Newspaper Page Text
Reminiscen Bill" Hickok by Friend Buffi BY WALTER NOBLE BURN8. A 3^ S3 éé (Copyright, 1911, by W. G. Chapman.) 1LD BILL was the greatest gun lighter the west ever knew. 1 don't know how many men he killed, but It was more than thirty. That number Is «K J exclusive of the men he killed In the / Civil war. He is credited as a sharp WWv shooter With having killed SB men, /f y \ Including the Confederate General I \ McCullough, In the battle of Pea I J Ridge alpne. 1 don't know how true \ J that Is. It Is impossible for anyone to tell how many men he kills In a battle when thousands of men are fir ing. But he killed more than thirty In per sonal encounters. He killed ten In one light single handed. That was when he wiped out the McCandlass gang at Rock Springs, Kan., In 1861, and It was the most heroic single handed fight In all the history of the frontier. Imagination has not colored or enlarged his record. It Is a sure-enough record of men killed In fair, stand-up fights. If one cares to search, one can find their graves with their names neatly carved on little headstones scat tered from the Missouri river to the foothills of the Rockies." Col. William P. Cody, better known all over the world as Buffalo Bill, was In reminiscent mood. He paid this tribute to the prowess of his dead comrade of early days on the plains. He was Intimately associated with Wild Bill. He fought by his side in the Civil war, he scouted with him In the Indian campaigns, he shared the same blanket beside many a lonely camp fire. For years there was a bed and a chair and the table for Wild Bill at the ranch of Buffalo Bill's mother near Fort Leavenworth, and to the very end of his stormy and wander ing career Wild BUI thought of this spot as home. Buffalo BUI Is himself one of the moBt pic turesque characters of the old west left to these piping, prosaic times. Though the pub lic knows him chiefly as a showman, he Is the last of the great scouts. His life has not been all blank cartridges and calcium lights. Back of his spectacular career as an exponent of wild west drama Is a frontier life of daring, hardship and danger. He la an old man now, cnly a few years on the sunny side of three score and ten. His sweeping mustaches and Imperial and his long hair that falls upon his shoulders In the waving abundance of early years are as white as snow. But his tall figure Is still stalwart and as straight as a young pine on the mountains, his step Is elastic and his eye bright, and be still wears his white sombrero tilted at a Jaunty angle on the side of his head as In the bravo days of his youth. "I was eleven years old when I first met Wild B1U In 1857," said Buffalo BUI. "I was making my first expedition across the plains. It was the expedition led by General Albert Sydney Johnston, afterwards killed at Shiloh, against Brigham Young and the Mormons In Utah. I was connected with the supply train as the driver of the extra cattle. A big bully In my mess seemed to think 1 was meant to be his servant and ordered me around at every opportunity. I grew sulky and resentful under his badgering, but I was a mere kid and was helpless. One evening as we were eating sup per he ordered me to get him another cup of coffee. 'Get your own coffee,' 1 said. He reached over from where he sat and slapped me'over. I rolled Into the ashes at the edge of the camp fire and narrowly escaped getting badly burned. I ran to the big coffee kettle, caught It up, and stepping up behind the bully, doused the scalding coffee over him from bead to foot. He roared with pain. Then he rushed for me. A young man stepped between us. I knew him casually as Jim Hickok. The men of the wagon train called him 'Jimmy.* '"Say,* he said, facing the bully squarely, 'you leave that kid alone.' "My unexpected champion was about twenty years old, tall, slender, bronzed and athletic looking. The powerful brute he confronted would have made two of him. The bully stopped In surprise. He sized up the stripling with a glance. The Inventory doubtless convinced him he had nothing to fear, '' 'What have you got to do with this?' he bellowed and be charged at the youth like a mad bull. 'The men of the out^t expected to see Hickok beaten to a Jelly or killed. He gave us the surprise of our lives. He proved to be the quickest man I ever saw. A catamount could not have been quicker. He stepped Into the bully fearlessly. He was all over his man. He rocked hts head with terrific blows. He ripped punches Into his Aildsectlon. He closed his eyes, bloodied his Ups, knocked the teeth down his throat. He ended by dropping the bully to his knees and making him blubber out, 'I've got enough' and beg for mercy. After the tight my ancient enemy was the worst battered up man I ever saw. Hickok didn't show a mark. He walked away and sat down on a wagon tongue and smoked a pipe serenely. That was my Introduction to the man after ward known all over the west hb Wild BUI, and from that day we were fast friends. T enlisted in the Union army In 1868 and was sent to Tennessee. I was employed as a scout and spy. I was peculiarly fitted to play the part of spy In Confederate camps. Most of the people with whom I had been thrown all my life on the plains were from Missouri, Kentucky or Tennessee- It was second nature for me to talk In the drawling lingo of the south. "On one of my excursions as a spy I was disguised as a Tennessee farmer boy with a ragged hat, a homespun shirt and pants of butternut Jeans. I was riding along a roaJ when I came to a farm house. Hitched to the palings of the fence was a fine horse, saddled. Through a window I saw a man In the unlTorm of a Confederate officer sitting at a table eat ing. Something about his face looked familiar. I dismounted and stepped to the door of the house and asked for e drink of water. As 1 VA was drinking I took a good look at the man. It was Wild Bill. He shot a quick glance at me. But I had grown since he last saw me and In my disguise he did not recognize me; I waited till he had finished his meal and followed him to the road. As he prepared to mount his horse I stepped close and said In a low tone, 'Bill, don't you remember me?' 1 thought I saw a gleam of recognition In his eyes, but he said simply, 'No, 1 don't.' 'I'm Billy Cody,' I said. 'Well, well,' returned Wild BUI, 'are you little Billy Cody?' "Then he gave me a dressing down. 'You haven't any business In this part of the coun try,' he said . 'You ought to be In the Union army.' 'How do you know I'm not?' I asked. 'You In the Union army?' he said. 'Maybe 1 am,' I answered. 'What are you doing In those clothes, then?' he asked. T suspect I'm doing the same as you,' I replied. Bill smiled. 'Get on your horse,' he said. And we rode togethei back Into the Union lines. For the remainder of the war we did much scouting together In Missouri and the southwest. "When I Joined General Sheridan as chief of scouts In the campaign against the Indiana of the northwest in 1868 I found Wild BUI with , the command. I went to General Sheridan and 'General,' I said, 'Wild BUI is the best scout, the best shot and the bravest man In the western country. He Is seven or eight years older than I and I have always looked upon him as my superior In everything that goes to the making of a plainsman. 1 don't like to give orders to such a man. 1 would rather serve under him. Make him chief of scouts.' " 'Well, I won't,' said General Sheridan. 'You are chief of scouts of the United States army. When you get ready to give Wild BUI an or der, give It.' "I went to Wild Bill and told him how 1 felt about the situation and what the general had said." " 'Why, that's all right, Billy,' Wild Bill sakl. 'I'm a soldier and I'll take orders from anyone who has the right to give me orders. I'd Just as lief work under you as anybody 1 know. I'll obey you as my ranking officer as readily as I'd obey the commanding general of the United States army.' "And he did. He did fine work under me through that stirring campaign. He held In check that turbulent spirit that brooked dicta tion from no one and obeyed my orders tike the soldier that he was. "I first entered the show business in 1872," Buffalo BUI continued. "General Sheridan had been ordered to Chicago to take command of the Department of the Lakes and I went with him as Inspector of horses. Ned Buntline, whom I had known out west, had. written a drama of the border named 'Scouts of the Plains.' He offered me $600 a week to take the leading role. I hesitated to ask General Sheridan for permission for fear he would laugh at me and perhaps refuse. I finally got Col. Mike Sheridan, his brother, to prefer my request. It was granted readily. "The drama was produced in Nixon's ampl theater, which used to stand near the site of the modern Hotel Sherman. On the opening night when I was to make my bow before the footlights for the first time the immense the ater was packed to the walls. General Sheri dan and all the officers of the poBt occupied boxes In all the glory or rull-dress uniforms I was worse scared as I stepped out of the wings and faced that great audience than 1 ever was tn an Indian fight with bullets and arrows singing about my ears. But I carried It off as bravely as I could. What I didn't know about acting I made up for by strutting about the stage, storming out my lines and firing my navy revolvers after every other sen tence. There was an amazing amount of gun powder burned In that play. After It was all over I Imagined 1 had scored a triumph. Next day the Chicago papers said the play was so bad It was good. But we packed the theater nightly and the reserve police had to be called out to quiet the crowdB that fought at the doors tor admission. 'The management offered me $1,000 a week to go to St. Louis, where our success was re peated. "I decided at the opening of the next season that It would be a money-making scheme to have Wild BUI as a member of our troupe He was then in Hays City, where he bad killed several people, and I wrote him telling him of the money he could make by appearing on the stage. 'You won't have to do much acting. I told him. 'You will only have to shoot and pose around.' He wrote back that be would accept my proposition. I wrote him he would have to agree to stop fighting and killing while he was with the show. He sent me an agreement to that effect by return mall. Then I sent him money to come to New York, where the show was to open. In this last letter 1 gave him Instructions as to what he must do when he reached the city. " 'I am stopping at the Brevoort hotel,' 1 wrote him, 'and you will land In New York at the Forty-second street depot To avoid get ting lost In the big city, taka a cab at the danot end you will be driven to the hotel in au 'W/LD BILL 'HICKOK a few minutes. Pay the cabman $2. These New York cabmen are regular hold-up men and your driver may want to charge you more, but don't pay him any more than $2 under any circumstances.' "I was glad Wild BUI was coming. 1 hadn't seen my old pal for a long time, and I looked forward with pleasure to meeting him again. I told everybody about the ' voort hotel that Wild Bill was coming and . the evenings as I sat about the lobby I reoc tinted some of his wonderful fights and adventures. I wanted Wild BUI to feel easy as soon as he arrived at the hotel, and 1 told the proprietor If I didn't happen to be around to welcome Bill and make him feel at home. "WUd BUI arrived In New York on schedule time. He had my last letter In his pocket and had committed to memory my Instructions as to what he should do. As soon as bis train arrived he stepped Into a cab and ordered the cabman to drive him to the Brevoort house. When the cab drew up in front of the hotel and BUI stepped out he handed the driver a $2 bill. He was bent upon following my In structions to the last detail. " 'Here's your pay,' he said. "'Pay nothin'," said the Jehu. 'My charge is $5.' " 'Well. $2 Is all jou're going to get.' said WUd Bill. " 'Well, Rube, I'll Just take the rest out o' your hide,' said the'lrate cabman, and be leaped from his box and made at Wild Hill. Wild Bill punched him around tbe sidewalk un mercifully and wound up by knocking him under his cab horses, where he lay unconscious until pulled out by onlookers. Wild BUI walked quietly into the hotel. The proprietor, who bad witnessed the fight, came running up to my room where I was having a nap and thumped at my door. " 'Say, Mr. Cody,' he shouted, '1 guess that gentleman you have been expecting has ar rived.' "WUd BUI was a bad actor most anywbore, but he was an especially bad actor on the stage. Jack Omohundro, known as Texas Jack, was with the show, and when the curtain fell at the close of the first act he and 1 and Wild Bill were supposed to stand out near the front of the stage clasping rescued maidens to our breasts In the white glare of the calcium. But WUd BUI was never out there where he be longed. He invariably bung back In tbe shad ows at the rear or remained hair-bidden behind a painted tree or rock. He was a poor hand to pose or show off and hated to have a lot of people staring at him. One night when the spot light found him leaning against a gnarled oak In the background it niade blm inad, and he took a shot at the spot-light ma chine In the central aisle of tbe balcony, shat tered the bull's eye and broke the machine. The play had to go on to the end without the usual calcium effects. "WUd BUI remained with the show three or four months. By that time he had demon strated that he was impossible as a member . of a traveling theatrical company. I tried to make him do better, but I couldn't do any thing with him and he was released. He was glad of It and turned toward the west with a light heart. "A little while before BUI Joined the show he bad killed Phil. Cole, a wealthy Texas cat tleman of Abilene, Kan. Bill was marshal of Abilene, and Cole, who was a desperado him self, had threatened to kill him Just to show the frontier he could do It They met on the friends of Cole or enemies of Wild BUI in Abilene 'that day they kept care fully out of sight. Not a shot was fired. Noth ing happened. Wild Bill's reception at Abilene was a regular ovation. 'That little trip that Cole's brother and friends had made from Texas to Abilene to avenge Cole's death was no bluff. They went, to Abilene again the following year expecting to find Wild Bill there. Whey they learned that he was In Cheyenne, Cole's brother and two of his close friends started off for the Wyoming town. Wild Bill's friends In Abilene wired him to be on the lookout for them. "Bill was standing against the bar of a sa loon In Cheyenne drinking a glass of beer when the three Texans stalked In. BUI recog nized Cole's brother by his resemblance to the Cole he had killed. But Bill made no move. He merely fingered his glass lazily and watched the three strangers out of the corner of his eye. The Texans separated slightly and closed on Bill In a semi-circle. 'Get him now!' said their leader suddenly. All three whipped out revolvers. But—would you believe it?—they did not fire a shot. BUI was the quickest man 'on the draw' that ever lived. He fired eo rapidly that others In the saloon testified after wards they heard but one report. His bullets found the Texans between the eyes and they fell dead in their tracks. WUd BUI killed these men with a six-shooter 1 had given hlnj when he quit the theatrical business. ''Wild BUI was one of the best revolver shots ever In the west," Buffalo BUI went on. "He certainly was the best revolver shot In a fight. "The man of today wonders why WUd BUI got Into so many fights. One naturally figures he must have been a quarrelsome man. On the contrary he was distinctly likable and ami able. But out west In early days there were many men who took pride In bloody exploits and killed men simply to make a record. In the spirit of gamblers these men Bwore to kill each other to decide which was the better man. They hunted each other often and trav eled hundreds of miles to fight It out with a rival killer. A number of these professional bad men tried to kill WUd Bill for the reputa tion It would give them. Other men tried to kill him as a result of disputes. Still others sought his life to avenge the deaths of rela tives who had fallen before Wild Bill's re volvers. "He was klued In Deadwood by Jack McCall on August 2, 1876. With a party of friends he had entered a saloon to play poker. The card table was In a corner at the rear of the place. Captain Durfee, an old Missouri steam boat man and a friend of Hlckok's, took the seat in the corner. Wild Bill tried to get the seat first. When he fatted, be asked Captain Durfee to let him have it Captain Dürfe* suspected Bill wanted the seat to have a certain man at his right to cut for him and perhaps stack the deck. Captain Durfee refused to give up the seat. Then Bill without more ado sat down In a chair with his back to the rront door. In that position he could not see McCall enter. The assassin stepped up behind him and fired a bullet in the back of his head, kill ing him Instantly. McCall was hanged in Yank ton not long after. The fatal bullet, after pass ing through Wild Bill's skull, broke Captain Durfee's arm. "Captain Durfee said afterward that be did not realize until too late that WUd BUI wanted the chair In the corner so be could command a view of the bar and all who entered rrorn the street If the captain had known this he would have surrendered the chair and WUd BUI would not have been assassinated." j * pi/./=: coo's. . C ßOFFMoß/LU streel Bill's partner was with him. As BUI started to shoot, his partner stepped In the line of fire. BUI killed him accidentally, fired over his body and killed Cole with his second bullet. Cole's brother and a number of his cowboy friends came up to Abilene from Texas to avenge his death. They found that Bill had gone east to become an actor. They boasted about Abilene that they had come to kill Bill and he had been scared and had run away. BUI heard of this talk and as soon as be left the show he started for Cheyenne by way of Abilene. He sent word to the Kansas town that he would be glad to. meet Cole's brother and friends or any one else who had any scores to settle with him. BUI went Into Abilene standing out on the rear plat form and there was a great crowd at the depot to greet him. He was dressed In his most dandified style and looked extremely well as be smiled placidly and surveyed the throng. He remained standing up above the heads of the crowd where every body could see him for a few minutes and then stepped off upon the depot platform and shook hands with everybody. When the train pulled out he stood again on the rear plat form and waved the crowd good-bye. If there were any friends of Cole or enemies of A-WILBUR P. TÆSB1T ^ UlLUll m The melancholy days have come, the saddest of the year— The woods are blazing gold and red. the Bkles are jewel-clear; Each breath you draw sends ting) Ina thrills a-leap through every vein; You sigh to see the wagon load of pump kins In the lane. You weep and wall and shake your head In gloominess profound To think of that thick pumpkin pie, se deep and fat and round! The melancholy days have come—the purple grapes are fat; The sunlight gives them ruby-glints— you're very sad for that. The sweet potatoes, mellow-hot, give forth their tempting scent; From peach preserves upon the stove the savor is unpent; Oh. sad the days and filled with gloom» when tears come to the eye Because at last we have to face the juicy mincemeat plel The melancholy days have come, so let us weep and wall— Across the stubble sounds the Jolly piping of the quail; The ducks are quacking In the marsh, the geese are honking high; The pawpaw mottles to a brown—O. let us sit and cry. And let us heave a doleful moan and shed a bitter tear— The melancholy days have come, the saddest of the year. , j - 1 r 1 A BImoral Fable. ' When the New Reporter came In to write his first story, after adopting Journalism, the Hardened Sinners In the office began to offer Bets One and all wanted to bet Ten Dollars that he Would. Just to accommodate them a Fool ish, but Sportive Stranger took them up. And when the New Reporter turned in his copy, which told about a Circus, it was found that he bad not referred to the Elephant as "the Giant Pachy derm." So tffe Stranger won. Moral—It Is wrong to Bet. Submoral—But the New Reporter did not know how to spell "Pachy derm." In Training. "How far is it to the next town 7"' "Ain't formed no opinion." "Do you think It is going to rain?'" "Got no opinion, stranger." "Where's the best hotel here?" "No opinion on that, sir." "What's the matter with you, are you crazy?" "Never formed an opinion." "Well, say, tell me what you mean by such answers?" "Stranger, don't tell any of the fel lers around here, but I'm trainin' for Jury duty at th' next session o' court." Slight. "Yes," she says, "we have at last secured a cook, but I must confess she is a problem. The poor thing doesn't seem to know how to cook anything but tomato soup and codfish cakes. Everything else she tries is an absolute failure." "Ah," suggests the husband of th» friend who is receiving the burden of the troubles of the hostess, "evidently your cook has but a superficial knowl edge of her craft." Couldn't Hear It. "My poor friend," said tbe earnest reformer, "do you never hear the still» small voice of conscience?" "No," replied the wicked person. "I'm so hard of hearing that con science couldn't get word to me with a. ten-foot megaphone." Sagacious Malden. "Would you rather be wise, or beautiful?" asks Fate of the Coy Young Maiden. "Beautiful," replies the damsel. "Ah, you are wise already," com ments Fate, tying up a package of cosmetics. One for Her, Too. "The Nibbler's Magazine sent me a check for ten dollars for my poem." said the rhymster. "I consider that a feather in my cap." "Yes." said his wife "Now you give me the money, and 1 can get a new j feather In my bonneL too."