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Captain Conkey.

Captain Conkey was a "jackass" to make a long story short. He had a company of soldiers at Fort Zara for the purpose of escorting the mail from one station to another. Once on my way East with a coach full of passengers, a snow storm began to rage, at about four o'clock in the afternoon, soon after I had left Fort Larned. It snowed so hard that at 8 o'clock we couldn't tell where the road was, and the passengers took it time and about with me running along the road in front of the coach to find the road.

We got to Fort Zara at ten o'clock that night, the orderly sergeant came after the mail about 500 yards from the soldiers' camp. I told the sergeant that I wanted an escort at nine o'clock in the morning. He gave Captain Conkey my orders and the Captain told him to go back and arrest me and put me in chains. The First Lieutenant told the Captain that I would be there in the morning; that they had no place to sleep me, so the Captain let me alone that night, but the next morning he sent his orderly after me. When the orderly came to the station, he said to me, "that old fool of a captain sent me down here to arrest you." I asked him what he wanted with me. The orderly told me that he was to arrest me for ordering an escort. I told the orderly to "fire away," I would go over and see the old "mossback."

Their quarters was a little dugout in the side of the hill along the river bank. They had a gunny sack for the door, and I went into the first room, which was used for a kitchen, and the cook told me to go to the next room, it had a gunny sack door, too, the First and Second Lieutenants were in there. They told me to go on to the next room that the Captain's headquarters was in the other room. I had my mittens and overcoat on, and he said, "you pull off your hat, you insolent puppy, and salute me." I replied to the Captain's kind words of greeting that, "I will not salute you, but excuse me, I should have had manners enough to have removed my hat." He told me that he "would put the irons" on me. I answered him that I did not think he would do such an unmanly thing, at least right then. This exasperated the haughty Captain, and he hollowed for the First Lieutenant to come and put me in irons. I asked him what he was there for, and he told me that it was "none of my business." I then got pretty middling hot myself, and I told him that if he did not know his business, that it was "up to me" to "put you next," or words to that extent. I told him that he was there for the purpose of furnishing escorts for the United States mail and that it was I, and not he, in command there, then, by virtue with the position I held with the Government, and I told him that I now ordered him to be placed under arrest. I called on the Lieutenant to place the irons on him. I told him that I would take him to Leavenworth, and the Lieutenant, delighted by the change of program, said, "alright."

Captain Conkey then told me that he would furnish the escort, and I told him to do so, then, and I would leave him here, that I had no room on the coach for such a "donkey" as he was, but that I would tell the commanding officer at Fort Leavenworth that we needed a captain for the company here, in order to save time and trouble for the other conductors of the road. I told him that he had not only taken up time, but that he had made a perfect "donkey" of himself, and of the men who had favored him with this position.

Captain Conkey asked me if the Indians were bad again. I told him that it did not matter whether they were bad or not, I wanted an escort. I got my escort of fifteen soldiers at last and after getting the teams hitched, off we started, the soldiers in advance to break the roads. That is, as a matter of fact, all the use we had for them. We could travel very well when they had ridden ahead and broke the snow so we could follow the trail.

Daugherty built him a new station across the creek from where Conkey was camped, on Walnut Creek. He put up corals for the mules and built a fort-like building for his home. About the time he had finished his buildings, some white hunters had killed some Indians, and trouble began between the white race and the Indian tribes.

One day at about ten o'clock in the forenoon, Mr. Daugherty went up on the top of his house with his field glasses to inspect the surrounding country. He noticed that Indian smokes were all around, and the Indians seemed to be coming toward them all the time.

He hastened down from the roof and called the orderly from Captain Conkey's company to him and told him that unless the Captain moved to his fort within an hour and a half that they would all be killed by the Indians. There had been bad blood between Conkey and Bill Daugherty for quite a while, and when Daugherty sent the orderly to Conkey with the warning of the coming Indians, Captain Conkey got mad and told the orderly to go over and arrest Daugherty for disturbing his peace. Just as the soldiers coming to arrest him stepped on the bridge, Bill Daugherty halted them. He said, "if you come another foot, I will fire on you." You go back and tell Conkey, the fool, that if he don't get you men to this side inside of half an hour, you will all be "gonners." If you want the protection of my fort, come over and you will have the same protection as I have, otherwise, you will go up in smoke, holy, or otherwise. Daugherty then took his gun and went to the Captain, and saluting him, said: "The Indians are coming, 1,000 strong, and unless you get your wagons, etc., out of here, and at once, you will be scalped." Captain Conkey then decided that for the benefit of his health, he had better decamp to the other side for protection. He just barely escaped when the Indians swooped down on his camp ground. Then Daugherty took his gun and went to the bridge and laid the gun down and walked over it toward the Indians, motioning to them that he came in peace, and for them to come and get something to eat. Daugherty took four of the Indians to his fort and gave them some bacon, coffee and other provisions, and took two other men from the fort with him with axes, to chop wood for a fire, and they cooked a meal and with the Indians the four white persons and Bill Daugherty sat down to "meat." Bill Daugherty showed the Indian chiefs over his fort, explained the working of his guns and cannons. He had 40 port holes in the houses and shelves under each one on which to rest a gun. After giving them a large box of smoking tobacco, he told them they could go on back to their camp and that he would keep the soldiers peaceable if he would keep his braves peaceable. Captain Conkey told Daugherty that he believed he would go down and see the chief, and Bill answered him, to "go if you d--ed please, and you want to lose your scalp, for they will surely not put up with your palaver." Conkey concluded that he had better remain in the home of his enemy than risk his precious scalp at the camp of the Indians.