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Title: Buffalo Bill from Prairie to Palace - An Authentic History Of The Wild West
Author: Burke, John M.
Language: English
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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 "Buffalo Bill from Prairie to Palace - An Authentic History Of The Wild West" ***

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    RIALTO SERIES. No. 13. June, ’93. Monthly. Subscription, $8.00.
          Entered as second-class at the Post Office, Chicago




  W. F. Cody
    “Buffalo Bill”


    From Prairie to Palace


    _With Sketches, Stories of Adventure, and Anecdotes of
    “Buffalo Bill,” the Hero of the Plains_




    Copyright, 1893, by Rand, McNally & Co.


The compiler of this book desires to give credit to General Dodge’s
“Thirty Years Among the Indians,” and to the Historical Publishing
Company, for a few of the facts and incidents given in these pages.

            JOHN M. BURKE.

[Illustration: John M. Burke]







            JOHN M. BURKE

[Illustration: BUFFALO BILL.]


    CHAPTER                                                       PAGE

            Compiler’s Preface,                                     11

        I.  Introductory,                                           13

       II.  The Scout,                                              20

      III.  What Is a Cowboy?                                       36

       IV.  The Riders of the World,                                44

        V.  Indian Home Life,                                       59

       VI.  Expert Shooting,                                        71

      VII.  A Most Famous Ride,                                     77

     VIII.  Letters of Commendation from Prominent Military Men,    85

       IX.  Buffalo Bill’s Boyhood,                                 99

        X.  Bill Kills His First Indian,                           104

       XI.  The Boy Miner,                                         110

      XII.  Story of the Pony Express,                             113

     XIII.  A Ride for Life,                                       123

      XIV.  Held up by Road Agents,                                127

       XV.  A Year of Adventures,                                  132

      XVI.  A Soldier of the Civil War,                            140

     XVII.  A Champion Buffalo Hunter,                             145

    XVIII.  Scout, Guide, and Indian Fighter,                      151

      XIX.  Buffalo Bill’s Pards of the Plains,                    159

       XX.  Border Poetry,                                         181

      XXI.  From Prairie to Palace,                                189

     XXII.  The Wild West at Sea,                                  197

    XXIII.  A Royal Welcome,                                       207

     XXIV.  A Visit from Queen Victoria,                           219

      XXV.  The Home Trail,                                        227

     XXVI.  Swinging around Europe,                                232

    XXVII.  The Last Indian War,                                   252

   XXVIII.  Back to Europe,                                        260

            Appendix,                                              269

            An Episode Since the Return from Europe,               273



An association of some thirty years with the subject of these pages,
a familiarity with his history gained by opportune meetings and
conversations with comrades now living, and those since dead--who
were witnesses of the events that assisted to make the individual
prominent--makes me feel it a public duty to accede to the publisher’s
request to compile a short, sharp, and veracious account of the unique
history of this picturesque character.

Born at a time, and reared in an atmosphere, the most romantic and
adventurous known in the history of our American frontier, when the
tidal wave of human progress, sweeping westward, was making history
faster than the historians could record it--it was his fate to be in
the field, and his fortune to grasp the opportunities to meet the
situation’s requirements, and, in the beaten path of what seemed
ordinary daily duty, to rise, by reason of his sterling qualities, his
daring, and his courage, to the distinction of a leader.

So quickly was the history of the central West recorded, as to make
the Great American Desert of our childhood seem almost a geographical
mirage, a tale of the romancer. It would seem to be a fairy story were
it not for the fact of its settlement, and the evidences of its now
almost ancient civilization.

The busy, hustling citizen of to-day scarcely has time to think, and
does not realize that the youths of the time of Benton, Beal, Fremont,
Bridger, and Carson are the relicts of the perfected history and work
that they inaugurated.

One of the most picturesque characters that evoluted from the peculiar
circumstances of the times is “Buffalo Bill,” Gen. W. F. Cody,
N. G. S. N. The romance, the fiction, woven around his personality is
dispelled in the white light of stern and veritable facts, just as the
golden rays of the morning sun drive the mist from the mountain-tops.

The compiler of the accompanying pages has attempted to present to the
reader, in a terse, compact compendium of facts, the story of a career
that, if given in a detailed biography, would absorb volumes, believing
that owing to his prominence at home and abroad the public desire some
authentic knowledge of the notable events in his career. In fact, here
are presented a few plain truths, unadorned, for the benefit of those
too occupied to have heretofore learned the story and triumphs of the
frontier lad of nine years, from the wild Western scenes of Kansas and
Nebraska, from the prairies of the Platte to the parlors of the East
and the palaces of Europe.





Half a century or less ago, the people then active in the world were
unable to move from place to place more rapidly than in the days before
the Christian era. The fickle winds drove ships out of their course
and baffled their efforts to hold on their way to their destination.
On land the rapidity of progress from place to place was measured by
the fleetness of a horse. The steam-engine was in its infancy; the
telegraph and other electrical devices were only known through the
fable of the singing tree and the talking fountain in the tales of the
Arabian Nights; glittering gold still lay unheeded and unseen in the
beds of California streams.

The great peaks of the Rockies towered into the clouds, their grandeur
and beauty unknown to a world which had not then heard the sound of the
waters thundering down the cliffs of the Yosemite, a rival of Niagara.
Amid the beauties of the Garden of the Gods reigned a stillness as
profound as that which pervaded the Garden of Eden before the creation
of man.

But already the fearless and restless white man was on discovery bent,
and, with his face turned always toward the setting sun, one by one the
glories of the continent were seen and heralded.

Brev.-Capt. John C. Fremont of the United States Topographical
Engineers, with the famous Kit Carson as his guide, was exploring and
opening up the great trail which was to connect the two oceans.

The fur traders were settling in the Northwest, and Astoria was coming
into notice, while the echoes of Bonneville’s adventures were heard in
the Eastern world.

Among the men who found the East growing crowded was Isaac Cody,
who was then living in Iowa. He was a fine type of the Western
frontiersman, well educated, enterprising, and fearless. Leaving
his home, with his family he started across the plains. His journey
continued until he reached a point in Kansas near Fort Leavenworth, and
here he made camp and proceeded to build a new home.

“LITTLE BILLY” was then a boy, living the life and learning the lessons
of the plains, while Humboldt was wondering what secrets were hidden
in the center of the continent, and the geographical societies of the
world were speculating upon the mysteries that lay far beyond the banks
of the “Father of Waters.”

At that time this region was as little known and as dark a continent
as Africa before the courage of Stanley laid bare its conformation and
geography. The Indians had not then been confined to reservations, but
were fiercely resisting the encroachments of the white men upon their
territory. They disputed, step by step, the advancement to the westward
of the borders of civilization with a fiercer, because more ignorant,
determination to resist subjugation than is known in the history of the

In this atmosphere, and amid such surroundings, this boy grew up, and
his rapid development was a natural result of such conditions. Physical
exercise in the open air developed his frame, and provided the steady
hand and quick eye.

Surrounded by enemies, he lived amid dangers so constant and
ever-present that they became part of his daily life, and fear was
unknown. Self-preservation taught him to oppose strategy with strategy,
and to learn the wiles of the red man in order that he might exist in
his country, and study the habits of the animals infesting the country,
for the dual purpose of avoiding danger and providing himself with
food and raiment. At the same time this wild life broadened his moral
nature, expanded his mind, and prepared it to receive great truths.
Broad men are the product of broad countries; narrowness and prejudice
are insular.

Sir Charles Dilke has recorded the history of “Greater Britain,” but
during the lifetime of this frontier boy he has seen with his own eyes
the growth of “Greater America.” In the short span of a life still in
its prime, he has seen the slow wagon-train crawling over the weary
miles of wind-swept prairie harassed by Indians and other foes, and he
has seen the long parallel iron rails push their way across the map of
the continent until they span it from gulf to gulf and from ocean to
ocean. The “prairie schooner” and the pony express have in his time
given way to the Pullman coach and the electric wire.

In his boyhood the strife and struggles, the perils and privations,
which had beset the Puritans in New England a century before, were
being reënacted on the Western plains; and of this period in the
development of our country this boy can truthfully say, “All of which I
saw, and part of which I was.”

In later life, when great military commanders intrusted their
lives, and those of their men, to his keeping, they did it with an
unhesitating confidence, begotten of the knowledge that he was born
and trained upon the spot; a veritable product of the soil. His father
having died while he was still young, he matured early. His widowed
mother taught the boy at her knee the elements of reading and writing,
and thus laid the foundation of an education which has been completed
in the school of the world.

Living for years in cabins or tents, and oftener under the canopy of
heaven, pursuing a career of independent activity which carried him
through the various stages of cattle-herder, teamster, bronco “buster,”
wagon-master, stage-driver, pony-express rider, hunter, guide, scout,
and soldier, he still found time to acquire an education which, added
to his native refinement and gentleness of bearing, enables him to
appear to advantage in any society or place. While perfection exists
only in the other world, and is not claimed for him, the herder and
scout has borne inspection, and passed muster, in the accepted centers
of refinement and cultivation of the world.

From the Rocky Mountains to the Colosseum at Rome is a “far cry,” and
yet that is the history of the settler’s son now known around the world
as Col. William F. Cody, or “Buffalo Bill.”

The pages of this book are not devoted to the recording of a legend
wherein the untutored, wild, and reckless roamer of the plains has
by chance, or the magic of phenomenal powers, won the open sesame to
the grandeur of patriarchal palaces, but rather to the telling of
how native courage and brilliant daring combined with sincerity of
purpose and purity of motive have made savage warriors of the prairies
to welcome and appreciate the joys of peace, have opened in the heart
of apparently desert places storehouses of wealth, and shown princely
powers that manhood, prowess, and honor are found as truly on the
prairies of the great West as in the centers of art and civilization.
The sturdy hero of the plains has been met by gracious hands at the
portals of the palace.

The discovery that a new world existed on the western shores of the
Atlantic was scarcely more a surprise to the grandees of the Old World,
than the realization that far beyond the great Father of Waters there
existed a country whose inhabitants were hunting buffaloes and living
in rude tents on prairies and amid rugged mountains, which needed but
the plow and the miner’s pick for keys to unlock treasuries filled with
richer products and rarer gems than the bright gleam of the mythical
Aladdin’s lamp e’er shone upon.

Now the world recognizes and gives tardy but sincere applause to the
venturesome spirits that first directed the attention of the world to
the grandeur and latent power of the great West. Occasionally a noble
of the East, in search of sport and adventure, visited this new country
and, returning, told of its vastness and magnificence. Romancers, upon
a few facts, accepted with hesitation, built stories which, though
thoroughly entertaining, were regarded as novels, never as histories.

Taking up the thread of the beautiful story so graphically told by
the facile pen of Washington Irving in his narration of the fur
traders’ trials, adventures, and discoveries, and weaving all into
a contemporaneous history, our Cody and his fellows have gathered
together the living actual facts of the prairies, and held them up
to the wondering, admiring gaze of the world in the court-yards of
the palaces of Europe. The barefooted urchin, that, astride of his
fleet-footed bronco, rode with a smile through every danger, carrying
news and cheer from old homes in the East to the strugglers of the
prairies, has since been accorded courtly welcome by crowned monarchs,
to whom he has exhibited in triumph trophies of American valor and
American enterprise. Kingly warriors have dragged captives chained
to their chariot-wheels as proofs of their victories; subjects have
shouted loud pæans of praise and glory of their lords and princes
returning as victors; but when, save in the history of William F. Cody,
have the conquered walked hand in hand with the conqueror, willing
witnesses to his glorious achievements; or when, before, have kings and
queens and emperors joined in according glad applause to a victor whose
only royal heritage was his native manhood, and whose only spoils of
victory were willing captives to peace and civilization.

From this man’s life, deeds, and successes others may glean lessons of
endurance and courage in days of trial, of hope in moments of despair,
and of gentleness and generosity in the hour of triumph.

With the earnest wish that such results may accrue from a perusal of
these pages, let us first recall Buffalo Bill’s record as a gallant and
trusty scout.




Gen. Richard Irving Dodge, General Sherman’s chief of staff, correctly
states, in his “Thirty Years Among Our Wild Indians”:

“The success of every expedition against Indians depends, to a degree,
on the skill, fidelity, and intelligence of the men employed as scouts
and guides, for not only is the command habitually dependent on them
for good routes and comfortable camps, but the officer in command must
rely on their knowledge of the position and movements of the enemy.”

Our best Indian officers are quick to recognize these traits in those
claiming frontier lore, and to no one in the military history of
the West has such deference been shown by them as to W. F. Cody, as
is witnessed by the continuous years of service he has passed, the
different commands he has served, the expeditions and campaigns he
has been identified with, his repeated holding, when he desired, the
position of Chief of Scouts of the United States Army, and the intimate
association, and contact resulting from it, with Gen. W. T. Sherman
(with whom he was at the making of the Comanche and Kiowa Treaty) in
1866, Gen. Phil. Sheridan (who has often given him special recognition
and chosen him to organize expeditions, notably that of the Duke
Alexis), old General Harney, Generals Forsyth, Merritt, Brisbin, Emory,
Gibbon, Terry, McKenzie, Carr, W. S. Hancock, Crook, Pope, Miles, Ord,
Auger, Royall, Hazen, Duncan, Palmer, Penrose, and the late lamented
General Custer. His history, in fact, would be almost a history of the
middle West; and, though younger, equaling in term of service and in
personal adventure, Kit Carson, old Jim Bridger, California Joe, Wild
Bill, and the rest of his dead associates.

As another evidence of the confidence placed in his frontiersmanship,
it may suffice to mention the celebrities whose money and position most
naturally sought the best protection the Western market could afford,
and who chose to place their lives in his keeping: Sir George Gore, the
Earl of Dunraven, James Gordon Bennett, Duke Alexis, General Custer,
Lawrence Jerome, Remington, Professor Ward of Rochester, Professor
Marsh of Yale College, Maj. J. G. Hecksher, Doctor Kingsley (Canon
Kingsley’s brother), and others of equal rank and distinction. In all
books of the plains his exploits with Carr, Miles, and Crook, in the
summer of 1876, when he killed Yellow Hand in front of the military
command in an open hand-to-hand fight, are recorded.

The following letter of his old commander, the celebrated Indian
fighter, Gen. E. A. Carr, written years ago relative to him, is a
tribute as generous as any brave man has ever made to another:

“From his services in my command, steadily in the field, I am qualified
to bear testimony as to his qualities and character.

“He was very modest and unassuming. He is a natural gentleman in his
manners as well as in character, and has none of the roughness of the
typical frontiersman. He can take his own part when required, but I
have never heard of his using a knife or a pistol, or engaging in a
quarrel where it could be avoided. His personal strength and activity
are very great, and his temper and disposition are so good that no one
has reason to quarrel with him.

“His eyesight is better than a good field-glass; he is the best trailer
I ever heard of, and also the best judge of the ‘lay of country’--that
is, he is able to tell what kind of country is ahead, so as to know how
to act. He is a perfect judge of distance, and always ready to tell
correctly how many miles it is to water, or to any place, or how many
miles have been marched....

“Mr. Cody seemed never to tire, and was always ready to go in the
darkest night or the worst weather, and usually volunteered, knowing
what the emergency required. His trailing, when following Indians, or
looking for stray animals, or for game, is simply wonderful. He is a
most extraordinary hunter.

“In a fight, Mr. Cody is never noisy, obstreperous, or excited. In
fact, I hardly ever noticed him in a fight unless I happened to want
him, or he had something to report, when he was always in the right
place, and his information was always valuable and reliable.

“During the winter of 1868 we encountered hardships and exposure in
terrific snow-storms and sleet. On one occasion that winter Mr. Cody
showed his quality by quietly offering to go with some dispatches to
General Sheridan across a dangerous region of 300 miles where other
principal scouts were reluctant to risk themselves.

“Mr. Cody has since served with me as post guide and scout at Fort
McPherson, where he frequently distinguished himself.

“In the summer of 1876 Cody went with me to the Black Hills region,
where he killed Yellow Hand. Afterward he was with the Big Horn and
Yellowstone expedition. I consider that his services to the country
and the army by trailing, finding, and fighting Indians, and thus
protecting the frontier settlers, and by guiding commands over the best
and most practicable routes, have been invaluable.”

[Illustration: DANGER AHEAD.]

Thus it will be seen that notwithstanding it will sometimes be thought
his fame rests upon the pen of the romancer, had they never been
attracted to him--and they were solely by his sterling worth--W. F.
Cody would none the less have been a remarkable character in American

The history of such a man, attractive as it has already been to the
most distinguished officers and fighters in the United States Army,
must prove doubly so to men, women, and children who have heretofore
found only in novels the hero of rare exploits, on which imagination so
loves to dwell.

As a proof that our great military leaders and the officers of the
United States Army recognize the value of Buffalo Bill as a scout,
guide, and Indian fighter, and that though I am writing of one of whom
more stories of romance have been written than of any other individual
living or dead, it will be well to turn to the letters of commendation
from prominent personages in another part of this book, and the
quotations which are given in this chapter from such authorities
as General Sheridan’s “Autobiography,” Captain Price’s “Across the
Continent with the Fifth Cavalry,” Colonel Dodge’s “Thirty Years Among
the Indians,” etc.

These indorsements stamp Buffalo Bill as one whose deeds speak for
themselves, and show conclusively that he is not a pen-made man, but
worthy of all said and written of him.


(Capt. George F. Price.)

“After Cody was appointed chief scout and guide for the Republican
River expedition, he was conspicuous during the pursuit of the Dog
Soldiers, under the celebrated Cheyenne chief, Tall Bull, whom he
killed at Summit Springs, Colo. He also guided the Fifth Cavalry to a
position whence the regiment was enabled to charge upon the enemy and
win a brilliant victory. He afterward participated in the Niobrara
pursuit, and later narrowly escaped death at the hands of hostile Sioux
on Prairie Dog Creek, Kan., September 26, 1869. He was assigned to
Fort McPherson when the expedition was disbanded, and served at that
station (was a justice of the peace in 1871) until the Fifth Cavalry
was transferred to Arizona. He served during this period with several
expeditions, and was conspicuous for gallant conduct in the Indian
combat at Red Willow and Birdwood creeks, and also for successful
services as chief scout and guide of the buffalo-hunt which was
arranged by General Sheridan for the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia.

“Cody was then assigned to duty with the Third Cavalry, and served with
that regiment until the fall of 1872, when he was elected a member of
the Nebraska Legislature, and thus acquired the title of ‘Honorable.’

“At the beginning of the Sioux War in 1876 he hastened to Cheyenne,
Wyo., joined the Fifth Cavalry, which had recently returned from
Arizona, and was engaged in the affair at War Bonnet (Indian Creek),
Wyo. He then accompanied the Fifth Cavalry to Goose Creek, Mont., and
served with the Big Horn and Yellowstone expedition until September.
Cody abundantly proved during this campaign that he had lost none of
his old-time skill and daring in Indian warfare. He enjoys a brilliant
reputation as a scout and guide, which has been fairly earned by
faithful and conspicuous service.

“William F. Cody is one of the best scouts and guides that ever rode at
the head of a column of cavalry on the prairies of the Far West. His
army friends, from general to private, hope that he may live long and
prosper abundantly.

“Should the wild Sioux again go on the war-path, Cody, if living, will
be found with the cavalry advance, riding another ‘Buckskin Joe,’ and
carrying his Springfield rifle, ‘Lucretia,’ across the pommel of his

This merited note of applause will find an echo in every patriotic
American heart which recognizes and remembers that it was in the Fifth
Cavalry that Gens. Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston, Hardee,
Emory, Van Dorn, Custer, and other noted generals served, and which was
formerly known as the Second Dragoons.

[Illustration: GUIDING IN A BLIZZARD.]

From Gen. Phil Sheridan’s “Autobiography.” After relating his
conception of the _first winter campaign_ against Indians on the then
uninhabited and bleak plains, in the winter of 1868, he says:

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

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

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


Read through the fascinating book, “Campaigning with Crook (Maj.-Gen.
George Crook, U. S. A.) and Stories of Army Life,” due to the graphic
and soldierly pen of Capt. Charles King of the United States Army,
published in 1890.

Incidentally the author refers in various pages to Colonel Cody as
scout, etc., and testifies to the general esteem and affection in which
Buffalo Bill is held by the army.

The subjoined extracts from the book will give our readers an excellent
idea of the military scout’s calling and its dangers:

“‘By Jove! General,’ says Buffalo Bill, sliding backward down the hill,
‘now’s our chance. Let our party mount here out of sight and we’ll cut
those fellows off. Come down, every other man of you.’

“Glancing behind me, I see Cody, Tait, and ‘Chips,’ with five
cavalrymen, eagerly bending forward in their saddles, grasping
carbine and rifle, every eye bent upon me, watching for the signal.
Not a man but myself knows how near they are. ‘That’s right, close
in, you beggars! Ten seconds more and you are on them! A hundred and
twenty-five yards--a hundred--ninety--now, lads, in with you.’...

“There’s a rush, a wild ringing cheer; then bang, bang, bang! and in
a cloud of dust, Cody and his men tumble in among them, Buffalo Bill
closing on a superbly accoutered warrior. It is the work of a minute;
the Indian has fired and missed. Cody’s bullet tears through the
rider’s leg into the pony’s heart, and they tumble in a confused heap
on the prairie. The Cheyenne struggles to his feet for another shot,
but Cody’s second bullet hits the mark. It is now close quarters, knife
to knife. After a hand-to-hand struggle, Cody wins, and the young chief
Yellow Hand drops lifeless in his tracks after a hot fight. Baffled
and astounded, for once in a lifetime beaten at their own game, their
project of joining Sitting Bull nipped in the bud, they take hurried
flight. But our chief is satisfied; Buffalo Bill is radiant; his are
the honors of the day.”--_From p. 35._


General Cody holds his commission in the National Guard of the United
States (State of Nebraska), an honorable position, and as high as he
can possibly attain. _His connection with the Regular United States
Army_ has covered a continuous period of _fifteen years_, and desultory
connection of thirty years--in the most troublous era of that superb
corps’ Western history--as guide, scout, and chief of scouts--a
position unknown in any other service, and the confidential nature of
which is told in the extract from General Dodge’s work, quoted below.
This privileged position, and the nature of its services in the past,
may be more fully appreciated when it is understood that it commanded,
besides horses, subsistence, and quarters, $10 per day ($3,650 per
year), all expenses, and for special service, or “life and death”
volunteer missions, special rewards of from $100 to $500 for carrying
a single dispatch, and brought its holder the confidence of commanding
generals, the fraternal friendship of the commissioned officers, the
idolization of the ranks, and the universal respect and consideration
of the hardy pioneers and settlers of the West.

In addition to the distinguished officers previously named in this
chapter, General Cody may also well be proud of his service under
Generals Bankhead, Fry, Crittenden, Switzer, Rucker, Smith, King,
Van Vliet, Anson, Mills, Reynolds, Greeley, Penrose, Sandy, Forsyth,
Dudley, Canby, Blunt, Hayes, Guy, Henry, and others.

As a fitting close to this chapter of Cody’s record as a scout, and as
epitomizing the character of his services, the writer quotes from page
628 of Colonel Dodge’s “Thirty Years Among the Indians”:

“Of ten men employed as scouts, nine will prove to be worthless;
of fifty so employed, one may prove to be really valuable; but
though hundreds, even thousands, of men have been so employed by the
Government since the war, the number of really remarkable men among
them can be counted on the fingers. The services which these men are
called on to perform are so important and valuable that the officer who
benefits by them is sure to give the fullest credit, and men honored
in official reports come to be great men on the frontier. Fremont’s
reports made Kit Carson a renowned man. Custer immortalized California
Joe. Custer, Merritt, Carr, and Miles made William F. Cody (‘Buffalo
Bill’) a plains celebrity ‘_until time shall be no more_’.”



Around the name of cowboy hangs a romance that will never die.

It is a romance interwoven with deeds of daring, nerve, and
big-heartedness that will survive long after civilization has stamped
out every need for the brave men who have been known by the name of


Our country is one that has sprung surprises upon the world from its
very beginning, and it has produced men possible in no other land.

Without the services of the cowboy the vast grazing-lands of America
would have been worthless.

As the buffalo, like the Indian, perished before the march of
emigration westward, there came to take their place vast herds of
beef-cattle, feeding on the plains where the once wild monarchs of the
prairies had roamed.

With these immense herds it was necessary to have herders, and they
became known by the somewhat picturesque cognomen of cowboy.

They are known from the flower-bespangled prairies of the Lone Star
State to the land of the Frozen North, and their worth is recognized by
those who know them as they are, for to their care is given the vast
wealth of the cattlemen of the country, which is not alone in the beef
furnished for the markets but to be found also in the tan-yards and
factories of the East.

By many, who do not know him as he is, the cowboy is despised and
generally feared.

He is looked upon as a wild, reckless fellow, armed to the teeth,
keeping half-full of bad whisky, and always ready for a fight or some
deed of deviltry.

How little is he known, and thus abused, for no braver hearts, no more
generous motives, are to be found among men than are those that beat
beneath the hunting-shirt of the cowboy, whether he comes from the
country bordering on the Rio Grande, the great plains of the Southwest,
the level prairies of the West, or the grazing-lands of Wyoming.

During night and day, storm and sunshine, danger and death, they are at
their post of duty, always ready to be called upon, shrinking from no
hardship, driven off by no peril, suffering untold privations, but ever
ready to protect and care for the valuable herds that they control.

At times, when a temporary relief from duty comes to them, is it a
wonder that they break forth into reckless hilarity?

They mean no harm to any one, and if, as in all communities, one goes
beyond all bounds and the death of a comrade follows, the many must
suffer for the deeds of the few.

The cowboy is composed of that stern stuff of which heroes are made,
and the poet and the novelist have always found in this rover of the
plains the richest material for song and story.

In olden times it was that the boys of every land turned toward the sea
as the Mecca of their hopes and ambitions.

They saw upon its broad bosom a field of adventure, a life of romance;
and they sought to emulate great captains, good and bad.

But with the coming of steam-vessels the romance of the seas faded into
oblivion; foreign lands were brought near; the mystery of the blue
waters was solved in a most matter-of-fact way, and the growing youths
of the country turned to new fields of adventure.

Columbus had won the admiration of would-be young heroes, and the
heroic deeds of the grand old sailor were read with avidity, the boy
longing some day to emulate them.

Even Kyd, Lafitte, Morgan, and other pirate captains became heroes in
the minds of the average boy, who longed to run away to sea and make
his name known in the world.

But steam dispelled these ambitions, and the American boy was forced to
turn his hopes upon the land of the setting sun.

Daniel Boone was a hero to admire; David Crockett, Kit Carson, and
others became the beau ideal of border heroes, and the heart of the
youth thrilled in reading of these men in buckskin.

And these men of the wild West, of whom Buffalo Bill is the most
conspicuous figure, made it possible for other border heroes to appear.

They sprung from the ranks of the army, from the emigrant’s cabin, and
from among those rangers of the plains, the cowboys.

These brave fellows have produced many a hero in their ranks, and they
have been ever ready to battle for the weak against the strong.

The ranch and the cattle interests are being encroached upon by the
advance of civilization, the mask of mystery is being torn from the
wild borderland by the westward march of the iron horse, and in a few
more years, like the scout, the guide, the trapper, and the hunter,
the cowboy will be a thing of the past.

[Illustration: A BUCKING BRONCO.]

To be acknowledged as a true cowboy, and to the prairie born, one must
possess accomplishments for the perilous and arduous work they have to

He must be a perfect horseman, handle a rope, catch a calf, throw and
tie a steer, stop a crazy cow on a stampede, lasso a mustang, and be a
good shot, guide, scout, and Indian fighter as well.

Let me here refer to a few incidents of a trip over the plains of
a herd of cattle to the markets of the North, through the wild and
unsettled portions of the Territories, varying in distance from fifteen
hundred to two thousand miles, time three to six months, extending
through the Indian Territory and Kansas to Nebraska, Colorado, Dakota,
Montana, Idaho, Nevada, and sometimes as far as California. Immense
herds, as high as thirty thousand or more, are moved by single owners,
but are driven in bands of from one to three thousand, which, when
under way, are designated “herds.” Each of these have from ten to
fifteen men, with a wagon-driver and cook, and the “king-pin of the
outfit,” the boss, with a supply of two or three ponies to a man, an
ox-team, and blankets; also jerked-beef and corn-meal--the staple food.
They are also furnished with mavericks, or “doubtless-owned” yearlings,
for the fresh-meat supply. After getting fully under way, and the
cattle broke in, from ten to fifteen miles a day is the average, and
everything is plain sailing in fair weather. As night comes on the
cattle are rounded up in a small compass, and held until they lie down,
when two men are left on watch, riding round and round them in opposite
directions, singing or whistling all the time, for two hours, that
being the length of each watch. The singing is absolutely necessary,
as it seems to soothe the fears of the cattle, scares away the wolves
or other varmints that may be prowling around, and prevents them from
hearing any other accidental sound, or dreaming of their old homes;
and if stopped would in all probability be the signal for a general
stampede. “Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast,” if a
cowboy’s compulsory bawling out lines of his own composition:

    Lie nicely now, cattle, don’t heed any rattle,
          But quietly rest until morn;
    For if you skedaddle, we’ll jump in the saddle,
          And head you as sure as you’re born,

can be considered such.

Ordinarily so clumsy and stupid-looking, a thousand beef-steers can
rise like a flock of quail on the roof of an exploding powder-mill, and
will scud away like a tumble-weed before a high wind, with a noise like
a receding earthquake. Then comes fun and frolic for the boys. Many
a cowboy has lost his life in one of these wild stampedes of cattle,
which would put an army of men to flight in a mad charge down upon them.

[Illustration: A CATTLE STAMPEDE.]

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

Such is the cowboy of the wild West, who, if not without faults, has
virtues to compensate for the little eccentricities that cling to men
of the frontier.

[Illustration: A GROUP OF HOSTILES.]



Many customs and habits, by reason of their peculiar surroundings and
requirements, have become necessities, and, indeed, second nature to
some people; while to others, whose observation has shown the graces
and beauties of these same customs and habits, they are studied with
great diligence and application, and acquired, as far as such things
can be acquired, as accomplishments.

To the Bedouin of the Arabian Desert, the Cossack, the Vacquero, the
Gaucho, and last, but the peers of any of these, our native Indian
and our own cowboy, the horse is a necessity; and woe be unto that
man who by fraud, stealth, or force attempts to despoil the owner of
his animal, his pet. Pleasures, comforts, necessities, aye, living
itself, would be impossible to either of these if his horse was not
part of his worldly possessions. The desert, the pampas, the llanos,
and the prairie without horses would, for the uses of man, be as an
ocean without ships or boats. But to the fashionables of the world
the art of horsemanship is a beautiful and admirable accomplishment,
a means of healthful exercise. The rider’s grace of carriage, his
easy seat, his courageous bearing, like the fit of his handsome
tailor-made riding-suit, are objects of pride to himself, and causes
of congratulation from his associates. Gentlemen riders occasionally
replace their jockeys on the race-course for the display of their grace
and ability. But, after all, how poor their best efforts seem, how
awkward their most graceful carriage, and how uncertain and timid their
most heroic riding appears when put in actual contrast to the native
ease, grace, daring, and picturesque riding of those “to the manor
born.” The one is, to quote from familiar slang, “born in the saddle,”
“looks as if part of his horse,” while the other easily betrays his
hours of study and of practice.

[Illustration: NIP AND TUCK.]

As children we have all read of the Arab, but we remember him
principally by recollecting his love for his horse. From our school-boy
days the Arab and his horse have been as one to us. His somewhat
fantastic costume and the complicated trappings of his steed were
beautiful pictures to us, and we recall them yet. These Bedouins of
the Arabian Desert are not only recognized as among the best horsemen
of the world, but are the beau ideal of Eastern pathfinders. The
Cossack of the Caucasian line is by inheritance and inclination among
the most fearless and graceful horsemen of the world. His system of
warfare, which bears a striking similarity to that which prevailed on
the American frontier a few years ago, is the finest school for the
development of military horsemanship since the days of Saladin and
Cœur de Leon. The Cossacks of the Caucasian line are entitled to be
called the flower of that great horde of irregular cavalry, the Cossack
Military Colonies, that dwell along the southern frontier of the
Russian Empire. They spring from the same branch of the great Cossack
family, the Zaporogians, which Byron immortalized in his great poem
“Mazeppa.” On their light steppe horses, which are as fierce and active
as themselves, they have proven themselves worthy of their fierce and
warlike sires. Experts as swordsmen, as well as horsemen, they met
their old enemies, the Russians, on equal terms.

As picturesque, and more gaudy in appearance and trapping than
either the Bedouin or the Cossack, is the wily Vacquero of our
neighboring Mexico. Agile, hardy, and dashing, adepts in the work of
lasso-throwing, as well as with arms, they are alike interesting in
exhibition and dangerous as foes.

But of all these native-born and wonderful horsemen of lands other
than our own, perhaps the most complete, the most daring and dangerous
in war, the most phenomenal trailer, the greatest pathfinder, is the
wonderful Gaucho from the llanos of the Argentine Republic. From his
earliest infancy the half-wild horses have been his intimates and
familiars. When the American or English boy is just learning to stand
on his feet alone, the infant Gaucho is being taught by his fond
mother to steady himself on the back of one of the ponies of the herd.
At the age of four years he can ride the wildest colt that roams the
pampas, and from that time he and his horse are practically one; and to
unseat him would be almost to tear from the horse a portion of his own
anatomy. He is by virtue of his home life and occupations completely
dependent on his horse. He spends most of his life on horseback, and is
associated with the wild equine to a greater degree than any member of
the other equestrian races of the world. Armed with the deadly bolas
he is a terrible foe to either bird, beast, or man. The bolas consists
of a number of rawhide thongs fastened to a central thong and with an
iron ball at each of the ends. He is possibly the most expert lassoer
in the world; and when in pursuit of animal or bird he hurls the deadly
bolas with unerring skill. From a distance of sixty feet he causes it
to inextricably entangle about the legs, bringing the victim helpless
to the ground. When tracking his foe across the pathless continent, his
fearful skill and persistence make the work of the Cuban bloodhound and
the Bedouin of the desert appear like child’s play. It is interesting
to note that the Gaucho himself makes nearly everything connected with
his outfit, from the saddle in which he rides to the boots which cover
his feet.


Though these horsemen of the Orient and of South America are
picturesque types of the riders of the world, the list would indeed be
incomplete if we omitted our own Indian and cowboy. To the former no
price is too high, no danger too threatening to risk, no undertaking
too hazardous to attempt, that will win for him a horse. His wealth is
told in the number of his horses, and while he may keep his promise of
peace to the settler, he can rarely resist “borrowing” one of his
horses if occasion seems to him to demand the need of it. Whether in
pursuit of game, indulging in his peculiarly interesting sports, or
on the war-path, his pony is his friend and companion. It would at
times appear as though the wish, the thought, of the rider was in some
mysterious way communicated to the horse without word of mouth or touch
of bridle-rein, so quick are their changes of movement or direction and
so seldom is a correction made.

Indian warfare was made far more dangerous to the pioneer of
comparatively later days by reason of the red man’s introduction to the
horse. In the earliest conflicts between the hereditary owners of this
continent and the white aggressor, the horse and his uses were unknown
to the former. His fighting, like his hunting, had to be done on foot.
An Indian attack in those days could not be made with the suddenness
or the rush, nor could his retreat be so quickly accomplished, as in
after years. And it was not until Cortez brought over his horses that
the “long-felt want” was satisfied. Now, like a veritable Centaur, he
strides his animal, his command so complete that it appears his arms
and hands are not needed for use in his horsemanship, but left free to
handle his bow and arrow or his rifle.

Just here it may be well to say a few words relative to the noble
animal whose duties and services have commanded the admiration of

It seems to be a settled fact that the horse is of Moorish origin, as
also is his accompaniment, the saddle.

To follow the theory of other able writers, the horse is thought to
be a native of the plains of Central Asia, but the wild species from
which it is derived is not certainly known. The Asiatic horse with its
one digit was in turn evolved from ancestors with polydactyl feet.
Some instances have been known in modern times, and ancient records
give stories, of horses presenting more than one toe. Julius Cæsar’s
horse is said to have had this peculiarity. Suetonius, the writer,
describes this horse as being almost human, with the hoofs cleft like
toes. This author says: “It was born in Cæsar’s own stables, and as the
soothsayers declared that it showed that its owner would be lord of the
world, he reared it with great care, and was the first to mount it. It
would allow no other rider.” Most of the polydactyl horses found in
the present day have been raised in the southwest of America, or from
that ancestry bred. In this way their connection with the mustang, or
semi-wild stock of that region, becomes at least probable.

This same raw-boned, small, or medium-sized horse, called the mustang,
possesses a well-authenticated claim to noble origin. Horses of good
Berber blood were brought over by the Spanish conquerors under Cortez
and De Soto, and it is a most reasonable supposition that these
invaders selected the very best and strongest specimens of the breed
for use in their daring ventures. It is not surprising that the natives
of Mexico, when for the first time they saw approaching them men on
horses, both clad in glittering armor, were filled with terror. To them
it seemed that man and horse were one, a veritable four-legged warrior,
and they fled precipitately to the fastnesses of their own mountains to
escape contact with this monstrosity.

In good time the climate and surroundings wrought many changes in
the horse that first landed on the shores of Mexico, and the breed
eventually became what is now known as the “American mustang,” perhaps
the hardiest specimen of the genus horse now known. From this origin
evoluted the finest breeds of horses now claimed to be American bred.

During the visit of the Wild West to Paris, General Cody, by
invitation, called on Rosa Bonheur, the famous painter of horses. Three
years prior to this time Miss Bonheur had received from America three
fine mustang ponies, two of which had, despite all effort, remained
uncontrollable and therefore, of course, useless to her. These latter
she generously tendered to General Cody as a present. Her surprise when
Cody calmly accepted the offer, and assured her that “his boys” would
have but little trouble in catching and controlling these animals,
can hardly be described. True to his assurance, Cody soon had two of
his “boys” on hand, and in a short time the apparently uncontrollable
“Appach” and “Clair de Lune” were lassoed by the “boys,” saddled and
mounted. This scene was witnessed not only by the great artist herself
but by numbers of marveling neighbors, who, by peeping through their
window-shutters, saw for the first time a lasso hunt. The quick,
accurate, and successful work of the American cowboy astonished and
interested all these witnesses to a wonderful degree.

To the cowboy’s dexterous horsemanship, added to his courage and
endurance, has been largely due the protection of the lives and
property of the early emigrants to the great West. For years the
dissemination of news was entirely dependent upon these heroic riders.
Now the success and preservation of the vast cattle interests are made
possible only by the watchful care of the cowboy and his pony--the one
practically helpless without the other.

The “view halloo” of the English hunting gentleman may be inspiriting
to those accustomed to it, but how it lacks in vigor, in earnestness,
in actual music, the famous cowboy yell as he and his pony dash upon
game or hostile Indians. This latter carries with its sound the
conviction of heartiness, determination, and enthusiasm with which he
begins a sport, faces a danger, or encounters a foe. To those who have
seen Gen. W. F. Cody (“Buffalo Bill”) give exhibitions of this method
of riding, it will readily be understood how difficult it is in words
to illustrate the strange peculiarity of its singular attractiveness.

To this man of ideas is due the thought of gathering together in one
congress the representatives of all these types of horses and riders.
And, as with Cody to resolve is to act, this interesting assemblage is
ready for public contemplation at the World’s Fair.

It may not be inappropriate in this chapter to quote the words of the
famous king of poets in eulogy of that noble animal, the horse.


    Imperiously he leaps, he neighs, he bounds,
      And now his woven girths he breaks asunder;
    The bearing earth with his hard hoof he wounds,
      Whose hollow womb resounds like heaven’s thunder;
    The iron bit he crushes ’tween his teeth,
    Controlling what he was controlled with.

    His ears up-pricked, his braided hanging mane
      Upon his compassed crest now stands on end;
    His nostrils drink the air, and forth again,
      As from a furnace, vapors doth he send;
    His eye, which scornfully glisters like fire,
    Shows his hot courage and his high desire.

    Sometimes he trots, as if he told the steps
      With gentle majesty and modest pride;
    Anon he rears upright, curvets, and leaps,
      As who should say, “Lo! thus my strength is tried;
    And this I do to captivate the eye
    Of the fair breeder that is standing by.”

    What recketh he his rider’s angry stir,
      His flattering “Holla,” or his “_Stand, I say_”?
    What cares he now for curb or pricking spur,
      For rich caparisons or trapping gay?
    He sees his love, and nothing else he sees,
    Nor nothing else with his proud sight agrees.

    Look! When a painter would surpass the life
      In limning out a well-proportioned steed,
    His art with nature’s workmanship at strife,
      As if the dead the living should exceed,
    So did this horse excel a common one,
    In shape, in color, courage, pace, and bone.

    Round-hoof’d, short-jointed, fetlocks shag and long,
      Broad breast, full eye, small head, and nostrils wide,
    High crest, short ears, straight legs, and passing strong,
      Thin mane, thick tail, broad buttock, tender hide.
    Look! What a horse should have he did not lack,
    Save a proud rider on so proud a back.


Mr. Cody is a great lover of man’s best friend among the animal
kingdom--the horse. The peculiar career he has followed has made his
equine friend such a sterling necessity as a companion, an assistant,
a confidant, that he admits, as every frontiersman and scout does, a
great deal depends, even life itself in innumerable emergencies, on the
general sagacity of this noble brute. For the purposes of the trail,
the hunt, the battle, the pursuit, or the stampede it was essentially
necessary to select, for chargers with which to gain success, animals
excelling in the qualities of strength, speed, docility, courage,
stamina, keen scent, delicacy of ear, quick of sight, sure-footed,
shrewd in perception, nobleness of character, and general intelligence.
History records, and a grateful memory still holds dear, numberless
famous quadruped allies that Buffalo Bill has during his long career
possessed, and many are the stories told on the frontier and in the
army of Old Buckskin Joe, Brigham, Tall Bull, Powder-Face, Stranger,
and Old Charlie.

[Illustration: COMRADES.]

Old Buckskin Joe was one of his early favorites, who by long service
in army-scouting became quite an adept, and seemed to have a perfect
knowledge of the duties required of him. For this reason, when ordered
to find and report the location of the savages in their strongholds,
at times hundreds of miles away over a lonely country, infested by
scouting parties of hostiles liable at any instant to pounce upon
one, Old Buckskin was always selected by Cody to accompany him on the
trail when the work was dangerous. Mounted on another horse, he would
let Buckskin follow untrammeled, even by a halter, so as to reserve
him fresh in case of discovery and the terrible necessity of “a ride
for life.” Quick to scent danger, he instinctively gave evidence of
his fears, and would almost assist his saddling or quickly insert his
head in the bridle, and once on his back Joe was always able to bid
defiance to the swiftest horses the Indians possessed, and the longer
the chase the farther they were left in his rear. On one occasion his
master descried a band of 100 warriors, who gave them chase from the
headwaters of the Republican River to Fort McPherson, a distance of 195
miles. It was at a season when the ponies were in good condition, and
the savage band, though thirsting for the scalp of their well-known
foe, Pa-he-has-ka (the long-haired scout), dropped behind until on the
last fifty miles but fifteen of the fleetest were in pursuit, Buckskin
leaving them out of sight twenty miles from the fort.

This ride, famed in army annals, caused Old Buckskin to go blind, but
the gratitude of his master was such that Joe was kept and carefully
attended to until his death, which occurred a few years ago at Cody’s
home, North Platte. Buckskin was accorded a decent funeral, and a
tombstone erected over his remains inscribed “Old Buckskin Joe, the
horse that on several occasions saved the life of Buffalo Bill by
carrying him safely out of the range of Indian bullets. Died of old
age, 1882.”

Brigham was another celebrity of his race, and it was on his back Mr.
Cody clinched his undisputed title of “King Buffalo-killer,” and added
permanency to the name of Buffalo Bill by killing _sixty-nine buffalo
in one run_; and such was this steed’s knowledge of hunting that game
that he discarded saddle and bridle while following the herd, killing
the last half while riding this renowned pet of the chase _bareback_.

Many other tried and true ones have enhanced his love for their race,
the last of the famous old-timers being owned and ridden by him in his
daily exhibitions with the Wild West, traversing the continent five
times, traveling thousands of miles, and never missing a performance.
Old Charlie possessed all the virtues that go to form a “noble horse.”
Charlie was broken in by Mr. Cody, and has never been ridden by any
one else (except Miss Arta Cody, an accomplished horse-woman), and for
many years has been the participant of all his master’s skirmishes,
expeditions, long rides, and hunts; has been ridden over all kinds
of rough country, prairie-dog towns, mountain and plain; has never
stumbled or fallen, being beyond a doubt one of the surest-footed
animals man ever rode; and for endurance is a second Buckskin Joe, if
not better, on one occasion, in an emergency, having carried his master
over a prairie road _one hundred miles in nine hours and forty-five
minutes_, rider and trappings weighing 243 pounds. Old Charlie’s great
point was his wonderful intelligence, which caused him to act in a
manner as to almost lay claim in his conduct to judiciousness. In the
most lonely or unattractive place, or in one of the most seductive to
equine rambles, when his master removed saddle and bridle, he could
trust Charlie to stay where he was left, wrap himself in a blanket,
take the saddle for a pillow, go to sleep contented, knowing his
faithful steed would be close at hand, or, after browsing fully, would
come and lie close beside him, sink into slumber, with ear at tension,
one eye open, and at the slightest disturbance arouse him to meet the
threatened danger. All the Indians in the country, keen as he was to
scent them, intuitively as he dreaded them, could not make him leave,
or stampede him, until his owner was mounted, challenging in this
respect the instincts of the highest class of watch-dog.

He cared not how much load you put on his back, having carried 500
pounds of buffalo-meat; would pull as much by tying a lariat to the
pommel as an ordinary horse with a collar; would hold the strongest
buffalo or steer, but when a harness was placed on his back and a
collar round his neck he would not pull an ounce, and if not soon
relieved would viciously resent the (to him) seeming degradation.

Alas! poor Charlie died while crossing the ocean on the homeward-bound
voyage, and was buried at sea with all the honors that would have been
shown to a human being.

In his death Buffalo Bill lost a friend he will never forget.




To Indians at peace, and with food in plenty, the winter camp is their
home. After the varying excitements, the successes and vicissitudes,
the constant labors of many months, the prospect of the winter’s peace
and rest, with its home life and home pleasures, comes like a soothing
balm to all.

To those of the warriors who have passed the age of passionate
excitements, this season brings the full enjoyment of those pleasures
and excitements yet left to them in life. Their days are spent in
gambling, their long winter evenings in endless repetitions of stories
of their wonderful performances in days gone by, and their nights in
the sound, sweet sleep vouchsafed only to easy consciences.

[Illustration: A REDSKIN SCOUT.]

The women also have a good time. No more taking down and putting up the
tepee; no more packing and unpacking the ponies. To bring the wood and
water, do the little cooking, to attend to the ponies, and possibly to
dress a few skins is all the labor devolved upon them.

To the young of both sexes, whether married or single, this season
brings unending excitement and pleasure. Now is the time for dances
and feasts, for visits and frolics and merry-making of all kinds, and
for this time the “story-teller” has prepared and rehearsed his most
marvelous recitals. Above all, it is the season for love-making; “love
rules the camp,” and now is woman’s opportunity.

Without literature, without music or painting as arts, without further
study of nature than is necessary for the safety of the needs of
their daily life, with no knowledge or care for politics or finance
or the thousand questions of social or other science that disturb and
perplex the minds of civilized people, and with reasoning faculties
little superior to instinct, there is among Indians no such thing
as conversation as we understand it. There is plenty of talk, but
no interchange of ideas; no expression and comparison of views and
beliefs, except on the most commonplace topics. Half a dozen old sages
will be sitting around, quietly and gravely passing the pipe, and
apparently engaged in important discussion. Nine times out of ten their
talk is the merest camp tattle, or about a stray horse or sick colt,
or where one killed a deer or another saw a buffalo-track. All serious
questions of war and chase are reserved for discussion in the council

During the pleasant months he has constantly the healthy stimulus of
active life; during the winter he is either in a state of lethargy or
of undue excitement. During the day, in the winter season, the men
gamble or sleep, the women work or idle, as suits each; but the moment
it gets dark everybody is on the qui vive, ready for any fun that
presents itself. A few beats on a tom-tom bring all the inmates of the
neighboring lodges; a dance or gambling bout is soon inaugurated, and
oftentimes kept up until nearly morning.

The insufficiency and uncertainty of human happiness has been the theme
of eloquent writers of all ages. Every man’s happiness is lodged in
his own nature, and is, to a certain extent at least, independent of
his external circumstances and surroundings. These primitive people
demonstrate the general correctness of this theory, for they are
habitually and universally happy people. They thoroughly enjoy the
present, make no worry over the possibilities of the future, and
“never cry over spilled milk.” It may be argued that their apparent
happiness is only insensibility, the happiness of the mere animal,
whose animal desires are satisfied. It may be so. I simply state
facts, others may draw conclusions. The Indian is proud, sensitive,
quick-tempered, easily wounded, easily excited; but though utterly
unforgiving, he never broods. This is the whole secret of his happiness.

In spite of the fact that the wives are mere property, the domestic
life of the Indian will bear comparison with that of average civilized
communities. The husband, as a rule, is kind; ruling, but with no
harshness. The wives are generally faithful, obedient, and industrious.
The children are spoiled, and a nuisance to all red visitors.
Fortunately the white man, the “bugaboo” of their baby days, is yet
such an object of terror as to keep them at a respectful distance.
Among themselves the members of the family are perfectly easy and
unrestrained. It is extremely rare that there is any quarreling among
the women.

There is no such thing as nervousness in either sex. Living in but the
one room, they are from babyhood accustomed to what would be unbearable
annoyance to whites. The head of the lodge comes back tired from a
hunt, throws himself down on a bed, and goes fast to sleep, though his
two or three wives chatter around and his children tumble all over him.
Everybody seems to do just as he or she pleases, and this seems no
annoyance to anybody else.

Unlike her civilized sister, the Indian woman, “in her hour of greatest
need,” does not need any one. She would be shocked at the idea of
having a man doctor. In pleasant weather the expectant mother betakes
herself to the seclusion of some thicket; in winter she goes to a
tepee provided in each band for the women. In a few hours she returns
with a baby in its cradle on her back, and goes about her usual duties
as if nothing had happened.

Preparations for war or the chase occupy such hours of the winter
encampment as the noble red man can spare from gambling, love-making,
and personal adornment.

Each Indian must make for himself everything which he can not procure
by barter, and the opportunities for barter of the more common
necessities are very few, the Indians not having even yet conceived the
idea of making any articles for sale among themselves.

The saddle requires much time and care in its construction; some
Indians can never learn to make one; consequently this is more an
article of barter than anything commonly made by Indians.

No single article varies so much in make and value as the bridle.
The bit is always purchased, and is of every pattern, from the plain
snaffle to the complicated contrivance of the Mexicans. The bridle of
one Indian may be a mere head-stall of rawhide attached to the bit, but
without frontlet or throat-latch, and with reins of the same material,
the whole not worth a dollar; that of another may be so elaborated by
patient labor, and so garnished with silver, as to be worth a hundred

The Southern Indians have learned from the Mexicans the art of plaiting
horse-hair, and much of their work is very artistic and beautiful,
besides being wonderfully serviceable. A small smooth stick, one-fourth
of an inch in diameter, is the mold over which the hair is plaited.
When finished, the stick is withdrawn. The hair used is previously dyed
of different colors, and it is so woven as to present pretty patterns.
The hair, not being very strong, is used for the head-stall; the reins,
which require strength, are plaited solid, but in the same pattern,
showing skill, taste, and fitness.

The name “lariat” (Spanish, _riata_) is applied by all frontiersmen
and Indians to the rope or cord used for picketing or fastening their
horses while grazing, and also to the thong used for catching wild
animals--the lasso. They are the same, with a very great difference.
The lasso may be used for picketing a horse, but the rope with which a
horse is ordinarily picketed would never be of use as a lasso.

A good riata (lasso) requires a great deal of labor and patient
care. It is sometimes made of plaited hair from the manes and tails
of horses, but these are not common except where wild horses are
plentiful, one such riata requiring the hair of not less than twenty
animals. It is generally made of rawhide of buffalo or domestic cattle,
freed from hair, cut into narrow strips, and plaited with infinite
patience and care, so as to be perfectly round and smooth. Such a
riata, though costing less money than that of hair, is infinitely
superior. It is smooth, round, heavy, runs easily and quickly to noose,
and is as strong as a cable. Those tribes, as the Ute, who are unable
to procure beef or buffalo skins, make beautiful lariats of thin strips
of buckskin plaited together; but as these are used only for securing
their horses they are usually plaited flat.

To make these articles is all that the male Indian finds to do in his
ordinary winter life. Without occupation, without literature, without
thought, how man can persuade himself to continue to exist can be
explained only on the hypothesis that he is a natural “club man,” or a
mere animal.

“From rosy morn to dewy eve” there is always work for the Indian
woman. Fortunately for her the aboriginal inhabitants have as yet
discovered no means of making a light sufficient to work by at
night. It is true they beg or buy a few candles from military posts
or traders, but these are sacredly preserved for dances and grand

But, slave as she is, I doubt if she could be forced to work after dark
even if she had light. Custom, which holds her in so many inexorable
bonds, comes to her aid in this case. In every tribe night is the
woman’s right, and no matter how urgent the work which occupies her
during the daylight, the moment the dark comes she bedecks herself in
her best finery and stands at the door of the lodge, her ear strained
for the first beat of the tom-tom which summons her to where she is
then, for once, queen and ruler.

There was formerly one exception to this immunity from night work, but
it has gone with the buffalo. At the time of the “great fall hunt”
there was no rest nor excuse for her. She must work at any and all
hours. If the herds were moving, the success of the hunt might depend
on the rapidity with which the women performed their work on a batch of
dead buffalo. These animals spoil very quickly if not disemboweled, and
though the hunters tried to regulate the daily kill by the ability of
the squaws to “clean up” after them, they could, not in the nature of
things, always do so.

When the buffalo was dead the man’s work was done; it was woman’s work
to skin and cut up the dead animal; and oftentimes, when the men were
exceptionally fortunate, the women were obliged to work hard and fast
all night long before the task was finished.

The meat, cut as closely as possible from the bones, is tied up in the
skin, and packed to camp on the ponies.

The skin is spread, flesh side upward, on a level piece of ground,
small slits are cut in the edges, and it is tightly stretched and
fastened down by wooden pegs driven through the slits into the ground.
The meat is cut into thin flakes and placed upon poles or scaffolds to
dry in the sun.

All this work must be done, as it were, instantly, for if the skin is
allowed to dry unstretched it can never be made use of as a robe, and
the meat spoils if not “jerked” within a few hours.

This lively work lasts but a few weeks, and is looked upon by the
workers themselves pretty much in the same way as notable housewives
look upon the early house-cleaning--very disagreeable, but very
enjoyable. The real work begins when, the hunt being over, the band has
gone into winter quarters, for then must the women begin to utilize
“the crop.”

Some of the thickest bulls’ hides are placed to soak in water in which
is mixed wood ashes, or some natural alkali. This takes the hair off.
The skin is then cut into the required shape and stretched on a form,
on which it is allowed to dry, when it not only retains its shape but
becomes almost as hard as iron. These boxes are of various shapes and
sizes--some made like huge pocket-books, others like trunks. All are
called “parfleche.”

As soon as these parfleches, or trunks, are ready for use, the now
thoroughly dried meat is pounded to powder between two stones. About
two inches of this powdered meat is placed in the bottom of a parfleche
and melted fat is lightly poured over it. Then another layer of meat
is served in the same way, and so on until the trunk is full. It is
kept hot until the entire mass is thoroughly saturated. When cold, the
parfleches are closed and tightly tied up. The contents so prepared
will keep in good condition for several years. Probably the best
feature of the process is that nothing is lost, the flesh of old and
tough animals being, after this treatment, so nearly as good as that of
the young that few persons can tell the difference. This is the true
Indian bread, and is used as bread when they have fresh meat. Boiled,
it makes a soup very nutritious. So long as the Indian has this dried
meat and pemmican he is entirely independent of all other food. Of late
years all the beef issued to the Indians on the reservations, and not
needed for immediate consumption, is treated in this way.

The dressing of skins is the next work. The thickest hides are put in
soak of alkali for materials for making shields, saddles, riatas, etc.
Hides for making or repairing lodges are treated in the same way, but
after the hair has been removed they are reduced in thickness, made
pliable, and most frequently soaked.

Deer, antelope, and other skins are beautifully prepared for clothing,
the hair being always removed. Some of these skins are so worked down
that they are almost as thin and white as cotton cloth.

But all this is the mere commencement of the long and patient labor
which the loving wife bestows on the robe which the husband is to use
on dress occasions. The whole inner surface is frequently covered with
designs beautifully worked with porcupine-quills, or grasses dyed
in various colors. Sometimes the embellishments are paintings. Many
elegant robes have taken a year to finish.

Every animal brought into the camp brings work for the squaw. The buck
comes in with a deer and drops it at the door. The squaw skins it,
cuts up and preserves the meat, dresses the skin and fashions it into
garments for some member of the family. Until within a very few years
the needle was a piece of sharpened bone; the thread a fiber of sinew.
These are yet used in the ornamentation of robes, but almost all the
ordinary sewing is done with civilized appliances.

All Indians are excessively fond of bead-work, and not only the
clothing, moccasins, gun-covers, quivers, knife-sheaths, and
tobacco-pouches, but every little bag or ornament, is covered with
this work. Many of the designs are pretty and artistic. In stringing
the beads for this work an ordinary needle is used; but in every case,
except for articles made for sale, the thread is sinew.

The life in the winter encampment has scarcely been changed in any
particular, but with the earliest spring come evidences of activity,
a desire to get away; not attributable, as in the “good old time,” to
plans of forays for scalps and plunder, but to the desire of each head
of a lodge or band to reach, before any one else does, the particular
spot on which he has fixed for his location for the summer. No sooner
has he reached it than all hands, men, women, and children, fall to
work as if the whole thing were a delightful frolic.

The last five years, more than any twenty preceding them, have
convinced the wild Indians of the utter futility of their warfare
against the United States Government. One and all, they are thoroughly
whipped; and their contests, in the future, will be the acts of
predatory parties (for which the Indians at large are no more
responsible than is the Government of the United States for the acts
of highwaymen in the Black Hills, or train-robbers in Missouri), or
a deliberate determination of the bands and tribes to die fighting
rather than by the slow torture of starvation to which the Government
condemns them.

But the buffalo is gone; so also nearly all the other large game on
which the Indians depended for food. They are confined to comparatively
restricted reservations, and completely surrounded by whites. They are
more perfectly aware of the stringency of their situation than any
white man can possibly be, for they daily feel its pressure.

With no chance of success in war, with no possibility of providing food
for themselves, they thoroughly comprehend that their only hope for the
future is in Government aid, grazing cattle, and tilling the soil.

They do not like it, of course; it would be unnatural if they did. They
accept it as the dire alternative against starvation.

Basing arguments on the Indian contempt for work, many men in and
out of Congress talk eloquent nonsense of the impossibility of ever
bringing them to agricultural pursuits. The average Indian has no more
hatred of labor, as such, than the average white man. Neither will
labor unless an object is to be attained. Both will labor rather than
starve. Heretofore the Indian could comfortably support himself in
his usual and preferred life without labor; and there being no other
incentive he would have only proved himself an idiot had he worked
without an object.

But now, with the abundant acres of land that his white conquerors,
with simple justice, have allotted to him in the shape of reservations,
with no opportunity to think of the excitement, honor, and glory of
battle, his life is changed. He now finds that fences are to be made,
ground broken up, seed planted; and the peerless warrior, with “an eye
like an eagle,” whose name a few short years ago was a terror and
whose swoop was destruction, must learn to handle the plow, and follow,
in fact, what he has often claimed in desire and spirit to follow, “the
white man’s road.”

[Illustration: OGALALLA CHIEFS.]



Every custom, vocation, or study that has for its object the protection
of home, self, or one’s just rights, the defense of the weak or the
protection of the innocent, is justly denominated “manly,” and commands
universal respect and admiration. If such attributes or qualifications
as a steady nerve, a clear, penetrating gaze, and intensity and
earnestness of purpose, are combined with quickness of action and
courageous bearing, the admiration grows stronger and the respect


Years ago scarcely anybody save the professional duelist would ever
have thought of making an accomplishment of rifle or pistol shooting,
unless, like the enlisted soldier or the dweller on the prairies, a
practical knowledge of fire-arms and their uses became an absolute
necessity for self-protection or the performance of duty. Yet now
so-called “fancy shooting” is considered rather a “fad,” and its aptest
exponents are objects of laudation and applause. The huntsman is no
longer a slayer of game and wild beasts as a means of subsistence for
himself and family, or for sale to neighbors or in the public market.
The elephant is now rarely killed for his tusks, the tiger for his
skin, or the buffalo (what few there are left of this species) for
his flesh. Now the “chase” is a mere sport, like “hunting the covers”
in Merrie England, and men boast of their prowess as hunters much as
they do of their skill at billiards. Yet an expert with the rifle or
the pistol is an object of applause and admiration, and even the
more courageous of the fair sex love to try their skill at a target.
For a time the old pastime of archery was revived, but, whether its
difficulties or its present-day impracticability was the cause, it has
been abandoned by the fashionable world, and shooting-galleries are now
the “thing” rather than archery clubs.

In the march of progress the club, the lance, the javelin, and the
long-bow have been thrown aside, and modern invention has given us
the cannon, the shotgun, the musket, the rifle, and the pistol. Some
writers have even argued, and ably too, that the invention of gunpowder
had a most powerful and active effect upon the civilization of the

However, the acts of aiming and discharging the projectile, and
successfully striking the target, be it animate or inanimate, possess
a rare fascination for the world at large. What boy has not enjoyed
raptures of delight at the story of William Tell, and the fact of his
having shot the apple from his son’s head has made a more lingering and
lasting impression upon the readers of the story than his struggle to
liberate his countrymen from the tyranny personified in Gessler; and
you iconoclasts give mortal offense to the youth of the world when you
dare assert that their hero of Switzerland is a myth. There is no story
more interesting, told to the good little boy who regularly attends
his Sunday-school, than that of David’s wonderful marksmanship when,
by throwing a pebble from a sling, he struck the mighty Goliath and
slew him. David’s after-history, his glories and his sacerdotal power,
though ofttimes told the youthful Biblical scholar and repeated to him
in sermons when he grows older, may have an effect, but still it is
the incident of David’s meeting with the giant and his victory over him
that most surely impresses him.

To learn the science of accurate shooting by constant practice in
a gallery especially prepared for that purpose, the target being
inanimate and incapable of retaliation, may, and often does, result in
aptitude with the revolver and the rifle. To preserve this cleverness,
however, the conditions must always be the same. The proper light must
fall correctly upon the target; nothing to disturb the serenity of
the surroundings or to distract the attention of the shooter must be

A grade higher comes the hunter. His targets are living, breathing
objects. Sometimes he may stealthily approach, unobserved, and secure
an aim while the object is at rest; again, the bird flies, the beast
runs, and then his scientific calculation must be quick and accurate.
But in both of these the disturbing element of probable, almost
certain, retaliation is lacking. The excitement of rivalry or the
enthusiasm, added to the uncertainty, of the chase may somewhat agitate
the nerves of the shooter. His own safety is assured, however. How
often do we read of a meeting on the miscalled “field of honor” of
two men, both famous as pistol-gallery shots; men with whom to hit
the “bull’s-eye” nine times out of ten shots is a common occurrence,
yet who exchange leaden compliments that are as barren of results as
would be the feeding of a hungry man on “angel food.” What is the cause
of this? It is the actual, assured knowledge that in this instance
the targets are equally animate, equally prepared thoroughly for
retaliatory action, both equally anxious, and as capable of hitting the
target the one as the other, and a sure consequence is that the nerves
of both shooters are “like sweet bells, jangled, out of tune.”

The soldier whose lessons in the handling of fire-arms have been
learned on many a hard-fought field has acquired a steadiness of nerve,
a sort of reckless fearlessness, and, at times, even a contempt for
danger which its constant presence has taught him. All honor to the
soldiers who in steady column, shoulder to shoulder, or in dashing
charge to the shrill cry of the bugle, have fearlessly breasted the
scathing fire of the enemy’s guns. But in this case the inspiriting
association of comrades, the encouraging sense of companionship, cheers
them on, and they at least momentarily fail to really appreciate the
thorough seriousness of their situation.

How different from all these pictures is that of the daring scout, the
intrepid cowboy, the faithful guide, of the unsettled West. To either
of these danger is so constant, so frequent in its visitations, that
it has become an expected presence. An ear quick to detect a rustle
of the leaves, a footfall on the turf, the click of the hammer of
a rifle; an eye to instantaneously penetrate into the thickness of
the brush; to detect, locate, and photograph a shifting speck on the
horizon; to measure distance at a glance, and to fix the threatening
target’s vulnerable point in an instant are absolute necessities.
Added to these, as an absolute essential, must be nerves as tense as
steel. A tremor of the arm, nay, the slightest quiver of a muscle, that
sends the bullet a hair’s-breadth from the point aimed at, may cost
not only the death of the shooter, but the lives of those depending
on him for safety. No fancy shooting this; for more than life--honor
and reputation, the preservation of sacred trusts and cherished lives
committed to his care, depend upon his coolness, his courage, and his
accuracy. In a moment all will be over for good or ill, and upon his
single personality all depends. The stake is fearful.

These indubitable facts considered, is it surprising that these
danger-baptized heroes of the West stand to-day as the most marvelous
marksmen of the world?

The amateur sportsman, the society expert rifle-shot, the ambitious
youth, and even woman, to whom all real manly exploits and true heroism
are admirable, all take sincere pleasure in witnessing the feats of
marksmanship of the cowboy, scout, or guide expert, and wonder at his
marvelous accuracy. It is because actual necessity was the foundation
upon which their expertness was built that these surpass all others
in the science. What appears wonderful to others is in them but the
perfection of art.

Looking at expert shooting as a pastime, a science, or a means of
protection or self-preservation, the awakening of the manhood of
the country and the up-growing youth to its possibilities is surely
to be commended and encouraged. No man is more to be credited with
the accomplishment of this than Gen. W. F. Cody. His romantic and
picturesque history and his wonderful accomplishments have attracted
to him the attention of America and Europe, and no one man is more
capable of exemplifying the science of shooting than he. A graduate,
with high honors, of the school where expert shooting is taught by
the best practice and actual experience, he is master of his art. The
object-lessons he gives are of incalculable benefit to the ambitious
student of marksmanship, and sources of delight to all. His trusty
rifle is now a social friend, whose intimacy is founded on dangers
averted, heroic deeds accomplished, and honors nobly won.




In the spring of 1868, at the outbreak of the violent Indian war,
General Sheridan, from his headquarters at Hays City, dispatched Cody
as guide and scout to Captain Parker at Fort Larned. Several bands of
Comanches and Kiowas were in the vicinity, and Buffalo Bill, after
guiding General Hazen and an escort of twenty men to Fort Sarah, thirty
miles distant, started to return to Larned alone. At Pawnee Rock, about
half-way, he found himself suddenly surrounded by about forty warriors.
By professions of friendship and warm greeting of “How, how!” Bill saw
he could alone depend on cunning and strategy to escape. Being taken
before Santanta, who Bill knew was expecting, a short time before,
a large herd of cattle which had been promised by General Hazen, he
boldly complained to the wily chief of his treatment, and informed
him that he had been ordered to find him and deliver “a big heap lot
who-haws.” The cupidity of old Santanta enabled Bill to regain his
arms. Although declining an escort, he was followed, much to his alarm,
by a dozen well-mounted redskins. Keeping up “a heap of thinking,” Cody
at last reached a depression that hid him from view, and succeeded,
by putting the mule at his highest speed, in getting fully a mile in
advance before the trailers discovered his object.

Upon seeing the fleeing scout, there were no further grounds for
suspecting his motives; so the Indians, who were mounted on excellent
ponies, dashed after him as though they were impelled by a promise of
all the whisky and bacon in the big father’s commissary for his scalp.
Bill was trying to save his hair, and the Indians were equally anxious
to save it, so that the ride, prompted by these diametrically opposed
motives, was as furious as Tam O’Shanter’s. After running over about
three miles of ground, Bill turned his head, only to be horrified by
the sight of his pursuers gaining rapidly on him. He now sank the spurs
a little deeper into his mule, let out another inch of the reins, and
succeeded in increasing the speed of his animal, which appeared to be
sailing under a second wind.

It was thus the chase continued to Ash Grove, four miles from Fort
Larned, at which point Bill was less than half a mile ahead of the
Indians, who were trying to make line shots with him and his mule as
a target. Reaching Pawnee Fork, he dashed into that stream, and as he
gained the opposite shore, and was rounding a thick clump of trees, he
was rejoiced to meet Denver Jim, a prominent scout, in company with a
private soldier, driving a wagon toward the post.

A moment spent in explanation determined the three men upon an ambush.
Accordingly the wagon was hastily driven into the woods, and posting
themselves at an advantageous point they awaited the appearance of the
red-skinned pursuers. “Look out!” said Bill; “here they come, right
over my trail.” True enough, the twelve painted warriors rode swiftly
around the clump of brush, and the next instant there was a discharge
of shots from the ambush which sent two Indians sprawling on the
ground, where they kicked out their miserable existence. The others saw
the danger of their position, and making a big circle rode rapidly
back toward their war-party.

When the three men reached Larned, Buffalo Bill and Denver Jim each
displayed an Indian scalp as trophies of a successful ambush, and at
the same time apprised Captain Parker of the hostile character of
Santanta and his tribe.

On the following day about eight hundred warriors appeared before the
fort, and threatened to storm it; but being met with a determined front
they circled around the post several times, keeping the soldiers inside
until their village could move off. Considerable fear was entertained
at the fort, owing to the great number of hostile Indians who
practically invested it, and it was determined by Captain Parker as of
the utmost importance to send dispatches to General Sheridan, informing
him of the situation. Fort Hays was sixty-five miles distant from Fort
Larned, and, as the country was fairly swarming with the worst kind of
“bad” Indians, Captain Parker tried in vain to find some one who would
carry the dispatches, until the request was made to Buffalo Bill. This
expedition was not within Bill’s line of duty, and presented dangers
that would have caused the boldest man to hesitate; but finding all
the couriers absolutely refusing to perform the necessary service, he
agreed to deliver the message, provided that he could select the horse
that he wanted to ride. Of course this requirement was readily assented
to, and at 10 o’clock at night, during a terrible storm, the brave
scout set out, knowing that he had to run a very gauntlet of hostiles,
who would make many sacrifices if by so doing they could lift his
coveted scalp.

The profound darkness of the night afforded him some security from
surprise, but his fears of riding into an Indian camp were realized
when he reached Walnut Creek. A barking dog was the first intimation
of his position, but this was speedily followed by several Indians
pursuing him, being directed by the sounds of his horse’s feet. By hard
riding and good dodging, however, he eluded these, and meeting with no
further mishap than being thrown over his horse’s head by reason of
the animal suddenly stepping into a gopher-hole, he reached Fort Hays
shortly after daylight, and delivered the dispatches he carried before
General Sheridan had arisen from bed.

After delivering the message Bill went over to Hays City, where he was
well acquainted, and after taking some refreshments lay down and slept
for two hours. Thinking then that General Sheridan might want to ask
him some questions regarding the condition of affairs at Larned, he
returned to the fort and reported to him. He was somewhat astonished
to find that General Sheridan was as anxious to send a messenger to
Fort Dodge, ninety-five miles distant, as Captain Parker had been to
communicate with his superior officer at Fort Hays; and more surprised
was he to find that of the numerous couriers and scouts at the fort not
one could be induced to carry the general’s dispatch, though the sum of
$500 was offered for the service. Seeing the quandary in which General
Sheridan was placed, Bill addressed that official, and said:

“Well, General, I’ll go over to the hotel and take a little more
rest, and if by 4 o’clock you have not secured some one to carry your
dispatches, I will undertake to do it.”

The general replied: “I don’t like to ask so much of you, for I know
you are tired; but the matter is of great importance and some one must
perform the trip. I’ll give you a fresh horse, and the best at the
fort, if you’ll undertake it.”

“All right, General; I’ll be ready at 4 o’clock,” replied Bill, and
then he went over to the hotel; but meeting with many friends, and
the “irrigating” being good, he obtained only the rest that gay
companionship affords. At the appointed time Bill was ready, and
receiving the dispatches at the hands of General Sheridan he mounted
his horse and rode away to Fort Dodge. After his departure there was
much debate among the scouts who bade him good-by respecting the
probability of his getting through, for the Indians were thick along
the whole route, and only a few days before had killed three couriers
and several settlers. Bill continued his ride all night, meeting with
no interruption, and by daylight next morning he had reached Saw-Log
Crossing, on Pawnee Fork, which was seventy-five miles from Fort Hays.
A company of colored cavalry, under Major Cox, was stationed here, and
it being on the direct route to Fort Dodge, Bill carried a letter with
him from General Sheridan requesting Major Cox to furnish him with
a fresh horse upon his arrival there; this the major did; so after
partaking of a good breakfast Bill took his remount and continued on to
Dodge, which point he gained at 10 o’clock in the morning, making the
ninety-five miles in just eighteen hours from the time of starting.

The commanding officer at Fort Dodge after receiving the dispatches

“I am very glad to see you, Cody, and I’ll tell you that the trip just
made is one of the most fortunate I know of. It is almost a miracle how
you got through without having your body filled as full of holes as a
pepper-box. The Indians are swarming all around within fifty miles
of here, and to leave camp voluntarily is almost equal to committing
suicide. I have been wanting to send a message to Fort Larned for
several days, but the trip is so dangerous that I can’t find any one
who will risk it, and I wouldn’t blame the bravest man for refusing.”

“Well, Major, I think I might get through to Larned; in fact I want to
go back there, and if you will furnish me with a good horse I’ll try to
carry your message.”

“I don’t think it would be policy for you to make the trip now,
especially since you have done so much hard riding already. Besides,
the best mount I could give you would be a government mule.”

“All right, Major, I don’t want the best; second-best is good enough
for me; so trot out your mule. I’ll take a little nap, and in the
meantime have your hostler slick up the mule so that he can slide
through with me like a greased thunderbolt should the reds jump on us.”

Bill then went off, and, after “liquidating” in true Western style,
lay down in the major’s quarters, where he slept soundly until nearly
5 o’clock in the evening, when, having replenished his canteen, he
mounted the patient mule and set out for Fort Larned, which was
sixty-five miles east of Fort Dodge.

After proceeding as far as Coon Creek, which was nearly half-way, Bill
dismounted for the purpose of getting a drink of water. While stooping
down the mule got frightened at something and jerked loose; nor did the
stupid animal stop, but followed the trail, keeping ahead of the weary
and chagrined scout for _thirty-five miles_. Half a mile from the fort
Bill got within rifle range of his exasperating steed and gave him a
furlough to the eternal grazing-grounds.

After reaching Larned--carrying the bridle and saddle himself--Buffalo
Bill spent several hours in refreshing sleep, and when he awakened
he found General Hazen trying to induce some of the couriers to take
his dispatches to General Sheridan at Fort Hays. Having been warmly
and very justly praised for the long and perilous rides he had just
completed, Bill again proffered his service to perform the trip. At
first General Hazen refused to dispatch him on the mission, saying,
“This is like riding a free horse to death; you have already ridden
enough to kill an ordinary man, and I don’t think it would be treating
you properly to permit you to make this additional journey.”

But when evening came and no other volunteer could be engaged, as a
matter of last resort Bill was given a good horse and the dispatches
intrusted to him for transmission. It was after nightfall when he
started on this last trip, and by daylight the next morning he was in
Fort Hays, where he delivered the dispatches. General Sheridan was
profoundly astonished to see Bill before him again in so short a time,
and after being informed of his wonderful riding during the three days
the general pronounced it a feat that was never equaled; and even
now General Sheridan maintains that no other man could accomplish
the same distance under similar circumstances. To this day the rides
here described stand on record as the most remarkable ever made. They
aggregated _three hundred and fifty-five miles in fifty-eight riding
hours_, or an average of more than _six miles an hour_, including
an enforced _walk of thirty-five miles_. When it is considered that
all this distance was made in the night-time, and through a country
of hostile Indians, without a road to follow or a bridge to cross
the streams, the feat appears too incredible for belief were it not
for the most indisputable evidence, easily attainable, which makes
disbelief impossible.

General Sheridan was so favorably impressed with the self-sacrificing
spirit and marvelous endurance of Buffalo Bill, and being already
acquainted with his reputation as a brave man, that he called the scout
to his headquarters directly after receiving Major Hazen’s dispatches,
and said:

“Cody, I have ordered the Fifth Cavalry to proceed against the Dog
Soldier Indians, who are now terrorizing the Republican River district;
and as the campaign will be a very important one, I want a first-class
man to guide the expedition. I have therefore decided to appoint you
guide, _and also chief of scouts of the command_.”




[Illustration: GENERAL W. T. SHERMAN.]

The following letter was received with a photograph of the hero of “The
March to the Sea,” Gen. W. T. Sherman:

            NEW YORK, December 25, 1886.

_To Col. William Cody_:

With the best compliments of one who in 1886 was guided by him up the
Republican, then occupied by the Cheyennes and Arapahoes as their
ancestral hunting-grounds; now transformed into farms and cattle
ranches, in better harmony with civilization, and with his best wishes
that he succeed in his honorable efforts to represent the scenes of
that day to a generation then unborn.

            W. T. SHERMAN, _General_.



    WASHINGTON, D. C., January 7, 1887.

Col. William F. Cody was a scout and served in my command on the
Western frontier for many years. He was always ready for duty, and was
a cool, brave man, with unimpeachable character. I take pleasure in
commending him for the many services he has rendered to the army, whose
respect he enjoys for his manly qualities.

            P. H. SHERIDAN, _Lieutenant-General_.


            NEW YORK, December 28, 1886.

 _Col. William F. Cody._

DEAR SIR: Recalling the many facts that came to me while I was
adjutant-general of the Division of the Missouri under General
Sheridan, bearing upon your efficiency, fidelity, and daring as a guide
and scout over the country west of the Missouri River and east of the
Rocky Mountains, I take pleasure in observing your success in depicting
in the East the early life of the West.

          Very truly yours,
            JAMES B. FRY,
    _Assistant Adjutant-General, Brevet-Major-General U. S. A._


            LOS ANGELES, CAL., January 7, 1878.

_Col. William F. Cody._

DEAR SIR: Having visited your great exhibition in St. Louis and
in New York City, I desire to congratulate you on the success of
your enterprise. I was much interested in the various lifelike
representations of Western scenery, as well as the fine exhibition
of skilled marksmanship and magnificent horsemanship. You not only
represent the many interesting features of frontier life, but also the
difficulties and dangers that have been encountered by the adventurous
and fearless pioneers of civilization. The wild Indian life as it was a
few years ago will soon be a thing of the past, but you appear to have
selected a good class of Indians to represent that race of people. I
regard your exhibition as not only very interesting, but practically
instructive. Your services on the frontier were exceedingly valuable.
With best wishes for your success, believe me,

          Very truly yours,
            NELSON A. MILES,
              _Brigadier-General U. S. A._


            OMAHA, NEB., January 7, 1887.

_Hon. William F. Cody._

DEAR SIR: I take great pleasure in testifying to the very efficient
service rendered by you “as a scout” in the campaign against the Sioux
Indians during the year 1876. Also that I have witnessed your Wild West
exhibition. I consider it the most realistic performance of the kind I
have ever seen.

          Very sincerely, your obedient servant,
            GEORGE CROOK,
              _Brigadier-General U. S. A._



            ST. LOUIS, MO., May 7, 1885.

_Maj. John M. Burke._

DEAR SIR: I take pleasure in saying that in an experience of about
thirty years on the plains and in the mountains I have seen a great
many guides, scouts, trailers, and hunters, and Buffalo Bill (W. F.
Cody) is “king of them all.” He has been with me in seven Indian
fights, and his services have been invaluable.

          Very respectfully yours,
            EUGENE A. CARR,
              _Brevet-Major-General U. S. A._


            WEST POINT, N. Y., January 11, 1887.

... I have known W. F. Cody (“Buffalo Bill”) for many years. He is a
Western man of the best type, combining those qualities of enterprise,
daring, good sense, and physical endurance which made him the superior
of any scout I ever knew. He was cool and capable when surrounded by
dangers, and his reports were always free from exaggeration. He is a
gentleman in a better sense of the word which implies character, and he
may be depended on under all circumstances. I wish him success.

            W. MERRITT,
              _Brevet-Major-General U. S. A._
                _Late Major-General Volunteers._

            WASHINGTON, August 10, 1886.

_To whom it may concern_:

Mr. William F. Cody was employed as chief of scouts under Generals
Sheridan, Custer, Crook, Miles, Carr, and others in their campaigns
against hostile Indians on our frontier, and as such rendered very
valuable and distinguished service.

            S. S. DRUM, _Adjutant-General_.

[Illustration: MAJOR-GENERAL W. H. EMORY.]

            WASHINGTON, D. C., February 8, 1887.

Mr. Cody was chief guide and hunter to my command when I commanded the
district of North Platte, and he performed all his duties with marked

            W. H. EMORY,
              _Major-General U. S. A._


            FORT MEAD, D. T., February 14, 1887.

MY DEAR SIR: Your army career on the frontier, and your present
enterprise of depicting scenes in the far West, are so enthusiastically
approved and commended by the American people and the most prominent
men of the United States Army, that there is nothing left for me to
say. I feel sure your new departure will be a success.

          With best wishes, I remain, yours truly,
            JAMES W. FORSYTH,
              _Colonel Seventh Cavalry_.


            JERSEY CITY, 405 Bergen Avenue, February 7, 1887.

_Hon. Wm. F. Cody._

MY DEAR SIR: I fully, and with pleasure, indorse you as the veritable
Buffalo Bill, United States scout, serving with the troops operating
against hostile Indians, with whom you secured renown by your services
as a scout and successful hunter. Your sojourn on the frontier at a
time when it was a wild and sparsely settled section of the continent
fully enables you to portray that in which you have personally
participated--the pioneer, Indian fighter, and frontiersman. Wishing
you every success, I remain,

          Very respectfully yours,
            H. C. BANKHEAD,
             _Brigadier-General U. S. A._

[Illustration: COLONEL W. B. ROYALL.]

            WASHINGTON, D. C., January 9, 1887.

W. F. Cody (“Buffalo Bill”) was with me in the early days when I
commanded a battalion of the Fifth Cavalry, operating against the
hostile Sioux. He filled every position and met every emergency with so
much bravery, competence, and intelligence as to command the general
admiration and respect of the officers, and became chief of scouts
of the department. All his successes have been conducted on the most
honorable principles.

            W. B. ROYALL,
              _Colonel Fourth Cavalry U. S. A._


            FORT CUSTER, M. T.

I often recall your valuable services to the Government, as well
as to myself, in years long gone by, especially during the Sioux
difficulties, when you were attached to my command as chief of scouts.
Your indomitable perseverance, incomprehensible instinct in discovering
the trails of the Indians--particularly at night, no matter how dark
or stormy--your physical powers of endurance in following the enemy
until overtaken, and your unflinching courage, as exhibited on all
occasions, won not only my own esteem and admiration, but that of the
whole command. With my best wishes for your success, I remain, your old

            N. A. M. DUDLEY,
    _Colonel First Cavalry, Brevet-Brigadier-General U. S. A._


            TALLAHASSE, FLA., January 12, 1887.

HON. WILLIAM F. CODY: I take great pleasure in recommending you to the
public as a man who has a high reputation in the army as a scout. No
one has ever shown more bravery on the Western plains than yourself. I
wish you success in your proposed visit to Great Britain.

          Your obedient servant,
            JNO. H. KING,
               _Brevet-Major-General U. S. A._


_To all whom these presents shall come, greeting_:

Know ye, that I, John M. Thayer, governor of the State of Nebraska,
reposing special trust and confidence in the integrity, patriotism, and
ability of the Hon. William F. Cody, on behalf and in the name of the
State do hereby appoint and commission him as aide-de-camp of my staff,
with the rank of colonel, and do authorize and empower him to discharge
the duties of said office according to law.

In testimony I have hereunto subscribed my name and caused to be
affixed the great seal of the State.

          Done at Lincoln this 8th day of March, A. D. 1887.

  MARCH 1, 1887.

            JOHN M. THAYER.

          By the Governor:
            G. L. LAUR,
              _Secretary of State_.



Having in the preceding pages given the scenes, conditions,
surroundings, and types of characters that made up the theater of
action in which Buffalo Bill bore so prominent a part, with the letters
from gallant commanders stamping his career with the brand of truth, it
is fitting to start my hero from the threshold of boyhood, and follow
him through his most adventurous and phenomenal life up to the present
day, where he stands unchallenged as the Chevalier Bayard of American

Buffalo Bill made his debut upon the stage of life in a little log
cabin situated in the backwoods of Scott County, Iowa. His father and
mother were good honest people, poor in this world’s goods, but rich
in hope, faith in each other and the result of their efforts, and
confidence in the future.

While struggling for success as a farmer Isaac Cody became seriously
affected by the California gold fever that raged at that time; a party
was organized, an outfit provided, and a start was made. A failure
resulted, and all comprising the party returned to their respective
homes at La Clair.

Bill was sent to school, where he familiarized himself with the
alphabet; but further progress was arrested by a suddenly developed
love for boating on the Mississippi, which occupied so much of his time
that he found no convenient opportunity for attendance at school, his
parents, however, not having the slightest idea of his self-imposed
employment as a boatman.

Shortly after his removal to La Clair Mr. Cody was chosen justice of
the peace, then was elected to the Legislature, positions which he held
with honor but without profit.

A natural pioneer, he hunted for new fields of adventure, and following
his inclination he disposed of a small ranch he owned, packed his
possessions in one carriage and three wagons, and started for the
plains of Kansas. Mr. Cody had a brother living at Weston, near the
Kansas line, a well-to-do merchant of that place, with whom he stopped
until he could decide upon a more desirable location for his family.
It was on this trip that Buffalo Bill had his first sight of a negro,
of whom he stood in great awe. It was also while on this expedition
he ate his first wheat bread, something he had never heard of before,
corn-dodgers being the chief staff of life at that time.

Mr. Cody remained but a short while at Weston, when he went to the
Kickapoo Agency in Leavenworth, Kan. He established a trading-post at
Salt Creek Valley, while he settled his family upon a ranch near by. At
that time Kickapoo was occupied by numerous tribes of Indians, who were
settled upon the reservations, and through the territory ran the great
highway of California and Salt Lake City. In addition to the thousands
of gold-seekers who were passing through by way of Fort Leavenworth,
there were many Mormons going westward, and this extensive travel made
trade profitable. With these caravans were those fractious elements of
adventurous pioneering, the typical Westerner, with white sombrero,
buckskin clothes, long hair, moccasined feet, and a belt full of
murderous bowies and long pistols. Instead of impressing him, however,
with trepidation, they inspired in him an ambition to become likewise.
Their skillful feats of horsemanship, which he witnessed, bred in him
a desire to become an expert rider, and when, at seven years of age,
his father gave him a pony the measure of his happiness was filled to
overflowing. Thenceforth his occupation was horseback-riding, and he
made himself useful to his father in many ways.

During his early life at this post Buffalo Bill spent much of his time
with the Indians, who taught him how to shoot with bow and arrow, and
he joined in their other sports, soon learning the Kickapoo language
more readily than he had his alphabet. Being friendly with the Indians
Mr. Cody at times gave them barbecues, at which they indulged in their
fantastic war-dances, the sight of which excited admiration in the
youthful William. It was at this time that Buffalo Bill first met his
friend Alexander Majors of the freighting firm of Russell & Majors, and
he has since then been his lifelong friend.

Writers of American history are familiar with the disorders which
followed upon the heels of the Enabling Act. The western boundary
of Missouri was ablaze with the camp-fires of intending settlers.
Thousands of families were sheltered under the canvas of the ox-wagons,
awaiting the announcement of the opening of the Territory; and when the
news was heralded they poured over the boundary-line and deluged the
new domain. Those who came from Missouri were intent upon extending
slavery into the Territory, while those who came from Illinois, Iowa,
and Indiana were opposed to bringing slaves into the new Territory. It
was over this question that the border warfare began; men were shot
down in their homes, by the fireside, in the furrows behind the plow;
widows and orphans multiplied; the arm of industry was paralyzed. The
incendiary torch lit up the prairie, burning homes and destroying
their storehouses and granaries. Anguish sat on every threshold, pity
had no abiding-place, and for several years the besom of destruction
rendered every heart on the borderland sad and despondent. In this war
of vengeance the Cody family did not escape. One night a body of armed
men surrounded the Cody home. Knowing what they had come for, Mr. Cody
disguised himself and walked out of the house and managed to escape.
Discovering this, the band carried off all the valuables in the house
and about the premises, drove off the horses, and Bill’s pony among
them; but the pony escaped and came back to his young master. Learning
that another attempt was to be made to capture Mr. Cody, having
learned of his hiding-place, Mrs. Cody started Bill off on his pony
to give warning to his father of his danger. The boy had ridden only
a few miles when he came upon a party of men camped at the crossing
of Stranger Creek. Hearing one of them call out, “That is Cody’s son,
catch him,” the brave lad instantly started to dash through them,
knowing that it was a matter of life and death to his father. He was
instantly pursued, but eluded capture, joined his father, and warned
him of his danger. From that time on Mr. Cody’s visits to his home were
made secretly, and soon after it was that he lost his life, dying from
the effects of a wound he received.

After the death of his father, though a mere boy, Buffalo Bill applied
for employment to Mr. Alexander Majors of the firm of Majors & Russell,
overland freighters. Mr. Majors said to him:

“Billy, my boy, I will give you $25 a month as messenger, and this sum
is what I pay a man for the same work.”

Bill gladly accepted the offer, and at ten years of age began work.
For two months, mounted on a little gray mule, Bill’s duties were to
herd cattle. At the end of that time he was paid his $50 in one-half
dollar pieces, and, putting the bright silver coins into a sack, he
started for home, feeling himself a millionaire. Every dollar of that
money he gave to his mother. Thus began his services for the firm of
Majors & Russell, afterward Russell, Majors & Waddell, in whose employ
he spent seven years in different capacities, such as messenger,
wagon-master, pony-express rider, and stage-driver.




Like all boys Bill had a sweetheart with whom he was “dead in love,”
in a juvenile way, of course. He had a rival of whom he was terribly
jealous. One day, attacked by his rival, who was an older and larger
boy, Buffalo Bill defended himself with his pocket-knife, wounding the
youth slightly. The cry at once arose, “Bill Cody has killed Steve
Gobel!” and, terribly frightened at what he had done, Bill immediately
took refuge in flight, the teacher in hot pursuit. Fortunately for Bill
one of Russell & Majors’ freight trains was passing beyond the hills on
its way to the West. Reaching it he recognized the wagon-master with
whom he had before served. He was concealed in one of the wagons until
night, when he went to his home, bade his mother and sisters good-by,
and continued on with the train to the far West. The trip proved one
of delightful experience to the boy, and on his return he was paid off
with the rest of the employes, when he went to herding cattle for the
same firm.

After a few months spent at this work, he started with a herd of
beef-cattle for Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston’s army, which was then
marching across the plains to fight the Mormons. Reaching South Platte
River they were camped for dinner, and had no idea of danger near,
when, with shouts and yells, a band of Indians dashed in upon them.
A hot fight followed, and three of the party were killed. Buffalo
Bill, with the rest of the band, was driven to seek safety under the
river-bank, keeping the Indians at a safe distance with their guns. It
was on this occasion that Buffalo Bill killed his first Indian, being
at that time but eleven years old. As the cattle had been stampeded
by the Indians, and the horses also, the little party was forced to
return to Fort Kearney. After many hardships and passing through many
dangers, the fort was reached, though several of the party were wounded
and had to be carried by their comrades. A company of cavalry and force
of infantry, with one gun, were sent out to endeavor to capture the
cattle, Buffalo Bill and his comrades accompanying the expedition.
Upon reaching the place where the fight occurred, the bodies of their
comrades were found literally cut to pieces, and but few of the
stampeded cattle were captured.

Upon his return to Fort Leavenworth the young Indian fighter found that
he was published far and wide as the youngest Indian killer on record;
in fact a juvenile celebrity. What bearing this taste of laudation had
on his future career may easily be inferred.

The following summer Buffalo Bill engaged at $40 per month, in gold, to
go with the wagon-trains carrying supplies to Gen. Albert S. Johnston’s
army. The trail of the train was through Kansas into Nebraska, near the
Big Sandy, then running sixty miles along the Little Blue, striking
the Platte River near old Fort Kearney; then up the South Platte, then
across to the North Platte, near the mouth of the Blue Water, where
General Harney fought his great battle in 1865 with the Sioux and
Cheyenne Indians. From this point the train continued on to the Great
Salt Lake Valley. At that time Russell, Majors & Waddell had upon the
overland trails nearly seven thousand wagons; 75,000 oxen, 2,000 mules,
and 8,000 men were employed, while the capital invested amounted to
$2,000,000. The expedition was without adventure of importance until
the South Platte River was reached. The country was alive with buffalo
roaming in all directions, and among them were found some of the herd
of cattle stampeded by the Indians long before. Discovering the herd
of buffaloes ahead, they at the same time sighted a party of returning
Californians, and, being between two fires, the buffalo herd stampeded
at once, and broke down the hills, some thousands of them rushing
through the wagon-train. Wagons were turned over, poles were broken,
buffaloes were mixed up among the terrified oxen and shouting men, who
were unable to manage their teams. Many of the oxen broke their yokes
and stampeded, and the frantic buffaloes played havoc with the train.
This caused several days’ delay to repair damages and gather up the
scattered teams. When the train reached within eighteen miles of the
Green River, in the Rocky Mountains, a party of twenty horsemen came
up. They were covered at once with guns, and the wagon-train men found
that they were in the hands of the Mormons, who were at that time
engaged in hostilities against the Army of the United States. It was
impossible to resist, and Simpson was forced to submit, first, however,
soundly abusing the apostles.

The Mormons took from the wagons all the provisions they could carry,
then set fire to the train and drove off the oxen. The trainmen,
however, were allowed to retain their arms, one wagon, six yoke of
oxen, and provisions enough to last the party until Fort Bridger could
be reached.

It was late in November when the party reached the fort, and they
decided to spend the winter there, in company with about four hundred
other employes of Russell, Majors & Waddell, rather than attempt to
return, which would have exposed them to many dangers and the severity
of the coming winter. During this period of rest the commissary became
so depleted that the men were placed on one-quarter rations; and at
last, as a final resort, the poor, dreadfully emaciated mules and oxen
were killed for food for the famishing men.

Fort Bridger being located in a prairie, fuel had to be carried nearly
two miles, and after the mules and oxen were butchered the men were
compelled to carry the wood on their backs or haul it on sleds.

But for the timely arrival of a train-load of provisions for Johnston’s
army many of the party would certainly have died of hunger.

Arrangements having been made for a return to Fort Leavenworth, all
the employes at Fort Bridger concluded to accompany the returning
cavalcade. Simpson was chosen brigade wagon-master of the new outfit,
consisting of two trains and 400 men.

When the train approached Ash Hollow Simpson decided to leave the main
road and follow the North Platte to its junction with the South Platte.
The two trains had become separated, some fifteen or twenty miles
between them, the latter train in charge of Assistant Wagon-master
George Woods, under whom Billy was acting as “extra.”

Simpson, accompanied by Woods, desiring to reach the head train,
ordered Billy to “cinch” (saddle) up and follow him. When the three
reached Cedar Bluffs they suddenly discovered a score of Indians
emerging from the head of a ravine less than half a mile distant and
coming toward them with great speed.

“Dismount and shoot your mules,” was the quick order issued by
Simpson, who was at once alive to the situation. As the stricken
animals dropped in their tracks the two men and little boy crouched
down behind their bodies, which lay together in a triangle, and using
their dead bodies as breastworks opened fire on the Indians with
Mississippi yagers and revolvers, killing three and wounding two
ponies. The redskins, surprised at the hot-bed they had struck, circled
around and sped away again, halting several hundred yards distant,
evidently for consultation. This gave the trio time to load their
weapons and prepare for a second charge, which they felt sure would be

The Indians were armed with bows and arrows, which of course required
close range to be effective, and this gave the little party an
advantage which partly compensated for the superior number of their

Little Billy showed so much pluck in the dangerous position he occupied
that Simpson could not help praising him, and by way of further
encouragement he said:

“My brave little man, do you see that Indian on the right, riding out
from the party to reconnoiter?”

“Yes, I’m watching him,” was the reply.

“Well, suppose you give him a shot, just by way of experiment.”

Billy at once extended himself, and resting his gun on the body of the
mule before him took steady aim and fired.

“Bully boy! A splendid shot!” shouted Simpson, as he saw the Indian
topple from his horse, struck in the side. The distance was fully three
hundred yards.

After a long parley the Indians scattered, and came charging back
again, whooping in a delirium of excitement. When they had approached
within less than one hundred yards the besieged party turned loose
on them, shooting two more out of the saddle; but the Indians rushed
on, discharging a shower of arrows, one of which pierced George Woods’
right shoulder, producing a most painful wound. For a second time the
red warriors were repulsed, and they drew off again, evidently for the
purpose of resorting to other tactics. Getting beyond the range of the
yagers the Indians formed in a large circle, tethered their ponies, and
disposed themselves for a siege, with the evident intention of starving
out the brave trio. About three hours afterward, however, the cracking
of bull-whacker’s whips was heard, and soon the advancing train
was seen coming over the hill. The Indians, appreciating what this
meant, and gaining their ponies, rode down on the little party again,
discharging another flight of arrows and receiving a volley of bullets
in return. No damage was inflicted on either side in the last charge,
and the three were saved.

After bandaging Woods’ wound the train started again, and met with no
further detention or accident, reaching Leavenworth in July, 1858. Wild
Bill had been a special companion of Billy’s during the entire trip,
and so warm had become the attachment between them that the latter gave
him a pressing invitation to go with him to his home for a short visit;
an invitation that was accepted by Wild Bill.



Billy had been at home scarcely one month before he engaged himself
as assistant wagon-master to another train which was made up at Fort
Laramie to carry supplies to a new post just established at Cheyenne
Pass. He got through this adventure without losing a team or a man.

Returning to Laramie he engaged with a Mr. Ward, the post trader, to
trap for beaver, mink, and otter on the Chug Water, and poison wolves
for their peltries. This enterprise was not profitable, and two months
after Billy returned to Laramie, and in a few days, in company with two
others, he started back to Leavenworth.

When they reached the Little Blue the three were jumped by a party of
Indians. The darkness saved them, after a chase of several hours. After
“losing” the Indians the trio discovered a cave in which they resolved
to spend the night. Lighting a match they were horrified to find the
place tenanted by the bones and desiccated flesh of murdered emigrants.
Without further investigation the three, badly frightened, regardless
of cold and snow, pushed rapidly onward. An all-night journey brought
them to Oak Grove, and there taking in a fresh supply of necessaries
they resumed their homeward march, reaching Leavenworth in February,

Billy was now fourteen years old, and unusually large for one of that
age. His education having been neglected he, yielding to his mother’s
entreaties, resolved to attend a school just opened in the neighborhood
of Grasshopper Falls, and for a period of ten weeks applied himself
with diligence and made most gratifying progress. This was the longest
term of schooling he ever attended, and it is doubtful if all the
schooling he ever received would aggregate six months; though he is now
comparatively well educated, his knowledge has been acquired almost
wholly by extensive travel and association with polished people.

On the return of spring the old impulse seized on Billy again to seek
the far West, where adventure and danger incite the restless spirit of
brave men. The recent discovery of gold at Pike’s Peak was a further
motive for this move.

Billy, despite his years, was now a man in size, and in common with
thousands of others he seized a pick and set out for the wonderful
diggings. After digging around Aurora for a few days the _ignis fatuus_
led him farther up the mountains to Black Hawk, where he settled, and
worked most assiduously for a period of two months without finding as
much as a handful of pay dirt. In the meantime provisions were so high
that it took a Jacob’s ladder to reach the smell of cold beans.

Billy became not only tired but disgusted with the result of his mining
labors and resolved to get out of the country. He had no difficulty in
finding others in camp of the same turn of mind as himself, and such
as he desired as companions he induced to accompany him back. Of the
numerous caravans and individuals who adopted as their motto “Pike’s
Peak or bust,” Billy and his party fell back on the latter end of the
bold legend. They were so badly “busted” (?), in fact, that the only
conveyance left them was their legs. Setting out on these the party
proceeded to the Platte River, where the idea possessed Billy that
they might make the remainder of their journey to Leavenworth on an
improvised raft.

By various means, but chiefly by killing game along the way, the party
subsisted comfortably while they floated down the stream on a rickety
collection of logs. Matters were satisfactory enough until they reached
Jule’s ranch, or Julesburg, where having met a swifter current the raft
struck a snag and went to pieces with a suddenness no less astonishing
than the bath which instantly followed. Fortunately, though the North
Platte is a broad stream it is generally shallow, and the party had to
swim but a short distance before they found a footing, and then waded

Everything having been lost with the raft, including their arms and
such provisions as they had, the party stopped at Julesburg to wait for
something to turn up.

It so happened that the great Pony Express had just been established
between Omaha and Pike’s Peak, and other far Western points, including
San Francisco. This route ran by Julesburg, where the company had an
agent in the person of George Chrisman, who was well acquainted with
Billy, the two having freighted together for Russell, Majors & Waddell.

Finding Billy out of employment, and express riders being scarce,
Chrisman offered him a position as rider, which was gladly accepted.

The requirements for this occupation were such that very few were
qualified for the performance of the duties. The distance and time
required to be made were fifteen miles per hour. Only courageous men
could be employed on account of the dangers to be encountered, and
such laborious riding could be endured by very few. Nevertheless Billy
was an expert horseman, and having the constitution and endurance of a
bronco he braved the perils and duties of the position and was assigned
to a route of forty-five miles.



The glamour and pageantry of the crusaders in the eleventh and twelfth
centuries were revived in the fifteenth and sixteenth by Columbus,
Cortez, and Pizarro, and repeated in the nineteenth by Taylor,
Scott, Doniphan, and Fremont. As a resultant were the wonderful gold
discoveries of 1849, in California, and a State born full-fledged and
armed in a day, as Minerva from the brain of Jove. Among the wonderful
and prolific accomplishments of Western thought and genius was the
conception and successful fruition of the Pony Express, a scheme that
could only have been conceived and launched amid the mountain grandeur
of the Western plains. It could have birth in no other place, and can
be duplicated nowhere else. The world presents no theater for its
reënactment. It was formulated by Senator Gwinn of California, and
fashioned and matured to success by Russell, Majors & Waddell of the
overland mail coach system of 1859, as established by Congress.

[Illustration: RIDING PONY EXPRESS.]

The telegraph extended from the Atlantic seaboard to St. Joseph
and from San Francisco to Sacramento. Two thousand miles of desert
intervened. The ocean communications, via Central America, occupied
twenty-two days, with propitious sea voyages. Could this be reduced?
The stages took from twenty-one to twenty-five days, according to the
weather. Duke Gwinn, as he was afterward called, suggested to W. H.
Russell of the stage line that if the time could be shortened for
communication on a central line, and kept open all the year, a great
increase of travel and emigration, and the location of a railroad by
the Government on a central route, would be the result. The conference
resulted in the habiliment of the Pony Express, which eventuated in
carrying a telegraph mail upon ponies from St. Joseph to Sacramento,
1,982 miles, regularly, from April, 1860, to September, 1861, in
ten days, schedule time, and the special express in December, 1860,
with a message of President Buchanan to Congress, on secession, in
seven days and seventeen hours, a feat never before and never again
to be accomplished. This was done through a desert country occupied
by prowling savages and swept by violent storms, furious blizzards,
and blinding snows. Crossing immense mountain ranges and trackless
wastes of sand and sage-brush, grappling with mountain torrents
and with nature’s wildest orgies, the hardy riders, whose watchword
was “excelsior,” always made (Deo volente) the schedule time to the
objective point. At St. Joseph and Sacramento, until the completion of
the telegraph across the continent, the expectant crowd was never held
in wait over an hour before the messenger waved his red flag of safety,
and in the next instant slid from his panting steed and hastened to the
office of the company with his bag of dispatches, worth its weight in

During the Mexican War Congress added two new regiments of mounted
volunteers to the regular army under orders to lay out a military
road on the route taken by Fremont in 1843 to Oregon. They were to
locate posts, and changed old Fort Kearney, then at the mouth of Tabor
Creek, where Nebraska City is now located, to the crossing of the
Platte River, where Kearney is now situated, and called it New Fort
Kearney, one at Laramie on the Platte River, fifty miles north of
Laramie City, now a station situated on the Union Pacific Railroad,
and one at old Fort Hall, a Hudson Bay trading-post near the present
site of Pocatella. This was called the military route, and was the
road traveled by most of the emigrants to California in 1849. Passing
by Soda Springs and south of Snake River to the headwaters of the
Humboldt, or St. Marys River, through Nevada, it passed through the
South Pass and struck Bear River, now in Idaho and Utah. The emigration
of 1850 diverged southward from Laramie and past Green River at its
junction with Hams Fork, through Echo Cañon and Salt Lake Valley
westwardly via Reese River, striking the Humboldt lower down, and
crossing the Sierra Nevada at the Truckee Pass and by Donner Lake.
This was a much more direct trail to California and was used mostly
thereafter by emigrants in 1850-51. In 1854 two stage routes were
established, one by Texas and El Paso, on the Gila River, to Southern
California, and one via Salt Lake, the latter much the shorter, but
mountainous. McGraw & Co. had the route on the military road from
Independence by Fort Leavenworth under a government subsidy, and in
1859 Russell, Majors & Waddell became the owners of this mail line and
operated it successfully for years.


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

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

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

Another of these daring riders of this flying express was Pony Bob.


But the one of these pony riders who has won greatest fame was William
F. Cody (“Buffalo Bill”), who passed through many a gauntlet of death
while in his flight from station to station bearing express matter that
was of the greatest value.

The express was closed on the completion of a telegraph line by Ed
Creighton of Omaha from that point to Sacramento City. The mail-bags
were two pouches of leather, impervious to rain and weather, sealed,
and strapped to the rider’s saddle before and behind, carrying two
ounce letters or dispatches at $5 each.

The keepers of the stations had the ponies already saddled, and the
riders merely jumped from the back of one to another; and where the
riders were changed the pouches were unbuckled and handed to the
already mounted postman, who started at a lope as soon as his hand
clutched them. As these express stations were the same as the stage
stations, the employes of the stage company were required to take
care of the ponies and have them in readiness at the proper moment.
The bridles and saddles were light weight, as were the riders, and
the pouches were not to contain over twenty pounds of weight. There
were two pouches of two pockets each, and secured by oil-silk, then
sealed, and the pockets locked and never opened between St. Joseph and

This channel of communication was largely used by the Government and by
traders and merchants, and was a paying venture, first semi-weekly and
then daily, and but for the building of the telegraph would have become
a wonderful success.

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

Most of the famous actors in that memorable enterprise known as the
Pony Express have passed beyond the confines of time and gone to join
the great majority. In the summer of 1861 the Pony Express passed,
with the overland stage line, into the ownership of Ben Holliday, one
of those wonderful characters developed from adventure and danger,
and nurtured amid the startling incidents of frontier life. Born
near the old Blue Lick battle-field, he was at seventeen Colonel
Doniphan’s courier to demand from Joe Smith and Brigham Young the
surrender of Farwest. At twenty-eight he entered Salt Lake Valley
with fifty wagon-loads of merchandise and was indorsed by Brigham as
being worthy of the confidence of the faithful. This secured him a
fortune. At thirty-eight, at the head of the overland mail route, and
at forty-five, the owner of sixteen steamers on the Pacific, carrying
trade and passengers to Panama, Oregon, China, and Japan. The stage
route was sold to Butterfield, and ran until the completion of the
Union Pacific Railroad.


On the streets of Denver daily can be seen the grand figure of
Alexander Majors, carrying his four-score years with a vigor that would
shame half of the youth of the city. Six feet, lithe and straight as
the red man he so often dominated, he is noted as the last of the
Mohicans, and only waits, without fear and without reproach, for
the final summons to that better land where the expresses are all
faithfully gathered and the faithful rewarded by commendations for duty
well performed.

And more wonderful than the express itself is the history of the six
lustrums since it ceased to exist. Two thousand miles of desert waste
have been largely developed in a rich and valuable agricultural and
pastoral region. The iron horse has supplanted the fiery bronco,
and thought flashes with lightning rapidity from ocean to ocean.
Civilization has crowned that terra incognita with seven States and
built large and beautiful cities. Peace has spread her halo of beauty
over the savage haunts and churches have supplanted the horrible orgies
of Indian massacre. The mountains have yielded their treasures to the
steady hand of industry--richer by far than the fabled Ophir--and the
pactolian streams have gladdened the hearts of toiling thousands. All
honor to the pioneers who blazed the way for this civilization.

With this page of frontier history--the days of the Pony Express--will
forever be associated the name of Billy Cody.



“There’s Injun signs about, Billy, so keep your eyes open.”

So said the station boss of the Pony Express trail, addressing Buffalo
Bill, who had dashed up to the cabin, his horse panting like a hound,
and the rider ready for the fifteen-mile flight to the next relay.
“I’ll be on the watch, Boss, you bet,” said Billy Cody, the pony rider,
and with a yell to his fresh pony he was off like an arrow from a bow.

Down the trail ran the fleet pony like the wind, leaving the station
quickly out of sight, and dashing at once into the solitude and dangers
of the vast wilderness.

Mountains were upon either side, towering cliffs here and there
overhung the trail, and the wind sighed through the forest of pines
like the mourning of departed spirits.

Gazing ahead, the piercing eyes of the young pony rider saw every tree,
bush, and rock, for he knew but too well that a deadly foe, lurking in
ambush, might send an arrow or a bullet to his heart at any moment.

Gradually, far ahead down the valley, his quick glance fell upon a dark
object above the bowlder directly in his trail.

He saw the object move and disappear from sight down behind the rock.

Without appearing to notice it or checking his speed in the slightest
he held steadily upon his way.

But he took in the situation at a glance, and saw that upon each side
of the bowlder the valley inclined.

Upon one side was a fringe of heavy timber, upon the other a precipice,
at the base of which were massive rocks.

“There is an Indian behind that rock, for I saw his head,” muttered the
young rider as his horse flew on.

Did he intend to take his chances and dash along the trail directly by
his ambushed foe?

It would seem so, for he still stuck to the trail.

A moment more and he would be within range of a bullet, when, suddenly
dashing his spurs into the flanks of his pony, Billy Cody wheeled to
the right, and in an oblique course headed for the cliff.


This proved to the foe in ambush that his presence there was suspected,
if not known, and at once there came the crack of a rifle, the puff of
smoke rising above the rock where he was concealed.

At the same time a yell went up from a score of throats, and out of
the timber on the other side of the valley darted a number of mounted
Indians, and these rode to head off the rider.

Did he turn back and seek safety in a retreat to the station?

No; he was made of sterner stuff, and would run the gauntlet.

Out from behind the bowlder, where they had been lying in ambush,
sprang two painted braves, in all the glory of their war-paint.

Their horses were in the timber with their comrades, but they were
armed with rifles, and having failed to get a close shot at the pony
rider they sought to bring him down at long range.

The bullets pattered under the hoofs of the flying pony, but he was
unhurt, and his rider pressed him to his full speed.

With set teeth, flashing eyes, and determined to do or die, Will Cody
rode on in the race for life, the Indians on foot running swiftly
toward him and the mounted braves sweeping down the valley at full

The shots of the two dismounted Indians failing to bring down the
flying pony, or their human game, the mounted redskins saw that their
only chance was to overtake their prey by their speed.

One of the number, whose war-bonnet showed that he was a chief, rode a
horse that was much faster than the others, and he drew quickly ahead.

Below, the valley narrowed to a pass not a hundred yards in width, and
if the pony rider could get to this well ahead of his pursuers he would
be able to hold his own along the trail in the 10-mile run to the next
relay station.

But though he saw that there was no more to fear from the two
dismounted redskins, and that he would come out well in advance of the
band on horseback, there was one who was most dangerous.

That one was the chief, whose fleet horse was bringing him on at a
terrible pace, and threatening to reach there almost at the same time
with the pony rider.

Nearer and nearer the two drew toward the path, the horse of Will Cody
slightly ahead, and the young rider knew that a death struggle was at

He did not check his horse, but kept his eyes alternately upon the pass
and the chief.

The other Indians he did not then take into consideration.

At length that happened which he had been looking for.

When the chief saw that he would come out of the race some thirty yards
behind his foe, he seized his bow and quick as a flash had fitted an
arrow for its deadly flight.

But in that instant Will Cody had also acted, and a revolver had sprung
from his belt and a report followed the touching of the trigger.

A wild yell burst from the lips of the chief and he clutched madly at
the air, reeled, and fell from his saddle, rolling over like a ball as
he struck the ground.

The death cry of the chief was echoed by the braves coming on down the
valley, and a shower of arrows was sent after the fugitive pony rider.

An arrow slightly wounded his horse, but the others did no damage, and
in another second Will Cody had dashed into the pass well ahead of his

It was a hot chase from then on until the pony rider came within sight
of the next station, when the Indians drew off, and William Cody dashed
in on time, and in another minute was away on his next run.



While riding Pony Express another adventure happened to Buffalo Bill
which illustrates his nerve under most trying circumstances and great
cleverness in getting out of scrapes.

It was when Buffalo Bill was in the Pony Express service between Red
Buttes and Three Crossings, which included the perilous crossing of the
Platte River, half a mile in width.

He rode into the station at the end of his run to find that the man who
was to go on from there had been killed by road agents the night before.

There was nothing else for him to do but take the ride himself, so Bill
started promptly to do so. He darted away upon his double duty and yet
as he rode away he considered that as his fellow-rider had been killed
by road agents, he stood a very fair chance of sharing the same fate.

It had become known in some mysterious manner, past finding out, that
there was to be a large sum of money sent through by Pony Express and
this was what the road agents were after.

Missing it after killing the other rider, Will Cody very naturally
supposed that they would make another effort to secure the treasure.

So when he reached the next relay station he walked about a while
longer than was his wont.

This was to perfect a little plan he had decided upon, which was
to take a second pair of saddle-pouches and put something in them
and leave them in sight, while those that held the valuable express
packages he folded up in his saddle-blanket in such a way that they
would not be seen unless a search was made for them.

The truth was Buffalo Bill knew he carried the valuable package and it
was his duty to protect it with his life.

So with this clever scheme to outwit the road agents, if held up, he
started once more upon his flying ride.

He carried his revolver ready for instant use and flew along the trail
with every nerve strung to meet any danger he might have to confront.

He had an idea where he would be halted, if halted at all, and it was
a lonesome spot in a valley, the very place for a deed of crime to be

As he drew near the spot Buffalo Bill was on the alert, and yet when
two men suddenly stepped out from among the shrubs and confronted him
it gave him a start in spite of his nerve.

They had him covered with their rifles, and they brought him to a halt
with the words, “Hold! Hands up, Pony Express Bill, for we knows yer,
and what yer carries.”

“I carry the express; and it’s hanging for two if you interfere with
me,” was the plucky response.

“Ah, we don’t want you, Billy, unless you force us to call in your
checks; but it’s what you carry, we want.”

“It won’t do you any good to get the pouch for there isn’t anything
valuable in it.”

“We are to be the judges of that, so throw us the valuables or catch a
bullet. Which will it be, Billy?”

The two men stood directly in front of the pony rider, each one
covering him with a rifle, and to resist was certain death.

So Buffalo Bill began to unfasten the pouches slowly, while he said,
“Mark my words, men, you’ll hang for this.”

“We’ll take chances on that, Bill.”

The pouches being unfastened now, Buffalo Bill raised them in one hand,
while he said in an angry tone:

“If you will have them, take them.”


With this he hurled the pouches at the head of one of the men, who
quickly dodged and turned to pick them up, just as Buffalo Bill fired
upon the other man with his revolver in his left hand.

The bullet shattered the man’s arm while, driving the spurs into the
flanks of his mare, Buffalo Bill rode directly over the man who was
stooping to pick up the pouches, his back to the pony rider.

The horse struck him a hard blow that knocked him down, while he half
fell on top of him, but was recovered by a touch of the spurs and
bounded on, while the daring pony rider gave a wild triumphant yell as
he sped on like the wind.

The fallen man, though hurt, scrambled to his feet as quickly as he
could, picked up his rifle, and fired after the retreating youth, but
without effect; and Will Cody rode on, arriving at the station on time,
and reporting what had happened.

He had however no time to rest, for he was compelled to start back
with his express pouches. He thus made the remarkable ride of 324
miles without sleep, and stopping only to eat his meals, and resting
but a few minutes then. For saving the express pouches he was highly
complimented by all, and years afterward had the satisfaction of seeing
his prophecy regarding the two road agents verified, for they were both
captured and hanged by vigilantes for their many crimes.

[Illustration: AN AMERICAN.]



Receiving an invitation from an old friend named Dave Harrington to
accompany him on a trapping expedition up the Republican River, Buffalo
Bill gladly accepted it, and prepared for the perilous trip.

The two started out from Salt Creek Valley with an outfit consisting of
a wagon filled with traps and provisions, drawn by a yoke of oxen.

It was near the middle of November when the two started on the
expedition, Mrs. Cody standing in the door when the team moved off,
wiping the tears from her eyes and giving bounteous blessings to her
beloved boy, watching with painful emotions until the white cover of
the wagon which sheltered her dearest treasure became hidden by the
prairie undulations in the distance.

The two made excellent progress, and met with no detention, arriving at
the mouth of Prairie Dog Creek early in December. Here they found an
abundance of beaver, and trapped with such success that they secured
300 beaver and 100 otter skins before the severe weather interfered
with their occupation.

Having obtained a full load of pelts it was decided to remain in the
dug-out which they had constructed until the beginning of spring, when
the return trip could be made without dangerous exposure.

During the period of waiting the two occupied much of their time
shooting elk, large numbers of which were roaming constantly within
convenient proximity. On one occasion while out hunting and in pursuit
of a large herd of elk, while passing around a large rock projecting
over a small ravine, Billy made a false step and was precipitated onto
the rocks below, the fall breaking his leg between the knee and ankle.
This accident, always serious, was doubly so under the circumstances,
when no surgical aid could be had, nor any but a miserably insufficient
attention could be given to mitigate the injury. To add still further
to the misfortunes of the suffering boy, only a few days before this
accident one of the oxen had broken a leg and Harrington had been
compelled to shoot the animal. Here the two trappers were, in the midst
of winter storms, without a team, and Billy rolling in an agony which
his partner was unable to relieve.

After discussing the situation for some time, Harrington said:

“Well, Billy, this is a bad box, and the only way to get out is for me
to reach the nearest settlement and get a team to haul you home.”

The poor boy, though he well knew that the nearest place from which
succor could be obtained was fully 125 miles distant, and appreciated
all the terrors of a long and painful waiting alone among the hungry
wolves and bands of equally ferocious Indians, told Harrington to do as
he thought best about making the trip.

It is no less pathetic than astonishing the devotion which is so often
found among the Western pioneers, whose uncouth language and grizzly
garb, if taken as an index to their true character, would lead to the
inference that they are destitute of that human kindness which redeems
mankind and compensates our vices.

Brave Dave Harrington, just like Cody himself, big-hearted, noble,
generous, self-sacrificing, immediately prepared for the tedious winter
journey. Collecting about and within convenient reach of Billy plenty
of dried beef, water, and other provisions needful for the sufferer’s
subsistence, Dave set out on the long trip, bidding his companion to be
cheerful and expect his return in twenty-one days.


Finding himself utterly alone, poor Billy--I say “poor” because the
facts can not fail to arouse the deepest pity and make us sympathize
with him even now in remembrance, because sensibly affected by the
realization of his terrible situation, Billy lay on his rude bed,
nursing the inflamed and painful fracture, nothing to relieve his
lonesomeness save the howl of prowling wolves peering through the mud
and sticks and under the door. Ten days passed, when one evening Billy
was aroused by a singular noise outside the door. He heard voices,
and his experienced ear told him they were Indians. Suddenly a dozen
Sioux, led by Chief Rain-In-The-Face, broke into the dug-out. Billy
rose up from his pallet and faced them as well as he could, expecting
instant death; but fortune favored him, as the chief recognized Billy,
having met him often at Laramie. The chief at once told Billy that his
life was safe; but the Indians remained all night, feasting on the
provisions found there, and when they left in the morning carried away
his weapons.

To add to his suffering a terrible snow-storm began, and Billy
knew that it would retard the coming of Harrington. Starvation now
threatened, and his leg became more painful each day. At last the
twenty-first day dawned; the fuel had burned out; the suffering boy was
forced to gnaw chunks of frozen venison.

On the twenty-ninth day Dave Harrington arrived at the hut with two
oxen which he had driven through the snow. The meeting between the two
can not be described, and Billy heard how Harrington had braved every
danger and hardship to come back to his rescue. A bed was made of furs
and blankets in the wagon and making Billy as comfortable as possible
Harrington set out for Junction City. The sun now came out and melted
the snow and they experienced no further difficulty.

Arriving at Junction City they sold their furs at a good price, and
also the team, and went to Leavenworth with a government mule train.
Harrington would not desert Billy, and accompanied him home, where
every kindness was shown to the brave man who had saved Billy’s life.
Soon after their arrival at the Cody home Harrington was taken ill,
and after an illness of one week died. Even to this day to speak of
Dave Harrington to Buffalo Bill, he will have something kind to say in
memory of his dearest friend.

It was months before Buffalo Bill recovered the use of his leg so
that he could go again to work; then he applied for work on the Pony
Express, and was engaged on a long and dangerous run.

The condition of the country along the North Platte had become so
dangerous that it was almost impossible for the Overland Stage Company
to find drivers, although the highest wages were offered. Billy at once
decided to turn stage-driver, and his services were gladly accepted.

While driving a stage between Split Rock and Three Crossings he was set
upon by a band of several hundred Sioux. Lieutenant Flowers, assistant
division agent, sat on the box beside Billy, and there were half a
dozen well-armed passengers inside. Billy gave the horses the reins,
Lieutenant Flowers applied the whip, and the passengers defended the
stage in a running fight. Arrows fell around and struck the stage like
hail, wounding the horses and dealing destruction generally, for two of
the passengers were killed and Lieutenant Flowers badly wounded. Billy
seized the whip from the wounded officer, applied it savagely, shouted
defiance, and drove on to Three Crossings, thus saving the stage.


This last trip proved so disastrous that it was decided to use a band
of mounted men to patrol the trail. This force was placed under the
command of Wild Bill, and Billy Cody accompanied the expedition they
made into the Indian country. It proved to be a complete success and
the hostiles were severely punished, many being killed and hundreds of
horses captured.

While connected with the stage line Billy started out alone on a
bear-hunt. He had camped for the night and was picking a sage-hen which
he had shot when he heard the whinny of a horse up the mountain. He
at once proceeded to investigate and came upon a dug-out with several
horses staked out near. Hearing voices within and concluding they
were trappers or hunters, he at once rapped on the door. The door was
opened and by the firelight he saw eight men, who he at once knew were
outlaws. Two of these men Billy recognized as having been discharged by
the Overland Stage Company. Billy told them how he came to find their
cabin, and he was asked where his horse was.

“I left him tied at my camp down the mountain. I’ll leave my gun here
and go and bring him up,” replied Billy anxious to get out of the
hornet’s-nest in which he found himself.

Two of the villains at once offered their services to accompany him,
to his great regret, but he could do nothing else than go with them,
fully realizing the danger of his situation. He knew if he returned to
the cabin he would be killed, and so he decided to act to save himself.
Quick as lightning he struck one of the outlaws a stunning blow over
the head with his pistol and as the other turned shot him dead; then
running to his horse he leaped into the saddle and fled down the
mountains. The trail was so rugged however that his progress was slow
and the shot having been heard in the cabin the outlaws were soon in
full pursuit, but fortunately Billy managed to make his escape, eluding
his pursuers in the darkness, but having to desert his horse to do so.

It was twelve hours before he reached Horseshoe, exhausted and
half-famished. Reporting his adventure to Alf Slade, a party of ten
started at once under Billy’s guidance to the outlaws’ cabin. They
reached there after a ride of six hours and found a new-made grave, but
the place was abandoned and there was nothing left to indicate their
intention to return. Billy was complimented in the most deserving way
for his bravery, and was put on the road again as express rider, Wild
Bill being his alternate; and the two made better time than any other
riders on the road.



Cody learning of the serious illness of his loved mother instantly
saddled his horse and made all possible speed homeward. He arrived at
home to find his mother dying, and he remained by her side, a devoted
nurse, until she died.

Under the prairie sod, beneath the branches of a tree planted by the
hands of the loving son, sleeps the pioneer’s wife and a true hero’s
mother. Weeks after this most melancholy incident in Billy’s life he
went to Leavenworth and joined the Seventh Kansas Jayhawkers, who were
ordered to service in Tennessee and Mississippi. After several battles
in Mississippi and Tennessee and hard service there the regiment was
ordered to Missouri. The courage, cunning, and woodcraft displayed
by Billy had not escaped the eye of his commander, and he was made a
scout with the rank of sergeant. Serving in the capacity of scout,
soldier, and spy he rendered most valuable service to the North and was
considered the pride of General Smith’s corps.

As a soldier-scout Buffalo Bill won a great name and passed through
numberless adventures. While with the army in Missouri Buffalo Bill
again met his old “pard” of the plains, Wild Bill, who had also won
fame as a scout and spy.

Until 1865, Buffalo Bill remained in the army, and was then detailed
for special service at headquarters in St. Louis. It was while there
that he met Miss Louisa Frederici, a young lady with whom he at once
fell in love.


Buffalo Bill’s phenomenal luck did not desert him as a lover, for
the lady is to-day his wife. Having fixed the date for his marriage
Buffalo Bill returned to the far frontier and accepted the position of
stage-driver over the same route where he had killed his first Indian.
He worked as a stage-driver until he saved up a sufficient sum of money
to return to St. Louis and claim his bride.

He was married in 1866, the 6th of March, and the happy couple took
passage on a Missouri River steamer for Kansas, where their home was
to be. Arriving in Kansas Cody went to Salt Creek Valley, where he
established a hotel known as the Golden Rule House, which he conducted
with profit until the old desire for life of stirring adventures
induced him to sell out and seek employment as a scout.

Going to Junction City he met Wild Bill, who was then scouting for the
Government, and by his advice he proceeded to the military post at
Ellsworth and at once went on duty. While scouting and guiding parties
he first met General Custer who with ten men was at Ellsworth, looking
for a guide to conduct him to Fort Larned. Cody was selected for the
duty and to the day of his death Custer was a sincere friend of Buffalo

Upon his return Cody was ordered to report to the Tenth Cavalry as
scout to guide an expedition against a large band of Indians who had
attacked the force working on the Kansas Pacific Railroad.

The Indians were followed rapidly and overtaken, and turning upon the
regiment of colored troops they for awhile stampeded them, capturing
the howitzer. Major Ames, however, rallied his men, and though badly
wounded recaptured the gun; but Cody discovering that another large
force of Indians was near at hand a retreat was begun, in which the
colored troops made remarkably good time. Night approaching, the
remnant of the command succeeded in reaching Hays, and Cody declared
that he would “never go Indian hunting again with colored warriors,”
but has since paid generous tribute to their more experienced records.

While at Ellsworth Buffalo Bill met William Rose, a man of many schemes
and a railroad contractor. He disclosed to Buffalo Bill a scheme to
build a city and become a millionaire out of its rise in value. Cody
entered into the undertaking with zest, selected a site on Big Creek
one mile from Fort Hays, and the town was duly laid out and the first
house built. The town was then christened Rome, and a lot was donated
to every one who would erect a building thereon. In one month’s time
there were 200 residences, 41 stores, and 20 saloons in Rome, and lots
were selling at $50 each. Rome had begun to howl. But just as the
dream of wealth was about to be realized a stranger arrived in town. He
was the agent for the Kansas Pacific road, and not being able to make
terms with the two owners of the town, Cody and Rose, he went west of
Rome and laid out a town which he named Hays City. As he placed there
a machine-shop, round-house, and depot, Rome was left out in the cold,
and Cody saw his anticipated fortune fade from his grasp.



Having given up the real estate business Buffalo Bill received a
proposition from the Goddard Brothers, who had contracted to furnish
subsistence for thousands of construction employes of the Kansas
Pacific Railroad. The amount required was very large to procure
which involved hard riding; but the labor was small compared with
the danger to be incurred from the Indians, who were killing every
white man they could find in that section. Nevertheless, an offer of
$500 per month for the service made Billy unmindful of the exertion
or peril, and he went to work under contract to supply all the meat
required. During this engagement he had no end of wonderful escapes
from bands of Indians, not a few of whom he sacrificed to secure his
own safety. By actual count he also killed under his contract with the
Goddard Brothers, _four thousand two hundred and eighty buffaloes_. To
appreciate the extent of this slaughter, by approximate measurement
these buffaloes, if laid on the ground end to end, would make a line
more than five miles long; and if placed on top of each other they
would make a pile two miles high.


By special arrangements all the heads of the largest buffaloes killed
by Bill were preserved and delivered to the Kansas Pacific Railroad
Company, by which they were turned into excellent advertisements for
the road. Many of these heads may still be seen in prominent places,
marking the center of an oval board containing the advertisement of the

So well had Cody performed his part of the contract that the men
connected with the Kansas Pacific road gave him the appellation by
which he is still known throughout the world, “Buffalo Bill.”

A record of all his battles with the Indians during this period of
professional hunting would be so long that few could read it without
tiring, for there is a sameness connected with attacks and escapes
which it is difficult to recite in language always sparkling with
interest. But Buffalo Bill, being a brave man under all circumstances
when bravery is essential and cautious when that element subserved the
purpose better, was almost daily in a position of danger, and many
times escaped almost like the Hebrew children from the furnace.

So justly celebrated had Buffalo Bill now become that Kit Carson, on
his return from Washington City in the fall of 1867, stopped at Hays
City to make his acquaintance. Carson was so well pleased with Bill’s
appearance and excellent social qualifications that he remained for
several days the guest of the celebrated buffalo killer and scout. Upon
parting, the renowned Kit expressed the warmest admiration for his
host, and conveyed his consideration by inviting Bill to visit him at
Fort Lyon, Colo., where he intended making his home. But the death of
Carson the following May prevented the visit.

Like every other man who achieves distinction by superior excellence in
some particular calling, Buffalo Bill (who had now shed the familiar
title of Billy) had his would-be rivals as buffalo-killers. Among this
number was a well-known scout named Billy Comstock, who sought to
dispute the claim of champion. Comstock was quite famous among the
Western army being one of the oldest scouts and most skillful hunters.
He was murdered by Indians seven years after the event about to be
recorded, while scouting for Custer.

Buffalo Bill was somewhat startled one day upon receipt of a letter
from a well known army officer, offering to wager the sum of $500 that
Comstock could kill a greater number of buffaloes in a certain given
time, under stipulated conditions, than any other man living. This was,
of course, a challenge to Buffalo Bill, who upon mentioning the facts,
found hundreds of friends anxious to accept the wager, or who would
put up any amount that Bill’s claim to the championship could not be
successfully disputed by any person living.

The bet was promptly accepted, and the following conditions agreed
to: A large herd of buffaloes being found, the two men were to enter
the drove at 8 o’clock A.M., and employ their own tactics for killing
until 4 o’clock P.M., at the end of which time the one having killed
the largest number was to be declared winner of the wager and also the
“champion buffalo-killer of America.” To determine the result of the
hunt, a referee was to accompany each of the hunters on horseback and
keep the score.

The place selected for the trial was twenty miles east of Sheridan,
Kan., where the buffaloes were plentiful, and the country being a level
prairie rendered the hunt easy and afforded an excellent view for those
who wished to witness the exciting contest.

Comstock was well mounted on a strong, spirited horse, and carried
a 42-caliber Henry rifle. Buffalo Bill appeared on his famous horse
Old Brigham; and in this he certainly had great advantage, for
this sagacious animal knew all about his rider’s style of hunting
buffaloes, and therefore needed no reining.

The party rode out on the prairie at an early hour in the morning, and
soon discovered a herd of about one hundred buffaloes grazing on a
beautiful stretch of ground just suited for the work in hand. The two
hunters rode rapidly forward, accompanied by their referees, while the
spectators followed 100 yards in the rear. At a given signal the two
contestants dashed into the center of the herd, dividing it so that
Bill took the right half while Comstock took those on the left.

Now the sport began in magnificent style, amid the cheers of excited
spectators, who rode as near the contestants as safety and non
interference permitted. Buffalo Bill, after killing the first half
dozen stragglers in the herd, began an exhibition of his wonderful
skill and strategy; by riding at the head of the herd and pressing
the leaders hard toward the left, he soon got the drove to circling,
killing those that were disposed to break off on a direct line. In a
short time witnesses of this novel contest saw Buffalo Bill driving his
portion of the herd in a beautiful circle, and in less than half an
hour he had all those in his bunch numbering thirty-eight, lying around
within a very small compass.

Comstock, in the meantime, had done some fine work, but by attacking
the rear of his herd he had to ride directly away from the crowd of
anxious spectators. He succeeded in killing twenty-three, which,
however, lay irregularly over a space three miles in extent, and
therefore while he killed fewer than his rival, he at the same time
manifested less skill, which by contrast showed most advantageously for
Buffalo Bill.

All the party having returned to the apex of a beautiful knoll, a
large number of champagne bottles were produced, and amid volleys of
flying corks toasts were drunk to the buffalo heroes, Buffalo Bill
being especially lauded, and now a decided favorite.

But these ceremonies were suddenly interrupted by the appearance
of another small herd of buffalo cows and calves, into which the
two contestants charged precipitately. In this “round” Bill scored
eighteen, while Comstock succeeded in killing only fourteen.

The superiority of Buffalo Bill was now so plainly shown that his
backers, as well as himself, saw that he could afford to give an
exhibition of his wonderful horsemanship, while continuing the
contest, without fear of losing the stakes. Accordingly, after again
regaling themselves with champagne and other appetizing accessories,
the cavalcade of interested spectators rode northward for a distance
of three miles, where they discovered a large herd of buffaloes
quietly browsing. The party then halted, and Buffalo Bill, removing
both saddle and bridle from Old Brigham, rode off on his well-trained
horse, directing him solely by motions of his hand. Reaching the herd
by circling and coming down upon it from the windward quarter, the
two rival hunters rushed upon the surprised buffaloes and renewed the
slaughter. After killing thirteen of the animals, Buffalo Bill drove
one of the largest buffaloes in the herd toward the party, seeing which
many among the interested spectators became very much frightened,
showing as much trepidation, perhaps, as they would have manifested had
the buffalo been an enraged lion. But when the ponderous, shaggy-headed
beast came within a few yards of the party Bill shot it dead, thus
giving a grand _coup d’état_ to the day’s sport, which closed with this
magnificent exhibition of skill and daring.

The day having now been far spent, and time called, it was found
that the score stood thus: Buffalo Bill, sixty-nine; Comstock,
forty-six. The former was therefore declared winner, and entitled to
the championship as the most skillful buffalo-slayer in America, and
crowned forever with the title of “Buffalo Bill.”

In referring to the fact that he has the record of having killed far
more game than other great hunters, Buffalo Bill, who always speaks
most modestly of all his exploits, gives as a reason for his scoring
greater numbers of buffalo, bear, deer, elk, antelope, etc., that the
huntsmen of years ago were armed with muzzle-loading weapons, while it
fell to his lot to get the advantage of late inventions and be armed
with the very best of repeating rifles.

The fact that Buffalo Bill makes this statement in favor of others
shows how willing he is to give credit where credit is due.



After the great buffalo-killing match the name of Buffalo Bill became
familiar all over the country, and his exploits were topics people
never grew tired of discussing. All his great battles with the Indians,
valuable services as a scout, and hairbreadth escapes were told and
retold, not only at the fireside, but around the camp-fires.

In the spring of 1868 a violent Indian war broke out in Kansas, and
General Sheridan, in order to be on the field, made his headquarters
at Hays City. Sending for Buffalo Bill General Sheridan appointed him
chief of scouts. From that time on Buffalo Bill acted as scout and
guide in all the principal military operations upon that part of the

He was also appointed chief of scouts for the Fifth Cavalry to proceed
against the Dog Soldier Indians. The campaigns of the Fifth Cavalry
are matters of history, as are also the services of Buffalo Bill, the
letters of the commanding officers speaking for themselves.

During his services as scout he served directly under General Forsyth,
Colonel Royall, Gen. E. A. Carr, General Hazen, General Penrose, and

These officers, who had won fame upon the battle-fields of the Civil
War, many of them wearing the stars of a general, found themselves
ordered to the far frontier--when the South had given up the
struggle--to oppose the Indians, who were making desperate efforts to
kill off their pale-face foes.

[Illustration: BUFFALO BILL AS A SCOUT.]

The truth was that the Indians regarded the Civil War with feelings
of delight, and as a blessing to them, as they supposed that one side
would utterly wipe out the other side, and their victors being weakened
by the struggle the redskins could consolidate their forces, and
attacking the remaining whites drive them off the face of the earth.

They certainly made a bold effort to do so, and in the war that
followed the general officers were glad indeed to have the services of
Buffalo Bill as scout, guide, and Indian fighter.

In all the operations of the army upon the frontier Buffalo Bill’s
identity with them was such that to recount his valuable services would
be only to go over the pages of history. The stories of his adventures,
scouting expeditions, hunting down desperadoes as a Government officer,
and guiding of the armies through trackless wildernesses have been told
and retold until every school-boy is familiar with them, and the name
of no one man is better known than that of Buffalo Bill.

Early in September of 1871 a grand hunt was projected by General
Sheridan for the purpose of giving a number of prominent gentlemen
a buffalo-hunt. James Gordon Bennett of the New York _Herald_,
Gen. Anson Stager of the Western Union Telegraph, Lawrence R. and
Leonard W. Jerome, and Generals Davis, Fitzhughes, and Rucker, with
Sergeant-General Arsch, Carrol Livingston, and others, formed the
party. Immediately upon their arrival at Fort McPherson General
Sheridan sent for Buffalo Bill, introducing him with flattering remarks
to each one of the hunting-party and telling him that he was to be
their special guide and scout. The party hunted over a large extent
of territory, killing many buffaloes, turkeys, jack-rabbits, and
antelopes, and greatly enjoyed their visit to the plains.

In 1872 Buffalo Bill was visited by General Forsyth, who arranged with
him a grand buffalo-hunt for the Duke Alexis, who was then visiting
this country. Buffalo Bill at once conceived the idea of engaging a
large number of Indians to join in the hunt, to make the affair a more
pleasurable one for the grand duke. On the day of the hunt Buffalo Bill
loaned the grand duke his splendid buffalo horse Buckskin Joe, and
riding by his side instructed him in the manner of shooting buffaloes.

That night in camp numbers of glasses of champagne were disposed
of in drinking to the great success of the Grand Duke Alexis as a
buffalo-hunter. It was soon after the Alexis hunt that Buffalo Bill
received an invitation from James Gordon Bennett, August Belmont,
and others of equal prominence to visit the East. At the earnest
solicitation of General Sheridan Bill accepted the invitation, and thus
it was that he entered upon the life so different from that in which he
had passed his earlier years.

Attending the theater one night to see a frontier play bearing his
own name--J. B. Studley taking the character of Buffalo Bill--he
conceived the idea of going upon the stage and playing himself, and
thus it was that he became an actor, winning fame and fortune through
his enterprises. Having introduced upon the stage Indians as actors,
Buffalo Bill decided upon reproducing in miniature scenes in wild life
upon the frontier, and from this sprung the Wild West, the greatest
exhibition ever known.


During his life as an actor and his career as the head of the Wild West
exhibition Buffalo Bill obeyed every call to the frontier whenever
there was any trouble among the Indians, and at once resumed his duties
as scout, guide, and Indian fighter, winning added laurels thereby
and conclusively proving that through his life in cities his heart,
brain, and hand had not lost their cunning or courage and the nobility
of his nature had not suffered through contact with the world, nor had
he been spoiled by applause and praise.

After the massacre of Custer’s band there was great activity in
military movements in the Northwest, and as chief of scouts under
Merritt, Crook, and other generals Buffalo Bill’s career was a most
brilliant one. During the last Indian campaign Buffalo Bill’s valuable
services were publicly recognized by Gen. Nelson A. Miles, one of our
greatest Indian fighters, and who so quickly crushed the Indians in
their late rising, when Sitting Bull lost his life.

Buffalo Bill is one of the few famous scouts who has justly won the
renown which encircles his name. His exploits have been so numerous,
involving a display of such extraordinary daring and magnificent nerve,
that language can not exaggerate them. General Sheridan often asserted
that Buffalo Bill had “slain as many Indians as any white man that ever
lived.” It would be no credit to this daring scout if these Indians
had fallen without justification; but since they were the victims of
legitimate warfare and were slain in the performance of a sworn duty,
Buffalo Bill may properly wear the laurels and deserve the plaudits
of civilization--whose effective instrument he has been--for the
friendship he has displayed for the red man in times of peace.

As the noted scout is revealing to the eyes of the whole world the
scenes in which he has been a participant, there are few indeed who do
not care to see the Wild West in miniature as he portrays it with the
aid of his Indians and cowboys, and give him praise for his phenomenal
success. Having produced the Wild West in all the large cities of
America, Buffalo Bill decided, so to speak, to “carry the war into
Africa,” and the result was that with his partner, Mr. Nate Salisbury,
an actor of renown, he invaded first the English capital, then the
other capitals of Europe, his enterprise everywhere winning the
plaudits of royalty, the press, and the public.

[Illustration: AFTER THE BATTLE.]



To gain great local and national fame as a plains celebrity in the
days of old was not an easy task; rather one of the most competitive
struggles that a young man could possibly engage in. The vast,
comparatively unknown, even called great, American Desert of
twenty-five and thirty years ago was peopled only by the descendants
of the sturdy pioneers of the then far West--Illinois, Missouri,
Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, etc.--born, raised, and used to
hardships and danger; and attracted only the resolute, determined
adventurers of the rest of the world, seeking an outlet for pent-up
natures imbued with love of daring adventure. Hundreds of men achieved
local, and great numbers national, fame for the possession of every
manly quality that goes to make up the romantic hero of that once dark
and bloody ground. When it is brought to mind the work engaged in--the
carving out of the advance paths for the more domestically inclined
settler; of the dangers and excitements of hunting and trapping; of
carrying dispatches, stage-driving, freighting cargoes of immense
value, guiding successfully the immense wagon-trains, gold-hunting--it
is easy to conceive what a class of sturdy, adventurous young spirits
entered the arena to struggle in a daily deadly, dangerous game to win
the “bubble reputation.” When such an army of the best human material
battled for supremacy, individual distinction gained by the unwritten
law of unprejudiced _popular_ promotion possessed a value that made
its acquirer a “plains celebrity,” stamped indelibly with an _honored
title_ rarely possessed unless fairly, openly, and justly won--a prize
so pure that its ownership, while envied, crowned the victor with
the friendship, following, and admiration of the contestants. Thus
Boone, Crocket, Carson, Beal, Fremont, Cody, Bridger, Kinman, Hickok,
Cosgrove, Comstock, Frank North, and others will live in the romance,
the poetry, and history of their distinctive work forever. The same
spirit and circumstances have furnished journalists innumerable, who
in the West imbibed the sterling qualities they afterward used to such
effect--notably, Henry M. Stanley, who (in 1866) saw the rising sun
of the young empire that stretches to the Rockies; General Greely, of
Arctic fame, and the equally scientific explorer, Lieutenant Schwatka,
passed their early career in the same school, and often followed the
trail, led by Buffalo Bill; Finerty (formerly of the Chicago _Times_);
“Modoc” Fox and O’Kelly (of the New York _Herald_), 1876; while of late
years the scribblers were initiated to their baptism of fire by Harries
(of Washington _Star_), McDonough (New York _World_), Bailey (of
_Inter Ocean_), brave young Kelly (of the Lincoln _Journal_), Cressy
(of the Omaha _Bee_), Charlie Seymour (Chicago _Herald_), Allen (of
the New York _Herald_), Robert J. Boylan (of _Inter Ocean_), present
in the battle, who were honored by three cheers from “Old White Top”
Forsyth’s gallant Seventh Cavalry, the day after the battle of “Wounded
Knee,” as they went charging over Wolf Creek--to what came near being a
crimson day--to the fight “down at the mission.” That there are still
“successors to every king” is assured by the manly scouts so prominent
in the last Indian war in such men as Frank Gruard, now the most
celebrated of the present employed army scouts; of “Little Bat,” true
as steel and active as the cougar; Philip Wells, Louis Shangrau, “Big
Baptiste,” and John Shangrau; while the friendly Indians furnish such
grand material for any future necessity as No Neck, Major Sword, Red
Shirt, and Yankton Charley.


It is a noticeable coincidence that nearly all of the famous frontier
characters are natives of the West, and J. B. Hickok, better known as
Wild Bill, was not an exception to the rule.

[Illustration: WILD BILL.]

Born in La Salle County, Illinois, in 1837, his earliest desire was for
horses and firearms. At the age of fourteen he had become known as a
wolf-killer, for at that time the country where he lived was overrun by

Acquiring a rudimental education he started out to earn his living, and
began as a tow-path driver on the Illinois & Michigan Canal.

Longing for fields of adventure he went into Kansas, where he soon made
a name in the border war then going on there.

It was in Kansas that he was given the name of “Bill,” though just why
no one seems to know; and afterward his daring and adventurous career
got for him the added cognomen of “Wild Bill,” a name that he certainly
made famous.

Serving upon the frontier as wagon-boss, pony-rider, stage-driver, and
then drifting into the position of guide and Government scout, Wild
Bill made a name for himself in each occupation he followed.

It was while serving as train-boss of one of Russell & Majors
wagon-trains that Wild Bill met and befriended Buffalo Bill, then a
mere boy; and the friendship thus begun ended only with the death of
Hickok, at Deadwood, at the hands of the assassin Jack McCaul.

A soldier, scout, and spy during the Civil War, Wild Bill returned to
scouting at its close, the frontier becoming his home.

Constantly he was thrown in the company of Buffalo Bill, and when the
latter decided to go upon the stage he determined that his companions
in the enterprise should be Wild Bill and Texas Jack, and they
accompanied him to the East.

A dead shot, an enemy to fear, Wild Bill was as brave as a lion and as
tender-hearted as a woman, and he will go down in history as a true
hero of the border.


Known in his native State, Virginia, as John B. Omohundro, the subject
of this sketch won the sobriquet of “Texas Jack” after service as a
ranger in the Lone Star State.

[Illustration: TEXAS JACK.]

Reared in a part of Virginia where every man rode a horse, and born a
natural hunter, while his parents were able to gratify his desire to
become a skilled horseman and expert shot, Jack Omohundro at an early
age became noted among his comrades as a fearless rider and a dead shot.

When the Civil War broke out, though but a boy, Jack enlisted in the
Confederate cavalry, and during the four years saw much hard service
and was a participant in many battles.

Becoming connected with the headquarters of a Texas general he was made
a scout, and as such rendered valuable services to the Confederate army.

Allied with Texans he went with them to Texas at the close of the war,
going to the frontier, where he joined a company of rangers.

From ranger, in which capacity he saw much service against the Indians,
he turned to cattle-herding, becoming first a cowboy and afterward a

Going northward into Kansas in charge of a large herd of cattle Texas
Jack met, at a frontier post, Buffalo Bill.

A warm friendship at once sprung up between the two, which ended only
with the death of the gallant Texan some years ago at Leadville, Colo.

It was through the agency of Buffalo Bill that Texas Jack entered the
service of the Government as a scout and won distinction as such, and
also as guide and Indian fighter.

As a scout he was respected by army officers for his skill and courage,
and he became the warm friend of “White Beaver” (Dr. Frank Powell),
Maj. Frank North, and Wild Bill, joining the latter, with Buffalo Bill,
in the theatrical enterprise which Buffalo Bill continued until he
originated the Wild West exhibition.


[Illustration: DR. D. FRANK POWELL (“WHITE BEAVER.”)]

The life of “White Beaver” (Dr. D. Frank Powell) bears all the colors
and shades of an idyllic romance. His character stands out upon the
canvas of human eccentricities in striking originality, and never finds
its counterpart save in stories of knight-errantry, when hearts,
names, and titles were the prizes bestowed for daring deeds evolved
from generous sentiments. His has been the tenor of uneven ways, with
characteristics as variable as the gifts in Pandora’s box. A born
plainsman, with the rough, rugged marks of wild and checkered incident,
and yet a mind that feeds on fancy, builds images of refinement, and
looks out through the windows of his soul upon visions of purity and
fields elysian. A reckless adventurer on the boundless prairies, and
yet in elegant society as amiable as a school-girl in the ball-room;
evidencing the polish of an aristocrat, and a cultured mind that
shines with vigorous luster where learning displays itself. A friend
to be valued most in direst extremity, and an enemy with implacable,
insatiable, and revengeful animosities. In short, he is a singular
combination of opposites, and yet the good in him so predominates over
his passions that no one has more valuable friendships and associations
than these strange complexities attract to him. He is an ideal hero,
the image which rises before the ecstatic vision of a romancer, and he
impresses himself upon the millions who know his reputation as a brave
and chivalrous gentleman.

A description of White Beaver is not difficult to give, because of his
striking features; those who see him once are so impressed with his
bearing that his image is never forgotten. He is almost six feet in
height, of large frame and giant muscular development; a full round
face, set off by a Grecian nose, a handsome mouth, and black eyes of
penetrating brilliancy. His hair is long and hangs over his shoulders
in raven ringlets. In action he is marvelously quick, always decisive,
and his endurance almost equals that of a steam-engine. His appearance
is that of a resolute, high-toned gentleman, conscious of his power,
and yet his deference, I may say amiability, attracts every one to him.
He is, in short, one of the handsomest as well as most powerful men
among the many great heroes of the plains.

In addition to his other qualifications peculiarly fitting him for a
life on the plains, he is an expert pistol and rifle shot; in fact,
there are perhaps not a half-dozen persons in the United States who
are his superiors; his precision is not so great now as it once was,
for the reason that during the past three or four years he has had
but very little practice; but even now he would be regarded an expert
among the most skillful. For dead-center shooting at stationary objects
he never had a superior. His eyesight is more acute than an eagle’s,
which enables him to distinguish and hit the head of a pin ten paces
distant, and this shot he can perform now nine times out of ten. Any of
his office employes will hold a copper cent between their fingers and
let him shoot it out at ten paces, so great is their confidence in his
skill; he also shoots through finger-rings held in the same manner. One
very pretty fancy-shot he does is splitting a bullet on a knife-blade;
he also suspends objects by a hair, and at ten paces cuts the hair,
which of course he can not see, but shoots by judgment. Several persons
have told me that they have seen him shoot a fish-line in two while it
was being dragged swiftly through the water.

White Beaver and Buffalo Bill have been bosom friends and
fellow-plainsmen since boyhood. History records no love between two men
greater than that of these two foster-brothers.


This gallant officer was universally recognized as one of the best
executive leaders and bravest men that ever faced the dangers of the

Although born in the State of New York (March 10, 1840), he was by
virtue of his training a thorough Westerner. While still a boy his
father moved from New York to near Columbus in the State of Nebraska,
and very soon thereafter was frozen to death at Emigrant Crossing, on
Big Papillion Creek, while searching for wood for his suffering family.
After a short connection with McMurra, Glass, and Messenger, a party of
trappers, he returned to Columbus and turned his hand to anything that

In 1860, at the age of twenty years, he procured employment with Agent
De Puy, at the Pawnee Indian Reservation. While there he studied
and became thoroughly proficient in the Pawnee language, and in the
following year was engaged as interpreter by Mr. Rudy, son-in-law of
the Indian Commissioner.

In 1864, when the Sioux war broke out, he was commissioned by
General Curtis to organize the Pawnee Scouts. He formed a company of
seventy-seven young warriors, and was made first lieutenant. To Major
North belongs the honor of making the first enlistment of Indians for
regular Government service. In October following Lieutenant North
supplemented his first enlistment by another of 100 Pawnee warriors,
who were equipped as regular cavalry, and he was promoted to the rank
of captain.

In January, 1865, Captain North, with forty of his Pawnee braves,
started in pursuit of the Sioux, who had been committing terrible
outrages in the neighborhood of Julesburg. Death and destruction marked
the trail of the Sioux, and Captain North arrived at Julesburg just in
time to rescue its inhabitants. Still pursuing, he caught up with a
party of twenty-eight of the red devils, and not one of them escaped
his vengeance. This was a part of Red Cloud’s forces, and only a few
days before they had suddenly attacked Lieutenant Collins and fourteen
men and massacred the entire party.

Shortly after this he became the hero of one of the most daring fights
ever recorded. During the pursuit of a party of twelve Cheyennes,
with the intention of punishing them for atrocities committed in the
neighborhood of Fort Sedgwick, his impetuous ardor was so great that it
led him far in advance of his followers. He suddenly realized that he
was at least a mile ahead of his men. After bringing down one of the
fleeing Cheyennes he turned to rejoin his command. Seeing him alone
the Indians started in pursuit, and his horse having been killed he
was compelled to continue his retreat on foot. After having gone some
distance he remembered he had left two loaded revolvers in the holsters
on his saddle, and notwithstanding the danger he boldly returned for
them, and with them fought the Cheyennes single-handed for nearly half
an hour longer, until relieved by Lieutenant Small.

In 1865-66, after the Pawnees were mustered out of service, Captain
North was appointed post trader at the Pawnee Reservation.

In the March following, under orders from General Auger, he raised a
battalion of 200 Pawnees, who were equipped for cavalry service and
taken to Fort Kearney, he being commissioned a major. This battalion
guarded construction trains on the Union Pacific Railroad until it
reached Ogden.

Upon the completion of the road Major North retired to a ranch on
Dismal River, near North Platte, where he went into the cattle-raising
business. He was then a great sufferer from asthma, and had abandoned
all hope of relief.

Buffalo Bill and Major North met for the first time at Fort McPherson,
and served together in several campaigns. They became very warm
friends, and afterward partners in the cattle business under the firm
name of Cody & North.

Major North, besides being a remarkable Indian fighter and a
phenomenally brave man, was a thorough gentleman, of generous and noble
instincts, an honest friend, and popular with all classes. His death a
few years ago at North Platte was deeply and sincerely regretted by the
many who had known and loved him well. To none did the news cause more
sincere regret than to his old “pard” and partner, Buffalo Bill.


[Illustration: SITTING BULL.]

Though nearly a score of years have gone by since the battle of the
Little Big Horn, where the gallant Custer and his brave band were
slain, the name of Sitting Bull is recalled by all; and a sigh of
relief went up all along the border when the news came that the noted
chief had started upon the trail for the happy hunting-grounds.

Those who condemn the Indian for his red deeds should remember that it
is his education to be a savage, to kill and to burn and pillage; that
the greatest slayer of mankind, in the opinion of the red men, is the
greatest hero.

Thus, considering that the Indian has his story to tell as well as the
white man, the mantle of charity should be drawn over their deeds.

Sitting Bull was not a chief in the true sense of the word, but was the
Moses of his people.

He had unlimited influence with his tribe, and among other tribes as
well; and, a mighty medicine-man, he claimed as well to be a prophet.

The career of Sitting Bull was eventful and remarkable.

He was a leader and schemer, and when Generals Terry, Crook, and Gibbon
were sent to capture him he showed great generalship in all that he did.

He checked the advance of General Crook, slaughtered Custer, and
escaped into Canada, where he and his people were safe.

In 1877 a part of Sitting Bull’s tribe surrendered to General Miles,
who pressed them so hard they could not escape into Canada.

In 1880 others of the tribe surrendered to General Miles at Fort Keogh,
and later Sitting Bull and others surrendered to keep from starving.
They were transferred to Standing Rock Agency.

Sitting Bull received tempting offers to go East on exhibition, but
refused all except one from Buffalo Bill--whom he knew as a deadly foe
in warfare and a good friend in times of peace--and so went with some
of his people to join the Wild West, with which he remained for a year.

The killing of Sitting Bull is still fresh in the minds of the people,
and his taking off has been condemned by many.

At the time of his death Buffalo Bill, Surgeon Frank Powell, Pony
Bob Haslam, and others were on their way to his camp to demand his
surrender. Had Buffalo Bill not been halted by the command of the
President and had reached Sitting Bull’s camp, the great chief would
not have been slain; and probably Cody’s influence would have been
strong enough to have changed to a more peaceful settlement the emeute
that culminated in Wounded Knee and Pine Ridge.


David L. Payne, known throughout the West as Captain Payne, of the
Oklahoma Colony Company, was born in Grant County, Indiana, December
30, 1836. In 1858, with his brother, he started West, intending to
engage in the Mormon War, but reached there too late. He settled in
Doniphan County, Texas. His commercial pursuits there not resulting
in success he turned hunter, and so became thoroughly acquainted with
the topography of the great Southwest. Afterward a scout, he was often
engaged in that capacity by the Government and by private expeditions.
In this way he became acquainted with Kit Carson, Wild Bill, Buffalo
Bill, California Joe, General Custer, and others of national reputation.

During the Civil War he served as a private in the Fourth Regiment,
which was afterward merged into the Tenth. In the fall of 1864 he
was elected to the Kansas Legislature. Upon its adjournment he again
enlisted, and his command was detailed for duty at Washington City. His
service in the volunteer army covered a period of eight years, his
last position being captain of Company H, Nineteenth Kansas Cavalry,
from October, 1868, to October, 1869. During these eight years he
held the positions of postmaster at Fort Leavenworth, member of the
Legislature, and sergeant-at-arms of the Kansas Senate.


At the close of the war Captain Payne returned to the life of the
plains, and in the spring of 1868 he accompanied General Custer in an
expedition against the Cheyennes, during which he, with two others, was
detailed as special messenger to Fort Hays to secure assistance, and in
that capacity encountered great dangers and privations.

In 1870 he removed to Sedgwick County, Kansas, near Wichita, and in
the following year was again elected to the Legislature. In 1879 he
became interested in a movement for the occupation and settlement of a
district in the Indian Territory which is known as Oklahoma (beautiful
land). In 1880 he organized a colony for the purpose of entering upon
and settling these lands, but was stopped by a decision of Carl Schurz,
then Secretary of the Interior, to the effect that these lands were
open to settlement only to negroes or Indians. Owing to the arrest of
Captain Payne by the United States authorities the colony disbanded.

However historians may differ as to the wisdom or legality of Captain
Payne’s so-called Oklahoma invasion and the court’s decisions upon
the subject, the fact remains that his name is held high in honor
and esteem by the older citizens of the now flourishing Oklahoma--a
monument to his forethought.


Now to one who if not a “pard” of the plains is a partner in the Wild


    Yours Truly
    Nate Salsbury

Mr. Nate Salsbury, the partner of Buffalo Bill in his business
enterprise of the Wild West, and his devoted friend, was born in
Freeport, Ill., his parents being in humble circumstances. Nate
Salsbury began to work for a living at an early age, his ambition being
to win fame and fortune by becoming a self-made man. As there was
little to bind his affections to the home of his nativity, when the
war broke out, with all the patriotism of an American stirring in his
bosom, he enlisted as a private in the Fifteenth Illinois Regiment,
though but a boy in years. His career as a boy soldier won for him
praise and promotion, and he was wounded in battle on three different

Made a prisoner by the Confederates, he was incarcerated in
Andersonville prison, where he remained for seven months.

Being at length exchanged, he returned to his home and began the
study of law. A few months of office work and attendance at school,
as well, impressed him with the idea that the legal profession would
still have a fairly large membership, even though his name was not
added to the list. Abandoning his intention of becoming a lawyer,
and while attending school he was selected for a part in an amateur
theatrical performance. From the time that he made his first bow to an
audience before the footlights as an amateur, he was seized with the
irresistible desire to become an actor. With Nate Salsbury to decide
was to act, and going to Grand Rapids, Mich., with only a few dollars
in his pocket, he received a position which, though humble, gave him a
start in professional life. After a short season there he went East and
secured a position in the Boston Museum Company, where his histrionic
talent was quickly recognized by the management. His success at this
theater soon attracted to him the attention of managers of other
cities, and he accepted the position of leading man at Hooley’s Theater
in Chicago. His progress was thenceforth rapid. His popularity grew
apace and his salary was added to with every engagement. There was too
much originality in Nate Salsbury to allow of his remaining a member of
a stock company, so he conceived and constructed a comedy entertainment
to which he gave the title of “The Troubadours.”

From the first production of “The Troubadours” the fame and fortune of
Nate Salsbury were assured. His play of “Patchwork” followed, then his
most successful comedy, “The Brook,” which added largely to his riches
and his name as an actor.

Mr. Salsbury went with his Troubadours in a trip around the world,
everywhere receiving deserved praise, and he was the first dramatic
manager who made this hazardous tour with his own company.

The tour took the Troubadours--after going all over the United States,
playing from Maine to Texas, the Carolinas to California--through
Australia, India, Scotland, England, Ireland, and Wales, wherever the
English tongue was spoken.

Meeting Buffalo Bill and learning from him his intention of giving
wild Western exhibitions, Mr. Salsbury became a partner in the Wild
West, and took the active management of that gigantic aggregation,
withdrawing from the stage to do so.

During the tour of Buffalo Bill abroad, at many dinners and assemblages
Mr. Nate Salsbury’s oratorical powers, mimic skill, ready wit,
recitative talent, and facility of expressing sentiment delighted all
who heard him, and invariably made an impression that will long keep
his memory green, while the reputation of Americans for oratory was
well sustained by the prairie-born boy soldier.

As a proof of Mr. Salsbury’s nerve under trying circumstances, he was
about to go upon the stage at Denver when he received a dispatch from
his partner, Buffalo Bill, which told him that the Wild West steamer on
the Mississippi had collided with another boat and sunk. Buffalo Bill
telegraphed, “The whole outfit at the bottom of the Mississippi River.
What do you advise?” Without an instant’s hesitation Nate Salsbury
wrote on a telegraph blank this answer, “Go to New Orleans, reorganize,
and open on your date,” and this Buffalo Bill did.

Some years ago Mr. Salsbury invested heavily in the cattle business
in Montana, and to-day owns one of the most valuable ranches in the
Northwest. It was during his visit to his ranch that he saw the
practicability of an exhibition such as the Wild West, and readily
joined Buffalo Bill in the enterprise. A man of brains, a strict
disciplinarian, a genial gentleman, with genius to originate and
ability to accomplish, generous and courageous, Nate Salsbury stands
to-day unrivaled as an executive of great amusement enterprises, and he
thoroughly deserves the fortune and fame that he has won.


Massachusetts, from the Indian language, signifying the “country about
the great hills.”

Connecticut was Mohegan, spelled originally “Quon-eh-ta-cut,”
signifying “a long river.”

Alabama comes from an Indian word signifying “the land of rest.”

Mississippi derived its name from that of the great river, which is in
the Natchez tongue “The Father of Waters.”

Arkansas is derived from the word Kansas, “smoky waters,” with the
French prefix of “ark,” a bow.

Tennessee is an Indian name, meaning “the river with a big bend.”

Kentucky is also an Indian name, “Kin-tuk-ae,” signifying “at the head
of the river.”

Ohio is the Shawnee name for “the beautiful river.”

Michigan’s name was derived from the lake, the Indian name for
fish-weir or trap, which the shape of the lake suggested.

Indiana’s name came from that of the Indians.

Illinois’ name is derived from the Indian word “Illini” (men) and the
French affix “ois,” making “tribe of men.”

Wisconsin’s name is said to be the Indian name for a wild, rushing

Missouri is also an Indian name for “muddy,” having reference to the
muddiness of the Missouri River.

Kansas is an Indian word for “smoky water.”

Iowa signifies, in the Indian language, “the drowsy ones,” and
Minnesota, “a cloudy water.”

[Illustration: READY FOR THE TRAIL.]




          You bet I know him, pardner, he ain’t no circus fraud,
    He’s Western born and Western bred, if he has been late abroad.
    I knew him in the days way back, beyond Missouri’s flow,
    When the country round was nothing but a huge Wild Western Show;
    When the Injuns were as thick as fleas, and the man who ventured
    The sandhills of Nebraska had to fight the hostile Sioux.
    These were hot times, I tell you; and we all remember still
    The days when Cody was a scout, and all the men knew Bill.

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

          I mind me too of ’79, the time when Cody took
    His scouts upon the Rosebud, along with General Crook;
    When Custer’s Seventh rode to their death for lack of some such aid
    To tell them that the sneaking Sioux knew how to ambuscade.
    I saw Bill’s fight with Yellow Hand, you bet it was a “mill”;
    He downed him well at thirty yards, and all the men cheered Bill.

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

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

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

            WILLIAM E. ANNIN, Omaha _Bee_.

  WASHINGTON, D. C., February 28, 1891.


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

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

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

    But I’m kinder off the racket, cos these gener’ls get enough
    O’ praise ’ithout my chippin’, so I’ll let up on that puff;
    Fer I want to tell a story ’bout a mate of mine as fell,
    Cos I loved the honest fellar, and he did his dooty well.
    Buffalo Chips we call’d him, but his other name war White;
    I’ll tell ye how he got that name, an’ reckon I am right.
    You see a lot of big-bugs an’ officers came out
    One time to hunt the buffaler an’ fish fer speckled trout.

    Wall, little Phil, ye’ve heerd on him, a dainty little cuss
    As rode his charger twenty miles to stop a little muss;
    Well, Phil he said ter Johnathin, whose other name war White,
    “You go an’ find them buffaler, an’ see you get ’em right.”
    So White he went an’ found ’em, an’ he found ’em sech a band
    As he sed would set ’em crazy, an’ little Phil looked bland;
    But when the outfit halted, one bull was all war there.
    Then Phil he call him “Buffalo Chips,” an’ swore a little swear.

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

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

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

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



    Jist pile on some more o’ them pine knots,
    An’ squat yoursel’ down on this skin,
    An’, Scotty, let up on yer growlin’--
    The boys are all tired o’ yer chin.
    Allegheny, jist pass round the bottle,
    An’ give the lads all a square drink,
    An’ as soon as yer settled I’ll tell ye
    A yarn as ’ll please ye, I think.

    ’Twas eighteen hundred an’ sixty,
    A day in the bright month o’ June,
    When the angel o’ death from the diggin’s
    Snatched “Monte Bill”--known as McCune.
    Wal, Bill war a favorite among us,
    In spite o’ the trade that he had,
    Which war gamblin’; but--don’t you forget it--
    He of’en made weary hearts glad.
    An’, pards, while he lay in that coffin,
    Which we hewed from the trunk o’ a tree,
    His face war as calm as an angel’s,
    An’ white as an angel’s could be.

    An’ thar’s whar the trouble commenced, pards.
    Thar war no gospel-sharps in the camps,
    An’ Joe said, “We can’t drop him this way,
    Without some directions or stamps.”
    Then up spoke old Sandy McGregor,
    “Look’ee yar, mates, I’m reg’lar dead stuck,
    I can’t hold no hand at religion,
    An’ I’m ’feared Bill’s gone out o’ luck.
    If I knowed a darn thing about prayin’,
    I’d chip in an’ say him a mass;
    But I ain’t got no show in the layout,
    I can’t beat the game, so I pass.”

    Rattlin’ Joe war the next o’ the speakers,
    An’ Joe war a friend o’ the dead;
    The salt water stood in his peepers,
    An’ these are the words as he said,
    “Mates, ye know as I ain’t any Christian,
    An’ I’ll gamble the Lord don’t know
    That thar lives sich a rooster as I am;
    But thar once war a time long ago
    When I war a kid; I remember,
    My old mother sent me to school,
    To the little brown church every Sunday,
    Whar they said I was dumb as a mule.
    An’ I reckon I’ve nearly forgotten
    Purty much all that I ever knew.
    But still, if ye’ll drop to my racket,
    I’ll show ye jist what I kin do.

    “Now, I’ll show you _my_ bible,” said Joseph,
    “Jist hand me them cards off that rack;
    I’ll convince that this _are_ a bible,”
    An’ he went to work shufflin’ the pack.
    He spread out the cards on the table,
    An’ begun kinder pious-like, “Pards,
    If ye’ll jist cheese yer racket an’ listen,
    I’ll show ye the pra’ar-book in cards.

    “The ‘ace’; that reminds us of one God;
    The ‘deuce’ of the Father an’ Son;
    The ‘tray’ of the Father, an’ Son, Holy Ghost,
    For ye see all them three are but one.
    The ‘four-spot’ is Matthew, Mark, Luke, an’ John;
    The ‘five-spot’ the virgins who trimmed
    Their lamps while yet it was light of the day;
    And the five foolish virgins who sinned.
    The ‘six-spot,’ in six days the Lord made the world,
    The sea, and the stars in the heaven;
    He saw it war good w’at he made, then he said,
    ‘I’ll jist go the rest on the “seven.”’
    The ‘eight-spot’ is Noah, his wife, an’ three sons,
    An’ Noah’s three sons had their wives;
    God loved the hull mob, so bid ’em emb-ark--
    In the freshet he saved all their lives.
    The ‘nine’ were the lepers of Biblical fame,
    A repulsive and hideous squad.
    The ‘ten’ are the holy commandments, which came
    To us perishin’ creatures from God.
    The ‘queen’ war of Sheba in old Bible times,
    The ‘king’ represents old King Sol.
    She brought in a hundred young folks, gals an’ boys,
    To the king in his government hall.
    They were all dressed alike, an’ she axed the old boy
    (She’d put up his wisdom as bosh)
    Which war boys an’ which gals. Old Sol said, ‘By Joe,
    How dirty their hands! Make ’em wash!’
    An’ then he showed Sheba the boys only washed
    Their hands and a part o’ their wrists,
    While the gals jist went up to their elbows in suds.
    Sheba weakened an’ shook the king’s fists.
    Now the ‘knave,’ that’s the devil, an’ God, if ye please,
    Jist keep his hands off’n poor Bill.
    An’ now, lads, jist drop on yer knees for a while
    Till I draw, and perhaps I kin fill;
    An’ havin’ no Bible, I’ll pray on the cards,
    Fur I’ve showed ye they’re all on the squar’,
    An’ I think God’ll cotton to all that I say,
    If I’m only sincere in the pra’r.
    Jist give him a corner, good Lord--not on stocks,
    Fur I ain’t such a durned fool as that.
    To ax ye fur anything worldly fur Bill,
    Kase ye’d put me up then fur a flat.
    I’m lost on the rules o’ yer game, but I’ll ax
    Fur a seat fur him back o’ the throne,
    And I’ll bet my hull stack thet the boy’ll behave
    If yer angels jist lets him alone.
    Thar’s nothin’ bad ’bout him unless he gets riled,
    The boys’ll all back me in that;
    But if any one treads on his corns, then you bet
    He’ll fight at the drop o’ the hat.
    Jist don’t let yer angels run over him, Lord;
    Nor shut off all to once on his drink;
    Break him in kinder gentle an’ mild on the start,
    An’ he’ll give ye no trouble, I think.
    An’ couldn’t ye give him a pack of old cards
    To amuse himself once in a while?
    But I warn ye right hyar not to bet on his game,
    Or he’ll get right away with yer pile.
    An’ now, Lord, I hope that ye’ve tuck it all in,
    An’ listened to all thet I’ve said.
    I know that my prayin’ is just a bit thin,
    But I’ve done all I kin for the dead.
    An’ I hope I hain’t troubled yer lordship too much,
    So I’ll cheese it by axin’ again
    Thet ye won’t let the ‘knave’ git his grip on poor Bill.
    Thet’s all, Lord--yours truly--Amen.”

    Thet’s Rattlin’ Joe’s prayer, old pardners,
    An’--what! You all snorin’? Say, Lew--
    By thunder! I’ve talked every rascal to sleep,
    So I guess I hed best turn in, too.


(By HUGH A. WETMORE, Editor _People’s Press_.)

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

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

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

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

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

    “I know ye, Long Hair,” yells Yellow Hand,
    A-ridin’ out from his pesky band
    (A reg’lar bluff o’ the Injun brand).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    With this remark I’ll close my letter:
    “Thar’s nought a Injun can do--no matter
    What--but a white man can do it better.”



In olden times, when a great leader of an “army with banners” was
about to depart for a foreign country, bent on conquest, great was
the outpouring of the people; loud sounded the drum and fife, and
gay bunting flirted with the joyous breeze; salvos of artillery and
great shouting rent the air, and songs were sung in honor of the
mighty host decked in all the glittering panoply of war. All this
in anticipation of the spoils of conquest to be brought back by the
victor--human prisoners, coffers of gold, or blood-bought titles
to war-won territory. How different in spirit, in action, and in
expression was the assemblage that bade “God speed” to Gen. W. F. Cody
on his departure as commander of the little heterogeneous army that
sailed from Columbia’s shores. Yet no leader ever started on a mission
possible of such rich achievement; none ever embarked upon a voyage
destined to be so thoroughly and completely a tour of conquest and of
glory. His project included neither the shedding of blood, the conquest
of territory, nor the enslaving of prisoners. His was the mission of
peace; the awakening of the Old World to the contemplation of fresh
truths in the picturesque history of the New. Columbus had told old
Spain of the savages that greeted him on his landing upon the shores of
the New World; the Pilgrim Fathers had sent messages of their terrible
struggles with their bitter Indian foes; but General Cody took with him
great chieftains who called him friend. As evidences and traditions
of the past, and for the delectation of peasant and prince “across
the water,” they danced their war-dance and sounded their war-whoop.
But to the thoughtful it must have been a grander sight to see them,
in the hours not devoted to duty, grouped in friendly conclave around
the man who, appearing first among them as a foe, they had learned at
last to understand and appreciate as their friend indeed. What a lesson
to power, what an exemplification of the true spirit that moved the
founders of the great American Republic! No compulsion was used by this
hero of the plains to enforce the attendance of these bronzed warriors
on his journeys; but trusting to his word alone as the guerdon of their
safety, they willingly, gladly, went into a far country among scenes
and people strangely new to them.


How appropriate that such an army, under such a leader, and on such a
peaceful and glorious invasion, should carry into and plant in sturdy
England, sunny France, historic Spain, mighty Germany, and poetic Italy
the flag that proclaims to all the world that “all men are, and by
right ought to be, free and equal.”

Before following the Wild West of America in a mimic display across the
seas into foreign lands, it may be well to here consider something that
this wonderful man among men has done in the way of educating our own
and other people into knowing what the Indian really is.

Glancing now over the history of the Indians, we recall how cruel has
been their mode of warfare, and massacres innumerable rise up before
us, from the red scene in the Wyoming Valley to the death of the
gallant Custer and his brave 300 boys in blue.

Yet, reared upon the frontier, amid scenes of courage, and learning
from actual experience all the redskin could become as a foe, Buffalo
Bill yet accorded to them the rights that others would not allow.

If fighting them, he yet would befriend them in time of need and was
never merciless to them in defeat.

Winning fame as scout, guide, and Indian fighter, Buffalo Bill was
seized upon as a hero for the pen of the novelist, and volumes have
been written founded upon his deeds of daring.

Then, like a meteor, he flashed upon the people of the East,
impersonating upon the stage none other than himself, living over
before the footlights his own life.

Men who have criticised Buffalo Bill as an actor forget wholly that he
is the only man who is _playing himself_.

He plays his part as he knows it, as he has acted it upon many a field,
acting naturally and without bombast and forced tragic effect.

Be the motive what it may, love of lucre or the gratification of pride,
the fact still remains that in his delineation of border life Buffalo
Bill educated the people to seeing the hated and ever-dreaded red men
in another light.

He was their friend in peace, not their foe always because once upon
their trail; and he brought the red man before the public in a way
never witnessed before.

Buffalo Bill never was a man-killer, and there was nothing of bravado
in his nature and not a tinge of the desperado.

Brought face to face with the stern reality that either his foe or
himself must die, when it was in the discharge of duty or self-defense
William Cody never quailed in the face of death, and acted, as his
conscience dictated, for the right.

But his stage experience gave William Cody the thought of producing
border life upon a grander scale than could be done within the walls
of a theater, and from this sprang the Wild West exhibitions that have
delighted the world.

Conceiving the idea of presenting border life as it was before vast
audiences, he at once carried the thought into execution, and Buffalo
Bill’s Wild West became the center of attraction wherever it appeared.

After several times swinging around the circle in this country, the
Wild West crossed the ocean in a steamship chartered to carry the vast
aggregation, and landed upon the shores of England.

Behold the result! Opening in London before vast audiences, the queen,
the Prince of Wales, and other royal personages of high rank flocked to
see the man and those he had brought with him into the very heart of
the English metropolis.

There, upon the soil of the mother country, before tens of thousands of
Britishers, the Wild West held sway for months, while the hero of the
plains, the prairie boy, found himself honored by royalty, a welcome
visitor across the threshold of palaces, fêted by men whose names were
known the wide world over.

Bearing the stars and stripes in his hand, mounted upon his finest
charger, Buffalo Bill saluted the queen, who rose, and bowed in
salutation to the American flag, borne by so fit a representative of
his country.

Nor did the triumphal march of the Wild West end here, for Buffalo
Bill sought other lands to conquer, and bore the stars and stripes
into France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Belgium, and elsewhere,
presenting the American flag before more peoples than it had ever been
seen by during its existence of a century.

Traveling through Europe with three railway trains of seventy-five
cars, carrying over three hundred people, with the horses of our
plains, the buffaloes, and wild steers, the Wild West was the observed
of all observers, and crowned heads everywhere gave Buffalo Bill, his
cowboys, and Indians a welcome, even his holiness the pope granting
them an audience.

Living in their own camp, eating American food, the people of the Wild
West did much to educate foreigners into a taste for American hams,
corn-meal, and other luxuries; and it was through the sending of so
much corn to Cody’s commissary that Colonel Murphy of the Department of
Agriculture won the name of “Corn-meal Murphy.”

From this explanatory sketch the reader can readily see how it was that
Buffalo Bill went from the prairie to the palace.

For the benefit of those of my readers who are interested in the study
of physiognomy, I submit the following physiognomical study of Colonel
Cody by Prof. A. J. Oppenheim, B. P. A., of London:

“The length from the opening of the ear to the outer corner of the eye
shows great intellectual capacity and quickness of comprehension. The
forehead is broad, square, and practical. The deep setting of the eyes
in their sockets denotes great shrewdness and keenness of perception.
The fullness under the eye means eloquence and the faculty of verbal
expression. The downward projection of the outer corner of the eyebrows
means contest--he never gives in. The unevenness of the hair of
the eyebrows shows hastiness of temper and irritability when under
restraint, but the straightness of the eyebrows themselves denotes
truthfulness and sincerity. The height of the facial bone generally
indicates great intensity and strong powers of physical endurance. The
ridge in the center of the nose means relative defense, protection,
quixotism, taking up other people’s cudgels and fighting their battles
for them. The thinness of the bridge of the nose denotes generosity and
love of spending money. Colonel Cody might make many fortunes, but he
would never succeed in amassing one. The length of the nostrils shows
activity; the manner in which they dilate and curl, pride; and their
size denotes courage and fearlessness. The transparency of the eyelids
and the fineness of the eyelashes is indicative of a keenly sensitive,
sympathetic, and benevolent nature. Though a large-sized man, and a
great warrior, his heart is as tender as a woman’s. The angle of the
jaw denotes determination and strength of purpose, but the narrowness
of the lower part of the face suggests a complete absence of coarseness
or brutality. The length of the throat shows a marvelous independence
of spirit and love of fresh air and exercise. The wavy lines in the
forehead mean hope and enthusiasm; the two perpendicular ones between
the eyes, love of equity and justice.”

To-day Buffalo Bill stands as a typical plainsman, the last of a race
of men whose like will never be seen again.

The trackless wilderness, the arid deserts, mountains, and plains are
to-day as an open book through the work of just such pioneers of the
star of empire as is Buffalo Bill.

They have solved the mysteries of the unknown land of the setting
sun as it was half a century ago, and then sprang into existence as
educators, and having done their work well are awaiting the last call
to that great terra incognita beyond the river of death.

Their like will never be seen again on this earth, for there are no new
lands to explore.

As Columbus was the pilot across the seas to discover a new world, such
heroes as Boone, Fremont, Crockett, Kit Carson, and last, but by no
means least, Cody, were the guides to the New World of the mighty West,
and their names will go down in history as

    “Among the few, the immortal names
    That were not born to die.”



The Wild West visited many of the principal cities of this country,
played a winter season in New Orleans, a summer season at Staten
Island, and the winter of 1886-87 in Madison Square Garden in New
York. But with the immortal bard who wrote “ambition grows with what
it feeds on,” Colonel Cody and Mr. Salsbury had an ambition to conquer
other nations. The importance of the undertaking was fully realized,
but nothing daunted by all that would have to be undergone to reach a
foreign land and give exhibitions, the owners of the Wild West boldly
made the venture.

The writer went abroad and arranged to play a season of six months in
London, as an adjunct of the American exhibition. All arrangements
being made, the Indians were secured, the representative types of the
Sioux, Cheyennes, Kiowas, Pawnees, and Ogalallas, and a number of
prominent chiefs.

Having collected a company of more than two hundred men and animals,
consisting of Indians, cowboys, Mexican riders, rifle-shots, buffaloes,
Texas steers, burros, broncos, racing-horses, elk, bear, and an immense
amount of paraphernalia such as tents, wagons, stage-coach, arms,
ammunition, costumes, and all equipage necessary, the steamship City of
Nebraska, Captain Braes, was chartered. The City of Nebraska, loaded
with the Wild West, set sail from New York, Thursday, March 31, 1887.
The piers were crowded with thousands of good friends who went down to
wave adieux and to wish the Wild West a pleasant voyage and success.

As the steamship City of Nebraska pulled out of the dock the cowboy
band played “The Girl I Left Behind Me” in a manner that suggested
more reality than empty sentiment in the familiar air. Before starting
on the trip a number of the Indians had expressed grave fears about
trusting themselves upon the mighty ocean, fearing that a dreadful
death would soon overtake them, and it required much persuasion at the
last moment to induce them to go on board.

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

On the third day all began to grow better, and the Indians were called
into the salon and given a sermon by Buffalo Bill; Red Shirt also,
having lost his anxiety, joining in the oratory.

After the seasickness was over, Mr. Salsbury, as singer and comedian,
took an active part in amusing all on board. The seventh day of the
voyage a fierce storm swept over the sea, and the ship was forced to
lay to, and during its continuance the stock suffered greatly; but
only one horse died on the trip. At last the steamship cast anchor
off Gravesend, and a tugboat loaded with custom-house and quarantine
officers boarded to make the usual inspection. The English government,
through its officials, extended every courtesy. A special permit was
given for the animals to land, and the people started for the camp.

The arrival of the City of Nebraska had been watched for with great
curiosity, as a number of yachts, tugboats, and other craft surrounding
it testified. A tug was soon seen flying the Stars and Stripes, and as
it came nearer the strains of “The Star Spangled Banner,” rendered by
the band on her deck, floated across the water. As the welcome strains
ended, the cowboy band on the Nebraska responded with “Yankee Doodle.”
When the tug came alongside, the company on board proved to be the
directors of the American exhibition in London, with Lord Ronald Gower
heading a distinguished committee and representatives of the leading
journals of England.

As Buffalo Bill landed with the committee three cheers were given, and
cries rang out of “Welcome to old England,” giving pleasing evidence
of the public interest that had been awakened through the coming of the
Wild West. A special train with saloon carriages was waiting to convey
the party to London, and leaving behind them the old Kentish town, in
an hour after they arrived at Victoria Station.

Entering the headquarters of the exhibition Buffalo Bill and those who
accompanied him found a bounteous repast set, and a generous welcome
was accorded them. After brief social converse a visit was made to the
grounds, where hundreds of busy workmen were hastening the completion
of the arena, the grand-stand, and stabling for the cattle. When it
is taken into consideration that these operations were dealing with
an expenditure of over one hundred and thirty thousand dollars, the
greatness of the enterprise can be understood. An arena of more than a
third of a mile in circumference, flanked by a grand-stand filled with
seats and boxes to accommodate 20,000 persons, sheltered stands for
10,000 more, the standing-room being 10,000, will give an idea of the
size of the Wild West exhibition grounds.

The interest evinced by the British workmen in the coming of the Wild
West people was as a straw indicating which way the wind blew, or
intended to blow. On the following morning, when the tide was at its
flood, the City of Nebraska steamed up the river, the trip being a
pleasure to all on board. With the assistance of the horsemen, each
looking after his own horse, the unloading was begun and carried on
with a rapidity that astonished even the old dock-hands and officials.
Through the courtesy of the custom-house people there was hardly a
moment’s delay in the debarkation; but although landing in London, the
Wild West was still twelve miles away from its city camp. Loading the
entire outfit on two trains, it was speedily delivered at the Midland
Railway Depot adjoining the grounds, and by 4 o’clock on the same
afternoon the horses and other animals had been stabled, watered, and
fed, and the camp equipage and bedding distributed. The camp cooks were
preparing the evening meal, tents were going up, stoves being erected,
tables spread and set in the open air, tepees erected, and by 6 o’clock
a perfect canvas city had sprung up in the heart of West End London.

Upon the flag-staff the starry banner had been run up and was floating
in the breeze, and the cowboy band rendering the national airs of
America, amid the shouts and cheers of thousands who lined the walls,
streets, and housetops of the surrounding neighborhood. This was most
gratifying to the newcomers, and in answer to the hearty plaudits
of the English, Colonel Cody ordered the band to play “God Save the
Queen,” and the Wild West was at home in London.

The first camp meal being necessarily eaten in full view of the crowd,
the dining-tents not being ready, was a novel sight to them, from the
motley population of Indians, cowboys, scouts, Mexicans, etc. The
meal was finished by 7 o’clock, and by 9 o’clock the little camp was
complete, and its tired occupants, men, women, and children, were
reposing more snugly, safely, and peacefully than they had done in many

Trivial as these details may appear at first sight, the rapidity with
which the Wild West had transported its materials from dock to depot,
and depot to ground, had an immense effect upon the people of London.
A number of notable visitors present, especially the representatives
of the press, expressed great astonishment at the enterprise of the
Americans, and communicated that feeling throughout London.

“The Yankees mean business” was the expression heard upon all sides.
As the Wild West was not to open its exhibition for several days
after its arrival, Colonel Cody and Mr. Salsbury had an opportunity
of meeting many distinguished persons in England, who called upon
them, and who afterward proved most friendly and hospitable. Among
these prominent persons was Mr. Henry Irving, who had witnessed the
Wild West performance at Staten Island, and paved the way in a great
measure for its success in London by speaking in the kindest terms to
a representative of the great dramatic organ, _The Era_. It may not be
amiss to here quote his remarks. Mr. Irving said in _The Era_:

“I saw an entertainment in New York, the like of which I had never
seen before, which impressed me immensely. It is coming to London.
It is an entertainment in which the whole of the most interesting
episodes of life on the extreme frontier of civilization in America
are represented with the most graphic vividness and scrupulous detail.
You have real cowboys with bucking horses, real buffaloes, and great
hordes of steers, which are lassoed and stampeded in the most realistic
fashion imaginable. Then there are real Indians, who execute attacks
upon coaches driven at full speed. No one can exaggerate the extreme
excitement and ‘go’ of the whole performance. It is simply immense, and
I venture to predict that when it comes to London it will take the town
by storm.”

Among other early callers upon the Wild West, and who gave their
influence and friendly aid in London, were genial John L. Toole, Miss
Ellen Terry, Mr. Justin McCarthy, United States Minister Phelps,
Consul-General Gov. Thomas Waller, Deputy Consul Moffat, Mr. Henry
Labouchere, M. P., Miss Mary Anderson, Mrs. Brown-Potter, Mr. Charles
Wyndham, Lord Ronald Gower, Sir Cundiffe Owen, Lord Henry Paget, Lord
Charles Beresford, the Grand Duke Michael of Russia, Lady Monckton,
Sir Francis Knollys, private secretary to the Prince of Wales; Colonel
Clarke, Colonel Montague, Lady Alice Beckie (whom the Indians afterward
named the “Sunshine of the Camp”), Lord Strathmore, Lord Windsor, Lady
Randolph Churchill, Mrs. John W. Mackay, and a host of distinguished
American residents in London, who also visited the camp before
the regular opening of the Wild West, and by their expressions of
friendship gave encouragement for success in the future.

The sight of the Indians, cowboys, American girls, and Mexicans, with
Buffalo Bill as chief, was most attractive to Londoners, while the
English love of horsemanship, feats of skill, and fondness for sports
presaged an appreciative community. The press was also most generous,
the columns of the papers teeming daily with information so eulogistic
that the Wild Westerners were afraid they would never be able to come
up to expectations.

Fifty large scrap-books, filled to repletion with press notices, now
form a conspicuous part of Colonel Cody’s library at Scout’s-Rest
Ranch. The London _Illustrated News_, in connection with two pages of
illustration, is drawn upon for the following extract:

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

The tone of this article strikes the same chord as the whole of the
comments of the English press. It divested the Wild West of its
attributes as an entertainment simply, and treated the visit as an
event of first-class international importance, and a link between the
affections of the two kindred nations such as had never before been


    W E Gladstone       King of Greece           John Bright, M.P.
    King of Saxony      King of the Belgians     King of Denmark
    Prince of Wales     King of Sweden           Gen’l Lord Wolseley.




While in the midst of extensive preparations for their opening,
the proprietors of the Wild West received an intimation that the
ex-premier, the Rt. Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M. P., proposed honoring them
with a preliminary call. The date fixed for the visit was the 25th of
April, and shortly after 1 o’clock P. M. on that day the distinguished
visitor arrived at Earl’s Court with Mrs. Gladstone, and accompanied
by the Marquis of Lorne (husband of the Princess Louise), attended by
Lord Ronald Gower and Mr. Waller (Consul-General of the United States),
escorted by Nate Salsbury.

The cowboy band welcomed the visitors with the strains of “Yankee
Doodle,” and they were presently introduced to Colonel Cody, who in
turn presented to them the denizens of the encampment. The Grand Old
Man was soon engaged in conversation with Red Shirt, to whom Colonel
Cody had explained that Mr. Gladstone was one of the great white chiefs
of England. Red Shirt was much puzzled by Mr. Gladstone’s inquiring,
through an interpreter, if he thought the Englishman looked enough
like the American for him to believe that they were kinsmen and
brothers. Red Shirt created quite a laugh by replying that “he wasn’t
quite sure about that.” It would be hard to picture the astonishment
of the visitors when the Indians, in full war-paint, riding their
swift horses, dashed into the arena from an ambuscade, and the
enthusiasm grew immense when Colonel Cody placed himself at the head
of the whole body and wheeled them into line for a general salute.
It was a real treat to see the ex-premier enjoying himself like a
veritable school-boy when the lasso, the feats of shooting, and the
bucking-horses were introduced; and when the American cowboys tackled
the incorrigible bucking-horses he sometimes cheered the animal and
sometimes the man. At the conclusion of the exhibition Mr. Gladstone
expressed himself as having been greatly entertained and interested,
and spoke in warm and affecting terms of the instrumental good work
the Wild West had come to do. In a brilliant little speech he proposed
“success to the Wild West Show,” which aroused the enthusiasm of all
present. His demeanor on this and other occasions when he met the
Americans made clear to them the reason of the fascination he exercises
over the masses of his countrymen.


Then for Colonel Cody commenced a long series of invitations to
breakfasts, dinners, luncheons, midnight layouts, and other attentions
by which London society delights to honor a distinguished foreigner.
In addition to many receptions tendered him, he was made an honorary
member of most of the best clubs, notably the Reform Club, where he
was presented to the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, and many
prominent gentlemen. He was afterward a guest at a civic lunch at the
Mansion House, with the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress; a dinner at the
Beaufort Club, where that fine sportsman the Duke of Beaufort occupied
the chair; and a memorable evening at the Savage Club, with Mr.
Wilson Barrett (who had just returned from America) presiding, and an
attendance comprising such great spirits as Mr. Henry Irving, John L.
Toole, and others great in literary, artistic, and histrionic London.
At the United Arts Club he was entertained by the Duke of Teck, and
at the St. George’s Club by Lord Bruce, Lord Woolmer, Lord Lymington,
Mr. Christopher Sykes, Mr. Herbert Gladstone, and others. Subsequently
he dined at Mr. Irving’s, Lady McGregor’s, Lady Tenterden’s, Mrs.
Charles Matthews’ (widow of the great actor), Mrs. J. W. Mackay’s, Lord
Randolph and Lady Churchill’s, Edmund Yates’, and at Great Marlow.
These are but a very few of the many invitations he was called upon
to accept during this visit. When Mr. and Mrs. Labouchere gave their
grand garden production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Colonel Cody
was an honored guest. He also accompanied Lord Charles Beresford in
the Coaching Club Parade in Hyde Park, and was prevented by press of
business from accepting an invitation to a mount with the Honorable
Artillery Company of London (the oldest volunteer in the kingdom), in
the parade in honor of her majesty the queen’s birthday.

Considering the fact that the Indians were all new from the Pine Ridge
Agency and had never seen the exhibition, and that 100 of the ponies
came direct from the plains of Texas and had never been ridden or
shot over, it is a wonder how Colonel Cody, with these social demands
made upon his time, succeeded in forming so good an exhibition on the
opening day.

During all this fashionable hurly-burly Colonel Cody received the
following letter:

            PALL MALL, S. W., April 26, 1887.

  DEAR SIR: I am desired by the Prince of Wales to thank you for
  your invitation. His royal highness is anxious I should see you
  with reference to it. Perhaps, therefore, you would kindly make it
  convenient to call at Marlborough House.

  Would it suit you to call at 11.30 or 5 o’clock either to-morrow
  (Wednesday) or Thursday? I am, dear sir,

          Yours faithfully,
            (Signed) FRANCIS KNOLLYS,
              _Private Secretary_.

This resulted in an arrangement to give a special and exclusive
performance for H. R. H. the Prince and Princess of Wales, although
everything was still incomplete, the track unfinished, and spoiled by
rainy weather and the hauling on of vast timbers. The ground was in
unspeakably bad condition. The Prince of Wales being busily occupied
in arranging matters for the queen’s jubilee had but limited latitude
in regard to time, so postponement was out of the question. The royal
box was handsomely rigged out with American and English flags, and
the party conducted into the precincts of the Wild West was a strong
one numerically as well as in point of exalted rank: The Prince and
Princess of Wales, with their three daughters, Princesses Louise,
Victoria, and Maud, led the way; then came the Princess Louise and
her husband, the Marquis of Lorne; the Duke of Cambridge; H. S. H. of
Teck and his son; the Comtesse de Paris; the Crown Prince of Denmark;
followed by Lady Suffield and Miss Knollys, Lady Cole, Colonel Clarke,
Lord Edward Somerset, and other high-placed attendants on the assembled

Colonel Cody was introduced by the Prince of Wales to the princess, and
introductions to the other exalted personages followed, in which Nate
Salsbury and the writer were included. This was one of many meetings
between his royal highness and Colonel Cody, and before leaving London
the prince presented to the colonel a very handsome diamond copy of
his crest--the three ostrich feathers mounted in gems and gold--as a

When the prince gave the signal the Indians, yelling like fiends,
galloped out from their ambuscade and swept round the inclosure like
a whirlwind. The effect was instantaneous and electric. The prince
rose from his seat and leaned eagerly over the front of the box, and
the whole party seemed thrilled at the spectacle. From that moment
everything was all right; everybody was in capital form and the whole
thing went off grandly. At the finish an amusing incident occurred. Our
lady shots, on being presented, cordially offered to shake hands with
the princess. Be it known that feminine royalty offers the left hand,
back uppermost, which the person presented is expected to reverently
lift with the finger-tips and to salute with the lips. However, the
princess got over the difficulty by taking their proffered hands and
shaking them heartily.

Then followed an inspection of the Indian camp and a talk between
the prince and Red Shirt. His royal highness expressed through the
interpreter his great delight at what he had seen, and the princess
personally offered him a welcome to England. “Tell the great chief’s
wife,” said Red Shirt with much dignity, “that it gladdens my heart to
hear her words of welcome.” While the ladies of the suite were petting
John Nelson’s half-breed papoose, the prince visited Colonel Cody’s
tent and while there seemed much interested in the gold-mounted sword
presented to Colonel Cody by the generals of the United States Army.
Despite the muddy state of the ground, the prince and his party made an
inspection of the stables, where 200 bronco horses and other animals
were quartered. He particularly gratified Colonel Cody by demanding
a full, true, and particular history of Old Charlie--then in his
twenty-first year--who had carried his owner through so much arduous
work on the plains and who once bore him over a flight of 100 miles in
nine hours and forty minutes when chased by hostile Indians.


    H.R.H. Princess of      Countess of Dudley    Grand Duchess Serge
      Saxe-Meiningen                                of Russia

    H.R.H. Princess of      VICTORIA              H.R.H. Princess
      Wales                   EMPRESS OF INDIA.     Beatrice, Battenberg

    Princess Louise         H.R.H. Princess       Queen of the Belgians
                              Mary Adelaide


At 7 o’clock the royal visit, and our first full performance in
England, terminated by the prince presenting the contents of his
cigarette-case to Red Shirt.

A walk around the principal streets of London at this time would
have shown how, by anticipation, the Wild West had “caught on” to
the popular imagination. The windows of the London bookseller were
full of editions of Fenimore Cooper’s novels, “The Pathfinder,” “The
Deerslayer,” “The Last of the Mohicans,” “Leather Stocking,” and, in
short, all that series of delightful romances which have placed the
name of the American novelist on the same level with that of Sir Walter
Scott. It was a real revival of trade for the booksellers, who sold
thousands of volumes of Cooper, where twenty years before they had sold
them in dozens, while Colonel Prentiss Ingraham’s realistic “Border
Romances of Buffalo Bill” had a tremendous sale. There is no doubt that
the visit of the Wild West to England set the population of the British
Islands to reading, thinking, and talking about their American kinsmen
to an extent theretofore unknown. It taught them to know more of the
mighty nation beyond the Atlantic, and consequently to esteem it better
than at any time within the limits of modern history.

The Wild West having made its début in London, the following comment of
the _Times_ and letters from General Sherman will be appreciated by the


  The American exhibition, which has attracted all the town to
  West Brompton for the last few months, was brought yesterday to
  an appropriate and dignified close. A meeting of representative
  Englishmen and Americans was held, under the presidency of Lord
  Lorne, in support of the movement for establishing a Court of
  Arbitration for the settlement of disputes between this country and
  the United States. At first sight it might seem to be a far cry
  from the Wild West to an International Court. Yet the connection
  is not really very remote. Exhibitions of American products and
  scenes from the wilder phases of American life certainly tend, in
  some degree at least, to bring America nearer to England. They are
  partly cause and partly effect. They are the effect of increased
  and increasing intercourse between the two countries, and they
  tend to promote a still more intimate understanding. Those who
  went to be amused often stayed to be instructed. The Wild West
  was irresistible. Colonel Cody suddenly found himself the hero
  of the London season. Notwithstanding his daily engagements and
  his punctual fulfillment of them, he found time to go everywhere,
  to see everything, and to be seen by all the world. All London
  contributed to his triumph, and now the close of his show is
  selected as the occasion for promoting a great international
  movement, with Mr. Bright, Lord Granville, Lord Wolseley, and Lord
  Lorne for its sponsors. Civilization itself consents to march
  onward in the train of “Buffalo Bill.” Colonel Cody can achieve no
  greater triumph than this, even if he some day realizes the design
  attributed to him of running the Wild West show within the classic
  precincts of the Coliseum at Rome.

  This association of the cause of international arbitration with the
  fortunes of the American Wild West is not without its grotesque
  aspects. But it has a serious import, nevertheless. After all,
  the Americans and the English are one stock. Nothing that is
  American comes altogether amiss to an Englishman. We are apt to
  think that American life is not picturesque. We have been shown
  one of its most picturesque aspects. It is true that Red Shirt
  would be as unusual a phenomenon in Broadway as in Cheapside. But
  the Wild West, for all that, is racy of the American soil. We can
  easily imagine Wall Street for ourselves; we need to be shown the
  cowboys of Colorado. Hence it is no paradox to say that Colonel
  Cody has done his part in bringing America and England nearer
  together.--_Editorial from the London Times_, November 1, 1887.

       *       *       *       *       *

The following letters were received by Buffalo Bill from Gen. W. T.
Sherman soon after the opening of the Wild West in London.

            NEW YORK, May 8, 1887.

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

          Sincerely your friend,
            W. T. SHERMAN.

       *       *       *       *       *

            NEW YORK, June 29, 1887.

    London, England.

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

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

  As near as I can estimate, there were _in 1865 about nine and a
  half millions of buffaloes_ on the plains between the Missouri
  River and the Rocky Mountains. All are now gone--killed for their
  meat, their skins and bones.

  This seems like desecration, cruelty, and murder, yet they have
  been replaced by twice as many _neat_ cattle. At that date there
  were about 165,000 _Pawnees, Sioux, Cheyennes, Kiowas, and
  Arapahoes_, who depended on these buffaloes for their yearly food.
  They, too, are gone, and have been replaced by twice or thrice as
  many white men and women, who have made the earth to blossom as
  the rose, and who can be counted, taxed, and governed by the laws
  of nature and civilization. This change has been salutary, and
  will go on to the end. You have caught one epoch of the world’s
  history, have illustrated it in the very heart of the modern
  world--London--and I want you to feel that on this side the water
  we appreciate it.

  This drama must end; days, years, and centuries follow fast; even
  the drama of civilization must have an end.

  All I aim to accomplish on this sheet of paper is to assure you
  that I fully recognize your work and that the presence of the
  queen, the beautiful Princess of Wales, the prince, and British
  public, are marks of favor which reflect back on America sparks of
  light which illuminate many a house and cabin in the land where
  once _you guided me honestly and faithfully in 1865-66 from Fort
  Riley to Kearney in Kansas and Nebraska_.

          Sincerely your friend,
            W. T. SHERMAN.



“By command of her majesty the queen.”--It must be understood that the
queen never requests, desires, or invites even her own prime minister,
to her own dinner-tables, but “commands” invariably. A special
performance was given by the Wild West, the understanding being that
her majesty and suite would take a private view of the performance. The
queen, ever since the death of her husband nearly thirty years ago, has
cherished an invincible objection to appearing before great assemblages
of her subjects. She visits her parliament seldom, the theaters never.
Her latest knowledge of her greatest actors and actresses has been
gained from private performances at Windsor, whither they have been
“commanded” to entertain her, and that at very infrequent intervals.
But, as with Mahomet and the mountain, the Wild West was altogether too
colossal to take to Windsor, and so the queen came to the Wild West--an
honor which was unique and unexampled in its character. When this
visit was announced the public would hardly believe it, and if bets
had been made at the clubs, the odds on a rank outsider in the Derby
would have been nothing to the amount that would have been bet that it
was a Yankee hoax. The news that her majesty would arrive at 5 o’clock
and would require to see everything in an hour was in the nature of
an astounding surprise to the management of the Wild West; but they
determined to do the very best in their power, and that settled it.
A dais for her majesty was erected and a box specially constructed
draped with crimson velvet and decorated with orchids, leaving plenty
of accommodation for the attendant noblemen, and all was made as bright
and cheerful as possible.

With royal punctuality the sovereign lady and her suite rolled up in
their carriages, drove around the arena in state, and dismounted at the
entrance to the box. The august company included, besides her majesty,
their royal highnesses Prince and Princess of Battenburg, the Marquis
of Lorne, the dowager Duchess of Athole, and the Hon. Ethel Cadogan,
Sir Henry and Lady Ponsonby, Gen. Lynedoch Gardiner, Col. Sir Henry
Ewart, Lord Ronald Gower, and a collection of uniformed celebrities and
brilliantly attired fair ladies, who formed a veritable parterre of
living flowers around the temporary throne.

During the introduction of the performers of the exhibition a
remarkable incident occurred which is worthy of being specially
recorded. As usual in the entertainment the American flag, carried by
a graceful, well-mounted horseman, was introduced, with the statement
that it was “an emblem of peace and friendship to all the world.” As
the standard-bearer, who on this occasion was Col. William F. Cody
himself, waved the proud emblem above his head, her majesty rose from
her seat and bowed deeply and impressively toward the banner. The whole
court party rose, the ladies bowed, the generals present saluted, and
the English noblemen took off their hats. Then there arose from the
company such a genuine, heart-stirring American yell as seemed to shake
the sky. It was a great event. For the first time in history since the
Declaration of Independence a sovereign of Great Britain had saluted
the star-spangled banner--and that banner was carried by Buffalo Bill.
It was an outward and visible sign of the extinction of that mutual
prejudice, sometimes almost amounting to race hatred, that had severed
the two nations from the times of Washington and George III. to the
present day. The hatchet was buried at last, and the Wild West had been
at the funeral.

The queen not only abandoned her original intention of remaining to
see only the first acts, but saw the whole thing through, and wound up
with a “command” that Buffalo Bill should be presented to her, and her
compliments were deliberate and unmeasured. Mr. Nate Salsbury and Chief
Red Shirt, the latter gorgeous in his war-paint and splendid feather
trappings, were also presented. The chief’s proud bearing seemed to
take with the royal party immensely, and when he quietly declared
that “he had come a long way to see her majesty, and felt glad,” and
strolled abruptly away, the queen smiled appreciatively, as one who
would say, “I know a real duke when I see him.” After inspecting the
papooses the queen’s visit came to an end, with a last “command,”
expressed through Sir Henry Ponsonby, that a record of all she had seen
should be sent on to Windsor.

While receiving generous attention from the most prominent English
people, Colonel Cody was by no means neglected by his own countrymen,
many of whom were frequent visitors to the Wild West Show, and added by
their presence and influence much to the popularity of both the show
and Colonel Cody himself. Hon. James G. Blaine, accompanied by his
family, spent several hours in Colonel Cody’s tent, and was a frequent
visitor to the show. So also were Hon. Joseph Pulitzer, Chauncey M.
Depew, Lawrence Jerome, Murat Halstead, General Hawley, Simon Cameron,
and many other distinguished Americans.

When the Hon. James G. Blaine visited the Wild West in London,
accompanied by his wife and daughters, his carriage was driven through
the royal gate to the grounds, and he was received by the English
people as though he had been one of the royal highnesses.

The Wild West band played the “Star Spangled Banner,” the air so loved
by all true Americans being received by the English audience rising,
and standing while Mr. Blaine and party alighted from their carriage
and were escorted to the box set aside for them.

When the distinguished party were seated the band played “Way Down in
Maine” and “Yankee Doodle.” After the entertainment, when Mr. Blaine
took his departure, he was given three rousing cheers by the English, a
tribute which he gracefully acknowledged and appreciated fully.

So many prominent Americans, acquaintances of Colonel Cody, were
in London at that time that it was determined to give them a novel
entertainment that would serve the double purpose of regaling their
appetites while affording an illustration of the wild habits of
many Indian tribes. In accordance with this resolution Gen. Simon
Cameron--as the guest of honor and about one hundred other Americans,
including those named above, were invited to a rib-roast breakfast
prepared by the Indians after the manner of their cooking when in their
native homes.

The large dining-tent was gorgeously festooned and decorated for the
occasion, and all the invited guests responded to the summons and
arrived by 9 o’clock in the morning. Before the tent a fire had been
made, around which were grouped a number of Indian cooks. A hole had
been dug in the ground and in this a great bed of coals was now made,
over which was set a wooden tripod from which was suspended several
ribs of beef. An Indian noted for his skill as a rib-roaster attended
to the cooking by gently moving the meat over the hot coals for nearly
half an hour, when it was removed to the quarters and there jointed
ready to be served. The guests were much interested in the process
of cooking and were equally anxious to sample the product of Indian
culinary art. The whole of the Indian tribes in camp breakfasted with
the visitors, squatting on straw at the end of the long dining-tent.
Some dozen ribs were cooked and eaten in this primitive fashion,
civilized and savage methods of eating confronting each other. The
thoroughly typical breakfast over, excellent speeches, chiefly of
a humorous nature, were made by the honored guest General Cameron,
Colonel Cody, and others of the party. The breakfast was supplemented
by an Indian dance, and thus ended the unique entertainment.

On the 20th of June a special morning exhibition of the Wild West was,
by further “command” from her majesty, given to the kingly and princely
guests of Queen Victoria upon the occasion of her jubilee. This was
the third entertainment given to royalty in private, and surely never
before in the history of the world had such a gathering honored a
public entertainment. The gathering of personages consisted of the King
of Denmark, the King of Saxony, the King and Queen of the Belgians
and the King of Greece, the Crown Prince of Austria, the Prince and
Princess of Saxe-Meiningen, the Crown Prince and Princess of Germany,
the Crown Prince of Sweden and Norway, the Princess Victoria of
Prussia, the Duke of Sparta, the Grand Duke Michael of Russia, Prince
George of Greece, Prince Louis of Baden, and last, but not least, the
Prince and Princess of Wales with their family, besides a great host of
lords and ladies innumerable.

A peculiar circumstance of the visit of Queen Victoria to the Wild West
exhibition may be mentioned here. It was at the time of the queen’s
jubilee, and there had gathered in London the largest and grandest
assemblage of royalty ever before known in the world’s history, to do
honor to the queen’s reign of half a century.

It was the day before her majesty had appointed to meet all the royal
personages that she came face to face with them, all gathered together
to do honor to the American entertainment of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West;
an honor indeed to the famous scout, and which was commented upon by
the Prince of Wales, who referred to the great number of distinguished
people present, and that it was made possible by the fact that peace
reigned upon earth with all nations who were there represented.

On this occasion the good old Deadwood coach, “baptized in fire and
blood” so repeatedly on the plains, had the honor of carrying on its
time-honored timbers four kings and the Prince of Wales. This elicited
from his royal highness the remark to Colonel Cody, “Colonel, you never
held four kings like these before,” to which Colonel Cody promptly and
aptly replied, “I’ve held four kings, but four kings and the Prince of
Wales makes a royal flush, such as no man ever held before.” At this
the prince laughed heartily.

After this interesting gathering Colonel Cody received from Marlborough
House the following letter of thanks:


  DEAR SIR: Lieut.-Gen. Sir Dighton Probyn, comptroller and treasurer
  of the Prince of Wales’ household, presents his compliments to
  Colonel Cody, and is directed by his royal highness to forward
  him the accompanying pin as a souvenir of the performance of the
  Wild West which Colonel Cody gave before the Prince and Princess
  of Wales, the kings of Denmark, Belgium, Greece, and Saxony, and
  other royal guests, on Monday last, to all of whom, the prince
  desires Sir Dighton Probyn to say, the entertainment gave great

          LONDON, June 22, 1887.

This souvenir pin bore the crest and motto of the Prince of Wales, and
readers will perhaps be familiar with the story of how this crest and
motto (_Ich dien_, “I serve”) were wrested from the King of Bohemia at
Cressy by the Black Prince, son of Edward III. of England.

Few men have had such honors bestowed upon them as has Buffalo Bill,
for he can also point with pride to a superb diamond crest presented
him by Queen Victoria, the elegant pin from the Prince of Wales, while
from Prince George of Russia he received a magnificent gold tankard of
mosaic pattern.

Other royal personages have also made him the recipient of many costly
gifts, while persons in private life have shown their appreciation of
the record he has won in many ways.

The prince and princess and their sons and daughters were frequent
visitors to the Wild West during its stay in London. Upon one occasion
his royal highness determined to try the novel sensation of a ride
in the old stage, and notwithstanding some objection on the part
of her royal husband, the princess also booked for inside passage
and took it smilingly, seeming highly delighted with the experience.
On one occasion the royal lady startled the managers of the show by
an intimation that she would that evening attend the performance
_incognito_. The manager whose duty it was to receive her declared
himself in a “middling tight fix” as to where and how to seat her. Upon
her arrival, in answer to the question if she desired any particular
position, the lady replied, “Certainly, yes. Put me immediately among
the people. I like the people.” The manager, with great thoughtfulness,
ushered her into one of the press boxes, with Colonel Montague, Mrs.
Clark, and her brother the Prince of Denmark. Later, to his surprise,
several of the newspaper boys came into the adjoining box, and in order
to avert the latter’s suspicion of who the lady occupant of the box
was, the manager was compelled to address the royal lady and her escort
as “Colonel and Mrs. Jones, friends of mine from Texas.” The princess
took the joke with becoming gravity, and afterward confessed the
evening was one of the pleasantest and funniest she had ever spent in
her life.

And so, amid the innumerable social junketings, roastings, and courtly
functions, added to hard work, the London experiences of the Wild West
drew to a successful close.



From London the Wild West visited Birmingham, where it occupied the
Aston Lower Grounds; thence to Manchester--“Cottonopolis,” as it is
endearingly called by its inhabitants--where the winter season was
opened. In the short space of two months the largest theater ever seen
in the world was here erected by an enterprising firm of Manchester
builders, together with a commodious building attached to it for the
accommodation of the troupe, whose tents and tepees were erected under
its shelter. The whole of the structure was comfortably heated by steam
and illuminated by electric light. This building was built on the great
race-course, where several times in the course of each year it is not
uncommon for 80,000 or 100,000 persons to assemble; and the buildings
in which Ormonde, Ben d’Or, Robert the Devil, and a thousand other
world-famed equine wonders had taken their rest and refreshment, were
now appropriated to the comfort of the broncos, mustangs, and other
four-footed coadjutors of the Wild West.

The first performance given in Manchester was complimentary, and the
entire beauty, rank, and fashion of Manchester and the surrounding
towns were invited guests. The mayors, town councils, corporation
officials, prominent merchants and manufacturers, bishops and clergy of
all denominations, and an able-bodied horde of pressmen came down in
their thousands. From Liverpool, across country through Leeds and York
to Hull and New Castle, and from Carlisle, as far south as Birmingham,
everybody of consequence was present, and the immense building was
filled to its utmost capacity. The consequence was that from the
opening day, and despite the dreary winter weather, the well-lighted,
well-warmed “Temple of Buffalo Bill and Thespis”--as somebody called
it--was constantly crowded with pleasure-seeking throngs. Incidentally
it may be mentioned that the scores of requisitions from the heads
of schools and charitable institutions for reduced rates for “their
little waifs,” was always met by the management of the Wild West
with a courteous invitation for the little ones to attend the
Wednesday afternoon performances free of charge. During their stay in
“Cottonopolis” the members of the Wild West were welcomed with the
same ungrudging and overwhelming hospitality that had marked their
visit to the capital. While here Colonel Cody was publicly presented
with a magnificent rifle by the artistic, dramatic, and literary
gentlemen of Manchester, and the event having got wind in London, the
élite of the metropolitan _literati_, headed by Sir Somers Vine and
including representatives of all the great American journals, secured
a special train and ran up to Manchester some hundred strong to grace
the ceremony with their presence. The presentation took place in the
arena, and afterward Colonel Cody invited the whole crowd of local
celebrities and London visitors to a regular camp dinner, with fried
oysters, Boston pork and beans, Maryland chicken, and other American
dishes, and a real Indian “rib-roast” as the _piece de resistance_. The
banquet was held in the race-course pavilion. Among the guests were the
Mayor of Salford, a number of civic dignitaries from both Manchester
and the neighboring borough, United States Consul Moffat of London and
Consul Hale of Manchester, the latter of whom made the speech of the
evening. This dinner was certainly an entirely original lay-out to the
visitors, and the comments of the English guests upon the novel and to
them outlandish fare they were consuming were highly amusing to the
American members of the party. To the Englishmen corn-cake, hominy, and
other American _fixings_ were a complete revelation, and the rib-roast,
served in tin platters and eaten in the fingers, without knives or
forks, was a source of huge wonderment. The American flag was rarely
ever toasted more heartily by Englishmen than on that occasion, and for
a week afterward the press of the country were dilating on the strange
and savage doings at the Wild West camp.

The afternoon of Good Friday, the consent of the directors of the
Manchester race-track having been obtained, a series of open-air
horse races and athletic sports was performed by the members of
the company--red and white--which included hurdle-races, bareback
horsemanship, etc. Notwithstanding very inclement weather during the
earlier part of the day, an attendance of nearly 30,000 was recorded,
and the weather cleared up and kept fine during the progress of the

During this visit to Manchester the Freemasons of the district treated
Colonel Cody with marked hospitality, and he was a frequent visitor at
their lodges. A mark of especial honor from this occult and powerful
body was a public presentation to him of a magnificent gold watch in
the name of the Freemasons of England. The season in Manchester was
a grand success in every way, and the people had begun to regard the
institution as a permanency among them; but their engagements in the
land of the stars and stripes were as fixed and unalterable as the
laws of the Medes and Persians, and on Monday evening, May 1st, was
given the last indoor representation in Manchester. The occasion was a
perfect ovation. On Tuesday afternoon a benefit was tendered Colonel
Cody by the race-course people. An outdoor performance was given, and
despite the unfavorable weather the turn-stiles showed that nearly
50,000 people had paid admission to the grounds. Thus ended the Wild
West performances in Manchester.

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

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

The arrival of this vessel, outside of the company’s reception, was an
event of future commercial importance to the port of New York, from the
fact of her being the first passenger-ship of her size, draught, and
class to effect a landing (at Bechtel’s wharf) directly on the shores
of Staten Island, thus demonstrating the marine value of some ten
miles of seashore of what in a few short years must be a part of the
greater New York.

Upon the arrival of this giant combination at its home, it would
seem that a long and undisturbed rest would have been natural and
consequent. Such, however, was not to be the case. The master-mind
concluded that it would be well to show to his own countrymen what
manner of exhibition it was that had accomplished such wonderful
results on its visit to Albion. A summer season was inaugurated at
Erastina, S. I., and New York followed. In this latter city Colonel
Cody originated, at Madison Square Garden, the now popular and
much-copied idea of leviathan spectacle. Visits respectively to
Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington followed, and this remarkable
exhibition closed, at the Richmond, Va., exposition, a wonderful
and uninterrupted season which had begun two years and seven months
before at St. Louis, Mo. Faithful to his promises, and following his
invariable custom, Colonel Cody saw that all his people, from the
Texan cowboy and the Mexican vacquero to the Sioux warrior of Dakota,
had safe and pleasant conduct to their homes. The realistic story
of America had been told in the mother country, and the interest of
Continental Europe had also been awakened. The returning red man,
cowboy, and Mexican had had experiences and learned lessons the value
of which it is impossible to compute, and the influence of which must
perforce permeate their entire lives and broaden their thought and
moral nature, leading to results of unbounded possibilities. The cowboy
by the camp-fire of his prairie home, the vacquero among his companions
in Mexico’s mountains, and the red man in his lodge and with his
people, had wonderful tales to tell during the winter nights of their
well-earned resting-spell.



This man of many parts, this unique exemplification of the
possibilities of human intellectual and physical development and
progress, had now passed through successive, and with all truth it
can be said, successful, gradations from the illiterate urchin of
the rough cabin on the plains to a great practical educator; and the
lessons taught in his magnificently illustrated lectures had for their
object the welding together of human interests and the enlarging
of the mutual sympathies of nations. I am aware that the selfish,
captious, and narrow-minded may see in the exhibitions and travels
of the Wild West under Colonel Cody’s leadership simply a scheme for
personal aggrandizement or for the accumulation of great wealth. With
the same foundation for truth, might not these same unworthy motives
be attributed to the magnetic Edison, whose discoveries and inventions
have startled the world into a wondering recognition of electric
power? to Stanley, through whose terrible trials, weary wanderings,
and persevering persistency the heart of Africa has been laid bare to
scientific and humane investigation? to Humboldt and scores of other
world-instructors? Such unworthy commentators, to whose eyes all
advancement in knowledge is veneered with a base coating of selfish
aims, are unworthy of serious consideration.

In pursuance of a resolve made during his visit to England in 1887,
Colonel Cody, in the spring preceding the Paris Exposition, set all of
his able lieutenants and coadjutors to work preparing another Wild West
for a trip to the French capital, thence through Continental Europe,
and, after another visit to Old England, back to dear America. Under
the spell of their leader’s energetic and systematic direction, these
trusted assistants soon had all things in complete readiness, and once
again on board the majestic Persian Monarch, and under the care of that
able seaman and popular officer Captain Bristow, the Wild West was
launched upon “the briny,” for Paris bound.

The Wild West camp in Paris was pitched on immense grounds near the
Porte Maillot, and the welcome extended to the Americans by the
people of the sister republic was hearty, spontaneous, and grand. It
was said that the audience which assembled on the occasion of the
opening exhibition equaled any known in the record of _premières_ of
that brilliant _capitale des deux mondes_. Early in the performance
the vast audience became thoroughly enthusiastic, and every act
attracted the closest attention and the most absorbing interest. It
was evident that the novel and startling display had won the fullest
approval of the experienced sight-seers of the gay capital; and in
France audiences rarely if ever take the middle ground. With them
approval or commendation comes promptly and is quickly manifested,
and the immediate triumph of the Wild West was a subject of hearty
congratulation. As in England upon his first appearance there Colonel
Cody was welcomed by those highest in authority and honor, so in France
the initial performance was graced by the presence of the notables of
the republic. President Carnot and wife, the members of his cabinet,
and families; two American ministers, Hon. Whitelaw Reid, Hon. Louis
MacLean; the Diplomatic Corps, officers of the United States Marine,
and other prominent personages were among the auditors. It was an
audience thoroughly representative of science, art, literature, and
society, and the Wild West soon became second only in public interest
to the great Exhibition itself. Colonel Cody soon became the recipient
of especial social courtesies, the first of which was a breakfast
given in his honor on May 29th by the Vicomtesse Chaudon de Briailles,
at which the _haut ton_ of Paris was present. In recognition of the
courtesy of the Minister of War in granting the Wild West the use of
a large tract of land in the military district, Colonel Cody invited
fifty soldiers of the garrison of Paris to visit the show each day, a
courtesy that was duly appreciated.

Among the many incidents that occurred in Paris may be noted the fact
that Isabella, ex-Queen of Spain, with her companions enjoyed a ride in
the famous old Deadwood stagecoach.

Altogether the Wild West’s visit to Paris, which lasted seven months,
was a most thorough and emphatic success, and closed in a blaze of

It may seem strange to claim that the Wild West abroad was an incentive
to the introduction of American subjects for art illustration; but the
facts strongly warrant the assertion.

It became a fad to introduce curios and _bijouterie_ from the American
plains and mountains. Buffalo robes of Indian tanning, bear-skins
embroidered with porcupine quills, and mats woven in redskin camps
became fashionable; while lassos, bows and arrows, Mexican bridles and
saddles, and other things from the American borderland became most
popular as souvenirs.


Nor was this all, for the artists took a turn at producing American
scenes, characters, and animals, and the Indian and cowboy were
chiseled in marble. Busts were made of Buffalo Bill, the illustrated
papers were full of pictures of the Wild West and its characters, and
the comic papers were constantly caricaturing Cody and his people, some
of their work being remarkably clever and artistic in execution.

Invited to the studios of artists in Rome, Berlin, Paris, and
elsewhere, Buffalo Bill extended the courtesies of his camp to many
whose names are known the world over by their works. The Wild West
became a central place of attraction to artists as well as to military
men and statesmen, and often painters and sculptors were seen going
about the camp looking for subjects for their brush and chisel.

Having accepted an invitation from Rosa Bonheur to visit her at her
elegant chateau, Buffalo Bill in turn extended the hospitalities of
his camp to the famous artist, who day after day visited it and made
studies for her pleasure, giving much time to sittings for a painting
of Colonel Cody.

The result was the superb painting that attracted so much comment
abroad, and which she presented to the great frontiersman, who prizes
it above all the souvenirs he has in his charming home at North Platte,
where it holds the place of honor.

The painting represents Buffalo Bill mounted upon his favorite horse,
and it is needless to say that where both man and animal are portraits,
it is a work of art coming from such a hand as that of Rosa Bonheur.
The fact of uniting man and beast in a painting, giving each equal
prominence, was never before done, I believe, by this great artist, yet
her hand did not lose its cunning in departing from the rule of her
life, as all can testify who have seen this superb picture.


With America as a vast and grand field for the brushes of English and
European artists, there is little doubt that hereafter the foreign
academies will possess many works on American scenes and characters;
and with the example thus set them our own artists will find in their
own country material enough to prevent their going to other lands to
get artistic inspiration.

After a short tour in the south of France in the fall, a vessel was
chartered at Marseilles, the Mediterranean crossed at Barcelona,
landing the first band of Americans with accompanying associates,
scouts, cowboys, Mexican horses of Spanish descent, and wild buffaloes,
etc., on the very spot where on his return to Spain landed the
world’s greatest explorer Christopher Columbus. Here the patrons were
demonstratively eulogistic, the exhibition seeming to delight them
greatly, savoring as it did of an addenda to their national history;
recalling after a lapse of 400 years the resplendent glories of Spanish
conquests under Ferdinand and Isabella, of the sainted hero Cristobal
Colon (1492), Columbus in America (1890), “Buffalo Bill” and the native
American in Spain!

Recrossing the Mediterranean via Corsica and Sardinia (encountering a
tremendous storm), Naples (the placid waters of whose noble bay gave a
welcome refuge) was reached, and in the shadow of old Vesuvius, which
in fact formed a superbly grand scenic background, another peg in
history was pinned by the visit of the cowboy and Indian to the various
noted localities that here abound; the ruins of Herculaneum, Pompeii,
and the great crater of “the burning mountain” striking wonder and awe
as well as giving geological and geographical knowledge to the stoical
“red man.”

Then the “famed of the famous cities” of the world, Rome, was next
visited, to be conquered through the gentle power of intellectual
interest in, and the reciprocal pleasure exchanged by, its unusual
visitors; the honor being given to “the outfit,” as an organization,
of attending a dazzling fête given in the Vatican by his holiness
Pope Leo XIII., and of receiving the exalted pontiff’s blessing. The
grandeur of the spectacle, the heavenly music, the entrancing singing,
and impressive adjuncts produced a most profound impression on the
astonished children of the prairie. The Wild West in the Vatican!

The company were photographed in the Coliseum, which stately ruin
seemed silently and solemnly to regret that its famed ancient arena
was too small for this modern exhibition of the mimic struggle between
that civilization born and emanating from ’neath its very walls, and a
primitive people who were ne’er dreamed of in Rome’s world-conquering
creators’ wildest flights of vivid imaginings.

Strolling through its arena, gazing at its lions’ dens, or lolling
lazily on its convenient ruins, hearing its interpreted history
of Romulus, of Cæsar, and of Nero, roamed this band of Wild West
Sioux (a people whose history in barbaric deeds equals, if not
excels, the ancient Romans’), now hand-in-hand in peace and firmly
cemented friendship with the American frontiersman, once gladiatorial
antagonists on the Western plains. They, listening to the tale, on the
spot, of those whose “morituri te salutant” was the short prelude to a
savage death, formed a novel picture in a historic frame. The Wild West
in the Coliseum!


The following extracts from cablegrams sent to the New York _Herald_
by its special correspondent, tell of interesting occurrences that
happened during the visit of the Wild West to the historic city of Rome:

          ROME, March 4, 1890.

  All Rome was to-day astir over an attempt of Buffalo Bill’s cowboys
  with wild horses, which were provided for the occasion by the
  Prince of Sermoneta.

  Several days past the Roman authorities have been busy with the
  erection of specially cut barriers for the purpose of keeping back
  the wild horses from the crowds.

  The animals are from the celebrated stud of the Prince of
  Sermoneta, and the prince himself declared that no cowboy in the
  world could ride these horses. The cowboys laughed over this
  surmise and then offered at least to undertake to mount one of
  them, if they might choose it.

  Every man, woman, and child expected that two or three people would
  be killed by this attempt.

  The anxiety and enthusiasm was great. Over 2,000 carriages were
  ranged round the field and more than 20,000 people lined the
  spacious barriers. Lord Dufferin and many other diplomatists were
  on the terrace, and among Romans were presently seen the consort of
  the Prime Minister Crispi, the Prince of Torlonia, Madame Depretis,
  Princess Collona, Gravina Antonelli, the Baroness Reugis, Princess
  Brancaccia, Grave Giannotti, and critics from among the highest

  In five minutes the horses were tamed.

  Two of the wild horses were driven without saddle or bridle in
  the arena. Buffalo Bill gave out that they would be tamed. The
  brutes made springs into the air, darted hither and thither in all
  directions, and bent themselves into all sorts of shapes--but all
  in vain.

  In five minutes the cowboys had caught the wild horses with the
  lasso, saddled, subdued, and bestrode them. Then the cowboys rode
  them round the arena, while the dense crowds of people applauded
  with delight.

[Illustration: THE ARENA IN VERONA.]

       *       *       *       *       *


  (By Telegraph, New York Herald.)

            VENICE, April 16, 1890.

  Buffalo Bill and his Wild West have made a big show in Venice.
  This evening the directors have a special invitation on the Grand
  Canal, where the whole troupe will be shown. Colonel Cody is taken
  by the Venetian prefect in his own private residence. No one can
  think them ordinary artistes after they have seen the gathering of
  different Indians in gondolas, or seen the wonderful sight which
  presents itself at the Venetian palace and in the little steamboats
  that ply between the pier of St. Mark and the railway station.

  Thousands of Venetians assembled yesterday in Verona, where the
  company of the municipal authorities of justice have allowed the
  use of the amphitheater, or the so-called arena, one of the most
  interesting structures of Italy, and a rival of the Coliseum of
  Rome itself.

  Forty-five thousand persons can conveniently find sitting-room in
  this arena, and for standing-room there is also extensive space. As
  his royal highness Victor Emanuel was on a visit here once, 60,000
  people were accommodated in it. It is, perhaps, interesting to know
  that this building is the largest in the world, although the Wild
  West Show quite filled it.

  The amphitheater (arena) was built in the year 290 A. D., under
  Diocletian, and is known in Germany as the Home of the Dietrich
  of Bern. It is 106 feet high, 168 meters long, and 134 meters
  broad (the arena itself is 83 meters long, 48 meters broad); the
  circumference is 525 meters. In the surrounding amphitheater
  (entering by the west side through arch No. 5, admission 1 franc,
  Sunday free), are five-and-forty rows of steps 18 inches high, 26
  inches broad, built of gray, or rather reddish-yellow, limestone,
  where nearly 20,000 spectators can find places, and where many more
  people can see by standing on the wooden benches behind them. From
  an inscription on the second story it will be remembered that
  Napoleon I. visited this place in 1805. The restoration of the
  building was by recommendation of that emperor. A wonderful view is
  obtained from the higher steps.

       *       *       *       *       *


  New York Herald, March 4, 1890.--(From our Special Correspondent.)

            ROME, March 3d.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

  As the papal train swept on the Indians became excited, and a squaw
  fainted. They had been warned not to utter a sound, and were with
  difficulty restrained from whooping. The Pope looked at Colonel
  Cody intently as he passed, and the great scout and Indian fighter
  bent low as he received the pontifical benediction.

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

[Illustration: POPE LEO XIII.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Among the many verses written of and to the noted scout, the following
may be given as a poet’s idea of his visit to Rome:


    I’ll take my stalwart Indian braves
      Down to the Coliseum,
    And the old Romans from their graves
      Will all arise to see ’em;
    Pretors and censors will return
      And hasten through the Forum,
    The ghostly Senate will adjourn
      Because it lacks a quorum.

    And up the ancient Appian way
      Will flock the ghostly legions,
    From Gaul unto Calabria,
      And from remoter regions;
    From British bog and wild lagoon,
      And Libyan desert sandy,
    They’ll all come, marching to the tune
      Of “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”

    Prepare the triumph car for me
      And purple throne to sit on,
    For I’ve done more than Julius C.--
      He could not down the Briton!
    Cæsar and Cicero shall bow,
      And ancient warriors famous,
    Before the myrtle-bandaged brow
      Of Buffalo Williamus.

    We march, unwhipped, through history--
      No bulwark can detain us--
    And link the age of Grover C.
      And Scipio Africanus.
    I’ll take my stalwart Indian braves
      Down to the Coliseum,
    And the old Romans from their graves
      Will all arise to see ’em.

Artistic Florence, practical Bologna, grand and stately Milan, and
unique Verona were next added to the list. Verona’s superb and
well-preserved Arena, excelling in superficial area the Coliseum and
holding 45,000 people, was especially granted for the Wild West’s use.
The Indians were taken by Buffalo Bill to picturesque Venice, and
there shown the marvelous results of the ancient white man’s energy and
artistic architectural skill. They were immortalized by the camera in
the ducal palace, St. Marc’s Piazza, and in the strange street vehicle
of the Adriatic’s erstwhile pride--the gondola; contributing another
interesting object lesson to the distant juvenile student members of
their tribe, to testify more fully to their puzzled senses the fact
of strange sights and marvels whose existence is to be learned in the
breadth of knowledge.


Moving via Innsbruck through the beautifully scenic Tyrol, the Bavarian
capital, Munich, with its naturally artistic instincts, gave a grand
reception to the beginning of a marvelously successful tour through
German land, which included Vienna (with an excursion on the “Blue
Danube”), Berlin, Dresden, Leipsic, Magdeburg, Hanover, Brunswick,
Hamburg, Bremen, Dusseldorf, Cologne, along the Rhine past Bonn,
Coblentz, “Fair Bingen on the Rhine,” to Frankfort, Stuttgart, and
Strasburg. These historic cities, with all their wealth of legendary
interest, art galleries, scientific conservatories, educative edifices,
cathedrals, modern palaces, ancient ruins, army maneuverings,
fortifications, commercial and varied manufacturing and agricultural
industries, and the social, genial, friendly, quiet customs of its
peoples, should form good instruction to the rugged rovers of the
American plains--heirs to an empire as much more vast in extent and
resources as is the brightness of the diamond--after the skill expended
by the lapidary--in dazzling brilliancy to the rude, unpolished stone
before man’s _industry_ lends value to its existence.

At Strasburg the management decided to close temporarily this
extraordinary tour and winter the company. Although in the proximity
of points contemplated for a winter campaign (southern France and the
Riviera), this was deemed advisable on account of the first and only
attack from envious humanity that the organization had encountered.
This matter necessitated the manly but expensive voluntary procedure
of taking the Indians to America to meet face to face and deny the
imputations of some villifiers, whom circumstances of petty political
“charity” and “I-am-ism” and native buoyancy permit at times to float
temporarily on the surface of a cosmopolite community, and to whose
ravings a too credulous public and press give hearing.

The quaint little village of Benfield furnished an ancient nunnery
and a castle with stables and good range. Here the little community
of Americans spent the winter comfortably, being feasted and fêted
by the inhabitants, whose esteem they gained to such an extent that
their departure was marked by a general holiday, assisting hands, and
such public demonstrations of regret that many a rude cowboy when
once again careering o’er the pampas of Texas will rest his weary
steed while memory reverts to the pleasant days and whole-souled
friendships cemented at the foot of the Vosges Mountains in disputed

In Alsace-Lorraine! whose anomalous position menaces the peace not
only of the two countries interested but of the civilized world; whose
situation makes it intensely even sadly interesting as the theater of
that future human tragedy for which the ear of mankind strains day
and night, listening for detonations from the muzzles of the acme
of invented mechanisms of destruction. The lurid-garbed Angel of
Devastation hovers, careering through the atmosphere of the seemingly
doomed valley, gaily laughing, shrieking exultingly, at the white-robed
Angel of Peace as the latter gloomily wanders, prayerful, tearful,
hopelessly hunting, ceaselessly seeking, the return of modern man’s
boasted newly created gods--Equity, Justice, Reason!

What a field for the vaunted champions of humanity, the leaders of
civilization! What a neighborhood wherein to sow the seeds of “peace on
earth and good-will to men.” What a crucible for the universal panacea,
arbitration! What a test of the efficacy of prayer in damming up the
conflicting torrents of ambition, cupidity, passion, and revenge,
which threaten to color crimson the swift current of the Rhine, until
its renown as the home of wealth and luxury be eclipsed by eternal
notoriety as the Valley of Death!



Leaving the temporary colony under the charge of his director-partner
Mr. Nate Salsbury (whose energy found occupation in attending to the
details of the future), Colonel Cody and the Indians departed for
America, arriving safely, and after refuting satisfactorily, by the
Indians themselves, the base slanders that emanated in the imagination
of notoriety-seeking busy-bodies, proceeded to the seat of the Indian
difficulties in the distant State of Dakota.



          State of Nebraska

          Executive Department

    General W.F. Cody.

            Lincoln January 6th 1891.

          Rushville. Nebraska.

  My Dear General.

  As you are a member of my Staff, I have detailed you for special
  service; the particular nature of which, was made known during our

  You will proceed to the scene of the Indian troubles, and
  communicate with General Miles.

  You will in addition to the special service refered to, please
  visit the different towns, if time permit, along the line of the
  Elkhorn Rail-Road, and use your influence to quiet excitement and
  remove apprehensions upon the part of the people.

  Please call upon General Colby, and give him your views as to the
  probability of the Indians breaking through the cordon of regular
  troops; your superior knowledge of Indian character and mode of
  warfare, may enable you to make suggestions of importance.

  All Officers and members of the State Troops, and all others, will
  please extend to you every courtesy.

  In testimony whereof,

            John M. Thayer,

In this campaign against the Indians Buffalo Bill rendered valuable
services and was ordered to the command of General Colby of the
National Guard of the State of Nebraska, and to report to General
Miles, the commander-in-chief.

His authority for going to the front is shown by the accompanying
appointment and order from the governor.

Had the Indian uprising broken out into a general war, Buffalo Bill
would have had the opportunity to show the world what he could do as a
general officer, handling a number of men in action; but fortunately
the splendidly conceived and executed maneuvers of General Miles, the
commander-in-chief, prevented the outbreak from extending to all the
tribes, and put down the rebellious savages with little bloodshed, thus
saving a long and cruel war upon the frontier.

The letter given herewith from General Miles, at the conclusion of the
campaign, shows the appreciation by General Miles of Buffalo Bill’s
services, and which met the general approbation of the press of the
country, many correspondents being upon the field; while Colonel Cody’s
telegrams to the New York _Herald_ and _Sun_ give a most thorough
explanation of the situation.


Buffalo Bill telegraphs to the New York _Herald_ from Pine Ridge Agency:

            PINE RIDGE AGENCY, DAK.,
              IN THE FIELD, via courier to telegraph.

  New York _Herald_: Your request for my opinion of the Indian
  situation is, by reason of the complications and the changeable
  nature of the red man’s mind and action, a puzzler. Every hour
  brings out a new opinion. Indian history furnishes no similar

  You must imagine about five thousand Indians, an unusual proportion
  warriors, better armed than ever known before, hemmed in by a
  cordon, about sixteen miles in diameter, composed of over three
  thousand troops, acting like a slowly closing drag-net. This mass
  of Indians is now influenced by a percentage as despairingly
  desperate and fanatical as the late Big Foot party under Short Bull
  and Kicking Bear. It contains also restrained neutrals, frightened
  and disaffected Ogalallas, hampered by the powerful Brules, backed
  by renegades and desperadoes from all other agencies. There are
  about twenty-five hundred acting and believed to be friendly
  Indians in and around the agency.

  Such is the situation General Miles and the military confront. Any
  one of this undisciplined mass is able to precipitate a terrible
  conflict from the most unexpected quarter. Each of the component
  quantities is to be watched, to be measured, to be just to. In fact
  it is a war with a most wily and savage people, yet the whites are
  restrained by a humane and peaceful desire to prevent bloodshed
  and save a people from themselves. It is like cooling and calming
  a volcano. Ordinary warfare shows no parallel. General Miles seems
  to hold a firm grip on the situation. The Indians know him, express
  confidence in his honor, truth, and justice to them, and they fear
  his power and valor as well.

  As the mailer now stands, he and they should be allowed,
  untrammeled even by a suggestion, to settle the affair, as no one
  not on the spot can appreciate the fearfully delicate position. The
  chaff must be sifted from the wheat, and in this instance the chaff
  must be threshed.

  At the moment, as far as words go, I would say it will be peace,
  but the smoldering spark is visible that may precipitate a terrible
  conflict any time in the next few days. However it ends, more
  and prompt attention should be paid in the future to the Sioux
  Indian--his rights, his complaints, and even his necessities.
  Respect and consideration should also be shown for the gallant
  little army, for it is the Indian and soldier who pay the most
  costly price in the end. I think it looks like peace, and if so the
  greater the victory.

            W. F. CODY (“BUFFALO BILL”).




            In the Field, Pine Ridge, S.D., January 11, 1891

  Brig. General W. F. Cody.

          Nebraska National Guard, Present.


  I am glad to inform you that the entire body of Indians are now
  camped near here (within a mile and a half). They show every
  disposition to comply with the orders of the authorities. Nothing
  but an accident can prevent peace being re-established, and it
  will be our ambition to make it of a permanent character. I feel
  that the State troops can now be withdrawn with safety, and desire
  through you to express to them my thanks for the confidence they
  have given your people in their isolated homes.

  Like information has this day been given General Colby.

          Very respectfully yours,
            Nelson A. Miles
              Major General Commanding


Col. W. F. Cody (“Buffalo Bill”), who is at Pine Ridge, telegraphs the
following for the New York _Sun_, which expresses his views of the
present critical situation:

  The situation to-day, so far as military strategy goes, is one of
  the best-marked triumphs known in the history of Indian campaigns.
  It speaks for itself, for the usual incidents to an Indian warfare,
  such as raids on settlers and widespread devastation, have been
  wholly prevented. Only one white man has been killed outside the
  military circle. The presiding genius and his able aids have acted
  with all the cautious prowess of the hunter in surrounding and
  placing in a trap his dangerous game, at the same time recognizing
  the value of keeping the game imprisoned for future reasons. I
  speak, of course, of the campaign as originally intended to overawe
  and pacify the disaffected portion of the Ogalallas, Wassaohas,
  and Brules, the Big Foot affair at Wounded Knee Creek being an
  unlooked-for accident.

  The situation to-day, with a desperate band corralled and the
  possibility of any individual fanatic running amuck, is most
  critical, but the wise measure of holding them in a military wall,
  allowing them time to quiet down and listen to the assurances of
  such men as Young-Man-Afraid-of-His-Horses, Rocky Bear, No Neck,
  and other progressive Indians, relieves the situation, so that
  unless some accident happens the military end of the active warfare
  seems a complete, final, and brilliant success, as creditable to
  General Miles’ military reputation as it is to the humane and
  just side of his character.

  Neither should praise be withheld from Generals Brooke, Carr,
  Wheaton, Henry, Forsythe, and the other officers and men of the
  gallant little army, who stood much privation. In every instance
  when I have heard them speak they have expressed great sympathy for
  their unhappy foe and regrets for his impoverished and desperate
  condition. They and the thoughtful people here are now thinking
  about the future. In fact the Government and nation are confronted
  by a problem of great importance as regards remedying the existing

  The larger portion of the Ogalalla Sioux have acted nobly in this
  affair, especially up to the time of the stampede. The Wassaohas
  and Brules have laid waste the reservation of the Ogalallas, killed
  their cattle, shot their horses, pillaged their houses, burned
  their ranches; in fact, poor as the Ogalallas were before, the
  Brules have left nothing but the bare ground, a white sheet instead
  of a blanket, with a winter at hand, and the little accumulations
  of thirteen years swept away. This much, as well as race and tribal
  dissensions and personal enmity, have they incurred for standing by
  the Government. These people need as much sympathy and immediate
  assistance as any section of country when great calamities arouse
  the sympathy of the philanthropist and the Government. This is now
  the part of the situation that to me seems the most remarkable.
  Intelligent and quick legislation can now do more than the bullet.


[Illustration: THREE GENERATIONS.]



After peace was restored Buffalo Bill secured Government authority and
selected a band of Indians--composed equally of the “active friendly,”
headed by Chiefs Long Wolf, No Neck, Yankton Charley, Black Heart, and
the “band of hostages” held by the military under Gen. Nelson A. Miles
at Fort Sheridan, and headed by the redoubtable Short Bull, Kicking
Bear, Lone Bull, Scatter, and Revenge--for a short European tour, and
they left Philadelphia in the chartered Red Star steamer Switzerland.
The significance of this fact should _still_ forever the tongue of
those who, without rhyme, truth, or reason, have tried to stain a fair
record, which has been justly earned; and by its very prominence,
perhaps, difficult to maintain.

Coming direct from the snow-clad hills and blood-stained valley of the
_Mauvaise Terre_ of last winter’s central point of interest, it can not
be denied that an added chapter to Indian history, and the Wild West’s
province of truthfully exhibiting the same, is rendered more valuable
to the student of primitive man, and to the ethnologist’s acquaintance
with the strange people whose grand and once happy empire (plethoric in
all its inhabitants needed) has been (rightfully or wrongfully) brought
thoroughly and efficiently under the control of our civilization, or
(possibly more candidly confessed) under the Anglo-Saxon’s commercial
necessities. It occurs to the writer that our boasted civilization has
a wonderful adaptability to the good soils, the productive portions,
and the rich mineral lands of the earth, while making snail-like pace
and intermittent efforts among the frigid haunts of the Esquimaux, the
tangled swamps of Africa, and the bleak and dreary rocks of Patagonia.

A sentimental view is thus inspired, when long personal association has
brought the better qualities of the Indian to one’s notice, assisting
somewhat to dispel the prejudices engendered by years of savage, brutal
wars, conducted with a ferocious vindictiveness foreign to our methods.
The savageness of Indian warfare is born in the victim, and probably
intensified by the instinctive knowledge of a despairing weakness
that renders desperate the fiery spirit of expiring resistance, which
latter (in another cause) might be held up for a courage and tenacity
as bright as that recorded in the pages dedicated to the heroes of

After all, in what land, in what race, nationality, or community can
be found the vaunted vestal home of assured peace? And where is human
nature so perfected that circumstances might not waken the dormant
demon of man’s innate savageness?

But then again the practical view of the non-industrious use of
nature’s cornucopia of world-needed resources and the inevitable law
of the _survival of the fittest_ must bring the “flattering unction to
the soul” of those to whom the music of light, work, and progress is
the charm, the gauge of existence’s worth, and to which the listless
must hearken, the indolent attend, the weak imbibe strength from--whose
ranks the red man must join, and advancing with whose steps march
cheerily to the tune of honest toil, industrious peace, and placid
fireside prosperity.

Passing through the to them marvelous experience of the railroad
and its flying express train; the sight of towns, villages, cities,
over valley, plain, and mountains to the magic _floating house_ (the
steamer); sadly learning, while struggling with the _mal de mer_,
the existence of the “big waters,” that tradition alone had bruited
to incredulous ears, was passed the first portion of a tempestuous
voyage. Its teachings were of value in bringing to the proud spirits of
the self-reliant Dakotans the terrible power of nature, and of white
man’s marvelous skill, industry, and ability in overcoming the dangers
of the deep; the reward of patience being found in a beautifully
smooth approach to land. The Scilly Islands and a non-fog-encumbered
journey up the English Channel--unusually bright with sunshine; the
grand panorama of England’s majestic shores, her passing fleet of
all kinds of marine architecture, the steaming up the river Scheldt,
with its dyked banks and the beautifully cultivated fields, opened
to the marveling nomad his first edition of Aladdin, and landed
him--wonderingly surprised at the sight of thousands of white men
peacefully greeting his arrival--in the busy commercial mart of Antwerp.

After introducing the Indians to hotel life for the first time, a
tour of the city was made, among the notable points visited being the
cathedral, which grand edifice aroused their curiosity; the grand
picture, Rubens’ “Descent from the Cross,” bringing to the minds of
all--white men, “friendlies,” and “hostiles”--the “Messiah craze”;
all interest intensified by the fact that the æsthetic-looking Short
Bull and some of the others had been the leading fanatical believers
(probably even apparently conscientious), promoters, and disciples of
the still mysterious religious disease that lately agitated the Indian
race in America. In fact, after the death of Sitting Bull the central
figures of this strange belief were Short Bull as the religious leader
and Kicking Bear as the war chief. Grouped together with Scatter,
Revenge, and others, in moody contemplation of this subject, was the
late defier of a mighty nation of 65,000,000 people, nearly all of
whom teach or preach the truthfulness of the picture’s traditions. A
man in two short months transported from the indescribably desolate,
almost inaccessible natural fortresses of the Bad Lands (_Mauvaise
Terre_) of Dakota to the ancient city of Antwerp, gazing spellbound
on the artistic reproduction by the renowned artist of the red
man’s late dream, “The Messiah.” Respect for his thoughts and the
natural stoical nature of the Indian leaves to future opportunity an
interesting interrogative of what passed through the mind of the subtle
chief. Suffice it to say that surprise at the white man’s many-sided
character and the greatness of his resources in the past and present
was beginning to dawn more and more on the new tourists. Arriving the
next day at Strasburg, introduction to the cowboys, the camp life, the
cathedral, the great clock, the fortifications, etc., was followed by
the delight of each brave on receiving his pony, and once more with his
trusty friend the horse, the Ogalalla and Brule in a few days felt as
though “Richard were himself again.”

Joining more heartily than was expected in the mimic scenes of
the Wild West, soon the ordinary routine of daily duties seemed a
pleasant diversion. A grand reception in Strasburg, the tour resumed
to Carlsruhe, Mannheim--including a visit to Heidelberg Castle,
Mayence, Wiesbaden, Cologne (the Rhine legends of Lurline, etc., giving
interest to the Peau Rouge, en route), Dortmund, Duisburg, Crefeld,
and Aix-la-Chapelle, terminated a tour of Germany filled with the
most pleasant recollections. The tomb of Charlemagne (Carolo Magno)!
The history of this great warrior was interpreted to attentive ears,
a lesson being instilled by the relation that after all his glory,
his battles, triumphs, and conquests in which he defeated the dusky
African prototypes of the present visitors to his tomb, peace brought
him to pursue knowledge, to cultivate the arts and sciences, and that
after a hundred years of entombment his body was found by Otto the
Saxon sitting erect upon a granite throne, the iron crown upon his
head, imperial scepter in right hand, while his left rested on an open
volume of Holy Scriptures, the index finger pointed to the well-known
passage, “What will it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose
his own soul?” Here by the grave of the founder of Christianity stood
the latest novitiates to its efforts, who may yet, in following its
teaching, it is hoped, make such progress through its aid and education
as to furnish one of their race capable of holding the exalted
chieftainship, the presidency in their native land--the Empire of the
West. Who can say? Why not?

Belgium--Brussels its Paris--brings vividly to mind, in its semblance
of language, people, habits, beauty, wealth, culture, and appreciation,
remembrance of our delightful sojourn in the capital of (how truly
named) la belle France. Visit Waterloo! From Pine Ridge to historic
Waterloo! The courteous treatment and repeated visits and kindly
interest of that most amiable lady the queen--an enthusiastic
horse-woman--her pleasant reference to London in the Jubilee year,
combined to increase the gratitude the Wild West voyagers felt for
the treatment everywhere received in Europe since, in 1887, the Wild
West invaded old England and pitched their tents in the world’s
metropolis, London. So after a short season in Antwerp the motley cargo
set sail across the North Sea to make a farewell visit to their cousins
of the isle, revel in a common language (bringing a new pleasure to
the ear), hoping to deserve and receive a continuance of that amicable
appreciation of their humble efforts that the past seemed to justify.

[Illustration: EARL’S COURT, LONDON.]

Returning to England was next to going home to the wild Westerners,
after wandering through foreign lands, and they were welcomed as though
indeed “cousins” in the real sense of the word.

A tour was made which was most extensive, for exhibitions were given in
Leeds, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Stoke-on-Trent,
Nottingham, Leicester, Cardiff, Bristol, Portsmouth, Glasgow, and then
back to London, where Colonel Cody gave a special entertainment in the
grounds of Windsor Castle before the queen and her invited guests.

It was upon this occasion that Buffalo Bill was honored with the
presentation of an elegant souvenir from the queen, while Mr. Salsbury
and the writer were also remembered with handsome gifts from her


Thus concluded the second tour in Europe. The Wild West had been
received and treated with marked kindness by every nation, every city,
and by persons of every rank and of every station--press, public, and
officials. Every one had shown a willingness to lend a helping hand and
displayed a fraternal interest and general appreciation toward them
and their country’s flag, so that returning home it is a pleasant
duty to record the same, believing that in presenting their rough
pictures of a “history almost passed away” some moiety of good may
have been done in simplifying the work of the historian, the romancer,
the painter, and the student of the future, and in exemplifying in
themselves and their experiences the fact that “travel is the best
educator,” and that association and acquaintanceship dispel prejudice,
create breadth of thought, and enhance appreciation of the truism that
“one touch of nature makes the whole world akin.”




On Saturday evening, October 1, 1892, a conference of delegates from
the various branches of the London Workingmen’s association was held at
the Wild West, when an illuminated address was presented to Col. W. F.

The chair was occupied by Mr. George Potter, president of the
association, who was supported by Mr. Fred Whetstone, vice-president;
Mr. F. Wigington, treasurer; Mr. Robert Wilson, secretary. There was a
large attendance.

Colonel Cody was accompanied by Maj. John M. Burke and Mr. Nate

Mr. George Potter, in presenting the address which congratulated
Buffalo Bill on the splendor of his show, its value from an educational
standpoint, and the success which had attended his visit, now fast
drawing to a close, said that those whom he represented admired the
colonel’s pluck and appreciated his indomitable courage. He had taught
us a lesson which would not be forgotten, and Buffalo Bill would ever
be a household word with us. (Loud cheers.) Mr. Potter and those with
him expressed the hope that after Buffalo Bill had visited the World’s
Fair at Chicago and settled down in his own country to dwell among his
own people, he would enjoy the remainder of his life in contentment,
prosperity, and peace. (Loud cheers.)

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. Potter then read the following address:

  _Col. W. F. Cody_:

  SIR: The members of the London Workingmen’s Association,
  representing large bodies of workingmen, have a friendly word to
  say at a time when your visit to this country is fast drawing to a

  They desire to approach you in a spirit of congratulation and to
  place on record their thorough appreciation of the enterprise
  and ability displayed by you in the conception and creation
  of the brilliant realistic spectacle known as the Wild West,
  fully realizing its magnitude and its value from an educational
  standpoint as a vivid picture of past life on the American frontier.

  To those whose domestic cares and necessities prevent them enjoying
  the luxury of travel and its acknowledged advantages in forming
  proper ideas of foreign peoples and strange races, your enterprise
  has brought not only entertainment for the moment, but has enabled
  thousands to enjoy more fully the books, histories, paintings,
  and sculpture that come under their observation. This alone is
  something of future value to every nation you have visited (among
  all classes), as well as the fraternal feeling of the general
  brotherhood of man that your introduction of national and racial
  differences in one body for mutual instruction produces.

  Neither the costly outlay through which these results have been
  effected by the difficulties of presenting the best specimens
  of these primitive peoples, nor the talent displayed by the
  performers, could have secured the enormous audiences, had not
  careful attention been paid to fidelity of depiction, the mastery
  of detail, and ample provision for the comfort of the public.

  That the marked success of the undertaking is in a large measure
  due to your own personal supervision affords an additional ground
  for offering our meed of congratulation to you as a workingman.

  With this we couple our sincere hope that upon your future
  retirement you may find, in well-earned repose, no reason to regret
  your visits to England of 1887 and 1892; and you may rest assured
  you carry with you the good wishes of the millions whom you have so
  liberally entertained.

          We are, on behalf of the association,
            GEORGE POTTER, _President_,
            FRED WHETSTONE, _Vice-President_,
            F. WIGINGTON, _Treasurer_,
            ROBERT WILSON, _Secretary_.

    October 1, 1892.

Mr. Fred Whetstone (late chairman of the Amalgamated Society of
Engineers), in supporting the address, expressed a wish from the bottom
of his heart that the colonel would have a safe and glorious passage
and a successful career in Chicago. (Loud cheers.)

Colonel Cody said he deeply felt the honor they had bestowed upon him
in the kindly expressions contained in the address they had presented
him with that evening. To deserve their good-will was a source of
satisfaction greater than mere words could express. (Cheers.) He
hoped that time and opportunity would enable him to extend to them an
American hospitality in his own land, where sunshine and prosperity met
men in every walk of life. (Cheers.) He hoped they would excuse him,
for he was very ill, but presently he would try to come up smiling,
whether he felt it or not. (Loud cries of “Bravo.”)

       *       *       *       *       *

The delegates then sat down to a substantial tea, after which the
following toasts were proposed:

Mr. Robert Wilson (secretary to the association) in a very interesting
speech proposed “Health and Prosperity to Mr. Nate Salsbury.” This was
seconded by Mr. T. P. Lind of the East End organizations, and supported
by Mr. Thomas Cornish, mining engineer. The toast was accepted with
loud cheers and accompanied with musical honors.

Mr. Nate Salsbury, who was most enthusiastically received, responded in
a powerful and eloquent speech, in which he referred to the friendly
feelings that existed between the peoples of England and America, and
concluded by expressing his pleasure at being present that evening.

Mr. F. Wigington (of the lightermen and watermen of the River Thames)
proposed “Health and Prosperity to Maj. John M. Burke,” which was
seconded by Mr. Thomas Armstrong (patternmakers), supported by Mr.
H. Le Fevre (president of the Balloon Society), and carried with

Major Burke, who was received with great cordiality, responded in a
humorous and interesting speech, which was heartily received.

During the evening each member was presented with a portrait of Buffalo
Bill, bearing his autograph; after which they witnessed a performance
of the Wild West Show, and altogether enjoyed a most pleasant


When abroad Buffalo Bill heard so many officers of the army of France,
England, and other countries ask about the Wild West of America, its
game and wonderful scenery, that he extended an invitation to a number
of gentlemen of rank and title to join him, with others from this
country, on an extended expedition to the Grand Cañon of the Colorado,
and thence on through Arizona and Utah to Salt Lake City on horseback.

Various causes prevented many from accepting the invitation, but a
number assembled at Scout’s Rest Ranch, the home of Colonel Cody at
North Platte, Neb., and started upon the long and adventurous trail of
a thousand miles in the saddle. The following are those who went on the

Col. W. F. Cody (Buffalo Bill); Col. Frank D. Baldwin, U. S. Army; Col.
W. H. MacKinnon, Grenadier Guards, England; Maj. St. John Mildmay,
Grenadier Guards; Col. Allison Nailor, Washington, D. C.; Maj. John
M. Burke (Arizona John); Col. Prentiss Ingraham, Washington, D. C.;
Hon. George P. Everhart, Chicago, Ill.; Elder Daniel Seigmiller, Utah;
Elder Junius Wells, Utah; Robert H. Haslam (Pony Bob); Horton S. Boal,
Nebraska; Edward Bradford, Denver, Colo.; William B. Dowd, New York;
John Hance, Guide of Grand Cañon of the Colorado.


Going by rail to Denver, then down into New Mexico to Flagstaff,
Arizona, the party found there a wagon outfit and horses, with an
escort of nearly half a hundred Mormon scouts, guides, and cowboys.

They took the trail to the Grand Cañon of the Colorado, hunting as they
went along, then by a long flank movement through the Navajo Country,
they crossed at Lee’s Ferry, thence going on to the Kaibal Mountains,
viewing the grandest scenery on earth, and enjoying the sport of
hunting bear, mountain lions, mountain sheep, elk, deer, antelope,
turkey, ducks, and catching fine trout and other fish.

Caught in several blizzards on the mountains, and following unknown
trails, many perilous adventures were met with on the expedition, but
fortunately no life was lost, though one adventure well nigh proved
fatal to Major Mildmay of the Grenadier Guards, giving an opportunity
to Colonel Cody to show his nerve in sudden danger and his skill with a
lasso as well, for, but for his quick act, horse and rider would have
run over a precipice a couple of thousand feet down to the valley below.

The expedition left the trail at Salt Lake City and returned via
Wyoming and Colorado, back to the East, thus ending Colonel Cody’s last
trail upon the frontier, though if there should occur another border
war, he would at once be found at his old post.




_Issued in the Rialto Series. 50 Cents Each._



  Vigorous, natural, entertaining.--_Boston Times._

  A notable performance.--_Chicago Tribune._

  No one can fail to become interested in the narrative.--_Chicago

  A very strong story indeed.--_Chicago Times._

  Marah Ellis Ryan is always interesting.--_Rocky Mountain News._


  A story of mountain life of remarkable interest.--_Louisville

  Full of exciting interest.--_Toledo Blade._

  A genuine art work.--_Chicago Tribune._


  Beautifully pictured.--_Chicago Times._

  The word-painting is superb.--_Lowell Times._

  One of the cleverest stories that has been issued in many a
  moon.--_Kansas City Times._



  It is an entertaining book, and by no means an unprofitable
  one.--_Boston Times._

  There are imagination and poetical expression in the stories, and
  readers will find them interesting.--_New York Sun._

  An unusually clever piece of work.--_Charleston News._



  We can not doubt that the author is one of the best living
  orators of her sex. The book will possess a strong attraction for
  women.--_Chicago Herald._

  This is the story of the life of an actress, told in the graphic
  style of Miss Ryan. It is very interesting.--_New Orleans Picayune._

  A book of decided literary merit, besides moral tone and
  vigor.--_Public Opinion_, Washington, D. C.

  It is an exciting tragical story.--_Chicago Inter Ocean._



Transcriber’s Notes

Punctuation, hyphenation, and spelling were made consistent when a
predominant preference was found in this book; otherwise they were not

Simple typographical errors and unbalanced quotation marks were

Ambiguous hyphens at the ends of lines were retained.

Page 245: “halbreds” probably is a misprint for “halberds”.

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