Just then into the room dashed three men, and their weapons were leveled at Buffalo Billy, and right then and there his days would have ended had it not been for the courage and presence of mind of the lovely young girl, who threw herself forward upon his breast, to the youth’s great surprise, and cried out:
“Father! Brothers! don’t fire, for this man is our friend.”
The old man and his sons quickly lowered their rifles, while the former said:
“A friend in blue uniform, while we wear the gray?’
“I am a Union soldier, sir, I admit, and I was going by your home, heard a cry for help, and found your wife and daughter, as I suppose them to be, at the mercy of five ruffians, and I was fortunate enough to serve them.
“But I will not be made prisoner, gentlemen.”
Billy’s hands were on his revolvers and he looked squarely in the faces of those in his front, and they could see that he was a man who meant what he said.
“My dear sir, I am a Confederate, I admit, and this is my home; but I am not the one to do a mean action toward a Union soldier, and especially one who has just served me so well in killing these men, whom I recognize as jay-hawkers, who prey on either side, and own no allegiance to North or South.
“Here is my hand, sir, and I will protect you while in our lines.”
Billy grasped the hand of the farmer, and then those of his sons, and all thanked him warmly for the service he had done them.
But Billy was surprised to find he was within the Confederate lines, and found by inquiring that he had taken the wrong road a few miles back.
The farmer was the captain of a neighborhood military company, and it was his custom to come home with his sons whenever he had opportunity, and arriving just as the fight ended he saw a man in gray uniform lying dead in the hall, and beholding Billy in the blue, had an idea that the Northern soldiers were on a raid, had been met by some of his men, and he certainly would have killed the young scout but for the timely act of his lovely daughter, Louise.
And it was this very circumstance, the meeting with Louise Frederici, the Missouri farmer’s daughter, that caused Buffalo Billy to decide to remain in the army, and not to return to the plains, for when stationed in or near St. Louis, he could often see the pretty dark-eyed girl who had stolen his heart away.
Before the war ended Buffalo Billy returned to Kansas, but he carried with him the heart of Louise Frederici, and the promise that she would one day be his wife.
After a short visit to his sisters he again became a stage-driver, and it was by making a desperate drive down a mountain side to escape a band of road-agents that he won the well-deserved title of the Prince of the Reins.