Adventures of Buffalo Bill from Boyhood to Manhood
CAPTURING A HERD PONIES.
WHILE at the fort the colonel in command complained at the non-
arrival of a drove of Government horses, as he was anxious to make a
raid into the Indian country, and Buffalo Bill volunteered to go and
hurry the cattle on.
He had been gone but a few hours from the fort when he crossed a
trail which he knew to have been made by a large Indian village on the
Cautiously he followed it, and just at sunset came insight of the
amp, pitched at the head of a valley, and saw below a large herd of
To return to the fort for aid he knew would take too long, so he
determined to make an attempt to capture the herd himself and, with his
field-glass carefully reconnoitered the surroundings as long as it was
He saw that the nature of the valley was such that the herd could
only escape by two ways, one through the Indian village and the other at
the lower end where he had observed four warriors placed as a guard and
"That is my quartette," he said to himself, and mounting Brigham
he began to make his way around to the lower end of the valley.
After an hour's ride he gained the desired point, and then set
down to work.
Carrying with him in case of need a complete Indian costume, he
was not long in rigging himself up in it and painting his face.
Then he left Brigham in a canyon near by and cautiously
approached the entrance to the valley, which was not more than two
hundred yards wide at this point.
Peering through the darkness he saw the four dark objects, about
equal distances apart, which he knew were the ponies of the four
warriors on guard, and that they were lying down near in the grass he
Getting past the line of herders he boldly advanced toward the
one nearest the hill on the left, and knew he would be taken for some
chief coming from the village and accordingly not dreaded.
It was just as he had expected: the Indian herder saw him coming
directly from the village, as he believed and did not even rise from the
grass as Buffalo Bill drew near.
With a word in Sioux Buffalo Bill advanced and suddenly threw
himself upon the prostrate warrior.
There was a short struggle, but no cry, as the scout's hand
grasped the red-skin's throat, and then all was still, the Indian pony
lariated near, not even stopping his grazing.
Throwing the red-skin's blanket over his body, Buffalo Bill moved
away a few paces to where the pony stood, and called to the next herder
in the Sioux tongue to come to him.
The unsuspecting warrior obeyed, and the next instant found
himself in a gripe of iron and a knife blade piercing his heart.
"This is red work, but it is man to man and in a few days the
whole band would make a strike upon the settlements," muttered the scout
as he moved slowly toward the position his enemy had left at his call.
As he reached the spot he saw the third warrior standing on his
post and boldly walked up to him, when again the same short, fierce,
silent fight followed and Buffalo Bill arose from the ground a victor.
The fourth, and only remaining guard he knew was over under the
shadow of the hill, and thither he went.
Arriving near he did not see him, and looking around suddenly
discovered him asleep at the foot of a tree.
"I'd like to let you sleep, Mr. Red-skin, but you'd wake up at
the wrong time, so you must follow your comrades to the happy hunting
grounds," he muttered as he bent over and seized the throat of the
Indian in his powerful grip.
The warrior was almost a giant in size, and he made a fierce
fight for his life.
But the iron hold on his throat did not relax and at last his
efforts ceased and his grasp upon the scout, which had been so great he
could not use his knife, weakened and there was no more show of
Then not an instant did Buffalo Bill tarry, but went up the
valley, rounded up the herd of horses and quickly drove them away from
the village, in which he knew slept half a thousand warriors.
Slowly he moved the large brute mass, and they went toward the
mouth of the valley and were soon out upon the prairie. Their mounting
Brigham he urged them on until out of hearing of the camp, when he
headed them for the fort.
It was a hard drive and taxed both Brigham and his rider
fearfully; but at last the herd was driven to a good grazing place a few
miles from the fort and Buffalo Bill left them and rode rapidly on, and
just at down reported his valuable capture and that the same horse could
be used in an attack upon the Indian camp.
The colonel at once acted upon his suggestion; the cavalryman
who had no horses, loaded with their saddles, bridles and arms, went at
a quick march to the grazing place of the horses, and ere the day was
three hours old three hundred men were mounted and on the trail for the
red-skin village, while the remainder of the ponies were driven to the
Deprived of the greater part of their horses, the red-skins could
march but slowly; but they were in full retreat when Buffalo Bill led
the command in sight of them, and though the dismounted warriors fought
bravely, they were severely whipped and all their village equipage
captured or destroyed, while instead of attacking the white settlements
as they had intended, they were glad enough to beg for relief.
This gallant act made the name of Buffalo Bill, or Pa-e-has-ka
(Long Hair) as they called him, known to every Indian on the north-west
border, and they regarded him with the greatest terror, while it made
him an idol among the soldiers.