But that second was enough, for the bullet went straight to the heart of the one at which it was aimed, while his shot flew wild.
A yell burst from Billy’s friends as they rushed forward while his foes were bringing up their other man.
But just then a stranger rode up, and leveling a pistol at the second claimant for the mine said sternly:
“Dick Malone, my gallows-bird, I arrest you in the name of the law.”
The stranger was a United States detective, and the one he arrested an escaped convict.
This ended the fight for the mine; but after a few days’ longer work in it Billy found that the vein panned out badly, and selling out his interest in it returned to his home once more, convinced that mining was not his forte, though he certainly had dug out enough of the yellow ore to prove to his mother that he had not been idle.
The young guide.
The next time that Buffalo Billy left home it was in the capacity of assistant guide to a train of emigrants that were going to the far West to settle.
In Leavenworth one night he met in a common assembling room for all classes of men, a man who was Train Boss, or captain, and who was going to the West to raise cattle and also to farm.
His train, consisting of some thirty families, was encamped out of town resting and fitting up for the renewal of the march, and he had come into Leavenworth to secure a competent guide, the one who had been acting as such having been taken very ill.
He had just secured the services of a young man who professed to know the country well though he was a stranger in Leavenworth, and fearing an accident might deprive him of his services too, the captain was looking around for an assistant when he came upon Billy.
He liked the boy from the first, but feared, on account of his youth, that he might not be competent for the position, until assured by several teamsters that he was fully so, and consequently he engaged Billy at a fair salary.
The chief guide, who called himself Roy Velvet, Billy had never met, until the morning the train rolled out of camp on its way westward, and from the very first he did not like him.
He was a handsome, but dissipated looking young man, dressed like a dandy, was more than thoroughly armed, and rode a superb bay mare.
He smiled when Captain Luke Denham, the Train Boss, introduced Billy as an assistant guide, and said sneeringly:
“I guess he won’t be of much use ten miles away from Leavenworth, captain.”
Billy made no reply, but kept up considerable thinking, and set to work at his duties.
For some days the train went on finely, and all felt the new guide knew his business; but then there came some stormy days, it was hard traveling, several times the train had to make a dry camp, and once they were attacked by Indians, until some of the old teamsters felt confident that Roy Velvet had lost the way.