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THE ARGUS. TIIURSDAt-: JANUARY 2, 1908.
-By ELEAWR GATES,
Author of "The Biography of t Prairie CirL
COPYRIGHT. 1908, BT McCLURE. PHILLIPS t COMPANY.
1 1 posturing to each other In a dance.
: t . ...t... ...... tr t., t.i
nilOWX du'wu by a sounding . . " " "" Ba,u
t...,.ri lnw !hu Mr- Louusbury'll come back."
alarm shots at Br'aunon, th 1 M "Mr- I',,unsr'!" 'Pted Marylyn.
shouting, the reports of the. "slieueni-
uu uus saw. uy me grove, i paw
uatliugs and the trumpet calls ftl
Bharp and clear upou the shack. Pal
las, watching into the blackness from
her bench by the door, was up and
armed on the instant and leaning far
him start for the fort."
And so their going was delayed.
Nevertheless Dallas' sense of coming
danger was acute, and when before
over the sill as If to see the better lont-' s.he Leard the trumiwt again and
through the dark. Soon she made out
something a glimmer that iu the be
ginning was redder than the Hare of
saw the troopers fall away from the
pyres, leaving the flames to their work,
she lit the lantern and held it to where
the lightning, fainter and more fixed.' .. . , . lre""res-a r
but which, growing ns the din grew,
tervenlug grove of cottouwoods and
the fonn of a man who was racing rlv
erward from the swale. He disappear
ed, swelling the distant clamor with a
cry a dread cry she had never heard
before of 'Tire"'
Presently she went In and bent over
Marylyn, touching her gently and
speaking low to save her a fright.
"Honey, dear, honey. Hop up and see
what's hupp'ning at the fort."
The- younger girl scrambled to her
feet, putting out nervous hands to her
sister. Dallas quieted her. and they
Stood together in the door.
And now. across, the Missouri, the
guns and trumpets suddenly stilled
and the shunting lessened, while the
glow rapidly thickened into u roaring
press of flame, before which darted
the troopers like- fiies In the light of a
".My. my!" whispered Marylyn, her
voice quavering with .sorrow and awe.
She found her clothes and. keeping iu
line with the door, began to dress.
"I'll put on my shoes, and we cau
go down a ways, so's to see close.
Shall I, Dal"-
"Sh;"- Dallas was leaning out again,
her head lowered as If to listen. All
at once she turned and. kneeling, felt
on the lloor fur her cartridge belt.
"Yes, yes." she answered. "Put 'em
"Are we going down to watch?"
The barracks and the stables were
high, cherry hued pyres, terrible
enough to the eye. with their tops
crooking northward iu the wind. To
Dallas' e::r they v.e:e far more terri
ble, telling of awful suffering, hinting
of direful intent. I or the nearer pyre j
sent proof of a sacrifice. She could i
hear the scre:ns of a horse. I
The belt found, she stepped back to
the door. "Hurry, hurry." she said.
The old Iron resolve never to desert
the shack was fusing iu the heat of a
panic. Her unfailing instinct was
hardening a new one that ruled for
Marylyn was working with her shoe
thongs, not Stopping to thread them.
only to wind and tie, them around her,
ankles. She heard her sister exclaim.
the letter she had received from Loutis-
Then she was seized and brought for
v. ard by a trembling hand. "Marylyn,
Marylyn! The boat! She's going!"
They looked and saw a black fuu
neled bulk Hunting across the watery
strip mantled by the blaze.
"Maybe they thought It'd burn." sug
gested Marylyu. "See, there's sparks
Hying that way."
Dallas leaned back against the door.
"I guess that's It," she said slowly.
Then after a moment: "But why didn't
they bring her straight across? There's
no place to tie up down stream."
"Why. there's fire breakiug out all
over now." cried the younger girl, for
getting to I? afraid In her wonder and
excitement. "See! One of the little
houses Is caught !"
It was the first cabin of Clothespin
row. Two or three men were near It.
-At that distance the.t seemed gayly
"Ytui take the cartridge lelt," she
called to Marylyn.
The other obeyed.
"Ready?" said Dallas and -lifted the
lantern to shake it.
She got no reply. Instead, gasping
in alarm, Marylyn came headlong to
her, pluioning her arms with wildly
clinging ones. "Dallas! Oh. help"
Outside there was a sound of rapid
running. Dallas flung herself against
the door, driving it shut. A second
and a weight was burled against the
outer battens. Then came four raps.
"Don't open! Don't!" cried Marv-
lyn. "Maybe it ain't Charley!"
But Dallas, undoubtlng. swung the
door back, and Into the room leaped a
It was Squaw Charley.
He crouched and moved his head
from side to side, as if expecting a
olow or a bullet from tehind. His
right hand held a bow, his left a bun
dle of arrows. With these he beckoned
violently, shaking the water from his
tattered clothes and pointing over his
shoulder to the west.
"We're coming. Charley. Dearie,
stand up. Now, now!" Marylyn was
dragged to her feet. The light was
quenched. The outcast faced about,
and tue tnree beaded tor the river,
with Charley leading at a trot.
They paused for the last time near
the river end of the corn and close to
the coulee crossing. Prom there Dal
las saw that the pyres were lower
and that other buildings of the row-
were ablaze; the roof of a scout hut.
too. and the prairie, over which trav
eled widening crefc-cnts f gold. But
the tire was the only thing that was
! moving, for not a single man was In
Charley was not watching toward
Branuon. only along the nearer bank
to the south.
Of a sudden as their eyes followed
his a gun shot raug out from the cot
I touwood grove.
1 "Mr. I.ouiishury!" cried Dallas, start
"No, he's go le"
That moment they saw between
them and the landing the silhouette of
It was not Lounsbury's. It was too
Not practlco a really "'
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short and thickset for his. Moreover,
it seemed to be casting aside clothes
as it ran.
Like one, Squaw Charley and Marylyn
bolted for the coulee. Dallas hesitated,
then followed. Near the briuk they
missed the steep road and went slip
plug, sliding and rolling down the
sumac grown side. Then they struck
the bristling bottom, righted, turned
their feet up It and tied.
IS face as blanched ns a dead
man's, his voice pealing out
above the battel like a bell
Oliver stood to windward of
top.' "The" colonel's library Is strip
ped!" ' -
So It was. . One hurried look by the
light of a lamp showed that not a bow,
not an arrow, remained on the walls.
But there was no time for exclaim
ing or conjecturing. Oliver rushed
back to the gallery and bade all the
women and children collect and keep
within quarters. Around It, under Ser
geant Klppls, he stationed a cordon.
Next, and while the house was being
thoroughly wet down, the ammunition
stores were drawn upon, and extra
guns' and cartridges were carried 'Into
the long reception room, where the
women could assist hi reloading. Bare
ly thiw minutes had passed since Oli
ver sent his messengers. But head
quarters was fixed to withstand an
assault and to protect its Inmates.
And now, still Ignorant of what had
befalleu, he ordered the remainder of
his men into line.
At this point, with "he detachment f
sounded from the stockade, another
and another. Then up went a great
hubbub: "The Indians, the Indians!"
Oliver started his troopers double
quick across the square. At the hospi
tal one of the stockade guard stopped
. , fc-
"The I ndians ?" croaked Oliver. j g J
. . i fc
uiiver turneu duck.
They met a second man, black faced,
staggering, frenzied with alarm. It
was Fraser. He caught at the cap
tain's ragged sleeve. -
"Shot other side they're over there
those girls those girls" His breath
Oliver saw the need. "To the ferry,"
I.Ike one man they bounded headlong
across the parade, through the red
smoke pouring from barracks and sta
bles and on, only to come short upou a
boatless landing, where they crowded
upon each other and cursed.
Fraser was half crazed. Oliver took '
him forcibly In hand. No man of them
all, even if not burdened with a gun,
could stem the river's current.
"There's one chance yet," he said,
"the night herd." He turned to his
trumpeter. "Sound the recall and keep
Again, and again the familiar strain
raug out. All looked northward to
where they knew the herd had been,
to where the long curves of the pruirie
fire were still moving.
But the minutes went, and there was
no answering beat of hoofs. Where
were the herders? Why did they not
Again, again and again!
Then to the south a reply! Above
the spiteful crackling of the tindery
buildings, out of the thinning dark,
came a clear, eager neigh!
That way the troopers rushed. Gath
ering at the flagstaff they saw by the
light of the burning piles a single
horse come galloping toward then
from the direction of the stockade.
Her dun neck was arched like a
charger's. As she swung proudly Into
an imaginary line the men greeted her
with a cheer.
That greeting was echoed. T'ntil now
the Indians had been quiet, as quiet as
a Hock of scurrying grouse. But the
river was between them and their ene
my, and they felt secure from pursuit.
Moreover, whisky was working. They
were boisterous with it. Casting cau
tion aside when they heard that cheer,
they answered with defiant whoops.
The cheers of the troopers changed
to anguished groans. One, wildly re
peating a girl's name, sprang toward,
the waiting Buckskin. From head
quarters came the sobbing of women,
the whimpering of frightened children,
and then, nearer and nearer, a dull
pounding that swelled luto the steady
plud, plud of unshod hoofs.
Once more a cheer went up. A mo
ment and a cavalcade swept in, a ri
derless cavalcade, with ropes daugllng.
It was the night herd, the discarded
second choice mounts of the regiment's
officers, a motley band that had served
their country through more than one
enlistment, and that, hearing the fa-
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the double furnace, giving quick or
ders on right and left.
"Two men there on the major's quar
ters. Let the guardhouse go. Use your
blanket, Flaherty; use your blanket.
Sergeant," as Klppls passed close by,
"clear the row and bring 'em all down
here. Don't let 'em stop for auy thing.
Boys, boys, turn out those horses!"
A trooper rushed up and leaned, yell
ing, to his captain's ear. "They won't
go, sir; they're hamstrung!"
Once more Oliver gave tongue, and
directions were sent to the stockade
and to the line. A signal light com
municated with the lookouts on the
Kippis was already fulfilling his
charge. Through a gap in the north
ward sweeping prairie nre a gap
fought out and kept open by a line of
men were coming the .women of
Clothespin row, each carrying a child
and dragging a second by the hand
Behind them scuttled the papoose cum
bered squaws from the scouts' huts,
At their rear trudged the sergeant,
also weighted, and Jaunty no longer,
but leaving red stains where his naked
feet touched the hot and smoldering
"To headquarters!" shouted the cap
tain at the foremost laundress in the
rout. Then he turned to his trumpet
er. A moment after, the fires and the
perishing horses were deserted, and
the troopers, weapons in hand, ran out
upon the parade ground, obeying a
call to arms.
I Oliver led them. As he approached
! the flagstaff the voice of a woman
hailed him from the gallery of the
nearest house. He sprang that way
: and was up the steps at a bound.
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master, far In advance of the twenty
others, was already plunging down the
bank and Into a black, roily whirl.
Down ttie Lanfc and into a blaCk, roily
miliar summons some limping, some
hobbling had followed the dun cayuse
to answer IL
Now nooses were twisted about the
noses of the horses. The troopers
mounted. The trumpet sounded the
Again came whoops from across the
Missouri. They were farther away
Itban the first
"Go up go up to the crossing!" OlI
i ver ordered. "Fraser! Fraser!"
But the : buckskin, maxs.. with her
OR all that the way was hard.
rough w ith stones and choked
by a tangle of rank growth
the three In the coulee made
fast progress over the first two miles.
Charley led. After him came Mary
lyn,. to whom the loathed split in the
plain was become a place of refuge.
In the rear, covering her sister against
possible attack, followed Dallas.
. The strain told first on the younger
girl. Before three miles had been
traveled, as she sank iu a shallow pool
to wet her lips her strength utterly
failed her. She could not rise and
pleaded faintly for rest.
""Just a minute, Dallas, please. I
can't go. My side hurts."
Dallas helped her through a hinder
ing weave of pond weeds and lilies and
laid her upon some marsh grass be
yond. Meanwhile Charley stole back a
short distance. But the respite was
brief, tor he returned straightway and
twitched at their dresses, when the
elder girl lifted the younger to her
feet, whispering encouragement.
Once more they pressed forward.
The lightning had ceased. With a last
grumble and a scatter of drops the
clouds were pulling apart Here ind
there a few stars shone. These thinned
me uarKness eonstuerauiy, ana at a
point where the coulee, shallowed Dal
las wan able dimly' to see the toilThg
shapes ahead. Marylyu was wavering.
"Spunky Httle girl!" urged the elder
girl. Lifting the rifle to her left shoul
der, she came alongside to give the
support of an arm.
"Where's the cartridge belt?" sbe
"Heavy," panted the other. "Dropped
And now despite Dallas' aid Mary
lyn straggled weakly. Another mile
and with scarcely a sigh of warning
she sank again exhausted.
"Charley," called Dallas. The Indian
joined them. "You take one arm
that's it" She took the other. Thus
Finally Dallas stopped. "Hide, hide."
she counseled between breaths. "A"
Ignoring the advice, the outcast
thrust bis bow and. arrows into her
bands, then, squatting before Marylyn,
he seized her wrist, drew her, limp and
half dead, upon his back and staggered
"Hold to Charley, dear," begged Dal
las. "He's carrying you pickapack."
The youuger girl murmured grate
fully and locked her hands beneath
the Indian's chin. This left bis arms
free to part a path through the thick
ets of burweed and plantain that chok
ed the defile, and for fully a half hour
he kept, a good jog. But. well worn
and hampered as ,he , was, he began
then to wabble. ,
received Marylyu upon her own shoul
ders. Notwithstanding the long way
her vigor remained splendid. And
when there came a tendency to lag she
fought it stoutly. Not until her limbs
refused their service did she drop
Under her wild rye made a cool, stiff
couch. She reached through it and
dug her fingers Into the wet earth.
Marylyn toppled over back and lay
beside her, prone. Charley leaned on
an elbow, breathing hard, watching
When, far behind, down the shad
owy crack through which they had
come, sounded wild whoops.
They scrambled up. terror stricken.
Like hunted deer they whipped away
again, knowing that in their wake, in
stead of the one man they had seen,
was a horde!
Once more, though after brave ef
fort it was Marylyn who compelled a
halt. Dallas strove to rouse her. "Try
a little longer, honey. Come on, come
enf But the other only sobbed hys
terically until Charley put his band
upon her mouth. , , .
"Can't we crawl out?" demanded
Dallas. "Quick, they'll pass!"
The outcast shook his head, coming
close that she might see his answer. ,
"No use?" - . . )
He shook his bead again and signed
that their pursuers bad horses.
It was a. moment of supreme despair.
She laid her arms upon her knees, her
' face upon her. arms. . Their puny hu-
could they" look for succor? Would
Lounsbury or the troopers come In
Then, tearfully, prayerfully. In this
utmost need, she raised her eyes to the
sky. "It's not for me," she faltered.
"It's for Marylyn." ,
That upward glance was not In vain.
In front of her, lifting their plumelike
tops against the heavens, she saw the
clump of burial trees. Instantly she
took heart, for her quick brain de
vised . a plan to hide in the cotton
woods! But all three might not stay, fot
however much the Sioux avoided the
laden boughs they would stop to search
them If there were not those ahead to
draw them past And one of those
ahead must be a woman. '
So she decided. Bending to her sis
ter, she lifted her to a sitting position.
"Honey," 6he said firmly, "you see the
big trees there? The Indians are
afraid of 'em, remember. They'll go
by. We'll put you up on a limb, and
you keep quiet You'll be safe. We'll
go on for help." -
"Yes, yes., Dallas, only I can't walk."
"Cbarleyr The elder girl bade him
assist Without understanding fully he
obeyed. Together they carried Mary
lyn toward the cotton woods, out of
which several lank, gray bodies shifted.
Into view and shot away. Dallas chose
a tree that grew close to the steep
bardc Here .in the narrow space b-
Dajlas gave him the. weapons and man power,, had. failed. - Where else
(Continued on rage Eleven.)