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capital, and beholding the gay world of fashion as displayed upon its costly Boulevards. It was immediately after pay-day, and Trotter was flush. After • casting about for some method accordant with his original turn of mind by which his earnings might be dissipated with the highest degree of voluptuary satisfaction, he discovered that a band of minstrels was about to delight Atchison with a concert. He immediately went to the treasurer of the company, prevailed upon him to limit his number of tickets, and, forestalling the market, bought up every one of them himself. Having thus effected what the brokers would call "a corner" in the world of amusement, he repaired to the hall at the hour of performance, occupied a seat in the centre, and had the entire concert to himself. Having thus experienced the sensation of solitary grandeur usually confined to kings and high dignitaries, he expressed himself fully satisfied with his money's worth, and the next morning departed for Fort Kearney, to drive until next pay day without a penny in his pocket.
By far the most entertaining practical joke told of him (for the above has rather the complexion of a luxurious solemnity) is his stopping a man on the road who drove a miserable team of sick and aged little mules, with the ejaculation, " Look a'here, pilgrim! I know a man that would give eight hundred dollars if he could only see them mules!" "Why!" exclaimed the man, startled by such an unexpected prospect of luck, " Yeou da-on't say so! Who is he?" "lies a Mind man, " said Trotter; "g'lang!"
With such stories as these, and many others belonging to that category of which a well known bel esprit once said to me, " O, if one could only print the good things which mustn't be printed, what a book that would be !" our frontiersmen kept us lively until the fire burned down to coals, and we felt ready to wrap ourselves in our blankets.
The next five minutes, and we were as sound asleep in that divine bed-chamber of all-outrdoors as any baby that ever lay in its cradle, ignorant of human woe. O the change from the lately abandoned vigils and labors of long city nights, — from the three-o'clock retirings, the nervous tossings, the unsolved problems that write themselves on the bedcurtain of him who lies down without any extinction of his- business impetus, or cooling of life's competitive fever! It was a return to childhood; and the mother nature stroked our foreheads into slumber with a hand of soft sweet air, the moment that We touched our rugged pillows. Years had blotted out the memory of true sleep from us: now it returned as a new sensation.
With the earliest rays of spring sunshine we were on our feet again, and but a little later saw us as deep as we could get in the clear, bracing water of the Republican. Thoroughly refreshed, we made our breakfast off our own stores,—supper having dismissed the antelope, — and prepared for the grand foray against the buffalo herd, of which yesterday had been only the burlesque; to which, indeed, yesterday was related in much the same sort of way as Mrs. Trimmer and natural history apprenticeships in general are related to actual experience of lions.
The two horses which had been attached to Hunger's buggy were both of them well trained hunters of our present game. They were accordingly put under saddle, — Hunger retaining the chestnut, a fine animal named Ben Holladay, after the Overland Stage proprietor, and giving me " Nig," an excellent black horse, whose pluck and endurance I afterwards thoroughly tested. I owed thia kindness partly to the fact that in my own private capacity I was very anxious for one good hunt on a horse that knew buffalo, but mainly to Munger's willingness to do a "courtesy to the Press," whereof, before leaving New York, I was a member. It both amused and gratified me to see the influence and interest of journalism extending so far beyond the reach of latest editions. No higher compliment could have been paid the profession. The last time I had used my press privilege was in going to my parquet stall in the Academy of Music, past a smiling door-keeper, who took tickets of other people. Here I vaulted to the saddle of one of the best hunters in the American wilderness, from the same professional spring-board; and the two courtesies were but three weeks apart.
Our artist, though a good shot, and capable of going to market for himself wherever there was any game, as well as most people, had seen enough buffalo-hunting in other expeditions to care little for it now, compared with the artistic opportunities which our battue afforded him for portraits of fine old bulls. He accordingly put his color-box, camp-stool, and sketching-umbrella into the buggy, hitched a team of the wagon-horses to it. and, taking one of our own. party in with him, declared his intention of visiting the battle-field solely as " our special artist." Thompson and John Gilbert accompanied us on their own horses. The rest stayed behind to watch camp.
Fully recovered from the stampede of yesterday, the outer bulls of the herd, guarded by their sentinels.. were grazing in plain sight along the top of the bluff It was arranged that our four mounted men should lead in open order toward the foot of the bluff upon a quiet walk, and the moment the sentry bulls walked away to give the alarm, charge up the nearest practicable gulch that entered the bluff, getting to the top as quickly as possible. There each of us was to select his own bull out of the herd, and ride him down till he got within easy range. The buggy was to keep as close on our rear as it was able.
Following this arrangement, we marched out from the shadow of the cotton-woods, and began pushing slowly through the grass toward our game. The sentries focused all their eyes on us before we had gone a quarter of a mile from cover, but did not think us worth solicitude until we were a hundred and fifty rods cleser. Then they began to paw uneasily, lash their sides, and stretch their necks with unequivocal earnestness. The buggy still kept right behind us, and we walked our horses about fifty feet apart. We were a quarter of a mile from the foot of the bluff, when the first bull in front of us walked majestically away. A few rods further on, and all the sentries began a dignified leave-taking. "Now!" cried Hunger, and the four horsemen spurred at once. We all took the same ravine, and scrambled up its aides (steeper than any hill where I had ever seen a horse pushed before) in hardly more time than I have taken to write the fact. We gained the top of the bluff just before the sentries had reached their lines. The herd itself was not stampeded until we came in sight of its front. In an instant some uncountable hundreds of black, shaggy monsters threw their heads into the air with a force which lifted them on their hind hoofs, and, making these last pivotal, whirled about, as John said, "Like as if they had springs in 'em." Then, with a ponderous trot, the whole line was away. We were about two hundred and fifty yards from them when the stampede became general.
This was altogether too far for effective shooting from the saddle, except for an Indian, or some exceptional white man who had spent his life with the herds; and even such ride as close as possible before using bow or rifle. So we again clapped spurs to our horses, and hammered on toward our game, just as the buggy succeeded in climbing the bluff.
The buffalo heard us, and quickened their flight to that clumsy cow-gallop of which I have before spoken. In a few minutes we were putting them to their trumps. They continued to lead our horses for a mile, running quite at the rate of ten miles an hour. But our animals had not yet "got their wind;" and so long as the bulls kept on tolerably even ground where we could follow them, every minute brought us fresh advantage. If they reached the jaws of some unexpected draw, they would plunge thirty feet down its almost perpendicular sides with as little hesitation as we would leap a ditch; but no such ill luck befell us. They showed signs of distress in about five minutes from the first burst, and blew hard, though there was no diminution in their speed, while our animals were warming into their work splendidly.
I selected the bull nearest me, each of the other horsemen picked his quarry, and for ten minutes more I knew nothing, in the heat of my first buffalo fever, but streaming wind, a great oscillating patch of hair and hide beyond me, and a sound of tram