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Kiddie the Scout by Robert Leighton

But Kiddie had foreseen his intention


"Gee!"

he exclaimed ruefully. "Seems I'm wounded. Jaw ain't put outer gear, though. Might ha' bin worse--heaps worse."

"Lie down flat, Rube! Lie down flat!"

It was Kiddie's voice. Rube instinctively obeyed the command, without even looking round to see where the voice had come from. But as he prostrated himself, he glanced forward and saw quite near to him a young Sioux chief mounted on a fine black horse, and wearing a magnificent feathered war-bonnet.

It was Broken Feather.

The chief was aiming with his revolver at a mark beyond where Rube lay. He pressed the trigger; but the chambers were empty, the cartridges all spent; and when no shot followed, he gripped the gun by its muzzle end, flung back his arm, and threw the weapon from him with all his force.

Rube had turned his head to look back over his shoulder, and now, just at the moment when the weapon was thrown, he saw Kiddie stretch out his hand and adroitly catch it, as he might have caught a cricket ball. Kiddie, still riding the same lank, piebald prairie pony; still unhurt in the battle; still cool and self-contained.

"So it's you--you--that have been leading these Crows against me?" snarled Broken Feather, with an angry scowl.

"Well," returned Kiddie, dropping the chief's revolver

and drawing back his hand under his blanket; "you may take it that way if you choose. It seems I'm here. Anyhow, I guess you're pretty well beaten this time."

Broken Feather had seized the haft of his tomahawk, and was holding his bridle rein ready to make a desperate charge forward to a hand to hand encounter.

But Kiddie had foreseen his intention.

"Steady, there, steady!" he cried, quickly withdrawing his hand and levelling his fully-loaded six-shooter at a point between Broken Feather's eyes. "Put up your hands! You can't get at me before my bullet reaches you, see?"

For many moments Broken Feather stared at the shining ring of steel in front of Kiddie's steadily held hand. He saw Kiddie's finger twitching against the trigger, and knew for a certainty that Kiddie would not hesitate to shoot if his command were disobeyed.

"Put up your hands," Kiddie reiterated.

Broken Feather's tomahawk was now hanging by its thong from his wrist. Slowly and very reluctantly he raised his two empty hands above his head.

"Right," Kiddie nodded, lowering his weapon, but still keeping it turned in the same direction. "You've saved your precious life. And now you'd best call off your warriors before there's any more blood spilt. D'you understand? Put an end to this needless battle, and quit right away, with what's left of your army. You're tryin' to fly a bit too high, my man. But you're not made big enough. Give up tryin'. Go back to your reservation, and try to live a decent, honourable life of peace and usefulness."

Broken Feather drew down his hands, and folded his arms across his chest, sitting very upright astride of his horse.


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