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, 1846 -
My restless, roaming spirit would not allow me to remain at home very long.
I could never resist the call of the trail.
Every Indian outbreak that I have ever known has resulted from broken promises and broken treaties by the government.
It was because of my great interest in the West, and my belief that its development would be assisted by the interest I could awaken in others, that I decided to bring the West to the East through the medium of the Wild West Show.
The cholera had broken out at the post, and five or six men were dying daily.
It was my effort, in depicting the West, to depict it as it was.
We got more provisions for our whiskey than the same money, which we paid for the liquor, would have bought; so after all it proved a very profitable investment.
But the love of adventure was in father's blood.
You who live your lives in cities or among peaceful ways cannot always tell whether your friends are the kind who would go through fire for you. But on the Plains one's friends have an opportunity to prove their mettle.
Excitement was plentiful during my two years' service as a Pony Express rider.
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Some days I would go without any fire at all, and eat raw frozen meat and melt snow in my mouth for water.
As a good horse is not very apt to jump over a bank, if left to guide himself, I let mine pick his own way.
I thought I was benefiting the Indians as well as the government, by taking them all over the United States, and giving them a correct idea of the customs, life, etc., of the pale faces, so that when they returned to their people they could make known all they had seen.
I felt only as a man can feel who is roaming over the prairies of the far West, well armed, and mounted on a fleet and gallant steed.
My debut upon the world's stage occurred on February 26, 1845, in the State of Iowa.
The first trip of the Pony Express was made in ten days - an average of two hundred miles a day. But we soon began stretching our riders and making better time.
General Custer was a close observer and student of personal character.
I began to think my time had come, as the saying is.
I had many enemies among the Sioux; I would be running considerable risk in meeting them.
Major North has had for years complete power over these Indians and can do more with them than any man living.
The Confederates had suspected Wild Bill of being a spy for two or three days, and had watched him closely.
But the West of the old times, with its strong characters, its stern battles and its tremendous stretches of loneliness, can never be blotted from my mind.
The first presentation of my show was given in May, 1883, at Omaha, which I had then chosen as my home. From there we made our first summer tour, visiting practically every important city in the country.
The greatest of all the Sioux in my time, or in any time for that matter, was that wonderful old fighting man, Sitting Bull, whose life will some day be written by a historian who can really give him his due.
Major North and myself went out in advance of the command several miles and killed a number of buffaloes.
After crossing the Smoky Hill River, I felt comparatively safe as this was the last stream I had to cross.
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