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Title: The Riot of Bucksnort
Author: Robert E. Howard
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The Riot of Bucksnort

by

Robert E. Howard

Cover Image

A PIKE BEARFIELD STORY

First published in Argosy, Oct 31, 1936



Cover Image

Argosy, October 3, 1936



THE SAN SIMEON BRANDING IRON
April 6, 1885

EDITORIAL

It has lately been brought to our notice by some of the less fastidious of our citizens who, presumably, have been amusing themselves by a slumming tour which naturally included a visit to our neighboring city of Bucksnort, that a campaign for sheriff is now raging in that aforesaid Hellhole of Iniquity. The candidates, as they were informed by such of Bucksnort’s citizens as were out of jail and sober enough to talk lucidly, are the present Sheriff of Papago County, John Donaldson, and the City Marshal of Bucksnort, Cheyenne Campbell, whose term of office evidently expires about election time. Not, however, that the undemocratic spectacle of a man holding one office and simultaneously running for another would create any impression on the stunted sensibilities of the denizens of that Miners’ Bedlam, that Blot on the Desert, that reeking Cesspool of Infamy, Bucksnort!

Each of the candidates seems to be straining nerve and sinew (we had almost said brain!) to distinguish himself in some spectacular manner which will catch the alcohol-soaked fancy of the citizenry. While we would no more descend to mingle into Bucksnort’s politics than we would dip our hands in any other mud puddle, we humbly suggest to whichever candidate may be elected, that he devote less time to persecuting innocent citizens of San Simeon, whom misfortune catches in Bucksnort, and more to the pursuit of that notorious scourge of the Border, Raphael Garcia, or El Lobo, the bandit, whose depredations are a thorn in the flesh of all honest men, and who, incidentally, seems to be reaping the larger proceeds of the mines of which Bucksnort is so proud. Within the last few months his robberies of stagecoaches, ore-trains, and company offices have cost the mine owners several hundred thousand dollars. This is of no consequence to San Simeon, the fair queen-city of the cow country, but doubtless is to the muckgrubbers of Bucksnort.

We close this column with the remark that if anyone in the alleged town of Bucksnort wishes to physically resent any of the just statements here above made, that the editor of The Branding Iron is at his desk every day, hot or cold, rain or shine, drunk or sober, that the editor’s benchlegged English bulldog is always on the job, and that the editorial shotgun is loaded with turkey shot and ten-penny nails. Liberty, Law, Order and Democracy!


* * * * *

THE BUCKSNORT CHRONICLE
April 9, 1885

EDITORIAL NOTE

We notice that our esteemed contemporary, the editor of that filthy rag, The San Simeon Branding Iron, has emerged from his habitual state of drunken stupor long enough to direct at our beautiful city an unprovoked blast which sounds much like the well-known braying of that individual’s not- too-distant ancestor. We scorn to bend to his level by replying. The accompanying notice is Bucksnort’s official retort to the cow-chasing scum of San Simeon and all Hualpai County! Loyal citizens please peruse.


NOTICE!
(Personal Insertion)

There has been a lot of loose talk going on over to San Simeon about the way the campaign for Sheriff of Papago County is being ran. It is none of their blasted business and we do not want none of their company. Bucksnort is the leading mining town of the Territory and is sufficient unto herself. We have took enough off of the bat-legged cowpokes which infest San Simeon. As marshal of our thriving city I have placed a sign at the edge of town reading as per follows, “Horse thieves, cow rustlers, Injuns and other varmints, particularly including folks from San Simeon, stay out of Bucksnort!” I aim to enforce that edict. That ought to settle their hash, and when you, the citizens of this desert metropolis, go to the polls to exercise your inalienable privilege as American citizens, please remember that it is because of the zeal and patriotism of your favorite candidate that you are not now harassed with vermin from San Simeon! Yours for better government, law, order and personal liberty.

Cheyenne Campbell,
City Marshal


* * * * *

Bucksnort, Arizona,
1 p. m., April 9, 1885.

Mr. Sam Abercrombie,
c/o Hualpai County Jail,
San Simeon, Arizona

Dear Sam:

Campbell has put over a fast one by ordering San Simeonites to stay out of Bucksnort. Ever since the editor of the Branding Iron wrote that editorial about Bucksnort last week, the folks over here froth at the sight of a man from San Simeon. Campbell’s order made a big hit with them. Why the devil didn’t we think of it first? You’re a fine campaign manager. You better think up something in a hurry. You know the mine owners are sore at me anyway, because I haven’t been able to catch El Lobo. A big help you be. What you want to punch old judge Clanton’s nose for in his own court? You might of knowed he was just itching for a excuse to throw you into the calaboose for contempt of court. You just would go over into Hualpai County to defend a horse thief just when the campaign was at its hottest. It we don’t do something to match Campbell’s latest move, we’re as good as licked. But whatever you do, be careful. Jack Harrigan, one of Campbell’s campaign managers, is snooping around over in San Simeon. I hope one of them cowpunchers shoots him. Do you want some of the boys to come over and bust you out of jail?

Yours in haste,
John Donaldson, Sheriff


* * * * *

San Simeon, Arizona,
County Jail, 6 p. m., April 9, 1885.

Dear John:

Don’t send the boys. The jailer and I have been playing draw poker and I can’t leave till I win back my pants at least. Anyway, a great legal mind can work as good in jail as anywhere else. The associations are congenial, if you get what I mean. I’ve already solved your problem, my boy. A Texas man by the name of Pike Bearfield is due here tomorrow to pay a fine for one of the Triple Arrow cow punchers, who’s in jail for the minor offense of shooting the city marshal in the leg.

Bearfield’s got the reputation of being a fire-eater, and no more brains than the law allows. I’ll engage him in conversation and get him all worked up about Bucksnort ordering San Simeon people to keep away. All the cowpunchers in Hualpai County consider themselves citizens of San Simeon, and their civic pride is ardent and homicidal. I’ll prod him about San Simeon being afraid of Bucksnort, and if he’s like all the other Texans I’ve ever seen, he’ll fork his horse and come fogging over there, just to show the world that Bucksnort can’t give orders to a San Simeon warrior. From what I’ve heard of Bearfield, Campbell’s warning will be like waving a red flag at a bull. Now you be on the watch and grab him as soon as he shows up. Be smart this time and don’t let Cheyenne get ahead of you and arrest him first. Station one of your deputies at the edge of town to watch for him and give you warning as he comes into town.

I’m sending this letter by the same fellow who brought yours. You’ll get it by midnight, at the latest. That will give you plenty of time to get ready for Bearfield. He’ll probably come to the jail early tomorrow morning, and if my silver tongue has lost none of its charm, he’ll be fogging it for Bucksnort pronto thereafter.

When you get him in the calaboose, tell the editor of the Chronicle to play it up big. He will if you’ll slip him a ten- spot. Play it up as the arrest of a dangerous outlaw from Texas, come to shoot up the town! Let it look like Campbell wasn’t big enough to handle him and had to call in the county officers. Better try to get Campbell out of town on some fake call or other before Bearfield gets there. Anyway, don’t let Campbell be the one to arrest him! This is our chance to put you over big with the voters.

Yours for honest politics,
Samuel Trueheart Abercrombie,
Attorney.


* * * * *

TELEGRAM

san simeon arizona
9 am
april 10 1885

cheyenne campbell
bucksnort arizona

they are fixing to put one over stop a horse thief who just got out of jail told me he heard sam abercrombie priming a texas gunfighter named bearfield to come over and clean out bucksnort stop donaldson aims to arrest him stop this will make you look bad stop be on the job and grab him before donaldson does stop

jack harrigan


* * * * *

TELEGRAM

bucksnort arizona
11 15 am
april 10 1885

commanding officer
ft crook arizona

for gosh sake rush all the soldiers you got over here stop a maniac from texas named bearfield is tearing the town apart stop hustle stop

ephraim l whittaker mayor


* * * * *

PHYSICIAN’S MEMORANDUM

Afternoon of April 10, 1885

D.V. Richards, M.D.

Treatment administered at the Golconda Gold Mining Company’s Emergency Hospital, as follows:

Bullets removed and treated for gunshot wounds: Sheriff John Donaldson, City Marshal Cheyenne Campbell, Deputies Gonzales, Keene, Wilkinson, McDonald and Jones; J. G. Smithson, County Clerk; Thomas Corbett, Tax Collector; Harrison, Jeppart, Wiltshaw and O’Toole, miners; Joe O’Brien, teamster.

Knife wounds: Ace Tremayne, gambler; nineteen stitches.

Iron beer keg hoops removed from neck of Michael Grogan, bartender, with aid of hacksaw.

The following were treated for contusions resulting from being struck with some blunt instrument such as the butt of a Sharps’ buffalo rifle: Sergeant O’Hara, fractured skull; Brogart, Olson, DeBose, Williams, Watson, Jackson, Emerson, miners. Six unidentified men now being revived.


Miscellaneous: Big Jud Pritchard, blacksmith—set broken arm and wired up fractured jaw, impossible to replace ear. Seventeen other men treated for minor lacerations and abrasions, apparently resulting from having been stepped on by a large horse.


* * * * *

Bucksnort, Arizona,
April 14, 1885.

Honorable Governor of Arizona,
Phoenix, Arizona

Honorable Sir:

I am writing to you to ast you to please see that jestice is did and stop an innercent man from being hounded by his enemies before he loses his patience and injures some of them fatally. I am referring to my pore persecuted brother, Pike Bearfield, of Wolf Mountain, Texas, now a fugitive from jestice and subsisting on prickly pears and horned toads somewheres in the Guadalupe Mountains. That ain’t no fitten diet for a white man, Yore Honor.

You have maybe saw the pack of lies which was writ about him in that dang newspaper The Bucksnort Chronicle which the only reason I ain’t shot the editor is because I am a peaceful and law-abiding man same as all us Bearfields, especially Pike. But let him beware! The editor, I mean. Truth is mighty and will prevail!

In that article about Pike, which was writ as soon as the editor sobered up on the morning of the 11th (he claims he was knocked cold by Pike the day before but it’s my opinion he was jest drunk) he claims Pike come out of his way jest to make trouble in Bucksnort. That’s a lie. Pike had been to San Simeon to pay a fine for a friend of his’n and was on his way back to the Triple Arrer ranch where we’ve both worked ever since we come out from Texas. He went by Bucksnort on his way to the ranch. Maybe you will say what the devil was he going by Bucksnort for, that is in the oppersite direction from the ranch, but Pike is very sociable and will go a long way out of his way jest to visit a town and meet folks and buy them drinks. As for that story about him storming out of San Simeon on the morning of April 10th spurring like a Comanche and waving his guns and announcing that he’d show them Bucksnort illegitimates whether they could keep San Simeon folks out of their dad-blasted town well, shucks, maybe he did holler and shoot off his pistols a little as he rode out, but that was jest high spirits. You know how us cowboys is, always full of fun and frolic.


His enemies has tried to make something out of the fack that he made the ride from San Simeon to Bucksnort in about a hour when it ordinarily takes a man about four hours to ride it. They say why was he splitting the road like that if he warn’t coming with war-like intention. But they don’t know Pike’s hoss, Satanta, which Pike ketched wild out of a Kiowa hoss herd and broke hisself, at the risk of his life. Satanta can outrun any critter in the Territory and he generally goes at a high lope. He ain’t careful about stepping around anything which happens to git in his way, neither, and probably Pike was shooting to warn them folks which he met to git out of his way, so they wouldn’t git tromped on. Pike has got a arful soft heart that way and don’t want to see nobody git hurt. They warn’t no use for them to take to the bresh and later accuse him of trying to murder them. If he’d been trying to hit them he would of, instead of jest knocking their hats off.

As for what actually happened at Bucksnort when he got there, they has been so many lies told about it that it plumb discourages a honest man. But this here is a plain, unvarnished account which I hope you will forgit all them yarns which Pike’s enemies has been telling, they air all prejudiced and anyway some of them air still addled in the brains and not responsible. Well, this is the way it was:

They is, or was, a very insulting sign at the aidge of Bucksnort which warned folks from San Simeon to keep out of the derned town. It now appears that it was shot all to pieces on the morning of the 10th, and folks air accusing Pike of doing it as he rode into town. Well, maybe he did kind of empty his pistol into the sagebrush, but they ain’t no use in abusing him because their derned sign happened to be where he was shooting. He didn’t put it there. Us cowboys frequently shoots into the air as we comes into town. It’s a kind of salute to the town, and a mark of respeck. As for that there deperty who got his hat shot off account of Pike seeing it sticking up in the sagebresh, why, that was jest a friendly joke. Pike was jest trying to be sociable. It hurt Pike’s feelings when the deperty ran off hollering halp murder and that’s why he shot the feller’s suspender buttons off—if the deperty didn’t bust them off hisself running through the sagebresh. He didn’t have no business hiding out there in the first place.

Pike then went on into town and tied his hoss, as quiet and peaceable as you please, and went into the Miners’ Delight Saloon. How do I know why the folks in the saloon all left by way of the back door as he come in at the front? Maybe they had to go home to dinner or something. The bartender was one of these hot-tempered, overbearing cusses which don’t deserve no sympathy. It appears they was some shots fired by somebody which cracked the mirror behind the bar and busted all the ceiling lamps, and the bartender seems to have blamed it on Pike. But he had no business making a play at Pike with a sawed-off shotgun. I reckon a man has a right to pertect hisself, which is why Pike kind of tapped him with a beer kag to shake his aim. I cain’t see as it was Pike’s fault that the bartender’s head went through the kag.

It now appears that the sheriff and the marshal was both expecting Pike, and it looks to me like they is something crooked about that. You cain’t trust these Bucksnort coyotes. Anyway, the deperty Pike met at the aidge of town was supposed to let the sheriff know the minute Pike hit town, and the marshal had bribed the deperty to tell him before he told the sheriff. Anyway, they was both depending onto that deperty to let ’em know when Pike come, but he run off into the desert when Pike shot at him, so the first thing they knowed about it was when they heard the shooting in the Miners’ Delight. The sheriff started for there on the run, and the marshal come up from the other direction.

But before they got there Pike had left. They warn’t nobody left in the Miners’ Delight but the bartender and he was unconscious, and Pike is that sociable he likes crowds of people around him. So he went acrost the street to the Bear Claw Saloon and Gambling Hall, and imejitly all them miners started picking on him. They ain’t no use in them trying to pertend that he started it. They say he was war-like and boastful, and try to prove this lie by bearing down on the fack of him announcing that he was a woolly wolf from the Hard Water Fork of Bitter Creek as he come through the door. But that warn’t no brag. It was jest a plain statement of fack, as anybody knows who is acquainted with Pike.

As for that roulette wheel, it ought to have been shot apart long ago. Pike probably knowed it was crooked, and jest couldn’t endure to see the men losing their hard-earned dough on it. He is arful soft- hearted. But that gambler, Ace Tremayne, he couldn’t take a joke, and mild-mannered as Pike is, he aint the man to endure being shot at with .41 caliber derringers at a distance of four foot. Ace somehow got cut right severe whilst him and Pike was rassling around on the floor. I reckon Pike’s bowie must of fell out of his boot and Ace rolled on it or something.

But several of them overbearing Bucksnort bullies taken the matter to heart, notably Jud Pritchard the blacksmith, and he ought to of knowed better’n to lay holt of Pike like he done. I reckon a man has got a right to defend hisself. Jud thinks he is a whole lot of man because he is six and a half foot tall and has licked most of them miners, but when you stack him up agen Pike he don’t look so big neither in size nor in fighting capacity. Pike allus fights a man like the man wants to fight, so he waded into Jud bar’-handed and Jud begun to holler halp murder the cow puncher is killing me. So several miners jumped in and taken a hand and Pike was dealing with them when the sheriff and marshal come running up.

They met on the street outside of the Bear Claw and the marshal said to the sheriff, “Where the devil do you think yo’re goin’?”

And the sheriff said to the marshal, “I’m goin’ in there to arrest a desperate criminal from Texas!”

And the marshal said, “How do you know he’s from Texas? I’m onto you, but you cain’t cut it! So git outa the way. This here’s my job! You tend to the county jobs and let city doins alone.”

“Air you tryin’ to tell me where to head in?” says the sheriff. “Pull in yore horns before I clip ’em! I’m runnin’ Papago County!”

“And I’m runnin’ Bucksnort!” says the marshal, and they slapped leather simultaneous, and both of ’em kissed the board sidewalk with lead in various parts of their carcasses.

Their deperties was jest fixing to carry on the war, when Pike come out to see what the shooting was about and a number of folks come out ahead of him. It was them which stampeded over the sheriff and the marshal as they laid in front of the Bear Claw. They later claimed Pike was making so much noise inside they didn’t hear the shooting which was going on outside, and they further claimed they was trying to escape from Pike when they stampeded out the front door. But they air sech liars I hope you won’t pay no attention to them, Yore Honor.

Anyway, it appears that the mayor had got severely trompled in the rush, and he hollered to the deperty sheriffs and deperty marshals and said, “Stop fightin’ each other, you jack-eared illegitimates and git this maneyack before he wrecks the town!”

That was a purty way for a mayor to talk about a pore, friendless stranger in their midst. They needn’t to never brag about Bucksnort hospitality no more. It’d serve them right if Pike never went there again.

Anyway, the deperties was jest as narrer-minded as the mayor, so they all started shooting at Pike, and he retreated into the French Queen Dancing Hall with a Sharps’ Buffalo rifle he’d taken away from one of the deperties, being afeared the deperty’d hurt somebody with his wild shooting. It appears the deperty’s cartridge belt come off in the scuffle, so Pike had it when he come into the Dance Hall.

By this time they was a mob milling in the street and talking about hanging Pike—that jest shows how lawless them Bucksnort devils is!—and sech deperties as warn’t unconscious and a lot of miners was shooting at him from every direction from behind signboards and hoss troughs and out of houses, so Pike begun shooting into the air to scare ’em off. But you know how bullets glance, and it appears that nine or ten men got hit. But it’s plumb unjest to blame Pike because his bullets glanced.

But the mayor lost his head and sent for soldiers, and a whole company rode out from the fort. By the time they got there somebody had sot the dance hall on fire, and Pike was about out of cartridges and his boots was burnt clean off of him account of him trying to stomp out the fire. I dunno what would of happened to him, but when Satanta, which was tied over beside the Miners’ Delight, seen the soldiers’ hosses, he bust loose and come charging over to fight them. He is the fightingest hoss you ever seen.

He galloped up to the front of the hall, right behind the soldiers which was fixing to bust down the front door, and Pike seen him. So Pike made a break and busted through the crowd, gently shoving Sergeant O’Hara out of his way, and I cain’t imagine how the sergeant got his skull fractured from a little push like that. But men is sech softies then days. Anyway, Pike got to Satanta and got onto him, meaning to ride quietly out of town, but Satanta got the bit in his teeth or something and bolted right through the crowd knocking down sixteen or seventeen, men and trompling them. Some more men tried to ketch holt of his bridle, but Pike was scairt they’d git stepped on and hurt like the others, so he kind of pushed them away with the butt of the Sharps. They ought to be grateful to him, instead of bellyaching about their noses and teeth and things.

He rode on out of town and was swinging back towards the San Simeon road, because he was beginning to get the idee that he warn’t welcome in Bucksnort, when jedge his surprise when he seen the whole company of soldiers coming lickety-split after him! Well, he didn’t have no cartridges left so he headed for the mountains south of there, and purty soon Satanta stumbled and the girth broke, account of somebody having slashed it nearly in two with a knife as they went through the crowd.

Pike was throwed over Satanta’s head and would probably of broke a laig if it hadn’t been for a big rock which he hit on headfirst and kind of cushioned his fall so’s he didn’t injure none of his limbs. The soldiers were crowding him so clost he didn’t have time to ketch Satanta, so he jumped up and taken to the hills afoot, and you may not believe it, Yore Honor, but them soldiers pursued him like he was a coyote or something, and shot at him so dern reckless it looked like they didn’t have a bit of regard for his safety. But they didn’t hit him except in a few unimportant places and he taken to country so rough they couldn’t foller on horseback, and finally he got away from them and taken refuge in the mountains. He’s hiding up there right now, barefooted, hongry, without no knife nor cartridges, and soldiers and posses is combing the country for him, and he cain’t git away in any direction except south without getting ketched. And the only thing south of him is Old Mexico. He don’t want to go there Yore Honor, it would make him look like he was a outlaw or something.

As soon as I heard about this business I come down from the Triple Arrer and as soon as I got to Bucksnort they throwed me in jail jest because I am a Bearfield, so I ain’t been able to look for Pike and help him. But he sent me a letter by a Mex sheepherder and explained how things was and told me his side of everything. So will you please make the soldiers quit persecuting him, he is as innercent as a newborn baby.

Please do something about this, he is powerful hongry and scairt to even eat with the sheepherder which slipped his letter in to me, for fear the Mex will pizen him for the reward they air offering.

Very trooly yoren,
Kirby Bearfield, Esquire


* * * * *

Gaudalupe Mountains, Arizony,
April 17, 1885.

Dear Kirby:

I am gitting purty dang tired of this business. The cactus hurts my feet and I have et jackrabbits and lizards till I feel like a Piute Injun. Tonight I am heading for Old Mexico by the way of Wolf Pass to git me some boots. It is a terrible note when a honest, respectable, law-abiding citerzen gits run out of the country by the soldiers which is supposed to perteck him, and has to take refuge in a furrin land. For three cents I’d stay in Old Mexico and leave the country flat. They is a limit to everything. The Mex will slip this note to you through the jail winder when they ain’t nobody looking.

Yore persecuted brother,
Pike


* * * * *

El Lobo:

I send this note by a swift and trusted messenger. Now is the time to make one big raid on Bucksnort. All the officers are still in the hospital and the soldiers still hunt the fool Tejano, Bearfield, through the mountains. I have contrived to send them to the northwest on a wild goose chase, by telling them he was seen in that direction. They do not guess that Esteban, the handsome monte dealer, is El Lobo’s spy! Now is the time to make a clean sweep, in force, to take all the gold on hand and burn the town, as you have long desired. Come swiftly tonight, with all your men, by way of Wolf Pass!

Esteban


* * * * *

THE BUCKSNORT CHRONICLE
April 18, 1885

el lobo captured
raid failed by heroic texan
a misjudged hero vindicated

Last night will be long remembered in the history of this glorious if rugged, Territory, for it marked the elimination of a menace which has long hovered like a black cloud in the mountains of the South. For longer than honest men like to remember, the bloody bandit El Lobo has from time to time swooped down on isolated mining camps or on travelers, leaving death and desolation in his wake, and evading retribution by retiring across the Border. An Ishmael of the Border, with his crimson hand against all men, he further proved himself an implacable enemy of culture and progress by threatening, on more than one occasion, to forcibly detach the ears of the Chronicle’s editor, because of unfavorable comment in these columns.

Last night, taking advantage of the recent unsettled conditions, he crossed the Border with a force estimated at a hundred men, and headed toward Bucksnort intending to crown his infamous career by an exploit of blood and destruction too sweeping to be regarded with anything but horror. In short he determined to wipe out the city of Bucksnort, and he had good reason to feel confident of success, as most of the soldiers from Fort Crook were away in the northwest corner of the county, and the natural defenders of the town, the officers of the law, had not yet recovered from a vulgar brawl which reflected little credit upon any of them. But he reckoned without Pike Bearfield, himself a fugitive from a misguided justice!

Mr. Bearfield, formerly of Wolf Mountain, Texas, but now claimed by Bucksnort as an honored son, will be remembered by citizens as a visitor in Bucksnort on the tenth of this month, at which date we understand some slight confusion arose as a result of a trivial misunderstanding between him and some of the officers.

Mr. Bearfield, who had been residing temporarily in the mountains just this side of the Border, due to the unfortunate misunderstanding above mentioned, evidently heard of the proposed raid, and with a heroism rare even in this Territory, went to meet the invaders single-handed. We have not been able to interview the hero, but from the accounts of the prisoners, we are able to reconstruct the scene as follows:

Arriving at Wolf Pass, on foot, at about midnight, our hero found the raiders already filing through the narrow gorge. Being without weapons he resorted to a breath-taking strategy. Turning aside, he climbed the almost sheer wall of the left-hand cliff, and concealed himself on a jutting ledge of rock. Then when the head of the column was passing directly under him, he hurled himself, barehanded, like a thunderbolt, down on the back of El Lobo himself!

Horse and man went to the earth under that impact, and El Lobo was knocked senseless. Instantly all was confusion, for in the darkness of the pass, the raiders could not see just what had happened, and evidently thought themselves ambushed by a large force. This illusion was heightened by Mr. Bearfield’s action, for seizing the ivory-handled revolvers of the senseless bandit, he leaped back against the shadowed cliff where, invisible himself to his enemies, he poured a two-handed hail of lead at the figures on horseback etched dimly against the starlit sky.

This completed the rout. Their leader down, they themselves unnerved and panicked by the unexpected attack, they fired wildly in all directions, hitting nobody but their own companions, and then broke in ignominious flight, leaving five or six corpses behind them, and El Lobo.

A posse which, we are pained to say, was combing the canyons in search of Mr. Bearfield, a few miles to the east, heard the shooting and hurrying to the pass, found the senseless bandit chief and the bodies of his villainous followers. They also sighted Mr. Bearfield, who was just about to remove El Lobo’s boots, but the modest hero hurried away without waiting for their congratulations.

His brother Kirby, an honored guest of the city, has been delegated to find Mr. Bearfield and bring him in to receive the grateful plaudits of an admiring citizenry. We hope he will prove as generous as he is valiant, and forget—as we have forgotten—the unfortunate affair of April 10th. If we have, at any time, seemed to criticize Mr. Bearfield in the columns of this paper, we sincerely apologize.

Mr. Bearfield’s efforts in defense of Bucksnort shine more brightly than ever in contrast with the recent actions of the two candidates for the sheriff’s office, whose political greed and ambition led them into a sordid brawl which incapacitated them at a time when the city most needed them. Let the citizens of Bucksnort consider that!


* * * * *

Bucksnort, Arizona,
April 18, 1885.

Dear Pike:

Come on in. Everything is hotsy-totsy and they air fixing a banquet in yore honor. Only jest don’t let anybody know that you was tryin to git away into Old Mexico when you met El Lobo and his gang, and thought they was a posse after you, and was trying to git away by climbing the cliffs when you lost your holt and fell on El Lobo.

Yore brother,
Kirby

P.S.—They have jest now held a popular meeting and elected you sheriff of Papago County. I am sending yore badge by the Mex, also a pair of boots and a fried steak. You takes office jest as soon as they can git the governor to take the price off of yore head.


THE END

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