The Red Cloud chief. (Red Cloud, Webster Co., Neb.) 1873-1923, February 09, 1894, Page 2, Image 2
? m "- Fii-yjZTrT? y?ffi" THE RED CLOUD CHIEF, fiED CLOUD, NEBRASKA, FRIDAY, FEB. 9 Jfll. ASTUBY -In Seai unco on the lil.fVroari tliyi.'-di' rapid progrofw. Only ouoo did tlu-y tnoet anyone, nnd tlien they nmnntfctl to lip into 11 field nnd ho tivohl recogni tion. Ileforo reaching tlio town tho hunter branched awuy Into n rugped and narrow footpath which led to tho mountains. Two dark, jnjfircd peaks loomed abovo them through tho dark ness, and tho dotllo which lud between them was tho Englo canyon In which tho horses were awaiting them. With unerring inntlnct .leJror.son Hopo picked his way ninong tho great bowlders and along tho bed of a dried up water-course, until ho canio to tho retired corner, hcrccncd with rocks, where- tho faithful animals had been picketed. Tho girl was placed upon tho mulo, and old L'crrlcr upon otio of the horses, with his inonuy-bng, whllo Jefferson Hopo led tho other ulong tho precipitous and dangerous paths. It was a bewildering roulo for nny one who was not accustomed to faco Nature In her wildest moods. On tho one side a great crag towered up a thousand feet or more, black, stem and menacing, with long basaltlo columns upon its rugged surfaco like tho ribs of somo petrlilcd monster. On tho other hand a wild chaos of bowlders and debris mailo all advanco impossi ble. Between tho two ran tho irregu lar track, so narrow In places that they had to travel In Indian file, and so rough that only practiced riders could liavo traversed it at all. Yot, In splto of all dangcrsund difllcultlcs.thc hearts of tho fugitives wcro light within them, for every stop increased the distance between them and tho terrible despot ism from which they wcro flying. Thoy noon had a proof, however, that thoy wcro still in tho jurisdiction of tho Saints. They had reached the very wildest and most desolato portion of the pass when tho girl gavo a startled cry and pointed upward. On a rook which overlooked tho track, showing out dark and plain against tho sky, thcro stood a solitary sentinel. Ilo saw them as soon as they perceived him, and his military challenge of "Who goes theroVrang through tho silent ravine. "Travelers for Nevada," said Jef ferson IIcpo, with his hand upon tho rlflo which hung by his saddle. They could sco tho lonely watcher fingering his gun, nnd peering down at them as if dissatisfied with their re ply. "By whoso permission?" ho asked. "Tho Holy Four," answerod Ferrier. Ills Mormon experiences had taught him that that was tho highest authority to which ho could refer. "Nino from seven," cried tho senti nel. "Seven from five," returned Jeffer son Hopo promptly, remembering tho countersign which ho had heard In tho garden. "Pass, and tho Lord go with you," aid tho voloo from above. Noyontl this post tho path broadened out, and tho horses wero able to break Into a trot Looking back, they could seo the solitary watcher leaning upon his gun, and know that they had passed the outlying post of tho chosen people, and that freedom lay before, them. I cnAPTRH V. Till AVCNOIMl ANGELS. All night their course lay through in tricate defiles and over irregular and rook-strewn paths. More than onoo thoy lost their way, but Hopo's intlr iun counsK lay T'mouon intricate UKKII.KS. mate knowledge of tho mountains en abled them to regain the track onco more. When morning broke, a scene of marvelous though havago beauty lay boforo them. In every direction the great snow-capped peaks hemmed them in, peeping over each other's shoulders to tho far horizon. So steep wcro tho rocky banks on cither side 'of them that the larch and tho pine seemed to bo suspended over their heads, and to need only a guht of wind to como hurtling down upon them. Nor was the feur entiruly an Illusion, for tho barren valley was thickly htrown with trees and bowlders which had fullen in a similar manner. Even as they passed, a great rock came thun dering down with a bourse rattle which woko the echoes In tho hilcnt gorges, and startled tho weary horses Into a gallop. As the sun rose slowly abovo tho eastern lioriron, tho caps of the great mountains lit up one after tho other, liko lamps at a festival, until they were all ruddy and glowing. Tho mag nlficent spectacle cheered tho hearts of tho thrco fugitives nnd gavo them fresh energy. At a wild torrent which swept out of a ravino they called a halt and watered their horses, whllo they partook of u hosty breaJtfast. Lucy and her father would fain liuvo rested longer, but Jeffersou Hopo was inexorable. "Thoy will bo upon our track by thin tlmo," ho bald. "Every thhig depends upon Pursued. f,uca H.VW jj. T" ? f'nk tu 10 . B. ? ink". j !- I lM sate In Carson, wo may rest for tho re mainder of our lives." During tho wholo of that dr. they struggled on through tho defihs, and by evening they calculated that they were more than thirty miles from their (jnuinlcH. At night timu thvy ehoso the base of a beetling crag, wharu tho rocks offered somo protection from tho chill wind, and there, huddled to gether for warmth, they enjoyed a few hours' sleep. Iteforo daybreak, how ever, they wero up and on their way onco more. They had seen no signs of any pursuers, and Jefferson Hopo bo gan to think that thoy wero fairly out of the reach of the terrible organiza tion whoso enmity thoy had Incurred. Ho little know how far that iron grasp could reach, or how soon It was to cIom! upon them and crush them. About, the mlddlu of the second day of tho flight their scanty storo of pro visions began to run out. This gavo tho hunter llttlo uneasiness, however, for there was game to bo had umong the mountains, and ho had frequently before had to depend upon his rlllo for tho needs of life. Choosing a shel tered nook,, ho piled together a few dry branches and made a blazing lire, at which his companions might worm themselves, for they were now nearly five thousand feet abovo tho sea levci, ami the air was bitter and keen. Hav ing tethered the horses and bade Lucy adieu, he threw his gun over his shoulder and set out in search of whatever ehanco might throw In his way. Looking back, he saw tho old man and tho young girl crouching over the blazing lire, whilo tho three ani niuls stood motionless in tho back ground. Then tho Intervening rocks hid them from his view. Ho walked for u couple of miles through ono ravine afteranother with- nT. SAW THE OLD MAN AND THK YOU.VO mm. cnoucnixo ovkii tub di.azi.no KUIK. out success, though from tho marks upon the trees, and other indications, he judged that thero wero numerous bears in tho vicinity. At la it, after twoor three hours' fruitless search, ho was thinking of turning back In de spair, when, casting his eyes up ward, ho saw a sight which sent a thrill of pleasure through his heart. On tho edge of a jutting pinnacle, three or four hundred feet above him, there stood a creature somewhat re sembling n sheep in appearance, but armed with a pair of gigantic horns. Tho big-horn, for so It is called was acting, probably, as a guardian over a flock which were invisible to the hun ter; but fortunately it was heading in tho opposite direction, and had not per ceived him. Lying on his back, ho rested his rlflo upon a rock, and took a long and steady aim before drawing tho trigger. Tho animal sprang into tho air, tottered for a moment upon tho edge of tho precipice, and then camo crashing down into the valley beneath. Tho creature was too unwieldy' to lift, so tho hunter contented himself with cutting away one haunch and a part of tho flank. With this trophy over his shoulder, ho hastened to re trace his steps, for tho evening was al ready drawing in. Ho had hardly started, however, before ho realized the difficulty which faced him. In his eagerness ho hud wandered fur past the ravines which were known to him, and it was no easy matter to pick out the path which ho had taken. Tho val ley in which he found himself divided and subdivided into many gorges, which wero so liko each other that it was impossible to distinguish ono from the other. Ho followed ono for a mile or more until ho eamo to a mountain torrent which ho was suro that ho had never seen before. Convinced that ho had taken the wrong tirn, ho tried unother, but with tho same result. Night was coming on rapidly, and it was almost dark beforo hoagain found himself In a defllo which was familiar to him. Kven then it was no easy mut ter to keep on tho right track, for tho moon had not yet risen, and tho high cliffs op either sldo made tho obscurity mora profound. Weighed down with his burden and weary from his exer tions, ho stumbled along, keeping up his heart by tho reflection that every Step brought him nearer to Lucy, and that ho carried with him enough to In sure thejn food for tho remainder of their journey. Ho had now cojnp to tho mouth of the very defllo in which ho had left them. Even in tho darkness ho could rccvognlzo the outlines of the cliffs which bounded It. They must, he re flected, be awaiting him anxiously, for ho had been ubson nearly live hours. In the gladness of his heart he put his hands to his mouth and mudo tho glen reecho to a loud hallo as a signal that ho was coming. Ho paused and listened for nn answer. Nouo eamo save his own cry, which clattered up tho drenry, silent ravluesJ, and wns borno back to his cars in Countless repetitious. Again ho Jthoutedl even, louder .than boforo, and again no whisper camo baok from tho frionds whom ho had loft such a short time ago. A voguo, nameless dread camo over him, and he hurried onward frantically, dropping tho pre cious food in hlsagilatlon. hen ho turned tho corner, he camo full In sight of tho spot where tho flro had been lit. There was still a glow ing pile of wood-ashes there, but It had evidently not been tended since his do- 1 parturc. The fame dead silence still ruigned ull rounl. With his fears changed to conviction-, In; hurried on. I 1 hero was no living oeatu ( i ear tho remains of tho tire; aulnmls, man, j muldcu, nil were gone. It was only too clear that somo sudden and terrible disaster had occurred during his ah sence a disaster which had embraced them all and yet had left no traces bo hind It. llewlldered and stunned by this blow, Jefferson Hopo felt his head spin round, and hud to lean upon his rifle to savo himself from falling. lie was es sentially a man of action, howevur, and speedily recovered from his temporary impotence. Seizing a half-consumed piece of wood from tho smouldering lire, ho blew It into a flame, and pro ceeded with its help to examine tho llttlo camp. Tho ground was all stamped down by the feet of horses showing that a largo party of mounted men had overtaken the fugitives, and the direction of their trucks proved that thoy had aftcrwardturncd back to Salt Lake City. Had they carried back both of his companions with them? Jefferson Hope had almost per suaded himself that they must have done so, when his eyo fell upon an ob ject which mudo every nerve of his body tingle within him. A little way on ono sido of tho camp was u low lying head of reddish soil, which had assuredly not been thero before. Thero was no mistaking It for anything buta newly-dug grave. As the young hunter approached It. ho perceived thatastick had been planted on it, with a sheet of paper stuck In the cleft fork of It. The inscription upon tho paper was brief, but to tho point: : JOHN FERRIEK, : j roUMtHLT OF SALT LAKE CITY, I ! Died August 4, I860. ! i fc Tho sturdy old man, whom he had left so short a tlmo before, was gone, then, and this was nil his epitaph. Jefferson Hope looked wildly round to soo If there was a second grave, but thero was no sign of one. Lucy had been carried back by their terri ble pursuers to fulfill her original destiny, by becoming one of tho harem of the elder's son. As the young fel low realized tho certainty of her fate end his own powcrlessness to pruvent It, he wished that ho, too, was lying with the old farmer In his luwt silent resting place. Again, however, his active spirit shook off the lethargy which springs from despair. If thero was nothing else iclt to him, ho could at least de vote his lifo to revenge. With indom itable patience and perseverance, Jef fcrson Hope possessed also a power of sustained vindictiveness, which he may hnve learned from tho Indians among whom lie hud lived. As ho stood by the desolate lire ho felt that the only thing which could assuage his grief wouiu oe thorough and complete retri bution brought by his own hand upon his enemies. His stroug will and un tiring energy should, ho determined, bo devoted to that one end. With a grim, white face ho retraced his steps to where ho had dropped the food, and having stirred up tho smouldering Are, ho cooked enough to last him for a few days. This ho made up into n bundle, and, tired as ho was, ho set himself to walk back through tho mountains upon the track of tho avenging angels. For five days ho tolled, footsore and weary, through tho defiles which he had already traversed on horseback. At night he flung himself down among tho rocks and snatched a few hours of sleep, but beforo daybreak he was al ways well on his way. On tho sixth day ho reached the Eagle canyon, from which they had commenced their ill fated flight. Thence ho could look down upon tho homo of the Saints. Worn and exhausted, ho leaned upon his rlflo and shook his gaunt hand fiercely at tho silent, widespread city beneath him. As ho looked at it ho observed that thero wero flugs in somo of tho principal streets and other signs of festivity. Ho was still specu lating ns to what this might mean when ho heard tho clatter of horse's hoofs and saw a mounted man riding toward him. As he approached ho recognized him as a Mormon named Cowper, to whom ho had rendered services at different times. Ho there fore accosted him when ho got up to him, with the object of finding out what Lucy Fcrrier's futo hud been. 1 "I am Jefferson Hope," ho baid. "You remember mo." Tho Mormon looked at him with un disguised astonishment Indeed, It was difficult to recognize in this tattercd.un- kempt wanderer, with ghastly faco and ! fierce, wild eyes, tho bpruco young hunter or former days. Having, how ever, at last batibfled himself as to his identity, the man's surprise changed to consternation. "You aro mad to como hero," ho cried. "It is as much as my own life is worth to bo been talking with you. Thero Is a warrant against you from tho Holy Four for assisting tho Fer rlersaway." "I don't fear them or tliolr warrant," Hope said, earnestly. "You must kuow something of this matter, Cowper. I conjure you by all you hold dear to an swer a few questions. Wo have al ways been friends. For God's sake don't refuso to answer me." "What l.s It?" tho Mormon asked un easily. "Ho quick. Tho very rocks have ears and tho trees oyes." "What has becorao of Lucy Ferrier?" "She was married yesterday to young Drobbcr. Hold up, man, hold up, you havo no lifo left in you." "Don't miud mo," suld Hope, faintly. Ho was wbito to tho very lips, and had sunk down on tho stone ogalnst which ho had been leaning.' "Married, you say?" , "Married yesterday that's what those flags arc for on the Endowment house. Thero was somo words be tween young Drobbcr and young Htangcrson as to which was to huvo her. They'd both been in tho party that followed them, and Stangerson had shot her father, which becmed to give him tho best claim; but when thoy argued it outin council Drebber's party was tho stronger, so tho prophet gavo her over to him. No ono won't have her very long, though, for 1 saw d'jHth In her faco yestcrdiy. She ismoro 11 aghost than a woman. Aro you ofl, thon'.'" , "Yes, I'm olf," said Jefferson Hope, ' who had risen from his scut. Ills faco ! might havo been chiseled out of mar Trfi5--;'V & m -fun Ui-CTS m f "DON'T MINI) mi:," said uopk, faintly. ble, so hard and so set was its expres sion, while his eyes glowed with a baleful light. "Where aro you going?" "Never mind," he uuswered; and, slinging his weapon over his shoulder, ho strode off down the gorgo and so away into the heartof tho mountains to the haunts of the wild beasts. Among them all thero was nouo so fierce and so dangerous as himself. The prediction of tho Mormon was only too well fulfilled. Whether it was the terrible death of her father or tho effects of tho hateful marriage into which she had been forced, poor Lucy never held up her head again, but pined away and died within a mouth. Iicr sottish husband, who had married her principally for the sake of John Fcrrier's property, did not nffectany great grief at his bereavement; but his other wives mourned over her, and sat up with her tho night before tho burial, as is the Mormon custom. They wero grouped round tho bier In the early hours of the morning, when, to their incxpresslblo fear and aston ishment, tho door was flung open, and a suvage-looklng, weather beaten man in tattered gar ments strode into the room. With out a glance or a word to the cowering women ho walked up to the white, si lent figure which hud ouce contained the pure soul of Lucy Ferrier. Stooping over her ho pressed his lips reverently to her cold forehead, and then snatch ing up her hand ho took the wedding ring from her linger. "She shall not bo buried in that," ho cried, with a fierce snarl, and before an alarm could bo raised sprang down tho stairs and was gone. So strange and so brief was the episode that tho watchers might have found it hard to believe It them selves or persuade other jicoplo of It, had it not been for tho undeuiuble fact that the circlet of gold which marked horus having been a bride had disap peared. (To b contiaued.) A Demi Open iiikI Shut And no foolishness. 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