However, the Indian was not aware of it, for Dick had a way of keeping his feelings to himself, and he seldom showed whether he was surprised or angry, although he never hesitated to let his friends know his pleasure at their kindness, or gratitude for what they did for him.
He was looking at the Indian steadily, taking stock of him, and this is what he saw: A broad, dirty face, in which burned two small, narrow eyes. The cheek bones were prominent, and on each one was a spot of red paint. The long, black, coarse hair was braided with pieces of otter fur, and covered with an old cavalry cap, in which was stuck a crow’s wing feather, and around his neck hung a small, round pocket mirror attached to a red string, by way of ornament.
The Indian wore a dirty cotton shirt and a pair of brown overalls, and his feet were covered with green moccasins, decorated with small tubes of tin, which jingled every time he took a step.
A belt and holster hung at his hip, and the handle of a Colt forty-four was within easy reach.
“White papoose where go?” asked the Indian, showing a row of sharpened teeth.
“Hunt coyote,” replied Dick, in a voice that trembled.
“Heap fool. No catch coyote,” said the Indian, reaching over and lifting Dick’s Remington from the saddle.
He sighted it, turned it around in his hand, and then coolly slung it over his shoulder.
“Here, give that to me,” said Dick sturdily. With this act of theft all his courage came back to him. No dirty Indian should have the rifle Stella had given him.
But the Indian only grinned.
“Me heap brave,” said the Indian. “Me Pokopokowo.”
He looked at Dick as if he expected the boy to be deeply impressed.
“I don’t care who you are. I want my rifle,” cried Dick.
“Papoose heap fool. Get off pony.” The Indian was scowling now, and looked very ferocious, and once more Dick’s courage oozed. The Indian did not seem to be a bit frightened.
As Dick was slow in descending from the saddle, the Indian grasped him by the arm and jerked him to the ground.
Dick was as angry as he ever got, but was sensible enough to know that he could not fight the Indian, and that all he could do was to escape as rapidly as possible.
He turned and ran up the coulee.
But he had not gone far when he was overtaken, and knocked flat with a cuff on the side of the head. As he rose slowly with his head ringing, Pokopokowo grasped him by the shoulder, and bound his hands behind him.
In a moment he was back at the pony’s side, and was thrown upon its back, but not in the saddle. This was occupied by the Indian, who directed it down the coulee, and in the direction of the mountains.
Dick Fosdick was a prisoner.
A message from Stella.