He was naked save for a breechcloth and boot moccasins and his face was daubed with ocher and vermilion. Across his lean chest, too, was a smear of paint just under the necklace of bear claws that gave him his name. He was armed with a .50-caliber Sharps single-shot rifle and with the only revolver in the tribe an old-fashioned cap-and-ball six-shooter, taken from some murdered prospector.

The long-barreled cap-and-ball rifle leaped to his shoulder, and when the stream of fire gushed from the muzzle, Leonard, the mountaineer, fell in the snow and would never betray anybody else. Most of the guerrillas were now fleeing in panic, and Dick heard the shrill, piercing notes of Slade's whistle as he tried to draw his men off in order.

His hand fell away and she walked to the end of the room where a rug, too long, lay in a fold against the wall. She turned back the fold and took from its hiding place a slender-barreled cap-and-ball rifle. Without a word she handed it to Dick and he passed his hand over the muzzle, which was still warm. He looked at her, but she gave back his gaze unflinching.

The six-shooter of the placer days was of the old cap-and-ball type, heavy, long-barreled, and usually wooden-handled. It was the general ownership of these deadly weapons which caused so much bloodshed in the camps. The revolver in the hands of a tyro is not especially serviceable, but it attained great deadliness in the hands of an expert user.

An' I've got an old-fashioned, single-barrel, cap-and-ball pistol that uster belong to a Starbuck." "Yes, and a way back yander it killed a Peters, I've hearn." "Yes, Starbuck, with a three-inch slug. But that's nuther here nur thar, jest now. I'm willin' to furgit the past." Starbuck gave him a knife-thrust glance, and replied: "When a Peters says he is, it's ten to one he ain't."

It was a double-barreled buffalo rifle, a cap-and-ball gun of very old pattern, belonging back in the days of Parkman and the California Trail, and the two charges which it bore were all that Morgan could hope to expend, for Uncle John carried neither pouch nor horn. But Morgan was thankful for even that much, and rode on.

And his powder spilled when he poured it into his old-style cap-and-ball pistol. He had not succeeded in loading a single chamber when the lieutenant again called. He was constantly in trouble, poor Lieutenant Hallowell. The Indians knew that he couldn't shoot. "Off to the left, Cap! Hurry!" Still another Indian, making ready; occupying the same old spot.

It was Mick McKenna calling. "Well, we checked up on that cap-and-ball six-shooter you left with me," he said. "This gunsmith, Umholtz, refinished it for Rivers last summer. He showed the man who was to see him the entry in his job-book: make, model, serials and all." "Oh, fine! And did you get anything out of young Gillis?" Rand asked.

Since he took few chances, his shot rarely failed. In a mile or so, using pains, he had exhausted all but two shots, one in each weapon, and of course no man could load the old cap-and-ball revolver while in the middle of a buffalo run. Now, out of sheer pride in his own skill with small arms, he resolved upon attempting a feat of which he once had heard but never had seen.

Then another appeared from the opposite side with his gun leveled on me. Inside of half a minute a dozen men galloped up from every quarter, all armed to the teeth. The man on leaving had given me his gun for company, one of these old smoke-pole, cap-and-ball six-shooters, but I must have forgotten what guns were for, for I elevated my little hands nicely.