The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902, December 12, 1901, Page 11, Image 11

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Cbe Conservative * 11
[ By 8. 8. PKTKHB , City Editor of the Beatrice
Express Bcufricw , Neb ]
' The favorite buffalo gun of the old
hunting days was the Sharpo's rifle.
It was a 58-calibro weapon , and being
invariably of the carbine pattern was
a handy gnu for horseback shooting.
These rifles were discarded by the reg
ular army early in the 70's and the
Spencer carbine substituted. It was
of the magazine pattern with a maga
zine in the stock for seven shots. It
was of a50-calibroaud was ordinarily
a reliable shooter , though the cham
bers would frequently become
blocked , and by frequent shooting
the ejector spring would refuse to
throw out t'\e empty shell , and then
there was trouble. Again it frequent
ly occurred that a defective cartridge
would refuse to go entirely into the
chamber , and in forcing the lever up
the cartridge was liable to explode
prematurely and do damage at the
breech , or possibly become blocked so
that the gun would bo useless until
repaired by the company armorer.
An accident of this latter descrip
tion occurred one Fourth of July to a
couple of us who went out on a two
days' hunt , that came very near result
ing disastrously to a comrade named
VanDevere. Wo were equipped with
a Spencer and a Remington revolver
each , and Van had wisely taken along
with him a long knife made from a
sabre blade. Several miles from camp
we ran across a big buffalo bull , who ,
instead of trying to escape from us ,
showed fight before we had manifested
any hostile intentions whatever.
f Wo were each riding new company
horses that had never before seen a
buffalo , and they were badly fright
ened by the old bull. The old fellow
had been lying down in a wallow'and
on seeing us rose to his feet and be
gan pawing the ground , throwing
clouds of dust and dirt up over his
back and shook his shaggy head vio-
iously. Wo both concluded to open
out on him with our Spencers from
the horses , but the horses were so un
ruly that wo could do very little ao-
curate shooting from their backs. The
old bull was struck by an accidental
shot and then lie made for us. The
horses became uncontrollable and it
required all our attention to handle
them. We were a little too fast for
the bull and ho stopped to consider
matters and began pawing again. I
was finally decided that one of us
should dismount and take a ground
shot at him with a Spencer. Van dis
mounted and I held the horses. The
first shot struck the old fellow some
where about the hump and then h
got furiously mad again and cam (
after Van with a vengeance. Van le
him have it again , or rather tried to
but the cartridge blocked in th
IS *
chamber , and seeing that the gun
vas useless , ho mounted his horse and
ve lit out again. The old bull seeing
; hat he could not overtake us on a
traight run stood at bay. Ho was
evidently hurt but not seriously so.
ii the interval tlio magazine of my
carbine had sprung open and the cart
ridges fell out , so wo wore without
carbine ammunition. Our only re
course therefore were our Reming
tons , 44-calibro pistols , and so wo con
cluded to finish him with them. We
lad only a small supply of pistol cart
ridges , and some of these , being of
the old paper pattern , , had broken and
we had , in fact , just six rounds each.
The horses would not go near enough
10 the wounded bull to permit a close
shot off their backs , and one of us
had to stay with the horses while the
other made the attack afoot. Van held
; ho horses on this clip and I sneaked
up toward the old follow with a view
o getting a broadside shot at him ,
but he determined to keep his head
: oward me and I did manage to hit
him once in the nose and a fourth
phot crippled one of his legs.
He came on a charge after us and it
was with the utmost difficulty that I
ould get into the saddle at all , so
close was the old buffalo after me.
Van fired two or three shots at him to
give mo time and gave him a bad
wound in the flank. This brought
the old fellow down on his knees ,
and Van dismounted and went after
him with the revolver at close range.
He soon emptied his revolver. But
the old fellow was down but not dead ,
nor mortally wounded by any means.
He struggled up on three legs , but he
was powerless to make any headway ,
and all he could do was to stumble
and bellow. We had but two shots left ;
the two in my revolver , and upon these
we calculated to give him the ' ' coup
do grace. ' ' Van took the pistol and
got within a dozen feet of the bull
and blazed away. The ball struck his
shoulder and buried itself in the sand
and dirt and matted hair and didn'l
hurt him a little bit , only raised
little dust.
Finally a bright idea struck Van
Devere. Ho called to me to dismount
and lead the horses up as close to the
bull as they would come , and while
the bull's attention was diverted to
me and the horses , Van would sneak
around on the other side and knife
I doubted the success of the experi
ment , but Van insisted and so it was
undertaken. The bull was lying down
but with his head erect and furious.
His eyes were glaring and savage auc
ho shook his head in defiance at "me
and the horses. He couldn't rise
wholly to his feet , though he tried i
repeatedly. A moment later I saw
Van on the other side of the wounded
) ull and in an instant ho jumped ou-
o his back , and holding on by the
eng woolly hair of his hump , he
made a vicious plunge with the long
abro knife just under the old bull's
ore shoulder. Ho struck true and
ho old bull gave a piteous bellow and
ried to rise but could not. Van
lulled out the long knife and a dark
tream of blood followed it as if
mrsting from a fountain. Van made
\uothor lunge with both hands hold-
ng the knife and seesawed it into the
allant old fellow's heart. The great
) ody quivered a moment and then
rolled over on its side. His two good
egs stiffened out. The other two had
) eou broken by our shots , and in a
moment more the old buffalo was
dead. Van was literally besmeared
with blood , but was unhurt.
Wo skinned and quartered the old
! ellow , and it was a most tedious task.
tVo took out his heart and in it wo
found a bullet of at least a 54-calibre ,
and was completely encysted or over
grown with gristly substance , iudica- it *
; iug that it had been shot into him at
least a year before. His old pelt had
a dozen bullet hole marks in it , and
near his heart was a healed bullet
wound that showed where the the ball
had entered that we cut out of his
We took one quarter and the heart
into camp and cached the rest of the
meat , and went out with a detail the
next day and secured it.
A second edition of Miss Bullock's
nice little book has become necessary.
This is a phenomenon worth consider
ing ; we like the look of it ourselves.
We think Nebraska City is fortunate
in having numbered among its temporary
ary inhabitants one who could look at
it with just this young lady's eyes.
She does not see its smoking stacks ,
its full dinner pails , its railroads , nor
does she reckon its past , present or
future with the calendar and the
a * ithmetic. It lies before her and she
looks over it , and beyond it off to
the land of day dreams. She stands
off among the sunrises and sunsets ,
and sees the house-roofs below her
only as she sees the hills that the pioneers
neers marched over , and looks on
the people in the streets with the
same speculative vision as on the end
less river trooping by under the hill.
It is an essay , not a book of reference ,
and it has a very distinct charm , for
it is not feebly done. One who is not
able to surrender to the author's guid
ance , in reading it , and to enter fully
for the time being into her spirit , is
rather to bo sympathized with.
This edition has been brought out
bv the Morton Printing Company ,
and it is decidedly better done than
the first or Lincoln edition. The
book is now on sale at Young's and