Last of the Great Scouts HTML version
Will As A Benedict
WHEN Will reached home, he found another letter from Miss Frederici, who, agreeably
to his request, had fixed the wedding-day, March 6, 1866.
The wedding ceremony was quietly performed at the home of the bride, and the large
number of friends that witnessed it united in declaring that no handsomer couple ever
bowed for Hymen's benediction.
The bridal journey was a trip to Leavenworth on a Missouri steamer. At that time there
was much travel by these boats, and their equipment was first-class. They were
sumptuously fitted out, the table was excellent, and except when sectional animosities
disturbed the serenity of their decks, a trip on one of them was a very pleasant excursion.
The young benedict soon discovered, however, that in war times the "trail of the serpent"
is liable to be over all things; even a wedding journey is not exempt from the baneful
influence of sectional animosity. A party of excursionists on board the steamer
manifested so extreme an interest in the bridal couple that Louise retired to a stateroom to
escape their rudeness. After her withdrawal, Will entered into conversation with a
gentleman from Indiana, who had been very polite to him, and asked him if he knew the
reason for the insolence of the excursion party. The gentleman hesitated a moment, and
"To tell the truth, Mr. Cody, these men are Missourians, and say they recognize you as
one of Jennison's Jayhawkers; that you were an enemy of the South, and are, therefore, an
enemy of theirs."
Will answered, steadily: "I was a soldier during the war, and a scout in the Union army,
but I had some experience of Southern chivalry before that time." And he related to the
Indianian some of the incidents of the early Kansas border warfare, in which he and his
father had played so prominent a part.
The next day the insolent behavior was continued. Will was much inclined to resent it,
but his wife pleaded so earnestly with him to take no notice of it that he ignored it.
In the afternoon, when the boat landed at a lonely spot to wood up, the Missourians
seemed greatly excited, and all gathered on the guards and anxiously scanned the
The roustabouts were just about to make the boat fast, when a party of armed horsemen
dashed out of the woods and galloped toward the landing. The captain thought the boat
was to be attacked, and hastily gave orders to back out, calling the crew on board at the
same time. These orders the negroes lost no time in obeying, as they often suffered
severely at the hands of these reckless marauders. The leader of the horsemen rode
rapidly up, firing at random. As he neared the steamer he called out, "Where is that