Many stories about the American Frontier were adapted into dime store novels that were adapted on actual events, including those tales of famous heroes of the American Frontier. As such the history of Red Hawk should be questioned as many of the facts contradict actual historical events.
According to accounts, Bill Gregory was only a young boy when his family was migrating through Arizona to settle somewhere on the land while their wagon train was attacked by an Apache warpath. Bill escaped with his sister Mary and friend Alan Krandal. Chased by the Apaches, Bill and Mary fled while Alan -- his ankle twisted -- stayed behind to hold them off. Unknown to Bill and Mary at the time, Alan was eventually adopted by the Apache's chief Red Hawk and groomed over the years into their spy, the Apache Kid.
Years later, Bill -- now an adult -- joined the United States Army and rose to the rank of Captain. Put in charge of Fort Madison he and his men tried to keep the peace between white settlers and the nearby Apache tribes. However as bloodshed and fighting continued Captain Gregory decided the only option was to attack Red Hawk's tribe. At that same time, Apache Kid had agreed to infiltrate Fort Madison in his alter-ego of roving cowboy Aloysius Kare to try and learn when the attack was happening. However, Captain Gregory was tipped off thanks to Fannin, a gun dealer who was selling guns to the Apaches and hoped to gain money from a potential war.
Aloysius was captured and brought before Gregory. Thinking him to be an actual Native American wearing skin dye, Gregory had Kare's shirt stripped off and was shocked to find that he was a white man. More shocking was the fact that the prisoner was wearing a tiny bible on a necklace causing Bill to realize that this spy was his old friend Alan Krandal. With no other choice, Bill had Krandal locked up, but he managed to escape and cause a brush fire to keep the army at bay long enough for Red Hawk's tribe to escape.
One of the only men aware of the double identity of the Apache Kid, Captain Bill Gregory was one of Apache Kid's sometime ally, as Gregory often worked for or against the Apache people depending on the circumstances.
Ally of the Apache Kid
Captain Bill Gregory was often utilized for his knowledge of the region, such as when the Apache Kid was trying to learn the identity of the Wolf. Gregory unfortunately was unaware that the Wolf was one of his own men -- Harry Snedly. Learning that Comanche leader Grey Wolf was seeking an alliance with Red Hawk's Apaches so they could go to war against the army, Bill got the aid of the Apache Kid to prevent a war from breaking out. Captain Gregory soon was on the manhunt for his friend and ally when the Apache Kid was framed for robbing a stage coach. However, Gregory soon learned about the frame up job when the Apache Kid captured the real criminal. Gregory apologized to his friend for jumping to conclusions. Gregory and his troops had to defend their Fort when the Apaches were tricked by vigilante Larson Meads who sought to discredit the military so his vigilante group could be given the right to govern the Native Americans for the United States government instead. Gregory and his men held up the Fort until the Apache Kid exposed Mead's manipulations. Shortly thereafter, Gregory sent the Apache Kid to investigate murders along the Trail of the Arrow, revealing a long lost Native American burial ground being held by outlaws who sought to claim the jewels left there.
Gregory was also present when the Fort was attacked once again, this time by the Croyo tribe led by Black Jaguar. Gregory and his troops held up the Fort until the Apache Kid and his people could come to their aid. Having learned from the last time his friend was framed, when Bill Gregory was told that Aloysius Kare murdered a rail road agent, Gregory allowed his friend to go free as the Apache Kid to clear his name. However, Gregory did not have this sort of liberty when the Apache Kid was framed by his nemesis Running Moose for a coach robbery. However, as in other cases, the Kid clearned his name. Gregory and his men later trapped Wyatt Kune's gang in Rustler's Canyon, until an assist from Apache Kid and his people led to their capture. The Forty was once more attacked, this time by Bald Eagle and army of various Native American tribe's who sought to drive the military out of their area. The battle was one when the Apache Kid and his people once more came to defend the Fort. Gregory was later present when the military witnessed the final battle between the Apache Kid and Running Moose, a battle which ended in Running Moose's death. Gregory also once more was forced to order a manhunt for his friend when Aloysius Kare was framed for robbing a coach by Wild Will. As with the other attempted frame jobs, the Apache Kid cleared himself of any wrong doing.
Bill Gregory and his soldiers later worked with the Apaches in stopping the renegade Blackeagle tribe and their leader Tall Beaver, who had been raiding people in the area. When an Apache brave named Red Deer was murdered, Bill joined Aloysius Kare in tracking down the killer, who was an outlaw posing as a hermit to avoid capture. Bill led a unit in protecting wagon trains through the area who were being raided by what appeared to be a tribe of renegade Native Americans. With the help of the Apache Kid, he stopped the raiders, revealing that they were really outlaws posing as Natives to throw off the authorities. Later, when Bill's sister Mary was captured by the fanatical Dragon Face, Bill provided Apache Kid with the resources needed to free Mary and dispose of Dragon Face.
Captain Bill Gregory was forced to try to incarcerate Aloysius Kare when the Apaches decided to go to war after Red Hawk fell ill in order to prevent Kare from siding with the Apaches as the Apache Kid. However the Kid managed to maintain the peace when he revealed that a gang of outlaws were attempting to raid Fort Madison forcing both sides to join forces. When the Apaches were being framed for the theft of weapons being shipped to Fort Madison, Bill Gregory played along with a plan to "hunt" the Apache Kid down as an outlaw, allowing the Kid to expose the real thief: Rod Barron, an arms dealer who had hired outlaws to steal the very guns he was selling. Bill later commanded an army to defend Fort Madison from attack by an group of renegade Native Americans led by Swift Buffalo, until the conflict was halted by the Apache Kid. Bill later sent the Apache Kid to watch on some settlers who were passing through Tomahawk territory. Later, Bill learned that a trapper named Peters was seeking the Apaches bear hunting ground and had the Apache Kid pretend to go renegade in order to set up a trap for Peters. When a band of Sioux warriors led by Swift Buffalo declared war, Bill had the Apache Kid convince the Apaches to fight back. Bill was on hand when Swift Buffalo briefly usurped control of the Apaches, only to be defeated in single combat with the Apache Kid. In his last recorded appearance Bill had his forces stand back when it was the Apaches who went to war against them. Bill was unaware that a fur trader named Mr. Jennings and an Apache named Flying Eagle had plotted to put both sides to war so the Apaches would be wiped out and Jennings and Flying Eagle could claim the Apache hunting ground for a large profit. This plot however, like all others, was foiled and exposed by the Apache Kid.
It has since been revealed that many of Apache Kid's early adventures were really dime story western novels that were fictional stories adapted from real life events. Thus, the history of Bill Gregory -- if he ever truly existed -- could be vastly different than what is depicted here.
- 28 Appearances of Bill Gregory (Earth-616)
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