Adventures of Buffalo Bill. From Boyhood to Manhood - Prentiss Ingraham - ebook

Adventures of Buffalo Bill. From Boyhood to Manhood ebook

Prentiss Ingraham

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”Adventures of Buffalo Bill from Boyhood to Manhood” is one of the masterpieces by Colonel Prentiss Ingraham, who was a prolific American author of dime fiction. Deeds of daring, thrilling peril and romantic incidents in the early life of W.F. Cody, the Monarch of Bordermen. It is a depiction of life and the ups and downs that are major influencing factors. The novel honestly portrays how fate plays with mankind and the turmoil that follow them. Thought-provoking! The author of „The Masked Spy” and over twenty „Buffalo Bill” titles, Ingraham plausibly claimed in 1900 to have written over 600 novels. Known as the King of Dime Novels, Prentiss Ingraham is an author who will be forever remembered for the image he created of the American West.

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Liczba stron: 134

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Contents

CHAPTER I. PROLOGUE

CHAPTER II. A CAPTURE OF OUTLAWS

CHAPTER III. BILLY'S FIRST DUEL

CHAPTER IV. SHOOTING FOR A PRIZE

CHAPTER V. WILD HORSE RUNNING

CHAPTER VI. SAVING A FATHER'S LIFE

CHAPTER VII. LOVE AND RIVALRY

CHAPTER VIII. KILLING HIS FIRST INDIAN

CHAPTER IX. WINNING A NAME

CHAPTER X. CAPTURED BY DANITES

CHAPTER XI. A HOT INDIAN FIGHT

CHAPTER XII. BOY TRAPPER'S ADVENTURES

CHAPTER XIII. BUFFALO BILLY STRIKES IT RICH

CHAPTER XIV. THE YOUNG GUIDE

CHAPTER XV. TEX PONY EXPRESS RIDER

CHAPTER XVI. A RIDE FOR LIFE

CHAPTER XVII. THE BOY STAGE DRIVER OF THE OVERLAND

CHAPTER XVIII. A CLEVER DISGUISE

CHAPTER XIX. THE DESPERADOES' DEN

CHAPTER XX. A MAD RIDE

CHAPTER XXI. WINNING A REWARD

CHAPTER XXII. THE BOY SOLDIER

CHAPTER XXIII. IN FETTERS

CHAPTER XXIV. SEEING SERVICE

CHAPTER XXV. CAPTURING A HERD PONIES

CHAPTER XXVI. THE CHAMPION OF THE PLAINS

CHAPTER XXVII. THE CHAMPION

CHAPTER XXVIII. A GAME FOR LIFE AND DEATH

CHAPTER XXIX. BILL'S STORY OF HIS BECOMING AN ACTOR

CHAPTER XXX. THE YELLOW HAND DUEL

CHAPTER XXXI. CONCLUSION

CHAPTER I

PROLOGUE

THAT Truth is, by far, stranger than Fiction, the lessons of our daily lives teach us who dwell in the marts of civilization, and therefore we cannot wonder that those who live in scenes where the rifle, revolver and knife are in constant use, to protect and take life, can strange tales tell of thrilling perils met and subdued, and romantic incidents occurring that are far removed from the stern realities of existence.

The land of America is full of romance, and tales that stir the blood can be told over and over again of bold Privateers and reckless Buccaneers who have swept along the coasts; of fierce naval battles, sea chases, daring smugglers; and on shore of brave deeds in the saddle and afoot; of red trails followed to the bitter end and savage encounters in forest wilds.

And it is beyond the pale of civilization I find the hero of these pages which tell of thrilling adventures, fierce combats, deadly feuds and wild rides, that, one and all, are true to the letter, as hundreds now living can testify.

Who has not heard the name of Buffalo Bill -a magic name, seemingly, to every boy’s heart?

And yet in the uttermost parts of the earth it is known among men.

A child of the prairie, as it were, Buffalo Bill will go down to history as one of America’s strange heroes who has loved the trackless wilds, rolling plains and mountain solitudes of our land, far more than the bustle and turmoil, the busy life and joys of our cities, and who has stood as a barrier between civilization and savagery, risking his own life to save the lives of others.

Glancing back over the past, we recall a few names that have stood out in the boldest relief in frontier history, and they are Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, Kit Carson and W. F. Cody the last named being Buffalo Bill, the King of Bordermen.

Knowing the man well, having seen him amid the greatest dangers, shared with him his blanket and his camp-fire’s warmth, I feel entitled to write of him as a hero of heroes, and in the following pages sketch his remarkable career from boyhood to manhood.

Born in the State of Iowa in 1843, his father being one of the bold pioneers to that part of the West, Buffalo Bill, or Will Cody, was inured to scenes of hardship and danger ere he reached his tenth year, and being a precocious youth, his adventurous spirit led him into all sorts of deeds of mischief and daring, which well served to lay the foundation for the later acts of his life.

CHAPTER II

A CAPTURE OF OUTLAWS

WHEN Will was but nine years of age his first thrilling adventure occurred, and it gave the boy a name for pluck and nerve that went with him to Kansas,. where his father removed with his family shortly after the incident which I will now relate.

The circumstance to which I refer, and that made a boy hero of him in the eyes of the neighbors for miles around where his parent _____, showed the wonderful nerve that has never since deserted him, but rather has increased with his years.

The country school which he attended was some five miles from his father’s house and he was wont to ride there each morning and back in the afternoon upon a wiry, vicious little mustang that every one had prognosticated would some day be the death of him.

Living a few miles from the Cody ranch was a poor settler who had a son two years Billy’s senior, who also attended the same school, but whose parents were too poor to spare him a horse from the farm to ride.

This boy was Billy’s chum, and as they shared together their noonday meal, the pony was also shared, for the boy rode behind my hero to and from school, being called for each morning, and dropped off near his cabin on the return trip.

Owing to the lawlessness of the country Mr. Cody allowed his son to go armed, knowing that he fully understood the use of weapons, and his pistol Billy always hung up with his hat upon reaching the log cabin, where, figuratively speaking, the young idea was taught to shoot.

The weapon was a revolver, a Colt’s which at that time was not in common use, and Billy prized it above his books and pony even and always kept it in perfect order.

One day Rascal, his pony, pulled up the lariat pin which held him out upon the prairie and scampered for home, and Billy and Davie Dunn, his chum, were forced to “hoof it,” as the western slang goes, home.

A storm was coming on, and to escape it the boys turned off the main trail and took refuge in a log cabin which was said to be haunted by the ghosts of its former occupants; at least they had been all mysteriously murdered there one night and were buried in the shadow of the cabin, and people gave the place a wide berth.

It was situated back in a piece of heavy timber and looked dismal enough, but Billy proposed that they should go there, more out of sheer bravado to show he was not afraid than to escape a ducking, for which he and Davie Dunn really little cared.

The boys reached the cabin, climbed in an open window and stood looking out at the approaching storm.

“Kansas crickets! but look there, Davie!”

The words came from Buffalo Billy and he was pointing out toward the trail.

There four horsemen were seen, coming toward the cabin at a rapid gallop.

“Who be they, Billy?” asked Davie.

“They are some of them horse-thieves, Davie, that have been playing the mischief of late about here, and we’d better dust.”

“But they’ll see us go out.”

“That’s so! Let us coon up into the loft, for they’ll only wait till the storm blows over, for they are coming here for shelter.”

Up to the loft of the cabin, through a trapdoor, the boys went quickly and laid quietly down, peering through the cracks in the boards. The four horsemen dashed up, hastily unsaddled their horses and lariated them out, and bounded into the cabin through the window’ just as the storm broke with fury upon forest and plain.

As still as mice the boys lay, but they quickly looked toward each other, for the conversation of the men below, one of whom was kindling a fire in the broad chimney, told them, that, if discovered, their lives would be the forfeit.

In fact, they were four of a band of outlaws that had been infesting the country of late, stealing horses, and in some cases taking life and robbing the cabins of the settlers, and one of them said plainly:

“Pards, when I was last in this old ranch it was six years ago, when we came to rob Foster, Beal who lived here: he showed fight, shot two of the boys, and, we wiped the whole family out; but now let us get away with what grub we’ve got, and then plan what is best to do to- night. As for myself, I say strike old Cody’s ranch, for he’s got dust.”

The boys were greatly alarmed at this, but, putting his mouth close to Davis Dunn’s ear, Billy Cody whispered:

“Davie, you see that shutter in the end of the roof?’

“Yes, Billy,” was the trembling reply.

“Well, you clip out of there, drop to the ground and make for your home and tell your father who is here.”

“And you, Billy?”

“I’ll just keep here, and if these fellows attempt to go I’ll shoot ‘em.”

“But you can’t, Billy.”

“I’ve got my revolver, Davie and you bet I’ll use it! Go, but don’t make a fuss, and get your father to come on with the settlers as soon as you can, for I won’t be happy till you got back.”

Davie Dunn was trembling considerably; but he arose noiselessly, crossed to the window at the end of the roof, and which was but a small aperture, closed by a wooden abutter, which he cautiously opened. The noise he made was drowned by the pelting rain and furious wind, and the robbers went on chatting together, while Davie slipped out and dropped to the ground.

But ere he had been gone half an hour the outlaws were, ready to start, the rain having ceased in a measure, and night Was coming on to hide their red deeds.

“Hold on, boys, for I’ve got ye all covered. He’s a dead man who moves.”

Billy had crept to the trap, and In his hoarsest tones, had spoken, while the men sprung to their feet at his words, and glancing upward saw the threatening revolver.

One attempted to draw a weapon, but the boy’s forefinger touched the trigger, and the outlaw fell dead at the flash, shot straight through the heart!

This served as a warning to the others, and they stood like statues, while one said:

“Pard, who is yer?”

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