“Ah! I’ll take this Derringer from your breast pocket,” and out he drew the concealed weapon.
“Now, captain, I’ll introduce to you Red Reid, the Renegade Chief.”
All were astonished at this charge made by Billy against the guide, for Red Reid was one of the vilest road-agents that infested the overland trails to the West, and had robbed and murdered many a train of emigrants, and of Government supplies.
He was known also to be in league with the red-skins, and had them for allies, when his own force of renegades was not large enough to make a successful attack.
“He lies! I am not that monster,” shouted the guide as white as a corpse.
“I do not lie, sir; from the first I did not like you, and knowing that you were going off the regular trail west I watched you.
“I have seen you, at night, slip out of camp and meet Indians, and last night I followed the one you met.
“I overtook him on the prairies, after a hard chase, and he shot my horse; but I shot him and found he was a white man in Indian disguise, and more, before he died he recognized me, for he was once my father’s friend, but went to the bad.
“He told me who and what you were, and when he died to-day I mounted his horse and came on after the train, for I knew you were going to lead them here to attack this very night with your band that is not far away.”
The story of Billy made a deep impression upon the train people, and the result was that Roy Velvet was seized, bound, and hanged to a tree within fifteen minutes, and the boy who had saved them from death was made chief guide.
At once he led them out of the dangerous locality where they could be ambushed and attacked, and the truth of the charge against Roy Velvet was sustained by the attack of the supposed Indians upon their camp; for, when driven off and the dead examined, a number of white men were found in the red paint and dress of Indian warriors.
Without difficulty Buffalo Billy led the train on to its destination, proving himself thereby a perfect guide, and after a short stop in the new settlement, he returned with a Government train bound East, and again was warmly welcomed “home again.”
The pony express rider.
One day when he had ridden into Leavenworth Buffalo Billy met his old friend, Wild Bill, who was fitting out a train with supplies for the Overland Stage Company, and he was at once persuaded to join him in the trip West going as assistant wagon-master.
Putting a man on his mother’s farm to take care of it, for as a farmer Billy was not a success, he bade his mother and sisters farewell and once more was on his way toward the land of the setting sun.
Having been at home for several months, for his mother not being in the enjoyment of good health he hated to leave her, Billy had been attending school, and had been a hard student, while in the eyes of his fellow pupils, girls and boys alike, he was a hero of heroes.