The Red Cloud chief. (Red Cloud, Webster Co., Neb.) 1873-1923, December 07, 1916, Image 6

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A Modem Indian Reservation
Story by Robert Ames Bennet
IN this serial you nro given a
picture of present-day Amer
ican Indians on government
reservations. Tho author depicts,
too, the manner In which tho
original Americans have been
exploited In the past by unscru
pulous men with strong political
Influence. On the other hnnd,
assuming that you havo n tusto
for wholcsomo romance, you will
enjoy tho powerful love clement
In "Tho Quarterbreed." And
Mr. Bonnet's portrayal of tho
principal characters Is an much
u study ns an entertainment.
We feel suro our readers can
look forward with pleasure to
tho perusal of each Installment
of the story.
Under, Fire.
In Its spring freshness tho usunl
dreary brown of tho Montana raugo
wnB tempered with a pleasant green.
But tho midday sun was bllstcrlngly
hot, and tho rider turned his eyes to
tho snowy crests of tho Little Paw
mountains. The nearest of the rugged,
pine-clad spurs wero now only four or
five miles away. lie had almost reached
the reservation. Wolf river marked
tho boundary. Tho rangy stride of his
thoroughbred maro was as easy and
unfaltering as when sho had borne
him away from the half-dozen Bhacks
of the nearest "town" on the railroad,
fifty miles back over tho open range.
But as thy began to top the rise, he
drew her down to her rapid walk, and
took out his flcldglasses.
Hardly had ho focused tho powerful
little binoculars when from across the1
coulee, a short distance downstream,
came the crack of a high-power rifle.
A moment later the shot was followed
by three deeper reports from up
stream. The first shot was smokeless.
Not so the others. Tho bluish smoke
puffs of their charges of black powder
directed the guze of the rider to -tho
dozen or moro swarthy, half-naked In
dians crouching near the top of tho
couleo bank, across from the nearby
butte. All were warily peering down
tho coulee.
The road ran obliquely across tho
narrow valley to a side gullcy that
gashed the far bunk a hundred yards
or so downstream. Back In the shelter
of this gulley four or live ponies stood
grouped beforo a buckboard. Above
them a man was crouched under the
edge of the bank. Another man lay
behind a small bush, Just outside tho
entrance of the gulley. A woman In
civilized dress was coming around from
the rear of the buckboard. Tho erect
figure of the rider tensed with quick
decision. He wheeled his mnre out of'
tho road, to cut down tho sharp slope
directly townrds the Indians. His
voice rang across the couleo with tho
clearness of a bugle call: "Ho, there I
Cense firing 1"
At his command, tho Indians twisted
about to glnro at hlra in a half panic.
Three or four started to slink away.
'Ho, There! Cease Flrlngl
But one swung his rifle around and
fired. Tho bullet grazed the rider's
coat collar. He flung up his right hnnd,
palm outward. Tho reply to tho pcaco
sign was a second bullet, that cut tho
crown of his campaign hat.
Two bullets were enough to change
tho tactics of tho rider. At a word
from him and a touch of tho rein, his
maro swerved and plunged obliquely
down tho side of tho coulee. The In
dians burst Into exultant yells, and
several opened flro on the fugltlvo as
tho mare leaped down to tho couleo
and dashed across tho bottom toward
the gulley.
Urged on by voice and spurless heel,
the maro sprinted over tho sandy level
with tho rush of a racehorse on the
homo stretch. Coming to tho narrowed
stream, she covered it in a single tre
mendous leap, and dashed on, un
checked, up into tho gullcy, safo out of
raaek of those whirring leaden hornets.
mm mi
As they swept past tho low bush
at tho entrance of tho gulley, tho rider
looked down at the man behind It. Ho
saw n blond, florid young fellow, whoso
blue eyes and small red-llppcd mouth
were ugly with hate. A glimpse, and
ho was past tho outlier.
The woman, crouched Just beyond,
under the edge of tho bnnk, was blaz
ing away toward the Indians with an
automatic revolver. An Instant later ho
pulled up his mare alongside the buck
board and looked up with cool alert
ness at tho third member of the party,
under tho brink of the bank. The man
ceased firing and twisted his thickset
body hnlf about so that he could stnro
down at tho newcomer.
Tho fusillade of tho Indians had
censed the instant their view of tho
fugitive was cut off. Yet, after a sin
gle hard look, the man on the bank
turned nwny to thrust his rifle up over
the edge and shoot. Tho rider wheeled
his maro and rodo buck past tho skit
tish ponies. Tho woman had crept In
from tho entrance of the gulley to
where she could stand upright without
exposing herself to the fire of the
She came up the slope with an easy,
springing step that told of youthful
buoyancy. From under tho hcm.f her
neat gingham dress peeped the toes of
small, blue-beaded moccasins. Having
reloaded her pistol, she raised her
head to look up at tho rider. He was
lifting his hand to touch his hat with
perfunctory courtesy. Then ho saw
her face calm, proud, vividly beauti
ful. Ho removed his hat, with a sudden
change In his manner that brought 'n
gleam Into tho girl's blue-black eyes.
A trifle disconcerted by the girl's
cool scrutiny, he brusquely demanded :
"What is tho trouble here?"
She looked from his cavalry puttees
to his army saddle and tho butt of his
rifle. "I guess you needn't worry about
your scalp," she assured him, her rich
contralto voice as soft as It wns sweet
ly mocking. "You came near getting a
hair brand, I see. But you're safo
enough now If you keep close."
Tho raillery brought a slight flush in
to his sallow cheeks. Yet his gaze did
not flinch beforo her loolc of disdain.
He asked another question: "Havo
they taken tho agency?"
"No. We saw this bunch up the
bank. Reggie cut loose at them before
Pere could stop him."
"'Perq?' Ah your father. Tho
other man fired at them first, you Bay?"
"Can you blame him? He was along
when the agent was shot down, last
week. You may have heard of, tho
"Yes. Stin It was wrong for him to
Invito an attack, with a woman lu his
"Oh, I'm only a qunrterbrccd, you
know," replied tho girl with Ironical
lightness. "Besides, Reggie thought
tno party was trying to heud us off.
Don't worry. Charlie Redbear crawled
up tho road half an hour ago. Tho
chances are wo can hold out until he
fetches tho police." A rifle shot punc
tuated the remark.
, Tho rider looked over tho coulee
bank across at the Jagged crest of the
butte. "If they slip over there," he
said, "this position will become unten
able. The butte Is the key to the situ
ation." He looked at the girl, between con
cern and swiftly growing admiration of
her remarkable beauty. Her eyes wero
Uko blue-black diamonds. An almost
Impcrceptlblo film of old-gold enriched
tho cream and rose of her checks. Her
Jet-black hair was of French fineness.
Tho curve of her rather large mouth
was perfect.
But tho red lips were again parting
in a disdainful smile. Sho replied with
out seeking to conceal her scorn : "If
you'ro nfruld they'll take the butte,
you might get nwoy by bolting down
tho coulee. We'll do what we can to
draw their fire."
"You will?" he snld. "Tliunk you for
your suggestion. I bellevo I'll follow
It. Kindly step uside."
Sho stood motionless, her eyes glit
tering with cold contempt of his cow
ardice. Unchecked by the look, ho
leaned forward in tho saddle. The
maro leaped away like a Btartled deer.
Onco clear of tho gulley sho swerved
sharply and raced away down the cou
lee. Tho flight wns so unexpected, so
daring and so swift that tho fugltlvo
had been borno a good fifty yards down
along tho foot of the near slopo beforo
the Indians opened flro on hlra.
The girl had crept forward nnd
crouched In tho entrance of tho gulley
to peer after him.
"Tho coward 1" sho cried. "Tho cow
urd 1 1 hope they get him I"
But beforo ono of tho mnny bullets
could find tho leaping, receding mark,
mnre and rider shot out of sight behind
n clump ot Ulows. At onco tho firing
Tho blond young man under tho bush
glanced uround nt the girl and called
Jccrlngly: "I say, Marie, how's that
tor a uoutnu visit? Took mm for a
"Gentleman? Thnt's tho word," she
mocked. "Conduct becoming an officer
and gentleman."
"Ofllccr?" ho repented. "You don't
mean to say "
"Yes," sho nRsertcd. "He's an army
officer. I could see It sticking out nil
over him."
The man stared nt her In blank
umnzoment, but suddenly bothought
himself to roll over nnd send n bullet
pinging up tho couleo.
Tho girl continued to peer down the
river bottom. After several moments
maro nnd rider dashed Into view, rac
ing directly across tho coulee. Though
the Indlnns nt once opened fire, the
mnre had skimmed over the level nnd
up Into n gulley In the far bank beforo
they could get the range.
Hopeful that one or more of tho
enemy might expose themselves during
tho excitement, tho young man behind
j -i3
"The Coward, the Coward 1 I Hope
They, Get Him."
tho bush had not looked around. As
the firing ceased, he called scofllngly:
"How nbout the strategic retreat? Does
General Fablus make his getaway with
out casualties?"
"Lo bon Dleu be praised l He has
escapect," the girl mocked In turn. "We
are saved. In a week or ten days he
will return to tho rescue with threo
troops of cavalry."
"If those sneaking coyotes have sent
a delegation around to climb tho butto
from the upside, we'll get ours before
Charlie can como back with the po
lice," grumbled the young man.
"Yes. Our military expert saw that
at once. Ho said this position would
become untenable."
"So he ran, leaving a woman In tho
lurch the skunk 1"
"Well, ho has gone. You'd better bo
thinking how to get us out of tho hole
you've got us Into," suggested the girl.
"All I did was to knock up the dust
In front of them. The way they camo
back nt mo proves they really wero
scheming to get us."
"Much you know about it," scoffed
tho girl. "Just because some of tho
tribe aro feeling ugly Is no sign that "
"How about the murder of Nogen?"
"Well, how? You and Charllo both
say thero wns only the one buck who
did tho shooting. No; if this bunch
had been planning to get us, they'd
have been out of sight under the edge
of the bank or over on the butte when
we first came' along."
"Havo it your own way only toss
mo a bottlo of beer, thnt's a good girl.
I'm dry ns n fish."
Recklessly he sat up and looked at
her, his small mouth curving In a smile
under the neat mustache. A bullet
whizzed close over his head.
The girl did not wait for him to reach
her. Satisfied as to his safety, sho
went up the gulley to tho buckbonrd
nnd drew a canteen from tho box under
tho seat. Her father glanced down
nnd saw what she was doing. His face
was powdered with dust. Ho spat and
beckoned to her.
"Good I Bring it up. Bullet hit tho
edgo of the bnnk."
Tho girl climbed nimbly up the gul
ley sldo with tho canteen. Her father
spat again, took n deep drink, nnd sntd:
"Better git tho ponies round behind the
buckboard. Unless Chnrllo gits bnck
soon, wo rany hnve to leavo tho ore and
make n brenk for tho agency."
"All right, Pere," cheerfully respond
ed tho girl. "Thero haven't nnj of
them been hit so far, I guess. They
may bo willing to let us off with u big
"I'll give them n senro and something
moro when tho pollco come," declared
tho young man, who had taken n now
position In tho opening of the gullcy.
isiuou in ma opening oi uie guiicy.
"No, you won't," remonstrated the
girl as sho started down to him with
tho canteen. "When old Tl-owu-konza
mint In wnrd lint lin'il mil It nnltu nvnr
tho shooting of Nogeu's killer, ho meant
it. But this time 'you fired the first
shot, and If you kill one of them, it will
mean a blood feud, If not an uprising."
Tho young man snnppcd hip fingers.
"I don't glvo that much for tho wholo
puck of coyotes I"
"Don't forget the mine, Mr. Van,"
protested the older man,
"Yes, nnd how nbout mo?" asked tho
girl ns she held out the canteen.
That settles It," he replied. ?Fct
please you, I'll what do you say?-r-I'll
call it quits." Shaking n gush of
water out over the spout, he lifted the
canteen In gallant salute nnd carried it
to his lips.
"Better hurry with them ponies, Ma
rie," culled her father.
Sho did not wait for tho canteen, but
walked swiftly up tho gulley to the
restive ponies. As she led tho two
saddle horses nround to the rear of
tho buckbourd, tho young man called
up to her: "Shorten my stirrups. That
pinto Is the best runner In the bunch."
"Can you mnko It bareback?" sho
"Ho can hold on to the harness,"
said her father. "Tie tho tugs so they
won't drag."
"Yes, I guess I can hold on. I'll try
tho calico mare."
"Any sign on the butto?" sho In
quired, her supple gloved fingers deftly
freeing the harnessed ponies from the
"Nothing yet," answered tho young
nmn. "I'm expecting a bullet soon."
"This nln't no Joke, Mr. Van," com
plained the other man. He glowered at
the butte. Suddenly his trained, eyes
caught sight of an object moving up
tho steep slope of n crag. Ho clapped
his rifle to his shoulder, sighted it,
paused and lowered the weapon, with
an astonished oath.
"Pe'rel" cried tho girl. "What is
"Wnitl" ho replied. "If It Is by Gar,
if it is I Git ready, Mr. Van. Only
don't shoot unless they rush us."
The report of a rifle came down from
the butte crest. The young man low
ered his rifle and peered over the
edge of the gulley. At tho same moment
a whirl of yelling horsemen swept
down the coulee bnnk opposite the
butte, nnd went flying away up tho val
ley in a wild race for tho nearest grove
of cottonwoods.
From the butte several shots cracked
in rapid succession. The fugitive In
dians yelled at their ponies in a frenzy
of urgency, and dug their heels Into
the flanks of the straining beasts at
every Jump. The rifleman on the butte
was firing towards them, not towards
the party in the gulley.
"Hold on, Marie 1" said her father,
Jumping down the bank to her. "We'll
hitch up again, and cross over to meet
"Who?" asked the girl.
She had been too Intent on her task
to seo what was happening.
"Tho man who ran away," he an
swered. "Tho Joke's on you Mr. Van."
Her father grinned as he bent to re
fasten a tug. "You took him for a quit
ter. He had the nerve to run their fire
ng'In nnd you thought he was heading
back for the railroad."
The girl flushed. "He's not the man
on tho butte?"
"Yep. Jumped the whole bunch, first
shot. We better hustle. It'll look good
for us to cross over to meet him."
"Mario says he's an army ofllcer,"
ndded the young man. "It will be as
well to get the ore off tho reservation.
There's no telling what he has como
The Acting Agent.
Within a few minutes tho party had
neared tho top of tho ridge. Tho
thoroughbred mare camo trotting up
from the hollow on the other side. At
sight of them her rider brought her to
a stand. Tho older man spurred his
pony up the round of the summit. "By
Gnr, that wasn't no bad play you made,
partner," he-cnllcd. "Taking the butto
gave you the drop on 'em."
Tho mnn whoso strategy had routed
tho Indians did not reply. The girl
looked up nt him with confident ex
pectancy In her sparkling eyes. He did
not move. The expression of his harsh
features was severe, but thero was a
flush under the tropical tan on his
Sho hesitated, her rich color deepen
ing. Then her plquo guvo way to a
more generous Impulse. Sho drew the
gnuntlet glove from her right hand.
Under his cold gnzo her eyes again
hardened with offended pride, and
again they softened and glowed with
frauk approbation.'
"Can you forgive mo?" she asked.
Ho bowed formally. "If you think
thero Is anything to be forgiven."
"You know there is. I wish to apolo
gize." Sho stood up in tho buckboard and
held out her hand to him. It wns very
whlto and shapely. He bowed over It
... - i . --- --
wlth Bravo courtesy, as ho took it in
, I1,B nervous ciasp.
"" lvo 'no need to apologize,
"Dupont Mnrlo Dupont."
"Nono whatever, Miss Dupont," ho
went on. "I should havo explained my
"Why didn't you mnko for tho butto
first thing, Instend of crossing tho cou
lee?" broke in tho blond young roan.
"I did not wish to shoot until I un
derstood the cause of the trouble. There
was also tho chance that they would
ccaso firing when I rode towards thea."
"That was nervy, of you," remarked
the girl's father "that nnd making
the second run when they'd como so
near gttting you the first time."
"You urc Jacques Dupont, the Indian
"TJiat's me only they make It Make'
this side of Ottawa. Mario guessed
you're nn army ofllcer."
Captain Floyd Hardy, United States
cnvalry," stated the newcomer ns he
raised his glasses.
The blond young man straightened
out of his Insolently cureless pose, nnd
spoke In the tone of n gentleman:
"Pleased to meet you, Captain Hardy.
You wero lu command of the Philip
pine constabulary force that sup
pressed tho recent Insurrection In the
Sulu Islands. You received favorable
mention from congress. I nm Reginald
Vandervyn of tho Vnndervyns of Stut
cn Island. Senator Clemmer is my
The captain responded to the intro
duction with n curt bow.
"See anything of the p'leece, Cap?"
asked Dupont.
"Yes. They should bo here In n few
"I see them," snld tho girl. "They're
coming down the slope this side of the
Sioux Creek divide."
"They're slow," growled Vandervyn.
Til rldo back and heud them 'cross
country. They hnve good horses. They
shall run out every buck In the bunch."
He spun his pony nbout to sprint
down the rood into the coulee. Hardy
uttered a stern order: "Haiti"
Angered nt the command nnd still
more at the impulse that compelled
him to obey it, Vandervyn twisted
nbout in his saddle to face the ofllcer
with a challenging stnre.
"Keep thut talk for your inferiors,"
he said. "I nm acting agent of this
reservation. What I say goes. I'll have
those bucks trailed till every one of
them is In the guardhouse or feeding
the crows."
"You are mistaken, Mr. Vandervyn,"
replied Hardy, nnd he drew nn olllclnl
envelope from an inside pocket. "You
arc only the chief clerk on- this reser
vation. I hnve been detailed to serve
as acting agent."
"You?" cried Vandervyn. "Why, It
wns all fixed for me to be appointed
agent. My uncle wired me that my
name would go through for the promo
tion without a hitch. So you pulled
the wires to cut mo out?"
"I pulled no wires, Mr. Vandervyn,"
Hardy coldly met the accusation. "On
my retiitn from the islands, last month,
I nsked for a detail to active service
In the open, preferably here In the
northwest, on account of my health."
"Do you mean to sny you did not
ask for this place In particular?"
"No. The detail was given me be
cause of the killing of the late agent
and the reported restlessness of the
"You'll find these ugly bucks differ
ent from Moros."
"Perhaps," said Hardy. He looked
at the two big, lumpy sacks that wero
lashed on tho buckboard. "You had
started for the railroad?" .
"Pere and Mr. Van wished to ship
out the ore," explained the girl.
"Ore?" inquired Hardy.
"Well, yes, it's a sort of ore," ad
mitted Dupont. "You see, me and"
"I'll make It clear to Captain Hardy
In two words, Jake," broke in Van
dervyn. Ho looked at the new agent
with n frank, direct gaze. VYou see,
captuln, some of tho Indlnns have been
getting ore, back In the mountains.
Jake trades them goods for it. The
.barter has been a good thing for them,
and so far, I believe, Jake has lost
Dupont narrowed his shrewd gray
eyes ns If calculating. "Well, no, thnt's
no Ho, Cap. Tnko it In tho long run, I
nln't lost nothing. pit might figure out
1'vo broko even or mebbe some better."
Vundervyn winked nt Hardy. "When
an Indian trader ndmlts ho may havo
done somo better than to have come
out even, wo can guess what that
"Nom d'nn chlen'l" grumbled Dupont.
"Ain't tho risk to count?"
"It hns been nn unnecessary risk for
you to keep your daughter on the res
ervation nftcr tho killing of Mr. No
gen," reproved Hardy. "I presume she
Is now going nwny, not to return until
the trouble has passed."
"You are quite mistaken, Captain
Hardy," said tho girl. "I am going for
the drive aud to send off a mall order.
Wo can rely on tho police. Anyway,
nono of tho trlbo would hurt me."
Dupont scratched' his head and mut
tered: "Well, mfbbo so. Ypu can't al
ways tell what they'll do."
"Why, Pere," exclaimed Marie, "you
know there's not tho slightest danger
to' me."
"Well, mebbe not to you," ho ac
quiesced. '
"Yet it will bo advisable 'for you to
remain away until I'huvo the situation
well In hand," said Hardy.
Tho grl's eyes flashed at tho slight
suggestion of dictation. "I'll do as I
please, thunk you,' sho rejoined.
"In tills instauco you may," agreed
Hardy, "since your father admits that
you are in no danger. Otherwise I
would order you to remain away,
"You'd dare to order mar
"Certainly. You should know the
scope of tho ngent's nuthorlty. It In
cludes the right to order off tho reser
vation anyone not n member of tho
Tho girl smiled mockingly. "You for
get I told you Lam n quurterbreed."
"Mnrlo I" remonstrated Vundervyn.
"Mind your own business I" sho
flashed back nt him. "I nm not
ashamed that I'm a member of tho
tribe, and I don't caro how soon ho
knows it, even If ho is an ofllcer of
your little American nrmy."
She turned upon Hardy, flushed, do
flnnt, haughty. "My mother was tho
granddaughter of Sitting Bull. What
havo you to sny to that, Mr. West
"Nothing, Miss Dupont, unless " ho
paused, smiled and continued "unless
it Is to remark that I nm glnd the po
lice nre so near."
Tho girl's eyes flashed with anger.
With n swift movement sho bent over
nnd snatched her drlvlng-whlp from
Its socket on the dashboard and stood
poised, the whip upraised to strike.
Dupont's henvy jowl dropped. Vun
dervyn swung his rifle nround, lite
lurge bluo eyes glinting with eagerness.
Hardy faced the girl with no change In
his smile. Ilnd his steady gnze wavered
for nn instant, she would have slashed
him across the face.
"You you I" she whispered. "Twit
me with the treacherous killing of my
great-grandfather, would you?"
"Trenchcrous? How is that?" ho
"He was murdered by the polled"
she cried. "You know it"
"I beg your pardon," he replied. "I
had not the slightest idea of alluding
to what to you must be a painful oc
currence. But, since you have referred
to it, I wish to say that you aro misin
formed. Sitting Bull wns shot while
resisting arrest. The police wero act
ing under orders. The mnn who shot
the chief hail first been shot by one of
the chief's men."
The scarlet that flamed In tho girl's
cheeks deepened to crimson. Her gnzo
wavered. Instend of striking Hnrdy,
the whip lashed down across the backs
of the team. The young broncos
plunged nnd Jumped forward; they
whirled the buckboard down the slopo
nwny from the river.
The girl's companions Jerked their
ponies nbout to gallop after her. Hardy
spoke to them in peremptory com
mand: "Walt! Dupont, I shall nsk
you to bring my baggage from the rail- ,
road. Here come the police. I shall
detail four of their number to go with
you ns escort."
"We don't need no escort," said Du
pont. "Do we, Mr. Van?"
"They will go in plnco of Mr. Van
dervyn," explained Hnrdy. "I must
nsk him to nccompa'ny me to tho
The young man looked the new ngent
up nnd down with an insolent smllo on
his handsome, boyish face. "What if I
do not choose to go back?" '
"It would put me to the necessity of
finding n new chief clerk," countered
The other evidently had expected an '
nrbltrary order. He bit his Up. It was
Hardy Uttered a Stern Order: "Haiti"
ploln that he was puzzled over tho
adroitly worded reply. Was it a threat,
or merely a statement duo to misap
prehension? "If you wlBh to resign," ndded tho
captain, "may I request you to tele
graph for your successor to bo imme
diately appointed and ordered here?"
"I'd resign quick enough if I could,"
said Vandervyn. "You're the laBt man
I'd let order mo around If I could help
it." ,
Hnrdy turned to the stolid-faced
trader. '
"Pleass remember my baggage. You
had better rldo 'on nftcr your dnugh
ter. Tho escort will soon follow."
0 In the next installment Cap.
t tain Hardy discovers conditions
'' which lead him to believe there.
t Is a conspiracy on foot. Can you
J cues the nature of it?
nriHii.rriimitt-.M w.iw