It is an honor and a pleasure for me to add a few words to this splendid book, The Last of the Great Scouts, by Colonel Cody's sister, Mrs. Helen Cody Wetmore.
When the history of our western frontier is at last written, the name of Buffalo Bill will stand out perhaps as no other. He was symbolical of the heroic west. He inspired the pioneer, guided the soldier, and helped the builders of the railroad. And his life was more thrilling than any wild, adventurous and moving romance. Facts may not be so strange as fiction, but they are more convincing. And some facts, if written as fiction, would be unbelievable.
The early West bred men of heroic mould. They resembled the Indian in many ways, and were superior to him in all ways except perhaps the noble worship of nature. The like of Buffalo Bill, Wild Bill, Buffalo Jones, and many other famous frontiersmen will never be met with again in this world. The time needed them, and they developed. These three types of the West were singularly unlike -- Buffalo Bill was the scout and pathfinder and hunter; Wild Bill was the gunman, the killer, the foe of the rampant desperado class; Buffalo Jones was the preserver.
And so a narrative of Buffalo Bill's life, by a relative, written simply and truthfully from first-hand facts, is an absorbingly interesting story as well as a valuable adjunct to history.
It will show a man growing great through the life of the times -- an outdoor life of swift action, of various service, of perilous adventure, of unselfish devotion to an ideal, of magnificent effrontery in the face of death, of steadfast friendship, of inexplicable hardihood and endurance through heat, storm, cold, desert thirst and mountain loneliness -- all that some day men might have free, happy homes in the boundless West.