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A Cute Little Man

A Cute Little Man image
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"Oneday in 1879." said aaold etage driver to a uewspaper man, "the Black Hills coach left Cheyennefor Deadwood with eight passengers - seven were men, one was a woman. As they journeyed toward Deadwood they con versed ainong themselves. Each expreesed different opinions as to the probability of a holdap. Sorue said they woald hide money ander the cnshions, others wou Id surrender what bilis or gold they might possess, while twoor three men exhib-' ited revolvers and vowed that they would inake resistance. The woman said she had ouly $1ÜÜ in the world. She had {.'orne out west to make a living by keepitig a restaurant in the mining camps and had clone very well nntil a fire destroyed her property and her ïnvestruent. She was going back .to her 6on in New England to spend the reinainder of her days upon the tarui. The safest i '.ace imaginable, in her opinión, was the solé of her lett foot, and she had accordingly placed two $50 bilis inside her shoe. 'There was a small man seated in the corner next to the driver. His bat was pulled well over his eyes, and he kept eonstantly in his lap a small black valise. He took no part in the coiiversation, and it was not long until the passengere, who received rather curt responses to such questions as they addressed to him, began to regard his actions with suspicion. "Well, the coach rolled on toward Deadwood. Next morning toward y o'clock the expected robbers appeared. The messenger was shot and slightly wounded, the horses were held and both diiver and messenger compelled to disrnouiit and put up their hands. The passengers were ordered out of the coach, and it isneedless tosay that they obeyed with alacrity. The three men who were to resist the robbers were so awed by tho presence of several large revolvers thrustin their faces that they gave up their treasures with little reuionstrance. Said one of the robbers, 'It'8 agin oor rules to botber women, so, old girl, we won't search you.' While two of the desperadoes weut through the pockets of the men another happened to see the small man in the corner. 'Helio,' said he, 'here's one in the eoach. Come out of there.' The man appeared, but without his little black valise. He was very poorly dressed, thirj, palé and affected by a hackiBg cough. Said he: 'Boys, 1 ham 't got much - only a few dollars. 1 am going back east to die. If you take what little 1 got, 1 won t have uo money to get meals. Myrailroad ticket ain't any use to you. If you will let me alone, 1 will teil you where you can get $100.' "At this the poorold woman turned pale and sonie of the passeugers began to mutter. " 'All right, ' said the spokesman of the bandits, 'we'll search you, and if you ain't lying we'Jl let yougoif youll teil ns where we can get that $100.' "So they searched him and found $7 or $8 in silver in his packets. which they let him keep. " 'Now, ' said the consuinptiv-e looking man, 'if you'll make this old woman take off her left shoe, yon will tind next to the sole two $50 bilis. ' "The robbers compelled the old woman to loosen her shoe and found the money. Upou this they took their departure, the passengers mounted the coach, and the journey towaid Deadwood was resumed. "Scarcely hád they entered when a torrent of abuse was poured upon the smail man. 'You villain,' said one, 'you ought to be hung. ' One of the men called to the driver to stop. The mean man in the corner was dragged out f the coach, and the excited passengers were about tostring hmi up to the nearest tree. ' 'Oue minute - just one minute!' pleaded he. 'It is only 10 or 12 miles to the next station, and it is customary in this country to give a man a little show for his life. 1 beg of you just go thatfar. and if I can 't proper ly explain you can hang me.' "The driver told the passengers that the men at the station would not interfere if the suspect could not make a proper defense, so they all re-entered the coach and proceeded upon their journey. There was little said during the next hour and a half. The 'mean man was closely watched by the male passengers, and escape for hun was impossible. "As the buildings of the station came into view upon the coach suddenly swinging around a bend in the road the small manJbrightened up considerably. 'Now.'sam he, 'Í will teil you. We are perfectly safe here, as this end of the line is tree from robbers. 1 have $25,000 in my grip, and the only wa-y that I could save it was by diverting the attention of the robbers to someone in the party. Unfortunately that one had to be tb'e lady. That is why 1 have kept my own counsel during the journey. ' "As the coach rolled up in front of the postoffice he opened his valise, presented the old lady with six $20 bilis and in addition gave each of the other passengers sufficient money to cover his


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