Molly McDonald

Randall Parrish

Molly McDonald

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Molly McDonald, by Randall Parrish This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: Molly McDonald A Tale of the Old Frontier
Author: Randall Parrish
Illustrator: Ernest L. Blumenschein
Release Date: February 18, 2006 [EBook #17789]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK MOLLY MCDONALD ***

Produced by Al Haines

[Frontispiece: His fingers gripped the iron top rail, and he slowly pulled his body up.]

Molly McDonald
A Tale of the Old Frontier

BY RANDALL PARRISH

Author of "Keith of the Border," "My Lady of Doubt," "My Lady of the South," etc.

WITH FOUR ILLUSTRATIONS IN COLOR
BY ERNEST L. BLUMENSCHEIN

A. L. BURT COMPANY
PUBLISHERS -------------- NEW YORK

COPYRIGHT
A. C. McCLURG & CO.
1912

Published April, 1912
Entered at Stationers' Hall, London, England

CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I
AN UNPLEASANT SITUATION II "BRICK" HAMLIN III THE NEWS AT RIPLEY IV THE ATTACK V THE DEFENCE OF THE STAGE VI THE CONDITION IN THE COACH VII PLANS FOE ESCAPE VIII A WAY TO THE RIVER IX ACROSS THE RIVER X THE RIPENING OF ACQUAINTANCE XI A REMEMBRANCE OF THE PAST XII THE PARTING XIII BACK AT FORT DODGE XIV UNDER ARREST XV AN OLD ACQUAINTANCE XVI THE MEETING XVII AT CROSS-PURPOSES XVIII ANOTHER MESSAGE XIX A FULL CONFESSION XX MOLLY TELLS HER STORY XXI MOLLY DISAPPEARS XXII A DEEPENING MYSTERY XXIII THE DEAD BODY XXIV IN PURSUIT XXV IN THE BLIZZARD XXVI UNSEEN DANGER XXVII HUGHES' STORY XXVIII SNOWBOUND XXIX THE CHASE XXX THE FIGHT IN THE SNOW XXXI THE GIRL AND THE MAN XXXII WORDS OF LOVE XXXIII MOLLY'S STORY XXXIV THE ADVANCE OF CUSTER XXXV THE INDIAN TRAIL XXXVI READY TO ATTACK XXXVII THE BATTLE WITH THE INDIANS XXXVIII AT CAMP SUPPLY

ILLUSTRATIONS
His fingers gripped the iron top rail, and he slowly pulled his body up . . . . . . Frontispiece
"No, don't move! The stage has been gutted and set on fire"
The two started back at his rather abrupt entrance
His Colt poised for action, he lifted the wooden latch

MOLLY McDONALD
CHAPTER I
AN UNPLEASANT SITUATION
When, late in May, 1868, Major Daniel McDonald, Sixth Infantry, was first assigned to command the new three company post established southwest of Fort Dodge, designed to protect the newly discovered Cimarron trail leading to Santa F across the desert, and, purely by courtesy, officially termed Fort Devere, he naturally considered it perfectly safe to invite his only daughter to join him there for her summer vacation. Indeed, at that time, there was apparently no valid reason why he should deny himself this pleasure. Except for certain vague rumors regarding uneasiness among the Sioux warriors north of the Platte, the various tribes of the Plains were causing no unusual trouble to military authorities, although, of course, there was no time in the history of that country utterly devoid of peril from young raiders, usually aided and abetted by outcast whites. However, the Santa F route, by this date, had become a well-travelled trail, protected by scattered posts along its entire route, frequently patrolled by troops, and merely considered dangerous for small parties, south of the Cimarron, where roving Comanches in bad humor might be encountered.
Fully assured as to this by officers met at Fort Ripley, McDonald, who had never before served west of the Mississippi, wrote his daughter a long letter, describing in careful detail the route, set an exact date for her departure, and then, satisfied all was well arranged, set forth with his small command on the long march overland. He had not seen his daughter for over two years, as during her vacation time (she was attending Sunnycrest School, on the Hudson), she made her home with an aunt in Connecticut. This year the aunt was in Europe, not expecting to return until fall, and the father had hopefully counted on having the girl with him once again in Kentucky. Then came his sudden, unexpected transfer west, and the final decision to have her join him there. Why not? If she remained the same high-spirited army girl, she would thoroughly enjoy the unusual experience of a few months of real frontier life, and the only hardship involved would be the long stage ride from Ripley. This, however, was altogether prairie travel, monotonous enough surely, but without special danger, and he could doubtless arrange to meet her himself at Kansas City, or send one of his officers for that purpose.
This was the situation in May, but by the middle of June conditions had greatly changed throughout all the broad Plains country. The spirit of savage war had spread rapidly from the Platte to the Rio Pecos, and scarcely a wild tribe remained disaffected. Arapahoe, Cheyenne, Pawnee, Comanche, and Apache alike espoused the
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