“Well, I’ll not dispute you. How did you get into the valley?”
“Through ther pass,” and the General chuckled approvingly. “See’d a feller kim down ther canyon, yesterday, so I nosed about ter find whar he kim from, that’s how I got here; ’sides, I hed a dream about this place.”
“Indeed!” Redburn was puzzled how to act under the circumstances. Just then there came a piercing scream from the direction of the cabin.
What could it mean? Was Nix an enemy, and was some one else of his gang attacking Anita?
Certainly she was in trouble!
SITTING BULL—THE FAIR CAPTIVE.
Fearless Frank stepped back aghast, as he saw the inhuman chief of the Sioux—the cruel, grim-faced warrior, Sitting Bull; shrunk back, and laid his hand upon the butt of a revolver.
“Ha!” he articulated, “is that you, chief? You, and at such work as this?” there was stern reproach in the youth’s tone, and certain it is that the Sioux warrior heard the words spoken.
“My friend, Scarlet Boy, is keen with the tongue,” he said, frowning. “Let him put shackles upon it, before it leaps over the bounds of reason.”
“I see no reason why I should not speak in behalf of yon suffering girl!” retorted the youth, fearlessly, “on whom you have been inflicting one of the most inhuman tortures Indian cunning could conceive. For shame, chief, that you should ever assent to such an act—lower yourself to the grade of a dog by such a dastard deed. For shame, I say!”
Instantly the form of the great warrior straightened up like an arrow, and his painted hand flew toward the pistols in his belt.
But the succeeding second he seemed to change his intention; his hand went out toward the youth in greeting:
“The Scarlet Boy is right,” he said, with as much graveness as a red-skin can conceive. “Sitting Bull listens to his words as he would to those of a brother. Scarlet Boy is no stranger in the land of the Sioux; he is the friend of the great chief and his warriors. Once when the storm-gods were at war over the pine forests and picture rocks of the Hills; when the Great Spirit was sending fiery messengers down in vivid streaks from the skies, the Big Chief cast a thunderbolt in playfulness at the feet of Sitting Bull. The shock of the hand of the Great Spirit did not escape me; for hours I lay like one slain in battle. My warriors were in consternation; they ran hither and thither in affright, calling on the Manitou to preserve their chief. You came, Scarlet Boy, in the midst of all the panic;—came, and though then but a stripling, you applied simple remedies that restored Sitting Bull to the arms of his warriors.[A]
“From that hour Sitting Bull was your friend—is your friend, now, and will be as long as the red-men exist as a tribe.”
“Thank you, chief;” and Fearless Frank grasped the Indian’s hand and wrung it warmly. “I believe you mean all you say. But I am surprised to find you engaged at such work as this. I have been told that Sitting Bull made war only on warriors—not on women.”