Adventures of Buffalo Bill from Boyhood to Manhood

CHAPTER XVIII.
A CLEVER DISGUISE.

WHILE riding Pony Express the road on Buffalo Billy's run became infested with roadagents, who were wont to halt every rider they could catch, and also rob the stages.

The chief of these outlaws was noted as a man of gallantry, for he never robbed a woman, no matter what the value of her personal effects might be.

Ladies with valuable diamonds in their ears, and rings that were worth a small fortune, were always spared by this man, who became known by his forbearance to the fair sex as the "Cavalier"

Poor men were also exempt from being robbed by the Cavalier; that is If he really thought a man was poor and not "playing possum," to get off from paying the toll demanded.

In halting a stage the driver was never robbed, but Government and the Company's moneys were always taken, and well-to-do travelers had to pay liberally.

Pony Express Riders were never robbed of their pocket money, but the mail was invariably searched for money.

Once only had Buffalo Billy been halted by the Cavalier, though the other riders had frequently been brought to a halt and made to pony up

That once Billy had shown fight, had tried to run by, and his horse had been shot; but he slightly wounded the Cavalier in the arm, and for it he was told if he ever attempted resistance again he would be promptly killed.

This did not trouble the young Rider in the least, but he made up his mind that he would not be caught; and after that the road-agents found it impossible to bring him to a halt, and his mails always went through in perfect safety.

At last it became rumored that Buffalo Billy had been removed to another part of the road, and that as no riders could be found to take his long night rides, a daughter of one of the stock-tenders had volunteered for it, and the company, knowing her ability as a rider, accepted her services until another could be found.

The first night on the ran she arrived at the other end on time, though she reported that she had been halted by the Cavalier and four of his men.

The road agent seemed greatly surprised that a woman, in fact a young and very pretty girl, should be riding the road, but she made known the circumstances, and he told her she should always go through unmolested by him and his men.

But he made the mails, carried by the other riders, and the stage-coach passengers, suffer for his leniency to the Girl Rider, and the Government and both the express and stage companies offered a large reward for the capture of himself and men alive.

This seemed to do no good, although a number of attempts were made to capture him, which signally failed, and the reward was increased and added "dead or alive."

All this time the Girl Rider often met the Cavalier in her rides, and when the moonlight nights came on, he would often, as she were flying along, dash out from some thicket, and ride with her ten or fifteen miles.

The more be saw of her the more he seemed to admire her, and his times of joining her increased, and he seemed to so enjoy his rides with her, that he would, when she went into a station to change horses, make a circuit around it, and joining her beyond, continue on for another dozen miles, for he rode a fleet steed, and one of great bottom.

One night as they thus sped along he told the Girl Pony Rider that he had learned to love her, tho' he had never seen her face in the daylight, and that he had accumulated a large sum, for he had a treasure hiding-place in the mountains, and, if she only would love him in return and fly with him, he would be the happiest of men, and give up his evil life.

The maiden promised to think of it, said it was so sudden and unexpected, that she had never loved before, and did not even then know her own heart, and with this she dashed on her way like the wind.

The next night the Cavalier again met her, and again renewed his vows of love, and she told him she had thought of it, and would stand by him until death parted them.

The Cavalier went into ecstasies over this, and an evening was appointed when they should leave the country together, which was a night on which the Girl Rider knew she was to carry quite a sum of money in huge bills to the paymaster of the company at the other end of the line.

The night in question came round, and the cavalier road-agent, as he had promised, had relays of fresh horses every twenty miles until they should have gone two hundred, which would put them beyond pursuit; in fact the company would not discover for twenty-four hours just what had happened, the outlaw and maiden both believed, so considered themselves safe.

At the hour he had agreed to meet the maiden, the Cavalier was on hand at the timber, mounted on his finest horse, dressed in his best, and carrying a couple of large saddle-bags loaded with treasure, consisting of his lion's share of the robberies, and which included watches, jewelry, gold, silver and paper money.

The maiden asked him to dismount and arrange her saddle-girths, and as he was stooping she threw down the rein of his horse which she was holding, and to which she had attached something, and away he started in a run, for the violent motion had frightened him; but he soon came to a halt.

Rising to his feet the Cavalier suddenly felt the cold muzzle of a revolver pressed against his bead, and heard the words-:

"You are my prisoner; resist and I will kill you; up with your arms!"

He tried to laugh it off as a joke, but she was in deadly earnest, and he soon found it out.

Leaning over she took the weapons of the road-agent from his belt, and told him to move on ahead.

He could but obey, for he know she would kill him if he did not.

A mile up the trail and the stock-tender's station came in sigh, and in the moonlight they both saw a crowd of men awaiting them there.

Once more the Cavalier begged for his release; but she was determined, and marched him straight up to the crowd.

"Well, Billy, you've got him," cried a voice as they approached.

"I most certainly have, and if you'll look after him I'll go and fetch his horse, for I've got a book fastened to his rein and he can't- go far."

"Billy!" cried the road-agent.

"Yes, I am Buffalo Billy, and I assumed this disguise to catch you and I've done it."

"Do you love me now, pard?"

The road-agent foamed and swore; but it was no use; he had been caught, was taken to the town, tried, found guilty of murdering and robbing and ended his life on the gallows, and Buffalo Billy got the reward for his capture, and a medal from the company, and he certainly deserved all that he received for his daring exploit in the guise of a young girl, and a pretty one too, the boys said he made, for he had no mustache then, his complexion was perfect, though bronzed, and his waist was as small as a woman's, while in the saddle bag as bight did not show.

As to the Cavalier, Billy said he deserved his name, and certainly talked love like an adept at the art, and his lovemaking, like many an, other man's led him to rain and death.

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