The warrior was almost a giant in size, and he made a fierce fight for his life.
But the iron hold on his throat did not relax, and at last his efforts ceased and his grasp upon the scout, which had been so great he could not use his knife, weakened and there was no more show of resistance.
Then not an instant did Buffalo Bill tarry, but went up the valley, rounded up the herd of horses and quickly drove them away from the village, in which he knew slept half a thousand warriors.
Slowly he moved the large brute mass, and they went toward the mouth of the valley and were soon out upon the prairie.
Then mounting Brigham he urged them on until out of hearing of the camp, when he headed them for the fort.
It was a hard drive and taxed both Brigham and his rider fearfully; but at last the herd was driven to a good grazing place a few miles from the fort and Buffalo Bill left them and rode rapidly on, and just at dawn reported his valuable capture and that the same horses could be used in an attack upon the Indian camp.
The colonel at once acted upon his suggestion; the cavalrymen who had no horses, loaded with their saddles, bridles and arms, went at a quick march to the grazing place of the horses, and ere the day was three hours old three hundred men were mounted and on the trail for the red-skin village, while the remainder of the ponies were driven to the fort.
Deprived of the greater part of their horses, the red-skins could march but slowly; but they were in full retreat when Buffalo Bill led the command in sight of them, and though the dismounted warriors fought bravely, they were severely whipped and all their village equipage captured or destroyed, while instead of attacking the white settlements as they had intended, they were glad enough to beg for relief.
This gallant act made the name of Buffalo Bill, or Pa-e-has-ka (Long Hair), as they called him, known to every Indian on the north-west border, and they regarded him with the greatest terror, while it made him an idol among the soldiers.
The champion of the plains.
As Buffalo Bill was known to be the most successful hunter on the prairies, shortly after his capture of the herd of Indian ponies he received an offer from the Kansas Pacific Railroad Company to keep their workmen supplied with meat, and the terms allowed him were so generous that he felt he owed it to his family, for he had become the father of a lovely little daughter, Arta, born in Leavenworth, to accept the proposition, and did so.
The employees of the road numbered some twelve hundred, and Buffalo Bill’s duty was to supply them with fresh meat, a most arduous task, and a dangerous one, for the Indians were constantly upon the war-path.
But he undertook the work, and it was but a very short while before his fame as a buffalo-killer equaled his reputation as an Indian-fighter, and often on a hunt for the shaggy brutes, he had to fight the red savages who constantly sought his life.