Title: Buffalo Bill's Mascot

Periodical: Puck

Date: November 16, 1887

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The success of "our own" Buffalo Bill—W. F. Cody—in England is very gratifying to his thousands of admirers on this side.

There was more truth than many imagined in his reply to the inquiry:

"What are you doing in England?"

"Chiefly playing poker with Duchesses."

The English nobility quickly "cottoned to" Buffalo Bill because they recognized that he belonged to a higher order than their own—Nature's nobility. Despite his wild life he early managed to acquire an education and the polish which makes him easy even in royal society.

His polish is the bitter fruit, it is said, of a young love experience. When a young man on the plains, wild, woolly and unkempt in appearance and character, he fell in love with a dashing little school-teacher. Full of pluck and faith in himself, he proposed to her. She laughed at him and he—collapsed.

After a time he braced up, bought some books, and began to study.

His defeat proved his victory. The girl was his mascot, and his successes are due to her.

Magnificent specimens of manhood though they be, "Bill's boys" are not perfection. Under date: "Buffalo Bill's Wild West Co., London, Sept. 19, 1887," D. W. Shoemaker, [1] of the Cowboy Band, writes: "Some weeks ago I was suffering from great disorder of the liver and kidneys, and general prostration. I was forced to quit work and take my bed. I called in a physician, who only afforded temporary relief. A friend induced me to take Warner's safe cure, which afforded almost instant relief, and, after taking three bottles, I find myself in as good health as at any time in my life."

Two other members of the Wild West show, Mawe Beardsley, pony express rider, [2] and Jim Mitchell, a cowboy, [3] add to this statement of Shoemaker's, that in their long experience on the plains, from change of water, climate, and mode of life, and severe riding, they became subject to liver and kidney diseases, and they have found a sure remedy for these troubles in Warner's safe cure [4] . Mawe Beardsley says: "I constantly recommend it to my friends."

Buffalo Bill is so popular in England he may come home a "Sir William." But if not, he will probably enjoy himself quite as well, having secured a fortune ample enough for all his wants, title or no title.

Note 1: D. W. Shoemaker's name appears under the heading of Wild West staff in the Souvenir Album of the visit of Her Majesty Queen Victoria to the American Exhibition, London, 1887 (page 22). [back]

Note 2: Marve Beardsley, who appeared in the original Carver-Cody exhibition in 1883 and again in the 1887 exhibition (and possibly the years between); Beardsley and Bronco Charley Miller rode horses in a race against bicyclers in November 1887 in London, ultimately winning the six-day race by two miles and two laps. [back]

Note 3: Jim Mitchell was a cowboy with Buffalo Bill's Wild West during the years 1883, 1886, 1887, 1888, and 1889. [back]

Note 4: Hulbert Harrington Warner (1842-1923) made his fortune from the sales of patent medicine, including Dr. Warner's Safe Kidney Liver Cure. [back]

Title: Buffalo Bill's Mascot

Periodical: Puck

Date: November 16, 1887

Topic: Buffalo Bill's Wild West in Britain

Keywords: Buffalo Bill's Wild West Company Cowboys Horsemanship Nobility Pony express

Place: London (England)

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

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