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Outlaw's pledge, or, The raid on the old stockade


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Outlaw's pledge, or, The raid on the old stockade
Series Title:
American Indian weekly.
Physical Description:
1 online resource (30 p.) 28 cm. : ;
Dair, Spencer
Place of Publication:
Cleveland A. Westbrook, c1910
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Outlaws -- Fiction   ( lcsh )
Dime novels   ( lcsh )
Western stories   ( lcsh )
serial   ( sobekcm )

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University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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usfldc doi - D14-00500
usfldc handle - d14.500
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Dair, Spencer.
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Outlaw's pledge, or, The raid on the old stockade.
n Vol. 1, no. 1 (1910)
Cleveland : A. Westbrook, c1910.
c 1910
1 online resource (30 p.) ; 28 cm.
American Indian weekly.
v vol. 1, no. 1
Dime novels.
Western stories.
t Dime Novel Collection.
4 856


B Y COLONEL SPENCER. 'DAIR' rHE, ARTHUR WESTB R O O K CLEVELAND, OHIO, so' .. i II C opyr ight 11")10 by tlie Arth ur Westbrook Company, Cle ve l and, otio ./ , OR RAID ON THE OLD STOCKADE .. . \. By. COL. SP E NCER PRINCIPAL CHARACTERS. RED ROGERs-A out l aw, who has broken from jail killing foul' men in his escape, and returns. to the cenes of !:lis ear ly crimes, that he may carry out a pledge made to a dying of his gang, being purs ed and elu ding hundreds of troopers before he is finally sent to his doom, at the Old Stockade. ROSE LANDON-Daughter of the man to whom Red R ogers made.his pledge, who helped the outlaw to b r eak jail and then accompanied him on his dash into the Bad L ands to ca rry out h is vow. Repenting of her vicieus life, she fina ll y marri es a young troope r whom Rogtr s has ca ptu r e d. CHAPTER I. THE; MYSTE R IO US SIGNAL. Hi s s-t With s n r t li n g suddenness, the cry shatt ered the stillnes s of the n i ght that lay upo n the foothill s of the" Bad Land s ." As they heard it, three men who, .rolled in their army blanket s ; w ere sleeping in the protecting shadow of a huge boulder, ros e to their elbows and peered into the ....... darkness, at the same time Whipping out their Colts" with their free hands. PEDRO-A forme( m embe r of Red R ogers' gang who also as sisted i n his escap e from jail, a nd, afte r accompanying the outlaw t o t he mountains, is c aptu r ed by the trooper s. J ENNINGS, SHAW, Sco1TY-Members of tbe Mounted Scouts, who have their horses stolen by the outlaw, and a r e a fterwards taken p r isone r s by him and h eld as hostage s Ar.KALI A h alf-breed scbut, who even tu ally tracks R e d Rogers t o his doom. COLONEL EDWARDs-Commandant o f Fort Griswold .. t h e officer who takes charge of the pursuit o f the outlaw. Troopers, D eputy Marshals <\ln d S heriffs and thei r po s s e s . But onl y the silence of the night, seeming more i Dtens e a s the echo of the strident cry di e d away, greeted them. ,; T hat mus t lIa v e been a signal," breathed one of the trio, after severa l miI]ute s of li s tening.' If it was a signal, it would ha v e been a n s wered," re j oined a companion. Sure it would," asserted the third member of the party. \ Then w hat was it? demanded thefir s t. May have been a snake, or a mountain liQn," suggested the man wllo had doubted the startling cry being a signal. \


2 THE AMERICAN INbIAN WEEKLY: /( Mountain lion?" repeated the other, in disgust. "Say, you'd better go back to the recruits t111 you learn the difference between a human voice and an ani, mal's cry," The three men were members of the Mounted Scouts, Ol1t on patrol from their station at Fort Griswold. Two of th J11 had been in the service three years, while the other was on his first detail, having only just been promoted from the band of recrnits at the Fort. COllselluently, the sneering allusion to his inexperience cut deep, and he was about to retort fiercely, when the thi r d scout prevented. ;' J cnnings is right, Scotty. 1t was a mGln's voice ut-tered that cry," he whispQ"ed "Then what does it mean ? persisted the youngster. "Just keep yer tongue in yer head and yer eyes and ears aDen, and we may find out," grunted Jennings. This reply had the intended result of effectually silencing the recruit, and, with every sense alert, the three awaited some sound that would explain t h e mysterious signal. Unlike most details of scout s that patrolled t ogether, ',there was no affect i on, bred by perils and dan gers shared, between the men. Ind eed, there was not even good feeling The veterans, Jennings and Shaw, had long been rivals for the honor of being the b es t shot at the Fort, and both being sent out with a ,; rookie.'1 The personnel of the patrol, had been ar by Colonel Edwards, commandant of the Fort, , with a purpose. So many h ad become th e r aids and robberi es that the officers began to suspect connivance b e tween the outlaws and someeof the scouts, and the names of Jennings a;-;"d' Shaw had been linked with these Tumors. Knowing the rivalry existing between them the WiDnel had decided to send them out together, confident that each would be only too willing to report any s uspicious actions of the other, and, to prevent such an

. THE AMERICAN; INDIAN WEEKLY. 3 "Being nervous, as they will, you may scare we'd be in a prett): fix fifty miles from the Fort and no ponies." Ancl, placing the youngster between them, the veteran scouts crept cautiously down to the plateau, some fifteen yaJ;cls from the boulder, where th,ey had left the horses to feed on the sweet grass. Already, the heavy darkness in the east was givirig way to the, grey-greens of dawll, enabling the three scouts to make out the outlines Glf the rocks and trees I above them. But, as they turned a crag whence they g'et a glimpse of the plateau, they stopped in amazement. Not a horse was to be seen! So couldn't steal our pOllies with you and Shaw 'round?" grinned. Scotty. /, Keep your tongue in your head," growled Jennings. rI That cry probably frightened 'em, and they've gone down the trai1. Come on It won'1; be hard to track them." Again were the scouts destinec;l to be surprised, how, J. ,.. ever My, but you're getting to the quick little thinker." "Well if he did, I'd like to kll0'V the trick. Red's cute, I know, yet it's some stunt to get th,ree horses up a 'mountain all a dark night withou! leaving any trai1." (f Oh, we'll be able to learn how it was done when it gets lighter. N ow, s get back to the boulder be for.e Red swipes our rifles, blankets and saddles while Out: backs are turned." Lot of good our saddles will do us now," grunted J ennings. Red might as well have taken 'em.'" The silence of his deeply ashamed that they should have been tricked of their horses without e\l"el1 . knowl11g it, gave Scotty the first chance to speak since the discovery of the man on the rock and he lost no time in making the most of it. But that oon't be Red Rogers, he's in j ail!" he exclaimed. Was you mean," corrected Shaw, with a feeble attempt at raillery. didll't know he'd got ou t. But no other man than Red Rog'ers ever had hair and beard like that." "What wou l d he want of o ur horses, and how'd he the steadily increasing light enabled them to know we were here, anyway?" asked Scotty. find the shoe-prints, where the animals had moved about Scented I!lS," asserted Jennings, positiv ely, answering during the night and those made when they entered the .. the last first. "I told you a good woodsman or platoou, not a trace could they find. indicating the direc:an Injun can always scent a man-and Red Rogers can tion of their departure! g ive any Injun o r woodsmq.n cards antl spades and then 'With blank faces, the two veterans stared at one .an-beat him at his own game. As to why he took our ponies7 other. he pl"obably wanted 'em." As stood in baffled perplexity, o( a s udden, from above, there rang out a mocking laugh. Whirling, Colts ready, the scouts looked up. Outlined against the .sky, s t ood a powerfully-built man, red of hair and beard, wearing a scatlet shirt. "Red Rogers! gasped J ennings and Shaw, in chorus . Another jeering laugh greeted the exclanlation, then with a defiant wave of his hand, the disappea red. I have it! cried Shaw, s lap ping his thigh. "I'll bef Red has ju s t broken jai1. He's probably hiking it to. his old hiding pl;jlce, and, coming across our ponies, helped himself." But they're army horses. 1hey'1l be recognized by any cine \\7ho sees 'em,'objected the youngster. Little Red c a re s," returned Shaw. "Posses sion is no lline-tenths, it's the whole law to. him-and he's quick enough with his gun to defend anything he decides IS his." CHAPTER II. SCOTTY LEARNS SOMETHING ABOUT THE (( SERVICE." "No more mystery about what's become' of our ponies," growled Shaw, giving relief to his feelings in a torrent of curses. Y Oll mean Red took them? queried Jennings. I .. ,; I suppose we ought to be thankful 'Re d didn't need shooting irons, or he d probably have helped hm;self to our rifles, excl aimed Jennings, as they found their weapons and blankets undisturbed. Oh, cut it out," retorted Shaw. "We'll have to stand enough joshing from the boys at the Fort, with9ut your tr.ying to get funny.' a fire and put on the coffee enotigh water in it."


4 THE AI\IERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. I And, while the young ter obeyed, the others rolled up their, blankets. "wlIat are you going to do with the saddles and Lridles?" asked Scotty, as he joined them Leave 'em in the cave YOllder, so's they'll be waiting wben \\'e get our horses back," declarcd Shaw, picking tip his oIVn and carrying it to a crevice in the rocks, spme ten feet away, into which, after a short examination, he placed the now usele s s accoutrements. Then you're going to track Red?" asked the y ,otlng" ster, in surprise. Surest thing you know; kid. We've 110t .only got to trail him, but we've got to get our ponies! IJ rejoined Jennings. "If it should get out how Red tricked us, and theu we didn't recover the cayuses, the Mounted Scouts would never be able to hold down the gun men, horse thieves and outlaws ever again. (( It's the knowledge that the MOllnted Scouts never let up when they want a man that 'em feared! IJ If That's what! IJ chimed in Shaw. "You're working for the honor of the Mounted ScoufS-now, not merely for Unc l e Sal'ri, Scotty Remember, if you get Gone death, the/e'll be another to' take up the task from where you ., dropped." This forceful of the simple but unrelenting code of the Service impressed the youngster as nothingelse could, and he grew silent in contemplation of the dangers e,ntailed. I Of all the outlaws who made the" Bad Lands" their hiding place, da s hing forth to raid an isol a t e d settlement, rob a bank or hold up a train, there was none whose name caused such terror or who had such a reputation fox daredevil fearlessne s s as Red Rogers I It had taken the Motmted Scouts three years of ceaseless trailing to run him the presence of a full squad to effect his capture, Indeed, his arrest had done more to inspire a whole. some respect for the Mounted Scouts in the breasts of desperadoes and renegade Indians than any other of "We'll hear-if we ever see anyone from the Fort again. But, I'll stake my saddle against a blanket pin he left a trail of blood if anyone was in his way," responded Jennings. This suggestion that they might never live to return from the pursuit sent Scotty's heart into his throat. "If we ever see anyone from the Fort?" he re peated in dismay. "Aren't we going back to get horses and reinforcements?" eyes twinkling" the veterans looked at one an other and laughed. Say, have you forgotten your' rules aod regulations' so quick? demanded Shaw "Don't you remember that only in cases of dire emergency maya scout give up a trai l and return to the Fort?'" he added, drawling in imitation of the colonel. when quizzing the recruits. "'Veil, isn't this such an occas.ion?" returned the youngster "Hardly," rejoined Jennings. "vVe're not dead, we're not injured, we're--" But we've lost our ponies," interrupted Scotty. "And it's up to us to get 'em back," declared the vet eran. "To you a 'twigging' by the colonel, the s ooner you get it into your noddle that dire emergency' m e ans only when you're so w;unded you can't get back to the post the better So, as soon as you've finished grub, we'll be starting." "I'm game," rejoined the youngster. "It seems to me, though, we ought to get some word to the Fort that Red Rogers is loose." "The y'll hear of it, right enough. Don't wqrry about that," declared Jennings. "I'll stake my Colt they knew it before we did." "Still, as this is the trail the others will have to hit to get to Red's hang it won't do' any barm to leave word we're without ponies," suggested his fellow veteran. And, no objection being made, the scout produced a stub of a pencil from his breeches and wrote laboriously on a r;iece of paper torn from a can l abel. their acts. Read it," commanded J e nning s, as the task was com-And here the )10torious bandit was back in his old pleted haunts after serving less than five years of his life sen-Willingly Shaw obeyed. tence-and he had given notice of his liberty by running "Red Rogers lifted our ponies early Thursday morn" off with three horses belonging to his mortal enemies, ing. We're hitting the trail. A ll well. Shaw, Jennings, from right under their very noses. Scotty "lIow do yot! suppose broke jail?" asked Scotty, But you didn't say anything about the saddles," exas the three crest-fallen men squatted cross../.egged about claimed the youngster, as the reading' was completed. th e fir" eating their beans and sipping the coffee. S t Wh f ure no oever ol1ow us won't need two sacl>


THE AMERICAN INDIAN I 5 dIes, and besides, we'n want 'em ourselves when we get back our ponies," r-eturne. d Shaw. "Then, if we're let's be on our way," said Jennings. And, to their feet, the Scouts quickly packed their outfits. CHAPTER III. TRAPPED. Having adjusted their blankets to t heir Shaw set about finding a suitable hiding place for his note, while his fellow comrade made, ready a "broken staff "-a sign which, seen by any Mounted told [lim that important information had been. hidden by a fellow member of the service. ( The preparation of the symbol was simple. Cutting a green branch from a near-by shrub, Jennings broke the top, letting the end hang down, and then set the "broken staff" in the middle of the trail, with the hanging tip dn the side toward the spot where Shaw had hidden the note--which happened to be tmder a stone placed against the boulder. Interestedly the youngster watched the placing of this signal that served as a method of communication between , the scouts not .in the" rules and regulations," being one of the many ;signs that had been devised by the men themselv es and, thexefore" only to be learned by experience. some one else the signal. Won't they remove it or read the note?" asked Scotty. "Not much," returned Shaw. "That the 'broken staff' is one of the Scouts' signals is known to most trav-. .. elers of the trails. But, just what it means, they don't I know, and they have a mighty wholesome respect for it. Why, I've' seen men ride ten feet ar9und one of 'em so's to be sUIje not to interfere with it." t "But, hasn't any scout told what it means?" Not yet! returned Jennings, with an emphasis that w 'as significant. "And .there's a bullet waiting for the man who betrays the secret signals 0. the Mounted Scouts It's a part of our un;"ritten code. You'll find, kiddo, after you've served a bit, that there's more in our unwritten rules than in the ones the beat into your noddle." \ But, how can I learn them?" the youngster inquired, his eagerness to master the mysteries of his ealling evi in hi.s voice. By keeping your eyes and ears open when you're on patrol," replied Shaw. DUr1ng the latter part of this conversationl the trio had made their way, for a setond time, down to the plateau, whence their horses had been spirited away. And, as Shaw had predicted, the sunlight enabled them, to learn the manner pf their silent Dropping to his knee's with a sudden elclamation, the veteran studied intently for a few minutes the ground surroundifolg a spot\vhere the shoe showed where one of the horses had stood, then got up, a look of utter disgust on l}is face. Say, Jennings, you and me ought togo back to the rookie' school," he snorted. Red v(orked the old game of binding the hoofs in rags, and hert! we never thought of it." Without reply, the other vetertln scanned the marks "discovered by' his fellow, evincing his confirmation by a corroborative nod of his head as he rose to his feet. But his next move snowed that he did not take the trick calUJ.,ly, "You may have caught us napping this time, Red Rogers! he hissed, shaking his fist IJI'nacingly. "But, before Andy J ennings through with you, you'll wish you'd never lifted his pony! " Same here," grunted, Shaw. And without more ,ado, the three scouts 'who had been so hmniliated by the outlaw, took up !he Jask of recovering their horses and bringing the desperadoes to justice. Cautiously, with eye and ears alert, they followed the tracks up the mountainside, Far above them, en a pJ,tteau to the right of the trail, a different scene was presented. At the backjlf the shelf of land, whic' h was some forty' feet wide, rose a wall of rock, severed by a -wide cleft. Deep within this, the fitful flare of a camp fire glowed, disclosing the forms of two men and. a woman, while browsing contentedly near the entrance" but on the plateau, were the three army horses. Fairly"'bristling were the men with and while only by her skirts did the girl differ in appearance from her cofupanions, for she, too; wore a cartridge belt about her waist, int0 which were thmst two six shooters and a bo\vie-knife.


G THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. \' It was worth all the risk to hear the scouts cry Red Rogers,'" declared the outlaw, "as he recounted the inci dents of his discove ry t o hi s companions. And je c ring were the comments made upon the stttpidit)' of the scouts by the others. What you suppose they'll do now, go back 'to the Fort for rei nf orcements? a s ked the girl.', Most likely," asserted the other man. But the out l aw held a opinion. I'll all the go ld in my belt against a pebble the y're on our trail That's why I left th e horses on the grimly. "Pedro, you take the fir;;t man. Let him get far ehough onto the plateau so the second one won't turn back. I'll take him. Rosie, yq,u cover the third fellow with your six shooters. Pedro and I have boun!i our men, we'll attend to yours. Careful, now. Pedro, bring the Down on your bellies. There are some rocks we can hide behind. Remember-a sound maJ spoil-the whole gf\me." With stealth, the desperadoes gained their hiding places and, every sense alert, awaited the scouts' plateau where they could be seen.' : In utter ignorance of the trap .laid for them, Jenning s, But what's t ,he use of running the ri s k of a gun shot so soon, Red?" demanded the girl. Shaw and Scotty toiled up the trail, in the order named. "There won't be any ri sk, Rosie," returned the des-, Without difficulty, they had traced .the route tak en by perado. "But even if there was, I'd take it." I n eed those sco uts as bad as we did their horses." "' This stat'ement puzzled Red 's companions. FQr a few moments they sought to reason 'it out, then gave it up and asked, almost in the same breath. "Why?" Because with them in my PQwer, I can make some sort 6f terms in case the other scouts surround me. If I'd had a cottple of hostages, I'd never have be'en caught the last time." Readily advantage s uch a would give them, the girl jumped to her f eet. Let's go out and see if they're trailing us," she .ex-I claimed, hurrying to the mouth of the cave. But, before she could pass out ouio the plateau, Red I h her. Come back Rosie," he commanded. "If you're so keen to know I'll find out. While I'm willing to let. the scouts see the ponie s, I want them think I'm a s leep," These words showed plainLy the calculating cunning of the bandit. As he reached the mouth of the cave, :R,d dropped 011 his belly and with infinite caution wormed him self across the platcau to th e edge. And the s i ght that greeted his eyes almost cau ed him: to shout with glee, Climbing steadi ly, came the three sCOllts. Easi l y could the outlaw have picked them off with his rifle. But, as he explained to Rosie, he wanted them alive. Stealthily working his way back, Red re-entered th, e cave. '( Come on. They're almost here," he chuckled; the h orses because the iron shoes against" the rocky trail had cut the rags, leaving telltale prints here and there. With the sun, the wind had arisen and as a gust blew clow? from direction of the plateau, Jennings stopped in his tracks, sniffed the air excitedly, then threw his rifle to a "ready." "Our ponies are close at hand. I smell 'em;" he hreathedto his companions. "Watc, h out, now. Don't shoot. until you can 11!ake your shot count." Cautiously the trio resumed their ascent. And ilS jennings' head rose above the level of the pla teau, again he st respectively, carrying them to the ground," \yhile R9 sie boring the muzzles of ber shooters into Scotty's back, hissed: "Moye 3and I'll pump your carcass full ,0 l ead!" , jI


THE AMERICAN INDIAN WE, EKLY. 7 .. CHAPTER IV. JENNINGSf ATTEMPT I,m LIFE IS FOILED So utterly Was the att?ck that J en flings nor Shaw were able to resist as they were I borne to the ground. Their /anger, however, at tricked by the no' torious outlaw a second time-for that their captors were none other than Red Rogers and his band the scouts did not need to be told-gave the frenzy of fury I to th e ir strenl2th and they with their assail' ants desperately. Naturally powerful, the trained muscles of the scouts Ii enabled to pitch and toss the outlaws about the platea1,l. But, strive as he might, neither could break the v ice-like hold' about his nt!ck Q Summoning all his strength, with .a mighty effort Jennings managed to get to his knees. Like maddened bull, Red Rogers snorted and p uffed as he strove to force his captive down again. But the Years of confi!leinentin pr-ison Ifad sapped his former titanic stren&th, and it flashed to his mind that only by could he overcome the wiry Scout. Realizing the outlaw's lack of condition, as he felt his grip relax when he gained his knees, Jenning J took courage. But his joy was short lived. ) Wi'th tremendous Red Rogers drove his irtto the spine of the Scout, at the same time jerking him , backwards. Powerless to resist, Jennings was flat on the plateau, and in a trice the ?utlaw was kneeling upon his chest, bis fl'ushed face grinning in triumph. Shaw, however, had been no match for P'edro, and, cursing and was being'securely roped by the bandit. and the girl had watched the men struggling for mastery as they rolled abqut the plateau. As it became evident that .his fellows could not overcome the advantage gained by the outlaws in their rear at-, tack, the youngster gritted his teeth at his impotence, then s uddenly whirled upon the girl, ,swinging his arm in an attempt to knock the si shooters from her hands. But Rosie "v:as not, to be caught napping. Dodging the blow cleverly, she levelled her guns at the scout's head. \ "Don't try thatj again," she exclaimed! quietly. "It's lucky for Y9u, Red didn't see your move, or he'd make me drop you in your tracks. I suppose I'm a fool for not doing it, you seem so young," she added, whimsically. Hut bitterly was Red destined to repent the girl's softheartedness. Pedro, however, noticed the' changed position of the scout as he got to his feet after putting theJast knot in Shaw's bonds and with an oath he was upon him. I'll fix you SQ you can't do arty damage," he "grunted, as he sJipped a noose over right hand, passed the rawhide lariat Behind his back, took a turn about the left wrist anq jerked botn arms behind his back. Rosie, you ought to have droppeq him. He might have got you, and then things wouldn't have been so easy for Red and me." Well, he didn't," 'smiled the girl, so there"s no harm done. Besides, he s worth rI?0re to us alive than dead." This' remark, audible to all three of the captives, 'set them to wondering to wjat purpose theq outlaw., intended to put them, and it did not improve the tempers of the veterans to think that members of the Mounted Scouts should be made tO,serve Red Rogers' ends. The task.of Jennings was finally accomplished, and, exhausted by t:1).eir' efto, rts, the bandits squatted near the edge of the plateau to rest. Pedro's method of binding the prisoners had been thorough. Tying the hands of each, behind his back, he had taken two turns of the lariat about the upper arms, made a knot and then run the rawhide down the prisoner's back to the ankles, which he bound with a half dozen turns. In this manner, the captives were rendered to get to their feet or to work their arms. One way of motion was left to them, however--they ; could roll. In silence, the outlaws gazed out upon the panorama \ of rocks and trees below them. Wonder how long it will take for news of your escape. to reach the'FGrt," mused' Pedro, at last, looking at his chid. rI They probably knew it six hours after we got away," returned Red. "It ain't like the old days before there' were telegraphs. Then, a man could break jail, get to cover and maybe pull off a raid before the news' could b e re,ceived. Now you can't more'n get out before the alarm has been sent to every Fort, sheriff and marshal. That's why I told Rosie to have you cut all the wires out of Keno before you came to the jail. Then I took the precaution to put the jailer's son out of commission


.. 8 THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. before I left. He was the only telegraph operator in a fort built in the mountain fastnesses of the .. Bad town." This bit of information as to the manner of the out law's escape was eagerly listened to by the prisoners, and from it they learned that at least one life, that of the operator, had been sacrificed by Red in obtaining his freedom. They realized, also, that his cunning in having the wiFes all cut before the escape was attempted would delay the alarm being sent to the Fort and they were wondering as to the other details of the jail delivery when their attention was once more attracted to their captors. Lands" as a refuge against attacks from Indians by a score of 'men who had discovered a gold mine. That Red knew its whereabouts surpri7e dt them, and bitterly they their inability to" compare notes as to the place, due to the distllnce their left them apart. I To Jennings, in particular, thought of being carried into captivity by the desperado was torture. In his heart, he believed he could have overpowered the fellow if he had been attacked anywhere than from behind. And the more his mind dwelled on this, the more furioti .. "That was two agcJ," exclaimed Rosie. "By he became. this time, that bId turkey gobbler of a colonel at Griswold Suddenly, an idea oc.curred to him, and, hi& has probably ordereCl out a regiment on our trail" head, he surveyed his captors. This suggestive nickname for their superior caused the Red Rogers, he saw,was sitting about a yard from th e scouts to smile, but' intently they waited upon Red's edge of the plateau, while his companion was some ten reply. feet to his left,-both intently searching the land below for Sure thing. I'll stake gold in my belt against an empty cartridge shell there are more than two htmdred troopers within ten miles of us this very minute," the no torious bandit declared. I "Then let's get away from here quick," returned the girl, getting to her feet in evident alarm at the thouO'ht D of so many pursuers in such proximity. w orry, Rosie," comforted Red. e're prac tically safe because they don't know where to look for us. That's why I shot our ponies last night and shoved the carcasses into Ten Mile creek. TheY' won' t find 'ein and, learning from Keno we h 'ad horses, they'll never think of looking for a foot trail. Still, be going as sao;\. as you've cooked some gnib. It won't be safe to have a fire, after to-day till we get to the old Stockade." "Then I'll get b tlSY right awaY'," asserted the girl. Somehow, I don't fed safe here, and if our going de pends on me, it won't be long before we start." Even as she spoke, Rosie walked toward the entrance 'or' the cave and soon disappeared WIthin' the gaping maw of the crevice. At the mention of the outlaw's destination, the scouts had been amazed. Often had they heard of the Old Stockade, but, as none of the Mounted Scouts at the Po. st had ever seen it-or it's location-it had come to be regarded by the a s a myth. But Red's announcement was evidence of its ence, and excitedly J e.Flllings and Shaw strove to the stories they had 'heard about it. exist/, recall So far as either could remember, it supposed 'to be a glimpse of any pursuers. "Red Rogers may. think he's rendered us powerless, but I'll show him the only time a Mounted Scout' i& powerless is when he's deat!! muttered Jennings to him self. And, as he spoke, he put his plan in operation. With infinite stealth, he rolled to his side, then turne d completely over, and, when he looked ?t his captor& again, he was a foot nearer the notorious outlaw. Slowly, cautiously, he ro!!ed and nearer ...... desperate his scheme of hurling Red Rogers to his doom was can be realized from the fact that, were it successful, the Qandit would probably clutch and drag the scout over the edge of the plateau with him, or, if the rattle of a stone or a glance ,backward betrayed hi& pnrpose, a bullet would doubtless be the penalty for his daring. But the danger did not daunt Jennings. It's for the good of the Service," he bravely told him self. At last, scarce a yard separated him frQm his victim. Determined to all on a final roll the scout summoned his stI'-enith and turned over' and over with increasing rapidity. Fearful lest the thumping of his heart would warn the outlaw, Jennings saw that another ro!! would .bring success or failure to his attempt on Red's life. / But, before he could take it, he was fQ,iled. "Look out! The scout's on you! Oh, Red! i rang the voice of the girl.


I ". THE INDIAN WEEKLY. 9 CHAPTER V. THE DASH FOR L FE. ,. Cursing fr'ightfully, Red and Pedro' leaped to their I feet, whipping out their six shooters, as they faced about. At a glance, the notorious outlaw took in the situation and as he realized the narrow margin of his escape, he lowered at the heroic scout, his face hideous from fury / a n d hatr e d. But R e d never allowed. hi; emotions to dull his brain. Scarce a s e cond h a d elapsed since cry had w a rne d the outlaw of his danger, and, realizing that the scout' s impetus was so great he would be unable to stop himself from rolling over th e edge the plateau, he s t epped ove r the body and started toward the cave. The i r attenti o n attract e d to th eir by the girl's I warning, Shaw and Scotty man aged to turn so-they could see w h at was 'transpiri ng., And a s the y beheld the bandit fiend step over their companion s body, their became transfixed with horror. So atrocio u s ly wanton was Red's act that the girl could not s t and it. Se ize him! Gra b him! she p l eade d. "If want to k iIi him p u t a bullet into him-not that w a y." BuJ t he outl a w's fury knew no bounds. G e t i n t o the' cave-if you don't like it," he hissed. W ith a shudder, Rose clapped her} han?s to her face w hile the s couts, unable to bear the sight of their com rade to so awful a their away But Prov idence did not desert the brave J ennings though his plan to send the terrible outlaw to his well deseryed .fate had been foiled. For seconds that seemed eternal, the others awaited the crack ling of the brush along the edge and the thump that should announce the fall of the pris.oner. At last, unable longer to bear the strain of susperise, Rosie between her fingers: "He's saved! He's saved!" she shouted, exulta ntly. wPedr;, get him and bring him to the' cave." At the cry, the outla;ys and scouts alike had faced about. In a declivity, whose existence been bidden by grass, .lay Jennings, midway between where Red Rogers had been sitting' and the edge of the plateau! As he realized the miracle of the scout"s escape, the outlaw blanched. Get me some whiskey, Rosie/, he stammered But the girl did not move. .. Tell me first what you're going to do," she retorted. What ? You disobey me?;' thundered the des, J peJ;:ado, glad to have some one upon whom to vent his rage t, I'll show you--" Yet, as he wheeled, his threat died upon 9is lips. WIth steady h'!1d and face, the girl was standing' in front 6f the cave, her six sJlOoters levelled at the outlCl-w's head. Now, don't get excited, Red/' she exclaimed, quietly. I'm running this show for a few minutes. That scout's escape is a warning. His' life wasn't saved for If you do anything to him now, bad luck wiU follow you. "Pedro, fetch him to the cave! The and presence of mind of the girl, as she faced the desperate outlaw, won the admiration of the scouts, while her reference to the supernatural struck tne one vulne 'rable spot in Red' s make-up. And, as the fiend who laughed at phy sical danger, struggled to his superstition, the others watched him breathtes sly: \ Upon the phlegmatic Pedro alone did the dramatic -scene fail to have effect. Gl a ncing from girl to outlaw, he shifted uneasily. Shall I fetch him? h e finally demandeCl of his chief. I Breathlessly the others awaited Red' s reply. .. ,. It But, ere he could speak, there rang out a Sllarp -and a bullet flattened itself against the cliff above / Where's that from? roared the desp, erado, wheeling. , One glance from the edge of the plateau arrswered him. ?eeming no bigger than ants, a file of men wound in and out among the rocks far below. "It's the troopers! Quick, saddle up!" commanded. the bandit. "They're shooting at such an angle they can't hit us here. But this is no place to stand a siege. It'll be hot work reaching the Old Stockade, 1toW!" Ih the face of thIS unexpected danger, the stress of the past few !lloments was forgotten. .... Quickly Rose dashed int? the cave, returning with a canyas bag and some blankets, while Red -and pedro hurriedly caught the stolen army horses, thrust bridles, rtUdely improvised the night before from of raw, ,-, hide, into their mpuths, and then, with other pieces of thong; laced the blankets brought out by the girl upon their backs. How about the scouts? Shall we leave 'em?" inquired Pedro. \


1 0 THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. "Not much! r eturned the outlaw, once more the c alcul ating bandit w h ole resourcefulness was his gre ate s t s t rength. The troope r s will be s ur e to come h e re, anu if they find' our prisoners there 'll be j us t three more a gains t u s ." But we can put them out of the .... a y sugges t e d the girl, h e r form er compas s ion vanished. Sure, w h enever we want. Ju s t now, we n eed e m We'll each put one b ; h ind us. Th ey'll serve a s a b ullet s hield." By this t ime the patt e r of th e b ullets agains t the wall of rock had become a veri t able h ails t orm a n d tpe wisdom of t h e b a n dit's p l a n was eviden t f or once o n the trail there was no t e llin g whe n some trooper might g et the exact r a nge. The work of placing the i r prisoners upon the and binding their legs tight, beneath the anim'!}s' bellies was the work of only a few minutes In to get the greatest service the horses, Red had placed the hyo lightest of the band, Ros e and Scotty, upon. the smallest horse, assigning Pedro and Shaw to the next small est, and r eserving the most 'powerful, whicq was none other than Jennings' own Boneh ead, for himself and his h uman s hield. "We'll r ide from the plateau one at a time," instructed th e outlaw, when a ll was ready "The troopers don't know how strong we are, and when they see after another dash out, we'll gain time, because they'll wait to find if there are more. "Ride close to the cliff and at a run : Turn to the right at the el),d of the platea u and go down the Rosie, you go first. rll follow. Bend low. N bW! Rapidly the desperado had uttered his instructions, and Taken by surpr i se, the t roopers had sent not one bullet at the girl. But, when Red Rogers and Jennings appeared in the open, as they raced for the shelter of the trees, shells whistled and spat as they sped over their heads or flattened themselves against the rocks below : Swing your man round to your side, Pedro. They'll have the range on you," shouted his chief, drawing rein t o wait for his pal. Unfortunate for Shaw p roved the warning Quickl y obeying his master, Pedro jerked the s cout to his side, then clapped spurs to his mount. As the horse gained the trail, there was a volley of shells, one of which caught Shaw in th e s hould e r and an o th e r through his breeches, ju s t e s capin g his thigh. I Lucky there are no more o f us," gri n,ned the ou tlaw, as h e hurriedly bound up Shaw's wo und. Even I care about cross in g that cleari ng again. You me n a t Fort Gri swold 'shoo t well I'll say t hat m uch. But w h e n yo u 're o n patrol, you ad: like k i ds." T his a llu s i o n t o the ease with which h e had first sto l e n the i r and then c a ptured t hem grated deeply u pon the two vetera n s c o ut s . "Wait till this fun is over You'll sing a differen t tune," flashe d J e nnings, unab l e to restrain himself longe r. I' Think so, e h?" grinned Red Rogers. "Say, I'd make a bet with YQu if I wasn' t opposed to taking money from a child Just to s how you I 'm right, my doubling on my tracks will give me at l east six hours' leeway. Y;ur troope r s will t hink I've ridden up the m ountain and befor e they l earn their mistake, it will be d ark." CHAPTER VI. ONE HUNDRED AGAINS T O NE. Any wounds?" she asked, surveying Red and Pedro, anxious l y. Narr y a scr at c h Pe d ro's shield stopped a couple of. pills, though. B u t they did n' t hit h i m i n the vitals. "I'll take th e lead, now. Keep your eyes and ears open, but don't shoot u n lessI g ive the word And with Red in the van and Pedro bringing .uP the r ear, the outl aws resumed th e i r r ide down the mount,!in. side. And, whi l e they descend e d the t roopers were swarm ing u p the trai l as the n o t ori01:ls o u t law had ant i ci pated, eager t o clos e in upon th e fugi t ives.


THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. 11 Whe n word had been received at the Fort, thir t y hours before, that Red Roge r s had literally shot his way to freedom, 1eaving three corpses besides that of the tele graph operator to mark his departure, the exciteme n t had been intense. S umm oning hi s officers, the colonel had bidden them each t o take a n hundred men and, riding in die form o f a ha lf moon, to scour ever y nook and cranny of. the foot hills, keeping in touch with one another during the day by hel iograph signals and at night by rockets. Quick l y the orders had bee n given and as the troopers assemb l e d Co l oneL Edwards had address ed them .... "Rememb e r, y ou have no rum-crazed Indian to deal with," he sai d The man you are afte r i s n ? t only an expert in woodcraft a n d famili a r with ev e ry section o f . the 'Bad Lal1ds,' l ; m t o n e w h o k no;Ws no fear an d brings down h i s me n when h e shoots. "The Governor has offere d ten thousan d dolla r s re ward Red T h e sheri ff an d t h e Unite d States marshal, with their deputies, are leading posses in pursuit. "I wa'ht 't"l;1e honor of t he capture to"come to Fort Griswold. As an incentive, I promise that the rewa rd shall b e eqwiIly among the men who catch Re d Rogers. Don't CMlte' bach without him! Captain Smythe, you may start now." And as the had out, columns of cavalry had galloped from tJle post. During the forenoon of th e d ay, runners had informed each column that the outlaw had been assisted ill his escape 'by Rose Landon, his sweetheart, a n d Pedro, a former member of his gang of cut-throats, arid t hat t h e trio had headed straight north from Keno. Believing that t h e escaped desperado was striv i ng with all speed possib l e to reach the 'bo1"der and cross in t o Canada, the colone l had o r dered three ot" the columns t o ride by forced marches t o th e boundar y a n d then to form a c o r don; t hree ot h e r c o luml15 h a d bee n ins t ructed t o e n ter th e fopthil i s at th e Death Trail and b eat th e f o r ests as they wp rk e d N o rth while the seventh a s a precau tiona r y m easur e had been det a il e d t o s tart the m a n hunt at th e South e rn ehd of the Bad L a nd s ." As th e o u t law's destinati o n was' the Old Stockade, whic h w as in the S o uthern p o r t ion of the mountairts, it h' was t I S seventh c olumn, whose m e n and officers had cur s e d th eir luck a t being kept from the No rthern da sh, that had so unex pectedly s ighted the The officer in command was Lieutenant Harry Fox, and w i th him at the head of the troops r ode a half-bree d scout whom the sol d i ers had dubbed Alkali, because of his ins atiable thirst. Fun'ny we a in't seen nothing o f Jenning s patrol," the scout wa s s a y ing when suddenly his keen eyes discerned the "bro\en staff signal. Quickl y communicating his di scov er y to h i s superiors, the two men s purr e d their horses f o r w ard al } d s o o n were \ i n possess(o n o f Shaw's note. Well, if th a t ain l t jus t Red' s luck ," growled Alkali, ac: the lie utenant read the mess ag e a l oud. / I t st rike s m e it' s our luck. W hat do y ou !I1ean? demanded Fox. I me<;l11 s i x h u n dred trooper s and goodness kno)Vs h o w many posses a r e hunting ,for Red to the No rth and here he i s to the South wit h onl y a them th,e boniest heads in t h e bunch-t o dodge." The lieutenant wa; young, and this contemp tuous allusion to the scouting ability of his command and the assur,aI]-c e that t h e oil tlaw would elude them, angered him. :' Well, if my h1;illdred tnel1 can't run one outlaw to cover, especially whe n our thr ee mounted scouts are trail ing him, I'll shoot the whole blooming l ot! he n;torted, hotly. ,. Keerful Steady in the ranks! Don't go to making no rash promises!" cautio ned Alkali. ain't been up against Red before. "Remember, YOLl By t h e time you're through with him, you're liable to know you 've been on a real manhunt." T h at may be. But, I'm not going to begin by whining becau se I haven't a man for every rock and tree," rejoined the".Y0ung officer. "If Red Roger s is such a tricky customer, here's the c h a n ce for you to s how sqme of your cleverness, Alkaii-and WlI1 f ame and money into the ,bargain, Befor e the lieut enant h a d cease d speaking, several o f the troopers h ad com e up a s they their supe sa rcastic wor ds, g ri nned a ppreciat i vely, for the h alf-b reed was not popular, a n d \ vas,alw'ays boasti n g of h i s p r owess o n the tra il. W i t h th e arr i v al o f hi s men, F ox b ecame eve r y inch the officer. Serge ant t ell the signal man to flash hi s h e li ograph qnd s a y we'v e located R ogers h e command ed. "Alkali, pi<;,k up J e nnin gs trai1."


12 THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. And as the men obeyed, he drew forth his field glasses and swept the mountainside. Stung by the lieutenant's taunts and the troopers' glee, the half-breed employoo his woodcraft to the be s t of his ability, and in l ess than ten minutes returned to the boulder, announcing that he had found the trail. Smprised, but delighted at such quick work,4the young officer gave the command to advance and the tro opers, eiated to think that they had a chance at the prize money aftel' ali, took up the trail eagerly. But the going was rough and the trail tortuous. At the. end of three hours' toilsOme Climbing, the troop ers \v'cre rewarded by a shout from Alkali, who was pOinting excitedly to the plateau where the outlaw had come so near death at the hands of the brave scout. Quickly. the focl1ssed his glasses upon the shclf of rock. "It's horses! Yes, cavalry horses!" he exclaimed, excitedly. Boys, give :em a few shots -We may be able to scare 'em out." And how well the troopers succeeded, the reader already knows: As the outlaw had anticipated, Rose's dash had taken the cavalrymen by surprise, but they were prepared for Red and Pedro when they appeared. tand for his companions to halt while he rode ahead to reconnoiter now beckoning to them to ride faster. His wood<;raft and' absolute fearlessness could not but rouse the admiration of the scout who was made his unwilling companion, yet as each minnte passed without any sound indicating the approach 'of the troopers, thereby corroborating Red's statement that the cavalrymen would never think of his doubling on his tracks, J el1nings could barely restrain his anger and dIS appointment. And that same thoughts were. in the mind of his veteran comrade "vas soon. made apparent. As the trail swung toward the edge of the woods nearest the troopers, Shaw turned his head. Help!" he started to, bellow. But the alarm that might have. ended the notorious outlaw's career then and there never rang out. r As the firs t sound came from the scout's lips, Pedro ., whirled }Vith lightning rapidity and, seizing his prisoner by the throat, stifled the cry by choking him until his toilgue protruded from his mouth. ot' what had been their comrade's purpose, J and Scotty turned their heads to learn the cause of the commotion-and this act lost Jo them the precious opportunity to attract the attention of the troopers. After the girl's escape, the lieutenant had trained his Seemingly divining what had occurred, e"en as the I field glasses on the trail. It's Red, all right! It must be from his shirt!. He's tur?ed their heads, Red and Rose jammed ker-got some one behind him. A hundred dollar ; to the man chiefs into their mouths and in a trice they were effectwho drops him!" cried Fox, excitedly, as the outlaw ually gagged, a'fterwhich, the girl repeated the operation raced along the traiL upon Shaw. After Pedro had passed, the troopers w aited several Say, you dubs want to it's Red Rogers who minutes. has from the Fort he had ex-' . p ected death would be the penalty for his failure. Ac, cordjngly, when he found that the o uly consequence was the increased discomfiture to himself and fellows oc casioned by the gags, he fell to wondering more than ever' as to the use Red Rogers intended to make of them. But 'he was soon to learn. In stea d of following a straight C0t1rSe to the


-. Trill AMERICAN I NDIA N W EEKLY. 13 th e mountain, the outlaweigzagged back and forth, send iner his horse stretches of rock, whenever they o cropped from the earth, that his trail might suddenly &top, causing the manhunters following it delay and difficulty in piek ihg it up again. At last, however, ju s t as twilight came upon the l and, the cavalcade rode out upon the le';el at the ,bas. e of the foothills. But, t o amazement of the scouts, they were in a reo-ion of the" Bad Lands" never before seen by them. o For several minutes the notoriou\; desperado watched the e x pre ssions on the faces of his prisoners as they vainly sot1O"ht some familiar landmark that would give b the m an ink,ling as to their whereabouts. If I had tilJle, I'd make a map of these hills 'lnd send it to th e c ommandant at Griswold," he chuckled, "It's I beyond rea so n to expect a Mounted Scout or any other soldier to .catch a man in a country he don't know any thing about" "But y o u d be more sl1rprised than you are now if you knew how close to Gris,wold you were. I could get there and back in ten hours." Red," cautioned Rose. "Don't boast." Did you ever qear me say anything I didn't make good?" cLem.anded the outlaw, turning fiercely pon the 1 Placing her hand soothingly on the outlaw's arm, she looked into his face. Don't talk that way, Red," breathed. I had no right to say what I 'Course, youve had no chance to keep your, pledge. I know that. I didn't mean it the way you took it. Why, you' re the only friend I've erot left in the world . How do you suppose I'd 0 lived if you hadn t sent Pedro with that bag of gold to me the night they-the daddy was killed? Please don't be angry with me] Red." The pleading t one and soulful eyes wit h which the girl sought forgiveness the huge wrath. Guess I couldn't if, I wanted to," he returne' d, the tone in which he uttered the words sounding silly from such a man. But; as he spoke, he reached out an arm, and lowered his bearded face, with the evident intention of drawing Rose to him and kissing her. With a movement of well-feigned embarrassment, the girl avoid ,ed him, and so grotesque was the expression that spread over Red's face at the failure of his uncouth attempt at lovemaking that the scouts grinned. Unluckily for them, the outlaw their mirth. You would mock me, would you?" he thundered girl. And d r awing back his fist, he drove it full into the help-. N o-o--not exactly I've never known you to fall less Jennings' face, causmg the blood_'to spurt from his I'll teach you to laugh at Red Rogers! down y et ..... 1 You mean I haven't f;arried out my pledge t o :your fath er? queried Rogers, irritated by.the emphasis Rose placed oil the word "yet." I Uhuh." / This answer aroused the bandit's anger, sendmg hot flushes to his "That ain't fair, Rose, and you know it. I'd never been caught if I hadn t stopped to place your father where the manhunters could not find him to claim the five thousand rewaid, dead or alive. Here I've set the whole state by the ears by getting out of jail at Keno so's I could keep pledge to your daddy-and there ain' t been a day during the five years I was behind the bars, I ain't watched. my chance---and now aCCllse me of laying down. Tain't fair, Rosie, 'tain't,. fair Eagerly the scouts drank in the bits of intimate disclosed by Red' s passionate outburst, hoping again s t hope that he would let fall more of his life's secrets. But the girl's actions prevented. nose. . Abashed this ac t of wanton cruelty striking a man bound hand and foot, the o th ers cowered Chuckling at the evident pain he had caused the scout, the desperado snatched the canvas bag from where Rose had been carrying it in front of her, drew forth a flask, and took a long pull at it. Cursing horribly, the bandit shoo k the flask at his prisone, rs .. If I can't h ave l ove, I can have whiskey and qlood and I'll have 'em! he hissed. Rose's repulse had transformed the outlaw from a good-natpred gian't to a fiend incarnate-and none of the awed group to realize it more fully than the 'girl herself. "Oh, Red, don' t talk like that. I 'll kiss you, if you want me to. I-I only didn't like to have all these' men see me, she exclaimed, determined to sacrifice herself for the safety of the people in the region upon which thi s terrible bandit bad heen loosed.


14 j \ THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY "Too l ate! chuckled Rogers, taking another pull a t h1s flask. "I'll keep you by me till I've ful filled my pledge to old Barney-and then you mus t shift fpr yourst1. Not a sou will Red Rogers give nor a finger will he lift again to help Barney Landon' s daught er! Horrible to behold was the des perado a s he tbese words and gloatingl y he n o ticed the s hock they caused his hearer s Cursing his helple s snes s Scotty longed to ave ng e the -iflSl1it, or to. let the girl knew he wo.uld protect .her-for the scout was young and , was of a wild beallty which had captivated the boy's' heart. the moment he had seen her-but he waS forced to. content himself with an attempt to convey his meaning by pressing against her. Yet the girl seemed to understand, and, turping her head, smiled gratefully at her prisoner. Fortunately fer the two., the o.utlaw wa s too a b so.rbed in his thoughts to. notice them . Indeed, so. engrossed was he that it was obvious to. all he wa$ plannint some deyiltry. Suddenly his' face broke into a smile "Pedro, get o.ff that ho.rse!" he co.mmanded. Put yo.ur scout en the one the girl's riding. Tie him fa st, so he can't get lo.ose. Then take the man from behind me and put him, to.gether with the kid, on your. horse. I'll take 'the girl with me." I To the ethers, it seemed nothing co.uld b e en more significant o.f the change that had come over thedesperado than his refusal fo call Rose by her Yet Red's next words gave evidence that there wa s I didn't refuse. I was embarrassed. can have one or' twenty, Red." In'to. her wo'rd s and the expression on her face, Rose put all her persuasiveness. Breath l ess ly the others watchd the effect' upon law of her apparrent surrender. A moment Red scanned her face searchingly. "Go. ahead, Pedro," he growled And, tl{rning his he took another pull at his flask. I \ CHAPTER VIII. RED ROGERS SENDS A MESSAGE TO THE F ORT. '\ In tense silence, the bandit a ppro.ach to carry out his master's orders. An instant the girl tho.ught of defying both th e n o outlaw who. had spurned her and his minio.n. A slas h of her bowie-knife would sever the bond s of the SCo.ut af her back and then .she could co.ver b eth R e d and Pedro. with h e r six sho.o.ters. The th ught o.f having the desperado in her and the plea:sure it wo.uld belo. humble him by fo.rcing an ogy from his lips pro.ved irresistible, and st e althily she dro.pped her hands to. the pistol butts. Pedro, however, was watching her intently, and as & e s aw the movement, leaped upon her, catching her wrists i!l his powerful hands. Better give her guns and knives to me before yo.u be-gin transferring the scouts, Pedro/, he commanded. No don't, my lady! he hissed. Hey, Red, this Am I a prisoner?" the girl, h e r voice deI s he-devil was to sheet you." fiant, though in her heart she was deeply alarmed. I'm riot surprised. The Landon's never were strong "Net yet! returned the outlaw, grinning a s he made en gratitude," returned the bandit. "Hurry and take use o.f the very words p Ro.s e-wo.rds which had caused a w ay her sheeting iro.ns so she wo.n't have ano.ther his metamo.rph?sis. : It depends en hew you b ehave. chance, and then transfer the prisoners as i told you Get a Pedro, it will seen be dark." The s e words were spo.ken by Rogers taking the tro.uble even to turn his head and h' tt d'ff ) 'As IllS pal, too familiar with his chief' s moo d s to. dally. h' IS U er 111 I erenc e . to. er contempl ated act of treacher ff t d R stepped to.ward the girl, she d eterm111ee. upon a la s t ap' h' Y e ec e as I_ not mg else co.uld have pea. ) Oh, Red, fo.rgive me! Fo.rgive me! she so.bbed. I Shame en you, Red Rogers, to. o.rde r her weapo.ns to. be taken from your old pal Barney Landon's she flashed. And shame on you fer refusing a kiss to tile o.nly friend yo.u o.r o.ld J3arney Landon ever had" mocked the ., outlCl-w. didn't. mean to quarrel with I"The excitement of your break111g out o f jail and o.ur escape from the troopers have been too much. fer my nerves I kno-:..v yo.u a friend to daddy-and. o.u've been to. me. Please fo.r--" "Bah' C . ut It out," interrupted the o.utlaw, savag ely. "Yo.u ve sho'wed your real nature. It's lucky for me you f


THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. 15 d Now that I know you, t can make plans accorddi. ingly." Even the scouts were amazed at the bitterness of th,is reply, and they awaited with many misgivings the next move of their strange captor. That he was doing something, they could ali see from the motion of his right arm, but not until it suited his pleaStfre did they learn what it was. Are the men ready, Pedro? ': he inquired at last. "Uhuh! /, Good. Keep a cIo'se watch on the girl and the young and the old priso'uers. I'll be back in a little while. Re, { member, I hold' you esponsible the girl and the others. If you try any tricks or leave this spot, I'll hunt you down-if I have to follow y.ou into the jail at Keno! The s e words showed plainly tl1e desperateness of Rog er's mood, and the others followed his every move with app;ehension. Suddenly reining his pony alongside of. Shaw, he wound the sash about his own waist and bound it about the scout's head, blindfolding him. This done, he the horse by the bridle al1d s tarted to lead it down the canyon. "Remember, yqur lives will pay the forfeit if I do not find' you all here when I return," he snapped, in warning. Believing that his end had come, Shaw listened for the slightest sound might give an inkling as to the fate in store jor him. But only the tramp of hi s hdse could he hear. For minutes that seemed interminable, his suspense continued. Now he thought he caught the sound of rushing water, and feared he was about to plunge into some swirling stream" then, as the sound died away, he told himself that his captor was probably leading him toward some precipice from which he would fall to a hor-rible death, 'The uncertainty was maddening. It seemed to him that his head would burst and in his mental agOliy' writhed and sqttirmed. But at last his suffering came to an end. I'm going to send you with a to the Fort," exclaimed Rogers, suddenly, as he stopped the horse. That' is, I'm going to start you with a message. Whether you live to deliver it is another matter," he added, grimly. if anything happens to the, message will be probably found, because within three hours you ought to be 'on' a well 'traveled traiL" In amazement, the scout listened to his words, then fdt something betng thrust the cords bound his arms. As this motion ceased, there ensued an absolute silence, then a resounding slap rang out and Shaw felt his mount leap he did not know. And as his horse dashed ahead, Rogers mocking laugh rang in his ears. Diabolidal, indeed, was the plan the terrible outlaw had adopted . Absolutely helpless ; powers of speech sight cut off by a gag and bandage, and bouQ.d fast to a horse, , the scout was sent at a gallop into the night. Should the animal tumble, he might be crJ.lshed to death. Unfa-miliar with the trail, in the darkness the horse might step off a precipice or, should the animal take it into his head, he might wander among the foothills, browsing in the sweet grass wh ile the man on his back, tortured by flies and mosquitoes, slowly went crazy-from and hunger. Little, however, did Rogers reck what fate overtook tne scout, though he hoped horse would return to the Fort, finding his way by instinct, well knowing that the sight of the soldier, bound and wounded, would rouse the colonel to fury, while his crude note was intended to strike terror by its threats. But not'long did the outlaw have to glo!t over his dyviltry ,. As he stood, li stening to the hoofbeats of the army horse grow fainter and fainter, his eyes wandered over , the dim outlines of the mountains surrounding him. Suddenly he saw a bill of flame shoot into the air from the hill directly ahead of him, followed aIrpost immediately by other balls from right and left. Rocket signals! exclairried Rogers .. By the blood of old Barney! it won't do for me to delay getting to the Juqging from their rockets, the manhunters must be closing in on it. all, it nlust be to-night. , daytime." If I'm going to reach there at I can never get through in the Rose and the others also beh. eld the signals, and in the' face of the danger all the girl's. anger against the outlaw vanished. Oh, Red I Did you see rockets? !>he. inquired with her old time interest in his welfare, as he rejoined his anxious companions. Sure I saw 'em," replied. "Couldn:t very help it-unless I was blindfolded, like the scout."


( 16 THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. At the mention of the luckless man he had led the girl drew her breath sharply. the girl, aware that the breech between them had been healed. What did you do to him?" she demanded. "It's none of your business, but I don't mind telling you," responded Rogers, his anger at Ros e apparently forgotten. "I sent.him with a message to the Fort." "Oh, it was nothing much. I just told the colonel I'd back to keep the pledge I made to Barney the night he was killed, adding that I had two more of his men beside the messenger, I was keeping so's he'd behave. Oh, yes, and I told him if he didn't get a safe conduct for you and leave it at old man Quint's 'befor e to-day week, I'd rundown and burn up.his old Fort." But he'll never get there! protested the girl. "Why not?" The horse doesn't know the way." Never you worry. An army horse will always find his w ,ay back to his post-provided nothing happen s to him." "But, if he doesn't go quickly, the man may die!" gasped Rose, in horror. "So much the better. It'll give force to my terms." At this announcement that the desperado had not only sent a message to the Fort, but had dictated conditions, the others were amazed. "What in the world did you say?" queried the girl, voicing the curiosity of the rest. Not much." "But what? Il "Say, you're asking a good many questions, did you lmow it?" demanded Rogers. His tone,' llOwever, indicated that he was not displeased and so Rose persiMed. t "How can I help it since you won't tell withou-rmy asking?" she returned. If you ain't just like old Barney," mused the bandit, smiling at the girl good naturedl. "I've seen Barney ready to shoot a man down, then, something would excite his curiosity, and J:le'd forget what he was holding his guns for. Many a time he--" Never mind about paddy. What did you say ill your message?" interrupted Rose, impatiently. But it was about your daddy." About daddy? Oh, Red, tell me." Then a shrewd th011ght flashed into her mind and she added: "You're wasting valuable time teasing me." The words prbduced the desired effect upon the bandit, recalling him, as they did, to danger of his position. "I guess it would be for me if we stayed mad," he rejoined. "I forgef everything when I'm talking to you, Ros ie." "Then I won't say another word to you, ever, unless you t ell me what message you sent to the Fort," pouted In of the effect such a message from the man for whom his troops were scouring the" Bad Lands" would have UPo? their choleric colonel, the scouts forgot the precariousness position. "But old turkey gobler won't do it," exclaimed Rose, with tne evident wish of contradicted. "No-o. I don't suppose he will," admitted the outlaw, reluctantly. "But it will give me a chance to make 'em sit-up and take notice. It'll show 'em they've got some job on their hands to catch me when I can run through, their lines, call at old man Quint's and; h;et back again." "Nobody with any sense would try it," grunted Pedro. What would b<:;come of Rosie and me if you got caught? You ought to think of others besides yourse lf when you're plaruling th .ese daredevil raids." H That's just what I am doing," retorted Rogers. Didn:t I tell you I asked the colonel for a safe conduct for Rosie? If I can only get it, she can go to Old Mex. and you can go where you please." "And where'll you go?" demanded Pedro, suspi ciously. I? 'Oh, I'll just carry out my pledge and then travel for my health." The matter-oi-fact manner 'in which the who was, even as he spoke, being hunted by hundreds of men, talked of eluding his pursuers and fulfilling his promise, gave the scouts an idea of his absolute fearlessness which they could not but admire, while at the saR1e time his contempt for the Service galled them. The girl, however, received Red's words in silence. ,What is the pledge you made t6 daddy?" she sud denly demanded. Something that doesn't concern you, Rosie." H But it does. I don't see why you should run such risks of being captured, now you're safe, just on account of a promise. Please tell me what it is. I'm Barney's daughter, and as such-if it seems foolish-I can absolve you from your pledge." Though they had known that the outlaw had made


THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. 17 I some sort of promise to his pal as he lay dying in his arms, neither Rose nor Pedro were aware of ,its exact 'nature. Moreover, the constant reference to it since their capture had whetted the curiosity of the scouts. Consequently it was with keenest eagerness the four listened for the bandit's answer. "It' s g enerous of you, very," he finally declared. "But Red R9gers never brOke a promise yet! And with these" words, the outlaw mou)lted his horse .. and, f o llowed by Pedro with the prisoners, set. out for the Old Stockade. CHAPTER IX. A DESPERATE RUSE. Des pit e the fact that the man who spoke words was a vill ain of the deepest die, wantonly cruel, who had not h;sit ated to take the life of man or woman when his doin g so meant the saving of his own, there was an about refusal to' foreswear his promise to hi s dead pal. And, respecting his attitude, regardless of how perverted it was, the girl mad<; no further attempt to dissuade him from his purpose. circle of flame they believed it would be impossible for to re?ch it and his next move made their belief" certainty. You all stay here," he exclaimed. "Pm going to reconnoiter." Please don't, Red," pleaded the g-irl. I But I must, Rosie. If it's a possible thing, we must get through to the Stockade, and the .flare from those fires is so deceptive, I can't tell whether or not the trail i s blocked unle'ss I get close." And without giving the girl the opportunity to make further protest, the outlaw disappeared in Yet scarcely did it seem to the anxious group that he hae gone than he was back. Quick! Blindfold the prisoners!" he commanded. We can't get to the Old Stockade. The fire wall runs clear rourtd the loop, and when I turned' Look out' rock, a score of li1Jhts were just starting up the very mountain we're on." / Wher

, ]8 THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. and they were urged to press into service every man who could carry a gun and ride to the foothills with I out mercy to their horses. Assurances received that the request would be obeyed, the colonel four of the five hundred troopers at the Fort to race to the scene, and he himself rode at their head. Tlforoughly aware of their quarry's resourcefulness, the colonel had struck upon the scheme of throwing out the great semi-circle of fire as an effective stop to the fugitives getting through to the North or West. The East needed no protection, for it was self-evident that the outla\'{ would not come out on the plains where capture was certain. Only the South-the direction from which the civil posses would come-would be left dark, for the reason that there were none among them who could read the heliograph signals. But the colonel hoped they would see the fires of his troopers and divining their plirpose complete the circle. Fox's men, by reason of their being on the s.ene, were ordered to tHe West, together with such of the middle COIUnulS as could be there in time, while the men from the Fort were to take the.Northern position. Sparing neither themselves nor their mounts, the troop ers rode, and the exchange of rockets Rogers had seen were the announcements that the men were in position, followed in due course by the 'signal to touch off the wall of fire, To Rogers apd the girl, it seemed as though the torch bearing troopers must have wings, so rapidly d id they advance, and the voices of the manhunters approaching from the direction of Look Out" rock soon became aUdible, as they shouted to one another. The course followed by the outlaw and his companions was almost due Southwest. Can we niake it?" breathed Rose, as the shouts became more and more distinct. "We' e got tb make it," returned Rogers. "Don't talk that way. Tell me the truth," pleaded the girl. Fifteen minutes will tell the tale, Keep your eye on Pedro. pon't let him lag." In an agony of suspense, the girl kept her head turned toward the lJ1anhunters while she maintained a whispered outpouring of encguragement and exhortation at the bandit who was leading the prisoners. Nearer and nearer, the fugitives approached the haven selected by the notorious outlaw. I reckon safe, Rosie," breathed Rogers, at last. "We have less than a hundred yards to go." Glory .be! returned the girl. But their rejoicing was premature! Barely had the words, left the outlaw's lips than his keen eyes discerned 'the form of a n:an skulking ahead of them. Suppressing an oath, Rogers bade Rose halt and dis mount. Then; crouching l@lw, he glided with wonderful swiftness upon the moving figure As he drew himself together for the leap that would bring him upon the man, Red's foot crunched a pebble. Apprised by the that there was some one near at hand, for the outlaw had managed to hide his advance in the shadow of the brush and rocks lining the trail, the man stopped. "Who goes there?' Friend or foe?" he gasped. "Friend," rettltl1ed the outlaw, advancing boldly. Relieved at the thought he had run across a fellow marlhunter, the other exclaimed: "I'm glad you're here. I've heard hoofbeats coming up this trail for several minutes. I don't believe anyone \ else but Red and me knows of the Breathing Cave,' so I suppose it's him. By standing one on each side of the trail, we ought to get both him and Pedro. "We'll shoot Pedro. But we won't get the ten thouI sand reward unless we get Red alive. I asked Sheriff Black to-day. When I found that out and heard where Red had been located and the plans the sOldiers 'were making wl1ich would cut off his going to t!te Old f3tock I hit the trail for the Cave. I'm--" But the felloW never finished his set;ltence. With a shocking oath, the terrible seized him by the throat and shook him as a terrier ,does a rat. 'X-ou would betray me for a reward, would you, Faro Pete?" he hissed. ," An instant Rogers waited untiJ the shudder which ran through his captive's body told him the fellow had recog him. Then ile raised his pistol butt and crashed it down with terrific force upon his would-be betrayer's bead. Precious time had been lost, however, in listening to Faro Pete-time that Red spared only because 'he wished to learn all he could as to the manhunters' plans and the reward. As SOon as he had acquired this he had ended his former pal's life, and dropping the body beside the trail, the outlaw hastened back to his com panions.


THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. 19 "There's some one over there to the North of us, I think," breathed' Pedm, when his master rejoined him. Pressed on all and his comrades were, indeed, in desperate One false move and their fate would be seafed. A moment, the outlaw pondered. ,r Quick, Rosie! Take this knife and, cut the thongs binding the sco1.fts to the horses. Pedro, grab the smaller one. Choke him so he'll be quiet. When I gite the word" dash with him for the Cave. I'll tote the other. "Rosie, when, I say now, turn the horses and send them down the trail on the run! These directions were uttered with as little noise as possible. Yet they were overhe;rd. Here they are! Here they are!" Close in on 'em! yelled four. or five voices from the Pedro had said he heard suspicious sounds. Under: the crackling of the bushes and the crunching' of stones as the man hunters advanced, Rogers whispered: rr Now!" the mountain that the animals were quickly sfopped in their mad run. "Close in! Be careful, Red is a dead shot!" yelled the manhunters as they leaped and scrambled over -the rocks, to' gain the where the horses had dropped before the fugitives" whom they supposed to have been riding the animals, could have the chance to seek cover in the underbrush. The flare of the torches made the mountainside almost light as day. In the excitement, I the poured volleys lead at everything that determined not to let the outlaw escape again. But as the foreinost of the pursuers gained the side of the disabled horses, they knew that they had been outwitted by the re sourceful Rogers. He's fooled us! yelled a trooper. \Vhat. .makes you think so?" demanded Lieutenant Fox, who was the first officer to reach the scent Bec'ause the horses and their blankets are riddled Frantically Rose jabbed the horses with the knife the 'outlaw had given her. .' with bullets," replied one of his men. "No person could Snorting with pain and fright, the animals dashed, have on their backs and have lived." down the trail, the beat of their Iron shoes upon the Then where is Rogers?" returned the young officer. I rocks ringing Qut loud and clear. rr 'Watch out! rr Down the trail!" rr They're mounted! rr Shoot 'eIn! ,, rr Don't let 'em escape!" In a babel of voices, these warnings and commands were roared. "Crouch down!" breathed Rogers. "If they shoot, we'll dash ,lor the Cave.' If they don't, we'll--" Bang! crashe.d a volley. Then aIlbther and another. With all speed possible, the troopers rushed up the mountainside while, as the reportsJang out and rever berated among the mountains, wild were the wavings of torches by the rpanhunters too far away to join in the purstlit. And under cover of the confusion, Red his comrades gained the entrance to the" Breathing Cave:" CHAPTER X. nI!SIEGED, -So deadly had been the aim of the troopers as they poured their volleys of lead at the horses dashing down The old Nick only knows," grunted a veteran. "One thing's certain, though And then the trooper grew silent, as if of his words. -(t What is certain? yv-hy don't you speak, map, instead of standing there like a dummy?" flashed Fox. I didn't want to to be meddling, sir," rejoined the trooper. / But I was going to say that Red can't be far away or he wouldn't have resorted to the rJse of turning his horses loose." Then get busy and find him. Don't waste preciOlls time round here," snapped the lieutenant. And at his the group about the fallen horses melted away and disappeared among the rocks ar:rd underbitlsh, the' men's course being indicated by the glow from 'their torches. A moment the young officer stood, whether he sho\l!d go with his men or report to the colonel, and before he had made up his mind, the members of the sheriff's posse who had caused the outlaw to abandon his horses, came upon him. '" Who are you?" demanded the lieutenant. We came with Sheriff Black," replied one pf them. Vvell, get into the brush. Don't dally round here. I .' Rogers has tricked us." Ain't that just like him? exclaimed another 'membe;


20 THE' AMERICAN INDIAN of the posse. "I told Black, while we were waiting up "Sure I do. You ain't more than three rod. s from it I the trail yonder, that I'd bet Red would get away, and this very minute." 110W he's done it. One or a thousand men, it donl t make "Then take us to it," the captain. "B.eyond no difference to bim. If he has any chance at alI, he a doubt, that's where the man we're after is hiding. Fox" can wriggle through them, Now 1--" go and report to the colonel all we have But the young officer, reminded by the fellow's words. You might. suggest that it wQuld be well for him to oi the manner in which the outlaw had eluded him durcome up here. He'll probably wish to take charge of the\ ing the day, turned on his heel and was walking away, when a shout sounded from ahead. With no attempt conce al his disappointment and "This way! This way! yelled a voice. "Red's gone displeasure at being sent by his superior to, carry a messthis way I Here's the body of. a man' he's kilIed! age to the colonel that might just as well have been enInstantly the troopers who had been scouring the trusted to a private, especially when the of the mountainside surrounding the horses gave up their efnotorious outlaw 'who ha.cI led them S'uch a merry chase iorts and hastened up the trail. seemed imminent, the lieutenant turned on his heel "That's Faro Pete," annotmced Sheriff Black, after without replying, ;tarting down the mountainside at a an examination of the body .. ': I'd rather have lost a I \ dozen other men than him." Why?" demanded Captain SmYthe, forcing his way through group about the man whom the outlaw had killed. I' .' run. Shouting and yelling in jubilation at the thought they would soon: have the notorious outlaw securely bound and on his way back to the jail from which he had escaped, leaving a trail of 'tor:pses behind him, troopers Because, as a member of Red's 01'<1 gang, he knew all swarn'led after the half-breed. 1 h Wh 1:. h d h 1 h dol> b wish you'd hold"em back, sir," exclaimed Alkali liS aunts. en He ear 'Y ere t le cuss a een' located, he 'lowed that Red would probab,1y make for to the captain, who with several other officers was fol the Old Stockade, and if he found the trails cut off, for lowing close at the scout's heels. h 'B h' C 'P h "Why? t e reat mg ave. ete was t e only so far as l'know, who was ever with Red in the Cave. And now "Because I want to examine the entrance to the Cave he's gone we're likely to be gray headed before we to find. if Red is really in there. But if them troopers can fif\d out how to ge; into it." cro'YC! round, they'll spoil any tracks there may be." "Breathing Cave? Breathing Cave?" repeated the Realizing th,at Alkali spoke sound, sense, the captain I captain. "What in" the world are you talking about, fq,ced about. man? Who ever heard. of a Cave?" No man can come nearer the Cave than twenty feet I have, sir," replied a voice. until I give permission," he shouted. In surprise, the officers and sheriff turneQ toward the Amazed at the <;:ommand, the troopers asked one an-speaker and beheld Alkali. other what new development could have transpired. But "Then tell us what it is and where it is," commanded their was quickly allayed by the sight of the .... half-breed creeping about on his hands and knees. r It's a crackin a rock, barely l arge enough for a man, Interest in the scout's discoveries w9-s forgotten for the to squeeze into, and when you stand beside it, you can moment by the as they felt a sudden outpouring feel it "re athe ." of air, followed several seconds later by a sucking "Feel a rock breathe," sneered Lieutenant Fox con-'. temptuously. "Have you' been drinking, Alkali?" What I'm telling you about that Cave is the truth. And r can prove it." How? i demanded Smythe. By taking you to it." ) "You know where it IS? exclaimed the sheriff and the officers, in pleased surprise. downward of. tbe atmosphere. ..-. "What .in the world can that, be?" they asked one another. "It's the 'Ereatl1ing Cave,'" grunted Alkali; 111 ex planation. "It stlre is just like a person breathing," asserted Cap tain Smythe, after he and several of his companions had dropped to their kne'es near the crevice in the rock and


. THE 1\MERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. 21 /' felt the outward and ru s h of air against their cause 'of their fearles sness and deadly marksmanship, the faces. colonel gave the for th e rest of the men to How did you know about it, Alkali? demanded an'return to the base of the mountain and camp f o r the night. other officer. Injuns." \ Did they give any explanation of the S ome did, some didnJt." I Furth e r discuss ion. of the wonder was prevented fo r the m ome nt, at least, by the arrival of Colonel Edwards. H ave yo u got the devil cornered, Smythe?" he asked of th e offic e r. I b e liev.e so, sir." B e lieve? Don't you Imow?" thundered his superior. No, s ir. I'm waiting for Alkali to determine ,vh' ether Roge r s has entered that opening in the rock or not." Well, I guess the surest way to put an end to him is for th e earth to swall o w him," chuckled the colonel. J "Wha t do you find, Alka-li?" "He's 111 there, and th e re are two others :with him. 1--" Any s i g n of three Mounted Scouts they cap ture d? in t err'upted Captain Smythe. \ T h ey was something with them: You can see w h e re t h e d irt over there is scraped. But whether it's the Scou t s I can t say, sir." "We'll probably find their bodies somewhere down the trail," opined the colonel. "It isn't likely they would have bothered with them when we were pressing them so close But you're s ure Red Rogers is in there? " Yes sir." Any other way to get into the Cave?" Not as I know of, sir.:' "Ho w big is it?" Ne v e r was inside." "'Well there's one sure thing. Rogers and his com' panions can't find any food there." Captain Smythe, you will pick thirty' men and stay here, camped about the opening to this Cave, until you J ( either starve Rogers out or to death." CHAPTER THE OUTLAW BECOMES SUSPICIOUS OF ROSE, After the captain. had selected the troopers whom he wished to keep with him, all of whom were chosen beI Shall you want Alkali?" tIe asked, as he prepared to follow them "No, sir. That is, I don't thinlc so. You said there was other entrance to the Cave, didn't you, Alkali? the captain asked, turning to. the half-breed. None as I kno 'ws of," repeated the scout Then 1l'd9n't see how Alkali 'an be 01 any use to me, Colone l Edwards ." But the officer was soon to regret his dedsion to dispens<1 with the services of the half-breed. Wearied with the labors ?f the strenuous day; now that they ielt they had th e notorious outlaw in their or .at lea s t where he do no more harm, the troopers r o ll e d the m selves JlP in their blankets and were soon fast ., asleep while '11 solitary sentinel stool guard _over the crevice a t the two ends of which fires had been kindled. 'Within the Cave, however, all activity, though the outlaw and his. companions had passed through an even more nerve-wracking day than their pursuers The haven which Rogers had reached barely in time to s

22 THE 'AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. his companions, to whom' he quickly related all that had to hold it against a regiment. Besides, if any of your transpired. friends up above tried to get in here, unless ruck "Let them keep up their old' siege, if they want to," exclaimed Rose, as the outlaw concll,1ded. We've got food e n oug h in that bag for a couple of days, anyqow, so we can just stc;>' hert! and get a good re s t. I sure do need it, and I guess you and Pedro do, t oo, Red." Sleep vyon't seem a bit bad, especialJy as it will be the first I have had outside a jail for five years," agreed the outlaw But what are you going to do with the scou ts?" demanded Pedro .i' It won't do t

I THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. 23 make you sleep all trussed up the way you've him ," 'the latter, for he quickly gained the shelter of a crag, flas hed Ro se, blushing at the outlaw's words. where he waited to learn if art alarm was raised. "You re dead right, he ain't," retorted Roger s "be cause he ain't the sort of chap who would ever catch a man to bind him." And laughing at hi s words, evidently considering them mig ht y clever, bandit got up from the table, ordered Pedr o to place the pri soners on so m e straw, and threw h imself down upon a pile of blankets, keeping his eyes upon Rose, however, till breathing indicated that she was asleep. CHAPTER XII. A CLOSE CALL. Despite his bravado evinced before his prisoners and \ the girl, Rogers did not feel as secure in the" Breathing ,Cave," as his words made him appear. Consequent ly, though he was wearied by his unusual exertions after his long confinement behind the bars, he was awake early the next morning. Arousing Pedro, he bade him keep a close watch on the girl and the. scouts, and not to let them converse unless he was within hearing distance. "I'll watch 'em, never fear," promised the bandit. See that you do. Your life is Fesponsible for their safety,'" retur;'ed his master, And with these words, the outlccw walked to the end of the cave opposite crevice by which he' had entered, placed his shoulder against what seemed part of the soVd wall pf rock after several attempts? pushed out a block about three feet square C'lutiously sticking his head through the trap door, R ogers listened intently for several and then apparently satisfied,it would be safe for him to go forth, s queezed through the hole, closl11g it behind him, But he was by no means out of danger. I The spot where the second entrance to the Cave was located was I e ss than hundred yards from w here Cap tain Smythe and his tr oopers had e stablished their siege! and was in full v iew f rom the v alley below where the rest of the troopers had bivoua c ed. Yet, unless they had chanced to see Ihim suddenly ap pear from the rock, he ran little risk of d etec tion from I # When' some five had and the silence which enveloped the mountains and valleys was unbroken, he began his descent. < With all the cunning of which he was master, the daredevil outlaw crept ,.Bown the hillside, crossed the level land and then went up the other mountain in order that he might learn whether or 'not any troop s had been stationed t o watch the trai1 to the Old St o ckade, As, he fOl.ft1d' the way entirely open, he was sorely tempted t o pay a hurried visit to th e place which had been his h eadquarte r s and the scene of many a wild orgy be fox;e he had been but he t old himself there would be p l enty of time to live over the aid days when he had fulfilled his pledge and accordingly he retraced hi s steps, But the outlaw found that it would not prove so easy a matter to regctin the Cave as it was to leave it. he reached a spot on his return whence he' could survey the valley where the troopers had camp ed, instead of finding it deselted, : as he hac! expected, he found it alive with cavalrymen Wondering as to the cause, yet aware that it effected him, Rogers sought out a rock from which he could watch the manhunters. Had he returned an hour before, however, he would h;lVe found his progress unimpeded, After breakfast, Colonel Edwards had given the command to break camp and return to the Fort, ordering }he men to keep a sharp lookout for the bodies Of tl1e three Mounted Scouts, who had been captured by the outlaw, When the search failed to reveal them, as the (reader knows, both officers and men came to the conclusion' that Rogers had kept them with him, and many were the speculations as to hisreason for so doing, About an hour had 'they been on the march, when a solitary rider was s ighted. More out of curiosity than anything else, Colonel t rained his field glasses upon him. But as he did his manner change9,: By all the gods of war, that's our man Shaw!" he gasped, "and he's bound, gagged and blindfolded, That's. the work of that devil, Rogers! Lieutenant Hastings, take three men' and see what's Hie trouble," Like wildfire, the identity of the horseman had spread among the cavalrymen eagerly they watched as the detail dashed on i ts mission. The strain of the terrible night when he knew not


THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. ,,,hat moment might be his last had proved too much for the Scout, however, and when his comrades gained his side, he was jabbering to himself, a raving maniac. Calling down all the of which they coulq think upon the head of the desperado for his treatment 'of theit fellow, the officer and his men quickly, but tenderly, re-moved the gag, bandage and rawhide, then lifted the scout from his horse and laid him on the plain, forcing some brandy between his swollen lips, aU the while him with questions. But it was nQ u se. Shaw could only jabber. \ Realizing from the troopers' actions that something seriollS was amiss, Colonel Edwards his aides rode up just as of the men picked up 'the message Red Rogers had written, which passed unnoticed in the endeavor to restore the Mounted Scout to his n0rmal self. A comnllmication for you, sir," said Hastings, hand ing the rough scrawl to his superior. Adjusting his glasses, the' colonel began to read it, then I \ into a towering rage. Listen to r Listen to this! he roared, aadresing all within earshot. "'Colonel Turkey Gobler. I cum Pitching camp in the the troopers quickly up the hillside to the Cave, ahd it was almost' at the moment of their arrival that Rogers had caught \ sight of them. As the officers reached the spot where the outlaw was supposed to lie hidden, they immediately held a council. .of war, discussing the quickest means of bringin g the desperado to book. Many were the schemes suggested, but it was finally decided to begin by trying literally to smoke-11im out. The men were ordered to collect piles of dry branches which were jam:ned as tightly as possible into 1;he crevice in the rock and then set afire. At the sight' of the flames and the real i zation of troopers' purpose, the outlaw leaped to his feet. "Daylight or no daylight, I've got to save Rosie Pedro! he muttered, and, never thinking of the danger to himself his act entailed, he b egan to work his way to the Cave. With marvellous skill, he descended the hill, the valley in which was' located the camp, and crept up the other side .. But every trick of which he was master he was obliged to use. Indeed, no less than three times, bak to keep my promise to a ded man. Yu no whu i troopers passed \vithin pistol shot of him, ?,et neyer even mene, barney Landon, the man ,you cudnt get the reI w ard for becoze i hid his body. im going to fix evry man ;"ho : helved do bamey. I am 2 pf yure men. if yu get after me, ill send em bak to' yu in peces. if yu wil leve a safe conduk for rosie landon ole man quints friday i wont turn no tricks on yure post. Red Rogers.' As he proceeded, the colonel grew n7-adder and mad

\ THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. 25 It was n o t until dusk, however, that Rogers finally SC01,Jts had been allowed tl;1e use of their legs by Rogers; found the opportunity to re-enter his hiding place. And 'in order to facilitate the escape from thl! Cave. But, his arrival was just in time, for his comrades were all because of the numbness caused by the length of time but overcome with the smoke. their' ankles had been bound, J enni11gs and Scotty foHnd The sight of the outlaw unharmed, inspired them it difficult to climb 'the tortuous trail, and it was after hope, and eagerly they followed him from the Cave. t midnight before the creaking a door t;ld them they And, becaus e of the .darkness, they experienced bUi had reached their destination. little diffic ult y in reaching the trail to the Old Stockade, ,. \ Stay where you are for a few minutes while I see and In du e cours e arrived at that nigh-impregnable fortress. ," \ CHAPTER XIII. A REIGN OF TERROR. Perclled a lmo s t on, the top' of a rock-crQwned moun. tain, fr o m a di stance the Stockatle looked like a boulder, that all is right," commanded Rogers, dropping the rope. Wondering whether this was the preface t-o some terrible deed of treachery, the four stood still, fearing to move. f But alarm was unfounded. Lighting a to:ch, of which there were many 111 this lofty stronghold, tbe otitlaw went from window to window, making sure that the shutters of iron were in place, that no rays of light might be radiated and thus disclose '. the location of the Old Stockade. So well had his gang, who -were practically his slavesT a fact th a t do ubtless accounted for its never having been"" fashioned them, however, that they were still sound, and;discovere d b y any of the Scouts or plainsmen. Not a tree was there within rods of it, so that surprise was out of th e q uestion, a condition that had made it 'so valua ble to the g o l d miners who had used it as refuge against returning to his companions, he' removed their bandages, revealing to their eyes a scene of barbaric splendor. Rugs of finest weave and costly furs covered the floor. l!xqui site. tapestries the walls, and scattered here_ Indians, and one that had recommended it to the noto. and there were glorious statues and ornaments of rarest rious outl a w as the headqJlarters for his band, and tne stone, silver and gold, all the loot of Red R?gers' raids strong box for his ill-gotten gains. So jealously had Rogers guarded the secret of its whereapouts that had always insisted that members of his gang should be blindfolded before he would lead them to it, and thus no one but himself knew the exact trail which he had from an old Indian squaw Whom ,he had _helped to get revenge upon the chief of her tribe. Even Pedro did not know how to reach it, and it was, therefore, with deep disappointment tha't he heard Red order him to bandage the eyes of the prisoners and Ro;e, and was in turn blindfolded himself. When had been taken, the outlaw took a turn with a rope round tlle waist of each, and thus kept them together and guided -diem. On pain of death for any attempt to run away, the which had often carried him into Mexico. In amazement". Rose and the Scouts gazed about them. Like it?" asked the outlaw, enjoying their surprise . If you' will be good and do as I say for a few days, un-. ,til I finish 'my business, I will divide them among you_ I'm going away, and shall not have any use for them. Pedro, go and bring some wine. You fellows give me your word you won't try to run away, and I'll sever , your bonds. Will you do it? "OjT, do," implored the girl. "It. will seem just as though we were living a fairy tale in some enchanted palace to be up here-only if your arms are bound, it will s poil the illusion." And if we don't? demanded J e'nnings. It ,,"on't make any difference to anyone but Rosie_


I 26 THE AMERICAN Ii\lDIAN WEEKLY. \ I shal1 give Pedro orders .to shoot anyone of y o n who tries to run <.lway. So it's up to you to decid e whether you'l1 b e comfortable or not." Sort of heads 'I' win, tails you lose, eh?" rettjrned Scotty, to whose youthful imagination, Rose's play-dream appealed strongly. "Tllat s about it, I reckon," grinned the o"utlaw. For several the Scouts were silent, both loath to give their word to a man than to kill whom noth ing would bring thelTI more ple asure. But,

THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY 27 to know where I can find Jerry Hooper, Zeq Cross and I A l Bender." These were the names of the three plainsmen who had killed Barn ey as he heard them, Quint jooked at th e baridit keenly "Take m y advice, and you'll ieave weU enough alone. This region i s mighty hot for you. Better get out before t h e y caM"y 'you out," he exclaimed, significantly. "Thanks I d pn't want grinned Rogers. "I want to k p ow where I can find those three fellows." 1" "You 'll find the m on their jest as they uS,ed to bill" "Much oblige d. Oh, there's another thing you can do for me, Quint., You can to the Fort and tell Edwards, w i th my compliments, that he's wasting time trying to s m oke me out of the Cave Also tell him I m sorry I had to take another one of his hO/ises." "So Edwards thinks you're in the Cave?" asked the old man, chuckling. "Sure, I'll be glad to get word to him. I wish he'd been mixed up with Barney. I don't know a man I hate more'n I do Hiram Edwards. Yes, I'll sure let him know. "Thank you. Good-bye." And witl). a wave 9f his hand, Rogers dashed away through the woods. And now, at 'his first opportunity,. this man, 'whose .mind and ide ,as were so perverted that he preferred a Ii fe of crime to one o.f ho.nor, was taking up the again. Nearest of any of the three was Al Bender's ranch, and thither Rogers rode, recking not that it was broad daylight. I To his delight, Bender was standing in the doorway as the. outlaw dashed Your time has come, Al Bender!" he hissed. And, before the terror-stricken man could escape, Rogers put a bullet thro ugh his lfeart. "There's one, Barney!" he murmured, as he rode away. "N()w, for Zeb Cross! Night had f.allen before the outlaw his destination. Riding boldly to the door, he banged on it with his gun butt ({ You?)J gasped the ranchman, as he beheld the red bearded desperado. But the bark of a pistul was his only answer. l Never heeding the cowboys who rushed to learn the cause of the shot, Rogers raced to the horse corral, hastily cut out one of the ponies, and was away before the people on the ranch had realized what had happened. .. / That makes two," he chuckled, grimly. "I only hope Jerry Hooper is at home." For a he smiled as he to himself the Unfortunately for the man, Red found him returning from a tour of inspection of his cattle at noon the next pompous colonel anp. the little old scene between the man; then became day. grave as he thought of the mission upon which he was riding. Though Barney Landon had been a desperado, he had been accused by Zeb Cross of lifting some cattle-and wrongly. Cross, l).owever, lured by a reward, had per suaded Hooper and Bender to waylay the outlaw. This they had done, wounding him grievously. But Landon had managed to ride to where Rogers was spending the night, and died in his arms, after which the outlaw hid his body so that no one could collect the reward. Before his pal's death, he made him a pledge, ahd in attemp.ting to carry it out, traveled to the city of Keno, where he 11ad beerl by twenty Mounted Sconts, but only after he had shot down ten others. Recognizing the outlaw from afar, Hooper tried to race away from him. But iri vain. Now, I can face Barney," exclaimed Rogers, setting !tis pony toward the OldStockade. As the reports of the murders were people who had ever been concerned in any trouble with Rogers or Landon feared for their lives, and a veritable reIgn of terror seized regl0i-' CHAPTER XIV: /. THE RAID ON THE OLD STOCKADE. Although posses were formed and troopers thrown on the outlaw's trail, he managed to evade them, though sev-


( r THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. eral time s they got neat enough to at him. But, with that perversity of Fate which seems at times to gtlard and protect wrongdoers, bring suffering upon the honest, h e e s c aped to his fortre s s on the rock-crowned mOlUitain unscathed. Yet, in his very hour of gloating, his neme sis was stalking him. "'\Vhen th e y awoke the morning after Rogers' departure, Scotty s ought out Rose. I "What claim has Red Rogers got on your, that you stick to him?" he demanded. No man ha s ,any claim q n Rose L andon!" flas h e d the girl, flus hing at the question. "Then why do you go round with R ed?'" "Bec a u s e he has been good to me. He' s tood by m e and gave me money;o I could live an honest life" whe n no one els e would haveanything to do with me, b eca, u s e I was Barney Landon' s But it's no way for you to live, girl," exclaimed the Scout. "He's sure to g e caught. It's only a que stio n of time-and not so very a time at that, anci th e n you'll be brand e d as his swee theart." It's a lie! I'm no one's sweetheart! "But people won't believe that-and then what will you d01 "Oh, don't! What right have you to talk to like this, anyway? demanded Rose. "The right my love for-you gives me." '"" '''U 1 qOW dare you talk to me of love?" "B I 't Y ecau e mean 1 . au re t00 fine a girl to have your lif e 'bl; sted by Red Rogers. I want save There was that in the pass ionate torte ,in which the . young Scout sP9ke, and in the e x pressi o n upon his ha?dsome face that drew Rose to him, irresi stibly-and then the thought of' taking her place among the good women of th e world-a thouglit th a t :ways strikes harde s t the. w oman who s e e s the opportunity b e ing closed to her flash e d to h e r mind. H o w can you help me? s h e a s ked, 111 a voice .. s c arcely m o re than a whisper. :' I can make you my wife. TheIl: I s ha ll hav e th e right to protect :>:ou. Oh, Rose, think what joy it would be. Don't say we haven't known each other long enough. Think what we've been through." But what would Red say? "What can he? We can go before he get s back and be married." .. "But you gave him your wor d not to. A nd there's Pedro. He would shoot you." A man' isn't supposed to k e ep hi s wor d t o a murderer and robber. As for Pedro, I g;uess J e n n ings and I c a n fix him. Will you, girlie? T ell m e quic k before we' re interrupted. A moment Ro s e hes it a t ed. Then, with' a happy l ittl e catc h In h e r VOIce, s h e breathed: '-' Yes." But, before they could seal their betr o thal with a kiss, Jennings appeared. Keeping his secret, Scott y said: "Let's lay for Pedro and d o him up Th e n w e can g e t away, obtain reinforcem ents from the c amp in the vall e y and raid the Old Stock ade w h e n R e d R ogers g e ts back." With a scowl, the scout n odde d hi s head to ward , Don't worry about her. She' s going with u s ," smiled the youngster. ""Really? "Ye s answered Rose "Good. Then let's start right now. I ju s t saw Pedro sneaking off down the trail. By keeping our eyes open, we can get out of this place and hide until he returns, arid then go on our way withollt danger." N a had the plan been suggested than it agr e ed upon. U I wish we coulp take some of the s e things," sighed girl, as she took a parting survey of the cos tly fur nis hings. "Never mind, now. We'll come back for them." And, without d51ay, the trio fleg from their ;risoh Cauti o u s ly they advanced until they found a rbck behind /


THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. ) '\ 29 which they could hide, and there they remained until Pedro passed them. Deeming the chance unequaled to learn the trail, the outlaw's trusted man had gone down the path, noting its every wind and turn. As thiS' had taken longer than he had anticipated, he made all haste possible to get back. And when he found his prisoners flown, he was panic stricken. "Red said my life would pay if they got away!" he wailed. 'Lhen sud

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STANDING ALONE A T THE HEAD-OF ITS CLASS The American Indian Weekly PUBLISHED EVERY THURSDAY This great weekly i s a radical departure fr o m all other five-cent weeklies that are now being published. It has the greatest s tories of frontier life, of Indians and of the far West that have ever been issued . The stories are longer than those published in any other five-cent library except the celebrated OLD SLEUTH WEEKLY. The y are all edited by Colonel Spencer Dair the most celebrated Indian Scout, Bandit Tracker and Gun Fighter of modern fiction. A new number i s issued every Thurs day. LIS T O F TITLES D e cember 1-No. 1. THE OUTLA W S PLEDGE .... ............... or The Raid on the Old Stockadt! Dec e mber 8-No. 2. TRA CK E D TO HIS LAIR .................. o r The Purs uit o f the Midnight Raider December 15-No. 3. THE BLACK DEATH .... ........... .......... or The Cur s e of the Navajo Witch Dec e mber 22-No. 4 THE SQUAW MA. S REVEN GE ................... . or Kidnapped by the Piute s D e cember 29--No. 5 TRAPPED BY THE CRE ES .................. ... or Trick e d by a Renegade Scout January 5-No 6 BETRAYED BY A MOCCA SIN ......... or The RoundUp o f the Indian Smugglers January 12-No. 7. FLYING CLOUD' S LAST STA N D ....... ..... or The Battle of Dead Man's Canyon January January February February February 19-No. 8. A DASH FOR LIFE ... . .......................... or Tricked by Timber Wolves 26-No. 9. THE DECOY MESSAGE, ....................... or The of the Border Jumpers 2-N o. 10. THE MIDNIGHT ALARM ............... . Or The Raid on the Paymaster's Camp 9-No. 11. THE MASKED RIDERS., . ....... ; ........... or The Mystery of Grizzly Gulch 16-No. 12. LURED BY .................. or The Mounted Ranger's Desperate Ride The AMERICAN INDIA WEEKLY is for sale by all newsdealers and booksellers, or it will be sent to any addreS6 postpaid by the publi sher s upon receipt of Gc per copy, 10 copies for 50c. All back numbers' always in stock. THE ARTHUR WESTBROOK COMPANY CLEVELAND, OHIO, U. S. A.

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