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THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES
OF BUFFALO BILL

 

CHAPTER XVII
HELPING TO ENTERTAIN A DISTINGUISHED PARTY
Post McPherson was in the center of a fine game country, in which buffalo were particularly plentiful, and though fairly surrounded by hostile Indians, it offered so many attractions for sportsmen that several hunting parties braved the dangers for the pleasure of buffalo-chasing. In September, 1871, General Sheridan brought a number of friends out to the post for a grand hunt, coming by way of North Platte in a special car, and thence by government wagons to the fort, which was only eighteen miles from that station.

The party consisted of General Sheridan, Lawrence R. Jerome, James Gordon Bennett, of the New York Herald; Leonard W. Jerome, Carroll Livingston, Major J. G. Hecksher, General Fitzhugh, General H. E. Davies, Captain M. Edward Rogers, Colonel J. Schuyler Crosby, Samuel Johnson, General Anson Stager, of the Western Union Telegraph Company; Charles Wilson, editor of the Chicago Evening Journal; General Rucker, Quartermaster-General, and Dr. Asch &emdash;the two last named being of General Sheridan's staff. They were met at the station by General Emory and Major Brown, with a cavalry company as escort and a sufficient number of vehicles to carry the distinguished visitors and their baggage.

A brisk drive of less than two hours over a hard and smooth road brought them to the fort, where they found the garrison, consisting of five companies of the Fifth Cavalry, under the command of General Carr, out on parade awaiting their arrival. The band played some martial music, and the cavalry passed very handsomely in review before General Sheridan. The guests were then most hospitably received, and assigned to comfortable quarters.

Lieutenant Hayes, the quartermaster of the expedition, arranged everything for the comfort of the party. One hundred cavalry under command of Major Brown were detailed as an escort. A train of sixteen wagons was provided to carry the baggage, supplies, and forage for the trip; and, besides these, there were three four-horse ambulances in which the guns were carried, and in which members of the party who became weary of the saddle might ride and rest. At General Sheridan's request I was to accompany the expedition; he introduced me to all his friends, and gave me a good send-off.

During the afternoon and evening the gentlemen were all entertained at the post in a variety of ways, including dinner and supper parties, and music and dancing; at a late hour they retired to rest in their tents at the camp which they occupied outside the post &emdash;named Camp Rucker, in honor of General Rucker.

 

PUTTING ON A LITTLE STYLE FOR THE OCCASION
At five o'clock next morning a cavalry bugle sounded the reveille, and soon all were astir in the camp, preparatory to pulling out for the first day's march. I rose fresh and eager for the trip, and as it was a nobby and high-toned outfit which I was to accompany, I determined to put on a little style myself. So I dressed in a new suit of light buckskin, trimmed along the seams with fringes of the same material; and I put on a crimson shirt handsomely ornamented on the bosom, while on my head I wore a broad sombrero. Then mounting a snowy white horse &emdash;a gallant stepper &emdash;I rode down from the fort to the camp, rifle in hand. I felt first-rate that morning, and looked well.

The expedition was soon under way. Our road for ten miles wound through a wooded ravine called Cottonwood cañon, intersecting the high ground, or divide, as it is called, between the Platte and Republican rivers. Upon emerging from the cañon we found ourselves upon the plains. First in the line rode General Sheridan, followed by his guests, and then the orderlies Then came the ambulances, in one of which were carried five greyhounds, brought along to course the antelope and rabbit. With the ambulances marched a pair of Indian ponies belonging to Lieutenant Hayes &emdash;captured during some Indian fight &emdash;and harnessed to a light wagon, which General Sheridan occasionally used. These little horses, but thirteen hands high, showed more vigor and endurance than any other of the animals we had with us. Following the ambulances came the main body of the escort and the supply wagons.

We marched seventeen miles the first day, and went into camp on Fox creek, a tributary of the Republican. No hunting had as yet been done; but I informed the gentlemen of the party that we would strike the buffalo country the next day. A hundred or more questions were then asked me by this one and that one, and the whole evening was spent principally in buffalo talk, sandwiched with stories of the plains &emdash;both of war and of the chase. Several of the party, who were good vocalists, gave us some excellent music. We closed the evening by christening the camp, naming it Camp Brown, in honor of the gallant officer in command of the escort.

At three o'clock next morning the bugle called us to an early start. We had breakfast at half-past four, and at six were in the saddle. All were eager to see and shoot the buffaloes, which I assured them we would certainly meet during the day. After marching five miles, the advance guard, of which I had the command, discovered six buffaloes grazing at a distance of about two miles from us. We returned to the hunters with this information, and they at once consulted with me as to the best way to attack the "enemy."

 

AN ATTACK ON THE BUFFALOES
Acting upon my suggestions, Fitzhugh, Crosby, Lawrence Jerome, Livingston, Hecksher and Rogers, accompanied by myself as guide, rode through a convenient cañon to a point beyond the buffaloes, so that we were to the windward of the animals. The rest of the party made a detour of nearly five miles, keeping behind the crest of a hill. We charged down upon the buffaloes at full gallop, and just then the other party emerged from their concealment and witnessed the exciting chase. The buffaloes started off in a line, single file. Fitzhugh, after a lively gallop, led us all and soon came alongside the rear buffalo, at which he fired. The animal faltered, and then with another shot Fitzhugh brought him to the ground. Crosby dashed by him and leveled another of the herd, while Livingston dropped a third. Those who were not directly engaged in the hunt now came up and congratulated the men upon their success, and Fitzhugh was at once hailed as the winner of the buffalo-cup, while all sympathised with Hecksher, whose chance had been the best at the start, but who lost by reason of his horse falling and rolling over him.

 

A PRAIRIE-DOG VILLAGE
The hunt being over, the column moved forward on its march, passing through a prairie-dog town, several miles in extent. These animals are found throughout the plains, living together in a sort of society; their numberless burrows in their "towns" adjoin each other, so that great care is necessary in riding through these places, as the ground is so undermined as often to fall in under the weight of a horse. Around the entrance to their holes the ground is piled up almost a foot high; on these little elevations the prairie-dogs sit upon their hind legs, chattering to each other and observing whatever passes on the plains. They will permit a person to approach quite near, but when they have viewed him closely, they dive into their dens with wonderful quickness. They are difficult to kill, and if hit generally succeed in crawling underground before they can be captured. Rattlesnakes and small owls are generally found in great numbers in the prairie-dog towns, and live in the same holes with the dogs on friendly terms. A few of the prairie dogs were killed, and were found to be very palatable eating.

A short distance beyond the dog town we discovered a settlement of five white men, who proved to be the Clifford brothers, Arthur Ruff, Dick Seymour and John Nelson &emdash;the latter already referred to in these pages. Each of them had a squaw wife and numerous half-breed children, living in tents of buffalo skins. They owned a herd of horses and mules and a few cattle, and had cultivated a small piece of land. Their principal occupation was hunting, and they had a large number of buffalo hides, which they had tanned in the Indian manner.

Upon reaching Pleasant Valley, on Medicine creek, our party divided into two detachments &emdash;one hunting along the bank of the stream for elk or deer, and the other remaining with the main body of the escort. The elk hunters met with no success whatever, but the others ran across plenty of buffaloes, and nearly everybody killed one or more before the day was over. Lawrence Jerome made an excellent shot; while riding in an ambulance he killed a buffalo which attempted to cross the line of march. About four o'clock P. M., we arrived at Mitchell's fork of the Medicine, having traveled thirty-five miles during that day, and there we went into camp &emdash;calling it Camp Jack Hayes, in honor of Lieutenant Hayes.

On the next morning, the 25th, we moved out of camp at eight o'clock. The party was very successful through the day in securing game, Hecksher, Fitzhugh, Livingston and Lieutenant Hayes, and in fact all, doing good shooting.

Lawrence Jerome persuaded me to let him ride Buckskin Joe, the best buffalo horse in the whole outfit, and on his back he did wonders among the buffaloes. Leonard Jerome, Bennett and Rogers also were very successful in buffalo hunting. Our camp of this night was named Camp Asch to commemorate our surgeon, Dr. Asch. The eveningwas pleasantly spent around the camp fires in relating the adventures of the day.

 

LEONARD JEROME'S PREDICAMENT
Upon crossing the Republican river on the morning of the 26th, we came upon an immense number of buffaloes scattered over the country in every direction, as far as the eye could reach, and all had an opportunity to do as much hunting as they wished. The wagons and troops moved slowly along in the direction of the next camp, while the hunters went off separately, or by twos and threes, in different directions, and all were rewarded with abundant success. Lawrence Jerome, however, had his career suddenly checked. He had dismounted to make a steady and careful shot, and thoughtlessly let go of the bridle. The buffalo failing to take a tumble, as he ought to have done, started off at a lively gait, followed by Buckskin Joe, the horse being determined to do some hunting on his own account; the last seen of him, he was a little ahead of the buffalo, and gaining slightly, leaving his late rider to his own reflections and the prospect of a tramp; his desolate condition was soon discovered and another horse, warranted not to run under any provocation, was sent to him. It may be stated here that three days afterwards, as I subsequently learned, Buckskin Joe, all saddled and bridled, turned up at Fort McPherson.

We pitched our tents for the night in a charming spot on the bank of Beaver creek. The game was so abundant that we remained there one day. This stopping place was called Camp Cody, in honor of the reader's humble servant. The next day was spent in hunting jack-rabbits, coyotes, elks, antelopes and wild turkeys, and in the afternoon we sat down to the finest dinner ever spread on the plains.

 

CHARGED WITH A HEINOUS OFFENSE
In the evening a court-martial was held, at which I presided as chief justice. We tried one of the gentlemen for aiding and abetting in the loss of a government horse, and for having something to do with the mysterious disappearance of a Colt's pistol. He was charged also with snoring in a manner that was regarded as fiendish, and with committing a variety of other less offenses too numerous to mention.

The accused made a feeble defense as to the pistol, and claimed that instead of losing a government horse, the fact was that the horse had lost him. His statements were all regarded as "too thin," and finally failing to prove good character, he confessed all, and threw himself upon the mercy of the court. The culprit was Lawrence Jerome.

As chief justice I delivered the opinion of the court, which my modesty does not prevent me from saying was done in an able and dignified manner; as an act of clemency I suspended judgment for the time being, remarking that while the campfire held out to burn, the vilest sinner might return; and in hope of the accused's amendment, I would defer pronouncing sentence. The trial afforded us considerable amusement, and gave me a splendid opportunity to display the legal knowledge which I had acquired while acting as justice of the peace at Fort McPherson.

On the morning of the 28th the command crossed the South Beaver, distant nine miles from Camp Cody, and then striking a fair road we made a rapid march until we reached our camp on Short Nose or Prairie Dog creek, about 2 P. M., after having made twenty-four miles. The remainder of the afternoon was spent in hunting buffaloes and turkeys. Camp Stager was the name given to this place, in honor of General Stager, of the Western Union Telegraph Company.

 

STILL PURSUING THE ENEMY
The next day we made a march of twenty-four miles, and then halted at about 1 P. M. on the North Solomon river. This day we killed three buffaloes, two antelopes, two raccoons, and three teal ducks. Near our camp, which we named Camp Leonard Jerome, was a beaver dam some six feet high and twenty yards wide; it was near the junction of two streams, and formed a pond of at least four acres.

On the 30th we traveled twenty-five miles, and during the march nine turkeys, two rabbits, and three or four buffaloes were killed. We went into camp on the bank of the South fork of the Solomon river, and called the place Camp Sam Johnson. We were now but forty-five miles from Fort Hays, the point at which General Sheridan and his guests expected to strike the Kansas Pacific Railway and thence return home. That evening I volunteered to ride to Fort Hays and meet the party next day bringing with me all the letters that might be at the post. Taking the best horse in the command I started out, expecting to make the trip in about four hours.

The next morning the command got an early start and traveled thirty miles to Saline river, where they made their last camp on the plains. As some of the party were attacking a herd of buffaloes, I rode in from Fort Hays and got into the middle of the herd, and killed a buffalo or two before the hunters observed me. I brought a large number of letters, which proved welcome reading matter.

 

CAMP-FIRE CHATS
In the evening we gathered around the camp-fire for the last time. The duty of naming the camp, which was called Camp Davies, having been duly performed, we all united in making that night the pleasantest of all that we had spent together. We had eloquent speeches, songs, and interesting anecdotes. I was called upon, and entertained the gentlemen with some lively Indian stories.

The excursionists reached Fort Hays, distant fifteen miles, on the morning of October 2d, where we pitched our tents for the last time, and named the camp in honor of Mr. Hecksher. That same afternoon General Sheridan and his guests took the train for the East, after bidding Major Brown, Lieutenant Hayes and myself a hearty good-bye, and expressing themselves as greatly pleased with their hunt, and the manner in which they had been escorted and guided.

It will be proper and fair to state here that Generat Davies afterwards wrote an interesting account of this hunt and published it in a neat volume of sixty-eight pages, under the title of "Ten Days on the Plains." I would have inserted the volume bodily in this book, were it not for the fact that the General has spoken in a rather too complimentary manner of me. However I have taken the liberty in this chapter to condense from the little volume, and in some places I have used the identical language of General Davies without quoting the same; in fact, to do the General justice, I ought to close this chapter with several lines of quotation marks to be pretty generally distributed by the reader throughout my account of our ten days' hunt.

Soon after the departure of General Sheridan's party, we returned to Fort McPherson and found General Carr about to start out on a twenty days' scout, not so much for the purpose of finding Indians, but more for the object of taking some friends on a hunt. His guests were a couple of Englishmen, &emdash;whose names I cannot now remember &emdash;and Mr. McCarthy, of Syracuse, New York, who was a relative of General Emory. The command consisted of three companies of the Fifth Cavalry, one company of Pawnee Indians, and twenty-five wagons. Of course I was called on to accompany the expedition.

 

A LITTLE JOKE ON M'CARTHY
One day, after we had been out from the post for some little time, I was hunting on Deer creek, in company with Mr. McCarthy, about eight miles from the command. I had been wishing for several days to play a joke on him, and had arranged a plan with Captain Lute North to carry it into execution. I had informed North at about what time we would be on Deer creek, and it was agreed that he should appear in the vicinity with some of his Pawnees, who were to throw their blankets around them, and come dashing down upon us, firing and whooping in true Indian style, while he was to either conceal or disguise himself. This programme was faithfully and completely carried out. I had been talking about Indians to McCarthy, and he had become considerably excited, when just as we turned a bend of the creek, we saw not half a mile from us about twenty Indians, who instantly started for us on a gallop, firing their guns and yelling at the top of their voices.

"McCarthy, shall we dismount and fight, or run?" said I.

He didn't wait to reply, but wheeling his horse, started at full speed down the creek, losing his hat and dropping his gun; away he went, never once looking back to see if he was being pursued. I tried to stop him by yelling at him and saying that it was all right, as the Indians were Pawnees. Unfortunately he did not hear me, but kept straight on, not stopping his horse until he reached the camp.

I knew that he would tell General Carr that the Indians had jumped him, and that the General would soon start out with the troops. So as quick as the Pawnees rode up to me I told them to remain there while I went after my friend. I rode after him as fast as possible, but he had arrived at the command some time before me and when I got there the General had, as I had suspected he would do, ordered out two companies of cavalry to go in pursuit of the Indians. I told the General that the Indians were only some Pawnees, who had been out hunting and that they had merely played a joke upon us. I forgot to inform him that I had put up the trick, but as he was always fond of a good joke himself, he did not get very angry. I had picked up McCarthy's hat and gun which I returned to him, and it was some time afterwards before he discovered who was at the bottom of the affair.

 

REMAINS OF THE MURDERED BUCK PARTY
When we returned to Fort McPherson we found there Mr. Royal Buck, whose father had been killed with his entire party by Pawnee Killer's band of Indlans on the Beaver creek. He had a letter from the commanding officer of the department requesting that he be furnished with an escort to go in search of the remains of his father and the party. Two companies of cavalry were sent with him and I accompanied them as a gulde. As the old squaw, which we had captured, and of which mention is made in a previous chapter, could not exactly tell us the place on Beaver creek where the party had been killed, we searched the country over for two days and discovered no signs of the murdered men. At last, however, our efforts were rewarded with success. We found pieces of their wagons and among other things an old letter or two which Mr. Buck recognised as his father's handwriting. We then discovered some of the remains, which we buried; but nothing further. It was now getting late in the fall and we accordingly returned to Fort McPherson.

A short time after this the Fifth Cavalry was ordered to Arizona, a not very desirable country to soldier in. I had become greatly attached to the officers of the regiment, having been continually with them for over three years, and had about made up my mind to accompany them, when a letter was received from General Sheridan instructing the commanding officer "not to take Cody" with him, and saying that I was to remain in my old position. In a few days the command left for its destination, taking the cars at McPherson Station, where I bade my old friends adieu. During the next few weeks I had but little to do, as the post was garrisoned by infantry, awaiting the arrival of the Third Cavalry.

 

HUNTING WITH A GRAND DUKE
About the first of January, 1872, General Forsyth and Dr. Asch, of Sheridan's staff came out to Fort McPherson to make preparations for a big buffalo hunt for the Grand Duke Alexis, of Russia; and as this was to be no ordinary affair, these officers had been sent by General Sheridan to have all the necessary arrangements perfected by the time the Grand Duke should arrive. They learned from me that there were plenty of buffaloes in the vicinity, and especially on the Red Willow, sixty miles distant. They said they would like to go over on the Red Willow and pick out a suitable place for the camp; they also inquired the location of the camp of Spotted Tail, chief of the Sioux Indians. Spotted Tail had permission from the Government to hunt the buffalo with his people during the winter, in the Republican river country. It was my opinion that they were located somewhere on the Frenchman's fork, about one hundred and fifty miles from Fort McPherson.

General Sheridan's commissioner informed me that he wished me to visit Spotted Tail's camp, and induce about one hundred of the leading warriors and chiefs to come to the point where it should be decided to locate the Alexis hunting camp, and to be there by the time the Grand Duke should arrive, so that he could see a body of American Indians and observe the manner in which they killed buffaloes. The Indians would also be called upon to give a grand war dance in honor of the distinguished visitor.

Next morning General Forsyth and Dr. Asch, accompanied by Captain Hays, who had been left at Fort McPherson in charge of the Fifth Cavalry horses, taking an ambulance and a light wagon, to carry their tents and provisions sufficient to last them two or three days, started, under my guidance, with a small escort, for Red Willow creek, arriving there at night. The next day we selected a pleasant camping place on a little knoll in the valley of the Red Willow. General Forsyth and his party returned to the post the next day while I left for Spotted Tail's camp.

The weather was very cold and I found my journey by no means a pleasant one as I was obliged to camp out with only my saddle-blankets; and besides, there was more or less danger from the Indians themselves; for, although Spotted Tail himself was friendly, I was afraid I might have difficulty in getting into his camp. I was liable at any moment to run into a party of his young men who might be out hunting, and as I had many enemies among the Sioux, I would be running considerable risk in meeting them.

 

A VISIT TO SPOTTED TAIL.
At the end of the first day I camped on Stinking Water, a tributary of the Frenchman's fork. where I built a little fire in the timber; but it was so very cold I was not able to sleep much. Getting an early start in the morning I followed up the Frenchman's fork and late in the afternoon I could see, from the fresh horse tracks and from the dead buffaloes lying here and there, recently killed, that I was nearing Spotted Tail's camp. I rode on for a few miles further, and then hiding my horse in a low ravines I crawled up a high hill, where I obtained a good view of the country. I could see for four or five miles up the creek, and got sight of a village and of two or three hundred ponies in its vicinity. I waited until night came and then I succeeded in riding into the Indian camp unobserved.

I had seen Spotted Tail's camp when he came from the North and I knew the kind of lodge he was living in. As I entered the village I wrapped a blanket around my head so that the Indians could not tell whether I was a white or a red man. In this way I rode around until I found Spotted Tail's lodge. Dismounting from my horse I opened his tent door and looking in, saw the old chief lying on some robes. I spoke to him and he recognised me at once and invited me to enter. Inside the lodge I found a white man, an old frontiersman, Todd Randall, who was Spotted Tail's agent and who had lived a great many years with the Indians. He understood their language perfectly and did all the interpreting for Spotted Tail. Through him I readily communicated with the chief and informed him of my errand. I told him that the warriors and chiefs would greatly please General Sheridan if they would meet him about ten sleeps at the old Government crossing of the Red Willow. I further informed him that there was a great chief from across the water who was coming there to visit him.

Spotted Tail replied that he would be very glad to go; that the next morning he would call his people together and select those who would accompany him. I told Spotted Tail how I had entered his camp. He replied that I had acted wisely; that although his people were friendly, yet some of his young men had a grudge against me, and I might have had difficulty with them had I met them away from the village. He directed his squaw to get me something to eat, and ordered that my horse be taken care of and upon his invitation I spent the remainder of the night in his lodge.

 

THEY WANTED TO LIFT MY HAIR
Next morning the chiefs and warriors assembled according to orders, and to them was stated the object of my visit. They were asked: "Do you know who this man is?"

"Yes, we know him well," replied one, "that is Pa-he-has-ka," (that being my name among the Sioux, which translated means "Long-Hair") "that is our old enemy;" a great many of the Indians, who were with Spotted Tail at this time, had been driven out of the Republican country.

"That is he," said Spotted Tail. "I want all my people to be kind to him and treat him as my friend."

I noticed that several of them were looking daggers at me. They appeared as if they wished to raise my hair then and there. Spotted Tail motioned and I followed him into his lodge, and thereupon the Indians dispersed Having the assurance of Spotted Tail that none of the young men would follow me I started back for the Red Willow, arriving the second night.

There I found Captain Egan with a company of the second Cavalry and a wagon train loaded with tents, grain, provisions, etc. The men were leveling off the ground and were making preparations to put up large wall tents for the Grand Duke Alexis and his suite, and for General Sheridan, his staff and other officers, and invited guests of the party. Proceeding to Fort McPherson I reported what had been done. Thereupon Quartermaster Hays selected from the five or six hundred horses in his charge seventy-five of the very best, which were sent to the Red Willow, to be used by Alexis and his party at the coming hunt. In a day or two a large supply of provisions, liquors, etc., arrived from Chicago, together with bedding and furniture for the tents; all of which were sent over to Camp Alexis.

 

ARRIVAL OF THE GRAND DUKE
At last, on the morning of the 12th of January, 1872, the Grand Duke and party arrived at North Platte by special train, in charge of a Mr. Francis Thompson. Captain Hays and myself, with five or six ambulances, fifteen or twenty extra saddle horses and a company of cavalry under Captain Egan, were at the depot in time to receive them. Presently General Sheridan and a large, fine looking young man, whom we at once concluded to be the Grand Duke, came out of the cars and approached us. General Sheridan at once introduced me to the Grand Duke as Buffalo Bill, for he it was, and said that I was to take charge of him and show him how to kill buffalo.

In less than half an hour the whole party were dashing away towards the south, across the South Platte and towards the Medicine, upon reaching which point we halted for a change of horses and a lunch. Resuming our ride we reached Camp Alexis in the afternoon. General Sheridan was well pleased with the arrangements that had been made and was delighted to find that Spotted Tail and his Indians had arrived on time. They were objects of great curiosity to the Grand Duke, who spent considerable time in looking at them, and watching their exhibitions of horsemanship, sham fights, etc. That evening the Indians gave the grand war dance, which I had arranged for.

 

GlVlNG DUKE ALEXIS THE CUE
General Custer, who was one of the hunting party, carried on a mild fiirtation with one of Spotted Tail's daughters, who had accompanied her father thither, and it was noticed also that the Duke Alexis paid considerable attention to another handsome red-skin maiden. The night passed pleasantly, and all retired with great expectations of having a most enjoyable and successful buffalo hunt. The Duke Alexis asked me a great many questions as to how we shot buffaloes, and what kind of a gun or pistol we used, and if he was going to have a good horse. I told him that he was going to have my celebrated buffalo horse Buckskin Joe, and when we went into a buffalo herd all he would have to do was to sit on the horse's back and fire away.

At nine o'clock next morning we were all in our saddles and in a few minutes were galloping over the prairies in search of a buffalo herd. We had not gone far before we observed a herd some distance ahead of us crossing our way; after that we proceeded cautiously, so as to keep out of sight until we were ready to make a charge.

In a moment the Duke became very much excited and anxious to charge directly toward the buffaloes, but I restrained him for a time, until getting around to windward and keeping behind the sand hills the herd was gradually approached.

"Now," said I, "is your time; you must ride as fast as your horse will go, and don't shoot until you get a good opportunity."

Away we went, tearing down the hill and throwing up a sandstorm in the rear, leaving the Duke's retinue far behind. When within a hundred yards of the fleeing buffaloes the Duke fired, but unfortunately missed, being unused to shooting from a running horse.

I now rode up close beside him and advised him not to fire until he could ride directly upon the flank of a buffalo, as the sport was most in the chase. We dashed off together and ran our horses on either flank of a large bull, a g a i n s t the side of which the Duke thrust his gun and fired a fatal shot. He was very much elated at his success, taking off his cap and waving it vehemently, at the same time shouting to those who were fully a mile in the rear. When his retinue came up there were congratulations and every one drank to his good health with over-flowing glasses of champagne. The hide of the dead buffalo was carefully removed and dressed, and the royal traveler in his journeying over the world has no doubt often rested himself upon this trophy of his skill ( ?) on the plains of America.

An encampment was now made, as the party was quite fatigued, and the evening passed with song and story. On the following day, by request of Spotted Tail, the Grand Duke hunted for a while beside "Two Lance," a celebrated chief, who claimed he could send an arrow entirely through the body of the largest buffalo. This feat seemed so incredulous that there was a general denial of his ability to perform it; nevertheless, the Grand Duke and also several others who accompanied the chief, witnessed, with profound astonishment, an accomplishment of the feat, and the arrow that passed through the buffalo was given to the Duke as a memento of Two Lance's skill and power. On the same day of this performance the Grand Duke killed a buffalo at a distance of one hundred paces with a heavy navy revolver. The shot was a marvelous &emdash;scratch.

When the Grand Duke was satisfied with the sport, orders were given for the return to the railroad. The conveyance provided for the Grand Duke and General Sheridan was a heavy double-seated open carriage, or rather an Irish dog-cart, and it was drawn by six spirited cavalry horses which were not much used to the harness. The driver was Bill Reed, an old overland stage driver and wagon-master; on our way in, the Grand Duke frequently expressed his admiration of the skillful manner in which Reed handled the reins. General Sheridan informed the Duke that I also had been a stage driver in the Rocky Mountains, and thereupon His Royal Highness expressed a desire to see me drive. I was in advance at the time, and General Sheridan sang out to me:

"Cody, get in here and show the Duke how you can drive. Mr. Reed will exchange places with you and ride your horse."

"All right, General," said I, and in a few moments I had the reins and we were rattling away over the prairie. When we were approaching Medicine creek, General Sheridan said: "Shake 'em up a little Bill, and give us some old-time stage driving."

 

GIVING THE DUKE A SHAKING UP
I gave the horses a crack or two of the whip, and they started off at a very rapid gait. They had a light load to pull, and kept increasing their speed at every jump, and I found it difficult to hold them. They fairly flew over the ground, and at last we reached a steep hill, or divide, which led down into the valley of the Medicine. There was no brake on the wagon, and the horses were not much on the hold back. I saw that it would be impossible to stop them. All I could do was to keep them straight in the track and let them go it down the hill, for three miles, which distance, I believe, was made in about six minutes. Every once in a while the hind wheels would strike a rut and take a bound, and not touch the ground again for fifteen or twenty feet. The Duke and the General were kept rather busy in holding their positions on the seats, and when they saw that I was keeping the horses straight in the road, they seemed to enjoy the dash which we were making. I was unable to stop the team until they ran into the camp where we were to obtain a fresh relay, and there I succeeded in checking them. The Grand Duke said he didn't want any more of that kind of driving, as he preferred to go a little slower.

On arriving at the railroad, the Duke invited me into his car, and made me some valuable presents, at the same time giving me a cordial invitation to visit him, if ever I should come to his country. At the same time General Sheridan took occasion to remind me of an invitation to visit New York which I had received from some of the gentlemen who accompanied the General on the hunt from Fort McPherson to Hays City, in September of the previous year. Said he: "You will never have a better opportunity to accept that invitation than now. I have had a talk with General Ord concerning you, and he will give you leave of absence whenever you are ready to start. Write a letter to general Stager, of Chicago, that you are now prepared to accept the invitation, and he will send you a pass." Thanking the GeneraI for his kindness, I then bade him and the Grand Duke good-bye, and soon their train was out of sight.

 

The Autobiography of Buffalo Bill Continued

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