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for Nellie is a treasure. Don't know what I'd have been without her." This profound problem apparently dazed him, and he crept on again.
"Got to fix things some way; the whole game is square-except my hand. Southack has thrown up his and pulls out of camp to-morrow for good. It's a howling shame, and don't you forget it! What in thunder can I do to change their run of luck? They have thrown the whole game into my hands, and for once, I'm damned, if I know how to play it."
The Bed Rock saloon was at hand now, and muddy, dripping, disheveled, Travers entered.
Pausing at the bar he gulped down a full glass of whiskey, and then slouched through the crowded room. Refusing all invitations to join sundry games, he sank into a seat in an obscure corner, and fell into a deep reverie. The whiskey made him dull and sleepy.
An hour passed, and his thoughts became momently more hazy. A second hour slipped by, and one by one the miners straggled out, until finally the sleepy barkeeper shook old Doc Travers, who, rousing, found himself the last of the motley crowd.
He staggered slightly as he stepped out into the storm, and fell back into a shadowy angle of the building to recover himself. His brain was still in a whirl.
The sound of low voices near by came to his ears in a meaningless jargon. The impatient stamping of horses, mingled with curses, was audible.
"Now is your time, and we have got to be quick about it. We'll have a close call to finish the job and get away before daylight gives the game away," said one voice.
"Remember, boys, no shooting. One shot and we'll have the whole camp down on us in a holy minute."
"I'll have Southack's life, if I have to
stand off the whole damned outfit." growled a deep voice, with drunken imprecations.
"Kill the swell and welcome, but knife him and keep your gun quiet. We are after the dust first, and anything else afterward. Ready? Quiet now!"—and three mounted men stole by like phantoms and took the down trail.
Were they but creatures of the old doctor's diseased brain, or what deviltry was astir that wild night? Travers staggered forward and bent low. Yes, there were the hoof-prints, into which the water was even then seeping from the slush and mud. Then it came to him in a lurid flash, pregnant with horrid possibilities. tack upon the office was plainly indicated. One voice Travers recognized; that of the man with murderous designs on Southack's life. He remembered him as a burly ruffian whom Ray had discharged, and had thrashed subsequently and driven from the camp.
Travers sprang to the door of the saloon, and beat wildly upon it, yelling to the barkeeper to open. All remained silent within. He cried, and begged, and cursed, shouting murder; but the bar-keeper was but too used to such demonstrations from old Doc Travers, and cursing him sleepily, slept again.
Time was too precious to be wasted there. The boarding-house was distant a mile up the gulch, and the miners and mill men were mostly there. No time to obtain help from that quarter.
A grim, set look came over Travers's face, as, turning, he rushed madly down the trail. It was a good mile to the mill, and the enemy had fully five minutes start and were mounted.
Good God! what might not happen before he could cover that distance! Tearing off his old, ragged coat, he flung it away. Slipping, sliding, falling, but ever on his feet again, his bloodshot eyes glaring in their deep-set sockets, on the old man rushed. Every shriek of the wind seemed a death
cry, which the roar of the swollen torrent seemed vainly striving to drown. An unnatural strength possessed him. A wild exhilaration filled his veins. One thought beat remorselessly in his brain: "She loves him, and he must be saved." Onward he dashed with great bounds, his revolver tightly clinched in his hand. His hat had gone long ago, and his thin gray hair streamed and tossed in the wind and snow.
At last one spark of light ahead! Thank God that it still burned! Then two or three empty cabins appeared and disappeared as he ran by. Then from the old man's lips rang out panting cries. "Help! murder! help! Surely some one must hear! God in heaven! What is that?"
Figures moving to and fro, shutting out that blessed gleam of light.
Help was needed where that light burned. Three to one were terrible odds, and death was hovering awfully near to Ray, as he struggled in the grasp of those reckless, determined villains.
"Choke him, choke him, Bill! Down with him! Knife him, knife him, quick! Damn him!" The keen blade flashed and fell. By a superhuman effort Ray tore himself free and threw out his arm. A great spurt of blood told where the steel met the warm flesh. Then that wild cry rang out in the distance. "Break, boys! Break for your lives! The game is up!" and two of the three rushed for the door. The third sprang towards Ray, faint and reeling against the wall. The knife would find an easy victim now. One sure stroke, and then away!
Crash! The door flew back, and the two men near it shrank away, cowed at the sight of the maniac who rushed by. It could not be human! Crack! from the surest gun in the camp, and, as the light went out, Bill missed his stroke, and falling forward he and Ray came to the ground together with a crash.
The pistol shot broke the spell. Two more shots flashed in the darkness, and two
replied; and then only one horse was needed to carry the man who rushed from that hell, and he had to cling to his saddle in mortal anguish as he rode down the gulch, the cries of the now aroused camp in his buzzing ears. Then lights flashed in the office again, and half dead he fled from the death behind him.
"Clear the room, boys, and throw up the windows," said the old doctor as he moved with wavering steps to where Ray lay unconscious beneath the inert form of his assailant. No need of gentle care with the latter. He needed only to be put out of sight of men's eyes in the frozen earth. "Quick, a light here! That towel and that poker! Stand back! My God! what a gash!" Then with deft fingers the towel was tied above the gaping wound and twisted till the flesh bulged on either side, and the slender iron rod bent beneath the strain. That awful flow of blood was stopped, and
none too soon.
"Hal, run up to my house and get my instruments and some bandages. Be mighty sudden, now," said the doctor in a husky voice.
"Here is all you need," said a calm, sweet voice; and Helen knelt beside the senseless man and gently raised the heavy head with its damp hair, to her lap. She was as pale as the unconscious burden she bore, but as calm and quiet as the dead a yard away.
"Artery severed, of course," muttered Travers in the same harsh, labored voice as before. All his old professional skill seemed to return now, and in a few minutes the severed artery was tied, the veins taken up, and the fearful wound drawn together and held by its silken stitches.
Then the grimy, bloody hands began to falter strangely, and the bandages were applied with an effort. A strange, drawn look came into the momently paling face, and he paused.
"Fasten them, Nellie," he said faintly;
and then there was a swaying of the bended body, and the Doctor pitched forward and lay on his face by the woman's side.
"Stand back, and give me air! Hand me that flask there;" said Helen.
The torn shirt was pulled back from the old man's chest. 66 'My God! He's hit!" came from pallid lips. A blue hole just over the left lung marked the wound.
The men were carried by gentle hands to their homes, and the best man in camp went twenty miles for the nearest surgeon.
A bad night's work. Well for that groaning, cursing villain that he was miles away down the gulch, with a good half-hour's start. Not much hope that the savage men hurrying after would overtake him that night.
But what about Fate? That was before him, and he could not know. Up, up the long trail, winding around a spur that ran down from the main range and paused abruptly in the yellow waters of South Salmon, which surged around its foot, Up, up, till the trail turned sharply the angle of the spur, while a sheer thousand feet below, the wild waters boomed and roared among the jagged rocks that had fallen from that awful face.
Only a thin, saffron-hued Mongol, toiling up the other slope of that narrow trail. A few moments pause by either, and all will be well. But Fate is in it. Face to face Mongol and horse meet, just at that narrow The figures start in unnatural proportions from out the gloom.
The animal crouches back from that strange apparition. One hoof hangs over the abyss-there is a wild struggle for one brief instant-and then the Chinaman stands, bleached to a sickly hue, alone on the trail, while a scream of horror floats up to him from the black depth below, half drowned by the dull roar of the all-grasping, turbid
The sickly gray of dawn struggled down
into the Gulch with the still fast falling snow, and crept in around the scene of the night's horror.
Old Doc Travers turned and moaned uneasily on his bed. Helen, sitting by his side, bent eagerly forward.
The sick man's eyes opened and looked into hers. For a minute the brain refused to act, and then a look of intelligence slowly dawned in the blood-shot orbs.
"Has the doctor come in yet, Nellie?" "No, Tom, it will be hours yet-certainly not before noon.”
The man's hand was fumbling in his bosom now. "Who fixed me up, Nellie? "I did, Tom, as well as I could."
"Good girl, good little girl! You did well, Nellie; could not have done better myself. myself. Give me a little whisky."
Helen hesitated. "It can't do me any harm, Nellie," said Travers faintly. "No, nor much good, either."
"Oh, don't say that, Tom," said his wife, as she held the glass to his lips. "Fact, Nellie. I'm booked for across the range. Knew it as soon as I was hit. But he will pull through all right, girl. He's got the constitution of a horse. There's no poison in his blood. I'm played out. Too much whisky! Too much whisky."
Helen's head was bowed near his own, now, and the tears were falling. The thin hand rested gently on that head, and rervously smoothed the brown hair.
"Don't cry, Nellie, don't. Poor girl, poor girl! It was a bad mess for a fact, and I didn't know just how to help you. But it's all right now;" and the old man smiled contentedly and lay for a time with closed eyes. Then suddenly rousing:-"Nellie, don't let that other doctor kill him. needs is to be let alone. He's a white man, Nellie, and he will take care of you now."
"O Tom, dont talk so! Tell me something I can do for you," cried Helen tremulously.
You can't help me any, my poor girl.
No one can." The voice was very feeble and husky. Nellie, I heard you last night. I came down to say good-by to Southack. I came in the back of the cabin, and heard you stand him off. You did right, Nellie. I'm a broken-down old card sharp, but you did right. I am proud of you, Nellie-my brave little girl! have led you a very hell of a life-but I have always loved you. You have been a good and true wife, and now-after a while -you will have a good husband. He's white, Nellie. Stand by him. Luck was
dead against you both-but its running with you now. I called the turn just at the right time" and a faint chuckle followed. Helen shuddered. "I bet my last chipthat I-leaded that cuss-that lit out. wasn't bad for an old soaker-like me," and the old man rambled off into delirium. But when the grey of night settled over Black Bear Gulch again, he lay quiet enough, with his eyes closed and his wife's kiss on his cold lips. The game had been all in his hands, and right bravely had he played it. H. W. Leavens.
INDIAN WAR PAPERS. III. THE BANNOCK CAMPAIGN.
Meanwhile, the entire Northwest was full of movement and excitement. The usual operation of mobilizing forces, which in Europe always creates consternation, occurs in any corner of this country the instant hostile Indians begin their work of murder, outrage, and robbery. Of course, here, the numbers of men to be moved are small, but the posts are far apart, and great distances have to be spanned before any considerable force can get to a rendezvous.
A commander in Indian warfare is impatient, and chafes at the exaggerated reports coming to him from every quarter. The experience, however, of the Nez Percé war and of the Custer massacre taught us never again, if it could possibly be avoided, to send an inadequate body of men against the Indians, after they had had time to con
As a city fire-brigade promptly rushes at the first alarm to a burning building, so the troops of the Northwest sped on from every garrison, toward the Camas Prairie and the
lava beds, where the first bloodshed had occurred. They were hastening thither by water, by rail, and by marching-infantry and artillerymen from Fort Vancouver near Portland, from Forts Stevens and Canby, near the mouth of the Columbia, and from Fort Townsend on the Puget Sound. After reaching Umatilla, all these soldiers were to follow the overland stage road eastward for a hundred miles, getting such lifts as they could in transportation wagons, riding and walking by turns. Fort Walla Walla furnished its contingent, two troops of cavalry -Whipple's and Perry's; Bendire's was already across the Blue Ridge, making for Walla Walla under previous instructions, but was quickly turned back, so that the beautiful route across the mountains was
alive with marching men. Half-way be
tween the Columbia and the California line was a frontier garrison at Camp Harney, which sent forward at once McGreggor's troop of cavalry and Downey's company of infantry. They, with many misgivings, left behind them to protect their women and children but a small guard. At the same
time other detachments were approaching the Bannocks, we will arrange for a meeting somewhere. I depend on you to keep the peace." Moses received this and sev
the scenes of disturbance, by water, and by overland roads from California.
The morning of the 4th of June, Colonel Frank Wheaton, who was at Lapwai in Idaho, was fully warned of the Indian outbreak and of the perturbed condition of affairs in the vicinity of Boise City. The following Saturday-June 9th-was appointed for a consultation between him and me at Walla Walla. Colonel Cuvier Grover, the commander of Walla Walla, was sent at the same time to the front, under instructions to go to Boise City, "assume charge at that point, and remain there, opening communication with the department commander wherever he might be, and keeping him fully informed." The instructions to Grover indicated that I was to leave Portland Friday morning, go to Walla Walla, remain there one day, and go thence directly to Boise; and he-Grover -was to furnish me with telegraphic reports at the various stations along the route.
There were still other preparations that I had to make before leaving my headquarters for the field.
There was a famous Indian not far from the Columbia, (who is now living on a part of the Colville Reservation in Washington "Territory,) by the name of Moses. He is the acknowledged chief of several bands of Indians, and had then more or less influence over numerous restless tribes who were roaming over the upper region of the Columbia. I had great fears that certain wild white men, who preferred a state of riot and war to peace, might stir up trouble with this chieftain or among his followers. I knew, from my intercourse with him the previous year, that I had Moses's friendship; so I wrote him on the 4th substantially as follows: "I have already sent you word about the Bannocks; I send you word again. The Bannocks are giving me trouble, so that I cannot meet you, as I promised, at Spokane Falls. When I come back from
eral kindred communications. They had the effect that was desired; for he made no effort to combine with the Bannock hostiles or to give them aid in the war.
On the part of our Eastern people at times much objection has been raised, in letters and in the press, against the use of Indian scouts in dealing with Indians on the warpath. The fear is that by using Indians in trailing and skirmishing and other warlike operations, we keep them excited and diminish their interest in peaceful pursuits; so that they are more likely to shed blood among each other, and more inclined to retaliate their wrongs, or fancied wrongs, upon the settlers. Still it is next to impossible for a commander successfully to follow Indian raiders or locate Indian camps without Indian scouts. We sought earnestly to obtain them in this war; first from the celebrated Captain Smith, the agent of the Warm Spring tribe. They were offered the privilege of furnishing their own horses, twenty-five of them, and they were to meet us en route at the Dalles, or afterward. No inducements, however, could procure them. Similar efforts were made to secure scouts from the Umatillas, the Walla Wallas, the Nez Percés and other Indians, but for quite a time without success. These failures indicated beyond a doubt that there was a secret understanding among a score of tribes; in fact, among all those who range through Idaho, Oregon, and Washington Territory. No matter how advanced any of them were in knowledge and civilization, their "Dreamers," or Tooats, had over their minds a wonderful influence, and the hopeful predictions of ultimate success had for a time many ardent believers. However, the loyal Nez Percés, who during the previous war had remained our friends, did at last bring into the field fifteen of their number; and the wily Umatillas, under the