S ctY daLL4' T-!T
The Baldwin Librly
" IE UTTERED BUT ONE YELL AS HE PITCHED FORWARD TO THE EARTH.
A STORY OF
WILLIAM O. STODDARD
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY
CHARLES H. STEPHENS
JOHN C. NIMMO
14 KING WILLIAM STREET, STRAND
Printed by BALLANTYNE, HANSON & Co.
At the-Ballantyne Press
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
"HE UTTERED BUT ONE YELL AS HE PITCHED FOR-
WARD TO THE EARTH" Frontispiece
"THE SPRINGING OF THE TRAP" 43
" THROW UP YOUR HANDS !" ....rSr
"WHAT IS IT? WHO?" 259
"YOU SHALL NOT ESCAPE ME" 30
I.-IN A NE COUNTRY .
II.-OUT OF PRISON .
III.-VERY DIFFERENT PEOPLE.
IV.-A DOUBLE TRAP
V.-WIPED OUT ENTIRELY
VI.-A HICKORY TOMBSTONE
VII.-A CALM AFTER A STORM
VIII.-A PLUNGE INTO WILD LIir
IX.-THE PAWNEE OUTLAWS
X.-A VERY SUDDEN LOVER
XI.-THEa MUNBO OUTFIT .
XII.--O U LEY's POST
XIII.--TE RED BEAUTY
XIV.-ON THEIR OWN LAND
XV.-A BUSY EVENING
XVI.-WOLVES IN THEIR DEN
XVII.-" HoLD UP YOUR HAND" .
XVIII.-A DOG MURDE .
XIX.-CHANGES OF BASE
XX.-STIRRING AN OLD STORY
XXI.--SUPPER AT CHUMLEY'S
XXII.-ONE SECRET TOLD
XXIII.-A MUCH SUSPECTED LEADER
XXIV.-A MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE
XXV.-AMONG THE BUSHES .
SXXVI.-A SCOUT IN THE DARK
XXVII.-A DISTURBED HOUSEHOLD 278
XXVIII.-A PAWNEE PICNIC ENDED 290
XXIX.-MORE BLOOD ON THE PAWNEE TRAIL 297
XXX.-BRINoING IN TE WOUNDED 810
XXXI.-DEADLY PERIL 819
XXXII.-A DARK HOUR AT CHUMLEY'S 8385
XXXIII.-A SCENE IN A KITCHEN 848
XXXIV.-How THE STORY ENDED 858
A STORY OF
THE PAWNEE TRAIL
IN A NEW COUNTRY.
"THAT, then, is the northeast corner of- my
I'll swear to it. I never made a more careful
survey in all my life. You'd best set a mark
"My land lies due west and south?"
"By the compass."
"Exactly. I own a mile square on the surface,
but what a fine point it must taper down to at the
centre of the earth !"
Just as well it's thin at that end. I reckon land
isn't worth much down where that p'int is."
"They say it's a bad climate, too. Well, Mr.
Surveyor, I'll take your advice. I'll only drive a
peg now, but I'm going to set up a landmark."
Good idee. My job's done, Mister. Jim and
I've got a long drive before us. Hope you'll have
good luck. Set up your landmark; you'll run all
your fences right, then."
A light wagon stood near them, with .a span of
mules in front of it, and the man spoken of as Jim"
was already putting into it the tools of that finished
survey. The surveyor himself followed as soon as
he had signed a receipt for the money he and Jim
had earned, the mules were started upon a sharp
trot, and the land-owner was left alone.
He was very much alone, for his "section" of
prairie land and forest was in western Nebraska,
and there was not a ploughed field or a fence for
miles and miles in any direction.
He was a well-made, healthy-looking fellow, with
very crisp auburn hair and brown eyes, and some-
what more of beard and moustache than belonged
to one-and-twenty. He could not have been older
than that, but he had, nevertheless, the peculiar air
which surely settles upon a human being who has
seen much of the earth and its inhabitants. The
intense expression of resolute courage that marked
his face added to its "old" look, and he was evi-
dently the right kind of man for a settler in a new
country. He would be more so as soon as hard
work should improve away the softness of the pair
of hands he now thrust into the side-pockets of
his cut-away, as he slowly turned upon his heels as
IN A NEW COUNTRY.
if studying the horizon. There was nothing east-
ward but rolling prairie, with here and there a
clump of trees, but westward, a half-mile or so, the
land rose into a range of forest-covered hills. It
was as fine a prospect as a reasonable man could
ask for, but it did not call any enthusiasm into the
sombre face of the new settler. When he had
swung himself completely around and was once
more looking northward, he fixed his eyes upon a
deep-worn rut not many feet from the peg he had
driven and remarked,-
That's the Pawnee Trail, is it? I wonder what
makes it more Pawnee than any other kind of
Indian, when it's an old buffalo-path, after all? It
goes pretty straight, from here to the woods, and it
comes pretty near marking the line of my land."
Wheelmarks on either side of the Trail showed
that it had been followed by other travellers than
red men or wild cattle, but the fresh spring grass
was growing in and over these. None would ever
grow in the narrow path of the bisons, for their
countless feet had beaten it hard as iron. It would
some day put unyielding clods before the ploughs
that were to come; but at the present time it could
be trusted as indicating the very best line of march
for any one going through that region.
"No Pawnees for me, if you please," remarked
the young settler; "but I suppose they're like other
human beings, and you can keep peace with them
if you try. Now for my landmark and some din-
He strode rapidly away westward along the trail
for some distance, and then turned to the left. He
was now upon his own land, and a few minutes of
sharp walking brought him in sight of some of his
There was no telling what might be contained in
the large, tilted wagon that had been hauled near
a fine spring of water, but ploughs and other farm-
ing implements were lying around on the grass.
Several very good-looking horses were feeding at
no great distance, all carefully tethered, but there
seemed to be no good reason why a pair of noble-
looking mastiffs and a brace of tall stag-hounds
should also have been tethered. They were now
loudly declaring their pleasure at the coming of
* "I'll take them with me this time," he remarked,
"and they may do all the hunting they please while
There was likely to be game enough in that vi-
cinity, but when the young settler took up an axe
and walked on towards the forest he made no prepa-
ration for sport. He seemed to be deeply, gloomily,
absorbingly wrapped up in thoughts which must
have been of an unpleasant nature. On the very
edge of the woods he stopped and looked at a
young hickory, less than a foot in diameter.
IN A NEW COUNTRY.
That'll do. I couldn't manage anything heavier
As he said that he drove his axe into the slender
trunk with more skill than the color of his hands
had seemed to promise, but at that moment the
voices of all four of his canine friends rang out
together. They had been careering in all direc-
tions from the moment in which they were set at
liberty, but now they suddenly concentrated their
forces. It was as if they had bayed and barked at
a mark and ceased as soon as they had hit it. They
and their master alike stood still and looked at a
curious figure which drew nearer rapidly.
A dingy yellow blanket covered the new arrival,
with the exception of his head, legs, and the right
arm. That arm came out through a hole in the
blanket and carried a rifle. The legs wore deer-
skin leggings, on which bits of tattered fringes
lingered here and there, but the crown of that
wardrobe was a remarkably old and shining silk
hat, from under which escaped tangled locks of
long gray hair.
About the ugliest mug I ever saw," remarked
the chopper to his nearest dog, as the old Indian
In another moment the rifle was transferred to
the blanket-covered arm, and the dusky right hand
was extended with the customary salutation of
"How," said the white man, and then he added,
"Do you speak English ?"
Perhaps the stranger was asking him if he spoke
Choctaw or some similar tongue, for his answer
was a string of gutturals such as can be heard only
among the red men.
"Not one word except 'how,' eh ? I'm afraid
I shall learn very little from you, then."
Again the stream of ragged and jagged sounds
poured forth liberally, and it was a pity they could
not have been understood. There is an idea afloat
that American Indians have little or no fun in
them, but it is a great mistake.
There stood the gray-haired aborigine, with grim
solemnity, applying to the young settler all the bad
words he knew, and he evidently knew a large
number. Not only the youth himself but all his
kindred, of both sexes, were described as animals
and reptiles of the most unpleasant varieties and
accused of all sorts of misdemeanors.
Sorry I can't understand you," said the white
man. "I did say, when you came up, that you
had the ugliest mug I'd ever seen in all my life,
but I didn't guess how ghastly a phiz you had till
you opened your mouth. I haven't a doubt that
you'd murder me for ffty cents."
At least that money's worth of unmitigated
blackguardism replied to him from the solemn
countenance before him, in the tongue he had
IN A NEW COUNTRY.
never until that hour listened to, and then the red
man sat down upon a fallen tree, as if he meant to
watch the chopping of the hickory.
I'm glad to see that," said the chopper. Now
I needn't go back and watch my horses and things
till you're out of sight. If ever a man had a thief's
face, you have."
A cheerful smile and a string of hard words
replied to him, and he worked away with his axe,
not knowing that he had been assured that a squaw
could beat him all to pieces in handling that tool.
Down came the hickory speedily, however, and a
length of about twenty feet of its trunk was
trimmed clean of branches.
"I suppose," said the chopper to the Indian,
"that it would take a larger tree to do you justice.
No doubt whatever but what you ought to be made
an acorn of."
Serene was the smile of his hearer, although
wonderfully wide, and then the same voice which
had managed the gutturals declared in pretty plain
"White boy heap fool."
He may have been, but he was also a man of
uncommonly steady nerve, for without a quiver of
face or voice he promptly responded,-
"Just so, but I don't often get caught out quite
"Come chop log. 1o gun. Pawnee lift hair
for him some day. Hang 'calp in lodge and tell
squaw fool 'calp.' "
Are you a Pawnee ?"
"Pawnee heap wolf. Good Indian me. Heap
"Do you steal much ?"
"Good Indian no 'teal. Borrow pony some-
time. Take good care of pony when borrow."
"Don't you borrow any of mine, then. Do you
see them ?"
The dogs had taken no part in the conversation,
but they were plainly interested in the old redskin.
One mastiff was sitting near enough to be patted
on the head, and submitted quietly; but the canine
opinion of the stranger was not high, and no tail
among them expressed gratification as he stepped
from one to another, cultivating their acquaint-
"Heap good dog," said he, with strong em-
They'll know you the next time. What name
do you go by ? What's your tribe ?"
"Boy know enough now. Somebody ask him
who meet in woods. Boy tell all about him."
"Keep your secret, then. I'm going for a horse
to haul this stick."
Got horse? Good Indian come borrow him
some day, when dog all gone. Maybe Pawnee
come first. No horse there then. No boy."
IN A NEW COUNTRY.
"I believe I'll take that warning about going
unarmed," said the new settler. "It may not be
so safe as the surveyor represented. I shan't be
alone while they're putting up the house and
stables. Things 'll be safer after that's done."
The Indian walked along at his side in silence
until he came to the horses. One was selected, the
harness was put upon him with a drag-chain in-
tended for the log, and the young man turned to
lead him away, when his queer acquaintance opened
his wide mouth again, with,-
"White boy heap fool. Go leave good Indian
Never you mind, my friend. You'll have com-
pany," said the new settler, quietly; but the red
man had not seen or heard his instructions to those
Their master went for the hickory, but they did
not. They all lay down within a few paces of the
"good Indian," and looked at him.
"Ugh! Heap trap !" was his only comment, but
he deemed it best to sit in a very unoccupied still-
ness until the owner of those horses should come
back. Once, when he partly arose, a mastiff rose
also, and something like the beginning of a growl
rumbled in the deep chest of one of the hounds.
It was best to sit down again, lest they should show
further signs of dissatisfaction.
"Ugh! Much dog. Suppose kill one, then get
eat up by three. No good. Boy say horse not
borrow this time."
It looked so, and the young settler now returned
along the Trail with his hickory stick. When he
came within hailing distance he shouted to his dogs
and they bounded away, releasing the old Indian
from his "heap watch." He at once arose and
shouldered his rifle, and when the former came for
a spade he was ready to remark,-
"Ugh! Heap dig? Rifle good. No tell when
There was something ominous but not unfriendly
in the positive manner of his repeated warning, but
when he was asked,-
Are there any Indians on the war-path nowa-
days ?" he replied,-
"Boy all alone. Got horse. S'pose Pawnee
want horse, nobody ever say what boy did. Ran
away, maybe. Take what friend say."
It was not a very cheerful saying, but it was taken,
and the sombre young face grew yet more cloudy
and at the same time more resolute. The hickory
pole was rapidly dragged to its destination, and the
spade was plied with vigor until a hole was made
of sufficient depth to promise firm holding. The
butt end of the stick was rolled over the hole and
then the old Indian once more said, Ugh!" This
time it was in admiration of the iron strength dis-
played in the raising of that landmark. It went
TN A NEW COUNTRY.
up without one pause in the steady lifting; the earth
was packed in around it, and the man who had put
it there stepped back to look at it.
Now," he exclaimed, I know where the cor-
ner of my land is. If anybody else comes to in-
quire they'll have a starting-point. They'll be able
to say, 'That's Chumley's Post.'"
"' Ugh!" said his companion, but the white man
Odd thought! What if a fellow could know
the history of all the lives that will stop here and
look at that post before it rots down? If I am not
mistaken, some of them would beat the novelists
Very likely. If, for instance, he could have read
the memory of the gray-headed red man who was
even now repeating, Chumley,-Post."
OUT OF PRISON.
AT the very hour of the forenoon when Chum-
ley's dogs lay down to watch the old Indian, a white
man more than a thousand miles away was under
even closer confinement. No connection could be
imagined between this man and the young pioneer
or his landmark. He was one of hundreds who
were at that hour variously employed in a vast stone
structure on the eastern bank of the Hudson River.
He was a convict in Sing Sing prison, but he was
not now at any work. He stood erect in his nar-
row cell, looking at the door.
"At noon to-day," he said. "They will come
soon, and my three years of this gehenna are
He was a tall, fine-looking fellow, of twenty-three
or four years, and it seemed an awful pity to see
him there. His thick, black, glossy hair had been
recently permitted to grow a little beyond the
"prison crop," and his keen, brilliant eyes were
full of intelligence. His forehead was broad, his
aquiline nose well shaped, and it was not till his
mouth could be studied that an observer could find
OUT OF PRISON.
much fault with his features. That was not too
large, but it was thin-lipped and sharp at the cor-
ners. Lines went out from these which partly ex-
plained the faint crow's-feet on his temples. It was
a face too selfish to serve self" well, and its present
expression changed with flickering rapidity. In all
the changes, however, there lingered one black
shadow. The one thought burning within him
found expression in words as well as in fierce and
wrathful darkenings of face. His voice was hoarse
and low, and there was gall and wormwood in
"Free? That's it. Out into the world again.
To be pointed at. CONVICT! Served his term in
Sing Sing! No. The frontier is the place for me.
I'll get even with this world before I die. Won't I?"
The words had almost a hissing sound, so full
were they of hate and bitterness. When a man
has so lived and acted that a just judge and jury
put him into Sing Sing, his chances for improve-
ment by years of association with felons, iron bars,
and stone walls are not very good.
"Name ?" he said, again. "I'll take any name
but the one I was born with. I'll pick me out one
when I disappear. Nobody that knows me will
ever see me again."
Just then there came a sound of feet towards the
door at which he was staring, and the cold sweat
stood upon his forehead.
They have come !" he said.
Half an hour later he stood in what looked more
like a lawyer's office than a room in any prison,
but he was not free quite yet. He had put off the
striped garb of a convict for a neat, plain suit of
black, but he had not yet put off the prison man-
ner, and his bearing was of the sullen respect paid
by crime to force while he listened to the customary
formalities of liberation. These included excellent
words of counsel and exhortation from the prison
officials, but even the kindly-faced chaplain failed
to elicit from him anything more than disciplined
"Mortimer Herries," said the good man, earnestly,
"I pray God you may never again find yourself in
such a place as this."
That is a name, Mr. Smith, by which I shall
never again be known, but I suppose you mean
me. You may be sure of one thing: I shall never
trouble this prison again. If I ever write another
man's name for mine, on a check, by any mistake,
it will be far enough from this."
Change your name. Make a new name and
keep it clean. Be a new man."
"Made over new in Sing Sing? We will see
about that. I thank you all, gentlemen, but I am
looking at the clock and cannot talk very well."
Evidently he was a man of education and ca-
pacity, and even the hard-headed prison officials
OUT OF PRISON.
remarked to one another that it must be a terrible
thing for him to go out among other men.
"You see," said one, "he doesn't leave behind
him anything but the striped jacket. He's as good
"Well," replied another, "that can't be helped.
He should have thought of that when he forged
the check. I'm afraid there's all sorts of mischief
in him. Look at his eye."
There was nothing pleasant there to look at.
He seemed to be making an effort to suppress
every indication of feeling, and he succeeded fairly
well, so far as all other emotions were concerned,
but the sense of his degradation was evidently
upon him strongly.
"He needs a little more brass," said the same
official to the chaplain, "and it always comes to
'em after they've been out a day or two. He was
a man of good family."
"Poor fellow!" said the chaplain; and he was
poor enough, but when he was informed that trans-
portation would be given him to the city in which
he had been convicted, and by a railway train
leaving a few minutes after twelve o'clock, he
"New York ? Yes. I'll go there, but I shall not
stay there. I shall have funds provided. This is
the last of Mortimer Herries."
There was little more to be said or done. The
RED BEA UTY.
turning loose of some convict whose time is out is
an every-day affair at Sing Sing. It is only too
often accompanied by a shrewd calculation as to
how long it will be before the man released will be
back again, but all were inclined to take Herries at
"It's a big country," they said. "He has brains
enough to go somewhere and do well yet."
"I don't know," was added. He's likely to be
an expensive neighbor. The community he settles
in is not to be congratulated."
That was the opinion of a good judge, especially
of criminal human nature, and yet the gentleman in
black who entered the railway train at Sing Sing
was in no respect the inferior, so far as personal
appearance went, of any other passenger in the car
that carried him. Neither did any man or woman
there mistake him for a convict. He looked into
every face that from time to time was turned upon
him, and not one of all accused him of having put
off the prison stripes that day.
It was a day of marked importance to quite a
number of people. Towards the close of its busi-
ness hours a carefully dressed, middle-aged gentle-
man sat by a table in a down-town mercantile
office, with the inquiring look upon his face of a
man who is waiting for somebody to come. That
and every other meaning conveyed by the clear-cut
and somewhat swarthy features testified also to the
OUT OF PRISON.
fact that he was a polished, finished, utterly self-
possessed man of the world. A keen observer
might have gathered the idea that he had prepared
himself for something, but if so, he had done it
wonderfully well. He had taken care to be alone,
if care had been needed, and he did not rise from
his chair when the door opened, although he bowed
to the man who came in. It was Mr. Mortimer
Herries, that hour arrived from Sing Sing.
"Walk in, sir. Take a seat."
"Thank you, no. My business is brief enough."
"Certainly. I received your letter. You have
mine. I have no questions to ask, Mr. Herries- "
"Payne, if you please. You are mistaken about
"Beg pardon, Mr: Payne. It is better so. There
is the money spoken of in my letter. I do not
think Mrs. Herries or the young ladies are at home
"They need not trouble themselves. I had no
intention of calling. Am I expected to thank you
for the money ?"
Certainly not, if you keep your contract--"
"I shall keep it. Three years in State-prison
have taught me some things. You will never see me
again or hear of me. And yet I had a father once,
-a mother,-sisters,-a brother,-a home."
There were years of shame and agony in the
quivering voice with which the words were uttered,
but the hard lips of the man of the world before
him parted only to reply,-
"Exactly, and you traded them for a cell in Sing
Sing. As a man soweth so shall he reap. Do you
now wish to say anything more, Mr. Payne ?"
"Not one word, to you or them."
His hands had closed upon a packet of bank-
notes which looked like a liberal provision for his
proposed journeying. He stuffed it quickly into
an inner pocket of his coat, put on his hat, turned
away without offering or receiving a grasp of the
hand in farewell, and walked slowly out of the
office. The door closed, and then the gray head
of the man of the world and of business was bowed
for a moment upon the table before him. Father
and son had been parted forever by something
many degrees more terrible than mere death, and
human nature claimed its own with a great pang.
The man who went out seemed to have recovered
his equilibrium suddenly. Before he had turned
the first corner he remarked to himself,-
"I can get my baggage together, now I've got
the money, in time to take the evening train for
the West. Mr. Payne, Mr. Edward Payne, if you
please, is going to Chicago."
How much farther and for what purpose in life
he did not say, but he at once set about making
purchases of clothing and other matters, sufficient
to pack a travelling-satchel, purchased first He
OUT OF PRISON.
was yet busy with his preparations at the hour of
one scene more in which he might have taken an
interest if he had been present.
The elder Mr. Herries, man of the world and of
business, had reached his elegant home and had
gone at once to his own room. He was waited for.
A tall, aristocratic-looking lady came forward to
meet him. Her face was very pale, and her eyes
were red as if with weeping.
"Husband," she said, "did you see Mortimer?
Did he come?"
"No, my dear. There is no such person any
more. A Mr. Payne, from Sing Sing, called at the
office. I understand that he leaves town at once,
but I did not ask in what direction."
"Did he say anything? Did he send any mes-
"Not a word, except that we should never see
him again or hear of him. He is gone !"
Husband, it is awful! I know you have seen
him, but it seems to me that he died three years
ago. Oh, how I wish I could have seen him once
It is better as it is, every way, Mary. Let us
say no more, just now."
She was a woman of the world, but for all that
she was a mother, and she, too, covered her face
and bowed her head, for she had lost a son.
VERY DIFFERENT PEOPLE.
SING SING prison is a long distance from Chum-
ley's Post, and so are many other spots upon the
earth's broad surface. One of those other spots,
even more distant, was elegantly furnished. It had
a well-set table in the middle of it, not for dinner
but for "luncheon," and near one end of this a
lady and a gentleman were standing at the very
time when the old Indian said Ugh!" at seeing
the pole lifted so easily.
The gentleman was a broad-shouldered youth of
perhaps five-and-twenty, with very blond hair and
side-whiskers, while the lady was a very pretty
brunette, evidently at least three years younger,
whom he had twice already spoken to as "dar-
"Your mother will be down in a minute," she
said. She has a letter from Dick this morning."
Glad of it. Where is he now ?"
"North America, somewhere. I can't quite
make it out. He does not speak of you or me."
He'll recover his senses one of these days.
Meantime, travel will be good for him."
VERY DIFFERENT PEOPLE.
"Chelmsford, love, it was no fault of mine- "
"We are all agreed on that point. Even his
mother says he has only himself to blame. Don't
speak of it, darling."
"Seems to me I was not even giddy. But he
talks of land and settling and remaining."
"Good sign. Mind recovering its tone. Been
awfully seasick several times. Nothing like it. I
must see the letter, though. Come, darling. That's
mother's voice. I'm wolfishly hungry."
He looked lovingly at his darling" while eat-
ing, and he ate well, and the portly lady at the head
of the table talked freely about Dick and his doings,
but she was the only member of the trio who went
so far as to say,-
"How I would like to see him! Think of it!
he has been around the world since- "
"Now, mother," interrupted the blond young
gentleman, you've made Laura blush again. Let's
try another subject."
So they did, successfully, and Dick, whoever he
might be, was permitted to drop out.
It was a good time for lunch, even if one chose
to call it dinner. Elegance and refinement in one
place, rude simplicity in another, but high noon all
the same, and the queer old Indian at Chumley's
Post again said "Ugh!" with strong emphasis,
when his white acquaintance asked him to come
along and have something to eat. He still avoided
giving any information aDout himself. His name
and tribe were to be for the present a kind of se-
cret, and he was allowed to keep it without any
prying on the part of Chumley.
I wish I had a good photograph of him, hat and
all," he said, "and he would smile just as hand-
somely without any name. No, I won't quote
Shakespeare. He isn't like any rose I ever saw."
Nevertheless, while the fire was kindling and
other preparations were making, there were many
quiet questioning on the part of Chumley as to the
state of mind prevailing among the red men of
the Nebraska border, and this their elderly brother
appeared to have a very poor opinion of them,
taken as a whole. They were but black sheep, with
an especially deep coloring for the iniquities of the
Pawnees, and it would be well for any lonely white
man to keep his dogs awake, his horses well
tethered, and his fire-arms in good condition.
"'Calp him some day, anyhow," was cheerfully
predicted. "Keep eye out and make Pawnee wait
a little 'fore lift hair."
That's nice. I believe I'll do it.' Coffee's ready.
Now I know where my land really is, I'm going to
put my tent up after dinner."
Rashers of bacon, with army bread, helped out
the coffee, but it was manifest that for some un-
known reason the old Indian was getting uneasy.
His snaky eyes were continually glancing in all
VERY DIFFERENT PEOPLE.
directions. He ate rapidly, and had appeased his
hunger before his host was half done.
What's your hurry ?" asked Chumley, as the
Indian arose and took up his rifle. Stay and have
a smoke. Is there anybody after you ?"
"Ugh! Maybe. Boy good friend now. Look!
Look me! Ugh?"
"I see you. Well?"
"Heap lie. Never saw. Don't know. Notbeen
"All right. I don't know you. Go along. If
any of your friends come to ask after you I'll say
it was some other Indian."
"-Good-by. Keep eye out and take rifle every
time. Keep hair."
Good luck to you."
The old man turned on his moccasins and walked
rapidly away eastward.
"Gone to hide himself on the prairie, has he ?
Well, I'll take his advice and have a rifle within
reach. Have I got to carry a revolver, too? I'm
afraid so. Now for the tent, and the sooner those
fellows come and put up a log house for me the
better I'll be satisfied."
Ohumley was busy with his dishes and things
while he spoke, and his next exclamation was a
"The old thief! All the cold boiled ham and
a good' pound of hard-tack. Is anything else gone?
He's a skilled workman. The hook-nosed old owl!
At all events he'll be sure of a good supper. I'll
try for a deer in the morning, or some prairie-
chickens, I don't much care which, but I mustn't
use up all my pork."
The tent which he now pulled out of his wagon
and proceeded to put up was of the regular army
pattern, and promised more comfortable quarters"
than the tilted wagon. There was a good camp-bed
to put into it, and a stool, but no luxuries were yet
visible. When all was completed, the new settler
lighted a pipe and seated himself in the door of his
tent, saying to one of his hounds,-
"Pawnees are coming, old fellow. How'd you
like that ? I wonder how it would seem to actually
point a gun at a man, red or white, and pull the
trigger? I may have it to do before long, accord-
ing to that marvellously ugly old thief that stole
It was a lazy manner of spending the remaining
hours of that very beautiful spring day, but there
seemed hardly any other way for employing the
time. There was the land, all around, the best in
the world, but there was no farm there yet. There
was the spring, but with no house by it, and at last
Chumley aroused himself sufficiently to go and
take a look at that matter.
"I'll tell you what we will do," said he to his
dogs. We will have our house built all around
VERY DIFFERENT PEOPLE.
that spring, and then we can have a drink at any
hour of the day or night, Pawnees or no Pawnees.
A good log house is a kind of fort, anyhow, and
we'll make our house safe to live in. What do you
Only one of the hounds seemed to consider a
reply needful, and he, not knowing what other re-
mark to make, put up his head and indulged him-
self in a short howl.
That," said Ohumley, must be on account of
the ham. I shall have a lonely evening of it, but
for the first time in my life I shall sleep, to-night,
upon my own land. The trees over the tent are
mine. So is the spring. So is the grass. I think
I'll put in a claim on some deer and grouse in the
He had reached a journey's end in safety. He
and his team and wagon were a type and sample
of thousands that were plodding the new paths of
the West that day. One more of these, although
he knew it not, was pushing forward along the
Pawnee Trail towards the stick of hickory that
marked the corner of,Chumley's land.
A DOUBLE TRAP.
THERE was a very good basis for Chumley's idea
that the old Indian believed himself followed by
somebody. At the same time it occurred to him
that his queer guest was likely to be a difficult
snake to catch. The man who is himself a good
trailer is likely to know how to keep out of the
reach of other men.
Where the supposed fugitive slept that night
nobody could have told but himself. Possibly
he did not do any great length of sleeping. At
all events the rising sun of the next morning
found him prowling in the vicinity of the Pawnee
He paid a visit of curiosity, as it seemed, to
Chumley's Post, but, for some reason unexpressed,
he approached it very much as if he were somewhat
afraid of it. He looked at the hickory stick itself
with a suppressed grunt, and then he looked at all
the grass near it, from tuft to tuft. At its base
there was, of course, much loose earth scattered,
and upon this were many prints of Ohumley's
A DOUBLE TRAP.
What could there be of special interest in those
footmarks, that made them worth so careful a
The stooping investigation ended with a short,
sharp yell, and this was followed by,-
Five Pawnee. All fool. All step out of trail
to come leave track at Chumley Post."
It was a matter of course that any Indian coming
along that Trail should leave its beaten security to
examine so new and seemingly so useless an im-
provement" as the landmark. It was a thing to
be handled, inquired into, and discussed. So were
the wheelmarks of the surveyor's wagon, and the
boot-tracks made by Chumley and by the surveyor
and his man Jim. It had been decided that three
white men and one Indian had been at work, but
not an idea could be had beyond that from the signs
recorded on the Post or the earth around it. So
five other pairs of feet had left proofs of their pres-
ence and returned to the hard-baked, remarkable
The old man now studying those footprints did
not know that their makers had carried with them
one more evidence of the near neighborhood of
white men. Neither did Chumley know why his
dogs had awakened him in the dusk before the
dawn that morning. They had bayed and barked
sonorously, and he had vainly asked of them to ex-
"Is it a wolf, boys ?" he demanded, three times.
"Or is somebody coming? What is the row ?"
He was not to know, right away, but each of
them in turn had sent out to listening ears among
the shadows the assurance that he was a white
man's dog, and of an uncommonly large size.
The listeners heard and grunted, but had no
present errand which carried them any nearer to a
camp so well guarded. The errand they did have
led them on into the prairie. The one thing which
had puzzled them among the signs" near the foot
of the Post" had been the traces of moccasined
feet, every peculiarity of which was strange to them.
"Heap big brave," they said, and Chumley had
noticed that his visitor of the day before wore moc-
casins which seemed much too large for him. If
these Pawnees were aware of the size of his feet
they may have received false tidings by way of those
tracks in the dirt, and he may have intended that
they should. At all events he now turned away
with a satisfied air, remarking,-
Ugh! Pawnee heap go blind. Walk right by.
Wait see 'em go back. Then all safe."
He had not missed in his estimate of the number
of the squad of red men whose possible pursuit he
was dodging so cunningly, but he could hardly
have been aware of what might almost be termed
their financial condition. In all the prose and
poetry devoted to Indian affairs, the red warrior
A DOUBLE TRAP.
is invariably depicted fully armed. He is also
mounted upon at least one pony, and is otherwise
provided for the exigencies of frontier romance
and reality. Such is apt to be the case, truly, but
savage life has its vicissitudes and its vices. Among
the most inveterate of the latter is gambling. It is
more likely to set a warrior on foot, empty-handed,
than is even a collision with the United States
cavalry. In the fever of excitement over games
of chance go all possessions,-weapons, horses,
blankets, and among some tribes even squaws and
children may be staked and lost.
Whether or not the man they were following had
anything to do with their evil fortunes, here were
five Pawnees who had but one rifle among them
and no ammunition. All had knives, and two
carried clubs, and the absence of blankets was no
great matter at that season of the year. They
wore instead, so to speak, cloudy and dejected
faces, full of utter desperation. They were far
away from their proper "reservation," and the
annual day for presents from their "great father at
Washington," and for annuities, was long months
ahead."of them. They were in precisely the state
of mind and pocket-although they had no pockets
and but narrow minds-in which a born horse-
thief and scalp-taker is most dangerous.
They were under the necessity of making a strike
upon the possessions of some other man or men,
and they were now scouting along the Trail for
that purpose quite as much as for vengeance of any
sort. They were a full mile beyond the Post when
the fact of their passage became known to the old
Indian standing by it. He seemed to derive an
intense degree of satisfaction from the results of
his investigation. It was as if he had set a trap
and had caught something important. He walked
away but a few steps before he took from under his
blanket an old haversack, and out of that the re-
mains of a boiled ham, holding it by the bone while
he cut off for himself a slice large enough to re-
ward him for discovering the arrival and departure
of his enemies. He ate slowly, and he did not
know that they had been instrumental in stirring
up Ohumley to a very early breakfast. The edge
of the knife had once more reached the ham-bone
when the carver was startled into the utterance of
a surprised grunt. The sound of a horse's feet was
very near him, and the haversack was hardly under
the blanket in safety before a loud, cheery voice
hailed him with,-
"Hullo! You here yet ?"
How. Good Indian watch for Pawnee. Pawnee
"What did you do with my ham?"
"Ugh! No 'teal him. Heap eat. Ham good.
No talk ham. Say Pawnee come! Boy keep eye
A DOUBLE TRAP.
There was enough in the manner of his utterance
to arouse some small interest, but it deepened fast
when he beckoned Chumley towards the Post and
tried to explain to him the meaning of the several
faint impressions in the dirt.
That's what was the matter with my dogs this
morning. I guess I won't let my hunting carry me
"Watch horse,-better. Boy fool about deer.
Not know how. Old man tell him. Get plenty
What do you mean ?"
A great deal of first-class pantomime helped the
red man to give full payment for the ham and the
hard-tack, in the shape of a lecture on the easiest
method for getting deer-meat for dinner. Not on
horseback in broad daylight, while the deer were
feeding and watching, but before dawn and armed
with a double-barrelled gun. Not then riding
around upon the great pasture aimlessly, but fol-
lowing the tall grass in the bed of some dried or
half-dried slough." Here would the deer lie over-
night, and here could they be shot or pulled down
in the morning.
"Boy know heap now," was the hopeful finish.
"Old Indian come again. Boy boil ham for him
anotherr time. Bye!"
"Come along," said Chumley. "If you won't
do anything worse than that you may come as often
as you choose. I'll ride around awhile, though.
May strike something."
That he might possibly do so was freely acknowl-
edged by a nod of the head, and he turned his
horse's nose northward, while his instructor in
prairie methods walked off in the opposite direction.
"If they've really gone by," said Chumley to
himself, my traps will be safe enough till noon,
anyhow. But wasn't he cool enough about the
He certainly had been, and he was now consider-
ing a probability which had not occurred to the
deer-hunter. The five dismounted Pawnees were
the last men in the world to do any more walking
than their needs called for. Neither would they
run any especial or undue personal risks. By that
Trail or some other they would soon be retracing
their steps, whether successful or not. The old In-
dian therefore declared himself in need of nothing
but a hiding-place for the present. He speedily
found one, and he also found a greater need for it
than he had at all counted on. Less than an eighth
of a mile southeasterly from the Post set up by the
young settler, a score or so of oaks and hickories
indicated the presence, of water. It was a widely-
scattered clump of trees, and the spring was small
and somewhat marshy, but this had encouraged the
luxuriant growth of bushes. Willow and hazel
and sumach combined with blackberry and wild
A DOUBLE TRAP.
rose to produce masses of tangled leaf and flower
and thorn, through which the deer and buffalo had
kept abundant pathways perennially open. The
old Indian found something more like a rabbit-
path at one point, and it enabled him to almost
burrow his way to within a dozen paces of the
spring. It was a place of much comfort for an
elderly man with nothing to do, but a strong reason
had been given him for going there suddenly. His
walk from the Post had taken him to the clump of
trees, and he was almost half-way through them
when something seemed to knock him down, so
suddenly did he drop into the grass.
Nothing but the sound of human voices had hit
him, but they came from a squad of men who were
entering the grove upon the opposite side. Indian
ears could decide that the sounds came from Indian
tongues. It was probably too late to run away,
and so a bolder and more profitable mode of escape
was taken, although it brought the old Indian
within a few paces of four of the very Pawnees he
seemed to be escaping from. It was within hear-
ing distance, and he speedily learned why there
were four instead of five. He learned also various
particulars of their views of his own life and char-
acter, and the value of his scalp to him in case they
should meet him alone, upon the prairie or else-
Still as a log, keenly catching every sound and
watching every motion, the lurking fugitive lay
and waited for the working out of what seemed to
be a plot of more than ordinary cunning. He had
already heard enough to know that all that matter
hung upon the coming of the fifth Pawnee, who
was as a sort of chief and leader to this quartette,
and in whom they confided greatly.
There had not been any trouble with the Indians,
of any tribe along that frontier, for so long a time
that the government agents were quite justified in
assuring emigrants of its safety. Trains large and
small came and went unmolested, and there was no
fear whatever accompanying the slow movements
of one modest outfit that morning. It was lumber-
ing along the Pawnee Trail, westward. One tilted
wagon, drawn by four good mules, seemed to be
well packed with household goods, and a saddled
horse was altered to the rear of the wagon, but the
really valuable part of the whole affair walked side
by side near the -heads of the foremost span of
Three persons, every one of them as bright and
smiling as the spring morning on the prairie. A
tall, broad-shouldered, yellow-bearded man, a per-
fect type of the old Norsemen, the sea-kings, or of
such sons of the Vikings as Charles the Twelfth
of Sweden gathered for his famous 'I Yellow Regi-
ment." On his right walked a woman, whose erect,
vigorous form, rosy face, and kindly blue eyes be.
A DOUBLE TRAP.
longed to the same splendid type of humanity. On
his left there tripped along a golden-tressed fairy
of the North, who had inherited from both father
and mother and from her ancient race their charac-
teristic beauty. The girl may have been thirteen,
but was yet completely a child, and was now glan-
cing around her with all a child's delight at the
new world they were entering.
There was something of Swedish quaintness in
the dress of all three, although it was of good ma-
terial and indicated no poverty. Mother and daugh-
ter wore their uncovered hair in skilfully plaited
braids which were all their own. Not one word of
English mingled with their remarks upon what they
saw, but no interpreter was needed when the fair
girl pointed forward along the path they were
following. The words she uttered so musically
There's a man coming, father."
She should have said, "A Pawnee," for there
were some drawbacks to the manhood of the being
who was now approaching.
Objects can be seen at long distances upon the
prairie, "from rise to rise." The Pawnees had
been watching on the crest of one high roll of the
plain when the white tilt of the wagon loomed
upon another, four miles away. They watched
until they could say, "Ugh! One wagon," and
decide that it must be investigated. If it could
be lured away from the direct line of the Trail and
plundered in peace and security, so much the better,
but it brought the hope of a probable new start in
life to five broken-down, ponyless Pawnee gamblers,
and it was very welcome.
"Indian, Erica," was all the reply made by her
When they reached the spot where the dusky
wayfarer stood, seeming to be waiting for them,
two strangely opposite human developments were
face to face and holding out right hands of greeting.
The contrast was tremendous between the dark,
squalid, fierce-featured brutality of the Pawnee
vagabond and the sunny, open-faced, large-hearted
manhood of the brawny Norseman. Almost too
frankly unsuspecting was the greeting given by the
Swedes, but the quick eyes of the savage caught
the shiver of dislike with which Erica shrank be-
hind her mother.
Communication of ideas was somewhat difficult,
but questions and answers were helped out by signs,
until the Pawnee made out that this white man was
near the end of his journey and meant to go into
camp as soon as he should come to trees and water.
There were groves in sight, and these could not be
meant. It must be the "timber," now no great
The mules were pushed a little as one glimpse
after another was obtained of the hills and the
A DOUBLE TRAP.
forest. The Swede turned to his wife and pointed
with his left hand along the Trail, and the words
he uttered called a flush of pleasure to her face.
They could have been translated,-
"Our farm lies in there somewhere. We can
find it by that man's landmark. The surveyor said
he intended to put one up."
"Our farm," and Erica repeated the words of
that pleasant information after her mother. She
would say them in English some day, and. they
were full of ideas of plenty and peace.
Our farm,"-if nothing should prevent, for
now their Pawnee fellow-traveller pointed in the
same direction, making motions as if drinking, and
beckoning them to follow him. He would guide
them to water and trees and a good place to camp
in, and he proceeded to do so.
During all that time Chumley had searched the
prairie in vain for deer. Even prairie-chickens
seemed to have vanished, and he turned homeward
with an idea that he might do better in the woods
that afternoon, and that, at all events, he wished to
see if his camp were unmolested.
Under the thick cover of the bushes by the spring
the nameless old Indian still lay motionless and
silent, listening to every word and watching every
movement of the wretched quartette who lounged
in the open space beyond him. It was plainly an
accustomed resting-place, for trees had been felled
and lay rotting, and there were traces of camp-
Every now and then one of the Pawnees would
go out and return as if awaiting a delayed arrival,
but a heavy wagon travels slowly through grass and
weeds, and it was late in the forenoon before the
last scout sent came back with an exclamation
which brought the others to their feet. In a
moment more all four were hidden among the
trees, and when their confederate marched in, fol-
lowed by the Swedes and their wagon, the camping-
ground seemed unoccupied and ready for them. It
was a lovely spot, and could easily be made more
so, and three pairs of blue eyes kindled with
pleasure as the suggestion passed from lip to lip
that it must be upon our farm."
The mules were unharnessed and the horse was
unsaddled, and it did not occur to their owners how
strong a temptation those animals presented to the
dismounted thieves who were eying them from the
Erica's mother had frequently addressed her hus-
band as "Gustav" while they were on the way.
She now uttered the name with startled suddenness,
for a second Pawnee came slouching forward, she
knew not whence, towards the spot where she was
kindling a fire.
They had been successfully lured into the Paw-
nee trap, and it was ready to be sprung upon them
THE SPRINGING OF THE TRAP.
WIPED OUT ENTIRELY
WIPED OUT ENTIRELY.
THE intended victims of the Pawnees were utterly
unsuspicious of lurking danger, up to the moment
when the trap" was suddenly revealed all around
Erica had wandered a little from the spring,
gazing about her in eager curiosity, and her father
was leaning into the wagon after an axe. The
Indian who had been their guide suddenly drew
his knife and sprang towards Gustav, uttering, as
he did so, a piercing war-whoop. Erica's mother
arose with a loud shriek, for the second Pawnee
was rushing upon her, knife in hand, while her-
swift glance told her that yet another evil shape
had suddenly appeared and was wolfishly darting
towards her daughter. Two more were just behind
him, and it seemed as if the trap for the destruction
of that family had been perfectly set and success-
fully sprung. Five men can easily murder one, if
they take him by surprise, and a woman and a
child can do nothing.
It was a terrible moment. So swift a change
from peace and security to utter horror.
Then came another change that was every way
as swift and terrible. Erica's mother was a strongly-
made woman. She seized her assailant by both
wrists and struggled with desperate strength for a
second of time which seemed an age. Then a gray
look shot across his face and a shudder went all
through him as he wilted out of her grasp and
rolled convulsively upon the grass. She hardly
heard or understood the rifle-crack which preceded
that shudder. Her eyes were seeking for her hus-
band and for Erica.
Gustav had turned quickly at the war-whoop,
and had warded well, but the knife of the Pawnee
had gone through his left arm near the shoulder
and the grapple was too close for him to use his
axe. He was a doomed man unless help should
come, for another dusky stabber was almost upon
him, with a fiendish yell.
Erica had had a fleeting terror-struck vision of a
griping left hand reached out to seize the golden
braids of her hair and of a right hand lifting
glittering steel. Then she saw a dog's white teeth
closing fiercely upon the wrist behind the knife,
while a savage whoop changed suddenly into a
Her father at that moment saw the Pawnee
beyond his first assailant spring into the air and
fall prostrate. The false guide with whom he was
grappling quivered and staggered, dropped his
WIPED OUT ENTIRELY.
knife, and went down with a despairing whoop of
The grove was ringing with swift shots, and they
were all aware of a man on horseback with a re-
peating rifle in his hands. Erica's mother after-
wards recalled a thought she had that he must
have fallen from heaven. It was not so, however,
either as to him or the two angry stag-hounds who
were now pinning down Erica's assailant. Chumley
had ridden towards that grove as his last morning
chance for deer, and the first war-whoop had told
him what to do. The dogs knew without any tell-
ing when they saw him spur so madly forward.
The Pawnees had been trapped and surprised,
and every wolf of them was down. Chumley
knew why as to three of them, but he was won-
dering who had fired the shot which had liberated
It was a puzzle for only a moment. A form he
knew came gliding out of some willows near him,
with a whoop as savage as that of the Pawnee
leader. No hat was now upon the streaming gray
hair, as the old Indian bounded towards the Paw-
nee the dogs were holding. There was no time to
check him had anybody thought of doing so, and
in an instant more the death-yell of that Pawnee
chilled the very hearts of the pale-faces, male and
Chumley's face showed that even he was startled,
as he looked upon the transformation undergone
by his recent guest.
"He's not the same being!" he exclaimed.
"Who would have thought that it was in him!"
Not anybody, perhaps, for all the listless, worn-
out old vagabond had disappeared, and a lithe, vigor-
ous, panther-like barbarian, with flashing eyes,-
his hideous face more hideous than ever in its all
but demoniac expression,-was on the war-path
against his personal and hereditary enemies with
all his wild blood "up."
Erica and her mother screamed with horror, for
they saw two scalps taken, while Chumley was
briefly examining the three who had fallen by his
own hand. They were all dead, but he had no
time for any emotion over that fact. A small, white
hand was on his arm, and a pleading voice, half
choked with grief, addressed him in a tongue he
did not understand.
The streaming eyes of Erica and her pointing
finger supplied a translation. Her mother was
kneeling beside Gustav, trying to stanch the blood
that was pouring from his arm and forehead.
"My soul! I did not know he was hurt. It
has all gone by like lightning."
So it had, and all the peril was over, as Chumley
at once discovered.
"It's a pity you can't understand me," he said.
"The club did his head no real damage. It's only
WIPED OUT ENTIRELY.
a flesh wound in the arm. No artery severed. He
will bleed freely before we can stop it, but he's in
no danger. I don't believe he is hurt anywhere
Motions, signs, smiles, dumb encouragement, of
every sort he could invent, accompanied the words,
and at last both Erica and her mother believed the
assurance Gustav gave them when he recovered
his consciousness. It was a grand thing and full
of new hope, to see him smile again. His wife
had his head in her lap, but both she and Erica
found themselves under a fresh embarrassment.
They had no words at their command wherewith
to express their overflowing gratitude to their
daring deliverer. He was a hero, a marvel of
unselfish courage and prowess. He had not hesi-
tated to charge in, single-handed, against unknown
odds, to rescue utter strangers. Their hearts were
overflowing, but they had to give it up. Erica held
out both hands to him. There were tears in her
eyes, but there was a smile of thanks all over her
pale, frightened face, and he knew what it meant.
He was in a very much disturbed state of mind
himself, and yet another surprise was waiting for
him. Gustav was fumbling in his breast-pocket
with the hand he could use. He now took out
and held up a crumpled envelope, and the young
settler took it. The address was plainly written
" Mr. Chimbly," but it had reached the right man,
for it was from his acquaintance the surveyor. It
informed him that Gustav Eagleson's "quarter
section" of prairie cornered with his own at the
spot where he had said he would put up his land-
mark. Their lines would run together for half a
mile southerly. They were to be near neighbors,
and the Swedish immigrants had intended to reach
"Chumley's Post" that afternoon. They were to
do so, although under different circumstances from
any they had imagined.
They were informed, with great heartiness of
manner, that they had already found their neigh-
bor, and Erica believed him the bravest, hand-
somest, most wonderful of human heroes. She had
in her mind a very vivid picture of how Chumley
looked on horseback, shooting down the Pawnee
grappling with her father.
The letter had made its appearance as soon as
the condition of Gustav Eagleson permitted. The
thoughts of all had been concentrated during those
swift minutes, but Chumley now turned and looked
around him for the unknown old Indian whose
presence and conduct had been so timely and yet
so complete a mystery.
"I owe him something now," he remarked. "He
may come to my place and steal ham,-anything
but horses. Well! I say, now. Where has the old
fellow gone ?"
Gustav and his wife and Erica were all asking
WIPED OUT ENTIRELY.
the same question, but there was no one in that
grove capable of giving them an answer.
Chumley imagined one, and it came to him with
a keen and strong suggestion that he himself needed
to exercise especial prudence. Pawnees had been
killed and the old Indian had helped kill them. If
he had any feud with these in particular it was wiped
out, and he did not wish to bring upon himself the
blood-revenge of a whole tribe by letting the facts
be known. He had taken two scalps for which he
preferred not to render any account. At all events
he had disappeared. Chumley searched the grove
in vain. He was only a mere white man, after all,
and very new to the ways and wiles of the red men.
The cunning old object of his search had but gone
back to the place where his rabbit run" went into
the tangled mass of the bushes, and he was now
lying upon the very spot from which he had fired
at the Pawnee whom Mrs. Eagleson was then hold-
ing at arm's length.
"I must see to this matter," said Chumley to
himself. "Not one trace of the fight must be left,
and I must try and make the Swedes understand
that the secret of it must be closely kept. There is
no end of danger in it."
His next thought was that the sooner he could
get his new neighbors away from that place the
better. They were trying now to avoid as much
as possible the sight of the ghastly relics of the
Pawnee "trap." Nothing like this had been pic-
tured to their minds when they left their far-off
northern home to cross-the sea. The shock had
been severe accordingly, and both mother and
daughter were shuddering with dread of other and
yet unknown horrors when their new friend came
back from his fruitless search. He proceeded at
once to harness the mules again, and it was easy to
explain that they were all to go to his own place.
The stunning effect of the club blow upon Gus-
tav's forehead had nearly passed away. He was
weak from loss of blood, but was able to help him-
self a little when Chumley was ready to put him
into the wagon. A great gloom seemed to pass
away from all of them as soon as they were out of
the grove, and the mules were not. halted until the
Pawnee Trail was reached at the Post.
Gustav Eagleson, on the mattress in the wagon,
was aided to lift his head and look back from that
point over land that was all his own. His face
brightened cheerfully, but the shadow deepened
upon that of his wife. It was all very green and
beautiful. No doubt but what it was richly fertile.
She had dreamed for many a long day of a home
on such a piece of earth's surface, but now it was
reached there was blood upon it. Peril and violence
had been her welcome. Even if she had heard or
read the story of the American frontier,-one long,
ragged line of conflict, drifting westward,-it had
WIPED OUT ENTIRELY.
never been made real to her. Now she was a part
of it, and one terrible episode of its bloody annals
belonged to her and hers.
It was easy for Chumley to get a smile from Erica,
and then he stirred up the team for another care-
fully-driven pull. The next halt was before his own
It was while trying to make the Eaglesons under-
stand that they were to occupy the tent as their own
for the present, that Chumley broke out into a sud-
den address to himself.
Look here, old fellow, you've got to turn school-
master. They've all three got to learn English."
And then he turned to Erica, pointing at the can-
vas shelter and saying, sharply,-
S"Tent," she exclaimed, with a quick comprehen-
sion of his purposes, and she followed him with
repetitions of the names he gave her of a dozen
other articles in quick succession.
"School's begun," said Chumley. "I'll get
Gustav into the tent, and then we must have some
dinner. It'll be a great blessing to me if his wife
knows how to cook. It's all a most extraordinary
There was no great difficulty in helping Gustav
out of the wagon and into the tent, with Chumley
on one side and Mrs. Eagleson on the other. There
was little wonder that she had been able to hold the
hands of an undersized red-skin, for her round, fair
arm had in it the inherited strength of her race.
He will be out in a few days," said Chumley.
"He is a handsome fellow and so is his wife, but
Erica is wonderful. She can't possibly keep all
that beauty when she's a grown-up woman."
A HICKORY TOMBSTONE.
MR. EDWARD PAYNE, recently Mr. Mortimer
Herries and that day from Sing Sing, made his
purchases with rapidity, for the through express
train which left New York at seven o'clock P.M.
bore him westward. He had taken passage in a
parlor-car for Chicago, saying to himself,-
"By the time I get there I shall know what to
do next. Things look differently, now the old flint
has been so liberal with his supplies. On the
whole I'm glad he didn't ask me to the house. I've
had humiliation enough and nonsense enough."
Of that which depraves and hardens he had
clearly had enough, and every word he uttered
justified his father in being an old flint," if in-
deed he had been. Sons have duties to their fathers
A HICKORY TOMBSTONE.
as well as fathers to their sons. Even the most
loving mother cannot change the fact that the way
of the transgressor is hard. The man who brings
disgrace upon his brothers and sisters cannot
blame them if they shrink from a sure promise of
"Edward Payne," lie said. "I must get used to
it, but I may need more than one. I know a pile
of things I did not know when I went to the
striped-jacket college at Sing Sing. I don't think
burglary or any other kind of civilized work would
do for me. No, not counterfeiting. It takes too
much capital and requires peculiar training. I've
had one lesson on forgery. If I should try to set
up in any regular business they'd manage to trace
my record somehow, sooner or later. I'm for the
borders. I want to go where they shoot a man for
asking foolish questions. Then I'd like to shoot
some men I could name."
The swift train bore him on through the dark-
ness. It was a long train and full, but it was
empty compared to the busy brain of its ex-convict
passenger in the splendid palace-car.
He had memories to throng one another and
bring hot flushes to his face and fierce words to
his lips, and his black eyes glittered at times with
angry light. He was trying to drive away the
past, however, for he had left one life behind him
and was riding at railway speed into another. He
was dreaming evil dreams, wide awake, as to what
that life was to be.
Other young men, by the hundred, were at that
season of the year preparing to graduate from col-
leges and universities, and were filling their ambi-
tious young hearts and heads with visions of use-
fulness and honor. This young man had just been
graduated from State-prison, and was choosing
for himself a life of what he was fool enough to
call "adventure." He would see wild life, excite-
ment, lawless freedom, an utterly selfish search for
he knew not what of unfettered indulgence.
"Plans ?" he exclaimed, at last. "I'll go without
any plans and take my chances. I'll rough it. I'll
change my name every other day, so that no man
can trace me, and I'd as lief be a Sioux war-chief
as anything else."
Little he knew about Indians and their war-chiefs,
but there is a vast amount of insanity among evil-
doers. The railway train could be trusted to carry
him as far as Chicago, but there was no telling what
his heart and brain would do with him afterwards.
It was while the train was doing its best the fol-
lowing day, that the Pawnees by the spring received
the last rewards of their own devotion to "wild
Tremendous as had been to them the excitement
of that forenoon, its terrible events had consumed
less time than the actors therein might have im-
A HICKORY TOMBSTONE.
agined. Chumley's watch told him that it was
barely twelve o'clock when he beckoned Mrs.
Eagleson out of the tent, where she was watching
by her wounded husband, led her to a fire he had
kindled, and with many expressive signs placed his
coffee-pot, frying-pan, dishes, bacon, and hard-tack
at her disposal. It was not much of a kitchen, but
she was to be queen of it. Erica came also, as soon
as she saw her mother at work, and with her came
the two stag-hounds. From the moment in which
they had pulled down the Pawnee, they had seemed
to consider themselves peculiarly entitled to culti-
vate her acquaintance. They had not been jealous
when she petted and praised the tawny mastiffs,
but these had each in turn lain down again, while
the hounds continued their attendance. Chumley
had taught her their names, but now he was com-
pelled to interfere and send them about their busi-
ness that their new mistress might play assistant
"I'll try and get something better than bacon
to-morrow," he said, "but my hands will be full
Mrs. Eagleson smiled as if she understood him.
Then the shadow returned, for it was not easy to be
cheerful with such a morning behind her. There
- might be other Indians coming. There were the
woods yonder, and she could not help imagining
perils hidden among them, ready to burst forth. She
was glad to find that Gustav could eat. There
was encouragement in that, but she trembled, after
dinner, when Chumley took his double-barrelled
gun, mounted a horse, and rode away, leading
another horse. A shovel that he also carried gave
her the only hint she had of his errand, and that
suggestion brought with it shudder after shudder.
"I don't know how good a sexton I am," said
Chumley, as he drew near his landmark, "but I
won't make my cemetery near the spring. That
grove is their best place to build in, and I mustn't
spoil it for them. Right here by the Post is a better
place. I'll dig a hole six feet by six."
Soft as was the black earth of the prairie, that
meant a deal of vigorous digging, and the blue clay
he struck when four feet down from the surface
made the task yet harder. He had cut the sods
with unexplained care, and had laid them all in a
heap by themselves.
Dig, dig, dig, and time went steadily by, but at
last he threw his shovel out upon the grass and
sprang up after it, exclaiming,-
There. That'll have to do. I hardly thought
until this minute how awful the rest of it would be.
Why, it's horrible !"
He did not pause to think of it, but mounted his
horse and led the other towards the grove. He was
to have something more to think of after he reached
it and sprang from his saddle to the ground.
A HICKORY TOMBSTONE. 57
There they lay, the five slain Pawnee vagabonds,
where he had left them, but there had been a hand
there while he was away.
All had lost their scalps now. The rifle carried
by one of them had before been left beside his body,
but it was gone now. So was every knife.
"That old Indian's been here," said Chumley.
"I seem to have made a friend of him somehow.
Glad of it. He has done all that belonged to him.
Now for my part."
Once more the uncommon strength of his spare,
sinewy frame was exhibited in the ease with which
he could lift a lifeless Pawnee, place him upon a
blanketed horse, and take him away.
Trip after trip was made, until the grove was
cleared of its grisly occupants. Then came another
long, weary pull of shovelling, and in spite of all
his toughness, Chumley sat down upon an ant-hill
exhausted, after fitting into place the last square of
sod. He had trodden and packed the earth as he
shovelled it in, and all that was left over was heaped
at the foot of the Post.
"An army might march by," he said, and never
dream of what's under that sod. In one week's
time the best trailer among all their kith and kin
might search the grove and all this neighborhood
and not find a sign to help him guess what's be-
come of them."
Less time than that would really be required.
A smart shower of rain that fell that very night
did all that could be asked for. When the next
morning came there were no stains upon the grass
and leaves under the trees near the spring, and the
neatly-fitted sods at the Post were as fresh and
green as if no human hand had disturbed them.
.No suspicion was likely to search six feet below,
but the very unlikeliest of all things will come to
The sun was sinking low when Chumley finished
his dreary duty. He now arose from the ant-hill
and turned towards his horses.
I'm so tired I hardly care to mount," he said,
but for all that he got into the saddle. Then he
turned and looked down and added, aloud, "It's
a curious thought, but it comes to me over and
over. If it had not been for a woman's heartless
folly I should not be here. If I had not been here,
those five would not be there. I don't like to think
of what would have been the fate of the Eaglesons.
There have been immigrant families to whom such
devils incarnate came at an hour when there was
no help. It's altogether too deep for me, and I
give it up."
He did so with a long breath and an angry ex-
clamation, for he had that day seen a hand with a
knife in it very near the golden braids of Erica
Eagleson, and it seemed to him as if she alone
were worth all the savages he had ever heard of.
A HICKORY TOMBSTONE. 59
He felt, and he expressed it strongly, that there
was no blood whatever upon his hands, although
he had sped three human lives since sunrise. He
rode slowly homeward, and a hot supper was wait-
ing for him. He saw Mrs. Eagleson's glance at
the earth-stains on his hands and clothing, and the
nod of intelligence she exchanged with Erica.
They had no need to ask questions as to his errand,
if they could have done so in the best of English.
It was a quiet night in that little camp. Even
the rain that pattered upon the tent over the Eagle-
sons and upon the wagon-tilt which sheltered
Chumley had nothing stormy in it after the terror
and turmoil of the day. Gustav Eagleson himself
slept fairly well, in spite of his bruised head and
the fever of his wounded arm.
RED BEA UTY.
A CALM AFTER A STORM.
IN the dark before the dawn, Chumley was in
the saddle, determined to try for a deer before eat-
ing his breakfast.
"Jim and his men will be here to-day," he said,
"to make a beginning on the house. They'll eat
up all my provisions if I don't lay in an extra sup-
He got away from the camp, mounted and armed
as his dusky adviser had suggested, without dis-
turbing his guests.
"Never killed a deer in my life," he said, as he
rode out through the mists and shadows, "but I
believe I know how to shoot."
The two hounds were with him, scouring the dewy
grass right and left in silent industry, but it was
some time before they were rewarded for their
pains. The air was a trifle chilly, but Chumley
felt the hunter's fever warming fast in his veins.
On he rode until he came into what appeared to be
a long hollow. The grass was up to his saddle and
the weeds were extraordinary.
This must be what he called a dry slough," he
said. "I'll try down it towards the open prairie.
A CALM AFTER A STORM.
If it were but a little lighter now. Seems to me
I couldn't hit the side of a house through this
A faint, gray light grew slowly in the very edge
of the eastern horizon as he rode slowly on, follow-
ing the indications of the tall herbage under his
horse's feet. The two hounds, unused to the work
they were engaged in, were out in the shorter grass
on the higher ground to the left of the slough-bed,
at the moment when Chumley's heart gave a sud-
den thump and his gun sprang to a level as if of
its own accord.
An outlined shape, seen faintly through the fog,
bounded from the grass at his right. Three bounds,
while Chumley reined in his horse, and then the
startled buck stood still for an instant and turned
to look at the disturber of his morning nap. Loud
sounded, on the left, the sudden baying of the stag-
hounds catching the scent, and their first cry was
followed by the double report of Chumley's gun,
sending a hail of buckshot into the mist beyond
him. That buck had loomed at least ten feet high
in the dim light and its refraction, but the flying
pellets found their mark.
The smitten deer dashed wildly down the slough,
with the music of the hounds behind him, but that
race could be but a short one. In about a minute
more the game was down and Chumley was by it,
knife in hand.
"Never shook so in all my life," he exclaimed,
excitedly. "A rifle would have been utterly useless.
Now I must do butcher work. It's to let the blood
out, Ive read about it, but I never saw it done."
He did it, however, and then he lifted the buck
upon his horse. He did not try to mount, but led
the animal, half frightened by his unaccustomed
burden, all the way homeward. The sun was well
up before he got there.
Before leaving his camp, Ohumley had raked out
the embers of the fire from the ashes and thrown
some wood upon them.
She will know what to do when she gets up,"
he said, referring to Mrs. Eagleson, but his two
mastiffs seemed to hardly know what to do after
they were left in charge.
It may have been their master's early absence
which made them uneasy, but they ranged around
instead of lying down. Just as the first light began
to crimson the eastern sky in token of the coming
sunrise, one of them marched to the door of the
tent, stood still, threw up his big head and uttered
an anxious howl, following it with a bark.
There was instantly a commotion in the tent, and
the dog wagged his tail in canine satisfaction as
soon as he heard human voices.
A minute or so more and Erica stepped forth,
quickly followed by her mother. Both of the dogs
danced around them eagerly, with loud barks of
A CALM AFTER A STORM.
recognition of their right to be there, and then the
fellow who had wakened them walked gravely to
the tent-door and looked in. There lay Gustav
upon his mattress, wide awake and cheerful, but
under wifely orders not to move a limb.
The dog saw him, but did not appear to be en-
tirely satisfied with a man who lay so still. He
walked in and up to the bed and smelled of him,
but the secret of his uneasiness was out as soon as
his nose had told him the truth concerning Gustav's
bandages. A half howl, a whimper, and then a
great brown paw was put out for Gustav's offered
right hand to shake. Nobody can guess how much
solid common sense there is in the mental opera-
tions of a really high-toned dog. He left the tent
as soon as he had finished his investigations.
His companion had attended Erica when she
went to the spring for water, and they both came
and sat down near the fire to watch the prepara-
tions making for their master's breakfast.
It was as if they had understood Mrs. Eagleson's
repeated declaration to Erica,-
"He will be sure to come back hungry. We
owe him so much. I do wish we had something
nice for your father."
She was to have her wish, even to a superabun-
dant supply. She and Erica came and went, visit-
ing the tent, looking at the horses, who were crop-
ping the grass their long lariats brought within
their reach; but there were glances now and then
at the woods and in other directions, as if memories
of yesterday came with a suggestion of possible
peril. What if the silence of that lovely and peace-
ful morning should be broken by such yells as they
had heard by the other spring? That grove had
*been as shady and as beautiful as Chumley's. Who
could tell what might happen when one Pawnee
could suddenly multiply into five, each with a knife
in his hand and a whoop on his lips ?
That sort of thinking brought back to both of
them swift mental pictures of the hero on horse-
back, and they had an increasingly strong desire
to see him again.
He was coming now, at last, but so was some-
body else, and the dogs began to bark in two direc-
tions at the same moment.
Mother and daughter exchanged rapid remarks
in Swedish and the dogs in the mastiff tongue,
while the arrivals drew nearer.
Chumley reached the camp-fire first, and threw
down his buck as a full explanation of his morning
absence. From the opposite prairie now came in
an altogether unexplained visitor. It was the name-
less old Indian, and this time he was riding a very
serviceable-looking pony. He too must have been
hunting that morning, but the buck he had killed
was smaller than Chumley's. It lay before him on
the pony, and it probably had not seemed so big
A CALM AFTER A STORM.
and remarkable to him through any mist as had
the prize taken by the young hunter.
The old Indian rode straight in, unmindful of
dogs or human beings, until he was near enough
to Chumley to say,-
"How! Boy kil deer? Ugh! No. Boy find
him dead. Indian kill deer. Squaw want meat."
What'll you take for that one?" asked Chum-
"Big squaw have fire. Coffee. Cook meat.
Indian eat a heap. Indian deer for little squaw.
She heap handsome. Heap look like old Indian."
A truly wonderful grin distorted his features as
he asserted Erica's resemblance to himself, but he
took the deer from his pony's back and laid it down
before her. It was her venison, and she clearly
understood that this was the same warrior who was
a friend of Chumley's and had helped him kill the
Pawnees. She drew a very long breath as she
timidly held out her hand, and nobody could ex-
plain to her why Chumley was laughing. He
glanced from her face to that of the grim savage,
and the contrast gave a keen point to the dry
humor of the latter.
"He can't be so bad a fellow," thought Chumley,
"if there's humanity enough'in him to admire that
"Good old Indian. Say little squaw eat deer and
grow. So big, some day."
He pointed at Mrs. Eagleson as he spoke, but he
evidently did not expect a reply in English. A very
good one was shortly given him in the shape of
coffee, bacon, and broiled venison. He evidently
felt somewhat at home, for he not only inquired of
Chumley as to the hurts of Gustav, but went to
the tent to look at him and say How;" but the
real nature of his visit did not leak out until just as
he was departing, a little while after breakfast.
"Boy listen," he said. "Blue-coat come by and
by. Ask boy question. Say, 'See Pawnee go by?'
Now, what boy say ?"
"Tell them no. I suppose you mean United
States Cavalry. No Pawnees around here. Go to
the grove and look for 'em."
"Ugh! Go pretty soon. Now s'pose blue-coat
say, Boy see old Potawatamy ?' what boy say ?"
You mean if they ask if I've seen you around
here? Well, all I can answer is that there was a
very handsome old chap here. Don't know any-
thing about him."
"Ugh! Good. Boy heap fool. Can't tell lie
worth a cent. Old Indian great chief. Heap great
brave. Blue-coat call him good Indian, but want
him, maybe. Old chief no want blue-coat. Go
lie down in bushes. They come. Go away."
"I think I understand," said Chumley, as his
queer acquaintance rode away. "I can safely say
I don't know his name or tribe. He may keep out
A CALM AFTER A STORM.
of harm's way for all I shall do. That shot of his
was fired in the nick of time."
Erica regretted that she could not properly thank
the old savage for his deer, but both she and her
mother felt relieved when they saw him go.
He had a special errand in going, for he had
asked no explanation of Chumley's assurance that
no Pawnees were now in the grove by the other
spring. He went right along to find out for him-
He went directly to the grove, across prairie,
following no path, and rode into it with his eyes
flashing rapidly, right and left. A more peaceful-
looking spot it would have been hard to find, now
that the rain had done its washing.
Ugh! Gone. Where gone ? Boy no fool."
Neither was he, and the feet of Chumley's pack-
horse had left marks which he was able to read
without dismounting. No other eyes, white man's
or Indian's, would have understood the meaning
of the several traces of coming and going, but he
had the clue. He followed the hoofinarks to the
Post. There was quite a mound of fresh earth at
the foot of it, and the veteran trailer soon detected
the evidences of disturbance in the neighboring
"Ugh!" said he. "Blue-coat no find 'em. No
more Pawnee come. Grass grow. All cover
He turned his pony's head southerly, towards the
timber, and urged him into a sharp canter. It was
as if he had especial reasons for getting away from
Perhaps he had. About an hour later, Chumley
was busily engaged in getting a prairie-plough out
of his own wagon, and Erica was watching him as
well as her playfellows the dogs would let her.
Suddenly they all bounded away from her with a
noisy announcement that somebody was coming.
"I declare!" exclaimed Chumley. "The old
fellow was right. They're in uniform."
So they were, and not one of them was aware
that their wet bivouac of the previous night had
been inspected or their coming announced before-
"Officer and six -men. Well, I'll be glad to
know all they can tell me."
Only a few minutes more and he was exchanging
questions and answers with a bronzed, soldierly
horseman, who introduced himself as "Lieutenant
Ingalls, United States Cavalry," and had inquiries
to make about a squad of peculiarly vicious Paw-
nees. They were part, he said, of a larger lot, the
worst of their tribe, who refused to be kept upon
the Reservation except by force, and were always
in mischief of some sort. Their main body had
been found and was receiving due attention. These
five, after a hard spree in which they had gambled
A CALM AFTER A STORM.
away their possessions, had gone in this direction,
it was understood. They were about the only
Indians known to the officer from whom such
settlers as Chumley and his "family" need have
Chumley's eyes danced a little at the mention of
his family, for the glances of the lieutenant had
gone towards the face of Erica a dozen times while
he was talking.
"No danger of their attacking us, I hope," he
said, and the lieutenant replied,-
"Not if you were on your guard, but they'd cut
your throats quickly enough if they could do it and
get away. They've no idea I'm after them."
"Will they resist capture ?"
Not for one moment. I almost wish they might
all get killed before I find them. Great public ser-
vice. Their own tribe would hardly be sorry."
"Would it not retaliate on the men killing
"Their own band would. Sure as you live. You
said you had seen nothing of them ?"
"I did not say so. May I have your word of
honor, if I tell you a thing which in my opinion
should be kept a secret from their band ?"
"Duty and the public service excepted."
Let me ask you to dismount, then, and come to
"Evidently a gentleman," said the officer to him-
self, as he sprang down, and his men remained in
their saddles while he followed Chumley. Mrs.
Eagleson was in the tent-door, and as she stepped
aside the lieutenant lifted his cap to her.
"There," said Chumley, pointing to Gustav's
bandages. "That was the work of your Pawnees.
He will soon be well, but it is no fault of theirs.
He is a Swede. Her husband and Erica's father.
No use to question him. He does not speak Eng-
"Will you tell me the whole affair ?"
"Let me saddle a horse and ride with you. It's
less than a mile to the spot."
Lieutenant Ingalls was all politeness to Mrs.
Eagleson and Erica, and he listened to Chumley
with studious courtesy, but he was intensely in
earnest about probing the matter to the bottom.
Chumley saddled his horse, and they rode together
to the scene of the skirmish. The account of it
was attended to.with little interruption, but that
very fact made it impossible to conceal the part
taken by the unknown Indian, and at last the lieu-
tenant quietly remarked,-
"How many did Eagleson kill?"
"The dogs pulled down one. You shot three.
Who killed the other two ?"
An Indian among the bushes. I know nothing
whatever about him."
A CALM AFTER A STORM.
"I do, then. There's a death feud between old
Big Mouth and that band of Pawnees. Whether
he was after them or they after him I can't guess."
"Who is he ?"
Good enough Indian. They say he was a Pota-
watamy chief once. Can't say just whose redskin
he is just now. I don't want him, unless for this
affair. But what became of the bodies ?"
"Had a funeral at once," said Chumley. "If
you'll come with me I'll show you."
The lieutenant was plainly suppressing some-
thing, but rode silently along until they halted at
the Post" and Chumley pointed at the grass:
Your Pawnees are down there, all five of them.
On my word and honor."
The lieutenant held out his hand, and his admira-
tion broke forth:
Mr. Chumley, I hardly know what to say. A
most remarkable affair. Splendidly well done. Of
course I must report all particulars to my command-
ing officer, but you will never be hurt by it. The
Pawnees will never hear of their worthless bucks,
and that's about all there is of it."
Glad of that."
"But isn't the little Swede a beauty?. I'd kill
forty score of redskins before they should lay a
hand on her head. The miscreants!"
You are sure we are now in no further danger ?"
"Perfectly safe, my dear sir. The frontier is
thoroughly quiet. Build your house. Put in your
crops. You've made a fine beginning for a ceme-
tery. I wish the rest of their band were all in it.
Not the whole tribe, however."
"Any of them worth saving ?"
"Certainly. Some fine fellows among them.
That is, except when they are out on a war-path.
Then they'd be as remorseless as-well, as your
friend Big Mouth. By the way, don't call him by
that name if you wish to keep on good terms with
him. The Pawnees gave it to him. Find another."
"I may never see him again."
"Yes, you will. Those hills are said to be his
range. I reckon your horses are safe, so far as he
"He threatened to borrow them."
"Then he'll never touch them."
An invitation to remain and rest till after dinner
was politely refused, but Chumley's statement was
carefully reduced to writing before Lieutenant In-
galls led his squad of blue-coats away westward
along the Pawnee Trail.
Chumley strove hard to convey to his friends the
assurances of peace and safety given him, but Mrs.
Eagleson's kindly face did not at once recover its
sunshine. Erica's did better, with the aid of her
foirfooted playfellows, but the day passed without
the appearance of "Jim" and his log-house carpen-
ters. All that could be done by the young settler
A PLUNGE INTO WILD LIFE.
was to get out his farming tools and say to each of
them in turn how entirely unskilled he was in the
work to be performed with it.
A PLUNGE INTO WILD LIFE.
A MAN thinks faster, sometimes, when he is in
rapid motion. The brain of Mr. Mortimer Herries
-Edward Payne, late of Sing Sing prison-worked
at high pressure all the way to Chicago. He
dreamed wilder dreams as he rode, and cast behind
him more and more utterly the ties of all sorts
which he had been born into. One thing he found
it impossible to throw off at once. That was a
quick, stinging suspicion of every pair of eyes
which rested upon him, lest their owner should be
looking through his present respectable appearance
and discovering the ex-convict underneath. The
striped garb was about the only thing of his criminal
life that he had put away from him when his time"
Again and again he satisfied himself that the lady
or gentleman taking note of him had no hidden
thought or impertinent curiosity. He was entirely
safe, he said to himself. He bore no external brand.
There was no fear that any pointing finger would
ever single him out.
He did not know that several had gone far the
other way, and had remarked upon him as a very
fine-looking young man with an uncommonly in-
telligent face. A little pale they said, but seemingly
in good health. Nervous temperament. An un-
pleasant expression about his eyes and mouth, but
decidedly a handsome fellow in spite of it. Not
until the train was within two hours' ride of Chicago
did a short, broad-shouldered, quiet sort of man,
with whom he had conversed somewhat in the
smoking-room of the palace-car, come and sit down
"Soon there now," said Payne.
"We shall make the trip on time. I shan't ask
you many questions, Mr. Payne. I'm one of Pink-
erton's men. Have you been long out, or are you
working up something heavy ?"
"What do you mean, sir ?"
"Didn't I say what I was ? I've been trying to
place you all day. Never saw you before, you
know, but you might as well have worn a label.
You'd better talk right out."
A fierce imprecation, only half suppressed, hissed
between the grinding teeth of the ex-convict, but
his common sense came to his assistance. There
was nothing for it but to show his papers and con-
ceal no part of his record.
A PLUNGE INTO WILD LIFE.
Out yesterday. Travelling west under an alias.
No cause for detention known. I shall not molest
you. Nobody but one of our fellows would know
but what you were all correct. I suppose you'll
know what to do, now you're spotted."
"I'm going to the ends of the earth!"
"Good place to go to. We have to follow fellows
there, sometimes. You're not going there for any
good, I can see that."
You needn't preach to me."
"Not in my line. Take your own gait. You'll
probably meet some of Pinkerton's men again soon
enough. Yours isn't a case of repentance. Good-
by. I'm watching some special business in another
car. Got a warrant to serve, you know, before we
pull up in Chicago."
The detective actually shook hands with him, as
if to help him keep his secret, from the other pas-
sengers, but he had driven a very painful iron into
the soul of the ex-convict.
My mind's made up now," he said to himself,
"if it wasn't before. I must go on beyond the
range of that sort of bloodhound. I must be *
more quiet and self-confident in my manner, I sup-
pose. Still, he did say that only an expert like
himself would have suspected me."
It was a bitter pill to take at any hands, never-
theless, and it produced an immediate effect.
Mr. Mortimer Herries, alias Edward Payne, al-
ready "spotted" by Pinkerton's men, arrived in
Chicago that night and slept at a first-class hotel,
but the city contained no such person at noon of
the following day. Neither had any person of that
name left the city in any direction, but a fine-look-
ing young fellow registered as Bradley Morford,
of New York," was in a palace-car bound for St.
Louis. He did not know that just as the train
started an elderly lady on the platform turned away,
remarking to herself,-
"Well, he's really off. I saw him get on board.
The St. Louis office '11 have to keep track of him
after he gets there. He's bent upon something or
other. I can see it in his eye."
Something in the eyes of Mr. Bradley Morford
was making a determined effort to conceal itself
from other eyes and was fairly successful. It was
the soul of a man incessantly saying to himself,-
I am from Sing Sing, and I must appear to all
men tremendously self-respecting, high-toned, and
Such an effort could but produce an intensely
strained state of mind. A man who has been dis-
covered and has reason to believe that he is watched,
without knowing by whom, is in a terribly unpleas-
ant kind of ambush.
Herries-Payne-Morford," he said to himself.
" No resemblance between the names. No use to
try and disguise myself any other way. Is that car-
A PL UNGE INTO WILD LIFE.
waiter one of Pinkerton's men ? The conductor
has eyes like needles. I'll talk with anybody that
comes. It won't do to appear offish."
The sore state of his whole human nature actually
aided him in taking on an air of almost haughty
reserve which became him well, and none of his
fellow-passengers broke through it. He knew very
little of Pinkerton's men if he imagined that they
would continually inform him of any shadowing"
they might do in his case. They would take just
enough of pains, and no more, to satisfy their minds
as to whether or not they had any business with
him. There was not one of them who had any
time to spare, as they expressed it, "in following
an empty wagon."
Mr. Bradley Morford's arrival in St. Louis was
duly noted, but he was unaware of being specially
attended to his hotel. Neither did he know of a
report carefully filed away in a pigeon-hole, the fol-
lowing evening, after its contents had been copied
in a book. Part of the report read:
Seemed not to be in communication with any-
body. Not one of the Blake gang came near him.
Purchased a repeating rifle, navy revolver,-des-
cription of both herewith, minute,-with ammu-
nition. Nickel-mounted bowie-knife, buck-horn
handle, nine-inch blade, no marks. He took the
night train for Kansas City."
The law-protecting forces of civilized society
were finishing their work with this man. He had
long since discovered that they were too strong for
him. NTow he knew more bitterly than ever that
they were too watchful, and he was fleeing from
them. He felt as if he were burning up with a
mad fever to get away from all restraint, as if it
were his personal enemy. In such a heated mental
and moral atmosphere evil purposes ripen fast.
"War it is, then," said the ex-convict to himself,
in his insane folly. "If every man's hand is against
me, I'll play Ishmael with a vengeance. At all
events all this nervousness will disappear when I
find myself on horseback riding across prairie. I
may as well make up my mind right here and now.
I won't stop at any place short of the border, and
I'll strike at the first chance that turns up."
What he meant by that could partly be inter-
preted by the evil light that came into his face
while saying it. A more complete rendering was
shortly to be given in a practical form.
Evil purposes ripened into evil deeds with won-
It is also true that a vigorous and healthy human
body soon rallies from the effects of a mere flesh
wound. It was only a few days before Gustav
Eagleson was able to sit in the door of Chumley's
tent and watch "Jim" and three helpers at work
with tremendous energy upon Chumley's log house.
The way in which that house was going up was
A PLUNGE INTO WILD LIFE.
a marvel only to be accounted for by a promise of
extra pay in case it should be finished within a
It was a lazy way for a new settler to spend his
time, and Gustav was inwardly chafing over his
enforced idleness. He knew that Erica and her
mother were away towards the woods for some
reason, and he knew that Chumley had mounted
his horse and ridden out on the prairie without any
apparent purpose. It was a positive pleasure now
to see him ride suddenly back again. How should
Gustav or any of the rest guess that he had come
for the purpose of completing a very rash and hasty
Chumley had not sold anything, but he was a
very young man, and he had purchased a horse of
an utter stranger. Such a fine animal, and so very
It had all come to pass in the easiest and most
natural manner. Riding along the Pawnee Trail,
eastward, with a dim idea lingering in his mind
that he had much better be learning how to plough
prairie, Chumley had met an uncommonly agree-
SA very gentlemanly person, well dressed, well
mounted, led a second horse, whose points at once
captured the fancy of the young settler. During
a ride of half a mile, side by side, and a halt for a
talk about the country and the prospects for its
improvement, the stranger's conduct and speech
had been faultless. He had tendered a very recent
newspaper very courteously; had refused an invita-
tion to take dinner at Chumley's place; not one
thing about him had been worthy of special note,
unless it had been a slight stutter and hesitation of
speech when he gave his name as "Mr. Mortimer
Herries, of St. Louis." He talked horse freely.
The one he rode was his preference. He meant
the other for a remount. Bought him two days
before of a man named Conover. Had not used
him yet, and could not say anything about him.
There was Conover's bill of sale and warranty, in
due form. Price from him, two hundred dollars.
SI'll give you fifty for your bargain," had been
Chumley's sudden exclamation. "Pay you the
Greenbacks are as good as gold," said the
stranger; "but I want two seventy-five."
"Done," said Chumley; and. that was why he
now came back in such a hurry to get some money
from the box in his wagon.
He took counsel with no man, but was off in
less than two minutes towards the Trail.
Very off-hand and matter of course was the de-
meanor of Mr. Herries about so simple and every-
day an affair as the sale of one horse. He shook
hands with the purchaser and cantered away, like
a man who was in no great hurry but who had a
A PLUNGE INTO WILD LIFE.
journey before him. He was well out of Chum-
ley's hearing before he exclaimed, aloud,-
One name is as good as another, but that was
a slip of the tongue. If anybody comes to claim
that horse from him, he'll have a good time hunt-
ing up somebody by the name of Conover. On
the whole, my first stroke was a pretty good one,
but I'd better not camp any too early."
He was' very quickly hidden by the forest in
which the Trail disappeared, but by that time
Chumley was back at his own tent, showing his
purchase to Gustav.
There is fascination enough in any newly-pur-
chased horse to draw a gang of men from their
work, pay or no pay. It was not long before Jim
and his three helpers were helping Gustav to ad-
mire that animal instead of fitting doors and win-
dows. All admitted that such a bay as that, six
years old, sixteen hands high, without a blemish,
was cheap at two hundred and seventy-five dollars.
Jim, however, had been a surveyor's assistant, and
he surveyed the prize very thoroughly and deliber-
ately. Then he took out a card of tobacco from
his pocket, cut off a deeper slice than was his cus-
tom, and remarked,-
"Mr. Chumley, that's a good hoss. Did he say
his name was Harris ?"
"Or something like it."
And he bought him of a man named Conover,
and paid him two hundred, and you got him for
two seventy-five. Well, I don't know. Things
What do you mean, Jim ?" said Chumley, with
an uneasy feeling, that was fostered by the dubious
expression of Jim's face.
"Well, I don't know. I don't pretend to say.
Only I reckon Conover lost more money on that
hoss than Harris made on him."
"Do you know the horse ?"
Well, I don't know. 'Pears to me I do. Old
Jedge Bunce, of Cross Prairie, he raised him. He
allied him at five hundred. Wouldn't have took
a cent less, for the jedge is forehanded. He is.
Conover lost money on that hoss."
"There's his bill of sale."
"Writes an extrornary good hand. Reckon it's
all right. I don't know any Mr. Conover."
"Do you mean to say there's anything wrong
about the horse ?"
"Well, I don't know. I don't pretend to know.
But if old Jedge Bunce was to come and see the
hoss he could tell ye a heap more than I could."
That was pleasant, but Mr. Herries was gone, no
man could guess whither. There was no good
ground yet for following him. None for detaining
him one moment from his travels for business or
pleasure. The bargain was a good one, and Mr.
Conover may have been in need of money. That
A PLUNGE INTO WILD LIFE.
is, as Chumley said to himself, "unless Mr. Con-
over should turn out a skilful invention of Mr.
Herries or some other man."
Jim said as much to his helpers, but it was nearly
sundown before any of them knew more about that
bay horse. Then they all knew a great deal, for
Judge Bunce, of Cross Prairie, and a deputy
sheriff spent that night at Chumley's place. In the
morning they ate breakfast with him, and when they
rode away they led with them the uncommonly
The young settler had been taken in by a very
elegant and accomplished horse-thief, and all the
loss was his own. The owner had followed fast
and far upon discovering the theft, inquiring all
the way for a land-buyer by the name of Morford.
Chumley remarked with strong emphasis,-
"Know him again? Id know his face among a
thousand. Handsome face, too,-but there was
something in his eye. Pd know him !"
"Well," said Jim. "I don't know. I don't
pretend to know. But I reckon the next stranger
that comes along here with a hoss to sell 'll have
to prove property before he gets his money. That
chap's cleared out scot-free."
"Perhaps," said Chumley; "but I may meet
him, some day."
THE PAWNEE OUTLAWS.
A HUNDRED years, one after another, make little
change on a prairie or in a forest. Grass grows
and withers. Leaves come and go. Unless the
settler's plough.or the woodman's axe comes to dis-
turb the old order of things, there are no new
Even four years, however, will work a vast change
in human beings and in any landscape whereon
they are busy. Four full years went by after the
events narrated in the beginning of this story, and
again there had come and blossomed the brightest
and fairest kind of spring.
With it had come much business and work to all
men, and apparently a duty of some perplexity to
a pair of United States cavalry officers. They were
discussing it together by a table in a plainly-fur-
nished room at the headquarters of an army post,
with a pile of papers before them. One wore gold
oak-leaves upon his shoulder-straps and the other a
pair of golden bars, but their uniforms gave token
of much active service.
"It's a rough record, captain," said the major.
"Indian agents, sheriffs, citizens. And yet, do you
THE PAWNEE OUTLAWS.
know, if we should catch Jerry McCord and turn
him over to a judge and jury, I don't believe they
could prove one of these things against him."
My notion is that the settlers '11 hardly trouble
judge and jury with him. We've nothing to do
Not after a sheriff relieves us of the responsi-
bility, but those Pawnees must be brought back
to the Reservation. They won't show fight. The
only trouble is to find them. Better strike for the
old Pawnee Trail, following the ranges till you
reach it. You'll hear of them somewhere."
"Isn't that too far south ?"
"Their last strike was up here away, north-
erly," said the major, with his finger on the map.
"I've sent the lieutenant with ten men in that
direction. Jerry's cunning would take him well
away, after such an infamous piece of business as
Such a man is worse than any redskin. They
say he was born a gentleman. Good' education,
fine manners, good-looking sort of fellow. Young,
"He's been the pest of this region for three years,
anyhow. He furnishes brains for that gang. Not
a white man among 'em but himself. He'll hang
just as well as if he were not so good-looking."
"We've no warrant for him."
"Every sheriff's deputy has. Bring in the Paw-
nees at all hazards. Call him a Pawnee and bring
"If anything happens to him ?"
"Accidents will happen, captain. He's a des-
perado. A disgrace to the name of white man.
Turn him over to the civil authorities, dead or
"Your blood's up about him," said the captain,
as he arose and took up the papers belonging to
Captain," said the major, "it's enough to set a
colder man than I am a-boiling. He may not have
touched man or woman with his own hands, but
you know what his Pawnees did. Make a thorough
piece of work if you can."
I shall do my duty," said the captain, touching
his hat. He and his commanding officer were evi-
dently close friends, but he did not deem it neces-
sary to say to him what he said to himself after
mounting his horse:
"Accidents will happen. I'm afraid there's a
good many accidents getting ready for Jerry Mc-
A sergeant, a corporal, and nine well-mounted
men in blue rode behind the captain. There was
talk among them as they went along. They knew
what errand they were on. It was a sort of scrub-
work, they said, but there might be some excite-
ment in it. Better than loafing around a camp.
THE PA WNEE OUTLA WS.
At all events there was but one opinion among them
as to the necessity for finally rooting out Jerry
McCord's band of Pawnee horse-thieves. More
than one story passed from lip to lip of deeds more
evil than the stealing of horses.
The major had correctly informed the captain
that he had before him several days of pretty in-
dustrious riding and searching. He had made a
fairly good calculation in other respects, and it was
a pity he could not have sent his efficient subordi-
nate directly to a secluded little valley among the
hills of Western Nebraska.
A very pretty place it was. A sort of natural
"open," surrounded by a rugged country which
protected it from intrusion, yet not too far removed
from outlying settlements. Its appearance that
morning was exceedingly picturesque, and it was a
pity that no artist could seize the opportunity for a
sketch of it.
There were five rude huts along the bank of a
rivulet which ran through the valley. In and
around the huts were a score or more of human
beings, mostly males. No small children were
visible. The garments worn by all were such as a
lot of vagabond squaws and Indians could beg or
steal on that frontier. Perhaps the proudest squaw
among those lodges sat before her door in a dam-
aged red silk dress which had been made for a
much smaller woman, but her next neighbor had a
red shawl and a straw bonnet, and wore a green
veil around her neck. A tall male redskin lying
on the grass near her also wore a bonnet. There
were bright ribbons and a stuffed parroquet upon
that bonnet, and some settler's wife had probably
missed it from her wardrobe on getting home some
It was a time of peace and utter idleness. There
were many horses, of various grades and values,
feeding upon the abundant grass of the valley,
and no need was of fence or hedge, for it was all
"commons." Except for dirt and squalor and the
evil faces of men and women, the remaining most
prominent feature of that encampment was the
number and apparent currish worthlessness of its
And this was the home and hiding-place of
Jerry McOord's band of vagabond Pawnees, but
there was no white man in the valley that morn-
Perhaps the nearest member of the ruling race
was a man who was riding along the Pawnee Trail,
eastward, towards the point where it came out of
the wooded ranges upon level ground. He had
already reached a place where the forest was suffi-
ciently open for him to leave the Trail and push in
among the trees, and he seemed to draw a breath
of relief when he did so, remarking,-
Haven't met a man. Nobody hereaway would
TEE PAWNEE OUTLAWS.
know me, but I don't care to be seen till all my
He was a very handsome fellow, of less than
thirty years of age. His dark, sun-bronzed features
were full of intelligence, and his black eyes were
uncommonly brilliant, while his muscular frame
gave promise of activity and endurance. .He wore
his beard and moustache untrimmed, but there were
no signs of any neglect of personal appearance.
The neat blue suit, the broad-brimmed Panama hat,
the black silk handkerchief around his throat, the
well-made boots and spurs, the good horse and
saddle under him, all combined to give him almost
too jaunty an exterior for an ordinary settler of the
Just before he wheeled in among the trees he
halted and leaned forward as if looking along the
Trail. It was a sudden movement, and he may haye
heard something. At all events his face underwent
a strange and instantaneous transformation. The
black eyes glittered with a fierce and cruel light.
Corrugations unnoticeable before sprang out upon
his broad forehead, seeming to flatten it and giving
the idea of a panther ready to spring.
The beauty was all gone, for this was the face of
a devil. Even the luxuriant growth around the
mouth failed to conceal the evil will expressed
A moment more, the temporary disturbance dis-
appearing, a graceful, smiling horseman rode on
among the trees.
He did not ride more than a quarter of a mile
before he again halted, and now he sprang lightly
to the ground. As he did so, his blue frock coat
swung back, and prying eyes could have seen
enough of the glitter of silver and steel to know
that the man carried weapons. He fastened his
horse to a sapling and went forward on foot, saying
to himself, as he did so,-
"It's a good while since I've paid a visit to
Chumley's place. It cost him something the last
time. So it did the first. That was a neat opera-
tion, but old Bunce got back his bay. I don't be-
lieve Chumley has the ghost of an idea that his
sorrel mare was scooped by Jerry McCord, or that
Jerry ever sold him a horse. I hope he's got some
good stock on hand this time."
If he were now proposing to obtain information
upon that point, he went at it with extreme cau-
tion. No Indian scout could have slipped forward
more circumspectly than he did until the increasing
light among the woods beyond him testified that
the edge of the forest was nearly reached.
More slowly now, his black eyes flashing around
him in all directions, he passed from trunk to trunk
of the tall, primeval trees, until he could look out
from the last safe cover upon the open country be-
THE PAWNEE OUTLAWS.
There was no reason visible why this man should
be afraid to meet other men face to face, and there
was no peril to any living thing in what he now
saw before him.
A substantial log farm-house stood but a short
distance from the outermost, straggling clumps of
hickories. There were fenced lots on either side
of it, and fields of maize and grain beyond. If
Jerry McCord had come to inquire about quadru-
peds, there they were, quietly feeding in the fenced
lots. Only one cow was to be seen, but there were
several horses. One mare had a colt at her side.
It was a very pretty rural picture, but its present
observer only remarked of it,-
"Just so. We'll have every hoof of 'em yet.
I'll set a watch to-morrow, and the first time Chum-
ley's away from home we'll make a haul."
There was more greed than malice in the smile
with which he discussed with himself his intended
raid, but just at that moment a sound came to his
ears which seemed, in a manner, to knock him
down. At all events it caused him to throw him-
self flat on the earth behind the trunk of a fallen
tree, through some raspberry-vines which caught
at his beard as he plunged among them.
He was hidden in an instant, and the sound
grew nearer, louder and clearer. It had been
sweet enough from the first, for it was a full-
throated lilt of song, and the voice of the singer
had in it a power and richness that is not heard
every day, in or out of the woods.
Jerry listened for a full minute, in utter astonish-
ment, before he exclaimed in a loud whisper,-
"That's it. Why didn't I think? It's one of
them Swedes. No wonder I couldn't make it out.
I must have a good look at her, anyhow."
There was no difficulty whatever in obtaining a
full view of the songstress, for she came along
among the trees in absolute security that she was
neither seen nor heard. She stood still, in her un-
suspecting freedom, within twenty feet of Jerry's
log and raspberries, and turned to send her music
back through the woods, as if she were studying
the effect of sound in such an auditorium.
She was of medium height, a perfect blonde,
save for a shade of reddish chestnut in the super-
abundance of her braided golden hair. Her cheeks
were full of color, and as she turned her blue eyes
towards his hiding-place, there sank into the dark
soul of Jerry McCord the idea that in all his life
he had never before seen anything one-half so
beautiful as this young girl from the Norse
Something of the evil went out of his face and
eyes as he looked, and for one short moment this
expression grew almost manly. If intense admira-
tion of maiden beauty had been his first emotion,
it was followed quickly by another, and his second
THE PAWNEE OUTLAWS.
thought stung him like an adder. The girl's face
wore the light of utter innocence and was lofty
with its pride, and these are terrible things for an
evil man to look upon. They are treasures which
cannot be his, because they shrink from his coming,
and they wither at his touch, unless they are strong
enough to repel him.
Jerry McCord's eyes flashed and his bosom rose
and fell. He made a slight movement as if to
arise, but sank back again. The song was dying
away in a ripple of soft music as he said to himself,
"Why shouldn't I speak to her? Who is to
hinder me ? I'll do it;" but at that moment a voice
a little like that of a trombone came -from the edge
of the woods:
"Erica? Erica?" other words followed, and they
were evidently a reproving summons, but whether
they were Swedish or some other tongue Jerry did
not know. She answered them cheerily with her
voice and obediently with her feet, and they had
fully warned her hidden admirer to lie still. He
slowly arose, as soon as he was sure she could no
longer get a glimpse of him. He even scouted
from tree to tree after her for a little distance, but
then he stopped suddenly.
"If that's her father," he said, "he's a big one..
Chumley's with him. Glad I didn't show myself;
but isn't she a beauty!"
He seemed almost bewildered for a moment, as
if he had unexpectedly looked upon a being of
another and better world than the one he lived in.
Then the soul of the thief came flashing into his
face, and it was easy to read the already half-formed
determination that he would steal Erica very much
as if she were an uncommonly valuable horse,-
worth trouble and risk.
"I'll find some way of speaking to her. I must
learn all there is to be learned, though, before I tell
the Pawnees what my plan is. We've got to be
A VERY SUDDEN LOVER.
JERRY MCCORD turned away from watching Erica
and walked rapidly to the spot where he had left
his horse. If the purposes he had declared were
to be carried out, he had work before him. Both
the live-stock and the young lady were evidently so
well protected that the work would involve risk as
well as enterprise. It was no wonder, therefore,
that his handsome face should testify strongly to
the activity of his excited brains.
He rode to the Pawnee Trail and followed it
westward. It did not itself climb fast, but the land