Adventures of Buffalo Bill from Boyhood to Manhood

CHAPTER X.
CAPTURED BY DANITES.

WITH the usual adventures incident to a trip across the plains, an occasional fight with Indians, and several grand hunts, the train at last arrived near Green River in the Rocky Mountains.

Billy, Lew Simpson and another of the train had dropped back during the afternoon for a hunt, and upon drawing near the place where they were to encamp, were surprised to discover a band of horsemen coming toward them, whom they observed, however, to be white men.

Suspecting no harm from those of their own race, they rode forward, and, as they met, were startled to hear:

"Up with your hands! You are dead men if you resist!"

"Who are you?" asked Lew Simpson, angrily.

"Joe Smith, the Danite," was the calm reply of that leader.

"It I had known you were that accursed scoundrel I'd have shot you," growled Lew Simpson.

"Am awful glad you did not know it; but come, you are my prisoners, and your train is in my power," was the reply, and upon arriving at camp they found that it was but too true, for the boys had not suspected danger from men they had believed a party of United States cavalry.

The Danite leader, Joe Smith, then ordered all that could packed on horses to be taken and the wagons set on fire, and told the train men to set out on foot for Fort Bridger, saying:

"You can reach there, but I guess Albert Sydney Johnson and his troops will never get the supplies."

The train was burned, all but one wagon, which carried supplies for the men, and armed only with their revolvers, they were ordered away by the Danites.

But Buffalo Billy was not one to see his splendid horse go without remonstrance, and, as begging did no good, offered to take him upon any terms he could get him on.

"Boy, ain't you the one who killed Hugh Hall in Kansas some time ago?" asked the man who had Billy's horse.

"I am."

"Well, I owe you one, for he was my pard, and you got me run out of the country by your work, so I'm willing to be even by keeping your horse."

"I'll fight you for him," said Billy, fiercely.

"What with, boy, fists or knives?"

"You are a fool to talk that way, for you weigh double what I do; but I'll fight you for the horse with rifle or pistol."

The train men tried to dissuade Billy from this determination, for they saw the Danite was anxious to take him at his word, and to kill him; but he had made the offer and the Mormon urged it on, and the arrangements were made to fight with pistols at fifty paces, walking on each other and firing until one fall.

They at once took their stands and Joe Smith gave the word, saying in a low tone before doing so:

"He's a boy in years; but he must be got rid of."

At the word the Danite advanced at a rapid walk firing; but Buffalo Billy stood still, and waited until he had received four shots, all coming dangerously near, when he suddenly threw his revolver to a level and drew trigger.

At the flash the man fell, shot in the leg, and the duel ended.

But the Danites would not give up the horse, saying that a wounded man could not continue the fight, and as Billy had not killed his foe, the animal could not be claimed by them.

Wild Bill and Lew Simpson roundly cursed Joe Smith and his Danites for a set of thieves, while Billy said sadly:

"Good-by, Sable, old fellow, good-by."

As he spoke he went up to his splendid horse, that stood saddled near, and throwing himself upon his back, with a defiant yell, bounded away like an arrow from the bow.

The Danites opened a perfect fusillade of pistol-shots upon the boy, but they flew harmlessly by him, and a number mounted and gave pursuit in hot haste.

But Sable Satan left them far behind and they gave up the chase, while Billy hung about until the train-men came along, and joined them, receiving from one and all the highest praise for his daring escape.

Some days after the disconsolate train-men, reached Fort Bridger, to find that other trains than theirs had been robbed by the Danites.

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