Stránka:book 1913.djvu/563

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Qimpfire Stories of Indian Character 541 No packs or rations having been brought, at nightfall Captain Wessells built decoy campfires about the Indians' position and marched the command back into the garrison. He told me Lieutenant Baxter, with a detachment of ten men, had located, on the slope of a bluff a mile east of the Deadman Ranch, a camp of Indians which he believed represented a large band of hostiles still loose. Pointing to a spur of the bluffs, three or four hundred feet high, standing well out into the valley a scant mile east of my ranch, the trooper hurried on in to the garrison for reinforcements, and I spurred away for the bluff, and soon could see a line of dismounted troopers strung along the crest of the ridge. As I rode up to the foot of the bluff, skirmish firing began on top of the ridge. After running my horse as far up the hill as its precipi- tous nature would permit, I started afoot climbing for the crest, but, finding it inaccessible at that point, started around the face of the bluff to the east to find a practicable line of ascent, when suddenly I was startled to hear the ominous, shrill buzz of rifle balls Just above my head, from the skirmish line on the crest of the ridge — startled, indeed, for I had supposed the Indians to be on the crest of the bluff, farther to the south. Dropping behind a tree and looking downhill, I saw a faint curl of smoke rising from a little washout one hundred yards below me, and, crouched beside the smouldering fire in the washout, a lone Indian. This warrior's fight and death was characteristic of the magnificent spirit which had inspired the band, from the beginning of the campaign at Fort Reno. In mid-afternoon, scouting to the south of the garrison