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The Phantom Herd   By: (1874-1940)

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First Page:

THE PHANTOM HERD

BY B. M. BOWER

Author of Chip of the Flying U, The Flying U's Last Stand, The Gringos, etc.

1916

FOREWORD

For the accuracy of certain parts of this story which deal most intimately with the business of making motion pictures, I am indebted to Buck Connor. whose name is a sufficient guarantee that all technical points are correct. His criticism, advice and other assistance have been invaluable, and I take this opportunity of expressing my appreciation and thanks for the help he has given me.

B.M.BOWER.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I THE INDIANS MUST GO

II "WHERE THE CATTLE ROAMED IN THOUSANDS, A MANY A HERD AND BRAND..."

III AND THEY SIGH FOR THE DAYS THAT ARE GONE

IV THE LITTLE DOCTOR PROTESTS

V A BUNCH OF ONE REELERS FROM BENTLY BROWN

VI VILLAINS ALL AND PROUD OF IT

VII BENTLY BROWN DOES NOT APPRECIATE COMEDY

VIII "THERE'S GOT TO BE A LINE DRAWN SOMEWHERES"

IX LEAVE IT TO THE BUNCH

X UNEXPECTED GUESTS FOR APPLEHEAD

XI JUST A FEW UNFORESEEN OBSTACLES

XII "I THINK YOU NEED INDIAN GIRL FOR PICTURE"

XIII "PAM. BLEAK MESA CATTLE DRIFTING BEFORE WIND "

XIV "PLUMB SPOILED, D'YUH MEAN?"

XV A LETTER FROM CHIEF BIG TURKEY

XVI "THE CHANCES IS SLIM AND GITTIN' SLIMMER"

XVII THE STORM

XVIII A FEW OF THE MINOR DIFFICULTIES

XIX WHEREIN LUCK MAKES A SPEECH

XX "SHE'S SHAPING UP LIKE A BANK ROLL"

CHAPTER ONE

THE INDIANS MUST GO

Luck Lindsay had convoyed his thirty five actor Indians to their reservation at Pine Ridge, and had turned them over to the agent in good condition and a fine humor and nice new hair hatbands and other fixings; while their pockets were heavy with dollars that you may be sure would not he spent very wisely. He had shaken hands with the braves, and had promised to let them know when there was another job in sight, and to speak a good word for them to other motion picture companies who might want to hire real Indians. He had smiled at the fat old squaws who had waddled docilely in and out of the scenes and teetered tirelessly round and round in their queer native dances in the hot sun at his behest, when Luck wanted several rehearsals of "atmosphere" scenes before turning the camera on them.

They hated to go back to the tame life of the reservation and to stringing beads and sewing buckskin with sinew, and to gossiping among themselves of things their heavy lidded black eyes had looked upon with such seeming apathy. They had given Luck an elaborately beaded buckskin vest that would photograph beautifully, and three pairs of heavy, beaded moccasins which he most solemnly assured them he would wear in his next picture. The smoke smell of their tepee fires and perfumes still clung heavily to the Indian tanned buckskin, so that Luck carried away with him an aroma indescribable and unmistakable to any one who has ever smelled it.

Just when he was leaving, a shy, big eyed girl of ten had slid out from the shelter of her mother's poppy patterned skirt, had proffered three strings of beads, and had fled. Luck had smiled his smile again a smile of white, even teeth and so much good will that you immediately felt that he was your friend and called her back to him. Luck was chief; and his commands were to be obeyed, instantly and implicitly; that much he had impressed deeply upon the least of these. While the squaws grinned and murmured Indian words to one another, the big eye girl returned reluctantly; and Luck, dropping a hand to his coat pocket while he smiled reassurance, emptied that pocket of gum for her. His smile had lingered after he turned away; for like flies to an open syrup can the papooses had gathered around the girl.

Well, that job was done, and done well. Every one was satisfied save Luck himself. He swung up to the back of the Indian pony that would carry him through the Bad Lands to the railroad, and turned for a last look. The bucks stood hip shot and with their arms folded, watching him gravely... Continue reading book >>




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