WHAT THE NIGHT-BIED SAW.
A dark, shadowy figure was silently, cau-
tiously making its way through the luxuriant
undergrowth, when the first notes of the ill-
omened bird ‘broke upon his ear, and his keen
eye immediately rested upon the ruffled mass
of feathers as, with head depressed and tail
elevated, it crosked forth the lugubrious
One tinged with superstition would have
read an evil omen in this incident; but not so
this man. Instead, a low, mellow laugh an-
swered the bird as Le passed on.
The owl Jeft its perch and flew on heavy yet
noiseless wing before the midnight prowler, re-
peating its warning note.
The dark outlines of & building uprose be-
fore the man. Pausing, he uttered a low, pe-
culiar whistle. - A8 though in reply, the night-
uird; flapyed its wings and "erooned forth its
lengthenéd note from the overhanging bongh.
The man started and shrunk back, but _then,
with a low, glad cry, he sprang forward as a.
ligit, graceful figre appeared in the belt of
bright moonlight surrounding the old tree.
My jewell” he murmured, as his strong
arms wound around the yielding form and
pressed it passionately to his breast, ‘At
With ruffled feathers, with head cocked
knowingly, the night-bird looked down upon
the lovers with its round, staring eyes. The
downy plumage is suddeny ruffled, the broad
tail slowly spreads as it arises, the ball-ike
head goes down; but the lugubrious ery is
checked. The bird straightens up, its feathers
lie close, it more nearly resembles a hawk
Teady for speedy flight.
What bas alarmed it? Yonder dark, steal-
thy, creeping shadowsi And_yet—shadows
seldom carry bright weapons for the moon’s
beams to glint from, nor do bushes rustle,
twigs crackle, the ground echo beneath the
tread of shadowy, bodiless phantoms,
With a warning cry the night-bird leaves
its perch and_sails heavily above the lovers.
The maiden shrinks back, with a little cry; the
lover draws her to him, and once more their
The bushes part. The weapon-bearing
shadows dart forth, With a shriek, the white-
robed maiden flecs, even as ber lover is strick-
en to the earth. The owl hoots; the silvery
queen of night vails her face beneath a sable
The spot. that had seemed sacred to lova's
whispers, now resounds with flerce oaths and
curses;. with the clashing of steel, the_sharp
detonation of firearms; the heavy, sickening
thud-thud of vengeful blows alighting upon
buman flesh. | And again comes that lugubri-
Frightened, the night-bird sails heavily
away. Over the shrubbery so thick and
tangled; over the high, massive adobe wall
that surrounds the garden, nally settling up-
on & bushy tree near the edge of the chapar-
val. Had instinct guided it?
Trampling heavily, four men came slowly
through the night, dragging between them
what seemed a dead or dying man. They
paused close beside the tree—beneath the ruins
of what had once been the pride of that stunt-
ed forest, now a gaunt, leafless, lightning-
The night-bird bent its eyes knowingly vp-
on the scene.
The lover lay, bound-and helpless, at the
feet of his enemjes. ~ One of them spoke—cold,
contemptuous, yet biting words. Words that
told of man's duplicity and woman's treach-
ery. Then he bowed over the prisoner. As
he trose, the moon shone forth with increased
Blood was flowing from the captive's head.
The tall, dark man was pinning something to
the Jightning-scarred tree-trunk.
They were human ears!
As though frightened by the scent of human
blood, the night-bird flapped-its wings and
sailed away, its ominous cry growing fainter
and less distinet,
The moon sailed on. The insects’ chirped
and trilled. ' The owl occasionally sounded its
note while sailing over the chaparral, gradu-
ally nearing the dead tree. Noiselessly parting
the air, the ominous bird rolled its staring eyes
round the spot. The ground was free—the fa-
truders hed gone.
Then it slowly settled down. ~ Not upon the
dead bough, but upon something that swayed
to and fro, suspended from the sturdy limb,
uttering its melancholy dirge:
William Adams, | PUBLiswERs,
NEW YORK, JANUARY 22, 1876.
"E“ PRAIIRIIE SPOIRTTT;
BY JOS. E. BADGER, JR.,
Author of “0ld Bull's-eye, the Lightning Shot of the Plains,” “ Yellowstone Jack,” “Pacific Pete,” etc.
Back—dare to touch my sister and I'll shoot you like a coyote !I'" he said, in a low, stern voice.
WILD SCENES IN THE DESERT.
“ Ir's bad manners ye show, old man Tony,
interrupting agentleman when he's dining—
and that after a gocd forty-mile ride, t0o.”
The voice was a rich, clear one, though
slightly drawling, and the speaker raised his
head with o' reproachful glance of his big,
black eyes, then resumed a monful struggle
with the chunk of tough jerked meat, though
still watching his comrade, who made a series
of quick gestures.
“So—n dust-cloud; coming this way;
Iance points—that means red-skins, then, for
devil a Greaser ever had pluck enough to car-'
rylance so far from their holes!” and the
mustached lips curled with scorn. * Well, old
man Tony, you look to the horses—ugh! this
forage ’s ‘tough as buffalo-horn! - But T've
tackled if, and won't give in beat though
all the red-skins ’twixt this and tother place
—you understand, old man Tony?"
The worthy thus adressed made no roply,
but strode a few paces further on, where two
horses were daintily nibbling the rich, short
grass growing around the little pond, fed by
the spring beside which the speaker half re-
clined. Drawing the slickened girths a few
inches higher and slipping the dangling b'ts
butween the ready jaws were all the prepara-
tions required. - Then the man strode back to
his former look-out, at the edge of the desert
For miles upon every side, the hard, arid
desert extended, level nearly as a barn-floor.
Here and there might be seon a low ridge of
sand or an oceasionsl clump of the many-
thorned cacti. = But these features were un-
heeded by the tall man.
Far distant, almost upon the horizon line,
was the telltale dust-clond, now Jarger, more
clearly defined; yet only an unusually keen
eyo could bave distinguished it from the
dancing, dazzling refraction of the sun's rays
upon the blazing sands, much less have declar-
ed that the cloud was made by horsemen, who
The watcher knew that the 'party: were
heading direct for the desert island; the only
water-tole for dozens of miles around. = His
shaggy brows lowered, a look, dark and for-
bidding, cane over his bronzed features; a
look, not of fear, but of hatred the ost in-
g no sweetheart you're watching, that's
plain, old man Tony,” laughed his comrade, as
ho came up. ~ “ Wonder would thoss sweet-
scented ducks be in quite 0 much of & hurry
it they knew who was waiting for them!
You think they're your old friends, Tony?"
The old man’s eyes glared like living coals
as ho turned, first pointing to his mouth, then
sheking his short, heavy rifle with an air that
could not be mistaken.
“Whew!” whistled the young man, rubbing
his curly poll dubiously. * Thal's yourlay-out,
isit? You carry the thing high enough, that's
surof If one, there's fifty bucks in that crowd.
Tlike yon as well as the next man, but just
now I’d rather be true to my name—Jack
Rabbit—in other words, run—puckachee.”
‘Tony did not speak, but made a few rapid ges-
tures, which the young man—who bad claimed
the whimsical rame of Jack Rabbit—ap-
parently had no difficulty in comprehending.
“Allright, old man Toy, since you put it
that way. I'm always lazy fter dinner, but
since you're determined to get your head
broke, Tl see you through.”
Squatting side by side, just within cover of
the stunted trees, the two men cooly awaited
the approach of the enemy, though the long
0dds might well have caused them uneasiness.
A strangely matchod _couplo were they, re-
sembling each otber in only one respect—
dauntless courage; many would call it utter
recklessness. Yet strong and peculiar tios
bound them together,
Anthony Chew ' wasa fair specimen of what
the Western “hog-meat and hominy * can pro-
duce. Rising six feet, bis sturdy frame was
a wellshaped mass of bone and muscle,
strongthened and hardened by long years of
wild lifo—not wild in the one sense of dissipa-
tion. Whisky had never dimmed his eye,
clouded his brain, nor weakened his muscle,
though for nearly balt a century he had lived
upon_or beyond the borders of civilization.
At sixty years of ago he was just in his
prime. His features wero good, what could
be seen of them through the long, flowing
beard, and hair of almost snowy whiteness.
But for many a long year a smile had never
‘been seen upon his face, and a dark, stern look,
almost_forbidding, had become habitual to
Jack Rabbit was but little above the aver-
ago hight, though his rounded limbs, his deep
chest, thin flanks, and small waist gave token
of unusual strength, combined with an activ-
ity not incompatible with bis name, or sobri-
whichever it might be.
face was handsome as his figure was
comely. Large eyes, lustrous and sparkling
a8 those of a deer; a healthy brown and red
complexion; a silky mustache shading his
red, arched lips; a shock of curly black hair
showing beneath bis broad-brimmed, gold-
banded sombrero. ‘A light jacket of blu
broadcloth, ornamented with gold lace and
silver buttous; a silken shirt, richly embroid-
ered and frilled; softly-tanned buck-skin nether
garments, meeting hairy leggings above bead-
od moccasins. The beau ideal of a prairie
His arms in every respect resembled those
of the old man. A heavy, single-barreled
rifle, muzzle-loading, of cour-e; the nature of
this rifle would have required a_pack-mule for
the transportation of metal cartridges. Each
‘man carried two heavy Colt’s revolvers, navy
pattern; and in their breasts might have been
found extra cylinders, all ready for substitution
in case of need.
“They’re coming up lively, old man Tony,”
said Jack Rabbit, after a fow minutes of si-
lent watching. “They're not on our trail, so
they must have lett water in the night, = Their
animals won's be checked easily when they
fairly seent the drink, however bad the cop-
por-skins weaken. We'll have to work lively,
or good-by to the trail you've been so anxious
‘Nearer and nearer came the party of savages,
until at length the comrades could easily dis.
tinguish the riders and their mounts. The
mustangs, covered with sweat and dust, bore
piain traces of long and hard riding, strag-
gling along in twos and threes, according to
their speed or endurance, scenting the life-giv-
ing water -with distended nostrils. Jack
Rabbit had_spoken truly. Death alone could
check a charge like this.
Nearer and nearer—until Tony uttered a
low, hissing sound, and the two rifles were
lowered. An instant later came the double
reports, sounding like a single one. Through
the thin vail of smoke they could note the re-
sult of their fire, as they rapidly reloaded.
With the wild, horrible yeil that almost in-
variably accompanies the death throes of an
Tndian, the leading brave flung aloft his arms
and fell beadlong from his horse. ~ His nearest
comrade dropped heavily upon his mustang’s |
neck, blood gushing from his parched lips and
almost smothering the death shriek.
THE WOLF CHILDREN OFTHE LLANO ESTACADO.
The same instant Jack Rabbit uttered a
shrill whistle. A joyous meigh promptly re-
sponded, and crashing through the under-
growth, two horscs bounded to their masters'
sides. 'Slinging his rifle on tho cantle, Jack
Rabbit leaped into tho saddle crying ‘sharp-
“Mount, old man—mount, or they'll ride
over usl Don't throw away your life and
It may well be doubted whether any other
appeal would have been hoeded, for the de-
mon of vengeance was fully aroused in the old
hunter’s breast. His eyes glared like living
coals, his beard was flecked with froth, and a
hoarse, snarling sound came from the depths of
his chest. Only the deep, intense love which
be felt for his protege could have drawn him
from the feast of blood, evan though he knew
that longer stay could be little less than cer-
“Mount, Tony—mount, or I swear I'l run a
muck bare handud with tho whons subsedln
thero! . That's the ticket-+ Givo ‘em u tasto of
Giving his blood-bay free rein, guiding him
only with his knees, Jack Rabbit dashed gut
into the open ground, discharging shot, after
shot in rapid succession, sending each leaden
pellet homo with an unerring certainty that
was fairly marvelous. Few men aro they
who can send bullet after bullet #o. its flying
target from horse-back, but Jack Rabbit had
found a rare teacher in big Tony Chew, and,
os will presently be shown, the wild lifs they
had followed for years had given them plenty
The deep, smarling sound growing into a
hoerse roar, Tony Chew turned his big buck-
skin horse directly toward the yelling, con-
tused savages, a revolver in efthor iand, and
would have charged into their midst, only for
the prompt interference of Jack Rabbit, who
seized the loose rein and bore the madran to
one side. As though unconscious of this,
Chew plied his revolvers in quick succes-
sion, until the dull click told that the cylinders
The sudden and deadly attack had utterly
demoralized the Indians, and when the two
horsemen burst out from the motte, they
swerved and struggled fariously with their
thirstfrenzied animals. But to retreat was
beyond their power. And then, as no more
shots came from the island, as no more horee-
‘men made itheir appearance, the humiliating
truth forced itself upon their mind:
Then, not until they realized that they had
been bearded by two men, they bethought
themselves of their weapons, and two or three
escopette balls whistled by the prairie riders,
a dozen arrows hissed through the air; then
the horses and riders disappoared, plunging
into the motte.
Laughing loudly, Jack Rabbit tossed his
head back as a flint-headed arrow tore through
the flying curls beside bis ear, and still holding
the bridle of his comrade’s horse he wheelod
swittly around the timber island, just without
“They know now who's playing with them,
old man Tony, and their proud stomachs Il
turn against lotting us get off after scaring
them 50 thoroughly. They'll be after us the
very moment they cau get their ponies away
from the water. ~As though a hop-toad could
catch an antelope! You want fun—well, well
have it, if you'll only promise not to be such
a contrary, headstrong—yon understand? 1
don't want to burt your feclings, but if any-
body else’d act as you did, just then, I'd swear
he was a thoroughbred fool—so there!”
Chew wiped the froth from his beard, and
made a few rapid signs, which were readily
interpreted by Jack.
“ Good enough! then Tll lond up. It like-
Jy we'll need to burn more powder, unless
youse got your ALl
Alook of intense hatred passed over the
giant’s face, and a harsh, guttural sound came
from his throat.
“All right; fight it is, then. And not so
much fight, either. We can choose our own
distance, and if they’re fools enough to follow
us, we can pick ‘em off one by one. Ha! look
yonder! Some of the imps are in a burry to
With yells of astonishment and terror, the | reach their happy hunting-grounds—sol There
savages plucked sharply at the jaw-breaking | goes one, by lightning express!” and a reckless
mamelukes, and hastily grasped their weapons.
Yet, as Jack Rabbit had foreseen, the thirst-
maddened animals plunged blindly forward,
entirely beyond control of their masters
With wonderful rapidity the rifles wero re-
toaded and_ capped, then, once again, the un-
laugh parted the young mau’s lips as he flung,
| forward his rifle and fired at a savage who had
just sauntered beyond the friendly cover.
Hard hit, if not killed, the Indian fell back
| and was quickly drawn under cover. A series
of angry yells went up from the motte, and a
erring eyes glanced through the double sights, | moment later the two men could so that some
‘marking two more red-skins for death.
| movement was abont to take place.