The Gray Scalp; Or, The Blackfoot Brave
The Table of Contents was created by the transcriber and placedin the public domain.
Additional Transcriber’s Notes are at theend.
CHAPTER I. A MIDNIGHT ATTACK.
CHAPTER II. A PRAIRIE ENCOUNTER.
CHAPTER III. A SERIOUS REVERSE.
CHAPTER IV. ASTONISHING THE BLACKFEET.
CHAPTER V. THE TEST OF FRIENDSHIP.
CHAPTER VI. A CROW VICTORY.
CHAPTER VII. THE PASS.
CHAPTER VIII. MARTIN LAURIE’S LITTLE SCHEME.
CHAPTER IX. A DOG IN THE WAY.
CHAPTER X. CROSS-PURPOSES.
CHAPTER XI. DOVE-EYE.
CHAPTER XII. A BLIND TRAIL.
CHAPTER XIII. LIGHT AHEAD.
CHAPTER XIV. THE AMBUSCADE.
CHAPTER XV. CONCLUSION.
Semi-Monthly Novels Series.
THE GRAY SCALP.
BEADLE AND COMPANY, 98 WILLIAM STREET, NEW YORK.
Am. News Co., 119 & 121 Nassau St., N. Y.
A FOREST HEROINE!
Beadle’s Dime Novels, No. 206,
TO ISSUE TUESDAY, JUNE 21st,
Will present a richly racy romance of the woods, viz:
The White Demon of the Woods.
A ROMANCE OF THE BLACKFOOT COUNTRY.
BY GUY GREENWOOD,
Author of “The Phantom Foe; or, the Maid of Montmorenci,” etc.
Buckskin Bill is a character. The Far West produces many odd specimensof men, but none whose claim to oddity is stronger than Bill’s.Rough as a bear, he is gentle as a fawn. Brave as a lion, he is afraid of ayoung girl’s frown. Untutored as a savage, he is yet as wise and shrewdas a minister of war.
In his daughter we have his perfect contrast. The beautiful child-womanis not only grace itself, but is bravery itself; and though apparentlyas wild as the mustang which she rides, is as true to a pure woman’s instinctsas if raised as a petted child of the parlor.
The secondary persons of the stirring story are the captain of the expeditionof observation; the dreaded Demon Slayer, whose track seemedmarked with the blood of the Blackfeet, and the Indian chief, whose cunningand thirst for scalps gives the leading incidents to the drama.
The novel is alive with action, rapid in its incident-movement, excitingand strange.
☞ For sale by all Newsdealers and Booksellers; or sent, post-paid, toany address, on receipt of price—Ten Cents.
BEADLE AND COMPANY, Publishers,
98 William Street, New York.
THE GRAY SCALP;
THE BLACKFOOT BRAVE.
BY EDWARD WILLETT,
Author of the following Dime Novels:
10. THE HIDDEN HOME.
111. NED STARLING.
119. THE FIVE CHAMPIONS.
125. THE HUNTED LIFE.
132. OLD HONESTY.
139. THE BORDER FOES.
145. THE MOUNTAINEER.
149. THE HUNTER’S PLEDGE.
170. BORDER AVENGERS.
187. THE OUTLAWS’ PLOT.
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THE GRAY SCALP.
“Hurrah for Oregon! says I. That’s the place for Denny,and mesilf is the boy who is bound to have a good shlice avthe fine lands, and who has a better right?”
“What’s the fool talkin’ about? Thar’s no sech place asOregon, greeny. That kentry thar is called Oregon, and it’san Injun name, I reckon.”
“An Injun name! The ignorance av yez! It was namedfor Michael O’Regan, who first diskivered it, as ye might readin the histories, if ye could read at all. He was an Irishman,from the county Donegal, and was me grandfather’s first cousinon the mother’s side. We dhropped the O’ whin we kimacross the say; but that don’t hindher me from claimin’ ashlice av the fine lands that once belonged to me grandfather’scousin.”
“I don’t believe a word of it, Denny Regan. Of all theliars that were ever turned loose in this yere kentry, I reckonyou are about the infarnalest.”
“Is it a liar ye are callin’ me, Misther Pap Byers? Ye’vegot it to take back, or feel the edge av me knife.”
“You had better shut up, both of you. Captain Benninggave orders that there should be no talkin’ around the campto-night, and he’ll give you a proper good blowin’ up if heketches you at it. Here he is, by thunder!”
The first speaker was Dennis Regan, a young Irishman, who,although he had turned trapper, had not discarded his broguewith his brogans, or his natural character with his corduroys.The second was John Byers, commonly called Pap Byers, amiddle-aged free trapper, of long experience on the plains andin the mountains. In person he was tall, gaunt, sinewy andsolemn, while the Irishman was short and stout, with fatcheeks and a merry face. The third speaker was Sam Glass,a hired trapper, in the employ of Mr. Robinette, the fur-traderto whose company all were attached.
Captain Benning, who came up just as Sam Glass mentionedhis name, was a tall young man, well built and fine looking,with an appearance of activity, nerve and daring. He wasone of the leaders of the party under Mr. Robinette, and wasregarded as an excellent “partisan.”
“What is the meaning of this noise?” asked the captain,frowning upon the group. “Don’t you know that orderswere given to keep the camp quiet to-night?”
“It was Denny Regan here,” replied Pap Byers. “Thedurned fool was tryin’ to make us believe that Oregon wasdiskivered by an Irishman, and named arter him.”
“And this ould sinner called me a liar, capt’in dear, andthat’s what ye wouldn’t like to be called yersilf.”
“No matter who began it, or what it was about; it mustbe stopped. There are Indians all around us, and they maybe down upon us at any moment. I have been obliged toleave my patrol to come and put a stop to your noise, andthere is no telling what may happen during my absence.Hark! I believe something is already the matter with thehorses.”
In an instant the attitude and air of the four men werechanged. With countenances expressive of anxiety, theyleaned forward, listening intently to catch the slightest soundthat might indicate an alarm.
“You’re right thar, cap’n!” exclaimed Byers, seizing hisrifle and jumping up; “the red-skins are among the hosses.”
All rushed toward the camp, to give the alarm, and to searchfor the wily enemy; but they were too late.
The horses were already stampeded, and came burstingthrough the camp like an avalanche, overthrowing every thingbefore them. After them, with terrific yells and whoops,poured a crowd of half-naked savages, splendidly mounted,galloping like mad after the frightened herd.
Captain Benning and his companions fired at the Indians,and a few straggling shots from the camp showed that someattempt at defense was made there; but the furious rush ofthe animals prevented any thing like an organized resistance.It is probable that the assailants had not intended, at first, anything more than a stampede; but the route taken by thehorses had thrown the camp into such confusion, that themassacre and plunder of the party of white men seemed tofollow as a matter of course.
The voices of the leaders were heard, far above the din,directing the movements of their followers. A few of thewarriors rode on after the herd, to keep the animals togetherand guide their course; while the others turned and dashedupon the scattered and bewildered whites, hoping to slay thembefore they could recover from their confusion.
But a party of more than thirty mountain men was not tobe so easily discomfited. The hardy trappers and hunters,accustomed to savage combats, availing themselves of theshelter of the wagons and packs, stood gallantly on the defensive,loading and firing their rifles with a rapidity and precisionthat soon checked the fury of the onset. The savages,who fought at a disadvantage on horseback, were in their turnthrown into confusion and forced back.
Again the voices of the leaders rung out, and a portion ofthe warriors dismounted, to renew the combat on foot, whileothers circled around the wagons, for the purpose of drivingthe trappers from their defenses.
The white men were quickly outflanked, and were graduallyforced back, until they were compelled to take refuge ina thicket, leaving the camp in the possession of their assailants.
Having accomplished this much, the savages, as has sometimeshappened to more civilized warriors, made a poor useof their victory. Instead of pursuing their advantage, partof them fell to plundering the camp and securing the scalpsof the slain.
It was at this juncture that Benning and his companions,who had been compelled to make a circuit in order to findtheir friends, reached the camp, and poured in a volley uponthe flank of the savages. The trappers in the thicket, profitingby this diversion in their favor, rushed out, and chargedboldly upon the enemy. A few volleys from their terriblerifles changed the face of affairs, and the savages were soonflying from the camp as swiftly as they had entered it. Beingunable to pursue them, from lack of horses, the trapperscollected in the midst of the ruins, vowing vengeance againstthe midnight marauders.
Out of thirty-five men, six had been killed outright, includingMr. Robinette, the head of the expedition. It was impossibleto say how many lives had been lost on the side ofthe Indians, as they had carried off all their dead and wounded,besides a large amount of plunder. A few of the remainingwhite men were wounded, but none severely.
After a hurried survey of the field, the question arose bywhat means the savages had been enabled to creep upon thecamp without being observed. Angry recriminations ensued,and hard words seemed likely to lead to hard blows.
“Perhaps you can tell us who was at fault, Captain Benning?”said Mr. Laurie, the principal agent of Mr. Robinette.“You should know, if any man knows.”
“What good will it do to argue that matter now?” tartlyreplied Benning. “Somebody was careless, of course, andperhaps I might put my finger on the man; but of what usewould that be now? The mischief has been done, and noone knows the extent of it yet. Has anybody seen MissFlora?”
The faces of all changed, and greater consternation thanthey had yet shown was now visible among the rough trappers.
Flora Robinette was the only child of her father, a beautifuldark-haired and dark-eyed girl of nineteen. Since the deathof her mother, the trader had been so strongly attached toher, that it had seemed almost impossible for him to separatehimself from her. As it was part of the object of this expeditionto establish a post west of the Rocky Mountains, atwhich he expected to spend the greater part of his time, hehad at last yielded to her entreaties, and permitted her toaccompany him and share his home in the wilds. He believedthat his party was strong enough to furnish a safe escort, andthat she could be in no danger when the post was established.Her only hardships, as he supposed, would be such as wouldresult from traveling over the plains, and from deprivationof the comforts and luxuries of civilization; but these shehad professed herself able and willing to endure.
She had endured them, so far, without grumbling, and withall apparent cheerfulness. She had manifested, also, a spiritof daring and love of adventure, together with a real delight inthe fresh air and free life of the plains, that had charmed therough men into whose company she was thrown, and renderedher the idol of them all. It was no wonder that their cheeksblanched when they were asked if they had seen her.
No one had seen Flora Robinette since the commencementof the fray. At the usual hour she had retired to the wagonin which she slept,