The maiden asked him to dismount and arrange her saddle-girths, and as he was stooping, she threw down the rein of his horse which she was holding, and to which she had attached something, and away he started in a run, for the violent motion had frightened him; but he soon came to a halt.
Rising to his feet the Cavalier suddenly felt the cold muzzle of a revolver pressed against his head, and heard the words:
“You are my prisoner; resist and I will kill you; up with your arms!”
He tried to laugh it off as a joke, but she was in deadly earnest, and he soon found it out.
Leaning over she took the weapons of the road-agent from his belt, and told him to move on ahead.
He could but obey, for he knew she would kill him if he did not.
A mile up the trail and the stock-tender’s station came in sight, and in the moonlight they both saw a crowd of men awaiting them there.
Once more the Cavalier begged for his release; but she was determined, and marched him straight up to the crowd.
“Well, Billy, you’ve got him,” cried a voice as they approached.
“I most certainly have, and if you’ll look after him I’ll go and fetch his horse, for I’ve got a hook fastened to his rein and he can’t go far.”
“Billy!” cried the road-agent.
“Yes, I am Buffalo Billy, and I assumed this disguise to catch you and I’ve done it.
“Do you love me now, pard?”
The road-agent foamed and swore; but it was no use; he had been caught, was taken to the town, tried, found guilty of murdering and robbing and ended his life on the gallows, and Buffalo Billy got the reward for his capture, and a medal from the company, and he certainly deserved all that he received for his daring exploit in the guise of a young girl, and a pretty one too, the boys said he made, for he had no mustache then, his complexion was perfect, though bronzed, and his waist was as small as a woman’s, while in the saddle his height did not show.
As to the Cavalier, Billy said he deserved his name, and certainly talked love like an adept at the art, and his lovemaking, like many another man’s, led him to ruin and death.
The desperadoes’ den.
Shortly after this adventure of the rescue of the stage coach, the Indians became so bad along the line that the Pony Express and stages had to be stopped for awhile on account of the large number of horses run off.
This caused a number of the employees of the Overland to be idle, and they at once formed a company to go in search of the missing stock, and also to punish the red-skins.
Of this company Wild Bill, who had been driving stage, was elected the commander, and, as they were all a brave set of men, it was expected they would render a good account of themselves.
Of course Buffalo Billy went along, by years the youngest of the party, but second to none for courage and skill in prairie craft.