Hank spat over his horse's shoulder, and his thin lips closed with a snap. He was a lean forceful prairieman who possessed, as he would himself have said, no parlor tricks.

I was continuing my search, when I met Wharton, who asked me what I was seeking, and on learning, shook his head gravely. He had seen the wild prairieman, he said, but whence he came, or whither he was gone, was more than he could tell. It was a long time since any thing had startled and astonished him so much as this man's appearance and proceedings.

"Calkilatin'," said he, "that the wild prairieman's rifle was a capital good one, as good a one as ever killed a bear, he tho't it a pity that it should fall into bad hands, so went to secure it himself, although the frontispiece of its dead owner warn't very invitin'. But when he stooped to take the gun, he got such a shove as knocked him backwards, and on getting up, he saw the prairieman openin' his jacket and examinin' a wound on his breast, which was neither deep nor dangerous, although it had taken away the man's senses for a while.

The body was clad in the ordinary garb of the prairieman, with the loose waistcoat hanging open over a discolored cotton shirt, and the nether part of it sheathed in dirty moleskin trousers. The ankles were lashed securely together, and the arms firmly pinioned. For some moments Jeff stared up at the dead man. His blue eyes were quite unsoftening.