By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Deadwood Dick, The Prince of the Road - or, The Black Rider of the Black Hills
Author: Wheeler, Edward L.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Deadwood Dick, The Prince of the Road - or, The Black Rider of the Black Hills" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.




Vol. I.  Single   BEADLE AND ADAMS, PUBLISHERS,     Price,   No. 1
         Number.  No. 98 WILLIAM STREET, NEW YORK.  5 cents

=Deadwood Dick,= THE PRINCE OF THE ROAD;




On the plains, midway between Cheyenne and the Black Hills, a train
had halted for a noonday feed. Not a railway train, mind you, but a
line of those white-covered vehicles drawn by strong-limbed mules,
which are most properly styled "prairie schooners."

There were four wagons of this type, and they had been drawn in a
circle about a camp-fire, over which was roasting a savory haunch of
venison. Around the camp-fire were grouped half a score of men, all
rough, bearded, and grizzled, with one exception. This being a youth
whose age one could have safely put at twenty, so perfectly developed
of physique and intelligent of facial appearance was he. There was
something about him that was not handsome, and yet you would have been
puzzled to tell what it was, for his countenance was strikingly
handsome, and surely no form in the crowd was more noticeable for its
grace, symmetry, and proportionate development. It would have taken a
scholar to have studied out the secret.

He was of about medium stature, and as straight and square-shouldered
as an athlete. His complexion was nut-brown, from long exposure to the
sun; hair of hue of the raven's wing, and hanging in long, straight
strands adown his back; eyes black and piercing as an eagle's;
features well molded, with a firm, resolute mouth and prominent chin.
He was an interesting specimen of young, healthy manhood, and, even
though a youth in years, was one that could command respect, if not
admiration, wheresoever he might choose to go.

One remarkable item about his personal appearance, apt to strike the
beholder as being exceedingly strange and eccentric, was his
costume--buck-skin throughout, and that dyed to the brightest scarlet

On being asked the cause of his odd freak of dress, when he had joined
the train a few miles out from Cheyenne, the youth had laughingly

"Why, you see, it is to attract bufflers, if we should meet any, out
on the plains 'twixt this and the Hills."

He gave his name as Fearless Frank, and said he was aiming for the
Hills; that if the party in question would furnish him a place among
them, he would extend to them his assistance as a hunter, guide, or
whatever, until the destination was reached.

Seeing that he was well armed, and judging from external appearances
that he would prove a valuable accessory, the miners were nothing loth
in accepting his services.

Of the others grouped about the camp-fire only one is specially
noticeable, for, as Mark Twain remarks, "the average of gold-diggers
look alike." This person was a little, deformed old man; hump-backed,
bow-legged, and white-haired, with cross eyes, a large mouth, a big
head, set upon a slim, crane-like neck; blue eyes, and an immense
brown beard, that flowed downward half-way to the belt about his
waist, which contained a small arsenal of knives and revolvers. He
hobbled about with a heavy crutch constantly under his left arm, and
was certainly a pitiable sight to behold.

He too had joined the caravan after it had quitted Cheyenne, his
advent taking place about an hour subsequent to that of Fearless
Frank. His name he asserted was Nix--Geoffrey Walsingham Nix--and
where he came from, and what he sought in the Black Hills, was simply
a matter of conjecture among the miners, as he refused to talk on the
subject of his past, present or future.

The train was under the command of an irascible old plainsman who had
served out his apprenticeship in the Kansas border war, and whose name
was Charity Joe, which, considering his avaricious disposition, was
the wrong handle on the wrong man. Charity was the least of all old
Joe's redeeming characteristics; charity was the very thing he did not
recognize, yet some wag had facetiously branded him Charity Joe, and
the appellation had clung to him ever since. He was well advanced in
years, yet withal a good trailer and an expert guide, as the success
of his many late expeditions into the Black Hills had evidenced.

Those who had heard of Joe's skill as a guide, intrusted themselves in
his care, for, while the stages were stopped more or less on each
trip, Charity Joe's train invariably went through all safe and sound.
This was partly owing to his acquaintance with various bands of
Indians, who were the chief cause of annoyance on the trip.

So far we see the train toward the land of gold, without their having
seen sight or sound of hostile red-skins, and Charity is just
chuckling over his usual good luck:

"I tell ye what, fellers, we've hed a fa'r sort uv a shake, so fur,
an' no mistake 'bout it. Barrin' thar ain't no Sittin' Bulls layin' in
wait fer us, behead yander, in ther mounts, I'm of ther candid opinion
we'll get through wi'out scrapin' a ha'r."

"I hope so," said Fearless Frank, rolling over on the grass and gazing
at the guide, thoughtfully, "but I doubt it. It seems to me that one
hears of more butchering, lately, than there was a month ago--all on
account of the influx of ruffianly characters into the Black Hills!"

"Not all owing to that, chippy," interposed "General" Nix, as he had
immediately been christened by the miners--"not all owing to that.
Thar's them gol danged copper-colored guests uv ther government--they're
kickin' up three pints uv the'r rumpus, more or less--consider'bly less
of more than more o' less. Take a passel uv them barbarities an' shet
'em up inter a prison for three or thirteen yeers, an' ye'd see w'at
an impression et'd make, now. Thar'd be siveral less massycrees a week,
an' ye wouldn't see a rufyan onc't a month. W'y, gentlefellows, thar'd
nevyar been a ruffian, ef et hedn't been fer ther cussed Injun tribe--not
_one!_ Ther infarnal critters ar' ther instignators uv more deviltry
nor a cat wi' nine tails."

"Yes, we will admit that the reds are not of saintly origin," said
Fearless Frank, with a quiet smile. "In fact I know of several who are
far from being angels, myself. There is old Sitting Bull, for
instance, and Lone Lion, Rain-in-the-Face, and Horse-with-the-Red-Eye,
and so forth, and so forth!"

"Exactly. Every one o' 'em's a danged descendant o' ther old Satan,

[Illustration: Ha! ha! ha! isn't that rich, now? Ha! ha! ha! arrest
Deadwood Dick if you can!]

"Layin' aside ther Injun subjeck," said Charity Joe, forking into the
roasted venison, "I move thet we take up a silent debate on ther
pecooliarities uv a deer's hind legs; so heer goes!"

He cut out a huge slice with his bowie, sprinkled it over with salt,
and began to devour it by very large mouthfuls. All hands proceeded to
follow his example, and the noonday meal was dispatched in silence.
After each man had fully satisfied his appetite and the mules and
Fearless Frank's horse had grazed until they were full as ticks, the
order was given to hitch up, which was speedily done, and the caravan
was soon in motion, toiling along like a diminutive serpent across the

The afternoon was a mild, sunny one in early autumn, with a refreshing
breeze perfumed with the delicate scent of after-harvest flowers
wafting down from the cool regions of the Northwest, where lay the new
El Dorado--the land of gold.

Fearless Frank bestrode a noble bay steed of fire and nerve, while old
General Nix rode an extra mule that he had purchased of Charity Joe.
The remainder of the company rode in the wagons or "hoofed it," as
best suited their mood--walking sometimes being preferable to the
rumbling and jolting of the heavy vehicles.

Steadily along through the afternoon sunlight the train wended its
way, the teamsters alternately singing and cursing their mules, as
they jogged along. Fearless Frank and the "General" rode several
hundred yards in advance, both apparently engrossed in deepest
thought, for neither spoke until, toward the close of the afternoon,
Charity Joe called their attention to a series of low, faint cries
brought down upon their hearing by the stiff northerly wind.

"'Pears to me as how them sound sorter human like," said the old
guide, trotting along beside the young man's horse, as he made known
the discovery. "Jes' listen, now, an' see if ye ain't uv ther same

The youth did listen, and at the same time swept the plain with his
eagle eyes, in search of the object from which the cries emanated. But
nothing of animal life was visible in any direction beyond the train,
and more was the mystery, since the cries sounded but a little way

"They _are_ human cries!" exclaimed Fearless Frank, excitedly, "and
come from some one in distress. Boys, we must investigate this

"You can investigate all ye want," grunted Charity Joe, "but I hain't
a-goin' ter stop ther train till dusk, squawk or no squawk. I jedge we
won't get inter their Hills any too soon, as it ar'."

"You're an old fool!" retorted Frank, contemptuously. "I wouldn't be
as mean as you for all the gold in the Black Hills country, say
nothin' about that in California and Colorado."

He turned his horse's head toward the north, and rode away, followed,
to the wonder of all, by the "General."

"Ha! ha!" laughed Charity Joe, grimly, "I wish you success."

"You needn't; I do not want any of your wishes. I'm going to search
for the person who makes them cries, an' ef you don't want to wait,
why go to the deuce with your old train!"

"There ye err," shouted the guide: "I'm goin' ter Deadwood, instead uv
ter the deuce."

"_Maybe_ you will go to Deadwood, and then, again, maybe ye won't,"
answered back Fearless Frank.

"More or less!" chimed in the general--"consider'bly more of less than
less of more. Look out thet ther allies uv Sittin' Bull don't git ther
_dead wood_ on ye."

On marched the train--steadily on over the level, sandy plain, and
Fearless Frank and his strange companion turned their attention to the
cries that had been the means of separating them from the train. They
had ceased now, altogether, and the two men were at a loss what to do.

"Guv a whoop, like a Government Injun," suggested "General" Nix; "an'
thet'll let ther critter know thet we be friends a-comin'. Par'ps
she'm g'in out ontirely, a-thinkin' as no one war a-comin' ter her

"She, you say?"

"Yas, she; fer I calkylate 'twern't no _he_ as made them squawks. Sing
out like a bellerin' bull, now, an' et ar' more or less
likely--consider'bly more of less 'n less of more--that she will

Fearless Frank laughed, and forming his hands into a trumpet he gave
vent to a loud, ear-splitting "hello!" that made the prairies ring.

"Great whale uv Joner!" gasped the "General," holding his hands toward
the region of his organs of hearing. "Holy Mother o' Mercy! don't do
et ag'in, b'yee--don' do et; ye've smashed my tinpanum all inter
flinders! Good heaven! ye hev got a bugle wus nor enny steam tooter
frum heer tew Lowell."

"Hark!" said the youth, bending forward in a listening attitude.

The next instant silence prevailed, and the twain anxiously listened.
Wafted down across the plain came in faint piteous accents the
repetition of the cry they had first heard, only it was now much
fainter. Evidently whoever was in distress, was weakening rapidly.
Soon the cries would be inaudible.

"It's straight ahead!" exclaimed Fearless Frank, at last. "Come along,
and we'll soon see what the matter is!"

He put the spurs to his spirited animal, and the next instant was
dashing wildly off over the sunlit plain. Bent on emulation, the
"General" also used his heels with considerable vim, but alas! what
dependence can be placed on a mule? The animal bolted, with a vicious
nip back at the offending rider's legs, and refused to budge an inch.

On--on dashed the fearless youth, mounted on his noble steed, his eyes
bent forward, in a sharp scrutiny of the plain ahead, his mind filled
with wonder that the cries were now growing more distinct and yet not
a first glimpse could he obtain of the source whence they emanated.

On--on--on; then suddenly he reins his steed back upon its haunches,
just in time to avert a frightful plunge into one of those remarkable
freaks of nature--the blind canal, or, in other words, a channel
valley washed out by heavy rains. These the tourist will frequently
encounter in the regions contiguous to the Black Hills.

Below him yawned an abrupt channel, a score or more of feet in depth,
at the bottom of which was a dense chaparral thicket. The little
valley thus nestled in the earth was about forty rods in width, and
one would never have dreamed it existed, unless they chanced to ride
to the brink, above.

Fearless Frank took in the situation at a glance, and not hearing the
cries, he rightly conjectured that the one in distress had again
become exhausted. That that person was in the thicket below seemed
more than probable, and he immediately resolved to descend in search.
Slipping from his saddle, he stepped forward to the very edge of the
precipice and looked over. The next second the ground crumbled beneath
his feet, and he was precipitated headlong into the valley.
Fortunately he received no serious injuries, and in a moment was on
his feet again, all right.

"A miss is as good as a mile," he muttered, brushing the dirt from his
clothing. "Now, then, we will find out the secret of the racket in
this thicket."

Glancing up to the brink above to see that his horse was standing
quietly, he parted the shrubbery, and entered the thicket.

It required considerable pushing and tugging to get through the dense
undergrowth, but at last his efforts were rewarded, and he stood in a
small break or glade.

Stood there, to behold a sight that made the blood boil in his veins.
Securely bound with her face toward a stake, was a young girl--a
maiden of perhaps seventeen summers, whom, at a single glance, one
might surmise was remarkably pretty.

She was stripped to the waist, and upon her snow-white back were
numerous welts from which trickled diminutive rivulets of crimson. Her
head was dropped against the stake to which she was bound, and she was
evidently insensible.

With a cry of astonishment and indignation Fearless Frank leaped
forward to sever her bonds, when like so many grim phantoms there
filed out of the chaparral, and circled around him, a score of
hideously painted savages. One glance at the portly leader satisfied
Frank as to his identity. It was the fiend incarnate--Sitting Bull!



     "=$500 Reward:= For the apprehension and arrest of a
     notorious young desperado who hails to the name of Deadwood
     Dick. His present whereabouts are somewhat contiguous to the
     Black Hills. For further information, and so forth, apply
     immediately to


     "At Metropolitan Saloon, Deadwood City."

Thus read a notice posted up against a big pine tree, three miles
above Custer City, on the banks of French creek. It was a large
placard tacked up in plain view of all passers-by who took the route
north through Custer gulch in order to reach the infant city of the

Deadwood! the scene of the most astonishing bustle and activity, this
year (1877.) The place where men are literally made rich and poor in
one day and night. Prior to 1877 the Black Hills have been for a
greater part undeveloped, but now, what a change! In Deadwood
districts every foot of available ground has been "claimed" and staked
out; the population has increased from fifteen to more than
twenty-five hundred souls.

The streets are swarming with constantly arriving new-comers; the
stores and saloons are literally crammed at all hours; dance-houses
and can-can dens exist; hundreds of eager, expectant, and hopeful
miners are working in the mines, and the harvest reaped by them is not
at all discouraging. All along the gulch are strung a profusion of
cabins, tents and shanties, making Deadwood in reality a town of a
dozen miles in length, though some enterprising individual has paired
off a couple more infant cities above Deadwood proper, named
respectively Elizabeth City and Ten Strike. The quartz formation in
these neighborhoods is something extraordinary, and from late reports,
under vigorous and earnest development are yielding beyond the most
sanguine expectation.

The placer mines west of Camp Crook are being opened to very
satisfactory results, and, in fact, from Custer City in the south, to
Deadwood in the north, all is the scene of abundant enthusiasm and

A horseman riding north through Custer gulch, noticed the placard so
prominently posted for public inspection, and with a low whistle,
expressive of astonishment, wheeled his horse out of the stage road,
and rode over to the foot of the tree in question, and ran his eyes
over the few irregularly-written lines traced upon the notice.

He was a youth of an age somewhere between sixteen and twenty, trim
and compactly built, with a preponderance of muscular development and
animal spirits; broad and deep of chest, with square, iron-cast
shoulders; limbs small yet like bars of steel, and with a grace of
position in the saddle rarely equaled; he made a fine picture for an
artist's brush or a poet's pen.

Only one thing marred the captivating beauty of the picture.

His form was clothed in a tight-fitting habit of buck-skin, which was
colored a jetty black, and presented a striking contrast to anything
one sees as a garment in the wild far West. And this was not all,
either. A broad black hat was slouched down over his eyes; he wore a
thick black vail over the upper portion of his face, through the
eye-holes of which there gleamed a pair of orbs of piercing intensity,
and his hands, large and knotted, were hidden in a pair of kid gloves
of a light color.

The "Black Rider" he might have been justly termed, for his
thoroughbred steed was as black as coal, but we have not seen fit to
call him such--his name is Deadwood Dick, and let that suffice for the

It was just at the edge of evening that he stopped before, and
proceeded to read, the placard posted upon the tree in one of the
loneliest portions of Custer's gulch.

Above and on either side rose to a stupendous hight the tree-fringed
mountains in all their majestic grandeur.

In front and behind, running nearly north and south, lay the deep,
dark chasm--a rift between mighty walls--Custer's gulch.

And over all began to hover the cloak of night, for the sun had
already imparted its dying kiss on the mountain craters, and below,
the gloom was thickening with rapid strides.

Slowly, over and over, Deadwood Dick, outlaw, road-agent and outcast,
read the notice, and then a wild sardonic laugh burst from beneath his
mask--a terrible, blood-curdling laugh, that made even the powerful
animal he bestrode start and prick up its ears.

"Five hundred dollars reward for the apprehension and arrest of a
notorious young desperado who hails to the name of Deadwood Dick! Ha!
ha! ha! isn't that rich, now? Ha! ha! ha! _arrest_ Deadwood Dick! Why,
'pon my word it is a sight for sore eyes. I was not aware that I had
attained such a desperate notoriety as that document implies. They
will make me out a murderer before they get through, I expect. Can't
let me alone--everlastingly they must be punching after me, as if I
was some obnoxious pestilence on the face of the earth. Never mind,
though--let 'em keep on! Let them just continue their hounding game,
and see which comes up on top when the bag's shook. If more than one
of 'em don't get their fingers burned when they snatch Deadwood Dick
bald-headed, why I'm a Spring creek sucker, that's all. Maybe I don't
know who foots the bill in this reward business; oh, no; maybe I can't
ride down to Deadwood and frighten three kind o' ideas out of this Mr.
Hugh Vansevere, whoever he may be. Ha! ha! the fool that h'isted that
notice didn't _know_ Deadwood Dick, or he would never have placed his
life in jeopardy by performing an act so uninteresting to the party in
question. Hugh Vansevere; let me see--I don't think I've got that
registered in my collection of appellatives. Perhaps he is a new tool
in the employ of the old mechanic."

Darker and thicker grew the night shadows. The after-harvest moon rose
up to a sufficient hight to send a silvery bolt of powerful light down
into the silent gulch; like an image carved out of the night the horse
and rider stood before the placard, motionless, silent.

The head of Deadwood Dick was bent, and he was buried in a deep
reverie. A reverie that engrossed his whole attention for a long, long
while; then the impatient pawing of his horse aroused him, and he sat
once more erect in his saddle.

A last time his eyes wandered over the notice on the tree--a last time
his terrible laugh made the mountains ring, and he guided his horse
back into the rough, uneven stage-road, and galloped off up the gulch.

"I will go and see what this Hugh Vansevere looks like!" he said,
applying the spurs to his horse. "I'll be dashed if I want him to be
so numerous with my name, especially with five hundred dollars affixed
thereto, as a reward."

       *       *       *       *       *


Camp Crook, nestling down in one of the wildest gulch pockets of the
Black Hills region--basking and sleeping in the flood of moonlight
that emanates from the glowing ball up afar in heaven's blue vault, is
suddenly and rudely aroused from her dreams.

There is a wild clatter of hoofs, a chorus of strange and varied
voices swelling out in a wild mountain song, and up through the very
heart of the diminutive city, where the gold-fever has dropped a few
sanguine souls, dash a cavalcade of masked horsemen, attired in the
picturesque garb of the mountaineer, and mounted on animals of
superior speed and endurance.

At their head, looking weird and wonderful in his suit of black, rides
he whom all have heard of--he whom some have seen, and he whom no one
dare raise a hand against, in single combat--Deadwood Dick, Road-Agent
Prince, and the one person whose name is in everybody's mouth.

Straight on through the single northerly street of the infant village
ride the dauntless band, making weirdly beautiful music with their
rollicking song, some of the voices being cultivated, and clear as the
clarion note.

A few miners, wakened from their repose, jump out of bed, come to the
door, and stare at the receding cavalcade in a dazed sort of way.
Others, thinking that the noise is all resulting from an Indian
attack, seize rifles or revolvers, as the case may be, and blaze away
out of windows and loopholes at whatever may be in the way to receive
their bullets.

But the road-agents only pause a moment in their song to send back a
wild, sarcastic laugh; then they resume it, and merrily dash along up
the gulch, the ringing of iron-shod hoofs beating a strange tatoo to
the sound of the music.

Sleepily the miners crawl back to their respective couches; the moon
smiles down on mother earth, and nature once more fans itself to sleep
with the breath of a fragrant breeze.

       *       *       *       *       *

Deadwood--magic city of the West!

Not dead, nor even sleeping, is this headquarters of the Black Hills
population at midnight, twenty-four hours subsequent to the rush of
the daring road-agents through Camp Crook.

Deadwood is just as lively and hilarious a place during the interval
between sunset and sunrise as during the day. Saloons, dance-houses,
and gambling dens keep open all night, and stores do not close until a
late hour. At one, two and three o'clock in the morning the streets
present as lively an appearance as at any period earlier in the
evening. Fighting, shooting, stabbing and hideous swearing are
features of the night; singing, drinking, dancing and gambling

Nightly the majority of the miners come in from such claims as are
within a radius of from six to ten miles, and seldom is it that they
go away without their "load." To be sure, there are some men in
Deadwood who do not drink, but they are so few and scattering as to
seem almost entirely a nonentity.

It was midnight, and Deadwood lay basking in a flood of mellow
moonlight that cast long shadows from the pine forest on the peaks,
and glinted upon the rapid, muddy waters of Whitewood creek, which
rumbles noisily by the infant metropolis on its wild journey toward
the south.

All the saloons and dance-houses are in full blast; shouts and maudlin
yells rend the air. In front of one insignificant board,
"ten-by-twenty," an old wretch is singing out lustily:

"Right this way ye cum, pilgrims, ter ther great Black Hills Thee'ter;
only costs ye four bits ter go in an' see ther tender sex, already
a-kickin' in their striped stockin's; only four bits, recollect, ter
see ther greatest show on earth, so heer's yer straight chance!"

But, why the use of yelling? Already the shanty is packed, and judging
from the thundering screeches and clapping of hands, the entertainment
is such as suits the depraved tastes of the ruffianly "bums" who have
paid their "four bits," and gone in.

But look!

Madly out of Deadwood gulch, the abode of thousands of lurking
shadows, dashes a horseman.

Straight through the main street of the noisy metropolis he spurs,
with hat off, and hair blowing backward in a jetty cloud.

On, on, followed by the eyes of scores curious to know the meaning of
his haste--on, and at last he halts in front of a large board shanty,
over whose doorway is the illuminated canvas sign: "Metropolitan
Saloon, by Tom Young."

Evidently his approach is heard, for instantly out of the
"Metropolitan" there swarms a crowd of miners, gamblers and bummers to
see "what the row is."

"Is there a man among you, gentlemen, who bears the name of Hugh
Vansevere?" asks the rider, who from his midnight dress we may judge
is no other than Deadwood Dick.

"That is my handle, pilgrim!" and a tall, rough-looking customer of
the Minnesotian order steps forward. "What mought yer lay be ag'in

"A _sure_ lay!" hisses the masked road-agent, sternly. "You are
advertising for one Deadwood Dick, and he has come to pay you his

The next instant there is a flash, a pistol report, a fall and a
groan, the clattering of iron-shod hoofs; and then, ere anyone
scarcely dreams of it, _Deadwood Dick is gone!_



The "Metropolitan" saloon in Deadwood, one week subsequent to the
events last narrated, was the scene of a larger "jamboree" than for
many weeks before.

It was Saturday night, and up from the mines of Gold Run, Bobtail,
Poor Man's Pocket, and Spearfish, and down from the Deadwood in
miniature, Crook City, poured a swarm of rugged, grisly gold-diggers,
the blear-eyed, used-up-looking "pilgrim," and the inevitable wary
sharp, ever on the alert for a new buck to fleece.

The "Metropolitan" was then, as now, the headquarters of the Black
Hills metropolis for arriving trains and stages, and as a natural
consequence received a goodly share of the public patronage.

A well-stocked bar of liquors in Deadwood was _non est_ yet the saloon
in question boasted the best to be had. Every bar has its clerk at a
pair of tiny scales, and he is ever kept more than busy weighing out
the shining dust that the toiling miner has obtained by the sweat of
his brow. And if the deft-fingered clerk cannot put six ounces of dust
in his own pouch of a night, it clearly shows that he is not long in
the business.

Saturday night!

The saloon is full to overflowing--full of brawny rough, and grisly
men; full of ribald songs and maudlin curses; full of foul
atmospheres, impregnated with the fumes of vile whisky, and worse
tobacco, and full of sights and scenes, exciting and repulsive.

As we enter and work our way toward the center of the apartment, our
attention is attracted by a coarse, brutal "tough," evidently just
fresh in from the diggings; who, mounted on the summit of an empty
whisky cask, is exhorting in rough language, and in the tones of a
bellowing bull, to an audience of admiring miners assembled at his
feet, which, by the way, are not of the most diminutive pattern
imaginable. We will listen:

"Feller coots and liquidarians, behold before ye a real descendant uv
Cain and Abel. Ye'll reckolect, ef ye've ever bin ter camp-meetin',
that Abel got knocked out o' time by his cuzzin Cain, an becawse Abel
war misproperly named, and warn't _able_ when the crysis arriv ter
defen' himsel' in an able manner.

"Hed he bin 'heeled' wi' a shipment uv Black Hills sixes, thet would
hev _enabled_ him to distinguish hisself fer superyer ability. Now, as
I sed before, I'm a lineal descendant uv ther notorious Ain and Cable,
and I've lit down hyar among ye ter explain a few p'ints 'bout true
blessedness and true cussedness.

"Oh! brethern, I tell ye I'm a snorter, I am, when I git a-goin'--a
wild screechin' cattymount, right down frum ther sublime spheres up
Starkey--ar' a regular epizootic uv religyun, sent down frum clouddum
and scattered permiscously ter ther forty winds uv ther earth."

We pass the "cattymount," and presently come to a table at which a
young and handsome "pilgrim," and a ferret-eyed sharp are engaged at
cards. The first mentioned is a tall, robust fellow, somewhere in the
neighborhood of twenty-three years of age, with clear-cut features,
dark lustrous eyes, and teeth of pearly whiteness. His hair is long
and curling, and a soft brown mustache, waxed at the ends, is almost
perfection itself.

Evidently he is of quick temperament, for he handles the cards with a
swift, nervous dexterity that surprises even the professional sharp
himself, who is a black, swarthy-looking customer, with "villain"
plainly written in every lineament of his countenance; his eyes, hair,
and a tremendous mustache that he occasionally strokes, are of a jetty
black; did you ever notice it?--dark hair and complexion predominate
among the gambling fraternity.

Perhaps this is owing to the condition of the souls of some of these

The professional sharp in our case was no exception to the rule. He
was attired in the hight of fashion, and the diamond cluster,
inevitably to be found there, was on his shirt front; a jewel of
wonderful size and brilliancy.

"Ah! curse the luck!" exclaimed the sharp, slapping down the cards;
"you have won again, pilgrim, and I am five hundred out. By the gods,
your luck is something astonishing!"

"_Luck!_" laughed the other, coolly: "well, no. I do not call it luck,
for I never have luck. We'll call it chance!"

"Just as you say," growled the gambler, bringing forth a new pack.
"Chance and luck are then twin companions. Will you continue longer,

"Redburn," finished the pilgrim.

"Ah! yes--Mr. Redburn, will you continue?"

"I will play as long as there is anything to play for," again finished
Mr. R., twisting the waxed ends of his mustache calmly. "Maybe you
have got your fill, eh?"

"No; I'll play all night to win back what I have lost."

A youth, attired in buck-skin, and apparently a couple of years
younger than Redburn, came sauntering along at this juncture, and
seeing an unoccupied chair at one end of the table (for Redburn and
the gambler sat at the sides, facing each other), he took possession
of it forthwith.

"Hello!" and the sharp swore roundly. "Who told _you_ to mix in your
lip, pilgrim?"

"Nobody, as I know of. Thought I'd squat right here, and watch your
_sleeves_!" was the significant retort, and the youth laid a cocked
six-shooter on the table in front of him.

"Go on, gentlemen; don't let me be the means of spoiling your fun."

The gambler uttered a curse, and dealt out the pasteboards.

The youth was watching him intently, with his sharp black eyes.

He was of medium hight, straight as an arrow, and clad in a
loose-fitting costume. A broad sombrero was set jauntily upon the left
side of his head, the hair of which had been cut close down to the
scalp. His face--a pleasant, handsome, youthful face--was devoid of
hirsute covering, he having evidently been recently handled by the

The game between Mr. Redburn and the gambler progressed; the eyes of
he whom we have just described were on the card sharp constantly.

The cards went down on the table in vigorous slaps, and at last, Mr.
Pilgrim Redburn raked in the stakes.

"Thunder 'n' Moses!" ejaculated the sharp, pulling out his watch--an
elegant affair, of pure gold, and studded with diamonds--and laying it
forcibly down upon the table.

"There! what will you plank on that!"

Redburn took up the time-piece, turned it over and over in his hands,
opened and shut it, gave a glance at the works, and then handed it
over to the youth, whom he instinctively felt was his friend. Redburn
had come from the East to dig gold, and therefore was a stranger in

"What is its money value?" he asked, familiarizing his tone. "Good, I

"Yes, perfectly good, and cheap at two hundred," was the unhesitating
reply. "Do you lack funds, stranger?"

"Oh! no. I am three hundred ahead of this cuss yet, and--"

"You'd better quit where you are!" said the other, decisively. "You'll
lose the next round, mark my word."

"Ha! ha!" laughed Redburn, who had begun to show symptoms of
recklessness. "I'll take my chances. Here, you gamin, I'll cover the
watch with two hundred dollars."

Without more ado the stakes were planked, the cards dealt, and the
game began.

The youth, whom we will call Ned Harris, was not idle.

He took the revolvers from the table, changed his position so that his
face was just in the opposite direction of what it had been, and
commenced to pare his finger nails. The fingers were as white and soft
as any girl's. In his hand he also held a strangely-angled little box,
the sides of which were mirror-glass. Looking at his finger-nails he
also looked into the mirror, which gave a complete view of the
card-sharp, as he sat at the table.

Swiftly progressed the game, and no one could fail to see how it was
going by watching the cunning light in the gambler's eye. At last the
game-card went down, and next instant, after the sharp had raked in
his stakes, a cocked revolver in either hand of Ned Harris covered the
hearts of the two players.

"Hello!" gasped Redburn, quailing under the gaze of a cold steel
tube--"what's the row, now?"

"Draw your revolver!" commanded Harris, sternly, having an eye on the
card-sharp at the same time, "Come! don't be all night about it!"

Redburn obeyed; he had no other choice.

"Cock it and cover your man!"

"Who do you mean?"

"The cuss under my left-hand aim."

Again the "pilgrim" felt that he could not afford to do otherwise than

So he took "squint" at the gambler's left breast after which Harris
withdrew the siege of his left weapon, although he still covered the
young Easterner, the same. Quietly he moved around to where the
card-sharp sat, white and trembling.

"Gentlemen!" he yelled, in a clear, ringing voice, "will some of you
step this way a moment?"

A crowd gathered around in a moment: then the youth resumed:

"Feller-citizens, all of you know how to play cards, no doubt. What is
the penalty of cheating, out here in the Hills?"

For a few seconds the room was wrapt in silence; then a chorus of
voices gave answer, using a single word:


"Exactly," said Harris, calmly. "When a sharp hides cards in Chinaman
fashion up his sleeve, I reckon that's what you call cheatin', don't

"That's the size of it," assented each bystander, grimly.

Ned Harris pressed his pistol-muzzle against the gambler's forehead,
inserted his fingers in each of the capacious sleeves, and a moment
later laid several high cards upon the table.

A murmur of incredulity went through the crowd of spectators. Even
"pilgrim" Redburn was astonished.

After removing the cards, Ned Harris turned and leveled his revolver
at the head of the young man from the East.

"Your name?" he said, briefly, "is--"

"Harry Redburn."

"Very well. Harry Redburn, that gambler under cover of your pistol is
guilty of a crime, punishable in the Black Hills by death. As you are
his victim--or, rather, were to be--it only remains for you to aim
straight and rid your country of an A No. 1 dead-beat and swindler!"

"Oh! no!" gasped Redburn, horrified at the thought of taking the life
of a fellow-creature--"I cannot, I cannot!"

"You _can!_" said Harris, sternly; "go on--_you must salt that
card-sharp, or I'll certainly salt you!_"

A deathlike silence followed.

"_One!_" said Harris, after a moment.

Redburn grew very pale, but not paler was he than the card-sharp just
opposite. Redburn was no coward; neither was he accustomed to the
desperate character of the population of the Hills. Should he shoot
the tricky wretch before him, he knew he should be always calling
himself a murderer. On the contrary, in the natural laws of Deadwood,
such a murder would be classed justice.

"_Two!_" said Ned Harris, drawing his pistol-hammer back to full cock.
"Come, pilgrim, are you going to shoot?"

Another silence; only the low breathing of the spectators could be


Redburn raised his pistol and fired--blindly and carelessly, not
knowing or caring whither went the compulsory death-dealing bullet.

There was a heavy fall, a groan of pain, as the gambler dropped over
on the floor; then for the space of a few seconds all was the wildest
confusion throughout the mammoth saloon.

Revolvers were in every hand, knives flashed in the glare of the
lamplight, curses and threats were in scores of mouths, while some of
the vast surging crowd cheered lustily.

At the table Harry Redburn still sat, as motionless as a statue, the
revolver still held in his hand, his face white, his eyes staring.

There he remained, the center of general attraction, with a hundred
pair of blazing eyes leveled at him from every side.

"Come!" said Ned Harris, in a low tone, tapping him on the
shoulder--"come, pardner; let's git out of this, for times will be
brisk soon. You've wounded one of the biggest card-devils in the
Hills, and he'll be rearin' pretty quick. Look! d'ye see that feller
comin' yonder, who was preachin' from on top of the barrel, a bit ago?
Well, that is Catamount Cass, an' he's a pard of Chet Diamond, the
feller you salted, an' them fellers behind him are his gang. Come!
follow me, Henry, and I'll nose our way out of here."

Redburn signified his readiness, and with a cocked six-shooter in
either hand Ned Harris led the way.



Straight toward the door of the saloon he marched, the muzzles of the
grim sixes clearing a path to him; for Ned Harris had become
notorious in Deadwood for his coolness, courage and audacity. It had
been said of him that he would "just es lief shute a man as ter look
at 'im," and perhaps the speaker was not far from right.

Anyway, he led off through the savage-faced audience with a composure
that was remarkable, and, strange to say, not a hand was raised to
stop him until he came face to face with Catamount Cass and his gang;
here was where the youth had expected molestation and hindrance, if

Catamount Cass was a rough, illiterate "tough" of the mountain
species, and possessed more brute courage than the general run of his
type of men, and a bull-dog determination that made him all the more
dangerous as an enemy.

Harry Redburn kept close at Ned Harris' heels, a cocked "six" in
either hand ready for any emergency.

It took but a few moments before the two parties met, the "Cattymount"
throwing out his foot to block the path.

"Hello!" roared the "tough," folding his huge knotty arms across his
partially bared breast; "ho! ho! whoa up thar, pilgrims! Don' ye go
ter bein' so fast. Fo'kes harn't so much in a hurry now-'days as they
uster war. Ter be sure ther Lord manyfactered this futstool in seven
days; sum times I think he did, an' then, ag'in, my geological ijees
convince me he didn't."

"What has that to do with us?" demanded Ned, sternly. "I opine ye'd
better spread, some of you, if you don't want me to run a canyon
through your midst. Preach to some other pilgrim than me; I'm in a

"Haw! haw! Yas, I obsarve ye be; but if ye're my meat, an' I think
prob'ble ye be, I ain't a-goin' fer ter let yer off so nice and easy.
P'arps ye kin tell who fired the popgun, a minnit ago, w'at basted my
ole pard?"

"I shall not take trouble to tell!" replied Ned, fingering the trigger
of his left six uneasily. "Ef you want to know who salted Chet
Diamond, the worst blackleg, trickster and card-player in Dakota, all
you've got to do is to go and ask him!"

"Hold!" cried Harry Redburn, stepping out from behind Harris; "I'll
hide behind no man's shoulder. _I_ salted the gambler--if you call
shooting salting--and I'm not afraid to repeat the action by salting a
dozen more just of his particular style."

Ned Harris was surprised.

He had set Redburn down as a faint-hearted, dubious-couraged
counter-jumper from the East; he saw now that there was something of
him, after all.

"Come on, young man!" and the young miner stepped forward a pace; "are
you with me?"

"To the ears!" replied Harris, grimly.

The next instant the twain leaped forward and broke the barrier, and
mid the crack of pistol-shots and shouts of rage, they cleared the
saloon. Once outside, Ned Harris led the way.

"Come along!" he said, dodging along the shadowy side of the street;
"we'll have to scratch gravel, for them up-range 'toughs' will follow
us, I reckon. They're a game gang, and 'hain't the most desirable kind
of enemies one could wish for. I'll take you over to my coop, and you
can lay low there until this jamboree blows over. You'll have to
promise me one thing, however, ere I can admit you as a member of my

"Certainly. What is it?" and Harry Redburn redoubled his efforts in
order to keep alongside his swift-footed guide.

"Promise me that you will divulge nothing, no matter what you may see
or hear. Also that, should you fall in love with one who is a member
of my family, you will forbear and not speak of love to her."

"It is a woman, then?"

"Yes--a young lady."

"I will promise;--how can I afford to do otherwise, under the existing
circumstances. But, tell me, why did you force me to shoot that

"He was a rascal, and cheated you."

"I know; but I did not want his life; I am averse to bloodshed."

"So I perceived, and that made me all the more determined you should
salivate him. You'll find before you're in the Hills long that it
won't do to take lip or lead from any one. A green pilgrim is the
first to get salted; I illustrated how to serve 'em!"

Redburn's eyes sparkled. He was just beginning to see into the
different phases of this wild exciting life.

"Good!" he exclaimed, warmly. "I have much to thank you for. Did I
kill that card-sharp?"

"No; you simply perforated him in the right side. This way."

They had been running straight up the main street. Now they turned a
corner and darted down one that was dark and deserted.

A moment later a trim boyish figure stepped before them, from out of
the shadow of a new frame building; a hand of creamy whiteness was
laid upon the arm of Ned Harris.

"This way, pilgrims," said a low musical voice, and at the same
instant a gust of wind lifted the jaunty sombrero from the speaker's
head, revealing a most wonderful wealth of long glossy hair; "the
'toughs' are after you, and you cannot find a better place to coop
than in here." The soft hand drew Ned Harris inside the building,
which was finished, but unoccupied, and Redburn followed, nothing loth
to get into a place of safety. So far, Deadwood had not impressed him
favorably as being the most peaceable city within the scope of a

Into an inner room of the building they went, and the door was closed
behind them. The apartment was small and smelled of green lumber. A
table and a few chairs comprised the furniture; a dark lantern burned
suspended from the ceiling by a wire. Redburn eyed the strange youth
as he and Harris were handed seats.

Of medium hight and symmetrically built; dressed in a carefully tanned
costume of buck-skin, the vest being fringed with the fur of the mink;
wearing a jaunty Spanish sombrero; boots on the dainty feet of patent
leather, with tops reaching to the knees; a face slightly sun-burned,
yet showing the traces of beauty that even excessive dissipation could
not obliterate; eyes black and piercing; mouth firm, resolute, and
devoid of sensual expression: hair of raven color and of remarkable
length;--such was the picture of the youth as beheld by Redburn and

"You can remain here till you think it will be safe to again venture
forth, gentlemen," and a smile--evidently a stranger there--broke out
about the speaker's lips. "Good-evening!" "Good-evening!" nodded
Harris, with a quizzical stare. The next moment the youth was gone.

"Who was that chap?" asked Redburn, not a little bewildered.

"That?--why that's Calamity Jane!"

"Calamity Jane? _What_ a name."

"Yes, she's an odd one. Can ride like the wind, shoot like a
sharp-shooter, and swear like a trooper. Is here, there and
everywhere, seemingly all at one time. Owns this coop and two or three
other lots in Deadwood; a herding ranch at Laramie, an interest in a
paying placer claim near Elizabeth City, and the Lord only knows how
much more."

"But it is not a _woman_?"

"Reckon 'tain't nothin' else."

"God forbid that a child of mine should ever become so debased and--"

"Hold! there are yet a few redeeming qualities about her. She was
_ruined_--" and here a shade dark as a thunder-cloud passed over Ned
Harris' face--"and set adrift upon the world, homeless and friendless;
yet she has bravely fought her way through the storm, without asking
anybody's assistance. True, she may not now have a heart; that was
trampled upon, years ago, but her character has not suffered blemish
since the day a foul wretch stole away her honor!"

"What is her real name?"

"I do not know; few in Deadwood do. It is said, however, that she
comes of a Virginia City, Nevada, family of respectability and

At this juncture there was a great hubbub outside, and instinctively
the twain drew their revolvers, expecting that Catamount Cass and his
toughs had discovered their retreat, and were about to make an attack.
But soon the gang were beard to tramp away, making the night hideous
with their hoarse yells.

"They'll pay a visit to every shanty in Deadwood," said Harris, with a
grim smile, "and if they don't find us, which they won't, they'll
h'ist more than a barrel of bug-juice over their defeat. Come, let's
be going."

They left the building and once more emerged onto the darkened street,
Ned taking the lead.

"Follow me, now," he said, tightening his belt, "and we'll get home
before sunrise, after all."

He struck out up the gulch, or, rather, down it, for his course lay
southward. Redburn followed, and in fifteen minutes the lights of
Deadwood--magic city of the wilderness--were left behind. Harris led
the way along the rugged mountain stage-road, that, after leaving
Deadwood on its way to Camp Crook and Custer City in the south, runs
alternately through deep, dark canyons and gorges, with an ease and
rapidity that showed him to be well acquainted with the route. About
three miles below Deadwood he struck a trail through a transverse
canyon running north-west, through which flowed a small stream, known
as Brown's creek. The bottom was level and smooth, and a brisk walk of
a half-hour brought them to where a horse was tied to an alder

"You mount and ride on ahead until you come to the end of the canyon,"
said Harris, untying the horse. "I will follow on after you, and be
there almost as soon as you."

Redburn would have offered some objections, but the other motioned for
him to mount and be off, so he concluded it best to obey.

The animal was a fiery one, and soon carried him out of sight of Ned,
whom he left standing in the yellow moonlight. Sooner than he expected
the gorge came to an abrupt termination in the face of a stupendous
wall of rock, and nothing remained to do but wait for young Harris.

He soon came, trotting leisurely up, only a trifle flushed in

"This way!" he said, and seizing the animal by the bit he led horse
and rider into a black, gaping fissure in one side of the canyon, that
had hitherto escaped Redburn's notice. It was a large, narrow,
subterranean passage, barely large enough to admit the horse and
rider. Redburn soon was forced to dismount and bring up the rear.

"How far do we journey in this shape?" he demanded, after what seemed
to him a long while.

"No further," replied Ned, and the next instant they emerged into a
small, circular pocket in the midst of the mountains--one of those
beauteous flower-strewn valleys which are often found in the Black

This "pocket," as they are called, consisted of perhaps fifty acres,
walled in on every side by rugged mountains as steep, and steeper, in
some places, than a house-roof. On the western side Brown's creek had
its source, and leaped merrily down from ledge to ledge into the
valley, across which it flowed, sinking into the earth on the eastern
side, only to bubble up again, in the canyon, with renewed strength.

The valley was one vast, indiscriminate bed of wild, fragrant flowers,
whose volume of perfume was almost sickening when first greeting the
nostrils. Every color and variety imaginable was here, all in the most
perfect bloom. In the center of the valley stood a log-cabin,
overgrown with clinging vines. There was a light in the window, and
Harris pointed toward it, as, with young Redburn, he emerged from the

"There's my coop, pilgrim. There you will be safe for a time, at
least." He unsaddled the horse and set it free to graze.

Then they set off down across the slope, arriving at the cabin in due

The door was open; a young woman, sweet, yet sad-faced, was seated
upon the steps, fast asleep.

Redburn gave an involuntary cry of incredulity and admiration as his
eyes rested upon the picture--upon the pure, sweet face, surrounded by
a wealth of golden, glossy hair, and the sylph-like form, so perfect
in every contour. But a charge of silence from Harris, made him mute.

The young man knelt by the side of the sleeping girl and imprinted a
kiss upon the fresh, unpolluted lips, which caused the sleeping beauty
to smile in her dreams.

A moment later, however, she opened her eyes and sprung to her feet
with a startled scream.

"Oh, Ned!" she gasped, trembling, as she saw him, "how you frightened
me. I had a dream--oh, such a sweet dream! and I thought _he_ came and

Suddenly did she stop as, for the first time, her penetrating blue
eyes rested upon Harry Blackburn.

A moment she gazed at him as in a sort of fascination; then, with a
low cry, began to retreat, growing deathly pale. Ned Harris stepped
quickly forward and supported her on his arm.

"Be calm, Anita," he said, in a gentle, reassuring tone. "This is a
young gentleman whom I have brought here to our home for a few days
until it will be safe for him to be seen in Deadwood. Mr. Redburn, I
make you acquainted with Anita."

A courteous bow from Redburn, a slight inclination of Anita's head,
and the introduction was made. A moment later the three entered the
cabin, a model of neatness and primitive luxury.

"How is it that you are up so early, dear?" young Harris asked, as he
unbuckled his belt and hung it upon a peg in the wall. "You are rarely
as spry, eh?"

"Indeed! I have not been to bed at all," replied the girl, a weary
smile wreathing her lips. "I was nervous, and feared something was
going to happen, so I staid up."

"Your old plea--the presentiment of coming danger, I suppose," and the
youth laughed, gayly. "But you need not fear. No one will invade our
little Paradise, right away. What is your opinion of it, Redburn?"

"I should say not. I think this little mountain retreat is without
equal," replied Harry, with enthusiasm. "The only wonder is, how did
you ever stumble into such a delightful place."

"Of that I will perhaps tell you, another time," said Harris,

Day soon dawned over the mountains, and the early morning sunlight
fell with charming effect into the little "pocket," with its countless
thousands of odorous flowers, and the little ivy-clad cabin nestling
down among them all.

Sweet, sad-faced Anita prepared a sumptuous morning repast out of
antelope-steak and the eggs of wild birds, with dainty side dishes of
late summer berries, and a large luscious melon which had been grown
on a cultivated patch, contiguous to the cabin.

Both Harris and his guest did ample justice to the meal, for they had
neither eaten anything since the preceding noon. When they had
finished, Ned arose from the table, saying: "Pardner, I shall leave
you here for a few days, during which time I shall probably be mostly
away on business. Make yourself at home and see that Anita is properly
protected; I will return in a week at the furthest;--perhaps in a day
or two."

He took down his rifle and belt from the wall, buckled on the latter,
and half an hour later left the "pocket." That was a day of days to
Harry Redburn. He rambled about the picturesque little valley, romped
on the luxuriant grass and gathered wild flowers, alternately. At
night he sat in the cabin door and listened to the cries of the night
birds and the incessant hooting of the mountain owls (which by the
way, are very abundant throughout the Black Hills.)

All efforts to engage Anita in conversation proved fruitless.

On the following day both were considerably astonished to perceive
that there was a stranger in their Paradise;--a bow-legged,
hump-backed, grisly little old fellow, who walked with a staff. He
approached the cabin, and Redburn went out to find who he was.

"Gude-mornin'!" nodded General Nix, (for it was he) with a grin. "I
jes' kim over inter this deestrict ter prospect fer gold. Don' seem
ter recognize yer unkle, eh? boy; I'm Nix Walsingham Nix, Esquire,
geological surveyor an' mine-locater. I've located more nor forty
thousan' mines in my day, more or less--ginerally a consider'ble more
of less than less of more. I perdict frum ther geological formation o'
this nest an' a dream I hed last night, thet thar's sum uv ther
biggest veins right in this yere valley as ye'll find in ther Hills!"

"Humph! no gold here," replied Redburn, who had already learned from
study and experience how to guess a fat strike. "It is out of the

"No; et's right in the channel."

"Well, I'll not dispute you. How did you get into the valley?"

"Through ther pass," and the General chuckled approvingly. "See'd a
feller kim down ther canyon, yesterday, so I nosed about ter find
whar he kim from, that's how I got here; 'sides, I hed a dream about
this place."

"Indeed!" Redburn was puzzled how to act under the circumstances. Just
then there came a piercing scream from the direction of the cabin.

What could it mean? Was Nix an enemy, and was some one else of his
gang attacking Anita?

Certainly she _was_ in trouble!



Fearless Frank stepped back aghast, as he saw the inhuman chief of the
Sioux--the cruel, grim-faced warrior, Sitting Bull; shrunk back, and
laid his hand upon the butt of a revolver.

"Ha!" he articulated, "is that you, chief? You, and at such work as
this?" there was stern reproach in the youth's tone, and certain it is
that the Sioux warrior heard the words spoken.

"My friend, Scarlet Boy, is keen with the tongue," he said, frowning.
"Let him put shackles upon it, before it leaps over the bounds of

"I see no reason why I should not speak in behalf of yon suffering
girl!" retorted the youth, fearlessly, "on whom you have been
inflicting one of the most inhuman tortures Indian cunning could
conceive. For shame, chief, that you should ever assent to such an
act--lower yourself to the grade of a dog by such a dastard deed. For
shame, I say!"

Instantly the form of the great warrior straightened up like an arrow,
and his painted hand flew toward the pistols in his belt.

But the succeeding second he seemed to change his intention; his hand
went out toward the youth in greeting:

"The Scarlet Boy is right," he said, with as much graveness as a
red-skin can conceive. "Sitting Bull listens to his words as he would
to those of a brother. Scarlet Boy is no stranger in the land of the
Sioux; he is the friend of the great chief and his warriors. Once when
the storm-gods were at war over the pine forests and picture rocks of
the Hills; when the Great Spirit was sending fiery messengers down in
vivid streaks from the skies, the Big Chief cast a thunderbolt in
playfulness at the feet of Sitting Bull. The shock of the hand of the
Great Spirit did not escape me; for hours I lay like one slain in
battle. My warriors were in consternation; they ran hither and thither
in affright, calling on the Manitou to preserve their chief. You came,
Scarlet Boy, in the midst of all the panic;--came, and though then but
a stripling, you applied simple remedies that restored Sitting Bull to
the arms of his warriors.[A]

"From that hour Sitting Bull was your friend--is your friend, now, and
will be as long as the red-men exist as a tribe."

"Thank you, chief;" and Fearless Frank grasped the Indian's hand and
wrung it warmly. "I believe you mean all you say. But I am surprised
to find you engaged at such work as this. I have been told that
Sitting Bull made war only on warriors--not on women."

An ugly frown darkened the savage's face--a frown wherein was depicted
a number of slumbering passions.

"The pale-face girl is the last survivor of a train that the warriors
of Sitting Bull attacked in Red Canyon. Sitting Bull lost many
warriors; yon pale squaw shot down full a half-score before she could
be captured; she belongs to the warriors of Sitting Bull, and not to
the great chief himself."

"Yet you have the power to free her--to yield her up to me. Consider,
chief; are you not enough my friend that you can afford to give me the
pale-face girl? Surely, she has been tortured sufficiently to satisfy
your braves' thirst for vengeance."

Sitting Bull was silent.

"What will the Scarlet Boy do with the fair maiden of his tribe?"

"Bear her to a place of safety, chief, and care for her until I can
find her friends--probably she has friends in the East."

"It shall be as he says. Sitting Bull will withdraw his braves and
Scarlet Boy can have the red-man's prize."

A friendly hand-shake between the youth and the Sioux chieftain, a
word from the latter to the grim painted warriors, and the next
instant the glade was cleared of the savages.

Fearless Frank then hastened to approach the insensible captive, and,
with a couple sweeps of his knife, cut the bonds that held her to the
torture-stake. Gently he laid her on the grass, and arranged about her
half-nude form the garments Sitting Bull's warriors had torn off, and
soon he had the satisfaction of seeing her once more clothed properly.
It still remained for him to restore her to consciousness, and this
promised to be no easy task, for she was in a dead swoon. She was even
more beautiful of face and figure than one would have imagined at a
first glance. Of a delicate blonde complexion, with pink-tinged
cheeks, she made a very pretty picture, her face framed as it was in a
wild disheveled cloud of auburn hair.

A hatful of cold water from a neighboring spring dashed into her
upturned face; a continued chafing of the pure white soft hands; then
there was a convulsive twitching of the features, a low moan, and the
eyes opened and darted a glance of affright into the face of the
Scarlet Boy.

"Fear not, miss;" and the youth gently supported her to a sitting
posture. "I am a friend, and your cruel captors have vamosed. Lucky I
came along just as I did, or it's likely they'd have killed you."

"Oh! sir, how can I ever thank you for rescuing me from those
merciless fiends!" and the maiden gave him a grateful glance. "They
whipped me, terribly!"

"I know, lady--all because you defended yourself in Red Canyon."

"I suppose so: but how did you find out so much, and, also, effect my
release from the savages?"

Fearless Frank leaned up against the tree which had been used as the
torture-stake, and related what is already known to the reader.

When he had finished, the rescued captive seized his hand between both
her own, and thanked him warmly.

"Had it not been for you, sir, no one but our God knows what would
have been my fate. Oh! sir, what can I do, more than to thank you a
thousand times, to repay you for the great service you have rendered

"Nothing, lady; nothing that I think of at present. Was it not my
duty, while I had the power, to free you from the hands of those
barbarians? Certainly it was, and I deserve no thanks. But tell me,
what is your name, and were your friends all killed in the train from
which you were taken?"

"I had no friends, sir, save a lady whose acquaintance I made on the
journey out from Cheyenne. As to my name--you can call me Miss Terry."

"Mystery!" in blank amazement.

"Yes;" with a gay laugh--"Mystery, if you choose. My name is Alice

"Oh!" and the youth began to brighten. "Miss Terry, to be sure;
Mystery! ha! ha! good joke. I shall call you the latter. Have you
friends and relatives East?"

"No. I came West to meet my father, who is somewhere in the Black

"Do you know at what place?"

"I do not."

"I fear it will be a hard matter to find him, then. The Hills now have
a floating population of about twenty-five thousand souls. Your father
would be one to find out of that lot."

A faint smile came over the girl's face. "I should know papa among
fifty thousand, if necessary;" she said, "although I have not seen him
for years."

She failed to mention how many, or what peculiarities she would
recognize him by. Was he blind, deaf or dumb?

Fearless Frank glanced around him, and saw that a path rugged and
steep led up to the prairie above.

"Come," he said, offering his arm, "we will get up to the plains and

"Where to?" asked Miss Terry, rising with an effort. The welts across
her back were swollen and painful.

"Deadwood is my destination. I can deviate my course, however, if it
will accommodate you."

"Oh! no; you must not inconvenience yourself on my account. I am of
little or no consequence, you know."

She leaned upon his arm, and they ascended the path to the plain

Frank's horse was grazing near by where the scarlet youth had taken
his unceremonious tumble.

Off to the north-west a cloud of dust rose heavenward, and he rightly
conjectured that it hid from view the chieftain, Sitting Bull, and his

His thoughts reverting to his companion, "General" Nix, and the train
of Charity Joe, he glanced toward where he had last seen them.

Neither were to be seen, now. Probably Nix had rejoined the train, and
it was out of eye-shot behind a swell in the plains.

"Were you looking for some one?" Alice asked, looking into her
rescuer's face.

"Yes, I was with a train when I first heard your cries; I left the
boys, and came to investigate. I guess they have gone on without me."

"How mean of them! Will we have to make the journey to the Hills

"Yes, unless we should providentially fall in with a train or be
overtaken by a stage."

"Are you not afraid?"

"My cognomen is Fearless Frank, lady; you can draw conclusions from

He went and caught the horse, arranged a blanket in the saddle so that
she could ride side-fashion, and assisted her to mount.

The sun was touching the lips of the horizon with a golden kiss; more
time than Frank had supposed' had elapsed since he left the train.

Far off toward the east shadows were hugging close behind the last
lingering rays of sunlight; a couple of coyotes were sneaking into
view a few rods away; birds were winging homeward; a perfume-laden
breeze swept down from the Black Hills, and fanned the pink cheeks of
Alice Terry into a vivid glow.

"We cannot go far," said Frank, thoughtfully, "before darkness will
overtake us. Perhaps we had better remain in the canal, here, where
there is both grass and water. In the morning we will take a fresh

The plan was adopted; they camped in the break, or "canal," near where
Alice had been tortured.

Out of his saddle-bags Frank brought forth crackers, biscuit and dried
venison; these, with clear sparkling water from the spring in the
chaparral, made a meal good enough for anybody.

The night was warm; no fire was needed.

A blanket spread on the grass served as a resting-place for Alice; the
strange youth in scarlet lay with his head resting against the side of
his horse. The least movement of the animal, he said, would arouse
him; he was keen of scent and quick to detect danger--meaning the

The night passed away without incident; as early as four o'clock--when
it is daylight on the plains--Fearless Frank was astir.

Be found the rivulet flowing from the spring to abound with trout, and
caught and dressed the morning meal.

Alice was awake by the time breakfast was ready. She bathed her face
and hands in the stream, combed her long auburn hair through her
fingers, and looked sweeter than on the previous night--at least, so
thought Fearless Frank.

"The day promises to be delightful, does it not?" she remarked, as she
seated herself to partake of the repast.

"Exactly. Autumn months are ever enjoyable in the West."

The meal dispatched, no delay was made in leaving the place.

Fearless Frank strode along beside his horse and its fair rider,
chatting pleasantly, and at the same time making a close observation
of his surroundings. He knew he was in parts frequented by both red
and white savages, and it would do no harm to keep on one's guard.

They traveled all day and reached Sage creek at sunset.

Here they remained over night, taking an early start on the succeeding

That day they made good progress, in consequence of Frank's purchase
of a horse at Sage creek from some friendly Crow Indians, and darkness
overtook them at the mouth of Red Canyon, where they went into camp.

By steady pushing they reached Rapid creek the next night, for no halt
was made at Custer City, and for the first time since leaving the
torture-ground, camped with a miner's family. As yet no cabins or
shanties had been erected here, canvas tents serving in the stead;
to-day there are between fifty and a hundred wooden structures.

Alice was charmed with the wild grandeur of the mountain scenery--with
the countless acres of blossoms and flowering shrubs--with the
romantic and picturesque surroundings in general, and was very
emphatic in her praises.

One day of rest was taken at Rapid Creek; then the twain pushed on,
and when night again overtook them, they rode into the bustling,
noisy, homely metropolis--Deadwood, magic city of the North-west.



Harry Redburn hurried off toward the cabin, which was some steps away.
In Anita's scream there were both terror and affright.

Walsingham Nix, the hump-backed, bow-legged explorer and prospecter
hobbled after him, using his staff for support.

He had heard the scream, but years' experience among the "gals" taught
him that a feminine shriek rarely, if ever, meant anything.

Redburn arrived at the cabin in a few flying bounds, and leaped into
the kitchen.

There, crouched upon the floor in one corner, all in a little heap,
pale, tumbling and terrified, was Anita. Before her, squirming along
over the sand-scrubbed floor, evidently disabled by a blow, was an
enormous black-snake.

It was creeping away instead of toward Anita, leaving a faint trail of
crimson in its wake; yet the young girl's face was blanched with fear.

"You screamed at that?" demanded Redburn, pointing to the coiling

"Ugh! yes; it is horrible."

"But, it is harmless. See: some one has given it a blow across the
back, and it is disabled for harm."

Anita looked up into his handsome face, wonderingly.

"I guv et a rap across the spinal column, when I kim into the valley,"
said General Nix, thrusting his head in at the door, a ludicrous grin
elongating his grisly features. "'Twar a-goin' ter guv me a yard or so
uv et's tongue, more or less--consider'bly less of more than more of
less--so I jest salivated it across ther back, kerwhack!"

Anita screamed again as she saw the General, he was so rough and

"Who are you?" she managed to articulate as Redburn assisted her to
rise from the floor. "What are you doing here, where you were not

There was a degree of haughtiness in her tone that Redburn did not
dream she possessed.

The "General" rubbed the end of his nose, chuckled audibly, then
laughed, outright.

"I opine this ar' a free country, ain't it, marm, more or less? When a
feller kerflummuxes rite down onter a payin' streek I opine he's goin'
ter roost that till he gits reddy to vamoose, ain't he?"

"But, sir, my brother was the first to discover this spot and build us
a home here, and he claims that all belongs to him."

"He do? more or less--consider'bly less of more than more uv less, eh?
Yas, I kno' yer brother--leastways hev seen him an' heerd heeps about
him. Letters uv his name spell Ned Harris, not?"

"Yes, sir; but how can you know him? Few do, in Deadwood."

"Nevyer mind that, my puss. Ole Walsingham Nix do kno' a few things
yet, ef he ar' a hard old nut fer w'ich thar is not cra'kin'."

Anita looked at Redburn, doubtfully.

"Brother would be very angry if he were to return and find this man
here, what would you advise?"

"I am of the opinion that he will have to vacate," replied Harry,

"_Nix_ cum-a-rouse!" disagreed the old prospecter. "I'm hayr, an'
thar's no yearthly use o' denyin _that_. Barrin' ye ar' a right
peart-lookin' kid, stranger, allow me ter speculate thet it would take
a dozen, more or less--consider'bly less uv more than more o'
less--ter put me out."

Redburn laughed heartily. The old fellow's bravado amused him. Anita
however, was silent; she put dependence in her protector to arrange
matters satisfactorily.

"That savors strongly of rebellion," Redburn observed, sitting down
upon a lounge that stood hard by. "Besides, you have an advantage; I
would not attack you; you are old and unfitted for combat; deformed
and unable to do battle."

"Exactly!" the "General" confidently announced.

"What good can come of your remaining here?" demanded Anita.

"Sit down, marm, sit down, an I'll perceed ter divest myself uv w'at
little information I've got stored up in my noddle. Ye see, mum, my
name's Walsingham Nix, at yer sarvice--Walsingham bein' my great,
great grandad's fronticepiece, while Nix war ther hind-wheeler, like
nor w'at a he-mule ar' w'en hitched ter a 'schooner.' Ther Nix family
were a great one, bet yer false teeth; originated about ther time
Joner swallered the whale, down nigh Long Branch, and 've bin handed
down frum time ter time till ye behold in me ther last surrivin'
pilgrim frum ther ancestral block. Thar was one remarkable
pecooliarity about ther Nix family, frum root ter stump, an' ther war,
they war nevyer known ter refuse a gift or an advantageous offer; in
this respeck they bore a striking resemblance ter the immortell G'orge
Washington. G'orge war innercent; he ked never tell a lie. So war our
family; they never hed it in their hearts to say _Nix_ to an offer uv
a good feed or a decoction o' brandy.

"It war a disease--a hereditary affection uv ther hull combined
system. The terrible malady attacked me w'en I war an infant prodigy,
an' I've nevyer yit see'd thet time when I c'u'd resist the temptation
an' coldly say 'nix' w'en a brother pilgrim volunteered ter make a
liberal dispensation uv grub, terbarker, or bug-juice. Nix ar' a word
thet causes sorrer an' suffering ter scores 'n' scores o' people, more
or less--generally more uv less than less o' more--an' tharfore I
nevyer feel it my duty, as a Christyun, ter set a bad example w'ich
others may foller."

Redburn glanced toward Anita, a quizzical expression upon his genial

"I fail to see how that has any reference as to the cause of your stay
among us," he observed, amused at the quaint lingo of the prospector.

"Sart'in not, sart'in not! I had just begun ter git thar. I've only
bin gi'in' ye a geological ijee uv ther Nix family's formation; I'll
now perceed to illustrate more clearly, thr'u' veins an' channels
hitherto unexplored, endin' up wi' a reg'lar hoss-car proposal."

Then the old fellow proceeded with a rambling "yarn," giving more
guesses than actual information and continued on in this strain:

"So thar _war_ gold. I went ter work an' swallered a pill o' opium,
w'ich made me sleep, an' while I whar snoozin' I dreampt about ther
perzact place whar thet gold war secreted. It war in a little pocket
beneath the bed of a spring frum which flowed a little creeklet.

"Next mornin', bright an' early, I shouldered pick, shuvyel an' pan,
an' went for thet identical spring. To-day thet pocket, havin' been
traced into a rich vein, is payin' as big or bigger nor any claim on
Spring creek."[B]

Both Redburn and Anita were unconsciously becoming interested.

"And do you think there is gold here, in this flower-strewn

"I don't think it--I know it. I hed a dreem et war hayr in big
quantities, so I h'isted my carcass this direction. Ter-nite I'll hev
ernuther nighthoss, an' thet'll tell me precisely where ther strike

Redburn drummed a tattoo on the arm of the lounge his fingers; he was
reflecting on what he had heard.

"You are willing to make terms, I suppose," he said, after a while,
glancing at Anita to see if he was right. "You are aware, I believe,
that we still hold possession above any one else."

"True enuff. Ye war first ter diskiver this place ye orter hev yer say
about it."

"Well, then, perhaps we can come to a bargain. You can state your
prices for locating and opening up this mine, and we will consider."

"Wal, let me see. Ef the mine proves to be ekal ter the one thet I
located on Spring creek, I'll take in a third fer my share uv the
divys. Ef 'tain't good's I expect, I'll take a quarter."

Redburn turned to Anita.

"From what little experience I have had, I think it is a fair offer.
What is your view of the matter and do you believe your brother will
be satisfied?"

"Oh! yes, sir. It will surprise and please him, to return and find his
Paradise has been turned into a gold-mine."

"All right; then, we will go ahead and get things to shape. We will
have to get tools, though, before we can accomplish much of anything."

"My brother has a miner's outfit here," said Anita. "That will save
you a trip to Deadwood, for the present."

And so it was all satisfactorily arranged. During the remainder of the
day the old "General" and Redburn wandered about through the
flower-meadows of the pocket, here and there examining a little soil
now chipping rock among the rugged foothills, then "feeling" in the
bed of the creek. But, not a sign of anything like gold was to be
found, and when night called them to shelter, Redburn was pretty
thoroughly convinced that Nix was an enormous "sell," and that he
could put all the gold they would find in his eye. The "General,"
however, was confident of success, and told many doubtful yarns of
former discoveries and exploits.

Anita prepared an evening meal that was both tempting and sumptuous,
and all satisfied their appetites after which Harry took down the
guitar, suspended from the wall, tuned it up, and sung in a clear
mellow voice a number of ballads, to which the "General," much to the
surprise of both Redburn and Anita, lent a rich deep bass--a voice of
superior culture.

The closing piece was a weird melody--the lament of a heart that was
broken, love-blasted--and was rendered in a style worthy of a
professional vocalist. The last mournful strains filled the cabin just
as the last lingering rays of sunlight disappeared from the mountain
top, and shadows came creeping down the rugged walls of rock to
concentrate in the Flower Pocket, as Anita had named her valley home.
Redburn rose from his seat at the window, and reached the instrument
to its accustomed shelf, darting a glance toward sad Anita, a moment
later. To his surprise he perceived that her head was bowed upon her
arm that lay along the window-ledge--that she was weeping, softly, to

Acting the gentlemanly part, the young miner motioned for Nix to
follow him, and they both retired to the outside of the cabin to
lounge on the grass and smoke, and thus Anita was left alone with her
grief and such troubles as were the causes thereof.

Certain it was that she had a secret, but what it was Redburn could
not guess.

About ten o'clock he and Nix re-entered the cabin and went to bed in a
room allotted to them, off from the little parlor. Both went to sleep
at once, and it was well along toward morning when Redburn was aroused
by being rudely shaken by "General" Nix, who was up and dressed, and
held a torch in his hand.

"Come! come!" he said in a husky whisper, and a glance convinced Harry
that he was still asleep, although his eyes were wide open and

Without a word the young man leaped from bed, donned his garments, and
the old man then led the way out of the cabin.

In passing through the kitchen, Redburn saw that Anita was up and

"Come!" he said, seizing a hatchet and stake, "we are about to
discover the gold-mine, and our fortunes;" with a merry laugh.

Then both followed in the wake of the sleep walker, and were led to
near the center of the valley, which was but a few steps in the rear
of the cabin. Here was a bed of sand washed there from an overflow of
the stream, and at this the "General" pointed, as he came to a halt.

"There! _there_ is the gold--millions of it deep down--twenty or
thirty feet--in sand--easy to get! dig! DIG! DIG!"

Redburn marked the spot by driving the stake in the ground.

It now only remained to dig in the soil to verify the truth of the old
man's fancy.


[Footnote A: A fact.]



Rumbling noisily through the black canyon road to Deadwood, at an hour
long past midnight, came the stage from Cheyenne, loaded down with
passengers, and full five hours late, on account of a broken shaft,
which had to be replaced on the road. There were six plunging,
snarling horses attached, whom the veteran Jehu on the box, managed
with the skill of a circusman, and all the time the crack! snap! of
his long-lashed gad made the night resound as like so many pistol

The road was through a wild tortuous canyon, fringed with tall
spectral pines, which occasionally admitted a bar of ghostly moonlight
across the rough road over which the stage tore with wild

Inside, the vehicle was crammed full to its utmost capacity, and
therefrom emanated the strong fumes of whisky and tobacco smoke, and
stronger language, over the delay and the terrible jolting of the

In addition to those penned up inside, there were two passengers
positioned on top, to the rear of the driver, where they clung to the
trunk railings to keep from being jostled off.

One was an elderly man, tall in stature and noticeably portly, with a
florid countenance, cold gray eyes, and hair and beard of brown,
freely mixed with silvery threads. He was elegantly attired, his
costume being of the finest cloth and of the very latest cut: boots
patent leathers, and hat glossy as a mirror; diamonds gleamed and
sparkled on his immaculate shirt-bosom, on his fingers and from the
seal of a heavy gold chain across his vest front.

The other personage was a counterpart of the first to every
particular, save that while one was more than a semi-centenarian to
years, the other was barely twenty. The same faultless elegance in
dress, the same elaborate display of jewels, and the same haughty,
aristocratic bearing produced in one was mirrored to the other.

They were father and son.

"Confound such a road!" growled the younger man, as the stage bounced
him about like a rubber ball. "For my part I wish I had remained at
home, instead of coming out into this outlandish region. It is
perfectly awful."

"Y-y-y-e-s!" chattered the elder between the jolts and jerks--"it is
not what it should be, that's true. But have patience; ere long we
will reach our destination, and--"

"Get shot like poor Vansevere did!" sneered the other. "I tell you,
governor, this is a desperate game you are playing."

The old man smiled, grimly.

"Desperate or not, we must carry it through to the end. Vansevere was
not the right kind of a man to set after the young scamp."

"How do you mean?"

"He was too rash--entirely too rash. Deadwood Dick is a daring whelp,
and Vansevere's open offer of a reward for his apprehension only put
the young tiger on his guard, and he will be more wary and watchful in
the future."

This in a positive tone.

"Yes; he will be harder to trap than a fox who has lost a foot between
jaws of steel. He will be revengeful, too!"

"Bah! I fear him not, old as I am. He is but a boy in years, you
remember, and will be easily managed."

"I hope so; I don't want my brains blown out, at least."

The stage rumbled on; the Jehu cursed and lashed his horses; the
canyon grew deeper, narrower and darker, the grade slightly

The moon seemed resting on the summit of a peak, hundreds of feet
above, and staring down in surprise at the noisy stage.

Alexander Filmore (the elder passenger) succeeded in steadying himself
long enough to ignite the end of a cigar to the bowl of Jehu's grimy
pipe; then he watched the trees that flitted by. Clarence, his son,
had smoked incessantly since leaving Camp Crook, and now threw away
his half-used cheroot, and listened to the sighing of the spectral

"The girl--what about her?" he asked, after some moments had elapsed.

"She will be as much to the way as the boy will."

"She? Well, we'll attend to her after we git him out of the way. He is
the worst obstacle to our path, at present. Maybe when you see the
girl you will take a fancy to her."

"Pish! I want no petticoats clinging to me--much less an ignorant
backwoods clodhopper. She is probably a fit mate for an Indian chief."

"You are too rough on the tender sex, boy," and the elder Filmore gave
vent to a disconnected laugh. "You must remember that your mother was
a woman."

"Was she?" Clarence bit the end of his waxed mustache, and mused over
his sire's startling announcement. "_You_ recollect that I never saw

"D'ye carry poppin'-jays, pilgrims?" demanded Jehu, turning so
suddenly upon the two passengers as to frighten them out of their

"Popping-jays?" echoed Filmore, senior.

"Yas--shutin'-irons--rewolvers--patent perforatin' masheens."

"Yes, we are armed, if that is what you mean."

On dashed the stage through the echoing canyon--on plunged the
snorting horses, excited to greater efforts by the frequent
application of the cracking lash. The pines grew thicker, and the
moonlight less often darted its rays down athwart the road.

"Hey!" yelled a rough voice from within the stage "w'at d'ye drive so
fast fer? Ye've jonced the senses clean out uv a score o' us."

"Go to blazes!" shouts back Jehu, giving an extra crack to his whip.
"Who'n the name o' John Rodgers ar' drivin' this omnybust,
pilgrim?--you or I?"

"You'll floor a hoss ef ye don' mind sharp!"

"Who'n thunder wants ye to pay fer et, ef I do?" rings back,
tauntingly. "Reckon w'en Bill McGucken can't drive ther
thru-ter-Deadwood stage as gude as ther average, he'll suspend
bizness, or hire _you_ ter steer to his place."

On, on rumbles the stage, down through a lower grade of the canyon,
where no moonlight penetrates, and all is of Stygian darkness.

The two passengers on top of the stage shiver with dread, and even old
Bill McGucken peers around him, a trifle suspiciously.

It is a wild spot, with the mountains rising on each side of the road
to a stupendous hight, the towering pines moaning their sad, eternal
requiem; the roar of the great wheels over the hardpan bottom; the
snorting of the fractious lead-horses; the curses and the cracking of
Jehu's whip; the ring of iron-shod hoofs--it is a place and moment
conducive to fear, mute wonder, admiration.


High above all other sounds now rings this cry, borne toward the
advancing stage from the impenetrable space of gloom ahead, brought
down in clear commanding tone whereto there is neither fear nor

That one word has marvelous effect. It brings a gripe of iron into the
hands of Jehu, and he jerks his snorting steeds back upon their
haunches; it is instrumental in stopping the stage. (Who ever knew a
Black Hills driver to offer to press on when challenged to halt to a
wild dismal place?)

It sends a thrill of lonely horror through the vein of those to whose
ears the cry is borne; it causes hands to fly to the butts of weapons,
and hearts to beat faster.

"Halt!" Again the cry rings forth, reverberating in a hundred
dissimilar echoes up the rugged mountain side.

The horses quiet down: Jehu sits like a carved statue on his box; the
silence becomes painful to those within the stage--those who are
trembling in a fever of excitement, and peering from the open windows
with revolvers cocked for instant use.

The moon suddenly thrusts her golden head over the pinnacle of a hoary
peak a thousand feet above and lights up the gorge with a ghastly
distinctness that enables the watchers to behold a black horseman
blocking the path a few rods ahead.

"Silence! Listen!" Two words this time, in the same clear, commanding
voice. A pause of a moment, then the stillness is broken by the
ominous click! click! of a score of rifles; this alone announces that
the stage is "covered."

Then the lone horseman rides leisurely down toward the stage, and Jehu
recognizes him. It is Deadwood Dick, Prince of the Road!

Mounted upon his midnight steed, and clad in his weird suit of black,
he makes an imposing spectacle, as he comes fearlessly up. Well may
he be bold and fearless, for no one dares to raise a hand against him,
when the glistening barrels of twelve rifles protruding from each
thicket that fringes the road threaten those within and without the

Close up to the side of the coach rides the daring young outlaw, his
piercing orbs peering out from the eye-holes in his black mask, one
hand clasping the bridle-reins the other a nickel-plated seven-shooter
drawn back at full cock.

"You do well to stop, Bill McGucken!" the road-agent, observes,
reining in his steed. "I expected you hours ago, on time."

"Twarn't my fault, yer honor!" replies Jehu, meek as a lamb under the
gaze of the other's popgun. "Ye see, we broke a pole this side o'
Custer City, an' that set us behind several p'ints o' ther compass."

"What have you aboard to-night worth examining!"

"Nothin', yer honor. Only a stageful uv passengers, this trip."

"Bah! you are getting poor. Get down from off the box, there!"

The driver trembled, and hesitated.

"_Get_ down!" again commanded the road-agent, leveling his revolver,
"before I drop you."

In terror McGucken made haste to scramble to the ground, where he
stood with his teeth chattering and knees knocking together in a
manner pitiable to see. "Ha, ha, ha!" That wild laugh of Deadwood
Dick's made the welkin ring out a weird chorus. "Bill McGucken, you
should join the regular army, you are so brave. Ha, ha, ha!"

And the laugh was taken up by the road-knights, concealed in the
thicket, and swelled into a wild, boisterous shout.

Poor McGucken trembled in his boots in abject terror, while those
inside the coach were pretty well scared.

"Driver!" said the Prince of the Road, coolly, after the laugh, "go
you to the passengers who grace this rickety shebang and take up a
collection. You needn't cum to me wi' less'n five hundred ef ye don't
want me to salt ye!"

Bowing humble obeisance, McGucken took off his hat, and made for the
stage door.

"Gentlemen!" he plead, "there is need o' yer dutchin' out yer dudads
right liberal ef ye've enny purtic'lar anticypation an' desire ter git
ter Deadwood ter-night. Dick, the Road-Agent, are law an' gospel
heerabouts, I spec'late!"

"Durned a cent'll I fork!" growled one old fellow, loud enough to be
heard. "I ain't afeerd o' all the robber Dicks from here ter

But when he saw the muzzle of the young road-agent's revolver gazing
in through the window, he suddenly changed his mind, and laid a
plethoric pocketbook into McGucken's already well-filled hat.

The time occupied in making the collection was short, and in a few
moments the Jehu handed up his battered "plug" to the Prince of the
Road for inspection.

Coolly Deadwood Dick went over the treasure, as if it were all
rightfully his own; then he chucked hat and all into one of his
saddle-bags, after which he turned his attention toward the stage. As
he did so he saw for the first time the two passengers on top, and as
he gazed at them a gleam of fire shot into his eyes and his hands
nervously griped at his weapon.

"Alexander Filmore, you here!" he ejaculated, his voice betraying his

"Yes," replied the elder Filmore, coldly--"here to shoot you, you
dastardly dog," and quickly raising a pistol, he took rapid and deadly
aim, and fired.


[Footnote B: A fact.]



With a groan Deadwood Dick fell to the ground, blood spurting from a
wound in his breast. The bullet of the elder Filmore had indeed struck

Loud then were the cries of rage and vengeance, as a score of masked
men poured out from the thickets, and surrounded the stage.

"Shoot the accursed nigger!" cried one. "He's killed our leader, an'
by all the saints in ther calendur he shall pay the penalty!"

"No! no!" yelled another, "well do no such a thing. He shall swing in

"Hey!" cried a third, rising from the side of the prostrate
load-agent, "don' ye be so fast, boys. The capt'in still lives. He is
not seriously wounded even!"

A loud huzza went up from the score of throats, that caused a thousand
echoing reverberations along the mountain side.

"Better let ther capt'in say what we shall do wi' yon cuss o'
creashun!" suggested one who was apparently a leading spirit; "it's
_his_ funeral, ain't it?"

"Yas, yas, it's his funeral!"

"Then let him do ther undertakin'."

Robber Dick was accordingly supported to a sitting posture, and the
blood that flowed freely from his wound was stanched. In the operation
his mask became loosened and slipped to the ground, but so quickly did
he snatch it up and replace it, that no one caught even a glimpse of
his face.

In the meantime Clarence Filmore had discharged every load in his two
six-shooters into the air. He had an object in doing this; he thought
that the reports of fire-arms would reach Deadwood (which was only a
short mile distant, around the bend), and arouse the military, who
would come to his rescue.

Dick's wound dressed, he stood once more upon his feet, and glared up
at the two men on the box. They were plainly revealed in the ghostly
moonlight, and their features easily studied.

"Alexander Filmore!" the young road-agent said, a terrible depth of
meaning in his voice, that the cowering wretch could but understand.

"Alexander Filmore, you have at last come out and shown your true
colors. What a treacherous, double-dyed villain you are! Better so;
better that you should take the matter into your own hands and face
the music, than to employ _tools_, as you have done heretofore. I can
fight a dozen enemies face to face better than one or two lurking in
the bushes."

The elder Filmore uttered a savage curse.

"You triumph _now!_" he growled, biting his nether lip in vexation;
"but it will not always be thus."

"Eh? think not? I think I shall have to _adopt_ you for awhile. Boys,
haul down the two, and bind them securely."

Accordingly, a rush was made upon the stage, and the two outside
passengers. Down they were hauled, head over heels, and quickly
secured by strong cords about the wrists and ankles.

This done, Deadwood Dick turned to Bill McGucken, who had ventured to
clamber to the seat of the coach.

"Drive on, you cowardly lout--drive on. We've done with you for the
present. But, remember, not a word of this to the population of
Deadwood, if you intend to ever make another trip over this route.
Now, go!"

Jehu needed not the second invitation. He never was tardy in getting
out of the way of danger: so he picked up the reins, gave an extra
hard crack of the long whip, and away rolled the jolting stage through
the black canyon, disappearing a moment later around the bend, beyond
which lay Deadwood--magic city of the wilderness.

Then, out from the thicket the road-agents led their horses; the two
prisoners were secured in the saddles in front of two brawny outlaws,
and without delay the cavalcade moved down the gorge, weirdly
illuminated by the mellow rays of the soaring moon.

       *       *       *       *       *

Clarence Filmore had hoped that the report of his pistol-shots would
reach Deadwood. If so, his wishes were fulfilled. The reports reached
the barracks above Deadwood just as a horseman galloped up the
hill--Major R----, just in from a carouse down at the "Met."

"Halloo!" he shouted, loudly. "To horse! there is trouble in the
gorge. The Sioux, under Sitting Bull, are upon us!"

As the major's word was law at the barracks, in very short order the
garrison was aroused, and headed by the major in person, a cavalcade
of sleepy soldiers swept down the gorge toward the place whence had
come the firing.

Wildly around the abrupt bend they dashed with yells of anticipated
victory: then there was a frightful collision between the incoming
stage and the outgoing cavalry; the shrieks and screams of horses, the
curses and yells of wounded men; and a general pandemonium ensued.

The coach, passengers, horses and all was upset, and went rolling down
a steep embankment.

Major R---- was precipitated headlong over the embankment, and in his
downward flight probably saw more than one soaring comet. He struck
head-first in a muddy run, and a sorrier-looking officer of the U.S.A.
was never before seen in the Black Hills as he emerged from his bath,
than the major. His ridiculous appearance went so far as to stay the
general torrent of blasphemy and turn it into a channel of boisterous

No delay was made in putting things ship-shape again, and ere morning
dawned Deadwood beheld the returned soldiers and wrecked stage with
its sullen passengers within its precincts.

Dick and his men rode rapidly down the canyon, the two prisoners
bringing up the rear under the escort of two masked guards.

These guards were brothers and Spanish-Mexicans at that.

The elder Filmore, a keen student of character, was not long in making
out these Spaniards' true character, nor did their greedy glances
toward his and his son's diamonds escape him.

"We want to get free!" he at last whispered, when none of those ahead
were glancing back. "You will each receive a cool five hundred apiece
if you will set us at liberty."

The two road-agents exchanged glances.

"It's a bargain!" returned one. "Stop your horses, and let the others
go on!"

The main party were at this juncture riding swiftly down a steep

The four horses were quietly reined in, and when the others were out
of hearing, their noses were turned back up the canyon in the
direction of Deadwood.

"This will be an unhealthy job for us!" said one of the brothers,
"should we ever meet Dick again."

"Fear him not!" replied Alexander Filmore, with an oath. "If he ever
crosses your path shoot him down like a dog, and I'll give you a
thousand dollars for the work. The sooner he dies the better I'll be

He spoke in a tone of strongest hate--deepest rancor.



A few nights subsequent to the events related in our last chapter, it
becomes our duty to again visit the notorious "Metropolitan" saloon of
Deadwood, to see what is going on there.

As usual everything around the place and in it is literally "red hot."
The bars are constantly crowded, the gaming-tables are never empty,
and the floor is so full of surging humanity that the dance, formerly
a chief attraction, has necessarily been suspended.

The influx of "pilgrims" into the Black Hills for the last few days
has been something more than wonderful, every stage coming in
overcharged with feverish passengers, and from two to a dozen trains
arriving daily.

Of course Deadwood receives a larger share of all this
immigration--nothing is more natural, for the young metropolis of the
hills is _the_ miner's rendezvous, being in the center of the best
yielding locates.

Every person in Deadwood can tell you where the "Met" is, as it is
general head-quarters.

We mount the mud-splashed steps and disappear behind the screen that
stands in front of the door. Then the merry clink of glasses, snatches
of ribald song, and loud curses from the polluted lips of some wretch
who has lost heavily at the gaming-table, reach our hearing, while our
gaze wanders over as motley a crowd as it has ever been our fortune to

Men from the States--lawyers, doctors, speculators, adventurers,
pilgrims, and dead-beats; men from the western side of the Missouri;
grisly miners from Colorado; hunters and trappers from Idaho and
Wyoming; card sharps from Denver and Fr'isco; pickpockets from St. Joe
and bummers from Omaha--all are here, each one a part of a strange and
on the whole a very undesirable community.

Although the dance has been suspended, that does not necessitate the
discharge of the brazen-faced girls, and they may yet be seen here
with the rest mingling freely among the crowd.

Seated at a table in a somewhat retired corner, were two persons
engaged at cards. One was a beardless youth attired in buck-skin, and
armed with knife and pistols; the other a big, burly tough from the
upper chain--grisly, bloated and repulsive. He, too, was nothing short
of a walking arsenal, and it was plain to see that he was a desperate

The game was poker. The youth had won three straight games and now
laid down the cards that ended the fourth in his favor.

"You're flaxed ag'in, pardner!" he said, with a light laugh, as he
raked in the stakes. "This takes your all, eh?"

"Every darned bit!" said the "Cattymount"--for it was he--with an
oath. "You've peeled me to ther hide, an' no mistake. Salivated me'
way out o' time, sure's thar ar' modesty in a bar-girl's tongue!"

The youth laughed. "You are not in luck to-night. Maybe your luck will
return, if you keep on. Haven't you another V?"

"Nary another!"

"Where's your pard, that got salted the other night?"

"Who--Chet Diamond? Wal, hee's around heer, sum'ars, but I can't borry
none off o' him. No; I've gotter quit straight off."

"I'll lend you ten to begin on," said the youth, and he laid an X in
the ruffian's hands. "There, now, go ahead with your funeral. It's
your deal."

The cards were dealt, and the game played, resulting in the favor of
the "Cattymount." Another and another was played, and the tough won
every time. Still the youth kept on, a quiet smile resting on his
pleasant features, a twinkle in his coal-black eye. The youth, dear
reader, you have met before.

_He_ is not he, but instead--Calamity Jane. On goes the game, the
burly "tough" winning all the time, his pile of tens steadily
increasing in hight.

"Talk about Joner an' the ark, an' Noar an' ther whale!" he cries,
slapping another X onto the pile with great enthusiasm; "I hed a
grate, grate muther-in-law w'at played keerds wi' Noar inside o' thet
eyedentical whale's stummick--played poker wi' w'alebones fer pokers.
They were afterward landed at Plymouth rock, or sum uther big rock,
an' fit together, side by side, in the rebellyuns."

"Indeed!"--with an amused laugh--"then you must have descended from a
long line of respected ancestors."

"Auntsisters? Wa'al, I jest about reckon I do. I hev got ther blood o'
Cain and Abel in my veins, boyee, an' ef I ken't raise the biggest
kind o' Cain tain't because I ain't _able_--oh! no. Pace anuther

"I reckon. How much have ye got piled up thar in that heap!"

"Squar' ninety tens, my huckleberry, an' all won fa'r, you bet."

"Then it's the first time you ever won anything fair, Cass Diamond!"
exclaimed a voice close hand, and the two players looked up to see Ned
Harris standing near by, with his hands clasped across his breast.

Calamity Jane nodded, indifferently. She had seen the young miner on
several occasions; once she had been rendered an invaluable service
when he rescued her from a brawl in which a dozen toughs had attacked

"Cattymount" Cass, brother of Chet Diamond, the Deadwood card-king,
recognized him also, and with an oath, sprung to his feet.

"By all the Celestyals!" he ejaculated, jerking forth a
six-shooter--"by all the roarin', screechin, shriekin', yowlin',
squawkin,' ring-tailed, flat-futted cattymounts thet ever did ther
forest aisles o' old Alaska traverse! _you_ here, ye infernal
smooth-faced varmint? _You_ heer, arter all ye've did to ride ther
cittyzens o' Deadwood inter rebellyun, ye leetle pigminian deputy uv
ther devil? Hurra! hurra! boys; let's string him up ter ther nearest

"Hal ha!" laughed Harris, coolly, "hear the coward squeal for his
pard's assistance. Dassen't stand on his own leather fer fear of
gettin' salted fer all he's worth."

"You're a liar!" roared the "Cattymount" spreading himself about
promiscuously, but the two words had scarcely left his lips when a
blow from the fist of Ned Harris reached him under the left eye, and
he went sprawling on the ground in a heap.

"Here! here!" roared a stranger, rushing in upon the scene, and
hurling the crowd aside with a dexterity something wonderful. "What is
the meaning of all this? Who knocked Cass Diamond down?"

"I had that honor!" coolly remarked Ned Harris, stepping boldly up and
confronting the Deadwood card-king, for it was the notorious Chet
Diamond who had asked the question. "I smacked him in the gob, Chet
Diamond, for calling me a liar, and am ready to accommodate a few
more, if there are any who wish to prefer the same charge!"

"Bully, Ned! and here's what will back you!" cried Calamity Jane,
leaping to the miner's side, a cocked six in either white, shapely
hand; "so sail in, pilgrims!"

Diamond cowered back, and swore furiously. The wound in his breast was
yet sore and rankling, and he knew he owed it to the cool and
calculating young miner whose name was an omen of terror among toe
"toughs" of Deadwood.

"Come on, you black-hearted ace thief!" shouted Calamity Jane,
thrusting the muzzle of one of her plated revolvers forcibly under the
gambler's prominent nose--"come on! slide in if you are after squar'
up-an'-down fun. We'll greet you, best we know how, an' not charge you
anything, either. See! I've got a couple full hands o' sixes--every
one's a trump! Ain't ye got no aces hid up yer sleeves?"

The card sharp still cursed furiously, and backed away. He dare not
reach for a weapon lest the dare-devil girl or young Harris (who now
held a cocked pill-box in each hand),-"should salt him on a full lay."

"Ha! ha! ha!" and the laugh of Calamity rung wildly through the great
saloon--"Ha! ha! ha! here's a go! Who wants to buy a cupped-winged

"Sold out right cheap!" added Ned, facetiously. "Clear the track and
we'll take him out and boost him to a limb."

At this juncture some half a dozen of the gambler's gang came rushing
up, headed by Catamount Cass, who had recovered from the effects of
the blow from Harris' fist.

"At them! at 'em!" roared the "screechin' cattymount frum up nor'."
"Rip, dig an' gouge 'em. Ho! ho! we'll see now who'll swing, _we_
will! We'll l'arn who'll display his agility in mid-air, we will. At
'em, b'yees, at 'em. We'll hang 'em like they do hoss-thieves down at

Then followed a pitched battle in the bar-room of the "Metropolitan"
saloon, such as probably never occurred there before, and never has

Revolvers flashed on every hand, knives clashed in deadly conflict;
yells, wild, savage, and awful made a perfect pandemonium, to which
was added a second edition in the shape of oaths, curses, and groans.
Crack! whiz! bang! the bullets flew about like hailstones, and men
fell to the reeking floor each terrible moment.

The two friends were not alone in the affray.

No sooner had Catamount Cass and his gang of "toughs" showed fight,
than a company of miners sprung to Harris' side, and showed their
willingness to fight it out on the square line.

Therefore, once the first shot was fired, it needed not a word to
pitch the battle.

Fiercely waged the contest--now hand to hand--loud rose the savage
yells on the still night air.

One by one men fell on either side, their life-blood crimsoning the
floor, their dying groans unheeded in the fearful melee.

Still unharmed, and fighting among the first, we see Ned Harris and
his remarkable companion, Calamity Jane; both are black, and scarcely
recognizable in the cloud of smoke that fills the bar-room. Harris is
wounded in a dozen places and weak from loss of blood; yet he stands
up bravely and fights mechanically.

Calamity Jane if she is wounded shows it not, but faces the music with
as little apparent fear as any of those around her.

On wages the battle, even as furiously as in its beginning; the last
shot has been fired; it is now knife to knife, and face to face.

Full as many of one side as the other have fallen, and lay strewn
about under foot, unthought of, uncared for in the excitement of the
desperate moment. Gallons of blood have made the floor slippery and
reeking, so that it is difficult to retain one's footing.

At the head of the ruffians the Diamond brothers[C] still hold sway,
fighting like madmen in their endeavors to win a victory. They cannot
do less, for to back off in this critical moment means sure death to
the weakening party.

But hark! what are these sounds?

The thunder of hoofs is heard outside; the rattle of musketry and
sabers, and the next instant a company of soldiery, headed by Major
R----, ride straight up into the saloon, firing right and left.

"Come!" cried Calamity Jane, grasping Harris by the arm, and pulling
him toward a side door, "it's time for us to slope now. It's every man
for himself."

And only under her guidance was Ned able to escape, and save being
tailed and captured with the rest.

       *       *       *       *       *

About noon of the succeeding day, two persons on horseback were coming
along the north gulch leading into Deadwood, at an easy canter. They
were the fearless Scarlet Boy, or as he is better known, Fearless
Frank, and his lovely protege, Miss Terry. They had been for a morning
ride over to a neighboring claim, and were just returning.

Since their arrival in Deadwood the youth had devoted a part of his
time in a search for Alice's father, but all to no avail. None of the
citizens of Deadwood or its surroundings had ever heard of such a
person as Captain Walter Terry.

The young couple had become fast friends from their association, and
Alice was improving in looks every day she stayed in the mountains.

"I feel hungry," observed Frank, as they rode along. "This life in the
hills gives me a keen appetite. How is it with you, lady?"

"The same as with you, I guess. But look! Yonder comes a horseman
toward us!"

It was even so. A horseman was galloping up the gulch--no other than
our young friend, Ned Harris.

As the two parties approach, the faces of each of the youths grow
deadly pale; there comes into their eyes an ominous glitter; their
hands each clasp the butt of a revolver, and they gradually draw rein.

That they are enemies of old--that the fire of rancor burns in their
hearts, and that this meeting is unexpected, is plain to see.

Now, that they have met, probably for the first time in months or
years, it remains not to be doubted but a settlement must come between
them--that their hate must result in satisfaction, whether in blood or



Belligerent were the glances exchanged between the two, as they sat
there facing each other, each with a hand closed over the butt of a
pistol; each as motionless as a carved statue.

Alice Terry had grown pale, too. She saw that friend and protector and
the stranger were enemies,--that this meeting though purely accidental
was not to end without trouble. Her lips grew set, her eyes flashed,
and she reined her horse closer to that of the Scarlet Boy.

Ned Harris let a faint smile, of contempt and pity combined, come into
relief on his lips, as he saw this action. Better ten male enemies
than one female, he thought; but, then, women must not stand in the
way, now. No! nothing must block the path intervening between enmity
and vengeance.

Harris was, if anything, the coolest of the three; but, after all, why
should he not be? He had spent several years in society that seemed
callous to fear,--that knew not what it was to be a Christian; where
the utmost coolness was necessary to the preservation of life; where
bravery was all and education a dead letter. Fearless Frank, too, had
seen all phases of rough western life, probably, but his temperament
was more nervous and excitable, his passions tenfold harder to
restrain. Still, he managed to exercise a cool exterior now, that
equaled that of his opposite--his hated enemy. Mystery, as Frank
habitually called the girl, did not offer to conceal her feelings. It
was but natural that she should side with him to whom she owed her
life, and the glances of scorn and indignation she shot at the young
miner might have driven another man than him into a retreat.

Fearless Frank made no motion toward speech; he was determined that
the young miner should open the quarrel, if a quarrel it was to be.
But beneath his firm-set lips were clenched two rows of teeth,
tightly, fiercely; while every nerve in the youth's body was drawn to
its utmost tension.

Harris was wonderfully calm and at ease; only a gray pallor on his
handsome face and a menacing fire in his piercing eyes told that he
was in the least agitated.

"Justin McKenzie!"

Sternly rung out the words on the clear mountain air. Ned Harris had
spoken, and the grayish pallor deepened on his countenance while the
fire of rancor burned with stronger gleam in his eagle eye.

The effect on the scarlet youth was scarcely noticeable, more than
that the lips grew more rigid and compressed, and the right hand
clutched the pistol-butt more tightly. But no answer to the other's

"Justin McKenzie!" again said the young miner, calmly, "do you
recognize me?"

The Scarlet Boy bows his head slowly, his eyes watchful lest the other
shall catch the drop on him.

"Justin McKenzie, you _do_ recognize me, even after the elapse of two
long weary years, during which I have sought for you faithfully, but
failed to find you until this hour. We have at last met, and the time
for settlement between you and me, Justin McKenzie, has arrived. Here
in this out-of-the-way gorge, we will settle the grudge I hold against
you--we will see who shall live and who shall die!"

Alice Terry uttered a terrified cry.

"Oh! no! no! you must not fight--you _must_ not. It is bad--oh! so
awful wicked!"

"Excuse me, lady, but you will have no voice in this matter;" and the
miner's tone grew a trifle more severe. "Knew you the bitter wrong
done me by this young devil with the smooth face and oily tongue--if
you knew what a righteous cause I have to defend, you would say 'let
the battle proceed.' I am not one to thirst for the blood of my
fellow-men, but I _am_ one that is ever ready to raise my hand and
strike in the defense of women!"

Alice Terry secretly admired the stalwart young miner for this gallant

Fearless Frank, his face paler than before, an expression of remorse
combined with anguish about his countenance, and moisture standing in
either eye, assumed his quasi-erect attitude as he answered:

"Edward Harris, if you will listen, I will say all I have to say in a
very few words. You hate me because of a wrong I did you and yours,
and you want my life for the forfeit. I shall not hinder you longer to
your purpose. For two long years you have trailed and tracked me with
the determination of a bloodhound, and I have evaded you, not that I
was at all afraid of you, but because I did not wish to make you a
murderer. I have come across your path at last; here let us settle, as
you have said. See! I fold my arms across my breast. Take out your
pistol, aim steadily, and fire twice at my breast. I have heard enough
concerning your skill as a marksman to feel confident that you can
kill me in two shots!"

Ned Harris flushed, angrily. He was surprised at the cool indifference
and recklessness of the youth; he was angered that McKenzie should
think _him_ mean enough to take such a preposterous advantage.

"You are a fool!" he sneered, biting his lip with vexation. "Do you
calculate I am a _murderer_?"

"I have no proof that you are or that you are _not_!" replied Fearless
Frank, controlling his temper by a master effort. "You remember I have
not kept a watch upon your actions."

"Be that as it may, I would be an accursed dog to take advantage of
your insulting proposal. You must fight me the same as I shall fight

"No, Ned Harris, I will do nothing of the kind. It is I who have
wronged you and yours; you must take the offensive; I will play a
silent hand."

"You refuse to fight me?"

"I _do_ refuse to fight you, but do _not_ refuse to give you
satisfaction for what wrong you have suffered. Take my life, if you
choose; it is yours. Take it, or forever after this consider our debt
of hatred canceled, and let us be--"

"Friends? Never, Justin McKenzie, _never_! You forget the stain dyed
by your hand that will never washout!"

"No! no! God knows I do not forget!" and the youth's voice was hoarse
with anguish. "Could it be undone, I would gladly undo the deed. But,
tell me, Harris about _her_. Does she still live?"

"_Live_? We-l-l, yes, if you can call staying living. Life is but a
blank; better she had died ere she ever met you!"

"You speak truly; better she had died ere she met me."

Unconsciously the two had ridden closer to each other; had they
forgotten themselves in recalling the past?

"She lives--may live on her lonely life for years to come," Harris
resumed, thoughtfully, "but her life will be merely endurance."

"Will you tell me where--where I can go in secret and take but one
look at her? If you will do this, I will agree to meet you and give
you your chance for satis--"

"No!" thundered Harris, growing suddenly furious, "_no_! a thousand
times! I'd sooner see her in the burning depths of the bottomless pit
than have you get within a hundred miles of her with your
contaminating presence. She is safely hidden away, and that forever,
from the companionship of our sex. So let her be till death claims

"You are too hard on her!"

"And not hard enough on you, base villain that your are! Who is this
young lady you have to your company--another of your victims?"

"Hold! Edward Harris; enough of your vile insinuations. This lady is
one whom I rescued from Sitting Bull, the Sioux, and I am helping her
to hunt a father who she says is somewhere in the Black Hills. Your
language should at least be respectful!"

The rebuke stung young Harris to the quick, but he reined in his
passion to a moment, and doffed his hat.

"Pardon me; miss, pardon me. It was ungentlemanly for me to speak as I
did, but I was surprised at seeing one of your sex in company with
this accomplished scamp, Justin McKenzie."

"My presence with him is, as he said, for the purpose of finding my
father. He rescued me from the Indians, and has volunteered his
services, for which I am very thankful. So far, sir, he has acted in a
courteous and gentlemanly manner toward me!" said Alice Terry. "What
he may have been heretofore concerns me not, as you must know."

"He is always that--smooth-tongued, until he has lured his victim to
ruin!" retorted Ned, bitterly. "Beware of him, lady, for he is a
rattlesnake in the disguise of a bright-winged butterfly."

Fearless Frank grew livid at this last thrust. Forbearance is virtue,
sometimes, but not always. In his case the Scarlet Boy felt that he
could bear the taunts of the miner no longer.

"You are a liar and a dastard!" he cried, fiercely. "Come on if you
wish satisfaction, and I'll give it to you!"

"I am ready, always, sir. I challenged you first; you have the
choice!" retorted Ned, as cool as ever, while his enemy was all
trembling with excitement.

"Pistols, at fifty yards; to be fired until one or the other is dead!"
was the prompt decision.

"Good! Young lady, you will necessarily have to act as second for both
of us. If I drop, leave my body where I fall, and it will be picked up
by friends. If he falls, I will ride on to Deadwood, and send you out
help to carry him in."

Without delay the distance was guessed at, and each of the young men
rode to position. Miss Terry, the beautiful second, took her place at
one side of the gulch, midway between the antagonists, and when all
was to readiness she counted:


The right hands of the two youths were raised on a level, and the
gleaming barrel of a pistol shone from each.


There was a sharp click! click! as the hammers of the weapons were
pulled back at full cock. Each click meant danger or death.

Harris was very white; so was Fearless Frank, but not so much so as
the young woman who was to give the signal.

"Three! _Fire!_" cried Alice, quickly; then, there was a flash, the
report of two pistols, and Ned Harris fell to the ground without a

McKenzie ran to his side, and bent over him.

"Poor fellow!" he murmured, rising, a few moments later--"poor Ned.
_He is dead!_"

It was Harris' request to be left where he fell. Accordingly he was
laid on the grass by the roadside, his horse tethered near by, and
then, accompanied by Alice, Justin McKenzie set out to Deadwood.


[Footnote C: Living characters]



We see fit to change the scene once more back to the pocket gulch--the
home of the sweet, sad-faced Anita. The date is one month later--one
long, eventful month since Justin McKenzie shot down Ned Harris under
the noonday sun, a short distance above Deadwood.

Returning to the Flower Pocket by the route to the rugged transverse
gulch, and thence through the gaping fissure, we find before us a
scene--not of slumbering beauty, but of active industry and labor,
such as was not here when we last looked into the flower-strewn
paradise of the Hills.

The flowers are for the most part still intact, though occasionally
you will come across a spot where the hand of man hath blighted their

Where stood the little vine-wreathed cabin now may be seen a larger
and more commodious log structure, which is but a continuation of the

A busy scene greets our gaze all around. Men are hurrying here and
there through the valley--men not of the pale-face race, but of the
red race; men, clad only to the waist, with remarkable muscular
developments, and fleetness of foot.

Over the little creek which dashes far adown from pine-dressed
mountain peaks, and trails its shining waters through the flowering
land, is built another structure--of logs, strongly and carefully
erected, and thatched by a master hand with bark and grass. From the
roof projects a small smoke-stack, from which emanates a steady cloud
of smoke, curling lazily upward toward heaven's blue vault, and inside
is heard the grinding, crushing rumble of ponderous machinery, and we
rightly conjecture that it is a crusher in full operation. Across from
the northern side of the gulch comes a steady string of mules in line,
each pulling behind him a jack-sled (or, what is better known to the
general reader as a stone-boat) heavily laden with huge quartz rocks.
These are dumped in front of one of the large doorways of the crusher,
and the "empties" return mechanically and disappear within a gaping
fissure in the very mountain side--a sort of tunnel, which the hand of
man, aided by that great and stronger arm--powder--has burrowed and
blasted out.

All this is under the Immediate management of the swarthy-skinned
red-men, whose faces declare them to be a remnant of the once great
Ute tribe--now utilized to a better occupation than in the dark and
bloody days of the past.

Near the crusher building is a large, stoutly-constructed windlass,
worked by mule power, and every few moments there comes up to the
surface from the depths of a shaft, a bucketful of rock and sand,
which is dumped into a push-car, and from thence transferred to the
line of sluice-boxes in the stream, where more half-clothed Utes are
busily engaged in sifting golden particles from the rich sand.

What a transformation is all this since we left the Flower Pocket a
little over a month ago! Now, everywhere within those majestic
mountain-locked walls is bustle and excitement; then, the valley was
sleeping away the calm, perfume-laden autumnal days, unconscious of
the mines of wealth lying nestling in its bosom, and content and happy
in its quietude and the adornments of nature's beauties.

Now, shouts, ringing halloos, angry curses at the obstinate mules, the
rumbling of ponderous machinery, the clink of picks and reports of
frequent blasts, the deadened sound of escaping steam, the barking of
dogs, the whining of horses--all these sounds are now to be heard.

Then, the valley was peacefully at rest; the birds chimed in their
exquisite music to the Æolian harp-like music of the breeze through
the branches of the mountain pines; the waters pouring adown from the
stupendous peaks created an everlasting song of love and constancy;
bees and humming-birds drank delicious draughts from the blushing lips
of a million nodding flowers; the sun was more hazy and
drowsy-looking; everything had an appearance of ethereal peace and

But, like a drama on the stage, a grand transformation had taken
place; a beautiful dream had been changed into stern reality; quietude
and slumber had fled at the bold approach of bustling industry and
life. And all this transformation is due to whom?

The noonday sun shone down on all the busy scene with a glance of
warmth and affection, and particularly did its rays center about two
men, who, standing on the southern side of the valley, up in among the
rugged foothills, were watching the living panorama with the keenest

They were Harry Redburn and the queer old hump-backed, bow-legged
little locator, "General" Walsingham Nix.

Redburn was now looking nearly as rough, unkempt and grizzled as any
veteran miner, and for a bet, he actually had not waxed the ends of
his fine mustache for over a week. But there was more of a healthy
glow upon his face, a robustness about his form, and a light of
satisfaction in his eye which told that the rough miner's life agreed
with him exceedingly well.

The old "General" was all dirt, life and animation, and as full of his
eccentricities as ever. He was a character seldom met with--ever full
of a quaint humor and sociability, but never known to get mad, no
matter how great the provocation might be.

His chance strike upon the spot where lay the gold of Flower Pocket
imbedded--if it could be called a chance, considering his dream--was
the prelude to the opening up of one of the richest mining districts
south of Deadwood.

We left them after Harry had driven a stake to mark the place which
the somnambulist had pointed out as indicating the concealed mine.

On the succeeding day the two men set to work, and dug long and
desperately to uncover the treasure, and after three days of incessant
toil they were rewarded with success. A rich vein of gold, or, rather,
a deposit of the valuable metal was found, it being formed in a deep,
natural pocket and mixed alternately with sand and rock.

During the remaining four days of that week the two lucky miners took
out enough gold to evidence their supposition that they had struck one
of the richest fields in all the Black Hills country. Indeed, it
seemed that there was no end to the depth of sand in the shaft, and as
long as the sand held out the gold was likely to.

When, just in the flush of their early triumph, the old humpback was
visited by another somnambulistic fit, and this time he discovered
gold down in the northern mountain side, and prophesied that the
quartz rock which could be mined therefrom would more than repay the
cost and trouble of opening up the vein and of transporting machinery
to the gulch.

We need not go into detail of what followed; suffice it to say that
immediate arrangements were made and executed toward developing this
as yet unknown territory.

While Redburn set to work with two Ute Indians (transported to the
gulch from Deadwood, under oath of secrecy by the "General") to blast
into the mountain-side, and get at the gold-bearing quartz, the old
locater in person set out for Cheyenne on the secret mission of
procuring a portable crusher, boiler and engine, and such other
implements as would be needed, and getting them safely into the gulch
unknown to the roving population of the Hills country. And most
wonderful to relate, he succeeded.

Two weeks after his departure, he returned with the machinery and two
score of Ute Indians, whom he had sworn into his service, for, as a
Ute rarely breaks his word, they were likely to prove valuable
accessories to the plans of our two friends. Redburn had in the
meantime blasted in until he came upon the quartz rock. Here he had to
stop until the arrival of the machinery. He however busied himself in
enlarging the cabin and building a curb to the shaft, which occupied
his time until at last the "General" and his army returned.[D]

Now, we see these two successful men standing and gazing at the result
of their joint labors, each financially happy; each growing rich as
the day rolls away.

The miners are in a prosperous condition, and everything moves off
with that ease and order that speaks of shrewd management and constant
attention to business.

The gold taken from the shaft is much finer than that extracted from
the quartz.

The quartz yielded about eighteen dollars to the ton, which the
"General" declared to be as well as "a feller c'u'd expect,
considerin' things, more or less!"

Therefore, it will be seen by those who have any knowledge whatever of
gold mining that, after paying off the expenses, our friends were not
doing so badly, after all.

"Yes, yes!" the "General" was remarking, as he gazed at the string of
mules that alternately issued from and re-entered the fissure on the
opposite side of the valley; "yes, yes, boyee, things ar' workin' as I
like ter see 'em at last. The shaft'll more'n pay expenses if she
holds her head 'bove water, as I opine she will, an' w'at ar' squeezed
out uv the quartz ar' cleer 'intment fer us."

"True; the shaft is more than paying off the hands," replied Redburn,
seating himself upon a bowlder, and staring vacantly at the dense
column of smoke ejected from the smoke-stack in the roof of the
crusher building.

"I was looking up accounts last evening, and after deducting what you
paid for the machinery, and what wages are due the Utes, we have about
a thousand dollars clear of all, to be divided between three of us."

"Exactly. Now, that's w'at I call fair to middling. Of course thar'll
be more or less expense, heerafter, but et'll be a consider'ble less
o' more than more o' less. Another munth'll tell a larger finanshell
tale, I opine"

"Right again, unless something happens more than we think for now. If
we get through another month, however, without being nosed out, why we
may consider ourselves all-fired lucky."

"Jes' so! Jes' so! but we'll hev ter take our chances. One natteral
advantage, we kin shute 'em as fast as they come--"

"Ho!" Redburn interrupted, suddenly, leaping to his feet; "they say
the devil's couriers are ever around when you are talking of them.
Look! invaders already."

He pointed toward the east, where the passage led out of the valley
into the gorge beyond.

Out of this passage two persons on horseback had just issued, and now
they came to a halt, evidently surprised at the scene which lay spread
out before them.

No sooner did the "General" clap his eyes on the pair than he uttered
a cry of astonishment, mingled with joy.

"It's thet scarlet chap, Fearless Frank!" he announced, hopping about
like a pig on a hot griddle "w'at I war tellin' ye about; the same
cuss w'at desarted Charity Joe's train, ter look fer sum critter w'at
war screechin' fer help. I went wi' the lad fer a ways, but my jackass
harpened to be more or less indispositioned--consider'bly more o' less
than less o' more--an' so I made up my mind not ter continny his
route. Ther last I see'd o' the lad he disappeared over sum kind o' a
precypice, an' calkylatin' as how he war done fer, I rej'ined Charity
Joseph, ar' kim on."

"He has a female in his company!" said Redburn, watching the new-comer

"Yas, peers to me he has, an' et's more or less likely that et's the
same critter he went to resky w'en he left Charity Joe's train!"

"What about him? We do not want him here; to let him return to
Deadwood after what he has seen would be certain death to our

"Yas, thar's more or less truth in them words o' yours,
b'yee--consider'bly more o' less than less o' more. He ken't go back
now, nohow we kin fix et. He's a right peart sort o' a kid, an' I
think ef we was ter guv him a job, or talk reeson'ble ter him, thet
he'd consent to do the squar' thing by us."

Redburn frowned.

"He'll have to remain for a certain time, whether he wants to or not,"
he muttered, more savage than usual. It looked to him as if this was
to be the signal of a general invasion. "Come! let's go and see what
we can do."

They left the foothills, clambered down into the valley and worked
their way toward where Fearless Frank and his companion sat in

As they did so, headed by a figure in black, who wore a mask as did
all the rest, a band of horsemen rode out of the fissure into the
valley. One glance and we recognize Deadwood Dick, Prince of the Road,
and his band of road-agents!



Old General Nix was the first to discover the new invasion.

"Gorra'mighty!" he ejaculated, flourishing his staff about excitedly,
"d'je mind them same w'at's tuk et inter the'r heads to invade our
sancty sanctorum, up yander? Howly saints frum ther cullender! We
shall be built up inter an entire city 'twixt this an' sunset, ef ther
population n' sect becum enny more numersome. Thars a full fifty o'
them sharks, more or less--consider'bly more o' less than less o'
more--an' ef we hain't got ter hold a full hand in order ta clean 'em
out, why, ye can call me a cross-eyed, hair lipped hyeeny, that's

Redburn uttered an ejaculation as he saw the swarm of invaders that
was perhaps more forcible than polite.

He did not like the looks of things at all. If Ned Harris were only
here, he thought, he could throw the responsibility all off on his
shoulders. But he was not; neither had he been seen or heard of since
he had quitted the valley over a month ago. Where he was staying all
this time was a problem that no one could solve--no one among our
three friends.

The "General" had made inquiries in Deadwood, but elicited no
information concerning the young miner. He had dropped entirely out of
the magic city's notice, and might be dead or dying in some foreign
clime, for all they knew. Anita worried and grew sadder each day at
his non-return; it seemed to her that he was in distress, or worse,
perhaps--dead. He had never stayed away so long before, she said,
always returning from his trips every few days. What, then, could now
be the reason of his prolonged absence?

Redburn foresaw trouble in the intrusion of the road-agents and
Fearless Frank, although he knew not the character or calling of the
former, and he resolved to make one bold stroke in defense of the

"Go to the quartz mines as quickly as you can!" he said, addressing
Nix, "and call every man to his arms. Then rally them out here, where
I will be waiting with the remainder of our forces, and we will see
what can be done. If it is to be a fight for our rights, a desperate
fight it shall be."

The "General" hurried off with as much alacrity as was possible, with
him, toward the quartz mine, while Redburn likewise made haste to
visit the shaft and collect together his handful of men.

He passed the cabin on the way, and, seeing Anita seated in the
doorway, he came to a momentary halt.

"You had better go inside and lock the doors and windows behind you,"
he said, advisingly. "There are invaders in the gulch, and we must try
and effect a settlement with them; so it is not desirable that they
should see you."

"You are not going to fight them?"

"Yes, if they will not come to reasonable terms which I shall name.

"Oh! don't fight. You will get killed."

"Humph! what of that? Who would care if I were killed?"

"I would, for one, Mr. Redburn."

The miner's heart gave a great bound, and he gazed into the pure white
face of the girl, passionately. Was it possible that she had in her
heart anything akin to love, for _him_? Already be had conceived a
passing fancy for her, which might ripen into love, in time.

"Thanks!" he said, catching up her hand and pressing it to his lips.
"Those words, few as they are, make me happy, Miss Anita. But, stop! I
must away. Go inside, and keep shady until you see me again;" and so
saying he hurried on.

In ten minutes' time two score of brawny, half-dressed Utes were
rallied in the valley, and Redburn was at their head, accompanied by
the "General."

"I will now go forward and hold parley," said Harry, as he wrapped a
kerchief about the muzzle of his rifle-barrel. "If you see me fall,
you can calculate that it's about time for you to sling in a chunk of
your lip."

He had fallen into the habit of talking in an illiterate fashion,
since his association with the "General."

"All right," assented the old locater; "ef they try ter salt ye, jes'
giv' a squawk, an' we'll cum a-tearin' down ter yer resky at ther rate
o' forty hours a mile, more or less--consider'bly more o' less than
less o' more."

Redburn buckled his belt a hole tighter, looked to his two revolvers,
and set out on his mission.

The road-agents had, in the mean time, circled off to the right of the
fissure, and formed into a compact body, where they halted and watched
the rallying of the savages in the valley.

Fearless Frank and his lovely companion remained where they had first
halted, awaiting developments. They had stumbled into Paradise and
were both surprised and bewildered.

Redburn approached them first. He was at loss how to open the confab,
but the Scarlet Boy saved him the trouble.

"I presume I see in you one of the representatives of this concern,"
he said, doffing his hat and showing his pearly teeth in a little
smile, as the miner came up.

"You do," replied Redburn, bowing stiffly. "I am an owner or partner
in this mining enterprise, which, until your sudden advent, has been a
secret to the outside world."

"I believe you, pilgrim; for, though I am pretty thoroughly acquainted
with the topography of the Black Hills country, I had not the least
idea that such an enterprise existed in this part of the territory."

"No, I dare say not. But how is it that we are indebted to you for
this intrusion?--for such we feel justified in calling it, under the
existing circumstances."

"I did not intend to intrude, sir, nor do I now. In riding through the
mountains we accidentally stumbled into the fissure passage that leads
to this gulch, and as there was nothing to hinder us, we came on

"True; I should have posted a strong guard in the pass. You have a
female companion, I perceive; not your wife?"

"Oh, no! nor my sister, either. This is Miss Terry--an estimable young
lady, who has come to the Black Hills in search of her father. Your
name is--"

"Redburn--Harry Redburn; and yours, I am told, is Fearless Frank."

"Yes, that is the title I sail under. But how do you know aught of

"I was told your name by a partner of mine. Now, then, concerning the
present matter; what do you propose to do?"

"To do? Why, turn back, I suppose; I see nothing else to do."

Redburn leaned on his rifle and considered.

"Do you belong to that other crowd?"

"No, indeed;" Frank's face flushed, half angrily. "I thank my stars I
am not quite so low down as that, yet. Do you know them? That's
Deadwood Dick, the Prince of the Road, and his band of outlaws!"

"What--is it possible? The same gang whom the _Pioneer_ is making such
a splurge over, every week."

"The same. That fellow clad in black is Deadwood Dick, the leader."

"Humph! He in black; you in scarlet. Two contrasting colors."

"That is so. I had not thought of it before. But no significance is
attached thereto."

"Perhaps not. Have you the least idea what brought them here?"

"The road-agents? I reckon I do. The military has been chasing them
for the last two days. Probably they have come here for protection."

"Maybe so; or for plunder. Give me your decision, and I will go and
see what they want."

"There is nothing for me to decide more than to take the back track."

Redburn shook his head, decidedly.

"You cannot go back!" he said, using positiveness in his argument;
"that is, not for awhile. You'd have all Deadwood down on us in a
jiffy. I'll give you work in the shaft, at three dollars a day. You
can accept that offer, or submit to confinement until I see fit to set
you at liberty."

"And my companion, here--?"

"I will place under the charge of Miss Anita for the present, where
she will receive hospitable treatment."

Fearless Frank started as though he had been struck a violent blow;
his face grew very white; his eyes dilated; he trembled in every

"_Anita!_" he gasped--"_Anita!_"

"I believe that is what I said!" Redburn could not understand the
youth's agitation. He knew that the sister of Ned Harris had a secret;
was this Fearless Frank in any way connected with it, and if so, how?
"Do you know her?"

"Her other name is--"

"Harris--Anita Harris, in full. Do you know her, or aught of her?"

"I--I--I did, once!" was the slow reply. "Where is she; I want to see

Redburn took a moment to consider.

Would it be best to permit a meeting between the two until he should
be able to learn something more definite concerning the secret? If Ned
Harris were here would he sanction such a meeting? No! something told
the young miner that he would not; something warned him that it could
result in no good to allow the scarlet youth an interview with sad,
sweet-faced Anita.

"You cannot see her!" he at last said, decidedly. "There is a reason
why you two should never meet again, and if you remain in the gulch,
as you will be obliged to, for the present, you must give me your word
of honor that you will not go near yonder cabin."

Fearless Frank had expected this; therefore he was not surprised.
Neither did Redburn know how close he had shied his stone at the real

"I promise," McKenzie said, after a moment's deliberation, "on my
honor, that I will not approach the cabin, providing you will furnish
me my meals and lodgings elsewhere. If Anita comes to me, what then?"

"I will see that she does not," Redburn answered, positively.
Gradually he was assuming full control of things, in the absence of
Harris, himself. "Miss Terry, you may ride down to yonder cabin, and
tell Anita I sent you. Pilgrim, you can come along with me."

"No; I will accompany Alice as far as where your forces are
stationed," said Frank, and then they rode down the slope, Redburn
turning toward where the road-agents sat upon their horses in a
compact body, with Deadwood Dick at their head.

As the miner drew nigh and came to a standstill, the Prince of the
road rode forward to his side.

"Well--?" he said, interrogatively, his voice heavy yet pleasant; "I
suppose you desire to know what bizness we've got in your cornfield,
eh, stranger?"

"That's about the dimensions of it, yes," replied Redburn, at once
conceiving a liking for the young road-agent, in whom he thought he
saw a true gentleman, in the disguise of a devil. "I came over to
learn the object you have in view, in invading our little valley, if
you have no objections in telling."

"Certainly not. As you may have guessed already, we are a band of
road-agents, whose field of action we have lately confined to the
Black Hills country. I have the honor of being the leader, and you
have doubtless heard of me--Deadwood Dick, the 'Road-Agent Prince,' as
the _Pioneer_ persists in terming me. Just at present, things are
rather sultry in the immediate vicinity of Deadwood, so far as we are
concerned, and we sought this locality to escape a small army of the
Deadwood military, who have been nosing around after us for the past


"Well, we happened to see a man and woman come this way, and believing
that it must lead to somewhere or other, we followed, and here we are,
out of the reach of the blue-coats, but, I take it, _in_ the way of a
party of secret miners. Is it not so?"

"No, not necessarily so, unless you put yourselves in the way. You
wish to remain quartered here for the present?"

"If not contrary to your wishes, we should like to, yes."

"I have no objections to offer, providing you will agree to two

"And what are they, may I ask?"

"These. That you will camp at the mouth of the passage, and thus keep
out any other intruders that may come; second, that you will keep your
men to this side or the valley, and not interfere with any of our

"To which I eagerly agree. You shall experience no inconvenience from
our presence here; you furnish us a haven of safety from the pursuing
soldiers; we in return will extend you our aid in repelling a host of
fortune-seekers who may any moment come down this way in swarms."

"Very well; that settles it, then. You keep your promise, and all will
go well."

The two shook hands: then Redburn turned and strode back to dismiss
his forces, while Dick and his men took up their position at the place
where the fissure opened into the gulch. Here they made preparations
to camp. Redburn, while returning to his men, heard a shout of joy,
and looking up, saw, to his surprise, that the old "General" and Alice
Terry were locked in each other's arms, in a loving embrace.


[Footnote D: This crusher is said to have been the first introduced
into the Black Hills]



What did it mean?

Had the old hump-backed, bow-legged mine-locater gone crazy, or was he
purposely insulting the beautiful maiden? Fearless Frank stood aside,
apparently offering no objections to the hugging, and the Indians did

At least Miss Terry made no serious attempts to free herself from the
"General's" bear-like embrace.

A few bounds brought Redburn to the spot, panting, breathless,
perspiring. "What is the meaning of this disgraceful scene?" he
demanded, angrily.

"Disgraceful!" The old "General" set Miss Terry down on her feet,
after giving her a resounding smack, and turned to stare at the young
miner, in astonishment. "Disgraceful! Waal, young man, ter tell the
solid Old Testament truth, more or less--consider'bly less o' more 'n
more o' less--I admire yer cheek, hard an' unblushin' as et ar'. Ye
call my givin' this pretty piece o' feminine gander a squar', fatherly
sort o' a hug, _disgraceful_, do ye? Think et's all out o' ther bounds
o' propriety, do ye?"

"I look at it in that light, yes," Redburn replied.

"Haw! haw! haw!" and the General shook his fat sides with immoderate
laughter. "Why, pilgrim-tender-fut, this 'ere hundred an' twenty-six
pounds o' feminine gender b'longs to me--ter yours, truly, Walsingham
Nix--an' I have a parfec' indervidual right ter hug an' kiss her as
much as I please, wi'out brookin' enny interference frum you. Alice,
dear, this ar' Harry Redburn, ginerall sup'intendent o' ther Flower
Pocket gold-mines, an' 'bout as fair specimen as they make, nowadays.
Mr. Redburn, I'll formally present you to Miss Alice Terry, _my

Redburn colored, and was not a little disconcerted on account of his
blunder; but he rallied in a moment, and acknowledged the introduction
with becoming grace and dignity.

"You must excuse my interference," he said, earnestly. "I saw the old
'General' here taking liberties that no stranger should take, and
knowing nothing of the relationship existing between you, I was
naturally inclined to think that he was either drunk or crazy;
therefore I deemed it necessary to investigate. No offense, I hope."

"Of course not." and Alice smiled one of her sweetest smiles. "You did
perfectly right and are deserving of no censure, whatever."

After a few moments of desultory conversation, Redburn took the
"General" to one side, and spoke on the subject of Fearless Frank and
Anita Harris--of his action in the matter, and so forth. Nix--or
Terry, as the latter was evidently his real name--heartily coincided
with his views, and both agreed that it was best not to let the
Scarlet Boy come within range of Anita, or, at least, not till Ned
Harris should return, when he could do as he chose.

Accordingly it was decided that Fearless Frank should be set to work
in the quartz mine, that being the furthest from the cabin, and he
could eat and sleep either in the mine or in the crusher building,
whichever he liked best.

After settling this point the two men rejoined the others, and Frank
was apprised of their decision. He made no remarks upon it, but it was
plain to see that he was anything but satisfied. His wild spirit
yearned for constant freedom.

The Utes were dismissed and sent back to their work; the "General"
strolled off with McKenzie toward the quartz mine; it devolved upon
Redburn to escort Alice to the cabin, which he did with pleasure, and
gave her an introduction to sweet, sad-faced Anita, who awaited their
coming in the open doorway.

The two girls greeted each other with warmth; it was apparent that
they would become fast friends when they learned more of each other.

As for Redburn, he was secretly enamored with the "General's" pretty
daughter; she was beautiful, and evidently accomplished, and her
progenitor was financially well-to-do. What then was lacking to make
her a fitting mate for any man? Redburn pondered deeply on this
subject, as he left the girls together, and went out to see to his
duties in the mines.

He found Terry and Fearless Frank in the quartz mine, looking at the
swarthy-skinned miners; examining new projected slopes; suggesting
easier methods for working out different lumps of gold-bearing rock.
While the former's knowledge of practical mining was extended, the
latter's was limited.

"I think thet thar ar' bigger prospects yet, in further," the old
locater was saying. "I ain't much varsed on jeeological an'
toppygraffical formation, myself, ye see; but then, it kinder 'peers
to me thet this quartz vein ar' a-goin' to hold out fer a consider'ble
time yet."

"Doubtless. More straight digging an' less slopes I should think would
be practicable," McKenzie observed.

"I don't see it!" said Redburn, joining them. "Sloping and
transversing discovers new veins, while line work soon plays out. I
think things are working in excellent order at present."

They all made a tour of the mine which had been dug a considerable
distance into the mountain. The quartz was ordinarily productive, and
being rather loosely thrown together was blasted down without any
extra trouble. After a short consultation, Redburn and the "General"
concluded to place Frank over the Utes as superintendent and
mine-boss, as they saw that he was not used to digging, blasting or
any of the rough work connected with the mine, although he was
clear-headed and inventive.

When tendered the position it was gratefully accepted by him, he
expressing it his intention to work for the interest of his employers
as long as he should stay in the gulch.

Night at last fell over the Flower Pocket gold-mines, and work ceased.

The Utes procured their own food--mainly consisting of fish from the
little creek and deer and mountain birds that could be brought down at
almost any hour from the neighboring crags--and slept in the open air.
Redburn had McKenzie a comfortable bed made in the crusher-house, and
sent him out a meal fit for a prince.

As yet, Anita knew nothing of the scarlet youth's identity;--scarcely
knew, in fact, that he was in the valley.

At the cabin, the evening meal was dispatched with a general
expression of cheerfulness about the board. Anita seemed less downcast
than usual, and the vivacious Alice made life and merriment for all.
She was witty where wit was proper, and sensible in an unusual degree.

Redburn was infatuated with her. He watched her with an expression of
fondness in his eyes; he admired her every gesture and action; he saw
something new to admire in her, each moment he was in her society.

When the evening meal was cleared away, he took down the guitar, and
sung several ballads, the old "General" accompanying him with his rich
deep bass, and Alice with her clear birdlike alto; and the sweet
melody of the trio's voices called forth round after round of
rapturous applause from the road-agents camped upon the slope, and
from the Utes who were lounging here and there among the flower-beds
of the valley. But of the lot, Deadwood Dick was the only one bold
enough to approach the cabin, he came sauntering along and halted on
the threshold, nodding to the occupants of the little apartment with a
nonchalance which was not assumed.

"Good-evening!" he said, tipping his sombrero, but taking care not to
let the mask slip from his face. "I hope mine is not an intrusion.
Hearing music, I was loth to stay away, for I am a great lover of
music;--it is the one passion that appeals to my better nature."

He seated himself on the little stone step, and motioned for Redburn
to proceed.

One of those inside the cabin had been strangely affected at the sight
of Dick, and that person was Anita. She turned deathly pale, her eyes
assumed an expression of affright, and she trembled violently, as she
first saw him. The Prince of the Road, however, if he saw her, noticed
not her agitation; in fact, he took not the second glance at her while
he remained at the cabin. His eyes were almost constantly fastening
upon the lovely face and form of Alice.

Thinking it best to humor one who might become either a powerful enemy
or an influential friend, Redburn accordingly struck up a lively air,
_a la banjo_, and in exact imitation of a minstrel, rendered "Gwine to
Get a Home, Bymeby." And the thunders of _encore_ that came from the
outside listeners, showed how surely he had touched upon a pleasant
chord. He followed that with several modern serio-comic songs, all of
which were received well and heartily applauded.

"That recalls memories of good old times," said the road-agent, as he
leaned back against the door-sill, and gazed at the mountains, grand,
majestic, stupendous, and the starlit sky, azure, calm and serene.
"Recalls the days of early boyhood, that were gay, pure, and happy.
Ah! ho!"

He heaved a deep sign, and his head dropped upon his breast.

A deathlike silence pervaded the cabin; that one heartfelt sigh
aroused a sensation of pity in each of the four hearts that beat
within the cabin walls.

That the road-agent was a gentleman in disguise, was not to be
gainsayed; all felt that, despite his outlawed calling, he was
deserving of a place among them, in his better moods.

As if to accord with his mood, Alice began a sweet birdlike song, full
of tender pathos, and of quieting sympathy.

It was a quaint Scottish melody,--rich in its honeyed meaning, sweetly
weird and pitiful; wonderfully soothing and nourishing to a weeping

Clear and flute-like the maiden's cultured voice swelled out on the
still night air, and the mountain echoes caught up the strains and
lent a wild peculiar accompaniment.

Deadwood Dick listened, with his head still bowed, and his hands
clasped about one knee;--listened in a kind of fascination, until the
last reverberations of the song had died out in a wailing echo; then
he sprung abruptly to his feet, drew one hand wearily across the
masked brow; raised his sombrero with a deft movement, and bowed
himself out--out into the night, where the moon and stars looked down
at him, perhaps with more lenience than on some.

Alice Terry rose from her seat, crossed over to the door, and gazed
after the straight handsome form, until it had mingled with the other
road-agents, who had camped upon the slope. Then she turned about, and
sat down on the couch beside Anita.

"You are still, dear," she said, stroking the other's long, unconfined
hair. "Are you lonely? If not why don't you say something?"

"I have nothing to say," replied Anita, a sad, sweet smile playing
over her features. "I have been too much taken up with the music to
think of talking."

"But, you are seldom talkative."

"So brother used to tell me. He said I had lost my heart, and tongue."

Redburn was drumming on the window-casing with his fingers;--a sort of
lonely tattoo it was.

"You seemed to be much interested in the outlaw. Miss Terry," he
observed, as if by chance the thought had just occurred to him, when,
in reality, he was downright jealous. "Had you two ever met--"

"Certainly not, sir," and Alice flashed him an inquiring glance. "Why
do you ask?"

"Oh! for no reason, in particular, only I fancied that song was meant
especially for him."

Redburn, afterward, would have given a hundred dollars to have
recalled those words, for the haughty, half-indignant look Alice gave
him instantly showed him he was on the wrong track.

If he wished to court her favor, it must be in a different way, and he
must not again give her a glimpse of his jealous nature.

"You spoke of a brother," said Alice, turning to Anita. "Does he live
here with you?"

"Yes, when not away on business. He has now been absent for over a

"Indeed! Is he as sweet, sad, and silent as yourself?"

"Oh! no; Ned is unlike me; he is buoyant, cheerful, pleasant."

"Ned? What is his full name, dear?"

"Edward Harris."

Alice grew suddenly pale and speechless, as she remembered the
handsome young miner whom Fearless Frank had slain in the duel, just
outside of Deadwood. This, then, was his sister; and evidently she as
yet knew nothing of his sad fate.

"Do you know aught concerning Edward Harris?" Redburn asked, seeing
her agitation. Alice considered a moment.

"I do," she answered, at last. "This Fearless Frank, whom I came here
with, had a duel with a man, just above Deadwood, whose name was
Edward Harris!"

"My God;--and his fate--?"

"He was instantly killed, and left lying where he dropped!"

There was a scream of agony, just here, and a heavy fall.

Anita had fainted!



Redburn sprung from his seat, ran over to her side, and raised her
tenderly in his arms.

"Poor thing!" he murmured, gazing into her pale, still face, "the
shock was too much for her. No wonder she fainted." He laid her on the
couch, and kept off the others who crowded around.

"Bring cold water!" he ordered, "and I will soon have her out of this

Alice hastened to obey, and Anita's face and hands were bathed in the
cooling liquid until she began to show signs of returning

"You may now give me the particulars of the affair," Redburn said,
rising and closing the door, for a chilly breeze was sweeping into the

Alice proceeded to comply with his request by narrating what had
occurred and, as nearly as possible, what had been said. When she had
concluded, he gazed down for several moments thoughtfully into the
face of Anita. There was much yet that was beyond his powers of
comprehension--a knotty problem for which he saw no immediate

"What do you think about it, "General"?" he asked, turning to the
mine-locater. "Have we sufficient evidence to hang this devil in

"Hardly, boyee, hardly. 'Peers te me, 'cordin' to ther gal's tell,
thet thar war a fair shake all around, an' as duelin' ar' more or less
ther fashun 'round these parts,--considera'bly more o' less 'n less o'
more--et ain't law-fell ter yank a critter up by ther throat!"

"I know it is not, according to the customs of this country of the
Black Hills; but, look at it. That fellow, who I am satisfied is a
black-hearted knave, has not only taken the life of poor Harris, but,
very probably, has given his sister her death-blow. The question is:
should he go unpunished in the face of all this evidence?"

"Yes. Let him go; _I_ will be the one to punish him!"

It was Anita who spoke. She had partly arisen on the couch; her face
was streaked with water and slightly haggard; her hair blew unconfined
about her neck and shoulders; her eyes blazed with a wild, almost
savage fire.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Let him go!" she repeated, more of fierceness in her voice than
Redburn had ever heard there, before. "He shall not escape my
vengeance. Oh, my poor, poor dead brother!"

She flung herself back upon the couch, and gave herself up to a wild,
passionate, uncontrollable outburst of tears and sobs--the wailings of
a sorrowing heart. For a long time she continued to weep and sob
violently; then came a lull, during which she fell asleep, from
exhaustion--a deep sleep. Redburn and Alice then carried her into an
adjoining room, where she was left under the latter's skillful care.
Awhile later the cabin was wrapped in silence.

When morning sunlight next peeped down into the Flower Pocket, it
found everything generally astir. Anita was up and pursuing her
household duties, but she was calm, now, even sadder than before,
making a strange contrast to blithe, gaysome Alice, who flitted about,
here and there, like some bright-winged butterfly surrounded by a halo
of perpetual sunshine.

       *       *       *       *       *

Unknown to any one save themselves, two men were within the valley of
the Flower Pocket gold-mines--there on business, and that business
meant bloodshed. They were secreted in among the foothills on the
western side of the flowering paradise, at a point where they were not
observed, and at the same time were the observers of all that was
going on in front of them.

How came they here, when the hand of Deadwood Dick guarded the only
accessible entrance there was to the valley? The answer was: they came
secretly through the pass on the night preceding the arrival of the
road-agents, and had been lying in close concealment ever since.

The one was an elderly man of portly figure, and the other a young,
dandyish fellow, evidently the elder's son, for they resembled each
other in every feature. We make no difficulty to recognizing them as
the same precious pair whom Outlaw Dick captured from the stage, only
to lose them again through the treachery of two of his own band.

Both looked considerably the worse for wear, and the gaunt, hungry
expression on their features, as the morning sunlight shone down upon
them, declared in a language more adequate than words, that they were
beginning to suffer the first pangs of starvation.

"We cannot hold out at this rate much longer!" the elder Filmore
cried, as he watched the bustle in the valley below. "I'm as empty as
a collapsed balloon, and what's more, we're in no prospects of
immediate relief."

Filmore, the younger, groaned aloud in agony of spirit.

"Curse the Black Hills and all who have been fools enough to inhabit
them, anyhow!" he growled, savagely; "just let me get back in the land
of civilization again, and you can bet your bottom dollar I'll know
enough to stay there."

"Bah! this little rough experience will do you good. If we only had a
square meal or two and a basket of sherry, I should feel quite at
home. Nothing but a fair prospect of increasing our individual
finances would ever have lured me into this outlandish place. But
money, you know, is the root of all--"

"Evil!" broke in the other, "and after three months' wild-goose-chase
you are just as destitute of the desired root as you were at first."

"True, but we have at least discovered one of the shrubs at the bottom
of which grows the root."

"You refer to Deadwood Dick?"

"I do. He is here in the valley, and he must never leave it alive.
While we have the chance we must strike the blow that will forever
silence his tongue."

"Yes; but what about the girl? She will be just as much in the way, if
not a good deal more so."

"We can manage her all right when the proper time arrives. Dick is our
game, now."

"He may prove altogether too much game. But, now that we are counting
eggs, how much of the 'lay' is to be mine, when this boy and girl are
finished?" he queried.

"How much? Well, that depends upon circumstances. The girl _may_ fall
to you."

"The girl? Bah! I'd rather be excused."

       *       *       *       *       *

The day passed without incident in the mines. The work went steadily
on, the sounds of the crusher making strange music for the mountain
echoes to mock.

Occasionally the crack of a rifle announced that either a road-agent
or a Ute miner had risked a shot at a mountain sheep, bird, or deer.
Generally their aim was attended with success, though sometimes they
were unable to procure the slaughtered game.

Redburn, on account of his clear-headedness and business tact, had
full charge of both mines, the "General" working under him in the
shaft, and Fearless Frank in the quartz mine.

When questioned about his duel with Harris by Redburn, McKenzie had
very little to say; he seemed pained when approached on the subject;
would answer no questions concerning the past; was reserved and at
times singularly haughty.

During the day Anita and Alice took a stroll through the valley, but
the latter had been warned, and fought shy of the quartz mine; so
there was no encounter between Anita and Fearless Frank.

Deadwood Dick joined them as they were returning to the cabin, loaded
down with flowers--flowers of almost every color and perfume.

"This is a beautiful day," he remarked, pulling up a daisy, as he
walked gracefully along. "One rarely sees so many beauties centered in
one little valley like this--beautiful landscape and mountain scenery,
beautiful flowers beneath smiling skies, and lovely women, the chief
center of attraction among all."

"Indeed!" and Alice gave him a coquettish smile; "you are flattering,
sir road-agent. You, at least, are not beautiful, in that horrible
black suit and villainous mask. You remind me of a picture I have seen
somewhere of the devil in disguise; all that is lacking is the horns,
tail and cloven-foot."

Dick broke out into a burst of laughter--it was one of those wild,
terrible laughs of his, so peculiar to hear from one who was evidently
young in years.

Both of the girls were terrified, and would have fled had he not
detained them.

"Ha, ha!" he said, stepping in front of them, "do not be frightened;
don't go, ladies. That's only the way I express my amusement at

"Then, for mercy's sake, don't get amused again," said Alice,
deprecatingly. "Why, dear me, I thought the Old Nick and all his
couriers had pounced down upon us."

"Well, how do you know but what he has? _I_ may be his Satanic
majesty, or one of his envoys."

"I hardly think so; you are too much an earthly being for that. Come,
now, take off that detestable mask and let me see what you look like."

"No, indeed! I would not remove this mask, except on conditions, for
all the gold yon toiling miners are finding, which, I am satisfied, is
no small amount."

"You spoke of conditions. What are they?"

"Some time, perhaps, I will tell you, lady, but not now. See! my men
are signaling to me, and I must go. Adieu, ladies;" and in another
moment he had wheeled, and was striding back toward camp.

In their concealment the two Filmores witnessed this meeting between
Dick and the two girls.

"So there are females here, eh?" grunted the elder, musingly. "From
observation I should say that Prince Dick was a comparative stranger

"That is my opinion," groaned Clarence, his thoughts reverting to his
empty stomach. "Did you hear that laugh a moment ago? It was more like
the screech of a lunatic than anything else."

"Yes; he is a young tiger. There is no doubt of that to my mind."

"And we shall have to keep on the alert to take him. He came to the
cabin last night. If he does to-night we can mount him!"

Before night the elder Filmore succeeded in capturing a wild goose
that had strayed down with the stream from somewhere above. This was
killed, dressed and half cooked by a brushwood fire which they
hazarded in a fissure in the hillside whereto they had hidden. This
fowl they almost ravenously devoured, and thus thoroughly satisfied
their appetites. They now felt a great deal better, ready for the work
in hand--of capturing and slaying the dare-devil Deadwood Dick.

As soon as it was dark they crept, like the prowling wolves they were,
down into the valley, and positioned themselves midway between the
cabin and the road-agent's camp, but several yards apart, with a lasso
held above the grass between them, to serve as a "trip-up."

The sky had become overcast with dense black clouds, and the gloom to
the valley was quite impenetrable. From their concealment the two
Filmores could hear Redburn, Alice and the "General" singing up at
the cabin, and it told them to be on their guard, as Dick might now
come along at any moment.

Slowly the minutes dragged by, and both were growing impatient, when
the firm tread of "the Prince" was heard swiftly approaching. Quickly
the lasso was drawn taut. Dick, not dreaming of the trap, came boldly
along, tripped, and went sprawling to the ground. The next instant his
enemies were on him, each with a long murderous knife in hand.



The suddenness of the onslaught prevented Deadwood Dick from raising a
hand to defend himself, and the two strong men piling their combined
weights upon him, had the effect to render him utterly helpless. He
would have yelled to apprise his comrades of his fate, but Alexander
Filmore, ready for the emergency, quickly thrust a cob of wood into
his mouth, and bound it there with strong strings.

The young road-agent was a prisoner.

"Hal ha!" leered the elder Filmore, peering down into the masked
face--"ha! ha! my young eaglet; so I have you at last, have I? After
repeated efforts to get you in my power, I have at last been rewarded
with success, eh? Ha! ha! the terrible scourge of the Black Hills lies
here at my feet, mine to do with as I shall see fit."

"Shall we settle him, and leave him lying here, where his gang can
find him?" interrupted the younger Filmore, who, now that his blood
was up, cared little what he did. "You give him one jab, and I will
guarantee to finish him with the second!"

"No! no! boy; you are too hasty. Before we silence him, forever, we
must ascertain, if possible, where the girl is."

"But, he'll never tell us."

"We have that yet to find out. It is my opinion that we can bring him
to terms, somehow. Take hold, and we will carry him back to our hole
in the hill."

Deadwood Dick was accordingly seized by the neck and heels, and borne
swiftly and silently toward the western side of the gulch, up among
the foothills, into the rift, where the plotters had lain concealed
since their arrival. Here he was placed upon the ground in a sitting
posture, and his two enemies crouched on either side of him, like
beasts ready to spring upon their prey.

Below in the valley, the Utes had kindled one solitary fire, and this
with a starlike gleam of light from the cabin window, was the only
sign of life to be seen through the night's black shroud. The trio in
the foothills were evidently quite alone.

Alexander Filmore broke the silence.

"Well, my gay Deadwood Dick, Prince of the Road, I suppose you wish to
have the matter over with, as soon as possible"

The road-agent nodded.

"Better let him loose in the jaws," suggested Filmore the younger; "or
how else shall we get from him what we must know? Take out his gag.
I'll hold my six against his pulsometer. If he squawks, I'll silence
him, sure as there is virtue in powder and ball!"

The elder, after some deliberation, acquiesced, and Dick was placed in
possession of his speaking power, while the muzzle of young Filmore's
revolver pressed against his breast, warned him to silence and

"Now," said the elder Filmore, "just you keep mum. If you try any
trickery, it will only hasten your destruction, which is inevitable!"

Deadwood Dick gave a little laugh.

"You talk as if you were going to do something toward making me the
center of funeralistic attraction."

"You'll find out, soon enough, young man. I have not pursued you so
long, all for nothing, you may rest assured. Your death will be the
only event that can atone for all the trouble you have given me, in
the past."

"_Is_ that so? Well, you seem to hold all the _trump_ cards, and I
reckon you ought to win, though I can't see into your inordinate
thirst for _diamonds_, when _spades_ will eventually triumph. Had I a
_full hand_ of _clubs_, I am not so sure but what I could _raise_ you,
_knaves_ though you are!"

"I think not; when kings win, the game is virtually up. We hold
altogether to high cards for you, at present, and _beg_ as you may, we
shall not _pass_ you."

"Don't be too sure of it. The best trout often slips from the hook,
when you are sanguine that you have at last been immoderately
successful. But, enough of this cheap talk. Go on and say your say, in
as few words as possible, for I am in a hurry."

Both Filmore, Sr., and Filmore, Jr., laughed at this--it sounded so
ridiculously funny to hear a helpless prisoner talk of being in a

"Business must be pressing!" leered the elder, savagely. "Don't be at
all scared. We'll start you humming along the road to Jordan soon
enough, if that's what you want. First, however, we desire you to
inform us where we can find the girl, as we wish to make a clean
sweep, while we are about it."

"Do you bathe your face in alum-water?" abruptly asked the road-agent,
staring at his captor, quizzically. "Do you?"

"Bathe in _alum_-water? Certainly not, sir. Why do you ask?"

"Because the hardness of you cheek is highly suggestive of the use of
some similar application."

Alexander Filmore stared at his son a moment, at loss to comprehend;
but, as it began to dawn upon him that he was the butt of a hard hit,
he uttered a frightful curse.

"My cheek and your character bear a close resemblance, then!" he
retorted, hotly. "Again I ask you, will you tell me where the girl

"No! you must take me for an ornery mule, or some other kind of an
animal, if you think I would deliver her into _your_ clutches. No! no!
my scheming knaves, I will not. Kill me if you like, but it will not
accomplish your villainous ends. She has all of the papers, and can
not only put herself forward at the right time, but can have you
arrested for my murder!"

"Bah! we can find her, as we have found you; so we will not trifle.
Clarence, get ready; and when I count one--two--three--pull the
trigger, and I'll finish him with my knife!"

"All right; go ahead; I'm ready!" replied the dutiful son.

Fearless Frank sat upon a bowlder in the mouth of the quartz mine,
listening to the strains of music that floated up to him from the
cabin out in the valley, and puffing moodily away at a grimy old pipe
he had purchased, together with some tobacco, from one of the Utes,
with whom he worked.

He had not gone down to the crusher-house for his supper; he did not
feel hungry, and was more contented here, in the mouth of the mine,
where he could command a view of all that was going on in the valley.
With his pipe for a companion he was as happy as he could be, deprived
as he was from association with the others of his color, who had
barred him out in the cold.

Once or twice during the day, on coming from within, to get a breath
of pure air, he had caught a glimpse of Anita as she flitted about the
cabin engaged at her household duties, and the yearning expression
that unconsciously stole into his dark eyes, spoke of a passion within
his heart, that, though it might be slumbering, was not extinct--was
there all the same, in all its strength and ardor. Had he been granted
the privilege of meeting her, he might have displaced the barrier that
rose between them; but now, nothing remained for him but to toil away
until Redburn should see fit to send him away, back into the world
from which he came.

Would he want to go, when that time came? Hardly, he thought, as he
sat there and gazed into the quiet vale below him, so beautiful even
in darkness. There was no reason why he should go back again adrift
upon the bustling world.

He had no relatives--no claims that pointed him to go thither; he was
as free and unfettered as the wildest mountain eagle. He had no one to
say where he should and where he should not go; he liked one place
equally as well as another, providing there was plenty of provender
and work within easy range; he had never thought of settling down,
until now, when he had come to the Flower Pocket valley, and caught a
glimpse of Anita--Anita whom he had not seen for years; on whom he had
brought censure, reproach and--

A step among the rocks close at hand startled him from a reverie into
which he had fallen, and caused him to spill the tobacco from his

A slight trim figure stood a few yards away, and he perceived that two
extended hands clasped objects, whose glistening surface suggested
that they were "sixes" or "sevens."

"Silence!" came in a clear, authoritative voice. "One word more than I
ask you, and I'll blow your brains out. Now, what's your name?"

"Justin McKenzie's my name. Fearless Frank generally answers me the
purpose of a nom de plume," was the reply.

"Very good," and the stranger drew near enough for the Scarlet Boy to
perceive that he was clad in buck-skin; well armed; wore a Spanish
sombrero, and hair long, down over the square shoulders. "I'm Calamity

If McKenzie uttered an ejaculation of surprise, it was not to be
wondered at, for he had heard many stories, in Deadwood, concerning
the "dare-devil gal dressed up in men's toggery."

"Calamity Jane?" he echoed, picking up his pipe. "Where in the world
did _you_ come from, and how did you get here, and what do you want,

"One at a time, please. I came from Deadwood with Road-Agent Dick's
party--unknown to them, understand you. That answers two questions.
The third is, I want to be around when there's any fun going on; and
it's lucky I'm here now. I guess Dick has just got layed out by two
fellows in the valley below here, and they've slid off with him over
among the foot-hills yonder. I want you to stub along after me, and
lend the voices of your sixes, if need be. I'm going to set him at

"I'm at your service," Frank quickly replied. Excitement was one of
his passions; adventure was another.

"Are you well heeled?"

"I reckon. Always make it a point to be prepared for wild beasts and
the like, you know."

"A good idea. Well, if you are ready, we'll slide. I don't want them
toughs to get the drop on Dick if I can help it."

"Who are they?"

"Who--the toughs?"

"Yes; they that took the road-agent"

"I don't know 'm. Guess they're tender-foots--some former enemies of
his, without doubt. They propose to quiz a secret about some girl out
of him, and then knife him. We'll have to hurry or they'll get their
work in ahead of us."

They left the mouth of the mine, and skurried down into the valley,
through the dense shroud of gloom.

Calamity Jane led the way; she was both fleet of foot and cautious.

Let us look down on the foot-hill camp, and the two Fillmores who are
stationed on either side of their prisoner.

The younger presses the muzzle of his revolver against Deadwood Dick's
heart; the elder holds a long gleaming knife upheld in his right hand.

"One!" he counts, savagely.

"Two!"--after a momentary pause. Another lapse of time, and then--

"Hold! gentlemen; that will do!" cries a clear ringing voice; and
Calamity Jane and McKenzie, stepping out of the darkness, with four
gleaming "sixes" in hand, confirm the pleasant assertion!



Nevertheless, the gleaming blade of Alexander Filmore descended, and
was buried in the fleshy part of Deadwood Dick's neck, making a wound,
painful but not necessarily dangerous.

"You vile varmint," cried Calamity Jane, pulling the hammer of one of
her revolvers back to full cock; "you cursed fool; don't you know that
that only seals yer own miserable fate?"

She took deliberate aim, but Dick interrupted her.

"Don't shoot, Jennie!" he gasped, the blood spurting from his wound;
"this ain't none o' your funeral. Give three shrill whistles for my
men, and they'll take care o' these hounds until I'm able to attend to
'em. Take me to the cab--"

He could not finish the sentence; a sickening stream of blood gushed
from his mouth, and he fell back upon the ground insensible.

Fearless Frank gave the three shrill whistles, while Calamity Jane
covered the two cowering wretches with her revolvers.

The distress signal was answered by a yell, and in a few seconds five
road-agents came bounding up.

"Seize these two cusses, and guard 'em well!" Calamity said, grimly.
"They are a precious pair, and in a few days, no doubt, you'll have
the pleasure of attending their funerals. Your captain is wounded, but
not dangerously, I hope. We will take him to the cabin, where there
are light and skillful hands to dress his wounds. When he wants you,
we will let you know. Be sure and guard these knaves well, now."

The men growled an assent, and after binding the captives' arms,
hustled them off toward camp, in double quick time, muttering threats
of vengeance. Fearless Frank and Calamity then carefully raised the
stricken road-agent, and bore him to the cabin, where he was laid upon
the couch. Of course, all was now excitement.

Redburn and Alice set to work to dress the bleeding wound, with Jane
and the "General" looking on to see that nothing was left undone.
Fearless Frank stood apart from the rest, his arms folded across his
breast, a grave, half-doubtful expression upon his handsome,
sun-browned features.

Anita was not in the room at the time, but she came in a moment later,
and stood gazing about her in wondering surprise. Then, her eyes
rested upon Fearless Frank for the first, and she grew deathly white;
she trembled in every limb; a half-frightened, half-pitiful look came
into her eyes.

The young man in scarlet was similarly effected. His cheeks blanched;
his lips became firmly compressed; a mastering expression fell from
his dark magnetic orbs.

There they stood, face to face, a picture of doubt; of indifferent
respect, of opposite strong passions, subdued to control by a heavy

None of the others noticed them; they were alone, confronting each
other; trying to read the other's thoughts; the one penitent and
craving forgiveness, the other cold almost to sternness, and yet not
unwilling to forgive and forget.

Deadwood Dick's wound was quickly and skillfully dressed; it was not
dangerous, but was so exceedingly painful that the pangs soon brought
him back to consciousness.

The moment he opened his eyes he saw Fearless Frank and
Anita--perceived their position toward each other, and that it would
require only a single word to bridge the chasm between them. A hard
look came into his eyes as they gazed through the holes in the mask,
then he gazed at Alice--sweet piquant Alice--and the hardness melted
like snow before the spring sunshine.

"Thank God it was no deeper," he said, sitting upright, and rubbing
the tips of his black-glove fingers over the patches that covered the
gash, "Although deucedly bothersome, it is not of much account."

To the surprise of all he sprung to his feet, and strode to the door.
Here he stopped, and looked around for a few moments, sniffing at the
cool mountain breeze, as a dog would. A single cedar tree stood by the
cabin, its branches, bare and naked, stretching out like huge arms
above the doorway. And it was at these the road-agent gazed, a savage
gleam in his piercing black eyes.

After a few careful observations, he turned his face within the cabin.

"Justin McKenzie," he said, gazing at the young man, steadily, "I want
you to do me a service. Go to my camp, and say to my men that I desire
their presence here, together with the two prisoners, and a couple of
stout lariats, with nooses at the end of them. Hurry, now!"

Fearless Frank started a trifle, for he seemed to recognize the voice;
but the next instant he bowed assent, and left the cabin. When he was
gone, Dick turned to Redburn.

"Have you a glass of water handy, Cap? This jab in the gullet makes me
somewhat thirsty," he said.

Redburn nodded, and procured the drink; then a strange silence
pervaded the cabin--a silence that no one seemed willing to break.

At last the tramp of many feet was heard, and a moment later the
road-agents, with Fearless Frank at their head, reached the doorway,
where they halted. The moment Deadwood Dick came forward, there was a
wild, deafening cheer.

"Hurra! hurra! Deadwood Dick, Prince of the Road, still lives. Three
long hearty cheers, lads, and a hummer!" cried Fearless Frank, and
then the mountain echoes reverberated with a thousand discordant yells
of hurrah.

The young road-agent responded with a nod, and then said:

"The prisoners; have you them there?"

"Here they are, Cap!" cried a score of voices, and the two Filmores
were trotted out to the front, with ropes already about their necks.
"Shall we h'ist 'em?"

"Not jest yet, boys: I have a few words to say, first."

Then turning half-about in the doorway, Deadwood Dick continued:

"Ladies and gentlemen, a little tragedy is about to take place here
soon, and it becomes necessary that I should say a few words
explaining what cause I have for hanging these two wretches whom you
see here.

"Therefore, I will tell you a short story, and you will see that my
cause is just, as we look at these things here in this delectable
country of the Black Hills. To begin with:

"My name is, to you, _Edward Harris!_" and here the road-agent flung
aside the black mask, revealing the smiling face of the young
card-sharp. "I have another--my family name--but I do not use it,
preferring Harris to it. Anita, yonder; is my sister.

"Several years ago, when we were children, living in one of the
Eastern States, we were made orphans by the death of our parents, who
were drowned while driving upon a frozen lake in company with my
uncle, Alexander Filmore, and his son, Clarence--those are the parties
yonder, and as God is my judge, I believe they are answerable for the
death of our father and mother.

"Alexander Filmore was appointed guardian over us, and executor of our
property, which amounted to somewhere in the neighborhood of fifty
thousand dollars, my father having been for years extensively engaged
in speculation, at which he was most always successful.

"From the day of their death we began to receive the most tyrannical
treatment. We were whipped, kicked about, and kept in a half-starved
condition. Twice when we were in bed, and, as he supposed, asleep,
Alexander Filmore came to us and attempted to assassinate us, but my
watchfulness was a match for his villainy, and we escaped death at his

"Finding that this kind of life was unbearable, I appealed to our
neighbors and even to the courts for protection, but my enemy was a
man of great influence, and after many vain attempts, I found that I
could not obtain a hearing; that nothing remained for me to do but to
fight my own way. And I did fight it.

"Out of my father's safe I purloined a sum of money sufficient to
defray our expenses for a while, and then, taking Anita with me, I
fled from the home of my youth. I came first to Fort Laramie, where I
spent a year in the service of a fur-trader.

"My guardian, during that year, sent three men out to kill me, but
they had the tables turned on them, and their bones lay bleaching even
now on Laramie plains.

"During that year my sister met a gay, dashing young ranger, who
hailed to the name of Justin McKenzie, and of course she fell in love
with him. That was natural, as he was handsome, suave and gallant,
and, more than all, reported tolerably well to-do.

"I made inquiries, and found that there was nothing against his moral
character, so I made no objections to his paying his attentions to

"But one day a great surprise came.

"On returning from a buffalo-hunt of several days' duration I found my
home deserted, and a letter from Anita stating that she had gone with
McKenzie to Cheyenne to live; they were not married yet, but would be,

"That aroused the hellish part of my passionate nature. I believed
that McKenzie was leading her a life of dishonor, and it made my blood
boil to even think of it. Death, I swore, should be his reward for
this infidelity, and mounting my horse I set out in hot haste for

"But I arrived there too late to accomplish my mission of vengeance.

"I found Anita and took her back to my home, a sad and sorrowing
maiden; McKenzie I could not find; he had heard of my coming, and fled
to escape my avenging hand. But over the head of my weeping sister, I
swore a fearful oath of vengeance, and I have it yet to keep. I
believe there had been some kind of a sham marriage; Anita would never
speak on the subject, so I had to guess at the terrible truth.

"And there's where you made an accursed mess of the whole affair!"
cried McKenzie, stepping into the cabin, and leading Anita forward, by
the hand. "Before-God and man _I acknowledge Anita Harris to be my
legally wedded wife_. Listen, Edward Harris, and I will explain. That
day that you came to Cheyenne in pursuit of me, I'll acknowledge I
committed an error--one that has caused me much trouble since. The
case was this:

"I was the nearest of kin to a rich old fur-trader, who proposed to
leave me all his property at his death: but he was a desperate
woman-hater, and bound me to a promise that I would never marry.

"Tempted by the lust for gold, I yielded, and he drew up a will in my
favor. This was before I met Anita here.

"When we went to Cheyenne, the old man was lying at the point of
death; so I told Anita that we would not be married for a few days,
until we saw how matters were going to shape. If he died, we would be
married secretly, and she would return to your roof until I could get
possession of my inheritance, when we would go to some other part of
the country to live. If he recovered, I would marry her anyway, and
let the old man go to Tophet with his money-bags. I see now how I was
in the wrong.

"Well, that very day, before your arrival, the old man himself pounced
down upon us, and cursed me up hill and down, for my treachery, and
forthwith struck me out from his will. I immediately sent for a
chaplain, and was married to Anita. I then went up to see the old man
and find if I could not effect a compromise with him.

"He told me if I would go with him before Anita and swear that she was
not legally my wife, and that I would never live with her, he would
again alter his will in my favor.

"Knowing that that would make no difference, so far as the law was
concerned, I sent Anita a note apprising her of what was coming, and
stating that she had best return to you until the old man should die,
when I would come for her. Subsequently I went before her in company
with the old man and swore as I had promised to do, and when I
departed she was weeping bitterly, but I naturally supposed it was
sham grief. A month later, on his death-bed, the old trader showed me
the letter I had sent her, and I realized that not only was my little
game up, but that I had cheated myself out of a love that was true. I
was left entirely out of the will, and ever since I have bitterly
cursed the day that tempted me to try to win gold and love at the same
time. Here, Edward Harris," and the young man drew a packet of papers
from inside his pocket, "are two certificates of my marriage, one for
Anita, and one for myself. You see now, that, although mine has been a
grievous error, no dishonor is coupled with your sister's name."

Ned Harris took one of the documents and glanced over it, the
expression on his face softening. A moment later he turned and grasped
McKenzie's hand.

"God bless you, old boy!" he said, huskily. "I am the one who has
erred, and if you have it in your heart to forgive me, try and do so.
I do not expect much quarter in this world, you know. There is Anita;
take her, if she will come to you, and may God shower his eternal
blessings upon you both!"

McKenzie turned around with open arms, and Anita flew to his embrace
with a low glad cry. There was not a dry eye in the room.

There was an impatient surging of the crowd outside; Dick saw that his
men were longing for the sport ahead; so he resumed his story:

"There is not much more to add," he said, after a moment's thought. "I
fled into the Black Hills when the first whispers of gold got afloat,
and chancing upon this valley, I built us a home here, wherein to live
away the rest of our lives.

"In time I organized the band of men you see around me, and took to
the road. Of this my sister knew nothing. The Hills have been my haunt
ever since, and during all this time yon scheming knaves"--pointing to
the prisoners--"have been constantly sending out men to murder me. The
last tool, Hugh Vansevere by name, boldly posted up reward papers in
the most frequented routes, and he went the same way as his
predecessors. Seeing that nothing could be accomplished through aids,
my enemies have at last come out to superintend my butchery in person;
and but for the timely interference of Calamity Jane and Justin
McKenzie, a short time since, I should have ere this been numbered
with the dead. Now, I am inclined to be merciful to only those who
have been merciful to me; therefore, I have decided that Alexander and
Clarence Filmore shall pay the penalty of hanging, for their attempted
crimes. Boys, _string 'em up!_"

So saying, Deadwood Dick stepped without the cabin, and closed the
door behind him.

Redburn also shut down and curtained the windows, to keep out the
horrible sight and sounds.

But, for all this, those inside could not help but hear the pleading
cries of the doomed wretches, the tramp of heavy feet, the hushed
babble of voices, and at last the terrible shout of, "Heave 'o! up
they go!" which signaled the commencement of the victims' journey into

Then there was a long blank pause; not a sound was heard, not a voice
spoke, nor a foot moved. This silence was speedily broken, however, by
two heavy falls, followed almost immediately by the tramp of feet.

Not till all was again quiet did Redburn venture to open the door and
look out. All was dark and still.

The road-agents had gone, and left no sign of their work behind.

When morning dawned, they were seen to have re-camped on the eastern
slope, where the smoke of their camp-fires rose in graceful white
columns through the clear transparent atmosphere.

During the day Dick met Alice Terry, as she was gathering flowers, a
short distance from the cabin.

"Alice--Miss Terry," he said, gravely, "I have come to ask you to be
my wife. I love you, and want you for my own darling. Be mine, Alice,
and I will mend my ways, and settle down to an honest, straightforward

The beautiful girl looked up pityingly.

"No," she said, shaking her head, her tone kind and respectful, "I
cannot love you, and never can be your wife, Mr. Harris."

"You love another?" he interrogated.

She did not answer, but the tell-tale blush that suffused her cheek
did, for her.

"It is Redburn!" he said, positively. "Very well; give him my
congratulations. See, Alice;" here the young road-agent took the crape
mask from his bosom; "I now resume the wearing of this mask. Your
refusal has decided my future. A merry road-agent I have been, and a
merry road-agent I shall die. Now, good-by forever."

       *       *       *       *       *

On the following morning it was discovered that the road-agents and
their daring leader, together with the no less heroic Calamity Jane,
had left the valley--gone; whither, no one knew.

About a month later, one day when Calamity Jane was watering her horse
at the stream, two miles above Deadwood, the road-agent chief rode out
of the chaparral and joined her.

He was still masked, well armed, and looking every inch a Prince of
the Road.

"Jennie," he said, reining in his steed, "I am lonely and want a
companion to keep me company through life. You have no one but
yourself; our spirits and general temperament agree. Will you marry me
and become my queen?"

"No!" said the girl, haughtily, sternly. "I have had all the _man_ I
care for. We can be friends, Dick; more we can never be!"

"Very well, Jennie; I rec'on it is destined that I shall live single.
At any rate, I'll never take a refusal from another woman. Yes, gal,
we'll be friends, if nothing more."

       *       *       *       *       *

There is little more to add.

We might write at length, but choose a few words to end this o'er true
romance of life in the Black Hills.

McKenzie and Anita were remarried in Deadwood, and at the same time
Redburn led Alice Terry to the altar, which consummation the "General"
avowed was "more or less of a good thing--consider'bly less o' more
'n' more o' less."

Through eastern lawyers, a settlement of the Harris affairs was
effected, the whole of the property being turned over to Anita,
thereby placing her and Fearless Frank above want for a lifetime.

Therefore they gave up their interest in the Flower Pocket mines to
Redburn and the "General."

Calamity Jane is still in the Hills.

And grim and uncommunicative, there roams through the country of gold
a youth in black, at the head of a bold lawless gang of road-riders,
who, from his unequaled daring, has won and rightly deserves the
name--Deadwood Dick, Prince of the Road.


       *       *       *       *       *

=Edward L. Wheeler's=

=Deadwood Dick Novels=


=Beadle's Half-Dime Library.=

       *       *       *       *       *

1. Deadwood Dick; or, The Black Rider of the Black Hills.

20. The Double Daggers; or, Deadwood Dick's Defiance.

28. Buffalo Ben; or, Deadwood Dick in Disguise.

35. Wild Ivan, the Boy Claude Duval; or, The Brotherhood of Death.

42. The Phantom Miner; or, Deadwood Dick's Bonanza.

49. Omaha Oll; or, Deadwood Dick in Danger.

75. Deadwood Dick's Eagles; or, The Pards of Flood Bar.

73. Deadwood Dick on Deck; or, Calamity Jane, the Heroine of Whoop-Up.

77. Corduroy Charlie; or, The Last Act of Deadwood Dick.

100. Deadwood Dick in Leadville; or, A Strange Stroke for Liberty.

104. Deadwood Dick's Device; or, The Sign of the Double Cross.

109. Deadwood Dick as Detective.

121. Cinnamon Chip, the Girl Sport; or, The Golden Idol of Mount Rosa.

129. Deadwood Dick's Double; or, The Ghost of Gordon's Gulch.

138. Blonde Bill; or, Deadwood Dick's Home Base.

149. A Game of Gold; or, Deadwood Dick's Big Strike.

156. Deadwood Dick of Deadwood; or, The Picked Party.

195. Deadwood Dick's Dream; or, The Rivals of the Road.

201. The Black Hills Jezebel; or, Deadwood Dick's Ward.

205. Deadwood Dick's Doom; or, Calamity-Jane's Last Adventure.

217. Captain Crack-Shot, the Girl Brigand; or, Gypsy Jack from Jimtown.

221. Sugar Coated Sam; or, The Black Gowns of Grim Gulch.

The above are for sale by all newsdealers, five cents a copy, or sent
by mail on receipt of six cents each.


98 William street, New York.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Deadwood Dick, The Prince of the Road - or, The Black Rider of the Black Hills" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.