Author: Edward L. Wheeler
Release Date: February 4, 2005 [EBook #14902]
Character set encoding: ASCII
*** Start of this project gutenberg EBOOK Deadwood Dick ***
Produced by David Starner, Jeannie Howse and the Online
Proofreading Team (http://www.pgdp.net).
1877, Beadle and Adams.
Vol. I. Single Beadle and Adams,
publishers, Price, No. 1
Number. No. 98 William street, new York. 5 cents
=Deadwood Dick,= the prince of the
the black rider of the black hills.
By Edward L. Wheeler.
Fearless Frank to the rescue.
On the plains, midway between Cheyenne and the Black Hills, a train had halted for a noonday feed. Not a railway train, mind you, but a line of those white-covered vehicles drawn by strong-limbed mules, which are most properly styled “prairie schooners.”
There were four wagons of this type, and they had been drawn in a circle about a camp-fire, over which was roasting a savory haunch of venison. Around the camp-fire were grouped half a score of men, all rough, bearded, and grizzled, with one exception. This being a youth whose age one could have safely put at twenty, so perfectly developed of physique and intelligent of facial appearance was he. There was something about him that was not handsome, and yet you would have been puzzled to tell what it was, for his countenance was strikingly handsome, and surely no form in the crowd was more noticeable for its grace, symmetry, and proportionate development. It would have taken a scholar to have studied out the secret.
He was of about medium stature, and as straight and square-shouldered as an athlete. His complexion was nut-brown, from long exposure to the sun; hair of hue of the raven’s wing, and hanging in long, straight strands adown his back; eyes black and piercing as an eagle’s; features well molded, with a firm, resolute mouth and prominent chin. He was an interesting specimen of young, healthy manhood, and, even though a youth in years, was one that could command respect, if not admiration, wheresoever he might choose to go.
One remarkable item about his personal appearance, apt to strike the beholder as being exceedingly strange and eccentric, was his costume—buck-skin throughout, and that dyed to the brightest scarlet hue.