Adventures of Buffalo Bill from Boyhood to Manhood

CHAPTER VII
LOVE AND RIVALRY.

FINDING that Billy was becoming far more accomplished as a rider and shot, than in his books, Mrs. Cody determined to send him to a small school that was only a few miles away.

Billy, though feeling himself quite a man, yielded to his mother's wishes and attended the school, which was presided over by a crossgrained Dominie that used the birch with right good earnest and seeming delight.

Of course Billy's love of mischief got him many a whipping; but for these he did not seem to care until there suddenly appeared in the school another pupil in the shape of a young miss just entering her teens.

The name of this young lady was Mollie Hyatt, and she was the daughter of a well-to do settler who had lately arrived, and was as pretty as a picture.

Billy's handsome face and dark eyes won her young heart, and the lovematch was going smoothly along until a rival appeared in the field in the shape of a youth two years the junior of young Cody, and larger and stronger.

These virtues on the part of Master Steve Gobel, with his growing love of Mollie, made him very assuming, and he forced his company upon the little maid, and had things pretty much his own way, as all the boys seemed afraid of him.

As for Billy he let him have his own way for awhile, and then determined not to stand it any longer he sought Steve Gobel for a settlement of the affair, the result of which was the teacher hearing them quarreling and coming out took the word of young Cody's rival about it, and gave my hero a severe whipping before the whole school.

Since his meeting Mollie Hyatt Billy had been a most exemplary youth, never having had a single whipping, and this cut him to the heart so deeply that he did not seem to feel the pain of the rod.

And it made him treasure up revenge against Steve Gobel, who was laughing at him during the castigation.

The next day Billy built for Mollie a pretty little arbor on the bank of the creek, and all admired it greatly excepting Steve Gobel, who, as soon as it was finished pulled it down.

Poor Mollie began to cry over her lose, and infuriated at beholding her sorrow, Billy rushed upon his rival and a fierce fight at once began between them.

Finding that, he was no match for the bully in brute strength, and suffering under his severe blows, Billy drew from his pocket his knife, opened the blade with his teeth, and drove it into the side of his foe, who cried out in wild alarm.

Springing to his feet amid the frightened cries of the children, Billy rushed to his pony, drew up the lariat pin, and springing upon his back, rode away across the prairie like the wind.

Coming in sight of a wagon-train bound for the West he rode up to it and recognizing the wagon-master as an old friend of his father, he told him what had occurred, and that he feared he had killed Steve Gobel.

"Served him right, Billy, and we'll just go into camp, take the boys along, and go over and clean out the house o' larnin'," was the blunt reply of the wagon-master.

But this Billy would not hear to, and the wagon-master said:

"Well, my boy, I'm bound with the train to Fort Kearney, so come along with me, and I'll make a man of you."

"But what will my mother think of me?"

"Oh! I'll send a man back with word to her, while you stay, for I won't give you up to that boy's friends."

And thus it was settled; a man rode back to the Cody farm, and the following day he overtook the train again, and Billy's heart was made glad by a letter from his mother telling him that Steve Gobel was not badly wounded, but that under the circumstances he had better go on with the wagon-master and remain away until the anger of the Gobel family cooled down.

Thus, as a Boy Bullwhacker, Billy made his first trip across the plains, and months after, upon his return home, found that the Gobels had forgiven the past, and that Mary Hyatt had, little coquette that she was, found another beau.

But shortly after his return his father died, and having to aid in the support of his mother and sisters, Billy accepted a position as herder for a drove of Government cattle to be driven to the Army of General Albert Sydney Johnson, that was marching against the Mormons at Salt Lake.

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