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cached in the timber, and water leaves no trail.
But I could not reason on all this then. I could
only remember that I had left the last and best
of all my comrades behind me, and that if evil
came to him, I should be held accountable.
Deeply plunged in such maddening reflections,
I had not ridden far, when the report of a rifle
in my rear almost caused my heart to stand still.

The Indians, then, had discovered Kit's cache.
I pulled up my horses and turned round with
the desperate determination of rejoining him at
any hazard, when all at once I remembered, in
impotent despair, that, with the exception of my
bowie-knife, I was unarmed. On parting, Kit
had taken possession of my rifle and revolver,
remarking that, while they might be of use to
him, I should ride lighter without them. All a
pretext! I saw it now, when too late. The
noble-minded fellow had guessed that if I heard
him engaged with the Indians, I should return,
and had thus taken measures effectually to
prevent me. Utterly distraught on making this
discovery, I remember little more of my ride to
Van Noy Ferry. Though I rode like a madman,
I must yet have acted with the soundest discretion.
My horse was afterwards found dead
about two miles up Applegate Creek, by which
the trail ran after leaving State Creek. At that
point I must have mounted the second horse,
and swam the creek, instead of following it up
to Rogue River. Then I crossed the country
in a north-easterly direction, and thus, by cutting
off an angle, considerably shortened the
distance. But of all this, I only distinctly
remember pricking along my failing horse with
my bowie-knife, as the lights of the ferry came
into view, till he also gave in and fell, throwing
me over his head and inflicting on me no trifling
injuries; and that wet, bruised, and bleeding,
but still with the one fixed, irrevocable idea
pervading my weakened senses, that Kit was in
deadly peril for my sake, and that he must be
saved, I burst into the midst of the ferry men
as they sat round their fire in their log hut.

"Kit Butler, from Boonsville!" shouted one
of the rough backwoodsmen, the captain of the
ferry, in reply to my wild appeal for help. "By
thunder! he's jest my fust cousin; how kim
yew to quit, mister, when he war in sich a
tarnation fix, eh?"

"Talking won't get him out of it, man," I
replied, impatiently; "either come along with
me at once to help him, or give me a rifle and
fresh horses and let me do what I can

"We'll godon't you fear, mister," he said,
more graciously; "yon darned red-skins ain't
goin' to wipe out the smartest mountain boy in
all Oregon. And no 'muss' round! Hy'ar yew
PeteDaveZacklay hold of your shootin'-
irons, boys, and git the animals out of the

"Ay, ay, Cap!" was the ready response;
and with astonishing quickness we were all
armed and mounted on sturdy mustangs, riding
hard to the rescue.

As we splashed through Applegate Creek Ford,
we heard a shot to the front, followed shortly by
another. "Hurrah, boys!" shouted our leader;
"thar goes old Kit! He ain't wiped out jest yet,
nohow. Guess it'll take a caution o' red-skins
to whip him. He'll make 'em see snakes and
black ones at that."

In a few minutes more we debouched on to
the north bank of State Creek, but not an
Indian was visible. The noise of our approach
had effectually scared them; they had not cared
to stand the brunt of a charge of half a dozen
white men. As we swept up the creek, dear
old Kit stepped out of his cover, his hands and
face black with powder, and his forehead bleeding,
but only from the splinter of a bad cap.

"You're welkim, boy," he said, as we shook
hands; "twar getting hot, though I peppered
one or two of the varmints. They got on my
trail right smart when yew quit; but they ain't
got me this time, I reckon."

Prudence forbade our small party from
attempting the mountain-passes that night to
learn the fate of our comrades, but early the
next day we reached Deer Creek.

As we had anticipated, we found the two
Germans dead in the creek, where the fatal
ambush had been laid for them. Of the artist
we could find no traces, but on our return to
the ferry we found him there. Though unhurt,
his plight was ludicrously doleful. The Indians
had discovered him in the cedar, and it would
have fared ill with him but that the sketch of
the young Indian was found on his person,
drawn so accurately that all his captors recognised
it. Believing from this circumstance that
he was a great "medicine" man whom it would
be dangerous to injure, they stripped and
released him.

                      THE SIXTH VOLUME,
                 Price 5s. 6d., is now ready.

                      A STRANGE STORY,
          Now published, in two volumes, price 24s.

   On Thursday, 20th instant, at ST. JAMES'S HALL,
               Piccadilly, at 8 o'clock precisely,
             Mr. CHARLES DICKENS will read
                     DAVID COPPERFIELD
                         (In Six Chapters),
                MR. BOB SAWYER'S PARTY,
                        FROM PICKWICK.