“All right, let us begin.”
“Mind you, no cheating, for I shall shoot you the moment I catch you at it.”
“Two can play at that game, Buffalo Bill,” said the desperado, and seating themselves at the table the game was begun, each man having his revolver lying by his side.
Buffalo Bill was calm and smiling, for he had confidence in his universal good luck to win.
The desperado was pale and stern, and played warily, for he saw the eye of his foe watching him like a hawk.
Once Bill dropped his hand upon his revolver and his adversary attempted to do the same; but the scout was too quick for him and merely said:
“Beware, for if I catch you cheating, I will kill you.”
“Who’s cheating, Buffalo Bill?”
“You were about to make an attempt to do so; but I warn you,” was the calm reply.
Then, in breathless silence the game went on, and Buffalo Bill won.
Instantly the desperado seized his revolver, but he felt against his head the cold muzzle of a weapon, and heard the stern tones:
“Bent, I guess I’ll save Buffalo Bill from killing you, by hanging you to the nearest tree.”
The speaker was Wild Bill, who had stood behind the chair of the desperado.
All knew him, and that he was an officer of the law, and would keep his word.
Buffalo Bill said nothing, and the crime-stained wretch was dragged out of the saloon, a rope put around his neck, and he was hanged for his many red deeds, thereby escaping death at the hands of the scout.
Bill’s story of his becoming an actor.
As Buffalo Bill in the past few years has become known as an actor, and appears as such with his Dramatic Combination, during the winter months, when he is not on the plains, it will not be by any means uninteresting to my readers to learn how he came to go upon the stage, and the story I give in his own words, in relating his experience to a reporter who had called upon him for some jottings regarding his life.
“It was in the fall of ’71, that General Sheridan came to the plains with a party of gentlemen for the purpose of engaging in a buffalo-hunt, to extend from Fort McPherson, Nebraska, to Fort Hayes, Kansas, on the Kansas Pacific Railroad, a distance of 228 miles, through the finest hunting country in the world. In the party were James Gordon Bennett of the New York Herald, Lawrence and Leonard Jerome, Carl Livingstone, S.G. Heckshire, General Fitzhugh of Pittsburg, General Anson Stager of the Western Union Telegraph Company, and other noted gentlemen. I guided the party, and when the hunt was finished, I received an invitation from them to go to New York and make them a visit, as they wanted to show me the East, as I had shown them the West. I was then Chief of Scouts in the Department of the Platte. And in January, 1872, just after the Grand Duke Alexis’s hunt, which, by the way, I organized, I got a leave of absence, and for the first time in my life found myself east of the Mississippi river.