Henry Shane: Heroic Scout Of The Plains Of Texas

One day a young fellow was hunting deer near Pinto Creek, twelve miles from Fort Clark in Texas. His name was Henry Shane, and, although a German by birth, he had early emigrated to the Lone Star State, where he had joined the United States army and had fought in the more important battles of the Mexican War.

Deer were plentiful, and it was not long before he had killed a fat buck. Laying his gun down upon the ground, the youthful hunter took out his long knife and prepared to skin the game.

Suddenly the sharp crack of a twig made him look up. He shrank back with a cry, for before him were six large and gaudily painted redskins. One had seized his rifle, another pointed a gun at his breast. It was useless to run.

“How! How! I surrender!” said the young Texan. “You no hurt me.”

“Ugh! Ugh!” grunted one of the foremost red men—evidently a chief. “We want you, paleface.”

The Indians now seized the unfortunate ranchman, tied his arms behind his back, and—after whipping him severely with a pair of rope-hobbles, which they used to confine their ponies—rode off with him.

“Oh, my,” thought poor Henry Shane, “they’ll fix me now, sure. I’m afraid that it’s all up with me!”

The redskins moved off quickly towards the northwest, and had not gone very far before they were joined by nine more Indians, making fifteen in all. They travelled all that day and part of the night. Then they stopped to rest and eat. Here they again rained blows upon the back of poor Henry, but for what reason he was at a loss to know, as he had done nothing to warrant such treatment. For dinner they presented him with a small piece of burned deer meat with the hair still on it. The prisoner made a pretty poor meal of such provender.

The braves took a good rest, and did not break camp until dawn. Then they bundled up their goods and were off. They travelled rapidly until about nine o’clock in the morning, when they again made a halt near a crystal spring. They had hurried along, for they feared pursuit, and in this they were quite right, for some Mexican herders had heard Shane’s gun when he killed the deer. As he did not return, later, they went in search of him, finding the slain deer and a fresh Indian trail. “He is either killed or captured,” they thought. “Probably the latter, as we cannot find his body.” News was at once carried to the fort, and a squad of soldiers was ordered to follow the Indians. They were guided by an excellent Mexican called “Old Roka,” who had lived with the savages for many years and knew their methods of fighting.

The Indians were camped near a cedar-brake, and the blue-coats rode up, just as they had finished breakfast. “Old Roka” led the soldiers into their very midst, before they knew it. Even young Henry Shane did not suspect the presence of the troops until they were right among the redskins. The latter picked up their own rifles and other arms. For a few moments they had a lively fight with the blue-coats. Bullets and arrows were flying thick and fast, when young Henry decided to skip into the neighboring cane-brake. He knew that it was a custom of the Indians to kill their captives, when they were attacked, so he decided to get away before they could harm him.

As Henry dashed away, an Indian fired an arrow after him, which went through his arm and remained fixed there. This did not stop the young pioneer. He raced onward, and breaking off the handle of the arrow, pulled it out,—then stopped and listened. The fight was still going on, the Indians were yelling and the carbines in the hands of the soldiers still continued to pop. Some of the Indians seemed to be endeavoring to make their escape into the cane-brake, so the terrified Henry continued his flight, determined to make his way back to the fort, without waiting for the soldiers.

As young Shane made off, he saw four redskins fall before the bullets of the troops. He pressed forward and came to a wide creek which it was impossible to cross. He followed it all day and, when night came, climbed into a tree to spend the evening. A mountain lion began to screech and call near by and this kept him awake for some time. Finally he fell into deep slumber.

When daylight came, the fleeing pioneer dropped down from his perch and continued towards the fort. This he eventually reached. He had been forty-eight hours without food, except for the little piece of burnt meat which the savages had given him. He was very weak, and was welcomed like a long lost brother. The soldiers had completely annihilated the redskins, and, after the fight, had looked everywhere for the young pioneer. As they could not find him they had given him up for lost and had returned to the fort. When they saw the lost frontiersman, they gave three long cheers for the “young cuss who got away. Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!”

Not long after this exciting affair Henry Shane settled upon a broad creek, called Chicon Creek, which ran near the Anna Catchi Mountains. A few settlers were near him and the Indians were quite numerous. They were also very hostile to the whites, and the young pioneer soon had a very serious affair with them.

One day he was riding by the San Miguel ranch, which was an old-time Mexican ranch with a rock wall around it and an entrance through a gate. When he arrived at this place he could see no one stirring. The gate was open, so he dismounted and went in. He saw no signs of life. A little dog barked at him,—that was all.

Upon a smooth piece of sheet-iron, which lay near two rocks, were several cakes of bread. They had been turned and were burned upon the under side. As the fire still gleamed beneath them, the pioneer was sure that something was wrong. He could see no one,—so continued upon his way.

His horse trotted slowly along, and Henry soon crossed a creek where he found a dead Mexican. It was evident that the “Greaser” had been killed by Indians, for his body was full of arrows, and near by was his horse, lying motionless upon the ground. The Mexican had been endeavoring to get to the ranch when the Indians caught up with him. They first killed his horse and then killed him.

Shane rode onward. As he came upon the top of a ridge he saw a broncho tied some distance off. He knew enough about Indians to keep well away from the animal. So—riding around him—he continued upon his journey. He soon saw the wisdom of his move, for as he rode onward he beheld an Indian crouching near his pony. Soon five others came into view and started after him at a hard gallop.

The plainsman pushed rapidly along and came to a ranch where there was a crowd of excited Mexicans, some of whom were from the place where the dead Mexican had been employed. The murdered vaquero, they said, had been away from the ranch when it was attacked. The Indians had headed him off and had killed him, after he had made a run to get inside the walls of the adobe house.

“We outnumber the infernal redskins,” cried Henry. “Come on, boys, let’s go back and clean ’em up!”

“We’re with you!” cried the others, and, quickly mounting their mustangs, they were soon started towards the place where the Indians had last been seen. As they rode over a small hillock, the murderous redskins could be sighted far below on the plain. They were intent upon setting fire to the ranch buildings and did not notice the approach of Shane and his companions.

“Spread out, boys!” cried the now excited plainsman. “Spread out and try to surround the red devils!”

The Mexicans and Texan vaqueros followed his lead, and, circling about the red men, soon closed in upon them from three sides. Rifles began to ring out, and, with a wild yelping, the Indians started to retreat. As they did so, Henry Shane waved his sombrero in the air, and all raced after the red men, on the dead gallop.

Now was a beautiful running fight. The Indians could not aim at all well, from the backs of their ponies. Their bullets went very wide. The whites, on the other hand, shot two of the Indian mustangs; and, although their owners fell to the ground, both swung themselves to the backs of other ponies and safely rode off, hanging to the waists of the riders. Finally they all got away in a deep canyon, and ambuscaded themselves so well behind rocks and boulders that the plainsmen decided to withdraw. The Indians had not hit a single white man.

Soon after this event Henry Shane purchased some sheep and took them up on the Foris River to graze. He lived in a tent, with one companion. They pitched their canvas behind a brush fence.

One night Henry was sitting with his back to this fence, boiling some coffee, with no thought that any redskins were within twenty miles of him. But at this very moment several were prowling around his camp and had noticed the position which he was in. One of them—bolder than the rest—slipped up to the opposite side of the fence with the intention of poking his gun through the brush and shooting the pioneer in the back. As he shoved the muzzle of his gun through the dry twigs, he made so much noise that the plainsman heard him. Turning to his Mexican herder, Felipe Flores, he cried out:

“Felipe! What is that noise?”

“It is a rat,” replied Felipe. “I saw one running through the brush.”

As he ceased speaking the Indian attempted to shoot, but his gun snapped and hung fire. The frontiersman heard the noise and jumped to his feet. When he did so, the gun went off, as the Indian attempted to jerk it back through the brush, and the ball passed through Shane’s hat. The Indian ran away, before the startled sheepman could seize a rifle and shoot in return.

The frontiersman had certainly had a narrow escape, and he determined in future to be more careful. Next morning he rode to a neighboring ranch and discovered that the Indians had been there and had carried off twenty-five horses. The ranchers were anxious to get back their stock, so a force was immediately raised to pursue the thieving redskins. They rode out—thirteen in all—and soon overtook the Indians upon the west branch of the river Neuces. The redskins were in camp, but saw the white men as they came up a mountain, and moved off in a great hurry. With a wild shout, the plainsmen, vaqueros, and Mexicans started to gallop after the red men, who crowded through a gap in the mountains and ran away, carrying the captured horses with them. But their pursuers gained rapidly, and pressed the Indians so close that they dropped seven head of the Adams horses. These were quickly seized by the whites, who followed up the fleeing redskins until their own mounts were exhausted.

“Reckon we’ll have to give up,” said Henry Shane. “Boys, there’s some good beef stewing at the Indian camp. Let’s go back and get some!”

All turned towards the deserted Indian encampment, and, when they arrived there, found some shields and head-dresses which the Indians had left in their flight. They then camped for the night.

Next morning Henry Shane was anxious to get back home, as the scout was practically over. Saddling up his broncho, he started out over the plain accompanied by a Mexican named Leal, who was the “boss” of a neighboring ranch. They travelled on together for about two miles, when suddenly and very unexpectedly they met a band of Indians in the road driving a bunch of horses before them. When these saw the two ranchmen they turned their bronchos away from the road, and kept on, without molesting the whites.

“Well,” said Shane to his companion, “we should go back and tell the other men that here is a chance to fight Indians.”

“No,” answered Leal. “I’m going home. But you can do as you wish.”

Shane bade the “boss” good-by and started for the place which he had just left. The plainsmen were still in camp at the bluff, but they had their horses saddled and were preparing to mount just as the excited Henry rode up.

“Boys!” he cried, “I’ve just met a band of Indians with some stolen horses. You come along with me and we’ll get these fellows, sure.”

“Lead on!” cried his men. “Lead on!”

They were anxious for a fight.

The ranchers were soon galloping forward, and it was not long before they had overtaken the Indians, who quickly started off, waving their blankets at the captured horses in order to stampede them. Firing commenced, and Shane had a piece shot from the horn of his saddle. Two of the Indians were killed, but their horses carried them into the brush. Finally the redskins made a stand upon the top of a round mountain, but as soon as the whites charged them they ran. They left three saddled pintos behind them.

The plainsmen made a rapid pursuit, and soon captured thirty horses and seven mules. The red men seemed to give up all hope of ever defeating the whites, and scurried off like so many rabbits. They dodged behind boulders and sage-brush. So quickly did their ponies get away that they were soon out of sight. Henry Shane and his companions were well satisfied with the day’s work and gave up the pursuit, for their own mounts were badly winded.

Life upon the frontier of Texas in those days was certainly exciting for any one engaged in the sheep or cattle business. In spite of the continued danger from redskins, Henry Shane did not give up his interest in sheep. One of his brothers—named Constance—lived with him and helped to herd the flock, although he kept continually upon his guard and was never without his rifle. He, himself, was soon to have a narrow escape from death.

One morning Constance was about two hundred yards from the house carefully watching a number of sheep. He was sitting near the bank of a creek, when he heard horses’ hoofs knocking the rocks under the bluff. He stepped up to the edge of the bank and looked over, expecting to see some cattlemen from a neighboring ranch. To his surprise and dismay he saw nine Indians, with the chief in the lead. They were riding up the bank in an old cow trail.

Young Constance was too startled to move. He stood there trembling, and allowed the redskins to come right up to him. The chief had a heavy quirt in his hand, with which he struck Shane a stinging blow over the head and knocked him down. He then dismounted and stripped him. The red men now gathered around their captive, making a great screeching and howling.

Henry Shane saw the Indians collected in a group, and, seizing his rifle, went to a corner of a fence to watch them. He could not see his brother, and was all prepared to fire, should the redskins make a move in his own direction. The Indians saw him standing there, and, shooting Constance with an arrow, they rode away, yelping derisively.

Henry followed the redskins in order to see which course they took, and then came back to camp, still unaware that anything had happened to his brother. The Indians had apparently determined to withdraw entirely, which was fortunate for the lone sheep herder. Constance finally crawled to his feet and came back to the camp, declaring that there were eight bucks and one squaw in the party and that the squaw had shot him. He was grievously wounded,—so grievously that every one who saw him said that he would die. But he fooled them all and became perfectly well again,—much to the joy of Henry, who loved him dearly.

Exciting adventures were still in store for the daring Henry Shane, who continued to herd his sheep in this border country, in spite of the fact that the cruel redskins were all around him. Not long after the wounding of Constance, Henry went up the river, which ran near his ranch, and entered the ranch-yard of a sheepman called Joe Brown, who owned a sheep vat and a furnace. The ranch was then vacant, as Mr. Brown had moved to Uvalde and had told Shane that he could use his vat and furnace for dipping sheep. It was Henry’s intention to start a fire in the furnace for the purpose of boiling tobacco, which was used in dipping the sheep, to cure them of a disease called “the scab,” or to prevent them from catching this dread complaint.

A Mexican named Bernaldo was with the sheepman, and rode forward in order to get some horses which were in a small pasture not far distant. He soon came back upon the dead run, whipping his horse furiously with his hat.

“Hello, there! What’s the trouble?” shouted Shane.

The Mexican was so excited that he passed on without seeing or hearing the plainsman, although he was not far from him as he raced recklessly by. He was certainly well frightened at something.

Shane was not armed. This was unusual, as he seldom left the house without a gun, because of the possibility of an Indian attack. Hearing a great commotion in the pasture, where the horses were, he walked up to the fence only to see—to his dismay—that there were seven Indians in the field after the horses. They saw him at once and three of them left the enclosure in order to give him chase.

The plainsman was in a tight position, but his courage did not desert him at this crucial moment. As luck would have it, he carried a long stick in his hand, which he had used in order to punch the fire in the furnace. He turned and ran, but the Indians were upon the backs of their ponies and soon came very close to him. He pointed his stick at them, as if about to shoot. Every redskin dodged and swung himself upon the off side of his horse. “Ugh! Ugh! He have shooting-stick!” cried one.

This gave the courageous frontiersman another opportunity to run, and he made off as fast as his legs would carry him. A man named Patterson had a ranch near by and to this sheltering abode the plainsman now bent his footsteps. The Indians were hot on his trail and soon caught up with him, but he again pointed his stick at them. They dodged, and this gave him a second start, so that he reached the ranch-yard and jumped over the fence into the cow-pen. Uttering loud and vociferous cries, the Indians shot some arrows at him, and then turned back in order to secure the horses from the pasture. This they did and were soon galloping away with them.

The pioneer climbed out of the cow-pen, ran up to the ranch house, and called to the owner, who happened to be there:

“Come on, Patterson. If you will assist me, we will get back the horses.”

“I’m your man,” Patterson replied. “Here’s a rifle of mine. I will take a six-shooter.”

“All right,” said Shane. “We’ll see if we cannot do something to these crafty fellows. Come on!”

The two ranchmen soon met the Indians coming down the road, driving the horses before them. The valiant two stepped to one side in order to ambush the red thieves, Shane hiding behind a large cactus plant. As the foremost Indian came near, Shane took good aim at him, and pulled the trigger of his rifle. But it refused to go off. The Indians heard the noise and galloped away with their captured horses, while the two ranchmen made after them. They, themselves, were ambushed and had to ride hard in order to get away from the redskins, who were reinforced by a considerable band. After their retreat the plainsmen again followed with additional numbers, but the Indians were well ahead, and the pursuit had to be abandoned.

In 1872 Mr. Shane decided to make a sheep camp about two and a half miles from where he lived, so drove down there in a wagon one morning, in order to pitch a tent and fix things for the comfort of his Mexican herder, who was off with a band of sheep. The camp was beneath the fork of a live-oak tree. The frontiersman left his wagon about a dozen yards from where he was at work, and started to put a small board between the forks of the live-oak, to serve as a shelf. Two guns were in his wagon.

While thus occupied, he suddenly heard a wild war-whoop, and found that he had been attacked by the Indians. A redskin came up behind the wagon, on horseback, and shot at the ranchman with a six-shooter, the ball striking the right-hand fork of the tree and knocking the bark into his face and eyes. The pioneer turned, in order to get his guns out of his wagon, and faced the levelled revolver of the savage. He kept cool—in spite of this danger—and, as he walked to the wagon, received two more shots from the Indian. As the redskin was behind the conveyance, his shots went high, passing over the head of the frontiersman, who soon reached his wagon and looked for his guns. The Comanche saw what the white man was after, and, when he perceived that his shots had failed to take effect, he wheeled his horse and ran away. Shane seized a rifle and fired at him, killing his horse when he did so. As the pinto rolled upon the ground eight more Indians showed themselves and began to charge the lone white man. The gun which he had just discharged was a Mississippi yager, and he had no more balls for it.

But the frontiersman had another weapon: a new, single-shot Ballard rifle, and he only had two cartridges for it; one in the gun and one in his pocket. In leaving home that morning he had left his belt behind, which was full of cartridges for the Ballard. He was in a close place, but he had—as you know—been in close places before, and he was determined to make the best fight that he could. He resolved not to waste a shot. Using his wagon as a breastwork he awaited the onset of the Indians, and when they came nearer he raised his gun and aimed at them. The redskins dodged behind the prickly pear and mesquite bushes, from which they opened fire, hitting the wagon and the ground around it repeatedly.

Now occurred a lively battle. The frontiersman had tied a fat mule about one hundred feet from the wagon, where he could eat grass. A daring redskin concluded to risk his chances and get the animal, so, leaving the cover of the mesquite bushes, he advanced across open ground in order to steal the unsuspecting beast. When Shane saw the Indian coming with his knife ready to sever the rope which held the mule, he determined to risk a crack at him. He was an excellent shot, and he knew that he could kill the Indian if he did not dodge too quickly. Taking a quick but accurate aim, he fired. The Comanche brave jumped high in the air, and then fell in a sheep trail and lay there. The other Indians set up a terrible howling when they saw that their companion had been killed, and several of them ran quickly, seized him by the hair and dragged him out of sight behind the prickly pear bushes. The pioneer still crouched low and waited for the Comanches to come on, but, dreading to expose themselves to such marksmanship, the Indians did not again show themselves.

Certainly things looked bad for Henry Shane, but help was at hand. The Mexican attendant heard the fight, and from the number of shots that were fired supposed that his employer had been killed. He ran to the ranch in order to inform Mrs. Shane of this fact. The lady sent four Mexicans out to see if they could not assist her husband. When they neared the scene of action the Indians decamped, leaving their dead comrade behind. The ranchers buried the Comanche brave where he had fallen in the sheep trail.

When the lucky sheepman returned to his ranch from the scene of this thrilling little battle he found that a strange happening had come to pass. The Mexican sheep-herder who had rushed home to warn his wife that the Indians had surrounded him, was found to be in a serious condition, through overexertion in carrying the news of Henry’s supposed death. The poor fellow was in great pain, and, although he was placed in a wagon and was carried to San Antonio, where he could see the best physicians, he died soon afterwards.

As for the gallant Shane, he continued to have exciting adventures with the redskins, and, not long after the lucky escape which I have just narrated, had another brush with the roving Comanches. He had made a sheep camp three miles from his house, at a place called Long Hollow, and had his Mexican herder with him. This was the faithful Felipe Flores.

Early one morning Shane heard rocks rattling in the hollow below the camp, so he and Flores went out a short distance in front in order to investigate the matter. Felipe went slightly in advance, and to Shane’s questioning as to what he saw, replied:

“It is Mr. Dilliard, whom we have been expecting to help us hunt for some lost sheep.”

Shane kept on, but suddenly started back in dismay. Ten Comanches were coming for him upon the dead run.

In an instant the sheepman turned and hastened to the tent in order to seize his rifle. The Indians were right after him, and crowded Felipe so closely that he ran backward towards the fire. As a Comanche endeavored to thrust a lance into his body he fell into the flames. When this occurred the Indians opened fire upon Henry Shane, endeavoring to hit him before he could get his gun. Several balls struck the tent, but the Ranger was unscathed.

Now the plainsman seized his rifle, and, wheeling around, fired at his enemies. They retreated at once and dashed into the thick brush. As they scampered away, two Indians on the same horse were seen to ride behind a thick bunch of prickly pears, only one of whom came out upon the other side.

“That second redskin is still behind the pears,” said Flores. “He is waiting there in order to shoot any one who may come out to look around.”

“I think that I’ll stir him up a bit,” said Shane, and, aiming at the bunch of pears, he let drive. Sure enough, he routed an Indian, who ran off, screeching loudly. When the spot was afterwards examined a bullet hole was seen in the pears. The redskin had had a narrow escape.

This was not Henry’s last adventure with the redskins by any means, for, about a month later he went down the river, less than a mile from his ranch, to a place called the “Indian Crossing.” There were two Mexicans with him, who had a wagon and a pair of mules. Their intention was to saw cypress logs in order to make boards and shingles for a new ranch house.

The plainsmen finished their work of loading logs and were soon ready to return home. One of the Mexicans, called Antonio, had a gun which had been resighted. He wished to have Shane try it, and therefore called out:

“Come here, Señor, and try my rifle. It can shoot well I know, but I would like to have your opinion of it. There is a tree which will make a good mark.”

“I’m agreeable,” replied Henry, taking up the gun. He fired two shots at the tree. When he had finished, the Mexican went over to see where he had hit the bark.

Over forty Indians were crossing the ford of the river near by at about this moment. They heard the rifle shots, and, learning from a scout that three white men were there, determined to surround and capture them. So they spread out like a fan in order to completely annihilate the little party. Half of the redskins came up on the bluff upon the east side, opposite Shane and his two Mexicans; the balance went to the old crossing above, so as to come around the frontiersmen upon the west side and thus cut off their retreat in both directions. Henry Shane was now in another tight box. Let us see how he fared.

A sudden rattling of rocks warned the pioneer and his companion that some one was near by. His friend (the Mexican) mounted a stump, so that he could see the crossing, and said:

“There are soldiers coming up the river.”

As he jumped down, Henry, himself, climbed up on the stump in order to have a look.

“Soldiers!” he cried. “Why, man, those are Indians!”

He immediately seized his rifle and stood prepared for action.

Antonio, as you know, had gone to look at the bullet marks upon a tree. When the Indians came down the bank of the river they encountered this Mexican and opened fire upon him. Antonio attempted to run back to Shane, but, as he started forward, he was struck by a bullet, and fell into some high weeds. The Indians closed in upon the other two sheepmen, uttering wild cries of delight, for they felt that they had them, and they bore no love for Henry Shane. They were armed with Spencer carbines and commenced a rapid fire upon the bold frontiersman and his companion.

The bullets began to rain in from both sides of the creek, as Shane took shelter behind a huge cypress log and commenced the unequal battle. He was now in the tightest place that he had ever been in in his life, but he kept cool, and only fired at long intervals, and with careful aim. The redskins were uncertain as to the force they were attacking and were afraid to come down into the bed of the river and to fight at close quarters. The second Mexican crawled into a tree-top, so that only his feet were visible. He was of no assistance to the gallant frontiersman.

After shooting away for some time, the Indians decided to send a warrior on horseback below (where Shane was crouching), in order to see if all were killed, or if there were any still left. The frontiersman was on the alert, and, as the redskin approached, he caught the first motion of the reeds as he slipped through. The rest of the red men had ceased firing and were all under cover.

There was a moment of breathless anxiety. Shane held a large revolver in his hand, as he lay close to the ground, watching around the end of the log, as the fellow came in view. At once he aimed at the redskin’s breast and pulled the trigger. The Comanche reeled and fell to one side of his horse, clutching the mane of the animal as it ran up a bluff. The other redskins now rose from the grass and endeavored to stop the startled beast; but he kept running around in a circle, for some time, with the Indian still hanging to his mane. At last he was captured, and a loud wailing cry told the frontiersman that the shot which he had fired had done its deadly work.

The Indians now held a council of war. They could be easily seen by Shane, where he lay. Apparently they had had sufficient fighting, for they mounted and rode off. As they disappeared from view, the happy frontiersman mounted a stump and counted forty warriors. How many he had killed besides this last one he could not tell. He took no time to investigate the matter and prepared to leave at once.

The sides of the log, behind which he had lain, were perforated with bullets. One bullet hole was in his boot leg, one was in his hat, two were in his shirt, three were in the wagon bed, and one of the mules was badly wounded. In spite of this, the animal was able to draw the wagon home with him, in which was placed the wounded Antonio. The other Mexican had crawled from his hiding-place after the fight was over. He was certainly not made of the same stern stuff as was Henry Shane.

The bold rancher and frontiersman had had a narrow escape, but he had a still narrower escape, some time later. It was upon a winter’s day, and he had gone out to a place called “Griner’s Bottom” in order to listen to turkeys as they flew up to roost, for he wished to kill some of them for dinner on Christmas Eve. He found the place, and had not been there long before he heard the sound of horses’ feet. Looking around, he saw five Indians riding towards him. They seemed to be unaware of his presence.

There was no time for anything but quick action. Henry hugged the live-oak tree, against which he had been leaning. As he did so, the Indians came jogging along on both sides of him: two on one side—three on the other. It was rapidly getting dark, so they did not see the lone frontiersman. Luckily they did not look back after they had gone past. Had they done so, they would have seen Henry pressing himself flat against the tree trunk, grasping his muzzle-loading shotgun very tightly and trying to keep his teeth from chattering. Sometimes this antiquated gun missed fire. Oh, fortunate Ranger! The redskins were soon trotting onward in the darkness.

This was not the last adventure which the daring Henry had with the savages by any means, but it was the most exciting. He lived for many years upon his ranch in Uvalde County; prospered, and became one of the solid citizens of the state. Truly his was an adventurous soul. It was to such men as these, who dared to take any chance and assume any risk, that the West owes its settlement, its civilization, and upbuilding.

All honor, then, to Henry Shane,—the Texan pioneer for whom the Indian had no terrors. He passed through so many hairbreadth escapes that one would think him often thankful that he was alive. Hail to this stout German who helped to make history upon the Mexican frontier!


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