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Buffalo Bill and the Pony Express
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BILL FOLLOWS HIS MOTHER'S WISHES
MUCH to Bill's delight, Davison had been able to arrange for his enlistment in the army. It needed only the consent of Bill's mother.
This, however, was not as easy as Bill had thought. Mrs. Cody had been ailing, she was very weak and she dreaded the fact that the war would swallow her son. She needed him in these last days of hers, for her death was but a matter of a short time. Bill, in many ways, was thankful for the fact that his duties left him with a good deal of time on his hands. For his mother meant much to him. The boy was not of demonstrative nature, yet the loyalty and devotion he held for his dear ones, came from the very innermost depths of his nature.
Regretfully, he gave up all hopes of joining the Union army. He decided he would follow the wishes of his mother. Her last days were not be made miserable by him, he determined.
It may seem strange to our readers that Mrs. Cody, worrying over possible danger to her son from entrance into the war, should not have worried, doubly so and more, over the everyday dangers which carne to him. And yet these dangers did not seem so terrifying to her; they did not have the dread significance that the war held for her.
As we reach the end of these chapters we come to a turning point in the life of Bill Cody. His next span, a period covered by the war -- was full of even more dramatic incident. It was not fated that this boy should fail to be of active service to his country at such a time. He found opportunity to serve his country and he did it in his usual daring manner. He made bard tasks appear comparatively easy. As a member of that famous band which coped with lawless gangs of border ruffians he made a name for himself which even in those days of stress, of heroism, of great deeds, stood second to none. He it was, who volunteered to enter the ranks of the Southern army as a spy, when there was important need for information.
There was no period of Bill Cody's life, a life that held nothing but action and daring adventure, which was so full of incident and plot as the years he gave to the war. The boy soon realized that he could best render service to his country as a scout, serving independently or in conjunction with kindred souls. His nature was such, his skill and his knowledge of the country so wide, that his actual worth as a scout was many times greater than it would have been as a soldier in the ranks. He realized that, but only after Davison and Majors had labored with him and had at last made it clear to him.
In closing this book, it is hard to resist the temptation to deal with these stirring days. However, the telling must needs be left for another time.
For those who are interested in the romantic history of Bill Cody, we promise another tale, dealing with the experiences of this boy as a Lone scout.
After all, dear readers, fiction and truth, as sages have remarked before, are ofttimes indistinguishable.