The three defenders in the mean time improved their opportunity to strengthen their fort with dirt and dig a deeper space within, while they also lunched upon their scanty supply of food.
“They’ll starve us out if they can’t take us by charging,” said Simpson.
“They can’t starve me as long as your mule holds out, Lew, for I won’t eat poor Sable; it would choke me,” replied Billy.
“Well, mule meat’s good,” said Woods.
“Yes, when there ain’t anything else to eat, but I prefer buff’ler or Injun,” was Billy’s response.
“We may have to eat Injun yet,” laughed Lew Simpson.
All made a wry face at this supposition and again prepared to meet a charge, for the red-skins were coming down in column.
But again they were checked with loss, and Billy’s shot brought down the chief.
Darkness coming on, the Indians formed in line as though to ride away, when Lew Simpson said:
“They must take us for durned fools not to know that they won’t leave their dead unburied, and that they think they can draw us out. No, here is where we live until the boys from the train come to look us up.”
During the night the Indians, finding their foes would not leave their fort, set the grass on fire to burn them out.
But it was too scanty to burn well and only made a smoke, under cover of which they once more advanced, to be once more driven back.
With the morning they showed that their intention was to starve them out for they went into a regular camp in a circle upon the prairie.
But during the afternoon a party of horsemen appeared in sight, and the three hungry, suffering, half-starved defenders gave a yell of delight, which the red-skins answered with howls of disappointed rage as they hastily mounted their ponies and fled.
The train-men soon came up and were wild in their enthusiasm over the brave defense made, while the fort came in for general praise, although one and all deeply regretted Sable Satan’s sad end, though his death had served a good purpose.
Boy trappers’ adventures.
It was a proud day for Buffalo Billy when he returned home and was welcomed by his mother and sisters, to whom he gave all of his earnings, which were considerable, as his pay had been liberal.
The neighborhood, hearing from members of the train of Billy’s exploits, for he was very close-mouthed about what he had done, made a hero of him, and many a pretty girl of seventeen regretted that the boy was not a man grown, to have him for a lover.
But Billy’s restless nature would not allow him to remain idle at home, so he joined a party of trappers who were going to trap the streams of the Laramie and Chugwater for otter, beaver and other animals possessing valuable fur, as well as to shoot wolves for their pelts.