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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, May 05, 1907, Sunday star, Image 40

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1907-05-05/ed-1/seq-40/

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White River breaks from Lost Spring Creek on the
west to Eagle Land sand hills on the east, a distance
of one hundred and twenty miles.
"And we're sure going to hold them fever struck
fmm TV?va? all tVip wav a Inn or the line." he
volunteered with assurance. He explained that
they were on the keen lookout for one particular
herd, which was rotten with the fever.
Soon the cowboy's partner, Jim Vesey, had
alighted and was sitting with us. We gave him
wpWmp t.h(* manner of thi* rancrp. And five
minutes later I was cooking supper for him while
the cowmen talked freely together.
At the end of two hours I had learned all that
I wanted to know, and had, I fancied, gained the
entire good will of our visitors. "Boys," I said
finally, "as long as you have only these passes to
guard, why don't you take it easy? Just make yourselves
at home in our camp."
The following morning" I went after blacktail,
and American Horse hunted farther afield. We
had venison for dinner, and Alf and Jim, our quarantine
guards, as they called each other, ate a
hearty meal and rested. Then they mounted their
ponies and left our camp.
A fitro Amoriron Wnrco oomo in xxrifVi
liUVUb 14T V V_? V1V/VIV iUilVllVHU I ?V/4WV ??? ? ?V*?
a report that was exciting. He had met the Panhandle
herd seven or eight miles out, and had succeeded
in informing the drivers of the situation
which lay in front of them. They were angry?
"heap mad," as American Horse expressed it. They
were ready to push their herd through the quarantine
at all hazards, and had on their fighting clothes.
" Now, to manage these guards," I said in
Sioux, "we've got to put them out
of action someway, for there will be
enough opposition without having
to contend with these fellows."
" Let my brother rest easy," said _ ?
American Horse. My young men
are ready."
It was about dusk when Alf and
Jim again came into our camp.
Finally they were dozing in front of
our fire.
It had now come to blow hard from
^1% A /\ A A f H
was falling. The night was black.
In ten minutes both were snoring in
the dead sleep of weary riders of the
plains.
American Horse and myself sat
opposite each other, and presently
the chief grinned at me in a sugges4.:
? T x
Live w ay. x gut up ijuictiy auu
slipped into the shadows of the trees.
When I had secured a proper position,
I stood behind a dead trunk and
peered back into the circle of firelight.
I saw the chief lean forward
and crawl softly toward the sleepers;
saw him, with the deftness of a
sleight of hand performer, remove
two pairs of Colts from their holsters,
and move away into the darkness.
We slipped softly away to our H9HSn9
ponies, and rode at an easy pace
uunu WH liliV XAVAgV* OUU lUbV OllV iwv- VK
hills. Within a cluster of chaparral Bp Eaar
at the opening of a coulee we dis- If
mounted and awaited events. After
an hour or more of silence horsemen " =
began to gather at the edge of our
cover, until a score of figures were m.M
dimly outlined at the distance of a I **
dozen yards. L =
Finding the Cattle j j
NOW, Mato Iahan [Talking J
Bear]," said American Horse, ' j
"let us drive our cattle through the
in silence we mounted our ponies iw
and put ourselves at the head of a
cavalcade of blanketed Sioux. For a
half-hour longer we rode in the darkness,
American Horse leading the ISS 401 b'
way. Then a long, drawn "Howo-o-up!"
admonished us that a herd
* . .? _ i _ . _
oi cattie ana tneir drivers were in
our front. The chief and myself
went forward, and succeeded in finding the bunched
herd and a squad of half a dozen cowboys. I
made myself known to them, and their foreman
drew alongside.
" How!" he said. " What's next on the program ? "
"We'll drive the herd forward." I said, "under
guidance of the Sioux."
It was perhaps an hour later that we reached the
heights of the breaks. It was still dark, though
not raining, and we were wholly dependent upon
our Indian guides to pilot us through a pass. These
rode in advance, directing the tongue of the herd,
as it appeared, by instinct.
All wa? nnnarpnt.lv crnincr Qwimminalv wi+Vt nc
? ? I) ft *"ftV """
and we had reason to nope that we should elude the
quarantine posts, when upon our left at a little
distance a single blue light rose and flashed over
our heads, illuminating cattle and riders in a ghostly
radiance.
This was the signal rocket of a posted picket.
T*. . i 1? >1 T
it was auswcicu uy diu-mici 1x1 iuc near ui&utuue, x
thought on the other side of the pass for which we
were steering. Evidently Alf and Jim had awakened,
and, though minus revolvers, were not without
the weapons to do us mischief. Instantly our fore
riders halted the herd, bunching our cattle in a compact
mass. Soon the foreman and myself had come
together for hurried consultation.
While we were canvassing the situation, there
K11 rcf nnf r\t o noorKtr ro\rmo q V? o 1 ri rlorc
uutov v/ui/ vi. a iivai k/j in* iuv u iian uu^vn x iuva >j|
whirling fire balls?balls of rags soaked in kerosene
?at their ropes' ends and yelling like inhabitants
of Hades. They went through our lines, strangely
unobstructed, and hurled themselves and their
snakes of fire into the midst of our cattle. They
had charged the herd on the side guarded by the
Indians. The cowmen on the other flank fired over
the backs of the startled cattle. Our Indians
appeared to have vanished at first sight of the "fire
snakes." Instantly we were in the midst of a roaring
stampede, and the attacking party had thrown
tlipir firp mnps nn thp crmnnH arm to mvpr
A Perilous Ride
IN my surprise I sat, unheeding the foreman's
warninc as he dashed awav. and was caucrht
inextricably for a brief moment in front of the
stampede. There was nothing to do but ride with
the herd, working ahead and to one side as opportunity
should offer. The danger, of course, was
n cinrrla /vf mir n /4a?"
liigutiui, a ouigit niioaicp ui xny uuiac, a uuuiuci,
a badger's hole, or a stout sagebrush would have
bowled me under the hoofs of the cattle. Worse
than this, we were running along a ridge of the
breaks, and a turn of the crazy herd might at any
moment hurl us over cliffs hundreds of feet in height.
These breaks for a hundred miles are approached
on the south by easy grades, and then fall away in
\ - *-%:' jvAK^MJ^JHSSSRI
Bk Hfl ?
Hi
^ " : -- I
"I Reckon You Hold Four Aco." He Said.
sheer or precipitous ledges which stand like huge
battlements guarding the prairies a thousand feet
below. Only here and there are feasible passes for
big herds such as ours.
We were going in a thundering rout, and I was still
a. J V... 1- 3 ?.1 T i.1.^ _r
ciiII uy tile uciu, wiicu x baw liic iiabu ui
guns in front and upon my right. It was as if a troop
of cavalry had opened fire, and an instant later
I knew that our stampede had been turned to the
left. Still spurring my horse and struggling to get
out upon the right, I felt myself dropping down
n tmnlarta WTV* n 4- 4- V\ n 4nrn
a aittp luviiiic. ww uai xiappciicu m tiic uvai iwu
or three minutes is but a confused memory. I only
know that we lunged and plunged in breathless and
roaring flight down into the depths of a cafton. I
was helpless, and let my horse take his own way
and gait. This happened to be wisdom on my part.
for somehow the pony forged his way out of the
jam and climbed a steep so perpendicular that I
nad to lean forward flat upon his neck to hold on.
Then, climbing to a scarp, where he must have had
to exert every muscle to keep his footing, he halted
while the roaring mass went on. In the seconds that
followed I secured a firmer seat in my saddle and
peered into the depths of the cafion. In no time
at all, as it seemed to ma, I was made aware of the
presence and activity of the quarantine guards;
above me and on either side there was a flash of
guns, though I could hear nothing above the tumult
of the stampede. The herd swept by, and I heard
iL. 11- -/ it.- o: i lii_ 1 e t__i
me ycus 01 tne oioux ana a rattle 01 guns ueiow.
Nothing more wildly exciting could have been
imagined. The Sioux were replying to the fire upon
the cliffs, and for a minute or two the blaze and
crackle of their shots was continuous. These wild
uroro lioirinrr + tima nf fViair 1 iiroc rm
1V11U T* O "ViV Iiavillg tuv fcl&lAVo UVbO, OMWllll^
joyously at flashes of pistols on the scarps.
In this moment I realized that American Horse
and his Sioux had made a genuine coup, and I
backed my pony down the slope lest a bullet from
the excited fellows should pierce my own skin. My
horse got down among them after some fashion. The
firing ceased, and we rode on at the tail of our stampeding
herd.
In twenty minutes we were out of the cafton and
thundering across White River bottom. Nor did
we stop or reduce our progress until the exhausted
cattle, having been pushed and guided by those
indomitable Sioux, came to a stand to breathe.
Although we were now near to the Dakota line,
we gave our cattle only a brief rest, then drove them
on till tolerably well satisfied that we had passed
the confines of Nebraska. Then we rounded up
our tired bunch and rested until daylight. We were
fpplinCT ornn^ wVion tnrvminrr Aotrta Wo KaIiaita/I fViof
IVVllUg gv?v?v? ?UVU lllVlllllig VrCfrAAAW* f? V UV11V * V? l>UC?b
we were now safe from further interference of the
quarantine. And so we made coffee and had breakfast?as
jolly a crowd of whites and reds as ever
were got together.
We were finishing breakfast, when
some one shouted, "Look yonder!
TViora fV?ov fW? 4-Via cAii+Viom
slopes, a crowd of horse men, not less
than thirty in number, were coming
at a racing pace. They were no more
than a mile away?the quarantine
1 A iitvMi iic n
^ uai vu cuiu nviuu uja/u wo ut
five minutes. I had not counted upon
so desperate a move as this, and was
nonplussed for the moment. Cowboys
and Indians jumped to their
feet, with fierce ejaculations, and
a each man seized his gun and rushed
| for his picketed pony. White men
' Cin? w titam frt fVlO 1 i m i t
aiiu U1UUA nVIVAVJtvu I/Vy tuv u*i**W|
A-g. -%T 1 fierce for an encounter.
On came the vengeful cavalcade,
every second bringing nearer the
mjmm crisis, when American Horse, who
m_ '13 was standing quietly at my side,
raWIfitejf turned to me.
UHTBl "Maio Iakan," he said, "see!"
and he drew from the folds of his
hunting shirt, which I had noted was
uncommonly stuffed, a long roll
wrapped in dirty oiled silk. He
rapidly unfolded this and displayed
. ,-m a silken tlag ot the United otates.
" Him," he said, "General Crook?
. ^ 31 he give me." He thrust it into my
.^Sgl hands and ran to a patch of willows
which grew upon the bank of the run
where we had camped. In a minute
he was back again with a light pole
ten or twelve feet in length. I under^
stood his object as with deft fingers
^i he tied on the flag by its leathern
; ;=3 st.rinirs. When he had finished I
fj seized the pole, ran to my pony, and
sprang into the saddle.
.1 Ready for the Crisi#
3l T INE up, men!" I shouted. "Get
tffp*"1! JL* into ranks!"
? For a minute we sat in silence while
the cowmen bore down upon us.
Then, leaving the men in line, and
with the United States flag 'flying
above my head, I rode to meet the
. quarantine guard. These, evidently
3g? impressed by the unfurling of the flag,
ti g ~ halted at titty yards, and their leader
came forward. I recognized him at
once as a cattleman of years of experience.
" Well," he asked in a smooth and pleasant voice,
<1 ? ? .4 . /I ^ ?
wnat aoes tnat nag mean r
Without hesitation I answered, in the same indifferent
tone of voice, " It means simply this, that
a herd of sound and healthy cattle, contracted for
by the United States Government, have been driven
up from the Panhandle and are row delivered to the
Indians of Blank Agency. I am appointed to receive
these cattle, and will see them through to their
destination. I understand the situation thoroughly,
and am prepared to go to extremities if I must.
I know what you have come for. You may be able
to whip my Indians?probably will?but in the end
you will have a regiment ot united states cavalry
to take care of your insurrection."
He sat for a moment looking me straight in the
eye, and then grinned clear across his face. "I
reckon," he said, "you hold four aces."
"You may be very sure I do," I replied,
"fin Inner!" Vie said anH callnned awav to his men.
He talked with them for two or three minutes, and
then, with a flourish of arms, the cavalcade of the
quarantine wheeled and galloped away toward the
breaks.
J

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