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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (Nov. 3, 1889)
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THE OMATTA DAILY BEE : SUNDAY , NOVEMBER 3 , ISSaTEEN ; PAGES. 1
A STORY OP TWO BITS.
Captain C. A.Curtlt. U , 8. A , , in
I MAKF. II13 ACQUAINTANCE.
I wag acting-quartermaster of n command
composed or two companies , which gar
risoned n long fort near I'rcscott , Arizona ,
during the yonrs ISOt and 1803. The fort was
nn inclosnrO of some thrco hundred foot
BQUtiro , built of thick plno logs , sot up ver
tically In tlio ground- with regular block-
liouso bastions , of the colonial period , nt
diagonal corners ; and it had hugo gates of
hewn timber thut swung ponderously on
huge Iron hinges. The fort stood on n slight
olovatton overlooking the post corral , n
structure built of the same material nnd In
the snmo general manner ns the fort , but ln >
closing u much larger spnco. In this corral
were gathered nightly the horses of the
cavalry troop , the horses and uiulcs of the
quartermaster , nnd the SOO head of cattle
and 1UCO sheep of the commissary.
Tlio prcsenco of these .ntilmnls grazing
through the days on the hill-aides nnd plains
about our reservation was ft special and
alluring temptation to the marauding
Apaches nnd Nnvnjos , nnd frequent chases
nnd skirmishes were necessary to protect our
The purrison consisted of ono company
of regular Infantry nnd ono troop of Now
Moxlcnu volunteer cavalry. The men com
posing the troop were , with a few exceptions ,
Mexicans , speaking the Spanish language ,
und using Incites translated Into that tongue.
The troop had arrived In January , after u
long nnd fatiguing march of 700 miles , nnd
two dnys lifter their nrrival their captain
had turned over to mo sixteen broken-down ,
side und generally decrepit horses. Accord-
to custom In such cases , 1 receipted for them ,
und in duo time ordered them sold uttmbllc
auction to tlfo highest bidder.
Onthoinornineof thodny appointed for the
solo to tnko place , the Jlfcr of the Infantry
company , n neat Irish soldier , known Among
lila comrades as Joe Cain , who acted as my
attendant and u general guardian of my belongings -
longings , paused in the doorway , nnd , raising
his right bond to his cap-visor , asked If ho
"could spalJO t1 tlio llfuucntl" As I nodded ,
lie nsked' ;
"Would the llftinout llko to buy u flno
"No , Cain , I have no use for two horses
nn I can not afford the expense of nnothor. "
"Hta you can buy this ono for lltllo or
not hi HIT , or , "
"if the llftlnent will let mo hnvo five dollars
lars , I'll buy him the hist horao in the post. "
"Tho best horse in thopo : > t forflvodollnrs !
What kind of nonsense nro you talking ,
Calul" und I turned to some papers on the
itiblo which demanded my signature. Hut
Uulu lingered lo the doorway nt a respectful
"attention , " and when 1 signed the last paper
his hand went up again to his visor and re
mained there until 1 said ;
'Well , what moro have you to sayl"
"If the littinent will buy the horse I spako
of , ho will never rcpint of his bin-train. I'vo '
Icnown the baste for tin years , ser from tlio
lime I Jined as u inuslu b'y nt Fort Craig ,
"He must bo an exceedingly old horje ,
then , " I said.
" knows his he's vit-
"Nobody ape , ser ; n -
orau ; but he's n line horsu all xlio same , sor. "
"Hut I do not need another horse for my
duties. Cain , in I told yuu just now ; and i
nhould IniVQ to buy his liuy nnd grain , und
that Is'nn uxpenso I do not euro to bo put to ,
with no prospect for a prolHablo return. "
"There need bo no cxpinse , sor. There is
u sorplim of forage in thu cor nil , und thu for-
agemusior'll let mo have all I'm wantiu1 if
the liftlnent will jist give him the laste bit of
u hint. "
Moio to plenso n valued nnd trustworthy
t nttendout than with any liopo of securing a
good horse , 1 gave Cain thu desired ftvo del
lars. 1 learned in further conversation , that
the wonderful Blood he uroposed to buy for
ino was ono of the lot to be sold at auction.
1 did not attend the sale of the sixteen
horses. I simply noticed that the government
inoney account hud increased soventy-flvo
dollars by the auction , showing plainly
enough that the value of the whole number
was a little less than ilvo dollars each. A
whole month had passe. ! , and I bad entirely
U forgotten that I hud given Cain five dollars
for the purchase of n horse , when ono day ,
as I ugnui sat writing in my loom , I tieura
tbo rapid clutter of hoofs upproaching , nnd
presently noticed that n horse bad Mopped
outsido. 1 stepped to tbo door and found
Joe Gain awaiting my nrrival , holding liy tbo
hulter strop n Uno , larpo bay horse , in peed
llcsh , us smooth as satin , and bricht-oycfi as
iv colt , "Will the HftinQiit phuo" come out
und insplct his horse ! " naid Cain ; and trriu
ho led him out on exhibition. I was plcsji/j
to 11 ml that the horse , while in no wise ; -j.
inarkablo , showed many good points. In fucu
the minimal was a great surprise to mo. I
sat down on u log that had been rejected In
thu building ot the fort , and looked long uc
the metamorphosed creature toforo I spoko.
"So that is the horse you bought for live
dollars , is it , Caiui" I began.
"Four dollars and forty cints , sor. I
bought the halter with the sixty cints that
was lift , sor. "
"Hut I don't see how such n horse can ho
had for that money. Aud this is really ono
of those miserable hacks wo sold nt auc
tion ? "
"Not a bitelso , ser , " said the delighted
Cain , his face in a glow from the pleasure ho
was deriving from my wonderment und evi <
deut approval ot the result of his venture ,
"Has ho u nauio , " I usked.
" 'Two-Hits , ' sor. "
"Two-Hits' twonty-ilvo cental how did
ho got that name , Caiul"
\s \ > "Ho wou it at Fort Craig , ser , in a race in
In answer to other questions and after
Bomo irrelevant talk , Cain , having tied the
horse to u tree , walked slowly backward
and forward before ino and proceeded
to give the history of the horsu
BO far as ho know it , and his reasons
for asking mo to uiuka the purchase , When
lie went into the corral ono day ho suid ho
BUW ono of thu stublo men kicking nnd beat
ing an old stood to make him nso to his feet.
The nntmnl made repeated efforts to stand ,
but cj.ich tuna full back through weakness.
Cain approached , and by certain saddle
marks and a peculiar star in the forehead ,
recognized nn old acquaintance. Ho oven
inslhtcd that the old horse knew him. From
Bomo knowledge of horses , nicked up in n
stable during u wandering life before ho en
listed , the soldier perceived , after a careful
examination , that the horse wus not porma
limitly disabled , but simply Buffering from
Ill-treatment and nculcut , Ho begun hia
care of the bcust ut once , and us soon us tUo
auction was ordered ho dulormluod to ask uio
to buy him.
The llrst knowledge Cain bad of Two-nits
was that the horse belonged to the Mounted
liiilos und was with them at Fort Craig in
Now Mexico , in 185' ' . ) . On the < th of July of
that year , the ofllccrs of the fort und the
civilians of the neighboring ranches got ui >
n horse race by way of celebrating the day.
'Tho races were to bo , ono for American
horses over an 800 yards straightaway
course , und one for broncos , ever a course 01
iUXlyaids. On the day before the race the
llrst Hcrgeant of thu rllles waited upon u
lieutenant of the regiment uud requested
linn to enter a "company horso" ouo
which had been assigned as a mount to one
of their number. The loquost was granted.
I All the horses wcro to bo ridden by soldiers ,
At two o'clock on the afternoon of thu 4th
the horses were assembled at , the course to
the west of the fort , Two-Hits bolng jirosonl
und mounted by the boy bfcr. Joe Cain , ol
tli" infantry. The ofliccrs walked urount
the "company horse" with considerable-
curiosity , commenting on bis appearance
uud wondering how. if hu possessed anj
merits , ho had escaped their notice up to this
time. Captain Tilford seemed lo express tlio
general sentiment of thoofllcors , at the con
illusion of the iuspectlon , when ho said , " .
would not give two bits for tlmt horso'a
cbuuco of winnlin ; the prize. "
Thu ruco came off , anil the carefully
groomi'd and pnyly caparisoned horses of thi
ofllccrs und clvllians.utid thu plainly equipped
favorite of the soldiers burst down thu trucl
inline , to nrnvo scattered nnd blown at tha
Koal.with thedesplsed "company horso'1 BOUIO
thrco lengths ahead. Aud from that day the
victor wait Ituown utf "Two-lilts. "
With the brcuklne out of the civil warn !
mounted rcglmenU were made cavalry Thli
wiped out of existence the two dragoon regi
ments nnd tbo rlllo regiment , the latter boint
reclirlstoneJ the Third cavalry , nnd ordorui
from Now Mexico to the cast , for service litho
the fluid. Their horacs were loft behind
Iwlng turned over to the Now Mexico volun
teer cavalry , ' 1 wo-lilts wus assigned to thu
troop which wiu tucu a part of the garrison
of Port Whippio. In , vhO march from the
valley of the Klo Ornmloto the valley of the
Klo Colorado ho had succumbed to Mexican
neglect nnd abuse , nnd fallen n victim to
hard usage. And so , by a moro chance , the
mooting took place between the vote-ran
gtced and his former Jockov of the tort
Crnlg race. Cain had recognized his old
friend of fivn years before , and knowing that
ho would not ba allowed to own horse , no
did the next best thing made mo his owner ,
which guvo him the care of the nnluinl , nnd
frequent opportunities to take him out for nn
. . , ,
From this tlmo on , I had many long rlilos
on Two-Hits , In the way of tironomo pursuit
of the Indians , whp never neglected to take
advantage of the unprotected state of tlio
crntory. I became very much nttnchod to
the horse nnd oven took paln to win a place
n his nffoetloin. often being much surprised
nt his wonderful intelligence mid nlmost
luninn discernment. Ho would never desert
his rider in a place ot danger , no matter
what tho-lomptatlon. Three or four tlmos
when taking him out for , exorcUo , Cain had
dismounted for some porposa nnd Two-Hits
md Immedlatoly kicked up Ills heels like a.
colt and trotted bac.k to lim stall in the cor
ral. * Hut once nt n good distance from the
> est or train , or in n situation of danger , and
10 would Slav by hi * rider when free to go.
This statement mny up'ponr doubtful to
nanv , but every man who was stationed
at For' , Whippio during the time thut
Two-lilts occupied a stall there , bollovod
moro than I have stated. Two Instances ,
which 1 will rolnto , so Impressed mo
hat I can linvobut ono opinion of this noble
old horse. Once , when I had ridden down
the vnlloy of the Klo Vcrdo , some thirty
miles from the fort on n sollntary llshing ex
cursionI strolled along its banks for sover.il
tours , standing by pools nnd handling a rod ,
while a carbine rested in my loft oluow nnd
two revolvers hung at my waist. 1 IOOKCU
over my shoulder moro frequently for In
dians tiinti tno fUli favored mo with bltos.
Suddenly Two-Hits who hud been grazing
close by , unplckotcd , came trotting down tome
mo in cousldoraolo cxcltcmcnl. Without
stopping to inquire the cause I dropped ilsli-
mg-tacklu and Imkot. mounted and rode to
nn eminence , from which I saw on the oppo
site sldo of the stream half a mile away , u
; iiirty of mounted Apaches who had not been
visible from my fishing place because of a
fringe of willows. As soon as they discovered - ,
ered mo they whooped nnd gave chase ; but
the long leg * of Two-Hits mudo nothing of
running away from tho.'u ' , nnd I was soon far
tioyond their reach.
The second incident occurred when I was
returning from ft visit of Inspection to n hay
camp ten miles from the post. I was riding
nt a walk along a level ro id , which was
skirted on my loft by tnick sage-brush. My
loft foot wus out of tno stirrup. A sudden
shot from cover cut my coat collar and
caused Ihn horse to Jump suddenly to the
right. Having n support on ruy loft , nnd
being taken off my gua.-d , I toppicd from the
Hiiddlo nnd fell to the ground , but fortun
ately landed on my feet , und facing the urn-
juscudo , so I qiiluklv covered the spot with
my nllo. Two-Hits did not stir after I foil ,
nnd 1 walked backwards around to bis rlcht
Bide , nnd mounted in reverse of custom , still
covering the possible enemy , and rode away ,
ilrst slowly uud then at a run , until beyond
rillo-rnngo. Then 1 saw thrco Apaches rise
'om ' tbo brush.
Again , when Lieutenant U and myself
with ten men , had been four days ia pursuit -
suit of n band of Indians that had run off the
stock from a neighboring runche , wo found
0110 of our men unable to sit in his saudlo
Irom wounds. Wo removed the saddle from
Ills horse and bound him nt length along the
buck , and did our best to : nako him ns com
fortable ns possible. Ho rode along quietly
for some time , and ihen asked to bo out on
Two-Hits. After this , the horse was U
greater favorite than over with the men.
Not ono of our party could have been made
to believe thut Two-Hits did not understand
the necessity of treading gently with his
sensitive burden ; and 1 must admit that
when our road lay down some bowldor-
strowh declivity , the horao seemed careful to
select the places for his feet , and certainly
was tediously slow. T confess I am of the
opinion of the men ; I believe the horse fully
understood the condition of his charge , and
the necessity of goiiic slowly and gently m
rough places. The man reached the post
hospital in safety , and recovered ; and from
the day of his recovery Two-Mils had
another devoted friend and guarmau.
HIS SECOND 1UCE.
As the Fourth of July 18li. > , approached. In
the dearth of other malerial and Iho abund-
ntico of liorsos , iho citizens of Prcscott de
termined to offer a series of horse and pony
races as attractions , and there was at once
considerable excitement ia liorsn circles in
consequence. Officers of the garrison caught
the excitement , and vied with the ranchmen
nnd miners , und began looking over their
favorites wiih u view to capturing the vu-
riqusi bridles , saddles , eta , offered as
Oue race was to ho for American horses
only , this name being used to distinguish
the cnvulry horses und thoao brought from
Vhe east , from the mustangs , Texas ponies ,
aad branches. The gait lor all horses waste
to bo n run. under the saddle , over distances
ranging from live hundred to eight hundred
/r.rds , according to whether the contcslanls
ijslonjjcd to ouo or Iho other of tho. classes
iro'Jtioncdthe longer distance being for the
y few days after the conditions of tno race
Wits , published , Cain proposed that I should
onUr Two-Hits for the eight hundred yard
race , assuring mo that if I would do so I was
sure to win the prize. Hut I pooh-poohed
the suggestion at once , and even ridiculed
Cain for his folly in imagining for a moment
that Two-Hits could competu with such
steeds us were already entered. I soon found
that 1 hud plunged the ambitious lifer into
the depths of despair. For several days ho
moped about his duties in a
silent und dejected uiunuer , until his evident
misery aroused my compassion. So ono
morning , after he tiad completed the houso-
worli of my quarters , I asked him to remain
a few moments , nnd then referred to the
subject , which I know had full possession of
his thoughts , with the question :
"V'ou do not suppose , Gain , that so old
horsu us Two-Hits would stand uny chnnco lu
this race } "
"Ho would , Jist , sorl" ho answered with
"Hut ho is very old , Cain. Ho must bo
twenty , nt the very least. "
"Yis , aor , and ho grows faster as ho grows
older , sor. "
Evidently there was no uno in arguing
against Two Hits , wltn a person so preju
diced us Cain , but I continued :
"Your love for your old favorite , Cain ,
misleads you as to his capabilities. 1 Know
htm to bo easy and free under the saddle ,
and the best horso-1 over rode , but it is not
reasonable to expect him , at his ago , to boat
young horses , after all the ill-treatment lie
has undergone , "
"I wish the llftlnent would Jist give mo the
thriul of him , that's all. There's not a baste
in thcso parts can bate him , "
"Hut you nro not reasonable about this ,
Cain. Hccnuso Two-Hits won a ruco ilvo
years ago , It docs not follow that ho can dose
so now. There ia thut line blaolc of Kiny
Wootsoy's what possible chance is then :
that any horse in Arizona can take tbo lead
of him : "
"That's Jist it , sor. The consnto of that
man Woolsoy mules u robuuo , sor. Two-Hits
can give htm one , nsy. I Itnow the horse ,
sor. If the llftlnent will pardon an ould
soldier for nuiklu' so bold as to sit up uu
opinion ag'inst Ins , 1 beg lave to romoind
him that 1 have rode the winning horati ut
mlny a race lu the ould country and in this ,
nnd while I'm free to admit that Two-lilts
docs not aquel the rucln' stock o' the qualltv
nnd glntry , ho is far boynnt anything this
sldoo" the wather. "
"Well. Cain , leave mo now to consider the
matter , and cull again in an hour. "
Loft alone , I wus not long in coming -
ing to the conclusion that the ok :
soldier should bo indulged in Ills wish
to enter Two-Hits for the race. Ac.
cordiugly , when the fitter returned for my
decision , I said :
"I am going to allow you to run him Cain.
I look upon the horse as your discovery. Ho
has cast mo literally nothing. "
"Thank you , ser , uud you'll wlntkopriro , "
"No ; I don't care for the prize , I will pay
the entrance fee , und if you win the race tbo
jirlzo shall bo your own , "
When I reoillod the many evidences I bad
had ol Two-Hits1 apeod In pursuit of Indians ,
und In retreats when the Indians In turn were
pursuers , und my life had depended upon bis
Kail and his endurance , I could uot but hopu
ho would win.
On tlio day of the race I sat , by no moans
a caltu ahd disinterested spectator , on n
bench near the goal. After the race of po
nlcs , mustangs uud broneoi , came the prin
cipal race that of American horses. I will
Note To show that bo was no rospeclor
-of persons , I must admit that ho twice did
the sauio thing for ino.
spare the render details of the race further
ban to say that , to the surprise of every-
) ody but Joe Cain , It ended ns nt Fort Craig.
Two-Hits cntno In with dilated nostrils and
ilazlnir cyo , nrold the thundering cheorft ot
.hu soldlorn , fully two lengths nlicnd. Cain
od him bncic to the fort , escorted the wnolo
distance by ndtnirlng hluo-coats , At the
stables Cain sat on nn Inverted grain mons-
ire and told over for the hundredth lima the
way the horse received the name of Two-
lilts , und bow ho had discovered the old
lorso , friendless nnd broken down , In the
Whlpplo corrut , nnd having built him up to
ils present beautiful proportions , bad once
nero ridden him to victory.
I have rotated the foregoing Incidents In
an attempt to interest tha reader in tbo par-
sonnliy of my horso. Ho is iho hero of tha
story the men nro only accessories , The
ucldont to which nil this is a preface must
lave a chapter by Itself.
nn uuxs COUIUF.K.
In the fall of the year ISM , the Indian
roubles became so serious that only with
the greatest difficulty could wo maintain our
coininunioition with the outside world.
livery llulo while nn express-rider
, vould fall to innko his np-
uppcarnnco when duo , nnd an expedition sent
n su.ircti of him often found his body In the
road , in some rugged dolllo or thick chapar
ral , stripped , scalped , and disfigured , the
contents of his express pouch scattorcd for
vards around , nil letters broken open , and
.ho Illustrated papers torn into shreds ,
while the newspapers were simply thrown
isldc. The imrll became so great In time
that single riders could not bo hired for the
service , and nt. last only cavalrymen in par
ies of Ilvo were sent on this dangerous duty.
Oven numbers was not always a tirotcctlon ,
is I found once when , sontto look for a miss-
ug express , I discovered nil the mou dead
On the 20th of Ocvobor a dispatch was re
ceived with accompanying instructions that
t should bo forwarded without delay to
Santa Fo. Accordingly , I ndvertiscd for nn
express rider , offering the highest pay ul-
owed for the service. Thu route on the
northeast was not considered to bo so dang
erous as tboso tying to the east , south , or
west. Still there was no response to my
offer , nnd I began to consider the expedi
ency of asking for a detail from the cavalry ,
when n proposition came from un unexpected
juartor. The man whom I before mentioned
as having been wounded during nn Indian
expedition nnd brought to the fort on the
back of Two-Hits , came into my ofllco , nnd
offered to carry the dispatch , provided I
would lot him riilo Two-Hits ,
This man's name was 1'ortor. Ho was a
Londonderry Irishman by birth and was now
sergeant in the infutitry company. Years
afterwards wo learned that ho was of gentle
descent , nnd a gridunto of Edinburg uni
versity. Ho was a handsome , soldierly fcl-
" , ow , of refined features , gentlemanly bear
ing , good height , and undoubted courugo.
lie entered my ofUce , us I before siatod , and
oald ho would tnko the mail to Fort Wingato
"f I would lend him Two-Hits.
"Hut Two-Hits is my private property , ser
geant , and is not subject to such service , " I
"I Know that , sir ; but ho has. many qual-
tlos whicn lit him for It , "
"Not moro than half a doicn other horses
n Iho corral , sergeant. "
"No horse has Just his qualities , sir. Hols
especially lilted for dangerous service such
us this. Ho is fleet , ho will not whinny nor
do anything to attract attention in nn Indian
country. Ho will not desert his rider If
turned loose , and ho will not bo stampeded if
ins rider sleeps while he grazes. "
"You seem to have studied hi ? character
"Yes , sir , I know Two-Hits very well ; hut
not butler than yourself , or mosl of the men
of the garrison. Ho is n remarkable horso.
Ho is well diiltud and ho is very Intelligent.
Ho always seems to understand whut is ex
pected of him , "
"Hut really , sergeant , I do not like to let
him go on such n trip. I fear I should never
sen him again. Tno trip would bo n tremend
ous strain upon the old horse. "
"Ho shall huvo the tenderost1'care , sir. I
will treat him as hu deserves. "
"I have no doubt of that , sergeant. Ho
would bo treated well by all of our men. In
fact , ho is always made a pet ot by every
one. I will think of it. Call acain Inter. "
After Sergeant Porter went out , I walked
over to the quarters of the commanding
oflieer and told him ot tbo proposition. lie
atronco foil in with the plan und advised mo
tb let the horse go. Ho said tha horse could
not bo IP better hands , and that doubtless ho
would ire through safely , without fatigue ,
and return to mo m a few weeks. Ho said
ho would convene a board of olllcors to ap
praise the horse , so that if ho should bo lost
I could put in a claim for reimbursement. I
agreed , and next day the board sat and ap
praised the value of my five-dollar horse at
nearly $200 In gold.
Ou thu morninir of the Qoth of October ,
Sergeant Porter "mounted Two-Bits , rode out
of Fort Whippio , amid the nearly good ,
wishes and handshakes of mon nnd ofllcors.
Ho carried a mull pouch weighing twenty
pounds , an overcoat and three blankets , a
carbine nnd two revolvers , nud six days'
Thu adventures of horse and rider , after
wo saw thoin disappear behind the "red
rocks , " ilvo miles below the fort , were re
lated to mo in 1807 , at Fort Sumner , Now
Mexico , bv Porter , who had in the monntimo
been appointed a lieutenant in the army. I
had not seen him slnco ho started on his
For three days the ride was without Inci
dent worth relating. On the fourth ho did
not leave his stopplng-placo until 1 o'clock
in the afternoon. At 2 o'clock ho found him
self on Iho crest ef n range of hills overlook
ing a plain which extended right and left
almost to tbo horizon , and in Iront nt least
twenty miles , to the broken nnd hilly coun
try beyond. It was level as ttio surface of a
lake. From the cdeo of the plain stretched
the narrow thread of the military road ,
straight across to the foot hills boyond. The
road down the declivity to the plain beyond
being rough and stony , the sergeant dis
mounted nnd followed his horse , allowing
him to pick his way and take his own gait.
When ho arrived at the foot of the ranee , ho
noticed that there lay between him ami the
plain and parallel to its edco , a long low
ridge. Ho halted in the ravine formed by
ttio ridge and foot lulls to tighten girth und
roaajust his tuggago uiiforo tatting thu road
over the plain. While engaged in this opera
tion. Porter noticed that , at Iho point where
ho stood , the road divided into two ; these
passed ever the ridge a hundred yards apart ,
descended on the oilier sldo , and mot again
out on the plain. The reason for this divi
sion was thut the loft hand roud hud becotno
badly gullied in ono of the rare and violent
rainfalls peculiar to that region , nnd the
wagoners hud made a now ouo to avoid its
Finishing the adjustment of the saddle
and Its attached parcels , the sergeant still
postponed remountincr , and followed his
horse slowly up tbo ritiga , leaving the cholco
of thcTonus to the animal , it Doing n matter
of Indiflvronco lo a horseman whether the
road was uulllcd or not. Two-Hits took the
loft , hand roud , und moved leisurely up iho
slope , raising his head high as ho approached
iho crest to look beyond It. Suddenly ho
stopped und stood perfectly rigid , his oars
sot forward and his ayes fixed upon some
object , evidently in alarm. Porter crout
carefully forward and looked beyond the
ridgo. Hchlnd n mass of granite bowlders
which squirted the lolt of the other road ,
four Indian ponies could be seen picketed ,
Evidently their riders were among the rocks
watching for thu express-rider they had seen
descending' from iho range. They
naturally supposed that ha wpuld
pass along the usually traveled
road. Nothing but the accident
that Two-Hits took the old road prevented
vented the sorgount from falling into the
ambuscade nud ending his life there. From
the old road the ponloa were plainly visible
in a nook among the holders ; from the newer
road they could not have been seen.
The sergeant backed Two-Hits sufficiently
to put him out of sight of thu Indians. When
nil was ready , Porter patted the old horse
atTactionuloly on the n6clc and said , "Now ,
old follow , everything depends uK | > n your
legs. " i'ortor always maintained that Two-
Hits understood the coming struggle as fully
us ho did himself.
When all xvas completed , Porter mounted
nnd rode slowly over the ridge and slowly
down the opposite slopo. Ho was anxious
lhat the Indiana should not discover him
until ho should bo well beyond the gullies in
the road. These ho passed safely."and , ns
ho rose to the level ground beyond , bo no
ticed that ouo of the mustangs in the bowl-
dors was holding his head high , watching
his movements. It occurred to the
sergeant that to kill n pony would
ba equal to killing nil Indian , lie
took a cartridge In his palm , so that
ho could reload without u ttocond * delay , and ,
aiming carefully , flrod , killing the pony In-
btantly. Ho reloaded , and a an iudUn
from cover to oo where the shot
came from , ho caught the second bullet and
foil across the dead tiony. Not another In
dian showed himself until Porter was well
out upon the plain : then ho heard the shrill
staccato of the Nnvnjo wnr-whoop , and
glancing backward ever his shoulder saw
thrco Indians pursuing at the top of their
xmics' speed. Two-Hits throw himself into
.ho task of running away from the mustangs
with all tha elasticity nnd grace that bad dis
tinguished him on the race course , nnd had
always led to victory , Ho settled down to a
long and steady pace which promised soon
to leave his pursuer * far behind , The sol
dier was beginning to congratulate himself
upon his wisdom In Insisting on having Two-
lilts for his service. With every spring the
old horse scorned to bo fast widening the
distance between the Indians nnd their In
tended viutim , nnd this continued for about
linlf n dozen miles , when Porter reluctantly
observed that no further change ih his favor
was evident. In fact , It soon became evi
dent that the Nnvajos wcro slowly but
surely closing uu nn him.
This was not at nil strange. Two-Bits
was nn Amcrlcniihorso , accustomed In garrison
risen nnd camp to his twulvo pounds of grain
dully ; a kind of horse that will Invariably
run down In llcsh on n grazing diet. The
mustangs lived entirely on grass and grow
Tat nnd Kept in good condition oven when
subjected to the Blithest usngo. Two-lilts'
was heavily londad and had tasted no grain
for four days ; the mustangs were lightly
mounted nnd filled with their accustomed
forage. Two-Hits was old nud the ir.uaiangs
wcro young. The odds were decidedly
against the veteran war-horse ; but ho kept
on with his long , powerful galop , while the
Indmu ponies came on with a short , quick ,
tireless clutter which never
changed its cadence nnd threat
ened to overtake the sergeant before
bo could gain the shelter of the hills , still
many miles uwuy.
The llnrht nnd pursuit ever the plain had
to bo co nil nod closely to the road. Outside
ot the track the vegetation would seriously
wound nnd disable nn animal attempting to
go through its spiked obstructions.
At last an arrow flow betwron Porter's
shoulder uud car. Turning in his saddle , ho
llred. broalting the leading Fnvaos ] arm and
causing him to full into the road , while his
riderless pony stopped by the wayside and
jcgan at once to graze. As the sergeant
dropped his carbine by his right side to place
u new cartridge in the breech , an nrrrw
struck his loft hand , bis lingers relaxed , and
.ho precious wcanon dropped into the roid.
Ho could not stop to recover it It would bo
usslosa with a badly wounded hand so ho
plunged wearily on , looking at the broken
lingois and flowing blood , with Ills ilrst seri
ous misgivings. Hlsdmnco of gelling out
of this scrape alive seemed desperate indeed.
With his siull ns a marksman , ha had all
along thought that ho could soon plok off nil
us or.emle.H ; but wltb no carbine und a use-
ess right huud tlio chances were much
Itcsolvlng. like a bravo man , to dlo game ,
Porter hastily bound his handkerchief about
: ils wounded baud , und drew a revolver in
ils loft. Turning : ho fired shot after shot ,
3ut without effect except to keep
the two Indians banging ever the
sides ot their horses , until , conceiving
a contomut for his inaccurate aim , they sat
unright and sent arrow after arrow toward
him. The distance was still too great for
these primitive niissllos to bo fully effective ,
but two pierced his shoulders , nnd the shafts
of thrco could bo seen switching up and
down in the quarters of Two-lilts as he pul-
Inpcd wearily on. A lucky shot caused ono
of the Indians to roiu up suddenly , dismount ,
und sit down by the roadside. The last
Nnvnjo kept on , however , with all the eager
ness with which ho begun the chase , appar
ently unabated , and soon ho wounded Porter
again , and this time along the ribs. la very
desperation , the sergeant then suddenly
turned bis horse to the right-about , bore
down quickly upon the Indian pony , and before
fore his rider had time to recover Irom his
surprise at the unexpected attack ho sent bis
last i em.lining shot crashing into the brain
of tlio mustang. The htllo horse swerved
outot the truck uud fell headlong into a
eacius , and before the Indian could extricate
himself Two-Hits and tits rider had wheeled
and were out of arrow rango.
The uursuit was at an end , and it would no
doubt be pleasant to the reader of this story
of a horse if I could say tnuftbo sergeant
nnd Two-Bits were now safe. Hut they
\vcrc very far from it. When well beyond
onv chance of pursuit from the last und
'joiiylcss Nnvcjo , Porter slid painfully from
his saddle to examine'into his , > 'own and his
horse's injuries. No arrows were left m his
own body , but Ho was badly lacerated and
bled profusely , uiitil ho wus scarcely able to
stand. The horsu had received seven wounds ,
and three arrows were still sticking in his
flesh. These were not deeply In , and were
easily removed ; but a long cut along the
ribs , from hind to fore quarters , had torn
the skin badly pnd still bled profusely. Por-
lor bouud up his town wounds with fair suc
cess , but bo could do nothing for the horse.
Neither could bo relieve Two-Hits by walk-
inf. The horse > refused a ration of hard
bread offered him , and there remained noth
ing to bo done but for the sergeant to drag
himself painfully into the saddle and resume
his Journey. Uamounting was not accom
' plished without great dilHcultv , nnd ouly by
'ino aid of a dale Ireo which forked ,
conveniently , two foot from the ground.
Speed was now out of the question ,
and the horsu simply limped nlong nt a fee
ble walk. Tho'excitement of the chase was
over , and the nerves of both man and boast
had lost their tension.
Wheu the pursuit ended Porter found him
self near the border of the plain from which
the road led up into a rugged and hilly coun
try , and it was already irrowinc toward twi
light. The miles stretched wearily out ,
nnd there seemed no better prospect
than to dismount and try to find
rest , even though rest for the
a horse in a desert country without water
might unlit him for further pffort , uud with
out a horse tbera is no hone for Iho man to
pass over the long remaining distance to
Wingato. It was this very hopelessness
which caused the soldier to press on lu Iho
increasing darkness , pulling off n halt which
he felt must be final. Still creopine slowly
along , ho at last surmounted a height over
looking a narrow vallo.y , und on the other
side saw a bright llro burning , which occa
sionally disappeared and reappeared , as if
persons were passing before it. The hopes
of the soldier were at once revived at the
prospect of reaching friends and assistance ,
but the hopes were as quickly depressed by
iho fear lhat the lira might bo that of un en
emy , probably a party of tbo Navajos , for
this 'was their country. Hut oven a foe
misht prove to bo a friend to ono in hU
plight , so ho pressed on.
Two-Hits was so weak lhat ho hardly moro
lhan moved , nnd hours olunied before the
valley was croasttl and ho brought his rktcr
near the flro. Ho wus ascending tno hillside
on Iho hillside on which the fire was burning
when the rattle of bailor-chains over feedboxes -
boxes a sound familiar to soldier's caw
came plainly through the evening nir , and
Porter knew that ho was near n government
train. With the welcome sound ho grow
faint nnd foil from Iho saddle to iho ground
senseless. Two-liils kept or. into camp , np-
preached the camp-lira , looked into tha
facus of the guard which sat about its cheer
ful blaze , turned , as if to retrace his stops ,
st ? iercd , fell , and died.
The unexpected appearance of a liorso ,
saddled und bridled , a mail-bag strapped on
his back , tils saddle covered with blood , his
body wounded in half a dozen places , hla
suddoa fall and death , started the whole
camp into aotlvily. The military escort was
teen under arms , horses and mules were
quickly saddled und lanterns were soon hur
rying down the road. The searchers had not
fur to go before they came unon the Her-
gounl , lying apparently lifeless. Ho was
taken Into camp , tenderly cared for , and
next day taken to Fort Wlngaie , thu place
for whloh Iho irain was bound.
Was Two-Hits loft to bo food for the coy.
otesl No. Sergeant Porter told nls story ,
and the command being of the company sta
tioned ut Fort Craig ul the time of the first
race mentioned iii-thoso columns , it was not
dillleult to find a > few sympathetic old sol
diers who yielded to the earnest request of
thu wounded oxurosa rider und budod his
equine frlond and comrade deeply , and
heaped a mound of stones over ills grave.
Ken uetiy'H liist India Dittora nro guar-
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Glinpn Ills Worn ! ut Mnoty-Ono
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