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Fort Boisé. By this time even Snowball was in
a sad state, covered with mud and foam, and
with drooping head and quivering flanks. As
for the other horse, he was so utterly done up
that he fell about a mile from the outpost, and
Nutkins had to walk the rest of the way. Both
the jockey and I were very weary and worn, but
I was glad to find that fatigue had proved a kind
nurse, and that for some hours the child, quite
exhausted, had been asleep.

"Our arrival created a great sensation, and
when the lonely garrison of that little place
heard that Christian men and women in sore
distress were calling on them for help, they
responded nobly to the summons. Captain
Watkins, a grizzled, disappointed old officer, but of
sterling stuff, as events proved, was at first
much perplexed.

"'What on earth are we to do, doctor?' said
he to the regimental surgeon; "out of ninety
men of all arms, there are but twenty fit for
duty. There are horses enough, if we take the
waggon-teams on their way back to Fort Leavenworth,
but the men! Yet, I'll go, if it's with a
corporal's guard!'

"The surgeon considered awhile, then tapped
his forehead briskly.

"'Our men are moped here,' said he, 'and
nerves are queer things. This is a call might
move the dead. I'll go to the infirmary and tell
the lads there are women and children in danger
a few miles off, beset by Indians, and you shall
see what follows.'

"And, wonderful to tell, out of seventy invalids,
fifty-five volunteered for instant service. Pale,
gaunt, and tottering, but with bright eyes and
faces elate with courage, the bold fellows came
up one by one to report themselves as 'fit for
duty' to the captain. I felt my own eyes
moisten as I looked upon the simple chivalry of
these poor soldiers, for the most part foreigners
in American pay, who staggered from their very
sick-beds to save those they had perhaps never
exchanged a word with.

"Many who volunteered were too weak for
such a ride, but at last a force of about fifty
well-armed men set off on horseback. They
were led by Captain Watkins, and guided by
myself, the jockey being left behind, as too
exhausted for more toil. Little Laff Davis was
left at the fort, in charge of a good-humoured
Scotchwoman, the wife of the pay-sergeant.

"Much time was necessarily lost; our march
was not so rapid as we could have wished, for
the waggon horses were heavy animals, and the
infantry soldiers not very expert riders. Our
progress was therefore slow."

"But you got there in time, eh?" exclaimed
Tom Rawlinson, excitedly, "you set things
to rights, and gave the Indians a lesson,

"No, Tom, we were too late. Too late by
many hours. No living soul was left to tell the
tale, but the ashes of the waggons were nearly
cold, and we guessed that, the ammunition being
spent, the camp had been forcibly entered
immediately on the return of the party that had
chased us. Doubtless the Indians struck quickly,
lest a rescuing force should arrive to wrest the
prey from them. The horrid work was
complete. Everything portable had been carried
off. The waggons had been set on fire, and the
peoplehappiest those that died fighting, like
poor Simon Davis, whose body, dreadfully
disfigured, we found in the centre of a trampled
patch of ground, marked by gory footsteps and
torn turf. Yes, all had perished, some in fight,
and some by torture, I fear, for the bodies that
lay around, stripped and gashed by the knife,
had been partially consumed by fire. Women,
children, strong and weak, old and young, the
butchers had spared none, and the mutilated
corpses alone were left on the blackened turf.
Tom! it sickens me to think of it, and I
saw the bronzed soldiers' cheeks blanch, as they
gazed on the hideous sight, and heard many
a muttered vow of vengeancevows generally
well kept in those stern frontier wars. But
the Indians were beyond reach of pursuit for
the time. They had carried off their own

"And now, Tom, I see the Whittington
milestone, and we shall soon part company, so
must be brief. Little Laff Davis was adopted
by Captain Watkins, who took a great fancy to
him, is giving him a good education at Chicago,
and promises to send him to the military school
at West Point, there to qualify for a commission.
Snowball, his father's gift, bore me faithfully
for years; I kept him through my struggles in
Columbia, where I did well, and saved enough
to enter into the mercantile firm in which I
am now a partner. And when I returned to
Europe I could not bring myself to abandon the
faithful creature, but brought him home, at no
small cost, so you may easily guess, my friend,
that Snowball is not for sale."

"But the knave of a doctorIgnotus Smith
was he ever hanged?" asked Tom, eagerly.

"Never. But Nemesis overtook him in
another form. I was in San Francisco, on my
way home, when the event happened. Dr. I. F.
Smith fought a duel in a tavern, 'over a
handkerchief,' with a man whom he had cheated at
cards. As usual, one pistol was loaded, and one
empty, and the doctor put faith in a confederate,
who acted as second to the antagonist, and was
to give Ignotus the loaded weapon. But by
some bungling or treachery the biter was bit.
Dr. I. F. Smith received the wrong pistol, was
shot through the heart, and died like a dog,
without warning or repentance."