent, we have no means of knowing. Scanty means incident to farm life in a new country necessarily deprived the youth of educational privileges to any, great extent, and we conclude that his taste in other directions—his love for nature, and finding out her secrets—largely overpowered the desire for mere book-knowledge.

We find him getting the training and making ready for the pioneer life for which he early showed a love, by obtaining through his own exertions a pony, knife, and revolver. This was not a strange fancy when we take into consideration the unsettled condition of the country, the necessity for defense against hostile Indians, the wild animals to be subdued, besides the countless other needs that these would help to meet. With these, all his own, to use as often as he willed, he soon became an expert in hunting. He also acquired skill in trapping. His later experiences only perfected these accomplishments.

As an example of his wonderful skill as a marksman we cite the following, as related in "Adventures of Wild Bill" by Ingraham:

"Failing in an effort to secure employment at once in Kansas whither he had gone in search of adventure, he sought to enlist with the 'Red Legs,' an anti-slavery band under the leadership of the noted Jim Lane. This band numbered some three hundred men, all thoroughly armed and mounted; but not having the wherewithal to purchase a horse and complete equipment, he was refused as a 'Red LegRanger,' greatly to his distress.

"A few days after this the Red Legs went out on the commons to shoot with rifles and pistols for prizes, and our youth determined to get into the ring if possible.

"To attract attention, when any one shot and did not drive the bull's eye, he laughed in a satirical way, till at last one of the Red Legs turned fiercely upon him and said: 'Look a hyar, boy, you has too much laugh, as if you c'u'd do better; an' durn my skins, ef yer haint a Red Leg, I'll give yer a chance to shoot. Ef yer' takes ther prize, I'll pay yer put-up dust, an' ef yer don't, I'll take the hickory ramrod o' my rifle an' welt yer nigh ter death. Does yer shoot on my terms?'

"'I will, and beat you too, was the quiet response.

"All eyes bad been turned on the tall, handsome youth before them, and several had determined to try his metal, after the shooting, for having laughed at them, and now they gazed on him with increased interest.

"There were three prizes, viz: a fine horse, saddle and bridle for the first; a rifle and belt, with two revolvers and a bowie-knife for the second, and a purse of one hundred dollars for the third.

"He had some little money, and said quietly:

"'I'll pay the fees, for I want no man to give me money.'

"'Then shell out; it's fifteen fer the first, ten fer the second, and five dollars fer ther third prize, an' ther boys hes all chipped in, an' ef yer don't win, boy, they'll all see me larrup yer.'

"The speaker, Shanghai Bill, all knew, and greatly feared, for he was a desperado of the worst type, a giant in size and strength, and ever ready to get into a brawl.

"The boy smiled at his words, paid his thirty dollars, which left him with three in his pocket, and after the Red Legs had shot, took his stand, and raising his rifle, quickly fired. The first to start the cheer, was Jim Lane himself, who cried out:

"'By heaven! the best shot in the three hundred.'

"'It's a accident; besides, Gineral, ther's two more to be shooted,' growled Shanghai Bill.

"The two more were then shot in the same quick way as before, and the bullets found dead center.

"'I've got the horse, saddle and bridle toward becoming a Red Leg, General,' said the boy quietly, addressing Lane.

"'You have, indeed; now see if you can win the arms, and egad, I believe you can,' was Lane's reply.

"These were to be shot for with pistols, and at twenty paces, the best two in three shots, and once more three dead center bull's-eyes were scored by the lad.

"The men now became deeply interested in the youth, and watched eagerly for him to come to his third trial, which was to be with a rifle at a moving object, a hundred yards off. This object was a round piece of wood, painted red, which was to be rolled, like a wheel, along the ground, and at it three shots were given. Just as the man who rolled it started it in motion, a crow flew over the field above the heads of the crowd, and instantly raising his rifle, he fired and brought him down, while he immediately seized the weapon held by Shanghai Bill, and throwing it to a level, sent a bullet through the red wheel ere it had stopped rolling.

"This double feat, and one shot with a strange rifle, set the crowd wild with enthusiasm."

This is only one instance among numberless exhibitions of his unerring aim, which not only protected the weak and innocent, but as often dealt death to foes.

An account is given of the wonderful rescue of a small child. A bear having crept undiscovered near the cabin of an early settler, seized the child by its clothing, and was making fast tracks for the forest, when young Bill, discovering the fearful situation, pursued the animal, and shot him until he dropped the terrified infant, and turned upon him. Then it was that he put an end to the life of the beast, and catching up the child, soon returned him to his parents. This brave act settied an old difficulty between the father and himself, and made them firm friends ever after.

For a time he rendered efficient aid to the Overland Stage Company as driver. While serving in this capacity he was once intercepted by a band of Indians. As the road in front was an ascending grade for the remainder of the distance to the station, he was confident that it would be useless to attempt a passage with any hope of escape, unless their numbers could be reduced, or some successful device conceived of removing them from the way. To effect this, he made a short turn, and urged his team forward to their utmost exertions, thus deceiving the savages, who fancied that he was about to make the distance by another route.

Believing their energies were partially spent in gaining a new point from which to operate, he suddenly turned again, having won considerable time by this strategic movement, and used every art known to horsemen to excite his team to the greatest speed. The Indians, perceiving the trick, retraced the ground with fearful swiftness—those who were not already exhausted—and reached the edge of a narrow river that must be crossed, and there made their attack.

Wild Bill's desperate courage stood by him as, with the lines firmly secured, he made good use of his trusty revolvers, while his team broke through the yelling savages, and entered the stream, showered by the arrows of their assailants, which carried death to all but two of the occupants of the coach. These, as well as the brave driver, were wounded, though not seriously, and pushed forward, though closely pursued, until assistance reached them, when they were able to overthrow the remnant of the band.

Wild Bill scored many a success as an Indian-fighter, as the Generals whom he served can attest, in obtaining which his knowledge of wood-craft was of great assistance. We learn of him as a pony express rider winning new laurels for fidelity and daring, and gallant conduct.

In whatever capacity he served, he thoroughly mastered the situation, though death stared him in the face. Many times was he wounded so that it required weeks and months of nursing to restore him to usefulness, but neither this, nor the pain he endured, could unnerve him. He was always a terror to the lawless, stage-robbers, horse-thieves, and mean men of every description, they giving him a wide berth after once learning, by actual contact, his true metal, if they were so fortunate as once to escape with their lives.

Let us now look at his career as scout and spy during our Civil war, when he "encountered many perils and suffered many privations in defense of our nationality." In Harper's Magazine a lieutenant is made to tell one of the most daring feats ever attempted, which we quote:

"I can't tell the thing as it was," said the young officer. "It was beyond description. One could only hold his breath and feel. It happened when our regiment was attached to Curtis' command, in the expedition down into Arkansas. One day we were in the advance, and began to feel the enemy, who appeared in greater strength than at any time before. We were all rather uneasy, for there were rumors that Kirby Smith had come up from Texas with all his force, and as we were only a strong reconnoitering party, a fight just then might have been bad for us. We made a big noise with a light battery, and stretched our cavalry out in the open, and opposite the rebel cavalry, who were drawn up in line of battle on the slope of the prairie, about a thousand yards away. There we sat for half an hour, now and then banging at each other, but both parties keeping pretty well their line of battle. They waited for us to pitch in. We were waiting till more of our infantry should come.

"It was getting to be stupid work, however, and we were all hoping something would turn up, when we noticed two men ride out from the center of their line, and move toward us. At the first instant we paid little heed to them, supposing it some act of rebel bravado, when we saw quite a commotion all along the enemy's front, and then they commenced firing at the two riders, and their line was all enveloped with smoke, out of which horsemen dashed in pursuit. The two riders kept well together, coming straight for us. Then we knew they were trying to escape, and the Colonel deployed one company as skirmishers to assist them. There wasn't time to do much, although, as I watched the pursued and their pursuers, and found the two men had halted at what I could see was a deep ditch, the moments seemed to be hours; and when they turned, I thought they were going to give themselves up. But no; in the face of that awful fire, they deliberately turned back, to get space for a good run at the ditch. This gave time for two of their pursuers to get within a few yards of them, when they stopped, evidently in doubt as to the meaning of this retrograde movement. They did not remain long in doubt, for the two men turned again, and with a shout, rushed for the ditch, and then we were near enough to see that they were Wild Bill and his mate. Bill's companion never reached the ditch. He and his horse must have been shot at the same time, for they went down together, and did not rise again.

"Bill did not get a scratch. He spoke to Black Nell, the mare he rode, who knew as well as her master that there was life and death in that twenty feet of ditch, and that she must jump it; and at it she went with a big rush. I never saw a more magnificent sight. Bill gave the mare her head, and turning in his saddle, fired twice, killing both of his pursuers, who were within a few lengths of him. They went out of their saddles like stones, just as Black Nell flew into the air and landed safely on our side of the ditch. In a moment both the daring scout and the brave mare were in our midst, while our men cheered and yelled like mad."

"Wild Bill had secured all the information that could be obtained from the Confederates and, as an engagement was about to take place, he decided to make a bold dash for the Union side. He undoubtedly enjoyed the prospect of danger connected with the adventure, or he certainly would have attempted escape by a less conspicuous method. He had entered their lines in disguise as 'a boy in gray,' to avoid detection.

"Several times in different disguises he entered the enemy's lines, and once was discovered and sentenced to execution; but escaped without injury, to again baffle the sharpest of their detectives and reveal plans of action to our forces that were of great value during the campaign.

Later he took command of a government wagon train bound for Springfield, Mo., with supplies for the United States Army.

At one time he was wagon-master of a train ordered by Gen. Fremont from Leavenworth, Kan., to Sedaha, Mo., and for meritorious conduct in defending the team and stores from an attack by marauding parties, he was made wagon-master of high rank in Gen. Curtis' command, the Army of the Missouri.

As marshal of Hays City he was equal to every emergency, as he was in every important position he was called to take. To hold this office in such places and under such circumstances as did Wild Bill, required far more courage than is expected of the ordinary official. The border element to which we have referred, was uppermost. Not only to shoot, but to kill, seemed to be demanded in order to suppress riots or to preserve anything like peace and order. The vices at which we hold up our hands in horror were the every day amusements, and the taking of human life was of such common occurrence and for such petty causes, that one would be in continual terror to listen to the bloody deeds so often enacted.

Wild Bill led a more quiet life when he joined Buffalo Bill in his journey through the United States as an actor, though he failed to distinguish himself, and on several occasions satisfied his love for "fair play," by settling disputes in a summary manner. He soon wearied of the life, and settled on a plan of his own to make money by taking buffaloes and Comanche Indians to the East, so that the people there might realize the spectacle of a buffalo hunt. This failed him financially on account of not having a private inclosure for the exhibition, though it afforded amusement to a large crowd; but as money was the object, he concluded to fall back for a time on a surer basis, by renewing his old life as scout for the government. Later we find him in the gold regions of the West, the Black Hills, hoping to amass a competency. Ere he has time to accomplish his purpose his life is cut short in its prime, by one of the many desperadoes that frequent places so remote from legal jurisdiction, lured on by the thirst for gain, and hoping to escape the reach of justice.

Wild Bill is shot while engaged with friends in a game of cards, to avenge a fancied injury on being beaten at a similar game a short time previous; and though the assassin escape speedy retribution, it comes, and the cold-blooded murderer is at last numbered with his kind. The friends of Wild Bill laid him to rest in the everlasting mountains, with kindly hands and affectionate remembrances.



The regular work of the daring and romantic overland pony express riders has never been exceeded, even by the recent specially trained for long-distance riding of the German and Austrian army officers. When it is considered that those pony express riders traveled over a wild country, without bridges or even roads deserving the name, crossed two great mountain chains, vast alkali deserts and had to fight Indians and wolves along much of their journeys and that the average time made was 250 miles a day, it will be seen that even the governments which pay attention to such matters have no such courier system to call upon. But this system was organized for the accommodation of the gold miners of California who were able and willing to pay, and in fact did pay $5 for each half ounce of mail brought to them from the old folks at home by the daring little pony express riders. Each rider was limited to fifteen pounds of mail, which was divided into four packages of equal weight and carried in saddle pockets, two in front and two behind the rider. So it will be seen that each rider carried mail for which the company received $2,400 in addition, of course, to the United States postage.

In 1859 Senator Gwinn, then United States Senator from California, and a devoted Union man, appealed to the stage company to expedite travel and communications on the military road, so as to have a central line available to the North and South alike, and to demonstrate the possibilities of operating it in midwinter. Strange to say, this grand Union man and able statesman went into the Rebellion and lost his wonderful prestige and influence in California, as well as a fortune, in his fealty to his native State of Mississippi, and in 1866 was made the Duke of Sonora by Maximilian, in the furtherance of some visionary scheme of Western empire, but soon died. His propositions were duly considered and responded to by that famous firm, representatives of thrift, enterprise, energy, and courage, who well deserve the commendation of history and the gratitude of their countrymen.

Russell was a Green Mountain boy, who before his majority had gone West to grow up with the country; and after teaching a three-months' school on the frontier of Missouri had hired to old John Aull of Lexington, Mo., at $30 per month, to keep books, and was impressed in lessons of economy by the anecdotes of Aull that a London company engaged in the India trade had saved £80 per annum in ink by omitting to dot the "i's and cross the "t's," when he was emptying his pen by sphishing the office wall with ink. Alexander Majors is still living, venerable with years and honors, a mountain son of Kentucky frontier ancestry, the colleague and friend of Daniel Boone; and William Waddell, an ancestral Virginian of the blue-grass region of Kentucky, bold enough for any enterprise, and able to fill any missing niche in Western wants.

The Pony Express was born from this conference, and the first move was to compass the necessary auxiliaries to assure success. Eighty young, agile, athletic riders were engaged and 420 strong and wiry ponies procured, and on the 9th of April, 1860, the venture was simultaneously commenced from St. Joseph and Sacramento City. The result was a success in cutting down the time more than one half, and it rarely missed making the schedule time in ten days, and in December, 1860, making it in seven days and seventeen hours. The stations were from twelve to fifteen miles apart, and one pony was ridden from one station to another, and one rider made three stations, and a few dare-devil fellows made double duty and rode eighty or eight-five miles. One of them was Charles Cliff, now a citizen of St. Joseph, who rode from St. Joseph to Seneca and back on alternate days. He was attacked by Indians at Scott Bluff, and received three balls in his body and twenty-seven in his clothes. Cliff made Seneca and back in eight hours each way.

The route of the pony express began at St. Joseph, Mo., and extended due West to Fort Kearney, Neb., thence up the Platte river to Julesburg, Col., across the Platte and to Forts Laramie and Bridges, Wyo., and on to Salt Lake, Utah. The descent into the plains of Nevada was made by the route through Ruby valley and thence along the Humboldt river. The Sierra Nevadas were crossed by way of Canon City, Placerville, then known as Hangtown, and the Sacramento valley, reached by the road the miners had made down by Folsom to Sacramento and thence along the valley and over the foothills into San Francisco, where the long journey ended.

There were always eighty riders in the saddle, forty going East and forty West. Change stations were close together, especially over the mountainous sections, as the ponies were kept at top speed from station to station, no matter what kind of country they had to travel. Many of the brave lightweights who rode in the pony express service lost their lives in Indian fights, for the gentle red man seemed to esteem it a peculiarly high honor to dangle an express rider's scalp at his belt.

The keepers of the stations had the ponies already saddled, and the riders merely jumped from the back of one to another; and where the riders were changed the pouches were unbuckled and handed to the already mounted postman, who started at a lope as soon as his hand clutched them. As these express stations were the same as the stage stations, the employes of the stage company were required to take care of the ponies and have them in readiness at the proper moment.

At one of the change stations, located at the crossing of the Platte at Fort Kearney, was employed the notorious Jack Slade, a Vermont Yankee. He shot a Frenchman named Jules Bevi, whose patronymic is preserved in the present station of Julesburg on the Union Pacific Railroad. Slade nailed one of his ears to the station door and wore the other several weeks as a watch-charm. He drifted to Montana, and in 1865 was hanged by the vigilantes on suspicion of heading the road agents who killed Parker of Atchison and robbed a train of $65,000. His tragic end, as related by Doctor McCurdy, formerly of St. Joseph, contains an element of the pathetic. "He lived on a ranch near Virginia City, Mont., and every few days came into town and filled up on 'benzine,' and took the place by shooting along the streets and riding into saloons and proclaiming himself to be the veritable 'bad man from Bitter Creek.' The belief that he was connected with matters worse than bad whisky had overstrained the long-suffering citizens. The suggestive and mysterious triangular pieces of paper dropped upon the streets, surmounted with the skull and arrows, called the vigilantes to a meeting at which the death of Slade and two companions was determined. On the fated morning following the meeting he came to town duly sober and went to a drug-store for a prescription, and while awaiting its preparation he was suddenly covered with twelve shot-guns and ordered to throw up his hands. He complied smilingly, but proposed to reason with them as to the absurdity of taking him for a bad man. The only concession was permission to send a note to his wife at the ranch, and an hour was allotted him to make peace with the Unknown; ropes were placed around the necks of the three, and at the end of the time they were given short shrift, and were soon hanging between heaven and earth. While the bodies were swaying the wife appeared on the scene, mounted, with a pistol in each hand, determined to make a rescue; but seeing that it was too late she quailed before the determined visages of the vigilantes, and soon left the vicinity, carrying away, as it was believed, a large amount of the proceeds of Slade's robberies."

The wonder was that the service was kept up at all; that so many of the riders escaped the Indians and the dangers of flood, storm, snow, heat and cold. Their chief advantage in encounters with the Indians was that the pony express riders were always better mounted, on better fed horses than the Indians, and could take care of themselves in a chase. They were a wary and experienced lot and difficult to ambuscade, so that while an occasional scalp was lost there were not many of the letters longed for which never came over that dangerous route.

The pony express went out of existence when the overland railroad and telegraph service was completed in 1869. Few of the old riders are still living and the promoter of the scheme, William H. Russell, and his chief assistant B. F. Ficklin, are both dead.



Besides "Wild Bill" (J. B. Hickok,) of whom an account has already been given, a number of Buffalo Bill's companions in pioneer life on the plains have become world famous. Among the most noted of them are "California Joe," "Texas Jack" (Jack Omohundro,) and "Captain Jack" (Captain Jack Crawford.)

A brief account of each of these frontiersman, it is believed, will be of interest to the reader.


General Custer, in "My Life on the Plains," thus mentions this famous plainsman, Indian-fighter and scout:

"In concentrating the cavalry which had hitherto been operating in small bodies, it was found that each detachment brought with it the scouts who had been serving with them. When I joined the command, I found quite a number of these scouts attached to various portions of the cavalry, but each acting separately. For the purpose of organization it was deemed best to unite them in a separate detachment, under command of one of their number. Being unacquainted with the merits or demerits of any of them, the election of a chief had to be made somewhat at random.

"There was one among their number whose appearance would have attracted the notice of any casual observer. He was a man about forty years of age, perhaps older, over six feet in height, and possessing a well-proportioned frame. His head was covered with a luxuriant crop of hair, almost jet black, strongly inclined to curl, and so long as to fall carelessly over his shoulders. His face, at least so much of it as was not concealed by the long, waving brown beard and mustache, was full of intelligence, and pleasant to look upon. His eyes were handsome, black, and lustrous, with an expression of kindness and mildness combined. On his head was generally to be seen, whether awake or asleep, a huge sombrero, or black slouch hat. A soldier's overcoat, with its large, circular cape, a pair of trowsers, with the legs tucked in the top of his long boots, usually constituted the make-up of the man whom I selected as chief scout. He was known by the euphonious title of 'California Joe;' no other name seemed ever to have been given him, and no other name appeared to be necessary.

"This was the man whom, upon a short acquaintance, I decided to appoint chief of the scouts.

"Sending for California Joe, I informed him of his promotion, and what was expected of him and his men. After this official portion of the interview had been completed, it seemed proper to Joe's mind that a more intimate acquaintance between us should be cultivated, as we had never met before. His first interrogatory, addressed to me in furtherance of this idea, was frankly put, as follows:

"'See hyar, Gineral, in order thet we hev no misunderstandin', I'd jist like ter ax ye a few questions. First, are ye an ambulance man or a boss man?'

"Professing ignorance of his meaning, I requested him to explain.

"'I mean,' he said, 'do yer b'lieve in catchin' Injuns in ambulances or on hossback?'

"Still assuming ignorance, I replied, 'Well, Joe, I believe in catching Indians wherever we can find them, whether they are in ambulances or on horseback.'

"'Thet ain't what I'm a-drivin' at,' he responded. 'S'pose you're after Injuns and really want ter have a tussel with 'em, would yer start after 'em on hossback, or would yer climb inter a ambulance and be hauled after 'em? Thet's ther pint I'm a headin' fer.'

"I answered that I would prefer the method on horseback, provided I really desired to catch the Indians; but if I wished them to catch me, I would adopt the ambulance system of attack.

"'You've hit the nail squar' on the head,' said he. 'I've bin with 'em on the plains whar they started out after Injuns on wheels jist as ef they war goin' to a town funeral in ther States, an' they stood 'bout as many chances uv catchin' Injuns ez a six-mule team would uv catchin' a pack uv thievin' ki-o-tes, jist as much.'"

The foregoing evinces California Joe's good judgment on Indian fighting, and we find that his perceptions were equally acute on other subjects. We shall not be obliged to enlighten the reader, as to his educational advantages in the line of acquiring the use of language, since he speaks for himself. Had he informed us as well on other topics the mystery that now surrounds his boyhood days would never have existed. He created this by scrupulously avoiding every allusion to his parents or relatives, or to any incident or experience in connection with them. It was as though they had never been. Joe was all the name he desired, and the curious were restrained by a reticence of manner that forbade familiarity, from penetrating the apparently sacred precincts of the home, now his only in remembrance, or of calling up the friends of other days, undoubtedly lost to him. On other subjects he was ready and eager to exchange opinions, and showed a decidedly social nature.

Without being able to tell how it all happened we behold him armed and equipped for service, already an expert in the use of firearms, a master in horse-manship, and a born terror to the red men, "than whom ghosts or goblins could no more afright." In an eerie way, in the darkness, on his white horse, he rushed through their midst again and again, and no hand could point an arrow through superstitious fear. He captured their horses, defeated their plans of attacking, robbing and murdering, by timely warning those in danger, and carried death to many a wily savage before they discovered the real flesh and blood of which he was made.

The officers of the regular army were glad to procure his services as a scout, on account of his superior capabilities, and also as a recognition of gallant conduct. They were going out to fight the Indians, and if possible subdue them. They needed not only a fearless, but a tried, wary, cunning, reliable guide, and California Joe was all of these. After becoming celebrated in California so that he never after was spoken of without the name of the State being added to that of his own, he went with the Union army in defense of his country, as one of a band of border sharpshooters, and confirmed his established reputation for possessing a deadly aim. Afterward he served under Gen. Custer who as we have seen, readily perceived his worth, and honored him by making him chief of scouts. He was the friend of Buffalo Bill, Wild Bill, Texas Jack and Captain Jack, and their companion in many thrilling adventures of pioneer life. His home was in Dakota at the time of his death, 1876 He was shot by an unknown enemy.

He was one of a strikingly unique group, whose weaknesses in common with mankind, we will hide underneath their manly qualities and heroic deeds which far exceeded aught of human frailty.


To begin with Texas Jack's heart was in the right place, from the time his eyes first opened to the light till the day they were closed in death; for we find him brave and courageous, honest and true, mindful of the rights of others, and always ready to lend a helping hand, or champion the defenseless.

How he imbibed the love of adventure to such an extent as to cause him to determine, even when a boy in one of the South Atlantic states, to enter upon the exciting life of the Southwest in Texas, we can not conceive, though his surroundings at the date of his childhood were well adapted to fit him, as far as horsemanship, hunting, and trapping were concerned, for the new life he was to lead. He often in those days, assisted in furnishing the family table with game of his own shooting. We find him very early determined to become the owner of large herds of cattle. He had heard of the immense ranches of Texas and their wealthy owners, and intended to use what means he had collected from the results of his sure aim with the rifle, to take him to that country, where he expected to realize the visions of wealth that inspired him to youthful endeavor. He owned a pony with many good points, to which he was much attached, a rifle, revolver, and knife, in the use of which he had become distinguished among his fellows. With these and a few necessary articles of clothing and camping utensils suited to the journey, he left his pleasant home and friends.

Imagine him now entertained in hospitable homes, sharing the good cheer within, and again cooking his simple meal over a forest fire, and lying down to sleep beneath the stars, with only his faithful horse to share his solitude. Yet the way was not all smooth. He found himself in the hands of unprincipled men, who were ready to rob him of the money he had hoarded so carefully, and must use so prudently, ere the long journey was accomplished. But Jack, ever on the alert, used his revolver with such good execution that they failed to gain their object, two of their number being killed instantly, and he continued on his way, trusting more and more to the protection of the friendly woods as night came on.

When the Texas border was reached, he found he could be of service to a family as "cowboy"—a term given to those who follow the herding of cattle in that locality. He realized that, with his scanty means, the road to affluence must be slow, yet he meant it to be sure. He was a mere boy as yet, but he set himself to work in this capacity with the energy needed to make him thoroughly familiar with his duties, and served so well that the owner of the ranch considered him indispensable to his success. At the same time he was fitting himself to be the future master of a ranch of his own. In addition to this, he was still perfecting his skill in trailing, hunting, and trapping, and from the sale of skins increased the small sum that he received for his work to a considerable amount.

We next hear of him as hunter to one of the government forts. Here was afforded an ample opportunity for the display of his wonderful proficiency as a marksman. It suited well his taste, as, when mounted on a fleet steed, he rode at will over the immense prairies in the healthful excitement of the hunt, excelling all when the results of the chase were counted up. As long as he held the position the soldiers were never in want of venison, buffalo meat, wild turkey, and a great variety of game. Nothing could have better aided the full development of his already fine form than this free, wild life.

He was now nearly six feet in height, with an ease of carriage and self-possession of manner that betokened ease of mind. Jack Omohundro was not ashamed of his deeds. His hair fell in dark waves over his shoulders, and gave a softened expression to the firm outlines of a face which showed the strength of character that afterward separated him from the ordinary frontiersman, and gave him a place in history. He wore a buckskin frock, fringed and beaded, and leggings of the same material, tucked into high-topped cavalry boots, armed with spurs. The indispensable belt, with weapons of the most approved' make, and a gray sombrero, completed his attire.

He now comes to the front as an Indian-fighter. On one of his hunting excursions, while enjoying more than usually the delights of the chase, he was surprised by the appearance of some sixty Indians, and his desire for an opportunity to distinguish himself is satisfied. Being in possession of a repeating rifle, he immediately commenced an attack, instead of making any attempt at flight, as we would have supposed any one man would have done.

When one after another of the savages fell under the fire of the repeating rifle, the others became disconcerted, unaccustomed to such a weapon as they were then, and, though they did not retreat, hesitated to advance too near.

Jack was wounded by the arrows that fell thick and fast about him, and also his horse; but he withstood them a long time, until he saw a larger band of savages about to reinforce the first. Then he concluded to carry the four scalps already obtained from the bodies that had fallen near him, with all possible haste to the fort, as proof of the engagement, before death should rob him of the glory that would be attached to the achievement. Under a shower of arrows from the pursuing band, both his horse and himself suffering from their wounds, they sped swiftly on, and gained the fort and desired distinction.

From this time as long as he remained at the post, he acted as scout and guide, in which field he won new favor; since he counted not his own life dear in the service of humanity, saving many lives at the risk of his own.

Bands of robbers and horse-thieves frequented many portions of the Western country, and nowhere were they more plentiful than in Texas at the time of which we write.

Now that Jack had become a scout, he longed in some way to show his appreciation of this recognition of his services, besides being naturally antagonistic to anything like a lawless element.

Being a close observer, he already had suspicions of a locality which might be the hiding-place of a noted band, and as it was near the time when supplies were expected for the fort, and he had on several occasions seen parties about who not only apparently wished to conceal themselves but their intentions, he determined to keep close watch in order to prevent any loss, and, if possible, to surprise and capture the men.

A small town near by was a popular resort for loafers and gamblers, and afforded Jack an excellent opportunity to continue the scrutiny of those whom he suspected. He concluded to play the spy. Entering one of the noted gambling houses, in an off-hand way he stepped up to the bar which invariably accompanies such places, and ordered drinks for the crowd. For any one to drink alone was considered almost an insult to the by-standers.

This opened the way to friendly conversation, which ended in his being invited to "take a hand for luck."

This would further his plans by giving him the chance of hearing whatever might throw light on the identity of suspicious individuals. He therefore consented; but luck went against him, since, for purposes of his own, he made no effort to win. He was soon on excellent terms with the set. Jack recognized one among the number as the same person whom he had seen lurking near a bluff on the traveled road to the fort, and who had hastily passed out of sight, seemingly with a view to concealment, when aware of his approach.

That he had the slightest suspicions that it was Texas Jack who surprised him, and who now was engaged in the friendly game with himself and friends, is not for a moment to be supposed.

The bluff to which we have referred was some distance from the road, and so situated as to afford easy concealment, if desired.

The stranger, for such we will call him till we prove his name and character, was now in very different costume from the previous occasion, yet this was only a confirmation of the truth of Jack's suspicions. Jack himself had so altered his appearance as to be hardly recognized.

The next day, and the next, he sought opportunity for carrying out his plans by adding to the intimacy already existing between himself and the stranger. Finally, at urgent solicitation, he accompanied him to his home in the mountains, about thirty miles away.

One and then another joined them there, until there were twelve strong, robust men, well armed. It was nearly a week before any of their plans were disclosed. The time was spent in feasting, drinking, and cardplaying, with an occasional hunt to relieve the monotony. Cautiously they revealed a plot for obtaining stores, and asked the assistance of Dave Hunter, as Jack was now called. The work was planned for the following Friday; it was now Monday.

Jack must have time to warn the soldiers to prepare for an attack, and get back without exciting doubts as to his loyalty. It was a difficult thing to do, as these sharp, fierce men kept strict watch, on account of their short acquaintance.

He must plan some excuse for absence. On plea of hunting to break up the feeling of lassitude that he averred was beginning to possess him, he made preparations for departure, purposely in the absence of the larger number of those who shared the retreat, as less explanation would then be required.

How he sped over the ground when once at liberty! but not in the direction of the fort. He made his way there by a circuitous route, and by ways as little frequented as any.


J. MANZ & CO. Engs

No time was lost in revealing the plot and getting back to the stronghold of the robbers, except to obtain game with which to satisfy the impression he had given, that hunting was the object of his going. He loaded a fine two-year-old buck, which he had easily taken, upon his horse, sure that this when dressed and served in true mountaineer style would not only gratify their appetites, but dispel their doubts as to his loyalty, if any existed.

They eyed him sharply, as he sprang to the ground, and relieved his restless horse from the unaccustomed burden of the deer.

"Where runs the herd from which that buck was taken, Hunter? "said one.

"In these mountains, in the small canyon to the West,—fine feed there," replied Jack, or Dave, as he was known there.

"Too fine, I fear, to warrant the finding of much game, my friend," answered another.

"You're right, boys. So scanty have I found game in these parts for the past two days, it's a wonder how you exist."

"Trust me, the government is back of the deer, Dave, and besides, our friends often share with us;—sabe?" said a third.

"Aye, lads, 'It's a poor town that has only one road to it.' But I'm as hungry as a gaunt wolf on a desert island. What can you set out?"

Dave followed the three and was soon cheered by a plentiful amount of provisions, no less than drinks of different kinds, for these were not the men to do things by halves.

After partaking freely of the food set before him, cautious in indulging in the tempting beverages, lest they might, from the stupidity they were likely to cause, unfit him for the task he had undertaken, he lay down to rest from the fatigue of the journey.

Only two days would intervene before he would be needed in the full strength of his manhood, and Texas Jack would serve his country as never before. But how could this band of lawless men be taken? It would be an easy thing, now that the soldiers were warned, to protect the stores, but these desperadoes were a terror not to be despised. It would need a clear head to plan, and strong arm to execute.

Let us leave him to his dreams while we return to the fort and note the train coming with supplies

The bustle has already begun. The soldiers are eager to be engaged, weary of the dullness of camp life. Orders to march are given, and soon is heard the tramp, tramp, of the boys in blue. A portion of the command was to proceed to a distance beyond the supposed point of attack, to make sure of success, while the remainder were to be stationed at the bluff, in accordance with Jack's suggestion.

Long before these were on their way, another and a strange cavalcade made its way down the mountain side, and Jack was with it. The direction in which they were moving indicated that the two bodies might meet at some point.

At the head rode the chief in his showy and elegant uniform of velvet and gold with the emblem of his rank, the gold star, on his front. Long and gracefully waving plumes adorned his hat. His followers were scarcely less richly attired, except Jack, who had not yet been formally adopted into the order, "The Lone Star Knights."

"A right royal procession in outward semblance,
Would that their deeds were kingly."

They moved toward the bluff, thinking to be in readiness when the wagon train, loaded with provisions and ammunition, approached. Then it could be easily despoiled.

Everything was quiet as death until the turn that led to the place of concealment was made. Then shots came in quick succession, and were almost as quickly returned. These cool, determined men were accustomed to surprises, and not easily unnerved. The fight grew fierce and desperate. Men were engaged who knew neither retreat nor surrender. Jack fought bravely, and hand to hand. But numbers were against the robber band, and one after another they fell, either wounded or dead.

The wounded were carried as prisoners to the fort, and the dead were buried by the bluff. Among the dead was Leon Hartley, chief of "The Lone Star Knights," who would fight to the death, but never be taken alive.

Jack returned to the fort, but shortly after, though the officers were sorry to part with so valuable a scout, he determined to make a beginning toward the stocking of the cattle ranch which had been his ambition. Herds of wild horses roamed the Texan plains, and having found a companion, he started in pursuit. Experts in the use of the lariat, it was not long before quite a large number were herded and driven to the place where he determined to settle. The means he had accumulated enabled him to purchase a ranch and begin a substantial business, and one that proved lucrative. Later he is induced to engage with "The Buffalo Bill Combination," in the capacity of an actor, with what success we are not informed. But frontier life had sufficient attractions to recall him, and we find him again at his ranch.

Mining, also claimed his attention in Colorado, this State having become celebrated for its gold ore.

The region about Leadville exerted a magnetic influence, and thither Jack was drawn, seeking a competence that would harmonize with the independent spirit within him. Strong, not only in himself but his material resources, he would then be able to gratify at will the promptings he could never silence, to aid his fellows whenever occasion offered. In this he was only moderately successful. His ranch still held the precedence as a substantial dependence. But like a "will-o'-the-wisp" in the distance, he ever beheld the glowing treasures he would possess, and expecting to approach and grasp them, he continued the pursuit for gold. His time was not all occupied in mining. He took as usual a general interest in the affairs of the town, which, mushroom-like, had suddenly grown to astonishing proportions, and in which had congregated a medley of human beings that would afford study for an ethnographer. There was enough to engage one of Jack's temperament far more than his leisure hours. Many a night, as well as day, was spent in searching out the well-laid schemes of treacherous men, and thwarting their designs for robbery and murder, or whatever wickedness might be disclosed. In not a few instances life paid the penalty of their crime.

On the evening stage from the mountains, June 27, 187—, was a jolly trio of men. That their coming would result in mischief was only too evident. Partially intoxicated, they incautiously allowed words to escape that gave Jack, who had come to witness the arrivals with many others, the key to their plans. They knew of the presence in town of a wealthy capitalist having interest in that vicinity, and believing that he would have a considerable amount of ready means about him, they purposed awaiting his departure, with the intention of attacking the stage, and obtaining it. To frustrate their movements, Jack had asked the assistance of two of his friends, and after finding out the time set by the gentleman for his trip to the mine he desired to visit, they made their way to the spot they thought best suited to the object of the desperadoes. They had some time to wait before the rumbling of wheels told the approach of the six-in-hand held by Jake Timberlake. They could hear from their elevaetd position, a slight rustling below, and suppressed tones. Just as the team turned the sharp point of rocks where both parties were concealed, "Hands up!" rang out upon the air, and the stage was brought to a sudden halt; but only for a moment, ere Texas Jack with his friends, sprang forward. Completely surprised, the robbers could do nothing but submit to the same terms they had exacted; since the same invincible weapons with which they had compelled obedience stared them in the face. The stage-driver and passengers were only too glad to assist in securing the criminals, who were firmly bound and taken to the nearest place to await the demands of justice. Jack and his comrades returned to their labors, not the richer in money—this they would not accept—but happy in the consciousness of another victory won.

Soon after this occurrence he became afflicted with the lung difficulty which grew more and more serious, and terminated in death.


Captain Jack Crawford, the poet scout, was a famous border ranger similar in character to, and sharing in many of the adventures and experiences of Buffalo Bill.

When the excitement broke out in the Black Hills at the discovery of gold, he, with many others, was attracted in that direction. In these mining towns that spring up so suddenly, and often quickly disappear, congregate not only the honest miners, ready to toil for the expected gain, but also human parasites, preying upon the daily laborer, and winning from him at night all that can be made through the day, and sometimes much more. Many are the brawls that this condition of affairs begets. Crimes of all kinds are prevalent and, in the absence of law-givers, such men as Capt. Jack Crawford, Wild Bill, California Joe, and Texas Jack, answer the demands for the meteing out of justice. They willingly take this upon themselves. Capt. Jack was another example of remarkable physical strength, and endowed with all the attributes that, combined, made him a chief among his kind, and fitted him for the position to which we have referred. Our hero was an Irish boy. When a mere child, his parents left their native land with the hope of obtaining a better income in America, and reaching this country, settled in a mining community where there was work for all. Here began for the little lad the hard discipline of life, before he had enjoyed the sports of boyhood, or the school days that he would have prized. Even at his age, Jack was too much of a philosopher to do otherwise than "hoe out his row" to the best of his ability, though standing ready to seize the opportunity for study, if it came in his way. It came, after a few years, and was so well appreciated that it compensated largely for the lack of privileges in childhood. A hitherto latent talent was developed, which resulted in his often embodying in verse the doings of his comrades, much to their delight.

A mining town was well suited to cultivate certain traits, and to perfect him in many of the accomplishments which were required to fit him for the duties of scout and Indian-fighter. After establishing, by degrees, his own rights in the community, he had many an occasion to defend the lives and property of innocent parties, who lacked the self-assertion and physical endowment that Jack possessed.

He entered the civil war as a volunteer, and soon attracted the attention of the officers, among whom he became a general favorite. They made him a special courier at headquarters, on account of faithful services, and there it was that he distinguished himself. He allowed no obstacle to mar his progress as the bearer of dispatches that might involve momentous results—either turn the tide of battle in favor, or hasten the disastrous defeat, of the army he served. The hottest fire of the enemy deterred him not. Mounted on a spirited horse, he dashed fearlessly on, unharmed, while others fell in death about him. After his experience in the war, he found opportunity to act as carrier of dispatches from one fort to another in the West, and won much commendation for the remarkable quick time he made. This took him over unfrequented roads, and through dismal places, where it was necessary to be well armed, and to exercise constant vigilance, not only on account of Indians, but robbers. At any moment might be heard "Hands up," as one entered a narrow pass or rocky glen. Only the more muscular and brave thought of resistance, for life must pay the forfeit in most cases. Jack's motto was victory, if a bold front and a valiant fight could win it; on the other hand, death without fear. We know the seeming magic of a life thus animated, and we say "he bears a charmed life," when escape from harm is solely the result of a noble purpose so filling the soul as to inspire to the utmost every mental and physical energy.

Fortune placed him in the way of Buffalo Bill, of whom he had heard. He admired the wonderful skill of this famous buffalo hunter, and also the many exhibitions of his untiring zeal in whatever he undertook—a quality of character which, more than any other, earns success for its possessor. Jack desired to become a scout, like his newly found friend. Opportunity soon offered the coveted position. Will it surprise any when we assert that he achieved in this field a reputation equal to that of the noted scout, he so much esteemed? With the traits already accorded him, failure would have been impossible.

Second under Buffalo Bill as scout with Custer and his brave three hundred in that last charge, he maintained his standing, fighting with desperation, though against great odds.

In Indian fighting he was the equal of the most noted of his class. Many a redskin was arrested in the fulfillment of vengeful designs by the prompt appearance of Jack upon the scene of action, who never failed to do good execution with the trusty weapons he always carried.

His attention was several times turned to mining. We have mentioned the Black Hills excitement. He amassed sufficient means to place him in comfortable circumstances. Mining, once entered upon, however, possesses an attraction that is seldom lost, and we find Jack no exception. As long as earth yields up her treasure will men toil for gain. Life in the West also satisfied his love for excitement and adventure. Here was ample scope for his ambition. Her boundless prairies and her rugged mountains furnished a vast field for the exercise of his powers. Our hero was at home.

Imagine Jack Crawford in possession of a mining property from which he realized a fair income, situated in a picturesque mountain range which afforded a goodly variety of game, and gave that freedom of action so characteristic of the man; whose peaks inspired song, and whose valleys were restful to gaze upon. Nestled among the hills was a little cabin, over which trailed in profusion the wild cypress vine and the morning glory, and inside the simple furnishings of a pioneer home. Not only valuable weapons and trophies of war adorned the walls, but what was unusual, books, which our poet-scout had learned to value. From the doorway could be seen the sharers of his adventures and participators in the hunt, cropping the fragrant grass upon the hillside.

Any one in trouble welcomed the face of Capt. Jack. There was no doubt but he would render the needed assistance. "Fair play," was the creed of this man and he lived it. Though somewhat rough in exterior, an inward refinement often revealed itself in kindly acts. His clear, friendly eyes carried a benediction in their gaze, and the hand that grasped yours sent a thrill of magnetic influence that told of power.

There was nothing unusual in his dress to distinguish him from many another scout, but his manners and bearing revealed at once the superiority that we claim. We have none of his verses to place before the reader, yet we trust he will see in the deeds he performed, unwritten poems, bearing the stamp of true eloquence.





A mount-inclosed valley, close sprinkled with fair flowers,
As if a shattered rainbow had fallen there in showers;
Bright-plumaged birds were warbling their songs among the trees,
Or fluttering their tiny wings in the cooling western breeze.
The cottonwoods, by mountain's base, on every side high tower,
And the dreamy haze in silence marks the sleepy noontide hour.
East, south and north, to meet the clouds the lofty mounts arise,
Guarding this little valley—a wild Western Paradise.
Pure and untrampled as it looks, this lovely flower-strewn sod—
One scarce would think that e'er, by man, had such a sward been trod;
But yonder, see these wild mustangs by lariat held in check,
Tearing up the fairest flora, which fairies might bedeck;
And, near a camp-fire's smoke, we see men standing all around—
'Tis strange, for from them has not come a single word or sound.
Standing by cottonwood, with arms close-folded on his breast,
Gazing with his eagle eyes up to the mountain's crest,
Tall and commanding is his form, and graceful is his mien;
As fair in face, as noble, has seldom here been seen.
A score or more of frontiersmen recline upon the ground,
But starting soon upon their feet, by sudden snort and bound!
A horse has sure been frightened by strange scent on the breeze.
And glances now by all are cast beneath the towering trees.
A quiet sign their leader gives, and mustangs now are brought;
And, by swift-circling lasso, a loose one fast is caught.
Then thundering round the mountain's dark adamantine side,
A hundred hideous, painted, and fierce Sioux warriors ride;
While, from their throats, the well-known and horrible death-knell
The wild blood-curdling war-whoop, and the fierce and fiendish yell,
Srikes the ears of all, now ready to fight, and e'en to die,
In that mount-inclosed valley, beneath that blood-red sky!
Now rings throughout the open, on all sides clear and shrill,
The dreaded battle-cry of him whom men call Buffalo Bill!
On, like a whirlwind, then they dash—the brave scouts of the plains,
Their rifle-barrels soft-carest by mustang's flying manes!
On, like an avalanche, they sweep through the tall prairie grass;
Down, fast upon them, swooping, the dread and savage mass!
Wild yells of fierce bravado come, and taunts of deep despair;
While, through the battle-smoke there flaunts each feathered tuft of hair.
And loudly rings the war-cry of fearless Buffalo Bill;
And loudly rings the savage yells, which make the blood run chill!
The gurgling death cry mingles with the mustang's shrillest scream,
And sound of dull and sodden falls and bowie's brightest gleam.
At length there slowly rises the smoke from heaps of slain,
Whose wild war-cries will never more ring on the air again.
Then, panting and bespattered from the showers of foam and blood,
The scouts have once more halted 'neath the shady cottonwood.
In haste they are re-loading, and preparing for a sally,
While the scattered foe, now desperate, are yelling in the valley.
Again are heard revolvers, with their rattling, sharp report;
Again the scouts are seen to charge down on that wild cohort.
Sioux fall around, like dead reeds, when fiercest northers blow,
And rapid sink in death before their hated pale-face foe!
Sad, smothered now is music from the mountain's rippling rill,
But wild hurrahs instead are heard from our brave Buffalo Bill,
Who, through the thickest carnage charged ever in the van,
And cheered faint hearts around him, since first the fight began.
Deeply demoralized, the Sioux fly fast with bated breath,
And glances cast of terror along that vale of death;
While the victors quick dismounted, and looking all around,
On their dead and mangled enemies, whose corses strewed the ground,
"I had sworn I would avenge them"—were the words of Buffalo Bill—
"The mothers and their infants they slew at Medicine Hill.
Our work is done—done nobly—I looked for that from you;
Boys, when a cause is just, you need but stand firm and true!"



You bet I know him, pardner, he 'aint no circus fraud,
He's western born and western bred, if he has been late abroad;
I knew him in the days way back, beyond Missouri's flow,
When the country round was nothing but a huge Wild Western Show.
When the Injuns were as thick as fleas, and the man who ventured through
The sand hills of Nebraska had to fight the hostile Sioux;
These were hot times, I tell you; and we all remember still
The days when Cody was a scout, and all the men knew Bill.

I knew him first in Kansas, in the days of '68,
When the Cheyennes and Arapahoes were wiping from the slate
Old scores against the settlers, and when men who wore the blue,
With shoulder straps and way up rank, were glad to be helped through
By a bearer of dispatches, who knew each vale and hill
From Dakota down to Texas, and his other name was Bill.

I mind me too of '76, the time when Cody took
His scouts upon the Rosebud; along with General Crook;
When Custer's Seventh rode to their death for lack of some such aide
To tell them that the sneaking Sioux knew how to ambuscade;
I saw Bill's fight with "Yellow Hand," you bet it was a "mill,"
He down him well at thirty yards, and all the men cheered Bill

They tell me that the women folk now take his word as laws,
In them days laws were mighty skerce, and hardly passed with squaws,
But many a hardy settlers wife and daughter used to rest
More quietly because they knew of Cody's dauntless breast؛
Because they felt from Laramie way down to Old Fort Sill,
Bill Cody was a trusted scout, and all their men knew Bill.

I haven't seen him much of late, how does he bear his years?
They say he's making ducats now from shows and not from "steers,"
He used to be a judge of "horns," when poured in a tin cup,
And left the wine to tenderfeet, and men who felt "way up."
Perhaps he cracks a bottle now, perhaps he's had his fill.
Who cares, Bill Cody was a scout, and all the world knows Bill.

To see him in his trimmins, he can't hardly look the same.
With laundered shirt and diamonds, as if "he run a game."
He didn't wear biled linen then, or flash up diamond rings.
The royalties he dreamed of then were only pasteboard kings,
But those who sat behind the Queens were apt to get their fill,
In the days when Cody was a scout, and all the men knew Bill.



[The following verses on the life and death of poor old Buffalo Chips are founded entirely on facts. His death occurred on September 8, 1876, at Slim Buttes. He was within three feet of me when he fell, uttering the words credited to him below.]

The evenin' sun war settin', droppin' slowly in the west,
An' the soldiers, tired an' tuckered, in the camp would find that rest
Which the settin' sun would bring 'em, for they'd marched since break o' day.
Not a bite to eat 'cep horses as war killed upon the way.
For ye see our beans an' crackers an' our pork were outen sight,
An' the boys expected rashuns when they struck our camp that night;
For a little band had started for to bring some cattle on,
An' they struck an Indian village, which they captured just at dawn.

Wall, I were with that party when we captured them ar' Sioux,
An' we quickly sent a courier to tell old Crook the news.
Old Crook! I should say gen'l, cos he war with the boys,
Shared his only hard-tack, our sorrows, and our joys;
An' thar is one thing sartin—he never put on style;
He'd greet the scout or soldier with a social kinder smile.
An' that's the kind o' soldier as the prairy likes to get,
An' every man would trump Death's ace for Crook or Miles, you bet.

But I'm kinder off the racket, cos these gener'ls get enough
O' praise 'ithout my chippin', so I'll let up on that puff;
Fer I want to tell a story 'bout a mate of mine as fell,
Cos I loved the honest fellar, and he did his dooty well.
Buffalo Chips we call'd him, but his other name war White;
I'll tell ye how he got that name, an' reckon I am right.

You see a lot of big-bugs an' officers came out
One time to hunt the buffaler an' fish fer speckled trout.
Wall, little Phil, ye've heerd on him, a dainty little cuss
As rode his charger twenty miles to stop a little muss;
Well, Phil he said ter Johnathin, whose other name war White,
"You go an' find them buffaler, an' see you get 'em right."
So White he went an' found 'em, an' he found 'em sech a band
As he sed would set 'em crazy, an' little Phil looked bland;
But when the outfit halted, one bull was all war there.
Then Phil he call him "Buffalo Chips," an' swore a little swear.

Wall, White he kinder liked it, cos the gener'l called him Chips,
An' he us'ter wear two shooters in a belt above his hips.
Then he said, "Now, look ye, gener'l, since you've called me that ar' name,
Jist around them little sandhills is yer dog-gone pesky game!
But when the hunt war over, an' the table spread for lunch,
The gener'l called for glasses, an' wanted his in punch;
An' when the punch was punished, the gener'l smacked his lips,
While squar' upon the table sot a dish o' buffalo chips,

The gener'l looked confounded, an' he also looked for White,
But Johnathin he reckon'd it war better he should lite.
So he skinned across the prairy, cos ye see he didn't mind
A chippin' any longer while the gener'l saw the blind;
Fer the gener'l would a raised him, if he'd jist held up his hand,
But he thought he wouldn't see him, cos he didn't hev the sand;
An' he rode as fast—aye, faster—than the gener'l did that day,
Like lightin' down from Winchester some twenty miles away.

Wall, White he had no cabin, an' no home to call his own.
So Buffaler Bill he took him an' shared with him his home.
An' how he loved Bill Cody! By gosh! it war a sight
Ter see him watch hisshadder an' foller him at night;
Cos Bill war kinder hated by a cussed gang o' thieves,
As carried pistols in thar belts, an' bowies in thar sleeves.
An' Chips he never left him, for fear he'd get a pill;
Nor would he think it mighty hard to die for Buffalo Bill.

We us'ter mess together, that ar' Chips an' Bill an' me,
An' ye oughter watch his movements; it would do ye good ter see
How he us'ter cook them wittles, an' gather lots o' greens,
To mix up with the juicy pork an' them unruly beans.
An' one cold chilly mornin' he bought a lot o' corn,
An' a little flask o' likker, as cost fifty cents a horn.
Tho' forty yards war nowhar, it was finished soon, ye bet;
But, friends, I promised some one, and I'm strong teetotal yet.



You may talk 'bout duels requirin' sand,
But the slickest I've seen in any land
Was Buffalo Bill's with Yellow Hand.

Thar wa'n't no seconds to split the pot,
No noospaper buncombe, none o' the rot
Your citified, dudefied duels 'as got.

Custer was not long into his shroud
When a bunch o' Cheyennes quit Red Cloud
To j'in the cranky Sittin' Bull crowd.

It looked somewhat like a crazy freak,
But Merritt's cavalry made a sneak
To head the reds at Big Bonnet Creek.

Bill an' some soljers was on one side,
For which Bill was actin' as chief an' guide
When he git this call from the copper-hide:

"I know ye, Long-Hair," yells Yellow Hand
A-ridin' out from his pesky band
(A reg'lar bluff o' the Indian brand.)

"You kill heap Injun, I kill heap white;
My people fear you by day or night;
Come, single-handed, an' you me fight."

"I'll go ye!" quick as a thunder-clap
Says Bill, who jest didn't care a rap;
"Stan' by, an' watch me an' the varmint scrap."

They was then 'bout fifty yards apart,
When without a hitch they made a start
Straight for each other, straight as a dart.

The plug which was rid by that Cheyenne
Was plugged by a slug from Bill's rifle, an'
Bill's hoss stumbled—now 'twas man to man!

Or man to devil, 'f you like that best.
But in them days, in the sure-enough West,
All stood as equals who stood the test.

They next at twenty steps blazed away,
An' had they ben equal both had ben clay,
But Bill was best, an' he win ther day.

It's a good shot to hit a Injun's heart,
For obvious reasons. Bill wa'n't scart,
An' found the center without a chart.

When they see Bill claim the tommyhawk
An' feathers an' beads wore by the gawk,
The other Injuns begin to squawk.

It all happened so dad-gasted quick,
The opposition must 'a' felt sick;
But to my taste the duel was monstrous slick.

The other Injuns made for Bill,
But the soljers met 'em on the hill,
An' convinced 'em they had best keep still.

When Yellow Hand, Senior, heared the news
He offered ponies 'f Bill 'd let loose
Them trophies—but Bill he wa'n't no goose.

With this remark I'll close my letter:
"Thar's nought a Injun can do—no matter
What—but a white man can do it better."



One of the most interesting features of "Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World" exhibition at the World's Fair, was the reproduction in miniature of the battle of the Little Big Horn, showing with historical accuracy the scene of Custer's last charge.

As that realistic scene is based on Buffalo Bill's understanding of the actual occurrence his account of the battle of the Little Big Horn, as given in his "Autobiography," is reproduced here:

"War against the Sioux having been declared, brought about by the combined causes of Black Hill outrages and Sitting Bull's threatening attitude, it was decided to send out three separate expeditions, one of which should move from the north, under Gen. Terry, from Fort Lincoln; another from the east, under Gen. Gibbon, from Fort Ellis, and another from the south, under Gen. Crook, from Fort Fetterman; these movements were to be simultaneous, and a junction was expected to be formed near the headwaters of the Yellowstone river.

"For some cause, which I will refrain from discussing, the commands did not start at the same time. Gen. Crook did not leave Fetterman until March 1st, with seven hundred men and forty days' supply. The command was intrusted to Col. Reynolds, of the Third Cavalry, accompanied by Gen. Crook, the department commander. Nothing was heard of this expedition until the 22nd following, when Gen. Crook forwarded from Ft. Reno a brief account of his battle on Powder river. The result of this fight, which lasted five hours, was the destruction of Crazy Horse's village of one hundred and five lodges; or that is the way the dispatch read, though many assert that the battle resulted in little else than a series of remarkable blunders which suffered the Indians to make good their escape, losing only a small quantity of their property.

"One serious trouble arose out of the Powder river fight, which was found in an assertion made by Gen. Crook, or at least attributed to him, that his expedition had proved that instead of there being 15,000 or 20,000 hostile Indians in the Black Hills and Big Horn country, that the total number would not exceed 2,000. It was upon this estimation that the expeditions were prepared.

"The Terry column, which was commanded by Gen. Custer, consisted of twelve companies of the Seventh Cavalry, and three companies of the Sixth and Seventeenth Infantry, with four Gatling guns, and a detachment of Indian scouts. This force comprised twenty-eight officers and seven hundred and forty-seven men, of the Seventh Cavalry, eight officers and one hundred and thirty-five men of the Sixth and Seventeenth Infantry, two officers and thirty-two men in charge of the Catling battery, and forty-five enlisted Indian scouts, a grand total of thirty-eight officers and nine hundred and fifty-nine men, including scouts.

"The combined forces of Crook, Gibbon, Terry and Custer, did not exceed twenty-seven hundred men, while opposed to them were fully 17,000 Indians, all of whom were provided with the latest and most improved patterns of repeating rifles.

"On the 16th of June Gen. Crook started for the Rosebud, on which stream it was reported that Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse were stationed; about the same time a party of Crow Indians, who were operating with Gen. Crook, returned from a scout and reported that Gen. Gibbon, who was on Tongue river, had been attacked by Sitting Bull, who had captured several horses, Crook pushed on rapidly toward the Rosebud, leaving his train behind and mounting his infantry on mules. What were deemed accurate reports, stated that Sitting Bull was still on the Rosebud, only sixty miles from the point where Gen. Crook camped en the night of the 15th of June. The command traveled forty miles on the sixteenth, and when within twenty miles of the Sioux' principal position, instead of pushing on, Gen. Crook went into camp.

"The next morniug he was much surprised at finding himself attacked by Sitting Bull, who swooped down on him with the first streaks of coming dawn, and a heavy battle followed. Gen. Crook, who had camped in a basin surrounded on all sides by high hills, soon found his position so dangerous that it must be changed at all hazards. The advance was therefore sounded with Noyes' battalion occupying a position on the right, Mills on the right center, Chambers in the center, and the Indian allies on the left. Mills and Noyes charged the enemy in magnificent style, breaking the line and striking the rear. The fight continued hot and furious until 2 P. M., when a gallant charge of Col. Royall, who was in reserve, supported by the Indian allies, caused the Sioux to draw off to their village, six miles distant, while Gen. Crook went into camp, were he remained inactive for two days.

"In the meantime,as the official report recites: 'Generals Terry and Gibbon communicated with each other June 1st, near the junction of the Tongue and Yellowstone rivers, and learned that a heavy force of Indians had concentrated on the opposite bank of the Yellowstone, but eighteen miles distant. For fourteen days the Indian pickets had confronted Gibbon's videttes.'

"Gen. Gibbon reported to Gen. Terry that the cavalry had thoroughly scouted the Yellowstone as far as the mouth of the Big Horn, and no Indians had crossed it. It was now certain that they were not prepared for them, and on the Powder, Tongue, Rosebud, Little Horn, and Big Horn rivers, Gen. Terry at once commenced feehng for them. Major Reno, of the Seventh Cavalry, with six companies of that regiment, was sent up Powder River one hundred and fifty miles, to the mouth of Little Powder to look for the Indians, and, if possible, to communicate with Gen. Crook. He reached the mouth of the Little Powder in five days, but saw no Indians, and could hear nothing of Crook. As he returned, he found on the Rosebud a very large Indian trail, about nine days old, and followed it a short distance, when he turned about up Tongue river, and reported to Gen. Terry what he had seen. It was now known that no Indians were on either Tongue or Little Powder rivers, and the net had narrowed down to Rosebud, Little Horn and Big Horn rivers.

"Gen. Terry, who had been waiting with Custer and the steamer 'Far West,' at the mouth of Tongue river, for Reno's report, as soon as he heard it, ordered Custer to march up the south bank to a point opposite Gen. Gibbon, who was encamped on the north bank of the Yellowstone, keeping abreast of Gen. Custer's column.

"Gen. Gibbon was found in camp awaiting developments. A consultation was had with Gens. Gibbon and Custer, and then Gen. Terry definitely fixed [drawing] MANZ & CO Engs upon the plan of action. It was believed the Indians were at the head of the Rosebud, or over on the Little Horn, a dividing ridge only fifteen miles wide separating the two streams. It was announced by Gen. Terry that Gen. Custer's column 'would strike the blow.'

"At the time that a junction was formed between Gibbon and Terry, Gen. Crook was about one hundred miles from them, while Sitting Bull's forces were between the commands. Crook, after his battle, fell back to the head of Tongue river. The Powder, Tongue, Rosebud and Big Horn rivers all flow northwest, and empty into the Yellowstone; as Sitting Bull was between the headwaters of the Rosebud and Big Horn, the main tributary of the latter being known as the Little Big Horn, a sufficient knowledge of the topography of the country is thus afforded by which to definitely locate Sitting Bull and his forces.

"Having now ascertained the position of the enemy, or reasoned out the probable position, Gen. Terry sent a dispatch to Gen Sheridan, as follows: 'No Indians have been met with as yet, but traces of a large and recent camp have been discovered twenty or thirty miles up the Rosebud. Gibbon's column will move this morning on the north side of the Yellowstone, for the mouth of the Big Horn, where it will be ferried across by the supply steamer, and whence it will proceed to the mouth of the Little Horn, and so on. Custer will go up the Rosebud to-morrow with his whole regiment, and thence to the headwaters of the Little Horn, thence down that stream.'

"Following this report came an order, signed by E. W. Smith, Captain of the Eighteenth Infantry, Acting Assistant Adjutant General, directing General Custer to follow the Indian trail discovered, pushing the Indians from one side while General Gibbon pursued them from an opposite direction. As no instructions were given as to the rate each division should travel, Custer, noted for his quick, energetic movements, made ninety miles the first three days, and, discovering the Indians in large numbers, divided his command into three divisions, one of which he placed under Major Reno, another under Major Benteen, and led the other himself.


"As Custer made a detour to enter the village, Reno struck a large body of Indians, who, after retreating nearly three miles, turned on the troops and ran them pell mell across Grassy creek into the woods. Reno over estimated the strength of his enemies and thought he was being surrounded. Benteen came up to the support of Reno, but he, too, took fright and got out of his position without striking the enemy.

"While Reno and Benteen were trying to keep open a way for their retreat, Custer charged on the village, first sending a courier, Trumpeter Martin, to Reno and Benteen with the following dispatch: 'Big village; be quick; send on the packs.' This order was too plain to be misconstrued. It clearly meant that he had discovered the village, which he intended attacking at once; to hurry forward to his support and bring up the packs, ambulances, etc. But instead of obeying orders Reno and Benteen stood aloof, fearful lest they should endanger their position, while the brave Custer and his squad of noble heroes rushed down like a terrible avalanche upon the Indian village. In a moment, fateful incident, the Indians came swarming about that heroic band until the very earth seemed to open and let loose the elements of volcanic fury, or like a riot of the fiends of Erebus, blazing with the hot sulphur of their impious dominion. Down from the hillside, up through the valleys, that dreadful torrent of Indian cruelty and massacre poured around the little squad to swallow it up with one grand swoop of fire. But Custer was there at the head, like Spartacus fighting the legions about him, tall, graceful, brave as a lion at bay, and with thunderbolts in his hands. His brave followers formed a hollow square, and met the rush, and roar, and fury of the demons. Bravely they breasted that battle shock, bravely stood up and faced the leaden hail, nor quailed when looking into the blazing muzzles of five thousand deadly rifles.

"Brushing away the powder grimes that had settled in his face, Custer looked over the boiling sea of fury around him, peering through the smoke for some signs of Reno and Benteen, but seeing none yet thinking of the aid which must soon come, with cheering words to his comrades, he renewed the battle, fighting still like a Hercules and piling heaps of victims around his very feet.

"Hour after hour passed and yet no friendly sign of Reno's coming; nothing to be seen saving the battle smoke, streaks of fire spliting through the misty clouds, blood flowing in rivulets under tramping feet, dying comrades, and Indians swarming about him, rending the air with their demoniacal 'hi-yi-yip-yah,—yah-hi-yah.'


"The fight continued with unabated fury until late in the afternoon; men had sunk down beside their gallant leader until there was but a handful left, only a dozen, bleeding from many wounds and hot carbines in their stiffening hands. The day is almost done, when look! heaven now defend him! the charm of his life is broken, for Custer has fallen; a bullet cleaves a pathway through his side, and as he falters another strikes his noble breast. Like a strong oak stricken by the lightning's bolt, shivering the mighty trunk and bending its withering branches down close to the earth, so fell Custer; but like the re-acting branches, he rises partly up again, and striking out like a fatally wounded giant lays three more Indians dead and breaks his mighty sword on the musket of a fourth; then, with useless blade and empty pistol falls back the victim of a dozen wounds. He is the last to succumb to death, and dies, too, with the glory of accomplished duty on his conscience and the benediction of a grateful country on his head. The place where fell these noblest of God's heroes is sacred ground, and though it be the Golgotha of a nation's mistakes it is bathed with precious blood, rich with the germs of heroic inheritance."



The Chicago Sunday Herald of November 5th, 1893, gives the following interesting account of "Buffalo Bill's World's Fair Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World:"

"One of the remarkable society events last week, unaccountably overlooked by the local society editors, was the breaking up of that distinguished coterie of world's fair visitors known to contemporaneous fame as 'Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World.' During their stay in this city, since April last, their residence had been on a large and fashionably located tract of land near the Sixty-third street station of the Illinois Central exposition line, and in a huge structure specially erected for the purpose this large galaxy of celebrities had been giving two daily receptions to the public all through the exposition season. These receptions, as the society papers frequently assured us, were uniformly well attended, rain or shine; so much so that the total number of guests received there aggregated close on to 6,000,000. This fact in itself places this series of receptions in the right light—they were an unprecedented popular success. Unprecedented, for Nate Salsbury, the right bower of W. F. Cody, says so himself. The number of visitors was larger than during the same constellation's London season, and the number of good American dollars collected during the six months was likewise much larger than on any previous occasion. As for their Staten Island season it was, in the expressive vernacular of Mr. Salsbury, 'not a patch' on the Chicago success of the past summer. A fair idea of the magnitude of this success will be gained when it is said that there were 22,000 seats for spectators around the big arena, and that during the last two months of the fair these 22,000 seats were not alone crowded to the last of them, but that many thousand of visitors had to be turned away at the box office for absolute lack of space. On a score of occasions from 10,000 to 15,000 had to be thus treated. And among the proudest records made by this Chicago season was this, that not a single arrest had to be made, no drunken man had to be ejected and no fight occurred. This, with an attendance of 6,000,000! Buffalo Bill himself was never too late for any performance, never missed a single one, and was twice in the saddle each day and every day out of the 187.

"But alas and alack! Like everything else in this world there was an end to this remarkable Chicago season. The closing performances were given on Tuesday last, and Wednesday and Thursday saw the dispersal of this phenomenal gathering of men. They've been sent home to every point of the globe—to the deserts of Arabia and the river valleys of Syria, to the civilized countries of Europe and to the semi-barbarous districts of the Caucassus and of the Kuban. The Indians, no matter whether Cheyenne or Brules, Ogalallas or Crows, whether chiefs or simple warriors, squaws or papooses—they've all been sent back to their reservation in the Pine Ridge agency. Next spring, though, there will be a grand resurrection of all this pageant. The horses and ponies, broncos and buffaloes will winter in South Brooklyn, opposite New York City, and be put in good trim for next season's work. There were 400 bipeds of every kind and nationality in the show this past season. There will be 700 of them in it next year, and the show will hold forth in this same locality of South Brooklyn. The great variety of European features that have added so much to the attractions of the show as a whole will be retained next season as well, but will be increased. Meanwhile, however, the contracts with the German, English, French and Cossack military riders having expired, those go home. So do the gauchos and vaqueros from South America and Mexico, while the score or so of cowboys, exercising their functions as free American citizens, will go where inclination impels them—to the far west or to some faro 'layout' in town to get rid of their accumulated 'dust.' Antonio, the little Mexican who some time last summer grew weary of the daily, twice repeated dose of bucking broncho and tried a job as driver of a wagon for a lumber yard, but returned to duty after coming to grief in his new work, is also going home.


"Speaking of bucking bronchos, though, recalls one of the amiable characteristics of the Indians. During every performance it will have been noticed that the whole herd of them, over one hundred, were always stretched out in a dense line, their heads protruding from below the scenery in a distance, intently watching those portions of the performance where the cowboys were having 'fun' with their untamed bronchos and from which the Indians were excluded. This remarkable interest taken by the Indians—male and female—in this, the most dangerous and the roughest number of the programme, was probably due to the anxiety felt by those redskins in the welfare of the cowboys. You think so? Well, no, the Indian spectators were simply waiting for accidents to happen, and an unhorsed cowboy, a bad case of being thrown against the fence, of breaking a bone or sustaining severe contusions, of being kicked by one of the brutes—things which happened now and then, of course—these were all incidents which afforded unalloyed pleasure to the tender soul of the noble red man. And that alone explained the deep and invariable interest he felt in this part of the programme.

"It has been a busy and a highly profitable season for the owners and managers of Colonel Cody's outfit. But it has not been a round of pleasure for them, such as it was for most of the other world's fair visitors. On the contrary, it was a time of unremitting toil and anxiety. It is not an easy matter to keep in a state as near approaching harmony as possible and good discipline such a heterogeneous collection of human beings as they have had to deal with. Colonel Cody had to institute and carry out a system of Draconian severity so as to avoid the frequent clashing of national prejudices and of temper. Sobriety, too, had to be enforced, and when a cowboy or an Indian, a Mexican or an Arab would flagrantly violate the rules laid down in this respect out he'd go, just for the purpose of furnishing a deterrent example.

"It will, therefore, easily be believed that Colonel Cody himself, as well as his trusty comrades, Nate Salsbury and Major "Johnny" Burke, have been anxiously awaiting the moment when the whole camp would fold up their tents and silently steal away, go as to be afforded a chance to have a good time themselves. That moment has now come, and Colonel Cody has had a new, satin-faced dress suit built for himself, in which he intends to undergo a formidable array of social gayeties. After sufficiently dosing himself with 5 o'clock teas, literary reunions, scientific seances, theater parties, etc., he means to join General Miles in a hunting excursion in the far west, and also in a tour of inspection of the outlying military posts. These two men are close friends, and have a similarity of tastes which makes their company mutually agreeable. Afterward Colonel Cody will visit his ranch in Nebraska.

"Nate Salsbury will hie him to New York, his favorite stamping ground of old, where he will renew friendships and pleasant associations dating from the period of his stage career. Of course, the appearance of such a nabob—for that Mr. Salsbury now is, comparatively speaking—on the rialto cannot fail to arouse considerable enthusiasm in the breasts of the impecunious but entertaining actor, whose name just about this time is legion, particularly when it becomes known that Mr. Salsbury harbors philanthropic intentions, and that his milk of human kindness has not become curdled by any means through his long association with the Wild West. Beside this agreeable task, though, Mr. Salsbury will earnestly devote himself, throughout the winter, to making preparations for the coming season.

"That, too, will be the main thing for Major Burke, the general manager of the show, this coming winter. The giant frame of this handsome, stalwart man, with the Absolomic head of hair and the diamond cluster for a shirt button, will be seen for a little while longer about Chicago streets, overtopping, Saul-like, the stature of his fellow citizens of smaller girth. He being the great favorite with nearly all the wild elements in the Wild West, such as the Indians, the Arabs, the Mexicans, cowboys and Cossacks, he was fairly pestered to death by them during the last two days preceding the final farewell. He had to make out certificates of good behavior to them, intended for the Czar of all the Russias, for the imperial Bill at Potsdam, for President Carnot, General Diaz and other men of note, and he dislocated his right arm in shaking hands with all his muscular charges on parting. But Major Burke will be O. K. in a day or two, and then he will devote himself once more strictly to business.

"A personage of great consequence in the Wild West show has been for eleven years past William Langan, the supply agent, caterer, steward, restaurateur and liquid refreshment chief. To feed and quench the thirst of 400 regular boarders, as well as a large number of guests of distinction who were dined, wined ard hospitably entertained by Colonel Cody during the past six months is a task of considerable difficulty, especially where tastes differ so widely as was the case in this instance. To give an adequate idea of the extent of the resources on which Mr. Langan had to draw it is only necessary to mention a few items. Thus, an average of thirty-five pounds of coffee was consumed every day, five pounds of tea, seven bushels of potatoes, 390 pounds of bread, 900 pounds of meat and 180 dozens of eggs. This, it may be noticed, demonstrates the possession of rather healthy appetites on the part of the members of the company.

"Sergeant Garrett C. Pogue, of troop A, Sixth United States Cavalry, will go back to Fort Niobrara, Neb., to join his regiment. He has been commanding the detachment of Uncle Sam's soldiers that have done such good service at all the performances, and who, as far as skill in horsemanship and exactness in evolutions were concerned, outdid all the rest of the military detachments brought over from Europe—even the squad of dashing German uhlans and the one of French chasseurs a cheval. To bring his handful of men to such an extraordinary degree of perfection in drill was, of course, no easy matter, and Sergeant Pogue, a fine-looking, well-built man of unusual intelligence and of many years' practical experience as a trooper, had besides to look very sharply after his men in everything else. Now and then, however, it was impossible for him to restrain one or the other of them from breaking out. One of his men, for instance, a typical Tipperary man named Greeney, with a typical enjoyment of and hankering after a fight, got into altercations with some of the foreign soldiers on several occasions. It was on a hot, sultry night, Mr. Greeney having imbibed a trifle too freely, that he ran afoul of some of the French chasseurs. In the twinkling of an eye there was a regular engagement on, the weapons used being sabers. Mr. Greeney stood up like a rock against the three Frenchmen and used his saber with a good deal of science. Finally he knocked the sabre out of the hand of his doughtiest adversary, broke it against a tree and then punished his man with his bare hands. Still on another occasion he licked the drillmaster of the German uhlans, Richter. With these few exceptions, though, everything proceeded amicably among the four detachments of foreign soldiers.

"It must not be forgotten, either, that there were several additions to the families who formed an interesting part of this international medley. The last birth recorded in the camp happened but three days before the breaking up of the show. Mrs Last Horse was the happy mother, a full-blooded Sioux squaw, who had her baby strapped to a board Indian fashion and was up and about attending to her domestic duties within twenty-four hours after the interesting event. Another pappoose was born on the grounds about two months before. Both of these little Chicagoans have accompanied their parents back to Pine Ridge agency and are doing finely. Another similar event occurred in the household (domiciled in one of the small tents) of the famous shot, Johnny Baker, whose wife presented him with a straight-limbed, vigorous baby boy two hours after she had participated in one of the rowing matches on the lagoon in August last, and where she had been one of the laurel-wreathed victors, beating a brawny fellow from the street of Cairo by a canoe length.

"One of the most picturesque and interesting personages in the whole show was old John Y. Nelson, who was always specially introduced to an appreciative audience by Buffalo Bill himself. With his lithe, well-built frame, his long beard just slightly tinged with gray, this old man is the very type of the old-time frontiersman. He looks barely 55, and his limbs are still vigorous and supple. But he is 72 years of age all the same, and he has gone through enough hair-breadth escapes to fill a half-dozen dime novels with choice reading. Old man Nelson was born and bred in Charleston, W. Va., and left home—ran away in fact—at the age of 12, just sixty years ago, to satisfy his longing for adventure. Since then—with the exception of the last twelve years, which he has spent in the service of Buffalo Bill, his trusty friend of yore—he has lived in the far west. In all that time he has seen his mother but twice, one of the occasions being thirty years ago.

"One day last September, during a regular performance, as that veteran of the plains was going through his part in the performance, a shrill cry arose among the audience. An old lady, whose hair was as white as snow, but whose sight was still as keen as ever, threw up her arms and cried: "Johnny, my boy!" It was Nelson's mother, an old lady of 93, who had come here from her present home in Greenwood County, Kansas, during the world's fair period to see the sights. The meeting between mother and son was very affecting, it may well be believed, and as the old man told the writer of it, and added that he would spend the winter with his old mother in Kansas, there was a suspicious moisture in his eyes. He added, though, quite jauntily, that he thought his mother might live many another year, since his family was a long-lived one, his grandfather having died at 108—after burying four wives—and his uncle at 99. Colonel Cody bears old man Nelson a sincere affection, and it is quite certain that the latter will be again an integral portion of the show next year. On his part Mr. Nelson speaks very entertainingly of his European experiences, and hopes to see the Wild West show flourish perennially.

"It is a rather unusual sight to see a band of untutored Indians eat ice cream. Last Fourth of July you could have enjoyed that sight if you had been present at the great dinner prepared by Colonel Cody for his company of 400 in the big dining tent on the grounds. There was a splendid spread—roast beef and roast mutton galore, a dozen different vegetables, some game and venison, good soup to begin with, and cakes, fruit, puddings, pies and ice cream for dessert. The Indians—some 125 at that time—were there, of course, in full force, and as they like to have every thing they're going to have in front of them at once, they had been humored in this respect. It was hot that day, and the perspiration rolled off their copper-hued faces. Nevertheless, the Indians were hungry, and they carefully inspected all of these dainties before them, many of which were new to them.

"Chief No Neck, a man of substance and owning considerable property, among which is a large number of fleet horses, saw white men drive in light buggies, in tandems, in tallyhos, in dog carts and other stylish turn-outs, and his soul grew envious at the sight. He told Major Burke one day to go with him to town and buy some stylish vehicles for him. The major tried to make the savage understand that such pretty vehicles would not do for his trackless prairie home, but the chief remained obdurate. And so the major had to go along with him and make the best bargain for Chief No Neck he could. Two airy, light vehicles were thus picked out by the Indian and duly sent west with him on the same train that conveyed the doughty warrior home. By this time there are probably only fragments remaining of these two dainty tandems.

"Another Indian that furnished considerable amusement throughout the season was Flat Iron, who was a sort of general utility man to the rest, serving as public crier, as 'medicine man' and as a vehicle of instruction and information. The Indian idea is that there are far more Indians than white men in this world, and the immense crowds of white men that attended the Wild Wesc performances and the fair rudely shook this notion of theirs. They could only explain things to themselves by the assumption—to which they adhered to the end—that the white people they saw on succeeding days were always the same persons attending day after day. But at last Chicago day came, and they saw crowds upon crowds, throngs of such density and immensity that even that assumption of theirs did not seem to explain the vast multitude. On that day Albert Wallace, a waiter and interpreter, connected with the Wild West show, interviewed Flat Iron and some other Indians as to what they thought now. After many a grunt and after trying to evade a direct answer, Flat Iron said:

"'Vash tay—there cannot be more white people in the world. They have all come here to-day.'

"There is, somewhere hidden out of sight, quite a fund of repartee and humor concealed about those Indians. To a white man who inquired his name while making a trip on an exposition flyer, the Indian said: 'Train so fast—left name behind.'

"In the culinary line, too, there were many surprises, as when a cowboy who had never before been away from the western plains said on being served by Mr. Langan with a dish of mutton and caper sauce: "The meat is good enough, but I'll be — if I'll eat those sour peas." When on another occasion this heterogeneus crowd of Arabs, Cossacks, cowboys and Indians were regaled with cauliflower stewed in cream, not a few of them sent it back, remarking that they wanted full-grown cabbage.

In short, whoever wants to study humanity from the ludicrous side need only spend a day in the tents of the Wild West camp. Just now, of course, this study must be deferred until next spring, when another motley crowd, drawn from both hemispheres, will delight and curiously interest the American public.


Title: Buffalo Bill (Hon. Wm. F. Cody) and His Wild West Companions | Including Wild Bill, Texas Jack, California Joe, Capt. Jack Crawford and Other Famous Scouts of the Western Plains.

Publisher: M.A. Donohue & Co.

Date: 1893[?]

Topics: Buffalo Bill Himself

Sponsor: This project is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Editorial Statement | Conditions of Use

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