Buffalo Bill Wanted!

Free Buffalo Bill Wanted! by Alex Simmons

Book: Buffalo Bill Wanted! by Alex Simmons Read Free Book Online
Authors: Alex Simmons
figure sitting on a blanket beside a small fire.
    â€œWhat’s this made out of—leather?” Dooley poked at the taut body of the tent, stretched over thin wooden poles.
    â€œDon’t know.” Owens hesitated at the entrance, feeling as if going into the tent would be entering another world, the world of the alien figure sitting inside. Tiny beads of sweat formed on his forehead. “So . . . let’s go ask him.”
    Owens poked his head into the tent. “Excuse me,” he said politely. “Are you Chief Tall-Like-Oak? ”
    The Indian studied Owens before he replied with a nod. “The show does not start for another hour,” he told them.
    â€œWe didn’t come to see the show,” Owens replied.
    Owens pulled Dooley along as he stepped into the tent. “My name’s Owens, and this here is my friend Dooley.”
    Dooley gave the chief a quick, nervous smile.
    Chief Tall-Like-Oak stared at Owens for a long moment, and then he motioned for both boys to sit down on blankets nearby. “I have seen your people before,” he told Owens.
    Owens’s eyes went wide. “My family?” he asked. “You’ve been to London before?”
    â€œNo,” the chief replied. “I have seen your people in my land.”
    â€œHe means people with your color,” Dooley exclaimed.
    Chief Tall-Like-Oak nodded. “Some work the land. Some wear blue coats and patrol our reservation. ”
    â€œYou mean some of them are soldiers?” Owens asked eagerly. “My father was a soldier. He died in a war.”
    â€œMy son died in a war.” Tall-Like-Oak smiled proudly. “He was a mighty warrior.”
    Dooley couldn’t understand the Indian’s broad smile. “Don’t you miss him?”
    Tall-Like-Oak’s expression became solemn. “Yes,” he replied in a deep voice. “But my people do not mourn the dead as you do. It is not a warrior’s way to show fear, or pain . . . or sadness.”
    Owens and Dooley glanced at each other, feeling confused. Every story they’d heard about Indians told of wild, angry men. Even what they’d seen at the Wild West show the day before had painted the same picture.
    Yet here the chief sat, legs crossed in front of him, hands resting on his knees, a man of quiet dignity.
    Dooley wondered if the Indian was up to something. Would Tall-Like-Oak suddenly spring on them when they least expected it? Dooley eased toward the tent’s opening just in case.
    The chief seemed to sense the boy’s fear and smiled again.
    â€œNow you have met an Indian,” Tall-Like-Oak said. “Is that why you came?”
    â€œEr, no,” Owens said, shaking off some of his own nervousness. “We’re trying to help Buffalo Bill find out who attacked the copper, uh, I mean the police constable. The man in the blue uniform.”
    Chief Tall-Like-Oak’s eyes narrowed, and Dooley felt a renewed urge to dash out of the tent. “Silent Eagle did not attack the blue coat,” the chief said angrily. “He did not attack the other one either. I have never even heard of him.”
    â€œYou mean Mr. Pryke?”
    Tall-Like-Oak nodded. He stood up and suddenly seemed far more powerful, despite his age.
    â€œWe should be going now.” Dooley’s voice quavered as he turned toward the opening. “Come along, Owens.”
    Owens was tempted to rush from the tent too, but his desire for information wouldn’t let him. “How can you be sure?” he asked.
    â€œWhy do you help Pahaska?”
    â€œWho?” Owens asked.
    â€œPahaska,” Tall-Like-Oak replied. “That is the name we have given Cody.”
    â€œOh,” Dooley replied. “Colonel Cody is famous, and he’s been nice to us. We want to help, and he said we could.”
    â€œDid Silent Eagle tell you he didn’t do it?” Owens asked.
    â€œSilent Eagle is

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